Analysis 10:34 09/05/2015

The German question

By Pepe Escobar, RT

Seventy years after the end of World War II, and twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is once again under the grip of ‘sturm und drang’, but this time barely registered in either East or West.

Without a serious attempt at myth busting, it’s impossible to discern what could be interpreted as a new, discreet German attempt at hegemony.

Contrary to a myth currently propagated by US ‘Think Tankland’, political Berlin under Chancellor Merkel is not a mediator between a still hegemonic US and an “aggressive” Russia.

The reality is Berlin, at least for the moment, would rather give the impression of singing Washington’s tune – with minor variations - while chastising Russia. That’s the case even when we consider the solid energy/trade/business ties with Moscow, as in Germany importing a third of its natural gas, and German industry/companies/corporations hugely invested in Russia.

Contrary to a second myth, political Berlin does not seek “stability” in Europe’s eastern borderlands, but rather outright vassalage. The relentless Eastern European integration to the EU, led by Berlin, was as much a strategy to open new markets for German exports as to erect a buffer between Germany and Russia. As for the Baltic States, they are already vassals; Germany is the largest trading partner for all three.

Yet another myth is that Berlin cannot lift – counterproductive - sanctions against Moscow as long as “security” of Central and Eastern Europe is not assured. The reality is that Germany would rather exert total political/economic control over the periphery of the former USSR.

As for the EU itself, now mired in a post-democratic, un-egalitarian, austerity-ravaged toxic environment, with no discernible way out, Germany already rules, politically and economically.

Deutschland under control?

Amidst the current EU intellectual quagmire where, to quote Yeats, “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity” – think puny neoliberal ideologues scurrying under their sinecures in that Kafkaesque temple of mediocrity, Brussels - a modern Diogenes would be hard pressed to find an informed observer capable of seizing up Germany’s game.

Thus the glaring exception of historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd, author of the seminal 2002 essay After the Empire which showed no mercy in its cartography of American decline. In a long 2014 www.les-crises.fr interview, centered on Germany, Todd hits the geopolitical ball out of the park.

Todd deeply worries about the West’s dysfunction – manifested at its prime in Europe being “virtually at war with Russia”. He sees the anxious, sick West’s “fixation” on Russia as the search for a scapegoat, or better, “the creation of an enemy, necessary to maintain a minimal coherence of the West. The European Union was created against the USSR; it cannot do without Russia as an adversary.”

And yet, behind the EU, there’s the real deal; the German project, which Todd identifies as a project of power, driven “to compress demand in Germany, to enslave the debt-ridden countries of the South, to put to work the Eastern Europeans, to throw some peanuts to the French banking system.” And that project of power could not but open the ominous door to Germany’s “immense potential for political irrationality” – a theme very much prominent now with all those rehashes of the fall of the Reich.

Todd identifies what Lacan would dub the great European non-dit (“not enunciated”); “The key to the control of Europe by the United States, which is the inheritance of the victory of 1945, is the control of Germany.”

Yet now the control is dissolving, albeit chaotically, and that means “the beginning of the dissolution of the American imperium.” And imperial decline – visible in myriad declinations – leads Todd to a bombshell; the real threat to the US, much more dangerous than Russia – “which is external to the empire” – is Germany.

And what about the threat to Russia from Germany? Todd strongly implies the populations of Russian language, culture and identity are being attacked in Eastern Ukraine with "the approval and support" of the European Union - which is a fact. At the same time, he interprets the Russian "silence" about it not "as in the French and the American case, a refusal to see reality,” but as good diplomacy; "They need time. Their self-control, their professionalism, compels admiration." Try finding this kind of analysis in CIA-infested European corporate media.

“Europe” out, Germany in

So what Todd is essentially gaming here is “the emergence of a new face-to-face between two great systems: the American continent-nation, and this new German empire, a political-economic empire which people continue to call ‘Europe’ out of habit.” And yes, he’s got a compelling case.

Using a political science concept coined by Belgian anthropologist Pierre van den Berghe, Todd qualifies the German system as “un-egalitarian domination”; whatever equality is left concerns only the dominant, as in German citizens. Welcome, then, to Herrenvolk democracy - the “democracy of the master people.”

Todd bolsters his case by pointing to the dynamism of the German economy as based in the former USSR satellites; “Part of the success of our German neighbors stems from the fact that the communists were much interested in education. They left behind them, not only obsolete industrial systems, but also populations that were remarkably well educated.”

So “annexing” the populations of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, etc, meant Germany reorganizing its industrial base using low-cost labor. But then there’s a major “if”; Todd believes Germany might also “annex” an active population of 45 million in Ukraine, “with its good level of training inherited from the Soviet period.”

Not only that’s extremely unlikely; Moscow has been explicit this is a red line. Moreover, “Ukraine” is a failed state in terminal disintegration, now a lowly, de facto, IMF colony, whose only interest for the “West” is rich agricultural land to be plundered by Monsanto and cohorts.

“He hasn’t seen Germany coming”

The fun really starts when Todd examines the mess “classical American geopoliticians of the ‘European’ tradition,” are in. He had to be talking mostly about notorious Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski; “Obsessed by Russia, he hasn’t seen Germany coming.”

Todd correctly notes how Dr. Zbig “has not seen that the American military might, by extending NATO all the way to the Baltic States, to Poland… was in fact cutting out an empire for Germany, at first economic, but at present already political.” And in parallel to what I have been examining for years now, he hints that “the extension of NATO to the East could in the end bring about a version B of Brzezinski’s nightmare: a reunification of Eurasia independently of the United States.”

The clincher is to be savored like the best Armagnac; “Faithful to his Polish origins, he feared a Eurasia under Russian control. He is now running the risk to go down in History as another one of these absurd Poles who, out of hatred of Russia, have insured the greatness of Germany.”

For the moment, political Germany – but not its industrialists - has chosen to continue to be subjugated to the US/NATO as Chancellor Merkel appears to be enforcing the encircling of Russia.

As Todd nailed it, Germany painstakingly organized its EU hegemony on the basis this disparate basket of nations would provide Berlin with the economy of scale to win against its main industrial competitor, the US. Yet Germany lacks energy – oil and gas. Supply from Africa and the Middle East is inherently unstable.

So this is how we come to another scenario circulating among what Bauman called “nomad elites of liquid modernity”; not think tanks or Western intel agencies.

According to this scenario, instead of a EU trying to work with Russia, we have Berlin trying to undermine Moscow to ultimately seize financial control of Russia’s immense resources; back to those good old disaster capitalism Yeltsin days, when everything was collapsing other than Russia’s natural resource production.

After all the ‘New Great Game’ is mostly about control of the natural gas, oil and resources of Russia and Central Asia. Will they be controlled by oligarch fronts supervised by their masters in London and New York, or by the Russian state? And once Russia had been subdued, then the Central Asian “stans”, especially gas republic Turkmenistan, would also be free to do German’s bidding.

But for the moment, it’s all shadow play. Merkel utters platitudes about the Minsk ceasefire – when every serious player knows Kiev breaks it on an everyday basis. Berlin works backstage to keep the proverbial “reluctant players” – Italy, Greece, Hungary - on board with sanctions on Russia while spinning it’s doing its best to contain hysterical Poland and Lithuania.

Merkel is very much aware the US prosecutes much of its drone war out of Germany while the BND – German intel – spies for the NSA on the French, the European Commission (EC) and even German industry.

So she will never directly antagonize Washington – as she in fact mostly fears German Atlanticists, while posing about Putin and the Kremlin living “in a different world.” Berlin and Moscow continue to talk diplomatically, but the mood tends to the tone deaf.

The new exceptionalism

Todd is one of the few who at least are setting alarm bells ringing. As in this formulation: “German culture is un-egalitarian: it makes difficult the acceptance of a world of equals. When they are feeling that they are the strongest, the Germans will take very badly the refusal of the weaker to obey, a refusal which they perceive as unnatural, unreasonable.”

Once again, we’re in the realm of exceptionalism, but now with the added, historically troubling German penchant for political irrationality. The new, remixed lebensraum may revolve around an ever-expanding export powerhouse – adding on global trade by using educated, low-cost labor. While the Reich disintegrated in a larger than life folly seventy years ago, the new deal accomplished a dream; as Todd characterizes it, there are two great “developed industrial worlds” today, America and “this new German empire.”

He sees Russia as a “secondary question” and he has not examined China’s long game; thus he’s not focused – as in my own case - on myriad moves toward Eurasia integration. But what he’s concentrating on is no less than a thriller for the ages, a “completely different future for the twenty years to come, other than the East-West conflict;” Germany rising – and the US and Germany inevitably clashing, all over again. History may yet repeat itself as (lethal) farce after all. 



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

13:57
Macron criticizes Turkey's "warlike" rhetoric on Nagorno Karabakh
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric was encouraging Azerbaijan to reconquer...
13:17
Armenia demands immediate withdrawal of Turkish armed forces from Karabakh conflict zone
"Armenia strongly condemns Turkey’s provocative actions and demand the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish armed forces, including...
12:39
PM: Armenia considers recognizing Nagorno Karabakh
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday that his government is considering to formally recognize the Republic of Artsakh following the...
12:28
Number of COVID-19 cases tops 50,000 mark in Armenia on September 30
Armenia has confirmed 458 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a 24-hour period, bringing the national tally to 50,359 as of 11 a.m....
11:51
Artsakh Foreign Ministry: Turkey should be excluded from the OSCE Minsk Group
Turkey has long and actively been trying to use the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict to advance its destructive foreign policy agenda in the South...
11:26
Azerbaijan applies air-to-surface long-range missiles
The Azerbaijani Air Force conducted aerial bombing carried out with mixed battle order in the northern direction of the Artsakh Defense Army,...
11:07
Armenia has no intention to apply to CSTO for now - Pashinyan
Armenia has no intention to apply to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) with regard to the situation occurred in Nagorno...
10:13
UN Security Council condemns the use of force in Karabakh
The UN Security Council on Tuesday called on Azerbaijani and Armenian forces to "immediately stop fighting" over the breakaway region...
10:11
Artsakh Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan continues suffering losses
The Defense Ministry of the Artsakh Republic has shared a new video, showing the losses of manpower of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. The video...
10:05
Artillery fire raging across the entire length of the Artsakh frontline - MoD
Along the entire length of the Artsakh frontline there is artillery fire raging on at the moment, Defense Ministry Spokesperson Shushan...
21:04
Defense ministry releases footage showing deployment of Azeri TOS-1A in a civilian settlement
The Ministry of Defense has released a footage showing how the Azerbaijani TOS-1A heavy artillery systems are placed in a settlement and open...
20:34
Artsakh president awarded 26 servicemen posthumously
Artsakh Republic President Arayik Harutyunyan signed decrees on awarding. According to the decree, 21 servicemen and two reservists were...
19:48
Armenia and Artsakh will give adequate response - PM
"Azerbaijan, with active encouragement, political and military support of Turkey, is expanding geography of hostilities to territory of...
19:07
Armenia submitted new evidence to ECHR for interim measure in respect of Azerbaijan
Armenia has submitted significant volume of evidence to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the past 24 hours, proving that...
18:33
Turkish F-16 shoots down Armenian jet in Armenia's airspace - MoD
At 10.30 on September 29, F-16 fighter jets of Turkey's air forces took off from Ganja airport of the Azerbaijani Republic and ensured the...
18:03
Peaceful population under targeted attacks in Vardenis region of Armenia - Ombudsman
Villages of Vardenis Region in Gegharkunik Province of Armenia are under constant shelling by Azerbaijani forces since morning, Armenian...
17:52
Situation in Nagorno Karabakh subject for serious analysis within CSTO, Kremlin says
The situation along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh is a subject for serious analysis within the Collective Security Treaty Organization...
17:47
"Monte Melkonian Cyber Army” leaked data from Azerbaijani governmental emails
The Armenian hackers' group “Monte Melkonian Cyber Army” has hacked significantly data from several Azerbaijani governmental...
16:47
Artsakh Ombudsman called on the ICRC Nagorno-Karabakh mission to provide targeted assistance
Artsakh Human Rights Defender Artak Beglaryan presented the preliminary results of the fact-finding mission in response to the large-scale...
16:12
France urges international talks on Karabakh conflict
France said on Tuesday it would call for talks among the ‘Minsk Group’ - which is led by Russia, France and the United States and...
16:06
Protest outside the UN Office in Yerevan calling to stop putting false equivalence between the parties
Dozens of citizens are protesting outside the UN in Office in Yerevan calling for the international community to stop putting the parties of the...
15:52
Photos from the frontline
The Ministry of Defense of Armenia has shared photos from the frontline: Photos by 'Zinuzh Media', Sipan Gyulumyan To remind, in the...
15:10
Solid evidence shows Azerbaijani attack on Artsakh was thoroughly planned
There is a solid evidence that Azerbaijan has launched a thoroughly planned attack on the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic, according to a...
14:50
Armenia reports 327 fresh COVID-19 cases on September 29
Armenia has confirmed 327 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a 24-hour period, bringing the national tally to 49,901 as of 11 a.m....
14:34
Artsakh army successfully repels Azerbaijani attacks – ministry
Hostilities continue along the entire Artsakh-Azerbaijani line of contact on Tuesday, September 29, the Artsakh Defense Ministry said in a...
14:23
Wedding ceremony held in Artsakh amid war
A wedding ceremony took place in Artsakh on Monday amid the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against the country, the Artsakh Public TV said....
14:09
Robert Kocharyan heads to Artsakh
Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan is leaving for Artsakh, head of the former president’s office Viktor Soghomonyan told...
13:56
Azerbaijan attacks residential area in Artsakh capital with BM-21 Grad
The Azerbaijani troops launched a rocket fire from BM-21 Grad (122 mm) against one of the residential areas of Stepanakert, the capital city of...
13:41
One killed as Azerbaijan shells civilian areas in Armenia’s Vardenis – Foreign Ministry
One person was killed as a result of the Azerbaijani shelling of civilian settlements in the Vardenis community of Armenia, the Armenian Foreign...
13:23
Artsakh ombudsman releases names of four civilians killed in Azerbaijani shelling
During the fact-finding mission launched by Artak Beglaryan, Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Artsakh, on the attacks of the...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}