This article appears in the June 26, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
[Print version of this article]
‘Day of Action’ Mobilizes Youth for
1.5 Billion Jobs with the LaRouche Plan
Harley Schlanger: Hello, I’m Harley Schlanger with the Schiller Institute. Welcome to our webcast with our founder and President, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Today is Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
It’s fair to say that the strategic situation and the crisis is deepening everywhere in the world, from the coronavirus pandemic, to the economic crisis, social crisis, and the war danger. It’s a crisis that demands a response, and so the Schiller Institute today is conducting an International Day of Action, around the program for 1.5 billion new, productive jobs, and the demand for a Four Power Summit. Helga, what can you say about this Day of Action today and what you expect to come from it?
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Today’s International Day of Action involves mostly young people from many different countries mobilizing for the idea that each country must have a national health system on the standard of either the Hill-Burton Act of the United States, or the excellent medical standard demonstrated in Wuhan, China. Young people, from Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, the United States, many African countries, and several European countries working together, contacting people to move their respective governments to join the chorus demanding that the international community move to face this emergency by building up the required national health system in every country.
These are young people who have started to study in a very serious way, the economic theory of my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche: physical economy. They are studying the real source of wealth, not money, but the increase of the full activity of the labor force. They are studying classical music, which is critical for the development of creative mentation. Today, they are contacting hundreds of institutions, including other youth organizations, clearly communicating that the emergency is escalating. We have the pandemic and increasing famine resulting from the pandemic.
We need to get action initiated at the appropriate level. We know what to do, we know what governments should be doing—organizing emergency teams of medical personnel, supplied with medical protection gear, with medicine, to go into all of these countries and start training programs for young people. We are discussing this with doctors in the United States and in Europe, and the idea is that we organize with the young people, in Africa, in Latin America, to contact institutions so that such training programs can be set up in the short term.
The idea of young people starting to take responsibility and action in their own hands, so to speak, to get this going, to get governments moving, is quite exciting. Young people from different countries made a remarkably good, short video. Please circulate that video to spread the idea of this international youth movement which is starting to get the ball rolling. Spread the petition for a world health system in all possible channels you can reach, and get on board! We need an emergency mobilization! This pandemic is exactly what we knew it would become—it is expanding, it’s reaching now the Global South, and we count on you to be part of this mobilization.
Schlanger: One of the things that’s exciting a lot of the youth, especially in poorer countries, is the idea that it is international. That it does include people from all over the world, and that we’re not taking anything for granted that any country, just because it’s poor, should have to go through high death rates, famine and suffering of that sort.
Now, one of the things that’s occurred in the last couple of days is the recurrence of coronavirus in China, an outbreak in Beijing. What do you have on that, Helga?
Zepp-LaRouche: This is very worrisome. It seems the outbreak in Beijing is a new strain. It’s not the same one as hit Wuhan earlier. It looks more like the kind of the coronavirus strain now doing so much damage in Europe. Beijing has quarantined more than 20 neighborhoods and cancelled 1,200 flights in and out of Beijing. This strain of the virus, according to some doctors from China, appears to be more aggressive than that in Wuhan.
There is a spike in cases in many American states. In Houston, Texas, four hospitals had to turn away ambulances. It’s a very difficult climate. President Trump wants to have big rallies—this is a very, very acute situation.
Then, if you look at the picture in the Global South, the World Health Organization has warned that the COVID-19 is now on a steep upswing there. The situation in Brazil is horrendous: They had 37,000 new cases in a single day, June 16, and that is only a guess, because testing is very underdeveloped.
In Lima, Peru, the Archbishop had an incredible demonstration to make sure that people understand that each single death is tremendous loss: Photographs of 5,000 of the more than 6,000 who have died in Peru were obtained and placed on the pews in the Cathedral, so it looks like these dead people are sitting there in the pews of the church.
In densely populated countries, like India, medical care is being triaged, not so much as a result of any decision, but due to the simple lack of enough hospital beds, personal protective equipment, masks, and ICU beds. There is a similar situation in many African countries.
This is exactly why we are making such an emergency mobilization to really start to treat this pandemic in the way it must be treated, until a vaccine is developed. It may take a year; it may take more than that, and the pandemic will take a lot of lives, because in the developing sector it meets conditions where people are working in the so-called “informal economy,” which means that any lockdown immediately threatens their lives.
There is the immediate danger of famine, which the World Food Program has been warning of again and again, and it’s not getting the kind of coverage in the mainstream media which you would think it should get—namely, to address the agriculture crisis, to double the food production—and that is why our mobilization is so absolutely crucial and why you should join it.
And that will also be the subject of an upcoming conference of the Schiller Institute on June 27. You should register for that conference to be able to participate in an active way. And you should spread the news about it, because we are trying to mobilize an international alliance, to turn this situation around, through the implementation of the kinds of programs which we discussed already—the world health system in every country, the 1.5 billion productive jobs, and that will all be a subject of this conference. And we will again bring international speakers to make clear that there is this kind of dialogue and spread of this alliance, which is absolutely needed.
Schlanger: One thing I think that very few people in the United States are aware of is this famine crisis, the “hunger pandemic” as it’s being called. It’s even hitting the United States. It’s not getting a lot of media coverage, but food processing, especially meat packing, is collapsing. The effects of the coronavirus, combined with the poor prices being paid to farmers, has brought farmers into the streets worldwide. Do you expect that we’ll have some farmer participation in the Day of Action, and also in the Schiller Conference on June 27?
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. If you really want to see farmers in action, together with those responsible for the cities and urban life, you should attend the LaRouche PAC meeting this Saturday, where farm leaders from the United States and urban leaders will be in dialogue.
We’re trying to spread this mobilization. The hunger pandemic will be the subject of the second panel of our June conference. We will have speakers from the developing countries, from Africa, from Latin America, and this is really important, because this is not something which can be solved in any one country; but we have to get the kind of international cooperation to really change the agenda, and implement a completely different economic system, one which is not devoted to financial profit making, but to the common good of the population.
Schlanger: One area where this is being addressed is a summit taking place right now between China and many of the African nations. What can you tell us about the China- Africa summit?
Zepp-LaRouche: This is very important, because today’s meeting involves Xi Jinping, the leaders of the African Union, UN General Secretary António Guterres, and the head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. They’re trying to get a handle on this incredible situation.
As you mentioned, not only is the pandemic spreading, but also the famine. And there are areas in Africa where you have a horrible combination of drought for longer periods than usual with the locust plague, which is now destroying the food of 35,000 people a day or more; and obviously you need international cooperation. So, it’s good that the African Union member countries are working together. One can only hope that the United States and European countries will join in their efforts, because the need is even greater than if you mobilized all the existing industrial and agricultural capabilities of the so-called advanced countries. It is still not enough to address this problem in the necessary time.
Schlanger: One of the other interesting developments is the China Belt and Road Initiative conference which is also taking place. There have been efforts to derail the Belt and Road Initiative; there’s talk from some of the anti-China people that “China can’t afford it now; they’re collapsing, their economy is going down....” What’s the reality?
Zepp-LaRouche: China is resuming the Belt and Road discussion. As you know, part of it is the Health Silk Road, but also there are projects which constitute a precondition for development—infrastructure. China is returning to an emphasis on great projects.
There is a new anti-China organization on the scene, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which has such people as Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Bob Menendez, and this politician from the Green Party in Germany, MEP Reinhard Bütikofer. This is incredible, because Bütikofer is a co-chair of this alliance which brings together the worst kind of anti-China/anti-Russia hawks in the United States. When he was younger—now he’s grown in age, and also in size, quite significantly—he was a member of something called the KBW (Communist League of West Germany), which was the Maoist organization. He even was the head of the German-Chinese friendship society. But that was at a time when China was undergoing the Cultural Revolution.
As everybody knows, China has completely turned away from that paradigm. With the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping, China has started an economic development path which is very much similar to the American System of economy; the German economist Friedrich List is very famous in China, and that method has proven to be absolutely successful, as it has been everywhere it was ever invoked in history—in the United States, in Germany, in Russia. Wherever these principles were applied, they worked. China has been able to uplift 850 million people from poverty, and is intending, despite the pandemic, to end its domestic poverty this year.
People should stop being so absolutely immoral: This is not a time to keep playing geopolitical games. This is the time to join hands and address the issues faced by all of humanity. This anti-China campaign, and the anti-Russia campaign are contributing to a very unstable strategic climate and the danger of war. People tend to forget that, but I think that war danger is absolutely there.
Schlanger: One of the interesting developments of the last week, was the discussion that President Trump and Vladimir Putin had, which was then followed up by two events that were also interesting. President Trump, in his commencement address to the graduating cadets at West Point said, “We are ending the era of regime-change wars, of endless wars.” He said he’s not going to continue this policy anymore. Almost at the same time, President Putin reiterated his point that the reason people are making up fairytales about Trump and Russia, was to stop Trump and to tie him up and prevent him from moving toward a cooperative relationship.
How does this fit in with the overall picture of fighting against geopolitics?
Zepp-LaRouche: It is very significant, that President Putin in 2016, if people remember, when Trump won the election, warned that Trump’s opponents would try a “Maidan” kind of a coup against his administration, referring to the coup in Kiev in 2014. He also said that the campaign against Trump contributed to the present riots in the United States. This is very significant, because it again and again proves that leaders in Russia and China are quite aware of both the coup and also the reasons why this coup is being made, and obviously, by implication, that there is a difference between Trump and some of his hawkish cabinet members.
The issue is still very much whether the largest countries of the world—the U.S., Russia, China—can cooperate, or will the efforts that cause provocations and even proxy wars prevail? Can these countries come together in time to establish the necessary cooperation, to address this crisis, precisely what the Schiller Institute is demanding—a summit of President Putin, Xi Jinping, and President Trump?
The danger of war is great. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), has just published findings that while the number of nuclear warheads has slightly decreased, the danger of confrontation has increased. There are too many people who think about winning a first strike. The Russians have made clear they will never allow a first strike to succeed and they have hypersonic weapons to counter such action.
On June 24 there will be the big military parade in Moscow. This is the parade originally scheduled for May to celebrate the end of World War II, but it could not take place in May, and now it will only be broadcast by TV, so the masses of people will not be physically attending. There are many TV teams, and as the announcers have already said, they will have a better view than if they were physically there, because these many TV teams will show airborne units, they will show the military hardware. People should watch this parade and remember that it commemorates the end of World War II and should be a warning to never again entertain the idea of world war. Such ideas constitute a very real danger.
Schlanger: You brought up a couple of times the growing war danger. For example, the blowing up of the Liaison Station between North and South Korea; the famine and the chaos in Syria; the terrible civil war in Libya: All three of these situations are a result of the efforts of the regime-change crowd in the West, in the trans-Atlantic region, and the sanctions policy.
Zepp-LaRouche: Under conditions of a pandemic, all the sanctions should be lifted right away, because it obviously prevents these countries from addressing the medical emergency. Most of these countries are already not very developed and not very rich.
In the case of North Korea, I think the fact that there was no follow-up in terms of loosening the sanctions after the discussions between President Trump and President Kim Jong Un, is for sure the big reason, whatever other little provocations may have been going on there; so now North Korea is moving the military to a tourist area in North Korea and also to the industrial zone of Kaesong; and, as you said, they blew up this building in the demilitarized zone. So I’m pretty sure that people—Kim Jong Un and others—are watching the anti-China campaign coming from the United States and Great Britain, and given the strategic location of North Korea, they probably drew their own conclusion from that. So you can actually see how this anti-China campaign has all kinds of secondary aspects.
In the case of Syria, it is quite obvious that Trump’s attempt to pull troops out of Syria is not quite succeeding, because a number of military leaders in the United States are not exactly following Trump’s orders. But there is clearly an attempt now to move in the direction of regime-change against Syria through famine! The sanctions should be lifted. Anybody, and any governing body, including the EU, that is still supporting these sanctions, should be confronted with their inhuman behavior.
Libya is a typical case of a proxy war, at minimum between Turkey and Egypt, but it also involves Turkey and Italy, and is a very dangerous situation, because it eventually involves tensions between NATO and Russia. So I think all these hotspots clearly could only be resolved if you have the kind of international cooperation among the large powers, because they’re proxy crises which are the derivatives of the tensions in the large picture.
Schlanger: U.S.-German relations seem to have hit a slightly bumpy road in the last few years, now escalating with the threat of sanctions against German companies and the German government involved in the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. Where is this headed?
Zepp-LaRouche: This is incredibly serious. Ted Cruz apparently is preparing a bill in the Senate to impose sanctions, not only against all private sector firms in Germany and Europe that are working together to finish the last 150 or so kilometers of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but also there is the threat of sanctions against institutions of the German state! Now this is incredible.
First of all, it’s the sovereign right of Germany to import its energy from whomever it wants; secondly, there is a complete upsurge, not just among left politicians, but from the CDU/CSU and SPD and so forth, not only because of the Nord Stream 2, but also for weeks there was the discussion that the U.S. wants to pull out 9,500 troops from Germany, to reduce its troop presence there to 25,000. What upset people was not just that it was being mooted, but the way it was done, that the U.S. did not inform Germany, its supposed partner. Germans found out about the plan in the media!
This is causing a big uproar among the entire spectrum of politicians. The Linkspartei [Left Party] and SPD faction leaders are now saying that the United States should not only withdraw their troops entirely, but also take their nuclear weapons with them.
Others, including a professor from the academy of the German army, are saying there is no threat from Russia against NATO, there is no intention on the part of Russia to attack NATO, so the reason why these U.S. troops are there is not to protect Germany, but to protect the strategic interest of the United States, because after all, Germany is being used as a launching pad for drones and other operations into the Middle East, into Africa; and the German ambassador to Washington also very clearly said, these troops are not there to protect Germany.
So there is quite a great deal of upset, and the professor from the Bundeswehr University said that, “for some time now, and escalating recently, there is a drifting apart of interests in all areas between the United States and Germany.” Now, I find that quite incredible. And what is that supposed to mean?
If that leads to a situation where the EU thinks it has to build its own army, to build a bloc against China and against the United States, this is the kind of geopolitical dynamic which I think is exactly what contributes to world wars: If you look at the long arch, it’s these kinds of things which have very negative effects.
I think the solution is not sanctions against the auto sector, or forcing the EU to get rid of the import tariffs for lobsters—all of these things are so absolutely secondary. I think Germany and the United States should work together to solve the problems of the refugee crisis, the building of Southwest Asia, to solve the pandemic, and work together to industrialize Africa—these are the kinds of things we should put our minds to, and together on.
And I think we have to have a different paradigm and a completely different thinking. Because national interest is fine—I’m all for national interest, including that of Germany. But as Friedrich Schiller said many times, you cannot have a national interest which is in contradiction to the interest of humanity. Therefore, you have to be a patriot, and you have to be a world citizen at the same time.
That is the kind of spirit which the Schiller Institute is trying to evoke. That will be the subject of our upcoming conference on June 27, which you should absolutely join and listen to and participate in, and that is really extremely urgent.
Schlanger: Any final words to give people the impetus to take part?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think the best thing is to look at this short video, which shows young people from Yemen, from Colombia, Mexico, and the United States. You see that these young people are fighting to get a world health system, that is the hope. The future is theirs, and the best we can do is to give them all possible support, so that their efforts succeed. So join our mobilization, because it is the most promising vehicle to get a change in the world picture.
Given the multitude of crises and that more and more people and countries are understanding that we need a new paradigm, I would not be surprised if we could not move governments at large, including the United States, Russia, China and many others, to implement our program—the 1.5 billion jobs that need to be created, because that is the only way that we will stop the pandemic and the famine. So join this effort.
Schlanger: Thank you very much, Helga, and we’ll see you again, next week.
Zepp-LaRouche: Till next week!