by Don Hank, Guest Contributor
Open Society: a voluntary association of equal states that surrendered part of their sovereignty for the common good. George Soros, Founder, Open Society Foundation
Last week’s EU elections make it clear that the richer EU member states no longer have the political will to stay with the sinking EU. There is now utter panic among the political class. Even Stratfor1, which has always posed as politically neutral, is lamenting that the European “nationalists” are a threat to the stability of the EU, refusing to recognize that, on the contrary, the EU is a threat to national sovereignty everywhere.
After ignoring the populist complaints for decades, the elitist hue and cry is “we must do something!” Their solution is to “create jobs,” the usual Keynesian non-solution to a disaster caused by Keynesianism.
Nor has a single one of them suggested curbing immigration, the centerpiece, for example, in the platform of the French sovereigntists (unjustly called the “far right”) who walked away with the election last week.
Thus, their only response is more of the same Fabian deception. “How can we continue to deceive them?” is what they are really saying.
It was in this vein that George Soros sat down with Fareed Zakaria on CNN Sunday evening and it was clear from Soros’ grim words and demeanor that he does not hold much hope for the EU to survive.
Viewers who are unaware of last week’s EU election results or not familiar with Soros’ book may not have caught his drift.
Zakaria asks Soros toward the end of the interview if he thinks nationalism could break up the European Union. Soros says
“Yes, it’s that and Europe needs to recognize it, and we [meaning the US] need to recognize it, actually.”
Two years ago, Soros had already written The Tragedy of the European Union, a title suggesting what Soros had expected then. Soros pleads therein for one of two alternatives, namely, that Germany should either “lead or leave.” Absurdly, he laments that Germany wants to set the terms of lending, as normal lenders have always done. Evoking His Holiness John Maynard Keynes, he maintains that creditor countries like Germany must give their debtors an equal say in the terms of debt and be a more “benevolent hegemon.” Part of that policy would be to extend the exact same terms to the debtors, like Greece, the right to float bonds rated (dishonestly) as “risk-free,” thereby allowing them low interest terms (this mirrors the no-doc, no-down payment banking policies promoted by the US government and the central banks that caused the economic crisis of 2007-8, also extensions of Keynesianism). Soros reminds us that His Majesty Keynes had suggested there should be complete equality between debtor and creditor. He also reminds that, after all, Germany was the recipient of the generous Marshall Plan after the war and there were no strings attached. Why shouldn’t Germany, therefore, follow the US’s lead and give the Greeks easy terms? In so saying, he ignores at least two vital facts:
1—the Marshall Plan was not primarily a loan; it was essentially outright aid. It was in America’s interest to make Germany a strong ‘captive’ trading partner because we had intact industries while theirs was a shambles, whereas today it is not in Germany’s interest to prop up debt-addicted nations like Greece that are nothing but a thorn in its side and require perennial bailouts.
2—Germany has always had a culture of thrift, honesty and frugality in business, in contradistinction to most of Southern Europe. (Even tourist guide books warn travelers to be wary of shysters there). The US could therefore reasonably expect Germany to lift itself up economically, as it did.
But Soros, as a devout political globalist (i.e., a person who subscribes to the notion of global governance as a tenet of faith), denies the existence of cultural differences which ordinary people can easily see. When I was working as a salesman at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, for example, German tourists who hesitated to buy from Italian salesman would often buy from me, taking me to be a German since I spoke their language. This was not due to prejudice toward the Italians. It was due to untoward experiences they had had with Italian sales people in contrast to their dealings with basically honest German merchants. This is cultural, not racial. (Merchants in Florence, like my boss, for example, routinely repaired broken chess pieces with wax — cera in Italian. Essentially, this is just cosmetic, not functional, and is an ancient Roman practice whence we derive the word sincere — Latin: sine cera, without wax).
While the title of Soros’ book also contains a reference to proposed solutions, his use of the word “tragedy” suggests that he is fearful his proposals will be rejected. He admits that Merkel had rejected the “benevolent hegemon” idea (she later acquiesced). One reason for his pessimism is that the German high court could reject EU bailouts of ailing countries as unconstitutional. Soros, whose Open Society Foundation goes around the world pushing “democracy,” is never shy about meddling in the affairs of other countries, insisting that Germany must change its constitution to suit him. The people’s will be damned,
If Soros had not seen the handwriting on the wall, it is doubtful he would have used the word “tragedy” to describe the EU’s plight.
After all, if a friend or loved one is sick in the hospital but is expected to live, we do not call that a tragedy. It is merely an unfortunate setback. It is a tragedy only if the patient is dying.
However, when Soros affirms, following the EU elections, that “nationalism” could break up the EU, that takes the narrative up a notch or two. If he had already feared the breakup of the EU in 2012, what must he think now that the “nationalists” have unleashed what many analysts are calling an “earthquake” in European politics?
Soros later added a report to the book that the European Central Bank (ECB) had since agreed to “do what it takes to preserve the euro as a stable currency,” but Soros admitted that, while the future of the euro seemed assured, the future of the EU was up to “political decisions” to be made in the next few years. With Eurosceptic parties trending toward a takeover of their countries’ legislature, there can be little doubt that Soros’ “tragedy” is in the works and that he is fully aware of this.
1 Stratfor is a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world. http://www.stratfor.com/