This article appears in the January 4, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
NEW YEAR’S THOUGHTS FROM GERMANY
2019 Promises a Wonderful Future
—If Europe Is Morally Fit for It!
Dec. 29—When reality turns into satire: in response to President Trump’s announcement that he will pull U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, and that the United States will no longer play the role of world policeman, liberals and many leftists in Europe who have been sputtering about “U.S. imperialism” for decades, are responding, not with praise and approval, but with hysterical screaming. Trump is hurling the world into chaos, giving Christmas gifts to Putin, Assad and Rouhani, etc.
For incorrigible Atlanticists like German Christian Democratic politician Norbert Röttgen, the whole world is falling apart: the role of the United States is irreplaceable, he lamented on the German national broadcast network ARD, and if it abandons this role, the world will be “insecure, unstable and selfish.” And, oh yes, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis had been a “voice of reason,” he said. Their reactions to the Trump phenomenon show how deeply entrenched in the neoliberal paradigm are the liberals, the left, and the neo-conservatives alike—despite all their supposed differences.
This is not without a certain irony: the usual year-end wrap-ups, and outlooks for the coming year, are overloaded this week with lamentations that the West’s model of liberal democracy is extremely vulnerable, or might even lose the “competition among systems.” But none of these authors in the various think tanks or mainstream media—and of course not the establishment politicians—are able to think, even in a rudimentary way, about why this is so. The reason they cannot lies in the sheer limitless arrogance and self-admiration of a class that confuses the dogmas of its group-think with reality, and has long since stopped feeling the need to learn anything new.
An article entitled “The End of the Democratic Century” appeared in the May-June 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs, the journal of the (New York) Council on Foreign Relations. It described the supposedly unstoppable triumph of Western-style democracies of the “American Century” during the second half of the 20th century. The reason for this, it was assumed, was a “universal human need for liberal democracy.”
Back in 1989, the same perspective was defended by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who prematurely conjured up the dissolution of the Soviet Union as the “end of history.” Fukuyama thus re-warmed the theory of the French Synarchist Alexandre Kojève (1902-68), that a phase would come in history in which there would no longer be global political conflicts, but instead the model of liberal democracy would be dominant across the globe. Of course, the system of Synarchy also implied that the establishment should “democratically” prevent any opponent of this establishment from ever coming back to power. Parliamentary democracy, free trade and, in principle, unlimited liberalization of values—and, increasingly, “green” negative growth in the real economy, along with the expansion of the financial and services sectors: this combination should henceforth prevail around the world. A unipolar world, of course.
This was the basis for the “shock therapy” policy applied to Russia in the Boris Yeltsin era of the 1990s, which was supposed to turn the former Soviet superpower into a raw-materials producing third world country within a few years—and did so. This was also the basis of the conviction that China’s integration into the WTO would inevitably lead China to adopt the model of liberal democracy along with the principles of free trade.
Why Demonize Russia and China?
The main reason for the demonization of Putin is that he dared—not least through Russian military intervention in Syria—to restore the status of Russia as a global power. The motive for escalating the attacks against China lies in the somewhat belated recognition by the Western establishment that China has by no means embraced the Western model of democracy, but, on the contrary, situates the “Chinese dream” in the revival of its 5,000-year-old tradition, and of the vision, inspired by Confucian principles, of a new model of coexistence of all countries on the basis of harmony.
The main reason for the unprecedented success of the Chinese model—which over the past 40 years since the “reform and opening-up” has made it possible to lift 800 million people out of poverty in China, to create a growing well-to-do middle class, and to win world leadership in certain scientific and technological fields (such as rapid transit, nuclear fusion, and space)—is the ability of political leaders to recognize and correct errors in governance. Deng Xiaoping ended the catastrophic politics and economic method of the Gang of Four during the Cultural Revolution and adopted in its place the most successful principles of European and American economic theory as a model.
While the Cultural Revolution was raging in China during 1966-76, a fundamental paradigm-shift was taking place in the West, and not least in Germany. This was the “1968 revolution,” in which various left-wing communist grouplets in the youth culture propagated a very positive view of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The adherents of this 1968 revolt chose the path of the “long march through the institutions” in order to come to power and thus to implement the values of the Frankfurt School and the ’68 movement. Many of them did achieve it, even making it into the German Foreign Ministry.
On the ideological foundations laid by the ’68ers, the abstruse theses of the Club of Rome on the allegedly finite nature of resources and the consequent necessity for limits to growth, could easily find a foothold. Thus the ecology movement was born, and then introduced into all the schools with significant financial support from Anglo-American oil multinationals and financial institutions.
Unlike in China, where Deng Xiaoping radically broke with the economic nonsense of the Cultural Revolution, here the greening of Western brains has penetrated all pores of society, in all parties and institutions. As one consequence of this, there is a whole range of technologies developed here in Germany, such as magnetically levitated trains and various nuclear energy technologies, which are used not in this country, but rather in China, and soon in almost every country of the developing sector.
Now the ecofascist ideology has even captured the Economic Council of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union party, as proven by the Council’s propagation of the so-called “Third Industrial Revolution” of Jeremy Rifkin. (The ideology is correctly described as ecofascist, because the low energy-flux density in the production process it demands, necessarily implies a drastic population reduction.) Yet this Council is the institution that actually represents the interests of the German Mittelstand, or small and medium-sized enterprises, and thus the main source of social wealth. Thus the very existence of Germany as an intrinsically industrial nation is now threatened.
A Second Chance for Germany
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and the Soviet-led COMECON dissolved in the aftermath, I repeatedly warned that if the mistake was made of imposing the model of unrestrained free-market economy upon the collapsed system of communism, then, after a certain boom phase, there would be an even more dramatic systemic collapse than the collapse of the communist system. That’s exactly where we have arrived now.
A new financial crash threatens, which will be far more serious than that of 2008. The infrastructure in the United States and Europe is crumbling, while poverty in Europe is at 90 million and increasing. More and more people have lost confidence in the establishment, whose policies they blame for the state of society. The neoliberal governments and the EU are already in the “Tacitus trap.” Governments that have lost the confidence of the governed are presumed to be lying, regardless of whether they are actually lying or telling the truth.
Deng Xiaoping is reported to have said that after the end of the Cultural Revolution, China would either carry out a fundamental reform or be ruined. Then he guided China onto the road to success, which today is admired by the whole world. Incidentally, the theoretical basis of this success story is much closer to the American system of Alexander Hamilton and the system of political economy of Friedrich List than the public is aware. But the same applies to us today: Either we make a fundamental reform—or we’ll be flushed to the margins of history.
The fact that President Trump wants to break with the policy of permanent intervention wars of his predecessors, instead of playing the world’s policeman, and wants to respect the sovereignty of every country in the world, as he emphasized in his speech to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in September of 2018, gives us the chance for a positive strategic reorientation of all humanity. It is the cultural richness of the different nations and the sovereignty of all that flows from it, which is why, as Trump stressed, “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination.
We now have the choice in Europe and especially in Germany: either we try to defend the so-called “Western model,” which obviously does not work, in the old manner of geopolitics seen in French President Macron’s chimera of a European army, in safeguarding the EU’s external borders, in militarization of the European border and coast guard agency Frontex, and in forming fronts against Russia, China and the U.S. Either we can risk a nuclear world war in that fashion—or we can constructively work on a completely new model of relations among the nations of the world, based on sovereignty, cooperation and a dialogue of classical cultures.
If we do for Germany the equivalent of what Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping have done for China, then we will initiate a renaissance of scientific progress in the tradition of Nicholas of Cusa, Kepler, Leibniz, Riemann, and Einstein, and a renaissance of classical culture in the tradition of Bach, Beethoven, Schiller and von Humboldt.
Furthermore, it is in Germany’s own best interest to put the relationship with Russia and China on a solid basis of cooperation, and to support Trump when he is trying to do precisely this. Two thousand nineteen can be a banner year for humanity if we do not lose that opportunity due to ideological stubbornness.