Which of the following is true of this statement about government?
"All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people...The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government."
A supporter od modern liberal democracy would likely react to the opinion expressed in the quotation with
A. agreement because the writer recognizes the need to preserve stability
B. disagreement because the writer has an elitist view of the human condition
C. agreement because the writer understands that class differences are inevitable
D. disagreement because the writer fails to recognize the need to check the powers of less privileged classes
The best answer for this is B. A supporter of a modern liberal democracy would not like this statement because it is an elitist statement.
Ironically enough, this statement is from one of our Founding Fathers. It was spoken by Alexander Hamilton, the man on the $10 bill. Hamilton was a Federalist and the Federalists were not very supportive of the idea of democracy. In this quote, Hamilton is saying that the great mass of people are too stupid to govern themselves. He is saying that the average person can rarely judge accurately as to what is right and what is not. Can you imagine your typical American politician agreeing with this statement today? It would be very bad for them to agree with such a statement because it would make them sound elitist.
This is a totally elitist statement because it argues that only a few people can truly understand what is best for a country while the masses are not really smart enough to do so. Therefore, B is the best answer.