1. No ad-hominem
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I think the whole thing is a symptom of a bigger problem which is not going away but which we refuse to admit: the system is not delivering anymore, and by that I suppose I mean "capitalism". Growth is not the 7% it was in the 70s, governments and individuals cannot get out of debt, there is some kind of polarity emerging, maybe because of mass global media and internet, whereby the traditionally rich countries are in trouble. They have immigrants knocking at the door, and unsurprisingly people are getting angry. Governments cannot balance the books, democracy is just lip service, there is apathy among the youth, anger in other parts of society, the ageing population, globalisation of powerful multinationals, often with more power and money than governments. That's not to mention a bunch of belligerent children that appear to be running the main world powers, parading weapons and exchanging Twitter insults. Surveillance, invoking executive orders to bypass courts or the sovrenity of Parliament. And the banks are still laughing.
Kind of like Plato talked about really. If he is right, then the next stage is Tyranny I think. Division. The rise of nationalism.
And do I care? Not at the moment. But with BMW (in the FT today) and Airbus actually talking openly about leaving the UK if it gets difficut to do business, it does look a bit ominous. BMW make a LOT of stuff here and Airbus is 16000 jobs. Remember, if BMW leaves then Nissan, Toyota and Peogeot (Vauxhall) could leave too. Look at Harley Davidson - only took a few days for them to start to change things around after the Trump tariffs hit. There is not enough tax-payers money to keep them here (ie bribe them with tax breaks and such like).
The EU is an experiment and so is Brexit. Nationalism is, as Einstein once said, I believe, the Measles of Mankind. Looks like we are stuck with it I'm afraid.
Northern Ireland could be a keg waiting to go off. I think if that happens the EU may well break up entirely.
Maybe a shake up is good. I dunno - wait and see what happens I suppose
Similar comments, yes. And probably more of them. Public racism has obviously reduced over the past century, but so has “private” racism. Google searches for racist (and homophobic and sexist) jokes have declined over the past 10 years.Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote: ↑Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:49 pmI find it fascinating, but if the internet existed in Victorian times you would have seen the same comments. Recessions regularly as capitalism tried to make itself not just a bubble to burst free for all (still hasn't been cured), immigration of Jews and Irish (especially Irish), poverty and inequality, rich capitalists and poor workers. But at least we are healthier and live longer now in less pain. Everything was the same just less "modern".
And more importantly, the actual laws would have looked significantly different in the 19th century. 200 years ago most countries had laws that discriminated against racial minorities. Nowadays most countries have policies that protect them. Another indicator of a change in the overall popular mood.
Economic progress too: over the same period the proportion of humanity living in extreme poverty down from 90% to 10%.
So if the Victorians had made similar comments about economic hardship they would have had greater justification.
I certainly agree our health and lifespan are preferable to the average Victorian. Life expectancy in Europe in 1860 was about 37. Less than half what it is today.
In fact, unless one actually favours poverty, discriminatory laws, sickly and short lives, famine, war, murder, work place accidents and deaths, homophobia, racist killings, slavery, long working weeks, child abuse and child labour, authoritarian and illiberal regimes, male only suffrage, superstition, ignorance, illiteracy and the absence of music recording and playback equipment, the world is a better place now than it was when 19th century folk commented on their lot. And that’s thanks to the desperation, rational and evidence-based endeavours of so many of our ancestors to make it so.
Hopefully we’re continuing the modern effort to thoughtfully and carefully solve our current problems to make things even better for our and our descendants’ futures. Plenty for science, reason and freedom still to do.
The original post was that you think Brexit will not happen because of Northern Ireland.Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote: ↑Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:49 pmI find it fascinating, but if the internet existed in Victorian times you would have seen the same comments. Recessions regularly as capitalism tried to make itself not just a bubble to burst free for all (still hasn't been cured), immigration of Jews and Irish (especially Irish), poverty and inequality, rich capitalists and poor workers. But at least we are healthier and live longer now in less pain. Everything was the same just less "modern".
I think it will happen. I also think Europe will not succeed in the end because of nationalism - I think the EU leaders naively failed to factor it in. When ideology takes hold, you know it will go wrong.
I have heard the arguments many times about capitalism being a force for good - I very much agree in the short term - but somehow I cannot see my kids being better off than me. That is what I mean by it creating a sort of discontent and ultimately not delivering. I don't think they'll be retiring with a state pension at 65. And I hope they do not all have dementia at 75 because they'll still have to work at that age.
Something is causing the nationalism however and it is too difficult for me to work out at the moment what the cause is, but gloabalised capital has something to do with it I believe.
Big business calls the shots more now. Much like Victorian times actually, like you say.
My understanding of history is that the progress human civilisation has made in the past half a millennium is thanks to many intertwined the threads. Capitalism being only one. But one nevertheless.
I think we’re having to work longer because we’re living longer. I’m not sure how those two increases relate statistically, but it’s possible to see the raising retirement age as an inevitable side effect of the good news story of increasing longevity. Also good news: dementia rates are actually falling (by 25% in the US between 2000 and 2012) and the diagnosis age is rising (from 80.7 to 82.4 over the same period.)
It’s also worth acknowledging that until sometime after the death of Queen Victoria, most British people couldn’t look forward to retirement, but rather dreaded the infirmity of old age that would one day prevent them from working and send them to the poor house. A richer old age is one of the benefits of recent societal progress.
The rise of nationalism and populism thing is interesting. In Europe the perceived political overreach of the EU could indeed be something to do with it. Maybe over time the EU will shrink back to being a merely helpful single market and customs union.
But also, current support for populist parties rises with voters’ ages, so maybe the current levels of populist sentiment is a phenomenon that will fade over the coming decades as the older generation is replaced by younger ones. (Research by Welzel (2013) suggests that successive generations of voters are getting progressively more liberal and less (small ‘c’) conservative).
Will Brexit happen? I think it’s more likely to happen than not. Though I’m utterly unsure as to what that Brexit will look like. If Brexit comes without access to the customs union and common market, and without something equivalent to those things, then I would imagine we and our kids will spend the next few decades trying to change the resulting arrangements and take us back towards a closer economic relationship with the EU, or whatever the EU is by then.
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way
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Good Morning Britain
Ok listen up.
We've long had a contingency plan and Mr Davis' resignation means that our plan is now being enacted.
As of midnight tonight Brexit is cancelled,
The coins have been minted and the notes printed.
At the moment of cancellation, we join the Euro, Schengen and all our opt-outs are hereby rescinded.
Oh....football's coming home
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