the unique genius of the American political Constitution

A former Professor of mine is currently contributing to a blog which seems to be an effort to recover the uniqueness and greatness of American republicanism in the minds of its readers. It comes highly recommended. Click here to check it out.

Here is a taste:
For Machiavelli, and those won over by his lively political philosophy, politics was and always has been a struggle for importance between the haves and the have nots. Moving forward, the haves would be granted a higher designation as long as they kept the have nots “satisfied and stupefied” with bread and circuses. The have nots should not expect to rule but should happily accept a pleasant form of mediocrity in which their patrimony was made secure. In essence, everyone was a have and a have not in Machiavelli’s schema.

If one accepts the premise that the American founders understood the creation of the American republic as simply another chapter in this Machiavellian novel on politics, than it is possible to imagine that we are as republican now as we were then, that leaders and led have always enjoyed a symbiotic relationship at the expense of liberty.

But part of what we are attempting to show on this blog is that American republicanism (referenced in Tuesday’s posting in John Adams’ definition of a political body in which leaders and led ascribe to an empire of laws rather than an empire of men) is a different species of republicanism than Machiavellian republicanism. While American republicanism is challenged by the lingering effect of Machiavelli’s reformulation of politics, it is not beyond our reach as Americans to re-acquire the knowledge and sentiments that first gave it life. We’re not where we need to be because these timeless principles are covered in muck and mire. Yet we’re not completely lost because these timeless principles are.

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