Monday, February 07, 2005

"There are two superpowers in the world, and the other is Europe"

I think they mean the EU, but still - an interesting article which follows on from Tony Judt's NYRB article extracted here, looking at a few new books about the Euro-American relationship.

Europe has power: not military power, but all the other kinds. It has the euro, a rival currency. Its economy is as large as America's (about $11 trillion), and its population is larger. It has the regulatory power and market clout to humble the likes of General Electric and Microsoft. It has many of the world's biggest and best companies, including (writes Rifkin) 14 of the world's 20 largest commercial banks and six of the top 11 telecommunications companies. It has a growing membership, a new constitution, and 25 United Nations votes. Reid quotes Romano Prodi, a former president of the European Commission: "Europe's time is almost here. In fact, there are many areas of world affairs where the objective conclusion would have to be that Europe is already the superpower, and the United States must follow our lead."

To bipolarists, Europe is also, just as importantly, a social pole: a rival model of how best to organize society and the world, and even human life. "The European Dream," writes Rifkin, "emphasizes community relationships over individual autonomy, cultural diversity over assimilation, quality of life over the accumulation of wealth, sustainable development over unlimited material growth, deep play over unrelenting toil, universal human rights and the rights of nature over property rights, and global cooperation over the unilateral exercise of power." Europe, writes Leonard, "can offer the best of both worlds: a synthesis of the dynamism of liberalism with the stability and welfare of social democracy." Thus "the European way of life will become irresistible."

Irresistible. Inevitable. Back here in Washington, it's tempting to say we've heard this before from Marxism, but that would be a cheap shot. Unlike communism, the E.U. seems to represent not an enemy of liberal capitalism, but a new and possibly improved version of it.

Well, maybe; but we've heard that before, too.

Worth a look, and it's not too long, which is always a plus. (Via Political Theory Daily Review)

1 Comments:

Blogger Siddhartha said...

I do not completely agree with this article.Ya it's true that EU is the richest union in the world and it's economy is even larger than the America's but the article does'nt says about the military power of EU.We are talking about the countries which are going to be the superpowers in the near future.Today we all know that United States is the only superpower other than Russia but we should consider Russia's economy, and considering it we can't assign the name SUPERPOWER to Russia.Other than US and Russia, the other two counties which will tend to become the superpowers in the near future are China and India.Though China is miles ahead of India in terms of economy, warheads , population , country size and in military but we should'nt forget the CIA's report of 2003-05 that India is the largest spending country on military and it's economy is growing much faster than any other country and it is in third place behind US and China.
That's all from my side.
This is Siddhartha from Lucknow,India.Contact me at sid_boyof1988@yahoo.com

1/24/2006 12:09:00 pm  

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