Sunday, February 13, 2005

Hating America

Dominic Hilton writes in openDemocracy:
Anti-Americanism, when not perpetrated by true haters, is often a stale mockery of America, born of our own fascination. This is our (the world’s) problem, not America’s. Jean-Francois Revel suggests that we “project our faults onto America so as to absolve ourselves”. As he says of his native France, and Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin say of the last four hundred years, some of this “Hating America” is born of fear, some of plain old weakness, some of outright jealousy. The left, in particular, is green with envy. 20th-century Communism only served to augment belief in the American Dream. “The success of America was thus a devastating blow to the Left,” writes Michael Ledeen. “It wasn’t supposed to happen. And American success was particularly galling because it came at the expense of Europe itself, and of the embodiment of the Left’s most utopian dream: the Soviet Union.”

Read the full thing. And if you don't agree with the essay, check out openDemocracy's forum on this article, and join the debate if you wish to.

I've just finished a fascinating book on a related subject: Occidentalism, by Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit. An excellent read, more on it later.

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