There Is a Limit to a Tyrant's Power!
May 31, 2010 • 9:05AM

THE GLOBAL MASS-STRIKE PROCESS GROWS

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

What does the escalating mass strike in the United States, against the Obama Administration's policies in the interest of London and Wall Street, have in common with German taxpayers' rage against the EU diktat and the forced "EU750 billion rescue package," and the increased debate about the failure of the euro? The common denominator is the population's growing realization that enough is enough; that representatives of the financial interests have gone too far this time; that the politicians are taking their orders from those same people; and that citizens must and can defend their own interests!

The mass strike which exploded in the United States last August against the Obama Administration's life-shortening health policy, by means of which whole categories of patients would no longer be "prioritized," has entered a qualitatively new phase. The process has continuously assumed new forms since then, the more the economic situation of the people deteriorated, and the more blatant the "bailout" for Wall Street became. Polls show that 78% of the population wanted the Senate to introduce the Glass-Steagall standard—i.e., a banking system in which investment banking and commercial banking are separated by law—and to ban speculation in derivatives; therefore people were all the more enraged at the cowardice of the senators who succumbed instead to the massive pressure from the White House, and passed a financial reform bill that leaves loopholes for the speculators, as big as barn doors.

And then, there is Obama's "Katrina": Rather than immediately shifting government agencies into disaster response mode as soon as the explosion at the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico became known, President Obama set the fox to guard the chicken coop, leaving the matter to BP, which caused the disaster in the first place. He did nothing for five weeks during the developing environmental catastrophe, which is now making landfall in five states and may possibly contaminate the entire East Coast. The combination of the financial reform law in the interest of Wall Street, and Obama's inability to take enforcement measures against the British oil multinational—which was allowed to fill out its own state inspection reports—and the elimination of the moon-Mars program and dismissal of Jeff Hanley, the outspoken head of NASA's Constellation program—all this is fueling growing rage on the part of Americans.

In the November mid-term elections, incumbent Congressmen will find it tough to be re-elected, no matter which party they belong to. The Obama Administration has completely lost the trust of the population, and every day that the oil leak continues to disgorge its destructive effluent, from a depth of 1,500 meters, the anger increases. New evidence surfaces every day of the criminal negligence on the part of BP, obviously the result of a reckless greed for profit that is now causing enormous damage to the people and nature of the region.

The Mass-Strike Process in Europe

In Europe, where the financial crisis has now spread to Spain as expected, and, because of the interdependence of the banks, to Great Britain as well, a similar mass-strike process has developed against the austerity measures, which are seen as deeply unjust, and which naturally affect only the weaker income groups, while the Ackermanns keep their 25% profits.1Josef Ackermann is the CEO of Deutsche Bank. The trade unions in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland have called for strikes, and contrary to the tabloid press reports that try to foment conflict, the Greek trade unionists are right when they say that the austerity program constitutes the most serious attacks on human rights since the military junta of 1967-74.

And what about the parties represented in the German Bundestag? After the Financial Times on April 29, Bildzeitung on April 30, and many other media in early May reported that a main beneficiary of the mega-bailout package would be the Greek billionaire Spiro Latsis, whose EFG Eurobank manages about EU60 billion of Greek government bonds and private bonds, still the Bundestag and the Bundesrat see no reason that the German taxpayers should not be burdened with about EU150 billion. The EFG Eurobank had conveniently moved its headquarters from Geneva to Luxembourg shortly before the end of the year, thereby reducing Switzerland's exposure to Greek bank debt by EU60 billion, and also making it easier for Eurobank, now located in EU member-state Luxembourg—Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker's tax haven—to get the benefit of the EU rescue parachute.

And none other than EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso—about whom there was talk, back in 2005, of a possible conflict of interest, because he had repeatedly vacationed aboard Spiro Latsis's yacht—put massive pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel at the EU summit, to get her to give up her previous opposition to the mega-package. Latsis, by the way, was also host to Britain's Prince Charles. Charles' father Philip is a cousin of the Greek King Constantine, who has lived in London since he was deposed, and who is Prince William's godfather. Constantine, after being deposed, was given financial support by Latsis, in return for some favors—certainly a trifle for someone who, according Forbes magazine, has about a personal fortune of more than EU11 billion and ranks number 60 on the list of the richest men in the world. Latsis belongs to the inner circle of the nobility, the financial oligarchy, and the profiteers of the system that is ruining billions of people.

German Parliament Caved In

The scandal is, that all these things had been widely publicized by the media before the vote on the "Law on Monetary Union and Financial Stability," i.e., the mechanism for transferring funds to Greece, and the parliamentarians thus knew perfectly well that by voting for the bill, they were ultimately financing the London-controlled banking system, with taxpayers' money. The Lisbon Treaty, which had been in effect for not even half a year, is not worth the paper it was belatedly printed on. That's how the EU was transformed, by rubber-stamp, into a liability and inflation Community. And now Citigroup chief economist Willem Buiter suggests that EU750 billion is not enough, that it should have been EU2,000 billion. Weimar 1923 sends greetings!

French Secretary of State for European Affairs Pierre Lellouche told the Financial Times, undiplomatically but precisely, that the adoption of the "bailout" was clearly a violation of EU Treaty's "no bailout clause," and a transfer to the EU of Article 5 of the NATO treaty, the collective defense clause, which had been applied to the Afghanistan War. "De facto, we have changed the treaty," he said.

This statement will not be missed by the German Constitutional Court's judges in Karlsruhe. It's outrageous: As the Vienna Press described it, a coup is taking place, and the Bundestag just waves it through! Even the Left Party does not reject the package on grounds of fundamental principles, but only because it involves social hardship for the Greek population!

Then, when the German government took minimal moves in self-defense by issuing a ban on short selling, initially only of bonds and credit default swaps (CDSs), the City of London, in particular, reacted with fury, because they saw their only "industry"—that is, the hedge funds—as threatened. Obama sent Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who is under massive bombardment at home, to Europe, with the sole task of preventing the German government from putting measures like the ban on short selling and other re-regulation on the agenda of the upcoming G20 summit.

A Switch Back to the Deutschemark?

Meanwhile, a lively debate has broken out in the German media about how easy it would be for Germany to return to the D-Mark. The financial weekly Wirtschaftswoche, for example, wrote, in its latest issue: "What still sounded, just a few weeks ago, like a daredevil fantasy, has meanwhile moved into the realm of possibility—at least for the long term. The more the EMU mutates into a debt, transfer, and inflation Union, and the Germans become the ultimate net contributors to this club, the greater is the domestic political pressure on the government in Berlin to withdraw from the euro club. Although this would provoke considerable political turmoil in the EU, withdrawal would be technically quite feasible."

Wirtschaftswoche speaks aloud the open secret: Until the new D-Mark notes are printed, the euro notes that were previously printed in Germany can simply be used—they have an X at the beginning of the serial number. That is exactly what the BüSo has been the only party proposing for a long time.2The Civil Rights Solidarity Movement in Germany, the political party of which Zepp-LaRouche is the national chairwoman.

No 'Normal' Circumstances

The mass strike in the U.S., in various European countries, and other parts of the world is the main driving force of the strategic situation today. It is not something that can be proclaimed, but rather the process, described by Rosa Luxemburg, that begins when the population has lost confidence in its elected or appointed representatives. Maybe not everybody understands all the aspects of the systemic crisis that is now unfolding worldwide, but something much more decisive is going on, namely, what the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley described in the last paragraph of his essay In Defense of Poetry: At such periods of tumult, "there is an accumulation of the power of communicating and receiving profound and impassioned conceptions respecting man and nature."

Whereas most people, under "normal" conditions, would allow themselves to be made fools of by politicians and the media, now they suddenly realize that there is only one thing that counts, namely, whether the existing order allows them to live a fulfilled life, with human dignity. Then, the general feeling becomes, as Friedrich Schiller put it in his play Wilhelm Tell, before the swearing of the Rutli Oath:

"No, there is a limit to a tyrant's power,

When the oppressed can find no justice,

When the burden grows unbearable—he reaches

With hopeful courage to the heavens

And seizes hither his eternal rights,

From where they hang as inalienable

And indestructible as the stars themselves."

Footnotes

1Josef Ackermann is the CEO of Deutsche Bank.
2The Civil Rights Solidarity Movement in Germany, the political party of which Zepp-LaRouche is the national chairwoman.