By: Adrian Wooldridge
In: The Economist, with an excerpt below
The more intriguing question is whether America needs Britain any longer. It still has an appetite for British talent, and not just of the floppy-haired ersatz-upper-class Hugh Grant-style variety: it has taken to comedians with non-u accents such as James Corden and John Oliver, as well as writers who chronicle the experience of minorities such as Zadie Smith. It will also have much more use for the old Atlantic alliance if Mr Trump loses the election, as looks increasingly likely. Joe Biden’s America will be in the business of rebuilding relationships across the board; and despite leaving the eu, Britain, with its deep military, diplomatic and security relations with the United States, will be an important part of that process.
Americans may also discover that they can profit from advice in an area the British know all too well—decline and stagnation. America bears more than a passing resemblance to early-20th-century Britain, which saw itself overtaken in one area after another by a rising and much more disciplined Germany.
“The Coming Neo-Feudalism”, a new book by Joel Kotkin of Chapman University, describes a world quite familiar to the British, in which a hereditary ruling elite lords it over a compliant intelligentsia and an impoverished middle class.
Britons may not have solved the problems of economic decline and neo-feudalism in their own country. But they have had plenty of time to re ect on them—and at the very least they can warn Americans what will happen if they don’t change course.
Read the rest of this piece at The Economist.
Adrian Wooldridge is Political editor of The Economist and author of the Bagehot column. You can find him on Twitter @adwooldridge