At the heart of Europe’s confused response to the refugee crisis is a feeling, largely unexpressed but still quite palpable, that these desperate, robbed, half-starving Syrians are in some way a contaminant, that to allow them in will result in Europe’s getting something horrible and staining on its fingers — but also that somehow Europe is “full.”
This is not just knee-jerk racism. It is very important to Europeans to see themselves as living in a lucky citadel of rationality, a managerial environment based around consumer choice. Nationalism also continues to play a role; each European state sees itself as organic and complete.… Seguir leyendo »
For over 25 years, Archduke Franz Ferdinand paced up and down in his palaces and castles waiting impatiently for the death of the ever more ancient emperor, his hated uncle Franz Joseph I. As we all know, his wait was in vain.
Of this summer’s great anniversary commemorations of World War I, the most important will be those marking the assassination on June 28, 1914 of Franz Ferdinand, the “original sin” from which all the terrible subsequent events followed. The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne has come to symbolize everything backward and myopic about pre-1914 Europe. With his ostrich-feather hat, medaled bulk and waxed mustache, he was a sitting duck for a young radical with a cheap semiautomatic.… Seguir leyendo »