CBC president and CEO Robert Rabinovitch says that cultural differences will survive in the world, even if one super power dominates. Speaking to the International Chapter of Young Presidents Organizations, he delivered a speech entitled Living in the World With One Super Power. Excerpts from his speech appear below. Few are against greater economic integration with the world’s most powerful economy and nation. And with economic integration will inevitably come some degree of political alignment. Common defense, etc. But the notion of an American cultural hegemony that undermines cultural sovereignty is a real concern. Even western countries, which share democratic principles, have different values and cultures. These inevitably may lead to different conclusions even from the same set of facts. As Michael Ignatieff has pointed out we are definitely in a period of an American empire. How long it will endure, how benevolent it will be, only time will tell.  History is rife with examples of how empires endure or not depending on how they respect cultural diversity. The Roman Empire survived for 400 years because it allowed conquered peoples to maintain local traditions. Napoleon’s effort to impose his vision on those he conquered likely precipitated his own demise in less than two decades… Today, the ramifications of ignoring concerns about the cultural dominance of one power are no less significant... A key question for us today is: Can/how do nations forge greater economic and even political integration, while preserving their distinctiveness as societies…Canada has deliberately and successfully built a distinctive national identity that endures despite the pervasiveness and proximity of the U.S. One need only look at our social safety net – health care, taxation, social welfare – to see the Canadian formula for balancing individualism, individual development, and collective responsibility is fundamentally different from that of our American neighbours...In April 2003, the Canadian Policy Research Network released the results of its dialogue with Canadians on our nation’s future. It found that Canadians share...a strong sense of pride in their community and want to maintain their emotional distance from the U.S. Elsewhere we’ve witnessed a resurgence of appetite for local content…In television, the market for indigenous content is thriving. This is all very encouraging and instructive...(There has been a) dramatic drop in the market for U.S. television programming around the world over the last few years. (It has been) replaced by local versions of the same programs except, of course, in Canada where American programs are available and so should be. (Same in U.S. which is importing foreign programs and reformatting them for a U.S. audience.) Reality programs were first developed in Scandinavia.  All this suggests there is value in deliberately fostering indigenous cultural expression. And it reaffirms the notion that preserving cultural distinctiveness is possible in the face of greater economic and political integration. Americans must accept that any nation’s desire to protect cultural distinctiveness is neither anti-American nor a disguised barrier to trade. American entertainment industry has always argued that what we call culture is really nothing more than a barrier to trade in entertainment product. Well, it’s not that simple. National leaders will continue to take deliberate steps to protect cultural integrity – culture cannot be left to market forces alone. I dare say the U.S. itself has understood that and has imposed barriers to foreign ownership of U.S. broadcasting outlets (e.g. Rupert Murdoch had to become an American citizen in the 1980s town and develop Fox TV. Matsushita had to sell WMCA when it bought MCA.) National leaders must make a strong commitment to cultural institutions…including public broadcasters … as the tools through which cultural integrity and differences can be fostered and cultivated.  Conclusion Cultural differences within a world with one super power will continue to thrive and be reinforced by national leaders. One can only hope that the super power will recognize that an empire that respects cultural diversity is an empire that will thrive and develop.