A couple of days ago, I appeared on BBC TV’s This Week show talking about whether the Anglosphere, the shorthand term for the English-speaking world led by Britain and America, was in decline given the ongoing uproar over Brexit and President Trump. You can watch this discussion here.
Since my remarks were very compressed, what follows here is a fuller version of my observations – or what I would have said had I not been confined to such a short space of time.
The Anglosphere has been in decline for the past several decades due to a deep cultural demoralisation. Since the Brexit vote, I have allowed myself a modicum of optimism that this decline might at last be halted and reversed.
The demoralisation of the west dates back to the rise of Nazism and the Second World War. Europe, the crucible of the Enlightenment which had nevertheless descended into barbarism, came to believe that it had to be protected against itself. Its constituent nations, particularly Germany, could never again be trusted with any power.
That despairing certainty was the core belief underpinning the EU project. Fascism, went the thinking, had been created by nationalism. To prevent nationalism – and thus prejudice, fascism and war – you had to emasculate the nation. Trans-national institutions, based on the idea of the brotherhood of man, must henceforth take precedence over national governments, institutions and laws.
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