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

By Sanford Levinson

In An Argument Open to All, well known criminal student Sanford Levinson takes a unique method of what's possibly America’s most famed political tract.  instead of quandary himself with the authors as historic figures, or how The Federalist is helping us comprehend the unique reason 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 even 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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Example text

If the Constitution were not ratified and America were ultimately divided into “three or four independent governments—what armies could they raise and pay—what fleets could they ever hope to have? ” Even worse, perhaps, was the danger that one of these separate countries—perhaps called New England, Atlantica, and Dixie—would be “flattered into neutrality” should an attack by a European adversary occur, perhaps because of “specious promises or . . ” What does this have to do with us today? The answer is simple.

F e der a l i st 8 On the Rise of a Militarized State P ublius continues to argue that a truly United States offers far better prospects for maintaining security and liberty than does adherence to the Confederation and the likelihood of ultimate dissolution into three separate countries along the Atlantic coast. He posits that “[s]afety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct,” which, as we saw, is little more than an extension of the central insights of both Hobbes and Locke, that people are motivated to live under organized government because it offers them security against threats by ill-motivated others.

Or one can look at some of the more utopian hopes for the United Nations or, more modestly, at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, created in 1948 to stave off the menace of the Soviet Union (and, not at all coincidentally, to integrate what was then called “West Germany” into that particular alliance system). Still, as Publius suggested, the problem with alliance systems is that they ultimately rely on the “parchment barriers” of treaties. Will a country really risk its death and destruction because allies are being attacked?

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