by Tim Baldwin, Liberty Defense League
What is the source of political parties?
As much as some citizens may disdain “party politics”, parties originate from human nature. James Madison described our nature to form political parties this way,
The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere… A zeal for different opinions concerning…government…have, in turn, divided mankind into parties… So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. Federalist Paper (FP)10.
Added to human nature, history shows that there is not a notable political event that did not involve parties accomplishing the political end, but in America this is especially true. Parties are what create political pressure for substantive change. This raises the next question.
Are political parties necessary to restore liberty in a stable, peaceful manner?
Yes. Try to imagine a political movement without a political party advancing that movement. Reason and experience reveal that political parties are the only method of getting candidates of similar principles into office. By comparison, if a “nation cannot long exist without revenues” (Alexander Hamilton, FP 12), how can liberty candidates get elected without organization and funding? Following the logic, how can a nation long exist if liberty candidates do not routinely get elected?
Madison explained this, stating that where political parties do not exist, we are on the brink or in the middle of disaster. He said in FP 50, “an extinction of parties necessarily implies either a universal alarm for the public safety, or an absolute extinction of liberty” (emphasis added). As the “vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty” (Hamilton, FP 1), so are political parties. Madison showed that political parties hold an essential function in a free society and how we cannot ignore their importance and still have a positive effect for liberty. Madison’s description of political parties’ importance raises the next point.
Madison’s test: “universal alarm for public safety” and “absolute extinction of liberty”.
Neither extreme condition exists in America. Also, neither condition should be confused with government corruption. From the founder’s point of view, government corruption does not equate to a universal alarm for public safety or an extinction of liberty. Observing Great Britain, Hamilton said in FP 8, “[t]his peculiar felicity of situation [that is, the lack of internal war] has…contributed to preserve the liberty which that country to this day enjoys, in spite of the prevalent venality and corruption.” Throughout the Federalist Papers, the Federalists described what liberty was; given their definition, America still holds a lot of liberty, in spite of corruption.
Still, there are some who claim America is “absolutely extinction of liberty”; namely, our country is controlled entirely by elitists and globalists. Literally theorized, nothing of any significance happens without their manipulation and import. To them, the Republicans and Democrats (and those who support them) are party to this public alarm and extinction of liberty. Continue reading …