Re: Why Europe is so Contrary

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Thu 28 Nov 2002 - 20:49:44 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: Why Europe is so Contrary"

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Grant Callaghan" <> To: <> Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 1:51 AM Subject: Re: Why Europe is so Contrary
    > I'd say the greatest biasing factor for Europe is the number of different
    > culutures and languages that influence policy making and world view. The
    > various European cultures have been fighting and dominating each other for
    > milliniums now. Most of the protestant church groups sprang up in
    > opposition to Catholicism in Europe first and than spread to parts of the
    > U.S. The U.S. assimilated these various groups relatively peacefully
    > Europe fought over them and hundreds of thousands of people died over
    > Our religious debates were downright gentlemanly by comparison.
    > The result in Europe has been large groups of people with strong opinions
    > who are willing to die for what they believe in. Americans, on the other
    > hand, are willing to die for what we believe in as a nation but seldom
    > that way about individual faiths. We don't have members of one faith
    > to domainate members of another faith for religious reasons. Members of
    > faith may look down on members of another faith but we don't have
    > wars about it. At least, we didn't until the Muslims came.
    > America, with its mere 200 years of assimilation fighting for such beliefs
    > as the idea that sheep ruin the land for cattle and that the only good
    > indian is a dead indian. We also believe that any man has the potential
    > become president of the U.S. and such men as Bill Clinton, Abraham Lincoln
    > and John Kennedy seemed to prove the point. They said Kennedy would never
    > become president because he was a Catholic. But we didn't have to fight a
    > civil war for him to prove it. In Europe, Protestants, Catholics and
    > Eastern Orthodox groups are still fighting to the death in some places.
    > Such divisions make for strong opinions about the memes that make one
    > religion different from another and one group's concept of what is right
    > wrong compared to another.
    > The advent of radio, television, and the movies have made the U.S.
    > relatively homogenous by comparison. We all picked up pretty much the
    > values from media that differed little from one place to another. I
    > an old "Beyond the Fringe" skit in which a Brit is comparing American
    > political parties and says In America they have the Democrats who are
    > similar to the British Liberal party and the Republicans who are like the
    > British Liberal party. Despite the fact that we have so many different
    > nationalities and faiths in the U.S. the basic ideas about government and
    > foreign policy are pretty much the same across the land. Instead of
    > fighting about which religion should be in control, we fight about
    > policy. That seems much more important to the average American than
    > religion.

    Grant, Joe,

    Yes I can see your point, though, but from my POV that is maybe the fact I dislike the most in the American/ Usasian attitude, that there ain 't
    ' individuality ' in it. You seem to think all quite the same, one country, one nation, one voice !

    IMO, what you described in above can be seen as a ' faith ', no doubt a positive one from your side of the channel when you look at it, but from my side of the great pond I see a country that is willing to impose its " democratic " values and its compulsary memes upon the rest of the world. If you don 't realize that for others that is unacceptable you ' re in the wrong country.

    Oh I believe that is part of the American tradition and part of the ways by which America was founded, but it seems fair to say if you see the European cultural/ social/ political diversity as the major point why we don 't engage ourselves in a stupid war, than you make me upset. Than is the ways by which Americans, like you and Joe talk to us the Europeans a question of " culture " ! If you say that the diversity, like Joe seems to indicate, is a flaw to the reason why we don 't go to war with Iraq, than you attack our/ my way of life... and I am not a Radical Muslim, far from it !

    It is this kind of attitude, this kind of reasoning, the lack of patriotism that you see as a slur on the European vail, that we/ I dislike ! It is just in the diversity of our, yes, bloody cultures we find peace and ease of mind, and yes, the same diversity holds us back to become a true European nation, but at least we hold back the praises of wherein patriotism and sacrifice of authoritatives are displayed.... That kind of conservatism is since long replaced by the Enlightment and Modernism and even Post- Modernism.

    And please, stop the stupid phrase that you have rescued us ! I am from the second generation after WWII and, really I don 't care,...the war is since long over, each year we remerber the deaths, but you ain 't gonna get that meme in my head ! We the younger generation don 't care that the US helped us, we don 't even border to say thanks ! Why should we !? It was and still isn 't our war, and moreover, the war on terrorism is not our war either !

    For far I can tell, in Europe, Western Europe there hasn 't been an attack by any Muslim organisation in the sense of disctating us to confert ourselves to Islam ! The hardest things that happened here were demonstrations and a few riots the last couple of days in Antwerp. And than again, when a racistic whitey shoots a Marokkian man out of, what now seems to be psychological distress, and when the Marokkian community haunts the streets shouting we' re all racists and don 't even border to watch_ its so spoonfed.

    The possible, maybe real danger is that AEL movement, the Arabic European Liga, which is defending the ' rights ' of the Arabic community in Europe, with no support within that commu- for the time be... On the other hand, we had Trabalsi, a footballplayer who tried to blow up the American embassy in Paris, but failed, but again, there is no real threat. And today, after the attacks in Kenya, the police set a double- guard at the gates of the Jewish neigbourhood in Antwerp, but that's soldiers in the streets, nothing !

    You 're getting panaroid folks ! And like 9/ 11 indicates you have good reasons to be, but don 't compare Europe to your home country, we' re different and I like it to stay it that way. Maybe we're in the wrong and the future will tell, but don 't try to get us hooked on the terrorism- meme. Denile maybe works for us, let us be ! Fights your wars, but leave us out of them.


    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 28 Nov 2002 - 20:34:37 GMT