Posted on August 23, 2017
Today is Black Ribbon Day, which is also called European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. The latter explains the observance well!
Today is anti-communism, anti-totalitarianism, anti-fascism, and anti-autocracy. Let's define those words.
Communism - this is an idea that sounds good - the public, as a whole, owns everything, and people work according to their abilities and get products, food, and other resources according to their needs. BUT - communism doesn't seem to work well! Where it's been tried, it has become totalitarian.
Totalitarianism - a system of government that is very centralized; the government exerts total control over the people. Political opposition is suppressed by force. Another word for this sort of government is "dictatorship."
Fascism - a movement or philosophy that states that a race or a nation is much more important than individuals; it is totalitarian and repressive.
Autocracy - when one person has total, absolute power.
And anti- means "against." So today is AGAINST all of these undemocratic ideas.
The European Parliament, which makes decisions for the E.U. (European Union), set up this holiday in 2008. It's supposed to be observed Europe-wide.
Which made me think - hey! Europe-wide means what, exactly?
Europe is defined as the western portion of the giant landmass that is Eurasia, plus a few islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It is made up of 50 different countries. Russia, of course, is so huge that it is in Europe and Asia.
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member countries. A majority of the E.U. nations (19 of them) use the same monetary system, based on the euro.
|Nations of the E.U., above.|
Nations in the "Eurozone," below.
The United Kingdom, one of the members of the E.U., voted to leave the union. Because we call the U.K. "Britain," we call this exit from the union "Brexit."
Here's a bit more about Europe:
|Fifty flags of fifty European nations!|
|Some of my favorite traditional costumes from Europe |
are Armenian clothes for me, above,
and Hungarian clothes for women, below.
|Some of the most famous landmarks in the world are in Europe!|
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