It’s been the progressive agenda (which grew out of the nationalist agrarian movement of the late 1800’s early 1900’s) for over a hundred years…
No. 10 Is The Best Federalist Paper, And That’s Why The Left Hates It So Much
“The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it,…the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression…Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will…invade the rights of other citizens.” — James Madison, Federalist No. 10
Thomas Jefferson called The Federalist Papers “the best commentary on the principles of government, which was ever written.” It was true then, and remains true today. The masterpiece of American political thought began as a series of newspaper opinion pieces encouraging Americans to ratify the Constitution. The 85 essays were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym “Publius.”
For the past century and more, one of Madison’s essays, the tenth Federalist, has taken center stage, and the quoted passage above presents, very briefly, Madison’s most famous argument in No. 10. An extended republic of the kind the Founders envisioned, Madison argues, has a built-in feature that safeguards the rights of its citizens arising from the very nature of the society itself. Because there will be many “parties and interests,” the rights of citizens will be safer than in a republic confined to a small society.
Madison’s argument is quite straightforward. Here is the central claim: a small republic can offer no solution to the problem of a majority faction oppressing the minority. Think of it in this way: we can imagine the elected government of a republic of Manhattan Island with today’s population outlawing the ownership of automobiles by private citizens and rescinding the tax-exempt status of churches. But “extend the sphere” of the republic to include voters who live in rural Texas and in Bible Belt states, and assembling a like-minded national majority in support of those policies becomes a much more difficult challenge.