On Holiday

I'm on holiday, and have been for a couple of weeks, which has taken my mind off matters political and philosophical. But I'll be back at work within the week, and in the meantime my distraction has been broken by anticipation of what will be my first July 4th in the United States.

The argument of my previous post leads me to see the patriotism of my hosts as a human virtue, and ordinary good manners demands that I not treat the event as an opportunity to demonstrate the faults of republican government in general and that of the United States of America in particular.

I therefore aim to concentrate my attention on the American People, who have achieved so much in spite of unwisely lumbering themselves with such an inferior form of government - one which brings such predictable and immediate tragedy when attempted by peoples less endowed with individual and collective virtues, of solidarity, initiative, generosity and even, when using a realistic standard of comparison, intelligence. The American People is almost uniquely qualified to overcome the handicap of democracy and to maintain a society that, while visibly decaying, remains the envy of much of the world. Just imagine what they could have done these last two centuries with a decent monarchy!

I can often be accused of gratuitous contrarianism, and while globally the American form of government is more admired than Americans themselves, my tastes have always run otherwise.

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