Economics Student Henry Thompson Wins First Place In Essay Competition Mar 15, 2015
Economics (BA) major Henry Thompson won first place in the The Third Annual Douglas B. Rogers Conditions of a Free Society Essay Competition. The competition is organized by The Center for Political and Economic Thought at St. Vincent's College. This year, students were asked to address a statement by James Madison: "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
Henry's essay is titled: "The Problem Is the Solution: James Madison on the Problem of Tyranny." Henry traces Madison's views on tyranny to Locke, Montesquieu, and his compatriot James Adams. In short: the thirst for power is perennial, checking it is not easily done, and tyranny can emerge either from an single despot or a majority. Henry argues that Madison's vision of sustaining vibrant political competition, within the separation of powers and among all manner of interest groups, is the key to holding back the emergence of tyranny.
Henry's essay bested entries from students at Hillsdale College, the University of Kentucky, McGill University, and the University of Michigan, among others. Information on the contest is available here, and you can download his essay here.