Two Faces of Federalism: An Outline of an Argument about Pluralism, Unity, and Law: Followed by a Discussion

Two Faces of Federalism: An Outline of an Argument about Pluralism, Unity, and Law: Followed by a Discussion

Two Faces of Federalism: An Outline of an Argument about Pluralism, Unity, and Law: Followed by a Discussion

Two Faces of Federalism: An Outline of an Argument about Pluralism, Unity, and Law: Followed by a Discussion

Excerpt

This paper has grown out of discussions which have been held at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions over the past year. We have talked about federalism as the theory by which a political community organizes its parts and the groups within it, and about the differing ways in which this theory has been viewed in America.

The effort in the first part of the paper is to indicate two possible views of limited government--one in which limited government is regarded as restricting the power of the state and its sphere of interest; the other being simply limitation to certain objects on which the community more or less consciously agrees. The suggestion is that both these approaches to limited government have very serious difficulties. The paper continues with the arguments surrounding the questions: How much pluralism can a society stand? How much unity does it have to have? What are the standards for determining what it ought to do? If neither the will of the dominant group nor the will of the majority nor what the courts will do is an adequate definition of a standard that can command the allegiance of a relatively intelligent country, then what is that standard?

The paper was presented for discussion in August 1960 during a month-long meeting of the Consultants to the Center. An edited version of their talk takes up the major portion of the pamphlet.

R. M. H.

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