Saturday, December 21, 2013

Special Providence

FLG is reading Special Providence by Walter Russell Mead (whose blog, Via Media, you can find on the blogroll).  It's a great read .  FLG is disappointed that he hadn't read it earlier and even more disappointed that none of his professors at the SFS assigned it.  Although, maybe if FLG had taken a course on American Diplomatic History it would have been.  Although although, that a course on American Diplomatic History isn't required does say something in and of itself.

Almost every page has a passage worth highlighting, but here are a couple that FLG liked:
A democracy can, so to speak, easily have too many drinks and then pay a sordid call on a prostitute; it is much harder for a democracy to maintain a cultivated mistress in a fashionable apartment.   Unfortunately it is precisely this latter attitude of stylish and accomplished amorality that has historically worked well for diplomats.
In contrast to the common conception that the American people are ignorant of history, he points to our reverence of the founding documents as near sacred.  What FLG likes here is the concision of the prose:
We do not generally ask whether these documents are adequate for our purposes; the Bill of Rights and the Declaration judge us, we do not judge them. 


The Ancient said...


Withywindle said...

He might be better at books than blogposts ... the substance of Mead I largely agree with; it's his tone--smarmy, by the definition recently adduced--that I dislike.

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