I find it hard to believe that a segment of a population over a 50 year period has the ability to act in a coordinated manner, as you describe.
You don't need the entire segment to co-ordinate for this to work, just the power-hungry minority at the top. In fact I'm pretty sure most of the population didn't care either way, as long as they could live in peace and prosper. For example, the same can be said for Syria. I really doubt that the majority want a civil war, or want to split the country up, etc... but you only need well armed minorities (usually backed by foreign proxies) at the top to fight and the rest either follows, runs away or gets caught in the crossfire.
I think you might be a little bit biased by your experiences. That is of course the point of experience, but I'm concerned that it won't translate very well.
Of course I am biased by my experiences, it would be foolish not to be, just like you are biased (I presume) by yours. As long as you are aware of your bias and are willing to reason with those who disagree, I see no problem with it.
After all, once upon a time I was a left-winger (remember, my entire country was communist, so everyone was pretty much a party member), but experiences of life made me realise some fundamental truths about the human condition, and why communism will never succeed (unless we evolve/develop into it). As a result I ended up swinging to the right (but not as far as the rest of my country, which has swung so far right that they seem to live in some xenophobic paranoia that any immigrant we let in will eventually demand succession on whichever hunk of land they decide to live on. For a country of many nationalities and races, this makes life somewhat difficult for everyone.)
It may translate really well, it may not. The point is not to say "This will 100% happen to you", but to illustrate that the best of intentions can backfire spectacularly, sometimes with catastrophic results for all involved. It seems too high a risk to mess with naturally evolved systems like this, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" and all that.
In any case, I wasn't talking about immigration when I mentioned brown people, I was poking at the right wing slackjaws who seem to pull out the fear of anyone different as an argument to why we need to isolate ourselves more.
Ah, well, misunderstood then, I saw it in the context of immigration. Well, people will fear the unknown, and that will always be the case. The solution is fostering interaction and communication.
I find that kind of attitude to be inhumane, and that is why it feels to me like we are failing as humans. What truly separates us from them is a line on a piece of paper, and sometimes the color of our skin - the rest is learned.
Yes, and genetic traits that may predominate in certain areas. However, what is learned is what defines a country, a people, and their history is their legacy of their ancestors. To dilute/suppress/remove all that in the interest of "eliminating separation" is a travesty in my opinion, to be resisted at all costs.
That is why I believe it to be possible to co-exist, regardless of race and culture. And yes that is hugely idealistic, but I see no problem with that at all, and I certainly see no problem working towards that goal.
That is fine and all, but I don't see why countries can't co-exist. If they are well enough integrated in trade, and foster communication, I see no reason things would change.
My initial take on it was not to open our borders and let anybody in, but to expand the EU to include people where they live now. Subtle difference I fear might have gotten a little lost in all my other ramblings :)
Yes, yes it was :) However the more you expand the EU, the more unwieldy and ungovernable it becomes, the more avenues for corruption, the less say any one individual has in determining how their life is run by the government, and the more power is concentrated at the top. All things that I believe go against my fundamental belief of a people/community having the liberty to live their lives as they want. Since the removal of veto power from every EU member, it means the small countries have essentially no say in how they are governed, while the big countries can bully as they see fit. It is no longer equal.
Having good connections within the EU political machinery, and know quite a few EC's personally, I can see exactly the corruption, waste, and how they stiff the little guy.
With all this going on, I just can't support the EU, it goes against my morals.
Plus, if you really want to expand it that much, a change of name would be appropriate, you are very much hitting the end of "Europe" and hitting Asia/Africa. Plus, how on earth would you fit in countries such as Russia or other big countries?
Borders drawn on our globe are quite arbitrary, which was what I was trying to point out originally. In Europe borders have been redrawn whenever a ruler decided they needed more space/taxable income/subjects - and had the power to enact the change in borders.
Well yeah, borders are whatever the one with the most power says they are. That is the way of the world.
To the people living in Europe at the present time, the borders may as well have been set by the roll of a dice, which to me makes the notion of "nationality" laughable.
Hmm, I'm not sure about the notion of "Nationality" being laughable, but I do admit that while some borders are drawn on obvious boundaries, others were done by force, or by foreign occupiers/empires.
I'm no more danish than the people living in southern Sweden, the difference is just that the Swedish army kicked our ass hundreds of years ago and took back the land, thereby changing the border and making the area Swedish. The same situation holds for pretty much any nation on the European continent.
Ok, but that doesn't change the fact that northern Sweden may feel different. So you are not talking about the removal of borders, just that re-drawing of them so that it represents the "situation on the ground"?
Left wing bias in schools? Yes, we had a story about that here not so long ago, where members of a right wing party's youth division were being mocked in school, and looked down upon even by their teachers. I havn't seen any of that myself, but it's been a while since I last set foot on school grounds, so what do I know?
Yeah, there is a lot of it. The EU is very much left wing, so there is bias everywhere, from schools onwards. Trust me, I am less than popular for my opinions, and am shocked by the closed mindedness of many people in the EU. They seem brainwashed to think right-wing=Hitler, which is nonsense. I guess all it did really was harden my position even more, so here we are :)
fully agree with you that the EU as it looks now is a cumbersome beast of less than ideal value.
I think it is a danger to itself and those who are in it. What was done to the Greeks in the name of preserving the EU (and bailing out the Franco-German banks by the back door, at the expense of Greeks) was disgusting, and if this is what I can expect of the future of the EU, I hope it is disbanded as soon as possible. If we all want to live together in peace, I think there must be a better way of doing it.
The red tape I am willing to accept is a fair bit less than the amount present now. But I think you'd be kidding yourself if you think the red tape would go away just by disbanding the EU, it would just become invisible to the common man. As it is now, the red tape is clearly visible, and we have a say in how it works.
I never thought it would become invisible, it would just be smaller, and easier to manage, and easier to influence. I don't see why disbanding the EU would make it invisible. Is that how it was in Denmark? Although if the red-tape is invisible yet doing its job, then that is perfect. That is how red-tape should be. Enough regulation to keep everything working, without interfering and slowing everything down.
The free trade and free movement of workers is fine, but it only applies inside the EU. Expanding the EU to include more nations would afford those advantages to more people, I see that as a good thing.
Yes, I don't agree with you there. Still, that doesn't require the EU. If I had the power, I would disband the EU, and most of the EC, except what is needed to keep Shengen and Free trade/movement of people working. I would change the name to be less Europe-centric, and work on expanding it worldwide.
In many ways I find myself agreeing a lot with the UK stance on the EU. The idea of a "broader", rather than "deeper" integration of EU nations really fits in with what I would like to see. If the EU could be reformed into something like that, and preserve the cultural identity of its constitutional nations while promoting tolerance, interaction and diversity, then I would drop all my objections to it and become rather pro-EU :P
Clearly EUs neighbor states see that as an advantage too (Turkey for instance). And since there are rules that need to be followed in order to join the EU, we can, by sheer willingness to include more in our little club, enact our will on them - without drawing weapons.
Most Turks I talked to have no interest in joining the EU, in fact most countries that have applied to join, or are in the process of joining (including Croatia) have populations that don't want the EU. It seems that the people are dragged into it by the politicians, which means that the politicians are not representing the people, but EU interests (be it due to bribery, corruption, or the EU threatening them, doesn't matter). This breeds resentment amongst the population, and doesn't bode well for long-term EU stability.
Plus, just because you force someone to do your bidding without violence, doesn't make it right. It is still imperialist oppression, just done in a more civilised way.
Interesting, although that could happen with or without the EU. I believe the EU significantly lowers that risk,the Nobel commitee agrees with me on this, although I held the belief for far longer than they did.
It does lower it, but doesn't remove it. The EU has so far only incorporated stable countries with well defined borders. Now it is expanding into the Balkans and Middle east (Turkey), areas of flux where there are more border disputes, violence, grudges and inter-ethnic hatred than anywhere else short of the middle-east.
It would be like trying to integrate Israel and Palestine into the EU, and thinking they would live in perfect harmony by this action.
As for the Nobel committee, I lost my respect for them a long time ago (and the peace prize that is given out is a joke, based on who they have given it to so far)
Depending on which countries we're talking about, I would guess the EU response would be to eject both countries from the EU, enact sanctions and whatever other political bullshit they could come up with in order to act tough and yet do nothing.
The EU has no power to eject any country from the EU against its will (in fact, there is no mechanism to leave the EU at all, even if you want to. This was by design, its like a trap. Of course by being a sovereign nation, a country would not need permission, and could just enact border control and leave EU institutions).
How can you enact sanctions if the EU is divided on the matter? For example, during the last round of Balkans fighting, the EU was split. The western side was on one side, Greece, central and other parts of Europe were for the other. In such a case sanctions could not work, because if one country enacts sanctions, the goods will just travel through the EU free trade zone to a country that doesn't enact sanctions, and trade that way.
Not to mention that the EU is not a military alliance. There are some neutral countries, and mostly NATO members, but there is nothing stopping a country joining that is a member of another alliance (like CSTO). What then?
It would work by removing the figureheads. We'd do that by putting a veil between the proposed plan and the people who came up with it. If all you could vote on was "plan A", "plan B" or "plan C", there would be alot more rational thought put into the act of voting, instead of toeing the party line without actually knowing what that line is. The details of the implementation is up for debate, I'm presenting an idea, not a final product.
That may work, but that assumes people are rational by default, and that they don't act rationally due to manipulation. I am not so sure, there are some damn irrational people in the world, and a lot who just want to follow orders and not think (thinking is hard!).
Requiring minimal knowledge of the process you're about to participate in is obvious to me. I don't see why that could not be done, after all this stuff is being taught in grade school - kids 10 to 15 years know more about our democratic process than supposedly educated people out of university. In any case the line I would like to draw between eligible to vote and not, is a lot less arbitrary than many of the other lines we draw for ourselves as a society.
Maybe, but you just try to exclude a population from their right to choose how they are governed. It would not be pretty.
Plus, like I said before, it is fundamentally undemocratic, and so open to abuse that it would be a danger to the core of democracy of that state.
If you want the population to be knowledgeable about the process and well informed, then I would recommend educating them. Make political studies and critical thinking a required course to be taught in school, like native languages and basic maths.
The question is, why don't politicians do that? It could be that a well informed populace that can't be lied to, swayed and manipulated to do the politicians bidding is not wanted by them, no? As such, you are trying to treat the symptom, rather than the cause of the problem.
What it boils down to really is that I would like people to form their own opinions, rather than take it from whomever is on TV and looks believable. First step to that is removing Goldilocks Pearltooth from TV, the second step is requiring voters have knowledge of the subject matter. It really is that simple, and no more un-democratic than the system we have now, where anyone with enough charm can sell any cause to anybody - I don't see that as any kind of advantage, in fact I see that as very, very dangerous.
See above. It is not in the interest of those in power to do that, EU, no EU, or whatever else. Those in power want to keep the masses stupid/distracted, lest they notice how badly they are being screwed and revolt, most likely with said "elites" heads on a pole.
Like I said before, people are tribal, we are the product of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that rewards tribal behavior. You can not "unlearn" that, nor can you suppress it indefinitely. All you can do is manage it, and try to work with it, rather than stamp it out.
Previous attempts to stamp it out (mostly by left-wing governments, as they share your opinions on nationality for example) backfired in the most violent way down the line, and I don't want to see more violence bred out of the good intentions of a few misguided people in power.