With special thanks to Constituting America and Heritage College, we will be taking part in their project:The U.S. Constitution: A Reader. It is a 90 day challenge to learn and dive deeper into understanding the Constitution.
Today is day 5 of the challenge and we get to take a look at another work by Aristotle, The Politics.
Click HERE for a copy of today’s reading assignment.
In The Politics, Aristotle looks at how the lowest level of political institution starts within the household and how that system shapes cities and regimes. Here are some themes and notes:
He has set the stage for political regimes and the division of compounds into its uncompounded elements.
It is Natural for man and woman, i.e. reproduction. Nature makes nothing in an economizing spirit. (pg 24 line 16) There is a natural order to the design of households to towns to cities and so on. Self-sufficiency is an end and what is best. (pg 25 line 8) The last half of this chapter seems to have an undertone of the setting for a free market system.
He continues on from the previous chapter on ‘business expertise.’ Management of the household is the model for the city.
Continuing on about household structure, he theories that we are all slave to someone or something.
He opens this chapter with the idea that ‘all slavery is against nature.’ (pg 27 line 22) He then compares the animal kingdom to humans and how it relates to political hierarchy.
It is easy to see how this work has helped shape the minds of the framers of the Constitution. It not only sets forth a Natural order to things, but continues to drive the theme that we are all created equal. And, while we do not all have equal outcomes to what is before us, it is our Natural pursuit to happiness that drives us personally and politically.
This a difficult read, but very rewarding when you ponder on what Aristotle has presented. Please, if you haven’t done so, click HERE to download and read it.