On Federalist Paper #51

“Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.” ~Federalist #51, 1787

Dang, now THERE is a beautiful quote.

True patriotism should always be about principle, not mere nationalism.

“In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves”

But hey, if you WANT to live in a “Banana Republic,” that’s your thing.

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

Since people are naturally selfish and as they say, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, we need to have checks-and-balances between the three branches of government. AND to limit government by sharing power between the national and state governments, AND to protect the people from themselves by basing our government on laws, constitutions and principles rather than too directly on popular opinions.

In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches; and to render them, by different modes of election and different principles of action, as little connected with each other as the nature of their common functions and their common dependence on the society will admit.”

In other words, batch about red tape, bureaucracy and tedious processes if you will, but they’re necessary to keep things fair and to prevent any one person, group, or branch of government from becoming too powerful.

“It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.”

“The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.”

The very scope of the republic mitigates abuses by any one faction. Theoretically, there would be too many different minorities to form any one majority. The “majority” itself will always be a coalition of minorities and pluralities.

“It can be little doubted that if the State of Rhode Island was separated from the Confederacy and left to itself, the insecurity of rights under the popular form of government within such narrow limits would be displayed by such reiterated oppressions of factious majorities that some power altogether independent of the people would soon be called for by the voice of the very factions whose misrule had proved the necessity of it. In the extended republic of the United States, and among the great variety of interests, parties, and sects which it embraces, a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good; whilst there being thus less danger to a minor from the will of a major party, there must be less pretext, also, to provide for the security of the former, by introducing into the government a will not dependent on the latter, or, in other words, a will independent of the society itself. It is no less certain than it is important, notwithstanding the contrary opinions which have been entertained, that the larger the society, provided it lie within a practical sphere, the more duly capable it will be of self-government. And happily for the republican cause, the practicable sphere may be carried to a very great extent, by a judicious modification and mixture of the federal principle.”

RHODE ISLAND! But seriously- Locke’s vision of the social contract, not Rousseau’s. Laws, Constitutions, principles which the people compromise to agree upon, rather than the volatile & shifting popular “will of the people.”

Read them all for yourself at http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786-1800/the-federalist-papers/

madison-watching-you

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