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The European Dream

In: Social Issues

Submitted By momomama
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The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream is a book, by Jeremy Rifkin published in September 2004. Rifkin describes the emergence and evolution of the European Union over the past five decades, as well as key differences between European and American values. He argues that the European Union, which he describes as the first truly postmodern governing body, is already an economic superpower rivaling the U.S., and has the potential to become a full world superpower.
According to Rifkin, the "European Dream" is one in which individuals find security not through individual accumulation of wealth, but through connectivity, sustainable development, and respect for human rights. Rifkin's concept of connectivity is displayed in the Dutch people's quest for gezelligheid (meaning a cozy, inclusive environment), as well as the social market theories that have dominated French and German economic planning since WWII. Rifkin argues that this model is better-suited to 21st-century challenges than the "American Dream".
Rifkin explains Europe's opposition to the death penalty in a historical context; after losing so many lives to wars in the early and mid-20th century, Europe is opposed to state-sponsored killing as a matter of principle. He also discusses the European commitment to "deep play" a notion which is absent in the United States.
To support his thesis, Rifkin notes[1] that in addition to the European Union having more people and a greater Gross Domestic Product than the U.S., the potential of the EU as an economic superpower is shown by having: 14/20 of the top banks in the world, 61 of the 140 of the top companies of the world as measure by the Global Fortune 500 (the U.S. has 50), a homicide rate that is 1/4 than in the U.S., the 18 most developed countries in Europe all have more broadly distributed wealth than the...

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