An Urgent Message to Americans
We are actually moving into a very dangerous period of history, where in the trans-Atlantic world, which is experiencing right now the final phase of the collapse of the financial system, there is an immediate danger of a consolidation of dictatorship, both in the United States and in Europe. I know that many people in America are very concerned about the recent announcements of President Obama, that he basically no longer sees the Supreme Court as in a position to judge the constitutionality of laws which have been passed by the Congress, by calling the Justices "unelected," and therefore they would not have the right to judge these laws. The immediate context is the health reform, which is denying many people, many categories of people, their necessary treatment; but it is a more fundamental effort to eliminate the division of powers which was given by the Founding Fathers, by dividing the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary parts of the government. And if you eliminate that, and put all the power in the hands of the Executive, of the Presidency, well, then you have a dictatorship.
The Crisis in Europe
Now, unfortunately, exactly the same thing is going on in Europe. The euro is definitely collapsing. You can actually say that the euro is a failed experiment. If you look at the conditions of Greece, it is horrendous: Greece is being slaughtered. Most people have heard about the case of a 77-year-old pensioner, who, out of complete desperation, committed suicide because he did not see how he could continue to live, with the austerity programs which are being implemented by the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Union Commission.
He is becoming a national hero, and people are rallying around the memory of this 77-year-old man, to go into a complete mode of resistance. The reason is that Greece is being slaughtered. The budget cuts are so brutal that, for example, hospitals can no longer give medicine to cancer patients. Whole categories of patients are left to die for lack of medicine. Unemployment is rising, businesses are going bankrupt, young people are completely desperate, and are leaving the country. So Greece is an example and a demonstration that the euro has failed.
Unfortunately, this is not limited to Greece. The same thing is happening in Spain. The mainstream media headlines these days are "Spain Is Dead," because the austerity programs implemented by the Spanish government are just as brutal as those in Greece. In Portugal and in Italy, one general strike is following the other, and the population is simply not accepting a condition which does not leave them any hope for the future.
Now, instead of admitting that the euro could not function, because you could not put such totally different economies as Greece and Portugal into the same monetary union with Germany, which is highly industrialized—it was clear this would not work. So rather than admitting that this was a failed experiment and going back to the alternative, which would be each country's sovereignty over its own national currency, its own national economy, what the EU bureaucrats are trying to do right now is to finalize the so-called ESM, the European Stability Mechanism, in combination with the so-called Fiscal Union, which is the idea to have "debt brakes" in all national Constitutions.
Now, the Fiscal Union means the same policy as Brüning in the '30s. If you have a Depression, and then you try to balance the budget through brutal austerity, you are throwing the respective countries even deeper into depression. They have learned nothing from history, and this will cause a social upheaval of unprecedented dimensions, if the policy is not changed.
The Fiscal Union, in combination with the ESM—it's deadly: The ESM is supposed to be a permanent bailout fund which would give dictatorial powers to a governance council, composed of the finance ministers of the member countries, in collaboration with a so-called Directorate, which would be, indeed, unelected; it would be immune from any prosecution, it would operate like a gigantic hedge fund; it would always have the possibility to access the national budgets of the member countries, and since there are very few countries that have a trade surplus, like Germany, the German taxpayer would be made to pay for most of this.
And, they [the ESM/Fiscal Union] would be immune, they could not be judged for their competence, there would be no supervision. And so, what the ESM/Fiscal Union combination would basically be is a dictatorial, supranational government, in combination with a mega-hedge fund, because they would be allowed to speculate and operate on primary and secondary money markets, without any control and without any accountability.
Now, this is an abomination, and the fact that this is so, is now becoming clear to a growing number of people. Professors of state law, citizens initiatives, politicians of different parties, have come out opposing this.
Now, I personally have called for the application of Article 146 of the German Grundgesetz, the German Constitution, which says that if there is an attempt to change the Constitution, the population has the right to a referendum. Now, the problem is, that despite the fact that this is in the Grundgesetz, there is no ready-made law which would define how you get to a referendum. Does the demand for it come from the Bundestag, the Parliament? Does it come from the population? Does it come from the Supreme Court? That has not been decided, so you have a real legal loophole, or hole in the body of law, which needs to be urgently closed.
Now, in the famous Lisbon [Treaty] ruling of June 2009, the Karlsruhe Constitutional Court ruled that any further transference of competence from the national government to the supranational [EU] structure in Brussels, needs to have a referendum. So right now, we are in a countdown, where the question is, can we force a referendum, and protect the Constitution, protect the remnants of sovereignty, or, is Europe going all the way in the direction of a dictatorship?
We are mobilizing right now, in all European countries, for such a referendum, but obviously, this alone is not enough, because there is a direct connection between the collapse of the financial system in the trans-Atlantic world, and the danger of war.
Now, the remedy of the ESM—and Mr. Bernanke, for that matter—is to just turn on the printing press. If the ESM were ratified, it would automatically lead to the establishment of so-called Eurobonds, and therefore, the collectivization of debt and the limitless possibility to print liquidity. Now, Bernanke has just recently said that he wants to have another round of liquidity pumping; and given the state of affairs, this means the immediate short-term danger of a hyperinflationary blowout, this time, in the entire trans-Atlantic world, but of a dimension such as we in Germany experienced in 1923, when the Reichsbank simply started to print much more money than the German economy could afford. It ended in the famous hyperinflation which became ridiculous in November 1923, because people would bring money in wheelbarrows of cash to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread, and hours later the price would explode again; and then, in November, it became so absurd that it stopped.
That is the immediate danger if we go further in this direction.
The Danger of War
Now, the war danger comes from the fact that this system is collapsing, and we are right now in a framework of international treaties, where, for example, Russia and China have reacted, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the eastern enlargement of NATO, by understanding that the eastern enlargement of the EU had the same imperial character. Now, most people don't think of the EU as an empire, but you should read what Robert Cooper, who is the advisor of the so-called "foreign minister" of the EU, Lady Ashton, has written: that the EU is the largest imperial expansion in history. And indeed, that is the intention.
The problem is that the world situation, with the immediate danger of war in the Middle East; the European missile defense system along the borders of Russia, in Central and Eastern Europe; the expansion of military alliances of Asia, which China has reacted very strongly against; and the extremely large military concentration of Navy ships, aircraft carriers, submarines, in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, means we are sitting on a powderkeg, where the explosion of World War III could actually occur any moment, and the connection to the collapse of the system is simply that in history, it has happened many times, that collapsing empires resort to war as the last option to keep control.
Now, in Germany, people obviously don't want hyperinflation, because it's in the bones of every German family, that this means the most brutal expropriation of your life's work, and people, for sure, do not want war! Because we had the experience of two world wars, and people really have it much more in their family memory, than people in the United States, where the last war on American territory was the Civil War, and that was a very long time ago.
The situation is such that we need to have a debate about the fact that we are on the verge of World War III. Lyndon LaRouche, my husband, has warned of that since last November. A lot of military people in many countries, but especially in the United States, have acted to prevent this war, so far, but the danger is very acute. I can tell you that the head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, a couple of weeks ago, demanded a debate about the fact that Chancellor Merkel, in a speech she made in the Israeli Knesset in 2008, said that the "reason of state" of Germany is absolutely connected to the defense of Israel. And Ischinger said, we need a debate about that, because what does that mean, if Israel makes a strike against Iran? Does that mean that Germany has to participate in such a war?
German Defense Minister de Maiziere warned Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defense Minister, during a recent visit in Berlin, that such a war would have incalculable consequences, and made it very clear that Germany does not want that war to happen. However, Germany did deliver a nuclear-capable submarine to Israel or is about to do that, which means we will be in this war, no matter what!
Now, a very efficient, even though controversial thing happened, namely that the German author Günter Grass, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature some years ago, wrote a poem—which is not really a poem, but a piece of prose—in which he warned of World War III, and that led to a complete explosion of the debate. So people are now discussing the danger of dictatorship around the ESM, the danger of World War III, and that is a new development in Germany, for sure.
Maybe it is a little bit too early to judge this, but I see that in the German population there is a change going on. It's not yet strong enough to stop the war danger, to stop the danger of dictatorship, but I had a memory just in the last couple of days, thinking about all of this, that when the D.D.R., the East German regime, started to collapse in the Summer of '89, the Monday demonstrations had started very slowly; they were very little. The D.D.R. regime knew that their system was bankrupt, but they kept saying, "No, it will go on forever." At the 40-year celebration of the D.D.R., Erich Honecker said, "Socialism will be with us for 1,000 years." And today the ESM proponents say, "The ESM is meant forever." So, I think there is a clear parallel between elites who do not recognize that their system is failing, and what happened more than 20 years ago; with the collapse of communism, and what is happening now with the collapse of the monetarist free-market-economy system.
So, where does that leave us? I think we have to wake up. I think we are moving into a period of history, in the very short term, maybe days, maybe weeks, at most months, where we can change the course of history. If we don't do that, I think catastrophe is preprogrammed. Anybody who thinks through the combination of war danger and the collapse of the system, should have sleepless nights. If you don't have sleepless nights, you're not in reality.
There is still time to do something. There is still time to go for a new system, there was just a very important initiative coming from France, where I think 40 or so economists, artists, and other prominent people made an appeal for the return to the policy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, to go for Glass-Steagall, to go for a separation of the banks, and to go for a credit system. This is very promising that in France, right now, where a very important election campaign is taking place, that French economists are calling for a return to Franklin D. Roosevelt's policy.
A similar motion is under way in Italy, where, in the Senate, a law has been introduced for a return to Glass-Steagall.
I think that there is a road to solve this problem, but it requires a citizenry which starts to mobilize itself and act as true citizens. In America, what is at stake, is you have to defend the American Constitution! We Europeans look at America for its extraordinary Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and that tradition which established a republican system as a "beacon of hope and a temple of liberty" more than 200 years ago.
Please make sure to return to that tradition, and don't go in the direction of an empire and a dictatorship. If you return to your tradition, then hope is there for the rest of the world; if you don't do it, I don't see how we can manage without you.