It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by lonegurkha
Doesn't it seem as though the policies change to suit whatever will get them reelected?
Originally posted by MikeboydUS
reply to post by lonegurkha
When the founders wrote the US Constitution it wasn't immediately clear how dangerous political parties were.
By the end of Washington's presidency it was quite clear to Washington though and he addressed it in his farewell speech.
The problem is the parties control the current system so they are not going to outlaw themselves. Until it is made painfully obvious to the entire country what a problem the system is, we won't be able to fix it.
At the same time there are other newer problems the founders didn't address either, lobbyists, unions and corporations. All of these problems need to be fixed but it will not be fixed until either the system breaks or people leave and form their own system. We may not have enough time though.
According to many scientists, we are rapidly approaching what they call the Singularity, a period of scientific advancement when artficically intelligent programs write software, design hardware, and form theories. There will be without a doubt political science AIs. They will form political theories and they will apply them. Based on current trends in science and technology, especially holographic memory and optical computing, we could see this happen within 20 years. Just remember "The Computer is your friend."
Madison first asserts that there are two ways to limit the damage caused by faction: either remove the causes of faction or control its effects. He contends that there are two ways to remove the causes that provoke the development of factions. The first, destroying the Liberty, 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, Americans having fought for it during the American Revolution. The other option—creating a society homogeneous in opinions and interests—he sees as impracticable. Madison explains that common people’s opinions are always influenced by their emotions and their self-interest. They don’t always think clearly; they don’t approach situations in the same way. The diversity of the people's ability which make them succeed more or less and in which inequality of property derive is a right that the government should protect. Madison particularly emphasizes that economic stratification, which naturally exists in a world where different people have different skills, prevents everyone from sharing the same opinion. Madison concludes that the damage caused by faction can be limited only by controlling its effects.
Madison states “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man” so the cure is to control factions’ effects. He makes an argument on how this is not possible in a pure democracy but possible in a republic. 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, while in a large one, harder. The last argument Madison makes in favor of a large republic is, in a small republic there will be a lower variety of interests and parties, so more frequently a majority will be found. The number of participants of that majority will be lower, and considering they live in a more limited territory, it would be easier for them to agree and work together for the accomplishment of their ideas. While in a large republic the variety of interests will be greater so to make it harder to find a majority. Even if there is a majority it would be harder for them to work together because of the large number of people and the fact they are spread out in a wider territory.
A republic, Madison writes, is different from a democracy because its government is placed in the hands of delegates, and as a result of this, it can be extended over a larger area. The idea is that in a large republic there will be more "fit characters" to choose from for each delegate. Also, the fact that each representative is chosen from a larger constituency should make the "vicious arts"—a reference to rhetoric—of electioneering less effective. For instance, in a large republic a corrupt delegate would need to bribe many more people in order to win an election than in a small republic. Second, in a republic the delegates both filter and refine the many demands of the people so as to prevent the type of frivolous claims that impede purely democratic governments.