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

14:56
Tigran Abrahamyan: The attacks on army will leave their negative consequences on the new system for the coming time
The Head of "Henaket" analytical center Tigran Abrahamyan writes on Facebook: "The war and the processes that followed it,...
14:26
Aliyev threatens France and Canada - “Let them mind their own business”
Sometimes countries located at the other end of the world make statements about the processes taking place in Azerbaijan, and this is...
13:55
Russia set to map out specific steps for resolving Karabakh problems
The Russian delegation at the talks in Baku intends to map out specific steps for resolving issues that arise on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh,...
12:25
Armenia reports 243 fresh coronavirus cases on May 11
Armenia has confirmed 243 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 219,596 as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 11, the...
12:05
Nine killed, 10 injured in Kazan school shooting
Two unknown perpetrators opened fire at a school in Russia’s Kazan, injuring several people, a source in the law enforcement informed TASS...
11:44
Armenia's "Kafka's Dream" included in the competitive program of Animatricks International Animation Festival
Animated film "Kafka's Dream," produced by the company ArStep-studio, with the financial support of the National Cinema Centre of...
11:06
The military police unit of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh is patrolling the Lachin corridor
Military personnel of the Russian peacekeeping continent continue to perform tasks to monitor compliance with the ceasefire and ensure the...
10:50
Artur Vanetsyan: The future of our country is now a matter of honor
"If the current leaders of Armenia remain in power, it would have a destructive effect for the state,"  former Director of...
10:23
Early parliamentary elections will take place on June 20 in Armenia
President Armen Sarkissian has signed a decree on scheduling early parliamentary elections. As Panorama.am  was informed from the press...
20:49
National Assembly dissolved after failing to elect a prime minister twice
Armenia's National Assembly failed on Monday to elect a prime minister in accordance with a political agreement for the second time. The...
20:28
Armenian acting FM, UN Secretary General discussed post-war situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
On May 10, acting Foreign Minister of Armenia Ara Aivazian held a phone conversation with the UN Secretary General António Guterres. As...
19:37
Court accepts UNM leader Melia’s release after EU posts bail
Tbilisi City Court has accepted the release of the head of the United National Movement Nika Melia after the European Union posted Melia’s...
19:13
10,727 citizens have been vaccinated in Armenia as of May 9
Since the launch of vaccination campaign till May 9, 10,727 citizens have been vaccinated in Armenia, the country's Ministry of Health...
18:03
Putin, Aliyev talked on phone
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, have confirmed a mutual disposition to building up cooperation...
17:33
Works of Alexander Spendiaryan and Yervand Yerkanyan to be performed in Yerevan
Within the 12th edition of the Armenian Composers' Art Festival, the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra will host a concert on  May 17...
17:09
Armenian swimmers to take part in the 2020 European Aquatics Championships
The  European Aquatics Championships will open today in Budapest. As the Armenian National Olympic Committee reported, the event will be...
16:26
Artur Danielyan: Propaganda aimed at 'disintegrating Syunik' will start soon in Armenia
The Founder of Adekvat Union Artur Danielyan writes on Facebook:  "The Saudi import to Turkey fell by 93.7% this year to compare with...
15:21
Erdogan calls Israel 'terror State' over clashes
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called Israel a "terror state " after Israeli police clashed with Palestinian...
15:11
Artur Vanetsyan: We have just four and a half years to reinforce our army
During one of his regional visits, former Director of Armenia’s National Security Service, Chairman of the Homeland Party Artur Vanetsyan...
14:43
MP Edmon Marukyan urges former authorities to withdraw from electoral processes
Opposition lawmaker Edmon Marukyan, the leader of the Bright Armenia Party, reiterated his call for Armenia’s former authorities to...
13:54
Car escorting Nikol Pashinyan involved in traffic crash in Yerevan
A major road traffic crash involving a car escorting Nikol Pashinyan occurred near the Foreign Ministry building in central Yerevan on Monday....
13:36
Poll shows 60% of Japanese want Tokyo Olympics cancelled
Nearly 60% of people in Japan want the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled, an opinion poll showed on Monday, less than three months before the Games...
13:25
Pashinyan formally nominated as PM candidate for second time
The Armenian National Assembly on Monday kicked off a special session, with the issue of electing a new prime minister on the agenda. The...
12:54
Armenian military expert: We must voice our complaints to all international organizations ‘day and night’
Armenian military expert, Turkologist Karen Hovhannisyan calls for efforts to bring Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to account for the war...
11:59
Martuni stadium shelled by Azerbaijani forces during Artsakh war reopens
Avagyan Arena stadium in the town of Martuni in Artsakh, which was shelled by the Azerbaijani armed forces during last year’s 44-day war,...
11:46
US government declares emergency after fuel pipeline cyber-attack
The US government declared a regional emergency Sunday as the largest fuel pipeline system in the United States remained largely shut down, two...
11:26
Armenia reports 83 fresh coronavirus cases on May 10
Armenia has confirmed 83 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 219,353 as of 11 a.m. Monday, May 10, the Ministry...
11:16
UN Security Council to discuss situation in East Jerusalem on Monday
The United Nations Security Council will on Monday privately discuss rising tensions in East Jerusalem around al Aqsa, Islam's third-holiest...
11:06
Past.am: Around 33,000 people took part in Sunday’s rally at Yerevan square
Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF, Dashnaktsutyun) and Reviving Armenia parties,...
10:34
Public TV hardly covers Armenian ombudsman’s statements, Tatoyan reaffirms
Armenia’s Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan reaffirmed his position on Public TV Company that the TV station hardly covers...

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?"}