An Argument Open to All: Reading "The Federalist" in the by Sanford Levinson

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By Sanford Levinson

From certainly one of America’s such a lot unusual constitutional students, an exciting exploration of America’s most renowned political tract and its relevance to today’s politics

In An Argument Open to All, well known criminal student Sanford Levinson takes a unique method of what's probably America’s most famed political tract.  instead of obstacle himself with the authors as historic figures, or how The Federalist is helping us comprehend the unique motive of the framers of the structure, Levinson examines each one essay for the political knowledge it could possibly provide us at the present time. In eighty-five brief essays, every one keyed to another essay in The Federalist, he considers such questions as no matter if current generations can reconsider their constitutional preparations; how a lot attempt we must always exert to maintain America’s conventional tradition; and even if The Federalist’s arguments even recommend the desirability of worldwide government.

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Indb 13 8/18/15 6:25:18 PM 14 Something Must Be Done to Save the Union civil war, but that event further calls into question his optimism about homogeneity and concord in America. For my purposes, it doesn’t matter that Publius was a terrible sociologist. What makes his assertion worth our attention today is whether we share his presumed belief that the success (or failure) of the American political experiment (and perhaps similar experiments elsewhere) does depend on a requisite degree of homogeneity.

There is nothing like the American requirement of a five-year residence before one becomes a citizen, in which one purpose of the delay is, presumably, to give the newcomer time to assimilate. One of the more obscure clauses of the Constitution requires that naturalized citizens wait even longer—seven and nine years, respectively—before they are eligible to serve in the House of Representatives or the Senate. ) Perhaps the success of the United States is sufficient to render irrelevant the fact that Publius was simply wrong about the actual composition of American society in 1787.

It is hard to see this as good news for democracy. Perhaps there is no cause for concern, and we can safely dismiss Federalist 8 as an eighteenth-century relic or simply disregard it as a clever piece of propaganda designed to elicit support for the Constitution from those tempted to maintain the system established by the Articles of Confederation. But perhaps Publius’s arguments are very much worth attending to today. How, though, can we have a truly mature conversation about the dangers he points to if we regard the military as composed almost entirely of “heroes” and stand ever ready to accuse its critics of being insufficiently supportive of our troops, naively inattentive to the dangers facing the country, and, therefore, a presumed threat to national security?

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