Thursday, September 15, 2005

Why Europe hates the US

There are two excellent posts on the reasons for European anti-Americanism. One comes from NRO: Lonely Days, Lonely Nights

Anti-American books tore up the best-seller list in France throughout the Clinton presidency. The staged anti-globalization riots during the 1990s were not love letters to America or the Democratic party. In 1999, Bill Clinton needed 10,000 policemen to protect him from Greek activists who aimed to firebomb him. Protesters in Athens continually pulled down a statue of Harry Truman. Despite the relentless jackassery of people like Michael Moore and others who attributed 9/11 to Bush's policies — including our failure to sign the Kyoto Treaty (stop laughing) — al-Qaeda got its operation up and running throughout the sunny days of Bill Clinton and the dotcom bubble.

In the 1980s, anti-Americanism was also a big problem, but fortunately the elites of Europe generally understood — with some lamentable exceptions — it was better to have America as a friend than the Soviet Union as a ruler.

But now that the Cold War is over, European elites have been liberated from the need to play well with the United States. Elections in Germany and France have largely been won in recent years by running against America. The U.S. is the only superpower and European elites don't think anyone but them should be superpowers. The Chinese have a similar attitude, of course, and pretty much every foreign policy article and expert I can find says we're going to be playing Cold War-style games with China for the next 50 years.

In other words, we are facing at minimum two enormous problems that will far, far outlast the Bush presidency, and, unlike in the past, it's not entirely clear we can rely on our friends to stand with us. This is a broad generalization, which means that it's open to contradiction by a great many facts while still, I think, remaining true. We do have some real friends, most notably Britain, Japan and Australia.

The article contains some exceptional points...I must encourage you to read all of it.

The second is from Sigmund, Carl and Alfred: The Who And Why Of Who We Are.

We went on to explain. Europeans, we said, dislike Americans because, in a short period of human history, went on to surpass Europe in being the center of global influence. What was even worse, was that America was built by European 'garbage' as we put it. He started to object, but we immediately interrupted.

We went on to explain that a century ago, Europe was only too happy to rid itself of the 'wretched refuse' and 'teeming masses'. The European elite and intellectuals thought that once rid of the annoying and newly demanding 'unwashed' peasant class, Europe would once again regain it's rightful place as the center of the moral and political world, and thus preserve the imperialist relationships they had established, if not formally, then by necessity. Through benevolent noblesse oblige, Europe would assume control the economic and political fate of the 'lesser' nations. Without masses of lower classes, now demanding equitable political participation, Europe's destiny would be assured. America, that upstart, would be relegated to it's proper position- that of being subservient to Europe, no more than a source of cheap raw materials for what must be the dominant European economic model.

I find this absolutely fascinating. I really wonder if he's really onto something here. I'll have to consider the possibilities. Very it all.


Blogger Joe Powel said...

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15 September, 2005 19:24  

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