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Hey Red

Was thinking about your thread on Washington and Jefferson, in particular in the light of what I'm currently reading. It is lengthy and probably a better winter project but I'm crawling through it at 10 pages a night, or so.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Albions-Seed-British-Folkways-Cultural/dp/0195069056

 

Anyway, the landowning gentry of the Chesapeake colonies came predominantly from the SW of England and from the distressed class of lesser nobles and second sons, etc during the upheavals of the restoration and English Ciivil War.

 

As far as the culture that they brought with them to America was a conception of liberty which was defined by a gentry which was free from interference from those above themselves and pretty much free to do anything they'd like to those beneath them. Among the common attitudes that flowed from that was a strong tendency toward sexual depredation on the part of the male gentry. That would be culturally consistent with Jefferson's portrayal as a libertine.

 

Washigton's popular depiction is also consistent with that culture in terms of a social order that depends on a few wise and benevolent leaders from a natural caste.

 

Anyway, you are the most consistent proponent of a worldview whereby the world is ruled by a natural meritocracy that is limted to those who have acquired or kept money. I don't think that is really an outgrowth of Cavalier culture per se, probably more of 1980s randianism of convenience more than anything. But I think there are some problems there.

 

I'm actually willing to accept that you work hard, pay your tithe and would really prefer a world where you didn't have to have accepted an accululated hundred(s) of thousands in government aid in order to remain competitive. But the problem there really isn't you- it is the fact that a solid majority and certainly most of the wealthiest of your fellow travellers are from the post Reagan/Thatcher rentier set that has done nothing to contribute to society but now that they've stolen most of the wealth-and crippled society-they want to burn the bridge behind themselves.

 

And they are desperate to find provoke fear and create allies among others- small business, Joe the Plumbers, Farm Bureauites etc even if a great deal of the agenda is not fully in the best interest of most of those folks.

 

BTW, among the four folkways that Fischer studied, only the Quakers of the Delaware Bay colonies had any conception at all that liberty ought to be extended to others as well as themselves.