James W. Ceaser offers an historical account of anti-Americanism. Europeans long criticized a symbolic America, going back to Colonial times.

This included the “degeneracy thesis” where Europeans deemed Americans biologically inferior or racial impure. This actually still occurs, but the main line of criticism is intellectual. America lacked a romantic philosophy and history as a nation – it threatened the ideal of European nation-hood. The intellectuals also criticized American “technologism” and soulless consumerism.

To be fair, the Americans created a symbolic Europe of haughty aristocrats and useless philosophers talking about nothing with occasional outbreaks of mass murder.

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