Originally posted by @shavixmir
Yeah... the great British empire... didn’t lose that at all...
We live in an age now where the empire, while certainly a remarkable logistical achievement in that it was created by such a small island, is not what makes Britain a good country. It's embarrassing when people cling to the historical imperial power of their nation. I'm not a Brit-basher or anything, but I'm also not stuck in the past celebrating things that weren't the greatest for the rest of the world. There are plenty of British achievements other than conquest to be proud of. They invented capitalism, industrialization, the telephone, the telegraph, the train, the steam engine, penicillin, mechanics, calculus (shared with Germany), the WWW, etc. In the words of Kipling, they kept their head when the rest of Europe was losing theirs. They made a relatively gradual, peaceful transition from absolute monarchy to parliamentary democracy, although royal power was already limited by the Magna Carta, etc.
The British people are stoic, pragmatic and have a dry sense of humour. They have a sense of moderation and are not vindictive towards foes they have vanquished. They have a history of empowered women and they count many women amongst their greatest leaders in history. British politics attracts all people who have made Britain their home (yes, even the evil rightists are a diverse group).
That's not to say it's perfect because it's absolutely not - that's precisely why I don't engage in the relentless America bashing that happens here. A) It's boring to hear it for the umpteenth time and B) it's hypocritical for Europeans to pretend that their countries are so saintly or are a paradise on Earth when they just aren't.
It's disingenuous for Europeans (who make up the vast majority of America bashers on here) to pretend that their countries would have done differently to America if they were still in the heyday of their power. In fact, Europe's time in charge was probably worse (by a long way) for other people than America's has been - America was the most anti-imperialist of all the great powers. Europe subjected the world to their whims far more overtly than America has done. Europe produced fascism and communism and some of the most terrible people in history. Numerically speaking, America just doesn't compare. Yes, they elected Trump, but I'll take him over Hitler or Stalin.
It's almost become a sin to say something good about America these days. It invites a maelstrom of outrage that I think is totally disproportionate to America's crimes. The fact that I will probably be bashed now is just proof of what I'm talking about.