Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
    Loading
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Economic Man vs. Primary Loyalties ?

    Posted by Zenpundit on February 6th, 2007 (All posts by )

    Recently, in the excellent Ikle review comment thread, James McCormick, had some very insightful (and erudite) remarks:

    RE: “deep cultural” and “economic meta-” perspectives.

    The two may seem very different however the Anglosphere discussion has often focused on the economic impacts of social behaviour. It’s not random chance that we still quote an 18th century lowland Scot (Adam Smith) on so many economic issues. Nor that he was first out of the gate. Nor that his good buddy Hume and inspiration Locke provided so much of the foundation for political science. And economic historians like Joel Mokyr and the duo that described the economic and social impact of Newton’s Principia specifically addressed why the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions (or in Mokyr’s view, an “Industrial Englightenment”) were so dependent on the unique social structure of England, and Scotland. Indeed, the work of Crosby on the momentous intellectual and economic changes of northern Italy directly sets the stage for trading republics in Holland and England. When we turn to economic historians like David Landes, or naval historians like N.A.M. Rodger, they help us put our finger directly on the nexus of culture and economics (or political “evolution”). Jim Bennett’s point is that the Anglosphere nation-state is manufactured out of non-zero sum deals — Burkean communities and Lockean contracts. The social habits to do this (and to slowly transform their political partners into thinking it a very good approach) run very deep. And take a long time to acquire. And surely deserve some reference when prognosticating on how America should deal with a turbulent and dangerous world.

    The bone I pick with Iklé and Barnett is that many of their assumptions about political and economic structure (which underpin their geopolitical hypothesizing) depend on a one-size-fits-all model of development that is supported by neither cultural historians nor economists. In fact, they bear no resemblance to any America, current or past (cf. David Hackett-Fisher’s “Albion’s Seed” and Samuel Huntington’s “Who are We?”). When I, as a Canadian, read geopolitical recommendations that require large numbers of Americans of a kind I’ve never met (after 40 years of living, studying, and working amongst them) — my first question is always “how many suns in the sky over *your* planet?” Both authors have something very important to offer. And both suffer from end-state “think-tanqueray.” IMHO. Fortunately, as with so much else, near-term history is going to be dictated by the politically possible rather than the academically plausible.

    Let me address McCormick’s second point first.

    Setting aside Ikle for the moment, Thomas Barnett or any other thinker who attempts to put an intellectual template on a global system is required to engage in simplification of complexity. It is, as James correctly states, a ” one-size-fits-all” model and not the underlying reality in all its’ nuances and interconnections. At best, a valid model identifies common operating principles and provides a rough predictive capability, considering those principles acting in isolation. As reality is messy, policy makers being guided by any model need to exercise some degree of common sense. Pakistan is not India, much less Indiana, and while markets may exist in all three, the wise statesman makes wide allowances for local variation. The variations however, still have a common touchstone.

    In his the first point, McCormick expounds on the symbiotic relationship between economics and social behavior in the historical development of the Anglosphere. That fusion is correct but the cultivation or endurance of particularist identities, what 4GW theorists refer to as “primary loyalties” provide points of friction with the collective maximizing behavior of Economic Man. The Western experience with nationalism and the erection of the Westphalian system after the Thirty Year’s War blunts the reemergence of primary loyalties here. Few Germans today think of themselves first as Prussians or Saxons or Protestants but the same cannot be said of Iraqis or Congolese where tribe, clan and sect affiliations resonate. David Ronfeldt, the influential defense intellectual at RAND, refers to tribalism as ” the first and forever form” underlying society.

    Western or Anglospheric societies overcame tribalism (broadly understood) with secularization driven both by politics and economics, over a considerable period of time. Economic Man, rational man, slowly gained the upper hand over the atavistic warrior. Defusing psychological anxieties over identity, moving society beyond subsistence level to a point where risk-taking could be more safely entertained, helped transition Europeans into the abstract mental framework of the nation-state citizen, rather than that of a subject of a provincial nobleman. Outside of the West, some states like Singapore have made that same cognitive jump in the very brief period of de-colonization but most have not. That doesn’t mean they won’t or can’t.

    In short, I think the caveats raised by James are significant and should be incorporated into any application of Barnett’s ideas. I’m not sure however, that Dr. Barnett would disagree as he is offering a grand strategy or a “blueprint for action” rather than attempting to supervise the every move of the construction crew.

     

    24 Responses to “Economic Man vs. Primary Loyalties ?”

    1. Lexington Green Says:

      “Western or Anglospheric societies overcame tribalism (broadly understood) with secularization driven both by politics and economics, over a considerable period of time.”

      No. Tribalism was overcome not with secularization, but with Christianity, which put universal moral values above amoral familism (the universal norm), and critically with companionate, monogamous marriage, also rooted in Christianity.

      Civil society arose from post-tribal society as an alternative to tribalism, allowing voluntary aggregations of people to form. This was strong in the Middle Ages, but was lost in most of Europe in the modern period with the rise of Absolutism and Rennaisance notions of royal authority. Only in England and to a lesser extent in Holland did a strong civil society survive. But this did not happen as a result of secularism. The most important civil society institutions in the middle ages were monasteries. In the early modern period the most important civil society institutions were churches. Politics and economics came second. The whole reason we have multi-purpose corporations in the USA was because of a need to incorporate churches. Business corporations came later.

      Secularism came late and did not do much for liberty.

      I agree it took a considerable period of time.

    2. zenpundit Says:

      “No. Tribalism was overcome not with secularization, but with Christianity, which put universal moral values above amoral familism ”

      Yes, but Christianity also introduced another powerful primary loyalty, sectarianism. This can temper or exacerbate tribal conflict ( I’m using “tribalism” more broadly than in the sense of historical Gauls, Celts, Teutons and Slavs). Sectarian conflict in Europe was muted, eventually, by a combination of the mutual self-interest of secular rulers (Westphalia, absolutism, the rise of the state) and pragmatic tolerance. A reason why Frederick the Great envisioned geopolitics differently than did Charles V – the worldview was shifting.

    3. Lexington Green Says:

      I understand how you are using tribalism. Tribal primary loyalty has been undergoing a constant process of dilution in the West for 1,500 years under the influence of a Universal (Catholic) conception of religion. Also the entirety of the West for much of that time was one “sectarian” community due to its conflict with Islam, which really was a mortal threat.

      Sectarianism was “muted” in the West for a thousand years while medieval constitutionalism, monastacism, common law and equity, the division of religious and political power, the rise of non-kin-based civil society, the monogamous family and all the other foundations of modernity were being laid down. We had an outbreak of sectarianism for a few centuries, then the forces you mention came into play. Sectarianism is a very small part of the story of the West. Compare the brevity of the bloody contest between Catholicism and Lutheranism — two centuries at most? — and armed conflict between them now is a laughable proposal — with the perpetual bloody conflict within Islam between its sects. The story of the last 500 years in the West could be answer to the question “why did sectarianism fail to take off? What deeper underlying forces held the West together culturally and economically, and rapidly allowed it to incorporate a peaceful and orderly sectarianism?”

    4. tdaxp Says:

      Rise…

      A friend from the Chicago Boyz has informed me of The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark. The general theme of the book parallels my series, Jesusism-Paulism, in viewing Christianity as a liberating movement that offered love and worth to all humans…

    5. Anonymous Says:

      “In short, I think the caveats raised by James are significant and should be incorporated into any application of Barnett’s ideas. I’m not sure however, that Dr. Barnett would disagree as he is offering a grand strategy or a “blueprint for action” rather than attempting to supervise the every move of the construction crew”

      A blueprint is a very specific plan (so many feet and inches in an exact direction, etc.) so I’m not sure you mean to use that analogy (?).

    6. veryretired Says:

      Yes, Christianity, certainly, but esp. its progression from a monolithic, centalized structure based on the Roman imperial model through the various permutations that led to a body like the Quakers, and others, who reject any intermediary between man and god. This makes each person responsible for his or her own salvation—a radical form of individualism which, in many ways, is at the heart of the unique individualist perspective in western society.

      It is no coincidence that the various -isms that challenged the Anglosphere’s emphasis on individual rights and liberties were based in another entity, (society, race, folk, class, etc.) whose alleged value outranked and trumped the value of the individual and his personal rights. This is the fundamental collectivist contention, and the repeated attempts to find something that can substitute for the tribe or clan as a focus of identity in opposition to the distinct and separate personhood of the individual is a desparate attempt to recover something that had been lost.

      If each person is free to determine their path through life, their goals, their beliefs, their manner of living, etc., etc., then there is no need for priests of any kind, religious or secular, to interpret the “holy scriptures”.

      The reason individualism is so terribly dangerous to the forms and patterns of traditional, tribal societies is because all debates about how to proceed end with, “I don’t agree with your position, I am going in this direction”, instead of the trump card of “We will do thus and so because it is the tribal way”.

      If each person is adjudged capable of and allowed to find their own way to heaven, then deciding how to run an economic entity or farm or what book to read or where to live is pretty minor, derivative stuff.

      If you don’t need the (infallible) pope to save your immortal soul, you sure don’t require Il Duce or the Fuhrer to tell you what price to charge for your goods, or what to think about any number of other issues in life.

      We often overlook the power of John Paul 2’s insistence on the dignity of the individual person as a child of god as a direct and fatal threat to the assertion that an individual is nothing more than a product of his class or folk, and an insignificant product, at that.

      The reason for the implacable hatred of the collective for the concept of the individual as sovereign is that, by definition, the collective becomes subject to the laws of the market, and people can choose or reject as they see fit. It is no accident that the very same theories that despise (and fear) the autonomous individual also despise and hate capitalism.

      Being free to choose is the ultimate denial of the power of the tribe.

    7. Joel Says:

      I’m not so sure we have got beyond tribalism so much as substituted a larger number of newly achieved or invented tribes for older established or inherited tribes. We can now choose our tribes, joining different educational, political, religious, ideological, socioeconomic, regional, gender-role or other such communities. Societies that tolerate greater individualism or eccentricity (like the Anglosphere) make it easier for individuals to switch tribes at will. We still have tribes, but just a lot bigger choice of more fluid tribal entities arranged in intersecting networks rather than a series of hierarchical splits.

    8. Dave Schuler Says:

      In support of Lex’s claim, I would say that Christianity was a major factor in producing the conditions that led to the reduction of tribal loyalties. For example, Gal. 3:28:

      There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

      or Eph. 4:4

      There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

      Islam adopted this notion, too, in all likelihood borrowing it from Christianity. So, why has tribalism so obviously survived under Islam while diminishing under Christianity, especially in Europe? I think two reasons. First, Islam is predisposed towards faction and lacking in quality control (non-orthodox Christianity has this problem, too). I also think that Europe’s rivers (and the roads conveniently left by the Romans) tended to break down tribal cohesion, too.

    9. Lexington Green Says:

      “We can now choose our tribes.”

      If you can choose your tribe it is not a tribe. A tribe is something you are born into and stuck with.

      Civil society is the entire world of voluntary associations. It is not tribal. It is the antithesis of tribal. To call it “tribal but voluntary” adds nothing to the analysis since the essence of tribalism is that it is not voluntary.

      Keep the terms clear. Tribes = entities based on birth. Civil society = composed of entities formed and joined and left voluntarily. All the difference in the world.

    10. James A Pacella Says:

      Lex: Thanks for that insight, that’s something I never thought of.

    11. Lexington Green Says:

      As I think about it, there are groups that function like “tribes” that you are not born into but join by choice, such as criminal gangs. But you are not free to leave.

      So, there is that distinction.

      But, generally, I’ll stick with the distinction: Tribal = not voluntary.

    12. zenpundit Says:

      Anon wrote:

      “A blueprint is a very specific plan (so many feet and inches in an exact direction, etc.) so I’m not sure you mean to use that analogy ”

      It’s not an analogy, it is the title of Barnett’s second book ( which come to think of it, isn’t really a “blueprint” as much as it is a step down from grand strategy to strategy and grand tactics)

    13. zenpundit Says:

      Lex wrote:

      ” We had an outbreak of sectarianism for a few centuries, then the forces you mention came into play. Sectarianism is a very small part of the story of the West. Compare the brevity of the bloody contest between Catholicism and Lutheranism — two centuries at most? — and armed conflict between them now is a laughable proposal — with the perpetual bloody conflict within Islam between its sects”

      One way of describing the violent nature of the West’s “sectarian outbreak” might be ” brief”. Another way could be “acute” – a factor that could help account for the brevity of the duration.

      Catholic-Lutheran conflict was no laughing matter, the devastation of the Germanies in the Thirty Years War was surpassed in scale by few examples of intra-Islamic strife short of Tamerlane’s sack of northern India. The earlier Albigensian crusade was also noteworthy for it’s many cruelties.

      My point was not to knock Catholicism, Christianity or religion. Nor to deny Christianty’s many contributions to Western civilization ( though I would argue that the dynastic nature of feudal warfare, which the Church tried with little success to moderate, was partly tribal as well as contractual in nature)but to point out that sectarianism is also a primary loyalty. One that, at least in Northern Ireland, remained active in the West even into the late 20th century.

    14. Lexington Green Says:

      I would be the last guy to minimize the severity of the Thirty Years War, or to chuckle at Catholic-Lutheran mutual murder.

      But that phase was brief, however acute it was.

      I just do not think sectarianism was a major component of the West overcoming tribalism, which was my initial point.

      To some degree, in some places, it became a substitute for tribalism. More importantly, in some places, sectarian churches organizing themselves promoted civil society and pushed for religious toleration. (Religious toleration became the default position, since whichever group was in the minority asserted it as a principle, Catholics in England, Protestants in France, etc.)

      Northern Ireland is an outlier, and in the grand scheme of things is not very bloody. It is a throwback.

      Nationalism in the 19th Century was a resurgence of a sort of tribalism, and it was sometimes mixed up with sectarianism. So, that is a counter-example.

      The interesting question to me is “what constitutes primary loyalty for people in developed countries”? A related question “how resilient are those loyalties going to be if placed under dire stress”? Yet another question, “if those loyalties crumble, what will replace them, or what will people default to”?

    15. Curtis Gale Weeks Says:

      Fascinating discussion.

      Lex,

      Tribal = not voluntary.

      I’m not sure that’s a good way of putting it, since use of “not voluntary” obscures what really happens during the process of self-identification. For instance, various heretics and rebels have always arisen within any identifiable “tribe” who chose not to continue affiliation with that tribe although a large majority of others may have seemed unable, but were really unwilling, to leave that tribe. If we were to stick to the “not voluntary” description, we would begin to see a tribe of men, a tribe of women, a tribe of homosexuals, a tribe of Jews, and so forth, dispersed over the globe even though many of the people bound together by some one or handful of characteristics do not see themselves as members of such a dispersed “tribe”. Alternatively, we have examples of, say, Anglosphere women who marry into an Islamist culture and then proceed to see themselves as members of their new tribe. (In fact, such inter-tribe marriages have historically often proven necessary for maintaining tribal systems in relatively isolated regions — perhaps, following your comment about nationalism in the 19th C., political marriages between European state-tribes might serve as another example of voluntary “re-tribalism”.)

      So your example of criminal gangs is prescient. It reminds me of something Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every thought is also a prison; every heaven is also a prison.” Change heaven to haven, and the process of tribalization becomes more meaningful. Whether born into a tribe or choosing it, the interconnecting support systems and controls within a tribal system produce a kind of prison from which extrication seems either too difficult to attempt or else undesirable.

      Given such a consideration, Joel’s thoughts are worthwhile, as is Dave Schuler’s consideration of the transportation system in Europe. Emergent Protestantism in Europe aided the diaspora ultimately, but before the religious split, secularism in the form of a new God — gold/wealth, or capitalism; i.e., Trade — which was ironically made more possible by the extreme size of the former Roman Empire, played a large role: not only in the system of roads, but particularly in the way that trade routes and trade in general between outlying provinces of Rome and interior Rome were established long before Christianity was established. Rome was cosmopolitan. I wonder if the Roman remnants played the key role in upsetting the reformation of strong tribal systems in Europe; although ethnic groups persisted for quite some time, they all had a common history (i.e., having once been part of the Roman system.) Remember, the Catholic Church’s universalism was also made possible by maintaining that impression of a common origin, not only in its hierarchical structure but also in the way all learning and literature for centuries after Rome’s fall were disseminated in Latin; plus, along the old connections and trade routes between individual tribes, tying them together.

      Nonetheless, tribal identity may have persisted up through the development of nation-states in Europe, and have led to both World Wars; but those wars showed that the ‘havens’ offered by those tribal systems were not dependable.

    16. Jim Bennett Says:

      The exception to the rule about choosing tribal identities is interesting. In situations where a number of well-defined tribes are contending militarily it was not uncommon for tribes to offer membership to captive warriors from other tribes if they were short on manpower and the captive had demonstrated skill and courage. This was done by simulated birth; i.e., adult adoption. One of the functions of torturing captives was to assess their courage and stoicism; of course, it was also done for the entertainment value. Adoption ceremonies were often quite explicit — a woman would be designated as the captive’s fictive mother and he might crawl or be pulled out from between her legs.

      There is some thought that the story of Pochahontas rescuing John Smith from execution was actually a relation of such an adoption ceremony. Powhatan, rather than hating Smith, actually had taken a shine to him, or went along to please Pochahontas, and it was all set up from the beginning. Smith may not have been aware of this, of course.

      The point is, that even where there was some choice involved (although “join us, or remain a slave” is not that much of a choice) tribal societies went through a great deal of trouble to pretend that it wasn’t a choice. Birth membership was normative.

      Japanese adult adoption into the ie or wider family group is an example of a similaar social custom retained, probably from the Neolithic, into modern life. Fukuyama discusses this in Trust. He sees it as a step from a kin-based society to a civil society, but a peculiar, uniquely Japanese path than other East Asian societies never developed. It is a retained archaicism repurposed for other uses, which is a trick the Anglosphere uses a lot too.

    17. James Says:

      Many thanks, Zenpundit and all, for an additional round of commentary.

      My rationale for not giving Drs. Iklé and Barnett a pass on creating broad strokes for their suggestions is that they are American, and clearly see America (for whatever reason) as having a unique role to play in making things better for other nations.

      To offer a “blueprint” without credible “tradesmen” to execute it, or even an insightful “history of house-building” seems, to me, over-reaching. If Dr. Barnett, for example, sat down with WR Mead’s “Special Providence” and explained to me how the different strains of Anglosphere culture in America (which cross race and religion) will execute the “blueprint” that would be very compelling. As long as the system depends on military careerists (of which there are plenty) and an endless supply of credulous American cannon fodder, I don’t see the approach as having the “legs” to manage a century-long engagement. To reiterate my earlier post, where are all the Americans in this grand plan?

      As for the discussion about tribes, I view the modern familial origins of most people’s political beliefs as the new tribalism. You’re born into it and few people shift sides in adulthood. When you start with fundamentally different premises about the nature of life, government, and war, the resulting politics is inevitably divisive. There’s a great confrontation and/or reconciliation due in American society, and we can only hope it’s not resolved in grim international circumstances. So my reference to the Anglosphere mega-tribes being the ones who’ll finish whatever war the Third World tribes start wasn’t meant flippantly. Ronfeldt has some great material, and as an anthropologist I find the approach very appealing, but Jim Bennett’s book really sets standard history on its ear by claiming that, unique among cultures, the English and their global allies are a “tribe of nuclear families” … uniquely able to harness “wisdom of crowds” effects in civic culture, government, science & tech, and warfare. For Ronfeldt, Iklé, and Barnett, the Anglosphere can never be successfully wedged into a universal taxonomy of political and cultural structure. But to simply overlook the anomalies make the past, present, and future incomprehensible. My two cents. J.

    18. Dreaming 5GW Says:

      Tying Loose Ends…

      A common theme, or call it a common question, frequently resurfaces in our little neck of the Blogospheric Woods, amazingly emergent wherever the discussion turns toward an examination of the future of humanity:  Shall there be tribes; if so, will…

    19. Daniel Nexon Says:

      LG: “I would be the last guy to minimize the severity of the Thirty Years War, or to chuckle at Catholic-Lutheran mutual murder.

      But that phase was brief, however acute it was.”

      The sectarian strife of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries (which was often only partly sectarian) was, as Mark notes in the comment you’re responding to, noteworthy mainly for its scale rather than its form. Yet I see nothing in your response about the fate of the Hussites, the Waldensians, the Lollards, the Cathars, the little squabble between Arians and Catholics, and so forth. Indeed, the creation of “Europe” is a story of military expansion by adherents to what Bartlett calls “Franco-Gaulic” liturgy, often at the expense of other flavors of Christianity–even other flavors of Catholicism (Gaelic, for example).

      The idea that “sectarianism” was “muted” in the west for a millenium (which period do you mean, exactly) is simply nonsensical, unless we restrict “sectarianism “to the post-confessionalist environment that started to take a few decades after the Reformation, i.e., in which religious nonconformity or reformism implied a non-Catholic identity.

      Only very slowly, and with great pains, did forms of universal toleration take hold in post-Westphalian Europe. Locke’s suggestion that Catholics be accorded full civil and political rights was radical in its time. Jews generally only acquired civil equality in the 19th and 20th centuries.

      I am totally unclear what you mean, moreover, when you argue that nationalism in the “19th century was a resurgence of a sort of tribalism.” Where had tribalism–defined in Mark’s terms–disappeared to in the intervening few centuries? Nationalist ideology merely supervened upon–and sometimes supplanted–more local forms of xenophobia of the sort that predominated in western Europe.

      Tribalism is a constant in human history, what changes is its scale, its boundary conditions, and its notions about how one relates to outsiders. After all, what the heck do you think one does when he or she trumpets the “Anglosphere” as a distinctive cultural grouping marked by specific cultural, political, social, and linguistic characteristics?

    20. Jim Bennett Says:

      Tribalism is a constant in human history, what changes is its scale, its boundary conditions, and its notions about how one relates to outsiders. After all, what the heck do you think one does when he or she trumpets the “Anglosphere” as a distinctive cultural grouping marked by specific cultural, political, social, and linguistic characteristics?

      This discussion will be a dog chasing its tail indefinitely unless we make clear the distinction between “tribe” in its strict anthropolgical sense as a human group linked primarily and unalterably by direct kinship relations (allowing a minor role for fictive kinship), and its more generic, popular use of a group of people with some common identity. Nations aren’t tribes, in the former sense, nor are affinity groups within civil society. If we wan to use “tribe” in the latter sense we need to designate a new word to signify the former definition of tribe.

      The Anglosphere is not a tribe, except in the vaguest, most metaphorical sense. It is a set of patterns of human behavior that typically occur together, and a set of patterns with substantial predictive value. Trying to quantify that predictive power, and using the predictive ability to clarify options, choices, and policy is what the Anglosphere discssion is all about.

      What James McCormick is saying here is that Barnett wants the “SysAdmin” capabilities of the Second British Empire, but without the supporting ideology and the psychic rewards that led generations of Victorians and Edwardians to risk their “thousand-pound educations” (about US$100K contemporary value) against the “ten-rupee jezail” (or twenty-dollar AK-47). This is a fair use of the predictive power of Anglosphere cultural patterns.

    21. Daniel Nexon Says:

      “This discussion will be a dog chasing its tail indefinitely unless we make clear the distinction between “tribe” in its strict anthropolgical sense as a human group linked primarily and unalterably by direct kinship relations (allowing a minor role for fictive kinship), and its more generic, popular use of a group of people with some common identity. Nations aren’t tribes, in the former sense, nor are affinity groups within civil society. If we wan to use “tribe” in the latter sense we need to designate a new word to signify the former definition of tribe.”

      No disagreement with a strict definition of tribe. But I don’t think it makes much difference to the terms of the arguments as developed in comments. Nations aren’t, of course, tribes. But ethnic nationalism, for example, piggybacks on tribal affiliations by redefining the terms of kinship as membership in, to use Anderson’s phrase, “an imagined community” joined together by (usually fictive claims about) common descent. So the shift from tribalism to ethnic nationalism is a scale shift in the primary locus of in-group identity. It matters a great deal that members of nations share, at best, weak and highly indirect ties with other members of the group, but this recognition does not lead to the conclusion that nationalism overcomes “tibalism” in the sense we seem to be talking about.

      Given this, I remain unpersuaded that some of the claims above stand in direct contradiction to the project of articulating and forwarding the “Anglosphere.” Those contradictions say nothing of substance about the desirability of the features of said community, of course.

      “What James McCormick is saying here is that Barnett wants the “SysAdmin” capabilities of the Second British Empire, but without the supporting ideology and the psychic rewards that led generations of Victorians and Edwardians to risk their “thousand-pound educations” (about US$100K contemporary value) against the “ten-rupee jezail” (or twenty-dollar AK-47). This is a fair use of the predictive power of Anglosphere cultural patterns.”

      I don’t follow you. What’s special about the “predictive value” of the Anglosphere concept here?

    22. Bob Hodges Says:

      The ultimate breaking of the tribal systems in Britain came late — the late Middle Ages in Wales, the 1600’s in Ireland, and until 1745 in the Highlands of Scotland.

    23. Lexington Green Says:

      “The ultimate breaking of the tribal systems in Britain came late …”

      Late in the Celtic fringe. Not late in England.

      A key distinction.

    24. Pastor Mike Says:

      Veryretired has hit on a proposition that explains why Mexico and most of Central and South America have not enjoyed the same liberty and prosperity as the U.S.–despite the fact that all were settled at about the same time in history as the U.S–and that is because all those cultures are dominated by Roman Catholicism, which, with it’s “hierarchical organs” (the priesthood) positing themselves between God and man, is completely compatible with Socialism’s concept of an ‘anointed’ ruling class who decides what is and isn’t good for everyone else.