Archivi tag: borrell

THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE EU-CHINA MEETING IN LEIPZIG: 1.WHAT LIES BEHIND?

When, thirty years ago, I had started to write about Europe, the prevailing criticism I received was that no reader would ever have taken any interest in European questions, something which mattered just for a handful of specialists and/or idealists.

Now, in 2020, Europe is one of the top political and mediatic issues, either for extolling or for criticizing it. What are, if not European problems, economic crises, recovery from Coronavirus,  disputes among member States, with Russia, China and Turkey? What are, if not disputes about Europe, the “sovereignist” ideas of a “Europe of the Nations”, or the one of Atlanticists, of a “Euro-Atlantic Community”?

In the same way, when, twenty years ago, I started writing about the re-birth of Russia and China, everybody thought that it was mere phantasy, because the Eastern Bloc was just collapsing, and, with the fall of communism, even the modest previous influence of those countries would have ceased; then, we have had Crimea, Donbass, Syria, Libya, high speed trains, Confucius institutes, G5, New Silk Roads, mask diplomacy….Now,allkey protagonists of European politics feel obliged to take position every day about China and Russia. Presently, more often in a negative sense (dictatorship, expansionism, espionnage,  sanctions), but we do not doubt that, in a next future, we will necessarily listen to growing and growing positive voices (effectiveness, epistocracy, harmony). And, in fact, we have been favourably  surprised in listening to some of Europe’s top politicians, as Josep Borrell, inclined even towards a certain amount of equidistance between China and USA:”We are not in a tough position against one or against another. …… So no, I do not see anything comparable to what you remember of what happened many years ago between China, the United States and the Soviet Union. We are not on a confrontational line; we just want to have realistic relationships in order to defend our values and our interests.”

And, in fact, all new EU policies treat on a foot of equality all extra-European relationships.

When, in 2017, I wrote the book DA QIN, maintaining that China millennial history can represent a model for the rejuvenation of Europe, nobody took seriously that idea, which today is not only present in the works of important international scholars, such as Parag Khanna, Daniel D. Bell, Zheng Wei Wei and Zhao Tingyang, bet is even considered as an important danger for the European Union, which has created expressly the formula “Systemic rival” without specifying what it means.

The need to understand how China has become so strong, that the last report of the European Parliament, “EU-China trade and investment relations in challenging times “ is devoted to a multifaceted study of the question, in particular about the cultural, technological and commercial aspects. Notwithstanding the remarkable attention paid to this matter, we feel that very much has still to be studied. We anticipate here the concepts which we will express at length in the new edition of “L’Europa lungo la via della Seta”, about which we will debate on the 4th July,  of July, and which will focus on the attitude that pro-European movements should adopt, according to us, towards the new Treaty under discussion, starting precisely from the structure of the above Parliament’s study.

If, within 10 years, I will still be alive and write on these matters, I am afraid that I will again realize that my pages have foreseen the future, but have been written in vain again.

The many people who cannot do anything better than crying, on behalf of their employers, against  purported “dangers to our way of life” would do a much more useful thing if they would study what is happening in the world – in the Silicon Valley, in the United States, in Russia- for seeing how can we master the burning world of tomorrow.

In the same way, it would be useful to understand what is meant by “our way of life”, because Europe has always been a multi-faceted., or, as the Pope says, a “polyhedrical” countries, with wild, inhabited lands such as Greenland, the Balkans or Lappony; post-modern metropoles, like Paris and London, ancient shrines of culture like Freiburg, Prague, Venice, Florence, Rome, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, St. Petersburg; historical cities, like Granada, Turin, Siena, Palermo, Athens, Sarajevo, Krakow; small jewels of past times, like Guimaraes, Carcassonne, Noto, Modica, San Gimignano, Mantua, Bruges, Rothemburg ob der Tauber, Salzburg, Veliko Tarnovo, Zamosc; West and East….

Qin and Da Qin: the most ancient and continuous empires

1.A history of repressions

The dominating narrative about “the East” (inherited from Herodotus and Aeschilus) is that its societies were, and still are, characterised by   a culture of State repression of individuality (the Empires), whilst Western Europe (and still more the United States) would be the countries of freedom. Personally, I do not share this view, because, albeit having concretely fought in the past against the real forms of repression  then prevailing in the East (under ”real socialism”), I know better the ones of the West, an area where massification and conformism are not less heavy, and where people like Assange and a large part of the Catalan Government are still in jail for having exercised their civil rights, and/or duties. Moreover, the obsessive care for the so-called “fake news” and for opinion crimes shows that, under an falsely friendly image, Western European States are no less totalitarian than Eastern ones. The only difference is that the two areas prosecute different types of infringers: in the East, separatists or pro-Americans, in the West, pro-vita, muslim veil bearers and extreme right nostalgics.

As to an asserted primeval difference as to the respective concepts of the State, what Zhao Tingyang describes of the Chinese Empire (Tian Xia) is astonishingly similar to the Roman empire and still more to the Holy Roman empire, as described, e.g., by Dante in De Monarchia and by de Las Casas in De Regia Potestate. We will devote the third chapter of this post to a thorough analysis of Zhao Tingyang’s work, which is helpful also, and above all, for understanding Europe’s own cultural and political history, starting from pre-history, passing through Persians, Jews, Greeks, Germans, Romans and Modernity, very similar to pre-historical China, the different dynasties and ethnicities.  It is what we mean when we speak about Qin and Da Qin.

In reality, East and West have always influenced mutually one another, and often exchanged their respective roles. For instance, Herodotus explains that, while choosing for themselves monarchy, which they considered more effective, Persians imposed democracy to their subjects, the Greek Ionians, after defeating the latter, because, in this way, they thought that they could be more easily manipulated by the Empire. This preference of empires for having democracy in their satellites has continued up to now. Let’s recall, for instance, that the Soviet Union did not impose in most satellites a Soviet-style one-party system. In certain “socialist” countries, a “true” “communist” party with this name did not even exist, and/or, as in East Germany and Poland, had not even the majority of MPs. These “People’s Democracies” could easier be manipulated (e.g. by Yaruzelski’s  “Stan Wojenny” or the speech of Gorbačev in Berlin in 1989), than genuine dictatorships, like the ones of Tito, Hodzha and Ceausescu, where the leadership was composed of stark communist fighters, which for this reason resisted up to the last moment USSR influence. Useless to recall that Angela Merkel had started her political career as an official of the East German “Youth Front”.

The censorship of Western establishments on Eastern (and East European) cultures and values had been absolute since the XVI Century, at the times of von Herberstein, of  Condorcet, of Hegel, of de Coustine: the “Romano-Germanic Arrogance” of Trubeckoj. Extra-European (and East European) countries have always been vilified: only Western Europe, and eventually America, are valid civilisations, les “nations policées” (“the decent countries”).  The others are backward, are the equivalent of Europe’s Ancien Régime, they would have been substituted with modern, progressive, societies, which, without any doubt, would have imitated Europe, but, especially, America.

According to the Western establishment, the whole process of world history, from the Bible to Hegel and Marx (“from Plato to NATO”), revolved (and still revolves) around the West, where East was seen just as a far away root (Egypt, Israel), an accident (the Mongols) or a foe (Persia, Islam). It is really difficult to have somebody in the West, even the most cultivated and the most ”Third World friendly”, to conceive world history as  something really parallel, from the first hominids, up to the civilisations along the great rivers, ancient empires and cultures, their mutual relationships (e.g., the Silk Road), the succession of ideas spread between East and West (the sannyasin movement, mazdeist and  judaic messianisms, Hinayana and Mahayana buddhism,  christianism, islam, the steppes peoples, the search of Cathay, the chinoiseries, aryanism, the “white man’s burden”, Asiatic ideologies, the Soviet Union, the surge of China, multilateralism…).As Zhao Tingyang writes, “the different histories of the different places have been melt, by European History, into a complex ‘history of histories’. In so doing, they traced no world history, but, on the contrary, just  the history of the expansion of Europe’s influence.”

In the last 100 years, this relentless propaganda has further developed, being unchained against all kinds of non-American nations: imperial Japan; militarist Germany; “papist” Italy; totalitarian Russia; reactionary Poland; theocratic Arabs; nationalist Israelis; hierarchical Indians; imperialist Chinese…The evil does not consist in one or another characteristic: just in being “un-American”. America (and present days Europe) will not stop interfering into the other people’s life until they become exactly equal to USA and Europe. At that moment, there would have been “the End of History”, the “Perpetual Peace”. As Tacitus wrote: “They made the desert, and called it ‘peace’”.

The apparent openness of Americanism to diversity is just theoretical. In fact, if a country becomes equal under all aspects to America, except one thing (e.g, theocracy, monarchy, one party system, a castes system, socialism, polygamy…), it is considered automatically in breach of human rights and the West has the obligation of interfering. Only worldwide uniformity is accepted: against the others (British, Indians, Mexicans, Confederates, Spaniards, Philipinos, Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Islamists), there is perpetual war.

In the background of “human rights exportation” there is the belief that the expansion of the “Western way of life” is a higher justification which overrides even the pretended “universality” of human rights. It is a translation into politics of the genocides of the Old Testament (starting from the worshippers of the Golden Calf)  justified by the first Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” And, in fact, when US society or authorities breach roughly those “human rights” that they pretend to protect in other countries, no one has the right to interfere – not even to express a judgement-:the ”Double Standard of Morality”. The extreme case is constituted by the recent sanctions of Trump against the International Criminal Court, created precisely for defending American-style human rights, but responsible to prosecute American military.

2.The “Necessary Nation”

In fact, for America, this idea  to be a “Necessary Nation” is unavoidable: if the USA would not be the leader of the World, its very “raison d’etre” would cease, and every American would come back to be a Brit, a German, an Italian, a Jew, a Hispanic, an African…What we start to see now with the clash among white-Americans and black Americans, but is going on also with Sino-Americans and Islamo-Americans, de facto discriminated. At the end of the day, not differently from all other modern (“ideocratic”) empires, if America is deprived of its messianic objective, it would be seen simply as a purposeless, and even monstruous, conglomerate of power. Also Europe suffers a lack of mission, but its peoples, rooted in theirs histories, can, nevertheless, survive well or worse.

The real point is that the mission of America, as shown from Bacon to and Transhumanism,  is to achieve the domination of technique over Mankind, so that, as Marx wrote, if you cancel the US from the world map, you cancel also the progress. And, in fact, the  Singularity project of Ray Kurzweil is going on with Google just because of the protection of the US Digital-Military Complex. That fanatism in the defence of America’s mission is in reality the messianic enthusiasm for a negative theology aiming at the End of Man.

Paradoxically, whilst Western civilisation had been born from doubt (the Socratic dialectic, Tertullian’s “Credo quia absurdum”,  Descartes’ “Systemic doubt” and Pascal’s “Pari”, Nietzsche’s prospectivism and  De Finetti’s challenge to the principle of causality), the only thing of which the West never doubts is its own superiority on the others. Just a handful of European intellectuals (De las Casas, the Jesuits, Schopenhauer, Guénon, Evola, Panikkar) have been really immune from this presumption. Also the official Europe has pretended since ever to be different from the US because it purports not to “export democracy”, but, in reality, follows the same path, just in a less evident way and often being obliged by America.

This obsession for a theological, ethical, political, intellectual and social superiority (inherited from  ancient empires and monotheisms) is the driving  force around which the Western establishment has aggregated one seventh of Mankind, pretending that the others must become as they are ( but also without ceasing to criticize them because they are not succeeding to do so), has shaped one century and a half of world history, with the Algerian, Mexican, Indian, Spanish wars, with the repression of Sepoys, Taiping and Boxers, with Atlantic slave trade, the Crimean War, the Inequal Treaties, the Chinese Concessions, the Congo State, the Durbar. It remains still now the secret powerhouse of most conflicts.

This pretension has allowed America to minimise the memory of its evils (such as the extermination of native Americans, the Atlantic slave trade, the Opium Wars, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vietnam War), emphasizing the ones of the others (totalitarianism, terrorism). This Double Standard of Morality has always found an allied in Western left, which has always been aware that this messianic arrogance of America is the driving force of economic progress, so triggering a continuous shift in power balance worldwide, what, at its turn, favours social mobility and class conflict. Typical the favour of Marx for the Confederates’ slavery, which, according to him, was unavoidable for preserving the avantgarde role of America in the ongoing worldwide progress march.

The present iconoclastic furore against the racist past of the whole anglosphere, arisen by the killing of George Floyd, is awakening once again those never healed old contradictions.

The statues of Christopher Columbus violated under the accusation of racism

3. The Fall of XX Century’s Myth

Happily, these pretentions of the West have started to  shrink over the years, with the birth of African, Indian, Chinese and Arab nationalisms,  and of the international movements of Developing Countries,  with decolonisation and  the wars of Korea and Vietnam, but especially with the strong resistance of intellectuals as different as Voltaire, Boas, Guénon, Pannwitz, Fenollosa, Père Foucault, Gandhi, Pound, Aurobindo,  Evola, Débray, Béjart, Panikkar, Jacques, Frankopan, who have extolled the merits of extra-European civilisations, affirmed their right to remain themselves, to participate on an equal footing  in the decisions about the future of the world and in the philosophical debate under way at world level. Taking this into account, a certain intellectual violence from Eurasian leaders is fully understandable as a reaction to this systematic repression.

The fact that the majority of European intellectuals (even when not sharing extreme positions on this point such as the ones of Guénon, Evola, Béjart or Panikkar) has not approved in any moment  those politics of defamation of other continents, has not reduced, but on the contrary, extended, the repression, not only against different cultures, but also against such Western intellectuals who do not share the arrogant attitudes of their politicians (the “political correctness”). It’s sufficient to see how were treated Blas Valera, Boas, Pound and Evola.

The ongoing digital revolution, creating the real bases for a possible worldwide technological empire, has reinforced everywhere all existing imperialistic trends in an exponential way, rendering a solution to the problem still more difficult. A world empire is possible, and America has been, in 2002, on the verge of implementing it. China, which had never accepted, since 1850, the idea of “America First”, seems today to shift towards the radical strategy to oppose the American technological empire with another technological empire,  based on Datong and Tianxia. The real miracle is that it is again in a position to raise such a question after one century and a half of foreign occupation and continuous wars. The real meaning of this new claim is unknown to most actors, because of the absence of an adequate culture,

The discussions about the new Treaty with China cannot be read in separation from this historical background and this unsolved problem.

White Man’s Burden By Rudyard Kipling (1899) Take up the White Man s burden– Send forth the best ye breed– Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild– Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child. Take up the White Man s burden– In patience to abide, To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride; By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain To seek another s profit, And work another s gain.

4.The advancement of Eurasia

Notwithstanding the Durbar, the repression of the Boxers and the Sykes-Picot Agreements, starting from the beginning of the XX Century, extra-European cultural traditions (African, Islamic, Hindu, Confucian), and even minority European cultures (like the Orthodox and the Euro-Islamic), had affirmed more strongly   their right to exist, and, subsequently, had  gained momentum in several countries.

All extra-European countries, and also the countries of Eastern Europe, share today a sense of pride for their ancient traditions, different from Western mainstream (“the Asia that dare say ‘no’”). For this reason they have, towards their history, a “continuity approach”, from the Yellow Emperor to  Confucius, from Qin Shi Huangdi to the Red Rescript, from Sun Yat Sen to Mao; or, respectively, from Rjurik to Alexander Nevskij, from Ivan the Terrible to Peter Ist, from Catherine II to Lenin, from Stalin to Putin (or from Arpad to Rakosi, from Kossuth to Nagy). Only Europe tries (happily, without success) to limit its own history to the last 80 years, minimizing the roles of Gilgamesh and Moses, Hippocrates and Socrates, Plato and Aristoteles, Alexander and Caesar, Augustus and Constantine, Justinian and Charles the Great, Dante and Frederick II, Napoleon  and Coudenhove Kalergi. If this effort of the mainstream would succeed, we would loose our main element of strength: the attractiveness of our old culture.

The most extreme avatar of present days  Eastern Renaissance is constituted by the Belt and Road Initiative, which, already by its definition, recalls to everybody that the peoples of Asia and Europe have been linked since the most remote antiquity by ethnic, religious, cultural and commercial links, so that China and Europe have conceived themselves as a mirror image of high civilisations (Qin and Da Qin). The idea of a Silk Road, invented by the German Earl von Richthofen,  creator of the Trans-Syberian railway project  developed eventually by the tsarist government, has been taken over now by China, which seems today to be the main beneficiary of a revamping of the Old Silk Roads. However, nobody hinders other subjects, such as the European Union, to develop  their own “Silk Roads”. This is precisely what the EU intends to do by its “Connectivity Initiative”.

In reality, in our century, the idea of a new Silk Road had already been developed by Hillary Clinton, but not followed-up. China,  being the largest country of the world, needs vitally for several reasons a continuous interchange with the rest of the world, which has already taken place, especially with the United States, but that the latter wants now to stop because, thanks to it, China is gaining always more momentum, so challenging the American “intellectual leadership” of the world.

And, in fact, there has been since a long time a wish to establish world peace based upon a harmony between East and West. This idea is deeply entrenched in Chinese culture since its beginning, being tightly linked with the idea of Tian Xia), and found its expression in the name of the Qin, Han and Tang Capital, Chang’An (permanent peace). In the short period between 332 and 340 a. C, there was even an ephemerous Pax Aeterna between Constantine and Khosraw of Persia, to which also China and the Huns should have adhered. The Epistle of Prester John in the twelfth Century asked for a contact between Byzance and India, Giovanni da Pian del Carpine and Marco Polo, tried to establish a stable relationship, which was consolidated by Jesuits.

What disturbs most Americans and European Atlanticists is that the Silk Road makes a direct  reference to the core of the Old World: the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, Dar al-Islam, India, Central Asia and China, so putting into a corner the New World, which still pretends to be the heart of the ecumene. Actually, a full implementation of the New Silk Road (and/or of the Connectivity Initiative) would imply the marginalisation of the United States. Even the widespread idea of creating, by the Connectivity Initiative, uttered by the Institutions in an effort to balance the Chinese weight in the Belt and Road Initiative, will end up completing the latter, and consolidating the ongoing “Eurasian” trend.

The Coronavirus pandemic is just the last event in a long chain, where the effectiveness of Eastern countries has shown their superior capability to overcome the challenges of the Third Millennium (so confirming an intuition of Max Weber): traditions, technology, State-building, soft power. This superior capability has been recognized by Western public opinions, as shown by recent polls that have revealed that the majority of Europeans is more inclined towards Russia and China than towards the West, and especially is not available to participate in a Third World War on the side of America. It is not a case that the present US Defence Doctrine starts from the idea that USA must be independent from NATO, first of all by the refusal of existing agreements  with the stress on sea-land ballistic missiles, which do not require any consent from allied countries and by imposing home productions invoking war preparedness.

This implied conflict is at the roots of what European Institutions has labelled as “a Systemic Rivalry”, which we will criticize in the following posts, for its lack of an adequate cultural background, and even of a precise meaning.

The national Indian festival in New Delhi

5.China Bashing

For all the above reasons, US media and politicians attack China constantly with a series of stereotyped critics. Here is an example:

“ China’s thousand-year objective is to overthrow the democratic order through peaceful and divisive means. China is spreading its narrative through coercive diplomacy, OBOR, propaganda and disinformation campaigns legitimizing Chinese authoritarian governance shrouded in historical values and ideals. Its objective is to alter democratic governance, norms and the established rule-based world order and replace it with the Chinese version of an illiberal order and authoritarian rule. China is making inroads in democratic countries like Poland, Greece, the United Kingdom and Italy by buying or investing in companies and critical infrastructure like ports and bidding for 5G network contracts. Chinese companies doing business overseas have links to the communist party or the People’s Liberation Army. Through these companies and 5G technology, China will be able to collect and harvest intelligence for diplomatic and trade negotiations, launch cyber warfare against critical infrastructure and classified government networks, gather confidential information from companies, launch disinformation campaigns and understand warfare plans and military preparedness of host states.”

Taking into account their lack of cultural background, such attacks, by Western national and supranational institution, to Russia’s and China’s public diplomacy appear to be ridiculous, and the new so-called Chinese “Wolf warriors diplomacy”, not differently from the consolidated style of the Russian speaker Marija Zakarova,  by which it seems to be inspired, is just a reaction, mirror image of the American one (for instance, of Victoria Nuland).

In the same way, the very much criticized militarisation of Chinese society is a result of the everlasting imitation lust of Chinese:“China’s initiatives in military-civil fusion are informed by a close study of, and learning from, the U.S. defense industry and American defense innovation ecosystem to an extent that can be striking. In certain respects, military-civil fusion can be described as China’s attempt to imitate and replicate certain strengths from a U.S. model, but reflected through a glass darkly and implemented as a state-driven strategy.”

In reality, all of that was already anticipated in earlier stages of China’s history, by the idea of a fusion of Chinese and American cultures, hinted by the Taiping ideology and Kang Youwei’s Datong Shu, directly risen by the incumbent propaganda of  evangelic missionaries.

Sino-Italians welcome Chinese warships in the port of Taranto

6.The Treaty

Presently, the major ambit of dispute is the next Europe-China Investment Treaty, which last year the Commission had undertaken in writing to sign, and which was bound to be signed in September in Leipzig, but against which George Soros had launched a violent campaign, and which has been postponed for Coronavirus.

In the background, there is the struggle for technological dominance between USA and China, which is an updating, in the III Millennium, of Huntington’s “Clash of Civilisations” and the first Fukuyama’s “End of History”. According to this author, the world would have split alongside the borderlines of the Orthodox Faith , and would have gone towards WWIII, where China and Russia would have fought against the US. According to Huntington, notwithstanding the big differences that he objectively saw between Europe and the US, it was of utmost interest for the US that Europe remains together with them. Otherwise, the latter would have had good prospects of loosing WWIII, and, in the best case, the only remaining superpower would have been India. This is the explanation for the growing pressures, from the US and the European pro-American lobbies, to boycott the new Silk Roads, in which many European countries, such as UK, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Serbia and Greece, not to speak of Turkey and Russia, are already heavily engaged.

In reality, US, without Europe, should not remain the hegemon power of the world; on the contrary, Europe without Eurasia would remain forever a follower of the US and a country on the way towards underdevelopment.

The summary drafted on behalf of the European Parliament about the EU-China Treaty has made it clear that, notwithstanding Europe’s ongoing descent towards underdevelopment, we have now a lot of political opportunities which in the past had never existed.

The news is that, being the XXI century the one of Intelligent Machines, the power struggle is no more between States, but between technologies: not the DoD against the PLA, but the OTTs against Huawei.

However, the new Treaty would have first of all a symbolic, political and legal meaning, because it will simply supersede the existing “national” treaties: besides being an opportunity to profile itself as more independent from the USA, would also be a move to assert EU’s legal competences in the face of Member States. In fact, all member States are doing excellent business with China and have their own treaties, and it is questionable whether the competence for international investment treaties lies with the EU or with Member States, or both. A new “mixed” Treaty, alongside the model of the ACP-EU  Agreements, could be an appropriate basis for the whole Silk Road. By the way, my first work devoted to European law, written in 1980 when working in Luxemburg for the European Court of Justice, dealt precisely with the Lomé Agreement.

Eurasia is a complex of ancient civilisations

7.How to behave in the US-China dispute?

The campaign launched by Bannon and Trump some years ago, for “disrupting China’s supply chains”  has gained momentum in the States because of the ongoing American crisis and the even more evident growth of China. America feels that it is losing its clout on the world and reacts nervously. Ironically, also George Soros is sponsoring now an action formerly initiated by Bannon (which, unexpectedly, has obtained just now, by the Administrative Court of Latium, the right to utilize an ancient monastery for creating an American political school in Italy) and shared by Le Pen and Salvini, who have proposed a motion of the European Parliament under this heading. In this, America is wholly bi-partisan.

Such idea of “disrupting supply Chains” with China could make sense for the US, which, having seen that they cannot undermine China from inside, are preparing a war, so that nobody can expect them to purchase strategical goods form the enemy (nor to shell US property in China as they did not shell Opel and Ford in Nazi Germany during World War II).

Contrary to what has written ECFR, this idea does not  apply, on the contrary, to Europe. Seen from this part of the Atlantic, adhering to the US diktat to break-up relationships with China in this moment of deep crisis would be fatal for Europe’s economy. Unfortunately, European politicians are very attentive and reactive to US “suggestions”, which often change the Governments’ attitudes within a few minutes (as has happened with the infamous Italian MOU). This time, Europeans seem a bit tougher, because Europe, with China, risks to lose very much, as we will show in the following posts.

In fact, first of all, far from trying to reduce Chinese investments in Germany, Merkel  is speeding up German investments in China. On June 11, in spite of American pressures,  Angela Merkel and Li Keqiang had a teleconference, and  three agreements were signed by German and Chinese firms, including one between auto makers Volkswagen and JAC Motors. Merkel urged Li to open up the domestic market and provide more legal certainty for investment, but, in fact, in spite of accusations, more than 40% of the cars manufactured by the Volkswagen Group are sold in China. By these agreements, VW has even achieved the majority of the stock of the joint ventures which manufacture VW cars in China. What is in itself an evidence that there is no limitation on European investments in China.

At the end of the teleconference, Li has affirmed, in stark contrast with the requests of Americans and European “sovereignists” that China and Germany should make good use of the “fast track”  for personnel exchanges to facilitate business cooperation and resumption of production “and jointly maintain the safety and stability of the supply chain of the industrial chain.Li said China always respects Europe’s integration and is glad to see a unified and prosperous EU:”We are willing to maintain high-level exchanges with Europe, promote pragmatic cooperation and strive to complete the negotiation of the China-EU investment agreement at an early date to better achieve common development,” .

In fact, the most evident result of Trump’s policies has been a direct damage to European economy, heavy duties (for security concerns), by the interruption of trade fluxes, and, last but not least, the direct unfair competition with European goods, the ITA with China resulting in China being obliged to purchase for US§ 193.3 billion instead of 130.7. As a consequence, imports from the EU have declined by 10.8 billion, so reducing European export to China under the American one (always a consequence of the “America First” principle).

I remember that already under Reagan the US utilized the military legislation for curbing the commercial expansion of its allies. Now, pretending that the import of metals from Europe has to be reduced for the national security of the United States amounts to say that the two sides of the Atlantic might have a war between them. If this should be the case, there is a lot of Europe-US business relations which would constitute a danger for the security of Europe: first of all the storage of European data in the US.

OLD-NEW FINANCIAL APPROACHES FOR EUROPE

Walther Rathenau, the author of “The New Economy”

When people say that, after Coronavirus, nothing will remain the same, they refer first of all to economy.According to us, this must go much further, first of all inb the financial sector.

Indeed, we seealready now, in many directions, some signs of change, though balanced by the eternal conservatism of our establishments. From one side, digital currencies are altering already now several aspects of traditional economies, especially as concerns digital payments in China, where digital has become, within the framework of the new web economy of the “BATX”, the prevailing means of payment. Their role has been powerfully enhanced by Coronavirus, because the digital network of Alipay has become the key instrument of virus tracking, and digital payments, not involving the physical handling of money, have been a powerful means of prevention, so to become mandatory in high risk situations like the one of Wuhan.

From another point of view, the whole structure of the economic philosophy underpinning the Euro has been eroded, first of all by Quantitative Easing, then by the ongoing generalized economic crisis, already present before Coronavirus, but worsened by the same. This has brought about the need to find out new thinking modes, which we will outline here, and on which we will revert in the forthcoming publications of Associazione Culturale Diàlexis.

The new Chinese Central Banl Digital Currency: a model worldwide

1.Central Banks Digital Currencies

On May 23, Partha Ray and  Santanu Paul have written, in the Indian newspaper “The Hindu”, a detailed article highlighting the crucial, and revolutionary, features of the new Chinese digital currency.

It is worth wile going through this report, for picking up information and ideas which would be useful also, and especially, for Europe:“While the world is grappling with the fallout of COVID-19 and speculating on how far China can be blamed for the pandemic, a silent digital revolution is taking place in China. On April 29, 2020, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, issued a cryptic press release to the general effect: ‘In order to implement the FinTech Development Plan (2019-2021), the People’s Bank of China has explored approaches to designing an inclusive, prudent and flexible trial-and-error mechanism. In December 2019, a pilot programme was launched in Beijing. To intensively advance the trial work of fintech innovation regulation, the PBoC supports the expansion of the pilot program to cover the cities of Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Suzhou, as well as Xiong’an New Area of Hebei, by guiding licensed financial institutions and tech companies to apply for an innovation test.’ “

In media reports, in the recent past, China has emerged as the capital of the crypto ecosystem, accounting for nearly 90% of trading volumes and hosting two-thirds of bitcoin mining operations. The People’s Bank of China tried hard to curtail this exuberance but achieved limited success.

The benefits of Central Banks Digital Currencies (CBDC) are:

-paper money comes with high handling charges and eats up 1% to 2% of GDP, which can be spared;

-by acting as an antidote for tax evasion, money laundering and terror financing, CBDCs can boost tax revenues while improving financial compliance and national security;

-as a tool of financial inclusion, direct benefit transfers can be instantly delivered by state authorities deep into rural areas, directly into the mobile wallets of citizens who need them

-CBDCs can provide central banks an uncluttered view and powerful insights into purchasing patterns at the citizen scale

A digital currency would be beneficial especially for Europe, which has a dramatical need to increase is own cash creation power without borrowing on international markets. The expertise of the PBoC could be transferred through cooperation within the framework of the new Investment Treaty, whose scope should be enlarged to various aspects of economic cooperation, alongside the path of the Italian Silk Road MOU.

An investigation carried out by the Bank for International Settlements shows that most Central Banks are working out hypotheses of digital currencies, but China is the pioneer, as in all other social innovations and technologies..

Rudolf Hilferding, the theorist of the State-monopoly capital

2.An inversion of attitudes between Europe and USA about strong and weak currrencies

The stress since the start of the Euro had been on the idea of “stability”, -whilst, on the contrary, the monetary policies of the FED and of the Bank of China were stigmatized as politicized and volatile-. Such stress has been reversed by the most recent attitudes of European Institutions.

The ECB had already had recourse, against its natural inclination, to Quantitative Easing, after that Abe and Obama had already made massive use of this instrument following to the Subprime crisis, so rendering it “politically correct”. At the occasion of the Coronavirus crisis, the ECB has made recourse again, more than before, to this instrument, so resulting to be the major source of emergency liquidity in favor of Member States. Now we have a further panoply of emergency and recovery funds, which do not comply any more with the preceding monetary orthodoxy, and that could, and should, open the way to the total reversal of past policies .

Now, it is US president Trump, that, for the sake of preserving the role of the dollar as the reserve currency by excellence, is extolling the virtues of stability, as compared with the weakness of Euro and of Yuan .

This necessitated abrupt change of the European financial policy, though maintained, uo to now, within a strict political and ideological control, cannot avoid to shadeimportant doubts on the traditional metapolitical grand narrative of Euro.

According such narrative, this currency was a cornerstone of the European integration because it embodied to the utmost extent the stability goal attainable by the preeminence of economy over politics, which purportedly was the civilizational achievement of the European Union, rendering it superior to any other political form in history (including the United States). This hegemony of economics corresponded to the ideal of “Douce Commerce” expressed by Benjamin Constant as the landmark of representative constitutionalism, which, by this way, was supposed to set the concrete bases for the “Eternal Peace”, which, according to Kant, would have been grounded on the preeminence of merchant values on the ones of glory a and honour, typical of old monarchies.

Europe could have achieved such goal of “Douce Commerce” because, as stated eventually by Juenger and Schuman, WWII would have shown to Europeans the necessity of avoiding wars, and, therefore, to find a peaceful organization of Europe. Such peaceful Europe would have required giving up strong national identities, and the related cultural atmosphere oriented towards war. This was even the characteristic which distinguished Europe from U.S. (for Kagan, “Europe coming from Venus, US from Mars”). According to this narrative, US hegemony constituted even a blessing, avoiding to Europe the burdens of war and allowing to it to carry out that historical experiment.

Following to a mix of marxist determinism and Rostow’s Development Theory, mainstream Euro ideology maintained that wars are a by-product of economic contradictions. In particular WWII would have been the outcome of Weimar inflation and Great Depression, which, by disenfranchising the German middle-classes, had created the psychological background for Nazi revisionism. By contrast, the new stability policies of the Federal Republic would have been the main instrument for preventing the falling back of Europe, and especially of Germany, into the “cultural atmosphere” of the Thirties (the “Destruction of Reason” described by Lukàcs), which had rendered the Axis possible.

The problem for these theorists is now that the present fall of the economic background set up with the Euro could make possible a disenfranchisement of middle classes parallel to the one of the Thirties and their orientation towards populism, which, at its turn, could make possible the rebirth of violent forms of empowerment (“Selbstbehauptung”).

Albeit the ideological Byzantinism of the above narrative is self-evident, there is something true in its reasoning. The end of the illusion of an unprecedented richness of Europeans, which has been so well cultivated in post-WWII Europe – by the ERP, by the mythologies of neo-realism and of dolce-vita, of welfare State and Occidentalism, had been seriously set in doubt by the 1973 Oil Crisis, by the crises of the Twin Towers and of Subprimes and by the comparative reduction of Europe’s GNP as compared with China and developing countries. The higher growth rate of such countries not having given up to their sovereignty and to a realistic orientation of their ruling classes have shown that Rostow’s Development Theory is not apt to explain the real economic trends of the world.

The need, by European Institutions, to follow , for salvaging European economy, paths alternative to monetarist orthodoxy, such as Quantitative Easing, monetization of debt, deficit spending, State aids, shows that there is no unavoidable trend in world economy, and that Europeans are free again to choose their economic destiny.

According to me, the case of Italy is the most perspicuous. Italy’s economy had grown at a very fast pace before and during the two world wars because the ambitions of the unified State had led it automatically towards expansionism and militarism. Eventually, the huge industrial structures and widespread industrial culture created for the needs of war had purposefully not been destroyed by the Allies because they would have resulted to be too useful after the war. The conversion of Europe from a war economy to a consumption society had brought about the so-called “Italian Miracle”. Unfortunately, since it was just an epiphenomenon of wars, such “Economic Miracle” finished less than 30 years after the war (in 1973, with the Oil Crisis), even if this abrupt end was masked by the increased salaries,inflation , the extension to middle classes of social benefits already accrued to blue collars, and a large dose of propaganda, by State, media, enterprises and trade unions.

Michal Kalecki, the inventor of “Military Keynesism”

3.A further step forward

Presently, the need for a realistic approach to the management of economy is felt more than ever.

At knowledge level, it must result clear that economy is a human science, and, as such, it is not an exact science. As a consequence, all of its theories, stories, approaches, solutions, are always very subjective.

Second, at meta-political level, the fact that war has not appeared, at least in Europe since WWII, in the traditional forms of direct and massive violence, does not impede that a “war without limits” is carried out every day under our eyes, with propaganda,mafia, excellent murders, military expenses, ethnic wars, terrorism, espionage, extraordinary renditions, humanitarian wars. A State which gives up to counter this kinds of violence carried out by other States or organizations against itself, its territory, its citizens, its economy, is damned to disappear within a short period of time.

At political level, this situation is opening up the possibility to discuss concretely each specific issue on a solid basis, showing which have been the mystifications and the mistakes of the past, the political distortions influencing still now a correct strategical approach, and in any case proposing alternative paths, apt to reverse the structural weaknesses of European economies.

It is loughly is that, when thinking of the “necessary reforms” of our economies, everybody thinks of the reduction of employment and social benefits, as well as a further minimization of the role of States.

Unfortunately, these processes, which have been the most evident causes of acceleration of Europe’s decline, are not the ones apt to reverse it. On the contrary, a serious “reform” should start from a thorough study (now possible thanks to Big Data), of what Europeans are really doing and of what the market really need.

There will be many great surprises.

Such study would bring us to ascertain that, today, the largest part of Europeans is not present on the labor market (because many women work at home, the number of pensioners is growing exponentially, young people do not start working before 20 years, there is a lot of unemployed and under-employed workers, sick persons and prisoners. Secondly, most people who are employed are producing things which are relatively not useful for European societies (such as the huge amount of commercial businesses, which now are almost bankrupt, or the production of luxury cars, which have no market, or military bureaucracy, deriving from the existence of 40 different armies), whilst, on the contrary, products and services which are badly needed, either for homeconsumption (such as education, research, industrial restructuring services, maintenance of territories), are not produced by anybody.

Today, the European market, left to itself, is not able to match society’s needs with workforce availability. Europe must set up, first of all, the Big Data which will be able to map this situation and provide for a general plan for the next 7 years, during which people will be trained, financing will be provided, enterprises will be restructured, employees will be hired, in such way that all necessary activities will be carried out by somebody, and that everybody finds an occupation corresponding to his skills.

All this has not very much to do with Keynesianism, which is just one of the options within the prevailing American- type liberalism. We cannot call it “corporatism”, nor “State command economy”, both having resulted, in the government practices of the XX century, to be just two alternatives compatible with Western globalization, all of them falling within the Aristotelian definition of “Chrematistiké”.

That “good government”should be an application, in practice, of the ideas of Aristoteles about “oikonomìa” as alternative to “chrematistiké”, or, in a more recent application, of the ones of Hilfereding, about “Staatsmonopolistischer Kapitalismus” or of Kalecki, about “military Keynesism”.

The overall scheme of tEuropean recovery interventions

4. A European NATO-like Emergency Service

The problem of the European post-Coronavirus interventions is that the very complex structure of the European Union renders its intervention slow, ineffective and not transparent.

In fact:

1)each action has to go through:

-a proposal phase (through Member States, and Commission);

-a decision-making phase (ECB, Council, Parliament)

-an implementing phase (Financial markets, Governments and Parliaments)

-an administrative phase (Ministries, Regions, banks);

-a jurisdictional control.

b)Each phase imply lengthy negotiations with egoistic interests, which hinder emergency interventions (Member States, Central Banks, political parties, Ministers, enterprises, professions, regions, cities):

-disputes about the nature of the aids;

-US interferences;

-instrumental polemics;

-media manipulations;

-personal ambitions;

-organised crime;

-unconscionable citizens’attitudes;

c)it is impossible to understand really what happens (Byzantinism of European regulations; uncomplete nature of compromise regulations; need of national implementing activities;fraudulent implementation):

-the swinging attitudes of financial markets;

-the upredictable impact of the financial compact;

-the ever changing decisions of parliaments, goverments, regions and mayors.

The EU authorities would have liked to be able (as Josep Borrell dreamed), to send armored convoys with European flags to bring first aid to victim popuilations. On the contrary, whilst Chinese, Russian, Cuban and Albanian aid arrrived physically and officially within a few days from the requests of the relevant governments, European aid has nort yet arrived, and will never arrived with military medica and with European flags.

Under these conditions,how to be surprised that most Italians consider China as the most friendly country?

This constitutes an objactive drawback of the European system. Ursula von der Leyen, David Sassoli,Josep Borrell, Paolo Gentiloni and Dubravka Suica must work harder on that, creating a complete system of European enìmergency intervention, if necessary as a joint intergovermment project, like NATO, with own dotations, own personnel, equipment, stock, commandment, without being bound to discuss everything with everybody.

CIRCA GLI AIUTI MEDICI ALL’ ITALIA E IL DOPO CORONAVIRUS

Italia

E’indecoroso come, di fronte alla gravità di un’epidemia che colpisce il mondo intero, fa migliaia di morti e smentisce provvidenzialmente le pretese di onnipotenza della megamacchina tecnocratica mondiale, tutti, anziché presentare, sostenere (al limite combattere per) delle concrete soluzioni, si siano invece scatenati in una polemica infinita per distribuire meriti e demeriti “pro domo sua”.

Uno dei casi tipici è costituito dalla polemica sugli aiuti cinesi e russi all’ Europa, che non è certo limitata all’ Italia, né al Coronavirus. Anche perché gli aiuti cinesi sono arrivati non solo all’ Italia, ma anche  a Spagna, Irlanda, Belgio, Repubblica Ceca, Austria, Ungheria, Serbia e Grecia, e perfino agli USA. Proprio allo scopo di riportare il tutto su un piano di dibattito obiettivo, occorre inquadrare la questione nel suo contesto generale.

Austria

 

L’accordo EU-Cina sugl’investimenti

Non che non esistano sostanziose ragioni di conflitto sul tema. L’Unione Europea si era impegnata l’anno scorso, con un protocollo firmato con il Premier Li Keqiang, a firmare finalmente quest’anno a Lipsia (città di Angela Merkel) il trattato sulla protezione degl’investimenti, le cui trattative sono in corso dal 2012. Questa firma costituirebbe uno smacco per gli Stati Uniti, che non hanno mai riconosciuto l’UE come un partner di pari livello. Di qui i ritardi, dovuti anche al tentativo di fare firmare prima il TTPI, che avrebbe sancito l’isolamento della Cina. Essendo il TPPI morto e sepolto, ora non resta che firmare con la Cina.

A questo punto si è mosso George Soros, il quale, con il suo recente articolo su “Project Syndicate”, ha chiesto nientepopodimeno che: (i)la UE non firmi il trattato con la Cina; (ii) il PCC destituisca Xi Jinping per una sua pretesa cattiva gestione dell’epidemia (https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/china-huawei-threat-to-european-values-by-george-soros-2020-02).  Quindi, il coronavirus è soltanto un preteso per un conflitto ben più generale.

E’ ovvio comunque che, con pressioni di tale fatta, tutti, dai politici ai funzionari UE, ai giornalisti, si siano affrettati a prendere le distanze dalla Cina. E’ stata perfino più obiettiva la posizione assunta dalla Voice of America, la quale (https://www.voanews.com/science-health/coronavirus-outbreak/chinese-virus-aid-europe-raises-long-term-concerns)  prende obiettivamente atto che, e per la sua forza intrinseca, e per essersi già liberata dall’ epidemia, la Cina è l’unica forza capace di sostenere l’ Europa nella prossima crisi economica.

Belgio

Aiuti extraeuropei e European Way of Life

Anche l’Alto Rappresentante UE Josep Borrell si è detto preoccupato di questa crescente influenza cinese, che, a suo avviso, mirerebbe “a screditare l’Unione Europea”(e perché non gli Stati Uniti?). L’articolista di Atlanticoquotidiano, Federico Punzi, con un intervento ripreso sul blog di Rinascimento Europeo, se la prende invece soprattutto con gli aiuti russi, forniti attraverso l’unità NBC (nucleare, chimica e batteriologica) dell’esercito, al quale il Governo italiano avrebbe fornito troppa visibilità.

Non capisco queste preoccupazioni, e, in particolare, quelle della Unione.

Da un lato, l’Unione Europea sostiene che il suo compito è difendere la “European Way of Life”. Dall’ altro, all’inizio del secolo XXI, l’Europa era completamente immersa nell’ influenza americana; dalla lettura della storia all’ideologia politica, dalle lobbies all’informatica, dall’esercito all’ economia, dalla cultura al costume, tant’è vero che c’era lo slogan “siamo tutti americani”. Dov’era allora la “European Way of Life”?

Nel corso di questi ultimi vent’anni, qualche piccolo aspetto dell’”America Mondo”(Antonio Valladao), più che altro simbolico, è stato già messo in discussione. Tutto sommato, l’ Islam non è più una cosa diabolica, i Russi sono stati capaci di sconfiggere qualche alleato degli USA e di riportare una qualche pace in Siria, e hanno cambiato la loro costituzione, inserendo un richiamo agli antenati e alla fede ortodossa, la Cina ha superato gli USA in quanto a potere reale d’acquisto e la Turchia si è fornita di missili russi per prevenire un eventuale aiuto esterno ad un eventuale nuovo tentativo di “regime change” come gli ultimi due tentati golpe. Tuttavia, la gran parte delle nostre vite, pubbliche e private,  è ancora condizionata massicciamente dall’influenza americana: il Complesso Informatico-Militare,  la protestantizzazione del cattolicesimo, la NATO, il signoraggio del dollaro, ecc…

Serbia

Il dialogo con l’Eurasia: lievito per un dibattito interno.

Coloro che affermano continuamente di volere un’ “Europa  sovrana”, capace di decidere il proprio destino (appunto, la “European Way of Life” per dirla con Ursula von der Leyen, un’aristocratica gran dama tedesca ben diversa dagli sguaiati politici americani), non possono che auspicare ulteriori scalfitture a questo controllo dominante, che ci consegna legati mani e piedi a un futuro transumanista. Per esempio, attraverso una maggiore apertura dell’Europa al dibattito culturale e all’ interscambio economico e tecnologico con l’Eurasia, oggi inceppato dai dazi, dalle sanzioni, boicottaggi e diktat, ma, soprattutto, dalle censure ideologiche. Da tutto ciò potrebbero venire almeno degli spunti per una revisione della vulgata storica “occidentalista” che parte da Cristoforo Colombo, passa dalla Riforma e dalle Rivoluzioni Atlantiche, per terminare con la “liberazione”, il Piano Marshall e la Fine della Storia. Come pure di una retorica dei diritti a cui corrisponde di fatto una continua restrizione della libertà di parola e della capacità dei cittadini d’influenzare la cosa pubblica. E, infine, una lotta non più solo cartacea della UE contro la NSA, Google, Facebook ed Amazon. Tuttavia, anche allora, saremmo ancora soltanto all’inizio dell’opera.

Infatti, dato che non esiste, in Europa, nessun importante soggetto, né culturale, né sociale, né politico, né militare, capace di sostenere tale politica veramente europea, tutto ciò potrà essere fatto solo sfruttando  gli spazi di libertà indotti nella società europea dalla concorrenza fra Americani, Cinesi, Russi, ma ormai anche Arabi, Israeliani e perfino Cubani. Una volta tanto, invece di combattere noi per altri, lasciamo che altri combattano per noi. Questo non significa affatto che dobbiamo diventare dei cow-boys, comunisti, cosacchi, imam, chassidim o barbudos. Perciò, prepariamoci a prendere in mano la situazione, con idee molto più chiare di quante ve ne siano adesso.

Quanto all’ Italia, in un’Europa veramente autonoma, essa avrebbe certamente un peso molto maggiore, perché cadrebbero proprio i motivi di sottovalutazione del nostro Paese che lo isolano politicamente (l’incapacità di seguire fino in fondo i modelli puritani; la prevalenza, sull’industria, dei servizi, che si scontra con la volontà dell’ America di riservarsi  questo settore; la capacità di coalizione con i Paesi mediterranei, anche quelli che oggi non sono membri della UE). Per questo, è molto sospetto il fatto che politici e intellettuali che si pretendono conservatori, anziché salutare con gioia l’arrivo di aiuti dall’unico Paese europeo che esalta nella propria costituzione tradizioni e religione, se ne dicano preoccupati.

Infine, per tornare al Coronavirus, nessuno ha potuto criticare nel merito l’arrivo degli aiuti cinesi, russi o cubani, perché ce n’è bisogno, in quanto gli Stati europei sono stati estremamente improvvidi. Mascherine e respiratori fanno parte delle scorte strategiche della guerra nucleare, chimica e batteriologica (NBC), tant’è vero che la Francia ne aveva addirittura miliardi. Tuttavia, sempre nell’ assurdo affidamento sugli Stati Uniti, perfino le scorte francesi si sono esaurite.

Prima la Cina e l’Organizzazione Mondiale (OMS) della Sanità, poi le lobby americane, avevano già ammonito l’anno scorso sui rischi di una pandemia di Coronavirus, prima, con il lancio, con il Forum di Pechino della Via della Seta, della “Via della Seta della Salute”, con la partecipazione del Presidente dell’OMS, poi, con l’ “Event 201”, a New York, del Forum di Davos, della Fondazione Gates e dalla John Hopkins University.

Naturalmente, i governi non si erano mossi, e ora solo i giganti eurasiatici si rivelano pronti, per la loro mole e per l’elevato livello di preparazione bellica. Si noti, per esempio, che il Governo indiano, che non per nulla aveva creato da tempo il movimento popolare sanitario Fitindia, è stato in grado di ordinare il lockout simultaneo di un miliardo e trecentomila abitanti, in anticipo sullo scoppio dell’epidemia.

Grecia

Dopo il coronavirus ci vorrà un’altra economia

Atlanticoquotidiano lamenta che noi ci staremmo comportando come dei “paesi in via di sviluppo”. In realtà, noi siamo attualmente proprio dei “Paesi in via di sottosviluppo”. Nessuno dei meccanismi oggi in discussione in Europa è in grado di rovesciare questo sottosviluppo, perché non basta allentare i vincoli di bilancio se non c’è un piano unitario e gli Stati membri continuano a gestire l’emergenza con i soliti criteri pseudo-liberistici e in sostanza assistenzialistici, sotto un blando coordinamento UE. Tutti i soldi che comunque gli Stati investiranno per rilanciare l’economia dovrebbero essere destinati a creare nuove attività nei settori tecnologici più promettenti, nonché legati alla sanità, che richiedono un’enorme concentrazione degli sforzi, e, soprattutto, un appoggio politico sul piano internazionale.

Riccardo Lala*

*Articolo pubblicato contemporaneamente su  Rinascimento Europeo