OPEN LETTER TO GERMANY'S CITIZENS:
An Appeal to a Nation
on the Brink of Collapse
from Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the chairwoman of the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo), issued this statement on June 17. It was translated from German and subheads have been added.
I am addressing this open letter to you, because our country's very existence is under threat. Our country's people sense this or know it outright, but neither our government nor any other institution is saying it openly, and consequently they are offering no way out for meeting this threat. In particular, Chancellor Merkel has set out on a course which, in view of the imminent collapse of the world financial system, the euro included, will very soon result in economic, political, and social catastrophe. Currently, neither in Berlin nor in Brussels is any kind of political proposal on the table which would have the slightest chance of rescuing Germany and Europe from plunging into poverty and social chaos. Why, therefore, should we proceed on the course which the Merkel government and the EU is proposing?
Fortunately, this policy is neither without alternative, nor is it irreversible. There exists a completely different, realistic way, one which in coming weeks will become evident to every German. In the United States Congress, there is growing support for a bill which provides for the introduction of a two-tier banking system, a Glass-Steagall standard, in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as the only way to end the casino economy without undue harm to the American people. Similar legislation is currently being prepared on a bipartisan basis in the U.S. Senate, and it has the support of leading U.S. trade unions such as the AFL-CIO, as well as industry associations and many other organizations. If I were Germany's Chancellor, I would put a two-tier banking system and related measures immediately onto the agenda, and I would see to it that this reorganization is implemented here.
Collapse of the Trans-Atlantic Region
Let's first look at where we stand. We are in the absolute, acute final phase of the collapse of the transatlantic region's global financial system. Almost four years ago, in late July 2007, more than 30 years of systematic deregulation of the banking sector—to the detriment of the real economy and to the benefit of the speculators' casino economy—caused a global financial crisis, triggered by the collapse of the U.S. secondary mortgage market. Four years have passed since then, and during those four years, the G20 governments have done nothing to halt the gambling; instead, they have used a series of so-called bailout packages in the United States and Europe to transform private gambling debts into state debts, leading, in turn, to the imminent bankruptcy of many nations, and the looming collapse of the entire world financial system.
The €110 billion bailout package for Greece, which was forced through a year ago by means of various tricks, was tied to austerity measures of such brutality that, predictably, the Greek economy has suffered a massive breakdown, with the corresponding shrinkage of tax revenues, while unemployment has soared to over 16%, and to over 42% among young people, and the standard of living has gone down by 25%. And now Greece needs yet another bailout package—there's talk of a total of €172 billion—which would increase Greece's total indebtedness by around €300 billion. But how will Greece ever be able to pay back this money, while its economy has been ruined by a remake of Brüning's austerity policies?
When the British daily the Guardian writes that Greece realistically needs a write-off of 70% of its debt, whereas the rating agencies insist that even a 5% write-off would result in the systemic collapse of the entire world financial system, it's obvious that the whole system is hopelessly bankrupt. Greek insolvency would bankrupt the banks of Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, and the European Central Bank (ECB) itself—i.e., the entire Eurozone.
The EU: A Supranational Dictatorship
And thus it was clear from the very outset, that the European Monetary Union would not work, because you simply cannot force countries with such diverse economic structures, and diverse languages and cultures, into a common monetary and economic corset. I am on the record saying, right at the start: The purpose of introducing the euro was never to provide for positive economic development of the member-countries of the Eurozone. Rather, the euro was Germany's price for obtaining Mitterrand's, Thatcher's, and Bush's acceptance of German reunification. For geopolitical reasons, especially Germany and Russia were to be kept down economically; Europe's nations were to be deprived of their sovereignty and subjugated under a British Empire-oriented European Union.
Starting with the Maastricht Treaty and continued through the Lisbon Treaty, this supranational dictatorship's grip was progressively strengthened, while an increasingly bloated Brussels bureaucracy attempted—via its completely counterproductive, frequently absurd guidelines—to utterly undermine member-states' sovereignty. We can only thank the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe for the fact that, with its so-called Lisbon Ruling, Europe cannot become a federal state unless the German population exerts its right under Article 146 of Germany's Basic Law to hold a plebiscite on a new constitution.
As was clear from the outset, the era of the European Monetary Union has simply led to the weakening of Germany's domestic market and of real wages, while the economic booms in the so-called catch-up nations have turned out to be mere bubbles—such as the real estate bubble in Spain—which, when they burst, led to the present debt crisis. Any attempt to maintain the euro system, which has turned into one big "bad bank"—the ECB included—would not only transform Europe into a mere transfer union, whereby German taxpayers would foot most of the bill at the expense of Germany's social-welfare system, but also a rapid succession of bailout packages along the lines of the U.S. Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing III, IV, V, VI, etc. would very quickly lead to a hyperinflationary explosion similar to Germany in 1923, but now in the entire transatlantic region.
Moreover, claims that the supranational structure of the EU was necessary to secure peace in Europe, so that conflicts between nations could not erupt as in the past, have predictably turned out to be mere self-serving propaganda. The opposite, in fact, is the case: In Greece and Spain, hundreds of thousands have poured onto the streets with banners depicting the symbol of the EU with a swastika superimposed; Angela Merkel is being depicted as a neo-colonial despot; formerly good relations between Greeks, Spaniards, etc. and Germans have long been supplanted by deep mutual bitterness, whereby each side believes that the other is living at their expense. The imposition of the euro from above, without a popular vote in a single member country, has undermined peace in Europe, and dangerously so.
And thus, the second argument—namely, that a united Europe must exist under the EU so that Europe can hold its own, with growing influence, vis-à-vis the other great world powers—has led into absurdity, because a Europe forced into unity in which member-states hate each others' guts, along with a collapsing Eurozone which is just about to do away entirely with its high-technology sector, is not going to impress China, India, Russia, or the United States.
The Anti-Nuclear Hysteria
Which brings us to the Merkel government's second unforgivable mistake: Her utterly irrational, undemocratic, and quite probably unconstitutional decision to renounce all nuclear power, in the absence of any economical and secure alternative energy supply for Germany as a highly developed industrial nation, is grounds enough to look around for the earliest possible replacement for the Chancellor. For if Merkel's autocratic decree were actually implemented, Germany would suffer hideous damage economically, politically, and socially. Contrary to the assurances of Cabinet ministers who might have degrees in education, theology, and law, but who haven't the faintest idea of physical economy and natural science, rising energy costs will in fact lead to the near-term de-industrialization of Germany—and even this energy won't be secure: We'll have blackouts and brownouts which will ruin industrial plants, and which, if we get a big freeze in the Winter, will destroy the plumbing of many residential dwellings.
We can only join with France's former Education Minister, Claude Allègre, who said that this exit from nuclear energy reflects a "teutonic tendency of yielding to panic and irrational fears," and that this is the most stupid decision this government has ever made. But also, even official statements by government representatives from China, India, Japan, and many other countries, have commented on the Merkel government's incomprehensible ecological and scientific frivolousness. And soon enough, reactions will be even more violent from Germany's European neighbors, which will have to share the burden of increased prices.
The WBGU's paper "Social Contract for a Great Transformation," upon which Germany's exit from nuclear power is based, proposes nothing less than a worldwide eco-dictatorship, which is to impose the total "de-carbonization" of the world energy sector—i.e., not just renunciation of nuclear energy, but of all fossil fuels as well. But since a world economy based only on the energy flux-density of solar and wind energy can only support a maximum of 2-3 billion human beings on the planet, this proposal quite concretely aims at reducing the world population by 5-6 billion people. Coming from Germany only 66 years after the end of the Holocaust, such a proposal is truly monstrous, all the more so because no one, either here or abroad, dares to state this openly. It would also be an urgent task for experts in constitutional law to investigate whether it is even permissible to propose a world dictatorship that so blatantly violates the principles embedded in our Basic Law, and also whether the promotion of such ideas is even unconstitutional.
The coming public outcry, which is only very hesitantly getting under way now, has something to do with the fact that most people, at least in Germany, are firmly convinced that "you can't do anything about it, anyway"—i.e., at least for the moment they have decided to go along with the the idea that Europe will live under the dictatorship of an empire, since that's the practical implication of that statement. These connections are in fact not hidden at all, since Merkel's prompter Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber loses no opportunity to boast this intention with his honorary title CBE, Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The fact that Schellnhuber was personally awarded that title by Queen Elizabeth II, and that he accepted it, speaks volumes.
The fact can no longer be denied, that the imperial policy implemented following the 1989-91 collapse of Communism, via the so-called reform policy toward the former Soviet nations, and via imposition of the euro and the Maastricht EU dictatorship, has largely ruined the affected states. The time has come to state this openly: that the utopian idea that Europe can only hold its own against other growing great powers by itself becoming an Empire, has failed, and has to be buried.
At a time when, each week, hundreds of young people in Africa risk their lives to flee from hunger, sickness, and hopelessness, boarding small fishing boats in order to reach Europe, while almost 50% of Spanish youth are unemployed, 42% in Greece, 40% in Portugal, 30% in Italy, and all of these young people see no prospects for the future within the current system, then it is high time that we view this EU system of Maastricht through Lisbon as a failed model.
It is of vital significance for the survival of Western civilization, that we in Europe and the United States define a new perspective, one which is rooted in the best traditions of our history and our culture. For the United States, this is the tradition of the American Revolution, from which arose the concept of a credit system, as opposed to a monetarist system. And ever since Chancellor Bismarck's industrial and social reforms, Germany's identity has been that of a modern industrial nation, in which the state is obligated to provide for the general welfare, thereby enabling citizens to enjoy a high standard of living and good social support systems, because a high rate of scientific and technological progress continually increases the economy's productivity. It is precisely this identity which we must re-invigorate.
Indeed, we can emphasize, in the spirit of Chancellor Adenauer and President de Gaulle, the spirit of Europe—not a Europe of supranational structures, but rather a Europe of the Fatherlands, of sovereign republics, which, however, are all united by a common mission in the world and common tasks. And one of these tasks could be to bring the African continent into the 21st Century, by means of a comprehensive infrastructure and development plan. Instead of setting up border guard posts to prevent refugees from entering Europe, we can use a Marshall Plan for Africa to create the living conditions there which people need in order to lead a life with dignity in their own homeland.
If we credibly demonstrate that we are really serious about ending the casino economy, and that we are really striving for a new, just world economic order, then it will also be possible to inspire the youth who have no prospects for the future, and who are now imprisoned in a decadent and misanthropic youth culture, with the same determination to rebuild and the pioneering spirit that made possible postwar reconstruction and the German Economic Miracle.
There is no doubt that our citizens have suffered considerable harm, especially in the past 20 years, having lived under what they perceive—correctly—to be a dictatorship. (One can literally hear the indignant outcry of some readers: "But we live in a democracy!") But why then is the most frequently uttered dictum of Germans today: "There's nothing you can do anyway"? Obviously people have become resigned to the fact that they are living in a political system that denies them individual participation in political life. And what would that be, if not a dictatorship?
This system is not only defined by the EU bureaucracy, but also by the way the party system functions in Germany. Ordinary voters have no influence on the parties' nomination of candidates; the candidates in turn orient themselves toward the party leadership's expectations of them, so as to get nominated; and the party leaders are primarily or exclusively focused on staying in power, meaning they will do nothing that would get them into trouble with the financial oligarchy and its instruments, such as the controlled media.
There is an unspoken code within the Establishment, as to which rules one has to follow, if one wants to "belong." As we all know, the talk shows always broadcast a rotation of the same talking heads. If a "political consensus" is then decreed from the top, which is "irreversible," and to which there is "no alternative," is it then so surprising that most people in our country have been saying, up to now, that absolutely nothing can be accomplished politically?
The reason, for example, that I did not join any of the established parties—something that has been repeatedly proposed to me over the years—is precisely this dynamic: It would have been impossible for me to develop the ideas, analyses, and programs that I was and still am convinced are necessary. Instead, the BuSo came into existence as a truly independent party, committed exclusively to the truth and the common good. I campaigned as a candidate for Chancellor in 1976, 2005, and 2009, not because I thought I would win the election, but because it was important to me to offer the German population a real alternative. The price for this independence was that for many years, they kept me personally and the BuSo in general out of the arena of public discourse.
But this is now changing abruptly. The collapse of the global financial system and the euro confirms all my forecasts of the past 20 years. If the United States pushes through the two-tier banking system, the Glass-Steagall standard, in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, thus putting an end to the greed and profit-maximization of the speculator-driven casino economy, then the European nations will be offered the chance to do the same thing.
If the banking sector returns to the service of industry, and enough credit is generated by a new credit system that there can be investment in the real economy, with high energy flux-density and full and productive employment, then the social wealth will exist once again that will allow us to afford good health care for all citizens. Then we can place human creativity at the center of the economy, as the only source of value creation, rather than taking university courses aimed to meet the requirements of the casino economy.
The hopes linked to the great opportunity of 1989 and Germany's reunification have, for the geostrategic reasons already mentioned, not been fulfilled either in the West or in the East. Now that another system, namely that of globalization, is coming to an end, we have a great historic opportunity for a new start. This time we have to use it to give the citizens of our country the opportunity to engage actively, as citizens of a nation-state, for things that were once taken for granted in Germany, such as a state committed to the common good, and an economic order in which it is again self-evident, that life should be even better for future generations than our own.
I am not Chancellor, but I think about Germany as if I were. And until we have someone in that office again, who devotes his or her energy to the welfare of the German people, increasing their benefits, and keeping them from harm, then I will continue to do so.
I am writing to you, dear citizens, first, so you know that there is a way out of this crisis, and second, with the request that you help me to realize also in Germany this alternative, which the two-tier banking system presents. If enough people become active and work with me, proving that we "very well can do something," then I think that we can turn Germany back in the right direction.
Chairwoman of the Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität
 The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), which is headed by Dr. Hans Joachim (John) Schellnhuber, on April 6 issued a report titled World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability. Schellnhuber is a climate advisor to Chancellor Merkel. See Helga Zepp-LaRouche, "No to Global Gleichschaltung: Make June 17 the Day of German Resistance," EIR, May 6, 2011; and several articles in EIR, May 13, 2011.