I love finding contrarian views. While many of us student’s of history believe the chances of civil war or broad civil violence are high, it’s good to hear opposing opinions.
This is from Jay Cost at National Review and he makes the case that economic interests will hold us together.
He quotes Alexander Hamilton and offers us this quote of his own:
“Hamilton makes a compelling case that if groups of people recognize that they can make money from interacting with one another, they will come together. Their interests will ultimately be “blended and interwoven,” even if they have different religions, regional dialects, or professions.”
Here is Hamilton’s original quote:
“The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged, by all enlightened statesmen, to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth; and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares. By multiplying the means of gratification, by promoting the introduction and circulation of the precious metals, those darling objects of human avarice and enterprise, it serves to vivify and invigorate the channels of industry, and to make them flow with greater activity and copiousness. The assiduous merchant, the laborious husbandman, the active mechanic, and the industrious manufacturer, all orders of men look forward with eager expectation and growing alacrity to this pleasing reward of their toils. The often-agitated question, between agriculture and commerce, has from indubitable experience received a decision, which has silenced the rivalships, that once subsisted between them, and has proved to the satisfaction of their friends, that their interests are intimately blended and interwoven.”
The problem here of course is that when Hamilton said that we didn’t have millions of people who didn’t work!
I’ll also make the case that when things have been good for so long, people can tend to take prosperity for granted. They believe the good times won’t end no matter what they do.
The bottom line is that if we are going to avoid civil unrest or civil war we need to talk about it. And both sides need to be heard. Not just both sides of the issue, but both sides on whether or not there will be another civil war, or civil unrest.
A highly recommend this article. He makes the case that many economists make. Here’s hoping he is right.