Tuesday, October 25, 2005

OK, Maybe This Will Give Some Context to the Previous Post About Britain...........

So, you may have figured out that I'm a History Geek. Jonathon Last has written a very good article in The Weekly Standard that will, perhaps explain some of my frustration expressed in the post below.

WHAT DOES MODERN HISTORY have to teach us about the age of American empire? The final chapters of the British Empire offer lessons and parallels aplenty. Empires don't last forever, and the combination of martial victory, popular ennui, and liberal anti-patriotism is a dangerous mix for a superpower.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the British Empire was an unopposed hyperpower (much as the United States has been since 1989). As historian Colin Cross observes: "In terms of influence it was the only world power." The British people and their leaders accepted this fact. In the early 1930s, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin pronounced that "the British Empire stands firm, as a great force for good." Historian William Manchester argues that "most of the crown's subjects, abroad as well as at home, felt comfortable with imperialism."

But after the conclusion of the first World War, Britain's imperial psyche began to fracture. "After the survivors of the Western front came home," Manchester writes, "Britons wanted nothing more to do with war; most of them hoped never again to lay their eyes on an Englishman in uniform, and they were losing their taste for Empire." Winston Churchill despaired of this change. "The shadow of victory is disillusion," he noted. "The reaction from extreme effort is prostration. The aftermath even of successful war is long and bitter."

A deep desire to avoid conflict, even at the price of letting the Empire dissolve, permeated British society. In 1931, the House of Commons passed the Statute of Westminster, the
first step toward independence for Britain's dominions. In 1932, a poll found that 10.4 million Britons supported England's unilateral disarmament, while only 870,000 opposed it. Historian Alistair Horne observes that, after World War I, it took just about 10 years for the "urge for national grandeur" to be replaced by "a deep longing simply to be left in peace."


Read the whole thing as this is only the lead in. The parallels are rather disturbing between the Liberal, British, Suckbutts of then and The Liberal, American Suckbutts currently harping about accommodation and understanding.

No, this doesn't mean that I believe that the USA is currently engaged in creating or expanding an empire. Nor do I think we should be, thank you.

Yeah, I can get pretty testy about this kind of shit. That's what happens when you have a little historical background with which to filter the current news with.

If a Dumb Bastard like me can figure this shit out ................

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home