The European unification as an umbrella for recovering of Germany as a Great Power
The Germans have had the idea that they are the inheritors of the medieval Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and as such, they should try to rule Europe, it has going on from centuries and it still exists today right up to WWI, after Otto von Bismarck and WWII, from the Kaiser of WWI to Adolf Hitler in WWII. The same idea has dominated all through German history, that they are entitled to the right of full power over Europe and all Europe should be under their sway and they still think in the same direction today, especially being vehement power in the European Union. Here, it has to be clearly stressed: unified Germany after 1989 became once again a Great Power (GP) in global politics under the mask of the European Union!
Meaning of the term Great Power(s) (GP) in global politics from the beginning of the 16th century onward refers to the most power and therefore top influential states within the system of the international relations (IR). In other words, the GP are those and only those states who are modeling global politics like Portugal, Spain, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, united Germany, the USA, the USSR, Russia, or China. During the time of the Cold War (1949−1989), there were superpowers[i] as the American and the Soviet administrations referred to their own countries and even a hyperpower state – the USA, after the Cold War as it is called in the academic literature.[ii] A focal characteristic of any GP is to promulgate its own national (state’s) interest within a global (up to the 20th century European) scope by applying a „forward“ policy.
A term global politics (or world politics) is related to the IR which are of the worldwide nature or to the politics of one or more actors who are having a global impact, influence, and importance. Therefore, global politics can be understood as political relations between all kinds of actors in politics, either nonstate actors or sovereign states, that are of global interest. In the broadest sense, global politics is a synonym for a global political system that is „global universe of actors such as nation-states, international organizations, and transnational corporations and the sum of their relationships and interactions“.[iii]
After Germany was defeated in WWII, nobody thought that they stood much chance of recovery but they had a leader still, he was called Strauss and was a wise German of his day who thought that they have already tried war – three times and they were defeated each and every time, the last time – the worst of all, so he sought that in the European unification formation at that time a solution for the German getting back in both European and global arena was a right way. In other words, the umbrella of the European unification could provide for the post-war West Germany two benefits: 1) the unification, and 2) a Great Power (GP) status.
Nevertheless, what are the crucial characteristics of the GP? Originally, in the 18th century, the term GP was related to any European state that was, in essence, a sovereign or independent. In practice, it meant, only those states that were able to independently defend themselves from the aggression launched by another state or group of states. Nevertheless, after WWII, the term GP is applied to the countries that are regarded to be of the most powerful position within the global system of IR. Those countries are only countries whose foreign policy is „forward“ policy and therefore the states like Brasil, Germany or Japan, who have significant economic might, are not considered today to be the members of the GP bloc for the only reason as they lack both political will and the military potential for the GP status.[iv]
One of the fundamental characteristics and historical features of any member state of the GP club was, is, and will be to behave in the international arena according to its own adopted geopolitical concept(s) and aim(s). In other words, the leading modern and postmodern nation-states are „geopolitically“ acting in the global politics that makes a crucial difference between them and all other states. According to the realist viewpoint, global or world politics is nothing else than a struggle for power and supremacy between the states on different levels as the regional, continental, intercontinental, or global (universal). Therefore, the governments of the states are forced to remain informed upon the efforts and politics of other states, or eventually other political actors, for the sake, if necessary, to acquire extra power (weapons, etc.) which are supposed to protect their own national security (Iran) or even survival on the political map of the world (North Korea) by the potential aggressor (the USA). Competing for supremacy and protecting the national security, the national states will usually opt for the policy of balancing one another’s power by different means like creating or joining military-political blocs or increasing their own military capacity. Subsequently, global politics is nothing else but just an eternal struggle for power and supremacy in order to protect the self-proclaimed national interest and security of the major states or the GP.[v] As the major states regard the issue of power distribution to be fundamental in international relations and as they act in accordance to the relative power that they have, the factors of internal influence to states, like the type of political government or economic order, have no strong impact on foreign policy and international relations. In other words, it is of „genetic nature“ of the GP to struggle for supremacy and hegemony regardless of their inner construction and features. It is the same „natural law“ either for democracies or totalitarian types of government or liberal (free-market) and command (centralized) economies.
It was a change of strategy from the aggressive war to the long-term friendly approach so that people begin to think that they are now nice people and they will gradually listen to their conversations and fall for their compliments. In that way, they will make that the French who historically hated the Germans will begin to like them, and that is exactly what happened with the process of the European unification after WWII. Instead of becoming aggressive as usual, the Germans went the other way so they finally were accepted by the French in the European Union as the leaders of further unification, they succeeded to develop the friendship with France, and the Germans and the French have been hand in hand in the EU ever since. However, behind such German-French reproaches were the creation of Germany as a new global GP as, in fact, the political, economic, and financial leader of the EU.
Germany from the very beginning of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (962) has always seen through every ruler, every leader the idea to conquer Europe by different means, but the ideas went further and that is why today they are not satisfied with the European unification as it stands – the European Union. Germany is trying to impose a new Constitution for the EU, which eventually if accepted by all the Member States will turn them into unitary units with no sovereign power of their own, no freedom, no law of their own, no parliaments of their own, they will become units of a superstate ruled over by Germany and France as its client state which does not really understand that French is only a tool in the hands of the Germans in their historical geopolitical projects of hegemony over Europe.
But Germany, could not have done such global geopolitical projects on their own, it was not sufficient money even to start WWI, the Kaiser was financed partly by the American banks. Furthermore, money from America, from the American-German sources, helped A. Hitler come to power, and one of the major’s families mentioned is the wealthiest in America – the Rockefellers, facts are that associate the family for helping A. Hitler to finance WWII, so the association of ideas is not just to turn Europe into a superstate, but for America to do the same and become from a democratic country a superstate which eventually will join up Europe to create a world superstate for building one global Government having the most powerful and richest persons in the world as its leaders.
After every war, it is normal for every country to disarm but Germany never disarms. After WWI there was signed a treaty which forbidden Germany to have more than 100.000 men armed but what was not known was that Germany made secret assignments with the Soviet authorities in 1921−1922 and they had an agreement signed in Italy whereby, the Soviet Bolsheviks would allow Germany to build arms, build factories, trainman, build an army with the condition that also trained the Soviet Bolsheviks, so this army was trained in the 1920s when all the European countries were disarming themselves.
End of the third part
To be continued
Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
Research Fellow at Centre for Geostrategic Studies
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2023
[i] The term superpower was originally coined by William Fox in 1944 for whom such a state has to possess great power followed by great mobility of power. At that time, he argued that there were only three superpower states in the world: the USA, the USSR, and the UK (the “Big Three”). As such, they fixed the conditions of Nazi Germany’s surrender, took the focal role in the establishing of the UNO and were mostly responsible for the international security immediately after the WWII [Martin Griffiths, Terry O’Callaghan, Steven C. Roach, International Relations: The Key Concepts, Second edition, London−New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2008, 305].
[ii] China, with its enormous economic and man-power potentials followed by its rising military capability, will soon emerge as the most influential GP in global politics overtaking a role of a sole hyperpower from the USA. The 21st century is already a century of China but not of the USA as it was the 20th century.
[iii] Richard W. Mansbach, Kirsten L. Taylor, Introduction to Global Politics, Second edition, London−New York: Routledge, 2012, 577.
[iv] Israel is the only exception from this definition as this state has as its “West Bank” the USA. In other words, when we speak about the USA in IR, we speak de facto about Israel and the Zionist lobby in the USA.
[v] The European Union (the EU, est. 1992/1993) with its central motor, the French-German axis, became a new GP in global politics. Therefore, the USA is not anymore in a position to dictate and implement global policies like at the time of the Cold War. After the creation of the EU, the US administration seeks a multilateral action with the EU in several hot-spot areas of the conflicts in Europe as ex-Yugoslavia or Ukraine.