LAROUCHE PAC WEBCAST WITH HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE
The G20 Summit:
‘A Change of World-Historic Dimensions’
Host Jason Ross: Let’s bring on Helga Zepp-LaRouche now. Helga was a participant in the T-20 meeting, which was a meeting with think tanks, a “Think-20” meeting held in China in preparation for the G-20 heads of state summit which just occurred. Helga, let me ask you about this. In your view, how have these events over the past couple of weeks changed the world?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I think it is a change of world-historic dimensions, because what has occurred as a result of the Vladivostok Eastern Economic Forum, the G-20, and then the ASEAN conference, is a tremendous change in where the power center of the world is. Just Let me very quickly go through what the significance each of these of these different conferences is.
The summit in Vladivostok signified the integration of the Eurasian Economic Union with the Silk Road/Belt and Road initiative of China. That is very important because Prime Minister Abe of Japan and President Park of South Korea also participated, and there were agreements on long-term investments in development of the Far East of Russia, of Siberia, of huge energy investments, and the integration of all of these economies of Asia.
This was followed by the G-20 Summit, which I think was really an absolute breakthrough. First of all, China had put an enormous amount of effort into its preparation, by convening many, many pre-conferences, starting a year ago, on many, many levels: ministers, think-tanks, institutions, and organizations. The intention of China was to transform the G-20 from a mechanism which only responds to crises like 2008—the financial crash of Lehman Brothers—into an organization which would form an alliance of countries to form a global governance mechanism which is problem-solving. Xi Jinping said repeatedly he wants to transform the G-20 from a “talk shop,” into a group of nations which act together. This was accomplished in many ways.
The Western media are hysterically and desperately trying to belittle this outcome of the conference by saying that there were all of these “issues,” but the only people who raised these so-called “issues,” like the South China Sea conflict, the issue of the Arbitration Court in The Hague, and all other divisive issues,— was really the Western nations.
In reality, what happened is that the overwhelming number of nations are moving to adopt the Chinese model of economy. They are very right to do so, because China has proven to be an economic miracle of such dimensions, as Xi Jinping said, as to have transformed a country of 1.4 billion people that has never before been undertaken in history on that scale,— and the fact that China could uplift 700 million people out of poverty into a very decent living standard, is also unprecedented. One of the outcomes of the summit was the adoption of a plan to eliminate poverty all over China by 2020, that is, only four years from now.
China succeeded in putting the Chinese economic model on the agenda as the attractive model for everybody to join, in a “win-win” perspective. Many countries are saying, “Yes, we can have the same economic development as China; that is much more desirable, than joining the United States, or NATO, or the Europeans in geopolitical confrontation.”
The success of this summit is really unbelievable. It has changed the situation in the world, I think for the better, because the unipolar world definitely does not exist any more. As a matter of fact, Forbes magazine and Time magazine had quite hysterical articles saying that Obama’s “Asia pivot” policy has completely failed. This was the last opportunity to woo the countries of the region, but this completely failed, and the “Asia pivot” of Obama is completely dead; it failed.
The G-77 [developing countries], the Non-Aligned Movement, the ASEAN countries — they are all are now moving in a completely different direction, and especially the fact that South Korea and Japan participated with Russia and China in this Vladivostok conference, proves that these countries, which are obviously allied with the United States, nevertheless do not want confrontation against Russia and China any longer.
So this is extremely important. And it means primarily that those countries of the world which are not of the old regime of the World Bank, the IMF—the so-called “Washington Consensus,” the so-called Bretton Woods institutions—they had no voice, and they now have a voice.
I think it is really very important that China explicitly adopted developing nations and emerging economies. First of all, they invited a very large representation of them to participate in the G-20 summit. China expressed the absolute commitment that every fruit of technological innovation would be shared with these countries, in order not to hold up their development. Now, this is a beautiful idea, which was first expressed by the German thinker Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th Century, who already then had said that science and technology are so important for the development of mankind, that every time there is a new invention, it should be put in an international pool—to use modern words—and that every country should have access to it, so as not to be slowed down in their development.
It’s an incredible change, because it means that, for the first time, an idea has been realized which was expressed by my husband Lyndon LaRouche in 1975, when he proposed a plan to develop the Third World, and he called it the International Development Bank (IDB). This was the idea which he presented both in Bonn, Germany at the time, and in Milan. He wanted at that time to have a $400 billion transfer of technology per year to the developing sector from the advanced countries, in order to build up infrastructure, and build up industrialization and agriculture in the Third World.
He gave a very concrete form to a demand of the Non-Aligned Movement, which in 1976 at the Non-Aligned Movement in Colombo, Sri Lanka, had adopted a resolution demanding a just New World Economic Order. In that Non-Aligned Movement resolution, 90% of the wording was the same as that of the IDB. But what then happened was that all the leaders of the countries who had lead the initiative to fight for this—like Mrs. Gandhi from India, Mrs. Bandaranaike from Sri Lanka, Z.A. Bhutto from Pakistan—all these leaders were either killed or destabilized; and this whole effort had a tremendous setback, and as a result, it did not succeed.
Now as some of our viewers may know, we have been fighting in the LaRouche Movement ever since that time—it’s now 40 years we have been fighting for the realization of the IDB or an IDB-like plan for the Third World, but the World Bank and the IMF, for all these years have done the exact opposite. The IMF conditionalities completely prevent any kind of development, by forcing developing countries to pay debt instead of investing in infrastructure. They even created the debt trap, to make it impossible for countries to develop. So, the miserable condition of Africa, and many other countries in Asia and the Middle East and some countries in South America, is the result of the conscious policy of suppressing development.
Now, after the Asia crisis [in 1997-98], the Asian countries obviously realized that they had to do something to protect themselves against attacks such as the speculation of George Soros at the time, so a process of creating new institutions developed. One was the Chiang Mai Initiative. But then recently—about three years ago—China took the leadership together with other BRICS countries, to create a completely alternative set of banking institutions:
• The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
• The New Development Bank of the BRICS
• The New Silk Road Fund
• The Maritime Silk Road Fund
• The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Bank.
So, you now have a completely alternate system of banking which is not a casino, but only grants credit for investment in real infrastructure in the real economy.
So, what is happening now? I think people have to appreciate this, that what happened at the G-20 meeting is the victory of a struggle of 40 years at least, to make it possible for human beings in Africa, in the so-called developing sector, to have a chance for the future. Such a powerful coalition has now emerged—the strategic alliance between China and Russia. Putin was the guest of honor at this G-20 meeting—so the world really has changed. It’s very important to say that these articles in Forbes magazine and Time magazine really don’t get it. It’s not anti-American; it’s not anti-European. Xi Jinping and the other leaders have expressed many times that they want the United States and Europe to join in a “win-win” perspective.
So what is on the table now as a result of the G-20 meeting, is for the first time a strategic initiative which is not geopolitical, because it offers a level of reason on which to cooperate internationally for the common aims of mankind. I think this is a tremendous historical breakthrough, and we really must make sure that the American people find out what it is, and not be misled by mediocre journalists, who can only think in geopolitical terms. It’s like somebody who is evil, cannot imagine, when he is talking to a really good person, that the other person is not also evil. So what you read in the Western media is just the projection of the degenerate thinking of the media. But that is not what happened at this summit. So, let’s make sure people really understand the historic significance of this change.
Ross: Great! I think what you went through in terms of the history of your involvement, of your husband Lyndon LaRouche’s involvement, of the LaRouche Movement’s involvement over the past four decades in creating the victory for the policy that’s being announced at these conferences, really goes to show the power of an idea: That over cynicism or over what seemed to be the structures and control of things, a good idea and successful and intense and ongoing organizing for it, really can make things happen.
I was going to ask if you wanted to say more about the history of the LaRouche Movement’s involvement in this; or also if you have anything to say about how we’re going to get the United States to join in this development instead of being opposed to it?
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, first of all, I would like to make a short comment on the ASEAN conference, because that followed the G-20 meeting; and that dispute is now settled. Because the ASEAN countries together with China, all agreed that all the disputes will be solved through peaceful negotiation and dialogue; they will work out a Code of Conduct by the middle of next year to this effect, and jointly fight threats to security like terrorism and other threats. They will act on the basis of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS; and that means all these efforts to hype up the conflict between the Philippines and China with The Hague Arbitration Court, have not succeeded. This was an effort to cause disunity, but this ASEAN conference said, “No, we want to have joint economic development. We will revive the regional economic development organization.”
So, it shows that the foreign policy of China—not only at the G-20—changed the agenda completely. But also in terms of regional conflict, that if you have a “win-win” perspective where you take into account the interests of the other, you can find solutions.
So then what is left for Obama, some papers said, was the implementation of the TPP; but as you already mentioned, both the House and the Senate and the two Presidential candidates all have said the TPP is out. The leaders of the two Houses have said it will not get onto the agenda this year, which means not during the time of Obama. So, the TPP is dead; and the TTIP—it’s the European version of the same thing—is also dead. So, I think the world really has changed. Unipolar demands and the idea that one country can decide what the rules are for another country are no longer workable. We have entered a completely new era of respect for the sovereignty of the other country, and an alliance, essentially of republics, for a greater good.
This is obviously a really important development. Not only does it mean that the United States has the chance to go back to the foreign policy of John Quincy Adams—because that is exactly what he had outlined for the United States to do. But it also means that the kind of system of perfectly sovereign nation-states working together for a joint development—which we especially have pushed—naturally Mr. LaRouche has pushed, for over 50 years—that this is now becoming a reality.
So, I think that we can be very happy about that, because the LaRouche Movement for the last 40 years, but especially the last 25 years, convened literally hundreds of conferences around the world, in every major U.S. and European city, in Rio de Janeiro, in Sao Paolo, Brasilia, Mexico, Beijing, New Delhi, Moscow. We also Many held many conferences and seminars in Australia, in Egypt, and in other African countries. I think we now have a renaissance movement and a world movement for development.
Since you mentioned the beautiful gala concert which preceded the G-20, this was, in a certain sense, similar to what we are doing with the dialogue of Classical culture. The G-20 summit started with a very beautiful series of Chinese folk songs, then it had scenes from the ballet Swan Lake—danced in a lake—so the dancers would make a kind of little fountain with each step, because they were stepping into the water. It gave it an unbelievable effect. And naturally, the fact that they chose the Ode to Joy, the beautiful poem by Schiller composed by Beethoven, where the text at one point says, “All men become brothers,” “Alle Menschen werden Brüder,” which is the poetical expression of the “win-win” perspective, that there is a higher goal of mankind. And the fact that they chose that to be the high point of the gala, really shows that they have understood something very fundamental. They said, “Text written by Friedrich Schiller” so naturally many people would have thought about the Schiller Institute. We have used the Ode to Joy many times to express the same idea.
So, I think that we can be really proud, because we did not do everything, but we had a very good role in producing this beautiful result.
Ross: Helga, let’s paint for our viewers an idea of a future, if we could. With the United States dropping this zero-sum game geopolitical approach, with the United States and Europe adopting the proposals that you’re putting forward, what could the world be like in five or ten years? Is this an endless, perpetual fight? Or what does victory look like? What could the world be like?
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I think things can change very quickly if the United States and Europe adopt the Glass-Steagall banking separation law, which is, as you know, in bills in Congress and the Senate. I was very happy when I saw that “Black Lives Matter” is now demanding from Hillary Clinton that she should adopt Glass-Steagall. Because you can only fight racism if you fight the injustice caused by Wall Street. I thought this was an irony. So, let me say something briefly about the bankruptcy of the United States and Europe.
China has growth rates anywhere from 6% to 7%, they want to have now 7% again; India has even had 8% growth rates. Other Asian countries are going in the same direction. And what is the growth rate in Europe? The new (GDP) statistics of the Eurozone just came out—0.3%; and in France, Italy, and Finland—0%. Naturally, all the parameters are really alarming. The headlines today are that Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, has no more options. He’s running out of options because of negative interest rates, quantitative easing, and helicopter money. All of these are signs of a dying system. And then naturally, you have Deutsche Bank, which has all the same parameters as Lehman Brothers in 2008—the credit default swap costs are now exactly those for Lehman Brothers just before it blew up. If that happens, you could have the next 2008 crisis this September or October.
So, the fight for Glass-Steagall is super-urgent; and naturally, as Lyndon LaRouche has stressed very emphatically with his , this is not enough. Then you need to have a credit system, and you need to issue credit for real investment.
Now, if these changes can be done quickly—this year—even before the U.S. election occurs, then there is no reason why the world cannot enter a completely New Paradigm which would stop geopolitical confrontation. The danger of war is not yet eliminated. I don’t want to pretend there’s security when it’s not there. But at least with the new alliance between Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the Syria question can be solved. With the “28 pages” and the JASTA bill, maybe the Saudi support for terrorism can also be brought to an end. Then, even the German Economic Development Minister from the CSU—the Christian Social Union—made a speech yesterday in the Parliament, demanding a Marshall Plan for Africa. He said, this present global system is a failure. It has created forms of early capitalism in many parts of the world. This cannot continue. In the next 30 years, two billion babies will be born in Africa alone. They will need many jobs, many teachers, and real investment. He demanded that the WTO [World Trade Organization] be transformed from a free trade into a fair trade mechanism. So, this is a conservative politician from Germany, of the Merkel government; and he’s the only one who so far has the courage and the vision to say these things. But what he said is actually true.
With the new alliance I described earlier in the context of the G-20, now Japan is starting to invest massively in Africa, and this was welcomed by China. China said we are not in Africa for competitive reasons, but the need for development is so big, that we are happy if India and Japan are all investing. And naturally, Europe should invest. The United States should build up the Middle East and overcome poverty there: rebuild the war-torn region—Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, all of Africa. If all of these countries were developed with the extension of the New Silk Road program, and all countries would work together, poverty could be eliminated in a very short period of time, maybe in two years.
Gerd Müller, the German Development Minister, pointed out that 80% of Africans still do not have access to electricity. Now that could be very, very quickly changed. We have developed in our program of the World Land-Bridge, a comprehensive development plan for Africa. Infrastructure, bridges, ports, fast train systems, roads, the development of agriculture and industry, the creation of large amounts of freshwater to fight the desert through peaceful nuclear energy, desalination of ocean water, and the ionization of moisture in the atmosphere. In a few years, Africa and those parts of the world which are still in poverty, could look like beautiful gardens, with forests, agriculture, and new cities, with people studying to become scientists, to become musicians, to become artists.
We have only scratched the surface of the human potential for creativity. So far, we only have outstanding geniuses something like once a century. You had Plato, Cusa, Kepler, Leibniz, Beethoven, Einstein, and a few others. And these were relatively rare phenomena. If we take the new road which is now on the horizon, then every child on this planet can have access to universal education, because there is enough to eat, and there is enough housing so that the child can study and is not distracted by poverty or by Pokemon Go, or some other idiotic thing. But the child can learn Classical music, bel canto singing, learn geography, learn astronomy, learn the history of the Universe, the history of mankind, universal culture. Love other cultures by knowing the beauty of Chinese painting, of Indian drama, of poetry from Persia.
Once you know these cultures, you cannot help but say this is actually enrichment. All racism would go, all xenophobia would go. The world community would just be working together for the common aims of mankind.
Developing breakthroughs like thermonuclear fusion power in the short term, space colonization in the short and medium term, and discovering new breakthroughs about which we now do not even have an inkling of how to ask the right question. We are not an Earth-bound system, by any means. The ecologists are always talking about finding solutions within Earth-bound systems. This is complete nonsense. Mankind is a species which naturally can develop the planet with infrastructure and open up landlocked areas on Earth, but the continuation of this infrastructure will be in near-Earth space. The Moon is the first target, and other objects such as asteroids will be studied. Eventually, we will have the means to take longer space flights to Mars and other bodies in space. We will become a human species where the beautiful idea of Vladimir Vernadsky that the noösphere will take over the biosphere more and more, will prevail. What he meant by that is that human discoveries, human scientific and technological innovation, will be what will rule and dominate the world more and more.
From that standpoint, the fact that China decided to put innovation in the center of their efforts, is really the right step in the right direction. I can see—and I hope to see this in my lifetime—that the relations among nations will completely change, that you no longer look at everything which is foreign with an attitude of mistrust and xenophobia, but that people will become much more educated. They will be much more patriots and citizens of the world, world citizens, which will not be a contradiction, as was said by Friedrich Schiller 200 years ago. And that we will basically give up all those stupid habits which prevent our creative potential from unfolding. People will have intelligent discussions. They will have loving relations among themselves by furthering the interest of the other.
So, I think we are at the verge of becoming adult. I think right now that the human race is behaving like little uneducated, spoiled two-year-olds who kick the knee of your colleague, and scream and say, “This is my toy!” That’s about the mental level of geopolitics.
I think that is not worthy of man. I think man is meant to be a creative species, fully loving each other. Therefore, the Ode to Joy that was played at the gala evening in Hangzhou is really the vision of the future.
Ross: Do you have any concluding remarks?
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, I would like people to—I’m aware of the fact that what I’m talking about is not the mainstream opinion about China, and about all of these other countries. I would ask the audience, if you disagree with what I said, don’t just dismiss it, but please take the effort to look into it yourself. Look at the speeches of Xi Jinping and the other leaders. Look at what China is doing. Study Confucius, and you will find out that there is indeed a completely different philosophy that is much, much closer to what the United States was when it was founded, than most people realize. Both in terms of economics, and also in the idea that the government should be there for the common good. This is an idea which almost has been lost in the last decades.
I think people should just not dismiss it. Once you are convinced that what I have said is true, help us to get the United States on-board. The United States needs a Silk Road. China has a plan to have 50,000 km of fast train lines by 2020. We have developed an extension of the Silk Road for the United States, with a huge system of fast trains connecting the East and the West Coasts, the North and the South. Build a couple of new cities in places in the United States which make sense. And there is no reason why the United States cannot be part of this. It’s not anti-American. America should become part of it, and you should help to do this.