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Daniel Hannan on ‘Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World’

Posted: December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm   /   by

From the Heritage Foundation, November, 2013:

daniel hannanIn “Inventing Freedom”, Daniel Hannan reflects on the historical origin and spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial as it is imperiled. Hannan argues that the ideas and institutions we consider essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms — individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government — are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England and that we Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.

We have featured and referenced Daniel Hannan in other articles (here, here, and here). He is a Conservative Member of Parliament, representing South East England.

Hannan is a splendid speaker, writer, and historian. His Heritage speech in the video below, his new book, and his answers to audience questions are poignant reminders of the core principles that conservatives are fighting for in America and Britain. In both countries, he says, we are losing sight of them.

The core of his thesis is this: It is the English-speaking world, the “Anglosphere” (UK, Ireland, India, USA, Canada, Australia, … ) that somehow came to view the law as an ally of freedom rather than an instrument of state control. It is that very elevation of the individual over the state, in the law, that has brought us freedom and prosperity. In America and Britain, says Hannan, that principle has been taken for granted so long that now we risk losing it.

This is a long video, but well worth the time it takes to hear it.

As a side exercise, I compared Daniel Hannan’s style, wit, wisdom, and perspective to those of our own Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama.  Ugh!  What a difference!


The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.

                                                         Thomas Paine

David Leeper

David Leeper

David Leeper is a retired engineer living in Scottsdale, AZ, with his wife of 44 years. He is currently a volunteer science teacher at In his 40-year career he held positions from lab technician to technical vice president at Bell Labs, Motorola, and Intel. He holds 16 patents in telecom technology and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. During his career, he wrote mainly for technical journals including Scientific American. He began writing for in 2011.
David Leeper