The Understanding of Politics by Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes
Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes, two philosophers from different time period, were very famous about the way they were approaching differently their ideologies about politics. Both of them had different points of view about the political communities, the power of the state and the role that every human being have in the society.
To talk about politics as Aristotle and Thomas Hobbes said, in the first place you need to have human being. Aristotle considers the human being as “political animals. Generally speaking, animal need to be in a group of other animals to survive. This is part of their nature. They don’t choose to live with other but by instinct they do. Human are considered political animals because by their nature they have the power to express themselves and think about ethical concept such as Justice, Equality, etc.. With those qualities, they form households and city-state. To support this point of view, Aristotle gave the example of man and woman and also master and slave. Man need woman to come together in order to expand their communities and master need slave to do some manual work for him because he (the master) have the power to control and give order to his property (the slave).
Household was the proof of political communities. The human being are destined to live in political communities because they can’t survive alone. Political communities, according to Aristotle, are the only way for the human to be happy and live their best life. Political communities help the people living inside to have a partnership with themselves because they all have the same goal: Happiness. This is why household is a different form of the city. Household had rules that the stronger controlled the weaker. Each of them was beneficial to each other. In the city, according to Aristotle, everybody obtain what they think is good for themselves.
To have a better understanding on the city, Aristotle talk another important point to understand the city. This other point is about the citizenship. Regarding Aristotle point of view, some people can be call citizen and other not. Of course for him, slave weren’t called citizen because by the nature they were considered as inferior, not really important and recognize as the same level of any animals. Even if they were born in the same cities than the man who were superior than them, they were not considered as citizen. For Aristotle, being citizen was not about the city where you were born, the financial that you had or the laws. Being citizen was about the activity that you had. For example, he said: ” someone eligible to participate in deliberative and judicial office is a citizen in this city-state. When an individual fulfil this part, he was considered as citizen.
Contrastingly to Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes had a different ideologie on the understanding of living in the political communities. According to Thomas Hobbes, we live in a political communities because we are all the same by our human nature but also at the same time equal in the society. Of course, there’s still some difference between some groups but they are very minuscule. We are all the same in the sense that we are all afraid that someone or group of people take what is our. We all use our nature to preserve our own nature. We live together, as a society because we want mutual protection and have a good life and relation with the other person in the society.
In this type of community, according to him, we all are free. Before coming in a civil society, human where in state of natural laws. The state of nature was equal to war. Everybody were against each other because they used to fight for their natural right gives by God. Hobbes explains that to have our political associations, we need to become a civil society. Additionally, to enter in a civil society, we should accept sovereignty. Sovereignty will restrict the state of nature. It will help us to know what is good or not in the society. This why we should worry of the state of nature. People wants safety and security. They want to be equal. Of course, with a government, things will again change and people will be afraid to not do whatever they wanted as they used to.
If I had the choice, I would rather live in a society that embodies Hobbes’ understanding of politics even if I am for democracy and freedom. Hobbes’ politics put everybody in the same level even if there’s still some difference but they are miniscule. According to Hobbes, unlike Aristotle, we all want to live in a society where peace and security reign, where nobody is alone.