Monday, April 1, 2013

Fascism in Europe next?

In 2007 I wrote several pieces warning of the arrival of overt Fascism in the USA (see: "Rudy Giuliani - the face of American Fascism", "The only thing which can prevent a Fascist President in 2008" and "When is the use of the "F" word appropriate?").  Now, five years later, I would say that what I observe in the USA is some form of "creeping Fascism" which has succeeded in avoiding the type of overt full-spectrum crackdown on the US general public mainly thanks to the artificial but nonetheless semi-effective way a full-scale economic collapse of the US economy has been avoided.  Basically, the laws are in place, the repressive apparatus ready to go in high gear, but the plutocrats in power have managed to avoid using these instruments, at least on a noticeable scale.  A great deal of the credit for this goes, I sincerely believe, to the US general public who have shown many signs of push-back against some of the most ridiculous excesses of the TSA, the Border Patrol, the FBI, the Pentagon and other agencies.  Still, I believe that all it would take is one "bank holiday" for the curtain to come down and the repression to start.  But that is a topic for another day, today I want to turn my attention to Europe and what is taking place there, in particular in regards to Cyprus.

What has happened in Cyprus is almost irrelevant to the EU's economy.  As one economist aptly put it, the magnitude of the economic crisis in Cyprus is basically one of a rounding error in the EU's overall economy.  As far as Europe is concerned, Cyprus could vanish from the face of the earth overnight, and it would not even notice it.  Same deal, by the way, for Russia.

In political terms, however, what happened in Cyprus is, I believe, an event of truly apocalyptic nature: the political suicide of Europe.  Why?

Think of it in the simplest of terms:

Bank robbery in Cyprus
Some Cypriot banks were told that they had to reimburse their creditors.  These banks admitted that they did not have the means to do so.  Then, the so-called "Troika" met.  What is this "Troika"?  A tripartite committee composed of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Now please keep in mind two crucial things about this "Troika":

a) Nobody has ever elected the "Troika" itself or even any of its constituent parties (ECB, EC, IMF).
b) Neither the Cypriot people nor the Cypriot banks, are represented at this "Troika".

The Troika basically decided to reimburse the creditors of the Cypriot banks by seizing the money deposited in the Cypriot banks.  Now, just to make things clear, please keep in mind that if you are in investor or a shareholder in Bank X your fortune does depend on how well this bank is managed and how it performs.  However, if you deposit your money in Bank X this money still remains yours, it might be trusted to the care of the bank, but the bank does not own this money which is strictly and only yours.  And yet, the "Troika" ordered the Cypriot banks to simply seize the money which had been deposited in (not invested in) their banks and hand it over to their creditors.

Now, the "Troika" really has zero democratic credentials, this is just a product of the will of the EU bureaucracy.  It has no legal right to force the Cypriot banks to do anything.  Furthermore, the Cypriot banks have no legal right at all to seize the money which has been deposited in them.  To take something which does not belong to you is called *theft*.

Marx wrote the private property generates capitalism, and he was right.  But what remains of capitalism if its most important aspect, its ideological cornerstone, is suddenly abolished?  Does that not mean the end of capitalism itself?

Hitler as a European knight
All the political evolution of Europe since the past three or four hundred years has had as its goal to secure each individual's private property not only from the arbitrary seizure by bandits and thugs, but also by kings and governments.  I can think of only one example in the history of western Europe when a government decided to overly seize the property of private individuals by force with no other justification than "because we say so" and that is Kristallnacht in 1938.  Yes, the Nazis did dare to openly do what the "Troika" is doing now.  And, of course, in the East, the Bolsheviks "nationalized" pretty much all the private property of the Russian people.  But at least the Nazis and the Bolsheviks more or less had some kind of argument to be acting on behalf of at least one part of the population of their country.  Not so the "Troika" which has no national or electoral mandate or legitimacy.

What does all this really show?

It shows that in Europe the rule of law is a big fat joke.  Yes, the big players such as Germany will insist on the respect of the rule of law as long as it is beneficial to them, but as soon as it is not, to hell with it - they will use the same methods as the mob.

That, by the way, should surprise nobody.

The rule of law took a big hit in Europe when the Europeans let the US invade Bosnia under the cover of UNPROFOR and it completely died when NATO attacked Serbia in complete illegality.

Turns that that all these oh-so-respectable European politicians and ideologues are nothing more than your garden variety mobsters, with exactly *zero* respect for the rule of law.

This also means that all the money now deposited in Europe is potentially at risk.  Though the EU bureaucrats denied it, it is absolutely clear even to the dullest of idiots that what happened in Cyprus sets precedent, that from now on the very method of seizing money deposited in banks has now the "respectability" of having been used by the ECB, the EC and the IMF.  I would even argue that the fact that the IMF was part of this decision makes it an international precedent which now has applicability worldwide.

Furthermore, having acted in complete violating of national and international laws, having arrogantly disregarded banking regulations and laws, and having also condoned the illegal use of force (against Serbia), the EU is now showing its true face: a transnational Fascist cartel run by bankers and plutocrats which does not give a damn about what the European population thinks, or what the law says.  The real motto of Europe has now clearly become "might makes right", and that is true in Libya, Syria and Cyprus, but that also means that this is true throughout the EU.

Somewhere I welcome that.  "Bas les masques!" (off with the masks) as the French say.  At least all of the West - USA and Europe - are done playing cute games about democracy, freedom and human rights.  Now, finally, we can see beyond any doubt that the entire western political system is about one thing and one thing only: pure, unfettered, greed.  Greed and nothing else.

All this take about lofty ideals of individual rights, private property, freedom, representation, democracy, human rights, etc. was just a load of propaganda aimed at masking the true nature of the beast.  Most of us already understood that, but now even the dullest of the doubleplusgoodthinking "democrats" will see that there is nothing real at all in the entire edifice of western political thought besides greed served by violence and lies.

Yet another proof that Fascism was a genuine expression of European civilization.  Let's remember here that European Fascism has two very different roots: a southern one - the Papacy (Petain, Franco, Pavelic, Mussolini) and a northern one - the Protestant bourgeoisie (Hitler).  Or look at the anti-Fascist resistance in Europe: what are the countries which really gave the Germans a determined resistance?  Serbia, of course.  Who else?  The Netherlands, the Poland and the Greece had major resistance organizations.  As for the rest of Europe, it did very little real resistance - they Nazis were certainly not loved, but they were accepted in most countries.  After WWII the newly imposed elites tried to turn Hitler and Mussolini into some abject monsters and their ideologies into some satanic creation of a few mad men, but the fact is that Fascism and National-Socialism had deep religious, political and cultural roots in Europe and that both the German Nazis and the Italian Fascists very much saw themselves as people who are reviving the true traditions from the European past.

The situation today is different, of course.  We are often told that what is taking place is a struggle between the European "core" represented by Germany against the European "periphery" sometimes referred to as PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain).  But I would argue that what is taking place is even far bigger than that - its not only the PIIGS which are a target of the European plutocracy, but also France, which is far bigger and whose "explosive potential" is far more threatening to the international financial system.  A top analyst for a hedge fund in NY has recently confirmed to me that if France collapses so would the entire US banking system (courtesy of the crazy system of CDS put in place since the 1990s).  There are plenty of signs that the entire French economy has come to a standstill and that it is literally running out of cash (Max Keiser and Pierre Jovanovic have been warning about this for many years).

So I ask myself a basic question: if the Troika has had the nerve to basically act like a gang of mobsters in the case of a tiny economy such as the Cypriot one, what will it do if, say, the economies Portugal, Spain or, God forbid, France collapse?  What will the European rulers such as Merkel do if mass unrests begin in these countries?  France, in particular, as a long tradition of uprisings and civil unrest which could re-ignite in just a few hours given the right circumstances.  The government of Francois Hollande is already the most despised of the French 5th Republic even though the man has been very recently elected.

Finally, the anti-EU movements are still active throughout Europe and the current crisis will only strengthen then.  What will the (always submissive and pliant) European governments do if they are told by the top EU bosses to crack down on local separatists/sovereignists?  Will they hesitate?  I think not.

The bottom line is this: all the European elites, the entire European ruling class, are deeply committed to the Single Europe ideology and they will never, ever, let go of it.  The loss of face resulting from a global collapse of the EU project would inevitably result in a loss of power for all those who put their reputation and authority behind this ideology.  Nevertheless, the EU is collapsing, and each effort of the European elites to conceal this fact only make the real situation worse.  Given a choice between facing the consequences of a popular revolt and the implementation of a Fascist rule there is no doubt in my mind at all that the European elites will chose the latter, with plenty of empty words about "provisional", "exceptional", "temporary" etc.

By now it is becoming undeniable that Europe can have democracy or the EU, but not both.  The actions of the "Troika" in the case of Cyprus show, I think, which choice has been made.  Fascism might well come to Europe even before it comes to the USA.

The Saker