Transparency 28: From Westphalia to the XXI century
The primary production sector and a good part of the population are subjected, in recent decades, to a general impoverishment of structural submission by political and economic elites are taking entire countries and continents to poverty levels unsuspected until now.
However, this situation is not the result of a punctual mistake, but rather, of the development of structures of the past. We will present some facts that we consider relevant:
1. On 24th November of 1648, was signed the Treaty of Westphalia that ending the so-called war of 30 years, defined the principles of national sovereignty, becoming the constitution of the new state system in Europe.
2. In the following decades, following different rates in each state, were established and selected internal structures, without participation of the people, to the ruling elites.
3. In the seventeenth century national banks were established in which two groups exercised power Influent: The State and private shareholders, members of the elite, which designated most of the directors. For example in Spain in 1782, King Charles III, he created in Madrid a corporation whose ownership belonged to institutions and private individuals. Though not a public bank, enjoyed the protection of the Crown, and had close financial ties to the state. National Bank was called San Carlos. Over the years the bank was renamed Bank of S. Fernando, Isabel II Bank and finally Bank of Spain.
4. Established the state structures, their ruling elites and state banks (misnamed national banks) the system started working on the development of each nation-state for decades while, as a result, economic elites amassed large amounts of capital.
5. In the second half of the nineteenth century civic movements opposed to the privileges of the elites, leading to political parties which, after a few years to find his place in the scheme under the Treaty of Westphalia, ended in some countries agreeing with the existing political parties so far. For example in Spain on November 24th 1885 was established Pardo Pact, also known as Canovas-Sagasta, which established the alternation in power of both political parties and ensured the continuation of the monarchy as a representative Westphalian nation-state. The practical result was alternating governments,
Sagasta ( on 27th November , three days after covenant and without general elections) and Canovas, who ended the 1898 disaster. However, the political – economic structure was so entrenched although debilitated by economic failure that Sagasta returned to form government in 1901.
6. The exhausted model needed, almost two decades later, a new reformulation. In Spain was held on 18th June of 1916, and is known as the Assembly of referring Palace hotel meeting place.
With these six points got to the consequences of the Treaty of Westphalia, of the governing elites and the state banks: two world wars, the economic crisis of 1929 and countless civil wars and colonial many derived from family and economic rivalries among elites (Boer War). Almost everything to the detriment of primary production sectors and citizens.
This cycle plays back years after the Second World War though with other institutions: nation-state treaties, banking structures foundation, local economic elites, pacts between constitutionalist parties in each nation-state, establishment of a bureaucratic class to protect the model, control the activities and economy of civil society. We will present some facts that we consider relevant:
1. The October 24, 1945 was signed the United Nations Charter, modern equivalent of the Treaty of Westphalia
2. In 1945 is born Bretton Woods financial system that sets the gold standard as a system to evaluate each national currency and the establishment of two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And the subsequent integration, with the World Bank, the World Bank Group (WBG) modern equivalent of national banks.
3. As in the previous cycle the treaty of nation-states and banks begin to work for development, especially European countries devastated by the world wars and ruling elites amass great fortunes with this activity.
4. As in the previous cycle are made political agreements incorporating new features to the structuring of the state and the economy. So in 1953 it was created the European Economic Community (now European Union) and in 1971 cancels the gold standard and imposes a change in the global monetary system, the IMF, the system of fixed exchange rates one of floating exchange rates . This allows nation-states to issue currency without other support that the trustee and thus opening the door to the creation of the current debt.
5. The crisis caused the economic disaster unpayable public debt by citizens, destruction of irreplaceable primary productive in less than two decades and high unemployment are the modern equivalents of the disaster of 1898 and 1929.
We are currently in the fifth stage of the cycle: the model is exhausted and needs to be reformulated. Transparency is essential to prevent this second cycle closes, like the first, by major wars. Transparency can prevent citizens are still subject to political structures anachronistic (Westphalia) or inoperative (UN), political and economic elites (live from becoming state business in pantomimes Westphalian states to serve their economic interests) and functionary classes that protects the protecting political and economic inbreeding, slow any growth and innovation leaving countries without primary production model politicizing education, health and justice.
Consequently civil society is mobilizing in many countries but you must be alert as two dangers are latent:
1. The representatives of popular demonstrations may agree their incorporation into governments as in the covenant canovas-sagasta
2. Representatives of elites can take charge of the demonstrations in order to stop them and prolong the current status.
Either of the two leave citizens in distress and extremism would lead as in the previous cycle in major disasters that erase the evidence of corruption we are living.