This passage declares that fulfillment derives from purpose, which is acquired through the long-term pursuit of self-improvement. Modern capitalism presents two primary devices that distract us from (and distort our notions of) meaningful work – entertainment and wage labor. Through the contemplation of work and leisure, this passage explores the nature of labor, exploitation, and fulfillment.
Methods to balance democracy and authority were among the first debates of American politics. James Madison proposed a system of modest popular participation alongside a clearly defined ruling class. The numerous obstacles to popular participation in the modern American government reflect Madison’s fear of pure democracy. This passage deliberates the nature of democracy and authority to understand these mechanisms and assess their moral validity.