Discussion Board 6.2


  1. What concept that we have already discussed does “faction” remind you of?
  2. According to Federalist #10 (written by James Madison), what is the source of wealth (private property)? What factor explains why some people get to possess wealth by owning private property, and others don’t (thus remaining poor)? This is a key question, because it shows how the authors of the Constitution thought about the difference between different classes of Americans! HINT: focus on the passage that begins: “The diversity in the faculties (WHAT DOES FACULTIES mean or refer to?) of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not les….”
  3. Do you agree with this explanation of wealth and poverty?
  4. What is the core mission (“first object”) of the US government? Does this surprise you, does it sound different from what our society today seems to suggest the core mission of the government is? Explain.
  5. Given the discussion in questions 1-4, are you surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy, and supports a Republican (representative) form of government? Why would d the author dislike a (pure) democratic form of government? Hint: think about how this question connects with the social classes…

D.B 6.2 – Justine Lazdina

  1. What concept that we have already discussed does “faction” remind you of?

-The two concepts that remind me of “faction” that we have already discussed in this course is social class and political parties. They are essentially groups of people that find themselves desiring similar things and opposing other groups who desire something different.

Ex: Republicans vs Democrats or Capitalists vs Working-Class.

2. According to Federalist #10 (written by James Madison), what is the source of wealth (private property)? What factor explains why some people get to possess wealth by owning private property, and others don’t (thus remaining poor)? This is a key question, because it shows how the authors of the Constitution thought about the difference between different classes of Americans! HINT: focus on the passage that begins: “The diversity in the faculties (WHAT DOES FACULTIES mean or refer to?) of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not les….”

-According to Federalist #10, by James Madison, the source of wealth/private property is the “faculties” of men. Faculties mainly refers to ones inherent abilities like intellect and behavior. Madison believes that since some people possess a higher intellect they are able to make better decisions for themselves and others, decisions that control their behavior leading them to favorable outcomes, i.e wealth. Essentially, he believes that some people remain poor because they are inferior. This way of thinking sounds a lot like eugenics.

3. Do you agree with this explanation of wealth and poverty?

-Not necessarily, there is some truth in the idea that we are not all equal in our abilities – some of us are smarter, stronger, faster, etc.- but this fails to address the reality of inequality within society. Since most wealth is generational, we should ask exactly how was it accrued in the first place? A lot of it was taken by force from others, not by those with superior faculties, but by those willing to harm for their own gain.

4. What is the core mission (“first object”) of the US government? Does this surprise you, does it sound different from what our society today seems to suggest the core mission of the government is? Explain.

-The core mission or “first object” of the US government is the protection of faculties of men who are deemed superior; the wealthy. It is to protect the interests of the capitalist class, especially from those they are exploiting.

-This does surprise me quite a bit, since our society today suggests that the core mission of the government is the protection of ALL of its citizens. Government is supposed to take care of us which is why we pay taxes.

5. Given the discussion in questions 1-4, are you surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy, and supports a Republican (representative) form of government? Why would d the author dislike a (pure) democratic form of government? Hint: think about how this question connects with the social classes…

-I am not surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of a democracy, and instead supports representative form of government. Since these representatives are part of the capitalist class, and will fight to protect their interests. Whereas, a pure democratic form of government would allow ALL of its citizen’s voices to be heard, and since the majority of those voices are working class, they would vote in their favor which would be against the capitalists interests.

Zhongquan

  1. Ruse, balance, and party struggles.
  2. Property rights come from the diverse faculties of people.
  3. If faculties are one of the factors of their wealth, then this sentence can be called relative truth. If wealth only depends on faculties, then I don’t agree with this sentence, because there is no absolute truth.
  4. One question. What is the purpose of establishing a unified central government? A consensus was reached on this issue before the constitutional representatives arrived in Philadelphia. That is to protect property rights. This consensus is also the reason for the War of Independence and the convening of the Constituent Assembly. The purpose of the war of independence was to get rid of the rule of the suzerain Britain and recover the destroyed property rights. Later, because of the Shays’ rebellion and other events, these property owners realized that it was necessary to have a government that could protect property rights. So there is The convening of the Philadelphia Constituent Assembly.
  5. I am not surprised by their opinion. On the contrary, I abuse the term democracy against some countries and some people feel surprised, causing many people to talk about democracy every day, but they don’t know what “democracy” is. What is “democracy”. It is very simple-the minority obeys the majority. If you know the original meaning of democracy, you can think about this issue better. If the minority obeys the majority, what about the interests of the minority? Will this cause the tyranny of the majority? Will it cause the exaggeration of social contradictions? On the contrary, the meaning of a republic is the same as most people’s views on democracy. What was the original Latin definition of the word “republic”? Citizen’s public affairs. That is, the governance of the country is the common cause of all citizens. The government must serve the interests of everyone, not just the interests of a few or the majority. At the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, delegates always referred to the proposed US government as a “republican government” or a “liberal government” instead of the “democratic government” commonly used by Americans and even people around the world today. The reason why the American founding fathers do not like democracy is that they fear that the tyranny of the majority will infringe on their private property. This view can also be seen in the US Constitution. Can ordinary citizens of the United States directly elect the president? Can citizens of the United States remove the president?

Ignacio Salas on Federalist paper #10

1. Faction reminds me of what classes are, where factions are defined as a certain number of citizens, these ones being either a majority or a minority, who act in for the same interests or passions, that are contrarian to the interests and passions of the other faction.

2. According to James Madison in Federalist paper #10, the source of wealth, strongly depends on the faculties of men, these abilities are an obstacle to a uniformity, because they don’t come on the same level, this being a key factor in why some individuals are able to be wealthy and others to stay poor.

3. I agree, but, if you have the abilities of becoming wealthy and were born in a certain class or a certain race, or a certain gender, and the tools and rights of those individuals are limited in comparison with others, because of the system they are in, it obviously makes it more difficult, furthermore, the ignorance of these limitations would simply make individuals deduce, that because of those factors, certain individuals are not able of producing wealth.

4. The core mission of the U.S. government is to protect these faculties of becoming wealthy, as they create unequal groups of citizens that can be split into more groups with different interests, and this gives, to the owners of wealth a better option to stay where they are. It doesn’t surprise me as the fact that living in a federation, this is very easy to maintain, because as of today is still the core mission of the government.

5. No, I’m not surprised because, first, James Madison was a federalist, wealth owner and writer of this statement, and second, he saw majority factions as inferior, he thought factions could misbehave, and he saw these misbehaviors as a disease, nevertheless, he came to the conclusion that the causes that made factions to misbehave were inevitable and the only cure was controlling the effects of these ones, so democracy for him was the least one of the cures for this disease, therefore, a republican type of government was the best way, to benefit his goals of staying in power and protecting the wealth of the smaller faction.

Discussion Board 6.2 Hongtao Fu

1.What concept that we have already discussed does “faction” remind you of?

The only concept we have discussed is social class. Which I believe is what is this “faction” referring to.

2.According to Federalist #10 (written by James Madison), what is the source of wealth (private property)? What factor explains why some people get to possess wealth by owning private property, and others don’t (thus remaining poor)?

I really don’t know I guess some people are just more smart and ambitious while the rest only want to work a job and get by.

3.Do you agree with this explanation of wealth and poverty?

I agree that a person is entitled to a reward that matches his/her ability and devotion. Yet only addressing the morally acceptable concept of “No pain no gain” and ignoring the darker fact about capitalist exploitation is a bad attempt of sophistry.

4.What is the core mission (“first object”) of the US government? Does this surprise you, does it sound different from what our society today seems to suggest the core mission of the government is? Explain.

The core mission of the US government is to protect the interest of the owning class. It did surprises me but I quickly had the realization of course it was this way. The top 1 percent owns more than the rest of 90 percent of us combined. In a way, we don’t matter to the advancement of humanity. Society suggests self-made fortune, politics and social causes are all distractions to keep us busy. This bleak realization is probably going to haunt me for years.

5.Given the discussion in questions 1-4, are you surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy, and supports a Republican (representative) form of government? Why would d the author dislike a (pure) democratic form of government? Hint: think about how this question connects with the social classes…

By now I am not surprise of the intention of the author anymore. The author dislike the pure democratic society because it will endanger the position of the the owning class. Democracy is the weapon of the weak just like guns are just as deadly in the hand of a child as in the hand of a grown-up man. Only more deadly since the working class has far more majority in numbers.

Federalist #10

What concept that we have already discussed does “faction” remind you of?

The concept of faction reminds me of the prior definition of classes. In Federalist Paper #10 its stated :  “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community”(Madison, 1). Thereafter, faction is basically this group of society that has any other interest different to the ones of the owning class. Hence, just like in Marx differentiates between the owning class and the employees. In this paper there is a differentiation between “faction” and citizens. 

According to Federalist #10 (written by James Madison), what is the source of wealth (private property)? What factor explains why some people get to possess wealth by owning private property, and others don’t (thus remaining poor)? 

According to Madison, the source of wealth is the faculties of men. This term refers to that which has been inherited, their position in the world also it refers to the capacities that people have and how they reflect on what they get to own and not. Moreover, this is described by Madison as something unavoidable and that those who own want to perpetuate for themselves. To conclude, the Federalist paper #10 is nothing more but the representation of how the owning class has explained their situation while persuading others with wealth that protecting it is and will always be their priority. 

Do you agree with this explanation of wealth and poverty?

I do not agree with it. Again, after all the readings I’ve come to realize wealth has to be more about what you have inherited than what the capacity to get for yourself by your own means. Thus, wealth is nothing else but a reflection of the perpetuation of a system that allows you to keep that what others have earned with their labour to oneself.

What is the core mission (“first object”) of the US government? Does this surprise you, does it sound different from what our society today seems to suggest the core mission of the government is? Explain.

According to Parenti : “government is there to see that those who have a talent for getting rich are not hampered in any way by those who might be made poor in the process” (Parenti, 7) In other words, the core mission of the US government since the Constitution was written has been to protect the wealth of the owning class as well as provide them the tools to become wealthier. Furthermore, It does sound very different to what society suggests about how the government and the taxes are used to fight the financial inequalities that people in this country have. On the opposite, there is not a real intention of the governmental institutions but to protect the interest of the wealthy and as Madison claims “control the effects of the faction”.

Given the discussion in questions 1-4, are you surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy, and supports a Republican (representative) form of government? Why would d the author dislike a (pure) democratic form of government? Hint: think about how this question connects with the social classes…

Given the discussion, I am not surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy. It is clear that Madison, just by the fact that he has been able to be writing that paper proves that he belongs to the owning class. Hence, Madison is not in favor of a democracy because it goes against the interests of his class. A pure democratic form of government means that inequalities all citizens get to participate which creates obstacles and is not beneficial for the owning class However, a Republic or a representative type of government offers a scheme where the faction or the employees don’t get to be heard as much. As a result, a republican type of government becomes more suitable in order to protect the interest of the wealthy or in words of Madison it : “opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking” (Madison, 1).

Federalist #10

  1. What concept that we have already discussed does “faction” remind you of?

Faction reminds me of both social classes and the worker vs. capitalist owner divide.

  1. According to Federalist #10 (written by James Madison), what is the source of wealth (private property)? What factor explains why some people get to possess wealth by owning private property, and others don’t (thus remaining poor)?

James Madison believed that the division between those who amass wealth and those who do not is in their mental abilities and worthiness of wealth. Thus those who are wealthy are more intelligent and deserve to remain protected from those who are poor and lazy, with less worthy interests. Also, if those who are wealthy are more intelligent, they deserve to make the rules not just for them, but for the poor who are unable to truly know what is best for them.

  1. Do you agree with this explanation of wealth and poverty?

No; this is an absurd justification. Wealth is tied to violence, place within social hierarchy, and therefore generational. Because wealth accumulates through the exploitation of others rather than any value one person is able to contribute, it can’t be a measure of intelligence or hard work but of the cruelty of the capitalist in charge.

  1. What is the core mission (“first object”) of the US government? Does this surprise you, does it sound different from what our society today seems to suggest the core mission of the government is? Explain.

The core mission of the US government seems to be the “protection of these faculties”, or the protection of differing thought. This is somewhat surprising, but makes sense as freedom of speech is a big point of pride and contention today. Even though Madison writes that this protection is the goal, he then proposes that protection doesn’t mean equality of weight; this is really protection of thought of the minority (again, white wealthy males) against the majority, and not protection of any majority, as would be most valued in a true democracy.

  1. Given the discussion in questions 1-4, are you surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy, and supports a Republican (representative) form of government? Why would the author dislike a (pure) democratic form of government? Hint: think about how this question connects with the social classes…

I am not surprised that Madison supported a representative government. He writes for the protection of thought, but only because he is threatened by the implications for him and the other upper class white males if the majority were allowed a direct say. A republic controls for the dissenting majority because only those with similar fiscal interests would be able to take office, so the voices of the majority “faction” would be watered down through the lens of the elites until their say was insignificant.

Discussion Board 6.2 SaiLungCash Jeung

1.”Factions” remind me of political parties, a group of people gathered together to protect and promote their economic interests and political views.

2.According to Federalist #10, the source of wealth is human abilities. He believes that talent and wisdom can get more wealth. The rich have enough funds to train talents, so the born rich are still rich. But the poor did not have the funds to train talents at the beginning, so those born in poverty are still poor.

3.I agree with the author’s explanation of wealth and poverty, because now the gap between rich and poor has not changed, and people born in rich families are still rich, but most people in poor families are still poor.

4.The core mission (“first object”) of the US government is protecting the interests of the rich, which does not surprise me, because the means of production and commodities are private in capitalism, so they will choose to protect their wealth. Moreover, the core mission of the government is different in today’s society, because now the government also provides welfare and assistance to the working class, but the gap between the rich and the workers has not changed.

5.I am not surprised that Federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy, and supports a Republican (representative) form of government.Because he believes that the republic can protect the interests of the wealthy class. The author dislikes a (pure) democratic form of government because the proportion of workers is very large.He believes that a democratic government will take away personal property rights, which is unfair to a small number of wealthy classes.

DB 6.2

  1. I would consider wealthy land owners a faction. They operated closely and wanted the same things: acquire wealth and hold on to it with minimal interference from the government and the working class.

2. According to this reading, faculties seems to highlight the makings of a person. Their personal qualities.  Referring to reading 6.1 those who happened to be “wellborn” were fortunate enough to inherit family property and continue on the ownership. Those who were not fortunate enough will be relegated to working jobs and staying saddled with debt to the wealthy. The poor were thought of as “poor spend-thrifts” who mismanaged their finances. They were not seen as potential wealth builders and thus seen as passing on that legacy to their future generations.

3. During those times, options may have been limited as far as acquiring wealth. Institutions were not giving opportunities to the working poor. The working poor were seen as unfortunate mishaps with no hope of changing their future circumstances. I believe acquiring and maintaining wealth is much easier once you are born into it. But there is also a chance to cross-over with discipline.

4. It seems the first object pertains to protecting the differences of man.  In reading 6.3 Madison mentions “the diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests.”I think that means the different faculties about men should not impose on their right own property. This does sound different from the objective of government today. Government today talks about freedom for all citizens, ample opportunities, and non-discrimination.

5. Initially, I thought Federalist #10 was in favor of democracy. But then I realized he was merely explaining objectively the differences between democracy and republics and how wealthy land owners would not approve of such systems. I can see how a democratic government would not serve a wealthy citizen’s needs. A democracy would force property owners to consider the needs of the working class, whom they do not respect. Why should I care about the needs of a class of people I feel are beneath me?

Nikita Vasilyev – D.B. 6.2

  1. The definition of faction, especially “number of citizens…united…by some common impulse or passion” reminds me of our ‘class’ concept – in both instances one part of the society is predisposed to have interests that are “adversed to the rights of other citizens”.
  2. According to Federalist #10, the “faculties of men” are the source of wealth – i.e., one’s intelligence, class position, inheritance and other predetermined qualities of a human being that define upward mobility and prescribe a certain life to an individual. In a very implicit way Federalist #10 prescribes belonging to a social class as a predominant factor in success: the idea was that those who were born poor shall remain poor, those who were born rich shall remain rich. The “insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interest”, was expected to inevitably follow from the assumption that the classes were fundamentally different in their worldview – clearly, only the superior faction was allowed to be in the position of decision-making, simply because they had more capital and did not care for the opinions of others.
  3. This explanation of wealth and poverty could have been suitable 250 years ago as well as now, but the problem with that explanation is that it does not take into account the problems of the working class. Apparently, there has been no way to overcome the “diversity of the faculties of men” and no wonder – the Constitution has taken care of the position of the affluent class and the position of the working class by protecting the faculties of the former.
  4. The core mission of the US government did not take me by surprise – whether I look at the country of my origin or the history of other colonial territories, such as Congo, I can see the exact same system in place. The capitalist class possesses the means of production as well as commodities, makes sure that the working class is governed, rather governmented, and profits from slave or surplus labor, depending on the conditions of history. Of course, the working class is not happy about this status quo and the media keeps pacifying the masses by portraying governments (ironically calling those structures as representatives of the people) that are at odds with big corporations or, for that matter, with other governments while the hierarchy of classes is the same as 250 years ago without a chance for change. On the subject of “society” that presents us with a different framework, I would like to refer to Chomsky who argued that the so-called political “experts” or “critics” are connected to the government and, by definition, unable to produce a critical viewpoint  – all we have is incessant lip-service tautology.
  5. Lacking theoretical background, I was somewhat amazed that the American Democracy does not stand a simple background check, but the fact that the capitalist class perceives the working class as inferior and unworthy is not new – as we know, class affiliation predetermines one’s behavior towards another class. Whether one is a capitalist or a worker, the “Us or Them” philosophy has not changed – the capitalists resent “the rule by the common people” which could strip them from their privileges, while the workers detest capitalists for their abuse of surplus labor and restrictions that could lead to a transformation of a society. 

Discussion 6.2-Jasmin Amigon

1.The concept “faction” reminds me of the wealthy, meaning those who are more privileged than others in the political system. 

2.The source of wealth is the most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who own and those who are without property have formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, have created such discrimination.

3.No, I do not agree with the explanation of wealth and poverty because, in order for there to be an existence of wealth, there needs to be a lower level to maintain the balance. 

4.The first object is to preserve the interests of the wealthy. Reading 6.1 states “the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property” which shows that the first object was to protect the rights of private property owners.  

5.No, I am not surprised that federalist #10 is not in favor of democracy, and supports a republican form of government. Federalist #10 warns of the power of factions and competing interests over the US gov’t and since different people’s self-interests collide with others’, governments have to be capable to pass laws for the common good instead of any one specific group. In addition, a strong and united republic would be more effective than the individual states at controlling factions. James Madison believes that a republic is superior to a democracy because a democracy cannot prevent violence in factions. The author would dislike a democratic form of government because it would not preserve the rights of private property owners.