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Thread: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

  1. #31
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    I'm not sure the numbers I've seen suggest all that many Trump voters have abandoned him, though he isn't adding any support. The many interviews from "Trump country" the media agglomerates suggest that they are willing to give him as many chances as he needs, though in that there may be some indeterminate selection bias.
    Die hard Trump supporters of course remain so, just as Obama supporters that saw him as sort of a messiah continued to give him unfettered support.
    Special election's lesson: Where Trump once won big there's now a centrist path to victory for Democrats
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    ...............For these reasons, Lambís performance has major negative implications for continued Republican control of the House and vindicates the critical importance of Democrats taking a centrist approach to the most competitive races.

    If the Democrats want to win back the red and swing districts lost to President Trump in 2016, they must follow Lambís example and take moderate positions on key issues that are in line with their constituents........

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/...democrats.html

    I don't think open borders is a high priority currently, but eventually you have to admit that managed free movement is superior to a strict security regime, which has only been able to exist in the world since the late 19th century anyway. And I have to admit that segregation on the basis of birth isn't conducive to that good old "brotherhood of man" that communalist ideas ride upon. Socialism can't be exclusionary, or else it's more like the clientelist practices of Hugo Chavez or those Asian/African strongmen, right? But take this as reassurance: a transnational movement to advance socialism and tackle our transnational problems of governance (crime, corruption, climate, etc.) will permit a dramatic reduction in our current economic migration troubles. These are basically just the product of economic conditions and imbalances, so if people have the opportunity to improve their lives at home they don't have as much incentive to resettle elsewhere. The only ways to resolve undesirable economic migration patterns are to either address the underlying incentives, or just become a fascist fortress state and kill thousands of people. An international socialist collaboration even has the benefit of creating frameworks to address migrations to due shock events, such as natural disasters and the effects of climate change (which in our world will inevitably overwhelm both Europe and the US).
    The open borders may not be a priority in your mind but it has been a rallying point around which hard line right wingers have been able to build support. Perhaps having a message that isn't as extreme as "No human can be illegal" and "A world without borders" by social justice warriors would do strides toward making modern socialism more palatable for the center mass of European society.

    Free movement is better than strict security, but both are an extreme position. Legal and legitimate movement instead of just mass migration is certainly the best, especially when it is tied to economic needs and the capabilities, limitations, and most importantly goals of those immigrating.

    Socialism certainly can be exclusionary to the citizens of said country. It is not up to Sweden to provide welfare for all the disenfranchised and poor in Somalia. To truly help the folks in say Somalia one must try to fix what's causing the flight of people there. If it's insecurity then perhaps propping up and reforming the recognized government. To allow the current flow of people out that have the means to only contributes to the drain of money and talent that a country like Somalia needs to become better.
    If your approach is more of a non-interventionist in were you see no need for us to meddle in the affairs of Somalis, then the opposite must be true then that there is not requirement or obligation to help those same Somalis.

    ut take this as reassurance: a transnational movement to advance socialism and tackle our transnational problems of governance (crime, corruption, climate, etc.) will permit a dramatic reduction in our current economic migration troubles.
    I agree on that fully. If the PRC and USSR had tried that approach instead of flooding the third world with weapons to overthrow every barely functioning state then the constant cycle of violence that happen from the 1960s (Congo independence) up to the mid 90s would have been much shorter.

    An international socialist collaboration even has the benefit of creating frameworks to address migrations to due shock events, such as natural disasters and the effects of climate change (which in our world will inevitably overwhelm both Europe and the US).
    The first step must be for those few socialist nations that truly are so and not just dictatorships (Venezuela for one) to actually become the "City on the Hill" for other countries to emulate instead of the previous method of imposing socialism on the rest of the population by force.

    There is something about satisfaction in the working paper, actually. In Europe, answering "not very satisfied" or "not at all satisfied" with democracy - a distinct question from how good you think it is as a system: ~66% of far left, >50% of center-left and center, ~45% of center-right and far-right. Not enough to draw many conclusions, but it does suggest that "extreme dissatisfaction" isn't a sufficient explanation for centrist attitudes here. Like I mentioned, the Euro survey data is from 2008, but I don't think it's easy to say that the center must have grown less satisfied while extremists more satisfied, without data.
    Being dissatisfied with democracy in my mind does not equate supporting fascism, just dislike for political gridlock and bureaucratic slowness and red-tape.
    I'd actually say the extremists are more satisfied, as the debate has become more pointed and both major parties in the US have gone more toward their extreme base that gives both sets of extremists the radical policies and agendas they can get behind as well as the evil opponents to vilify. Both sets of extremists see any compromise as concessions of their principles, they want to attain power and impose their will, not negotiate toward any sort of middle ground.

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
    -Abraham Lincoln

  2. #32

    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    I leave that kind of stuff to governments and civil servants. It's their job to generate money as efficiently as possible, and their job to manage the details. My interest, as is the interest of practically all the population, is in how that money is spent.

    And what do I plan to do as a British citizen? I plan to be a good member of my community. Which would be considerably easier if we had the benefit of a better economy that comes from being a member of the EU. But since we won't be, I'll do what I can. And it doesn't involve high level political theory as you keep pointing to. Recycle, give, make do and mend is what I'm concentrating on at the moment. Waste as little as possible. I'm looking at a local apple tree that had its had rotting windfalls last year; I'll see if I can get the owner to let me pick them in exchange for something or other, to redistribute to those who can make use of them.
    Ok, that sounds good, but then what's the point of whining about Brexit here? Most of us aren't even Britons.

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    Die hard Trump supporters of course remain so, just as Obama supporters that saw him as sort of a messiah continued to give him unfettered support.
    Special election's lesson: Where Trump once won big there's now a centrist path to victory for Democrats
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    ...............For these reasons, Lambís performance has major negative implications for continued Republican control of the House and vindicates the critical importance of Democrats taking a centrist approach to the most competitive races.

    If the Democrats want to win back the red and swing districts lost to President Trump in 2016, they must follow Lambís example and take moderate positions on key issues that are in line with their constituents........

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/...democrats.html

    This is the wrong lesson, because it doesn't take into account either what people on the ground are saying, nor the actual results in aggregate (that demonstrate a clear left-ward shift in preference across elections). Reproducing the centrism that still predominates today, and has for a generation, is exactly what Republicans and Fox News should hope Dems do, from a partisan outlook. It's what lost the Dems West Virginia and hundreds of seats in state legislatures throughout the country.

    Connor Lamb won not merely because he was a centrist, but because he ran a good campaign and convinced people he was a good candidate. He wasn't a detached sack of crap riding on cash injections from the Machine and the safety blanket of the party-brand ballot. We can discuss whether "all politics is local" or "all politics is national" is more true, but in between the personal touch is critical in shifting votes. Especially in local races. See here:

    https://democracyjournal.org/argumen...-no-civil-war/
    https://democracyjournal.org/argumen...ots-democracy/

    I think the indication here is for the national party to reinvent itself on the Left, encourage grassroots mobilization, and allow local engagement to decide who is selected to run on the lowest level, even if they may be rightward of the party line. DON'T PRE-SELECT LOCAL CANDIDATES BY CENTRAL COMMITTEE, even if you can't vet the candidates as well.

    There do have to be some hard boundaries. If one believes we "need Jesus" in schools, that abortion needs to be banned and illegal abortions policed and penalized, that government revenue needs to be redistributed toward business and the top income tax bracket, that 'the bones of an American are worth more than all the rest of humanity', that black people have nothing to be politically active about... that person simply cannot be accepted as collateral with the party.

    Perhaps having a message that isn't as extreme as "No human can be illegal" and "A world without borders" by social justice warriors would do strides toward making modern socialism more palatable for the center mass of European society.
    In general, both socialists and libertarians believe that people have a right to freedom of movement. So, socialists may aim freedom of movement at establishing empathy and solidarity and democratic cooperation (by breaking down exclusionary "imagined communities"), whereas libertarians may want freedom of movement as an individual right against the state and support schemes that more or less amount to purchasing citizenship privileges.

    Socialists prioritize consideration of the economic utility of immigrants, because they apply "to each according to their needs...". A bed-bound, intellectually disabled septuagenarian wouldn't be excluded on that basis; people shouldn't be rejected just because they can't contribute to GDP.
    Libertarians tend to emphasize economic utility, but they believe the market will sort things out on its own. A bed-bound, intellectually disabled septuagenarian wouldn't be excluded on that basis; incentives will align to either keep such a person out, minimize their presence, or otherwise find just the right equilibrium.

    More concretely, both Left and Libertarian recognize that a strict border-security regime requires a lot of resources and inflicts a lot of suffering on people just because of how they happen to be moving around.

    Personally, I think even a libertarian market-oriented scheme would be better than what we have got, moving as it is toward Gestapo-ization of federal law enforcement. Due to my statist bent, I believe that the state should always be heavily involved in regulating movement of persons - but regulation doesn't have to mean restriction. You could legalize/deschedule all the controlled substances and still heavily regulate them, for example. So when I've said that neither undocumented nor illegal immigrant is a fully accurate term because:

    (a) most "illegal" immigrants are not violating any criminal statute by entering or being in the United States, rather civil codes
    (b) most "undocumented" immigrants, excepting those held as slaves or trafficking victims, have various forms of state documentation and are to an extent known by some or another authority (from IRS down to local primary school)

    you'll funnily enough find it echoed at places like Cato Institute that the correct term is "unauthorized immigrant", and that authorization is something trivial to extend in the sense that Congress could do it immediately if it wanted to.

    Read people like Ann Coulter and you understand the big stumbling block in swaying many conservatives (non-socialist, non libertarian) on this issue is that they often literally see migrants as subhuman and actively desire to inflict pain or violence upon them (euphemized in terms of "deterrence"). If sadism is what drives one's politics... we have a big problem. A productive countermeasure may be to force those with such a mindset to physically confront other people who experience the travails of migration and our response to it; it's a lot harder to be callous toward someone or their group if you've listened to their story.

    The first step must be for those few socialist nations that truly are so and not just dictatorships (Venezuela for one) to actually become the "City on the Hill" for other countries to emulate instead of the previous method of imposing socialism on the rest of the population by force.
    Yeah.

    I'd actually say the extremists are more satisfied, as the debate has become more pointed and both major parties in the US have gone more toward their extreme base that gives both sets of extremists the radical policies and agendas they can get behind as well as the evil opponents to vilify. Both sets of extremists see any compromise as concessions of their principles, they want to attain power and impose their will, not negotiate toward any sort of middle ground.
    We've had a thread about middle-ground oriented thinking: it's an artificial construction that doesn't map onto real people.

    If you believe that there is a human right to bodily autonomy, then women must be permitted to exercise that right toward abortion. This is not something that can go up for sale. And even if a "compromise" like elective restrictions in the third trimester doesn't in theory curtail access to abortion (given extant patterns), if the people on the other side of the compromise believe that abortion should be criminalized, no good-faith compromise is actually possible.

    flipside

    If you believe that there is a natural right to private arms ownership for any conceivable kind of defense, then people should be encouraged to value guns and practice gun ownership. This is not something that can go up for sale. And even if a "compromise" like a single universal license for all firearms ownership doesn't in theory curtail gun ownership or gun culture, if the people on the other side of the compromise believe that guns need to be eliminated, no good-faith compromise is actually possible.
    Vitiate Man.

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  3. #33
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    "Democracy" is for reasons that are lost on me are viewed as some sort of end to itself - if people are democratic they are bound to become more tolerant and lovely, and the less democratic the less tolerant they are. The list of countries that prove this to be ridiculous doesn't need repeating.

    I believe that universal suffrage is in fact the most optional bit of a well functioning country, with the most important being equality of persons under Law and Institutions that are able to enforce this. This can after this point be a monarchy (such as Lichtenstein), a republic (such as France) or a theocracy (such as the UK). No, none are anywhere near perfect.

    So not being in favour of Democracy does not mean one wants to become under the rule of an extreme state. Perhaps the centre views that democracy seems to lead to extreme leaders with the centre increasingly ignored and hence a technocratic ruler would be better.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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  4. #34
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Read people like Ann Coulter and you understand the big stumbling block in swaying many conservatives (non-socialist, non libertarian) on this issue is that they often literally see migrants as subhuman and actively desire to inflict pain or violence upon them (euphemized in terms of "deterrence"). If sadism is what drives one's politics... we have a big problem. A productive countermeasure may be to force those with such a mindset to physically confront other people who experience the travails of migration and our response to it; it's a lot harder to be callous toward someone or their group if you've listened to their story.
    I understand the stumbling block because in my industry (coffee farming) I know a lot of very conservative farmers whose views are sometimes very extreme.
    I'm for immigration that's regulated, but letting in masses just because, doesn't work for me.
    Just letting in lots of people when the host society cannot necessarily employ much less integrate creates problems. In other threads I've explained the difficulties in upward mobility in a first world country when language, schooling, skills, etc.. are a problem not to mention the issues that imposes on the losing nation with wealth and talent go abroad with no replacement.

    We've had a thread about middle-ground oriented thinking: it's an artificial construction that doesn't map onto real people.
    I've been following that thread but haven't contributed because I find the extreme positions too absurd. There are some things that should not be conceded to just achieve compromise for the point of compromise, there are many more where compromise make absolute sense. The goal of compromise isn't to make everyone happy but find the most suitable solution for the situation. Present day solutions would not have worked two hundred years ago or a thousand years ago on a myriad of issues which is why compromise is usually necessary, moving away from traditional values and laws always takes time and needs to be done with a bit of tact and usually over time. Trying to do change overnight like imposing democracy on a tribal culture with no history of peaceful civil discourse usually doesn't end well. Modern societies not much different, there is a lot people can accept now that decades ago they couldn't but the method of progress tends to succeed best when done gradually as cultures and attitudes are allowed to change with the times. Just because one side thinks they have the answers does not mean they have the right to impose their correctness on the rest of society for their own good at least not in a functioning modern form of democracy.

    @ rory_20_uk
    I believe because it's been a successful form in Western Europe and the US for the last century is why it's viewed so favorably as the 'best' form of government, it should be a goal. One of the requirements though is that the voter base be more tolerant and lovely, not that democracy changes them to it. Like I was writing in my response to Montmorency it should be done gradually. The limited franchise of the early US with it being white males that owned land or paid taxes while not representative allowed the US to grow at a time period when a universal franchise would have probably torn it apart over religion, western expansion, or the the role of the federal government if the slavery issue didn't fragment the country from the start.

    I believe that democracy like all things human swings back and forth between representative and direct. The changes of attitudes, means of information distribution, technology, and education all affect it. Imagine if voting were required and those with zero interest were required to put a name down (assuming none of the above was't an option). Modern democracies have many flaws with many possible solutions which is why there will always be people that want reform and some that want radical change to a new form of government.
    Last edited by spmetla; 05-30-2018 at 08:07.

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
    -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #35
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    @ rory_20_uk
    I believe because it's been a successful form in Western Europe and the US for the last century is why it's viewed so favorably as the 'best' form of government, it should be a goal. One of the requirements though is that the voter base be more tolerant and lovely, not that democracy changes them to it. Like I was writing in my response to Montmorency it should be done gradually. The limited franchise of the early US with it being white males that owned land or paid taxes while not representative allowed the US to grow at a time period when a universal franchise would have probably torn it apart over religion, western expansion, or the the role of the federal government if the slavery issue didn't fragment the country from the start.

    I believe that democracy like all things human swings back and forth between representative and direct. The changes of attitudes, means of information distribution, technology, and education all affect it. Imagine if voting were required and those with zero interest were required to put a name down (assuming none of the above was't an option). Modern democracies have many flaws with many possible solutions which is why there will always be people that want reform and some that want radical change to a new form of government.
    I favour representative democracy with a sovereign democracy balanced by a strong technocracy, with a strong executive balanced by a strong opposition. The UK system has all the ingredients for this, but the Commons is failing badly to live up to its responsibilities, whilst attempting to grab more power. All the other parts of the system are working well. Unfortunately both government and opposition in the Commons are the worst I've seen in my lifetime.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    I favour representative democracy with a sovereign democracy balanced by a strong technocracy, with a strong executive balanced by a strong opposition. The UK system has all the ingredients for this, but the Commons is failing badly to live up to its responsibilities, whilst attempting to grab more power. All the other parts of the system are working well. Unfortunately both government and opposition in the Commons are the worst I've seen in my lifetime.
    I think things were worse under Tony Blair since his massive majority of brand new MPs gave him almost unchecked powers. The opposition then was also useless in the face of the new PR approach. The two current ones are extremely underwhelming and basically score zero but Tony managed to get a significant negative score.

    We barely have a representative democracy, given in almost every single constituency a minority of people who voted for the incumbent (ignoring the low voter turnout) which is a feature of first past the post system. Almost any system of Proportional representation improves this - some more than others.

    We have a large technocracy, I'm not sure I'd describe it as strong either in terms of efficiency or ability to stand up to the government - the data privacy laws is a classic example where the Courts strike down the law as written... but the Government appeals and appeals and then finally tweaks the language and passes another law that does effectively the same thing. Technically all is OK... is this "working"? Not really.

    In theory, improving transparency would help... but systems have a way or rearranging in ways that were not expected - FOI laws meant that civil servants stopped writing things down so they would not be able to be shared so trying to make things more open in fact didn't and also rather dangerously stopped there being as good notes being taken.

    Perhaps anonymised voting in the Commons with the results released at the start of the re-election campaign would help in a small way.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  7. #37
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    I think things were worse under Tony Blair since his massive majority of brand new MPs gave him almost unchecked powers. The opposition then was also useless in the face of the new PR approach. The two current ones are extremely underwhelming and basically score zero but Tony managed to get a significant negative score.

    We barely have a representative democracy, given in almost every single constituency a minority of people who voted for the incumbent (ignoring the low voter turnout) which is a feature of first past the post system. Almost any system of Proportional representation improves this - some more than others.

    We have a large technocracy, I'm not sure I'd describe it as strong either in terms of efficiency or ability to stand up to the government - the data privacy laws is a classic example where the Courts strike down the law as written... but the Government appeals and appeals and then finally tweaks the language and passes another law that does effectively the same thing. Technically all is OK... is this "working"? Not really.

    In theory, improving transparency would help... but systems have a way or rearranging in ways that were not expected - FOI laws meant that civil servants stopped writing things down so they would not be able to be shared so trying to make things more open in fact didn't and also rather dangerously stopped there being as good notes being taken.

    Perhaps anonymised voting in the Commons with the results released at the start of the re-election campaign would help in a small way.

    The current batch manage to combine reaching for tyrannical power with utter incompetence, with the two sides collaborating to bring about the worst of British policy. Back in the days of Blair, there was certainly a competent government, and the opposition, weak though it was due to numbers, was competent too. And if you think that landslides are inherently bad; did you complain when Thatcher had hers? Many of the most critical problems of today, such as lack of housing and subsequently check on social mobility, can be traced back to her governments. And they've been inculcated in the British electorate as positives of their society, rather than the cause of their problems.

    Edit: And no, our technocracy isn't strong enough. The Commons routinely threatens the Lords with dissolution, and there are regular calls for making the Lords democratic. Why the hell you'd want two democratic Houses when the electorate is the same beats me though.
    Last edited by Pannonian; 05-30-2018 at 12:14.

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Edit: And no, our technocracy isn't strong enough. The Commons routinely threatens the Lords with dissolution, and there are regular calls for making the Lords democratic. Why the hell you'd want two democratic Houses when the electorate is the same beats me though.
    This sums up my reasons for preferring the old "states pick them" approach to Senators as opposed to direct election. The electorate is the same and already represented. Nicely phrased Pannonian.


    As to the Lords as a body of legislature, dissolution may be valid (they are already represented by their MPs and if the Lord's and it can be argued that such a class-centric division commons/lords is no longer relevant) but making it elected would be patently silly. The Earl of Wiltingflowershire standing aginst the Duchess of Eastwestnorthumberland to see who will cast the irrelevant vote for the East Country hemifarthing of the Lords?
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.Ē -- Milton Friedman

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    The Senate is OK, although 2 per state seems rather disproportionate. Perhaps the approach would be to mean that the second chamber is appointed in some way by Local Government - a certain number by region? Perhaps that might also mean people have more interest in what the local government is.

    Before dissolving the Lords, who seem to do a better job than one realistically would expect given how they've come about, is what is to replace it? Given they can be steam rolled by the Commons perhaps replacing with more specific select committees of experts on the subject matter might work since this would provide the technocratic oversight that they are best at.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    The Senate is OK, although 2 per state seems rather disproportionate. Perhaps the approach would be to mean that the second chamber is appointed in some way by Local Government - a certain number by region? Perhaps that might also mean people have more interest in what the local government is.

    Before dissolving the Lords, who seem to do a better job than one realistically would expect given how they've come about, is what is to replace it? Given they can be steam rolled by the Commons perhaps replacing with more specific select committees of experts on the subject matter might work since this would provide the technocratic oversight that they are best at.

    I'd be ok with that. But would these select committees have less power to revise the Commons' policies than the Lords?

    My ideal:

    The Government in the Commons says, we want to do this. (Democracy)
    The Lords tells the Government, this isn't workable because of this, this and this; come back with something more workable. (Technocracy)
    The Opposition in the Commons tells the Government, you told the voters you'd do this; now go and do it. (Democracy)

    On Brexit: the Government hasn't come up with anything concrete, and the Opposition is doing none of the above. Only the Lords is doing their bit. NB. Parliament isn't just the Commons; it's the Lords as well. Parliamentary sovereignty encompasses all of the above.

  11. #41

    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    The goal of compromise isn't to make everyone happy but find the most suitable solution for the situation.
    So we're agreed; it's one deliberative tool among others, many preferable in the first order.

    I believe that democracy like all things human swings back and forth between representative and direct. The changes of attitudes, means of information distribution, technology, and education all affect it. Imagine if voting were required and those with zero interest were required to put a name down (assuming none of the above was't an option). Modern democracies have many flaws with many possible solutions which is why there will always be people that want reform and some that want radical change to a new form of government.
    One observation is that pointing to the inadequacy of democratic actors, or the valley-hill analogy otherwise, may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Could training and practice in everyday democracy counteract what today some call the atrophy of the civic mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post

    Edit: And no, our technocracy isn't strong enough. The Commons routinely threatens the Lords with dissolution, and there are regular calls for making the Lords democratic. Why the hell you'd want two democratic Houses when the electorate is the same beats me though.
    It really sounds like you, Rory, and I have more closely identified with Keynesianism than anything.

    (So by all accounts Rory should identify with the EU-as-vilified today.)

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    eynesianism, as Mann sees it, is distinct from liberalism, but an offshoot from the liberal tradition. Like liberalism, it sees modern capitalism as the highest form of civilization. If it is not already a utopia, it holds the potential for utopia in its drive for continual productivity improvement. Keynes’s visions of the future include a fifteen-hour workweek (in “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren”) and the “euthanasia of the rentier” (in the General Theory) — not by guillotine but by the very success of capital accumulation. Capital will accumulate to the point where it is no longer scarce, so the wealthy can no longer command a return by monopolizing it. The Keynesian utopia will have the good parts of capitalism — the “efficiency of the decentralization of decisions and of individual responsibility” — without the bad, “its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes.” The period in which people earn income simply from holding wealth is “a transitional phase which will disappear when it has done its work.” The coming of utopia “will be nothing sudden, merely a gradual but prolonged continuance of what we have seen recently in Great Britain, and will need no revolution.”

    But Keynesianism departs from classical liberalism in not seeing liberal society as natural or self-sustaining. If it stays on the rails, it moves towards utopia, but capitalism tends to derail itself. In the General Theory Keynes explores one dimension of this — a tendency for investment to fall below the level needed for full employment — but this is just one instance of a broader theme in Keynes’s work — and in Keynesianism more broadly. The health of capitalism depends upon deliberate political management going well beyond the nightwatchman duties of protecting property. Some of this may be unobtrusive — the central bank’s management of the interest rate — but it may require nothing less than “a somewhat comprehensive socialization of investment.” (Keynes was vague on what he meant by this, and certainly did not mean the seizure of the means of production, but he at the least believed that the amount of investment in a given period should be decided by policymakers.)

    Capitalism needs help staying on the tracks, but it is on tracks: it can’t be driven just anywhere. What it needs in the way of management is not up to the managers; it depends on the structure of the economy itself. It needs not only management but expert management, and that has two big implications.

    First, it breaks with the classical liberal commitment to laissez-faire. The liberal enthusiasm for individual choice was always, as Mann puts it, “modified by a series of ad hoc qualifications,” but Keynesianism goes further, holding that individual freedom in general depends on not making an absolute of it. Politics must curb some liberties to defend Liberty. Free enterprise left to itself tends to generate poverty, inequality, and unemployment. If these get out of hand, there is a real risk that political rebellion will lead to much worse than red tape.

    Second, it is in tension with democracy. Liberal pluralists see the democratic political system as a way of addressing and managing the social conflicts and dissatisfactions that capitalism produces. Interests are channeled into politics, where they are forced into compromise, and problems are sorted out piecemeal. But for Keynes, there is no reason to believe that political representation of interests really would solve the underlying problems. Economic problems are complex, so their solutions will be delicate and call for expert judgment. What makes for a finely-balanced political compromise may have nothing to do with what solving the problem will actually take. The contenders — parties and their constituencies — often badly misunderstand the causes of their woes. Keynes, says Mann, “was definitively not a democrat, because anything approaching popular sovereignty was in his view antithetical to the long-term interests of civilization.”

    He sided explicitly with “the bourgeois and the intelligentsia who, with whatever faults, are the quality in life and surely carry the seeds of all human advancement.” In other words, he was with the bourgeoisie not because of their role as capitalists or rentiers, but as a people properly socialized and cultured. It might be possible in the long run to extend their education and privilege more broadly, but giving the masses what they think they want now would jeopardize that future.

    Clearly, Keynesianism defined this way is not only a departure from classical liberalism, but has also fed back into modern liberalism. The political center today stretches from positions closer to classical liberalism — with a belief in the basic stability and justice of the market — to a more Keynes-inflected technocratic managerialism. Mann locates the roots of the latter in macroeconomic ideas since Keynes, and specifically the retreat from “full employment” to the “natural rate of unemployment”: “barring a fascist or authoritarian arrangement, capitalism must have unemployment. It must be (in Keynes’s words) sufficiently and consistently impoverishing.”


    Another distinct topic to discuss but, if having two largely-identical democratic chambers is not a worthwhile duplication, what could a proper bifurcation of two democratic chambers look like? In the US it's based on geographic designation, so a theoretical system needs a more striking contrast. Or, maybe we shouldn't be hidebound to legislative dualism at all; then what?

    We may recall a thread briefly surveying a recent book that (IIRC), among other proposals, suggested the Senate in the US be reformed as a Board of Governors, with the people of the states democratically electing two governors, in alternation one to preside locally, the other in Washington DC. That wouldn't gain any democracy though, and it still depends upon geographic designations.

    If you just want a technocratic government, define a technocratic class in or out of government and give them a direct vote in some capacity. I don't think you need them seated in a whole chamber unto themselves, or in miniaturized committees.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 05-30-2018 at 14:29.
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    A centrist is someone who wishes to enforce the machinery of the neo liberal status quo while not caring so much if some "leftisit" proposals get in under their rule.

    Essentially Berry Weiss.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    A centrist is someone who wishes to enforce the machinery of the neo liberal status quo while not caring so much if some "leftisit" proposals get in under their rule.

    Essentially Berry Weiss.
    Come to the UK and see the newspapers' shtick of keeping track of rising house prices as the bedrock of the UK economy. See if you can work against that.

    For me, house prices is the shibboleth of British politics.

  14. #44
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    One observation is that pointing to the inadequacy of democratic actors, or the valley-hill analogy otherwise, may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Could training and practice in everyday democracy counteract what today some call the atrophy of the civic mind?
    I certainly believe more education and some sort of requirement to participate would help but you can't force people to care about things they don't care about. It would require a major cultural shift in which people that are apathetic are not the norm and are shunned, something that is highly unlikely.
    Also, increasing training on how to contribute to society and be a contributing citizen is desirable but it is a tightrope between the government dictating to citizens on how to contribute or not.

    I certainly wish our home economics classes and civics classes in high school had more relevant subjects. I recall being taught the branches of government, how to write a check. Nothing that actually teaches these are the laws, this is how you can find out this or that about the laws. These are your legal rights so if a police officer asks for this they must have something that authorizes it. With the prevalence of guns in US society I think gun safety and responsibility should be taught to all so we see friend X leaving a loaded pistol unlocked in a location known and accessible by his kids that everyone has the education to tell him that is BS and he needs to secure his firearm.

    The byzantine code of laws, tax codes, and regulations which no one understands in itself makes the ability of someone with a full time job and limited interest not able to really be able understand the issues they should be electing politicians on. This is why the big cultural/societal ones are the ones that politicians rally around, average joe can understand cultural changes they don't like, they can understand issues that are counter to their religious beliefs and it's these that are raised as banners for them to rally around or against.

    Right now our society has a bit too much direct democracy (ex:Boaty Mcboatface) and it should devolve a bit more to the indirect representative form so that the technocrats can run things behind the scenes without the election cycle stymieing progress too much. Right now with the debates being fed by social media propaganda and rumors together with demagogue pundits on TV and radio stoking the fires of radicalism on both sides and killing what should be civil discourse it'd be in our interest to roll back some reforms to be less directly democratic.

    Making Senators elected by State Legislatures again would be a good step in that direction. It's not about being against democracy but adjusting what form of it works for the times we live in, fifty years down the line something else will be more suitable and we'll need to adjust for that as well.
    Last edited by spmetla; 05-30-2018 at 19:25.

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  15. #45
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Fascism is pretty straighistforward, Mussolini called it the third way; basicly keeping the status quo intact and feed the poplulation crumbs. Hi Brussel

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Fascism is pretty straighistforward, Mussolini called it the third way; basicly keeping the status quo intact and feed the poplulation crumbs. Hi Brussel
    Which MEP was it that ran over your cat? Did you report it to the police?

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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    I certainly believe more education and some sort of requirement to participate would help but you can't force people to care about things they don't care about. It would require a major cultural shift in which people that are apathetic are not the norm and are shunned, something that is highly unlikely.
    Also, increasing training on how to contribute to society and be a contributing citizen is desirable but it is a tightrope between the government dictating to citizens on how to contribute or not.

    I certainly wish our home economics classes and civics classes in high school had more relevant subjects. I recall being taught the branches of government, how to write a check. Nothing that actually teaches these are the laws, this is how you can find out this or that about the laws. These are your legal rights so if a police officer asks for this they must have something that authorizes it. With the prevalence of guns in US society I think gun safety and responsibility should be taught to all so we see friend X leaving a loaded pistol unlocked in a location known and accessible by his kids that everyone has the education to tell him that is BS and he needs to secure his firearm.

    The byzantine code of laws, tax codes, and regulations which no one understands in itself makes the ability of someone with a full time job and limited interest not able to really be able understand the issues they should be electing politicians on. This is why the big cultural/societal ones are the ones that politicians rally around, average joe can understand cultural changes they don't like, they can understand issues that are counter to their religious beliefs and it's these that are raised as banners for them to rally around or against.
    It can't simply be about education, of course, but of constructing a system where people simply are responsible for democratic decision-making, primarily impacting their own lives and the lives of their neighbours, on a daily basis.

    It has to be something automatic, not a recommendation or exhortation from on high, not something dependent on continuous direct intervention to function.

    Yes, sounds complicated.


    Let me touch on something I can't recall sources for: people don't like bureaucracy. Low-income people will actually shun community centers and other free government-run establishments if there's any kind of bureaucracy they have to endure to enjoy them. Instead, they will flock to the cheap commercial areas and fast food establishments, making them into ad hoc community centers. This is especially common with McDonalds. I gather, if you walk in any time off-hours, you'll see homeless people, job seekers, retirees, all gathered together.
    Amenities like WiFi and clean premises/bathrooms help (it's sad our community centers don't have always have these).

    People will pay good money to avoid bureaucracy, even if they don't have much of it.

    So, a critical aspect of any reformed society must be the reduction of the front-end bureaucratic load. Services and information must be easy to access, on the road to becoming used by a broad base of society, since if everyone is involved it's harder to justify an argument for abolishing it. Moreover, it's a good in itself because the more time people spend with bureaucracy, the less time they have for other things in their lives.

    Another challenging but essential meta-principle.

    Making Senators elected by State Legislatures again would be a good step in that direction. It's not about being against democracy but adjusting what form of it works for the times we live in, fifty years down the line something else will be more suitable and we'll need to adjust for that as well.
    This is a weakness of reactionism right here: why do you think returning to state legislature delegation will work the way you prefer? It seems smarter to develop bespoke a better approach for our context, and then apply it, rather than rolling back what may or may not be helpful. Arguments for reform should be based just as much on the positive attributes of the target as the negative attributes of the status quo.

    Right now our society has a bit too much direct democracy (ex:Boaty Mcboatface) and it should devolve a bit more to the indirect representative form so that the technocrats can run things behind the scenes without the election cycle stymieing progress too much. Right now with the debates being fed by social media propaganda and rumors together with demagogue pundits on TV and radio stoking the fires of radicalism on both sides and killing what should be civil discourse it'd be in our interest to roll back some reforms to be less directly democratic.
    Both left and right fringes argue that technocrats need to display more humility, and that shutting out the public from debates is part of what has got us into our messes. After all, the measure of the technocrats has not often been whether their ideas are good or work out (except to an extent in the weeds of very technical and 'hidden' disciplines like civil engineering or wildlife conservation), but how convenient they are for the interests of the politicians, the elected officials.

    How about this: the organizing principle for socialism is that people have more control over their communities and everyday lives, so when we start with radical direct democracy we ease in from the lowest levels of neighborhood up, then workplace/enterprise... while making the federal/national more technocratized than it has been, since at this level we also have those issues that are properly trans-national, a category whose contents are always proliferating today...
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  18. #48
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Which MEP was it that ran over your cat? Did you report it to the police?

    My cats are fine thanks for your concern. But by just about any definition the EU is fascist

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Sounds like the episode of Yes Prime Minister "Power to the People". The theory is well known and the methods of how it could be implemented are thought out. But those who could drive change don't want to.

    Politicians rarely want any more people interested in politics - there are technically few barriers to entry to the profession so the one they try to have as much of possible is apathy. If that fails, the system of MP candidates elected by the local party helps ensure that it is almost impossible to win, if not stand.

    Bureaucracies are generally created / run by bureaucrats. Who like to have as much power as possible, which is often determined by the size of budget and number of reports. Simple things might not need lots of highly paid managers!

    In the UK, there has only been Universal suffrage for 100 years and for almost all of that time there have been ways to reduce the input of the pollis: did the Civil Service need to speak in Latin up until the 50's 60's? Of course not - but it massively limited the franchise.

    In the UK a few years ago there was a vote on whether we wanted first past the post or single transferable vote. I voted (without much enthusiasm) for STV mainly since I did not really understand what all the fuss was about. Yet Youtube has videos that can impart a convincing argument inside of 5 minutes. This leads me to believe that the poor campaign was mainly since there was the need to have a vote... but no one wanted anything to actually, y'know, change. Rather like every initial vote on the EU has been from every country a resounding "NO!" but then things were altered to ensure that things continued.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    My cats are fine thanks for your concern. But by just about any definition the EU is fascist
    Democracy is an outdated concept. China, the US, Russia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and plenty of others have all gone fascist and are very happy with it. It's only natural for the EU to do the same instead of missing the trend until others become the ultimate authorities on fascism.


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  21. #51
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Democracy is an outdated concept. China, the US, Russia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and plenty of others have all gone fascist and are very happy with it. It's only natural for the EU to do the same instead of missing the trend until others become the ultimate authorities on fascism.
    That is why I (and most) have kinda had it with Brussels

  22. #52
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    That is why I (and most) have kinda had it with Brussels
    You believe in outdated, superfluous concepts?


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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    People dont tend to question a system until they stop winning.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    You believe in outdated, superfluous concepts?

    I do not believe in anything, I just hope for independant thoughts
    Last edited by Fragony; 05-31-2018 at 23:51.

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    People dont tend to question a system until they stop winning.
    My "side" losing led me to take a deeper interest in what the actors in the system are supposed to do. And it led me to appreciate the abilities of the people working within said system, on all sides. And it led me to want to do my bit in my own little corner of the system, or indeed independent of the system.

    Tell me, how has Brexit changed the system for the better? Who's doing better things? How are problems finally being addressed, now that your side has won? What is your side doing with your victory?

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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Privatizing the NHS
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    My "side" losing led me to take a deeper interest in what the actors in the system are supposed to do. And it led me to appreciate the abilities of the people working within said system, on all sides. And it led me to want to do my bit in my own little corner of the system, or indeed independent of the system.

    Tell me, how has Brexit changed the system for the better? Who's doing better things? How are problems finally being addressed, now that your side has won? What is your side doing with your victory?
    Currently we are waiting either for the next election or for the PM to finally resign or be ousted in favour of someone who actually wants to leave. We waited this long.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    Don't be scared that you don't freak out. Be scared when you don't care about freaking out
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  28. #58
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    Currently we are waiting either for the next election or for the PM to finally resign or be ousted in favour of someone who actually wants to leave. We waited this long.
    We're due for a hard Brexit 29th March next year, whoever the PM may be, whether or not the PM wants to leave. What are our arrangements? After all, as you alluded to in your previous post, Remain lost, ergo Leave must have won. What is Leave doing with your victory? When are Leave going to fulfil your promises? When is the NHS getting the 350m/week that we used to send to the EU?

  29. #59
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Trade in the eurozone will be more expensive, trade outside the eurozone you can arrange for yourself

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Center More Fascist Than Fascists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Trade in the eurozone will be more expensive, trade outside the eurozone you can arrange for yourself
    Have you heard of supply chains? JIT?

    And we're already outside the eurozone. We were never in the eurozone.

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