May 11, 2010 – Federalist No. 10 – Janine Turner

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Mesmerizing. I agree with Professor Knipprath words, “Federalist No. 10 is a masterpiece of political theory and insight into human psychology. Almost every sentence is worth studying.”

Well said, Professor Knipprath and your essay today is quite brilliant, too, and thought provoking, as well. I thank you for your devotion to “Constituting America” and for all of your esteemed guidance.

I thank all of you who have blogged with us today and for your stimulating dialogue.

There is so much wonder, scope, knowledge, perspective and vision in this paper that I do not even know where to begin. I do believe I may have to meditate upon it before I can give it the respect it deserves.

What am I learning is the difference between a democracy and a republic and through these papers, and this paper in particular, I am getting a clear vision about why we are a republic. Passions, individual perspectives and political factions breathe life into liberty but they must be channeled and curbed. The answers to this challenge lie in our representative form of government.

To quote James Madison:

“Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment, without which it instantly expires”

I am sharpening my insights regarding Republican virtues. These virtues deserve to be studied in school and taught in the home. We, as citizens, would be wise to delve into the psyche of the Revolutionary patriots, imbue their sense of virtue and wear their armor of valor. Ah, to breath the air they breathed, to feel the electricity they felt – the enlightment, the courage, the inspiration, the determination.

Knowledge is power. How fabulous that we are on this journey, this path of understanding – for if we do not know what we have, we will not know what is being taken away. Spread the word. Let’s get as many Americans to join us as we discover the thesis of our great land – to preserve it we must observe it.

God Bless,

Janine Turner

 

7 replies
  1. Marc
    Marc says:

    This makes me sad. you are glorifying the forefathers of our goverenment as if they were infallible. Don’t proclaim that the American people are lost without first looking at yourself. Rome fell due to ignorance and arrogance, you have the same potential. The constitution was and is an imperfect document, and was designed to change over time just as everything else in the universe does. Hold tight to your ignorance and you will be lost in it.

    Reply
    • Ralph Howarth
      Ralph Howarth says:

      @Marc, This sounds like relativism rhetoric to me.

      The Constitution was made under the auspices of the Common Law and Natural Law. Laws of nature sure do not change in the universe. Just as well, human nature is vested in, well, nature. If there be anything that does need to be changed, there is the amendment process with 3/4ths of the state’s ratification to it. Anything else less than that may smack of being special interest. Did you even read Federalist #10? So some colonial political theorists and statesmen came up with the “great experiment” of the Constitution. What, you mean, it was not a great idea to start with? And upholding such constitutes “glorification”? Anybody who thinks that the gamut of the constitutional debates of old are irrelevant for today’s times and politics is grossly overlooking political matters that are timeless. There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to mankind. There is always something about the nature of man and society that revolves and returns back again to the some old vices and subsequent triumphs.

      Reply
  2. Marc
    Marc says:

    The constitution is not a natural law. It is an attempt by brilliant incitful men to create a document to get as close as they can to understanding natural law as it pertains to social human needs. I ne’er said it wasn’t a great idea, what I said was that it was and is an imperfect document. The assumption that they were right on the first go around is my point of contention. Everything in this universe is changing according to the laws of nature and so must the constitution. Let’s looks at ourselves and the constitution in context and then we can understand things as they truly are. It is fear of change that drives men to ignorance. Do not pretend that you know the true nature of things, the constitution or America is but an insignificant spec in the universe. As an American I am proud that our process is ever changing and that as humans we have come so far, but there is more to go. I don’t think that is rhetoric I think that is reason.

    Reply
    • Ralph T. Howarth, Jr.
      Ralph T. Howarth, Jr. says:

      Thank you for the clarification. Imperfection I agree, and amendments are overdue. That is the mechanism for revision and change, not populist fiat passions where one generation holds one sentiment towards the very same constitutional law and then a generation later under the auspices of another persuasion or ideal takes on another meaning. You can not have justice with such seasonal mutability of the law. If there be a defect or injustice to the law, then have the moral authority of 3/4ths the states to amend it. The underpinnings of the Constitution was written particularly upon the English Common Law in its legal terms and pretense where Natural Law was a dominant philosophy. It was not written in a vacuum. To afford a whole new meaning by reason of simply changing of the legalease to a whole other basis has the affect of revising the Constitution without the moral authority of consent to it by 3/4ths the states.

      I hope you are a tad less sad. I am glad for a site like this where we can chew over views in the making of the Constitution.

      Reply
  3. yguy
    yguy says:

    The constitution was and is an imperfect document, and was designed to change over time just as everything else in the universe does.

    No it was not. Practically everything else in the universe changes (or not) by itself whether we like it or not. The Constitution was designed to BE changed (or not) by the People according to Our sovereign will.

    Reply
    • Ralph Howarth
      Ralph Howarth says:

      What many in modern political science fail to observe is that there is a difference between temporal affairs and nature. Government acts govern decisions made in the temporal affairs by the will of the people; but Natural Law itself governs the civil moral code. A democratic majority cannot pretend to overrule nature itself, though many are holden to some deception that they can defy such laws, though they often be not written. Can you legislate away gravity? Regulate the thunder cloud? Rule the conscience? Or bar the spirit of liberty from the public square under the auspices of separation of church and state? Walls can be used to separate institutions, but no people can uphold a law to keep Providence out of the court room than to keep Providence out of the heavens. In this, morals cannot be annuled by a public whim because they are rooted in a nature that cannot be changed. Even the dynamics of the universe are subject to laws of physics such that outcomes are so governed. So the modern day doctrines of relativism are fallacies for they fail to account for the science of the laws nature is subject to.

      Reply
  4. Ron Meier
    Ron Meier says:

    @Marc,
    Our founders knew they were not infallible, which is why they studied the more than 2,000 year history of democracies and republics so they might design a system of government that might actually have a greater than 50% probability of survival. They knew better than we why Rome fell. The basic document was not designed to change over time; it could be amended to reflect the imperfections that they knew already existed. I suspect you did not participate in last year’s study of the Federalist Papers; those who did have a greater understanding of our founders, their study of governmental structures of history and their understanding of the weaknesses of those structures and the means to correct them. Their intent was not to have the “living constitution” that liberals want, that is revised as the culture around us decays, and that continues to reflect the lowest common denominator of the culture. Our founders wrote a document that set a high standard; it is up to succeeding generations to continue to strive for that higher standard, not to seek to continually lower the standard to the new cultural norm. The laws of nature, as designed by God, do not change; they are merely discovered by imperfect humans using scientific discovery. In like manner, a well designed Constitution should not change simply to reflect declining moral standards, which is why a high standard for ratification of amendments was set. Ignorance is the failure to educate oneself before stating a conclusion, not the failure to act on emotional rhetoric of buffoons.

    Reply

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