This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 3, 2015:
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that Sunday’s vote is only about accepting or rejecting the troika’s terms to restart the flow of bailout funds that has been keeping the Greek economy from tanking. He said that a “no” vote “does not mean rupture with Europe but a return to Europe with values.”
Most assuredly Sunday’s vote is likely to, in hindsight, turn out to be much more than that. Historians might write that Sunday, July 5, 2015, ended Monnet’s dream.
Monnet was the architect, the primary driving force, behind the failing experiment in Europe called the European Union. He was head of the first genuine European executive body, the European Coal and Steel Community. Wikipedia got it right:
Never elected to public office, Monnet worked behind the scenes as a well-connected pragmatic internationalist…
[Monnet] was connected to the Wallenberg family in Sweden, the Bosch family in Germany, the Solvays and Boels in Belgium, and John Foster Dulles, Andre Meyer, and the Rockefeller family in the United States.
He was considered among the most connected persons of his time.
So well-connected and highly regarded was Monnet in creating the European Union that in 1963 he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Special Distinction, by then-president Lyndon Johnson.
At the end of the First World War Monnet presented his plan for a united Europe at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, proposing a “new economic order.” The Allies rejected his plan in April, but Monnet, president of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community, was undaunted.
In 1943 Monnet spoke to the French National Liberation Committee, pushing his plan:
There will be no peace in Europe if the states are reconstituted [after the war] on the basis of national sovereignty …
The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation….
His Monnet Plan, offered in 1945, morphed over time into today’s European Union, with the same goal in mind. Economic cooperation through the new currency, the euro, would eventually be replaced with a political union, replacing national sovereignty with a regional government-run by unelected officials unconnected directly to the citizens of those once-sovereign states. In other words, a regional dictatorship without recourse, restraint or accountability, just what Monnet claimed he was trying to avoid.
It would take force and coercion to create the EU as sovereign citizens, confronted directly, would be unlikely to give up essential freedoms willingly. They had to be persuaded, deceived and caught in a lobster trap from which there would be no escape. The effort was aided and abetted by economic “hit men” like John Perkins (author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man published in 2004 and shown above) who persuaded those politicians that “investments” using borrowed money would easily be paid back from the reviving economy resulting from those investments. His job was to convince them to accept enormous loans from the ECB and the IMF for infrastructure development. When the vastly overstated economic returns failed to materialize, those hit men became enforcers, imposing draconian terms to assure that hapless citizens would repay the debt. When those debts became so large as to become impossible to repay, the stakes were raised further: sell off government assets and give up essential national sovereignty.
When asked about his role as an economic hit man, Perkins explained:
Essentially, my job was to identify countries that had resources that our corporations want, and that could be things like oil, or it could be markets, or it could be transportation systems.
Once we identified these countries, we arranged huge loans to them, but the money would never actually go to the countries. Instead, it would go to our own corporations to build infrastructure projects in those countries, things like power plants and highways that benefitted a few wealthy people … but not the majority of people who couldn’t afford [them]. They were left holding a huge debt, very much like what Greece has today, a phenomenal debt.
When those countries failed to make payments, the pressure was increased:
We would go back, usually in the form of the IMF – in the case of Greece today, it’s the IMF and the EU – and make tremendous demands on the country: increase taxes, cut back on spending, sell public sector utilizes [to us], things like power companies and water systems, transportation systems..
[Greece] would basically become a slave to us, to the corporations, to the IMF, organizations like the World Bank….
Polls show that the plurality opposing the draconian terms (like raising further the VAT in a country whose economy is heavily dependent upon tourism!) is shrinking, due primarily to bank closures and delayed pension checks.
But it really doesn’t matter. The damage has already been done. Monnet’s end game has been exposed. The EU isn’t about peace, prosperity and freedom from war. It’s about establishing a regional dictatorship through the back door.
Even London’s Financial Times, the mouthpiece for the English establishment, has all but given up on the idea, thanks to the pushback against it by Tsipras. As Gideon Rachman wrote on Monday:
The shuttered banks of Greece represent a profound failure for the EU. The current crisis is not just a reflection of the failings of the modern Greek state, it is also about the failure of a European [Monnet’s] dream of unity, peace and prosperity…
The current crisis could easily lead to the country leaving the euro and eventually the union itself. That would undermine the fundamental EU proposition: that joining the European club is the best guarantee of future prosperity and stability.
As the lockdown of banks in Greece intensifies the pressure on hapless citizens caught in the middle, the number of them opposed to the troika’s terms for more money is narrowing. But it doesn’t really matter. The damage has been done. The damage is likely to be fatal to Monnet’s dream. Concluded Rachman:
If the Greek people vote to accept the demands of their EU creditors … Greece may yet stay inside both the euro and the EU.
But it will be a decision by a cowed and sullen nation. Greece would still be a member of the EU. But its European dream will have died.
Either way, Monnet’s dream has been exposed as a nightmare.
MarketWatch.com: Tsipras vows to hold Greek referendum, wants to stay in the euro
MarketWatch.com: Greek poll points to no vote in referendum
New York Times: Cash Withdrawals and Hoarding as Default Looms Over Greece
Amazon.com: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
David Stockman: Good On You, Alexis Tsipras
Financial Times: Europe’s dream is dying in Greece