The Constitution that was never meant to beSubmitted by Séamusín on Thu, 05/15/2014 - 23:35
I have always been very fond of Alexander Hamilton. Every since i started reading history, i had fallen in love with him right away.
His story is really quite fascinating. He was born in the Caribbean. His mother and father had never married because of a previous marriage by the mother. When it was discovered that her previous husband was prepared to divorce her on grounds of adultery, James, Hamilton's father abandoned them.
Alexander was almost entirely self taught. He spent most of his youngest years learning to read from the books in the family library. He was extremely bright, and although couldn't go to school(as he was a bastard child) he learned dedication and perseverance, as he taught himself to read and write. A trait that would be a mark of his character for years to come. His mother died when he was 11. Her belongings ended up being claimed by her previous husband, all except for the books that he grew up on. within a few years he found work as a clerk for a shipping company on the island on which he lived. He was a determined workaholic, with nothing better to do but devout his energy to serving his employer, or enhancing his intellectual capital.
He was so incredibly bright and hard working, that members of the community of the island actually pooled their money to send him off to north america to be educated. He spent the the next years up until the revolutionary war being educated in New Jersey and at Columbia(what was then called Kings)College in New York. Interesting factoid, Hamilton would have much preferred to have attended college in Princeton n.j. There are only a few founding fathers whom it is said without which this nation would have never been born. I would contend that Hamilton was chief among them. If he had gone to Princeton, it is quite possible that his opinions would have been molded to a alternative sentiment than that of the prevailing revolutionary attitudes in Kings.
Alexander was a loyal devotee to the model of government that the British had established. he fiercely believed in individual rights and advocated for the same treatment by the government that was afforded to British citizens. At first Hamilton thought there may be hope politically for addressing the grievances of the colonialists, but soon after things became apparent that war was on the horizon, Hamilton decided to throw his lot in with the revolution. In everything he did, Hamilton displayed almost supernatural athleticism, drive and ability. He was promoted extremely quickly through the officer ranks, led armies to imperative victories, and had a thoroughness and attention that was so highly regarded, that he was soon promoted to the position as Washington's aide de camp.
I could go on about Hamilton's life, or his accomplishments. I think what i mentioned will suffice for now. As you can see he was certainly a remarkable character. What i haven't mentioned until this point is how dedicated to justice and freedom he was. He believed in meritocracy, averse to any and all forms of bigotry, and was one of the few founding fathers who ferociously advocated the abolition of slavery.
So why has Alexander gone down in history as the bane of libertarian existence. It would be easy for the zio-rothschild conspiracy theorists to carelessly dismiss him as the agent of the house of rothschild, whose mission was to create the national bank, and start siphoning off all the wealth of the country into a vault underneath some mansion in Germany. Less likely, but equally absurd would be that Hamilton was of the same crony ilk hat our modern day corporatist power structure is of. The truth is alot less underhanded, and alot more tragic.
As was mentioned before, Hamilton was a devotee of the British system of government. He viewed the success of the British empire as a tribute to efficacy and strength. He would rather the colonies stayed as subjects to the crown if he knew that they would guarantee the colonists the same rights of citizenship. As it stood Hamilton would be content just to recreate the British system in america. This is not a personal attach on his character. Maybe his ignorance, but not his integrity. He was until the day he died dedicated to creating a rival nation that would grow to become superior to the mother country they had all left.
Mercantilism was school of economic thought that was most heavily subscribed to in those times, especially by those who were studying to potentially become bureaucrats or ministers in public life. Hamilton fully subscribed to this economic model, believing that the dominance of Britain in the world economy was a proof of its effectiveness. Hamilton was almost completely ignorant of the classical liberal scholars whose ideas would be a precursor to the austrian school we are all familiar with. What he understood however, with great clarity was that in order to develop the mercantilist economy he believed was necessary to strengthen the nation, enough power had to be centralized in the hands of the bureaucratic elite so that they might manage it.
For those who are not familiar with the term, you might liken it to something akin to fascism. It can be defined as government regulation of industry, commerce, and other economic activity.
This is a description of the original intent of the commerce clause as described by Calvin n Johnson in the William and Mary Bill of Rights journal:
The third power listed in the Constitution’s description of federal powers gives Congress the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, with indian tribes and among the states. In the original debates over adoption of the Constitution, “regulation of commerce” was used, almost exclusively, as a cover of words for specific mercantilist proposals related to deep-water shipping and foreign trade. The Constitution was written before Adam Smith, laissez faire and free trade came to dominate economic thinking and the Commerce Clause draws its original meaning from the preceding mercantilist tradition. All of the concrete programs intended to be forwarded by giving Congress the power to regulate commerce were restrictions on international trade giving subsidy or protection to favored domestic merchants or punishing imports or foreign producers.
As one sifts through the constitution, one finds that it is riddled with subtle nuances, shrewdly entrenching the mercantilist roots of our economic system into our founding document. Adam Smith and the rest of the classical liberals would come to thoroughly rebuke the ides of mercantilism and protectionism, but unfortunately not until it had infested the minds of politicians, and empowered big finance and industry to take command of the state and the power granted to it by the constitution.
It was not that it was the aim of Hamilton and his allies was to destroy freedom in this country, They were not evil people. They were simply concerned with harnessing the power of the nations industry and direct it in ways that would be beneficial to all of her citizens.
Our Constitution, was written for the very purpose of centralizing this power. it was never written to guarantee the rights of the individual or the states. It was an insidious and deceitful attempt to fool the people in the US to give the power of industry over to the politicians who might recreate the glory of the British empire.
A good place to start learning about the real history of the constitution is in the book: Hologram of liberty, By Kenneth Royce