Towards the Rise of the United States of the Atlantic?

Written by Alexandros Liakopoulos, liakalex@brightsightveritas.com

If “follow the money” is the catchphrase of investigative reporting concerning corruption, bribes, abuses of authority, high-end scandals, and clear-cut criminal actions, “follow the power” should be its analogue when it comes to intelligence analysis and strategic patterns identification. Yet, even if “people should not be unfamiliar with strategy, for those who understand it will survive and those who do not understand it will perish”, as Sun Tzu puts it in his all-time classic “Art of War”, all but very few people – including political leaders, for what that matters – have no clue of what strategy is, how it works and how to trace its trails. And most people also do not really understand what power is and how it operates, as Bernard Russell has substantiated in his well-appreciated book some decades ago. Noam Chomsky has also written extensively on the subject, especially when it comes to US high-politics, or – put differently – US strategic thinking, action-forming and action-taking. In terms of power, economic power – money, formation of public opinion – propaganda, and hard-war machinery – weapons, are the three essential elements, the three pillars of the overall power of a state. A great power of the international system can substitute one with the other or can even create and absorb a hit – or a crisis – on one, or even two, of these three pillars, as long as with the remaining pillar it can accomplish its strategic orientation, it can create a bigger pain to the enemy than the one it will have to go through, or it can exchange the losses on this or these pillar or pillars, with the gains they will produce in the one or two remaining pillar or pillars. In a brilliant book of the middle 19th century, which is also the 7th best-sellers of all times, Maurice Joly explained greatly how “absolute power” operates: the title of the book is “Dialogue in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu” and is maybe the most accurate book to read for the realization of the current state of international affairs, economic crises, wars and the like.

“Follow the power” is the main instrument with which strategic analysts work throughout the centuries. In politics – internal and external politics, low and high politics – as also in nature, what cannot be sustained is a power-vacuum. When a power vacuum gets created, it very soon gets absorbed from the strongest power system of the region, whether it is close, not so close, or even distant one. Systems relate to their subsystems in a holistic, in most cases non-linear way, where – as Aristotle puts it – “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”. Systems’ theory is essential to understand the international environment, as this is always a system, even if nowadays the international system looks less and less like international and less and less like a system: systems go through what is known to the physicist as the phase of “entropy”, where subsystems collapse and new relations get created, new patterns emerge, new subsystems unify the collapsing fragments and the New System gets verified as a solid and direct offspring of the Old one. As in all eras and all physical environments, the same applies to the current power system as well: for a new international system to emerge, the old one has to vanish. And even if people are reluctant to change and actually tend to fight change with all their heart for as long as they can, change still happens: “everything flux” according to Heraclitus, “the power circulates and transforms” according to the Yin Yang theory or – if you prefer it – “History develops dialectically” as Hegel and Marx-Engels would put it.

This brief philosophical perspective being put forward is essential for dealing with and analyzing the current state of the “Greek Drama” that often monopolizes the formation of international public opinion, which today tends to be called “communication”. And as this Greek drama gets more and more essential for the creation of the World Order of the 21st century that will have to succeed the one of the 20th – through an initial stage of disorder, that is – I ‘d like to invite everyone to investigate some very essential facts having to do with the international environment within which the Greek drama occurs, in which it gets manifested, through which it got developed, to which it applies and for the next stages of which it gets more and more important, or even central, nowadays. Unavoidably, one will have to investigate the 2006-08 US-generated collapse of the world economic order which still manifests its results, yet it does not get recognized as such, due to efficient and effective strategic crisis management of the Obama administration, which managed to dispatch the crisis to the periphery of the West and sustain the US economy while “spilling-the-crisis-over-to-the-Rest”. And one should forget that that crisis occurred only some years after former President Bush announced his famous “whoever is not with us is with the terrorists”, while launching his Dirty Wars and Europe was protesting massively against it.

Greece – and Europe as a whole – was the main victim of the “crisis” having been created after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the aftermath of which, in historical terms, signify nothing more than the western equivalent of the “collapse of USSR” back in the late ‘80s. In 2008, what has really happened, yet none recognizes it as such, is the economic fall of the USA, or – in power terms – the destruction of the “money pillar” of US power, which – as very well expected – created a much bigger problem – though a spill-over avalanche effect – “to everybody else” connected with the Western money system and world banks’ architecture. Greece’s problems started in late 2009, exactly when that US’ crisis spilled-over the Atlantic and landed to EU’s periphery, hitting the most “exposed” – or vulnerable – members of the EU to the US-oriented money system. IMF – in which US maintains a vast 17.68% of the votes, with Japan at the second place with 6.56% – appeared in Europe for the first time, after the “crisis” landed in Europe’s periphery. All decisions it later created for handling the “Greek problem” were judged by key-persons of the organization as inaccurate or blunt faults after they have been applied for a period exactly as designed from IMF despite Greeks’ objections at the time, creating a devastating social and economic effect in Greece, disrupting the European social and political order, and putting forward a new era in the process. Today we live in the aftermath of those events, timely very close to the era they have been produced: in strategic terms, 4-5 years are only the environment of micro-analysis, while the macro-analysis – or the “big picture” of long term strategy – extends to over 30 years in any organization that respects itself enough. The US government is in more than one sense a very well self-respected organization, to say the least about it.

All in all, Greeks paid a very big price for wrong choices of their previous governors and still pay, in terms of social indicators, employment, quality of life, or even human rights. The very fabric of the Greek political order was disrupted and a new, emerging political order got created. Old parties got completely destroyed in recent elections and will do so even more in the future along with their newest formations this time, as heavy propaganda took and continues to take place in the country, driving the society nuts: depression and suicides have sky-rocketed during the years of crisis and they may serve as an indicator in that sense. The mass media that control the (in)formation of the Greek public opinion and the propaganda element for which I am talking about remain at the hands of some oligarchs with international affiliations and massive dealings to all spheres of Greek and Western economic life: they are the ones that catapulted a massive psychological-war against Greek people, inside and outside the country, blaming Greeks as being corrupt, lazy and inefficient, or even crooks in some cases, even if they work more than all other Europeans, they are gentle and hospital with foreigners, etc, etc. Facts tend to get overturn when it comes to propaganda wars: “never destroy a good story just because facts tend to show otherwise” is the underlying logic here, as facts can – and did – be presented in parallel with non-facts, they can be altered or even get completely corrupted, so the effects one seeks are the effects one gets from the formation of public opinion.

So, to cut a long story short, the effects of 5 years “crisis management” of the West are more or less complete: power has moved from the national government to the international lenders who were as brutal as to put former Greek prime ministers to sign the “abolition of national sovereignty clauses of the institution” – something they have no power to do, actually – in front of the cameras. Private debts of mostly French and German banks along with Greek ones got transformed to national debts of the Greek people, which they were not previously. National parliament lost more or less all of its power, which got absorbed by the European Commission, the German government and IMF. What Greeks say about their problems became irrelevant and democracy became a joke, or – say – an element of public obedience and control. And now, as “Greeks have revolted” and elected a government from a party that till recently and for over two decades it controlled no more than 4-5% of the votes, this very democracy becomes one more tool to destroy its very-notion and completely discredit Greece, a whole people’s political choices and a country’s very future, or even the whole world economic order, towards a massive 21st century that recognizes not the importance of democratic ideas as essential to its very formation, or judge them a “luxury” it cannot afford, as world population develops, while climate change makes lands disappear under the rising seas oceans. Technocracy up-rises along with total power of the 1% nowadays, while democracy gets disrupted and collapses, along with the rights and properties of the 99%. And for this to happen, the idea of democracy needs to be destroyed in the country that gave birth to it, so Greece suffers the penalties of a long and very-well designed, high-politics strategy “of the west”, towards unifying itself in front of – or against? – the East and the South of the 21st century, especially after the famous “pivot” of President Obama.

Should Greece leave the Euro, it will most probably look for alternative money and US will be there to cover the vacuum, as a “long and well-established friend”. But Greece will not be the last following that road, it will only open it up, having no alternative for the time-being, or being convinced of having no alternative, which is one and the same in practical political terms. And even if the event will not get officially recognized but only after 50 years in history books, most probably then Greece will be insignificant to counter as the basic story of the narrative and these books will not start with “Once upon a time there was a beautiful historical country that used to be part of the European Union”, but with “Once upon a time there used to be an effort of the Europeans to control their fives and their futures on their own, through peaceful collaboration instead of antagonistic competitions and wars, which was called the European Union. But as that Union could not be compatible with US long-term strategy for the 21st century, it got absorbed by it, creating the United States of the Atlantic in the place of the USA and EU.” And if “We, the European People” do not want that to happen, we should – at last! – listen to Sun Tzu and pay an effort to become familiar with strategy, expressing our solidarity and collaboration to Greece, instead of leaving it alone to pay a price which will be the very same price the rest of the continent will also pay after Greece, towards a road than was not designed by Europeans, neither decided by them, yet it is them that will have to travel it.

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