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This article appears in the November 18, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Germany Must Embrace
the New Silk Road Initiative

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, chairwoman of the German political party
Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo)

[Print version of this article]

Nov. 12—The reason the forecasts of the establishment media and politicians about the U.S. presidential election were so totally off-base—as they were on the Brexit referendum—is obvious: All of the so-called experts and establishment figures who expressed their utter shock “the morning after”—such as our Defense Minister, Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen)—have long since lost contact with the actual processes going on in the population, and have lost any empathy with the victims of their neoliberal policies.

During the last phase of the campaign, Trump focussed on two themes that tipped the balance. He stressed (1) that Hillary Clinton’s policy in Syria was leading to a nuclear war with Russia, and (2) that Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall banking separation law must be immediately reintroduced, an action which would bring an end to the casino economy of Wall Street. In this way he struck a chord especially with the population of the Rust Belt states of the Midwest, the former industrial centers that have been reduced to ruins. Consequently the people living there, who no longer see a future for themselves, have developed a deep-seated hatred for the power elite that lets Wall Street speculators make mega-gains, while they don’t even have enough for the bare necessities.

Albert Duce/CCBY-SA 3.0
In the American Rust Belt industrial center of Detroit, the western part of the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant.

The extraordinary arrogance with which the incorrigible representatives of neoliberal globalization—such as Defense Minister von der Leyen, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and Bildzeitung scribbler Franz Josef Wagner—thought it necessary to openly reprimand Trump after his election as President of the United States, reflects an unhealthy mixture of chutzpah and dissociation from reality. The defeat of Hillary Clinton, her just desserts for her clear intention to continue the policies of Bush, Cheney, and Obama, is the reflection of a global process.

It is, in a certain way, like the footfall of the chorus in Friedrich Schiller’s poem “The Cranes of Ibykus”: The voters were reminded of that higher power that, “judging, watches hid from sight.” It is a clear rejection of the Anglo-American imperial policy which has brought the world to the edge of thermonuclear annihilation; the ripping-apart of the European Union, not least because of the refugee catastrophe; and a newly threatened financial chaos.

Crucial Course Corrections

Trump’s victory has postponed the danger of world war for a short time. During this short interval, fundamental policy corrections must be made, otherwise instability everywhere will very soon threaten world peace anew.

As the first, most important step, the relationship between the United States and Russia must again be put on a reliable basis. President Putin, Russian economist Sergei Glazyev, and an entire array of other Russian officials, as well as important political figures in the West, have greeted Trump’s election as an opportunity for the urgently needed new beginning between the two superpowers.

In reaction to Trump’s election, Putin said: “Russia is ready to, and seeks a return to, full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but we are ready to take this road, take steps on our side, and do all we can to set Russian-U.S. relations back on a stable development track. This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the U.S. share for maintaining global stability and security.”

Trump himself announced he would visit Putin before he takes office. He will, however, have to deal with enormous resistance from the ranks of neocons in both political parties. Republican Party neocons did not support Trump during the election campaign, even when he was the frontrunner. But because so many forces throughout the world targeted Obama’s war policy—and its threatened continuation by Hillary Clinton—the neocons in the United States are not the only forces who now are contending to determine the fate of the world, which can have no positive future unless there is a positive redefinition of U.S.-Russian relations.

The second necessary step—equally urgent—is the immediate passage of the Glass-Steagall law, before the currently threatened repeat of the 2008 financial crisis on an even greater and more catastrophic scale. The U.S. Congress will be back in Washington on Monday, November 14, and the Glass-Steagall law must be passed in this “lame duck” session. Glass-Steagall was included in the election platforms of both parties and is before both houses of Congress. It has 71 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. That is the only way to stop a new financial crash from triggering chaos at any point and bringing us back to the precipice of war before Trump moves into the White House.

Obviously, Wall Street and the City of London, along with their disciples in the EU, will attempt by all possible means to prevent the reintroduction of Glass-Steagall. But the financial oligarchy has already lost the battle for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); it is thus far from being as invincible as some wimps may believe. If even Der Spiegel columnist Thomas Fricke can propose, in a very unusual article for Der Spiegel, that Europe must now enact a Rooseveltian New Deal if it wants to prevent a repetition of the 1930s, then even a representative of the “quality press” has the door open just a crack for the fresh air of clear thinking to come in.

Bremen Landesbank chief economist Folker Hellmeyer also expressed himself clearly in the Wirtschaftsnachrichten (Economic News), in identifying Trump’s election as not only a risk, but “an extraordinary opportunity,” he wrote, to redefine European foreign policy. China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative right now offers an enormous opportunity for the “hidden champions” of the German Mittelstand (small and medium-sized industry). The future lies in the developing countries, which represent more than 62% of the world economy and 85% of the world’s population, and are growing at an annual rate of 4 to 5.5%. The moment to build a land bridge between Lisbon, Vladivostok, Beijing, and New Delhi is now, he concluded, and then there would be no need to fear for Europe’s future.

We Must Rise to a New Level

Lyndon LaRouche has stressed that an absolutely essential precondition for solving the strategic crisis is the raising of international relations to a completely new level.

The starting point for the discussion of such a new state of international relations must be the principles of the UN Charter, as well as President Xi Jinping’s guidelines for redefining relations among the major nations—which he has proposed to the United States—and the principles that should be the basis for cooperation among nations participating in the building of the Silk Road, namely, absolute respect for the sovereignty of the other, no interference in others’ internal affairs, respect for different social systems, and a foreign policy based on mutual interests.

1. Glass-Steagall Bank Separation

National Archives
Franklin D, Roosevelt signs Glass-Steagall Act, 1933.

1. The immediate re-establishment of the Glass-Steagall bank separation system, exactly as Franklin D. Roosevelt established it in 1933. In practice, this would mean the cancellation of the vast majority of unpayable debts and outstanding derivatives contracts.

2. National Banking Credit Creation

Library of Congress
First National Bank of the United States, Philadelphia.

2. Every country must introduce national banking in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, which will replace the current policy of credit creation—by independent central banks for the benefit of gamblers—with the model used by Hamilton, Lincoln, and FDR, as well as by the postwar Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (Bank for Reconstruction) in Germany.

3. International Credit System

Chinese-funded railway construction in Kenya.

3. An international credit system must be created, tasked with raising the productivity of the real economy and the living standards of the populations of all nations, which can be done by promoting scientific and technological progress, and a real rise in the energy-flux density of the production process.

4. Science Driver

An artist’s rendition of China’s planned space station.

The four laws that Lyndon LaRouche has proposed for the reorganization of the world economy, imbue these principles with economic content:

  1. The global enactment of Glass-Steagall laws;
  2. The creation of a national bank in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton in every country;
  3. The realization of an international credit system, a New Bretton Woods system; and
  4. International cooperation in future-oriented scientific and technological fields, especially nuclear fusion and space exploration, to boost the productivity of the workforce.

To achieve the necessary new paradigm, which the nations of the world must agree on, we must prioritize the common aims of mankind over any national interest, as well as the dialogue of cultures from the standpoint of the best that each culture has created. Only if we can define and live by the principles flowing from such a Renaissance—principles consistent with the identity of mankind as a creative species—will we overcome the existential danger with which we are now faced.

Development Minister Gerd Müller’s proposed Marshall Plan of a billion euro is a step in the right direction, but it falls far short. Germany can make a unique contribution to the necessary epochal change by officially declaring its cooperation with China’s New Silk Road, especially in the reconstruction of the Middle East and the industrialization of Africa.

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