Angela Merkel resigns as Federal Chancellor of Germany. A unique example of continuous service to one's country at the highest public office since 2005 is coming to an end. It is especially remarkable in the context of Western democracies. Now we can already say that Germany with Merkel has become a qualitatively different country. This is no longer the "younger brother of the United States", but the "elder sister of the EU."
The idea of pivotal economic dominance presupposes the achievement of all the same goals with the help of economic instruments that Germany has unsuccessfully tried to achieve over the past hundred years with the use of military mechanisms. It turns out that building a German-centric Europe can only be achieved through investment and a free market.
The new model of creating an "economic Reich" presupposes the maximum strengthening of Germany's competitive positions in the West, primarily in the sector of "economic friction" with Great Britain and the United States, as well as trade pressure on France. As for the east, here the economic settings are becoming more subtle.
Germany needs sales markets, sources of skilled labor, liquid assets for investment, and commodity platforms. Naturally, each of the above factors of economic expansion is not realized in its pure form. It is about a combination and various options for combining them, with an emphasis on one or more priorities.
So, for example, with regard to the Central European countries, the stake has already been made: they are considered as objects of investment and, in part, as sales markets and sources of replenishment of the labor force. But the first factor is key.
Moving to the east, this matrix of factors changes significantly: the Russian Federation is no longer seen as a source of labor and systemic investments, but is an attractive country as a sales market and a raw material platform, especially in terms of energy market.
As far as Ukraine is concerned, this "concept" has not yet been determined, and the scales may lean towards either the "Central European format" or the "Pan-Asian" one.
We are not yet in the focus of German investment policy and are not a priori a raw material platform capable of playing any significant role for the EU market.
Taking into account the level of development of the system of ensuring the rights of investors in Ukraine and the degree of protection of their titles of ownership, we cannot pretend to be an investment recipient either. The transit potential is also gradually being lost, as evidenced by the Belarusian route of the "New Silk Road", as well as the construction of bypass gas transport corridors, first of all, the "Nord Streams".
At the moment, the prevailing factor is only the export of labor from our side, but here it is necessary to understand that in Germany: a) they are well aware of the economic importance of Ukraine and its potential; b) they cannot clearly define what to do with all this "neighboring" potential.
The concept of the "Fourth Economic Reich" solves approximately the same tasks that were posed in the book of the German conservative Arthur Moeller van den Bruck - "The Third Reich": the unity of the nation, intrasocial reconciliation, the creation of the state of the future and the establishment of a new system of values.
This is a new political metaphysics. Today the ideas generated by Van den Bruck's book are taboo in Germany. Is that historians remember the first Reich in the form of the Holy Roman Empire and the second - in the form of the state of the Iron Chancellor - Bismarck. They try not to mention once again the "Third Reich" - Hitler's Nazi state. Moreover, no one will remember the allusion to Joachim of Flora: the first kingdom of the pagans, the second kingdom of the Old Testament, and the third kingdom of Christ on earth.
There is now new political anthropology in Germany. The policy of human-centrism and the primacy of public rights and freedoms in decision-making. But this does not mean that Germany does not want to strengthen its position and gain a foothold in the rank of the world's leading economy. These goals are now served by the internal humanistic agenda (the Human Kingdom on earth, if we continue the logical series of Flora and reveal the topic of closed churches converted into social centers of assistance and rehabilitation) and the doctrine of economic nationalism - the very "fourth economic Reich".
This construct assumes:
- Harnessing the potential of the EU to market its products worldwide (done).
- Investment dominance in the center of the continent (completed).
- The use of raw materials of the Russian Federation (almost completed).
- Use of labor resources in Central and Eastern Europe (in progress).
- Credit dominance in the south of the continent (completed).
- Creation of a central European "bundle" of logistics and transport communications (to be completed with the launch of Nord Stream 2).
The ousting of the "sea empires" - Great Britain (withdrawal from the EU) and the United States (minimization of the US sanctions policy towards the Russian Federation, Turkey, and Iran) - is at the stage of crystallization of the concept.
Keeping the leadership "one step higher" in relation to France is being realized.
The "Fourth Economic Reich" is a zone of German influence from Lisbon to Vladivostok, which coincides with the project for a free trade zone between the EU and the Russian Federation, which was developed with the active participation of Merkel.
The idea of an economic Reich is being implemented by the center-right bloc CDU-CSU, this is the "Bavarian model" of German capitalism. In the near future, according to Eurostat, on the basis of Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia - there will be a basic European "funnel" with the highest living standards on the continent and the strongest absorption of demographic resources and the generation of investments.
In her farewell speech, Merkel recalled terrorist threats, cybersecurity, economic growth, and the Green Deal. There were no words about Eastern Europe, let alone Ukraine or the Russian Federation. We remain an instrument, an object of German politics, moreover, an object whose need for Germany is not yet obvious.
Germany and China (not the United States), as two countries on the Lisbon-Vladivostok vector, could become a strategic duumvirate for Ukraine, ensuring our geopolitical stability in relations with the Russian Federation, since it is with Germany and China that modern Russia is as close as possible, the symbol of which is two strategic gas pipelines: Power of Siberia and Nord Stream 2.
But paradoxically, these two countries are the most disastrous in our foreign policy. What are the only accusations towards Merkel, sounding from the lips of our politicians: from an agent of the Soviet special services to "Putin's friend." The pro-Nazi views of some of our diplomats are a separate issue. Only a lack of understanding of the German mental code can explain the request to provide Ukraine with weapons, which sounded in Kyiv: any person who feels history and understands the phantom pains of Berlin understands that German soldiers and weapons will never be deployed in eastern Europe. The specificity of relations between Germany and the Russian Federation will always be formed in the shadow of the past and taking into account the complexity of the Germans' guilt. It is this, and not the money of "Gazprom" and the connection with the FSB, that explains the special position of the German political elites in relation to the Russian Federation.
We could partially take advantage of this if we articulated the Ukrainian page in the history of World War II in relations with Berlin. But it had to be the concept of the victorious page of the nation, which took an active part in the liberation of Europe from fascism. To do this, we had to have our own narrative about the Great War. For example, as the Day of the Liberation of Kyiv. But this is definitely not a "reconciliation" format.
And the road towards China is closed by a barrier of decommunization.
In the model of the German "economic Reich," there is no place for the emergence of a Slavic nucleus in the form of a union of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus with a population of 80-90 million people, which is comparable to the demographic potential of Germany. But there could be Ukraine as a solid link on the axis from Lisbon to Vladivostok. On the axis, which will be formed by Germany as the pivotal country of the EU and China as the pivotal country of Asia.
In the meantime, our "patriots" hope for the defeat of the ruling CDU-CSU bloc and the coming to power of the Social Democrats in alliance with the Greens and the Left (East Germany), not realizing that for this configuration, the current humanitarian policy in Ukraine is a cave age and medieval obscurantism. Such a coalition will "dislike" modern Ukraine even more than modern Russia.