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Brothers from Another Planet

Brothers from Another Planet v Th e Doll a r Deb auch Brothers from Another Planet W 3 Chris Lehmann hether we like it or not, the big idea behind American democracy is to make us like each other more. It’s a faintly embarrassing dimension of our social experiment, carved out of the crack-up of the original British colonies, that the great theorists and practitioners of new world order in America were looking for something more than political independence. They sought to create a basis for the small-r republican ideal of fraternity: a territorially limited, widely participatory, and socially equitable economy made up principally of small producers— home manufacturers, merchants, and farmers. Only on such a basis, the theory went, could America be prevented from regressing into anarchy, despotism, or worse. But things didn’t exactly go as planned. Come the Jacksonian age, the legal interpreters of the U.S. Constitution, spurred on by the directives of a fast-consolidating national and corporate economy, ratcheted the whole enterprise upward into something that many of the founders would have seen as a blatant contradiction in terms: a “commercial republic,” as the jurisprudence of the Federalist-onthe-make John Marshall (echoing the political rhetoric of his close political ally http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Baffler MIT Press

Brothers from Another Planet

The BafflerMar 1, 2014

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2014 Chris Lehmann
Subject
The Dollar Debauch
ISSN
1059-9789
eISSN
2164-926X
DOI
10.1162/BFLR_a_00247
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

v Th e Doll a r Deb auch Brothers from Another Planet W 3 Chris Lehmann hether we like it or not, the big idea behind American democracy is to make us like each other more. It’s a faintly embarrassing dimension of our social experiment, carved out of the crack-up of the original British colonies, that the great theorists and practitioners of new world order in America were looking for something more than political independence. They sought to create a basis for the small-r republican ideal of fraternity: a territorially limited, widely participatory, and socially equitable economy made up principally of small producers— home manufacturers, merchants, and farmers. Only on such a basis, the theory went, could America be prevented from regressing into anarchy, despotism, or worse. But things didn’t exactly go as planned. Come the Jacksonian age, the legal interpreters of the U.S. Constitution, spurred on by the directives of a fast-consolidating national and corporate economy, ratcheted the whole enterprise upward into something that many of the founders would have seen as a blatant contradiction in terms: a “commercial republic,” as the jurisprudence of the Federalist-onthe-make John Marshall (echoing the political rhetoric of his close political ally

Journal

The BafflerMIT Press

Published: Mar 1, 2014

There are no references for this article.