56. Politics. -- Politics is the study of social activity. Man is naturally social (phusei politikon zôon); and the State is the perfect form of society. To secure the happiness of the citizen in society, and hence to train up the people to the practice of virtue which is the only road to happiness: such is the mission of the State. As regards the form of government, the republican is not necessarily the best (Plato), but whichever best suits the character and needs of the people: a principle which does not prevent Aristotle from believing that the absolutely ideal form of government is the aristocratic.
The family is an element in the State. It comprehends the relations between husband and wife, between parents and children, between master and servant. The wife is the free companion of the husband, but still is subject to him; the child has no rights against the father, of whom he is a part; slavery is necessary and lawful.
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