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Europe is getting tired of Britain

Europe is getting tired of Britain

07.11.2017
Tags: Europe, UK, Politics, Analytics, International relations, USA, Spain, Catalonia

Just a few years ago, fatigue from "notations of the Anglo-Saxon world" was a characteristic feature of such authoritarian regimes as Vladimir Putin's regimes in Russia and Xi Jinping in China. Now, this fatigue has become increasingly apparent in the European media - a sure sign that after Breckzit and the victory of Donald Trump, the English-speaking world loses its intellectual legitimacy.

On Thursday, November 2, the Spanish newspaper El Pais published an article written by the editor-in-chief Jose Ignacio Torreblanca in English, which he called "Anglocondescension". Imbued with sarcasm, this article is a rather harsh rebuke addressed to English-speaking experts who criticize Madrid for its tough stance on Catalonia's desire for independence: "They shout in their editorial columns and articles of commentators about the incredible frustration they are experiencing in connection with that that we are not able to bend under the pressure of the nationalist-populist blackmail of Carles Puigdemont and his minions and that we want to protect our constitution in the same way as they protect are their (often violent and, if necessary, interfering in other countries). "

The leadership of El Pais recently sacked the leading British columnist John Carlin (John Carlin) because he criticized King Philip and the Spanish government for their refusal to resolve the Catalan problem by compromise. The publication of the Columbia Journalism Review found this to be a sign of the newspaper's excessive proximity to the Spanish government. Perhaps, but while El Pais can afford to publish articles from time to time in support of Catalonia, she does not feel obliged to listen to the advice and recommendations of "Anglo-Saxon" intellectuals. The point here is not so much how the columns and articles are written, but rather in the strong dissatisfaction with what an exaggeratedly large role the United States and its closest ally, the United Kingdom, have played in the formulation of politics and global intellectual discourse in the era of the liberal world order.

Torreblanca believes that he is not obliged to continue to tolerate this - with that "indulgent tone in which they are ranting about our" young "democracy, its alleged problems with the assimilation of Francoism and racist inclinations in the temperamental nature of the Spaniards," he writes. He adds:

And all this is shamelessly poured on us the United States and the United Kingdom - the two countries that last year committed collective suicide before the eyes of the whole world in the framework of a crude populist reality show with the participation of the most worthless representatives of the right wing, the most mediocre politicians and the most dishonest media who decided to work together to bring such a clown to power as Trump, and push him to such incredible stupidity as Braxit - and now they themselves do not know where to find a way out.

Such sentiments are characteristic not only of the Spaniards. Earlier this month in Germany, a group of pro-American scholars initiated a debate, stating in their manifesto - published in the German newspaper Die Zeit and in the American newspaper The New York Times - that, regardless of whether Trump or not Trump controls the country, Germany must adhere to the principles Atlanticism as its main foreign policy vector. In a response published in Die Zeit, well-known commentators Joerg Lau and Bernd Ulrich said that it's time to adapt to a world where the US is not at the head. According to Lau and Ulrich, the Atlantists lost touch with reality:

Those who are waiting for the US to return to its former role after Trump's departure, are deceiving themselves. The transatlantic crisis began not with Trump, and he will not end on Trump. Why do not the Atlantists want to admit this?

In their opinion, the problem lies much deeper than the current US administration believes. And one of its main components is the obsolete intellectual hurray-patriotism. From the point of view of Lau and Ulrich, Germany, with its current focus on compromise and cooperation - as opposed to the desire for domination - may be able to provide substantial assistance in the formation of a new world order. And this claim is not a geopolitical nature, but a philosophical one.

Interestingly, both the newspaper El Pais and the newspaper Die Zeit felt that they needed to translate these articles into English. Critics of the English-speaking world want to be heard by the expert community, which they criticize. They are trying to establish new rules of interaction, according to which the United States and the United Kingdom can no longer speak from the position of moral superiority, due to their victory in World War II. As the events of the 1940-ies go farther back, recent intellectual and moral errors and the failures of the English-speaking community are becoming increasingly important.

In a world in which Germany no longer feels obligated to follow the advice of the United States, and especially Britain in matters of security and trade policy, and in which Spain exercises its right to fight separatism as decisively as the United States would, tension does not only arise between liberal and illiberal societies. Tensions also arise between different models of democracy, statehood and social protection. Thanks to Brackt and Trump, this debate is not only more aggressive and sarcastic, but also more exciting, because more alternatives are being discussed for discussion.

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