Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mes Amis

Traveling in Europe, Charles Murray has found the real soul mates to Americans:

We complain that the French are infuriatingly certain of the superiority of things French. True--and it is a kind of pride that is rare in today's Europe. A few years ago I published a book called Human Accomplishment that was largely a paean to the brilliance of the European legacy. When I lectured on the book before European audiences, I discovered that my listeners did not enjoy hearing me recite their story; but were embarrassed. They had bought into the notion that Western civilization--i.e., European civilization--has been a source of evil rather than a font of the greatest achievements in human history. I have never given that lecture in France, but I bet you wouldn't catch a French audience reacting that way (except, perhaps, for an audience of intellectuals). The French are just as chauvinistically proud of their artists, scientists, and inventors as the stereotype has it. And as the stereotype of Americans has us.

No comments: