As an Aristotelian libertarian, I’m not a big fan of Immanuel Kant, his philosophy in general, or his take on world peace. But to say that I’m not a fan of Alexander Hamilton — that statist, bank centralizer, mercantilist, and crypto-monarchist — would be a vast understatement. (For more on what’s wrong with Hamilton, see Thomas DiLorenzo’s “What Hamilton Has Wrought” and Hamilton’s Curse.)
I discussed the democratic peace thesis and problems I see with the Kantian Triangle — resting on republican government, international trade, and international law and organizations — in my previous post, Triangulating Peace? Or, Three Foundations for Oppression? While trade is a peaceful activity and economic interdependence can promote peace among states, it can be perverted and used for corporatist and mercantilist ends by states and international governmental organizations (IGOs), which is why, though it pains me to say it, I must side with Hamilton’s take on the matter, excerpted from Federalist #6 below:
Newt Gingrich, a serial adulterer and disciple of New Age futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler, makes a singularly unlikely Crusader. Yet apparently at some point in the past year or so Gingrich looked in a mirror and saw Don John of Austria looking back at him.
An epiphany of that kind would explain Gingrich’s perverse determination to depict the contrived controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque” as a contemporary Battle of Lepanto. A more reasonable explanation would be that Gingrich, one of the most penetrably insincere figures in American politics, is trying to distill irrational populist resentment into a propellant for a presidential campaign.
In a recent post, Akiva claimed that people (in general) get the government they deserve. The US is an imperial-warfare state and a growing surveillance-police state, not to mention a nanny-welfare state. Boston Legal’s left-liberal attorney Alan Shore echoes Akiva’s sentiments in a closing argument in defense of, oddly enough, a tax protester (video below). He points out many of the evils of the US governments and their infringements on our liberties and concludes that Americans must be okay with it all.
These quotes from 1976 and 2010 (via “Snowflakes in Hell“) suggest an answer:
“Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. My estimate is seven to ten years. The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors-totally illegal.”
–Pete Shields, July 1976, President of National Coalition to Control Handguns (which later became Handgun Control Inc. and then the Brady Campaign)
“It is settled law. If I were taking a law school exam today, I would say, yes, you have got an individual right to have a gun in your home for self-defense.”
– Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign, June 28, 2010