RE: European vs. American Fanaticism

From: pchaston (
Date: Sun Jul 01 2001 - 13:32:28 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote:
> I am speculating; and I thank you for your interesting
> observations. But historically there has been a pattern
> of political extremism in Europe that American has been
> thankfully spared. I don't think that you can deny that.
> Yet certain campaigns---in World War II it was total
> mobilization, and now it's anti-cigarette smoking---
> animate the American public in ways that don't seem to
> happen in Europe. (Not even Germany converted their economy
> to full mobilization, according to what I've read, in World
> War II.) So there is something going on.

Mike Lorrey commented:

You are confusing extreme motivations (i.e. profound) with extreme
actions. Europeans do, in fact, get radically extreme maybe not over
silly things, but with silly solutions to profound problems: i.e.: a)
Crime is rising, so we need to disarm all the law abiding people, b)
Jews are prosperous business people and well educated and generally
smart, which contradicts our Odinist tradition of teutonic superiority,
so we need to kill them all to set things right, c) Serbs, Croats, and
Muslims are generally disagreeable people, so obviously they need to
kill each other off until there is no more disagreement, d) The US's
free market economy makes products more efficiently and cheaper than we
do, so obviously we need to shame and trick them into ratifying an
economy crippling 'Global Warming' treaty that we ourselves won't ratify
because we know it will REALLY cripple our socialist economies, e)
people tend to dislike oppressive, overbearing government, so obviously
we need to construct a nationwide surveillance system to keep an eye on
every citizen 24 hours a day.


You should note that a "nationwide surveillance system" is probably
in the United Kingdom but does not form a political goal of most
within the European Union. Recently, the European Parliament recommended
that all corporate and private messages over the Internet should be
encrypted so that they could not be analysed by the Echelon system to
advantage of the US/Old Commonwealth intelligence network. If social
democratic and socialist parties within the European Union were focused
overcoming a resistant populace by curbing their privacy, such a
recommendation would appear to be counterproductive.

You are correct in pointing out that European countries have politicians
from the radical right and the post-communist left in both legislatures
government but the system of proportional representation used in these
countries would give a greater voice to these extremes. have you taken
into account?

You also accuse the European powers of allowing the Balkan wars to
so that genocide and ethnic cleansing would provide a solution to these
regional problems. Certainly, the apathy of western states and the
disastrous recognition of Croatia by Germany exacerbated the break-up of
Yugoslavia but politicians are wary of committing their armies and
prospective casualties to an area from which they would derive little
electoral advantage. This was at the same time as the US deaths in
and led all western governments to view the deployment of peacekeepers

Your libertarian principles are worthy of support but you should strive
understand the peculiarities of the European nations, peoples and states
before making such broad brush comments which simplify very complex
associations. After all, I have to read commentary and listen to many
focus upon the deep ties between the United States and the United
when history demonstrates that the intellectual and educational culture
the US has probably been more deeply influenced by Germany. 'Special
Relationship' - an important political myth based upon invented

Philip Chaston

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