Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Brits hate David Brooks, too.

Such a satisfying smackdown.

Britain faced an enormous task: To move from an aristocratic political economy to a democratic, industrial one. This transition was made gradually, without convulsion, with both parties playing a role.

Gradually? Without convulsion? I don’t know if you’re aware of this David, but most British historians believe that the First World War was pretty convulsive. And definitely not very gradual. He seems to think that Britain cast off her aristocratic rulers by a process of “constructive competition.” In fact, what happened was that we went to war, conscripted millions of young men and sent them to France to be machine-gunned. Simultaneously, our government was taken over by a clique, led by Lloyd George, which ruled autocratically from a garden shed in No 10 Downing Street. Meanwhile, a whole part of the country – Ireland – descended into civil war. Somehow, I don’t see that as a “gradual” transformation.


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