2014 in L'Alpe di Siusi, fresh from the US and Australia.
This site will be undergoing upgrades for the next months (from Sep 2021). Check back in from time to time!
If you would like a consultation, go to the 'Enquiries' button at right and fill out the form
To subscribe to the monthly newsletter, go to the 'Subscribe' button at right
I can be reached and read at the social media icons, top right
Comments to newsletters are temporarily closed. If you want to comment, contact me at email@example.com or use the 'Enquiries' button, at right
THE PISCES FESTIVAL 2019
19 Feb 2019
© Malvin Artley
The need for certain recognitions
The problem of economics
Regulation vs. protection
Education and Religion
Pisces, Pluto and perceptions
Jupiter and Pisces
Where is our salvation?
The nations and cities with Pisces
France, Germany and the EU
Problems with the Eurozone
What if the EU splits?
An alternative view
Europe and the future
No man is an island
The need for certain recognitions: Now that we are firmly into the year and we are beginning to see what is unfolding, this letter will round out our discussion of the collective destinies of nations that we undertook starting with the Aries festival last year. 2018 was indeed a year of foundational geopolitical changes, and those will continue and evolve, and in some cases devolve, as this year and the next ones unfold. However, there is a wider point to what we have examined over the past year, and it involves something that was referenced earlier in this series of letters:
“Above everything else required at this time is  a recognition of the world of meaning,  a recognition of Those Who implement world affairs and Who engineer those steps which lead mankind onward towards its destined goal,  plus a steadily increased recognition of the Plan on the part of the masses. These three recognitions must be evidenced by humanity and affect human thinking and action if the total destruction of mankind is to be averted. They must form the theme of all the propaganda work to be done during the next few decades—until the year 2025—a brief space of time indeed to produce fundamental changes in human thought, awareness, and direction, but—at the same time— a quite possible achievement, provided the New Group of World Servers and the men and women of goodwill perform a conscientious task. Evil is not yet sealed.”
Brackets and other formatting inserted for emphases. The essence of what has been addressed in these letters for this past year has been to poke holes in the existing media narratives with which we Western readers are steeped on a daily basis – a Plutonian effort – as well as an effort to point out alternatives to our current streams of public opinion, to point out where the true evil intent in the world lies and how we might counter it. Taking a step back and looking at a wider view, the primary task of sealing away the negative forces with which we are confronted falls upon Europe, as a catalytic point, for the next few years. The two greatest economic powers in the world – China and the US – are too self-absorbed in their own internal problems, as well as experiencing material growth, and rivalry between them, for their publics to really address what is going on. Added to that is the heavy media censorship and corporate propaganda in those two nations, which is less apparent in Europe, although still there. And in fact, the materialistic forces of the world at the moment are majority centered in those two nations and London, more so in the United States. Change will be coming very shortly to those two great nations and the UK as well, though.
Perceptions: Some readers have taken what we have examined in the past year to indicate that I am somehow anti-Western, anti-capitalist and so forth, a Russian apologist and so on. Being a Westerner myself and having lived in capitalistic societies for the whole of my life, which now spans some decades, I have seen the economics of the West, China and Russia, especially, evolve and devolve over time, and my essential take on it is this: No economic or state model is perfect. Corruption has grown in the US and parts of Europe. Corruption is decreasing in Russia, despite what we are told. The figures we see on the internet are based on people’s perception of corruption in their native nations, and that goes to the point of what we have been examining in these past months: perceptions. The economic model we have seen since the mid-70s is at the root of our major challenges and it has increasingly widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor. It is now quickly running its course. How many Australians can buy afford to buy a house in the major cities now, for instance? Why do a large percentage of Americans now struggle to make ends meet, or in the UK for instance? The same is true in Italy, now in recession. The big question is this: What does all this mean, and where is it leading us? That question – the search for meaning – is key to understanding the essence of Pisces, as it turns out, and we will explore that in a bit.
The problem of economics: Before we move on to Pisces, though, there are a few points to make as we finish our examination of the nations. I am not against capitalism. But nor am I against socialism, or communism. They all have their plusses and minuses. Having looked at the nations and the systems that work well over time, the nations and societies that fare the best are the ones that have mixed economies – semi-socialized, yet capitalistic societies. In the West this is called democratic socialism. It is a model that allows speculative capitalism, but at the same time ensures the safety and prosperity of those people – the majority of us – who are not so inclined. It is a model that builds the middle classes and eliminates poverty. The UK and Australia used to be such societies, but the social welfare has been steadily whittled back since the ‘70s. Nations like Russia, Iran, Venezuela and China have gone the other direction.
In mixed economies there are rules in place for the protection of workers, as well as for the protection of capital. Neither sector dominates, and this fits with what is said to eventuate as the world order as the decades and centuries unfold. The US is one of the slowest of the nations to adopt such a model, and in fact that model has been forcefully dismantled by successive administrations since Roosevelt died, accelerated with the advent of Nixon. Yet, Americans do like certain forms of socialism, like Social Security, Medicare and the GI Bill. It was the mixed economy under Roosevelt that grew the middle class. Since Nixon, the middle class has increasingly struggled and the poor have become poorer in the US. Yet, we hear quite a lot of Libertarian and Republican rhetoric about the ‘evils of socialism’ and government intervention in business on sites such as Zero Hedge and the like. And Trump was quite mistaken in his state of the union speech when he said, to roaring applause, that the US will never be socialist. We already have been semi-socialist and will be increasingly into the future. Policies like his and establishment parties will guarantee it.
Regulation vs. protection: Coming from a background as a technician, though, I can offer the following observation: Unregulated systems have the tendency to become inefficient, to falter with time and ultimately fail. In electronics if there is no resistance and/or voltage regulation then circuits begin to fry before too long. At best they will not work properly. Self-regulating systems only work properly when the self-regulating mechanisms are installed properly from the start. That word ‘properly’ is the key word. And if a regulator is faulty, poorly designed or too complicated, we see the same effects as a lack of regulation. Stated another way, regulation can also be seen as protection. It is the people who most chafe at any sort of regulation in economics and public life who speak the loudest about the evils of it. In a free-market economy, such as we attempted in the US and UK, the stain of human selfishness is that system’s undoing. The people who know how to work the system do so to their advantage, with wealth inequality being the result. These are simplistic analogies, to be sure, but perhaps the idea is clear.
Artificial Intelligence: We see this ‘gaming of the system’ in AI (artificial intelligence), too, and this is being used increasingly in the stock market, for instance. For a free-market economy to work best as a model requires morality and care for those less fortunate. That is hardly what we see in the US and UK among that system’s most vociferous adherents. Instead what we see is if a person is not successful monetarily they are seen as ‘losers’. For example, if one gives an AI a task it will find the shortest path to its conclusion, will find advantage for itself and reinforce that advantage, regardless of the effects along the way. There is no morality built into AI. It is amoral. When we are talking about AI, we are also looking at the algorithms that game the stock market. Those same algorithms also game and govern internet search engines, and thus govern the types of information or propaganda that we receive. We saw this with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as another example. So, where does this leave us?
Education and Religion: Not all problems can be traced back to economics. There are also educational and religious factors to be taken into account. The fact that the 6th ray (sometimes called ‘the religious ray’) is now rapidly passing out, the religious factor will become less and less a problem. But education is perhaps our biggest concern, although the economic factor is causing the main societal breakdown. There appears to be a lack of concern for education. People who are comfortable tend not to care to examine ‘how the other half’ lives. It is much easier to withdraw into chat rooms and social media and point fingers instead of actually finding solutions and addressing problems. And much of our society in the West is geared toward material satisfaction and gain. It has not been needs-based. That, too, is changing, and we are seeing the first major uprisings about people’s needs not being addressed in the West in Europe. The Gilet Jaunes types of protests are spreading now to Italy, where we just had major similar protests in Rome and Torino (Turin). Of interest to note is that the latter were cast in the corporate press as protests against the current populist government in Italy. The truth of the matter is that, like in the US and other nations, successive governments have only contributed to the problem, which again is based in economics. The protests are not so much protests against governments, but against the austerity measures that our present economic system demands that successive governments have failed to address. Italy is currently in its longest recession since records began. There are also counter-protests against new restrictive immigration laws in Italy.
It must be stated at this point that there is much fear propagated in the corporate media these days about the rise of the far-right and fears of a return to fascism in Europe, as well as in the US. It might be more helpful to ask why this would be so, rather than pointing fingers. If we look at historical precedents, the answer as to why fascism might be on the rise is solidly based in economics – specifically to austerity policy foisted upon the public. Fascism arose in its last greatest phase as a result of the Great Depression, conditions at the end of WWI and the heavily punitive war reparations regime placed upon Germany during the period after WWI. If the public is looked after in terms of finances and investment in society there is no fascism. What we have seen in recent years is constant talk in the media and by politicians for the need to pull in the purse strings, the need to eliminate social spending in order to balance the budget, placing the burden of bailouts of private institutions (banks) on the public instead of allowing those institutions to fail, cutting taxes to the wealthy and corporations, increasing the tax loads on citizens via increasing costs, and so on. So, there is much to consider here, but there is a more pointed consideration here and it relates to Pisces.
Pisces, Pluto and perceptions: With the preceding points in mind we look now at Pisces, and later with the nations that exhibit Pisces characteristics and where that will take us in the immediate future. To start, in Buddhism one is taught to look beyond ordinary appearances. A very practical example of this lies in what we see in the media feeds every day. In rounding out the nations for this past cycle, we also round out the Buddhist prayer that has been quoted in this cycle of letters. As to Pisces, we have:
“May virtuous (teachers) who show the good path and friends who practise it properly have a long life. I ask blessing swiftly to pacify all outer and inner hindrances.”
This applies exactly to the action of Pluto on the individual. What are the hindrances, and to what do they apply? The reference here is to the factors that block our path to enlightenment. In esoteric terms this applies to dispelling maya, illusion and glamour, in other words the factors in our lower nature that prevent us from seeing our own nature and the nature of our surrounding reality truly. This stanza follows upon the stanza that was quoted in the Aquarius letter, and they both relate in particular to a sustained practice of intensive meditative focus that moves one “from the unreal to the real”. In astrology this movement from the illusory to the clear light of truth is governed by Pluto, which removes the obstacles to our enlightenment. It is the planet that cuts our attachments to things, feelings and thoughts and leaves us thus free to express our higher Self with greater facility. The higher Self is the saving force in our personal lives and in our collective lives because we then become clear channels for the clear light that casts away the darkness of our collective ignorance. For this reason Pluto is cited as the esoteric ruler of Pisces, the sign of the World Savior. The above stanza is very similar to the mantram or invocation of the disciple:
“May the energy of the divine Self inspire and the light of the Soul direct; may I be led from darkness to light, from the unreal to the real, from death to immortality.”
How does this relate to Pisces? Popular astrology depicts Pisceans as sweet, gentle, caring and malleable individuals. Neptune is said to be the ruler of the sign, but this is a later appellation. The orthodox ruler up until recently has been Jupiter, which in some ways better fits the sign. We’ll get to why in a moment. The Neptunian rulership of Pisces, while granting a more mystical quality to the sign as well as intuitive ability, also is associated with the more negative aspects of that planet – a lack of focus, sometimes a nefariousness, being too trusting and open to deception as a result, and a confused outlook on life. Too often we see these negative traits of Pisces and Neptune emphasized in talk about Pisces and Pisceans instead of the positive traits of what I call ‘positive disillusionment’ – the ability to greatly clarify matters and the ability to see through confusion and darkness to the truth. Neptune is the planet of pure reason (intuition), after all. Of this is said, “The ‘clear cold light’ is the light of pure reason, of infallible intuitive perception and its unremitting, intensive and revealing light…” This reveals two things: A) The omnipresence of God throughout nature, and B) The omniscience of the divine Whole…and the phases of ‘isolated experience,’ as it is sometimes occultly called, is forever ended.” This leads to the Jupiterian rulership of Pisces.
With Pisces we have three rulers: Jupiter, Neptune (said to be esoterically associated with the sign), and Pluto. Both Neptune and Pluto are thus esoteric rulers, with only Jupiter being the orthodox ruler. These two planets lead one on the path ‘from darkness to light’, from ignorance and confusion to the clear light of truth. This may seem to go against what we now take as Neptune being the orthodox ruler, but Neptune can hardly be said to be orthodox. And then even Jupiter, in the context we are considering here, can be seen esoterically, because once the light of intuitive insight has pierced the darkness of ignorance, a terrific expansion of awareness takes place in the life of one who has had such an experience. Jupiter governs that path of expansion. Events in the light of intuition are seen as they are, not as they are portrayed. This is especially important when we consider our current media environment. One’s purpose and path in the immediate milieu is seen clearly at that point, because the overall picture is seen in its entirety, not from a narrow personal emphasis or perspective.
Pluto has been called the great healer of the planets, the restorer of soul. “Pluto is a deity with the attributes of the serpent. He is a healer, a giver of health, spiritual and physical and of enlightenment.” With the nations that express Pisces, Pluto then becomes of great importance in the life of that nation, and thus in international relations. This is especially true where the soul of said nation is ruled by Pisces, as in the case of France today. That rulership and influence from Pluto is one of the chief reasons why France has not been able to remain settled, as there is a constant adjustment made in response to France’s collective soul impulses, world circumstances as well as to its own tendency to crystallize, coming through the Capricornian rulership of Paris. We’ll have more on France when we discuss Europe presently.
Jupiter and Pisces: Returning to Jupiter and Pisces, the action of Jupiter, aside from its expansive energy, is also to unite, as it expresses the force of the 2nd ray (love/wisdom). In a human being the prime function of Jupiter is to ‘unite heart and head’, which can also be read as mind and love, and will and wisdom. Jupiter governs the law of supply in our solar system. In this case it is the supply of wisdom. In a sense, Jupiter leads to and follows on from Neptune in Pisces, as Neptune focuses the energies of Pisces, leading to liberation from control by the lower self through the action of Pluto. There are many hints in that, even to the point of looking at the early evolution of our solar system. But our point here is the idea of liberation as a process of healing, making room for the fuller and freer expression of the higher Self. In that respect, we become ‘saved’, from ourselves really, if that seems paradoxical. This is where the misguided Christian concept of Jesus as a personal savior comes in. We won’t go into all that here. Suffice it to say, this goes back to the Eastern method of reliance on a guru for the path to liberation/full enlightenment/Buddhahood – whatever we want to call it. Our method in the West is toward self-effort in everyday life.
Where is our salvation?: It is only by our own self-effort through service that we attain the state of a Master/guru/lama, and we do that by practicing such (following the examples) like the “virtuous (teachers) who show the good path and friends who practise it properly”, as referenced in the stanza before. Pisces, then, represents the people who, through dint of service and the most strenuous self-effort, attain universal consciousness, full liberation from the wheel of life and death and are thus able to save others as they have saved themselves. This is the story of all of us, really. Far from being a soft, wishy-washy expression, Pisces is the most powerful of the signs with respect to the evolution of consciousness, because it represents the end result of all our efforts – omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence. And thus we have the esoteric motto of Pisces: “I leave the Father’s home and turning back I save.” The keynote of Pisces, then, is service. But in this case it is service that is bent toward the salvation of the greater whole. All Pisceans carry this idea of service strongly somewhere in their nature. In this way they achieve liberation from some facet of their lower nature and open themselves to greater universal principles, whether or not they realize it. In thus doing, they are able to enlighten the society around them. With that, we move on to the full moon and the complete our view of the nations.
The full moon takes place on 19 Feb 19 at 15:53 UT (2:53 AM AEDT), on the 1st degree of the Virgo/Pisces axis. A Mars/Uranus conjunction is sextile the Sun, making an easy opposition of the full moon axis. This is the central feature of the chart. It represents quite a dynamic expression, one that speaks well of original and creative thinking, independent thought and resolution of conflicts. The latter is accentuated by a Venus/Saturn/Pluto trio sextile to a Mercury/Neptune conjunction, all of which has a tendency to bring situations into focus and reality. The latter is in turn aided by a semisextile between the Sun and Saturn. At this point in Europe we are looking at continuing protests in France, the start of such protests in Italy, the looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit and tensions overall within the EU. The chart will bring a focus especially on the nations with the Pisces/Virgo pairing, such as Ireland, or with one or the other. With all the preceding in mind, then, we move on to the nations.
The nations and cities with Pisces are as follows:
Soul: France (Leo personality)
Personality: Germany (Aries soul), Ireland (Virgo soul), Warsaw (Capricorn soul)
There is one thing that stands out about the list above: the nations and city are all European. And of the nations, all of them are involved in the current drama unfolding across Europe. All of those nations have also at some point or another contributed immensely to Western culture and qualities. Of course, at one time or another, they have also contributed to those qualities of Western culture that are, shall we say, less than desirable. No nation is free of its darker side, all of them having skeletons in the closet, and sometimes in plain view. Of the three nations listed, Ireland is probably the better of the lot regarding the darker impulses. But it has also seen civil war, The Troubles, and so forth. In effect, it is even now a split society. But to carry these three nations into the present time, all of them are involved, as stated, in the current travails of Europe – Ireland with the Brexit debacle due to its split nature, and France and Germany with the very structure of the EU itself. Warsaw, for its part, is contributing to tensions with Russia and Ukraine and is seeking for major status within NATO via its Capricorn soul. It is of particular note here that only Poland sees Russia as the number one threat to its security now, while allies such as Australia, France and Germany see the US as the number one threat. This has emerged for a variety of reasons, with flip-flops in US policy being the main reason for the rise in threat perception.
France, Germany and the EU: Much of our discussion here, however, will center around France and Germany, because one of the roots of Europe’s troubles, as well as solutions to the Euro-crisis, is centered around those two nations, leaving the UK out of the equation for the moment. This is not to say the UK is not a central feature – it is – but the primary economic structure of the EU was set up around the reunification of Germany at the end of the Cold War era.
To make a long story short, the EU came into being around the time of the fall of the Soviet system and the reunification of Germany thereafter. As a condition of reunification, Germany had to give up the deutschmark on the timeline that it happened, and the idea of an economic union that included a reunified Germany is claimed to have been a hedge against Germany becoming a military threat and economic hegemon in Europe. Opinions on the precise nature of events at that time vary. But the two primary actors in the face of German reunification were France and Germany. Britain had concerns, too, as well as Russia, due to two world wars and the Cold War. The economic union that came to be the Eurozone is largely at the root of Europe’s present problems. In that regard, consider the following with regard to Europe and the situation we now have there, written decades ago but still relevant:
The whole problem of French-German relation is tied up in this fact for the Piscean soul of [Page 77] France and the Piscean personality of Germany must eventually come to terms and it is obvious, is it not, that the real solution lies in the hands of France, which must let its soul control? It is because of this that, at the close of the Piscean Age, this whole relationship has come to a focus. France has an integrated personality whilst Germany has not; France is mental whilst Germany is predominantly astral; France is, therefore, essentially more potent, and its Leo personality can control with force to the detriment of future world understanding, or its soul can control to the furthering of the ends of the Hierarchy. As you know, Berlin is controlled by Leo from the personality angle, and there again comes out the relationship between the countries. They are both powerfully influenced by this sign of self-interest and of individuality as well as by Pisces. They cannot escape this relation.
London, we must add, fits into the Leo self-interest cited in the quote as well, as does Russia. So, with the present tensions in Europe, there are darker clouds over Europe these days, but those clouds are based in economics, not militarism. We hear about the rise of far-right parties throughout Europe and are told they are destabilizing European politics. But those parties are only a symptom of larger problems, and they arise out of austerity measures, which is what we saw in post-WWI Germany and Italy. If you want to see how austerity affects nations, one has to look no farther than the UK, with austerity being the main driver behind Brexit, truth be known. The problem with present austerity measures, as we see in France for instance, is that instead of raising taxes where they need to be raised – on wealth and corporations – those taxes are introduced by stealth on the populace (like the fuel tax) or even overtly, as we saw with the tax cuts for the wealthy in France and both the wealthy and corporations in the US.
Before we get into a bit of the history around the economic union and Europe’s challenges immediately ahead there are some preliminary statements that would be helpful to keep in mind. The political instability in Europe is being brought about through austerity measures, insisted upon by Germany primarily (because they are the surplus nation), through wealth inequality, through poor policies and weak political leadership, and these revolve around two factors:
One of the big concerns many European states had prior to the Eurozone was that Germany would become the primary economic powerhouse of the EU, which it has become. This was only a natural development, as Germany has a very strong industrial sector, unlike many other European states. Some commentators see that as a German swindle, that the Germans knew full well would advantage them. It would appear to be an afterthought, given what will follow in this discussion, as well as obvious to anyone who looked at the matter seriously. This concern ignores the fact that the majority of Germans prior to reunification favored keeping the deutschmark as their currency and not entering into the single currency union, or Eurozone. It was a matter of great national pride to them. But desire for a reunified Germany outweighed that sentiment.
In fact, the Eurozone has been a mixed blessing for Germans. On the one hand it has greatly favored German industry and produced large budget surpluses, which were then used as investments in less viable European states – Greece, for example. German industry is unmatched in Europe, and as a result it is a net exporter, thus producing the huge budget surplus. But on the other hand, the Germans have felt that they have had to bail out less solvent states, to Germany’s disadvantage, which is why they insist on austerity measures in receiver nations and balanced budgets. And that is a real concern. Germany should not have to bear the brunt of other states’ mishandling or lack of viable export or industrial potential. Southern Italy is a case in point. Italy has a north-south divide that has been quite problematic for many years. But then, too, donor nations should not be lending to nations they know will mishandle their finances or about which they are dubious. Irresponsible lending leads to irresponsible spending, as we saw with the housing bubble in the US that led to the 2008 crash, the former also known as the subprime housing crisis.
Problems with the Eurozone: There are many problems with the Eurozone, the main ones being a lack of oversight on the banking systems, the lack of a federal treasury (there is as yet not a proper federation of EU states), no common deposit insurance, the need for Eurobonds, and a lack of adjustment mechanisms for exchange rate and interest rates. That lack of regulating mechanisms, as I described earlier, has caused the system to become inefficient, unbalanced, to favor certain nations over others, to increase differences between nations instead of causing the needed debates about overhauling the Eurozone system and so forth. If things continue as they are, if Germany refuses to bend, if France continues to push the neo-liberal economic policies of Macron – and on and on – then a collapse may take place. That would be catastrophic for Europe. But my own sense is that the fears of what that represents to Europeans will bring forward leadership that will begin to address the problems, much like we saw with the Roosevelt years in the US during the Great Depression. These next few years are going to be revolutionary times on the Continent. Now to a bit of background.
In 1971 Nicholas Kaldor, Cambridge economist, noted that an economic union in Europe that preceded federation – the latter a so-called ‘United States of Europe’ – would end in collapse of the union of any sort, setting nation states against each other due to poor economic planning and debt loads. It should be noted that Kaldor was pro-European. He was quite prescient, and that worst case scenario is exactly what we appear to be on the cusp of today. It will be of interest to note, too, that the Eurozone was set up precisely to fail (against the advice of Kaldor), with the aim of producing such a crisis that a forced federation would eventuate. That was the plan, anyway, and it turned out to be a huge miscalculation. It was pushed by Mitterrand of France at the time, accepted by Helmut Kohl of Germany, with Mitterrand knowing full well what would happen. So, returning to why we need to look at France and Germany to resolve the Eurozone crisis, we see that it was the French leadership at the time that pushed the agenda of the EU and common currency forward, against sound advice, against common sense and as a political maneuver, largely to protect French interests. The self-interest of Leo with France won out over the more patient and prescient Piscean soul nature. That, too, was coupled with the German Piscean desire for unification. Much of this was unknown to either the French or the German people at the time.
But now, largely as a result of the sovereign debt crisis, any talk of a strong, overarching European federation is anathema to the majority of Europeans. Brexit would be the first step in the EU disintegration, if it happens, which increasingly looks to be the case. 1971 was the year that Nixon cut the US out of the Bretton Woods Agreement and floated the dollar as a fiat currency, which is worth noting. Nixon’s action was the first step toward the neo-liberal economics we have today, because that system depends upon fiat currencies and the ability to simply print money. Kaldor wrote in 1971, that:
“Some day the nations of Europe may be ready to merge their national identities and create a new European Union – the United States of Europe. If and when they do, a European Government will take over all the functions which the Federal government now provides in the U.S., or in Canada or Australia. This will involve the creation of a “full economic and monetary union”. But it is a dangerous error to believe that monetary and economic union can precede a political union or that it will act (in the words of the Werner report) “as a leaven for the evolvement of a political union which in the long run it will in any case be unable to do without”. For if the creation of a monetary union and Community control over national budgets generates pressures which lead to a breakdown of the whole system it will prevent the development of a political union, not promote it.”
How right he was. Then there is this, stated recently by Dominique Moïsi, French foreign policy analyst, on US-European relations and the fate of the EU, which in many people’s minds would seem to be a fait accompli:
This is a time when history is hesitating, and you don’t know which direction it’s going to go…I think there are many people in America who think Europe is lost, that Europe is going to go that way,” he added. “I’m saying, well, it may very well be the case. The elite are largely guilty for that, for the succession of bad leaders and irresponsible actions. At the same time, you can say it’s not totally inevitable. Macron can do well in the European elections. Trump can be defeated. The mess Brexit has created may push people to rationality again. That’s why I’m saying we are at a turning point, that history is hesitating.
There are many ‘ifs’ in that musing. But indeed, Europe, meaning the EU and the Eurozone, is at a turning point. We see exactly the sort of animosity arising between the nation states that Kaldor had foreseen. And one of the more revealing aspects of this instability we are seeing exists now in the astrology of both the UK and the Eurozone. Both are being strongly influenced by Pluto to their angles at the moment, with the Eurozone having Pluto on all three of its axes – Horizon, Meridian and Vertex. A radical re-think is needed there, both in the UK and the Eurozone, otherwise a collapse or separation would appear to be in the offing. We could also say that much soul-searching is needed, invoking the souls of the nations involved.
There are alternatives to the Eurozone as it stands, though. We won’t go over them here, but there is a video (starting at 40:00) that offers some, but it will take strong political leadership to do so, as well as real openness and frankness about Europe’s problems. This brings us back to France and Germany. The leadership in both France and Germany now is weak. Macron is beset by his own bad policies, showing in the form of yellow vests and Merkel has stated she will not seek another term, having taken six months to form a coalition government after the last elections. And the AfD party in Germany is now talking about a ‘Dexit’ if reforms in the EU are not forthcoming to their liking. The AfD was founded in 2015 as a reaction against German bailouts of weaker economies.
What if the EU splits?: If the EU were to split it would likely do so, as described by Veroufakis, north of the Alps and east of the Rhine. That division looks to be very similar to one outlined in The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, published in 1957. That was about the time the European Economic Community was being established. It is one possible scenario out of many, but at the time of that writing the EU was not even in the picture. Such a bloc would place Germany as the major power center east of the Rhine with satellite manufacturing states in central and eastern Europe, which is what has emerged since the inception of the EU. Central and Eastern Europe is now the manufacturing hub for Europe and very much tied to Germany, due to cheaper labor costs and investment from Western European banks. But that has caused its own problems. Such a split would also be a disaster for the rest of Europe. It would also cause the value of the deutschmark to spike, making exports more difficult and ultimately hurting the German economy as well. The nations west of the Rhine and Southern Europe would be the poorer bloc, at least in the intervening decades, as there is less of a manufacturing base and with sharp inflation being the result. The Mediterranean rim (the Latin nations) rely heavily on tourism and agriculture for income. The Russian Federation and China would likely move in and fill the vacuum left by Germany retreating from the Union. Italy and France would be the major powers in such a ‘Latin bloc’. Such an evolution is hardly desirable at present, given current geopolitics. It would serve neither Europe nor the larger world.
An alternative view: However, all this ignores one thing that I almost never see mentioned, and this goes to an old saying: You don’t know what you have until it is gone. Economics and immigration problems aside, the European experiment has had some very positive effects. It has created a sense of unity among most Europeans. It has created many opportunities for people within the EU who would not have been able to migrate for work ordinarily. On the whole that aspect of migration within Europe by Europeans has not been the major problem. The main immigration problem came about with the migrant crisis in the middle of this decade and with the African migration that has swept through southern Europe, mainly through Italy. And the old fears of conflicts between member states has been gone since unification.
There have been many posts in social media and alternative sites and blog pages about why the EU is so bad and why it is doomed to break up, a lack of sovereignty being cited as one of the main reasons nations may want to leave. Australian, Canadian and US readers may want to pause and give this a little more thought, though, which is where I see most of the anti-EU sentiment coming from. Because, the fact is that the individual states in which we live are all answerable to the central government in some degree. Imagine for a moment how it would be if, in order to cross between New South Wales and Queensland, for instance, or between Montreal and Ottawa, or between Georgia and Florida – between any states in those federations (and they are federations) – imagine you had to have a passport, had to enter through a checkpoint and customs inspection point, had to exchange currencies, and so forth. This is what Europe had before the EU.
We in the older federations take freedom of movement for granted, a single currency for granted, speaking as an American-Australian. We don’t have to have a visa to travel state-to-state or to have to wait sometimes hours or in long lines to enter and leave states. We don’t have to explain our reasons for being there or how much money or what sort of goods we have on hand or how long we plan to stay, or to have our luggage and belongings searched or X-rayed. We don’t have any time limits on how long we stay in a particular location. It gives a wonderful sense of freedom to be able to live in such a manner. These are freedoms Europeans have only recently known. It also gives a sense of belonging, of ‘unity in diversity’. As Americans, Canadians and Australians we never think about what it would mean to lose federation, although Americans came pretty close at one point. And yet we wonder why Europeans are crazy enough to want the sort of union they have, given the current state of its affairs. This scenario just described, though, is what awaits the UK if it finally leaves the EU. This is what awaits individual EU states if they, too, decide to leave.
It is helpful to remember that the EU is a very young construct, being barely 26 years old. It is not without its problems, true, but most Europeans still favor the Union and the figure seems to be rising, even in Britain, despite the problems. None of the aforementioned federations was without their own problems at inception. The US had very significant struggles, for instance, in its early years. There is a big clue here, though: The lowest levels of support for the EU in Europe were in 2011 at the height of the sovereign debt crisis, which should tell us something: Solve the economics, and most objections to the Union would quickly fade into insignificance. The same for immigration reform. But those reforms also mean reforms at the top, and that reflects back to France and Germany, especially now that Brexit is upon us, from all appearances. The latter being said, I always remember the advice to look beyond ordinary appearances to the essence as taught in Buddhism. What appears on the surface with the EU is not what it seems, not how it has been portrayed in so many articles and posts I have seen. It is not so much about the politics. Instead, it runs on the heels of the old adage, “Follow the money”. And one of the core economic problems that faces the EU is also extant in our own nations, the neo-liberal model. If the EU were to collapse, no nation would escape the fallout. Britain will certainly not escape the EU with Brexit, nor will it be safe in the arms of Washington and New York. I had a recent small example of what would happen if Brexit takes place.
When my friend was over for Christmas she went to the phone store to purchase a SIM card for her phone, hoping to be able to use it on her next stop, which was in Scotland. She was told at the store that she could use that card anywhere in Europe – just not in the UK, because it was no longer a part of the EU, even though Brexit was not yet a done deal. But apparently the phone companies in Italy think so. She would have to buy another SIM card in Scotland. Whoops. The store clerk may have been blowing smoke, but then again, maybe not. I’m not privy to the info, but it illustrates the points we are examining here. It is also illustrative of the tensions we will see between states that will continue to rise until policies see real shifts to favor the people instead of window dressing. We recently had another example of such closer to home here.
Present tensions: The French recalled their ambassador from Rome last week due to rising tensions between the coalition Italian government and Macron’s government. The recall came about as a result of Italian support for the Yellow Vests movement, which the Italian government supports. The French establishment view is that the ‘populist’ Italians are interfering in French politics and agitating for destruction of the EU, which is a bit rich considering French actions in Syria and their recent recognition of Guidó as the ‘legitimate’ leader of Venezuela, calling for fresh elections there. There have been a series of jabs made at Macron by the Italian coalition. The Italian coalition are populist in the pure definition of the word, in that they were elected to try to redress the concerns of the Italian citizens, which are unsurprisingly related to economics and immigration. But the implication in the Times article (linked before) is pejorative. The main jabs at Macron relate to immigration and economic policy – again. Aside from that, more independent views note that the Macron government has been quite hypocritical regarding migration and economic policy when addressing Italian concerns, further claiming that the French government had lost touch with its people. The independent views, speaking from here on the ground in Italy, are more correct. We won’t go into details here, as the linked articles tell the stories of conflicting views well enough.
Of all the EU member states, the attitude of Italians toward the EU is among the worst. That being said, the problems of Italians cannot be laid solely at the feet of Brussels. There is a strong oligarchy here in Italy, the banking system is a mess and leadership in the past has been weak. The current government by all accounts appears to be little better, as Italians are beginning to protest against them for their lack of political will. And then there are cultural concerns here that do not help, which we won’t address. With Italy, though, we have yet another Leo nation which is stirring the pot of European change. And the government does have legitimate concerns with both France and Germany. So, where does this all take us?
The Italians are functioning as a foil to highlight the hypocrisies within the EU higher-ups, namely France and Germany. Apparently it is OK for dominant states to dictate terms to other nations regarding immigration and financial policy, but not OK to point out the failings of those same dominant states. The gilet jaunes have legitimate concerns, as do the Italians, as do the Greeks and other EU nations. It is an increasingly long list. Much of this goes back to the original deal struck between Mitterrand and Kohl just prior to the creation of the EU in 1993, and it will lead to either an overhaul of the Eurozone, or the ultimate breakup of the EU. My own sense is that it will be the former rather than the latter. But further on from that, what we are seeing as an overlay is the fracturing of the neo-liberal economics that is at the heart of the Western financial system. And when we have Washington, Paris and Berlin all calling for regime change in Venezuela, calling for ‘restoration of democracy’, with a weak response by Europe to redress the JCPOA, with further sanctions to come from the EU and US on Russia because Ukraine violated Russia’s territorial waters, so on and so forth, the nations of the world are taking notice. Trust of Washington is at an all-time low. Trump’s policies are bringing about a rapid end to the dollar’s hegemony, and thus to Washington’s influence. Those policies are also a direct threat to Europe, such as cancelling the INF Treaty. Venezuela may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back regarding the dollar’s hegemony and trust in the US and EU. Trust within Europe of France and Germany is falling quickly, too. Trust of the EU is likewise falling, such as we see with Iran and the JCPOA.
Europe and the future: Although the Yellow Vests are a symptom of Europe’s financial woes, they also represent the immediate future of Europe, in that those protests are going to spread. We already see similar protests in Italy. They will eventually force change. We must hold the thought that such change will be constructive instead of leading to fascism and dictatorial powers. They show the reactions of the people to the economic policies that have increasingly disadvantaged them and transferred wealth to corporate interests and oligarchs. They are also reactions against successive administrations in many countries that have only continued the regressive policies, merely painting different faces to the same policies.
There are efforts in Europe and internationally (and this one) aimed a greater democratization and at addressing the serious challenges that confront the European Union. It is far too early to write it off as a flawed and doomed project. There is too much at risk and the sentiments for a united Europe still far outweigh the naysayers. There are no saviors, though, in terms of a leader who will appear and clean up the mess. Any leader who arises presenting themselves as such needs to be very skeptically analyzed. For those leaders who have real, viable answers, though, our weight needs to go behind them, at the same time keeping them on track. Magic works when sufficient focus is brought to bear on the issues at hand.
What we have emerging is a triangle between France, Germany and Italy – and another with Britain should they choose to stay – that can move the EU forward on a better footing. Italy is highlighting what needs to change within the Union as a whole. The Yellow Vests in France are highlighting the basic economic system that needs to change. Macron represents that which needs changing, as well as factions within Germany. But no one nation is to blame, and yet all share the responsibility to make the needed changes happen. The esoteric motto for Germany is, “I preserve”, and its primary task in these days is to put effort toward preserving the more progressive forces for unity in the EU. They could do much to raise the mood of Germans as a whole by investing in German society, much like what is needed in the US. The esoteric motto of France is, “I release the light”. The light of France has been dimmed of late under the yoke of austerity, and there is the old deal that led to the creation of the EU, mentioned previously, that needs to be corrected. In that way the light that is behind the EU can be released. Further light can be released by overturning the economic order in France that benefits their elites at the expense of the average French citizen. It doesn’t have to be catastrophic or violent, but again pressure and focus must be maintained. America did so under Roosevelt, without violence, and it advanced American society and standing considerably.
No man is an island: Italy’s esoteric motto is, “I carve the paths”. In the sense we have now, their responsibility is to carve out a way forward for Europe, to build bridges between nations and make inroads into more progressive movements, rather than reactionary politics. And we will close here with Britain, keeping in mind the old saying, “No man is an island.” Neither is any nation, in truth. Britain’s esoteric motto is, “I serve”. The question before Britons at the moment is exactly that: Who do they serve? The self-interests of London (Leo soul, Libra personality)? With Pluto so strongly affecting the UK now, with Pluto directed on their Ascendant, it is all too easy to write them out of the EU. I wouldn’t be so certain. There are still too many things at play, with Theresa May playing a game of ‘chicken’ with her Party, the opposition and the British public now, running down the clock to the 29th of next month, hoping that it will force MPs to accept her deal. It may lead to something quite different. That date shows a revolutionary sentiment arising in the EU. I will write an article on that shortly. Watch the blog space over the next week for details.
Speaking of John Donne (we were, actually), metaphysical poet and Aquarian, we are reminded of his words at this time, especially regarding the UK, but also Europe as a whole:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
On this day we are reminded of the love that unites us. True, it is a more an intimate love expressed on this day, but still it is a day for showing love and unity. May our thoughts remain with what unites us rather that what comes between us. I am reminded of a Piscean metaphor. On a sinking ship, everyone has a choice – to either go down with the ship, to save those at greater risk, look only at saving oneself, or perhaps choose another path – band together and fix the reason the ship is sinking in the first place, thereafter sailing happily toward our destination together, with a sounder vessel under our feet. I, for one, choose the latter path, so long as it is possible. Be sure and do something special for your loved ones today. Even better, do something helpful for someone you don’t even know. The world will be better for it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
14 Feb 19
These letters are sent as a service. Feel free to pass them on, but do so without charge or alteration. If you wish to be added to or deleted from the mailing list be certain to let me know.
AI thinker: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/machines-think-predicts-future-artificial-intelligence
Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto: Michelangelo Caravaggio
Merkel and austerity: https://voxeurop.eu/en/content/cartoon/1989481-day-one
German reunification: https://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre1989122200
Kaldor: Wikimedia commons
European split: author, from Google maps
Calvin and Hobbes: http://truckingalong-markperkins.blogspot.com/2012/09/legal-ethics-in-social-media-legal.html
Man on rock: https://bahaiteachings.org/no-man-island-parts-whole