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Our National Governments ...How "National" are they really Our National Governments ...How "National" are they really
by Christos Mouzeviris
2013-02-06 08:01:23
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Most people that have any objections to giving full power to EU and the European Parliament, are doing so because they trust more their National Governments and they do not want to lose their national sovereignty.

They believe that the people who run "Brussels" are a group of corrupt elite that want to take over their countries, in a authoritarian dictatorship. Or they simply do not like centralization, they believe that they will lose control over the issues that concern them and won't have direct say in the decisions that will affect their lives.

Though the issue of centralization is a valid one, many European nations are actually a federation and they deal with this issue effectively. It is actually nation states that lack behind like Greece, when all power and money is gathered in the capital. In the UK, Germany and Switzerland for example, they gave more power to the regional capitals and that is the way forward.

In a globalized world, no nation or government is actually independent or sovereign. All countries must follow the developments or suggestions of the Markets if they want to achieve prosperity. No country can exploit their natural resources without allowing the investors that follow the Markets' ratings to invest in the state! So how independent are we really?

I will remind you that Europe after two World Wars was totally destroyed, its economy was in tatters and it needed cash to kick-start production again. That money come from the Marshal Plan that was set up by USA! Millions of dollars were poured into the European economy and while it helped the Continent's recovery, it also made Europe attached to America until now. But as many of the plan's critics have said, it promoted corruption in the Governments that received lump sums of cash.

Did you think that Europe would receive that money for nothing? The Marshal Plan helped to transform Europe and its policies in almost everything, but it started the "Americanization" of the continent and most of the nations that got involved. Colonization ended because of American intervention and European economies became more open and globalized because it was a requirement in order for a country to be part of the plan.

That is why the Americans were keen to give as much money to as many countries in Europe, even to the eastern block and Asia. South Korea, Japan, Pakistan were also receivers of American money. No wonder they are to this day close allies of USA. The eastern European block rejected the Plan so they remained controlled by the Soviets.

So for all of you who believe that your government is ruling your country, have you ever wondered how can you change your country? Perhaps if you voted for the right politicians or political party in power, then change would come. But as we observe in some nations, governments come and go without bringing any change. Why is that?

Perhaps because these nations are "corrupt" and lack of any good politicians with a vision for their country. But everybody wants a prosperous country and a state that will provide. Everybody wants a secure future for him and his family; so why some states fail to do that?

Understandably different regions of the world have different values and culture. Their perceptions of the economy, trade, wealth and happiness are varied. There are different values for examples in Islamic countries than those in the West. But we see a variety of economic policies in the Western developed world too.

Why some countries are doing better than others? The obvious reason would be because they follow different policies. The thing that I do not understand is why then the nations that lag behind, especially those in a multinational organization like the EU, do not take a page or two from each others books.

Why the poorer weaker states do not copy some of the policies that made others so rich or successful? What politician would not want to make history and his government the one who changed a nation's fate?

We can say that the same rules can not be applied or be as successful everywhere. But certain policies could work everywhere. So why not adopt them and implement them? The problem is that change might be desired by many or needed, but unfortunately it brings loses for some people who will lose out of the established status quo.

So while it would make sense to promote change in all levels in a society according to each state's capabilities to become better and richer, our politicians fail us to deliver them. Politics sadly rely on lobbying. For each politician to find funds to support his or her political campaign, he or she must rely on "donations" from supporters.

And that is where the problem starts. Elites exist within every nation that want to keep things as such. So they contribute to our political elite campaigns in order to gain favors and influence the policies that the future government is going to pursue. If these new "savior" policies that other countries have implemented are against the established elites' interests, then we see why they never get to become law.

As globalization is spreading and nations become ever interconnected, the elites of all nations become interconnected. Politics do not remain within the borders of one country. If any multinational corporation or bank can buy into another nation, then they can certainly influence the country's politics.

They can come into an agreement with the local elites so that it will be beneficial for both of them: not necessarily for the people of that nation. So who is really governing our nations: us, our "national politicians," or the foreign investors?

Why are we so fiercely protecting our "national" governments, since they are not that national anymore. Once they have to implement policies that will please international investors, once they sign international treaties as part of the nation's membership in a international organization like the EU they are anything but.

Can we do anything about it? Well yes if you want to go back and stop Amerigo Vespucci and Christopher Columbus from discovering the Americas then I guess you could. Globalization and global trade started then and it can not be retracted. What we should be demanding though, if we have to give in to our governing elites' demands, is a globalization with our own terms and conditions.

We should be forcing our governments to be more accountable, we should be demanding more transparency in our national politics and the European ones. We should become more active, vigilant and engaged citizens. If our national politicians are not that "national" anymore, as they are not the ones who truly or exclusively rule our countries, they should nevertheless represent our best interests to the ones who they deal and do business with.

This article is part of Ovi's "Who rules" project and follows Professor Murray Hunter's "Who Really Rules Australia?: A tragic tale of the Australian People" which you can find HERE!


Christos Mouzeviris is the writer of the blog: The Eblana European Democratic Movement


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Emanuel Paparella2013-02-06 14:43:30
Indeed globalization cannot be stopped, neither can progress we are often told, so move over and allow unstoppable progress to run rough-shod over your cultures and way of life. What is conveniently forgotten in the above piece is that Europe and America have a common culture called Western Civilization with the dame misguided assumptions, that of inevitable progress buttressed by unstoppable entrepeunurial capitalism being one of them.

What is also ignored in the piece are the various secessionist movement going on the EU as we speak, in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Corsica, Scotland etc.
The script followed here (and it would appear followed by the same project “who rules the world” too) is rather familiar, redolent of knee-jerk anti-Americanism out to discover the main villains in the globalization process but wholly uninterested in doubting the assumption of capitalism and globalization being inevitable and unstoppoble, in finding out or example why a Communist country like China is presently growing faster economically than the traditional Western industrialized countries or why Italy which has the biggest Communist party in the EU is unable to stop political corruption and secessionist movements. One begins to suspect that, consciously or unconsciously, there is some kind of secret agenda at work here.

Yes money and power tend to corrupt everything, no doubt about, but they can also be used wisely. The Marshall Plan was not devised to throw money at a starving Europe after World War II and thus create a humiliating welfare dependency as seems to be implied, but to promote trade between the two continents and preserve democracy and it largely accomplished that. Of course Soviet Russia had its own trading block in Eastern Europe and the results were quite apparent to any objective observers: millions of people were starved to death there but Stalin somehow is not mentioned as one of the great villains of history. That honor is reserved for the greedy Americans who will tyrannically not allow “globalization with our term and conditions.” Not for one moment is globalization per se and its reducing all cultures to their lowest common denominator, that of a capitalistic consumerism, is ever doubted or challenged. We simply wish to change the presnt rulers with their hands on the levers of power. I think in China too they simply wish to change the rulers and perhaps eliminate a system, that of the global markets, which they consider unfair and substitute it with one which ironically was imported from the West.

Fukuyama has announced the end of history. I think he is wrong. History continues to go on and history will tell if the script above with its rather obvious agenda will come to pass.

Christos Mouzeviris.2013-02-06 19:37:55
Well everybody has an "agenda" or a vision as I would most likely put it. Here is mine. I do not force it on anyone, I intend though to start a debate and make people think about some things.

The Marshall plan, or any similar plan, created the Europe that we know today, either you like it or not. In exchange for a country to become part of it, it had to follow certain rules and reform its economy according to what the lenders, in this case they were the Americans, saw as more suitable and profitable, according to their vision or "agenda" as you would say.

With all goods that it came out of it, it certainly had some certain side effects that Europe is left to deal on its own. While it had to open its economy, follow the American model of society, become multicultural, capitalist, market based economy, European countries had also to end colonization and in general totally transform their economic model.

But the vision or "agenda" of the USA is based on their culture and way of seeing things.. Anglosaxon and protestant. So countries with the same heritage are finding more easy to adapt and adopt, whilst others just follow. And all criteria for a "competitive" economy are according that ethos, the protestant one. In other words it is unequal.

Agencies judge a society according the ability to create growth and money for their investors, not according their values or cultural heritage.

Tough one might say, but the vision or "agenda" of the USA is one sided and does not fit all countries in the world or even Europe..So here am I, a small and unimportant blogger, trying to present an alternative one, that will be a bit more balanced and not as biased.

As for Communism and the damages it did to Europe and beyond, do not worry, I am writing an article about it that perhaps it will be published on OVI at some time in the future..But when we criticize Capitalism, it does not necessarily mean that we support communism or we ignore the horrendous damages that it brought upon Europe.

Rather we are trying to reform and reconstruct the capitalist system to be more fair and suit all...

I am sure that you will agree that as it is right now, it is not working. Not for everybody at least. Capitalism is in crisis, and how best to reform it, than stripping it down to the basics and cut lose anything that does not work?



Emanuel Paparella2013-02-06 20:22:03
Indeed Mr. Mouzeviris, I fully agree with your last statement: capitalism as we know it needs some urgent reforming. Some suggest we read Marx reflectively. May I also reccomend the Papal encyclicals (written by mostly European Popes to be sure) on social justice and distributive justice? I think that such would be a good first step, under the light or reason, not faith, of course and suitable to non-believers and even anti-Catholics I dare say, rather than starting with common cultural traits such as soccer games (a system rotten to the core) or common banks or even common armies. I think we might agree on that too. And of course all held within free speech which Ovi honors: nobody is trying to impose his/her views on anybody else, since reason is pretty much universal and can be exercised without ideological bias in 99% or so of the human population independent of the belief system or lack thereof.

Best regards,

Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella

Leah Sellers2013-02-07 05:13:54
Yes, Mr. Christos ! Yes !
Capitalism, like everything else in the Cosmos has its Light and Dark side. It's Creative and Destructive Energies.
Capitalism does not have to be Predatory and greedily Malevolent. It can be Energetically Balanced between the natural forces of Give and Take, and simultaneously Benevolent for the Self and the Other.
However, the importances of Global Cultural Universal Morals and Ethics must be a part of the Alchemical Mix, to truly achieve this pattern of individual, collective and systemic dynamic stasis.
Capitalism that treats Others as it would treat ItSelf in order to justly, freely and happily Survive, Evolve, Nurture and Sustain ItSelf, should be its Golden (and or Green) Rule.
Really enjoyed your article and observations, Sir.

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