The Promethean Challenge:
BRICS, a New Era for Mankind
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Helga Zepp-LaRouche delivered the keynote address to the Schiller Institute's June 6 conference in Manhattan, titled, "Decision Day for Humanity: The U.S. Must Return to Its Founding Principles and Join the BRICS Alliance Now."
Dear friends, I'm very happy to speak to you today on this particular day, which is D-Day, and that should fill us all with the hope that the danger of a new fascism, which is arising in the world, can be defeated—but hopefully with fewer casualties.
I'm saying this because we are right now on the edge of World War III, and we are at that moment, exactly for the same reasons, that caused World War I and World War II: geopolitical interests of an imperial force against the well-being and common good of nations. Because, contrary to myth, world wars do not happen because of conflicts among nations, but because of imperial designs for the benefit of a small oligarchy. That is exactly what is happening right now.
I think anybody who follows even the public domain of news, of TV, or media in general, has plenty of evidence that we are heading toward a strategic confrontation between the United States and NATO, on the one side, and Russia and China on the other. And this is not something planned for the distant future. This is on the table right now. It's planned for this Summer.
Last week, in the Australian media, there was an e-mail published by military analyst John Shindler, who said that he just received an e-mail from an official from NATO, a non-American, who said, "War is on for this Summer—let's hope it will not be nuclear."
Now, if you look at the different flashpoints where this war could erupt, you have the escalation of the Ukraine crisis. Massive fighting escalated this past Wednesday. President Poroshenko claims that Ukraine is already at war with Russia, and he claims that there is a full invasion by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. This is completely denied by the Russian side. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov just said, "No. Russia is putting its utmost priority to make sure the Minsk II process is succeeding."
The Ukrainian parliament just made amendments which allow for the admission of armed forces of other states to fight on the territory of Ukraine. So, while it is not excluded that some individual Russians are on the side of eastern Ukraine, the official Russian Army is not, but you have now special troops, mostly from mercenary armies and private institutions of various countries. This bill, by the way, was introduced into the Ukrainian parliament by Prime Minister "Yats," and if you remember, Yatsenyuk is the darling of [Assistant Secretary of State] Victoria Nuland, who imposed him in a coup on the 21st of February 2014.
Now the U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter was meeting yesterday in Stuttgart at the U.S.-European Command, with top American defense officials and diplomats to map out a "counter-strategy" to the Russian military operations in Ukraine, and to "reassure our allies." That is always the phrase used to cover for an escalation. And behind closed doors, two dozen generals, ambassadors, and others were discussing whether to expand military exercises, or beef up the assistance to the Baltics or other countries, and who knows what else they were discussing. It was kind of an emergency meeting.
Ash Carter also said that he is very open to the idea of providing Ukraine with lethal weapons. Now that is completely opposed by most of the European countries, especially Germany, France, and others, because it's the opinion of Hollande, Merkel, and others, that if you provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, a country which is utterly bankrupt—the economy is totally collapsed, the population is suffering a humanitarian catastrophe—it will just lead to more killing, and the danger of an escalation. And that's why the Europeans, that's why Merkel, went to Moscow; that's why you have the so-called Minsk group which is trying to solve this problem by peaceful means.
Multiple Military Maneuvers
Why am I saying that the danger is so immediately acute? Well, if you look at the official NATO website, it has an eight-page document there which goes through the different military maneuvers taking place between April and November, and there are major force exercise, but mostly on the Russian periphery, along the Russian borders. Many of those maneuvers are related to the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, or Spearhead Force, which NATO agreed to establish at the Wales NATO summit last September.
And they also discuss that these maneuvers will involve the expansion of the NATO response force, and some of the names of these maneuvers are: "Arctic Challenge," which involves eight countries and ended on Friday; "Steadfast Cobalt," which is mainly in Poland—this will go until the Fifteenth of June; another one in Holland; a series of so-called "Allied Shield" maneuvers in the Baltics, from the 5th to the 20th of June; "South Strike," from the 8th to the Nineteenth of June in Poland and the Baltics; "Noble Jump," 10th to the 21st of June in Poland and other locations; "Sea Breeze," from the 22nd of June to the 3rd of July, in the Black Sea; and "Trident Juncture," from the first of October to the 6th of November, in Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
And you simultaneously have Russian maneuvers, non-stop, matching the NATO maneuvers, including a maneuver of the Strategic Rocket Force last week. Last week you had the snap maneuvers in the Central Military District, and the message coming from all of that is very clear: that Russia is absolutely not going to back down.
A week ago, you had an incident where the USS Ross, which is an Aegis-equipped Ballistic Missile Defense destroyer, belonging to the Ballistic Missile Defense System, which the United States is building in Eastern Europe and in the Mediterranean, and that ship, the USS Ross, left the Romanian port of Constanta, moving toward Russian water. At that point, the Russian Navy sent SU-24 jets, and forced the USS Ross to turn around, and go back.
Now that incident is, or was, hair-raising, because there was, in the recent period, a whole bunch of top military experts from the United States and from Europe, who warned that, contrary to the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, today there is no red telephone between the President of the United States and that of Russia, and that the normal code of communication, the so-called red telephone, more or less, has completely broken down. And therefore, the danger of even an accidental launch, just some mistaken reading of screens, or some other human failure, could lead to launching of thermonuclear war, which at this point, would, in all likelihood, mean the extinction of civilization.
And the thing which is so horrifying about it, is that, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when President Kennedy was in office, people were aware that nuclear war meant the annihilation of civilization; and compared to that time, we are now in a much, much more dangerous situation, for reasons I'm going to elaborate, than then, and there is no public debate! There is no mass protest! There is no peace movement in the streets.
In the middle-range missile crisis at the beginning of the 1980s, when the [Russian] SS-20 and the [U.S.] Pershing 2 were directed against each other, and all the time, at launch-on-warning, because the distance was so short, you had hundreds of thousands of people in street, in Europe, and people were aware how big the danger was. And now, everybody is sleepwalking, or watching TV, or going on vacation, or some other activity.
The U.S. First-Strike Policy
The growth of the NATO-U.S. missile defense system in Europe, when this started, it was clear to every military expert, that this meant that the United States had gone to a first-strike policy. And more recently, Russia denounced, in no uncertain terms, that they also regard the Prompt Global Strike doctrine as a first-strike doctrine.
The Russian Defense Ministry also was concerned about an exercise in the Atlantic, with the involvement of eight countries, called RC Demonstration 2015, which simulates the interception of Russian ballistic missiles. And, over the Christmas period, President Putin already had announced the upgrade of the Russian military doctrine by saying that they regard these first-strike doctrines—the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Europe, and the Prompt Global Strike doctrine—as a severe security threat to the existence of Russia, and therefore, they preserve the right to even use nuclear weapons to prevent such a strategy from being successful.
Now that shows you in what proximity of the catastrophe we are.
The military leaders of Europe, with whom we are in contact, have assured us—and I don't want to name any names, but these are people who are really top, top experts—that all of these maneuvers, and all of these permanent rotations of U.S. troops to the Baltics, sending in tank battalions and other heavy equipment, all is just confetti. It doesn't mean anything. Because these troops could not possibly win a war against Russia in a conventional way. And this is just a PR campaign to calm the nerves of nervous Nellies in the Baltic countries who mostly have leaders who have been chosen in exile, and put in these positions.
But below the nuclear threshold, nothing would function. So we are not really talking about some conventional little war in Europe, but they are talking clearly about a thermonuclear war.
Exactly the same escalation of the confrontation is happening towards China right now (Figure 1). At the end of May, the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft flew over the Yongshu reef, which is part of Spratly Islands, and they had a CNN crew on board. And that CNN crew filmed the reef, and the people on this little rock, and then a tremendous PR campaign was launched about this being the proof of the "aggressive behavior of China." And naturally, China is on some of these rocks, filling up sand, and making them actually little islands, but that is not only China. Every country in the region has done that: The Philippines, Vietnam, and others.
China protested and said, this is violating the 12-mile radius around these reefs. And then Carter said, "There should be no mistake about this. The U.S. will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do around the world."
China Daily, at that point, rejected capitulation to U.S. bullying tactics, and said that this was just the U.S. implementing the pivot to Asia strategy, to counterbalance the rise of regional powers China and India. This was the first time they named India as being part of the reason why the United States is doing the Asia pivot policy.
Then the Global Times, the official Chinese paper, also said, experts warn of the potential of a military conflict over heightened U.S. surveillance over these islands, and a representative of the PLA Academy of Military Science, Peng Wanghang, said, "China will likely strike back if the U.S. comes within 12 miles of the islands. The U.S. is deliberately provoking China."
And what was the comment of the Wall Street Journal? "War on China Now." They say, "the longer the U.S. fails to contest Beijing's South China Sea claims, the more aggressive China will become, and perhaps willing to fight for them. The time to resist China's maritime pretensions is now."
Conflict in the South China Sea
Deng Xiaoping, already in the '80s, when little rumblings around these islands had come up, said, let's not fight over rocks in the South China Sea. Let's freeze the whole conflict. Let's jointly develop these places and benefit all of them, and leave it to future generations to figure out who has what territorial claim, but let's not get into fights right now.
That advice was obviously not taken, especially as the rise of China became an issue—and remember that [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs] General Dempsey repeatedly warned the West not to fall into the Thucydides Trap over China, because the neo-cons, around the fall of the Soviet Union, had developed this idea that they would never allow any country to rise above the power and economic might of the United States, and not even a group of countries.
Now, China is rising. China is 1.4 billion people. India is probably 1.3 billion people, and they have high growth rates. China used to have a growth rate of up to 12%; now it has consciously reduced that to about 7%. India has a growth rate of 8%. So these countries are rising, and they represent many more people than the United States. So why should they not develop? But General Dempsey had warned the West not to fall into the Thucydides Trap, referring to Athens in ancient Greece, against Sparta, because when Sparta started to develop, the Athenians were worried that they would lose power, so they started the Peloponnesian War, and overstretched their empire, and that is how Classical Greece went under. So, Dempsey said, the United States should not make that mistake.
Obviously, they're not listening. And right now, you have all kinds of think-tanks—CSIS and others—who invite people from the South China region and have them play war games over these islands.
Already in 2012, Manila deployed its largest naval asset, a decommissioned U.S. 1960-era patrol cutter, to arrest Chinese fishermen on the Scarborough Shoal, there you see it (Figure 1), a reef in the northeast of the South China Sea. But then, it turned out the entrance was too small, and the water too shallow, for a warship, so instead they had to send a small boarding team, which went into the lagoon, and made the arrest. But that gave Chinese law enforcement enough time to send a vessel, and intervene. So Manila lost face because they were looking militaristic, sending a warship against fishermen, and having militarized the dispute.
China, at that point, retaliated with economic pressure, and for one full year, the Philippines had no ambassador to China, and eventually had to pick a new, more peaceful ambassador to assume that post.
Similarly, in 2012, China prevailed against Vietnam over disputed blue-water territories, and the Paracel's Woody Island. Now, the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Miss Hua Chunying, said in response that the Chinese land reclamations around the Meiji Reef, which is also claimed by the Philippines, only have the purpose of improving functions for the living conditions of the personnel who are stationed there, to help to develop maritime search-and-rescue disaster prevention, maritime science and research, meteorological observation, navigation, safety, fishery production service, and all kinds of civilian demands, in addition to military defense.
So, it is clear that the buildup of these reefs and shoals into artificial islands increases both thir civilian and the military use. But as the former Prime Minister of Australia Hawke just said, this is not a threat to anybody. Our ships are not being hampered, and they can travel through these areas without a problem.
Now, why should these rocks and a little sand on top of them, be such an issue, that people start talking about possible war between the United States and China?
When I arrived in Beijing last February, in 2014, this was a few days before the Nazi coup in Kiev occurred. I was talking to Chinese officials, and I warned them that this could lead to a potential great war. And they had no idea. They were not interested in Ukraine. They said, oh, Ukraine is very far away, and we are much more concerned about our conflict with Japan and the South China Sea. Naturally that attitude has changed after the total escalation over Ukraine, but in Europe people have still a similar attitude. They say, oh, why discuss these rocks in the South China Sea? Why should we concern ourselves with this?
Well, both conflicts are the result of geopolitics, of empire politics, which led to two world wars already, so we should not dismiss such things at all. We have to go back to what geopolitics was before World War I, the crazy assumptions of such people as Mackinder and Milner, who. at that time, at the end of the Nineteenth Century, developed the idea that whoever controls the Eurasian mainland, is putting the Atlantic Rim countries at a disadvantage in terms of controlling the world.
At that point, you had in Europe and Eurasia, the Trans-Siberian Railroad developed. You had Bismarck, who adopted the American System of Economy, which was the idea coming from Henry C. Carey, the advisor of Lincoln, and these ideas were transmitted to Bismarck, especially by the head of the industrial association in Germany at the time, Wilhlem von Kardoff. The idea was that what generates wealth in society is not free trade; it's not the ability to buy cheap and sell dear, but it is entirely the development of the creative powers of labor and the productive powers of industry.
Now, this adoption by Bismarck of the American System of Economy, as it was developed by Lincoln at the time, in a very short period of time, in a few years, turned Germany from a feudal country into one of the industrial powers of the world, and also, to have the best social system in the world, going along with that. But that was very much a thorn in the side of the British Empire at that point. Because if then, as in the '90s of the Nineteenth Century, the Trans-Siberian Railroad brought an advantage to trade via land, via railroad, they saw their control on the sea threatened.
So, the British did a whole bunch of maneuvers to derail this. One was, they used their influence in Germany to get the ouster of Bismarck [in 1890], which was really the beginning of World War I. They manipulated the landscape to have the Entente Cordiale, the Triple Entente, the attack by Japan on Russia in 1905, the two Balkan wars in 1912, and then, when the shots of Sarajevo occurred, this was just the trigger, but not the cause of this war.
World War I ended with the Versailles Treaty, and that Treaty had the seeds already of the Second World War, and the Third World War, if we don't stop it. At the end of World War I, the German-held territories of the Shandong Peninsula were transferred to Japan at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Shandong, including Jiaozhou and the Pacific Islands north of the equator, were supposed to go Japan. This included the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Mariana Islands, and the Carolines. But Japan was very unhappy that only half of the rights of Germany were given to Japan, and they walked out of the conference.
The reason why Japan was treated so nicely—after all, they got half the territory—is because they had a secret agreement, in 1917, with Great Britain and France and Italy, that guaranteed these territories to Japan; and Japan, in turn, agreed that they would support the British annexing the Pacific islands south of the Equator. So Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles transferred these German colonies and concessions in Jiaozhou, China, to Japan.
Naturally this led to the protest of Liu Tseng-Tsiang, head of the Chinese delegation, who rejected this agreement, and China, as a consequence, did not sign the treaty; it was the only country at that conference not to sign. China had a tremendous feeling of injustice and outrage, which led to the demonstrations which became known as the May 4 Movement. Thousands of students demonstrated in Beijing, in strikes and boycotts of Japanese goods—and also workers and merchants participated, and all layers of the society regarded the Versailles Treaty as an utter fraud.
The San Francisco Peace Conference
Thirty years later, after the Second World War, there was the San Francisco peace conference, where China, thanks to John Foster Dulles, was not even seated. They were not even invited to participate, despite the fact that they had fought the Japanese longer than anybody, and they had the highest casualty rate in Asia.
So, the Western powers established the current Eastern Asian order in China's absence. And John Foster Dulles, who was the designer of the Treaty, deliberately left certain Asian frontier territories without owners. There is a book called the The Cold War Frontiers in the Asia-Pacific, written by Kimie Hara, which said that the San Francisco Peace Treaty created the causes for almost every subsequent territorial dispute in Asia. And this is a very long list of disputes: the Kurile Islands, the Northern Territory, the division of North and South Korea, the Dokto-Takashima Islands, the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands, the separation of Taiwan from the Mainland, the Paracels-Yisha. which was that, and the Spratly Namsha islands.
This is why these conflicts can be activated every time you want to have a war. And it is obvious that you do not find the dynamics if you just look at the current-day media. And as I will show you in a second, the Ukraine crisis, and the conflict with Russia, come exactly from the same origin.
Now, the Versailles Treaty was not a peace treaty. It was a debt dungeon established in the interests of the financial oligarchy. No serious historian any more would claim that Germany was the only war party in the First World War, but as I said, this had a 30-year pre-history, where the main manipulators were really the British, for reasons that they hated the German industrial revolution introduced by Bismarck, and they hated the idea of the Eurasian development.
Nevertheless, the Versailles powers ruled that Germany had to pay both its own war debt, which was significant, and reparations. And that was so much more than German industry could possibly produce, that it led to the 1923 hyperinflation, the 1929 crash, the Great Depression of the '30s, and that all gave rise to the National Socialists [Nazis], and that way, the preparation for World War II was created.
The same method, by the way, was behind the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, which divided the Middle East in such a way that you could manipulate any ethnic situation whenever you wanted to. It also was the basis of the 1919 Trianon Treaty, which created the same kind of powder keg for the Balkans, and in each of these situations, potential future territorial conflicts were already built in.
Now, the same debt prison which Versailles meant to Germany after the First World War, which was really the seed of the catastrophe to come, has been imposed, for exactly the same reason, with the Maastricht Treaty, on all of Europe, and has led to the Ukraine crisis. Helmut Schmidt, the former Chancellor of Germany, whom you can disagree with on some points, but he was one of three German individuals in the last week—Helmut Schmidt, Gerhard Schröder, and Frank-Walter Steinmeier—who strongly came out against the confrontation with Russia, and strongly criticized Merkel for not inviting Putin to the G7 summit which takes place this weekend. Because none of the big conflicts, they argue, can be solved without Russia—not terrorism, not ISIS, not the Ukraine issue, not the financial crisis—so why not invite Putin to participate?
Now, Helmut Schmidt also said that the origin of the Ukraine crisis was the 1992 adoption of the Maastricht Treaty. Why? Because it was at that point that not only was a debt regime imposed over all of Europe, forbidding, for example, credit generation for productive purposes, but especially—and that is the argument Schmidt made—it was the beginning of the eastward expansion of the EU, which always went in parallel with the eastward expansion of NATO.
The Greek Debt Powderkeg
Now, the policy of the Troika against Greece—the Troika being the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the EU Commission—was to impose several "rescue packages" on Greece, which now has led to a complete debt of @eu360 billion. Ninety-seven percent of that money never remained in Greece, but immediately went back to pay the European banks, and only 3% of it stayed in Greece, so the Greek government has argued, legitimately, and understandably, that they cannot and will not pay that debt, because if you look the smallness of Greece, the smallness of the Greek economy, they would have to have a 200% growth rate of GDP in order to pay their debts. So they have demanded a debt-cancellation conference.
Five months of negotiations between the new Syriza-Independent Greeks government with the Troika have led to a complete standstill, and Greece was supposed to pay @eu300 million to the IMF on Friday. And then they were on the telephone with Merkel, with Hollande, and were presented with the ultimate list of tax increases by @eu3.5 billion, by more cuts in the pensions, in the health system—so, Prime Minister Tsipras said, this is unacceptable. This cannot be the basis for an agreement, because we have a red line, and that is we made promises to our population, and we won the election on that basis—that we will not pay debt which we regard as illegitimate.
Greece has, for the time being, said they will pay all the monies which will come due in June, which is, altogether, @eu1.5 billion by the end of June. That may be the beginning of the end, not only of the euro, but of the entire trans-Atlantic financial system. Because on this Greek debt, hangs several trillion in derivatives, and therefore, I think Tsipras has, for sure, the better cards, because [Finance Minister] Varoufakis is an economist, he knows his business, and they know perfectly well, that the moment the Eurozone kicks out Greece in an uncontrolled way, then you will have the evaporation of the entire trans-Atlantic financial system. And there is a swap agreement between the ECB and the Federal Reserve; therefore, they hang together; they have an outstanding derivatives debt exposure of $2 quadrillion.
So this is why you have right now the reemergence of this same geopolitical impulse, where some of the financial oligarchy just say—not everybody, because some of them have changed—some of them say: Well, if Asia is rising and the trans-Atlantic sector is collapsing, it is better that we risk a thermonuclear showdown, rather than letting them win this game.
The BRICS New Paradigm
That is why we are on the verge of World War III.
But it is not so simple anymore, because, in the meantime, a dramatic, dramatic change has occurred: Since Xi Jinping announced the policy of the New Silk Road of China in September, in Kazakhstan, in 2013, and especially the strengthening of the alliance among the BRICS countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] at the Fortaleza summit in July 2014 in Brazil, you have a completely new dynamic in the world. What has emerged—pretty much unknown to people in Europe and the United States, because the mass media have slandered this, or blacked it out completely—is a parallel economic and financial system. And in the last year alone, you have an unbelievable number of joint projects in infrastructure, scientific and technological cooperation, nuclear cooperation, joint space programs.
Infrastructure projects, for example, include the building of a second Panama Canal in Nicaragua, with the help of China. You had the visit of Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Brazil, Peru, and Chile, which resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding among China, Brazil, and Peru, to build a transcontinental railroad, which, for the first time in history, will unite the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean by railway.
South America: Proposed Transcontinental
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This is historic, because if you look at the map of Latin America, (Figure 2)up to now, you have no continent-wide infrastructure project, or system; you only have little pieces of railway from the raw materials to the port, which is the leftover from the colonial exploitation of Latin America. But this is now changing, because Li Keqiang went on to Chile, and they agreed to build four tunnels between Chile and Argentina, to also connect the trade, to have access to the Atlantic and the Pacific.
And this is all based on Xi Jinping's pronouncement to have a "win-win" policy—that naturally, China has advantages, it has expanding export markets—but it brings the urgently required infrastructure to these countries.
The BRICS have also agreed to create a completely new parallel financial system. The United States tried to prevent anybody from joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the AIIB, but then, Great Britain wanted to join, and then Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia, Israel! So altogether, 58 nations wanted to become founding member-nations of the AIIB. And this bank, like all the other banks which I will name in a second, are not to speculate: They are only there to issue credit for infrastructure for the real economy.
The BRICS countries are bringing the New Development Bank into operation this coming July, around the BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia. And also, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which has its summit at that time in Ufa, will have their own development bank; the SAARC countries, this is the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, will have their own development bank; China has created, in addition, a New Silk Road Development Fund, a Maritime Silk Road Fund. And so this is really taking off.
All of these banks have around $100 billion core capital—naturally, they can lend out much more money than their basic capital; the BRICS have also created a Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which is a pool to defend all participating countries against speculative attacks. They have learned their lesson from the Asia crisis [1997-98], when such people as George Soros, speculated the currencies of Asia down by 80% in one week in '97!
This has been going on, especially in the last year. There is a completely new economic and financial system emerging, and as I said, the media did not report it at all. Instead, they had slanders against Xi Jinping, Putin, naturally, the "demon"; Xi Jinping, the new "dictator" and Mao Zedong, "tensions between China and India." So they're only reporting things which were either outright lies, or negative images, so that people in America or Europe would not know about these positive developments.
A Glimpse of Reality Emerges
But this is now changing: Over the last two, three weeks, the success of this new system is becoming so overwhelming that the media could not help but to report about it. This is Time magazine, with the headline, "New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever" (Figure 3). This is written by Robert Berke, and it goes through all of these projects, going into the history of the ancient Silk Road, Marco Polo, but especially coming to the present situation. But then, it still has the spin, by saying, "all this is, is really a chess game for the control of Eurasia. This will lead to a new Cold War, where the outcome is still completely open."
This is another such article, "Could the New Silk Road End Geopolitical Tensions?"
And then also, there is lengthy reportage on the official German radio Deutschlandfunk: "China's New Silk Road: Old Route, New Ways," also going into the legendary ancient Silk Road in great detail, actually quite excitedly reporting that this is really taking off, with huge development projects. But then, they say, you know, the Chinese propaganda is that this is for the benefit for all of mankind—which gets them very upset, and they don't want to believe it.
And they say, "Ja, there is the one route which goes from the ancient emperor's city of Xi'an, through Central Asia to Russia, Poland, and ends in the city of Duisburg—Duisburg is the largest interior port of Europe, where Xi Jinping went, when he recently went to Germany, and they received him with the big banner, "The Silk Road Has Arrived in Germany." But then they say there is also a second route, which goes from the ancient city of Kashgar, which is in the west of China, all the way to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey, and also ends up in Europe. And, it involves the famous Karakorum Highway going from Kashgar to Pakistan, and so forth and so on.
A couple of months ago, I had requested at a conference similar to this, that we absolutely must get a public debate, in Europe and in the United States, about the fact that an alternative to a collapsing trans-Atlantic system exists, and that China and the BRICS countries have offered to the West to cooperate and be part of it. And I would say it is a certain success of our work that we have now several major articles reporting that. And I'm only picking out a couple. Also, the director of International Security Studies at the British Royal United Services Institute [RUSI], which is the leading military think-tank of the U.K., Raffaello Pantucci, said this dynamic cannot be stopped; it will happen anyway. The Chinese Silk Road is the way out for the European crisis. Why not just cooperate?
The Carnegie Tsinghua Center for Global Policy also said that this is the chance for Greece to recover the lost economic space of the past 20 years, and become an advanced country, cooperating with the BRICS and the Silk Road. And that is actually the position of the Greek government, which has said, for a long time, that Greece, which has historical, long traditional ties with China—they pride themselves that when China had the Silk Road, and even before that, an ancient civilization, Greece was one of the cradles, or the cradle of European civilization, and they had, through the ancient Silk Road, deep cultural and economic ties; and therefore, Greece should revive now the bridge between Europe and China. And Greece, because of the Orthodox Church and other historical ties, has also extremely good relations with Russia.
Also an economist from Ecuador, Pedro Páez, asked, why is Europe not just cooperating with the Silk Road? The austerity drive has no future, it failed in Latin America before, and it will fail in Europe, while the Silk Road represents the hope for Europe to revive its economy.
Confucius and the Mandate of Heaven
Now, how should we look at that? China is preparing a completely different model of government and of relations among states. I can only encourage you to read a book which contains 70 of the recent speeches of Xi Jinping from 2013-14, called The Governance of China, because if you read these 70 speeches, you get a sense that you have a completely different leader in front of you, than we are accustomed to in the West, since the murder of the John F. Kennedy, or the ouster of Adenauer and de Gaulle. Because we have more or less dwarves as political leaders who are involved in scandals, who are involved in all kinds of things, but who have not presented a vision.
As a matter of fact, I can tell you, in Europe right now, we have a lot of people who say, all our governments are doing is crisis management; they were running and panting after one crisis after the other, like a dog exhausted from a long run, but they have no vision, they have no solutions, and that is why what is offered here is so attractive.
One quote from Xi Jinping: "We had an obligation to fulfill a dream for humanity. Instead of working against each other, we must work together as states. For that we need trust and unity. We have to name the old ways as inappropriate for the 21st Century. Each country is like a little light, but if we bring them together, we can light up the night sky."
The key to understanding China is Confucius, because Confucianism was the official state philosophy of China for about 2,500 years, with only the very short interruption of the Cultural Revolution, but it is practically in the genes of all Chinese.
Xi Jinping talks about the "Chinese dream" and the "dream for humanity." This actually comes from this Confucian conception of how society should be organized. In the center of this philosophy, is the idea of the perfectibility of man, that you cannot govern a country only by legislation or decrees, or by punishment. He says, if a people is regulated only through the threat of punishment and decrees, it may be possible to get them not to do what is forbidden, but they will not develop a feeling of shamefulness. (Now that somehow sounds familiar, if you look at the present.) But if people are guided by morality and ethical customs, he says, they will not only develop shamefulness, but they will be striving for perfectibility.
Confucius developed his philosophy against a long period of war and chaos in China, and he proceeded from the idea that there is a higher lawfulness in the universe, than that which guides the political activities of the day. He called that, like other philosophers before him, the "Mandate of Heaven." This is an idea which, in European philosophy, appeared as the notion of "natural law," that there is an in-built, higher lawfulness, which man can violate, for a little bit, but sooner or later, these higher laws will punish the violators. And in the same way, Confucius says that the Mandate of Heaven, which means the obligation to create an harmonious development of society—and harmony means not just peace or calmness—it means, consensus of the governed, unity, and all of this directed toward the common progress in society.
The closest thinker in European philosophy I have found who matches the ideas of Confucius, is the famous scientist Nicholas of Cusa, of the Fifteenth Century, who not only was the father of modern science in Europe and therefore, also America, but also the creator of a sovereign republic, the idea of the modern nation-state. He developed, for the first time, the idea that rulership must be based on the consensus of the governed, and that is exactly the idea of Confucius, who says the government must act on the Mandate of Heaven, and if the government is bad and loses that mandate, it is the obligation of Chun-Tzu, the "noble sages," to replace that government and bring the state back into order.
Nicholas of Cusa had the idea that government not only should be provided by the wisest, but those of the wisest who have the strongest sense of lawfulness, for the legality of the state. Now, what the mandate is, is an objective matter: It's natural law, it's a high order within Creation. But to recognize that, and to act on it, requires the development of humanity. Therefore, Confucius put so much emphasis on education, especially to develop virtue.
The educational method which Confucius developed is not based on teaching facts or giving information, but by inspiration, by being a role model, and the aim is the search for truth. And Confucius even had the idea to throw his pupils periodically into a crisis, so that they would find a deeper and better truth, and be willing to take down their previous assumptions.
In that sense, Confucian ideas are also very similar to the idea of the "aesthetical education" of Friedrich Schiller, which is still, in my view, the most noble idea, namely that one is able to educate every human being to become a beautiful soul and a genius.
Now, Nicholas of Cusa developed a method of thinking in the De Docta Ignorantia—this is actually a very nice picture Figure 4. When you go to Bernkastel-Kues the next time (which you should do pretty soon), because that's the birthplace of Nicholas of Cusa, and you see this painting in the little chapel in the hospital which he donated 500 years ago, and which is still in operation for about 35 people, as an old people's home. There's a little chapel, and it has this painting, and another one, in which you see the bad clergy who go to Hell. So, since he was a key reformer of the Church and would have made Luther completely superfluous, I find it quite interesting that he had such an idea.
In one of his main writings, De Docta Ignorantia, or On Learned Ignorance, Cusa has this idea that man never knows the truth, but is in a perfect process of perfection and self-perfection; Confucius says more or less the same thing. He says: A good man does not slavishly follow the steps of others. He's not even following slavishly his own steps, because experience has taught him that every occasion is different, and you have to permanently evaluate each situation afresh, and then choose what is the next step.
Confucius also was very strongly of the opinion that Classical music elevates man, while destructive music destroys society. Now, if you look at the music of the Atlantic region today, I think we should be extremely worried. And he says, the effect of bad music has the same negative effect as populist orators; these people know how to talk very well, but only to achieve a sudden effect to please a sensuous experience of the audience, but watch out; these people are always only following their own interests and therefore are very dangerous.
Nicholas of Cusa has the same polemic against the school of rhetoric which, during his time, was very popular among the Scholastics, and they were based on the Aristotelian school of rhetoric, in which you just have to learn to talk up your issues well, and then you will have success. I would say that almost every politician in the United States and Europe right now, at best, are well-trained rhetorical orators, and therefore, they are very dangerous.
I think if you look at all of this, there is no question in my mind, and I hope to at least make you curious enough that you investigate it on your own, that Xi Jinping is a completely Confucian man. He said The Governance of China:
"People make history and work creates the future. Work is the fundamental force, driving the progress in society. Happiness does not fall from the sky, nor dreams become true automatically, but through work. Work is industrious, honest, creative. Work is the most honorable, sublime, magnificent, and beautiful. It releases the creative potential and it creates a better future for all. Innovation is the soul of a nation's progress. Science and technology are the primary productive forces. This is why China is training such a large number of high-caliber creative scientists and engineers. We are proud of having the most scientists and engineers in the whole world."
He also said that they want to replace, as quickly as possible, the mark "Made in China," with "Created, Invented in China." The Chinese dream is to create a better future for the whole society, based on the fullest development of the creative potential of every individual in society. The New Silk Road policy offers that participation in that in a "win-win" policy: Everybody can participate and replicate the Chinese dream, which has led to the astounding economic miracle of China, in which China developed in 30 years, what Europe and the United States took almost 200 years to accomplish.
President Xi offered to President Obama at the APEC conference last October in Beijing, a new model of relations between major countries, which is based on mutual respect for each other's sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs; respect for the different social systems; and, based on a "win-win" cooperation—which happens to be the same principle as the Peace of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years War in Europe, which established that foreign policy must be based on the interest of the other. That happens to be also the basis of international law, and the UN Charter.
Revive the American Dream
Now, how should we, and how can we, therefore, overcome the immediate danger of thermonuclear war, and the immediate danger that this beautiful mankind would vanish in extinction! Well, I think it's very simple: What we have to do, and especially what you have to do, is to revive the American dream. Remember that such a thing once existed? The dream of the Founding Fathers was to create a republic, to make this country a "beacon of hope and a temple of liberty," where every person from around the globe would be happy to come to and become an American. The idea of a republic, of a constitution, which was based on the principles of the common good, and the non-violation of sovereignty, not only for the present but also for future generations.
How can we overcome the danger of a financial blowout? Well, it's very simple: We have to end the casino economy which is driving the war. How do we do that? Implement Glass-Steagall. Now, fortunately, the Presidential campaign of Martin O'Malley is taking prominence more and more every day, and he has said that the first action he would take when he gets into the White House, would be to implement Glass-Steagall: Now that would mean ending this high-profit maximizing of the profit of a few, and going back to the American System of Economy. It should not be surprising that the Wall Street Journal therefore, has declared Martin O'Malley "enemy number-one" in an article yesterday, and O'Malley said he is proud of that.
Therefore, it is the task of every patriotic American to help Lyndon LaRouche, to help us, and to help, in general, to create a team around O'Malley, which can revive every aspect of the republican tradition of America, especially the policies of Alexander Hamilton, who, after all, created a National Bank, he unified the country by taking over the debt of the different states, which was $70 million at the time, an astronomical figure, and he created then a credit system based on his four reports to the Congress. And all of this had the same idea: that the only source of wealth is the creative ability of the population.
So all the United States has to do to cooperate with the AIIB, the New Development Bank, the BRICS, the New Silk Road, is go back to your own tradition, go back to the principles of the American Revolution. The United States must be pushed to take up the offer of Xi Jinping, and to cooperate in the great projects! And that means, not only create projects in Asia, Latin America, and Africa: but rebuild the United States! I think if you have travelled some of the roads between Washington and New York recently, I think you should be convinced that you need infrastructure! Have you traveled on the Amtrak? You need a high-speed train system!
Therefore, reviving the American dream would mean, to build a fast train system, preferably a maglev system or some other technology, from the North to the South, from the East to the West; not have the Amtrak system, in which people die because of a lack of safety, and Cass Sunstein's policies of a couple of years ago; but have the idea that we could build, in the United States, 30, 40, 50,000 km of fast train! You would stop having these old and not so secure airplanes for travel on the East Coast. You would have a fast train, a maglev system, where the travel time would be a quarter of what it is now by plane, because you would just get into the station, you would travel an hour, and you are already in Chicago or someplace else.
And that's just the beginning of the technologies which are now being developed further by the Chinese, to be able to travel at the speed of 1,000 miles an hour in the near future.
Now, why not rebuild America? America needs new cities! India is building 100 new cities, so-called "smart cities." These are cities which do not have your typical suburban sprawl and then some strip malls with Dunkin' Donuts, and then McDonalds and then—. And it doesn't matter where you go, in each city, it's the same. If you are dropped by helicopter, into one of these strip malls, you don't know where you are, because they are each exactly the same in every place in the United States!
Let's build beautiful cities! Let's build smart cities, where all the infrastructure is put underground, a modular system, in which the sewerage, the water, the electricity, the transport, is underground, and then, have the core of the city be new universities, libraries, theaters, operas, research facilities; then build housing around that; let the population participate in urban culture, which is lacking today.
New York is probably the only city—maybe Chicago and maybe Boston, a little bit—but you need urban culture! Why is it that China has the most Classical musicians in the world—the most vocalists and most instrumentalists? Because they know that Classical music is what makes creativity easy.
And let's declare a war against the drought! Right now large parts of America—California, Texas, and other states west of the Mississippi—are being lost! And because you have greenie politicians who say, there must be "water conservation," you know, water use is being reduced by Jerry Brown in California, by 25%, or even 35%, and that destroys agriculture, it destroys cities, it destroys human living conditions for people.
Let's declare a war on the drought: California is located on the ocean, so there is enough water. Let's build a couple of small nuclear plants to desalinate large amount of ocean water. Let's revive NAWAPA, bring the water which is now flowing into the Arctic in Canada and in Alaska, down along the Rocky Mountains, through a system of canals, all the way to Mexico: Which was already being discussed in Congress during the time of John F. Kennedy. Let's apply the knowledge we have about cosmic radiation and the processes in the galaxy to have ionization of moisture over the ocean, let's have cloud formation, change the rain patterns, reclaim the deserts in the Southwest of the United States.
Let's have a revival of the American Dream. There is no reason why people should forget what that was. Let's create a mass movement for development. And let's go back to the foreign policy of John Quincy Adams. Let's create an alliance of sovereign nation-states, working together for the common aims of mankind, and realize the dream for all of humanity.
It is so clear, that if we don't change our ways now, if we don't go to a completely new paradigm, we may not exist by the end of this year. But a new paradigm, a new epoch of human civilization, which would realize the idea that the human species is the only creative species known so far in the universe, means also that this humanity is too precious, too beautiful, too lovable, to be risked in thermonuclear war.
Let's turn the United States around, and accept the "win-win" perspective. And let me give you one thought for you to think about: Can you imagine the joy around the world—which now is not so fond of the United States; due to two Bushes, Obama, and the image of the United States has become the lowest around the world—if the United States would now turn around and say, "we are participating in this new paradigm"? The whole world would be so happy, and it is absolutely possible.
So I really ask you, work with us to accomplish that.