Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Alexander Hamilton Institute

Disinvited from the campus of Hamilton College, The Alexander Hamilton Institute has reappeared nearby, with impressive plans for the future and a rather distinguished group of people associated with it. What was it that Kanye West said?

Discussions - 7 Comments

Why name an institute after arch-Federalist Hamilton who was part of the problem? I await the Patrick Henry, George Mason, John Randolph, etc. Institute.


It's rather natural to use the Hamilton name, given that many of the folks connected with it come from Hamilton College, which isn't about to change its name. Perhaps you should start your own institute, with a name you find more congenial.

Aw, come on. Are you telling me there is no ideological reason for calling it the Alexander Hamilton Institute?

Look at the two quotes they picked out to appear at the top. They are proto-Jaffa. Richard Brookhiser, modern day arch-Federalist apologist, is an Advisor. (I'm surprised Genovese is an Advisor.)

The modern breakdown is not that dissimilar from the breakdown when AH was alive. Proof - Thomas DiLorenzo's next book is going to be about Hamilton and his big, centralized government agenda. (Even Hamilton would roll over in his grave if he saw what we have today.) I wonder if the AHI will come to the defense of their namesake the way people came to the defense of Lincoln.

"Perhaps you should start your own institute, with a name you find more congenial."

I sure would if someone would write me a big ol' endowment check.

"Even Hamilton would roll over in his grave if he saw what we have today."

I agree, and isn't it evidence that a) "the problem" can't rightfully be pinned on Hamilton and the Federalists, and b) there shouldn't be anything particularly objectionable about the name of the institute.

The real villians are the progressives, not the Federalists. The progressives themselves knew that the Hamiltonian project would only suit their needs if they used it to pursue ends that he did not pursue. In the process, they treated the constitution as an antiquated barrier to be overcome. Hamilton might have wanted to wring from the constitution all of the "energy" it could provide, but he never forgot that it contained real limits.

"The real villains are the progressives, not the Federalists."

I agree. And I suspect some of the criticism of DiLorenzo will be, in historical context, unfair. It is hard to forgive Hamilton for the central bank, but everyone was a mercantilist back then. Mises had not been born yet.

There is even a conservative element to Hamilton and the other Federalists' logic. (Distrusting of the masses and democracy.) But seeing how things have gone, in hindsight I wished conservatives would look to others to admire.

Now both voices from Macon have been heard. For the record, I think conversations can be had both with the folks in Clinton, NY and those associated with the as yet unnamed and unendowed center to be headed by Red Phillips.

"unendowed center to be headed by Red Phillips."

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