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.
Matthew Yglesias isn't the only progressive who pines for the Empire. Niall Ferguson has been making a lot of noise to that end as well. I saw him on PBS and should see he was a postmodern historical revisionist, but I was surprised by the admiration he expressed for the rule of the British.
My hypothesis is they believe if the people don't yield to the functional goodness of progressive thought, massive social re-engineering must take place by the hand of government. It would force citizens into conformity with progressive doctrine, which they belive is mankind's salvation.