Posted by Lexington Green on June 27th, 2006 (All posts by Lexington Green)
Jim Bennett responds to a (positive) review of his book The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-First Century in the (very good) Australian magazine Quadrant. If you have not yet read TAC, pick it up and use it for beach reading this summer.
Bennett’s post shows the development of his thinking as he worked on the book, and how his initial idea was that technology would drive the creation of a networked world a “Network Commonwealth”. As he worked on it further, he came to see more and more the existence of an “Anglosphere” with its own distinct characteristics — and this idea came to predominate in the book and in his thinking. He notes in particular that he was well along in the writing of the book before he came across the writing of Claudio Veliz and Alan Macfarlane, who had a major impact on his thinking.
An example of Veliz’s approach is this article, entitled ” Peron, Whitlam, Argentina and Australia”, comparing the development of Australia and Argentina. Macfarlane, of course, I have mentioned frequently on the blog, e.g. here. He has devoted his professional life to the study of ” the most mysterious, yet portentous, change of the last two thousand years of human history, the origins of industrial capitalism.” This short piece entitled Some Reflections on the Origins Of Industrial Capitalism in a Comparative Perspective gives an indication of Macfarlane’s intellectual approach. A short version of Bennett’s thinking is the Anglosphere Primer, which is very good but really needs a new edition to capture the stuff he has been working on, reading, discussing and thinking about for the last several years. But it is still a good overview.