Factions and Orders: from Machiavelli to Madison
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CitationKimlee, Sungho. 2017. Factions and Orders: from Machiavelli to Madison. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractSince antiquity, thinkers have held that every society consists of two hostile orders – the few and the many. But they have disagreed on the proper method for defusing this civic divide, and their various proposed remedies can be classified into three approaches. The first approach aims to eliminate the division between the rich and the poor by abolishing private property. Plato’s Republic inaugurated this method, which was later embraced with ambivalence by Thomas More and vigorously defended by Karl Marx. The second approach merely aims to contain the harmful effects of the binary civic divide. Plato proposed two methods for accomplishing this in the Laws: (1) Lycurgan agrarian laws combined with Solonic property regulations; and (2) mixing in the constitution principles favored by the few (proportional equality) and by the many (numerical equality). Plutarch championed the first method, and Aristotle the second.
My dissertation traces the genealogy of the third approach – the method of supplanting the binary civic divide with more numerous divisions. This oft-neglected method was pioneered by Rousseau, who prescribed the creation of artificial divisions by the state as a remedy for majority factions. His debt to Machiavelli’s analysis of humors (umori) is studied in the first part of this dissertation. Part two examines Rousseau’s notion of partial associations and reveals that this concept refers to major civic divides, not voluntary associations. In the last part, I show that Rousseau’s remedy for social divisions provided the theoretical framework for Madison’s celebrated analysis of factions.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42061469
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