Stratfor On Europe's Growing Anti-Establishmentism

Tyler Durden's picture

"The traditional political elites are losing control of the system they once dominated." 12 of the 17 member states of the EMU have seen their governments collapse or been voted out in the last two years. As Stratfor's Kristen Cooper notes, this is testament to the near political impossibility of implementing austerity and maintaining popular support. The tough truth is that while voters initially turn to the mainstream opposition they soon realize that they have little to offer that is different and so radical, extreme, or previously marginalized political parties will, and have done in Germany (Pirates) and Greece (Golden Dawn) already, see an increasing share of the popular anti-establishment vote and implicitly hamper any political solutions to the crisis that Europe awakens to every morning.


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wisefool's picture

Paging Dr. Clooney.

Popo's picture

This piece just points out what a joke the entire political system has *always* been.  The statement that it is a "near" impossibility to implement austerity at the same time as maintaining popular votes is 100% true.  But the corollary to that is:  The entire game of politics has been to give money away, period. 

As long as budgets don't need to be balanced, and as long as entitlement-promises can be made with no intention of actually fulfilling them,  politics will be a game of handing out "Monopoly" money.

The elites maintained their status quo all along by making absolutely impossible-to-keep promises which depended on patently silly growth projections (which they were always 100% aware would never be met).  Now the "establishment" is quite surprised to find out the "planned-all-along" breaking of those promises isn't really working out so well. 

Historically speaking,  this is right about when the masses begin to take whatever they want from the elites  (by force -- organized or disorganized).   The elites of course, will scream "bloody murder" and disclaim all popular seizures as "theft" -- as if they are not 1000x more guilty of the charge.

The only question I have is:  How bloody does it get?   Most cataclysmic regime reversals include a "terror phase" when the elites get the bujeezus scared out of them.   It's almost certainly coming.  Usually, during the terror-phase, the elites also come to realize that their home towns are dangerous places and that real-estate is the absolute worst-investment you can possibly have.  History's survivors all know the truth: mobility is the only true asset.

I figure we're getting close to that in Greece.   But first the elites need to *really* screw up and attempt to establish a hard-right authoritarian regime.   Then they'll be well and truly fucked.


Btw -- the hatred of Stratfor is a bit overblown.  Stratfor is an overglorified blog.   They have very little in the way of "intelligence".   The announcer on this video looks and sounds like a terrified college-girl giving a class-presentation.   The way she butchers every politician's name is good for a laugh though.

Archduke's picture

I think they have very little in the way of a talent pool... Friedman's analysis is stellar.

One or two others contibutors equally insightful.  that's it.  the rest are summer-school

preppies given a job by daddy's friend at the golf club.  Stratfor should learn to trim

the fat.  If they aim to cater to the likes of GS and MS, then they have to be able to

cull their staff and go for quality.





Popo's picture

Disagree on Friedman.  He's a historian not an analyst.   "The Next 100 Years" was one of the funniest things I've ever read.   Way too much belief in naval power leads him to hilarious conclusions like "Mexico is the only conceivable threat to the US in the 21st century" because it's resource rich and has access to two oceans.  He discounts industrialization,  culture,  politics and technology in favor of historical references to Rome and Ghengis Kahn.

He reaches for near term conclusions,  and then launches into "predicto ad absurdum" by building prognostication on top of prognostication until he reaches absolutely ridiculous conclusions.

Friedman is a fun writer, but he's crippled by the political necessity of always reaching the same conclusion:   "America is going to win".   It's highly entertaining, but ultimately deeply flawed.   Stratfor is ultimately just "feel good" journalism for supporters of the MIC.




Tao 4 the Show's picture

Have to agree. I find Stratfor deeply boring and always the same - long pieces that add almost nothing new for anyone already paying attention. If they had put out this piece two years ago, it might have meant something. Now, it is only news and gradeschool analysis for people who are completely out of touch.

philipat's picture

And can't even secure irs own data!!

BorisTheBlade's picture

Downside of their comfy position. HBGarry, also 'security experts' got their teeth knocked out when it came to real fight. It is one thing to write long fluff pieces on America supremacy, the other thing is to participate in this game of supremacy. 'The Shadow CIA' title is the thing that got to them, they oversold and somebody slapped them just for the sake of it.

Harlequin001's picture

Can one of you conspiracy theorists or 'Bilderbergers' out there explain how the grand plan for world domination works when they lose all political control of the rioters?

Just askin', that's all.

BorisTheBlade's picture

It won't work, simple as that. DSK another example - guy was the one in favour of SDR currency plans:

IMF's Strauss-Kahn says ‘stockpiling’ special drawing right would create a more stable global monetary order

I should not remind how he ended up. Again, one thing is to make plans for world conquest. The other thing is to do that when you realize world is a very dangerous place and not everyone necessarily will enjoy some sort of global governance (it already exists though - in the form of IMF, World Bank, UN etc). What they were trying to achieve is to shift burden one level higher - from sovereign to intra-sovereign entity, but of course failed - national bureacracies resisted that. Reason it worked with EU was a very specific set of circumstances - collapse of Soviet Union, power vacuum in Europe and the US as sole superpower left standing. Won't work now as the entire system comes down crumbling before our eyes. Europe will get much more nationalistic and radical, one doesn't need Stratfor to say that, it's bloody obvious. They are scared, but it's another story.

wisefool's picture

Make sure you have gold sewn into your  coat

A Whole Lot Of Uncivilized People Out There...

Western's picture

500 posts, all male, all testosterone... no posts about kristen cooper's hot tight looks.

shovelhead's picture

"Are those Eagles in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"

wisefool's picture

That's what brought me to zerohedge. How could the encumbant president of the FED-NY, SEC-TRES in waiting, World Bank employee, etc ... not get his taxes right?  or atleast get it squashed before the CSPAN hearing? Anti-Establishmentism. Timmah=Tyler Durden.

Archduke's picture

Stratfor is a great example of how monolithic intelligence community has become.


They reacted to the hacking crisis in the wrong way due to their legacy thinking.

After demonstrating that they can't be trusted wih credit card details, instead of

opening up they closed down and asked people to trust them even more by

going subscription-only.  Instead of demonstrating quality and opening it up to

peer review, they dispense second rate drivel like this to represent their brand.


Like all hawks, they think in centralised, top down command and control mode.

There's no feedback or reputation system to filter out bad research and juvenile

presentation.  A simple reputation system would help them weed out such

poor product.  But god forbid intelligence information should be democratised.








Psyman's picture

Ah, but in America the elites are prepared for blood shed.  And it isn't their blood that will be shed.


That's why those of us in the know are "staying mobile" as you advise and fleeing the fascist police state otherwise known as the United States while we still can.  Before the best funded, best equipped, best trained, and most high tech police state in human history goes into full swing.

Reptil's picture

I've been warning my friends and colleages for the last 5 years now, to make preperations for an exit. Most are staying put on irrational grounds; that they have to stay somehow.

I completely respect the idea of staying put and not let some band of crooks run you off. But then the resistance against the emerging police state in the USA has been absent, and with scare tactics and BS ppl. have been led to believe these developments are "natural" and "logical". The role of nationwide propaganda cannot be overestimated in this respect IMO.

Scenes like this should cause an uproar, and would NOT be accepted in Europe. Imagine spanish workers being targeted and especially the media in for example Germany? NOT POSSIBLE (Mexico is part of the NAFTA so I think the comparison is valid) There are still national laws and Constitution in effect here. That's the difference.

Thunder_Downunder's picture

The songbook as I see it:

The 'terror' usually starts with a lynching of one of the 'elite'.. this then gives the others leverage to 'crack down on radicals'. This paralyses the core populace who don't yet identify with 'radical' and comply meekly in order to demonstrate 'national solidarity'.

Only once the security assets are mobilised and repression is asserted do they realise they've been duped. And by then its much too late to simply 'storm the parliament' and force swift change...


Not many bloodless coupes... populace is too disorganised to move quickly and police and military do what they're told.



Peter Pan's picture

Then again the security apparatus might turn on the hand that feeds it and controls it. Either way such events are an opportunity for the worst in human nature to make itself apparent regardless if it emenates from the patricians or the plebeians.

Reptil's picture

I think it depends on the specific country how "bloody" it will get. And how far the (political) elite have run the democratic processes in those specific nations, that should've ensured correct representation (and thus prevented just such a thing) in the ditch.

When I'm looking at countries like Greece, I'm thinking "not good". The level of information of the ordinairy citizen is poor at best. Use of internet resources is low. This works out fine when scamming the country (wealth flows up) but backfires (each and every time) when the price has to be paid. That is the reason the elites agreed to allow some kind of "democratic mechanism" in the first place. A burning "farm" doesn't deliver much produce. I therefore see a clash emerging of the traditional elites of europe and a group that has been trying to incorporate a new powerbase, as part of a bigger global construct. For now the traditional elites have been on this "NWO train", Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and the Bilderberg group being an obvious example. No matter if this "new ordening" of governance was with the intend to reshape the societies in a positive way, their compliance with an extraction mechanism in the form of bailouts and "buffers" will thwart all positive intentions.

The actions of the elite from here on will be decisive: this is a (possible) fork in the road. If they concede they've gone too far, and let some (real) reforms take place, a conflict can (still) be averted. The situation then, with some sacrifice of power can be stabillised, and Europe can regain it's position of being a percieved "haven of civilisation", and in a new role even coöperate with the BRICS. However... If they continue down the path of "extend and pretend" towards a global new world order, they'll have some powerful (militairy) allies, but no support whatsoever of an increasingly aware populace, and then they can lose (or gain) it all. Up till now they've run their little game of "bail out insolvent banks until everyone's broke" but the hard part is to tell ordinairy people that this course of action actually has a real life consequence. This will shatter the "pretend" completely. Worst possible action they could take is to beat any discontent down with (brute) force, as has been done in the USA and China. Both countries have a population that is less entrenched, in traditional economic structures (in China they were farmers, and were easily persuaded to become factory workers), and less informed than some european states (like Germany, Danmark, France, Spain).

The real-estate being the worst possible investment in a period of breakdown of society is of course correct. But it must be noted that (part of) the elite is not tied to nations in the traditional sense. They've blown a bubble in which they think it doesn't matter where you're domiciled, because with money and power in this present global economy, travelling is very easy and fast. But, as the global economy's glue becomes brittle, this will change. The strategy since the second world war of course has been to destabillise and extract wealth from countries and continents one by one, not all at the same time. If that happens they lose control. That's the danger of this continued push towards insolvency for them, and it's absolutely necessary to keep populace divided on the basis of race, religion and nationality. I think they'll go too far this time. There is much hubris.

So... it depends on which part of Europe, as it's NOT a single homogenous entity.

(Spot on with the "top-down" assessment of the intelligence community BTW. It's what I call "Cult of Davos", where people with a lot of wealth and power try to decide on issues with a direct impact (and "blowback") of societies they've become completely detached from. Nothing new here if one studies (recent - 19th and 20th century) history.)

sushi's picture


The elites maintained their status quo all along by making absolutely impossible-to-keep promises


They did more than make promises.

Greece has one of the largest militaries in Europe. Much of the military hardware came from Germany, paid for by vendor financing and likely greased by brown envelopes filled with fat wads of something other than Drachma. The elites on both sides did very well out of this arrangement and today the squeeze is on to make sure that the revolting public follows through and picks up the tab.

rbg81's picture

Greece has a large military because, unlike other EU nations, it borders a hostile adversary:  Turkey.

rbg81's picture

Politicians make the promises knowing full well they are unsustainable.  Its power they want and damn the long term consequences.  Their bet is that they will be retired or dead by the time the SHTF.  And so far its been a good strategy.  Unfortunately, reality is increasingly starting to rear its ugly head and their gimmicks to keep it in check are getting distorted and risky.  But, really, I blame the People who elected these clowns.  We should have known better.  Actually, some of us did, but (sadly) not the majority.

Shizzmoney's picture

Very good points here; basically, government has become a conduit as a corporate welfare cash trough, with the crack dealer being central banks.  Then we start blaming unemployed and poor people when they desire the actual care and service government was invented to provide, instead of going after the real pigs in forms of zero percent tax rates for multinational billion dollar corporations and banks, pork barrell defense spending, and tax subs on Big Oil. 

The only question I have is:  How bloody does it get?   Most cataclysmic regime reversals include a "terror phase" when the elites get the bujeezus scared out of them

I think that once this era is over, we redefine what an "elite" is.

Some say an eltie is someone like Bill Gates or Buffett, who have a shit ton of money; or power in the political spectrum.

I beg to differ.

When this all goes down: give me the farmers; guys who train MMA, jiujitsu; and of course ex-military who are experts in weapons and survival training.

When shit hits fan, and we are all in a corner, who is more likely to survive: Forrest Griffin or Jaime Dimon?

"Man when it all goes down, fuck a bank;

I'm gonna need me a 20 FT Hydrolic Water tank!"

- Mos Def, "New World Water" 

Don Diego's picture

new strategy of the establishment: create new trojan horse anti-establishment political parties to replace the discredited current anti-establishment political parties (the left)

q99x2's picture

We must make our votes be counted here.

gangland's picture

stratfor USA = FARS news iran



THX 1178's picture

Isn't it useful understanding what the establishment WANTS us to think? Their propaganda angle of approach... take it how you want. It's up to you to choose what to believe.

Reptil's picture

Yes, it's useful to analyse the spin, as for what direction they WANT the situation to go, while they're making a "forecast".

Jason Bourne's picture

Yes its a total clusterfuck.  The "people" are making the wrong decision, but they are doing so as a pendelum shift from establishment to anti-establishment.  The pricks that fucked Europe are to blame.  Hopefully the barbarians storm the gate early enough.  The world needs a serious enema. its fine for that to start in Europe, at least there the media can't be stopped from covering it.

We the people will continue to make bad decisions in our efforts to untangle ourselves from them.  TPTB are to blame for everything.  All of it.  When will normal people realize this and actually coherently do something about it?  When?

The next normal person I talk to about the establisment ponzi that says it isn't true or that it was nessasary to save the economy will get a sucker punch (or three) in the head.  Maybe we have to make difference one person at a time.

Hey relax.  I'm just kidding.



ebworthen's picture

People tend to vote and demonstrate before they resort to torches, pitchforks, ropes - and physically changing things.

Judge Arrow's picture

Europe begins its dance with the dark ages, once again.

Wolferl's picture

One of the dumbest piece of anti-european propaganda i´ve ever seen. If some Americans have no clue clue about Europe they better just shut up.

Popo's picture

Europe is fucked.  Where's the propaganda?

Wolferl's picture

Really? Seems you´re another clueless Asian or American.

AnAnonymous's picture

Or both. Us citizens do live in Asia, be they yellow race or indo-european.

By the way, indo-europeans are asians, not European race.


GeneMarchbanks's picture

You can't just flood the boards with 'US citizens' and expect to be understood. List some characteristics for clarity.

AnAnonymous's picture



US citizenism is 'Americanism', US citizenism being a better name as it singles out. 'Americanism' can refer to any -ism that developed on the Americas. Dilution of responsibility, expansion of base, usual US citizen tricks.

If you are displeased with this increased precision, well, US citizens are the same as 'Americans', who proponents of 'Americanism'

As to being understood, I do not need that luxury because validation is to be found or not in US citizens' actions.

Bear with it.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


As to being understood, I do not need that luxury

That much is obvious.


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


You can't just flood the boards with 'US citizens' and expect to be understood.

He doesn't care if he's understood. He gets paid per post regardless of its intelligibility.

List some characteristics for clarity.

He can't, other than repeating what is on the official PRC Ministry of Truth Template for Internet Propagandizing.


chump666's picture

Get off the drugs, you mind is turning to mush. 

Take some reality, be better for it.  Europe is f*cked forty ways to Sunday.

the tower's picture

The difference is that Europe has been fucked many many times, they are used to rebuilding. Europe will be just fine. Better probably.


The USA has never been fucked, so it's their first time.

As I wrote before: if we have to take the response of the average American to 9/11 as a guide it will be hell over there, as Americans fall apart as soon as they are under fire. Americans are strongest when they have a common enemy, yes, but when this enemy is within... then what.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

'Americans are strongest when they have a common enemy, yes, but when this enemy is within... then what.'

Common enemy? Please...

Enemy within? Zero capacity for introspection at the individual level is magnified by the society at large, the old micro/macrocosm. A people at war with itself. It only follows that you're at war with everything else: words, concepts, ideas ... finally existence itself


AnAnonymous's picture

That is a revelation?


"I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully"

How does one achieve such statement if one does not perceive oneself as being at war with everything?

That is one result of US citizenism as this president was a your typical US citizen president.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


"I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully"

Dude, you are out there.

How does one achieve such statement if one does not perceive oneself as being at war with everything?

Why don't you tell us, since you are the one apparently in a state of war with everything.

That is one result of US citizenism as this president was a your typical US citizen president.

More gibberish and gobbledegook, nothing of value.


akak's picture


"I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully"

But are you talking about US Citizenism fish, or Chinese Citizenism fish, or time-traveling US Indo-European Easter Island Algebraic Coconut Citizenism fish, whose nature is unchanging (until it changes) and eternal?

How does one achieve such statement if one does not perceive oneself as being at war with everything?

I don't know, but you, who seem to be at war with everyone and everything under the nonsensical label of "Chinese Indo-European US Easter Island Citizenism", appear to easily manage to be at war with everything on a daily basis.

Turing Test failure, once again.  Make me chuckle!

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

akak said:

But are you talking about US Citizenism fish, or Chinese Citizenism fish, or time-traveling US Indo-European Easter Island Algebraic Coconut Citizenism fish, whose nature is unchanging (until it changes) and eternal?

I believe that, in this particular instance, he is talking about Antarctic Aleutian Indo Easter Island European Coconutically Algebraic Citizenfish of the Chinese variety, whose freshness is ephemeral and whose odor is eternal.

I suggest he meet a few Easter Icelanders and learn how to fish fishes when they are in the sea ... after he finishes my dry cleaning.


akak's picture

Thank you for clearing that up --- for a second there, I was afraid that our dear dishwashing friend was referring to Angolan Mongolian Aboriginal Genetically Modified Ecuadorian Depleted Uranium Chechnyan Abyssal Svalbardian Irradiated Assyrian Congruent Numidian Incarcerated Abyssinian Albinoistically Blobbed-Up US Asian European Chinese Citizenism swimming oceanic entities, in which case I would have had to entirely rethink my thesis.

ebworthen's picture

Don't worry friend, we're all screwed along with Europe.

We get to choose between Obama and Romney - pity us.