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This transcript appears in the May 22, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]


‘This Is the Big One’

We present here excerpts from the edited transcript of the Schiller Institute’s May 13 webcast featuring Helga Zepp-LaRouche. The full video is available here.


Harley Schlanger: Hello I’m Harley Schlanger from the Schiller Institute. Welcome to our webcast with our founder and chairwoman, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Today is May 13, 2020.

Helga, we’ve had a series of very successful events over the last few weeks, and in your discussions, you’ve begun to characterize the crisis by saying that we’re now in the midst of “the Big One.” There are some who are saying, well, bigger things are still to come. What was the basis of your assessment that, with the combination of the crises, we are now in “the Big One”?

It’s a Breakdown Crisis

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think people tend to focus on aspects of the crisis. They either focus on the incredible economic collapse which is going on—in some countries it’s really dramatic—or, they focus on the coronavirus pandemic as such, or they focus on the crisis in agriculture, or the threatening famine, or other aspects. But the only way to look at this situation is to understand that what we are faced with right now, is not only all of these aspects—which all are part of the picture and many others—but that we are really looking at a breakdown crisis, which has been in focus for at least 50 years. That is how long Lyndon LaRouche has been warning of exactly the kind of crisis now emerging.

I think we should go through the different aspects of it, but the solution can only be one which addresses all of these crises.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has testified for standards on reopening the economy.
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WFP/George Fominyen
David Beasley, World Food Program Executive Director, on a recent tour of Burkino Faso. He is warning of a coming global “hunger pandemic.”

You have a pandemic that is for sure not under control. Warnings came recently from two sources:

First, at a U.S. Senate hearing yesterday, a rather incredible picture came into being as Professor Anthony Fauci (WHO) and Dr. Robert Redfield (CDC) testified very clearly that the guidelines for so-called “reopening the economy” are very well defined: There has to be for two weeks a shrinking in the number of infected people; there has to be ample ability for testing and contact tracing in case of reemergence of hotspots. But there has been such a rush on both sides of the Atlantic in recent weeks for so-called “reopening the economy,” that many of these guidelines are being completely neglected. This is a very disturbing factor—we will talk about some statements by such experts as Prof. Christian Drosten at Berlin’s Charité Hospital, in a second.

Then you have the crisis in the farm sector. We are about to lose essential farm production, both in the United States and in Europe. David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, has put out incredible figures warning of a global “hunger pandemic,” reporting that if we don’t prepare and act now, to secure access to food, avoid funding shortfalls and disruptions to trade, the result could be a humanitarian catastrophe in a few short months. If not reversed, we could face the combined consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdown, and the collapse of agriculture, which would result in famine with projected casualties of 300,000 people per day. This is quite incredible.

And you have the ongoing collapse of the financial system, which definitely requires a reorganization of the entire financial system.

When I said, in various of the conferences we have had over the past weekend, “This is the Big One,” I was referring to a March 30 article in The Hill by Brig. Gen. Peter Zwack (ret.), who has served in various functions in the U.S. military, also as a military attaché in Moscow, who is not a dove, but a hardcore military man. In the article, he said that the present pandemic is a rehearsal for “The Big One” to come, referring to the fact that we can have other viruses and even more dramatic crises.

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VOA/Columbus Mavhunga
Hygiene problems in underdeveloped countries may make it almost impossible to fight COVID-19. Here, residents line up for water at a borehole in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Underdeveloped countries are more vulnerable to disease and food shortages. Health care workers in Latin America, checking for COVID-19.

Consider All Factors Together

I said, “No, you have to look at all of the factors together. You could have a chain reaction collapse into a Dark Age.” So, this current crisis, in my view, is The Big One. It’s an all-encompassing crisis which definitely requires a big solution on a global scale. This is why the Schiller Institute is presently working on a crash program to have such a global approach, with the basic idea that we have to stop that, we have to take on the problem in its fundamentals.

We have to overcome the underdevelopment of the developing sector, because there is no way to stop this pandemic, or any other pandemics looming, nor can we stop the famine, if we do not seriously reverse the absolutely Malthusian policy of keeping the developing sector in a condition of undeserved poverty and misery. We must completely reorganize the world economy. We have to have a credit system. We are now proposing 1.5 billion new, productive jobs be created, most of these have to be in the developing sector, something that needs to be discussed on a global scale. This must be taken up by responsible governments.

We have been raising for quite some time the proposal of my late husband Lyndon LaRouche, that the only way to implement this, is by getting the most important, most powerful countries of the world together, that is, the United States, China, Russia, India, supported by other countries that have important industrial capacities, such as Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Italy. All of these countries have to mobilize their industrial capacity to solve this problem together. There is no partial solution. No one nation can solve this.

The problem most people have is that they look only at their particular situation, in New York, in Berlin, wherever they are. At best they look at their nation, maybe their continent. But I think this is a crisis which definitely requires that we really find a solution to the problems of the entire planet. That is the approach we are taking.

Schlanger: I think another of the reasons why people missed this, besides the localism or particularism, is that they missed a point that you’ve been emphasizing that was key to your husband’s analysis, which is that this has been ongoing for five decades. There’s been a deliberate tear-down of the industrial manufacturing base in the Western countries, a collapse of public health, and so on—I mean, this is a big part of the crisis, isn’t it?

Schiller Institute V-E Commemoration

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. The situation very clearly demands that we stop thinking in geopolitical terms; that we have to find a solution in cooperation. And you mentioned a remarkably successful event we had over the weekend. We had a very beautiful commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day, with quite an incredible discussion of the “Spirit of the Elbe.” This was the moment World War II ended. Soviet and American troops met for the first time, at the Elbe River, near Torgau in Germany, and there was, for a brief moment, the chance to really start a peace order in the post-war period. The soldiers made a solemn oath, the “Oath of the Elbe,” that there should never, ever be such a war again.

If you watch this event, which we held online over the May 9 weekend, you will witness the grave reflection on the losses of World War II—60 million people died. And then, as the contributions of the different speakers developed, there was actually a poetical idea of friendship, of what it means to find a language together in terms of cultural exchanges. One of the World War II veterans spoke very, very beautifully, about his life and the meaning for him of the writings of my husband. By the conclusion, your heart will be filled with the feeling that we can recreate the “Spirit of the Elbe,” that we can recreate a spirit of peaceful cooperation among the nations and the peoples of this planet.

I therefore really urge everyone to watch the entirety of this conference, because that is exactly the spirit that we have to create.

Schlanger: You mentioned the food crisis. There was also an exciting discussion by farmers from Argentina, Germany, and United States, who discovered that they all are facing the same problem, namely, the cartelization of the globalized food production system.

Let’s go back to the coronavirus for a moment. You mentioned Dr. Christian Drosten at the Institute for Virology at Berlin’s Charité Hospital. He has been trying to address some of the spin and scenarios and disinformation that are coming out. What has he been saying? And does this cohere with what you heard from the Senate hearings yesterday?

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In Michigan, frustrated protesters gathered at the state capitol to defy the state’s lockdown rules. The pressure to re-open the economy is evidenced in similar protests around the world, threatening to undermine the health and safety measures required to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Danger of ‘Opening Up’ Unprepared

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. He addressed yesterday, in his daily podcast, these demonstrations that have started to take place in many cities around the world of people who oppose the present measures of lockdown, of possible vaccines. People are quite hysterical and have all kinds of theories. I urge people to listen to this particular podcast, to hear his point that all these self-proclaimed “experts,” people who even have titles as doctors and professors and whatnot, who claim that they can judge whether or not to lift the quarantines and social distancing regimen, are completely incompetent, and that this is very dangerous.

He said the only reason he has attracted such attention is that he is not only a virologist, but he is a specialist for this particular virus, and that he would never dare to speak about bacteria, because he knows very little about bacteria. For the lay person, however, there is not a big difference between bacteria and viruses, but once you really study these matters in depth, especially when you have a new virus, you really need to be competent, and these people are obviously not expert in the matter at all, and in most cases in the past, these people have been actively either anti-science or anti-vaccine, or anti-this or anti-that, but somehow they are now all of a sudden discovering their “expertise” on coronavirus.

Dr. Drosten warned that the spreading of this disinformation is extremely dangerous. We have been accused of “selling out,” that we are paid by Bill Gates. But this is all really contributing to an increase in infections—I mean, this is really a very, very serious matter. It’s an unprecedented crisis.

Not much is known about this virus yet. There are new, very disturbing factors. For example, the much-scolded World Health Organization (WHO) has just put out an absolutely correct warning of how irresponsible it is to talk about “herd immunity.” From the beginning, I have insisted that human beings are not a “herd,” we are not animals! You can’t apply such categories to the human species, and in Sweden, where it was applied, an extremely high ratio of elderly people have died! This was absolutely not necessary, had the prescribed measures been applied.

Then you have a strange new set of serious symptoms among children which has emerged. The Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, reported on May 10,

New York State is investigating 85 cases of a COVID-related illness in children. Mostly toddler to elementary school ages, its symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease, what they call Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome. This does not present as a normal COVID case. COVID cases tend to be respiratory. This presents as an inflammation of the blood vessels, sometimes inflammation of the heart.

Several of those children have died.

Then you have the strange situation that the highest rate of new infections is among people between the ages of 35 and 55. Is this a strain mutating, is it a new strain or strains?

Then you have a situation in Wuhan, China, which was subjected to a complete lockdown, eliminating the infection altogether. Now six new cases have appeared, and what do the Chinese do? They are going to test 11 million people in the next week, that is, everybody in the city of Wuhan!

Coronavirus infections are now appearing in the developing countries.

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VOA/Columbus Mavhunga
In spite of the government-ordered lockdown, informal economy vendors have begun to line the streets again in Harare, Zimbabwe. They say they’ve had no source of income since the start of the lockdown in March.
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Refugees from North Africa and Southwest Asia continue to arrive in Europe.

The ‘Informal Economy’

The International Labor Organization has published figures showing that of the 3.3 billion in the labor force in the world, 2 billion (60%), are in the so-called “informal economy.” These 2 billion are people living from hand to mouth, day-to-day pay, with no social benefits, no insurance, mostly having no money for medical treatment, so they are completely dependent on government programs. But the governments in many cases don’t have the means.

I have been in many developing countries, and I can tell you, for example, that in the realm of agriculture, an informal job means you have one goat, and you have an entire family sitting on a mini-plot of land, around that goat, and that is their livelihood. We are talking about conditions in which people don’t have clean water, they don’t have electricity, so they can’t even fulfill the hygiene measures which are requested and needed to stay healthy.

This thing is not under control, and I can only say that the indifference toward the suffering of the developing countries, in my view, disqualifies the people who are now ranting and raging saying this is all a plot. The reality is that we are look at the possibility of mass death, of hundreds of millions, and that alone should compel a moral outcry to change this system, because if we don’t, we ourselves are not morally fit to survive in the so-called “advanced sector” which now turns out—and this has been clear for a long time—is not so advanced.

‘Green’ Economy vs. Physical Economy

Schlanger: Re-emerging in the background, something that’s been off the front pages recently, but never went completely away, is the idea of the “green” economy. Adherents are saying, “Isn’t it wonderful that so much industry has been shut down? The animals are coming back to the cities, and the water is clean again,” and on and on. In the last couple of days, leading industrialists in Europe have come out with a crazy proposal for moving ahead with the Green economy. What can you tell us about that?

Zepp-LaRouche: There is a push by [Italy’s business association] Confindustria, [Germany’s] BDI, and the industrial association in France to go for big investment programs, and that indeed is what is required, but to call for the implementation of the EU Green Deal is coming at this moment of an already weakened economy, where the industrial collapse is really significant.

For example, an Italian think tank has just put out figures showing that in Italy, industrial production from the beginning of the year through April, collapsed by 61%! Now that is not peanuts! And that explains why people are getting so anxious about their personal livelihoods, their future and so forth, but if you then superimpose on such a collapsed economy, a Green Deal economy, you are basically shutting down these countries as industrial nations.

That absolutely must be prevented. In Africa, Latin America, Asia, there are pockets of deep, deep poverty. More and more refugees are pouring into Lampedusa, Italy from Libya. The situation in the Greek islands is horrible. If you want to overcome the crisis, all of these situations must be taken as one. And in order to solve that you need to industrialize Southwest Asia, Africa, Latin America, and for that, you need the economies of Italy, of France, of Germany, and other so-called industrialized countries.

We have to go back to physical economy. We have to go back to the idea of increasing energy-flux density. We need to emphasize breakthroughs once again in our scientific understanding of the principles of our universe. We have to increase the productivity of the economy. All of these principles you can readily find in the economic theories of my late husband. And that is going to be the basis of the world program which we are going to publish in a relatively short period of time.

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