Europe

Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and 'fascist', while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up. ~ Jean-François Revel

Europe is one of the traditional seven political continents, and a peninsular sub-continent of the geographic continent Eurasia.

QuotesEdit

Divisions of EuropeEdit

  • I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours... They are nations of eternal war.
  • You know what the funniest thing about Europe is? It’s the little differences.
  • That grand drama in a hundred acts, which is reserved for the next two centuries of Europe—the most terrible, most questionable and perhaps also the most hopeful of all dramas.
  • I doubt that the evil spirits of the past, under which we in Europe have already suffered more than enough this century, have been banished for ever.

Europe as a declining continentEdit

  • There is no freedom in Europe — that's certain — it is besides a worn out portion of the globe.
  • Soon nostalgia will be another name for Europe.
    • Angela Carter (1940–92), British postmodern novelist. repr. Vintage (1992). Expletives Deleted, review of John Berger, Once in Europa, The Washington Post (1989).
  • I am worn down, and worn out, with crusading and defending Europe, and protecting mankind; I must think a little of myself.
  • Positively I sit here, and look at Europe sink, first one deck disappearing, then another, and the whole ship slowly plunging bow-down into the abyss; until the nightmare gets to be howling. The Roman Empire was a trifle to it.
  • The more I live here in western Europe, the more I am impressed by the sense of decay;not the graceful and dignified decay of an oriental, but the vulgar and sordid decay of a bankrupt cotton-mill.
  • The race of prophets is extinct. Europe is becoming set in its ways, slowly embalming itself beneath the wrappings of its borders, its factories, its law-courts and its universities.
  • I have no more patience for this Europe where Autumn wears the face of Spring and Spring reeks of misery.
  • My conclusion will be simple. It will consist of saying, in the very midst of the sound and the fury of our history: "Let us rejoice." Let us rejoice, indeed, at having witnessed the death of a lying and comfort-loving Europe and at being faced with cruel truths.
    • Albert Camus, "Create Dangerously," lecture given at the University of Uppsala, Sweden (December 1957); republished by Camus in Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1961), Justin O'Brien, translator, p. 270.
  • Over there, in Europe, all was shame and anger. Here it was exile or solitude, among these languid and agitated madmen who danced in order to die.

Unification of EuropeEdit

  • That in order to achieve the triumph of liberty, justice and peace in the international relations of Europe, and to render civil war impossible among the various peoples which make up the European family, only a single course lies open: to constitute the United States of Europe
  • The Federated Republic of Europe—the United States of Europe—that is what must be. National autonomy no longer suffices. Economic evolution demands the abolition of national frontiers. If Europe is to remain split into national groups, then Imperialism will recommence its work. Only a Federated Republic of Europe can give peace to the world.
  • If Ireland is to become a new Ireland she must first become European.
  • Whatever else may divide us, Europe is our common home; a common fate has linked us through the centuries, and it continues to link us today.
  • We are asking the nations of Europe between whom rivers of blood have flowed to forget the feuds of a thousand years.
  • Why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent? And why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings and help to shape the onward destinies of men?
  • If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance there would be no limit to the happiness, the prosperity, and the glory which its 300,000,000 or 400,000,000 people would enjoy.
  • My revenge is fraternity! No more frontiers! The Rhine for everyone! Let us be the same Republic, let us be the United States of Europe, let us be the continental federation, let us be European liberty, let us be universal peace!
    • Victor Hugo, Opening Address to the Peace Congress (21 August 1849), Paris.
  • A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas.
  • Europe thus divided into nationalities freely formed and free internally, peace between States would have become easier: the United States of Europe would become a possibility.
  • The ocean is rough and whirling, and the currents go to two possible endings: the autocrat, or the United States of Europe'.
    • Carlo Cattaneo

Politics of EuropeEdit

  • A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism.
  • When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold.

Definitions of Europe by geography or cultureEdit

  • So there is no single European people. There is no single all-embracing community of culture and tradition among, say, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Berlin and Belgrade. In fact, there are at least four communities: the Northern Protestant, the Latin Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, and the Muslim Ottoman. There is no single language - there are more than twenty. (...) There are no real European political parties (...). And most significantly of all: unlike the United States, Europe still does not have a common story.
  • Europe is not really even a geographic entity; it is separated from Asia only at one point, the Bosphorus, by a small stretch of water. North of that there is continuity over the russians steppes, a complete terrestrial flow. I suggest that is also true of culture, and indeed of social organization. Indeed Europe has never been purely isolated, purely Christian. Instead of Christian Europe, one has to see the continent as penetrated by the three world religions that originated in the Near East and which indeed had a common mythology or sacred text; in order of arrival these were Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (...) All have equal entitlements to be present, and in this general ('objective') sense none can be considered only as the Other; they are part of Europe, part of our heritage.
  • As to the territorial limits of Europe, they may seem relatively clear on its seaward flanks, but many island groups far to the north and west—Svalbard, the Faroes, Iceland, and the Madeira and Canary islands—are considered European, while Greenland (though tied politically to Denmark) is conventionally allocated to North America. Furthermore, the Mediterranean coastlands of North Africa and southwestern Asia also exhibit some European physical and cultural affinities. Turkey and Cyprus in particular, while geologically Asian, possess elements of European culture and may be regarded as parts of Europe.
  • The peoples of Europe are a work in progress and always must be... The history of the people of Europe has not ended -- it never will. Ethnogenesis is a process of the present and future as much as it is the past. No efforts of romantics, politicians, or social scientists can preserve once and for all some essential soul of a people or nation. Nor can any effort ensure that nations, ethnic groups, and communities of today will not vanish utterly in the future. The past may have set the parameters within which one can build the future, but it cannot determine what that future must be.
    • Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe, Princeton University Press, 2003
  • Many of the traits on which modern Europe prides itself came to it from Muslim Spain. Diplomacy, free trade, open borders, the techniques of academic research, of anthropology, etiquette, fashion, various types of medicine, hospitals, all came from this great city of cities. (...) The surprise is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long, first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilisation which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart.
  • Oui, c'est l'Europe, depuis l'Atlantique jusqu'à l'Oural, c'est l'Europe, c'est toute l'Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde!
    • Translation: Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the fate of the world.
    • Charles de Gaulle, 23 November 1959, Strasbourg.
  • Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.
  • Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image.
  • If you live in Europe... things change... but continuity never seems to break. You don't have to throw the past away.
  • Europe has what we do not have yet, a sense of the mysterious and inexorable limits of life, a sense, in a word, of tragedy. And we have what they sorely need: a sense of life’s possibilities.
  • Two principles, according to the Settembrinian cosmogony, were in perpetual conflict for possession of the world: force and justice, tyranny and freedom, superstition and knowledge; the law of permanence and the law of change, of ceaseless fermentation issuing in progress. One might call the first the Asiatic, the second the European principle.
  • Purity of race does not exist. Europe is a continent of energetic mongrels.
    • Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher, A history of Europe, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1939, p.14
  • I know that Europe’s wonderful, yet something seems to lack; The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
  • Hey, this is Europe. We took it from nobody; we won it from the bare soil that the ice left. The bones of our ancestors, and the stones of their works, are everywhere. Our liberties were won in wars and revolutions so terrible that we do not fear our governors: they fear us. Our children giggle and eat ice-cream in the palaces of past rulers. We snap our fingers at kings. We laugh at popes. When we have built up tyrants, we have brought them down. And we have nuclear *fucking* weapons.
    • Ken Macleod
  • Africa north of the Sahara, from a zoological point of view, is now, and has been since early Tertiary times, a part of Europe. This is true both of animals and of the races of man.
    • Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, Scribner's sons, 1916, p.137

Europe and the WorldEdit

  • The immense popularity of American movies abroad demonstrates that Europe is the unfinished negative of which America is the proof.
  • I've come to think of Europe as a hardcover book, America as the paperback version.
    • Don Delillo
  • It is a complex fate, being an American, and one of the responsibilities it entails is fighting against a superstitious evaluation of Europe.
  • Europe cannot confine itself to the cultivation of its own garden.
    • Juan Carlos of Spain
  • In America the cohesion was a matter of choice and will. But in Europe it was organic.
  • The time to enjoy a European tour is about three weeks after you unpack.
  • Until now when we have started to talk about the uniqueness of America we have almost always ended by comparing ourselves to Europe. Toward her we have felt all the attraction and repulsions of Oedipus.
    • Daniel J Boorstin

Reaction to European ConstitutionEdit

  • "The EU Constitution is something new in human history. Though it is not as eloquent as the French and U.S. constitutions, it is the first governing document of its kind to expand the human franchise to the level of global consciousness. The language throughout the draft constitution speaks of universalism, making it clear that its focus is not a people, or a territory, or a nation, but rather the human race and the planet we inhabit."
    • Jeremy Rifkin in Utne, 24 October 2004
  • “[The Constitution] will seal the victory of the nation-states over the European 'super-state'".
    • Le Figaro (France), 21 April 2004
  • "The EU Constitution safeguards national sovereignty of Member States."
    • Guilherme Oliveira Martins (Portugese Socialist MP), 19 June 2004
  • "This is a Constitution … which consecrates the EU as a union of sovereign states, which continues not to opt for federal institutions."
    • El Mundo (Spain), 20 June 2004
  • "This Constitution does not reflect the thoughts, hopes and aspirations of ordinary people. It does nothing for jobs or economic growth and widens further still the democratic deficit. The gap between the governors and the governed is now a gaping chasm."
    • Nigel Farage (Leader of UK Independence Party), 24 September 2003
  • "A consensus [that] has been established … around the British concept of a market system stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals, accompanied by intergovernmental co-operation in areas where collective action is more efficient, and a security policy integrated with that of the USA."
    • Nicolas Baverez (French commentator and author), 2003
  • "There is no place for concern that it would change the structure and operation of the EU in a radical way. 90% of the constitution agreement is already in the current agreements. The innovations in the draft will clarify the structure of the EU and make its activity more efficient, as well as strengthen citizens’ rights."
    • Egils Levits (Latvian ECJ Judge), Quoted in “Latvijas avize”, 21 June 2004
  • "Europe is and will be a Union of States."
  • "The British won the day."
    • Corriere della Sera (Italy), 19 Jun 2004
  • "An extraordinary disappointment."
    • Elmar Brok MEP (German federalist), Economist, 31 May 2003
  • "I want to kill myself."
    • Giuliano Amato (Italian federalist),Telegraph, 24 May 2003

GeneticsEdit

  • "People often think that Europeans are homogeneous group that arrived in a simple way there maybe 40 or 50 thousand years ago maybe based on the archaeology and just kind of sat there until they became the Europeans they are today, but that's probably not true: the Europeans today are a replacement population who came in much more recently and replaced the people who were there originally 40 thousand years ago."


DisputedEdit

Washington wrote to Lafayette that he considered himself a "citizen of the great republic of humanity," adding: "I see the human race a great family, united by fraternal bonds." Elsewhere he wrote prophetically: "We have sown a seed of liberty and union that will gradually germinate throughout the earth. Some day, on the model of the United States of America, will be constituted the United States of Europe."
Presented as the actual letter cited is this letter to the Marquis de Lafayette (15 August 1786), which contains general assertions of Humanity's unity, but without any predictions of a "United States of Europe":
Altho' I pretend to no peculiar information respecting commercial affairs, nor any foresight into the scenes of futurity; yet as the member of an infant empire, as a Philanthropist by character, and (if I may be allowed the expression) as a Citizen of the great republic of humanity at large; I cannot help turning my attention sometimes to this subject. I would be understood to mean, I cannot avoid reflecting with pleasure on the probable influence that commerce may hereafter have on human manners and society in general. On these occasions I consider how mankind may be connected like one great family in fraternal ties. I indulge a fond, perhaps an enthusiastic idea, that as the world is evidently much less barbarous than it has been, its melioration must still be progressive; that nations are becoming more humanized in their policy, that the subjects of ambition and causes for hostility are daily diminishing, and, in fine, that the period is not very remote, when the benefits of a liberal and free commerce will, pretty generally, succeed to the devastations and horrors of war.
Last modified on 12 April 2014, at 22:29