“The modern undergraduate assigned The Federalist Papers usually makes the reasonable assumption that faction is dangerous because political fragmentation and contentiousness are to be avoided. The real point of Federalist 10 is counterintuitive: Republicanism is imperiled when society is not fragmented enough. The danger of faction is majority faction, which can employ all the mechanisms of democratic government to oppress whomever it wishes. Whenever a majority faction is united by an economic interest, sectional attachment or religious belief, it always consists of the same citizens. It will quickly become clear to those in the majority, as they win vote after vote on issue after issue, that democracy, as such, does not compel them to respect the rights of those in the minority, since the majority’s constituents have little reason to fear they will ever find themselves in the minority. The citizens in the minority, with no realistic prospect of ever being in the majority, will just as quickly realize that the democratic process jeopardizes their rights, at the very least, and ultimately operates as the engine of their oppression. The bleak realization that they will never win an election gives the minority reason to seek power by undemocratic measures, not necessarily excluding violent ones.”

Excerpt From: William Voegeli. “Never Enough.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/-hmaC.l


What an insight: protection of the minority leads to a more stable and less violent political system.