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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

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 12th, 2022 at 12:33:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland was completely different issue ... still trying to get relief from the British colonizer. New Europe is a mix of countries freed from the boots of Communism and prefer to fight their former nemesis Russia with the might of the US, UK and NATO.

More ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 12th, 2022 at 01:21:45 PM EST
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One aspect of that story is that for most part it really was not the boots of Soviet Union but of an homegrown version of an ideology that they were freed from. And it was replaced immediately with another ideology that was to some extent even worse, so a narrative had to be created to prevent the old from returning ever.

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.

by pelgus on Wed Jan 12th, 2022 at 01:55:27 PM EST
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I sometimes feel that East Germans, in particular, have never fully renounced the authoritarianism and totalitarianism of the Nazi era to the extent that West Germans did, as part of their transformation and reconstruction after the war. The Americans were regarded as genuine liberators, certainly when compared to the Russians and British. East Germany replaced a Nazi regime with an increasingly totalitarian communist one and some (notably the AfD) still hanker after the good old days.

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

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 12th, 2022 at 02:36:46 PM EST
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Well, it took an East German to become the first Chancellor, eh? :-)

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.

by pelgus on Wed Jan 12th, 2022 at 07:05:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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