Friday, November 30, 2012

Controlling Self-Interest: Reinhold Niebuhr and James Madison

American founding father, James capital of Wisconsin, and twentieth deoxycytidine monophosphate theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, write about government from two very different perspectives. Madison, a rationalist from the age of enlightenment, had an optimistic view of the possibilities of a popular government that was formulated during the early days of a offspring nation. On the other hand, Niebuhr, writing more(prenominal) than a century and a half later, critiques a democratic government that has been in place for generations. Both agree that overbearing self-interest is needful in inn to have a functioning, well-organized government and society. Madison speaks in favor of expanding the role of the federal government because he believes that to do so would improve the quality of the elected representatives and cut the occurrence of harmful juntos. He defines a faction as a group of citizens whose common interest either limits the rights of others, or causes permanent damage to the greater community. He further contends that the mischefs of faction can be dealt with by removing its causes and/or by controlling its effects. His cure for factionalism cannot be successful by either destroying liberty, or attempting to instill the same thoughts, feelings and priorities in the populace, because that is both unwise and impracticable.
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However, he suggests that limiting dissent can be most in effect achieved through greater representation in government. That is to say, that the more opinions, passions, and interests represent in Congress, the less need there will be for factions operating outside the government. Madison clearly believes that a republican form of government will be far more successful that a pure democracy. Niebuhr labels democracy a capitalist ideology, which represents middle class viewpoints. While he has a deep appreciation for democracy, and the optimism of its founders, he suggests that a certain do of wisdom has been lost due to a secular forswearing of the doctrine of... If you want to get a full essay, order it on our website: Orderessay

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