The Mission of Cusa: The BRICS and
a New International Order for Mankind
Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave the following keynote address to a March 28 Schiller Institute conference in New York City.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear members of the Schiller Institute—or those who will be such at the end of this meeting, I hope—we have truly dramatic developments.
Let me start with something which is just hitting some of the news, and that is, that Wall Street—which is not far from here—had a secret meeting. And at that meeting, the heads of Bank of America, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and some more, conspired and decided that they would make sure that the issue of Glass-Steagall would not come up in the present, beginning presidential election.
And they then went to Washington and met with the head of the DNC—of the Democratic Party—and all the Congressional commissions, and they told them, if you don’t stop this talk about Glass-Steagall—the separation of the banks, which had been introduced by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, which was abolished in 1999, and wherein you have the reason for this limitless speculation, which is ruining the world right now—if you don’t stop that, they said, we will withhold every single penny from the Democratic Party in the upcoming election.
Now, there is a word for that, and that is extortion. So, I’m calling upon you, and all the many people watching this live broadcast, to really make sure that that is not the last word. Because Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland and former mayor of Baltimore, had, a couple of weeks ago, announced that he would try to become president of the United States on entirely one subject, and that is to put the national interest above the interest of Wall Street, and to re-introduce Glass-Steagall as the first act, when he could be in the White House.
Obviously, O’Malley is so far not regarded as the front-runner, but my husband, Mr. LaRouche, immediately said, that puts the cat among the mice, because from now on, no other candidate can really avoid the issue of Wall Street, and it will set the tone for all the other candidates.
Now, it is generally known that Sen. Elizabeth Warren is so far refusing to run, but already, 300,000 signatures were collected for her to do so. And behind O’Malley is an entire faction of the Democratic Party, which is determined that this thing has gone too far, and that the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten to the point whereby 80 individuals in the world own as much material wealth as 3.5 billion people (half of humanity). Obviously, they want to reduce that number to 20, or maybe 5 individuals, owning as much as half of humanity, but that is obviously perverse, and should stop, because it means the death of many people.
This policy kills. And the Pope, Pope Francis, said so recently, that this policy has to be measured by the 5th Commandment—thou shall not kill—and that this is exactly what this policy does.
So, O’Malley is maybe not so well known, and maybe he is not yet a charismatic speaker, but I think that we had enough of these charismatic speakers, but then when you look at the content of what they did, it was not so great.
That is now a gauntlet, which has been thrown down by Wall Street to the Amerrican people, and I think we have to gear up the fight for Glass-Steagall.
O’Malley Is Right
This is highly urgent, because there are many, many influential people, including the vice-chairman of the FDIC, Thomas Hoenig, who are warning that we are right now in front of an explosion of the financial system, whereby the collapse around Lehman Brothers and AIG in 2008, will look like a small hiccup, compared to what is about to blow. Because the too-big-to-fail banks are now 40% or more bigger than in 2008, and their derivative exposure has increased by 85%. The Bank of International Settlements, which is sort of the central bank of central banks, just issued new figures that the derivatives exposure of the banks officially, is $690 trillion, 80% of which is related to interest rates.
Now, the banks advise the people who have these derivatives: hedge on them, make another derivative on the derivative. It is generally estimated, if you have a blowout, which could happen—for example, [Federal Reserve chairman] Janet Yellen has announced that she wants to increase the interest rate by maybe a tiny amount—they are practically zero right now—and then you would have a chain reaction whereby this whole system blows out.
The same thing could happen with the collapse of the euro, which could also happen if Greece leaves the euro in a chaotic way, because the Troika is driving them out—then that could blow out the system.
So, therefore, Glass-Steagall is super-urgent. If you want to have any savings, any pension, any kind of safety in your life, then you should help us get a ferment for Glass-Steagall.
The BRICS New Economic Model
Now, fortunately, we are not alone. You are joined by more than half of humanity, which you may not know yet, but there is a tremendous development. As a matter of fact, we have as much reason to be worried as we have even more reason to be joyful. Because what has happened in the last several weeks, is an unprecedent development.
You remember that we have been campaigning for the BRICS countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa]—and that the United States should join the new economic system which is emerging with the BRICS. Because, if you go back to September 2013, the Chinese President Xi Jinping had announced that China is reviving the ancient Silk Road. Now the ancient Silk Road, as you know, was during the Han Dynasty, when all the countries of Asia and Europe were working together, exchanging goods, technology, but also silk, silk-making, porcelain, porcelain-making, book printing, and all the countries who participated in the ancient Silk Road were profiting in terms of their economies, in terms of their cultures, in terms of their development.
And Xi Jinping said, we will rebuild the Silk Road, which will connect not only China, via Central Asia, with Europe, but in the one and a half years since, this has taken on a breathtaking development. Because not only did China put the Maritime Silk Road on the table, which is the idea to connect all of the countries of the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, on the sea route through expanded trade, building of ports, expanding cooperation. But in the meantime, the BRICS have started a new economic model, together with all the Latin American states, and many Asian countries have joined.
Now, they have concluded, since the BRICS summit last July in Fortaleza in Brazil, an unbelievable number of economic projects. They are building a new canal in Nicaragua. They are building a transcontinental railway from Brazil all the way to Peru. They are building incredible numbers of water-management projects. They’re redirecting rivers to fight the desert. They’re building together nuclear power plants in dozens of countries. They have joined in space research, and these countries, despite their problems—which obviously still exist—have turned into an optimism which you have no inkling of, because the U.S. mass media is not reporting one single word about it. And if you read the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, or the Washington Post, you read “Xi Jinping is becoming a new Mao tse-Tung”; “Putin is a dictator and a demon”; and that is about all you find out about what these countries are doing.
But the reality is completely different. What people cannot imagine is that there are countries which have drawn the conclusion out of the unipolar mode of the United States, and they have basically joined hands to say, the IMF and the World Bank are not providing us with the opportunity to develop. And therefore, they have not only decided on all of these massive projects, but they are building a new banking structure.
They have started the New Development Bank of the BRICS, which will have an initial capital of $100 billion. They are building the AIIB [Asian Infrastructure and Investment], also $100 billion; the New Silk Road Fund, $40 billion; the New Maritime Silk Road fund, $20 billion; the SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] development bank, for the South Asian countries, also in the same vicinity. And they are also building a Shanghai Cooperation Bank. So, if you look at this new system of banks, it is entirely a new financial architecture—not for casinos, not for derivatives, not for speculation, like Wall Street and the City of London, but only for infrastructure funding, only for projects of the common good, only for development.
Now, the United States, the Obama Administration, said to all of their allies, and all Asian countries: Do not join the AIIB. And they put pressure on them. They really forced, or tried to force them, but this time it did not work.
So, you have 27 Asian countries who’ve become founding members of the AIIB. But then something absolutely unprecedented happened, that the [U.S] allies also said, well, if we have the choice between joining the United States in World War III over Ukraine, or if we have the choice to join with China in the development of the world, maybe it is a wiser idea to be on the winning side.
So, in the last two weeks, starting with the ever-so-loyal special U.S. ally Great Britain joining the AIIB. Then immediately followed Germany, France, Italy, the great nation of Luxembourg, but also very importantly, probably the only republic in Europe, Switzerland, and Austria. So that means practically all of Europe is joining with the AIIB. And also Turkey, another staunch NATO ally; South Korea, firmly under control of the United States; Australia may do it today or tomorrow, at a big economic conference in China. Canada is about to join, and even Japan is considering it, and there is a whole secondary wave of countries which have indicated that they want to cooperate.
Now, that is really great news. Because that means that the world quickly could go out of the danger of not only a pending collapse of the system. It’s like you have now, about a dozen lifeboats out there, at the moment the trans-Atlantic Titanic is sinking. So it is very good to know that such an alternative exists.
Bringing in the United States
Now the only problem is, that the United States is still opposing it. This Administration has said repeatedly that they absolutely oppose it; they have not changed their line, despite the fact that yesterday, the Chinese state TV CCTV and the official press agency Xinhua, again, invited the United States to participate, as Xi Jinping had done already at the APEC meeting last October in Beijing.
That makes complete sense! Why is the United States not joining? Why? It would be so easy: All the problems of the world would vanish, if the United States can be brought to cooperate with all of these nations of Asia, Europe, and Africa, to build the world—and the world needs building. I mean the reason why China and the BRICS countries went this way, is because they said the IMF and the World Bank do not provide for the necessary development credits, and therefore we need to build an institution which is not a casino economy, but which is only there to finance development. So if the United States could be swung around, then everything would be easy. And I call upon you to help to make that happen.
Now, fortunately, O’Malley, who as a governor traveled several times to China, and if you go on his website, you can see him with Chinese officials; and he also had a very clear idea of who the enemy is of the United States, and he doesn’t forget in one single speech to remind people that the American Revolution was fought against the British Empire, and that it was the British who tried to take over Baltimore after they have burned down Washington in the War of 1812.
So, if the campaign of O’Malley can gain more momentum than it has right now, then the United States could be swung to cooperate with the rest of the world.
However, that creates a problem, because this wonderful development does not work, if the United States is under the control of a phenomenon which we have seen repeatedly. It started, really with the Bush family, and unfortunately it’s continued with the Obama Presidency, and that is something which is called PNAC, the Project for a New American Century doctrine. This was announced by the neo-cons in ’97, and when the Soviet Union collapsed between ’89 and ’91, this became official policy of the United States. And it basically said there is now only one superpower left; the Soviet Union collapsed, and we will make sure that there will be never, ever, a country or a group of countries, becoming the rival to the United States, either economically or politically, or militarily.
This is a problem, because these countries right now, are already bigger than the United States. China is already number two in terms of economic power; the BRICS, together with these other countries, are already stronger economically. And therefore, there has to be change in the United States. Now, my husband is very committed to initiate that that should happen, and we are going to prepare a documentary on the characteristics of the Bush family, and why we cannot have another Bush running for President and becoming President of the United States.
And that is not just the recent crops of Bushes, but you have to go back all the way to Prescott Bush, because it was that grouping which helped Hitler come to power. It is a well-documented fact that Averell Harriman, Prescott Bush, Montagu Norman from the Bank of England at that time, they financed Hitler to come to power in 1933, at a point when the Nazis already had massively lost in the election, because there were some people who had studied Mein Kampf, and they figured that if Hitler were to come to power, a war between the Soviet Union and Germany would be inevitable one day, and this was the British design: Let the devils kill each other, and we will be the victorious ones.
So you really have to go back, and we published this, by the way, in a book which I think you can acquire, called a book which I think you can acquire, called George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, , in which we document all of this. And Bush never sued us, which I think, if there had been a fault in it, they for sure would have done; and if you look at a two-hour documentary of Bill Clinton, where—it’s the 1992 Clinton campaign—you find that book, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography sitting on the desk and you can read it very, very clearly. And we take pride in the fact that that book contributed a very good part in the [Bush] defeat, and the victory of Bill Clinton at that time.
We will prepare another documentary, and make sure there are no more Bushes other than maybe in the boondocks somewhere, but not in the White House. The White House should be filled with a President and not with a Bush. So, then naturally, my husband says, we have to oust Obama and sink the Bushes. That should be the battle cry for what we are going to do in the next period.
Obama should be impeached. There are already plenty of reasons to do so: For example, the American Constitution forbids that Americans should be killed without due process. The drone war has killed at least four American citizens in Yemen: al-Awlaki, his son, and two others, and that single fact alone is sufficient to call for his impeachment. However, given the fact that the other people who are not Americans were also human beings, and the Physicians for Social Justice just published a report that between the wars and military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq—I don’t know if it includes Syria or Libya—more than 1 million civilians were killed! And we know that when the whole battle occurred around the [Senate] torture report of the CIA, where Senator Feinstein fought a heroic battle to make that public, because if you have that going on, then America is not a republic. And there are some patriots in this country who are fighting, not strongly enough, but there are some, who want to return the United States to being a republic.
There was a worry in certain circles that following this torture report would come a commission in the Senate to investigate the drone killing. Because obviously, to torture somebody, as painful as it may be for the victim suffering from that, if you have somebody who sends drones, disregarding how many civilian casualties occur, this is obviously much worse. And the fact that so many civilians have been killed in wars which were entirely based on lies, like the Iraq war was based on lies, fabricated by Blair and the MI6. Afghanistan was, because if the truth comes out about Sept. 11th, then the whole basis of the Afghanistan war has to be reviewed. The war against Syria, which was stopped in the last minute, was based on lies. So was the war against Libya!
The Threat of World War III
Now, remember, when this [Libya] war occurred in 2011, my husband Mr. LaRouche immediately said, “this means they are going for World War III.” Now, there is one thing to be said about Mr. LaRouche, and that is that he has, unlike anybody else I know, a unique ability to characterize and recognize historical developments when they newly occur. Many people, retrospectively say, “Ja, ja, that was this development,” but he immediately recognized that this violation in the case of the Libya war meant a sinister plan to go for potential World War III.
Now, looking back at it, this was absolutely prescient and prophetic, because, remember, that this war was not declared to be a war. The Obama Administration said, this is just a military operation, no “boots on the ground,” it’s not a war. And by lyingly mischaracterizing the Libya campaign, they got Russia and China to abstain in the UN Security Council; whereas, if they had declared it to be a war, you can be 100% sure, Russia and China would have said no. Because these two countries have the idea that international law should still be valid and the UN Charter should still exist.
By doing it this way, by deceiving China and Russia, they did something very, very terrible: Not only did they murder Qaddafi—and this was murder; I mean, they had control over the country already, and then, to have Qaddafi murdered in this absolutely bestial way, like Saddam Hussein was treated before—that just meant that the United States has really lost its status as legal country. But more importantly, it destroyed the UN process.
The UN Security Council has not functioned ever since. And we are as a result of this, really on the verge of World War III: The war against Syria was stopped in the very, very last hours, because the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, went to Obama and said, you cannot start a war where you don’t know how it will end. You will be impeached because the Congress is against it, the American people are against it. And so this was stopped, literally in the last second.
But then, you had the Ukraine crisis.
Now, let me say a few words about the Ukraine crisis, because this is right now, bringing the world horribly close to a war which, if it comes into being, will annihilate civilization, and I’m not exaggerating. Right now, you have NATO troops and nuclear capable fighter jets along the Russian border; the United States has just positioned 14 F16s which can carry nuclear weapons, on the Russian border in Estonia. They have moved heavy equipment into the other Baltic States. They are already present in various forms there, because they are only there for maintenance and as security for these weapons, but you know, they are troops, they are soldiers.
Now, this is now coming to a head, because General Breedlove, who is the. commander of the U.S. forces (and the actual head of NATO, as everybody knows, and not Mr. Stoltenberg), he in a press conference three days ago, demanded that Ukraine should join NATO.
I attended a couple of conferences in the last period, where there were military strategists and analysts from the United States, such as [MIT defense expert] Ted Postol and others, who made the point very clearly, that Ukraine and Georgia cannot be in NATO, because it violates the security interests of Russia in such a way that they become de facto indefensible, and therefore Russia will never agree to have Ukraine become part of NATO.
I recently had a meeting with a top German military person, who said: Look, it’s very simple. You take a piece of paper, build a circle here, that is the West and NATO; and build a circle here, and that is Russia. And it was always agreed, even in the period of Cold War, but especially afterwards, that the area in between would be a cushion, a buffer, and that it would never be allowed that the NATO troops would move all the way to the Russian border.
Now, that, by the way was the promise which was given to Gorbachov, to Genscher, to Kohl, and others, to Yeltsin when the Soviet Union collapsed, and it was said, “We will not move NATO eastward; Ukraine will remain relatively neutral, but not join the Western military alliance.” And because you had this neo-con phenomenon in the Bush Sr. Administration, they had this idea, “now that communism is dead, we will make globalization a world empire.” And globalization is just another word for an Anglo-American empire based on the “special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain.
So then, there was a certain period where, first, Russia was dismantled in the Yeltsin period, where from 1991 to 1994, they reduced the industrial capacity of Russia by 70%, to only 30%: This was called “shock therapy.” Whereby they privatized everything, sold the better parts for profit, closed down the not-so-good parts, and they threw Russia into a terrible catastrophe! They lost 1 million people demographically per year, more people dying than being born, and Russian went into a terrible collapse phase.
In the meantime, you had such wonderful institutions as the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and others, and they started with a policy of planned regime change against the countries around Russia, of the former Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact, and they built up NGOs.
Victoria Nuland, who is a very special person, and she will have a special place in American history—if there is going to be one! She bragged that the State Department spent $5 billion alone on building NGOs in Ukraine alone. And that led, in this context, you had first Poland and Hungary joining NATO; and then in a second wave, the color revolutions in 2004, whereby they changed the regime in Ukraine and Georgia, and batch of six nations joined NATO.
And now, that has been escalated practically to the point where Russia is encircled. And that is what now is being escalated with the sanctions policies, which were designed to increase the instability in Russia in such a way that Putin would be toppled.
Now, the opposite is happening, obviously. The Russian people are all backing Putin. The popularity of Putin has gone up to 90%, so as compared to a couple of weeks ago, it is increasing.
But we are on the verge of an absolute disaster, because the change in the military doctrine of NATO, from Mutual Assured Destruction, to first strike, has happened! Most people do not know that, but at one of the conferences which I attended, Mr. Postol distributed graphs which I will pass around, because I didn’t have time to produce them, and here it shows what will happen: Because the first strike doctrine of the U.S. global missile defense system, the Prompt Global Strike doctrine, and the Air Sea Battle doctrine against China, all assume that you can knock out the nuclear capability of Russia, China or any other opponent, and win a nuclear war. And both Russia and China have made very clear that they do not buy that, that they have modernized their capability: Russia has just moved its nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad, which is directly opposite from the Baltics; they have put many of their ICBMs on mobile trains; they have increased their various defenses, and China has said the same thing.
So, Mr. Postol had slides which show what happens if there is a nuclear impact on Washington, and how that will destroy all life on Earth. You may pass this around, because I think it is important that Americans really start to think about it: Because the most shocking thing about this is, that when you had the Cuban Missile Crisis, and you had Kennedy in the White House, there was a big debate: What would be the effect of nuclear war? And Kennedy said, the people who die in the first hours will be happy, as compared to those who die a few hours, a few weeks later, in a nuclear winter, when all life has been destroyed, all food is gone. And also when you had the intermediate missile crisis at the beginning of the ’80s, there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets, warning of the Third World War.
And now, where every military expert who has occupied himself with this, has come to the conclusion that we are today, much, much, much closer, to the danger of nuclear war than at any time in history, and the horrifying thing is nobody speaks about it. There is no public outcry, there is no upheaval, people don’t demand a change of this, and that is also something which has to be changed.
So this is why we have to really think to get Obama out of the White House, says my husband, because without the United States, this war would not function. The British are the real instigators of the war. But the British have a pitiful defense system; they just have more budget cuts every year, so the British alone are just a tiny little island with really no military capability—but the United States has to be brought away from this confrontation against Russia.
As I said, the impeachable crimes are the illegal killing of American citizens (I personally think the other citizens are illegally killed as well, but that is not covered by the American Constitution), and especially the illegal war against Libya, are enough reasons to start the impeachment. This is a difficult task, because the Republicans, being great “patriots,” they say, let’s keep Obama in the White House as a punching bag for the 2016 election, because with him as an enemy image, we can win the Presidency. So obviously the Democrats have the major share of the responsibility. But that is really what is needed, because the beautiful development which is happening in the rest of the world may not function if the United States is on the wrong track, and that puts a very special responsibility on you, on the American citizens, because, the change can only come from within this country.
We Need a Revolution
Fortunately, there is something really revolutionary going on which you may never read in the Wall Street Journal or in the New York Post or the New York Times, because these papers are really not real newspapers. They are PR firms to sell the interest of Wall Street. So therefore, you will not read about these beautiful developments, so please go to our websites instead, or subscribe to our publications, and you will find out every day.
But what I mean by this, is this: When we started to realize in what serious trouble civilization was, already 40 years ago, but then especially after Mr. LaRouche declared that we are on the way to World War III, we conducted a couple of conferences such as this, and even bigger international conferences, with the idea, that the combination of all the problems in the world: the danger of nuclear extinction, the danger of a meltdown of the system, the absolute collapse of our culture, that we have a demonic culture, a bestial culture; if you look at some of the pop singers that our young people are listening to, it is Satanism! Because it is just a complete perversion of the image of man—it’s ugly, it’s disgusting, it’s violent, it’s perverse, pornographic, I could probably go on for an hour like that—and it destroys especially the creativity of everybody who watches this or listens to this.
If you look at the total trust of the people in politics! Why are there only less than 50% of the people voting in the United States? That means 50% have already said it’s hopeless, there’s nothing you can do! If you look at the complete collapse of common values, of republicanism, of just ordinary values of families; if you look at the shootings in the schools, or the shootings in the malls, or in Washington, two, three people every day are being killed—if you don’t come to the conclusion that this society is really sick; if you have an adult population which agrees, “Yeah, our children and our grandchildren will be much worse off than we were,” and they don’t do anything about it, you have a dying society!
So, I could elaborate this more, but I want to make a conclusion out of all of this: This is why we in our conferences, set ourselves the theme: we need a new paradigm, which breaks completely with all values of this globalization, of this imperialism, of this oligarchism, of this monetarism, of this money, money, money lust, of this perversion of the present system, and we have to make a break and go to a new paradigm of the future epoch of civilization.
Now, most people have no idea what that should look like, because they don’t think about it, but they should think about it. And there are actually examples in history, that you very consciously can initiate such a change. Well, if you go back to the 14th Century, where you had a real dark age, you had witch-burning, you had the Flagellants, you had the Black Death which killed half of the population from India to Ireland; you had a terrible collapse. And you should read the Decameron of Boccaccio, or look at the pictures of Bruegel, where you have crazy people looking insanely, then you get a picture of what a dark age is. Read the Decameron, because it is a very good mirror of what we are looking at.
But then came the Golden Italian Renaissance. And that was a completely different age. It broke with all of these horror shows of the 14th Century. And it was triggered by, on the one side Jeanne d’Arc, and we will hear later today about that [from Megan Beets], so I will not speak about that. But it was especially caused by the ideas of one man, who is maybe not so well known in the United States, but he’s becoming increasingly known internationally.
A Nicholas of Cusa Renaissance
There is a real Nicholas of Cusa Renaissance going on, where people recognize that they have overlooked one of the outstanding thinkers of all of human history, and there is right now a flourishing of writings.
So he is a German, who was born in Bernkastel Kues—that’s where his name comes from, Nikolaus von Kues, which is only half an hour from my hometown, Trier, and that is actually how I came to learn about him, because he is sort of a neighbor from the 15th Century. And he was very active churchman: He became a bishop, then he became a cardinal. And he was sent by several Popes on extremely important Church missions during his time. He started, at the time when the Catholic Church really divided—you had three Popes. You had the Conciliar movement, which decided that the authority of the Church could only come from the Council and not from the Pope, because you could not give that responsibility to only one person.
And Nicholas of Cusa, in the beginning, was on the side of the Conciliar movement, but later he changed that, because he realized that the unity, the concordance, can only come from a One, and that the Church has to be structured to be in a harmonic relationship to this One.
He was an absolutely outstanding person, because he not only traveled to England, to Austria, to France, all over continental Europe on Church missions, trying to eliminate wrong ideas of various sects, the Hussites, various others; so he was extremely busy. But while he was traveling, by horse most of the time, he was at the same time, thinking the most profound ideas—how to get unity in the Church, how to get unity in the states among the nations, and his person is the proof that you don’t have to sit in an ivory tower to come up with profound ideas, but that it is the struggle to bring order into the world when it is urgent, which is how you do it.
He was educated by the humanists, both in the Brothers of the Common Life, but also the people in Padua, so he had contact with a school of Italian humanists who had the idea that you have to go back to the sources of the great thinkers of the past, and not take some gossip or footnotes, of some scholar afterwards. So in this capacity, he went to Byzantium and he collected all the manuscripts from the early Church councils: The Council of Nicaea, various councils in the first centuries after Christ, and he made a tremendous discovery: namely that the reason why the Greek and the Catholic Church had split, was invalid.
The official reason for the split of the Church was that the so-called Filioque, that God emanates not only from the Father God, from the Logos, but also from the Son, which was in the early Church councils. And he could find manuscripts from that period, from these early councils, brought them back to the Pope, and that informed, then, the Council of Ferrara, and the Council of Florence. And in the second mission, Nikolaus brought then a delegation of 700 Orthodox scholars and Church officials to the Council of Florence, and the Church reunited.
Now, when this happened, he already had the idea that he was thinking something which had never been thought in mankind before. And the next major development, was when Constantinople was taken over by the Muslims in 1453, and that was with blood, and people got killed, so it was an early “clash of civilizations.” And the horror news about this came into Europe, and people really were completely freaked out about this religious war.
But while this was going on, Nikolaus wrote De Docta Ignorantia and he again said, “I’m now writing something which goes beyond the knowledge of any human being who thought before.” And he wrote among other things, De Pace Fidei, the idea of the peace in religion, which is a beautiful dialogue where he establishes that, despite all differences in religion, there is only one God, and there is only one Truth, and the differences come from the different prophets and the different traditions, but it is possible to find the unity of the one God and the one Truth.
Cusa’s Method of Thought
But he also developed a method of thinking, which is the idea that you have to have a higher principle which you have to get from the order of the universe: The ontological order of the universe, which is an unfolding universe, a creation in which there is a higher principle which unfolds and then emanates as what has to advise people for how they should conduct their political life, their church life, and so forth.
So basically, it was this method, which enabled him to develop a new method of thinking, which was the foundation of modern science, of modern great Classical art. So what he did, is, he looked at the axioms of the intellectual life of his time, sort of as we would go to Harvard or MIT and would say, “Oh, all of this which is being taught there is bunk”—he did that with all the universities of his time, and he came to the conclusion that scholasticism and Aristotelianism has to be eliminated by a superior method. And he described the difference with the Aristotelian method, such as when a person stands in a high tower and looks down on a hunter who is hunting the hunted. So the person who is thinking on the higher level can see the hunter, the hunted, and the hunting as one process; while an Aristotelian is either the hunter or the hunted, but he can never see the process as a whole.
So he developed this methodology, which is really characterized in the De Docta Ignorantia, that you have to train your mind not to latch onto concretes in the sensuous realm. Because this is why he developed, for example, something which is called “negative theology,” that for example, you cannot describe God with any notion which comes from human experience. Because even if you say, “God is Almighty,” or “God is Eternal,” these are all projections of your limited mind, where you try to describe God, Who is obviously outside of all of human experience, with something that comes from human experience.
So, in a beautiful treatise which you should read, called, The Non-Other, he comes to the conclusion that the non-other is none other than the non-other. So you may think that that sounds funny, but if you go through the whole argument, you can see that Nicholas of Cusa helps you not to get stuck in the mud of sensuous experience, but brings you to a level which he called the coincidentia oppositorum; that means in English, the “coincidence of all opposites,” and what it means is essentially that there is a higher One, that the One has a higher order and a higher power than the multiplicity. And you have to be able to train your reason, not the intellect, not ratio, not understanding, but reason which is on a higher level than ratio, to think of that higher One as a method of solution.
You can also say, it is a method of learning what is a flank; any military commander knows what that means, that if you have inferior forces you cannot win against superior forces in a head-on collision, but there are many battles in history, where if you had a wonderful strategic thinker, he was able to outflank a superior enemy by thinking a flank or even a double flank, like Friedrich the Great did in the famous Battle of Leuthen.
You can also say that it’s metaphor thinking: that you have to train the mind to think something which has not been thought before. Now, if you want to make a scientific discovery, or if you want write a beautiful, musical Classical composition, or write a beautiful Classical poem, well, you have to have that capability in your mind, to be truly creative.
Now, Nicholas of Cusa had this very deep understanding of the ontological order of the universe, about the macrocosm, which can have concordance if you have harmony of all microcosms, as a dynamic process. And he derived his thinking from that ontological order, culminating in the Wisdom of God, which is the only One Who is capable of thinking on the level of the coincidentia oppositorum. And in a kind of pedagogical way, to train people to think like that, he developed this idea that in order to come to that level of thinking, you have to think like you are behind a wall. Before the wall, people are still thinking in contradictions, in obstacles, but you have to sort of jump behind the wall of contradictions to be able to think that higher unity.
And that is basically what he then applied—for example, he discovered a problem which Archimedes was unable to solve, and other mathematicians before, how to make the quadrature of the circle. Now, he made that discovery on horseback, when he was riding from Rome to Brixen, so he was not exactly sitting in an ivory tower, but he was discussing with certain other bishops and mathematicians about that, and there he came to the idea that if you think that the circle has a higher quality and a higher order than the polygon, and the more corners you make in the polygon, the less it becomes like the circle. But he also applied it to many, many other problems, especially to his De Pace Fidei.
And I assert, despite the fact that I have not been able to completely trace it (because the problem was, many of Cusa’s writings disappeared into monasteries for centuries, so it’s not so easy), but I’m absolutely convinced that it was his thinking which laid the basis for the Peace of Westphalia, which ended 150 years of religious war in Europe, because the Peace of Westphalia had this idea that you can only have harmony of all nations, if you respect the interests of the other, and if you take the interest of the other as your own, and the maximum development of the other as important as yourself; as vice versa. And that was indeed, what made the Peace of Westphalia possible and established international law.
The Laws of the Universe
Now, this is very important, because we are right now in the process of not only forming a new alliance of nations, as the BRICS countries and the other countries joining with the BRICS demonstrate, but our criticism in the LaRouche movement has been for a very long time, that as important as international law is, and especially the UN Charter, these systems have a big flaw. And that is, that they don’t have an underpinning of an ontological, metaphysical explanation.
And we have now reached in history, the point where we need to have an international law based on the laws of the universe. And the problem we have in the world today, is that we have erred, we have left the right way; in Chinese philosophy you would say, we have lost the mandate of Heaven, and in Confucianism, the idea is that every government must have the mandate of Heaven, that is, the task to do the common good, to take care for the people, to provide for their well being through scientific development, through other things, and when a government loses that mandate of Heaven, it is the task of the noble in the society, called the junzi, who must come to replace that government, and restore the common good.
Now, the ideas of Nicholas of Cusa are extremely close to those of Confucianism, and I have made the argument many times that, in order to understand what this new BRICS development is, and especially what the new Chinese policy of the New Silk Road is, you have to understand Confucianism, which, after all, has informed and guided Chinese society, with almost no interruption for 2,500 years. And Confucius had the same idea in principle as Nicholas of Cusa, that harmony is only possible if everybody develops in the best possible way, and every nation develops in the best possible way.
So the two important ideas are ren, which is the same thing as love, that politics must be based on love, which is the same idea as in Christianity, agape or caritas; and the second most important principle of Confucianism is li, which is the idea that every person and every nation and every thing must fulfill its proper place and develop in the best possible way, and contribute to the harmony of the society in the most perfect way he or she is possible.
Now, that is the idea of the new economic system! And I tell you, people say, oh, but that cannot be true. China must have a secret agenda, they must have another plan, there must be a new imperialism replacing the American imperialism—but I can assure you, that is not the case. Because Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials have made very, very clear, that the new system of nations working together in the Silk Road Economic Belt, which is how they call it in the meantime, which is really the idea of bringing together all nations on this planet, from America, to Asia, to Europe, to Africa, and Australia, in a way where each nation is in a “win-win” relation with each other. That there is no interference, that there is respect for the mutual sovereignty, respect for the other social system of the other country, no interference.
And recently, a couple of days ago in Washington, there was a conference where the vice-president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), said, “no, we even want to have a “win-win-win” relationship,” meaning that the United States should work together with Latin America, and bring in China. That China could be the bridge between the United States and Cuba and Latin America, for a joint development; and then, he even said, we could have not only a triangular relation, but we could have a quadrangular relation, bringing even Russia in!
Now, does that not make sense? Does it not make sense that all these countries join hands, overcome poverty, overcome disease, have a joint future, agree on joint space cooperation—and this Chinese scholar, whose name is Dr. Yuan Peng, said, “let’s join hands in this quadrangular relation and together develop Mars.”
Now doesn’t it make sense to defend our humanity against all dangers and to define the next phase and epoch of human evolution, in building an architecture where not only nations work for their economic interest together, but to establish a joint security architecture, which takes into the interest of every single country on this world?
I think we have reached a point where we are called upon to make that a reality, and that is why we should really leave this meeting by declaring war against Wall Street and dump the Bushes, get rid of Obama, and reestablish the Presidency of the United States, return the United States back into a republic, and build a future where mankind finally can become the truly creative, immortal species in the universe.