Thursday, October 14

Blogs and 18th Century Pamphleteers

Glenn Reynolds take:
PAJAMA PEOPLE in the 18th Century: I've often said that the rise of the blogosphere represents, in many ways, a return to the late 18th century environment of pamphleteers, numerous small ideological newspapers, and coffeehouse debates. And I have to say that this passage from Larry Kramer's new book, The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review, could describe the reaction of some in today's haut-commentariat to the rise of blogs and other alternative media:
After the adoption of the Constitution, most Federalists had expected to amicably govern a quiescent population content to follow their wise leadership. Instead, they were shocked to find themselves wrestling with an unruly, rambunctious democracy-in-the-making. Between the burgeoning newspapers, raucous parades, partisan holiday celebrations, and disrespectful debating societies, the people out-of-doors seemed literally to be taking leave of their senses. Suddenly, everyone apparently felt entitled to express an opinion -- more, felt that "constituted authorities" should be listening to their views. . . . Federalist leaders were caught flat-footed, unsure how to cope with this confusing new world.
[via Instapundit]