January 10, 2006

Barone Comments Further

Michael Barone published an interesting column last week on the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Fredom. I commented further on the topic in my post here. Now Barone, who has read the post, has written the following further comment:

My post last week on the Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation 2006 Index of Economic Freedom, and the predominance of the Anglosphere among the most free nations, have prompted an interesting response from James Bennett, who coined the term Anglosphere, on his Albion's Seedling blog. I heartily recommend Bennett's book, The Anglosphere Challenge. Here is the concluding paragraph of his blog post:


"What is it about the Anglosphere that permits its people to form large federations of states with strong civil societies, absorb large numbers of immigrants, and prosper? The short answer is probably something like 'A fifteen-hundred-year history of flexible institutions that are particularly good at capturing the "wisdom of crowds," a tradition of individualism, enterprise, and risk-taking, a high radius of social trust, the ability to spin these characteristics into strong civil societies, and a long history of people expanding and forming institutions of self-government wherever they go.' Many other people have had some or most of these characteristics; it is just that they have never elsewhere all been put together in exactly this package. As we can see once again by the Heritage report, its effectiveness stands out starkly over a wide range of metrics."

His endorsement is highly appreciated!

Posted by James C. Bennett at January 10, 2006 05:56 PM
Comments

Dear Mr. Bennett:

Linked here from Mr. Barone's site. Just excellant. Where does the seedling stand on Scotland? Nial Ferguson states it must be abolished. Some commentary on this and other Anglosphere interests at Potporri for $500. http://p4500.blogspot.com/2006/01/might-be-crap-after-all.html

Posted by: John J. Vecchione at January 11, 2006 02:16 PM

We are used to hearing from the romantic-nationalist side of the question about Scotland. It's interesting to hear Ferguson put forward the case for "North Britain."

I think he's wrong about Scotland having had a chance for ordinary nationhood in the 19th or 20th Centuries, however. I think that the die was cast when John Knox pushed for the Bible to be published in English rather than Scots; the Treaty of Union further locked in the ties between the two nations by sending the political opportunists down to London and leaving many of the smarter people back home to build civil society.

We have also been exposed to the case for Scotland as an essentially Celtic nation for the past century; James Campbell's The Anglo-Saxon State (2000) paints an interesting alternative picture of a lowland Scotland as Anglo-Saxon as England, and, after the Norman Conquest, maybe more so -- it served as a place of refuge for significant parts of the Anglo-Saxon nobility.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at January 11, 2006 04:16 PM

I don't quite go for the the theory that because of our innate self-rule culture the Anglosphere is inherently more successful (it all seems a little to pat) but in its support it is worth seeing the other countries in the economic freedom top ten. With the exception of Luxenbourg, which is a special case for several reasons, they are all Scandanavian (Iceland, Denmark, Estonia) & much of Britain's ancient liberties (eg trial by jury & even Parliament ) derive from the Vikings.

If you look at the history of the Normans, also of Viking descent, in medieval Europe they also seem to have had something going for them - they conquered most of France, southern Italy, Sicily the Greek peninsula & some of northern Spain.

Posted by: Neil Craig at January 14, 2006 11:55 AM

In New Zealand and the USA the Anglosphere is being helped by a common ally:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/15/1089694491783.html

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/08/27/fbi.spy/

Posted by: Book at January 14, 2006 12:22 PM

Jumping off on Neil's comment, you can make the argument that nearly all the cultures were descended from North Germany, 0-500AD, including especially the Harpstedt Culture at the mouth of the Elbe. Other tribes -- dozens of other tribes -- mixed in, but half of those were somewhat related.

And to make sure no one accuses us of racism, it should be noted that those Northwestern European countries, because of their economic and political openness, were also the nations most hospitable to Jews. The fact that powerful elements of two of them remained horribly anti-semitic is sobering, and perhaps illustrates how fragile comity can be.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at January 14, 2006 06:22 PM

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Posted by: bcxbgcbc at April 3, 2007 09:39 AM
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