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This transcript appears in the April 7, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Worldwide Spirit of Optimism
Over the New Silk Road!

[Print version of this transcript]

At a conference on the centenary of the German-American space pioneer Krafft Ehricke on March 25, 2017 in Munich, Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave the following address.

The beauty of the Chinese music1 has, I hope, put us in the right mood to think about and celebrate Krafft Ehricke’s birthday. Krafft Ehricke is without a doubt—in my humble opinion—one of the greatest Germans who ever lived. That is because he developed a vision of where mankind can go, and I consider it a very great privilege to have been able to get to know him personally.

EIRNS/Christopher Lewis
Helga Zepp-LaRouche

In 1982 I had the opportunity to give several presentations with him in various German cities, and I can confirm from personal experience the picture of him which his daughter Krista has drawn of him so incredibly lovingly.2 He was an incredible humanist, vastly educated in Classical culture; he was a genius so bubbling with ideas that it was really one of the high points of my life to have known such a personality. Fortunately, several of his presentations are available as videos on the Internet, and I urge you all to become acquainted with him yourselves.3

I am also positive that if Krafft Ehricke were with us today, he would be incredibly optimistic that his vision, which was often contested in his lifetime, is going to be realized. It wasn’t just his vision, but the overall continuation of space exploration, that ran up against objections and resistance. He would recognize that we actually have the strategic constellation today to realize his vision in the near future. We have already heard about the Chinese space program, which is perhaps the “frog” that leaps4 because the Chinese have a vision of mining helium-3 from the far side of the Moon to fuel a future fusion economy on Earth. That goal has also been discussed by the European Space Agency, but I believe that China is educating the most scientists and researchers in the area of space exploration worldwide, and therefore I am optimistic that this “leap-frogging” will definitely proceed.

Look at the collaboration of the BRICS nations in the area of space exploration: It was mentioned that India has already carried out a successful Mars mission, and, as Prime Minister Modi said, it was done at a tenth of the cost that NASA needed. There are unbelievable developments underway.

Krafft Ehricke’s idea that the exploration and colonization of space is an evolutionary necessity, without which mankind cannot survive in the long term, is the other point. It’s not an option, not a matter of choice; we must do it because in two billion years, at the latest, our Sun will not be so pleasant, and thus we must have found other solutions before that time.

But the most important thing about Krafft Ehricke, the reason why he is so enormously relevant today and important, is that his vision, and space exploration as a whole, implies the idea of an open world, that the world is not a closed system with limited resources, but an integral part of the Universe, and that human creativity is a creative, physical force in this Universe.

Epochal Change

I maintain that we are now experiencing an epochal change, in which this idea is beginning to assert itself—that is, a revolution in worldview is in process. You have certainly not observed this if you only watch “Sonntags-Stammtisch” on Bavarian Radio, or read Bild-Zeitung or Spiegel or the FAZ, but that does not mean that it is not reality. This is my thesis: We currently have an epochal change underway, which is no less fundamental than the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age.

Just briefly bring to mind the axiomatics of the Middle Ages—the axioms of the scholastics, the peripatetics, superstition, and so on—and then came a Renaissance, the Italian Renaissance of the Fifteenth Century, created by thinkers such as Nicholas of Cusa and Brunelleschi, a revival of Plato’s works which had been totally forgotten in Europe for 1700 years.

With the Renaissance came a totally new worldview, which understood the individual and the role of man totally differently, but also laid the basis for the emergence of modern science, Classical art, sovereign nation states, and similar developments, which have nourished us for the past 600 years.

We are now experiencing just such an epochal change, perhaps one even more dramatic, and I dare to predict that all the axioms associated with this old paradigm will land in the dustbin of history—the idea of limits to growth; the neoliberal idea that money is wealth; that man only represents a burden on the environment, and the fewer people, the better; the neoconservative idea of geopolitics, that foreign policy must always be a zero-sum game, in which, if one wins, the other loses. All of these ideas will go into the dustbin and a new paradigm will be established, namely, the ideal of a united mankind. And mankind, at least in large part, is now establishing a common ground of reason in which the common aims of mankind are placed before national interests.

There are currently two essential dynamics in which this new view is being realized.

One is—as I will discuss at length later on—China’s policy of the New Silk Road, which has become, within three and a half years, the largest infrastructure program in the history of mankind. It already involves 70 nations and 4.5 billion people. It is already 12 times greater than the Marshall Plan of the post-World War II period, and has unlimited growth potential.

This new paradigm of the One Belt, One Road Initiative (or the New Silk Road) has already led to unprecedented optimism among many peoples of the world. For example, in Africa, people for the first time have a justified hope that they will soon be able to overcome their underdevelopment with China’s help.

Precisely because this new paradigm is based on win-win cooperation—where one nation, China, admittedly benefits, but the other cooperating nations profit just as much—it is the basis for world peace in the long run. This is because it is in the interests of every state to have others develop, otherwise one’s own development is jeopardized.

The New U.S. Presidency

The second dynamic which gives cause for optimism—and this will surprise quite a few of you and quite a few will not agree with me at first. But I ask your indulgence because I must enter into the degradation of American politics: The second dynamic is Donald Trump’s election victory. I would really ask you, for a start, to forget everything that you have read in Bild-Zeitung on page 2, because that is psychological warfare; it is black propaganda of the sort that is only used against the enemy in the time of war. The representatives of the collapsing paradigm, the neoliberal paradigm—the media, the intelligence services, and the British Empire—are conducting total war against President Trump.

I would like to address just a few aspects of his latest speeches, given in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Washington, in which he made an emphatic call for the United States to return to the “American System” of economy. He especially referenced the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln who, as a young candidate for Congress at the age of 23, in 1832, promoted the building of a railroad in America, although he had never even seen a steam engine at that time. Thirty years later, as President, he signed the law for the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, which linked the east and west coasts of the United States.

In a similar way, Trump cited President Eisenhower who, as an officer after the First World War, travelled in a military convoy along the Lincoln Highway across the country. This made such an impression on him that 30 years later, he signed the law establishing the Interstate Highway system. Then Trump said: We need the American System again today, the policy of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, and Lincoln.

Most people don’t know what this American System is, but it was the fundamental American idea in opposition to the British Empire.

There are other ideas that Trump has mentioned—that he wants to invest a trillion dollars in infrastructure, that he doesn’t want to wage any more wars of intervention such as Bush and Obama did, that he wants to put relations with Russia and China on the basis of cooperation, and others. These are the basic goals—such as peace with Russia and China—that everyone in Germany should be glad about, and say: Finally there is hope that this danger of war can be overcome!

But then where does this unbelievable agitation come from? Why is the whole Establishment in such a state of shock? Although Trump was elected four months ago, a war is now being waged against him by Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the neocons. They have invented a so-called narrative—a narrative or a concoction of lies—as to why Hillary Clinton lost the election, which says she did not lose because she represents the paradigm which leaves a large portion of the people behind, or because she was too arrogant to even travel to campaign among the “deplorables” in the Rust Belt. But rather, that Trump won the election because Putin helped him do so, by having Russian hackers tamper with Democratic Party emails.

What is naturally omitted is what was in the emails—namely, that the Democratic Party put Bernie Sanders at a disadvantage and gave preference to Hillary Clinton entirely illegally, and also the speech that Hillary gave to the Wall Street bankers, which only then was made known.

But several members of the intelligence community, the whistleblowers—such as William Binney, who developed the NSA surveillance program and thus knows exactly how it functions—have said: No, it is totally clear that if it was Russian hacking, the NSA could have identified the server from which it came with no problem. But these are leaks—that is, the disclosure of classified information to the public—and the question is, who could have done it.

The U.S. intelligence services have very obviously concocted dossiers on Trump, with the aid of British intelligence—and not just former MI6 agent Christopher Steele—that were then leaked to the public. The possibility that the British equivalent of the NSA, the GCHQ, did the work for the American intelligence services is now also being investigated.

Congress is now investigating everything, and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has just said that there is so far only one visible bona fide criminal act, and that is the illegal release of information—and not some hacking. If you read Bild-Zeitung, you read exactly the opposite—that a Watergate is underway and the like. But that will be further investigated. Nunes will hold a closed hearing with the cooperation of the NSA and the non-cooperation of the FBI and CIA.

A few days ago, a leading journalist from a public broadcaster told me that there is an internal watchword that no program on Trump may be presented without the inclusion of derogatory remarks.

Where does this whole dynamic come from? Is it, as the French intelligence services suspected after Trump’s election, that the old Establishment is afraid of losing its privileges, and thus its income stream? Or is there a deeper cause? Obviously I am of the second view, that the conflict concerns what Friedrich List—the German economist who spent several years in America—identified in his time as the total conflict between the “British System of Economy” and the “American System of Economy.” The British system is based on free trade, buying cheap and selling dear, control of raw materials, the cheapest possible labor force, the least possible social support, and control of trade.

Contrasted to that is the American System, which actually goes back to Alexander Hamilton—the idea that the real source of wealth is the creativity of the labor force, and that therefore an economy requires the defense of the internal market with protectionist measures, and the maximum development of its own labor force.

The American System also includes the national bank, created by Alexander Hamilton, and a credit system dedicated to the general welfare, which includes investments in the real economy, such as infrastructure and scientific and technological progress, with the goal of raising productivity. That is exactly the policy that was carried out by Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Quincy Adams, Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and to which Trump just now explicitly referred.

You should remember: The American Revolution, or the American War of Independence, was fought against the British Empire, with the goal of achieving the right of Americans to have their own manufactures, a right which their colonial master had denied. And the British Empire has never gotten over the loss of its most important colonies, namely those in America, but has constantly tried with all means at its disposal to reverse this process, first through the War of 1812; then through the Civil War against Lincoln, during which Britain was tacitly allied with the southern states, and which was also financed by the British interest—General Lee got money directly from banks in Boston and Philadelphia [that financed the cotton trade for Britain].

After the British lost the Civil War against Lincoln, they considered it impossible to win the United States back militarily, but they now had to try subversion, in other words, the “open conspiracy” (as H.G. Wells called it) to persuade the American establishment to create a unipolar world on the basis of the “Anglo-American Special Relationship”—a world empire. That was the case between Churchill and Truman, Bush senior and Thatcher, Blair and Bush junior, and Cameron and Obama.

In Germany this subject is as little known as is the fact that Bismarck developed the German economy from a feudal state to an industrial nation within a few years on the basis of the American System of economy, because he had learned the theories of Henry C. Carey. This was due to the fact that the head of the German Industrial Association at the time, Wilhelm von Kardorff, was a fierce advocate of Friedrich List and Henry Carey; he took the example of American industrialization under Lincoln as a model for the transformation of Germany. He then wrote a small but very readable book entitled, Gegen den Strom [Against the Current], in which the difference between the American and British systems is very well explained.

The New Silk Road

There is also a dynamic that, if America returns to its roots and wants, above all, to put relations with Russia and China on a positive basis, essentially everything will be possible. And the potential is absolutely there, because, as I said, the New Silk Road is not only a link between Chongqing and Duisburg, or Yiwu to Hamburg, but there is considerably more in the pipeline. We are not passive observers. We claim the New Silk Road also as “our baby,” because it is based on the conception which we proposed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and on which we have worked for the past 26 years. [Figure 1]

The infrastructure corridors of the Schiller Institute’s proposed World Land-Bridge.

The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge—that’s the name of a study which we have published in English, Arabic, and Chinese—and which will very soon be published in German. And if you look at how this concept, which Xi Jinping presented for the first time in Kazakhstan in 2013, has exploded over the past three and a half years, then you can see that a total transformation is underway.

The corridors of the Belt and Road initiative at sea and on land.

Part of the Silk Road [Figure 2] is the “Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century” in the tradition of Admiral Zheng He, who travelled from the Asian Pacific to Venice and to Africa in the 15th Century. Today the ports of all of these Asian states are linked to each other, and further, are linked to Hamburg and Rotterdam. The Silk Road includes six economic corridors. More than 70 nations comprising 4.4 billion people are taking part, and $21 trillion in investments are planned.

The economic corridor China-Mongolia-Russia.

The corridors are growing rapidly. This [Figure 3] is an arrangement among China, Mongolia, and Russia, decided upon during the 2016 meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, that encompasses 32 projects.

These [Figure 4] are the Silk Road trains going daily from Chinese cities such as Yiwu, Xi’an, and Chongqing, to Duisburg, Lyon, Hamburg, and Rotterdam. A train travels daily from Chongqing to Europe.

The already existing lines of the “Iron Silk Road”, on which regular freight trains run between China and Europe on a daily basis.

This [Figure 5] was the original idea for linking China with Central and West Asian countries.

The economic corridor of China-Central- and -West Asia along the historic Silk Road.

This [Figure 6] is a corridor through Bangladesh, India, China, and Myanmar, which means a total transformation of this region of the world.

The economic corridor Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar.

This [Figure 7] is the New Eurasian Land-Bridge.


There are also several components of the Silk Road that are growing insanely fast.

For Africa, this development is a total novelty, because the banks which China and the BRICS countries founded, were created with the explicit aim of compensating for the lack of investment in infrastructure by the IMF, World Bank, and others over the last decades; these new banks are exclusively for investment in infrastructure, not speculation.

About four weeks ago, Ethiopia’s first railroad—from the capital Addis Ababa to Djibouti—went into operation; it was ready to go last fall, but was then tested and upgraded with security measures. Meanwhile another railroad is under construction, from Rwanda to Uganda to the Congo.

Here [Figure 8] is another project, Transaqua, which Lyndon LaRouche and the Schiller Institute have campaigned for, for 40 years. It was originally developed by Italian engineers, and the idea is that man can reverse the drying-up of Lake Chad. Lake Chad has dried up to about 10 percent of its original capacity. You can redirect unused water-flow from the Congo region, at approximately 500 meters altitude—not only the actual waters of the Congo River, but the Congo’s tributaries—through a river and canal system into Lake Chad, and thus create arable production through irrigation for twelve adjacent states, and thereby begin the industrialization of Africa.

The Transaqua project, developed by the Italian engineering firm Bonifica, is intended to reverse the drying out of Lake Chad, and its feasibility is now being studied by the Chinese hydraulic engineering concern, Power China.

This project was recently surveyed for the first time by a Chinese firm, Power China, the same firm that made the Three Gorges Dam a reality. A feasibility study is now under way, and that will lead very soon to allowing 100 billion cubic meters of water to flow into Lake Chad per year.

This [Figure 9] is the comprehensive program for South America. The blue line is a program that Lyndon LaRouche proposed in the late 1970s, along with former Mexican President José López Portillo, but it was not carried out because of sabotage by Brazil and Argentina. But now this proposal for a transcontinental “Bioceanic railroad” to Peru is part of the New Silk Road. One positive development is that for the first time, Germany will also participate by investing in the construction of another stretch of the rail in Bolivia. So that is a small glimmer of light.

The infrastructure corridors proposed for Latin America by Lyndon LaRouche at the end of the 1970s (blue), and the projects proposed by China today (red).

The whole conception of the New Silk Road has exploded over the last six months. Initially Russia was very skeptical. The Central Asian nations were skeptical, or have argued, Should the rail lines be built from West to East, or East to West—or from North to South? But now everything has been resolved with good will. On September 2 and 3 of last year, the integration of the New Silk Road with the Eurasian Economic Union took place at a huge economic forum in Vladivostok, where Japan also joined in, with huge investments in the Russian Far East. This process advanced at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou at the beginning of September, then advanced further at the ASEAN meeting in Laos.

China clearly took leadership of this process as early as the G20 Summit, at which it said that it wanted to immediately base the world economy on innovation, and to enlist the developing countries in scientific and technological breakthroughs, so that their development will no longer be delayed. China has declared its intention to overcome poverty on the entire planet by the year 2025.

The process advanced further at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Lima, Peru in November of last year, and now even some western think tanks have realized that their former negative evaluation is no longer appropriate. For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers produced a comprehensive study in which it said that at present the Chinese economy is the locomotive of the world economy, and will remain so. Forbes Magazine has had about seven relatively objective articles on the range of projects. This is an unstoppable dynamic, it says.

And, as I said, President Trump has invited President Xi Jinping to his estate of Mar-a-Lago in Florida on April 6-7, and there is every indication that the Chinese are prepared to make huge investments in the construction of U.S. infrastructure. There was a conference in Hongkong at which Chinese economists said that America’s infrastructure deficit is not one trillion dollars, but eight trillion. Japan has already said that it wants to participate with $150 billion in the development of American high-speed rail. China has said many times—for example, Deputy Foreign Minister Madame Fu Ying, the most important woman in China, has said it—that the Silk Road can be the bridge between America and the Eurasian Silk Road, through development of American infrastructure.

Thus there are very, very hopeful events in process.

A Question of the Image of Man

Why is this so enormously important?

The entire trans-Atlantic world has been dominated over the last decades by the paradigm of closed systems and zero growth. Take a step back: In the 1950s and 60s, it was perfectly self-evident that poverty in the Third World would be overcome somehow. Then there were the UN Development Decades, in which we would set goals for ten years at a time, then for the next ten years, in order to finally and totally eliminate poverty and underdevelopment on this planet.

But this normal, humanistic orientation was discontinued by a whole array of propaganda measures. Probably the most serious was the publication of the Club of Rome’s book Limits to Growth in 1972. Authors Forrester and Meadows simply determined a desired result, and then programmed their computer model so it came out exactly that way. They used linear equations to get this result, and perpetrated an absolute swindle: They completely left out the idea of scientific and technological progress, and the resulting redefinition of raw materials and production methods.

With great fanfare, this book was translated and distributed in all languages, and presented this basic idea: The world was developing up until 1971, and now we have reached a point of equilibrium; we approached it asymptotically, and now we must be sustainable. Now we must conserve; above all, we must conserve energy, and there will be no more technological progress, but rather “appropriate technology”—which is then translated as no technology.

With this went the idea that we are an Earth-bound system, and that overpopulation is the greatest problem, because people are actually parasites who are a burden on the environment, and the less people, the better.

Now these were not totally new ideas, because this issue was implicitly the subject of the American Revolution. In 1751 Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay entitled, Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind,5 in which he argued this: The more people there are, the better, because each person brings his own creative potential with him to human society, and thus enriches society overall. Thomas Malthus, who wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population,6 embodied the opposite view; as is well known, he had the idea that the numbers of people increase faster than the improvements in agriculture needed to sustain them, and thus the population must always be reduced. And just like all the other British economists—Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, David Ricardo—he worked for the British East India Company, which earned its riches through trading in slaves and opium.

Therefore, what was really at issue—then, and especially now—is the image of man. Lyndon LaRouche has written a great deal about that. I would like you to read my husband’s articles, because he has worked out in the clearest way where mankind’s creative potential lies. In contrast to all other living species and animals, which are also intelligent, man is the only species which can renew the basis for his existence through scientific and technological progress.

LaRouche has presented the relationship between relative potential population density and specifically, the energy-flux density used in production processes. There one can see clearly that since the time when men were mere hunters and gatherers, and the energy-flux density of his technologies was extremely low (sun and wind energy), man has been able to increase in numbers by many orders of magnitude due to the increase in energy-flux density, and has a much better living standard, a higher life expectancy, and all told, more human potential. And the next step is already within reach, because China has taken the lead in developing the EAST Fusion program, and has the idea of very soon mining the Moon for helium-3 as a raw material for the coming fusion economy on Earth.

Ehricke and the Next Stage in Evolution

What does all this have to do with Krafft Ehricke? Ehricke stated very clearly that the opening up of space and its colonization are the necessary next steps in the evolution of mankind. He developed in a wonderful way how life went from the oceans to the continents with the help of photosynthesis, which he described interestingly as the “first industrial revolution,” which overcame the “limits to growth” of the time. He described how creatures which were higher on the evolutionary scale, whose metabolisms had a higher energy-flux density, developed until finally man appeared.

And man is absolutely different from all previous forms of life because, according to Ehricke, he has something that he calls “information metabolism”—the ability to absorb information, to differentiate different aspects of it through abstraction, then accumulate it and make use of it both with mind and with machines.

He emphasizes that animals are doubtless intelligent, that they can even learn incredible things, such as how to manipulate human beings, which requires a high level of intelligence. But no animal is capable of abstraction, while man can overcome any limitation. His three fundamental laws of astronautics were already mentioned this morning: The first law is that, under the natural law of this universe, nothing and no one imposes any restrictions on man, except man himself.

This is very, very important, for this is the image of man that was once the norm in Europe. This is identical with humanism, with the Classical idea, which is in turn identical with Platonic philosophy and Christianity, which regards man as a boundlessly perfectible being, both with regard to his mental faculties and his character, and with regard to his emotions and his aesthetic development, there are just as few bounds. This was the normal image of Man, and if you read, for example, Plato, Augustine, Nicholas of Cusa, Leibniz, or Kepler, then you will find precisely this image.

Today, unfortunately, it is no longer self-evident, but Krafft Ehricke said that the human mind can ceaselessly metabolize information “from the infinitesimal to the infinite and, on the infrastructure of knowledge, pursues its moral and social aspirations for a larger and better world against many odds. Through intelligences like ourselves, the universe, and we in it, move into the focus of self-recognition; metal ore is turned into information processing computers, satellites and deep-space probes; and atoms are fused as in stars.” And then he says, “I cannot imagine a more foreboding, apocalyptic vision of the future than a mankind endowed with cosmic powers but condemned to solitary confinement on one small planet.” That is very true.

Krafft was inspired as a twelve-year-old boy when he saw Fritz Lang’s film, The Woman on the Moon. He also enormously inspired my husband, who then made another documentary, The Woman on Mars. It was this idea that man can leave the Earth’s surface, travel in space, and settle other heavenly bodies that fascinated him.

A scene from the silent German film Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon) which premiered Oct. 15, 1929 at the UFA-Palast am Zoo cinema in Berlin.

It has already been mentioned that he was present in Peenemünde—he was just 25 years old—when the first rocket successfully lifted off from Earth on October 3, 1942, and went into space. He was only a hundred yards away, watching the countdown, the ignition, and then the giant roar as the rocket achieved liftoff. And he said, “This was an indescribable feeling, which we all had, we were absolutely conscious that this was the beginning of a new epoch, the first day of the Space Age, the beginning of a completely new era.”

Krafft Ehricke defined the “extraterrestrial imperative” as the true identity of humanity. He said that the colonization of the Moon is the obvious first step because it is very close, it takes only two or three days to get there, and now it’s even less, and we can essentially practice on the Moon what we will later do on other planets. And what we can do on the Moon, we can do everywhere.

He thought that the colonization of the Moon would take the reverse direction to the evolution on Earth, where the biosphere first developed and then, in a late phase, man had emerged, while on the Moon it would be the other way round: The arrival of man, and then the conditions for his existence. In the first phase, man would bring materials from Earth to the Moon; the second phase would involve the industrialization of the Moon using available resources; and the third would be interplanetary journeys from which new human civilizations would emerge, with completely different characteristics than civilization on Earth.

And he then gave an example of his own “extra-europeanization,” as he called it, to illustrate this difference. He said he grew up in Germany, and received a wonderful Classical education. European culture was what shaped him, and when he then emigrated to the United States with his wife, he met a completely different sort of people there, Americans. His children were quite well Americanized, but still had characteristics of the culture of their parents from Germany, whereas his grandchildren were so Americanized that no difference could be discerned.

And he says the same thing will happen in future civilizations in space: The population on the Moon will have completely different physiological and immunological characteristics than the people on Earth.

The New Paradigm

What is being presented here is really the new paradigm that comes from the continuous development of the human species. Chinese President Xi Jinping has often described it as a “community of destiny for the future of mankind,” in which the common goals of mankind come first, and the interests of the individual nations come second.

This is precisely the principle of “win-win cooperation,” a confluence of different corridors that benefit from improvements in all of the participating countries because it makes no sense to build a railway from one city to another, and then stop, but rather these systems should be integrated to the advantage of all. China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi recently said at the National People’s Congress in Beijing that the New Silk Road is not a solo for China, but rather a symphony in which all the peoples and nations participate.

I am absolutely convinced of this, perhaps because I have the advantage of having been in China for the first time in 1971, in the midst of the horrific Cultural Revolution that made people very unhappy. Compared to that, one can see the enormous development that China has made over the last 40 years, or especially the last 30 years, in which it has replicated a development that took 200 years in the other industrial nations. And this Chinese model of economy is so successful that it is now offered as the New Silk Road for all other states to replicate. Thus we have, for the first time, a chance to overcome poverty and all limitations.

All this is based on the ideas of Confucius. I am truly convinced that China is 95% Confucian, and perhaps 5% Marxist or Communist—the essence of China, the Chinese system, is Confucian thought. This includes, for example, lifelong self-improvement, lifelong learning—that every human being should strive to be a “Zhìzhe,” a wise person, and the wise should also define the governing process. Harmony should take place in the development of all, in the family, in the state, and among states.

These are ideas that are not only Chinese, but which also belong to the best European tradition, for example, to Nicholas of Cusa, the founder of modern natural sciences in the fifteenth century, who had the idea that harmony in the macrocosm can only exist when all microcosms develop harmoniously, and every microcosm sees it as its own advantage to promote the other microcosms in the best possible way.

And that is the concept. This means that geopolitics can be overcome by putting the development of all on the agenda. I am absolutely convinced that if there is a good understanding between Trump and Xi Jinping and Trump and Putin—and that is Trump’s stated intention, and this is clearly signaled by the Russian and Chinese sides—then we will really find ourselves in a new phase of the human species and will experience a new era.

The Role of Germany

The question is, What role should Germany play in this process?

Well, those of you who live in Germany know, of course, that this is not the dominant way of thinking here. But I think that the New Silk Road has such leverage that either Germany will have second thoughts and jump on board, or Germany and the Europeans will become completely irrelevant.

And this is what the Africans already say: “The Chinese, the Indians, the Japanese are all investing in Africa, while Europe comes and preaches about democracy and human rights, but they are not investing in these projects.”

Perhaps I should bring up this picture [Figure 10] once again: The refugee crisis should be the moral driver for us to adhere to this development perspective. It is only if we develop Africa—together with Russia, China, India, and other countries, hopefully with the United States—and only if we develop the Middle East and Southwest Asia economically, in the context of the New Silk Road, that we can hope to find a humane solution to the refugee crisis and certainly not by internment camps in Turkey or Egypt or Tunisia, as Mrs. Merkel is attempting to do.

Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
Refugees are turned back at the Greek-Macedonian border.

The question is also: Will Mrs. Merkel really be the leader of the “free West” because Trump is now President of the United States? Will she continue the confrontation with Russia if Trump seeks reconciliation? Will she continue to push the confrontation to the borders of Russia? Will she continue to participate in interventionist wars to “save democracy”? No one believes us anyway. The countries of Asia and Africa have long since ceased to believe that Europe or the EU are an appropriate model for democracy or human rights.

Or can we not hope that Germany will play a positive role in the expansion of the New Silk Road? I think that Krafft Ehricke—the image of Man and the vision of the future which he represents—should be the best example for the future of Germany. For Germans were once a people of poets, thinkers, and inventors. And all the many positive contributions made by these many, many great thinkers have irrigated the German economy, the middle class, our standard of living, and culture. And it was this culture that brought forth Krafft Ehricke.

Why should not it be possible to revive these ideas?—the ideas of Nicholas of Cusa, Kepler, Leibniz, Gauss, Riemann, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Schiller, the Humboldts, and the classical culture that Krafft Ehricke represented! And not just for Germany, but in a dialogue of cultures, in which the most beautiful formation, the highest form, enters into a dialogue with the others. We heard it this morning, through German classical music, through classical Chinese music, and that too belongs to the new paradigm, that every child will very soon get to know universal history as it has appeared in all its best forms, and then racism and chauvinism and limitations of all kinds will disappear forever.

1. Immediately before the beginning of Zepp-LaRouche’s address, Feride Istogu-Gillesberg had performed a Chinese love song.

2. Earlier a message of greeting from Krafft Ehricke’s daughter Krista Ehricke had been read to the conference.

4. Jacqueline Myrrhe, in her earlier speech on the development of the Chinese space program, had posed the question, whether it is like the tortoise or the hare, and ultimately compared it to the frog, which reaches its goal in huge leaps.

5. Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, Etc., Philadelphia, 1751.

6. An Essay on the Principle of Population, London, 1798.

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