Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Wow. This should be a thread in its own right. But this is a role that Islam plays in the West today: it forces us to return to the notion of rationality.

You say that France's identity is ideological exactly in the same way that America's is, with France's 1300 year  history being of no consequence. I wonder how many French people would agree with you.

The argument I was making derives from Louis Hartz's The liberal tradition in America: an interpretation of American political thought since the revolution, a canonical work of American liberalism. Hartz's argument (which I think is irrefutable) is that since the American revolution was based on liberal ideas, and since the American revolution is constitutive of America, there can be no such thing as an authentic American conservatism. (Needless to say, there can be such things as authentic German or French conservatisms, since those societies predate the very idea of liberalism.)

With respect to your second comment about Europe having nasty reactionaries appealing to authenticity, I would say that that is irrelevant, since today it is the anglophone countries that show signs of fascism, not European ones (backward countries like Poland and Latvia being excepted, of course). (Germany had only a couple of decades in which it was involved in conquest of foreign lands, whereas Britain's imperial career, based on military might, spans centuries. So America's current belligirence simply falls into the anglophone pattern.)

So the French hate Catholocism? I am not sure it so simple. The philosophes hated Catholocism I suppose, but they didn't turn the French into Protestants, did they?

As for the anti-abortion stuff: thanks for the point that it is due to Catholicism. That makes sense. If you look at the history of anti-abortionism in the US, you will find that this "movement" originated with Catholics. The evangelicals simply picked it up because they thought it was a good rallying cry.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 04:46:58 AM EST
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