Tainted Source by John Laughland. 1998.
– Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis / My rating: 5 of 5 stars.
The Many Amazing Parallels Between the European Union and the Third Reich! The European Union (EU): Germanocentric Policies Make It Effectively the Fourth Reich.
This eye-opening book has been translated into several languages, including Polish [with the title: Zatrute Zrodla Unii Europejskiej]. It maps unto Euroskepticism or anti-EUism, and is relevant to Brexit and a potential Polexit.
The author supports his contentions with an extensive set of specific, documented positions enunciated by German Nazi and Italian Fascist leaders. For this reason, these evidences are much too extensive to be dismissed as propaganda or posturing.
THE ROOTS OF GERMAN HEGEMONY OVER EUROPE
German thinking is animated by the fact that Germany had been united as an EMPIRE and not a nation-state. (p. 138). For this reason, she held an instinctive distaste for sovereign city-states, and thought in terms of some kind of German Empire, whether it was the outcome of military or nonmilitary acts. Germany wanted to assume a world role (WELTPOLITIK), primarily through economics, and that is why she wanted, and still wants to, dismantle Europe’s political structures and replace them with economic ones. (p. 139).
German control over Europe, primarily through economics, was also behind the 1914
MITTELEUROPA plan. (p. 69, 99-on). In addition, the prominent German industrialist, Walther Rathenau, thought in terms of a larger Central European trading space. (p. 101).
Russia, for her part, always liked pan-European institutions because their international and bureaucratic flavor is congenial to Russia’s. In addition, the pan-European hostility to free nationhood coincided with that of imperial powers such as Russia. (p. 281).
Author Laughland rejects the attempts to de-legitimize sovereign nation-states though the argument that sovereign nations go back only to the French Revolution or 19th century. They go back to antiquity. (p. 150).
THIRD REICH AND FOURTH REICH
The reader who is capable of seeing beyond the militarism and racialism of Nazism can realize the amazing parallels between the Nazi vision of Europe and that of the modern European Union. For this reason, the modern European Union can be considered the Fourth Reich, not because the author says so [He does not], but because the modern European Union, as the Fourth Reich, fulfills so many of the specific pan-European goals of the Third Reich.
What’s more, as elaborated below, very much the same arguments are used to justify the European
Union as were used to justify the Third Reich’s vision of a united Europe. I elaborate on these Third Reich/Fourth Reich Nazi/EU arguments with titles in CAPS.
NAZI AND EU ARGUMENT: SOVEREIGN NATIONS ARE FUNDAMENTALLY OBSOLETE
In 1943, Hitler stated that, what he contemptuously called KLEINSTAATENGERÜMPEL, „the clutter of small nations”, must be eliminated. A related word, KLEINSTAATEREI, is used by modern German Euro-enthusiasts to refer to what they consider the anachronistic division of Europe into individual nations. (p. 16, 143).
Laughland adds that, (quote) On the other hand, the rejection of the sovereign nation-state as a viable political and economic entity on its own was explicit in Nazi and fascist thought. Werner Daitz, the prominent Nazi economist, attacked the very concepts of national sovereignty and statehood: in 1938, he argued that Nazi VÖLKISCH thinking dissolved the primacy of the state, an idea whose origins lay in British political thought and the French Revolution. (unquote). (p. 13).
Referring again to this leading Nazi German economist, the author comments, (quote) Daitz argued that…the concepts of VOLKSTUM („nationhood”) and VÖLKISCHER LEBENSRAUM („national living space”) should have been recognized after the First World War as being superior to the idea of the territorial state (STAATSRAUM). (unquote). (p. 25).
Racialism was, by definition, an international doctrine. (p. 12). Of course, the modern European Union is not based on racialism. However, it parallels Nazi thinking in that it reckons the concept of the individual sovereign nation as decidedly secondary to international doctrines and considerations.
NAZI AND EU ARGUMENT: THE INEVITABILITY OF GERMAN HEGEMONY OVER EUROPE
Laughland writes that, (quote) Arthur Seyss-Inquart…held that the nation-state was small and puny in comparison with the great ensemble Germany was creating in Europe. (unquote). (p. 15).
He also notes that, (quote) It was in reaction to the Versailles settlement that the science (or pseudoscience) of geopolitics underwent significant development in the inter-war years, especially in Germany…The geopoliticians, indeed, ascribed precisely to the Reich the role of the bearer and realizer of European unity. (unquote). (p. 107, 111).
(Nowadays, German hegemony over Europe is rationalized through slogans such as, „Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe.”)
NAZI AND EU ARGUMENT: SOVEREIGN NATIONS CAUSE NATIONALISM, WHICH CAUSES WARS
Although Nazism is best remembered for the aggression of WWII, it also advanced the view that German rule over Europe would cause a PAX GERMANICA–an end to wars between European nations. For instance, Hitler and Mussolini issued a 1941 communique that stated, (quote) „The destruction of the Bolshevik danger and of plutocratic exploitation will create the possibility for a peaceful, harmonious and fruitful co-operation between all the peoples of the European continent, in the political as in the economic and cultural domains.” (unquote). (p. 16).
(The foregoing, of course, parallels the modern argument for the European Union (or even a world government): Nationalism (unless it is German) is something bad. Sovereign nations cause wars, and therefore sovereign nations must be eliminated.)
NAZI AND EU ARGUMENT: NEW TECHNOLOGY ITSELF MAKES NATIONS MEANINGLESS
Joseph Goebbels suggested that modern technologies, particularly of communications and transportation, make the continued existence of small nations intolerable. (p. 22). Cecile von RentheFink, a Nazi diplomat, wrote, in 1943, that then-modern technologies such as railroads, AUTOBAHN, waterways, and airlines will bring Europe together. (pp. 30-31).
(Nowadays, we hear about the nation-abolishing properties of the Internet, the Global Village, etc.)
NAZI AND EU ARGUMENT: A UNITED EUROPE IS HISTORICALLY INEVITABLE
The author quotes Joseph Goebbels, in 1940, saying, (quote) „I am convinced that, in fifty years’ time, people will no longer think in terms of countries.” (unquote). (p. 9). In addition, author Laughland points out that, (quote) Goebbels even used the metaphor of „breaking down borders” which is so central to the modern European ideology…He also advanced the argument which one hears frequently from German pro-Europeans today that the history of German unification was a model for that of Europe. Like many other Nazis and their supporters, he assumed that political entities should correspond to supposed economic „spaces”, and that Europe’s division into nation-states was thus analogous to, and as nonsensical as, Germany’s division into micro-states after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. (unquote). (p. 22).
NAZI AND EU ARGUMENT: MODERN ECONOMICS ITSELF ERASES BORDERS AND NATIONS
By way of introduction, (quote) The Nazis were determined the replace a market-based monetary system with a state-controlled one. (unquote). (p. 38).
Furthermore, the Nazis spoke of GROßRAUMWIRTSCHAFT („large area economy”). To understand this, the author remarks, (quote) The Nazis proposed to use economic integration to do away with European particularism once the war had ended. Here, indeed, are the most striking similarities between Nazi thought and the pro-Europeanism of our own day…In other words, the hatred of the nation-state and the desire to create a great European economic space were two sides of the same coin. (unquote). (p. 23).
There is even a parallel with the modern European Union’s common currency (EURO). In 1940, Hermann Goering stated that the new European economic order must include fixed exchange rates between the currencies of other countries and the Reichsmark, the abolition of customs barriers in Europe, etc. In addition, ambassador Ritter called for a future „continental economy.” (p. 24).
Is corporatism something new? Hardly! Laughland comments, (quote) For the Italians, corporatism was at the heart of European fascism (as it was of Vichy France)…Like the Nazis, the Italian Fascists were convinced that, if left to their own devices, nation-states would anarchically pursue their own individualistic self-interest…so state control at the supranational level was a more rational way of arranging the European economy…Like the Nazis, the Italian Fascists were in favor of economic planning…Thus, many Italians thought that economic planning required the creation of a European supranational political authority. (unquote). p(p. 44-45). (quote) Therefore, corporatists thought that they were creating a new form of international solidarity in which individual nations might preserve their identity, but not their political and economic independence. (p. 45).
NAZI AND EU ARGUMENT: BE PART OF A UNITED EUROPE, OR STAND ALONE AND BECOME MARGINALIZED
Many nations, such as Poland, joined the European Union (Fourth Reich) because they felt that they would otherwise lose any voice they had in European affairs. Interestingly, the western European nations, felt the same way about the Third Reich. Laughland comments, (quote) Much Vichyite propaganda was therefore European…As with Italy, an important motive behind the policy of collaboration with Nazi Germany was the fear of being left out. (unquote). (p. 46). Vidkun Quisling spoke of a „Germanic Confederation”. (p. 33).
THE GOLD STANDARD
The remainder of this book includes interesting facts. For instance, the author defends the onetime use of the gold standard. (pp. 205-on). He includes a chart showing that, in general, inflation was less common, and much less severe, when the gold standard was in force than when it wasn’t. (p. 209).
The gold standard did not „break down”. It was abolished when it was deemed convenient to do so. (p. 210).
COMMUNIST RULE OVER POLAND
Wojciech Jaruzelski took credit for his 1981 imposition of Martial Law for preventing a Soviet invasion of Poland. Precisely the opposite was the case. Archival information shows that Jaruzelski had asked the USSR to invade Poland, but they refused. (pp. 261-262).
Now consider the 1984 Communist murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko. The murderer got a short prison sentence: He was released in 1994. (p. 264).
Click on This New Website:
The title image: Germans Reichs. Photo source: reddit.com.
Published with the author’s permission.