Globalization in the modern sense began with the liberalization of the world trade and the introduction of neo-liberalism by the United States and Great Britain. It is closely related to the term “new world order”, which was coined by president Bush in September 1990 in a speech adressed to the American Congress, after the collapse of the Soviet bloc; and Bush added the explanation: a “new world order under US leadership.” This is the international system we have to today.
The 1989 subversion with the help of the West
The main change in the new world order was the expansion of the West to Central and Eastern Europe, which had belonged to the dominion of the Soviet Union until 1989, but on 2 December 1989 Gorbachev “renounced” these countries in the Malta conference with president Bush and therefore they are now also part of the Western Empire. The collapse of the Soviet bloc and the upheaval in 1989 were due to the inherent weakness of the system, but also to the “western factor”, especially to the offensive by the United States under Reagan. The revolution would not have happened in most of the Central and Eastern European countries without the influence of the US The Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Solidarity in Poland would not have been able to survive without America’s support.
In this victory the western cultural influence played a decisive role, what we now call “soft power”, especially the influence of American pop culture, which entered the Eastern countries partly quite legally by means of radio, television, Hollywood films and cultural exchanges and thus spread “western values”. But that was not the classic European culture, but rather, liberalism, individualism, materialism, Hollywood.
The new world order in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989
The new world order, which was introduced after the turn of Central and Eastern Europe implied the introduction of the neoliberal model, the dictatorship of money, which has the following features: full liberalization of the economy, dissolving of state property and privatization, dismantling of the state and deregulation, the subordination of the country under the control of foreign capital, and finally the integration into the Western political system, into the EU, NATO, the World Trade Organization WTO. This reform was controlled by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and subjected to political conditions.
The intellectual foundations and objectives of the new world order after 1989 were drafted by the “Council on Foreign Relations”; these are documents such as the “Project for the New American Century,” headed and worked out by William Kristol and Richard Perle in 1997 in order to justify the end of the “era of the Westphalian Peace” and the international law. On the recommendation of this task force president Bush denounced the ABM Treaty with Russia in 2001, which had provided a limitation of the missile defense systems. One of the architects of the new order was Zbigniew Brzezinski, who called for the division of Russia in his book “The Grand Chessboard: American strategy of domination”, also published in 1997, or he demanded the National Security Strategy of the United States 2002 and the “Vision 2015” published by the CFR 2008.
The result was not the creation of a productive, creative middle class as the backbone of the new society, but a “dependent foreign elite” (Brzezinski), a class of “nouveaux riches” that are under the control of the IWF. Today their children study at elite universities in England and America, in order to return with a “new awareness”.
Zbigniew Brzezinski and Osama Bin Laden
The EU – a US project
A pillar of the new order is the European Union, which originally was an American project, too, elaborated by Jean Monnet, who actually was an American banker and a lobbyist for Wall Street. The plan designed the United States of Europe under American leadership and the dismantling of its nation states. In the treaties of Maastricht in 1992, Copenhagen in 1997 and Lisbon in 2007, the following provisions were set: essentially neo-liberalism with the four freedoms and the dissolution of nation states. The decisions are not made by the European Parliament, but by the European Commission, which is an unelected bureaucracy. The goal is still a centralized super-state with a uniform constitution, adopted in Lisbon, and an economic government.
Central and eastern Europe have been integrated by NATO and the EU into the Western system. The eastern extension was achieved by the EU programs Phare, Tempus, and particularly by the treaties of accession to the EU in 2004 and 2007, and now there is the “Eastern Partnership” for countries outside the EU.
The shift in values: Education for the “open society”
The new world order wants to create a new culture, which replaces the traditional value system with its emphasis on national ideals, history, religion and the family: it has the aim to establish a liberal, secular and multicultural society. In 2005 the American political scientist Joseph Nye coined the term “soft power”. His book is subtitled “The Means to Success to World Politics.” The EU laid down its values in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of 2000, which has been monitored by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights based in Vienna since 2007. The agency is especially devoted to the monitoring of racism, xenophobia and discrimination based on sex, religion and sexual orientation. Culture is no longer a matter of nation states, for this purpose there is a European Commission Directorate-General for Culture, Media and Education, which administers the five-year programs for culture and the “Television without Frontiers”.
The influence of Western companies on the media
The media in central and eastern Europe are actually controlled by the Western media companies: the News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, the Bertelsmann AG (which owns Poland’s largest daily newspaper “Gazeta Wyborcza” and the biggest tabloid “Fakt”), the Springer Group (which owns the most prestigious daily newspaper in Poland “Rzeczpospolita”), the WAZ Group, the Swiss media group Ringier and the Austrian Styria Verlag, which is active in southeast Europe. The Western media companies are primarily market-oriented and promote a journalism, which has little to do with information, but much to do with image-heavy sensation. The education system is also controlled by the PISA studies and the Bologna process, which aim to unify the education system in terms of training for the market.
The multicultural society
The multicultural society is determined by, among other things, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in 1995, which provides revaluation of minorities and actually affirms their equality with the majority population. An example is the Albanian University of Tetovo in Macedonia, where the language of instruction is Albanian and which produces graduates who have completed their studies in Albanian in a state with a Slavic-Orthodox population. This is the program of secession, which will come as well as in Kosovo, where it also started in the same way, when the Albanians only attended Albanian schools and did not learn Serbian any longer.
The role of NGOs
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a major role in this cultural change and are also called the “third sector”, like the “open society” of Soros (a major agency of globalization, which opened institutes in all central and eastern European countries, in Budapest already 1984), which advocates a globalized society, separated from national traditions. Examples are American foundations such as the national Endowment for Democracy, the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam and many others. The West established private elite institutions like the Central European University in Budapest, the New School for Social Research in Warsaw, the American University in Blagoevgrad near Sofia in Bulgaria, which were expected to train a new elite. A special feature of the new education system is the establishment of private schools and universities. Today there are about 200 private universities in Poland, mostly business schools, which charge tuition fees and guarantee their students to graduate with a diploma.
The role of Austria
Austria has had close economic and cultural relations to central and eastern Europe ever since, but it was also used as bridgehead of the West. After 1989 the expansion of the Austrian banks (Raiffeisen) to the East played a major role. Austria was given the task by the EU to spread the modern western culture in these countries by means of the organisation “cultural contact”. Austria also plays a role in information politics: the official Austria keeps relations exclusively to the pro-western mass media of the countries of central and eastern Europe. Therefore there is no independent information available. Moreover, only persons known for politically correct views get ever invited to institutes like IDM, IWN, “Diplomatische Akademie” (diplomatic academy). There is no platform for an anti-globalist or EU-critical positition. Richard Sulík, for example, was never invited to Austria although he was speaker of the parliament. That way the wrong impression is generated that the public opinion in these countries is in favour of the EU and America.
In reality the eastern enlargement of the EU didn’t go so smoothly. In countries where it didn’t work, orange revolutions were launched like the one in Serbia in the year 2000 (where the organisation otpor was used), in Georgia in 2003, in the Ukraine 2004, in Belarus 2006. However there the revolution didn’t succeed, therefore Obama imposed sanctions on the country and the EU joined them.
Continued resistance against EU-politics
In 1989 the people were against the dictatorship of the Nomenklatura and pro-Europe. But by now they have lost their illusions and they want national independence. They are against Brussels’ centralism. They came out of the frying pan and into the fire. Central and eastern Europe today is the prolonged workbench of the West.
There is reinforced resistance against EU-politics, most of all against its growing centralism. During the euro-crisis there was resistance against the bail-out fund and the fiscal union in Slovakia (parliament under speaker of parliament Sulík refused the bail-out fund in October 2011), in the Czech Republic which didn’t sign the fiscal union agreement, in Hungary under Orban, in Slovenia the conservative opposition party of Janez Jansa refused the fiscal union. Strong resistance movements exist in Serbia, where the Serbian Radical Party, the biggest party of the country, held a big protest rally on 29 September against joining the EU, in Poland where the Justice and Fairness Party holds an EU-critical position and in the Baltic states. In Croatia as well the critical attitude towards the EU was so strong that a majority in the referendum could only come about because half of the people stayed at home.
In the latter countries Swedish banks dominate who are connected with the IWF. In the Baltic States the shock treatment, i.e. the neoliberal experiment, is slowly coming to an end, because the gross domestic product (GDP) is declining and the unemployment rate is about 15%. In Latvia the biggest party is the pro-Russia party again, which however is not allowed to govern. The governments of the three states do all for the access to the euro system from which they expect the cure of all problems.
The euro-barometer-survey for the assessment of economy
According to the euro-barometer- survey which investigates the mood of the people in the different countries, in 2008 Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia and Estonia less than 50% consented to the EU and also Poland, Slovakia and Lithuania had only little more than 50% consent, and this mood has not improved since.1
In the latest euro-barometer- survey from December 2011 the consent with the EU was no longer investigated. But the question “How do you assess the economic situation of your country?” was answered in all ten eastern member states with “bad” by 60 to 90% of the respondents. The question “Do you think that the worst is still to come for the labour market?” was answered by the same percentage with “yes”.2
The unemployment rate has reached 10 to 15% in all eastern EU-member states, with exception of the Czech Republic and Slovenia.3
Alternative: national resistance
The alternative therefore is the endorsement of the nation state, resistance to globalisation and the cooperation with Russia and other countries of eastern Europe. As a neutral state, Austria which has a long tradition of relations to the central and eastern European countries, should also build an alliance with these countries as a counterweight to the West.
Presentation at the information and discussion evening “Hungary versus Globalisation”, Initiative Heimat und Umwelt, Kolpinghaus, 6 March, 2012
1 Die Presse, 26.06.2008
2 Eurobarometer, december 2011
3 Eurostat, 1.3.2012