committee membership by lot

Georges Monette (
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 07:49:33 -0500

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Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 20:11:44 -0500 ()
From: nuri t jazairi <>
Subject: committee membership by lot

Georges - I hope your committee would consider seriously
dept committee memberships by lot. In any case, the
following from Aristotle's 'Politics' (BOOK IV) is in two
versions: the is first a brief reference, and next the
whole paragraph:

'For example, the appointment of magistrates by lot is
thought to be democratical, and the election of
them oligarchic;'

'Next we have to consider how by the side of oligarchy and democracy
the so-called polity or constitutional government springs up, and how
it should be organized. The nature of it will be at once understood
from a comparison of oligarchy and democracy; we must ascertain their
different characteristics, and taking a portion from each, put the two
together, like the parts of an indenture. Now there are three modes in
which fusions of government may be affected. In the first mode we must
combine the laws made by both governments, say concerning the
administration of justice. In oligarchies they impose a fine on the
rich if they do not serve as judges, and to the poor they give no pay;
but in democracies they give pay to the poor and do not fine the rich.
Now (1) the union of these two modes is a common or middle term between
them, and is therefore characteristic of a constitutional government,
for it is a combination of both. This is one mode of uniting the two
elements. Or (2) a mean may be taken between the enactments of the
two: thus democracies require no property qualification, or only a
small one, from members of the assembly, oligarchies a high one; here
neither of these is the common term, but a mean between them. (3) There
is a third mode, in which something is borrowed from the oligarchical
and something from the democratical principle. For example, the
appointment of magistrates by lot is thought to be democratical, and
the election of them oligarchical; democratical again when there is no
property qualification, oligarchical when there is. In the
aristocratical or constitutional state, one element will be taken from
each- from oligarchy the principle of electing to offices, from
democracy the disregard of qualification. Such are the various modes of

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