Sunday, April 25, 2004

Hamilton's Different Categories

David Brooks writes this in today's review of Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton:
"He started a political tradition, dormant in our own day, in which energetic government doesn't oppose market dynamism but is organized to enhance it. Today our liberal/conservative debates tend to pit the advocates of government against the advocates of the market. Today our politics is dominated by rival strands of populism: the anticorporate populism of the Democrats and the anti-Washington populism of the Republicans. But Hamilton thought in entirely different categories. He argued that 'liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power.' He wanted a limited but energetic government that would open fields of enterprise and give new directions to popular passions."


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