The thought process that led to the Founding of the United States was a good and productive thing. This thought process created a constitutionally limited government and led to widespread prosperity.
There was an immediate and harsh royalist reaction to the American and French Revolutions. This movement is typified by the writings of the German philosopher Hegel (1770-1831). NOTE the Hanoverian Kings of England were German.
Hegel defined a reactionary conservatism.
A generation later saw the rise of the Young Hegelians. The Young Hegelians defined a new radical left wing philosophy. The Young Hegelians are typified by Marx.
The Hegelian Right sought to conserve the social order of the ancient regime. The Hegelian left idolizes social change and sought change for the sake of change.
The shouting match between the Hegelian Left and Right is poisonous.
We can see the destructive nature of the dialectics in the origins of Capitalism.
Karl Marx believed that he could use "Material Dialectics" to engineer society. His goal was to create a conflict that would lead to a new world order.
To create a conflict, Marx studied economics in detail and created a system in which a group of rogues captured the financial system, then used the manipulation of capital to dominate the market (driving small businesses and workers into poverty).
In Marx's dialectics, the disenfranchised were to rise in rebellion against the corrupt capitalists. After the Revolution, the avant-garde would collective industry, end property rights and a workers' paradise would bloom with a ruling intellectual elite squarely on top.
The great irony of history is that Karl Marx is the father of Modern Capitalism. The term capitalism came into widespread in the effort to sell Marx's philosophy.
If you studied the Art of War, you would learn that the best way to win the battle is to be the one to define the battlefield. 300 Spartans held off the Persian hoards in the Battle of Thermopylae because they defined the battlefield.
If my goal is to destroy the free market, then I would seek to be the one who defines the way the market works.
A second tactic in the Art of War is to use the tools of your enemy against your enemy. So, Marx's goal in defining Capitalism was to create a corrupt, top-heavy system that would be crushed under its own weight.
Das Kapital is thousands of pages of spittle that detail how a small number of rogues can centralize and manipulate the market to gain control. After the capitalists gain control, Marx sought to raise revolution against the capitalists who would fall under their own corruption.
The Hegelians on the right believe in a top-down social order. When the Hegelian Right read Das Kapital, they fell in love with the idea of a ruling elite controlling society through the manipulation of capital.
Rightwing Hegelians have written thousands of work claiming that business is war and the goal of the business warrior is to dominate or perish.
This Hegelian Tradition has created a right wing conservatism that actually favors a captured financial market because it creates a ruling class and a left wing that hopes to use the tools of the capitalist to destroy the capitalist.
It is pure insanity.
Marx's "capitalism" is a top-heavy and corrupt system. It is not a free market.
Those wishing to advance the cause of the free market must defend against both the Hegelian Right who want a class society and Hegelian Left who want to engineer change by crashing the market.
The way to do this is to draw a distinction between the Free Market and Capitalism.
This is easy to do.
The free market is a system that values the free mind of the individual. It is a balanced system in which everyone has inalienable rights. We have a right of association, we have a right to use our mind, and we have the right to own property. The most valuable property we own is our labor.
The ideals of the free market came from classical logic. In classical logic, people sought to avoid paradoxes. A true free market cannot grant the people the ability to deny other's their rights.
Slavery is antithetical to the free market. The United States had inherited slavery from its colonial days. It was not a free market.
In a free market, capital is simply part of the means of production and money is simply a tool used in trade.
Capitalism came out of the paradoxical thinking of Hegel and Marx. In the free market, capital is a tool used by business people. In Capitalism, people are controlled by capital.
Capitalism embraces the paradoxes associated with freedom. There is nothing inherently wrong with a capitalist owning people as slaves. In colonial America, you could buy, sell and take out loans against slaves.
If I was a slave owner, I could use the profit gained from my slaves to buy more slaves.
Slavery is abhorrent and completely at odds with the ideas of a free society.
But, it is not against the ideas of capitalism. In a slave society, there is no difference between slaves and other commodities.
The paradoxes of freedom play out in other ways as well.
In a free market, people own property and seek to maximize the return of their property.
Capitalism sets the goal of the business warrior as market domination.
A business in a free market owns property. If market conditions look good, the business will re-invest capital in the business. If the market looks weak, the business invests the resources owned by the business elsewhere.
Since people are investing the stuff they directly own, the market becomes self-regulating.
Capitalism is insanity squared. In capitalism, business warriors are taught that their goal is to dominate or perish. Business warriors will study a market as a whole and take out a massive capital position (enabled by the central banks) with the goal of dominating the market.
These massive capital positions end up flooding the market with false signals and result in widespread misallocation of resources and ultimately undermine society as a whole.
Most of the business warriors who march onto business battlefield to wage business war end up perishing. A few succeed with fortunes beyond measure.
The result of business warfare is that the business warriors undermine society and leave us with a socio-economic system that is likely to collapse. (The left cheers on collapse believing collapse will lead to paradise on earth.)
Business warriors are taught that their goal is to dominate or perish. The best way to dominate is to buy friends in government who will regulate the industry in ways that gives the business warriors an edge up on the competition.
A system with business warriors investing in political connections is called "crony-capitalsim" in polite company or Fascism in groups willing to face the truth.
The shrill non-debate between the Hegelian Right and Hegelian Left gives the world a false dichotomy between Capitalism (a system in which a ruling class controls society through the manipulation of capital) and Socialism (a system in which everything is owned by the state and a ruling class controls directly through state power).
To break out of this idiocy, we need to learn to recognize and reject the false dichotomies, the absolutism and paradoxes created by the modern system of thought.
The negative mode of thought is neither exclusive to the left nor the right. At this point in time, the left is clearly worse than the right. However, the negative ideas came from a reactionary movement.
Most people abhor the negative ideas that come from the dialectics. The right is full of people who are reacting to the negative ideas on the left and the left full of people reacting to the negative ideas on the right. The bad ideas are the result of the false dichotomy.
Rather than attacking partisan opponents, I think the best path to take is to realize that there was something wonderful about the rational style of the US Founders, but that a poisonous new system of thought crept in during the early 1800s that undermined this style.