Caveat emptor: the value of an investment in geopolitical “dividends” could go up or down
When I first saw the Berlin Wall in 1965, it was only four years old. To me then, it was a symbol of everything truly third rate about the Soviet Union: colourless, drab, and very sloppily constructed. Like most other idealistic kids of my generation, it represented the Orwellian hatred of ‘forcing people to be happy’ by caging them in: I longed for the time when it could be torn down….but all of us were (rightly) terrified of nuclear weapons and their mutually assured destruction (MAD) threat.
I went through Checkpoint Charlie to East Berlin several times. You could almost smell the fear in bars there when anyone from the Volkspolizei walked in. The shop windows were dingy, the stock haphazard and uninviting, the streets tawdry, the mood grey. Surely nobody in their right minds would choose to live in a State like that?
Well, Angela Merkel’s father did. And now his daughter is the censorious head of the reunited Bundesrepublik, and de facto Queen of Europe.
When the Wall came down in 1989, I was (as the chatterati say these days) “not in a good place”: I hated the 1980s with all its brylcreem barrow-boys and burning £20 notes in front of tramps, Big Bang, South Sea Bubbles and neglect of manufacturing and farming in Britain, jerks parking BMWs on double yellow lines and dickheads yelling ostentatiously into ‘mobile’ phones the size of a brick with a silly prick thing sticking out of the top. All of us in London were watching the tricks of the dicks with their pricks, and being told that this was the boom that would never end.
It quickly turned into a bust.
Trapped as some kind of money-making machine (to support an increasingly materialist household radiating conspicuous consumption in South London’s “rapidly rising” Telford Park) I had been earning an obscene salary working as the Managing Director of a publicly quoted advertising agency – where the clowns described above asked fuckwit questions at shareholders’ meetings, and those few sociopaths above me were more bent than Uri Geller’s cutlery.
Almost without exception, the destruction of the Berlin Wall was greeted in the West as A Very Good Thing; it was, the media told us, ‘A peace dividend’. We the citizens are still waiting for the payout: just as we await the Arab democratisation that followed ‘shock and awe’ in Iraq, and the ‘Arab Spring’ that followed CIA-inspired instability in the Middle East. Such is the value of having shares in US neocon foreign policy: their value can go up or down….and even disappear.
Curiously enough, Margaret Thatcher – the great geopolitical Cold Warrior Iron Horse and social vandal herself, in person – was the most conspicuous exception to this general rule of celebration. Thatcher was immediately and adamantly opposed to a rapid drive to German unification. Lord Waldegrave, who was Europe Minister in 1989, recalled Mrs Thatcher was alarmed Germany would be an “unstoppable force” in an unbalanced Europe.
She raised a far more fundamental alarm over a united Germany in early 1990, telling Mikhail Gorbachev, “All Europe is watching this, not without a degree of fear, remembering very well who started the two world wars”. Although something of a vengeful community nihilist in domestic policy, Thatcher was nevertheless a shrewd geopolitician who rightly distrusted EU denials of rampant federalist aims.
Came the euro, came the realisation of Mrs Thatcher’s fears: Germany was heavily involved in the blatant horse-trading corruption that allowed ClubMed to join the eurozone scam without exception. What lies lies at the heart of British euroscepticism is in fact twin valves: the perceptive fear of anti-democratic, Berlin-driven centralisation, and the obvious imbalance between the economic cultures of northern and southern Europe.
LeftLib fluffies, ruthless Marxists and greedy Tories fail to grasp this, because very few of them have had a commercial, trade-related career involving sound experience of negotiation, and the ever-present need to maintain a positive socio-economic culture.
The neoliberal Globalist model of financialised capitalism is every bit as insanely dysfunctional as the collectivist, internationalist and usually Marxist model put forward for socialism.
Both constructs claim to put the People first, but always put their needs last.
Those with a profound, multivariate desire to make a clean break with the European Union reject both confections. This is an objective ridiculed by the Left, dismissed by the Right, and rejected by the media/surveillance State axis.
Good enough reasons, in my view, to keep pushing the case for creative communitarian mutual capitalism.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.