Aristotle’s Beliefs About Participation in Government

Post your response to the following question: Aristotle believed that people who do not have the aptitude or time to participate in governance should not be citizens. Cite experiences from your life to support or refute his argument.

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My view on this is going to be a little weird, but I will try to explain. I would not say that I am anti-government. I would, however, say that government is only mankind’s attempt at control; control that is only an allusion. Now by government, I am referring to organized government, not mankind’s ability to govern their own bodies. I am talking about a group of people set up within a civilization that has the express purpose of maintaining control. Since Aristotle lived in one of the first democracies, I think this response should center on democratic government. Democratic government is the people trying to control the people; again control that is only an allusion. We, like Aristotle, have decided that it would be better for us to control ourselves than to let some king control us, both are an allusion. Now I do not believe that the answer is to not participate in government. I do not think the answer is to not have a government, but when this government was set up it had a completely different purpose than it does now, as did the democratic government of Aristotle.   

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Bruder, K., & Moore, B. N. (2002). Philosophy: The power of ideas (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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