Monday, June 17, 2013

Ancient Wisdom

Referring to Aristotle's attempt to balance interests to create a stable governmental system, Alan Ryan in On Politics states : A political system that gives political power to the majority of the citizens so long as they also possess the majority of society's wealth is uniquely likely to be stable. This requires what sociologists called a "lozenge-shaped" distribution of wealth; if there are few very poor people, very few rich people, and a substantial majority of "comfortably off" people in a society, the middling sort with much to lose will outvote the poor and not align with them to expropriate the rich; conversely, they will be sufficiently numerous to deter the rich from trying to encroach upon the rights and wealth of their inferiors. American political sociologists explain the resilience of American democracy by noting the United States achievement of this happy condition after World War II.

Both our current parties, though especially the Republicans, should take note.

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