This is Good Political Science

from Federalist Paper No. 10, 1787:

As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to an uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

My notes from this passage:
* This country’s founders recognized that man’s reason is fallible, contrary to what was presented by the French Revolution or by some government professors

* where do property rights come from? Our various faculties; or, rather, what we do with these faculties. The government’s function is not to ensure that we all possess the same goods, but that we all possess the same right to use our different faculties and to keep the rewards these faculties have earned us.

*grin* Finishing the rest of this reading will be fun. In case you were wondering, it’s not actually part of the assigned reading for this course. It was referenced in the textbook chapter and I thought reading it sounded like more fun than dragging through the rest of the chapter at the moment. I was right; it’s much more interesting and applicable.

Someone asked if this class was kindergarten or college since I have to turn in a note every single class period on what I learned in that day’s class. It is college, but I do feel particularly annoyed by this requirement. It also seems to show a flawed assumption on the professor’s part that all of us will learn something new every class period. With almost two dozen students with different educational levels and backgrounds this is an impossible expectation.
We are also supposed to turn in (every class period) a “participation question” for the professor to answer: either from the text or world events. Together these things comprise 30% of the final grade. I think it will mean my pretending ignorance sometimes, difficult for my ego. The grade’s the thing, though!

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