Teleology is inseparable from the idea of linear time, a concept that is post-Christian. The Greek view of the universe was cyclical, that the material realm fell in and out of sync with 'nature' (the metaphysical realm of superlative purities).
I assume that you are referring to the causality in the acting towards "goals". That is an interesting point, it does not, however, mean that Aristotle did not think in this manner. We could only understand it at a later point in time as being related to time.
This intelligible realm was structured by a monolithic reason existing independent of the individual. A perfect state would coincide this structured reason, or the 'nature' of stateness. When you say that "free choice contradicts central decisions" you assume the two are incompatible. I do not know your particular take on freedom but let me refresh you on Aristotle's:
Aristotle believed that freedom unguided by reason was no freedom at all. Is a barbarian who responds instinctively to every primitive desire truly free? No. If there is one monolithic structure of reason to be followed, an individual should act in accord with whatever his/her 'nature' stresses. And if reason is a truly comprehensive, synthesized, and non-contradicting 'Oneness' or 'Whole', a city that is in perfect syncronization with its nature will contain citizens that are in perfect syncronization with their natures. So if the 'nature of stateness' requires slaves for its hard labor, it is justified that there exist individuals whose nature is slaveness.
The popular objection to this remark is:
Who does Aristotle think he is, first saying people do not reason and then offering to help them reason for them. Is he totalitarian like Adolf Hitler?
You may be under the impression, from empirical observation, that it is natural for human beings to resist authority. But remember that no 'Universal Homogenous State' (as Hegel would call it) has yet came into existence.
The thing of it is that I am not under any impression, nor have I ever been under any impression. Anybody falling in line under any government is acting "under impressions" of what is defined as "good" by this state. Aristotle is merely taking the first unsure steps to ensure dominance for a very small elite. So, being under no impression one has to look at the question if what one is doing will ensure survival (or continuation); is that what is done something that one can will everyone will do? This as opposed to following the candy of which the impression exists "is good". These are ethical considerations though and should be reserved for another topic. This topic is about law.
You may refute some of Aristotle's premises, such as the existence of an external intelligible realm, but this is the manner in which he himself understood his philosophy.
Your remarks above are not what Aristotle thought.
I would appreciate it if you would keep ths topic for questions about law instead of questions on ethics. If you are willing to refute Aristotle's ideas on law or my thoughts on Aristotle's ideas about law you are welcome, but please keep the ethics out of this topic.
There is no more wrong then claiming black is white.
The trouble I have had is that I agree wholeheartedly with you and can not refute what you say with regards to 'goals', teleology and the resulting constituent-enforcement which is implied by the goals, but I can press that anarchy would be worse and that group settling is necessary to obtain certain goals like self-sufficiency and self-defense- anarchy would challenge this.
I do not understand who you place all that in anarchy. "Goals" can only exist if facilitated by "values". "Values" are decided upon. For instance by "laws" or predications of "good" and "bad" as Aristotle states legislators are for. Self-defence is not needed without such "states".
It is my fear of the immoral, belligerent and inconsiderate that drives my urge for laws and order and I can't help but feel this must be a universal quality- no one wants to be robbed, raped, beaten or killed, and this is what anarchy invites. But alas I'm sure as soon as the law turns against me I would forget the protection it entails and realize I'm trapped, as is the man who is imprisoned for stealing from me.
I think you are misunderstanding the point.
- Robbers value money (because the states has decreed it of financial worth).
- Rapists value sex or women (because these are status symbols in the social interactions the rapists live in...the state decrees it as such)
- Aggrisive people ("beaters....") value strength (because the system they live in avlues dominance..the state again).
- Killers value their own dealing more than the lives of others (Because a certain value is placed on their own dealings, also a form of dominance may be present. Both of which are derived from the rules of state).
Without forms of states none of this would exist. The first forms of state were social contracts where absolute freedom of choice still existed; force and oppression were introduced with law.
So is this going to boil down to legislation and law?
That is what the topic is about, isn't it?
The moment a state decides to impose and enforce on the constituents we can assume it is because the constituents don't behave in a correct manner, so immediately law is going to represent a 'goal' which is not yet met; this is self-evident. I think the only answer is ethical law, based on survey and majority consideration (some form of categorical imperatives) - or even more outlandish techniques like multi-states where there are different ethical structures enforced to cater to different groups of moral taste.
That is exactly what law does. That is how it forces people into brutalising others.
But, as I drift into thinking about ethical law I realize that it was Aristotle's strikingly ethical and humanistic approach to politics that wooed me in the first place; "a state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange...Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship" - Aristotle
Noble actions in the sense of aristocratic actions. This is completely truthfull I think. Aristotle was an Aristocrat. He needed "the state" do make others do his bidding.
Aristotle sees the state as a collection of citizens or inhabitants who choose to reside there because they have something in common with each other, an urge for the good life. It is Aristotle's politics which incorporates happiness via virtue, true friendship*, humbleness and appreciation. But yes it is still a goal no matter how romantic it seems- alas I can only reiterate that political existence simply involves enduring laws and moral institutions, and that our other option is anarchy.
I think that people choose to live in states because they have been bought. Politcal existence involves being brutalised into accepting the states judgements. The other options is Anarchy. I think that you are confusing anarchy with nihilism though. Nihilism being a defining of rules as "not good" and anarchy being not following "rules"; often giving off an irratic impression, while it is more constant and logical than rules.
*True friendship to Aristotle was two bodies as one, a completely mutual and equally beneficial match made in heaven, how sweet .
I think in that passage Aristotle was setting the scene for a caste system where peope of one caste cannot interact on an equal base with people of another caste.
But I am going to go in circles, I think some one will have to briefly illuminate the alternative options like anarchy so I can see how they might work without resulting in me being murdered and robbed as I lye lifeless on the floor with no service to inform my family who can only assume I'm missing without state records to confirm my death.
You are right. We are going around in circles. Let us get back to the question of justice as fainess. Do you think Aristotle's laws are fair in the sense that they allow all members of the state the same possibilities within the system?