by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog
There’s no more obvious failure of Europe’s politicians to protect their own citizens than the drop in the euro and the pound to below parity and near-parity, respectively, with the United States dollar.
However, this article was planned before the brazen sabotage of the Russian-German Nord Stream gas pipelines which – almost impossibly – outranks the currencies’ collapse!
The two seismic events actually dovetail perfectly: both illustrate the absolute failure of Western Liberal Democracy for everyone but the Western 1%.
Why would anyone interested in the theory of governance treat the above as hot news? Western leadership may have infinite personal faults and a bottomless appetite for blood and treasure, but their instability is so endemic so as to be clearly structural.
If we accept the Hobbesian insistence that government is here to prevent disorder, then what can we say about the record of the pan-European project, which we can define as the combined efforts of the European Union, the euro and the Eurogroup, the hidden but legal and accountable banker cabal which rules the euro and thus a score of European nations? Their record is one of shameless pride in unabashed failure for Europe’s working-poor class, which used to be called the “middle class”.
On January 1, 2008,1 euro was worth $1.47 and 1 pound was worth $1.98. How very far the strength of the pan-European project has fallen!
Allowing the drop to parity with the dollar must be combined with the reminder that Europe’s leaders were the only major macroeconomic area which refused to implement a recovery plan after the Great Financial Crisis. They chose, over the will of voters, the Age of Austerity, which can be described as the Americanization of the European social safety net; or the end of the era of European Social Democracy, for which so many millions died on their battlefields of World War I and II; or the creation of the current, incredibly unequal Western Gilded Age II.
There is still no recognition of failure by Europe’s leadership: the UK actually tried to re-embark on economic Thatcherism, while France is about to pass its annual budget via the incredibly anti-democratic 49-3 executive decree. Just as I predicted: Macron’s legislative victory was just enough that he will never lose a no-confidence vote over any issue of right-wing economic importance.
The currency collapses, which are like huge pay cuts for the average European, were enough to make this point: the pan-European project continues to only fail to bring about the promised prosperity and stability. The cause of Europe’s economic collapse isn’t bad luck, or due to foreign aggression or sanctions, or the result of neoliberal “reforms” just not getting enough time to play out – it’s due to the failure of the ideology of Western Liberal Democracy itself.
Nord Stream: Germans can no longer have any illusions
It was hard to imagine a more naked escalation of the 8-year Ukraine conflict than the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines.
It’s long been said that the only actual winner from the conflict has been the United States. Because the arrival of peace would be a change to the current status quo the US has the most to lose from a victory of diplomacy. The destruction of Nord Stream virtually ended chances of a diplomatic solution to the conflict during the expected lull in fighting over the next 3 or 4 months, and maybe beyond.
There was no Western outrage over Nord Stream, which may be the biggest proof that they were behind the sabotage. The lack of outrage of The New York Times speaks volumes, as does its repeated terming of explosions as mere “breaks” or “leaks”. Bloomberg labeled the sabotage merely “Putin’s Pettiness”, although for Europeans the price of energy is hardly a petty concern.
What happened to Nord Stream seems clear, and that’s going beyond the now-viral clips from this year of both Joe Biden and Victoria “F*** the EU” Nuland promising the end of the Nord Stream project by any means necessary, which are the definitions of rhetorical smoking guns. We can fairly assume that for many years the United States has been colluding with Poland to destroy the Nord Stream project, and they finally succeeded.
Poland’s ex-Foreign Minister from 2007 to 2014 – no short tenure – couldn’t restrain his joy at the culmination of plotting he was probably present at from the very beginning (Nord Stream first broke ground in 2011), tweeting a picture of the gas leak and the words “Thank you USA”.
The problem, at least for those in Europe who believe that Washington is a true ally, is that Poland and the US have likely colluded to hurt Poland’s ostensible partner, Germany, as well as the largest economic force in the pan-European project. Thus, the US is manipulating individual states within the pan-European project to ensure that the pan-European project itself cannot rise above it’s ordered station, which is: policy subservience to Washington’s needs. The US is using the classic imperialist strategy of dividing and conquering peoples and tribes, this time within the EU.
Is Berlin merely a vassal to Washington?
However emotionally satisfying as the nationalist component is for some people, it is not logically satisfying – only the class angle explains it: Liberal Democracies are the product of international collusion among the 1% class, which is a class that puts maintaining their elite status far above concepts of patriotism. Western Liberal Democracy – as Marx proved way back in 1848 (and he was merely reporting what the recently-freed European serfs were all saying) – is the collusion of the 1% against the rest of the country/continent/world/galaxy. Monarchy and aristocrats are not actually dead!
The complete transcription of Nuland’s comments make this clear. She said, “We continue to have very clear and strong conversations with our German allies, and I want to be clear with you today. If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2, will not move forward.”
The key phrase is not the threat but “clear and strong conversation with our German allies”: the US elite is colluding with the German elite, and the non-elite Germans can only go triple up on sweaters, ration their meat and hope they don’t join the jobless.
What on earth can the Germans be feeling about their own leaders?
It must be total contempt, no? Berlin either helped destroy, or allowed the destruction of, their sovereign energy program, and amid the most economic uncertainty in almost 15 years.
The Western “Great Game” moves to the West itself
The currency collapses are bad, but Nord Stream explodes the Western corona slogan of, “We are all in this together”. Europe’s elites are not in it together with their own voters, and France’s Yellow Vests knew this in 2019. They knew that they were being permanently declassed into the hopeless working-poor, and so they resisted so bravely and intelligently.
Will Germans soon realise that they are on the same road? Will they have the courage to give voice to their contempt for their own government, as the French did? If so, how far the smug, Greece-shaming, falsely-pious Germans have to fall, indeed!
It can now be said that the successful resistance of places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – as well as Iran and Hezbollah – have so bankrupted Western imperialists that America’s detonation of Germany’s prime energy source proves that the 19th century Western and Russian “Great Game” has moved from Persia, Central Asia and India to inside the West in the 21st century.
This is another proof that the pan-European project is “neo-imperialist” – they are colluding in the colonisation of their own people: imperialism is not only for non-Whites anymore.
If the German people rise up as the French did recently then we will likely see a total Balkanisation of the perpetually-failing pan-European project. This is why the Nord Stream sabotage was so shocking – what a risk the West has taken! They are apparently relying on Germans to maintain their smug, complacent illusion of self-supremacy even despite the obvious fact that the pan-European project is against them as much as it is against Greece.
What on earth are Europe’s leaders doing to themselves, or rather, to their own citizens?!
This is the question Iran has been asking for years, with Europe’s failure to implement the JCPOA agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy program. Russia has recently joined this chorus.
The pan-European project wasn’t designed merely to ensure American hegemony over Europe, but to ensure that the international, liberalist 1% has hegemony over the world. My new book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values, gives a daily, hard-news summation of the failure of the pan-European project since 2009. It also shows that the autocratic legacy of monarchism/elitism lives on via the anti-democratic ideology known as Western Liberal Democracy – all of Europe’s noblest values since 1789 continue to be subverted by the Western 1%.
If you can, get paid in dollars.
But perhaps Germans, and other Europhiles, truly are willing to go cold, hungry and jobless – not for Ukraine, but to ensure the wealth of Western elites?
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’.