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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by Frenzie -
The end values and framing of the topic matters a lot. His end values are governance and socio-economic indicators as defined and measured by World Bank and the like, which is perfectly scientific as far as economics and economic history goes. His framing is "colonial legitimation", i.e. the more natives become employed by the colonial institutions and receive its services such as healthcare and education, the more it counts as (legitimate) colonialism, whereas mere slave trade will not count as colonialism insofar as slave traders are mobile between trade posts and do not govern a colony.
Unfortunately I can't remember who wrote it (perhaps the minister of colonies?), but as I said that was almost exactly the argument for why Indonesia shouldn't be independent.

Incidentally, the former colony learned how to be invited as a colonial power: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Free_Choice
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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by ersi -
The end values and framing of the topic matters a lot. His end values are governance and socio-economic indicators as defined and measured by World Bank and the like, which is perfectly scientific as far as economics and economic history goes. His framing is "colonial legitimation", i.e. the more natives become employed by the colonial institutions and receive its services such as healthcare and education, the more it counts as (legitimate) colonialism, whereas mere slave trade will not count as colonialism insofar as slave traders are mobile between trade posts and do not govern a colony. They are ungoverned and unaccountable, therefore not a proper example of colonialism. But as soon as (governed) colonies reach the point of civilisation where slavery is abolished, it counts as fully legitimate colonialism, thus abolition of slavery is a benefit to the natives that they gain with colonialism. Moreover, in order for the natives to enjoy these colonial benefits, colonial intervention is necessary, destined.

This framing is nifty. It is difficult to argue against the loads of visible material and social benefits, infrastructure, industrialisation, lasting institutions and the transformed way of life left behind in the colonies. However, it all comes with a cost of having wiped away a previous way of life with its fragile institutions.

Insofar as the colonial power wipes away a previous way of life, I would say colonialism is never legitimate. When colonists build a school, it is likely to be in the language of the colonists and reflect their mindset. By whipping, most local natives may receive education in those schools, but how do numbers obtained by whipping legitimise education? Or healthcare, when the diseases are imported by the colonists? Besides, assuming that education and healthcare are such awesome values, Marxist-socialist-commie regimes have achieved numerically far better results in these areas and much faster too. Western colonial education never aimed for, say, 100% literacy, but commies did and practically achieved it too.


There's this anecdote I remember from Soviet times:
Africa. A black man is lazying under a coconut tree. A coconut falls down from the tree. A white man approaches him and says, "Hey, why are you lazying here? Why don't you gather coconuts?"

Black man, "Why should I gather coconuts?"

White man, "If you gather all these coconuts and go sell them in the market, you will have lots of money."

Black man, "What should I do with lots of money?"

White man, "You can hire other black men to gather coconuts, sell all the coconuts in the market and you will have even more money."

Black man, "What should I do with even more money?"

White man, "You will have so much money that you do not have to work anymore. You can retire and enjoy lazying."

Black man, "But I enjoy lazying already now."
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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by Frenzie -
The first few pages I thought it was tongue in cheek, but it's not.
It seems to be riffing on things people wrote back in the 1920s and 1930s, that we read in history class. The gist of it being self-governance is a lofty goal, but these people aren't ready for it yet.

I find it somewhat amusing that within the internal logic of the article, most of the "anti-colonialism is bad, actually" shtick reads to me like Russian colonialism is a lot worse than Belgian/British/Portuguese colonialism, rather than an actual absence of colonialism.

Put another way, it's not so much the case for colonialism, but the case for 1930s style Western European colonialism.

A random thought:
Quote
“Since gaining independence, Congo has never had at its disposal an army comparable in efficiency and discipline to the former [Belgian colonial] Force Publique,” was Van Reybrouck’s sad conclusion.77 Maybe the Belgians should come back.
The army was there to fight Germany and the locals. It's unclear why we should assume there's some inherent good in it?
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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by ersi -
Some time ago I came across this article justifying colonialism.[1] The first few pages I thought it was tongue in cheek, but it's not. See if you can find the counterexamples and counterarguments to every point, if you are interested. It's a good article to test one's level of colonialism.
Oops, I have the version without editor's note. Some nasty stuff has happened to the author meanwhile apparently.
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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by Frenzie -
Now, GDPR in particular is such that it better not be different anywhere, if it is to have any point at all. And it isn't. It has a uniform global effect. Namely, the cookie popups are pretty much global. Another reaction from many American websites is to just block European visitors. The cookie popups and visitor-blocks are global effects of GDPR, but definitely not good effects.

But if you are not experiencing cookie popups globally, then again we have a difference...
The technically legal in some circumstances cookie popups already existed prior to GDPR. The ePR was supposed to come into effect at the same time as GDPR in 2018, but is largely separate except for where the handling of personal data part overlaps.

There is indeed a failure of sorts there being fueled largely by France if I'm not mistaken.

Overall, the video is from an EU-positive British perspective. Brits and Western Europeans have in common a denial of their colonial attitude.
I'm not sure if it's helpful to analyze certain types of at best unhelpful protectionism as colonialism, but yes, it's unfortunately all too present in recent years.
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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by ersi -
while the Eastern EU tries to follow the regulation to the letter with rather adverse results to the common citizen.
Your example above doesn't seem to show that. Crudely paraphrased, the situation regarding direct neighbors hasn't changed substantially, therefore the EU is useless. In practical terms that'll be true much of the time because of course you deal with Finland and Latvia more than with Belgium or Spain. In this limited sense the EU is useless for the entire EU. But when you deal with France or Greece, you're also treated the same way as an EU citizen.
Here you are assuming my treatment by the other countries, but in my example, I was talking rather about my country's treatment of the documents issued by other countries.

Before we joined the EU, I knew the procedures in my country. Before we joined the EU, I knew the procedures in the EU. Now we have joined the EU and the fact is that the EU procedures have not reached my country. So I look up the regulation and, lo and behold, it effectively perpetuates what has been going on in my country all along.

There are two superbig problems here. First, the procedures are not harmonised. Second, were we to harmonise them as per the regulation, they would become as bad as in the rest of the world, not as good as in the Western EU. Seriously, why is the regulation so stupid and insane? And why is only the Eastern EU following it?

When an Estonian peat company ships peat to the Netherlands, it can do so without having to deal with all manner of complex customs nonsense due to common peat standards. The Estonian government would have had to negotiate an individual peat agreement with every country it wants to export peat to. Instead it can just export peat to all of the EU, and outside of the EU on the basis of EU peat trade negotiations with for example the United States.
Yes, this is obviously the greatest perk of the EU. There are still problems though, such as in in e-commerce we are still occasionally treated as a third-world country lumped together with Russia, despite over ten years of eurozone membership.

But I wonder if people younger than you would even agree that it's all that invisible unless you look. Universities are full of Erasmus students from Estonia (and from all over the EU) for example.
The students have gone haywire all over the place by now. My youngest sister studied in Brazil and Turkey. The EU was not enough. Whereas I in my time went to study in Finland, competing with ordinary Finns to become a student, by brute force of my intelligence, without any helpful programme, but rather with all the drawbacks of having to comply with residence permit and monetary requirements.

That's not true at all. The situation was significantly worse before GDPR. If it didn't improve in Estonia, then you've disproved your earlier statement that it's just for new members that EU rules make a difference,...
Now, GDPR in particular is such that it better not be different anywhere, if it is to have any point at all. And it isn't. It has a uniform global effect. Namely, the cookie popups are pretty much global. Another reaction from many American websites is to just block European visitors. The cookie popups and visitor-blocks are global effects of GDPR, but definitely not good effects.

But if you are not experiencing cookie popups globally, then again we have a difference...

Without the full story, it is more plausible that bans or threats of bans on imports of raw materials, playing with tariffs etc. is a game of colonialism by the EU. Some countries occasionally lash back against European colonial attitude.
Switzerland isn't in the EU last I checked.
And the original video does not give the full story about the Cameroun cocoa ban. I can assume it's related to some big European chocolate producers, such as Belgium and France. The other story I linked was to indicate that I know that there is some cocoa war going on between Europe and Africa. From sub-Saharan African perspective, Switzerland is in the same gang as Western European ex-colonists.

Before we dig in deeper into the cocoa war, would you be ready to bet that the EU has been handling it any better than it did Bosnia and Ukraine? In Bosnia and Ukraine the EU had stakes, because these are geographically plausible member candidates, and look how they got treated. In Africa, the EU has no reason to keep up good appearances, so...

Overall, the video is from an EU-positive British perspective. Brits and Western Europeans have in common a denial of their colonial attitude. They think they have grown past it and replaced colonialism with positive values, something like when Americans say they are exporting democracy. But from the perspective of those in the receiving end of the alleged democracy, this is not so. By the way, Brits were kicked out of the EU, for several good reasons. Just recently there were more than enough reasons to kick out France and Germany. They still have to prove themselves. The EU is in a very sorry state.
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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by Frenzie -
while the Eastern EU tries to follow the regulation to the letter with rather adverse results to the common citizen.
Your example above doesn't seem to show that. Crudely paraphrased, the situation regarding direct neighbors hasn't changed substantially, therefore the EU is useless. In practical terms that'll be true much of the time because of course you deal with Finland and Latvia more than with Belgium or Spain. In this limited sense the EU is useless for the entire EU. But when you deal with France or Greece, you're also treated the same way as an EU citizen. The fact that this will often be invisible to a big minority or small majority of the population hardly makes it a net negative. I don't know why you would expect the EU to have much of an impact on relations with your neighbors whom you already had good relations with. When an Estonian peat company ships peat to the Netherlands, it can do so without having to deal with all manner of complex customs nonsense due to common peat standards. The Estonian government would have had to negotiate an individual peat agreement with every country it wants to export peat to. Instead it can just export peat to all of the EU, and outside of the EU on the basis of EU peat trade negotiations with for example the United States.[1]

But I wonder if people younger than you would even agree that it's all that invisible unless you look. Universities are full of Erasmus students from Estonia (and from all over the EU) for example.

To summarise, the most visible effects of GDPR are outright evil. The less visible effects, such as fines on some companies and institutions who treat your data and credentials badly, are incremental. Historically the situation used to be better long before GDPR.
That's not true at all. The situation was significantly worse before GDPR. If it didn't improve in Estonia, then you've disproved your earlier statement that it's just for new members that EU rules make a difference, although obviously any prospective new member will have to align with the EU rather than the reverse. No matter the subject, the situation won't improve in some member states because the EU enforces a certain minimum and any member state is free to go beyond. GDPR makes it so that all of Europe is now similar to how it already was in Germany with regard to personal data, and that's a great improvement pretty much anywhere except for Germany and Estonia.

Without the full story, it is more plausible that bans or threats of bans on imports of raw materials, playing with tariffs etc. is a game of colonialism by the EU. Some countries occasionally lash back against European colonial attitude.
Switzerland isn't in the EU last I checked.
I mention peat because it's the most visible Estonian product that can be found in every store, but of course the same applies to Estonia's IT industry and all other imports and exports. The fact that you pay at least 6-10% less than you otherwise would is invisible.
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DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by ersi -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rTNBn7aDpI
That the EU is a "regulatory superpower" is a nice idea, but not quite working out in reality. As the discussion just above showed, there are EU regulations that the Western EU does not follow - because they already have a smoother practice in place - while the Eastern EU tries to follow the regulation to the letter with rather adverse results to the common citizen. Much of the regulations appear to exist only to annoy the new joiners. The entire declaratory "values" part is definitely there exclusively for the East and the for rest of the world, not for the EU biggies.

Since the EU is internally divided in various ways, North versus South and East versus West, its position in the world - assuming it has one - is threatened. Not only by the outside forces such as USA and Russia who have repeatedly picked the EU apart driving through their own agendas on GMO foods, passport checks and gas transports, but also inside forces. By now it should be clear to everyone that the worst enemy of the EU have been the biggies themselves, failing most badly at geopolitics, but failing at other things too.

Let's take the video on its own terms.
1. Market regulation (7:26): The EU has fined Google repeatedly for anti-trust/monopoly violations, and now 130 countries in the world have similar competition practices.

Not sure how similar the practices are. They are not very similar even inside the EU. Google, Amazon and many other important websites are different depending on the location where you open them up - inside the EU. There are still e-commerce and banking corporations that classify everything east of Germany as some third world region, not on the same terms as the Western EU, offering higher prices and less perks for purchases, deliveries and services. This point was supposed to be fixed the moment we'd become a member of the EU, but still waiting for the "single market" to take effect.

2. Digital economy (5:13): Privacy is a fundamental right as per GDPR.

Somewhere in mid-90's the university that I was attending created the first ever login credentials for me. This was for email, internet access, and to be able to use printers. When not used for a year or so, the credentials would expire. This should still be a good standard practice, but it was lost somewhere along the way, and the GDPR has not brought it back.

In the 90's - and well into this century - it was possible to refuse all cookies from websites that you visited but did not want to log in to. If the website did not have a login in the first place, it behaved no different regardless if you refused the cookies or not. What GDPR has achieved is that the simplest visit to the simplest website, for example to check the train timetables, is an arduous fencing with cookie popups. The cookie popups have destroyed the user experience particularly badly on modern mobile devices.

There appears to be no standard to cookie popups. From the ordinary consumer point of view, it should be possible to dismiss the cookie popups - as any popups - with a single press of the Escape key, but this is not so. Or all popups should have an immediate up-front "No, refuse all" option, but this is not so. Better still, it should be possible to refuse all cookies in browser settings - and then there should be no reason for the popup in the first place, but these happy times will likely never return thanks to GDPR. GDPR insists on cookie popups even when you have refused all cookies in the browser settings.

Messenger apps and all other connectible apps are essentially little web browsers and they should have the same options as web browsers, including cookie options so that the user could control the tracking. Moreover, those apps want to copy and upload all your contacts and other data from the device, and it is not easy to refuse it because the insistent request is issued repeatedly at different times with different button placements or with colours making it appear as if the "No, thanks" option were inactive. GDPR does not address this trickery at all.

To summarise, the most visible effects of GDPR are outright evil. The less visible effects, such as fines on some companies and institutions who treat your data and credentials badly, are incremental. Historically the situation used to be better long before GDPR.

3. Consumer health (7:31): The EU rejected Cameroun's cocoa beans due to the presence of harmful chemicals.

Without the full story, it is more plausible that bans or threats of bans on imports of raw materials, playing with tariffs etc. is a game of colonialism by the EU. Some countries occasionally lash back against European colonial attitude.
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DnD Central / Re: NATO nonsense
Last post by ersi -
Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum that seems to appease Turkey enough to not object the accession of Sweden and Finland to Nato. The memorandum is about fighting terrorism and giving up terrorists to be tried in the other country. Turkey's media declared victoriously that Finland and Sweden are now committed to give up the Kurds whose list Turkey has been floating around. But Finland and Sweden say nothing has changed with regard to Kurds in Finland and Sweden.

Funny thing, terrorism. Turkey, a Nato member, thinks Kurds are terrorists, while all other Nato members would rather have Kurds fight Isis, because Isis is terrorist. Overall, Nato has betrayed Kurds once again. Memorandums tend to be completely non-committal in practice, but there are not too many contradictory memorandums you can sign without affecting the clarity of your own determination and the relationships around you.