George Friedman: “Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe” | Talks at Google

George Friedman: “Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe” | Talks at Google


MALE SPEAKER: Today with
us is George Friedman, an American political scientist,
author, and entrepreneur. His newest book is “Flash
Points– The Emerging Crisis in Europe.” Mr. Friedman was born in
1949 in Budapest, Hungary. He has authored several
books, including “The Next 100 Years,” “The Next
Decade,” “America’s Secret War,” “The Intelligence
Edge,” “The Coming War with Japan,” and
“The Future of War.” His newest, about which we’ll
talk today, “Flash Points,” talks about the emerging
crisis in Europe, and was published by Doubleday. Mr. Freedman’s childhood
was shaped directly by international conflict. He was born in Hungary
to Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust. His family fled Hungary
when he was a child to escape the communist
regime, settling first in a camp for displaced
persons in Austria, and then emigrating
to the United States. Mr. Friedman received a BA at
the City College of New York, where he majored in
political science, and a Ph.D. In government
at Cornell University. Prior to joining
the private sector, Mr. Friedman spent almost
20 years in academia, teaching political science
at Dickinson College. Mr. Friedman is the founder and
CEO of the Private Geopolitical Forecasting and Intelligence
Corporation, Stratfor. Please welcome Mr.
Friedman to Google. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] GEORGE FRIEDMAN: Well, I am
pleased to be here at the one company that Siemens
is worried about. Google. And actually that plays
a role in the story that I’ll tell here. And you play a part. So all talks on books should
begin with a justification for writing yet
another book, where there’s millions
already written. I had two reasons for wanting
to write this book directly. The first, I’ve written a book
called “The Next 100 Years,” which had forecast the
failure of the European Union. The events that we see in
Ukraine now, things of that sort. These things are of
fundamental importance, because Europe remains one of
the centers of world culture, and it remains the single
largest economic region of the world, larger
than the United States. What happens in Europe
does not stay in Europe. And if the European Union
is failing– as I’m arguing it does– this has consequences
that will resonate for decades. The second reason
I wrote this book is quite personal, as
was just pointed out. My life, and the
life of my family, was bound up with the
geopolitics of Europe. I have a chapter in there–
the second chapter– that’s called “A European
Life.” and it was meant to say it was life of my
father, and to a lesser extent, my mother. And what I was
saying was that there was nothing unique in this life. It was just a European life. Those Europeans who lived
through the 20th century, particularly the first
half, were either uniquely fortunate
to live through it, or uniquely cunning, or both. But a European life
collided with European geopolitics over and over
again to create catastrophe. My parents were born
just before World War I. And in that war, their
fathers, brothers fought on the Turkish
front, mostly, because they were Hungarians. And after the war,
the borders shifted, and the places they were born
became part of other countries. And they moved to
Budapest where they met, and they fell in love,
and they married, and had a daughter– my older
sister– and made a living. They tried to live
an ordinary life. And then European geopolitics
shifted again in the ’30s. And Germany became the
rising power again. And suddenly my parents became
national security threats to the German state. They were Jews. My father was forced
into the Hungarian army, into a Jewish labor battalion. And he went to just
north of Stalingrad in 1942, to a city
called Voronezh. And that was exactly the
point where the Soviets staged their counterattack against
the German Sixth Army. My father then walked back
in the winter of ’42, ’43, to Budapest. A distance of a thousand miles
through a bitter cold winter, poorly clothed. He survived where almost
everybody else in his unit died, partly by the fact
that he was a tough man, and partly by the fact
that he was a smart man, but overwhelmingly because
he was a lucky man. Because that’s all
that really mattered. He went back to Budapest. And then for a year or
so, he was able to live. The Germans had not
yet occupied Hungary. And then the
Germans decided they had to occupy Hungary because
Horthy, the leader of Hungary, was making a deal
with the Russians. And they sent my father and my
mother to concentration camps. My sister at the age of five was
left alone in a Swiss shelter to survive how she could. There was nothing
unique about this life. Everybody, Christian,
Jew, whatever, suffered through this. It should not be taken as a
unique story of my family. It was a unique story of Europe. And then the communists came. They survived, they came back. And the Soviet army
occupied Hungary. And my uncle, who was a
member of the Communist Party, and part of the Secret Police,
let my father know shortly in 1948, that he was on a list. He had been a member of the
Social Democratic Party. The Communists hated
the Social Democrats. And he was on a list. And this was a time
and a place where you should not be on any list. And so my parents face
an existential choice– stay and perhaps die at the
hands of the Secret Police, or try to escape. And so in one night in August,
the family went to a point on the Czechoslovakian
border, on the Danube, and we got into a rubber raft
and went across the river. I’m told that searchlights
were playing on the river, and machine guns were
in search towers. And it was just luck that the
searchlights didn’t find us. And I was, of course,
asleep, drugged, because I was a danger
to the entire operation. Why did we go to Czechoslovakia? Because, again of geopolitics. The British had lost Palestine. The Israeli State
had been established. And the Russians
wanted to do anything to undermine the British. And they were hoping they could
form an alliance with Israel, and make Israel
a kind of toehold for the Communists
on the Mediterranean. The Israelis needed two things. One was weapons. The other were Jews. The Soviets had both. And they routed these weapons
through Czechoslovakia. And they routed these Jews
through Czechoslovakia. And from there they were
taken to a port, Trieste, where they were
shipped to Israel. And my parents sought to hookup
with these Israeli smugglers, which they did in the
town of [INAUDIBLE]. Now my father had no desire
to go to the United States. He was a deeply
committed Zionist, but he wanted nothing
to do with Israel. The paradox was that he
had spent his life trying to stay alive in the face
of people who believe deeply in things. And he did not want
to go to another place where people believe
deeply in things, and might take his
life on either side. Or as he said, I wasn’t going
to go to the Negev Desert with two hand grenades
and start again. I had had enough of this. And so my father
sought to go to a place that– he had two requirements. First, it should be stronger
than all its neighbors. And secondly, no
one should believe in anything nearly strongly
enough to kill him. He had very low standards. He didn’t want to go to
Canada because Canada was a weak country, and
America was a strong country, and who knows what would happen. Reasoning like that. He wanted to go to
the United States. To go to the United
States was complex. But somewhere in this
my father made a deal where my mother,
my sister, and I were allowed to go
to the United States and become citizens
very quickly. My father stayed behind. This was a time when the Cold
War was beginning– or had actually gotten fairly intense. And the Americans
who had no idea what was going on the other
side of the Iron Curtain were recruiting anyone who
even spoke the language. My father did speak
Hungarian, and that was enough to be recruited. They also recruited
many Soviet agents, so it was a complete disaster. The CIA at its best. And then eventually my father
came to the United States. In United States we grew
up in the Bronx, which was a tough neighborhood,
but not as bad as it became. And then we moved to
Queens to a little house. And he loved this house. And my mother loved the house. And it had a little garden. And one day my father
heard me playing somebody called Pete Seeger
on the record player. And Pete Seeger
was a folk singer who spoke about little
houses made of ticky tacky and the corruption
of suburban life. My father asked me
what he was saying. And I said, well he
was saying that people who live in suburban
houses that look alike are losing their identities. The house is their identity. They are the house. And when everything looks
alike, you have become ants. There’s no difference. And my father said
to me– I’ll never forget– this is what
Americans worry about? And what he meant
by that was, look, I’m not worried about
losing my identity. I’m worried about
losing my life. If I don’t have to worry
about my dying, my wife dying, my children dying– I’m happy. My identity doesn’t
depend on the house. And frankly, I’m not
worried about my identity. I know who I am. I explained, look, when
you live in the United States– a very rich country,
a very powerful country, a country that’s almost
invulnerable– you worry about these things. When you come from Hungary in
the middle of the 20th century, you don’t have to. My father said
something else to me. Every American student
wants to go to Europe. And I went to Europe. And I said to my
father, why don’t you come visit Europe with me? And his answer was, there’s
nothing in Europe for me. I said, don’t you want to
see where you were born? No. I hate them. And I said, look. They’ve changed. And he said to me, the
Europeans will never change. They only will pretend
it didn’t happen. That’s what the root cause
for me to write this book. The European Union
was an attempt to transform Europe from a
slaughterhouse into a place that had banished conflict,
that had banished poverty, that had banished all of
the bad impulses that were there before. It was a noble intention. But I had come to the
conclusion that the European Union was failing. And therefore the question
was, what comes next? If the European
Union doesn’t work, are all of the
monsters and fears that existed before– are they gone? And that really is
what the book is about. And it begins with
a paradox in Europe. Europe invented humanity. And by that I mean this–
before the European Age of Exploration,
the Mongolians had no idea there were Congolese. The Congolese had never
heard of the Aztecs. The Aztecs had never
heard of the Japanese. The Japanese have never
heard of the English. The world consisted of
separate little plants. There was no sense
of a common humanity. The idea that there is one
species throughout the world, and however different
they were, it wasn’t that they knew they
were there and rejected their humanity. They hadn’t a clue. For all its brutality, its
bloodshed, European imperialism achieved at least one thing. It discovered humanity. Humanity in the sense that
there is a single species, that we share things in common. And however much we
may hate each other, we hate each other as humans. This was an advance. But the Europeans did more. They transformed humanity’s
relationship to nature. To me, the vision that
I have is the movies where in pre-World War I
days, a concert is held. It’s a wintry night. And it’s dark. And inside that room,
might has been banished, and the winter it shut out. And elegant men and women come
together to listen to Mozart. Now from my point of view, any
culture that can create Mozart is forgiven many things. You have to accept that. But it was this
huge transformation of man’s relationship to time. A train could travel at 40
miles an hour, 50 miles an hour. A boat could go from London
to New York in a week. This was even before
the age of aircraft. The entire shape of the
planet, our understanding of what was possible, had
been changed by the Europeans. Europe had conquered
the world, and also it, in a very real sense,
conquered nature. Perfectly, no. But overwhelmingly redefined
how we experience life. The paradox is that Europe
never conquered itself. Throughout the 500 years from
1492 to 1992 of European power, no one was able to convince
the Europeans to unite in a single entity. And no one could
conquer them all. The Spanish tried. The French tried. The Germans tried. The English tried
half-heartedly. Even the Dutch took a shot. But the point is that
Europe was unconquerable. Europe is peninsulas
jutting out from peninsulas, mountains like the Alps, or the
Pyrenees, that can’t be passed, the Baltic Sea
separating part of it, and the vast steppes of Russia. Napoleon came the closest. Hitler then came close. Both of them died in the
wastelands of Russia. Europe could not be united. So you had this paradox. This entity that conquered the
world could not conquer itself. It conquered the
world, yet there was an ongoing
civil war in Europe. But the feeling was,
it’ll be alright. There was a man called
Norman Angell, who wrote a book called
“The Great illusion.” He won the Nobel Prize later. He was a brilliant man. And he demonstrated in
1910 that it was impossible for there to be a war in Europe. There could not
be a war in Europe because the financial
system was so leveraged that it would cause
financial disaster. International
trade was critical. Interdependence reigned. So there could be no war. What Angell didn’t understand
is interdependence leads to war. Madagascar and Brazil are
not going to fight a war. They have no issues
between them. But France and Germany are
interlocked geographically, industrially,
commercially, financially. And the advantage of one is
the disadvantage of the other. And each lives in dread of the
other, not just of its armies. But that fact that
interdependence means that if he does this,
this will mean this to me, makes each one want
to control the other, each one want to
dread the other. Wars do not happen
between nations that are not interconnected. They happen when
there’s interdependence. And the interdependence
of Europe by 1914 had become profound. And all European
nations lived in terror of all other European nations. This is an important
story, because when we talk about the
European vision, that they will create an entity
so interdependent on each other it will make war
impossible, we really have to read Norman
Angell– a brilliant man who proved with
mathematical precision that World War I
couldn’t happen. He missed. He got the math right. What he missed was human
nature, that you fear the thing that you depend on the most. Europe was a glittering
place in 1913. It stood astride
the entire world. There was no part of
the world that had not been either occupied at one
time by them, still occupied by Europeans, or under
such heavy influence that may as well have been occupied. And there was no
reasonable person who could imagine what
was about to happen, because what began in 1941
was 100 years– I’m sorry. 31 years of hell, of
unbelievable slaughter between 1914– MALE SPEAKER: You went from
1913 and then you said, 1941. Did you mean to say 1913? GEORGE FRIEDMAN: I meant
to say from 1914 to 1945. Thank you. As I make these
mistakes, let me know. In those years
from 1914 to 1945, about 100 million Europeans
died of political causes. First World War,
Second World War, the starvations in Ukraine– the
planned political starvations, the Russian Civil
War, the Spanish Civil War, the Holocaust,
and on and on and on. This was just in Europe. Europe was a continent there
was never more than about 500 million people during this time. The population grew
back to cover it. But 100 million people died. That was far more than were
killed by Genghis Khan. But you expected
Genghis Khan to do that. That was what Genghis
Khan did for a living. He slaughtered people. But the idea that the
continent that had given you Mozart, and concert halls, and
Kant, and Rousseau– this gem of civilization, that
it could turn on itself and create the hell that I
described my father and mother living through, and the rest
of Europe lived through, this was unprecedented. I know of no example
of any empire that so rapidly destroyed itself,
not because there were external forces, but
because internally it was so unstable
and so disorderly. At the end of these
31 years, in 1945, Europe was occupied territory. It had gone from
ruling the world to being occupied by the
Americans and the Soviets. From 1945 until 1992 and the
fall of the Soviet Union, it remained occupied. Then different things
to be in the East and occupied by the Soviets,
than to be in the West. But the essence of sovereignty
is decisions of war and peace. And from 1945 to 1992, the
decision of war and peace was not made in Berlin, or
Rome, or Paris, or London. It Was made in Moscow
and Washington. If there was going
to be a war, it would happen because
they wanted it to. I should point out
at this point how incredibly,
meticulously responsible the Soviets and the Americans
were during this period. In spite of many issues,
in spite of massive armies facing each other,
and nuclear weapons, these two countries
went out of their way to make certain that
war would not break out. Imagine nuclear
weapons in the hands of the European diplomats
of 1914, or 1939. It’s interesting, because
when I go to Europe, I’m called a cowboy,
which really I’m not, because I’m European. But I’ve never met
a cowboy, either. They think of Americans
as cowboys– wild, woolly, and violent. But compared to what
the Europeans were, the Americans are pacifists. They just talk big. And this is an important
thing to remember, that the Europeans, when
left to their own devices, have historically for millennia,
been extraordinarily violent. In 1992, two things happened. The collapse of the Soviet
Union exactly 500 years after Columbus meant
that for the first time, no European power
was a global power. That was an extraordinary
change in human history. For the first time in
500 years, Europeans were not a global power. There was only one global power. It was the United States, and it
had no idea what it was doing. It didn’t want to
be a global power. It didn’t know it was
the only global power. And it had the maturity
of a 15-year-old. If you’ve ever seen a
15-year-old in the morning, they are totally self-confident
that they can do anything. They could fly a
plane if they have to. In the evening, their
girlfriend breaks up with them, and they’re suicidal. They’re bipolar by nature. As is the United
States, lost in this. But still the Europeans had
emerged with this vision that they had
entered a new truth. And that truth was
the European Union. And the European Union
was based on the idea that the Europeans had
learned their lesson. They understood
that war was bad. And they constructed something
that would be better. It’s vital to understand that
the European Union was created by the United States,
not the Europeans. Back in the 1940s
and early ’50s, it was the United States that
wanted an integrated Europe. The Europeans resisted. The United States wanted
an integrated Europe not because they
like the Europeans, but they wanted a
strong economic bulwark against the Soviet
Union, and they wanted lines who
could afford armies, and so they wanted integration. And when the idea of
integration was put forward, the French didn’t want
to work with the Germans, the English didn’t want
to work with the French, and nobody wanted to
work with the Italians. So you had this
fundamental problem. The first European
leader that accepted the idea of a European entity,
whatever it was called, was Charles de Gaulle. And he accepted it not for
the reason you might think. He accepted it because if
there was an integrated Europe, France would be a leading
power, in his mind. France could steer
this entity into being a counterweight to
the United States. And Europe could
return to history. That was the theory. Over time, the Europeans
adopted this idea. They first struggled against it. Then they adopted it. And there was two
European Unions. One was the outer seven. The other was the inner six. And it developed
onward until it became, in 1992– the same year
the Soviet Union fell, the Maastricht Treaty
came into force. And the Maastricht Treaty
created the modern European Union. A free trade zone
with some countries sharing in a common currency
and a regulatory apparatus in Brussels. It was, according to it’s
official doctrine, based on peace and prosperity,
not the pursuit of happiness, which is to say,
not the American principle that you’re promised
nothing except the right to try to be happy. The Europeans
promised happiness. They had to, because
they were terrified of what would happen otherwise. So the question
then became, what happens if you can’t
get prosperity? What happens to peace? But from 1992 to
2008, it was a period of extraordinary economic
prosperity in the world. And all of the flaws, all the
problems, embedded in Europe were hidden. You couldn’t see them. Then in 2008, in seven weeks,
the world transformed itself. Between August 8, 2008,
and September 15, 2008. On August 8, 2008, the
Russians invaded Georgia. This did several things. One, it re-announced,
history may not be over. The Russians have
returned to history. Why did the Russians
invade Georgia? The United States
was busy staging, the Russians felt, orange
revolutions everywhere. One of them was in the Ukraine. And this bears what
is happening today. And the Russians felt
there’s only one reason to stage a pro-Western
uprising in the Ukraine– you plan to seize the
Ukraine and attack Russia. At this time, the
United States was bogged down in Iraq
and Afghanistan. And that really
wasn’t on their minds. But it was on the Russian minds. And the invasion of
Georgia was designed to deliver this
message– Georgia was aligned with
the United States. This is what an American
guarantee is worth. And that message was not
for the Georgians alone, but was especially to the
Ukrainians, to the Kazaks, to the Azerbaijanis, we’re
back and we reframed history. And suddenly the idea
of perpetual peace– which had never existed in
Europe because at the same time that Maastricht was
going on, 100,000 people died in Yugoslavia– which
the Europeans explained as they always
explain the Balkans, it’s not really Europe. But of course it is. And 40,000 people
died in the Caucasus during the war between
Azerbaijan and Armenia. War was nibbling at
the edges of Europe. And that war that we
talk about now starts. There. But the more critical
thing that happened, happened seven weeks later. Lehman Brothers collapsed. And with the collapse of Lehman
Brothers, a series of events unfolds that brings
us to today’s crisis– this week’s crisis,
Greeks I should say. For the United States, this
was the fourth crisis– a financial crisis–
since World War II. There was a municipal
bond crisis. There was the third
world debt crisis. There was the savings
and loan crisis. And now the subprime crisis. And the United States
knew how to handle this. The head of the Federal
Reserve Bank, the secretary of treasury, and eight
bankers got into a room– broke every law on
the books, there was no justification for
these people to be in a room together– and made a deal. And there’s a way that
Americans handle this. First, the financial
community behaves with absolute irresponsibility. The federal government
bails them out. And then the financial community
condemns the federal government for irresponsibility. This is an American sport. And we go through it
over and over again. The problem with Europe
was that they had never gone through a financial crisis. They’d never done it before. They had no model. They had no kind
of expectations. No one was cutting them
slack to get out of it. But more than
that, the Americans had had one Fed chairman, one
secretary of the treasury, and eight banks. Well, the Europeans
had eight banks. The Europeans had one ECB. But they had over 20
finance ministers. And try to get them together
into a room to settle anything. The subprime crisis shook
the European banking system. They bought lousy paper. And the Europeans
always accuse– saying, the Americans started this. My point is, hey, idiot. Why’d you buy it? The point is that the Europeans
will point to everyone else. But they bought it. And it shook the
financial system. And that revealed the
fundamental fault line of European reality. Germany is the world’s
fourth largest economy. It exports almost
50% of its GDP. That is, 50% of its GDP, half
of its GDP, comes from exports. Half of those exports go to
the European Free Trade Zone. A little over half. With that sort of
constant surge of exports, it is almost impossible
for European countries om the periphery to develop. Imagine if the United States
exported 50% of its GDP, and depended on that. And half of it would go
to Canada and Mexico. What would the condition
of Canada and Mexico be? This is what the Germans do. Their industrial plan,
their economic plan, is far greater than it
can consume domestically. If they don’t
export, they’re going to have massive unemployment
and economic instability. They must export. And for them, The European
Union was a system for maintaining their exports. First, they had access
to all these markets as if it were their own. Second, they had the political
power the price the Euro at exactly the point they
wanted to prevent inflation but facilitate exports. Whereas the southern
Europeans had to have some much lower price. They couldn’t get it. Finally, they created a
reality through Brussels. Just as Washington
creates regulations, Brussels creates regulations. And the Brussels regulations,
plus the tax structure of Europe, made entrepreneurial
activity impossible. Entrepreneurial activity
in the United States is possible first, because
the tax structure is such that if you happen to hit a
home run, you’re gonna enjoy it. The tax structure in
Europe is confiscatory at a certain level, so the
risk/reward ratio isn’t there. Secondly, they developed
rules and regulations on everything from human
resources to health care. In the United States, if
you try to be entrepreneur, it doesn’t work, you go
bankrupt, you walk away. When I started Strafor, I
didn’t know what I was doing. But if I had failed, I
could put it behind me. In Europe, you
don’t hire people. You adopt them. They live with you forever. It takes you a
long time to unwind entrepreneurial activity. And so one of the
things that happened here was that the European
1950s corporation was never challenged like
the American was. It never was challenged
because there was no Google coming up at them. Siemens was impervious. And that was no accident. It was built that way. And the reason that Europeans
came after both Microsoft and Google on antitrust
and regulatory issues was to make it more
and more difficult for them to operate in Europe. Because for Germany, Siemens
and the large corporations were social– their system
of social nets under them. You got a job at Siemens. You got promoted. You rose in the systems. You did in 1950s. It was social stability. It was inefficient, but
it soaked up excess labor. What happened in
the other countries? What happened in countries
like Romania or Italy? Because it was impossible to
be legally entrepreneurial, you became illegally
entrepreneurial. You lived on the margins. And in living on the
margins in these countries, the government knew
you were doing it. They knew you weren’t
paying taxes– not the Romanians,
or the Greeks, or the Italians who wanted
to pay taxes anyway. But you’re certainly not going
to pay taxes if you’re illegal. But the government wanted you
to do it to maintain employment. Because the German
pressure was so heavy, and the Germans are coming
in and buying all assets that are worth anything, that
you have to be off the books. As a result you wound up
with a sovereign debt crisis. That is to say, because the tax
base couldn’t support repayment after the subprime
crisis, the banking system now faced a second major
crisis, a bigger one. The bonds that governments
had sold couldn’t be redeemed. And then a question came up,
how do we solve this problem? And there were two
solutions to this. One solution was that Germany,
leading northern European countries, would
underwrite the bad debts. And the other was that
we would impose austerity on the southern
European countries. And the Germans thought
about this for three minutes. And they said, I think we
should impose austerity. And the Eurocrats– that thin
layer of financial people, journalists, and so
on– accepted this idea that we’ll force
them to pay it back. They’ll have a bad time. And then it’ll all
straighten out. What they didn’t realize
was the massive consequences that they would set off. And the IIMF has now admitted
that they didn’t get it. In Greece, unemployment
is now 26%. In Spain it is 23%. In Southern Italy it is 22%. In central France it is 20%. In other words– and I should
add– unemployment for those 25 years or less is 50% to 60%. These are the same numbers that
existed in the United States during the Great Depression. This is a depression
in southern Europe. Where Germany has
5% unemployment, southern Europe
is in depression. And this is a depression that
it can’t easily recover from. What this has now become
is not a financial problem, it’s a political issue. When the very poor
become poor, it hurts. But they understand
the grammar of poverty, the structure of what
it means to be poor. The people who were hit
in the government cutbacks were doctors, engineers, they
were the professional classes, who in Europe are heavily
employed by the state, because the state has
a much broader reach. So, and you have a
national health system, and you cut everybody’s salary
by 50%, you’re cutting doctors. When the middle class, which
has a clear expectation of what Europe would mean for them,
that they would have if you’re Romanian and you’re Italian,
and you come into the EU, you will have a European life. And it’s defined by Germany,
maybe not as well as Germany, but still, you’ll
have a European life. And you’ll realize over
time that that life is gone. So if you were 40
years old in 2008, and you started
to lose your job, and your salary was being cut
from 3,000 Euros to 800 Euros– as happened in some
people’s case– if you go down this list,
what happens to you? You suddenly realize
at a certain point it’s not going to get better. You suddenly realize
that this is not ending. This is not a cyclical thing. That’s not temporary. I’ve been doing this
for seven years. And the problem is not that
some Think Tank in Brussels didn’t think up the solution,
it is that the Germans cannot afford to change their behavior
because of what they would suffer, and therefore we’re
locked into this position. And that leads to what happens
whenever the middle classes are devastated. The rise of radical
parties, particularly of the right wing,
because you have to find an explanation
for what’s wrong. And what the answer you find
is that someone caused it. And we must protect ourselves
from that by nationalism, by closing our borders,
and the Muslims are a particular problem. And by the way, the
Jews are a problem too. And you come up with a solution
that the middle class comes up with when they’ve
lost everything. And one of things that the
European elite never got was that as they were
stabilizing their banks, they were creating a system
of political backlash that would threaten the entire
system they had created. They thought they could keep
everybody in their place. And of course, when
you’re devastated like the Europeans were,
you can’t keep everybody in their place. And everybody came
out of their place. And so what we see
now in Europe is the rise of brand new parties. In Greece, it was
a left wing party, which has the same position
as a right wing party, but they don’t dislike Muslims. That’s the difference. But these are parties
that are basically saying, we’re not going to pay you back. The Hungarians pioneered this. They gave mortgages
out– Austrian banks, Italian banks– gave
mortgages denominated in Euro, in Swiss francs, in
yen, anything you want. Low cost. But nobody counted on
the forint collapsing. The Hungarian government
went to the banks and said on behalf of
their mortgage holders, we’re gonna pay you
back in forints. And we’re gonna give you
about $0.60 on the dollar. Or we’ll give you nothing. Give me a call in the morning
and tell me what you want. In other words, the debtor,
when he owes enough money, controls the situation,
not the lender. Old story. I I owe you $100, you’ve got me. If I owe you a billion
dollars, I’ve got you. And what the Southern European
countries are realizing is one, they cannot live with the
situation that’s been created. That default is better
than not default. And secondly,
Germany can’t afford to let them default, for
all the bluffing going on. Germany can’t afford this. They need to keep
the free trade zone. We saw this recently
in quantitative easing, which is a very nice
term for printing money. I like it. Printing money was
printed by the ECB, but it was administered
by national banks. Why? Because the national
banks could only buy paper from their own
country, which means default could not affect
Germany or others. But also, none of the
European countries trusted the European
Central Bank to be impartial, to buy
the papers they had to. We’re now back at
the Nation State. And in Europe, when you’re
back at the Nation State, you’re at a dangerous point. The United States had
a very similar problem. And the problem the
United States had was in 1861, a vast dispute
on all sorts of issues between the South in the North. And the South said,
we could withdraw from the American Union. And the result was a Civil War
in which hundreds of thousands of Americans on both
sides gave their life, and the Battle of Gettysburg
fought to save the Union. Antietam and other places. Who will die to save
the European Union? How could Europe create a
grand RB of the Republic? It has no moral promise
except prosperity and peace. You can’t die for
prosperity and peace. For life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness, we hold these truths
to be self evident that all men are created equal. There is a moral component. And you’ve been demonstrated
that moral component. We fought the Civil War
and saved the Republic. The Europeans have
no moral component. They only have a
prudential component. And the fact that
they fear each other, dislike each other, for a
very good reasons going back many years. My mother never
forgave the Romanians, and I have no idea what the
Romanians ever did to her. But it doesn’t matter. If they didn’t do
it to her, it was her great, great grandmother. These are countries that are
different, do not share faiths, and have never held together. And we are now at the beginning
where it’s all coming apart. And already we hear
the guns in Ukraine. So all of the promises that
were made are in question. And when Europe goes into
question, the world trembles. Let me stop there and
ask for questions. Thank you. AUDIENCE: So are you
kind of– your theory is that if there would be
a large hegemonic power in the room, similar to like,
the United States, in Europe still, this issue
wouldn’t happen. So if the Cold War never
ended, and the Berlin Wall didn’t fall, this
wouldn’t be an issue. GEORGE FRIEDMAN: Yeah. I mean, the reason
that Europe did not have a World War
III among itself, is that it was occupied by
the Americans and Soviets, and they didn’t
want to have one. But it’s not simply a
question of somebody having hegemonic power. There’s a dynamic in
Europe between Germany and the rest of Europe
that’s in play here. Ever since 1871,
when Germany unified, Germany has been the most
dynamic economic power in Europe, and scare the
hell out of everybody. The German question has always
been unlike the British, they have no empire
to sell it to. They are incredibly creative,
incredibly efficient, and very aggressive. This time they don’t
have an army yet, which is the good news. But they’re still
behaving in the same way. Ever since Germany united,
Europe destabilized. And while the United States
occupied the Western half, and the Soviets the Eastern
half, it was a moot question. Now the Europeans have to
work it out themselves. And they never have easily. AUDIENCE: What’s so special
about the Germans, then? Why have they succeeded
after World War II, when the Southern European
countries did not? GEORGE FRIEDMAN: That’s
an extremely good question to which I don’t
have a good answer. But it’s one on which
Max Weber and many people wrote, “Protestant Ethic and
the Spirit of Capitalism.” It has to do, I think, with
the fact that when it’s united, it unites well. In other words, unlike Italy
where the northern Italians still don’t get along with
the southern Italians, the Bavarians and the
rest of the Germans, you know, Munich and Frankfurt
and Berlin all unite, they are also
culturally vigorous. And they’re also scared. One of things about
the Germans is they remember the
period for hundreds of years when they
were fragmented into many small nations. And their terror is that
it’s going to happen again. And they keep losing war,
so the terror is real. They therefore
create states that are very effective in mobilizing
economic activity to build economic activity. I think this is an
insufficient answer, but it’s the only answer I have. But empirically, we know
that Germany does do this. And while I can’t
fully explain it, I can say it is a
dynamic of Europe that’s empirically clear. AUDIENCE: How do
you feel a Marshall Plan might have
played into this? Has the United States
overdone the effort of rebuilding Germany
at the expense of other countries
in the region? GEORGE FRIEDMAN:
The United States had to rebuild them, because
the Cold War required first, that the West be
self-sufficient– Western Europe be self-sufficient,
and secondly, that they have substantial arms. Once you begin the
process of rebuilding, it take on a life of its own. It doesn’t end,
and shouldn’t end. That was the entire idea. There is no way of
limiting prosperity. Now the countries
that the United States is most concerned
with is Germany, because it’s right on the
front line in the Cold War. And of course, France. And to a lesser extent, Britain. Britain was very bitter that
it wasn’t the forerunner. And Italy, because both of them
have strong Communist parties. Greece, Spain, it had
much less to do with. But it was really the
North European plain that the Americans
were obsessed with, because if the Soviets
attacked, that’s where the attack would come. And that’s where they
had to have blockers. So certainly the Marshall
Plan kicked off this process. But it wasn’t that the
United States could limit it. Once you put the Germans back
to work, they’re back to work. And they work well. And so Americans like to
moralize whose fault it is. This is not anyone’s fault. It’s not the Germans’ fault. They’re not greedy or vicious. It’s not the Southern
Europeans’ fault. It is the nature
built into Europe. So I would argue– and
that’s an important point I want to make– is there’s
no blaming the Germans. They are in the
position they’re in. And they have to deal with it. There’s no blaming, in
my mind, the Greeks. There’s no blaming the Russians. We are all playing out the
hand that we have to play out. And unfortunately, in
the case of Europe, this hand frequently
winds up in a bad place. AUDIENCE: Could you
comment on your thoughts of the influence of
US foreign policy right now in Europe,
because there are some lines of thoughts
about US foreign policy being interested in taking
Europe down a notch, Europe becoming too strong. And specifically, US influence
in the Ukraine crisis. GEORGE FRIEDMAN: I
don’t see the US have the ability of taking
down Europe a notch. Europeans are doing
what they’re doing. There’s very little
that the United States could do to take it
down, if they want to. The problem of
Europe is that having bought into peace
and prosperity, they essentially– many of them
dismantle their militaries. So NATO no longer functions. It’s a military
alliance, but you can’t have one if
there’s no military. So France has a military. Britain has a military. But the rest of the
countries really don’t. The United States looks
at Europe and says, I think, reluctantly,
there is no Europe here. There is Paris. There is Berlin. There’s Spain. And they all have very
different policies. So we have no one to talk to. We talk to the British. We talk to the French. But now we have a
crisis in the Ukraine. From the Russian point of
view, as I said before, they read this as a coup
d’etat by the United States, taking the elected
president of Ukraine, changing the Constitution
on Sunday morning, and impeaching him, and imposing
a pro-Western government. From the American point of view,
he was corrupt and oppressive. And people rose against it. Philosophy aside,
Ukraine is fundamental to the national
interest of Russia. This is where the
Wehrmacht was destroyed. This is where they
perceive themselves. This is a place that is
70 miles from Stalingrad. And 300 miles from Moscow. It has no natural defenses. They need the Ukraine,
because if Ukraine becomes part of a Western
defense system, everything in Russian
history tells them that whatever they think
now, later they will do what they want. Remember, Russia had Germany–
a weak, shattered country in 1932. By 1938, it was the most
powerful country in Europe. So the Russians have that view. The Americans also
have a 100-year history of one overriding
geopolitical interest– not allowing a regional hegemon
to control all of Europe. I went into the first
World War to stop that. It went into the Second
World War to stop that. It went into the Cold
War to stop that. There are many
crazy things we do. We invade Panama,
for some reason, that I could never figure out. And things of that sort. But these are trivial things. The fundamental things
that the Americans do is control the seas, and
watch the European peninsula for hegemon. If Russia takes Ukraine,
whatever the Russian intention is, the Americans think,
what will they do next? And so you have two countries. Now, the American’s General
Hodges, a US Army Europe commander, visited
Kiev, said there would be traders
coming in officially. Only unofficial now. Pin medals on Ukrainian
soldiers who fought well, which is symbolically stunning. And then announce that we would
preposition armor, artillery, and other weapons in the
Baltics, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. So I mean, that is
quite an announcement for the United States to
make in the past two weeks. Then Kerry is announcing
a very aggressive policy. Biden is saying the same thing. So if you’re the Russians,
you’re coming to the conclusion that the United States
means to seize the Ukraine, and that means the end of
the Russian Federation, from their point of view. They have a window
of opportunity, because it will take the
Americans six months to a year to have any meaningful
force in the area. It is now the rainy season
where the roads are mud. That will end in
four to six weeks. And then we will see. In the meantime, Frau Merkel,
who really doesn’t need this aggravation right now. It has enough problems
trying to hold the European Union together. It really doesn’t need
a war in the Ukraine to make its life miserable. Is in Moscow today with
French President Hollande. And they’re trying to get
Putin to listen to reason. But the Western reason
and the Russian reason are very different. The Russians, said to me–
I was in Moscow recently– and the Russians
said to me, look. We want this much. We’ll give up Crimea, if that’s
what is really bothering you. But we want in Eastern Ukraine. It could be part of
the Ukraine but it should be an autonomous zone. And they use this
like Quebec in Canada. OK. It speaks a different
language, so on. The United States is
absolutely opposed to this. And the Russian view is,
why would the United States be opposed to it? And therefore each side
is reading the other. And this is how wars start. Except neither side
wants a war, believe me. But the Europeans are
irrelevant to this. Merkel could go to Moscow. She has no force. She has no army. The Europeans are
playing a role that they played in the Cold War. They’re inert. And that’s what’s
so interesting. This is a war that the
European Union should be busy not fighting about
putting down or making whatever arrangement they want. But they’re in no position
to do what the Russians need, pulling them out of a
recession, depression, whatever you want to call it. So what you see here is that
unless the United States goes in, no one will go in. If the United States goes
in, then the Russians freak. If the Russians go in,
the Americans freak. And the Europeans
are primarily worried about who pays what bond when. So you have a total
asymmetry of interests and the kind of
intellectual chaos. AUDIENCE: So are we playing
to Putin’s advantage? I mean, sort of pretending
to be aggressive, or acting aggressive. I mean, isn’t that helping
Putin get stronger? GEORGE FRIEDMAN:
Well, the alternative is not to be aggressive, let
the Russians move forward, and occupy a position
bordering Romania, Hungary, Poland, and so on. So think about the run up
to World War II in Japan. The United States cut off the
sale of oil to the Japanese. It also went about buying up
oil in the Netherlands, East Indies– Indonesia
today– to keep the Japanese from buying it. The United States was
doing that because we wanted the Japanese to
pull out of Indochina. The view was that if we
do this, the Japanese will be under
tremendous pressure. The Japanese view was, if
we get into this pressure, there’ll be more pressure. And we’re accepting
the fact that we exist at the sufferings
of the United States. The result was Pearl Harbor. Wars don’t originate with
some crazed mastermind. Even Hitler was bluffing
until his bluff was called. And once his bluff
was called in Poland, he either went or he didn’t go. If he didn’t go, there
would be consequences. So we went hoping that it
wouldn’t mean anything. Wars begin with bluffing. And just like in a poker
game, at a certain point, you have to flip your cards. We’re in the bluffing stage. And each side is hoping not
have to flip their cards. Neither the Russians
nor the Americans have any appetite for war
in the Ukraine, believe me. But that’s not how wars begin. I don’t think there will be one. I think they’ll find
a way to back off. But actually, when
you play it out, it’s hard to find that
place where they go. MALE SPEAKER: Please
join me in thanking George Friedman for
his [INAUDIBLE]. [APPLAUSE]

100 thoughts on “George Friedman: “Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe” | Talks at Google

  1. Looking at the analogy of the winter Mozart concert that Friedman mentions, it's less about the fact that only the West could produce such an event and more about the people who are left outside, far from the music, in the cold and dark, and remain that way as a direct result of the West's cultural dominance. Even Mozart, if contextualized, is fascist.

  2. the people of the former Yugoslavia know well that the ;monster's are alive and well and just waiting to be released upon our 'civilized society.
    why aren't the people of the Nederlands marching off on aggressive adventures every generation, on a per capita basis they are the most productive people of Europe per the economist magazine/ plus multi=national corporations are now replacing national economies in the top 100 according to noreena hertz in her book 'global capitalism and the death of democracy'. maybe this black swan might throw a wrench into the old model/ on the other hand your premise is certainly very compelling, i am checking under my bed for the local monster as i type. maybe why my keyboard no longer let's me use upper case hence no capital letters.

  3. Forget about this idiot
    Check out the USA crisis from a real man Peter Schiff. He does understand the whole problem and explains it so well. What a straight talk.

    https://youtu.be/5AJv662OJVQ

  4. first nobody likes the despotic undemocratic EU
    EU only wrks bec. the west again recolonised the slavs !!!
    germans are the assholess who exploit everyboy, italiens spanish and other effers are pemaently bancrupted due to ther inheit natural lazyness and sence of entitlement…
    and the destruction of slavic culture by west is nothing short of genocide much similar to the genocide in lat. america, first nations in nor america…
    we, the slavs are at war with mostly germay and the rest of the bunch !!!
    wehad our own slavic calendar currently at year 7527…
    the poet pushkinwas still signing his letters in the old calendar…
    funny how you a avoiding the subject of hate of germansto slavs and how eastern europe is/always was treated by germans and the rest of the bunch…
    CLAIM THAT EUROPE AD NO CRISIS (2008-9) IS FALSE

    NOT ONLY YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS WRONG, YOU MISSINTERPET THEM…

    only rich western engeneers have 5000 e/month… if you are from the east you will get payed for the same job 3000 e…
    God i can´t listen to this anymore…

    245 00 Книга житій святыхъ.  

    245 00 Kniga zhitīĭ svi︠a︡tykhʺ.  

    246 3   Житія святыхъ

    246 3   Zhitīi︠a︡ svi︠a︡tykhʺ

    264 1   ВЪ Москвѣ : ǂb ВЪ сѵ̈нодальной типографіи, ǂc 7396 [1888]

    264 1   Vʺ Moskvi︠e︡ : ǂb Vʺ Sẏnodalʹnoĭ tipografīi, ǂc 7396 [1888] [date is given in  

               Mundane Era; date in Gregorian calendar is added in brackets]

    500     Date appears in Church Slavic letters in Mundane Era calendar. [note added  

              on the type of calendar used in the resource]

  5. @realDonaldTrump can you see this ?

    Arbeit Macht Frei… #BIS

    #BIS #FUNDED THE #NAZI

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/history-of-world-war-ii-nazi-germany-was-financed-by-the-federal-reserve-and-the-bank-of-england/5530318 …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/bank-of-england/10213988/Never-mind-the-Czech-gold-the-Nazis-stole….html …

  6. Well I have to admit he starts out on the wrong platform. If your born in 1949 you are not a holocaust survivor. Which also entails myths about the slave labor camps as death camps. What's omitted also is that the drunken bastard Churchill who was funded by the Focus group in London (Jewish) Is that had Churchill now supported by them to keep his fortress afloat with all his servants living on 500 pounds a year. That had he accepted the May 1940 peace offer from Germany, that due to his politics that millions of people would not have died in a war Churchill that drunken bastard could have prevented.
    Lets move to another non-European front. Just in my lifetime along these United States through their dirty covert CIA "Death Squads" and wars of aggression have murdered over 20,000,000 people which is more then Germany killed. The Red Army was the worst. The Church committee has confirmed all this. Known as the Shadow Government of Oliver North. And in full detail by one of the highest ranking former CIA to come forth – Stockwell.

    Now as an Empire… The United States who can't have or maintain a Republic and Empire at the same time. Has destroyed itself from within while engaging in all those global wars based on total lies. Let along that entire hoax of bringing democracy to some targeted country. Governments don't want democracy including these United States. Then comes the lessor of the so-called Victim-hood. That same Church report shows that between the US and Israel's arms transfers as well as drugs (Contras) And other sales of arms to ferment other wars based on lies, that the stated goals was not only to destroy a country, but to leave stay behind forces all thorough Latin America, Asia and the Middle East so that there is NO Social reforms. Instead arms are sent in to create and fuel what the press calls a "Civil War" which if you take Syria for example… Members fighting from 50 countries in Syria is NOT a civil war domestically. Yet Billions of US dollars in Arms sales flow into area and neighboring states/countries.

    Now to the Crux of the story. MLK, Mohammad Ali and Pastor Wright known for quoting a White man when saying, "Americas Chickens have come home to roost." MLK was anti-War. Murdered by the FBI. Ali who said, "None of them Vietnamese ever called me nigger." and Wright who said, "God Damn America." The News like FOX only highlighted that portion to incite racism. But we have the 3 voices of those oppressed people's race, that added with all those CIA illegal wars with Latin American countries. That the Immigration problem exists today. Like the allied terror bombing in WWII. The roads of Europe were lined by the millions of those fleeing those illegal bombings. Targeting a civilian population is a War Crime. Forward to YT here where the Zionist's openly admit that Immigration is number 1 on their agenda. Yet in Israel that's not going to happen. As Trump said, the walls Americans paid for in Israel work… You'll see the doublespeak now.

    So Everything the United States has done to the world it's own Chicken's are here to roost. Look at cities across America. Tent cities can been seen from space, people are shitting on the streets. 55,000 bridges in need of repair or replacing, millions starving, active duty Marines and Special Ops are well as Recruiters and Veterans are committing suicide en-mass. The VA allowed 307,000 veterans to die. 40 Farmer suicides a day, farming closing down when only 2% work to feed 330 million Americans so yes, as Trump said, "Corporations need Immigrants." Nothings going to change. Inasmuch as businesses that were forced to pay $15hr wage are just shutting down instead. "Seattle is Dying" here on YT shows the extent. Guns dropped in crates in Chicago to fuel crimes and shootings.

    The above is all a distraction to the death of America which has also been like the war on the 3rd World that America also is being stripped mined by Corporations. Retail store closings into the thousands. Oh and Trump's claim about China taking advantage of the US is totally bogus. We'll skip the US Missile tech sold to China by Clinton and Israel. But US corporation FIRED American workers who lost their apartments, homes, vehicles and credit. So that those corporations could offshore those jobs to China for lower taxes and that cheaper slave labor that replaces the American workers who today can no longer afford their lifestyles and the retail collapse is here. Over 7 Million are 3 months behind in car payments. Kids are moving back with their parents. Add recent flooding, loss of grains, livestock and farming lands with floods. That is is going to get really tough to feed oneself let alone family. And now all governments are going to strip mine the pensions that others worked for decades to secure for their retirements. The easy thing to do is to blame Russia? Or look to those politicians who sold out to the lobbyists?

    Final example: Rand Paul talking with Wolfe Blitzer that the US needed to end its proxy war on Yemen. Blitzer screamed about the job's in the arms industry. So Paul wanted to save lives? Yet he voted down a support bill for those Fire fighters of 9/11. But yesterday was screaming for a tax break for the bourbon maker in his area. Its all about the money and keeping you drunk, loaded on their CIA drugs so you stay at home and not on the streets demanding reform. They hate democracy.
    P.S> Research his lies about the Ukraine. The US using $5 Billion overthrew a democratically elected government. That leads to Crimea's succession by internal law and rejoining Mother Russia. Demographics also prove that all Ukraine is Pro-Russian as they were mostly born before the fall of the Soviet Union.
    dogsareloyals.com

  7. That's the problem with these predictive videos , when viewed from the future ,

    they somehow seem to miss the point.

  8. America prints money too, Europe too, if there will be a collaps, which is coming soon it will be worldwide, undortunatelly

  9. I lost my grandfather in war, my dad was 4 when he lost his daddy. This trauma never leaves, it stay in your cells even after several generations. My grandfather was brought into a camp, died somewere but my father and grandmother never found his body. His other brothers were also in camps budt they came back. These are heavy traumas. Now Germany is still a. country that I never connect with because of this. I know Germany is not Ok, some say that merkel is the daughter of Hitler, I know that they have always been steong in technology and that the nazi s moved to America after the war to work for NASA like Werner von Braun. It hurts that you speek like we are all evil, but the evil is on the top not with the normal people. Greed and power, that is what they want, we are just numbers, slaves. We have always been that, I know there is going to be a collaps, but this time it will be worldwide. We all have to get through because of all the money printing, the lies, the corruption…..but we all he e to get through it. My grandparents lost everything during war, my parents lost everything during crisis and probably we will lose it too, but better to be aware of whats coming then be unaware, then the shock will be so severe.

  10. The left so presumptuously wears the moral feathers. It never worked, it doesn't work and it will never work. All it is, is the most murderous doctrine of the 20th century. It is the vicious wolf attempt to hide in a sheep's skin.

  11. ww1 started. 1914 after a jewish radical assassinated fernindad ww2 really started in 1933. when international jewry declared war on Germany jews were arrested on the George Washington bridge in u.s. they were driving a truck bomb on 911. other jews were arrested cheering & filming planes hitting towers. later they claimed on Israeli t.v. they were sent to "document the event " if only there was a pattern in these events

  12. The crises are entirely political in origin. Because we, the people are fed up with the abuse foisted upon us.
    If politicians had not started misbehaving the way they had, the people would not mind them being in power. But what use is power, if not to be abused?
    The whole point of the EnU (European Non-Union) was to steal from the richer half and give to the poorer.

    So to divide the continent in two camps. How is that Union? It unites the people in each camp, against the other camp, or against the politicians (those that react less instinctively)
    Proofs: Brexit, Yellow Vests are results of frustration.

  13. The "confiscatory" tax system in Europe is anti-democratic: it's power OVER the people by the politicians.
    By definition, every government is dictatorial (they dictate the laws), but the EU takes it to a higher level than e.g. Louis XIV.

  14. Google is evil – to every Google employee – you are complicit by continuing employment with an un-American Corporation.

  15. German hating crap from a Jew.

    Statistically the UK and France have undertaken more wars of aggression than the Germans in the last 500 years.

    The very stupid comment that Europeans would have gone to war in 1914 or 1939 if they had a massive nuclear arsenal …unlike the more RESPONSIBLE Americans or Soviets is laughable!😆😆😆😆😆

    The nuclear deterrent of mutually assured destruction would have worked just as well in 1914 as it did in 1962. And to suggest the Americans are not warlike or irresponsible with a long list of stupid wars from Vietnam to Iraq causing a big mess is also laughable!

    A flawed speech…his American Jewishness on full display.

  16. African Civilizations were the FIRST to bring humanity to this earth White Europeans bought WAR, VIOLENCE, RAPE, COLONISATION, PILLAGING and INHUMANITY to this Earth. Europe were the ultimate inventors and innovators of how to Destruct a People and this Planet

  17. Sorry George. I don't buy it. Propaganda.

    One unfounded assertion after another. No academic rigour whatsoever. Just emotional rhetoric. Eg: Breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing civil war. Russia invades Ukraine, or the Causes and "the Europeans are at it again." The US Government has been picking fights all over the globe since 1945. The EU is not a belligerent. It's 4.5 years now since you made the speach and the EU is looking pretty decisive. The EU will endure and it's structures will enure, for a long time to come.

    "How would the Council of Ministers agree on anything?". They do all the time.

    "50% of German GDP comes from exports , and 50% of those exports go to other EU states." So George, 25% of German GDP comes from exports to other EU states. Big deal! Compare that to California and the picture is not much different. California also does fiscal transfers to poorer American states. Like California, Germany also imports from other EU member states. It's a big single market. Remember.

    DE/Benelux/Scandinavia, AT, Czech, Poland etc regularly export more that they import, and have balanced budgets. That's because they they produce more than they consume. Americans consume more than they produce and borrow to make up the difference.

    Take all the EU member States formerly behind the Iron Curtain, then add the "Meds" previous under military rule until the 1970's (Iberia and Greece,) add Ireland, and you got a total population of 160 million people who have never had it so good. Their environment, built infrastructure, health and education systems have also been transformed. Likewise their Human Development Index. For them the success of the EU is a no brainer, especially for young people. 2008 was traumatic agreed. But since then progress has resumed. The other EU member states are still richer because they got a 45 year head start, and because they continued to grow after 1990. This even applies to the UK, although it had been losing ground for quite a while.

    "Problems embedded in Europe!" get real.

    "We're now back at the nation state! No government trusted the ECB to be impartial so the National Banks did the the QE". More nonsense. This is your crowning moment of nonsense. The national banks worked in concert and knowing better their own domestic banking sector better administered the QE more deftly. Yeah! Sure regulation was too lite and had to be tightened up. Same in the US.

  18. This is the internet at its best, as a tool for educating and informing…exposing us all to great minds like that of George Friedman…. Truly interesting. Thanks.

  19. He said it all when opened his propaganda. His father was a Zionist, he has followed him in their Globalist ideas. Fear, fear, fear!

  20. A very interesting talk but to make the insights even better Mr Friedman perhaps needs to learn some macroeconomics as some distorted conclusions were made regarding governmental debt and regarding bonds. The mainstream understanding of these issues is fundamentally unsound. The Modern Monetary Theory economists and the key central bank insiders do know how governmental finances work.

    May Britain have Brexit and become the first member of the European Union of Nations – EUN, where each nation for macroeconomic reasons again has there own national sovereign currency. A national sovereign currency enables the value of a nation's currency to float relative to others which prevents excessive trade imbalances and secondly the proper use of fiscal policy to keep unemployment low or better still maintain full employment using a MMT compliant Job Guarantee buffer stock system.

    Thirdly more independent nations within the EUN should be able if they wish, apply trade restriction measures, tariffs, quotas and provide support measures and subsidies if deemed suitable, to enable preferred national industry/economic sectors to develop, or survive, so all boats can rise rather than the race to the bottom which inevitably arises in true free trade zones. It is however likely that most nations within the EUN would favour a 'predominantly free trade' approach within the EUN for the productivity, economy of scale and wider consumer choice benefits. This trade approach is more of a balanced middle way which in the end delivers better outcomes than an excessively protectionist or excessively free trade approach.

    The nation state is here to stay in Europe but ideally within a preferential and cooperative EUN. Russia, Ukraine, other Central Asian and Caucasus nations as well as Turkey could conceivably eventually join an EUN whilst the current military alliances could remain in place and hopefully all member states eventually become less confrontational. This could also eventually be a better geopolitical counterbalance to China.

    Bill Mitchell and Thomas Fazi's book 'Reclaiming the State' is highly relevant to the topic of Mr Friedman's talk.

    https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745337326/reclaiming-the-state/

    My rushed together article is also relevant:

    https://theaimn.com/eurasion-preferential-economic-zone-good-idea/

  21. Many things wrong here. The English never tried to conquer Europe.. It is not at all self evident that countries should unite as you suggest. The US is one country through a unique accident of history, not because countries tend to want to unite. Many other errors. OK. so you like the US. We got that. Not everyone admires the US as much as you do. No mention of NATO. I might have bought your book if I hadn't heard you speak.

  22. Sorry to comment twice, but he's so ignorant about so many things! He bemoans European wars but glorifies the North crushing and conquering the South in the American civil war!

  23. No government can ever run out of its own currency in order to pay its own sovereign debt, what it cannot do is always pass this debt to its population! That is absurd as it is a sum that can never be made because the debt PLUS INTEREST will always be ahead of the ability for any population to pay down by its nature. That is why governments must write down their own sovereign debt in the same way as it is created, "out of thin air" or "as is". Government is the only body that can be authorised to do this.

  24. Read the book The Great Controversy by Ellen G White and you will discover that from the prophetic point of view, and also from the bible final events view he is 99% right.

  25. If this collection of platitudes is the state of the art of US political thought – no wonder the world is were it is today! Exporting goods is still of far more use compared to shipping electronic or paper money abroad!

  26. 14:47 / 1:01:24 what about Raja Raja Chola from South India he traded as far wide as Java and Southern China, Vietnam and with the Mediterranean world in Egypt and having a trade surplus with the Roman Empire, not forgetting to mention ties he had with Africa in Aksum and modern-day Somalia Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, wasn't that a way of 'discovering humanity' that we are all in twine with each other and are sharing things in common and that we are a common species???

  27. IMAGINE Century 21 thus far with NO:

    1) Anti social RIGHTard U$/UK/ZioNazi Inside Job/False-Flag 9/11
    killing thousands of their own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXYswf3lzU8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XHm56O2NTI

    2) $elf justifying their mid-East FAKE Wars MASS MURDERING MILLIONS in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, Syria, including pregnant women, babies & innocent kids.

    3) Mid-East FAKE wars causing an ongoing MASS MIGRANTS crises, plus Isis in pro social VICTIM modern-EU.

    4) NO 2008 ongoing anti social U$/UK/ZioNazi CRIMINAL MAFIA Bank$ter$
    World Crash losing TRILLIONS while TRASHING BILLIONS of jobs & lives Worldwide
    – including UK AUSTERITY, BIG Crock of BREX$HIT & VICTIM pro social
    modern-EU.

    IMAGINE – no anti social RIGHTard US/UK/ZioNazi World DISORDER!

  28. He does not mention the concentration of wealth and end of the middle class hurting the US and Europe. The US is in as much trouble as the EU. Even if GDP increases in western countries, a minority in the population are the ones who reap the benefits. This is a failure of neoliberal policies. Ambitious politicians want to exploit this discontent and you get right and left wing populists peddling scapegoating.

  29. Not dissing his entire theory – but he makes too little of innovation. The telephone is something that is more common after WWI. US and USSR made appropriate use of better talking and better face-to-face. This, naturally, made communication easier. A simple change such as cheap and affordable communication may have reigned in Austro-Hungarain lunacy in the summer of 1914. It may have done many things, the kind of things which were absent from the diplomatic conversation in that summer. Having said that, had a driver not got lost in Sarajevo or had notorious poor shot Princip been further down his sandwich queue, then WWI would not have broken out in 1914 – but the underlying weaknesses would still be there.

  30. George Freidman has way over simplified everything. In 1914 the war was created by the arrogance of some royal families and the fear Russia was arming and building railways. The second WW was caused by a German Donald Trump. Like trump hitler knew nothing about government, he turned to violence. In between at the street level people were wanting security. The Capitalism that people knew was changing. Finally America invaded Iraq, civil wars started and a mass flow of people went from the Arab countries to Europe.

  31. Clearly, The American government has been in the wrong regarding Ukraine. For stability, Eastern Ukraine belongs with the Russian Federation and Western Ukraine belongs with NATO. There is no reason why it can’t be split just as it has been in the past.

  32. This guy is a propagandist ultimately.

    He hasnt got the slightest clue how the world really works and wouldn't tell you if he did.

  33. If the BIGGEST bank IN Europe CAN go into deep shit or bankrupt (being the WEAKEST Link), we ALL r HEADING INTO DEEPER shit!!!

  34. They are conquering it today, local communities are being destroyed daily with migrants, and more is to come via the UN.
    My Geography Teacher in 1972 as he wiped his hand across the map of Europe, no point learning much about these countries, their peoples or their customs, Christianity is to be wiped out as the controlling factor as its been deemed to have given away too many freedoms and they want them back. Islam has been picked as it polices itself better than any other religion. Open borders will keep your wages low. Slavery is the control of how much people earn. A Minimum wage is Slavery for the masses.
    All methods possible are now being used to keep the UK in the EU and under the control of the UN, but most of the population never wanted to join in the first place as well they knew, so deceit has been the order of the day, right across Europe. If your not all following the dream, it will fail.
    The Government media controlled Propaganda machine which kicked in during 73/4 suffered a serious blow with the arrival of the Internet, the truth was out, and a huge chunk of the population of Europe are now saying leave the EU. They might not have noticed they have been bled dry by the EU as their method for keeping you in against your will, demanded you didn't have the assets left to start up a bank as an independent country again. It's a one way street with no turning room. No one in their right minds would ever have joined, hence the level of deceit needed that had to last over 45 years, as they bit by bit, so has not to cause alarm whilst removing our Democratic Legal system and install the EU rule book.
    The UK had 1600 tonnes of gold when we joined GDP was at 53%, now GDP is at 100%, debt is at 2Trillion+, and our gold stocks reduced to 300 tonnes. Debt is probably more like 300/400%.
    To hide the employment nightmare, 16 hours is enough for you to be classed as employed, earn 19 hours and you will lose all Government benefits.
    It is possible unelected Civil Servants have been dealing with the EU Army behind the peoples and MP's backs so as to avoid a vote and tie the UK into it forever. Mr Olli Robbins said he would have to leave the country if we ever get to leave, as the truth would be out and his life on the Street wouldn't be safe.

  35. Interesting story he spins but then the historical half truths slide in. At 30 mins I had to go over and enter this comment. This is total destructive misinformation. Hateful propaganda. Don't be deceived by his homespun "I know because I am european" obfuscation.
    Europe is awesome and deserves to be supported in every way. Compared to almost everywhere it is a great place to be a citizen.

  36. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will stay "pacifist" as we head towards the elections. We are deeply divided now.

  37. Please sign and share this important petition
    The UN APPEAL already signed by hundreds of international scientists to stop 5G until tested for safety
    https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal

  38. This "intellectual" talks like an objective and neutral scientist. In reality he is a rigorous defender of capitalism unable to think or feel beneath the capitalistic and imperialistic paradigm. He and his "company" work for the US-Army and the US government. When he talks about Germany he says: "they are incredibly creative, incredibly efficient and very aggressive". Well that's true for ANY capitalistic economy. The most capitalist economy in the world for the last decades was the USA and it was by far the most "creative", "effective" and "aggressive". Capitalism FORCES all peoples into a race (much like the competition between Mafia gangs) where these peoples instead of cooperating have to behave like radical competitors. This creates endless wars. There is only one way to a kind of general peace on earth: to dismantle ALL the big states (no state bigger than Switzerland) together with the global capitalist economy and replace it by a locally orientated, cooperative and solidary subsistence economy without "export", "trade" or "money" …

  39. Mr. Feldman's mind is blown by his own (or perhaps inherited) preconceived notions that a culture that produced Mozart and Bach cannot become "cannibalistic".
    He talks about huge numbers of people who died and compares it to Genghis Khan. This comparing apples and oranges: Genghis Khan did not have our technology. In our day and age, we have the technology to kill people more efficiently. The more people we have, the more people we can birth and destroy. Technology and our greater numbers allow us to do these things.

  40. >> 0:25:00
    "The Europeans left to their own devices had historically for many millenia been extraordinarily violent."
    Is he not making gross generalizations with this point?
    "Extraordinarily"? In comparison to whom?! Panda Bears?! Koalas?!
    Or is it the number of people who died during 20th century his rational? He looks at absolute numbers, but not percentages.
    Given the same tools, technology, and the number of people – compare!
    Otherwise, you are comparing apples to oranges.

  41. >> 0:30:00
    I really "LOVE" how he talks about Russia invading Georgia as if Georgian state did not try to oppress their Ossetian minority group. Yet when it comes to U.S. going to Yugoslavia to prevent ethnic cleansing by Miloshevich, that is "Peacekeeping".

  42. >> 0:32:40
    "The problem with Europe is that the never had gone through financial crisis."
    Really?! Never?!
    Are you sure?!

  43. 35:00 yeah you make a EURO currency devaluation to sell to your European neighbors with the same currency. This so crazy wrong from your part Mr Friedmann.

  44. Friedman, the genius that predicted in 1991 a war between the US and Japan in the next 20 years (which have elapsed in 2011), predicts in 2015 the collapse of the EU. LOL

  45. Europe, unbelievers, is doomed – left is going stupid by the day, right will destroy everything and Islam will come after. One egyptian wrote to me.

  46. Friedman is reading from satanic ILLUMINATI ROTSchilds Doctrine Authored by Adam Weishaupt 1770 1776 depicts and created Every War on Earth since 1776. Albert Pike added into the satanic ILLUMINATI 1865 all 3 World Wars. 
    This how Albert Pike could predict all Wars on Earth. That's how HISTORY repeated it self.
    satanic ILLUMINATI ROTSchilds / rockeFELLERS are ashkeNAZI' Khazar Kenites. Khazarian Khabal / Mafia.
    So is Friedman. All fake GEWS. Not of the blood of Adam and Eves Blood SETH but of the Blood of CAIN and eves, 
    eves' and satans son.
    The Kenites. Who sat at the Right Hand of GOD ? JESUS DID, The RED
    Who sat at the Left Hand of GOD ? satan did The BLUE
    GET IT ? it's always been GOD vs satan. What does satan hate the MOST ? Everything GOD made.

  47. This is before Honorable President Trump was in the picture, and the 300 Generals supporting Trump. Who
    STOPPED the satanic ILLUMINATI NWO Wars, Depressions, Diseases, Bankruptcies, Pearl Harbors and 911s on Earth
    from 1700s to Date.
    Written in the satanic ILLUMINATI NWO ROTSchilds Doctrine. 1770 1776. By Adam Weishaupt

  48. Be careful reading the coments, it is full of history and political science PHD's more knowledgeable than Friendman and could easily run the world but they prefer to sit behind a computer and insult people on Youtube for having different views than them

  49. Mr. Friedman seems like a nice enough man. But his comprehension of history, especially American warfariing ever since it came into existence, is stunningly off track.

  50. What the poor Jew story is for I don’t know.
    The active genocide of indigenous Europeans through ethnic replacement isn’t being studied. Europe as an entity is dying generation by generation with the active participation of its governments. I would love to know what those in power are aiming to create.
    All I can envisage is a dystopian state with a population containing no white People, maybe worshipping Allah in the majority.

  51. After the 1st and 2nd world war in Europe people had no idea what was to follow. The spread of violent Islamic attacks all over Europe.

  52. EU is the bubble of freedom and democracy. Do not give freedom those who not deserve it. Do not give democracy or freedom of speech to people who can miss use it for their own ambitional reasons. Voting is classical Boolean logic: black or white (YES/NO), but reality is gray as in quantum states. Can you ever vote for SQRT(NOT) or think to SQRT(SWAP) party? Some day, some neuroendocrinology mastermind get us to better rail of future for sake of humanity.

  53. I am Hungarian and I was born 1957. I have studied history and especially thouse times when the I. and II. world war broken out. It was really crazy . The English king Edward the VI and the Willhelm the II were cousins. Yes, I agree that was really tragic what happened in Europa and what is happening now because of Brexit. But I wonder when I am listening G. Friedman how he couldn't realized America is doing the same? After 9/11 they fought 7 war in the Arabian Penninsula, and what about Vietnam, what about Serbia, what about other wars what they fought? Are they really so much different? No, I don't think so.

  54. To say Europe did not have an example of an financial collapse is wrong. France after WW1 was a basket case, everything was on sale. Thats why so many American rich americans went and vacationed there. They also bought up a lot of the art and sent it home. Germany was even worse. People starved,the German currency was wothless.Great Britain could not repay the U.S.A. all the money tehy borrowed to finance their part of the war.

  55. Boris Yeltzin told Reporters after the change in russian Government. No matter how weak the USSR looks . They will never allow NATO troops on Russian Borders. I do not remember reading any out crys from Germany or Poland to icrease the size of their military.

  56. I like his Star Wars analogy at approx 46:30. How do you “create a grand army of the Republic”?…like Chancellor Palpatine.

  57. In another talk he promoted war because that's where technological innovation happens. A batshit crazy and very dangerous man.

  58. Pretty interesting to watch in retrospect, considering Bretton Woods and NATO are effectively ended.

    The US is energy independent. It has the best farm land on Earth. It has deals with its closest allies. Europe can burn for all the US cares.

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