The Rule Of Law
Political Justice means justice as between free and (actually or proportionately) equal persons, living a common life for the purpose of satisfying their needs. Hence between people not free and equal, political justice cannot exist, but only a sort of justice in a metaphorical sense. For justice can only exist between those whose mutual relations are regulated by law, and law exists among those between those between whom there is a possibility of injustice, for the administration of the law means the discrimination of what is just and what is unjust. Persons therefore between whom injustice can exist, can act unjustly towards each other (although unjust action does not necessarily involve injustice): to act unjustly, meaning to assign oneself too large a share of things generally good and too small a share of things generally evil. This is why we do not permit a man to rule, but the law, because a man rules in his own interest, and becomes a tyrant; but the function of a ruler is to be the guardian of justice, and if, of justice, then of equality. A just ruler seems to make nothing out of his office; for he does not allot to himself a larger share of things generally good, unless it be proportionate to his merits; so that he labors for others, which accounts for the saying above, that justice is the good of others.
Consequently some recompense has to be given him, in the shape of honor and dignity. It is those whom such rewards do not satisfy who make themselves tyrants.
Aristotle 384-322 BC Greece Philosopher
Historical Era: Golden Age 600-400 BC
Astrological Era: Aries 2000-1 BC
Editor’s Note: Nicomachean Ethics, c 335 BC addresses the question, “What is the best life for man?” An extended reflection on virtue, happiness, and friendship, it helped to inform the moral and political thought of America’s Founders.