language, people, language

LeoCasey at LeoCasey at
Wed Jul 19 11:09:14 MDT 1995

In a message dated 95-07-19 10:27:32 EDT, Nello writes:

>Am I european like You define him ? Or what can I consider myself?

The question of how you identify yourself, and whether or not 'European' is
an appropriate and meaningful form of self-identification, is a different
matter from whether or not the social category of Europe has a real force and
power, and has had such evolving force and power for centuries.

I don't think any serious student of history would contend that Europe has
its own hermetically sealed culture, separate from the rest of the world.
Indeed, one of my points was that the very category of Europe developed out
of historical confrontations of world cultures.

But by the same token, I do believe that we are part of cultural traditions
and enmeshed in categories _irrespective_ of our conscious feelings about
those traditions and categories. Citizens of the United States who define
themselves as anti-American are no less the product of our culture and
categories than the most myopic flag waving patriot. Just a little bit of
reflection on the nature of the Weathermen, and how thoroughly American their
'anti-Americanism' was, demonstrates this point.

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