A new kind of EU? A new hope for the world?

Discussion in 'Serious Discussion' started by gorski, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

    Oct 21, 2009
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    An essential question today, when we are remodelling the EU and with it - we give another alternative to the world.... or not?!?

    https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/07/core-europe-to-the-rescue/

    [h=1]Core Europe To The Rescue: A Conversation With Jürgen Habermas About Brexit And The EU Crisis[/h][h=1]by Jürgen Habermas on 12 July 2016
    [/h]


    Mr Habermas, did you ever think Brexit would be possible? What did you feel when you heard of the Leave campaign’s victory?
    It never entered my mind that populism would defeat capitalism in its country of origin. Given the existential importance of the banking sector for Great Britain and the media power and political clout of the City of London it was unlikely that identity questions would prevail against interests.
    Many people are now demanding referenda in other countries. Would a referendum in Germany produce a different result from that in Great Britain?
    Well, I do assume that. European integration was – and still is – in the interests of the German federal republic. In the early post-war decades it was only by acting cautiously as “good Europeans” that we were able to restore, step by step, an utterly devastated national reputation. Eventually, we could count on the backing of the EU for reunification. Retrospectively too, Germany has been the great beneficiary of the European currency union – and that too in the course of the euro crisis itself. And because Germany has, since 2010, been able to prevail in the European Council with its ordoliberal views against France and the southern Europeans it’s pretty easy for Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble to play the role of the true defenders of the European idea back home. Of course, that’s a very national way of looking at things. But this government need have no fears that the Press would take a different course and inform the population about the good reasons why other countries might see things in completely the opposite way.
    'Wolfgang Schäuble has publicly recanted over his own idea of a core Europe” (Jürgen Habermas)....

    What say you?
     
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  2. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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  3. kaljukass

    kaljukass MDL Addicted

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    EU is basically falsely created and sooner or later breaks down, and it can not be prevented. In nature does not work by the people made laws, in the nature is its own rules and people must live with them. EU is the communistic system, and it can not survive live in the real world.
     
  4. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    Oh, dear.... :D :D :D

    This is like me explaining quantum theory to a 6 year old... :D :D :D
     
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  5. ausernamenoonehas

    ausernamenoonehas MDL Member

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    Again with the insults when someone has a differing view ...
     
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  6. ausernamenoonehas

    ausernamenoonehas MDL Member

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    #6 ausernamenoonehas, Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
    Okay this is a bit of a long one, so grab a coffee and a comfy seat ...

    This is an interview conducted last week you may find interesting, I found this information very thought provoking and relative to todays situations in Europe and the world at large:



    What is your assessment of contemporary Western Europe, and in particular the EU?
    All major political parties in Western Europe, regardless of their different names and party programs, are nowadays committed to the same fundamental idea of democratic socialism. They use democratic elections to legitimize the taxing of productive people for the benefit of unproductive people.
    They tax people, who have earned their income and accumulated their wealth by producing goods or services purchased voluntarily by consumers (and of course especially the “rich” among those), and they then re-distribute the confiscated loot to themselves, i.e., the democratic State that they control or hope to control, and their various political friends, supporters, and potential voters.
    They do not call this policy by its right name: punishing the productive and rewarding the unproductive, of course. That doesn’t sound particularly attractive. Instead, they tap into the always popular sentiment of envy and claim to tax the few “rich” to support the many “poor.” In truth, however, with their policy they make more and more productive people poor and a steadily increasing number of unproductive people rich.


    But what about the EU?
    Looking at the EU, the picture becomes even worse. The EU is the first step on the way toward the creation of a European Super-State, and ultimately of a one-world government, dominated by the USA and its central bank, the FED.
    From its very beginnings, and despite all high-sounding political proclamations to the contrary, the EU was never about free trade and free competition.
    For that, you don’t need tens of thousands of pages of rules and regulations! Rather, the central purpose of the EU, supported all-along by the USA, was always the weakening in particular of Germany as Europe’s economic powerhouse.
    To facilitate this, Germany was sent on a seemingly never-ending “guilt trip” and thus pressured to transfer increasingly larger parts of its already limited (vis-à-vis the USA) sovereignty to the EU in Brussels.
    Especially noteworthy in this regard: Germany’s giving up its monetary sovereignty and abandoning its traditionally “strong” currency, the DM, in favor of a “weak” Euro, issued by a European Central Bank (ECB) composed overwhelmingly of politically connected central bankers from traditionally “weak” currency countries.
    The EU, then, is characterized by three main features:
    First: The harmonization of the tax and regulation structure across all member states, so as to reduce economic competition and especially tax-competition between different countries and make all countries equally uncompetitive.
    Second: On top of the economic and moral perversity within each country of punishing the productive and subsidizing the unproductive, another layer of international income- and wealth-redistribution is added: of punishing economically better performing countries like Germany and the countries of northern Europe and rewarding economically worse performing countries (mostly of southern Europe) and thus successively rendering the economic performance of all countries equally worse.
    And third, of increasing importance especially during the last decade: In order to overcome the rising resistance, in many countries, against the steadily increasing transfer of national sovereignty to Brussels, the EU is on a crusade to erode, and ultimately destroy, all national identities and all social and cultural cohesion.
    The idea of a nation and of different national and regional identities is ridiculed, and multiculturalism is hailed instead as an unquestionable “good.”
    As well, in promoting the award of legal privileges and of “special protection” to everyone, except white, heterosexual men, and especially married family men (who are portrayed as historic “oppressors” owing compensation to everyone else as their historic “victims”) — euphemistically called “anti-discrimination” or “affirmative action” policy — the natural social order is systematically undermined.
    Normality is punished, and abnormity and deviance is rewarded.


    Can one say, then, that the politicians running the EU are even worse than the politicians running national affairs?
    No, and yes. On the one hand, all democratic politicians, with almost no exception, are morally uninhibited demagogues. One of my German books is titled The Competition of Crooks, which captures what democracy and democratic party politics are really all about.
    There is in this regard little if any difference between the political elites of Berlin, Paris, Rome, etc., and those running the show in Brussels.
    In fact, the EU elites are typically political has-beens, with the same mentality as their domestic counterparts, on the lookout for the super-lavish salaries, benefits, and pensions doled out by the EU.
    On the other hand, the EU elites are worse than their political cronies at home, of course, in that their decisions and rulings always affect a far larger number of people.


    What do you predict, then, will be the future of the EU?
    The EU and the ECB are a moral and economic monstrosity, in violation of natural law and the laws of economics. You cannot continuously punish productivity and success and reward idleness and failure without bringing about the disaster. The EU will slide from one economic crisis to the next and ultimately break apart. The Brexit, that we have just experienced, is only the first step in this inevitable process of devolution and political decentralization.


    Is there anything that an ordinary citizen can do in this situation?
    For one, instead of swallowing the high-sounding blabber of politicians about “freedom,” “prosperity,” “social justice,” etc., people must learn to recognize the EU for what it really is: a gang of power-lusty crooks empowering and enriching themselves at other, productive people’s expense.
    And secondly, people must develop a clear vision of the alternative to the present morass: not a European Super-State or even a federation of nation States, but the vision of a Europe made up of thousands of Liechtensteins and Swiss cantons, united through free trade, and in competition with one another in the attempt of offering the most attractive conditions for productive people to stay or move.


    Can you give a comparative assessment of the USA and the situation in Europe?
    The difference between the situation in the US and Western Europe is much smaller than is generally surmised on either side of the Atlantic.
    For one, the developments in Europe since the end of World War II have been closely watched, steered and manipulated, whether through threats or bribes, by the political elites in Washington DC.
    In fact, Europe has essentially become a dependency, a satellite or vassal of the US.
    This is indicated on the one hand by the fact that US troops are stationed all across Europe, by now all the way right up to the Russian border.
    And on the other hand, this is indicated by the steady pilgrimage, performed more regularly and dutifully than any Muslim’s pilgrimage to Mecca, of the European political elites and their intellectual bodyguards to Washington DC, in order to receive their masters’ blessings.
    Especially the German political elite, whose guilt complex has meanwhile assumed the status of some sort of mental illness, stands out in this regard by its cowardice, submissiveness, and servility.
    As for US domestic affairs, both Europeans and Americans have it typically wrong. Europeans still frequently view the US as the “land of the free,” of rugged individualism, and of unhampered capitalism.
    Whereas Americans, insofar as they know or claim to know anything about the world outside the US at all, frequently view Europe as a place of unhinged socialism and collectivism, entirely alien to their own “American way.”
    In fact, there exists no principal difference between the so-called “democratic capitalism” of the US and Europe’s “democratic socialism.”
    To be sure, America has always had more and more vocal proponents of free-market capitalism, it still manages to attract many of the world’s best and brightest, and indeed, the US tax-take as a percentage of GDP lags behind that of most European countries — but not by very much, and it is actually higher than in non-EU-member Switzerland, for instance.
    And as for US government debt as a percentage of GDP, this is actually higher than in most European countries and places the US is in the same league as an economic basket case such as Greece, for instance.
    True enough also: In the US you may still pretty much say whatever you want without having to fear criminal persecution, whereas taking the same liberty in most of Europe may well land you in jail.
    However, the disease of “political correctness,” of “non-discrimination” and “affirmative action” that is currently sweeping the Western world like an epidemic actually originated in the US, with the so-called “civil rights” legislation of the 1960s, and it is the US, where it has been carried to the greatest excesses and the height of absurdity.
    And so, while saying the politically “wrong” thing may not land you in jail in the US, you will have your career destroyed there just as certainly, if not more so, than in any European country.
    And as for US foreign policy: All the while the political elites of the US started to “invite” the (third) world to come to the US, long before the same disastrous “multicultural” policies were also adopted in Europe, the very same elites have pursued an aggressive policy of “invade the world” and attacked, just in the most recent decades, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and spawning a wave of Islamist terrorism, mostly funded by Saudi Arabia, with whose political elites one entertains a most cordial relationship.


    Finally, how do you evaluate the economic success of formerly communist countries such as China, that combine one-party dictatorships with partly free markets?
    The economic success of a country depends on three interrelated factors: the security of private property and property rights, the freedom of contract and trade, and the freedom of association and disassociation — and, of course, the diligence, intelligence, and ingenuity of its people.
    Each and every State, insofar as it relies on taxation for its own funding, acts in violation of these requirements. But these violations can be less extensive and far-reaching, or more so, explaining the relative success of some countries and the failure of others.
    The internal organization of the State, whether it is a one-party dictatorship or a multi-party democracy, is essentially irrelevant in this. Indeed, as the present example of Venezuela vividly demonstrates, democracy and democratic elections can well lead to the almost complete abolition of private property rights and the freedom of contract and trade, and result in spectacular economic collapse.
    As well, the comparison of the economic performance of India vs. China is instructive in this regard. While modern India, for almost seven decades now, has been ruled by democratic governments, modern China has been ruled throughout by a communist party dictatorship, roughly half of the time, during the Mao-era, by an orthodox all-out-communist party leadership, and the second half by a regime of “liberal” reform-communists.
    The result? Both countries are still desperately poor as measured by Western standards, indicating that both governments showed little if any respect for private property rights. But: While the economic situation was about equally desperate in both countries until the early 1980s, since then, with the onset of the “reform communism” in China, the Chinese GDP per capita has well surpassed and risen significantly above that of India, indicating a comparatively greater scope of economic freedom in China and/or an on average brighter and more diligent Chinese population.
    In conclusion, then: Don’t put your trust in democracy, but neither should you trust in a dictatorship. Rather, put your hope into radical political decentralization, not just in India and China, but everywhere.

    https://mises.org/blog/put-your-hope-radical-decentralization
     
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  7. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

    Oct 21, 2009
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    AHAHAHAAAA!!!! LOOK WHO'S TALKING!!! All you "produce" here is insults! Substantial and formal! Nothing but! And you object to being called names? :D

    Talking of names: Hans who? :D
     
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  8. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    Here is a very real and substantial take on a set of issues that are at stake here - what kind of UK/EU/US/world do we want - a real battle of ideas which shape reality, lock, stock and barrel...

    https://www.theguardian.com/comment...-strengthening-workers-rights-labour-priority

    Becoming 'America Light' by the day - neo-liberal BS gaining in on us, day in, day out... or Social Democratic future for all?!?

    Now, who said "Sochu-lism bad"?!?:rolleyes:
     
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  9. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

    Oct 21, 2009
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    Indeed, here are the concrete measures, i.e. what reality is really like, for the huge majority of working people and their families:



    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/03/corbynomics-new-deal-low-paid-workers-labour-leader

    This is how you build a fair, decent, civilised society, as opposed to a social-darwinism of the neo-libs, throwing us back to the dark ages of capitalism...

    Sure, "Sochu-lism bad" - for whom?!?
     
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  10. maiko

    maiko MDL Novice

    Aug 9, 2016
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    I believe the EU-USA crisis is "under control", if you know what I mean... :cool:
    We in the west bought oil and gas from worlds largest producer Russia, and they felt comfortable as if there was no end of this rosy saga...
    We bought all the massproduced stuff from the worlds factory, China, and they felt comfortable as if there was no end of this rosy saga...
    Both got FIAT produced out of thin air, suddenly EU and USA goes limp, and we have ahem.. "climate change", and these two aformentioned giants gets into a shock mode and get it a bit sweaty. We might not like our crooked elite, but ours are the smarter crooks than the Chinese and Russians hahahahah :D.... :clap:
    Does that make sense?? :confused:
     
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  11. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    No, it doesn't.

    If you tied it to military and financial power, maybe your analysis would be more productive...
     
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  12. hounsell

    hounsell MDL Novice

    Oct 9, 2014
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    I'll bite, comrade.

    It evidently is an outcome of market forces. There is a huge demand to lower workers wages - from businesses. Businesses (at least good businesses) seek to reduce all their costs whenever possible. Labour costs are an obvious target. Workers obviously provide an equally large demand for higher wages. However, both are open to compromise - the business needs a worker even if it costs them more than they'd like, and the worker needs a job even if they don't earn as much as they'd like. So the balance between these two (perfectly legitimate) desires are determined by "market forces".

    The primary market force is, of course, the law of supply and demand. A low supply relative to demand will lead to higher prices (as people compete to secure that supply by out-bidding one another), a high supply relative to demand will lead to lower prices (as people compete to sell as much of their supply as possible by reducing cost). It is, of course, not the only thing impacting the price of labour, but it is, and almost certainly always will be, the most significant. Even Marx, the reality-denier-in-chief himself, did not dare claim that the law of supply and demand does not exist.


    So what has impacted the balance of supply and demand in the labour market that has skewed the market so severely? Well, there's a few reasons. To a degree, the article is quite correct in saying that the weakened trade unions have had an impact. Trade Unions work by artificially restricting the supply of labour through the threat of strike action should businesses not meet their demands. However, their effectiveness is limited anyway when there is an oversupply of labour in the first place. Particularly when, as today, an increasing share of that labour is not unionised.

    Another factor to consider is automation, which has been steadily eroding the supply of jobs since the Industrial Revolution. It has obviously had a continued impact in the past twenty years. I'm a web developer. Me and the guy in the office next to me have probably laid waste to over a thousand sales jobs by developing websites that are more effective sales tools than the best door-to-door salesman could ever dream of being. But this actually has had a lower impact in the UK compared to other countries. We've fallen behind other countries where we once were one of the most aggressive proponents of mechanisation, notably in Agriculture. The reason for this is the irony that since wages are so low, it works out cheaper to just hire the people than it does to invest in research and development and large, expensive equipment on the cutting edge of technology.


    Of course, Agriculture also brings us to one of the clearest downward forces on wages. And I'm sorry to say that Corbyn, rather unsurprisingly, shows himself up as no friend to the working classes when it comes to this factor.

    Mass Immigration.

    The UK, and in particular, England, has far too many people. True, it would have without mass immigration, but removing some 10 million people from the workforce would have a huge net benefit to the wages of ordinary workers in the United Kingdom. 10 million is a pretty conservative estimate really, for the amount of people we would have been short of had we not encouraged first Commonwealth immigration and then European immigration. Companies would be forced to pay out more money to secure the services of the workers they needed. Personally, what would secure my vote is a party that announced their desire to encourage net emigration, not immigration. The UK as it stands is unable to physically produce enough food to meet the needs of its population - it can only manage about two-thirds. And yet the Labour Party want to build more cheap housing on that farm land. It's just storing up trouble for the future - we should seek a managed population reduction in the UK.

    If you doubt whether mass immigration can really have that much of an impact, I'd point you to Hungary, where the globalist shills of Bloomberg are having a panic attack about a dangerous economic crisis. Unemployment has dropped to 5.1% and post-tax wages have risen 8.4% in just the first five months of the year. The reason? Their crackdown on migration into the country, particularly on unskilled migration from outside the EU, and almost eradicating illegal immigration (and therefore significantly reducing supply of those who will work for illegal pay or conditions). Naturally, I'm sure the workers of Hungary can barely sleep at night.


    As for other measures the UK needs to take, the issue of over-prevalent zero hours contracts most obviously needs to be tackled. With workers in a better position to demand more pay, they'd reduce anyway, but we should probably take some measures anyway. Banning or outlawing zero hours contracts would be a mistake - they're pretty valuable in some jobs. For example, my local council is looking to hire reserve gritters for the winter on zero hour contracts. It makes a lot of sense. If we have a mild winter, they simply won't be needed and they'll never be called up. In the event of a harsh winter, it means they can earn a bucketload of extra money at a time when they might otherwise be struggling because of the restriction on normal business that would be inevitable in such an event.

    But then equally, my brother had his hours cut back lately, and that's because his employer deliberately overhired because temporary contracts are so much cheaper to manage than a permanent contract. That's absurd and flies in the face of conventional business thinking, but is the case because successive Governments have incentivised temporary contracts because 15 people on crappy temp contracts looks better on their employment statistics than 10 people in good, stable jobs. That just requires the laws regarding temp contracts to be brought more in line with what permanent workers already get. In such an event, companies will naturally prefer a longer commitment with more hours because of the lower training overheads associated with permanent workers.


    As for socialism being bad, yeh, history has proven it so more times and over more dead bodies than any sane person would care to count. But I will concede, it does wonders for the personal fortunes of the party elite, assuming they manage to dodge the counter-revolution that leaves them swinging from a lamp post.
     
  13. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    Must run, so just a quickie this time :D

    No, good businesses do not tend to lower their wages to rock bottom. Who is going to be loyal and take pride in what they are doing, buy their products?

    In the civilised capitalist world, i.e. social democratic/democratic socialism (depends where one lives, I guess, amongst other things), there is not only collective bargaining but also unions are considered partners, who are an equal partner even at the boardroom level, co-deciding on profits, too. Sometimes they share the company's fortunes in bonuses, sometimes they re-invest etc.

    So, no, it is not black-white, it is much more complicated, whereby "market forces" are seriously curtailed for good, in a variety of ways.

    The best one on the subject:

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Soc924-2011/924-2011-book-project/Esping-Andersen.pdf

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/944.html
     
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  14. hounsell

    hounsell MDL Novice

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    Any system that relies on the goodness of people participating in that system is doomed to fail, for starters. The reason why capitalism survives and thrives is it does not rely on people being good for good people to prosper. Where I perhaps made a mistake in that sentence is that I should have made clear a good business always seeks to lower its costs while maintaining (or even growing) it's income. Obviously, a "scorched earth" approach where one minimises its costs by simply cutting any and all expenditure, even those essential to the working of the business, is not good business at all. If a company can get better productivity out of their workers by incentivising with better pay, or bonus pay, then that absolutely can be good business.

    I suppose really what I mean is that businesses are essentially looking to convert raw materials and labour to a finished product or service with maximum efficiency, so as to extract the maximum profit. Generating the maximum profit should always be the primary concern of a business, much like the primary concern of any animal should always be its own survival. Without that primary concern, then secondary concerns such as worker welfare are fundamentally meaningless. I'm not advocating a short-term view to profits, understand, but what is good for the long-term profitability of the company is almost without exception, good for its stakeholders, including its workers.

    The biggest problem with suggesting that the primary concern of a business should not be its profitability, beyond its own capability to survive, is that human nature interferes with even the noblest of goals. The first thing a business, or indeed, a Trade Union will want to do is measure its success towards that goal. How does it do that? by selecting some metrics and defining in what direction those metrics must move and by how much.

    Except now the simplest path to "achieve" that goal is not to act in the interests of achieving that goal at all, but to work towards satisfying those metrics. This is probably the most common problem with government intervention more widely. Take Education in the UK. They had the noble goal of making sure all students got a better education, one at least sufficient to not limit their career opportunities too severely. They decided to measure their success towards this goal by measuring broadly, the grades which students got, and more narrowly, how many students got a C or greater (ie, a Pass grade). The problem is that a few decades down the line, most education investment now goes on getting students who would have got a D, to now get a C. Those particularly gifted students in state schools are largely neglected, as are those who have no academic aptitude for whom a C is out of reach. Noble goals mean nothing when faced with natural law, and this is the inevitable problem the left faces. Natural law, for example, that any given natural system will attempt to achieve its goals with a minimum of effort, that it's primary concern will always be what it needs to do to ensure its continual survival, cannot be legislated out of existence. I would contend that it's not even desirable to try.
     
  15. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    You don't understand self-interest (good business practise) from ethical standards of behaviour, m8...

    Check Ford, for instance. Then, the most advanced and richest societies on Earth - democracies at that! - all Social Democracies!

    There are studies about the levels of trust, as the necessity towards a well functioning society - the absence of which drives societies into abyss...

    At one end is Brazil and such countries and Scandiland at the other. Any idea where people actually trust one another? :D
     
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  16. hounsell

    hounsell MDL Novice

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    This is an outright fabrication. Neither the most advanced, nor the richest societies are social democracies. I will concede there are a number of reasonably prosperous social democracies in Europe and particularly in Scandinavia, but they do not qualify as the most advanced or most prosperous by any commonly accepted definition that I'm aware of. Indeed, these social democracies are almost universally in severe decline at the moment, though I wouldn't place most of the blame on their economic policies. Their economic policies have generally had enough capitalism to make them function significantly. Their problem today mostly lies on their more recent embrace of progressivism, the ideological child of cultural, rather than economic, marxism.

    Brazil is a country marked by unchecked government interference to ensure the dominance of an elite class. Its rule of law is weak. Corruption is rampant. And yet its two-party system is two significantly left-of-center parties. Both of them ironically claim the mantle of "social democracy". Scandinavia is an increasingly weak and hollowed out shell of its former self. Germany, another country frequently mentioned in social democratic politics, is literally condemning itself to oblivion, and all the social democrats of that country can demand is more of what's killing it. I fail to see the beacon of social democracy that you claim illuminates the way forward.

    Trust is always a good thing to have in a society, but a political or economic system should not entirely fall apart without it if it is to be considered a good system. You also assume that trust implies a trust that people will do the right thing, but that is no requirement in a good political or economic model. Rather, predictability and the trust in the system that this predictability can cultivate is a far more vital component.

    In cryptography, the aim is always to have a zero trust model. What is meant by that is that you never have to assume a fact or piece of information is correct or has not been tampered with. It's difficult to achieve - indeed, we don't currently have an entirely zero trust model, though new innovations lower the amount of trust required with each generation. I bring this up because a good societal model will be similar. We will not have to trust that the people that we work with have our intentions at heart, or that they will do the right thing. Instead, the ideal societal model will mean that the route of self-interest will match the route of mutual interest. We don't need to assume that the other person considers what is best for us because we know what is, at the very least good, ideally best for us is also the best choice for them.
     
  17. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    #17 gorski, Aug 10, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
    (OP)
    OK, I will accept your qualification ("any commonly accepted definition that I'm aware of")! :D
     
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  18. Hadron-Curious

    Hadron-Curious MDL Guru

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    EU is a puppet of USA like most countries though.
     
  19. hounsell

    hounsell MDL Novice

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    I'm curious to see by what metric you come to the conclusion that social democracies are the most advanced and most prosperous states.

    I don't think the EU is anyone's puppet. The EU is simply controlled by the same class of people who control the US, and the same class that control an overwhelming majority of western countries.
     
  20. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

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    Try the book, m8... you might love it...

    Today, just about any measure used (from UN onwards) clearly puts Scandiland up on top... ;)
     
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