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The future - A question of opinion

  1. May 16, 2005 #1
    There are claims that we hear everyday that with the free trade, globalization, and the spread of liberal values, the borders between the nations are gradually disappearing and the concept of a nation will gradually vanish, that the world will eventually become a global village speaking one language.
    What is your thought, is this true? Or are people becoming more and more conscious of their national identity?
     
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  3. May 16, 2005 #2

    russ_watters

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    It is certainly true and the emergence of the EU is the clearest evidence of it. I had a course in college called "nations and nationalism" and the era of nationalism mostly ended with WWII. It sorta re-emerged with the fall of the USSR, but really, that was a response to Soviet oppression and the anarchy that followed its dissipation. Europe is now coalescing fairly rapidly.

    Now, as far as ever becomming a nationless world (it'll probably happen, but it may take a few more centuries to eradicate despotism), speaking a single language - I'm not sure about the nationless world, but the world already speaks one language for international business: English.
     
  4. May 16, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

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    I dont think it'll happen. The EU is actual clear evidence that it wont happen on a large scale. When it comes down to it, your eventually being told that you, as a nation, no longer matter and that you must hand over all decision making to a higher authority that you hold a decreasingly smaller say in. There are many incidents where nations of the EU have serious problems against some of the rules and regulations brought about by joining it. This problem would also become hugely more apparent once you leave Europe. The idea of Russia joining hte EU poses problems because theres huge differences in the countries that just dont create hte environment for a homogeneous culture. Now think of what might happen when you tried to bring in the middle east. The only real reason the EU has been able to do it is because of their common... i dunno... killing of a few million of eachother every few generations... and anti-religious ideals. Putting 2 people together, one whos atheist, one whos religious can itself obviously bring huge troubles as we've all experienced in our lives. God (or not lol) knows what would happen if you tried to actually turn 2 nations, one highly religious, one anti-religion, into 1 single entity. Centuries may very well give way to millennia of trying.

    To get it to work, the rules would have to be far more lax then they are in the EU and you'd have to inevitably go away from "one nation" and give people some autonomy and soverignty in order for it to work. I think the EU is just a fluke. You got a bunch of countries with cultures that readily give into authority. Plus you got a lot of nations that are just ruined by dictatorships. They'll see how the "international community" has ignored them and let dictators kill em by the millions. I really doubt after that, they would be ready and willing to sign up for the cause.
     
  5. May 16, 2005 #4
    Pengwuino, do you actually know anything about the EU, the way it works, what it does...?
     
  6. May 16, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

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    Yes, dont you? You havent seen the rules brought down on a few countries that they couldnt cope with? And what about Russias objections to a lot of the EU rules. For the global village, you'd need the EU + a whole lot more rules (thats mainly what i was pointing out) in order to create a "one nation" world. The EU is an example of hte idea with far less rules yet still some people can't cope with em. Expand it to the whole world and you'd need more rules to deal with the diversity of the entire world which, if we look at current peoples reactions to the current rules in place, wont be taken very easily if at all.
     
  7. May 16, 2005 #6
    First off, pengwuino, every nation in the EU has the ability to vote on, lobby against, opt out and even veto entirely rules that would comprimise them. It is usually here that any bad blood occurs, not afterwards. But yes, from time to time a country gets the short straw, but luckily for them they have a diplomatic platform upon which they can make their case, on top of which they have democratically elected representatives to lobby for or against those laws which benefit or comprimise them, on top of which they have the freedom to hold referenda to decide if and how they act in accord, on top of which every nation has the privilege of throwing in the towel (and yet they don't...). The picture you paint is of some unaccountable entity oppressing the people who have no say whatsoever. The opposite is true. There's lots of trial and error, but at the end of the day it is the same people who make their own national laws that make or accept european ones. I can only think it is the limited voice you have in your own country that leads you to assume other countries are entirely unable to practise their politics in such a way that they can balance their own interests with those of others, and that when somebody loses out the rest would turn a blind eye. The EU's success at supporting the economic and political interests of its existing member states and simultaneously expanding to include and cater for new members who seem all too eager to join this failure of a system you mention (TEN new members) is no mean feat, and you are entirely ignorant to somehow deem it as an example of failure. You come across as a xenophobe. Maybe that's why you can't conceive of a place where cultural and religious diversity does not conflict with progress.

    As for the middle east, let's see what happens when Turkey join up. You seem to have decided that the whole system's gonna pack up. But then this is no doubt the same logic that made you decide the origins of the EU lie in member states 'killing each other' and holding 'anti-religious' views.
     
  8. May 16, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Ouch did i touch a nerve? What you obviously fail to even comprehend based on your pre-biased notion towards hte situation is that my posts have been based on the expansion of a "global community" outwards of Europe. As you obviously know, nations have been rejected for EU membership and some even refused to join. The problem with the EU is that its not nearly a "global community" as mainly, only economic interests are all "on the same page" (and even thats not true). How you misconstrue this to be deemed as a "failure" is entirely beyond me, i sense you simply had a knee-jerk reaction to something you dont agree with and must result to insults to make yourself feel better. You are entirely ignorant of the whole situation this thread has possesed and obviously know nothinga bout the US (as most Europeans seemingly dont); we are not on call to our government and our government does not tell us how much we can make, what we can and can not have, what news we hear, etc etc.

    You obviously show yoru own ignorance to world cultures. You can simply look a few thousand miles south i assume and you can see where religious diversity conflicts with progress. You also seem to be ignorant of the EU's internal dissent amongst some people of most nations. And you must admit, the EU was formed out of pretty much the idea that they wanted to stop killing eachother off. Look at the attempts from up to a hundred years before, all to stop bloodshed. And according to most other European citizens i speak to, Europe is fairly anti-religion. Again, i must point you to the actual topic of this thread and not your silly bias and political ideology. We're talking about a one nation world. The EU is by no means, 1 nation as they have a sizeable army in their nation-states yet have access to less then 100,000 men, all of which dont have to go if they dont want to. They also dont have a common currency either; far, far from the ideal of a true 1 nation-world. So please place your bias and ignorance aside and return to the actual subject at hand.
     
  9. May 16, 2005 #8
    "The problem with the EU is that its not nearly a "global community" "
    - No, nor was it set up to be, which makes your inclusion, and then debunking, of it as an example in this thread bizarre to say the least.

    "How you misconstrue this to be deemed as a "failure" is entirely beyond me"
    - Well, your citation of it as a reason why a global community won't work for one thing; your explanation that the EU only hangs together due to "killing each other" and "anti-religious views" another; your doomsaying about what will happen when it opens up to more diverse cultures a third. In fact, you had nothing positive to say about the EU at all... it sounded despotic and on the verge of collapse by your analysis.

    "and obviously know nothinga bout the US (as most Europeans seemingly dont)"
    - When did I say anything about the US? You see, unlike you, I am not going to start damning an institution on issues I know nothing about. I think the US is safe from me. When you start stating facts about Europe and the EU, rather than venting some xenophobic, religion-fulled theories you dreamed up, then complain I know nothing about the US.

    "You can simply look a few thousand miles south i assume and you can see where religious diversity conflicts with progress"
    - You certainly can, and no-one is going to debate that, but we were talking about the EU, not the world in general. I want evidence of this inability to respect diversity within the EU that's going to somehow balls up the whole thing.

    "the EU was formed out of pretty much the idea that they wanted to stop killing each other off"
    - While the post-WWII climate made it highly desirable to conceive of a diplomatic platform upon which nations could help one another, the origins of the EU itself actually lie in steel and coal trade. It had little, well - nothing - to do with politics or even trade as a whole. As it grew in success, more countries wanted in and at the same time it made sense to include more aspects of trade, economy and eventually politics as a whole. A more important consequence of the war was that those nations that had been fighting the good fight from pretty much the start were so incredibly bankrupt. It was want for peace, not war, and need for financial consolidation that led to the EU. Religion certainly had nothing to do with it. The entire raison d'etre of the EU seems to have escaped you.

    "You also seem to be ignorant of the EU's internal dissent amongst some people of most nations"
    - This might go over your head a bit, but... here dissent is believed to be A GOOD THING! We don't much like the idea of not being able to voice our concerns. Yes, it can get pretty scrappy, but that's good. The more dissent, the better. It's like a relationship... the arguments can be pretty heated but the make-up shag makes it all worthwhile.

    And yes, you touched a nerve. Laying into an institution you know nothing about with absolutely balls theories you just made up is liable to upset people. Stick to what you know.
     
  10. May 16, 2005 #9

    Pengwuino

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    Russ was the first one to bring the EU as an example, i was simply building upon it, which I think you completely missed which is causing the big problem here.

    I said it was built because they were killing eachother off. Look at the 100+ year history of a "unified Europe" and you'll see why I say that. You are again going way over the line and seemingly basing your argument off passionate rhetoric instead of the facts of this argument. I never said the EU was a failure. I said a global community based off an expansion of the EU's principles was going to inevitably be a failure for the reasons i cited. The EU right now might flourish or crash or whatever for all I know. But the one thing that is far more obvious is that if you try to expand the EU and its ways outside of Europe, your going to run into seemingly insurmountable problems.

    I can only think it is the limited voice you have in your own country that leads you to assume other countries are entirely unable to practise their politics in such a way that they can balance their own interests with those of others - Yes you did say something about the US that is completely fabricated, thank you very much. And it is not some theory you dream up kiddo, if you've ever left your house, you'd realize there are a rather large number of religions in the world and religions can hold a great deal of importance in someones life. Hell in the US, a large group of people hold religious associated or belief in god thereof in high priority (pro and con) when choosing who runs their cities or states or, to a point, their country. And we're not even close to the biggest case of this. Sure it seems illogical that a country would not want to join because of religious regions but damn if thats not gonna turn out to be a case when you try to spread the concept to the middle east or africa or south america.

    See, this is where we're going off topic. Ive been trying to expand this argument to the whole world like the thread topic asked and your just trying to contract the world down to Europe as if Europe is all the world is composed of.

    The attempts at the EU before WW2 pretty much lay in the reason i brought forth. There were other attempts to unify europe before WW2 ya know .

    Oh that sure as hell isnt going to work on a global scale. Look at the Soviet Union, dissent lead to the breaking up of the union. Dissent is relatively safe in democratic, de-centralized governments. A "global village" on the other hand, would be democratic (we hope), centralized government. I say it has to be this because a de-centralized government kind of negates the idea of the world being a "village". Maybe you could make a global federation? Why bother, it already exists today, the UN overseeing loosely its 190 or so nations all having almost absolutely soveirgn control over itself. Therefor, a truely global village would have to be centralized which would leave itself vulnerable to dissent getting out of control. Your bringing the whole world together, a world that has had way too much violence for everyoen to just come together and forget the past. It may be easy for countries like france and germany as their close proximity through the centuries has lead to a kind of ... i dunno, brotherhood maybe, not sure what the word would be. But in other cases where wars were fought against enemies from far away... thered be no reason to forget about the past.

    Plus of cousre we just have the overall greed inherint to human beings. That'll toss any process around for a ride for sure.

    Im sorry that you had such a knee-jerk reaction when you misread my post. Remember, you attempted to do the same in return and showed your obvious blind love for the idea of teh EU that it ruins your logical thought process for expanding it to the rest of the world. That, or you just dont understand what the topic is about.
     
  11. May 17, 2005 #10

    loseyourname

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    A global community is still fairly inconceivable to me. The cultural divide between different groups of people is far too powerful, even now. The EU is evidence that peoples with a history of western liberal ideals and culture can come together out of common economic interest. That isn't entirely too surprising. As Russ said, nationalism grew largely as a response to colonialism (except in Europe, where it grew in opposition to dynasticism), which no longer exists for the most part. National identities are not as strong as they were in their heyday, but that doesn't mean that the average person on this planet identifies himself as 'human' first. 'European,' 'Christian,' 'Muslim,' 'Japanese,' 'Latin American,' are still far stronger identities. The idea of the entire world westernizing and becoming a global community has been weakened by examples of cultures and nations that have modernized without westernizing. It is tempting to think that, out of economic self-interest, the world at large will eventually embrace capitalism fully, which seems to presuppose certain western ideals of individualism and libertarianism. In practice, however, it doesn't seem to work that way. I wonder sometimes if the only thing that can ever unite the entire human species would be a threat from an extraterrestrial species. Humans have always defined themselves, at least in part, negatively, in opposition to those who are not part of the in-group. Perhaps a non-human group to stand in contrast to humanity could at least provide the psychology possibility of unification. Beats me; I probably just watched too much Star Trek growing up.
     
  12. May 17, 2005 #11

    Pengwuino

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    I wonder how the human race would react in case of alien invasion...
     
  13. May 17, 2005 #12
    Except for a major war or catastrophe happening before then I think it is inevitable. Perhaps a major war or catastrophe would even speed the process up depending. More and more people are becoming less and less concerned with their racial and religious identities. They seem very close to getting past their differances and there are quite a few organizations trying to help that along.
    I really don't understand why so many people think the world is going to hell in a hand basket when really it seems everything is getting better. Every generation has had someone playing chicken little. It's nothing new and they aren't special.
     
  14. May 17, 2005 #13
    being canadian & living next door to the most powerful & aggressive nation the world has seen since the 1930s, & a country whose economy is almost totally dominated by non-residents i would say that people (here, anyway) are becoming very much more conscious of their identity (esp. since 9/11/01). i would say that with the dominoes falling all over the hemisphere (cuba, venezuela, argentina, uruguay, now ecuador & soon mexico) people down there are rejecting what people call globalization (more specifically a form of economic integration) & becoming more aware of their identities.
     
  15. May 17, 2005 #14

    Pengwuino

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    I think the fact that people still conduct genocides over religion or ethnicity shows that we are by no means nearing globalization but I must stress as someone earlier went way overboard because he missed the idea that just because globalization is looking unrealistic doesnt mean the world as a whole is going to go down the toilet. The two are completely unrelated and by no means does 1's success have to do with the others success.

    What i woudl like to know is how ( or if) mass communication has had on nationalism and globalization. Do we know or have we seen trends of telecommunication bringing nationalism out of people or are we seeing trends of it bringing people to join up into other nations.
     
  16. May 17, 2005 #15

    loseyourname

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    I would like to add to this that I don't believe one becomes 'aware' of an identity. One constructs his identity. This construction is not necessarily voluntarily; that is, we don't all have the identity we do because we wanted it. Nonetheless, identity is for the most part an arbitary construct. Just because you were born in Cuba and live there doesn't mean you have to identify yourself as a Cuban first and a human second. It can be the other way around and it can be that way for anyone. All indications point that the world is going in the other direction, becoming as you say it is, but I certainly don't think that it has to be that way.
     
  17. May 17, 2005 #16

    Pengwuino

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    I do think you can become "aware". You could say, live in the dark all your life and then get a lot of your national heritage thrust at you and you seemingly naturally acquire it. Maybe its how our brains work that demand we associate with a closer knit group of people (nationalism) then the alternative (globalization). Didn't we naturally evolve to seperate into close-knit groups of people? All this being true, im still pretty sure we can overcome it if we are able to absolutely erase any trace of nationalism or localism because i bet we would instantly grasp at that idea instead of the whole global thing.
     
  18. May 17, 2005 #17
    No Pengwino, you become more "aware" when you observe the other cultures and the differences that they have with yours, which is being more possible with "globalization". I see nationalism as a means of protecting the interests of a big group of people in comparison with other groups. And the current trend seems to be an increase in the strength of national feelings and the nations themselves. Why don't we have such a thing as free circulation of goods? of people??? Crossing the national borders is becoming more and more restricted especially to the western industrialized countries. Feelings of ethnic and religional racism seem to grow. Since the end of the Cold War we've seen an increase in bloody ethnic and religious conflicts. What do you think of this?
     
  19. May 17, 2005 #18

    Pengwuino

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    whats the reason for hte increase in ethnic and religious conflicts?
     
  20. May 17, 2005 #19
    I would think it is because of the collapse of competition between the major ideologies namely communism and capitalism, which had overshadowed national, racial, and religious differences.
     
  21. May 17, 2005 #20
    Pengwuino, you are so full of it. None of my posts had anything to do with the notion that "just because globalization is looking unrealistic doesnt mean the world as a whole is going to go down the toilet". Where the hell did you get that idea? I was just making sure that someone almost as stupid as you are didn't read what you wrote and actually thought it had any basis. My point was not about globalisation - it was about you not knowing the first frickin thing about the EU.

    Mass communication to further nationalism: this is propoganda. See North Korea. Mass communication to further globalisation. Do you mean of the capitalist, Darwinian, McDonaldisation-of-the-world variety? Propoganda again. Use of image and rhetoric to make you believe that you want something that you don't have, thus creating a demand. The market follows. Or do you mean a more EU-style economic convergence? Well, look at the overwhelming results of the Czech referendum. Why did the majority of people of one country want what another had? Simple awareness of the economic strength of other nations, i.e. international news, makes economic convergence desirable.

    Nationalism vs globalisation: nationalism loses (on a long enough time scale). Why? Because the national identity is based on current values and institutions. These themselves change from generation to generation, so our nationalist children will be defending slightly different institutions to those of our current generation. Take the pound sterling for instance - British nationalists strive to keep this currency (fighting against the Euro) because it comprises the British identity. What doesn't occur to them is that this currency is not the same as that of the previous pre-decimalisation generations. Nationalism has no memory. The moment any ground is given, and it always is, the national identity is rewritten by a generation or two to fit the current values and institutions.

    Religion vs globalisation: it is very rare that there is a conflict here. Take Ireland, for instance. You get protestant adults terrorizing catholic children making their way to school, and catholic militants bombing protestant areas. Two more intolerant factions you'd be hard pressed to find in the western world. And yet this never conflicts with the country's economic interest. Yes, you put two people of differing religions in the same room and they start a fight, but when you provoke them about farming subsidies they suddenly team up on you. Oh, but of course Europe is ANTI-religion, isn't it? Yeah, the Roman Catholic church comes from Mars (actually, that's possible...). Now I know the Middle East was more of a concern, and I point out again that Turkey is waiting in the margins, ready to unite with Europe. It has been an associate of the EU for decades, and has gradually been changing its homeland policies, most particularly concerning human rights (banning death penalty for instance, something the US hasn't progressed to yet(and technically neither has the UK for that matter)) so that full integration will become a dead cert. Now, how can an almost entirely Muslim country be so determined to unite with an almost entirely non-Muslim institution, and how can that institution bend over backwards to do everything possible to help that Muslim country? Because religious diversity and economics are not mutually exclusive - you can have both. All that is required is the will to do so.

    Political differences vs globalisation: again, Turkey. Look at their relations with Russia. These two countries hated one another. Now their relations are becoming more and more friendly. Trade between the two countries has boomed over the last few years. Russia went from growling at Turkey's entry into the EU to welcoming it with open arms in the space of one year. Trade makes all cultural differences disappear, even though the biggest areas of contention, Cyprus and Chechnya, have not reached a final resolution. Historical animosity, like religion, does not stop convergence. The English still hate the French, the French still hate the English (the Scottish and Welsh do too and they're in the same country), but when it comes down to it, no-one wants to lose out on a good deal for any reason, be it religious differences or historical run-ins. In Europe at least. In America it seems that improving relations between countries is no reason not to go on television and call one of the 'evil', setting diplomatic relations back a decade or two. [sigh]
     
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