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91 votes

Are there oligarchs in Western countries?

Technically speaking, an oligarch is a member of an oligarchy: a system in which political governance is given to a cadre of wealthy, propertied individuals in society. The archetypal example is the ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 70.2k
82 votes

Why does the US need to spy on its allies?

Everyone realistically spies on everyone else. The US spies on Germany, Germany spies on the US, every marginally powerful country spies on every other marginally powerful country. The fact that two ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 6,253
81 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Western countries boycott the 2018 World Cup?

For many countries, the decision to attend or not is deferred to the national football association. The countries that you mention don't require exit visas, so it would require an exceptional act to ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
65 votes
Accepted

Why do Western countries seem to be less efficient than Asian countries in fighting against COVID-19?

Part of it is going to be that the region (HK, Singapore, SK?, China) was hit much harder during the 2003 SARS epidemic so spent more time getting prepared. Also, it has long been the expectation ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
59 votes

Why doesn't Ukraine just buy the heavy/advanced weaponry that it needs

Buying arms isn't like buying a TV set, or even buying a car. Normally, it takes several years from order to delivery. In the normal case, arms are manufactured for the specific export customer, with ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
58 votes

Why are Western politicians even bothering to react to Russian claims?

The point of propaganda is to manipulate perception. It's not to communicate alternative interpretations or to arrive at consensus. It is to make people see something very different from what is ...
wrod's user avatar
  • 9,480
53 votes
Accepted

Does/can the West manipulate Russian politics?

Your question is problematic because of the stated and unstated assumptions in it. Russia certainly complains about foreign meddling in their affairs. Various Western governments and government-...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
51 votes

Why does the US need to spy on its allies?

Remember that there are degrees of "spying." What just about everybody does is to have their ambassadors send back confidential evaluations of leaders and policies. What many countries do ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
51 votes

Can propaganda be present/produced in democratic countries?

Yes, propaganda can be produced by any country or organization. For example, Wikipedia has a page on propaganda in the United States. Opinions may differ on what is or isn't propaganda, but I don't ...
JJJ's user avatar
  • 39.1k
47 votes

Does freedom of speech mean freedom to mock everything?

In very general terms, the contemporary understanding of freedom of expression is that it should be relatively uninhibited provided that it satisfies two conditions: It does not infringe on other ...
QuantumWalnut's user avatar
44 votes

How do Western democracies justify censorship of foreign media outlets?

You linked the case of RT. The story of the RT ban is, in large parts, the story of RT DE, and the question if that is Russian or German news (or possibly Serbian, or Luxembourgian). Even democracies ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
43 votes

Why and since when did Russia stop integrating itself into the Western community?

There were many preexisting diverging views on international law. The open disagreements about e.g. the NATO intervention in Kosovo don't constitute the main problem, because in such a case the ...
Count Iblis's user avatar
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43 votes
Accepted

Why is the lack of seasonal agricultural workers considered a problem given the high unemployment rate in every Western country?

I think these countries are in fact approaching this as a problem that has an obvious solution, as you suggest. The issue lies, however, with convincing their populace to work these seasonal jobs, and ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
42 votes

Is the prevalence of racial arguments unique to US politics or is it a topic in other Western countries as well?

The debate is not unique to the United States, but it may be more vocal there than in some other places. I'm writing from Germany. Here, immigrant groups like the 16th century French Huguenots or the ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
41 votes

Has the ICC ever ordered to arrest any Western or pro-Western politician?

In 2020, the International Criminal Court(ICC) started an investigation into alleged warcrimes perpetuated by US soldiers in Afghanistan. So far, these investigations have not led to any indictments ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 77.6k
39 votes
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Does freedom of speech mean freedom to mock everything?

It is a bit more complicated. I live in Germany, and StGb §166 (StGb being "Strafgesetzbuch", the penal code) makes insults against religious groups illegal. There is also a paragraph in the ...
Eike Pierstorff's user avatar
38 votes

Why hasn't there been a stronger push for a job guarantee program, versus UBI?

There is no single conclusive "why" other than the boring and inane "because nobody enacted such laws... Because there is not enough political support compared to opposition for such a thing". ...
user4012's user avatar
  • 92.5k
37 votes
Accepted

Is the West hoarding Covid-19 vaccines?

The reason that western countries ordered more vaccine than they needed is because, at the time many of these orders were placed, these vaccines were still in various clinical trial phases. It was ...
Joe C's user avatar
  • 27.9k
37 votes

Why is the West concerned about the enforcement of certain attire on women in Afghanistan but unconcerned about similar European policy?

According to western moral values, the two examples are not similar. There is the belief in many western countries that certain clothing is degrading for people who have to wear it, specifically the ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
36 votes

Why didn't Western countries boycott the 2018 World Cup?

FIFA has very strong policies against government interference. If a government would pressure its football association to boycott the world cup, the result would be immediate suspension. So not ...
Martin Argerami's user avatar
34 votes
Accepted

Is there any sign "the West" is deliberately trying to prolong fighting in Ukraine for the sake of fighting?

Additionally to the answer by o.m. one should add that sending military equipment isn't very helpful alone and there is training and maintenance on this equipment needed. The training for artillery ...
NoDataDumpNoContribution's user avatar
33 votes

Why hadn't the west arrested Russian billionaires for corruption/money laundering prior to the Ukraine war?

There's an old joke about a new priest/rabbi/mayor talking to an old one. "Your congregation does everything you ask them to! What's your secret?" "I never ask them to do anything ...
Arcanist Lupus's user avatar
32 votes

Does/can the West manipulate Russian politics?

Russia does not have free and fair elections; consolidation of power by Putin appears to be very solid. Not only can the Russian government take action against media agencies it doesn't like, the ...
pjc50's user avatar
  • 22.1k
31 votes

Why are Western politicians even bothering to react to Russian claims?

A denial is more credible if it is based on data. Mind you, while most of the news just report the claims, it seems that the Russians are trying to provide some kind of "evidence" for these ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 31.9k
31 votes

Is there any sign "the West" is deliberately trying to prolong fighting in Ukraine for the sake of fighting?

This question supposes that "the West" could send considerably more military aid if they wanted to. While "the West" does have more weapons to send, they say most of those are ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
31 votes

Has the ICC ever ordered to arrest any Western or pro-Western politician?

Arguably, they have. The ICC in its 2 decade history has only handed down about 53 indictments, and they were all related to what looks to me like a bit over a dozen different conflicts or events. So ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 14.5k
30 votes

Why do Western countries seem to be less efficient than Asian countries in fighting against COVID-19?

It's difficult to do apples-to-apples comparisons between countries in these matters. Here's an excerpt from a recent CNN article (March 17) contrasting South Korea with Italy and delving into why the ...
against very long user names's user avatar
30 votes

Is the prevalence of racial arguments unique to US politics or is it a topic in other Western countries as well?

Possibly the most distinct aspect of US racism (and perhaps in a few other nations) is the overarching importance of skin colour over other traits, which is understandable considering its history. In ...
Crazymoomin's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Have any current Western politicians expressed concerns about a possible alliance between China and Russia?

Sure, Macron did. At least before 2022. Macron welcomed Putin again, in 2019, at the Fort of Brégançon, the Presidential summer retreat on the Mediterranean, where he acknowledged “this great power ...
against very long user names's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't Ukraine just buy the heavy/advanced weaponry that it needs

First, they are buying gear. The Turkish drones for example were straight out purchases. Now that the war has started, some countries may either have laws against supplying belligerents. Or they ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar

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