Alexander Hamilton: The Significance Of Politics

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“The sacred rights of mankind,” writes Alexander Hamilton, “are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power”. In his response to Samuel Seabury’s argument for obedience to the king, Hamilton invokes the sacred rights of mankind–universal truths echoing down through the past and reaching far into the future–as his basis for rebellion. These sacred and universal rights form the foundation for politics, which undergirds not only the arguments of the Founding Fathers, but Classical Republicanism itself. The success of politics hinges upon its universality. If politics…show more content…
This universality stems from the metaphysical implications of politics properly understood. The essence of politics–the form and matter of rational humans in community–demonstrates how it exists, but not how it corresponds to the principles of reality. Understanding the correspondence between the form of politics and the matter undergirds the development of politics across history, as will be explored later. In the meantime, Aristotle’s four causes prove useful for properly understanding politics. The four metaphysical causes–final, formal, material, and efficient–together outline the reality of…show more content…
If civil society does not exist, then moral virtue cannot exist. If moral virtue cannot exist, then everything is permissible. Therefore, if civil society does not exist then everything is permissible. Seabury’s argument fundamentally misunderstands natural rights, because it assumes that civil society–associations formed through human interaction, otherwise defined as politics–determines the moral obligations of men. Politics, by its very nature, cannot infer natural and moral rights upon men. These rights exist inherently in men both inside and outside of politics. Humans alone possess logos, rationality which allows them to craft moral judgements about the world. Logos facilitates the formation and practice of politics, but it exists independently outside of politics. Logos gives birth to rationality, upon which natural and sacred rights hinge, for “reason, which is that law [of natural rights] teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions”. Thus, because all men possess logos, they possess reason, which grants them natural rights independent of political association. This interplay between logos and natural rights forms the crux of Hamilton’s
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