Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Brexit

Tidbits and Notes. Part 276

Visiter un dentist a Bruxelles? Mais c’est une canine qui a des racines. Et si le dentist comprent de travers et marrache une dent tout a fait saine?

Le Gouvernement Libanais: Mais comment peut-on faire glisser la merde de ce budget cette fois-ci? Ca fait plus de 3 semaines que le governement essay d’appaiser tous les organizations and service public, de maniere a ne pas toucher a leur salaire et les epargnes des retraites.

Israel knows, but USA administrations refuse to admit that in order for Israel to survive the next 2 decades, Israel has to withdraw unilaterally from Lebanese occupied lands in Mazaare3 Sheb3a and Kfarshouba, and let the Lebanese army enter these restituted lands

Les souvenirs agissent comme antidote quand le passe’ n’ interesse personne. Et on reconsidere tout depuis le debut: Mais non, tous ces gens du passe’ n’ etaient pas des imbeciles

Tu a un sacre’ disque dur qui lui manque severement de ram? Allo, ca existe toujours les disques durs?

In Kornet Chehwan (Lebanon), there exist a private library of late Maitre Phares Zoghbi. After years of negotiation with the university USJ,  this university has decided to trample on its legal agreement and the spirit of keeping this library opened to the community. USJ decided to close the library, dismantle it and sell the house and land.  Is the soul of preserving a semblance of a community dead? This ignominy should Not passaran.

La langue francaise est feminine: Est-ce pour cella qu’elle sonne bonne?

The resistance forces against Israel will win: their legitimate morale and their moral are at the ascending. Israel soldiers return home morally and emotionally handicapped.

It is shameful that most EU states have either abstained or voted against the UN report on Israel crimes against human rights. It is urgent that foreign offices in neighboring countries to Palestine submit detailed reports on daily violent activities of Israel to EU ambassadors: NO excuses of Not doing due diligence.

“Seul celui qui travaille doit pouvoir manger?” (German Deputy Muntefering). Donc, Tous ceux qui touchent des allocations doivent fumer et boire de la bierre?

Geneticists at the turn of the century were hopeful that after the near completion of the Human Genome Project, they would be able to provide comprehensive personalized insights to everyone. While this idea may be true eventually, right now it’s still a pipe dream: Individual genetics have so many variations (membership), scientists couldn’t possibly understand them all in the few decades modern genetics has existed. (Waiting for AI to be more comprehensive?)

The growth of these services has been exponential in recent years: Globally over 26 million people have taken some kind of consumer genetic test, and in just five years, forecasts suggest, the industry will be worth $2.5 billion. It’s clear that the services’ popularity won’t go away anytime soon. (Tests’ shortcomings semi-scientifically clarified in the fine print?). The long-term effects they’ll have on consumers depend on how their creators choose to clarify the uncertainties of science. —Katherine Ellen Foley

In the US, Australia, and Canada, nearly one in three international students is from China. This happened because of the rise of China’s middle class, and universities’ increasingly revenue-focused approach to enrollment.

In Sri Lanka, efforts to combat violence might include analyses of women’s roles in such attacks and ensuring that the country’s Muslim population isn’t targeted. In most under-developed countries, women are the sources for maintaining archaic traditions in the household and controlling it in neighbourhoods.

In the 4 volumes of “L’ Amie Prodigieuse” by Elena Ferrante, it dawn on me that Lana was madly in love with Michele the “gangster”, since childhood, and this love was reciprocated. When his brother Marcelo wooed her for months and dropped him out of spite, she knew that marrying Michele was out of the question. She decided to remain in the Old Quarter of Naples to be close to Michele. There was no explicit allusion to this hypothesis in the 4 volumes.

You cannot be a traitor to your people and preserve your Druze religious sect Walid Jumblat. At best, you’ll end up an exiled in Turkey, the new Ottoman country

Why those who have worthy stories to tell, never write? Is it because they are old and never learned to write, or failed to practice noting down their experiences? Is it why most history stories are fraught with imagined “faked news”?

Si l’ oiseau sait marcher, l’homme doit savoir voler par soi-meme. Et si l’ oiseau peut voler apres avoir mange’ d’un seul coup son poids, l’homme doit pouvoir marcher apres un grand festin.

Lebanese refuse the wide variety and over- burdening indirect taxes that makes Lebanon the most expensive State: every paperwork requires dozen of expensive transactions, the tax on gasoline (50% on each gallon), two bills on water and electricity…

La temperance pratique’ en Paques par les peuples Protestants exprime deja le doute.

Many go to great extent to scientifically match the birth of Jesus to some extraordinary celestial occurrences. My question is: And the hundreds who were born at the same moment? Who can they be? Shou ta3neton?

The EU is for the youth, and the voters for Brexit denied them this right

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Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 201

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

The deep reason for Brexit was that in the last 2 decades, the British establishment went through deep depression as Germany dominated Europe in economic development and world export market share. England started WWI because Germany became #2 in world export after USA

The rationale of depressed British establishment for quitting EU was: “If there is no way to catch up with Germany, it is better for our sanity to lick our wounds in isolation”

In a complicated night dream, I handed a friend a $5,000 bill (does it exist?). He busted his ass to gather me some change which amounted to $30. My lucid dream got me working 3 minimum jobs to make ends meet.  Woke up relaxed

Suppose Palestinian teenage girl 3ahd Tamimi was Not a white blonde girl? Would a dark skinned girl wearing a veil Not be already handicapped by soldiers at age 10 when she refused to blink first?

“L’Ecume des Jours” by Boris Vian. A beautiful title that I keep forgetting.

Les cannoniéres Israeliennes se sont données a Coeur joie, bombardant le camps Palestinien de Rashidiya en 1982. Elles auraient pu bombarder toute une journée, mais la politique limite le nombre des victims.

The various factions among Shias and Sunnis have always been political in nature: positions according to the power-to-be. The Sunnis sided with the Caliph of Islam, regardless of Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid… The Shias were considered the heretic opposition factions because they opposed the Caliph.

Elle avait des yeux oú il faisait si bon vivre que je n’ ai jamais su oú aller depuis.

Begun in 2005 by the largest trade union federations and organizations in Palestinian society, B.D.S. calls for ending Israel’s 1967 occupation, “recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,” and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and lands from which they were forcibly dispossessed, displaced and transferred to Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria in 1948.

Since Hezbollah is the most powerful political and social movement in Lebanon in number, organization, military training, and in readiness, it has the potential to either drive Lebanon to a secular democratic system or strengthen the multi-theocratic structure that the Lebanese have been subjugated to since independence in 1943.

Estafeed min zafaraatikat al tawilat wa anta waa3i. Kteer ma bi sorlon yozforo wa2t al abadiyyat, min mashaakel wa tasa2oulaat hal denyyeh

Estejdaa2 colonial powers yastalzem mouwazanat lel Dawlet

Internal security Officer Khashfeh is back among the Mouyamimeen bil kahrabat? Kaal kellon ekhweto wa wlado: a3taked biyodrob wlado bil bayt kamaan

Notes and comments on FB and Twitter. Part 34

Les lois sur la “pureté” des femmes sont apocryphes: ceux qui sont ecrites sont des interpretations mesquines et politiques

J’ attendais que le genie figure de chef providential s’incarnat pour sauver la patrie.

J’ étais bête et le suis demeuré- bête á tuer, á vivre, á espérer, et á triompher ou a être vaincu

On avance dans la vie selon les charactéres dominantes de la mére et du pére. On change bien: on interchange un character plus frequemment qu’ avec un autre. On interpréte le passé selon le charactére de l’instant, qui nous attrape á la gorge.

Si je rêve de transformer le monde en un jardin heureux, ce n’est plus par amour pour les gens que par celui des jardins

Ce phénoméne emergent qui accepte la défaite: comme si on peut etre vaincu, pas broyé

Rendre justice provient d’un esprit esthétique. Si on en manque, justice n’est plus équitable

Pour faire face a la vie, les hommes chanceux s’accrochent á l’opportunité d’une bouée feminine: Qui leur donne le sentiment d’offrir alors qu’ils prennent, de soutenir alors qu’ils s’appuient

The US can provide all the tanks it wants to the Syrian Kurds. Keep in mind, the US will Not retain any military bases in Syria. And the Kurds will prove to be stauncher Syrian nationalists

Le Conseil des Cents a Florence de l’an 1293 avait la responsabilité des finances. Il excluait les plus riches et les plus pauvres.

L’Enfant vit dans les adultes. Le plus difficile pour l’adulte est de consciemment permettre a L’enfant de survivre pour un temps

Ou bien il y a un destin qui joue son jeu, ou il n’y a pas: Autant rester couché et révassé d’un monde heureux

Ceux qui m’avaient promis victoires et laurriers…c’est á eux de se débrouiller

De memoire, aucun ne m’a promis quoique se soit. Ou bien ma memoire défaille, ou bien j’ai refusé de prendre les promesses au sérieux. J’aurai du.

Moi j’ ai pris mes promesses trop au sérieux: je manquais de sagesse

Brexit is a desperate decision to forget the huge gap to catch up with Germany giant economic growth. In the last century, Germany was the economic nemesis for England in world market trade.

Aicha led the first Islam civil war in the battle of the Camel. The sunnis sided with Caliph Ali and the Shias sided with Aicha. Aicha was upset with Caliph Ali dragging his feet in Not apprehending and prosecuting those who assassinated Caliph Othman in Medina.

Pas besoin de rejeter tout ce qu’on nous offre, mais même ce petit offre ne sera pas laché sans une bagarre armée convaincante

L’ennemi c’est l’appareil d’Etat sioniste, maintenu en vie par l’imperialism.

L’ennemi existential c’est le Zionist colonisateur, en Palestine et ailleurs.

Israel aurait la vie bien plus facile si son adversaire direct n’était pas le people Palestinien. Vivre dans une part de l’Ouganda aurait été le paradis de paix.

Les Palestiniens sont plus éduqués, cultivés et plus capable que les Israeliens, même si la moitie est enfermee dans des camps sinistres.

Les Palestiniens, eparpillés dans le monde entire, se connaissent tous et communiquent leurs addresses. Ils n’ ont pas besoin de registre central.

Avoir un ami Palestinien c’ est faire le tour du monde et être invité partout ou on va. C’ est le cas de la diaspora Libanaise, mais moins hospitalliére et communicante.

Les Israeliens ont truffés l’ eau du Jourdain de mines, seule une fine aiguille emerge de l’ eau. Beaucoup de najeurs Jourdanien et Palestiniens ont peris par ces mines flottantes.

Je suis un mauvais homme: J’ ai raté tous mes cibles pendant la guerre. Et mes cauchemars tiennent du remords de n’ avoir pas pu tué

Why Brexit happened — and what to do next

Leave vote regions Brexit: Regions I barely visited in my life

The regions most tolerant of immigrants have the highest numbers of immigrants.

We are embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are, and Brexit grew out of a deep, unexamined divide between those that fear globalization and those that embrace it, says social scientist Alexander Betts. How do we now address that fear as well as growing disillusionment with the political establishment, while refusing to give in to xenophobia and nationalism?

Join Betts as he discusses four post-Brexit steps toward a more inclusive world.

Alexander Betts. Social scientist. Alexander Betts explores ways societies might empower refugees rather than pushing them to the margins. Full bio

Filmed June 2016

I am British. Never before has the phrase “I am British” elicited so much pity.

0:23 (Laughter)

I come from an island where many of us like to believe there’s been a lot of continuity over the last thousand years. We tend to have historically imposed change on others but done much less of it ourselves.

 it came as an immense shock to me when I woke up on the morning of June 24 to discover that my country had voted to leave the European Union, my Prime Minister had resigned, and Scotland was considering a referendum that could bring to an end the very existence of the United Kingdom.

that was an immense shock for me, and it was an immense shock for many people, but it was also something that, over the following several days, created a complete political meltdown in my country.

There were calls for a second referendum, almost as if, following a sports match, we could ask the opposition for a replay. Everybody was blaming everybody else.

People blamed the Prime Minister for calling the referendum in the first place. They blamed the leader of the opposition for not fighting it hard enough. The young accused the old. The educated blamed the less well-educated.

That complete meltdown was made even worse by the most tragic element of it: levels of xenophobia and racist abuse in the streets of Britain at a level that I have never seen before in my lifetime. People are now talking about whether my country is becoming a Little England, or, as one of my colleagues put it, whether we’re about to become a 1950s nostalgia theme park floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

2:01 (Laughter)

2:04 But my question is really, should we have the degree of shock that we’ve experienced since? Was it something that took place overnight? Or are there deeper structural factors that have led us to where we are today?

I want to take a step back and ask two very basic questions.

First, what does Brexit represent, not just for my country, but for all of us around the world? And

second, what can we do about it? How should we all respond?

what does Brexit represent? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Brexit teaches us many things about our society and about societies around the world. It highlights in ways that we seem embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are.

The vote split along lines of age, education, class and geography.

Young people didn’t turn out to vote in great numbers, but those that did wanted to remain.

Older people really wanted to leave the European Union.

Geographically, it was London and Scotland that most strongly committed to being part of the European Union, while in other parts of the country there was very strong ambivalence.

Those divisions are things we really need to recognize and take seriously. But more profoundly, the vote teaches us something about the nature of politics today.

Contemporary politics is no longer just about right and left. It’s no longer just about tax and spend. It’s about globalization. The fault line of contemporary politics is between those that embrace globalization and those that fear globalization.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
ted.com|By Alexander Betts

If we look at why those who wanted to leave — we call them “Leavers,” as opposed to “Remainers” — we see two factors in the opinion polls that really mattered.

The first was immigration, and the second sovereignty, and these represent a desire for people to take back control of their own lives and the feeling that they are unrepresented by politicians.

But those ideas are ones that signify fear and alienation. They represent a retreat back towards nationalism and borders in ways that many of us would reject.

What I want to suggest is the picture is more complicated than that, that liberal internationalists, like myself, and I firmly include myself in that picture, need to write ourselves back into the picture in order to understand how we’ve got to where we are today.

When we look at the voting patterns across the United Kingdom, we can visibly see the divisions. The blue areas show Remain and the red areas Leave. When I looked at this, what personally struck me was the very little time in my life I’ve actually spent in many of the red areas.

I suddenly realized that, looking at the top 50 areas in the UK that have the strongest Leave vote, I’ve spent a combined total of four days of my life in those areas. In some of those places, I didn’t even know the names of the voting districts. It was a real shock to me, and it suggested that people like me who think of ourselves as inclusive, open and tolerant, perhaps don’t know our own countries and societies nearly as well as we like to believe.

5:37 (Applause)

And the challenge that comes from that is we need to find a new way to narrate globalization to those people, to recognize that for those people who have not necessarily been to university, who haven’t necessarily grown up with the Internet, that don’t get opportunities to travel, they may be unpersuaded by the narrative that we find persuasive in our often liberal bubbles.  

t means that we need to reach out more broadly and understand. In the Leave vote, a minority have peddled the politics of fear and hatred, creating lies and mistrust around, for instance, the idea that the vote on Europe could reduce the number of refugees and asylum-seekers coming to Europe, when the vote on leaving had nothing to do with immigration from outside the European Union.

But for a significant majority of the Leave voters the concern was disillusionment with the political establishment. This was a protest vote for many, a sense that nobody represented them, that they couldn’t find a political party that spoke for them, and so they rejected that political establishment.

This replicates around Europe and much of the liberal democratic world.

We see it with the rise in popularity of Donald Trump in the United States, with the growing nationalism of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, with the increase in popularity of Marine Le Pen in France. The specter of Brexit is in all of our societies.

the question I think we need to ask is my second question, which is how should we collectively respond?

For all of us who care about creating liberal, open, tolerant societies, we urgently need a new vision, a vision of a more tolerant, inclusive globalization, one that brings people with us rather than leaving them behind.

That vision of globalization is one that has to start by a recognition of the positive benefits of globalization. The consensus amongst economists is that free trade, the movement of capital, the movement of people across borders benefit everyone on aggregate.

The consensus amongst international relations scholars is that globalization brings interdependence, which brings cooperation and peace.

But globalization also has redistributive effects. It creates winners and losers.

To take the example of migration, we know that immigration is a net positive for the economy as a whole under almost all circumstances. But we also have to be very aware that there are redistributive consequences, that importantly, low-skilled immigration can lead to a reduction in wages for the most impoverished in our societies and also put pressure on house prices.

That doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s positive, but it means more people have to share in those benefits and recognize them.

In 2002, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, gave a speech at Yale University, and that speech was on the topic of inclusive globalization. That was the speech in which he coined that term. And he said, and I paraphrase, The glass house of globalization has to be open to all if it is to remain secure. Bigotry and ignorance are the ugly face of exclusionary and antagonistic globalization.”

That idea of inclusive globalization was briefly revived in 2008 in a conference on progressive governance involving many of the leaders of European countries.

But amid austerity and the financial crisis of 2008, the concept disappeared almost without a trace. Globalization has been taken to support a neoliberal agenda. It’s perceived to be part of an elite agenda rather than something that benefits all. And it needs to be reclaimed on a far more inclusive basis than it is today.

So the question is, how can we achieve that goal? How can we balance on the one hand addressing fear and alienation while on the other hand refusing vehemently to give in to xenophobia and nationalism?

That is the question for all of us. And I think, as a social scientist, that social science offers some places to start. Our transformation has to be about both ideas and about material change, and I want to give you four ideas as a starting point.

The first relates to the idea of civic education. What stands out from Brexit is the gap between public perception and empirical reality. It’s been suggested that we’ve moved to a post-factual society, where evidence and truth no longer matter, and lies have equal status to the clarity of evidence.

How can we rebuild respect for truth and evidence into our liberal democracies? It has to begin with education, but it has to start with the recognition that there are huge gaps.

 In 2014, the pollster Ipsos MORI published a survey on attitudes to immigration, and it showed that as numbers of immigrants increase, so public concern with immigration also increases, although it obviously didn’t unpack causality, because this could equally be to do not so much with numbers but the political and media narrative around it.

But the same survey also revealed huge public misinformation and misunderstanding about the nature of immigration. For example, in these attitudes in the United Kingdom, the public believed that levels of asylum were a greater proportion of immigration than they were, but they also believed the levels of educational migration were far lower as a proportion of overall migration than they actually are.

So we have to address this misinformation, the gap between perception and reality on key aspects of globalization. And that can’t just be something that’s left to our schools, although that’s important to begin at an early age. It has to be about lifelong civic participation and public engagement that we all encourage as societies.

The second thing that I think is an opportunity is the idea to encourage more interaction across diverse communities.  

One of the things that stands out for me very strikingly, looking at immigration attitudes in the United Kingdom, is that ironically, the regions of my country that are the most tolerant of immigrants have the highest numbers of immigrants.

So for instance, London and the Southeast have the highest numbers of immigrants, and they are also by far the most tolerant areas. It’s those areas of the country that have the lowest levels of immigration that actually are the most exclusionary and intolerant towards migrants.

So we need to encourage exchange programs. We need to ensure that older generations who maybe can’t travel get access to the Internet. We need to encourage, even on a local and national level, more movement, more participation, more interaction with people who we don’t know and whose views we might not necessarily agree with.

The third thing that I think is crucial, though, and this is really fundamental, is we have to ensure that everybody shares in the benefits of globalization.

This illustration from the Financial Times post-Brexit is really striking. It shows tragically that those people who voted to leave the European Union were those who actually benefited the most materially from trade with the European Union.

But the problem is that those people in those areas didn’t perceive themselves to be beneficiaries. They didn’t believe that they were actually getting access to material benefits of increased trade and increased mobility around the world.

I work on questions predominantly to do with refugees, and one of the ideas I spent a lot of my time preaching, mainly to developing countries around the world, is that in order to encourage the integration of refugees, we can’t just benefit the refugee populations, we also have to address the concerns of the host communities in local areas.

But in looking at that, one of the policy prescriptions is that we have to provide disproportionately better education facilities, health facilities, access to social services in those regions of high immigration to address the concerns of those local populations. But while we encourage that around the developing world, we don’t take those lessons home and incorporate them in our own societies.

if we’re going to really take seriously the need to ensure people share in the economic benefits, our businesses and corporations need a model of globalization that recognizes that they, too, have to take people with them.

The fourth and final idea I want to put forward is an idea that we need more responsible politics. There’s very little social science evidence that compares attitudes on globalization. But from the surveys that do exist, what we can see is there’s huge variation across different countries and time periods in those countries for attitudes and tolerance of questions like migration and mobility on the one hand and free trade on the other.

But one hypothesis that I think emerges from a cursory look at that data is the idea that polarized societies are far less tolerant of globalization.

It’s the societies like Sweden in the past, like Canada today, where there is a centrist politics, where right and left work together, that we encourage supportive attitudes towards globalization.

And what we see around the world today is a tragic polarization, a failure to have dialogue between the extremes in politics, and a gap in terms of that liberal center ground that can encourage communication and a shared understanding. We might not achieve that today, but at the very least we have to call upon our politicians and our media to drop a language of fear and be far more tolerant of one another.

 These ideas are very tentative, and that’s in part because this needs to be an inclusive and shared project.

16:37 I am still British. I am still European. I am still a global citizen.

For those of us who believe that our identities are not mutually exclusive, we have to all work together to ensure that globalization takes everyone with us and doesn’t leave people behind. Only then will we truly reconcile democracy and globalization.

What may happen next with Brexit and Trump?

Brexit is almost done. And Trump?

[note: this essay contains a lot of links out, which are underlined. Consider them further reading or me backing up my opinions]

It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here opinions based on information and they’re intended just to challenge and be part of a wider dialogue.

My background is archaeology, history and anthropology. It leads me to look at big historical patterns.

My theory is that most peoples’ perspective of history is limited to the experience communicated by their parents and grandparents, so 50–100 years. To go beyond that you have to read, study, and learn to untangle the propaganda that is inevitable in all telling of history.

In a nutshell, at university I would fail a paper if I didn’t compare at least two, if not three opposing views on a topic. Taking one telling of events as gospel doesn’t wash in the comparative analytical method of research that forms the core of British academia. (I can’t speak for other systems, but they’re definitely not all alike in this way).

So zooming out, we humans have a habit of going into phases of mass destruction, generally self imposed to some extent or another. This handy list shows all the wars over time.

Wars are actually the norm for humans, but every now and then something big comes along. I am interested in the Black Death, which devastated Europe.

Joanna Choukeir Hojeily and Jean Hakim shared a link.
medium.com/@theonlytoby/h…|By Tobias Stone

The opening of Boccaccio’s Decameron describes Florence in the grips of the Plague. It is as beyond imagination as the Somme, Hiroshima, or the Holocaust. I mean, you quite literally can’t put yourself there and imagine what it was like. For those in the midst of the Plague it must have felt like the end of the world. (How classified as war?)

But a defining feature of humans is their resilience. To us now it seems obvious that we survived the Plague, but to people at the time it must have seemed incredible that their society continued afterwards.

Indeed, many takes on the effects of the Black Death are that it had a positive impact in the long term. Well summed up here: “By targeting frail people of all ages, and killing them by the hundreds of thousands within an extremely short period of time, the Black Death might have represented a strong force of natural selection and removed the weakest individuals on a very broad scale within Europe,“  (It harvested very strong people too. Nothing to do with physical weaknesses)

…In addition, the Black Death significantly changed the social structure of some European regions. Tragic depopulation created the shortage of working people. This shortage caused wages to rise. Products prices fell too. Consequently, standards of living increased. For instance, people started to consume more food of higher quality.”

But for the people living through it, as with the World Wars, Soviet Famines, Holocaust, it must have felt inconceivable that humans could rise up from it.

The collapse of the Roman Empire, Black Death, Spanish Inquisition, Thirty Years War, War of the Roses, English Civil War… it’s a long list. Events of massive destruction from which humanity recovered and move on, often in better shape. (Not convincing a reasoning for the better shape conjecture)

At a local level in time people think things are fine, then things rapidly spiral out of control until they become unstoppable, and we wreak massive destruction on ourselves. For the people living in the midst of this it is hard to see happening and hard to understand.

To historians later it all makes sense and we see clearly how one thing led to another. During the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme I was struck that it was a direct outcome of the assassination of an Austrian Arch Duke in Bosnia. I very much doubt anyone at the time thought the killing of a minor European royal would lead to the death of 17 million people.

My point is that this is a cycle.

It happens again, but as most people only have a 50–100 year historical perspective they don’t see that it’s happening again. As the events that led to the First World War unfolded, there were a few brilliant minds who started to warn that something big was wrong, that the web of treaties across Europe could lead to a war, but they were dismissed as hysterical, mad, or fools, as is always the way, and as people who worry about Putin, Brexit, and Trump are dismissed now.

Then after the War to end all Wars, we went and had another one. Again, for a historian it was quite predictable. Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable.

That was Hitler, but it was also Mussolini, Stalin, Putin, Mugabe, and so many more. Mugabe is a very good case in point. He whipped up national anger and hatred towards the land owning white minority (who happened to know how to run farms), and seized their land to redistribute to the people, in a great populist move which in the end unravelled the economy and farming industry and left the people in possession of land, but starving.

See also the famines created by the Soviet Union, and the one caused by the Chinese Communists last century in which 20–40 million people died. It seems inconceivable that people could create a situation in which tens of millions of people die without reason, but we do it again and again.

But at the time people don’t realise they’re embarking on a route that will lead to a destruction period. They think they’re right, they’re cheered on by jeering angry mobs, their critics are mocked. This cycle, the one we saw for example from the Treaty of Versailles, to the rise of Hitler, to the Second World War, appears to be happening again.

But as with before, most people cannot see it because:

1. They are only looking at the present, not the past or future

2. They are only looking immediately around them, not at how events connect globally

3. Most people don’t read, think, challenge, or hear opposing views

Trump is doing this in America.

Those of us with some oversight from history can see it happening. Read this brilliant, long essay in the New York magazine to understand how Plato described all this, and it is happening just as he predicted. Trump says he will Make America Great Again, when in fact America is currently great, according to pretty well any statistics.

He is using passion, anger, and rhetoric in the same way all his predecessors did — a charismatic narcissist who feeds on the crowd to become ever stronger, creating a cult around himself. You can blame society, politicians, the media, for America getting to the point that it’s ready for Trump, but the bigger historical picture is that history generally plays out the same way each time someone like him becomes the boss.

On a wider stage, zoom out some more, Russia is a dictatorship with a charismatic leader using fear and passion to establish a cult around himself. Turkey is now there too. Hungary, Poland, Slovakia are heading that way, and across Europe more Trumps and Putins are waiting in the wings, in fact funded by Putin, waiting for the popular tide to turn their way.

(As if Russia had amassed enough financial capital to bestow on so many countries. I have the impression this article main purpose is to target Russia as the villain, and totally ignoring the main Evil in US foreign policies)

We should be asking ourselves what our Archduke Ferdinand moment will be. How will an apparently small event trigger another period of massive destruction. We see Brexit, Trump, Putin in isolation. The world does not work that way — all things are connected and affecting each other.

I have pro-Brexit friends who say ‘oh, you’re going to blame that on Brexit too??’ But they don’t realise that actually, yes, historians will trace neat lines from apparently unrelated events back to major political and social shifts like Brexit.

Brexit — a group of angry people winning a fight — easily inspires other groups of angry people to start a similar fight, empowered with the idea that they may win. That alone can trigger chain reactions.

A nuclear explosion is not caused by one atom splitting, but by the impact of the first atom that splits causing multiple other atoms near it to split, and they in turn causing multiple atoms to split. The exponential increase in atoms splitting, and their combined energy is the bomb. That is how World War One started and, ironically how World War Two ended.

An example of how Brexit could lead to a nuclear war could be this: (Oh Oh. This is going too far)

Brexit in the UK causes Italy or France to have a similar referendum. Le Pen wins an election in France. Europe now has a fractured EU. The EU, for all its many awful faults, has prevented a war in Europe for longer than ever before.

The EU is also a major force in suppressing Putin’s military ambitions. European sanctions on Russia really hit the economy, and helped temper Russia’s attacks on Ukraine (there is a reason bad guys always want a weaker European Union). Trump wins in the US. Trump becomes isolationist, which weakens NATO. He has already said he would not automatically honour NATO commitments in the face of a Russian attack on the Baltics.

With a fractured EU, and weakened NATO, Putin, facing an ongoing economic and social crisis in Russia, needs another foreign distraction around which to rally his people. He funds far right anti-EU activists in Latvia, who then create a reason for an uprising of the Russian Latvians in the East of the country (the EU border with Russia). Russia sends ‘peace keeping forces’ and ‘aid lorries’ into Latvia, as it did in Georgia, and in Ukraine. He annexes Eastern Latvia as he did Eastern Ukraine (Crimea has the same population as Latvia, by the way).

A divided Europe, with the leaders of France, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and others now pro-Russia, anti-EU, and funded by Putin, overrule calls for sanctions or a military response. NATO is slow to respond: Trump does not want America to be involved, and a large part of Europe is indifferent or blocking any action.

Russia, seeing no real resistance to their actions, move further into Latvia, and then into Eastern Estonia and Lithuania. The Baltic States declare war on Russia and start to retaliate, as they have now been invaded so have no choice. Half of Europe sides with them, a few countries remain neutral, and a few side with Russia. Where does Turkey stand on this? How does ISIS respond to a new war in Europe? Who uses a nuclear weapon first? (The USA will re-use the A-bomb first again: It has the habit and the hand)

This is just one Arch Duke Ferdinand scenario. The number of possible scenarios are infinite due to the massive complexity of the many moving parts. And of course many of them lead to nothing happening.

But based on history we are due another period of destruction, and based on history all the indicators are that we are entering one. (The world had been in wars for the last 60 years: the frequency of pre-emptive wars and manufactured civil wars surpassed the number of all wars since antiquity)

It will come in ways we can’t see coming, and will spin out of control so fast people won’t be able to stop it. Historians will look back and make sense of it all and wonder how we could all have been so naïve. How could I sit in a nice café in London, writing this, without wanting to run away.

How could people read it and make sarcastic and dismissive comments about how pro-Remain people should stop whining, and how we shouldn’t blame everything on Brexit. Others will read this and sneer at me for saying America is in great shape, that Trump is a possible future Hitler (and yes, Godwin’s Law. But my comparison is to another narcissistic, charismatic leader fanning flames of hatred until things spiral out of control).

It’s easy to jump to conclusions that oppose pessimistic predictions based on the weight of history and learning. Trump won against the other Republicans in debates by countering their claims by calling them names and dismissing them. It’s an easy route but the wrong one.

Ignoring and mocking the experts , as people are doing around Brexit and Trump’s campaign, is no different to ignoring a doctor who tells you to stop smoking, and then finding later you’ve developed incurable cancer. A little thing leads to an unstoppable destruction that could have been prevented if you’d listened and thought a bit. But people smoke, and people die from it. That is the way of the human.

So I feel it’s all inevitable. I don’t know what it will be, but we are entering a bad phase.  (Have we ever entered a good phase?)

It will be unpleasant for those living through it, maybe even will unravel into being hellish and beyond imagination. Humans will come out the other side, recover, and move on.

The human race will be fine, changed, maybe better. But for those at the sharp end — for the thousands of Turkish teachers who just got fired, for the Turkish journalists and lawyers in prison, for the Russian dissidents in gulags, for people lying wounded in French hospitals after terrorist attacks, for those yet to fall, this will be their Somme. (What? Not a word about the million refugees? About the thousands dying in civil wars and famine?…)

What can we do? Well, again, looking back, probably not much. The liberal intellectuals are always in the minority. See Clay Shirky’s Twitter Storm on this point. The people who see that open societies, being nice to other people, not being racist, not fighting wars, is a better way to live, they generally end up losing these fights. They don’t fight dirty. They are terrible at appealing to the populace. They are less violent, so end up in prisons, camps, and graves.

(What the author is suggesting again to avoid calamities? Very confused. A pack of conjectures Not related to the subject matter)

We need to beware not to become divided (see: Labour party), we need to avoid getting lost in arguing through facts and logic, and counter the populist messages of passion and anger with our own similar messages. We need to understand and use social media. We need to harness a different fear.

Fear of another World War nearly stopped World War 2, but didn’t. We need to avoid our own echo chambers. Trump and Putin supporters don’t read the Guardian, so writing there is just reassuring our friends. We need to find a way to bridge from our closed groups to other closed groups, try to cross the ever widening social divides.

Waking up to if we vote to Leave the EU?

Are you still undecided?

Are you someone who – pummelled by weeks of claim and counter-claim – has been left exhausted and annoyed?

Have you been looking for answers, yet all you’ve encountered are insults and exaggeration?

Maybe you’re so fed up that you think to hell with it, let’s throw caution to the wind and vote Brexit.

Imagine, however, what happens next. Imagine how you will feel on 24 June?

Having woken on Friday to the news we’re quitting the EU, you will assume that those who persuaded you to take that leap of faith have a plan about what to do next.

So imagine how dismayed you will feel when you discover, instead, that Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson can’t agree among themselves what life outside the EU looks like?

They may be united by a ferocious loathing of the EU, but they have no shared plan for the future

This is currently the top story on i news. It was written by Nick Clegg on Wednesday and some people are saying it is oddly prescient – in fact some people are now calling him ‘mystic clegg’ |(after popular astrologer Mystic Meg)

Gridlock

So you will look towards our leaders in Westminster to sort out the mess. Instead, they argue among themselves: the Conservatives descend into a bloody leadership election; Parliament enters years of constitutional gridlock trying to extricate itself from the intricate legal stitching which binds us to the EU and gives us access to world markets.

Then you discover just how unprepared the Government is – that there simply aren’t enough trade negotiators in Whitehall, for instance, with the expertise to renegotiate 50 or so international trade accords.

As politicians bicker, you become increasingly unnerved by what’s happening in the economy, too: overseas investors take fright; money flows out of the country; our credit rating is slashed; the interest on our borrowing goes up; unemployment rises; sterling tanks; prices in the shops go up.

Nicola Sturgeon soon announces that preparations have started for a second independence referendum, claiming it is the only way to keep Scotland in the EU. And this time most commentators think that she will win.

Still, at least they will finally sort out our borders, right? After all, ending mass immigration was the Brexiteers biggest claim of all.

So imagine how you’ll feel when you discover that they don’t have a plan for that either? Some argue for a new land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to stop EU immigrants coming in through the “back door”.

Others that a new border would harm the peace in Northern Ireland.

The Australian points system which they advocate is no solution either – it has led to immigration levels twice as high as in the UK.

Panic

Panic starts to spread among the 1.3 million Brits who live, study and retire elsewhere in the EU.

Spanish politicians start to complain about paying for public services used by British pensioners. If we start excluding Spanish doctors and nurses, why should they keep paying for our pensioners?

And then there’s that faintly queasy feeling you get when you see Donald Trump on the TV, visiting the UK on Friday, declaring his joy at the Brexit vote.

Meanwhile Angela Merkel invites President Obama to an emergency summit to discuss the fallout – the UK is, of course, excluded from what soon emerges as the new “special relationship” between the US and Germany.

The Brexiteers say you will “regain control”. But it won’t feel like that.

Instead, the economy lurches to recession; there’s upheaval in Westminster; no plan to allay concerns about immigration; another referendum in Scotland; a steep slide in Britain’s standing in the world.

Our wonderful country adrift – not in control. And for what?

Nigel, Michael and Boris still won’t be able to tell you why.

Brexit: what happens when Britain leaves the EU

Funny. Only after the vote do the British Google EU

Actually, very few European understand much about the procedures and processes of how the EU function.

Voters were in favor of Brexit: British exit from the European Union. That means that in the coming months, British and European leaders will begin negotiating the terms of Britain’s departure.

Britain’s exit will affect the British economy, immigration policy, and lots more.

It will take years for the full consequences to become clear. But here are some of the most important changes we can expect in the coming months.

Joanna Choukeir Hojeily shared this link

These seem to me like fairly accurate predictions – none of which look promising at all.

The process of leaving the EU will take years

A Brexit vote is Not legally binding, and there are a few ways it could theoretically be blocked or overturned. However, as the BBC notes, “it would be seen as political suicide to go against the will of the people as expressed in a referendum.”

Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union establishes the procedures for a member state to withdraw from the EU.

It requires the member state to notify the EU of its withdrawal and obliges the EU to then try to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with that state.

A Brexit vote, however, does not represent that formal notification. That notification could take place within days — for example, when EU member countries meet for a summit that is scheduled for June 28 to 29. Or British officials might wait a few months to pull the trigger.

Once Britain invokes Article 50, it will have a two-year window in which to negotiate a new treaty to replace the terms of EU membership. Britain and EU leaders would have to hash out issues like trade tariffs, migration, and the regulation of everything from cars to agriculture.

In the best-case scenario, Britain may be able to negotiate access to the European market that isn’t that different from what it has now. Norway is not a member of the EU, but it has agreed to abide by a number of EU rules in exchange for favorable access to the European Common Market.

British Prime Minister David Cameron didn’t want to hold a vote on Brexit at all.

But in 2014, he faced growing pressure from the populist right over immigration and Britain’s EU membership. To mollify dissenters in his own party and stop the rise of the far-right UK Independence Party, Cameron promised to hold a referendum on leaving the EU if his Conservative Party won the 2015 election.

The Conservatives surprised pollsters by winning an outright majority in Parliament, and Cameron kept his promise. But he wasn’t personally in favor of exiting the EU, and he campaigned vigorously for a “Remain” vote.

At the same time, he allowed other members of his government to campaign on the other side.

This created the spectacle of senior members of the UK government, from the same party, campaigning on opposite sides of one of the biggest issues in British politics in decades.

Not long after Thursday’s results became clear, Cameron announced that he would resign by October.

It’s unclear what will happen next, but one likely outcome will be for Cameron to be replaced by Boris Johnson, a member of Cameron’s Conservative Party and former London Mayor who campaigned for a Leave vote. It’s also possible that the Conservative Party will splinter so badly that no one is able to claim a parliamentary majority, forcing early elections.

Brexit will cause problems for Britain’s economy

In the short run, uncertainty about Britain’s future relationship with the EU, its largest trading partner, could push the UK into a recession. Friday saw huge market volatility.

The British pound lost 10 percent of its value in the hours after the polls closed on Thursday, and Britain’s FTSE 100 index lost 9 percent of its value in early Friday trading, before regaining much of the lost ground.

And that volatility reflects market worries about more severe consequences in the months ahead. With Cameron out of power, Britain’s prospects of negotiating a favorable deal with the EU could be weakened.

The EU may decide to strike a hard bargain to discourage other countries from leaving the EU. Or the UK’s new leader might not be willing to accept the kind of restrictions that come with a Norway-style deal.

And that could create serious problems for businesses based in the UK.

“If you are Nissan or some other car producer with major production in the UK, today, the same safety standards and environmental standards allow you to sell everywhere in the European market,” Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told me.

But if the UK leaves the EU, “you would no longer be able to sell into other European markets, not because you face a small tariff but because you’d have to go through another set of safety certifications. This kind of thing would be repeated in every industry you can think of.”

Critics say the economic effects could be large.

The UK government has estimated that exiting the EU could cause the British economy to be between 3.8 and 7.5 percent smaller by 2030 — depending on how well negotiations for access to the European market ultimately go. Other reports have found smaller but still significant impacts.

One of the most important and controversial achievements of the EU was the establishment of the principle of free movement among EU countries. A citizen of one EU country has an unfettered right to live and work anywhere in the EU. Both Britons and foreigners have taken advantage of this opportunity.

There currently are about 1.2 million Brits living in other EU countries, while about 3 million non-British EU nationals live in Britain. Thanks to EU rules, they were able to move across the English Channel with a minimum of paperwork. Britain’s exit from the EU could change that profoundly.

It’s possible, of course, that Britain could negotiate a new treaty with the EU that continues to allow free movement between the UK and the EU. But resentment of EU immigrants — especially from poorer, economically struggling countries like Poland and Lithuania — was a key force driving support for Brexit. So the British government will be under immense pressure to refuse to continue the current arrangement.

At a minimum, that would mean that people moving to or from Britain would need to worry about passports and residency rules. And it could mean that some British immigrants may lose their right to continue living and working in the UK and be deported.

“The withdrawal process is unprecedented,” a British government spokesperson said a few weeks ago. “There is a great deal of uncertainty about how it would work.”

Critics say Brexit could trigger a breakup of the UK

Kirkegaard told me last week that Brexit could also change the United Kingdom in a more fundamental way. It’s called the “United” Kingdom because it’s made up of four “countries” — England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. But if the United Kingdom votes to leave the EU, it may not stay united for very long.

Polls have shown that people in Scotland broadly support remaining in the EU. And the Scots in particular have never been entirely satisfied with English domination, as shown by the 44 percent of Scottish people who voted to make Scotland an independent country in 2014. They like having the UK be part of the EU in part because it provides a counterweight to English power within the UK.

Kirkegaard predicts that if the UK leaves the EU over the objections of voters in Scotland, it will strengthen the hand of separatists there. That could lead to an independent Scotland, which would most likely petition for admission to the EU in its own right.

But Brexit supporters dispute this analysis. They note that Scottish support for independence has waned in the two years since the Scottish vote — in part because falling oil prices have reduced the value of Scotland’s offshore oil fields. And British economist and economist Andrew Lilico, a Brexit supporter, told me last week that Brexit could actually strengthen Scottish loyalty to the UK.

“Scottishness as a political identity grows as Britishness withers,” he argues. “If Westminster is a middleman between Edinburgh and Brussels, they can cut out the middleman. But if Britain reestablishes itself, the Scots will increasingly see themselves as defined by a British identity again.”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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