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Devil's Advocate: Federal Europe

by asdf Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 09:50:16 AM EST

Seriously, when are you Europeans going to wake up and smell the coffee? Until Europe joins together in a federal system, handing over state power to a central government with the power to extract taxes, run a single foreign policy, fund a military system, define Europe-wide laws, institute a single language, and allow completely free labor migration (not to mention a bunch of other things), you guys are toast.

[editor's note, by Migeru] [Europe's Toast Watch!™ Technology]

Russia (oil & gas) and Africa (nuclear fuel) supply your energy because you can't agree between conservation, renewables, nukes, or fossil supplies as a source. Your divergent economic policies prevent the Euro from becoming a reserve currency. You cower under the protection of the U.S. military establishment because each of your states has a different idea of what sort of defense is needed. You suffer from an economic crisis that is, you say, not your fault, but you didn't have continent-wide regulations in place on your side to prevent it.

You will be left in the dust, as Khrushchev put it.


(ducks)

Seriously, I have no opinion on this matter, but I have not seen a good debate about it on ET, either...

Poll
asdf should:
. Leave us alone 0%
. Apologize to Colman 0%
. Apologize to Jerome 14%
. Be annointed Emporer of Europe 42%
. Continue with further enlightened observations 42%

Votes: 7
Results | Other Polls
Display:
Yeah, but at least we haven't shot each other up for a couple of years.

I'm not certain that old-fashioned ideas like a powerful federal government are necessarily the best way of organising in the current era, and in any case the EU is a pretty unusual entity: I'm happy for it to evolve into something different.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 09:56:39 AM EST
I'm quite keen on the fact that the EU has massive redundancy and undetermined shifting centres of power. Bit like the brain, really.

What I really believe is that we are at 1 minute to midnight, on a day in classic democracy. Having watched Dr Albert A. Bartlett.

Confirmation came from this evening's Helsinki soirée with Adam Greenfield, author of Ubiquitous Computing. I've found another person I can talk to seriously.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:35:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't make a real distinction between virtual and RW colleagues. But the fact remains that the good old behavioural rewards are harder to achieve virtually. And thus virtually reinforcement is a slower process. Not necessarily a bad thing.

So a few colleagues and I decided to set up something called Open Zeiteist or OZ. A once a month ´lounge' meeting for about 20 interesting people active in all things Web 2.0. This was our 2nd meeting. It went rather well.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't you web 2.0 those meetings?
by vladimir on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:53:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Be annointed Emporer of Europe

How about adding to the poll learn to spell use a spellchecker?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 10:34:13 AM EST
... a perfectly good substitute for learning how to spell.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:23:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is an Emporer?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 10:57:46 AM EST
Someone who makes people poor?  I think we have enough of them already.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 02:03:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nt signifie "non texte"

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:26:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
handing over state power to a central government with the power to extract taxes, run a single foreign policy, fund a military system, define Europe-wide laws, institute a single language, and allow completely free labor migration
.

It took some 2000 years since the Roman empire to get where we are, and you want us to go back to that??? Let's re-introduce slavery while we're at it...

by Nomad on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 11:12:24 AM EST
Slavery?

<devil's advocate> Well, why not? </devil's advocate>

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 01:26:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Until Europe joins together in a federal system, handing over state power to a central government with the power to extract taxes, run a single foreign policy, fund a military system, define Europe-wide laws, institute a single language, and allow completely free labor migration (not to mention a bunch of other things)

You mean: when will we become the United States? Hopefully never! ;-)

BTW:

a single language

Which one?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 01:06:59 PM EST
Couldn't find the right answer in the poll.

I would have voted: Come back with real enlightened observations...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 01:11:34 PM EST
I suspect, for some reason, that this is not a serious diary. :)

Even so - does anyone have a name for what Europe is? (Apart from 'Europe', which I think we can take as a given.)

If the model had a name, it might be easier to get other states to try it, and it would also reassure the sceptics who don't want to give up their precious sovereignty.

I'm not so interested in direct federalism, but spreading loose federalism internationally has a certain appeal.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 01:29:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
does anyone have a name for what Europe is?

Political patchwork?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 01:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I'm not so interested in direct federalism, but spreading loose federalism internationally has a certain appeal.

Put some visionary flesh behind that statement, and we have a winner.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 02:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A confederacy with a democracy deficit at the confederal level, to be sure, but if there is no external military threat, I don't see the reason to up the ante and gamble on a federation.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Wikipedia, the EU is a "sui generis entity".

That is, unlike anything else.

In political science, the unparalleled development of the European Union as compared to other international organizations has led to its designation as a sui generis geopolitical entity. There has been widespread debate over the legal nature of the EU given its mixture of intergovernmental and supranational elements, with the organisation thus possessing some characteristics common to confederal and federal entities.
Just like the Mediterranean Sea has originated the concept of a mediterranean sea, maybe a political entity like the European Union should be called a European Union.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 04:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know you aren't serious, but it's an excuse to draw attention to this again:

Why Europe will run the 21st century

What Europe has, argues Mark Leonard in his provocatively titled book, Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century, is a model, one centered around a new understanding of power and embodied in the institutions and norms of the European Union. The EU exerts an irresistible attraction on the countries around it, Leonard says, drawing them into its orbit, embedding them in its legal and economic framework and changing them from the inside out. Next to this "transformative power," the United States' military might, which can change regimes but not societies, and whose application is necessarily fleeting, seems a weak instrument indeed. Increasingly, Leonard tells us, we'll see more regional groupings emerge bound, as the EU is, by mutual self-interest and common values. It's in this sense, he argues, that Europe--or, more precisely, the "European way"--will dominate the 21st century.

Leonard is Director of Foreign Policy at the Center for European Reform in London, where he works on transatlantic and EU-China relations. He recently spoke with Mother Jones by phone from the UK.

Mother Jones: As we're forever being told, the United States is the most powerful country in the history of the world and is likely to remain so, even as China rises, for the foreseeable future. But you're arguing that this view rests on a minsunderstanding of power. How so?

Mark Leonard: My book isn't about Europe so much as it's about power, and how you go about getting your way and acting in the world. I'm not arguing that Europe will be the most vibrant economic bloc in the world or that it will have the biggest army; I'm saying that the European way of doing things, the European model, will change the way the world works.

What we're coming to realize is that the classic 19th century idea of power is coming unstuck in an interdependent, globalized world. In this world, military power is still important, but it's becoming less so, and the price for using it is much higher than before, as the US has found in Iraq.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2005/10/why-europe-will-run-21st-century



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 06:08:02 PM EST
It was fashionable among a small cadre of US EUphiles around the turn of the millennium to tout the coming EU dominance. The Bush years changed all that.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 04:54:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not interested in what was or wasn't fashionable, do you have any arguments against what he says ?

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 06:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is too inward-looking and fractious to expand beyond its current size.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 06:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a state of mind.

And note that the EU's influence (on things like technical standards, and pretty much anything that requires sophisticated regulation) goes far beyond its formal limits.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 06:55:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've said before, I am coming round to the view that the 'turf battles' and many other aspects of the EU bureaucracy that distribute 'power' are  good. The tiny 6.3% admin costs of the EU also show that 'distributed processing' can also be cost-efficient.

The apparent redundancy of many different committees addressing the same problems is also good. etc etc. The more like the brain it gets, the better imo ;-)

The greatest danger we face in the EU is the establishment of rigid top-down hierarchies.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 08:01:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The apparent redundancy of many different committees addressing the same problems is also good. etc etc. The more like the brain it gets, the better imo ;-)

The greatest danger we face in the EU is the establishment of rigid top-down hierarchies.

Compare to the human body.  The brain runs the show (rigid top-down hierarchy) and the body (the citizenry) performs the functions it is told to perform.  Apparently nature "thinks" that this is a good design; check out the success of the various species with big brains.  And what killed off the dinosaurs after 160 billion years?  A huge rock from space that the poor bastards couldn't do anything about because they didn't have the technology.

Please notice how the successful human body deals with "dissent".  Cancers (dangers from within) must be stopped and are constantly being destroyed by a healthy immune system.  Invaders (bacteria, fungi, viruses) are not negotiated with; they are destroyed.

Any more brain analogies anyone?  :)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 10:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I fundamentally disagree. Any living body is bottom up, and non-linear. We are, after all, just tubes with mouths at one end and anuses at the other - everything else is simply advanced tube work.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 10:39:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any living body is bottom up,

In your dreams.  Sven, buddy.  Stick to music/arts.  It's your strength.  Biology/science ain't your field.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 11:33:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the contrary, it is you who have bought into a hierarchic view in your schooling. I would have thought that a lifetime of association with growing things would have disavowed you of any homunculaic thoughts ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 11:38:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. You may want to check your use of the word "homunculaic".  dictionary.com couldn't find it, the closest that seemed correct was homuncular, a form of homunculus "a fully formed, miniature human body believed, according to some medical theories of the 16th and 17th centuries, to be contained in the spermatozoon."  Not sure what you're shooting for there.

  2. Back to this universe.  What controls what.  The energy for life begins in the sun, green plants trap it in the form of carbohydrates, animals eat other plants/animals.  In the cell, the nucleus runs the show by keeping most of the information bottled up.  Mitochondria and chloroplasts were co-opted because they were useful little buggers who could trap the sunlight and get a whole bunch of ATP out of pyruvate (glycolysis is sooo yesterday).  I mention these little folks because they do have some of their own DNA.  Anyway, once you hit multicellular beyond sponges, you got to keep the folks in line or you don't survive.  "It's a jungle out there, I tells ya!"

Human beings must get BEYOND biology to get to the next step.  Will they make it?  Watch and see.  That's why I'm here.  That, and the chicks.  Hey, have you heard?  Marg Helgenberger is back on the market.  And me with my bad back.  Pshaw!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:04:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neologism IS beyond biology

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:54:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"the introduction or use of new words or new senses of existing words."

Well, I guess it is but I don't see how it's going to,

  1. Save the human race's bacon, or

  2. Get Marg to start answering my emails.  I mean, she must know I've been holding out for her, for just this occasion.  With my back, I'd make a crappy stalker.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 01:09:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there an example of where the European model accomplished social change (in contrast to "hard power" effected regime changes) in some troubled area?
by asdf on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 08:57:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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