Sunday, May 2, 2010

Aristotle on the Middle Class and the Socialist Banking Oligarchy

Aristotle is the most prominent ancient advocate of freedom. However, his argument is imperfect because he supports the institution of slavery and opposes equality of women.  It is asking much of a philosopher to overcome the prejudices of his era.  Certainly no philosopher did so perfectly.  But the fundamentals of the argument for freedom are in Aristotle's Politics. In this he differs markedly from Plato, who was a totalitarian.  Aristotle's arguments against Plato's Republic suggest the arguments that the Austrian economists used nearly a century ago to show why socialism inevitably fails to operate efficiently.

One of the points that Aristotle emphasizes is the importance of the middle class to the functioning of constitutional government.  As well, he notes that kingly government was characteristic of "barbaric" Europeans.  He writes:

"For barbarians, being more servile in character than Hellenes, and Asiatics than Europeans, do not rebel against a despotic government.  Such royalties have the nature of tyrannies because the people are by nature slaves; but there is no danger of their being overthrown, for they are heditary and legal.  Wherefore also their guards are such as a king and not such as a tyrant would employ, that is to say, they are composed of citizens, whereas the guards of tyrants are mercenaries. For kings rule according to law over voluntary subjects, but tyrants are involuntary..."

Thus, writing in the fourth century BC, Aristotle outlined the nature of medieval Europe.  For following the decline of Rome in the fifth century AD, 900 years later, the same European barbarians conquered the former Roman Empire and established barbaric kingly rule across Europe, which remained intact until the 1800s (and in several cases is still intact today).  Today's socialist Europe reflects the evolution of the servility of Europeans to the kingly state that goes back for millennia.

The claim of some conservatives that retention of the barbaric kingships is "conservative" is a matter of perception.  For it would have been more "conservative" to re-institute the dictatorial Roman Empire than to retain barbaric kingly rule, or more conservative still to re-institute the kings of the other primitive barbarians such as the Celts that go back further.  Democracy would be the conservative path for someone wishing to "conserve" Athenian culture.  Personally, I prefer the "conservatism" of Aristotle, who believed in pluralism, freedom and constitutional rule, to the conservatism of barbarians or the reactionary socialist primitivism of Plato and Marx.

Aristotle's Politics  anticipated Book I of Karl Popper's Open Society and Its Enemies by 2,400 years.  For like Aristotle, Popper outlines the totalitarian nature of Plato's Republic, fleshing out Aristotle's argument in the opening chapters of Politics.  

Concerning the middle class, in Politics Book IV, chapter 11 (1296) Aristotle writes:

" is manifest that the best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class, and that those states are likely to be well administered in which the middle class is large, and stronger if possible than both the other classes, or at any rate than either singly; for the addition of the middle class turns the scale, and prevents either of the extremes from being dominant.  Great then is the good fortune of a state in which the citizens have a moderate and sufficient property; for where some possess much, and the others nothing, there may arise an extreme democracy, or a pure oligarchy; or a tyranny may grow out of either extreme--either out of the most rampant democracy or out of an oligarchy; but it is not so likely to arise out of the middle constitutions and those akin to them...The mean condition of states is clearly best, for no other is free from faction; and where the middle class is large, there are least likely to be factions and dissensions.  For a similar reason large states are less liable to faction than small ones, because in them the middle class is large; whereas in small states it is easy to divide all the citizens..."

The considerable harm that the Federal Reserve Bank's and the illegitimate socialist federal government does to democracy and to freedom.  For in creating money and distributing it to wealthy investment bankers, the Fed harms the middle class; and in taxing the middle class further and redistributing the wealth to the lumpenproletariat, the middle class is harmed further still.  As America is pushed into a two-tier society, dominated by wealthy socialists who provide just enough to the lumpenproletariat to keep them happy, fewer and fewer can sustain a middle class lifestyle; the lumpenproletariat grows; and the socialist banking elite becomes an oligarchy.


Prof said...

What, no comment here in four years? Outrageous!! I hope Mitchell is still interested in reading comments on this blog post because what he said here four years ago while I was busy wasting my time running for Congress, is even more obviously true today. Persons interested in this topic might enjoy reading James Freeman's excellent review of Timothy Geithner's efforts to take credit for the poorly conceived bank bailout of 2008 in today's WSJ.

#Aristotle, #redistribution, #socialism

Prof said...

Ha, just when you thought you were out, I come along and try to pull you back in; why not? cfj