Updated: Jan 4
In Federalist No. 10, James Madison wrote, "By faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."
Madison believed that democracies cannot prevent citizens from forming interest groups, according to Johnathan Rauch in his book, The Constitution of Knowledge. So, the alternative is to control the effects of factions by limiting them or making constructive use of them. But, in time, some faction inevitably would rob or oppress the rest of the population.
"Madison came upon a counterintuitive solution," Rauch writes. "There must be a lot of factions, and they must differ from each other. ... Instead, a large, pluralistic republic would ensure plenty of factional diversity, and diversity would ensure that no one faction could prevail."
"Extend the sphere," Madison said, "and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or ... more difficult to all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other."
So, it is incumbent on us - the everyday average Americans - to be engaged in some form of interest group of a sane type, counterbalancing factions' that curtail Americans' rights ... counterbalancing their efforts to make their special interest might be made more comfortable and prosperous. This is the solution to extremists, prescribed by James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution of the United States.
So, I encourage you to join a group, club, or society that supports your interests in American society and strenthens your self-understanding and resolve, minimizing the ill effects of factionism and cults. Today is the American crisis. Get busy now.