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America = Whole of Europe?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Dalveen, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    Ha, the more interesting question is, what's the benefit for an individual living in a small or a big country. Has an individual more fun in a big country ? Hey, there are lots of us, like ants, lots and lots and lots. Chinese, over a billion, Indians, over a billion. He, he, if they wanted to, they could swarm the world in hordes. Floodwaves. We are the walrus, you are the goldfish. But what does a single one have from it. I say small is beatiful. Ok, I maybe be biased. But try living in a small country. It's really fun.

    On the other side, I have my own nationality, my own culture, my own way of life.....you just lump me together with foreigners living outside of the borders in an organization I'm not even part of ? Are you mad ? Back of you, you, you, you... foreigner you! Yeah, you foreigner you ! (Mexicans can get really annoying at times, but what can one do.)

    Is this idea born out of laziness ? Like, dam, there are so many countries to learn in geography, can't we just mix them completly randomly together and save learning time ? Make 10 out of 100.
     
  2. Sarevok• Gems: 23/31
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    Isn't there anything more fun to argue about then war and death etc :) ?

    [Don't bother to post if you have nothing to contribute.] -Tal

    [That was my contribution.] -Sarevok

    [ March 18, 2004, 23:31: Message edited by: Sarevok- ]
     
  3. Neriana Gems: 6/31
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    The U.S., with some help from France, brought Haiti to its knees through economic action (or, rather, purposeful inaction). We don't HAVE to invade a country to change its power structure. Morality doesn't come into play here; the United States is the most powerful country in the world, economically, militarily, and culturally. A small nation cannot compete with us on any of those grounds. It would be like a ballerina attacking a sumo wrestler.

    Switzerland, because of its banks, is the only small country I can think of that could inflict any kind of actual economic hardship on the U.S. Spellbound, you seem to be forgetting that the vast majority of small countries throughout the world are impoverished and wracked by corruption and/or war. The world doesn't begin and end with the U.S. and western Europe. And what kind of horrible things would happen to us if a prosperous small country like, say, Belgium, imposed sanctions? A drop in gourmet chocolate imports?

    How bad would the economic impact worldwide be if the U.S. entered an economic depression? I think the EU might actually benefit, as the Euro would become the world's standard currency. I think the rest of the Americas would be hit really hard, though, especially south of the border. Israel would have to change dramatically or go down in flames, since it's dependent on U.S. aid. I'm not sure if we'd pull troops out of Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Phillipines, etc., but if we did there would be some major changes there as well. Many countries are dependent on U.S. aid, and they would have to look elsewhere.

    A major economic depression might make the U.S. less of a threat militarily, if it made us withdraw into our borders and slash the military budget. But it also might make us more of a threat, since countries that are hurting economically often end up with leaders who start wars.
     
  4. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    Hm, Swiss Banks are usually overrated. I mean, it's all great and that, but then again, there are mostly employing Americans and the biggest part of them are in America. So I can't actually see what a depression in the USA would help them (except we could get rid if citigroup, they're bad for international reputation). I think it's the same with Nestlé. It is so good to have the worlds biggest food-company. But then again, where are they ? All over the place, just not here. I mean their big, they are selling food to Canadians and Brazilians and sometimes even to us, but I mean, there big because the biggest part acutally isn't here. Because if the biggest part would be here, it would meant that they wouldn't be that big. The still would be big, but not quiet that big. Less bigger somehow.

    But sometimes, I miss international influence and the oppurtiny to be a big weight. I mean, my vote among the vote of hundreds of millions of others could seriously change the way of the world. See, I could have a 400 millionth share of a voting with world-wide impact, wouldn't that be nice ! Hey, and people actually would learn our language. That would be great too. And it's actually easy, because we have no past simple. Imagine, learning a language with neither past perfect nor past simple, that's a whole lotta verbs less.
     
  5. Dalveen

    Dalveen Rimmer gone Bald Veteran

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    So your saying that if Kuwait cut its oil supply to the U.S then you still wouldnt be affected??

    There are many small countries that contain resources found hardly anywhere else that the U.S depends on for imports.
     
  6. Spellbound

    Spellbound Fleur de Mystique Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Dalveen...my point exactly. Oil is a prime example.
     
  7. Neriana Gems: 6/31
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    Kuwait, all by itself? That wouldn't happen; we are Kuwait's protector, and its oil exports are decided by OPEC. This group of countries has an iron grip on world oil supply because they HAVE BANDED TOGETHER. Individually, they can do nothing; as OPEC, they can definitely make the U.S. and other large countries sweat.

    http://www.mapsofworld.com/opec-member-map.htm
     
  8. Spellbound

    Spellbound Fleur de Mystique Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    We're all aware of Opec. I don't think that was the point of the argument though -- but rather that a smaller country can command respect from a larger country if it has the right scarce resource that's in demand.
     
  9. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    http://www.mapsofworld.com/opec-member-map.htm

    Ouch. The nemesis. The map of doom. The map that does not matter. If wars are fought over resources, blessed are those who dwell on ground with no resources under it.
     
  10. Neriana Gems: 6/31
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    If you can give me an example of a small country that, all by itself with no support from any larger country or group of countries, can oppose the U.S., I'll say it's a country we've invaded. In those cases, they aren't actually hurting the U.S., only the forces that are assigned to the region. Their tactics are similar to those we used during the Revolution: guerrila warfare, strike-and-run, random unpredictable attacks, knowing the terrain and the people of their own country.

    Kuwait's actually a perfect example of what I was talking about. It's got great resources for its size, but in the grand scheme of things they aren't that big a deal. They have to join other countries to really affect the world oil market. (That map gives me the willies too. Poor Nigeria...)

    With the possible exception of Switzerland, which could freeze assets (but they wouldn't) I can't think of a small country that could hurt the U.S. all on its lonesome. Perhaps more importantly, I can't think of one that would dare to try. The power we can bring to bear, economically and militarily, is just too much to trifle with.
     
  11. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Well, yippee for the USA then. OK! The USA can kick all our butts if it wanted to. At this point in time. But it couldn't 100 years ago and who knows, it might not be able to in 50 years time.

    But I still don't think that the USA would win any friends if it went around boasting that it is bigger and better than all the other 'smaller' countries. Because that is the sort of talk that gets certain groups of dangerously violent people so riled up that they go out of their way to try and even the score.

    And please don't get me wrong. There are many things that I love about the USA. I'm only arguing against a blatantly superior attitude that is sometimes held about the importance of one country (which in this example happens to be the USA) over others. That's all.
     
  12. Amatorius Gems: 3/31
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    [​IMG] Wouldn't dream of it Harbourboy.

    For my part any countries' superior attitude towards another country can be a problem whether it be USA or France or whoever else and it seems to me, generally, that bragging is a national pastime- "my country is better than your country because of money/military/resources or whatever." please...

    Does it really matter that much?

    or is just something people do to make themselves feel important..
    <shrugs> I couldn't give a rat's *** which country I lived in as long as it's not at war or something equally depressingly stupid.

    But hey, it is only my opinion.
    :hippy:
     
  13. Dalveen

    Dalveen Rimmer gone Bald Veteran

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    So ok, yes we have discovered the USA is stronger than anyone else military/economy wise etc...
    But the still does not give it sovreign right to say its equal to whole continent.

    And anyway if you look at it from that point of view, then Europe is tronger than USA military/economy wise, so your still not equal to the whole of Europe.
     
  14. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    Even if it is a nice thought to entertain sometimes, but you are seriously overestimating Swiss impact on the world and the amount and power of bank accounts. It's B-movie mythology. (Ok, if it would be true, we'd use our impact and try to reshape the EU to its own benefit after that small political system of ours).

    I thought this was about the absurdity of thinking that the US should not be compared to the world as it exists, instead leap into science fiction and create fictional entities that would seem more "fitting" for comparision. I.E. only compare countries with a 200 million + population with eachother and don't dare mention the rest of the world. (And don't dear compare Delaware with California)

    That the US is the 3rd biggest country (population wise) of the world, is a general known fact. That it has a impact on the rest of the world can be concluded. That it could bring the rest of the world to its knees, I rather doubt that. The G-7 decide the economical fate of the world at this time. I don't think the US would get anywhere without atleast the tacit consent of the other G-6, who have bigger economical clout then the US alone. Not to mention that there other countries rising from the dead to former glory and that a lot of small fish combined are a swarm. Remember, the empire of Charles V was brought to its knees by small critters.
     
  15. ejsmith Gems: 25/31
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    The United States....of EUROPE!!!

    :D :p
     
  16. Neriana Gems: 6/31
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    I'm not trying to say "the U.S. kicks butt we are so cool everyone else sux dumb sissies". I HATE that my country is this powerful, and I REALLY HATE the "U.S. #1" attitude. Probably more than anyone who doesn't live in this country, because I'm confronted with it every blasted day. (Proud to be an American - oh whoopee my mom gave birth in a U.S. hospital, how proud I should be of that :rolleyes: .) Pretending that the U.S. isn't every bit as strong as it really is compared to other countries isn't going to do anything for anyone. You've got to understand the realities of power before you can challenge the powerful.
     
  17. Spellbound

    Spellbound Fleur de Mystique Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Um.. I'm still wondering how this thread turned into some sort of validation of US's power. :/

    Anywho,I don't believe there's a soul on this forum who would disagree with the notion that the US is powerful in some sense, for heaven sakes ....nor do I believe that ANYONE here truly understands the "realities of power". Some of the most brilliant minds of the world have been trying to figure that one out for centuries. ;)
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I'm going to try to get back on-topic here and in a way, defend the original (rather innocent I might add) point that Blackhawk was trying to make.

    First of all, he wasn't saying that an individual U.S. state was the equivalent of a European country. In fact, he said it was ridiculous to do so. What he was saying - and some have brought this up - that just as it is unfair to compare in individual U.S. state to a European country, it is equally unfair to compare any individual European country to the U.S. as a whole.

    Look, the U.S. is subdivided more. Yes, you have counties in Europe, but we have counties in the U.S. too. We have a further subdivided form of "local government" if you will. There is government on the federal level, the state level, and the local level (which usually means counties, but sometimes cities).

    Blackhawk was saying that in most instances, the U.S. has more economical, political, and military clout than any individual European country - that's it. And for the point he was making, he was right. That is not to say that in a situation where every nation has a say - like the UN for example, that the U.S. is any better than any of the other permanent members of the security council. There they are all equal.

    I guess the point I'm making is that Blackhawk was making a generalization. Like all generalizations, you are obviously going to be able to point out instances where such a generalization is blatantly not true. That is to be expected if you look up what the definition of a generalization is. Generalizations are OFTEN true, but by definition they are not ALWAYS true. Does the U.S. sometimes go on an ego trip and think they are more important than they really are? Of course. But the flip side of that coin is that many European countries have some type of inferiority complex in thinking that America is always trying to impose their will upon them. That's why this is such a touchy subject.

    All I'm saying is we should take the statement for what it is - a comment, that when viewed in the context in which it was stated in, was generally true. Placing it in another context, or extending the generalization into an absolute truth will obviously prove it to be false.

    EDIT: Spelling
     
  19. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    Well, you could also say that it's unfair to compare the US with New Zealand, Brazil, South Korea, Egypt, China or India. The point is comparing what, the political rights of the individual, medicine insurance, percentage of drug addicts. The funny thing to me is, taking this line of thought further, Australians should be "insulted" by comparing them to New Zealand. Swedes should be "insulted" by being compared to Norway. Italians should be insulted by being compared to Portugal. The British should be insulted by being compared to Irealand...

    The US system is neither unique nor original (except of the Indian influence, which was taken up as input outside of your borders).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation
     
  20. Neriana Gems: 6/31
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    No one here is trying to say the U.S. is somehow better than any other country. A sumo wrestler isn't a better person than me, but he can still crush me like a fly, and I would have to be insane to try to take him on.

    For the purpose of this discussion, it doesn't matter where the U.S. state system came from. What matters is that (as far as I know) it's different from any other system in the world currently. The rights of U.S. states within their borders are immense, which is why states vary so much. Every state, no matter its size, gets two seats in our most powerful legislative body, the Senate. We don't elect presidents based on a strict vote count, but through the electoral college. Because of this, in national elections the vote of someone living in Montana counts far more than that of someone living in California.
     
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