American Temperament

“There are strong minds in every walk of life that will rise superior to the disadvantages of situation, and will command the tribute due to their merit, not only from the classes to which they particularly belong, but from the society in general.”

So wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper #36, one the founding articles of the United States of America.

If this is not one of the best arguments for the importance of Temperament in the Human Wealth of Nations, then I don’t know what would be.

The genius of Hamilton’s America is that it matters not the station one was born into, whether it be: from a dirt poor family in a log cabin in Kentucky (Abraham Lincoln, Rational); from modest family in a modest house in Omaha, Nebraska (Warren Buffet, Guardian); from a rich family in a New York apartment (Humphrey Bogart, Artisan); or from an unmarried African-American mother in the deep segregated South in Kosciusko, Mississippi (Oprah Winfrey, Idealist). Or born in another country, and being able to be an immigrant, including a poor white kid, of a single mother household from Dutch territory, the Caribbean island of Nevis: “that Scottish bastard,” Alexander Hamilton (Idealist).

The formation of the United States also benefitted from the inherent talents, the strong minds in different walks of life.  First and foremost, from the farmer surveyor colonel, a Supervisor Guardian, George Washington, he was key in the establishing and stabilizing the United States.  Farmer architect and inventor, Thomas Jefferson, an Architect Rational, was a primary designer of the political structure and basis for the United States that has lasted for the last 230 years.  Lawyer and vocal patriot, Patrick Henry,  a Promoter Artisan, one of the first to promote the revolution and later demanded and fought for the basic American freedoms to be explicitly included as amendments to the Constitution.  Lastly, economist and soldier captain, Champion Idealist, Alexander Hamilton, fought for and advocated an economic system that encouraged trade both in human and material capital.

That “Scottish bastard,” as John Adams called him, wanted a country where those who worked hard, using their natural talents, could get ahead.  Enterpreneural Democracy, the original vision of the Idealist Alexander Hamilton, with commerce and trade as the center of that Democracy, the closest thing we have to a meritocracy. It lets everybody try to use their natural talents, based on their Temperament to make the nation prosper.

“The door ought to be equally open to all; and I trust, for the credit of human nature…”

“What greater affinity or relation of interest can be conceived between the carpenter and blacksmith, and the linen manufacturer or stocking weaver, than between the merchant and either of them?”

– Alexander Hamilton

It’s trade, stupid.  Each temperament contributing it’s own.

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. — George Washington

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital. — Thomas Jefferson

Give me liberty or give me death. — Patrick Henry

A promise must never be broken. — Alexander Hamilton

0 thoughts on “American Temperament”

  1. Actually the impression I got of Jefferson was that he was a mild form of the flaw some rationals have in politics when they forget that most people are not rational and that making them into rationals is neither possible nor desirable. Robespierre was an extreme example of that.

    It is a flaw some rationals have to underestimate how important poetry in life is for idealists and custom for guardians and that can be dangerous when a rational becomes a revolutionary politician.

  2. JT, you didn’t get any sense of Idealist about Robespierre? An Advocate-‘Robespierre always had strong opinions about things; he spoke out against the death penalty, against the European war, against slavery, for universal primary education, for universal suffrage. Robespierre soon became the voice of the powerful Jacobins Club..’

    ‘to challenge the hatred of mankind because of his love for it – an abstract and geometric love.’ (Arthur Koestler
    “Darkness at Noon”)

    Fanaticism Idealist:
    In May 1794, Robespierre insisted that the National Convention proclaim a new official religion for France – the cult of the Supreme Being. This was based on the thinking of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau of whom Robespierre was a passionate advocate…and:

    Lee’s, ‘The God’s are Thirsty’:

    “Like the flawless knight in the legend, your strength and power sprang from your purity. Even the vision was pure. You wanted the best and most beautiful thing for your world, and would kill a world to get it.”

    Even though he sought the people to be that of abiding by reason and logic, I just didn’t get a sense of his actions, his words, behaviour to match that rhetoric, his temperament gave him away in that sense. (I think at this point anyway). Wondered if you had meant he a Rational? Or, considered him perhaps Idealist?

  3. Can’t speak for the others but I think George Washington might have been an Inspector Guardian. But the more I read about him, the more Supervisor I start leaning, definitely logistical intelligence. Capitalist Democracy is great for letting the different temperaments bank on what comes naturally to them. I believe it’s a wonderful system.

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