Almost a Year Since Family Day’s Release!

Nearly a year ago today, I self-published Family Day. That was my first self-publishing attempt, and I’m happy with the outcome. It’s great getting your work out there. It feels really validating. I wish more people can do that or anything else they would love to.

Pluralism the Solution to the Brexit Debacle

Integration offers citizens, business/corporate actors and states substantial opportunities. It has been implemented successful in many regions across the globe and in international and global levels of aggregation as well. The European Union is an example of successful regional integration, with Europe becoming an economic bloc that rivals the United States and China. Unfortunately, there have been some issues with the implementation of integrationist policies; namely, the supranational nature of some EU acts leading to the domination of the actor on local and national lines. The issue of supranational the EU calls for a pluralist approach to create independent actors in a fair system not aligned to (an) individual (actor’s) actors’ interest.

In any given society lies different actors, like the state corporations and Non-governmental Organisations. The individual, another actor, can operate in the system as an employee, tax-payer and a citizen. While each class and specific actor has their own goals, systems also exist to benefit actors, facilitate better relations between actors and make advancements towards national interest. This system can be biased towards one actor, i.e. how neo-pluralist systems favour corporate interest, or objective, as in pluralism, where a system exists that allows for greater independence of actors without any detrimental bias towards one or a few actor(s). Systemic issues greatly affect the EU and the ongoing issue of Brexit.

European integration allows for the benefits of free trade to be enjoyed by all its member-states. The European Economic Area (EEA) created a single market and promoted free movement of peoples, goods and the provision of services across borders. This greatly benefits national economies. While not all states joined the subsequent Eurozone, there was still a degree of solidarity unrivalled in comparison to other periods in history. That is until the 2016 United Kingdom European Union Membership Referendum.

With the growing Eurosceptic movement and the world emerging from the Global Financial Crisis, workers were adamant that the EU was to blame for the economic woes. Leave voters made the claim that integration has brought about the decline in British industrial output. The flailing coal industry in the industrial North would have continue to thrive had it not been for cheaper alternatives elsewhere. By leaving the EU and imposing protectionist policies, the UK would be better off economically. Growing racist, nationalist and populist sentiments have come to cloud and complicate this issue, which is economic at its core.

In the 20th century, the economic troubles of another nation, post WWI Germany, has led to a fascist movement. Populism swept Germany and dragged the world into a new world war, with tens of million of people losing their lives. If better economic policies were imposed, then the world need have not suffered so much. In the end, Germany did prosper and this dark chapter of history is in the past. At least it seemed to be so.

It is important to learn the lessons of history and to ensure that all people’s security, livelihoods and opportunities are protected and harnessed. Robyn Hardyman, in What Caused World War II?, argued that the reparations Germany incurred following the Treaty of Versailles, in the Paris Peace Conference, brought about nationalistic sentiments the gave rise to fascism. In order to avoid such hateful movements picking up pace, it logically follows that making policies that support greater economic development, performance and human development will not online curtail those issues, but will also bring about great prosperity, success and happiness for all. In the context of present-day Britain, it is imperative that the Parliament solve this Brexit Crisis and improve the prospects of the working class. While the world, as a whole, might have come out of the Global Financial Crisis, a lot of people are still feeling the after-effects, as inequality grows and people are left to fend for themselves.

   

The welfare state might seem to be a viable solution to this problem; it is, in many ways. However, this is only a temporary solution. Benefits are designed to help people seek opportunities and, eventually, look after themselves. The amount gained for benefit-holders receiving Jobseeker Allowance, for example, is only £57.90 to $73.10 a week, according to the direct.gov.uk website; that is hardly much of a living. With benefit-holders taking steps to better their futures, it is important for policy and decision-makers to create conditions that help those in their country get there.

What does pluralism have to do with greater economic conditions? The United Kingdom has benefitted from the EU, but Eurosceptics have a point. The suprational nature of some EU institutions pierce through the veil of sovereignty and could lead to EU-domination of domestic affairs. That is to say, that the EU might act in its overall interest, while overlooking that of one or a few of its member-states. Some EU policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), help locals; while the single economy effect of economic integration would lead to domestic industries in the UK, such as the coal industry, losing out to those producing cheaper products.

In time, the market will correct itself and everyone will win, theoretically. However, people in dire situations today do not have the time to wait. For that reason, it is important to create better systems which promote long-term goals, bring about a rise in personal fortunes, quality products and services and better macroeconomic performance and ensure greater responsiveness to individual needs. This system would place individuals at equal footing with the EU. Pluralism does just that, and ensures that no actor can negatively dominate the system and gain so much power that it would behave corruptly.

Britain, of course, already voted to leave the EU. It would be, coincidentally, undemocratic to do a u-turn and not honour the 2016 referendum. The country did not, however, vote against returning to the EU in the future, entering or, even, starting a new regional body. It is important for the state to act democratically but also pursue the interest of the people. The people have spoken, and the state needs to now navigate through the testy withdrawal waters and into a new period marked by uncertainty, poor prospects and doubt.  

Europe is at a crossroads, and the UK would benefit from imposing a pluralist system to overcome Brexit. This will allow for the country to enjoy the benefits of regional body membership while retaining the power to influence its own economic policies. The EU, or a new European regional authority, would exist side-by-side other actors, such as NGOs, the state and individuals. Economic troubles could be dissolved, and better living conditions for all would, hypothetically, safeguard against rising racism, populism and neo-fascism. With the future of British, European and, even, Worldly affairs hanging in the balance, it is clear that Brexit is a big issue in need of solving; pluralism is an effective solution to it.

Advertising Campaign on Amazon!

Hi, it’s Mahmoud here. I started advertising campaigns on Amazon. They’re for my two novelettes.. Family Day and Karen, the Misbehaved Girl. I haven’t gotten the metrics for my campaigns yet, but I hope they are going well. The links for the amazon book pages are as follows (in case you want your own copies):

https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Misbehaved-Mahmoud-Suleiman-Dualeh-ebook/dp/B07NTH3L4C/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_1?crid=Y102GJXHF6GW&keywords=karen%2C+the+misbehaved+girl&qid=1553495504&s=gateway&sprefix=Karen%2C+the+&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

https://www.amazon.com/Family-Day-Familys-Overcome-Struggle-ebook/dp/B07G18T4ZR/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=Mahmoud+Family+Day&qid=1553497357&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Brexiteers Should Demand More Integration

With Brexiteers blaming European integration for loss of jobs and struggling industries, the force of the movement has come to dominate Parliamentary proceedings and make waves across the United Kingdom. Remain voters argue that the uncertainty caused by Brexit, which has harmed the UK economy, shows the faulty nature of the decision to leave the EU. Moreover, there are many plus points in staying in the EU, which will be lost with Britain’s imminent departure. Having said all that, the Brexiteers have a point.

Free trade is a great idea with many benefits, such as export friendliness and greater trading output. However, it is not without its disadvantages. The costs of free trade, include, but are not limited to, different legislations, like different minimum wages,  in two nations providing unfair advantages to one in terms of trade. The benefits, arguably, outweigh the rewards. With protectionism and mercantilism also being heavily criticised, the scope of the problem of trade policies becomes apparent. This article argues that Brexit will be resolved with more, and not less, integration.

Of the many advantages of free trade is the favourable import policies that states implement in return for similar policies in their trading partners’ countries. This mean that exports should be boosted by the lower tariffs and import duties attributed to exporters’ products. David Ricardo also spoke of increased specialization giving states a comparative advantage in trade. That is to say, that although producers in different companies could compete, free trade favours those who specialise. That makes trading a positive-sum, as opposed to a zero-sum, game.

The disadvantages of free trade include cruel conditions for local producers. States do not have to align their economic policies with each other. That means that some states could set a lower minimum wage than another one it has signed a free-trade agreement with. The lower costs of production give the first state an unfair advantage, and could stifle local business and industries in the affected state. This is all to say that free trade has an ugly side.

Alternatives to free trade include protectionism and mercantilism. Protectionism solves the effects of loss of productivity, but only in the short-run. Protectionism leads to more protectionism, meaning that global markets will make way for industrial protection as more countries close their borders in response to self-preservationist strategies. Mercantilism promises greater exports, but, likewise, is found wanting due to its lack of sustainability. With everyone exporting, who will import to make this zero-sum game possible?

With free trade being criticized by Euro-skeptics, integration has, in turn, come under attack. Market forces have a negative effect on its participants in the absence of political and legal harmonization. Different legislation creates different rules for economic actors. More social and security integration is also positive. Some even make the case for a Common Security and Foreign Policy to ensure greater security in an emerging multipolar world; the point is that more integration will favour all, create a European demos and lead to increased prosperity, success and growth.

Brexit is a mammoth of a problem, but it can be boiled down to two issues: one real and one constructed. The real issue is the effect of free trade. The constructed issue deals with the outcome of the referendum, honouring democracy and avoiding a constitutional crisis. Both issues are solvable, but have come to depend on each other to be finally resolved. Solving the real issue while honouring the constitution will solve both, while working around current legislation could see popular solutions, like holding a second referendum, come to light.

The solution to the real issue surrounding brexit is greater integration. That will create a level playing field, thus protecting actors from the bad side of free trade. It will also see that benefits of free trade are reaped, as well as ensuring the avoidance of the not export-friendly and unsustainable nature of protectionism and mercantilism respectively. The solution to the constructed issue surrounding Brexit is not holding a second referendum, which is unconstitutional, or accommodating for the British constitution in a manner that is only technically permissible without upholding the spirit of the law. It is to vote on the future of the Britain’s relationship with the European Union post-Brexit in a separate, and not second, referendum.

Some people argue that Britain should be all in or all out. Both of those options cause problems because, although the EU is a great organisation, it is not complete. Integrationists also criticize the EU for lacking a Common Security and Foreign Policy while also having not yet created a unified European Demos. More integration along political and legal lines will create the atmosphere for greater growth, prosperity and quality of life for all. Being all out, also, has apparent issues. Protectionism breeds protectionism, and, while it may help industries in the short-run, it harms exporters’ efforts and negatively impacts a nation’s economy.

All in all, integration is not to blame for the consequences of free trade, and Brexit can be solved with more integration. There are advantages and disadvantages of free trade and other trading policies, such as protectionism and mercantilism. The benefits of integration outweigh its costs, though, and it solves the real issue of failing industries in the wake of regional competition. The constructed issue can also be resolved, by pursuing the first solution and by honouring the constitution. Brexit is a rainy cloud hanging over the heads of Europeans, but, with so much at stake and hanging in the balance, the most fitting and best deal must be struck to put this issue to bed.

A Two-state, Shared City Solution to End the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Israel and Palestine have long contested territories in the northwest of the Middle East. The 60th anniversary of the formation of the state of Israel has passed last year, and all the conflict since then has come to dominate Arab-Israeli and, at times, international affairs. According to Britannica, Israel and various Arab forces and coalitions have been involved in six wars. That is among the highest degree of inter-state conflict in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century. The disparity caused by such conflicts goes to show the need for a solution.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict may go under the radar at times, but it usually resurfaces and flares up. This, almost regular, re-ignition of Palestinian and Israeli conflicts has been demonstrated again, with Congressional debates on the topic of Israel between Ilhan Omar and other Congress members. This paper aims to disassociate from any anti-Semitic, Islamophobic or hateful stances that have come to dominate this debate. It will do so by focusing solely on a solution. It is the opinion of this author that a two-state solution with Jerusalem shared between Palestine and Israel will effectively solve this issue and lead to peace and prosperity.

    The issue surrounding Palestine and Israel has long been the focus of many different players in an international context. This issue largely pertains to the two central parties contesting authority and staking sovereign claims to the same land. Historically, Israeli and Palestine have existed, at the same and different times. Palestine was first known as such when Herodotus attributed the name to the area. The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah also existed prior to the common era, with their historic ties to the land providing part of Israel’s justification for present-day statehood.

Palestinians also have ancient ties to lands in the northwestern region of the Middle East, herein lies the problem. Jewish people suffered devastating persecution in the early and mid-20th Century. Issues, such as the Holocaust, have given momentum to the existing Zionist movement. With the Balfour Declaration in 1917 providing some legitimacy to the idea of Israel, Jewish people sought statehood after World War II (with Great Britain withdrawing from the Palestinian mandate). Such assertions outraged Palestinians and the Arab world, as large portions of their populations saw the land as rightfully belonging to Palestinians.

    While the issue has been a matter of global concern, solutions proposed to end it have also been in the spotlight of the global arena. These solutions include a one-state solution, a two-state solution and a solution treating Jerusalem as an international city. This article argues that the conflict will be solved by pursuing a two-state solution with Jerusalem being shared between both states of Palestine and Israel. This, in effect combines two solution; albeit, altering Jerusalem’s status from international to shared. This solution is also heavily influenced by China’s one country, two systems relation with Hong Kong.

Some barriers to this solution do exist, however. Mutual recognition has, still, not been achieved. Security concerns will continue to be a matter of grave significance. Finally, relations between the two states are still fragile, with Israel being subjected to a number of UN resolutions and Arab rhetoric of Israel’s annihilation also being heavily scrutinized. It is important to note that these problems have to be treated independently, but a diplomatic solution can lay the foundation for future positive relations to emerge.

All in all, a two-state solution with Jerusalem shared between co-existing Palestinian and Israel states can lead to peace and prosperity for both nations. The depth of the issue can be traced back to both nations treating overlapping lands as their sovereign territory. Different solutions have been proposed, such as a one-state solution, two-state solution and a solution where Jerusalem will effectively become an international city. Other issues will remain, but a diplomatic agreement will serve as a basis for better relations between Israel and Palestine. With so many livelihoods affected by this conflict, it is imperative that a lasting solution is found, be it this one or another.

   

Family Day Available for Free on Amazon

For a limited time, Family Day is available for free. It is a short story, written by me, Mahmoud Dualeh. You can find order a free eBook on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Family-Day-Familys-Overcome-Struggle-ebook/dp/B07G18T4ZR/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1549965521&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=Family+Day+Mahmoud&dpPl=1&dpID=51wdnZw%2BYlL&ref=plSrch

I will greatly appreciate your reviews, comments and readership.