Aristotle: The Biopolitics of the Citizen-State, Part 4

Law versus Decadence

Like Plato (left), Aristotle hoped that an inspired lawgiver could establish an enduring good government.

A last concern of Aristotle’s which is of great relevance to our time is the prevention of decadence. For Aristotle, the good of the city is reflected in the virtue of the citizens. The citizens are educated and trained in virtue by adherence to the city’s largely-unchanging basic law, set in place by an inspired lawgiver. The question becomes: how can the law ensure that virtue is maintained in perpetuity?

There are no easy answers. Nations tend to be victims of their own successes. As Aristotle notes: “People are easily spoiled; and it is not all who can stand prosperity” (1308b10). He speaks at length on how Sparta’s morals were corrupted after that martial city defeated Athens and achieved hegemony in Greece as a result of the Peloponnesian War. According to Aristotle, adherence to Lycurgus’ law did not survive material wealth and the empowerment of women.

The Greeks were less prone to excessive individualism than the modern West has been, but they often ceded to the siren song of egalitarianism. Aristotle reports that many Greeks believed that if men were equal in some respect, such as being freeborn, they must be equal overall and certainly equally entitled to rule. Many took equality as a goal, leading them to seek to both make the citizens equal and to indiscriminately extend citizenship: “some thinkers [hold] that liberty is chiefly to be found in democracy and that the same goes for equality, this condition is most fully realized when all share, as far as possible, on the same terms in the constitution” (1291b30).

While Aristotle is indeed more ‘bourgeois’ than Plato, he too is contemptuous of egalitarian excesses, which manifest themselves in democratic extremism and selfish individualism. Aristotle, like Plato, argues at length that right equality or justice means that equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally (1287a1). And again, for him, justice means the interests of the community:

What is “right” should be understood as what is “equally right”; and what is “equally right” is what is for the benefit of the whole city and for the common good of its citizens. The citizen is, in general, one who shares in the civic life of ruling and being ruled in turn. (1283b27)

Aristotle notes that some democracies are so extreme that they actually undermine the existence of their own state, and hence do not survive as long as a moderate democracy. He writes with great eloquence on that “false conception of liberty” which has so often seduced our people:

In democracies of the type which is regarded as being peculiarly democratic the policy followed is the very reverse of their real interest. The reason for this is a false conception of liberty. There are two features which are generally held to define democracy. One of them is the sovereignty of the majority; the other is the liberty of individuals. Justice is assumed to consist in equality and equality in regarding the will of the masses as sovereign; liberty is assumed to consist in “doing what one likes.” The result of such a view is that, in these extreme democracies, each individual lives as he likes — or as Euripides says,

For any end he chances to desire.

This is a mean conception [of liberty]. To live by the rule of the constitution ought not to be regarded as slavery, but rather as salvation. (1310A12)

Is this not a very concise summation of the ills of modern liberalism? I would argue that the West was already severely infected by the 1930s, before metastasizing to an absurd degree from the 1960s onwards. Thus today, liberals express desire only for ‘equality’ and ‘solidarity,’ all the while destroying the very foundations for these ends through multiculturalism and open-borders, these being zealously imposed with disastrous short-sightedness.

Aristotle observes that constitutions have a tendency to turn increasingly oligarchic or democratic over time. This perhaps reflects the structural tendency of a faction with power to take measures which gradually reinforce that power. Aristotle argues that Solon, the founder of the Athenian regime, instituted the democratic elements which gradually led that city to become an extreme democracy, something Aristotle believes Solon did not intend — just as, we might surmise, the American Founding Fathers established the system which led to our current regime, but did not intend this outcome.

In the great slouch towards equality, Aristotle observes that foreigners were also a favorite political weapon not only of tyrants but also of demagogues. He writes: “At Amphipolis someone by the name of Cleotimus introduced Chalcidian settlers and incited them after their settlement to make an attack on the rich” (1305b39). Aristotle says that naturalization of foreigners played a key role in Athens’ shift towards an extreme form of democracy. He says of Cleisthenes: “after the expulsion of the tyrants he enrolled in the tribes a number of resident aliens, both foreigners and slaves” (1275b34). Aristotle says elsewhere that extreme democrats consolidate their regime by efforts to mix the citizenry (breaking down old identities) and stoking individualism:

Other measures which are also useful in constructing this last and most extreme type of democracy are measures like those introduced by Cleisthenes at Athens, when he sought to advance the cause of democracy, or those which were taken by the founders of popular government at Cyrene. A number of new tribes and clans should be instituted by the side of the old; private cults should be reduced in number and conducted at common centers; and every contrivance should be employed to make all the citizens mix, as much as they possibly can, and to break down their old loyalties. All the measures adopted by tyrants may equally be regarded as congenial to democracy. We may cite as examples the license allowed to slaves (which, up to a point, may be advantageous as well as congenial), the license permitted to women and children, and the policy of conniving at the practice of “living as you like.” There is much to assist a constitution of this sort, for most people find more pleasure in living without discipline than they find in a life of temperance. (1319b19)

Thus, by weakening traditional group identities and the authority of family fathers, the population of “liberated individuals” is paradoxically reduced to an impotent mass, which can then be skillfully manipulated. This, of course, has happened in America since the 1960s. White identity and the concept of Whites having interests as Whites have been vilified and pushed to the fringes of polite society. Freedom of association has been limited: for example, private clubs that were restricted, say to men or to Whites, have been made illegal or at least made to seem disreputable; segregation of the races in public places has been made illegal, and forced integration (e.g., via busing Blacks into White-majority schools) has been common.

Aristotle offers some advice for preserving a constitution. The law should incite citizens to be on their guard against those living lives contrary to the spirit of the law and the citizens should be trained to use leisure appropriately. While Aristotle is emphatic in stressing that war is not an end in itself, but merely a means to a good peace, he nonetheless observes: “War automatically enforces temperance and justice: the enjoyment of prosperity, and leisure accompanied by peace, is more apt to make people overbearing” (1334a11). Aristotle advises against regular changes to the basic law, for the small benefits this might entail are likely to be canceled out by a loss of reverence for the law’s authority. It goes without saying that daily life in ancient Greece was not constantly transformed by technological innovations as our lives have been for the past few centuries.

Ultimately, one must hope for a great lawgiver. There is a strong element of chance and destiny in this. Fo,r as Aristotle observes: “It is easy enough to theorize about such matters: it is far less easy to realize one’s theories. What we say about them depends on what we wish; what actually happens depends on chance” (1331b18). Aristotle recognizes that the law cannot foresee all circumstances. If suddenly a superior individual, a hero would appear:

There can be no law governing people of this kind. They are a law in themselves. It would be a folly to attempt to legislate for them: they might reply to such an attempt with the words used by the lions, in the fable of Antisthenes, when the hares were making orations and claiming that all the animals should have equal status. (1284a3)

In Antisthenes’ tale, the lions ask the hares: “Where are your claws and teeth?” Ultimately, the exceptional man must not be constrained by law but must himself promulgate a new one:

It is surely clear that [the one best man] must be a lawgiver, and there must be a body of laws, but these laws must not be sovereign where they fail to hit the mark — though they must be so in all other cases. (1286a21)

In conclusion, Aristotle provides a powerful rationale for a moderate constitutional regime of responsible citizen-soldiers constrained by an enlightened basic law. He was keenly aware of the solidarity enabled by kinship and the dangers posed by a lack of common identity. Aristotle’s citizens are not obsessed with their ‘rights’ to imagined equality or maximal individual liberty, but participate in the regulation of the collective life of the city, which is to say the assigning and fulfilling of duties. The city being the citizens, Aristotle ascribes a fundamental importance to legislating to ensure the cultural and biological quality and perpetuity of the community, to be achieved through rigorous education and systematic population policies.

Aristotle’s eudaimonic ethics and politics, grounded in the biological realities of human nature and aimed towards collective survival and flourishing, are eminently compatible with a Darwinian worldview. The ancient philosopher’s system can be readily updated, if need be, with the discoveries of modern genetic and behavioral sciences. Aristotle gives us at once an elevated, practical, and responsible vision of politics, far removed either from the effeminacy and solipsism of our times, or shrill denunciations of a stereotyped ‘totalitarianism.’ Indeed, he did not believe that civic freedom was even possible without manly virtue. Aristotle’s views on the ideal state are something of a synthesis and summary of wider Greek ones, acquired after hard experience and deep reflection: a balanced regime founded on a mix of aristocratic and popular elements, an inspired basic law, and an enlightened citizenry. His politeia shows that there is no contradiction between a muscular and holistic biopolitics and a civic politics characterized by the rule of law and open debate. The politics of the Greek city-state is nothing more than that of the assembled family fathers and soldier-citizens, perpetuators and guarantors of the social order, come together to fulfill their sacred responsibility to protect, discipline, and educate their kinsfolk towards the good.

4 replies
  1. RoyAlbrecht
    RoyAlbrecht says:

    Having once met a Jew in Pakistan who told me that he himself had been persecuted by the Israeli government for having dissenting views,
    until then, the awareness of the extent and depths of subterfuge that Jews were inflicting upon people of the West through miscegenation was not on my radar.
    He implied that Jewish success in “…weaponizing…” miscegenation could only be undone if we find a way to disentangle “…the mess…” (((they))) were busy creating.
    However, the “…voice inside…” every being, gives a premonition of an action about to be taken and it is invariably up to the individual whether or not to listen to this voice or ignore it.

    In light of this essay by Andrew Joyce, Ph.D., brought to my attention lately by TOO editors;

    not to mention the rest of the “…Jew…” driven insanity amongst the masses,
    (I.e. immigration invasion of illegal Third Worlders, seemingly immovable entrenchment if incompatibles in law enforcement and military, government at all levels, and society as a whole),
    “…disentanglement…” comes across as a truly daunting task.

    This is especially so as some of the “…victims…” of “…Jew…” driven misogyny have actually tried hard and succeeded in contributing to the well being of society as a whole.

    Of course, science may be of some use should we pursue the “…disentanglement…” route as a possible solution
    (I.e. DNA analysis, lie detector tests, computerized criminal records keeping, etc..),
    but even so, the task will resemble more of one similar to the surgical removal of an inoperable cancer that has spread throughout the entire organism..:
    A failure no matter how one looks at it.

    However the Bible offers a very simple solution to this conundrum.

    “By their fruits ye shall know them.”.

    Not in the least being a Bible scholar, there are doubtless others here far more equipped to speak on this issue, but this web page, randomly chosen, offers some insight on issues of ” judgment, punishment, treason and incompatibility of the misogynous horde:–shall_be_of_all–actions.htm

    When I refresh my memory with the passages mentioned therein, it is as if a huge stone of confusion is lifted off my chest.

    However, all the above seems to be contingent upon the Aryans of the planet regaining some control over their own destinies.
    Or it could just be a guide for Aryan action once the Jew drives the planet into a colossal 3rd World War.

    In any event, there is no “…All or Nothing…” solution and a measure of temperance and individuality will probably be required when dealing with the miscreants or else the Administers of Justice will acquire the reputation of (((today’s tyrants))).

  2. Richard B
    Richard B says:

    “Thus, by weakening traditional group identities and the authority of family fathers, the population of “liberated individuals” is paradoxically reduced to an impotent mass, which can then be skillfully manipulated.”

    Read this and immediately thought of Jordan Peterson.

    “White identity and the concept of Whites having interests as Whites have been vilified and pushed to the fringes of polite society.”

    He’s done this too, ie; vilify Nationalism in general and White solidarity, in any form, in particular. Of course, because promoting individuality and vilifying racial unity for Whites go together.

    What a pompous ass and pious fraud he is.

    The fatal thing about celebrity intellectuals like him is that their mediocre minds are extolled as “great” by credulous people devoid of judgment.

    In any event, thank you TOO and Mr. Durocher for an excellent series on Aristotle. I especially liked Part 3 and the discussion of how tyrants and demagogues use immigration and diversity as weapons of divide and conquer. It’s as if the hostile elite are using these texts as a how to guide or playbook.

    But I insist that, though they’re good at infiltration, subversion and destruction (not to mention betrayal), they’re no damned good at social-management. Nothing fails like their success.

    I’m afraid they’ve gotten in for a bit more than they can handle. Evidence of this can be seen in their dependence on a certain type of response that has been repeated so often that it’s become relatively easy for people to identify.

    There are three things (each with three components) that are inextricably linked or interdependent.

    1. Victimization
    2. False Flag
    3. Ultimate Goal

    1. Victimization: Victimize-Blame Victim-Play Victim

    They victimize by using False Flags.

    2. False Flag: Destroy The Evidence, Control The Narrative, Enforce The Law (on anyone looking for evidence to question the narrative).

    The purpose of numbers 1 and 2 is to achieve number 3, of course, their ultimate goal. They desire to be,

    3. Placed Above Criticism, Loved Unconditionally, and Blindly Obeyed.

    They’re not only making these insane demands, they actually have the power to effectuate them. It is this that makes them truly dangerous and, to the extent that they’ve been successful so far, the only real supremacists in the world today.

    Mr. Durocher’s excellent series has helped to shine a light on this template of theirs and, just as importantly, has given us something to think about in terms of what kind of world we want to live in. The series could also serve as the kind of inspiration that helps us move in that direction. Or, at least die trying.

  3. pterodactyl
    pterodactyl says:

    “The question becomes: how can the law ensure that virtue is maintained in perpetuity?”

    The law is actually quite flexible, eg the Paypal monopoly can close down the Paypal accounts of right wing persons and publications like TOO and the law cannot stop them, although if we had a different lot in charge they would find some current laws and use them to fine Paypal for this political discrimination, or pass a new one to make political discrimination illegal just as they made sexual and racial discrimination illegal.

    So the laws submit to the interpretation of the current rulers. So the elite are the masters, and the laws are beneath them in the hierarchy. The laws are not higher than the elite as the elite interprets the laws or changes them. In Britain the law says Britain left the EU under Article 50 last month, but the elite just ignore this law and says Britain has not left.

    Does the law protect Trump at all from false accusations and harassment? No. Instead of the law in the US ‘maintaining virtue’ it is used to do the opposite, to hinder the president in the carrying out of his election promises, and the law is used harass him continuously. So the law cannot protect us from the elites in the slightest as it is one of their tools.

    • Richard B
      Richard B says:


      Exactly! In other words, We’re an occupied territory.
      And the only way to liberate an occupied territory is with aggression.

      People continue to look for an easier, softer way, and there isn’t one. On the hand, aggression doesn’t mean something rash or foolhardy. Aggressive action with any hope of success, or of at least of being reasonably effective, would have to be carried out by a group in form. And at the moment no such group exists.

      We’re truly up against it.

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