In the late 18th Century, when our Constitution was under consideration, a series of 85 papers were published by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton as advocates for America’s proposed new Constitution. These papers were known as the Federalist Papers. Another series of 85 papers, known as the Anti-Federalist Papers, were published, challenging many of the Federalist Papers’ conclusions and opinions. The Anti-Federalist Papers were published under fictitious names. One such name was Brutus. As I have reread the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, I was amazed to find that so many of the concerns expressed by the Anti-Federalist are making their way into today’s news.
After completing Wonderlust, which had its origination in many of the messages of earlier blogs, I decided that from time to time I would write blogs in more depth, and perhaps on more controversial subjects. Hence, the name The Brutus Papers.
Today, we find ourselves as members of highly polarized societies, with competing factions each asserting their superiority and righteousness. Technology and the web, once viewed as democratic mind-expanders, have simply increased silo thinking by organizing us into enclaves of like-thinkers, unable and unwilling to consider the concerns and thoughts of those who occupy silos with differing values and political thought.
Thus, the wisdom of reviving the idea of the Brutus Papers to probe into controversies we face with the idea of helping us think through and achieve a more holistic approach to solving the problems of living in a very diverse world. As John Kennedy so eloquently put it in his 1963 Peace Address:
“[L]et us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”