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Europeans Are "a Pack of Pagan Losers"

by Joerg in Berlin Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 05:36:15 AM EST

"A spectre is haunting Europe--the spectre of Communism." Those were the words of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 and their predictions turned out to be highly accurate, as we all know. Now the spectre of communism is haunting America and the end of the world is near.

The conservative media is scared shitless by this spectre and accuses Obama of turning the land of the free and the home of the brave into Russia/Europe/communism/socialism.

Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of National Review Online, writes in Townhall (via No Pasaran): "The recently passed health-care legislation is the cornerstone of the Europeanization of America." Like "Amerikanische Verhältnisse" (American conditions) in Germany, the "Europeanization of America" is an increasingly popular catch phrase for fear mongering ("The Europeanization of America", Atlantica: A Threat to American Freedom, "If It's From Europe, Forget It" and Other Comments on Health Care).

Apparently the US conservative media needs to resort to fear mongering in order to attract an audience and advertisements from big companies.

Capitalism is the excuse to exaggerate and insult. Americans live in the harsh reality of a free market economy and are not living the sheltered lives of 7 year old kids as we Europeans do, according to Goldberg:

We can't become Europe unless someone else is willing to become America. Look at it this way. My 7 year-old daughter has a great lifestyle. She has all of her clothes and food bought for her. She goes on great vacations. She has plenty of leisure time. A day doesn't go by where I don't look at her and feel envious at how good she's got it compared to me. But here's the problem: If I decide to live like her, who's going to take my place? Europe is a free-rider. It can only afford to be Europe because we can afford to be America.

And according to FOX "News" we are not just free-riders, but a "pack of pagan losers." This Media Matters video shows how funny the FOX folks find those derogatory remarks from one of their their anchors:

Dialog International comments: "Why do millions of Americans believe that Europe is a socialist nightmare?  Because the only information they get about Europe and European affairs is from Rupert Murdoch's Fox News network."

This stand-up comedy from Lewis Black is a good response to Goldberg and FOX. He talks about the need for health care in the US, what he learned from traveling, and  how folks react to someone who claims he is the greatest and everybody else would die without him, i.e. the free rider claim:

Crossposted from my blog Atlantic Review - A Press Digest for Transatlantic Affairs: Europeans Are "a Pack of Pagan Losers"

It must be incredibly difficult for a European to understand where this is coming from, but all this blather about European socialism is just scare tactics from a party that has lost not only a sense of its self but has no ideas and no ideology whatsoever. They are the equivalent of a far right xenophobic nationalist party, and what's left in the USA is a party that occupies the center and does the tasks of private businesses.

It must be incredibly hard to understand how such arguments (if I can even call them that) are totally distorted when they go through the refracting lenses of incomprehensible idiots. This is the guy who wrote the book "Liberal Fascism."

Go back and read their bleatings about Iraq and you'll find the real humor coming from he and his cohorts. They used Iraq to bash everyone, from professors with misgivings about the war because they were commies and pacificists to politicians who were secretly in league with jihad. And now the party finally admits that no one believes Iraq was a good idea anymore.

I'll say one thing that can put Goldberg in perspective for Europeans: the health care bill that recently passed in the USA is a carbon copy of a plan put forth by arch-conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, and a bill propounded by John McCain early in hi campaign. It's a conservative health care reform package.

by Upstate NY on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 09:36:56 AM EST
I don't care what FOX or the republican Teabagging right think about europe. I just care that european leaders think these crazies have to be listened to. I care that when I listen to the BBC or even read the Guardian, this insanity is peddled as mainstream thinking in the USA.

It isn't.

If this ever becomes mainstream thinking america will either become totally isolationist or its economy will simply disappear in a blue of ultraviolet as it is sucked into the black hole of its own creation. And amongst Imperial Powers there's no such thing as "too big too fail".

Until that point, I'm only interested in how america helps us. I am sick of us helping them; of paying their defence industry to screw up the world, of paying their bankers to take our money from us, of seeing their industries pollute the entire world and having us let them, of seeing their GM crap being foisted on us, because of seeing our leaders tug their forelock like the cold War was still running and that if we don't totally buy into their latest stupidity the ruskies will come and kill us in our beds.

I. Am. So. Over. America. I want a Europe that stands up for itself and does what is best for Europe. and what the lunatics on FOX think of anything exists only for amusement value. And if people in america believe anything on PT Barnam TV FOX, more fool them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 10:10:49 AM EST
that wanker on the fox clip is english!

the creepy kind, fits right in on fox.

good diary, america needs to get over its inflated self and come down and play in the mud with the rest of us earthlings.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 12:06:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, but he refers to the US as "we", which makes me think he's one of those expats who constantly bemoan the UK as poisoned by unions and inefficiencies.

He's probably a US citizen. Good riddance to bad rubbish, don't come back

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 02:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by asdf on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 12:55:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jonah Goldberg always was a thoroughly unpleasant and stupid neocon creep, but what kind of schmuck would state this publicly about his little girl of seven:

European Tribune - Europeans Are "a Pack of Pagan Losers"

A day doesn't go by where I don't look at her and feel envious at how good she's got it compared to me.

Oh, but maybe it's his peculiar sense of humour.

(Disclaimer: not an antisemitic line...)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 12:36:59 PM EST
what kind of schmuck would state this publicly about his little girl of seven

Some spoiled brat who was born on third base and thinks he's hit a triple? Who's got to his position of prominence thanks to his parents and the wingnut welfare and believe it's all thanks to his "hard work"?
by Bernard on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 02:51:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A dynamic otherwise known as deformative action. These kids who get into top colleges because Daddy is either a bigwig or a big donor are inevitably the most execrable students you run into--deformed by privilege. American private schools no longer have need blind admission policies, which means they can no longer even pretend there is no such thing as affirmative action for the rich.
by Upstate NY on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 04:19:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is interesting to think about how the European economies managed to go from utter destruction of their infrastructure in 1945 to globally competitive in 50 years. Japan, too.

The US is living on momentum from our previously unlimited resources, a previously uninhabited frontier to absorb malcontents, and a generally low population density that allowed us to import labor and brainpower. Now that the country is essentially filled up, and the oil is running out, we're going to have to make some considerable changes to our system if we want to maintain our economic position. How we're going to manage this without serious disruption is something to ponder. Even something as simple as providing reasonable general education is going to require wrenching changes.

by asdf on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 01:01:59 PM EST
That, and the fact that your military policy operates on the assumption that there is no such thing as "overkill."

Wasting the next best thing to 5 % of your GDP on military pork can't possibly be a good way to run an economy. Hell, you could create a fully funded unemployment insurance system to pre-neolib Scandinavian standards with that kind of money and still have some left over.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 02:10:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Prior to, oh ... about 1975, the US political consensus was for the government to provide Guns and Butter.  Once the economy could no longer afford both the political consensus was to focus on the Guns.  This decision resulted from a fundamental agreement within the US elite and government circles: can't bomb brown people & Steal Their Stuff if you don't have guns.

I no longer expect rationality in the US, much less any vague sense of the Public Good.  The US seems to want thieves, money grubbing greedheads, and batshit insane crazy people setting the limits and terms of National Debate and deciding National Policy.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 03:20:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the US really does, but the thieves, money grubbing greedheads and batshit insane crazy people have been winning a well-funded war of political attrition since the end of WWII.

Most of the population is broadly center-left in practice, but has been excluded from policy and the media to create an impression that the US is somewhere between hard right and economic KKK right.

We should stop being polite about the crazies, or accepting their premise that wearing a suit or being published in a serious paper makes them respectable.

The Think Tanks may not dress up in white robes so they can lynch the niggers in person, but they have no problem at all putting them out of work, making them homeless and leaving them to rot.

At least they believe in equal opportunity of a sort - it's no longer necessary to be black and poor to be a nigger who's treated abusively.

And if this rhetoric is offensive - it's not nearly as offensive as the reality.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 06:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... work so hard to come up with rationalizations that say that they are not actually thieves but are instead helping "create jobs" suggests that while a minority of Americans may support the thieving and war-mongering for its own sake, a majority require their information pool to be polluted by lies and misleading conceptual frames in order to support the thievery.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 10:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no such thing as overkill in preparation, not practice.

If we were really comfortable with overkill, there wouldn't be a single Afghani or Iraqi alive, and it all could have been done with far fewer US military casualties.

by Zwackus on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 08:11:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only in the very short term. In the longer term there would likely be many more US casualties because of (very literal) international fall out.

The US is only nominally a hyperpower. In practice its actions are always constrained by political and military consequences.

Which is why the calls for consensus and international support are more important than they seem to be. Even during the darkest and most psychotic days of King Bush it was very, very important for the US not to feel it was going it alone.

If European pols understood this more clearly, they'd realise just how much leverage they already have.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 08:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes and no.

In the second world war, overkill (euphemistically known as "strategic bombing" and "total war") was the stated and practised policy on the Pacific Front. That still left enough living Japanese to warrant serious worries about casualties in the event of an invasion of the home islands. Even blanketing Iraq in nuclear fire (which, of course, would both piss off people the US can't afford to piss off and obviate the whole "take their stuff" part of "beat Iraq over the head and take their stuff") would leave quite a lot of Iraqis alive, armed and very, very pissed off.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 09:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
are not their government, so it's not that personal.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 04:52:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you answered your own query. America needs to leave its 19th century expansionist mindset behind and develop a nurturing society that accepts its place in the world.  Can it institute a Marshall Plan for itself?
It still has wealth enough if it stops giving all of it to the useless leaches in banking and others at the top of the financial pyramid.
by Andhakari on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 03:42:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that the country is essentially filled up,

At number 178 out of 239 in a list of countries ordered by population density, (and at only  2/3 of the world average)  your nearer empty than full.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 08:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By overall population density, that's true. However, middle third of the country is pretty dry, suitable for wheat farming, and the western third of the country is essentially a wasteland. West of the 100 degree longitude line, there is not enough rainfall (except in isolated areas) to support farming. Alaska is pretty tough to live in on a year-round basis, and is huge.

by asdf on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 09:02:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Australia may similarly seem to be "empty" but the parts that can sustain any kind of human life are actually rather restricted...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 14th, 2010 at 02:41:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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