FW: The Economist: Why and when to go in

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu Jan 11 14:02:15 MST 2001

>>> jgperez at netzero.net 01/08/01 02:00PM >>>
fundamental aim of a lot of the structures adopted was to *prevent the
emergence of national political parties.*  If you read the Federalist
papers, you'll see this was very clearly the aim. That was the purpose and
role of the state naming presidential electors, and of excluding from the
electors ALL participants in national politics.


CB: Agree with Jose. The writers of the U.S. Constituton tried to prevent factions (
parties) . In other words, they were for a "one party " state, since no parties is the
equivalent to one party ( We have non-partisan municipal elections in Detroit. It is
like having only one party). This is ironic given the U.S. 20th Century emphasis on
the undemocratic nature of one party states (However, more tolerable in Mexico than in
the Soviet Union, of course).

And, as Jose alludes to below, Madison, et al.'s aversion to parties was based on
their recognition that parties ( factions) tended to represent economic class
interests, and they didn't even want to open the door to a working class parties. It
was a very bourgeois class conscious decision.

The aim was to make national
parties superfluous, indeed, well nigh impossible. The idea was to somehow
recreate on a national scale some of the same kinds of things that happened
in the largely self-governing townships of New England, where there WAS a
long tradition of plebeian democracy, both through the town meeting from of
government and the grand jury form of government. (The latter involved the
random selection from among the head of the town's farming and shopkeeping
families of a group of men that would oversee town affairs for a period of

Of course, the utopian hope of avoiding party strife had no possibility of
surviving given the growing class differentiation in the early American
republic, never mind the division of the country into slave and free states.
And the civil war resulted in the complete reinterpretation of the
constitution, doing away with any semblance of the original content of the



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