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idunno

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #100 on: October 21, 2013, 04:33:22 AM »
As an outsider to America, it's none of my business, except as regards your foreign and energy policies, which affect me and mine.

But fools rush in...

America has always had a very healthy suspicion of government. But in recent years that has grown, in certain quarters, into a complete contempt for your own government. And, looking in on the recent shennanigans, fair enough.

BUT, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the first duty and responsibility of any government is to protect its own citizens; in Syria, not so much, but there is a civil war on. In many other jurisdictions, that responsibility has even been extended as far as the provision of universal healthcare, but lets not even go there.

My point is that the US government is, theoretically, looking out for your interests. And in the age of globalisation, who else is? The US is just a nation state: numerous nation states have found, to their cost and regret, that the international financial markets and multinational corporations wield power to humble mere nations. Have the markets any obligation or duty to look after your best interests?

It used once to be a truism that as Wall Street prospered, so did Main Street, or some such. But that involves Mr Burns off of the Simpsons, or the Koch Bros, splashing out on a load of yachts and such; and pension funds doing well; and it all trickles down. But these days the really big players aren't Mr Burns so much as Sheikh KhalifaBin Zatad al Nayam, who buys his yachts elsewhere...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/5742/the-worlds-biggest-superyacht.html

Other "big swinging dicks" on the modern Wall Street including inter alia, the Chinese government, who've spent 20 years reinvesting all the profits from actually making the stuff in stores to buy stocks.

It"s globalisation; and it's not all bad.

A year or so ago, I read what I thought a really good column in the HuffPo, or somewhere, describing how some Americans, who win by globalisation; well-educated, smart, computer savvy and predominately liberal, find themselves huddled behind locked doors, scared of what is happening out on the streets; straining to hear the baying mob of redneck losers howling outside.

"We DEMAND..."

Oh right, this is good, there's so much obvious need out there, what is it that they demand?

"We DEMAND that YOU pay LESS taxes!"


°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

Over here, of course, we've got it all sorted out. Just look at Lords Monckton and Lawson, and then there the bit when Her Majesty's Silver Rod in Black Boots by appointment to the Royal Footstool has to... er, what was it that I was saying? Any chance of a green card?

Bruce Steele

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #101 on: October 21, 2013, 07:56:01 AM »
From here in sunny Southern Calif. I,d have to say my competition is Hispanic ( I mean that as a compliment) shoulder to shoulder, with plenty to learn from each other. Competition  is a good thing and knowing other people are willing to take up the slack the minute you begin to back off keeps an old man healthy. Working hard is somehow easier if you think you're not somehow the end of the line.
I have lived in enough places in the Great Basin to know how that looks ,and a little about how it feels.
 Maybe I've just read to much Wendell Berry but if we can hope for some way out of this mess it's going to have to have some sort of agrarian base. If that's going to happen around here it will have at it's heart a large portion Hispanic farmers.
 If we could improve the lot of the agrarian base in Mexico via agricultural improvements ( solar powered tillers for instance) we could reduce the movement away from the land... I know everyone says it's Monsanto but it's also the cost of feeding stock. Promoting off grid solutions in Mexico might even pay off with running examples for North Americans to someday mimic. Someday if we ever come to our senses.
 It is my opinion that the next thirty years offer the best chance to experiment with low or zero fossil fuel options. Most people have no idea why I think feeding a few people off grid is so important but I suspect a third world farmer would understand my priorities.  Agrarian solutions that provide some alternative to city life and some employment for people willing to work the land is the future or we don't have one... Cities have no future without a secure food infrastructure. Thirty year timeframe.
 Fighting it out with our home armories is a whole lot more nuts and gets way to much air time as far as I am concerned.     


 

SATire

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #102 on: October 21, 2013, 10:31:33 AM »
I wonder what happens to the nuclear arsenal if the US starts to break up...
It probably will be used. As TerryM put it here: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,359.msg8486.html#msg8486 "I think in their death throes they may do much to alleviate the worlds population problems" - that nuclear winter could result in a quick end of global warming and other things we think about today...
So, please try to control the nukes. That was also possible when USSR broke up. All you need are some reasonable poeple at the key positions.   

JimD

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #103 on: October 21, 2013, 07:30:05 PM »
When you are barging along in the dark and keep running into trees it might be hard to remember that happens when you are in the middle of a forest.

America in particular has a long history of spasms of political extremism.  It is part of our heritage.  My first ancestors (other than the native American ones I mean) who came to America in the 1620's were strongly encouraged to do so (it was prison or hanging or emigrate) because they were political and religious extremists.  This continent was a dumping ground of the unwanted from many countries and remains so to some extent even today.  The unwanted are always being discarded because of their political and/or religious views, their lack of being needed in the economies of their countries (surplus people), and similar reasons.

A melting pot of this kind of mix being landed on a rich and undeveloped continent and allowed to fend for themselves and, after some struggle, to branch out in whatever direction they decided was appropriate, as we did, is going to have some distinctive cultural traits/faults.  Those traits are likely to annoy and be incompatible with the places they came from.  These new people are also not likely to give much of a crap about what those in the places they came from think about them either.  It is political suicide in this country to openly base a policy position on what works in some country in Europe.  A large percentage of Americans will oppose that policy just because that is where it comes from.  This is part of American culture.  We don't have a lot of respect for other cultures because they did not want or respect us.  We are an individualistic people by the basic makeup of our emigrants as well as the several hundred years of scratching out a living on the frontier.  Many of us still think of ourselves as rugged individualists who do not need or much want anyone governing us.  We can take care of  ourselves just fine and you can just stay the hell out of our lives and especially out of our way is the way we think.  These type of feelings are very common here.  And it matters not that this cultural attitude is pretty much non-functional in this crowded modern world.

The Tea Party is the current version of one side of the great long-term division of American society.  Contrary to what Rubicscube indicated, the polls show that Tea Party members make up about 15% of the US electorate and are currently getting a lot of support from the evangelicals who make up about 50% of the Republican party. This likely temporary alliance is currently powerful enough to bring the government to a halt at times.  Such political stalemates are not uncommon in many countries over the last  100 years.  Having such a political stalemate in the US at this time is very dangerous economically due to US preeminence financially and our potential to bring everyone down with us.  But the basic situation is not that unusual and if we were Argentina or Italy no one would be particularly concerned that we were at each others throat's.

The demographics of the Tea Party members are such that they do not have a long-term future unless they can dramatically increase their appeal to younger citizens (not very likely).  Tea Party members are predominantly old (average age is over 60), affluent (well off baby boomers), college educated, retired,  overwhelmingly white, heavily racist, anti-immigrant, and concentrated in the typical strongholds of that demographic (i.e. the South and West).  If you really dig into the guts of who they are and what they believe and want to have happen you are looking at a repackaged version of the Southern white cultural power block.   While it would be incorrect to say that this faction wants to refight the American Civil War such a viewpoint would be ignoring that the Civil War has never ended.  America is still struggling internally with the divisions which caused the Civil War and this current struggle is just another chapter in that struggle.  The Tea Party wants, along with a large percentage of the rest of the Republican Party, to disenfranchise the non-white and poor citizens from a chance to control the wealth, direction or cultural norm of the country.  They see now, as they did 170 years ago, that full participation of all citizens in the political and cultural direction of the country would cause the loss of what they consider to be the right and proper way of American life.  A white Protestant dominated religious, cultural, political and economically run country.  Their way of life is threatened with marginalization and loss of power.  They are fighting for what they think is their survival.  But demographics says they cannot win fairly and, unless they can overthrow the country (extremely unlikely) they will lose most of what national power they have over time.  In places though they will remain strong for a long time if not for decades; parts of the South and locals like some of the districts in AZ and rural parts of other states, especially in the west.  But the percentage of the white population is shrinking fast in demographic terms (about 2% per Presidential election cycle overall and much faster in specific locations like the big cities).  Only gerrymandering allows the conservatives to hold as much power as they do now.  It is hard to hold onto that kind of power.  Time is not on their side.

The Tea Party just got done shooting themselves in the foot and are pretty likely to pay a big price for it in the next election.  I expect them to lose a lot of elections in the next cycle and end up with much less power.  In the meantime they are going to go right back to the mats and hit the political system hard in a few months and intend a repeat of the budget/debt fight we just experienced.  But it will not result in the US falling apart.

There is no reason what-so-ever to be concerned about the US nuclear stockpile.  America is just not that unstable and is unlikely to be so for decades yet.  If that genie comes out of the bottle it will be far more likely to do so from India or Pakistan than any other place.  Or North Korea, or Israel after them.

The idea that the US will eventually breakup into a series of smaller nation states cannot be discounted as oncoming collapse and basic American cultural norms both push in that direction.  But doing so is such a disadvantageous thing to do I suspect it will not happen until things have so degenerated that giant nation-states are basically obsolete.  America is quite likely the last place that will happen.  And by then it just will not matter.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Rubikscube

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #105 on: October 22, 2013, 12:03:00 AM »
Maybe actual Americans (particularly from the north) will have more insight - but I actually suspect one could have political breakdown along historic lines (eg the civil war - south vs north). It seems to me the cultures and values that drive the nation still split along historical lines quite strongly.

I was in fact thinking about this possibility, but restrained my self to suggest a breakup of the US. I am simply not sure wheather a civil war will be allowed to happen, because it may have such dire consequences for the US ruling class (the ultra rich), and one should not underestimate their ability to manipulate people's opinions and clamp down on public unrest. Then again, things like internal differences between the rich, short term thinking and outside forces with different motives mingling in, may spark a civil war even though it will not be in the intrest of any americans, not even the richest. It is also a possibility that we have a non-violent breakup, it really depends on to what extent the people are willing to accept it. In the end, I'm quite unsure of what will be the outcome on this subject, and the nuclear issue is something I haven't thaugth about, even though I should have been.

As for fanatical whites - I could see (and am sure there already are) such groups arising - but whether or not they could gain serious political power (at a national level) or occur in sufficient numbers to shape society in such a way I am less sure. I think there is a lot of apathy in the American population (including the portion that is ethnically "white"), and corporate interests currently rule the roost. Corporate interests may favour cheap labour (including illegals).

Well, I was not thinking of groups like the KKK who are outright racists. I would actually say that the mainstream tea party attitude on immigration and multi culturalism is frightening enough. I think very many people would have been surprised by how little restraints a mob of regular tea party folks would have with killing regular immigrants in the right settings.

You are very correct about people being apathetic though, but apathy can so easily turned into rage under the right circumstances. Never underestimate the destructive powers of mobb mentality and group think. Also remember that setting people up against each other is a tactic used for crowd controll many times in the past.

Note that currently, although these interests are clearly present in the US - they are nowhere near dominant (and undermining their cause through their extremism I suspect - let's see what the next round of elections does to the republican party after the shutdown and failed attempt to overturn previously enacted legislation using the debt ceiling as a hostage).

These are currently not dominant interests, that is true, but they will be. Tea Party is a phenomenon that was created by Money, people like the Kochs, Rupert Murdoch and many more has intensively been feeding this monster for a long time. Not just because of strategic reasons, but also because their own human brains have convinced themselves that this is actually the way it should be. Many of them are therefore fanatics, just like all the other tea party folks, and they seems to get more money for every day that passes by

Without getting too much into American politics, I wouldn't say that tea party representatives were to badly hurt by this goverment shutdown either, because people who voted for these guys were prepared to take extensive measures against "Obamacare" in the first Place, something that this is evident in continued popularity of maniacs like senator Ted Cruise. It is first and foremost the moderat republicans who took the big losses. Money runs the show in ways it have never done in the past, and climate change is just an amplyfier on topp of this "US cake".

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #106 on: October 22, 2013, 02:07:42 PM »
There is no reason what-so-ever to be concerned about the US nuclear stockpile.  America is just not that unstable and is unlikely to be so for decades yet.  If that genie comes out of the bottle it will be far more likely to do so from India or Pakistan than any other place.  Or North Korea, or Israel after them.

While I'd tend to agree the US is likely to disintegrate pretty late in the day compared to most other nations - I'm nowhere near so sanguine about the US nuclear threat. Perhaps the risk of internal nuclear war is fairly remote, but given the US track record for hostility and aggression - the propensity to bomb other much smaller countries and posture against Russia (and China, somewhat), the historical failure to commit to a no first use doctrine (despite having a colossal conventional army).

Combined with a blatant disregard for international law, the open kidnap (rendition) and enhanced interrogation (torture) of people by any sensible definition entirely innocent of anything (no due process to define anything else), a hostile approach to mass surveillance (even of supposed allies) - and the general idiocy the US government is happy to portray to the world (shutdown, debt ceiling, etc.) I'm far from sanguine about thousands of nuclear weapons in the hands of such a nation. It seems to me it would represent an escalation of existing policy, rather than a change in direction.

On the other hand - since I think the corporations really run the show - I still think it's a pretty unlikely event, as it would be bad for business (and profits). Nobody sane would plan on having a nuclear war (while the sanity of US politicians is more questionable than most).

All in all I think a lot of the problem in the US - and why such strange ideologies take root so easily (along with creationism, climate change denial, etc) is that the education system fails American citizens. This general principle is true to some extent in many nations - America just seems to head the pack. I've known people in all seriousness tell me they think Obama is a Communist...

ggelsrinc

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #107 on: October 22, 2013, 08:00:25 PM »
There is no reason what-so-ever to be concerned about the US nuclear stockpile.  America is just not that unstable and is unlikely to be so for decades yet.  If that genie comes out of the bottle it will be far more likely to do so from India or Pakistan than any other place.  Or North Korea, or Israel after them.

While I'd tend to agree the US is likely to disintegrate pretty late in the day compared to most other nations - I'm nowhere near so sanguine about the US nuclear threat. Perhaps the risk of internal nuclear war is fairly remote, but given the US track record for hostility and aggression - the propensity to bomb other much smaller countries and posture against Russia (and China, somewhat), the historical failure to commit to a no first use doctrine (despite having a colossal conventional army).

Combined with a blatant disregard for international law, the open kidnap (rendition) and enhanced interrogation (torture) of people by any sensible definition entirely innocent of anything (no due process to define anything else), a hostile approach to mass surveillance (even of supposed allies) - and the general idiocy the US government is happy to portray to the world (shutdown, debt ceiling, etc.) I'm far from sanguine about thousands of nuclear weapons in the hands of such a nation. It seems to me it would represent an escalation of existing policy, rather than a change in direction.

On the other hand - since I think the corporations really run the show - I still think it's a pretty unlikely event, as it would be bad for business (and profits). Nobody sane would plan on having a nuclear war (while the sanity of US politicians is more questionable than most).

All in all I think a lot of the problem in the US - and why such strange ideologies take root so easily (along with creationism, climate change denial, etc) is that the education system fails American citizens. This general principle is true to some extent in many nations - America just seems to head the pack. I've known people in all seriousness tell me they think Obama is a Communist...

ccg, I don't think you have a clue about this country, but we butt heads all the time on a variety of issues. Some people like to ignore history, including things like how atomic weapons were developed. I'm somewhat familiar how such weapons are guarded in the US, but tell me how are they guarded in Britain! If you come close enough to where atomic weapons are stored in America, you will be warned once and if you come any closer you will be killed on that spot. How does that work out in England and why do the British and France still have atomic weapons? What need is there for those countries to have them?

I wish all atomic weapons were gone, but I'm not a Doomsdayer wanting such things around for self defense. I seriously doubt nuclear weapons could stop a bolide impact, but it's possible and maybe a few should be left on the shelf, managed by all the nations of the world.

America has it's problems, but I'd take a quick look around where you live before making judgments based on people you obviously don't know. When Lt. Gen. Puller was surrounded by Chinese in Korea and was asked how it feels to be the first Marine Corps General to retreat, he said: "Retreat, hell, I'm just attacking in a different direction." It started a tradition in the USMC of not leaving the bodies of our dead behind, because of what those Marines did, fighting their way out of there. They didn't run and didn't leave their dead behind. When push comes to shove, the people in America will stand together and that includes all of them, even the Teabaggers, because we fight together. We aren't worried about the Chinese or anyone else, but ourselves. We'll figure that out eventually, so don't worry about us, worry about yourselves! We should also consider the fact that we don't owe anyone anything, because the people we truly owe things to are dead and gone. Warriors don't die, they just fad away, right? Only Doomsdayers survive! <sarc>

When calculating emissions per capita, exports need to be included. America has vast resources and it isn't like our people consume them all. France has some world class wines, but the world has caught up in wine production and England has good gin, but what have you done for me lately, but whine? I can understand why America has to have nuclear weapons, but can you explain why any nuclear weapons need to be inside continental Europe? Russia can still keep their nukes at this moment and put them in Asia. Having two continents dumb enough to have nuclear weapons is better than three.

When we want to look at climate change or future government structures, we should look at the past, examining the trends and it doesn't take Nostradumbass to do that. I think the message of freedom is very clear and people don't like centralized governments. It's going to take the whole world to get us beyond our present problems, so it's time for governments to care about what their people truly care about. The attitude that people are the problem exists more in Europe than anywhere else. I envision people as a solution and not merely the problem. Even a child will clean up their room, when properly instructed to do so.

 

SATire

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #108 on: October 24, 2013, 02:48:54 PM »
[...] and why do the British and France still have atomic weapons? What need is there for those countries to have them?
I think all nations with atomic weapons have them just because some other nations have them, too. That is the old and still valid logic. But to switch off human life on earth it would take the nuclear winter and since that takes a few thousands of nukes two nations are able to do that.

[...]
When we want to look at climate change or future government structures, we should look at the past, examining the trends and it doesn't take Nostradumbass to do that. I think the message of freedom is very clear and people don't like centralized governments. It's going to take the whole world to get us beyond our present problems, so it's time for governments to care about what their people truly care about. The attitude that people are the problem exists more in Europe than anywhere else. I envision people as a solution and not merely the problem. Even a child will clean up their room, when properly instructed to do so.
The attitude, that poeple are the problem is not special to Europe. That attitude is wide spread in Asia (e.g. the tough laws in Singapore exist to handle that) and e.g. death penalty is not a European thing. In Europe we have a tendency to radical politics quite similar to tea-party, but not inside an old existing big party but in new radical parties. Left and right radical parties are somehow very close together in their intolerance against freedom - so look at AvD, Le Pen, Wilders, Grillo, Greece Fashists, true Finns and how they argue against waisting money for poeple/strangers/ecology/whatever liberal thing. And they all want to attac personal freedom by surveillance - which we in Germany know from communist StaSi only. Furthermore, this surveillance is believed to be driven by big companies - it looks like the cloud-companies work together with e.g. NSA to sell personal data and to get technology. That upsets educated liberal poeple. E.g. spying data or having 30% operating profit margin while not paying taxes is both considered crime.

To get back closer to the topic I would like to say that Governments will still be needed for some tasks in future: Providing education for everybody, infrastructure and protecting the rules for fair/sustainable economy. Most of the other stuff of the pyramid of needs can then be organized by the poeple themselves, which is allways prefered over any kind of heteronomy.
To adress the last point - transparency is the key to prevent heteronomy by big companies. E.g.  Fairphone could convince Samsung to make phones not harming poeple in Kongo because for educated poeple there is allways an alternative possibility.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #109 on: October 24, 2013, 07:57:32 PM »
[...] and why do the British and France still have atomic weapons? What need is there for those countries to have them?
I think all nations with atomic weapons have them just because some other nations have them, too. That is the old and still valid logic. But to switch off human life on earth it would take the nuclear winter and since that takes a few thousands of nukes two nations are able to do that.

[...]
When we want to look at climate change or future government structures, we should look at the past, examining the trends and it doesn't take Nostradumbass to do that. I think the message of freedom is very clear and people don't like centralized governments. It's going to take the whole world to get us beyond our present problems, so it's time for governments to care about what their people truly care about. The attitude that people are the problem exists more in Europe than anywhere else. I envision people as a solution and not merely the problem. Even a child will clean up their room, when properly instructed to do so.
The attitude, that poeple are the problem is not special to Europe. That attitude is wide spread in Asia (e.g. the tough laws in Singapore exist to handle that) and e.g. death penalty is not a European thing. In Europe we have a tendency to radical politics quite similar to tea-party, but not inside an old existing big party but in new radical parties. Left and right radical parties are somehow very close together in their intolerance against freedom - so look at AvD, Le Pen, Wilders, Grillo, Greece Fashists, true Finns and how they argue against waisting money for poeple/strangers/ecology/whatever liberal thing. And they all want to attac personal freedom by surveillance - which we in Germany know from communist StaSi only. Furthermore, this surveillance is believed to be driven by big companies - it looks like the cloud-companies work together with e.g. NSA to sell personal data and to get technology. That upsets educated liberal poeple. E.g. spying data or having 30% operating profit margin while not paying taxes is both considered crime.

To get back closer to the topic I would like to say that Governments will still be needed for some tasks in future: Providing education for everybody, infrastructure and protecting the rules for fair/sustainable economy. Most of the other stuff of the pyramid of needs can then be organized by the poeple themselves, which is allways prefered over any kind of heteronomy.
To adress the last point - transparency is the key to prevent heteronomy by big companies. E.g.  Fairphone could convince Samsung to make phones not harming poeple in Kongo because for educated poeple there is allways an alternative possibility.

The Have/Have Not mentality that caused WWII and the Cold War has simply evolved to use corporations instead of mainly nations to serve their purpose. The generations have changed, but not the players. Many Totos are required to open the curtains revealing the Wizard of Ozs of our people's delusion, so we can appeal to the humanity of our wizards once revealed, allowing both sides to escape our present nonsense. It may not be a horse of a different color once we are convinced it isn't so.

Well enough of my fantasies for one day, just like still having hope that eventually the lack of corruption will make governments work in the people's interest and not the interest of the elite. My directions inform me it starts with people, then corporations and finally governments. I believe even a bad person can be transformed, once all the illusions of superiority are conquered.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #110 on: October 24, 2013, 08:14:14 PM »
I think all nations with atomic weapons have them just because some other nations have them, too. That is the old and still valid logic. But to switch off human life on earth it would take the nuclear winter and since that takes a few thousands of nukes two nations are able to do that.

I think it's highly unlikely the world can ever achieve disarmament (save by total collapse) in this respect - the tactical advantages of sneakily retaining at least some warheads, and trying to be the only nation with them - are too big to ignore.

Also it wouldn't take thousands of nukes to cause a large scale effect - a smaller regional exchange is enough:

http://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/nuke.asp
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/110223-nuclear-war-winter-global-warming-environment-science-climate-change/

To get back closer to the topic I would like to say that Governments will still be needed for some tasks in future: Providing education for everybody, infrastructure and protecting the rules for fair/sustainable economy. Most of the other stuff of the pyramid of needs can then be organized by the poeple themselves, which is allways prefered over any kind of heteronomy.

It seems to me that for humans to organise themselves in a larger more complex civilisation than a tiny village or tribe of hunter gatherers requires us to organise into a hierarchy with an uneven distribution of power from top to bottom.

I can't see any point trying to fight our basic nature in this respect, and would agree governments are therefore needed. The question therefore should be how to constrain them and try to limit the extent to which inequality can start to destabilise the structure.

To adress the last point - transparency is the key to prevent heteronomy by big companies. E.g.  Fairphone could convince Samsung to make phones not harming poeple in Kongo because for educated poeple there is allways an alternative possibility.

Some things should both be basic human rights - and enforced and respected globally. That's a bit more than just transparency - you need the teeth of enforcement too. The problem there though is again perhaps human nature - that people don't care so much about other tribes...

JimD

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #111 on: December 01, 2013, 08:41:20 PM »
Migration issues have been a big part of these discussions.  Below is a piece which gives a global picture of who is emigrating where so far. 


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The exodus from Bangladeshis into India has for the first time been termed by the United Nations as "the single largest bilateral stock of international migrants" in the eastern hemisphere and also in the developing world....

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...However the biggest rise in the number of Indians migrating to a single country was to the US. In 2013, 2.1 million Indians were in the US, which was also home to 2.2 million foreign-born from China and 2 million from the Philippines.

The UN-DESA report said that since 2000, the number of international migrants born in China or India and living in the US had doubled, whereas the number of Mexican foreign-born had only risen by about 31%....

...Asians and Latin Americans living outside their home regions formed the largest global diaspora groups. In 2013, Asians represented the largest group, accounting for about 19 million migrants living in Europe, some 16 million in north America and about 3 million in Oceania....

I'll have to let my anti-immigrant neighbors in on those numbers  ;)

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...In 2013, half of all international migrants lived in 10 countries, with the US hosting the largest number (45.8 million), followed by the Russian Federation (11 million); Germany (9.8 million); Saudi Arabia (9.1 million); United Arab Emirates (7.8 million); United Kingdom (7.8 million); France (7.4 million); Canada (7.3 million); Australia (6.5 million); and Spain (6.5 million)....

...The US gained the largest absolute number of international migrants between 1990 and 2013 — nearly 23 million, equal to one million additional migrants per year....

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-09-13/india/42040328_1_bangladeshi-migrants-south-asians-largest-group
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #112 on: December 02, 2013, 05:38:50 PM »
An interesting source of resources for our superpowers.

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Mexican drug cartels looking to diversify their businesses long ago moved into oil theft, pirated goods, extortion and kidnapping, consuming an ever larger swath of the country's economy. This month, federal officials confirmed the cartels have even entered the country's lucrative mining industry, exporting iron ore to Chinese mills....

...The Knights Templar cartel and its predecessor, the La Familia drug gang, have been stealing or extorting shipments of iron ore, or illegally extracting the mineral themselves and selling it through Pacific coast ports, said Michoacan residents, mining companies and current and former federal officials.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/mexican-drug-cartels-now-make-money-exporting-ore-21046124
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #113 on: February 22, 2014, 05:00:55 PM »
A VERY excellent article on democracy by Yanis Varoufakis.  A commenter I frequently turn to as I find his scholarship and explanations often compelling.

We speak often here of the lack of power and input into the decision making processes that control our lives.  I am quite the cynic about all of this (probably from reading Yaroufakis too much) as I believe that the Public has almost no power or input by design.  It is not a bug as they say but a feature.  As one might imagine Varoufakis believes this also.  He traces a pretty compelling argument. 

Enjoy.  Comments welcome of course.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/yanis-varoufakis-can-internet-democratize-capitalism.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #114 on: February 22, 2014, 06:45:19 PM »
A VERY excellent article on democracy by Yanis Varoufakis.  A commenter I frequently turn to as I find his scholarship and explanations often compelling.

We speak often here of the lack of power and input into the decision making processes that control our lives.  I am quite the cynic about all of this (probably from reading Yaroufakis too much) as I believe that the Public has almost no power or input by design.  It is not a bug as they say but a feature.  As one might imagine Varoufakis believes this also.  He traces a pretty compelling argument. 

Enjoy.  Comments welcome of course.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/yanis-varoufakis-can-internet-democratize-capitalism.html

Great article....so much to consider. While I agree with much of it, there are some key arguments that I take issue with. Let me read it again before I comment. I would encourage everyone interested in the role of politics in the current human condition to read this.

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #115 on: February 28, 2014, 05:29:26 PM »
An interesting article which points out the hidden structure of the 1%. 

Bow to Davos Man, your homeless overlord

Quote
Economist Adam Smith wrote famously in 1776 that:

A merchant, it has been said very properly, is not necessarily a citizen of any particular country.

Over 200 years later, the head of Gillette, Al Zeien, espoused a similar view.

A global company views the world as a single country. We know that Argentina and France are different, but we treat them the same.

These quotes both highlight the global capitalist drive to accumulate profit in any market. But there is a difference between the two. Smith focuses on an economy in which capital flows between nations. Zeien alludes to an internationalism of capitalism into a singular global system that has occurred since the 1970s.

Quote
It is this very shift in capitalist accumulation that has created a new, transnational capitalist class. The formation of this class has evolved from the opening up of national economies and global integration since the Thatcher and Reagan era. Capital has become more mobile. This means that class formation is less and less tied to a particular nation-state or territory.

The transnational capitalist class is a global ruling class. It is a ruling class because it controls the levers of an emergent transnational apparatus and global decision-making. It is a new hegemonic bloc of various economic and political actors from both the global North and South, which has come out of the new conditions of global capitalism.

....
Members of this new class have connections to each other that have become more significant than their ties to their home nations and governments....

...What makes this class different from the traditional ruling class in previous epochs is that the interests of its members are increasingly globally linked, rather than exclusively local and national in origin....

...As a result, the whole global production process is broken down into smaller parts and moved to different countries where investment and profit are the highest. Yet, at the same time, this worldwide decentralisation and fragmentation of the production process has taken place alongside the centralisation of command and control of the global economy by this class....

...in the past 20 years, the richest 1% had increased their incomes by 60%. Barbara Stocking, an Oxfam executive, said unequivocally that this is:
… economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive … We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.The top 147 transnational corporations control roughly 40% of the entire economic value of the world’s transnational corporations....

...Therefore, the 21st century is going to see conflicts and disputes for control between the new transnational ruling group and the expanding ranks of the poor and the marginalised.

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/davos-man-the-homeless-overlord/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #116 on: March 01, 2014, 08:40:05 PM »
Fascism and the future

John Michael Geer has put out an excellent series of blog posts the last few weeks.  Great food for thought on where some of our democracies might be headed.  It is a thought provoking series of posts on what fascism was originally and what he thinks counts today and where we might be headed.  It is US centric but has universal value.  Especially since fascism was not grown here in the US.  I have some disagreement with him as his definition of fascism is pretty rigid and adheres to the original.  I feel that all things evolve and while what we see today is materially different from the original it is also clearly some sort of grandchild as well.  Part 3 is the best but it is hard to get there without reading all of them.

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-one-up-from.html

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-two.html

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-three-weimar.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #117 on: March 01, 2014, 09:09:15 PM »
The decline of democracy.  Another very interesting article on what is happening in governmental systems.  Particularly pertinent for the US.  Fairly long but a good read.  I believe that the situation in the US is in much worse shape than the author seems to think (but then he writes for the Economist so I am sure he is constrained in some not so subtle ways). 

Quote
What’s gone wrong with democracy

Democracy was the most successful political idea of the 20th century. Why has it run into trouble, and what can be done to revive it?

Quote
THE protesters who have overturned the politics of Ukraine have many aspirations for their country. ....But their fundamental demand is one that has motivated people over many decades to take a stand against corrupt, abusive and autocratic governments. They want a rules-based democracy.

It is easy to understand why. Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and have a better record of fighting corruption. More fundamentally, democracy lets people speak their minds and shape their own and their children’s futures. That so many people in so many different parts of the world are prepared to risk so much for this idea is testimony to its enduring appeal.

Yet these days the exhilaration generated by events like those in Kiev is mixed with anxiety, for a troubling pattern has repeated itself in capital after capital. The people mass in the main square. Regime-sanctioned thugs try to fight back but lose their nerve in the face of popular intransigence and global news coverage. The world applauds the collapse of the regime and offers to help build a democracy. But turfing out an autocrat turns out to be much easier than setting up a viable democratic government. The new regime stumbles, the economy flounders and the country finds itself in a state at least as bad as it was before. This is what happened in much of the Arab spring, and also in Ukraine’s Orange revolution a decade ago.

And even more likely that is what is likely happening in the Ukraine today.

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Democracy is going through a difficult time. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Even in established democracies, flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife.

Quote
The progress seen in the late 20th century has stalled in the 21st. Even though around 40% of the world’s population, more people than ever before, live in countries that will hold free and fair elections this year, democracy’s global advance has come to a halt, and may even have gone into reverse. Freedom House reckons that 2013 was the eighth consecutive year in which global freedom declined, and that its forward march peaked around the beginning of the century. Between 1980 and 2000 the cause of democracy experienced only a few setbacks, but since 2000 there have been many. And democracy’s problems run deeper than mere numbers suggest. Many nominal democracies have slid towards autocracy, maintaining the outward appearance of democracy through elections, but without the rights and institutions that are equally important aspects of a functioning democratic system.

Lots more good stuff.

http://www.economist.com/news/essays/21596796-democracy-was-most-successful-political-idea-20th-century-why-has-it-run-trouble-and-what-can-be-do
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #118 on: March 08, 2014, 05:19:04 PM »
Slave states

Inside Qatar's squalid labour camps

Quote
The Qatari authorities say they have increased inspection of accommodation, but I visited four so-called labour camps in Doha and they were all squalid.

Some were better than others, but they were all overcrowded with around six to eight men to a room.

Twenty and sometimes up to 40 men have to share a kitchen, which is often just a few cooking hobs hooked up to gas canisters and nothing more.

The toilet and washing facilities are so basic and dirty that some men use buckets of water to wash.

One Bangladeshi man said that raw sewage had been leaking into the camp from a broken pipe.

Quote
'21st Century slave state'
 
The 2022 World Cup has kicked off a multibillion-dollar construction boom in Qatar, and roads and hotels are being built to accommodate the fans and businesses that will flock to the emirate.

But though Doha, the capital, looks uber-modern, with glittering skyscrapers and innovative architecture, its labour system is less forward-looking.

Human rights groups and trade unions say migrant workers are subject to a labour system that enables trafficking and forced labour.

Last year, 185 Nepalese workers died, many from heart failure, and 450 Indian workers have died since 2012. Figures of deaths from other nationalities have not been published.

Indian and Qatari authorities say the death rates are normal.

However, Human Rights Watch called the figures "horrendous" and the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow, says it is "an exceptionally high mortality rate".

She says if this trend continues some 4,000 workers will die before the first World Cup football kick-off.

Quote
In a ramshackle, cockroach-infested camp, 22-year-old Anil Lamichhane told me he regrets coming to Qatar and wants to go home to Nepal.

"My company doesn't care about us. When we complain to our seniors they say, 'We will see, we will see'. But when will they see us? We don't get safety shoes in time, we don't get helmets, we don't get good gloves, we don't get good accommodation, we don't get good food. We don't get good salaries - only $9 per day - and we work six days per week.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26482775
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #119 on: March 22, 2014, 04:35:44 PM »
We talk a bit about how those making the macro decisions about how the world is being run might have an agenda or some sort of general plan/strategy in mind.  I do think there is a group consensus among them that is unstated but also a cultural outlook that does not require stating.

Thus the neo-liberal ideological approach is to do their best to exercise the more predatory aspects of unfettered capitalism when ever it is possible.  So we have an example below of what the conservative capitalist austerity model does to weak states and I think it is a method of stripping the last of the resources before consigning the place to the trash heap of collapsed states.   So maybe I was wrong and Bangladesh is not the first place to collapse but it is Greece.  There is no conceivable way to fix this place.

Ukraine had better look out for it's self.

Quote
Greece is the most recent and historically unprecedented neoliberal experiment on a global scale. The neoliberal offensive is moving head on in the country and, if Chile "was the laboratory for the early phases, Greece has become the laboratory for an even more fierce implementation."(1) What we have in place right now in Greece can be best described as the "downsizing of a country"(2) that brings profound changes in its social and economic fabric. Greece's economy has shrunk by nearly one-third since 2007, and the debt has become unmanageable. Through cut-throat austerity measures, massive privatizations and cuts in the most sensitive sectors of public education and public health, the constant process of de-industrialization and the loss of sovereignty, it looks like "Greece will emerge as a poorer country, with a diminished productive base, with reduced sovereignty, [and] with a political class accustomed to almost neo-colonial forms of supervision."

Quote
Unemployment rates are currently climbing to 30 percent, the same percentage Greece had in 1961. As a point of comparison, unemployment in the United States in 1929 was 25 percent, and in Argentina in 2001, it was 30 percent. More than 70 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for more than a year, leaving most to rely on charity after losing monthly benefit payments and health insurance. This percentage does not include young people seeking a job for the first time, employees without insurance and part-timers. Unemployment is up 41 percent from 2011, and for those 15-24, it has reached 51.1 percent, doubling in only three years (5) and setting a negative record for a Eurozone country.(6)

The IMF/European Central Bank recipe is generating wealth in the global financial casino, while 31 percent of Greeks live at risk of poverty, according to Eurostat (2012). These statistics put Greece in seventh place in poverty percentages among the 27 EU countries. More specifically, in Greece: 28.7 percent of children up to 17 years old; 27.7 percent of the population between ages 27-64; and 26.7 percent of Greeks older than 65 live in the poverty threshold.


By social necrophilia, I mean . . . economic policies and austerity measures that result in the physical, material, social and financial destruction of human beings . . .

There is an 11.8 percent increase in child poverty, raising the number of poor children to 465,000 in 2011.(7) The Greek social and welfare state has been collapsing through draconian cuts in wages and pensions, massive layoffs and the violation of vested rights, of labor laws and of collective bargaining rights. All collective bargaining expired on May 14, 2013, and it has been replaced by individual contracts where workers become hostages of their employers. Base salary went tumbling down to 500 Euros monthly (400 for young people) - not to mention a retroactive salary cut of 22 percent (32 percent for youth) in February 2012.

In March 2013, the government announced additional pension cuts of up to 20 percent. According to the Labor Institute of the National Confederation of Greek Workers (2012), new measures dictated by the Troika (the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) will lead to at least a 35 percent deterioration of salaried employees' and pensioners' lives. As an example, since the beginning of 2011, 113,268 people have disconnected their telephone landlines to decrease expenses. With a 19 percent increase in the cost of electricity, 350,000 people now live without electricity in Athens. Additional taxes on property have ravaged the middle class that is now "paying rent" in their own houses through new taxes and fines imposed. Quality of life is radically deteriorating for Greek people.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/22584-neoliberalism-as-social-necrophilia-the-case-of-greece
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #120 on: March 23, 2014, 01:32:09 AM »
So we have an example below of what the conservative capitalist austerity model does to weak states and I think it is a method of stripping the last of the resources before consigning the place to the trash heap of collapsed states.   So maybe I was wrong and Bangladesh is not the first place to collapse but it is Greece.  There is no conceivable way to fix this place.

The thing with Greece though is that they are chained to the euro. I suspect the outcome would be quite different in the current day context if they had their own currency that they could devalue to attract more tourists etc compared to other destinations. Their debts are also euro denominated and so for as long as they are chained into it they are going nowhere.

One presumes they are being kept in thrall for ideological reasons, as in the UK where the government is systematically attacking the poorer and vulnerable section of the population while relaxing higher tax rates and keeping loopholes open for tax avoidance for the wealthy.

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #121 on: April 10, 2014, 09:40:21 PM »
We se the results of the Arab Spring daily in the news about Egypt and Syria.  The disasters of Libya and Tunisia sort of tend to slip the mind.  Tunisia below.  The disintegration of the global order as stress of one kind or another brings fragile countries down is far more likely to create chaos and mayhem than anything looking like progress.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/04/family-tunisia-case-study-state-capture-aka-kleptocracy.html

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #122 on: April 10, 2014, 10:15:43 PM »
We se the results of the Arab Spring daily in the news about Egypt and Syria.  The disasters of Libya and Tunisia sort of tend to slip the mind.  Tunisia below.  The disintegration of the global order as stress of one kind or another brings fragile countries down is far more likely to create chaos and mayhem than anything looking like progress.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/04/family-tunisia-case-study-state-capture-aka-kleptocracy.html

You know - there's quite a bit of civil unrest - current and very recent - rumbling on around the world. There's plenty more potentially on the near future horizon.

The trouble is there isn't really any convenient monitoring or media attention to the big picture that I'm aware of?

So in a sense we won't see things worsening as much as they actually are because the media tends to focus on one or two big stories (right now the trivial matter of a missing aircraft) and pushes all the rest under the carpet. If 10 countries are collapsing or 50 - we'll probably only be bearing around 1 or 2 of them...?

Does anyone know of an updated map showing current civil unrest/conflict around the world? A sort of heat map as it were?

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #123 on: April 10, 2014, 10:35:38 PM »
Well, there's Global InTAKE but I don't know how reliable it is.

There's this depressing The Economist issued on 30 December of the risk of unrest around the world in 2014, but they don't show their workings.

(OT, but strictly for twitchers there is this RSOE EDIS - Emergency and Disaster Information Service world map of current disaster and emergency, which bizarrely includes some vehicle accidents but it doesn't include civil unrest)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 10:45:41 PM by Anne »

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #124 on: April 10, 2014, 11:25:47 PM »
Well, there's Global InTAKE but I don't know how reliable it is.

Thanks - given Somalia and America are the same at 23% I'm a little skeptical of it - but it's still an advance on nothing.

[EDIT] Actually, if you select for "internal conflict" instead of "civil unrest", it doesn't look too bad? I'll dig into it a bit more and see if they say how they're assessing it.

[EDIT2] It looks as though the economist one is decent - it does (I think) bring home how far the rot is set in to see these maps, pity the economist one mostly seems to be a corporate service. If you don't mind I might quote your post on my forum.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 11:51:32 PM by ccgwebmaster »

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #125 on: May 26, 2014, 03:26:46 PM »
The cracks in the EU get a bit bigger.  This will not be a good thing in terms of the global cooperation everyone is always talking about.  My bet is it gets worse going forward.

Quote
European Voters Deliver the Revenge of the Nation-State

European elections are in the process of delivering huge swings extremes of the Left and Right extreme. From the Financial Times:


France’s nationalist extreme right turned European politics upside down on Sunday, trouncing the governing Socialists and the mainstream conservatives in the European parliamentary elections which across the continent returned an unprecedented number of MEPs hostile to, or sceptical about, the European Union in a huge vote of no confidence in Europe‘s political elite.

According to exit polls, the Front National of Marine Le Pen came first in France with more than 25% of the vote. The nationalist anti-immigrant Danish People’s party won by a similar margin in Denmark. In Austria, the far right Freedom Party took one fifth of the vote, according to projections, while on the hard left, Alexis Tsipras led Greece‘s Syriza movement to a watershed victory over the country’s two governing and traditional ruling parties, New Democracy conservatives and the Pasok social democrats.

…In Britain, the Nigel Farage-led insurrection against Westminster was also tipped to unsettle the polticial mainstream by coming first or second in the election. The Tories, the biggest UK caucus in the parliament for 20 years, faced the prospect of being pushed into third place.

In Germany, the most powerful EU state, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats scored an expected easy victory, but Germany also returned its first eurosceptics in the form of the Alternative for Germany as well as its first neo-Nazi MEP from the Hitler apologists of the National Democratic Party of Germany, according to German TV projections.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/05/european-voters-deliver-the-revenge-of-the-nation-state.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #126 on: May 27, 2014, 05:43:10 PM »
The cracks in the EU get a bit bigger.  This will not be a good thing in terms of the global cooperation everyone is always talking about.  My bet is it gets worse going forward.
JimD - I can not see the connection between the article you cited and your interpretation: Since that was the first EU-election after Euro-crisis it is surprising, that Euro-critic-parties are less than 1/3 (and only 7% in Germany - who would have thought that 2 years ago, that most poeple consider the several hundred billions real tax payers € beeing well invested abroad...).

Most results are clearly national motivated and not related to Europe at all. No signs for cracking but for problems of governments of some nations.
 
And since nobody outside EU is really trying to cooperate I see not much changes in respect to "global cooperation". Cooperation in EU will continue between the nations and you may see some results of the EU-election in the coming weeks: E.g. some positions will be filled newly - but nothing to write home about. The impact of such inter-national parliament is really limited: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament#Powers_and_functions 
The main impact could be the entertainment of journalists ;-)

No - the local council elections in some part of EU at the same date have much more real life impact. And you probably do not find any article about that in US ;-)

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #127 on: May 27, 2014, 05:59:10 PM »
Quote
Most results are clearly national motivated and not related to Europe at all. No signs for cracking but for problems of governments of some nations.

But that is the point.  The EU is not a country.  National issues and concerns will become paramount as the system stresses out.  The future of the EU is in serious doubt.  Many of the 'good' things that a segment of Europe attributes to the EU are in no way certain to continue going forward.  Some countries, like Germany, hugely benefit from the current structure....at the serious expense of the weaker countries like Greece.  This cannot continue forever.

We will see over time how this works out.  My bet is that the EU project has peaked and is in decline.  Thus the early stages of collapse are progressing.  We no longer have the energy wealth to continue the very high levels of civilizational complexity.  So decline is in the works.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #128 on: May 27, 2014, 06:47:56 PM »
We no longer have the energy wealth to continue the very high levels of civilizational complexity.  So decline is in the works.
I agree to that point. It does not matter if you call it austerity, decline, de-growth or first steps towards sustainability - it is the direction we are heading for anyway. Let us see, how much we can co-operate by doing so and how much we prefer to simplify our life individually. We are seeing a lot of different ways at the same time in Europe - that is the nice thing here. The future of Europe is quite unclear and also the poeples visions are changing rapidly: E.g. French poeple want to become more like Germans and vice versa - such things would have been unbelievable 50 years ago.

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #129 on: May 29, 2014, 03:00:32 PM »
Quote
For four years now, European institutions are the field on which incompetence and malice compete with one another, seemingly with an eye to winning the prize for the greatest damage done to the idea of shared European prosperity. The result has been a wholesale loss of trust in the institutions of the EU and the demise of the ‘assumption’ that European integration was an unstoppable, benign force. Naturally, the recent European Parliament elections reflected this mood.

The international press has summed up the election outcome as a sign that the economic crisis plaguing Europe has caused voters to be lured by the two ‘extremes’, meaning the ultra right and the extreme left. This is a verdict that the European elites, whose shenanigans are responsible for Europe’s deconstruction, are comfortable with. They see it as evidence that, despite some errors, they are on the middle road, with some wayward voters straying off the ‘right’ path both to the left and to the right. They hope that, once growth picks up again, the ‘strays’ will return to the fold.

This is a misrepresentation of the most recent electoral result. Europeans were not lured by the two extremes. They drifted to one extreme: that of the misanthropic, racist, xenophobic, anti-European right. Extreme, anti-European, leftwing parties saw no surge in their support anywhere in Europe.



http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/05/yanis-varoufakis-one-extreme-europe-parliamentary-election-results.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #130 on: May 29, 2014, 03:13:13 PM »
And a couple more.

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If Europe's policy elites could not quite believe it before, they must now know beyond much doubt that they have lost Britain. This island is no longer part of the European project in any meaningful sense.


British defenders of the status quo were knouted on Sunday.
...

...European leaders must henceforth calculate that the British people will vote to leave the EU altogether unless offered an entirely new dispensation: tariff-free access to the single market along lines already enjoyed by Turkey or Tunisia; and deliverance from half the Acquis Communautaire, that 170,000-page edifice of directives and regulations that drains away sovereignty, and is never repealed.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10861252/Europe-has-an-even-bigger-crisis-on-its-hands-than-a-British-exit.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27601932
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #131 on: May 29, 2014, 03:41:20 PM »
Just want everyone to know, I visit this thread daily and am thoroughly enjoying these discussions.

TerryM

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #132 on: May 29, 2014, 07:31:53 PM »
JimD


So Kiev may be instituting the government of the future?


Terry

SATire

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #133 on: May 30, 2014, 01:14:30 AM »
EU elections: "Extremists have gained ground, but the sensibility of the majority has triumphed", Bernd Ulrich in Zeit: http://www.zeit.de/politik/2014-05/europe-election

"The longer one reflects on the elections in the EU and Ukraine, the more breathtaking it seems – and the more relieving."

"In short, Europeans have responded to impositions with trust. It’s incomprehensible"

"And that is still absolutely nothing when you look at people in Ukraine.

"But, for all that, something eerie is happening at the same time: A ghost is making the rounds in Europe, the specter of authoritarianism. [...] In the United Kingdom, the party that won not only wants to exit the EU, but it would also like to get rid of the impositions of multicultural, sexually liberal society. Of course, that is something one can wish for, but it does violence to reality.

Things are even worse in France, where the National Front, entirely independent of the EU, has nestled itself into a huge legitimation gap. "

"Rather, entire countries have opted for a kind of euro-authoritarianism. This includes Hungary, whose two-thirds majority has been reconfirmed as reactionary by this election. But this also includes Bulgaria, which is increasingly yielding to Moscow’s exercise of direct political influence. Lastly, Turkey has recently been drifting more and more into authoritarianism – indeed, the new European line of conflict runs right through the middle of this country."

"This, then, is the state of affairs in Europe: The EU is gradually emerging from the economic crisis, and the voting was reasonably sensible and surprisingly loyal to the EU. Likewise, in the Ukraine conflict, the soft power of the Europeans hasn't lost out (or at least not yet) against the hard power of the Russians. "

"Thus, on balance, the EU is in quite good shape after this historic Sunday."

(German original here http://www.zeit.de/2014/23/europawahl-rechtspopulisten-autoritarismus )
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 01:22:30 AM by SATire »

JimD

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Re: Future Governmental Structures
« Reply #134 on: June 03, 2014, 03:37:02 PM »
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The Crushing Force of Capitalism

Back to the Dark Ages of Feudalism

The mid-20th century brought the years of collective psychosis of Adolf Hitler’s “thousand year Reich,” and more recently what can be viewed as the United States of America’s imperialist manifesto or so-called “Project for the New American Century”, concocted in 1997 but still in effect today under the current administration, with the self-proclaimed objective to “promote American global leadership” resolutely and by military force, if necessary..............

Ironically, feudalism is making a comeback  in the latest evolution and under the impulse of predatory global capitalism. After all, Karl Marx, in the mid-19th century, considered feudalism to be a precursor of capitalism. Typically a feudal system can be defined as a society with inherited social rank............

Detroit and Greece are not some sort of collateral damage of “market forces” in Krugman’s “decline happens” scenario. Detroit was demolished wholesale by NAFTA, and Greece was enticed to borrow money to join the EURO zone.

The IMF itself recently conceded that the policies it has implemented for Greece resulted in “notable failures.” The IMF failed to push for an immediate restructuring of Greece’s debt, but didn’t prevent money owed by the country before 2010 to private-sector creditors from being fully repaid at the onset of the fiscal crisis. Greece’s overall debt level remained the same, except it was now owned to the Euro-zone taxpayers and the IMF instead of banks and hedge funds. Both Greece and Detroit were targets of  a predatory capitalism that sought to downgrade and then shut down all public sectors of an economy...........

A powerful network of oligarchs worldwide seems to be pursuing the objective to set back the social clock to before the era of  Enlightenment so as to return us to the Dark Ages of  lords and serfs: a new era of global slavery to benefit Wall Street’s “masters of the universe.” Compared to the Middle Ages, today’s servitude is more insidious: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and many private banks operate like mega drug dealers. The IMF and World Bank do so with countries, while the banks do so with individuals. Once Greece, Detroit or John Doe is addicted to its fix — loans in this case — the trick is done. After a while, money must be borrowed even to service the debt..............

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/02/back-to-the-dark-ages-of-feudalism/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein