We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hadn't realized that Bill of INCD Journal is in Fallujah. From all I have heard, a truly God-forsaken place.
In his way to Iraq, he had the kind of conversation with someone who equates the US with terrorists - the sort of conversation we all can fall into, and then regret. Try explaining the Jacksonian view of the world to a young Icelandic pacifist woman.
Bill links to a fine essay by Walter Russell Mead on The Jacksonian Tradition, which I highly recommend, and will re-read. One quote:
If Jeffersonianism is the book-ideology of the United States, Jacksonian populism is its folk-ideology. Historically, American populism has been based less on the ideas of the Enlightenment than on the community values and sense of identity among the British colonizers who first settled this country. In particular, as David Hackett Fischer has shown, Jacksonian populism can be originally identified with a subgroup among these settlers, the so-called "Scots-Irish", who settled the back country regions of the Carolinas and Virginia, and who went on to settle much of the Old West—West Virginia, Kentucky, parts of Indiana and Illinois—and the southern and south central states of Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. Jacksonian populism today has moved beyond its original ethnic and geographical limits. Like country music, another product of Jacksonian culture, Jacksonian politics and folk feeling has become a basic element in American consciousness that can be found from one end of the country to the other.
I am a Jacksonian. I feel like the guy in Bourgeois Gentilhomme who learns for the first time that he is speaking prose. Whole essay here.
"Historically, American populism has been based less on the ideas of the Enlightenment than on the community values and sense of identity among the British colonizers who first settled this country."
Well, in the period the author mentions, a time of westward expansion we were obviously still very much an agrarian culture. However even this was regionalized to extent for by the time the Scots_Irish began settling Ohio,Kentucky, and other western areas the Hamiltonian position of having a manufacturing base had already taken hold in the NE. This of course was one of the famous points of contention between Hamilton and Jefferson. Jefferson's feeliing that our government could not survive a less than full blown agricultural society had been mitigated by Hamiltons report to Congress on manufacturing, which had much merit.
The immigrant Scot-Irish of the early 1700's never settled the west in any numbers. However, Dr. Thomas Sowell in his book "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" has some startling observations on the black culture in the US being an adaptaion of the low-low class Scots-Irish that first penetrated the shores and had an effect on the slaves being brought into America.
Finally in the period discussed it is hard to imagine that the Enlightenment, which was pervasive, did not have much to do with all aspects of the developing colonial culture..
Adam Smith had capped off the Enlightenment with his tome, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations".....and on and on and on ..blah,blah...