A Political Community Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

For decades, one of the most controversial topics has been the nature and purpose of a political community and why do we, as humans enter into one. The two philosophers that are most known for their very distinct ideas of what a democracy should consist of are Aristotle and John Locke. A few of the numerous questions that emerge throughout this debatable matter are as follows: Why do human beings enter into a political community? What is the purpose of a political community? and lastly, What are the characteristics of a good/best political society? Although both parties offer very persuasive arguments, they differ in many ways. Aristotle emphasizes the unity of a community in constant search of a virtuous and noble life for its citizens, while Locke stresses equality and the rights of individuals in terms on liberty and possessions and claims that one who benefits from society, one is incurred to its obligations. Based on all the readings, I agree with Aristotle’s view of an ideal political community because a community with a cooperative and united search for happiness and progression in virtuous activities is far more superior to me than the undeniable materialistic ways of a Lockean democracy.

It is understood that one feels the need to be a part of a political society because it gives a sense of protection and control. A community is sustained by its laws assuring all citizens of fair treatment and protecting them in their many different vocations and responsibilities from unjust treatment by other citizens, with the help of private organizations, and the government itself. Aristotle claims that is it human nature to belong to a community, to have that unity and connection with other human beings striving for survival, virtue and goodness. This is includes recreating/reproducing, and being a part of a population in general. To further his point, Aristotle argues that any human who utterly refuses to partake in the communal sharing is, not a human, but a “beast or a god,” made of stone instead of human flesh. Locke, on the other hand, states that it is the government’s responsibility to protect its citizen’s individual human rights. He also states that one of the major reasons humans enter into a society is to avoid any kind of state of war. I feel like both parties have a similar aspect when it comes to the reason why humans enter into a political society, to restore peace and encourage happiness and stability.

“Justice seems to be equality, and it is, but not for everyone, only for equals. Justice also seems to be inequality, since indeed it is, but not for everyone, only for unequals” (Aristotle, Politics 1280a10). Here, Aristotle declares that those who are worthy of it, once a political society accepts the lack of equality among humans, achieve virtuousness easier. Aristotle claims that the main concern, or purpose, of a political community is to inspire a certain character in its citizens and to motivate and dispose the, to perform...

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