Tuesday, October 23, 2012

@ Maria Konovalenko

Ignoramuses?  Really?

Well, it is the web, there's bound to be at least a few, so fair enough, but aren't you painting with a terribly broad brush?

I sincerely doubt there are any who genuinely desire a return to the cyclical wars that plagued Europe's history.  That said, is it really so ignorant to lament the method selected to interrupt the progression of violence?  And even if that laudable end does justify the questionable means, how is the present day manipulation of the political design somehow more worthy than those men and women who actually created the political process that began its existence as the Common Market?

Looking at the map you so helpfully provide, I remember a train trip I took once upon a time.  Starting at the cambio in the train station in Brindisi, Italy (where I exchanged my Greek Drachma for Italian Lira), I rode up the length of Italy through Rome - and a lovely few days stay that was - into Austria and on to Munich, (in then West) Germany.  Eventually, from there it was more riding the rails to the channel and across (via ferry - the channel tunnel was only an epic engineering design challenge at the time :)) to London, England.

Taking in the whole of the trip, I (along with pretty much everyone else on the continent) routinely exchanged for, and spent in a sense of routine security, Greek Drachma, Italian Lira, German Marks, French Francs and British Pounds (not to mention a good many US Dollars along the way).  Contemplate the economic burden each of those countries currently struggles with and tell me more about the "convenience" of "one currency".   There is a value to be had from being able to apportion one segment of a common market from the rest via a regional (read: national) currency.  That each trades at a variable rate depending upon the circumstances of the day is a feature of the process, not a bug.  It's the trade mechanism that adds the value, not the hypothetical "currency" traded in, I submit.

You undoubtedly have memories of your own country's experience of an enforced, artificial political union.  Look about Moscow (indeed, all of Russia along with the rest of the old USSR) and decide for yourself; is the convenience of a universal currency, lack of internal borders and "peace" better or worse than what you see outside your window today?

Peace is the (mostly unintended) by-product of people vying for competitive success, deliberately just shy of the extremes of effort.  People thinking for themselves, about their own best interests - which necessarily include consideration of those about them with whom they interact, sometimes at great personal remove.  Looked at in that light, don't you think giving a group of people looking to their own main chance a prize for doing the obvious might be fairly construed as just the tiniest bit silly and pretentious?

Please understand, it's not the people of "Europe" whose efforts at not destroying their own stuff for a change is what is being called into question.  Only the urge among a pretentious few to award them for doing so, as if the rest of the continent were somehow too dim as a group to recognize the value of their own efforts at making and taking care of their own stuff.

That is ignorant.

I think of life extension in much the same way; who benefits from my (or anyone, really) having a longer healthy lifespan?  Obviously me, of course.  Maybe those around me (that is going to vary I'm afraid; I can be a bit of an a-hole at times) (I know, shocking isn't it? :)), and arguably the rest of the country through the added taxes and societal fees we all pay.  The real value is to be found in the availability of the same result to everyone desiring it.

And why exactly would some government agency or bureaucrat have any interest in making such opportunity available to any of us except as doing so benefits them directly?

No.  Life extension is the innate human rights and freedom we are all born with extended.  No more, nor less.  That's the prize European people, not to mention all the rest of us, should be working towards awarding ourselves. 

Peacefully, necessarily.

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