Aristocracy is defined as the rule of the best. It is founded on the Greek words, ‘aristos’, which means ‘best’ and another Greek word, ‘kratein’, which means ‘ to rule’. Aristocracy is commonly a synonym for nobility and it is often hereditary.
The foundation of Aristocracy began with the political works of Plato and Aristotle, central figures in Greek and European philosophy during ancient times. They viewed the Greek democracy as a disaster. They saw the leaders of the democratic government as the people least capable of making decisions. The two believed that the government should be led by the best of the society and the government should only consist of those with selflessness and moral education as well as a high intelligence level. In this blueprint of Aristocracy, there was no sign of it being hereditary. However, as Aristocracy slowly entered the Middle Ages, Aristocracy was influenced by theories of Monarchy. Many believed their monarch and nobles were by nature and hereditary more moral and civilized than the rest of the population. The best morally and intellectually were therefore the monarch and his nobles. This then evolved into a concept of hereditary aristocracy. Therefore, in early modern Europe, aristocracy consisted of the nobles or ruling classes of the society and also membership was no longer through achievement or intelligence but solely hereditary.
Pros of Aristocracy
Pros of Aristocracy would of course include that there would be people that was supposedly the best ruling the country, and if it was not hereditary, it would be always the best ruling the government, thus allowing the country to be guided and ruled in the correct direction.
Acropolis from the south west, in Athens. Aristocracy apparently originated from the Greeks.
Cons of Aristocracy
The bad points about Aristocracy would be the people will not have a say on who will lead their government. The best would be appointed by the current leaders then and their definition of ‘best’ could be inaccurate.
Another bad point would be that there would essentially be only one class of the society that would be able to have a chance to rule and lead. Those of the lower classes would have little chance to be able to join the government even though they might have the suitable moral and intelligence level. This would cause the government to lose many talents and would be detrimental to the country’s well being. Also, democratic systems can also be said to select the best people to lead the country, as people will vote only for who they think they are the best.
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