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Posted by: Doug Henwood | September 12, 2014

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive:

September 11, 2014 Dana Goldstein, author of Teacher Warson the history of education politics in the U.S. • Christian Parenti, author of this article, reclaims Hamilton for the left (and for climate politics)

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Responses

  1. In regard to Hamilton-Parenti, I suppose it depends on what one means by ‘Left’. Originally, I think the Left was supposed to be libertarian, egalitarian, and pacifistic, as opposed to the Right, which was the party of authority, power, private wealth, social hierarchy, the military virtues, and so forth, in short, whatever descendent of slave, military culture, and feudalism are still generally acceptable at the moment. Liberalism and capitalism have oscillated between these two poles.

    Sometime around the beginning of the 20th century, certain types of authoritarians appropriated the rightist notion of the all-encompassing state as a means to gain leftish or capitalist-progressive ends. Some of them, like Mussolini, stopped calling themselves leftists, some, like Lenin, didn’t. Some, of course, located themselves on the Right or the Center. Hamilton was of their party, and I don’t see any reasonable way of making him into an actual leftist.

    Jefferson seems mostly pretty irrelevant. As is often pointed out, for all his libertarian talk he was a slavemaster and a slave trader. The contradictions seem to overwhelm his supposed intelligence and wit.


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