Anglo-American Rivalry and Partnership

A Marxist View

Courtesy Reuters

IT MAY perhaps seem presumptuous for one living in faraway Moscow to venture into an American periodical with his opinion concerning relations between the United States and Great Britain. But the outlines of a mountain range are better seen when viewed from a distance. And so perhaps also the essential features of Anglo-American relations can be better discerned from afar -- and with the aid of the Marxist outlook -- than close at hand.

Since the Second World War the United States and Britain are -- apart from the Soviet Union -- the two remaining Great Powers. Their relations, viewed in perspective, appear a peculiar combination of antagonism and coöperation, as a result of which the United States is constantly gaining ascendancy over Britain, reducing her more and more to the status of a second-rate power in both economic and political respects. This process began nearly half a century ago, but owing to the different effect of the war upon the economies of the two countries it has been immensely speeded up.

The decisive rôle which England played in world economy and world politics in the nineteenth century came to an end at about the century's close. That rôle had been based on the following factors: England's earlier industrial development, as the result of which she became "the workshop of the world;" her richness in coal; a climate particularly favorable for the development of the textile industry, then of overwhelming importance; her vast empire, created in 300 years of wars of conquest, which towards the end of the nineteenth century had a population of about 400,000,000, or one-fourth of the total population of the globe; her merchant marine; and her banking system with its world-wide ramifications. She was the banker of the world, including the United States of America.

In those days England was herself a free-trade country and a champion of free trade, in theory and practice, throughout the world. Thanks to her head-start in industrial development and the

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