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This article appears in the April 23, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Will Human History End in a Tragedy,
Or Continue with a New Paradigm?

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Schiller Institute
Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Helga Zepp-LaRouche is the founder and President of the international Schiller Institute. She has been a tireless advocate of creating a civilization worthy of the dignity of the human individual through her ceaseless organizing with her husband of many decades, Lyndon LaRouche, freed from unjust imprisonment by her labors. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche brought the concept of the World Land-Bridge to China, where she is affectionately known as the “Silk Road Lady.” She delivered this conference keynote address on March 20, 2021 to Panel 1 of the Schiller Institute conference, “The World at a Crossroad—Two Months into the Biden Administration.” Embedded links and subheads have been added.

Hello, I greet you all over the world, wherever you may be sitting right now. It is a pleasure for me to speak to you. When we chose the title of the conference, “World at a Crossroads: Two Months into the Biden Administration,” we did anticipate turmoil. Still, it is eerie how prescient those words were. For an acting President of the United States to call the President of Russia a killer, as President Biden did in an ABC-TV program, for sure breaks a taboo. It was a trick question by George Stephanopoulos, but it worked. Naturally, that shows you where so-called journalism has gone these days.

Fortunately, President Putin proved to be of good humor, by inviting Biden to have a live internet debate, maybe on Friday, which was yesterday, or Monday; since over the weekend, Putin wanted to go to the Taiga. Otherwise, he wished him good health. Nevertheless, if the President of the most powerful country, which has 5,800 nuclear warheads, says such a thing about the President of Russia, which has 6,375 nuclear warheads—these are figures from January 2020—it demonstrates the danger we are in.

If one considers the avalanche of recent statements and military doctrines, more and more defining Russia and China as strategic rivals and adversarial enemies, it looks like we are in Act IV or V of a global tragedy quickly approaching what Schiller called the punctum saliens. The point in the drama where all previous developments come together in one moment of decision, where it depends on the character and vision of the leading actors on stage, on whose action it depends if we can find a solution on a higher level, if we can access a New Paradigm on a higher plane of thinking and escape the tragic outcome. Or, if they act out the logic of flawed axioms, and the drama ends as a tragedy. This time, however, it is not on a stage, it is our history, our lives.

The Force of Tragedy

Lyndon LaRouche, in a beautiful article published in EIR November 9, 2007 called “The Force of Tragedy,” said an amazing thing which pertains to the reason why we decided that this time, the first panel should be devoted to the need for a Classical renaissance. Because it is the greatest Classical artistic production that through those, one can access the level of thinking required to deal with this crisis, and not put the cultural panel at the end of the conference as we usually do. LaRouche pointed out that since Vladimir Vernadsky and Albert Einstein, one knows about the partition of the universe in rigorously defined phase spaces: the non-biotic, the biosphere, the noösphere. But that there is a fourth general phase space, which combines the level of Classical tragedy, physical science, Classical artistic composition, and the subject of statecraft as known by Aeschylos, Plato, Shakespeare, Lessing, and Schiller, into a single subject matter. That fourth phase space is the true substance of history, Lyndon LaRouche said.

If mankind wants to find a solution to the present many existential crises, political leaders on all levels of society have to access the thinking of that fourth phase space. The Russian reaction to the Biden remarks shows that they see that we are at such a punctum saliens. Konstantin Kosachev, Deputy Speaker of the Russian Federation Council, called it a fault line: “These boorish remarks kill off all expectations that a new administration will pursue a new policy towards Russia,” he said. And in real anger, he said, “These remarks are coming from a President of a country that drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes. As a result of that, there were the deaths of more than 500,000 people linked to U.S. actions since 2001. Could you comment on that, Mr. Biden?”

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White House
U.S. national security documents began identifying Russia and China as geopolitical rivals as early as 2017.

It is horrifying how these crises have been building up over the last several years, with as good as no awareness by the general public. No public discourse; no debate among intellectuals, let alone in the parliaments. Step by step towards the abyss. In the realm of military doctrines, there was a major shift towards confrontation with Russia and China starting with the December 2017 publication of the U.S. National Strategy, which defined for the first time Russia and China as geopolitical rivals. This was continued by the National Defense Strategy in January 2018, followed by the Nuclear Posture Review and the creation of a U.S. Space Command and the U.S. Space Force, whose aim is American dominance in space to prevent China from defining the new rules in space.

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White House
This brief, March 2021 strategic guidance states the intent to align much of the world against Russia and China, effectively globalizing NATO; unilaterally set and enforce the rules of a “rules-based order”; and exercise leadership in the world climate change agenda that will depopulate the world.

In March 2021, the White House published the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. The 24-page document states the intent to align the world democracies against the “malign influences of Russia and China,” re-establish a rules-based order in the world, essentially globalizes NATO with the clear focus on forming alliances in the Indo-Pacific against Russia and China, and “move swiftly to earn back into a position of international leadership” in the global climate change agenda, lower global carbon emissions, and ensure that the U.S., not China, is setting the rules. All of this is supposed to be “to out-compete a more assertive and authoritarian China” and prevail in the strategic competition with China or any other nation.

“Climate will be elevated as a national security priority. We will incorporate climate risk assessment into our war-gaming, modelling, and simulation; and we will bolster mission resilience and deployed solutions that optimize capability and reduce our own carbon footprint.”

Isn’t this very strange that the fight against climate change is a national security priority?

But while these “official” documents at least formally remain in the realm of professional military language, that pretense no longer exists in such papers as the London Telegraph which re-published on January 28, 2021 a paper, “The Longer Telegram,” by the Atlantic Council, written by an anonymous former member of government with “deep knowledge about China,” and supposedly one of the most important papers ever published by the Council. The title is a conscious reference to the “long telegram” by George Kennan from 1946, which had called for the containment of the Soviet Union.

This document brazenly calls for an insider coup against President Xi Jinping by disaffected leading members of the Chinese Communist Party, who are willing however, to give up the idea to pursue a Chinese model of development and submit to the dominance of the world by the U.S. Who are the main funders of this think tank? Some of the top U.S. weapons-makers like Raytheon, General Dynamic, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, and NATO.

Of the same nature is the British intelligence-directed [Alexei] Navalny operation, which has essentially the same aim—to catalyze a regime-change operation against President Putin.

The End of History?

Before it comes to World War III—because that is where this build-up is heading—let’s reflect on what is actually happening here. Didn’t we hear only a short time ago, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that we had reached the end of history? Which was one of the most idiotic things ever said. That from that point in time, Western democracies would take over the world, and all would agree to a system of Western values, neo-liberal economies, gender politics, deconstructionism in art, etc. A quick review is useful here, because there are lessons that must be learned if tragedy is to be avoided. There is actually a rivalry of two competing systems; two completely different conceptions of the world, man’s role in it, and an associated vision of the future of mankind.

The World Land-Bridge Network—Key Links and Corridors
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As proposed by Lyndon and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the World Land-Bridge has become the New Silk Road.

In 1978, when Deng Xiaoping initiated the reform and opening up policy following the deep valley of the Cultural Revolution, China was one of the poorest countries on Earth. By applying the best aspects of the tradition of physical economy as it originated with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and was developed further by Hamilton, List, Carey, and Witte, he set China on a course of continuous innovation which, in the 40 years since, has catapulted 850 million Chinese out of extreme poverty. Which, for any unprejudiced mind, is one of the, if not the most outstanding cultural historic achievements in universal history. They achieved the goal to eliminate extreme poverty before the end of 2020; while in the United States and Europe, you had the opposite trend: poverty increased.

In 1991, we expanded the proposal of the “Productive Triangle: Paris-Berlin-Vienna,” which was the answer of Lyndon LaRouche, my late husband, to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, to become the Eurasian Land-Bridge. Modelled on the ancient Silk Road, it is a system of development corridors to connect the population and industrial centers of Europe with those of Asia, as a way to industrialize all the landlocked areas of the Eurasian continent. That idea was an obvious thought for anyone who came out of the philosophical tradition of Nikolaus von Kues (Kuzansky), Vernadsky, Krafft Ehricke. Namely, that life developed with the help of photosynthesis, out of the oceans. That organisms would develop with higher energy-flux density metabolisms, and that eventually a species would develop whose creative reason would establish a whole new category of existence in the universe—human beings.

The natural course of evolution of that new species would be to settle at the oceans and rivers and, through infrastructure development, move inland. The opening up and development of the landlocked areas of our continents through these development corridors was sort of an obvious idea when the Iron Curtain disintegrated. After the infrastructure development of all continents on the planet was completed, the next phase of this development would be the building of infrastructure in nearby space, colonies on the Moon and Mars as steppingstones for mankind to become a galactic species.

There Are No Limits to Growth!

As I warned in many speeches in the 1990s, if one would make the mistake to superimpose unrestrained free-market economy on the collapsed Communist economy, maybe one could continue the casino economy for a while, but then soon it would come to an even greater collapse of the entire system.

If the Productive Triangle and the Eurasian Land-Bridge would have been implemented—there was great support for it at the time—it would have been the perfect peace plan for the 21st Century. But it was rejected by the West for geopolitical reasons. Instead, the idea in the United States and Great Britain, and France at that time in particular, was to turn the former superpower Soviet Union into a raw-materials producing Third World country. Jeffrey Sachs’ shock therapy of the Yeltsin period actually had a population reduction of about 1 million per year [in the Soviet Union], so it was complete genocide.

In the United States by 1992, the policy of PNAC—the Project for a New American Century—doctrine established the idea of Dick Cheney that the United States would remain the only superpower, and never admit any rival on the strategic level. In June 1992, the equivalent policy was proposed at the Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil, which was the beginning of a gigantic global offensive of Malthusian policy, re-affirming the previous policy of the Club of Rome and their idea of The Limits to Growth which was published in 1972. Which at the time was countered with a very powerful book by Lyndon LaRouche, There Are No Limits to Growth. The Rio summit also was the re-affirmation of Henry Kissinger’s NSSM 200 doctrine of 1974, which is an incredibly scandalous document which demanded population reduction and the idea of using the food weapon as a means of population control. The arguments of this claim of Malthusian dominance over a unipolar world would change often. It went from limited resources to the ozone hole is increasing, to acid rain, to dying forests, to nuclear energy equals fascism, and now, in the recent period, climate change. But the real issue was always the oligarchical imperial order run by a small elite, and population control.

This same year of 1992, only 14 years after Deng’s reform policy went into effect, China already had experienced some progress, but it was mostly in the coastal regions. In the rest of the country, there was still vast poverty. I participated in a conference in 1996 in Beijing, which we had proposed to the Chinese government two years earlier, which had the title, “The Development of the Regions along the Eurasian Land-Bridge.” It defined the long-term strategic perspective for China until 2010. This policy, however, was interrupted by the Asian crisis of 1997.

In 2001, China was invited to participate in the WTO [World Trade Organization] with the expectation that the integration into the world market would lead to China adopting Western values, Western democracy, and so forth. That they would accept the Washington Consensus, the rules-based order, the casino economy of Wall Street and the City of London.

The Belt and Road Initiative

But, instead of acknowledging the “end of history,” China rejuvenated its tradition of 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture, and in 2013, Xi Jinping announced in Kazakhstan the policy of the New Silk Road, which, in the 7.5 years since, has become the biggest infrastructure program in history.

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The six corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road on land, and the Maritime Silk Road, announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

One hundred and fifty countries are collaborating, and as the comedian Bill Maher in a short video stated, “Not to acknowledge that means that you are a silly people.” Because China was able to build 40,000 kilometers of high-speed rail, 500 completely new cities for millions of people, the most advanced fusion research, the mission to the far side of the Moon and now to Mars. And as Xi Jinping recently said, China today is closer to the goal of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than at any time in history, and to become a world-class power in science and technology.

Putin only became as demonized as he is portrayed by the Atlanticist establishment, after he started to reverse the developments of the Yeltsin period and re-assert the status of Russia being a world, and not a regional, power, as Obama had disrespectfully insisted when he [Putin] resumed the office of President again.

So, where is all of this going to end? If the Biden Administration, Global Britain, NATO, and the EU insist on containing Russia and China, whose strategic partnership is strengthening in the face of the aggressive policies coming from the Western alliance, will it inevitably come to World War III, which nobody could survive?

Thucydides in the Age of Nuclear Weapons

Xi Jinping, during a trip to Seattle in 2015, made the point that there is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides Trap in the world. But should major countries time and time again make the mistake of strategic miscalculation, they might create such a trap for themselves. The Chinese ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, referred several times to the article by the historian, Professor Graham Allison, who has asked the question if the U.S. and China were about to end up exactly in this conflict, the way the Greek historian Thucydides had described, and go to war.

Thucydides, who lived from 460 BC to 404 BC, conveyed to us how the beautiful Greece went down, because of the competition between Sparta and Athens, which led to the Peloponnesian War. Following the Persian wars from 500 BC to 479 BC, and then again 470 BC to 448 BC, in which Athens had proven to be victorious over the Persians, it emerged as a kind of political superpower, which angered the oligarchically ruling Sparta, which had been the dominant power before, and which tried to stay in power by entering into various alliances. After the final victory of Athens over the Persians and the so-called Peace of Callias, it could have actually dissolved the Attic League. But under the influence of the Sophists in Athens, it transformed into an Attic empire and transformed the previously voluntary allies into payers of tribute and vassals.

Most famous and informative for our present situation today, is the story of how Athens forced the inhabitants of the island of Milos to the new arrangement, which Thucydides describes in Book V [of his History of the Peloponnesian War], in the dialogue between the envoy of Athens and the representative of Milos.

The Athenian remarks that with the victory over the Persians, Athens would have acquired the right to rule, and the mighty does what he likes, and the weak one has to obey. The representative from Milos argues that if Athens already does not respect the law, it should consider that others could take its hardness as an example if it ever would be defeated itself.

The Athenian answers that the Milosians should submit under the rule of Athens since that would be to the benefit of both sides.

The representative of Milos asks, astounded, how slavery could be as beneficial as the dominance? To which the Athenian answers, it would be preferable to become an underling rather than to be killed. For them, it would be gain if they didn’t have to kill them.

To the question if they could not stay neutral, the Athenian answers no, since their enmity would damage less than their friendship which could be read as a sign of weakness on their part. In any case, in the whole world, the principle of the powerful would apply.

The Milosian argues that they could not give up their independence that they had since 700 years, but would wish to remain neutral.

Shortly afterwards, Athens started the hostilities and the people of Milos had to surrender unconditionally, and the Athenians killed all the men and sold the women and children into slavery. Thucydides then describes further how the Athenians’ exorbitance is moving them into evermore offensive behavior, and finally the Sicilian expedition from 415-413 BC, in which they suffer a crushing defeat, from which they never recover.

So, maybe one should think about this story when [U.S. Secretary of State] Mr. Blinken demands from Germany to give up Nord Stream 2 [pipeline].

In the age of thermonuclear weapons, one should think twice if one creates a Thucydides trap where there does not have to be one. The most important conflict comes from the total opposite of the trajectory of development of these two systems. While China, and in principle the countries which are collaborating with it in the BRI [Belt and Road Initiative], are putting the maximum emphasis on innovation, on the living standards of their people, on fostering the creativity of their population as the source of innovation.

The trajectory of the Malthusian faction, on the other side, is to go backward in history to lower energy-flux densities, lower consumption, and therefore have fewer people. The coordinated push among the central bankers since the infamous meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in August 2019, is to go for “regime-change”; the Great Reset, the decarbonization of the world economy; “shifting the trillions,” as a paper by the EU and the German government put it, to direct all investments into Green technologies. Which will mean a dramatic reduction in the living standards of the populations of the U.S. and Europe; an increase of poverty worldwide. And in light of the already ravaging pandemic and world famine, a massive reduction of the population in the so-called developing sector. In other words, genocide.

Zeus and Prometheus

Aeschylos represents this conflict in his trilogy Prometheus Bound, where the conflict is between the Olympian god Zeus as the incarnation of the oligarchical system, and Prometheus, whom he punishes for having brought fire to man, and therefore for progress and productivity to man. What we are dealing with, and that is at the bottom of these two direct opposite trajectories of development, is the image of man. The Promethean image sees each human being as an enormous enrichment to humanity as a whole, since each individual has the potential to make fundamental discoveries in natural science, in the composition of great Classical art. One creative person who makes a discovery of a universal physical principle, can create an entirely new platform which can redefine the entire mode of production of humanity on a qualitatively higher level of productivity, such as the steam engine, antibiotics, nuclear power, lasers, and similar discoveries.

The Malthusian conception of man sees each person as a parasite, a burden to Mother Nature, a carbon-emitting burden contributing to global warming; and therefore, the fewer such nuisances there are, the better.

Naturally, the whole Malthusian argument is a scientific fraud, as the computer program on which the Limits to Growth so-called study was based on, was a rigged program, where the desired outcome was determined first, and then the program was designed accordingly. The authors, Meadows and Forrester, admitted later that they had left out the role of scientific and technological progress in defining what a resource is.

The Malthusian argument is an outright lie by the oligarchy, amplified by the political correctness spread by the mainstream media, which is controlled by Wall Street and the City of London; and most recently, the social media of the IT giants of Silicon Valley, foundations, and think-tanks reflecting the interests of the financial sector.

The artificially-induced paradigm shift, not initiated, but PR-propagandized with millions of dollars in many languages, set into motion by the Club of Rome on behalf of the international oligarchy, has been very effective. The Green-ization of the minds of millions of people with the lack of scientific rigor, makes them susceptible to all kinds of lies, including those about Russia and China. LaRouche writes in “The Force of Tragedy”:

“Here, in this suppression of the scientific and related creative powers of the human minds of the mass of the population, lies the essence of the principled force of tragedy....” It is “[t]he invisible, but nonetheless efficient force of tragedy” which LaRouche talks about, “which bends the wills of men and women into avoiding the feared displeasure of the powerful, Satanic figure of the fictitious Zeus,” which has to be addressed and changed.

A Sober Assessment

Lyndon LaRouche made the point that today’s tragedy is based on the total lack of a scientific and rigorous understanding of the population, but that the notion of tragedy must be the subject of a strategic intelligence assessment which must be studied by any serious viewer of the present U.S. situation.

So, let’s start with a sober assessment of the situation.

It is very clear that the policies of the neo-liberal economic and cultural system have completely failed. If you look at the pandemic, why is it that all the Asian cultures have done so much better? Fewer deaths, quicker return to normal economic life. It’s because they are based on a value system which puts the common good up front, as opposed to the neo-liberal idea of an individualistic liberty where everything is allowed.

Look at the famine. The absolutely unbelievable humanitarian crisis in Yemen, in Syria, in many African and Latin American countries. Hunger of Biblical dimensions is the result of these neo-liberal policies of the West. Why did the West not start the so-called vaccine diplomacy of which they accuse Russia and China? Why did they not develop the developing countries? Pope John Paul II, in 1990, when he was asked if the collapse of the Soviet Union would prove that the Western system is morally superior, answered, absolutely not, because they are characterized by the “structures of sin.” Look at the Third World, he said, and then you see the reason I’m saying this.

The failure of the West is the result of a deep cultural crisis, which can only be compared to the decadence of the end-phase of the Roman Empire. Look at our popular culture; the entertainment which ranges from Satanic to perverse; the mind-deadening of most of what people regard as entertainment. We have seen an erosion, almost an amnesia of the cultural memory of our great traditions. For the vast majority of the youth, they have no idea about Classical culture. They think that the Rolling Stones are classic. The contemporaries don’t even know that they have forgotten.

Universal History

In order to remedy this, let’s take a look at universal history in the way [Friedrich] Schiller described it in his famous speech in Jena in 1789. He said, it took only a few thousand years for man to develop from an asocial troglodyte to the high Classical art; to Dante, to Shakespeare, Bach, Beethoven, or Schiller. This has to do with the absolute difference between human beings and all other forms of life.

The proof of this is the ability for willful increase of the relative potential population-density, which, in a few thousand years—maybe 10,000 or 20,000 years all together—enabled mankind to increase its population density from a few million to almost 8 billion people today. As Lyndon LaRouche has emphasized many times, no higher ape, no domesticated pet, has ever been able to imitate that creative ability of human beings. They may be able to imitate aspects of human behavior, but they never have discovered a physical principle.

And that is the absolutely fundamental difference between the biosphere and the noösphere. If one studies all the creators of human culture as they developed, the origins of the Chinese, Indian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek culture, how the Confucian philosophy laid the basis for the following 2,500 years of Chinese history.

Look at the wisdom of the Vedic writings; the library of Alexandria, Egypt; Classical Greece; the Gupta period in India. The collaboration of Haroun al-Rashid with Charlemagne, leading to the Carolingian Renaissance, which enabled Europe to rediscover its treasures from the past. The Song dynasty; Frederick Hohenstaufen’s collaboration with the Arab world; the Andalusian Renaissance; the Italian Renaissance; the emergence of the sovereign nation-state through Cusanus and Louis XI in France; Shakespeare. The development of Classical music from Bach, Beethoven, to Brahms. Shelley; Keats; Lessing; Schiller; Edgar Alan Poe. All these cultures contributed to the human progress, and it is the totality and continuity of those great works of art, science, poetry, music, and architecture, painting, and statecraft which are the fourth phase space in our universe.

It is through universal history, which sets aside us as a human species, and to which many great minds have contributed, which makes mankind immortal.

There has been in history often a debate if animals have souls, and any owner of a pet will insist that these animals do have a soul. But I agree with Ibn Sina (Avicenna), that yes, animals do have a soul, but they have a collective soul, because one does not remember the individual dog who was the pleasure of somebody living in the 4th Century, but one remembers very well the soul of Socrates. If each human being recapitulates that universal history, then he or she participates in that fourth phase space.

If we have a dialogue of these different cultures, which we need among the representatives of all of these, then we have a very concrete way of solving the present crisis. There are many concrete steps we have to take to get out of this crisis.

In the military field, we need the equivalent of the Strategic Defense Initiative—the idea to make nuclear weapons obsolete technologically. And we need a new security architecture.

To end the casino economy, we need a global Glass-Steagall and a New Bretton Woods system, a new credit system.

We need a New Paradigm in the relations among nations which respects sovereignty, non-interference, the existence of a different social system. Then things will completely change.

We need a completely new, modern health system in every single country in order to fight the pandemics—this one and coming ones—and disease.

We have to double agricultural production to end famine.

We have to eradicate poverty through economic development forever for all of mankind.

But none of these things will work if we do not have a new paradigm of Classical culture which relates to the essence of the identity of mankind.

Unlike the liberals, who say everything goes, and everybody does according to their own taste, we say man is limitlessly perfectible through aesthetic education. Morally, intellectually, and emotionally. Every human being has, with that method of aesthetic education, the potential to become a beautiful soul and a genius. Only if we as mankind as a whole make that leap, is mankind going to be safe.

Thank you.

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