Alexander Hamilton’s Arsenal of Capitalism – Regionalism as American Grande Strategy

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Only a Hamiltonian Republican can fully appreciate how right Coolidge was in saying the business of America is business: Like all other forms of American business, the foreign policy of America always has been and always will be at its finest when it too is the policy of business.

It is only too appropriate that the Capitalistic economics of Alexander Hamilton, which then turned America into the greatest world power in history, should serve as the longterm foundation of American foreign policy Nationalism.

Throughout the 19th century and the early 20th century Hamilton’s National System of fostering a business environment favorable to industrial expansion; infrastructure development; trade protectionism; solid credit conditions; the hefty Continental peace dividend enjoyed by America after the threat once feared by Hamilton of a European military presence in North America became negligible; mercantilistic domination of Latin America; the establishment of an Army and Navy capable of defending both American territory as well as America’s overseas economic interests; the settlement of the Western frontier up to the Pacific; testing the waters of the Pacific with gunboat diplomacy; large scale immigration of European migrants to staff booming factories; these led to the industrial might upholding America’s military industrial complex.

The main competitor to the American military industrial complex, Prussian Nationalism, was crushed in two direct tests of strength.

While the usefulness of industrial might in war needs no further explanation, the post-WWII period of Cold War diplomacy does.

It was during the Cold War when the different elements of Hamiltonian foreign policy were refined. Those elements included offshore balancing, deterrence both conventional and nuclear, allying with tyrannical governments or even installing tyrants that agreed not to interfere with American geostrategic objectives in exchange for our ignoring their “human rights” abuses, supporting indirect proxy wars, indirectly propping up American client states with financial and diplomatic support, directly propping up wherever necessary American proxy states with US military power, carving out spheres of influence, preemptive warfare, and maintaining a broad alliance system with the major Capitalistic powers.

These characteristics of Cold War Republican international relations are known collectively as Realist foreign policy. Since Alexander Hamilton is the founder of American foreign policy realism these characteristics must remain the governing post-Cold War principles of American Nationalism.

But Realism’s various attributes and their relationships have never been formally developed into an overarching theory of foreign policy. Normally the best terminology that can be found is worthless, meaningless jargon; e.g. “American Exceptionalism”.

This incompleteness will be amended with a formal diplomatic theory of Realism – Capitalistic Regionalism, or, Regionalism for short.

Regionalism is a Capitalistic variant of offshore balancing practiced for centuries by the British Empire.

Traditional offshore balancing is defined as –

  • A Realist strategy where a great power uses regional alliances to check a hostile power.

Capitalistic Regionalism is –

  • A Realist strategy where a great Capitalistic power uses regional alliances with other Capitalistic states to check any threat from a hostile power to either the physical security or commercial interests of the allied Capitalists. Minor powers  have the option of being part of this alliance, neutral outside of it, or hostile. Regardless whether minor powers join or not, the great power is able to exercise this strategy so long as other advanced powers agreed to the system.

Hamiltonian Regionalism is given its name to contrast it with Hamiltonian Realism’s doctrinal archenemy,Wilsonian Globalism (the latter of which will be discussed further at the end of this article). Globalism justifies its claim to interfere in every corner of the planet by assuming the modern world is so interconnected that it would be irresponsible for leaders not to take a Globalist approach to international affairs.

In contrast to this, Regionalism acknowledges that isolationism is impractical due to greater interconnectedness. However, only particular regions of the world are strategically important enough to merit the attention and resources of America.

Just as America’s geographic scope must be selective, so too must be our strategic scope: The primary strategic objective of American diplomacy after the Cold War is to protect and serve Capitalistic relations within the First World. All other considerations aside from this – such as “human rights”, “democracy”, and the actions of lesser powers – must be demoted down to distant priorities.

To appreciate the virtues of Regionalism today, we will first explore the history of its predecessor strategy, offshore balancing.

Continue reading “Alexander Hamilton’s Arsenal of Capitalism – Regionalism as American Grande Strategy”

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The End of Week Circulars for September 10, 2017

Trump, the Systems Learner, Learns How to Manipulate Congress

Watching a persuasion genius in action makes it a true privilege to be a Trump political apparatchik.

Trump’s difficulty persuading Congress to act on his agenda has on the surface seemed like a failure.  But because Trump is a systems learner what was appeared to be failure was primarily Trump learning how to persuade Congress.

Two examples from this week show Trump is quickly mastering the art of manipulating Congress as a system:  The budget deal with the Democrats and the wind down of DACA.

The budget deal in many ways strengthens Trump’s hands with the Republican Congress and to the public which still has doubts about Trump’s competence.

The deal makes Trump look strong to the public because it was swift action on legislation related to a national emergency.  The administration’s response to the hurricane has already boosted Trump’s approval ratings.  By kicking a do nothing Republican Congress to the curb to get disaster relief ready for his signature Trump now looks more and more like the man the public expects Congress to report to on critical issues.

It also weakens Ryan and McConnell in the eyes of their Republican colleagues by making them both seem like spectators to a theater directed by Trump.  By weakening them, Trump gains more leverage over Congress yearning for guidance and puts Congressional leadership on notice that his agenda takes priority.

The psychological effect of making Trump look like the ultimate power broker feeds perceptions to Republican Congressmen that he is the ultimate power broker, and it is this perception that will incline them to actually treating Trump like he is the ultimate power broker.  This perception is especially useful to Trump as Congress heads to work on tax cuts and infrastructure.

Then there is the fact the deal is a warning shot to Republican legislators who now have to worry that if they do not please Trump quickly enough he may walk on their priorities to work with Pelosi and Schumer.  That element of fear will probably bend GOP attitudes in a more cooperative direction when legislation comes up.

Trump’s move on DACA is a great example of setting oneself up to win no matter what happens.

If Trump had defended DACA’s very weak legal case in court – where it was expected to eventually lose – his opponents would have put the blame for any setbacks in court against this Obama initiative on Trump.   Meanwhile his base would have viewed a defense as a breach of a campaign promise without winning enough Democrat support to make angering Trump’s base worth it.

But by announcing a deadline for phasing out DACA the burden of action has – going forward – shifted from Trump to Congress; the media’s anti-Trump hysteria of this week over DACA notwithstanding.

Soon enough the public will forget Trump ended DACA this week.  What they will remember is that Congress needs to act.  And if Congress does not pass a legislative replacement, Trump can blame Congressional Democrats for not living up to their campaign promises to pass a Dream Act thus angering the Democrat base ahead of the midterms.  If Democrats do try to pass it they will need to negotiate with Republicans and Trump to get something done.  And for that to happen the Democrats will need to offer something to the other side in return whether their trade is funding for the border wall, or some other restrictionist measure.  If they play hardball and demand only a pure Dream Act, Trump has the option of rejecting their offers, allowing DACA to expire without a replacement, and set the Democrats up for blame.

 

North Korea is Why The Foreign Policy Establishment Got Trump

When it came to North Korea their motto for years was always tomorrow is another day.  Well, tomorrow has finally arrived, and the grim prospect of a Kim armed with ICBMs looms just over the horizon thanks to the universe of mainstream foreign policy “experts” who spent the entirety of the post-Cold War era losing the initiative to North Korea.

As always, the establishment has learned nothing from total failure yet expects deference to its vast “wisdom”.

They claim military options against Kim are unpleasant?

While war is never as comfortable as a game of cricket in a leafy New England town the options are more unpleasant than they needed to be because our mighty North Korea “experts” took preemptive action off the table for decades:  Just because they did next to nothing to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons, applauded Obama for cutting missile defense funding and cancelling the F-22, and assured us the 6-party talks would lead to peace is no reason to doubt that their containment strategy for a North Korea armed to the teeth with hundreds of ICBMs is anything less than the wisdom of the ages.

They also assure us Trump is a fool for even contemplating military action they deem “unthinkable”.  Because their track record is just that good!

Certainly, a conflict will be very difficult and dangerous; but, ultimately, Trump does have vastly superior firepower at his command.  Even if Trump has to fight to the last South Korean the outcome is still assured.

The establishment reacted with surprise at how quickly the North’s program is moving.  It would only be surprising if the establishment correctly estimated the North’s progress since all of America’s intelligence resources are devoted to helping Robert Mueller finger Miss Universe in his quest for the article’s of impeachment.

America’s foreign policy establishment are not the only ones who are going to find there isn’t enough road left to kick the can much further.

As war draws closer here, in no particular order, are some unpleasant decisions awaiting other procrastinating actors in this drama.

China

The days when China thought it wise to form a mutual protection pact with the Kim dynasty ended with Mao.  In the Deng model of governance the Chinese enjoy crony Capitalism too much to risk their wealth in a diplomatic marriage with their Stalinist neighbor because the Chinese aren’t sure if their erratic neighbor might drag them into a conflict that commercial interests would argue against.

If the Chinese wisely don’t want to tie their wastes with rope to a North Korea that’s always joyfully dancing on the cliff’s edge, neither have they wanted the regime to collapse.  North Korea does keep the American military distracted and provide a buffer between China and a Democratic Korean Peninsula.

But if it looks like North Korea’s arrogance will finally send it down in flames, what will the Chinese do?  War on Kim’s behalf is highly unlikely given their economy’s dependence on peace in Northeast Asia.  Will they cutoff the oil supplies the North depends on?  That might be helping America and its allies too much.  It is more likely they will wait for the smoke to clear from a neutral vantage point though this too brings risks since they would be cut out of any peace settlement and could be flooded with refugees.

South Korea

South Korea’s Leftist government has realized that the Sunshine Policy was just a stalling tactic for the North to buy deadlier armaments.  But at least their Left has woken up: South Korea is now actively practicing bombing runs and missile launches against Kim’s forces.  If only it were as easy for Western Liberals to get a clue.

North Korea’s Generals

Kim has boxed himself into a position from which retreat is difficult.  In his line of work any about-face may easily be interpreted as a show of weakness that ends with being thrown out a window à la Ceausescu.

But his generals still have time for a coup.  A coup is not without great risks; Kim’s eagerness to assassinate his own family members and publicly execute commanders with artillery has understandably put his generals in a state of perpetual fear.

But many North Korean generals face death if they follow him into war against the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

Do they fear war more than Kim?

We are about to find out because they are also nearly out of road to kick the can down.

The End of Week Circulars for September 03, 2017

North Korea’s Missile Test Over Japan

Kim’s latest test is more confirmation North Korea and the United States are, as predicted here, still heading for open conflict despite Kim’s cancellation of a missile test near Guam because their respective goals are unacceptable to the other side.

The North’s goal is to finish its ICBM work by deterring America from military action while their project is ongoing; America’s goal is to eliminate that program by diplomacy preferably but by force if necessary.

Any diplomatic solution is looking more remote by the moment  – the North continues to refuse to so much as open talks on limiting their nuclear program and it’s nearly impossible to imagine them cooperating honestly with any negotiated disarmament program rigorous enough to satisfy Trump who this week authorized American planes to join South Korean jets in dropping bombs near the DMZ.

With neither side backing down from their ultimate goals, and with North Korea making rapid advances the time is approaching when Trump will have to use force to destroy the North’s nascent ICBM project.

Continue reading “The End of Week Circulars for September 03, 2017”

How Prole Was the Leadership of the Russian Revolution?

We can’t resist this analysis given how overtly hostile Western Progressivism has become to traditional Communist principles (any tactics in common are used to achieve very, very different ends from the boys that took Red Square) now that immigration has lessened the need for them to pretend to care about a white proletariat.

As the song goes, the Progressives are not Marxists of any kind whatsoever.  When all was said and done Karl und Friedrich wanted a dictatorship of the proles free of class divisions, and where government itself would disappear as an unnecessary legacy system from history.

What Progressives are actually trying to bring about is not Marxism (defunct everywhere except a highly determined Hermit Kingdom) but something called Positivism; as a form of government it is a permanently class stratified, permanently regulating, anti-proletarian dictatorship of Sociologists and Bureaucrats.

All of Progressivism’s end states are irreconcilable with Communism.  Marx, of course, was in favor of scientific government.  But his design failed in no small part because it depended on proles figuring out how to run such a thing and because Western prole voters were too dim to tell the difference between “Communists” and  Progressives.

Considering their substantial degradation, today’s odds of proletarian rule are now as much of a total political impossibility as #NeverTrump learning how to win an election.  Their best hope is to cling to Trump’s Hamiltonian elitism for dear life.  But that Hamiltonian politics has become the prole’s one safe space just goes to show the best bet for the proles has always been to back aristocracy.

Continue reading “How Prole Was the Leadership of the Russian Revolution?”

Building a Government Shutdown to Build a Wall

Some historical, political, and framing considerations for handling the looming shutdown battle in Congress over wall funding .

The first thing to remember from history is that voters will forget about any ongoing government shutdown within a few weeks (or, if there is a shutdown in September, a few days given the mesmerizing acceleration rate of recent news cycles) because essential government functions that are noticed by the public will remain up and running.

Keep in mind Republicans shutdown the government in 2013 after it was left devastated in 2012 by Romney’s loss, underperformed in that year’s Senate races, and was trembling in terror at the specter of Hillary Clinton’s “inevitable” 2016 political war machine.  In 2014 the shutdown had been forgotten and the GOP soundly recaptured the US Senate with a total of 55 seats.

Furthermore, whatever short term dip in popularity the Republicans suffered in 2013 was on account of their acting as obstructionists.

This time the obstructionists will be the Democrats, and Trump would be well-advised to point out the parliamentary fact that the shutdown is the fault of the Democrats.  The holdup of the budgetary legislation would not be Trump’s fault.  It will be the fault of Democrats for blocking the bill from coming to a vote.

Continue reading “Building a Government Shutdown to Build a Wall”

Trump’s Speech on Afghanistan – Impressions and a Proposal for De Facto Partition

Trump’s speech on Afghanistan is not the first time a military decision of his has left me with mixed feelings.

On one hand the argument for withdrawal in Afghanistan’s instance is uniquely strong among other Muslim basket cases.

My long-standing preference for occupying a Muslim society inherently incompatible with civilization (i.e. the entire Muslim world) is very similar to our Cold War era Middle East policy initiated by Eisenhower.  This was our successful tradition of backing any America friendly Islamic strongman who keeps things stable for decades in exchange for us looking the other way if they have to, as Stalin put it, break eggs to make authoritarian omelets.  To be sure Shah Pahlavi, 1980s Saddam, Jordan’s Hashemites, the House of Saud, Mubarak, the Turkish military junta, and the rest, were not models of good government.  But by keeping their people down, the Soviets out, and oil flowing they freed our military to stay out and deploy to other strategic matters.

But the condition of Afghanistan isn’t even at a level high enough for rule by a nationalist strongman – to say nothing of a stable Democracy.  Afghanistan exists in a state lower than crude 3rd world dictatorship, nomadic warlordism.  Dealing with nomadic tribes is enough to make one long for the simplicity of Arab Nationalism: when Eisenhower wanted to communicate with Egypt he merely needed to get his message to Nasser.

Afghanistan has no Nasser for us to phone who enjoys jurisdiction over the whole operation.  There is only our client government in Kabul that has limited power outside its capitol and which would collapse the moment we pulled troops out.

Continue reading “Trump’s Speech on Afghanistan – Impressions and a Proposal for De Facto Partition”