Liberty Blog

Our Founders' Warning: Factions

November 13, 2018

 

One of the greatest things our founding fathers warned us about, were factions and a 2 party system. Our founders were very concerned with and feared a nation be divided by countless factions seeking control over the government, and parties pitted against one another working merely against each other, instead of for the nation.

John Adams once said, “The two party system is “the greatest political evil under our constitution.” “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the Republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.”

George Washington also made a statement against factions during his farewell address. In Washington’s farewell address he said “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”

So what are factions? Factions aren’t just your typical Democrat v Republican parties. Factions include Conservatives, Liberals, Progressives, Antifa, KKK, or otherwise. Factions are any group of people that compete for their ideology. These factions compete for power, just to give themselves more power. What happens when your faction loses power? Your rights, your freedoms all begin to be violated by the new faction in power, that has been granted more authority than it should have under our Constitution.

In Federalist Papers #9, Alexander Hamilton put a great contrast on our Constitutional Republic towards the old Republics of Greece and Rome. The division that the great factions within their republic caused, with assassinations, war, and otherwise plaguing their nations as they compete for power. He stated how it is impossible to look at these republics without horror and disgust with the distractions they continually agitated and revolutions to follow. He then went on to note that in all of these cases, these factions lead to despotism, rather than the liberty that these republics were originally designed for.

During this explanation by Alexander Hamilton, he began to explain the importance of separating powers of government into their distinct branches in order to curtail the balance of power shifting too heavily towards a “ruling faction”.

 
In Federalist Papers #10, Alexander Hamilton went on to note how in a well constructed Union, one of the strongest advantages, is the ability to break and control a violent faction. He described a faction as “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. “

When you look at the United States today, it is clear that our Founding Fathers’ warning has gone unheard. We are a nation divided by 2 parties, and each party has numerous factions under it further dividing us.

If we wish to regain this nation, we need unity, not division. We have to unite behind the Constitution, throw away party line politics, throw away the factions and restore the original intent of this nation so that we can live free from government overreach from either side.

 

 

 

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