Is this a daft idea or isn’t it? It depends like most things on perspective. To the unenlightened, the question might be about what exactly is Boston’s role in any hub of world history. Others may argue that the history itself is shaming and should not be celebrated.
We believe that Britain in the 17th and 18th century laid down the global foundations of what was essentially a liberal bourgeois revolution. It was this revolution more than anything else which established freedom based on the commercial freedoms of Contract, Choice and Consent. These commercial freedoms have legitimately acquired a social character and therefore define our lives in a positive and liberating way. They underpin the politics of identity.
If we care enough to look we can see where these freedoms are absent and if we are clever enough we can see how the absence of these freedoms distorts societies or distinct communities within society, restricting rights for many including women and the poor.
The economic and religious freedoms that the Pilgrim Fathers and celebrated Bostonians took to America (from Plymouth, not Boston just to be accurate)laid the foundation for the Capitalist powerhouse that became the USA. Whilst these freedoms are not sufficient to create a just society you can’t have a just society without them. They are therefore an essential ingredient of any nation that wants to call itself “free”.
So in the age of the internet and the decline of the town centre, Boston like the whole of Britain needs to work on it’s global narrative its Unique Selling Point, and place itself foursquare at the heart of one of the most transformational periods in world history, the revolution in freedom delivered to the world in the 17th and 18th century by Briton’s and Bostonians alike.
Boston’s contribution to the world can be drawn on a flowchart of world history and can be linked to other British towns and foreign nations. We should not let being PC stand in the way of a remarkable and world-transforming story.