Thursday, April 12, 2012
Alexander Hamilton, Barack Obama and 'The General Will'
Jacques Rosseau was a French philosopher who once said, "No aspect of human life is excluded from the control of the general will," and "whosoever refuses to obey the general will must in that instance be restrained by the body politic, which actually means that he is forced to be free."
Alexander Hamilton - one of the Founders who supported this view in his quest to create an American monarchy - frequently argued that the ruling elite in a centralized, powerful federal government were in the best position to understand what the masses needed in order to affect the happiness of mankind.
Of course Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others vehemently disagreed with this concept that elected officials could centralize the masses and make decisions better than free individuals. The argument that liberty - organized by self-interested pursuits - would serve mankind better than politicians pushing for the "public good" led to our nation becoming the most economically free and politically peaceful place in the history of the world.....for awhile.
Since the days of FDR our nation has increasingly, interrupted only by the 1980's, become one where Hamilton and Rosseau's political philosophy has gained ground as liberty has faded away. Two recent events clearly illustrate this fact.
First, the $862 billion stimulus package created by the Obama Adminstration. This law presumed that the federal government knew best how to manage the economic recovery. This law assumed that the 'general will' was best served by having government take away $862 billion - plus interest - from the private sector so that professional experts could "plan" our lives for us. Rather than lower taxes and regulations by a total of $862 billion and trusting that free human beings would know what to do with our own money (property), the ruling elite in effect said, "You do not know what is best for you. We do. We will spend your money on what we know to be best for the public good."
Then came ObamaCare. President Obama and his minions told us, "You do not know how best to spend your money when it comes to your own health. Therefore, in order to satisfy the general will, we will force you to spend your money on a product you are currently not purchasing. If you refuse to purchase the product we will fine you. If you do not pay the fine we will jail you, ostensibly for the good of all."
In 1964 Ronald Reagan said that it is time to decide whether or not we should abandon the American Revolution and confess that an a little intellectual elite can plan our lives for us better than we can plan for ourselves.
He was right. Barack Obama and our leaders daily plan our lives under the assumption that the ignorant masses cannot rationally plan our own lives. This is not a new mentality. Jefferson fought Hamilton (the Barack Obama of the 1700's) every step of the way in an effort to fight off the ruling elite who would ruin our lives with their plans and ambitions.
Hamilton is currently winning. Whether he wins is up to you and I.