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1000 - Class 16

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Kelly Blidook

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of 1000 - Class 16



Forms of Government
Plato: The Republic

Ideal: a [person] so pre-eminent in wisdom and moral virtue that [s/he] could rule by personal judgment rather than by constraint of law
Philosopher King
Political power is held by a restricted class – usually the wealthy and those of noble ancestry – that rules in the general interest under law

A regime where the wealthy minority uses its power to exploit and oppress the impoverished
Aristocracy (lawful)

Rule by law : general interest of the community

Arbitrary rule : exploitation of the ruled for the special interest of the rulers
Classical Typology of Government
Posc 1000 – Intro to Political Science
1.) Relationship between state and society
Liberal democracy
Transitional democracy
Autocratic (Authoritarian/Totalitarian)

2.) Executive and legislative powers of government
Presidential/Parliamentary system

3.) Degree of centralization or decentralization
Modern Typologies of Government
No philosopher-king?

Plato: Rule of Law = next best alternative

Rule of Law
The many use their political power to obtain for themselves the wealth of the rich

Rule of the common people unchecked by legal restraints
Democracy (lawless)
Idea that the rule of many is only good if it is exercised within a fixed constitutional framework that prevents the majority from oppressing minorities

Modern term: “liberal democracy”
Polity (lawful)


Sovereign authority is vested in one person, who rules within the laws of the polis

A regime in which one person rules arbitrarily
Monarchy (lawful)

Rule may be conducted lawfully or lawlessly

Recall: Rule of Law
Classical Typology of Government
Classify governments with two questions in mind

1.) Who rules?

2.) In whose interests do they rule?

These are the fundamental questions of Political Science
Typologies of Government
Platonic/Aristotelian Typology of Government
In whose interest do they (he/she) rule?

Yertle (ruler) The Turtles Just Yertle
In whose interest do they (he/she) rule?
Who Rules?
Philosopher King?
Tyranny (lawless)
Oligarchy (lawless)
Philosopher King?
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