Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Horatio Nelson

This review in the The Economist of new books on Admiral Horatio Nelson is very good. It tells us much about Nelson, who, according to the reviewer, did more than anyone (save Churchill) to shape the British character. Note this paragraph:

The Nelsonian essence of battle, Mr Nicolson explains, was the "liberation of individual energies to ensure victory". There is, he suggests, a parallel between the way Adam Smith thought of economics and Nelson thought of war: the individual’s uncompromising pursuit of individual ends also best serves the general good. While the Spanish fleet was marked by a peasant/aristocratic mentality, and the French fleet by an uncomfortable mix of ancient and revolutionary, "Nelson’s fleet carried a capitalist charge."

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