City Journal Winter 2016

Current Issue:

Winter 2016
Table of Contents
Tablet Editions
Click to visit City Journal California

Readers’ Comments

Theodore Dalrymple
A Continental Fantasy « Back to Story

View Comments (14)

Add New Comment:

To send your message, please enter the words you see in the distorted image below, in order and separated by a space, and click "Submit." If you cannot read the words below, please click here to receive a new challenge.

Comments will appear online. Please do not submit comments containing advertising or obscene language. Comments containing certain content, such as URLs, may not appear online until they have been reviewed by a moderator.

Showing 14 Comment(s) Subscribe by RSS
George Will offered a better definition of the EuropeancProject:

"The European Union has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament (in Strasbourg) no one other than its members wants to have power (which must subtract from the powers of national legislatures), a capital (Brussels) of coagulated bureaucracy no one admires or controls, a currency that presupposes what neither does nor should nor soon will exist (a European central government), and rules of fiscal behavior that no member has been penalized for ignoring."
Not that entirely disagree with his point of view... but Mr. Dalrymple has really drifted from his area of expertise.

His first book about his observations as a public physician was so powerful in stemming from his direct professional experience. With all due respect, why do I care what he thinks about macroeconomics and pan-European politics?

I say that not to dismiss this point of view but in the hopes that it will inspire more of the writing he did in his first book, which had a real impact on me.
Alena Hromádková,Prague June 09, 2012 at 7:12 AM
Th. Dalrymple´s points of view has gained a remarcable support among politically aware people - right of the centre - in Czech republic, one can see.But a country plundered by own power elite for decades is full of desperate retired and unemployed people (2.8 million and 5OO OOO ) who deep in the heart belive in the welfare state and a permanent rain of social benefits in time of a distress.Czech republic has 7 million of voters - it is not difficult to predict the result of the wishful pro Brussel oriented orientation and expectations.
Indeed. And NATO did much more to bring Peace to Europe than the EU ever will.
The use of the word "project " is a post-modernist locution, as in the term "Enlightenment project."
It should not come as as surprise to anyone reading Swift that the Euro is much more LaPutian than Balnibarbian. Now Paul Krugman, there is a Balinbarbian if ever there was one, complete with emperor's new clothes Nobel Balinbaria prize in Economics.
I get the impression that Europeans -- Britons at least -- have no higher desire than to become metrosexual clones of Colin Firth (why David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and the finance minisyer even look like Firth!)Namely, apologetic,correct,warts-and-all slathered in Givenchy,petulantly sentimental and condescendingly devoted to the opinions of humanity. The phrase "European Project" is a shibboleth I was not familiar with, but it is a shibboleth nonetheless -- a password which everyone except Mr Dalrymple evidently is supposed to understand without explanation.

Sort of like the saying "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it." Europe can't afford the EU, so no one talks about what the EU is, lest the price of union becomes evident. But we can still go to Colin Firth movies.
Europe never was, is not now, and never will be one nation. Europe is a continent full of radically different nations, each with a different history, different culture, different language and different religion. The Roman Empire held together much of the continent by military force. Never did Rome try to or succeed in creating a single entity out of its conquered peoples. The Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages was, as it has been said, neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire. It too did not succeed in creating one country out of Europe.
The United States succeeded because its peoples were all of the same language and origins. A large part of the early American population were from the German, Dutch and Scandinavian states, but their loyalty adhered to their adopted country, culturally and linguistically, and not to whatever feeble-minded German princeling they had left behind in the Old Country. Even today, despite the reluctance of some groups to integrate into society, their children and grandchildren are becoming Americans, honorary Anglo-Saxon Protestants all, as it were.
I had a high school history teacher, many years back, who gave us both a summary of European geography and history in one easy sentence. He was a very liberal man and actually eventually served a Democratic governor in our state in a high capacity, so he meant this tongue-in-cheek, but it still rings true:
He said,"Moving eastward, the British hate the French, the French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles, the Poles hate the Russians, the Russians hate the Turks, and they all hate the Jews."
European geography and history in a nutshell.
Theodore Dalrymple were you drunk when you wrote this. Did you have a deadline you couldn't make? did you know there was the letter 'e' in economics?
I agree with Mark - the idea of a unified Europe was seen by those involved as a way to counter US influence. These people believe their own propaganda about the United States as an 'evil empire.' As China becomes the dominant nation they may learn what it means to live under the boot heel of an entity that does not hesitate to crack the whip.

Or maybe not - these people have a remarkable ability for self delusion.

Thank God those who believe in pan-europeanism (?) have no access to a means of repression, as they would not hesitate to use it. Fools and hypocrites!
As usual Dalrymple tells it as it is not how he would like it to be.

As it is now obvious to all, other than those who still have a lingering belief in the Tooth Fairy and Father Xmas, the Euro is doomed for the reasons so clearly stated. What is amazing to me is the impossible contortions, and plain lies that politicians and economists are indilging in, all of which can only prolong the agony.
Monetary unity is a fantasy when the behaviors, and cultures, that define the "unified" countries are so markedly dissimilar. I can only marvel that the countries that comprise the the EU, which only recently felt the sting of Germany's determination, would submit itself to Germany yet again. In defense of Germany, they will suffer one way or another from being harder working, frugal, inventive people than their Southern European counterparts. This story will have a sad ending.
The European Project is the attempt by France to make Europe into a superpower, to counterbalance the US and the USSR. The whole thing has turned into dust in their hands. From the US perspective, this is a shame. From the French perspective, a tragedy of world-historical proportions, like 1940.
Mark Leavenworth June 01, 2012 at 12:19 AM
The 'European Project' is not as much the idea of unifying europe as it is/was the idea of subjugating the US 'military/industrial complex' to euro-socialist governance.