The resurgence of China and India, to say nothing of the “energy empires’’ of Iran and Russia, means that, in relative terms, Anglo-American hegemony is already on the wane. Above all, Mead overlooks the extent to which the very un-Weberian culture of consumption, which has become the motive force of the Anglophone economies, has rendered them as dependent on foreign capital as were the moribund empires of the Ottomans, Qing and Romanovs a century ago.
Meanwhile, over Iraq, fissures have opened within the English-speaking world. There is abundant evidence, not discussed here, that other Anglophone peoples feel a diminished affinity with their US counterparts. Mead is quite wrong to assume, for example, that religion is as “persistent’’ in the rest of the Anglosphere as it is in the US.
Though there’s no harm in celebrating what we have in common ”“ and Mead does it well ”“ the differences between Anglos and Americans are much greater than he implies. Divided by much more than just a common language, it will take much more than a hyphen to reunite us.