Sunday, December 20, 2009
"Hats off to Abe"
The recent Healthcare debate has its roots in American history and the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln. Simply put the political philosophy of Abraham Lincoln is that the central government is the final authority regarding policy for everyone in the country. At the end of the day, the various States, therefore, are subordinate to the control of the central government (centralism). All policy disputes will ultimately be settled by the central government. Centralism is the end of federalism.
The political software of the United States is Lincolnism. Both parties are ruled by the principles that evolved from the outcome of the American Civil War. The doctrines of Mr. Lincoln increasingly became the only framework in which policy is discussed.
The apparent victory for the centralist policies of emerging republics like the United States became the model for popular centralism worldwide. Lincolnism became the underlying method for, among others: Bismarck, Lenin, and Mao.
Lincoln’s centralism was greatly admired by Karl Marx. Mr. Marx had been advocating similar policies as a way of promoting national and international socialism. In fact, the ideas of Marx and Lincoln regarding the subject of centralism are remarkably similar.
The reality that there was a broad cross-pollination of ideas between American centralists and Marxists before during and after the War Between the States has been thoroughly examined by Kennedy and Benson. The centralist influences of Lincoln’s policy are well documented by Thomas DiLorenzo and others. Despite the throttling efforts of the predominately leftist Establishment to stifle the understanding of Lincoln’s centralism; the truth has slowly come out.
Although it is true that Lincoln was technically not a Marxist it is similarly true that Marx believed in Lincolnism. With Lincoln being a politician and Marx being the prototypical community organizer these two nineteenth century centralists have combined to not only shape the profile of both American political parties but nearly all the political debate worldwide.
That President Obama has embraced Lincoln as the icon of his administration is not news. Nearly every President since Lincoln has paid homage to him. So is it little wonder that in order to “fix” the health care industry Mr. Obama has sought an answer using the central government: an artifact of Lincolnism.
Obama’s beliefs seem normal, however, what is really curious is that the alleged political opposition to Obama’s policies are similarly rooted in the very Lincolnism that they are contesting. Recalling that the Republican Party claims Lincoln as their founder it seems peculiar that they are resisting Obama who comes out of the same tradition; so to speak.
From Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele to Rush Limbaugh and from Senator Olympia Snowe to Sean Hannity; across the upper tier of Republican advocates there is nothing but loyalty to the legacy of the Lincoln model. At the same time both Parties and nearly everyone who speaks for them show contempt for those who legitimately opposed Lincoln, that is; the agenda of Constitutional federalism formulated by Davis, Calhoun, Jefferson, and others.
Routinely tarred with the epithet of “Southern” there is a stirring of influence by thinkers (some noted above) that advocate a reappraisal of Lincolnism and its consequences. With the government’s intellectual tank on empty and the trajectory of the national interest heading for bankruptcy or worse the ears of the populace are hungry for viable alternatives. Yet popular critics of the administration seem unable to come to grips with Lincoln and his continuing influence.