Collective Action In James Madison's Federalist Paper No. 51

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Public goods are benefits that the government provides for everyone. Examples of public goods include National Security, Rule of Law, street lamps, and roads. Collective action refers to action taken by people with shared interests assembled into groups, called factions, to achieve a common objective, e.g. to encourage a new ideal for their community.
It is often difficult to organize collective action to achieve public goods because people are self­interested. Prisoner’s dilemma is a situation in which two people can benefit by cooperating together to achieve a common goal. Although joining together with person two will greatly increase success of a new law passing, person one would rather stand by and allow person two to do the work to pass
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10 and No. 51 assume that it is in our human nature to be selfish. In Federalist Paper No. 51, Madison states that factions will always exist. The only way to prevent a faction from being too powerful is to have numerous factions competing with one another. Democracy and self­interest creates factions. Federalist Paper No. 10 gives specific ways to eliminate the negative effects that factions create. Factions are encouraged to compete with each other so that no one faction will overcome its counterparts and negatively impact the interests of its opposing interest groups. This eventually leads to a “race to the bottom,” meaning that competing factions will keep undercutting each other and eventually result in a status quo bias. A status quo bias is when a current baseline is taken as a reference point and after the results of the “race to the bottom” are implemented, little to no benefits are made into public goods. In other words, competition between factions will result in a status quo bias, a bias for slow or no …show more content…
In balancing competing factions, the government prevents majority and minority tyranny from occurring. Majority tyranny is when a large group has a common interest, but neglects the needs of the small percentage of the group, the minority. Similarly, minority tyranny is when a small group imposes its interests on a much larger group. An example of minority tyranny would be if the government required all states to conserve water and hike up water prices because one of the 50 states are in a drought. It would not make sense for this to happen since a minority should not dictate what the majority should do and vice­versa. Reaching a compromise is important so that all factions have their ideals implemented. Although this often results in a status quo bias, it impedes majority and minority tyranny from developing. Government promotes compromise between the majority and minority groups. The problem of factions is solved by forcing factions to compete with each other. Fragmented democratic institutions are set­up to allow federal laws to be passed. For these laws to pass, it must be voted through the institution, therefore, the same factions competing with one another must compromise with each other’s ideals so that everyone will be satisfied enough to vote to pass the law. To prevent minority factions from

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