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  1. #1
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    The thread about threats to Democracy

    Sort of a handy catch all thread for concerns we may come across that will have a negative impact in our socities unless we do soemthing about them. I'll kick it off with some stuff on the TTIP that the eurozone and usa are plotting in secret:

    'EU working closely with oil industry to boost use of fossil fuels via TTIP':

    http://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy...uels-via-ttip/

    'How EU nations are being sued for billions by foreign companies in secret tribunals':

    http://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy...ret-tribunals/

    This might be why the usa is very keen for the uk to stay in europe, so our own country becomes a target for financial penalties?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Granted, I only took a glance at the articles, but it seems to me that they're more about threats to national sovereignty than to democracy. The EU is almost by definition a limitation of national sovereignty, which is instead transferred into a greater European community. This will inevitably result in a few stinkers, but it also brings a lot of goodies.

    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by ZakG View Post
    This might be why the usa is very keen for the uk to stay in europe, so our own country becomes a target for financial penalties?
    Are you planning on drifting off into the Atlantic? (I know you mean the EU, but I've always found the British notion that "Europe = Europe - UK" quite amusing.) But no, I doubt the US want you to be a part of the EU so that they can legally coerce you into giving money to their companies. If they want that, they'll do it to you with or without the EU. The only real difference would be in the amount of clout you could muster in defence.

  3. #3
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    From the inside, I've always found the british notion that britain isn't in europe rather more depressing than amusing. Especially since it comes bundled with aspirations of being part of the USA.
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    From the inside, I've always found the british notion that britain isn't in europe rather more depressing than amusing. Especially since it comes bundled with aspirations of being part of the USA.
    God yeah.

    Anyway TTIP... I am deeply suspicious of everyone's fury over it. The tribunals are already part of most of our trade agreements as is, they mostly fail and are quite rare. So they've never say stopped the UK from limiting cigarette advertising or anything similar. So everyone going nuts that they're going to mean US health insurance companies sue the NHS out of existence seems like hysteria. Also as if countries like France are going to sign something that mean's they have to divest themselves of their publicly owned rail networks or union laws. It stinks of idiotic conspiracy theory.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    God yeah.

    Anyway TTIP... I am deeply suspicious of everyone's fury over it. The tribunals are already part of most of our trade agreements as is, they mostly fail and are quite rare. So they've never say stopped the UK from limiting cigarette advertising or anything similar. So everyone going nuts that they're going to mean US health insurance companies sue the NHS out of existence seems like hysteria. Also as if countries like France are going to sign something that mean's they have to divest themselves of their publicly owned rail networks or union laws. It stinks of idiotic conspiracy theory.
    Sure. But I don't understand why these meetings are held behind closed doors. Sure, when it's two companies running the show they can be as furtive as they want. Not seeing any such compelling arguments from people who are ostensibly our employees though.
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  6. #6
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    Democracy isn't going anywhere, it's too useful as a bauble or sideshow entertainment to keep the masses pacified while the real decisions are made elsewhere in unaccountable fora. What's disappearing is everything that made democracy meaningful in the first place. Human dignity is under assault from all directions, and it is difficult to imagine where a countervailing force is going to come from.

    I am not very optimistic about the future.
    Last edited by Lethe; 01-12-2015 at 02:21 PM.


  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Sure. But I don't understand why these meetings are held behind closed doors. Sure, when it's two companies running the show they can be as furtive as they want. Not seeing any such compelling arguments from people who are ostensibly our employees though.
    I guess it's because negotiations about deals this large are usually not at all benefited by them being public. They are usually technical and boring, and very prone to misunderstanding by parties not involved in the actual negotiation process, especially when a deal is brokered over a very long period of time and positions can shift drastically during them. As a negotiating team, you need the opportunity to be able to speak without public scrutiny 24/7, otherwise you'll never reach a deal.
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  8. #8
    Moderator Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    From the inside, I've always found the british notion that britain isn't in europe rather more depressing than amusing. Especially since it comes bundled with aspirations of being part of the USA.
    The UK is so willing to seperate itself from europa that there's geological rifts being formed in the north sea :p

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    I am not very optimistic about the future.
    I'm not sure how one can be without being an idiot.

    Quote Originally Posted by L_No
    I guess it's because negotiations about deals this large are usually not at all benefited by them being public. They are usually technical and boring, and very prone to misunderstanding by parties not involved in the actual negotiation process, especially when a deal is brokered over a very long period of time and positions can shift drastically during them. As a negotiating team, you need the opportunity to be able to speak without public scrutiny 24/7, otherwise you'll never reach a deal.
    Pretty much this. Before any of the parties ratify it, it will need to be made public. Though honestly probably not in the UK as I think the Foreign Secretary has power to sign this into legislation without recourse to Parliament. The US Congress certainly has to have oversight and I think that's true in Germany/France as well. It would also have to fit with all their respective constitutions legally, which again I can't see being compatible with some of the conspiracy theory stuff.

    I'm more worried about it being used to erode workers/union rights or costing jobs. But am holding off until it's more than just supposition.

  10. #10
    Moderator Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I'm not sure how one can be without being an idiot.
    You don't have to be an idiot to act like one! But I'll bite: I think that people gravitating towards Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn, or the popularity of shows like Last Week Tonight or anything-john-stewart-makes or Stewart Lee's comedy or, well, quite a few things really, indicate that there is a slow but steady cultural shift from ego´stical apathy to human compassion that is now finding it's way back into the political landscape as well.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus karaquazian's Avatar
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    What democracy?

    My country has been governed by a dodgy Australian-American media tycoon since 1979

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    From the inside, I've always found the british notion that britain isn't in europe rather more depressing than amusing. Especially since it comes bundled with aspirations of being part of the USA.
    What? No it doesn't. They're two strains of thought that sometimes align and sometimes don't.

    To be honest, I've found conflating the EU with Europe to be more common with EU advocates than with EUskeptics. Particularly with continentals.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I'm not sure how one can be without being an idiot.
    hah. Call me an idiot.

    The idea of future being worse than the past is as old as history.

    but hey. I see life improved in the past 30 years around the world. no more communism, no more nukes pointing at each other, less poverty and less starvation, less war, more medicines, more acceptance of homosexuality, less religion, finally we start doing something about environment.
    but sure. call me an idiot for that.


    Anyhow, this is not really threat to democracy, more like economic threat to smaller countries. UK, German and USA corporations will have greater impact on weaker economic countries like Italy, Poland Portugal. Greece is already fucked.
    Like all the laws it will be changes in few years when new people want to make the name for themselves will get butchered like any overcomplicated laws and regulations.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus karaquazian's Avatar
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    What UK corporations? We've flogged everything to China, America, France, Germany, Japan and India.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Barclay's
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    Don't be a troll. UK is one of the biggest players in the current world. Especially in banking which actually controls everything else. China doesn't compare to UK in that regards as they may produce our cheap goods but they are controlled by fat men in London and New York.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    but hey. I see life improved in the past 30 years around the world. no more communism, no more nukes pointing at each other, less poverty and less starvation, less war, more medicines, more acceptance of homosexuality, less religion, finally we start doing something about environment.
    but sure. call me an idiot for that.
    I'm with you. Life is good and getting better for humanity as a whole as time goes on. The only thing I see that is likely to change this is our situation with the climate, but I think we'll eventually get our heads out of our collective asses; the only question is if it's in time to make a difference.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus karaquazian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Barclay's
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    Don't be a troll. UK is one of the biggest players in the current world. Especially in banking which actually controls everything else. China doesn't compare to UK in that regards as they may produce our cheap goods but they are controlled by fat men in London and New York.
    Well hsbc is Chinese for a start..

    Hong Kong & shanghai banking company. Formerly the midland which was British.

    We have pretty much all our eggs in the financial services basket though. We've nothing like the industrial sector of these other countries, successive governments have bet everything on the city of London and foreign "investment"

    But hey ho, were the 2nd or 3rd biggest in the sector that's fucked up the world ecconomy, pumping millions into one tiny corner of Britain while the rest rots, so all is well...
    Last edited by karaquazian; 03-12-2015 at 01:07 AM.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karaquazian View Post
    Well hsbc is Chinese for a start..

    Hong Kong & shanghai banking company. Formerly the midland which was British.
    FYI
    It is brittish now. it started in Hong Kong and Shanghai which are still very important markets but the bank is very much British right now with world wide presence.

    We have pretty much all our eggs in the financial services basket though. We've nothing like the industrial sector of these other countries, successive governments have bet everything on the city of London and foreign "investment"
    Industrial sector is not that profitable anymore and is something of a past. That's why even china and India are moving away from making stuff to providing services. will be a long process though.

    But hey ho, were the 2nd or 3rd biggest in the sector that's fucked up the world ecconomy, pumping millions into one tiny corner of Britain while the rest rots, so all is well...
    and what does that have to do with no UK corporations?

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    hah. Call me an idiot.

    The idea of future being worse than the past is as old as history.

    but hey. I see life improved in the past 30 years around the world. no more communism, no more nukes pointing at each other, less poverty and less starvation, less war, more medicines, more acceptance of homosexuality, less religion, finally we start doing something about environment.
    but sure. call me an idiot for that.


    Anyhow, this is not really threat to democracy, more like economic threat to smaller countries. UK, German and USA corporations will have greater impact on weaker economic countries like Italy, Poland Portugal. Greece is already fucked.
    Like all the laws it will be changes in few years when new people want to make the name for themselves will get butchered like any overcomplicated laws and regulations.
    The cause of individual liberty has never been so under threat since it was accepted that it is something that everyone should have. That is the real threat of our time. The real reason for the reaction since Paris I think is not simply that it was horrible and terrifying for what it was, but rather, unlike incidents in the past, there is no real sense of solidarity this time round to cling to. Most of us don’t know the people we live across the hall from or next door to. In times of existential terror of the sort that ISIS proposes, the modern ideologies of moral relativism, self fulfilment and capitalist empowerment offer no comfort whatsoever. The great, bafflingly consensual idea of our time is that we don't need society, or each other, to survive. This is a precedent that is also antithetical to our survival up to this point and may jus be the hubris that does for humanity if it isn't stopped.

    Historically of course I as a 30 year old from a working class background would have a life expectancy of about ten more years not three generations ago. But on the other hand not nearly as many people then faced so many threats to their right to own a house or to job expectancy or to be able to eat. There was more a chance for social mobility for my dad as a colaminers son in the 50’s than there is for me as a minister’s son now. The capacity for bureaucratic process to impede and delay basic rights is horrifying, intentional and accelerating.

    There’s been lots of good stuff occurred since I’ve been alive, but also a lot of bad. Untrammelled progress is absolutely a myth so there’s no reason whatsoever to expect it. The only real lessons I as a postgraude in history has learned to draw when forecasting the future: never underestimate how bad things might get; the majority of people can do nothing about anything; every generation *always* thinks that it is exempt from historical trends and never is; the capacity for those people to endure, even thrive in spite of it provides the strongest argument for hope.
    Last edited by sonson; 03-12-2015 at 12:25 PM.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    The cause of individual liberty has never been so under threat since it was accepted that it is something that everyone should have.
    and when that was?
    and in which country?
    and does that include people of all faiths, skin colour, gender and sexual orientation?

    Historically of course I as a 30 year old from a working class background would have a life expectancy of about ten more years not three generations ago. But on the other hand not nearly as many people then faced so many threats to their right to own a house or to job expectancy or to be able to eat.
    three generation ago the Europe was in the middle of one of most brutal wars history ever witnessed but I presume you meant past 45.
    There was more a chance for social mobility for my dad as a colaminers son in the 50’s than there is for me as a minister’s son now. The capacity for bureaucratic process to impede and delay basic rights is horrifying, intentional and accelerating.
    Basic rights? Like people had more basic rights in 1954? Or maybe in Cyprus they had those rights given them by good British people?

    There’s been lots of good stuff occurred since I’ve been alive, but also a lot of bad. Untrammelled progress is absolutely a myth so there’s no reason whatsoever to expect it.
    True. and the opposite must be true. expecting constant decline is as silly.

    The only real lessons I as a postgraude in history has learned to draw when forecasting the future: never underestimate how bad things might get; the majority of people can do nothing about anything; every generation *always* thinks that it is exempt from historical trends and never is; the capacity for those people to endure, even thrive in spite of it provides the strongest argument for hope.
    I think you nailing with this point why I disagreed with zephro.

    Indeed. we cannot underestimate how bad things might get. this is true now and it was true 3 generations ago. We are not exempt from the trend that made 2015 better place than 1960 and a heaven compared to pre-ww 2. less dictators, less war, less famine, more death of old age, more respect for various groups of people.
    Life still can be shit. there is so much wrong happening. and there are threats to our lives and our freedoms. But I am optimistic. we as society overcame problems of the past, making current life slightly better than what 3 generations ago had. so we can overcome current issues as well.

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