The world of English freedoms.

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The world of English freedoms.

Read it. Daniel Hannan outlines exactly why freedom has prospered first in English-speaking nations.



  • Kelly Starks

    Very very big agree.

  • Cotour

    Before the Anglosphere the dividing line in technology and as an extension, the thinking that an individual man had individual rights primary, over and above as an extension of God / religion is where Western civilization creates the parting line between it and the Eastern philosophy.

    In Eastern philosophy you may not plumb the mind of God to discover the underlying forces that rule the universe. That is the fundamental difference between the two and the germination point at which man comes to understand his proper place in the universe. In the Western world “God” loves man and challenges him to dare to understand “Gods” mind. heads are removed at this point in the Eastern / Islamic world.

    Religion is a political construct of man, designed to control him and contained within that mechanism of control are absolute limitations. Western philosophy is without limits. Its the difference between light and dark. And then comes the importance of the unifying language, but first the fundamental “enlightened” change in thinking.

  • JWing

    It is so uplifting to read an intelligent article written at an adult level that honestly makes you think. Why can’t Americans have politicians with Mr. Hannon’s command of the English language…hmmm, have I just posed a rhetorical question that seemingly answers itself?

    Thanks for this post, Robert; I have just ordered Daniel Hannon’s book, “Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Make the Modern World” upon reading your post. I let you know how I find the book.

  • Publius 2

    I read his commentary as well. He’s an excellent political thinker, and this country ignores his warnings about nationalized healthcare at its peril. I dream of our country in a day when Daniel Hannons are commonplace in the legislator, and our president is as brave, straightforward, experienced and intelligent as Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Edward

    I used to say that it was the freedom that came with capitalism and free markets that made the US and the western world prosperous, the Magna Carta being the foundation of stable laws and property rights that allow for capitalism. My evidence was the prosperity that China and India have had since they began to embrace capitalism and free markets.

    I now think that there is more to it. Niall Ferguson wrote a book, “Civilization: The West and the Rest.” He examines why there was a shift from the east being more prosperous than the west in 1500 to the west being more prosperous than the east by 1913. He also names six items that are key to that prosperity that the east didn’t develop as fully as the west did: competition, science, property rights (including stability of the rule of law), medicine, the work ethic, and consumption (consumerism). These may be “the right institutions and the cultural assumptions that go with them” that Hannan wrote about in his essay.

    I am in awe that the US went, in a mere four centuries, from a literal backwoods in 1620 to a country powerful enough to swiftly end the stalemated WWI. No other country or civilization has developed so much so quickly (although Argentina was a rival economic powerhouse in the Americas in 1920).

    Daniel Hannan mentions Alexis de Tocqueville as saying (from the essay) “that the New World allowed the national characteristics of Europe’s nations the freest possible expression … so English America (as he called it) exaggerated the localism, the libertarianism and the mercantilism of the mother country.” Hannan quotes de Tocqueville as having said, “The American is the Englishman left to himself.” Each of us being left to himself gives us the (Englishman’s exaggerated) freedom to exhibit the American exceptionalism that de Tocqueville suggested — but did not name — in his book.

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