December 10, 2005

John O'Sullivan Almost Says "Anglosphere"

In the current 50th Anniversary Issue of National Review (subscribers only online), John O’Sullivan has a good piece entitled “The Great 20th Century Handoff: Britain to America”. This is O’Sullivan’s take on a subject that has been heavily discussed on this blog recently, by me (The Trident Passes – Peacefully; also this), and James McCormick’s remarkable series on the “World War Zero” that did not happen as Britain lost its hegemony, and the United States assumed a similar world-role. ( here and here and here -- so far).

O’Sullivan’s analysis is consistent with the views expressed on this blog. He discusses the failed efforts to create a unitary state out of the disparate parts of the British Empire, the failure of the USA to assume Britain’s world-role after World War I, the USA’s lingering anti-British – because anti-imperialist – sentiments. As a result a true US-UK union did not really come about until after World War II, since there was a strong isolationist consensus in the US that was not overcome until the early Cold War. Only during the 1950s did American conservatives in the main finally turn away from isolationism and toward a hard, security-focused internationalism to oppose Soviet communism.

O’Sullivan concludes with a new assignment for National Review, and the larger American political Right in general:

Those [isolationist] trends were powerful on the right (though not confined to there). The rise of a new American conservatism that embraced an anti-Communist internationalism was a vital element in defeating these tendencies and building the stable political coalition that then sustained an internationalist foreign policy. NATIONAL REVIEW built and led that new conservatism. (Not without pangs—NR’s obituary of Churchill, for instance, was somewhat grudging.) It even sacrificed the American Right’s hostility to imperialism at Suez. That strategic re-thinking sustained the Cold War then; it sustains the War on Terror now; and it points the way to a future international coalition, ironically along lines pioneered by Joseph Chamberlain. Building a new coalition of the English speaking peoples—one that includes India as well as the “white dominions” in a post-racist age and that persuades the British themselves not to abandon their own Atlantic option for a narrow Europeanism—is the next task for “the most consequential journal of opinion ever.”

Let us roll around in our mouths again that one phrase: “Building a new coalition of the English speaking peoples—one that includes India as well as the ‘white dominions’ in a post-racist age and that persuades the British themselves not to abandon their own Atlantic option for a narrow Europeanism”. That is a pretty darn good one-sentence summary of the Anglosphere program in the present and immediate future.


Posted by Lexington Green at December 10, 2005 10:04 AM
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Posted by: bcxbgcbc at April 10, 2007 11:16 AM
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