Philobiblon: Worth clicking through the advert ...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Worth clicking through the advert ...

... even though it is inappropriately for a ridiculously large and expensive car, for an excellent article on on the "new Cold War" between America and Europe, a "war" of social ideologies which unfashionably, at least from the British perspective, it suggests Europe is soundly winning.

It concludes:

The rise of the European Union may in fact, as Rifkin says, represent a new phase of history, and we barely saw it coming. While the outcome of this new cold war between Europe and America is far from clear, we should feel humbled by the way it's gone so far. The EU has succeeded so dramatically in its ambitious goals that the utopian dreamers of the last century who dared to imagine a peaceful, prosperous, united Europe seem eerily prescient now. If nothing else, it's an object lesson in the power of vision.
"I am a democrat," James Joyce wrote in 1916, while an entire generation of Europe's young men were slaughtering each other in the fields of Flanders. "I'll work and act for the social liberty and equality among all classes and sexes in the United States of the Europe of the future." People read that and laughed bitterly. Europe seemed poisoned by mustard gas and history; America was the land of liberty, democracy and the future. Nobody's laughing now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a really thought-provoking piece, thanks for the link.

It's a reminder of something Europhiles here in Britain (or elsewhere in Europe, no doubt) can forget when shaking our heads over Europhobia: peace and *any* kind of unity in Europe is so new. Inconceivable just a couple of generations ago. Plus, what's been created is itself something without any real political precedent; no wonder it's tough going.

That does also bring into focus something we're also in danger of forgetting after the decades of peace within Europe, just what might be at stake if the EU should fail. However imperfect the EU, however problematic European 'unity', disunited Europe was - consistently, for centuries - lethal.


11/18/2004 10:16:00 am  

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