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Is nationalism/racism going to destroy the current world order?  

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http://uk.news.yahoo.com/kiev-protests-two-dead-ukraine-edges-towards-civil-085730039.html#NU04CJa

 

Read this today, and it got me thinking...

 

Hypothesis:

 

The end of the Cold War alliance system, coupled with increasing globalization, and slowing economic growth have all exacerbated racism and nationalism across the world. The process we are seeing right now is the beginning of the end for the modern world order.

 

Examples:

 

Eastern Asia:

 

Japan-China maritime disputes have flared massively in the past five years. Recently a USN and PLAN ship nearly collided, displaying China's aggressive behavior. Chinese leaders often feel pressured by nationalism to push the situation to the limit.

 

The Americas:

 

Racial tensions in the US (there have been some nasty violent incidents lately).

 

Europe:

 

Ukraine. Nationalism in Eastern Europe and even some rambling of Nordicism in certain sectors of Russian society.

 

Middle East:

 

Civil war in Syria, revolutions in Egypt. Islamic radicals preaching ever more violent doctrines.

 

What do you think? Do you think national sentiments are about to explode, or not?

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Shit's going to happen, but exactly what I can't tell. I can guess the Syrian civil war is going to worsen, and a civil war might occur in the Ukraine, but I have yet to see this as a product of globalization, or race tension in the US (and I live there, so I should know).

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Shit's going to happen, but exactly what I can't tell. I can guess the Syrian civil war is going to worsen, and a civil war might occur in the Ukraine, but I have yet to see this as a product of globalization, or race tension in the US (and I live there, so I should know).

 

I won't comment too much on the race tension issue (I live in the US as well, and I can say it *does* exist), but I will say globalization has caused economic trends, such as increasing economic inequality, trends towards over specialization, etc, that reduce economic well being for many people, helping to give a breeding ground for radical action.

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I won't comment too much on the race tension issue (I live in the US as well, and I can say it *does* exist), but I will say globalization has caused economic trends, such as increasing economic inequality, trends towards over specialization, etc, that reduce economic well being for many people, helping to give a breeding ground for radical action.

 

Ah, it makes a little more sense now, but if you know things about this race tension, you should say it.

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The main problem in the USA isn't racial in origin, but economical... Race is just a convenient excuse for people (not you, but the people actually causing the problems) to avoid the underlying issues.

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The main problem in the USA isn't racial in origin, but economical... Race is just a convenient excuse for people (not you, but the people actually causing the problems) to avoid the underlying issues.

 

I would say a lot of people (of all races, left wing and right wing) have a lot of money to make by exploiting racial tensions amongst Americans.

 

Though I honestly think tensions would still exist even without them. It is just made much worse by agitators.

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The main problem in the USA isn't racial in origin, but economical... Race is just a convenient excuse for people (not you, but the people actually causing the problems) to avoid the underlying issues.

 

I would say a lot of people (of all races, left wing and right wing) have a lot of money to make by exploiting racial tensions amongst Americans.

 

Though I honestly think tensions would still exist even without them. It is just made much worse by agitators.

 

Well, of course race is economical. What southern Dixiecrat/Republican extremist wouldn't say "I might be poor, but I'm not poor like blacks are" or "I earned my money, not like those Jews!" or even "At least I don't collect welfare, like those damn illegals". The far right (aka KKK, Nazis, fascists) like to add to tension, and the far left (communists) try to influence the oppressed to rise up. Thankfully, these nutjobs are pretty much harmless.

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The main problem in the USA isn't racial in origin, but economical... Race is just a convenient excuse for people (not you, but the people actually causing the problems) to avoid the underlying issues.

 

I would say a lot of people (of all races, left wing and right wing) have a lot of money to make by exploiting racial tensions amongst Americans.

 

Though I honestly think tensions would still exist even without them. It is just made much worse by agitators.

 

Well, of course race is economical. What southern Dixiecrat/Republican extremist wouldn't say "I might be poor, but I'm not poor like blacks are" or "I earned my money, not like those Jews!" or even "At least I don't collect welfare, like those damn illegals". The far right (aka KKK, Nazis, fascists) like to add to tension, and the far left (communists) try to influence the oppressed to rise up. Thankfully, these nutjobs are pretty much harmless.

 

I wouldn't say harmless. I think the Tea Party has an angry white person streak in it, and that has been gaining in recent years. Conversely, there are some black commentators who still act like America is some sort of white supremacist segregation state.

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The main problem in the USA isn't racial in origin, but economical... Race is just a convenient excuse for people (not you, but the people actually causing the problems) to avoid the underlying issues.
Yeah this is pretty much my viewpoint as well.

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The main problem in the USA isn't racial in origin, but economical... Race is just a convenient excuse for people (not you, but the people actually causing the problems) to avoid the underlying issues.
Yeah this is pretty much my viewpoint as well.

 

In an ideal political system in America, I would have it that the politicians would deal with economics first before moving on to social issues, so that way the most pressing issues are solved (the issues of bread and butter, not sexuality or skin color, even though I have my own ideas on those two). On top of that, as Fareed Zakaria has said, when the middle class was strong in America, our politics was far more moderate.

 

Problem is, politicians somewhere around 1994 thought they could exploit racial/religious divisions in America to win easy points (they were always doing this, but it seems in the 1990s the "culture wars" started to pass all other issues), instead of focusing on concrete economic policies that would benefit us all.

 

I think it produces a destructive cycle. You try and win the cheap points by focusing on social, not economic issues first. Since public attention to the fine points of economics is diverted, the government and big corporations begin messing with the system to gear it towards better self gain, slowly degrading the middle class in the process.

 

As the middle class declines, the politics becomes more radical (I call it the urban hipster-rural white trash dichotomy, you may call it something else :P), however by this point people become too focused on social issues, and can't really do anything meaningful in regards to trade policy, wages, etc.

 

Ross, you once said that the US might end up like Argentina if we keep on our current path. I am more inclined towards a USSR style disintegration (maybe later today I will flesh out a full post on why I think that). I think tensions in America exploded exponentially *under* Obama (key word, *under*, not necessarily because of) and I think at this point every group, except moderate middle class people (of any race or religion or sexuality), are trying to change society radically.

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Well, the Republicans don't just get their votes from the white supremacy crowd. In fact, they more often get their votes by attacking anyone to the political left of them, through "Red Fear" tactics. this in turn causes policies to help the poor getting stalled in Congress, or not even passing. A good example of a Republican playing off racial AND economic tension is Rush Limbaugh.

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Well, the Republicans don't just get their votes from the white supremacy crowd. In fact, they more often get their votes by attacking anyone to the political left of them, through "Red Fear" tactics. this in turn causes policies to help the poor getting stalled in Congress, or not even passing. A good example of a Republican playing off racial AND economic tension is Rush Limbaugh.

I notice you're saying that in a way that would imply to most that the left doesn't do that... In fact they do it far more, and far worse than the right ever could. (95% of mass media is controlled by the extremest left)

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Well, the Republicans don't just get their votes from the white supremacy crowd. In fact, they more often get their votes by attacking anyone to the political left of them, through "Red Fear" tactics. this in turn causes policies to help the poor getting stalled in Congress, or not even passing. A good example of a Republican playing off racial AND economic tension is Rush Limbaugh.

I notice you're saying that in a way that would imply to most that the left doesn't do that... In fact they do it far more, and far worse than the right ever could. (95% of mass media is controlled by the extremest left)

 

I think both do it equally, it's just that the more liberal oriented people dominate all the "mainstream" establishments, so more people share their views than the right wing ones.

 

It's really hard to be pragmatic, or thoughtful whenever discussing identity in this nation, especially now a days. It's always a rush to paint the "other" as evil. There is little communication. I think if we allow this sentiment to keep building up whilst the economy declines, we will eventually be faced with some pretty bad (and violent) situations.

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I notice you're saying that in a way that would imply to most that the left doesn't do that... In fact they do it far more, and far worse than the right ever could. (95% of mass media is controlled by the extremest left)

 

Are you kidding me? America is dominated by conservatives. If the extreme left control 95% of the media, how can an organization like Fox News attract so many viewers, and become "mainstream"? Name three major leftist radio commentators, for that matter.

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I notice you're saying that in a way that would imply to most that the left doesn't do that... In fact they do it far more, and far worse than the right ever could. (95% of mass media is controlled by the extremest left)

 

Are you kidding me? America is dominated by conservatives. If the extreme left control 95% of the media, how can an organization like Fox News attract so many viewers, and become "mainstream"? Name three major leftist radio commentators, for that matter.

 

America is not fully "dominated" by anyone.

 

You have CNN (fairly liberal) and MSNBC (very liberal) as two cable channels against Fox news already. Add on top of that the "big 3" original nightly news show, and you have an uninspiring picture if you are a right wing person.

 

If conservatives "dominated" America, like you said, then why are states gradually legalizing same sex marriage, and why do the Democrats still control the Presidency and Senate (sure, it's not total control, but it's not nothing either)?

 

Maybe I can't name you three radio commentators, but that is just a matter of media. How about TV or movies, or print/web media? Bill Maher, Ariana Huffington, and Michael Moore, to name a few?

 

As for Fox News,

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/frank-rich-fox-news-new-york_n_4672800.html

 

Last I made a glance, Fox only had around 1 million viewers now.

 

In a nation of 310 million.

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I notice you're saying that in a way that would imply to most that the left doesn't do that... In fact they do it far more, and far worse than the right ever could. (95% of mass media is controlled by the extremest left)

 

Are you kidding me? America is dominated by conservatives. If the extreme left control 95% of the media, how can an organization like Fox News attract so many viewers, and become "mainstream"? Name three major leftist radio commentators, for that matter.

 

America is not fully "dominated" by anyone.

 

You have CNN (fairly liberal) and MSNBC (very liberal) as two cable channels against Fox news already. Add on top of that the "big 3" original nightly news show, and you have an uninspiring picture if you are a right wing person.

 

If conservatives "dominated" America, like you said, then why are states gradually legalizing same sex marriage, and why do the Democrats still control the Presidency and Senate (sure, it's not total control, but it's not nothing either)?

 

Maybe I can't name you three radio commentators, but that is just a matter of media. How about TV or movies, or print/web media? Bill Maher, Ariana Huffington, and Michael Moore, to name a few?

 

As for Fox News,

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/frank-rich-fox-news-new-york_n_4672800.html

 

Last I made a glance, Fox only had around 1 million viewers now.

 

In a nation of 310 million.

 

When I said dominated, I meant majority (even if by a slim minority). I was also trying to prove a point with BTG and his claim that 95% of the media is in leftist control. Additionally, your new comments now give me a better understanding of what exactly is going on.

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Snip.

When I said dominated, I meant majority (even if by a slim minority). I was also trying to prove a point with BTG and his claim that 95% of the media is in leftist control. Additionally, your new comments now give me a better understanding of what exactly is going on.

 

When a slim majority has some control, that is not domination, that is barely keeping on to power.

 

As for mainstream media, I would have to pull up the studies from somewhere, but I do know many scholars have proof that most mainstream American media (such things as Fox news excepted) are quite far to the left of the public. And quite frankly, I think anyone who really watches the mainstream news would be inclined to think something to this effect as well.

 

On a side note, I am writing to my Senator this week, complaining about how the US is arming "moderate" Syrian rebels. We just can't seem to stay out of the middle east. Though I know it won't do a damned thing.

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I am writing to my Senator this week, complaining about how the US is arming "moderate" Syrian rebels. We just can't seem to stay out of the middle east. Though I know it won't do a damned thing.

 

Ah, Syria, Syria. I don't think there is a single solution for the Syrian problem. There's the Syrian "moderates", who claim they're fighting for democracy, the Sunni terrorists that are intent on creating a hardline Islamic state, the Syrian government that preaches fascism and Shiite ideals, aided by the anti Israeli group Hezbollah and Iran, a Kurdish rebellion throughout the area, and possibly chemical weapons that are still floating around....no end to madness. What to do is the million dollar question. As for US intervention in the Middle East, I give you two reasons for this: the threat of Islamic terrorism and bountiful oil.

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I am writing to my Senator this week, complaining about how the US is arming "moderate" Syrian rebels. We just can't seem to stay out of the middle east. Though I know it won't do a damned thing.

 

Ah, Syria, Syria. I don't think there is a single solution for the Syrian problem. There's the Syrian "moderates", who claim they're fighting for democracy, the Sunni terrorists that are intent on creating a hardline Islamic state, the Syrian government that preaches fascism and Shiite ideals, aided by the anti Israeli group Hezbollah and Iran, a Kurdish rebellion throughout the area, and possibly chemical weapons that are still floating around....no end to madness. What to do is the million dollar question. As for US intervention in the Middle East, I give you two reasons for this: the threat of Islamic terrorism and bountiful oil.

 

To the Honorable Patty Murray

 

I have recently read about the semi secret decision by the Congress to supply light armaments to "moderate" Syrian rebels. While I do not have access to the intelligence that you or other decision makers may have, from what I do know, this is a major mistake.

 

My first issue is, if the US is really doing as it say's, and is only supplying "moderate" forces, this is a political mistake. Factions do not usually fight in such violent and extreme conflicts, and gain a mass following as a "moderate" movement. At best, they may become a third (or even fourth) group that may influence decisions, but rarely set the tone of the situation. Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union of the 1980s and 1990s attempted at many points to straddle a middle, moralistic ground between communist hardliners, and non communist liberals, eventually to the detriment of his career and nation. History is littered with countless examples of attempting to take a moral high ground at the expense of pragmatism, and arming only "moderate" rebel's seems to fit this pattern.

 

My second issue to raise is that we continually engage ourselves as a nation extensively in the Middle East. The Middle East is full of overlapping ethnic and religious rivalries which lead to violent situations. While no doubt the US has valid interests in this region, is it really worth involving ourselves in every dispute in that region? Especially in light of the "pivot to Asia," and our own domestic problems. Iraq was an example of a war that gained us little, but lost our nation a lot. Afghanistan in the 1980s was an example of blowback, where the power vacuum created by the collapse of the Soviet backed government led eventually to a Taliban takeover of most of Afghanistan, and Afghanistan being utilized by Al Qaeda terrorists to attack the United States.

 

I sincerely hope that you and your colleagues either vote to reduce the supply of arms to Syria (to any faction), or at least be more cautious when approving funds next time around.

 

Thank you for your time.

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I am writing to my Senator this week, complaining about how the US is arming "moderate" Syrian rebels. We just can't seem to stay out of the middle east. Though I know it won't do a damned thing.

 

Ah, Syria, Syria. I don't think there is a single solution for the Syrian problem. There's the Syrian "moderates", who claim they're fighting for democracy, the Sunni terrorists that are intent on creating a hardline Islamic state, the Syrian government that preaches fascism and Shiite ideals, aided by the anti Israeli group Hezbollah and Iran, a Kurdish rebellion throughout the area, and possibly chemical weapons that are still floating around....no end to madness. What to do is the million dollar question. As for US intervention in the Middle East, I give you two reasons for this: the threat of Islamic terrorism and bountiful oil.

 

Excuse me for not responding directly faster, I have been busy with school work.

 

I fully agree, Syria is a complex issue that will not have an easy solution. The only place I would really disagree with you on are the two motivators.

 

Oil: Syria has some oil, but it is not a major oil producer like, say, Saudi Arabia. Besides that, we are starting to get oil from other locations anyway (Fracking, for instance, whether or not it's right is a whole other debate).

 

Terrorism: In this case, if the rebels prevail, we will most likely get a terrorist haven out of Syria. Supporting anti Assad forces is doing something to help, not hurt terrorism. I have read some rumblings that one of the motivators behind Syria are the far right Israeli Likud party, and their associated pro Israel lobbies in the US, who want to wipe out any regime opposed to Israel, even if it is in the long term interest for Israel to have a rational (however cruel) state actor like Assad, as opposed to a bunch of irrational Muslim fanatics.

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