by Alex Callinicos from British Socialist Worker 10 June 2008 Imagine, in a galaxy far, far away, an empire in decline. A disastrous military adventure and the rise of new powers have exposed its weakness. To cap it all, the emperor himself is generally despised as a provincial clod. But now his successor has to be chosen. What better way to rehabilitate the empire in the eyes of others than to select as emperor an eloquent, dynamic, relatively young man – a man who, while being utterly safe, not only belongs to the group of imperial subjects who are victims of its greatest historical injustice, but whose father comes from a foreign country and who himself spent some of his childhood in another?