It's finally warm out after a rainy week. I'm cooped up inside reading electronic student final exams....so many descriptions of what James Madison was talking about in "Federalist Papers #10." It's the very hardest thing they read all semester. At times it's the most interesting.
I met a professor who argues that #10 is "fetishized" and isn't half as important as some of the others. You might think that this was a simple intellectual/academic type of argument, but this same professor savaged me last year at a meeting for being a spokesman for the hegemonic "progressive paradigm" in contemporary historiography. Hmm...now, which person was it that alerted all scholars to the importance of #10 -- it was Charles and Mary Beard, the veritable founders of the "progressive paradigm" in historical scholarship. Who else likes to write about Fed #10? why Howard Zinn - at whose popular "People's History of the United States" many wizened conservative academics scoff. And what is my students' reaction upon reading Fed #10 (when they get it?) -- total shock: the Founding Fathers were trying to deter democracy. A ha.
On a similar, anitquated note, I've been reading Edmund Burke lately and found, in my searches through contemporary scholarship on him, that hs is still beloved by many. When one reads his long disquisition on the importance of state religion as a foundation for all societies, it is clear how much the neo-cons are old paleo-cons.
And now....for sunshine.