milroyblog

Share Your Thoughts – April 19, 2013

One of the best parts of the class in my opinion was the video chat with the Swedish Parliamentarian who escaped from Romania. Her stories really helped bring a face to the conflicts they faced and helped me understand a lot more. The aspects about her identity were really interesting to me as she did not really see herself and a national of any country. I’ve been trying to find her name but I can’t seem to. Can you help me out? Has she written in English at all or is she waiting for a translator for all of them?

Pravda – April 19, 2013

1. The political culture of the social environment was very tense and nerve racking. Writing while someone walks around and stares at your paper without saying anything is not fun. The editor and party official created a sense that you were always being watched which made it uncomfortable. The scenario was neat though and taught me a lot about how the situations makes one feel when writing for a state newspaper.

2. Trust is almost non-existant when working like this. You never know who might rat you out in the group as the party official is always looking for someone to be made an example of. Social capital is greatly reduced and the writers are forced to give up any sort of individuality. This scene would force a journalist to not use any of the skills they are accustomed to like critiquing. 

3. The party official should be tried and sent to a prison because he helped majorly to create the feeling of distrust among many people. The editor should be forced out of his job and to a minor writing job critiquing the policies of the former regime. The informants should be outed so people know who they are.

4. The prospects of building a democracy seems challenging after this type of political culture. The amount of distrust that exists would be hard to overcome. Many reforms would be needed, but slowly in my opinion. The new leaders would have to work very hard to gain the trust of the people. Elderly people would probably have a hard time adjusting after the regime ends, but I think young people would be better at accepting the new challenges. Free speech would have to be entrenched in the new culture to be built without anyone compromising that. 

5. One thing I had not known about the communist political system was the use of informants. They seem to be in a precocious position because they themselves and their families may be at stake if they don’t rat on someone. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The sheer number of informants amazed me in communist Russia and they definitely contributed to the sense of animosity and distrust that was very prevalent.

6. I think the most enlightening thing that happened was the fact that in my group of 5, only I made it out without some sort of reprimand. Everyone else got in trouble for either not being supportive of the regime or saying something bad about our great leader. Someone said I would make a good communist.

Assemble Your Democracy – April 19, 2013

1. Barring the fascists from holding office, and removing Nazis from leadership positions was the most important factor in achieving democratic success. This allowed potential leaders to emerge who were not affiliated with the Nazi Party. Konrad Adenauer was allowed to run and elected because of his anti-fascist viewpoints. This created great reputations in post war Germany for the leaders who would be trusted by many citizens. They centralized power as so to maintain the democratic ideals.

2. The second most important factor in achieving democratic success was to learn from the mistakes of WWI and the Versailles Treaty. The Western power realized they would be better off if they helped to rebuild Germany and not make them pay reparations for the damages they caused. This helped to ensure that German citizens didn’t see the foreign powers as greedy and then there would be no vendetta against them. The Allies were also committed to avoiding the mistakes made at Versailles.

3. The third most important factor in ensuring democratic success was building a strong, global economy tied with the other Western powers. The new political parties forged links with the business, bureaucratic and union elites which produced the greatest period of economic growth called the “economic miracle.” The leaders made sure that there was broad consensus when it came to social and economic policy to produce balanced growth and stability, so people would see how democratization would benefit them. Having ties with economies around the world also helped Germany continue on the road to democracy because they had a responsibility not only to themselves, but to others as well. Currency reform also helped tie the countries together.

Missing Moments – April 17, 2013

The list they include has some very important dates but does not include a couple that I think are important. Ones that I would include on top of their list are:

1. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 because it doubled the size of the United States and helped the US continue on their journey of Manifest Destiny.

2.The assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 because many see him as one of the greatest leaders in US history.

3. The assassination of JFK in 1963. This is important because many people remember where they were when they heard the news and continued the legacy of political assassinations.

4. The Vietnam War was also very important because there were many opponents to it and was a reaction to communism sprouting up around the world. It is often seen as a failure by some which makes it important to see how events like this are seen by different people.

5.The terrorist attacks on 9/11. This is important because it started two wars that were seen as illegitimate by many and changed political discourse around the world and created many divisions.

A Day in Paris – April 17, 2013

1. The greatest degree of power in this exercise belonged to the national level. They were the ones who were in charge of what money should go where. They were in Paris and they had control over expenses and projects and everyone had to look to them for funding.

2. Subnational governments get recognition for regional needs by applying to the the national government in Paris. They have representatives who discuss with leaders how much money they need and why they need it. In our exercise, regions could also work together to get funding for a project that would benefit them both. Having strong representation at the national level is important for your region, and they must be good at negotiating or else your region may lose out on funding or projects.

3. I believe the unitary system hinders the relationship between citizens and government because there are so many levels of government and it is a trickle down relationship. The message people might have for their government would get so filtered through all the levels of government so the actual message will be lost.

4. I did not know that the unitary system was so strong in France, and that the central government in Paris is so powerful in France. The whole system of procuring funds for projects in regions seemed quite easy and non-confrontational. However, I wonder if it is like that in actuality or just in our exercise.

5. Everyone in our group said the process was fun and wished more were that easy. 

I would have like to learn more about the different parties and how they interact with each other. There seems to be a lot of parties and all with very different agendas so it would be interesting to find out if they get along civilly or not.

Go Green – Resubmission – April 17, 2013

I believe the success of the Green Party in Germany happened in the early 1980’s instead of an earlier decade could be from the effects of communism and the Cold War. East Germany was still communist and many people sought an alternative to the nuclear threats that were so common in everyday life. Citizens wanted change and were sick of the total lack of regard for the environment and basic citizens issues.

Keynes vs. Hayek – April 8, 2013

Keynes says that the economy needs to be spending. Money needs to be flowing through the economy so people can work and spend. This means that the government should be the central planner because the private sector can lead to inefficient outcomes. Events like war can help you get out of a recession because the government is funnelling lots of money into the economy and it gets going again as people work. State intervention is required to help those suffering through monetary policies to steer the economy. This will lead to the economy being stabilized. Bailouts and spending during recessions can be necessary in order to get out of the recession.

 

Hayek is a proponent of classical liberalism, where the market will decide how the economy goes. He says that central planning is a bad thing and will continue to create bubbles that are bad for the overall economy and for people. People should plan for themselves, and that is not the government’s job to do. Government planning will create even more problems. Hayek says that real growth means production of what people really demand which is entrepreneurship not state planning. Austerity is not a good thing and war does not help economies in bad situations. It is not the government’s role to steer the economy and it should not bail out businesses because they will just do it again and not learn. The market will determine what people want and will dictate what comes next.

Go Green – April 8, 2013 – Adam Milroy

The Green Party of Germany has been one of the most successful in all of the European countries. This is due to a number of factors. The Greens in their country have always been willing to look outside to box in order to find solutions to modern day problems that traditional parties have to been unable to solve, or be willing to try to solve. They believe that all the problems that nations face these days are interconnected and can be solved once you radically shift how you treat the earth and put humanity first. In modern years, in order to gain votes they have become more moderate which appeals to a lot more voters than before when they were considered dangerous by some and scared a lot of voters away.

 

In Germany now, there are a lot of post materialist voters that the Greens are trying to win over. This is the largest in Europe and these voters are looking at solutions in government that reflects their ideals as the world changes. They would rather see a world which tries to find alternatives to war, famine, pollution and homophobia than antagonistic policies. 

 

These voters have moved past policies that include only job creation and would rather see harmonious, well rounded values that support everyone, and not just those with means. They appeal to the urban citizens who would like to see pragmatic solutions to the world’s difficult problems.

Resubmission – A Day in Brussels – April 8, 2013

Revisiting the Council would be a good idea. Giving them some legislative power may help the situation because then they could have actual votes instead of just a “general say” of what happens. Giving the larger (richer) countries more power is not always a bad thing because they put more money into the EU. If a country puts more than it’s fair share into the EU, in my opinion they should have more say. If a country has a stronger economy then they might be able to influence and advise the poorer nations on how to grow their economy so they can also be prosperous. 

Resubmission 2 – April 8, 2013 – Adam Milroy

To get around this paradox you would start by getting the word out through ways that do not require money in large amounts. People power can come in handy and it would not be that hard to find others who support you. Starting with friends and family, you can go door to door to get the word out and ask for funding. A website is not necessary at the start, just a helpful tool. You can lobby yourself for corporate and private donations by going to businesses and individuals. You can apply for grants and even have charity drives. Fundraising for money in the beginning might have to be at a grassroots level and it might not go fast but you have to be dedicated and show others how dedicated you actually are. Putting up flyers at a University or College could also be helpful as many people there are looking for a cause to support and to volunteer with. Fundraising in these small ways will add up, then you can build a website and gain donations through that way. But before, people will have to know your cause through what you tell them.