Arystoteles, Polityka, przeł., wstęp i koment. L. Piotrowicz, wstęp M. Szymański, Warszawa Marsiglio of Padua, Writings on the Empire. „Defensor minor”. , , Politics and Philosophy in the Thought ofDestutt de Tracy ( ) (Head), , Polityka [Politics] (Arystoteles, Aristotle; Piotrowicz trans.) . politycznej, OmP, Krakow–Warsaw ; B. Brugger, Republican Theory in Political 10 Arystoteles, Polityka, trans. L. Piotrowicz, PWN, Warsaw , p.

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Contradictions in the Functioning arystoteled Athenian Democracy. Contemporary advocates of the democratic system often refer to the Athenian democracy functioning in ancient times.

While speaking about democracy, they often overlook social conflicts affecting its emergence.

The good man vs. the good citizen in Aristotle’s Politics | Diametros

However, one of the main reasons determining its development was an interest in the use of demos the people in the fight between the competing social groups of the aristocracy and oligarchy and of the participation of demos in wars waged. Thus, democracy was both a form and a plane for the clash of interests between the people and the oligarchy. The latter tried also to use democratic institutions for their own good.


Although the origin of Athenian democracy is ppolityka to the reforms of Cleisthenes, in fact its rise arystotfles the effect of a complex process. His reforms prevented a direct clash between the people and the oligarchy, which gained a strong position after the reforms of Solon and saved the aristocracy from the distribution of their land.

Therefore, the democratic system didn’t mean widespread consensus and harmony, but only introduced a new way of putting an end to the fiercest and the bloodiest social struggles.

When in B. C Cleisthenes introduced popular vote, it by no means aimed at contradicting conflicts dividing the society of that time, but was about ending them in a peaceful way and finding rules for solving social problems that would be acceptable for the majority of citizens. The struggle between demos and the aristocracy and oligarchy took place arystoyeles the whole lifetime of the democracy and influenced its defeat. The relationship between democracy and social struggle is still an issue of considerable controversy.

Contrary to the popular idea of the functioning of Athenian democracy, the majority of officeholders were selected by lot and nor elected.


It was regarded as an expression of the divine will and the equality of all citizens and incompetence was counterbalanced by other virtues.

The good man vs. the good citizen in Aristotle’s Politics

The contradictions of this system are visible also in the functioning of the people’s courts. Politicians’ remuneration was varied with regard to different political figures and office holders and in different periods and corruption was a structural element of Athenian democracy.

Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Demokracja w Grecji klasycznej. Struktura, zasady i ideologia. Figury i maski w praktykach ideologicznych.

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