The Danger Of Factions By James Madison

1019 Words Sep 20th, 2016 5 Pages
The Danger of Factions

James Madison warned, among several cautions, about factions, specifically a tyranny of the majority, when writing under the alias as PUBLIUS in The Federalist Papers. According to Madison in Federalist 10, a faction is a group of citizens, either a majority or minority, who group together by a common purpose or goal (2013, pg. 628). He argued that when governments are ruled by factions, “...the public good is disregarded…”, and rulings of the government are made by an “overbearing majority,” instead of by the “...rules of justice and the rights of the minor party…” (Madison 2013, pg. 628). However, in the two hundred plus years of different opinions on how government should run and political polarization, factions, in some fashion, have become a reality within the U.S. political system through the means of political parties. The two major U.S. political parties are the Democrats and the Republicans, and they are in a constant battle over who will control Congress and influence the policy-making process. According to Madison, men are naturally driven to form factions due to differing opinions about spiritual beliefs, government, as well as other reasons (Madison 2013, pg. 628). He stated that factions have become “..inflamed... with mutual animosity, and… much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good” (Madison 2013, pg. 628). While looking at current political conditions, Madison’s theory may be just as…
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