chapter  5
14 Pages

Patience, temperance, and politics

WithKathryn Phillips

The purpose of this paper is to use an Aristotelian framework to investigate how political parties flourish and which virtues facilitate their flourishing. I argue that political parties flourish when they are fulfilling their nature as central actors in democracies by aggregating interests, cultivating candidates, sustaining membership, enacting legislation, and working towards the common good. I further argue that given the nature of political parties and their role in large democracies, cultivating the virtues of patience and temperance are particularly important. These virtues are fundamental for party flourishing because if parties, especially governing parties, fail to work together and instead pursue short-term gains merely to maintain power, political parties will not only fail to flourish but risk self-destruction.