My friend in the Netherlands came through over Skype as if he was just down the street. We were chatting about global economics when the fear of losing our global dominance naturally came up as a discussion of Empire. “If the end of your Empire is what people fear, I have to tell them, we live with that every day over here and … it’s not bad at all.” The Netherlands wasn’t a huge empire, but it was able to shed its possessions in Indonesia and the Caribbean without missing them all that much. Life went on.
That sentiment appears to also be playing out in the UK as well as many other former great globe-straddling forces that have quietly turned inward. The US is facing the same situation and it weighs heavily on our politics and economy. But it shouldn’t. Life after Empire isn’t the barbarian-sacked end of Rome, it’s simply the natural progression of Liberty that we should embrace if we’re going to master it rather than let it destroy us.