Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
Walter Russell Mead
The Founders consciously designed the American system to divide majoritarian energies, gridlock the government, and skew the political game towards vested interests and knowledgeable insiders. The result is a political system which disproportionately caters to small and intensely-motivated constituencies while raising the bar very high for majoritarian change. But, if majoritarian forces are persevering enough, if their repeated assaults are able to muster the forces needed across many places and long stretches of time, the system is able to integrate and domesticate change without breaking, and without fundamentally altering itself. Judged by its longevity, the Fortress State is the most successful mechanism for managing institutional change in a large and complex society known to man. However, given the nature of the problems of the 21st century, the conclusion of this essay questions whether the disaggregating tendencies of American institutions will serve the nation well in the new millennium.
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Clavier, Axel, "The Fortress State: How the American System Protects Vested Interests and the Status Quo" (2019). Senior Projects Spring 2019. 210.