Here's an article
, much admired(*), which I also admired at first reading, then found, on successive readings, a polemic and then a farrago of ad hominem
, which is where I left it.
In short: Pankaj Mishra hates Lord Mountbatten, therefore: England and British colonialism, BAD….
It's not that simple, as I sit here in Hong Kong, one of the nicer outcomes of British colonialism, a fact agreed to by pretty much all the local Chinese living here, those who took refuge from the evils of communism and were free to make fortunes in the safety of this colony. Not to mention other pretty good outcomes: Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and..... drum roll.... the United States! Oh, even India, pace
Mishra. Many many there have warm feelings for the Raj. And as many, even in the sympathetic comments on the article, have noted that the killings of Muslims and Hindus was a Muslim and Hindu thing. Otherwise, we're to assume they don't have agency.
I extracted the ad hominem
and strung it together with the occasional preposition:
Britain's calamitous exit from the EU shows how ruthlessly the British, in another act of moral dereliction -- with a fantasy of imperial-era strength, hubris, mulishness, ineptitude, arrogant obduracy, egotistic and destructive behavior -- blundered into political fiascos. The callow beneficiaries, the incestuous and self-serving ruling class, recklessly gambled UK's future to whingers, mendacious, intellectually-limited hustlers who have bluff rather than expertise, are a self-involved clique, a chumocracy; Brexiteers chasing imperial virility.
Having cynically partitioned the UK, by aggressive ignorance of English Brexiteers, showing cavalier disregard, unconscionable breeziness, to the endless suffering, through malign incompetence have sentenced millions to death or desolation.
It's a racist fantasy, with ravings issued by imperial insouciance leading to catastrophic military fiasco, led by brutal paramilitaries, bumptious adventurers masters of disaster.
Smooth-tongued men deny the rolling calamity of Brexit. In fact it's the quixotic fools of imperialism with unimaginable chaos of no-deal Brexit led by bumbling chumocrats who are taking us down the treacherous road to Brexit, by a long-cosseted British ruling class
This is a "fantasy of imperial-era strength" this Brexit? Not quite. What about the "Act in Restraint of Appeals of 1533? Henry VIII's parliament asserted that England is 'governed by one supreme head and king' whose measures cannot be appeaaled against to the Pople in Rome. For Rome then, read Brussels now, and now you see the long genealogy of the idea Brexit, and its huge effect on Brisith history. It's not
"a fantasy of imperial-era strength, hubris, mulishness, ineptitue" or "a racist fantasy". It's just a thing. Which has been a thing for a very long time indeed.
(*) Still, by "much admired" have a look at the 1,500+ comments on the article. They're almost uniformly in support of it. Including such asinine comments that Britain is worse than the Nazis. My god… the idiocy….