Essay by Nicoleakaq-tHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2002

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The city is a political partnership that comes into being for purposes of self-sufficiency but exists primarily for the sake of living well. Man is by nature a political animal, because he has the ability to communicate and to dialogue and about justice and the good. The city is prior to the individual.

Natural slaves are those who perceive reason but do not have it. It is mutually beneficial that such people be ruled. There are also slaves according to the law, who may or may not be natural slaves. Mastery is rule over slaves, but political rule is rule over free and equal persons.

Holding women, children and property in common as Plato suggests in the Republic is not beneficial to the city. Holding property in common will not reduce factional conflict, but may actually increase because of a sense of injustice.

A citizen in the strict sense is one who shares in making decisions and holding office.

Citizenship is therefore essentially democratic, but the notion of citizenship in practice must differ according to the nature of the regime. Commonly speaking, however, a citizen is usually considered to be anyone whose parents are citizens.

The virtue of a good man and an excellent citizen may be different, because the virtue of a citizen is determined with a view to the preservation of the regime. To the extent the actual regime approximates the best regime, the virtue of a good man and an excellent citizen will coincide.

Correct regimes are those which look to the common advantage. Deviant regimes are those which look to the advantage of the rulers, and they involve mastery rather than political rule. The correct regimes are kingship, aristocracy and polity; the incorrect regimes are deviations from those and are tyranny, oligarchy and democracy respectively. Kingship...