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Our grand-fathers had direct contact with the horrors of WWII, fascism and stalinism. That shapes a certain kind of individual.
Their mistake (and, it seems to me, the mistake of some here) was to forget that their descendants would be born in a completely (better) different world. Thus, a different kind of individual.
An individual breed in good times cannot easily foresee that it is shaping a path back to horror because (s)he does not know how such horror feels like.
I think a leader of the WWII generation would NEVER allow the current crisis to be shaped with a narrative of "nation versus nation" or "rich nations vs poor nations" or <put your national variant here>.
Sometimes the argument here seems to amount to "if we had the proper leaders, this would be alright". This is naive at best: (i) In a democracy we are bound to have, over time, leaders of different persuasions, it is not always the "old fashioned, historically sensitive, social democrat"; sometimes you get the "banker owned, ideology obsessed, short-sighted neo-liberal", this is NORMAL in a democracy. and (ii) we are having the generational leaders that know little about horrors.
This is why I think that the "European Dream" is turning into a "bloody nightmare": We Europeans designed (with good intention) a system that is too tight-coupled (think Portuguese bailout in the hands of Finnish parliament). We are too connected without sharing nothing resembling a "national identity". This is bound to be problematic in a time of crisis.
A more cautious approach would have serve us much better. It might not have been the utopia of a "united Europe", but would have avoided the problems that are coming (because they have not really started yet).
On the other hand, the whole thing started with a very limited and, indeed, "cautious" European Coal and Steel Community. The single market itself was already "mission creep". The "Founders" set a ball rolling and hoped that further integration would be inevitable.
Economics is politics by other means
I hope this is not the case, because I would rather not have to cope with the social disruption it implies...
I wonder if the degree to which the wealthy arrange to skew the system in their favor depends in part on how close you get to social collapse.
For the wealthy engaging in politics can be a hobby or a pastime, a means of upward mobility, a career, or an insurance policy against "bad people" getting into power. Often they are wealthy because they have played the game well in their own interests.
So the general observation, that major political innovations come in response to catastrophic social failures holds true for both reasons - the dispossessed become more engaged and recognise their common interests in changing the system and the wealthy lose their grip in the social upheaval that follows.
Of course the trick, in a functioning democracy, is to provide mechanisms for ongoing non-violent change which reduce the risk of catastrophic failures and mass upheavals.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger - May 23 2 comments
by Frank Schnittger - May 27 3 comments
by Frank Schnittger - May 5 22 comments
by Oui - May 13 65 comments
by Carrie - Apr 30 7 comments
by Oui - May 303 comments
by Frank Schnittger - May 273 comments
by Oui - May 2712 comments
by Oui - May 24
by Frank Schnittger - May 232 comments
by Oui - May 1365 comments
by Oui - May 910 comments
by Frank Schnittger - May 522 comments
by Oui - May 449 comments
by Oui - May 312 comments
by Oui - May 29 comments
by gmoke - May 1
by Oui - Apr 30270 comments
by Carrie - Apr 307 comments
by Oui - Apr 2644 comments
by Oui - Apr 886 comments
by Oui - Mar 19143 comments