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Hi, my name is Biju P R. I am a writer, teacher and academic blogger. Anything that comes through society and technology interest me. My blog posts here define what am I doing here. Please just check it out.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Aristotle’s Politics

Hi, getting visibility among core literary public is benchmark of publishing success and this message is part of an aggressive online campaign for the promotion and visibility of my two books [1] Political Internet and [2] Intimate Speakers among core reading public in online space.
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Biju P R
Author, Teacher, Blogger
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Government Brennen College
Kerala, India

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1. Political Internet: State and Politics in the Age of Social Media,
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2. Intimate Speakers: Why Introverted and Socially Ostracized Citizens Use Social Media, (Fingerprint! 2017)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.in/dp/8175994290/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487261127&sr=1-2&keywords=biju+p+r 

What is the relationship of the individual to the state?
What is the ideal state, and how can it bring about the most desirable life for its citizens?
What sort of education should it provide?
What is the purpose of amassing wealth?
These are some of the questions Aristotle attempts to answer in one of the most intellectually stimulating works.
Both heavily influenced by and critical of Plato's Republic and Laws, Politics represents the distillation of a lifetime of thought and observation.

In Politics, Aristotle theorized that in a perfect world, a monarchy would be a benevolent dictatorship, an aristocracy would be rule by the virtuous and democracy would be rule by the people.
But because of human frailty, monarchy actually becomes tyranny, aristocracy actually becomes oligarchy and pure democracy actually becomes mob rule. The practical solution is a form of government that mixes elements of a single ruler, rule by the few and majority rule.
This idea survived and evolved, and eventually the English developed a system of government with a monarch, a House of Lords and a House of Commons. Later, a system of government was created in the United States with a separation of powers among a President, a Senate and a House of Representatives.
How amazing that Aristotle wrote a book so long ago that has had such influence on world history right up to the present day!

Aristotle’s The Politics is arguably far more interesting than Plato’s Republic. In other ways the Politics outpaced the Republic. It was not based as much on logic, and indeed formed the basis of a proto-constitutional comparative analysis of the states in the age of antiquity and before.

There are deeper discussions of what makes a good citizen and a good man – in some constitutions they are not the same thing. He goes on to argue that one can be a sound citizen, without being a good man. Once one draws out the consequences of this idea, some major thoughts on the ideal citizen and the ideal life become pertinent.
What is the role of man in society? Is man by nature a political animal, as Aristotle claims? Can the ideal man become the ideal citizen? Are they the same thing? Who has a right to citizenship?
It is these questions which are of paramount importance to present-day society, less so his idea that every state must prepare for war and that currency is an evil on this earth.
The most critical point that Aristotle makes with regards to the relationship between politics and citizenship is the following analogy: ‘the builder can certainly form an opinion on a house, but the user, the household-manager, will be an even better judge’; i.e. the politician will be able to form an opinion on the state, but the citizen will be an even better judge (p.205).
Moreover, the citizen has rights and responsibilities, and it is this understanding that is crucial to understanding the good life: being both free to live as you please while at the same time taking your responsibilities seriously.

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