Thursday, May 3, 2007

History: " I do quite fine and thrive without You."

1789 was the year of triumphalism with America's Jeffersonian Democrats as 1989 is *Year One* for Neoconservatives. Both factions proclaimed these hallmark years in their own way as an end to history and the alpha of a new-world order. Few were sad to see the old regime of titled aristocrats go in 1789, and neither were many people sorrowful to witness the collapse of the Leninist States of eastern Europe two hundred years after the French Revolution.

Noted is both revolutions went south with a spirit of Jacobinism. The Jacobinist hue of Neocons is that of 'privatization' globally to guillotine any nation's public venture into their own economy and send American troops if necessary to enforce it. I think, for instance, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in '91 and would have announced that he was putting up the Kuwaiti oil fields up for auction to international petroleum companies, he would had been spun as a 'liberator' by the State Department and the Press and nothing would had been done to remove the Iraqi Army from Kuwait. Same applies to Slobodan Milosovic. If he wouldn't had resisted privatization from the global edifices and had endorsed "free market solutions" for Serbia, the alleged 'Balkans Butcher' wouldn't had been removed from power and he could had killed as many people as he wished without a whisper of protest.

The triumphalism of 1789 led the Jeffersonians to believe that the people of the French Revolution could do no wrong even when the Revolution went sour with the Terror and many in the National Directory began speaking of a global empire under the slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity. This was quite alright with Thomas Jefferson in those days. Ironically he and John Adams accused the foreign policy Realists such as Hamilton of 'Ceasarism' when TJ's beloved French Revolution collapsed into the rule of Napoleon and conquered most of Europe and he set the Emperor's crown on his own and head. The 'end of history' in effect become a continuation of the old order with just different memes involved than before.

Refuted again here is that Hamilton could be accused of being a pre-neoconservative. If anything, AH had more in common with Realpolitik in foreign policy than he ever did with crusading forms of international policy. In the 1790's, Hamilton realized that the Great Powers of Europe would not have respect for, the best interests of the United States at heart regardless of what form of governments that they had, monarchies or sister republics. Hamilton was pessimistic that a clash between the Great Powers and the USA could be avoided but sought to stave off the conflict as long as possible. To prevent the clash, he sought to avoid entangling military alliances but simultaneously get America strong economically and militarily.He pushed for a strong Navy and a standing peace-time Army to largely deaf ears and howls of protests (from even among Federalists, such as John Adams) that he had hankerings of Ceasarism.

Hamilton's assertion that the Great Powers would never respect a weak and decentralized America was borne out with both Britain's and France's impressment of American sailors and attacking it's merchant marine fleet. When it looked as if war with the French Republic was nigh during the 'XYZ Affair', Hamilton was appointed Inspector General to build the Army. His military planning consisted of ultimately removing European colonialism from North America. His vision of the Western Hemisphere of being a conglomeration of independent nation/states didn't have a Bonapartist hue to it, but a pressure of necessity of the time. Hamilton accepted the reality of the European empires - he just wanted them as far away from the USA as possible, buy one off against the other to maintain this long arm's reach if need be.

Hamilton opened himself up to accusations that he was a "British agent" by trying to develop a spirit of detente with the British Empire. The truth is that he was not an Anglophile per se. Neither did he share the Jeffersonians' Anglophobia and mocked TJ's "womanish attachment to France". Hamilton believed neither in *special relationships* with foreign powers nor creating enemies unnecessarily. Hamilton knew that America was lucky to have won the War of Independence, and knew that Great Britain could crush the USA anytime it desired to. To prevent this, America had to have steady trade relations with Britain, maintain if all possible strict neutrality regarding European Wars, use custom duties on British made imports to build up our own economic infrastructure and have a strong peacetime armed forces.

It has been said that Realpolitik is an amoral Machiavellian foreign policy. Hamilton's version of it always had as the core common denominator the independence of the new United States in heart and mind. Though it is true that he was a hawk and wanted America ultimately to be on the same level of the Great Powers of his day , AH was not a militarist or a romantic. He didn't want a 'Prussia on the Potomac' and never desired America's military to be a mobile global edifice to spread ideas of governance by force such as 'democracy' and the 'free market' as the Wilsonian neoconservatives/neolibs champion today. And the Hamiltonians always looked at economics nationally, always minding their own store first. What another country's internal economic policy is, is not another nation's business.

Neither of these years, 1989 or 1789, spelled the 'end of history'. History continues on, and the universe is not concerned what humans on Earth assign Utopian ideals to any solar year. There is no 'World Spirit' to play referee in the shadows either. This, the Jeffersonian-Jacobins,the Bolsheviks, Fascists, and Neocons have never realized.

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