Get An Argument Open to All: Reading "The Federalist" in the PDF

By Sanford Levinson

In An Argument Open to All, well known felony student Sanford Levinson takes a singular method of what's probably America’s most famed political tract.  instead of crisis himself with the authors as ancient 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 possibly supply us at the present time. In eighty-five brief essays, each 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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Additional info for An Argument Open to All: Reading "The Federalist" in the 21st Century

Example text

If greater unity is needed to resist potential aggression by Great Britain or France, then why doesn’t it follow, in another historical period, that the United States, Great Britain, and France should join together in a genuinely common political enterprise in order to provide a unified response to China or some other common rival? The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans no longer provide automatic security. ” Shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility that such alliances will—and should—ultimately lead to stronger forms of political unification that will, in their own way, replicate the vital transformation of 1787–1788?

3 This has often been paraphrased as a maxim that states in the international system have no friends; they have only interests. One can only assume that Publius would agree. So why should any other country trust American professions of “friendship” to take precedence over cold calculations of what is in the interest of the United States? In any event, it is readily understandable why the leaders of other countries, upon reading Publius, might believe that they too need to enhance their own national security, whether this involves threatening to build nuclear weapons or simply attempting, through alliances with other countries, to balance the power now perceived to be held by the United States or, increasingly, China.

Publius provided a good reason to support the amalgamation of New York and North Carolina into a new and strengthened United States of America governed by the institutions established by the new Constitution. But he seems to provide no reason for anyone in our own time to rest secure in the belief that the “good old Constitution”—or even the strength of the United States in the twenty-first century—is enough to overcome this century’s pervasive fear. Publius gives us no grounds for optimism. ” Perhaps we should place Reagan in a distinctly Publian tradition that, at the end of the day, minimizes the value of trust in favor of endless vigilance.

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