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Should the US merge with the EU?

by ThatBritGuy Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 08:44:07 AM EST

(from the diaries --poemless)

In the silly (or possibly delusionally grand) thinking stakes, this idea has to be one of the silliest, or possibly one of the grandest.

It's certainly Orwellian - welcome to Oceania - but is it it really all that insane a suggestion?

The advantages of economic union would be obvious. Ignoring the false rhetoric about sclerotic European economies, the EU and the US together would become the biggest trading bloc in all of history. But that would be just the start of the benefits.


Politically, a lot of the current problems in the US have arisen because the fundies, with their roots in the Deep South, have managed to game the system to become disproportionately influential. With democracy spread across a much wider area, with a much wider range of interest groups, their influence would be diluted back into obscurity. While the EU has issues with Far Right movements of its own, it's difficult to imagine these being ideologically compatible with their equivalents in the US. They might eventually work out a way to coalesce, but within that time it would be possible to build a solid more moderate consensus.

Another advantage is that without a merger, the US and the EU can only head for outright conflict sooner or later. The present political balances aren't sustainable. So far the EU has been happy to roll over and accept US demands, but there are areas of friction and with a more motivated EU parliament it's not hard to imagine that these could grow.

Realistically, China is already flexing its muscles and more advanced plans for conflict with the US and possibly the EU, with both conventional and economic modes, will surely be sitting on a Chinese government hard drive somewhere.

Combining the EU and US is very possibly the only realistic way of containing Chinese ambitions. The US is not in a position to opt for isolationism, and current big-ticket military spending is wasting huge sums on military technology that won't ever be used, designed for a style of war that's already obsolete. Pooling EU and US resources and innovative skills would help immeasurably in creating effective deterrents.

There are other obvious advantages to thinking the unthinkable. Currently it's hard to imagine anyone in the US or the EU taking the idea seriously, and at this stage of the game the plan has 'Ain't gonna happen' all over it.

But union between France and Germany would have been just as unthinkable a couple of generations ago, and the EU in general would never have been considered a plausible idea.

So - what's to lose by raising the suggestion now?

Display:
I haven't read the diary yet, but to answer your question:

Yes.  The US should join the EU.

Ok, off to have a looky...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 06:24:25 PM EST
I'm sorry, having read the piece I'd like to change my answer, if that's ok, to "Oh Yes, Yes!, YES!!!"

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 06:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will happily sponsor you (and Jett downthread) for asylum. But I cannot imagine more than about 5% of americans wanting to join the EU, or me liking the idea of them joining.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 06:58:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't either, mostly for the same reasons you state above.  Not exactly a match made in heaven, right now. I do like Europe and greatly respect what is going on there, but I'm not ready to immigrate just yet. That keeps your sponsorship burden to just poemless and Jett, as far as I know.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 10:12:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, my ditzy wife is over at her computer singing along with Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" sent to her in Spanish and English by her ditsy cousin who lives in Italy.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 10:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it comes to a full police state and everyone is being rounded up to fight armageddon over the last patches of oil all things being equal I'd run to Canada first.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:11:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds like a poll that that the German Marshall Fund or someone else should put in the field.

I imagine the initial response would be 5-10%, but with education, I think that a majority would favour something where the US adhered to the higher standards of the EU.  It's already happenening with things like medicines and chemicals.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:12:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After the 2004 election I had this weird dream about a world where the EU and US had become something like Greek city states in ancient times.  With Europeans who favoured neo-liberalism and the social darwinism emigrating to the US, and Americans who believed in a social state emigrating to the US.

I seriously considered going to school in Europe because I'm not entirely convinced that anything will change even if Democrats win.  There used to be a belief in my country that everyone deserved a fair shot, and that we had the responsiblity to ensure that everyone everyone was allowed a dignified standard of living.  That's slowly being destroyed, and I don't see it changinf anytime soon. What ultimately kept me home is that my parents are older, and my mother has a heart condition. This is the reason I decided not to try for the Complutense.  Ultimately blood is thicker than water.  

If it weren't for my family, I'd seriously consider moving to Europe.  Supposedly, it's supposed to be easy for Americans with only Master's degrees to find work in European Universities if they have a background in American and Comparative politics (which I do.)

But in the end, Europe is a nice place to visit, but not home.  Even when I'm truly pissed, like today when I discovered that most likely I won't be able to vote this year because my registration was kicked out because of a complication with the postal service.  Even now I hope for change.  I place hope in people like the gentleman I've been helping whose running for Congress, and the hope that things will change.

I look to Spain, and the way Zapatero was elected is like something from Almodovar.  It's like an accident that happened on purpose, apparent randomness that reflects deeper order.  The recognition by a people that they've been lied to, and the rejection of that false truth.  I hope for something the same here in the United States.  

A carthitic event that removes the veil of lies that allows these things to happen. Alas... so it goes.  I didn't mean this to be a confessional, but it feels that way.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:35:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I look to Spain, and the way Zapatero was elected is like something from Almodovar.  It's like an accident that happened on purpose, apparent randomness that reflects deeper order.  The recognition by a people that they've been lied to, and the rejection of that false truth.  I hope for something the same here in the United States.

There was a looong list of reasons why the PP had to go. I voted absentee so my ballot was in the mail a week before March 11. I don't buy the idea that Zapatero was elected because of the lies of March 11, unless by "being lied to" you refer to the entire image of himself and his pary that Aznar had built prior to 2000 and which was seen to be a sham in 2000-4.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 04:07:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blue states only, please.

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami
by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 06:37:20 PM EST
Or Blue areas of Red States with large enough populations to apply for separate statehood.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 02:32:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just do it county by county. We're talking half the population anyway.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 04:01:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll get no argument from me.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 05:20:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think so, it would make it much easier for me to move to Europe...

Seriously though, what about Canada? Or Australia? I don't know enough about either to be certain, but it seems joining the EU would be more palatable to them.

by Jett on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 06:41:34 PM EST
It is much more likely that the UK will join the US than that the US and the EU will merge.

The US is so far to the right that a merger would upset the EU's political balance.

I think you give the fundies too much credit for the US' current political trouble. Even without that there would be the military industrial complex, the unfettered corporate capitalism and the debased media. The US has a serious superpower syndrome, The city on the hill, the last best hope of mankind, you know. As long as ordinary Americans embrace American exceptionalism the US can't be an equal partner with anyone.

The idea of the EU and US merging to oppose the "Chinese threat" also freaks me out. If the US wants to engage in a new cold war, fine. The EU has better things to worry about, like attempting a transition to a sustainable economy.

The EU is not going to grow at all for the nest 15 years at least. By then the current trends in the US will have come to a head, so maybe then we can revisit the idea.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 06:57:44 PM EST
It isn't like this idea hasn't been floated.

Remmber that Aznar floated this idea earlier this year at Georgetown.  I think that as a free trade area the idea has merit. This isn't saying the US joins the EU, but that a free trade area, and the free flow of citizens and capital might be a good idea.  The key is under what terms.

On a practical level, US companies are being forced to adopt European standards (as in REACH with chemicals) because economies of scale and design costs mean that its cheaper to comply with the more stringent standard than run 2 different lines.

Global labour and environmental standards are desirable, and should be pursued.  Maybe that should be the beginning of the discussion.  Think about what the EU did for Spain and Ireland.  On a managed basis, there's no reason that American and Europeans couldn't integrate developing countries that agree to adhere to an acquis that protects workers and the environment.  

This is the differences between integration in Europe(which raises standards), and integration in North America (which has left workers in all 3 countries worse off.)  The acquis, the agreement to raise standards, and the sense that the community should invest in poorer members to raise their standard of living so they will purchase more good from the core, that is missing from North American integration.  

If there is to be TransAtlantic integration, and the time when that is inevitable seems to be approaching, the question is whether that integration will follow the American or European precedent.  If it follows the European precedent it offers hope, but if it follows the American path it's bad fo workers and the environment.    Since the day when it will come no matter what, perhaps the more important question is no if integration will occur, but whether it will follow the European or North AMerican precedent.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:09:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the differences between integration in Europe(which raises standards), and integration in North America (which has left workers in all 3 countries worse off.)  The acquis, the agreement to raise standards, and the sense that the community should invest in poorer members to raise their standard of living so they will purchase more good from the core, that is missing from North American integration.

This is the reason why the integration between the EU and the US cannot work unless the neoliberals have their way and debase the European acquis, in which case it is quite possible that France would get pissed off, and you can't have the EU without France.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 04:03:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is why the European acquis must be defended, and Americans need to fight neoliberal globalization and push for a move towards the European model.

Those who believe that globalizaion can be ended, should consider what happenened the last time globalization was stopped cold in it's tracks in August 1914.

The question is not if there will be globalization, but what form it will take.  And that is the reality that has to be confronted if we want to ensure a fair future for the planet.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 11:43:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who's for a global trade union?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Oct 25th, 2006 at 09:34:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WTO?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 25th, 2006 at 09:39:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First the US is planning, and currently carrying out, a merger with Canada and Mexico. XicanoPower at My Left Wing has more here. Mary-Sue Haliburton has the Canadian perspective here.
by jam fuse on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 08:19:27 PM EST
More like I hostile takeover I oughta say.
by jam fuse on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 02:38:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as the EU remains a gigantic Lion's Club, it should not take in any other rich members. I'm all for taking in Tunisia, Bielorussia, Niger, Afghanistan, etc, but not the US, Canada, Australia, Japan etc

I also don't see any advantages in creating an economic monster that will ruin the planet and dictate its terms to everyone else.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 09:03:37 PM EST
I also don't see any advantages in creating an economic monster that will ruin the planet and dictate its terms to everyone else. Shouldn't that depend on what they were dictating? In terms of population, the TAU would still be smaller than India.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 07:15:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your idea is not silly.  It may be crazy.  But it's certainly grand.

Combining the EU and US is very possibly the only realistic way of containing Chinese ambitions.

A little parenthetical to the diary, do you think that engaging China in an adversarial way is the only "realistic" option the West has?  In other words, is another Cold War, this time with China, inevitable (assuming China continues to grow powerful enough to challenge Western economic and political dominance)?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 09:21:39 PM EST
Not parenthetical at all: probably the most intelligent comment in the thread. To amplify: does the framing of the question make sense? Are the assumptions about necessary conflict valid? What is the problem with a powerful Chinese entity? It won't be the same entity as it is today, that's not possible: China isn't the same country it was twenty years ago and it won't be the same as it is now in twenty years, never mind forty-five.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 06:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason for assuming that China has at least some aggressive intent is that there are regular Cold War-ish attempts to test US defences. China - allegedly - takes aggressive action against US hardware. That combined with regular hack attacks - there's one every year or so - suggest that the situation isn't entirely placid and calm.

Is it possible to extrapolate from this to formal and organised aggressive intent? China, like any other country, will be a patchwork of competing interests. I'd expect there are the usual for and against factions setting policy. Currently China has more to lose than it has to gain. If the US becomes significantly weakened because of an economic downturn, that may change.

Wondering what China would gain from expanding is an interesting question. At the moment the answer has to be - not much. Internal growth seems to be more than enough to keep China occupied. But if there is a serious economic downturn, that may no longer be the case, and physical expansion may start to make some sense.

In the West I think the EU/US question is an interesting option to consider. But right now both the EU and the US have serious democratic and human rights issues that need attention. Neither is truly democratic , and in fact the split isn't so much on EU vs US lines as on corporates and governments vs populations.

Now - imagine a China which has become more corporate, and a Russia which is run by crime syndicates already, and you have the less than optimistic picture of all of these blocs converging on corporate fascism from different directions.

For me, that's where the trend line is leading. Labels are less important now than social dynamics, and the Business Comes First agenda has become standard issue across the world, irrespective of nominal politics, history, or democratic interest.

So the problem for the EU is that China is very likely to become a kind of US 2.0, with an even more obvious proto-fascist edge. The main thing the EU has going for it is a willingness - no matter how partial - to moderate that agenda for the benefit of the majority of the population. There are some - minority - elements in the US who agree with that point of view, both in power and out of it.

From ground level, there is a lot to be said for building stronger links between those elements in both the EU and the US, at ground roots level and also with more formal diplomacy. At the moment the EU and the US only talk to each other when there's a problem to be solved. Usually MEPs and the Commission get on with the business of governing completely independently.

So while I don't think there's any chance at all of an EU/US merger now, I think there's certainly an opportunity for the Left on both sides of the ocean to build better links than have existed so far, and to use those to influence policy in compatible directions.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:14:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
truly democratic

Define please.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bottom up. Not top down.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An example of true democracy?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:35:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The closest we've had in the UK was around 1950-1970, when government (mostly) had an obvious populist slant, albeit a rather paternal one.

It's about issues as well as mechanisms. Currently we have a strong lobby promoting corporate interests in the EU, and even more so in the UK. Because that's more about shareholder value rather than wealth distribution,  it's anti-democratic by definition.

Being able to vote is an empty exercise when you can't choose a candidate to promote the policies you want.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 05:55:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure that the US is at least as provocative as China.

Extrapolating trend lines is a dodgy business, as you know well.

At the moment the EU and the US only talk to each other when there's a problem to be solved. Usually MEPs and the Commission get on with the business of governing completely independently.

Really? I would have guessed that we only hear about it when there's a problem.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:19:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the US is far more provocative than China. But - you know - that's how that corporate fascism thing works.

Really? I would have guessed that we only hear about it when there's a problem.

Evidence?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:22:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, okay, but I was really looking for evidence of more formal Progressive link-ups, rather than Business As Usual® and DemocracyTM.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 10:16:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Proposal for an Atlantic CoProsperity Sphere

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 11:56:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I say it should be called the North Atlantic Coal and Steel Community.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 11:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That can be the good one.

But Anzar presented this before the Heritage foundation, and it looks like that Heritage Foundation was behind Aznar's efforts.  Remember that Aznar sits on the board of News Corp also.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 12:13:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The little spy-plane incident in early 2001 set the tone for Bush-China relations...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 08:23:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a simple reason there might be conflict: there aren't enough resources on the planet to sustain both a rich West and a rapidly growing China, with current consumption patterns.

Either we cooperate to change our consumption patterns (consume better, smarter, less) or we will fight with them (and we'll all lose, of course)

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 04:34:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China is following its own path in the sense that is does not accept US bullying the way Europe does. It drives US policymakers insane. The last good example I'm aware of was Chinese reluctance to revaluate the yuan.

I don't know if that can be mapped to potential conflict. The US and China are involved in a symbiotic relationship that the politicians in both countries cannot currently do much meddling with. I think Europe is in a similar boat with China (I think there was a diary on this recently?).

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:37:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US is driving EU politicymakers insane, but they keep going for more...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 06:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first obstacle to get over to persuade Americans to merge with Europe would be to find out what the requirements the U.S. would have to abide by to do so.

Can someone flesh these out?

(Off the top of my head, I can think of:

  • giving up the dollar for the euro, or merging the two into a eudo? or a doro?

  • dropping the Fed for the ECB, or, again, merging them

  • entering the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy.

  • joining the Schengen Agreement

  • abandoning customs checks

Damn! firedrill.  gotta go

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 09:32:45 PM EST
I know a lot people who would rather croak than agreeing to any one of those things.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 10:25:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And no doubt they will be thrilled at the prospect of dealing with the likes of the

  • Council of the European Union
  • European Commission
  • European Court of Justice
  • European Parliament
  • European Council


Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 11:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For sure.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 09:32:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Joining the Euro: no need, look at Britain.
Merging with the ECB: no need, this goes with the Euro.
CAP and fisheries: yes, but negotiable
Schengen: no need, look at Britain
Customs checks: no need, this is what Schengen is about.

The EU is based on three pillars:

The first pillar is the European Communities (common market) which entails free movement of capital, goods, services, and people.
The second pillar is the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The third pillar is the Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters.

Then there is the European Charter of Human Rights.

The EU and the US are each too large to be absorbed by the other one. A merger would require taking the US constitution and a putative EU constitution and trying to combine them. The process would fail at that point over things like the right to bear arms, the death penalty and Europe's mixed economic model. The only practicable solution would be both joining a larger entity.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 04:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To take it a level deeper: since joining the EU means adopting the acquis, there are bound to be some aspects which the federal government cannot adopt/legislate because they are the prerogative of the individual states. There probably wouldn't be many, relatively speaking (interstate commerce being reserved to the federal government), but as big as the acquis is, there are sure to be some.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 07:24:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about a dodo?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Oct 25th, 2006 at 09:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean by "merge"? For most practical purposes, the U.S. and the E.U. are already merged.

The reality is that North America is almost entirely populated by Europeans, and we share cultural values, legal systems, languages, and politics.

It's a ridiculous question, not because it's impossible, but because it's already the case...

Example: Which pair is more "merged," the U.K. and the U.S. or the U.K. and Bulgaria?

by asdf on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 09:45:55 PM EST
Example: If NATO is not the European army, what is?
by asdf on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 09:46:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The abandoned European Rapid Reaction Force capable of fulfilling the Petersberg tasks.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:39:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The abandoned European Rapid Reaction Force capable of fulfilling the Petersberg tasks.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:40:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO is not the European army, it's the US' foreign legion.

The European Army is the Rapid Reaction Force (as MfM mentions). The European Union has a European Defence Agency and has conducted military exercises (at the command-and-control level) and is building "battlegroups".

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 04:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO is not the European army, it's the US' foreign legion.

That's a key concept that's been on the tip of my brain for years. Many thanks.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Oct 25th, 2006 at 09:46:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It goes like this:

After a little respite, the EU starts lobbying for Canada to join, as a result of the Franco-British Culture War, threatenning Britain's power over its last colony.  Gobs of money and promises funneled to the Quebec French Seperatists by France, which sees the EU as its new Empire and member nations as its new colonies.  Meanwhile: American civil war as a result of continued Democratic losses.  North (United States of Canada) v. South (Jesusland).  The North negotiating for help from the French in return for support for the Quebec French Seperatists/EU movement.  Civil war results in split.  North develops strong ties with Canada in a money for strategic alliances deal.  South left to its own devices.  Liberal Southerners immigrating to the North in droves.  The North lobbies for entrance into the EU for financial & strategic purposes.  North also funnelling money and promises to the Quebecers.  Canada gets in, securing a French victory over Britain.  Then the North wants in because the EU (France) wants access to our resources and feels bitter still about us taking America from them a long time ago.  The North gets into the EU.

Not sure what happens then...  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 09:51:05 PM EST
Your model is based on thinking that the Canadian electoral map looks like this:

However, it actually looks like this:

They've got the colors backwards, showing conservatives as blue. The point is that there is a huge special case in Quebec, a bunch of liberals on the east coast, and a solid block of conservatives (Canadian-style conservatives, but still...) in the economically essential western provinces. Furthermore, the maritime provinces are completely isolated from the rest of the country--and they are economically hopeless.

Any merging of Canada with anybody else is going to be with the U.S., excepting Quebec which is practically part of France anyway.

by asdf on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 10:45:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The way North America would split is into "Waterworld" and "Hinterland". If you look at a county-by-county map of the 2004 US election, you can clearly see the blue areas are the East and West coasts, the Great Lakes, the Rio Grande, the Colorado and the Misssissippi. I believe Canada is split the same way, Alberta is Hinterland.

Oh, and Nunavut would probably secede from Canada rather than join the US.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 04:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
trust me, only Alberta would join the US.  Canadians identify themselves as non-Americans (i.e. USA) and would do anything rather than turn into something they disdain.
by manon (m@gmail.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 06:02:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This chart is called "purple America" for a reason. The jesusland chart, while seemingly funny, is actually a very damaging meme. Beyond some rural/urban comparisons there are almost no patterns to be pulled from the purple America chart.

Canadian national identity, to the degree that it even exists, is largely composed of "we are the inverse of the US." I can't see any provence wanting to join up.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 01:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the obligatory area-implies-population cartogram of the same map:

And a more polarized mapping of votes to colors:

Looking at this one, I see a somewhat better-defined red chunk. How it maps to states is less obvious.

Both are from here.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 11:35:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a JOKE, people...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 02:28:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i do not think that making an entity bigger solve any problem, EU is going to prove that with its blinded race to grow.

small is beautiful, the richest and better managed countries in the developed world, are the smaller.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Oct 10th, 2006 at 10:27:09 PM EST
It's an interesting idea.  I've long thought that a trade bloc would emerge between the US and the EU.  I believe Merkel has already mentioned this.  I haven't the slightest idea as to whether political integration will ever take place, but, yes, I certainly see a free trade area emerging in the coming years -- probably no more than a decade.

The two are already fairly well integrated.  I also think Europe represents a group of countries against whom there would not be a backlash against a free trade area from the US, because the two are on generally equal ground, in terms of economic development.

I'm not sure about whether China will become aggressive.  I, of course, don't trust the CPC as far as I can throw it, but, at least for now, the Chinese seem to be smart enough to recognize that the world will not be a friendly place if they drives Europe and the US away.  Plus, having North Korea as a major trading partner doesn't quite produce the same appeal as having America and Europe.

And, if the shit hits the fan with China and the East, you know the Oceania Bloc gets India, since the Indians are all really Brits, anyway, with darker skin and a lower BAC.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 02:45:24 AM EST
It wasn't too long ago that we were talking, and more or less agreeing, that the US should pull its troops out of Europe.  Politically it does not sound like a good marriage.

Trade-wise, as others have pointed out, there are already close relationships, and I would imagine they would improve.

And culturally there have been strong binds for hundreds of years.  But culturally and socially, IMO, the US and EU are not moving closer together.  So it's hard for me to see a fusion along those lines, anymore than there already is.

And the idea of running US and EU fiscal policy seems unlikely.  I think we'll get a view of the realism of that, depending on if the UK drops the pound for the euro.  If they do, well, who knows?  maybe in a hundred years it could happen.

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 04:21:13 AM EST
I think we'll get a view of the realism of that, depending on if the UK drops the pound for the euro.

Anyone who is still holding on to the idea of Britain adopting the euro anytime soon is kidding himself.  It's simply not going to happen, and I suppose I fail to see why it should, honestly.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 05:58:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
exactly!
by wchurchill on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 07:52:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and history tells us that the unthinkable ones can happen. The future is hard to predict and what we consider either obvious or not possible today are no use in analysing the future. We'll have to wait and see. We will live in interesting times. To consider the US and EU as allied against others is not even new. So many of the people of the rest of the world already views things in terms of the rich versus everyone else even if many of the governments and ruling elites of these countries do not see it this way.
by observer393 on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 09:46:01 AM EST
Is this not what the more paranoid Americans think is happening? The idea, if pushed seriously, would probably provoke an even more extreme nationalist reaction in the US than that of UKIP in the UK.

Of course the key is what are the terms and purposes of the merger. Are we envisaging a United States of North America and Europe or a NAFTA style North Atlantic free trade area or a European Union type arrangement extended to North America or something completely new?

During the Second World War there was a movement in Britain that aspired to create a federal union of all the democracies of the world (although they were a bit ambiguous about giving representation to the colonies).

I suspect that some of the people who created the European Communities had similar hopes and saw European economic integration as a step towards a larger goal. If so, the whole project got hijacked by small minded national politicians pushing trivial agendas of short term national advantage. Now there may be an argument about where 'Europe' should end, but there seems to be no push for global expansion.

When you think about it the EU nations would find it easier to pool efforts with advanced industrial societies with somewhat similar cultures and economies, in other parts of the planet, than to absorb the nations of the Middle East and North Africa.

by Gary J on Wed Oct 11th, 2006 at 07:34:08 PM EST
GOOD GOD NO!

I've been a US citizen my entire life. It's awful here. Leave the EU alone!

Share. Share resources, share delight, share burdens, share the healing. If we only could realize that sharing will bring us back from mass suicide.

by Isis on Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 07:54:58 AM EST


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