But do you really think France, UK or Germany (etc...) are less democratic than the US, despite their different interpretations?
In the realm of free speech and free religion, yes; I think the laws in place in most European countries substantially decrease the overall level of personal freedom and public debate.
That said, there are other elements involved in a state's overall level of (liberal) democracy, and its possible for a country to be deficient relative to some countries in major democratic indicators yet exceed those countries in overall democratization. For instance, before the Voting Rights Act, post-WWII France was probably more democratic than the United States due to the lack of protection of black voting rights in my country.
Also, while I DO frankly view the United States as slightly more "democratic" than European countries (with the possible exception of Switzerland) in modern times, that is influenced by my bias toward local control, the accountability of representatives to constituents rather than party leaders, limited government, and extensive checks and balances (allow me to take this moment to thank your country for Montesquieu...and, um, for the fact that my country exists at all). To many people, those last two elements in particular are indicative of an overall lack of procedural democracy, and they may therefore conclude that the United States is less "democratic" than most of Europe, while for me those institutional aspects are crucial to the "liberal" element of a liberal democracy.
In short, I (subjectively) think the United States is more "democratic" than France, but not simply because of First Amendment protections; I have several other biases which essentially favor the United States by default. However, I view France and the rest of Western Europe as overall exemplars of democracy by any practical or comparative standard. My intentions are not to insult Europe, but to encourage change at the margins within countries that I consider natural allies toward the global advancement of liberal democracy and human rights.
However, I view France and the rest of Western Europe as overall exemplars of democracy by any practical or comparative standard. My intentions are not to insult Europe, but to encourage change at the margins within countries that I consider natural allies toward the global advancement of liberal democracy and human rights.
Are you aware that concerning your own biases, It's the USA vs the rest of the Western World.
Your country is almost TOTALLY isolated on these numerous issues. And yet, you've never wondered why, but you still want us to copy your system?
Well, I'd say that:
1/ Your claim is incredibly arrogant, imperialistic and outfashioned. And impossible to achieve.
2/ If ever we would need to unify the Western World, well, it would sound more logical if the US would actually try to look more like the rest of the other Western democracies. It would simply be more practical, more efficient, and costs less energy, pragmatically speaking.
Are you aware that technically, the USA are the odd country, and not the norm of freedom and representative democracy?
It's time to awake to the realities of our current multi-polar world!
Fortunately for you, I do not want the USA to copy Europe or vice-versa. Besides, it would be absurd. Each system has its virtues, has its genealogy, its context, if you really think to it.
Learn and adapt.
Just as a sidenote: are you also aware that the NGO Reporters without Borders gave the US extremely bad rankings during the Bush years, at least for a country that pretends to be the epitome of democracy and freedom of the press?
So tell me, what is freedom? Real freedom? Do you think your country is really in position to teach lessons to the most advanced countries in the world if you consider the Human development index, like the Scandinavian countries?
Less arrogance, please!
"A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire
Europe has been extremely pussified by the WW2. They have been walking on eggshells ever since, and didn't really have time to grow back a backbone because US was providing most of the protection during the Cold War.
They'll get to their breaking point though. France is already starting to make strides against Muslim fundamentalism. However it is not surprising they are the first ones to do so - the French have always been very nationalistic, and view themselves as one of the primary victims of WW2 (hence, less of a guilt trip). But the rest of Europe will follow soon enough.
Hopefully they won't wait too long - if the Muslim fundamentalist contingent becomes too large, they will have some serious civil unrest on their hands.
True. They have to nip it in the bud and should have already done so by now. The Europeans' general cowed reaction to Islamic fundamentalist fury over the political cartoons a few years ago is probably a good example of what you mean by “pussified”.
Obviously the Koran’s meaning depends on its interpretation, but there’s no doubt about fascist smilarities between the Nazis and radical Islam. For instance, they’ve used Nazi anti-Semite propoganda films in classrooms in some Islamic countries. The usual questions of censorship boil down to: who decides and where do you draw the line?
If things are not what they seem, and we are forever reminded that this is the case—then it must also be observed that enough of us ignore this truth to keep the world from collapsing. –Thomas Ligotti, The Mystics of Muelenberg