Essentially, the main divide in the American body politic is over the existence of a central bank and what role it should play in American society. This divide in the American body politic has preexisted our day and age, and the roots of this divide are in the very foundation of the American Republic. This issue of the divide in the American body politic over a central bank and whether a central bank should even exist or not in the United States was actually an issue which I had to note in my bachelor’s thesis in 2009, the topic of which was foreign policy during the ‘Early American Republic.’ 

At that time, George Washington’s two main advisers – namely, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson – were jockeying to take American foreign policy towards one of two divergent and polar opposite directions. Hamilton was very much in favor of a central bank, for it was a central bank that would enable America to compete with the other European status quo powers of that time. Jefferson, on the other hand, was completely against turning America into an imperial status quo power because it would invite powers from the outside to control American affairs. There was even a duel over this issue during the ‘Early Republic’ period, where Aaron Burr, who was very much Jeffersonian in his outlook, challenged Hamilton to a duel, and Burr ended up winning the duel. That duel set the course of American foreign policy for an entire century. 

In fact, it was only until the early 20th century – I believe it was the year 1913 to be exact – whereby a central bank fully took root in the United States. In a sense, everything which Hamilton had envisioned in terms of foreign policy has played out to its full extent in recent years, and in a sense, those who were opposed to the Hamiltonian position must let bygones be bygones. Now, the central bank is at a crossroads, and as one expert said, the central bank “has its work cut out for it.” Perhaps it is time for even the central bank to chart a new course and to try something different. For one, the world of European status quo imperialism has transformed significantly, given that we are now in a digital and information age undergirded by rapid globalization and interdependence and interconnection. Attitudes and mentalities have changed virtually everywhere, and as a result, the status quo must also experiment with something new. 

Arguably, there are elements and entities in the commercial and financial sector in the United States who are willing to try something new, given that the original vision has played out to its full extent and thus everyone is now at a crossroads. In a sense, we are now back to square one, and we must now go back to the basics and fundamentals of both economic and political philosophy. For instance, the central bank must now decide whether it wants to side with the market or with the state as it charts a new course for American foreign policy. The state is very much in favor of maintaining the status quo of global hegemony, whereas the market dictates a different course as a result of rapid globalization and the global balance of power. In essence, the central bank, as it charts a new course for American foreign policy, has to decide whether the market or the state is the lesser of the two evils, and whether the time is ripe for a change to the status quo, or whether the status quo of state global hegemony which by all indications has failed should continue. One must also consider that there is a silver lining to the recent chaos and failures, and that something innovative and new can come out of the chaos and failure, or a phoenix rising from the ashes per se. As one Afghan proverb states: “Let there be rancor and noise, so that the good and the fortunate can prevail out of it.” 

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