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I'll be honest with you guys: the main reason I'm starting this thread, is because I have to get random Europeans' opinion on Europe for my religion class. But since there's quite a lot going on at the moment with the EU and Greece and the crisis, I thought this might be an interesting topic to discuss?
My teacher gave me two different questions to get people to answer: "What do you think Europe will look like in 2025?" and "Do you have a wish for Europe?", but feel free to completely ignore these.
I hope the European Union keeps existing, because so far, I feel it has been really effective at 'uniting' the different nations and creating more tolerance for each other. It's done well at fulfilling the purpose for which it was originally created (no war through unity), and I hope this kind of system stays. I also hope the Euro doesn't get replaced by each country's original currency again, because I think it's way easier connecting to other countries, and more interesting economically to not have to exchange you currency everytime you cross a border.
Also a question I find interesting: Do you think the countries should give up a bit more of their independence to make the European Union stronger? Do you think the identity (and/or integrity) of a country is too important to give up, even for a little bit?
My sketchbook - it's a little sketchy.
Well, how about an opinion from an American, who's been living in Greece for a long time?
1. As long as the European Union serves the interests of big business, that is, open borders for trade,
free transportation of cheap labor/ materials and using the public treasuries of member-countries to get
away with mass robbery (using them as collateral to get loans and the generated loans and debt are set
to be paid by the European people), the European Union will keep existing. It has nothing to do with the
vision of a united people, that vision was likely smoke and mirrors, and it's not only wishful thinking to
believe it's succeeded in that area, it's plain fantasy...like believing in a talking snake.
There is no collective consciousness in the European people, no common interest, and no common goals.
The only thing they have in common is that they are being oppressed by a centralized, un-elected
power at the heart of the EU that gives orders that the local government of each country then uses as
an alibi and excuse to go ahead with any political, economical and social crime. The faceless phrase "The
EU demands of us..." expressed by people in charge who have not been elected by anyone, is a phrase
that's been heard all too frequently in Europe.
Answering your question about giving up liberties to "strengthen" the EU, I'll say that no people, anywhere,
on this planet, or any planet for that matter, should ever give up any of their freedoms for any reason
whatsoever. Letting a bunch of hijacking professional Hope-sellers (politicians) convince you to give up your
freedoms in order for big business and those who have the gold and make the rules to gang rape you, in
exchange for the illusion that you will feel a little more safe in your living-room watching some rich, big
breasted bimbo saying she's "blessed" from "god", is naive and disgraceful to say the least.
I think one important perspective on the European union is that is a media for cooperation.
Since you doing this for a religious class, I will give sort of a religious perspective for this argument. The countries in the European union is very different, and have a history of lot of bloody wars and bloody conflicts between different countries, ethnic groups, religions and ideologies. In modern time as well as in ancient time.
The Europen union was in originally a peace and trade protected (since peace and trade often go hand in hand), and is still an important media of cooperation, trade and peace.
Part of this is because the European countries are so different from each other.
Europe span religiously from highly religious very conservative countries, to countries where 85% of the population is atheistic and extremely liberal. From a lot of different versions of Christianity to to Islam, with a lot of other religious minorities like Jews. From extremely densely populated areas, to wast low population areas. From very rich countries to very poor countries. Countries far to the right, and countries far to the left (on a scale much broader then you find in the US). Within a multitude of way of managing state fiances (ranging from badly controlled economies out of control, to countries with everything in thigh order). From Artic climate to desert climate. And almost each country speaking a language of their own AND have multitude of minor languages within the country.
All on this in a quite small area of the world, where everything is interconnected to trade, history and shared interests.
We need some media for cooperation. The European Union has it weaknesses, some which become very apparent during the current crisis. So does the EMU. But it not all that easy to fix thous weaknesses.
For example: Some of the states pay more money then the receive back from the EU (in generally the stable and rich countries like Germany, UK, France, the Nordic countries) and some countries receive more money they pay (generally weak economies like Spain, Poland and Greece etc). http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-file...EU27_Money.pdf
But that is not the whole story, because on other ways it the stable and rich countries that benefit the most from the EU (countries with strong export), while the weaker economies even if the receive more aid have a hard time making any money when competing with the countries with stronger economies.
It an extremely complex issue, but I think the EU is needed as a media for cooperation.
As for the question of making the European union stronger or not... Well..
Some countries would benefit from a stronger European Union, some would not. Some groups or areas of interest would benefit from a stronger European union, some would not.
It a complex issue.
It not even all that meaningful to talk about strengthening the European union in general, but talk about what sort of ways and areas to strengthening the Europeans unions power in what way.
and unfortunately the ease with which the crimes against the people are being made.
I can' really say I trust a mass of people who are so easily driven from one extreme state to another
so fast. Poor peoples being easily persuaded to kill each other over the series of 2 world wars, and
now a financial one.
At least, to my knowledge and experience, none go to the ridiculous extremes of the Bible Region of
the States with stupid claims against the theory of evolution, bible camps, preparation of holy
warriors to wipe out the "evil Muslims", nonsense like "The south will rise again" etc.
Europea have its belt of extremism conservative and crazy state that do outshine the crazy the American bible belt.
The EU and the Euro have already failed. Especially the Euro project was doomed from the beginning. I admit that Europe has seen a period of peace that is unprecedented but currently the interests of big business and banksters are trampling democracy all over the continent (Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Greece just to name a few) and are well on their way to driving Greece in to a revolt.
It took the banksters of France and Germany only hours to kick Papandreou to the curb after he entertained the idea of holding a referendum on the draconian austerity program that EU and IMF are shoving down their throats. To add insult to injury they inserted an unelected technocrat bankster friend to run the country (The exact same shit happened in Italy by the way...)
It's just too infuriating to think about- so most simply don't.
The European project is like watching a trainwreck in slow motion.
The so called “faceless EU” makes it possible to do politics and govern on a larger scale and not just doing the trendy hot topics, which doesn’t span longer than to the next election period. The things that can be done in the EU are the bigger things that wouldn’t and couldn’t be sold if it was tried on a local scale. It’s my strong belief that because of this system we can get a lot more done and it allows for a much larger playing field, so politics can be done in the longer perspective and not only the short 4-6 year terms.
These are my views at least, I’m not saying it’s a perfect system, but there isn’t much alternative as I see it.
The whole giving up more independence, is a… delicate subject and one which the local politicians won’t touch with a 10’ft pole, unless it’s something they can get votes on being against (back to project x-factor runway idol on an island).
I do believe it’s something that will come slowly with the next generations, the whole sense of nationality is much deeper and harder imprinted in the older generations, the ones growing up with iPhones, online social spheres and friendships on a global scale… yeah, imho the writing is on the wall, but you don’t talk about it.
But Europe is complicated much much much more than I think most people are aware. My own country of Denmark goes back to around year 936, where “Gorm the Old” united Denmark under his rule. The whole of Europe is knee deep in history, politics, dogma and conflicts, even with the insane speed of the progress the religious/industrial/social/modern revolutions started it’s still in many ways the old Europe, buuuut the internet changes the landscape entirely, not only in a Europa but on a global scale.
… “And here’s Tom with the weather”.
The initial idea of the EU was to make the countries of Europe so financially entwined that they couldn't go to war with each other. And in that sense I think it serves its purpose well.
If they ever make any descent political rulings I won't say... To be honest I'm not that knowledgeble about the subject. However it seems that most things they come up with are silly little rules about how much sugar we're allowed to put in jam and still call it jam and so forth... Then there's the Euro, which I don't think is either good or bad. Kinda depends on the current economic climate.
The UK voted to join a Common Market, not this bloated monolith that can't get it's accounts signed off by their auditors for well over 10 years. If it was a business it would have been shut down years ago. I'd like to see the whole thing killed and start again without all the stupid red tape that costs us so much. Having the same currency would only work if all the members had the same GP output and borrowings; they don't, so it was bound to fail sooner or later. You just can't stick everyone in the same box and expect them all to work the same - that's the wonderful thing about Europe - we're all different and not something to be ticked off on a check list. Even Holland is having problems. When there is no flexibility something will break. Make the cords more elastic and it would work so much better. The control freaks in Germany & France can take a running jump for all I care.
to people who aren't elected, that is, technocrats, "consultants" and dudes like those
of the Central European Bank, appointed by big business and then order the political
leaders on what to do, how well they disguise this as being their own initiative is another
matter but as of late, they don't even try.
I agree that there are things that need more time than 4-5 years between elections,
but at the same time, you need to be able to let people dictate WHAT happens. But,
from what I've seen, people are too preoccupied over their i-phones so in the long run,
I suppose the masses get what they deserve.
@squidmonk3j: I'm loving your signature!!!
I agree with some of your points and yeah a lot of things work in theory
But if you take politics here in Denmark for example, we elect the weirdest people and that's with a 87,2% voter attendance or what you call it. Latest example is Joachim B. Olsen a man who's qualifications are he can shot put a stone +20.0 m. If we go further back we also elected in a single-candidate called Jacob Haugaard, who only ran as a joke with promises of “Young men to single mothers” “People without sense of humor should get a disability pension” “Bigger Christmas presents” and ofc “Better weather”, now I personally find the guy fucking genius, but come on man, looking at some of these peoples qualifications and experiences are terrifying imho and if the choice is between a X-factor winner or some technocrat, then I'll go with the technocrat, at least there you have a chance of some expertise within that persons field of work.
But yeah reality and theory are two different things and nothing is ever simple, least of all politics.
"Having the same currency would only work if all the members had the same GP output and borrowings; they don't, so it was bound to fail sooner or later. You just can't stick everyone in the same box and expect them all to work the same "
it worked ok for the USA
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Unfortunately Denmark doesn't make much noise for me to hear much, but that is probably a good
thing for you guys hehe.
Thomas Jefferson once said "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear
arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." I feel that 'tyranny',
can also be substituted by 'stupidity', 'arrogance' or whatever else may harm the general good.
The popularity contest you spot about your politicians is a world-wide phenomenon. Even in movies it's
being parodied that elections are a popularity contest (Back to the Future comes to mind). It's no
secret that nowadays, the majority of the political scene of a country is most probably made up by the
given country's biggest losers and liars, because, in all honesty, if you are a successful economist, why
would you give up your private business to pursue the common good for 4 years? This alone questions
the motive of a technocrat to govern...
The Chinese have it all worked out. Unite everyone under a common flag and eat rice for 2,000 years
first, take over the world second.
from an english perspective: I think europe will be a lot smaller in 2025, as in, Less countries will be part of the EU. I mean, most british people don't even think of themselves as 'european'. And TBH, we aren't particularly european, you ever been to spain, italy, france? They cant que for shit! And if you look like crap/you're wearing shit clothes, people come up to you and strait tell you "you are dressed like crap today", this happened to me, it was some random guy in jeans and a shirt, I'd never met him before. I know other people who have claimed the same thing. That does not happen on london streets.
As for what do I hope for Europe? Well, I hope for more trade, more mix of culture.
I'm an American, so I don't count for your criteria.
BUT. . .
Statistics say you Euro-folk ain't havin' enough babies to out-pace your death rates.
Based on your multi-culti infatuations:
I see you in the late 2000s as a bunch of pale-skinned childless elderly folk compelled by your New Masters to bow to the East five times a day. . .
Interesting reading foreign politics some instead of the same ol U.S. ones I'm used to.