Friday, March 04, 2005

VDH on Europe

One of the many joys of Fridays is Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online:

"Our cousins abroad cannot figure out why a crass nation of former European rejects, led by a cowboy from Texas, is wealthier, stronger, and more willing to sacrifice for principle than a more venerated, cultured, and aristocratic civilization. Europe, it turns out, worships class and privilege in the flesh while it damns them in the abstract even as the uncouth popular culture of America that has corrupted the planet is most welcome and at home in, of all places, Europe.
All this was known to our ancestors, chronicled in our literature, enshrined in our popular memory, and carefully noted by our diplomats from Jefferson and Lincoln to Roosevelt and Wilson. Yet the half-century aberration of the Cold War disguised our differences and lured us into collective amnesia. Unlike World War I, after World War II we wisely stayed on to prevent another conflagration. Yet having a common enemy in the Soviet Union misled some of us into thinking that an identical Europe and American would always see eye to eye, when we never really had despite our cultural and democratic affinities. And now we have come to the end of the Age of Exception, a sobriety brought on by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the stark aftermath of September 11, which scrapped off the thin veneer and revealed particle board, not oak, beneath."

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