Blog Post: Europe

1.) Judt talks about many thematic shapes of postwar Europe. I think that one of the more important ones is the United States relationship with Europe, both the eastern and western half.  With the western half of Europe, we can see great destabilization due to the second world war. States used many of their resources on the war and there was severe economic and political turmoil. The United States was at a position to help said countries but it caused a bit of resentment. The best way I can explain this resentment is through the metaphor of an independent individual becoming more and more dependent on others after either aging or having an accident or illness. Because of their independence, relying on others can create this mindset of resentment because they would much rather be doing this on their own but physically cannot. This works with European countries because they needed the resources from the United States but their senses of nationalism following the war were diminished because of their dependence.

2.) The political topography of Europe  changed in the late 20th, early 21st century in the sense that policy and legislation is more about public opinion, rather that by the hands of the few intellectuals and philosophers. Judt brings up arguments such as abortion availability and the legalization of gay marriage, and a slew of other social issues in which public opinion was the driving factor is such changes. In old Europe, power was more centered around the intellectual arguments about what should and should not be done. But with modern times, policies regarding social conflict were very much in the hands of the public and what they believed was morally right and wrong. People were making the decisions rather than having decisions made for them.

3.) I think I can apply his observation through the posters because the posters display a large us or them mentality, which is a product of nationalism in Europes various states, rather than ideas of transnationalism and a singular European identity. Looking at the first poster, it has a clear bias against Islam and Muslims. If the universal European mindset ran true, there would not be posters which make such assumptions about a big group of people. This speaks to modern ideas of immigration in Europe. States have been very stringent on immigration but with an idea such as one European identity, there wouldn’t be arguments against immigration.

Leave a Reply