Did we join the Eastern Block, or did they join us?
Imagine you travel back in time to the 1970's Western Europe and have to explain to a person of that time what the future is like.
"Well, we all carry personal phones, a record of everywhere you ever travel and who you called is kept for 2 years. We don't have letters anymore, we send 'electronic' letters, a record is kept of every 'e-letter' sent and to whom, again for 2 years. But that's just in case you're not a model citizen, nothing like the monitoring of mail by the Stasi! Totally different."
"Flight records are passed for pre-checking to foreign powers, they check them against their secret watch lists but refuse to tell us whose on the list or why. No, nothing like the Communists, it's different!"
"Every interbank transfer is recorded for inspection, but only by the USA, no this is not the same as when the Russian KGB monitored all eastern block citizens, it's totally different I tell you! We have checks in place to stop it being misused, well they tell us they have checks in place, and only misuse it a little, so it's different I tell you!"
"A secret file is passed around, it's contents are not fact checked, may have already been rejected by a court, you cannot see it, or challenge it, it is passed around and may negatively impact your life. Oh and the Eastern block countries may pass it on to Russia and the Western ones to the USA, because we didn't put any limits on further transfers of this info. Will you stop sobbing!".
"Did I mention that you can be arrested for something that isn't a crime in your homecountry, or the country your in, or even in Europe? And that you can be extradited to the USA without a judge checking any of the evidence. Oh but that was just an oversight, they granted automatic extradition, but forgot to prevent countries granting foreign powers the same automatic extradition. You know, a mistake, a blunder. Take that gun out of your mouth, everything is fine!"
"Oh and the Soviet Union collapsed, but the KGB man is back in power and his opponents keep dying from poison."
"So keep fighting the Cold War and those damn Communists or all these wonderful things won't come to pass. ".
How about we have a show of hands. Hands up which countries want to be in the EU and which countries want to be in the Warsaw pact, and we can go our separate ways.