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James Madison's Concepts On Federalist Paper No. 10
James Madison begins perhaps the most famous of the Federalist papers by stating that the fact that it establishes a government capable of controlling the violence and damage caused by factions. Madison defines that factions are groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions. Although these factions are at likelihood with each other, they frequently work against the public interests, and infringe upon the rights of others.
In James Madison’s own assumptions towards human nature, he describes them in explicit conditions. “So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities that where no substantial occasion presents itself the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But 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”
James Madison confers that the hidden grounds of factions are as a result spread in the nature of man. Given the nature of man, factions are foreseeable. As long as men hold different opinions, have different amounts of wealth, and own different amount of property, they will continue to associate with people who are most similar to them. Both serious and minor reasons account for the formation of factions but the most important source of faction is the unequal distribution of property. Men of greater ability and talent tend to possess more property than those of lesser ability, and since the first object of government is to protect and encourage ability, it follows that the rights of property owners must be protected. Property is divided unequally, and, in addition, there are many different kinds of property; people have different interests depending upon the kind of property they own. For example, the interests of landowners differ from those who own businesses. Government must not only protect the conflicting interests of property owners, it must, at the same time, successfully control the conflicts that result from those who own, and those who do not own, property.
To James Madison, there are only two ways to control a faction: one, to remove its causes and the second to control its effects. The first is impossible. There are only two ways to remove the causes of a faction: destroy freedom or give every citizen the same opinions, passions, and interests. Destroying freedom is as James Madison says worse then the disease itself, and the second is impossible. He states, “as long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. The causes of factions are therefore part of the nature of humans and people must deal with their effects and accept their existence.
The framers established a representative form of government, a government in which the many elect the few who govern. Pure or direct democracies (countries in which all the citizens participate directly in making the laws) cannot possibly control factious conflicts. This is because the strongest and largest faction dominates, and there is no way to protect weak factions against the actions of an insufferable individual or a strong majority. This factious majority was which Madison felt the utmost fear for.
If the new plan of government was adopted, Madison hoped that the men elected to office would be wise and good men the best of America. Theoretically, those who govern should be the least likely to sacrifice the public good to temporary condition, but the opposite might happen. Men who are members of particular factions, or who have prejudices or evil motives might manage, by intrigue or corruption, to win elections and then betray the interests of the people. However, the possibility of this happening in a large country, such as ours, is greatly reduced. The likelihood that public office will be held by qualified men is greater in large countries because there will be more representative chosen by a greater number of citizens. This makes it more difficult for the candidates to deceive the people. Representative government is needed in large countries, not to protect the people from the domination of the few, but to guard against the rule of the crowd around.
In large republics, factions will be numerous, but they will be weaker than in small, direct democracies where it is easier for factions to consolidate their strength. In this country, leaders of factions may be able to influence state governments to support unsound economic and political policies to promote, for example, specifically delegated to it; the states, far from being abolished, retain much of their independence. If the framers had abolished the state governments, the opponents of the proposed government would have a legitimate objection.
The immediate object of the constitution was to bring to therefore construct a system that would play the imminence of government against the greediness of people, eager that each would ensure the negative aspects of the other. This shared negation, Madison speculated, would result in good government and the utmost amount of individual liberty possible.
Madison concludes that he presents thee previous arguments because he is confident that those who will not listen to those prophets of gloom who say that the proposed government is unworkable. For this founding father, it seems incredible that these gloomy voices suggest abandonment of the idea of combing together in strength the states still have common interests. Madison concludes that according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being Republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.
My view of this difference between less and more developed countries, assuming that they are sufficiently large, is that in the less developed countries, government has not yet evolved into a relatively impartial enforcer of property and personal rights. Like the economy, its political institutions are also less well developed. We can expect that people with money will try to influence political decisions no matter what kind of society they live in. However, their success depends on the kinds of political institutions that exist. The burden of a developing country is to look after institutions that lead the political factions to do battle against each other, so that they will not harm the rest of the people who are just out to make a living.
It is really hard for me personally to say that yes I agree with his document. Yes there are certain views in which I agree with for example; yes there factions absolutely exist. Human beings have this need to set themselves apart from others, which will always cause conflict. The primary source of violence and anger amongst people is simple, those who have and those who do not. These factions consist of rich, poor, middle, and poor classes of people. He believed that the people should be able to govern themselves in some way, but at the same time if people govern themselves than governments have and will soon be reduced into dictatorships, such as Hitler and Stalin. Most James Madison’s assumptions to me are viewed as being pessimistic. I figure that his theory on life was that if you assume the worst, you would already be prepared for any imminent.
Word Count: 1222
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