A confused post-Empire

Truss learns the hard way that Britain isn’t America:

If anti-Americanism was bad, look what its opposite has done. Britain is in trouble because its elite is so engrossed with the US as to confuse it for their own nation. The UK does not issue the world’s reserve currency. It does not have near-limitless demand for its sovereign debt. It can’t, as US Republicans sometimes do, cut taxes on the hunch that lawmakers of the future will trim public spending. Reaganism was a good idea. Reaganism without the dollar isn’t. If UK premier Liz Truss has a programme, though, that is its four-word expression.

So much of what Britain has done and thought in recent years makes sense if you assume it is a country of 330mn people with $20tn annual output. The idea that it could ever look the EU in the eye as an adversarial negotiator, for instance. Or the decision to grow picky about Chinese inward investment at the same time as forfeiting the European market. Or the bet that Washington was going to entertain a meaningful bilateral trade deal. Superpowers get to behave with such presumption.

(if you go to google news, look up the piece, and use incognito mode, you should be able to read it for free)

This is basically what Ed West told me in our podcast. Britain has been culturally swallowed by America and American affairs, and that’s not good for the UK’s social and economic development because the natives don’t pay enough attention to their real station and situation in the world.

For the Right: they need to get over Empire and Britain’s role in the world. Contra James bond they’re a medium-sized nation living off a history of geopolitical relevance. For the Left: get over colonialism. The ghosts of Ninevah haunt the old ruins.

5 thoughts on “A confused post-Empire”

  1. Speaking of Reaganism, the best argument in favor of supply-side economics is that it was a (successful) attempt to ameliorate the pain that would accompany crushing inflation with a tight money policy.
    It does not in any way justify what Truss is doing by freezing energy prices (which, per Sam Bowman, will cost more than 60 billion pounds, more than twice the revenue the tax cuts are supposed to cost).

  2. I said it before, but once you reach the top, its all downhill. Britain reached the top, it spread its language and culture all around the world. Its child then surpassed it causing all sorts of anxieties and insecurities. The article blames the hyper focus on American politics on the English language. But that is an evidence of its tremendous successes in the past.

    Many commenters here want India to be a superpower, perhaps the top one. I don’t know if its achievable, but if ever achieved that will come with tremendous costs, which all Americans now know. In my opinion, its best to just be a regional power and leave the curse of running the world to other nations.

  3. ultimately UK will rejoin the EU in a gradual and indirect way. like like lots of trade deals with the EU and semi-common market arrangement with it.

  4. the crowd that ran down rishi sunak for his ‘foreign’ origins and supported a very mediocre liz truss are now after her chancellor of exchequer for the wrong turn in economy and calling him an affirmative action hire.
    very strange indeed…

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