History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    History Repeating Itself

    Der Spiegel Online:

    But history has shown that it wasn't Reagan who was the dreamer as he voiced his demand. Rather, it was German politicians who were lacking in imagination -- a group who in 1987 couldn't imagine that there might be an alternative to a divided Germany. Those who spoke of reunification were labeled as nationalists and the entire German left was completely uninterested in a unified Germany.

    When George W. Bush requests that Chancellor Schroeder -- who, by the way, was also not entirely complimentary of Reagan's 1987 speech -- and Germany become more engaged in the Middle East, everybody on the German side will nod affably. But despite all of the sugar coating the trans-Atlantic relationship has received in recent days, Germany's foreign policy depends on differentiating itself from the United States. And when Bush leaves Europe, the differences will remain. Indeed, Bush's idea of a Middle Eastern democracy imported at the tip of a bayonet is, for Schroeder's Social Democratic Party and his coalition partner the Green Party, the hysterical offspring off the American neo-cons. Even German conservatives find the idea that Arabic countries could transform themselves into enlightened democracies somewhat absurd.

    This, in fact, is likely the largest point of disagreement between Europe and the United States -- and one that a President John Kerry likely would not have made smaller: Europeans today -- just like the Europeans of 1987 -- cannot imagine that the world might change. Maybe we don't want the world to change, because change can, of course, be dangerous. But in a country of immigrants like the United States, one actually pushes for change. In Mainz today, the stagnant Europeans came face to face with the dynamic Americans. We Europeans always want to have the world from yesterday, whereas the Americans strive for the world of tomorrow.
    I think that the whole idea of "The West" being dead is inappropriate. There never was a "West" to begin with. America is a nation that looks to the future, while Europe tries to preserve a dead past. America is fundamentally not a European nation, it is an English one, part of the greater Anglosphere. "Western Unity" was necessary during the Cold War, with that being done and over with there is nothing holding us together. No common language, no common culture, no common principles, not even a common religion anymore, thanks to G-d being dead. We are like two long lost relatives, rediscovering each other, only to find out how different we truly are. Parting cannot be that far off.

    Ooops: Hat Tip: TKS

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