There is the ideal of an aristocracy and the ideal of what he calls constitutional government, a mixed constitution. The principle of "tools to those who can use them" ought to lead him, as it does Plato, to an aristocracy.
Aristotle's mixed constitution springs from a recognition of sectional interests in the state.
Much as Aristotle had claimed that the mixed constitution
could guard against the abuses of "extreme democracy or unmixed oligarchy, or a tyranny due to the excesses of either," Guarini defends tragicomedy as a form that mediates the harmful extremes of tragedy and comedy, taking "from tragedy its great persons but not its great action, its verisimilar plot but not its true one, ...
Discourse and the Histories propose a mixed constitution
, with power balanced among four and then three elements: the Medici, the aristocracy, the middle classes and the populace.
(3) After some preliminary remarks on philosophy and politics, there is a theoretical discussion regarding which constitution is best leading to an examination of the evolution of the Roman mixed constitution
. Book III is mainly devoted to disputation over whether a state can succeed with or without justice, with Laelius and Philus defending opposing positions.
constitutional arrangement has about as much to do with that of either 1785 or 1805 as the contemporary British constitutional arrangement has to do with its 18th-century "mixed constitution
Adams denied that hereditary standing in the law was an essential condition for the existence of an aristocracy, (3) and so believed that the principles behind Cicero's mixed constitution
are still applicable in what Madison called "unmixed and extended republics." (4)
Gerber begins with Aristotle's famous discussion of the theory of a mixed constitution
, followed by Polybius, Marsilius of Padua, and Casparo Contarini.
The second is that if the republic is to secure the freedom of its citizens then it must satisfy a range of constitutional constraints associated broadly with the mixed constitution
. And the third idea is that if the citizens are to keep the republic to its proper business then they had better have the collective and individual virtue to track and contest public policies and initiatives: the price of liberty, in the old republican adage, is eternal vigilance.
"Libya under [Qaddafi] has embarked on a journey that could make it the first Arab state to transition peacefully and without overt Western intervention to a stable, non-autocratic government and, in time, to an indigenous mixed constitution
favoring direct democracy locally and efficient government centrally."
To this he contrasts Sparta's political history as an oligarchy transformed by Lycurgus' reforms into an anomalous "police" state whose mixed constitution
included a dual kingship, board of five ephors ("overseers"), council of elders, and citizen assembly (40-47).
Secondly, Rawls argues that Locke's doctrine is a way to justify resistance to royal absolutism under a mixed constitution
. Rather than discussing whether a social contract ever took place in the form described by Locke, Rawls interprets Locke's social contract theory as a hypothetical contract under which only certain political regimes could arise He shows how, even if a meeting of primeval people never occurred, the social contract method could be understood as a test for the legitimacy of regimes.