Latest post of the previous page:
animist wrote:Zeff, I did not mean, by using the word "ignore", that you had somehow wilfully neglected to consider that different nations develop from the myriad conditions which shape all history, I simply meant to point out the incredible complexity of life. You come up with two reasons for US success: a common language and low impediments to the four principles. Only one of these, the first one, can be regarded as "reason", and even then this is debatable, since most countries of South America shared a common language (Spanish) but failed to create a nation like the USA. Re the low impediments to integration, ISTM (partly as a result of reading your post) that the EU is actually trying to replicate the US's success (which simply "happened") in a rather artificial way, and that this may be a genuinely valid criticism of the EU, ie that it is trying excessively to emulate the unique historical event which is the USA.Zeff wrote:That entirely misreads my post and I ignored nothing. To clarify further: what makes the USA successful? I think the two main ingredients are a common language and low impediments regarding the four principles of goods, services, people and capital. In my view, the latter cannot advance much further without the former unless the EU somehow becomes a more attractive proposition. 'Better than nothing, most of the time' about sums the EU up.animist wrote:... which basically complained that the EU was not the USA, ignores the differences between the historical genesis of the two entities....
Thanks for the replies but I think they just illustrate the complacency about EU inefficiencies and unresponsiveness. It also illustrates that those who support EU membership don't even accept that the EU needs to aspire to attract membership and to take care not to penalise non-members.
The EU will be whatever 27 independent nations can make it and others join on their terms or stay out. I find that a hard choice for the UK - economic benefits but unwelcome conditions such as less control over immigration. (It is widely supposed leaving the EU will give Westminster more control over immigration). We'd probably prosper more if we applied to be the 51st US state. (I should make clear that I know that isn't politically feasible at this point and they likely wouldn't have us. It seems I've engendered an extremely low opinion of my level of historical and political awareness).
The future will tell if the EU will prosper or decline and both continents have their problems. Despite its greater population, I think the EU will struggle on as the weaker, poorer relation to the USA. The EU may crumble if immigration and economic crises increase, especially with Putin seeing advantage in its demise. If events go that way, perhaps history will record Brexit as an unheeded warning.
Very few of us have a high "level of historical and political awareness" (and those that do still disagree between themselves) so please don't feel discouraged that we disagree in some respects over the here-and-now issues of Brexit
No problem Animist. I just think where we appear to disagree is on what can be done and what cannot. The history is probably widely agreed on.
For instance, I think it should be easy for you, Alan and I to readily agree that the EU needs to encourage membership and not penalise non-members. I think it is important that is seen by most people to be the EU approach.
I think I understand the historical and cultural differences that has led to the absurd Strasbourg/Brussels situation. I don't accept the EU cannot solve it, nor that is a responsible way to behave if the aim is to make EU membership attractive.
That leads to another point. Many Remainers like me (quite apart from Brexiters) are concerned that the aim of many in the EU is to make it more than an attractive trading bloc. Some seem to want to go much further towards integration and federalism. That force has probably run its course and pushing it harder will only result in more internal conflict and possibly further loss of membership. If people really want a federal EU they need to start by achieving a common language in the home throughout the EU. It seems to me that nobody in the whole of the EU except me is even talking or thinking in such terms. It isn't that I don't know how off-beat this sounds, it is that I genuinely believe this to be true. In time, I think history will be on my side. Greater integration makes sense but that will require freer communication across the entire electorate.
I think we also may not agree exactly on what makes the USA successful. We both know the history and see how it explains why American countries and European ones are where we are. I didn't say there were only two reasons, I said those were the two to focus on first and from which most may be learned and applied in the EU. I hope we might all agree that history is for learning from and not just an endless stream of excuses why controversial, difficult political decisions can't be taken. Again history aside, the resolution of the Strasbourg/Brussels conundrum, for example, needs to be considered possible. Such problems should not be calmly dismissed as understandable, tolerable or mere distractions from what's important. That situation has been going on far too long for that.
History obviously explain why we are where we are. That's a given. What interests me is: can the EU electorate collectively learn why we're always inevitably poorer or isn't it able to? The four principles are effectively hostage to the language barrier, but I suspect most Europeans would disagree with me on that. I think that majority is seriously wrong and language should be the first concern now of those who want the EU to be anything more than strictly a trading bloc.