Friday, March 02, 2007

Europe and America

The rivets are popping, according to The Economist, in the relationship between Europe and America. The article pulls no punches. Labelling the invasion of Iraq 'bloody and incompetent', and abdicating any predilection for equivocation on the rendition scandal, it refers to 'astonishing amnesia and lazy prejudice'. Almost like something I'd write, and certainly not to be expected of the Economist. Well, we all know it's politics, but even this is going a little too far.

Question is, if all of these diabolicalisms are destroying the historical relationship between Europe and America (Sam Huntingdon would no doubt disagree), whither next? Do we re-enter a period of isolationism? That is perfectly impossible. Even China has a massive influence over Europe and America these days, to say nothing of the effect they have on each other. Modern capitalist democracies are economies first, societies second, the theory being that one pays for the infrastructure that delivers the second. Questionable philosophy, perhaps, but nevertheless exposes the nation, the country, the region to disproportionate external influence. It is the way that countries, economies and regions are organised that precludes isolationism. Even DPRK, even with its ideological differentiation, its social alternative, could not resist integration and did the deal. We're all in this together.

So if we can't hide in an isolationist shell, where do we go next? Truth is we have to get on with it, and the further truth is that we have, in fact, been getting on with it for some time.

No comments: