European man has convinced himself that in order to be modern and free, he must be radically secular. That conviction has had crucial, indeed lethal, consequences for European public life and European culture; indeed, that conviction and its public consequences are at the root of Europe’s contemporary crisis of civilizational morale. That crisis of civilizational morale, in turn, helps explain why European man is deliberately forgetting his history. That crisis of civilizational morale helps us understand why European man is abandoning the hard work and high adventure of democratic politics, seeming to prefer the false domestic security of bureaucracy and the false international security of the UN system. That crisis of civilizational morale is why European man is failing to create the human future of Europe.
Whilst I disagree with a number of the views expressed in this article
, it does provide an interesting analysis in places. I don't think that it applies to Britain quite as clearly as it applies to Europe. I would find it almost impossible to think of myself as 'European', except in America. It is important to appreciate that British identity has always been distinct from European identity. The fact that we are an island nation has affected our view of the world and Europe in particular profoundly. One thinks of the memorable headline at the turn of the last century: Storm in Channel; Continent Isolated
. Also the fact that we had an Empire upon which the sun never set — God would never trust us in the dark! — has served to mould our self-understanding in a manner that makes us quite distinct from the Europeans.