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  • lowimpakt0

    here anyway, you wouldn't be working in the crumbling shithole that is Ireland if it wasn't for the EU anyway you cheeky git

    :) x100

    • anyway anywaylowimpakt
    • Hey it's easier and cheaper to start a business here than in most of old EU.raf
    • That is true. No matter its troubles (which are mostly about identity issues) EU has allowed VISIBLE growth.Corvo2
    • ..and it doesn't take a totalitarian EU state for countries to allow ppl to move freely. I think pre-Vienna treaty..raf
    • ..people moved across Europe as they pleased.raf
  • drgss0

    There is nothing immediately wrong with free markets, an excellent system per se, except that it operates in maximally short time horizon, ie. under the right conditions it will achieve an equilibrium which is optimal at the moment, but it is indifferent to whichever changes it may cause in the future. Free market is a tool, which needs to be maintained and handling.

    What is better: the car I'm driving or the point of my destination? Any sane person understands that the comparison is illogical, but to all of us the difference between a free market economy and a planned economy is taught as some kind of two opposites, though, the two hardly fall in the same category.

    Extremes on either side don't work. A pure free market economy doesn't work in the same way a 100% planned economy doesn't work. Happy are those countries where people have come together and decided not to follow any ideologies, but simply to live well.

    When the Soviet empire collapsed, in a way it won the cold war, because it was the first to give up its ideology (however now they have oscillated to the other extreme). But Americans can't do that, and rightly so -- fuck em.

    • Thank God that America either owns and or invented just about everything in and on this planetutopian
  • ukit0

    Another problem is that the key aspect most of us agree is necessary for a "real" free market system - lack of corruption - isn't being advocated by any of the "free market" politicians in America.

    When John McCain signed his name onto the McCain-Feingold law which tried to detach government from private industry by limiting campaign contributions, he caught shit for it in his own party. When I hear American conservatives talk about "socialism" and the problems created by big government, they don't mention the corporatism part at all - they are only concerned about it in the sense of an Orwellian government sending black helicopters to their little town somewhere to take away their guns.

    So by all means, elect more conservative politicians - and you'll get more corporatism and more big government, although unlike the Democrats, they won't have to pretend.

    • Isn't it because people were brainwashed to believe a mature democracy is only 2-3 party system?raf
    • US system is a mono-party dictature in many aspects.raf
    • I admire the sense of community in US (inherited), but it's pretty ambivalent with its general life-style.Corvo2
    • Uh huh, and no corruption in the UK which has multiple parties right...?ukit
  • Corvo20

    Again, drgss has a point.

    "Happy are those countries where people have come together and decided not to follow any ideologies, but simply to live well."

    But for that you would need a country with almost no social class, or where the inequalities between people are not so poignant. The reason why Scandinavian countries (where you speak from) do best than others today, is precisely because your social structure and ways to share land has always been very clever, and the cleavage between people is not as strong as in southern latitudes, where social class is much more prevalent.

    *tips hat.

    • Having enough oil to feed the whole country for a century helps too! It's called lottery win, not economy :)raf
    • aye, natural resources speak louder than any theory.Corvo2
    • but one thing helps the other.Corvo2
  • monNom0

    I think it's pretty obvious by now: We should all be a bit more like Canada.


    • http://www.timesonli…raf
    • I love how these columnists always use personal anecdotes, but you'd be hard-pressed to say the Canadian system is so horrible when looking at actual numbersukit
    • horrible when looking at actual stats, which show they get better results than the US for less moneyukit
    • raf, you can't blame an entire health-care system from just a fait-divers. Come on.Corvo2
    • Hey, I just posted a link to someone's view, didn't say anything.. He's just selling a car show and books anyway :)raf
  • lowimpakt0

  • raf0

    Thank you for not slagging off my views completely :)

    I realize in real world there is a sort of midpoint that needs to be achieved between the two opposing utopias. I believe though, for countries to achieve this sort of balance, they have to stay relatively small and lean. Europe of friendly yet competing countries, ie. like at the beginnings of European Community is effectively a stronger organism than an inevitably totalitarian European Superstate that not everyone realized at the beginning its architects had had in mind.

    Ie. if every US state had their own approach to healthcare, a winner, I mean a good system would be clearly visible soon enough and other states could follow. Some states would always suck, but you cannot build an ideal world, can you? It's much better than risking the whole country suck. :)

    Again, Switzerland is an example of reasonable decentralization I think sometimes..

    • Switzerland is lucky is many ways.Corvo2
    • ...or smart?
      (have you read Eastern Standard Tribe by now btw?) :D
    • No I haven't, I'm afraid.Corvo2
    • But being so lucky with the landscape... you cannot help being smart.Corvo2
    • no joke, that citizen law-making thing is brilliant, but it implies a strong identity.Corvo2
  • lowimpakt0

    well, raf. I'm unashamedly pro-EU and pro-Lisbon treaty. It actually goes against my political instincts but I think that the current context (globalisation, climate change, post conflict resolution etc) calls for supranational structures of co-operation while retaining local identities.

    maybe we should set up another thread tomorrow when the Euros are awake to debate Lisbon... :)

    • I don't think the way the Treaty is presented to people helps anyone to make a decision.Corvo2
    • It's a gruesome piece of text.Corvo2
    • have the lesbians had a treaty?airey
    • sure. they have a treaty of tongue.Corvo2
    • and musicals, don't forget them musicals.airey
    • I am pro EU as it was at the beginning. There is a bigger threat from it being an empire than from outside world I think.raf
  • Corvo20

    I've said this before and I'll say it again. The best example of a mercantile state in a "pure" liberal form would be Venice in the 15th Century. If you could have such an array of small enterprises, cultural growth, wealth and independent activity from cities with the knowledge we share today... that would be the perfect. But the fact is, that is not possible any more as it is defined by politicians today which think that it is a super-structure and a financial architecture that supports the world and feeds the billions of people now living.

    But I still think that we should look more into the "small-shop" model even in a global world. There's many examples out there that point that people still want some form of identity and would be willing to live under an updated-retro model of society, where a network of cities would be key instead of a network countries.

    • They weren't heavily regulated in 15th century, were they? ;)raf
    • Actually they become regulated. By the Duces. Which is why Capitalism is a state force.Corvo2
    • The distinction between being mercantile or Capitalism makes the difference.Corvo2
    • Being that Capitalism is actually the result of State, not what people do.Corvo2
  • airey0

    there is a small irony in the fact that the film is being made and distributed within the largest capitalist market in the world and will make him a fortune through cinema bums on seats and dvd sales. people at the cinema will nod their heads in agreement while munching on a 2x2 foot box of popcorn and and 42 litre backpack of diet soda. ahh capitalist irony, there's none finer.

  • Corvo20

    Shit. I've just read my own words... What do I know, really...

    Are we better off than our fathers and their fathers before them?

    Shouldn't we judge the efficacy of the system by how lazy we can get, or how increasingly numbers of people get lazy?

    Being that lazy will eventually eat itself? Good old Marx.

  • lowimpakt0

    I wonder what Marx was like as a teenager.

    i wonder if he chased after girls/boys, smoked dope or got into fights.

  • ukit0

    Ajay Kapur, global strategist at Citigroup, and his research team came up with the term “Plutonomy” in 2005 to describe a country that is defined by massive income and wealth inequality. According to their definition, the U.S. is a Plutonomy, along with the U.K., Canada and Australia.…

    • But those countries also have the highest pay rate for the same job when compared to other countries?Corvo2
  • nilsnihil0

    oppress the oppressors

    • I'll do that first thing in the morning :)Corvo2
  • Corvo20

    Marx lives. It's engrained in our heart, chief.

  • ukit0

    "Karl Marx as a teenager"

    • < was not getting laid, this explains everything...utopian
  • supersalzman0

    Anyone know where the price of Gold is going?

  • Corvo20

    Nice chat, gringo.

  • ukit0

    Wouldn't it be ironic if, hundreds of years later, the world ended up with communism?

    • we'd have to stop evolving. self interest is what makes us move ahead and what ruins communism.airey
    • self-interest doesn't ruin communism. It ruins liberalism.Corvo2
    • think about it. what destroys liberalism? disbelief. self-interest creates disaffection = communism.Corvo2
    • Self-interest and greed is what stems communism. If you respect what communism is, you'll understand where itCorvo2
    • comes from. Where does it come from? It's not a disease, sure. So where does it come from?Corvo2
    • It comes from the belief that people are crooked.Corvo2
    • Classical liberalism or US Democrat liberalism?raf
  • Corvo20

    Going to bed, but there were some very good ideas and points to be taken from all quadrants.

    Godspeed y'all.