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Anglo Primacy and the End of History: The Deep Roots of Power

The 24th Annual John Bonython Lecture

Whether the United States should lead the world is much debated, but American primacy in some form is unavoidable. It has roots deep in history, as did the British primacy that preceded it. All the Anglo nations became rich and powerful because of qualities that Britain developed deep in the Middle Ages: good government, a market economy, and an individualist society. They accept a responsibility for the world order that other rich nations avoid. Non-Western countries show nothing like the same development.

At the end of history, liberal democracy has prevailed, and deeper historical differences dominate world affairs. Sunny visions of globalisation cannot obscure them. Only the Anglo nations possess all the economic, military, and moral ingredients of power. They are fated to lead the world—and to bear heavy burdens for the less fortunate.