Wednesday, February 23, 2005

"Freedom? Why Europe's not bothered"

More editorial opinion from The Daily Telegraph : "the European philosophy of government - shortly to be permanently installed under the EU constitution - is paternalistic. At worst, it is arrogant and authoritarian.
But whatever it is, it no longer has a belief in real democracy of the kind that Americans recognise - government of the people, by the people and for the people - at its heart.
That is why Jacques Chirac - the very embodiment of corrupt European political cynicism - and George Bush can never, ever find true common ground. When the President tries to give credit where it is due - to the European authorship of democratic revolution - it sounds faintly sarcastic.
I have written before on this page that European hatred of the United States has a great deal to do with jealousy of American self-belief. But there is an element of shame there, too. Because Europe knows that it has sold the pass. It has traded liberty for security: the safety of consensus, the reassuring unfreedom of bureaucratic control and an over-regulated economy..."

"...Europeans have found something better, and more readily controlled, as a substitute for personal liberty. They have found wealth: mass prosperity and the kind of government-subsidised economic security that their countries, traumatised by generations of war and unrest, have never known. Since the Cold War ended, they have been able to consolidate the post-war economic miracle with a 'peace dividend': all that money that used to be spent on arms could go into more and more generous welfare and pension arrangements. So now they are not even fit to defend themselves, or to sort out a mess in their own Balkan backyard. Why should they join in any crazy scheme to bring peace to the rest of the world?"

This is an echo of Steyn's piece but not quite as gut wrenching.

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