Advancing a Free Society

Madison on Class Warfare

Monday, November 14, 2011

James Madison was the Father of the U.S. Constitution. Madison, more than any other of the Constitutional framers, insisted on limited government. Madison argued that the Constitution’s task was to limit the powers of government:  “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Few today know that Madison’s greatest fear was of an “overbearing majority” that would act against minorities. Madison and the other founding fathers used the separation of powers and the protection of private property (the Fifth Amendment) to rein in out-of-control majorities. In Madison’s words: “Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”

Continue reading Paul Gregory…