Politics by Aristotle

Aristotle’s politics strike me as rather conservative. He believes some democracy is good, but not too much. The lower classes should be kept firmly in their place, and the upper classes should not have their property rights disturbed. He emphatically does not believe that all men are equal. He believes that education should be a public enterprise and not a private one. Like Plato, he has mixed feelings about music and music education; he believes some forms of music are edifying and others are corrupting. Like many intellectuals he admires Sparta’s repressive system of government from the convenient perspective of a distant observer who does not have to live under it. Like all of Aristotle’s works, this book is pretty dull, but it is one of his more readable treatises. Aristotle’s political philosophy is strikingly conventional; sensible, perhaps, but not terribly exciting, much like his ethics.

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