Tuesday, October 30, 2018

William Hogeland — What Did the Founders Mean by “Democracy”?

The thing that almost all of the framers really agreed on is that a broad franchise for electing representatives makes things too responsive to the popular will; and that even where the franchise is appropriately, in their view, restricted to white men with sufficient property, with even more property required for standing for office, a legislature unchecked by a more elite upper house still makes things too responsive. New ideas were out there. They urged not direct democracy but access to the representative franchise for unpropertied men, as well as the establishment of representative legislatures unchecked by upper houses. The framers disparaged those ideas as “democracy,” along with the state legislatures in which those ideas found expression and the people pushing for them.
Hogeland posts here
What Did the Founders Mean by “Democracy”?
William Hogeland


Matt Franko said...

Don’t tell me...

They meant it’s what we have when the left wins and what we don’t have when the right wins maybe ???.

Tony Wikrent said...

Hogeland is the crank who smears Alexander Hamilton and appears utterly incapable of understanding the history of science, technology, and how Enlightenment ideas spread slowly but inexorably, making the transition from feudalism to republicanism a painfully convoluted and complex story. This history can be easily misunderstood and misinterpreted because the "good" faction was always compelled to compromise some of its principles in order to achieve political results. While Hogeland is correct when he writes that the wrong-wing argument of "democracy versus republic" is misleading and mostly false, he is unable effectively defend republicanism because he, like most leftists, dismiss the accomplishments of the USA founders as just a continuation of elite rule. They thereby cripple themselves intellectually by cutting themselves off from any understanding of the Enlightenment and its political culmination in the establishment of the American republic.