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

By Sanford Levinson

In An Argument Open to All, popular criminal pupil Sanford Levinson takes a singular method of what's maybe America’s most famed political tract.  instead of difficulty himself with the authors as historic figures, or how The Federalist is helping us comprehend the unique rationale of the framers of the structure, Levinson examines each one essay for the political knowledge it could actually supply us this present day. In eighty-five brief essays, each 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 should always exert to maintain America’s conventional tradition; and no matter if The Federalist’s arguments even recommend the desirability of global government.

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Extra info for An Argument Open to All: Reading "The Federalist" in the 21st Century

Sample text

He wrote it to express his skepticism about the shift in the military’s mission from war fighting to nation-building. But one can certainly wonder if Publius’s insights, coupled with Dunlap’s concerns, might not be worth very much taking into account today. Perhaps “standing armies” themselves are less the real danger than the development of a political culture that emphasizes the ubiquity of threats coupled with a loss of faith in civilian values and leaders in favor of the discipline and values of the military.

The key point is to avoid taxation at all. Yet even as one resists the paying out of taxes, there is equal incentive to strive to maximize one’s influx of money. To the extent that government tax policies, and consequent expenditures, almost inevitably have “redistributionist” tendencies, there is ample cause for discord. Some of this discord involves individuals or social classes—the “haves” against the “have-nots”—but some can involve states themselves. The late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan often brought up the extent to which states like New York received far less in federal programs than did other, smaller states, which benefited mightily from disproportionate power granted them particularly in the Senate (and therefore to some degree in the Electoral College).

Huntington noted that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was no more, destroyed by the secession of groups rejecting rule by “foreign” Russians. And even a full decade ago he noted as well that Great Britain has become considerably more “devolved” particularly with regard to Scotland. One suspects he would not have been surprised to learn that nearly 45 percent of Scottish voters would in 2014 support secession from the Union with Great Britain that was formally established in 1707. ’”3 Thus Huntington suggested that we should not blithely assume that even the post–Civil War United States would maintain itself into the indefinite future.

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