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Pankaj Mishra

A New Fantasy Links Britain and India

Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi share one thing in common: delusions of grandeur for their nations. 

No way to run a country. 

No way to run a country. 

Photographer: Darren Staples/Getty Images

The downbeat economic forecasts for Britain made in the early days of Brexit are finally beginning to come true. Yet Boris Johnson, Britain’s likely next prime minister, is determined to yank his country out of the European Union by Oct. 31. "Do or die,” he asserts, insisting with Churchillian pomposity that Britain can be made great again.

As the world watches aghast, Britain’s descent into political lunacy seems complete. But there is little point blaming, as many do, Johnson’s moral character or lack thereof. His illusions of regaining national power and wealth are widely shared across the Atlantic — and beyond.