The American Dream Vs. the European Dream
Posted in the Top Stories Forum
Since: Mar 13
Americans hold a negative definition of what it means to be free and, thus, secure. For us, freedom has long been associated with autonomy.
The new European Dream is powerful because it dares to suggest a new history — with an attention to quality of life, sustainability, peace and harmony.
If one is autonomous, he or she is not dependent on others or vulnerable to circumstances outside of his or her control. To be autonomous, one needs to be propertied.
The more wealth one amasses, the more independent one is in the world. One is free by becoming self-reliant and an island unto oneself.
With wealth comes exclusivity — and with exclusivity comes security.
The new European Dream, however, is based on a different set of assumptions about what constitutes freedom and security.
For Europeans, freedom is not found in autonomy, but in embeddedness. To be free is to have access to a myriad of interdependent relationships with others.
Success is interdependence
The more communities one has access to, the more options and choices one has for living a full and meaningful life. With relationships comes inclusivity and with inclusivity comes security.
The European Dream is focused not on amassing wealth, but rather on elevating the human spirit. It seeks to expand human empathy — not territory.
The American Dream puts an emphasis on economic growth, personal wealth and independence. The new European Dream focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life and interdependence.
The American Dream pays homage to the work ethic. The European Dream is more attuned to leisure and deep play. The American Dream is inseparable from the country’s religious heritage and deep spiritual faith. The European Dream is secular to the core.
The American Dream is wedded to love of country and patriotism. The European Dream is more cosmopolitan and less territorial.
Americans are more willing to employ military force in the world, if necessary, to protect what we perceive to be our vital self-interests. Europeans are more reluctant to use military force and instead favor diplomacy, economic assistance and aid to avert conflict and prefer peacekeeping operations to maintain order.
Americans tend to think locally, while Europeans' loyalties are more divided — and stretch from the local to the global. The American Dream is deeply personal and little concerned with the rest of humanity. The European Dream is more expansive and systemic in nature and therefore, more bound to the welfare of the planet.
Rather, what’s important is that Europe has articulated a new vision for the future that’s different in many of its most fundamental aspects from America’s.
Dreams of the future
The new European Dream is powerful because it dares to suggest a new history, with an attention to quality of life, sustainability, peace and harmony.
In a sustainable civilization, based on quality of life rather than unlimited individual accumulation of wealth, the very material basis of modern progress would be a thing of the past.
Read more: http://www.immigrationtoeurope.org
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