Publius, James Madison, one of our brave, mysterious triumvirate writers in The Federalist, made a great argument in Fed #10 about how a large republic creates a natural checks and balance among the people because diversity keeps one faction from taking over the whole democracy.
His argument to promote ratification of the federal Constitution seemed sound at that time. However, he, Hamilton, and Jay could never have dreamed of our postmodern era where after industrialization and expansion, we would be moved to someday progressing at warp speed into an internet age we now call globalism. To be sure, Fed #10 was written to appease minds that tyranny would not have a chance to rule in a large pluralistic culture like America full of multiple factions; however, Madison did not foresee this internet age in America.
Madison never suspected that one day certain factions in our land would use the media, internet, and judicial system to try to align our culture into a melting pot of secular progressivism, and that slowly the whole republic would start either fighting for or against this pull towards national anarchy, indeed a sort of tyranny led by secularists.
I wouldn’t say it was a failure to get the thirteen colonies to ratify the Federal Constitution of 1787. What I am implying, however, is that the original Madisonian Theory behind our Constitution no longer seems to apply in our fast-paced, information-driven, digital age where knowledge and battles over ideas happen daily, if not even hourly, and where evidence of cultural tyranny seems to be growing as secularists move to gain control over the republic.
Although Madison assumed our country would be so largely diverse that we would keep each other’s views in check, the reality is that the internet social media age has changed everything. Ironically, because of our large republic, those who side with angry liberal progressives are growing every day with media, and the movement of the people towards anarchy and anti-government respect is growing, a form of cultural tyranny, neither Hamilton or Madison could have foreseen.
1. Kernell, Samuel, and Steven S. Smith. Principles and Practice of American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 6th ed. Washington: CQ Press, 2016.