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My programming language is better than yours Show more

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@Wolf480pl @cjd @freakazoid @dazinism The balkanization of Balkan could be viewed more directly as evidence that people *believe* ethnostates to be more stable. But as social constructs are built on feedback loops, that may very well turn out to mean that they are, in fact, more stable. πŸ˜€

As I understand it though, the main problem with Yugoslavia was that the unifying force and idea was a personality cult around Tito, and the disintegration following his death was slower than might have been expected. A multi-ethnic state forged without force and with a more sustainable unifying idea than one person would stand a better chance.

@clacke @cjd @freakazoid @dazinism
But to have a unifying force, don't you need common values? And once you have common values, doesn't it become a single culture?

@Wolf480pl
I'm a bit pessimistic on the future of the EU because the US, with a single common language and national back story, still at some point it almost disintegrated and was only saved by a brutal show of force. Also the north and south have gravitated into the blue team and the red team who still fight like cats and dogs.
@clacke @freakazoid @dazinism

@cjd @dazinism @clacke @Wolf480pl The US did not end up in a civil war over cultural differences; it ended up in a civil war because the South was economically dependent on slavery, and the North was unwilling to share in the burden of weaning them off of it despite being just as responsible for it as the South. The "show of force" and reduction of states' rights has probably prevented a lot of conflict since then, but at huge cost and a missed opportunity to learn to live together better.

@Wolf480pl @clacke @dazinism @cjd The EU seems to have two main challenges: the Eurozone members have too much sovereignty to be able to share a single currency, and they haven't figured out how to handle refugees. Both require a central government that can redistribute wealth.

Racism is also obviously a huge issue, both against the people coming from the Middle East and North Africa as well as against eastern Europeans.

@cjd @dazinism @clacke @Wolf480pl Brexit is obviously a big threat to the EU's future, depending on how it pans out. But it's also an opportunity for the EU to actually decide how departure should work, providing an "escape valve" that can prevent or mitigate future crises.

I had thought racism against Muslim's in France was a huge problem, but from looking at the Wikipedia page it tends to get overblown in the media here and Muslims integrate really well in France. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in

@freakazoid @Wolf480pl @clacke @dazinism
Based on my limited experience from Paris and the outer-lying region, I observe that a French person is a very particular thing. "Les enfants de la RΓ©publique" are something created by a very strict education system which begins very early. Here, there is such a thing as a French Muslim, a person who is indeed French but is also indeed Muslim. Not the same thing as a person who migrated here from a French territory.

@cjd @dazinism @clacke @Wolf480pl On the red/blue team thing, the US has been far more politically divided in the past even since the civil war. I'm far more worried about the decline in perceived legitimacy of the federal government. But FDR was far more charismatic than Trump and at least as disdainful of the separation of powers. He tried to get a bill through Congress that would have let him appoint a bunch more judges to the Supreme Court.

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@cjd
IMO EU isn't supposed to be a single state. I'd rather it be an economical (and maybe millitary) alliance, aggregating the bargaining power of member states against giants like US, Russia, and China.

Haven't dug into it, but it looks like most of the major issues stem from the freedom of movement assumption. Now, I still think freedom of movement is a nice thing, but maybe we need to revisit its pros and cons, or tweak it a bit.
@clacke @freakazoid @dazinism

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @clacke @cjd Whether or not it's supposed to be a single state, it is. They have a parliament that passes far-reaching laws. They have a single currency and each member is allowed to issue debt that is considered (whether or not it's justified) to have the backing of the entire union. They have few to no internal border controls and strong(ish) external border controls. They are far more of a state than the US was under the Articles of Confederation.

@cjd @clacke @dazinism @Wolf480pl The EU has two clear choices given this fact: accept that they're a state, or accept that they've made themselves a state and undo that. The latter is probably a bad idea with Pax Americana on the way out.

@freakazoid @cjd @clacke @dazinism
>They have a single currency

That's Eurozone, not the whole EU. Many EU countries do not have Euro as their currency.

> They have a parliament that passes far-reaching laws.

Which then need to be ratified by each member state's own parliament before they enter into force.

>They have few to no internal border controls and strong(ish) external border controls.

That's Schengen Area, not EU. It mostly overlaps, but there are countries outside of EU which are in Schengen, and EU members which are not in Schengen.

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @clacke @cjd I can't find evidence of a ratification process beyond passing the Council (55% of states representing 65% of the population) and Parliament. Members get latitude in how they actually implement legislation via their own internal legislation, but that's the most I can find. It's more authority than the central government had under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles required unanimity.

...

@cjd @clacke @dazinism @Wolf480pl The fact that the Eurozone, EU, and Schengen are not the same thing just means it's a dysfunctional state, not that it's not a state ;-)

I think we can at least agree that they're in an unstable region of configuration space right now, and something needs to change. I think that restricting internal freedom of movement or trade would be economically devastating and essentially take Europe out of the running as a world power.

@freakazoid @dazinism @clacke @cjd

With regard to freedom of movement - I don't know enough about economics to be able to assess how bad it'd be to restrict it.

As for freedom of trade - I think you're the first one here to suggest restricting it, and I think you can have freedom of trade without being a single state, and with each member having their own currency.

Also, I don't think being able to pick and choose some of the EU-related treaties without accepting other ones would necessarily be an unstable configuration.

And even if some models are impractical to implement in EU right now, I'd like to explore the configuration space in an abstract way, to see what configurations are theoretically possible.

@freakazoid @cjd @clacke @dazinism
pretty sure there were at least 2 cases of Polish parliament refusing to implement some EU directive, but I don't remember off the top of my head, so maybe I'm wrong.

@freakazoid @cjd @clacke @dazinism
ACTA may've been one of those cases, but I'm not sure if it went through Europarliament, or if treaties like this go through a different path.

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @cjd @clacke Specific values need to be shared. "Culture" is not a binary thing; you don't either have a single or different cultures. You have sets of values with different levels of compatibility. There are also values that are required to live with people who don't have all the same values as you. These values tend to develop over time as groups with differnt values live alongside one another.

@freakazoid
And then these values suddenly disappear if you give people "social media".
@clacke @cjd @dazinism

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