The British Lion Is in Its Death Throes

Why Britain is forever gone off the stage of history

Britain has recently been extremely busy all over the world, fomenting conflicts and staging special covert operations. As a result, one might even get the impression that Britain is still one of the key behind-the-scenes players and global power centres. As recently as April, Britain managed to take the conflict in Europe to a new level while also installing its proxies in Pakistan, one of the world's largest Muslim countries. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that attacking targets within Russia by Ukraine's armed forces would be viewed by London as a legitimate response to Russia's aggression. He went on to add that the weapons supplied to Ukraine by the West have the appropriate range for that. Following his statement, Ukraine's shelling of Russian cities became an almost daily occurrence. In the meantime, aided by the US, Britain was instrumental in removing Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan from power to install Shahbaz Sharif, a representative of the traditionally pro-British Punjabi clan, in his place. Mr Sharif's brother, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is a fugitive from the law in Pakistan, hiding in exile in London. And yet, these successes of Britain's foreign policy are but a shadow of the nation's former greatness and are only tactical. Strategically, Britain's exit from the world political stage is imminent and unavoidable in the near future.

The origins of Britain's might can be traced back to antiquity, to the days of the Roman Empire, back when England, as we know it today, did not even exist. This moment in time saw Britain and the future Holland, the lands on the outskirts of the great empire, starting to get shaped by a set of fundamental principles that would go on to form the basis of future British leadership. As strange as it may sound today, the substance of these principles is associated with what is now known as internationalism, or, in other words, access to managing scarce resources and trade with talented people of diverse ethnic origins, including a sizeable number of Jews. According to Wikipedia, by the end of the 4th century A.D., Roman Britain's multiethnic population was as high as 3.6 million. It included Celts, Romans, Roman subjects from Continental Europe, and the natives of the Near East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa. The ethnic composition of the British Isles' population would change and vary later. Still, this unique trait of polyethnicity and diversity is what Britain managed to preserve and carry through all the twists and turns of its history, wars and conquests, through the Dark and Middle Ages, and into modernity.

A relatively poor country, Britain stood out from the crowd because it didn't hesitate to involve its scientists (including really brilliant ones for that!) in running the country and managing its finances. To give a few examples, let's mention some of the names known to everyone. Sir Isaac Newton served as Warden and Master of the Royal Mint, helping reshape England's financial system. Adam Smith advised the Chancellor of the Exchequer and served as a commissioner of customs. And there are many more such examples. Britain's reliance on science, education, enterprise, freedom, and its policy of encouraging and promoting individuals who are unafraid to show initiative helped bring the world's largest, most prosperous and most ruthless empire "on which the sun never sets". London also became a safe haven for many faiths and ideologies and their brightest representatives from all over the world. In many ways, Communism, Nazism and Islamism were all nurtured there on the banks of the Thames or as a result of Britain's direct involvement.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the British Empire was at the height of its might and glory. But it was then, during the reign of Queen Victoria, that a strategic mistake was made. By that time, India had evolved into the crown jewel of the British crown, its geographic and demographic centre, and one of the pillars of the empire's wealth. This led to the idea of moving the capital of the entire British Empire to India in the second half of the nineteenth century. However, Britain's elites opposed the initiative. While moving the capital to India would have given the empire a new centre of gravity, infused it with fresh blood and provided it with entirely different development prospects, the rejection of the idea of a global British-Indian empire was the beginning of an end of the British empire itself that would ultimately go on to lose its international competition with the United States and crumble in the aftermath of World War II. As a result of what appeared to be reforms and modernization efforts, Britain's world-class ocean-going Navy, its armoured forces, and the aircraft manufacturing industry were all but destroyed, leading to the loss of its real influence in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as a diminished ability to project power globally on its own. The Commonwealth of Nations, conceived of as a modern network equivalent to an empire, turned out to be nothing but a weak and largely formal construct.

London's last chance at independence in the new world presented itself with the collapse of the bipolar system in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union and a global transformation precipitated by the shift of the centre of gravity of the global civilization from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific region. However, instead of picking India as their strategic partner, Britain's elites, lured by monetary gains, chose to place their bets on a financial partnership with China (integrating the London Gold Exchange with the Shanghai and Hong Kong Exchanges). They disregarded the fact that the elites of India and Pakistan were London-centered, and to them, the British were not unlike "living gods". However, for the Chinese, the British were nothing but another group of wealthy European partners, no different from the Germans or the French. It is noteworthy that on a number of occasions, when interacting with the representatives of the British royal family, the Chinese behaved very rudely toward them in contravention of all the rules of the protocol. India and Pakistan didn't take well Britain's rejection of the poor but loyal Indians and Pakistanis in favour of the wealthy Chinese.

Another telling point was the nation's treatment of Joan Rowling, the world-famous writer and creator of the Harry Potter series, who was perhaps the only modern epitome of Britain's soft power and who was viciously bullied and harassed for nothing but a trifle (a careless twit about transgender people) in her own home country. The ineptness, greed, and degradation of its elites have ultimately caused Britain to lose its footing in Asia. Consequently, Britain has lost what little remained of its imperial heritage and influence in the new world. Britain's destiny is to finally relegate itself to the status of a "cultural and historical sanctuary" and a runner of "special errands" for the United States, which is what London is currently engaged in doing in Ukraine.

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