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According to Aristotle, for a polis or political association to endure, there must be a friendship as well as justice among its members. Political fraternity, the kind of friendship that exists among citizens, is the product of a complex and overlapping system of social relations based upon "marriage-connections, kin-groups, religious gatherings and social pastimes." The associations in which these relations are anchored occupy an intermediate position between the family or oikos on the one hand, and the polis on the other, and simultaneously exhibit the distinct kinds of unity that characterize these other forms of association. Because of their hybrid nature, the institutions of political fraternity provide a connecting link between the spheres of private and public life, transmitting the feelings of intimacy and solidarity characteristic of one realm into the wider and more impersonal domain of the other.

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