The 'violence of faction' in Wisconsin

Let's all continue to root for and support Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker, who's doing heroic work to make his capital worthy of the founder who provided the city its name.

Walker is fighting a battle against public union negotiating rights so entrenched that his opponents feel entitled to compare the governor to fascist dictators.  In fact, Walker is merely trying to neuter the bankrupting policy of collective bargaining foisted on his state by those intense interests comprising the type of  faction, that Madison believed could be best controlled through the establishment of a large republic. Madison wrote in the 3,000-word Federalist Paper No. 10, perhaps the most celebrated and most philosophical of the entire collection:

Among numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.... 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.

The public union's "impulse of passion" has been laid bare for all to see.  The perks that they enjoy, clearly "adversed to the rights of other citizens" allowed them to walk away from their teaching duties while remaining fully paid.  During their sleeping bag fest, as they occupied the capital building, the other "interests in the community" were unable to send their children to school.  

These citizens probably had to spend inordinate sums on day care while they went to work earning 80% of the salaries commanded by the strikers, exclusive of lavish benefits. 

Such is the "violence of faction."

Claude can be reached at