Friday, July 24, 2009

10th Federalist Paper

In response to someone who was arguing that states need to conform to the federal government....

In the 10th Federalist paper Madison argues for the benefits of Republicanism over Democracy, an idea which Ron Paul agrees with and often talks about. Only in the 4th to last paragraph of the document does Madison begin to address the issue of the Union being beneficial to protecting the States against dangerous factions. The Union will protect the States against factions but I don't know where you got the states needed to "shape up or ship out". Madison writes in the 3rd to last paragraph, "The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States... A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it, in the same propyrtion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district than an entire state." Madison does not seem to suggest that the Union will force a state to conform to the ideas of the whole; rather the Union will be able to protect the majority of the states and people in the event that a minority (or majority) is taking a wrong course.

I find it interesting that one of the evils Madison was worried about was the issuance of PAPER MONEY! Ron Paul frequently talks about how paper money does not work and our founders did not intend it... Now ALL of the states have paper money despite our constitution stating the only gold and silver can be legal tender. Why? Because the Federal Government has abused their power. They no longer follow the constitution.

What Madison feared has occured: evil factions have imposed their will on the majority. Madison argues that a Republican form of government should serve what's best for the people but he recognizes a problem could arise as he writes, "On the other hand, the effect (of a Republic) may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests of the people". I think many believe that this has happened today (whether the faction that has overtaken our country is the neo-cons, the bankers or whoever).

Remember that the Federalists were a political party that battled the Republicans in our country's infancy. Alexander Hamilton was one of the more well known Federalists. James Madison left the Federalist party to join the party of Thomas Jefferson, the Republican party.

Before the constitution there were arguments from anti-federalists and others for a bill of rights to give a balance of power between the people, the states and the government. Alexander Hamilton did not want to have a bill of rights (he argued that the writes were inherent and need not be agreed to). Alexander Hamilton and other Federalists favored a stronger Federal Government (as opposed to the Republicans like Jefferson who wanted a smaller Federal government). Remember that the Federalist Papers and the constitution were written before the Bill of Rights!

Because of people like Thomas Jefferson we have the 10th amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people."

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