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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Elizalde

Politics by Aristotle

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

(1) I find Aristotle's comments on currency in section nine of book one to serve as a relevant (and perhaps prophetic) critique of the United States departure from the gold standard in favor of a fiat money system (wherein the dollar is not linked to a specific asset). He seems to suggest that such a change introduces the notion of using money to earn more money and eventually to achieve an overabundance of wealth, an abundance that enables one to indulge in the acquisition of unnecessary goods that are less than good.

(2) How much do you agree with Aristotle's characterization of the unique nature of man found in section two of book one? Excerpts addressing the matter include: "man is by nature a political animal"; "Nature... has endowed man alone among the animals with the power of speech"; "For the real difference between man and other animals is that humans alone have perception of good and evil, just and unjust, etc."; and "For as man is the best of all animals when he has reached his full development, so he is worst of all when divorced from law and justice."

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