On an economic NATO, the benefits of colonialism, and Big Boy jealousy

Der Spiegel argues for a US – EU free-trade zone, an economic NATO. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always thought it ludicrous that the US should consider free-trade with Mexico whilst Uncle Sam and Old Europe play tit-for-tat tariff games. All the while (as Washington frets over European steel and Brussels wonders whether American GM food will cause babies to be born with three heads) Asia quietly, steadily begins to swallow-up the world.

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Researchers from Dartmouth College claim that the longer an island was colonised by European powers, the higher its standard of living today. “Each additional century of European colonization is associated with a 40 percent boost in income today and a reduction in infant mortality of 2.6 deaths per 1,000 births.” Come back, Cecil Rhodes, all is forgiven.

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Not all anti-Americanisms are the same. There’s “liberal anti-Americanism,” that “criticize[s] the United States bitterly for not living up to its own ideals. ” You find this in the UK and its former colonies. Then there’s “social anti-Americanism,” that despises America’s social and political institutions. Bonjour Old Europe. China (and I would suggest Russia too) embodies “sovereign-nationalist anti-Americanism,” where America is seen as a potential threat to national sovereignty (and one that cannot, at this time, be matched militarily). Call it wannabee big boys jealous of the Big Boy. “Radical anti-Americanism” = Cuba, North Korea, Jihadists. “Elitist anti-Americanism” is what you read in the Guardian and drink in French water. “Legacy anti-Americanism” is what you get when countries remember how the Yanks screwed them: Mexico, Iran, Spain. The good news here is that countries can learn to forget (Vietnam).

So, what kind of anti-American are you?

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