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Archive of posts published in the tag: John Adams

The Role of the Ruling Class

The progressive effort to remove the obstacles to a purer democracy exposed the faults of democracy.  The administrative state moved law making power away from the accountability of an electorate.  Deliberation and debate were replaced by referendums and mobs. In frustration the voters sought their objectives from the courts and the executive.  It should be no surprise that those contests have become so hostile.

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The Roots of American Partisanship

The XYZ Affair brought us to the brink of war and stunned Jefferson when it was released. The author Gordon Woods compared it to the paranoia that gripped the west coast after Pearl Harbor that led to the internment of Japanese Americans.  The XYZ memo destroyed public support for the pro French Republican party of Jefferson.

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The Greater Threat to Stability

“A strong executive, De Lolme wrote, was the best check against the ambitions of the aristocracy, which always posed a greater threat to the stability of the constitution. Too much democracy did not lead to anarchy but to oligarchy or aristocracy.”

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Why We Hate Politics

What threatens us is not the division of factions but the myth of unity, even within a single party. Unity does not rise, it is forced. The will of the people is what their demagogue tells them it is.

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The Origin of Ideology

“As Adams explained it, the French philosophes had invented the word, which became a central part of their utopian style of thinking and a major tenet in their “school of folly.” It referred to a set of ideals and hopes, like human perfection or social equality, that philosophers mistakenly believed could be implemented in the world because it existed in their heads. Jefferson himself thought in this French fashion, Adams claimed, confusing the seductive prospects envisioned in his imagination with the more limited possibilities history permitted. “

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Jeffersonian End; Non Jeffersonian Means

Irony is almost synonymous with history.  Jefferson feared a large central government, but could not foresee a central government with Jeffersonian values.

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The One and the Few

Adams feared the aristocrats (the elite). Jefferson feared the monarchs.  Each thought the other an existential threat. Evan after the constitution was signed  we were unclear what kind of government we had and what kind we wanted.  We have been trying to complete the job every since.

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Is Our Constitution Inadequate?

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.  Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.  Our Constitution…

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