Between 1787 and 1788, a series of 85 political articles appeared in the press of post-Revolutionary America. Many people of that time were fearful of creating a powerful centralized government, with all other authorities subservient to it. The Federalist articles were intended to overcome that resistance and persuade New Yorkers to approve the new Federal Constitution. The core idea was that there would be a balance of powers in the new government. This would, in essence, sidetrack any trend towards quasi-dictatorship, however benign.

All the articles were written by advocates of strong centralized power:

By Alexander Hamilton ( first Secretary of the Treasury), with 5 of them by John Jay (soon to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) and with contributions by James Madison (known as the 'Father of the Constitution')

All articles were written under the pen-name of Publius.

As history shows, anonymity has its powers.

Although inspired by it, we won't follow this model slavishly.

In fact, we don't ever want several individuals to write under the same name.

One pen-name per person is the rule.

The reason is that, over time, even if a contributor is anonymous, readers will be able to recognize any unannounced but significant changes that occur in that person's thinking.

Consensus | Anonymity | Main