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Hamilton was a Socialist!

ComradeHamilton550Yeah, we represent diversity (chuckle)

For anyone familiar with the works, movement, and life of Ayn Rand, one of their most glaring weaknesses (apart from a verbosity Horatius is himself in no position to decry) is a dour absence of humor.  There is therefore no commentary on Rand, Randians, and Randianism more profoundly important – or enjoyable – than Murray Rothbard’s short play, “Mozart was a Red“.

This title and concept was today recalled to mind by an article from one Achintya Ray, Associate Professor of Economics, which apparently has the object of promoting the explicit “democratic socialism” of Bernie Sanders by associating it with the current United States Constitution.  It not only demonstrates the understanding of economics possessed by that fraudulent discipline (like fortune tellers, if economists were for real, they’d all be rich), but asserts, knowingly or not, that Hamilton was a Socialist.

Readers here will be well aware of the singular responsibility of Alexander Hamilton for the duplicitous maneuvering that resulted in the current Constitution of the United States of America.  Hopefully, they are likewise well aware that Aaron Burr sent that champion of the rich, the well-born, and the able out of this life in 1804, two score and four years before the bloody red banner of Socialism was raised and a specter came to haunt Europe.

Ray’s article knowingly follows latter-day “living document” doctrine when it looks not to the actual Articles of the U. S. Constitution but to its Preamble for a guide to the basis and legitimacy of the powers to be vested in the central government.  What its author seems not to know is that this was a deliberate trick played by Hamilton upon the hapless Framers and ratifiers, relying upon the mechanism of the “Elastic Clause”.

As he moves to specifics, poor Professor Ray, evidently well schooled in the training that stands in the place (not to say in the way) of education these days, seems hopelessly ignorant of, and confused about, many things.

To begin with, we have “The Constitution is the governing document that takes a scattered society and elevates it to a unified republic.”  This statement is a very good and clear expression of a completely false idea.

The representatives of the several and sovereign thirteen States chose voluntarily to assemble in a Continental Congress, and as sovereign States declared in 1776 their independence, on universal principles of individual rights and legitimate government and a shared set of irreconcilable grievances against King George III.  There was no “scattered society”, nor did those who ratified the current Constitution intend or empower said document to “elevate it to a unified republic”.

It is unsurprising that Professor Ray appears unfamiliar with the concept of a federal republic, and thus the existence of Switzerland.  That is to say, he does not comprehend the difference between sovereign states freely choosing to associate, and The State in the totalitarian sense that has sadly come to dominate the past century and a half.

Having thus begun from a false premise, Professor Ray does us at least the favor of proceeding with consistency as he makes rather amazing assertions about “common defense”.  Certainly the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord would be mightily surprised to learn that they were operating on “an explictly socialist idea” when each volunteered to participate in the local militia that fired the shot heard ’round the world.

Sadly, Professor Ray falls into self-contradiction when he says both that the state must own the means of production and that the Preamble guarantees private property rights.  If people have possessions at the discretion and by the permission of the state, and if the state asserts control and ownership of the means of production, then the natural liberty to possess the fruit of one’s labor and of consensual exchange is violated, not secured.

One is indeed almost embarassed to have to note that roads, bridges, and so forth have indeed been constructed and operated without state sponsorship or ownership, and that there is no actual equivalency between infrastructure and universal handout schemes such as (the U.S. version of) Medicare, Social Security, et c.

To avoid any question of “spin”, cherry-picking, or unfairness, let us draw to a close by quoting Professor Ray’s concluding paragraph in full:

Denying democratic socialism is tantamount to denying the Constitution of the United States. Denying democratic socialism is as good as denying what our Founding Fathers set out to accomplish: a more perfect union that embraces general welfare, justice and the blessings of liberty for all. The call to shun the path of democratic socialism basically translates into a call to give up the founding principles of the nation.

It seems clear that he does not realize how totally wrong he is about all the Framers (whom he mistakenly conflates with the Founding Fathers, i.e., the signers of the Declaration of Independence)… save oneIn that one, however, we must concede that Professor Ray is more accurate than he realizes.

Horatius

 

1 Comment »

  1. Horatius Said,

    January 13, 2017 @ 2:22 am

    And Prof. Ray is clearly not an outlier in the halls of academe. We are told, in the face of the traditional association by the “civil rights” left of “states’ rights” with slavery and segregation, that instead, federalism exists for the purpose of promoting “progress” as defined in cultural Marxist terms:

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/01/12/federalism-is-for-leftism-says-brown-u-american-studies-chairman/

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