|This address appears in the November 4, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
SCHILLER INSTITUTE CONFERENCE, OCtTOBER 29
LaRouche’s Four Laws for World Recovery
Many military experts agree that the strategic situation today is more dangerous than during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. And if you look at the policies proposed by such people as General Petraeus or Senator McCain, or if Hillary Clinton does what she threatened in the election campaign, if she becomes President, namely to establish a no-fly zone in Syria—you have the immediate possibility for a direct military encounter between the United States and Russia, and the situation could get out of control instantly.
There have been many incidents in the last several months, in which Russian fighter jets almost had encounters with U.S. warships, and one Russian military expert said it quite adequately; he said, “If the fate of mankind depends on the ability of a pilot to avoid an accident, we are really in very, very dangerous waters.”
There is at the same time a full-fledged nuclear armaments race, and at a recent military conference in Beijing, both Russian and Chinese military experts said that the U.S. preparations for a first strike against Russia and China are very much advanced, based on the Prompt Global Strike doctrine. And that therefore, Russia and China have to take appropriate countermeasures.
It is a complete illusion to think you can win a regional nuclear war and that you can take out the second-strike capability of a country like Russia, for example, if you think about the vast number of nuclear missiles distributed around the globe. I think that we are therefore faced,— and in the 1980s, when you had the intermediate-range missile crisis, people were extremely aware of the danger of nuclear war, and you had hundreds of thousands of people in the streets; yet now, when the danger, according to these experts, is more dangerous than during the Cuban Missile Crisis, there is almost no public discussion or awareness of the situation.
But that is maybe now the most acute and most dramatic crisis, but we are looking, really, at a complete civilizational crisis. Because look at the drug epidemic, the drug production coming from Afghanistan, Colombia, and other places, hitting so many people in the United States, driving them toward suicide. You have the unprecedented spread of violence, of police, but also pupils, students killing each other. You have a terrible brutalization of society. Look at the youth culture, which is completely barbarian.
So there is a very widespread cultural pessimism, at least in the trans-Atlantic world, and the situation naturally in Southwest Asia is very, very desperate, and the African situation is equally horrible; so that alone this year, already officially, more than 4,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean, trying to escape war and famine.
The big question is, is there a way out of this? Is there reason for hope? Can mankind turn this situation around? And I think there is! There are two factors which cause me to say that this situation can be remedied. One is that about three years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the New Silk Road, which is the largest infrastructure project on this planet. It involves almost $2 trillion equivalent in investment; already 100 nations and organizations are participating; it involves already 4.4 billion people, and it is based on infrastructure building, development, research, and innovation, and it is improving the life for every country which participates.
At the same time, China and the BRICS countries have developed a parallel system of banks, not devoted to casino speculation, but to investment in real industry: The Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank, the New Development Bank, the Silk Road Fund, the Maritime Silk Road Fund. And all of these banks are starting to function and give credit for investment. So that is an initiative which is spreading, and it could be potentially enlarged to reconstruct the countries which have been destroyed by war in Southwest Asia. Already between China and Iran, it has been built; it could be extended into Iraq and Syria; it could help to reconstruct Afghanistan, and the entire region.
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So this is a realistic option, and just now President Putin has declared at the annual conference of the Valdai Club, that Russia wants to take a big role in the reconstruction of the Middle East, Southwest Asia.2 And India had earlier said that it also wants to take a big initiative in this. So there are signs of hope.
But the second area has to come from the conscious decision that the world needs a new paradigm, that if we stay within the axioms of the present paradigm of geopolitics and globalization, I don’t think we can solve it. What we need to do, is have a Renaissance, a cultural Renaissance starting from the idea that man is not a beast, and even if many people are behaving in a bestial way these days, man is the only creation, or the only species which is capable of overcoming any limit, of his own mind and of technological problems. Anything mankind wants to tackle, we can do.
That idea that mankind is the creative species, must become the true identity of our species. We have to start with a definition of what are the common aims of that human species. We should look at where we want the future to be. Where do we want this human race to be in 1,000 years, or in 10,000 years? From the standpoint of universal history, that is a very, very small amount of time. And it is very clearly only going to be possible to survive if we move away from the narrow interest of one country or a group of nations, that defines a geopolitical interest against another nation or group of nations. In other words, geopolitics has to stop, once and for all.
We are now at a point where we have to be able to take the viewpoint of the astronauts, the cosmonauts, or the taikonauts, looking from space at our planet. And what they see is a very small, fragile planet, where you don’t see borders, you don’t see wars, you just see one planet which is the place where the one human species lives. And from that viewpoint of these astronauts, you can also at least get a sense of the incredible depth and breadth of our Solar system, the Galaxy, and our Universe at large. And it is also clear that we must understand the laws of our Universe much, much better than we do right now, and that we have to define our activities from the standpoint of finding the proper cohesion of man’s activity with the lawfulness of the Universe, and that that is the only way that our long-term survivability will be guaranteed.
It is what the great German space researcher Krafft Ehricke called the “extraterrestrial imperative,” namely, that it is only when man becomes a space-travelling species that we are forced to bring our activity into cohesion with the actual laws of the universe, because otherwise we cannot survive.
It is also clear that we need a cultural Renaissance, because it’s never technology which does good or bad or evil. It is always man who brings these technologies to a good use or an evil use. And the Schiller Institute is called the “Schiller Institute” because I believe that it is only through the aesthetical education of man, turning his creative ability free, that we can really live as human beings. And the image of how human beings will relate to each other in the future: Will that be the way geniuses such as Max Planck and Albert Einstein communicated? Or Friedrich Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Goethe, and other people from the German Classical period?
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painting by Gerard Terborch
Nicholas of Cusa—the founder of the modern nation-state and modern science in the Fifteenth Century—enunciated a very important principle: He said that the only reason that nations and cultures are able to communicate, is that each of them produces scientists, artists, musicians, and other people who believe in universal principles, who can communicate with each other because these universal principles are true everywhere—and that’s why they’re called “universal.”
We need to have a new approach for a kind of Peace of Westphalia, for the Middle East, Southwest Asia, in particular, because why was the Peace of Westphalia able to end not only the Thirty Years’ War, but a period of 150 years of religious wars? Because people recognized that if the killing continued, that in the end there would be nobody left to enjoy the outcome.
Henry Kissinger said a couple of years ago that the Peace of Westphalia applies everywhere else, but not for Southwest Asia. I think that is fundamentally false; we have to have a global solution in which the Silk Road becomes a World Land-Bridge, and we must have an economic reconstruction program for the entire Southwest Asia region, and also naturally Africa. And we must combine that with a cultural Renaissance and a Renaissance movement, in which people unite around the reallization that the world has reached a point of barbarism—that if we continue on this path, we may not make it as a species. And therefore, I want to invite all of you to participate in creating a true, worldwide Renaissance movement.