The Federalist Papers

What is a faction, and what is the best way to control it?

Federalist 10 and 51

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Madison defines factions as groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions.

To Madison, there are only two ways to control a faction: to remove its causes and to control its effects. The first is impossible. There are only two ways to remove the causes of a faction: destroy liberty or give every citizen the same opinions, passions, and interests. Destroying liberty is a "cure worse then the disease itself," and the second is impracticable. The causes of factions are thus part of the nature of man and we must deal with their effects and accept their existence. The government created by the Constitution controls the damage caused by such factions.