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Transatlantic Dialogues in Berlin

"Europe has to lead and America will follow," according to Jeremy Rifkin, author of the recent best-seller The European Dream. How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream. (Original:;; Deutsche Übersetzung:;) Rifkin recently spoke at the House of World Cultures in Berlin as part of the Transatlantic Dialogues series. Find more information on the program and on Rifkin's book as well as an open blog for discussion here.
For a review of The European Dream by Tony Judt see The New York Review of Books.


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Fuchur on :

Maybe first we should accomplish that Europe leads and Europe actually follows ;-).

Pat Patterson on :

Jeremy Rifkin? The guy who predicted we would run out of oil in the 80's, precious metals in the 90's and that we would have even more hurricanes after Katrina? Doesn't David Irving have a new book out? Plus from all the tired cliches about crime rates, birth rates, infant mortality rates, etc., I think it is a safe bet that the reviewer, Tony Judt, has never read some of the comments here and lives the life of sheltered ignorance so loved on both sides of the Atlantic.

Pamela on :

Yep, Rifkin is right up there with Paul Erlich (what is he up to these days, I wonder?) Tony Judt, though, is a well-respected British historian. He has been accused by some as being an anti-Semite. I read his last book on World War II, and although I raised my eyebrows a few times, I'm not sure I'd go that far. I'm still re-reading his books review that Jeorg linked to -I've already read both the Reid and G-Ash books - I found them risable - along with another by Mark Leonard. The title was something like "Why the 21st Century Will Belong to Europe". All three profoundly misunderstand the U.S., in my view. What I find ironic is the last line of a review of 3 books that primarily assert the superiority of the EU model over the U.S. model reads "The United States, trapped once again in what Tocqueville called its "perpetual utterance of self-applause"... Trapped? We are? And again, even? Thank God somebody told us. Granted, this review was written in 2005, but I'm still getting a good chuckle out of the fact that the man who writes of the U.S.'s widespread 'suspicion of dissent' is a citizen - oh, excuse me - subject of a country whose current PM is apparently so 'suspicious' of the dissenting outcome of a referendum on that treaty-cum-constitution that he won't have one.

Pamela on :

By the way, as the books reviewed - and Judt - talk about relative standards of living between the US and the EU, I thought it might be useful to post the link to the US gov't most recent study of poverty in the US (numbers for 2006). Interesting reading if you're into that kind of thing.

David on :

The same census report showed that the number of Americans without health insurance rose by 2 million to 47 million.

joe on :

Pamela, There is very much a template here. Facts not supporting that template are not well received.

Pamela on :

If by 'here' you refer to this blog, I disagree. More to the point, I think it is irrelevant. This is Joerg's house and whether or not he and/or other posters here agree with what I post, I have never been treated with anything but respect. Joerg has challenged me - in the 'Double Standards' thread I think - when he asked if I think some Jews are anti-Semitic (I answered in the affirmative and named names). This site is important for the same reason that medienkritik is important. IT IS BIASED. Bias in the sense I use it here does not mean that all opposing views are suppressed. It means that it takes a stand. That is a very good thing. This site takes a stand and allows me to voice views in contrast, illumination, opposition. We can talk here. Slam and get slammed here. Good. Thanks Joerg.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Thanks, Pamela. Very much appreciated. This post, however, was written by my colleague Sonja Bonin. I'll follow up on that "Double Standards" post later this week. I am collecting polls on 9/11 conspiracies. Anyway. More to come.

Pamela on :

I want to say one more thing. I have posted this multiple times on medienkritik over the years. If anyone would like to visit the US, you are welcome to stay in our home. We live in Alexandria Virginia, just outside Washington DC. My husband is a lobbyist and former House staff member and knows a lot of people on "The Hill" who would be willing to meet with and talk with you. I can't front you any money, but if you would like to come to the US and see for yourself, we are more than willing to host you. /honest question - do I need to explain the term 'lobbyist' to German readers?

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

No need to explain the term "lobbyist" to German readers. Though, in German this term might have a more negative connotation than in the US. I think, most German lobbyists would describe themselves as being in the Public Relations business or so, because "lobbyists" sounds evil. Well, lobbyists do not have a good reputation in the US either, I believe, but Americans are more open about it than Germans. There is nothing wrong with working for a lobby. Amnesty and Greenpeace are lobbies as well. Not every lobbyists pays bribes and undermines democracy etc. Same with the "Israel Lobby." There is nothing wrong with forming a lobby. There is Saudi Arabia lobby as well etc. Though, many Americans took issue with Walt/Mearsheimers term "The Israel Lobby," so maybe Americans don't like the term "lobby" either...?

Pamela on :

so maybe Americans don't like the term "lobby" either...? One of the more idiotic themes of the current political dialogue. I heard some moronic woman the other day ranting that not only should politicians stop taking money from lobbys, they should stop taking money from the lobbys' contributors, too. The people who contribute to those lobbys are constituents - you know - the people who vote? They form organizations that speak for the professions and causes - like farmers, even. Imagine that........

Don S on :

"Europe has to lead and America will follow," according to Jeremy Rifkin" I think the reasoning behind this kind of thought is specious. It's been proven sure enough that Europe is in no mood to follow the US - but the converse cannot be assumed as Rifkin does. In a lot of ways the situation post 1945 has been an unnatural one historically speaking. Prior to WWII there was never any idea that Europe (or even any individual country in Europe) would follow the US. And most certainly not the reverse! Except perhaps when Napoleon or Palmerston took too many hits on the bong pipe (did they smoke opium I wonder?). So when Rifkin writes this kind of nonsense he betrays his post-war blinkers - and probably a profound ignorance of the patterns of history. The US used to lead but now the situation has been reversed. So Europe will now lead - QED. Utter bollocks of course. The situation has CHANGED, not been REVERSED. If the US fought a war with Mexico and was bombed into medieval times - then the situation would be reversed - and Europe (or China more like) would lead. But how likely is that, Rifkind you prating fool?!!!!

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