IV.4: Cultural Divisions and Melting Pots

If people divided themselves into local communities along ethnic, religious, or cultural lines, would there be more violence and disorder? More to the point, does a melting pot democracy like America require a single one-size-fits-all culture? Some would say“yes” to both questions. For example, one writer said that of the acclaimed British political philosopher, John … Read more

IV.3: Local Self-government

What did the great minds of history have to say about local self-government? In an earlier post I showed that both Thomas Jefferson and Alexis De Tocqueville believed in local self-government. That is, local citizens should have authority over their local public decisions without state or national government interference. And many more people have expressed … Read more

IV.2: Benefits of Local Control

Citizens of a local community will always know what benefits them far better than politicians in a faraway city. And there are many more benefits of local control or self-government. For example, different communities have far different needs and desires, as well as different climates, resources, and philosophical and religious views. So, one-size-fits-all solutions don’t … Read more

IV.1: Local Communities

Thomas Jefferson believed that local community self-government was essential for freedom. Jefferson’s archenemy, Alexander Hamilton, and others wanted to concentrate all American power at the national level. And this greatly troubled Jefferson because it made states and local communities as well as individual citizens servants of a tyrannical national government: Were not this great country … Read more