Radical Hamilton?

In 2017, I published How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America, a book designed to challenge the conventional (both on the left and the right) wisdom about the now hip Hamilton.

You see, to leftists, Hamilton had become a fad, a founder with a man bun who liked to rap and personified their vision of America.

To those on the right, Hamilton had always been the conservative counterweight to Jefferson’s democracy, the realist who understood America needed a strong Union and who believed in capitalism.

I said he was a scoundrel who lied to get what he wanted (a consolidated general government) through various constitutional machinations that were later seized upon by the federal courts to codify his innovations.

The Constitution Hamilton really wanted was not ratified in 1788. The federal government we currently endure could only be foisted on the public with Hamiltonian logic. Notice I didn’t say the Constitution we endure. It’s virtually the same. The government isn’t.

I’m not sure the publisher really liked my idea because they didn’t support the book as much as they promised, but that’s another story.

Along comes Michael Parenti with Radical Hamilton in 2020. Granted, Parenti is a card carrying leftist, and this book is designed to praise old Ham for his financial schemes, not because they were bad–they were–but because he wasn’t really a laissez-farie capitalist as the right claims. To Parenti, Hamilton would be more in line with a big welfare state than the right thinks.

I agree. Hamilton is the very root of every problem in America, including his financial system comprising the fusion of banking, commerce, and industry.

Hamilton wasn’t a free market pioneer. He was a statist pioneer who ruined the original understanding of the Constitution.

Parenti seems to miss that some on the right and libertarians have blasted Hamilton for years. Southerners always have. Parenti talks about them, but only because he thinks the didn’t like Hamilton for one reason.

Can you guess? I shouldn’t even have to say it. Leftists like Parenti think that Southerners only thought about this one issue day and night.

Ok, slavery.

And don’t forget race.

That’s not what I talked about because it wasn’t why Southerners opposed Hamilton’s constitutional schemes.

Regardless, Parenti’s book made great Podcast fodder.

I talk about the “radical Hamilton” in episode 473 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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