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  #101  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:22 PM
Dr. Drake is offline
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Originally Posted by Provincial Hoi Polloi View Post
So there should be no nation states, such as the USA, and instead a single World Government? I thought such Utopian ideas went out in the 1950s.

Every person could be their own sovereign, but it should be obvious that there are advantages in pooling sovereignty. The only question is to what degree we share it, and experience seems to suggest that something about the size of what we call countries is the optimal degree. Essex might work, to take you example, but what's the point when it is part of a larger region that is also a viable nation?
I think the thing that differentiates Essex from Wales or Scotland is that the nation (the UK) works much better for some regions than others. Essex, with its proximity to London, is not nearly as badly served as the more peripheral regions. When a region with a historic identity (ethnic, linguistic, political, whatever) notices (or at least perceives) that they are consistently screwed by the central state, a separatist movement is spawned.

The difference with Brexit is that the perception is not justified by the facts, while Scotland's grievance has more justification. I don't know enough about it to judge whether I agree with Scottish independence; I do know that Wales is really badly managed by England, and that the baby steps to devolution have helped a little but not in areas where it counts. Both Scotland and Wales seem to be thinking of "independence" as "another small nation within the EU" rather than "go it alone" the way the Brexiteers are talking.
  #102  
Old 09-11-2019, 03:18 AM
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Self-determination sounds like a good idea, until you actually think about it.
Blimey, that's a radical position. I think self-determination absolutely is a good idea and I'm surprised you'd suggest otherwise. I mean Chapter 1 Article 1 of the UN Charter states this.

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A nation should be able to decide whether it's independent or part of another nation... except, what counts as a nation?.
A nation is an artificial construct. What do you count as a nation? I think the UK and it's constituent political entities certainly count, what about you?

You are letting perfect be the enemy of the good. Because it is not possible to define an exact line as to what constitues a nation you seem unwilling to grant self-determination to those entities where that it is obviously the case. I mean, you think that Scotland, England and Wales are nations yes?
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  #103  
Old 09-11-2019, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Provincial Hoi Polloi View Post
So there should be no nation states, such as the USA, and instead a single World Government? I thought such Utopian ideas went out in the 1950s.
You seem absolutely insistent on avoiding pragmatism.
  #104  
Old 09-11-2019, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
Blimey, that's a radical position. I think self-determination absolutely is a good idea and I'm surprised you'd suggest otherwise. I mean Chapter 1 Article 1 of the UN Charter states this.

A nation is an artificial construct. What do you count as a nation? I think the UK and it's constituent political entities certainly count, what about you?

You are letting perfect be the enemy of the good. Because it is not possible to define an exact line as to what constitues a nation you seem unwilling to grant self-determination to those entities where that it is obviously the case. I mean, you think that Scotland, England and Wales are nations yes?
A nation is not an artificial construct; a state is an artificial construct.

A nation is a large aggregate of communities and individuals united by factors such as common descent, language, culture, history, occupation of the same territory, etc so as to form a distinct people. There might be blurry borderline cases where there is room for argument over whether a particular community does or does not constitute a nation, but this does not mean that "nation" is an artificial construct; it's a social and cultural phenomenon. A certain amount of fuzzy grey lines around the edges is typical of such phenomena (as opposed, in fact, to artificial constructs, like states, which are much more likely to be characterised by quite precise divisions).

Is the UK a nation? Well, no, it's a state, like the French Republic or the Dominion of Canada. Are its people a nation? Is there a "British nation", or is the UK perhaps a multinational state, comprising the English, the Scots, etc? This is where things get blurry; it's not necessary the case that either the British are a nation and the English, Welsh etc not or vice versa; why can't both be true?

The UN Charter, already mentioned, doesn't talk about nations having the right of self-determination. It talks about the self-determination of peoples, while being charmingly vague about how we might identify a people who can assert such a right. The view that the nation is the natural and proper community of self-government, with a right of self-determination, is the essence of political nationalism, as developed in the nineteenth century, and it's the political ideology which lead to the creation of numerous nation-states either by the agglomeration of small states which shared a common nationality (Germany, Italy) or by secession from large multinational states (Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, numerous others).

Tellingly, all of these peoples were recognised as nations, and spoken of as nations, before they became states, often long before. The notion that statehood is a necessary element of nationality and that a people without an independent state cannot be considered a nation is, ironically, a manifestation of the triumph of political nationalism, and represents the view that a nation not only may but ought to govern itself, and that communities which do not do so therefore fail to meet one of the criteria of true nationhood.
  #105  
Old 09-11-2019, 04:30 AM
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And who will respect the ancient privileges of Kent?
Invicta!
  #106  
Old 09-11-2019, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
So self-determination must take second place to the threat of violence?
False dilemma. It is possible to achieve self-determination without provoking violence; it's just a lot more difficult to do and certainly doesn't involve a "no-deal Brexit". So perhaps you'd like to lower your dudgeon a bit there.
  #107  
Old 09-11-2019, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by UDS View Post
A nation is not an artificial construct; a state is an artificial construct.
both are artificial constructs seeing as they are both creations of the human intellect.

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A nation is a large aggregate of communities and individuals united by factors such as common descent, language, culture, history, occupation of the same territory, etc so as to form a distinct people.
And the decision taken over which criteria to apply is the point at which it is an artificial construct. A decision is taken, a definition applied and it is not the same definition used the world over.

Self-determination remains a core principle that I hope we all expect for ourselves and others. The UN perhaps uses the terms "peoples" because it steers clear of any complications from using "nation" or "state" and is. I hope, taken to be a general principle that everyone can sign up to. Of course the world is messy and complicated but at the very least we agree on this can't we?

I can't think of any reason for accepting the principle of Scottish self-determination and not accepting it for the other elements of the UK and the UK itself. I might advise any or all of them on specific courses of action and may not like the decisions arrived at but ultimately I see it as far more harmful to suppress it and I can't find any good ethical reason for denying to others what I expect for myself.
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  #108  
Old 09-11-2019, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post

I can't think of any reason for accepting the principle of Scottish self-determination and not accepting it for the other elements of the UK and the UK itself. I might advise any or all of them on specific courses of action and may not like the decisions arrived at but ultimately I see it as far more harmful to suppress it and I can't find any good ethical reason for denying to others what I expect for myself.
Yes, yes, you've posted this several times. As largely a lurker who is following all the Brexit threads, allow me to proffer that your steadfast consistency is noted and logged. No need to mention it again. Let's get back to discussing what a disastrous boondoggle this current PM and his transparent efforts to bring about a no deal Brexit is. (Or not, I suppose, if you support his sterling statesmanship).
  #109  
Old 09-11-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
False dilemma. It is possible to achieve self-determination without provoking violence; it's just a lot more difficult to do and certainly doesn't involve a "no-deal Brexit". So perhaps you'd like to lower your dudgeon a bit there.
I'm nowhere near as optimistic as you are on that. As far as Ireland goes I don't actually think it is possible for either party to execute self-determination without provoking violence. The Republicans continue to kill and bomb right now and would step it up even further if a permanent border were established, the Unionists would flare up again were a re-unification referendum ever passed.

Regardless of any of the above, I still believe that the principle of self-determination applies. If NI wanted to reunite with the ROI then they should be allowed to if the people of both entities vote for it. That seems a perfect illustration of the principle and even though exercising it would inevitably lead to bloodshed regardless of the outcome that is no reason for backtracking on it, that cure is worse than the disease.
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  #110  
Old 09-11-2019, 08:31 AM
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Yes, yes, you've posted this several times. As largely a lurker who is following all the Brexit threads, allow me to proffer that your steadfast consistency is noted and logged. No need to mention it again.
What a strange thing to be irritated by. Is it only my repeated points that you object to? Tell you what, I'll make the points that I think are relevant and you do the same. How's that?

Quote:
Let's get back to discussing what a disastrous boondoggle this current PM and his transparent efforts to bring about a no deal Brexit is. (Or not, I suppose, if you support his sterling statesmanship).
You think you know what I think but steer clear of actually asking. I think Boris in entirely unsuited for office and if you follow any other threads you'll know that I also think the following.
-The referendum was 25 years too late and asked the wrong question
-Every single political party in that time has kicked the can down the road
-I wanted to remain and change the E.U. from within,
-Once the decision was taken and the promise made to leave then we should make the best effort to do so (I don't think that May did)
-The fact that a slightly "brexit" electorate was lead by a heavily "remain" skewed parliament was a recipe for disaster
-A better deal was more likely if a no-deal was the starting position and we fucked that up (see above)
-no deal would be short term upheaval, medium/long-term unknown and no where near as bad as the most catastrophic projections
-anyone who tells you they know with any certainty what the implications of a no-deal will be is lying
-any other additional referendum now will not be trusted
-Any election now ends up being a Brexit referendum by proxy but manifesto commitment have even less clout than referenda
-Any election now does not solve the problem nor make the anti-E.U. feelings go away
-Corbyn is useless, He's thick and a Brexiter who was happy to say so from the sidelines but the moment he had a sniff of power is happy to ride two horses. Principled my arse.
-Best course of action is a revocation of Article 50 completely and allow a election on strong manifestos which restate how the relationship with Europe looks like from here on (which may involve a detailed plan including other referenda)

There, no need for you to wonder now. That's my position and it has the benefit of at least referring to the possibility of an election soon.
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  #111  
Old 09-11-2019, 09:08 AM
Derleth is online now
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
Self-determination remains a core principle that I hope we all expect for ourselves and others.
This rather conflicts with the concept of agreements used to end conflicts, with the understanding that conflicts may begin again if those agreements are breached.

After all, if you agree to stop claiming the right to walk in your neighbor's house in exchange for your neighbor no longer trying to ventilate you with a rake, you've lost prime wandering real estate, eh? You can't see what the old bugger's got on the telly. Definite loss of self-determination there, no longer being able to self-determine your way into his pantry.

Note well: Being shocked and wounded at the notion that international politics rests on violence earns you a good wet willy and ten minutes' laughed-at.
  #112  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
What a strange thing to be irritated by. Is it only my repeated points that you object to? Tell you what, I'll make the points that I think are relevant and you do the same. How's that?
I'm not looking to get into a personal argument about it, but I'm largely of Emerson's opinion that "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." (Please note that I am in no way saying you have a little mind or attempting to insult you). I am seeing more and more people use consistency of opinion as some sort of proof of value or as a way to place oneself above others, regardless of context. I believe X about Y and I also believe X about Z, therefore my opinion has more weight than yours. Repeat that 3 or 4 times and it does, unfortunately, get a little annoying.


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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
-Best course of action is a revocation of Article 50 completely and allow a election on strong manifestos which restate how the relationship with Europe looks like from here on (which may involve a detailed plan including other referenda)
On this my opinion is entirely consistent with yours
  #113  
Old 09-11-2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ShadowFacts View Post
I am seeing more and more people use consistency of opinion as some sort of proof of value or as a way to place oneself above others, regardless of context. I believe X about Y and I also believe X about Z, therefore my opinion has more weight than yours. Repeat that 3 or 4 times and it does, unfortunately, get a little annoying.
That's fine, you've explained it perfectly well and I understand where your annoyance comes from. Consistency of opinion is not necessarily always a good thing. What I try to do is challenge how much people actually do have the courage of their convictions when they balk at extending those convictions to decisions they know they will not agree with.

I am absolutely behind a woman's choice to abort or not, I also know that if I can't apply the same standard to my own family's choice then I'm not really committed to it at all, or at least my convictions ring a little hollow.
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