Just over twenty years ago Francis Fukuyama declared liberal democracy the end of history. But history marched on, revealing rot in democracy’s roots. Around the world, from radical leftists in Venezuela and Greece to American Trump supporters, bitter voters wave their banners around populist demagogues. Nationalist movements, echoing those that lead to the first world war, are on the rise. The working classes reject globalization, immigration and economic liberalism. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and other countries may soon follow suit. In the United States, the political parties are more polarized than ever before, with the most right-wing Democrat to the left of the most left-wing Republican. As a result, the United States faces gridlock and tribal politics rather than compromise solutions.
Emerson’s overwhelming faith in the individual is completely opposite to his views on nations: “Every actual state is corrupt.” Political parties are “made out of necessity” of the time period and not out of any underlying theory. Emerson is very critical of both major parties in his essay.  “From neither party, when in power, has the world any benefit to expect in science, art or humanity, at all commensurate with the resources of the nation.” Neither party is satisfactory for Emerson, and his essay he hints at the natural inequality this system adheres to, and its effects. Party politics are not the only organization Emerson has his eye on in his essay, however. Emerson also distrusts the pulpit and the press because they are conventional roles that require organizational persuasion.