Chomsky on Madison

Brad De Long delong at econ.Berkeley.EDU
Thu Mar 30 16:22:39 PST 2000

>Here's a quote a friend sent to me that is attributed to Dr. Chomsky. I
>thought it was kind of interesting so I'll pass it along.
>"... A couple of thousand years later, when our Founding Fathers were writing
>the Constitution, James Madison noticed the same problem, but whereas
Aristotle's preferred solution had been to reduce poverty..."

This is totally and profoundly dorky.

Aristotle's preferred regime was *not* a democracy with a limited degree of inequality--that's Rousseau. Aristotle's preferred regime was an oligarchy in which the narrow elite had the leisure to engage in philosophy and rule justly...

Madison believed that improvements in the science of government since Aristotle's time allowed a representative democracy to function without running into the insoluble problems pointed out by Aristotle...

Jeez. Let's have at least *some* actual contact with the doctrines advocated by the ancient sources...

Brad DeLong

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