Why did European values lose to American ones

13.03.2019

What we have traditionally consider as European values, in fact, was shaped far from Europe...

Democracy versus multiculturalism

As the liberal offensive of the last four decades progressed in Europe, the idea was more and more actively implemented: democracy is multiculturalism and tolerance. The authors of this thesis were ready to declare any opponent a far-right, reactionary, conservative, xenophobe, Stalinist, and even sexist. The will of the majority and its “intolerant opinion” no longer had any meaning, whereas active and passive suffrage became a European value and fact precisely for the sake of expressing and enforcing the will of the majority.

If the majority considers unacceptable marriage for representatives of the same sex, special rights for sexual, cultural and religious minorities, then the embodiment of his will is democratic. Imposing from above unacceptable for most laws and rules is anti-democratic, contrary to the principle of popular sovereignty. However, the liberals have always proceeded from the fact that the “lower classes” cannot know what will be better for them, and therefore the word “democracy” should not signify their will, and even more so the power that flows from them. This forgery in our time was followed by the attack of the neoliberals born in the Anglo-Saxon world against another very important European value - equality.

The equality of all citizens has become a European value in the struggle against the estate system. In a class society, everyone had different rights and duties. The destruction of this system gave a powerful impetus to the development of the whole of Europe.

Nowadays, the order of vesting with unequal rights of different groups, alien to the principle of equality, is being introduced, which the liberal left often designate as positive discrimination, that is, reward for oppression.

So, to the amazement of the citizens of some eurozone countries, taxes and other duties fall on their shoulders. The social package and even the right not to work goes to a completely different group of people - "refugees", most of whom are actually just parasites seeking the benefits of the "consumer society".

Critics of this state of affairs face EU accusations of assaulting multiculturalism and tolerance. But tolerance is a European value only in tandem with intolerance. The wildness and aggressiveness of immigrants from backward countries or representatives of local reaction (Anders Breivik and neo-fascists), the desire of diverse “cultural groups” to bend general laws for themselves defies the principle of equality. And this hardly deserves tolerance. As for the universal right to opinion, word and way of life according to one’s taste, all this is permissible only if it does not infringe upon the freedom of other citizens. This is increasingly forgotten in the EU, while European values ​​were not born out of wildness, but as a result of the triumph of civilization.

Men and women

Equality of men and women before the law was by no means immediately a fact and rule in Europe. The decisive role was played by the Social Democrats and the Communists, by their slogan of emancipation (the liberation of women from the power of men) and by turning to both sexes as equal forced the conservatives to give up their positions. At the same time, such prominent leftists as Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg criticized suffragists, the forerunners of feminists of the 21st century. - for narrow social tasks and struggle, rather, against men and for the sake of career prospects of women of the upper class, rather than together with men for a better life. Therefore, gender equality, emancipation, rather than feminism, is another value of European development.

A heterosexual family with the equal status of both spouses is another value that is challenged by both fundamentalists from Islam and those who seek new “advanced” forms of marriage. However, accepting the diversity of erotic relations, society is hardly capable of abandoning this value, given that there is a right of children to be raised in a normal family, and not among experimenters. But the liberals proceed from the fact that here too the “lower classes” do not know their own good. Therefore, they continue the offensive, literally raping the society, which showed the introduction of marriage for sexual minorities in France against the will of almost the entire population. And we should not take false for true.

The introduction of swing values ​​destroys the lives of men and women, taken separately. They are trying to impose new “gender roles”, and this means not only giving new boundaries to relationships, but also suppressing sexuality and personality.

This is quite in the spirit of Protestantism, but can hardly be considered a continental value. The practice of removing children from a family is another form of liberals attacking European values. And although the problem of child abuse exists, this does not deprive them of the right to live with their relatives, and education and training can hardly be managed without compulsion.

The welfare state as an achievement

If in the XIX century. in France, the concept of a “social republic” was born, then in the 20th century. there was a welfare state. The triumph occurred after the Second World War in the face of the threat of a recurrence of the Great Depression of 1929-1933, in which the economic crisis of 1948 could escalate with the connivance of the governments.

 The essence of the welfare state was that the main function of the state was to take care of a person - his health, his old age, children (kindergartens, schools, free education). Part of the social policy was the provision of housing for people to rent. Subsidies, grants, concessional loans - all these are his features.

The welfare state became possible for two reasons. First, by 1930, together with the number, the consumer value of the working class had grown, and from about 1945 its support as a mass consumer became economically necessary, which created a consumer society. Secondly, this large group of the population was dissatisfied with their position and sought to redistribute public goods to their advantage. The welfare state, in contrast to the state “night watchman”, solved this problem. It was also decided because the economy demanded regulation, and stimulating demand (within certain limits) was part of this policy.

Neoliberals have always attacked the welfare state. They proclaimed that it produces parasites, and regulation chokes the market. Freedom in the interpretation of liberal authors is incompatible with paternalism. However, its genuine European understanding is not liberal or Anglo-Saxon.

The social contract between the “lower ranks” and the “upper ranks” includes the maintenance and development of the social system, without which there can be no development of nations and an increase in the quality of the workforce, in the rude language of the economy. European value is not a minimalist state of the liberals, but a state that is as responsible as possible to society.

Violence, coercion, death penalty
French historian Fernand Braudel noted that the old order in Europe tried to dose violence. For example, of the rebellious peasants executed a few, but so that everyone else froze in horror. Terrible torture and death penalty, flogging and the like "education" were the norm until the end of the XVIII century. It was then that this practice was overturned, and human dignity was officially recognized (first in France). Has violence disappeared after this? It could not disappear, but the ban on physical violence (not coercion!) Became an important European value.

England for a long time did not want to recognize innovations. Soldiers here stopped flogging only in the 1870s, when it was considered shameful almost everywhere on the continent. But it was not a matter of banning flogging and painful executions, the line was drawn between coercion and permissible violence. In modern society, much is being done under coercion: for example, a child goes to school not on his own free will, but at the request of the law and the instructions of his parents. All people obey the rules and follow the taboos established by society. Their violation should lead to an increasing restriction of the freedom of the offender. Over time, the need for education was realized. At the same time, the rejection of the death penalty can hardly be considered a European value. For crimes intolerable for society, such as the massacre of Breivik or the actions of religious terrorists, hardly deserve the preservation of life for criminals. Society does not need reeducation.

Not everything is fixable - this is the last frontier of European humanism, which the liberals questioned.

In their interpretation, humanism became individualistic, denying the public interest and right, whereas this is exactly the basis of another, European-born humanism. It implies a limited, rather than expandable endlessness. And here the will of the majority, expressed in the form of a secret treaty, is the basis of everything.

According to this logic, coercion and violence are not prohibited. Personal degradation is forbidden. Physical punishment is forbidden, beating is forbidden, but not the removal of evil. Therefore, the values ​​that have arisen in Europe have not disappeared even now, but are the invisible basis of resistance to neoliberalism and the Americanization of public life.