The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) will offer a free continuing education course on democracy this fall, on Monday evenings from September 9 to December 16. AHI courses are free and open to the public, including high school and college-age students. Professional credit is available for teachers.

The course, “Majority Rule and Equality: The Challenges of Democracy in American History,” will be a combination of lecture and discussion, with 25-plus pages of reading per week. It will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with a break for coffee and snacks, in AHI headquarters at 21 W. Park Row in Clinton. Readings are provided at no cost.

In addition to the introductory and concluding sessions, two weeks will be dedicated to each of the these themes:

  • Definitions of Equality
  • Limits of Majority Rule
  • Self-Interest and Public Spirit in American Politics
  • Holding Government Accountable
  • Political Diversity and Conflict
  • Democratic Leadership

“The fundamental principles of democracy are majority rule and political equality—thus the title of our course,” notes Dr. David Frisk, a Resident Fellow at the AHI since 2013. “But the definitions of both terms are often disputed. So it’s important to think about them, both on their own and as part of our other themes. Political scientists and political philosophers—including the subject of a biography I’m now working on—have had interesting things to say about these principles and themes. We will look at those insights, while spending much of our time on current examples in American political life and government.”

Dr. Frisk, who teaches a course for the AHI each semester, holds a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of the widely acclaimed If Not Us, Who? William Rusher, National Review, and the Conservative Movement (ISI Books, 2012) and is now working on a biography of the political theorist Willmoore Kendall, to be published by Encounter Books.

Due to the popularity of our classes, advance signup is strongly encouraged. Please contact the instructor (, 315-381-3335) or AHI President Robert Paquette ( to register, or to find out more.