From Flanders battlegrounds to American prairies & the Demise of democracy

Today I would like to present over here the same article I placed on one of my other sides, adding some endnotes. In “Some view on the world” I regularly try to bring a review of what happens in the world. And by looking at our globe we can not ignore what is going on, not so, what is going wrong, in the United States of America, or federal republic of 50 states, which was once a great nation, but since Donald Trump had taken over the power, started to deteriorate and fall in many pieces.

Struggles with democracy

Flanders fields, a battleground

For centuries, Flanders has been a huge battlefield for many nations who wanted to expand their territory.

The southwest of the Low Countries, the coastal region of northwestern Europe, consisting of North-West France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, seemed to have been an ideal place for serious battles. In the 9th century, a remarkable line of Flemish counts managed to succeed in erecting a quasi-independent state on the borders between the French and German kingdoms.

Looking to build a democratic system

Up to 1947 there were three nations looking to build a democratic system where citizens could feel united and live free. Together the three countries Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg formed the Benelux (in full Benelux Economic Union), with the objective of bringing about total economic integration by ensuring free circulation of persons, goods, capital, and services; by following a coordinated policy in the economic, financial, and social fields; and by pursuing a common policy with regard to foreign trade.

Belgium and Luxembourg had bilaterally formed already an economic union in 1921 and to the neighbouring countries, this did not look like a bad system. In 1960 the Treaty of the Benelux Economic Union signed on February 3, 1958, became active.

Benelux became the first completely free international labour market; the movement of capital and services was also made free. Postal and transport rates were standardised, and welfare policies were coordinated. In 1970 border controls were abolished.

Treaties

Following the ratification of the treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)  in 1952, first proposed as the Schuman Declaration by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on the 9th of May 1950 (today’s Europe Day of the EU), however, interest in such developments shifted to plans for the European Economic Community (EEC; later succeeded by the European Union), of which Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are original members. For practical issues of economic integration, Benelux served as a useful example for the EEC.

A model for a no-war zone

Robert Schuman aimed to

“make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.”

The ECSC was the first step to achieving different regions that felt part of a democratic unity, by regional integration spared from internal battles.

The ECSC stood as a model for the communities set up after it by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European Economic Community and European Atomic Energy Community, with whom it shared its membership and some institutions.

Continental Europe had, for many years, struggled with foundational divides — with periodic warnings of civil war — as recently as the 1950s. Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands were divided into ideologically opposed subcultures, sometimes called “spiritual families” or “pillars.”  One can fairly say that these countries became models of “consensual democracy,” having the willing agreement of all the people involved, accepting and respecting the subcultures to share power through creative political arrangements, and trying also to implement a fair voting system.

Voting systems

For the time being, however, in many countries that call themselves ‘democratic’, it is still difficult to set up a voting selection system in which the elected are selected on the basis of and in accordance with the percentage of votes.

The fact that the non-adoption of the distribution of seats according to the percentage of votes creates a big problem is clearly noticeable in the United States of America, where someone can still obtain the presidential seat even though he has fewer votes (just look at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton).

Christian nationalists

In the nation that many looked forward to as the ‘Land where everything is greener’, however, a development has been seen in recent years that should give us cause for fear, for democracy there is deteriorating noticeably. Christian nationalists are increasingly claiming the right to determine everything for the entire American community. But their concern is not to bring universal freedom to everyone. On the contrary, they want to get it through with all their might that the man will be all determining in the course and determination of laws.

Equality before the law has always been a difficult matter in the U.S.A., where a person with coloured skin was always considered less and was considered guilty in advance until proven innocent. For such people the right to a fair trial was and is until now very much the question.

Right-wing Christian demandand rules to follow

But also for the white people, we do now see a danger, having no freedom of thought, conscience, and religion anymore. Those white right-wing Christians demand that their idea of mankind shall be followed by law and that their religion has to be taken to construct or determine the legal rules to be implemented. By Donald Trump giving the U.S. Supreme Court a conservative majority, he seems to have succeeded to bring the nation deeper into a white nationalist loophole.

*

In 2017 I also wrote an article about the Anti-European movements that seemed to be enjoying a fair wind, not only in Great Britain but also here on our side of the Channel. Then we already could see how Euroskepticism had become a threat to the fundamental values of the common European life.

The last few years, many times we saw the Schengen Agreement undermined, though that agreement is the seal of proof for our ‘Union’, which assured a free movement concept within the internal borders, not only contributing to the economical dynamism but also to an inter-cultural exchange and thus to peace and understanding between different cultures.

In the States of America, there are people who would love to see the crossing of States in their nation be controlled and for some people forbidden and even punishable, as in the case of people who look for the possibility of an abortion. With the annulment of Roe v Wade, several states will be looking to further implement their own laws against written laws by other states in the US.

Possible tearing apart of the United States of America

In the United States, we will see that along the way, there will be greater differences and disagreements between the states, which in a few years’ time may lead to a break-away.

**

With the presentation of the article from Some View on the world, I hope to have given you a foretaste of what you can find over there, so that I may find you in the future to read other articles on that platform as well. Please be welcome.

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Preceding

2019 was #2 a Year of much deceit in the U.S.A.

Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington

The death knell of an Empire

Strasbourg – Conference on the Future of Europe

2021 in review #1 the most startling point

One year ago a sacred place was attacked

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Additional reading

  1. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  2. Freely & fairly
  3. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century
  4. A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy
  5. Tribes Redux
  6. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  7. Looking at an American nightmare
  8. The American democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly
  9. Facts: Why they matter and how to check them
  10. One year ago people who said they love America stormed the Capitol
  11. The Independent looking at June 09 – June 15
  12. Global Headlines looked at the beginning of June 2022 by Bloomberg
  13. NYT selection of articles for the first part of June
  14. January 6: A Failed Apocalypse
  15. As Expected
  16. So-called own sacred values under threat
  17. Evangelicals & Seduction
  18. Obeying the King
  19. Egypt in the picture
  20. The Guardian’s view on the world 2nd week of June
  21. Points to rescue America
  22. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  23. Belgium showing signs of pre-Nazi Germany making certain people afraid to show up in public
  24. Vote!
  25. You Are Called To Stand Up, Even If You Are Standing Alone
  26. The Golden rule not always as easy as its sounds
  27. Today’s thought “Godly and dignified” (May 22)

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Related

  1. E. B. White on “the meaning of democracy”
  2. Fair elections depend on canceling the filibuster
  3. What Happened to Civil Debate, Open-mindedness, the Ability to Compromise, and Getting Things Done in US Politics?
  4. A View from the Land of Aloha – America is in a very bad way on multiple fronts right now – from Afghanistan to the South China Sea to the US mainland to democracy itself.
  5. We the what?
  6. The Republican Party Has Gone Dangerously Off The Rails
  7. US President Sanders’ Second Term
  8. Overthrow the Status Quo
  9. Why Do Republicans Seek To Destroy American Democracy?
  10. Why Aren’t Biden and the Democrats Going All Out for Democracy? | The Smirking Chimp
  11. White Rage
  12. Maybe More Americans Would Behave Like Responsible Adults If We Taught Them “How To”
  13. GOP’s Civil War in Nevada Erupts into ‘Ugly Scene’ as Far-right Extremists Try ‘To Bully Their Way into a Takeover’ | The Smirking Chimp
  14. You Can’t Tell ME What to DO!
  15. U.S. democracy is in danger
  16. We The People Get The Government We Deserve
  17. Fight Unjust Legislation and Theocracy Under the Constant Threat The GOP Switches to Live Bullets: This Is Where We Are, Do NOT Kid Yourself, Do NOT Shy Away
  18. This Is Why
  19. Karen J. Greenberg: Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
  20. There really is a vast right-wing conspiracy
  21. Steve Bannon Sends A Message To MAGA: Stand By | Crooks and Liars
  22. Hedges: The nature of neoliberalism and its consequences, with Wendy Brown
  23. Why Does Our News Media Insist On Equating Bullsh*t With Truth?
  24. Do You Remember When…
  25. Is the Confederacy a year away from winning the Civil War?
  26. Welcome to the Martians! We now live in a world stranger than science fiction | Salon.com
  27. Chris Hedges: Sheldon Wolin on Inverted Totalitarianism, with Wendy Brown
  28. Our threatened democracy: Links 12/8/2021
  29. Old Dog Thought- The Tale of two men of the media-The American nightmare
  30. Why Trump won in 2016 and lost in 2020
  31. Is Fox News The Greatest Cancer on American Democracy? | The Smirking Chimp
  32. Republicans And Rabbit Holes
  33. ‘Patriots’ are undermining American democracy | Michael Harriot | The Guardian
  34. This Is A Dangerous Time For American Democracy
  35. Scary Times For American Democracy
  36. Our Experiment
  37. Thoughts on America’s Bad Day
  38. The American Constitution Enshrined Blacks as “3/5th of a Person.”
  39. This is a WOW – ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt on the Commonwealth Club
  40. Feral States: The US Drifts Into the Pernicious Wilds
  41. Equality and Liberty are Exactly Opposite!
  42. William Astore: Is Democracy Going Down?
  43. American democracy is ruining the true democracy 
  44. Janine Jackson interviews Chris Lehmann: ‘The Race Crisis and the Democracy Crisis Are Inseparable’
  45. The Killer Ape: We Are Doomed
  46. USA Human Rights Reports Release Programme: CDPHR
  47. Things that make you go…
  48. A previously unimaginable sense of the absurd
  49. The Whole World Is Watching
  50. The Democrats–and the United States–Need a Miracle
  51. #January6- Has America returned from the cliff hanger?
  52. End of June…July…Independence?
  53. ‘There’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy’: Biden marks July 4

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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1 Response to From Flanders battlegrounds to American prairies & the Demise of democracy

  1. Pingback: What a 21st century civil war would look like | Marcus Ampe's Space

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