Aristotle and the worst of animals

ARISTOTLE Politics Loeb Classical Library

Therefore the impulse to form a partnership of and the source of man’s chief good. this kind is present in all men by nature; but the man who first united people in such a partnership was the greatest of benefactors. For as man is the best of the animals when perfected, so he is the worst of all when sundered from law and justice. For unrighteousness is most pernicious when possessed of weapons, and man is born possessing weapons for the use of wisdom and virtue, which it is possible to employ entirely for the opposite ends. Hence when devoid of virtue man is the most unscrupulous and savage of animals, and the worst in regard to sexual indulgence and gluttony. Justice on the other hand is an element of the state; for judicial procedure, which means the decision of what is just, is the regulation of the political partnership.

I’m so irritated this morning by the Oregon militia dudes. It’s not that I am unsympathetic to the Hammonds–these mandatory minimums always strike me as utter bullshite, but everybody but me seems to hate judicial discretion, and this is what you get when you have mandatory sentencing. But the Bundys don’t want to talk about that. They just want to talk about how they have to pay to graze and GUMMINT and MY GUNZ! etc etc.

I’m not sending them any snacks.