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philjit
Arch-Enemy of Idealism

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 13056
Just read this at THT

quote:


David C. Stolinsky
Thursday, May 9, 2002

My forebears came to America not only to live in America but also to get away from Europe. The same was true for millions of other families.

Who, after all, decides to leave the homeland of his ancestors, probably never to return? Someone who is rich and successful? Someone who owns property and has servants? Someone who enjoys the benefits of a good education? Someone who is satisfied with the way things are?

No, one who decides to uproot himself and his family must overcome the fear of traveling to a distant land, where he will have to learn a new language and new customs. He must leave familiar surroundings and people, and hope to make new friends and adapt to new surroundings.

In short, he must discard the past and trust in the future.

Why would someone want to do that? Specifically, what would he want to get away from?

In some cases, immigrants wanted to get away from crushing debts, and occasionally from criminal charges. More often, they wanted to escape persecution for having the "wrong" religion, or being from the "wrong" ethnic or social group. As a rule, immigrants did not "fit in" with the status quo.

They did not want to be forced to follow their fathers' trades. They did not "get along" in the class system. They did not "take orders well" or "keep in their places." To the contrary, they wanted to go to a country where, in Lincoln's words, people were less interested in who their grandfathers were than in who they were.

They wanted the freedom to practice their religion openly, or not practice it, or convert to another religion – and so long as they were good neighbors and hard workers, few would notice, much less persecute them.

It is only natural that a nation peopled with such self-selected individuals would value individualism highly. This has its drawbacks. Loss of the "neighborhood" and breakup of the extended family may be the prices we pay for individualism.

But a nation of individualists doesn't stratify itself into rigid social or educational classes. It doesn't segregate itself into ethnic or religious groups from which it is difficult to escape. Rather, it tends to see people as people, not merely as representatives of their social class or ethnic group.

A nation of individualists uses accents to tell from which part of the country one comes, not whether one is a member of the "in" group. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush needed no speech coaches to become president.

In contrast, though she graduated from a prestigious university, Margaret Thatcher had to hire a speech coach to rid her of her "working-class accent" before she could be taken seriously – and eventually become prime minister of Great Britain.

What we consider irrelevant is believed by Europeans to be important – accent, religion or lack of it, social "class," and ethnic background. We do not dwell on history, even our own. To paraphrase Lincoln, we are less interested in where we have been than in where we are going.

Europeans spend much of their time looking backward. Perhaps that is why they so often fall into holes. In the past century they fell into some really deep ones – Nazism, fascism and communism. In so doing, they hurt not only themselves but also the whole world.

How many tens of millions were slaughtered worldwide by these "isms"? How much human misery have they produced – and still produce? How many future despots studied in Europe, or at least got their ideas from there? Recall Ayatollah Khomeini, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot and Chairman Mao.

The destructive influence of Europe continues to this day. Jew haters in the Middle East are printing and circulating Arabic translations of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," an anti-Semitic forgery by the Russian czar's secret police.

Even the "religious" fanatic bin Laden may be an example. True, he exhorts his followers to mass murder and suicide bombing with the resultant 72 virgins. But if you can get past that, you find a hatred of capitalism and Western culture that would make a communist or an anti-world trade activist proud.

Question: What do you get if you take Middle Eastern religious fanaticism, then add Nazi hatred of Jews, communist hatred of businessmen, and European contempt for America?

That is, what do you get if you take a religious zealot and add a dash of Hitler, a pinch of Stalin, and a spoonful of European "intellectual," then bake it in the desert sun?

Answer: Bin Laden and those like him.

I studied European history, even if it is filled with ethnic and religious strife. I appreciate beautiful cathedrals, even if they are almost empty of worshipers. I enjoy great art and music, even if almost all of it was created centuries ago. I love European history, because that is where Europe's greatness lies.

But the glory has departed. In fact, it's long gone. What remains is a hotbed of "isms" that vie with one another to be the most destructive. What remains is a place almost devoid of religion but still filled with bigotry. What remains is an area almost empty of Jews but still filled with anti-Semitism.

What remains is a place rich in museums and concert halls, but from which little art or music now originates. What remains is people who look down their noses at American culture, but whose current art and music are often poor imitations of it.

What remains is people who, unlike those who left for the New World, dwell in the past and are fainthearted about the future.

What remains is moral relativism, cowardice and indifference – cloaked in the mantle of nonviolence and objectivity. But sometimes the mantle slips, revealing what lies beneath. It is not a pretty sight.

What remains is people who are proud of their history, but who ignore the ugly parts of it. ("Centuries of anti-Semitism? Pogroms? The Holocaust? No problem, the Israelis are occupying the West Bank, so now we're even. Let's go burn a synagogue!")

What remains is history books filled with stories of brave soldiers who defeated powerful tyrants, but cities filled with living cowards who dare not confront two-bit dictators today. ("What, our oil may be cut off? Quick! Kiss the Saudis' behinds, and if necessary, their camels' behinds.")

What remains is people who talk endlessly of their "pride" and "honor," but who think only of their profit. ("Saddam Hussein is building weapons of mass destruction? Nonsense! We do business with him.")

What remains is cemeteries filled with American soldiers, airmen and Marines who died to rescue Europe twice, but people who ceaselessly condemn America for being too "militaristic." ("Gratitude? We don't need no stinking gratitude!")

When "intellectuals" moan that we are going against what the Europeans consider wise, we should be reassured that we are doing the right thing.

When foreign policy "experts" warn that we may have to go it alone, we should be grateful that we are not following in the footsteps of those who started two catastrophic world wars with their folly.

And when universities are filled with people who condemn our leaders, we should be proud that those who most resemble Europeans are against us. That is a good sign we are heading in the right direction.

America is the un-Europe. Our founders planned it that way, thank God. Two centuries of immigrants kept it that way, and so should we.




Comments?

edit: For anyone interested this guy is a medical doctor btw not an historian.

Last edited by philjit on 05-09-2002 at 11:06 AM

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Old Post 05-09-2002 10:46 AM
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skalie
Locksmith of Lurve

Registered: Sep 2001
Location: World Citizen
Posts: 18916

Shouldn't there be a midi-file attached to that?

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Old Post 05-09-2002 06:09 PM
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philjit
Arch-Enemy of Idealism

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 13056

quote:
Originally posted by skalie
Shouldn't there be a midi-file attached to that?


not that I am aware of. Mind you I had the speakers turned off when I read it.

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Old Post 05-09-2002 06:22 PM
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CHiPsJr
Ginger-headed Troll

Registered: Sep 2000
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7511

I search my memory in vain for any substantial contribution by Europe during the twentieth century. They have long been expert at confirming stereotypical notions of themselves as socialist weenies with a superiority complex who talk funny. Now, they appear to be largely politically correct while simultaneously being anti-Semitic, which is a hard trick to pull off. If I was Europe, I'd kick them out.

On the other hand, the article isn't very fair. I often find myself feeling the same sort of anger, but it's primarily a reaction to jingoistic European claims of cultural superiority or civilization.

If it's not true that European culture is invariably superior to American, the converse isn't true either. And the central thesis, about Europe being a place worth fleeing from, hasn't been true since World War Two. If that's the author's primary justification for blasting the continent, then the fact that the continent has become a place to immigrate to rather than from ought to defeat it.

Europe has given the world more than any other continent; those ideas which make America what it is (Locke in particular) originated in Europe, even if they never became as popular there as we might like.

Euro-weenies are my favorite foreigners, and I treat them no worse than I would an impoverished and unhygenic American with a severe speech impediment.

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Old Post 05-10-2002 06:20 PM
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Smug Git
Arrogance Personified

Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Hilbert Space
Posts: 36297

quote:
Originally posted by CHiPsJr

Euro-weenies are my favorite foreigners, and I treat them no worse than I would an impoverished and unhygenic American with a severe speech impediment.



For my part, I always try to treat americans like a favourite obese ignorant uncle.

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I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of

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Old Post 05-10-2002 06:23 PM
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euphorbia
caustic milk - hybrid

Registered: Apr 2001
Location: behind the irony curtain
Posts: 19147

hahahaha @ smug and JR points fer you.

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Old Post 05-10-2002 09:03 PM
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Itch
De Oppresso Liber

Registered: Jul 2001
Location:
Posts: 543

Interesting article there Phil, but I think it is slanted "just a bit" in favor of America.

I would agree that America is what it is because it was founded and its cultural paradigm cast by "a certain type" of european. Anyone raised here will have the same cultural paradigm hard-wired to their psyche. For a more precise understanding of what that paradigm is, check out the origins of our Constitution, the Magna Carta and on back.

I think America is on the cutting edge, has been pretty much since its birth, and will be for some time.

That said, I do not think we are "superior" as the article seemed to attempt to point out, and the achievments of Europe in the 20th century cannot be discounted. One can rattle of a very long list of philosophers (starting with sartre and ending who knows where), scientists (Jung and Freud come into mind for me) advances in technology (The Nazis, regardless of anything, played an extremely important role in the tech boom of the 20th century) and a whole host of other contributors.

One cannot veiw Nazism, antisemeticism etc etc as defining what we mean by "european" any more than one can veiw slavery, the conquest and displacement of natives etc etc as defining what we mean by "American".

Europe gave us and continues to give us its finest people, ideas, and ideals as well as some of its worst traits. We take these and forge the present. In America is manifest what seems to me to be some of europes highest ideals and worst sins.

America is what europe could/would be if it could ever get away from its self. If that makes any sense!

Here are the lyrics to a great song by Brian McNeill about a certain late 19th century Scottish immigrant to America. It seems to sum it all up niceley:


"Steel Man"

Come and stand, said the poor man, in the shadow of Carnegie,
he left the shores of fife without a penny to his name.
But he ended his days drinking wine with Lords and Ladies,
and across the wide Atlantic, my sons can do the same.

And the small boy looked up, at the statue on the hill,
at the gaze of the hard cold eyes,
hard enough to forge ambition from a poor mans will
and cold enough to temper it with lies

Roll the steel, make the iron in the soul of steel
make the iron horses roll on steel, all across the land
and to make the poor of Scottland as glad as they could stand
how many mens lives did he steal

Come and stand, said the teacher, in the shadow of Carnegie,
he gave palaces of learning to the sons of the poor
and even in the churches you can hear the people pray
that when the Lords gifts are gone, Carnegies will endure

and the small boy asked, how the palace could be built
with hardship and poverty for walls
when the greed of the giver morters every stone with guilt
and guilt's the coldest charity of all

Roll the steel, make the iron in the soul of steel
make the iron horses roll on steel, all across the land
and to place the seed of learning in a small boys hand
how many mens lives did he steal?

Come and stand, said the worker, in shadow of Carnegie
and sweat your ??? ??? worse than any tongue can tell
a pittance of a wage is all he ever paid me
and I hope he's fumbling yet in the deepest pit of hell

and the small boy asked, as he listened to the cry
how the man could be raised ever higher
if Carnegie was so bad, why did no lightning come
and cast him down into the fire

Roll the steel, make the iron in the soul of steel
make the iron horses roll on steel, all across the land
and to make himself the equal of the great and the grand
how many mens lives did he steal?

Lay the soul of a poor man on the anvil of ambition
watch the hammer blows come down and think before you blame
hesitant he wonders hes halfway dead ???
when the hand of compassion pulls his heart from the flames

Many broken hearts make the Carnegie Hall, better not to recon by far
But beware when you see the likes of Carnegie fall, for a giant falls
heavy and hard

Roll the steel, make the iron in the soul of steel
make the iron horses roll on steel, all across the land
and to make himself gaurdian who has ??? ????
How many mens lives did he steal?

__________________
World-freedom is as unlikely as world-peace because of free will. Many will choose to be unfree and many will choose to use force.
It only makes sense then that those who want to be free choose to also be the ones who use force. Why? Because freedom is better. It's that simple.


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Old Post 05-11-2002 06:22 AM
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philjit
Arch-Enemy of Idealism

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 13056

quote:
Originally posted by Itch
Interesting article there Phil, but I think it is slanted "just a bit" in favor of America.


you think?

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Old Post 05-11-2002 07:17 AM
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squee
the amen break

Registered: Jul 2001
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 4879

It's complete horseshit.

Those "individualists" have given way to a herd. Mass-marketed society. And they are allowing America to fall apart.

Europe is fucked up in its own special way. But this sounds like someone who doesn't really understand why America is great or what is wrong with it. A very narrow, Amero-centric viewpoint. Utter crap.

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What shows the shuttered window but all the evil you can imagine?

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Old Post 05-16-2002 01:01 AM
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