On the Anglosphere

The Indian Question dominated a fascinating conference on the Anglosphere in Winchester yesterday, co-hosted by two of the greatest conservative editors on the planet: Daniel Johnson of Prospect, and Roger Kimball of The New Criterion. Some of the cleverest and most contrarian men in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India were present.


James Bennett, who more or less invented the Anglosphere, saw India as the key. While it might be awkward to talk of a nation of 1.3 billion people “joining” a club of 400 million, the orientation of India would determine the relative power of the English-speaking democracies for the rest of the century.

Daniel Hannan, Telegraph blogs

There has been a fair amount of negative press recently for Team India because of the Commonwealth Games. Kashmir is everywhere in the news, too. We shall see.

Update: I am using “Team India” in the way that the press often refers to the “Team India versus Team China” rivalry. Personally, I’m a little more worried about Team America’s recent play. I’m sure we’ll right it eventually. I firmly believe that.

12 thoughts on “On the Anglosphere”

  1. Ever since Jim formalised the notion of the Anglosphere, I have said that India would be a major and influential part of this arrangement. (I have also always said, although Jim disagrees, that he Anglosphere must, must, must be formalised. It must have the power to make treaties. We are dealing with sludge like the EU which keep seeping forward. And China, whose designs on Africa will probably be successful. Only a formal Anglosphere can contain the EU and keep power balanced with China.

    The Anglosphere must be formalised. I don’t know what form it would take and am looking forward to Jim and Lex’s book enormously, but it cannot be a gentleman’s club where one’s word is one’s bond. We need the power to make treaties, and also the power to declare war and have a fairly cohesive military. After all, we’ll all be English speakers, n’est pas?

  2. The Anglosphere is not an arrangement. It is the totality of English speakers, with more or less institutional cohesion. India is a civilization unto itself. The Anglosphere is not a political or military alliance and a country cannot join it or be thrown out of it.

    This very basic confusion continues and is making the word almost unusable.

  3. Well, Lex, I am not confused and I have said for the last three years that Jim’s notion is too constricted and “old world”.

    For one thing, if we don’t get our powerful Anglosphere organised, trust me, the French will power in with a “Francosphere” and get everything wrapped up in the Napoleonic Code (much like the EUSSR in all its manifestations) and manage to render the Anglosphere powerless against its might.

    We need the Anglosphere, minus an Obama-driven US.

    I think you and Jim are being far too civilised. This is a fight to the death for the control of our Anglo countries and if they get power they will continue their course of removing the ancient rights of the Anglosphere and imposing their constrictive Napoleonic Code, as they have done since the EUSSR began its long trudge forward 50 years ago.

  4. No, Verity. Apples and oranges. The point I am making is what the word means. Misusing itvyo mean a political and military alliance is misleading.

    We had a discussion about this very thing a few years ago.

    An alliance between the USA and India is a separate question. It is in both countries’ interest to fo more to strengthen the relationship.

    Whether Britain will have any relevance to that is yet a third question. Probably not much.

    France is not important, to the USA anyway.

    British people have submitted to EU rule. Only they can get themselves out of it.

    Indians will decide what is good for India, I am sure, based on hardnosed self-interest, and not any kind of nostalgia or sentimentality.

  5. شات كتابي – Hindi?

    The EU has already sucked self-determination out of Britain … although it was gutless Britain that allowed it. We have never been asked whether we want to be a member of this behemoth of apparachiks and Nomenklatura. No vote.

    That is why I would like to see the Anglosphere to be anchored by two democratic titans (to mix dieties) … The US and India. Also still going strong as democracies (I think; I’m a long way away) are NZ and Oz. Canada, I am genuinely sorry to say, is being leftyized by stealth … (well, stealth is the only thing that works when you are slipping freedom out of the citizens’ back pocket).

    Lex, I know we are never going to agree, but we are looking at a different global playing field now from when Jim first wrote about the Anglosphere. The left creeps forward by stealth and has robbed Britain of democracy. It has robbed Canada (and, to a great extent, Britain) of freedom of speech… because the lefty legislators have attached the word “phobic” (which means fear, not hatred, but they’re too stupid to know that) to people who complain about, say, way too much islamic immigration to a tiny island, and made it a crime.

    It was in the papers yesterday that most of the meat sold in British supermarkets is now halal (although it is not so labelled on the packaging). This was obviously some deal the socialist governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown fitted up. Another mark for the Great March Forward of islam. Practically all New Zealand lamb, a popular buy at supermarkets, is now (unlabelled) halal.

    The British people have never had one vote in whether to accept the increasingly Fascist “treaties” that Britain has signed up to. Blair and Brown always said, “Trust us”. We have now been told that we have to pay unemployment benefits and social security, and give free housing to however many people from Lithuania can get together the fare to Britain. In other words, we no longer own our country. Because we never had a chance to say no.

    So we have an aggressive and very clever China taking over Africa, and good luck to them. It’ll be the first time Africa’s functioned, except as an accepter of foreign tens of billions of dollars, since the British were persuaded that it would be pukkah and frightfully sporting to leave.

    My point is, with the United States and India as anchors, and Canada, Oz, NZ, Singapore, Malaysia the Anglosphere can be a coherent anchor against an encroaching world government. The EU has already appointed, just the other day, an ambassador to be the first contact for an alien landing. I kid you not.

  6. PS – Lex, I absolutely agree with you that India will decide what is good for India. But at some point, despite its 1.3bn people, it will have to ally itself with the Chinese (perhaps no bad thing), the Anglosphere or the EU.

  7. Said Lex:

    The Anglosphere is not an arrangement. It is the totality of English speakers, with more or less institutional cohesion. India is a civilization unto itself. The Anglosphere is not a political or military alliance and a country cannot join it or be thrown out of it.

    Most Indians speak English. All educated Indians speak it very well. Are they not part of the ‘totality of English speakers’?

    India’s political institutions are very similar to the political institutions of the Anglosphere. Political norms are also very similar. Indeed, one could say that India’s system is closer to that of most of the Anglosphere than is America’s.

    In the more developed areas (read: Kerala, Tamil Nadu) the social institutions and norms are also very similar to those of the Anglosphere. There is some differentiation once you leave these areas, but that is a development issue.

    So where is the divide? Is it a cultural divide? I would claim that most educated Indians draw just as much on the Western tradition as they do the Southern Asian.

    Moreover, if it is a cultural (or even purely linguistic) divide, what makes your average Indian any different from your average immigrant whose religion does not fall within Anglosphere norms and who learned English as a second language?

  8. Moreover, if it is a cultural (or even purely linguistic) divide, what makes your average Indian any different from your average immigrant whose religion does not fall within Anglosphere norms and who learned English as a second language?

    I think there is a huge difference. The Mexican immigrants that I knew (including the parents of my closest friend in medical school) 40 years ago were determined to learn English because they knew it was the key to prosperity. He was one of 10 and all but one had graduate degrees. His father was a welder who made wrought iron fences and gates.

    I think many, many Indians feel the same way and are prospering as they become part of the Anglosphere. The recent illegal Mexican immigrants are quite a bit different. I worked with them a lot in a trauma center and now that I retired, in reviewing workers comp claims. They are far less motivated to learn English and their drive to education is far less. I don’t know if it is the work of the AZTLAN activists or simply something I encountered in Ireland when I visited 30 years ago. I found little friendliness and an Irish friend said, they aren’t interested in Americans looking for their roots because they know the cream left for America.

    I think a lot of that changed with the recent Irish prosperity. Maybe the Mexicans who really wanted the American dream were the immigrants of 30 years ago. Maybe some of them are fleeing rather than emigrating. I hope it doesn’t blow up.

  9. I don’t think you can compare the Mexicans and the Irish – although I follow your reasoning – but as far as Mexicans “buying into the American dream goes”, well, I’m sure there was some of that, but don’t forget, the areas that Mexicans immigrated to in the US were formerly part of Mexico. California (the Mexicans held on to Baja California, though) and the vast state of Texas were once part of Mexico. The prevalence of Spanish names of towns and streets is daily evidence of that. San Antonio. El Paso. Corpus Christi. Amarillo. To name four off the top of my head. And all those towns and cities in CA beginning with San or Los. Those Mexicans you speak of as immigrating 30 or 40 years ago didn’t really see themselves as immigrating.

    Now it’s all become muddled with this irritating lefty outfit La Raza.

    Jonathan, do you know for sure that that comment above was in Arabic? I thought it looked like Hindi. But what do I know?

  10. I appreciate the comments!

    I sort of thought the Anglosphere was descriptive of a phenomenon. I’m not sure how any kind of formalized treaty would work. What countries would be involved? What would the treaty be about? Why would people want to join?

    Better the individual actions of each section of the Anglosphere, however loosely defined, I think.

    – Madhu

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