Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Madison, Federalist Papers and Iran
Sam Ghandchi

مدیسون، مقالات فدرالیست و ایران

Postscript 12/12/16: Mr. Masoud Alemi has recently translated to Persian, the full text of the 85 Federalist Papers along with the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence and "The Articles of Confederation" and a few other related papers which are available at the following link:
.. and they can be obtained from the Amazon web site:



Over thirteen years ago, I had a discussion about James Madison and Federalist Papers on Jebhe Bulletin Board. Jebhe BB was a forum of Iran's National Front in Washington DC (1). Fortunately, yesterday, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation has published a Persian translation of Federalist Papers (2).


There is a lot of misunderstanding about federalism in Iranian political circles, both among the supporters of federalism and its opponents. The protection in Madisonís paper is mainly against monarchy. Madison writes these papers with Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson was suspicious of Hamilton for years thinking that he might create a monarchy in the U.S. James Madison who was Jefferson's protege, with these papers, puts an end to the issue of monarchy and republic. This is why he is so specific about nobility and separates US Republic from republics of nobility in Europe. Madison even cites this criteria as the measure to call his respective system a republic. Madison writes: "Could any further proof be required of the republican complexion of this system, the most decisive one might be found in its absolute prohibition of titles of nobility, both under the federal and the State governments; and in its express guaranty of the republican form to each of the latter."

Moreover the issue that Madison is dealing with is the *implementation* of federal organs and state organs and showing them *both* as needed, and rebuts claims that these are redundant and tries to show their existence as a guarantee against tyranny. The Federalist Papers are not about dealing with ethnic or language diversity. It is basically a way of checks and balances to ensure democracy ground up from a local government to national level and vice versa. Such checks and balances are what anjomanhaay-e iiyaalati and velaayati tried to achieve in Iran's Constitutional Revolution.

The work of Madison is a real legal work about the structure of checks and balances. We need Iranian lawyers to do this kind of work about implementation issues of decentralization in Iran. Issues like the rules to elect ostaandaars (governors) by the people living in a province. Unfortunately I have not seen any *legal* work of this kind in the Iranian political circles, not even by those who support federalism in Iran. We need to do serious studies of legal codes of Iran's past constitutions, and other civil laws, and discuss implementation details of laws, as they relate to all branches of government, and the interactions at local city, provincial, and national levels. This work requires people who are versed in Iranian law and civil codes to engage in such undertakings.


I should note that United States went through a Civil War more than half a Century after Madison's era. During the Civil War, Democrats of the South formed a Confederate based on state rights and separated themselves from the federal government on the issue of abolition of slavery, and even elected a president by the name of Jefferson Davis whose government was based in Richmond of Virginia. They were defeated, and for years, the Southern states were deprived from having representatives in the US Congress and had to work hard for many years to be reaccepted to the Union (3). Finally, as long as federalism is thought of as a way for separatism in Iran, it will not be supported by most pro-democracy activists in Iran (4).


Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,

Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
September 15, 2015


1. About Madisonís Federalist Papers; Federalism In Iran

2. مقاله های فدرالیست، پنج مقاله: ۹،۱۰، ۳۹، ۵۱، ۶۹

3. Does Federalism Allow States To Deny Human Rights

4. Federalism in the Platform of Iran's Futurist Party  


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