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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Alexander Hamilton on Brexit

After an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.
—Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1 (1787)


Let there be no misunderstanding the [British electorate] can regain that status [as an independent nation state], that future, if they will. There is a gratifyingly neurotic tone creeping into the voices of those who proclaim, with an insistency which belies conviction, that the future national status of the United Kingdom—or rather its permanent loss of national status—was settled once and for all by the referendum in 1975. The owners of those voices would fain deny or forget the Government’s official statement, made at that time that after the referendum “continued British membership will depend upon the continuing assent of Parliament.” For all the anguish of the Europeanists, it becomes more evident with every passing month that the issue of Britain inside or outside the Common Market is not just one live issue among many but is the central political issue of coming years to which all roads in politics lead back.
The battle over Britain’s national existence and parliamentary independence is a battle which will be fought through to the bitter end, however long it lasts. It is a battle in which no quarter will be asked and none will be given. It is a battle in the course of which all other political lines and links will continue to be overrun and broken, as it surges one way or the other. It is a battle in which the bitterest foes of the past will stand together and the closest of old alliances be destroyed. I say these things in no spirit of bravado. They are cold and sober deductions from fact, the fact that the fight is about the continued existence of the nation itself, an issue to which by definition all other political issues and causes whatsoever must be subordinated, as to the greater which subsumes the less.
In wartime, conservatives and socialists—nay tories and communists—sank their past differences and postponed their future divergent ambitions to fight together for the survival of the political nation itself. It is so again. The lesson which has been taught to the British electorate since it made its grave but recoverable mistake is that in small things and in great things alike there is no future for the British people which they will find tolerable except as a sovereign, self-governing nation state.
. . . .
The battle for and against the survival of the British nation will be fought again upon that battlefield . . . this time it must be won.


Twitter: ( @SethBTillman )


Tom Van Dyke said...

Perhaps there will always be an England after all. I've been having my doubts.

mosered said...

And Ben Franklin & Thomas Jefferson--

and its King George III, in their own lifetimes, are students of history, and current affairs. As such they recognize the critical role Great Britain has often played in opposing European tyrants throughout history. So:

Why Britain should leave the EU--

Over the centuries, Britain’s physical and political separation from Europe has allowed it to be the historic bulwark against the tyrannies of the Continent.

Recently, when it was part of an alliance against the despotic Soviet Union.

Long ago, when Britannia fought against the Roman Empire’s invasion of its shores.

Most recently, when opposition grew in Britain against the soft tyranny of the EU, with its overbearing taxes, autocratic pretentions, open borders, and job-crushing regs.

And the EU’s role in bringing on the burst bubble of the European economy, with its central banks’ overlending to the Continent’s weakest economies.

And its present role, through negative interest rates, in forcing businesses to take their monies out of the safe haven of banks, and force-feed investments into weak, unprofitable enterprises, a formula for another bubble burst.

And its present role in supporting the unvetted migration of upwards of one million migrants a year from North Africa and Asia. Instead of relying on the well-established, generous asylum and immigration systems of its nation-states.

What a contrast: Britain’s grand history versus the EU’s.

Yes, a free Britain helped bring down the Soviet Union. And Britain was a pivotal part of the grand alliance that brought down Nazi Germany.

Checked at Dunkirk and over the skies of London, and victorious in Normandy.

Not to mention Britain’s critical role the defeat of Kaiser’s Germany.

And before that, stemming the tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte. Checked by Wellington at Waterloo.

And before that, Louis XIV, with his arrogant plans for divine-right rule over all of Europe. Checked by the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim.

And before that, the Spanish Armada and its dread Inquisition and religious intolerance. Checked by Drake’s sea-borne marauders off the coasts of Holland and England.

Instead of embracing the incompetence and red-tape tyranny of the overbearing EU, today’s Louis XIV and Caesar, Britain should return to its roots and its historic mission.

To the Anglo-Saxon notions of liberty, self rule, decentralized authority, guarantee of civil liberties, secure and predictable property rights, and self-government. In counter example to the latest instance of arrogance and despotism from across the strait of Calais.

Breaking free with the Brexit, Britain could again revel in splendid independence. An independence strengthened by bonds to similarly inclined nations with similar values, such as America and the Commonwealth lands, and the nations of free Asia, in an alliance of free nation-states.

And shun the foolish philosophies and crushing diktats of the latest continental bid for absolute power.

And thus gain control of its destiny, and foster its grand traditions and historic role--of being the beacon of liberty for Europe and for the world. (

Anonymous said...

Does Britain want to be a nation, or an administrative district?

Tom Van Dyke said...

To the Anglo-Saxon notions of liberty, self rule, decentralized authority, guarantee of civil liberties, secure and predictable property rights, and self-government. In counter example to the latest instance of arrogance and despotism from across the strait of Calais.

That came up in conversation today. In the modern world, it was Britain, and America following later, that invented popular self-governance in 1688. The Anglosphere model continues to be the best system yet devised.

Deoxy said...

"The Anglosphere model continues to be the best system yet devised."

True, as long as your realize "best" and "least terrible" are functionally equivalent...

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