THE ANFIELD NOISE

The European Union

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Euroscepticism is pretty widespread. Maybe it’s being ignored because people with racist/far-right tendencies are championing it. Maybe the racist/far-right politicians have gained a foothold because the skepticism was ignored.

So what are it’s flaws and how can European Union become more dynamic?

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On the other hand, a large majority feel positive about the EU despite many problems and constant attacks. There is a rise in nationalism worldwide.

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Nationalism tends to rise when people feel under pressure and life is tough.

Capitalism is failing millions and millions of people. People’s lives are getting harder, they are working harder under worse conditions, and not seeing any benefit of this.

As this happens it becomes very easy for the real racists to convince them to blame the outsider rather than the system that is actually at fault.

This happened in Europe in the early 20th Century, and in Germany in the 30s, and in both cases led to world wars.

People are struggling, and the solution is a glorified Ponzi scheme which protects itself by shifting the blame to other people. Nationalism invariably follows.

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Part of the issue is down to presentation. Domestic politicians/media take credit for things people like, while laying blame on the EU for things they don’t like.

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Is this actually true? I don’t think it is.

Nationalism rises when people see their cultures and identities eroded and have been made so disenfranchised as to feel they no longer have any influence over the things that impact upon them.

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While I agree that capitalism has numerous defects and deficiencies, what other socio-economic system would you propose as an alternative. As far as I can see, all other systems have defects, most (all?) being far greater than capitalism.

For example, from personal experience, command economics does not work; it reduces its average citizens to far greater hardship/deprivation than they might endure under capitalism.

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I think it is. There was a dip in poverty after the crash, then it fell as the economy recovered, but it’s now on the rise again and has been for several years now. Child poverty is certainly making headlines again.

About 15m people in the UK live in poverty, and the the concept of ‘working poor’ - people who are working but still reliant on benefits to meet basic needs, is new.

Which, I think is largely an illusion. In Germany in the 1930s, it was the desperate poverty people were living in (due to hyper inflation and war reparations) that created the conditions for a lunatic to waltz in and stoke nationalistic tendencies.

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The challenge for capitalism is how do you stop the system creating such inequality. 21st century capitalism, in the form of deeply entrenched neo-liberalism, concentrates extreme wealth in the hands of very few people.

The great lie of capitalism is that anyone has the same opportunity, that you just need to work that little bit harder, you just need to try a little bit more. The reality is that millions of people have little chance of getting to the top, regardless of how hard they work.

The way capitalism systems have dealt with this is to push the blame onto ‘the other’. Hence, nationalism on the rise.

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15m people don’t live in poverty in the UK as it could be understood. It’s all relative.

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According to JRF it was 14m in 2018. I don’t think Covid and Brexit have reduced that number.

Maybe those 14-15m people ought to just realise some people in the world have it worse, and then feel jolly lucky about that, and get back to work in some amazon warehouse for a pittance while taxpayers top up their salary otherwise they’d freeze to death.

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Numbers are from 2017/18

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And are the figures likely to have gone up or down in the last couple of years?

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Must have missed the observation that it’s relative. :roll_eyes:

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I’ve looked at it a while ago when we discussed child poverty in the UK and I found these really grim looking numbers. I read that legally-binding child poverty targets based on low income were removed by the UK government in 2016, so no, I don’t think that something has changed for the better.

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I don’t see how it’s relevant.

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Yes, EU is deemed beneficial by and large. But growing dissent perhaps indicate the need to revamp or recalibrate the system.

The system is constantly being recalibrated. Look at the levels of dissent in the US as a comparison. The EU is a unique project, fraught with complications and potential problems, but promising a brighter, more secure and prosperous future than anything before. The history of the continent is rife with conflict and war, culminating in the two worst wars in history, to expect a perfect, untroubled, yet democratic organisation is unrealistic. Of course there’s dissent, that’s part of democracy, but with the self destruction of the USA, it’s the best hope we’ve got. Otherwise it’s China, Russia and full on dictatorship.

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Again, agreed. But I’m trying to say is, perhaps the EU lacks the dynamism to adapt to the fast changing/evolving landscape (political, social, economic etc.). EU is not changing fast enough than the changes that are taking place.

At this point I must emphasize something. My posts are not my opinions or assumptions, they are my queries. I want to know why the Euroscepticism is there.

Have you read a UK newspaper in the last 30 years? :wink:

(I’m sure you have. Just saying, I’m not sure you can completely separate public opinions from the constant media onslaught on the EU, often disingenuous)

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That mechanism of defining ‘poverty’ has always been wildly problematic. The formal definition is a household is poor if has an income of less than 60% of the median of the type.

So, if a country doubles wealth and income overnight, with perfect universality…the number of poor households remains the same. Despite the fact that the poor households are twice as well off as they were.

If a country halves wealth and income overnight, but is able to ensure that the bottom 50% are not affected, the poverty rate falls. Despite the fact that absolutely no one is better off.

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