News Informed criticism of the EU or current European attitudes

  • Thread starter Joel
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This thread is inspired by the anti-americanism thread and its purpose could not be stated better than by the words of Mr. Ash:

We have to distinguish between legitimate, informed criticism of the EU or current European attitudes and some deeper, more settled hostility to Europe and Europeans as such. Just as American writers should, but often don’t, distinguish between legitimate, informed European criticism of the Bush administration and anti-Americanism, or between legitimate, informed European criticism of the Sharon government and anti-Semitism. The difficult question in each case, one on which knowledgeable people may reasonably disagree, is, Where’s the dividing line?
http://www.hooverdigest.org/032/ash2.html [Broken]

What is legitimate, rational critique of Europe and what is irrational prejudice? This question goes in my opinion beyond the matter of perspectives.
 
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vanesch

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I liked a lot:

'The new Rome no longer feels in awe of the old Greeks.'

:smile:
 
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i think the dividing line is somewhere in the atlantic.
 
Europeans are learning how hard it can be to have a unified continent.

For years Europeans have criticized the USA, not realizing how difficult it is to govern such a large land mass. If they want socialized medicine in France (a place around the size of New Jersey), boom, it is done. Doing something like that here is incredibly difficult because different states have different interests. Afterall, we went to civil war over this stuff. It also took us 10 years to ratify our constitution.

In short...we have already been through the struggles that Europe still has to face. For example, how will Europe deal with impoverished eastern european countries joining? Germany still suffers from having to carrying the load for the eastern part of Germany.

In short, I say let them choke on these problems and then come realize what the USA deals with on a regular basis. Europe will either grow closer to us (as an ally), grow away from us, or simply will never have a unified europe (more likely, given european history).

As an example, look at the failed Beagle2. After the US spent billions trying to land things on mars, with >90% failure, the EU thought they were just going to spend a measley 1/2 a million $ and land something? They act by the same attitude they accuse us of: arrogance.
 

Pengwuino

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Well i hope they dont "realize" teh problems we had to realize because our civil war was just a horrible thing. Instead of 'eating it', i hope they become more humble and less arrogant and learn where we suffered. Hopefully the poorer countries will negotiate a way out of the problems we had instead of .... ya know.
 
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Joel said:
What is legitimate, rational critique of Europe and what is irrational prejudice? This question goes in my opinion beyond the matter of perspectives.
I don't see why you're specifying Europe in this question. Why is it any different than what makes a rational critique of Russia or Japan or the USA and what makes an irrational prejudice?
 
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Smurf said:
I don't see why you're specifying Europe in this question. Why is it any different than what makes a rational critique of Russia or Japan or the USA and what makes an irrational prejudice?
First, in my vanity, I quote myself:
I see this debate as two folded: First, as s theoretical discussion of anti-x sentiments, where questions like, "what is prejudice?", are relevant. And second, as the unique historical myths, associated with each type of anti-x sentiment that are part of the cognitive component of prejudice.
The theoretical discussion of prejudice is probably very similar regarding of the victim of prejudice, but the specific myths associated with each kind of prejudice are not. And I think it is better to keep to one kind of anti-x feelings per thread to keep the focus on these specific myths.

Why do you think they are the same?
 
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vanesch said:
I liked a lot:

'The new Rome no longer feels in awe of the old Greeks.'

:smile:
Yeah, I also noticed that, it was eloquant. :smile: Not that I think the old and current rome felt/feel in awe either. Do you think the feeling of culturar inferiority been exclusively an European perspective or also an American, as Ash put it, "There was, to put it bluntly, an American cultural inferiority complex."?
 

vanesch

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quetzalcoatl9 said:
For years Europeans have criticized the USA, not realizing how difficult it is to govern such a large land mass. If they want socialized medicine in France (a place around the size of New Jersey), boom, it is done. Doing something like that here is incredibly difficult because different states have different interests. Afterall, we went to civil war over this stuff. It also took us 10 years to ratify our constitution.
I don't think there is a significant part of the Europeans who want a "united states of Europe". You should know that all the hassle and the failed Council was talk about a 1% GNP, the total budget of the European Union. It could still rise a bit, but it illustrates how "light" the EU structure is. And there is not much desire for much more.
That doesn't mean of course that we cannot learn from US experiences, but the situation and goals are different. Also, we're about 200 years later now, so I don't know if many problems faced (and overcome) during the creation of the US are still relevant.

For example, how will Europe deal with impoverished eastern european countries joining? Germany still suffers from having to carrying the load for the eastern part of Germany.
We did this already, with Spain, Portugal and Greece (which are now not seen anymore as "poor countries"). But the mistake has probably been that things went too fast with the extension to the East. But we had to: should we have pushed these countries back into the Russian sphere ?

In short, I say let them choke on these problems and then come realize what the USA deals with on a regular basis. Europe will either grow closer to us (as an ally), grow away from us, or simply will never have a unified europe (more likely, given european history).
I think indeed that Europe has to solve its own problems (I always think that in most cases, this is what should be done: let people solve their own problems!). There's a non-preceded crisis at the moment, we'll see whether it are the individual nationalisms or the desire for cooperation that will prevail.


They act by the same attitude they accuse us of: arrogance.
That's a strange remark: if there's one thing I don't think you can accuse the Europeans of, it is arrogance: they are usually considered to be weasels, no ?
 
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quetzalcoatl9 said:
Europeans are learning how hard it can be to have a unified continent.

If they want socialized medicine in France (a place around the size of New Jersey), boom, it is done.

You cannot compare France to New Jersey. France has a population of 60 million. New jersey has a population of 8.5 million. A more reasonable comparison would be franch with california combined with new york.
Another difference is that the states in usa have historically been very similar, wheras in europe the countries are very different and have traditionally had strong rivalries. The inhabitants of usa are immigrants coming from the same sorts of places, wheras in europe, they are the indiginous populations. Different countries speak different languages.
 

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