Is there a healthy balance?

“For justice and merit must be by nature the same for those who are by nature similar.” (Aristotle's Politics Book III, Ch 16)

Aristotle held views on democracy that, in many ways, resonate with today's democratic structures in the United States. In contemporary democracies, minority interest groups play a pivotal role in shaping discourse, ensuring that even the most marginalized voices are heard and this is made possible by the constitution and the structures of governance that defines us. This is emblematic of a fundamental democratic principle: inclusivity. 

One might wonder, how does Aristotle's thinking align with this? Dive deep into his writings, and a relevant perspective emerges. He notes, “For justice and merit must be by nature the same for those who are by nature similar.” This suggests that in a just society, individuals, regardless of their status as majority or minority, should be treated equitably based on their inherent nature and merit.

However, Aristotle didn’t just stop at the notion of inclusive representation. He was a firm believer in the idea that society should be led by its best. “We say that there are three correct constitutions, and that the best of them must of necessity be the one managed by the best people” (Ch 18). In his vision, while democracy should be inclusive, it should also be led by those most capable and virtuous.

In essence, Aristotle's democratic ideals strike a balance between representation and virtuous leadership. In today's world, where democracies are constantly evolving, revisiting his wisdom could provide valuable insights for shaping more just and effective societies.