What comes naturally to most Americans is ‘the pursuit of happiness’ stipulated in their founding document – not the pursuit of beauty or, God forbid, the truth. This has produced the happiest society in the West, and also the least Western. There’s a price to pay for secularism, and in America’s case the most prominent rubric on the bill is aesthetic.
Few Americans stop to think why just about everything man-made in their country is ugly, and even when such a thought crosses their minds they do not gasp with horror. Real life isn’t about beauty.
This vehement (but not unique) rant brings the following thoughts:
- His post got a lot more glasses raised on this side of the Atlantic than one might think, and not just from the Canadians. Europhilia is more strongly rooted in the message people get here in an élite upbringing than many realise. That ethic is buttressed by a simple fact: European countries (and now the EU itself) have strong centripetal tendencies, something any élite would like to see in its own country.
- Attempts to Europeanise this country via public policy (like this one) will not take root and flourish in the way some would like to think they will. The U.S. has been successful being itself; attempting to make it in another continent’s image and likeness runs the real risk of failure.
- Much has been made of Americans being “better travelled”, but as Boot’s illustration shows, a lot of that money was flushed down the toilet from the standpoint of “broadening”. It’s easier for people to travel physically than it is from the standpoint of learning something you didn’t know before.