Excerpt from essay by Aaron Dykes (see the full essay here):
This video on Alexander Hamilton is over an hour-long, and for several reasons (some better than others). But gave us lots of amusement about history and about bad wannabe hip-hop raps.
With a deluge of information, and mini-perseveration and obsessive focus on the facts of the founding period, against a setting of slow, clumsy medical recovery that is beginning to see the light of day – in that context, I slew the dragons in my mind with the ammunition I could scour from our library in something of an offshoot of our previous series ‘The Trust Game’.
Drawing a duel in my mind with fundamentally-flawed philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, and, mixed up with meta-layers of irony, at the same time dueling with the flawed and deceptive framing of today, the presentation of history by major foundations, by entertainment giants and by the education system.
These and other forces have seemingly teamed-up to inspire the next generation to believe that 2+2=5, that aristocracy was democracy, and that Hamilton reigns over an alternate-dimension of woke hip-hop fantasy legitimized by the power of using “words” to define “reality.” A bent pseudo-realness brought into existence either by scientists at CERN probing dark matter, or whisked into meta-being by influencers who often use the term “meta” in their speeches, or perhaps in combination with one or other creative writers in the entertainment business.
My quixotic quest to right the wrongs of modern remix-history thus morphed from a simple summary about the Rockefeller Foundation sponsoring a play and paying to get kids to watch it, into a meta-analysis disassembling the core significance of our historical founder Alexander Hamilton from our 21st Century dumpster-fire culture. Our chances for a bright future are, thus, impaired, as the powers-that-be have given the young-in-spirit-and-mind the wrong codes and keywords. Instead of treasuring our individual rights and traditions of freedom, to maintain and treasure, even as the future keeps changing our notions of how things ought to be, the powers-that-be have trained impressionable minds to celebrate their own mental enslavement; to cheer on incredible financial rapings, and call for a greater concentration of power in the name of besting dissidents and opponents.
The wisdom and knowledge that too much power in the hands of government is a recipe for disaster. In respect to this principle, takes away the focus on individual rights and limiting abusive powers in all its forms. Too much power has been given away, given to despots and political champions, and technology has made modern people appear and feel minuscule in the grand scheme of things with respect to decision making and agency in writing their own future.
It occurred to me, with a bit of a background in government studies, that the growing public misconception about such fundamental rights as the Freedom of Speech (and the freedom of conscience) is a significant and growing danger to our society. An alarming number of lost sheep are prone to believe that society is vulnerable to “haters” who must be disarmed of their expression by government policies, and by huge tech companies who own and control the prevalent mediums of expression. It is a generation prone to believe that words CAN hurt you, and hurt so much that online speech must be patrolled, terms terminated, certain language left unspoken, and expression narrowly confined with search terms so as to not offend. Verified information only. Vetted, sanitized, safe.
The catastrophic fallout from this kind of thinking — from just this example — has already besieged our generation. It has purged many dissidents, threatening their livelihoods and their rights to expression. It has emboldened those abusing powers, who seek excuses and rationales to grab and use further power, and has empowered the worst abuses we’ve seen in freedom of conscience and freedom of speech both under the cloak of medical emergency in recent years. You know, our generational trauma.
On top of that is Hamilton. Miseducation hidden in the casserole of a trendy musical: a clear example that the truth has become a catspaw to manipulative powers, kneading a dough of history into a tableau that expresses the values of power they way they wish them to be presented, to be perceived. Is there a controller behind the veil? Or are these just shadows, pixels, static?
What has transpired to make this or any other best-selling musical/book/movie speak for a generation IN FAVOR of a figure who specifically represents the quest for more government power?
What is behind the glorification of a reprobate who has been strongly criticized by his contemporaries and by historians for his Machiavellian works towards a Federal Government over-endowed with uncontrollable powers? Superlative powers over the several States, over the revolutionaries who believed in and fought for liberty?
We find a banker, a shadow banker, who instituted a government system vulnerable to the undue influence of the mega-wealth, the elite. Made in the image of his patrons. A founding father thinker who believed that Aristocracy was the most desired form of government, that the monarchy American colonists had just fought against represented not-the-worst-but-the-best system, and that democracy was a totally destructive, unstable, untrustworthy system of government. People in mass a monster.
Yet people today — the typified acolytes of the Hamilton! Musical and its political affiliates — clamor for “democracy” and swoon at the Histor-tainment surrounding Alexander Hamilton whom they see as a climber from the lower classes, as a self-made immigrant, as an abolitionist of slaves, and a beacon of – democracy.
But that’s the very opposite of what Broadway’s most celebrated man actually stood for.
How is that even possible? Are people really that misinformed?
As the Constitutional Convention concluded, Benjamin Franklin was reputedly asked: “Well, Doctor, what do we have, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin famously replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
This is our system, but this cannot be in of itself the best of all governmental-forms, because it did not produce or secure a significant-enough quantity of liberty, or distribute freedom widely enough to sustain true progress against ill intent on the part of those in power. Hence our modern disharmonies and disbalances. Things gravitating towards total disaster.
But a republic may have been the best of all outcomes under the circumstances for the young United States. It could have easily buckled under the pressures of world domination, intrigue, foreign loans and finance, and disagreements between political factions, economic sectors, and between the cultures of the Northern and Southern States — struggling to maintain the appearance of total unity in the wake of a doomed geopolitical marriage.
But a Republic based theoretically on past systems like Rome and tweaked by enlightenment insights, and which institutes divided and theoretically balanced powers, and which declares the principle of sustaining individual liberties, while separating duties and jurisdiction among different levels of government, and retaining unexpressed powers to the sovereign states – this Republic was as close as we Americans would get to a pseudo-healthy balance between the rock-and-a-hard-place of the threats of the “tyranny of the few” and that of the “tyranny of the many.”
A Democratic Republic in that elections and public opinion could influence or determine leaders; yet also an Aristocratic Republic, as Senators were selected by States whose politics were dominated by aristocratic land and property owners. Aristocratic, also, in the barriers between public election and the selection of the President, court justices and cabinet appointees, who Hamilton wanted appointed for life. Aristocratic in the heavy influence of the British system of titles, and the relationship between merchants, banks and money with the government that continued or was deliberately imitated by the colonies-turned-republic.
A Plutocratic Republic, in that the United States system was nauseatingly friendly and defenseless against the machinations of its richest, thanks in no small part to Alexander Hamilton himself, who represented for an elite cadre of extremely powerful land owning families, land speculators and investors who were especially dense in New York, fast-developing into one of the world’s foremost financial centers.
Our Republic was, thus, Plutocratic in the relationships and bonds that cemented in with Hamilton’s vision for the country. His role as a banker with a vision. The strings of capitol funds are absolutely connected to the institutions of the Federal capital and the governments of the States. The word puppet comes to mind.
Finance was and is a central pillar in the secretive and unquestionable foundations of the nation. The public face of good government for-the-people assumes the private, unimpeded operations of the wealthy players of plutocracy. This mold of capitalism, and hence its toxic derivatives, were ushered in by Alexander Hamilton, baked into our American traditions. The maker, in one sense, of some of the biggest Titans of Industry and capitalist fortunes. Philanthropists and Misanthropes alike.
And when it comes to the many, to the unfortunate who are dominated by this system, Hamilton enabled life-support and preferential treatment for the parasitic systems that denigrated human life on a grand-scale. He married into them, and cozied up to the powerful families of early America — he didn’t dismantle their institutions or moralize to them until their behavior changed. Abolition, racial justice and economic humanism were never a serious focus for Hamilton. Play things, maybe – concentrating power was his only true aim throughout his influential career.
So for the public to celebrate his cult of personality around these values – democracy, equality, et al. — is truly sickening. Especially when the soundtrack is saccharine-sweet with modern flair and over-hyped production value.
The young United States was a remarkable experiment in self-government and self-determination that espoused noble principles, but its final mold was still quite flawed. The powers-that-be did not make this mold of liberty and freedom easily transferable to less fortunate locales.
The young U.S., as now, had to endure competing interests including participants throughout the continent and abroad who held suspicious aims or dispassionate stakes in the economic factors, but who, nonetheless, helped to keep the weird glue of the union together, for better or worse. Its dark blemishes and severe philosophical oversights are fairly glaring in hindsight.
A Republic was as good as we got; Hamilton originally wanted a full-blown aristocratic monarchy, with total powers for the Federal government and political leaders who would rule for life – even if without an actual crown. The public has been so severely miseducated, however, that they now believe Hamilton fought for democracy.
This false notion had to be corrected. It is my duty, and it is also my pleasure.
The Republic he and other founders secured with his catspaw-Constitutional Convention was one set up to balance disagreements between the enfranchised, the “elect” of 18th Century society. This primarily, and almost exclusively, included property holders in society who were the only people who could vote or hold any true vestiges of power. It did very little to protect those that were subject to the dominance of the former “elect,” little for those under the thumb of any master, and for those who could only eek out an existence under duress, enslavement, indenture or indebtedness – for what was, at best, an illusory promise of freedom.
This was, after all, a system designed by Alexander Hamilton. He wrote more words than any of his nearest competitors; he worked hard. But who did he work for? And what were his words working to bring about? Is it something we should celebrate to a lively, hip-hop score?
Perhaps it’s time you met Hamilton. Once again. This time with feeling. Because he is a best-selling edition of history reshaped, remolded, redefined. Reality reconstructed like a lump of Playdoh.
I want to personally acknowledge and thank my beautiful wife, and partner in thought and expression, for her support in all things during this challenging time. Thank you, Melissa.
In Liberty and Love,
Truth Comes to Light highlights writers and video creators who ask the difficult questions while sharing their unique insights and visions.
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