The Instigator
Con (against)
5 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
15 Points

European Elitism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,627 times Debate No: 5690
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)




Europeans with short memories have been looking down their noses at America over the past few years. They tend to forget that 3 genocides have taken place on their watch in the past 100 years (Armenians, Jews, Bosnians).

I think that the Euros need to come down off of their high horse and clean up their own backyard. Europeans are not more enlightened then Americans.


First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my opponent for posting such an original debate and, on behalf of my fellow members, also extend him a warm welcome and wish him well in this, his first, debate.

I took the opportunity to peruse my opponent's profile and discovered, as I expected, that he is an American. Given the demographics of this site – the majority of the voters being his compatriots – and the fact that I am British; it could be that I am on a hiding to nothing here. Never mind, I'm happy to take any underserved losses on the chin, stiff upper lip and all that, you know!

Of course, I can't speak for all the various nationalities, but I would suggest that generally speaking, Europeans hold the American people and way of life in the highest regard.

Agreed, many French people resent the spread of the English language and Anglo-Saxon culture around the globe, and take delight in any misfortune that may befall America (or, for that matter, Britain) but the proof of the pudding is in the eating:

Almost all Europeans speak English, either as their first or second language.

American fashion is prevalent across the continent (you see a lot more Germans wearing jeans than Lederhosen, put it that way!)

There's a McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut or Starbucks in nearly every European town.

American rock is far more popular than "Euro-pop".

Coca-Cola is the best selling soft drink in every European country except Scotland (it comes second to the locally produced Irn Bru).

Almost all European computers run on Microsoft software.

Actually, I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

Also, I don't think many Europeans are proud of the holocaust that occurred in Nazi Germany or the ethnic cleansing that took place in the Balkans and are most grateful for America's assistance in bringing these conflicts to an end.

(I won't comment on the Armenian dispute as that particular chapter of history took place in Asia Minor, not Europe, and, in any case, the fact that genocide took place at all is hotly disputed, especially by Turkey).

Nevertheless, some people in Europe can be a bit snooty about America. For example, in his book Made in America, Bill Bryson wrote:

"Any nation where twenty million people can't read the back of a cornflakes box, or where half of all adults believe that human beings were created sometime in the last ten thousand years, clearly has its educational work cut out."

However, Bill Bryson was born and bred in Des Moines, Iowa, so he is entitled to make that comment.

As someone that spends a great deal of time in the United States, I believe that some, though not all, wrongly believe that Europeans are generally more cultured than Americans. For example, in her guide to politically correct language, American author Lenora Billings-Harris suggests:

"No culture (when referring to parts of the U.S. where the opera and the theater are scarce or nonexistent)" with "Lacking European culture".

In conclusion, pending any evidence my opponent can produce that proves that Europeans are "on their high horses" and consider themselves "more enlightened" than Americans, it behoves you to vote Con.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1



Thanks for accepting my debate. Let's recap thus far. I believe that there is a great deal of high brow sentiment flowing out of Europe in relation to America. I feel that many Europeans believe that many many Americans are unscrupulous and uncultured. My argument is that they (you) should take a look in the mirror and realize that they (you) are no more cultured or moralist that your brethren across the Atlantic.

So given that, my point is that almost every European country has caused far more world damage in the past 100 years then the US every could, therefore they need to be more even handed in judging us and more constructive in there approach to working with our great Nation. Today, many Euro politicians base there campaigns on bashing American; the populous has reacted to this feeling by electing borderline anti American officials (Zapato in Spain, Mekel in the Father land, etc.). Even Gordon Brown has been known to through the US under the double Decker bus.

In financial terms, the Euro was created mainly to de-value the Dollar (not the UK obviously). Your trade agreements are completely one sided; it is very difficult to sell US made goods in Europe. It is a European belief that we are greedy culture that does not take care of the poor.

Socially, you bash us over concerns that you feel are trite (e.g. sex scandalous and religion).

So that is my interpretation of the feelings coming across the Atlantic.

Culturally, you believe that we are nation of "Pop Culture;" you feel that we devoid of deep thoughtful ideas

My response is as follows:

1. Your world meddling has this planet on the breaking point:
a. The English reshaping the middle east has caused 60 years of instability, not to mention central Asia
b. The Dutch and English handling of South and Southern Africa may not be able to be repaired.
c. The French imperialism in North Africa has left the people of that region with a complete distrust of any so called democratic government
d. Germany......... well enough said --- the Germans should be on a 100 year time out. They should not be able to comment on any countries politics until 2045.
e. The Swiss are the pimps to the world with there banking system that protects criminals, and the dishonest.
f. The Russians with Putin have no regard for anyone but a few, and as mineral and fuel gangsters and finally
g. Big bad Litchenstein - well they are ok semi harmless

2. Financially, we buy far more Euro goods and allow for semi free trade at least.

3. Socially, the American poor are not as bad off as people might think. The gap between the middle class is far less then on the continent. For god sakes we don't have figure heads who get $$$$ because of there last name.

4. Culturally we are far superior because we have no preconceived notions on high brow culture. We are far more open to new things and ideas. We embrace and enjoy new ideas; we are a country of new ideas and new people. Our culture is far more diverse (melting pot), therefore far superior. We have Afghan bestsellers, we have native American top singles, Austrian Governors, Muslim and Gay prominent politicians. We are open diverse and forward thinking, not stuck in the plays, opera's and literature of the past. Being from Chicago, I feel our museums are not fantastic and not like the closets of our grandparents.

To wrap it up, we need the people of Europe to reach our from behind their turned up noses and realize that Americans are far deeper, and more evolved then we get credit. You are not superior and please stop the bashing.

I hope all is well in the UK and that all is well with you and yours. Note, no personal attacks, just trying to make a point.

Take care and I look forward to learning more about your point of view.

I hope all is well in


With thanks for continuing this fascinating debate, Honest Abe, I should like to respond as follows:

You wrote:

"I believe that there is a great deal of high brow sentiment flowing out of Europe in relation to America" and "It is a European belief that we are greedy culture that does not take care of the poor."

I accept that there is an element of truth in this. Even political parties that are viewed as right wing in Europe would be considered liberal in the US. Furthermore, in Europe universal healthcare and respectable levels of welfare payments are the norm. Therefore, the laissez-faire American political regimes that prioritise free enterprise and low taxes over social justice for the financially disadvantaged are often regarded as somewhat callous.

That does not mean Americans, as individuals, are viewed as callous, though, as most European people recognise that many Americans give very generously to charity. Also, the reality is that, all but the very poorest few Americans have a reasonable standard of living – a modest but secure home, TV, fridge and usually a car as well.

Your comments regarding the European currency (the Euro) and trade agreement (the Common Market) also hold some water. These were created to make European countries more competitive in a global economy in which the United States, Japan, China, Russia and India are dominant players. It should be pointed out, however, that all these economic superpowers have protectionist trade barriers that are designed to help their own industries – it is not just a European concept. The real losers are under-developed nations, particularly in Africa.

Attitudes towards religion vary across Europe. In southern countries such as Greece and Italy, religion still plays an important part of life whereas in northern countries such as Britain and Germany almost nobody under the age of 70, except members of certain ethnic communities, follows religion. What does raise European eyebrows is American religious cults that indoctrinate vulnerable members of society in order to sexually or financially exploit them. However, most people realise that these cults are not commonplace in America.

Now, to address in brief your remaining points:

Yes, European colonialism has not been an unmitigated success – the Queen doesn't get many Christmas cards from Native Americans, Australian aborigines or Palestinian refugees, all of whom were turfed off their land and persecuted as a result of British overseas adventures. That said, though, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans of European descent should be grateful that Britain decided to colonise other lands.

I do agree, also, that the US is far more of a meritocracy than most European countries, especially Britain, where one's family's social status is at least as important as one's ability in terms of career prospects. Certainly, given a blank sheet of paper, as America was after the revolution, one would not install an unelected monarch and establish a class of idle aristocrats that would all live lavish lifestyles at the taxpayers' expense!

Finally, to address the issue of culture: the culture of the Old and New Worlds are, indeed, very different but that doesn't mean both cannot be appreciated on either side of the Atlantic. For example, my 5 year-old niece in England goes to the theatre, ballet or opera at least once a week, yet she also enjoyed her recent visit to Disney World. On the other hand, my young cousins in Florida on a visit to London thought the British Museum was "awesome".

Like Americans, Europeans are also ready to embrace foreigners and their cultures. For example, a third of Londoners were born outside England, over 300 different languages are spoken in the city and there are over 50 non-indigenous communities of 10,000 or more. This pattern is repeated, albeit to a lesser extent, in cities across the continent.

In conclusion, Europeans are proud of their cultures and national identities, just as Americans rightly are, but we don't feel superior to Americans, or anybody else for that matter.

Now had you said the same things about the Japanese, I might have agreed with you!

I hope all is well in North Carolina and look forward to the next round.

Debate Round No. 2


HonestAbe forfeited this round.


Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Lightkeeper 9 years ago
There's an old saying in Europe. It goes "Thank God for Columbus. If it weren't for him, Americans would now live in Europe" LOL

Just kidding folks, relax! We loves ya :)

Con attempted to argue that Europeans have some sort of inherent prejudice against Americans and that it was undeserved.

Pro's argument is that, while some such prejudices exist in some spheres, the typical European appreciates Americans just as much as (s)he does any other nationals. Pro further conceded that there would be no reason for Europeans to have a low opinion of Americans.

Con's conduct appeared somewhat hot-headed, almost aggressive. This is contrasted with Pro's gentlemanly and polite stance. In addition, Con forfeited a round.

Pro used better sources as Con used none.

Language and expression were equal.

Conduct: Pro
Language: Tied
Argument: Pro
Sources: Pro
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 9 years ago
"Zapato in Spain"

He seriously became a politician with that last name? Oh my God! That is amazing. Mr. Shoe...
Posted by brian_eggleston 9 years ago
All true, Lightkeeper, but Euros are not accepted in most local shops or pubs in Britain (unfortunately, as I have a drawer full of them)...b/t/w, pls see the comment I just this second posted on your traffic system debate...
Posted by Lightkeeper 9 years ago
Oh come on people. Of course Britain is part of Europe. Just cos them Brits think they're better doesn't make it true :P

Seriously though, there's Europe and there's Continental Eruope. Let's bear in mind that the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union.(

True, they haven't acceptd the Euro as their currency. But from what I hear (and correct me if I'm wrong, Brian), you can use the Euro pretty much all over the place these days. Or can't you?

Not that it matters. Because Switzerland have their Swissy (Franc), the Polish have their Zloty, the Ruskies have their Rouble.... And they're clearly in Europe. Well, it could be subject to debate as far as the Ruskies go.....

On the other hand, the Brits did invent the left-side-of-the-road driving system. Just to show those French that they know better. Is that enough to say they're not in Europe though?

NB: did you know that the left-side system is actually better than the right-side system? Seriously, it is. You might think they're symmetrical but they're not....
Posted by brian_eggleston 9 years ago
Absolutely right phatso. When my American cousins refer to me as "european", it sounds very strange to my British ears.

I remember the headlines of a British newspaper "Storms in Channel cut Europe off from Britain" which implied that we are not European (and also that they were cut off from civilisation)!
Posted by phatso86 9 years ago
correct me if i'm wrong
but don't brits believe they are their own continent? Like not part of europe?

i thought that would explain why britain didnt drop their pounds and adopt only the euro
Posted by Lightkeeper 9 years ago
Because Brian is a perfect gentleman and this debate couldn't do with anything less than that :)
Posted by Sweatingjojo 9 years ago
Iron Brew tastes like Sh*t!
Posted by JBlake 9 years ago
How did I know that Brian Eggleston would be the one to take this debate?
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