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  #1  
Old 10-18-2007, 04:26 PM
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Anglophilia

An Anglosphere Future
How a shared tradition of ideas and values—not bloodlines—can be a force for liberty
Christopher Hitchens
Autumn 2007

Having devoured the Sherlock Holmes stories as a boy, I did what their author hoped and graduated to his much finer historical novels. The best of these, The White Company, appeared in 1890; it describes the recruitment and deployment of a detachment of Hampshire archers during the reign of King Edward III, a period that, as Arthur Conan Doyle phrased it, “constituted the greatest epoch in English History—an epoch when both the French and the Scottish kings were prisoners in London.”

This book, it’s of interest to note, also influenced Dwight Eisenhower’s boyhood (I owe this information to the extraordinary Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters, edited by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower, and Charles Foley). For there came a time when this child of German-American parents also had to muster a considerable force from Hampshire headquarters, and launch them across the Channel in one of the greatest military interventions in history. Of course, on D-day, Eisenhower took care to have a French leader on his side (admittedly a turbulent and mutinous one), and Scottish regiments were as usual to the fore in the storming of the Atlantic Wall. But it’s funny how one somehow can thrill to the same tradition, whether it’s the medieval yeomen and bowmen of Anglo-Saxondom or the modern, mechanized, multinational coalition against fascism.

Doyle was only a few years from his first trip to the United States when he published The White Company, which he dedicated as follows: “To the hope of the future, the reunion of the English-speaking races, this little chronicle of our common ancestry is inscribed.” Around the same time, two other renowned figures—Cecil Rhodes and Rudyard Kipling—made similar pitches. Two monuments, the Rhodes scholarships and the poem “The White Man’s Burden,” still survive in American life. The purpose of the scholarships was to proselytize for the return of the U.S. to the British imperial fold. The poem, written for Theodore Roosevelt, who passed it to Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, sought to influence the vote of the U.S. Senate on the annexation of the Philippines. (The poem’s subtitle was “The United States and the Philippine Islands.”) In urging the U.S. to pick up the scepter of empire, Kipling had one hope and one fear: hope of Anglo-American solidarity against rising German power; and fear of a revival of the demagogic atmosphere of 1894 and 1895, in which America and Britain almost went to war after the U.S., citing the Monroe Doctrine, intervened in a border dispute between Britain and Venezuela.

Doyle’s visit coincided with the height of this anti-British feeling, and at a dinner in his honor in Detroit he had this to say:

You Americans have lived up to now within your own palings, and know nothing of the real world outside. But now your land is filled up, and you will be compelled to mix more with the other nations. When you do so you will find that there is only one which can at all understand your ways and your aspirations, or will have the least sympathy. That is the mother country which you are now so fond of insulting. She is an Empire, and you will soon be an Empire also, and only then will you understand each other, and you will realize that you have only one real friend in the world.

more at: http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_4_anglosphere.html

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Old 10-18-2007, 05:05 PM
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And how's that friendship doing these days? A bit strained?

The current cooling and alienation in UK-US relations is ominous. And that is precisely because the two nations HAVE BEEN best friends and allies for the last 100 years, despite periodic disputes and differences.

If we alienate the U.K., as well as Canada and Australia ... who can the U.S. really count in our corner?

-- Bokonon
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
When you do so you will find that there is only one which can at all understand your ways and your aspirations, or will have the least sympathy. That is the mother country which you are now so fond of insulting. She is an Empire, and you will soon be an Empire also, and only then will you understand each other, and you will realize that you have only one real friend in the world.


We're still important! We're still important!
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
And how's that friendship doing these days? A bit strained?

The current cooling and alienation in UK-US relations is ominous. And that is precisely because the two nations HAVE BEEN best friends and allies for the last 100 years, despite periodic disputes and differences.

If we alienate the U.K., as well as Canada and Australia ... who can the U.S. really count in our corner?

-- Bokonon
Canada? In our corner? You slay me.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
And how's that friendship doing these days? A bit strained?

The current cooling and alienation in UK-US relations is ominous. And that is precisely because the two nations HAVE BEEN best friends and allies for the last 100 years, despite periodic disputes and differences.

If we alienate the U.K., as well as Canada and Australia ... who can the U.S. really count in our corner?

-- Bokonon
You haven't read the entire piece.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2007, 06:03 PM
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We're still important! We're still important!

Great post Jethro,,,the 5th largest economy on the planet,,, sure,, not important at all.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:09 PM
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Great post Jethro,,,the 5th largest economy on the planet,,, sure,, not important at all.
Yeah, they're our only real friends. That's why the Aussies were in Vietnam and the Poles are in Iraq. The Brits need us way more than we need them.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:13 PM
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Yeah, they're our only real friends. That's why the Aussies were in Vietnam and the Poles are in Iraq. The Brits need us way more than we need them.
You haven't read the whole article, either.

B
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:42 PM
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You haven't read the whole article, either.

B
I did. I just found that conclusion a bit laughable. And the substance a bit of a stretch.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:47 PM
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I did. I just found that conclusion a bit laughable. And the substance a bit of a stretch.
I can only conclude that you missed the part where the author includes Australia and Canada in his discussion.

Oh well.

Now what is it about his thesis that you find a stretch? Why?

B
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:55 PM
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Canada? In our corner? You slay me.
Maybe you didn't realize it, but Canadians have been dying in Afghanistan for the past 6 years or so. In the past two years our death rate has been at three times the rate of any other foreign army in Afghanistan, and the US is included in that statistic. One out of nine of our deaths (both combat and accident-related) have been at the hands of the US armed forces. We aren't there because Islamists flew planes into Canadian towers, but because they were flown into your towers. A little closer to home, you might not realize it, but when a little thing called Hurricane Katrina happened a few years back, it was actually the Canadian Navy that was able to provide disaster relief on site faster than any US agency. We were close, and we helped.

If the point you're trying to make is that we didn't jump on side with Iraq, you're right, we didn't. And it doesn't seem like it was a bad decision, either.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:00 PM
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We're still important! We're still important!
The quote is over 100 years old. At the time, Great Britain *was* still important. They would have represented the world's largest economy and would have been the world's leading military power.

Much has changed since then. Two world wars and the loss of Empire came close to bankrupting GB, but they've still managed to play a fairly important role in the world.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:37 PM
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I can only conclude that you missed the part where the author includes Australia and Canada in his discussion.

Oh well.

Now what is it about his thesis that you find a stretch? Why?

B
I didn't miss the mention of them.

A stretch probably isn't the right way to say it. Lemme think of a better way to phrase what I mean.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:52 PM
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There are several portions about which I agree with the author. I guess the main one is that the common language and cultural heritage (including laws and customs) bind us more than genes. In my experience I have more in common with black Americans than I do with white Europeans, often including Englishmen. What that tells me is that even though there is this revolting race thing in the USA, that the commonalities within our nation are more about culture than genes.

That shared cultural heritage is very strong between the USA and Canada (I have never met brothers who didn't squabble over their toys). It gets a bit diluted crossing the Atlantic but from law to music, we still share far more with England, Australia or New Zealand than we do with any of their neighbors. I don't mean to imply that non-English speakers are inferior or of lesser importance. Being different is not being inferior. It's just different.

Are the exceptions? Heck yes! I have met lots of non-English speakers with whom I have felt very close--closer than with most Americans. On the personal level, it becomes --- personal. But on a national level, what can I say? It's easier to understand a cockney or even an East Indian than a Russian or Turk.

I read somewhere years ago that the USA was the first secular country. I hasten to add that doesn't mean that our country was or is atheistic, just that religion, historically a common and powerful political force in most countries, was specifically excluded from power in this country. Instead, the seculart government is designed to be paramount. Putting government ahead of God was a real innovation. It meant we didn't have to resort to issues of divine right in order to have a politically acceptable government.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:48 AM
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There were parts I agreed with too. But France for example, as much disdain as Americans have for it, has a lot in common with us as well. That relationship is not as good in part because of that disdain. Unfortunately for France, after the revolution their new government was not established by a contingent of great men.
India's new government was established by great men though, and I think that is shared with the US.
I also think there's a little too much 'we' where there really isn't.
As you mentioned, secularism was our idea. Though not a question of credit, I think some relationships drawn are shared with us rather than particular to common British heritage.
I agreed with about half of what he wrote about India. I do not think Americans have come to appreciate India's struggle with terrorists. Frankly, America doesn't really have much of a relationship with India, despite their similarities.
I disagreed with the UN comments. It's not a prisoner of the unilateralism of France, Russia, and China.

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