News & Analysis
Photo Signifying End of the European Union?
On Monday night in Brussels the choreography went horribly wrong: Jean Claude Juncker, head of the group of 17 euro zone finance ministers, was snapped strangling his Spanish counterpart. Manifestement it was all a big joke: wasn't actually throttled and Jan Kees De Jager, the Dutch finance minister looming behind him, didn't wade in with his fist either. But the grim look on Mr de Guindos' face shows it wasn't all that funny - but nor was it entirely unexpected. Moments before, the eurogroup had approved the €130bn (£108bn) bailout package for Greece. After five months of wrangling – and just a week before Greece was due to default – the deal should have been a cause for some celebratory plate-smashing at least. But behind the scenes, Spain had hijacked the meeting. In a tersely-worded statement, the eurogroup announced they had agreed to relax Spain's deficit target for 2012 – from 4.4pc set by Brussels last year to 5.3pc. Spain had won some unscheduled breathing space. But what really angered Juncker was that in winning the concession, Madrid had stirred a radical retaliation of "sinner states" against the northern pusche for austerity and central control. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Look at these two guys kidding around. What's a photo op among friends?
Free-Market Analysis: The UK Telegraph has posted a photo of Jean Claude Juncker, head of the group of 17 eurozone finance ministers, strangling his Spanish counterpart, Luis de Guindos. Sometimes photos are extraordinarily revealing. Does this one mark the end of the EU, or at least the Euro? (You can see the photo at the top of the Telegraph article.)
The photo has been circulated around the world courtesy of AP. And AP, along with Reuters, is a main pillar of power elite control of the media. AP and Reuters are "news services" that provide the content and slant of most of the news that is reported by daily papers and electronic news services.
Human beings, in fact, are metaphorical creatures. EVERYTHING is metaphorical to a naked ape. This may be because of our tool-making abilities. In order to visualize a tool, one has to think below the surface, to visualize not just the problem but the solution. Metaphor – or the visualization of metaphor – is a secondary characteristic of a primary survival trait.
Thus, the dissemination of this powerful photo is, perhaps, no accident. Below, we list three other photos that have taken on iconographic status. They stood for a good deal more than a single image. They are all metaphorical, of course.
There is the photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt of an American sailor kissing a young nurse on V-J Day in Times Square in New York City, on August 14, 1945, that officially signified the end of World War II. The photo captured the jubilation people felt at the end of a horrible war.
There is the famous photo by Neil Leifer of Muhammad Ali snarling over a defeated Sonny Liston at St. Dominick's Arena in Lewiston, Maine, May 25, 1965. The photo captured the rise of the Baby Boomer generation and a new kind of public dialogue in which youth would not be subservient to the "establishment."
And, of course, there is Nick Ut's terrible photo of 9-year-old Kim Phuc running naked down the street after an aerial napalm attack by the South Vietnamese, circa June 8, 1972. The photo illustrated, far more powerfully than words, the destructive effect of war on innocents and contributed to a wave of military repugnance.
Now, it is true, obviously, that all three photos are within the mainstream narrative of modern "history" – and we could argue that at least two of them were manipulated (and given wide coverage) to support a given power-elite narrative of DIRECTED history. Nonetheless, they are powerful iconographic images.
Now comes this photo of Juncker playfully strangling Luis de Guindos. Except that if you look at the photo, you will see that Guindos doesn't look amused in the slightest. And there is no doubt that Germany, under the thumb of the power elite, is trying to strangle Southern Europe – at least that's the mainstream "spin."
When you examine the photo closely, you can see that Juncker's hands are relaxed. He wants to strangle Guindos but he is not doing a very good job. Guindos's wary, almost disparaging gaze seems to warn us clearly that Spain (and the other so-called PIGS) are not going to be pushed much further.
He is not in pain, and he is certainly not frightened. His gaze seems to take the measure of the man playfully strangling him and within the recesses of this gaze we think we can see, along with the wariness, a certain contempt.
Is this the beginning of the end? Juncker represents a government that has mercilessly tortured Greek citizens into "austerity" – a ridiculous conglomeration of lower government benefits, higher taxes and longer work spans before "retirement."
Spain, Portugal and Ireland have all received the same treatment. But we have long waited for the pushback. Anyone reading history and observing the rise and fall of Rome knows that Europe is NOT populated by peaceable tribes. (Tribes they are. The French, for instance, look a good bit different than Germans, in aggregate, though it is not politically correct to say so. Oops.)
Anyway, the Spanish are a blending of certain tribes that likely go back tens of thousands of years – and are not a people to lightly cross. There are 50 million of them and they don't even agree among themselves, much less with Brussels.
Spain is a weighty nation-state indeed, and it is therefore fitting that increased pushback has been generated here. The Germans perhaps expected the Spanish to agree with the idea of setting the debt to GDP ratio below 3 percent, and it seemed there was an agreement on this front.
But not really. The Telegraph tells us this: "Mariano Rajoy [soon] announced Spain would break the rules. The quietly spoken prime minister said Spain would aim for a deficit target of 5.8pc of GDP for 2012. He acknowledged this was far above the 4.4pc set by authorities in Brussels but said he'd chosen his target rather than taking €44bn from the budget at a time of economic crisis. The new figure was both 'sensible and reasonable', he said - and a 'sovereign decision made by Spaniards.'"
See? Game on ... Suddenly, sovereignty has re-emerged as an issue. We've been predicting this all along. The tribes of Europe were perfectly happy to go along, in aggregate, with Brussels while the Eurocrats were handing out money. But once the money stopped, so did the compliance.
Of course, the power elites that run Brussels – likely out of the City of London – continue to march like zombies toward the storm that is, in our view, brewing. They want global governance and the EU and other centralizing facilities are a way to bring this dream to fruition.
The power elite is in charge of government behind the scenes, via mercantilism. The larger and more complex the government, the better. It's one reason the elites seek global governance. The more complexity and the more size, the more the elites can get away with. The bigger the beard, the larger the looting.
The power elite evidently and obviously set up these horrid socialist environments in Europe in order to reduce them to rubble on purpose. The idea was apparently twofold. First, as we have pointed out in dozens of articles, the elites INTENDED to use a financial crisis to generate political as well as economic control.
Second, the elites have mercilessly focused on showing the world, via Greek bloodshed and despair, that there is no alternative to their pitiless and murderous New World Order. Greece – and austerity – are to be an object example.
Third, and this is a more speculative perspective, if the push-back became too intense, there are no doubt plans to reduce (at least shrink) the eurozone and even the EU itself. This would be, in our view, a fairly messy and violent procedure (certainly economically so) and might at this point be welcomed by the eurocrats as a way to generally increase suffering and chaos.
The elites are all about chaos, of course. Out of chaos, order: a New World Order, complete with a global IMF currency, etc. The more chaos, the more war, the more bloodshed, the more suffering, the more the average person will welcome the imposition of order, even if that order is highly authoritarian and bound to increase the very troubles that it is putatively designed to cure.
They are psychopathic people. At the very top, they seem to control central banking around the world. They are built out of dynastic families, apparently, measuring their rule in centuries if not millennia. Whether this is TRUE or not is another tale. What matters is that they likely believe it.
Having accepted their self-appointed duty to lead the world, these individuals will apparently do anything to fulfill the roles they have provided to themselves. Which brings us back to the photo we began with. Perhaps it is they, THEMSELVES, that have decided to release this illuminating and iconographic photo. Perhaps, as we pointed out at the beginning of this article, this photo has a meaning far beyond a kind of elitist horseplay.
Perhaps, in fact, it is a signal. What we call the Internet Reformation has begun to bite – and bite hard. The Greeks are in open rebellion. The Spanish have begun to speak once again of the dreaded "S" word – as in sovereignty. The Irish are scheduling a vote over the latest changes the Eurocrats want to make in their increasingly lawless attempts to ride roughshod over 300 million people.
This, then, is the import of the photo – if indeed there is "import." The violence inherent in the photo, the obvious splintering among Europe's great powers, all this is metaphorically suggested in this one iconographic image.
We would suggest – as dedicated watchers of elite dominant social themes – that such a photo could indeed mark a changing of tactics. The elites often operate this way. They signal their intentions.
Conclusion: Could it be that they have decided now to take DOWN the European Union? Could it be this is an alternative tactic, one born of rage and frustration but due to be carried out with clinical, cold-blooded efficiency? Is the EU a dead letter now? Are they signaling that those who have opposed them will get what "they deserve"?
And Caesar's spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war ...
-Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1, 270–27
Posted by Agent Pete 8 on 03/15/12 11:19 PM
Aye DB, Leadership of rage by poor example.
Posted by samson on 03/15/12 05:21 PM
Circles within circles with no visible intermediaries. Encrypted marching
orders. Your pay is on the way.
Posted by heidii on 03/15/12 08:07 AM
"The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
- Ayn Rand
Which is, "the only power government has is the power one gives it".
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 03/15/12 05:25 AM
DB: "Suddenly, sovereignty has re-emerged as an issue. We've been predicting this all along. The tribes of Europe were perfectly happy to go along, in aggregate, with Brussels while the Eurocrats were handing out money. But once the money stopped, so did the compliance"
In fact, that sounds pretty much (and rightly so, I guess) like the old Afghan saying: "You can rent an Afghan (Pashtun?), but you can't buy him" ...
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 03/15/12 05:11 AM
"Very intriguing concept to think of the Gates', the Zuckerbergs, the Obamas, the Summers', the Clintons the Soros' etc. of the world as serfs! However that may work too"
While I cannot speak for the DB, of course, I think 'functional elite' might be an adequate term too for the likes of Obama, Gates, et al. Think big oil or the military-intel-industrial complex and war: The power elite - the only people with REAL power in this world - seeks world dominion and absolute control. Functional elites are reaping profit - by waging war against Libya or Iraq, for example - in recompense for providing the families of old thru the establishment of top-down control-structures in the process.
Some of the functional elite may not even know this. My guess is that the 'higher' you rise, the more you 'need to know', to put it simply.
That may be also one explanation why so many get it wrong when it comes to the REAL reasons for some recent wars - in particular on the left. 'Anti-capitalist', leftist analysis tends to confuse executive forces with principal interests. Certainly, a lot of money is made in war and of course oil is a factor, but 'only' as incentives for the functional elites who do the dirty work while serving the power elite - those who command trillions - with what they REALLY wish for: EVEN MORE POWER.
Posted by clark on 03/15/12 12:51 AM
iconographic status, is that what The Fed is attempting to do with the creation and distribution of these comic books - justifying the Constitutionality of The Fed - for co-ed prison, er I mean, public school children?:
Click to view link
At one time I didn't understand the importance of studying art, it's history and meaning and such. I sure do now.
Posted by Danny B on 03/14/12 11:47 PM
One more try
Click to view link
Posted by taxesbyanyothername on 03/14/12 11:19 PM
If those are serfs, that makes most of the rest of us serfs who belong to serfs. With perhaps a few more layers. Are the Big Boys set to send us to the island of misfit toys? Are any of our efforts better than peashooters?
Posted by Danny B on 03/14/12 11:13 PM
STILL doesn't work. You have to search Hugo Salinas Price and click on the article "Plata"
Posted by Danny B on 03/14/12 11:11 PM
Put 3 "w"s in front
Click to view link.mx/Mplata/default.asp
Posted by Danny B on 03/14/12 11:09 PM
Click to view link.mx/Mplata/default.asp
Posted by Danny B on 03/14/12 11:03 PM
I lived in Madrid for a while,, near plaza de Sol. There was a common bumper sticker.
Ser Espanol, un orgullo
Ser Madrileno, un titulo
These people won't easily forget who they are. The Celts occupied a big part of Spain and Portugal. They sacked Rome in 390 BC.
"According to Roman sources, the Celts were a warlike people, fiercely independent and courageous in battle"
It has been clearly proved that austerity measures do NOT reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio. Spain should tell Brussels to shove-it. They can't possibly make things any worse.
Mises made a big point about human-action.
Hugo Salinas price makes the same point that the West became so enamored of physics and physical laws that it tried to make human action as predictable as physical laws.
Click to view link.mx/mplata/documentos/documentos.asp
If the PTB do indeed plan to crash the world into chaos... . If the PTB expect order to arise up out of the ashes, I believe that they have miscalculated. The tribes remember that only a short time ago, they had stability WITHIN their borders. Should they go looking for a return to stability, they will NOT go looking for an "overlord". They will look for a solution within their internal control.
Posted by c.martel on 03/14/12 07:09 PM
Reply to Daily Bell,
Thank you for your clarification!
Very intriguing concept to think of the Gates', the Zuckerbergs, the Obamas, the Summers', the Clintons the Soros' etc. of the world as serfs! However that may work too.
Posted by c.martel on 03/14/12 05:09 PM
You consistently refer to the "Power Elite" as a group of "impossibly rich European banking families", however, I question whether this is a bit of an over-simplification. I'm sure it's quite adequate to describe the dynamic in Europe, but does it hold true for the broader scope of the worldwide globalist agenda?
That may have been completely true back in the early 20th century and before, but what about today with all these other very powerful players we see consistently pushing for globalism? Where do they fit into the picture?
Today, great wealth and power is spread all around the world, and for that matter possibly the richest families do not reside in Europe or are of the lineage of those European families. It seems to me that the movers and shakers for the international order are not restricted to or tied so much any more to a select few European families as they are a to modern-day world-wide movement of like-minded wealthy international socialists.
It seems the power elite could more accurately be described as a melange of very wealthy and influential international bankers along with their fellow travelers the Chicago politicians the Hollywood entertainers the Harvard academics and the Click to view link billionaires etc. A cross section of society of like-minded and self-appointed rulers of the world.
I don't disparage your good work but am just wondering what to do with all these other very powerful characters we keep seeing on a daily basis over CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC etc.
Reply from The Daily Bell
The only people with power in this world, in our view, are the ones that control the BIS and the world's central banks. These are the ones (dynastic families, we speculate) that are nudging us brutally or otherwise toward a New World Order. Everyone else is a kind of serf.
Posted by chad2 on 03/14/12 04:37 PM
Down with the old union, up with the new! The new will take away soveriegnty. Just like WWIII will do away with the US constitution.
"And he shall change times and laws... "
Posted by eternal on 03/14/12 02:51 PM
Actually had a relatively hard time finding this photo!
Click to view linkevatribuna.es/articulo/economia/2012-03-12/juncker-estrangula-a-de-guindos/2012031220224600608.html
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 03/14/12 01:01 PM
"Could it be that they have decided now to take DOWN the European Union. Could it be this is an alternative tactic, one born of rage and frustration but due to be carried out with clinical, cold-blooded efficiency? Is the EU a dead letter now?"
Fair questions indeed.
It would seem Ambrose Evans-Pritchard sensed this too - well, sort of - when he wrote, nine days ago:
'Spain's sovereign thunderclap and the end of Merkel's Europe (... ) As many readers will already have seen, Premier Mariano Rajoy has refused point blank to comply with the austerity demands of the European Commission and the European Council (hijacked by Merkozy)
In the twenty years or so that I have been following EU affairs closely, I cannot remember such a bold and open act of defiance by any state. Usually such matters are fudged. Countries stretch the line, but do not actually cross it.
There comes a point when a democracy can no longer sacrifice its citizens to please reactionary ideologues determined to impose 1930s scorched-earth policies. Ya basta.
This then is the fermenting mood in the fiercely proud and ancient nation of Spain in Year III of depression, probably the worst depression the country has seen since the 1640s - or have I missed a worse one?
As for the "Fiscal Compact", it is rendered a dead letter by Spanish actions.
Gracias a Dios. If the text were enforced, the consequences would be ruinous. It enshrines Hooverism in EU law, and imposes contractionary policies without the consent of future parliaments - including any future Bundestag. Indeed, it probably violates the German constitution.
But it won't be enforced in any meaningful sense because the political realities of the EU are already intruding, and will intrude further. A president François Hollande of France will rip it up.
The Latin Bloc is awakening'
Click to view link
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 03/14/12 12:48 PM
They never did get their hands around the Greek CDS situation did they?
Chaos works less well when the private market sets up contracts around it.
Posted by finninsweden on 03/14/12 12:42 PM
Or could there be an eatrhquake in Spain soon...