"The New Science of Politics"

In Federalist 9, Publius states: “The science of politics, however, like most other sciences, has received great improvement. The efficacy of various principles is now well understood, which were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients. The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election: these are wholly new discoveries, or have made their principal progress towards perfection in modern times” (Federalist 9). 

By this, he means that politics is an ongoing science that may at times be on the forefront of discovery--like any other science. It is an institution that evolves over time, and studies the science of how politics interacts with people and society. 

Another way of summarizing this new science of politics is by the following list, the composition of which is now aided by a bit of historical perspective into what the Constitutional Convention produced:

--Advantages of a large republics, especially in the control of factions

--The inability of eliminate factions because of human nature

--The true meaning of separation of powers and the use of ambition

--The necessity of accepting and even recognizing the need for ambition

--The relatively greater danger to freedom from faction than from government

--Accordingly the need for a strong (not necessarily big) government to govern effectively

--The logic of giving as much power to government as is necessary to provide the means to accomplish the means desired

--The federal system of government as we now know it. As we have noted, as the delegates began their deliberations in  Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the word "federal" was synonymous with the word "confederal."

--The presidential system of government, as opposed to a Parlimentary system of government.

--Representative government, which enables a larger territory for a country.

© Hank Edmondson 2012