The Commonwealth: How to Keep Alive

The Commonwealth of Nations is clearly impossible. Except for the colonial past, its 18 member nations—five white, nine black, four brown—have nothing, not even wealth, in common. They are divided by almost every possible denominator: color, geography, education, culture, nationalism, economic interest. And so, before each meeting of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London, logical men quite logically predict its collapse.

They are always wrong. The Commonwealth not only staggers through, but it keeps growing. Since 1962, when Britain's attempt to join the European Common Market nearly brought down the house, three former British colonies in Africa have been admitted...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!