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Thread: Does the US have to save Europe, Again?

  1. #1
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    Does the US have to save Europe, Again?

    And this time, from itself and a self-induced continental depression, emotional if not economic?

    There is a very interesting strain of thought that says that Europe's problem stems from a loss of self-esteem. Europeans have lost hope, have lost faith in their culture and history, in their faith and ability.

    Instead, Europe is full of despair and shame and fear. Europe is afraid to compete with the rest of the world and goes to mass protectionism and guaranteed job security (without guaranteed effort).

    This shame is then turned on America, as American "cultural imperialism" is railed against, and America in general, as venting post for feeling bad about themselves... as opposed to offering real cultural alternatives to compete in the market.

    The US has adopted Sushi (japan) and Churo's and burritos (latin America) and French food and Thai food and Indian food and North African food and entertainment from Japan (Animei) and things with shades of Bollywood and British TV and humor. Even Irish dancing and German and Italian opera.

    There is no fear in the US of these things. But Europe trembles at McDonalds and the Polish Plumer.

    So what is the US to do? The US needs Europe to be a vital ally in the Western Alliance and bullwark for Western ideals and culture against fascist and anti-Western-value cultures and ideologies that are rising.

    Maybe the US needs to start reminding Europe of what it is, the history and philosophy and values that have been the best of Europe over it history. Not just the art and culture, although that needs to be reminded, but the ideals. Europe needs to be convinced that it is indeed part of the Western Alliance, that it is strong enough to compete without over-protections, and that the shared values, many steming from Europe. Italy must be reminded of Rome. the UK of the Magna Carta and King Arthur. France of Voltaire and Liberty, Fraternity and Equality under the law and of the gift of the statue of liberty.

    Maybe then Europe will be able to incorporate the lessons from its mistakes (ie. Colonialism and the Holocaust... the flirting with Facism and Communism) without mass overreaction (mad political correctness, which plagues the US, too, but seems to be more ingrained, and yet in other ways disdained with Ultra-right reactionaries, in Europe).

  2. #2
    Roland
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    And this time, from itself and a self-induced continental depression, emotional if not economic?
    Please!
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    There is a very interesting strain of thought that says that Europe's problem stems from a loss of self-esteem.
    Your thought?
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Europeans have lost hope, have lost faith in their culture and history, in their faith and ability.
    I think you are generalizing...
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Instead, Europe is full of despair and shame and fear. Europe is afraid to compete with the rest of the world and goes to mass protectionism and guaranteed job security (without guaranteed effort).
    ...and exaggerating.
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    This shame is then turned on America, as American "cultural imperialism" is railed against, and America in general, as venting post for feeling bad about themselves... as opposed to offering real cultural alternatives to compete in the market.
    Yes. Easy, isn't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    The US has adopted Sushi (japan) and Churo's and burritos (latin America) and French food and Thai food and Indian food and North African food and entertainment from Japan (Animei) and things with shades of Bollywood and British TV and humor. Even Irish dancing and German and Italian opera.

    There is no fear in the US of these things. But Europe trembles at McDonalds and the Polish Plumer.
    Hu?
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    So what is the US to do? The US needs Europe to be a vital ally in the Western Alliance and bullwark for Western ideals and culture against fascist and anti-Western-value cultures and ideologies that are rising.
    And vice versa. Europe and the US are sitting in the same boat here.
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Maybe the US needs to start reminding Europe of what it is, the history and philosophy and values that have been the best of Europe over it history. Not just the art and culture, although that needs to be reminded, but the ideals. Europe needs to be convinced that it is indeed part of the Western Alliance, that it is strong enough to compete without over-protections, and that the shared values, many steming from Europe. Italy must be reminded of Rome. the UK of the Magna Carta and King Arthur. France of Voltaire and Liberty, Fraternity and Equality under the law and of the gift of the statue of liberty.
    Ah! That! Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Maybe then Europe will be able to incorporate the lessons from its mistakes (ie. Colonialism and the Holocaust... the flirting with Facism and Communism) without mass overreaction (mad political correctness, which plagues the US, too, but seems to be more ingrained, and yet in other ways disdained with Ultra-right reactionaries, in Europe).
    There is the colony they call "USA"...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland
    Please!
    Your thought?I think you are generalizing......and exaggerating.Yes. Easy, isn't it?Hu?And vice versa. Europe and the US are sitting in the same boat here.Ah! That! Thanks!There is the colony they call "USA"...
    man are you kidding? is it your respect style of responding to written thoughts?

    Euro-pee-ons

  4. #4
    Justcurious
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    There is a very interesting strain of thought that says that Europe's problem stems from a loss of self-esteem. Europeans have lost hope, have lost faith in their culture and history, in their faith and ability.
    Whoever says so does not understand at all that Europe is made up of lots of different people and nations. Many of us may have problems or few of us may have problems, but you certainly cannot say that Europeans do this and that.

  5. #5
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    Certainly its a generalization. Nu? Europeans generalize about others all the time, too.

    The question is, is there a basis for this generalization?

    When you look at the larger European nations, in particular France and Germany, but also to a lesser extent the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden... this is the sense you get.

    On the other hand, you do not get this sense, this lack of secure national pride (as opposed to national pride on only the surface level) from Russia, Poland and Ireland, in particular.

    Greece and the UK seem particularly divided in this sense, with a large portion of the population demonstrating this malaise, but a larger contingent having a healthy sense of national-love.

    In essence, the question is: are the politics in Europe right now, on the one hand a post-nationalist elite, and on the other hand a supra-nationalist backlash... and the weird mixes in between.. but little of sort of a moderate, but strong and DEEP, national pride and love.

  6. #6
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    ps... that's the thing. The US is not ashamed of itself for being "a colony." We don't feel bad about displacing native Americans, because we know, given the violence of many native American tribes, had they had the upper hand, they would have done the same.

    Further, we also know now that European disease (for which there was no immunity) did most of the damage.

    The US doesn't self-flagelate as much as Europe. We admit that we are not perfect... heck, we had slavery for 100 years as a nation... but we also fought a war to end it. We had institutionalized racism for another 100 years... but we overcame that, too. The US consistently, slowly, makes progress forward.

    Meanwhile, when Europeans try to make us ashamed... well, we look at Europe's example, and we know that they are being hypocritical - trying to make Americans feel bad in order for them to fill a void within themselves.

    The US still feels like a beacon on a hill, for Europe too. It still feels like one of the last bastions of common sense, egalitarianism and individualism in this world, where Europe feels like it is still strung up by archaic social class divides.

    And I don't think that Europeans, common, middle-of-the-road Europeans, like being bound by weird archaic social class strictures. I also think Western Europeans have gotten very comfortable, reaching a material and leisure success that is the envy of the world, and found it (1) not satisfying in of itself, and (2) are terrible afraid to even risk this comfort, even when global realities say they must.

    More than that, Europe doesn't seem to be willing to fight for this way of life, either.

  7. #7
    Roland
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    MGB8 - maybe it would help if you would replace "the Europeans" with the name of the nation you would like to refer in each special case, and don't use the name of the european continent for some political entity which it is not.
    From my pov, the single european nations still remain individual nations - every single one with a special mixture of different political, social, etc. etc. etc. structure and expression. Europe is not the sum of all member states, like the USA - it is an additional extra-nation, an artificial new and blank nation-project without any history of it's own, without a special heritage of cultural attributes - only with an invitation to join and overcome nationalistic tendencies, the annoying diversity of laws and economic structures.

    You pick things like the anxiousness of people in economically hard times, people facing he downsides of globalisation - don't you understand them?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    In essence, the question is: are the politics in Europe right now, on the one hand a post-nationalist elite, and on the other hand a supra-nationalist backlash... and the weird mixes in between.. but little of sort of a moderate, but strong and DEEP, national pride and love.
    Yes ... ahm ... I'd say.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    The US doesn't self-flagelate as much as Europe. We admit that we are not perfect... heck, we had slavery for 100 years as a nation... but we also fought a war to end it. We had institutionalized racism for another 100 years... but we overcame that, too. The US consistently, slowly, makes progress forward.
    And I think Europe is a similar way for the european nations.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Meanwhile, when Europeans try to make us ashamed... well, we look at Europe's example, and we know that they are being hypocritical - trying to make Americans feel bad in order for them to fill a void within themselves.
    I don't know. I don't understand this point (of view, maybe).

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    The US still feels like a beacon on a hill, for Europe too. It still feels like one of the last bastions of common sense, egalitarianism and individualism in this world,
    Yes. Even from here it looks exactly so - the americans consider themselves as the moral authority - but contradict that claim with their actions like i.e. the Bush's Iraq-campaign, or the Belgian law-blackmailing.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    And I don't think that Europeans, common, middle-of-the-road Europeans, like being bound by weird archaic social class strictures. I also think Western Europeans have gotten very comfortable, reaching a material and leisure success that is the envy of the world, and found it (1) not satisfying in of itself, and (2) are terrible afraid to even risk this comfort, even when global realities say they must.
    The archaic social class issues were history - the have come back with globalisation and capitalistic effects of the "european process" and leave us divided into poor and rich.
    Fnck the "global realities"! The propose of our gov'ts is to keep our local markets alive = jobs = wealth.
    Well, OTOH we might witness the birth pangs of a european entity like the one we were so naively dreaming of all the time. And then in a handful of decades the current misery will be forgotten.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    More than that, Europe doesn't seem to be willing to fight for this way of life, either.
    Not? You already criticised european protectionism.

  8. #8
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    Protectionism isn't fighting. Its refusing to fight. I'm talking about actually taking risks, sometimes military, to protect itself from those forces that threaten it. Europe, instead, turns to appeasement, or to pretending the ideologies do not exists - in part, it seems, because Europe does not believe that the West is worth fighting for.

    And yes, this is generalizing. Nevertheless, we are talking in generalities - the majority of Europeans, with varrying levels of majority (or large minority) in various countries.

    As for the war in Iraq - its was not an immoral war. In fact, Continental Europeans amorality (and desire for appeasement and the continuation of short term stability at the expense of long term progress) seems to be the main reason for European opposition to the war. Europe was not, and is not, willing to fight to protect itself.

    Frankly, I think US army bases need to be immediately pulled out of Europe. But even then, I don't think this will pull Europe out of its isolationist and psychologically defeated state. And I don't know what will.

    Lets get specific, Roland.

    Why don't you name me what is great about Western culture, why it is better than other cultures (yes, I want you to tell me why its BETTER... not different) and some historical achievements to compare to the rest of the world. In other words, why is the West worth fighting for, and how much is it worth fighting for? Are you willing to die for it? Are you willing to kill for it?

  9. #9
    Roland
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Protectionism isn't fighting. Its refusing to fight. I'm talking about actually taking risks, sometimes military, to protect itself from those forces that threaten it. Europe, instead, turns to appeasement, or to pretending the ideologies do not exists - in part, it seems, because Europe does not believe that the West is worth fighting for.
    Europe is about unifying the national markets. Not much more. It does not sum up culture, or military yet - the single nations still do what they think suits them best (UK troops co-invaded Iraq, France and Germany didn't). See Europe like the UN in a smaller scale. It is nice for debating but it still has no constituion - the citizens do not want it. Maybe Europe can be stopped, so we won't have it distracting us from fighting for our own national cultural, social, political life anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    And yes, this is generalizing. Nevertheless, we are talking in generalities - the majority of Europeans, with varrying levels of majority (or large minority) in various countries.
    And I think it is inadequate and unhelpful to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    As for the war in Iraq - its was not an immoral war. In fact, Continental Europeans amorality (and desire for appeasement and the continuation of short term stability at the expense of long term progress) seems to be the main reason for European opposition to the war. Europe was not, and is not, willing to fight to protect itself.
    I disagree. The US policy of escalation and ignoring the cooperative international efforts was immoral. Or amoral. Whatever. The mess we have in Iraq now is nothing you could sell me as a success. They have chopped of Hydra's head there. Fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Frankly, I think US army bases need to be immediately pulled out of Europe. But even then, I don't think this will pull Europe out of its isolationist and psychologically defeated state. And I don't know what will.
    What is that supposed to mean?
    Is your pull-out-idea meant as some kind of punishment for the european stubbornness? Like weaken the local economical structure where the US-garrisons are now, because we did not follow the Bush-crusade? Silly. You can't really hurt me with that. Go ahead. Pull out. We have worse problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by MGB8
    Lets get specific, Roland.

    Why don't you name me what is great about Western culture, why it is better than other cultures (yes, I want you to tell me why its BETTER... not different) and some historical achievements to compare to the rest of the world. In other words, why is the West worth fighting for, and how much is it worth fighting for? Are you willing to die for it? Are you willing to kill for it?
    Colonialism. That is the one word that covers everything you want here. The word for winning the competition with other cultures in history. That is "great" in a sense, isn't it?

    I am not willing to die for anything. I value life - and especially my own life - more than everything else. And surely more than every ideology or religion. That makes my culture superior to any "culture" that fires mortar grenades into historical monuments, or shouts "allah ackbar" in the streets.

    What about you?

  10. #10
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    You make my point. You confuse the idea of protecting your own culture and ideals with ruling over other peoples. So you throw out the great European shame... "colonialism."

    That is YOUR ("european") shame. And its time for europe to GET OVER IT. Yes, mistakes were made. And certainly Europe took advantage of other peoples, or ignored them, for mercantile policies and natural resources. They did this to the Americans, too - hence the Revolution.

    The West also has a society of natural rights, of laws and justice, of religious freedom and individual rights and non-subjugation of others for their beliefs.

    And this, you are NOT willing to fight for. So, by being unwilling to die, you will be killed. Not quickly, slowly, over time. You are emblematic of this European disease, this continental moraise... the lack of a will to survive. And you need to be cured, or you are going to die.

  11. #11
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    oh... and I don't care about the economic impact of pulling out the troops. Its about psychology. Maybe, without the US military umbrella, Europe will become more assertive about protecting itself and the World. Europe is depressed. It needs to get up out of its depression. It needs to start caring a little more about where the world is going, and a little less about temporary comforts.

    Europe needs to stop dying a slow death, and start trying to LIVE.

    Oh, and I'm not talking about the EU or any political body. I am talking about a cultural body that is the European mainland. There are many differences, its a broad group, but it is a group nonetheless.

  12. #12
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    One last thing... a person in life will make many mistakes. He must neither forget these mistakes nor be paralyzed by them. He must accept them and learn from them.

    That said, the great European mistakes are GENOCIDE and refusal to FIGHT GENOCIDE. They are CONQUEST and APPEASEMENT. These are the great mistakes. Colonialism, while a mistake, was not nearly as terrible. China, France, India, South Africa, the United States, Australia... all these places THRIVE.

    Meanwhile, you ignore Arab colonialism and imperialism in Africa (compounding the mistake of appeasement). You placated Soviet Conquest and Imperialism.

    Your response of "colonialism" isn't an expression of regret. Its an excuse for cowardice - a lack of confidence and vitality.

  13. #13
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    One last thing, Roland.

    The reason that this is an issue at all is because the United States needs Europe - as a whole - in what appears to be coming.

    I believe something dark and terrible is coming, Roland. The forces of imperialist Islam have for 60+ years gained strength due to Western Oil lassaiz faire policy. This is the real hydra, with heads all over the world, from Osama to Ahmadinejad to Hamas and IJ to Kaddafi to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to Jamaal Islamiya in Indonesia to Kashmir to Chechnya to homegrown jihadists in England, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Australia, and the US and Canada.

    You have heard what is in their hearts, repeated time and time again - Islam the dominant religion, the only true religion, and all others subservient and paying the Jizya. World domination.

    Nations such as Russia and China will play games, because they feel they can use this too their advantage and are further down the line of confrontation. They will have many NEW "non-agression" pacts, just as Russia had with the Nazis before them. Russia also has no compunction against mass murder when it wants, and China less so.

    To deny that the ideology of Islamic supremacism is widespread, well funded, and strong is the same as to ignore the Nazi threat.

    And Europe is a front line, Roland. The US is protected by two oceans. Europe does not have such protection. But, nevertheless, the LIFE that you live now... maybe it is not at risk for you, but it is at risk for your children and your children's children. Are you going to make the world safer for them... or are you going to ignore the problem and let it grow until it threatens to devour them.

  14. #14
    Bura
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    To all political intents and economic purposes, there is no such thing as "Europe." There is no such thing as a common European interest, which means there can be no common European foreign policy.

  15. #15
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    Ah, but there is common European interest and community. There are divisions, strong ones, to be sure, but there is much more in common than there is different.

    Europe is a community of religiously Christian dominated and "racially" Caucasian dominated nation-states, with a common history that stems from the Helenists of Greece and the Roman Empire. Europe is bound not only by this history, as well as Napolean and Charlamagne and the Pope, but also the Renaissance, and the enlightened thinkers of the 1800's.

    Most of Europe's former nobility (and still present high-upper class) is related, including the English, and most every movement in one nation had impact on its neighbors.

    Europe can be thought of as a whole the same way the Arab world or the Islamic world can be thought of as a whole.

    Europe is the birthplace of Western liberal enlightenment, the incubator of Christianity, the baton-carrier of modernity. And right now, before the coming storm, Europe needs to remember this and prepare to make its stand.

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