Posted by: Dr Churchill | January 2, 2018

The American is the Englishman left to himself…

Alex de Tocqueville said that “The American is the Englishman left to himself” and it seems to be just right as descriptive phrases go…

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Edmund Burke, wrote the greatest British encomium to conservatism, when he was a Whig, titled “Reflections on the Revolution in France” which is a political pamphlet and published in November 1790. It was indeed one of the best-known intellectual attacks against the French Revolution, and Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” to this day is considered the defining tract of modern conservatism, as well as an important contribution to international theory. Above all else, it has been one of the defining efforts of Edmund Burke’s transformation of “traditionalism” into a self-conscious and fully conceived political philosophy of “Conservatism” that informs the ideological wars of today and shines the cathartic light of day upon the plantation politics of todays Democratic party in America and the New Labour party in the old Blighty.

is one amongst all of Edmund Burke’s books, speeches, and pamphlets, has not been easy to classify, because academics have had trouble identifying whether Burke, or his tract, can best be understood as a realist, or an idealist, a Rationalist or a Revolutionist, supporter and enthusiastic political philosopher. Yet, largely thanks to its thoroughness, superb rhetorical skill, and awesome literary power — Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” has become the most widely read of Burke’s writings and a classic text in political theory. Still today, in the twentieth century, it has greatly influenced the conservative and the classical liberal intellectuals, who recast Burke’s Whiggish arguments as a clear critique of all communist, revolutionary, leftist, socialist, and illiberal political statist programmes.

Now Daniel Hannan, who is a Tory, an ultra euro-sceptic conservative MEP, in fact has written a great encomium to Burke’s pean to Whiggery, that was last seen hiding inside Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” of 1790…

The title of this new conservative achievement is “How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters” by Daniel Hannan, and it is a joy to read and think through…

Interspersed with the eloquence of Macaulay or Trevelyan – both of whom are liberally quoted here – Hannan sweeps us through English history to show the triumph of law-based liberty and “that total understanding which can only exist between people speaking the same tongue”.

And with incredible ingenuity, he finds the marks of this genius in almost everything the English have done.

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I say “the English” because Hannan has no race theory, pointing out, for example, how “English” oriental people can be in Hong Kong, Singapore or India – but he certainly believes in the Anglo-Saxon tradition. The Norman Conquest was, in his view, a “calamity” since it is because of Saxon Witans, Saxon law, and Kipling’s Saxon yeoman who “stands like an ox in his furrow” demanding fair dealing, that we are a free people today. He even complains that the Normans, being more snooty, let us keep plain Saxon words – cow, pig, lamb – for living animals, but imposed their own French-derived ones for the cooked version – beef, pork, mutton.

There are some Great Passages here as one shows how – despite having had what was called the Peasants’ Revolt – the English were never peasants at all since they had property rights. Another explains how our freedom to make our wills in favour of anyone we wish, upholds the rights of property by extending them beyond death, whereas on the Continent, the law makes you leave things equally to your children.

But though this book is ultra-patriotic, it is also global. “Let observation, with extensive view, survey mankind from China to Peru”, wrote Dr Johnson. That is what Hannan does, particularly from the latter vantage point. He is Anglo-Peruvian, brought up mainly in Peru, and this enables him to contrast a Spanish-based polity where no one believed in the rule of law, with our own dear habits. He says he loves Iberian culture but, the more he knows both, “the harder it is to sustain the idea that the English and the Spanish speaking worlds, are manifestations of a common Western civilisation”.

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Hannan’s obsession is not England, but the Anglosphere. Out of it all, came the Magna Carta, the Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, and then came along the non English bits – the American Revolution, for instance, and the Statute of Westminster, which relinquished British parliamentary control over Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Part of his theme is captured in the couplet from a play that convicts first performed in Sydney in 1796: “True patriots we, for be it understood, that we left our country, for our country’s good” Either that or was it in order to beat us at cricket?

Hannan shows the continuities and the links of AngloSaxon culture to great effect. I am ashamed to say that I had not known, before reading this book, that Abraham Lincoln’s most famous phrase was invented by John Wycliffe in 1384.

Wycliffe’s prologue to the earliest English translation of the Bible said that “This Bible is for the government of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

And some three centuries later, the 16th American President, Abraham Lincoln echoed that sentiment in his Gettysburg address rather deftly, so much so, that he now owns the phrase.

To his credit, he stole it beautifully and restored it to a far greater height of Political Reason than any of the previous users. The fact that our Democracy today still utilizes this wonderfully worded sentiment that was “smithed” over the passage of time and over many centuries of lugubrious existence is n an of itself a testament to the power of biblical rhetoric… in the power of the 1, 2, 3, ascending tri-colon of the Art of Oratory that the Great Emancipator was a sublime practitioner.

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Today, Hannan believes, that these awesome virtues of the Anglosphere, are more secure in governments like that of President Donald Trump in America, Tony Abbott in Australia, Stephen Harper in Canada, and John Key in New Zealand, than in today’s British government, struggling to leave the totalitarian European Union. Yet still being left behind the EURO curtain, even thought the BREXIT referendum was quite clear as to the intent of the British people. And even though the slow cooking method of Teresa May that betrays her personal fears of abandonment, and her efforts at appeasement of her “Herr Fuhrer” friends in Brussels and Berlin, have in many cases supplanted the will of the people — we are certain that their clarion call for Liberty will be resoundly heard across the whole of Europe and the World.

Still in Hannan’s mind, the love of liberty is above all else, more fully expressed and protected within the US Constitution, where it is enshrined far deeper, than in England’s own parliamentary sovereignty in its current, and debased form. Because in the United Kingdom of today, the government represents very few Free Englishmen, in its bondage under the EU overlords and their Nazi “Gauleiters” the likes of Mr Junckers and all the other Eurocrats. And until such time that the Conservatives stage their own Glorious Revolution, and oust Auntie Teresa, the wiccan ugly witch who conspires to deny their Freedoms — there is no end to the grave humiliations that she and her lot will put us all through…

Here is where Hannan quotes with approval Alex de Tocqueville when the latter stated that “The American is the Englishman left to himself” when he argues for a revised British Bill of Rights – sort of a 1689 constitutional bill, adjusted for today and with modern knobs onto it, in order to Americanize the English constitution, and thus, paradoxically, make it even more “English.”

It is all such a tremendous book, that I feel sad to say that I do not, strictly speaking, agree with its classification as history, since its account of ever-increasing freedom, for example, cannot properly be squared with the royal drive for control that lay behind the English Reformation. Indeed, as Hannan half acknowledges, the persecution of Catholics, was a constant theme of more than 300 years of our all too English history, going far beyond a reasonable suspicion of papal power in both length of time, intensity of Reforms, and in the ceaseless destruction of Monasteries and Catholic churches, proves beyond reasonable doubt that the the English people detest foreign control…

You see?

That’s how it’s done.

Drive the parish Papal Talibans out to sea… and reclaim your country.

The same will happen with the EU overlords.

They will be driven out to sea so that we can be left alone and Free to dispose of our own affairs.

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But I do not want to complain too much here, because as Hannan himself quotes Renan, “Getting its history wrong is part of being a nation.” And the admirable way Hannan gets our English history wrong, works to the good for all of us.

Even if it is not always true that we have upheld liberty and the law, it helps us to do better if we believe that this is our special role in the world. In all countries, at all times, there are a shocking number of people who want to diminish freedom, and at the very least we are not one of them.

At in the final analysis, the enemies of Liberty, at least within the Anglosphere — will certainly never succeed, without a fierce fight.

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And we also know how to win those fights were everything is at stake, as our grandfather Winston Churchill fought and proved.

And as the Liberty that is still ours, proves beyond reproach.

And as along the way we managed to secure the Freedom of many other nations and various Peoples too…

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

“We should remember who we are”.

Indeed, we should.

And, I am happy to play along, even if it might involve a bit of false memory syndrome, because Daniel Hannan is surely right, when he says that certain trends in the world today, favour what he advocates as the elemental pursuit of Freedom and Liberty…

One interesting example is how the Republic of Ireland, which so long chose to define itself by how anti-British it was, is now a much more relaxed part of the Anglosphere.

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Another is that the prolonged agonies of the eurozone, after its apparently successful beginnings, are showing the world how painful and foolish it is to impose a new order upon disparate and vivid nations.

Instead, we few English, we happy few, by contrast, have become many, and spread Albion’s seed freely all over the place that we now have comer to call Anglosphere…

And we can surely even win the fights to come, if only, when Daniel Hannan blows “Reveille” we weren’t so sunk in swinish slumber, or drunken stupor, as we are now fond to be wallowing in the sea of Kool-Aid drinks the hypocritical leftist illiberals have gotten us accustomed to drown our liberty, along with out sadness & sorrows into … as a concentration camp diversion due to drinking way too much German plonk.

So go read Hannan’s book and give me your thoughts here:

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