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You could now add Ireland, Portugal and Spain to the list because the EU helped to free us from Fascist/Catholic rule, considerable poverty, and helped bring the Good Friday agreement about. Italy may want to leave the Eurozone but hardly the EU, and if Greece didn't leave over its treatment in the recent crisis, it probably never will.

The Visegrád Group of countries may be recalcitrant now but even they have to acknowledge that the EU helped to transform their living standards. I see their reactionary politics now in a way similar to Ireland's reactionary politics of the 1980's. They will get over it. Brexiteer hopes for a disintegration of the EU are misplaced or at least much exaggerated. They are about to experience just how hard the EU27 will try to stay united at the UK's expense.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 9th, 2018 at 09:44:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our fundamental problem is inherited wealth perpetuated through the public school system, which is designed to turn out exactly the kind of abusively dishonest entitled spivs and chancers that are the backbone of the Tory party.

It's all about class, which is another way of saying it's all about inherited wealth and property, and the  superiority, narcissism, and entitlement that go with them.

The US has the same problem. So does Russia, in its own way. China is about to start suffering from its own version. And of course the Saudis, and to a smaller extent Israel, are also examples.

The Left has been framing this the wrong way since Marx. It's not that he was wrong about capitalism, it's more that he didn't seem to appreciate the extent to which capitalism is just an industrial reinvention of plain old vanilla aristocracy.

Unless you take very active steps to dilute resource accumulation and political power across and within generations, a parasitic, self-destructive, and not particularly distinguished aristocracy is the inevitable outcome.

Conversely societies in which concentrations of wealth and power are tightly controlled are far more likely to be  socially and economically creative.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 9th, 2018 at 10:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you accept that all the other EU27 countries are also, at least to a large extent, class societies, then what makes the UK so different? Perhaps it is that the UK has never suffered a catastrophic defeat with humiliating and devastating consequences - which largely destroyed the national ruling class - and so still harbours delusions of leading, rather than being part of a larger empire. Boris and Co. can go around still imagining they are running the world, and in some sense the Rees-Moggs actually are.

What neither have quite processed is that the UK no longer has the military, economic or political wherewithal to be a major power on its own in the world, and that much of its current status and GDP depends on its close alliances with the EU and USA. Both the EU and USA are going to go their own way now casting the UK adrift, attempting, vainly, to be some kind of European Singapore.

Even the Singaporean model has its limitation in an increasingly protectionist world where you need to be part of the big 3 or 4 - USA, EU, China and India -  and with Russia, Israel and Saudi Arabia currently punching above their weight, but at risk of over=playing their hands. It's going to get hot out there...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 9th, 2018 at 10:32:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you accept that all the other EU27 countries are also, at least to a large extent, class societies, then what makes the UK so different?

You're playing devil's advocate here :)  Of course, all EU countries have a ruling class with inherited wealth having an inordinate political power. But by that metric, Britain (or more to the point: England) is really in a league of its own. The only country I know of in the Western hemisphere with an unelected legislative body, FFS.
by Bernard on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 at 07:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ever notice how the development of the Civil Service really started after the Commons reforms and the expansion of the franchise.  Had to keep the right sort of hands on the tiller, for Heaven's sake!
by rifek on Sat Jul 14th, 2018 at 02:26:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope you're right when it comes to Eastern Europe. But isn't there some difference between the internal struggle of shedding ideological/religious baggage and reversing the project of 'illiberal democracy' that is underpinned by xenophobia? The linchpin issue of immigration is one of the political areas where an itch will be scratched to the bone - no matter how irrational that is.

Insofar, I think the refugee crisis and the events of 2015 have been politically a catastrophe on the scale of 9/11. We all remember how meshugge the US became and still is. And now we're seeing how ugly we can be.

The governments can't let the xenophobia go - it's a major source of power and a surefire way to rile up the masses. Culturally, it's even more difficult to dislodge. I hope I'm wrong but I fear it's already split the EU too much. Though not too much when it comes to handling the UK.

Titanic approaching the iceberg. Of course it's the iceberg's fault.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 12:48:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone keeps harping on about how Brexit was fuelled by xenophobia, and Labour is presumed to be running scared and therefore insisting on migration controls.

But...



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 10:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... It's not that I'm an optimist. It can always get worse. But it's never hopeless.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 10:52:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like the effects of 'natural churn'. A few years down the line and any Brexit referendum would have been remain just because of the differences between generations.

Anyway my comment wasn't really about Brexit.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Thu Jul 12th, 2018 at 06:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, your comment was about xenophobia. Such a rapid change in attitudes in the UK is remarkable -- perhaps comparable to the turnaround in attitudes to homosexuality, for example -- and requires analysis and explanation, because it runs counter to the prevailing narrative (which ostensibly promotes "tolerance" while condoning the weaponisation of xenophobia).

I don't know whether or not it can be seen as a hopeful sign for central Europe : quite likely, xenophobia lingers longer if you don't have many actual foreigners to measure it against. Just as fear and hatred of homosexuals works better while they stay in the closet.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jul 13th, 2018 at 09:41:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget 9/11 - well, the offical US narrative around 9/11 - provided the foundation for all the subsequent Islamophobia and the xenophobia it spread out into.

If you attack a dog and starve it, it becomes anxious and vicious.

Voting populations are no different.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jul 11th, 2018 at 07:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
9/11 and Binyamin Netanyahu rejoicing ... the threat of terror has now hit the American homefront.

Using FEAR to equate the Saudi attack on the twin towers as sourced by all Muslims, especially the Palestinians in occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza. Misinformation and propaganda, plus the necessary funding by Israel or one of the many NGOs established to support populist right-wing parties fearing a "Clash of Civilizations".

Xenophobia and Islamophobia

This has been a main theme of my diaries during the past decade.

From my recent diary - EU Takes Measures to Protect Business with Iran.

Creation of chaos has been a tough lesson for Europe where Islamophobia and Xenophobia give rise to populist right-wing parties. These undermine the long-time status quo between conservatives, centrists and socialist oriented political parties.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Jul 13th, 2018 at 06:25:19 AM EST
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