The burqa/headscarf is unfortunately becoming so ubiquitous in the US and Canada that I am starting to get tired of getting outraged every single time I spot it. Being rightfully appalled can be exhausting business. I have noticed that I tend to bypass the appropriate emotional response (read: repulsion) increasingly more often lately, and instead just silently proceed to make more additions to my deportation wish list. I do make a distinction between the headscarf and the full-body burqa: while the former is simply disgraceful, the latter should be illegal to wear in public because it covers the face along with enough loose space in the gut area for its wearer to comfortably squeeze in a concealed weapon, which has practical ramifications for criminals on the run and would-be bank robbers. I also differentiate with respect to the nuances of disgust reserved for the spread of the burqa in Western Europe on the one hand, and across the US, Canada, and Australia on the other hand. How so?
In short, Europe stands for nothing today. Ethnic nation-states in the Old West are crumbling under a scary moral void. Too many European citizens have no such thing as a comprehensive set of principles behind their various national identities; all they’ve got is their measly “Germanness”, “Frenchness”, “Britishness” or whatnot to hold on to, all of which are rapidly eroding in the acid of Cultural Relativism that the Europeans have been so eager and so stupid to embrace. Europe cannot stomach the backwardness of its Muslim Immigrants, yet it has no new cultural home to offer them. The French want their immigrants to participate in their “Frenchness” somehow, but “Frenchness” is inherited, it can never be acquired. Of course Sarkozy’s father was an outcast because of his Hungarian last name. There’s no way to get around it: Europe never forgets anyone’s ethnic otherness. The Holocaust is very eloquent on this subject. The European identity is ethnic/tribal at its core, not ideological. Europe has no moral shelter to offer even its natives, let alone its immigrants. Now that the church has been dethroned from its historic position of moral hegemony, the Old Continent is mutely agonizing like a giant headless cockroach awaiting slow starvation.
So what do Europeans have to say to burqa wearers, or to female circumcisers for that matter? “That’s not how we dress/do things over here”?? Europeans have no firm conceptions of why some of their traditions and practices are objectively superior to the new influx from the savage world. That’s because the moral foundation of their civilization has been a mix of Christian theology (now increasingly irrelevant) and pure ethnocentricity (Cultural Relativism has rendered ethnocentric supremacism impotent.) So I do not feel as strongly about defiant burqa-girls in Western Europe. I think it would be in their best interest to renounce their backward ways and embrace the less backward European tradition, but there is no guarantee that they will be fully accepted by the nationalistic establishment even if they do so. Furthermore, because Europe advertises its culture as a nationalistic dogma instead of a cogent moral argument, of course there will be poor penetration within the Muslims: they’ve already got their own big fat dogma! It also makes European culture less appealing to defend, thus I am less outraged when I spot burqa-girls flagrantly defacing it.
By contrast, the former British colonies are not ethnic nation-states. They are essentially membership clubs, the belonging to which is based on clear ideological commitments. For example, the national identity of the US is nothing but a moral profile outlining American values. That’s all there is to it. If you don’t like freedom, then why do you come to the US? If you don’t value self-realization, then what are you doing here? The burqa/headscarf and the subjugation they imply, of women to men, flies in the face of the American tradition of freedom and equal moral entitlement of genders. It is an uncompromising culture of freedom that is supposed to make Americans “American”. A lot of Americans themselves skimp on the “all men created equal” statement here and there but at least pay it due lip service. Now if someone so visibly refuses to partake in that culture, then what is supposed to make them “American”? They clearly do not belong in the country.
Until the day comes when national boarders are obsolete and anyone can freely go/live anywhere, the US will have to discriminate between peoples of the world with respect to their admissibility into the country. Because America is not an ethnic nation-state, it would be racist to select on the basis of ethnicity (the Diversity Visa Lottery is preposterous, I know). All that remains then is ideology, and to a lesser degree, skills. Being American should not be a matter of arbitrary background circumstance, though it’s sadly becoming more and more fashionable for disaffected youths born in the country to view it as such, but rather a conscious choice affirming one’s embrace of a free life and the moral entitlements and responsibilities stemming from such a life. A similar argument goes for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand too, although these countries’ values are perhaps less explicitly outlined than in the case of the US constitution.
Back to Europe… Well you know what they say: there’s eurotrash and then there’s Euro Trash. I must confess that for practical reasons I consider most if not all of Europe to sadly be trash. I exhausted a good part of this topic above, but there’s plenty more to be said. Western Europe is plagued by rampant political correctness and a Fallen Empire syndrome: what a deadly mix!
The former is manifested in hasty and pathetic attempts by Western European countries to reinvent their identities within a contrived culture-neutral neo-leftist frame. This confirms my gut suspicion that neo-leftism is the popular fallback of the half-assed apostates of Christianity. The nanny state is increasingly replacing the Church’s traditional social and moral functions in European countries.
The latter haunts the conscience of nearly every European but they are so repressed about it that you wouldn’t have a clue, and probably wouldn’t believe me unless you have some first-hand experience with Eurobullshit. We need to remember that it’s been less than a century since the Old West gave up its imperialist status quo. The European public image has been drastically sanitized since, maybe too drastically in too short a time for the European sub-consciousness to catch up. The Old Continent is torn between its emerging proletarian neo-leftist identity and the burning shame from its fall from relevance.
A lot of it is sublimated into raw leftist strife, but underneath it all Europe deeply resents not being a superpower: it misses its old glory, its colonies. This motivation can be traced back to the foreign-policy inclinations of the former superpowers: they keep supporting their traditional vassals of centuries ago, no matter how much the dynamics have changed since. The European stance on Serbia is a prime example of this. There is no practical reason to maintain these positions because the imperialist intentions of exerting influence by proxy in any given region have almost completely disappeared. Europe sticks to its antiquated positions/favoritisms for nothing but continuity’s sake. It’s a way of reassuring itself that it’s still relevant in the world, that it can still decide the fate of smaller nations, that it has the cojones to stick with its stubborn and arbitrary nation-building (or “nation-destroying”) initiatives without being made to flinch (take that, America!). Defiance and rage against the US are outlets for Europe’s sour grapes mentality.
The bottom line: a growing army of passive-aggressive drones in chronic collective-identity crisis. So many European youths feel helpless, have no light in their eyes, lack an ideological back-spine, and are brainwashed into State worshiping. Europeans like thinking of themselves as cultured, tolerant (I’m probably repeating myself, since the conventional wisdom maintains that cultured and tolerant are synonyms) worldly, classy (unlike those brute Americans) and progressive. Yet they obsess over petty nonsense like attacks on the purity of their languages (the perpetrator being of course, English), commonly despise avant-garde entrepreneurship as plebeian vulgarity, but value the study of dead languages, equation-drilling, their regional literature, and pedantic academicism.
The truth is that while Europe has been the driving locomotive of Western Civilization for the major part of the latter’s existence, the amazing philosophical evolutions (revolutions?) it spurred have found room to burst only at the seams of Europe’s backwardness: the greatest most progressive ideas originating from the Old West were only grudgingly and halfassedly accepted by the establishment, often not before vigorous attempts to repress them. Socrates got served, the Athenians almost had Aristotle’s head on a plate, Galileo was persecuted, Roger Bacon was imprisoned, John Locke was intimidated, and the list goes on and on. The revolutionary thinkers who carried the Western tradition forward were very often cutting against the grain of their own culture, and to this day Europe has yet to fully accept and adopt what its best minds have suggested it…
There are meaningful historical reasons for Europe’s decline:
Under many variations, ethnocentrism has been ubiquitous in the world since the dawn of civilization: to view essential aspects of oneself as derivative from the collective, and not only to prefer one’s way but also to believe it best, superior to all others, has been the natural status quo for millennia. Collectivism and the firm binding of the good with one’s own way through refusing to see a distinction between the two, form the very cultural fabric of ethnic nation-states.
Greek philosophers were the first men we know to address the problem of ethnocentrism. Distinctions between the good and one’s own, between nature and convention, between the just and the legal, are signs of this movement of thought. They related the good to the fulfillment of the whole potential of the individual and were aware that few, if any, of the nations of men had ways that allowed such fulfillment. They were open to the good: They used reason to seek it out. They wanted to be able to evaluate themselves and others, and thus had to use objective standards to judge even their own practices (The Closing of the American Mind, p.36-38).
Fast forwarding to the end of Medievalism: Eventually, in as far as curious objectivity was applied to the physical world through the quest for finding new and better ways, the advancements in technical knowledge/engineering yielded such staggering tangible results to the benefit of the population at large, that most of Europe eventually embraced this new fashion of thinking (to the Church’s great discontent). It even became fashionable for wannabe enlightened monarchs to cultivate their own “pet scientist-philosophers” in their courts.
The application of rational objectivity began to spread by contagion to the conception of human nature. The fruits of this experiment were thornier than their counterparts from the natural sciences: The emergence of Man in a new ethical frame that conceived of him as a free rational agent with inalienable moral entitlements derived from his very nature as Man, with his life, liberty, and happiness as paramount values, was an ideological stab to the heart of the collectivist ethnic nation-state and its authoritarian power structure. So this re-conception of ethics on a universal individualist plane appeared as a threat to ethnocentric culture and a dangerous uprooting charm. Politically, the development of these heretical ideas inspired administrative transformations: mostly on an incremental basis but also through bloody revolutions.
There is no national science just as there is no national multiplication table; what is national is no longer science. —Anton Chekhov
Yet friction from Europe’s tribalistic heritage was enormous, and certainly sufficient to considerably damp down the impact of these advancements. Compromises with the establishment were sought, which often corrupted the essence of the proposed liberal values for the sake of preserving social order: at the end of the day, it meant conserving the status quo. This resistance to liberalism didn’t originate from just the ruling class with indeed much to lose, but sadly from Europe’s masses, the people with so much to gain from the adoption of liberty. National identity pointed them back to the passionate attachment to their backward provincial ways, and away from Western Thought that was trying to liberate them from it. Science chipped away at subjectivity while universal individualist ethics eroded collectivist chauvinism, but the bulk of Europe’s population could not bring itself to turn the page.
The people of Europe had been split into fanatic religious sects at constant war, isolated in ethnic factions, pitted against one-another for centuries, trapped in puddles of provincialism infested by superstition. Embracing liberalism meant giving up the immense pride derived from the minuscule differences between their customs and myths and those of their neighbors. It meant giving up their collectivist identity with its perks of supremacist righteousness and feelings of superiority, which they had no felt need to objectively scrutinize.
They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance. —Edmund Burke
Countries like England and Holland did experiment with economic freedom with great results, but only on a fickle discretionary basis and for purely consequentalist reasons. They never accepted the moral foundations that supported free markets and free societies. Lacking firm ideological and institutional commitments to universal individual rights, these countries’ courtship of these classical Man-centric values did not stand the test of time. In short, Europe had too much cultural baggage for liberalism. The seeds of freedom had to be sewn somewhere else.
After failed efforts to conceive a new society within sterile Europe, the United States of America was Western Thought’s first love child: a country conceived in liberty, self-determination, and natural law. Indeed its initial political formulation wasn’t flawless: slavery and deficient political rights for women were ugly incumbents. Yet it’s noteworthy that the Founding Fathers never specifically banned women from voting (but the states did have that power and used it). Many of them were also vocal abolitionists throughout their lives. Most importantly, they drafted the Constitution as such an airtight argument for freedom, that with time it successfully transcended all the leftover debris of Old-Continent tyranny that were originally incorporated into the country for the sake of expediency.
Whereas Europe’s kinky flirts with freedom revolved around the whim of kings, queens, political coalitions, or angry mobs, America’s political heart was always in the right place. While Europe was still consumed by its ethnic wars well into the 20th century, America was busy getting prosperous through commerce. While Europe was preparing to butcher millions of its own, America was becoming a new home to thousands every year, affording them opportunities never dreamt of in their old caste-based societies.
So I wonder: How and why exactly did Europe pull a 180 and get so hard-core PC in just a matter of decades? What catalyzed such a drastic surgical detachment from the tribalist undertones of its billennial culture? I think it was mostly an implosion:
Marxism had an ideological binding-effect on European nations. It consolidated international strife into an intra-national dynamic of factions in perpetual state of struggle and discontent: from the old chauvinistic rivalry between the English and the French, to the more intimate strife between the proletariat and the capitalist class within the same country. Note that the Marxist paradigm is an elaboration of, and qualitatively self-similar to, the original looser frame of ethnic hatred: Like the latter, it interprets people in collectivist and dehumanizing terms (ethnicity/class), pits them against one another over grievances that are often imaginary or second-hand (differences in language, religion, regional customs/ transient relative positions in the labor market), and encourages them to consume their hatred (ethnic cleansing/class war). Marxism was a fractal refinement of ethnic conflict. It brought it physically closer to the hearts of those who had craved hatred for its own sake throughout generations. It was a deeper more “nuanced” drill into the same direction of projecting hatred inwards.
One important trait Marxism doesn’t share with classical ethnic chauvinism is self-victimization. While ethnocentrism is usually supremacist, leftist strife acknowledges a deep inferiority complex through its obsession with the “exploitation” of the proletariat. This partly explains why Marxism spread like fire in Russia and Eastern and Southern Europe: these nations were history’s rejects. Their powerful western neighbors, the Ottoman Empire, and other transient regional superpowers had brutalized and humiliated them for centuries, often using them as pawns in international conflicts. Marxist self-victimization appealed to these countries’ peoples on a very intimate level.
By contrast, Western Europe was too invested in its grandeur to immediately succumb to an oppressed and dispossessed internal vision of self. But around the middle of the 20th century, the Old West woke up with a terrible headache from a hangover of lost greatness. A few remarkable things had happened:
First of all, Europe practically lost all its colonies. So used were the former colonial powers to their international limbs, that they now felt stubbed. This certainly took a toll on their collective self-esteem.
Most importantly, America saved Western countries’ political viability after both world wars, besides saving their people directly from annihilation. The vital and one-sided reliance on their unrefined transatlantic cousin was hard to swallow. Both wars had exploded from the major western powers’ unhinged ambitions of world dominance. By the end of WW2 all the initial contenders were devastated to the bone, while the insolent fresh-faced USA emerged as the world’s supreme powerhouse among international applause for saving Europe from its homicidal lunacy.
The pendulum of power had permanently shifted away from the Old West, but the humiliation did not end there. Adding insult to injury, as a bonus consequence of their insane war, the USSR was now looming like a giant cancerous nuclear mole right on Europe’s ass. The troubled continent had to look for protection from the US, again.
The prospect of being vassals to the US does things to the sub-consciousness of a people whose primary notion of identity for centuries had revolved around the ability to dictate submission to the rest of the world. If you’re an American who has felt European rancor first-hand, this might explain a few things.
When the USSR ceased to be a threat, there was a collective sigh of relief, and then just silence. With no imminent threats to distract it, Europe could finally fully digest the realization that it was now irreversibly light years behind America in just about every relevant respect. Europe did slowly succumb to a pitiful internal vision of self, which allowed socialism to creep in like a virus since the end of WW2, infiltrating the severely weakened immune defenses of national pride.
Cultural relativism is an interesting highlight of Europe’s neo-leftist disposition. It’s generally touted as an umbrella to shield the mostly Muslim immigrants from cultural scrutiny but in reality it’s largely a self-serving construct. It serves as an outlet for collective neurosis through escaping reality. In a world dominated by pragmatic dynamics, led by the USA and trailed by Eastern emerging powers, Europe has to face everyday what it missed out on: the opportunity to be relevant, to institutionally embrace freedom and capitalism, and to be part of the new world order. Instead the Old West cannibalized itself in the last century over supremacist collectivist dogmas, and its consolation is now that at least its priorities were correct: that everything is culturally relative, that there is no such thing as natural law dictating what man’s proper mode of existence is, that one politico-economic system is just as good as any other (so long as a collective culture backs it) no matter the objective level of prosperity it can afford its people (so Europeans can proudly refuse to acknowledge failure or back away from their societal miscarriages), that cultural hegemony is the only thing worth fighting for (as Europe bloodily did), and that their delusions are not deluded so long as they really believe in them.
The core of Europeans’ passion for political correctness lies in their psychological need of escaping reality, of hiding their heads in the sand, of refusing to acknowledge their ideological failures, and avoiding a much needed objective assessment of their situation.
Many Europeans channel these repressed needs by applying the sophistry of cultural relativism to their backward immigrants, but in reality it’s themselves they are trying to shield and protect. When the clash between their culture and the savage Islamic influx is truly shocking, most Europeans don’t know how to react. They are so invested in cultural relativism that the path of least resistance is often appeasement.
There is a minority that fights fire with fire, counteracting the pressure from Islam with ultra-nationalistic fascist sentiment. This goes to illustrate that the European identity is mostly tribal/ethnic, not ideological, and that itself is the main problem. The most popular defense of Europe’s identity comes as a resurgence of ethnic chauvinism, rather than as an appeal to Western values on their own objective merits.
Europe needs a reality check urgently. It is sad to see America becoming more and more like Europe, when Europe is the one in dire need of looking up to what America is supposed to be. Rome didn’t fall in a day, but until Europe acknowledges its big problem, gives up the stubborn and irrational attachment to its collectivist ways, and develops enough character to challenge radical Islam on a moral plane, it will remain the sick man of the Free World.
35 thoughts on “Rome Didn’t Fall in a Day: an analysis of Western Europe’s cultural demise”
Interesting post. Thanks.
Why the hell does Europe vacillate between the extremes? Sheesh. No wonder the ancestors of so many Americans left the Old World to come to the New World.
It vacillates and oscillates because it has no solid base/foundation/spine to stand on. Everything depends on the whim of the moment of the masses.
Their sense of self revolves around the fickle fragile and often plain nonsensical notions of ethnic identity…
Contrast that to the US. Embracing the US constitution, and the VALUES which it states and implies, that’s what makes an American american.
It’s why the best Europe can muster in its attempt to repel Islamo-fascism, is white supremacism/ethnic chauvinism. Because Europe has no values…
It’s pretty sad…
I agree with your analyis. We’ve developed and benefitted from those values-but we’ve never identified with them. They should be part of who we consider ourselves to be.Without a constitution all we have is tradition,and traditions come and go…
I think this was one of the most cogently written articles on the Decline of Europe and the West that I have read. I had to read it and then reread it in order to get all the meaty goodness.
Jauhara, that is most flattering, thanks!
Wow, this sums it all up to a T. Great insight.
I think I very much agree. And I am from Europe.
I saw youre post about me at LGF. I’m not Serbian, I’m Spanish. My family
in Spain is rooting for Serbia as is most Spaniards. 2nd You Albanians sold
out the West by kissing the bootstraps of the Turks and started worshipping the Pedophile Prophet
. 3rd at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 Albanians fought along side their Turkish masters masters and still got their asses kicked by my Spaniard ancestors. You Moon worshiping scum will get yours one day!
Very informative. I’ve been puzzled and troubled by the changes in Britain and Europe since my childhood. Some of what you posted I had sensed already, and your conclusions are logical and reasonable.
It’s scary how academia here is trying to brainwash the youth into the same worldview. Denigration of patriotism and American values, families, political correctness, moral relativism, and liberalism will destroy this country too.
The article was well-thought, and comes as a deep reflection from a person that has first hand experience from the two Worlds.
Rodan, unwantingly has made you the best compliment, by illustrating the living European values.
Keep writing like this Kejda,
It was an enjoyment reading it.
What part of Israel’s politics and actions dont you like?
Are you Jewish on your maternal or paternal side?
Lots of Albanian in Israel, mostly lumped into the Arab collective. Thats
because theu escaped the balkans dring the 19th century demise of the turkish
empire and emigrated to the Land of israel then under turkish rule. hey are
usually the best and brightest of the “arabs”
Thanks for stopping by. To answer your questions:
Policies of the Jewish state which I don’t care for include its mixed economy leaning way too much toward socialism for my preferences (same criticism I reserve for most European countries), its masochistic and often plain moronic foreign policy concessions to the belligerent neighbors of late which indicate a very lukewarm will to live on behalf of Israel’s electorate, the lack of clear provisions for separation of synagogue and state which I consider to be absolutely necessary for a civilized country (I understand it’s a Jewish state, but I find the role of the rabbinate in many aspects of civil life, including marriage, to be kind of ridiculous). I also find somewhat problematic the treatment of Israeli Arabs, their limitations on acquiring lands and whatnot.
But overall I am a great supporter of Israel despite all this: no country is perfect.
My Jewish lineage comes from my mother’s father (confirmed), and possibly from my mother’s mother’s side, which originates from a largely Jewish town in Albania. Both sides are completely secularized anyway, and none of my grandparents have been in a synagogue. I think it to be highly doubtful for my mother’s mother’s mother line to recursively go back to strictly Jewish roots. I’m about to take a DNA test soon through the National Geographic project so I can learn some more. Frankly, I find the whole matrilineal descent concept of Jewishness to be rather sketchy.
Albanians were star citizens of the Ottoman Empire. Mohamed Ali, the founding father of the Egyptian nation was Albanian. Even Qemal Attaturk was of Albanian descent. I didn’t know that many were in Israel. That’s pretty interesting.
First white mans walk on the American land was the Europeans.Then more white mans come here.The brough here technologie and fait of God.You idiots dont know nothink about the Erope.You should go back to school so you dont get left behind.All like contact lens,color picture,caterpillar microvave and many many more come from there.So be happy you dont have to do nothink so go a head and cry and bitch that you are good in that.
Might I remind you that the US didn’t give the black people the vote until over 150 years after your so called ‘perfect’ constitution was written.
Your blog is flawed and as biased than Rupert Murdoch (Who is he you ask?). You automatically dismiss Islam even though it is a culturally rich and morally correct religion. Your as bad as the nazis for thinking that muslims are backward because believe me they are more than you could ever imagine. And don’t blame them for 911!
And as for your comments about Europe, I wouldn’t ever considering visiting, if you ever intend expressing your view in public. You americans are so immature you cannot accept that everyone is equal and therefore strive to look better than their neighbour.
If anyone is backward it is the republicans, who are more concerned about keeping the rich happy with low taxes and condemning the poor to a slow death. And you complain about immigrated crime. Your government and citizens have no support for one another and care more about the green stuff than the people who need it the most.
And for what it’s worth: Obama for President!
You are truly a moron. Thanks for stopping by though.
You have no idea what you’re talking about.
Europe is centuries old- cross cultural complexity has developed in a way America has not had chance to imagine because like a baby, it has been distracted from everything but it’s birth. It is still a very simplistic culture. This is why you are a racist, dogmatic, shizophrenic, inward-looking, power-hungry, dangerous nation.
“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.”
C22Rocks, a word in your ear. Not all Europeans are fans of our ancient feudal, inheritance based, class-system based, nationalist-fuckhead inspired history.
And I think you’ll find that Europe was already a “centuries old cross cultural complexity”(?), when the Nazis arrived on the scene, and when the Serbian ethnic cleansers started getting busy. And today, amid all the ancient cultural complexity that so blesses us, we are witnessing the creeping rise of a new wave of ethnic nationalism across the continent.
So you can stuff your stupid Eurocentric snobbery and your anti-American projection up your arse, basically.
Thanks for your comment. The last two shit-heads who spewed nonsense on this essay never bothered to check my bio, where they would have found out that I am not, in fact, an American citizen, but just another European myself.
I thought that if they weren’t serious enough about their own verbal contributions to check such a basic fact before opining away, then I ought to not take them seriously enough to even dignify them with a response.
You said all there needs to be said anyway.
Jimmah- “Not all Europeans are fans of our ancient feudal, inheritance based, class-system based, nationalist-fuckhead inspired history.”
And just where did I say I was? You aren’t reading what I have written.
I also never said it was “a “centuries old cross cultural complexity””, but that “cross cultural complexity [in Europe] has developed in a way America has not had chance to imagine….” meaning that America is not experienced in the same historic way that Europe is. We’ve been united and divided throughout the centuries in ways America hasn’t, simply because America is still young, with the ideology of the young.
Likewise, I did not infer that the ancient cultural complexity blesses us.
I am not a proponent of Eurocentric snobbery- I am merely pointing out that things are much much more complex than the article suggests regarding the European situation.
Where I think Europe is GENERALLY superior to America is that we have significantly more progressive politics than the US. It’s all about the individual and personal liberty in the US, whereas much of Europe, despite all the faults, is more for the wealth of the society than the individual, hence national and international systems of welfare, health, transport, and so on which are communally funded.
Americans (I know I generalise) are very wary of socialist or communist policy, but it has worthwhile and positive elements which the US does not contemplate.
I am not Anti-American on a personal level; my dislike is for the way in which US society is organised, and the appparent dog-eat-dog approach most there seem to favour. It is beyond my ken that America does not repeal its’ gun laws, for example. And then, when you get shot and can’t afford hospital you’re in big trouble if you don’t have health insurance…
medaura- you label me a “shit-head”. Why? I thought this was a debate, not a slanging match. You don’t do yourself any favours.
The fact that you are what you are is neither here nor there- American, European, Chinese, I don’t care- I was discussing what you’d written, not you. Your bio has nothing to do with it.
At least now you are taking somewhat thoughtfully instead of just dropping a little angry ‘bomb’ of no pretense to engage or discuss ideas. In your first comment you wrote “You have no idea what you’re talking about. … This is why you are a racist, dogmatic, shizophrenic, inward-looking, power-hungry, dangerous nation.
Before jumping into an analysis of the content of your remarks, it is clear that you assume that I am American for praising America’s ideological structure and criticizing Europe’s. That is also a very European collectivist ethno-supremacist attitude, according to which one assumes that someone may not reasonably bash his or her own culture or cultural roots in favor of the values of a foreign nation.
You use the vilest and most ferocious personal invective to collectively smear an entire nation, which is telling of your ideological background, deeply rooted in collectivism. The essential differential you perceive between “Europe” (there is no such thing as Europe, other than a geographical designation, but broadly speaking) and America is collectivism (fascism, socialism, communism, redistribution of wealth, populist democracy/mob rule) versus individualism (liberty, free enterprise, individual rights, limited government, constitutional republic). In this you are largely correct: That is the philosophical dilemma. You side with collectivism as an inspiration to politics and philosophy, while my essay repudiates it.
I wrote quite a good deal here to make my case, while you only dropped an angry collective diarrhea of insults, how America is a racist, schizophrenic, dogmatic, in-ward looking (whatever that means), power-hungry, dangerous nation. You say things are more complex than my essay suggest, but you resort to more generalizations than I do, and simply things even further: equality vs liberty.
You don’t understand at all how predictable that anti-American, anti-capitalist bile is. You do not understand how deterministic your thinking is. You are a stereotypical product of Western European public education of recent decades. You have been brainwashed with a neurotic hatred of America and of individualism by the same failing socialist public education which has not managed to teach you the grammatical difference between “it’s” and “its”. This is meant as no personal offense: What you wrote here, I could find thousands of trolls all over the internet to spew perfectly interchangeable comments on the same subject. However powerful and personal your emotions may be, you need to understand that your ideas are not at all original, and millions of youths in your corner of the world have been indoctrinated with these exact same talking points.
To some extent, of course we are a product of our circumstances, our upbringing, and education. But what distinguishes us from animals and rocks, is our will, free within bounds. We can at times begin to question everything around us, and choose to think with our own heads. I hope you would do just that. Stop for a minute, forget what you have been told in the classroom, by your media, by your pundits, and think critically:
The United States of America is by no means a perfect country, but all of its imperfections can be traced back to aspects it shares with Europe: the rise of socialism as the dogma du jour in its intellectual institutions, universities, public schools, media, and the citizenry’s mindset; the growing size of government; the pollution and dilution of the ideals of its 18th-century founders.
Far from being a naive child with a blank slate for an ideological foundation, with a coarse and primitive cultural complexion (unlike Europe’s centuries old refined cultural complexity which you allude to), the USA is a child with the very best and idealistic and humane cream of the crop of Europe’s philosophical tradition, reincarnated in its young political soul.
The US Founding Fathers were of course, learned (often self-taught) idealistic, however also pragmatic, radical Europeans –British nationals, specifically. America was the implementation of the best of Europe’s thought tradition, which Europe’s ignorant masses, corrupt clergy, chauvinistic ethno-supremacists, and power-hungry kings and noblemen, lacked the moral and intellectual audacity to adopt.
Don’t give me your silly talks about how “us Europeans” have been united and divided throughout centuries in uniquely instructive ways. You are talking of your corner of Europe, the British rivalries, wars, and treaties with the French and the Spanish, which were just expansive games of bigoted kings and queens. I could give less of a shit. In my corner of Europe, my country has been torched, invaded, its people ethnically cleansed, its territories used as pawns and spoils by your kin, and finally divided among the British, the Germans, and the Russians, to appease their local vassals in the Balkans.
Don’t tell me about ‘dog-eat-dog’ approach. We know all Europe’s former super powers, including your own country, would keep their colonies if they still could. You have shed the imperialist cloak way too recently to be speaking with such ethos about egalitarian causes. You have merely replaced one kind of aggressive chauvinistic collectivist attitude, with a self-loathing, relativist, masochistic, decaying collectivism.
As for the merits of socialism, please just take an introductory course in Economics. You will be a much more enlightened individual for it. Even better, read Adam Smith, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Ludvig Von Mises, Frederick Von Hayek. If you don’t care enough to delve into these issues you have been so emotional about in these comments, but want to give individualistic ideas a fair try before knocking them, then at least read only the very short book by Frederic Bastiat, “The Law”.
We can talk then.
C22, smarting from his edjumacation, sticks tongue out and scarpers.
Who’s scarpered? This is really tosh. Some suggestions- read up on the history and development of political, social, industrial, and commercial power in America.
Find out who is pulling the strings behind the public face of power there, how they have destabilised areas of the world to garner resources and riches and “influence”, how they manage the money supply, how they use tax-dollars to bolster their Imperial ambitions.
Find out how the disaffected minorities and ethnically different have been, and still are regarded there.
Find out how poor the poor actually are.
Look at how the Right wing Christian lobby inhibits choice and movement for those falling outside it’s sphere; how they seek to control immigration with violence, threats, and intimidation.
That ought to be enough for starters.
Let’s face it, I don’t have much chance of changing your minds. And neither do you of mine. However, I can not see America as the ideal- to my mind it is, despite it’s glories, a deeply divided and divisive nation which despite being told it is not welcome continues to pervade much of the world in search of control and influence, choosing to dominate rather than engage.
Read what? A People’s History of the United States? Is that your source? Or read conspiracy theory troll websites? Word in the streets? Where should I look up this information you allude to?
Please enlighten me. I know how “they” manage the money supply. I’ve written my honors thesis on the very subject.
Just what are you talking about?
My mind has been changed many times over in the past, so it is not impossible for you to write something thoughtful and fact/source-backed, which could prompt me to change my perspective. If you think changing my mind on anything is too arduous a task, then how about at least challenging me properly.
What you have written so far falls very short. Perhaps you should learn the difference between “its” and “it’s” before opining on socio-cultural phenomena of our time.
I expect you’ll dismiss it as deluded propaganda, but http://www.myspace.com/c22rocks
has some stuff with plenty of links to spin you in different directions- and the blog there, too.
My command of the language may not quite live up to your exacting standards, but I can try to clarify any lack of understanding I may be causing you, for which I most humbly apologise.
Thanks, but no thanks. I will not be enlightened on matters of global relevance by links spinning around in a MySpace profile. I gave you specific authors and books you could pursue if you wanted to dip your mind in the “other side” for a while, you give me links on your MySpace profile?
Plus I did check it, and almost gave me a seizure. That’s a very tacky use of color and graphics.
Sorry, you lost me.
So, a blanket refusal to even consider an opposite perspective- gee, what a surprise!
Tosh, and more tosh!
And yes, I like tacky. Each to his/her own? You see, you are the one consistently hurling vitriol and abuse; something you claim I was guilty of, but, in fact, never was.
I’m gone, since we are wasting time. Feel free to come back to me, you have details if you wish to use them.
The “opposite perspective” has long been initially embraced thoughtlessly, then studied, reconsidered, and finally rejected. That’s right. I used to be a moonbat of sorts myself, until the age of 16.
The strife you have to offer is nothing new to me. I enlightened my way out of it. They tried to re-indoctrinate me with it in university. I did my own research and came out with my brain intact. That’s right, economics is taught with a distinctly Marxist or Keynesian flavor anywhere.
You are the one who has not considered the “opposite perspective”.
And I feel about as bad and arrogant for dismissing your tacky MySpace crap as any passerby at a nudist protest would. If you want to be taken seriously, make an effort to present yourself and your case seriously.
You are the one who came here calling an entire nation of over 300 million people “racist, dogmatic, shizophrenic, inward-looking, power-hungry, and dangerous”. And you expect anyone to waste time at your MySpace?
I think we’re done here.
Ok I do find it necessary to state that I am a US citizen but have lived in the UK for the past six years, along with living in Paris for two years, and Australia for four. I have a wide view of the world and how different cultures and religions function within each given society. I found certain elements of your article insulting, for instance by recognizing the fact that the US constitution centers itself around personal freedom and then immediately stating that if one is to choose the muslim religion they are rejecting this belief is hypocritical. It is their choice, they have the right, and the freedom to make that choice. I myself have several close muslim friends, two of which are women, and they, despite common belief, are not slaves to their religion. The core of the muslim religion disconnected from political differences in its majority states, is a beautiful religion. You should really try reading up on it with an unbiased outlook. I also found your statements about how the USA saved Europe in both world wars very one sided. In WWII the USA refrained from entering until 1945 with the USSR suffering massive casualties due to their holding down the entire Eastern front! Personally I think, that whilst you seem to be a very well learnt person, you are lacking an open minded view about the muslim religion. They are no different than you or I, it is just that some areas of their countries are still in a state of political reform, such as would be found in any countries who have been victim to war for the past two hundred years. Personally, I feel that you are spreading the stereotypical ignorance that so many ‘europeans’ find so very simple of the American population. And we have much more to offer.
Please point out where I have stated that if one is to choose the Muslim religion, one is rejecting the constitutional provisions for personal freedom.
Im British and I totally agree with Ali Oxbrow, it is a very narrow view of europe. I’ve also travelled abit and lived in Germany for 12 years and theres no cultural comparison. you sum-up europe as a whole and I dont think you can do that, every european country is completely different . When you mention the Western World, America is included too so your not just bringing down europe but america too. I’ve not been to America yet but im sure it does have alot to offer along with the european states as equals.
“I do make a distinction between the headscarf and the full-body burqa: while the former is simply disgraceful, the latter should be illegal to wear in public because it covers the face along with enough loose space in the gut area for its wearer to comfortably squeeze in a concealed weapon, which has practical ramifications for criminals on the run and would-be bank robbers.” Can you not see the insult that statement holds? Baggy sweatshirts could also hold a gun, I myself would not wear something that requires me to cover my body but I will not begrudge others for choosing differently from me? Perhaps you didn’t mean it so directly malovent towards the muslim religion but that was how it was portrayed.
Basically your first sentence of this entire article is where the insult lies. But you know, in all honest I don’t really care enough to get into any sort of debate, I’m sure your wrapped up in about ten of them a day, so whats the point of dragging myself down as well. Your article was very interesting, thanks for giving me something to get annoyed enough at to reply against. Ciao
Honestly, there are so many other ways to disguise yourself and conceal a weapon that are equally threatening, and even harder to recognize. I.E if you are wearing a wig with sunglasses and/or fake facial hair. You can always wear a big enough of a jacket to conceal a weapon just as effectively as a full body scarf. And I don’t understand how you would find a head scarf disgraceful, I would imagine that as respectful for a women to respect herself like that, of course only if it is because she wants to, not because of other pressure, which unfortunately it typically is. I honestly don’t love the Burqa, but I can respect it. Still, I can see how one may feel threatened by the full body cloak, but I don’t think one should be so paranoid…..