It is something that may animate the citizens of great powers or nations with raw memories of humiliation, but our benign history and retirement from the top table make us different. To keep tracking our place in the food chain would require an insecurity we have mostly grown out of.
‘…but our benign history and retirement from the top table make us different.‘ One has to admit that this portion of Mr. Ganesh’s essay challenges not just history, but the whole of Tory nostalgia for a glorious national/international past. Without the murderous, indeed exploitative history of Empire, what is Britain? Mention Mrs. Thatcher and the Malvinas, the so called Falklands, and the old imperial ardor returns! ‘Benign history‘ is a claim that won’t even begin to address the facts, but then the name of Lynton Crosby lets the reader know that we are in the political territory of Karl Rove: usable political cynicism wedded to myth making, in service to political ends. Hence this characterization of Obama’s politics: ‘His knack is for framing practical subjects as matters of national destiny.’ Cameron’s slogan of ‘One Nation’ isn’t about a national destiny, of a shared destiny?
Look to the headline of this essay: Only economics matters in the Brexit debate
Then the sub-headline: No normal person, at least in Britain, cares about their country’s influence in the world
Economics are a part of the human endeavor, as it has evolved historically to the point of Smith and Hume’s exchanges, as in great measure the expression of human sensibilities. See Emma Rothschild’s book ‘Economic Sentiments:Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment’ here:
So the notion put forth in the headline that ‘economics’ is the expression of an historical singularity is not just wrong, but a distortion in service to Capitalist apologetics, we are reading The Financial Times. The sub-headline considers the question of the ‘normal person’s ‘ caring about their ‘country’s influence in the world‘. In both instances the Tories trade on a usable political nostalgia, for both Empire and a not just functioning Capitalism, but one that yealds prosperity for all : One Nation? Since the Crash of 2008 that prosperity is non-existent.