Predictably, Liz Truss made a spectacle of herself spluttering out an attempted quotation from Seneca (or was that Sennapod?) as she bad farewell to the cruel world of Downing Street with a neat encapsulation of her brainless approach to political decision-making. Seneca did however write some really interesting stuff - more interesting than the low-grade self-help platitude that Truss seems to like: the T-shirt slogan material that counts as worldly wisdom amongst people like George Osborne who think that Nudge is a work of philosophy.
We turn, then, to Seneca's blood-soaked Medea - probably most famous for its prediction of the discovery of the New World:
... in later years a time will come when Oceanus shall relax his bars and a vast territory shall appear, and Tiphys shall discover new worlds, and Thule shall be no longer the remotest spot on earth.
Seneca also had something critical to say about the opening up of the world for commerce and multi-culti exchange - an issue we often find being discussed around here, and indeed which exercises a lot of modern political thought: the benefits, or otherwise, of globalism, free trade (and dependency thereon), supra-national government and more-or-less compulsory cultural fusion. The Loeb translation runs thus
Our forefathers saw bright eras with crime and deceit far distant. Homely, touching no shores but their own, they grew to old age on their fathers' land, and, rich with little, beyond what their native soil had yielded they knew no wealth. The covenants of this well-separated world were dragged together by Thessaly's pinewood boat, which ... bade the sea, once alien, become part of our fears.
In other words: our [very distant!] forefathers knew nothing beyond their own shores, but they were happy, and lived well enough on what they had. All these happily separate nations, each with its own customs, were forcibly wrenched into a single 'unity' when the first merchant-adventurers started stirring things up: and the seas, which nobody ventured upon before, became a source of troubles. (Apologies if I'm insulting you by offering a precis.)
Now of course ancient Roman imperialists (Seneca's target here) were very much in favour of globalism. They had every intention of taking their ships everywhere, with no limits as to whom they were willing and indeed eager to embrace in their world-system: all you had to do was subordinate your culture - and of course pay your taxes. In return, you got, well, whatever it was the Romans did for us. And, as John Cleese's Reg ruefully acknowledges, that was, errr, quite a lot.
We have more recent versions of globalist imperialism to think about. We Brits had a good crack at it, spouting the Roman precedent explicitly at every opportunity. The French would have loved to (and the Spanish). The Americans are still in that mode, though less confidently than in earlier decades. The Chinese are itching to have a go. Somewhat more regionally, Russia thinks everyone across a pretty broad expanse of the planet should offer fealty to Moscow. And of course the EC is pretty keen on having everyone in (and indeed adjacent to) Europe subordinate their cultures and pay their taxes, with compulsory multi-culti all round. Which a majority of us Brits are now quite resistant to.
I don't recall Nigel Farage ever quoting Seneca. But the golden image of a "well-separated world" of yore, everyone happy with their lot, might sometimes be rather attractive - on both right and left of politics; and for Greens, too.
Still, that list of "what the Romans did" is quite impressive ...