This article appears in the November 15, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
II. Celebrating Friedrich Schiller’s Birthday and
the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Address for a Triple
Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989: A Missed Opportunity
Today in 2019, a Great Second Chance
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, addressed, by pre-recorded video, the Schiller Institute’s afternoon of music, poetry, and presentations, in celebration of a triplet of anniversaries, of which the first is Friedrich Schiller’s 260th Birthday. The celebration took place on Saturday, November 9 in New York City. This is the edited version of her presentation. Subheads have been added.
Today we celebrate a threefold anniversary: the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago; the 260th birthday of Friedrich Schiller, the great German Poet of Freedom; and it was 35 years ago that the Schiller Institute was founded. And when we have a coincidence of three such anniversaries, it is worth looking back and seeing how they were interconnected.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall
Now, many people today may not even remember that fall of the Berlin Wall because they were either not yet born, or too young to follow it. But it is really important to learn the lesson of what happened then, and what went wrong, in light of the situation we have today.
I remember many of the incidents as if it were yesterday because we were not just standing on the sidelines and watching it, but we were in the middle of these events, trying to shape them with our ideas.
There is almost no example of a greater difference than the disparity between the official narrative of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, and what really happened. The official narrative, then, was that it was the victory of democracy over communism, of freedom over dictatorship. The historian Francis Fukuyama even said, when the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, that this is the end of history. And in general, the narrative was that the entire world would embrace the Western model of “democracy,” of “human rights,” of the parliamentarian system, and that would be just the way it would go.
I, however, in many speeches in 1990, warned that if you were to superimpose an equally bankrupt Western liberal model over the collapsed communist economic system, you might experience, for a certain period of time, a boom, but then eventually, it would come to a much, much larger collapse of the entire system. And I think that’s exactly where we are today.
Look around the globe. We have a system in complete disarray: Mass demonstrations in Chile, in Iraq, in Lebanon; Yellow Vests in France, German farmers in a total revolt. Look at what happened with the Brexit. Now, this is actually, in my view, the first time in history that revolts are occurring in every corner of the world at the same time. I think what Leibniz said at the end of the 17th century is really true today: He said, if the whole world would at some point be dominated by utilitarianism, it would come to a world revolution.
Attempt to Impose a Unipolar Liberal
The intent by the Western establishment in 1989, and especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, was to impose a unipolar world—its promotion of the “only democracy” idea was to do that, and it has completely backfired. They tried to impose a unipolar world using regime change, color revolutions, and interventionist wars. History, according to this western oligarchy, meant that you only would talk about the history of the Atlantic sector, and that history was only made by the trans-Atlantic oligarchy.
But the backlash against that effort to impose a unipolar world has led to the emergence of groupings of different nations, of Russia, of China, of India, of other Asian nations. It has led to a completely different self-understanding in Africa. It has increased the gap between the rich and poor in such a way that is no longer sustainable. The middle class is disappearing.
Ask yourself, how did we come to the point of the so-called “end of history,” “democracy” everywhere, and this gigantic upheaval which we see right now? Now, 1989 was what you could correctly call a “Sternstunde der Menschheit” in German, which means an extraordinary chance in history, a “Star-Hour of Humanity.” And it was one of these great moments, when one could actually shape history, because communism had disappeared, and you could have imposed a peace order for the 21st century. We had that vision.
Lyndon LaRouche, in 1984, when the Soviet Union rejected his and President Reagan’s offer of the SDI (after President Reagan had made the SDI the official American policy), forecast that if the Soviet Union held to their then policies of military domination and primitive accumulation against their own economy, the Soviet Union would collapse in five years. And so it did! Lyndon LaRouche, watching the economic difficulties of the Comecon countries in 1988, also forecast that Germany would soon reunify. He said that the united Germany should develop Poland with Western technologies as a model to transform the entire Comecon.
Now, when the Wall actually fell, under pressure from the growing Monday demonstrations, we were the only ones who had a conception of what to do. Remember the incredible joy—people were dancing on the Berlin Wall when it was opened. It was an unbelievable moment of potential change in history. Official documents of the German government, which were published a couple of years later, show that despite the fact that German unification was the primary goal of West German politics, no one had a contingency plan!
Nobody believed it would ever happen! Nobody believed the Soviet Union would really vanish. But we had this idea, which Mr. LaRouche had proposed for the first time a year earlier, in 1988—that the unified Germany should develop Poland. I wrote a leaflet which was published in mid-November 1989, “Beloved Germany, Continue with Confidence,” proposing exactly that. With Western technology, we should develop Poland and the other Comecon countries.
Now, this did not become policy immediately, but Helmut Kohl, the Chancellor of Germany at that time, took a first baby-step in the direction of sovereignty, by presenting to the Bundestag, on November 28, a few days after my leaflet, a ten-point program, which was not yet the idea of unification, but of a confederation of the two German states.
Two days after that, on Nov. 30, Alfred Herrhausen, the head of Deutsche Bank at that time, was assassinated by a very dubious “third generation” of the Red Army Faction terrorist organization, which probably never existed. That’s at least a question still to be investigated by historians. But, it was a message to Kohl, “do not dare to go in this direction of sovereignty of Germany.”
At that point you had a fierce reaction: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher launched her campaign, warning that a unified Germany would become a “Fourth Reich”; French President François Mitterrand demanded that Germany give up the Deutsche Mark and adopt the euro; U.S. President George Bush, Sr. demanded self-containment of Germany through further integration into NATO and the European Union, the acceptance of the Maastricht Treaty, and with that austerity regime which is now leading to the detonation of the EU, and the tensions between East and West, and North and South.
The Paris-Berlin-Vienna Productive Triangle
We proposed the Paris-Berlin-Vienna Productive Triangle, which was the idea to use Western technology and its productive potential to transform the countries of Eastern Europe, to modernize and integrate them with Western Europe. The first such proposal we published in January 1990. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, we immediately expanded that Productive Triangle idea to include all of Eurasia—to connect the productive powers and population centers of Europe with those of Asia, through development corridors, and we called it the Eurasian Land-Bridge: the New Silk Road. This was also meant to be a peace order for the 21st century.
Now, naturally, the neo-cons who wanted to impose their unipolar world, broke the promises they had made to General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, that NATO would never be expanded to the borders of the Soviet Union. In 1991, according to a German newspaper, the CIA published a report that Russia had a better-educated workforce and more natural resources than the United States, and therefore, if one were to allow economic development, it would become a competitor on the world market. So therefore, economic development should be discouraged.
Assassinations and Shock Therapy
What went into effect was the shock therapy of Jeffrey Sachs, the same Jeffrey Sachs who is now in the middle of the Green climate financing scam.
George Soros was involved in a huge brain drain of Russia and the other former Soviet countries, and in Germany. There was an enormous effort to quash the potential of a German relationship with Russia at that point. On March 8, 1990, the last sitting of the People’s Chamber (Volkskammer) of the G.D.R. [German Democratic Republic—East Germany] took place, at which the Treuhandanstalt [Treuhand, or Trust Agency] was created. It became the largest industrial holding company in the world and was supposed to protect the state-owned property of the G.D.R., but then there was a cold coup. On June 26, 1990, the De Maizière government published statutes that promoted nothing but the privatization and reorganization of the state-owned industries.
In August 1990, Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, who was a very good and effective industrialist, was assigned to reorganize the Treuhand. Having an excellent understanding of the requirements of the real economy, he put restoration before privatization, with the primary aim being to protect the jobs in the previously state-owned companies. He was immediately, viciously attacked by British and U.S. investment banks that accused him of blocking foreign investment. He was shot and killed on April 1, 1991, by the same dubious, probably non-existent “third generation” of the terrorist Red Army Faction, the Baader-Meinhof group.
He was replaced by Birgit Breuel, the daughter of Alvin Münchmeyer, whose bank had a very dark history, being one of the key financiers of the NSDAP [the National Socialist German Workers Party—the Nazi Party] in the 1930s, together with Brown Brothers Harriman bank in the United States and Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England.
A gigantic expropriation of the property of the people of the G.D.R. took place. All of a sudden, the life’s work of all of the people of the G.D.R. meant nothing, it was declared worthless. The people in East Germany have yet to recover from this shock. I would say that this expropriation had a lot to do with the fact that you have now the emergence of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a populist organization which however has within it a lot of very evil elements, right-wing extremist, if not worse—fascist elements.
The establishment decided that the disappearance of communism gave it new, basically insane, options. As long as the Soviet Union continued to exist, the oligarchy in the West knew that it had to meet a certain requirement for scientific and technological progress, to keep up with the arms race in the Cold War. For reasons that were developed much earlier by Nicolò Machiavelli: You always have to stay on the same level of technology as your opponent, or better yet, keep ahead.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the forces of the British Empire went into unrestrained deregulation of the financial markets, going back to the old oligarchical thinking, reduce the population, keep people backward. Especially after succeeding in eliminating the Glass-Steagall Act in the United States in 1999, you had a complete, unrestrained deregulation of the financial markets, at the expense of industry, at the expense of the common good, and for the total profit maximization of the speculators.
On July 25, 2007, one week before the secondary mortgage crisis erupted, Lyndon LaRouche made a world-famous webcast, in which he said this system is absolutely finished, and all we will see now is how the different aspects come to the surface. As a result of the fact that people did not listen to him, the big systemic crash occurred in 2008. Nothing was done by central banks to eliminate the root causes of that crash, and therefore, now, about 11, 12 years later, we are facing an even worse crisis, because all they did was quantitative easing, zero interest rates, negative interest rates, and today, we are looking at the blow-out of the entire system—much, much worse than 2008.
But in the meantime, another tendency developed.
The Eurasian Land-Bridge
To move our proposal for the Eurasian Land-Bridge, we organized conferences and seminars on five continents. In 1996, there was a big conference in Beijing, where I presented our proposal to use the Eurasian Land-Bridge as a cornerstone for a new world economic order, and at that point, China declared the Eurasian Land-Bridge to be the strategic goal of China by the year 2010. But then, naturally, in 1997 the Asia crisis happened; in 1998, the Russian state bankruptcy, and the Asian countries were forced to develop an alternative to defend themselves. Since then, a whole array of organizations has developed: the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and many others. The Schiller Institute continued to hold conferences proposing that the Eurasian Land-Bridge should become the World Land-Bridge connecting all five continents.
Then, in Kazakhstan in 2013, President Xi Jinping announced the New Silk Road. And in the six years since, this has become the largest infrastructure project in history. One hundred and fifty-seven nations and 30 large, international organizations are participating in it. They have created a new paradigm, based on respect for sovereignty and mutual non-interference in each other’s social systems. It has now become a model of cooperation which, according to President Xi Jinping, is open to every nation on this planet.
When you look around the globe, you see demonstrations in many countries, many of them larger than the Monday demonstrations in the G.D.R. in 1989, some of them not as peaceful. We are also confronted with existential dangers: Especially emanating from the drug cartels, if you look at the situation in Mexico, or if you look at the mostly Soros-sponsored color revolutions, such as in Hong Kong, and other destabilizations around the world. It is actually the work of the same forces behind the coup against President Donald Trump, since 2016. But there is also a counter-move: The criminal investigation of the coup-plotters against Trump, led by Attorney General William Barr.
LaRouche’s Solutions Are Now Urgent
So, 30 years after the fall of the Wall, we are now exactly at the point I described in many speeches that, if you try to superimpose the liberal system, you will get a much larger collapse. But we also have the new constellation of the Belt and Road Initiative, and President Trump, who has said many times, and has proven through his actions, that he wants to improve U.S. relations with Russia and China. So you actually can say that we are experiencing right now the Great Chance of 2019, but what must occur, is to learn the lesson of what went wrong 30 years ago. The Four Powers—the United States, Russia, China, and India—must impose the prescriptions of Lyndon LaRouche.
We must have a Glass-Steagall separation of the banks worldwide. The casino economy has to end, and this should occur before the collapse throws the world into chaos.
Then, we need a national bank in every country, on the conceptions of Alexander Hamilton.
We need a New Bretton Woods, a new credit system to finance international projects of the Belt and Road Initiative.
And, we have to have an increase in the productivity of the economies, through a joint, crash program for the realization of fusion power, and we need international cooperation for space exploration and research.
Now, all these countries, the Four Powers, joined by others, must join hands for the economic reconstruction of Southwest Asia, which has been destroyed by interventionist wars; and we need the industrialization of Africa, because this is the big challenge to the entirety of humanity. We must overcome geopolitics, and we must agree to what President Xi Jinping has been proposing for many years: a shared community of the future of the one humanity.
A Renaissance of Classical Culture
This, however, must be combined with a Renaissance of Classical culture, and this is why the role of the Schiller Institute and the ideas of Friedrich Schiller are so absolutely indispensable. It was the principle of the Schiller Institute, when it was founded in 1984, that a new world economic order could really only succeed if combined with a Classical Renaissance. We need a dialogue of the best traditions of all cultures, and for European civilization this means that the beautiful image of man—as expressed by Friedrich Schiller and as it was celebrated by Beethoven in the Ode to Joy choral section in his Ninth Symphony—must become the basis of our education system and of our social life.
According to Schiller, every human being has the potential to become a beautiful soul, and his definition of that, is the potential for every human being to become a genius. His idea is that every human being has a limitless capacity for self-improvement, intellectually and morally.
So, the liberal model has not just failed economically, but also culturally. With the drug epidemics, for example, in the United States, the ugliness of the youth culture, the violence in so-called “entertainment,” the school shootings, and similar things, it is very, very clear, that if the West wants to survive, we need an aesthetical education. President Xi Jinping has said in many speeches how important he regards the aesthetical education, because it leads to a beautiful mind and a beautiful soul, and it is the source of the creation of great works of art.
Now, in the United States and Europe, we must recreate the best traditions of humanism and Classical art, in the tradition of the Italian Renaissance, the German Classics, the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Verdi, and others. This is not an option: This is a necessity. Civilizations have disappeared. Museums are full of examples of nations, of cultures, of civilizations morally too deprived to make it. Now, Europe and the United States could disappear! And I’m not saying this as a pessimistic prognosis, but as an incentive for us to change our habits and assumptions. We have to recreate our civilization based on the lofty ideas of great poets like Schiller, whose 260th birthday we celebrate today.