Here we are, counting 100 editions of our bulletin and 10 years of an incredible GEAB adventure.
Let me tell you this story:
The GEAB was born in January, 2006, out of a fierce desire of independence for our think-tank, LEAP : an intellectual independence, essential to the relevance of our work on European democratization and on Europe’s global place and role, requiring financial independence. Until 2005, the traffic of our websites was telling us with what interest our work was being followed. Therefore, we decided to make this bold bet: increase the quality and quantity of our content, and, at the same time, deliver part of it upon paid subscription … in order to test its relevance each month and ensure its sustainable independence. The GEAB by LEAP was born … but would the bet actually be won?
“Very well, but what was his lucky star?”
Beginning with the second edition, the term “global systemic crisis” was coined, an anticipation presented under the shape of an « alert » and combined with an expression that analysts of the crisis will often use again : « the end of the world as we knew it ». Yet, what does luck have to do with all this? Our luck was that the “end of the world” phrase soon became viral on the internet. The notoriety of the GEAB was born… on February 15, 2006.
Yet, the real glory days were still ahead of us.
In fact, we were announcing a crisis of systemic nature and of global scale as early as the beginning of 2006, two years before the generally accepted beginning of that crisis; two years during which we didn’t withdraw, despite the attacks and offensive messages we were receiving, but fortunately offset by even more numerous messages congratulating our work.
Forward-looking and constant as we were, amid the general blindness concerning the miracle of financial algorithms, supposedly benefiting from all situations, we maintained the course of an anticipation relentlessly finding evidence of the up-coming crisis. Then, the Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in the explosion of the subprime crisis, which we had anticipated in detail.
Then the whole world started talking about the GEAB…
And when I say “the whole world”, it really means the entire world. Our public announcements were being translated into dozens of languages, reproduced on hundreds of websites, and the GEAB was sold on the sly on pirate websites. Some websites were even translating the whole of GEAB into their language, trying to sell it themselves; aggressive or praise emails were falling down like rain showers, subscriptions were accumulating, and the political anticipation method, which had been used to produce this work, became more and more attractive…
Moreover, there were those touching moments, when members or relatives of our team, while traveling in Turkey, or ending up on some professional missions in cocoa plantations in Brazil, or in diving classes in Thailand, got connected to people of all nationalities and of unexpected profiles … who knew the GEAB readers and loved to talk about it.
The big challenge: the sustainability of this success.
“Our” crisis became “the” crisis. Everyone appropriated this term, dissecting it, describing it, suggesting all kinds of interpretations for it… while the crisis itself continued on its path, transforming and spreading impacting new sectors, disappearing here, reappearing there… Our perseverance to recognize in the crisis the effects of a major transition from a Western-centric world to a multi-polar world, found in all these evolutions an efficient explanatory thread. Of course, our anticipations haven’t all become materialized, but they all helped in one way or another with the general understanding of the ins and outs of the crisis. In confirmation of this assertion, business leaders tell us how much our analyzes help them improve their decisions, in the general instability and the lack of visibility so much characterizing their professional environment at that time.
In 2012 we lost our Director of Studies.
At the end of 2012, after four years of illness, our Director of Studies, Franck Biancheri, passed away. The team that surrounded him in the drafting of the GEAB bulletin, after thousands of hours talking with him on those topics, integrating his vision, his way of thinking, and, more specifically, his method, the political anticipation method, took up, furthering his demand, the gamble of continuing without him. This change, combined with the fact that the crisis moved toward political and geopolitical dimensions, resulted in a slightly different GEAB, more geopolitical-political, less focused on the collapse of the “world before”, more oriented toward the emergence of the “world after”…
Being one step ahead must remain our priority.
The GEAB of 2006 was announcing major changes to a system that considered itself immutable; the post-2012 GEAB shows the future perspectives to a world on the brink of the Apocalypse. Yet, the West is not the world, and even the worst wars come to an end one day. So, providing a vision of the possible tracks for the reconstruction of the world, while continuing to show the destructive trends at work, became our two-fold mission.
New successful anticipations confirm the new format
Oil crisis? Seen! Car crisis? Seen! European airlines crisis? Seen! Maintaining of the euro? Seen … against all odds. In three years, our team has demonstrated to its readers, and comforted itself, that LEAP’s political anticipation method was a transmissible intellectual tool. You are there to prove it, as well as the tens of thousands of readers of our public announcements. At the end of 2013, LEAP concluded that the test period had been convincing enough and decided to modernize the bulletin: a new administrative team led by Geta Grama-Moldovan, whom I no longer need to introduce, new languages, a new website, a new template, a new format (Epub), and today, new press reviews …
The GEAB is definitely there, provoking respect as well as critics as always… as well as lust for it and counterfeiting attempts, the best evidence of its intrinsic value!
Yes, the GEAB is unique!
Rooted in European history and networks, based on an original political anticipation method, driven by LEAP’s desire for independence and relevance, brave and free, the GEAB has offered, for 10 years, the interpretation of the crisis which, amid the totally chaotic interpretation of the media as well as political response, has remained rational, original, consistent and regularly validated.
Whether you have followed us for 10 years or for 1 month, without you, the GEAB would not exist.
For 10 years now, it is your subscriptions, these confidence votes that you send us every month, which encourage us to continue our analysis and anticipation work. Thanks to you, LEAP is probably the only think-tank in the world connected to the general public, “elected” by the general public … instead of being financed by public authorities or private interests, like the others on the market.
It is this “democratic” anchoring and this public approval which allow us to engage ourselves in action with more than innovative projects, such as the Euro-BRICS Young Leaders Summit, the Agora of the Euroland Citizens or our project of democratization of the future, the Open School of Political Anticipation, which should soon be launched.
Therefore, it is with pride, but above all with very much gratitude to you that we are signing, today, the 100th GEAB issue … and we already give you an appointment for number 101, in line with the 100th… simply that.
The GEAB by LEAP is here … and you too by our sides, at least we truly hope so …
President of LEAP and Director of Publication of GEAB
Author of the ”Manual of Political Anticipation” (Anticipolis, 2009)
Global systemic crisis: the big comeback of dark Europe
Here it comes, rising slowly, the « vile beast ».
A long time ago, in 1998, Franck Biancheri, our regretfully departed director of studies, signed an anticipatory article entitled: « 2009, when Europe ends up in the hands of the grandsons of Hitler, Pétain, Mussolini… » This is the fate he anticipated for the EU in case it failed to democratize. The failure is a patent fact, and the process is well launched.
As we wrote more recently, the wave of migrants, soon followed by the terrorist attacks in 2015, cast blows far too hard for the EU, already weakened by the Euro currency and the EU-Russia crises, to resist.
Progressive and reactionary trends were balanced until September. This is no longer the case.
Fear is now the dominant feeling in Europe: fear of China, of Russia, of competition from emerging powers, fear to fail in adapting, fear of Muslims, immigration, climate warming, tax, deregulation, internet, disrespectful youth, costly aged people, food killing us, polluted water, toxic medicine, cancer lurking on us all…
This fear has solid grounds, for sure… that’s the problem with it. Modern world challenges are piling on our heads, growing vast and vital, while citizens fearfully watch the not only powerless, but also counter intuitive posturing of their leaders. When citizens start knowing more about what should be done than their decision makers, panic settles in.
Thus, political alternative solutions spring up all over our continent, as a result of the absolute requirement of change felt by the Europeans:
. creation of radical leftist parties in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia…, control of recovery of traditional left wing parties in Italy and the UK…, the emergence of a new left rooted in the peoples’ will terrifies the financial and military elites relying on media and power parties;
. strengthening of radical rightist parties in France (FN), Austria (FPÖ), the Netherlands (Geert Wilders), Germany (AfD)… mechanically benefitting from the migration and terrorist panic. These parties too are rooted in peoples’ problematic reactions, but their idea of order makes them very accessible to an alliance with the « establishment », which in the end will have no difficulty adopting their views (Cameron’s and Theresa May’s UK, supposedly « ganged up » against UKIP, but in fact they were clinging like mussels to their privileges of the reigning cast, provides a vivid example of this);
. emerging of communitarian, xenophobic, racist, homophobic… radical movements (Pegida in Germany, Poland, Denmark…) which organize protests and counterprotests degenerating into violence…
In this context, real threats are beginning to be directed toward the general public in the hypothesis of electoral successes granted to these parties: a general of the British army promises mutiny in the event Corbyn takes power in England, the City warns against Ed Miliband’s election, Blair predicts the end of the Labour party if Corbyn is elected as its head, French « bosses’ boss » announces that electing the FN will be a catastrophe for the French economy, French Prime Minister talks about « civil war » in case of a victory of the FN, the Portuguese government begs the Lefts Alliance to not question pro-NATO and pro-Euro policies conducted by the country until now… after having been close to succumbing to the temptation of barring this Lefts Alliance from taking over the Parliament as they were entitled to do considering electoral results.
A real danger is to see the European « establishment » put an end to ongoing political developments, interrupting democratic processes. Cases of patent attacks on our democracies have probably already occurred: the latest election in Poland which « unexpectedly » put into power a dinosaur of the « world-before », Duda, was labeled a « coup » by someone as respectable as the head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.
Temptations to cut public wi-fi in France, experiments of bank account closings conducted by Barclays in Cyprus, rapprochement between internet giants and member states in the name of terrorism, etc… Some sort of a collusion between private and public sectors is taking place, threatening civil liberties… with the consent of increasingly terrorized populations. State of emergency declarations make things easier.
As regards the European level, it is mostly its greater inertia that gives the feeling it resists better, as suggested by Martin Schulz’s recent remarks, “is there any chance the European Parliament saves us?”. In fact, while six months ago the EU was still proposing projects of political union, fiscal union, infrastructure plans, some real Euro zone governance, etc…, it has now also started surfing the wave of fear to consolidate its might: Fortress-Europe is now its main project, one moreover conducted manu militari, with threats of exclusion sent to the states which would waver in abandoning these last remnants of sovereignty.
But at the same time, what else can be done? The fact is that these measures coincide with a demand of the European public. The problem lies in the fact that it is now too late to do anything else than react. Future generations will judge and condemn us, but the ongoing great derailment of democracy in Europe is the result of twenty-five years of negligence/powerlessness by the European leadership.
EU democratization could have taken place like leaders in the 80s had planned. The migration wave could have been avoided if Europe had resisted this last folly of US Middle-Eastern policy, consisting of getting rid of one more dictator in Syria, at the price of additional chaos, moreover this time without giving ourselves the means for it. IS, this frustrated dream of regional integration turned into a nightmare, could also have been avoided, or at least limited, had Europe resisted regarding the previous point.
The turning point in both cases is in 2013, the last year of the Barroso 10-year mandate… also the year from which the Ukrainian crisis sprang. Two years later, in 2015, the harm is done on all fronts. Windows of opportunity for Europe to take the right paths at the right moment have closed. There is no good solution any more, nor even good players around.
On this last aspect, our team is increasingly struck by the evolution of partner countries such as Russia or Turkey. Russia in particular, this Russia which Europe can no longer do anything with other than pinch its nose and follow, is very different from the Russia we snubbed in 2013. At the time, Putin was conducting a charming offensive directed at Europe, displaying a desire for Europeanization: Olympics, human rights, potential Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Syrian crisis… the Putin of that time was playing by European rules, with the request of being recognized as a peer. The way he and his country were treated in 2014 compelled him to tilt toward China, relegate his efforts in the field of human rights to a lower priority, develop the greatest contempt for Europeans… and now that we have come to his views, Europe has to play by his rules. Wonderful success!
Somehow, the Turkey of Erdogan followed a similar path. The first Erdogan, eager to represent a modern and democratically moderate Islam, couldn’t resist the dramatic crises that hit his country and which are partly due to Europe’s failings. He too has developed the greatest contempt for this pusillanimous and irresolute Europe, and he proved it by not even caring to join the EU-Turkey Summit organized last month, sending instead his Prime Minister, Davutoglu.
In one year, the year 2014, Europe lost all prestige on the international scene. Its former allies (US, Israel, Saudi Arabia…) appear more and more clearly as sources of the many difficulties endangering the planet, and it is now compelled to move closer to other partners (Russia, Turkey…), formerly neglected and treated as inferiors, today harvesting scorn and disdain from countries who couldn’t care less about making any effort of democratic compatibility with Europe.
This crisis has happened, changes took place… but Europe lost the handle. It is left with fear, the reason why our team has become extremely pessimistic that Europe will manage to escape a new period of retrenchment which will be implemented by the « establishment » itself, in association with its accomplices, in order « to avoid chaos » to the European continent.
Among these accomplices of the « establishement », whether they are aware of it or not, are right wing political parties such as Marine Le Pen’s FN. Since its early age, the FN in particular is used as a foil, perfect for the elites to be constantly reelected to lead France. Somehow, Islamists and FN have the same history: both served to maintain far too long growingly disconnected elites in power; they served as « authorized » outlets to a citizen’s expression in fact negated by a complete sterilization of political life: the FN alone had a right to exist as a so-called alternative solution to big parties, thus serving as a flattering comparison to the latter.
As in the case of radical Islam in the Arab world, this risk of democratic power-grabbing by the FN will first result in an attempt at a blockade « in the name of democracy » (Algeria and the FIS in the 80s), to end up either with the elites in power adopting all their ideas and people, or with their effective power grab. In any event, democracy is not on the programme of France in the coming years. There are too many problems and responsibilities for such a luxury, most likely.
The French derailment of democracy will significantly contribute to similar developments in other European countries.
Of course, this « comeback of dark Europe » might be short-lived, this retrenchment of Europe faced by the much larger global situation might protect it, the Europeans might soon doom this evolution, the internet society might not be long before getting reorganized and expelling the evil… Sure, our continent will survive this new episode of the dark side of its history, but let’s not forget that all wars don’t end like the Second World War; on the contrary, the end of each war, of each dark period, carries the seeds of the next episode.
For example, it should be known that the FN opened its office in ENA three years ago, next to the offices of the socialists and the conservatives, and that a significant share of the graduates of the French School of Administration (providing most of the top management of the entire French state apparatus) are FN sympathisers… « sympathisers » who have a direct stake in the success of this party… as well as the capacity to contribute to that success. This tells us that FN ideas are not going to disappear soon from the French state apparatus, and therefore from one of the hearts of Europe… To read more, Log in or Subscribe now
Laboratoire Européen d’Anticipation Politique, created in 2005 by Franck Biancheri and myself (further on to Europe2020, ancestor of LEAP, created in 1999 by the same two persons), is an independent European think-tank which dedicated its anticipation work mostly to two topics: the European governance (Euroland Gouvernance 2020 Project) and Europe’s connections with the rest of the world (Euro-BRICS Project). As part of its work, LEAP organized many seminars and meetings with political leaders, official representatives, economists, financial clerks, members of civil society, published reports and analyses, as well as the monthly bulletin on the «global systemic crisis», the GEAB.
As part of a partnership LEAP – La Sorbonne, the first training sessions to the political anticipation were conceived, soon followed by the book: Manuel d’Anticipation Politique, edited by myself, based on those training sessions, a book published by Anticipolis Editions in 2009.
 In reference to Bertod Brecht’s expression in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, a parable of Hilter’s rise to power: « The womb from which the vile beast emerged is still fertile. » Source: Wikipedia
 Talking about privileges of the reigning cast and England, the recent Telegraph article on the use Tony Blair made of his years spent at 10 Downing Street, is truly sickening. Source: Telegraph, 14/12/2015.