An unusual history book has just appeared on the American book market, a book that definitely deserves the interest of European, especially German, readers. The author is a young Canadian historian who looks far ahead into the past and who has also made a name for himself through intrusive journalism. Interestingly, the author with his idiosyncratic understanding of history sees himself as an expert on the New Silk Road, whose roots are apparently buried deep in American soil, as he will show.

However, I was   initially drawn to the chapter on the former slave Frederick Douglass (1817-1895), a companion of Abraham Lincoln, contributed by Cynthia Chung, Matthew’s life and work companion. Although F. Douglass, who later became Consul General of Haiti, had the great aim of freeing the slaves while he was still   an adviser to President   Lincoln (1809-1865) during the American Civil War (1861-1865)   , he was a strategic thinker also understood that the unity of the nation could not be sacrificed to the abolitionist cause. Like Abraham Lincoln, Frederic Douglass understood that there was a long way to go in this conflict  more than one civil war went on. There was a struggle for an anti-colonial, a democratic mission against the British Empire. It was the Empire that fueled this war with all sorts of weapons. The south was to be kept in agricultural underdevelopment and dependency, to provide cheap raw materials for British industrial production and, above   all, to   undo the detachment of its former American colony. 

Because he opposed the imperial claims to power, President Lincoln – like so many leading figures in the North American world before and after him – was killed at   the height of his work. “A government of the people, a government by the people and for the people” represented by Lincoln at   Gettysburg was clearly a thorn in the side of the Empire. As we learn from Ehret, it directed the elimination of   the popular president from Crown Land Canada, another   nest of British agents alongside the southern states .

In fact, the well-documented first volume   of the sequel project “an unfinished symphony” reads like an agent novel in parts. It’s about the momentous, combative conflict between two obviously irreconcilable worlds of ideas, about ideas and concepts. It’s about conspiracies and assassinations to undermine undesirable political and economic decisions. The consequences of the successive, physical elimination of the supporters of what Ehret calls the “American system of political economy” are not only felt   very sensitively by the citizens of the USA to this day. The consequences of the perversion of an initially in the truest sense of the word constructive project are borne by the whole world to this day in the form of an endless chain of wars and “color revolutions”. 

Benjamin West’s unfinished painting “The Peace Treaty in Paris 1783” reflects the unwillingness of the British to implement this treaty. The ‘American Revolution’ therefore remains an unredeemed project to this day. Ehret’s choice of the cover picture thus harbors a deep symbolism, which the author tries to give shape to every page of his work. As a patriotic American, Canadian, Quebecian, he ties in with the positive, forward-looking, promising ideas of his country fathers and at the same time pursues universal history in the best sense of our historian (!) Friedrich Schiller. So – contrary to the zeitgeist – he pays tribute to the authors of the Declaration of Independence and Human Rights as the founders of an American project that inspires humanity.

The researcher and world-wandering network founder, once ambassador to France, Ben Franklin had something else in mind than the continuation of imperialist conquests in the British style. His ideas laid the foundations for the subsequent   French Revolution. He and his colleagues for the “American model of political economy”  aimed at liberation, humanization, international understanding, value creation through productive investment, development through industrialization and expansion of infrastructure, protective tariffs for the domestic economy, a system of national banks to finance investment projects. Such was diametrically opposed to the British disorder of exploitation. The British had not the slightest interest in the advancement of their colonies. They apparently worked against the constructive networks of the Franklins and Lincoln’s, which ran as far as Morocco, India and Russia  their conspiratorial secret societies in the shape of a Klu-Klux-Klan or in the form of Thomas Huxley’s X-Club, the Fabier Society, the Cecile Rhodes Round Table Association and much more. In such a way, major projects such as the Bering Strait continental connection, which was made possible by the low-price sale of Alaska to independent America, were undone.

You can feel that someone is writing here who sees the future in large, global infrastructure projects. You can feel the interest of the North American historian in giving back to the American people a positive vision based in the past. Such a vision seems sorely needed at a historic moment when America is staggering from defeat to defeat and is in danger of burying the rest of the world under its ruins.

A positive vision, such as that which Matthew Ehret seeks to advance from the standpoint of a Canadian patriot, is sorely needed for all of us these days. Indeed, it does not seem insignificant to delimit valuable ideas from the past against destructive delusions and to attach more value to the struggle of ideas than it   has been customary in general, but especially in the left.

In the age of mass psychological manipulation on a very large scale, in a time when human existence as such is endangered by transhumanistic misconceptions of Ray Kurzweil and eugenics is making its way again, it makes sense to explore the origin of such misanthropic dystopia.

Matthew Ehret, not a leftist, but a spiritual humanist with his latest book offers us a lot of material knowledge and a new look at a world that has shaped ours and is ours.


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See the introduction online in German

-Irene Eckert, Editor-in-Chief of The Working Group for Peace Policy – Nuclear Weapons-Free Europe/Arbeitskreis für Friedenspolitik unerlässlich.