Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cruel British humour, with help from America

Niall Ferguson is one of a number of spectacularly successful British imports to America.  Once primarily an innovative historian, he’s now a prolific commentator on the news of the day. He has the ego and the talent to be a “go-to guy” on the weakness of contemporary leaders and the need for “strategic thinking” everywhere. Not being strictly an historian anymore, however, he’s just another celebrity we can play with. Roy Bremner of the Financial Times of London lets loose with this:  
Listening to Niall Ferguson’s Intelligence Squared lecture on the six “killer apps” of western civilization at Chelsea’s Cadogan Hall recently, and admiring the crimson lining of his well-cut suit (he’s so vain, he probably thinks this story’s about him), I was reminded of a PJ O’Rourke line, uttered at the very same venue a few weeks earlier. To paraphrase PJ: “How do you know when somebody lectures at Harvard? They tell you.”
Is Harvard ever the last thing you learn about anyone?

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