Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ron Paul: A Jeffersonian Awakening for America

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 10/17/07

“ . . . first of all, to go alone; to refuse the good models, even those which are sacred in the imagination of men.” - New England’s Celestial Bard, 1838

At the beginning, our continent took two paths and was led by two visions; the one, the expansive, globalist vision of Alexander Hamilton of the Empire State, who saw a strong and singular central (world) government enabling a world of capital and corporations. The second was a vision of unique states and regions and peoples, loosely connecting the one to the other, growing over time, rich in character and each with its own identity and personality. These would be peoples whole in their own communities; people close to the earth and close to their experience of God. This was the vision of Thomas Jefferson, the Virginian. The Jeffersonian vision was sent into exile in 1865. Ron Paul has brought it back.

Hamilton’s vision was at war with Jefferson’s from the start. And as power accumulated in the Empire State through the rise of corporations and the industrialization of the northern cities, the Hamilton vision dominated and found its Dark but Identical Twin: Marx was a countervailing movement reacting to Hamilton-based capitalism but likewise, a materialist plan featuring one world and one central power. From 1865 until now, both political parties should be seen as manifestations of one or the other of these two masks, sent to the world stage for and agin’ by surfing the rise of England’s and America’s economic arc in the world.

From as early as 1830, when the industrial revolution came to New England and New York, Jefferson had no role whatsoever. The industrialists had the power and Jefferson and the Virginians were considered tribal and regressive by both the Marxists and the Empire Staters. Today, for the first time in more than 150 years, Jefferson’s vision has awakened again in the world with the rise of Ron Paul.

There could not be a better man for the times than Ron Paul. He rises here in northern New England because we are one of the last vestiges of Jeffersonian independence in the northern parts, although all of our early great poets were Jeffersonian, including the Celestial Bard cited above. We lost our identity when Wall St. became the world vortex of capital, but this week the NYTs Magazine asks in an excellent and comprehensive article by Daniel Gross, is NY no longer the capital of capital?

In today’s burgeoning and increasingly integrated global financial markets, he writes, New York is clearly no longer the epicenter of world capital:

“Since the end of the cold war, vast pools of capital have been forming overseas, in the Swiss bank accounts of Russian oligarchs, in the Shanghai vaults of Chinese manufacturing magnates and in the coffers of funds controlled by governments in Singapore, Russia, Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia that may amount to some $2.5 trillion, according to Stephen Jen, a Morgan Stanley economist.”

Having your own stock market today is akin to having some of those gigundus pointy buildings and sending guys (of every race, creed, sex and sexual orientation) to the moon to play golf. It shows NY it is no longer Big Boss on its own terms: If you don’t have the dough, you gotta go.

Could be that culture follows capital. Or capital follows culture. Can’t tell. I would say though that for whatever reason, New England does indeed seem to be rising again and coming out to NY’s shadow. It was horrible here growing up in a city of 150 empty cotton mills. I volunteered for Vietnam just to get away from it. It was so bad that in the restaurant I worked at as a college student some of the waiters also played for the Patriots. No duh! And the federalies had sent a major highway right through the heart of the city of Boston as they had through so many other major cities in the country, cutting them in half to show who was boss. But today New England is looking pretty good and so is Boston. They buried the highway. Our quarterback is almost beyond imagination. And the Red Sox have broken the Curse, and possibly broken the Yankees: Nobody loves you when you’re down and out.

But the masks persist. David Brooks, one of the High Priests who accompanies the Conquistadors, is starting to get stressed out. He writes in his column for the NYTs this week that the Republicans are losing the Hamiltonian grounds to the Democrats.

It is true. The fact is that Marx needs proles in big numbers to accumulate power. (Worth noting, China has 900 million potential workers who have not yet been brought into China’s Hamilton/Marx hybrid). By Bill Clinton’s day we had outsourced ours. Without proletariat, the Democrats had no voice, no pocket of oppression. So Bill Clinton tried the direct Hamiltonian path. That is when the Republicans began thinking of abandoning it.

The Republican Party has abandoned the Hamiltonian ground, writes Brooks, and has lost “intimate contact” with the “working class dreamer” (wow). And instead, this ground is being seized by Hillary Clinton. In fact, the Clintons, like the god Janus (and not unlike China), are trying to wear both masks, Hamilton and Marx.

One of the very great college teachers, Jack Deaver, used to tell us at U. Mass: “We look for a mask that fits until we find one that fits so well we can’t get it off.”

That’s the Democrats’ dilemma today, or rather the Clinton dilemma, because as of now, there is no Democratic Party, there is only the Clintons.

But Brooks is right when he says that the Republicans are beginning to yield the Hamiltonian ground. And it will one day, not far away, leave Brooks behind.

The Federalist Society takes James Madison, Jefferson’s colleague and right hand man, as its avatar. When it was noticed that the new Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts, was associated with The Federalist Society, old school Hamiltonian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., went apoplectic. He began writing letters to editors denouncing Jefferson and appearing on talk shows just before his death warning against the Jefferson position. And recently, Mitt Romney, who has spoken at The Federalist Society, also suggested Jefferson when he began using the phrase “one size fits all federalism” suggesting regional rather than federal solutions to social and political problems.

It was inevitable that the Jeffersonian paradigm would awaken after the South, Texas and the Southwest were brought into the mainstream Republican fold, as all Southern life is based on Jefferson.

As Frank Owsley, one of the great historians of the 20th century put it:

“In the beginning of Washington’s administration two men defined the fundamental principles of the political philosophy of the two societies (North and South), Alexander Hamilton for the North and Jefferson for the South. The one was extreme centralization, the other was extreme decentralization; the one was nationalistic and the other provincial; the first was called Federalism, the other State Rights, but in truth the first should be been called Unitarianism and the second Federalism.” (“The Irrepressible Conflict” by Frank Owsley, 1930)

Today, Jefferson’s vision comes out of shadow and onto Main Street with Ron Paul. Paul, with Howard Dean, is one of two voices and new directions for the political parties and it is most interesting that Dean, a New Yorker, speaks to Vermont while Paul, a Texan, speaks to us here in New Hampshire. We are binary states. Indeed, we are very much alike, like twins, but the kind of identical twins who are vastly different. In fact, both states have burgeoning independence movements and they are the only states that do.

But Dr. Dean carries what might be called the “Deaver Curse” – the mask which can’t come off. It is a problem, it could be a crisis.

It is an issue that some of the greatest literary minds of our time have written about and one of them last week won the Noble Prize for Literature. Anti-communist writer Arthur Koestler wrote in the 1930s and 40s about Soviet agents going to their executions by Stalin’s hand still endorsing Stalin and his works. He asked the question how could a European, who considered himself and herself to be a humanitarian, become a Communist and enable and abet the executioner’s hand? And why would he still endorse the executioner even when he was the one being executed? Doris Lessing, who recently won the prize, asks a similar question.

In an essay in 1992 she points out that many writers and politicians, when they leave the Communist cloak behind, simply change the language and remain in the same condition.

“While we have seen the apparent death of Communism,” she writes, “ways of thinking that were either born under Communism or strengthened by Communism still govern our lives. Not all of them are as immediately evident as a legacy of Communism as political correctness.”

Would that some of the “anti-war” types of the last five years had read them. Howard Dean and Ron Paul both opposed the war from the very start. But immediately after the decent interval had passed, Dean went direct to the head of the Democratic Party and folded in with the party, enlisting with the party which had endorsed the invasion of Iraq, the pre-emptive policy, the war on Islam “to take generations” and with Senator Clinton as front-runner, the completely and pathologically irresponsible policies which legitimize use of nuclear weapons in battle circumstances and the full endorsement of a pending invasion of Iran which could well bring us today to a full-scale war with Russia.

Dr. Paul has a different position. When asked by a Washington Post reporter last week if he would endorse another Republican who supported the invasion if he did not get the nomination, he said: “I cannot in good conscience vote for them.”

This is the way the world begins again; with one man willing to go alone, refusing the good models, even those which are sacred to the imagination of men, as Ralph Waldo Emerson advised us to do here in New England back in 1838.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Excellent blog. Ron Paul, the voice of reason in a wilderness of lies.

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of Dr. Paul and I support him as a true American.

I'm so sad for all the apathetic uninformed voters who don't understand the issues of our day and how they've beed brain-washed by the main stram media.

Anonymous said...