This transcript appears in the November 23, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Humanity Is at a Crossroads
For a New Paradigm
Zepp-LaRouche’s Message of the Future to Shape the Present
The following is an edited transcript of the presentation given by Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche to the Nov. 17, 2018 LaRouche PAC Manhattan meeting.
Let me state in the beginning that there is absolutely the potential, in a much quicker time than most people have any inkling, that we could experience very consciously the beginning of a new epoch of mankind—where we could put the danger of war behind us, where nations cooperate with each other according to a completely new set of international relations based on win-win cooperation, and where we devote all our resources—both our creativity as well as physical resources—to solving problems challenging us, such as solving poverty and advancing our sciences. I can see all of this beginning to happen fairly soon.
The relationships between and among President Trump, President Xi Jinping, and President Putin are absolutely key to achieving such a solution. In a year or less, or a few years, we could see a change from this present dark age we are now experiencing, especially in the West. Such a change could be as fundamental and groundbreaking as the Golden Italian Renaissance of the 15th century. I like to remind people that it was possible to overcome a dark age; to establish something which was the foundation for the next 600 years of European history. I think this is absolutely possible today.
I do not think I’m overly optimistic or caught in a utopian idea when I say that today it is now possible to realize the very goal which we set out to accomplish when we founded the Schiller Institute in 1984, namely, to establish a just new world economic order on this planet, and to accomplish this together with a renaissance of Classical culture—where each nation, each civilization, each culture will bring forth its best traditions and cooperate toward a new and higher renaissance for the entire human species. That was the goal of the Schiller Institute in 1984 and it still is. I think that is possibly about to happen.
However, I also want to state equally clearly that there is the danger that we again are sleepwalking into a world war, exactly as happened before, with World War I. The reason for this has a lot to do with the reasons why World War I happened and the present situation—while they have many differences and there are new factors, there are also some fundamental parallels. Foremost is what was put forth as the geopolitical theories of the British Empire before World War I, as expressed, for example, by Halford Mackinder.
I don’t want to go into the very complex pre-World War I history, but the parallel to today is nevertheless very visible, if you apply geopolitical thinking. Prior to World War I, it was the emergence of the trans-Siberian railway, the role of Russia, the possible expansion of the importance of Eurasia as compared to sea power. Today, it is very clearly the Belt and Road Initiative promoted by China, which has already inspired and drawn into cooperation more than 100 countries. Also, the emergence of Russia under the leadership of President Putin as a global power is a very important strategic factor.
How and why have we come to this point?
When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the British, with their neo-con collaborators in the United States, decided that since communism was now defeated, it was time to establish a unipolar world, based on the British/U.S. “special relationship,” whereby the British would run the world according to their principles and likings. At that time, the “historian” Francis Fukuyama declared that this was the “End of History,” that from now on democracy would rule in all corners of the world, and there would be no more competing systems.
Triumphalism in the West
The so-called “shock therapy” was supposed to eliminate Russia as a strategic power, transforming it into a Third World raw materials exporting country. During the presidency of Boris Yeltsin, London and Wall Street imposed mass looting, and the industrial potential of Russia from 1991 to 1994 was reduced by 30 percent. This was a decade of genocide in Russia, of demographic collapse. At the same time, China was allowed to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), with the intention of gradually forcing China to not only fully adopt free trade, but also to accept “Western values,” such as “democracy,” and human rights, such that China would cease to be anything different than the West.
As for other nations not yet in line with the “End of History” paradigm, there was regime-change, color revolution, the Axis of Evil—all of which was supposed to get rid of problematic nationalists and patriots within those nations. The neo-liberal economic model was to be imposed on every nation, eliminating state-controlled systems or mercantilist tendencies. There was a push for deregulation of the financial markets. As a result, the gap between rich and poor widened. This went on for an extended period but eventually led to a global rebellion. As a result of this rebellion, we have seen the Brexit, we have seen the election of Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton, we saw the election of a new Italian government rejecting all of these values, and also many other European governments following in the same line.
China Chooses a Different Path
China has not behaved according to script. Instead, China discovered its own roots and adopted the policy of the New Silk Road, now commonly called the Belt and Road Initiative, which was, in cooperation with other countries of the BRICS and other Asian countries in particular, a reaction to the 1997 Asia crisis, which at the time my husband warned was not an Asian crisis, but the beginning of a global financial crisis which would simply come in different phases. In that 1997 crisis, it was very clear that the attacks on the Asian currencies by George Soros and others, eventually strengthened the idea that the so-called developing countries had to form a resistance; that they had to go with a different policy.
What China, especially Xi Jinping, then addressed was not only the terrible lack of development, especially in industry and infrastructure left by 500 years of colonialism, but also the failure of the Bretton Woods system to fulfill the aspirations of Franklin D. Roosevelt to end colonialism. Instead, they introduced this terrible injustice towards the developing sector. Once the World Bank and the IMF were in charge of giving loans to developing countries, they imposed conditionalities which enforced a “debt trap.” The conditionalities forbade the development of infrastructure, investment in social systems, and education.
They prevented the developing countries from ever making the jump to becoming industrial countries. If the IMF could not succeed, the rest of it was done by the evil ideology of the Club of Rome, insisting that we are living in a planet of limited resources, that you have to have only sustainable growth—basically population reduction and no development.
There was a tremendous policy vacuum.
Since Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, in a very short time—only five years!—economic development has exploded. In over 100 countries, the New Silk Road Spirit has given developing countries, for the first time, hope to overcome poverty, to become industrialized countries, and not only repeat what the industrialized countries had done in terms of development, but to leapfrog to the most advanced areas in science and technology, with the help of especially China, but also Russia, India, Japan.
For about four years of the BRI, the Western powers, the Western media, think-tanks, almost ignored the fact that this new system had emerged and was growing extremely rapidly. This denial of reality was incredible because here you had the largest infrastructure program ever undertaken in history. By now it has become about 20 times as big as the Marshall Plan, and it’s open-ended. The Western media just ignored all of this. There was no objective coverage; there were no documentaries, no features in the Western media.
But then, approximately one year ago, there was a sudden explosion of attacks on China. The think-tanks began accusing China of pursuing a “new colonialism,” luring countries of the developing sector into a “debt trap,” and other wild accusations. In those countries now participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, these accusations were completely ridiculed, and many leaders of the Third World—from Latin America, Asia, and Africa— have said that now, cooperating with China, they have for the first time the chance to develop, and they want to be treated as equal partners. They are no longer content to listen to the sermons of Westerners who talk big about democracy and human rights, but who bring in no development. So, this false propaganda against China did not fly in the developing countries.
The propagandists have managed, however, to confuse certain segments of the population in the United States and some European countries, because their people don’t really know what is going on. And if one is only permitted the Western media narrative, it is very difficult to find out.
Russia Targeted for War
Essentially the same thing happened concerning Russia.
There was a total demonization of Russia by inventing a completely fake narrative. The narrative started with the supposed “annexation” by Russia of Crimea. No event which happened prior to that date is ever mentioned. No mention is ever made that the West created and controlled the plundering of Russia in the 1990s, or that the reason there are oligarchs in Russia still to the present day is that they were supported by certain Western powers. This fake narrative also ignores a promise made to Mikhail Gorbachov, a promise to Russia at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and even before, at the time of the unification of Germany, that NATO would never expand to the borders of Russia. This is just totally forgotten.
The Ukraine crisis was not triggered by Russia “annexing” Crimea, but, as [former German Chancellor] Helmut Schmidt once said, the Maastricht Treaty of the EU, which decided to turn the EU into an empire, according to [British diplomat] Robert Cooper at the time—namely, for NATO and the EU to add countries, moving forward to the East, until the Russian borders were reached, and as much to the East as possible.
All of this history has been erased from the memory, as well as the Nazi coup in Kiev. Also, that it was a referendum in Crimea—a free decision of the people of Crimea—which resulted in the joining with Russia. As Putin has said several times, if it would not have been Ukraine, they would have invented some other story.
On Nov. 14, the National Defense Strategy Commission, a congressionally mandated panel under the leadership of Eric Edelman, released its review of national defense strategy, Providing for the Common Defense, basically in the spirit of [the late Senator] John McCain. What does it say? I will read you a quote to give you a flavor of it. It says in the Executive Summary:
The security and well-being of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades. America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree. Rivals and adversaries are challenging the United States on many fronts and in many domains. America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt. If the nation does not act promptly to remedy these circumstances, the consequences will be grave and lasting. . . .
Today, changes at home and abroad are diminishing U.S. military advantages and threatening vital U.S. interests. Authoritarian competitors—especially China and Russia—are seeking regional hegemony and the means to project power globally. . . .
These trends are undermining deterrence of U.S. adversaries and the confidence of American allies, thus increasing the likelihood of military conflict. The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict. It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously.
Now obviously, this is the view of the neo-cons; it’s the idea that the world will be divided into blocs forever, and that the idea of a multi-polar world is completely unacceptable. The neo-cons are clearly not giving up; nevertheless, they are in complete contradiction to what President Trump is continuously saying: namely, that he wants to improve the relations with Russia and China, and that to have good relations with these two countries is a good thing and not a bad thing.
We also see President Macron of France calling for a European army outside of NATO. Macron attacked Trump and called for more independence from the dollar without actually saying how this might be accomplished. One day later, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire proclaimed the need for Europe to become “an empire like the United States, like China.” It is unbelievable that in these times people would have the nerve to attack the nation-state from the standpoint of empire, as if that would be a superior form of government.
In my view, Mr. Macron and his entire government are suffering from an excess of grandeur, given the desolate condition of the European Union. Macron’s popularity right now is dropping like a stone. Just today you had, all over France, huge demonstrations in which people were blocking the roads, bringing traffic to a complete standstill to protest against high fuel and gasoline prices, and against Macron’s severe austerity policy. So, this is a complete mass strike ferment in France, which can have all kinds of interesting implications in the near future.
At the same time, the EU is really disintegrating. The EU Commission and the EU are in a complete clash with the Italian government, which refuses to continue the orders of the EU to implement austerity to the detriment of their own population, saying they don’t want to repeat the mistakes made in Greece and Spain, and they just want to have an investment policy and growth instead.
In Germany, the grand coalition, so-called, of Mrs. Merkel is not so grand anymore. It’s a small coalition of only 40 percent. Merkel could be out very soon. Germany is in a real crisis, because one of the possible replacements for Merkel, is a CDU politician by the name of Friedrich Merz, who is a complete neo-con. He is a neo-liberal, he wants to have a coalition with the Greens. There is even talk of a Green chancellor.
Both options would mean the end of Germany as an industrialized nation, because what the Greens are calling for is the full decarbonization of the economy, based on the complete fraud that CO2 emissions cause climate change and global warming. This policy means no coal, no fossil fuels, only so-called “alternative” energies. This would mean the complete collapse of the German economy, and given the role of the German economy in Europe, it would mean the collapse of all of Europe. Even worse, as John Schellnhuber, the former head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Consequences, admits, if you apply this decarbonization policy to the world economy, the population that can be sustained by the planet is exactly 1 billion. So, what should happen to the other 6 billion is naturally the big question.
Four Powers and the New Bretton Woods
I have painted this strategic situation in very broad strokes, but I have done it to argue that the proposal made by my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, that the only way for the world to get out of this present crisis and danger of a new sliding into war, is by having a Four-Power Agreement among the United States, Russia, China, and India. That agreement must not be exclusive, but an open coalition for more people and more countries to join.
The immediate step that must be taken by these four governments is to establish a New Bretton Woods credit system. We are right now not only in a crisis of Europe, including a European banking crisis, but we are sitting on the verge of a new financial crash. We have the possibility of a repeat of 2008, only on a much larger scale. There is a 40 percent increase of all the parameters which led to the 2008 crisis, but especially corporate debt is the ticking time bomb. The amount of speculative money which is floating around the world on a daily basis has also increased by several times, with $5 trillion every day being speculated—often in nanoseconds—around the globe. All the tools of the central banks have been used up; you cannot do endless quantitative easing. We are sitting on a volcano.
Normally, the setting for a discussion of a New Bretton Woods system would be the G-20, but given the fact that in the G-20 there are several countries which are absolutely stuck in the old geopolitical, neo-liberal paradigm, this initiative can only come out of discussions between Presidents Putin and Trump, Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping—in which they discuss a New Bretton Woods system which would incorporate a global Glass-Steagall approach. It would incorporate a national bank for each country. It would mean an international credit system to finance long-term international investments in projects of the Belt and Road Initiative.
This would obviously require that there must be a conscious decision to not regard the other countries as competitors or adversaries, but to work together on a win-win basis. For the United States, this would mean that, rather than increasing the military budget, which is already $700 billion and about ten times as big as that of Russia; that would instead mean working together to reconstruct the American economy. It should be obvious to everybody that with the catastrophic fires in California causing unprecedented damage, and simultaneously with much of the East Coast caught by winter storms without any preparation, the lack of infrastructure investment and the lack of water management over decades investing in such infrastructure should absolutely be America’s number one priority.
At the beginning of 2018, China already had 22,000 km of fast train lines. By the end of this year, it will have completed the largest part of rail connections of fast trains between Beijing and Hong Kong, which will be 2,230 km. In two years, China wants to have all major cities connected through a fast train system. On the other side, the United States has not 1 km of train line faster than 250 kph, while the Chinese fast trains run at 350 kph. If the United States would cooperate with China to invest in a fast train system in the United States, rebuild the real economy, and then overcome the trade deficit by joint ventures in Latin America, Asia, and especially the development of Africa, we could have a completely different world in the near future.
From the Standpoint of the Future
What we are campaigning for is to develop a completely new set of international relations. In order to do that, we must look at the world from the standpoint of the future. How do we want the world to look one hundred years from now? If we avoid the present dangers, we will have commercially usable fusion energy. We will have, as a result of fusion and the fusion torch technology, limitless energy supplies. Through helium-3 as a fuel in the fusion process, we will have villages on the Moon; we will have industrialization of the Moon and joint missions to Mars and soon to other heavenly bodies.
We will have cooperation—as we saw, I think, just yesterday, with the very successful Roscosmos launching of the Soyuz FG carrier rocket with the MS-10 Progress spacecraft bringing supplies to the International Space Station; and as we saw today, when the Northrop Grumman unmanned Cygnus NG-10 resupply spacecraft was launched on the Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague, Virginia, to the ISS. This kind of cooperation in space is actually the model for the future relationship among nations.
Look at China, where Xi Jinping has put a tremendous emphasis on the aesthetical education of man, because his goal is to have beautiful minds and souls of the pupils and students, utilizing the tradition of Confucius and the 5,000-year history of China. See other countries, looking back to their own best traditions, as in Russia, as in Africa, as in other places around the world. If the West would also do this, were the Western countries to adopt the ideas of the Schiller Institute and the idea that an aesthetical education is needed for the ennoblement of their populations, we would indeed discover what beauty this universal history has produced already up to this point.
In the United States, as also in Germany, we are in dire need to counter the present collapse of our culture, the drug epidemics, the violence in the schools, the mass shootings, the despair-driven suicides, but especially the increase of violence and perversion in all expressions in our youth culture. We urgently need to look to the ideas of Confucius, of Schiller, and the great minds of all countries, to create a new ennoblement of our populations.
Since I am an optimist, I think the potential is absolutely there, and with President Trump, who has miraculously defied the onslaught of the British Empire coup attempt against him, I think we absolutely can mobilize in a way that will move civilization move into a new paradigm.
But, for that, I need your support. You need to work with us in the United States, and we have to have an absolute mobilization to reach this new paradigm, because mankind is at a crossroads as never before.