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  •  I've been around France enough since I was a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunacat, Powell, RamblinDave, Rashaverak

    kid to say that French people generally have no issue with Americans. I never hear them. However, Americans have no shortage of issues with the French and the language barrier is one of them. Americans seem to expect disapproval from the French and some easily find confirmation of it.

    A few months ago the EU released the results of its annual public opinion poll. Participants were asked to match certain characteristics with the European nationality they associate most with each one. In the results, only the French selected negative traits to describe themselves and positive ones for others. Citizens of every other country associated negatives with other nationalities.

    I write about mass surveillance from the EU perspective. Last January, as a draft resolution to end it was put to a vote, Jan Albrecht, a German MEP with the Greens gave a fiery speech criticizing American intelligence practices. (Albrecht is a committed leftist on the Civil Liberties committee and one of my favorite MEPs.) When he was finished speaking, the chair of the session chided him for singling out the Americans when 14 member states were also expected to cease their own mass surveillance practices, and an expert from Russia had recently testified about its intelligence operations, too.

    Do real people anywhere ever worry about their country losing its moral authority? It's laughable to think of Germans today mourning the loss of their moral authority, out loud, in public, because of their past. Or Italians for that matter. The Spanish may regret the civil war of the 1930s and the rightwing repression under Franco that endured until 1975 but I can't imagine them going on about the loss of their moral authority.

    The only people who might refer to anything like moral authority in the EU are rightwing nationalists. Even in the US, moral authority was a cover the rightwing used when it was convenient. The American left never recognized it so it's puzzling to hear the left refer to it now as if it were a real thing.

    •  the Germans take their past very seriously (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides
      It's laughable to think of Germans today mourning the loss of their moral authority, out loud, in public, because of their past.
      There's a story about how the only time it's appropriate to display patriotism is when Germany wins the World Cup.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sat May 10, 2014 at 03:11:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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