Reply To: Can someone briefly explain the evolution of American parties?


Btw, “Jacksonian Americans” – in WRM’s description – towards whom I have a lot of sympathy (probably too much), are nationalists who want to be left alone, but believe in bombing the crap out of anyone who they think is messin’ with them (Ron Paul’s arguments on foreign policy *might* reach them, but generally they think that if someone pokes us in the eye, that’s not our fault – the pokers are agents, too); they’re not too careful about sorting things out; they admire, rather than despise, the tactics of William Tecumseh Sherman (except to the extent to which many, many Jacksonians are Southerners, and don’t like that these tactics were used on their kin – but they’re not unhappy using them on others); the quickest way to end a war with miniumum blood shed of the people they care about is decisively. They do believe in “the big stick” approach. They don’t – generally see that as the source of some of their problems because they see themselves as decent people wanting to do well by others, and are open to appeals along the lines of “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, including here, so if we don’t take X out, X is a threat to democracy here.”

They also prefer to be left alone by government, especially revenuers, but believe in getting a hand up; they’re not against programs that help decent folk in need. Here the best way to persuade them is that they won’t ever be left alone by a government given the powers to “help” you, and we’d all be better off going back to mutual aid.

There’s a good article here on these fine people (and I don’t mean that snidely at all), and this here is basically written from this point of view and attempts to explain the partisan-ideological breakdown not just in America but the West as a whole.

I make a big point of the Jacksonians because 1) basically these were the people the Liberty Movement/Ron Paul movement needed to persuade, and 2) basically these were the people that the Ron Paul movement attempted to persuade, with varying degrees of success.

The (true) Jeffersonians are already liberty-movement people; the Wilsonians and Hamiltonians are basically a hopeless, lost cause, except to the extent to which they’ll hop on the liberty movement if – and only if – it starts to look like the Strong Horse, because there’s one thing Hamiltonians and Wilsonians admire above all, power. Functionally Tom Woods’s books have also been aimed at persuading Jacksonian Americans for the same reason – Hamiltonians and Wilsonians love power over others too much because they are convinced they know better how others (especially Jacksonians) ought to live their lives, so the H & W faction is unconvincable. But Jacksoinans don’t like being manipulated (er, nudged and goaded along) by busybodies, so they can be persuaded of liberty, with the right arguments.

Of course, now that new voting constituencies (Vote Banks) have been imported, the old Jacksonian Americans are diminishing in electoral significance, and being (consciously) marginalized by the Hamiltonian-Wilsonian Alliance. To the extent to which Jeffersonians have supported this in the name of “freedom!” they’ve also taken themselves out behind the barn and shot themselves in the back of the head.

They needed to first create a regime of liberty, and only *then* welcome anyone who wanted to share in that (and, as Hoppe suggests, shun anyone who does not). Instead they tried the reverse, and got self-marginalization (the Hamiltonian-Wilsonian Alliance was much shrewder about what the outcome would be. They started gloating decades ago, and are now able to be openly gleeful about how successful their transformation has been).

But at least voluntarism lives on in some spheres.