Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Hi everyone – thank you to Professor Allen for your enlightening essay! And thank you to everyone for your comments today.
I love the realism of Alexander Hamilton: “men are ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent, unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood, would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages.”
We are fortunate our founding fathers were well read students of history, philosophy and political systems. They understood that we, as humans, are imperfect, and that civilizations through the ages have fallen victim to the character flaws of their leaders and citizens, time and time again. The Constitution they proposed, with its delicate checks and balances, was designed to take man’s nature into account.
My favorite line from this essay was “Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age, and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct that we, as well as the other inhabitants of the globe, are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue?”
Over 200 years later, we, and the rest of the world, are still “remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue”-a state humans will most likely never attain. As we consider how we deal with Iran and other terrorist nations, we should remember Alexander Hamilton’s words, and not assume we can simply talk things out. These nations have not had the benefit of freedom. Oppression breads violence, and reinforces man’s darker side.
The United States of America, though, is one of the greatest humanitarian and charitable nations on the planet. How is that possible, given the nature of man as described by Hamilton? Our founders – we the people – designed a government based on Godly principles, ceding only enough power to the government to keep man’s darker side in check, but allowing the freedom necessary for our better qualities to flourish, and be brought to bear upon the problems facing our Nation and the world.
PS – We are working to consolidate all blog comments onto the Daily Guest Bloggers page, and Janine and I will be posting our daily essasy on the Guest Blogger’s Post as “Comments” as well as the usual standalone posts. Please post all your blog comments on the Guest Bloggers Page so its easy to see all the great comments in one place! Thank you!