Tag Archives: Democracy

Can China Become A Super-Power

 

Political And Developmental Thoughts

Throughout history, many superpowers that dominated the world politically and economically came and left, the Roman empire, the Byzantine empire, the Umayyad empire, the Abbasid empire, the Mongol empire, the British empire. In today’s world, the hegemon that can be said is the world power that dominates the world not only politically and economically, but also culturally such as by movies, media, music and literature is the United States. 

The United States became the new superpower after world war 1 when the British Empire lost that position due to the economic and political damage the war had cost. The Americans filled that space by entering and ending the war, helping Europe recover by financing projects to rebuild war-torn Europe, and spreading its muscle around the world.

Today many believe that in the 21st century the world will experience another…

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Necessity of free press for Hong Kong

We are convinced there always has to be free independent press. We find that freedom of expression, speech, press, is essential for a community.

Since more than a year that freedom of thought has been brought in danger by silencing critical writers. With regret we have seen the many difficulties which inhabitants of Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR) have to face.

The highly developed territory and ranks fourth on the UN Human Development Index, its pictures show us a city that has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world. Ranked 4th in the Global Financial Centres Index, one would think everything must go incredibly well in that city. But that is without regard to the overlooking and dominating power of the parliamentary communist apparatus.

What never should have happened, was presented by the agreement of the United Kingdom and China, Hong Kong being transferred to China on 1 July 1997, after 156 years of British rule. This instead of making Hong Kong an independent sovereign country.

Political debates after the transfer of sovereignty have centred around the region’s democratic development and the central government‘s adherence to the “one country, two systems” principle. After reversal of the last colonial era Legislative Council democratic reforms following the handover, the regional government unsuccessfully attempted to enact national security legislation pursuant to Article 23 of the Basic Law. {Wikipedia}

Before the British government handed over Hong Kong in 1997, China agreed to allow the region considerable political autonomy for fifty years under a framework known as “one country, two systems.” But probably they use another calendar than ours with very short years!  Soon they started to limit the inhabitants their movements and way of thinking.

From the central force in Beijing, everything was done to reduce the movements and influence of the Hongkongers. Beijing has cracked down on Hong Kong’s freedoms, stoking mass protests in the city and drawing international criticism.

In the wake of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement as a non-profit outlet funded by Hongkongers, the newspaper Hong Kong Free Press was launched in 2015. Hong Kong Free Press is a non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.

In 2020, we got to hear how Beijing passed a controversial national security law and came to see how dozens of pro-democracy activists and lawmakers were arrested. We could also see the inappropriate violence coming from the government, and violence provoking actions of the police force, dimming hopes that Hong Kong will ever become a full-fledged democracy.

On 15 October 2015 a video shot by a TVB film crew appeared to show seven police officers haul off a handcuffed protester from a freshly cleared Lung Wo Road to a dark corner in nearby Tamar Park, Admiralty. As the officers circled the protester, some allegedly took turns kicking and punching him while others stood over him, keeping watch. Despite an effort by the station to downplay the footage and remove it from subsequent broadcasts, the video quickly took Hong Kong by storm, stirring public outrage and catapulting the victim of the apparent attack, Civic Party activist Ken Tsang, to the status of an instant icon. The Occupy protests were violently crushed without mercy, and up to today we regularly get new shots of press people and protesters being arrested by the police. From some people apprehended by the police a few months ago, nothing is heard any more.

No wonder the public lost their trust in the local police after the many secret missions of the forces and the many police interrogations, certainly after the 2015 blockage of the Hong Kong Free Press website in China. Any websites or apps that undermine Party rule, or have the potential to, are typically blocked. This consists largely of western news media, social networks, and sites built on user-generated content. Other content deemed vulgar, pornographic, paranormal, obscene, or violent is also blocked. Some western websites, apps, and services are blocked in order to prevent competition with domestic, homegrown alternatives.

blocked in china hong kong free press
(Find which sites are blocked in China by the Chinese Communist Party’s technological and legislative efforts to regulate the internet: >  censorship watchdog websites greatfirewallofchina.org and blockedinchina.net.)

The easiest way to access censored websites in China is to use a VPN (Short for virtual private network) But because VPNs being not so cheap subscription services that encrypt internet traffic and route it through an intermediary server outside of China, this allows only a limited audience to use it to bypass the Great Firewall and freely access the web.

In 2020 Hong Kong Free Press has been shortlisted by the UK-based Index on Censorship for their annual Freedom of Expression Awards.

index censorship hong kong free press

Hong Kong pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily continued its operations and printed 500,000 copies of Friday’s paper after its headquarters were raided by the police on Thursday 17 June 2021, and five senior executives were arrested on suspicion of violating the national security law.

Apple Daily raid June 17, 2021

Dozens of Hong Kong police enter Apple Daily’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O on June 17, 2021. Photo: Apple Daily.

It was the second time in 10 months that the newspaper, founded by Jimmy Lai, had been raided. Police said the warrant used on Thursday was issued under the security legislation, and gave them power to search for and seize journalistic material.

Lai, 73, who was arrested during the first raid last August, is serving 20 months in prison for protest-related offences and also faces charges under the Beijing-imposed security law, which provides for penalties of up to life imprisonment.

According to local media, those arrested included Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung and Chief Operating Officer Royston Chow, Apple Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, Associate Publisher Chan Pui-man and Cheung Chi-wai, who manages the newspaper’s online news platform. All were arrested in the early hours at their homes.

Police said their operation was not targeting the press, adding the force “had no choice” but to enforce the law inside a media company.

 

Please find to read:

  1. Hong Kong justice chiefs accused of ‘shameless double standards’ for dropping charge against reporter from state-owned media outlet
  2. Two senior execs at Hong Kong’s Apple Daily formally charged with national security ‘conspiracy’
  3. ‘Very heartbreaking’: Hong Kong media reel as security law targets democracy paper’s reporting
  4. Hong Kong police raid Apple Daily office, editor-in-chief among 5 arrested under national security law over articles
  5. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily may halt publication this Sat, pending Fri board meeting
  6. ‘#Hong Kong is very beautiful’ hashtag trends online after Watsons Water bottles taken off shelves
  7. Taiwan pulls trade office staff over Hong Kong ultimatum
  8. Embattled democracy coalition cancels Hong Kong’s annual July 1 march; will discuss disbanding

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Related

  1. Two Hong Kong newspaper executives charged under security law: police
  2. HK democracy supporters snap up Apple Daily copies
  3. Apple Daily: Hong Kong police raid sparks rush on newspapers
  4. Hong Kong’s RTHK fires popular pro-democracy radio host Tsang Chi-ho
  5. Post-Work Life in Hong Kong
  6. Blockchain could boost fintech in HK, but city is lagging
  7. Hong Kong newspaper chiefs on trial for security charge
  8. Pro-democratic executive of Hong Kong Media appears before court
  9. This is the worst of times
  10. Hong Kong court denies bail to Apple Daily’s editor, publisher
  11. Sunday Morning: News From Zurich, London, Copenhagen & Hong Kong
  12. Hong Kong seeks integration with mainland China, says Carrie Lam
  13. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily paper to shut within days
  14. John Ross: from Trotskyism to power-worship
  15. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily may halt publication this Sat, pending Fri board meeting
  16. Hong Kong pro-democracy paper Apple Daily says to decide on closure on Friday
  17. UN rights chief eyes visit to China’s Xinjiang ‘this year’
  18. Hong Kong’s Biggest Pro-Democracy Newspaper Likely to Shut Down This Week After National Security Law Raid
  19. Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy newspaper may be forced to suspend operations after government crackdown

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Evangelicals & Seduction

Following the previous posting, we continue to look at how Stephen Best looks at the American Evangelicals & Seduction, which may for us Europeans something very weird and incomprehensible wondering if those Americans are not better at using their own mind to make up their own ideas.

How is it possible that the majority of white US evangelicals were seduced into Trump’s dangerous political schemes?

When they heard so many bad things that he had done in the past and could see how he had treated women, plus how he had created all sorts of ‘untrustable businesses, showing clearly he would not be the best one to run properly a business or to become a respectful leader.
We wonder how their followers could come to trust his lies, and could wipe away his malicious and criminal behaviour.

How is it possible that those who call themselves Christian could go for a man who clearly showed no respect to others and carried a lot of racism in his heart. They now share the responsibility in encouraging racism, division, and sedition within the USA, and instead of making America great again they choose for someone who could break America and creat division as never before.

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To remember

  • American evangelicals their complicity in Trumpism > testimony + leadership = unreliable + negligent going forward.
  • interweaving of God + country = evangelical’s Patriotism > Christian Nationalism.  Christian Nationalism.
  • concept of ‘Manifest Destiny’ (John Louis O’Sullivan) = mission to expand its influence across all of North America => America’s wars with Mexico + the Indians+ expansion into Alaska.
  • Manifest Destiny > mission of promoting + defending democracy throughout the world > bias American ideology and politics. – growing ideology => Christian Nationalism
  • American vision >  fascination with the ‘New Jerusalem’ <=  early Puritans left for America with the sense of being an oppressed people.
  • Puritans aimed to build the Kingdom of God or their version of a Christian society = blending of religion + politics.
  • Christian nationalism = political ideology about American identity  => idealizes + advocates fusion of Christianity with American civic life
  • Christian Nationalism = collection of cultural myths, traditions, religion, + historical interpretations.
  • Evangelicals in a struggle with liberalism / socialism that threatens their way of life –  feel mocked +  dishonored, unheard + marginalized.
  • perceived risk: immigrants, LGBQT , law enforcement weakening, abortions persisting, support for Israel declining, + Evangelicalism diminishing, => Evangelicals feel their backs are up against the wall.
  • alliance of American Evangelicalism + Donald Trump =>  restoring  USA > conservative Christian society.
  • patriotism, Christian Nationalism, traditionalism, evangelicalism, denominationalism, + spiritualism =/= sustainable foundations in life =/= biblical foundations.
  • Christian foundations = spiritual realities  understood through Scripture, taught with faith + wisdom, received with sincerity, + realized through inward working of Holy Spirit in life of a Christian.  => secure + define new life while not depending on Christian governments, economies, religion, or social norms.
  • need to re-examine our foundations

Stephen Best

By Stephen Best

How is it possible that the majority of white US evangelicals were seduced into Trump’s dangerous political schemes? How is it possible for so many of their leaders to have encouraged their followers to trust his lies, and enable his malicious and criminal behaviour? How is it possible that they now share the responsibility in encouraging racism, division, and sedition within the USA?

For at least 60 years, evangelicals throughout the world have appreciated the contribution and leadership that the US has brought to the global work of God. Yet today, because of their complicity in Trumpism, that testimony and leadership is for the most part unreliable, if not negligent going forward.

If we are honest most Christians outside the USA have found the US brand of Evangelicalism a bit different to begin with. And that’s mostly due to it’s interweaving of God and country.

The blending…

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Facts: Why they matter and how to check them

In the age that the majority of the younger generation does not want to spend time to read serious in-depth articles and only has an eye for eye-catching titles or just some short notices on social media and likes to do cherry-picking of short reviews of sayings without fact checking, our world needs to keep offering more details and research journalism as well profound scientific research.

As it has been always, mankind has to keep doing self-introspection as well as investigating all the information which comes unto him or her.

Living in the golden age of misinformation it is up to reasonable figures to put things right and to dare to speak up when it is going in the wrong direction.

In the United States of America too many allowed too often some people claiming that there were “alternative facts” and “fake news”. By not reacting against the false accusations the 45th President of the United States of America continually could spread certain ungrounded ideas and succeed his brainwashing. It was then only a little step to fulfil his “State Terrorism” and bring people to storm the symbol of democracy, the Capitol. The dignity and fate of American democracy will now largely depend on how politicians will deal in the next few days with that president’s call to go to the Capitol and claim their rights.

We can wonder how many noticed and were willing to react on the way Donald Trump showed no respect at all for ethics and human values, and how he disintegrated every rule of public and political decorum and conventional wisdom.
What happened on January 6th was the result of too many people having been silent and letting it happen.

The U.S.A. should now receive its Wake-up call and come to see what a similar act happened as in 1938. D. Trump managed to get his followers to break many glasses and to enter the house where Trump wants to be the boss or having all power. Here in Europe we only can hope more people in the States shall come to see that D. Trump is of the same calibre as the one who instigated the Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, also called the November Pogrom(s) in Germany. It is a fact that the four years of Trump and his call to the people is just a prelude to worse things to come if we allow it to continue.

It is high time enough people will stand up and shall come to open the eyes of the many blinded people and making them receptive to facts they were previously ignorant but also many blindly dismissing them as “fake news.”

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To remember

  • Many people = living in an alternative reality > everything that agrees with them = true, + anything that disagrees with them = biased, fake news or “just an opinion.”
  • fact checking = to boil down to, “from a source I like => true, +  if from a source I don’t like => false,” ==> extremely faulty & dangerous dichotomy.
  • all prone to cognitive traps & biases
  • Scepticism = skill to be practiced + requires training
  • fact = objective statement of reality > inherently apolitical
  • opinion = subjective perception of reality based on individual views, beliefs & preferences.
  • flawed thinking = pervades science denialism
  • veracity of a politician’s statements & reported actions matter > People are impacted by things politicians do & say
  • search & look for a broad range of sources
  • Many view fact checking as an exercise to find sources that agree with them, but = opposite of how it should work.
  • fact check = look for primary + well-respected secondary quality of source + verifiable information + agreement among sources
  • objective ways to evaluate whether or not a source is biased
  • look at evidence presented > verify & compare

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Preceding

Shall the American again being put to the test

Yup

The Weight of History

He Becomes a Fool Through His Endless Desire

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

The one that exploded the great American story that lay beneath it

The Trump clan declares itself a Kennedy-like dynasty

So-called own sacred values under threat

U.S.A. Investment in a demagogue

Dear Mr. President

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Additional reading

  1. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  2. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  4. In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control
  5. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  6. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  7. The Hero of the greatest …. failures
  8. Hollowness of democracy
  9. A new decade, To open the eyes to get a right view
  10. 2020 in view #1 The 45th president of the U.S.A.
  11. 2020 in view #2 The 45th president of the U.S.A. not willing to go
  12. Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington
  13. Stress-test for democracy #2 A coup d’etat with bloodshed
  14. The death knell of an Empire
  15. 💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 

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Related articles

  1. It Was Hate
  2. Donald Trump’s Impeachment
  3. Big Tech pauses political issues after the Capitol uprising
  4. The 147 Republicans That Still Objected To The Election Results After The Capitol Attack
  5. Systemic Failure: Trump Was Right About the Deep State
  6. High school teachers, students learn from Capitol breach
  7. What is Malignant Narcissism?
  8. ‘Ruling Class’ Trump-Doubters Still Don’t Get It. And They’ll Pay A Price
  9. Ep 69: Coup The New Year
  10. Capitol, Legacy of Trumpism and China
  11. Ep 70: Crisis at the Capitol, Crisis in the Church
  12. So you want to impeach president Trump …. again
  13. How big tech companies reacted to the Capitol storm.
  14. Trying to make sense of it all
  15. Jake Angeli Brings to Light the Hatred of Whites Pervasive in America
  16. Don’t mistake an assumption for a fact
  17. Facts aren’t political (or religious)
  18. The fallacy fallacy: Reject the argument not the conclusion

The Logic of Science

We seem to be living in the golden age of misinformation, and while cognitive biases and motivated reasoning have always existed, they seem to have reached epidemic levels in recent years, with attacks on the very nature of facts coming from the highest offices in the land (the phrases “alternative facts” and “fake news” come to mind). Many people seem to be living in an alternative reality where everything that agrees with them is true, and anything that disagrees with them is biased, fake news or “just an opinion.” Indeed, I have frequently encountered an open disdain for facts and those who check them. For many people, fact checking seems to boil down to, “if it came from a source I like, then it is true, and if it came from a source I don’t like, then it is false,” but that is an extremely faulty and dangerous dichotomy. So…

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So-called own sacred values under threat

The last few years we have seen populist politicians becoming more popular and getting a stronger following who wanted to cause a fuss here and there. Often they want to have their people believe their nation was great but got damaged by the many immigrants. They say the immigrant population weakens the country and brings democracy in danger.

On the other side there is also a contemporary myth that European societies used to be homogenous. Europe has always been a blanket of a lot of diversity. Always it has been a mixture of all sorts of people and cultures. Throughout the ages we could find a battlefield in the Low Countries. Lots of pieces of land changed hands many times, once belonging to the Romans, than to the Germans, the Austrians, the French, the Dutch. Even the languages and religion changed more than once.

Threat to the security and stability of the nation

Today we can find lots of people who say the land belongs to them and others bring their Judaeo-Christian values in danger. Though many of those crying about their values, do not have any of such juedo christian values at all. The 2016 Islamist fundamentalist attacks showed clearly how far countries as France wanted to go putting liberty of thought, freedom of expression and clothing at the side. France and Belgium so secularised took measures which went totally against real democratic rules and humanitarian freedom.

Big problem in Europe today is that lots of people do not worship God any more and do not keep to the essential commandments of God and as such do not mind not telling the truth, not loving the other, not taking care of others their goods or of nature, they even enjoy being better than the other wanting to have more than they have. For many, hatred and envy are the order of the day. We notice that hatred under Christians is nothing new any more. In the previously Chrisitan countries, we also come to see more hatred against religions in general, many thinking religion is the cause of all the problems. In West Europe we find many that much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism have become No God Zones.

The last few years we also could see that several countries did not mind to take up again very discriminatory laws.  We could see that even in the so-called most free country of Europe: France; and also in the so-called most progressive liberal country Denmark where they even went so far to go for Nazi-laws.

Too many people do forget our world evolved to a world where lots of people go from one place to another and influence each other. There are already many influencers on the net who cross many country borders and bring people to change their normal and consumption habits, plus eating and clothing customs.

Best examples which show how it is going wrong at the moment, are the United States of America, Brazil, Hungary and Hong Kong. The States takes the cake by having a president who goes in against everything the founders of that State stood for. That country was built on the aspiring hopes of people who came from all sorts of countries, all sorts of cultures and different religious denominations. The land is created or grown by a mixture of peoples. In the few years the 45th president of the U.S.A. ruled he managed to destroy a lot what was build up in the previous decades and created a lot of division between the inhabitants of those states which should be unified.

Instead of all trying to come to one unified Europe we do find more and more people going against the tendency for unification. Several politicians want to create such hammock in the country people get fed up with politics and start wanting to do their own thing in the way they want to do it.

A few years ago there was the beginning of fear created by Islamist fundamentalists. Now an other fear was added. This time it is not the clash between Islam and the West, but the power of a virus, which destroys our free way of life as well. Religious conflict was the norm in the old so-called homogenous Europe. Often the Roman Catholics were the killers to be afraid of. They had a terror regime that forced everyone to Catholicism. The people having most to fear then were the ones who worshipped the Only One True God and not Christ. Many brethren and sisters in the faith had to hide their faith or even had to hide in less easy to reach regions.

The English philosopher John Locke put it, ‘to a foreign prince’, the Pope, whose values were incompatible with those of liberal democracies, and who posed a threat to the security and stability of the nation.

At one point in European history we have two centuries where Jews were seen even more of a threat to European identity, values and ways of being, so much so that they became victims of the world’s greatest genocide. Today many forget that the treatment of Jews as the ‘Other’ was not confined to Germany. It was a central theme in most European nations, from the Dreyfus affair in France to Britain’s first immigration law, the 1905 Aliens Act, designed principally to stem the flow into the country of European Jews. And up in the North lots of Jews got burned in their homes by Russian attacks against them.

In all cases we see that governments and people want to find a victim, someone or some people to point with the finger, to cast them as the cause of all misery.

In the previous centuries high society also looked downwards to the working class. The working class and the rural poor were seen by many as racial distinct.
The French aristocratic anti-egalitarian diplomat, writer, ethnologist, and social thinker Arthur de Gobineau, in his Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines, 4 vol. (1853–55; Essay on the Inequality of Human Races), remarked already that

‘Every social order represents a racial variety’.

Joseph-Arthur, comte de Gobineau.

Arthur de Gobineau, French diplomat, writer, ethnologist, and social thinker whose theory of racial determinism had an enormous influence upon the subsequent development of racist theories and practices in western Europe.

In the Essai Gobineau asserted the superiority of the white race over others and labeled the “Aryans”—i.e., the Germanic peoples—as representing the summit of civilization. That idea is not killed yet. Also today in Europe as well as in the United States we do find people who cling to that idea, that the fate of civilizations is determined by racial composition, that white and in particular Aryan societies flourish as long as they remain free of black, brown and yellow strains, and that the more a civilization’s racial character is diluted through miscegenation, the more likely it is to lose its vitality and creativity and sink into corruption and immorality.Donald Trump does find this enough reason to make sure everyone comes to understand that, and that it are the white federal troops which are the ones who can and should have everything in control.

Gobineau insisted that

‘We imagine that we are one nation, but we are two nations on the same land’,

each a distinctive race with

‘perpetually contradictory spirits’.

The Christian socialist Phillipe Buchez, giving a talk to the Medico-Psychological Society of Paris in 1857, wondered how it could happen that

 ‘within a population such as ours, races may form – not merely one but several races – so miserable, inferior and bastardised that they may be classed below the most inferior savage races, for their inferiority is sometimes beyond cure.’

The races that he was talking of were not, of course, from Africa or Asia, but the working class and the rural poor. In this century some reflect similar words now also referring to those who work on the fields (seasonal workers) and those who do the jobs the ‘nationals’ do not want to do.

Gobineau’s writings were quickly praised by white supremacist, pro-slavery Americans like surgeon, anthropologis and slaveowner Josiah C. Nott and the Swiss American propagandist for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, Henry Hotze, who translated his book into English. They omitted around 1,000 pages of the original book, including those parts that negatively described Americans as a racially mixed population.

In the 19th century in many countries, the poor were

‘a race of whom we know nothing, whose lives are of quite different complexion from ours, persons with whom we have no point of contact.’

explained an article on working-class life in East London in The Saturday Review, a well-read liberal magazine of the era.

‘Distinctions and separations, like those of English classes’,

the article concluded,

‘which always endure, which last from the cradle to the grave, which prevent anything like association or companionship… offer a very fair parallel to the separation of the slaves from the whites.’

Just before the pandemic struck our regions there were already enough signs we were evolving back to a segregation position of modern slaves, the working class.

With the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will have to be very careful that politicians and CEOs do not take advantage of this situation in order to corner the workers and exploit them even more because of the emerging economic crisis.

In the States, we see already how the president got so many people to believe that we should ignore this virus or Chinese disease and should all go back at work making our economy great again. For him, the economy comes first. Human lives are not so important and when they are black or brown they are even less important. For him as for some in Europe as well there should not be Corona restrictions, because they go against our liberty. All such matters to protect the health of people undermine the economy and therefore (according to them) should be annulled. Inc ase there are people dying from Covid-19 they should be considered as just ‘accidents de parcours’.

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Preceding

Tribes Redux

Trans-ability and Identity and Political correctness

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

Denmark votes in favour for a Discriminatory Nazi law

American Christians have to think twice before going to vote

Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

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Additional reading

  1. Belgium, Belgicae and the fertile floodland
  2. Disturbing language inbalance
  3. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  4. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. 2014 Religion
  7. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  8. 2016 in review Politics #1 Year of dissonance
  9. Negative views of immigrants, Muslims and Jews
  10. Migrants to the West #5
  11. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  12. President Trump shall have to recognise that Immigrant Workers Are Vital to the U.S.A.
  13. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  14. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  15. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #2
  16. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  17. 500 Years of Reformation Divisions Have Lost Much of Their Potency
  18. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  19. What Steve Bannon really wants
  20. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  21. Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period

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Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

image from BloggingHeads.tv podcast

American political scientist, political economist, and author Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama in 2015

The American writer and political theorist Francis Fukuyama wrote

“Human beings never existed in a pre-­social state. The idea that human beings at one time existed as isolated individuals is not correct.”

In his seminal 1989 essay ‘The End of History?’ he also wrote

‘What we may be witnessing is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

Fukuyama trying to convey silent messages through stories about the evolution of democratic societies he continued

‘With the fall of the Soviet Union the struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.’

The End of History and the Last Man.jpg

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, published in the international affairs journal The National Interest.

Fukuyama did not suggest that the end of history meant the end of wars or conflicts, but rather that capitalism and Western-style liberal democracy were the culmination of human political development and would not, and could not, be transcended. He beliefs that the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War marked the last ideological stage in the progression of human history. The initial political challenge having to escape beyond tribalism and the “tyranny of cousins”.

For Fukuyama, tribal organisation responds to structural imperatives in social evolution but also blocks the path to further development. The early account of the origins of state-like forms relies heavily on Lawrence Keeley’s military-focused argument in War Before Civilisation (1996) and does not consider the evidence assembled by Keith Otterbein in How War Began (2004): that warfare greatly declined in importance following the hunting to extinction of the larger mammals. Keeley himself grants that early settlement cultures, such as the Natufian,

“furnish no indication of warfare at all”. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

We can see that in the West the majority prefers a capitalist system and in several industrialised countries people are a lot afraid of what smells social or communist. Fukuyama thinks that all states are going to adopt a form of capitalist liberal democracy. It was an argument contested from almost the moment he finished writing his essay.
The rise of Islamism, the unleashing of ethnic conflicts, the challenge posed by China – a myriad developments, his critics suggested, questioned the presumption of an end of history.

Donald Trump’s Presidential victory was one of the signs how politicians would easily be able to lure people in false ideas, by their words. The last few years we have seen a seemingly unstoppable rise of populist forces throughout Europe.

Many will probably see how in the quarter of a century since Fukuyama wrote his essay, politics, particularly in the West, has indeed shifted away from ‘ideological struggle’ towards

‘the endless solving of technical problems’.

The broad ideological divides that characterized politics for much of the past two hundred years have been eroded. Politics has become less about competing visions of the kinds of society people want than a debate about how best to manage the existing political system, a question more of technocratic management rather than of social transformation.

What might more come to an end is the believe of people in political systems and in politicians. Lots of people are convinced that politicians are not listening to them and are mostly just working for themselves and trying to get the best paid job.
The majority of politicians have lost connection with the ordinary people who want to feel as if they are justly recognised and that their voice can be heard. The last few years they feel more they are mocked at, nobody taking their voice seriously. Politicians should come to know that this desire to experience both personal and collective recognition is inescapable to the modern human condition.

Liberal democratic states that Fukuyama so vigorously defended in “The End of History” have not responded well to the challenges of pluralism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, few believed in an alternative to capitalism, not seeing that the Soviet Union was not really the best representative of communism, because it had more dictators than real communist leaders. Communist parties crumbled, while social democratic parties remade themselves, cutting ties to their traditional working class constituencies while reorienting themselves as technocratic parties. Trade unions weakened and social justice campaigns eroded.

It seemed that not only in Europe social movements and political organizations eroded,  and the far-right movements gained space. Local people wanted to become recognised and wanted to look upon social change through the lens of their own cultures, identities, goals and ideals.

Many sections of the working class have found themselves politically voiceless at the very time their lives have become more precarious, as jobs have declined, public services savaged, austerity imposed, and inequality risen. Many also came to see all those immigrants as a danger for their own position, their jobs and income as well as being afraid of loosing their culture.

Having their world coming to an end.

Lots of people in charge of the working of society did not see the discontent many their votes expressed.

Prominent alt-rightists were instrumental in organising the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Here, rally participants carry Confederate battle flags, Gadsden flags and a Nazi flag.

In Europe and America, people have become disaffected with the old order and felt more attraction for those who promised heaven on earth and for them “a great nation” again. Many of the opposition movements that give voice to that disaffection of the labourers, are shaped not by progressive ideals but by sectarian politics, and rooted in religious or ethnic identity. The Islamist AKP in Turkey or the Hindu nationalist BJP in India are the equivalents of the Front National in France or the alt right, far-right, white supremacist, white nationalist, white separatist, anti-immigration and antisemitic movement in America and Europe.

Those growing right-wing and far- or extreme-right-wing groups should make us aware of the severity of the present political situation. We are witnessing a globally disinformation movement which is creating more hatred and racism as well setting up people against others for wrong reasons.

The current tumult is the result of struggles for recognition that remain unshaped by progressive movements, of ideological struggles in a post-ideological world.

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. In his new book: Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment Francis Fukuyama looks at the new layers of meaning of the voters or citizen’s identity.

Fukuyama believes that the focus on self separates people from their communities. The demand for identity cannot be transcended and therefore people must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.
When coming to know the self one can not ignore the connection with religious feelings. One aspect of wisdom is recognizing your need for The One Being outside man.

Christianity succeeds in diminishing family ties when the Church takes a strong stand against practices which enhanced the power of lineages such as cousin marriage, divorce, adoption and marriage to the widows of dead relatives. The looser family pattern favoured by the practices of Latin Christianity have the effect of channelling assets to the Church itself (eg through widows’ bequests). Fukuyama further urges that “contrary to Marx, capitalism was the consequence rather than the cause of a change in social relationships”. Yet he soon acknowledges that

“the most convincing argument for the shift has been given by the social anthropologist Jack Goody“,

an authority whose work could be seen as a distinctive fruit of Cambridge Marxism. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

Fukuyama has the idea that the individualistic sense of identity comes to the fore during periods of modernisation in which people fled from rural areas into the cities and were confronted with a mass of different dialects or languages, religions and cultures and were aware of a sense of the difference between where they were and where they are now. Today in some way many people seem to be lost or are so much afraid of such confrontation they do hope their politicians can solve that problem of difference between the inhabitants of their villages, cities and countries.

Fukuyama notes the ways in which questions of identity politics have come to be regarded as synonymous with the right. Donald Trump supporters are animated around the removal of Confederate statues and the president’s lack of defence to political correctness is a significant mobilising force on the right.

Intimidation and efforts to control people have become the present day norm for many politicians, who gain a lot of popularity because many fall for their lies. That virus threatening democracy has not only infected the United States but also the European Union. As such we may see that identity politics has become the political form of cultural fragmentation of these days, and is corrosive of some features of an effective democracy – social cohesion, talking with strangers and working across the aisle.

According to me the politicians do have to give an identity to the people again and have to show them that we all have more in common with each other than what divides us.

It is a “we” who are the same, and not a “we” who are strangers dwelling together despite our differences. {Jeff RichIdentity Crisis – some theses on identity politics}

The End of the End of History?

History shall continue and show how man tries to find different political solutions and ways to govern a country. Man shall have to find a way to make it that by the globalisation more and more people would be going to see the richness of a multicultural society, instead of fearing it.

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Read also

  1. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  2. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  3. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?
  4. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall
  7. Common Goods, people and the Market
  8. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values
  9. Populism endangering democracy
  10. An European alliance or a populist alliance
  11. British Parliament hostage its citizens for even more months
  12. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  13. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  14. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey

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Further related

  1. The Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama
  2. What Do We Mean When We Say Something Is Political? — Recommended Readings
  3. The Sisyphean Task at the Core of Identity Politics
  4. Fukuyama has a new book on identity
  5. Little Theories
  6. The Decline of Liberalism
  7. Identity
  8. Identity Crisis – some theses on identity politics
  9. We’re in This Together Now 
  10. Two Books by Francis Fukuyama
  11. What Fukuyama got right.
  12. From ‘End Of History’ To ‘End Of Democracy’ – Why Fukuyama Now Likes China
  13. “Echoing Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’ …
  14. Social Psychology and Religious Behavior
  15. Francis Fukuyama and technology
  16. Eurasianism: The Struggle For The Multi-Polar World

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Vote!

To safeguard democracy certain countries, like Belgium demand all people to come to vote when there are elections. In Belgium voting is compulsory and one is expected to bring in your thoughts on how the country or the European Union is run.

It is easy to complain that things are not going like you would love to see them going. But when giving your opinion the governement can take your voice into account and can have an idea what the people really want. Voting is the way to give your opinion and to give a signal to the ones governing if they are doing their job all-right or doing it wrongly.

It is up to each citizen to take his or her responsibility and to contribute to the working of the state- or political system. Not fulfilling your citizens duties is showing discontent for those in charge and not willing to take up a voice for those in need and for those who can’t speak for themselves (illiterate, poor, to young people but also plants and animals).

For years lots of people have fought to get a fair vote. Many have offered their life in name of democracy, freedom, equality and liberty, all matters we should protect and give highly esteem.

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To remember

Between 23th and 26th of May 2019 European Parliament newly elected.

  • Every single vote contributes to the outcome.
  • Politics = enormous impact on our lives > influence every aspect of our life
  • co-determine + co-decide => co-choose the politicians > possibility to control future of politics

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Preceding

You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone

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Read also

A Voice to give in May 2019

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Related

  1. INEC releases photo samples of ballot boxes for 2019 elections
  2. On Voting
  3. Stolen Elections
  4. Time for Annie to Get her Gun: The Winds of Change Are Not Carrying Democracy
  5. Here Are the Alt-Right Figures Trump Thinks Are the Innocent Victims of Censorship
  6. Everything on Muskegon County’s ballot for next week’s Election Day
  7. Europeans 2019, in France, a poll on crisis background of yellow vests

My Creative Space

Between the
23th and the 26th of May 2019 the European Parliament will be newly elected.
But, like in every election, not each citizen who has a vote uses it. If you
need some motivation to go to the ballot box, keep on reading.

1. Every
single vote counts. Full stop. We live in a democracy. Every vote is counted
and contributes to the outcome.

2. Politics
is all around us. It has an enormous impact on our lives. Not only huge
decisions like taxes and pensions but also decisions as minor as the shape of
your banana are made by politics. They influence every aspect of your life as
they set the rules you then have to live by. With your vote you choose and influence
the politicians who make politics that influence your life. If you want to
co-determine how your life is influenced, you have to co-decide…

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You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone

There are several religious people who say Christians may not be involved in politics or even may not go to bring out their vote.

In Belgium voting is compulsory, and not going to the ballot station is a criminal offence, as such each Belgian is expected to have his say and foreign residents in Belgium, are welcome also to give their voice so that there can be worked at a democratic country, where everybody can have his say.

This month and especially on the 26th of May each resident of Belgium and those living in the European Union, should think about what they want to do and what position they want to take in this world.

Everybody should know that there are animals and plants plus enough people who have no voice and that it is important that people come up for them.

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To remember

What are you waiting for? ….  That ache inside you in sign enough.

  • We lean into “be still” + ignore call “to do”.
  • heartbeat of Love = action. Love = action. >Love cannot exist without action.
  • in the doing = change the world.

God already gave you mandates:

  • care for the poor and the orphaned and widow;
  • fight against injustice;
  • proclaim the gospel;
  • worship;
  • love others the way you want to be loved;
  • relentlessly throw all of who you are at the feet of Jesus.
  • Don’t make exceptions for yourself.
  • Don’t make excuses.

speak it out loud.

Speak up even if it means you are the only one left standing.

 

You want to change the world? = Go home + love you family. Be bold. Love the broken. Call out evil every single time.

Fight for the children who cannot fight for themselves.

Love risks everything to see truth + justice thrive.

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Read also

A Voice to give in May 2019

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Related

Vote

If God has called you to it. Do it.

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The American democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly

An American lady who felt compelled to write a novel of hope and who want us to keep our hearts open and act within love instead of reacting out of fear looks at her own country where some one pulls the strings in a dangerous manner.

She writes

Believe me when I tell you that living in the U.S. right now is like being on a nonstop roller coaster ride, minus the thrill. I don’t understand the mindset of those who think our current POTUS is America’s savior. Perhaps they’re not dependent on healthcare for their lives. Perhaps they don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck. Perhaps they’ve never experienced having the rug pulled out from under them. Or perhaps they’ve experienced all of these and are so desperate for change that they cannot see through all the lies.

One has only to read how Hitler came to power in 1930’s Germany to see the analogous framework already established here in the U.S. Denying this or accepting it as a benign trade-off is extremely dangerous. Our democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly. However, I remain hopeful.

Photo by Ningren

I know the old patriarchal world order is dying; and as with anything facing imminent death, it’s digging in its heels for a last stand. Conditions might even get worse before the beast takes its final breath. Yet I will not be daunted. I won’t allow the power elite to rob me of hope; or worse yet, scare me into questioning what I know to be true.

Humankind is skating on the edge of heightened consciousness. But in order to fully know and appreciate expansion, one must experience constriction. We are germinating in the rich soil of explosive growth. The challenge is keeping our wits about us while embroiled in chaos. Which brings me back to my reason for writing this.

Continue reading:  Chronic Illness Update

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A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

As the anniversary of the signature of the EU’s founding treaties is approaching, a group of over 300 European academics and personalities are endorsing this appeal to relaunch European integration and inviting civil society, academia, young people and citizens to participate to the March for Europe in Rome on March 25.

Alberto Alemanno for VoxEurop

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957.

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957. – AP Images – Treaty of Rome, originally (1957–93) Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, succeeded by (1993–2009) Treaty Establishing the European Community and (2009– ) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; also called, together with the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

25 March 2017 is the day of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties which have made the EU project the most successful experiment of peace and integration ever.

This date may go down history as yet another self-praising, boring, closed-door party of 27 EU leaders or as the germ of a first conscious, popular and patriotic European manifestation. A March for Europe – mimicking the one that took place in London in the aftermath of the Brexit vote – has been announced by the Union of European Federalists. Unfortunately, only the usual suspects – a few pro-European organisations – are behind this one-in-a-generation opportunity to show how many citizens of Europe support and share its ideals, values and lifestyles. Despite its high-potential in prompting a genuine, pan-European manifestation calling for a renewal of the EU project through an inclusive, constituent process, the risk that it may reveal a flop is dangerously high.

The appeal below intends to pierce the typical Brussels bubble currently surrounding the March for Europe, by broadening its audience to a much wider public. There has never been a better opportunity to federate – in a critical moment of its existence – the multitude of associations, movements and grassroots actors who believe in the European project. There has never been a better opportunity to make your voice heard and contribute to the emergent European public space. There has been never been a better opportunity to shape your history and that of the generations to come.

See you in Rome on 25 March. Help us spread the call below through the hashtag #MarchForEurope2017!

A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

We ask national politicians and the media to stop depicting integration as a zero-sum game, thus pitting nations against one another. In an interdependent world no nation can satisfy all of its citizens’ basic needs and appeals for social justice. In this context, integration and supranational government is a positive-sum game. Our European social model based on liberal democracy and a social market economy can only survive in a multi-level framework of government, on the basis of the subsidiarity principle.

Dutch passportEstonian passportWe European citizens are aware that globalisation is transforming the world. We need a European government to foster our common values and contribute to the solution of the global problems threatening humanity. The world needs an outward-looking cosmopolitan Europe to help build a more effective and democratic global governance to cope with climate change, peace, global poverty, and the transition to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy.

Seat

The European Central Bank (ECB; French: Banque centrale européenne) = central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy of the eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world.

Phrygian cap on pole.svgWe European citizens recognise the EU as an incomplete Res Publica. It has a ridiculous budget (0.9 percent of GDP) and no financial autonomy from Member states, while its current competences are out of date for what is necessary to successfully answer the challenges of the current crises. It has a federal like legislative, judiciary and central bank. But democracy is the possibility for citizens to choose the government and make it accountable. For the Union to work and be democratic its decisions, including budget, foreign and defence policy, and the reform of the Treaties, should primarily be taken by a qualified majority representing the majority will of European citizens and states. The Commission should evolve into a fully-fledged government, setting and promoting a political agenda legitimated through elections. European parties should present their candidates to the Presidency at the European election.

The alternative is a directly elected President of the EU merging the Presidencies of the Commission and the European Council.

On 14 February 1984 the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, the so-called Spinelli Project, pointing towards a political union, which Member states disregarded. On 14 February 2017 we call upon the European Parliament, the only directly elected body of the EU, to take a new initiative to kick-start the EU on strengthened democratic basis. Talking about banking, fiscal, economic, energy, security, defence and political unions makes sense only within a genuine democratic European Union, with all those policies under a European government.

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Signing of the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, in the Jerónimos Monastery of Lisbon, Portugal, 13 December 2007, which entered into force on 1 December 2009

On 25 March 2017 the Heads of state and government will celebrate the Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community and Euratom in 1957. We call upon them to match the vision of the Founders. They should open the way to the re-foundation of the EU on the basis of the European Parliament proposal, and immediately exploit all the Lisbon Treaties’ instruments to strengthen EU institutions and policies, especially on foreign and security, economic and social policies.

We call upon the Europe’s youth, its civil society, workers, entrepreneurs, academia, local governments and European citizens to participate in the March for Europe in Rome on 25 March. Together we shall give the political leaders the strength and courage to push forward the EU to a new beginning. European unity is key to solve our common problems, safeguard our values and ensure our welfare, security and democracy.

This Appeal was drafted by Roberto Castaldi with Giuliano Amato, Yves Bertoncini, Stefan Collignon, Anthony Giddens, Ulrike Guérot, and Miguel Maduro. It is available in various languages for further adhesions at March for Europe with the list of signatures and the info on the March.

Marcus Ampe

March for Europe: in Rome on March 25

Flag of the European Union

English: Constituency for the European Parliam...

English: Constituency for the European Parliament election in 2009 Español: Mapa por el Elecciones al Parlamento Europeo de 2009 Français : Circonscriptions aux élections européennes en 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

F: Une véritable Union européenne pour garantir le bien-être, la sécurité et la démocratie

D.: Eine echte Europäische Union die Gemeinwohl, Sicherheit und Demokratie gewährleistet

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