“What is a friend? A single soul

dwelling in two bodies.”

–Aristotle – 384-322BC

Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher and a scientist. He was born in 384 BC in the city of Stagira which is in the east of the modern-day Thessaloniki. His father died when he was a child so his brother in law, Proxenus of Atarneus, took care of him and even educated him for a couple of years before sending him to Plato‘s Academy. He studied there till the age of thirty-seven after which he began writing. His writings covered almost all subjects that were in human knowledge at that time, ranging from physics to linguistics. Quite interestingly, he was once invited by Philip II of Macedonia in 343 BC, to tutor his son Alexander who was later to become Alexander the Great. He was also popular amongst the medieval Muslim scholars who admired him as “The First Teacher”. Aristotle’s views about government and politics are widely studied across the world for they provide a fundamental framework of “good governance”. In his book “Politics”, Aristotle proposed that for a state to become both best state and most practical, it must have a mixed constitution based upon a combination of democracy and oligarchy. In such a state, the civil laws must be protected and rulers must not be allowed to use office for their own advantage. The middle-class must be allowed to rule since they are neither greedy like the rich, nor obedient or jealous like the poor. He called this the “principle of moderation”. This principle should be followed in the contemporary world as well if we want to see nations become a harbinger of peace rather than selfishly chasing their national interest. We have seen how democracies are being run today. It is not too late to at least try thinking on the lines of Aristotle and incorporating the idea of a mixed constitution into the existing one.