WHY FASHIONABLE EUROPEAN OPINION IS FORMED BY NASTY LITTLE PEOPLE | 2004-05-31
It is hard for a person who can take criticism to become really nasty or really mean. It is the people who cannot imagine that they are anything but wonderful who get really small and nasty.
If you can look at yourself from the outside there is a limit to how bad you can get. If you assume you are practically perfect in every way there is no limit to how bad you can get.
At the turn of the twentieth century Europeans thought they were wonderful as their sophisticated brilliance led them into World War I.
Europeans in the 1930s thought they were sophisticated and wonderful as their continent divided between Communists and Fascists.
Western Europeans insisted they were brilliant after World War II, when a third of them voted for the silliest kind of democratic socialism, a third of them voted Stalinist and the other third became Catholic theocrats.
In the run-up to the Iraq War, Europeans once again insisted they were being brilliant.
European opinion opposed the Iraq War because they said Americans were awful and low and ignorant and selfish. They said, as usual, that Europeans were True Intellectuals and True Sophisticates and that Western Europeans were the only people who were capable of Generosity and True Compassion.
In other words, Europe went back to the same old crap. But this time some Americans actually noticed how silly they were.