Monday, May 02, 2005

Constitutional Matters

On the plane to and from Dubai I read Niall Ferguson's Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World. It is a book - as the title suggests - with an intriguing premise, and I found it convincing. I think the last 35 pages or so are remarkable, but what I want to note here is one of the quotations that preface chapter 5.

"[T]ake Constitution Jesuits if obtainable and insert English Empire for Roman Catholic Religion."

Cecil Rhodes, outlining the original concept of the Rhodes Scholarships to Lord Rothschild, 1888.

This made me laugh because - as I have written before - it is exactly how Chris Howell and I created the constitution of the Swansea University Jazz Society from the constitution of the African Society in 1980. I wish now that I had thought of using the constitution of the crack troops of the Counter Reformation as a basis for our efforts.

Nothing new under the sun I suppose.

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