The Formatting May Look As in a Luhmann Article, But I Can Assure You the Writing Is Better

Seth Roberts links to an article that raves on and on about what a great place Iceland is. A few otherwise unrelated points.


From the link:

[Iceland]'s the only country in Nato with no armed forces (they were banned 700 years ago)
Did you know that? I didn't. And how can you be in NATO not having an army? Well, I guess they pay a lot.

Anyway, this reminded me of a piece of news I saw when the EU had its 50th anniversary. As there wasn't really anything to report, the reporters did what journalists will do in such cases. They went to one of those celebrations that had been littered over the country and stuck a microphone into people's faces, asking them what's great about the EU. It quickly became apparent that those people were not there because they were eurothusiasts, but because they wanted to have a beer and a bratwurst. Here's the typical answer: "Um, er, I guess it's a good thing that we don't fight each other anymore."

I'm all up for not fighting each other, but this argument, which is immensely popular in this country, is complete bunk. The fact of the matter is that democracies have a strong tendency not to fight each other, full stop. It is not as though the Swiss get overrun by the Italians and the French on an annual basis.

If anyone can tell me a good reason for having the bureaucratic monster that is the EU, please leave a comment. Note that you could have open borders without having anything resembling the current EU.


'That is not something to be proud of,' said Oddny, with a brisk smile, 'but the fact is that Icelanders don't stay in lousy relationships. They just leave.' And the reason they can do so is that society, starting with the parents and grandparents, does not stigmatise them for making that choice. Icelanders are the least hung-up people in the world. Thus the incentive, for example, 'to stay together for the sake of the kids' does not exist.
I say thumbs up for the Icelanders. My parents told us they'd get divorced directly after I had completed my abitur, the German equivalent of what the British call A-levels. I thought, "Geez, you should have done that three years ago". When I told a friend of mine that story, he said: "In my case, it was more like ten years."


Oh, and Life's Too Good by the Sugarcubes is one of the best albums ever made.

1 comment:

Political Scientist said...

"I'm all up for not fighting each other, but this argument, which is immensely popular in this country, is complete bunk. "

Yes,"The EU has produced 50 years of peace!" argument appears in the more censorious UK broadsheets too. Over here, it's part of a more general attempt to paint EU opponents as being bent on genocide.

I like the Four Freedoms - goods, services, people, and capital - but
we could have that by being in EFTA. I think a major problem with the EU is "mission creep" - rather than being a sensible way of a number of sovereign nation states with a complicated history to get on together and make pots of money, it seems to have become this rather anti-Nation state edifice, with some decidedly odd priorities.