Do people really know what democracy is? Do they really want it?

Sometimes it is a bit scary.

There are still many people out there who think that the EU is basically democratic, only a bit bureaucratic maybe and of course, there are issues with the Euro, but we can somehow still fix it all and “move Brussels into the right direction” ….

They don’t seem to know that if for example the so-called EU parliament had anything to do with democracy or democratic voting rules the majority of MEP’s would have to be from Germany since this is the country with the largest population in the EU. They also seem to ignore the fact that the EU “parliament” does not elect the EU Commission or the EU Council, the two bodies that can be seen as the EU executive or government. And we haven’t even started talking about the right of this “parliament” to decide on budgetary matters (which it can’t) or the separation of powers or the constitution of the board of directors at the ECB.

In Scotland, with regards to the planned independence referendum or as some put it, the “breaking up of the union”, I’m not sure if people know better about what democracy really means and how it should look like (is it compatible with monarchy for example?), but the main issue here seems to be that within the current economic climate they don’t seem to dare to go it alone, to break free and take matters into their own hands again. Many cling to the old idea of “the bigger, the better” which is obviously nonsense since if this was true, India and Indonesia should be much richer than Norway or Switzerland or Singapore for that matter.

In the end, it comes down to the same thing, whether you are too stupid or too lazy or too anxious: If for whichever reasons you can’t be bothered to look after your own country, odds are that other people will take matters into their hands. And it is by no means guaranteed that they will do so in a 100% benevolent way for you and your country, as can be seen in the way Brussels acts or London used to decide (and still decides) on many Scottish matters.

But maybe people everywhere get the governments they deserve.


Does Scotland really want Independence?

I totally forgot to post this, but it has been an ongoing topic for years anyway: Scotland’s wish (or at least the wish of a varying number of Scots) to become a fully independent nation again. On 22 September, about 10, 000 people marched on a pro-independence rally in Edinburgh:

Opinion polls over the years have shown differing degrees of support for this ambitious political goal. As far as I can remember, about 50% of all Scots supported the idea of full independence (not only devo-max) in 2007, while now it’s about a third. And while the march was a positive experience with a wide variety of groups attending, many good speakers, great music and brilliant weather (!) 10,000 people (or maybe even less, if you take the official numbers) are not that many – compared to for example 1,5 million who marched for the same goal in Catalonia.

I can imagine that with the current economic downturn, the end of Nulabor’s credit-fuelled “endless boom” and the ongoing Euro/EU crisis with growing tension between the countries, many Scots are not so sure anymore as to where their place in a future Europe will be once they have become independent. A few years ago, the path for the independence camp seemed to be clear: Break away from England and the dictates from Westminster and go for stronger ties with the EU/maybe even Euro membership (probably not only hoping for more freedom, but maybe also more money …).

But with the current situation on the continent, things have started to look very different. Would an independent Scotland qualify for the Euro at all? Would it still make sense to join it anyway? Once in the Euro, the Scots would maybe have to help finance the “lazy Southerners”, like Greece and Spain … as has happened to the small and not rich Estonia. Or given the quite disastrous state of the Scottish economy, they would be counted as another “PIIGS” country and receive support from Brussels/Berlin, but including dictates, austerity measures and an EU-approved (Goldman Sachs) technocrat to rule their country – as has happened in Greece and Italy. Would it really make sense to break free from Westminster, as many put it, only to be then bossed around by the EU, ending up like the Irish?

I think none of the above is really appealing to a majority of Scots, so they may just want to go on with the Union, at least knowing how that is like, knowing what they get, what they can expect and not having to jump into completely unknown territory.

The other option would be to break free from London rule, become independent and go it all alone, being a brave pioneer and showing the world that it is possible to exist as a small country with a proper democracy that makes its own rules, sells its own resources and is not bossed around by anyone. Other European countries may follow and break away from Brussels in the same way (how much I wish Germany would do this, for example! How much I wish I would see a march as the one in Edinburgh last week in German cities every week!).

In the end it all comes down to a lot of courage, determination and a clear vision. It is not enough to say, hey, we’ll become independent. Scotland will have to produce a clear idea of how it would be like after independence and maybe completely re-invent itself. For the moment, the great idol is Norway (which I think is one of the best idols you can have as a country), but that is still a long way to go. A way that would have to be mapped very well. If you look at the current issues in Scotland: a high unemployment rate, no sustainable economy (too much “banking” and “service”), alcoholism, poverty, obesity problems and mental health issues that affect about 1 in 4 Scots you know what I mean. It’s not enough to wear a kilt, wave a flag and dream of William Wallace. Those days are long gone …

On the other hand, independence could be a bit like shock therapy, like jumping into cold water and just having to swim. In that way, the Scots may be able to break free from their underdog psyche and gain back national self-confidence in a way that will benefit them, not just in a flag-waving way. They may find their their old strength again, their inventiveness and sense of business so that they will be able to solve their problems little by little.

We should not forget the great Scottish scientific and intellectual achievements of the Enlightenment era in the 18th century: Adam Smith basically invented modern economics and James Watt built the first steam engine – both have not only contributed to the development of Western society, but greatly revolutionised the whole world.

The referendum in 2014 will show what the Scottish nation thinks and how it truly feels about itself and its strength. And anyway, by 2014 the whole of Europe may be so bankrupt and chaotic and unfree (including England, of course) that independence could finally come as a relief, even to those who still feel unsure and insecure now. And then, Scotland will have already done at least the groundwork. At least they would mentally be quite well prepared for independence.

PS In case they should break free in 2014, I would give them one piece of advice: Do not throw away your nuclear weapons all at once! You might find more oil and then the USA could decide to “democratise” your country a little bit. In particular after independence, they might want to “help you bring about true freedom and democracy”.

Further down the road towards post-democracy

Today, the German constitutional court basically approved the most abominable ESM (“European Stability Mechanism”). As was expected. So far, this court has always followed the “European” road, in the way the “elites” plan their Europe: As a superstate with unlimited access to people’s ressources and very limited freedoms. The court imposed just two requirements, probably to make its decision look more balanced and less obvious: The German Bundestag will have to approve every extra Euro above the already “agreed” 190 billion Euro and the members of parliament will have to be informed about new plans and developments of the ESM. Knowing the current “nod through” mentality of the German parliament, both requirements are of course nothing but fig leafs. And what about the 190 billion Euro? Shouldn’t the German people be asked if they are happy to give away about two thirds of their annual budget in order to “save” foreign banks? Isn’t it high time that they are asked not only about the ESM, but about the whole direction Europe is taking? Why have they never been asked about anything?

Now, only the German Bundespraesident Gauck can stop the ESM, can stop the beginnings of a (finance) dictatorship in Europe, orchestrated by Goldman Sachs et al, that will ultimately destroy the very values and foundations of this continent: democracy, freedom, the constitutional state. I doubt that he won’t sign the treaty, it just looks like as if everything had been carefully planned long in advance. The two heads of state before Mr Gauck would never have signed such a thing as the ESM (it is said). And the circumstances under which they left or had to leave their office were very weird …

So, the next “Ermaechtigungsgesetz” is well underway. If the ESM comes into effect, Germany will loose its financial and national souvereignty and become liable for other European countries and their banks (without limit). Needless to say, that the majority of the German citizens did not benefit from the Euro. And that this common currency destroys the economies of the PIIGS because it ruins their competitiveness. And that hatred among the European nations is already growing.

Who benefits from this?

Zen, Money and the Flow of Life

Just finished a very insightful book: The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts. Basically, this is one of those “spiritual” books that try to tell you more about life and what really matters, how to live more fully in our “modern times” and all the rest of it. The basis here is something close to Zen Buddhism as I understand it (or try to understand). You know, this thing about “letting go”, “living in the moment”, knowing that there is only ever the present and no other time, listening to the wisdom of the body and flowing from one moment to the next, while being truly aware of each, and without regret for the past or worry about the future. This should transform your life.

The funny thing here is something actually quite typical for Zen (which BTW I think is the jazz among the spiritual traditions, just as Tango is the jazz among the Latin dances). Watts states that, ironically, we end up with insecurity BECAUSE we are always trying to be secure, and that salvation can only come through realising that there actually is no way of saving ourselves. But he doesn’t sound like this is a problem … It is all about going through every situation that comes up, facing it and not running away from it, about deeply knowing that there is no “I” and no “other”, that there is no seperation at all, that all is one and that once we feel that and forget ourselves, loose ourselves in whatever we are doing (“transforming the ego”), we can be truly happy … But if you hold your breath (to use his best example) in order to keep it, you’ll loose it.

He also makes a very good point about money – and this is where economic and social aspects come in. He thinks that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously – for example, a social convention like money. Money is of course good because it saves us the trouble and inconvenience of barter, but we shouldn’t confuse it with real wealth because we can’t eat, drink it or wear it. Money can stay in a static form for a long time, like in the form of a gold coin or in a bank account. But REAL wealth, like food, is perishable. So a community may possess all the monies in the world, but if it does not tend the crops, it will starve and die. Here again, the flow of life comes in since static money in a bank account (in particular virtual money that only exists on computer screens) doesn’t have any intrinsic value at all. Especially in times of crisis when there will be bank runs and many people will find out that most of their money is actually hot air, created out of nothing (yes, banks do that).

It occurred to me that exactly here lies the connection to something like “spiritual economics”. With regards to the current financial crisis, one of our problems is the so-called global liquidity trap (Keynes has written about this) which basically means that at some point in the economic cycle more and more money is accumulated in fewer and fewer hands and stays put there. And these people tend to possess so much that they don’t need that much more. Their consumption is very low compared to their possibilities. On the other hand, it doesn’t make much sense for them to invest all that static money in order to get factories up and running and people into work because the level of demand needed to make these investments profitable cannot be found anymore since the vast majority of people have less and less money. The gap widens. What happens in such a situation is usually that “the rich” indulge in a lot of useless speculation, something that we can witness at the moment.

So if money becomes static and cannot flow freely anymore, we get into economic trouble. Like we get into “spiritual trouble” when our energies don’t flow freely, when we are stuck in the past or the future and don’t live in the moment. As Alan Watts has pointed out, all forms of real wealth are perishable, like food for example. So with food or other perishable or quality-loosing barter items for exchange, this wouldn’t have happened. People wouldn’t be able to store this kind of wealth for too long, thus taking energy out of the eonomic cycle. It would go back in and flow soon enough in exchange for other forms of real wealth. But with today’s forms of money it is very easy to take energy away from the economic flow and make it static for too long to the great detriment of whole economies and countries.

Could it be that in the end to fix our problems with the global economy, we would have to apply the same principles as to our spiritual life? A great revolutionary thinker, business man and social reformer, Silvio Gesell, has tried to invent something like a “natural economic order” that would completely alter the way we think about and deal with money – that would ultimately make money a perishable good since that is what we want while still being able to enjoy the convenience of money. He said we would need something like “free money”: Money that looses its worth over time, thus forcing people to either spend or invest it which would make it enter the economic flow again where it can be productive to the benefit of a healthy economy.

Interestingly, it is said that Silvio Gesell had a kind of “vision” to arrive at his conclusions.

The chaos in the world is growing …

Looks like the ECB will print even more money. And Germany seems to be surrounded by “friends” who are concerned that the country may become “isolated” (well, they want our money and in this context like to remind us of the past, that just about sums it up). German finance minister Schaeuble is visited by US treasury secretary and Goldman Sucks buddy Geithner (during his holidays …) for some private talks about the Euro. Anglo-American casino banking is probably in great danger. Let the stupid Germans pay for the party that most of them didn’t even attend. The war criminal Blair whose country did not introduce the common currency at all even has the nerve to ask Germany to accept the socialisation of debt and “save the Euro”, indirectly proposing what he and his fellow Bilderbergers always wanted: a full political union in Europe. Meanwhile, very bad news from the German economy – and the precarious situation on the job market cannot be concealed that easily anymore. In the UK, people fear a false flag attack on the Olympic Stadium that might then be blamed on Iran to be finally able to start the war. By the way, Chinese war ships are on their way to Sewastopol. Interesting times we live in, as they say. I do hope nothing happens during the Olympics.

A very bad day for German democracy (or what is left of it)

Yesterday, 493 members of the German Bundestag voted for the ESM – this is basically the abolition of German sovereignty and another step towards the undemocratic EUSSR. The only hope left are the German Constitutional Court and the Bundespraesident. But I doubt very much that they can (or want to) change much. A very sad day. I think some kind of revolution is needed one day to bring back freedom and democracy in Europe.

The ESM is another step towards the “EUSSR”

Just watch this (German with English subtitles, not even 4 minutes):

On the “European Stability Mechanism” that is supposed to come into effect on 1 July 2012:

Looks like as if the comrades in Brussels try to use the current Euro crisis (as many observers have suspected for quite some time) to set up just another trap for innocent, democracy and freedom-loving Europeans who sadly and ironically might still think the Euro/EU was a good idea, but please get your facts straight:

An unelected body is supposed to be responsible for the Eurozone member states budgets. It can limitlessly and irrevocably demand as much money as it sees fit from the Eurozone taxpayers (in particular the Germans, of course), to be transferred within seven days. It will enjoy immunity from any legal proceedings, but can sue others itself. No future parliament or government of the member states can change or abolish this body.

How does that sound? A bit like a perpetual taxpayer-milking machine? A bit like a dictatorship?

(email petition against the ESM for German readers, pls take part and circulate if you don’t want the above)

Here is more info:

Please get yourself informed, circulate and email your respective members of parliament, governments etc.

Time to act while we still can.