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This presentation appears in the December 19, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

The Neo-Liberal Paradigm Is Finished

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

[PDF version of this article]

I think that if one looks at history, one can always see that there are people who are ahead of their time in understanding the period of history; there are people who are in the time; and there are people who are behind the time. And I think that, right now, the question that the present paradigm has come to an end, is only understood by few. But I would say, with absolute certainty, that the neo-liberal paradigm is finished, and also I would say that the European Union, as it is intended by the present European Union leadership, is finished.

Now, that may not be recognized by everybody, but I would like to remind you of what happened in 1989, when the Soviet Union started to disintegrate. There was a period where people recognized that a long time before—this was Mr. LaRouche, who, in '83, had predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union if they would stick to their then-dismal policies, and then in '89, when the Wall came down in Germany, there were people who also recognized it, and started to adapt to the new situation. These were people who were called "turncoats." And there were people, like [East German leader Erich] Honecker and others, who did not want to recognize that the system had actually died, and they were called the "concrete-heads."

And right now, you have a similar situation: There are people who understand that the neo-liberal paradigm is over, and they're adapting to the new situation. They're called "turncoats"; in Germany we called them "wrynecks": They are people who change their necks so many times, that their necks turned into a spiral. And there are people who are the "concrete-heads." The "concrete-heads" right now are, for example, Gordon Brown, who wants to have a new system, but really the same system, but just a couple of new rules; and there are a whole bunch of other people who understand that we need a completely different paradigm in the world, and that which had been called "globalization" for the last 20 or 40 years, has to be replaced by a new system.

Now, in 1989, when the Wall came down in Germany, and subsequently, the Soviet Union and the Comecon disintegrated, I made many speeches, in discussion with Mr. LaRouche, and I said: If one would make the mistake to put on top of the bankrupt Communist system, the equally bankrupt free-market system, then one could postpone the collapse by means of primitive accumulation for a couple of years, but eventually it would come to a collapse which would be much worse than even the disintegration of the Communist system. And I think we are exactly at that point. Because what is happening now with the collapse of globalization is a much, much more severe collapse than the disintegration of the Comecon, with much more dangerous implications.

The Eurasian Land-Bridge Proposal

Now, we, at that point, had a plan what to do, a "Plan A," which was the idea to use Western technologies to develop the East. This was first called the Productive Triangle program, which was the idea to beef up the territory, Paris-Berlin-Vienna, through modern infrastructure, through the maglev technology, through the high-temperature reactor, through other avant-guard technologies, and then bring this development in the form of corridors to the East: to Warsaw, to Kiev, to the Balkans, and then, when the Soviet Union collapsed in '91, we wanted to immediately integrate that with all of Eurasia, the so-called Eurasian Land-Bridge idea, to connect the industrial and population centers of Europe with those of Asia.

Now, for a long time, people said, "This is an illusion, this is a utopia, this will never happen." But, if you look at the map today, you have a lot of the projects which we initially had proposed becoming realized: like a railway between South Korea and North Korea; the plan of Russia to build the Bering Strait tunnel connecting Siberia with Alaska, and many other projects.

Now, unfortunately, our design was not taken, and with the imposition of the so-called "reform policy" of the IMF instead, that has led to the present situation. And you know, what happened was that, for geopolitical reasons, the British, Bush, Sr., and Margaret Thatcher imposed the Maastricht agreement on Europe, which was essentially taking away the national sovereign control over currencies, imposing the European Monetary Union, even if it was clear that a European Monetary Union would not function without political union.

Now, the Maastricht agreement is the corset; it's the strangulation of the European economies, and right now, it is the mechanism which is preventing European politics and economy to function. This process was worsened by the so-called Stability Pact, the Nice Treaty, and the Amsterdam Treaty before that. And, more recently, there was an attempt to counter the fact that the referendum on the new European Constitution was failing in the "No" vote of the French and the Dutch in 2005, by making a trick, by imposing the Lisbon Treaty in a coup d'état: without the knowledge of the population, without referenda, without even discussion in the media.

Now, fortunately, due to a lot of people, but especially also our mobilization, this got defeated. But I would really suggest that you look at this European Union Treaty of Lisbon, because this is a cold coup attempt, trying to change Europe into a federal state, into an oligarchical dictatorship, de facto, replacing NATO as a European empire, with the idea of having Europe militarized, and using the European Union structure for international "humanitarian" interventions.

You probably are aware of the fact that just recently, the UN and NATO made a more or less secret deal, without informing Russia, for example, to have more "humanitarian" global interventions, under the pretext of humanitarian disasters and natural catastrophes, and so on, which is part of this empire design, with the pretext of "democracy," of "human rights."

And the European Union, if it would go in the way of the Lisbon Treaty, would become a very nasty empire. In fact, according to Robert Cooper, who was the advisor of [EU High Commissioner Javier] Solana, the European Union is the largest empire in history anyway, and where it should end, where new member-states should be added—these people want to extend it essentially without much limitation.

A National Sovereign Reflex

Now, fortunately, that is crumbling, and I'm very happy to say that we have a national sovereign reflex coming out of this crisis, because when essentially the recent phase of the collapse occurred—it started from mid-September—if you look at it, there was not one Brussels intervention. It was all national governments, which went to the protection of their banking systems—which was not exactly advisable, because it's all part of the bailout projects. But essentially, the European Union is as finished as the neo-liberal paradigm.

This may not be recognized now, but you will think about it in the next period, because, under conditions of a breakdown crisis, the only institutions which can protect their country, are national institutions. It's not supranational structures, which are in total contrast to the interests of the member-states, which is what Brussels has become in the recent period.

I'm not saying it's a settled question, but you see in the person of [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy, a Gaullist reflex. You see in the person of Finance Minister [Giulio] Tremonti from Italy, a national impulse. And in a certain sense, that is what has to happen. Because, only if we go back in Europe, and get rid of the European Union bureaucracy, which is an imperial design, and go back to a "Europe of the Fatherlands," in which national sovereign countries are retaking control over their national currencies, that Europe has a chance. Because, the reason why Europe is so impotent, and not able to address this present crisis, is because we are locked in a structure, which basically ties the hands, and gives all the power presently to the European bureaucracy, which is not accountable; it's not elected; it's put in, and, essentially, is writing already, now, 85% of all laws. The national parliaments under this structure are essentially useless.

The Four-Power Combination

Now, I think that the only way for the future, to come out of this crisis, is what Mr. LaRouche is proposing: to have this four-power combination, and then have sovereign countries, like Germany, Japan, Italy, and others attach themselves to it, in a new alliance of perfectly equal, sovereign partners, discussing the next 50 years of the planet. And I think that, in a certain sense, when I say that the neo-liberal paradigm is finished, I think that we need to have a new paradigm, which is worthy of human civilization.

You were asking before, what to do about the jobless, the danger of loss of jobs: That is a problem which every country is facing! Germany, right now—the German economy, which was entirely based on exports; now the exports are collapsing, the domestic economy was very much weakened under the euro regime, and if Germany has any chance, it must be part of this Eurasian Land-Bridge!

Now, we have this idea not only to connect Europe through infrastructure corridors with Asia, and for example, the corridor which you are planning to build from Delhi to Mumbai, is just one little piece of this larger design. But we have to have the perspective of integrating Latin America through the Bering Strait: Alaska-Canada-United States-Central America, all the way down to Chile. We need to save Africa, because if Africa goes—not because Africa has nuclear weapons, or some other threat, but if human society is failing to save a continent, which is clearly at the risk of dying, because of a combination of AIDS, of starvation, of terra incognita as you see in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, where governments lose control, and you have basically uncharted territories, where piracy has taken over: That is giving you a glimpse of the future, where civilization could go, if we don't remedy it.

So we need to integrate Africa into this Eurasian Land-Bridge by building corridors through Egypt into Africa, through a bridge or a tunnel from Sicily to Tunisia, and another one through the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco, and developing a global reconstruction program along these infrastructure programs.

Now, you may think this is utopian, but that is part of the Plan A. And if you would have a credit system, in which national sovereign governments would give credit lines based on national banking, then each country could finance their part of this infrastructure program, and you would get out of this mess. We have been advertising this for 20 years, and for a long time, people looked at it, and said, "Oh, this is a utopian conception." But right now, I think it's the only realistic way of overcoming the plunge into a dark age.

A New Renaissance

Now, with this economic change, I think we also need a change in the culture, a cultural paradigm. The paradigm which was associated with globalization has to go: It was based on greed, on a dog-eat-dog idea of every person, of maximum profit in the here and now, and this paradigm has failed as well. We need to replace it with a new Renaissance. And I think the only way we can have a Renaissance is that each civilization, each culture, goes back to its high point. The recent 40 years have been, from our point of view, a low point of culture in every country, or at least in the Western countries, I can say it for sure.

We need to have a new Renaissance, where the best traditions of each culture are advertised. In the case of India, I think you have the most beautiful cradle of civilization in the Sanskrit culture, in the Vedic. If you listen to the Song of Creation of the Vedic, you have the most profound conceptions right there! And that's maybe 10,000 years old. We need to go back to the ideas of Tilak. I mean, why was India able to produce a civilization with large cities, 5,000 years before Mesopotamia, which just recently was discovered in the oceans here? We have to go back to study these things: Why did Wilhelm von Humboldt say that Sanskrit is the most developed language worldwide, ever? There are pearls to be found, which need to be revived, and Sanskrit as a national language was once a discussion point, which would have been much better than English, for the continuity of Indian culture.

I don't want to make a long, long speech, but I think that each country must go back to its pride. Like in Germany, we don't want to talk about the 12 years of the disaster of the Hitler period; we want to be able to go back to talk about Nicholas of Cusa, Kepler, Leibniz, the German Classical music, Schiller. That's why my institute is called the Schiller Institute, because Schiller was the Poet of Freedom.

We need to go into each country: Mankind will not come out of this pit, out of this absolute terrible phase, if we continue our ways. And that is what I think we need to discuss on a larger scale.

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