but I object here because, while I enjoy the debate (but I'm a debate freak anyway) I don't think it is healty. I think your article wasn't a good debate opener because it was very one sided.
Yes it was very one sided and I should perhaps have included different views and so forth, but I think that overall the debate has been fun and healthy. Everything has been criticised, the article and the comments, which is excellent.
Well if this is not hate this is at least the opposite of love - whatever the name you put on the feeling :)
I was very forceful in my criticisms, and I am passionate about the subject, but I don't think that the EU is evil, etc etc. You are right that I am very biased and that I doubt that the EU even needs to exist, but still I am not sitting in a coalbunker foaming at the mouth over the insidious influence of the europeans invading God's Own Nation, the United Kingdom :) Maybe the EU will be a success and be a good thing in the long run, and really I don't have a problem so much with cross national governments, it is just that here in the UK at least noone is honest about the EU's destination and it seems to be slipping in with no real criticism or even awareness among people of what is happening.
You stand on a very firm opinions, to say the least, so I don't think "doubt" or "incredulity" can apply to you. You are neither skeptical nor a moderated critics either.
I might not be a moderated critic, but I am a critic nonetheless. I will concede that the EU could of course be the salvation of Mankind - who knows? - but it is true to say that I doubt this will happen.
Actually right extremists can be considered a subset of (and a majority of) euroskeptics. I've never met any right extremist that was pro-EU. So while I won't claim you are a right extremists, you are certainly siding with them on this issue.
That may be. Actually, I lean very much towards the left politically, but because euroscepticism is associated with the right wing I have been associated with right wingery. However, right wingers must be considered for the totality of their beliefs - I am sure most of them think that 2+2=4 too, and this is shared by almost everyone, but it doesn't really mean that it is a right wing belief. I think that euroscepticism transcends political affiliation very much, though the reason for that euroscepticism will vary. Right wingers will be eurosceptic because they believe in the supremacy of their nation, tend towards patriotism and so forth, and left wingers will be doubtful for other reasons, such as the association of the EU with capitalism and multinationals, economic and social reasons for example.
Maybe, maybe not. As far as we know Europe has always been at war till the EU started to exists. No one can affirm there's correlation or not, but if anything the EU can only have helped strengthen peace, which is a Good Thing (TM).
I agree here actually that the EU probably has helped strengthen peace in Europe. I still think that war in Europe, with its present makeup and a military alliance, is rather unlikely with our without the EU. And the thing is that the EU just globalises potential problems - instead of countries in europe competing with each other you have europe as a whole competing with the rest of the world. But I still think you are right here, in the end.
You are really pro-USA... I've never seen you critize them accross all your post, only praises.
Well I'm not really pro-USA at all. However, the USA isn't really the scope of this article - I do have grave criticisms of the USA though, in fact I think I did obliquely mention one in the article regarding the FTA.
Europe has been at war since the fall of the Berlin wall. Remember about all those nukes and tanks posted accross Europe ? East Germany even had prepared street signs for West Berlin so that they could be ready to reorganise the city once they would have taken it. Cold war is still war.
Well, its not technically war when shots aren't being fired, but this difference is just semantic. The point is people weren't being bombed/gassed/massacred during this time period, and that NATO, though still an extremely faulty organisation, was the thing that kept the Soviet Union at bay. NATO is a military alliance after all - nothing more to it. Providing for the defence of Europe should any member nation be attacked.
It seems everyday people disagree with you on this. Iraq invaded Kuweit, Croatia and Serbia share Bosnia in a bloodbath, etc... in 1938 too, people thought war would never happen... we all like to think everything is fine and will always be, but it ain't so.
Sure, but these conflicts are qualitively different. Just now in the world, there are no conflicts occuring anywhere between nation states. The conflicts we get nowadays tend to be internal, civil conflicts and genocides, like Bosnia, Serbia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and so on. Conflicts wrapped up in history and in the common prejudice of people againt their neighbours in those states. This is sorted out by strong military intervetion, as in Bosnia and Serbia. Iraq was bad though.
So you say "the EU is based on outdated and backward fears". But you think NATO is good. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but NATO is exactly something based on outdated and backward fears. As you remember, NATO was created as a counter to the Warsaw pact. You are probably aware that the cold war is over now, so NATO has become useless. It's a warrior without a war. Let's just dump it and build something new - a European defense initiative for example. Yes I know, you want to being the US ally and everything, but most Europeans don't support the US viewpoint on how the world should work (Cuba, Iraq, North Korea, Israel etc...) and if we don't share the same point of view, and there's no common enemy anymore, why be military allies ?
I agree that NATO probably isn't needed anthing like as much as it was, because the threat that it counters doesn't exist at this time. However my problem with the European defence idea isn't so much the principle (well perhaps slightly, as I do tend towards pacifism but I do realise that this isn't possible due to political realities oftentimes) but the question of who exactly said soldiers would be loyal to, who they would be controlled by and the democratic mandate. I think that calling for a European Defence Force at this time at least is very premature. Perhaps if Europe was more democratic I would be more inclined to accept the concept, but this doesn't seem to be happening. A small force that was capable of stamping down problems such as the Yugoslavian fiasco (which needed US intervention because Europe couldn't get its act together) might be a good idea. However, it depends on the issues of what it is used for by whom, which seems at best unclear at this time.
You don't throw it away. You just do it on a larger scale. Most European countries had politically indpendant banks - and now the Euro bank is also independant, so nothing's changing. Except that policies are made on a continental scale instead country scale - which means all economies are slowly going to get more and more in sync.
Which means economies of scale, more multinationalism and a more american style economy of huge corporate interests swaying a powerful central government with no real democratic mandate at this time. I don't find this at all appealing - becoming more like America in order to counter it :)
In many ways. They got our countries involved in a very suspicious war, the Gulf War. They are trying to sell as their hormone-enhanced beef or their genetically modified crops. They refuse to cut on their pollution level (and we all breath the same air). They always ask for more deregulations, etc... remember, things are getting global.
They try to do these things, but there is no reason to agree if you don't want to. No force. Hormone grown beef should be rejected I agree, and any country can do so - even tiny little countries - without fear of retribution. And regarding the Gulf War, I think the motivations behind it were not pure by any means, but still the bottom line is that one state invaded its neighbour and that this was wrong. Of course the US wasn't acting for moral reasons only when it went in, but I still think that it was the right thing to do, in the end. And no European country had to get involved.
Except it has military bases in many European countries (Germany, Spain to name a few), has nukes in Europe, has a spying system in Europe targetted at us. Still not an occupation army either, but none of their business too ! You said it yourself : war is unlikely in Europe. So what are they still doing here if there's no threat ? Or maybe we are the new threat...
Well, international spying is normal, deplorable as it may be. For all the fuss over Echelon, you can bet that European countries are spying like crazy the other way too. I don't think spying like this is good or moral, and I would like to see it stopped too, but I don't think that Europe can be on its moral high horse over this. And the US army seems to be often used in European conflicts where we won't do anything but wring hands, such as Bosnia. And lest you forget, Russia is extremely unstable, has lots and lots of Nuclear weapons and is not very far away at all.
Nope. That's the opinion of the rightists. Leftist think it is somewhat evil as free trades usually goes with more corporate power and less citizen power (democracy). This is an entirely different subject, so I won't go into it, but it's very controversial and Europeans nations, save for UK, are skeptics about the free trade the US is championning.
I agree that free trade can be very bad - I said that because I assumed that was your position and that you were being hypocritical. But free trade in Europe, as it exists, and the single currency will increase corporate power hugely too! This is one reason why I am sceptical of the EU :)
Another controversial topics. USA is a country very much on the right. Many people find this evil (me included). Your point of view "US are friends" is very British but not shared by the majority in Europe (which is quite leftist). Be sure that if they could backstab us in the back to make some quick bucks they'd do it, just as well as EU or China would do to them if it was in their interests. There's no such thing in diplomacy as "love", everything is about trying to use the other while not being used. Relationship between countries is a permanent fight of influences, and in this game the bigger, the better.
I do realise that the US has many problems and there are a great many things I dislike about it too, I haven't mentioned them so much because it has not been pertinant. However, I see no reason as yet why I should think the EU is better when it stands for many of the same things as the US but perhaps has a more moderate position. Nonetheless there are big problems and effects with free trade between European nations and the increase in power of multinationals here. The UK, for example, gets about 40% of the investment that goes into EU countries from abroad (ie America, Far East etc). This has meant that large parts of the country and economy are wastelands where huge manufacturing depots from foreign multinationals set up shop and export to the rest of Europe. And European multinationals are going global too, and taking over huge sections of the EU economy facilitated by the single market and single currency. I do deplore this very much.
Well if UK has a saying in other countries affairs thru the EU, then it's fair that the opposite hold right too. That's democracy.
Yes true, but then why bother at all? I don't see how individual european countries gain from handing over power in order to gain power. As well as the other issues I have mentioned :)
But there is !! I've traveled accross several Europeans countries, and there's definitely a sharing of ideologies and point of views accross all of them, as well as the acknowledgment that we are all part of a big country called Europe. There are regular polls that ask "do you feel more (French|German|British|whatever) or European" and more and more people answer European every year.
Yes this is true and perhaps it is a good thing for people to become citizens of the world and for nationalism to be put aside. I think identity is very important though, and perhaps dangerous. I can't say I have noticed this so much but that might just be my island mentality :)
That would be true if EU was a dictatorship - but it ain't. UK has a fair number of deputees at the European parliements, directly elected by UK citizen. You can perfectly be heard. Think about it at the next European elections...
I would be much happier about this if the parliament was given real teeth as compared to the other bodies which govern the EU, and also if the corruption and junketing found there could be stamped out completly. As it is the Parliament always seems to be on the sidelines, and seems inneffective.
It will because it has no other choice. I'll bet a fair amount of money on this one. They are surrounded by the EU. All they import comes from the EU or thru the EU. All they export goes thru the same way. If not by convictions, they'll be in the EU by survival necessities.
Perhaps, but I doubt it, the swiss have such a history of independance. But still, they may join one day and if the EU carries on as it does there is no doubt that it will become dependant.
No, it's needed so that the opinion of every European citizen counts MORE into this world than it counted when all countries were doing their little business on their own in a disorderly fashion. Before, Bush could have implented his Star Wars system without asking anyone but the US. Now with the EU he has to come over here and try to talk us into it (good luck :-). I'm a concerned citizen of the world. What goes on in Israel, USA or North Korea bothers me, and with the EU at least my opinion of the subject has a chance to be heard. When 15 respectable countries speak of one voice, the world listens.
Unfortunately I think that Bush will go ahead with it nomatter what the EU has to say about it, and I think it is a very stupid idea, but that is OT. You do have a good point here but I think the problem is that your opinion won't be heard as is due to lack of democracy as far as I can see.
Anyway, I am towards the left wing and I do have grave doubts about the EU, especially as is. However, I really amn't massively against it, if it could really prove itself and allay my fears then I would probably support it :)
Stars, stars! And all eyes else dead coals.
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