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What do you think of when I say United States?
October 29, 2002 10:08 PM   Subscribe

What do you think of when I say United States? Probably not this.
posted by humbe (62 comments total)

 
"Hands Across Europe" gets my vote. It's so peaceful sounding.
posted by shoos at 10:26 PM on October 29, 2002


but... they're not states.

i mean, they are states, but not like our states. sovereign states, maybe. but when we say "state" we mean ...

oh, nevermind.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:29 PM on October 29, 2002


Well, when the United States of America started out, the states were as sovereign as you could get and still be in a union. (the whole articles of confederation thingy) Then the USA turned to a federation with the Constitution. And now, most power is consolidated into a centralized govn't. State power (and when we say state, they're basically provinces) is very much diminished from its former ability when they were basically like European States were then.

Hmmm, I think we should rename our country.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:45 PM on October 29, 2002


We were sovereign states, until that pesky War of Northern Aggression took away all our rights.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:46 PM on October 29, 2002


Damn Yanks!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:54 PM on October 29, 2002


"The United States of Europe" sounds a lot better than "Euroland" or "Eurozone" or "Chuck-E-Cheeze's" or whatever else they've been kicking around lately.

Plus, it's easy to chant "U.S.E.! U.S.E.!" over and over again.
posted by Ljubljana at 10:58 PM on October 29, 2002


The name is going to be in English? Sacre bleu!
posted by dagny at 11:05 PM on October 29, 2002


Me, I like just plain Europa. Or some variant on European Republic or Federal Republic of Europe, assuming that they don't want a pan-European monarch.

Or Imperium Romanum 2.0, or maybe just Bride Of The Beast And You Can Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It You Clueless American Fundamentalist Gits.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:08 PM on October 29, 2002


I'm going to have to put in a call to my local masonic lodge to stop all this nonsense!
posted by jazzkat11 at 11:17 PM on October 29, 2002


The name is going to be in English?

Well, that would depend on what language you were speaking :)
posted by holycola at 11:20 PM on October 29, 2002


The good old U. S. of E. Not bad. It's got a nice ring to it.
posted by hama7 at 11:24 PM on October 29, 2002


U.S.E.? That's the stupidest thing i've heard! What's next? Having to use acronyms for the country you live in. I live in Helsinki, FI, U.S.E.

How about Union of Socialdemocratic States of Europe or United Euro-dom(e) or Euronesia or even Eurania.
posted by popkick at 11:31 PM on October 29, 2002


I vote Europa
posted by PenDevil at 11:37 PM on October 29, 2002


How about Confederacy of European States?
posted by artlung at 11:45 PM on October 29, 2002


Hey popkick: U.S.E., love it or leave it!

U.S.E.! U.S.E.!
posted by Ljubljana at 11:57 PM on October 29, 2002


I vote for The Soviet Union of Europa. Suits them well, the undemocratic socialist bastards.
posted by dagny at 11:57 PM on October 29, 2002


I vote: the European Association of Republics Who Aren't Quite Sure They Really Like the Sound of All This.

But besides what you think of the new name, what do you actually know about the place?
posted by Bones423 at 12:03 AM on October 30, 2002


Oh, I thought they wanted to rename the continent because of Europe, the band.

It's the final countdown, da-da-da-dah, da-da-DA-da-dah...
posted by TheManWhoKnowsMostThings at 12:12 AM on October 30, 2002


I vote for the European United Republics Of Perpertual Egalitarianism. Or EUROPE for short...has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
posted by lambchops at 12:26 AM on October 30, 2002


"Europe United" sounds good. Like a football team, yes, but still cool.

Frankly I think they should just call it Burocratia and be done with it.
posted by delmoi at 12:31 AM on October 30, 2002


Giscard, who is now in his third decade of senility-induced verbal gaffes despite everyone's efforts to hide him in a safe ceremonial position, makes another one. The next day, it's on the front page of every spittle-inflected London newspaper, and from there to CNN and MeFi.

Just business as usual here in the Fractured Duchies of Europe (FDE). Nothing to see here, move along ...
posted by fuzz at 12:40 AM on October 30, 2002


Should they decide to call it the "United States of Europe", it will most likely quickly be referred to simply as "Europe", just as the United States of Mexico is simply known to most as "Mexico".
posted by 4easypayments at 12:54 AM on October 30, 2002


United States of Islam
posted by Beholder at 1:01 AM on October 30, 2002


Oceania
posted by sir walsingham at 1:19 AM on October 30, 2002


But besides what you think of the new name, what do you actually know about the place?

I can't believe I did so badly. I said that Germany makes some of the best wines in the world (mmm.... Riesling) and that Italy used to have an empire which spanned the globe (ever hear of those Roman chaps?).
posted by mopoke at 1:22 AM on October 30, 2002


The Magic Eurobout
posted by Frasermoo at 2:18 AM on October 30, 2002


Freedonia, since we can still smoke and drink everywhere and at any time; enjoy long lunches; naps; month-long holidays and, when such indulgence proves too much, free, no-questions-asked heathcare. At least in the sunny, sexy countries where wine, olive oil and oranges grow and it's cheaper to go to a decent restaurant, serving properly cooked food, than eat at home.

It's a pity the puritanical and mechanical Northern and Eastern states in the European Union ruin any chance of a proper name, such as Mediterranea.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:22 AM on October 30, 2002


That story had a hearty dose of top-side spin. The report's author actually suggested three names: European Community, United Europe (his personal favourite, he mentioned) and finally the United States Of Europe. He said at the report's launch that he knew fine well the last was incendiary.
posted by bonaldi at 3:29 AM on October 30, 2002


Europa is already taken, quite possibly by living things.

There is no reason to change the good name "European Union" simply because it is becoming more "united". It would be a waste of money.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:59 AM on October 30, 2002


T.E.F.N.A.T.E.U. : The Entity Formely Known As The European Union.
posted by ugly_n_sticky at 4:22 AM on October 30, 2002


since we can still smoke and drink everywhere and at any time; enjoy long lunches; naps; month-long holidays and, when such indulgence proves too much, free, no-questions-asked heathcare.

You had me in ecstasy up until the "free" bit. I am a ravenous extremist when it come to naps and month-long holidays and languid, (outdoor preferably) summer luncheons with wine and delicacy and celebration. Fresh tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, corn, peppers, and all the things I miss when the fall weather comes.

What are the taxes like in a country like Portugal where the health care is "free"? I am using scare quotes, because somebody has to pay for medicine somehow, and here in Korea, medicine and treatment is not that expensive, and relatively free with an insurance policy of some kind.

As an American, I wonder why American civilian health care is sometimes prohibitively expensive, with regard to the taxes that Americans pay.
posted by hama7 at 4:26 AM on October 30, 2002


the puritanical and mechanical Northern and Eastern states...

hey! what the hell is that supposed to mean?!?
posted by popkick at 5:32 AM on October 30, 2002


Bones423: I vote: the European Association of Republics Who Aren't Quite Sure They Really Like the Sound of All This.

Or, condense that to "the European Association of Republics Who Aren't Quite Sure", or EAR-WAQS, for short.
posted by taz at 5:44 AM on October 30, 2002


Well, since the Canadian government won't let the folks in the Northwest Territories rename their land "Bob", I'd guess that's probably available.
posted by briank at 5:56 AM on October 30, 2002


the puritanical and mechanical Northern and Eastern states...

I think Mig is saying he is a country pumpkin vs. a city slicker.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:56 AM on October 30, 2002


From the quiz: "Question: This country attracts many tourist [sic] in search of beautiful art, landscapes, and places of religious importance. "
Right. It'd be easier to name countries that doesn't apply to...

As for the name issue: what a waste of time. Some politician is looking to become a trivia answer fifty years from now, by which time nobody will remember the "official" name.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:02 AM on October 30, 2002


They should probably just call it 'Greater Europe" (to differentiate itself from those pesky non-EU european countries that will henceforth be known as 'lesser europe' and 'western european annex.'

If you say U.S.E. over and over, it starts turning into "y'see?" which while capturing the EU spirit, might be pushing it a little far. Then there's always just calling it 'USE' which captures the magic of industrialism.

'Euroland' is also catchy, and would do wonders for tourism...
posted by kfury at 6:09 AM on October 30, 2002


And of course, that would pave the way for the Vatican to finally be renamed 'popeland'
posted by kfury at 6:10 AM on October 30, 2002


What was wrong with just "Europe"? Are they kicking off a new marketing campaign or something? If it involves any kind of butterfly, count me out.
posted by goto11 at 6:17 AM on October 30, 2002


I got a worse question than that on the quiz:

"Question: This country has had a long and eventful history."

I guess I just don't know it because I'm a United Statesian.
posted by Jart at 6:18 AM on October 30, 2002


"Question: This country has had a long and eventful history."

bleh, that's a stupid question, unless "long" and "eventful" are specified some more... greece (sorry to spoil the quiz for you...) had an eventful history a few thousand years ago, but since then haven't really rocked the european map too much...

most of those questions suck! man, i am in a bad mood today!
posted by popkick at 6:39 AM on October 30, 2002


Eurotopia is my suggestion.
posted by grum@work at 7:10 AM on October 30, 2002


Why not call themselves Monday? A study was already paid for to come up with that name and it's just going to waste now.
posted by probablysteve at 7:29 AM on October 30, 2002


"Sparky The Wonder Continent"
posted by toothgnip at 7:34 AM on October 30, 2002


"United States of Europe" makes it sound like the USA has annexed the continent. Hey wait, there's an idea -- world domination!
posted by spilon at 7:40 AM on October 30, 2002


Oh, goody. Forty farked-up comments.

First, you need to know that in his dotage, Giscard d'Estaing is the foremost proponent of a constitutional federation for Europe; he lobbied for this constitutional convention for some time; the full proposal text released, which links to a PDF of the draft treaty.

Second, if you don't understand the parallels between the European Union moving toward constitutional federation, and the United States taking the opportunity of its own constitutional convention, chartered to revise the Articles of Confederation, moving beyond that mandate and devising the document under which we continue to govern ourselves, you haven't studied your history.

The Articles, for those who don't know American history (including, perhaps, some Americans!), were an early form the US took governing the united colonies, which were indeed considered sovereign states. The AoC government was very like the UN, or the early European Community -- an umbrella government subject to the beneficent funding and nominal delegation of foreign policy duties by the states themselves, and so comparatively weak that it was unable -- among many failings, including perpetual indebtedness -- to mediate competing territorial claims by the states, mainly in the region between the Appalachians and the Mississippi. It succeeded in passing the Northwest Ordinance, which established the principle of self-organized government in new territories, and thereby eliminated at least one major excuse for war among the colonies; but its inadequacies had become all too apparent. It lasted from 1777 until the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, which had been drafted at our own Constitutional Convention of 1787. The key idea (among many other brilliant tweaks, such as the decision to have a bicameral legislature, one proportional and one not, thus compromising on the interests of large states vs. small states) was the transfer of sovereignty to the federal union of the United States. Before, the confederation had merely been a representative or stand-in for the interests of its members; now the federal government would be supreme. Of course, it later took a civil war to establish that states could not later reclaim their sovereignty.

This is not a trivial question for Europe, on the verge of admitting ten new member states. (Though the number will increase from 15 to 25, the population and GDP increases are much smaller -- about 25% and 8% respectively.) The EU is already considered, by many, ungovernable at 15 states. The executive powers are distributed extensively among such entities as the EU presidency (held by a member state for six month), the European Commission, and a host of federative bureaucracies which answer chiefly to their own governing commissions, remnants of the constituent organizations which comprised the early European Economic Community.

This distribution of powers does seem to work well for regulatory and economic affairs, which lend themselves well to consultation, compromise, and consensus. It's an utter failure for external relations, which was much the experience of the AoC. As Fareed Zakaria pointed out in the New Yorker recently, when Spain and Morocco had a dispute over a tiny rocky island, the EU failed to find a role in mediating this dispute; instead the parties worked through Sec. of State Colin Powell in Washington, DC. There were logical reasons for this, of course, but the dispute itself arose through a failure of an EU-Moroccan agreement on fishing rights. They can't even resolve their own disputes, which should give anyone pause. This isn't even counting the decade of dilly-dallying and jaw-jawing that allowed the Balkan ethnic cleansing and, sometimes, genocide to occur. Brussels and Rabat made a carefully negotiated agreement; EU member Spain essentially blocked it; and relations between Rabat and Madrid deteriorated, assisted by the death and succession of the Moroccan King.

It's frustrating for the US, even though it may assist our goals in specific ways at times, to have a weak, vacillating, decision-proof Europe. A constitution would go a long way toward changing that.
posted by dhartung at 7:46 AM on October 30, 2002


What are the taxes like in a country like Portugal where the health care is "free"? I am using scare quotes, because somebody has to pay for medicine somehow, and here in Korea, medicine and treatment is not that expensive, and relatively free with an insurance policy of some kind.

Hey Hippo7, rising health care costs has become one of the major concerns in Korea and the insurance rate seems to be rising nearly monthly. While it is still cheaper than in the US and I make sure to have most of my medical stuff done there, it is a great concern.

Now back to our naming of Europe. How about the "Franceland" since they seem to think they control or at least that they should control the Union.
posted by Baesen at 8:15 AM on October 30, 2002


I have a question/speculation about all this, though - what does this mean for the UN Security Council's permanent seats if the proposed 'USE' effectively becomes one nation?

France and the UK can't both have seats if they're both part of the same country, can they? If the USE is only allowed one seat, who gets the spare? Not Germany, since they'd be in the USE. Would the US try to bully Israel in?
posted by Ryvar at 8:22 AM on October 30, 2002


People, people. Calm down. Europe won't act as one state for the next twenty years or so. This is just semantics.

But is a new name necessary instead of the European Union? Etats Unis Europe? Probably not. I liked the European Community (the old name) better, but I think we'll just stick to calling it Europa as we've been doing all along. And if we can get the English to drop that silly 'e' instead of the 'a' at the end that's just fine. I mean, we don't call America "Americe"?!? =)
posted by cx at 8:30 AM on October 30, 2002


Europe would be way behind Brazil. According to the Brazilian Embassy in Washington DC website: "When the Brazilian Republic was declared in 1889 it was called the United States of Brazil", but it is now called the "Republica Federativa do Brasil " or, translated into English, the "Federative Republic of Brazil".
posted by Stoatfarm at 8:50 AM on October 30, 2002


I know we've talked about it before, but as long as they go w/ one of these flags, I"m happy.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:57 AM on October 30, 2002


the Fatherland? no, wait... the Motherland? no, that's not it either... how about the Otherland?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:04 AM on October 30, 2002


What would the Borg say?
posted by brent at 9:56 AM on October 30, 2002


I vote Europa

Good, then Europa and the Pirate Twins can be the national anthem.

Or maybe not.
posted by eckeric at 10:33 AM on October 30, 2002


There goes dhartung, putting some actual content into the thread. Is there any way we can have that edited out, and replace it with "And I, for one, welcome our new... "

That would be great.
posted by Jart at 10:47 AM on October 30, 2002


What do I think of? This column
posted by ParisParamus at 10:51 AM on October 30, 2002


I don't see what's wrong with "European Union", but if they're insisting on a change I'd like to see it become Euranus.

/beavis
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:51 AM on October 30, 2002


Thanks for all your votes, USians, but we'll call ourselves whatever we want.

Sheesh, sometimes you guys speak as if the 'net is a US-only phenomenon. Another consequence of a unipolar world, or just American arrogance? Who knows.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:08 PM on October 30, 2002


Sheesh, sometimes you guys speak as if the 'net is a US-only phenomenon. Another consequence of a unipolar world, or just American arrogance? Who knows.

Who is being Mr. Arrogant thinking it was a bunch of "USians" commenting? Do you know where each and every person who made a comment is from? I'll thank you for not insulting me like that.

bah...

damn arrogant europians...
posted by Baesen at 8:11 PM on October 30, 2002


Nah, I know not all commenters were american. but at times it felt like i - as a european - was being spoken of in my own presence as if I wasnt there. Just a cranky day, maybe...
It's an insult to be described as American, even unintentionally...?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:46 AM on October 31, 2002


Naw, just found me all cranky after a long day. :-)

Only online would anyone call me an american, and while not an insult, I am proud to be a Korean.
posted by Baesen at 6:29 AM on October 31, 2002


I am proud to be a Korean.

I am proud that you are a Korean too. It makes such a big difference.
posted by hama7 at 7:12 AM on November 1, 2002


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