In Book VII, Aristotle describes the regime that is best without qualification. This is different from the discussion about the best diet in Book IV, because in Book IV Aristotle was the best practical diet, meaning that it would be possible to get from the material provided by existing regimes. But that is where his interest in the best regime lies, which has the opportunity to put everything in place as we would like. It is “the city that must be formed on the basis of what one would pray for” (1325b35). Not surprisingly, it explicitly relates to the question of the best way of life: “Whoever conducts the corresponding study must first discuss what is the most electoral way of life. Until this is clear, the best diet must be clear… (1323a14). We have already spoken of the best way of life, as well as the fact that most people do not pursue it: “For [men] consider that much virtue is appropriate, but for wealth, property, power, reputation and all that they try to overcome indefinitely” (1323a35). It is, as we have said more than once, a mistake: “Living happily ever after… is available for those who must go beyond the ornaments of character and spirit, but who behave moderately with regard to the external acquisition of good things” (1323b1). And what is true for the individual also applies to the city. This is why “the best city is happy and acts noblely. It is impossible to act noblely without acting to accomplish noble things; but there is no noble act, neither of a man, nor of a city separated from virtue and circumstance.

The courage, justice and prudence of a city have the same power and form as people who, individually, are called righteous, prudent and healthy. The best city, like any other city, must educate its citizens to support its principles. The difference between this city and other cities is that the principles it teaches its citizens are the right principles to live a good life. Here and nowhere else, the excellent man and the good citizen are the same. Aristotle has already told us that if the regime is maintained, it must educate all citizens in a way that supports the type of regime it is and the principles that legitimize it.



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