How Britain’s Wars at the Top Could Sow Distrust in the State
2022 has seen the upper echelons of the British state locked in a game of musical chairs – and we still have two months left to go. This has been the year of two monarchs, three prime ministers, four chancellors and three/four home secretaries (depending on how one counts Suella Braverman’s non-contiguous terms).
When comparing the US with the UK (and, more broadly, with Europe) it is often remarked that the latter is more social democratic or “left-leaning” than the former, which seems to have preserved something, at least, of the spirit of free enterprise and self-reliance.
This isn’t entirely true, of course. For one thing, it is difficult to argue that fiscal and financial debauchery is qualitatively better or worse on either side of the Atlantic. Domestically, it may seem like Britain has been more crippled by the weight of excessive governance than its transatlantic ally. But many of the more extensive horrors of statism – war-mongering imperialism, a permanent spying, security and warfare industry – either have their contemporary origins within, or are otherwise at their worst, in the US. Additionally, it is likely that the culture war is more intense over the pond, with cultural leftists in the UK struggling to ignite the same kind of racial narratives that dog our American cousins.
Nevertheless, if I was a betting man, I would probably count on the population of the US to resist more forcefully the impetus for any kind of “reset” into a form of globalised, digital socialism – if only because they are blessed with the tradition of states’ rights, secession and decentralisation (as well as the corresponding, regionalised political infrastructure) that can, at least in principle, serve as a credible counterbalance to the accumulating insanity in Washington DC.
However, there is one aspect of the British attitude that seems more conducive to liberty than that of the Americans: that the British have very little love for politicians of any creed or colour.