« Quick rant to let you know I'm still here | Main | "Consummerism", Capitalism and Christ (Part 1) »

Comments

lee-mom

I was heartened also by the rejection by the French and the Dutch of the E.U. idea. I don't think it will work for the benefit of all nations concerned for several reasons. Some of the main one are that the languages, history, political atmosphere, religious beliefs and attitude is so different among thw various European nations that "unification" would not help them, but cause untold difficulties and severe rifts in the future.
But these were not the same problems that plagued the colonies. For one, those colonists had a huge stake in the future since a majority not only owned land, but spoke the same language, were there to escape persecution in one form or another and mostly held an independent attitude where government was not expected to provide for all the needs of its citizens.
France, on the other hand--and most of the other nations of Europe had a "landed gentry" and a history of fuedalism and religious and political persecution that is almost impossible to erase or correct. Centuries of bitter warfare, civil uprisings, plagues, Inquisitions, iron-handed rule mixed with a "hands-off" desire of the vast but relatively powerless populous as well as indecisiveness,starvation and deception are a part of the European legacy. This combination makes for instability and piecemeal attempts at unification hard to impossible.
This country started with a "fresher"
slate relatively unmarred by these historical realities. One of the hard things for Americans to understand is that a "class" system still exists in most of Europe and the rest of the world. We may have threatened to start off that way, but right now, anybody can be potentially become anything (or not) in the United States (except President). The dye was cast when George Washington turned down those who wanted him to be King--which would have put us in the same pickle as much of the rest of the world.
I'm not trying to say that this government is perfect--far from it, but it seems obvious to me that by trying to "unite", Europe is trying to retrofit what has happened in this country. They will never succeed as long as its nations are so diverse. (Good, I hope they stay unique and separate).
But this country is another story. I can see where those with the same ideas as John are coming from. The supreme court's recent decision against states rights is EXACTLY the kind of thing many fear. I don't hold with legalizing drugs--not even marijuana, but to call this case constitutionally qualified because of interstate or commerce issues is a complete misuse of Federal power. If you read O'Conners' or Thomas' dissenting opinions, there are clearly some sensible and intelligent people left in the Supreme Court, but it's an uphill fight.
Where John and I differ is in whether "libertarianism" can start from a blank slate in this country or if the government can be changed from within. John would say NO government, whereas I say if utter chaos is to be avoided (as in the French Revolution) we can not work without some government having some powers.
This can be briefly illustrated by this short example:

A black family plans a trip across the countryside to the Atlantic Ocean. The mother is making a check list before they head off;
Passports-check
Currency for each state we pass through-check
A list of all the different laws for each state-check (what do you mean there is no room in our luggage for it?} and so on...
In one state their little boy tries to use the public bathrooms. "Nigger kids don't belong in here," states a belligerent man brandishing his side-arm. "The laws 'round these parts say I can shoot you boy-now git"
"Why look!" exclaims the mother in one state, "We only have to pay $.50 a gallon for gasoline here."
In the next one its $6.00 making a trip to a bank neccesary. But this state allows no branch banks or credit cards and the family doesn't have enough of currency for this state on hand. Therefore the trip is cut short... Ad naseum. You want chaos, you've got it.

John

Regarding the chaos, it should be no surprise that I disagree.
My first question would be, why is what you just said not an argument for world government? The argument is setup to simply work it's way from the bottom (cities) to the top (the whole world). What basis do you use to say "ok, this is enough centralization"? Clearly, your position is more nuanced than what you just said.
Organizations of any kind have a basic interest to learn to work together. Ones that do not will be at a significant competitive disadvantage. Organizations with completely different laws will stick out and consequently be well known to just about everyone.
There will undoubtedly be differences in regions to be dealt with. There already are, and centralized authorities do not lack for rules and regulations that are nearly impossible to keep up with. You think the Federal government is what harmonizes laws in this country? Or could it be similar values and standards throughout the country that do the work?

The comments to this entry are closed.