The American Democrat

4 Jan

What he warned against, over 100 years ago has come true

chiniquy

james_fenimore_cooper_by_brady

The American Democrat: Or, Hints on the Social and Civic Relations of the United States of America, a political essay written by American republican author James Fenimore Cooper, was published initially in New York State in 1838.

Originally intended as a textbook on the American republican democracy, the work analyzes the social forces that shape, and can ultimately corrupt such a system.

It served as an indictment of public opinion, which he argued had the potential to corrupt public morals and democracy.

The Dangers of Democracy

In his view, the aim of a good government is “to add no unnecessary and artificial aid to the force of its own unavoidable consequences, and to abstain from fortifying and accumulating social inequality as a means of increasing political inequalities.”

Thus, a good democracy should ensure political and civil equality to all, keeping the members of higher classes from getting…

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