"If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly
to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when
all persons alike share in the government to the utmost."
by:
Aristotle
(384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Source:
Politics, 343 BC
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Reader comments about this quote:
Why isn't he running for President.
 -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    That would be a government of the people,by the people and for the people.I like that idea.
     -- Me Again     
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    Sign me up for congress!
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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     -- Dick, Fort Worlth      
    It's a constant battle.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Liberty and equality, can chiefly not be found in a democracy (a simple review of history), they will be best attained when they are found in the religious beliefs of the specific/general community (atheism to zen - defining what liberty and equality are) and all persons alike then sharing in the government of their immediate communities to the utmost and by personal representatives in distant seats of government. The more distant the government and the less actual influence held and relayed by the individual, the less authority the government should have.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The day when all alike share in government to the utmost will be a sadder, more violent, more corrupt day than today.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    The quote is as true today as it was in Aristotle's day, and is self evident. . "Liberty and equality.... will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government"
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    Self evident? Allowing addicts, perverts, the deranged, and the sociopathic to share in government would do nothing for the improvement of democracy.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    "Addicts, perverts, the deranged, and the sociopathic" will always have a share in government (they already do). If that is the people's choice, then so be it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Actually, many of them do not even have the vote, having been excluded as a result of convictions leading to loss of privileges. And that is very good. The less the influence of that type in government, the better.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    What is perverse to one may be normal to another. As long as it doesn't harm others, should it be forbidden? It may be odd but that's the price of freedom. If it does harm others it is denying them their civil rights and is illegal, and has nothing to do with liberty and equality. The quote says "If liberty and equality... are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government" I maintain that is a self-evident. Do you not agree, David?
     -- Jack, Greeen, OH     
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    No, Jack. But I think you had figured that out already. Some forms of perversion are tolerable, in a sense, when kept in the privacy of ones home. How do you feel about NAMBLA, for example? Or what about the drug addicts who live on the streets and mug the citizenry? Or what about the career criminals? Or what about the communists, who are dedicated to the overthrow of our society? I do not think that any of these should have a share in government.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    David, you constantly refer to the fringe as the rule rather than the exception. Your self-righteousness resembles the words of Nazis during their rise to power. The fact is, the government (i.e. the neighbors) have no authority over the morals of others (other than to serve as an example). The attempt to enforce morality laws (which are completely subjective) is absolutely contrary to American independence. You obviously include yourself among those fit to rule -- I for one am thankful that you have no constituency.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I love you too, Archer.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    David, Aristotle isn't suggesting that this is a good idea. Later on in "Politics" he emphasizes the need for moderation. "For if they [the masses] shared in the greatest offices, it would not be safe, since, on account of their injustice and unwisdom, they would do wrong in some things and go wrong in others. If, on the other hand, they were given no share and had no participation in office, it would be cause for alarm." In fact, Aristotle doesn't even think democracy is the best choice of government. Rather, he seems to suggest that the best of the three good regimes (of which democracy is not one) is polity. Perhaps you realize this and are just reaffirming it?
     -- Zach, C Springs     
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    Also... E Archer, It's interesting to note that when Aristotle wrote this there was no question about the absolute definition of what was good or moral. Only after Machiavelli redefined virtue in "The Prince" did people begin to alter the metaphysical realm by redefining morality for themselves (mostly to justify self-advancement rather than striving for the good of all of society). Today the argument over the subjectivity of good is rampant but I think you would find it a difficult task to interpret any of the ancient or medieval philosophers (Machiavelli is more early modern) as not accepting virtue or morality as absolute.
     -- Zach, C Springs     
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    He is just silly.
     -- Silly Monkey, NYC     
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    Thank you Mike, " If " is a big word. And also , " As is thought by some " History has shown us democracies turn tyrannical. The nature in which the words are framed are condescending concerning democracy. Aristotle changed his epistemology after Plato's death. Leaning to empiricism, theory, till proven by scientific investigation, posteriori position. Where as Plato, deductive from A PRIORI principles. From a religious stand point Plato would be of faith, Aristotle would stand in doubt till proven by experience and investigation, experiment. There is a great misconception concerning Christianity, " Things that are different are not the same ". There is a reason that the Catholic church along with Muslims who embrace Aristotle's point of view. It was never the intent of Christians who follow Paul's teaching of Liberty to convert the world. That comes by way of the great commission given to Peter. Which was put on hold, Acts 28:28. One being the bride, the other the groom. This is obscure fact, clouded by those who would preach democracy rather than Liberty by way of a representative republic. Nature teaches us that which is contrary to sound logic. A reprobate mindset is just that. Natural love is contrary to inordinate affection. The carnal mind is enmity with God, and is not subject to the laws of God. Such are the works of the flesh made evident. Which are contrary to good behavior. Do that which is right and you will have praise of the same. To remove God from the equation, sets the state as a god rather than man directed by God through conscience. Liberty for all, and as Paul states to his followers, maintain good works, let your moderation be known to all. God is not a respecter of persons and is able to recompense that deserved, according to the individuals behavior. " And I will put my law in their hearts." Democracies tend to sear their conscience to justify bad behavior for profit and lust of the flesh.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    There is knowledge, available, which represents the opportunity to take advantage of ( grace ) under Liberty. I will not state what it is ! Temptation presents itself to all, it is God's promise to show a way to escape, that tries the upright. There is no temptation taken you other than that which is common to man ! But God is Faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation make a way to escape, that you are able to bear it ! God also has a heart ! But one must turn to God when bound, not as others who harden their heart as spoiled children wanting their way. We live in the dispensation of grace, of which there are 4 mentioned by Paul. We live in the " Dispensation of the fullness of times." The last one mentioned .
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    The quote is simple and to the point - all good things are...
     -- Robert Edwards, St. Emilion, France     
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