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The British Experiment: A Stroke of Genius or a Shot in the Dark?

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There is a significant movement afoot from our friends across the Continent, a movement which, for reasons unbeknown, has somehow escaped the attention of the usually-astute BC political pundits. I am speaking here of David Cameron, the newly elected PM, and of his economic overtures to India.

Mr. Cameron is, relatively speaking, a young man, only 44, and the youngest PM on record. (The legendary William Pitt the Younger, elected at the tender age of 24 as the head of the British government, has got him beat by a country mile; but the term “Prime Minister” wasn’t in use then.) Mr. Cameron is a conservative, besides, and an aristocrat. Yet for all the apparent strikes against him, he appears to display wisdom and acumen far beyond his age.

This development is all the more surprising in light of Britain’s long-standing policy of economic independence. Of all the members who comprise the Eurozone, only the Brits have remained more or less aloof. (To cite but one example, the British pound still stands, though it’s no longer the envy of the world or the mainstay of the UK economy.) But to return to the point at hand, the fact that Britain would bank on its future with India rather with the host of European nations with which it’s already politically and economically aligned, nations with which it presumably shares a great deal of historical and cultural heritage in common, should raise some eyebrows.

I’m not going to bother you now with the pertinent details or the negotiations in progress. You can read all about it in any number of British publications. (Forget the MSM whose main interest appears to have devolved into preoccupation with trivia and the superficial; it’s axiomatic by now that the more significant an event, the less likely it’s going to be covered.) Suffice it to say, it’s a “full-speed ahead” type of approach, no holding back. The British delegation includes prominent diplomats, statesmen, and businesspersons from all walks of life – in short, the best Britain has to offer. And to the best of my knowledge, they’re making progress.

Consequently, the question becomes: What’s the underlying idea? Why India and not Europe? Why this sudden preference for the Orient or the Occident, as the case may be, for changing horses in midstream, rather than sticking to old and proven ways, the ways that work? Has Mr. Cameron gone mad?

Hardly! Apart from the economic situation in India compared to that in the UK – a situation which, I daresay, features the right kind of inequality that I deem necessary if capitalism is to survive and expand beyond its “natural limits” – there are important political parallels: both are liberal democracies, and that’s saying a lot. But the most important of all – and don’t you ever underestimate this, for therein lies the key to Mr. Cameron’s genius! – there is also an “emotional connection.” Yes, I mean the emotional connection that had come part and parcel and become ingrained with colonialism – the good, the bad, and the indifferent. Obviously, Mr. Cameron is banking on that and he’s betting on the good, naturally; and for the time being at least, it seems to be working.

There is a lesson in this for America. We’ve never been in the unique position of a colonial power. There are obvious disadvantages to this long-discredited, if only because it’s too overt, tradition of imperialistic policy, but there are also advantages. And among the advantages, one can surely think of a relationship that’s certain to ensue between the two parties to the “contract,” a relationship that’s bound to result from such a congenial agreement, a relationship which, for lack of a better word, I called “emotional.” For let’s face it: some of the Brits hated India and the Indians with a passion; some loved it dearly and had made it their home; others, like Kipling, memorialized it in verse. And the same goes for the natives. But the larger, the all-important point is, the relationship remained; and for better or worse, it certainly counts for something, even today; and Mr. Cameron, relying perhaps on his intuition, it trying to make the best of it. Indeed, the present outreach, the boldness, the confidence in the project ahead — all serve as the living proof.

But there is another obstacle at work insofar as America is concerned, an obstacle which is no less important and which prohibits us from acting freely and in an innovative fashion like the Brits have, and it’s got to do with our history.

Almost from day one, we deemed ourselves a superpower, and this frame of mind prevails to this very day. Which aspect, to put it bluntly, defines our relationship with other, “lesser” nations. It’s our own hubris that stands in the way here, the idea that we’re better than anyone else, the idea of American exceptionalism. And with this idea firmly in mind, there is no way we can possibly develop an emotional connection with our “underlings.” There’s no room for sympathy here or for any kind of sharing between the disparate cultures. There’s room only for talk of “nation building” in the best possible case, or of “counter-terrorism” in the worst, take your pick; not a happy set of alternatives, if you ask me.

I’d be delinquent now if I didn’t bring up the Marshall Plan, for that must have been the closest for what could have rightly be termed “post-colonial reparations.” It was America’s finest moment, I daresay, trying to assuage the ravages of war and to make good for the victims. Even so, the main thrust was plainly economic, to bring those countries to a level playing field so we could trade with them as equal or co-equal partners. End of story.

Indeed, I seriously doubt whether the Germans or the Japanese have ever harbored any kind feelings towards us except hate or resentment. Love surely was no part of it because no one loves the dominator if they’re just the dominator; there’s got to be more to it if it’s to rise to the level of a relationship. Indeed, even a sadistic-masochistic relationship is a notch above for the simple reason it’s a relationship, a relationship based on love and hate. And by any account, it’s better than indifference.

That’s what I mean by “emotional relationship.” Well, we Americans could never stoop so low. We’ve always deemed ourselves to be above love and hate, all so cool and all so superior at the same time. That’s why we’re being despised the world over.

I’m rather encouraged by Mr. Cameron’s overtures and I hope they’ll come to fruition. India and the UK have certainly a lot in common; and if this marriage should spell a betterment for the two nations and its peoples, who am I to object? And that’s in spite of my anti-capitalism sentiment, believing it to be, at bottom, an unfair and inhumane system.

So yes, if Mr. Cameron can succeed in making the life better for two peoples of such disparate counties, prolonging the inevitable, I wish him the best. I’ll just have to wait until capitalism self-destructs from within, in spite of Mr. Cameron’s best wishes and capital designs.

Meanwhile, one is reminded here of an old proverb, necessity is the mother of invention.

Well, the Brits have responded. One could only hope that America and her leaders would do likewise, but it’s not in the cards.

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About Roger Nowosielski

  • See you manana, Jeannie.

  • Hi roger 🙂 I hope this article is still alive because I have a lot of solar and renewable energy posted here!

    nite, my friend

  • Irene,

    It wouldn’t take as long as people are being told. Solar World

  • Australia is leading the world in skin cancer, or at the top of it, Jeannie. That’s a good point about why it can’t be the same for solar power. A huge transition like that takes time, though, even if most people are eager to do it.

  • Roger,

    Ha ha ha, I will if you piss me off! : )

  • cool! I’m glad you saw it. I left a poem on Bob’s thread. Read it, Cindy…it’s us!

    Baritone’s son has, Cell Poems It’s one of his editors… funny stuff

  • 5 – Yes, great film, Jeannie.

  • No, don’t you dare!

  • Roger,

    Does that mean I can’t refer to you as an *Obama Dad*? ; )

  • Quite alright, Jeannie. You’ve got spunk and I surely appreciate it even if I don’t agree with you on every point. We need people with real convictions.

  • Roger,

    You’ve spent a lot of energy defending my big mouth lately , so I want you to know that it’s really appreciated.

    : )What would I do here without you? get banned ounce a week!

  • Thank you, Roger : )

  • Carbon Coal Sequestering is not clean.

  • STM,

    When I read of your astronomical electrical bills, I had to ask, “Why isn’t Australia leading in Solar Power?”

    I’m definitely a green moon-bat

    I’ve been reading about and it’s not clean.

    First of all:

    [Coal has issues. Each lump can contain large amounts of sooty particulates, sulfur and nitrogen compounds (which cause acid rain), and traces of mercury and other toxic metals. Although coal-fired power plants are cleaner than they used to be, they are still bad news for the environment and human health. A recent study concluded that coal emissions contribute to 10,000 premature deaths in the United States each year. And coal is by far the largest single source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. So it is no surprise that coal has long been the primary target of proposals to cut air pollution and carbon-dioxide emissions. ]


    CCS consumes energy–a lot of it. While estimates vary, a coal-fired power plant would have to burn roughly 25 percent more coal to handle carbon sequestration while producing the same amount of electricity. That would mean a vast expansion in mining, transportation costs and byproducts such as fly ash.

    : ( filthy, filthy coal!

  • However, his portrayal of the character actually WAS good. The accent let him down.

    Agreed and disagreed. For an Aussie trying to do an upper-class Brit accent, I (speaking as a non-upper-class Brit) thought he did pretty well.

    Set, as O’Brian’s books are, a tantalising few decades before the invention of sound recording, who really knows what they sounded like back then anyway!

  • STM

    Zing: Rusty reached the limits of his acting ability in Master and Commander, IMO for what it’s worth.

    I’m sure he’d rather vehemently disagree but an early 19th century British naval captain with an Aussie accent just doesn’t wash. Most Americans wouldn’t have been able to pick it, but we all did and I’m not the only one to have had a snigger over it. However, his portrayal of the character actually WAS good. The accent let him down.

    LA Confidential, though, that was a ripper. That’s when I realised he really could act.

  • STM

    Jeannie: “Fear of the unknown, but take a chance, it will be cheaper in the end”..
    The amount of carbon emitted in this country is a drop in the ocean compared to many otherindustrialised nations, although because there are only 20 million of us, it looks worse because the per capita figure is high.

    However, for us to act alone would be insane.

    The cost of living, wages, mortgages, etc, in this country are already way above those of the United States.

    Can you imagine in the US getting a $1900 electricity bill for running a couple of heaters over the three months of cold weather we get here. Yep, three months. The other month we weren’t using them.

    I suspect if that happened in the US there’d be riots.

    I don’t want the moonbat policies of the greens, their demand for a cap and trade that raises the price of everything, holding sway in this country.

    My greatest fear is that will hold the balance of power in the Senate under a deal made that works through our preferential, or run-off, voting system.

    Mostly, that system is very good but when two parties start making deals, that’s undemocratic.

    Just on principle I’m voting against Labor for the first time in my life, and I’m waaay from being alone in that.

  • zingzing

    heh. no, roger, like as in throwing telephones at peoples’ heads and throwing people around (he’s a strong man). but he was born in new zealand, so that explains that.

  • STM,

    The prospect of it going up anymore and knocking food and fuel prices up along with it because of the cost associated with going too quickly to green energy is a real worry; there would be riots in the streets here.

    Fear of the unknown, but take a chance, it will be cheaper in the end.

  • You mean Crowe, like in LA Confidential?

    That was acting, for crying out loud.

  • STM,

    : ) The Green left is verging on the looney-tunes model.


  • zingzing

    well, except when he loses his temper. but we all do that.

  • In contrast, Russell Crowe is a class act.
    I haven’t heard anything bad about him.

  • zingzing

    also, he’s not really from upstate. he’s from westchester county, which is just a little north of nyc. (ahem… pee wee herman is from the same town, so maybe it’s something in the water?) that’s a generally affluent area, but it appears that that affluence has been fairly recent.

    he got his crazy from somewhere. i remember hearing something about him… ah yes, hutton gibson. look him up. nut job. there you go. mystery solved, most likely.

  • how he could hide that much anger under that much charm is beyond me. it’s too bad.

    Perhaps he never stopped playing Martin Riggs.

  • zingzing

    stm: “Like millions of other people, the problem there is about alcohol and an inability to keep a lid on the drinking.”

    i mostly agree, although those are the kinds of things that, once uttered, can’t be shoved back in. and he’s done it one too many times now. he picked that shit up somewhere along the line… but that shit comes from everywhere and nowhere. the reasons why he chooses to believe such junk is beyond me. i think a part of him has to believe it for it to come out so frequently. but the alcohol, the anger, maybe just wanting to hurt people, all that is a part of it as well.

    still, i can’t help but like some (apocalypto is a fuggin awesome movie) but not all (passion is porn for side-huggers) of his movies.

    how he could hide that much anger under that much charm is beyond me. it’s too bad.

  • STM

    Jeannie, the Indians see the coal purchase as a stop-gap measure to get them over the hump in India while they pursue clean energy options.

    I guess the reaility is, if everyone stopped suddenl;y using coal, the price of electricity in countries all over the world would skyrocket and it would become unaffordable.

    My electricity bill for the winter quarter last year was almost $2000 (about $US1900).

    And it’s gone up again since then. God knows what I’m going to be faced with whenI get this year’s winter bill.

    The prospect of it going up anymore and knocking food and fuel prices up along with it because of the cost associated with going too quickly to green energy is a real worry; there would be riots in the streets here.

    The Senate has already blocked a carbon cap and trade scheme because the government pushed it through the lower house without any doiscussion.

    Democracy demands more than one participant and unfortunately in this country, the Green left is verging on the looney-tunes model.

    We are currently going through an election campaign here and the Greens might end up holding the balance of power in the Senate, which would be a worry … and I’m a Labor voter, not a conservative.

    They were using emotive terms like “climate-changer denier” and ministers in this government were saying things like “to doubt is to deny”. Denier … that’s extremely emotive.

    Since when did we sign up to be bullied and nannied or to lose our democratic right to have full, free and frank discussions about anything?? I don’t remember voting for that last time around.

    Modern democracy demands more than one participant, and the government would do well to remember that. It’s currently in danger of losing out to the Liberals (the conservatives here) and being one of only two one-term governments in the history of this nation.

  • STM

    I knew him when he was younger, BTW. He came here when he was 11 and they lived not far from me. A whole bunch of us used to hang out together.

    I still have his sleeping bag rolled up in a bag in the shed somewhere.

    Not worth much on ebay these days 🙂

    He was actually quite a nice bloke. I notice his ex-wife, who has returned to live in Australia, has been standing by him and has said he was never violent towards her.

    His problem isn’t being anti-semitic or anything else. I don’t believe he really is. He would have been mortified by his behaviour.

    It’s not about growing up here either; this is a remarkably tolerant and welcoming place, where being Jewish wouldn’t even be discussed at all. Like millions of other people, the problem there is about alcohol and an inability to keep a lid on the drinking.

    That is not being an apologist for bad behaviours; it’s just a reason.

  • STM

    zkng: “our good australian neo-nazi mr. mel gibson”.

    Mel is a US citizen, born in upstate New York.

  • zingzing

    nah, i knew i didn’t know everything. but now i don’t know if i don’t. so i guess it’s all the same.

  • good guess

  • zingzing

    really? i didn’t know…

  • damn..you know everything! 🙂

  • zingzing

    buffalo bill?

  • I bet, zingzing doesn’t know why, Buffalo named their team the Bills.

  • Roger,

    If corporations were initially started as charters, granted by the U.S. government, then there should be some way of holding them accountable to the original rules set up by the charter. example: How to conduct business in the United States.

  • zingzing

    doc: “Why are they called the Twins when there are nine of them?”

    they’re named after the twin cities of minneapolis/st.paul.

    “Why does Dallas have a team called the Mavericks?”

    apparently, they’re named after an old television western called maverick. there was also a movie starring our good australian neo-nazi mr. mel gibson.

    “Are Mormons particularly proficient in the field of jazz music?”

    the team moved from new orleans to utah.

    “Since when does Los Angeles have a lake?”

    the team moved from minneapolis to la. minnesota is “the land of 10,000 lakes,” although that really should be more like 100,000.

    “Just what is it that they’re charging down the road in San Diego? Bulls? Light Brigades? Camera batteries? Credit cards?”

    i really have no clue on this one. sorry.

    curiosity (mostly) satisfied?

  • Are you trying to change the subject or are you really that sports minded?

  • Here’s a link, Roger,

    A Queensland mining company has announced the multi-billion-dollar sale of coal resources to an Indian company.

  • (go twins!)

    Why are they called the Twins when there are nine of them?

    Why does Dallas have a team called the Mavericks?

    Are Mormons particularly proficient in the field of jazz music?

    Since when does Los Angeles have a lake?

    Just what is it that they’re charging down the road in San Diego? Bulls? Light Brigades? Camera batteries? Credit cards?


    I do wonder about these things.

  • Roger,

    Good! I thought you would like it. Link TV has many great documentaries.

    i’ll look for something.

  • STM,

    I hope no-one has convinced you that coal can be a clean form of energy…here, we are fighting a proposed, experimental Co2 sequestering project. This would entail boring a hole a mile into the earth to try and “capture” the Co2.

    wind, and solar should be Australia’s and the rest of the world’s major move towards meeting energy needs.

    🙁 wouldn’t you agree?

  • Any links? STM mentioned that up the thread.

    BTW, saw “The Corporation” video. It’s great. What I didn’t know they initially started as charters, granted by the U.S. government.

  • Australia is currently signing coal deals with India.

    OMG, what a shame.

  • zingzing

    no, i don’t think he did. i think i just got it before it disappeared…

    maybe. is that what “fit won’tb fit” and “head” have to do with each other? i tried to look up “fit won’tb fit” on the googlenets, but you know what came up? your comment and my comment. google works well. at least i learned that.

    and i’m glad my head won’t fit up my own… wait, what’s “clacker” mean again? asshole or vagina? i’m guessing asshole, although it means vagina somewhere or another. anyway, mine’s not so loose as that.

    and if it did fit up there, then it wouldn’t be my head that was bloody. poor asshole would pour blood. i guess. ever had a ripped-up butthole? i haven’t. wonder if it would bleed. i guess it would.

    still, if y’all let fucking cricket get in the way of diplomatic relations, y’all be needin some help. take up a more gentlemanly sport, like baseball. look up ozzie guillen. class act.

    (i hate the fucking white sox.) (go twins!)

  • STM

    zing: I asked why you didn’t disappear up your own clacker, then realised why: your bloody head won’t fit.

    Glad to see Doc reinstated it. Did he??

  • zingzing

    stm: “”Fit won’tb fit”. Sorry, zing … that should’ve been “head”.”

    are you calling me fit and offering me head? if so… well, thanks, but no. otherwise, i have no idea what you’re talking about… oop, little bit of a hardon starting up… hold on… let me just… jerk it… i mean… zip up… down… up… oh, now i need some tissue… i sneezed, is all.

  • “. . . marking out some territory like the new dog on the block.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head. It describes Britain’s foreign policy to a tee.

  • STM

    Oi, Doc, zing’s a big boy. Please, stop editing stuff that’s just a bit of back and forth between us.

    One of the reasons I like zing is that he’s open to reason AND insult and is not that easily offended, and nor am I.

  • STM

    As an example: Britain is currently I believe India’s fifth largest trading partner, and India is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner (behind China, Japan and North Korea).

    These countries are already considerable benefactors to the other’s economies.

  • STM


    Roger: “Commonwealth” may be just the term to describe it.

    Lol. Perhaps a little knowledge is a bad thing on this issue.

    No Rog, that’s actually what it’s called. “The Commonwealth” is the grouping of nations that were part of the British Empire.

    The Commonwealth is an organisation.

    Which might go a hell of a long way to explaining whay Britain and India are doing business … the same as they have for the past 300 years.

    The most recent link I can think of is the sale of Jaguar to Tata, the Indian motor company. The cars, however, are still being designed and built in Britain.

    None of this is really new. It’s just that Cameron (and the new Government) is marking out some territory like the new dog on the block.

  • Stan: I know. That’s why I wondered! 🙂

    Rog: There is a Fresno State (in fact it’s right across the street from my house), but the bugger is juggling a traditional program of study, wherein most classes are held during the day, with a full-time job.

    This way, I get to dictate my own program, and get done much quicker than with an on-the-ground university.

    And, because there are discussion boards which work in a similar way, there is as much give-and-take with the online program as there is here on BC.

  • STM

    Besides which, Indians ARE Aryans.

  • STM

    Doc: “arean”

    Needs a Y for that.

  • Shoot, Dreadful. Aren’t there any decent institutions of higher learning? How about Fresno State, if there is such a thing?

    You’re missing all the fun of it by not being part of live discussion, the usual give and take.

  • zingzing

    stm: “I realise it might be hard to Americans to understand this aspect of Commonwealth relations”

    well, it does come off a bit juvenile. not that american politics has any claim to maturity…

    “the same way [the americans] didn’t understand the KFC ad furore during the West Indies/Australia cricket series this year.”

    unfortunately for kfc, they also didn’t understand that americans were going to see that. it’s not their fault that fried chicken is a racial stereotype in america, but damn… they have to be smarter than that. for an american company to greenlight that advertising treatment… well, it’s just amazingly stupid. i hope that their corporate structure had something to do with that. maybe the american branches of kfc never saw that. still, what makes sense and comes off innocent in one area of the world is going to be seen and misunderstood (or not) in another part. hopefully, they learned their lesson, whether it was justified or not.

  • Yeah Doc, where are you and why are you snowed under??

    I’m doing an accelerated BA in English, online. One class a month for the next couple of years, if I go at it hammer and tongs. I estimate it’ll take up 60-80% of my free time – so any commenting I do is going to be sporadic.

    I’ll still be comment editing, though, so don’t think I’m not watching all you lot! 😉

  • “Nah, it’s also about who you play cricket with.”

    Cricket or billiards, and gin fizz besides to deal with the weather. So yes, there is a connection.

    “Commonwealth” may be just the term to describe it. Interestingly, the natives are more for it than against it. Anyway, it would be interesting to see what develops. The odds are good.

    Dreadful remarked that the idea has always been there in the British psyche. Whether he’s right or not, it’s surely the right kind of move.

  • Indians are absolute fanatics and it does spill over into the political arean

    Freudian typo, Stan? 😉

  • STM

    That’s not a joke, either Rog, about the cricket … Americans would be surprised by the clout it has in these countries.

    Indians are absolute fanatics and it does spill over into the political arean, for good or ill. A controversy in a cricket Test match can lead to calls for the ending of diplomatic relations. Seriously …

    And in Australia, the most important job in the country is not Prime Minisiter.

    It’s the captain of the Australian Test cricket team.

    I realise it might be hard to Americans to understand this aspect of Commonwealth relations – the same way they didn’t understand the KFC ad furore during the West Indies/Australia cricket series this year – but it does give us all very, very strong links.

  • STM

    Yeah Doc, where are you and why are you snowed under??

  • STM

    Roger, there’s one word that is key to all this.

    That word is: Commonwealth.

    The links are so strong, they will never be broken. The Indians are used to dealing with Britain and have been doing so for over 200 years.

    What Cameron is doing is nothing new for a British PM, although he’s making the Indians understand that he’s in their camp.

    The reason Britain remains such a powerful influence globally is because she doesn’t – as you’ve explained here – throw all her eggs in one basket.

    Most of the world’s financial transactions take place in London and New York, so it makes sense for the British to capitalise on their position.

    Interestingly, Australia is currently signing coal deals with India.

    But if you thought it was all about politics and business and money, you’d be wrong.

    Nah, it’s also about who you play cricket with.

    Which puts the US behind the 8-ball immediately.

    Baseball just doesn’t have the same cachet.

  • Thanks for your comments, Ruv. I’d like to think that fall from grace – excuse the Catholic jargon, tends to make people and nations more humble. So perhaps Britain has given up on her imperialistic ambitions and is just trying to survive. And if that’s the case, then it’s all to the good.

    No such hopes for America yet, not in the immediate future. We’re just as arrogant and cocky as ever. Perhaps we need to get our arse kicked, and good, before we come down to earth. Which is precisely the reason why our solutions are no solutions at all. They only perpetuate the hubris.

  • Shoot, Dreaduful, you’re not in Himalayas now? Say it isn’t so.

  • I’m rather snowed under for the foreseeable future, Roger – I’m even struggling to keep up with the news, so I hadn’t heard of this development until I read your article – so unfortunately you won’t be seeing much of me here for a while.

    I’ll just remark that eschewing Europe in favour of one of our former colonial “possessions” is exactly the sort of thing a Conservative prime minister – especially an Eton-educated one – would be likely to do.

  • Thanks for the kind comments, Glenn.

    I’m rather surprised that our English-Aussie contingent haven’t chimed in. I should think it would be down their alley. But you know how some of us are. We’ll all about critiquing, and we surely live up to that reputation. We are blogcritics first and foremost.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    I really enjoyed your article – it’s not often I see something so unexpected yet IMO probably beneficial. While I still think that Europe has a great part to play in humanity’s future (for instance, the world’s preeminent scientific research facility, CERN), if England succeeds in drawing herself closer to the subcontinent, I think she’ll do quite well – after all, it’s not without reason that the largest democracy on the planet is often referred to as “the next China”.

  • Ruvy

    Of course, now that the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, will the Brits be able to stomach Indian arrogance and self-righteousness?

  • Ruvy

    I read your article, Roger, and you did a nice job. But what the British could offer India is beyond me – aside from 50 rupee boxes of Kelloggs’s Cornflakes. I would think the Indians would be intelligent enough to send the Brits packing. Didn’t they have enough of British arrogance when they ruled (or misruled) the Indian Empire?

  • Roger,

    “Human beings are malleable in a way that goods such as apples are not.”

    Reading your link

    I watched a documentary today called, The corporation

    Have you and Cindy already seen it? If not, you’ll both like it.

  • And now, my response:


    Apparently you have read my little post. I tend to agree with the general tenor of your response. I think, however, the Brits’ response is innovative and timely. Europe is not where the future lies, so turning to India is a logical move. Anyway, it’s only line with the existing pattern of forming economic alliances (which, in my estimation, will eventually lead to political ones). In short, we are progressing, however slowly, towards economic and political globalization, although in stages. It’s from this process, and out of this crucible, that the world to come will assume its shape – politically, economically and socially – not from any theory we may think of, in other words, but from the events on the ground. My actual vision – something akin to “The United Federation of Planets” a la Star Trek, leaving enough elbow room for peaceful co-existence of autonomous or semi-autonomous communities and a relatively benign administration at the top (with granted powers to enforce peace). Naturally, a distinction has got to be made between large-scale and small-scale economic projects (especially as it pertains to food production, energy, things of that sort). The former will call for responsible administration from the top; as regards the latter, we can always allow capitalism, small-scale version, to thrive (because at that level, it won’t be harmful). Needless to say, the vision entails doing away with nation-states, the process which has already begun. But enough on that.

    As to your wonder how come the Brits have ruled the world for as long as they did – well, you’ve got to give credit to their Parliamentary government and a kind of uncanny wisdom. There is an excellent book on the subject by Walter Russell Mead, God and Gold, as per link. It explains the capitalistic expansion, a form of imperialism, of course, by peaceful means. It’s along the lines of Fukuyama’s argument advanced in The End of History and the Last Man, critiquing Marxism in terms of the Anglo-Saxon expansion, again by peaceful means.

    Of course, lots have changed since, so all bets are off. Still, the recent Cameron venture with respect to India is from that very playbook.

    And so here’s my question: Aren’t you prejudiced perhaps by your free Irish spirit – good for you, BTW – to be challenging the British claim to supremacy and world domination? And if so, you should perhaps refocus your attention on America, not only because Britain is past its prime but more importantly perhaps, because we are the spitting image, only that we’re artless at it, like a bull in a china shop. And we still suffer from hubris, the idea we can do it all alone.

    Well, the Brits have always had more sense than that. And whatever they thought, they didn’t always say. Got to give ‘em credit for that.

  • I’m reprinting a comment by “Anarcissie,” her nom de clavier.

    Anarcissie is a frequent poster on the Truthdig website, as per link, and if you don’t think you’re in any way “intellectually challenged,” you might pay them a visit.

    Anarcissie asked that I make mention of her “Irish ancestry part,” but I don’t think it’s necessary. The fact is embedded in the comment itself, literally and figuratively. So here it goes:

    Looks to me like Perfidious Albion is just doing its usual thing. Most of the Euro Zone, especially the Germans, have been earnestly worrying about Greece and Portugal, but the Brits are off making goo-goo eyes at India. (They already have a “special relationship” with the U.S. ruling class of long standing; the decline of the U.S. may be what’s making them look for a new host.) However, I think this is mainly a little pushing and shoving to get a slightly better spot in the coming, rather static regime of state capitalism which is taking hold in the more advanced and advancing countries. The motto of Britain might well be Pope’s dog-collar inscription:

    I am His Majesty’s dog at Kew;
    Pray tell me, Sir, whose dog are you?

    It is truly a wonder that these people managed to run the world for more than a century.

    But I must push aside the ghosts of my Irish ancestors (could you tell?) and note that this fourth phase of capitalism implies certain problems, mainly the generation of the scarcity which is necessary to maintain the capitalist system once war and the disasters of finance capital have been obviated by dirigisme. Consumers will surely grow weary of consuming! Maybe some war-sandboxes could be set up to destroy surplus. Or they could send it to the moon. In any case some hard morphing seems to be coming up.


    I’m posting it mainly for the benefit of “our” Brits, and let’s not forget the lone Aussie, if only to get their reaction – especially to, if I may call it for short, “the Irish take on things.”

  • Thank, Jeannie. Unfortunately, we are a superpower and our position is we don’t need anyone; they need us.

  • Roger,

    The US should make economic overtures to Mexico.

    We squandered all our good will and prosperity after WWII The Marshal Plan was our finest moment just as we squandered most of the good will after 911 we could have moved forward as a global nation, now we can’t even agree on a memorial

    We could learn something from Prime Minister Cameron.

    : ) Great article!