1. No Distinction between State and Government:

In the first place, it is pointed out that Aristotle did not make the distinction between the state and government. He identified government with state.

His classification is a classification of governments rather than that of states. In fact, states remain an entity whatever be the form of government.

2. Distinction between Aristocracy and Oligarchy misleading:

Aristotle brings out a distinction between aristocracy and oligarchy. But the modern usage of these words does not admit of any difference. Even if we recognize the fine distinction between the two, it is difficult to determine where one ends and the other begins.

3. Term Democracy differently used:

The word democracy is used in the sense of mobocracy. Modern writers, however, do not regard democracy as a perverted form of people’s rule.


In fact, according to Aristotle, polity is the rule of citizens. His conception of citizenship did not include traders, farmers, artisans and slaves. It was thus in reality a rule of owners or aristocrats. He disliked real democracy where all people ruled and called it a perverted form of government.

4. No place for Mixed Government:

The classification does not fit in with modern political conditions and with governmental organization which are of mixed nature and combine all the three elements of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy.

This combination of all the three elements can be seen in the form of the present British Government which is a combination of Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy. The monar­chy is represented by the King or Queen. House of Lords represents the Aristocracy and the House of Commons represents Democracy.

5. In exhaustive Classification:

According to Seeley and Leacock, Aristotle’s classification is not exhaustive. Aristotle was a philosopher of the city-states and, therefore, could not anticipate the vastness and complexity of a modern state.


Hence, his classification is out of date and cannot apply to the forms of government which obtain in the modern era.

6. Classification unscientific:

Aristotle’s classification of states is unscientific as it is based on number of persons in whom the powers are vested and then it lays too much emphasis on ethics which is a matter of individual judgement.

As for example, whether a particular Monarch is good or bad is a matter of subjective judgment. One may say, he is bad yet another may say he is good, so is the case with Aristocracy and Oligarchy; Polity and Democracy.

7. States are classified differently:

Aristotle obliterates the distinction between state and Governments. He classifies only govern­ments of his own time while he talked of state. In fact, states can be classified as National States or Multi-national States; Secular States or Theocratic States; Unitary or Federal States.