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American opinion

Reader comment on item: Europeans: From Venus?

Submitted by BRAD VALENTINE (United Kingdom), Oct 26, 2005 at 06:16

As a Brit who does multicultural training in France, Italy, the UK, and the States here are some observations. The USA houses a pioneering spirit but a very insecure people, hence their need to arm themselves to the teeth, design protective fortress regulations, bluster arrogantly 'we are bigger than anyone, etc' and has the desire to attack before it itself is attacked. All this is based on fear, fear of being hated, someone wanting to hurt them , criticism of its lifestyle, etc. It helps if your news media doesn't tell the truth too much, that way you engender greater patriotism.
The people are egrarious, trusting usually and prepared to look at what it is they have done wrong, but the collective psyche is one of a need to defend itself and its way of life.

A constant reference I hear from our American cousins is that they left Europe to be different. Inherently, whatever Europe feels is right, America will react against. Europe therefore feels justified in the parental role of 'I'm older than you and have had more experience' whereas America says 'I want to do things my way and differently and I don't need you to tell me how'.

If America continues in its agenda of isolationism, it will soon, and is becoming, a very spent force.

As for Europe, the EU model is one that many other countries outside of the continent itself wish to join. The internationalism of the bureaucracy and the stability it is creating after so many years of painful hurt on the continent is a big draw to many developing countries. However, until a new streamline and more democratic way of running the lumbering giant is found through active people involvement, the longer the continent stagnates.

Huge changes are taking place in Europe, demographically, nationally, spiritually and culturally...thousands of years of cultural history being altered in just a decade or so and this is causing stress in most European societies. The US, if it was sensible, should recognise this and understand where the Europeans are coming from. (Forewarned is forearmed and would therefore appeal to their militaristic part of the psyche)

Europeans cannot fathom why America is as it is and sees in it something detrimental to global peace. Europe, if it was sensible, would not just bow down to a show of might but see it for what it is, an insecure, vulnerable collective that very much wants to stand up and say this is me. (I'm not speaking about arrogance here)

Europe is now becoming stronger in parrying the American swagger and this is good. Until the two continents are playing on a level field, there will be disagreements and discrepancies.
Once ironed out, we can work well together.

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