The ugly side of money and power in America – all the way back to Andrew Hamilton

http://www.maxwellcreek.org/images/newsletter/3q2005/10dollarbill.jpgThe Boston Review is a good thing. I found this article on Alexander Hamilton, which is a serious debunking job on the hagiographies of Alexander Hamilton. I’m not well read enough to arbitrate between this guy and those he’s taking on, but despite the occasional intemperance towards his opponents, his argument rings true to me – and is similar to the portrait painted in Joseph Ellis’ very readable Founding Brothers. The thing that attracted Adam Smith to capitalism was the way in which he thought it diffused power, the way it liberated people from the overbearing behaviour of their economic betters by diffusing their power. With enough people to do business with you were beholden to none.

Republican hagiography notwithstanding, Alexander saw things differently. . . .

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