20th Anniversary of German Reunification. It was announced 63 years ago. Can today’s Statesmen plan long-term democracy?
3, October, 2010
In 1989 leaders of the European Community were shocked and worried about what they considered the dangerous consequences of the fall of the Berlin Wall. German unity –the 1990 reunification of West Germany, the Federal Republic with East Germany, the DDR, the so-called Democratic Republic of Germany was inevitable. It would create the biggest Member State in the European Community. Germany would become far bigger and far more powerful than France. British leaders were also worried that Germany would now control Europe, not vice versa.
The DDR was one of the satellite ‘People’s Democracies’ of the Communist Soviet Union. Schuman called these counterfeit democracies. A handful of Communist leaders held power and defined policy in a secret Council of Ministers in East Berlin. They defined international policy with similar Communist ministers in Soviet satellites in conjunction with the Big Brother comrades in Moscow. Their great instruments of international propaganda, their publications, radio and television, published subtle, craftily forged LIES.
For the shocked European leaders the USSR seemed to be a permanent fixture in all their lifetime. Its continuation was hardly in doubt, even if the Cold War was in thaw. But now they had a big problem in the centre of Europe.
For many non-German leaders, German reunification was a nightmare. This was the result of a couple of decades of Gaullist anti-Community propaganda, his false reading of history and his attempted destruction of Schuman’s work and memory. Some of these Western leaders tried to block German re-unification. Others were worried about a Fourth German Reich. Germany had been at the origin of three wars in a century: the Franco-Prussian war and two World Wars.
The leaders wildly proposed a confederation of western European states or a vague ‘federation of nation States’ whatever that is. It amounted to stronger intergovernmental powers for the leaders themselves. That was a bit stupid. It was equivalent of creating a great European ‘people’s democracy‘ where the people also had no power. Only the leaders had.
The only way to create real security is in a powerful democratic system, not a technocratic one. All sections of society should have their voice under a system of democratic law. That can prevent the rise of militarism or the rise of abusive cartels, whether industrial, ideological or financial. It is precisely what the supranational Community system of democracy is designed to do.
The second principle is important too. Only a democratic institution under democratic law can correct the mistakes of democratic leaders. Otherwise this guardian will inevitably head to become a new form of autocracy, oligarchy and instrument of subjugation of the people.
That is why Schuman and the Founding Fathers insisted that the European Commission should be both elected and composed of fully independent persons. The treaties say they should be without ties to political parties, or other interest groups. They are legally forbidden from receiving the instructions from governments. The Council is responsible for creating a fair electoral system open to ALL Europe’s citizens. It has signally failed to do so. The process of election according to the spirit and letter of the original treaties should be started IMMEDIATELY.
Nationalist and self-serving politicians have tried to block and chloroform the five key Community institutions — except for the secretive Council of Ministers, where a cartel of politicians want to seize power and hold all power. They seem to want to ape the secret councils of East Germany or the other satellite States. That is dangerous.
The Soviet and East German experience shows that a dictatorship of the people — a political cartel — through such a council is doomed to fail. Any system that is based entirely on materialism, such as dialectical materialism or State atheism, has the roots of its own destruction excavating its weak foundations. Marxism is a self-blinded god. Its godless vision, void of a moral code, has failed. It spawned the many corrupting people’s dictators with their greedy hands and its nomenklatura, its privileged class.
A lasting Community can only be based on eternal supranational values like justice and truth. Any healthy society must be open to peaceful criticism and reform. Its concept of Community is a far more satisfactory way to deal with the problems of rich and poor than effete Marxism.
In the DDR the politicians built a wall to stop people leaving. It was knocked down by the people. They tried to control religious opinion and expression — and failed. The State tried to ban a spiritual interpretation of history. Church leaders and their congregations helped put atheistic materialism in the dustbin of history. The Soviet Union repressed the Jews. They were often the most critical and sharpest refuseniks. The Soviet Union refused to let them leave. When the USSR collapsed they left in droves.
The ‘people’s leaders’ tried to control freedom of expression and stop all non-State publications of individual authors, like the samizdad. They failed there too.
Modern democracy owes its origin to the Judeo-Christian revelation, said Schuman. Christianity has a long record of deposing of empires — including the binning of the once powerful and pervasive gods of the Roman Empire. Mars is binned with Marx. Both are responsible for the blood of millions of victims.
Political ideology is NOT an innocent game. It tortured brave people, bereaved families, miseducated children. It would fill a sea with the blood of its errors.
In the twenty years since the Berlin Wall fell, have politicians learned anything about the supranational European Community? The Community was actually designed as the guarantee that Germany would not be able to go to war against its neighbours EVER again. That is what the founding fathers said.
Have the leaders then or today ever asked why Europeans are now experiencing the longest period of peace in Europe’s history? Is it an accident? Or do they think it happened against all odds simply due to the colour of their eyes?
Robert Schuman and others gave the highest profile speeches about it forty years previous to the events of 1989-90. Why were these speeches not republished by the European institutions? Why were they not republished by the French, German and other Governments? Were the institutions asleep?
Let’s look at the speeches given by Robert Schuman in 1948 and 1949 to the United Nations General Assembly.
On 28 September 1948 — three short years after the massive destruction and hate of World War 2, Schuman told the UN General Assembly that the unification of Germany was inevitable and he, as Foreign Minister of France, was going to make sure that the unification of Europe was also inevitable because this was the guarantee that all could live in peace:
‘A renewed Germany will have to insert itself inside the democracy of Europe. The dismemberment of this old continent, so often and cruelly torn by war, is a relic of times past. … Now, however, our times are those of large economic units and great political alliances. Europe must unite to survive. France intends to work on this energetically with all its heart and soul. A European public opinion is already being created. Already concrete efforts are taking shape that are marking the first steps on a new road..
‘We are, of course, only at the start of what is a great work. … Let us hope, God willing, that those who are presently hesitating will not take too long to be convinced about it. An economic union implies political cooperation. The ideas of a federation and a confederation are being discussed. We are happy to see such concepts being taken up, and studied in numerous international meetings in which personalities most representative of European public opinion are participating. Now is the time for such ideas to be analysed and supported by the governments themselves. In agreement with the Belgian Government, the French Government has proposed to follow up suggestions to call a representative assembly of European public opinion with a view to prepare a project for organising Europe. This assembly will have to weigh all the difficulties and propose reasonable solutions which take into account of the need of a wise and progressive development’
The next year on 23 September 1949, after he had laid the foundations of the Council of Europe, an institution that would guarantee Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for all Europeans, Schuman reported to the UN General Assembly on progress in Germany and Europe:
‘The first President of the new Federal Republic has just been elected and the first Chancellor designated. The destiny of Germany is again conferred on the Germans themselves. Facts will show if they are in a position to face up to their responsibilities that are restored to them and to prepare their future in an orderly manner and in freedom. The rhythm of developments that follow will depend on the results of this experiment. Our hope is that Germany will commit itself on a road that will allow it to find again its place in the community of free nations, commencing with that European Community of which the Council of Europe is a herald.’
Europe’s peace would be based on a supranational democratic European Community, not a classical federation or a confederation. This was the year before the Schuman Declaration. This speech besides clarifying how Schuman was to guarantee a permanent European peace, also exposes the mistake or vain boast in Jean Monnet. In his Mémoires Monnet says that he invented the term, European Community, on 21 June 1950. Schuman used the term in many major speeches before Monnet ever uttered it. He also explained what it meant.
Thus the European Community was the key that would ensure lasting peace, not only for Germany but for her neighbours. Schuman gave speeches in Germany about the reunification of Germany. He gave them in German so there would be no misunderstanding.
But let us quote another witness, Robert Buron, who records in a diary what Schuman said to him on 10 July 1953. Schuman described the options: Germany might make a secret deal with the Soviet Union or it could develop a real democracy inside a democratic European Community. Only the latter would safeguard the peace.
‘Sooner or later, wished for or not, the reunification of Germany will happen. It may be in a climate of détente between East and West that would help the development. It may occur in a rapprochement of Germany alone with the Soviet Union, after elections favourable to socialists for example. The balance of the world will then be thrown into question.‘
Schuman told him that the existence of the European Community had already caused the Soviets to stop and think about a less aggressive policy than world revolution. In Schuman’s opinion, he recorded, ‘the pursuit of a European policy is one of the causes for the decision of the new Russian rulers to move towards détente.‘
Schuman was no longer in office as minister and, he said, Europe required a well informed governmental spokesman to speak out about the European Community. He would give ‘a frank explanation between French and Russians about the policy of European integration.‘ Gaullists, nationalists and the large Communist party made this as difficult as possible. After WW2 Gaullists thought the only way to control Germany was the permanent removal of the Ruhr and annexation of the French zone so that the Rhine was the border. Then when the Community had been set in motion with its design to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible, the Gaullists had no faith in this idea. They pooh-poohed it. They wanted their own Realpolitik. That meant, when de Gaulle seized power in 1958, that de Gaulle and France would always dominate Germany as much as possible. People called it a Franco-German axis.
It was not what the supranational Community is about. The Community involves the democracy of nation States as much as organized civil society and the people. It also involves a well-conceived concept of the rule of law, not the power politics that de Gaulle thought was the only way. Power politics have failed Europe over the last several millenniums because the conqueror of one day becomes the oppressor. The conquered foe of one day becomes the victim then the liberator of the next. And so on.
The Community started the thaw of the Cold War when Germany chose democratic and religious freedom. It joined the Council of Europe which legally guaranteed the human rights against another Hitler stamping on them with his jackboots. Today we need not only someone to speak to the Russians but to our own European citizens about the real meaning for them of a supranational, democratic Community. The Commission no longer seems to be acting like the independent guardian of the treaties or telling the truth about its origin and purpose.
We should be thankful that the Founding Fathers including men of long-term vision. Schuman said: ‘If I believe profoundly in détente and in peace, I believe equally deeply that the strategy that we have traced is only realizable in practice if Western Germany remains solidly anchored to our European construction.
‘It is necessary to progress at the same time with European integration, the improvement of East West relations and German unification. Everything lies in the art of progressing simultaneously.‘
Schuman and others foretold that the Soviet Union would collapse before the end of the century. He told many people that this was a certainty. Adenauer, with whom he spoke on many occasions, said the same thing. The CIA and the other intelligence services were not listening. They did not make the same analysis as Schuman. They were shocked when the USSR collapsed on schedule. Other politicians at the time were not listening. They buried Europe’s founding document, its Magna Carta of democracy.
None of today’s politicians seem to be listening either. They still haven’t published it. Nor have they understood or applied Schuman’s definition of Democracy. Instead they imposed a Constitutional /Lisbon Treaty that the peoples of the Nation States had rejected in referendums.
Welcome to the People’s Democracies of Europe! Wait for the fall of the next political cartel!David Heilbron Price
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