For several weeks we had been discussing Federalist #10. Madison has been focussed on ‘Factions’ and how to deal with them. His idea is that the ‘New Constitution’ is the best way to do so. He discusses the weaknesses and potential problems stemming from persons of various characters influencing groups of Citizens such that they could be easily manipulated.
Now, ‘The Anti-federalists’ take, as Madison, to the moral and virtuous make up of ‘classes of people’ and individuals. This week I focus on the 1788 article, which sets up the response from Madison yet in so many ways there is agreement to what I always call the sinful nature of man striving for power or manipulation over other. Not only that, there are those who prefer to be sheeple easily taken by those who can play to their wants or needs. Interestingly the author of this paper predicted that there would eventually be only two major political parties.
In this program I can only guarantee getting through the ‘first class’ or group of people that are most influential. The writer opens with “The first class comprehends all those men of fortune and reputation who stepped forward in the late revolution, from opposition to the administration, rather than the government of Great Britain. … All your people of fashion and pleasure who are corrupted by the dissipation of the French, English and American armies; and a love of European manners and luxury.”
I will leave you with this idea that there are those who are willing to support the national government when it meets their purposes as our Anti-federalist notes: “They are at present wavering. They are generally, though with very many exceptions, openly for the proposed, but secretly against any American government. A burnt child dreads the fire. But should they see any fair prospect of confusion arise, these gentry will be off at any moment for these five and twenty years to come. Ultimately, should the administration promise stability to the new government, they may be counted on as the Janizaries (a devoted follower or supporter) of power, ready to efface (make oneself appear insignificant or inconspicuous) all suspicion by the violence of their zeal.”
With that said: The mirrors of history come to reflective reality here on Samuel Adams Returns.
Oh… on a side note, check out the article on Local Levies that I’ve written at this Blog.
And because you keep asking!
The video of the program is at the SamuelAdamsReturns YouTube channel
1. Witherspoon: Lectures on Moral Philosophy (Society)
2. On The Preservation Of Parties, Public Liberty Depends Anti-federalists #10 1788
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