This article appears in the March 26, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Strategic Crisis: What We Propose
Helga Zepp-LaRouche is the founder and President of the international Schiller Institute. With these remarks, she opened Panel 2 of the Schiller Institute conference, “The World at a Crossroad—Two Months into the Biden Administration,” March 20, 2021.
Thank you. I greet you wherever you are.
Let me just point to the obvious fact that anybody who looks at the world right now, realizes that we are confronted with a number of existential crises, each of which can harm the human population tremendously by the millions. One is obviously the pandemic, which is not under control. Then, we have a famine of Biblical dimensions, as David Beasley from the UN World Food Program keeps emphasizing, with an absolutely horrendous situation in Yemen and Syria, and many African countries. We are confronted with the potential of a financial collapse much beyond what we saw in 2008.
And naturally, of biggest concern sometimes is the potential of a confrontation which is coming from the fact that the United States, the British government, NATO, have been increasingly talking about Russia and China as adversaries, as competitors, and even as enemies. In my best knowledge, and I’m not relying on secondary sources, but from my own experience of discussions with leaders from Russia, China, European countries, and patriotic Americans, this adversarial relationship must be overcome.
Because in the time and age of thermonuclear weapons, any idea that you can start a limited nuclear war, or a limited conventional war which has the potential of using low-yield nuclear weapons, which blur the difference between conventional and nuclear weapons, has the potential of getting out of control. Over the recent months there have been many times when U.S. or NATO jets have conflicted with Russian or Chinese jets. When you come to the conclusion that the maintenance of peace depends on the ability of a pilot to avert a possible collision, then peace is in grave danger.
This all has very deep reasons; we addressed some of them in the previous panel. But I think what is really needed is to rethink: can humanity not give itself an order which guarantees the long-term survivability of the entire human species?
I personally think that the idea of the globalization of NATO, of shifting the focus to the Indo-Pacific, is a policy which has incredible dangers and should not continue. The idea of globalization of NATO would mean an encirclement containment policy against Russia and China, which will be met with resistance.
I tend to agree with a recent statement by French Gen. Grégoire Diamantidis, who represents a think tank called Cercle de Réflexion Interarmées. He wrote an open letter to the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, saying that NATO right now is on course for a train wreck, and it should be dissolved, because the only purpose right now is to drive a wedge between the Europeans and Russia, and depriving member states more and more of having a say in the policy of NATO, by step-by-step developing a world government–kind of control.
I personally think, and we have said this many times in the past, NATO lost its raison d’être in 1991; it should have been dissolved. On the other side, security concerns are serious and should be taken into account. Therefore, we need a new security architecture, and that should be part of a discussion, because if you just continue the way things are going now, we are in great danger of losing the entire civilization. If ever it would come to one nuclear weapon being used, I believe those experts are right who say that it’s the logic of nuclear weapons as compared to conventional weapons, that all of those weapons would be used, and that would be the end of civilization.
What We Are Proposing
What we are proposing instead is, in light of all these existential threats to humanity, that a new conception must be found, a new paradigm for how nations can work together. In my view, one of the best ideas for that has come from Nicolaus of Cusa, who was a thinker of the 15th century. He developed a methodology which is absolutely applicable for today, which is the Coincidentia Oppositorum—the Coincidence of Opposites.
If you apply that conception to the idea of a dynamic development of all nations, sort of what the Chinese are calling the shared future of mankind based on a win-win cooperation among sovereign states, who respect the different social systems, and who work together for the benefit of the one humanity.
The Coincidence of Opposites is the idea that human reason can find a unity which is on a higher level than the many. The One has a higher power than the Many. If you regard this as Nicholas of Cusa did, not as a static concept, but as a sort of contrapuntally, fugally-developing concept where each participating nation and state is searching and trying to further the benefit and the well-being of the other. So, you have a sort of concordance in the macrocosm by the maximum development of all microcosms. While that seems to be a utopian conception for some people, it is actually the only way humanity can continuously work together. I think we want to use the Schiller Institute forums as the platform where these kinds of ideas are being discussed.
Therefore, I don’t want to make a very long speech, but only introductory remarks. Therefore, I want to welcome the speakers on this panel, and I hope that these ideas can find fruitful dialogue and be furthered for the sake of all of humanity.