Transatlantic myopia

Americans believe class politics distorts the European mindset, writes Catherine Fieschi

The World Today
Published 6 November 2020 Updated 8 February 2021 2 minute READ

Catherine Fieschi

Director, Counterpoint

Europeans have tended to over-simplify the wellspring of American politics. The European outlook on the United States – if there is a such a thing – is the fluctuating product of gratitude, irritation, fascination, disdain and envy. But the American outlook on Europe – and there definitely is such a thing – is equally, if not more, contradictory, a mix, in almost equal parts, of utopian and dystopian ideological fantasy.

From the progressive side of the American commentariat spews forth, first, a geyser of frustrated socialist aspirations. This results in Europe being continuously exhorted to remain committed to the various strands of its socialist traditions, as well as suspicion of capitalism.

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