Transcript: Jeremy Rifkin on The European Dream | Dec 04, 2004

Jeremy Rifkin stands in front of an audience at a luncheon. He’s in his late fifties, balding and with a moustache. He wears glasses, a black suit, white shirt, silver tie and pocket handkerchief.

A red and white banner behind him reads “The economic club of Toronto. www.ecot.ca.”

A caption reads “Jeremy Rifkin. Author of The European Dream. Albany Club, Toronto. October 20, 2004.

Jeremy says MY FATHER,
MILTON RIFKIN WAS BORN IN
DENVER, COLORADO IN 1908, MY
MOTHER VIVETTE WAS BORN IN EL
PASO, TEXAS, ON THE MEXICAN
BORDER IN 1911.
SHE'S 93 AND GOING STRONG, DOING
WELL, GOD BLESS HER.
MY SIBLINGS AND MYSELF, WE WERE
BORN IN DENVER, COLORADO.
WE'RE A WESTERN FAMILY.
IN THE LAST
YEAR OF THE WAR, WHEN WE WERE
BABIES, WE WERE BROUGHT TO
CHICAGO AND RAISED IN A WORKING
CLASS NEIGHBOURHOOD ON THE SOUTH
SIDE OF CHICAGO, HEARTLAND OF
AMERICA, AND OUR NEIGHBOURS WERE
STEEL WORKERS, AND THEY WORKED
IN THE STOCK YARDS, AND THEY
WERE POLICE OFFICERS, AND THEY
BELIEVED IN THE AMERICAN DREAM,
WE GREW UP ON IT.
IT WAS CATECHISM.
MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT, WE WERE
INTRODUCED TO THE AMERICAN
DREAM.
AND THAT DREAM STRIPPED TO ITS
BARE ESSENTIALS SAYS THIS,
AMERICA'S A TOUGH PLACE, BUT
IT'S THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY.
IF YOU GET A GOOD PUBLIC
EDUCATION, WORK HARD, DILIGENT
AND DETERMINED TO THE TASK, YOU
CAN MAKE IT IN AMERICA, YOU CAN
BE AN INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS IN YOUR
LIFE, OR AT LEAST SACRIFICE SO
YOUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE A BETTER
LIFE.
THIS IS THE SOCIAL GLUE.
THIS IS REALLY WHAT KEEPS MY
COUNTRY TOGETHER.
IT'S THAT UNDERSTANDING, WHEN
TWO AMERICANS SEE EACH OTHER,
EITHER NATIVE BORN OR IMMIGRANT,
WE HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF AN
UNDERSTANDING.
EACH OF US CAN MAKE IT, AND IF
YOU BECOME A SUCCESS, I
CONGRATULATE YOU.
THAT DREAM WAS ROBUST UNTIL THE
1960s.
YOU KNOW, RECALL, SOME OF THE
OLDER FOLKS HERE, AMERICAN WAS
THE MOST EGALITARIAN, MIDDLE
CLASS SOCIETY IN THE WORLD UNTIL
1960.
REGRETFULLY, THE AMERICAN DREAM
HAS TOTALLY UNRAVELLED IN LESS
THAN 40 YEARS.
TODAY THE UNITED STATES RANKS
24th AMONG INDUSTRIAL NATIONS,
IN INCOME INEQUALITY, THE GAP
BETWEEN THE VERY RICH AT THE TOP
AND THE MULTITUDES OF WORKING
POOR AT THE BOTTOM.
ONLY MEXICO AND RUSSIA RANK
LOWER AMONG THE INDUSTRIAL
NATIONS.
AND THAT IS WHY TODAY BARELY 51PERCENT
OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE STILL
BELIEVE IN THE AMERICAN DREAM.
A THIRD OF AMERICANS SAY THEY DON'T
BELIEVE IN THE DREAM AT ALL.
I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE
DEVASTATING THAN THIS, BECAUSE
WITHOUT THIS SOCIAL GLUE, WHAT
KEEPS MY COUNTRY TOGETHER?
THERE IS A POWERFUL NEW DREAM
EMERGING IN EUROPE, AND IN MANY
WAYS IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE IT
IS THE MIRROR OPPOSITE OF THE
AMERICAN DREAM.

He takes a sip of water.

He says BUT IT MAY BE THAT IT'S A BETTER
FIT TO AN INCREASINGLY
GLOBALIZED WORLD OF THE 21st
CENTURY.
FOR 200 YEARS, THE WORLD LOOKED
TO AMERICA AS A BEACON OF LIGHT.
[Clears throat]
EXCUSE ME.
IT MAY BE A GRAND REVERSAL IS
ABOUT TO HAPPEN WHERE WE BEGAN,
AND I SAY, MAY BE, THE JURY'S
OUT.
IT MAY BE WE BEGIN TO LOOK TO
SEVERAL NEW GENERATIONS OF
EUROPEANS AS A BEACON OF LIGHT
FOR THE 21st CENTURY.
LET ME BE FRANK AT THE GET GO.
WE AMERICANS, IT'S INTERESTING,
I JUST CAME BACK FROM EUROPE.
AND EUROPEANS ARE ALWAYS WORRIED
ABOUT AMERICA, TALKING ABOUT
AMERICA, ANGSTING ABOUT AMERICA,
IT PREOCCUPIES ALL OF THEIR
TIME.
I'VE GOT NEWS FOR MY EUROPEAN
FRIENDS, WE NEVER THINK ABOUT
EUROPE.
[Audience laughter]
NOW BEFORE YOU LAUGH, SAME THING
IN CANADA HERE.
YOU'RE ALWAYS WONDERING ABOUT
UNITED STATES, THINKING ABOUT
UNITED STATES, WE DON'T THINK
ABOUT YOU AT ALL.
NOW THAT'S NOT TRUE.
WHEN WE WANT TO GO ON VACATION,
WE THINK, LET'S GO NORTH, CANADA
IS GORGEOUS, AND WHEN WE WANT TO
REVITALISE OUR SPIRITS AND FEED
OUR SOUL, WE SAY, LET'S GO TO
EUROPE.
BUT WHEN AMERICANS THINK OF
INSTITUTIONAL EUROPE, HERE'S
WHAT WE NORMALLY THINK -- CREAKY
OLD INSTITUTIONS, ANTI-MARKET
BIAS, INFLEXIBLE LABOUR POOLS,
BLOATED GOVERNMENT
BUREAUCRACIES, RED TAPE
EVERYWHERE, WELFARE SYSTEMS
ABOUT TO COLLAPSE, PAMPERED
WORKING POPULATIONS, AND PLUS
THE FACT THAT EVERYONE'S MOVING
TO THE OLD AGE HOME.
IT'S BECOMING SENESCENT OVER
THERE.
THAT'S HOW WE THINK OF EUROPE.
THERE MAY BE SOME TRUTH TO THIS,
BUT UNDERNEATH THIS OLD SKIN,
THERE'S A NEW EPIDERMIS, AND
WE'RE ASLEEP HERE IN NORTH
AMERICA.
WE'RE SO FOCUSSED ON THE
PACIFIC, CHINA AND NOW INDIA,
WE'RE LOSING SIGHT OF SOMETHING
VERY POWERFUL HAPPENING ON THE
OTHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC, IN
EUROPE.
455 MILLION HUMAN BEINGS,
STRETCHING ACROSS 25 SEPARATE
STATES, FROM THE IRISH SEA TO
E DOORSTEPS OF RUSSIA, HAVE
COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A NEW
POLITICAL EXPERIMENT,
UNPRECEDENTED IN ALL OF HISTORY.
AND ON OCTOBER 29th, THE HEADS
OF STATE AND THE FOREIGN
MINISTERS OF THOSE 25 STATES,
WILL GO TO ROME AND THEY WILL
SIGN A FORMAL CONSTITUTION FOR
THE UNITED STATES OF EUROPE.
AND THE NEXT TWO YEARS, THERE'S
GOING TO BE A GREAT DEBATE
ACROSS EUROPE.
DO THEY CLOSE THE DEAL AFTER 50
YEARS AND ACTUALLY BECOME THE
FIRST TRANSNATIONAL POLITICAL
SPACE IN ALL OF HISTORY?
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS A STRANGE
EXPERIMENT.
EVEN ITS ARCHITECTS DON'T
EXACTLY KNOW WHAT IT IS.
IT'S A WORK IN PROGRESS.
THE REASON IS, EVERY OTHER
POLITICAL AGENCY IN HISTORY,
KINGDOMS, NATION-STATES,
EMPIRES, THEY'VE ALL BEEN BORN
OUT OF VICTORY.
THEY'VE ALL BEEN BORN OUT OF
VIOLENCE, AND SEIZING TERRITORY
AND SEIZING PEOPLE, AND
COERCION, CENTRALISED IN THE
COMMAND AND CONTROL STRUCTURES
OF THE STATE.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS COMPLETELY
COUNTERINTUITIVE TO HISTORY.
AFTER 1,000 YEARS OF CONFLICT,
AND WE SHOULD BEAR WITNESS TO
THE FACT THAT EUROPE IS THE
BLOODIEST CONTINENT IN THE
WORLD.
MORE HUMAN BEINGS HAVE SHED MORE
BLOOD ON THIS CONTINENT THAN
ANYWHERE ELSE IN HISTORY, IN THE
WORLD.
BUT AFTER
1,000 YEARS OF BLOODSHED, TWO
WORLD WARS AND A HOLOCAUST,
EUROPEANS FINALLY SAID, WE'RE
SICK TO OUR STOMACH, LOOK AT
THIS DEVASTATION AROUND US.

WE CAN'T DO
THIS ANY MORE, WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE TO PUT DOWN THE SWORD, AND
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN HOW
TO CO-OPERATE, AND WE'RE GOING
TO HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO BECOME
OUR BROTHER AND SISTER'S KEEPER,
AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN
HOW TO ESTABLISH SOLIDARITY
AMONG THE HUMAN RACE.
AND WE'RE GOING TO TRY A NEW
EXPERIMENT, BASED ON CO-
OPERATION.
AND THIS IS THE FIRST
TRANSNATIONAL SPACE, SO WE QUITE
DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW IT'S GOING
TO OPERATE.
BECAUSE IT'S NOT A NATION-STATE,
AND IT'S NOT A SUPER GLOBAL
STATE.
IT'S AN HYBRID STATE, IT'S
ACTUALLY A NETWORK KIND OF
POLITICS, THAT'S TRYING TO
MEDIATE THE LOCAL AND THE GLOBAL
IN A GLOBALIZING WORLD.
SO THIS IS AN EXPERIMENT THAT WE
HAVE NO HISTORY FOR.
IT'S INTERESTING TO ME THAT A
RECENT SURVEY SHOWED THAT ONE
OUT OF EVERY THREE YOUNG PEOPLE
IN EUROPE, ACROSS EUROPE, FROM
THE AGES OF 21 TO , NOW SAYS
THEY THINK OF THEMSELVES AS
EUROPEANS FIRST.
THEIR GRANDPARENTS DON'T, THEIR
PARENTS BARELY DO.
THAT'S AN EXTRAORDINARY CHANGE
FOR A HALF A BILLION PEOPLE IN
LESS THAN 50 YEARS.
I'VE BEEN COMMUTING BACK AND
FORTH TO EUROPE FOR 20 YEARS,
OFTEN TWICE A MONTH, AND FOR A
LONG TIME I BELIEVED THAT THE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMERICANS
AND EUROPEANS WAS SIMPLY A
MATTER OF LANGUAGE AND STYLE.
I KNOW REALISE THAT'S NOT TRUE.
AMERICANS, U.S. AMERICANS, FEEL
FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT ABOUT
BASIC CONCEPTS OF LIFE THAN OUR
EUROPEAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
IT'S LIKE TWO RELATIVES FROM THE
SAME FAMILY, WHO SEPARATED 200
YEARS AGO, AND REALLY HAVE VERY
LITTLE IN COMMON WITH EACH
OTHER.
HERE'S WHERE YOU CAN REALLY
BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND THE
DIFFERENCES.
WHEN IT GETS TO THE COMPETING
DREAMS, THE AMERICAN DREAM AND
NOW THE EMERGING EUROPEAN DREAM.
WHEN WE AMERICANS USE THE TERM
FREEDOM, WHICH IS BASIC TO OUR
DREAM, IT MEANS SOMETHING
TOTALLY DIFFERENT THAN WHEN A
EUROPEAN USES THE WORD FREEDOM,
WHICH IS BASIC TO THEIR DREAM.
I ASSUMED EVERYONE THOUGHT
FREEDOM MEANT THE SAME THING --
NOT TRUE.
AMERICAN PARENTS TEACH THEIR
CHILDREN, YOU NEED TO BE SELF
RELIANT.
FREEDOM IS AUTONOMY AND
MOBILITY.
THAT'S WHY WE LOVE THE AUTO-
MOBILE, WE WERE THE FIRST TO
EMBRACE IT.
EVERY 16 YEAR OLD KID
UNDERSTANDS THE AMERICAN NOTION
OF FREEDOM WHEN THEY GET BEHIND
THAT DRIVER'S WHEEL, AUTO-
MOBILE.
YOU WANT TO BE AUTONOMOUS AND
MOBILE, AND OUR PARENTS TEACH
US, TOUGH COUNTRY, BUT LAND OF
OPPORTUNITY, BUT YOU'RE ON YOUR
OWN.
NO ONE'S GOING TO TAKE CARE OF
YOU, YOU'VE GOT TO TAKE CARE OF
YOURSELF, AND YOU'VE GOT TO
LEARN TO BE SELF RELIANT AND
INDEPENDENT AND YOU MAKE YOUR
OWN LIFE, AND NEVER EVER BLAME
SOMEONE ELSE FOR YOUR LIFE.
YOUR LIFE IS YOUR
RESPONSIBILITY.
NO EUROPEAN TEACHES THEIR CHILD
THAT IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE.
THEY TEACH THEIR CHILDREN THAT
FREEDOM, IT'S NOT AUTONOMY, THAT
WOULD MAKE NO SENSE TO THEM.
FOR EUROPEANS, FREEDOM IS
RELATIONSHIPS, EMBEDDEDNESS,
CONNECTIONS, ACCESS TO VARIOUS
COMMUNITIES.
SO WE HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT
STARTING POINT ON HOW WE DEFINE
THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL ASPECTS OF
HUMAN LIFE, AND THAT'S HOW OUR
DREAMS DIVERGE.
AND WHAT I'D LIKE TO DO, AS WE
GO THROUGH THE TWO DREAMS TODAY,
DO A LITTLE LITMUS TEST, A
LITTLE MENTAL MATH, WHERE DOES
CANADA STAND BETWEEN THE U.S.
AMERICAN DREAM, AND THE EUROPEAN
DREAM.
I HAVE MY OWN THOUGHTS WHICH
I'LL ASK YOU ABOUT LATER, BUT
LET'S SEE WHERE YOU STAND, ALL
RIGHT?
THE AMERICAN DREAM IS BASED ON
THE IDEA OF PURSUIT OF
INDIVIDUAL SELF INTEREST.
EACH PERSON CAN BECOME A
SUCCESS.
AND MATERIAL SUCCESS IS VERY
IMPORTANT TO US.
NOW WHY IS IT THAT THE AMERICAN
DREAM IS SO BASED ON THE
INDIVIDUAL?
IT'S INTERESTING TO NOTE WHERE
THE AMERICAN DREAM CAME FROM.
IT'S A EUROPEAN CONSTRUCT.
OUR FOUNDERS CAME OVER TO
AMERICA 200 YEARS AGO, DURING
THE WANING DAYS OF THE
PROTESTANT REFORMATION, THE
EARLY DAYS OF THE EUROPEAN
ENLIGHTENMENT.
WE TOOK THOSE TWO STREAMS OF
EUROPEAN THOUGHT THAT WERE
CURRENT AT THE TIME, WE FROZE
THEM -- FOR 200 YEARS.
WE STILL LIVE OUT THOSE
CURRENTS.
TO UNDERSTAND THE AMERICAN
DREAM, UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE
THE MOST COMMITTED TO
REFORMATION THEOLOGY AND
EUROPEAN ENLIGHTENMENT IDEOLOGY
OF ANY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.
IF JOHN CALVIN AND MARTIN LUTHER
WERE TO COME BACK TO THE WORLD
TODAY, TRUST ME, THEY'D FEEL
MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE
HEARTLAND OF AMERICA THAN IN THE
HEARTLAND OF EUROPE, NO?
IF ADAM SMITH AND JOHN LOCKE AND
RENE DESCARTES, AND CONDORCET,
THE GREAT PHILOSOPHERS OF THE
ENLIGHTENMENT WERE TO COME BACK
TO THE WORLD TODAY, THEY'D FEEL
MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE WITH
AMERICAN POLITICS THAN
CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN POLITICS.
THE REASON IS, THE REFORMATION
AND THE ENLIGHTENMENT WERE
SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT IDEAS,
BUT THEY HAD A COMMON THREAD.
WITH THE REFORMATION, THE IDEA
WAS, ACCEPT CHRIST IN THIS
WORLD, AND SUFFER IN THIS WORLD,
AND WE WILL GET ETERNAL
SALVATION IN THE NEXT.
ENLIGHTENMENT CHANGED THE
EQUATION AND SAID, NO, PURSUE
HAPPINESS IN THIS WORLD, AND
WE'LL GIVE YOU A MATERIAL
CORNUCOPIA HERE ON EARTH.
VERY, VERY DIFFERENT STREAMS OF
THOUGHT, BUT HERE'S WHERE THEY
CONNECTED.
THE INDIVIDUAL WAS AT THE CENTRE
OF BOTH OF THESE CURRENTS.
IT WAS MARTIN LUTHER WHO SAID,
“YOU STAND ALONE WITH YOUR GOD.”
NO INTERMEDIARIES, NO VATICAN,
NO PRIESTHOOD, EVERY INDIVIDUAL,
WE STAND ALONE WITH OUR GOD.
ADAM SMITH, THE SCOTTISH
ECONOMIST SAID, “YOU STAND ALONE
IN THE MARKETPLACE AND PURSUE
YOUR SELF INTEREST.”
JOHN LOCKE SAID, “YOU STAND
ALONE AGAINST NATURE.”
IT FIT THE AMERICAN CONTEXT.
IT WAS A GREAT FRONTIER ACROSS
AMERICA.
SO WHEN OUR FOUNDERS CAME TO
AMERICA, THE IDEA OF THE
INDIVIDUAL ALONE, TO BE SELF
RELIANT AND INDEPENDENT AND
AUTONOMOUS AND MOBILE,
COMPLETELY FIT OUR FRAMEWORK IN
THAT WIDE OPEN FRONTIER.
CONTINENTAL
EUROPE, AND I KEEP SAYING
CONTINENTAL EUROPE BECAUSE THE
U.K. IS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN
CONTINENTAL EUROPE AND THE U.S.,
AND WE CAN TALK A LITTLE BIT
MORE ABOUT THIS.
IN FACT U.K.
DOESN'T KNOW EXACTLY WHERE IT'S
GOING TO MAKE ITS HOME.
IS IT GOING TO MAKE ITS HOME
WITH THE UNITED STATES, OR IS IT
GOING TO MAKE IT'S HOME WITH
EUROPE, OR WILL IT TRY TO STAY
AN ISLAND TO ITSELF.
OF COURSE WHAT I'VE SAID TO THE
BRITTS IS, NO COUNTRY WILL BE AN
ISLAND IN AND OF ITSELF 30 YEARS
FROM NOW.
ALL COUNTRIES WILL BE PART OF
TRANSNATIONAL POLITICAL SPACES
TO MEDIATE A GLOBAL WORLD.
BUT HERE'S THE INTERESTING THING
ABOUT EUROPE.
CONTINENTAL EUROPE NEVER REALLY
BOUGHT THE IDEA OF THE
INDIVIDUAL ALONE, BECAUSE THERE
WAS AN OLDER TRADITION IN
EUROPE, THE PATERNALISM OF THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH, THE COMMUNES,
FORTRESS CITIES, DENSE
POPULATIONS THAT HAD TO LIVE
WITHIN WALLED COMMUNITIES, AND
OF COURSE THE FEUDAL HIERARCHY,
WHICH THEN LED TO THE MODERN
ARISTOCRACY AND CLASS
POSITIONING.
SO EUROPE HAD AN OLDER MORE
LAYERED COMMUNAL PATERNALISTIC
AND EVEN HIERARCHICAL
ORGANISATION, THAT MITIGATED
AGAINST THE INDIVIDUAL AS THE
CENTRE.
AND THAT'S WHY AMERICA CONTINUED
TO SEE THE INDIVIDUAL AS KEY,
BUT CONTINENTAL EUROPE TEMPERED
THAT.
BY THE 20th CENTURY, YOU HAD A
MARKET CAPITALIST SYSTEM, THAT
WAS ALSO WITHIN A LARGER WELFARE
STATE FRAMEWORK.
THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE
COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO
THE COMMUNITIES.
SO HOW DO THE AMERICAN AND
EUROPEAN DREAM DIFFER THEN?
THE AMERICAN DREAM FOCUSES ON
THE PURSUIT OF INDIVIDUAL WEALTH
AND MY EUROPEAN FRIENDS DON'T
UNDERSTAND WHY.
THEY THINK WE'RE JUST MONEY
HUNGRY, ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.
IT'S NOT AN END, MONEY, FOR US,
IT'S A MEANS.
BECAUSE OUR PARENTS TEACH US
THERE'S VERY FEW SOCIAL
SUPPORTS.
NO ONE'S GOING TO TAKE CARE OF
YOU, SON, YOU'D BETTER HAVE
ENOUGH PROPERTY AND MONEY SO YOU
CAN BE SELF SUFFICIENT.
IN AMERICA, IN THE UNITED
STATES, WE ONLY SPEND 11PERCENT OF OUR
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, IN TERMS
OF SOCIAL BENEFITS THAT ARE
REDISTRIBUTED TO THE COMMUNITY.
EUROPE SPENDS 26PERCENT OF ITS GDP ON
SOCIAL BENEFITS REDISTRIBUTED TO
THE COMMUNITY, SO IN AMERICA WE
FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT OF
WEALTH, IN EUROPE THE FOCUS IS
ON QUALITY OF LIFE.
THAT'S ALL YOU HEAR ABOUT IN
EUROPE IS QUALITY OF LIFE --
WHY?
WELL IN AMERICA, AN INDIVIDUAL
COULD GET RICH.
PLENTY OF FREE RESOURCES, OPEN
FRONTIER, YOU COULD HAVE A
CARNEGIE AND A FORD, AND A
MELLON AND EVEN TODAY, A BILL
GATES -- TOUGH, BUT YOU CAN
STILL DO IT.
BUT BECAUSE OF CLASS POSITIONS
IN EUROPE, IF YOU WERE BORN IN A
CERTAIN STATION, IT MIGHT BE
VERY DIFFICULT TO RISE FROM THAT
STATION AND BECOME AN INDIVIDUAL
SUCCESS.
SO EUROPE SETTLED FOR A
DIFFERENT ROUTE, QUALITY OF
LIFE.
THAT REQUIRES THE ENTIRE
COMMUNITY WORKING TOGETHER,
TAXING ITSELF, REAPPORTIONING
BENEFITS SO THAT EVERYBODY RISES
TOGETHER WITH SOCIAL PROGRAMS.
THE AMERICAN DREAM FOCUSES
HEAVILY ON GROWTH.
WE LOVE GROWTH, WE'RE ALWAYS
TALKING ABOUT GROWTH.
EUROPEANS TALK MORE ABOUT
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT -- WHY?
IN AMERICA, THE FRONTIER WAS SO
WIDE OPEN, THAT IF WE DESPOILED
A PARTICULAR ENVIRONMENT, WE
COULD LEAVE IT -- IT WAS CALLED
BLIGHT, AND THEN MOVE TO A NEW
VIRGIN TERRITORY.
NOW MANY OF YOU GO DOWN TO THE
U.S. AND YOU SAY TO YOURSELF, MY
GOD, THERE ARE SO MANY BEAUTIFUL
COMMUNITIES, AND THEN RIGHT NEXT
TO THEM, SO MANY BLIGHTED
COMMUNITIES THAT LOOK LIKE
THEY'VE BEEN ABANDONED, BECAUSE
WE ALWAYS BELIEVE THERE'S SOME
NEW TERRITORY TO EXPLOIT, PART
OF OUR FRONTIER MENTALITY.
AND NOW WE'RE TAKING ALL THE
FARMLAND AND TURNING IT INTO
AND NOW WE'RE TAKING ALL THE
FARMLAND AND TURNING IT INTO
SUBURBS, AND THEN THAT WILL BE
BLIGHT, AND THEN I'M NOT SURE
WHERE WE--
OH, AND THEN WE COME TO CANADA.

The audience laughs.

Jeremy says THAT'S RIGHT, I'M SORRY, THAT'S
THE NEXT STOP.
SECOND HOMES IN CANADA.
IN EUROPE, BY THE 18th CENTURY,
THE POPULATIONS WERE SO DENSELY
CONNECTED, THAT THERE WAS VERY
LITTLE OPEN SPACE.
THERE WAS NO VACUUM, SO THEY
COULD NOT FOUL THEIR OWN NEST.
YOU KNOW WHEN YOU FLY OVER
EUROPE, YOU NOTICE HOW
BEAUTIFULLY LAID OUT URBAN AND
RURAL REGIONS ARE, EVEN IN THE
EASTERN ACCESSION COUNTRIES,
BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T FOUL THEIR
OWN NEST, THERE WAS NO EMPTY
SPACE.
SO EVEN THOUGH THE MODERN
ECOLOGY MOVEMENT STARTED IN THE
UNITED STATES IN THE 1960s, WE
WERE SHORT SPRINTERS.
EUROPE WAS THE LONG DISTANCE
RUNNERS, BECAUSE THEY HAD A
DEEPER SENSE OF SPATIAL
RESPONSIBILITY.
YOU CAN'T FOUL YOUR NEST, SO
EUROPEANS WOULD BE MUCH MORE
COMMITTED TO THE GLOBAL WARMING
TREATY AND BIODIVERSITY TREATY
THAN WE WOULD IN THE U.S.
THE AMERICAN DREAM IS HEAVILY
FIXED ON THE WORK ETHIC AND
EFFICIENCY.
WE CONSTANTLY HAVE TO BE
PRODUCTIVE.
IDLE HANDS ARE THE DEVIL'S
WORKSHOP.
WHEN WE USE THE WORD IDLE, WE
THINK THAT'S LIKE A SIN, THAT'S
LIKE, IT'S SLOTH, ONE OF THE
CARDINAL SINS, CORRECT?
TO MY EUROPEAN FRIENDS, IDLENESS
IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING THEY
COVET, TO JUST BE, TO HANG OUT.
SO OUR EUROPEAN FRIENDS SAY YOU
AMERICANS DON'T GET IT.
YOU LIVE TO WORK.
WE EUROPEANS PREFER TO WORK TO
LIVE.
AND THE EUROPEANS WILL SAY THAT
WORK IS SIMPLY WHAT WE DO TO
REPRODUCE OURSELVES, BUT DEEP
PLAY IS WHAT WE'RE ENGAGED IN,
BECAUSE WE WANT TO HAVE A
QUALITY OF LIFE.
AMERICANS WORK HARDER THAN ANY
PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, THOSE OF US
WHO ARE EMPLOYED, LONGER HOURS
THAN THE KOREANS AND THE
JAPANESE.
THE AMERICAN DREAM IS HEAVILY
FOCUSSED ON PROPERTY RIGHTS AND
CIVIL RIGHTS.
PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE AN EXTENSION
OF OUR INDIVIDUAL SENSE OF
AUTONOMY.
YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE PROPERTY TO
BE AUTONOMOUS, TO BE AN ISLAND,
SO YOU'RE NOT DEPENDENT ON
ANYONE ELSE.
CIVIL RIGHTS ARE CRITICAL TO
AMERICANS BECAUSE THEY EXTEND
OUR INDIVIDUALITY, THE RIGHT TO
VOTE, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FREEDOM OF
ASSEMBLY AND THE RIGHT TO BEAR
GUNS.
MY EUROPEAN FRIENDS PUT MUCH
MORE EMPHASIS ON SOCIAL RIGHTS
LIKE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE,
RETIREMENT BENEFITS, MATERNITY
LEAVE, PAID VACATIONS MANDATED
BY THE GOVERNMENT.
AND EUROPEANS PUT MUCH MORE
FOCUS ON UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS.
THAT'S NOT ON THE RADAR SCREEN
IN THE HEARTLAND OF AMERICA.
PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER MAY TALK
ABOUT IT, BUT GO TO WHERE MY
FAMILY IS IN CHICAGO, AND
UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS IS A
VAGUE TERM, NOT REALLY TALKED
ABOUT AT ALL.
THE AMERICAN DREAM FOCUSES ON
ASSIMILATION.
WE LOVE
IMMIGRATION, WE'RE COMFORTABLE
WITH NEW BLOOD COMING TO
AMERICA, BUT WE STRIKE A DEAL
WITH EVERY IMMIGRANT.
YOU COME TO AMERICA, WE WELCOME
YOU, BUT YOU HAVE TO SHED YOUR
FORMER CULTURAL TIES.
YOU GOTTA GET INTO THE MELTING
POT AND BE A FREE AGENT IN THE
MARKET.
EUROPEANS PUT
MUCH MORE FOCUS IN THEORY, ON
MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY, AND
THAT IS TO RESPECT ALL THE
POTPOURRI OF CULTURAL GIFTS THAT
MAKE UP THE MOST CULTURALLY
DIVERSE REGION IN THE WORLD.
IN THEORY -- WE'LL GET TO
PRACTISE IN A MINUTE.
IN POINT OF FACT, THERE'S ONLY
ONE COUNTRY THAT'S A GOOD MODEL
FOR MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY IN
THE WORLD, AND THAT'S RIGHT HERE
IN CANADA.
FOR ALL THE PROBLEMS CANADA HAS,
YOU'D HAVE TO SCORE CANADA
NUMBER ONE ON ANY SURVEY IN
BEING ABLE TO ACTUALLY ACCEPT
IMMIGRATION BASED ON
MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY.
THE AMERICAN DREAM IS VERY
RELIGIOUS.
YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND AMERICA
UNLESS WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE
CALVINIST REFORMATION TRADITION
IS STRONG.
A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS HAVE A
PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP TO GOD, A
MAJORITY OF AMERICANS HAVE HAD A
BO AGAIN EXPERIENCE, AND
BELIEVE THAT GOD AFFECTS THEIR
DAILY LIFE.
EUROPEANS MAY SNICKER AT THAT,
BUT IT'S HEARTFELT.
COUNTLESS TIMES, YOU'LL SEE
AMERICAN SPORTS FIGURES AND
POLITICAL LEADERS AND
CELEBRITIES, WHEN THEY'RE
INTERVIEWED, SAY, “I OWE
EVERYTHING TO JESUS.”
AND EUROPEANS CAN'T UNDERSTAND
THAT.
NO EUROPEAN EVER WOULD GO IN
FRONT OF A CAMERA AND SAY THAT.
EUROPE IS MORE AND MORE SECULAR
WITH EACH GENERATION.
THE AMERICAN DREAM IS HEAVILY
FOCUSED ON PATRIOTISM.
SURVEYS OF THE 50 INDUSTRIAL
COUNTRIES SHOW THAT WE'RE THE
MOST PATRIOTIC PEOPLE IN THE
WORLD, LOVE OF COUNTRY.
AND OUR CHILDREN WILL DIE FOR
THEIR COUNTRY.
EUROPEANS ARE FAR LESS
PATRIOTIC, PATRIOTISM MAKES THEM
NERVOUS.
AND IT'S NOT THAT THEY DON'T
LOVE THEIR COUNTRY.
EVERY SPANIARD, I WAS JUST IN
SPAIN TWO WEEKS AGO, EVERY
SPANIARD LOVES SPAIN, BUT THEIR
IDENTITIES ARE MORE LAYERED.
THEY SAY, I'M A CATALONIAN, BUT
I'M ALSO A SPANIARD, BUT
SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I'M A
EUROPEAN, BUT I'M ALSO A MEMBER,
A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.
SO THE IDENTITIES IN EUROPE ARE
MORE LAYERED.
IN AMERICA, IT'S GOD AND
COUNTRY.
THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION,
NATIONALISM AND THE EUROPEAN
ENLIGHTENMENT TRADITION.
WE'RE FIXED ON THAT, AND YOU CAN
SEE IT IN OUR PRESIDENTIAL
CAMPAIGN.
REGARDLESS OF DEMOCRAT OR
REPUBLICAN, IT'S ABOUT GOD AND
COUNTRY.
FINALLY, THE MILITARY PRESENCE,
AMERICA BELIEVES THERE HAS TO BE
A STRONG MILITARY PRESENCE, IT'S
PART OF OUR DREAM.
THE REASON IS, A MAJORITY OF
AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT EVIL
EXISTS IN THE WORLD, NOT IN
METAPHORICAL TERMS, BUT IN
LITERAL TERMS.
AND YOU CANNOT REASON WITH EVIL,
AND THEREFORE YOU HAVE TO HAVE A
JUST BUT STRONG MILITARY HAND TO
MAKE SURE THAT EVIL DOES NOT
PREDOMINATE.
EUROPEANS, FOR THEM, WAR IS AN
ANATHEMA AFTER 1,000 YEARS OF
CONFLICT.
THEY WANT TO WAGE PEACE, THEY
DON'T WANT TO PREPARE FOR WAR.
THEY WOULD PREFER TO ABSORB THE
CONFLICT IF THEY CAN, USE
DEVELOPMENT AID, HUMANITARIAN
ASSISTANCE, POLICING FORCES, IN
ORDER TO BRING PEOPLE INTO CO-
OPERATIVE RELATIONSHIPS, AND
WE'LL GET INTO THE PROBLEMS AND
THE CONTRADICTIONS.
SO TO SUM IT UP, THE AMERICAN
DREAM IS VERY FOCUSSED ON THE
INDIVIDUAL, THE LAND OF
OPPORTUNITY, EVERY INDIVIDUAL
CAN SUCCEED AND MAKE SOMETHING
OF THEIR LIFE.
THE EUROPEAN DREAM IS VERY
FOCUSSED ON THE COMMUNITY, AND
HERE'S HOW I WOULD OUTLINE THE
EUROPEAN DREAM, AND SEE HOW
CANADA FITS INTO THESE TWO --
YOU READY?
INCLUSIVITY, EUROPEANS SAY NO
ONE SHOULD FALL TOO FAR BEHIND
BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE POOR.
WE DON'T WANT TOO BIG A GAP.
TWO, PROMOTE MULTICULTURAL
DIVERSITY, EVERY CULTURE IS A
GIFT TO SHARE.
THREE, SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PLANET IN
WHICH WE LIVE, HONOUR OUR FELLOW
CREATURES, AND THE EARTH, IT'S
OUR COMMON HOME.
FOUR, PROMOTE A GOOD QUALITY OF
LIFE FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.
FIVE, BALANCE WORK AND PLAY.
SIX, PROMOTE SOCIAL RIGHTS AND
ESPECIAL UNIVERSAL HUMAN
RIGHTS.
SEVEN, PROMOTE PEACE AND HARMONY
AMONG PEOPLE.
THOSE ARE THE ELEMENTS OF THE
EUROPEAN DREAM.
WHEN YOU ASK A EUROPEAN, WHAT'S
THE AMERICAN DREAM, THEY CAN
CITE IT CHAPTER AND VERSE,
BECAUSE THEY HAVE SEEN ALL THE
AMERICAN MOVIES.
THEY EVEN USE ENGLISH, AMERICAN
DREAM, THE VERNACULAR.
WHEN YOU ASK A EUROPEAN, WHAT'S
THE EUROPEAN DREAM, THEY GO,
HUH?
THAT'S BECAUSE FOR 50 YEARS, SEE
IF THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR, EUROPE
HAS LIVED IN THE SHADOW OF
AMERICA.
AND ONE JOURNALIST SAID TO ME,
“THE REASON THAT WE DON'T THINK
WE HAVE A DREAM IS WE DON'T
THINK WE'RE WORTHY, ONLY
AMERICANS CAN HAVE A DREAM.
SOUNDING FAMILIAR?
ONLY AMERICANS CAN HAVE A DREAM.
BUT WHEN I'VE LAID THIS OUT IN
MY TALKS IN EUROPE, INCLUSIVITY,
MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY, GOOD
QUALITY OF LIFE, BALANCED WORK
AND PLAY, SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT, UNIVERSAL HUMAN
RIGHTS AND PEACE AND HARMONY,
EVERY YOUNG EUROPEAN SAYS,
THAT'S WHAT WE'D LIKE TO BE.
IF YOU ASK AN AMERICAN WHAT IS
OUR DREAM, EVERY AMERICAN WILL
SAY, THAT I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY
TO MAKE A SUCCESS OUT OF MY
LIFE.
I'M NOT SAYING EUROPE LIVES UP
TO THEIR DREAM.
OF COURSE NOT, THEY DON'T LIVE
UP TO THIS DREAM.
DREAMS ARE WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO
BE.
DREAMS ARE ASPIRATIONS THAT ARE
YET TO BE FULFILLED.
WE AMERICANS HAVE NEVER LIVED UP
TO OUR DREAM.
AND SO THE HYPOCRISY OF THE
EUROPEAN DREAM, IS CLEAR.
FOR ALL THE TALK OF
MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY,
ANTI-SEMITISM IS ON THE RISE,
THERE'S FEAR OF MUSLIM
MINORITIES, THERE'S INCREASING
PREJUDICE ON MINORITY GROUPS.
FOR ALL THE TALK OF INCLUSIVITY,
THE WESTERN, MORE POWERFUL
COUNTRIES ARE FIGHTING WITH THE
POORER ACCESSION COUNTRIES ON
WHO WILL GET THE FRUITS OF THE
ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF THE
EUROPEAN UNION.
AND THERE'S GREAT DISCUSSION
ABOUT WHETHER BRUSSELS
BUREAUCRATS ARE REMOTE AND
DETACHED FROM THE PEOPLE ACROSS
EUROPE.
I KNOW ALL THIS, BUT WHAT'S SO
INTERESTING, AND THE REASON I
WROTE “THE EUROPEAN DREAM,” IT'S
SO FASCINATING TO ME, THAT THE
EUROPEAN DREAM IS SO DIFFERENT
FROM THE AMERICAN DREAM.
AND IT'S NOT JUST A DREAM, THERE
ARE REAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
BUT THE PROBLEM IS, IF AMERICA
HAS A SUPERIORITY COMPLEX,
EUROPE HAS A DEEP INFERIORITY
COMPLEX.
THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
WHEN YOU ASK AN AMERICAN, WHAT
DO YOU THINK ABOUT AMERICA,
THEY'LL SAY, “THE GREATEST
COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.”
THAT'S THE STANDARD RESPONSE,
GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
WE DON'T MEAN
IT TO BE MALICIOUS OR ARROGANT.
AMERICANS JUST BELIEVE THAT
AMERICA IS THE GREATEST COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD, PERIOD, END OF
DISCUSSION.
AND I'M SURE YOU'VE HAD THIS
OVER AND OVER WITH YOUR FRIENDS
SOUTH OF THE BORDER HERE.
EUROPEANS ON
THE OTHER HAND, THERE'S A LOT OF
SELF DOUBT IN EUROPE, ESPECIALLY
SINCE WORLD WAR 2.
SO AMERICANS, WE TEND TO OVER-
HYPE OUR SUCCESSES.
WE DON'T TALK ABOUT OUR
FAILURES.
IT'S NOT THAT WE HIDE OUR
FAILURES, BUT THEY'RE NOT
INTERESTING TO US, THAT'S
YESTERDAY.
LET'S GET ON WITH A NEW IDEA,
LET'S TRY SOMETHING ELSE.
MY EUROPEAN FRIENDS, WITH ALL
DUE RESPECT, COUNTLESS--
THEY'RE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT
THEIR FAILURES.
ALL THE TIME, RELENTLESSLY,
TALKING ABOUT FAILURES, DATING
BACK 1,000 YEARS.
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME ANY OF US
HAVE HEARD OUR EUROPEAN FRIENDS
TALK ABOUT THEIR SUCCESSES.
I'VE NEVER HEARD THEM, EVER.
THEY DON'T DO IT.
BUT IT HAS REAL WORLD
CONSEQUENCES.
IT HAS VERY REAL WORLD
CONSEQUENCES.
I TEACH AT THE WHARTON SCHOOL IN
THE UNITED STATES.
I'VE BEEN THERE A VERY LONG TIME
IN THE ADVANCED MANAGEMENT AND
THE EXECUTIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM,
AND WE BRING IN BUSINESS LEADERS
LIKE YOU FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
FOR ADVANCED EDUCATION.
AND I'VE OFTEN WONDERED WHEN I
TAKE A LOOK AT AMERICAN CEOs AND
EUROPEAN CEOs, IS THERE SOME
QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE?
OF COURSE NOT.
THEY'RE BOTH WELL TRAINED,
THEY'RE ENTREPRENEURIAL, THEY'RE
SKILLED AT RISK TAKING, THEY'RE
GOOD MANAGEMENT, THEY KNOW
HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GLOBAL
OPPORTUNITIES.
SO I WONDER IS THERE SOME BIG
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMERICAN
ECONOMIC SYSTEM AND EUROPE?
WELL, YOU KNOW, MANY AMERICAN
INTELLECTUALS SAY ABSOLUTELY,
WE'RE THE MOST POWERFUL ECONOMY
IN THE WORLD.
AND WE THINK OF EUROPE AS THIS
WITHERING OLD CREATURE THAT'S
MOVING TO THE OLD AGE HOME,
RIGHT?
REALITY TEST, MY FRIENDS.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS THE
LARGEST EXPORTING POWER IN THE
WORLD TODAY, NOT THE UNITED
STATES.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS THE
LARGEST INTERNAL TRADING MARKET
IN THE WORLD TODAY, NOT THE
UNITED STATES.
61 OF THE 130 LARGEST
CORPORATIONS IN THE WORLD TODAY
ARE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, ONLY
50 ARE IN THE UNITED STATES.
THE EUROPEAN UNION LEADS IN MANY
KEY INDUSTRIES.
14 OF THE 20 LARGEST BANKS IN
THE WORLD ARE IN EUROPE.
EUROPE LEADS IN AEROSPACE WITH
AIR BUS.
EUROPE LEADS IN THE CONSTRUCTION
INDUSTRY, THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY,
ACROSS THE BOARD IN THE
INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND THE FOOD
WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE --
IMPRESSIVE
NOW AMERICA LEADS IN AUTO AND IN
SOFTWARE, IN COMPUTERS, IN
PHARMACEUTICALS, BUT TO SAY THAT
AMERICA IS THIS GREAT
UNCHALLENGED ECONOMIC
SUPERPOWER, AND ACROSS THE
ATLANTIC, THE 455 MILLION PEOPLE
WHO MAKE UP THE EUROPEAN UNION
IS SOMETHING THAT WE DON'T EVEN
TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION BECAUSE
IT'S FALLING APART, THAT'S NOT
REALITY.
POINT IN CASE HERE, THE U.S.
LOOKS TO CHINA AS THE NEW
OPPORTUNITY.
THE EUROPEAN UNION'S GDP IS
6 AND A HALF TIMES CHINA.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE CHINA EVER
TO CATCH UP TO THAT?
PROBLEM IS CONTEXT.
WE STILL THINK OF GERMANY IN
RELATION TO THE U.S., THE U.K.
IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE U.S.,
FRANCE IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE
U.S., BUT THE COMPANIES I WORK
WITH IN EUROPE, THEY NOW SEE
THEMSELVES AS EUROPEAN COMPANIES
BECAUSE THEY'RE UNDER THE
EUROPEAN UNION UMBRELLA FOR
THEIR REGULATORY REGIME, JUST
LIKE CALIFORNIA COMPANIES
CONSIDER THEMSELVES AMERICAN
COMPANIES, SO WE HAVE TO BEGIN
TO CHANGE THE FRAMEWORK, AND WE
HAVE TO COMPARE TO CALIFORNIA.
VERY PAINFUL FOR GERMANS TO
THINK OF THIS.
BUT THEIR NUMBER ONE STATE, OUR
NUMBER ONE STATE, AND WHEN YOU
COMPARE GERMANY TO CALIFORNIA,
GERMANY'S A FAR MORE POWERFUL
ECONOMY.
THEN COMPARE THE U.K., THE
E.U.'S SECOND LARGEST STATE TO
THE UNITED STATES SECOND LARGEST
STATE, NEW YORK.
THE U.K. WINS HANDS DOWN, MUCH
MORE POWERFUL ECONOMY, THEN
COMPARE FRANCE TO TEXAS, THEN
COMPARE ITALY TO FLORIDA, THEN
COMPARE SPAIN TO ILLINOIS, AND
GO RIGHT DOWN THE LINE STATE FOR
STATE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION VERSUS
STATE FOR STATE IN THE AMERICAN
UNION AND TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR
RESOURCES, THEIR POTENTIAL
TALENT, THEIR ECONOMIC CLOUT,
AND WE BEGIN TO SEE THE ENORMITY
OF THIS EXPERIMENT UNFOLDING,
THIS TRANSNATIONAL SPACE CALLED
THE EUROPEAN UNION.
AND COURSE NOW YOU'LL NEVER
THINK THE OLD WAY.
BUT I SAY TO MY GERMAN FRIENDS,
DON'T FEEL TOO BAD ABOUT
COMPARING GERMANY TO CALIFORNIA,
IF CALIFORNIA WERE A COUNTRY IT
WOULD BE THE FOURTH LARGEST
COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
IT'S JUST THAT YOU'D BE THE
THIRD.

The audience laughs.

Jeremy says AND THERE'S REAL
ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
IT'S NOT JUST THAT THE EUROPEANS
HAVE A DREAM, THEY'VE ACTUALLY
MADE ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO THE
DREAM.
IF YOU THINK OF THE GOOD ECONOMY
IN TERMS OF WEALTH, AMERICA IS
28PERCENT RICHER THAN OUR EUROPEAN
FRIENDS, BUT IT'S MORE UNEVENLY
DIVIDED BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE
POOR.
BUT IF WE COMPARE THE GOOD LIFE
BY QUALITY OF LIFE, THE E.U. 15,
THE MOST ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL
COUNTRIES OF EUROPE, PASSED US
UP IN THE 1990s.
IT'S HARD FOR MOST PEOPLE IN THE
UNITED STATES TO EVEN REALISE
THIS.
EDUCATION -- IF YOU WANT A GOOD
UNIVERSITY AND GRADUATE
EDUCATION, YOU COME TO THE
UNITED STATES.
I'VE LECTURED FOR 25 YEARS ON
BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC, THE
U.K. IS THE ONE EXCEPTION, GREAT
UNIVERSITIES, BUT ACROSS THE
BOARD, UNITED STATES HANDS DOWN
AT THE GRADUATE SCHOOL LEVEL.
BUT AT THE ELEMENTARY AND
SECONDARY LEVEL, THE E.U 15 HAS
PASSED US UP.
THEIR KIDS OUTPERFORM OUR KIDS
IN MATH AND SCIENCE LITERACY.
THEY GET A YEAR MORE OF HIGH
SCHOOL.
LOOK AT HEALTH CE.
IF YOU'RE ILL AND YOU CAN AFFORD
IT, YOU'RE GOING TO GO TO THE
MAYO CLINIC IN THE UNITED STATES
OR JOHNS HOPKINS, BECAUSE WE
HAVE STATE OF THE ART
TECHNOLOGY.
BUT GARDEN VARIETY HEALTH CARE,
THE E.U. 15 PASSED US UP IN THE
LAST DECADE.
THEY HAVE MORE DOCTORS PER
POPULATION.
THEY LIVE A YE LONGER THAN WE
DO, WHICH IS EXTRAORDINARY,
SINCE THEY'RE ALL SMOKERS.
I DON'T KNOW HOW THEY DO IT.
AND THEN INFANT MORTALITY, THE
LITMUS TEST OF A GOOD SOCIETY.
DO WE ALLOW OUR CHILDREN TO BE
BORN INTO A WORLD AND THEN
SURVIVE SO THAT THEY CAN ENJOY
LIFE?
AMERICA SCORES DISGRACEFULLY
LOW.
WE ARE 27th AMONG INDUSTRIAL
NATIONS IN INFANT DEATH.
ONLY A FEW
COUNTRIES, LIKE MEXICO, DO WORSE

WHY?
WE HAVE E LARGEST CHILDHOOD
POVERTY OF THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD,
AND THE MOST ADULT POVERTY OF
MOST OF THE MAJOR INDUSTRIAL
COUNTRIES.
IN EUROPE
THERE ARE POOR PEOPLE, BUT THEY
DON'T ALLOW WORKING POOR WOMEN
AND THEIR BABIES TO FALL
UNDERNEATH THE NET AND BE
ABANDONED BY SOCIETY, SO THEY
HAVE EXTREMELY SMALL INFANT
MORTALITY.
AND THEN THERE'S THE QUESTION OF
LEISURE.
THE AVERAGE U.S. CITIZEN GETS
TWO WEEKS OFF A YEAR PAID
VACATION, AT THE DISCRETION OF
THE COMPANY.
IT'S NOT MANDATED BY LAW.
THE AVERAGE EUROPEAN GETS FOUR
WEEKS OFF OF VACATION, MANDATED
BY LAW, AND LISTEN TO THIS.
THE AVERAGE EUROPEAN GETS 10 AND A HALF
WEEKS MORE TIME OFF A YEAR THAN
WE DO IN THE UNITED STATES.
AND OF COURSE MY WIFE ALWAYS
SAYS, USE THE DEATHBED TEST,
BECAUSE I'M A WORKAHOLIC.
SHE SAYS, DO YOU KNOW ANYBODY ON
THEIR DEATHBED THAT EVER SAID,
OH, I REGRET I DIDN'T SPEND
ANOTHER HOUR AT THE OFFICE,
MAYBE I COULD ANSWER THOSE E-
MAILS BEFORE I GO.
[Audience laughter]
NO.
ENVIRONMENT -- THE U.S.
REGULATORY SYSTEM FOR
ENVIRONMENT WAS STELLAR, IT WAS
THE GOLD STANDARD FOR THE WORLD
UNTIL THE 1970s.
EUROPE'S NOW PASSED US UP.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS THE FIRST
REGION IN E WORLD TO COMMIT
ITSELF TA TRANSITION TO A
RENEWABLE ENERGY HYDROGEN
ECONOMY IN THE 21st CENTURY.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS THE FIRST
REGION IN THE WORLD TO BENCHMARK
A TRANSITION TO ORGANIC
AGRICULTURE IN THE NEXT 30
YEARS.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS THE FIRST
REGION IN THE WORLD WHERE THE
MEMBER GOVERNMENTS ARE BEGINNING
TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF OUR
FELLOW CREATURES, IN LAW.
THE GERMAN CONSTITUTION HAS BEEN
AMENDED SAYING THAT ALL SENTIENT
CREATURES HAVE RIGHTS THAT HAVE
TO BE CONSIDERED IN ALL
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION ABOUT
DECISIONS.
THE MARK OF A CIVILISATION IS
HOW A CIVILISATION TREATS THOSE
WHO ARE POWERLESS.
AND ONE OF THE GREAT TURNING
POINTS IN HISTORY, WE'LL LOOK
BACK ON THE FACT EUROPE IS NOW
EXPANDED ITS SENSE OF EMPATHY
AND REGARD FOR OUR FELLOW
CREATURES.
THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE ON
EARTH, EVEN WITH US OR WITHOUT
US.
THEIR RIGHTS NEED TO BE
CONSIDERED.
AND THE FACT THAT THE EUROPEAN
UNION IS DOING THIS, AND I MUST
SAY THE U.K. HAS BEEN THE
INSPIRATION FOR THE WORLD IN
TERMS OF MOVING US INTO A REGARD
FOR OUR FELLOW CREATURES.
SO WHAT ABOUT SAFE COMMUNITIES?
WE NORMALLY THINK, PROSPEROUS
ECONOMY SAFE SOCIETY.
THE U.S. IS COUNTERINTUITIVE.
WE'RE PROSPEROUS, BUT WE'RE
DANGEROUS.
A WOMAN CANNOT WALK THE STREETS
IN THE UNITED STATES AT NIGHT.
NOW THERE ARE DANGEROUS
COMMUNITIES IN EUROPE, BUT NOT
LIKE AMERICA.
WE HAVE FOUR TIMES THE HOMICIDE
RATE OF EUROPE.
25PERCENT OF ALL THE PRISONERS IN THE
WHOLE WORLD TODAY ARE
INCARCERATED IN MY COUNTRY.
2PERCENT OF THE ADULT MALE WORK FORCE
IS INCARCERATED IN MY COUNTRY.
THIS DOESN'T MAKE ME FEEL GOOD
TO SAY THIS.
I'VE BEEN A SOCIAL ACTIVIST FOR
35 YEARS.
I THINK MY COUNTRY CAN DO
BETTER, AND WE WERE THE
STANDARD, AND WE WERE THE BEACON
FOR THE WORLD FOR A LONG TIME.
AND ONE OF THE REASONS I WROTE
“THE EUROPEAN DREAM” IS SANG,
MAYBE WE BETTER REVISIT OUR
DREAM.
SOMETIMES, YOU KNOW, YOU'D
RATHER HAVE A LOUSY DREAM THAN
NO DREAM.
WE AMERICANS CAN'T IMAGINE THERE
MAY BE ANOTHER DREAM, SO WE
NEVER DISCUSS OURS BECAUSE IT
WOULD BE TOO FRIGHTENING TO HAVE
A VACUUM.
SO I PARTIALLY WROTE THE BOOK TO
SAY, HEY, LOOK WHAT'S GOING ON
HERE IN EUROPE.
IS THIS INTERESTING, A WHOLE NEW
SET OF IDEAS ABOUT WHAT THE
FUTURE SHOULD BE LIKE.
MAYBE WE COULD LEARN FROM WHAT'S
GOING ON IN EUROPE.
WE BORROWED THEIR VISION OF THE
FUTURE 200 YEARS AGO WITH THE
REFORMATION AND THE
ENLIGHTENMENT, WHY NOT BORROW
SOME IDEAS NOW?
BUT I WROTE THE BOOK FOR A
EUROPEAN AUDIENCE FOR A
DIFFERENT REASON.
EUROPE IS ABOUT READY TO MATURE
AFTER 50 YEARS OF THE EUROPEAN
UNION GESTATING AND AFTER 50
YEARS OF THIS EUROPEAN DREAM
GESTATING IS ABOUT TO MATURE
AND BE GIVEN BIRTH WITH THIS NEW
CONSTITUTION.
FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, ALL OF
EUROPE IS GOING TO HAVE A HUGE
DEBATE ON WHETHER TO RATIFY A
CONSTITUTION AND BECOME THE
FIRST TRANSNATIONAL SPACE IN
HISTORY AND RIGHT AT THIS
CRITICAL MOMENT, MANY EUROPEANS
ARE GETTING COLD FEET.
THE EURO SCEPTICS ARE COMING OUT
OF THE WOODWORK, AND WHAT ARE
THEY SAYING?
YES, MR. RIFKIN YOU'RE RIGHT, WE
HAVE A GREAT DREAM.
THE EUROPEAN DREAM ACTUALLY IS A
GLOBAL VISION.
IT'S THE FIRST GLOBAL
CONSCIOUSNESS IN HISTORY.
WE'VE NEVER HAD A COLLECTIVE--
WE'VE NEVER HAD A MOMENT IN
HISTORY WHERE A COLLECTIVE, IN
THIS CASE, 450 MILLION PEOPLE
ARE MOVING TOWARD A GLOBAL
CONSCIOUSNESS, INCLUSIVITY,
MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY, GOOD
QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE
COMMUNITY, SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT FOR THE PLANET,
UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND
PEACE, THAT'S A GLOBAL VISION.
BY THE WAY IF THAT SOUNDS
REMARKABLY SIMILAR TO WHAT THE
CANADIANS BELIEVE, IT'S BECAUSE
PROBABLY THE EUROPEAN DREAM
COULD HAVE BEEN CALLED THE
CANADIAN DREAM.
MY OWN PERSONAL BELIEF, AND
WE'LL TEST THIS WHEN WE TALK IN
A MINUTE.
I BELIEVE THAT CANADA'S
SENSIBILITIES ARE MUCH CLOSER TO
CONTINENTAL EUROPE, THE U.K.'S
SENSIBILITIES, INTERESTINGLY,
ARE MUCH CLOSER TO THE UNITE
STATES.
ALTHOUGH THE U.K. BRIDGES MOST.
I BELIEVE, AFTER SPENDING SO
MUCH TIME IN CANADA, THAT
CANADA'S VALUES REALLY RESONATE
WI EUROPEAN VALUES AND THAT
YOUR REAL SOUL MATE IS
CONTINENTAL EUROPE.
THAT ISN’T TO SAY THAT YOU DON'T
BELIEVE IN THE INDIVIDUAL, AND
INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABILITY, BUT
ALSO THE SENSE OF COLLECTIVE
RESPONSIBILITY ACROSS THIS
CANADIAN REGION IS QUITE STRONG.
SO, A LOT OF EUROPEANS ARE
GETTING COLD FEET, THE EURO-
SCEPTICS ARE COMING OUT OF THE
WOODWORK, AND ARE SAYING, WE
HAVE A GLOBAL DREAM AND IT'S A
GREAT VISION, WE HAVE A
TRANSNATIONAL SPACE, WE DO WANT
TO DEVELOP A WORLD BASED ON
PEACE, BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD IT.
SOBER UP, THE DREAM IS OVER.
OUR ECONOMY IS STAGNANT, WE'RE
NOT GROWING JOBS, EURO-SCLEROSIS
HAS CAUGHT US ACROSS THE
CONTINENT, AND WE HAVE TO GIVE
UP THE DREAM, WE HAVE TO GIVE UP
THE SOCIAL BENEFITS, WE HAVE TO
GIVE UP THE POLITICAL EXPERIMENT
AND WE HAVE TO BE MORE LIKE THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
THEY'VE GOT THE ECONOMIC MODEL
THAT WORKS, THEY CAN GROW THE
ECONOMY, THEY PRODUCE THE JOBS,
AND EVEN THOUGH IT MAY BE MORE
DARWINIAN IN AMERICA, AND MORE
MARKET DRIVEN, AND A LITTLE BIT
MORE BRUTAL, AT LEAST THEY'VE
SHOWN YOU CAN MOVE AN ECONOMY.
CAN I GIVE YOU MY OWN READ, AS
SOMEONE WHO SPENDS MOST OF HIS
TIME TEACHING BUSINESS LEADERS
ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC?
THE AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY, TO
SOME EXTENT IN THE LAST 15
YEARS, IS AN ARTIFICIAL SUCCESS
STORY.
THE IDEA IN EUROPE, AND THERE'S
A DISCUSSION HERE IN CANADA, IS
IF WE CAN ONLY MAKE THESE SOCIAL
REFORMS, AND GET PEOPLE OFF
WELFARE, AND LESS TAXES, AND PUT
MORE MONEY IN PEOPLE'S POCKETS,
AND CREATE MORE INCENTIVE FOR
MARKET, WE'LL BE ABLE TO GROW
THE ECONOMY, CORRECT?
AMERICA MADE
ALL THOSE SOCIAL REFORMS, BUT
THEY HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH
MOVING THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.
IT WAS APPLES AND ORANGES.
WHAT MOVED THE AMERICAN ECONOMY
IN THE 1990s, WAS THIS, WE CAME
OUT OF THE 1989 TO 1992
RECESSION BY ISSUING CREDIT
CARDS ACROSS AMERICA.
WE WENT ON THE
BIGGEST CREDIT BINGE IN HISTORY.
WE STARTED BUYING, BUYING,
BUYING OFF CREDIT CARDS, AND
THAT MOVED THE ECONOMY AND PUT
SOME PEOPLE BACK TO WORK.
BUT WE DID IT BY MORTGAGING OUR
CHILDREN'S FUTURE.
THE AVERAGE FAMILY SAVINGS RATE
IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1990 WAS
8PERCENT, THE AVERAGE FAMILY SAVINGS
RATE BY 2004, IS UNDER 2PERCENT.
ONE OTHER COUNTRY FOLLOWED OUR
LEAD, TO BECOME THE OTHER GREAT
ECONOMIC SUCCESS STORY, IT'S
CALLED THE UNITED KINGDOM AND
THE U.K. PASSED US UP, AND NOW
THE AVERAGE BRIT IS SPENDING
120PERCENT OF THEIR INCOME, WHICH
DOESN'T COMPUTE.
AND WE SAY THAT'S AN ECONOMIC
SUCCESS.
[Audience laughter]
SO, BUT THE INTERESTING THING IS
THIS.
IS THIS BASED ON FUNDAMENTALS,
OR IS THIS BASED ON SAND?
THIS YEAR, MORE AMERICANS WILL
FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY THAN FILE
FOR DIVORCE, OR ARE DIAGNOSED
WITH CANCER, OR GET A HEART
ATTACK OR GRADUATE COLLEGE.
DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A STRONG
ECONOMY OR A SHAKY ECONOMY?
AND OF COURSE, THE PROOF'S IN
THE PUDDING, AS WE SAY.
CHECK THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE
BETWEEN THE DOLLAR AND THE EURO,
AND YOU'LL KNOW THE INVESTMENT
COMMUNITY UNDERSTANDS EVERYTHING
I'VE SAID IN THIS BOOK.
WHEN THE EURO WAS INTRODUCED IN
1999, WE SAID IT WOULD BE TOILET
PAPER IN SIX MONTHS.
WHY HAS THE EURO CONTINUED TO BE
STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR?
BECAUSE THE INVESTMENT COMMUNITY
SAYS, WE DON'T TRUST THE
AMERICAN ECONOMY.
FIRST YOU WENT INTO CONSUMER
DEBT, THEN THE GOVERNMENT GAVE
YOU TAX BREAKS SO YOU COULD KEEP
MONEY IN YOUR POCKET, NOW THE
GOVERNMENT IS IN RECORD DEBT.
THEN YOU REFINANCED YOUR HOMES
WITH LOW INTEREST RATES, AND NOW
THAT'S MAXED OUT.
WE DO NOT TRUST THE
FUNDAMENTALS, WE'LL CONTINUE TO
DEVALUE THE DOLLAR BECAUSE WE
THINK YOU HAVE TOO MUCH DEBT A
YOU'VE BUILT YOUR ECONOMY ON A
FALSE FOUNDATION.
THAT'S THE INVESTMENT COMMUNITY.
WHY ELSE WOULD THE DOLLAR BE
DEVALUED AGAINST THE EURO?
AND DID WE GROW THE JOBS?
EVEN IN THE 1990s AT THE HEIGHT
OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMICS
MIRACLE, THE CLINTON YEARS,
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO STUDY SAID
REAL UNEMPLOYMENT IN AMERICA
WAS 9PERCENT.
BECAUSE SO MANY MILLIONS OF
PEOPLE GAVE UP LOOKING FOR WORK,
THEY LEFT THE WORKFORCE.
THEN WE PUT 2PERCENT OF THE ADULT MALE
WORKFORCE IN JAIL IN THE 1990s,
AND DIDN'T COUNT THEM, AND THEN
WE BROUGHT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK
WAY UNDEREMPLOYED.
AND IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS, THIS
IS A U.S. GOVERNMENT FIGURE, IN
THE LAST FOUR YEARS, THE U.S.
HAS HAD A NET LOSS OF 1.6
MILLION JOBS.
THE LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED WAS
1929, THE YEAR THE STOCK MARKET
CRASHED.
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE A STRONG
ECONOMY BASED ON FUNDAMENTALS?
SO IF THE EUROPEANS GET COLD
FEET AND SAY, WE HAVE TO GO TO
THE AMERICAN MODEL, WHAT DO THEY
GET?
WHAT THEY'LL GET IS RECORD DEBT,
THEY'LL MORTGAGE THE FUTURE,
THEY'LL DEVALUE THEIR CURRENCY.
WHAT WILL THEY GIVE UP?
ALL THOSE SOCIAL PROGRAMS THAT
MADE THE MOST HUMANE EXPERIMENT
IN LIVING IN ALL OF HISTORY.
YOU'LL HAVE MORE CHILDHOOD
POVERTY, YOU'LL HAVE A
DETERIORATING HEALTH SYSTEM,
POORER EDUCATION, MORE ADULT
POVERTY, THEIR LIFE EXPECTANCY
WILL BE SHORTENED, THEIR
EDUCATION WILL SUFFER, THEY WILL
HAVE STREETS THAT ARE UNSAFE.
NOW, DOES THIS HELP THE
EUROPEANS?
NO, THEY STILL HAVE AN ECONOMY
THAT'S NOT MOVING.
THEY'RE STILL NOT GROWING THE
ECONOMY.
IS THERE ANOTHER ROUTE?
IF THE EUROPEANS SAY, WE'RE
DON'T CHOOSE THE AMERICAN MODEL
BECAUSE IT'S A FAILED MODEL,
WHAT'S THE OTHER COURSE.
THERE'S ANOTHER COURSE, THERE IS
A GOLDEN GOOSE IN EUROPE.
BUT THEY'RE NOT FEEDING THE
GOLDEN GOOSE, THEY'RE STARVING
IT.
THE GOLDEN GOOSE IS THE
INTEGRATION OF THE
INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE BIGGEST
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL INTERNAL
MARKET IN THE WORLD, CALLED THE
EUROPEAN UNION, FROM THE IRISH
SEA TO THE DOORSTEPS OF RUSSIA.
IN LISBON IN 2000, EUROPEAN
LEADERS CAME TOGETHER AND SAID,
WE DECLARE WE WILL BE THE MOST
COMPETITIVE ECONOMY IN THE WORLD
BY 2010.
THEN THE POLITICIANS WENT BACK
TO THEIR HOST COUNTRIES AND
PLAYED POLITICS.
CENTRE RIGHT, CENTRE LEFT --
THEY PLAYED OFF THE TRADE
UNIONS, THE CORPORATIONS, THE
NGOs, REGIONAL FEARS AND THEY
SAID, OH, YOU'RE GIVING TOO MUCH
UP TO THE UNION, TOO MUCH UP TO
EUROPE.
AS IF ANYONE COULD POSSIBLY
BELIEVE THAT PROSPERITY IN
EUROPE IS BY GOING BACK INTO YOUR
LITTLE NATIONAL CONTAINERS
CALLED AUSTRIA, GERMANY, FRANCE,
THE U.K., RATHER THAN EXPANDING
OUT TO ALL OF EUROPE.
HERE'S WHAT EUROPE NEEDS TO DO
TO FEED THE GOLDEN GOOSE.
THERE NEEDS TO BE A SEAMLESS
COMMUNICATION GRID ACROSS EUROPE
IN 10 YEARS, A SINGLE UNIFIED
TRANSPORTATION GRID, A SINGLE
UNIFIED ENERGY AND POWER GRID.
THERE HAS TO BE A COMMON SET OF
REGULATORY PROCEDURES THAT ARE
JUST AND FAIR, THAT EVERYONE
AGREES TO IN COMMERCE.
THERE HAS TO BE COMMON
REGULATORY FLOWS FOR FINANCE,
CAPITAL AND LABOUR.
AND ENGLISH NEEDS TO BE LINGUA
FRANCA BY 2020.
AND IF THAT'S THE CASE -- IN THE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY – IF THAT'S
THE CASE, THEN EUROPE WILL BE
ABLE TO ENGAGE IN COMMERCE AND
TRADE WITH THE SAME EASE WE DO
IN THE UNITED STATES, IN THE
BIGGEST INTERNAL MARKET IN THE
WORLD.
THAT WILL GROW THEIR ECONOMY.
NOW ONE OTHER THING IN REGARD TO
THAT, I THINK EUROPE CAN MOVE
THROUGH THAT DOOR AND BE THE
ASCENDANT ECONOMY BY 2020, BUT
THEY HAVE A SECOND DOOR, IT'S
CALLED DEMOGRAPHICS, AND THEY
HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT DOOR.
THEY MAY NOT MAKE IT THROUGH
EITHER DOOR.
THEY'RE NOT REPRODUCING
THEMSELVES, FERTILITY RATES ARE
LOW.
AT THE CURRENT FERTILITY RATE,
THEY'LL BE AN OLD AGE HOME BY
2050.
THERE WILL BE THREE RETIREES FOR
EVERY WORKING PERSON IN EUROPE.
THE AVERAGE AGE WILL BE 54, NOT
34.
THEY'VE GOT TO REPRODUCE.
NOW THAT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
THEY'RE REPRODUCING ALL OVER
DENMARK.
YOU CAN'T EVEN WALK THE STREETS,
THERE ARE PREGNANT WOMEN ALL
OVER THE SIDEWALKS.
IN FRANCE, FERTILITY IS GOING UP
WHY?
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IN
DENMARK, AND I WAS ASKING MICHEL
ROCQUARD AN OLD FRIEND OF MINE,
YOU MIGHT REMEMBER, A FORMER
PRIME MINISTER OF FRANCE, HE
SAID, “JEREMY, WE START PUBLIC
SCHOOL AT THE AGE OF 3, SO THE
PARENTS CAN HAVE BABIES AND HAVE
SOMEWHERE FOR THOSE CHILDREN TO
BE.”
SO LET'S TAKE SOME OF THOSE
STRANGE SUBSIDIES THAT WE GIVE
TO THE CORPORATE WORLD IN
EUROPE, AND PUT IT TO UNIVERSAL
CHILD CARE, AND I GUARANTEE YOU
THAT PARENTS WILL HAVE MORE
KIDS.
BUT WE STILL HAVE TO OPEN UP THE
DOORS TO IMMIGRATION, AND
EUROPEANS ARE AFRAID OF
IMMIGRATION.
THEY'RE
AFRAID, BASICALLY, OF MUSLIM
IMMIGRATION, AND THEY'RE AFRAID
OF TURKEY BEING PUT INTO THE
UNION, AND THEY'RE SAYING THAT
IMMIGRATION WILL WASH OVER THE
LOCAL CULTURE, TAKE THE
REMAINING JOBS, THERE WILL BE
MORE CRIME IN THE STREET, SOCIAL
INSTABILITY, AND FASCIST
POLITICAL PARTIES WILL EMERGE
AGAIN AS THEY DID IN THE 1930s,
AND THEN THE EXPERIMENT IS OVER.
BUT HOW CAN MY
EUROPEAN FRIENDS SAY THAT THEY
HAVE A GLOBAL DREAM, AND THEN
LOCK THE DOORS TO A GLOBAL
COMMUNITY.
THERE HAS TO BE WAY FOR THE
YOUNGER GENERATION OF EUROPEANS
TO HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT THEY
CAN OPEN THE GATES, EMBRACE THE
YOUNGER IMMIGRANTS, AND
TOGETHER, BELIEVE IN THE COMMON
DREAM.
SO THAT WHEN IMMIGRANT AND
NATIVE BORN SEE EACH OTHER, IN
EUROPE, THEY HAVE AN
UNDERSTANDING.
HERE'S WHAT WE AGREE TO, WE HAVE
MANY DIFFERENCES, AND MANY
DIFFERENT WAYS THAT WE LOOK AT
LIFE, BUT WE AGREE TO THE
FOLLOWING, INCLUSIVITY,
DIVERSITY, SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT, GOOD QUALITY OF
LIFE FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY,
UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS, AND
PEACE AMONG PEOPLE.
THAT SHOULD BE THE AGREEMENT FOR
ANY IMMIGRANT COMING TO EUROPE.
IF YOU CAN'T MAKE THE AGREEMENT,
DON'T COME.
LAST THOUGHTS.
THERE ARE TWO ASPECTS OF THE
AMERICAN DREAM THAT ARE WORTHY
OF SALVAGING, AND GRAFTING ONTO
THE EUROPEAN DREAM.
AND IF WE DON'T SALVAGE THESE
TWO CRITICAL ASPECTS OF THE
AMERICAN DREAM, INTEGRATE THEM
INTO EUROPEAN DREAM, I'M AFRAID
THE EUROPEAN DREAM WILL BE TOO
THIN TO SUSTAIN ITSELF AS A
GLOBAL VISION FOR THIS CENTURY.
DREAMS HAVE TO BE THICK SO YOU
CAN MAINTAIN THEM IN BAD TIMES,
NOT JUST GOOD TIMES.
WHAT ARE THE TWO QUALITIES WE
HAVE IN THE AMERICAN DREAM THAT
EUROPEANS DON'T HAVE?
ONE, A SENSE OF PERSONAL
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR LIVES.
THE STRENGTH AND THE WEAKNESS OF
THE AMERICAN DREAM ARE NOW
APPARENT.
IT'S BASED ON THE INDIVIDUAL.
THAT'S A STRENGTH AND A
WEAKNESS.
HERE'S THE WEAKNESS -- IN A
FRONTIER, YOU HAD TO BE RELIANT,
AND BE YOUR OWN SELF.
BUT IN A GLOBAL WORLD THAT'S
DEPENDENT, THAT'S VULNERABLE,
THAT'S CONNECTED, HOW CAN ANYONE
BE AN ISLAND.
HOW CAN YOU DEFINE FREEDOM AS
CONTAINMENT IN A WORLD THAT'S
GLOBALLY CONNECTED.
EVEN BILL GATES CAN'T BE AN
ISLAND, BECAUSE THE SARS
EPIDEMIC, A COMPUTER VIRUS, A
TERRORIST ATTACK, GLOBAL
WARMING, NOBODY CAN BE AN
ISLAND.
BUT THERE'S A STRENGTH IN THE
AMERICAN INDIVIDUALISM, AND
THAT'S OUR SENSE OF PERSONAL
ACCOUNTABILITY, OUR PARENTS
TEACH US, NEVER BLAME SOMEONE
FOR YOUR LIFE, YOU'RE
RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN LIFE.
YOU MAKE YOUR LIFE, YOU LIVE
YOUR LIFE.
I LIKE THAT, I LOVE THAT.
IN DUE RESPECT TO MY EUROPEAN
FRIENDS, CONSTANTLY BLAMING
SOMEONE ELSE FOR THEIR
CONDITION.
IT'S THE OTHER POLITICAL PARTY,
IT'S THE IDEOLOGY ON WHICH OUR
GOVERNMENT OPERATES, IT'S ALWAYS
SOMEBODY ELSE.
AND MY EUROPEAN FRIENDS LAUGH
AND THEY SAY, YOU'RE RIGHT, WE
DO BLAME OTHERS.
HOW CAN YOU HAVE A THICK DREAM
WHEN ALL THE INDIVIDUALS IN THE
DREAM ARE SAYING SOMEONE ELSE IS
RESPONSIBLE?
SO THE AMERICAN SENSE OF
PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, I LOVE
IT, I LOVE THIS ABOUT MY
COUNTRY.
THE OTHER THING I LOVE ABOUT OUR
DREAM IS THE OPTIMISM AND RISK
TAKING.
OUR KIDS ARE LIGHT ON THEIR
FEET, THEY'RE OPTIMISTIC.
SOME SAY WE'RE NAIVELY
OPTIMISTIC, SOME SAY WE'RE
ARROGANTLY OPTIMISTIC.
BE AS IT MAY, OUR KIDS ARE
OPTIMISTIC, THEY'RE RISK TAKERS.
YOU CANNOT HAVE A DREAM AND BE A
SCEPTIC OR A CYNIC OR A
PESSIMIST, BECAUSE DREAMS ARE
ASPIRATIONS, THEY'RE WHAT WE'D
LIKE TO BE.
SO IF YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A
DREAM, YOU HAVE TO HAVE HOPE AND
TAKE RISKS AND SACRIFICE TO MAKE
THE DREAM THICK.
SO WHAT EUROPEANS CAN LEARN FROM
THE AMERICAN DREAM, PERSONAL
RESPONSIBILITY AND
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR LIVES,
OPTIMISM AND RISK TAKING, WHAT
CAN WE AMERICANS LEARN FROM THE
EUROPEANS?
SOLIDARITY, WE'RE PARTS OF
LARGER COMMUNITIES, WE'RE ALL
INTERDEPENDENT AND VULNERABLE TO
EACH OTHER IN THE WORLD.
SO THERE ARE LESSONS ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC HERE.
LAST THOUGHTS ABOUT CANADA.
WHERE DOES CANADA FIT IN ON
THIS?
I TRULY BELIEVE, AND YOU TELL ME
IF I'M WRONG, I THINK THERE'S A
STRONG SENSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL
IN CANADA, BECAUSE IT'S A
FRONTIER SOCIETY, LIKE THE
UNITED STATES, A STRONG SENSE OF
PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY HERE,
AND A MORE MODEST SENSE OF
OPTIMISM, A MORE GUARDED SENSE
OF OPTIMISM, BUT THERE'S
SOMETHING DIFFERENT HERE IN
CANADA, AND FOR A LOT OF
REASONS.
CANADA STILL HAS MORE OF A
COMMUNAL TRADITION, A SENSE THAT
THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE
COMMUNITY HAS TO BE PRESERVED, A
SENSE OF SOLIDARITY AND THAT WE
HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR
EACH OTHER.
YOU SEE IT IN CANADA, ALL
THROUGH CANADA.
IN A SENSE, YOU BALANCE BOTH THE
AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN DREAM, THE
STRONG SENSE OF PERSONAL
RESPONSIBILITY, AND
ACCOUNTABILITY, AND ON THE OTHER
HAND, A COLLECTIVE SENSE
OF RESPONSIBILITY.
YOU KNOW IT'S
LONG BELIEVED THAT CANADA WOULD
SIMPLY BE PART OF A LARGER FREE
TRADE ZONE, OR MAYBE EVEN A
TRANSNATIONAL SPACE WITH MEXICO
AND THE UNITED STATES.
I DON'T ASSUME
THAT'S A DONE DEAL, I'VE GOT TO
TELL YOU.
BECAUSE WE LIKE TO THINK THAT
WHAT MAKES THESE TRANSNATIONAL
SPACES IS CLOSE GEOGRAPHICAL
TI.
NOW CERTAINLY, CANADA'S BIGGEST
TRADING PARTNER IS THE U.S., AND
YOU ARE CONTIGUOUS
GEOGRAPHICALLY, BUT IN A GLOBAL
WORLD, ASSOCIATIONAL
PARTNERSHIPS BECOME MORE
IMPORTANT OFTEN, THAN
GEOGRAPHICAL CONTINUITY.
BECAUSE IN A GLOBAL WORLD, WITH
MODERN TRANSPORTATION AND
COMMUNICATIONS, IT'S WHETHER A
REGION HAS MUCH IN COMMON
PHILOSOPHICALLY AND CULTURALLY
WITH ANOTHER REGION THAT WILL
DETERMINE ITS PARTNERSHIPS.
SHANGHAI IS CREATING ALL SORTS
OF PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER
REGIONS LIKE LOMBARDY IN ITALY
FOR EXAMPLE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE
MORE IN COMMON WITH EACH OTHER
THAN SHANGHAI WOULD WITH
MONGOLIA OR LOMBARDY WITH
SICILY.
YOU WITH ME?
SO IN 1996, CANADA AND THE E.U.
DEVELOPED A PROTOCOL, TO BEGIN
WORKING TOGETHER IN AN
ASSOCIATIONAL PARTNERSHIP.
IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE
CANADA AND EUROPE AS SOUL MATES
WITH A COMMON VISION OF THE
WORLD, DEVELOPING MUCH CLOSER
ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL
PARTNERSHIP AND MAYBE EVEN
MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNION.
THE EUROPEAN UNION IS NOT JUST
BASED ON GEOGRAPHY.
ACTUALLY, ALASKA AND HAWAII ARE
PART OF THE UNITED STATES AREN'T
THEY, EVEN THOUGH CANADA
SEPARATES ALASKA FROM THE UNITED
STATES.
NOW IT MAY NOT BE MEMBERSHIP,
BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT CANADA IS
IN AN INTERESTING POSITION TO
PLAY A BRIDGE ROLE BETWEEN THE
BEST OF THE AMERICAS AND THE
BEST OF EUROPE.
CLOSE ASSOCIATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
BOTH WITH THE UNITED STATES AND
EUROPE, MAY ALLOW CANADA TO PLAY
AN INTERESTING LEADERSHIP ROLE
IN A TRANSNATIONAL WORLD.
THE QUESTION IS, HOW WILL CANADA
SORT ALL THAT OUT?
THE JURY IS STILL OUT.
LAST THOUGHT.
WE AMERICANS LIKE TO SAY, THE
AMERICAN DREAM, IT'S WORTH DYING
FOR.
THE EUROPEAN DREAM IS WORTH
LIVING FOR.
GOOD MORNING.

The audience applauds.

A picture of Jeremy’s book, “The European Dream. How Europe’s vision of the future is quietly eclipsing the American dream,” appears on screen.

Watch: Jeremy Rifkin on The European Dream