The Constitution and its critics

In film and in popular culture the constitution is often cited as a basis for fairness and good.

Noam Chomsky, important intellectual and critic, has a logt of criticism of the constitution. He cites fs: James Madison, one of the persons who wrote the constitution as saying the following:

Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority [of the poor].

See this clip:

Task 1

What does Chomsky say that is most interesting, in your judgement? (What does the expression ”minority of the opulent” mean?).

Task 2

Choose one of the tasks. In pairs answer either of the questions below:

  1. What are the Checks and balances? Why do they exist?
  2. What is the most important thing in Declaration of Independence, according to your own judgement?
  3. What kind of rights are safeguarded in the amendments to the constituion? Are they listed in order of importance, do you think? Or is something odd with the order? How would you change the amendments? (Focus on the first 10).


Note pronunciation of executive, legislative and  judicial.

2 reaktioner till “The Constitution and its critics”

  1. What i actually thought was the most interesting part about what he said was about the minority of the opulent against the majority and here is why.

    montesquieu, they were inspired by him to have this system where the minority of the opulent had a upper hand when it came to the more influenced parts of the society

    After finding out from my friend that when america wanted to be released as a colony from the great Britain they decided to use an idea from montesquieu which meant to have the most educated running the country. America did so and therefor a lot of wealthy and educ2ated people got to have a big impact on how america would be governed. Still to this day you find these differences in the american society where the people that get the best education have more income in some sort. After knowing this the quote”minority of the opulent against the majority” makes a lot more sence to me and what he is trying to say with this is that the rich americans have more influence then the poor and he mention that it is a struggle for the country. He also says this in his speech: They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority. which for me if we go back in time this is correct to where the minority of the rich decided how to build the society and the majority(of the poor) had to tolerate the decisions.

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