Posted tagged ‘Treaty of Westphalia’

ANOTHER GREAT DEPRESSION COMING AS FINANCIAL SYSTEM ENDS

August 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Is the global economy moving downward towards a devastating collapse?

If we employ a long-term Kondratieff cycle to model the world economy, we can see that the period beginning in 1935 approximately (when the big market economies US-UK-Germany moved towards another cycle of growth approximately after the Great Depression, should have ended around 1995 approximately, after which comes another great depression.

As early as 1989, ramblings of a global collapse began to murmur in the US economy. Mexico, Japan, Argentina, and other economies followed in the 1990s, while Europe went through a general low-growth trend that was the most sustainable for the continent as a whole. Then came the Asian meltdown of 1997. Then the USA again went through a recession in 2001, a pattern that has been repeated again from 2008 to the present. It seems that the pillars of the world economy couldn’t get out of a short-term crisis without having to crash back to another episode of short-term crisis altogether.

Is it really a ‘short-term’ crisis in the first place? Or is it in fact a ‘systemic crisis’, and that the financial downspin the Northern economic pillars are going through could very well be the terminal phase of a very long cycle of growth that began after the end yet of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648)? That in fact, several long-wave Kondratieff cycles have already passed over since that time, and that finally the system is DEAD in the wood?

Well, not only the financial system but the whole of CAPITALISM is already on its death throes. Those oligarchs behind the systems now dying won’t see the systems they built die down just that without “bringing down the other houses” with them, it seems. Which means that, right after the terminal phase of the system, another huge, catastrophic war will come, which will later see another Westphalian-type treaty or so that will re-carve the contours of polities into a Post-Westphalian totalitarian technotronic global order.

Below is a briefer from the Executive Intelligence Review that summarizes the issue at hand.   

[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Executive Intelligence Review database news.]

End of the Line for Financial System; Bankruptcy Issue Raised

Aug. 10, 2008 (EIRNS)—The death of the financial system was the implicit subject of several articles in the financial press over the weekend, reflecting the way reality is setting in and attitudes are changing.

  • “Investment banking is dying,” was the blunt statement by William Cohan, in a op-ed in today’s Washington Post entitled “The End of the Masters of the Universe?” Cohan says that the revenue streams of the investment banks are drying up, and that there is genuine fear in the corridors of power on Wall Street.
  • “We have a banking crisis and an agency crisis and a mortgage crisis and a coming credit card crisis. We’ve never seen anything like that before. And it all seems to be coming home to roost at the same time. That’s never happened either,” Charles Geisst, a professor of finance at Manhattan University, told yesterday’s Washington Post. He said the Great Depression was the last time the financial markets were hammered by such a variety of factors, adding: “But we did not even have credit cards in the 1930s; there was no such thing as student loans.”
  • The specter of generalized bankruptcy was raised by Yale finance professor Robert J. Shiller in an op-ed in the New York Times. Citing the failure of Bear Stearns and the government measures to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Shiller asks, “What if the next case is worse? No one in government seems to feel a responsibility for warning about such possibilities and formulating a detailed policy for dealing with them.” Shiller says that “Bankruptcy law is a good place to start. After all, the dreaded financial meltdown would amount to a wave of bankruptcies…. What would happen to the economy if hedge funds had to liquidate, one after another, in a financial crisis? We need to rethink the theory and practice of bankruptcy, given the new complexities.”

Shiller points to the inherent limitations in current bankruptcy laws, which were largely drawn to protect narrow financial interests, and are poorly suited to deal with systemic problems, when a “subsidized system of triage would be needed to identify which companies should be saved, with the main criterion being the possible economic impact of their liquidation.”

These comments, taken as a whole, represent the way discussions of the “unthinkable” are beginning to percolate, and converge upon the outlook of Lyndon LaRouche. Shiller’s mention of triage by bankruptcy echoes the emergency measures proposed by LaRouche, of putting the financial system itself through bankruptcy, protecting the population with a firewall, and freezing the financial paper while we determine what debts will, and won’t, be honored. Whatever Shiller may think about LaRouche’s proposals, he is implicitly admitting that the system is finished, and that we must prepare for its demise, making decisions on the basis of the interests of society, and not merely the narrow interests of financial institutions. Reality is setting in, and reality leads inexorably to the policies outlined by LaRouche. 

KOSOVO, BALKAN STATES: MODELING FUTURE POST-WESTPHALIAN MINI-STATES

June 30, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

When Kenichi Ohmae released his writings about the rise of region-states, my curious, quite naughty mind nurtured the irresistible query about what Ohmae had at the back of his mind. Ohmae is among the coterie of contemporary Japanese intellectuals that include Francis Fukuyama and William Oichi. These intellectuals are no charlatans, and they belong to a new breed of Japanese who are more Western and globalist in orientation than their forebears.

 

While my esteem for these gentlemen is beyond doubt, their globalist orientation makes them suspect as Pied Pipers of the nascent global oligarchy (financial cartels, magnates, tycoons, taipans). When they cogitated about the ‘end of history’ (Fukuyama) in a new context of ‘region states’ (Ohmae) where institutional arrangements will be markedly ‘theory z’ (Ouichi), they were consciously or unconsciously prognosticating a new order of things.

 

At the turn of the century, that order of things had begun to show a very determinative shape: a globalized world where nation-states’ very existence are threatened. Nation-states’ interests are anathema to those of the oligarchs’, and as already proved by experiences that date back to the Greek city-states, oligarchs will do everything to subordinate polities, from city-states to nations.

 

Nation-states’ interests are opposed to oligarchs’. History had shaped nations in fact as a process of overthrowing gentry oligarchs in the medieval era and keeping the potencies of rising merchants and financiers in check. Now that the oligarchy had rebounded by many folds from its ancient ruinations, catastrophes from which lessons were clearly learned, it (oligarchy) will work out determinately to destroy nations.

 

Globalization is simply but the starting phase of a long process to create a Post-Westpahalian ‘new world order’ dominated by and advancing the very interests of gigantic corporate trusts and oligarchic families. The process hasn’t clearly ended yet, not bottomed out yet. Necessarily, the nation-states will react to the process and will not allow their ruination as a matter of self-preservation. But the process will go on, and nations will be wrecked one after the other through ceaseless wars, economic collapse, genocides through natural and unnatural means, and fragmentation.

 

Fragmentation is among the political-economic offshoots of globalization. And if there is any model of fragmentation worth noting today (from the perspective of the global elites), it is the Balkan states. Croatia, Bosnia, and so on, till lately we have Kosovo, were born from out of the planning boards of the oligarchs and their subaltern politicians and technocrats.

 

Just by continuously drum-beating the ‘polarity game’, by creating new polities comprising of ‘oil and water’ unmixable social categories (e.g. unmixable ethnicities), future conflicts and wars are anticipated. This is part of the game plan. Kosovo was the latest experiment for this, and one should not be surprised at all about the latest version of a charter that does not at all reflect the consensual traditions of the ethnic groups in the area.

 

The British Empire, which is the organizational cloth of the British oligarchy represented by the royalty, and which is non-extinct but alive in the form of the commonwealth, had already experimented on the ‘polarity game’ of mixing unmixable ethnicities before. The potential and perpetual conflicts that will characterize such states will weaken the same state and eventually fragment it, till it can be taken over back by the oligarchy “on a silver platter.”

 

But the game plan today has another shape coming: the final eradication of nations and the formation of more manageable regions and city-states. Kosovo is right at the doorstep of mainstream Europe, and once the European Union becomes completely unified, with a totalitarian police state to enforce treaties and centralized fiats, the central government could always use the Kosovo-Balkan instance to re-design Europe into a Post-Westphalian order comprising of dozens of regions, each region with almost equal population and geographical area.

 

Since many potential regions in Europe are almost of mono-ethnic composition, save for certain big cities that are multi-cultural, the game plan requires breaking down that mono-ethnicity. The strategy for this is no other than migration: entice ‘third world’ and Eastern European laborers and professionals to immigrate to Europe, and if possible fix quotas to large quantities so that, within a two-decade period, there will be large numbers of migrants of relatively unmixable ethnicities.

 

Islam particularly serves the interests of the oligarchy excellently. Muslims of diverse ethnicities have histories of ethnic-tribal conflicts and sectarian antagonisms. If among themselves they could hardly see each other eye-to-eye, then Muslims would be perfect ‘guinea pigs’ for potential and actual conflicts in Europe. Many immigrants, even long after migrating to Europe, do not at all integrate with the mainstream culture, to the chagrin of middle class/urban Europeans.

 

As I already noted in some other write ups, the potential ethnic conflicts inside Europe will facilitate the institution of draconian measures to clamp down on restive peoples and install a police state. Upon the installation of a police state and the oiling of the continental military machinery for conflagrations, the next step would be to balkanize Europe directly by replacing nations with region-states and city-states.

 

The eradication of nations in fact is already on the drawing board of the oligarchy for the entire planet. The bombing of Iran is already in final planning stage, and once undertaken, could trigger a conflagration that will eventually have semblance with the 30 Years War of antiquity than with any of the 20th century world wars. The catastrophe following thereof could justify the re-drawing of territories into smaller, more manageable ones.

 

The temporary march of Europe towards the totalitarian Post-Westphalian order could only be that: temporary. It is now up to Europeans to assert their collective dissent and initiative, and re-assert the power of nations over the Union. The world is watching, and nations watch with anxiety as predatory forces are being unleashed that will see the catastrophic end of nation-states. Let us hope that the Europeans can show their collective will to stop the madness unfolding in their backyard.

 

If indeed Europe will fall, and likewise North America replicates the same scheme, then the North-South dialogue will end so drastically. As to how the end-phase of the dialogue will be reshaped thereafter is everybody’s guess. Nobody can ever claim expertise over a planet that is burning in Nero’s infernal fires.

 

[Writ 25 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]