Hvis en skal lese bare én artikkel i sommer om forholdet mellom USA og Europa, bør en velge denne. Utgangspunktet for artikkelen er Bruce Bawers reisereportasje fra Telemark. Det faktum at reportasjen ble trykket i The New York Times ble slått stort opp av Aftenposten, som i kjent stil ikke presenterte den helt korrekte historien.
Bawer bruker nordmenns syn på USA som hovedeksempel på den europeiske holdningen. Her får diverse norske forfattere og synsere gjennomgå, de eneste som forblir stående er Stian Bromark og Dag Herbjønrsrud - forfatterne av “Frykten for Amerika”.
A must read.
To be sure, Western European intellectuals often claim, as Norwegian author Jens Bjørneboe did in a 1966 essay, “We Who Loved America,” that they once were pro-American but, owing to some social change in America or some U.S. government action, have altered their position. The current claim is that Europeans loved America until the Iraq War; before that, it was a truism that they loved America until Vietnam. But Bromark and Herbjørnsrud state flatly that “It wasn’t the Vietnam War that made European intellectuals, authors and academics anti-American. The truth is that they had been anti-American all along.” As early as 1881, the Norwegian author Bjørnsterne Bjørnson argued that Europe’s America-bashing had to stop; even earlier, in 1869, James Russell Lowell complained that Europeans invariably saw America “in caricature.“19 Indeed, nineteenth-century European aristocrats despised America as a symbol of progress, innovation, and (above all) equality, ridiculing it as a mongrel land of simple-minded Indians and blacks; later, avaricious Jews were added to the list. These stereotypes soon spread to Americans generally, resulting in today’s European-establishment view of Americans as materialistic morons.