Encountereds. I came, I saw, I commented.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Andrei Markovits - Amerika, Dich hasst sichs besser (2)

To anyone following European public discourse and politics, the anti-American bias should be obvious. It is a curious fact of human psychology that an argument based on correct facts can still be wrong, and this complication afflicts this book as well. There is no way to defend the current American administration against the criticisms leveled against it, nor is there a way to dispel the other prominent myths about American held in Europe, namely that its capitalist forces are out of control and that it's wealth is based on exploitation. But when these criticism are voiced by powers that have no inherent interest in solving the underlying problems, but rather are the competition. As much as I would have liked to think of the European protest against the Iraq war as an outpouring of compassion, and to view the piles of Michael Moore's books in german bookstores as the proof of genuine interest in opposing ruling power they would have been in the US, I know both are at least to a good degree expressions of less pure motives. Reading this book made me question my own approach in my parallel blog, where I collect little stories that seem to me to reflect tendencies of isolation and aggressive competition, somehow equating that with my experience here - as though I weren't appalled by the cold and unfriendly behaviour of many Germans, too, every time I visit.


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