High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

The Myth of Dutch Progressiveness. The Netherlands as ‘Guide Land'
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The Myth of Dutch Progressiveness. The Netherlands as ‘Guide Land'

(James Kennedy) The Low Countries - 1999, № 7, pp. 220-224

This is an article from our print archives

The Dutch have good reason to consider themselves a 'Guide Land', even today. Nor is the myth of their progressiveness merely built on empty self-image - the Dutch really are so, in fruitful, appealing ways. But all nations are prone to hubris by the magnification of their own strenghts - 'freedom' is one magical American word that has brought more than its fair share of tragedy and irony. And through the author's own personal experiences and scholarly research, he senses that if the Dutch ever step out of bounds and offend the gods, it is likely to come from an all-too-complacent trust in their own progressiveness.

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