Skip to content

Anti-European Schadenfreude Rising?

When Foreign Policy featured an article on Anti-Europeanism in the United States as "Today's FP" cover, I got intrigued, but I was disappointed when I read this article Guardian columnist Simon Tisdall, which currently is FP's most read piece of the week. Old arguments about the Iraq war debate and last year's Obama trips to Europe.

Here are the more interesting paragraphs regarding the reason for Anti-European attitudes:

Fear, envy, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, cultural inferiority-superiority complexes, trade, political and military rivalries, and America's quest for identity all fed anti-European feeling as the new country sought to differentiate itself from the old countries whence most of its people came. Many of these phenomena remain relevant today.

"Expressing one's anti-European sentiment can be a way of building up and displaying one's American identity and patriotism," said Patrick Chamorel in a European University Institute study published in Italy in 2004. "Anti-Europeanism has always been part of American exceptionalism, which defined itself in contrast to European history, politics, and society."

It would be easy for Europeans to shrug off America's Europhobic generalizations and mischaracterizations if they were exclusive to would-be-intellectual neoconservatives, Bible Belt evangelists, and provincial Midwest xenophobes. But ever since the European Union dropped the ball in the Balkans in the mid-1990s, a potent mix of influential American thinkers, policymakers, and commentators have given anti-Europeanism a new respectability that cannot be dismissed out of hand. On the major issues that preoccupy Americans -- defense, security, terrorism, intervention, free trade, sovereignty, and nationalism -- the argument that Europe has lost its way has gained in influence. And as a debt-laden European Union stares at the fiscal abyss, one can almost feel the schadenfreude emanating from across the pond.

"Almost feel the schadenfreude emanating"? Does it get any more vague than that? Read the FP article Venus Envy and come back here to comment, if you like.

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

Joe Noory on :

[i]"Simon Tisdall is an assistant editor and foreign affairs columnist at the Guardian."[/i] What do you think is going to come out of his mouth? Other than a desperate boistering of his world view, the kind of self pitying trash article about "venus envy". [i]"Obama says, 'In America there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world.'[/i] In case you aren't familiar with this old trick, it's called pandering to your audience. The problem with that is, that pandering to Europeans will not get you anything, since their role in the world is shrinking, and so founded in clueless mercantilism, that they've done more to make permanent the likes of Saddam Hussein, Qadafi, Ahmedinejad, and the budding censors and Gauleiter types in latin America than anything else. No-one looking clear at it would envy it, other than those taking a non-linear view of the world - one in which they like to see leaders say things that conform to the listeners idea of what they wish the world was like, rather than what it really is like. [i]Uncertain whether to laugh or cry, Europeans ask: Is this sort of thing to be taken seriously? What is going on? For let's be honest: Krauthammer is a bit of a clown. And he has a very European surname.[/i] So if he has a 'European name' he should be expected to think in the manner a Guardian writer prescibes? [i]"Expressing one's anti-European sentiment can be a way of building up and displaying one's American identity and patriotism," said Patrick Chamorel in a European University Institute study published in Italy in 2004.[/i] No it isn't. It's contrarian and not as respectable as pretending that they actually don't spend more thime than they should making a bogeyman of the US, of Americans, and of any dicernable and unique postition the US government or American people take. Moreover, we're talking about further European-to-European "see how big our Johnson is!" pandering from a place where one surely can understand America in depth: Italy. "Mars and Venus" is hardly the right desription of the dynamic: it's more like a handful of rather direct Americans making occasional comments about a terminally passive-aggressive CLASS of Europeans. A class that has been employing hatred of America, founded entirely in envy, for decades to define their own civilization which is growing less distinct and more characterless by the year. It's not just Americans who think European population dominated by godless wimps, it's the far more God-fearing and less prone to wimpish populations of most of Africa, the Near East, Asia, and South America who do. The Americans are the group of people who are at least divided on the issue. So why fixate on Americans? Why not turn that venom on, say, the Arabs who actually detest you? Are you afraid that they won't indulge the whining, hang their heads in sympathetic shame for the sake of the European illusion of relevance? Or are you afraid that it somehow lead to cultural retaliation? Look, more Europeans than you would ever imagine, for all of the talk of being a helpful friend with friendly advice, [i]yadda, yadda, yadda,[/i] DON'T take criticism well at all. Either on a personal or popular level. They just don't. They tend to react as though someone took the last shred of their pride, and then banged their drunken girlfriend. No-one ever seems to ask the question of these Eurpean critics with any seriousness: what [i]they[/i] would do in the situatuions that they pedantically harangue Americans about, or, for that matter what [i]they're[/i] repared to [i]actually do[/i] in the cisrcumstances that the US is in - which they selectively call out America for abuse over. Nor should you, because the results will still involve a situation where others are expected to pay up or shed blood, and not them. NEVER them. The likes of Tisdall, not to mention much of European international opinion arrogantly imagine themselves the oracles, lesson-givers, and presumptive overlords of the human race. Don't you think for a moment that people, especially those other than Americans, don't just exhibit "envy", but genuinely and deeply detest them for it?

Marie Claude on :

Well, who do you think these "Europeans" are, and to whom the anti-European trash was directed ? the pic of "freedom fried" says it all ! and "we saved your a** twice..." is a remnent sentence that I read from American bloggers.

Joe Noory on :

Yes, yes. Of course, of course - it SIMPLY NEVER HAPPENS, and we all know that one phrase, "freedom fries", emerging from the midst of a state of years of unremitting recreational European harangueing from SIX YEARS AGO, because it merely exists, remains a permanent stain. But nothing else may, not to you. What you're discounting here, outside of your selective experience, is that by comparison of magnatude, virtually no-one in America even CARES what Europeans opinion is from day to day, because it virtually never changes from decade to decade, and it's largely a collection of negative, self-serving, passive-aggressive hostility, and is largely useless. Remove your own limited level of experience from it, and realize that there are more to this world than a handful of bloggers that you'd like to silence. Look for a moment at Tisdall. He's basically from the provisional wing of the "dismantle western civilization" crowd, and his article contains NOT ONE fact of any consequence, only OTHERS OPIONION PIECES. Are you intelligent enough to understand what that can indicate? Case in point: yesterday on BBC World Service on a "global" call in show (read: the archipelago of backwaters where the only ligit broadcasting they can get is BBC WS), an enraged man alledged (without correction in any way by the presenter/chariman/host,) that one in 4 Americans work for the security establishment, and that it was an outrage that the Federal Education budget was 1/12th of the defense budget. Never mind the idiocy of ignoring that Counties and States fund education and not the Federal Government, but that the idea that 80 million people (half the total workforce) are employed in national security. It's abject lunacy, hatred, and ignorance, and I've had to listen to people throw these things around on the basis of assumed fact for my entire life. But then again, you're worrind about TWO WORDS from 2003, as is the likes of Simon Tisdall do as well. Grow a damn spine, and find the REAL points of risk to your well-being instead of looking for voodoo dolls to stick pins in for your feeble emotional satisfaction. If mainstream European opinion wants to maitain this kind of practice for another half century, as though it will magically demoralize what is, in effect, their physical protector, global diplomatic broker, and the only real market for they overpriced rubbish, then sobeit. Don't expect the society recieveing that persitent fountain of invective, and ignoring it at the request of your governments, to like it.

Marie Claude on :

not seen on pasaran too of course in the contrary to what you shortened, I know more what the Americans think of us, and they aren't ignoring our country, dunno why, some concurrence in the values ? of course don't ask the lambda where is Paris, but these people aren't making the opinion, but though would still buy into O'reilly's before, and now into Beck's global discourse. If the american medias slowered their anti-French rantings in the past couple of years, the Brits medias are still there to remind them to not forget us. don't drown the fish !

Pamela on :

Nice try. ------- For let's be honest: Krauthammer is a bit of a clown. And he has a very European surname. ---------- Let's see. On my street there are Brady, Gray, Jackson, Anthony, Carroll, Hasslinger, Armstrong, Carter, Bailey - I could go on. All European. But what makes a surname VERY European? Gee. I don't know. At one point in my life my married surname was Polish. Is a Polish surname VERY European? Let's cut to the chase. 'Krauthammer' is a German surname. Charles Krauthammer is an American. By birth and by mind. Not by surname. Whether or not you deem Krauthammer to be a 'clown', the nature of this statement is repugnant. It gives credence to the idea of 'race' and 'blood' and collectivism as a genetic imperative. Oh. Did I remember to mention that Krauthammer is a Jew?

Pamela on :

KRAUT: German: metonymic occupational name for a market gardener or a herbalist, from Middle High German krut ‘herb’, ‘plant’,‘cabbage’. It is also found in eastern Slovenia. Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental or metonymic occupational name from German Kraut ‘herb’, ‘cabbage’. HAMMER: German, English, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Middle High German hamer, Yiddish hamer, a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hammers, for example in a forge, or nickname for a forceful person. English and German: topographic name for someone who lived in an area of flat, low-lying alluvial land beside a stream, Old English hamm, Old High German ham (see Hamm) + the English and German agent suffix -er. Norwegian: variant of Hamar. ----------- I'm just getting started.

Marie Claude on :

I just re-found this link: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2009/03/we_are_all_fren.html

Joe Noory on :

If one is a cynic and wait long enough, you find a moment when you can be proven right. You're forgetting the nature of the first comment on that 16 month old blog post that you linked: [i]I read your blog from Paris and i am really a Fan. I am digital design and innovation professor at ENSCI les Ateliers (french national school fot adavanced studies in design) and owner of Nodesign design studio. Thanks for your funny post. Becarefull with french "cliché". You could say that US have great universities, France ? , You could say that US know and got the energy to re-invent themself, France not. Some of our students are in US (sillicon valley) companies. Some of them are ICT world leader. France haven't. But you're right, we've got the best cheese...You are welcome to ENSCI when you come in Paris Best jean louis Frechin[/i] What this has to do with Joerg's mistitled blog (which he implies somethign about American Schadenfreude) is beyond me. Perhaps as always you're looking for something to be admired for which a) you had nothing to do with yourself, and b) are absent any actual facts. And Mitterand didn't nationalize financial houses to save them. He did them to appease his crypto-marxist ideologues who though that they could keep the nation as an island disconnected from the rest of the world (except when buying commodities).

Marie Claude on :

joe you are more german than a German LMAO but I notice that this article is irritating you LMAO and that you use the same ol american tricks, pick on the ol clichés: cheeze... eating monkeys !

Joe Noory on :

I used none of those clichés, so don't accuse me of it. Obviously, it must be one of those "Americans" with their "tricks"! You can tell who they are by the length of their noses. Amerkiatum is Verbrechertum, no doubt, when you are dfesperate to construct some minte shred of dignity for yourself. Let me tell you why it irritates me: becuase while it might be true that there are Americans that act out some Schadenfreude, we don't live by it. Europe is not on our minds day and night. As a group we are not generally obsessed with it. Go and look up -when- the term Freedom Fries was used in the US, and for how long. THEN look up how long and by what volume Europeans got their diapers in a bunch over it. On the other hand some toff invoking some pretend-history to9 repeat for the thousandth time the usual prattle to save himself from publishing irrelevance is tiringly predictable. The lamest part is the nagging about the choises Americans make for themselves, insisting that we be more like cog-in-a-wheel "citizens" like western Europeans are - until we do adopt some idea from Europe, and it's cast as a choice made out of American failure. That's precisely the methodology that Pravda and TASS used during the cold war. It was awkward and laughable. Bad economy? "he Americans did it!" Improving economy? "We're so much better and smarter than the Americans!" (who buy the overpriced rubbish that props up that economy.) etal. The sad thing about it, is that this continues in spite of the fact that American writers, press, and thie like don't do it in the face of events in Europe. Which is interesting, becuase they are a burden on the worlds security and stability apparatus, and are virtually irrelevant to contributing to it, in spite of trying to look like they are in charge of it.

Marie Claude on :

oh that's funny why then copying a comment from the article, if not purposely ! I like that sentence: "But you're right, we've got the best cheese..." you like to lecture me, as a French, an habit from german commentors too that I happened to meet on a european blog but you did study in Germany too, nicht wahr ?

Pat Patterson on :

Hey, who cut the cheese? Or is that a base anti-Gallic insult?

Marie Claude on :

ask your comrad, since it is sliced in your wonderland

Pat Patterson on :

Poor Marie doesn't seem to have a grasp on either pertinency or American idioms.

Marie Claude on :

pour paterson drowned with suffisance

Pat Patterson on :

Still having trouble with American idioms and usage.

Joe Noory on :

To begin with, I didn't copy text in my comment. I also don't lecture you "because you are French". I disagree with you because you're a self-absorbed moron for who everything is about France. You'll note that the word "French" almost never appears on these pages until you try to make it, and anything, about France. Do yourself a favor: stop trying to pretend to intone German words and miscellany from the memort bank of your fevered mind. It's more insulting than anything else, and you aren't very good at it. You might as well show up here and call the Germans here "Bosche" or "Capo". I suppose by your statement that "I studied in Germany.." that likely means that you can imagine me fitting into your pitiful envy of Germans. I did. I also worked there, but to explain this to your limited intellect, I learned a few things there, but it didn't program me as you would like to imagine it a cult. I also lived in the DDR. I learned that autocracy, the cult of the nation-state, leftism, and even the sick european conception of coservatism, in large part constructs evil and is founded on the lie of achieving free stuff from the state, in spite of bing in a state of class-warfare with authority of any percived type. It's promotion of the concentration of power in the state makes evil (of the fascist-marxist-leninist type invented in your benighted continent) more possible.

Marie Claude on :

"I also don't lecture you "because you are French". I disagree with you because you're a self-absorbed moron for who everything is about France. You'll note that the word "French" almost never appears on these pages until you try to make it, and anything, about France." NEIN: "Well, who do you think these "Europeans" are, and to whom the anti-European trash was directed ? the pic of "freedom fried" says it all ! and "we saved your a** twice..." is a remnent sentence that I read from American bloggers." suffice that I write sumthin and you jump on my back, any question ? the rest is immer da selbe, of your own delirium... pré-jugés drive logical deductions ! and you're still lecturing, or in the DENY again ? pour guy !

Joe Noory on :

Listen, you lout: I NEVER ONCE used the phrase "we saved your a** twice..." Not in my entire lifetime. If you want to project hatred, do it with someone else. And set aside the movie-Nazi German. What's your problem? Don't you think that Germans are human? Again, I ask, how long ago did it start, and how many times did the US press amplify the "freedom fries" thing? Compare that to the frequesncy of contrived outrage and your strange hypersensitivity to it.

Marie Claude on :

that's funny, got the impression that you are a manipulator and again in the deny of it, your insinuations only came from your twisted mind it's not like if we didn't know you, sorry, but you have a past as net blogger, and a smart one on no pasaran so your moral lessons, you know where you can put them, or do you need a drawing

influx on :

That's one reason I still love reading this blog: Joe Noory, in all his glory, writing: "Europe is not on our minds day and night. " This coming from the same guy who, for the last five years or so, has committed a good amount of his time to nothing else but obsessing about all things European.

Pat Patterson on :

Generally Joe is correct in that 'we' don't pay particular attention to Europe except to once in a while shake our heads in exasperation. But that certainly doesn't mean we don't enjoy the once in a while thrill of noticing how really strange Europe has become. And a long as we can visit Europe on occasion and either get into the Louvre, see the Fulda Gap or see the tulips blooming what Europeans think about us has no consequence.

Marie Claude on :

ach Ja ! I canut manige it anymour LMAO

Add Comment

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
CAPTCHA

Form options