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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

The Myth Of Western Civilization

What is ostensibly a review of Tony Judt’s astounding Postwar ends up something rather wonderful: http://m.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/12/the-myth-of-western-civilization/282704/

“Nations seem to require myth… the European super-nation has long needed to believe itself above the world, above native America, above Asia, and particularly above Africa. The truth is more disconcerting: The dark continent has never been South of the Sahara, but South of Minsk and East of Aachen in the jungles of the European soul.

“I don’t have any gospel of my own. Postwar, and the early pages of Bloodlands, have revealed a truth to me: … I don’t believe the arc of the universe bends towards justice. I don’t even believe in an arc. I believe in chaos. I believe powerful people who think they can make Utopia out of chaos should be watched closely. I don’t know that it all ends badly. But I think it probably does.”

2 Comments

  1. A bit sappy.

    And this line definitely rung wrong for me: “The truth is more disconcerting: The dark continent has never been South of the Sahara, but South of Minsk and East of Aachen in the jungles of the European soul.”

    Seems rather curious for Coates to exclude the real Anglo-French “West” from this “dark continent,” what with the enslavement of the Africans, extermination of the Amerindians, starving of the Irish, racial supremacist world-empires, and whatnot.