by Thomas J. DiLorenzo | LewRockwell.com
For more than a century now, Americans have lived in what pundit George Will once called “Hamilton’s Nation.” Will was referring to the fact that government policy has long been primarily guided by the Big Government, interventionist political philosophy of Alexander Hamilton. Liberal writer Michael Lind edited an entire book of essays celebrating this fact entitled Hamilton’s Republic. About every other month or so, neoconservative pundit David Brooks authors another New York Times or Wall Street Journal op-ed urging a “revival” of the Hamiltonian political agenda, as though it needs reviving.
To repudiate Hamilton’s political legacy is, according to Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow, “to repudiate the modern world” itself. Brooks and William Kristol began their crusade for “national greatness conservatism” with a September 15, 1997 Wall Street Journal article that urged Americans to “reinvigorate the nationalism of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay and Teddy Roosevelt.”
In his book, Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth, historian Stephen F. Knott informs us that Hamilton should be given ALL the credit for “the America that explored the outer reaches of space, welcomed millions of immigrants, led the effort to defeat communism, produced countless technological advances, and abolished slavery and Jim Crow . . .” When Time magazine asked him who his heroes were shortly after the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, House Speaker Newt Gingrich named Hamilton first (followed by John Wayne, Kemal Ataturk, and Father Flanagan).
What most Americans probably know about Hamilton is that he was a founding father, one of the authors of The Federalist Papers, and that his picture is on the ten-dollar bill. But he was much more than that, as the above-mentioned writers surely know. As Jeff Taylor remarked in Where Did the Party Go? William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy, “Hamilton, under the influence of the two political theorists most distasteful to Jefferson, Hobbes and Hume, was frankly the champion of the leviathan state.” This is why in my forthcoming book, Hamilton’s Curse, I discard Ron Chernow’s advice about “repudiating the modern world” and explain why Hamilton’s political and economic legacy must be repudiated if America is to ever again be known as the land of the free. Continue reading ‘It’s Time To End Hamilton’s Curse’