Lest we forget our mission to read through the Politics, let's finish the rest of book two today (or this weekend, as you have time). This section treats, among other things, the famous Spartan society, one of the most complete attempts ever to organize society around success in war. The Spartans had vanquished Athens and Athenian democracy for a while, not long before Aristotle's own time. He was born in 384 BC, about twenty years after the Peloponnesian War ended. This is roughly akin to someone born now learning about the Gulf War: far enough removed that it wasn't part of their literal consciousness, but close enough to know many veterans of it and to ask after it with some authority.
Aristotle himself was not from Athens, but from Stagira. As a student of Plato's, of course, Athens would have occupied a place in his thought. But Stagira had its own history of violence: in Aristotle's lifetime, it was destroyed by the Macedonian kingdom. However, in gratitude for Aristotle's work tutoring his son Alexander (the Great), then-king Philip rebuilt the city rather than leaving it in ruins.