They say that in Europe our things are tiny and that in America your things are super-sized, and that's a dangerous statement, prone to error when referring to anything other than the size of our Coca-Colas. Any further debate could lead to a conflict of unprecedented proportions and distract us from the real issue: Here in Europe we are jealous of a lot of what you have in the United States of America. In particular, three things: God, liberty and civil society. In the social democratic Europe we live in, these three pillars have all but disappeared like the sun setting at the dusk of a civilization. In their stead we are left with secularism, conditional freedom and an all-encompassing state that demands money from us day and night in the form of taxes, while all we can do is shrug our shoulders, pay up and say, as did Bartleby: "I'd prefer no to." I write these lines, sit in a German alehouse "Cervecería Alemana" in Plaza Santa Ana in Madrid, an old cafe in which the dazzling Ava Gardner whittled away hours when she was living in Madrid, and in which Hemingway often sought refuge in good beer and beautiful… Read full this story
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