Federalist Paper #10 Essay
In perhaps the greatest installment of the federalist papers, James Madison describes how factions, which work against the interest of the public, can be controlled through a constitutional government. Factions are defined by Madison as groups of people that gather together to promote their own economic interests and political opinions (gradesaver.com). These factions often work against each other, and infringe upon the rights of others. Most people are concerned with the instability that rival factions can cause.
State governments have done little to aid in the disbanding of factions. The situation is so dire that, people are disillusioned with all the politicians and blame the government for their problems (gradesaver.com). According to Madison, factions are inevitable. As long as people share a common belief, they will come together and fight for what they think is right. The reason most people formed factions in the eighteenth century, though, was the distribution of property. Even today, property is divided unequally. Men with more talent or ability tend to possess more land than those who were less gifted. Subsequently, there are many different kinds of property. Men have different wants or needs depending on the type of property they own. For example, the interests of a landowner might be different than that of a businessman (gradesaver.com). It is the governments’ job to manage the conflicting interests of property owners, and to regulate discrepancies between those with and without property.
To Madison, there are only two ways to keep factions in check. Remove their causes, and control their effects (gradesaver.com). Unfortunately, the only real ways to manage factions are to either make everyone have the same opinion, or throw away liberty. Destroying liberty would be worse than, “the disease itself”, and making everyone have the same opinion would be as impossible as trying to tell an atheist there really is a god....
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