This essay Guns, Money and Politics Notes #1 has a total of 1372 words and 8 pages.
Federalist No. 10 written by James Madison was a series arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Published on November 22, 1787 .it is titled, "The Same Subject Continued: The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection".
No. 10 addresses the question of how to guard against "factions", or groups of citizens, with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community
The question of faction
Federalist No. 10 continues the discussion of the question broached in Hamilton\'s Federalist No. 9. Hamilton there addressed the destructive role of a faction in breaking apart the republic.
The question Madison answers, then, is how to eliminate the negative effects of faction. He defines a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community".
He identifies the most serious source of faction to be the diversity of opinion in political life which leads to dispute over fundamental issues such as what regime or religion should be preferred.
However, he thinks that "the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society".
He saw direct democracy as a danger to individual rights and advocated a representative democracy in order to protect what he viewed as individual liberty from majority rule, or from the effects of such inequality within society.
Madison first assessed that there are two ways to limit the damage caused by faction:
either remove the causes of faction or control its effects. He then describes the two methods to removing faction:
first, destroying liberty, which would work because "liberty is to faction what air is to fire",
but it is impossible to perform because liberty is essential to political life.
The second option, creating a society homogeneous in opinions and interests, is impracticable. The diversity of the people\'s ability is what makes them succeed more or less, and inequality of property is a right that the government should protect. Madison particularly emphasizes that economic stratification prevents everyone from sharing the same opinion. Madison concludes that the damage caused by faction can be limited only by controlling its effects.
He then argues that the only problem comes from majority factions because the principle of popular sovereignty should prevent minority factions from gaining power.
Madison offers two ways to check majority factions:
prevent the "existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time" or render a majority faction unable to act.
Madison concludes that a small democracy cannot avoid the dangers of majority faction because small size means that undesirable passions can very easily spread to a majority of the people, which can then enact its will through the democratic government without difficulty. With pure democracy, he means a system in which every citizen votes directly for laws, and, with republic, he intends a society in which citizens vote for an elite of representatives who then vote for laws. He indicates that the voice of the people pronounced by a body of representatives is more conformable to the interest of the community, since, again, common people’s decisions are affected by their self-interest.
He then makes an argument in favor of a large republic against a small republic for the choice of "fit characters" to represent the public\'s voice. In a large republic, where the number of voters and candidates is greater, the probability to elect competent representatives is broader. The voters have a wider option. In a small republic, it would also be easier for the candidates to fool the voters but more difficult in a large one.
The last argument Madison makes in favor of a large republic is that as, in a small republic, there will be a lower variety of interests and parties, a majority will more frequently be found. The number of participants of that majority will be lower, and, since they live in a more limited territory, it would be easier for them to agree and work together for the accomplishment
Topics Related to Guns, Money and Politics Notes #1
Democracy, United States, James Madison, Elections, Federalist No. 51, Federalist No. 10, The Federalist Papers, Political faction, Democratic Party, Factions, Federalism, United States Constitution
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