Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Quadrennial Retelling of the Same Old Stories

Well know globally for their lack of curiosity for anything other than ego-reinforcing rationalizations, European critics of the US (who detest the US anyway) are whining that using European society and a point of comparison with the US is “European bashing”.
What they conveniently ignore is that American Dream is not what it used to be. (Neither is the European Dream of an ever closer union, but that's another story).
Yes, it’s ALWAYS another story when you don’t want to tell the story.

In fact, it arrives to the usual level of stupidity Spiegel readers are familiar with, to the extent that one example is enough evidence to call it a trend, or perhaps a scourge. In fact to the extent that they start to make things up:
Europe is socialist, bloated and a threat to the global economy. That appears to be the message from the ongoing presidential campaign in the US. Republicans in particular have discovered Europe as a convenient punching bag -- and have even begun accusing each other of being too "European."
That message, also happening to be identical to many Europeans’ criticism of European society, but that’s not the point. Even as German growth is expected to be the strongest in Europe in 2012, and expected to top out at 1%, expect more of this, as well as the ritual retelling of the “American dream is dead”, for which there are vivid examples in the German press dating back to 1954.

Chock this up to “Freedom Fries” syndrome, a one-week story in the US which has reached its’ first decade of smug anger in the precious and benighted continent.

To back it up, an unrelated sneer has to be tangentially attached: an article in the NYT which selectively looks at a variety of unexplained studies to say that the US, where the poor live in comforts many middle income Europeans don’t have, and is the focus of criticism of “Americans being too well off” in turns, that Americans are less upwardly mobile than Europeans.

How, exactly? The same old saw: income disparity, the statistical tool of propagandists for more than a century. For example: how long a period is the trends mapped in multiple unexplained “studies” sampling? Are we being shown a delta founded on the 2008 contraction as the centerpiece? Is aggregate improvement in the state of what “bottom fifth” actually means being taken into account?

How, in our inexorable downward mobility spiral, can we also be criticized for also using too many resources, especially in a broad way across the income spectrum? How is it that we allow our unwashed and uneducated “lower 5th” or people like them, out of the country to find out that they are the boors so broadly offensive to Europeans as ignorant tourists? HOW doesn’t matter.

I’m not sure it even matters to the local reseller of meme X this week, given the notion of what they think “equal opportunity” means:
If equal opportunity is essential to freedom, then freedom is under attack!
So many misused truisms, so little time. Equal Opportunity, for one thing is assumed to mean Equal Outcome, an entirely Marxist jerking point, and one that Marxist-Leninism did a particularly bad job of actually achieving. This actually ADDS credence to the Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from the Politburo argument more than anything else.
And who knew that the lack of forced redistribution of wealth was critical in protecting freedom from attack, when freedom, and rights of all sorts can’t be redistributed, aren’t based in getting resources from others in society that aren’t earned, and are inherently equal before the “liberators from the shackles of common sense” like the author of “If equal opportunity is essential to freedom, then freedom is under attack!” can manage a go at them.

In fact the notion that one can shun Americans into using European society as a point of reference is, if anything, an attempt to obfuscate a curtailment of freedom.

But that doesn’t matter, because the guy behind that organ grinder author, like one European critic too many, is more interested in irrational point-scoring that the content of people’s arguments. That paragraph two has nothing to do with paragraph one outside of an old assumption having nothing to do with wither source is irrelevant.