September 29, 2005

Anglopessimism

Several useful points have arisen in the last several posts. One is the one Peter Saint-Andre has made, that Anglosphere exceptionalism does not imply homogeneity, and the other is Helen's point, that the positive aspects of Anglosphere exceptionalism should not lure people into a false sense of security or triumphalism. I don't believe in determinism, and I don't believe in inevitability. When I wrote The Anglosphere Challenge I said that the "Challenge" was as much to us as it was to the rest of the world.

Since we got whatever characteristics as may have given us advantages in a fast-paced era of technological change as a result of a series of historical accidents, it stands to reason that the next set of historical developments could strip us of those advantages, or plunge us into an era in which the same characteristics no longer confer advantage. It's up to us to guard and when needed adapt our cultural characteristics. Britain may be serving as our mine canary in this manner. It may be serving as a demonstration of how much cultural vandalism at the hands of its political and intellectual classes a strong civil society can take without losing its key virtues. I hope not, but there is no guarantee such outcome will not happen. Melanie Phillips's piece quoted below by Helen is certainly the equivalent of a croak from the canary.

Posted by Jim Bennett at September 29, 2005 06:52 PM
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