The New Silk Road Becomes
The World Silk Road
Aug. 4—The following speech was delivered by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, on July 29, 2016 at the “Think-20” Forum (or T-20 Summit) in Beijing. The Forum was organized by three Chinese think-tanks: the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), with the participation of 500 think-tank experts, politicians, and representatives of international organizations from 25 countries, with a view to formulating suggestions to the heads of state and government of the G-20 member countries. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche spoke on the first panel of the two-day conference dedicated to “Global Governance: System Improving and Capacity Building.”
If the G-20 Summit were to put the World Silk Road on the agenda, the Chinese Dream would become the World Dream.
Since the G-20 represents the most powerful combination of industrial and emerging countries on the planet, there is presently no other agency which can address the existential challenges facing civilization and implement solutions to them in time. The populations of most countries have the very real experience of being engulfed in terrifying crises:
• A terrorist threat out of control internationally;
• The migration of millions of people attempting to escape war, hunger and death;
• The resulting refugee crisis that is shaking the foundations of the EU;
• The rise of anti-establishment parties in many countries;
• The Brexit as a warning shot of the potential disintegration of the EU;
• The increasing gap between the wealthy and ever increasing layers of society who are losing their well-earned status as middle class or are living in poverty;
• The experience of the impact of “unorthodox monetary measures” on life savings and expectations for the future;
• The limits of social acceptability of bailout and bail-in measures; and
• The growing fear that the world has entered a new cold war and a nuclear rearmament spiral—in short, a growing loss of confidence in the establishment of at least the trans-Atlantic sector.
Instead of proposing solutions to these problems, the upcoming G-20 Summit is refusing to acknowledge these crises, in an effort to hide the failures of the dominant policies, in particular since 2008, behind public relations rhetoric, and is failing to take the chance of the upcoming summit to present real solutions to these crises.
As a result, the G-20 Summit will not have effects in the realm of virtual reality, but rather in the realm of history, and in the lives and happiness of billions of real people.
There are immediate solutions at hand, but they require the willingness of leading institutions to revise the axioms of current policies and instead return to policies that have not only proven to be effective in previous times of crisis, but also represent a new paradigm that can lay the basis for the next one hundred years of the human species and beyond.
To Restore Hope Which Has Been Lost
In order to give hope for a better future for all of mankind, a hope which has been lost in many parts of the world, the G-20 Summit must come forward with a vision that offers a remedy, a pathway to overcome those crises I have mentioned, by establishing a higher level of reason to realize the common aims of humanity.
1. The only “practical” expression of that vision—and that is not a contradiction in terms—is the perspective of the New Silk Road put on the table and implemented for three years now by the Chinese government. As of now, over 70 countries are participating in various aspects of the proposal—such as infrastructure and development projects.
What China calls “win-win” collaboration in such joint projects is not only the only efficient way to overcome geopolitical confrontation, but is also coherent with the principles of the Peace of Westphalia, according to which any successful order of peace must be based on the “interest of the other.”
Geopolitical confrontation was the root cause of two World Wars in the 20th Century and of the underlying danger of a third, global war today, which, given the existence of thermonuclear weapons, would be a war of annihilation.
The New Silk Road concept must therefore be extended to all regions of the world as a concrete offer to overcome underdevelopment, as a “World Silk Road.”
If the G-20 member states were to promise to implement such a proposal, with the solemn commitment to overcome hunger and poverty, and provide clean water for everyone within a few years—something which is technologically eminently feasible,— it would cause a revolution of hope and optimism in the world.
2. In order to eliminate both the reasons for mass migration from South-West Asia and Africa, and eliminate the environment for recruitment of terrorists, there must be a comprehensive industrial development perspective, which will rebuild the war-torn regions by means of an integrated plan to develop infrastructure, industry, agriculture, and education, to transform those parts of the world into areas that have increased capacities as a result of a higher productivity of labor power.
In general, the projects of the World Silk Road must be defined so as to have the optimal impact on the cognitive powers of the populations of the respective countries, in order to facilitate the best possible increase in productivity of the world economy. The focus therefore must not only be on innovation, but on qualitative breakthroughs in the understanding of qualitatively new physical principles of our universe.
Examples of this are crash programs for the development of thermonuclear fusion power, which will provide energy and raw materials security for mankind, as well as the development of new water resources through the peaceful use of nuclear energy for the desalination of large quantities of ocean water, the ionization of moisture in the atmosphere, and other technologically innovative forms.
International cooperation in space research, travel, and colonization defines the pathway for the next necessary breakthroughs in science and technology. It also represents the future-oriented platform for a peace order for the 21st Century. And most importantly, it marks the transformation of the human species toward greater consciousness of its own identity as the only creative species known in the universe so far.
3. An uncontrolled collapse of the financial system of the trans-Atlantic sector would threaten to throw many parts of the world into chaos with unpredictable consequences. The so-called “tool-box” of financial instruments, which was decided upon after the 2008 crises instead of implementing true reforms, has been used up. The consequent “unorthodox monetary instruments,” such as quantitative easing, negative interest rates, and helicopter money, have in large part produced the opposite of the intended effect.
The fact that the reintroduction of the FDR Glass-Steagall banking separation law has been adopted in the election platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, and the fact that there is a growing discussion in several European countries about reducing the future risk of the financial system by introducing Glass-Steagall criteria in Europe as well, create a very favorable precondition for agreeing upon a global Glass-Steagall Act at the upcoming G-20 summit.