India – nationalism, colonialism, history and the future

Narendra Modi, the prime minister, controls the story of Indian nationalism these days, and has little use for the history of the anti-colonial struggle (which his own heroes, the first Hindu nationalists, largely sat out).

The Congress party, now in opposition, would traditionally stoke the embers of the anti-British campaigns, which it led. But it is trying hard to appeal to new voters, desperate for jobs and otherwise far from the memory of the freedom struggle.

— The Economist, in ‘The politics of apologising for Amritsar

Theresa May, the ‘valiant pugilist’

One senior Conservative MP describes Mrs May’s method of government as “valiant pugilism”. Rapid decision-taking and parliamentary dealmaking are things to which she is particularly ill-suited.

— The Economist, in ‘Missing: the British government

“It’s a fantastic skill, her ability to do nothing,” says one of her former cabinet ministers, almost admiringly.

Identity > Facts

When narratives put forth in fake-news messages upheld values such as “Hindu power and superiority” and “preservation and revival,” then “validation of identity trumps verification of facts,” the study claimed.

—Quartz, in ‘In India, BJP supporters are more likely than others to share fake news

Tyler Cowen on India and its fragmentations

It’s not just Hindu nationalism on the rise, rather India seems to be evolving intellectually in a multiplicity of directions, few of them familiar to most Americans.

In India, history ain’t over, and further ideological fragmentation seems to be the safest prediction. Note that ideas are very often a leading indicator for where a nation ends up.

—Tyler Cowen, in ‘Expect America and Europe to Matter Less in 2019

The inescapable trilemma of the world economy

Dani Rodrik dubs “the inescapable trilemma of the world economy”.

In a globalised world, a country can have economic integration, the nation-state or democratic politics, but not all three fully.

—The Economist, in ‘The tension between globalisation and democracy

It can choose integration and the nation-state but give up democratic control to technocratic, supranational institutions. It can choose integration and democracy, but give up the nation-state and disappear into supranational government. Or it can choose the nation-state and democracy by embracing impoverished autarky.

Battle for Britain (and its government model)

“The British constitution is a state of mind,” says Peter Hennessy, a historian who calls this the “good chap” theory of government. “It requires a sense of restraint all round to make it work.”

— The Economist, in ‘Britain’s good-chap model of government is coming apart