GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Latest from Pascal Bruckner....

Europe's Guilty Conscience...
While America is a project, Europe is a sorrow. Before long, it will amount to little except the residue of abandoned dreams. We dreamed of a great diversity where we might live well, seek personal fulfillment, and, if possible, get rich—and all this in proximity to great works of culture. This was a worthwhile project, to be sure, and such a calm condition would be perfect in a time of great serenity, in a world that had finally achieved Kant’s “perpetual peace.” But there is a striking contrast between the stories that we Europeans tell ourselves about rights, tolerance, and multilateralism and the tragedies that we witness in the surrounding world—in autocratic Russia, aggressive Iran, arrogant China, a divided Middle East. We see them, too, in the heart of our great cities, in the double offensive of Islamist terrorism and fundamentalist groups aiming to colonize minds and hearts and Islamize Europe.

There is nothing more insidious than a collective guilt passed down from generation to generation, dyeing a people with a kind of permanent stain. Contrition cannot define a political order. As there is no hereditary transmission of victim status, so there is no transmission of oppressor status. The duty of remembering implies neither the automatic purity nor the automatic corruption of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. History is not divided between sinner nations and angelic ones but between democracies, which recognize their faults, and dictatorships, which drape themselves in the robes of martyrs. We have learned over the last half-century that every state is founded on crime and coercion, including those that have recently appeared on history’s stage. But there are states capable of recognizing this and of looking barbarism in the eye, and there are others that excuse their present misdeeds by citing yesterday’s oppression.

Remember this simple fact: Europe has vanquished its most horrible monsters. Slavery was abolished, colonialism abandoned, fascism defeated, and communism brought to its knees. What other continent can claim more? In the end, the good prevailed over the abominable. Europe is the Holocaust, but it is also the destruction of Nazism; it is the Gulag, but also the fall of the Wall; imperialism, but also decolonization; slavery, but also abolition. In each case, there is a form of violence that is not only left behind but delegitimized, a twofold progress in civilization and in law. At the end of the day, freedom prevailed over oppression, which is why life is better in Europe than on many other continents and why people from the rest of the world are knocking on Europe’s door while Europe wallows in guilt.

Europe no longer believes in evil but only in misunderstandings to be resolved by discussion and dialogue. She no longer has enemies but only partners. If she is nice to extremists, she thinks, they will be nice to her, and she will be able to disarm their aggressiveness and soften them up. Europe no longer likes History, for History is a nightmare, a minefield from which she escaped at great cost, first in 1945 and then again in 1989. And since History goes on without us, and everywhere emergent nations are recovering their dignity, their power, and their aggressiveness, Europe leaves it to the Americans to be in charge, while reserving the right to criticize them violently when they go astray. It is notable that Europe is the only region in the world where military budgets go down every year; we have no armies that would be able to defend our frontiers if we were so unlucky as to be attacked; after the Haitian crisis, Brussels could not dispatch even a few thousand men to help disaster victims. We are well equipped to calibrate the size of bananas or the composition of cheeses, but not to create a military force worthy of the name.
But, read the whole thing...

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