OUR GOOD DAEMONS
The most dominant element of good laws and of the sustainability of the regime is the disposition (moral attitude) of the establishment, as well as of the subjects, the mentality that is with which power is exercised in mirroring the mentality with which this exercise of power is acceptable by the people. The first is a defining factor, but the second is also a dominant element.
Aristotle writes in Politics (1279a 25): “But in as much as ‘constitution’ and ’regime’ means the same and the regime is the supreme power in the state, and this must be either a single ruler or a few or the many or the mass of the citizens, in cases when the one or the few or the many govern with an eye to the common interest, these constitutions must necessarily be right ones, while those administered with an eye to the private interest of either the one or the few or the multitude are deviations.”
Here we have the establishment, those who enact the laws on the one side and the subjects, those persons who follow the laws on the other. Among the subjects we have those who follow the laws without enjoining, and also those who follow the laws fearing the sanctions. When non-enjoined followers are many, while enjoined followers are few the disturbance of legal order becomes harder. This disposition of non-enjoined followers is one of the good daemons which protect the state. The other disposition is that of the rulers expressed in the words ruling for the common interest; this disposition exists when the rulers’ ambition and objective is the fair exercise of power.
As much as anarchy proves non-viable owing to the nature of society the need arises for the presence of an establishment and of a subject. For the creation and maintenance of legal order, the establishment must be free from the element of high-handed, arbitrary acts. High-handedness exists when the establishment does not respect the constitutional order and the laws which she enacts and violates them first while she subdues the subject to its vices, without safeguarding that such obedience on the part of the subject confers any security to the same once the lawful and unlawful depend on the unchecked whim of the establishment. In this instance we have wicked laws.
In the case of Prometheus, his effort was turned towards obliging the establishment to realize that without respecting the subject, it is not possible to expect the respect of the subject towards her. Prometheus made it possible to help Zeus, by helping man to create the balance of mutual respect between the establishment and the subject. This balance of respect between the establishment and the subject is a basic ingredient when we come to live within a human society.
Mutual respect is the third good daemon and the composing together of the former two which exist and are found in the good government of a society.
*See Angelos Vlachos. Athenian Constitution, Page 57.