In my previous post on this theme, I attempted to provide a friendly critique of Greve’s competitive federalism thesis by way of James Madison and his arguments in both Federalist 39 and the Virginia Resolutions of 1798. I wanted to show that Madison’s position challenges the notion that state governments are just revenue maximizing authorities. I also stated that maintaining free government requires more than self-interest; indeed, it requires qualities that are its opposite. Perhaps this last bit could be better stated. What we need are public virtues that compliment and make whole self interest.
But why should we have confidence that the state governments could ever perform in the capacity argued for by Madison? The question might be more basic: Why Liberty?