Saving Us from Our Degenerate Selves

The Founders, in the Enlightenment spirit that sought to breathe life into the sage wisdom of the ancients, intended to found a mixed regime consisting of a popularly elected House of Representatives (the "Low") and a quasi-Aristocratic body (rule of the best -- the "High") for the Senate. Their theory undergirding an indirectly elected and longer empowered Senate was that such an entity should be an aristocratic depository of wisdom and political memory and not subject to the capricious appetites and passions of the demos. Both Aristotle and Plato informed political philosophy of the turbulence of direct democracy and its tendency towards anarchy or tyranny as the form inevitably degenerated. Consequently, the melding of both "high and low" would lead to a structure of moderation and equilibrium tending towards incremental change and stability under a rule of law in a regime of limited governmental prerogative. As the tension between the aristoi and the demos has devolved during our...(Read Full Post)