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The Death of Britain

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British voters have made the dramatic decision to leave the European Union. There could be possible echo effects within Britain – for instance, Scotland might once again try to leave Britain. Other countries in the EU could also decide to go their separate ways.

What does this watershed event mean more broadly? Here are some thoughts to ponder:

1. There is a crisis of myth in many parts of the Western world (including the USA) and it has reached the tipping point in Britain. The old narratives of greatness have crashed. The British Empire died long back. The British have continued living their myth of being a world power, but this is becoming less sustainable:

They felt pride that they gave democracy and the English language to the modern world. However, other civilizations are increasingly asserting their place in world history.

Their grand narrative of aristocracy is premised on the royal family’s pageantry, and this royal myth has anchored British tourism.

After the economy became deprived of the loot from colonies, North Sea oil filled the gap for a few decades. But this oil is largely depleted.

London is a financial hub of the world, and this fits the traditional British role as world class merchants and middlemen. But the technology now makes it possible to decentralize this into remote locations; the Amazon generation is comfortable doing transactions via video conferencing without physical meetings in a central location. Will London’s financial district fall prey to what we may call the Uber-ization of the financial industry?

One of the most significant disruptions has been the flood of immigrants who are people of color. They tend to be more pragmatic and selfish and do not share the British myth to the same extent.

2. The delicate and artificial equilibrium holding Britain’s myth of greatness has been eroding and now it has crumbled. Its values and principles are just not sustainable.

3. As a result, there is xenophobia against people of different races, religions, etc., especially when they take the jobs away from those who feel they are the “real” sons of the land. The latest crisis reflects a challenge to postmodernism. Localization is gaining ground at the expense of globalization.

4. During each such crisis of myth in the past (in USA and Britain) there has been a period of chaos and experimentation to try and reformulate the myth with the new realities.

It is too soon to predict how far this domino effect will go and what the new world order might look like. The news today is mainly defensive – how to protect one’s investments. But every game-changing event also opens new doors. I see amazing opportunities opening up for young individuals in all kinds of fields, not just financial or business related.

Will China use this opportunity just as it used Japan’s tsunami and nuclear accident

  • Chandra Shekhar

    Great insight! Nice read!

  • Srivathsan Madhavan

    ” Localization is gaining ground at the expense of globalization” – that’s brilliant! Localization would probably start trending if (a big ‘if’) Donald Trump wins the US presidential elections

  • shyam datla

    Enlightening on brexit issue..

  • john ford

    .. the Bhagavad Gita said it all some time ago .. it takes a while for the lesson to sink in .. the pursuit of certainty is futile .. the only place to live is on the edge not in the womb of self-indulgence ..

  • disqus_Dm5vppZhYg

    Amazing, just finished watching you on Facebook Live – IDY, Philadelphia. _()_

  • Bharatgopal Rajagopalan

    and somebody should expose the myth of aid being given to India whenever we send a rocket to place some satellites. LOL. Stupid brits

    • Zarqawi

      More money is taken out of countries like India than the total aid given. According to former Nobel Prize Winning and World Bank Cheif Economist Joseph Stiglitz for ever $ 1 aid that is given to third world countries $ 43 is taken away from them through all these trade agreements and the way the international economy has been set up. British Corporations take away Indian resources paying a very very cheap prize. So more money is flown out of India.

  • pm

    Pls also write about the grand fraud of treating Vatican as a state and Pope as a state head

  • Joshua Mukerji

    You are wrong sir!!!……Britain will more than just survive. It will prosper & be a light to other nations. “If God [JESUS] is for you…who can be against you. It may be down….but certainly not out!!! It will stand because God is able to make it stand!!!

  • Sekhars

    Britain took the best step to stop its destruction by Brussels- unlike Greece where situation was same. Very high debt, expansive social programs and low GDP. EU would have caused austerity measures like Greece and situation of UK and most EU nations except Germany is as bad. EU is nothing but cabal of IMF and US puppet – so called establishment of world order -NATO alliance which is centrally controlled from US. Now UK has given ultimatum to this establishment and many more will follow . First casualty was David Cameron and now France is on line to exit as Le Pen wants exit. There is growing urgency in Germany to replace Merkel who is the Washington puppet and growing sentiments is against the establsihment now

  • Sekhars

    GDP may shrink for a short while in UK but citizens now have less chances of facing- bank bail ins or haircuts (like Greece and Cyprus), no ATM closures, more local control and no austerity measures via central control of EU.

  • Benjamin Netanyahu

    Gandhi used to tell the Indian people that India’s enemy is colonialism – not the British people. Regrettably a prosperous nation like the UK went on a suicidal path by inviting people who had no interest in assimilation. Their motto – ” When in Rome – don’t do as Romans do – Do as Allah commands!!” We hear about Muslim no-go areas in the UK as well as France, Belgium, Sweden etc. Has anyone ever hear about a Parsi or a Sikh no-go area? The European Left is in denial about the Religion Of Peace. This is precisely why Right wing parties and nationalism in on the rise across EU.

  • mdkumar kumar

    Dear Rajiv Malhotra ji
    What are the opportunities that India has in this crisis of British Grand narrative?