Thursday, December 30, 2004
Better Late than Never (30.12.2004)

Here is a link to James Bennett's latest article on the Anglosphere and his views on the future of Europe, residing in the National Interest. Whilst I do not fully share the political conclusions that Bennett extends from his work, his recognition of the contribution that MacFarlane brought to the study of English individualism is a rarity amongst historians and the social sciences:

Macfarlane's body of work represents a momentous intellectual revolution. The implications of this revolution have not yet been fully realized, or even generally understood. It suggests that modernity and its consequences came particularly easily for the already-individualistic English. Conversely, it came particularly hard for the Continental Europeans, whose societies were characterized by all the non-individualistic features England lacked. It was to these Continentals that the intrusion of individualist, market-oriented relations was particularly disruptive and shocking. With medieval traditions of representative government moribund or long vanished, it is not surprising that Continental states had a particularly difficult time adjusting to parliamentary government, experiencing instead frequent coups, revolutions and periods of authoritarian rule, spiraling down to the abyss of fascism and communism.

An enjoyable and thought-provoking read.


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