By Dennis L. Bark
A as soon as grand dating slipping away The as soon as rock-solid dating among Europeans and Americans--based on universal pursuits, shared values, belief, affection, and respect--is fading away, to get replaced through feedback and dissension. Why is that this taking place? And why does it topic? In americans and Europeans--Dancing at midnight, Dennis Bark bargains an in-depth exam of the deteriorating courting among the USA and Europe: our modifications and affinities, the explanations in the back of our conflicts, and the way forward for our alliance. Our adjustments, Bark finds, aren't of precept yet of perform, formed through our diverse histories. He specializes in what he calls the fundamental distinction among us: the US was once outfitted from the floor up, while Europe used to be outfitted from the pinnacle down. that's, the USA was once outfitted by way of immigrants who eschewed the social, political, and financial practices they'd constantly resented. Their objective was once to shape their very own executive themselves, from the floor up. Europe, nevertheless, was once equipped by way of those that loved privilege and who had a lot to realize from partaking in govt rule from the head down. This distinction, Bark exhibits, is profound since it marks our background, shapes our perspectives of the realm, and maintains to impact how Europeans and american citizens behavior their inner most lives. The European-American courting, the writer eventually concludes, is exclusive and irreplaceable. To enable it get to the bottom of will be unthinkable, and to allow it come aside might have disastrous effects for we all.
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Additional resources for Americans and Europeans Dancing in the Dark: On Our Differences and Affinities, Our Interests, and Our Habits of Life (Hoover Institution Press Publication)
Common to both the old and the new aristocrats is their impact on economic, political, and social life. Whether it is called big government or the welfare state the guiding principle of politics in contemporary Europe is rule by an elite. This is not to say that there is no difference between governance by European royal houses in the eighteenth century and democratic government in Europe in the twenty-first. To cite the most glaring contrast, Europe’s kings and queens ruled by divine right, while contemporary Europe is governed by elected leaders.
It merely illustrates why many Europeans do not look to themselves, but to the top and hence to government, to rule, to decide, to control, to determine, to underwrite, to patronize. Patronage, of the ancient or of the modern variety, is part of Europe’s culture, and European culture is a product of European history. Europe’s history makes Europeans who they are. Or, to put it in a deliberately provocative way, Europe’s culture of authority is what remains after Europeans have forgotten the historical details of the development of their civilization.
Being waited on often makes Americans feel uncomfortable. It is hardly a coincidence that in American restaurants waiters arrive at the table, introduce themselves by their first names and do not call themselves waiters or waitresses: ‘‘Hi, my name’s Steve. ’’ Unlike Europeans, Americans tend to minimize formality and understate its usefulness. The result is that they normally behave as though social differences are unimportant and class differences do not exist. Americans, whether they know each other well or not, usually call each other by their first names.
Americans and Europeans Dancing in the Dark: On Our Differences and Affinities, Our Interests, and Our Habits of Life (Hoover Institution Press Publication) by Dennis L. Bark