“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. Capitalist 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. Each temperament contributing it’s own.
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