International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East, Balkans and also around the world. General Blagoje Grahovac is member of the IFIMES Advisory Board. In his article entitled “Europe is entrapped” he is analyzing the global trends facing Europe and the world today.
Europe is entrapped
It is less important whether in appraisals of the new social-political processes there is more scientific ground or the laic comprehension thereof. It is important that the rate of those processes is far higher than the referent theoreticians have been predicting. Different kind of conclusions can be made today about the world as a “global village”. I am pointing out four of those which can have a great significance in consideration of geopolitical processes. Firstly, new technologies have made all the civilisation achievements in all fields accessible to almost the whole mankind on the planet. Secondly, the achievements in the field of democracy are intriguing to everyone, disregarding of the real value thereof. Thirdly, globalisation side effects are expanding and connecting faster than anything else. Typical globalisation side-effects are organised crime and corruption, neoliberalism as fascism and armed religious fanaticism. Fourthly, in the past times the role-models were in our surroundings. The role-models today are the ones from greater distances. Social networks are becoming the means in this conclusion. All of the aforesaid becomes a parameter of strategic significance in disclosure of geopolitical processes.
Based on the above, I repeat the thesis of this text saying: “Europe is fixed between three tsunamis: the first – neoliberalism as fascism; the second – organised crime and corruption, and the third one – armed religious fanaticism.”
2. Social-economical context
The biggest advocates of globalisation were saying “Privatise, privatise, privatise!” Today, they admit they have been wrong. Here are few parameters of strategic significance which accelerate geopolitical processes on the planet. In the 1973, daily turnover of capital was 15 billion USD and today it has over 1.5 trillion USD; 47 multinational companies possess 40% of the global capital; 1800 billionaires keep 8% of the global GDP; 4 world’s richest men have more wealth than 57 poorest countries together; less than 1% of the world population has access to over 90% of the global capital; the number of inhabitants living from 2 USD a day has increased from 2.5 to 2.7 billion for the past 20 years; 1 billion people goes to bed hungry every night; one billion people has lost employment based on automatization and robotisation for the past 40 years, the second billion will become unemployed for the same reason in the next twenty years and the third billion within the ten years after; global GDP amounts around 80 quadrillion USD and the global debt is 175 quadrillion USD.
2.1. Lobbying as the most dangerous corruptive action
Since the oldest legal theories until the recent time, lobbying has mostly been avoided as a term. The reason is very simple – its essential designation means “bribery”. Opposite to lobbying, all legal theories are very much dealing with bribery, which is sanctioned by criminal codes.
For decades, lobbying as the way of bribery has been very efficient means either in protection or in destruction of some companies. Bribery (better said “corruption”) becomes transnational by overgrowing of certain companies in multinational ones.
There is no dilemma if organised crime and corruption today are upper form of endangering most of the countries and that it has taken transnational dimensions. Lobbying has shown up as very successful means in different placements. In order to place themselves on the position table, it is inevitable to destruct someone or to weaken his position. From that point of view, in open and market societies lobbying is no other than irregular, amoral and even hideous act.
Nepotism as a corruption network has grown into political-party corruption network in non-democratic and partocratic societies. The question is whether in such societies an eminent expert in any field can become employed, if he or she is not a member of one of the ruling parties. Different from the political-party nepotism which has become the most dangerous intrastate corruption, lobbying is becoming a dangerous and a very erosive transnational corruption network. It is moving from the field of economics into the field of political interests. Inasmuch as the officials even admit lobbying, they always justify it by state and national interests. The actual truth is that their political survival depends on allowing lobbying, mostly from the tax payers’ money.
I do not have any dilemma that all of those from the Western Balkans, who are paying lobbyists, as well as their own lobbyists are part of the transnational network of organised crime. It applies to all officials from the USA and the Brussels administrations who accepted to deal in any way with hazarders and pests from the Western Balkans.
2.2. The origin of organised crime and corruption
Basic mark of military doctrines of the former Soviet Union was arming of military forces of their friendly countries through selling the weapons and along with it the Soviet ideology, too. Those doctrines had always been facing the resistance of organisations and movements fighting for greater democracy and greater human rights. Former KGB was the power which was clearing the path for Soviet politics to its final destination. The breakdown of the Soviet Union brought the biggest change, which has not been sufficiently analysed. Basically, several hundred thousand disciples of a robust and brutal KGB were suddenly left without both their country and employment. They were ready to cause large quakes. At the same time, in a very short period a large number of overly wealthy tycoons appeared, who objectively had fear from the cruel KBG. The “formula” was discovered – fearful and overly rich tycoons were connected to the cruel but impoverished KBG operatives. That was how oligarchy was created. Instead of export of ideology and weapons, they expansively directed themselves to the export of suspicious and filthy capital, and they have nowhere found resistance anymore. “Domestic” tycoons (especially in transitional countries) were expanding their space. Networks of organised crime and corruption were multiplying. Armed forces of those countries were becoming a burden to the new authorities. All the army property was first exhausted from them, and then they have become insignificant empty shells.
Former ideological Russian-Balkan-South American transversal has grown into a transversal of organised crime and corruption. It has connected to the leg leading from Afghanistan through Iran to the Balkans, and it has outgrown into Asian-Balkan-South American transversal of organised crime and corruption. In order to survive on that space, the mafias (as the army of organised crime and corruption) have built political ambient suitable for them. Filthy and suspicious capital moves offensively towards the space of Western Europe and North America, it is being registered in different manners, and then as the “Western capital” comes back to the Balkans, primarily to the countries with mostly Christian Orthodox citizens. The organised crime and corruption have developed a very strong lobbyists’ network from afore mentioned transversal. That network has become the most dangerous corruption network on the planet. It lobbies for political personalities which have matured exactly on organised crime and corruption. New politicians quite knowingly promote the new political doctrine, whose primary sign is loud narrative of Euro-Atlantic integrations, beneath of which the owners of filthy capital are performing occupation of economic resources of the Balkans. During the same time, the policies of the USA and the EU are being exhausted by how to reform the armies of transitional countries which are, essentially, serving corruption. A conclusion can be made with certainty that the policies of the USA and the EU on the Balkans have been outwitted in geopolitical sense.
The countries of the eastern hemisphere, among which the countries of the former Soviet Union stand out, are the largest generators of organised crime and corruption. Today it is ravening the whole planet as the Eastern Tsunami.
2.3. Neoliberalism is fascism
Neoliberalism is social-economical surrogate of the liberal capitalism. It has been organised in an oligarchic manner, planetary. The owners of large capital, non-democratic regimes and mafias are completely coupled. That fatal trinity has become the hardest protector of neoliberalism. Banks and financial funds all over the planet are mostly owned by that same fatal trinity. For the first time in history, the banks are more motivated that the debtors do not pay the debt off, but to service it tidily. The reason is simple – banks have safe mechanisms of credit insurance, so they enter into the rest of the property of the poor debtors through their uncleared debts. Debt has become means of control and domination over the impoverished. Saving of fallen banks has become a systematic killing of society, because that too burdens the citizens. Currency clauses in crediting are striking debtors as epidemic tumours. Debtors enter into a slavery relationship.
Troopers of neoliberalism permanently explain that the sudden world economical crisis should be blamed for everything and they constantly promise that the situation will get better. This phenomenon has been best explained by the Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman. Asked what he thought would have happened had we known all the issues related to the crisis in advance for years, he replied: “Nothing, it would have been all the same.” That exactly is the tragedy of neoliberalism. Even when you know something, you are drifting into your own illusion.
The madness of market economics has an epidemic ratio, wherein democracy, confiding in government, confiding in people and egalitarian solidarity suffer. Beside antifascism, those are exactly traditional European values. Saving, saving and only saving has become a motto of the occupant’s both political and economical doctrine, so the rich could exhaust even the last “pennies” left to the impoverished, in the fastest way. Neoliberal ideology has produced the manlike “beast” which you do not see, but you feel how it takes away your body and soul.
Audits and reprogramming of debts are being promoted as charity of creditors, and that essentially is nothing else but strengthening of their Superego. Sigmund Freud discovered the paradox of Superego – the more you conform to its demands, the more you feel guilty. Unfortunately, legalisation of all of the above stated is conducted through the parliamentary democracy, which is not able to protect the endangered majority from the ruthless minority. Self-organisation of the majority (in order to protect its bare life) is nothing else but desisting from representative democracy and is an introduction to the suspension of parliamentarianism. That is exactly the fascisamation of society. Max Horkheimer wrote in 1930 that the ones who did not want to speak of liberalism in critical manner should be silent about fascism.
In the history of human society there have never been less interstate wars but so many stormy social turbulences, in which an impoverished man is jeopardised in various ways. The planet today is not ballasted by wars between countries, but wars between the impoverished labour force on one and a brutal, vulgar, decadent and neo-colonial neoliberalism on the other side. Everything looks like revolutions, but formally there are not any. Walter Benjamin wrote long time ago that each fascism was the surest confirmation of unsuccessful revolutions.
The demise of majority in neoliberalism grows into an uncontrolled enrichment of the minority. A planetary war in which confronting sides cannot be detected has opened. In the defeated majority, people are largely suffering as individuals, but cannot realize who makes them suffering. Suffering of an individual grows into a collective frustration and the aggressor cannot be detected. The system is, actually, that vicious, invisible aggressor, which has generated different forms of radicalism. The ones who bribe or tolerate bribery are the greatest leeches of people’s blood. Worse than that is when you are fighting against the corruption through the system institutions and in a “democratic” procedure and then, through elections, you support that same party being embodiment of that corruption again. Formally, everything has passed through democratic procedure, but the “killers” of peoples remained as the authority. Corrupted Brussels and Washington bureaucrats mostly do not notice that.
Neoliberalism as fascism has been primarily been generated in the countries of the Western Hemisphere, but today is ravening the whole planet as the Western Tsunami.
2.4. Armed fanatiscism
The absolute authority on the planet today is in the hands of the above-mentioned fatal trinity. Conducted fascisation of society is a mechanism for maintenance of balance between the cold war and the hot peace. Religion has been very skilfully embedded into the mechanism of their absolute ruling. The politics has been elevated to the level of religion and the religion has become politics, whereby secularism of countries is directly collapsing. Both politics and religion are a true opium for the impoverished populous and it is easy to rule the intoxicated populous, all until the moment when some version of extremism does not boil out of it. The religious but armed one always grows into fanaticism. Unfortunately, we have already gotten it.
Neoliberalism has produced a planetary fascisation of society. Terrorism, as the largest visible problem of today, is being debated about with a reason and a worry. Different kinds of prefixes are being given to it. It has not been noticed that even higher evil than terrorism itself has appeared – it is the group or collective armed fanaticism with different ideological and religious backgrounds. Social hopelessness overgrows into a mass revolutionary riot. The armed one cannot be excluded. The cause to it is fascistoid neoliberalism, which has a systemic nature. To start resolving this evil, it is necessary to strike the most powerful ones, which prevailingly live a double life – the public one, mostly flawless, and the semi-public or the secret one, being characterised by their Superego, i.e. morbidity.
If an urgent, deep and wide change of social-economical systems do not get approached to, it will be difficult to avoid planetary cataclysmic changes.
The fatal trinity has succeeded in mixing politics and religion in most countries of the Southern Earth Hemisphere. When they inserted that mix into a socially endangered and frustrated mass, the armed fanaticism happened inevitably. Unfortunately, now as the Southern Tsunami it ravens the whole planet.
According to most parameters, the USA as the representation of the North American civilisation is still the wanted and promised land. If we analyse the foreign policy of the USA, we can come to the conclusion that it was both the inspirator and the creator of many democratic changes on the planet. West-East was the prevailing direction of that policy, and its reach was the whole planet. The foreign policy has always had a favourable reflection to the domestic policy of the USA. What has globalisation brought? Organised crime and corruption as one of the globalisation side effects do not bypass the space of the USA. On the contrary, from all the corners of the planet those too hit the vital national interests of the USA. The rate of changes in globalisation is such that the foreign policy of the USA does not have any more strength and means to follow the chain revolutionary processes. The USA today has become the most usual suspect for many issues. Some are charging the USA that (due to their own interests) they produce new crises, and the others that they do not provide enough support to the accelerated democratisation processes. For the first time in their history and due to too fast globalisation process, the domestic policy of the USA is more and more visibly bearing the consequences of the international processes.
I do not have dilemma that, beside all the difficulties, (after NATO) the European Union is the best product of all civilisations. If someone blames the USA policy to have the elements of imperialism or hegemonism, it is not to be said for the policy of the EU. The EU does everything to democratise the old continent, to make it safer for the people and to integrate it by the best democratic standards. Along with all problems, the results are there. But although the organised crime and corruption are the oftenest tools of non-democratic regimes, we can state with certainty that nobody is endangered as the EU is endangered by organised crime and corruption and by neoliberalism as fascism, as well. The EU politicians have not timely perceived that the organised crime and corruption (coupled with large capital) have become the top geopolitical means; that even small non-democratic countries have access to those means, and that some political circles outside of Europe are using those means for geopolitical aims. For their own “business”, those circles will in the future produce both terrorism and wars, which becomes the first-class threat to the EU. A model of the EU being arranged and organised as a multi-layered or multi-ring organisation is to be considered.
Russia is the space for which it can be said that has never in its history had democracy suitable to the man. Its policy has been evenly hideous for its own people, as well for the others. It has not been established whether more human casualties there was in all wars together (fought by Russia) or through the historical processes of disciplining its own people. I do not exclude a possibility that exactly the citizens of Russia could pay the biggest price of globalisation. When such (traditionally closed) state systems start opening, it usually happens through a civil war. Russia is in great lack of democracy, but has plenty of all resources. Resources aplenty can have beneficial effect to the authority (in transitional societies), but only until the moment when the impoverished and disempowered start noticing the output of the organised crime and corruption, and all kinds of injustice. Confronting that reality has always been revolutionary. Russia still has not found its state and democratic identity.
The countries which are systematically socially regulated and socially responsible have been left out of state property at one moment, by a too fast privatisation. The other aspect of this problem is contained in the fact that, in pursuit for a cheaper labour force and energy, the companies from those same countries have relocated the production to other and distant spaces. That is why the socially responsible countries have also remained without the fiscal (i.e. tax) profits, beside the loss of profit based on property ownership. The consequences are visible – regulated and socially responsible countries have significantly remained without mechanism for social reacting. Based on the relocation of production from the space of European countries to other spaces of the planet, the European work force, which can be deemed as the most trained one, has lost its work place. This also becomes the huge risk. Countries of Europe must preserve the higher level of independence in leading their economical policies.
Mafia clans today have more trained “headquarters” than the official ones are in many countries. The aforementioned fatal trinity does not lack money, and especially not the filthy one. They manage to penetrate any state systems, even those ones in North America and the EU. That “trinity” today both throws down governments and appoints governments to be political structures suitable for them, and then disciplines those same structures according to their needs. The fatal “trinity” is becoming the bearing architecture of intelligence work over the planet today. Instead of neutralising the intelligence work of the fatal “trinity”, the official intelligence agencies of many countries start to lean on the intelligence structure of the same “trinity”. That was how a very malefic inversion deranging the official authorities has been entered into. The mentioned “trinity” is the biggest threat to democratic countries and to the ones regulated by law. In the future it will appear as the producer of terrorist acts. They know that when an act of terrorism happens somewhere, the result is always the same: the authority is confused, citizens are scared, and the outcome of the fight is uncertain. That is exactly the most suitable ambient for mafia functioning.
There are no reliable parameters which could assure us that the process of globalisation can be controlled. The interest and only the interest is the proclaimed principle, which has become the foundation of all doctrines in the 20th century. “There is no eternal friendship or hostility, only interests are eternal” was the ground in leading political doctrines of the 20th century. It remains the matrix also in this 21st century. This can be very dangerous. If it does not become understood as soon as possible that big social and political breakages can be precluded only by friendship between nations and countries, the civilisation cataclysms will be very difficult to avoid. Due to this, the principle that friendships between nations and countries (especially the regional ones) are the greatest value should be affirmed.
I am persistent in proving that the unmilitary challenges, risks and threats are, actually, the biggest ones. People who are performing high level of state duties still do not realize this. The proof for this claim is visible, because all the defence concepts and army models are adjusted primarily for defence from military forms of endangerment.
The issues are complex and have only been initiated. I will state my belief – there is no stable Europe without the Balkans integrated into Europe; there is no stable Balkans without stable Serbia integrated into Europe. Yugo-Region (countries of former Yugoslavia plus Albania) as one of the regions in the European Union is the best possible format of strategic significance as for the EU, also for the Ex-Yu countries separately.
4. The Conclusions
4.1. The whole planet is endangered by uncontrolled globalisation and Europe is fixed between the Eastern, the Western and the Southern destructive tsunamis. They are not confronted between each other, yet they act synergistically. After Europe, the whole North Hemisphere will be in the firing line thereof.
4.2. Monopolisation, unfair competition and uncontrolled globalisation can be stopped only on condition that the countries (as employers) return to the space of equal, open and market economics, in all fields of social and economical life. That goal is achievable only if the states (as employers) participate with at least 25% in all of those fields.
4.3. In case of larger economical crises, the states will be capable to socially protect their citizens only on condition that they achieve the goals from the clause 4.2.
4.4. Strong American-European-Russian partnership is necessary for defending the planet, but on new grounds. For saving the planet, this is of fateful matter.
Published in the July 2021 issue of the Revista ORBE – YAGU (Youth Association for Geopolitical Understanding) scientific magazine, Portugal. Published in the weekly magazine Monitor, Montenegro, in September 2016
Ljubljana/Podgorica, 29 July 2021