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Decembre January February March 2013
Edito A joke too much (p.3) – Governance Nation-States, Europe, Regions and...
Macro-Regions (p.5) – FuturHebdo 26/03/2063 : Is humanity ready for a new Abu
Simbel ? (p.9) - Society The inevitable counter-revolution of the American people (p.11) Euro-BRICS Towards the conclusion of “Schengen” type agreements between the EuroBRICS (p.18) - Geopolitics 2015 : Will the new route to the Indies be via Nicaragua ? (p.21)
Political Anticipation Magazine
A joke too many
by Michaël Timmermans
It’s a well-known technique in the comedy world. Making the public laugh makes it drop its guard
and plunge it even deeper in the story’s drama. With last month’s Italian elections, something a
bit like this happened…
On February 26th, the Italian election results were announced. Beppe Grillo, a former comedian, appears to be the
big winner. Berlusconi, with his coalition winning 30% of the votes, still hasn’t disappeared. The newspapers have announced that the Eurozone’s third largest economy is in the hands of clowns and Eurosceptics. The European leaders,
disowned by their protégé Mario Monti’s scathing defeat, are trembling. The markets plunged.
According to the mainstream media, it’s a total rout1. Italy is deadlocked. However this has to be qualified. Standing as a Eurosceptic, The Five
Star Movement, lead by Beppe Grillo, doesn’t basically question the Euro and the European Union even less. Besides it should be noted that
the party’s programme makes reference to European and other Member States’ directives on several occasions2. In his speeches Beppe Grillo
talks of organizing a referendum on the Euro but not pulling out. If the preceding public consultations organized by the EU didn’t actually in fact
proceed as Brussels would have wished, it shouldn’t necessarily be considered that asking the public’s opinion on important matters is a sign
of rejection. This party, which doesn’t wish to align itself on the traditional left-right divide, is trying to reinvent the way politics happen and once
again giving Italians a place in their country’s affairs3.
Throughout history, the Italians have opened up the way subsequently taken by the rest of the continent. Without going back to Antiquity and the Romans, the country was the first to move forward in
Fascism’s half-light. More recently, with a policy centred on emotion
as well as the fusion of political and private lives, “Berlusconism”
1. “Le succès de Grillo, aussi fascinant qu’effrayant”, 26.02.2013, Le Soir
2. Le Programme du Mouvement 5 Etoiles, Wikisource
3. “Elections en Italie, un nouveau pas vers la Démocratie”, 04.03.2013,
4. “Beppe Grillo se prépare à envahir l’Europe”, 20.03.2013, Presseurop
Once again, Italy is showing a face which will soon become familiar
in many European countries, i.e. that of the death throes of national
politics4. Right in the middle of a global systemic crisis, true power is deserting the Nation States in favour of the European institutions. In making Mario Monti the Italian Prime Minister, the EU took a strong but radical decision. The Euroland leaders chose to stop the democratic process
in Italy in order to stabilize economic and monetary union. In the light of such resolve, national politics are increasingly under supranational
institutions’ orders and its representatives comparable to village chiefs. Deprived of true power to act, national leaders are reduced to simplistic
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speeches and slogans, even to simply make a show.
Faced with this conclusion, Euroland realizes that it can no longer let “regional” elections endanger
all the monetary union members’ balance. It’s also, in this sense, that last month’s elections constituted a necessary watershed at European level. Partly because of the media orchestrated drama,
always ready to play on announcements and labels, they caused a real shock in European public
opinion. Because, yes, in this situation, one can speak of “European public opinion”, as long as it’s
comparable throughout the continent.
This is why the torpor which followed the elections comes after a window of opportunity for Europe
and, even more significantly, for Euroland. Each crisis, each problem, each challenge, will henceforth give birth to new solutions and advances for the Union. From now on European citizens and politicians share the conviction that a reorganization of the institutions is necessary. The democratization of European institutions may therefore emerge from the events of recent weeks
and will consequently provide the democratic legitimacy essential to the Eurozone’s management.
Whereas yesterday’s gains are called into question everywhere, the “world afterwards” is taking shape and displays sometimes surprising facets. The Arab Spring had announced the return of the people in North Africa to affairs but currently people everywhere in the world are trying to
retake the initiative. By electing 104 deputies and 58 senators from the ordinary public, the Five Star Movement’s voters themselves have also
clearly shown that they wanted to reclaim their country’s political arena.
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Nation-States, Europe, Regions and …. Macro-Regions
by Christel Hahn
A look at regional integration as a structure of Euroland governance
Last June the Conference of the Alpine Regions in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland adopted a resolution aimed at developing a
macro-regional strategy for the Alps.1 The conference was the result of continuous networking within a number of transalpine working groups and organizations, which have been established during the different phases of European integration.
The “Alpine Family”
1. Source : Arge Alp
1. Efforts to protect the Alps are older than political integration and lead, in 1952 directly after the war, to CIPRA, a NGO with about 100 member
organizations that works for the protection and sustainable development of the Alps and was the main force to create the Alpine Convention.
2. During the first phase of European Integration, Arge Alp was founded in 1972
through the initiative of the leaders of the Tyrol, South Tyrol and Bavaria. It was
the first association of state units at a level below nation-states within Europe
and its foundation marked the conclusion of the friction in the South Tyrol conflict.
3. The first European renaissance of 1985-1992 at the time of the iron curtain’s dissolution
also saw the establishment of the Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino Europaregion, in1989, a transnational region created from those parts of the Tyrol that had been annexed after the First
World War. The Europaregion is the nucleus of alpine integration just as France/Germany
is the nucleus of European integration.
4. In the same period, during which the European Union was created through the Treaty of
Maastricht, the major alpine states signed the Alpine Convention, in 1991, an international
treaty promoting the comprehensive protection and sustainable development in the Alpine
Source : Alpine Convention
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5. The EU has given the Alps the Alpine Space Programme. It is a European transnational cooperation programme in the framework of the EU
cohesion policy (a policy aimed at reducing the disparities between the European regions)2, and its partner states are those of the Alpine Convention. Whereas the Alpine Convention covers only the core alpine area, the Alpine Space Programme also includes a number of significant
6. Now the expanded EU is trying to consolidate the combined alpine regions into Euroland to establish a Macro-Regional Strategy for the Alps
(following its strategies for the Baltic Sea and the Danube). Work to develop this macro-regional strategy for the Alps has been ongoing since
2009 through the Arge Alp, the Alpine Convention and the Alpine Space Programme and aims at incorporating 40 regions of seven states with
a population of 50 million.
Towards a Macro-Regional Strategy for the Alps
2012 was a year of research and debate for the Alps and as a result the network has expanded; the geographical scope of a macro-regional
strategy has been discussed, content has been developed and influence has been exerted on EU institutions and national governments.
The three objectives for a macro-regional strategy for the Alps are :
Promotion of innovation and competitiveness in this prosperous area
Common strategies for water, energy, agriculture, forestry, environment and climate
Development of solutions to manage the increase in trans-Alpine traffic.
A macro-regional strategy for the Alps is seen as a framework for multi-level governance, which is actually already happening in the current
The need to balance the ecology in turbulent times
2. EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, EU Alpine Space, Youtube
3. Source : Arge Alp
The continuous need to balance the fragile eco-systems of the Alps is one of the strongest motives for regional cooperation. The current global
systemic crisis is actually a period of major turbulence (political, economical and climatic) and thus intensifies the need for balance. In the world
which emerges from the crisis it’s not enough to rely on existing courses of action and we see a necessity for completely new methods and
solutions originating from heightened awareness.
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The alpine arc is shaped by its history
1919 saw the dismantling of the Hapsburg Empire and the South Tyrol was given to Italy. After the Second World War the South Tyrol remained with Italy but Italy blocked the creation of the contractually
agreed autonomy. The situation escalated and was resolved by the creation of an autonomous state in
1972 after continued negotiations and international pressure on the Italian government. Regional leaders agreed on the unification of the Tyrol
as a Europaregion. The dynamics of a peaceful resolution of a long conflict have made this region a motor of alpine integration.
The EU is more than the EU
Although the EU as a political entity has well-defined borders, this isn’t true for its cohesion policy and its macro-regional strategies; they include
many regions, which politically are not part of the EU. In the Alps we have Switzerland as an integral and pro-active part of all alpine networks
which gives an additional strength and dynamics to the alpine network.
The pressure for more federal and decentralized structures
The many borders in the alpine area and Austria and Switzerland’s small size create a tendency for regional leaders to act as “heads of state”
with a network of “foreign relations”4. This is encouraged by the federal/decentralized structures of Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy.
The Alpine Regions’ prosperity
4. See, for example, Four Motors for Europe
The Alps is a group of prosperous European regions with a relatively homogenous economic structure of networks of medium-size industries
and universities. Many factors have contributed to its prosperity: political stability and the resulting influx of capital, the strength that results from
overcoming natural challenges, the location at the centre of Europe and distinct historical and political conditions.
A new form of development
The courses of action described here are part of the transition described by Franck Biancheri in his book “The World Crisis: The Path to the
Macro-regional strategy for the Alps
Most players are quite optimistic about the outcome but, more important than any decision in Brussels, is the working of the existing mature
network which shows that in Euroland (a term used here for an EU transformed through the global crisis) developments don’t evolve top-down
but in networks and are actually processes of self-organization.
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5. “Nichts wie weg von de Pleitegeiern”, 23.06.2010, Tages Anzeiger
6. Switzerland is the first country where a people’s referendum on a reform of the monetary system is being prepared. Source : Vollgeld
7. A very highly developed process is EMAS (European Eco-Management and Audit
Scheme). It is a self-improving cycle, where an organization defines objectives and then
continually improves on these objectives. Source : EMAS
Amongst citizens we see a growing distrust of all “officialdom” but, on the other hand, a historically strong
identification with their own regions.5
Promotion of innovation and competitiveness in
this prosperous area
These objectives for the alpine macro-region show that
the EU’s regional policy needs to be adjusted. From a world which believes in “making everybody equal” and solving problems by pouring
money from a central watering can, we are moving into a world that acknowledges everybody’s uniqueness and consists of self-sufficient communities. In this world parliaments will be of less importance and networks of experts will gain importance.
Prosperous regions will not get the funds which now go to poor regions, but – more importantly – they will get the space to develop. This will
not be possible without changes in the financial system to ensure that the needs of the communities and regions determine capital flows, not
Common strategies for water, energy, agriculture, forestry, environment, climate
Again we are seeing that we are moving from the world of the watering can into a world in which the environment is not seen as a problem to
be solved, but as an ecosystem of which we are a part.7 In this tomorrow’s world its growing questions of interdependence, which are raised
by citizens’ movements, have to be tackled. One such question arises from Switzerland’s plans of to build a permanent nuclear waste disposal
site in the geologically unstable region of the Alps northern lowlands.
Development of solutions with respect to the increase in trans-Alpine traffic
In the emerging world the needs of the citizen are valued. In Switzerland the people voted against high-speed trains and instead an exemplary
railway system was developed. Good practices are being spread by the alpine network. So replacing national car tax discs (road taxes) by one
Alpine Car tax disc would be very popular with citizens and give incentives to integrate road planning and financing.
Alpine integration has been happening simultaneouslywith European integration; currently the development is driven by an inherent momentum
and analyzing it with the method of political anticipation may help to find solutions to Euroland governance problems.
A fuller version of this paper containing more material can be found at the following links in English, French and German.
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the magazine of our likely future
26/03/2063 : Is humanity ready for a new Abu Simbel ?
by Olivier Parent (translation : Ian Shaw)
The ancient site of Damas, the cities of New Orleans and Venice, the Easter Island statues, the town of Salzburg and that of Hoi An in Vietnam… the list of the sites belonging
to humanity’s patrimony and threatened by climate change doesn’t stop getting longer. A
question increasingly arises here: are nations ready to commit the means necessary to
safeguard this group which constitute the cultural wealth of our history by its diversity ?
What was achieved in 1958 to save the site of Abu Simbel on the Nile in Egypt, because of
the unavoidable flooding as a result of the Aswan High Dam’s construction was amazing
feat: 60 thousand of tons of stone removed one by one, identified, numbered from one to
1600, and then re-assembled so that future generations could continue to enjoy this jewel
of Paranoiac architecture.
Today, we aren’t talking about one site but dozens. More often, we talk of thousands of tonnes or millions of cubic metres… we’re no longer
expecting the help of a few nations but all the nations of the planet which must create a huge plan to conserve these legacies of the past.
In the face of such an undertaking’s size, realism and idealism oppose each other once again. And the same groups which stated their opposition to projects such as the space elevator openly state their objection to this conservation project for a heritage which they themselves don’t recognize. These masterpieces in danger are the
manifestation of a world from which they appear to be totally separated: “As the loss of the Bamiyan Buddhas contributed to crystallize the extent of the Taliban’s’ extremism in Afghanistan with
the public at large at the beginning of the 21st century, these sites, buried and lost forever, will be
other milestones along the long road of realization which humanity must travel to save itself from
its own excesses !” Clearly, the projects’ costs are taken into account in the opponents’ approach
to this major project, already called the NAS Project (New Abu Simbel Project).
For all that, the NAS doesn’t lack support. Whether from industrial or transnational patronage,
cultural foundations, or quite simply via state aid of all sizes, this support has been organized beginning with the constitution of a scientific committee of experts. The latter, via its spokesperson,
emphasizes that the current climate isn’t the same as at the time of the “first Abu Simbel”. What,
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at the time, constituted a Paranoiac work for the teams in the true sense of the word, could be carried out much more effectively thanks to the
use of new technologies: foremost among which are robotics and artificial intelligence. “It’s not out of the question to entrust a site’s conservation project (analysis, selection of a new location, transfer, adaptation of the new site layout and reconstruction) to an Artificial Intelligence
which would be structured around all the elements which constitute the site to be transferred (physical just as much as cultural or aesthetic
Its artificial instinct of survival will supervise a myriad of robots, all controlled by this Artificial Intelligence. We can be sure that the new site which
is chosen, just like the means to get it up and running and, in addition slotting it into the framework of the laws of robotics, will respect the wealth
of these unique and essential sites’ in mankind’s memory much better than humans !”
The NAS scientific committee will shortly submit a programme of work to be undertaken to the UN General Assembly. The two camps are honing their weapons for this verbal battle with global implications.
The Path to the World Afterwards
Europe and the World in the decade from 2010 to 2020
by Franck Biancheri
In this uncompromising book, Franck Biancheri (born in 1961, Director of Studies at the Laboratoire
Européen d’Anticipation Politique) attempts to address the lack of anticipation of European leaders and
elites when it comes to the crisis and presents a concrete vision of the future in France, Europe and the
world by 2020.
“Because this crisis we are experiencing is not only the end of the “world before”, it is also an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild a
“world after”, provided not to be mistaken about the dangers, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
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The inevitable counter-revolution of the American people
by Bruno Paul (translation : Ian Shaw)
The American Republic has seen extraordinary and continuous changes since September
2001. We must call these changes a revolution, or a permanent coup d’etat, which has gradually rolled back the US Republic’s institutions to the level of simple charades. This revolution
is a Great Decline, i.e. a movement which will only be reversed with the victory of a counterrevolution led by the American people, the first signs of existence of which are seeing the light
of day. At the end of this long fight, none of the current federal institutions will survive without
being, at best, deeply changed.1,2
The global systemic crisis is, above all, reflected as a crisis of the status quo, which characterizes an era when changes, although present and
deep-seated, are very few and far from perceptible on the surface or in the
mainstream media. The crisis therefore acts as an unmasking, together
with acceleration in the dynamics of change, while preserving the major
trends. This is why it’s essential to examine the American Republic’s progression from a dynamic angle, instead of a frozen image usually limited
to a snapshot of the situation.
1. This text is an extract. The whole document, available on Conscience-Sociale.org has other sections and, in particular, on the coming order of events.
2. We will use the parrêsia technique allied to the method of political anticipation. This text is intended to be a decision-making tool for
each individual involved, as the consequence of a strong empathy for
the American people.
We identify four principal forces, often opposing, of time-varying intensity and the result of which at each instant explains the situation in the
past, present and future:
the dynamic of morals, which produces ideologies at the core of society ;
l the social dynamic of exchanges between individuals, produced by the dominant ideology (which includes, amongst others, all the elements
of classic economic analysis) ;
l the external dynamic, that put to work by other countries through relations (trade, financial, monetary, military, political etc.) between governments and organizations; foreign policy aiming at influencing these relations to obtain effects favourable to the country ;
l the internal political dynamic, produced by the relationship between citizens, organizations and the federal government, and of which justice
is an essential part.
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A thought unsuited to the 21st century
The dynamic of morals is that which evolves the slowest. The creation and especially the airing of ideology in society require decades. Neoliberalism is dominant, and an environmental policy is still in its infancy in the US. In the corridors of power, the ideology of a strong executive
has obliterated any other idea.
The progressive forces are disorganized3 and in the babble major media is
reduced to only produce individual resistance strategies at best, otherwise
warnings or wake-up calls for comfortably numb minds, but not political organizations to spread fundamentally new ideas of social justice4. Religion
only has a role as custodian, unlike what occurred in South Africa. Citizens
are reduced to accumulating rations and ammunition whilst waiting for worst,
and that’s why it’s what will happen.
For inequalities, go upstairs
The US social dynamic has been the object of numerous appraisals5 and
assessments since the beginning of the systemic crisis. Here are just three
illustrations; the first a century’s evolution of US income brackets; the second on the food aid programme in the US since 1976; and the third which
shows the difference in the largest incomes’ march upwards in the US, the
UK, France and Canada :
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3. The progressive movement lacks a spine for the moment, and is
badly divided over a number of difficult issues which diffuse them,
instilling hatred and fear in their hearts, driving out love, and leaving room only for a destructive pride and selfishness. And the timid thinkers, the so-called intelligentsia, hide in their studies and
in their cellars, and in their work, waiting for someone else to do
something. Eventually progressive people will come together or,
as Edmund Burke observed, “they will fall, one by one, an unpitied
sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”. Source : A Financial Coup
d’Etat, the Credibility Trap, and What Must Be Done, 28.09.2012,
Jesse’s Café Américain
4. “Resistance, Revolution, Liberation – A model for positive
change”, C.H. Smith, 2012, oftwominds.com
5. “The Middle Class In America Is Being Wiped Out – Here Are
60 Facts That Prove It”, 04.01.13, The Truth ; “Why the Middle
Class Is Declining: Economist”, 24.02.13, CNBC ; “Eroding middle
class falls to 51%, survey finds”, L.A. Times, 08/2012
US society’s ideology is exclusively turned towards the
principle of liberty. As expected, this truncated notion has,
at the end of the day, resulted in sacrificing individuals’
equality and authorizing crimes in the name of freedom.6
The wave of expansionism ebbs
As regards the external dynamic, the global systemic crisis has also revealed that the United States had arrived
at the end of the line of its growth phase. Their traditional
allies have, over the years, turned against them (Iran, the
Philippines, Iraq, Chile…), favouring other relationships
(Brazil, South Africa, India and now China and Australia),
taking vague desires for sovereignty (Japan and its monetary policy), or are in deep decline (UK7). A new international monetary order is currently being actively prepared
to eliminate the pivotal and extortionate role of the dollar8,
and the US no longer has the means to oppose it. If it
chooses not to take part, it will put itself outside the world
system just like the USSR after Bretton Woods.
6. After the looting and destruction of Baghdad’s archeological treasures, civilization’s cultural patrimony, Rumsfield
said : “Freedom’s untidy… Free people are free to make
mistakes and commit crimes”. Source : “It’US policy that’s
untidy”, 17.04.13, Los Angeles Times
7. From the US to the UK, industrial decline creates ‘anxious
class’, 04.02.13, GlobalPost
8. “Gold, the renminbi and the multiple-currency reserve
system”, 01.2013, OMFIF ; Conscience Sociale
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On September 12th, 2002, in front of the United Nations, G.W. Bush announced the United States presidency’s intention to make a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, against current international law.9 No delegate opposed it and the invasion began on March 20th 2003. On this day the
multilateral framework of international law was, in practice, reduced to the law of the jungle because this international law was not practised
and guaranteed. This day is noteworthy for the imprint of American imperialism on the whole of international relations. This ideology is a basic
trend which has continuously determined US foreign policy since the genocide of the Indian wars, and that in the Philippines. This long expansionism which has been the source of its growth has henceforth gone into reverse. The US has withdrawn from Iraq, from Afghanistan soon
and there are also the 88,000 soldiers based in Europe10 who will be repatriated to the USA or sent to Asia. But recycling a military-industrial
complex back into civilian life is very difficult, as the US found out in 1946-47.
In the name of my law…
The American Republic’s current political situation is simply summarized by Professor Chalmers Johnson: by the facts, the separation of powers - the Constitution’s most fundamental elementhas disappeared11. The new shape of power hasn’t replaced or
dissolved the institutions of Congress and the Supreme Court, as
a dictatorial power arising from a clear and net coup d’etat would
have done. Years of persistence of obsolete institutions have
deceived citizens’ vigilance, although cries of alarm have been
raised since 2002.12 Without the means to guarantee civil rights,
their freedoms (the 10 amendments of the US Bill of Rights) have
subsequently been cut back by new texts in a just a few years.
13. For further details see : Conscience Sociale
14. “Can juries tame prosecutors gone wild ?“, 02.02.13, Boston.com
15. See also “DOJ: We Can’t Tell Which Secret Application of Section
215 Prevents Us From Telling You How You’re Surveilled”, .01.02.2013,
16. Using legislation which came into force one month after the US
entry into the First World War (Espionage Act, 1917) or the extremely
controversial CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act)
17. To enable him to obtain in exchange a sentence lower but certain.
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9. “The mantra that means this time it’s serious”, 14.09.02, The Independent
(reprinted by Daily Times)
10. Source : 30.09.12, Military personnel statistics, DoD
11. This evolution has been remarkably explained in a multidisciplinary approach by the “Blowback” trilogy by Pr. Chalmers Johnson, and particularly
in his last volume : Nemesis – The last days of the American Republic, Metropolitan Books, 2006 ; See also “ The military Keynesianism of the U.S. and
the Road to Tyranny”, Conscience Sociale.
12. “On presidential records”, 04.2002, Federation of American Scientists ;
“Uncle Sam’s Iron Curtain of Secrecy”, 08.2005, James Bovard ; 13.03.06,
The Guardian ; “2 U.S. Supreme Court Justices – And Numerous Other Top
Government Officials – Warn of Dictatorship”, 18.09.12, Washington’s blog
I arrest you !
The death of Aaron Swartz on January 11th13 reminds us of Mohamed
Bouazizi’s, who also committed suicide at the age of 26 as the ultimate
mark of protest against his government’s policies. His gesture will be
a symbol for a whole generation of young people who will recognize
themselves in him. Similarly, Aaron Swartz’s death is also a political
gesture; that of a man persecuted by a legal system which betrays its
citizens instead of protecting them14. Two years of Kafkaesque proceedings15 in which the prosecutor overstepped the spirit and the letter
of the law without any control16 with the only objective in this threat of
forcing Aaron Swartz to plead guilty17 reminds us of nothing other than
The Trial18, in which a 30 year old man is suddenly dragged into an arbitrary, inhuman, absurd and deadly legal system.
The last resort
Aaron Swartz’s death has all the ingredients to accelerate an awakening within the internet community. Like any symbol, it’s a unifier.
The game changes dimension, but not outlook. The new players don’t feel as though they are
the only ones involved; they themselves feel targeted by a coercive legal system’s political intentions, which is haughtily ignorant of the unbelievable downward slide of the financial system’s
participants and which simultaneously persecutes the defenders of individual freedom. This common feeling of flouted justice is capable of unifying beyond the players’ traditional borders. It’s not
a small group of politicians which is openly called into question, but really the actual legitimacy of
a system of government which authorizes such judicial treatment. It is, therefore, a deep political
crisis which has just moved into a new stage.
After the disappearance of the rights protecting individuals in legislation, the direct effects on American citizens’ lives has only just begun.
Those citizens are reacting and the protest movement’s radicalization made an appearance on January 25th with the hacking of the Department of Justice’s website by Anonymous which launched the public phase of the “Last Resort” group.19
18. A novel by Franz Kafka, written between
1914 and 1915 and published in 1925
19. This rationale of radicalization in the internet community had been anticiped.
20. Watch the video (or the full text here).
Here it’s about a media-targeted, but above all, libertarian act, which takes place exclusively
on the Internet and outside the ambit of current legislation, unlike the Occupy movement. The
message sent20 on this occasion by OpLastResort very clearly expresses several motives
which are not limited to the denunciation of practices or projects of freedom-threatening legislation:
l That it’s about a long-term, well-prepared operation in answer to the hacker activist’s arrests in 2012; That its triggering is the consequence of Aaron Swartz’s death, directly caused
by the State’s persecution of which he was the object
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l That justice’s common sense is above the law as expressed by the State,
when this is perceived as a betrayal of citizens’ interests or freedoms; Here one
must highlight the government’s judicial persecution of other alarm bell ringers21 ;
l That there is no desire to negotiate; it’s an ultimatum delivered to the government to launch an in-depth reform of the many freedom-threatening laws;
That there can be only one way out: by the government enacting the reforms
demanded. The combat will not stop before that ;
21. Assange, Manning, Hammond, Kiriakou, Ellsberg, Drake,
22. “Why the WikiLeaks Grand Jury is So Dangerous : Members of Congress Now Want to Prosecute New York Times
Journalists Too”, 23.07.12, EFF.org
23. ”President Obama reportedly set to enact cybersecurity order as Congress revives CISPA“, 09.02.13, TheVerge.com
l That the message is addressed to all the world’s citizens, and not only Americans even if it’s only aimed at the latter; it’s this protest movement’s indispensable characteristic, which recruits active members beyond frontiers, even for causes which one could naively think only concern Americans.
Identify the big names in finance
OpLastResort announced a large number of successive hacks on government sites in February 2013. The first was accompanied by the circulation of
many encrypted archives, without the access key. They undoubtedly contain
information obtained from federal sites. This choice of distribution, if it explicitly aims at contacting the press securely, doesn’t use the practices already
developed by Wikileaks. This has surprised people and led to doubt in the media which already fears that it’s no longer protected by the first amendment22,
until the publication of a list of the names of 4600 senior representatives of US
financial institutions on February 4th, with their coordinates and passwords
(encrypted), obtained by hacking certain US Federal Reserve sites.
The same day, Bloomberg announced that Obama intended to accelerate the
publication of a presidential executive order authorizing increased cyber surveillance23 along the same lines as the CISPA. The escalation continues.
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The inevitable counter-revolution
The overall assessment is very poor, but it must be made and extended through these strong trends because one cannot hope to change its
path while remaining blind and deaf.
Civil war is imminent by the end of Obama’s term of office, knowing that the authority in power will do everything to hold on to it (OpLastResort’s
ultimatum will be a dead letter), and that the pressure of external dynamics will not decrease. Extreme events or reactions (such as martial
law) can always accelerate its arrival. Mainstream media will not describe it as that, and will abuse the description of terrorist. At the same time,
nothing will delay the American people’s inevitable counter-revolution.
If it’s too late to save what is already lost, it’s never too late to come up with new points of view; to fill with hope. And on this territory, the people’s enemies are disarmed.
“Today one thinks of revolution not as a solution to current-day problems, but as a miracle conferred to solve them” (S. Weil, 1909 - 1943).
A Manual of Political Anticipation
by Marie-Hélène Caillol
On many occasions during the last 25 years, the sphere of influence focused around the personage of Franck Biancheri has, de
facto, provided fertile ground for the correct anticipation of major historic events: the fall of the Iron Curtain, the crisis of the European
Commission, the collapse of the Dollar and the global systemic crisis… are some of the most striking predictions in the story (which
is still unfolding) of this sphere of influence whose very diverse features (European context, network organisation, political objectives,
independent state of mind…) allows one to suppose that they play some role, without doubt, in this “ability”.
Indeed, if one’s correct anticipation is the result of chance, the second can be good luck, but by a third, it becomes possible to hope that some rules
and a rational approach are at play.
The work done within this sphere of influence, among which the most illustrative is that conducted by LEAP (Laboratoire Européen d’Anticipation Politique) through its monthly publication, the GEAB (GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin), has even forced the respect of academics, giving rise to a need
for a contemporary approach, which is the purpose of this manual: What is political anticipation (and what it isn’t)? What is its use? What are the tools,
principles and rules which shape it? What are its limits?
These are the questions which this small manual will try and answer.
17 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
Towards the conclusion of “Schengen” type agreements
between the Euro-BRICS
by Harald Greib (translation : Ian Shaw)
The Schengen agreement guarantees the right of free movement for people within the “Schengen Area” by the absence of internal border checks, counterbalanced by reinforced external
border checks according to a common standard agreed upon by all countries signatory to the
This standard includes four sections :
reinforcement of external border checks (obligation to verify anyone crossing the border-prohibition against organizing only spot-checks)
common visa policy
common asylum policy
reinforced police, legal and customs cooperation.
The European Union’s Member States are currently parties to the Schengen agreement; except for the United Kingdom and Ireland, plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.
Thus one can see that the participation in the Schengen agreement by no means requires European Union membership.
The agreement was not made to grant more freedom to the signatory states’ nationals, but as a reaction to enormous tourist flows between
the first five signatories (Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands) which made effective border controls between these
countries impossible. The governments made the choice to substitute reinforcement of external border checks accompanied by police, customs
and legal cooperation, reinforced with occasional random checks and thus ineffective on internal borders. Thus one could say that the rationale
behind Schengen is the concentration of resources on external checks.
The Schengen Area is, then, the consequence of the increase in travellers’ numbers to the extent of making “traditional” border controls unworkable. Thus Switzerland was almost forced to participate, because it could no longer, as a transit country hemmed in by the European Union,
claim to control its borders effectively.
18 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
As a result, nothing stops us from considering a similar development
within the Euro-BRICS. From the moment that regular (traveller) flows
increase in such a manner that border checks become too onerous for
countries, it would certainly be an opportune moment to consider if the
signature of such Schengen style free movement agreements wouldn’t
be a means of better controlling these flows.
The Kaliningrad enclave even enables us to consider a slow and gradual
development. In a certain fashion it could constitute the laboratory of
progress towards a “Schengen area” between Euro-BRICS. Currently,
people in this enclave have to acquire a Schengen visa to travel in the
Schengen Area. Given the geographical location, this is a source of constant tension between the Schengen states and Russia and a constraint
on these people’s freedom. The small number of people makes the enclave an ideal scenario to “test” the feasibility of such an approach.
The process should follow a rationale of granting privilege and evaluation at several stages :
Initially, people in the Kaliningrad enclave would be granted multiple and unlimited Schengen visas. After a few years, the Schengen states
would evaluate the recipients’ compliance with the rules. If there is little abuse, the next step follows:
The Schengen states would lift the visa requirement for people in the enclave.
Several years after further evaluation, if there is still little abuse the next steps follow, always at a cadence of grant and
Grant a multiple visa system for all Russian nationals - Evaluation
Suppression of obligation of visas for all the Russian nationals - Evaluation
Abolition of visa requirements for all BRICS nationals - Evaluation
Finally the ultimate step follows :
l Assessment of the number of travellers crossing Euro-BRICS borders to determine if the completion of “Schengen type” agreements would
make it possible to make the control of these flows more effective at a lower cost.
It should always be remembered that the Schengen Agreement, contrary to the generally accepted idea, doesn’t weaken the level of border
19 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
security and controls, but simply adapts control methods to respond to the new situation of traveller flows so large that traditional controls have
become unworkable. There are even some who say that the measures envisaged by the Schengen Agreement increase the level of controls to
which travellers and also all people in the Schengen Area are subjected.
That, in addition, they create a feeling of belonging to the same area, sharing a common destiny, that the signatory countries are “friendly” states
isn’t the sought-after goal, but a very good side-result.
The big fall of Western Real Estate
by Sylvain Perifel and Philippe Schneider
The crisis has demonstrated the fragility of Western real estate markets, raising many questions amongst the large
audience that is interested in the residential real estate market, either as a buyer, seller, owner, tenant, business or
private individual. It has also allowed everyone to become aware of the complex links between the different national real
estate markets and international developments in the economy, finance, foreign exchange and interest rates. Finally, it
makes sense to many that real estate markets have reached an historic turning point.
But this awareness is usually a victim of the shortage, even the lack of analysis, enabling the inclusion of a far-reaching and material era, a
necessary condition of any credible attempt to forecast future real estate market developments in one’s own country. And these forecasts
are dependent on fundamental questions: when to sell? when to buy? should one rent?
With this book the two authors, Sylvain Perifel and Philippe Schneider, fill this gap in the Western world real estate market, for which they
have indisputably discovered common trends. They successfully mix, with an easy style which is always easy to follow, accurate analysis,
critical data, closely reasoned argument, forecasts with not only dates but numbers, and useful tips for the individual, the professional or the
business, making this book a real decision-making tool.
20 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
2015 : Will the new route to the Indies be via Nicaragua ?
by Gilles Maury (translation : Ian Shaw)
With the discovery of America the idea of a dry canal1 to shorten and facilitate the route
to the Indies from Europe appeared. It was only at the end of the 19th century that such a
project became feasible. Two options were then considered in depth: to build a waterway
across either Panama or Nicaragua2, where in 1888, the millionaire J.P. Morgan undertook
the project3, quickly brought to a halt by a lack of finance following a stock exchange panic.
Finally, US president Theodore Roosevelt decided continue the unfinished French project
in Panama, officially for cost and seismic risk reasons, but especially for geostrategic interests. Panamanian territory was snatched from Colombia to place it under American control,
whilst Nicaragua, rebelling against the attacks of the freebooter Yankee William Walker a
few decades earlier, was punished in the long-term.
Thus, since 1914 the Panama Canal has been a very profitable “American Gibraltar” and bound to happen for growing international trade.
During this time, the United States constantly mistreated Nicaragua4 by military and political manoeuvring which caused violent grassroots reactions. The civil war from 1972 to 1990 had serious consequences, human with
more than 70,000 victims, but also economic, with today Nicaragua being the con1. Source : 10.1996, Peter Constantini
tinent’s second poorest country. As an irony of history, Daniel Ortega, a historical
figure at the head of the anti-US Sandinista movement during these bloody years,
2. “Nicaragua Canal project steps up to rival Panama”,
15.06.12, The Voice of Russia
is president of the country today. If he has adapted to new times by giving up the
revolutionary struggle, his anti-US imperialism fervour remains intact. This year,
3. “Le rêve du grand canal du Nicaragua refait surface”,
he has met the highest ranking authorities of Venezuela, Cuba, China, Russia and
07.06.12, Le Monde
Iran, making Nicaragua an unconditional ally in this other axis.
Nicaragua believes in it and wants it
In 2004, the the Nicaragua channel project was restarted5 as a means of getting
the country out of poverty, and was Ortega’s “soap box” on his return to power in
21 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
4. Source : History of Nicaragua, Wikipedia
5. Ortega revives Nicaragua Canal fantasy, 05.06.12,
The Nicaragua Dispatch
2006. Conscious of the geopolitical opportunity and the population’s
expectations, it carried out an unprecedented development agenda6, attracting capital7 to finance many projects. This dynamic of
progress was translated into votes, a rarity in this country, by the
president’s easy re-election8 in 2011 for another five years.
In June 2012, a project structure was presented: the channel would
be built in 10 years at a cost of $30 billion financed 51% by the host
country and the remainder by a consortium assembling China, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, Japan and South Korea. All these countries
have already expressed their interest, and the Nicaraguan Parliament massively voted9 legislation in this direction in July 2012. The
benefits for the country will be enormous: the generation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, revenue in the millions thanks to sea
traffic; and the key, a doubling of GDP in 10 years.
Obviously, this mammoth project will need more than the Nicaraguans’ faith to bring it to reality.
6. “Nicaragua’s economy up 30% under Sandinistas”, 21.09.12, The Nicaragua Dispatch
7.”Nicaragua sedujo a inversionistas”, 29.04.12, El Financiero
8. “Ortega será el primer presidente reelegido en Nicaragua desde el dictador Somoza”, 07.11.11, El Mundo
9. “Nicaragua construirá una alternativa al Canal de Panamá”, 04.07.12,
10. “China’s overseas investment set to soar, minister says”, 29.11.12,
South China Morning Post
11. Source : “Gran Canal Interoceánico por Nicaragua”, Gobierno de
12. “Dutch Consortium to Conduct Canal Study”, 26.07.12, Central America
A transoceanic channel in Nicaragua : a realistic scenario ?
$30 billion to find
Nicaragua is a politically unstable country, institutionally fragile, where the rule of law is interpreted according to the leaders’ goodwill. But with
such advantages, the project is guaranteed international long term support.
Further, the green light won’t be given without its investors guaranteed management control. Moreover, to get to its 51% capital share, Nicaragua will still depend on these investors, 30 billion dollars representing four times the country’s annual GDP. But this amount over 10 years, even
if it’s inevitably re-evaluated, isn’t ridiculous: in 2012 alone, China invested 70 billion10 dollars overseas. The emerging countries are seeking to
quickly invest their surpluses in projects of the future, and here we find three of the BRICs.
Setting up a specialized construction development
The first presentation in 2004 proposed six routes11. In July 2012, two Dutch companies were appointed to carry out a pre-feasibility study relating to the technical aspects12, the results of which will be known in about six months. Last September a memorandum of understanding was
22 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
signed committing a newly formed Chinese company13 – and headed by the president of
the Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group – conducts a feasibility study14, but is also responsible for developing, financing and executing the project. (One notes the lack of detail on
other investors’ involvement.) It is also envisaged that the project will have a traditional waterway and a complementary dry canal.
Will there be sufficient demand ?
40% of ships currently sailing or ordered already exceed the Panama Canal’s future size15,
currently undergoing widening until 2014. Only the Nicaragua canal will accommodate ships
of 248,000 tonnes or more, twice as large as those which can transit the Panama Canal.
The Great Canal works commission already forecasts that 4.5% of the world’s transport of
goods by sea will pass via Nicaragua whilst, according to it, the Panama Canal currently
attracts 3%. It would have also the significant advantage shortening the sea route between
New York and Los Angeles by 800 kilometres - even if it would be 280 km long instead of
the Panama Canal’s 80 km.
In addition, world sea traffic is continuously rising in spite of the crisis.
13. “Nicaragua taps China for canal project”, 11.09.12, Nicaragua
14. “Chinese company to assess
new cross-ocean canal for Nicaragua”, 11.09.12, Want China Times
15. Cfr ref. 3
23 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
As for a hypothetical “peak everything” which would mark the collapse of international trade, it won’t happen tomorrow16.
Ideas, and oil
As well as the canal the project envisages Venezuela constructing a refinery in 2013, close to the town of León in the North-West of the country,
which will follow the construction of an interoceanic pipeline17.
Since 2008, Nicaragua has actively been exploring offshore. A spillage in April 2012 even led one to think that it already exports oil discreetly18.
At the end of November 2012, the International Court of Justice recognized Nicaragua as the owner of a maritime zone of 70,000 km219 around
the tourist island of San Andrés located off its coasts but belonging to Colombia. Furious, the latter reacted by refusing to recognize this court’s
authority, causing international unease. These waters are clearly highly valued.
A complex but well-established
alliance of investors
The role of these investor countries is already a
reality in Nicaragua. The Chinese have just sold
it the NicaSat-1 satellite for $300 million, the Russians have developed a 4G mobile telecommunications network20,Venezuela shares its oil bonanza which accounts for 10% of GDP21. Brazil
wants to increase its influence in the region and
particularly in a friendly Nicaragua22.
Managua pays back politically by making its
membership of the anti-US imperialist axis clear,
by its attachment to Hugo Chavez’s ALBA23, by
recognizing the independence of South Ossetia
and Abkhazia24 so dear to Moscow, welcoming
Mahmoud Ahmajinedad25 (and even by inviting a
routed Gaddafi to take refuge there in 201126 !).
Despite its complexity, the channel project already
highlights the participants’ correlation: the Russians are hoping to invest in railway infrastructure27 for the dry canal. China and Venezuela will
16. Source : BBC
17. “Venezuela financia construcción de refinería en Nicaragua”, 20.09.12, Globovision
18. “¿Nicaragua exporta petróleo?”, 22.04.12, La Prensa
19. “Nicaragua, lista para explotación petrolera en el Caribe”, 21.11.12, El Espectador
20. “Is US out of ideas on Nicaragua ?”, 13.11.12, The Nicaragua Dispatch
21. “Chavez’s Havana-to-Tehran Alliance at Stake as Venezuelans Vote”, 05.10.12, Bloomberg
22. “Fortalecen relaciones Nicaragua y Brasil”, 30.10.12, La Voz del Sandinismo
23. “El canal de Nicaragua movería las fuerzas desde EE.UU. a los países del ALBA”, 02.11.12,
24. See ref. 2
25. “Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed by Nicaragua president Daniel Ortega”, 11.01.12,
26. “Qaddafi and Ortega: Brotherhood of Blood”, 25.02.11, FrontpageMag
27. “Is Russia eyeing dry canal ?”, 06.02.12, The Nicaragua Dispatch
24 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
co-finance the refinery of León28. The Chinese business Xinwei will expect its license as a mobile network operator29, without little consideration
for the already anxious existing operators30.
This organization of affairs breaks with the well-worn business practices: no sensational statements, barely hidden favours when politics run
the economy, corruption not only complicit but even a driver: Pastora, the Commander, the Nicaraguan heading the project, has received land
confiscated from its owners31, to enrich himself later when compulsorily acquired for the canal. Even better, China will thus invest in a country
which doesn’t even recognize it diplomatically32. The BRIC play differently, necessitating taking a second look their strategy.
Who will oppose it?
For the last two years, Costa Rica has been in continuous
conflict with its Northern neighbour over a border zone in
which Nicaragua undertook dredging work, possibly in preparation for the channel’s Southern route. Lacking an army,
Costa Rica has attempted a diplomatic battle at the International Court of Justice, with no conclusive results33. Colombia, also a United States ally, sees the channel in an unfavourable light since it competes with its own alternative “dry
channel”34, moreover also financed by China.
28. “China le pone a Nicaragua una refinería”, 28.04.12, RT
Ecological groups have also protested, in particular over the
pollution risk35 to Lake Nicaragua. The government already
factored this in by embellishing the scheme with environmentally friendly concerns36.
33. Source : Conflicto diplomático entre Costa Rica y Nicaragua de 2010-2011,
But the most eagerly awaited reaction that of Panama and
its American godfather, historically hostile towards Nicaragua. It was unofficially reported that in 2011 the CIA invested
$30 million to destabilize the country37 and avoid Ortega’s reelection, who nevertheless received 62% of the votes cast.
Since then, speeches have been very politically correct, with
a recognition of the benefits of competition38, and behind the
scenes support for the project which could reduce poverty in
Central America39 and thus illegal immigration in the US, but
also to open up the Panama Canal where boats trading with
the United States waste valuable time. Short-term economic
25 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
29. “Xinwei se queda solo”, 12.11.12, La Prensa
30. “Nicaragua courts Chinese telecom giants”, 17.09.12, The Nicaragua Dispatch
31. “Winners and losers in Nicaragua’s ‘Grand Canal’ project”, 08.19.12, Tico
32. Source : Relaciones entre Nicaragua y la República de China, Wikipedia
34. “China intenta construir en Colombia alternativa al canal de Panamá”, 14.02.11,
35. “Oposición señala riesgo en canal”, 15.07.12, El Financiero
36. See ref. 11
37. “A Channel to Link the Oceans, or the Ortega Syndrome”, 21.10.12, Strategic
38. “Panama not worried over Nicaragua’s canal ambitions”, 12.06.12, Tico Times
39. “Is Nicaragua canal bid an attempt to deflect from country’s poverty?”, 22.06.12,
criteria thus seem to take precedence over any geostrategic viewpoint. In fact, the Americans and Panamanians don’t believe in Nicaragua’s
capacity to carry out such a project in a context of a global crisis.
Only undeniable aggravation for the United States is Iran’s presence in this game of alliances. Despite its strong diplomatic closeness with
Managua since 2007, Teheran doesn’t follow up on its promises for joint projects40. Consequently, a radical Iran’s role really seems really to
test the extent of American tolerance, like it does in the Middle East, successfully up to now. This barometer makes it possible to anticipate the
scope of the project in its entirety.
40. “US foes unite: Nicaragua’s Daniel
Ortega cozies up to Iran’s Ahmadinejad”,
09.01.12, The Christian Science Monitor
The strategy of the game of Go
When it comes to chess, a typically Western game of conquest, encouraging face to
face confrontation, its Eastern equivalent,
the game of Go, requires bypassing skills
in order to quash the adversary. Here’s the
strategy which China applies globally and in
Latin America in particular, initially in investing massively, then by collecting diplomatic,
and ultimately, geostrategic support.
As regards the Nicaragua channel, the little published decisions and actions quickly
blend into each other, attesting to a well prepared plan with, in particular, surprising Russo-Chinese coordination which doesn’t draw
attention and leaves the United States unresponsive. The superpower, by the facts, is
showing its fatigue.
26 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
Today, trade between the Atlantic and Pacific must pass by Panama, under the guns of the American fleet. The new axis BRIC around China
will want, by developing this alternative route, to deploy military protection for its own economic and political interests there. The recent launching of the first Chinese aircraft carrier41 raises the veil on a strategy of force projection.
Weakened militarily after repeated failures, the United States will not, in spite of their 22 bases in Latin America42, move to a head-on conflict
with the BRICs, a new superpower but also an enormous creditor capable of affecting the dollar. Particularly as the domestic tensions in view,
as a consequence of the crisis, will require a great deal of attention and energy from them.
The “American sphere of influence” has shaken itself free, the Monroe Doctrine is dead.
The Nicaragua channel is an element of the BRICs’ global strategy for taking power. Technically already launched, its transformation into a geostrategic bastion will take place in due course, without
coming up against Yankee pride, whilst waiting for the old hegemony itself to crumble and collapse.
27 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP
41. “Premier appontage sur le porte-avions
chinois”, 26.11.12, Le Monde
42. “United States adds bases in South
America”, 26.04.12, People’s World
Political Anticipation Magazine
MAP is published by the European Laboratory of Political Anticipation (LEAP) with the collaboration of Europe2020
Publishing Editor : Marie-Hélène Caillol
Editor : Michaël Timmermans
Contributors : Harald Greib, Christel Hahn, Gilles Maury, Olivier Parent, Bruno Paul
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Texts are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter
to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Illustrations belong to the autors mentionned in the references.
28 MAP March 2013 - A four-monthly publication by LEAP