Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paris is (Still) Burning

When a country is free, prosperous, and powerful, it can count on a great deal of European carping about its success, especially from those countries that used to be free, prosperous and powerful, and perhaps even more from those countries that wanted to be be, but never made it.

In short, envy motivates much of the political and intellectual criticism directed against the United States. Not that the US is blameless. That title may rest safely on the act of an individual, but never on a nation. Get enough people together, and someone will behave badly, just like in college, only with real money and full responsibility. Unless you're a Congressman or an English professor. Then you get to pretend you're in college your entire career.

But I digress. Writing in Reason, Michael Moynihan takes down European hubris a notch or two by reminding them of their self righteous analysis of the Columbine massacre: "blame Charlton Heston."

I'm sorry. I missed something. Was he actually at Columbine?

Now people are rioting in France. Again. If it weren't such an abuse of common sense, it might actually be entertaining to see how French intellectuals struggle to differentiate violence in the United States from mob violence in France. Recall that it was the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre (image) who said of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, terrorism "is a terrible weapon but the oppressed poor have no others."

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