Cary and Justin return with a heated debate. In doing so, they cleverly divide themselves into factions when discussing Federalist No. 10 in which Madison discusses the impact of factions on the government. The guys agree that factions are inevitable, but how do we handle them? Madison was clear that a large democratic republic is necessary to protect the liberty of the individual or minority group from the tyranny of the majority. Was Madison prophetic, or horribly misguided? The guys debate how Madison’s theory holds up over time, and the best course to take in the modern political arena.
In this episode Cary and Justin answer listener questions. Justin discusses what happened to Jay between Federalist No. 5 and No. 64. Cary informs us all about what he was eating while recording an earlier episode. The guys will return next time with their analysis of Federalist No. 10.
Don’t forget everyone; Hamilton knows about Greece and Rome. Hamilton begins his arguments in Federalist Paper No. 9 with another reference to Greek and Roman democracies to establish his historical “street-cred”. He then points to how the science of politics has evolved, and how the Anti-Federalists have mischaracterized the arguments of Montesquieu. The guys discuss Montesquieu, and how his ideas provided a foundation for the Constitution. Justin points out Hamilton seems to suggest that while democratic theories at the time provided the Federalists with a foundation for the Constitution, in time the Constitution may provide future peoples with a similar starting point. Hamilton argues that the Constitution allows the people to benefit from the advantages of a large federal system, but ensures we will avoid the trappings predicted by Montesquieu. Cary asks, “Can we have our cake and eat it too?”
In this episode Cary and Justin address Hamilton’s concerns that if the States fail to unite, they will devolve into a state of perpetual militarization and war between themselves. Cary discusses why large states like New York need to be concern with the smaller states. Hamilton warns of the dangers of over militarization, and how this can lead to the suppression of liberty and personal freedoms. Justin discusses how Hamilton’s themes resonate today with the case of Rumsfeld vs. Padilla, and former President Eisenhower’s Farwell address. The guys disagree on whether Hamilton would be able to take the positions he advocates in Federalist No. 8 today. Did the Napoleonic Wars negate Hamilton’s position about how countries use their military forces? Is Hamilton’s message of unity still valid, and perhaps even more critical, today? Cary turns away from Hamilton, and looks to The Leviathan and The Watchmen for answers. In the end, the guys remind us, “There's no crying in [the geopolitical arena]!”
Can you hear us now Mr. Hamilton? The guys are back with improved audio after having recovered from Hamilton’s mental melee in Federalist No. 6. In this episode, Justin and Cary discuss how the states at the time are like modern day children fighting over an iPad. Hamilton references the Pennamite-Yankee Wars between the citizens of Pennsylvania and Connecticut as an example of why a stronger federal government is needed. Justin questions if doing so was a blunder, or a bold strategic move. Cary delves into New York’s anger towards Vermont. While Hamilton envisions arguments over the payments of debt, Cary sees the parallel to arguments over payments for college pizza. Not so fast colonial Rhode Island! The guys have plenty of vitriol for you as well!
Justin and Cary welcome Hamilton back to the debate. Hamilton returns with a litany of historical references, and at times seems annoyed with having to spell things out for the Anti-Federalists. The guys break through the references to Hamilton’s basic arguments that individuals can cause nation states to have conflict with each other, and that the Anti-federalists are wrong to assume commercial republics are immune from war. But has history proven the Anti-Federalists right? Or at least more correct than Hamilton would have you believe? Justin and Cary analyze whether Hamilton’s references are effective. In the end, Justin critiques Hamilton’s debate style, and Cary concludes by congratulating Hamilton for overwhelmingly debunking the Anti-Federalists’ weakest argument.
In this episode, John Jay walks right into the Anti-Federalists’ critique after once again overselling a historical reference. This time it’s the Scottish union to England. The Anti-Federalists respond on behalf of the proverbial “common man”. Can Jay handle their populist arguments? Jay warns of America’s decent into another version of Europe, and argues how the powers of Europe at the time would have preferred a fractured America. He believes the Articles of Confederation sets America up for failure, while the Anti-Federalists claim “user error”. The Anti-Federalists focus on diffusing power back to the people. Cary points out that if Jay had time travel, he could have borrowed Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ Bad-Man Theory to shut the Anti-Federalists down. In the end, Jay earns a well deserved respite from Justin and Cary’s continuous attacks.
Contrary to modern economic theory, in Jay’s mind, international markets are a zero-sum game. There are winners, and there are losers. Although Jay attempts to focus on economic concerns in No. 4, he just can’t help but return to his foreign policy arguments. He pays the price as Cary calls him out for rehashing his earlier points. Cary dives into Jay’s reference to “just causes of war” by explaining Thomas Aquinas’ three factor test. The focus shifts to foreign trade, debt, and the critical role of America’s codfish industry. As Cary aptly points out, there were not may W-2s issued at the time. Who knew the codfish helped to secure our nation?
In this episode, the doctors of NYC flee, shots are fired, and severe head trauma ensues (in 1788 no less)! All of this before we find out how the Sultanate of Morocco ties into Federalist No. 3. The guys continue their critique of Jay, allowing for only a modicum of relief due to his injuries, before attacking Jay’s hypothesis that our new country will be led by philosopher kings and warrior poets. The Anti-Federalists are heard to cry foul at Jay’s straw man argument. And in the end, Jay concludes by asking, “Does anyone really want to end up like Genoa?”
After Justin launches an assault on John Jay's depiction of American life in October 1787, Cary has to come to Jay's aide. While the guys agree with Jay's assertion that the thirteen states had rivers and traded goods, debate remains as to Jay's intent in his depiction of a homogonous citizenry. Was John Jay a “man of his time” trying to appeal to commonality, or a purveyor of “alternate facts” who argues for a government based upon a homogeneous people? "Farwell [Mr. Jay]!, A long farwell to all [your] greatness!"