The European Dream vs. the American Dream

“The European Dream emphasizes community relationships over individual autonomy, cultural diversity over assimilation, quality of life over the accumulation of wealth, sustainable development over unlimited material growth, deep lay over unrelenting toil, universal human rights and the rights of nature over property rights, and global cooperation over the unilateral exercise of power.” (Jeremy Rifkin – The European Dream. How Europe’s Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream)

What do you think of this quote? I, for one, tend to agree and I would add that the “European dream’ (whatever that is) is much more compatible with the Gospel that what is generally described as the ‘American dream’ .

Trevin Wax (from whom I have borrowed this quote), an American who studied in Romania, is not so sure. He argues that Rifkin’s vision is basically ‘socialist’. He does not explain what he means by that, and I doubt his meaning is the current meaning we use for this term in Europe. I could not disagree more with many of his statements in this text. Anyway, it is an opinion worth exploring.  The same with some  of the comments to his blog post.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

One thought on “The European Dream vs. the American Dream”

  1. Aceasta carte a fost publicata in 2004, Editura Polity Press in Cambridge UK.

    Pe aceasta carte are 67 de reviews (very good) and the average rating is 3.5 (out of 5) … which is NOT bad. 22 reviewers gave it 5 stars and 11 gave it 1 star.

    I usually read the 1 and 5 stars and all the 3 stars … and try to get an impression from the reader’s viewpoint before buying/loaning-from-library and spending my time.

    IF THIS AUTHOR starts with a hypothesis and tries to prove it by adding selected evidence … then it is a WASTE of my time, but if this book starts from observations, data, interviews, etc. collected and distilled and he clearly and objectively proves that this evidence points to his THESIS – “How Europe’s Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream” then I am intersted in reading it.

    HAS ANYONE on this board/blog read it ?!?


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