This transcript appears in the February 10, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
How to Avoid Nuclear War:
The Nature of Man
This is the edited transcript of the keynote speech delivered by Helga Zepp-LaRouche to the Schiller Institute Conference, “The Age of Reason or Annihilation of Humanity?” Panel 1, “How Nuclear World War III Can Be Avoided” on Saturday, February 4, 2023. The videos of the full conference are available here. Subheads have been added.
Let me greet you wherever you may be around the globe.
If the so-called “ordinary citizens” were to know how close we are to thermonuclear war and with that the annihilation of mankind, of everything we have lived for and all those we love, there would be eight billion people in the streets demanding an immediate end to the madness of those oligarchical interests, who are driving the human species towards extinction. The only people who would not be in the streets, would be people who have committed themselves to evil. Boris Johnson and his likes would not be in the streets.
The aim of this conference and many similar activities is to create a world movement of world citizens, who are faced with the biggest crisis in the history of the human species, work together all over the world in order to establish a new paradigm of cooperation instead of confrontation, a new paradigm in international relations, that allows for the life and happiness of every human being on the planet.
We must end the war through negotiations immediately, which is why we are organizing worldwide support for the initiative of Pope Francis to offer the venue of the Vatican for negotiations without preconditions. Fortunately, President Lula of Brazil is now forming a peace club of nations of the Global South, which nations all support the idea of ending the war through diplomacy, and who have clearly refused to be pulled into the geopolitical confrontation between the U.S., and Russia and China. The role of the Pope as the representation of man’s nature as being in the image of God, and therefore above politics, is the ecumenical rallying point, which should be strengthened by this peace club, which should be joined by all nations and all organizations, as well as individuals.
The present crisis is not about Ukraine, it is about the attempt to reconquer control over a unipolar world at a moment when that possibility has irrevocably gone. And it is about the control of the narrative of who is the instigator of this war of aggression. The main Western media want us to believe that it is Russia who is the sole culprit in this “unprovoked war of aggression” and that everybody who claims that the war has a prehistory dating back at least to 1991, is automatically labelled as a “Putin agent.” Every person who is not a moron and has lived consciously through the last three-plus decades, must reject this as an insult to his or her intelligence.
The Drive to the East
Just to refresh our memories: It should be clear, that whoever prepares and conducts a war of aggression, especially a potentially nuclear one, commits a Nuremberg crime. Despite the promises not to expand NATO to the East, it was done. Once it was realized that Putin did not intend to continue the shameful sell-out of Russian interests by Yeltsin, and despite warnings such as that of William Burns from the 1st of February 2008, marked “confidential,” in his capacity as U.S. Ambassador in Moscow, that NATO enlargement would be regarded as a threat by Russia, that it would be perceived as encirclement and [create] fear [of] unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences—they continued the “Drang nach Osten” (the “Drive to the East”).
How hypocritical can politicians in the West be to deny knowledge of the involvement of Victoria Nuland in the 2014 Maidan coup, and her oh-so-ladylike words, “F— the EU” concerning the decision that puppet “Yats” [Arseniy Yatsenyuk] should replace the legitimately elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych.
And should the German BND, the German foreign intelligence service, really have been so sloppy as to misplace the records about the activities of Yaroslav Stetsko [and his followers], convinced admirers of Stepan Bandera, and their Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and their support through the Gehlen Organization in Munich, the traces of which one finds, once one looks into the Maidan coup? To blame Putin as the aggressor when the West could have prevented the war by enforcing the Minsk Agreement. And then Merkel and Hollande come out and say: “Sorry, we never intended that, we just wanted to win some time to prepare the Ukrainian soldiers for the upcoming war”—which was obviously regarded as inevitable already in 2014? Merkel and Hollande deserve a place in the Guinness book of records for winning the prize in the destruction of trust in international relations!
Putin had presented his concerns for the security of Russia already to the Munich Security Conference in 2007 and then dramatically on December 17, 2021 to the U.S. and NATO, demanding security guarantees for the core interests of Russia, which were conveniently ignored.
And into what category of behavior falls Boris Johnson’s intervention in Kiev in March 2022, when there was a readiness to seek a negotiated solution on both sides? Peace-loving or provoking?
The Swiss retired colonel and intelligence expert Jacques Baud just said on February 1, on Sud Radio, that the real shift in the Russian strategy occurred last June, when they abandoned the option of negotiations, after they realized that the Anglo-Americans and their allies would not allow the Ukrainians to negotiate peace. Now almost all experts agree, that because of Russia’s perception that the aim of the West is to “ruin Russia” (Baerbock), eradicate Russia from the map, to cut it into different entities, for which regime change would be a self-evident precondition, that Russia aims to completely grind the Ukrainian Army. Give Boris Johnson the Nobel Peace Prize for that!
Conflicting Military Views
In the U.S. there are opposing views. Should there be a long war in Ukraine, beefing it up with ever more weapons to wear down Russia to the point of collapse? And then have a war with China in 2025 over Taiwan—which could become a world war, as a recent memo of General Mike Minihan suggests? Or would a long war in the Ukraine be detrimental to U.S. interest, as discussed in a new study published by the RAND Corporation, because a protracted war would absorb key resources such as manpower and money from other more important tasks, such as the coming showdown with China?
More reality-oriented military, such as U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and former General Inspector of the German Bundeswehr, General Harald Kujat strongly argue for the Ukraine war to be ended through negotiations, given that the Ukrainian army has accomplished what it could. The real war mongers have revealed themselves to have been the driving force behind the scenes all along.
Conservative MP and U.K. Defense Committee Chair, Tobias Ellwood, is calling for a direct war between NATO and Russia: “We need to face Russia directly, rather than leaving Ukraine to do all the work.” Former British Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth, also advertises that NATO must get “boots on the ground,” because, “Ukraine must win the war!”
And then there are the legions of mentally disturbed journalists, who bombard the population around the clock: “See, there are no red lines for the Russians, they did not use nuclear weapons after we sent howitzers, not after we sent armored personnel carriers, not after we send Leopards and Abrams tanks, so now let’s give the Ukrainians fighter jets—F16s. Yeah, and it is completely OK for them to retake Crimea, which after all is still Ukrainian territory.” This despite the referendum by the population there, that they voted to be part of Russia. And who cares about Kosovo?
It is obvious that Ukraine can’t win this war. A continuation only means the horrible dying and suffering of the Ukrainian people. We must realize that we are still in a situation more dangerous than at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A global nuclear war could happen in the short term if there is an attempt to attack Crimea. Or global nuclear war by intent or accident, if it were to be avoided in the short term, is possible as long as “Global NATO,” now closely allied with the EU, continues to try to ruin Russia and contain the rise of China—if needed, by military means.
Why would the rise of China have to be contained? What other crime has China committed than to lift 850 million of its citizens out of poverty and offer other countries of the Global South a development model through the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative)? Since the BRI started to become effective in overcoming underdevelopment in these countries, the security doctrines of the West started to identify Russia and China as “rivals” and “opponents.”
What has the subsequent policy of accusations, sanctions, and exclusions accomplished? As Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said in his recent annual press conference:
“Anything goes. Once revered mechanisms and institutions that were created by the U.S.-led West have been discarded. Free market, fair competition, free enterprise, the inviolability of property, and the presumption of innocence; in a word, everything the Western globalization model relied on collapsed overnight. Sanctions have been imposed on Russia and other objectionable countries that do not comply with these tenets and mechanisms. Clearly, sanctions can be imposed on any country which, in one way or another, refuses to mindlessly follow American orders.”
It is obvious however, that the effort to set the “rules-based order”—in which it is completely dubious how these rules are set—against the so- called “autocracies” and “dictatorships,” has generated a devastating blowback to the West. It is not the Russian economy which is collapsing as a result of the sanctions; it is the European and especially the German economy which is threatened with deindustrialization. Rather than being drawn into the geopolitical war on the side of the “democracies,” the vast majority of the Global South, the BRICS+—for which 17 nations have applied for membership—have refused to condemn Russia. And Brazil and Argentina refused to sell ammunition to Germany for the Leopard tanks. And rather than succeeding in splitting China from Russia in its strategic partnership, the spokeswoman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning, declared on January 30th in a reaction to the decision to send more heavy tanks to Ukraine:
“The United States is the main initiator and driving force of the Ukrainian crisis. It continuously supplies heavy and offensive weapons to Ukraine, prolonging the crisis and making it more intense. The U.S. should stop sending weapons there and making profits from the war.”
The result of weaponizing the dollar by confiscating foreign assets in dollar denominations, such as $300 billion from Russia, and $9 billion from Afghanistan, is the speeding up of a de-dollarization of international trade and rapid moves to set up an independent international currency. The countries of the BRICS+, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, and others are involved in setting up a new international currency based not only on gold, but also on oil, gas, and other hard commodities, which was proposed by Lyndon LaRouche in 2000. The economic engine of the world economy has long since shifted to Asia. The BRICS, even without the “plus”, already has a higher GDP than the G7. So, the “Golden Ruble 3.0” and the new currency will carry the momentum of future economic development.
Financial Breakdown in the West
Hank Paulson, the former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, in a recent article in Foreign Affairs, put his finger on the biggest vulnerability of the present U.S. policy of decoupling and confrontation towards China. Pointing to his own cooperation with China in the 2008 crisis—China at that time was a huge holder of corporate banking and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities—to avoid contagion and a complete meltdown. Such cooperation today is unthinkable, in light of the much stronger position of China. China has tripled the size of its economy since 2008, and has vast economic cooperation with 150 countries with the BRI. Many of these countries have shifted their orientation—such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, along with many countries of the Global South.
So, what will be the outcome of the present crisis, when the Anglo-Americans and NATO want Ukraine to win on the battlefield, which can only be “accomplished” by risking nuclear war with Russia? When Russia for now has given up the hope for a diplomatic solution? It is becoming clearer and clearer, that it is the de facto bankruptcy of the neoliberal financial system that is the driving force behind the desire to escalate the war. If it comes to a new, this time even deeper crisis like 2008, why on earth should the countries who are being attacked, and who have an alternative, cooperate with the West on saving their system?
In light of the expected major offensive by Russia, which would be bringing into play its vastly superior troop strength, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in Ramstein on January 20th that he sees only a short window of opportunity to turn the tide in Ukraine, until the spring. The acute danger is that the undeniable efforts to pump everything into Ukraine now—more tanks, fighter jets, missiles, etc.—could cross the line to Armageddon.
Therefore, it is more than urgent that all people of good will around the world support the peace initiative of Pope Francis. And it is just as urgent that a group of countries, such as the Peace Club of President Lula and others, put the need for a new international security and development architecture on the international agenda, before it is too late. The on which such an architecture should be based—which I presented at a conference in November—have received significant international attention and can be a starting point for the discussion.
Interestingly, the most controversial has turned out to be Principle Number 10, which says:
“The basic assumption for the New Paradigm is, that man is fundamentally good and capable to infinitely perfect the creativity of his mind and the beauty of his soul and being the most advanced geological force in the universe, which proves that the lawfulness of the mind and of the physical universe are in correspondence and cohesion; and that all evil is the result of a lack of development, and therefore can be overcome.”
Many people have challenged the idea of the “image of man” of all men and women being fundamentally good, and all evil being due to a lack of development.
It is urgent to take this idea up, because it goes to the essence of our ability to solve the crisis or not. I think philosophers and theologians of Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, and Hinduism, and other great religions and philosophies and the great Classical art, will agree about the essential goodness of man and his or her obligation for self-perfection, life-long learning, and development of agapē.
Oligarchy Is Evil, Not People
On the other hand, it is only the various forms of oligarchism that insist on the intrinsic evil of man, such as Malthusianism, imperialism, colonialism, racism, and fascism, which all agree on the concept of man as “beast man.” And then there are various forms of liberalism, such as existentialism, or “l’art pour l’art,” that explicitly reject the need for self-improvement, and preach instead the mantra of “everything is permitted,” which has resulted in the present decadent collapse of the Western system. Read Joseph de Maistre’s Letters to a Russian Gentleman, on the Spanish Inquisition, in which he describes how man is by nature evil, and therefore needs to be controlled by an oligarchical dictatorship of a nobility that has God-given privileges which obliges it to rule over the ordinary evil people. That is the model of oligarchy.
The idea that man is by nature evil or should live as his wicked impulses dictate, is an ideology which is deployed by the oligarchy—or should we say the devil—as a tool to control people and prevent them from realizing their true nature as creative beings in the image of the Creator.
In Chinese culture one finds essentially the same idea. Basic Chinese virtues and values include: “As Heaven maintains vigor through movements, a gentleman should strive for self-perfection”; “A just cause should be pursued for the common good”; “Govern the country with virtue and educate the people with culture”; “A gentleman takes righteousness as his character”; and “A man who is benevolent loves all.”
I believe that we have to unite as world citizens, devoted to the common good of the one humanity, realizing that a tender love for humanity in order to overcome this existential crisis of our species is what is required, and rid the world of oligarchism once and for all. Thank you.