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Sectarianism blossomed in North Ireland much the same as in The Netherlands in the first six decades of the 20th century. Dutch Protestants didn't mix with Catholics, each bought groceries and bread in shops of their own denomination. Inter-marriage was considered sleeping with the devil in between. As boys we had fights with the other group using skates as fine weaponry. Going to the primary school in the nearest city Leiden, one had to run a gauntlet of rock throwing kids from the "other" school. Catholics in the 19th century were not permitted to practice their religion in public and were set back in education. As late as the sixties,a Catholic scholar would not get appointed as professor in Leiden or VU Amsterdam. Even today in Family Law and Child Protection Council is dominated by Protestants and their patriarchal culture of family life.
Recently I read some history of the Belfast Harland & Wolff shipyards and the role played in struggle for independence and the violence and deaths. Just as the Civil Rights movement is a hard struggle after abolition and President Lincoln until present day. Emotions and bad feelings have stayed in the separate communities. White supremacy in the US, England, South Africa and Australia has been a scourge for too long. The EEC project has suffered a serious setback with the advent of our new "partners" from former Soviet style countries.
After the calamity of 9/11 the division in society has been propagated through Islamophobia and Xenophobia encouraged by the likes of Ariel Sharon and Bibi Netanyahu. Each Western European state has its very own Geert Wilders, Filip Dewinter and Nigel Farage and growing populism. I am quite uncomfortable with politics in Brussels and The Hague today. In foreign policy Human Rights have been placed on the back burner in order to increase great wealth of the upper 1% and investment in weapons. There's is no policy in place for energy sustainability, climate change and investment in disarmament. Stop the propaganda to go to war!
Terrific piece @RuthDE pic.twitter.com/w0C9kC6Zur— Sir Walsingham (@Sir__Walsingham) January 11, 2022
Terrific piece @RuthDE pic.twitter.com/w0C9kC6Zur
The EEC project has suffered a serious setback with the advent of our new "partners" from former Soviet style countries
It is certainly true that some of the East European states have added little by way of progressive politics or positive economics to the European projects, but as you note, some of the older EU member states also have a chequered history in that regard. Ireland was a politically reactionary, church dominated, economic backwater when it joined in 1973. The EU has helped transform it into a modern liberal democracy with socially progressive norms and an advanced economy.
I am by no means a historical determinist, and there is no certainty that Eastern European states will go the same way. But I remain an optimist. Younger voters don't share the reactionary attitudes of many of their elders and some positive trends can be observed. It took Ireland almost 50 years of membership to become a positive net contributor in terms of financial support and political culture, so I would cut the eastern European states some slack!
Index of Frank's Diaries
Just like in Russia Chubais et al just had to destroy the very fabric of the society by absolutely horrendous privatization that they knew would destroy a lot of people and the nation, just to make sure people couldn't return to "communism" even if they wanted to. That is the main reason liberals poll so low in Russia even today - they have not been forgiven.
Not so many years ago I read in an article how many Eastern European women over 50 were looking back to the "good old days" when they had it better. Not necessarily materially better, but they had careers, positions, equality and dependable pension waiting. Today they have none of that.
It's not like these New Europe countries were the shining lights of democracy and liberalism before Red Army liberated them. The wave of leftism and reconstructing them was largely homegrown in 1945-47, until West launched the Cold War and all went to hell.
I don't know how east German women, in particular, have fared since re-unification, beyond sharing in the economic disruption which made most of east German industry redundant. West German women seem to have achieved a high degree of equality compared to eastern Europe.
Index of Frank's Diaries
The article I referred to was talking about Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, as far as I can remember. I don't think Germany really counts as Eastern Europe (at least not after WWII), although I'm the first to admit the lines are not very clear to me.
Nowadays I tend work more from the idea that there's Northeastern Europe, Southwestern Europe and an overlapping area between to the two.
The settlement is attested as Arausio and Arausion in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, then as civitas Arausione in the 4th century, civitas Arausicae in 517 (via a Germanized form *Arausinga), Aurengia civitatis in 1136, and as Orenga in 1205
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