Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Distance and Coercive Force

 "Much of their thinking - certainly Madison's - was based on assumptions about physical distance and its calming and dissipating effect on political passions; but we live at a time when distance is obliterated and scattered forces can coalesce by instantaneous communication with intensifying effect. The instruments of coercive force that they knew, the machinery of physical intimidation, were far weaker than ours, and the modes of escaping from the power of the state more numerous."

- From "The Federalist Papers" chapter in Bernard Bailyn's To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders

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