Aristotle State, Concept, Nature, Aims & Objectives of Aristotle State

Sat, 02/09/2013 - 07:06 -- Umar Farooq

Origin of State

Aristotle, the father of political science, says that person is a social animal and is different from the other animals because of his civilized nature or nature of going from good to better and from better to the best. Human progress and cultured status is impossible without interrelations. So, man prefers to live with the others to get various basic needs that cannot be achieved lonely. To get the very basic needs, man and women, roaster and slaves came together and as a. result, the first institution of human civilization, family, was formed. When families increased, they made villages and tribes to solve some greater needs. Due to some other greater problems and needs, the tribes and villages united in a single and greater institution, the state.

Aristotle State concept shows that he believed in evolutionary or historical theory of the origin of state. Therefore his approach in this connection is correct. Man as a civilized individual cannot survive without state and if he claims, then it means from human beings, he is nation-less, lawless, and homeless. He is either above or below humanity.

Nature of Aristotle State

Aristotle's concept of "social or political animal" can be explained from the two aspects:

Firstly, the growth or development of all kinds of animals is natural and evolutionary. They develop from single and simple to complex through stepwise progress. Similarly, state is the result of an evolution. Individuals' natural tendency compels them to be organized through families, families unite in villages/tribes and. expanded form of a tribe or village is state. Therefore formation of the state is not a designed activity but this is the outcome of human needs and a result of gradual development.

Secondly, Aristotle seems to believe in the organic theory that means state is like an individual and individual has a body which is made of certain organs like head, arms, legs and face etc. In the same way, state is a body and individuals are its organs. Aristotle does not like too much state interference in the affairs of its citizens and gives certain liberties tend rights to individuals. The civilized life of individuals start from the family reaches its top in the form of state. Therefore family is the starting point and state is the last point of human development. Although most of the needs are fulfilled in family, villages and tribes but the super sufficient life is not possible without state. Therefore state is a natural need of human uplift. Aristotle explains the concept of government and divided government in various organs i.e. legislature, executive and judiciary.

Aims and Objectives of the Aristotle State

Aristotle State is the super-most and top human institution that is a sovereign body and it works for comforting its citizens. State exists for the establishment and preservation of a perfect and healthy life. Aristotle State provides a safe and sound environment to enable its people to use their capabilities and potentials for the common good and welfare. Aristotle says that, "State is not only an association of associations, but it is the highest natural association. Man is basically good and the functioning of the state is to develop his good faculty into a habit of good actions." So, he explains state in the context of evolutionary and organic theories of the origin of state.

Aristotle's concept of nature of state may be summarized as:

  1. Family is the starting point of human civilization and state is the last step Progress from family to state is evolutionary and natural. It is needed for human progress and development. It is not an imposed institution.
  2. An individual out of the state has no status and his honor and respect is due to state.
  3. Individuals and state in their compositions are similar. His approach is evolutionary and organic.
  4. Aristotle believes in balanced collectivism. He dislikes absolute state powers and gives certain rights to its citizens.
  5. Aristotle State major aims are the economic development, protection of rights and liberties, formation of government and civil service structure to enable its citizens to use their capabilities for collective happy life.