The Anti Oligarchy Constitution

The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution begins the work of recovering it and exploring its profound implications for our deeply unequal society and badly damaged democracy.

Author: Joseph Fishkin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 067498062X

Category: Law

Page: 640

View: 211

A bold call to reclaim an American tradition that argues the Constitution imposes a duty on government to fight oligarchy and ensure broadly shared wealth. Oligarchy is a threat to the American republic. When too much economic and political power is concentrated in too few hands, we risk losing the Òrepublican form of governmentÓ the Constitution requires. Today, courts enforce the Constitution as if it has almost nothing to say about this threat. But as Joseph Fishkin and William Forbath show in this revolutionary retelling of constitutional history, a commitment to prevent oligarchy once stood at the center of a robust tradition in American political and constitutional thought. Fishkin and Forbath demonstrate that reformers, legislators, and even judges working in this Òdemocracy of opportunityÓ tradition understood that the Constitution imposes a duty on legislatures to thwart oligarchy and promote a broad distribution of wealth and political power. These ideas led Jacksonians to fight special economic privileges for the few, Populists to try to break up monopoly power, and Progressives to fight for the constitutional right to form a union. During Reconstruction, Radical Republicans argued in this tradition that racial equality required breaking up the oligarchy of slave power and distributing wealth and opportunity to former slaves and their descendants. President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Dealers built their politics around this tradition, winning the fight against the Òeconomic royalistsÓ and Òindustrial despots.Ó But today, as we enter a new Gilded Age, this tradition in progressive American economic and political thought lies dormant. The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution begins the work of recovering it and exploring its profound implications for our deeply unequal society and badly damaged democracy.

The Anti Oligarchy Constitution

But we have lost sight of the idea that these are constitutional principles.These principles are rooted in a tradition we have forgotten - one that this Article argues we ought to reclaim.

Author: Joseph Fishkin

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category:

Page: 29

View: 265

America has awakened to the threat of oligarchy. While inequality has been growing for decades, the Great Recession has made clear its social and political consequences: a narrowing of economic opportunity, a shrinking middle class, and an increasingly entrenched wealthy elite. There remains broad agreement that it is important to avoid oligarchy and build a robust middle class. But we have lost sight of the idea that these are constitutional principles.These principles are rooted in a tradition we have forgotten - one that this Article argues we ought to reclaim. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, generations of reformers responded to moments of mounting class inequality and crises in the nation's opportunity structure with constitutional claims about equal opportunity. The gist of these arguments was that we cannot keep our constitutional democracy - our republican form of government - without constitutional restraints against oligarchy and a political economy that maintains a broad middle class, accessible to everyone. Extreme class inequality and oligarchic concentrations of power pose distinct constitutional problems, both in the economic sphere itself and because economic and political power are intertwined; a “moneyed aristocracy” or “economic royalists” may threaten the Constitution's democratic foundations. This Article introduces the characteristic forms of these arguments about constitutional political economy and begins to tell the story of anti-oligarchy as a constitutional principle. It offers a series of snapshots in time, beginning with the distinctive political economy of the Jacksonian Democrats and their vision of equal protection. We then move forward to Populist constitutionalism, the Progressives, and the New Deal. The Constitution meant different things to these movements in their respective moments, but all understood the Constitution as including some form of commitment to a political economy in which power and opportunity were dispersed among the people rather than concentrated in the hands of a few. We conclude with a brief discussion of how this form of constitutional argument was lost, and what might be at stake in recovering it.

Republicanism and the Constitution of Opportunity

This essay explains the constitutional basis of Joseph Fishkin and William Forbath's recent call for an "Anti-Oligarchy Constitution" and a "Constitution of Opportunity.

Author: Jack M. Balkin

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category:

Page: 20

View: 602

This essay explains the constitutional basis of Joseph Fishkin and William Forbath's recent call for an "Anti-Oligarchy Constitution" and a "Constitution of Opportunity." Fishkin and Forbath correctly argue that one cannot separate democracy and political freedom from a nation's political economy. They contend that public officials have a political duty to promote an inclusive and broad-based middle class, because economic independence is crucial to preserve democratic self-government.These claims are modern-day versions of a very old idea in the American constitutional tradition. This is the requirement of republican government, a basic principle of American constitutionalism that not only undergirds several different parts of the constitutional text but also has deep roots in the ideals of the founding generation.I describe several key features of republicanism and how a commitment to a republican political economy flows from them. Republican ideals like equal citizenship and opposition to oligarchy and aristocracy remain important and relevant in the twenty-first century, but inevitably they must take new forms. Because of what I have called "ideological drift," opponents of oligarchy and aristocracy in one generation are often co-opted into becoming the defenders of new forms in later years. And because of ideological drift, older versions of anti-oligarchy rhetoric can be captured by new aristocracies and oligarchies to defend and entrench their interests.As time goes on, corruption finds ever-new ways of entering the political system, weakening the institutions and practices that secure civic equality and representative democracy. The causes of corruption are not simply human frailty and fallenness. They also arise from social, demographic, and technological changes. These alter the meanings and practical effects of older social arrangements, offering ever-new opportunities for attaining and entrenching power. Hence republicanism, if it is to have a coherent and enduring set of political commitments, cannot be identified with a fixed set of social and economic arrangements. Instead, every generation must reconsider the terms of the nation's political economy, and remain vigilant to deal with new threats to self-rule.

Systemic Corruption

A bold new approach to combatting the inherent corruption of representative democracy This provocative book reveals how the majority of modern liberal democracies have become increasingly oligarchic, suffering from a form of structural ...

Author: Camila Vergara

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691211566

Category: Philosophy

Page: 312

View: 404

A bold new approach to combatting the inherent corruption of representative democracy This provocative book reveals how the majority of modern liberal democracies have become increasingly oligarchic, suffering from a form of structural political decay first conceptualized by ancient philosophers. Systemic Corruption argues that the problem cannot be blamed on the actions of corrupt politicians but is built into the very fabric of our representative systems. Camila Vergara provides a compelling and original genealogy of political corruption from ancient to modern thought, and shows how representative democracy was designed to protect the interests of the already rich and powerful to the detriment of the majority. Unable to contain the unrelenting force of oligarchy, especially after experimenting with neoliberal policies, most democracies have been corrupted into oligarchic democracies. Vergara explains how to reverse this corrupting trajectory by establishing a new counterpower strong enough to control the ruling elites. Building on the anti-oligarchic institutional innovations proposed by plebeian philosophers, she rethinks the republic as a mixed order in which popular power is institutionalized to check the power of oligarchy. Vergara demonstrates how a plebeian republic would establish a network of local assemblies with the power to push for reform from the grassroots, independent of political parties and representative government. Drawing on neglected insights from Niccolò Machiavelli, Nicolas de Condorcet, Rosa Luxemburg, and Hannah Arendt, Systemic Corruption proposes to reverse the decay of democracy with the establishment of anti-oligarchic institutions through which common people can collectively resist the domination of the few.

A Handbook of Greek Constitutional History

disaffection amongst her cities , in the later she was meeting the oligarchic hostility of Sparta . Thebes is a remarkable instance of the sacrifice of political proclivities to one great national object , and her polity is but a means ...

Author: Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Constitutional history

Page: 276

View: 444

1914. Greenidge writes in the Preface that this little book is meant to be of assistance to those who find difficulty in mastering what he has often regarded as the least attractive (probably because it is the least understood) portion of Greek history. Contents: Early Development of the Greek Constitutions through Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Tyranny to Constitutional Government; Colonisation-International Law; Classifications of Constitutions-Oligarchy; Mixed Constitutions; Democracy; Federal Governments; and Hellenism and the Fate of the Greek Constitutions. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

The Constitution of the Roman Republic

There is no other published book in English studying the constitution of the Roman Republic as a whole.

Author: Andrew William Lintott

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780198150688

Category: History

Page: 297

View: 798

Knowledge of Rome's political institutions is essential both for ancient historians and for those who study the contribution of Rome to the republican tradition of political thought from the Middle Ages to the revolutions inspired by the Enlightenment. This book represents the first major work in English to study the constitution of the Roman Republic in all its complexity.

From Oligarchy to Republicanism

This book presents a shared analysis of the slave South, synthesized from the writings and speeches of the Republicans who served in the Thirty-Eighth, Thirty-Ninth or Fortieth Congress from 1863-1869.

Author: Forrest A. Nabors

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

ISBN: 0826273912

Category: Political Science

Page: 419

View: 418

On December 4, 1865, members of the 39th United States Congress walked into the Capitol Building to begin their first session after the end of the Civil War. They understood their responsibility to put the nation back on the path established by the American Founding Fathers. The moment when the Republicans in the Reconstruction Congress remade the nation and renewed the law is in a class of rare events. The Civil War should be seen in this light. In From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction, Forrest A. Nabors shows that the ultimate goal of the Republican Party, the war, and Reconstruction was the same. This goal was to preserve and advance republicanism as the American founders understood it, against its natural, existential enemy: oligarchy. The principle of natural equality justified American republicanism and required abolition and equal citizenship. Likewise, slavery and discrimination on the basis of color stand on the competing moral foundation of oligarchy, the principle of natural inequality, which requires ranks. The effect of slavery and the division of the nation into two “opposite systems of civilization” are causally linked. Charles Devens, a lawyer who served as a general in the Union Army, and his contemporaries understood that slavery’s existence transformed the character of political society. One of those dramatic effects was the increased power of slaveowners over those who did not have slaves. When the slave state constitutions enumerated slaves in apportioning representation using the federal three-fifths ratio or by other formulae, intra-state sections where slaves were concentrated would receive a substantial grant of political power for slave ownership. In contrast, low slave-owning sections of the state would lose political representation and political influence over the state. This contributed to the non-slaveholders’ loss of political liberty in the slave states and provided a direct means by which the slaveholders acquired and maintained their rule over non-slaveholders. This book presents a shared analysis of the slave South, synthesized from the writings and speeches of the Republicans who served in the Thirty-Eighth, Thirty-Ninth or Fortieth Congress from 1863-1869. The account draws from their writings and speeches dated before, during, and after their service in Congress. Nabors shows how the Republican majority, charged with the responsibility of reconstructing the South, understood the South. Republicans in Congress were generally united around the fundamental problem and goal of Reconstruction. They regarded their work in the same way as they regarded the work of the American founders. Both they and the founders were engaged in regime change, from monarchy in the one case, and from oligarchy in the other, to republicanism. The insurrectionary states’ governments had to be reconstructed at their foundations, from oligarchic to republican. The sharp differences within Congress pertained to how to achieve that higher goal.

The Constitution of Political Actors

By 1968 the peasant movement had incorporated broader demands for participatory democracy and nationalizations under the ... Therefore , mines were not in the center of the anti - oligarchic struggles , as they were in Bolivia .

Author: Gerardo H. Damonte

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 830

This book analyzes the processes through which Andean communities have constituted themselves as political actors in the last decade: how they have appropriated and created spaces for mobilization while gaining unexpected political agency in the context of globalization. It explains and compares the complex constitution of particular political identities in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes through an ethnographic analysis of three interrelated political developments: the conflictive encounters between rural communities and multinational mining corporations; the formation of campesino and indigenous national organizations; and, the constitution of symbolic political discourses in mass protests. In developing its argument, this study shows how Andean rural communities and organizations appropriate and create local and regional spaces of power, contesting dominant constructions of Andean places and regions. It traces the emergence of a new form of nationalism from bellow, which aims to control, recast, and use the State in its struggles against global capital dominance.

The New Constitution of India

... bureaucracy to an indigenous and inexperienced oligarchy . Ignorance , however , is only one , though unquestionably the key to most , of the obstacles which we saw on the path to India ' s future . The anti - democratic forces in ...

Author: Courtenay Ilbert

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Constitutional law

Page: 220

View: 857


Bulletin of the John Rylands Library

In 322 the Athenians were defeated by land and sea , and Antipater imposed an oligarchic constitution with the franchise restricted to the 9000 citizens liable for heavy - armed service . In the next year Menander produced his first ...

Author: John Rylands Library

Publisher:

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Page:

View: 617