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Tony Grist

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Here We Go Again [Nov. 2nd, 2011|11:09 am]
Tony Grist
Once upon a time- not so long ago- there was a thing called the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There was also a thing called the Ottoman Empire.  In their time they seemed like they were going to last forever. Only they didn't. Then there was the USSR...

Super states are inefficient. Power is centralised and ignorant and unresponsive. Their populations resent them. When they go it's all of a sudden- as if the only thing sustaining them were bluff. One day they blot out the sun, the next there's nothing left of them but a cloud of dust.

Once the cracks appear there's nothing to be done to save them. As now, with the EU...

[User Picture]From: steepholm
2011-11-02 11:26 am (UTC)
That may be a little premature, but I don't see how the Euro can survive, no matter how much good money gets thrown after the bad. Like most politicians, these seem to be trying to keep the pot from boiling over long enough for it to be someone else's problem.

I'm bleakly amused at the shock across Europe that the Greek people may actually be consulted on whether they want to go along with a deal that affects them more directly than anyone. Viva οἱ πολλοί. A bas οἱ ὀλίγοι.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-11-02 11:36 am (UTC)
I've always been a supporter of the EU, but suddenly it seems like a (good) idea that has had its day. You look at other experiments of this kind- and once they start coming apart they collapse very quickly. As you say, the politicians are busily trying to shore up the unsustainable.

First Greece, then Italy, then...?

I applaud Papandreou and his inconvenient democratic impulse.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2011-11-02 01:43 pm (UTC)
I think Italy is further down the list. Unless, of course, they have also been cooking their books...which I would not disbelieve.

The EU will continue to exist, though. The administrative machinery, alone, is now too unwieldy to dismantle. *There* is the real hydra.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-11-02 01:48 pm (UTC)
You reckon?

Its administrative machinery didn't save the USSR.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-11-02 10:29 pm (UTC)
Neither do I to be honest... :)
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2011-11-02 12:52 pm (UTC)
The trouble with the EU is that it is NOT an empire. There is no unitary fiscal policy. Peace in our time was thought to be more important than making the Greeks fulfil the economic criteria to join the Euro.

However I agree with you that there are some states that are too big. The Scandinavian countries might be about the right size to manage. Perhaps we should reclaim Mercia, Wessex, Northumbria, etc. to split up the UK and make it more more manageable.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-11-02 01:46 pm (UTC)
I wonder sometimes about the long term viability of the USA. They've had one civil war and sometimes it seems they're spoiling for another.
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[User Picture]From: jenny_evergreen
2011-11-02 02:21 pm (UTC)
The USA has no long term viability. Like every other empire, it will fall. When exactly that happens...*shrug* But it will.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-11-02 03:01 pm (UTC)
We certainly seem to be witnessing the beginnings of a decline in national prestige and status.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2011-11-02 06:49 pm (UTC)
I too, sadly, seem to detect the handwriting on the wall for my own country. Cause for anxiety: what next?
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-11-03 11:00 am (UTC)
Our civil war was never resolved. The Confederacy was beaten into submission on the field of battle but never admitted defeat, never abandoned the cause. The Republican party today represents the interests of the Confederacy and is supported by essentially the same white-trash constituency whipped into a righteous frenzy by the wealthy elite.

The question you're asking, then, is whether the Republicans will succeed in destroying the republic. The events of the past few months assure us that they are certainly trying to destroy this country but I think the jury is still out, thank Goddess. If we can hold on until the demographic time bomb goes off -- ie, when enough old stupid white people have died and are replaced by our rapidly expanding, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural pluralities -- I think we will survive.

Otherwise, we're looking at evangelical Christian fascists, with an ideology driven by hate and fear, with the largest, most advanced nuclear arsenal in the world. That the republic will not survive is the least of it.
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[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2011-11-02 01:23 pm (UTC)
Austro-Hungarian Empire 1000 years, Ottoman 1000 years, USSR 1917-1991, EU 1945?2015??
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-11-02 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, the process of decline and fall is speeding up.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-11-03 12:21 pm (UTC)
I find it impossible to see the EU as some sort of empire. What's more, the problems the EU faces today are self-inflicted and not necessarily inevitable or systemic. The Eurozone is in trouble for the same reason that Britain's economy has no hope in Hell of recovering anytime in the foreseeable future: your leaders are, for the most part, genuinely stupid. That man-child Cameron is typical of the breed, today, but far from unique.

I don't see super states as necessarily inefficient, either. The US is a good example. Historically, we have been highly efficient. Today, we may be at a standstill, but with a quarter of our citizens actively trying to destroy the republic this is to be expected. The dysfunction evident in our government today didn't just happen; it is the direct result of a vigorous campaign on the part of the Republican party to make it so. If they can't rule the US with a free hand, they will burn it to the ground and rule over the smoking ruins.
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