This is a guest post from our long-time reader and commenter John Hadjisky, who comments as "John in Michigan" on Atlantic Review
I've been thinking about how to explain the trans-Atlantic relationship to an average citizen on either side, in broad strokes. Part of the problem is a lack of common vocabulary. Here on Atlantic Review we tend to bash away at that problem using a combination of rants and highly technical analysis. I have nothing but praise for a good rant, especially one that attracts readers. But, rants have obvious problems. Technical arguments, meanwhile, at best are wonkish, and at worst are nit-picking.
Occasionally, however, we get some real gems here. So for my first official guest post, I decided to mine the archives and highlight what I like best about Atlantic Review. I hope everyone will add their own "best of" links.
1. Our own "Parable of the Nets" regarding social welfare.
2. How is consensus politics different from competitive politics? Electoral and legislative procedures, obviously, but that can get boring. We've had better luck discussing:
3. We've even managed a bizarre mix of fact checking and ranting, resulting in some gems of understanding:
Setting the Record Straight: Carl Benz from Germany Invented the Car
In preparing this post, I also discovered some new gems of unknown quality:
1. European politics is opera; American politics is sport. Discuss.
2. Can literature, or even film (heh), illuminate the trans-Atlantic relationship?
Europeans correctly point out that combative American politics is obsessed with winners and losers, resulting in a rougher discourse and, by definition, alienation (of the losers, at least). On the other hand, Americans could point out that dramatic European politics is excessively dependent on what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called a "willing suspension of disbelief".
That phrase to me nicely captures the dangers but also the epic possibilities of the EU.
Americans, as is our wont, take an approach that is both more practical, and more religious: "If you build it, he will come" So: you have to build something physical. Also, in that film, "he" is the protagonist's father, from whom the protagonist was alienated. But "he" could be interpreted as a Messiah figure also. This line is often misquoted as "if you build it, they will come" which is a reference to the twisted politics and economics of building a sports stadium...or perhaps an Olympics bid.
What film or book comes to mind when you think of the EU? To my fellow Americans: bonus points if you can answer this question without invoking Orwell.
What are your favorite posts or comments on Atlantic Review?
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