We are, famously or notoriously, a warrior nation. From the 18th-century continental wars to the imperial battles, the world conflicts, and the postcolonial fighting of our own times, the British have prided themselves on being first with the bayonet. Our royal family and many of our national occasions are tightly interwoven with militarism. Our bookshops have more books about military history than any other kind put together.
Yet we are changing. As this week’s social attitudes study shows, Britain has become a more live-and-let-live society, much more liberal, and yet more cynical too. From the church to homosexuality to politicians, our views have changed hugely in 30 years. And now, perhaps, we are an anti-war nation too.And the author isn’t the first to notice the change in the British and how it affects the nation. The Daily Mail noted it in 2009 in its, “‘This isn’t the Britain we fought for,’ say the ‘unknown warriors’ of WWII,” and Max Hastings noted it in The Telegraph last year when he wrote, “Farewell to our warrior nation – The Government is making huge cuts to the Army, Royal Navy and RAF in the mistaken belief that they no longer matter”.
The U.S. is headed down the same path, with the culture changing the way people think and the very fabric of their being, and thus the nation. The culture shift has had a profound effect on the U.K. and the U.S., and it will continue rendering revolutionary changes on both societies.