We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


Although he is not the first to comment on the large (and growing) rift between the USA and Europe, James Bennett delivers up a superb analysis of the role of Tony Blair in trying to act as a bridge between them and why he may well end up as political hamburger as a result:

“As always, the biggest problem is the inherent structural one implied in Blair’s strategy: the assumption that by integrating more completely into the European Union, Britain is also serving America’s interests by being a bridge between the two continents. This is not an eccentric position; it has been the standard assumption of the American foreign policy establishment from the end of the Second World War. It is, however, wrong. Where it fails is the assumption that Europe as a whole and America are sufficiently alike that their interests will naturally be aligned.

Jim is spot on. For all his blather about ‘modernisation’, Blair has both feet firmly planted in the past, seemingly unaware of his inability to bridge the gulf between the two civilisations and equally oblivious to the harsh fact that the gulf may not be bridgeable at all. This is not just about the Middle East or Iraq; they are merely symptoms of a divergence that is economic, political, cultural and even spiritual.

In some senses, the EU and Radical Islam have more in common. Their respective visions are, for sure, not the same, but they do share the quality of being a settled view about the way the world should be and neither can really brook any meaningful alternatives, lest their own visions be undermined. For Radical Islam, the answer is endless Jihad; for the EU the answer is the Kyoto Protocol, the ICC and global regulation. In both cases, the message to America is the same: submit.

For the EU elite, America is like a rebellious teenager that they simply don’t understand. How can they insist on sovereignty when it obstructs ‘progress’? How can they insist on the right of self-defence when we know that true security comes only through concessions and negotiation? How dare they cherish Western values when we know that all values are equal? For the Eurocrats, America is not just mystifying, it’s offensive.

But there is also a deeper, darker cause of Europe’s mistrust. The political classes of Europe may disagree on many things but of on one issue there is no dissent: the European Union and the overriding importance of creating a country called ‘Europe’. Everything else, all policy, all laws and all effort must be focussed on melding together a continent’s worth of fractious nations into one monolithic political and social entity with one government, one flag, one currency, one voice etc. They can’t do it and they know in their hearts that they can’t do it. So instead of having an identity, they are creating an anti-identity and that anti-identity is anti-America. It is how the EU will define itself, being unable to define itself by any other totems.

Regardless of the fate of the Iraqi regime, America will most likely get more American and, Europe, with the cancer of post-modernism coded into its DNA, will get more anti-American. Cold War it may not be, but it will be cold. Freezing, in fact.

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