Scenario 1999: Hamiltonianism in Words, Jeffersonianism in Deeds (Pt. I of III)

There is a massive difference between adhering to the Weltanschauung of Hamiltonianism and coopting certain aspects of Hamiltonianism in order to realize the foundational aims of an entirely different Weltanschauung. Consider Hamiltonianism’s stances on international trade for instance. America is not the only nation whose government guided the industrialization of its national economy by promoting a trade policy conducive to its long-term development. The German Reich and Imperial Japan, borrowing aspects of Hamiltonian stances on international trade, went in the same direction when they were industrializing in the 19th century. Even the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China of all countries had derived some part of their industrialization from Hamiltonianism. For those two nations, things are not as straightforward as they appear at first.

In the case of the Soviet Union, Ernst Jünger’s descriptions of that country in Der Arbeiter is peculiar from a Hamiltonian standpoint. The industrialization of these United States resulted in the Americans rapidly mobilizing large amounts of manpower and resources in short order during the two World Wars. Moreover, it is also peculiar for Jünger to claim that the American Arbeiter, despite living in a Market/Mixed Economy and Parliamentary Democracy, was already accustomed to the conditions of the Planned/Command Economy and Council Democracy of the Soviet Union. The Americans who were recruited by the Soviets in their Five-Year Plans easily adjusted to the circumstances they were in.

Since Hamiltonianism deems the purpose of Life in the US economy as revolving around Arbeit and Geld, not Kapital and Geld, and with Technology promoting that particular purpose, I should also mention Hamiltonianism’s other stances on Technology. A nation that does not have the Technology to coordinate its national efforts in the State of Total Mobilization are faced with two choices: either the national government plays a predominant role in the technological developments of the national economy or the national government obtains the required technologies elsewhere. Should the latter be chosen over the former, the Totality and their State are faced with the difficult choice of whether it is better to obtain Technology by purchasing the technical patents or pirating them. Here, the concept of Intellectual Property finds itself having a difficult relationship with Common and Private Properties-as-Wealth insofar as both, like the concepts of Kapital and Schuld, are not bound to the National Consciousness of any Totality. How does any nation enforce Intellectual Property if another nation refuses to recognize the validity of its ownership?

This brings me to the PRC and its thefts of American Intellectual Properties with regard to Hamiltonianism. The Hamiltonian justification for such actions, if the goal is not to obtain much needed technologies through other means, is to maintain the balance of power between nations. One finds this mentality at play in the realm of military technologies. Developing superior Technology on the drawing board does not guarantee success on the battlefield. The introduction of a Technology that upsets the military firepower between two or more nations will force the weaker nation to steal the Technology for themselves in order to bring itself on an equal footing. So-called ‘modern warfare’ has made ‘premodern warfare’ look so quaint and amicable by comparison. One seriously has to wonder when ‘postmodern warfare’ will take modern warfare’s place.

What is wrong with ‘modern warfare?’ War used to have been an adventurous and chivalrous way of testing the resolve of one’s nation against that of another nation. The human element was once more important than the actual technologies used to wage the conflict. Unfortunately in the last century, the trend was reversed: there is so much overemphasis on Technology that the human element is being neglected. One would think that this century would have changed that, but so far it has been anything but. If there was any reason to revisit the antiwar tradition of the Federalist Party, it would have to be over the deplorable working conditions of modern warfare. After all, the Federalists were the peace-loving “Doves”; the Democratic-Republicans were the warmongering “Hawks.”   

Aside from other nations coopting aspects of Hamiltonianism, Progressivism and Fusionism had exploited Hamiltonian methods for the shared purpose of furthering Jeffersonian ends. Both have repeatedly demonstrated in recent US history that they are Jeffersonians–American Liberal Capitalists–with differing perspectives on how their Weltanschauung is to be implemented.

The Progressives have no scruples about energizing the Federal government, but they will always draw the line at the socially conservative values and beliefs of the Hamiltonian Weltanschauung. Their behaviors reflect the sentiments of certain Democratic-Republicans who thought that, by adopting Hamiltonian methods, they will be able to legitimize the Jeffersonian Weltanschauung. The FDR Presidency and the New Deal programs of the 1930s have been the peak of that endeavor. Not even the Great Society, which tried to continue the New Deal in the 1960s, came close to repeating its successes.

The Fusionists were essentially a marriage of convenience between Classical Liberals, Economic Liberals, and Social Conservatives and Traditionalists more afraid of the Soviet Union than the Empire of Liberty that had succeeded in annihilating several Empires. An economic model that runs on Kapital and Schuld is going to promote values that eschew other values like family, faith, community, and homeland. It may not be obvious at first because the consequences are long-term, not short-term. In the wake of the Cold War, the latter half of the Second World War, the Fusionist consensus has been on a protracted collapse and it remains to be seen if something genuine will thoroughly replace it in the 21st century.

From the standpoint of Hamiltonianism, Progressives and Fusionists have far more in common than they would like to admit. They represent political factions within the Jeffersonian Weltanschauung, with one emphasizing its socially liberal aspects, whereas the other promotes its economically liberal ones. Both are spun from the same politically liberal cloth that governs the Jeffersonian Weltanschauung, from the manner in which it interprets the Constitution to how it understands the role of the Federal government and its relationship between the States and this Union as a Totality.   

This proves an important conclusion that I have been pondering about Federalist Papers No. 9 and No. 10 for some time now. Hamilton wrote Federalist No. 9, yet Madison wrote Federalist No. 10. Both deal with the issue of factionalism, albeit through different means. What can be said about the Federalist Party can also be said about the other great powers.  

How does any nation deal with the proliferation of seemingly different factions whose adherents may or may not realize that they have a lot in common? Does one transcend factionalism by emphasizing the Totality’s importance or does one try to control factionalism through some form of Checks and Balances? If US history, Progressives and Fusionists are of any indication, Checks and Balances cannot be applied to the question of factionalism. Any Weltanschauung could host a wide variety of ideologies and factions, each one adhering to a shared set of fundamental agreements on certain topics that it would be unthinkable, rather than unconstitutional, to dissent from. To dissent from those fundamental agreements is to declare oneself as an enemy of that Weltanschauung.

Over the next two Parts, I will be discussing the two Federalist Papers and why I am convinced that they mark the point of divergence between Hamiltonian Federalism and the Madisonian Federalism, the latter of which has since gone on to join today’s Democratic Party. In particular, I will be pointing out the opposing approaches to dealing with factionalism as Hamilton and Madison described them.   

Categories: Politics

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