Onward into the Future,
But Not in Green Socks, Herr Steinmeier!
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche is the candidate for Chancellor of Germany for the Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo). This article was translated from German.
The so-called Germany Plan, which Frank-Walter Steinmeier wants to use to create 4 million new jobs, if he is elected Chancellor, clearly reflects his recognition that, over the coming weeks and months, unemployment figures are going to reach record-setting heights. It is, of course, useful that a debate over how governments must act to create jobs—millions of them—has now been kicked off. But aside from lifting a few good ideas that the BüSo has been proposing for a long time now—such as using the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau [Reconstruction Finance Bank], and placing the emphasis on the human being as central to the economy—Steinmeier's plan is otherwise, unfortunately, yet one more proof that the Social Democratic Party's leadership does not have the slightest grasp of the science of physical economy.
Leading up to the Sept. 27 Federal elections, neither the ruling coalition parties, nor the news media, are going to be able to keep up their propaganda pretense that "the worst is over." The systemic crisis is in full swing, and the outrage currently being expressed by American voters in political meetings, against Congressmen and Senators, over the health-care package which the Obama Administration is trying to sell them, is only a foretaste of the social explosion which will erupt worldwide, unless this crisis is very quickly averted by reorganizing the world economy from the ground up.
People are getting a keen sense, that what we are dealing with, is not merely a financial and economic crisis, but rather an existential threat to their lives, and to civilization itself. When Obama proposes cutting 30% of health-care costs, this means a shorter life expectancy for those unfortunate enough to be really sick and with no money to pay for medical care. And in Germany, where we already have rationing of health care, we are moving down the same road. FAZNET wrote on July 8 that no party (that is, no party currently represented in parliament) would dare admit how brutal the cuts are going to become after the election is over.
But reality is far worse. We are in a breakdown crisis without precedent in human history, a crisis which threatens to plunge our civilization into chaos, and which, within only a few years, can reduce the world's population from its current 6.5 billion people, to 2 billion or less. Already, productive capacity in industry and agriculture has collapsed to below the level necessary for sustaining the world's population, and as a result, the number of people threatened with starvation has climbed to more than 1 billion. And that figure will soon increase dramatically.
Ever since the Bismarck reforms in the second half of the 19th Century, Germany, thanks to its high rate of economic and technological progress, has possessed an enormous potential with its innovative small and medium-sized firms—the Mittelstand—along with one of the world's greatest capacities for machine building. Most other countries do not have this. And it is precisely this Mittelstand, and this machine-building capacity—which could produce what is most urgently needed in other regions of the world—that is now threatened with collapse on the order or 30%, 40%, and even 50%. Any competent Germany Plan would therefore have to ensure that this capacity, so indispensable on a world scale, is not only maintained, but that it be expanded on the very highest technological level.
Unfortunately, Steinmeier's plan does the exact opposite: He promises to reinvigorate the economy through environmental technologies, with German technology for combating global warming, expansion of Germany's contribution to the wind-power market, solar technology, generally environmentally-friendly technologies, and total renunciation of nuclear energy. He believes that promoting nuclear energy would slow the trend toward renewable technologies, and promises that at the Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December, he will fight for a 50% worldwide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. He further promises that at that summit meeting he will hold high the banner of free trade as a "moral appeal" against protectionism, and he foresees the services economy as the new motor for generating full employment.
Steinmeier considers the introduction of electronic health cards as an important step for utilizing "health IT" as a growth industry, and sees a huge potential in the "creative industries." On top of this, in education policy, he intends to continue the Brandt reforms of the 1970s, reforms which, in lockstep with the OECD reforms back then, aimed at eliminating "the educational ballast of the past 2,500 years of European history"—which is why today we have almost three generations of Germans who believe that the names Leibniz, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Humboldt, Schiller, Mörike, Gauss, and Riemann might have something to do with cookies, or perhaps with movie actresses.
The underlying fallacy in Steinmeier's plan—which is, in fact, just a copy of the Green party's so-called "Green New Deal"—lies in his lack of understanding of the connection between energy flux-densities of the technologies used in the production process, on the one hand, and human population potential, on the other. There is no doubt that, for a little while longer, it may still be possible to make a profit in a market that remains dominated by the rules of globalization, and in which the hedge funds discovered long ago that trading in CO@i2 emissions and green technologies could be a lucrative business. But you can also make a profit playing poker on the sinking Titanic.
No Such Thing as Ecological 'Equilibrium'
The problem with green technologies, is that they claim to be dedicated to maintaining what is, in fact, a non-existent equilibrium of resources. Human existence has always depended on utilizing resources which are the fossil remains of living process of animal or plant life. These deposits, accumulated over long spans of time, have primarily supplied us with the elements that are listed in the Periodic Table, and which—aside from continuing biological processes and direct human intervention—have not changed substantially in quantity.
To the extent that the human species multiplies, our utilization of these relatively limited reservoirs of resources must improve, so that the rate of scientific progress is increased, thereby changing the nature of the resource. In other words: Whether a stone was used during the Stone Age as a hand-axe to brain one's neighbor, or was used by a goldsmith as a grindstone for polishing gemstones, or is seen today by an engineer as a source of trace elements, depends entirely on the level of technology from which one considers it.
The continued existence of mankind depends on our ability to increase the energy flux-density associated with each stage of technology, per capita and per square kilometer, of the part of the Earth's territory that is inhabited at that time. For this reason, the transition from fossil energy sources to inherently safe nuclear energy, in the form of high-temperature reactors—the pebble-bed reactors—is absolutely necessary to achieve the next-higher order of energy flux-density, nuclear fusion, which will then be able to solve our resource problems. So-called "renewable" energy sources contribute absolutely nothing to guaranteeing mankind's long-term energy and raw materials security—not our energy security, because renewable energies are sufficient only for a limited population potential, whereas mankind cannot exist in a state of equilibrium; and not our raw materials security, because it doesn't even address this problem.
Therefore, whereas Steinmeier says that nuclear energy is an outdated technology which is blocking investment in more efficient, renewable energy sources, the truth is the precise opposite: Investment into renewable energy sources ties up the resources necessary to reach the next-higher, absolutely necessary stage.
The present crisis is the result of 40 years of precedents leading us in the wrong direction—starting with the Frankfurt School's hostility to technology, the '68ers, the Club of Rome, and its offspring, the ecology movement. Steinmeier is right when he says that Germany has squandered its former lead in educational excellence, and that today's generation, aged 20-29, is more poorly educated than the 45-55 generation. But, who was in power for all that time, and who set education policy? The SPD has been part of the government since 1998!
What Steinmeier describes as the "creative industries" has just as little to do with true creativity—i.e., the discovery of universal principles in science and art—as Berlin of the 100 cooks and fashion shows has to do with Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Berlin should be held up as a warning, not an example. With Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit's "creative industries," Berlin will never be able to pay off its debt, which was already EU60 billion in 2007. Steinmeier further promises ultra-modern transportation networks, but instead of the Transrapid and CargoCap, he wants to monitor highway traffic by satellite, so that traffic jams can be quickly reported, and alternate routes offered! And instead of getting rid of the innovative financial instruments which have brought the crisis upon us, he calls for better financial accounting rules for single-purpose financial vehicles, and wants to "ostracize" speculation.
In 1994, when Peter Hinze was secretary general of the Christian Democratic Union, he coined the slogan "Onward into the future, but not in red socks!", by which he meant the possibility that the Party of Democratic Socialists [the successor to the East German communist party] would enter the governing coalition of Social Democrats and the Greens—the so-called Red-Green coalition. Steinmeier's idea today, that in this crisis, the state must intervene to create jobs, is correct—but not "in green socks"! Socks and other things often turn green because they've grown rotten and moldy. Green ideology doesn't want to have anything to do with Roosevelt's New Deal, since Roosevelt was emphatically pro-technology. And so, if there's anyone who has been practicing product piracy, it's the Greens—but they're very bad plagiarists.
What we need now, is the original, and that means FDR and his New Deal, and the New Bretton Woods. It means the BüSo, which most recently, in 2005, presented a program for how 10 million new jobs could be created, since that's how many we actually need in Germany. For we already have at least 8 million unemployed, and soon we will have 10 million. But we can only turn this around if the financial toxic waste in the banks is eliminated, after which the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, or a nationalized Bundesbank, can make lines of productive credit available. Then, we'll really be talking about a New Deal; and that's what, thus far, only the BüSo has been proposing.