Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

A Nation of . . .

August 28th, 2017 by G.

[Not a serious political proposal]

They say democracy is supposed to be bland and homogenizing.

But what if each country ruled by embracing its national stereotypes and character. Each country would have a democracy of distinctiveness, where the prototypical were the electorate.

So England would be a shopkeeper democracy. Or if we let the English themselves pick the types, it would be a democracy of dons, headmasters, publicans, and village eccentrics.

France would be ruled by, what, a broad-based electorate of adulterers and gourmets? (Kidding, mes amis).

In Spain, only dirt-poor aristocrats would be eligible.

America is an interesting question. I’d argue that the prototypical American is the self-made squire. The most eminent founders were men of this type. The American spirit was the frontier spirit, and the frontier was always about that too. We think of the frontier as the yeoman’s dream, where a man and his family could go and acquire their independent means. But it was also the squire’s dream. Not just an independence, but some real prosperity, a big ranch, a big farm, some enterprises in town, a practice as a lawyer, a seat in the legislator or a stint on the town council or as sheriff for the County . . . The frontier American dream was always a bit more about the buccaneering spirit of getting rich than we now recall it. (Which is why this comment to a recent post is both funny and apt).

It’s hard for a country when the national stereotype dwindles.

Comment from our foreign readers is particularly welcome.

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