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The Whisperers, God and Gold

Some people think that just a few people can review vast networks of social and economic information and make decisions for all of us. To read just how bad it can get when a few arrogant intellectuals do this, see The Whisperers by British historian Orlando Figes, a heartbreaking description of the socialist trauma inflicted on Russia.

Walter Russell Mead's book on Anglo-American success, God and Gold, describes a very different approach based on the individual. Mead identifes the importance of the individual's free relationship with God as crucial to Anglo-American success and in sharp contrast to the authoritarianism established by religions that mark the relationship between individual and God found elsewhere.

The British and American peoples also emphasized speaking the truth and helping each other. They expected honesty and teamwork, and these were essential to their success.