I think Britain should stay part of the EU!

Yes, I think Britain should stay part of the EU. But the EU needs to develop further and become more democratic.

My real concern is Europe: the Idea of Europe. Ideas are forces. Take, for example, the idea of dignity. Really contemplate and meditate this idea. Feel what is does in you. Feel ist effect on your finer self. Many people observe an inner warmth und uprightness though the effect of letting “dignity” affect them.

Now take the Idea of Europe. It is a big, complex idea full of cultural variety and yet harmonizing. We need to really get to know this idea, and care for it, as if Europa were our mother. The care of this idea will enable us to have helpful fantasies in dealing with problems or children.

I had a beautiful walk today, though woods and fields, sun and rain, contemplating on these and other questions.

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  1. Whenever i see people walking long distances to recruit money and interest in a cause, my eyes typically glaze over in the larger message that often seems to come through that they are doing it more for their own aggrandizement and/or growth rather than the deeper issues at hand, issues that will go on unchanged long after their walk is over and quickly forgotten. Of course in today’s world where less and less exercise is more the norm than the exception, ANY effort to that end as a statement, political or otherwise, is cause for celebration (although for the life of me i don’t know how David is going to cover 600 miles on foot in 10 days). If I didn’t know David, I might well succumb to some of the above reasoning and give this whole thing scant if any attention. Knowing David, however, knowing his integrity, humility, and in particular his great gift for celebrating diversity and bringing all sorts of people together who otherwise might not collaborate, I am, to the contrary, quite drawn into and inspired by this effort on his part. I notice he’s not asking for anything. He is just doing it. As an American who has only in the last few years come to visit and know a living Europe better than what i knew previously from history books and newspapers, what has struck me most about the being that is Europa is the symphonic orchestration of diversity that it celebrates–that David in his own way celebrates strongly in his life as well–which is why i so resonate with this walk. At its worst, this being that is Europe can be an antiquated rigidity of national identities that judge and continually try to one-up each other in anarchic competition. At its best though, while my world travel is admittedly limited, I know of nothing like it anywhere else, where so many cultures come together in the maintenance of their individual identities while ALSO in the love and appreciation of how each of these identities is part of a larger whole which comprises a remarkable achievement of being, a being i fear we no longer have here in the United States, if we ever did. While occupying about the same land mass as Europe, we in the States have gained some freedom perhaps from the potential rigidity of multiple competing nations within a comparable area, but we have in many ways also become much more monolithic in our culture, much more determined by the media than by our own actions, and also I believe dangerously nationalistic, in these trying times, on a much larger scale in the process. I see David then as a perfect ambassador for this “being that is Europe”, and I embrace this radiant act that affirms the power and necessity of individual action to bring about the changes needed to avert the crisis for which England is just a painful symptom. As the World System undergoes economic and political power shifts, we will all undergo increasing crises of identity that will call upon us to step forward if we are to save ourselves. Italy’s recent announcement that it will join China’s “Silk Road” initiative, for example, portends such a crisis. Even as Italy remains a NATO ally, even as the concept of free trade in principle is desirable, this nonetheless represents an expansion of China’s economic and infrastructural foothold in the West. And of course Italy is not the first European country to look to China for economic growth. Larger neighbors in the EU (Germany, UK, France) do much more business with China, and have also unofficially established themselves as key partners in the Silk Road Initiative, gaining new markets for the sale of products abroad, but also potentially inviting increased Chinese ownership of European assets, and an undercutting of European products and manufacturing jobs in the process. All of Europe in one way or another has in common the need to rebound from the economic collapse suffered from the Euro crisis since ~2009. In Italy alone, between 2011-2014, the GDP declined by 7%, with a loss of 20% of industrial production under EU austerities. China is simply capitalizing on the opportunities that are being given it. Greater social spending and public investment–essentially a greater redistribution of wealth and a pulling from the economic concentration of large corporations, could go a long way to generate internal markets and solve economic problems in Europe, without seeking primary solutions based upon further undercutting the working class, and further undercutting European economic and political power, in the not so long run, by looking toward China or elsewhere. But from what I know from my limited window, by the logic of capital alone this is not going to happen. It will require a groundswell of individual initiative, just as it will here in the States, if we are to wrest back our lives from the top 1% of our population here who own over 50% of America’s wealth, and whom I suspect, much like the elite in Europe, don’t particularly care what cultural identity they crush as long as they can continue their exorbitant way of life. I see David stepping away then from apathy and implicit complicity, and in an act of self-empowerment walking instead toward saving something that he loves, something he embodies…perhaps we all need to find what it is that we truly love, each in our own way, and start walking with him….

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