In a previous piece about events in Eurasia I focused on Russia’s larger geopolitical goals and only briefly mentioned the New Silk Road Initiative and its economic implications. Now, we shall delve further into the latter. This article is from Mr. F. William Engdahl, whose research is admirably impeccable in its thoroughness.
Putin: Nyet to Neo-liberals, Da to National Development
The focus of the article is the Stolypin Club, an economic think tank inspired by the ideas of 19th century German-American economist Friedrich List. Compared to Putin’s other advisors, Alexei Kudrin the flustered Keynesian and the monetarist sect who recommend no action be taken, the Stolypin Club have developed a plan to reinvest in Russian education and healthcare to bolster their economy with skilled workers, the cessation of debt-based money, and the deliberate hording of gold (along with ally China) to use as a backing for the Ruble in opposition to the Dollar.
Friedrich List was the developer of “National Systems,” an old concept very much opposed by the Globalists in London, Berlin and Washington. List believed that the touting of international free trade (think TTIP, TPP, and NAFTA) was really a ruse to make the economies of less developed nations dependent on first world manufacturing or services. Instead, List suggested that an economic or customs union be developed for the region first, and when economic, technological, and cultural parity or near-parity is attained between the members of the union, the whole may be solidified under one government, treaty, or set of laws. Friedrich List’s ideas were rather well-received in his time, as Prussia used his principles to develop the massive Zollverein, a 164,000 square mile economic union controlling tariffs and economic policy between the German states in the 1800’s. By 1871, the region had solidified itself into the German Empire, the economic colossus that took the world four years to subdue in World War I. What’s more, List’s ideas would go on to inspire the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the EU.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a penchant for economic and customs unions among the members of the Stolypin Club, and we find just that.
Both Titov and Glazyev, an adviser to Putin on Ukraine and other matters, are founding members of the Stolypin Club in Russia. In 2012 Glazyev was named by Putin, then Prime Minister, to coordinate the work of federal agencies in developing the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, today the Eurasian Economic Union.
Combine this outlook with Putin’s offer of partnership to Turkey along with the rest of Eurasia, it’s even more proof that Russia is attempting to free up and organize trade in Central Asia. Connecting Russia and China to this potential Zollverein would be the New Silk Road Initiative, an infrastructure project creating highways, rail lines, and communications systems throughout Asia and the Middle East. With the prospect of establishing a continent-wide trade system and a possible economic union in the South China Sea, China and Russia may have an economic basis to sustain their currencies outside of the Dollar system, which the Ruble had been pegged to for 24 years after the State Bank of Russia was privatized in 1990. The use of gold as a backing, however, has nearly no effect on the Dollar, but would be very useful in a time of war or in the aftermath of an economic collapse.
With the monetarists silent and the Keynesian policies being passed over, the Stolypin Club may have Putin’s ear, now. Given these clearly anti-Globalist policies and Nationalist tendencies, we can certainly expect the Globalists to gnash their teeth and shake their fists at Russia. If Putin decides to carry out these proposals, and attempt to break out with the Ruble, expect to see a sudden surge of counterfeiting of the Russian currency. Also expect to see sudden glitches and hacks in the BRICS global payment system, which competes with the West’s SWIFT system. Either way, it would be a good idea to keep an eye, or maybe both eyes, on the Stolypin Club.
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