What role could Europe play?


rl. The influence of US elites in Europe has never been so strong. Even the domestic power struggle after the election of the new president finds its fierce expression in the European media, as if we were an American federal state. It is argued with the hardest bandages, slandered and lied. We could not vote there, but we will continue to be most closely affected by the political decisions of Washington.

The states of Western Europe could scarcely determine their own destiny since 1945, only comprehend what was planned on the other side of the Atlantic.
Over the past six decades, Western European societies have given up much of their cultural identity in favour of the widely propagated, but questionable, American society model (American dream). However, behind the slogans of consumption, mass-democracy, or Hollywood, hides – as is well known – a superficial culture, linked to a social Darwinist ideology, a human uprooting, and a predatory capitalism impoverishing its own population. The situation in the US themselves has become so acute that one third of US citizens are at risk of poverty, many do not receive any medical care, jobs are migrating abroad, and the state is involved in endless wars, financed by the money printing press (at the expense of the population and the world).

Where do the European states want to find themselves in the coming years? What role can they play? Will they, as requested, dutifully raise their military budget in order to attend to the military adventures of a US administration and their “military-industrial complex”? What constructive messages can be sent from the long history of the European states across the Atlantic to provide building blocks for a better American policy?
From the long history of Christian-occidental culture, one could think of the social welfare ideas in all its forms, such as the welfare state idea, the social market economy, the commons, the cooperative ideas, the services of general interest, or the popular school movements. In addition, the cultural heritage of the classical antiquity, of humanism and of the Enlightenment, has produced pioneering achievements for human coexistence, for example, civil rights or differentiated democratic models of self-determination. Europe as a cradle of democracy and human rights has a lot to offer. (See “Manifesto for Europe”, published in Current Concerns, No. 24, 23 September 2015)     •