Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste? - UPDATED

Read it all to see 6/21 Updates.....

In the legend of the Sword of Damocles...
The Damocles of the anecdote was an obsequious courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a fourth century BC tyrant of Syracuse, Italy. Pandering to his king, Damocles exclaimed that, as a great man of power and authority surrounded by magnificence, Dionysius was truly extremely fortunate. Dionysius then offered to switch places with Damocles, so that Damocles could taste that very fortune first hand. Damocles quickly and eagerly accepted the king's proposal. Damocles sat down in the king's throne surrounded by every luxury, but Dionysius arranged that a huge sword should hang above the throne, held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse's tail. Damocles finally begged the tyrant that he be allowed to depart, because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate.

The phrase has also come to be used in describing any situation with a sense of impending doom, especially when the peril is (or should be, to the astute observer) visible and close at hand—regardless of whether the victim is in a position of power. The American president John F. Kennedy compared the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation to a sword of Damocles hanging over the people of the world.
It is in this sense that I reference the sword - and it's position over the European Union.

Real Clear Politics featured an editorial today that makes the case that Germany will decide if the Euro survives the summer....
Just what are Europe's options? There are three: a full political union like that advocated on June 15 by German chancellor Angela Merkel; a sharp increase - well over a trillion euros - in transitional support for Europe's periphery countries to buy time for fiscal realignment among eurozone members and for recapitalization of Europe's increasingly run-prone periphery banks; and/or a collapse or contraction of the European Monetary Union. Europe could end up with all countries reverting to their pre-euro national currencies or with a smaller eurozone where countries like Germany, France, the Netherlands and Austria retain the euro while others revert to their national currencies - outcomes that would necessitate great financial and, very probably, political upheaval.
None of the options are particularly good or palatable. All will involve some or considerable pain - for the politicians, for the bankers, and for the people.

Is this all by design?

Bear with me on this, as this is pure speculation. The battle in Europe over the last three decades has been similar to the battle in the US between the right / conservatives and the left / progressives. It's been a battle around what a future Europe will look like. The leading intellectuals and politicians of the European progressive left, led by Jacques Delors, sought a strong federal Europe, a United States of Europe, with a strong central federal government with substantial powers over the region. These efforts were opposed by conservatives like Margaret Thatcher who believed the EU vision should be limited to a 'glorified free trade zone of like minded states' with limited government and individual accountability and responsibility.

[I covered this is in some detail in this post from December 4, 2011...]

The vision advocated by Delors, Francois Mitterand, and others could not be fully enacted, but was substantially enacted in the Maastricht Treaty which established the European Union and the Euro on the principles of a single market which ensures the free movement of goods, capital, people and services. It was only through this process that Mitterand's France would support the reunification of Germany - with the support made conditional on Germany's acceptance of the Maastricht Treaty and adopting the Euro.

What if the current challenges, coming two decades of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, was something that was envisioned, planned for, and anticipated by those who failed to achieve their vision in 1992 but wanted to create a future 'crisis' where the 'best' solution would be to enact their vision?

As noted in the above excerpt from Real Clear Politics, one of the options that is being considered (and touted) is for a full political union of the European Union members - with the necessary requirement for a strong central / federal government and the member nations sacrificing national sovereignty to this political union.

The other alternatives available are being presented as the one's that would result in not only far greater economic and political costs, but would 'move Europe backwards' ultimately creating a 'have and have not' divided Europe which would bring great turmoil and suffering to those in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Italy, and other countries.

Could Europe be in the midst of a machiavellian plot?

One of the aspects of healthcare reform in the United States that raised the hackles of many was the original vision and intent of the progressives towards the US adopting a 'single payor' healthcare system where the federal government nationalizes and totally controls healthcare - like Britain's National Health Service (NHS). There was substantial political push back against the US adopting a 'single payor' system as being advocated by the progressives in Congress. With the contentious issue around the passage of 'Obamacare', progressives reluctantly announced that they would drop their insistence that reform would have to include 'single payor' and developed the alternative to single payor that is now part of Obamacare.

As Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said, 'we have to pass the bill to see what's in the bill' - and now that the bill has been passed, the majority of Americans are very concerned about not only the individual mandate, but the higher costs and other challenges this legislation will bring. Many believe that the legislation, as it is written now, is unworkable and will create a disaster in US healthcare.

Some have accused this as being part of the plan of the progressives who wrote this bill and rammed it through Congress....to create a disaster where new action will have to be taken...and that the only palatable option at that time would be to implement 'single payor' because to go back would not only be as or more painful, but result in 'millions' losing out on their healthcare coverage.

It is very possible that both the progressives / left of Europe and the progressives / left of the US are running a machiavellian plot to get what they want. 'The end justifies the means' is a common approach or justification from the left for their actions just as they try to mask their demands around 'fairness', 'social justice', and 'the right thing to do'. We can't go backwards to undo the 'compromise' because it wouldn't be fair, or it wouldn't be the right thing to do because of the pain, those who would 'lose' or be 'left out'.

The former Chief of Staff of President Barack Obama loved to say, 'Don't let a crisis go to waste'. It works far better when the crisis is planned and created...as in the EU and as in healthcare / the US domestic economic crisis.

6/21 Update:

A few quick examples that fit the premise that we're watching not planned obsolescence, but planned crisis intended to accelerate the policy initiative to the desired progressive end state past objections by opponents to the initiatives.

The first of these corresponds to a Daily Mail article that looks at who really is to blame over the Eurocrisis.  Lo and behold, number 10 on the list of the biggest contributors is the aforementioned Jacques Delors.  Here's what the Daily Mail article says about Delors' contribution:
10. Jacques Delors 9/10
Jacques Delors, the principal architect of the Euro, has admitted that the project was structurally flawed from the outset. He’s even admitted that British objections to the idea had real substance. (Thanks, Jacques, and it only took you 15 years to figure that out.) Basically, this project could never have worked and now here it is not working. Quelle surprise.
The principal architect knew it was flawed, the objections had 'real substance', that the effort would 'never work', but still pushed it forward knowing that its failure would move the process closer to the 'ideal' goal - a federal European socialist bureaucracy that replaces national sovereignty.

The second comes from the MSNBC blowhard Ed Schultz who frequently engages mouth before engaging brain....and is commentating on the Obamacare healthcare example I cite. This quote is courtesy of the site Weasel Zippers...
The Supreme Court is set to rule on the President’s health care law, and Former Governor Howard Dean says he hopes the individual mandate is thrown out, and he’s not alone: 77% of Americans want the President and Congress to come up with new legislation if the court strikes down the law. Ed Schultz explains why this is a great opportunity for liberals to get excited about a single-payer system.
We can even look at the latest scandal impacting the Obama Administration - Fast and Furious. This was a gun running program that permitted Mexican drug cartels to purchase weapons in the US with the knowledge of the US government - and did not involve the Mexican government or any effort to track the weapons until after they were used in crimes. 2 US Federal agents and, according to the Mexican Attorney General, 400+ Mexican civilians have been murdered by thugs using these weapons. Throughout the process, the President, the Attorney General, and their Congressional allies have used this carnage as a reason why the progressive policy goal of draconian gun control laws have to be enacted in the US.

Simply, for political purposes, the Obama Administraton created a crisis (which cost hundreds of lives) to promote / create the justification for draconian gun control laws. That is why the Administration is working so hard to cover the specifics about this program.

Proof?  CBS News obtains documents showing Holder used Fast and Furious scandal to justify crackdown on 2nd Amendment rights....

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