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Ever since the terrorist attacks on America last September, Americans have been indulging in an incredible amount of self-flagellation. Everywhere you look, leftists are claiming that America has got its just deserts for years of oppression and meddling, whilst rightists are being hysterically suspicious of foreign cultures and nations, which, given America's multicultural makeup, is hardly better than being suspicious of America itself.
This masochistic tendency is not unique to America. It is shared by most countries with Anglo-Saxon origins. Britain is famously self-deprecating, and Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders have their moments too. Self-flagellation, however, needs self-confidence, and the quality and quantity of the attacks on America by Americans show self-confidence that Imperial Rome could envy.
An example of this can be seen by perusing the bestseller lists. The #1 bestseller is Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation by Michael Moore, the ESR of the left, in that he is a "fat, self-aggrandizing, intellectually lazy gasbag." This book is nothing but a huge, preposterous attack on America, and is in a long tradition of self critical idiocy churned out by American authors. Considering that many in Europe and around the world consider America to be complacent & arrogant, it should surprise outsiders to see that denigrating America in America is very popular. Everybody around the world is intimately acquainted with America's problems, whether it is the effects of slavery, racial unrest, or urban decay, precisely because America is so fond of being self critical and broadcasting these flaws to the world in its films, books, plays and art. America is derided for having a low culture, and yet that culture is uncannily sophisticated
Europeans who bash American culture, and sneer at Hollywood, pulp fiction and mass marketing would do well to remember that just because Europe has a strong cultural heritage, this does not make it the eternal beau ideal. America is the daughter of Europe, and as such it can count all of Europe's historical cultural achievements as its own. The big difference is that America has built on this, invented new Art forms and integrated this European heritage with it's inheritance from the rest of the world, too. The most sublimely Protean of nations, America has had to reinvent itself many times, in its journey from optimistic irrelevance to global leadership. Europe, meanwhile, has stagnated and sacrificed the ideals it invented. If we compare the Britain of the 19th century to the Britain of today, we can see that then Britain was a lot more "American" than it is now. It had a strong work ethic, it believed fervently in civil rights, freedom, liberalism and the economic laissez faire. Now, like most European nations, it has sunk to a form of state despotism.
Britain in the 19th century fervently believed it had a civilising purpose in the world. Other nations, like France in the late 18th century, & Russia in the early 20th, have also felt themselves "chosen ones," moved to spread their absolutely correct ideals across the globe. This can be dangerous, when you believe that the ideals of your nation are absolute; certainly, the long course towards the Prussian Wars, the Great War and WWII could be said to originate when German philosophers, thinkers and (in general) German culture were marginalised by the absolutist, revolutionary French with their universalist chants of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
The big difference is that for these other nations, these idealistic moments of national zeal and mission were fortunately brief and don't run deep. America, though, is idealistic to it's core. It's very psyche is founded upon such idealism, and the tacit belief that the American conception of liberty, democracy and freedom is the only reasonable one, and should be universal to all Mankind. Unlike the warped, hypocritical ideals of revolutionary France and Imperial Brittannia, with America we have some hope that these ideals are indeed universal.
America is the only nation to be founded on certain inviolable principles. These principles - equality, liberty, government by consent, natural law, representation, the rule of law, separation of powers and limited government - aren't just another possible set of principles by which to govern a nation. They are much more - they are fundamentally right. Just think of the alternatives in each case - inequality, illiberalness, government by fiat, etc etc, and it is stunningly obvious that these ideals are supreme and better. We must wonder why anti-Americans are anti-American at all - what can their beef possibly be with these ideals? In Europe, one suspects, the problem is that these ideals are thought of well, but only partially implemented, if at all. This requires a kind of double-think, one must simultaneously uphold the rightness of such ideals whilst ignoring the flagrant flouting of them by one's own government.
More than this, Europeans like to think they are beyond principles. Certainly, you won't find any who openly disagree with the principles outlined above, but they just adore their pragmatism. They regard the welfare of the people as being above all ideals, which is all fine and dandy until one starts to wonder who is deciding what about the welfare of the people, on what basis. Consider if America were called upon by an elite of bankers and industrialists to give up the dollar and hand control over to some unaccountable foreign central bank. Imagine this being decided upon without any democratic input, nary a vote being cast, and then just DONE, no dollar, *poof*! An impossible scenario, you may think, but that is just what happened throughout much of continental Europe. In every policy area, European nations have a disgustingly patronising attitude to their unfortunate subjects, whether it is seat belt laws or anti-gun philistinism. Perhaps this is alien, unnatural to you, that nations supposedly part of the West have such backwards attitudes to democracy, but you have to consider that these countries are really just emergent democracies. Most of them have been democratic for about 50 years, if that, and even those that have some claim to being vaguely democratic for longer, such as Britain, have only historically paid lip service to democracy to fob off working class discontent.
Perhaps the worst thing of all is the coddled complacency of Europeans themselves. My British friends disgust me, not only do they swallow every government dictat with the wide eyed, guzzling acceptance of a Kings Cross prostitute, whether it is the notion that the government has a right to dock 20% of your earnings to cater for the health of others through the ghastly NHS or that they have a perfect duty to stick cameras up everywhere, filming you in what should be private moments, especially in Kings Cross, of course.
Poor Europe, sad and bedraggled, is being left behind by America, a nation that can truly be said to be the ultimate expression of the West. Every idea that is peculiar to the West has been expressed in its most extreme form in America, while Europe itself, progenitor of these ideas, has decayed into a pre-renaissance state.
To establish true democracy, Europe needs nothing short of a popular revolution. Sadly, the governments of that continent have long since perfected the trick of keeping populations soporific and compliant.
My only choice is to move to a land that had a revolution and did all this a long long time ago