Germany Needs a Visionby Helga Zepp-LaRouche
For Eurasian Development
Here is the presentation of Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche to EIR's Berlin seminar, on June 28. Her speech followed an hour of discussion, sparked by the keynote speech Lyndon LaRouche gave in the morning (see last week's EIR). Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche had recently announced her candidacy for Chancellor of Germany, as head of her party's slate, the Civil Rights Movement Solidarity, or BüSo.
Existential Crisis Facing Germany
I am very happy about the discussion erupting in this way, because I think now we can get into the kind of dialogue, on which obstacles need to be overcome, to actually find a solution out of this crisis. Given the fact that we are here, sitting in Berlin, the capital of Germany, and in three days from now, the question of confidence will be asked by Chancellor Schröder, and then the President will make a decision if there are early elections or not; given the role of Germany in this present world configuration, I wish to address the German situation in particular, both the crisis in Germany, and my view on how to overcome this crisis in German politics.
The problem we face in Germany right now, since unfortunately what Lyn is saying [about impeaching Bush and Cheney] has not yet happened—Cheney and Bush are still there—and therefore, we are faced with the absence of leadership from the United States, on the one side; and, we are faced with the very breathtakingly fast disintegration of Europe, at least in the form of the European Union. And therefore, given the fact that all of this is taking place, in the context of the financial collapse, and the economic collapse, there is a real tendency toward ungovernability in Germany. The German economy is already functioning below breakeven, at least from the standpoint of physical economy. We have officially 5 million, but in reality 9 million, unemployed. That is 3 million more unemployed than in 1933. And we have the annual collapse of more than 40,000 Mittelstand, middle-level industries, for the last several years in a row.
This would have been much worse, if we had not compensated the dramatic collapse of the domestic economy by a rather successful increase in the export ratios. Otherwise, the impact would have been much worse.
The big problem is, that the Red-Green coalition is inherently unable to cope with this crisis. The problem started, basically, when the Social Democratic Party went out of government in 1982, with [Helmut] Schmidt going out of government, and when the SPD developed the idea that they had to go into the opposition to retool themselves, basically into a "green" orientation. And that green orientation within the SPD itself, became then also the basis for the Red-Green coalition.
Now, I personally think that Chancellor Schröder has the potential of making abrupt policy changes. He did so in the Federal election in 2002; when he realized in August that he was looking bad in the polls, he very quickly dumped the situation with the Iraq War, and turned the election situation around within four weeks. So, I think he personally does have the leadership quality to make these kinds of policy moves. But, basically, this cannot be done with the present coalition partner, the Greens, because the Greens are blocking any kind of reform which the SPD would need. And, as I said, the other problem is that the SPD itself is so loaded with green ideology, that, with the exception of such people as Dr. [Claus] Noé, whose greetings we heard this morning, the SPD is inherently very badly situated to address the reasons for the economic collapse.
Well, without that green contamination of the SPD, which is a severe problem, the neo-liberal policy of the Agenda 2010 and Hartz IV—which are complete atrocities and mean the destruction of the social state as it has developed in Germany since the Bismarck reforms, which Lyn already mentioned—without such green contamination, this would have been completely impossible.
Now, that internal weakness of the SPD, was also the reason why they have not been able to buck the insane Stability Pact of the Maastricht Treaty, and the inability to distinguish between the question of an operational government budget, and capital investment budgets for basic infrastructure and other areas of the common good, and the creation of the framework conditions for productive investment. If that distinction had been made, the current catastrophic collapse of employment could have been avoided.
The real problem, however, is that the opposition parties, the CDU, CSU, and FDP are far, far worse than anything in the SPD, even if the SPD is pretty rotten. If the SPD has moved away from the Kurt Schumacher/Bad Godesberger tradition, which constituted the Social Democracy as a pro-working-class, pro-social market party, this is even much more true for the CDU [Christian Democratic Union], which has completely abandoned the philosophy of Konrad Adenauer, and its Christian social market orientation. The CDU/CSU right now is completely dominated with neo-liberal neo-conservative orientations of the Mont Pelerin Society, and the few proponents of the old social market philosophy have been driven out of the party, or into isolation within the party.
Therefore, the prospect of a Merkel Chancellorship with possibly Stoiber as Foreign Minister, who regards Mr. Sarkozy [new French Interior Minister] as his very dear friend; and a Chancellor Merkel who thinks that the very same Kissinger—who was just characterized by Lyn as a genocidalist, because of his memorandum NSSM 200, from 1974—this would really mean doom and disaster for Germany. For the rest of the parties, the FDP is also a complete disaster, a Mont Pelerin disaster, to be more precise. The Greens are probably politically as good as dead. And the so-called New Left Party, the WASGPDS, or whatever their name will be, has zero program to address the economic-financial crisis. The problem with the PDS, is that there are no intellectual thinkers. There is nobody approximating the economic competence of a Lenin, or a Rosa Luxemburg, or anything like that, but they have turned into complete pragmatics! I looked for thinkers, and I couldn't find one.
So therefore, if you look at this picture, we face, really, an existential crisis in Germany—a crisis which is not caused by Germany, but which, in the present constellation, Germany is completely unable to deal with from a national sovereign standpoint.
The Circumstances of Reunification
Another factor of the situation, is the circumstances of German unification from 1989-90, which happened 16 years ago: that German unification was allowed only by forcing Germany to swallow a poison pill. In 1989-90, I made many speeches in first west and east Germany, and then eastern Europe, then the former Soviet Union—CIS countries—in which I warned, that if they would make the mistake, to impose on a completely bankrupt Communist system, an equally bankrupt free-market-economy system, then this, in a couple years, would lead to a much more dramatic financial collapse—which is exactly what happened. And please remember the Encyclical by Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, which he published in 1987, in which he said, that the fact that the Communist system had collapsed should not lead to arrogance on the part of people on the side of the free-market economy, because there were "structures of sin" both in the East and in the West, and one only had to look at the condition of the so-called Third World to see how evil the structures of sin of the Western system were. And if you look at the world today, this Pope has proven to be absolutely on the mark.
Now, this poison pill which Germany was forced to swallow as a price for unification: One poison in it was the forced early European Monetary Union, the fact that the euro replaced the d-mark.
The radical reform policy for the new states in the east was another component of the poison, because it led to complete deindustrialization. And today, in the so-called new states in the east, you have towns and cities where the average age is over 60 years! No young people! Because there are absolutely no job opportunities for the youth.
So, if you look at all of these aspects, with the absolutely astounding economic incompetence of a possible CDU government, if we would go ahead with the present configuration of political forces, we will have, for sure, a social explosion in this country of unprecedented dimensions, and therefore, chaos, dictatorship, would be the perspective.
Destruction of Russia and Eastern Europe
Now, another part of the poison pill which Germany was forced to swallow, was the geopolitical destruction of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The imposition of the unbridled free-market economy, which had various sophistic names—"reforms," "Polish model" of Jeffrey Sachs, "shock therapy"—all of these are just euphemisms for the destruction of the economy. And in the case of Russia, these so-called reforms, in a few years, led to the destruction of the Russian economy, leaving Russia with only 30% of its industrial capacity, as compared to what it was in 1991.
The reality was, the economies of the Comecon [Soviet-dominated Council for Mutual Economic Assistance] were not obsolete, at least not from the standpoint of physical economy. Because, if you had taken the economies of the Comecon countries and given them to African countries, they would have been happy to have these economies. They were only obsolete from the standpoint of the competitiveness on the world market.
And therefore, we proposed at the time the so-called "Productive Triangle Paris-Vienna-Berlin," which was a program to build a network of infrastructure corridors into the east, using the existing industries of Eastern Europe, to build infrastructure—which was the main thing which was neglected by the Communist system of the Soviet Union and the Comecon—and basically, only after these industries would have been used up, so to speak, by building infrastructure, and then replacing them with Western technologies, then you would have had a real reconstruction program for the East.
Now, as you know, this was not done. Instead, there was a geopolitical attack: Herrhausen was killed; Rohwedder was killed; there was a complete blackmail against Germany with Margaret Thatcher's "Fourth Reich" campaign; with [French President François] Mitterrand demanding the destruction of the d-mark; with the older Bush Administration, the New American Century doctrine, which was at least pronounced by Rumsfeld, Cheney, and such people—all of this was not done.
Nevertheless, when the Soviet Union finally disintegrated in '91, we enlarged this idea for all of Eurasia, and proposed the Eurasian Land-Bridge, which is the idea of an integrated, high-speed railway system: maglev, highways, waterways, computer stations, and 100 km-wide infrastructure corridors, basically as a single integrated Eurasian Verkehrswegenetz, total infrastructure network, to basically bring the land-locked areas of Eurasia out of their being land-locked, and give them the same economic significance as the coastal areas of Eurasia would have.
Basically, the idea was, to continue where World War I had interrupted the process of Eurasian integration, with the Trans-Siberian Railway, with the Berlin-Baghdad Railway, and so forth.
If this had been done, instead of the neo-liberal so-called "reforms" (which is better called neo-liberal destruction), the former Comecon countries would have become significant partners, not only for Germany, but for all of Western Europe, and Germany would not face the economic problems it has right now.
For Germany, this is still the key. Why? Why does Germany need Eurasian economic cooperation, to come out of its present crisis? Because of Bismarck's industrial and social reforms, Germany achieved an outstanding living standard. It could afford an excellent health system, an excellent social system. Why? Because, despite the fact that Germany had no significant raw materials, we had basically always a very high ratio of science and technology, and therefore an increase in the productivity of production—and, producing excellent products on a world-class level, 40% of exports; and these two components meant that Germany could be one of the leading economic nations in the world. The source of Germany's wealth was always this: the focus on infrastructure, industry, agriculture, as drivers of the economy; and the high export rate of up to 40%.
But through this unbelievable geopolitical stupidity, the great historical chance of 1989 was missed. And instead of putting the East-West relation in Eurasia on a completely new basis of cooperation, and to establish a real peace order for the 21st Century, this was not done. As I said, in the first Bush Administration, they wanted to become a world empire at a moment when there was no normal adversary any more. You had Thatcher's own geopolitical designs; Mitterrand wanted the destruction of the German economy, even if that meant the destruction of France itself!—if you look at the entanglement of these two economies. And there was a common denominator between those European oligarchical tendencies and the U.S. oligarchical tendency, to turn Russia into a Third World country, a raw material producer, to eliminate a competitor on the world market forever.
But by destroying the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, they destroyed the very markets on which the long-term success of German and West European economies would have depended.
The Current Global Context
Okay, we have made this mistake. Now, we are facing exactly the large crash we were warning about in '89-90, and therefore, there is only one opportunity and that is, to put the Eurasian Land-Bridge back on the agenda. Despite the problems we have heard, I agree with Mr. [Chandrajit] Yadav [of India], that despite the difficulties, there is a very strong motion to put the strategic partnership, Russia-China-India, on the table, and that is a desire which has been accelerated by the occurrence of Sept. 11 and the understanding of many forces in these countries to oppose the idea of a world U.S. empire. And therefore, this Strategic Triangle, even if it's weak and too slow, is becoming a center of gravity for other Asian countries: such as Southeast Asia, South Korea, and potentially even Japan. (Japan is in a very mixed situation: On the one side, they are gripped by the control of the "Washington Consensus." On the other side, Japan is in the same situation as Germany, having no raw materials, and being in absolute dependency on long-term developing markets in Asia.)
The same is true for Germany and Western Europe in general. Europe needs long-term, expanding markets, long-term raw materials supplies, and long-term multi-level trade cooperation. Therefore, unless the Eurasian Land-Bridge is put on the table, as a total infrastructure network at once—and what I mean by "at once," is that, rather than building a railway from South Korea to North Korea, building the Messina Bridge, building another bridge from Denmark to Germany; what I think is needed, is the vision of governments to put the Eurasian Land-Bridge on the agenda as one integrated (I only know this word in German) Eurasia Verkehrswege Plan, which has the entire development plan for the next 50 years as a plan!
A Vision for the Future
So that then, each country can start building its part, and that a vision which elevates everybody above the regional conflicts—and, admittedly, Central Asia and all of these regional conflicts, I'm fully aware of. But, what is the problem? It's a lack of economic development! It's poverty! And once people have the vision that there is a perspective of improvement, that there is a level of reason which is higher and more compelling, than all the historical difficulties among the different countries, I'm absolutely certain that the way out can be found.
Therefore, what we need is a vision: to combine the industrial and population centers of Europe with the industrial and population centers of Asia. Because if that is not put on the agenda, there is no recovery for Germany! And I'm a German patriot, and I want to see German recovery.
So therefore, what I want to propose is—and I want to put it on the table to all the participants of this seminar—the conducting of an international conference on the Eurasian Land-Bridge involving all Eurasian countries, essentially, on a larger scale, like the big conference which took place in 1996 in Beijing; where we had suggested this to the Chinese government and it took two years until it finally matured, because Sir Leon Brittan didn't like this idea very much. But eventually, in '96, thirty-four countries met in a conference in Beijing and discussed—the title of the conference was, "The Economic Development of the Regions Along the Eurasian Land-Bridge." At that point, the Chinese government declared the realization of the Eurasian Land-Bridge to be its strategic long-term perspective until the year 2010. Now we are in 2005, and there were a lot of obstacles: the Asia crisis of '97, the election of Bush and Cheney, and other such unfortunate developments.
But now, I think, is the time to really use the fact that a lot of people are freaked out—not only people in the United States, but in high levels in banking circles and government circles. They are freaked out! They know this system is finished!
Therefore, I think now is the time to put such a perspective really on the table in a big way. And I mean a big way. I don't mean a little conference, a little seminar, but a government-level conference, with live TV transmission in all channels in all participating countries, and the world would change! The world needs nothing more than a vision how to get out of this misery, and we can make a real revolution in the thinking of people.
The fact that the GM crisis, and for the cognoscenti the consequences of the attack of the auto sector crisis on the hedge funds, the Klumpen-Risiko [cluster of risks] involving now the mortgage bubble in the United States: This is a golden opportunity, if we don't miss it! Crisis is a chance for—the Chinese have this character for "crisis" which is the same as the character for "chance." And I think this is what we have to understand.
Now therefore, I propose the convening of such a conference for a comprehensive Eurasian development program, still to be conducted this year. Now normally, people say, such conferences need years and years for preparation, but I think we should make a real crash program, and say, "No. We will not accept that the world is crashing towards the wall, and all this ends in a big disaster." But if there would be war, the Bundeswehr could build a bridge over the Rhine in 45 minutes. And I think if you take that approach to build such a conference, it can be done in the Fall.
My Election Campaign
As some of you know, I recently announced my campaign for the Chancellor's office in the upcoming German election, if there actually will be such elections. And this I will do exactly on this program for a New Bretton Woods conference and the Eurasian Land-Bridge. Now nobody in their right mind should ridicule my campaign as being that of a representative of a so-called minor party, because I do represent a real alternative for this country, for the survival of Germany, and all other major parties mean major catastrophes, and nobody should prefer that over a real alternative.
I recognize that the initiative for the solution of such a change has to come from the United States, as it already has been stated by my direct connection to this country. But, a United States which has returned to the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, such a United States still needs partners from among its allies, and I think the partnership with Germany, therefore, will be key. If the United States will have successfully freed itself from the doomed Bush-Cheney policies, even before the next elections, then Europe and Eurasia must develop the orientation of cooperating with the United States and gaining U.S. support, not only for the development of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, but for the expansion of that Eurasian Land-Bridge into Africa and the Americas. Because, what the world really needs is a global reconstruction of the world economy, based on the cooperation among perfectly sovereign nation-states, united through the common aim of a just new world economic order.
My campaign for Chancellor has the purpose to catalyze the combination of forces in Germany, and by implication in all of Europe, to represent German and European participation in such a Eurasian-based new world economic order.
The Cultural Dimension of Change
And I want to bring in, shortly, one other aspect, and that is, the cultural dimension of this perspective: Because I think globalization, which is just another word for Anglo-American world empire, has led to a situation where maybe 5%, but maybe only 1%, of the people are stinkingly rich. They have all the privileges they want. But, 80% or more of the world population, in the so-called Third World, but also in countries like the United States, Germany, or others, is collapsing into poverty and being deprived of the most fundamental human rights. Privatization is a new word for feudalism.
Therefore, the new world economic order must be based on the idea, to bring the political order in cohesion with, as our friends in India would say, "the cosmic order," or as we in Europe would say, "the order of creation." And we must bring in more fundamental metaphysical conceptions in these discussions, which is why I like to refer to my good friend Nicolaus of Cusa, who had the idea that each human being, and each nation, is actually a microcosm, and that concordance in the macrocosm can only exist if you have the maximum development of all microcosms. And Lyn already spoke about that, that the development of the other microcosm, the other nation, must be the self-interest of each microcosm and vice versa, of each nation and vice versa.
And we must develop a world order based on a new Peace of Westphalia Treaty with a division of labor, in which we will have a human world order, hopefully even for us to see. Because, I think the present condition of the world is just not acceptable. What we need for that, is—and I appeal to all of you sitting in this room: We need people who represent this idea of a just new world economic order, with a passionate love for the idea of an international community of peoples—which is what Nicolaus of Cusa had already in the 15th Century, which Leibniz had, and I think which was expressed by John Quincy Adams, and the idea that the world must become a community of principles based on the common idea of mankind.
We not only have to correct the economic errors of the last 40 years, and the last 16 years since German unification, but in 1990, we produced a special edition of our cultural magazine in Germany, Ibykus, for the occasion of the German unification. And there, we emphatically made the point that the perspective of economic development has to be combined with a cultural and moral Renaissance. For Germany, that meant we must evoke a Renaissance of the humanist spirit of the German Classics, especially because we have moved so far away in the last years from these high ideals, this historical chance had to be used, if one wanted to have the construction of Germany based on the highest principles of statecraft and republican virtues.
We wrote at that point: "History has given us a Sternstunde der Menschheit, a golden opportunity that comes once in a century if you are lucky. But the great moment could only find a great people, if one could positively turn the peaceful revolution into a cultural and moral renaissance, and that, in all of Germany."
Now, it was already mentioned by Lyn, that the opposite was done, that, rather than reviving the Classical tradition of Germany, the evil influence of the Congress for Cultural Freedom of the West, was superimposed on the East, and has led to an even more socially explosive situation there. But we have the opportunity in Germany, as in all other countries of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, to remember our great thinkers and poets, and look at ourselves as if in the mirror of those minds, where we stand today before the greatness of their thinking.
Now, Schiller wrote in his famous short poems, the Xenien, that only in a beautiful mind, the totality is reflected. And when the individual is not developed, then the state can't be either. But, if the individual progresses, the state will do the same.
So therefore, I make an impassioned appeal to combine this with the idea of a Dialogue of Cultures, to evoke the best traditions of all our nations, and I think we will have a very bright future. And I think that the fact that we have a growing youth movement of young people who are not leaving this world to the values of the old generations which caused this crisis, is the biggest hope for optimism. And that's what I wanted to say.
 National Security Study Memorandum 200, commissioned by Henry Kissinger, said that population growth in selected developing-sector countries constituted a "national security threat" to the United States, which needed their natural resources.
 Alfred Herrhausen, the chairman of Deutsche Bank, was assassinated on Nov. 30, 1989, as the Berlin Wall was falling. He had advocated a German role in developing Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Detlev Rohwedder, the chairman of the Treuhand agency, which was tasked with converting former East Germany's state-sector industries after the collapse of Communism, had a similar perspective, and was assassinated in 1991. He was replaced with rabid free-market ideologues.