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FTR #984 Fascism: 2017 European Tour

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by the fall of 2017. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.)

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [5].

Intro­duc­tion: We begin our tour by exam­in­ing overt­ly fas­cist ele­ments in the gov­ern­ing Bul­gar­i­an coali­tion of Boyko Borisov, evoca­tive of Bul­gar­i­a’s past as an ally of Nazi Ger­many in World War II. ” . . . May 17, Pavel Tenev, Min­is­ter of Region­al Devel­op­ment, at the time, was forced to resign, after pub­li­ca­tion of a pho­to, show­ing him with his right arm extend­ed in a Nazi salute, stand­ing in front of a wax fig­ure of a Nazi offi­cer in Paris’ Musée Grévin. May 19, anoth­er pho­to was pub­lished on the inter­net, show­ing the fresh­ly appoint­ed depart­ment direc­tor in the Min­istry of Defense, Ivo Antonov, also giv­ing the Nazi salute in front of a Sec­ond World War tank of the Wehrma­cht. . . .”

Oth­er coali­tion part­ners have made dis­parag­ing remarks about Roma (“gyp­sies”) and Jews. Worth not­ing that Borisov’s selec­tion of coali­tion part­ners: ” . . . . Fol­low­ing the recent March 26, par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, Borisov, the win­ner of the elec­tions (his GERB with 32.7 per­cent), did not begin nego­ti­a­tions for a gov­ern­ment coali­tion with the Bul­gar­i­an Social­ist Par­ty (27.2 per­cent) or with the Move­ment for Rights and Free­doms (9 per­cent) rep­re­sent­ing the Turk­ish-speak­ing minor­i­ty, but rather with the Unit­ed Patri­ots (9.1 per­cent). The Unit­ed Patri­ots is an alliance of three extreme right-wing par­ties. . . .”

In recent weeks, the strug­gle over the poten­tial seces­sion of Cat­alo­nia from Spain has gar­nered con­sid­er­able atten­tion

That strug­gle is framed against a larg­er polit­i­cal dynam­ic embrac­ing advo­ca­cy of the elim­i­na­tion of for­mal nation­al bor­ders in Europe in favor of “region­al­ist plans.” Just such region­al­ist advo­ca­cy was the focal point of a promi­nent arti­cle (with accom­pa­ny­ing maps of the pro­ject­ed realign­ment) in Die Zeit, a major Ger­man week­ly.

Region­al­ist advo­ca­cy has a sig­nif­i­cant past, with the ear­ly post­war CIA and Allen Dulles hav­ing embraced such a dynam­ic. ” . . . . the fed­er­al­ists had ini­tial­ly been sup­port­ed and con­trolled by the CIA pre­de­ces­sor, the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices (OSS) and [one of its top spies] Alan Dulles, resid­ing in Bern, and lat­er by the CIA itself. . . .”

In addi­tion, the region­al­ist dyanam­ic enjoyed the sup­port of long-time Ger­man finance min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schauble, whose advo­ca­cy and imple­men­ta­tion of bru­tal fis­cal aus­ter­i­ty helped beg­gar much of the EU, includ­ing Spain, fol­low­ing the finan­cial cri­sis of 2008. ” . . . . Wolf­gang Schäu­ble, as Pres­i­dent of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Bor­der Regions (AEBR) in the ear­ly 1980’s, was also pro­mot­ing region­al­ist plans. Inspired by for­mer Nazi func­tionar­ies, the AEBR crit­i­cized the ‘nation-state’s bar­ri­er effect’ of bor­ders in the inter­ests of large cor­po­ra­tions. . . . For­mer Nazi func­tionar­ies were active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing both on the AEBR’s com­mit­tees and in the imme­di­ate entourage of its plan­ning of the ‘region­al­iza­tion’ of the bor­der regions, includ­ing Gerd Jans, the for­mer mem­ber of the Waf­fen SS in the Nether­lands, Kon­rad Mey­er, respon­si­ble for the Naz­i’s ‘Gen­er­alplan Ost,’ Her­mann Josef Abs, of the Deutsche Bank, as well as Alfred Toepfer, described by the pub­li­cist Hans-Rüdi­ger Minow as ‘infa­mous for his bor­der sub­ver­sion of France’s Alsace.’ In an exten­sive study, Minow describes the con­ti­nu­ities of the Naz­i’s con­cepts. . . .”

Despite an ini­tial impres­sion of “region­al­ism” that many might see as alien, The Schauble/AEBR/regionalism dyan­mic ide­ol­o­gy may be seen as some­thing of a sub­sidiary ele­ment of glob­al­iza­tion. ” . . . .  .In 1979, Schäu­ble became pres­i­dent of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Bor­der Regions (AEBR), an orga­ni­za­tion with the objec­tive of down­grad­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of bor­ders in Europe. Busi­ness inter­ests played an impor­tant role, which is why the AEBR could find reli­able sup­port­ers in indus­try. A ‘Euro­pean Char­ter on Bor­der and Cross-Bor­der Regions,’ passed by the AEBR in 1981, stip­u­lat­ed that the ‘elim­i­na­tion of eco­nom­ic and infra­struc­tur­al bar­ri­ers’ must urgent­ly be pur­sued. . . .”

The imple­men­ta­tion of region­al­iza­tion would facil­i­tate Ger­man dom­i­na­tion of Europe, which has met resis­tance from poor­er EU and EMU coun­tries over the aus­ter­i­ty doc­trine favored by Wolf­gang Schauble. ” . . . . Eco­nom­ic maps by the EU’s Euro­stat sta­tis­tics admin­is­tra­tion show the regions where Europe’s wealth and, there­fore, Europe’s eco­nom­ic pow­er is con­cen­trat­ed, a block with its cen­ters in south­ern and cen­tral Ger­many, to the west, in Flan­ders and spread­ing to seg­ments of the Nether­lands, and to the South to parts of Aus­tria and North­ern Italy and in var­i­ous sep­a­rate regions of West­ern and North­ern Europe. A num­ber of these regions main­tain close rela­tions to Ger­many, or to the Ger­man regions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11]) This clear­ly Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed block would hard­ly have any dif­fi­cul­ty con­trol­ling a ‘Europe of the Regions.’ . . . .”

Also worth not­ing is the fact that the Cat­alon­ian inde­pen­dence move­ment embraces a Cat­alon­ian iden­ti­ty that involves peo­ple from France, as well as Spain: ” . . . . The Cata­lan move­ment cur­rent­ly push­ing for seces­sion is in fact large­ly defin­ing itself eth­ni­cal­ly. The autonomous move­ment has been close­ly coop­er­at­ing with French cit­i­zens, who live out­side the Span­ish region of Cat­alo­nia, but also con­sid­er them­selves ‘eth­nic Cata­lans.’ At their ral­lies one can hear ‘Nei­ther France nor Spain! Only one coun­try, Cat­alo­nia!’ . . . .”

The two Twit­ter accounts that appear to account for near­ly a third of all Twit­ter traf­fic with the #Cat­alo­nia hash­tag, in ref­er­ence to the Cat­alon­ian seces­sion move­ment belong to Julian Assange and Edward Snow­den. [6]

 Of more  than pass­ing inter­est, under the cir­cum­stances, is the Twit­ter effort by both Julian Assange and Edward Snow­den on behalf of Cat­alon­ian inde­pen­dence.

 As seen in many [7]past pro­grams [8] and posts, Snow­den [9] and Assange [10] are as far to the right as it is pos­si­ble to be.

 Their cyber­lib­er­tar­i­an activism and their sup­port for Cat­alon­ian inde­pen­dence is root­ed in anar­cho-lib­er­tar­i­an [10] eco­nom­ic the­o­ry. See­ing the dis­so­lu­tion of nation­al gov­ern­ments as desir­able, their sup­port for the prin­ci­ple of seces­sion is root­ed in what Mus­soli­ni termed “cor­po­ratism.”

 Snow­den and Assange’s osten­si­bly “lib­er­at­ing” doc­trines, if put into effect, would leave cit­i­zen­ry  at the mer­cy of unfet­tered eco­nom­ic will, exer­cised by cor­po­ra­tions and their asso­ci­at­ed elites.

Snow­den specif­i­cal­ly appears to be advo­cat­ing that no seces­sion move­ment any­where ever can be reject­ed by the gov­ern­ment under the premise that self-deter­mi­na­tion is a human right, view­ing this as a “nat­ur­al law” issue.

In that con­text, the right to secede is cham­pi­oned by the Lib­er­tar­i­an far-right, all the way down to the right to indi­vid­u­als to secede from all gov­ern­ment. As this piece from Lib­er­tar­i­an David S. D’Amato demon­strates, [11] extend­ing the right to secede down to the indi­vid­ual facil­i­tates the imple­men­ta­tion of an anar­cho-cap­i­tal­ist soci­ety with no gov­ern­ment at all, as seen by fig­ures like Mur­ray Roth­bard. This is envi­sioned as an excel­lent way­of achiev­ing an anar­cho-cap­i­tal­ist utopia.

The Snowden/Assange pro-seces­sion­ist move­ment should also be seen against the back­ground of the Neo-Con­fed­er­ate move­ment, cham­pi­oned by Ron Paul and the Lud­wig Von Mis­es Insti­tute.

 Fol­low­ing cap­ture of 13 per­cent of the vote in Germany’s fed­er­al elec­tions on Sun­day by the Alter­na­tive For Ger­many (AfD), Alexan­der Gauland, the AfD leader, pro­voked out­rage after sug­gest­ing that Ger­mans should no longer be reproached with the Nazi past. [12]

This type of behav­ior appar­ent­ly moti­vat­ed AfD leader Frauke Petry to leave the par­ty, just hours after the elec­tion over its extrem­ism.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. We begin our tour by exam­in­ing overt­ly fas­cist ele­ments in the gov­ern­ing Bul­gar­i­an coali­tion of Boyko Borisov, evoca­tive of Bul­gar­i­a’s past as an ally of Nazi Ger­many in World War II. ” . . . May 17, Pavel Tenev, Min­is­ter of Region­al Devel­op­ment, at the time, was forced to resign, after pub­li­ca­tion of a pho­to, show­ing him with his right arm extend­ed in a Nazi salute, stand­ing in front of a wax fig­ure of a Nazi offi­cer in Paris’ Musée Grévin. May 19, anoth­er pho­to was pub­lished on the inter­net, show­ing the fresh­ly appoint­ed depart­ment direc­tor in the Min­istry of Defense, Ivo Antonov, also giv­ing the Nazi salute in front of a Sec­ond World War tank of the Wehrma­cht. . . .” Oth­er coali­tion part­ners have made dis­parag­ing remarks about Roma (“gyp­sies”) and Jews.

“Bul­gar­i­a’s Euro­pean Course;” Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy; 10/09/2017. [15]

The CDU-affil­i­at­ed Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion (KAS) is coun­sel­ing Bul­gar­i­a’s coali­tion gov­ern­ment of con­ser­v­a­tive and sev­er­al extreme right wing par­ties prepar­ing their coun­try’s EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy. Sofi­a’s coali­tion gov­ern­ment, head­ed by a part­ner par­ty of the KAS, includes a par­ty, whose chair­per­son once wrote that “a gang of Jews had ruined ortho­doxy.” The chair of anoth­er par­ty in the Bul­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment coali­tion called Roma “human-like crea­tures that have become beasts.” He is the cur­rent deputy prime min­is­ter. The Bul­gar­i­an defense min­is­ter would like to dis­patch “high­ly spe­cial­ized com­bat troops” to the Bul­gar­i­an-Turk­ish bor­der and “defend” the EU’s exter­nal bor­ders against refugees “with armed force.” Jan­u­ary 1, 2018, the Bul­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment will assume the EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy. Hard­ly pre­pared for this task, the KAS is coun­sel­ing the gov­ern­ment. Hans-Gert Pöt­ter­ing, for­mer Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, praised Bul­gar­i­a’s con­tri­bu­tion to the “fight against ille­gal migra­tion.”

“With­out a Clear Line, Cor­rupt”

The CDU-affil­i­at­ed Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion (KAS) began its efforts to help pre­pare Bul­gar­ia for the EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy already short­ly after the offi­cial for­ma­tion of Sofi­a’s gov­ern­ment, May 4. This must not only be seen in the con­text of Berlin’s usu­al efforts to influ­ence EU pol­i­cy, but also because the Bul­gar­i­an gov­ern­men­t’s prepa­ra­tion for the pres­i­den­cy is in a deplorable con­di­tion. Last week, the FDP-affil­i­at­ed Friedrich Nau­mann Foun­da­tion’s project man­ag­er for South­east Europe not­ed that, regard­ing the issues Sofia would like to focus on dur­ing its pres­i­den­cy, every­thing is still very “vague;” “var­i­ous pri­or­i­ties with­out a clear thread” are men­tioned. They can­not even for­mu­late their “own ... projects.” In rela­tion­ship to the “ren­o­va­tion of the cen­tral meet­ing place, ... seri­ous accu­sa­tions have been raised con­cern­ing embez­zle­ment of the means for this pres­ti­gious project and cor­rup­tion in con­tract allo­ca­tions.” For exam­ple, the plaza in front of Sofi­a’s Nation­al Palace of Cul­ture is to be ren­o­vat­ed for five mil­lion leva (near­ly 2.5 mil­lion euros), in spite of the fact that it was just ren­o­vat­ed last year for sev­er­al mil­lion leva. The web­site for the min­istry, estab­lished for the EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy, could “sym­bol­ize the state of prepa­ra­tion.” “It is exclu­sive­ly in the Bul­gar­i­an lan­guage and only par­tial­ly functional.”[1]

Inten­sive Coun­sel­ing

The KAS is there­fore inten­si­fy­ing its efforts. The par­ty of the Bul­gar­i­an Prime Min­ster Boyko Borisov, GERB (“Cit­i­zens for Euro­pean Devel­op­ment of Bul­gar­ia”), is a mem­ber of the con­ser­v­a­tive Euro­pean Peo­ple’s Par­ty (EPP) in which the Ger­man con­ser­v­a­tive par­ties CDU/CSU hold a strong posi­tion. This explains the KAS’s involve­ment. KAS is also pro­vid­ing direct sup­port to GER­B’s women and youth orga­ni­za­tions. Lead­ing KAS rep­re­sen­ta­tives have already met twice — May 31 and July 18, — with Bul­gar­i­a’s For­eign Min­is­ter Eka­te­ri­na Zaharie­va to dis­cuss Sofi­a’s EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy. Prime Min­is­ter Borisov vis­it­ed the Foun­da­tion’s Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al, Ger­hard Wahlers on June 7 for the same pur­pose. Sep­tem­ber 11, Par­lia­men­tary State Sec­re­tary at Ger­many’s Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or, Ole Schröder (CDU), vis­it­ed Sofia to par­tic­i­pate in a con­fer­ence of lec­tures and dis­cus­sions aimed at cel­e­brat­ing Bul­gar­i­a’s ten-year EU mem­ber­ship. He lec­tured on the “spe­cial chal­lenges fac­ing the EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy 2018.” To help pre­pare for the Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy, Prime Min­is­ter Borisov also con­vened a six-mem­ber advi­so­ry board, includ­ing for­mer Bul­gar­i­an Pres­i­dent Rosen Plevneliev (2012 to 2017), for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Sime­on Sak­skoburggot­s­ki (2001 to 2005) and par­tic­u­lar­ly the KAS Chair­man Hans-Gert Pöttering.[2] Pöt­ter­ing was Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment from 2007 to 2009.

“Bul­gar­ia Above Every­thing Else!”

Berlin and Brus­sels are also wor­ried that, with Bul­gar­i­a’s gov­ern­ment, extreme right wing politi­cians may also pre­side in the EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy. Fol­low­ing the recent March 26, par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, Borisov, the win­ner of the elec­tions (his GERB with 32.7 per­cent), did not begin nego­ti­a­tions for a gov­ern­ment coali­tion with the Bul­gar­i­an Social­ist Par­ty (27.2 per­cent) or with the Move­ment for Rights and Free­doms (9 per­cent) rep­re­sent­ing the Turk­ish-speak­ing minor­i­ty, but rather with the Unit­ed Patri­ots (9.1 per­cent). The Unit­ed Patri­ots is an alliance of three extreme right-wing parties.[3] The coali­tion nego­ti­a­tions were car­ried out under the mot­to “Bul­gar­ia above every­thing else!” and was ulti­mate­ly crowned with suc­cess. Volen Siderov, the head of one of the three par­ties (“Ata­ka”), form­ing the Unit­ed Patri­ots, once called on the Roma minor­i­ty (Gyp­sies) to “behave them­selves,” if they did not want to be deport­ed to India. In a book, he wrote that “a gang of Jews” have “ruined the orthodoxy.”[4] Valeri Sime­onov, Chair of a sec­ond par­ty in the Unit­ed Patri­ots, the “Nation­al Front for the Sal­va­tion of Bul­gar­ia” (NFSB), referred to Roma as “human-like crea­tures, who have become beasts,” and said that their chil­dren were play­ing “in the streets with pigs.”[5] Since May 4, Sime­onov has been in office as the Vice Prime Min­is­ter, in charge of the econ­o­my and demog­ra­phy, as well as being Bul­gar­i­a’s Com­mis­sion­er for Inte­gra­tion.

With a Nazi Salute

Twice, pho­tographs have already emerged show­ing high-rank­ing offi­cials of Bul­gar­i­a’s gov­ern­ment, elect­ed to office in May, in pos­es hon­or­ing the Nazis. May 17, Pavel Tenev, Min­is­ter of Region­al Devel­op­ment, at the time, was forced to resign, after pub­li­ca­tion of a pho­to, show­ing him with his right arm extend­ed in a Nazi salute, stand­ing in front of a wax fig­ure of a Nazi offi­cer in Paris’ Musée Grévin. May 19, anoth­er pho­to was pub­lished on the inter­net, show­ing the fresh­ly appoint­ed depart­ment direc­tor in the Min­istry of Defense, Ivo Antonov, also giv­ing the Nazi salute in front of a Sec­ond World War tank of the Wehrma­cht. (On the right, german-foreign-policy.com doc­u­ments a seg­ment of this pho­to.) His most senior employ­er, Defense Min­is­ter, Krasimir Karakachanov, Chair of the IMRO-Bul­gar­i­an Nation­al Move­ment, refused to fire him.[6]

Weapons against Refugees

One of the Bul­gar­i­an gov­ern­men­t’s few rec­og­niz­able polit­i­cal pri­or­i­ties is ward­ing off refugees. Prime Min­is­ter Borisov expressed his grat­i­tude to the mili­tia-like cit­i­zens’ defense units, who, already since 2014, have been patrolling — some under heavy arms — the Turk­ish-Bul­gar­i­an bor­der to keep unde­sir­able migrants at bay. In April 2016, one of these cit­i­zens’ defense units, the “Orga­ni­za­tion for the Pro­tec­tion of the Bul­gar­i­an Bor­der,” received an offi­cial award from the Bul­gar­i­an Bor­der Police. In August, Defense Min­is­ter Karakachanov declared, he would “rein­force the mil­i­tary pres­ence” along the Bul­gar­i­an-Turk­ish bor­ders. “High­ly spe­cial­ized com­bat units will be among them.”[7] “Night-vision video cam­eras and drones” will be used, “to bet­ter be able to mon­i­tor the migrants’ move­ments and inter­vene in time.” The min­is­ter also wants to have “NATO and EU troops inter­vene” in Greece and Italy. “The exter­nal bor­ders of the Euro­pean Union must be defend­ed, if nec­es­sary, with armed force,” he demands.

Sofi­a’s EU Con­tri­bu­tion

Bul­gar­ia “is already con­tribut­ing a great deal to the Euro­pean Union, for exam­ple, by fight­ing ille­gal migra­tion,” declared Hans-Gert Pöt­ter­ing, KAS Chair, which is advis­ing the Bul­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment in its prepa­ra­tions to assume the EU Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy. Com­ment­ing on his appoint­ment to the advi­so­ry board, that met last Fri­day in Sofia, Pöt­ter­ing said it was “also a sign of recog­ni­tion for the work of the Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foun­da­tion, which has been active in Bul­gar­ia since 1994, always advo­cat­ing that the coun­try take the Euro­pean course.”[8]

[1] Daniel Kad­dik: Man­gel­nde Vor­bere­itung, fehlende Visio­nen. www.freiheit.org 02.10.2017.
[2] Dem Berater­gremi­um gehören außer­dem der ehe­ma­lige Lan­deshaupt­mann von Oberöster­re­ich, Erwin Pröll (1992 bis 2017), der ehe­ma­lige Präsi­dent des Europäis­chen Rates, Her­man Van Rompuy (2009 bis 2014) sowie der franzö­sis­che Diplo­mat Jean-David Levitte an.
[3] Den Vere­inigten Patri­oten gehören Ata­ka (Angriff), WMRO-BNB (Innere Maze­donis­che Rev­o­lu­tionäre Organ­i­sa­tion — Bul­gar­ische Nationale Bewe­gung) — und NFSB (Nationale Front für die Ret­tung Bul­gar­iens) an.
[4] Thorsten Geissler: Bul­gar­ien: Deut­lich­er Sieg für GERB — aber schwierige Regierungs­bil­dung. Kon­rad-Ade­nauer-Stiftung: Län­der­bericht Bul­gar­ien. 29.03.2017.
[5], [6] Jörg Kro­nauer: “Bul­gar­ien über alles!” Die extreme Rechte in Bul­gar­ien. LOTTA 67/2017.
[7] Christoph B. Schiltz: “Wir müssen die EU-Gren­zen not­falls mit Waf­fen schützen”. www.welt.de 17.08.2017.
[8] Dr. Hans-Gert Pöt­ter­ing berät bul­gar­ische Regierung bei EU-Rat­spräsi­dentschaft. www.kas.de 06.10.2017.

2a. The polit­i­cal strug­gle around the attempt­ed seces­sion of Cat­alo­nia from Spain is framed against a larg­er polit­i­cal dynam­ic embrac­ing advo­ca­cy of the elim­i­na­tion of for­mal nation­al bor­ders in Europe in favor of “region­al­ist plans.” Just such region­al­ist advo­ca­cy was the focal point of a promi­nent arti­cle (with accom­pa­ny­ing maps of the pro­ject­ed realign­ment) in Die Zeit, a major Ger­man week­ly.

Region­al­ist advo­ca­cy has a sig­nif­i­cant past, with the ear­ly post­war CIA and Allen Dulles hav­ing embraced such a dynam­ic. ” . . . . the fed­er­al­ists had ini­tial­ly been sup­port­ed and con­trolled by the CIA pre­de­ces­sor, the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices (OSS) and [one of its top spies] Alan Dulles, resid­ing in Bern, and lat­er by the CIA itself. . . .”

In addi­tion, the region­al­ist dyanam­ic enjoyed the sup­port of long-time Ger­man finance min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schauble, whose advo­ca­cy and imple­men­ta­tion of bru­tal fis­cal aus­ter­i­ty helped beg­gar much of the EU, includ­ing Spain, fol­low­ing the finan­cial cri­sis of 2008. ” . . . . Wolf­gang Schäu­ble, as Pres­i­dent of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Bor­der Regions (AEBR) in the ear­ly 1980’s, was also pro­mot­ing region­al­ist plans. Inspired by for­mer Nazi func­tionar­ies, the AEBR crit­i­cized the ‘nation-state’s bar­ri­er effect’ of bor­ders in the inter­ests of large cor­po­ra­tions. . . . For­mer Nazi func­tionar­ies were active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing both on the AEBR’s com­mit­tees and in the imme­di­ate entourage of its plan­ning of the ‘region­al­iza­tion’ of the bor­der regions, includ­ing Gerd Jans, the for­mer mem­ber of the Waf­fen SS in the Nether­lands, Kon­rad Mey­er, respon­si­ble for the Naz­i’s ‘Gen­er­alplan Ost,’ Her­mann Josef Abs, of the Deutsche Bank, as well as Alfred Toepfer, described by the pub­li­cist Hans-Rüdi­ger Minow as ‘infa­mous for his bor­der sub­ver­sion of France’s Alsace.’ In an exten­sive study, Minow describes the con­ti­nu­ities of the Naz­i’s con­cepts. . . .”

Despite an ini­tial impres­sion of “region­al­ism” that many might see as alien, The Schauble/AEBR/regionalism dyan­mic ide­ol­o­gy may be seen as some­thing of a sub­sidiary ele­ment of glob­al­iza­tion. ” . . . .  .In 1979, Schäu­ble became pres­i­dent of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Bor­der Regions (AEBR), an orga­ni­za­tion with the objec­tive of down­grad­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of bor­ders in Europe. Busi­ness inter­ests played an impor­tant role, which is why the AEBR could find reli­able sup­port­ers in indus­try. A ‘Euro­pean Char­ter on Bor­der and Cross-Bor­der Regions,’ passed by the AEBR in 1981, stip­u­lat­ed that the ‘elim­i­na­tion of eco­nom­ic and infra­struc­tur­al bar­ri­ers’ must urgent­ly be pur­sued. . . .”

The imple­men­ta­tion of region­al­iza­tion would facil­i­tate Ger­man dom­i­na­tion of Europe, which has met resis­tance from poor­er EU and EMU coun­tries over the aus­ter­i­ty doc­trine favored by Wolf­gang Schauble. ” . . . . Eco­nom­ic maps by the EU’s Euro­stat sta­tis­tics admin­is­tra­tion show the regions where Europe’s wealth and, there­fore, Europe’s eco­nom­ic pow­er is con­cen­trat­ed, a block with its cen­ters in south­ern and cen­tral Ger­many, to the west, in Flan­ders and spread­ing to seg­ments of the Nether­lands, and to the South to parts of Aus­tria and North­ern Italy and in var­i­ous sep­a­rate regions of West­ern and North­ern Europe. A num­ber of these regions main­tain close rela­tions to Ger­many, or to the Ger­man regions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11]) This clear­ly Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed block would hard­ly have any dif­fi­cul­ty con­trol­ling a ‘Europe of the Regions.’ . . . .”

Also worth not­ing is the fact that the Cat­alon­ian inde­pen­dence move­ment embraces a Cat­alon­ian iden­ti­ty that involves peo­ple from France, as well as Spain: ” . . . . The Cata­lan move­ment cur­rent­ly push­ing for seces­sion is in fact large­ly defin­ing itself eth­ni­cal­ly. The autonomous move­ment has been close­ly coop­er­at­ing with French cit­i­zens, who live out­side the Span­ish region of Cat­alo­nia, but also con­sid­er them­selves ‘eth­nic Cata­lans.’ At their ral­lies one can hear ‘Nei­ther France nor Spain! Only one coun­try, Cat­alo­nia!’ . . . .”

“The Pow­er in the Cen­ter;” Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy; 10/11/2017. [16]

Using the seces­sion­ist con­flict in Cat­alo­nia as a back­drop, the web­site of the Ger­man week­ly Die Zeit pub­lished a fiery appeal for dis­mem­ber­ing Europe’s nation-states. For quite some time, the author, Ulrike Guérot, has been pro­mot­ing the “dis­ap­pear­ance of the nation-state” in Europe. The nation-state should be replaced by regions with their “own respec­tive iden­ti­ties” that could be “eth­ni­cal­ly” defined. As exam­ples, Guérot lists regions with strong sep­a­ratist ten­den­cies such as Flan­ders and Tyrol. The author sees her­self uphold­ing the tra­di­tion of the “Euro­pean Fed­er­al­ists” of the ear­ly post-war peri­od, who — under the guid­ance of west­ern intel­li­gence ser­vices — drew up plans for estab­lish­ing of a Euro­pean eco­nom­ic space with free cir­cu­la­tion of com­modi­ties as a bul­wark against the East Euro­pean social­ist coun­tries. Wolf­gang Schäu­ble, as Pres­i­dent of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Bor­der Regions (AEBR) in the ear­ly 1980’s, was also pro­mot­ing region­al­ist plans. Inspired by for­mer Nazi func­tionar­ies, the AEBR crit­i­cized the “nation-state’s bar­ri­er effect” of bor­ders in the inter­ests of large cor­po­ra­tions. Cur­rent eco­nom­ic maps indi­cate which areas in the EU would form the con­ti­nen­t’s most pow­er­ful block if region­al­iza­tion should take effect: south and cen­tral Ger­many as well as its bor­der­ing regions from Flan­ders to North­ern Italy.

From the CDU to the Greens

Yes­ter­day, the web­site of the Ger­man week­ly, Die Zeit, pub­lished a fiery appeal to dis­mem­ber Europe’s nation-states, authored by the polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Ulrike Guérot. Guérot had been employed by CDU par­lia­men­tar­i­an Karl Lamers in the first half of the 1990s and par­tic­i­pat­ed in for­mu­lat­ing the Schäuble/Lamers paper, prop­a­gat­ing the estab­lish­ment of a core Europe. She sub­se­quent­ly became col­lab­o­ra­tor for the EU Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent at the time, Jacques Delors, and an expert of sev­er­al think tanks (Ger­man Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions, Ger­man Mar­shall Fund, and the Euro­pean Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions). In 2014, she found­ed a Euro­pean Democ­ra­cy Lab at the Euro­pean School of Gov­er­nance. Once mem­ber of the CDU; today, she is polit­i­cal­ly close to the Greens.[1]

“Eth­nic Region”

Since some time, Guérot has been ped­dling an alleged­ly new polit­i­cal con­cept to the Ger­man pub­lic, based on the dis­mem­ber­ment of Europe’s nation-states. Accord­ing to her, “the nation-state will dis­ap­pear” [2] and will be replaced by “50 to 60” regions in Europe, with “their own respec­tive identity.”[3] She is refer­ring to the con­cept of “eth­nic regions,”[4] i.e. an eth­ni­cal­ly defined com­mu­ni­ty of shared ori­gins. As Guérot writes “eth­nic region and state­hood are not con­gru­ent” for exam­ple in Ire­land or Cyprus; Flan­ders, Vene­tia and Tyrol are fur­ther exam­ples. In Flan­ders and Vene­tia, respec­tive­ly more pros­per­ous regions, defin­ing them­selves lin­guis­tic-eth­nic (“Nether­lan­der” or “Venet­ian”) are dis­so­ci­at­ing them­selves from poor­er regions of the coun­try, where­as the Ger­man speak­ing con­struct “Tyrole” encom­pass­es areas of Aus­tria and North­ern Italy. Accord­ing to Guérot, Cat­alo­nia is also one of the regions to be lib­er­at­ed from its con­straints under the nation-state. The Cata­lan move­ment cur­rent­ly push­ing for seces­sion is in fact large­ly defin­ing itself eth­ni­cal­ly. The autonomous move­ment has been close­ly coop­er­at­ing with French cit­i­zens, who live out­side the Span­ish region of Cat­alo­nia, but also con­sid­er them­selves “eth­nic Cata­lans.” At their ral­lies one can hear “Nei­ther France nor Spain! Only one coun­try, Cat­alo­nia!”[5] Last week­end the spokesper­son of the left CUP par­ty in Span­ish Cat­alo­nia com­plained that Spaniards from out­side Cat­alo­nia had come to Barcelona to par­tic­i­pate in a demon­stra­tion. To demon­strate in Cat­alo­nia as a “Spaniard” cor­re­sponds to a “colo­nial logic.”[6]

Europe of the Regions

Accord­ing to Guérot, only a “Euro­pean Repub­lic,” where­in “the regions assume the role of the cen­tral con­sti­tu­tion­al actors,” can save an EU shak­en by nation­al conflicts.[7] For exam­ple, the regions should con­sti­tute “a sec­ond cham­ber” in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment — “a Euro­pean Sen­ate.” Guérot has repeat­ed­ly said that polit­i­cal com­pe­tence must be redis­trib­uted between the EU and its regions. Accord­ing to this con­cept, a cen­ter of pow­er will be set up in Brus­sels, in con­trol of for­eign and mil­i­tary pol­i­cy, while the regions — for exam­ple, in charge of com­mer­cial tax­es — would finan­cial­ly main­tain inde­pen­dent lat­i­tude. Of course, the lat­ter would depend on the eco­nom­ic pow­er of the respec­tive region. Besides its eth­nic con­sti­tu­tion, a “Europe of the Regions” would lead to a com­plete dis­en­fran­chise­ment of its small­est units. Guérot crit­i­cizes the fact that “the EU is full of large regions (such as North Rhine-West­phalia) which are not per­mit­ted to par­tic­i­pate in EU deci­sion mak­ing, while on the oth­er hand, small coun­tries (such as Lux­em­bourg or Mal­ta) are.” That must change. For exam­ple, rather than hav­ing one vote out of 28 in the Euro­pean Coun­cil, Mal­ta would only have one out of “50 or 60” votes in the “Euro­pean Sen­ate.” It would not be able to counter any mea­sures pro­posed by the EU’s eco­nom­i­cal­ly pre­dom­i­nat­ing cen­ters.

Unit­ed States of Europe

Guérot’s con­cept has pre­cur­sors, which had been pro­mot­ed, on the one hand, by intel­li­gence agency cir­cles of the post-war peri­od and by inter­est­ed busi­ness cir­cles, on the oth­er, serv­ing how­ev­er, entire­ly dif­fer­ent inter­ests under cov­er of pro­mot­ing an alleged region­al democ­ra­cy. Guérot says her­self that her mod­el is based on the “Euro­pean Fed­er­al­ists,” par­tic­u­lar­ly the Swiss Denis de Rouge­ment. Since the mid-1940s, the “Euro­pean fed­er­al­ists” sought to found a “Unit­ed States of Europe,” as a uni­fied eco­nom­ic realm — serv­ing as a bul­wark against the social­ist coun­tries, in the process of form­ing. It was also seen as a defense against the idea of aban­don­ing the pre­vi­ous eco­nom­ic approach, which, at the time, was also rather pop­u­lar in West­ern Europe. This is why the fed­er­al­ists had ini­tial­ly been sup­port­ed and con­trolled by the CIA pre­de­ces­sor, the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices (OSS) and [one of its top spies] Alan Dulles, resid­ing in Bern, and lat­er by the CIA itself.[8] Rouge­ment, an OSS-affil­i­ate and pro­fessed fed­er­al­ist, com­plained in a 1948 “Mes­sage to the Euro­peans,” that “Europe” was “bar­ri­cad­ed behind bor­ders imped­ing the cir­cu­la­tion of its com­modi­ties,” and because of this, is threat­ened with eco­nom­ic ruin. On the oth­er hand, “unit­ed,” it could, already “tomor­row, build the great­est polit­i­cal enti­ty and the largest eco­nom­ic unit of our times.” From 1952 — 1966, Rouge­mont con­tin­ued his activ­i­ties also as pres­i­dent of the CIA-financed “Con­gress for Cul­tur­al Free­dom.”

“Loss of Iden­ti­ty”

Wolf­gang Schäu­ble has also pro­mot­ed region­al­ist con­cepts. Guérot had been in con­tact with him in 1994 dur­ing work on the Schäu­ble-Lamers paper. In 1979, Schäu­ble became pres­i­dent of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Bor­der Regions (AEBR), an orga­ni­za­tion with the objec­tive of down­grad­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of bor­ders in Europe. Busi­ness inter­ests played an impor­tant role, which is why the AEBR could find reli­able sup­port­ers in indus­try. A “Euro­pean Char­ter on Bor­der and Cross-Bor­der Regions,” passed by the AEBR in 1981, stip­u­lat­ed that the “elim­i­na­tion of eco­nom­ic and infra­struc­tur­al bar­ri­ers” must urgent­ly be pur­sued. For exam­ple, the “expan­sion and con­struc­tion of coor­di­nat­ed, com­bined cross-bor­der freight trans­port ter­mi­nals” is nec­es­sary to “close cur­rent gaps in cross-bor­der traf­fic.” In addi­tion, the expan­sion of cross-bor­der ener­gy net­works must be pro­mot­ed. This is being overblown with alle­ga­tions of Europe hav­ing emerged from a “patch­work of his­tor­i­cal land­scapes,” with bor­ders cre­at­ing “scars” on Europe’s regions, and lead­ing to the pop­u­la­tion’s “loss of iden­ti­ty.” The cur­rent “nation-state’s bar­ri­er effect” must be reduced — if not abol­ished, accord­ing to the paper drawn up under Schäuble’s AEBR presidency.[9]

Ger­man Con­ti­nu­ities

For­mer Nazi func­tionar­ies were active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing both on the AEBR’s com­mit­tees and in the imme­di­ate entourage of its plan­ning of the “region­al­iza­tion” of the bor­der regions, includ­ing Gerd Jans, the for­mer mem­ber of the Waf­fen SS in the Nether­lands, Kon­rad Mey­er, respon­si­ble for the Naz­i’s “Gen­er­alplan Ost,” Her­mann Josef Abs, of the Deutsche Bank, as well as Alfred Toepfer, described by the pub­li­cist Hans-Rüdi­ger Minow as “infa­mous for his bor­der sub­ver­sion of France’s Alsace.” In an exten­sive study, Minow describes the con­ti­nu­ities of the Naz­i’s con­cepts.[10]

Ger­many’s Suprema­cy

Guérot ulti­mate­ly argues in favor of her region­al­iza­tion con­cepts, using the alle­ga­tion that through the removal of nation-states, “Ger­many’s suprema­cy ... can be over­come.” The oppo­site is the case. Eco­nom­ic maps by the EU’s Euro­stat sta­tis­tics admin­is­tra­tion show the regions where Europe’s wealth and, there­fore, Europe’s eco­nom­ic pow­er is con­cen­trat­ed, a block with its cen­ters in south­ern and cen­tral Ger­many, to the west, in Flan­ders and spread­ing to seg­ments of the Nether­lands, and to the South to parts of Aus­tria and North­ern Italy and in var­i­ous sep­a­rate regions of West­ern and North­ern Europe. A num­ber of these regions main­tain close rela­tions to Ger­many, or to the Ger­man regions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[11]) This clear­ly Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed block would hard­ly have any dif­fi­cul­ty con­trol­ling a “Europe of the Regions.”

(Here, german-foreign-policy.com doc­u­ments two Euro­stat eco­nom­ic maps. The upper map shows the brut GDP per capi­ta, accord­ing to the Pur­chas­ing Pow­er Par­i­ty (PPP), while the low­er map depicts the pri­ma­ry house­hold incomes. The col­ors for Ger­many’s south indi­cate the high­est val­ues, while the col­ors for the fur­thest south­west­ern and east­ern EU indi­cate the low­est. Source: Euro­stat.) For more infor­ma­tion on this sub­ject see: The Econ­o­my of Seces­sion (II).

[1] Ulrike Guérot: Adorno liest man nicht am Schwim­ming­pool. blogs.faz.net 17.03.2015.
[2] Stef­fen Dob­bert, Ben­jamin Bre­it­egger: “Der Nation­al­staat wird ver­schwinden”. www.zeit.de 03.01.2017.
[3] Ulrike Guérot: Europa ein­fach machen — ein­fach Europa machen. agora42.de 25.09.2017.
[4] Ulrike Guérot: In Spaniens Krise offen­bart sich eine neue EU. www.zeit.de 10.10.2017.
[5] Morten Frei­del: Die Brüder im Süden haben es bess­er. www.faz.net 08.10.2017.
[6] Hun­dert­tausende kon­tern Unab­hängigkeit­spläne in Kat­alonien. www.zeit.de 08.10.2017.
[7] Ulrike Guérot: In Spaniens Krise offen­bart sich eine neue EU. www.zeit.de 10.10.2017.
[8], [9], [10] Hans-Rüdi­ger Minow: Zwei Wege — Eine Katas­tro­phe. Flugschrift No. 1. Aachen 2016.
[11] See The Econ­o­my of Seces­sion (II).

2c. Dorothy Thompson’s analy­sis of Germany’s plans for world dom­i­nance by a cen­tral­ized Euro­pean eco­nomic union bears scruti­ny against the back­ground of the “region­al­iza­tion doc­trine,” high­light­ed above. Ms. Thomp­son was writ­ing in The New York Her­ald Tri­bune [17] on May 31, 1940!

Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin; T.H. Tetens; Hen­ry Schu­man [HC]; 1953; p. 92. [13]

. . . . The Ger­mans have a clear plan of what they intend to do in case of vic­tory. I believe that I know the essen­tial details of that plan. I have heard it from a suf­fi­cient num­ber of impor­tant Ger­mans to cred­it its authen­tic­ity . . . Germany’s plan is to make a cus­toms union of Europe, with com­plete finan­cial and eco­nomic con­trol cen­tered in Berlin. This will cre­ate at once the largest free trade area and the largest planned econ­omy in the world. In West­ern Europe alone . . . there will be an eco­nomic uni­ty of 400 mil­lion per­sons . . . To these will be added the resources of the British, French, Dutch and Bel­gian empires. These will be pooled in the name of Europa Ger­man­i­ca . . .

“The Ger­mans count upon polit­i­cal pow­er fol­low­ing eco­nomic pow­er, and not vice ver­sa. Ter­ri­to­r­ial changes do not con­cern them, because there will be no ‘France’ or ‘Eng­land,’ except as lan­guage groups. Lit­tle imme­di­ate con­cern is felt regard­ing polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions . . . . No nation will have the con­trol of its own finan­cial or eco­nomic sys­tem or of its cus­toms. [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.] The Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of all coun­tries will be accom­plished by eco­nomic pres­sure. In all coun­tries, con­tacts have been estab­lished long ago with sym­pa­thetic busi­ness­men and indus­tri­al­ists . . . . As far as the Unit­ed States is con­cerned, the plan­ners of the World Ger­man­ica laugh off the idea of any armed inva­sion. They say that it will be com­pletely unnec­es­sary to take mil­i­tary action against the Unit­ed States to force it to play ball with this sys­tem. . . . Here, as in every oth­er coun­try, they have estab­lished rela­tions with numer­ous indus­tries and com­mer­cial orga­ni­za­tions, to whom they will offer advan­tages in co-oper­a­tion with Ger­many. . . .

2d.  The two Twit­ter accounts that appear to account for near­ly a third of all Twit­ter traf­fic with the #Cat­alo­nia hash­tag, in ref­er­ence to the Cat­alon­ian seces­sion move­ment belong to Julian Assange and Edward Snow­den. [6]

 Of more  than pass­ing inter­est, under the cir­cum­stances, is the Twit­ter effort by both Julian Assange and Edward Snow­den on behalf of Cat­alon­ian inde­pen­dence.

 As seen in many [7]past pro­grams [8] and posts, Snow­den [9] and Assange [10] are as far to the right as it is pos­si­ble to be.

 Their cyber­lib­er­tar­i­an activism and their sup­port for Cat­alon­ian inde­pen­dence is root­ed in anar­cho-lib­er­tar­i­an [10] eco­nom­ic the­o­ry. See­ing the dis­so­lu­tion of nation­al gov­ern­ments as desir­able, their sup­port for the prin­ci­ple of seces­sion is root­ed in what Mus­soli­ni termed “cor­po­ratism.”

 Snow­den and Assange’s osten­si­bly “lib­er­at­ing” doc­trines, if put into effect, would leave cit­i­zen­ry  at the mer­cy of unfet­tered eco­nom­ic will, exer­cised by cor­po­ra­tions and their asso­ci­at­ed elites.

Snow­den specif­i­cal­ly appears to be advo­cat­ing that no seces­sion move­ment any­where ever can be reject­ed by the gov­ern­ment under the premise that self-deter­mi­na­tion is a human right, view­ing this as a “nat­ur­al law” issue.

In that con­text, the right to secede is cham­pi­oned by the Lib­er­tar­i­an far-right, all the way down to the right to indi­vid­u­als to secede from all gov­ern­ment. As this piece from Lib­er­tar­i­an David S. D’Amato demon­strates, [11] extend­ing the right to secede down to the indi­vid­ual facil­i­tates the imple­men­ta­tion of an anar­cho-cap­i­tal­ist soci­ety with no gov­ern­ment at all, as seen by fig­ures like Mur­ray Roth­bard. This is envi­sioned as an excel­lent way­of achiev­ing an anar­cho-cap­i­tal­ist utopia.

The Snowden/Assange pro-seces­sion­ist move­ment should also be seen against the back­ground of the Neo-Con­fed­er­ate move­ment, cham­pi­oned by Ron Paul and the Lud­wig Von Mis­es Insti­tute.

“On Cata­lan inde­pen­dence, Julian Assange, Edward Snow­den emerge as sur­prise back­ers” by Chris Zap­pone; Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald; 09/26/2017 [6]

Two Moscow-linked fig­ures have emerged as the loud­est voic­es on Twit­ter ampli­fy­ing news and com­men­tary about Catalonia’s seces­sion ref­er­en­dum.

Research inde­pen­dent­ly con­firmed by Fair­fax Media shows Twit­ter accounts of Wik­iLeaks leader Julian Assange as well as for­mer Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tor con­trac­tor Edward Snow­den now account for near­ly a third of all Twit­ter traf­fic under the hash­tag #Cat­alo­nia.

Assange has pep­pered his fol­low­ers with more than 80 orig­i­nal tweets sup­port­ing the Cata­lan inde­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum, sug­gest­ing “the future of West­ern civil­i­sa­tion is being revealed” by the renewed push by region­al seces­sion­ists.

Those tweets have been gen­er­ous­ly shared.

Of the 150,279 tweets and retweets using the #Cat­alo­nia hash­tag in the 10 days until Sun­day, more than 40,368 came from the Julian Assange account, accord­ing to one mea­sure by social media analy­sis account Con­spir­a­tor Norteno. A fur­ther 8198 came from the Edward Snow­den Twit­ter account.

Oth­ers includ­ed the Wik­iLeaks account, with 2120 #Cat­alo­nia tweets and retweets, while Rus­sia-owned net­work RT gen­er­at­ed 598 tweets and retweets.

The surge in pro-seces­sion mes­sages comes as author­i­ties in Madrid con­tend with a new move for inde­pen­dence in the autonomous region of Cat­alo­nia. Span­ish author­i­ties have moved to quash a Octo­ber 1 ref­er­en­dum by dis­solv­ing the region’s elec­tion com­mis­sion, arrest­ing local offi­cials and seiz­ing cam­paign mate­ri­als [18].

Nei­ther Wik­iLeaks’ Julian Assange nor Edward Snow­den, have a deep his­to­ry of involve­ment with Span­ish pol­i­tics.

Hash­tag analy­sis ser­vice Hash­tag­i­fy, accessed on Tues­day, iden­ti­fied the Snow­den account as the biggest “influ­encer” for the hash­tag, fol­lowed by Julian Assange.

The Twit­ter accounts of both Snow­den and Assange have pub­lished state­ments that dis­tort or exag­ger­ate what is hap­pen­ing in Spain.

Recent polls show 49 per cent of Cata­lans oppose inde­pen­dence. That seg­ment is less like­ly to par­tic­i­pate in the ref­er­en­dum. How­ev­er, the 41 per cent who sup­port becom­ing an autonomous nation, are like­ly to par­tic­i­pate..

A “dis­cred­it­ed” vote is expect­ed to go ahead in Cat­alo­nia. Whether Assange and Snow­den tweet­ing about Cat­alo­nia in Eng­lish would make much dif­fer­ence on the ground, is not clear.

How­ev­er, cast­ing doubt about the legit­i­ma­cy of the Span­ish gov­ern­ment over Cat­alo­nia may have a longer-term effect.

“The right of self-deter­mi­na­tion – for peo­ple to freely decide their own sys­tem of gov­ern­ment – can­not sim­ply be out­lawed. It is a human right,” Snowden’s account tweet­ed on Sep­tem­ber 21.

Fair­fax Media has sought com­ment from Assange’s and Snowden’s Twit­ter accounts.

3. Fol­low­ing cap­ture of 13 per­cent of the vote in Germany’s fed­er­al elec­tions on Sun­day by the Alter­na­tive For Ger­many (AfD), Alexan­der Gauland, the AfD leader, pro­voked out­rage after sug­gest­ing that Ger­mans should no longer be reproached with the Nazi past. [12]

This type of behav­ior appar­ent­ly moti­vat­ed AfD leader Frauke Petry to leave the par­ty, just hours after the elec­tion over its extrem­ism.

“The leader of Germany’s far-right par­ty quit hours after its elec­tion success—because it’s too rad­i­cal” by Jill Pet­zinger;
Quartz; 09/25/2017.

Just hours after the hard-right Alter­na­tive for Ger­many (AfD) won its first-ever round of seats [19]in the Ger­man par­lia­ment, its co-leader Frauke Petry [20]told a press con­fer­ence in Berlin—with her new­ly-elect­ed col­leagues next to her—that she had decid­ed not to go into par­lia­ment with the par­ty. Then she got up and stormed out of the press con­fer­ence.

“I think we should be open today that there is a dis­agree­ment over con­tent in the AfD and I think we shouldn’t hush this up,” said Petry.

She said she want­ed to posi­tion her­self as an inde­pen­dent politi­cian and have a “con­ser­v­a­tive new start” but didn’t say whether she was found­ing a new par­ty. Lat­er, on her Face­book, she slammed the par­ty for the “shrill and far-out state­ments of sin­gle mem­bers” which dom­i­nate the view the pub­lic has of them.

This doesn’t mean Petry is a mod­er­ate, she’s far from it. A mem­ber of the AfD since 2013, it was she who put the for­mer euroscep­tic par­ty on its new anti-immi­gra­tion plat­form dur­ing the height of the refugee cri­sis in 2015. She’s made numer­ous con­tro­ver­sial state­ments about refugees too, includ­ing that “Islam does not belong in Ger­many,” and say­ing that Ger­man bor­der police should be allowed to fire on migrants [21] along the Aus­tria-Ger­man bor­der.

Petry, who for some has been accept­able face of xeno­pho­bia, has been crit­i­cal of rad­i­cal state­ments made by oth­ers in the par­ty as she believed it made it less attrac­tive to mod­er­ate vot­ers as well as for poten­tial coali­tion part­ners when it would enter the Bun­destag for the first time.

In a par­ty rid­dled with infight­ing, she was slammed by some mem­bers for not sup­port­ing com­ments made by an AfD leader in Thuringia state, who said Berlin’s holo­caust memo­r­i­al made the coun­try “laugh­able.” She also pub­licly crit­i­cized Gauland for say­ing Ger­many should be proud of what Ger­man sol­diers had achieved in two world wars.

What now AfD?

It is unlike­ly that Petry’s sud­den depar­ture will mean much for the par­ty, which many expect will strug­gle not only as a pari­ah in par­lia­ment, but also because it real­ly only has one core pol­i­cy issue—being against immi­gra­tion.

“It is part of a pow­er strug­gle, in which she may hope that her steps will cre­ate more fric­tion in the par­ty,” Josef Jan­ning of the Euro­pean Coun­cil of For­eign Rela­tions told Quartz. “She may also hope to split the fac­tion and pull over some oth­er deputies.”

While the now-93 new AfD mem­bers of par­lia­ment can raise a stink in oppo­si­tion, some polit­i­cal experts believe they won’t real­ly make much dif­fer­ence in Ger­man pol­i­tics. “No one will form a coali­tion with them. They’ll be exclud­ed. Their motions will be shot down,” said Oskar Nie­der­may­er, a pol­i­tics pro­fes­sor at the Free Uni­ver­si­ty of Berlin. “If they put for­ward rea­son­able motions that oth­er par­ties might agree with, they will be vot­ed down, and the oth­er par­ties will put for­ward slight­ly mod­i­fied motions.”

No change in tone

Alexan­der Gauland stuck to his inflam­ma­to­ry rhetoric at the party’s first post-elec­tion press con­fer­ence on Mon­day morn­ing. “One mil­lion peo­ple, for­eign­ers, being brought into this coun­try are tak­ing away a piece of this coun­try and we as AfD don’t want that,” Gauland said. “We don’t want to lose Ger­many to an inva­sion of for­eign­ers from a dif­fer­ent cul­ture.”

It intends, Gauland said last night, to “hunt” Merkel, and “take back our coun­try and our peo­ple.”

That xeno­pho­bic mes­sage res­onat­ed with 13% of those who vot­ed yes­ter­day: An ARD/ Infrat­est Dimap poll on why Ger­mans vot­ed for the AfD found that near­ly 70% of them were con­cerned about the fight against ter­ror­ism, and 60% were wor­ried about both crime and the influx of refugees.

The AfD’s nation­al­is­tic mes­sage pro­pelled it to big wins in some for­mer East­ern Ger­man states—it was the biggest par­ty in Sax­ony. In for­mer GDR states [22], the AfD is in sec­ond place over­all, behind Angela Merkel’s Chris­t­ian Democ­rats.

4. Found­ed in 1956 as a vehi­cle for re-intro­duc­ing Aus­tri­an Nazi vet­er­ans of the Third Reich into the coun­try’s polit­i­cal life, the par­ty effect­ed the cos­met­ic sus­pen­sion of a par­ty offi­cial for giv­ing a Nazi salute.

“Aus­tri­a’s Free­dom Par­ty Sus­pendes Mem­ber over Nazi Alle­ga­tions” [Reuters]; Reuters.com; 10/10/2017. [14]

Austria’s far right Free­dom Par­ty, days before par­lia­men­tary elec­tions which are expect­ed to cat­a­pult it into gov­ern­ment, has sus­pend­ed a low-lev­el par­ty offi­cial over alle­ga­tions he used a Nazi salute.

The par­ty is poised to become part of a coali­tion after the Oct. 15 vote with the con­ser­v­a­tives expect­ed to gain around a third of the vote. Both par­ties cam­paign with tough rhetoric on fight­ing immi­gra­tion and closed Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ties.
Aus­tri­an news­pa­per Der Stan­dard report­ed, with­out cit­ing names, that an inde­pen­dent local coun­cil­lor in the province of Styr­ia com­plained to her may­or about hav­ing seen her Free­dom Par­ty col­league rais­ing his right arm in Nazi-fash­ion and say­ing the Nazi salute “Heil Hitler”.

Own­ing objects or mak­ing state­ments that glo­ri­fy Nazism is ille­gal in Aus­tria, where Hitler was born and which was annexed into his Third Reich.

Josef Riemer, the Free­dom Par­ty par­lia­men­tar­i­an for the con­stituen­cy, said in an emailed state­ment the par­ty was tak­ing the accu­sa­tions very seri­ous­ly and had sus­pend­ed the official’s mem­ber­ship until the case was resolved. He added the offi­cial rejects the alle­ga­tions and had already hired a lawyer.

The mayor’s lawyer Dieter Neger, who declined to iden­ti­fy the town or any­one involved, said he would offi­cial­ly hand the case, which he said includ­ed two wit­ness state­ments, to pros­e­cu­tors in the city of Graz lat­er on Tues­day.
The Free­dom Par­ty, which was found­ed by for­mer Nazis but says it has left its past behind, has repeat­ed­ly thrown out offi­cials in recent years over Nazi alle­ga­tions. . . .