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Austerity, Up Close and Personal, Part 3: The Continuation of War by Other Means

 COMMENT: Pre­vi­ous posts have high­light­ed the pro­found influ­ence of Pruss­ian mil­i­tary the­o­reti­cian  von Clause­witz [1] on the evo­lu­tion, the­o­ry and prac­tice of Ger­man pow­er struc­ture. We have also not­ed that the Ger­man insis­tence on aus­ter­i­ty has had the effect of dec­i­mat­ing the soci­eties [2]sub­ject­ed to that doc­trine and dri­ving their pop­u­la­tions in the direc­tion of total­i­tar­i­an­ism. [3]

Recall that it was Ger­man chan­cel­lor Hein­rich Brun­ing’s insis­tence on bud­getary aus­ter­i­ty that helped pave the way for the rise of Hitler [4].

As the Euro­pean deba­cle con­tin­ues, we are in a posi­tion to fur­ther eval­u­ate the depth and scope of the social destruc­tion stem­ming from it. 

A recent report notes that Europe faces sev­er­al “lost gen­er­a­tions” as impov­er­ished young peo­ple incur the dam­age result­ing from “aus­ter­i­ty.” Inter­est­ing­ly and sig­nif­i­cant­ly, large num­bers of des­per­ate, unem­ployed youth are seek­ing work in Ger­many.

Ulti­mate­ly, this fig­ures to have the effect of increas­ing the social stress and pres­sure on the Ger­man work­force, who will face increased and intense com­pe­ti­tion for avail­able jobs. “Anti-immi­grant” sen­ti­ment has proved an effec­tive recruit­ing tool for the far right around the world.

The dire cir­cum­stances in Greece have fueled the rise of the Gold­en Dawn–a Greek neo-fas­cist par­ty that suc­cess­ful­ly exploits the social chaos in that coun­try to increase its ranks. Gold­en Dawn has begun active­ly recruit­ing among Greek expa­tri­ates who have moved to Ger­many in search of work.

 The Nation­al Action Par­ty, a Turk­ish fascist/nationalist par­ty estab­lished a pres­ence in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s among the “guest work­ers” in Ger­many. Gold­en Dawn may be attempt­ing to re-cre­ate the suc­cess of the NAP.

Numer­ous posts and pro­grams [5] have dis­cussed the Euro­pean Mon­e­tary Union as the real­iza­tion of the Third Reich’s goal [6] of a Ger­man dom­i­nat­ed eco­nom­ic union as a vehi­cle for world con­quest.

Will the “lost gen­er­a­tions” of Europe become the cadre for the suc­cess­ful rise of “Euro-fas­cism?” Is that pre­cise­ly the goal of the Under­ground Reich [7] and its eco­nom­ic foun­da­tion, the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work? [8] It would be fool­ish to over­look the pos­si­bil­i­ty.

Recall­ing the the­o­ret­i­cal tenets of von Clause­witz, what we are see­ing is, quite lit­er­al­ly, the con­tin­u­a­tion of war by oth­er means [9].

All Hon­or­able Men by James Stew­art Mar­tin; Lit­tle, Brown [HC]; Copy­right 1950 by James Stew­art Mar­tin; p. 235. [10]

. . . . The end of bat­tle in 1945 had sig­naled the start of a new kind of war–a  post-war. Ger­many’s clas­si­cal  mil­i­tary the­o­rist, von Clause­witz, is famous for hav­ing declared that “war is the con­tin­u­a­tion of diplo­ma­cy by oth­er means.”  In deal­ing with a Ger­many which had gone to school with von Clause­witz for gen­er­a­tions, we knew that, con­verse­ly, a post-war is the con­tin­u­a­tion of war by oth­er means.  Since Bis­mar­ck, wars and post-wars have formed a con­tin­u­ous series, chang­ing the qual­i­ty of the events only slight­ly from year to year, with no  such thing as a clear dis­tinc­tion between  heat of  bat­tle and calm of  peace.  This  post-war of  the Ger­man occu­pa­tion was  dif­fer­ent from the  “cold war”  between the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia, which broke out at about  the same time. The lat­ter com­pli­cat­ed  the  diag­no­sis, like a man get­ting typhoid fever and pneu­mo­nia at the same time. . . .

“Austerity’s Chil­dren Becom­ing Europe’s ‘Lost Gen­er­a­tion,’ Rais­ing Fears of New Cri­sis” by Claire Dav­en­port [Reuters]; Finan­cial Post; 2/14/2013. [11]

EXCERPT: Chil­dren across Europe are being dri­ven into pover­ty by harsh gov­ern­ment aus­ter­ity and youth unem­ploy­ment is soar­ing, threat­en­ing to cre­ate “lost gen­er­a­tions” that could fire up a new con­ti­nen­tal cri­sis.

Glob­al char­ity Car­i­tas said on Thurs­day that around three out of every 10 chil­dren in Greece, Ire­land, Por­tu­gal, Italy and Spain are in or have been pushed to the brink of pover­ty.

Greece said its youth unem­ploy­ment had now exceed­ed 60%. Spain’s is above 50% and Por­tu­gal has just topped 40%.

Think tank Bruegel said the prob­lem extend­ed well beyond the debt-laden periph­eral euro­zone economies and could come back to reverse Europe’s slow recov­ery from finan­cial cri­sis.

In a report, Car­i­tas said euro­zone coun­tries that have received inter­na­tional loans — plus Italy, which hasn’t — are cre­at­ing a huge class of poor­ly-edu­cat­ed and poor­ly-fed young peo­ple with low morale and few job prospects.

“This could be a recipe not just for one lost gen­er­a­tion in Europe but for sev­eral lost gen­er­a­tions,” Car­i­tas said, cit­ing the Euro­pean Union’s own sta­tis­tics.
While these coun­tries’ future work­ers may suf­fer a loss of morale, qual­i­fi­ca­tions and prospects, those that strug­gle through are like­ly to take their tal­ents else­where.

Those with qual­i­fi­ca­tions are already leav­ing in droves to seek work else­where, par­tic­u­larly in Ger­many where the num­ber of Span­ish and Greek job­seek­ers almost dou­bled dur­ing the first half of 2012.

Bruegel econ­o­mist Zsolt Dar­vas said the relent­less rise in youth unem­ploy­ment not only destroyed morale at an impor­tant age of devel­op­ment but also threat­ened to reignite an eco­nomic cri­sis that appeared to be eas­ing.

“This is not just a prob­lem for these (periph­eral) coun­tries. This is a Euro­pean prob­lem,” he said. Thir­teen of the Euro­pean Union’s 27 mem­ber states have youth unem­ploy­ment above 25%.

Since 2010, Greece, Ire­land, and Por­tu­gal have received bil­lions of euros in loans from the EU and the Inter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund in return for spend­ing cut­backs and tax ris­es. Spain has had its banks bailed out. . . .

... In 2010, 37.6% of chil­dren were at risk of pover­ty or exclu­sion in Ire­land and 28.9% in Italy. Fig­ures for 2011 are not avail­able.

Chil­dren are defined as near­ing pover­ty and exclu­sion if they live in fam­i­lies with 60% or less the medi­an income or have par­ents with lit­tle or no employ­ment or lack basic essen­tials such as pro­tein-rich foods, heat­ing and clothes.

Car­i­tas said gov­ern­ments must ask them­selves what these trends will mean for chil­dren in the long run.

Stud­ies show chil­dren from poor house­holds are more like­ly to under­per­form at school and to strug­gle to find or keep a job.

“They are look­ing at a future where the prospect of unem­ploy­ment is stretch­ing out ahead of them,” de Bur­ca said.

“Fears in Ger­many as Gold­en Dawn Moves in from Greece” by Kate Con­nolly and Hele­na Smith; The Guardian [UK]; 2/5/2013. [12]

EXCERPT: Ger­man and Greek rightwing extrem­ists have been forg­ing close con­tacts in Ger­many in an attempt to strength­en their pow­er base in Europe, accord­ing to Ger­man offi­cials.

Mem­bers of the Greek neo-Nazi par­ty Gold­en Dawn are believed to have set up a cell in the south­ern Ger­man city of Nurem­berg with the aim of recruit­ing young Greeks who have flocked to the coun­try in search of work.

Greek com­mu­nity lead­ers in Ger­many have con­demned the arrival of the par­ty, also known as Chrysi Avgi, and called on author­i­ties to clamp down on a group that they said had shown its readi­ness to use vio­lence in Greece and could attempt to do the same in Ger­many.

Gold­en Dawn, which has close to 20 seats in the Greek par­lia­ment, has described the move on its web­site as the “answer of expat Greeks to the dirty hip­pies and the regime of demo­c­ra­tic dic­ta­tor­ship in our home­land”.

In a state­ment, the Bavar­ian office for the pro­tec­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion said: “We are keep­ing an eye on devel­op­ments.”

It said Gold­en Dawn had “an inter­na­tional net­work of con­tacts, includ­ing con­tacts with neo-Nazis in Bavaria. These con­tacts are cul­ti­vated via mutu­al vis­its as well as at meet­ings at rightwing extrem­ist events in Europe.”

It con­firmed that mem­bers of Gold­en Dawn and far-right Ger­man groups had organ­ised rec­i­p­ro­cal vis­its to each other’s coun­tries as well as meet­ing at rightwing extrem­ist meet­ings out­side Ger­many and Greece. . . .

... An esti­mated 380,000 Greeks live in Ger­many, main­ly in the indus­trial Ruhr val­ley, though the actu­al fig­ure, as – many do not reg­is­ter with the author­i­ties – is believed to be near­er 900,000. Rough­ly-speak­ing in mod­ern times they have come in three waves – after the sec­ond world war and then dur­ing the Greek dic­ta­tor­ship, when many Greek com­mu­nists were giv­en refuge, par­tic­u­larly in East Ger­many.

The third wave is occur­ring now as many, par­tic­u­larly young Greeks, come to Ger­many look­ing for work and to escape unem­ploy­ment at home.German neo-Nazi groups, such as the Bavar­i­an-based Freies Netz Süd, have been fol­low­ing the polit­i­cal suc­cesses of Chrysi Avgi for some time, mak­ing open ref­er­ence to the Greek par­ty on their web­sites.

The anti-Nazi organ­i­sa­tion Nurem­berg Union Nazi Stop said it would be mon­i­tor­ing Gold­en Dawn’s activ­i­ties in Ger­many.

Over the past months Gold­en Dawn, which is wide­ly con­sid­ered to be racist and anti­se­mitic, has been held respon­si­ble for numer­ous attacks on for­eign­ers in Greece. The par­ty, whose sym­bol resem­bles the swasti­ka, won 18 par­lia­men­tary seats in last year’s elec­tion. Its pop­u­lar­ity cur­rently stands at around 12%. . . .