89 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 ...
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81 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 ...
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  • 5,261
80 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 ...
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  • 92k
66 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 ...
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54 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 ...
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  • 4,183
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-...
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  • 77.8k
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 ...
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  • 36.8k
50 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 ...
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  • 77.8k
46 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 79.9k
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 ...
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  • 77.8k
39 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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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". ...
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  • 88.7k
38 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 ...
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  • 77.8k
37 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 ...
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  • 4,377
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 ...
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  • 27.6k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 21.3k
31 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 102k
27 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 ...
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  • 27.1k
22 votes

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

There's no better answer than Thern's, I'm afraid. Some governments have effectively boycotted the 2018 World Cup... by not sending governmental representatives to the official acts. But they haven't ...
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  • 2,172
22 votes
Accepted

Can propaganda be present/produced in democratic countries?

Propaganda is merely mass media offerings with a distinct political bias and/or focused political agendas. Most US political campaign rhetoric these days — e.g., claims like "Mr Smith will be the ...
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21 votes

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

The "when" is simpler and better understood than the "why" part. First articles expressing complete surprice at the turnaround started comming out around 2006-2007. tl;dr (skip to the last ...
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  • 6,749
21 votes

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

There are significant efforts to recruit unemployed or underemployed locals for seasonal farm work. In many cases seasonal farm work is actually skilled work, at least if it is to be done quickly and ...
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  • 77.8k
20 votes

Is the West hoarding Covid-19 vaccines?

There are indeed a few cases where vaccines were held until close to expiry, and only then donated. Or destroyed, if the logistics didn't work out. But: Many vaccines require a second jab, a few ...
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  • 77.8k
20 votes

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

One it's face both laws seem similar -- requirements on what women can wear. But when examined there are many differences: The French law allows women a great range in clothing, whereas the Afghan ...
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18 votes

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

+1 Probably the well-known tendency of people to see faults in others that they do not see in themselves. France's, and subsequently Quebec's - not Canada's - , curbing of Islamic dress is often ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Why don't Western countries penalize Chinese companies in the same way that China restricts Western companies working on its territory?

Except to the extent that "national security interests", immigration policy, or the enforceability of tax laws are involved, a major theme of U.S. law is that the legal standing of a person should not ...
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  • 6,482
17 votes
Accepted

Why are most Islamic countries less democratic/more corrupt than most Western countries?

First, let's get some insider information from the man on the ground: I live in Algeria, a North African country. I don't know about the Middle East, but there's no North African islamic government. ...
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