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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Which among the political systems defined by Aristotle is appropriate for the Philippines?

Each political system defined by Aristotle has its own advantages and disadvantages; however, looking through the current setting of the Philippines, there is a need for a polity or constitutional government.
First, in polity, collective wisdom is being emphasized, which means each person, being part of the state, has his say on every matter that regards his state. This, perhaps, is the reason why Aristotle opined that the state is composed of different kinds of men. This implies that each man has his own way of thinking. Applying this principle in the country produces a clear-cut picture of radical, liberal, conservative, and reactionary citizens. Radical and liberal want extreme changes while the conservative and reactionary desire superficial changes. Thus, the country will become an arena of contradicting ideas. Nonetheless, this will be effective because they are given the chance to say what is on their minds compared to a country ruled with a president, senators, congressmen, and other politicians who only mind their own ideas and who disregard that of the majority.
Secondly, according to Aristotle, this political system attempts to “unite the freedom of poor and the wealth of the rich,” without giving either principle exclusive predominance. (Ebenstein, 2000) Therefore, the gap between the poor and the elite will eventually be dissolved. In the Philippines, the line separating the two extremes is very apparent. When it comes to court trials, more often than not, “justice” is given to the affluent. Also, many necessities are not affordable for the marginalized ones because they are made “exclusively” for the rich. These are common scenarios of having that “big gap.” But, polity will make that “big gap” vanished.
Lastly, it is also stated in the Politics that “for a state in which many poor men are excluded from office will necessarily be full of enemies.” Here, poor men think that they have no right of being put into the offices that is why they will become “enemies.” However, Aristotle wanted to give some consideration for the poor. Like in the country, if there are candidates for any position in the government who are not famous, simply because they do not come from well-known families, are considered nuisance. This illustrates a discrimination as well as deprivation of their right to be a leader.
Thus, a constitutional government may be the best answer for the clash between the rich and the poor and for the unruly treatment of politicians to the citizens. ■


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