When good is bad

americaeurope

One of my most read blogs is entitled Wolves are evil but Lions are good. It shows how humans have the ability to hold two opposing ideas in their heads at the same time. My argument is that both creatures occupy the same niche in their environment yet have come to stand at opposing ends of the spectrum when it comes to characteristics.

We see such dichotomies of belief wherever we care to look. Religion, of course is littered with examples of things people believe in yet don’t believe are actually true. Remember you cannot argue against faith.

Politics too has its share. Today we consider America to be the most powerful and arguably the most successful nation on the planet. It still has, and will have for some time, the largest economy and its global influence is unparalleled. Its president holds the self appointed position of leading the so called free world.

We all know that when we say America, we refer to the United States of America rather than the continents of North and South. We also know that the USA is a federation of fifty states, many of which have an economy big enough to operate as separate countries. They are run by a system of local state government and national federal government, with state governors and a president. Given the right political conditions it seems that a federal America works well.

On this side of the pond however, things are not so clear cut. Any talk of European federation, especially in the United Kingdom, is quickly shot down as an anathema. Such talk of a united or federal Europe  is almost treasonous. There is some irony in that the United Kingdom is itself as collection of four countries, principalities or provinces.

Why is the same thing good in one argument and bad in another?

Don’t tell me it is because of a difference in languages and cultures. The USA has many languages spoken and contains many cultures. Americans have many things in common and many things that divide them. Europe is no different.

Once again it is politics that defines the premise. To the west of the Atlantic federalism is good yet on the east of the Atlantic it is bad.

Go figure.

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