The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight


February 2, 2007

Mark of Zenpundit, one of my favorite people in the blogsphere, recently announced that he’s joined some outfit called “Chicagoboyz.” Now, I’d never heard of them, but they’re clearly much higher up on the foodchain than the Duck. If I read Reynolds I would, apparently, find many links to them.

Their politics? I quote from the masthead:

Some Chicago Boyz know each other from student days at the University of Chicago. Others are Chicago boys in spirit. The blog name is also intended as a good-humored gesture of admiration for distinguished Chicago boys including those pictured above (we claim no affiliation), and others who helped to liberalize Latin American economies.

Anyway, if Mark’s posting there I’ve got to add it to the good old RSS reader, right? Well….

Passed along without much comment, this Chicagoboyz post from Lexington Green keying us into important issues for the “Anglosphere Institute”.

What are the deepest roots of Anglosphere exceptionalism? Some of the most commonly attributed sources are wrong: Protestantism, for example. England was exceptional long before Protestantism. Alan Macfarlane, from an anthropological perspective, has taken the story back into the Middle Ages. His predecessor F.W. Maitland, from a legal perspective, took it back a little farther. The Victorians and Edwardians (Stubbs, Maitland, Acton) agreed that the English retained from their Saxon ancestors something of the “liberty loving” ways of their Teutonic forebears, as depicted by Tacitus almost two thousand years ago. This type of thinking fell into disfavor in the 20th Century. But I think the Victorians were on the money.

Read the rest if you are so inclined. Basically, we wind up with the nuclear family being the engine of liberty, because Scandanavians supposedly didn’t live in extended families, so gay marriage is bad or something.

I should note that Brian Downing’s The Military Revolution and Political Change seems to loom large in the think of the Anglosphere community types. Who knew?

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.