We get a steady stream of emails from readers and listeners who want to know if any of my or Lucretia’s college courses are webcast or otherwise available online, and unfortunately the answer is No, partly for legal reasons but also for some technical reasons (streaming live classes is not as easy as it might seem, and the recording quality is often poor). But we have for the longest time been thinking about offering some of our class content on Power Line in an organized fashion, and so with this episode, we are pleased to inaugurate a new feature, “Power Line University.”

The first PLU course will be devoted to the Federalist Papers, or, as we like to call it, “the owner’s manual for the Constitution.” For this first trial episode, Lucretia and I decided that each of us would share three favorite passages from The Federalist, and explain why these passages in particular are significant or relevant to our current moment. (If you want to follow along at home on this first episode, the passages we selected are from Federalist #s 1, 10, 43, 31, 55, and 57.)

We haven’t decided yet how many episodes our Federalist course will be—probably five or six— but our intention is that future episodes, starting next week, will be done in webinar style on Zoom, so you can tune in live to our virtual “classroom” and pose questions or comments. Eventually we may try to offer some seminars in Zoom meeting format, where participants will get to appear on camera, speak live and discuss the issues with other participants, and so forth. And if you can’t make the webinars or live classes, they’ll still be available in podcast form.

We have lots of ideas for future short courses, such as going over the Constitution itself, the Presidency, Lincoln, classical political philosophy perhaps—but above all we’d like to hear from listeners: please send along your ideas and suggestions (and questions on the topics we are covering) in the comment thread or directly by email.

The good news is, no “diversity” statements will be required for participation, and in fact we’re going to make a Bingo card out of the Stanford Banned Words list for each session. We won’t have any tests or term paper assignments, though ridicule from Lucretia is not ruled out! (Actually this is a plot to get her back in the classroom, since her university has seen fit to punish her by making her an administrator.)

And so on to the classroom. . .

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There are 7 comments.

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  1. Noell Colin Coolidge
    Noell Colin

    My dream is for you guys* to maybe come out with a Federalist Papers reader of some sort. Comments, explanations, history, and the like starting from 1 to 85. It would be long and in-depth, but people these days don’t mind that. Then you can make long form videos, or something along the classes you were talking about. From the long form you can cut up little bits. Kind of like how Jorden Peterson has done things. Like him or not, whatever formula he has come up with has fostered quite the organic following/impact.

    Maybe, make a series of some kind, like “A Case for Claremont”. If your project is getting called out in Congress, maybe make sure your project is heard. Any relevant information surrounding the argument. That would give you a lot of flexibility to bring in relevant philosophies, events, figures and not just The Papers. It could be what Yoo needs to finally get on your side once and for all!

    Whatever it is, put though into the structure. These things take a lot of time/effort and while anything you put out will be liked by your regular listeners, it can’t fall flat for the masses. Viral bits that can lead those looking for more into in-depth content. Maybe consult with the Pregs/DailyWires who have less academic audiences for some tips. Maybe find a way to get funding for the project. Your content is rich, just needs the proper funding and the right producer. James Cameron might be looking for a new gig soon…

    *Apologies Stanford

    • #1
  2. La Tapada Member
    La Tapada

    This was great! I enjoyed learning all this and look forward to more.

    • #2
  3. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins

    Excellent addition to the Powerline lineup. Thanks, guys!

    • #3
  4. Quickz Member

    Took me awhile to find time to log in, but now that I found it I am here to say: YES! MORE!

    Thanks for this.

    • #4
  5. Noell Colin Coolidge
    Noell Colin

    On Thomas Jefferson’s point on farming and the corruptive nature of other industries: Isn’t it odd that when anything happens, it seems the farmers fall on the rational and or right side of the issue? Jefferson seems to be onto something and is probably why “conservatives” have a natural respect and understanding that farmers “know what’s up” irrespective of ethnicity, geographical location or religion. I wonder if this could be unpacked a little more than just surface observations like “have to deal with reality” , or is it just as simple as that? Other industries can be manipulated and fraud can be sustained, unlike the work/skill needed to make the crops grow.

    Unconstitutional act on the articles of confederation: Could Federalist 22 be another answer or am I taking it out of context? FP22 quote: “To give a minority a negative upon the majority (which is always the case where more than a majority is requisite to a decision), is, in its tendency, to subject the sense of the greater number to that of the lesser. Congress, from the nonattendance of a few States, have been frequently in the situation of a Polish diet, where a single VOTE has been sufficient to put a stop to all their movements. A sixtieth part of the Union, which is about the proportion of Delaware and Rhode Island, has several times been able to oppose an entire bar to its operations.”

    • #5
  6. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine

    Wow. The American Founders were trying to create institutions that would achieve the Golden Rule as a Confucian standard for right government.

    • #6
  7. Randy Hendershot Lincoln
    Randy Hendershot

    I know it has been a long time since I graduated with a political science degree in 1973, but I don’t recall any emphasis on the Federalist Papers back then.  This is very well done and very much appreciated.  
    The current backdrop of a nation careening seemingly out of control adds piquance to the discussion.  More beans, more rice, more ammo, and more Lucretia and Steve!

    • #7
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