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  1. #21
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I just don't think that those protesting over austerity and unemployment in countries such as Spain and Greece are going to be very excited that "they" have "won" the Nobel Prize. I could be wrong though. Northern Europeans are pretty cynical about this sort of thing, that's for sure.

    Maybe the British Isles (I've only lived in England and Ireland) are different because they're not as "European" (they sort of are/aren't Europe) but I am not sure how excited the average EU citizen is about being an EU citizen. But then, Europeans are generally loath to look excited about anything. Cool cynicism is much...cooler.
    I am not pretending that it will save the union, but I doubt an award for Kohl and Mitterrand would have had a better chance.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I suppose it depends what parts of the world you are focusing on but the wars in the Balkans were not my idea of peace... The EU apparently tried but failed to do much to stop that.


    EDIT: I'm not saying that tribalism, xenophobia etc don't exist in other parts of the world, of course they do. However, Europeans spend so much time trumpeting their intellectual and moral superiority over America that I occasionally want to say "at least the North American continent didn't slaughter itself twice in massive wars in the twentieth century."

    (I am a Canadian living in the UK, in case you are wondering about my background in this.)
    I dont believe that the EU was complicit in the balkans, they have done a lot since to try and find those responsible for the atrocities.

    Is it a forgone conclusion that military interventionism by neighbouring states or any state is legitimate or obligatory? I'm just asking because many of those who would decry the EU's lack of interventionism or even standing armies and military build up were also those who condemned from the outset or eventually condemned US and UK military interventionism before and after 9/11.

    There is a bigger picture here, there are those within and outside the EU who want to create a pax europa to replace the pax Americana which in turn replaced the pax Britannia before that.

    If the EU were to develop a military-industrial complex like the US it would remove the "threat" of a major alternative model of foreign policy, even an alternative economic model based upon non-military keynesianism, a social model.

    This alternative social economic paradigm could inspire similar wishes in other electorates which could, particularly in times of economic recession or crisis, when there is no surplus provided from credit or economic growth to fund public spending, could threaten the wealth and legacies of national and international/global fortune five hundreds.

    Perhaps its having lived through the violence here but I'm always edgy about arm chair generals, whether they are "military humanists" on the left or neo-cons on the right, suggesting that sending troops in will resolve things for the better or best. Most of the time I think, honestly, to myself "would I go?", would I personally go to risk life and limb fighting in ethno-nationalist and sectarian conflicts I know little about, most of the time I can answer no, not because of cowardice but again because of my knowledge of how that played out here.

  3. #23
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I'm not in any way, shape or form an advocate of military action... I'm just saying I have no clue what the EU has done to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently the committee specifically said that it had to do with the EU's role in preventing conflicts, so...
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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I just don't think that those protesting over austerity and unemployment in countries such as Spain and Greece are going to be very excited that "they" have "won" the Nobel Prize. I could be wrong though. Northern Europeans are pretty cynical about this sort of thing, that's for sure.

    Maybe the British Isles (I've only lived in England and Ireland) are different because they're not as "European" (they sort of are/aren't Europe) but I am not sure how excited the average EU citizen is about being an EU citizen. But then, Europeans are generally loath to look excited about anything. Cool cynicism is much...cooler.
    To be honest, and it could be the difficulty I have with either British or Irish identity having lived in northern ireland and experienced first hand the rejection of both communities who hold fast to those identities here in Northenr Ireland and elsewhere in the UK and ROI but I've always liked the idea of European identity.

    I also like it because George Orwell waxed lyrical about a socialist "united states" of Europe and GDH Cole did likewise (I'm not sure of the extent to which other UK socialists like Cole or Russell influenced Orwell, I've always had suspiscions reading the close parallels but it could be just coincidential and the ideas were all part of the cultural backdrop that different writers were operating in).

    I also know a bit about the origins of the European idea within German Christian Democrats and the role that the Roman Catholic Church and Roman Catholicism (they are not always the same thing) played in post-war reconstruction (and German resistance to Nazism prewar and during the war), some of the symbolism of Europe, including the EU's flag of stars set on the blue background, have vague undertones of some of the founding members Catholic cultural influences.

    That is both a good and a bad thing, catholicism is not an uncontentious thing in Europe, not just the conflict between secular modernists and religious and churches either, its role in temporal power and politics is not even an uncontentious thing within the church or among believers. I hate with a vengence the history of the church's role in the Spanish civil war and fascist dictatorship afterwards, Opis Dei's poltiical meddling, the attacks on liberation theologians which at least provided the pretext for others to assasinate them and then support for or sympathies with other fascists globally like Pinochet.

    Although that said, in the shape of the Christian Democrats in Germany it did provide an alternative to the horrific modern political ideologies which tore the place apart, it is an alternative idea, not much thought out or appreciated or understood because of the anglo-american hegemony there is in the world.

    There IS a very different model of economy, it is capitalist and I personally would bemoan its attitude towards socialism when it is articulated (I read some really woeful political economic thinking in Hans Kung's recent book which I think is archetypical of social market conservatism) but it is poles apart from the sorts prevailent in the UK and US with its dominance of financial capital, jobless growth, rich man's class war and the like.

    I take the point that the EU as it exists at present IS the "Europe of bosses and bankers" but I dont think it need be necessarily, and I do think that there are serious geo-political struggles which are unconsidered when looking at the situation in Greece etc. the frequent visits or messages from the UK and US recently, the brow beating from the US and now the IMF which Merkel has had to deal with has been all about how "Keynesianism in neighbouring states or trading partners" could help other nations while they deflate away their debts with financial scams. That's real politics, the real game of thrones which isnt being thought about analysed or disected and is going unreported.

    The people who want to wreck the European Union often have no idea of its successes or potential, its not just peace between France, Germany and the central European powers who determined world history for so long but a model of food security, second only to the US, both of which are in violation of IMF and World Bank free marketism but which work. If free trade was ever to move the centres of food production to the global agrarian centres outside of Europe the economic policies which created "meat mountains, wine lakes" could create renewable fuels and remove the dilemma of food crops grown to order, for export from starving agrarian nations by abscentee landlords and northern hemisphere corporations to fuel transport and cars.

    Bureaucracy and costs are a problem, which I dont think is taken seriously, although personally spending on bureaucracy of the EU variety, politically considered, is a break on even greater militarism or intelligence/securocrat spending by member states, some of which are the most vocal about it, like the UK.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I'm not in any way, shape or form an advocate of military action... I'm just saying I have no clue what the EU has done to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently the committee specifically said that it had to do with the EU's role in preventing conflicts, so...
    I think its probably largely relative, they are and have been and probably will continue to be less militarist than alternative power blocs, such as the US, China, Russian federation. Maybe I'm cynical to say so.

    Then there is the fact that the EU seeks to use soft power, trade, diplomacy etc. to try and control or influence geo-politics rather than force and military build up, ie so called soft power.

    Although you know the history of these prizes, Nobel created them after he realised what dynamite would do to the world, sometimes their award is dubious too, John Pilger reported how states engaged in genocidal policies, including forced sterilisation and deplacement of populations, were actually given awards for population control and family planning. It would be funny if it wasnt so grotesque.

  6. #26
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    The concept of Europe is and will be in the future the thing that enables us to be capable of competition in the World. And besides that the sole thought of having a world unity, maybe in 3 or 4 great nations is a very admirable one. If we have learnt one thing from americans then it is mutual corporation to achieve a greater goal and that the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the few (tho we have learnt that from vulcans ).

    My only hope is that the debt issue wont be the end of that thing.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    My only hope is that the debt issue wont be the end of that thing.
    I've thought seriously about whether or not the debt thing was a bit of deliberate economic warfare you know.

    Saddam was going to adopt the euro as the "petro-dollar" before the Iraq war, he was going to encourage all neighbouring states to do so too.

    I dont think all those things are coincidential.

  8. #28
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    They awarded an idea.

    ...

    An idea that has yet to be fully realized.



    Not that I can complain living in the Netherlands. Think we're one of the few countries that actually profit from this, with import/export being our forté.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    That is all the more reason to support a strong Europe. What you describe is (at least in part) a result of the recent weakening of the EU. Nationalism is on the rise and the antidote is more Europe, not less.
    No, it is the result of people reacting to the EU attempt to take over their countries. How is "more EU" going to solve the problem? Send the Germans to invade Greece and Hungary so they won't vote for teh evil "fascists"...?

    Regarding the award of the Nobel Prize to the EU, my only reaction was: LOL

  10. #30
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've thought seriously about whether or not the debt thing was a bit of deliberate economic warfare you know.

    Saddam was going to adopt the euro as the "petro-dollar" before the Iraq war, he was going to encourage all neighbouring states to do so too.

    I dont think all those things are coincidential.
    This a theory I heard the last time when Chavez and Hussein were on the news. You are right, I completly forgot about that. It's like the news last years had one completly dazzled. I found good, back in that days that not total of Europa was participating in the Iraque war. That was the first felt times when political and maybe economical views clashed between the eu and the us. I have seen in that time too that with the rising currency of Europe, America wont be able to sustain their trade deficit forevermore, because when the moment would come when things got paid in euro internationally, the states would start to miss their incomes.

    I am until today not sure about Chavez or Hussein and the american idea behind it. On the one hand you have the country selling itself to China, why would they want to hurt Europe on the other hand, cause they are probably their easiest allies (and no. 1 trade partner) in the future. On the other hand, with problems piling up, you of course try to save your ass and secure your incomes.

    Bottom line is its difficult for me to say. One thing's for sure tho, when europeans wanted the european union, it was clear to everybody that there is no monetary equilibrium and that it will break sonner or later. They just knew that the devaluation of currency for the richer countries, would increase their trade outputs. On the other hand tho, if the euro would have increased and became the Petroeuro, this would have had the same effect like in the States, meaning trade exports going back cause the products are to expensive. This would again had created joblessness in Europe.

    If you ask me for my personal opinion, I think the system is flawed. You either have to decide whether you want some sort of world wide equilibrium or ideal communism or if you are a fan of increasing and decreasing power, cause economically you cant hold the power forever in capitalism. Since I call myself a social liberal, I havent made up my mind about that, yet...
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