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On Alexander Hamilton/James Madison’s Federalist Papers (1, 10-12, 14-17, 39, 47-51), published as newspaper editorials 1787-8, plus Letters III and IV from Brutus, an Anti-Federalist.
What constitutes good government? These founding fathers argued that the proposed Constitution, with its newly centralized–yet also separated-by-branch–powers would be a significant improvement on the Articles of Confederation, which had left states as the ultimate sovereigns.
Hear Dylan, Mark, and Seth here rap about factions: Does our current system prevent the abuse of power by interest groups in the way Madison predicted it would? (Hint: no.) If we want to argue for change, we have to diagnose what went wrong in this and other instances: is it that Madison’s/Hamilton’s predictions were simply wrong in some areas, or have the contextual facts (e.g. education and technology levels) changed the situation, and/or do we simply have different central concerns now than we did then? For instance, their fresh-from-the-revolution audience was worried about kingly tyranny, and European powers were skeptical of any democracy, while we face new challenges like the rise of corporations that apparently have personhood according to our Supreme Court. Learn more about the topic and get the readings.
End song: “Feeling Time” by Madison Lint (2002).
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