One aspect of the British character that has been changed fundamentally in this war has been the habit of mental and physical insularity. The phrase “The Englishman's home is his castle” expressed something more than a simple desire for privacy; it expressed an attitude of the individual towards the world at large. The aeroplane, with its train of effects in evacuation, incendiary bombs, air raid shelters, destroyed the lesser conception of privacy, and the aeroplane too, with its destruction of all our 19th century conceptions of space, has made our slightly remote attitude towards other nations out of date for ever. However much we may recoil from our wartime community spirit, however quickly our street savings groups wither, the W.V.S. uniforms gather dust in the wardrobe, and the fireguard reunions be held at ever greater intervals, there will never be again the utter disregard of our neighbours that was typical of town life before 1940. And in international relations though we may not, after the war is over, evince the same interest in the reconstruction of the Chinese cabinet or the latest utterance of an Anglophobe senator, we shall never again class all lands beyond the English Channel as inhabited by foreigners, with a small exception made for the Empire and the U.S. as peopled by remote cousins.
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