Aristocracy

Discipline: Philosophy, Political Science

Theory of hierarchy.

Originally from the Greek 'rule by the best', but now attribution of quality to hereditary elites.

In any society there will be a minority of people of superior skill, wisdom, experience and moral fibre. These qualities are likely to be transmitted through families and are thus to all intents and purposes hereditary. It is appropriate that such people should take a leading role in social and political affairs. They have a duty to do so - noblesse oblige - as do others to defer to them.

Source:
Roger Scruton, A Dictionary of Political Thought (London, 1982)

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