There is no European viewpoint…

04/27/2002

There’s a hell of a lot of simmering resentment pouring out of America at the moment towards Europe and Europeans. Large portions of the right-wing media are full of it, but it’s not only there. There seems to be resentment about the temerity of ‘Europeans’ to dare to comment on US politics or US foreign policy. I’m not going to comment on any of those things except to say that this idea of a one-nation Europe which shares an ideological position is complete bunk. Scandinavia have some of the most highly taxed and yet progressively left-wing politics in the world. Some European countries are incredibly poor comparatively. Some seem naturally right-wing, some left-wing. Many wounds still exist from hundreds and hundreds of years of co-existence. My mother still refers to the French as ‘our natural enemy’ (however much I beg her to stop). All the national stereotypes still exist. All the old enmities and alliances remain. All the individual national prides and ways of doing things – all the different senses of what is ‘naturally right’ as well. Referring to ‘Europeans’ as an unqualified mass is like referring to ‘Americans’ in the true sense – and intimating that the USA, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and all the other Central and South American states share a clear and unified view of what their continents should be moving towards. The difference is that Europe is gradually moving together, as the Americas move apart… For good or ill, only time can tell…