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Another EU story. Could a European friend explain why?

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
I was crusin' over at drudgereport.com (I'm sure a few of you visit there from time to time) and saw this article posed:

<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/02/07/nfrid07.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/02/07/ixnewstop.html" target="_blank">EU wrangle adding to fridge mountain</a>

The EU sure has enough its mishaps to keep me chuckling. Anyhow, this really isn't the point of this thread. This story just got me thinking...

What is the goal of the EU? What is the point? Is it just a band of nations promoting their ideals? A stronger economy? An alliance able to become a super power in its own right? How close of ties does the EU plan? A sort of UN style Gov't now with a migration towards a single state?

I'm just wondering if hassle and red tape will eventually cause some nations to leave the EU. Do the benefits out weigh the costs?

Does ever European citizen have a vision of a greater Europe and the EU as the road to get there?
post #2 of 57
The purpose of the EU is to regain Europe's relevance in the face of the dominant US.

I looked up "EU" in the groverat dictionary, its synonyms are "clusterf*ck" and "time bomb".

Things are good now (and let's all pray it remains that way), but many of these nations historically hate each other.

But I wish them the best of luck.
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post #3 of 57
P.J. O'ROURKE had the best explination of the EU I ever read.


<a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=95001025" target="_blank">We'll Run
This Planet
As We Please</a>
And if you don't like it, go back where we came from.
BY P.J. O'ROURKE

Saturday, August 25, 2001 12:01 a.m. EDT

[quote]

...
Or is the point of multilateralism simply that America is expected to imitate the elder and better nations of Europe? They, in their wisdom, decided that their continent did not have enough government and needed one more big one. After Hitler, Napoleon and Attila the Hun, the Europeans should know where this leads. Undeterred by historical example, however, the EU looks to fulfill the age-old dream of having a country of English cooks, German lovers, French defense forces and Italian efficiency experts.
...<hr></blockquote>
post #4 of 57
Ugh. You're teh real smarties...
post #5 of 57
One suggestion ,take this man as your foreign secretary.
With this guy , USA will become more and more popular.
post #6 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>The purpose of the EU is to regain Europe's relevance in the face of the dominant US.

I looked up "EU" in the groverat dictionary, its synonyms are "clusterf*ck" and "time bomb".

Things are good now (and let's all pray it remains that way), but many of these nations historically hate each other.

But I wish them the best of luck.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You really don't know shit about the EU do you. It is so typical for ignorant americans, to state that the nations in the EU historically hate each other and therefore think that we can't cooperate with each other. It would be the same as saying the US is doomed because of the civilwar a centuary ago between the north and the south.

None of the countries in the EU hate each other for things that have only historically meaning. Let me ask you where you find conflicts that will eventually send the EU back to the stoneage?
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post #7 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Arakageeta:
<strong>I
The EU sure has enough its mishaps to keep me chuckling. Anyhow, this really isn't the point of this thread. This story just got me thinking...

What is the goal of the EU? What is the point? Is it just a band of nations promoting their ideals? A stronger economy? An alliance able to become a super power in its own right? How close of ties does the EU plan? A sort of UN style Gov't now with a migration towards a single state?

I'm just wondering if hassle and red tape will eventually cause some nations to leave the EU. Do the benefits out weigh the costs?

Does ever European citizen have a vision of a greater Europe and the EU as the road to get there?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well i try to answer you , even if i do not got any official answers to offer.
I don't think the goal of Europe is just to promote ideals. Europe is made of several different country who have all a strong culture, different culture means different ideal, some of this ideal are shared by all countries, it's include democraty, liberty ...(not specific or original ideal as you can seen).

One important goal, and the first one in action is to have a stronger economy : that the beginning of EU.
An another important goal is diplomatia, europe have not weight if they don't speak with the same voice, europeans leader has understand this point and tend to speak with the same voice.
The europe of defense is just on the beginning but at a very low level (as you know budget of Bush's US defense equal the defense's budget of all the states of EU). Make a better defense seems logical, especially in case the conflicts are outside.
The goal is not to make one big state, it's quite impossible for the moment, the country are too different especially in the social aspect. But it's stronger also than making only an alliance.

In fact EU try to find his own way, and will be never be structured like USA, (our history are too different, to make a federal state). But EU is a need for future, because France alone has no power , nor germany, spain, italy , and all the others states of the européan union.
post #8 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by fukuhela:
<strong>

You really don't know shit about the EU do you. It is so typical for ignorant americans, to state that the nations in the EU historically hate each other and therefore think that we can't cooperate with each other. It would be the same as saying the US is doomed because of the civilwar a centuary ago between the north and the south.

None of the countries in the EU hate each other for things that have only historically meaning. Let me ask you where you find conflicts that will eventually send the EU back to the stoneage?</strong><hr></blockquote>
don't blame groverat, there is not any provocation in what he say (even i don't understand the definitions of his groverat dictionnary : my lack of english).
Nothing arrogant at the contrary of this article,
Scott H, show a section of it : after , Napoleon, Hitler and Attila the un, the europeans should know where this leads. Strange comparison between dictator and a union freely voted by hundred millions of europeans citizens. Futhermore this guy have forgotten to cite Charlemagnes who rules an empire (a popular man; for germans he is german, for french we think he is french : strange at this time there wher not french or german nations, this concept appear later)

I can suffer people like O Rourke in general and their way of acting.

i am a surgeon, do you think when i work with the nurses and other people i show all the time that i a m the boss : no, the other people know that i am the boss, i don't need to show this and i try to be respectefull with them, even if i am the boss they are my equals because they are humans like me. Doesn't this sort of thing is written in the US constitution ?
The same thing should apply for everystate, France has not the right to be arrogant with denmark, because France is bigger, he has got more weight but she must be respectefull and listen what denmark have to say. Of course weight of differents states are different and weight of US is the most important but it's not an excuse for arrogance. There is a huge difference between being proud of your self and to be arrogant.
post #9 of 57
If I had to say the main reason i would say it is mostly for economical stability. Unify a currency in the region. It makes sence in the short term to help out the more under developed countries there and make commerce simpler. But in the long term you may pave the way for a 'Hitler' type person/group who would want to unite Europe like in the beggining of the 20th century.
post #10 of 57
You know, some of you would make really great diplomats.
post #11 of 57
It's my understanding that at the beginning of the common market the overriding idea was that France and Germany should be so tightly bound economically so as to reduce the risk of another war. After all, the two countries fought three wars in the span of seventy years.

This economic arrangement suited both countries: Germany ("mitteleuropa") gained from being integrated with the more prosperous post-war West, while France could count on Germany to take a back seat and support its own foreign policy initatives and desires. This is the core of the EU and these ideas have remained in force: Germany the silent giant, France the ideological center of the EU.

It will be interesting to see how the smaller outlying countries in the EU change the flavor of this arrangement. Or how Germany's new foreign policy initatives work. Or how the Mediterraneans -- the Spanish, Italians, Greeks -- assert their views...etc. Very interesting.
post #12 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by fukuhela:
<strong>

You really don't know shit about the EU do you. It is so typical for ignorant americans, to state that the nations in the EU historically hate each other and therefore think that we can't cooperate with each other.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Historically that's true. You hate each other so much you invade each others countries and kill 6 million people. That was the last project you all worked together on.
post #13 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>

Historically that's true. You hate each other so much you invade each others countries and kill 6 million people. That was the last project you all worked together on.</strong><hr></blockquote>
The past is the past, Scott, you have also your big time also even if it was a few time ago ? There is still yankees, but USA is unified, they where slaves in the past (in France too but for less years) but US is a big democratie now.
Time have changed, and europeans people have learned to know each others. I won't see any reasons to fight against my friends from germany or italy, it's just as dumb as to fight my friends from USA.
So if you think it will prevent us to build Europe you make a serious mistake, the post of Timo is much more interesting because , he asked more interesting questions. Timo you seem to study a lot europe don't you ?
post #14 of 57
Scott H, This is a forum and you can say what you want but there is a point where I can't believe that someone can say the things you write.
<img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" />
Reading all europeans have made a unic common project with Hitler extermination plan is horrible for my eyes.
BTW in reaction to the other thread I don't know the taste of a frog and I don't especially want to eat one. And the majority of my friends (99% I'd say) never even eat one in their life.
Some African peoples eat ants. And for this I don't call them ants eaters.
I don't bash on Americans. I felt your pain during the WTC tragedy.
So who is the most extremist ?
I think if the war exists, It is not the fault of Americans nor Europeans nor whatever country in particular. I think war exists bacause some humans, leaders in their own country/region/ethnos group, think the same bad way as you think.
Can I also remind you that Europe as an alliance exists only since ~ 50 years ? Yes "Europeans" have fight for centuries. But the Peoples from the old world have a 4000-years History. If you had such a long time in America how many other Hiroshimas would you have done ? But you don't have much History and one internal war at the beginning for Independance (a good reason IMHO). Moreover, and it is not the less irrelevant, you have one common language. The Babel Tower problem is... a very big problem.
But powerdoc is right : all this belongs to the past. Turn your mind towards the future please. It could look bad or it could look good. It depends on everyone's way of thinking.
So... think different !

PS :
Dis-moi powerdoc, tu manges des grenouilles, toi ?
post #15 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Prim:
<strong>Scott H, This is a forum and you can say what you want but there is a point where I can't believe that someone can say the things you write.
<img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" />
Reading all europeans have made a unic common project with Hitler extermination plan is horrible for my eyes.
BTW in reaction to the other thread I don't know the taste of a frog and I don't especially want to eat one. And the majority of my friends (99% I'd say) never even eat one in their life.
Some African peoples eat ants. And for this I don't call them ants eaters.
I don't bash on Americans. I felt your pain during the WTC tragedy.
So who is the most extremist ?
I think if the war exists, It is not the fault of Americans nor Europeans nor whatever country in particular. I think war exists bacause some humans, leaders in their own country/region/ethnos group, think the same bad way as you think.
Can I also remind you that Europe as an alliance exists only since ~ 50 years ? Yes "Europeans" have fight for centuries. But the Peoples from the old world have a 4000-years History. If you had such a long time in America how many other Hiroshimas would you have done ? But you don't have much History and one internal war at the beginning for Independance (a good reason IMHO). Moreover, and it is not the less irrelevant, you have one common language. The Babel Tower problem is... a very big problem.
But powerdoc is right : all this belongs to the past. Turn your mind towards the future please. It could look bad or it could look good. It depends on everyone's way of thinking.
So... think different !

PS :
Dis-moi powerdoc, tu manges des grenouilles, toi ?</strong><hr></blockquote>
Oui j'ai du manger deux fois dans ma vie des cuisses de grenouille : c'est pas mauvais, mais ça ressemble assez Ã* de la friture, j'ai aussi mangé des des coquilles Saint Jacques en friture Ã* San diego : ça devait avoir exactement le même gôut. J'ai mangé aussi des escargots ...Scott H sera ravi. Enfin en anglais pour Scott H : there is a restaurant on the road 66 wich cook dead animals killed in the road, you can have flat cat, squirrel and many other animals ...so some americans are flat cats eater !

post #16 of 57
Let's just say that the superiority of French diplomacy is yet to be proven by a long shot.

I found this interesting.

<a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=95001818" target="_blank">The Return of Anti-Semitism</a>
post #17 of 57
It's great to see so many foriegn people on the board!

All right, my statement that the EU is designed to rival the US is essentially taken from the mouths of European leaders. That's not my personal opinion.

I have a problem with allowing France to be the "ideological" center of a large group of independent nations. It is odd that the EU uses the most nationalistic nation in its group to spearhead its unification.

fuku:

[quote]Let me ask you where you find conflicts that will eventually send the EU back to the stoneage?<hr></blockquote>

I don't know of any right now that hold that much weight, but you can see the French now have very little patience for the UK's support of the US. There's one.

Here's the problem as I see it. You're going to have Frenchmen and Englishmen making laws that affect Germans and Italians. The nations are very different, if you'd take the time to read my post (wherein I say that I wish the EU the very best of luck), I just don't see how it will last.

Don't put words in my mouth.

[edit]

Anti-semitism will be alive and well in Europe for a long long time. These are very insular and xenophobic nations (especially France and England).

[ 02-07-2002: Message edited by: groverat ]</p>
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post #18 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>It's great to see so many foriegn people on the board!

All right, my statement that the EU is designed to rival the US is essentially taken from the mouths of European leaders. That's not my personal opinion.

I have a problem with allowing France to be the "ideological" center of a large group of independent nations. It is odd that the EU uses the most nationalistic nation in its group to spearhead its unification.

fuku:



I don't know of any right now that hold that much weight, but you can see the French now have very little patience for the UK's support of the US. There's one.

Here's the problem as I see it. You're going to have Frenchmen and Englishmen making laws that affect Germans and Italians. The nations are very different, if you'd take the time to read my post (wherein I say that I wish the EU the very best of luck), I just don't see how it will last.

Don't put words in my mouth.

[edit]

Anti-semitism will be alive and well in Europe for a long long time. These are very insular and xenophobic nations (especially France and England).

[ 02-07-2002: Message edited by: groverat ]</strong><hr></blockquote>
First USA hasn't the right to allow or to not allow a nation to be an ideologic leader (by the way i don't see in What the France can be an ideologic leader : i never ear in France a discussion about being an ideological leader)
Second : France is not specially a nationalistic nation, i love french food and culture(but not all , many are boring me, and i can apprecialte many others food or culture also) but being French does not make me feel special. I think US is a more nationalistic nation than France (it's one of his quality).

You say that especially France and England (they should be happy to read this) are very insular and xenophobic nations.

I can reply that : this type of sentance is xenophobic against EU, and that you have your problem in US too with the blacks.
post #19 of 57
"the blacks"? Man I haven't heard that since Archie Bunker was on the air.
post #20 of 57
Give him a break. He's not from here.
post #21 of 57
Its absurd to imagine an actual war between _any_ of the current EU countries. All of these countries are members of NATO or are associated 'neutral' states like (peaceful) Sweden. Besides, why attack the market that gives you bread on the table: the purpose of the EU was to intertwingle economic relations between the countries to such a degree that they might as well form a union, or at the least keep peace.
I think the different ideologies of the EU countries may in fact conflict in the future - but in the end they will be tied very closely together by the economic agreements of the union (the euro, the common market etc..) that all ready are in place.

Strangely, it is often predicted here in Denmark that one of the bigger conflicts in the coming years is going to take place in the agricultural sector - farmers has historically been subsidised by the EU as a part of "the deal" between the countries: this it threathened by to major factors: 1. the international free trade movement in the WTO where the EU has to allow foreign competitors (=mainly US) fair conditions. 2. the inclusion in the near future of the farmers in the relatively underdeveloped eastern european in the union will make it too expensive for the 'old' countries in the union.

Have a nice day :-)

[ 02-07-2002: Message edited by: Token ]</p>
post #22 of 57
Thread Starter 
European nations have a history of being rather Federalized, correct? For the most part, there is one nation with one set of laws and courts.

The United States has been moving in this direction for some time (from the start with people like John Adams, to post-civil war America, and finally to FDR). However, there was a span of almost 100 years where states were realitivly independent. The U.S. Federal Gov't's job during that time was to (1) tax, (2) protect against invation, (3) handle territory, (4) control currency, and lastly (5) control international terrifs.

It took a bloody civil war to push the U.S. in a real Federalist direction. Europe has decided to jump in head-long with strict laws applying to all nations-- one's that reach out further than the U.S. Federal Gov't at it's start. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should nations cozzy up a bit before forcing all nations to walk in step??

I'm getting away from my original reason for this post. What I really want to ask is what our EU friends know about the idea of a lesser state a part of a greater nation? What do you all know about state government in the U.S.? (please tell me if you've spent more than a vaction/holiday here-- should give me a clearer picture).

Thanks.
post #23 of 57
I do not think that the EU will have wars or anything, I am just skeptical about how stable the alliance can last with such culturally different (and historically old) nations and people.

powerdoc:

What problems with blacks in the U.S. are you talking about?

In France, about 70,000 of the 150,000 applications submitted for the regularisation of the status of aliens were rejected. In an opinion poll by the French National Commission on Human rights in early 1998, 38 percent of all French men and women said they were openly racist, 27 percent said there are too many blacks in France while 56 percent said there are too many Arabs.

<a href="http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/sept98/12_34_035.html" target="_blank">http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/sept98/12_34_035.html</a>

French heroes include the guy who bombed McDonald's restaurants and a convicted cop killer (Mumia Abu Jamal).

I'm not attempting to bash France (I have respect for the nation, and I am enjoying powerdoc's perspective), but I think the claims that the United States is racist and morally wrong are just hypocritical when they come from Europe.
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post #24 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>I do not think that the EU will have wars or anything, I am just skeptical about how stable the alliance can last with such culturally different (and historically old) nations and people.

powerdoc:

What problems with blacks in the U.S. are you talking about?

In France, about 70,000 of the 150,000 applications submitted for the regularisation of the status of aliens were rejected. In an opinion poll by the French National Commission on Human rights in early 1998, 38 percent of all French men and women said they were openly racist, 27 percent said there are too many blacks in France while 56 percent said there are too many Arabs.

<a href="http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/sept98/12_34_035.html" target="_blank">http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/sept98/12_34_035.html</a>

French heroes include the guy who bombed McDonald's restaurants and a convicted cop killer (Mumia Abu Jamal).

I'm not attempting to bash France (I have respect for the nation, and I am enjoying powerdoc's perspective), but I think the claims that the United States is racist and morally wrong are just hypocritical when they come from Europe.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I just say that there is some problems with minority in US like the blacks, in France too we have problems with some minority, i did not say that US is racist, but there is some troubles in US, like in France, even if it may be differents problems. In Short i just want to say that every nation has xenophobic people.

For the french heroe Jose Bove : he is going to go in jail (for 3 months) : that's his place. Who his Abu Jamal: if he is a cop killer , his place is in jail, or somewhere in hell

third i never claim here or somewhere else that US is racist or moraly wrong. I don't like that people say i am xenophobic that's all.
post #25 of 57
Mumia was made an honorary citizen of France.

I never said you yourself were a racist or a xenophobe, powerdoc, from your words in recent threads you seem to be a very intelligent and reasonable guy(girl?).

I never meant to insult you at all.
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post #26 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>Mumia was made an honorary citizen of France.

I never said you yourself were a racist or a xenophobe, powerdoc, from your words in recent threads you seem to be a very intelligent and reasonable guy(girl?).

I never meant to insult you at all.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Thanks for the Guy, Groverat. Perhaps i am a little on nerves, i have a hard discussion with Scott, it's time to go to bed for me now, have a nice day Groverat.

post #27 of 57
Bove didn't bomb a McDonalds.... though he did do some damage... i think with potatos?!?!

anyway he is a smart man that has used perhaps inapropriate and illegal efforts towards a very good cause . . . but I won't go into it now
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

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--Franklin Miller.

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"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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post #28 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>The purpose of the EU is to regain Europe's relevance in the face of the dominant US.

I looked up "EU" in the groverat dictionary, its synonyms are "clusterf*ck" and "time bomb".

Things are good now (and let's all pray it remains that way), but many of these nations historically hate each other.

But I wish them the best of luck.</strong><hr></blockquote>
You do talk some crap, groverat, and then some.

You really need to get out of the good old US of A and do some travelling in order to broaden that incredibly narrow mind of yours.
post #29 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Member:
<strong>
You do talk some crap, groverat, and then some.

You really need to get out of the good old US of A and do some travelling in order to broaden that incredibly narrow mind of yours.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not to break into you're conversation with groverat, but Americans aren't the only people who need to travel. Most Europeans know no more about America than we know about Europe or the rest of the world. You know what you read or what you see on TV, but that is only one side of the most complex nation ever to exist. I admit that many Americans are vastly ignorant of much of the world and it is a shame. However, taking a vacation to NYC or LA is not enough to understand this country. You'd need to travel through all the states, meet real Americans, live here awhile, and then you'd on your way to not being a narrow minded European.
I like Europeans and would like to talk to more of them and travel there, but it really annoys me when Europeans act like they have America figured out. You don't, and never will, no more than I will have Europe figured out. So you just do the best you can and try to learn the truth and just enjoy searching for it.
post #30 of 57
Nice post, imacSE, and I couldn't agree more.

It's just that some people maybe need to travel more than others if only to get them to come down from their high (Texan) horses . . .
post #31 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by imacSE:
<strong>
Most Europeans know no more about America than we know about Europe or the rest of the world. You know what you read or what you see on TV, but that is only one side of the most complex nation ever to exist. I admit that many Americans are vastly ignorant of much of the world and it is a shame. However, taking a vacation to NYC or LA is not enough to understand this country. You'd need to travel through all the states, meet real Americans, live here awhile, and then you'd on your way to not being a narrow minded European.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think the same. Except that in European schools we study History and Geography of our own country and also the History and Geography of America... do you learn for example French Revolution of 1789, the cause of the Berlin Wall, or the distribution of agricultural and energetic resources across the EU territory ? Or do you learn it at University, when you want to ?
Because we learn historic, geographic, geopolitic and economic forces and weaknesses of USA, since before college in Europe (in France nevertheless).
(it is just a question. I just ask because I never gone nor studied in the USA, so... i am narrow minded on this side)


I agree though that USA are a very "complex nation" to understand, and that school cannot all explain.
I'd love to spend some time in US. My cousin Jennifer has both nationalities (French & American), and for now she lives in California. I think I will come to see her some day.
post #32 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Prim:
<strong>

I think the same. Except that in European schools we study History and Geography of our own country and also the History and Geography of America... do you learn for example French Revolution of 1789, the cause of the Berlin Wall, or the distribution of agricultural and energetic resources across the EU territory ?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I had pretty good schooling in High School and I've always enjoyed reading about history. But it is true that for the most part, and in many areas, the US education system is not very strong in history and geography. What kids learn depends on them, their teachers, their parents and how rich the school system. More money tends to equal better students, but not always. Most high schools teach US and world history and geography in the younger grades.
post #33 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Prim:
<strong>

I think the same. Except that in European schools we study History and Geography of our own country and also the History and Geography of America... do you learn for example French Revolution of 1789, the cause of the Berlin Wall, or the distribution of agricultural and energetic resources across the EU territory ? Or do you learn it at University, when you want to ?
Because we learn historic, geographic, geopolitic and economic forces and weaknesses of USA, since before college in Europe (in France nevertheless).
(it is just a question. I just ask because I never gone nor studied in the USA, so... i am narrow minded on this side)
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually, yes. For the most part I did have classes in some European History. But it still does not show enough to let me know how your culture is. Reading about a culture does not usually give you the mind set that comes of it, Especially in a history book where it is mostly sterilized facts and numbers.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #34 of 57
If you study history in college, you are hard pressed to not study European (more specifically, western European) history.

And regarding them 'Merikuns:

I read somewhere that only 20% of Americans even have a valid Passport. Only 1 in 5.

One thing that can be hard for Europeans to imagine about the US is the sheer scale of this country. If you grew up in the middle, like I did, you can find yourself surrounded for miles and miles and miles by people who predominately speak English and have recognizable cultural similarities. For literally thousands of miles in each direction.

For something comparable, you'd have to be in e.g. Russia or China. But even in those countries the populace speaks a multitude of languages. Over here in North America we may speak a multitude as well, but the linga franca of English is so obvious it's not even much commented on, unless you cross to Mexico or Québec.

This kind of geographic reality has its psychological analogue primarily in a poverty of imaging what other ways there might be to live.

[ 02-10-2002: Message edited by: Timo ]</p>
post #35 of 57
What makes me really sad about the comments about growing up in homogenic sorroundings in the middle of the USA, is how things are developing here in Denmark and other european countries like Italy and Austria.. Being relatively "close" to people speaking other languages and having other cultural habits you would think people in this country and the EU in general wouldn't be xenophobic - trying to shield themselves from foreign influences. But apparently being closer to other kinds than your own generates a greater wish for isolation..
The sad thing is that my own country and others recently have elected goverments that base their power in nationalistic, half-fascist, half-racist parties - Jörg Haider in Austria, Pia Kjaersgard in Denmark, Gianfranco Fini in Italy. A lot of people (i know, "liberals", Scott H.) are beginning to see similarities with the situation in the 1930's Germany.

Some would say that the 'old' social democratic parties in Europe has grown too tight to their seats in the national parliaments and we need 'fresh solutions' - but thats also what people said in Germany when they elected Hitler for Reichskansler.

I don't think one should neccesarily be scared of new political developments, banning your opponents as 'bad company' or evil. But I think there is a real need to be alert and continue the discussions. Like here :-)
post #36 of 57
All countries need to work on their problems, be them socially (internal conflicts) or external (foreign policy). Especially the United States I admit more so because we are the number one super power and should be an example for the free world. I think we have been doing a good job so far but there are some things we can work on. (It's lonely at the top). But also smaller countries like in the EU because if they hope to acheive a unity on that continent like I'm sure they are trying to, they will need to be less critical of their allies and see a different viewpoint.
post #37 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Token:
<strong>A lot of people (i know, "liberals", Scott H.) are beginning to see similarities with the situation in the 1930's Germany.

Some would say that the 'old' social democratic parties in Europe has grown too tight to their seats in the national parliaments and we need 'fresh solutions' - but thats also what people said in Germany when they elected Hitler for Reichskansler.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I don't know enough about the people in your political parties to know if they are like the nazis or not. Consider this though. If you want to hold on to your political power and fear someone from the "right" why not go ahead and label them a nazi? If it's true or not. That's the same tactic the NAACP used on Bush.
post #38 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Token:
Being relatively "close" to people speaking other languages and having other cultural habits you would think people in this country and the EU in general wouldn't be xenophobic - trying to shield themselves from foreign influences. But apparently being closer to other kinds than your own generates a greater wish for isolation.<hr></blockquote>

You would think. Xenophobia appears to be alive and well because of contact with other cultures (your example of some people in Europe) and, at the same time, despite contact with other cultures (my example of some people in North America). Very interesting.

So, xenophobia has less to do with contact, and more to do with ignorance, fright and manipulations by politicians. After all, if you can appeal to a person's racist fears, you may be able to jack a vote out of them.

Xenophobia is about politics.
post #39 of 57
I don't agree with that at all.
post #40 of 57
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>I don't agree with that at all.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Gonna tell us why?
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