General Declaration of Independence
of European Nations
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
The following declaration was written to provide a conceptual basis to mobilize all those forces who, in this great crisis of civilization, wish to reshape the future of Europe as a community of principle among sovereign republics, and work together toward the common aims of mankind.
In light of the fact that not only the Eurozone, but the entire trans-Atlantic system, is on the verge of disintegration, the only question that remains is whether there will be a plunge into chaos, or an orderly exit from the EU and from the single currency, so that the measures available for overcoming the crisis can be taken.
It should be clear to all thinking people that we are facing a civilizational catastrophe of unprecedented dimensions, and yet it is absolutely terrifying that seemingly only a few courageous people dare to call the danger by its name: We are headed for a systemic collapse which can lead to a new world war, which this time would be thermonuclear and could wipe out humanity. The chessboard for a Third World War has already been set up; a plunge into economic chaos would with near certainty set off a chain reaction involving the deployment of the military capabilities of the world, which are sufficient to annihilate life on this planet.
Therefore, the pressing question is, why there is such a huge gap between the blatant danger to the lives and limbs of the population, and the widespread failure to attempt to avert it.
European nations are currently held captive in a supranational structure, which clearly goes against their existential interests, denies their most important cultural heritage, and robs them of their future. These structures represent, in modern garb, one of the two tendencies in European history that have been contending for primacy for over three thousand years. The first tendency is the oligarchical system, in which a small, elitist ruling class attempts to impose its privileges upon the majority of the population. The second tendency, the republican principle, which aims for optimal development of the creative capacities of the citizens—as embodied by Solon, the wise legislator of Athens—has been totally removed from current EU policy, and even the slightest impulses in this direction are repelled.
Adequate metaphors for these two tendencies as historical forces are the Greek mythological figures of Zeus and Prometheus. Zeus, the man-hating ruler of Olympus, typifies the oligarchical model, where the privileges of the elite are all that counts, and the people have no rights. Friedrich Schiller, in his Legislation of Solon and Lycurgus, describes the Sparta of Lycurgus as the prototype of the oligarchical State, in which everything is subordinated to the interests of the ruling elite, who are free to kill the slaves—the Helots—at will, whenever they find it appropriate.
Prometheus, man's friend and fire-bringer, strives to the utmost to enable mankind to embrace the achievements of progress, and thus to improve his livelihood. What is Promethean in man is his creative power, the divine spark of new knowledge which makes man truly free, and liberates him from the oppression of the oligarchical system. Just as Zeus, in Aeschylus' tragedy Prometheus Bound, punishes Prometheus for bringing fire to man by chaining him forever to a rock, so today the oligarchy hates and fears the creative mental powers of free individuals, which mean the defeat of oligarchical rule.
With the struggle of Christianity against the Roman Empire, man's right and potential to unlimited self-development, as individuals in the image of the Creator, was elevated to a completely new, higher level. Since then, the Roman Empire and its arbitrary emperors have been the model of imperial, oligarchical structures, whose protagonists wish to prevent the common people from thinking by giving them "bread and circuses," and to keep them in a state where they accept their own enslavement.
The historical significance of Christianity is that it overcame the system of empire in principle. Through the person of Jesus Christ, the capax Dei capacity of mankind—that is, his capacity to participate in God and in His infinite creative capacity—was established. That marked a radical break with the pre-Christian myths and their cyclical conception of nature as appearance and disappearance, as the return of the eternal Same, as Mother Gaia for whom coming to be and passing away are unchangeable elements of nature. With Jesus Christ and the existence of Christianity, the possibility of at least inner freedom and development of the creative personality emerged. The rulers of the Roman Empire recognized how explosive this conception could be for their system, and responded by persecuting His disciples.
It was the ground-breaking contribution of Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th Century, with his new scientific method, which overcame the deductive thinking of the Peripatetics and the Scholastics. And this superior method of creative thought also allowed him to lay the basis for modern science, as well as for the system of representation of the sovereign nation-state. Thus, the possibility of participating in a sovereign government became explicit for the first time, and with it, the concretization in political terms of those human rights which had already been defined by Christianity, but were oppressed politically by the prevailing oligarchical structures.
It allows fascinating insight into the freedom and necessity of history, that Cusa's ideas—which were already inherently republican—contributed in two ways to the creation of a New World in America. On the one hand, through Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, they influenced the maritime routes of Christopher Columbus, and thereby contributed to the discovery of the presumed "new Island," that is, the American continent. But they were also applied politically for the first time in the 17th Century, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and later, of course, in the American War of Independence against the British Empire and in the American Constitution. Friedrich Schiller, in his beautiful poem "Columbus," commemorated this foreknowledge, and says of the discovery of America:
"With genius Nature ever stands in solemn union still,
"And ever what the one foretells the other shall fulfill."
Still today, the American Constitution represents a watershed in human history—that is true despite the repeated, constant attempts by the British Empire to reverse American independence by convincing the U.S. Establishment to adopt the model of imperial rule under the Anglo-American special relationship. Great Presidents, such as John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, time and again have revived the spirit of American independence.
Europe, on the contrary, never managed to throw off the oligarchical system. The hope of republican forces around Friedrich Schiller, that the beginning of the French Revolution could lead to a replication of the American paradigm on the European continent, was never fulfilled. The Jacobin terror and the subsequent imperial policy of Napoleon resulted explicitly in a remake of the Roman Empire. The Restoration Period, introduced by the Congress of Vienna, quashed for a long time even the short-term victories of the republican spirit which had been achieved by the policies of the Prussian reformers and the German Wars of Liberation against Napoleon.
After the watershed of the American Revolution, many nations in Europe experienced short phases during which republican virtues and the general welfare were dominant. For example, the economic reforms of Charles III of Spain arising from dedication to the general welfare, which promoted productive labor, universal education, industrial development, and scientific research; or the short phase in Germany when the Prussian reformers were part of the government and Wilhelm von Humboldt, among others, introduced what has remained the best education system ever; or the industrial and social reforms of Otto von Bismarck, which transformed Germany from a feudal state into a modern industrial nation with a trail-blazing social system. Other examples are the heroic attempt of Jean Jaurès—who was assassinated two days before the outbreak of World War I—to stop the drive toward that war; or in Italy, the industrialization of Piedmont and the liberation of Northern Italy from the Habsburg occupation, by Camillo Cavour, and the post-World War II "economic miracle," thanks to the development policy of Enrico Mattei; Charles de Gaulle's Fifth Republic, which defined both the principle of sovereignty and the common mission of the fatherlands, and Konrad Adenauer's term in office, which reasserted Christian principles after the horror of the Nazi period. But it never became possible to throw off the oligarchical yoke, as can be seen, for example, in the continuity of the eight ruling monarchies and numerous royal families, but also covertly in the supranational institutions.
However, since the Maastricht Treaty and the European Monetary Union, which was forced on Germany as the price for reunification, followed by the Lisbon Treaty and the planned completion of European integration, this development has destroyed all the timid, temporary progress of earlier historical periods. The EU of the Lisbon Treaty has become a perfect example of the oligarchical system, where the Zeus principle reigns unchecked.
The axiomatic toleration by European governments, notwithstanding symbolic protests, of the comprehensive surveillance of European citizens by the NSA and the GCHQ, as well as the soon-to-come escalation of the imperial policy through the free-trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the publicly announced expropriation of citizens' wealth under the bail-in policy, and the EU's total lack of commitment to keeping world peace, make it impossible to remain in the EU, for reasons of existential self-preservation.
The Grounds for Leaving the EU on the
Basis of the United States Constitution
At no point were the peoples of Europe asked whether they were ready to transfer to the EU an ever greater share of national sovereignty. Rather than informing the people in depth and comprehensively of the implications and objectives of European integration, the planning of the Monetary Union was characterized by perfidious deceit, threats, and even criminal conduct. The only nations that were later allowed to express their opinion on the European constitution in referenda, France and the Netherlands, voted against it. But this had no influence on events. The same text, with changes to only 5% of its contents, was signed two years later by the heads of government and this time called the "Lisbon Treaty." In contrast to a constitution, it does not provide for the possibility of referenda. Any and all debate on the changes in legal relationships this treaty would cause, was deliberately denied to the public.
Well aware of the deep wounds the world wars of the 20th Century had left, those advocating consolidation of European integration found it opportune to use as their main argument that it was needed to guarantee peace in Europe.
However, the intentions of the Union's architects were quite different. It had been planned far in advance, and demonstrably so, to eliminate participation by sovereign peoples in their government and to replace that by neo-feudal structures, in which the above-mentioned inalienable rights of man would be liquidated, and sacrificed to the privileges of a small oligarchical elite. Moreover, it is undeniable that this deceit necessarily destroyed the previously prevailing peace, and has created greater animosity among the peoples of Europe than at any other time since 1945.
Another main argument is that there is no alternative to the EU in a globalized world, because only a united Europe is strong enough to face the coming storms. But one of the leading strategists of the EU, Robert Cooper, wrote: "The most far-reaching form of imperial expansion is that of the European Union.... The post-modern European answer to threats is to extend the system of co-operative empire ever wider."
It is precisely the EU's geopolitical, imperial expansion to the East that jeopardizes peace in Europe and beyond, and produces the storms. That expansion has not made Europe stronger, only more militarized, and its interwovenness with a NATO which is also expanding, is increasingly seen as a threat by other major powers, adding to the war danger.
For the sake of the "stability of the financial system," the citizens of the European nations have been forced to make more and more sacrifices, but a point has now been reached at which continued subordination to the supranational EU structure can no longer be tolerated. The history of the Troika's policy is one of violations of human rights, destruction of democracy, denial of the freedom of opinion, and instigation to violent assault, the ultimate objective of which is to install an absolute tyranny over those states. But above all, the Troika's policy violates the Fifth Commandment: "Thou shalt not kill," as it leads to a deliberate rise in the mortality rate. There is a word for that, which all of us in Europe know only too well: genocide.
The EU has abused its institutions by putting them at the service of a global financial system which has piled up mountains of virtual, unpayable debts, of an order of magnitude greater than the real production of goods necessary for the existence of mankind, and that for the sole purpose of immensely enriching a selected few, knowing that a growing number of people would pay for it with their lives.
These institutions have recklessly promoted the total insolvency of the financial system, and are now planning to respond to the imminent systemic collapse with massive expropriation of the population's wealth, through a combination of more bailouts paid for by taxpayers, hyperinflationary money creation, and the direct confiscation of bank accounts under the so-called bail-in. Should these institutions manage to implement their schemes, it would bring about global chaos and the death of many millions of people.
The state of affairs has been reached where crimes against the peoples of Europe have been committed, and crimes of a greater scale threaten to occur in the near future, so that for their own security, it is no longer permissible for the peoples of Europe to remain in these institutions.
To prove this, we submit the following facts to a candid world:
The architects and rulers of the EU deliberately deceived the peoples of Europe about their true intentions and resorted to scheming, because they knew that, in the event of extensive discussion in the respective parliaments and the media, their plans would be rejected.
There was a deliberate cover-up of the fact that essential powers of the sovereign state had been increasingly transferred to supranational structures, and would continue to be transferred.
Laws were changed to reflect the oligarchical ideology in such a way that the tyranny of the financial markets, unbridled speculation, and greed would hold sway, with more and more wealth flowing into the pockets of a few.
A system has been created which has toppled, one after the other, the cornerstones indispensable to the development of the real economy. Vital supplies of electricity and water, needed for the continued existence of future generations, have been deliberately undermined by the EU measures. The same holds for investments in essential areas of infrastructure and agriculture.
A system has been created which promotes an ever-greater redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, which threatens the very foundation of the social system, cuts even health care, and leaves the weak defenseless.
A system has been created which denies both a job and the prospect of finding one to over half of the young people in some European countries, and thus robs them of the hope of a better future.
A system has been created which no longer respects the inalienable rights of man, which tramples on the right to happiness, a system which has repudiated the primary task of the State, namely protection of the general welfare.
A system has been created which threatens freedom, as those who criticize this policy in some countries are already punished with prison and heavy fines. Freedom is also threatened because foreign States are allowed to carry out mega-surveillance, and European countries are party to it themselves.
A system has been created which has completely renounced the originally defined mission of developing Africa, with a monetarist and "sustainable" policy that prevents the development of the continent, thereby helping exacerbate the refugee problem.
We, the representatives of opposition organizations in various European nations, appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, and what Schiller called "our rights that hang in the stars unchanged," and solemnly declare that these nations of Europe are free and independent States, and of right ought to be; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the EU bureaucracy; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to refuse war as a means of conflict-resolution, to conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the assertion and support of this Declaration, we invoke those human rights established under natural law, and the identity of mankind as the sole creative species, according to the order of Creation.
Although the pacta sunt servanda principle of law is generally to be respected, in light of the existentially threatening situation to which the above-mentioned deceits and intentions have led, Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties applies, according to which treaties may be invalidated if circumstances have occurred that were not foreseen at the time of conclusion. Moreover, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty states: "Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements."
If all member States of the EU leave that Union and regain full sovereignty, that in no way means that they will relapse into chauvinistic statehood, but rather that they should unite in an alliance of fully sovereign constitutional States, which are committed to the common goals of mankind.
In an era of thermonuclear weapons, securing peace is the paramount, all-important task. We can ensure that war as a means of conflict-resolution be rejected once and for all, by founding in the immediate future an alliance of sovereign States, united around the common superior interests of the general welfare of all our citizens. The principle of the Peace of Westphalia, of international law, and of the UN Charter absolutely apply.
We commit ourselves to the prompt creation of an economic and financial order and a credit system for long-term investments, which put an end to the unnecessary billion-fold suffering from hunger and treatable disease, and create conditions worthy of human beings for all people on this planet. The first indispensable step toward that goal is the implementation of global Glass-Steagall legislation.
We further commit ourselves to direct our efforts to a common defense against dangers that threaten us all, such as meteorites, asteroids, and comets. Likewise, our objective must be to eliminate the plague of terrorism, of drug production and traffic, and of human trafficking in all its forms.
Therefore, priority must be given to scientific breakthroughs in those areas that promote our mutual development, and enable the continued existence of mankind on a higher level, such as the use of thermonuclear fusion, space exploration, and space medicine.
We are determined to contribute through such improvements to encouraging a new, more human paradigm to open up a new era in human history. This new Renaissance must breathe new life into the advanced Classical culture of our nations, and thus usher in the Promethean age of reason.
Translated from German by Christine Schier