Is Europe better than America? (page 73)

A nation, it has been said, is a group of people united by a common dislike of their neighbours and a shared misunderstanding of their own past... (p.73)
83% of Americans say they regard God as important or very important, compared with 49% of Europeans; 47% of AMericans say they attend church at least once a week, as against less than 20% of Europeans; 58 % of Americans say you have to believe in God in order to be moral. Four out of every five Americans believe in life after death, and one in three thinks, the Bible is God's word, literally true. In its religiosity, America is the great exception: the one country in the world to be both rich and religious.. (p74)

..72% of all Americans said they were very proud of their country, compared with just 49 % of the British and 40% of the Germans.... (jk: and French???)p 74

Varieties of Capitalism.... the liberal market economy (England, USA, Ireland) and the coordinated market economy (Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia.... The authors find that France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece occupy " more ambiguous positions, Mediterranean type, marked by extensive state intervention (p 75).

But are there really more differences between Europe and America than within Europe itself?
Does a lif of a lawyer in Hamburg more closely resemble that of a lawyer in Kiev or in Boston... The European model is a prescription presented as a description.

Exemple religion:
..84% of Turks think that believe in God is necessary to be moral. Even between France and Germany there is a large gap on that question: 33% of Germans agree (to God) against only 13% of French....

Yet as we have seen the afterlife of Christendom still has a powerful influence on the self definition of Europe (polemics against Antiislamism..)
Influence o f Church in Italy!

And there are also two Americas...deep differences between blue America and red America..... then blue America turns out to be a quite European shade of pink.

American Democrats turn out to closer to Europeans than they are to Republicans... and this is not a small minority....

... Americans retain a readiness to use military force in a dangerous ' Hobbesian' world... from the end of the Vietnam war... to 11/9 France and Britain were generally more willing to send their soldiers into dangerous action thatn the United states...
....that birthday of the ' European Nation ' an estimated 200.000 people in San Francisco and 100.000 people in New York protested agains President Bushs proposed war on Iraq. Presumably that made them Europeans too.

Social expenditures: the public expenditure for health in the States and Britain is the same 6.2% of GDP. Spend badly... but....

Spending for defence: Ratio in 1945 between Defence spending and social spending was 89 to 2, at the end of the Clinto administration 16:62 and with Bush has risen only to 20:65 in 2004.

At the end: Taking all in all we may emerge from this tangled jungle of claims and data with two alternative conclusions:
a) America and Europe are two different, strongly contrastinc civilizations and one is better (For one insert Europe or America according to taste.)
b) America and most of the diverse countries of Europe belong to a wider family of developed liberal democracies. Americi is better in Some ways, Europe in others.
Statement b) is less interesting, less galvanizing, but it has the boring old merit of being true.


World Views: