Aristotle believed that many citizens are more knowledgeable and noble than one citizen when it came to exercising political power. The great philosopher stressed that one person can lack for the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to make laws or rule the city (Rapeli 20). Moreover, one citizen can be or become corrupted and think for his own good rather than the good of the city and other citizens.
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However, the thinker also stresses that only a particular circle of citizens, noble and knowledgeable ones, should have the power. He added that the empowerment of masses of citizens is an “unfortunate necessity” as poor citizens often had no merit and could lack knowledge or skills to understand what is good for the city (Rapeli 20). Aristotle emphasizes that the masses can become revolutionary and change the political order due to their discontent with existing laws or rather distribution of resources.
It is possible to note that the view is still persistent in the vast majority of societies. Many countries have parliaments, which means they do not trust one person. People trust a group of representatives who are knowledgeable and skilled (noble, committed and so on). At the same time, the view concerning the masses of citizens seemed to be outdated. The majority of modern societies are concerned with diversity issues. In other words, people want to make sure that all voices are heard. Poor people’s interests are also discussed. Policies implemented are often aimed at helping those in need through proportionate distribution of wealth (through taxes, for example). It is also important to add that these values are only declared in many countries while the power is still in hands of the rich. Nonetheless, the majority of people still share democratic values and strive for democratic societies.
Rapeli, Lauri. The Conception of Citizen Knowledge in Democratic Theory. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Print.