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Austerity as a Vehicle for Breaking Up Nations

Her­bert Schweiger: SS vet­eran and sup­porter of South Tyrol Independence

COMMENT: Over the years, we have cov­ered the Hapsburg/Thyssen UNPO and its cham­pi­oning of eth­nic minori­ties as a vehi­cle for break­ing up large nations into smaller, more pli­able states. Using the human suf­fer­ing and social dis­lo­ca­tion brought about by its “aus­ter­ity” pro­gram to frag­ment large nations, Ger­many is actively sup­port­ing the seces­sion of Cat­alo­nia from Spain and, in coop­er­a­tion its Aus­trian part­ner, the South Tyrol from Italy.

The Aus­trian drive for the inde­pen­dence of South Tyrol is dri­ven by the “Free­dom Party,” for­merly headed by Jorg Haider. That party was founded after the Sec­ond World War to allow Third Reich vet­er­ans to par­tic­i­pate in Aus­trian politics.

Man­i­fest­ing what, for lack of a bet­ter term, might be called “eth­nic impe­ri­al­ism,” Ger­many is using far-right, neo-Nazi ele­ments as foot sol­diers to assist the ver­triebene groups in pro­mot­ing the seces­sion of German-speaking minori­ties in Poland and other parts of East­ern Europe.

Tar­get­ing China, Ger­many con­tin­ues its equiv­o­cal sup­port for indi­vid­u­als and eth­nic groups seek­ing to frag­ment that nation.  As we have seen in past dis­cus­sion, the United States is also tar­geted for Balka­niza­tion and subversion. 

When we first pre­sented our view that the U.S. was tar­geted for frag­men­ta­tion, the response was deri­sive and alto­gether unkind. With a num­ber of states float­ing seces­sion­ist peti­tions and with right-wing politi­cos advo­cat­ing the frag­men­ta­tion of the Union in the wake of the 2012 elec­tions, those crit­ics might help them­selves to gen­er­ous slice of hum­ble pie.

If the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion here wors­ens sig­nif­i­cantly and the cen­trifu­gal polit­i­cal forces gain eco­nomic and/or para­mil­i­tary strength, the seces­sion­ist move­ment may well grow.

This topic is com­plex and we have pre­sented  it at length in the past. Listeners/readers who wish to sup­ple­ment their under­stand­ing should exam­ine the past broad­casts and posts on the sub­ject. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the Hapsburg/Thyssen connection–a direct trib­u­tary lead­ing to the Under­ground Reich.

Past broad­casts ana­lyz­ing this topic include: FTR #‘s 550, 615,  616, 627, 635 & 636, 652, 668, 676.

Be sure to keep abreast of the impor­tant infor­ma­tion feed­ing along the bot­tom of the front page of this web­site, fea­tur­ing Ger­man For­eign Pol­icy, Ger­many Watch and The Global Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Daily Report


“Cri­sis Prof­i­teers”; german-foreign-policy.com; 11/27/2012.

EXCERPT: Despite his recent elec­toral set­back, the secessionist-minded prime min­is­ter of Cat­alo­nia is keep­ing Europe’s debate on the Berlin-supported seces­sion­ist move­ments alive. In Cat­alo­nia, whose inten­sive efforts to secede from Spain has recently been sup­ported by Ger­many, mainly those forces, which had been even more adamant in the strug­gle for Catalonia’s seces­sion, have ben­e­fit­ted from the prime minister’s unex­pected set­back. At the same time, seces­sion­ist forces in other Euro­pean nations have received a boost — for exam­ple in the German-speaking regions of Italy, where bud­get cuts, imposed by the Ger­man aus­ter­ity dic­tate for com­bat­ing the cri­sis, have esca­lated the con­flict between South Tyrol and Rome. The prin­ci­pal par­ties in South Tyrol have now gained Aus­tria as its “pro­tec­tive power,” thereby remov­ing the con­flict from Italy’s hands. Efforts to con­vince Vienna to grant Aus­trian pass­ports to German-speaking North Ital­ians, along­side clearly seces­sion­ist demands are being inten­si­fied. Ini­tial tar­get dates for seces­sion are already being pronounced.

Major­ity in Favor of Secession

A con­tin­u­a­tion of the debate over Catalonia’s seces­sion from Spain seems appar­ent in the after­math of the recent regional elec­tions. Even though the party of Prime Min­is­ter Artur Mas — with its pre­cise sched­ule for seces­sion — has won the elec­tions, albeit while suf­fer­ing a loss of votes — some observers attribute this loss to its strin­gent aus­ter­ity course, to com­bat the Euro cri­sis. Accord­ingly, the lost votes did not go to his con­ser­v­a­tive anti-secessionist oppo­nent of the Par­tido Pop­u­lar, but rather to the left-wing Esquerra Repub­li­cana de Catalunya, (Repub­li­can Left of Cat­alo­nia) which is strug­gling even more adamantly for seces­sion from Spain. The next regional par­lia­ment, there­fore, will have a clear seces­sion­ist major­ity. Ger­many has recently been sup­port­ing Catalonia’s seces­sion­ist efforts, which are ori­ented on the notion that Cat­alo­nia — the rich­est region of the coun­try — would not have entered the cri­sis, if it would not have to share its wealth, via the cen­tral government’s redis­tri­b­u­tion with Spain’s poorer areas. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1])

“Pro­tec­tive Power” Austria

While Cata­lan sep­a­ratism is grab­bing atten­tion through­out Europe, South Tyrolean seces­sion­ist efforts are also mak­ing big­ger waves. Once more, the Ger­man aus­ter­ity dic­tate to counter the Euro cri­sis is the direct cause. Rome is obliged to exe­cute dras­tic bud­get cuts, as demanded by Berlin, which effect the finan­cial mar­gin of maneu­ver for the Bolzano Alto Adige (“South Tyrol”) province. The can­cel­la­tion of resources ear­marked for South Tyrol has pro­voked protests. The ques­tion of whether Aus­tria can inter­vene in Rome on behalf of South Tyrol, is again being raised in this con­text. Aus­tria pre­sumes the “pro­tec­tive power” func­tion for the German-speaking pop­u­la­tion of North­ern Italy. “We are speak­ing here about Ital­ian domes­tic prob­lems, there is no need for Vienna’s competence,“[2] admon­ished Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter, Mario Monti, in late Octo­ber. His obser­va­tion har­vested vehe­ment protest in South Tyrol and Aus­tria. “On the ques­tion of South Tyrol” thun­dered Austria’s for­mer National Coun­cil Pres­i­dent, Andreas Khol (ÖVP), Monti must “be urgently given tutoring.“[3] In Bolzano, the rul­ing South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP) has announced it would inter­vene both in Rome and Vienna — Austria’s func­tion as “pro­tec­tive power” is not an issue. It has even been sug­gested that North Ital­ian pub­lic squares be named after Aus­tria — as “clear evi­dence of the ties.“[4]

Ambas­sador Summoned

This month Vienna reacted. First, the Aus­trian gov­ern­ment sum­moned Italy’s ambas­sador to the for­eign min­istry to protest Monti’s state­ment. Last Fri­day, the National Coun­cil gave an audi­ence to a del­e­ga­tion from the South Tyrolean par­lia­ment in Vienna, which com­plained “about the pres­sure” exerted “from the Ital­ian cen­tral gov­ern­ment” on South Tyrol. An SVP par­lia­men­tar­ian com­plained that “in its aus­ter­ity reg­u­la­tions,” the Ital­ian gov­ern­ment “was ignor­ing the auton­omy statutes” and infring­ing on “South Tyrolean com­pe­tence.” It is fur­ther­more intend­ing “to reform Italy’s con­sti­tu­tion to make it even more cen­tral­ist.” To which the pres­i­dent of Austria’s National Coun­cil replied that Vienna, under no cir­cum­stances, would alter its pre­vail­ing polit­i­cal stand­point. It will “main­tain its pro­tec­tive func­tion for South Tyrol.“[5]

Aus­tri­ans Abroad

A par­lia­men­tar­ian from the “South Tyrolean Free­dom” party, which cam­paigns for the seces­sion of this North Ital­ian province under the motto “South Tyrol is not Italy!” was also par­tic­i­pat­ing in last Friday’s meet­ing in Vienna and reported on “the aspi­ra­tion of many South Tyroleans” to “attain Aus­trian cit­i­zen­ship.” “This would facil­i­tate Austria’s exer­cis­ing its pro­tec­tive func­tion for South Tyrol, because Aus­tria would then be pro­tect­ing not only a minor­ity in the neigh­bor­ing coun­try, but its own cit­i­zens.” Accord­ing to a report, an Aus­trian state sec­re­tary explic­itly replied, empha­siz­ing that “grant­ing South Tyroleans Aus­trian cit­i­zen­ship would lead to no bilat­eral prob­lems,” because “Italy has made no objec­tions” — “and has granted cit­i­zen­ship to Ital­ians liv­ing abroad.“[6] This refers to descen­dents of the so-called Ital­ians abroad, liv­ing in regions of Slove­nia or Croa­tia, which had once been Ital­ian ter­ri­tory, a prac­tice, also applied by the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Ger­many to “Ger­mans Abroad.” In fact, the nego­ti­a­tions on grant­ing Aus­trian cit­i­zen­ship to the German-speaking pop­u­la­tion of South Tyrol are mak­ing head­way. The prin­ci­ple hur­dles seem to have been mastered.

Free State South Tyrol

Whereas Bolzano’s rul­ing South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP) con­tin­ues to abstain from openly call­ing for seces­sion from Italy, and right-wing extrem­ist forces, such as the South Tyrolean Free­dom party, have had their eye on being annexed by Aus­tria for a long time, the North Ital­ian “the Lib­er­als,” the sis­ter party of Austria’s Free­dom Party (FPÖ), is now call­ing for found­ing a “Free State South Tyrol.” Accord­ing to their plans, prepa­ra­tions for a “ref­er­en­dum on whether South Tyrol should take recourse to its right of self-determination,” should be initiated. . . .

“Evi­dence of Ger­man Pres­ence”; german-foreign-policy.com; 11/23/2012.

EXCERPT: German right-wing extrem­ists are polit­i­cally exploit­ing gov­ern­ment funded cul­tural events for the German-speaking minor­ity in Poland. Accord­ing to reports, mem­bers of the “Sile­sian Youth” recently estab­lished con­tacts in neigh­bor­ing Poland dur­ing this year’s “Cul­tural Fes­ti­val of the Ger­man Minor­ity” in Wro­claw. The “Sile­sian Youth” have been clas­si­fied as right-wing extrem­ist. Sev­eral of its lead­ing mem­bers had been active mem­bers in cur­rently banned neo-Nazi orga­ni­za­tions. Another asso­ci­a­tion of Ger­man right-wing extrem­ists also called for par­tic­i­pa­tion at the fes­ti­val. Ear­lier, “Sile­sian Youth” activists marched in a demon­stra­tion in Katow­ice demand­ing “auton­omy for Upper Sile­sia.” The Saxon regional sec­tion claims to be secretly tak­ing care of for­mer Ger­man ceme­ter­ies (“Evi­dence of Ger­man Pres­ence in Sile­sia”) as well as sys­tem­at­i­cally expand­ing its rela­tions to the German-speaking minor­ity — in coop­er­a­tion with a “relief orga­ni­za­tion” under the direc­tion of a for­mer activist of the neo-Nazi NPD.

Ger­man Culture

Activists of the “Sile­sian Youth” par­tic­i­pated in this year’s “Cul­tural Fes­ti­val of the Ger­man Minor­ity” held Sep­tem­ber 29, in Wro­claw, and accord­ing to reports, used the oppor­tu­nity to estab­lish new con­tacts to Poland’s German-speaking minor­ity. The fes­ti­val has been tak­ing place every third year since 2003, draw­ing sev­eral thou­sands of mem­bers of the German-speaking minor­ity. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Ger­man reset­tled groups, who have close sen­ti­men­tal ties — as “Heimatver­triebene” (expellees from the home­land) to the “Heimatverbliebene” (those who remained in the home­land) also reg­u­larly, attend the fes­ti­val. Accord­ing to the event’s orga­nizer, the objec­tive of the cul­tural fes­ti­val is to put “the cul­tural riches of the Ger­man minor­ity” on pub­lic display.[1] In addi­tion, it pro­motes future cohe­sion within the minor­ity and rein­forces an ori­en­ta­tion on Ger­many, whose Gen­eral Con­sul in Opole con­tributed finan­cially. The Ger­man national anthem was sung at the event. The report points out that the Ger­man ambas­sador attended the fes­ti­val “up to the end,” — “a great honor,” says the organizer.[2] Also in atten­dance was a right-wing group that had split off from the Ger­man League of Expellees (BdV), whose leader has been con­victed of rel­a­tiviz­ing the Shoah.[3] A cer­tain “Own­ers Asso­ci­a­tion — East,” which seeks to have Pol­ish prop­erty taken over by Ger­man “expellees” was also beat­ing the drums for peo­ple to attend. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[4])

Neo-Nazi Con­tacts

The Sile­sian Youth was founded in 1983 as the offi­cial youth orga­ni­za­tion of the “Home­land Asso­ci­a­tion Sile­sia.” Through adver­tiz­ing for younger mem­bers, the home­land asso­ci­a­tion sought to reju­ve­nate its aging orga­ni­za­tion, attract­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of mem­bers, born long after reset­tle­ment. Over the past decade, the Sile­sian Youth has clearly made a right-wing devel­op­ment, even though some regional chap­ters have not fol­lowed. For exam­ple, the Bavar­ian regional chap­ter broke with the national orga­ni­za­tion in April 2008, declar­ing that in the lat­ter, “extrem­ist forces” were in action and “were chal­leng­ing, to a cer­tain extent, the Ger­man Constitution.“[5] The Sile­sian Youth in Sax­ony and Thuringia are still the main activists. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment offi­cially accuses them of main­tain­ing “links to the neo-Nazi milieu includ­ing to the NPD.” As of May 2011, “lead­ing offi­ci­at­ing func­tionar­ies” had also been active “in the neo-Nazi ‘Heimat­treuen Deutschen Jugend’ (‘Homeland-Faithful Ger­man Youth’).” The Ger­man gov­ern­ment boasts pos­sess­ing “con­crete evi­dence” “that — ema­nat­ing from the Thuringia Sile­sian Youth regional orga­ni­za­tion — right-wing extrem­ists also exert influ­ence on the Sile­sian Youth National Organization.“[6] Inde­pen­dent research has con­firmed con­tacts to neo-Nazis.

“Break with Warsaw!”

Activists of the Sile­sian Youth, who, for years, had lim­ited them­selves to “East Trips” as tourists to Poland, have now begun to engage in pol­i­tics on Pol­ish ter­ri­tory. The Sile­sian Youth from Sax­ony claim that they not only par­tic­i­pated in the “Cul­tural Fes­ti­val of the German-speaking Minor­ity,” but also in a demon­stra­tion July 14, 2012 in Katow­ice, where sev­eral thou­sands demanded “auton­omy for Upper Sile­sia.” The orga­niz­ers are not Poles of the German-speaking minor­ity, but rather activists of a move­ment that inter­prets the Polish-“Silesian” regional dialect to be evi­dence of a “Sile­sian” minor­ity and there­fore demands they be granted spe­cial rights — even includ­ing polit­i­cal auton­omy. There are also German-speaking nation­al­ists in this move­ment. The move­ment is said to be “un-Polish well orga­nized” and is in con­stant growth, praises the Sile­sian Youth from Sax­ony. At the July 14 clos­ing rally, mes­sages of greet­ings from Ger­many and from sep­a­ratists in Cat­alo­nia and Flan­ders were read. “Numer­ous con­sul­ta­tions” had taken place and “many new friends” were made, accord­ing to the organization’s web­page. “All the best, at ‘Break with War­saw,’ See you again next year, promised.“[7]

In the Cold of East Germany

Accord­ing to the Sile­sian Youth from Sax­ony, they con­tinue to be active in Poland, car­ing for “evi­dence of Ger­man pres­ence in Sile­sia” — “even if this only means the ceme­ter­ies.” They report, for exam­ple, hav­ing vis­ited and pro­vi­sion­ally repaired the ruins of a protes­tant ceme­tery of Ger­man graves “not far beyond the Neisse.” “The infi­nite dam­age caused there by the pride of the Pol­ish nation (...)” could not be com­pletely “erad­i­cated” on such short notice, but mit­i­gated — with, for exam­ple, the restora­tion of a memo­r­ial to Ger­man sol­diers killed in action.[8] Sile­sian Youth from Sax­ony also report on their var­i­ous vis­its to mem­bers of the German-speaking minor­ity, which they intend to inten­sify. In the “cold of East Ger­many” they made “Christ­mas dona­tions” to some of the German-speaking Pol­ish women, explic­itly promis­ing to “return more often” in the future.[9] In a self-portrait, the Sile­sian Youth from Sax­ony answer an objec­tion from right-wing extrem­ists — refer­ring to regions of Poland — that “East Ger­many is in any case lost.” They declare that “lost and dead is only that which is forgotten.“[10]

“Ger­mans Help Ger­mans First”

Accord­ing to their own account, the Sile­sian Youth from Sax­ony explain that thanks to Klaus Hoff­mann, head of the “Fre­und­schafts– und Hil­f­swerks Ost” (“Friend­ship and Relief Ser­vice East”) their “Christ­mas dona­tions” were made pos­si­ble. Hoff­mann — a for­mer activist of the neo-Nazi NPD and “Gauführer” (dis­trict leader) of Lower Saxony’s “Viking youth” (banned in 1994) — and his orga­ni­za­tion of 80 mem­bers, founded in 1991, reg­u­larly deliver “relief sup­plies” to the German-speaking minor­ity in Poland. . . .

” ‘Smash China’ (II) “; german-foreign-policy.com; 10/16/2012.

EXCERPT: Applauded by the Ger­man Pres­i­dent and offi­cials of the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, the lau­re­ate of a promi­nent Ger­man cul­tural award made a plea for smash­ing China to pieces. China is a “heap of rub­bish,” he said, it must “be dis­mem­bered,” insisted the Chi­nese author, Liao Yiwu, a res­i­dent of Ger­many, who was awarded the pres­ti­gious Peace Prize of the Ger­man Book Trade last Sun­day. His accep­tance speech, in which he made a plea for dis­mem­ber­ing his native coun­try, received hefty applause from Ger­man Pres­i­dent Joachim Gauck and other gov­ern­ment offi­cials. This diplo­matic affront occurred only a few days after the Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter and his Chi­nese coun­ter­part had signed a “Com­mon Dec­la­ra­tion,” in which Berlin declared its inten­tions to enhance its “strate­gic part­ner­ship” with Bei­jing. On the one hand, this dec­la­ra­tion has resulted from the fact that, because of China’s eco­nomic strength, Ger­many, for the time being, needs a cer­tain form of coop­er­a­tion, not only to sat­isfy the busi­ness inter­ests of its enter­prises, but also to get sup­port in solv­ing the Euro cri­sis. On the other hand, the applause for Liao’s recent anti-Chinese invec­tive shows that Berlin still con­sid­ers Bei­jing as its rival to be com­bated, on a long-term basis.

“Heap of Rubbish”

Sun­day, the exiled Chi­nese author Liao Yiwu declared dur­ing his accep­tance speech for the Peace Prize of the Ger­man Book Trade, that the Chi­nese nation must be “dis­mem­bered.” He said, China is an “infi­nitely huge heap of rub­bish” — a “dic­ta­to­r­ial (...) great empire,” in which “many regions and peo­ples are forcibly chained together.” It must be dis­mem­bered into numer­ous small coun­tries — “for the sake of peace and peace of mind of the whole of human­ity.” A sit­u­a­tion should be sought, in which Tibet, for exam­ple, is “a free coun­try,” in which “bor­ders sep­a­rate Sichuan from Yun­nan.” Sichuan and Yun­nan, are two provinces of China, which Liao evi­dently would also like to see become sep­a­rate coun­tries. Liao said that the famous philoso­pher Laozi, who is sup­posed to have lived in the 6th Cen­tury BC, had made a plea for the cre­ation of “smaller coun­tries with fewer inhab­i­tants.” Back then, China was in fact com­prised “of innu­mer­able small splin­ter states.” Although, he says, “through­out this period, the fires of war were never” extin­guished, “one nation has per­ma­nently occu­pied the oth­ers.” Nev­er­the­less, Liao says in essence that the People’s Repub­lic of China must absolutely be replaced by numer­ous small nations.[1]

Spon­sored by the For­eign Ministry

The week­end appeal for smash­ing China, has sig­nif­i­cance through Liao’s con­nec­tions to Ger­man pol­i­tics. The author, born in 1958 in the People’s Repub­lic of China, has been in seri­ous con­flict with the Chi­nese author­i­ties since the 1980s and has spent time in jail. After his works were made avail­able in Ger­man trans­la­tions in 2007, Ger­man gov­ern­ment agen­cies endeav­ored to win wide pub­lic­ity for him. Liao’s planned appear­ances at the Frank­furt Book Fair in Octo­ber 2009 as well as at the Inter­na­tional Lit­er­a­ture Fair (lit.COLOGNE) in the spring of 2010, had been explic­itly endorsed by the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry, which was aware of him being an oppo­nent of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, but author­i­ties in Bei­jing thwarted these appear­ances. The author came to Ger­many in 2011, where he has since resided, liv­ing on a schol­ar­ship from the For­eign Min­istry financed, Ger­man Aca­d­e­mic Exchange Ser­vice (DAAD). After receiv­ing the Geschwis­ter Scholl Award (2011) of the Bavar­ian Regional Asso­ci­a­tion of the Stock Mar­ket Soci­ety of the Ger­man Book Trade, Liao has now received the even more pres­ti­gious Peace Prize of the Ger­man Book Trade, which, accord­ing to its offi­cial expla­na­tion, is awarded each year to a per­son, who has “con­tributed to the real­iza­tion of the idea of peace.” Sun­day, when the author called for smash­ing China, the Ger­man Pres­i­dent, the Pres­i­dent of the Ger­man Bun­destag, Germany’s Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion, along with numer­ous other promi­nent Ger­man offi­cials attend­ing the cer­e­monies, applauded.

Busi­ness Interests

Liao’s invec­tives, which were widely acclaimed in the Ger­man media, were uttered only a few days after the Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter and his Chi­nese coun­ter­part had signed a “Com­mon Dec­la­ra­tion.” Guido West­er­welle had vis­ited China dur­ing the sec­ond half of last week, to cel­e­brate the 40th Anniver­sary of diplo­matic rela­tions between the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Ger­many and the People’s Repub­lic of China. Using the occa­sion, he pointed to the fact that Berlin, in the mean­time, has estab­lished a “strate­gic part­ner­ship” with Bei­jing — since China has become a “great power cen­ter,” to which Ger­many wants to strengthen its ties.[2] On the one hand, this is because of very strong Ger­man busi­ness inter­ests, devel­op­ing out of China’s grow­ing eco­nomic influ­ence. The People’s Repub­lic has devel­oped into Germany’s sec­ond largest sup­plier and fifth largest cus­tomer, both with an upward trend, as well as an impor­tant loca­tion for Ger­man invest­ments. Dur­ing Chan­cel­lor Merkel’s most recent visit alone, com­pany con­tracts were signed with a com­pos­ite value of sev­eral bil­lion US dol­lars. Volk­swa­gen has announced new invest­ments worth bil­lions. In addi­tion, Berlin is also seek­ing Beijing’s sup­port in help­ing curb the Euro crisis.[3] The Com­mon Dec­la­ra­tion, signed Octo­ber 11, 2012, pro­vides for new steps toward a closer coop­er­a­tion, includ­ing an annual “strate­gic dia­logue” between the for­eign min­is­ters as well as reg­u­lar “con­sul­ta­tions” of the chiefs of staff.[4]

Seces­sion­ists as Allies

The sig­nif­i­cance of the devel­op­ing coop­er­a­tion with the People’s Repub­lic can now be seen in the applause for Liao Yiwu’s anti-Chinese invec­tives. While Berlin, for the time being, is inten­si­fy­ing its coop­er­a­tion in the inter­ests of Ger­man busi­nesses and mea­sures to gain con­trol of the Euro cri­sis, it is simul­ta­ne­ously inten­si­fy­ing its con­tacts to those forces, who could poten­tially become Chi­nese allies in oppo­si­tion to Bei­jing. Liao Yiwu is exem­plary in two ways. First, he calls for China to be dis­mem­bered and thereby joins the seces­sion­ists, who had already begun to impli­cate the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Ger­many in the sec­ond half of the 1980s. This was par­tic­u­larly the case of the old Tibetan feu­dal clique around the Dalai Lama. He had been dis­em­pow­ered in the 1950s, sub­se­quently waged an under­ground war against Bei­jing, with­out suc­cess, in spite of com­pre­hen­sive west­ern sup­port — par­tic­u­larly from the CIA. He is today in exile in Dharam­sala, India, where he con­tin­ues to pur­sue his strug­gle against the People’s Repub­lic of China. Their struc­tures and some of their sub­ver­sive activ­i­ties have been sup­ported by Ger­many. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[5]) Since some time, Ger­many has been giv­ing the seces­sion­ist activ­i­ties of the Uyghurs in west­ern China’s Xin­jiang province much more attention.[6]

Ambi­tious Mid­dle Class as Partner

Sec­ondly, Liao, in Berlin’s views, seems apt to infil­trate social set­tings that can be brought into posi­tion against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment on a long-term basis. These are the ambi­tious, for the most part, urban influ­enced and mid­dle class, whose grow­ing profit and power inter­ests could one day com­pel them to join with west­ern lib­er­al­iz­ers against Bei­jing. This has been the idea pro­pelling Berlin’s efforts, over the years, to win part­ners among the Chi­nese civil rights activists and artists, acces­si­ble to the West. They, in the long run, could gain ben­e­fi­cial access to the mid­dle classes. This explains Ger­man sup­port for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize lau­re­ate, Liu Xiaobo, who does not want to com­pletely dis­mem­ber China, but still trans­form it into a loose con­fed­er­a­tion of rel­a­tively inde­pen­dent units (a “fed­eral republic”). . . .


19 comments for “Austerity as a Vehicle for Breaking Up Nations”

  1. Chi­nese mass xeno­pho­bia may prove to be a force for the over­all global good. In Rus­sia, west­ern cap­i­tal inter­ests sought to cre­ate a class of newly wealthy oli­garchs who would take covert con­trol of the machine of the Russ­ian state and ally them­selves fully with their coun­ter­parts in the west. The forces that fore­stalled that are not beyond moral con­dem­na­tion them­selves and belong to the slip­pery gra­di­ent of nation­al­ism, racism and fear of the other. Even if the full analy­sis of those mass dri­ves escapes us, they did con­cretely result in the emer­gence of Putin as a fully Russ­ian leader with spe­cific raisons d’etre. It’s instruc­tive to real­ize that reestab­lish­ing Russ­ian sov­er­eignty was accom­plished only par­tially and was pro­por­tional to the degree of national resis­tance to inter­na­tional vul­ture capital.

    The mas­sive bureau­cracy that is China can­not respond so dra­mat­i­cally and quickly as did chaotic Rus­sia to the inroads of for­eign ratio­nal­ized cap­i­tal but a reac­tion has been long obvi­ous and is undoubt­edly strength­en­ing. Is a Chi­nese entre­pre­neur who con­sid­ers him­self belong­ing more to the class of global cap­i­tal­ists than to the class of being Chi­nese a moral trai­tor of some type? Accord­ing to the atavis­tic and dis­torted mass psy­chol­ogy that is play­ing out glob­ally, he is, and so will not attain all his ends. The resis­tance is com­ing from a deep reserve of the desire to pre­serve Chi­nese iden­tity for its own sake rather than the desire to pre­serve higher human val­ues. Social­ism in China has devolved to become just a way of say­ing to the west that we are not you, but if the local emer­gence of less vir­tu­ous motives delays the imple­men­ta­tion of com­plete global fas­cism, we should gladly accept that result.

    No purist moral judge­ments can sur­vive in this storm and we must cheer as bad guy X fights bad guy Y. Since no social mech­a­nisms exist that can effec­tively iden­tify, vil­ify, resist and dis­man­tle the deep fas­cist state in its present viral, global incar­na­tion, we must live out our daily lives in the midst of sec­u­lar evil and mostly just watch it destroy. It grows and it hunts and it dreams its col­lec­tive fan­tasy of immor­tal­ity for itself and is out of the con­trol of even its fiercest advo­cates. Know­ing this and see­ing no way to reverse course, its adher­ents must become reality-denying and morally cor­rupt to the same degree as the human tragedy that grows daily. And for the rest of us, we must develop the trick of selec­tively damp­ing down con­scious­ness to exist from day to day. The global Pavlov­ian break­down of the human psy­che is being accom­plished by the very vis­i­ble specter of an onrush­ing destruc­tive process, immi­nently pre­dictable but equally unstop­pable by directed human effort.

    We are left to hope that com­pet­ing evils leave us or our prog­eny a space to sur­vive to a bet­ter future.

    Posted by Dwight | December 1, 2012, 6:10 am
  2. Hi Dave

    Here’s the map of their plans for Europe. Note Britain too is bro­ken up.

    Every coun­try is smaller, except Germany.


    Posted by GW | December 1, 2012, 7:59 am
  3. Also


    MI5 files on Ger­man intel­li­gence run­ning the Scot­tish National Party to break up Britain;

    Posted by GW | December 1, 2012, 8:03 am
  4. @Dwight: “Chi­nese mass xeno­pho­bia may prove to be a force for the over­all global good.” Sadly, I will HAVE to com­pletely dis­agree with that notion. If any­thing at all, mass xeno­pho­bia in that coun­try will aid the aims of our enemies(you need only look at what’s hap­pened in America).

    Despite what the main­stream media and the Under­ground Reich would like us to think, today’s China is NOT a social­ist state, Dwight, not in the least. It is in fact, Mus­solin­ian FASCIST thru and thru. It is now com­pletely and totally ruled by its mil­i­tary and its cor­po­ra­tions, and the Under­ground Reich and all the rest of the mem­bers of the World Crime Net­work would love noth­ing more than to repeat their suc­cess in China through­out the whole world, includ­ing the U.S. and Russia.

    The balka­niza­tion game? It’s def­i­nitely out there, but in China’s case, it’s lit­tle more than a ruse at the moment; their real over­all goal so far has been to keep China in its cur­rent state as long as possible.

    Per­haps, how­ever, if the Democ­racy move­ment starts to look like it will have some suc­cess, then per­haps Balka­niza­tion efforts will begin in earnest(after all, they’d rather see two or more divided Chi­nas fight­ing amongst each other than a uni­fied demo­c­ra­tic China whose gov­ern­ment actu­ally does turn into a force for good). As for now, though, it’s not really hap­pen­ing yet.

    Posted by Steven L. | December 1, 2012, 6:02 pm
  5. Stephen, our mutual loose usage of the word ‘social­ism’ should not con­fuse the issue. China’s brand of state-dominated cap­i­tal­ism or fas­cism (as you describe it and I don’t agree with that label) is designed to pre­vent the west’s per­pet­ual project of col­o­niza­tion while still being an com­pet­i­tive player in the world mar­ket. The bal­ance is main­tained by closely mon­i­tor­ing and lim­it­ing the degree of for­eign cor­po­rate own­er­ship of Chi­nese enter­prise. Pre­serv­ing China as Chi­nese is a much dif­fer­ent goal than world conquest.

    The total­i­tar­ian mar­shal­ing of any country’s econ­omy to pre­vent out­side dom­i­na­tion might loosely be called either social­ism or fas­cism but the term ‘fas­cism’ is less apt if fas­cism describes a process where some posited entity must con­tin­u­ally encroach on and absorb other com­pet­ing entities.

    With­out sug­gest­ing there is any­thing remark­ably benev­o­lent about China or the Chi­nese national char­ac­ter, I am sim­ply point­ing out that China’s geopol­i­tics are largely slanted to self-preservation rather than con­quest and that this may delay the real­iza­tion of a bor­der­less free-market/fascist world state.

    The Balka­niza­tion project is prob­lem­atic for the west and will have lim­ited suc­cess, since China is rel­a­tively less eth­ni­cally diverse, con­sid­er­ing its size, than most other regions of the world.

    Posted by Dwight | December 2, 2012, 6:05 am
  6. If we want the Ger­mans to stop play­ing this game of inter­fer­ing in the inter­nal pol­i­tics of other nations then the best strat­egy is ‘fight fire with fire’. The rest of the world should start sup­port­ing Bavar­ian, Prussian/E. Ger­man and Saxon seces­sion movements.

    Posted by Chris | December 2, 2012, 12:14 pm
  7. One inevitable con­se­quence from the balka­niza­tion of a nation is an increase in peo­ple relo­cat­ing. So it’s worth not­ing that it’s also a con­se­quence of the euro­zone cri­sis:

    Euro-Zone Woes Fuel Immi­gra­tion to Ger­many
    cgh — with wire reports

    The oft-cited pos­si­bil­ity of a double-dip reces­sion in the euro zone has become real­ity. Accord­ing to sta­tis­tics released on Thurs­day by the EU sta­tis­ti­cal office Euro­stat, gross domes­tic prod­uct in the 17 coun­tries in the com­mon cur­rency area fell by 0.1 per­cent in the third quar­ter fol­low­ing a 0.2 per­cent drop in the sec­ond quar­ter. With two con­sec­u­tive quar­ters of neg­a­tive growth, the euro zone has entered its sec­ond reces­sion since the global finan­cial cri­sis of 2009.

    Fur­ther­more, pre­lim­i­nary sta­tis­tics released by Germany’s Fed­eral Sta­tis­ti­cal Office on Thurs­day indi­cate that the tough eco­nomic con­di­tions in south­ern Europe are con­tin­u­ing to fuel migra­tion to Ger­many. The num­ber of immi­grants arriv­ing in Ger­many in the first half of the year was greater than at any point since the mid-1990s, exceed­ing even the lev­els seen in the sec­ond half of 2011. Much of the growth is com­ing from those euro-zone coun­tries hit hard­est by the debt cri­sis.

    Climb­ing Immi­gra­tion to Germany

    That, though, has not stopped the influx of immi­grants com­ing to Ger­many from crisis-stricken nations fur­ther south. Accord­ing to the Fed­eral Sta­tis­ti­cal Office on Thurs­day, just over half mil­lion peo­ple arrived in Ger­many from abroad from Jan­u­ary to June of this year. That was some 66,000 more than came in the first half of 2011, an increase of 15 per­cent and mark­ing the con­tin­u­a­tion of a trend. Last year, immi­gra­tion was up 20 per­cent over 2010.

    The steep­est increases in the first half of this year have come from euro-zone states. More than 15,700 peo­ple arrived from Greece in the first six months of 2012, a 78 per­cent increase over the first half of 2011. The 11,000 peo­ple who arrived from Spain mark a jump of 53 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year. The influx from non-euro-zone coun­try Hun­gary rose by 46 per­cent, par­tially due to tough eco­nomic con­di­tions there.

    Numer­i­cally, how­ever, Poland remains on top of the list of ori­gin coun­tries. Some 89,000 peo­ple arrived from Germany’s neigh­bor in the first half of the year.

    With that in mind, it’s going to be inter­est­ing to see how the “move to Ger­many if you can”-model for the econ­omy works out as this trend con­tin­ues because east Ger­many pur­sued a very sim­i­lar strat­egy for reduc­ing its unem­ploy­ment rate since reuni­fi­ca­tion and it hasn’t exactly worked out well:

    Merkel’s euro push leaves east Ger­many out in the cold

    By Stephen Brown

    EISENHUETTENSTADT, Ger­many | Mon Dec 3, 2012 11:50am GMT

    (Reuters) — This fad­ing indus­trial city, like many in Angela Merkel’s for­mer East Ger­man home, is stony ground for the chancellor’s mes­sage of Euro­pean inte­gra­tion and fer­tile soil for oppo­nents try­ing to stop her win­ning a third term next September.

    More than two decades after uni­fi­ca­tion, income and jobs in the five east­ern states, home to 15 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, still lag behind the west and tril­lions of euros in trans­fers have not stemmed an exo­dus that has left some areas look­ing like ghost towns.

    “Peo­ple have too many prob­lems to worry about the euro cri­sis,” said Michael, a 40-year-old steel­worker in the town of Eisen­huet­ten­stadt, east from Berlin near the Pol­ish border.

    Orig­i­nally called “Stal­in­stadt”, it was built in the 1950s as an indus­trial com­plex and “the first Social­ist city in Ger­many”. The pride of the GDR, it was renamed in 1961 and had 50,000 inhab­i­tants in its heyday.

    In a famil­iar story across east Ger­many, reuni­fi­ca­tion meant mass unem­ploy­ment as communist-run indus­try failed to com­pete on the free mar­ket. About 40 per­cent of the town’s pop­u­la­tion went west and much of the hous­ing for GDR work­ers stands empty.

    In a coun­try whose con­ser­v­a­tive chan­cel­lor ded­i­cates a lot of time to blue-sky think­ing about the future and demo­graphic change, the most demographically-challenged areas of do not feel their plight is a polit­i­cal priority.

    “Future? We have no future,” said Suzanne, wheel­ing her bicy­cle past an Ger­many aban­doned pre­fab tower block with bro­ken win­dows on the banks of a canal. She would not give her sur­name, like many peo­ple in a coun­try with his­toric sen­si­tiv­i­ties about privacy.

    Merkel’s plans for a third term, if she wins, are typ­i­cally undra­matic and give the impres­sion of fine-tuning a well-oiled machine. The Chris­t­ian Democ­rats (CDU) will make her the focus of a personality-based cam­paign which will be new for Germany.

    “The elec­tion will be won by who­ever is most con­vinc­ing that our cur­rency and jobs are safe,” said one senior Merkel ally.

    Judg­ing by what peo­ple in Eisen­huet­ten­stadt would like to see dis­cussed — a legal min­i­mum wage and greater job secu­rity — there is still a lot of work to be done con­vinc­ing peo­ple in the east, where unem­ploy­ment is way over the 6.9 per­cent national rate and incomes are a fifth lower than the aver­age in the west.

    “We just want rea­son­able hope for our future,” said steel­worker Michael, walk­ing home on a raw win­ter evening from the plant that dom­i­nates the town’s sky-line and its thoughts.

    Still pop­u­larly known by its communist-era name EKO-Stahl, the plant that used to employ 12,000 peo­ple now gives work to 2,700 and is owned by ArcelorMittal.


    “The steel­works won’t go on pro­duc­ing for­ever because of all this com­pe­ti­tion from China,” said local woman Suzanne. “The kids just move away. They go where the jobs are.”

    The town’s 9 per­cent unem­ploy­ment rate is bet­ter than many other areas of east Bran­den­burg, but Mayor Dag­mar Pueschel says it has only fallen that far — from over 20 per­cent in the early 1990s — because so many thou­sands of peo­ple have left.

    “May­ors in the area around Berlin worry about how to pay for new schools, kinder­gartens and hous­ing. Here it’s the oppo­site — we have to close down kinder­gartens and demol­ish hous­ing. We’ve already demol­ished 6,000 homes,” she said.


    Over at the steel­works, ArcelorMittal’s Schmidt said EU and national energy taxes, prices and pol­icy were hur­dles that meant the Ger­man steel indus­try “is in a race it can­not win”.

    If more indus­try leaves, the exo­dus will accel­er­ate. Already the pop­u­la­tion of the east­ern states is seen shrink­ing by a fur­ther 15 per­cent by 2030, nearly three times faster than the rate at which the over­all Ger­man pop­u­la­tion is fore­cast to fall.


    Also note that the spikes in Ger­man immi­gra­tion could be an espe­cially dif­fi­cult trend for lower-income Ger­mans already strug­gling to get by because, accord­ing to a new OECD report, Ger­man employ­ers pre­fer for­eign unskilled labor over the domes­tic coun­ter­parts for the low wage seg­ments of the econ­omy. And the unem­ploy­ment rate for immi­grants liv­ing in Ger­many is already unusu­ally so there’s a lot of avail­able cheap labor for Ger­man employ­ers. In other words, while this employ­ment trend may ben­e­fit a few inter­est groups, the over­all job sit­u­a­tion for low income east Ger­mans doesn’t look good:

    OECD report: immi­grant employ­ment rate up in Ger­many
    Date 03.12.2012
    The Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-operation and Devel­op­ment (OECD) has reported improve­ments in the employ­ment rate among immi­grants liv­ing in Ger­many. How­ever, Ger­many could do more for for­eign work­ers, it said.

    Over the past decade, the unem­ploy­ment rate among immi­grants in Ger­many rose to 65 per­cent, a full seven per­cent, accord­ing to Monday’s report from the Paris-based eco­nomic orga­ni­za­tion. While the report’s other analy­ses revealed a com­par­a­tively bet­ter pic­ture in Ger­many than in other OECD coun­tries, it drew atten­tion to a sit­u­a­tion still in need of improve­ment.

    The edu­ca­tion level also report­edly rose by 12 per­cent among Germany’s pop­u­la­tion with for­eign roots. How­ever, the central-European eco­nomic power lagged in hir­ing highly edu­cated work­ers over the past decade — regard­less of where they had been born — com­pared to their Ger­man coun­ter­parts, espe­cially in the pub­lic sector.

    “In Ger­many, [employ­ers] rarely make use of the oppor­tu­nity to hire a teacher or police­man with for­eign roots,” said OECD immi­gra­tion expert Thomas Liebig.

    By con­trast, low-skilled migrant work­ers were hired more often than Ger­mans lack­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

    “Many employ­ers con­sider these for­eign­ers as poorly edu­cated, but will­ing work,” said OECD expert Liebig.

    kms/hc (dpa, dapd, epd)

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 3, 2012, 3:59 pm
  8. I think some more meta-analysis would be wel­come from Pter or Dave or oth­ers in the thread of this spe­cific line of inquiry. It is not an exact sci­ence, to be sure, but some greater ven­ture into the realm of cumu­la­tive per­sonal opin­ion would let us know which ques­tions we are col­lec­tively pon­der­ing. The oppor­tu­nity to come to more def­i­nite con­clu­sions should not be missed when we have some seem­ingly like-minded and capa­ble thinkers in this infor­mal forum. The raft of data sup­port­ing the idea that destruc­tive forces are at work on the planet is surely wel­come and nec­es­sary, but is that enough?

    For instance, I see the global accu­mu­la­tive cap­i­tal­ist (fas­cist) process as hav­ing only inci­den­tal pre­pon­der­ance and ori­gin in Ger­many. The evi­dence I see of the global mech­a­nism points to an over­all recent ‘slip­per­i­ness’, wherein no geo­graphic focus will be found and no weak cen­ter will be allowed to coalesce.

    I see no over­ar­ch­ing con­tra­dic­tion in the his­toric data which points to Ger­many as the his­toric focus (con­sid­er­ing only a his­tory of two cen­turies or so) of the most vir­u­lent brand(s) of fas­cism and my own con­tention that the forces we are wit­ness­ing are not, in the end, geo­graph­i­cally, eth­ni­cally, cul­tur­ally or lan­guage based.

    Accord­ing to this pos­tu­late, the Ger­man peo­ple will be vic­tim­ized as thor­oughly as any­one else in the future, by forces that have no loy­alty to national identity.

    And, by this same inter­pre­ta­tion, WW2 was essen­tially a pre­ma­ture ejac­u­la­tion in the lean­ing curve of of an elite global col­lec­tive. They learned that nation-based, ‘great leader’-based fas­cism is highly vul­ner­a­ble. Given that, I do not think that model will be repeated, except for highly lim­ited and local incarnations.

    As great as the evi­dence is for Germany’s ongo­ing impe­r­ial ambi­tions, I think we make a mis­take in too much focus on Ger­many. The urge to dom­i­nate and escape suf­fer­ing by mak­ing oth­ers suf­fer is char­ac­ter­is­tic of all times, all peo­ples, and sadly, of each of us.

    It’s a crude anal­ogy, but sup­pose a man named George was the first to suf­fer a crip­pling and con­ta­gious dis­ease. Would it wiser to spend all our time ana­lyz­ing George and his sus­pect char­ac­ter or would we we do bet­ter to look at the dis­ease itself?

    Com­ments, please.

    Posted by Dwight | December 4, 2012, 12:02 am
  9. Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 4, 2012, 12:54 pm
  10. George Osborne just announced that Britain will self-impose an addi­tional year of planned aus­ter­ity in order to achieve its deficit tar­gets because poor eco­nomic per­for­mance due to the planned aus­ter­ity has resulted in higher than pro­jected deficits. Yep. It will be inter­est­ing to see how the con­se­quences of the Cameron government’s aus­ter­ity fetish impacts nation­al­ist sen­ti­ments in the UK.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 5, 2012, 9:06 am
  11. Just a reminder: Berlin views falling wages as a “struc­tural improve­ment”:

    Pub­lished on 2012-11-28 17:54:24
    Exclu­sive: Ger­man Gov­ern­ment Cov­ers Up, Waters Down Poverty Report

    By Thomas Öchsner

    BERLIN — Crit­i­cal pas­sages in the Ger­man government’s lat­est “Poverty and Wealth Report” have been smoothed over, and crit­i­cal pas­sages have been excised, reveals Süd­deutsche Zeitung.

    The news­pa­per was able to com­pare a draft ver­sion with a revised ver­sion dated Nov. 21 and released for com­ment by the trade unions.

    In the intro­duc­tion of the report, a state­ment say­ing “Pri­vate wealth in Ger­many is very unevenly dis­trib­uted” has been removed.

    The first draft of the “Poverty and Wealth Report,” which is released every four years by the Fed­eral Min­istry of Labor went out to mem­bers of Germany’s gov­ern­ment in mid-September. It con­tained mate­r­ial that was crit­i­cal of the sta­tus quo, includ­ing the fol­low­ing about salaries: “While upper-end salaries showed pos­i­tive growth, in price-adjusted terms lower-end salaries went down in the past 10 years, thus increas­ing income dis­par­ity.” This dam­aged “the pub­lic sense of fair­ness” and could “pose a threat to social cohe­sion,” said the report.

    This has been replaced by state­ments say­ing that the fact that salaries went down in price-adjusted terms reflected “struc­tural improve­ments” on the jobs mar­ket and that between 2007 and 2011 numer­ous new lower-paid full­time jobs opened up that had enabled many of the job­less to find employment.

    The new ver­sion is also watered down with regard to sin­gle peo­ple whose hourly wage at a full-time job does not add up to enough to live on per month. The first ver­sion stated that this increased the risk of poverty and weak­ened the social fab­ric – a state­ment that has dis­ap­peared from the present ver­sion. All that remains is a com­ment that this “should be seen as critical.”


    You have to won­der what the impli­ca­tions of falling Ger­man wages are for the rest of the euro­zone, because by the “king of the hill” logic now in place, increased com­pet­i­tive­ness in the Ger­man econ­omy means the rest of the euro­zone economies will just have to get that much more com­pet­i­tive in order claw their way out of the aus­ter­ity death spi­ral. And what could pos­si­bly go wrong with such an approach to eco­nomic har­mo­niza­tion? Noth­ing...as long as increas­ing poverty is defined as a “struc­tural improve­ment”.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 5, 2012, 2:35 pm
  12. Seces­sion movements:

    It’s worth becom­ing aware of the Pacific North­west left-wing ori­ented seces­sion move­ment, “Cascadia”:



    One can fore­see a path for the Cas­ca­dia Move­ment becom­ing polit­i­cally seri­ous or sig­nif­i­cant, when viewed in con­text of the forth­com­ing Obama Admin­is­tra­tion response to mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion in Wash­ing­ton state:


    The Obama Admin­is­tra­tion will have lit­tle choice but to crack­down on Washington’s legal­ized mar­i­juana. Obama’s DOJ can­not fea­si­bly admin­is­ter two dif­fer­ent sets of rules, for the other 48 states.

    When fed­eral Democ­rats crack­down on Democ­rats, and attempt to nul­lify the results of a legal elec­tion ref­er­en­dum in Wash­ing­ton State, the Cas­ca­dia Move­ment may get a sig­nif­i­cant boost.

    Posted by R. Wilson | December 8, 2012, 10:04 pm
  13. @R. Wil­son et al, on the pot ini­tia­tive... Proud times for Amer­ica: Whereas silly, old-fashioned JFK sent fed­eral troops to Mis­sis­sippi, enforc­ing the pro­tec­tion of con­sti­tu­tional rights, Obama will have them in Seat­tle, shoring up the War on non-whites Drugs.

    Things will indeed get inter­est­ing. A hand­ful of Latin Amer­i­can states are already more than happy to enter­tain notions of opt­ing out of such a non­sen­si­cal, crime-enabling War. It will be enter­tain­ing to com­pare Pres. O’s vac­u­ous sound­bites, before and after the inevitable comes to pass... at least those utter­ances not drowned out by a hail of stage-managed small arms fire.

    Posted by Rob Coogan | December 9, 2012, 4:30 am
  14. @R. Wil­son: The Cas­ca­dia move­ment def­i­nitely is an inter­est­ing thing for sure, but I doubt it will suc­ceed at any time in the near future. Hell, even the neo-Confederate move­ment hasn’t taken off yet, and that’s about 100x more viable at this point. So I’m not wor­ried about the North­west break­ing off at this juncture.

    @Rob C.: One thing to keep in mind is that Obama does still have to deal with the Repubs. One must won­der what they’d want to pull if Obama relented on this. Can you say “impeach­ment”, anyone?

    Posted by Steven L. | December 9, 2012, 1:46 pm
  15. @Rob Coogan: You’re illus­trat­ing my point exactly. Mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion is a wedge issue that will divide Demo­c­ra­tic sup­port for Obama, and fuel an already-existing minor seces­sion­ist movement.

    When mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion was on the bal­lot in Cal­i­for­nia two years ago, it failed due to a right-wing effort that poured cash into adver­tise­ments — cash from out­side Cal­i­for­nia. Although the right-wing ads suc­ceeded in Cal­i­for­nia, no such effort was under­taken in Wash­ing­ton state. Why not?

    Posted by R. Wilson | December 9, 2012, 2:28 pm
  16. It looks like the Cat­alon­ian seces­sion­ist move­ment in Spain might get PR assists in the form of anti-secessionist neo-Nazi move­ments threat­en­ing vio­lence to main­tain ter­ri­to­r­ial integrity. It looks like the pro-Franco and neo-Nazi groups are also get­ting a PR assist in the form of being some­what pop­u­lar with Spain’s rul­ing Pop­u­lar Party:

    CS Mon­i­tor
    Franco-fascism on the march in Spain: Is the gov­ern­ment doing enough?

    Crit­ics say Spain’s fas­cist threat comes not from small groups like those set to march in Barcelona Sat­ur­day, but from the rad­i­cal fringe that is part of Spain’s gov­ern­ing Pop­u­lar Party.

    By Andrés Cala, Cor­re­spon­dent / Octo­ber 11, 2013


    Extreme, neo-fascist groups in Spain are prepar­ing for a show of force dur­ing this weekend’s nation­al­ist hol­i­day, and Span­ish author­i­ties are keep­ing a close eye on the situation.

    But experts worry that the real fas­cist con­cern in Spain is not from small extrem­ist groups, but rather from grow­ing pub­lic dis­plays of fas­cist sym­pa­thies by a small part of the con­ser­v­a­tive government’s con­stituency – and even among elected officials.

    “Spain has not been ‘de-Francoized,’ as Ger­many has been de-Hitlerized,” explains Félix Ortega, a soci­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor and expert in pub­lic opin­ion in the Uni­ver­si­dad Com­plutense de Madrid. “There are still Franco sym­bols even in my university!”

    An alliance of rad­i­cal right groups – includ­ing vio­lent neo-Nazi ones – have mobi­lized to travel from around the coun­try to Barcelona to protest Cat­alon­ian nation­al­ism on the Octo­ber 12 “Día de la His­panidad,” or “His­panic Day,” hol­i­day. Author­i­ties said Thurs­day they plan to pre­vent vio­lent groups from enter­ing Catalonia.

    The hol­i­day march is held annu­ally, and is nor­mally small and peace­ful. But the nation­al­ist under­tones of His­panic Day – which orig­i­nally com­mem­o­rated Christo­pher Columbus’s dis­cov­ery of the Amer­i­can con­ti­nent until was renamed in 1958 by the fas­cist regime of Gen­eral Fran­cisco Franco – make it a flashpoint.

    Five groups – includ­ing vio­lent neo-Nazi cells and a polit­i­cal party that the Supreme Court is con­sid­er­ing ban­ning – in July formed a com­mon plat­form called “Spain on the March.” Its lead­ers have warned they will resort to vio­lent acts if required to pre­serve Spain’s ter­ri­to­r­ial unity, which they feel threat­ened espe­cially by regional inde­pen­dence aspirations.

    National and regional offi­cials and secu­rity ser­vices have since increased secu­rity ahead of Saturday’s march. Barcelona author­i­ties this week denied access to part of the route the marchers had requested in order to reduce the risk of vio­lence and clashes with pro-independence marches.

    And in Catalonia’s par­lia­ment on Fri­day, the cham­ber passed a motion to char­ac­ter­ize fas­cism, Franco, and Nazis as ide­olo­gies “incit­ing vio­lence and hate” – which would have given author­i­ties more power to pros­e­cute them. Although mem­bers of the Pop­u­lar Party, which gov­erns Spain but is a minor­ity in the Cat­alon­ian par­lia­ment, walked out on the motion, it ulti­mately passed with the sup­port of other parties.

    The week­end march is not an iso­lated inci­dent. As Cat­alon­ian plans to hold a ref­er­en­dum on inde­pen­dence move for­ward, the extreme right has re-energized, even if it remains small com­pared to the resur­gent move­ments in Greece, France, and elsewhere.

    Last month, a dozen rad­i­cals forced their way into a library where Cat­alo­ni­ans were com­mem­o­rat­ing their own national day, injur­ing sev­eral peo­ple and tear­ing down Cat­alon­ian sym­bols. Police arrested them in the aftermath.

    The real concern

    Police esti­mate there are about 10,000 mem­bers involved in vio­lent extreme right groups. They lost polit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion in par­lia­ment in 1982, seven years after Franco died. But they didn’t tdis­ap­pear. They melded into the now gov­ern­ing PP.

    The con­cern is not so much over the very small group of vio­lent groups, which author­i­ties con­stantly mon­i­tor. These are mostly con­tained, experts agree. The real prob­lem is in from those within the government’s rul­ing party that sym­pa­thize ide­o­log­i­cally – even if they con­demn the use of violence.

    “I’m more con­cerned about com­pla­cency and per­mis­sive atti­tudes in the PP than I am about these reac­tionary groups,” Dr. Ortega says. “The PP has many faces. Is it an extreme right party? No. But the extreme right is part of the PP. And they now they have to ten­der com­plex elec­toral mes­sages to dif­fer­ent con­stituen­cies, includ­ing the extreme right.”

    Cat­alon­ian seces­sion­ist plans have united the tra­di­tion­ally frag­mented nation­al­ist forces and rad­i­cal fas­cist groups. And the extreme right is part of the con­stituency of the con­ser­v­a­tive PP, with some experts esti­mat­ing as much as 10 per­cent of the party sym­pa­thizes with rad­i­cal ide­ol­ogy, although it’s impos­si­ble to contrast.

    The polit­i­cal heirs of Franco merged with the PP, which is ide­o­log­i­cally a center-right party. And amid the euro­cri­sis, they could gain more polit­i­cal clout that could be sig­nif­i­cantly more dan­ger­ous than the vio­lent groups, experts warn.

    The gov­ern­ment has been crit­i­cized by the oppo­si­tion, regional gov­ern­ments, and human rights groups for con­don­ing fas­cist pub­lic sup­port among its own fol­low­ers – which even if small in num­ber, were unheard of until recently – even if vio­lent groups are suppressed.

    Such crit­i­cism arose again on Thurs­day, when PP leg­is­la­tors voted down a motion like that in the Cat­alon­ian par­lia­ment to crim­i­nal­ize pub­lic sup­port for fas­cism, Franco, and the Nazis. The PP said the move was unnec­es­sary, because such a ban is already implicit in the law.

    “They pub­licly con­demn it, but they clearly tol­er­ate it,” Ortega says.

    Franco nos­tal­gia

    The cri­sis has brought an unprece­dented pub­lic dis­play of Franco nos­tal­gia, with some pub­lic offi­cials and mem­bers of the PP openly mak­ing the Nazi salute, dis­play­ing the for­mer regime’s flag and other mem­o­ra­bilia, and post­ing pro-Franco mes­sages on social media sites.

    Munic­i­pal, regional, and even coun­try leg­is­la­tors have rem­i­nisced about Franco’s era, mostly sub­tly, though some have openly said those killed by Franco’s forces deserved it.

    On Thurs­day, the PP mayor of a Madrid sub­urb tweeted that he would send some “skin­heads” to tar­get the Social­ist Party as part of a broader pub­lic debate. He later said he was just joking.


    The gov­ern­ment and the PP lead­er­ship so far have lim­ited their reac­tion to con­demn­ing vio­lence and pro-fascist dis­plays within its ranks. No offi­cials have been rep­ri­manded. “The prob­lems are not majors or coun­cil­men. It’s that high-ranking leg­is­la­tors and min­is­ters con­done this,” says Ortega.

    Addi­tion­ally, the PP is try­ing to revise his­tory to paint a rosy pic­ture of the Franco dic­ta­tor­ship, while blam­ing the deposed and demo­c­ra­t­i­cally elected left-wing gov­ern­ment for the bru­tal Span­ish Civil War that ended in 1938.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 13, 2013, 5:37 pm
  17. Some Span­ish col­leagues told me the same thing about fran­quists in the Par­tido Pop­u­lar. I was suprised as I’d always thought it was a cen­ter right party. Madrid and Barcelona had their dif­fer­ences, but a few years ago it did not seem like a major­ity of Cata­lans would seri­ously con­sider inde­pen­dence. From the out­side it is puz­zling: Cat­alo­nia is seen a region, not a coun­try. Things don’t look good in Spain. I find it so sad. They’re a tal­ented, endear­ing peo­ple. You could see it com­ing, with all that growth based on the real estate mar­ket. Many Spaniards saw it com­ing too. “Aus­ter­ity as a vehi­cle to break up nations”: indeed.

    Posted by de_lec | October 14, 2013, 5:50 am
  18. When your post-secession mon­e­tary pol­icy plans are even more dan­ger­ous than join­ing the euro­zone would be you need a new plan:

    The New York Times
    The Con­science of a Liberal

    Feb 24, 8:15 am
    Scots Wha Hae

    Paul Krug­man

    I don’t have a posi­tion on Scot­land becom­ing inde­pen­dent; as an Amer­i­can, I like my democ­ra­cies big and diverse, but I also under­stand the frus­tra­tion of Scots tied to David Cameron’s Eng­land.

    Whether it’s over­all a good idea or not, how­ever, inde­pen­dence would have to rest on a sound mon­e­tary foun­da­tion. And the inde­pen­dence move­ment has me wor­ried, because what it has said on that that cru­cial sub­ject seems deeply muddle-headed.

    What the inde­pen­dence move­ment says is that there’s no prob­lem — Scot­land will sim­ply stay on the pound. That is, how­ever, much more prob­lem­atic than they seem to realize.

    It’s true, as pointed out here, that Eng­land, I mean the rump UK, I mean con­tin­u­ing Britain, what­ever, can’t pre­vent the Scots from using the pound, just as the United States can’t stop Ecuador from using dol­lars. But the les­son of the euro cri­sis, surely, is that shar­ing a com­mon cur­rency with­out hav­ing a shared fed­eral gov­ern­ment is very dangerous.

    In fact, Scotland-on-the-pound would be in even worse shape than the euro coun­tries, because the Bank of Eng­land would be under no oblig­a­tion to act as lender of last resort to Scot­tish banks — that is, it would arguably take even less respon­si­bil­ity for local finan­cial sta­bil­ity than the pre-Draghi ECB. And it would fall very far short of the post-Draghi ECB, which has in effect taken on the role of lender of last resort to euro­zone gov­ern­ments, too.

    Add to this the lack of fis­cal inte­gra­tion. The ques­tion isn’t whether Scot­land would on aver­age pay more or less in taxes if inde­pen­dent; prob­a­bly a bit less, depend­ing on how you han­dle the oil rev­enues. Instead, the ques­tion is what would hap­pen if some­thing goes wrong, if there’s a slump in Scotland’s econ­omy. As part of the United King­dom, Scot­land would receive large de facto aid, just like a U.S. state (or Wales); if it were on its own, it would be on its own, like Por­tu­gal.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 25, 2014, 3:12 pm
  19. Posted by David M | May 29, 2014, 9:55 am

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