Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Success and our English heritage

Michael Barone earlier discussed the predominance of the "Anglosphere" in the Index of Economic Freedom (which rates nations for feedom based on a variety of factors). He quotes a response from James Bennett on the possible reasons why nations with an English tradition do so well:
What is it about the Anglosphere that permits its people to form large federations of states with strong civil societies, absorb large numbers of immigrants, and prosper? The short answer is probably something like 'A fifteen-hundred-year history of flexible institutions that are particularly good at capturing the "wisdom of crowds," a tradition of individualism, enterprise, and risk-taking, a high radius of social trust, the ability to spin these characteristics into strong civil societies, and a long history of people expanding and forming institutions of self-government wherever they go.' Many other people have had some or most of these characteristics; it is just that they have never elsewhere all been put together in exactly this package. As we can see once again by the Heritage report, its effectiveness stands out starkly over a wide range of metrics.


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