February 03, 2007

Hitchens, Conquest, and the Anglosphere

Christopher Hitchens, writing in the Wall Street Journal, comments on Robert Conquest's advocacy of the Anglosphere.

In his most recent books, "Reflections on a Ravaged Century" and "The
Dragons of Expectation," he goes beyond the usual admonitions against
Jacobinism and more recent totalitarian utopias, and argues for "the
Anglosphere," that historic arc of law, tradition and individual
liberty that extends from Scotland to Australia and takes in the two
largest multicultural democracies on the planet--the U.S. and India.

There was a time when this might have seemed quixotic or even
nostalgic (at least to me), but when one surveys the wreckage of other
concepts, and the increasing difficulties of the only rival "model" in
the form of the European Union (of which he was an early skeptic) the
notion seems to have a future as well as a past. One very much feels,
as one also very much hopes, that the same can be said of the Grand
Old Man of Stanford.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.


Posted by James C. Bennett at February 3, 2007 05:53 PM
Comments

Conquest has been an Anglospherist for some time with his ideas, I suspect, growing directly out of his knowledge and experience of the Communist system. But it is good to welcome Hitchens, who is becoming one of the good guys, most definitely.

I blogged it on: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/02/by-their-friends-shall-you-know-them.html

Posted by: Helen Szamuely at February 5, 2007 03:24 AM

Anglosphere arguments carry more than a little weight when looking at the past. I'm editing a book, Chesterton on War, that'll be a collection of what G. K. Chesterton wrote about militarism, pacifism and what he called the "German heresy." He praised the good sense of the ordinary Englishmen of his day. One of his best known remarks was:

"Smile at us, pay us, pass us, but do not quite forget,
For we are the people of England, and we have not spoken yet."

Unfortunately, judging by the UK and Canada of today, the Anglosphere's future looks much less rosy. British bureaucracies are now deeply hostile to public sentiment (i.e. about the growing crime rate) and the English people seems to have lost their ability to speak with effect. My neighbor to the north, Canada, is little better, with their court system remaking the country's laws in the continential European pattern.

When you talk about the Anglosphere, it might help to distinguish what parts of it are meant. Australia and the U.S. are far healthier than the mother country of it all.

--Mike Perry, Seattle

Posted by: Mike Perry at February 20, 2007 12:33 PM

Anglosphere arguments carry more than a little weight when looking at the past. I'm editing a book, Chesterton on War, that'll be a collection of what G. K. Chesterton wrote about militarism, pacifism and what he called the "German heresy." He praised the good sense of the ordinary Englishmen of his day. One of his best known remarks was:

"Smile at us, pay us, pass us, but do not quite forget,
For we are the people of England, and we have not spoken yet."

Unfortunately, judging by the UK and Canada of today, the Anglosphere's future looks much less rosy. British bureaucracies are now deeply hostile to public sentiment (i.e. about the growing crime rate) and the English people seems to have lost their ability to speak with effect. My neighbor to the north, Canada, is little better, with their court system remaking the country's laws in the continential European pattern.

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Posted by: dioni at May 25, 2007 02:19 AM

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