Europe

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Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and 'fascist', while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up. ~ Jean-François Revel

Europe is one of the traditional seven political continents, and a peninsular sub-continent of the geographic continent Eurasia.

Quotes[edit]

  • Europe extends to the Alleghenies; America lies beyond.
    • Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • Europe has been at peace since 1945. But it is a restless peace that's shadowed by the threat of violence.
    Europe is partitioned. An unnatural line runs through the heart of a very great and a very proud nation [Germany]. History warns us that until this harsh division has been resolved, peace in Europe will never be secure.
    We must turn to one of the great unfinished tasks of our generation—and that unfinished task is making Europe whole again.
    • Lyndon B. Johnson, remarks before the National Conference of Editorial Writers, New York City (October 7, 1966); in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966, book 2, p. 1126.
  • When France has a cold, all Europe sneezes.
    • Klemens von Metternich, reported by Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989) as unverified in the English translations of his Mémoires. It is attributed to him in George P. Gooch, The Second Empire (1960), p. 18 and, in variant form, in Alan W. Palmer, Quotations in History (1976), p. 154. An American variation is: "There are those in South Carolina, and Mr. Pickens among the number who do not 'sneese when Mr. Calhoun takes snuff.' We are always amused when we hear the oft repeated slang—that South Carolina never speaks until Mr. Calhoun is heard." The Charleston Mercury (June 20, 1846), p. 2, referring to former Representative Francis W. Pickens and to Senator John C. Calhoun.

Europe as a declining continent[edit]

  • Soon nostalgia will be another name for Europe.
    • Angela Carter (1940–92), British postmodern novelist. repr. Vintage (1992). Expletives Deleted, review of John Berger, Once in Europa, The Washington Post (1989).
  • My conclusion will be simple. It will consist of saying, in the very midst of the sound and the fury of our history: "Let us rejoice." Let us rejoice, indeed, at having witnessed the death of a lying and comfort-loving Europe and at being faced with cruel truths.
    • Albert Camus, "Create Dangerously," lecture given at the University of Uppsala, Sweden (December 1957); republished by Camus in Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1961), Justin O'Brien, translator, p. 270.

Politics of Europe[edit]

  • A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism.

Definitions of Europe by geography or culture[edit]

  • So there is no single European people. There is no single all-embracing community of culture and tradition among, say, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Berlin and Belgrade. In fact, there are at least four communities: the Northern Protestant, the Latin Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, and the Muslim Ottoman. There is no single language - there are more than twenty. (...) There are no real European political parties (...). And most significantly of all: unlike the United States, Europe still does not have a common story.
  • Europe is not really even a geographic entity; it is separated from Asia only at one point, the Bosphorus, by a small stretch of water. North of that there is continuity over the russians steppes, a complete terrestrial flow. I suggest that is also true of culture, and indeed of social organization. Indeed Europe has never been purely isolated, purely Christian. Instead of Christian Europe, one has to see the continent as penetrated by the three world religions that originated in the Near East and which indeed had a common mythology or sacred text; in order of arrival these were Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (...) All have equal entitlements to be present, and in this general ('objective') sense none can be considered only as the Other; they are part of Europe, part of our heritage.
    • Jack Goody, Islam in Europe, Polity, 2004, p. 14
  • As to the territorial limits of Europe, they may seem relatively clear on its seaward flanks, but many island groups far to the north and west—Svalbard, the Faroes, Iceland, and the Madeira and Canary islands—are considered European, while Greenland (though tied politically to Denmark) is conventionally allocated to North America. Furthermore, the Mediterranean coastlands of North Africa and southwestern Asia also exhibit some European physical and cultural affinities. Turkey and Cyprus in particular, while geologically Asian, possess elements of European culture and may be regarded as parts of Europe.
  • The peoples of Europe are a work in progress and always must be... The history of the people of Europe has not ended -- it never will. Ethnogenesis is a process of the present and future as much as it is the past. No efforts of romantics, politicians, or social scientists can preserve once and for all some essential soul of a people or nation. Nor can any effort ensure that nations, ethnic groups, and communities of today will not vanish utterly in the future. The past may have set the parameters within which one can build the future, but it cannot determine what that future must be.
    • Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe, Princeton University Press, 2003
  • Many of the traits on which modern Europe prides itself came to it from Muslim Spain. Diplomacy, free trade, open borders, the techniques of academic research, of anthropology, etiquette, fashion, various types of medicine, hospitals, all came from this great city of cities. (...) The surprise is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long, first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilisation which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart.
  • Oui, c'est l'Europe, depuis l'Atlantique jusqu'à l'Oural, c'est l'Europe, c'est toute l'Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde!
    • Translation: Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the fate of the world.
    • Charles de Gaulle, 23 November 1959, Strasbourg.
  • Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.
  • Purity of race does not exist. Europe is a continent of energetic mongrels.
  • Africa north of the Sahara, from a zoological point of view, is now, and has been since early Tertiary times, a part of Europe. This is true both of animals and of the races of man.
    • Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, Scribner's sons, 1916, p. 137

Reaction to European Constitution[edit]

  • "The EU Constitution is something new in human history. Though it is not as eloquent as the French and U.S. constitutions, it is the first governing document of its kind to expand the human franchise to the level of global consciousness. The language throughout the draft constitution speaks of universalism, making it clear that its focus is not a people, or a territory, or a nation, but rather the human race and the planet we inhabit."
  • “[The Constitution] will seal the victory of the nation-states over the European 'super-state'".
  • "The EU Constitution safeguards national sovereignty of Member States."
  • "This is a Constitution … which consecrates the EU as a union of sovereign states, which continues not to opt for federal institutions."
  • "This Constitution does not reflect the thoughts, hopes and aspirations of ordinary people. It does nothing for jobs or economic growth and widens further still the democratic deficit. The gap between the governors and the governed is now a gaping chasm."
  • "A consensus [that] has been established … around the British concept of a market system stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals, accompanied by intergovernmental co-operation in areas where collective action is more efficient, and a security policy integrated with that of the USA."
  • "There is no place for concern that it would change the structure and operation of the EU in a radical way. 90% of the constitution agreement is already in the current agreements. The innovations in the draft will clarify the structure of the EU and make its activity more efficient, as well as strengthen citizens’ rights."
    • Egils Levits (Latvian ECJ Judge), Quoted in “Latvijas avize”, 21 June 2004
  • "Europe is and will be a Union of States."
  • "An extraordinary disappointment."
    • Elmar Brok MEP (German federalist), Economist, 31 May 2003
  • "I want to kill myself."

Genetics[edit]

  • "People often think that Europeans are homogeneous group that arrived in a simple way there maybe 40 or 50 thousand years ago maybe based on the archaeology and just kind of sat there until they became the Europeans they are today, but that's probably not true: the Europeans today are a replacement population who came in much more recently and replaced the people who were there originally 40 thousand years ago."


Disputed[edit]

Washington wrote to Lafayette that he considered himself a "citizen of the great republic of humanity," adding: "I see the human race a great family, united by fraternal bonds." Elsewhere he wrote prophetically: "We have sown a seed of liberty and union that will gradually germinate throughout the earth. Some day, on the model of the United States of America, will be constituted the United States of Europe."
Presented as the actual letter cited is this letter to the Marquis de Lafayette (15 August 1786), which contains general assertions of Humanity's unity, but without any predictions of a "United States of Europe":
Altho' I pretend to no peculiar information respecting commercial affairs, nor any foresight into the scenes of futurity; yet as the member of an infant empire, as a Philanthropist by character, and (if I may be allowed the expression) as a Citizen of the great republic of humanity at large; I cannot help turning my attention sometimes to this subject. I would be understood to mean, I cannot avoid reflecting with pleasure on the probable influence that commerce may hereafter have on human manners and society in general. On these occasions I consider how mankind may be connected like one great family in fraternal ties. I indulge a fond, perhaps an enthusiastic idea, that as the world is evidently much less barbarous than it has been, its melioration must still be progressive; that nations are becoming more humanized in their policy, that the subjects of ambition and causes for hostility are daily diminishing, and, in fine, that the period is not very remote, when the benefits of a liberal and free commerce will, pretty generally, succeed to the devastations and horrors of war.

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