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The slave trade, colonial rule and apartheid were once all legal. Hard power then won lawful authority: might literally made legal rights. The global revolutions that abolished those coercive rights were extraordinary—yet they left today’s multi-trillion trade in oil and minerals untouched. Current law incentivizes authoritarianism, conflict and corruption so strongly that oil states in the developing world today are no freer, no richer and no more peaceful than they were in 1980. All of the recent reforms around extractives—from transparency to certification to oil-to-cash—point toward the modern idea that the people, not power, should have the ultimate right to control a country’s resources. Can the US lead the West toward the next global revolution, by abolishing its legal trade in authoritarian oil and conflict minerals?