We don’t think so. Beware, we say. Although immigrating to Canada is apparently not easy, having a potential rival king just north of the border makes 2020 more interesting, doesn’t it?
By now everyone knows that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka, Harry Windsor and Meghan Markle) have announced that they are leaving “the Firm,” and who is surprised? Everyone agrees that it was a beautiful wedding, but the fairy tale ending, in which the House of Windsor merged seamlessly with the House of Markle and everyone lived happily ever after, was not to be. First there was Megan’s awful father, who said he just wanted to be loved, but seemed in the end to want a big payday. Then there were the British tabs, the endless tabs. “British racism is often coy and coded,” wrote Yomi Adegoke of the Washington Post (January 10, 2020), “but when it comes to Meghan there was no need to read between the lines.”
In the meantime – we’ve got an impeachment to run! Heather Cox Richardson runs through the game of three-dimensional chess that Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell are playing right now as you are reading this post. Jeffrey C. Isaac explains The Lincoln Project, the latest effort by Never-Trumpers to dump You Know Who; and Nicolás Lynch stays on the story that everyone but us seems to have forgotten – Bolivia, and the coup that is not one.
In a section on nationalism, Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi looks at a powerful new audience for fascism: Italian youth, who increasingly regard Mussolini’s dictatorship as a legitimate form of government. An interview with Banu Subramaniam digs into her recent book about what she calls “archaic modernity,” or the intertwining of science and religion in Hindu nationalism’s ideology, and in anticipation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day next Monday, Vaughn A. Booker explores King’s warnings about the dangers of nationalism – and why it matters today.
Next we turn to the horrors of climate change, leading off with the latest episode of the Past Present podcast. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Neil Young and Nicole Hemmer have a new format that devotes most of each episode to a single issue, and this week they take us through the fires that are ravaging Australia. Philosopher Thomas Nail explains the implications of climate change for population mobility: perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn that there are huge profits to be made from security services that can now be mobilized for climate-related refugee events. We close this section with an essay from scientist Brian Stewart, who warns that it isn’t only humans who are being forced to migrate because of global warming.
In any case, now that we’ve got the weekly issue out, we at Public Seminar say: welcome to North America, Harry and Megan! Oceans rise, empires fall – we have seen each other through it all. The continent hasn’t had a monarch since Fernando Maximiliano José María de Habsburgo-Lorena, otherwise known as Maximilien I, who was King of Mexico from July 6 1832 to June 19 1867, and was kicked out by Benito Juárez. And if things don’t work out well in November 2020 – well, Harry, we might consider ripping up the Treaty of Paris.
Stay by the phone, Your Royal Highness.
Claire Potter is co-executive editor of Public Seminar and Professor of History at The new School for Social Research. You can tweet with her @TenuredRadical.