Judt Response

  1. One of the trends identified by Judt is the transition towards the “European” style of politics and society. Tenets of this stylization include the idealization of the stable welfare state, liberal democracies with a decidedly progressive leaning later in the 20th century, and generally risk-averse conduct as a modus operandi. Its formation took time, and eventually took on anti-Atlanticist tones in that the style sought to distinguish itself from the “American” style of politics. This can be witnessed at large in the creation of the European Union in 2002, which mostly promotes such modalities and seeks to avoid warfare through a sense of a pan-European alliance. The pre-1945 European continent had witnessed its fair share of solely nationalist ideas that had little application outside of a single state; for example, National German socialism or Ceausescu’s Romanian strand of communism were extreme and dictatorial, and could not be considered constituent parts of a broader “European” ideology.
  2. As European politics shifted, the political topography was marked by the evaporation of the traditional divide between left and right in political parties. Judt calls this the death of the “old-style political party” (785). Especially in the modern day, there is more overlap in terms of several concepts: “anti-Capitalism,” anti-globalization, fears of immigration, and resistance to cultural sacrifice in the name of supranational organizations like the E.U.
  3. Judt focuses on the seeming dissolution of the European nation-state around 1945, and a gradual restoration after World War II. He describes this in relatively positive terms, so it would not make sense to return to a model that he views as detrimental to European progress and status.

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