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This transcript appears in the April 14, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Live Dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Replace the Defunct ‘Rules-Based Order’
with Cooperation for Development

The following is an edited transcript of the Schiller Institute Webcast with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, from Wednesday, April 5, 2023. The video is available here. Subheads have been added.

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U.S. Army/Rakeem Carter
As the majority of mankind moves toward a new economic and financial system, the U.S. and NATO escalate to world war. Here, U.S. M1A2 Abrams battle tanks loaded for rail transport. Destination: Ukraine.

Harley Schlanger: Hello, and welcome to this week’s dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and leader of the Schiller Institute. It’s April 5, 2023. I’m Harley Schlanger, and I’ll be your moderator today. If you have questions or comments you’d like to pose to Helga, you can send them to us at questions@schillerinstitute.org or you can post them on the chat page.

We’re convening a two-day online conference April 15–16, under the title, “Without the Development of All Nations, There Can Be No Lasting Peace for the Planet.” This conference will include panelists from all over the world to discuss what must be done to avoid crossing a trip-wire to nuclear war over Ukraine or Taiwan; and how, instead, the United States and the Western countries can be brought in to the fight for a new security architecture and a new development architecture, and give up their obsessive delusions about sustaining a unipolar, “rules-based” order.

Transitioning to a Non-Unipolar World

Helga, given the rapid pace of developments over the past week, what’s needed to make sure this transition can take place peacefully?

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: The majority of the world seems to be more reasonable than the Americans and the Europeans, because the majority of the world is moving in the direction of building a new economic and financial system, and to establish better relations in international cooperation. The problem is, we have right now, on the one side, an escalation to world war. That is going on unabated, every day.

If one, without prejudices, listens to what President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus had said a few days ago about the danger of global nuclear war—and also this was repeated by former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev—people should not push these aside. These are warnings. And the fact that Finland has now become a NATO member—and that represents the sixth NATO expansion to the East—that has not made Europe safer, and for sure, not Finland. That means a new border, the border between Russia and Finland of 1,340 km—a direct border between NATO and Russia—has been added. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said that this will have consequences; that the line in the Western media that Russia will not react to that is wrong; and that the reaction of Russia will be measured, but that it will come for sure.

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African governments have not signed on to sanctions against Russia. The Russian State Duma hosted the Second International Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference in Moscow March 19-20 with delegations from 43 African countries participating. Here, President Putin with heads of delegations at the First Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference in Sochi, Russia, Oct. 24. 2019.

This is step by step going in the wrong direction. There will be in all likelihood a NATO offensive, trying to get to Ukraine enough weapons to do it. It’s doubtful that it can happen, given the terrible condition of the situation in Ukraine. So this is all very bad.

The Europeans just don’t get it. The rest of the world is moving very, very rapidly toward de-dollarization; more and more countries are moving out of the dollar. They’re conducting their trade in yuan, in [Brazilian] real, between China and Brazil; getting out of the petrodollar [in the trade] between Saudi Arabia and China and other countries; not agreeing to the demand from the United States for a cut in the oil price. All signs are that right now, a new international currency is being put together, and as it looks now it will be announced and established at the upcoming BRICS summit, which will take place on August 22–24 in South Africa.

The Europeans just do not get it. On the one side, you have the first deal between the French energy companies Total and China in yuan, renminbi, so that’s interesting that you have a French company doing the same de-dollarization. But if you look at the present mission of President Emmanuel Macron and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to China, Europe just does not get it that the whole Global South is allied with Russia, with China.

For example, none of the African nations signed the sanctions against Russia! Russia hosted the Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference with delegations from 43 African countries in the days President Xi Jinping was visiting with Putin. So Putin was practically running back and forth between the summit with President Xi, and this conference, and it is very clear that the African nations do not agree anymore with the former colonial powers, and they do not agree to be pulled into this geopolitical confrontation against Russia.

Nevertheless, Macron and von der Leyen go to China, and it’s very difficult to say. Macron, who’s obviously weakened very much domestically after the last election, and with the ongoing strike movement in France, went with a huge delegation, over 50 CEOs of large firms, 25 representatives of the area of culture. He took with him several ministers, former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who’s known to be more friendly to China, and I think also some other former cabinet members. So it’s a huge delegation, and obviously, the tones coming from Macron are a little bit softer.

Is it really different from what von der Leyen is saying? Von der Leyen gave this absolutely horrible speech before the MERICS Institute in Brussels, where she really turned it into an anti-China tirade; where she said the future relations between the EU and China will depend on how China reacts to Russia’s war in Ukraine; that there needs to be what she called “de-risking” which is a strange formulation. So, she will go with a bellicose attitude to China. The Chinese ambassador to Brussels already mocked her speech, saying whoever wrote her speech knows nothing about China. I can only agree with that.

So this pair will go, starting today, for a three day visit to China, and one has to see how that will result, how China-European relations will look after these visits.

But for sure, the Europeans do not get it. The rest of the world is trying to draw the consequences of the fact that the dollar has been weaponized. All of what is happening is self-inflicted. It is not some evil combination of Russia and China who are doing all of that to the West. If you weaponize the dollar, if you confiscate assets, like $300 billion from Russia, $9 billion from Afghanistan, some from Venezuela, and then impose unilateral sanctions—which are illegal because they’re not backed in the UN Security Council—one should not be surprised if these countries that are targeted by these measures, somehow say, “We have to survive and create a different system.” So that’s where we are at.

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People’s Podcast
Diane Sare addresses the Rage Against the War Machine! Rally in Washington, Feb. 18, 2023.

As you said, we have the conference on April 15–16, where we are trying to get adequate representation of what’s going on in the world. We have invited speakers from all of these countries, so that our viewers and participants in the conference can form their own judgment by hearing from the representatives of these countries directly, which you never would get from the mainstream media. And also making clear that the interest of the countries of the Global South and the interest as it is expressed by the international peace movement in the so-called Global North are really identical, because both are united against this apparatus which is driving the world toward World War III. And that equality or that similarity in interest has to be understood by both sides.

Hopefully, we can, with that mobilization, appeal to rational forces in Europe, in the United States, who would understand that it would be in the best interest of everybody if this confrontation would stop and there would be an orderly reorganization of the financial system, which is urgent. We’re sitting on a powder keg. If you think that what happened with Silicon Valley Bank and some other minor American banks, and then the incredible development with Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse was bailed out one day with 54 billion Swiss francs, and the next day it turned out this was not sufficient, so there was enormous pressure from many sources, on the Swiss government and on the Swiss central bank, that UBS would take over Credit Suisse. This is an incredible danger to Switzerland, because they now have a super-mega monster bank which has a volume of 40 times the GDP of the Swiss economy.

It should be obvious that if something happens, like a chain reaction in the international markets that would wipe out this new monster bank as well, the Swiss people would be the ones who have to pay, with an incredible economic loss. And that is in the wings, because this was not a unique example, or situation. There are rumors that some German banks have an incredible derivatives exposure—I’m not going to say which ones, because this is a tricky question and I don’t want to have a suit—but we have insider information from people in the banking sector who are extremely concerned about the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, and describe it as a “casino economy” which is about to blow.

So we have the war danger, we have the pending collapse of the financial system. But, we have an alternative shaping up. What we have to accomplish is that the European countries, and hopefully the United States, realize in time, that we have to overcome geopolitics, and we have to find a common solution, which is why the Schiller Institute is promoting the idea of a new security and development architecture which must take care of every country on the planet. And where the new word for peace is development, because there can be no peace if we don’t address the absolutely urgent questions of poverty, of health problems, of lack of food, lack of clean water, and all of these things.

This is where we are at, and I think that you should join this conference and help us to spread the news about it, because that is the place where more and more forces are turning to discuss how to get out of the situation.

A New Peace of Westphalia

Schlanger: It’s interesting, Helga, that a number of the questions are about how to organize this; what we can do to get more people not just to the conference, but organizing for the conference. Let’s start with this one from Thomas, who said: “It appears that the unipolar order is gone, the financial crisis is escalating. What will it take to recognize that the proposals coming from Russia, China, and the Global South are in the national interests of the Western countries?”

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, they are in the interest of the Western countries! Look, [on March 31] Russia put out a new foreign policy doctrine, titled “The Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation,” which I have read. It’s a long paper. It is mostly defensive and a reaction to what Russia perceives as a policy of increasing containment, but it also is reasserting the position of Russia as a global player, rejecting the idea of what President Barack Obama had said at the time that Russia is just a regional player. Despite a sharpened tone, without any question, it does have several paragraphs where it says the door is still open, that if the West would agree to treat Russia on an equal level, then Russia would be open to reopen negotiations and cooperation with the West, on an equal footing.

Now, that is not yet a sense of trust and going back to older periods of cooperation, but the door is open. And I think that demonization of Russia which has occurred in the recent period, for example, in places like Germany, where if you even say Russia has a right to exist, you are already ostracized as a “Putin-understander.” But that is absolutely insane, what is going on in Germany right now!

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Peter Brandt, son of former German Chancellor Willy Brandt, is demanding a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine.

Fortunately, there are more and more people who do not agree. For example, there is a new appeal by the son of Willy Brandt, Peter Brandt, demanding a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine. But I think there has to be a stop, and I think a model is the Peace of Westphalia. Because the Peace of Westphalia ended 150 years of religious war in Europe, and the reason why the warring parties came to the negotiating table was because they recognized that nobody would be left to enjoy victory, because everybody would be dead! Because at that time, already one-third of Europe was destroyed in terms of people, villages, livestock. So for four years they sat at the negotiating table and worked out principles which were the basis for international law.

So I think that is what has to occur. One of the principles was that for the sake of peace, one has to take into account the interests of the other. That is, today, what we are trying to put on the table with the International Security and Development Architecture, which has to take into account the interest of every other: of Ukraine, of Russia, of China, of North Korea, of Iran, of Venezuela, of all the others. They cannot be left out of the new design. The other principle coming from the Peace of Westphalia was that for the sake of peace, one has to forget and forgive the crimes committed by the one or the other side.

I have no way of knowing all these reports coming from Ukraine. If you have war, then atrocities happen, in general. I don’t think the majority of what is being said is truthful, because we are living in a period of black propaganda, gray propaganda. If I listen to Deutschlandfunk [radio], which I do every day, just to hear what is being said, there is not one truthful news story anymore which doesn’t have a spin! And I can judge and prove some of these news stories, because I know what is being said and what they are saying, so how do I know whether what they are saying about what happens in Ukraine is true? But even if some crimes were committed by one or the other side, there has to be a stop. Because the escalation is to World War III, and nobody would be left to survive that.

So, I think what needs to be done is we need to have a new international financial system, because the present one is hopelessly bankrupt, and if you just look at the rate with which people are getting out of the dollar, selling U.S. Treasuries! For example: Brazil has sold in 2022, 10% of its U.S. Treasuries; China, I think, sold $170-something billion in U.S. Treasuries. But even Japan sold more than $180 billion U.S. Treasuries in the last year, and that should show clearly that this is not just the BRICS doing that, but a general recognition that there is something fundamentally wrong with this present casino economy.

The U.S. basically has been printing money, while other countries like China have been going out of speculation, forbidding speculation. The derivatives exposure of Chinese banks, it’s a tiny percentage, whereas Goldman Sachs for example has a derivatives to capital asset exposure of 99:1! So this is a bubble. And the “everything bubble” is about to blow.

What is needed is an orderly reorganization of the system, what Franklin D. Roosevelt did with the Glass-Steagall banking separation act in 1933, in the New Deal, making the Reconstruction Finance Corporation as a credit mechanism, which was replicated in Germany by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau in the postwar period. So there are reference points. We’re not talking about inventing the wheel, we’re talking about going back to a system of economy which did function. And all the deregulation and going into pure money-making, maximizing the speculative profit for a few, that has to stop.

And I think if there would be a serious sign coming from the West, which would have to be credible. And there is a big gap right now, after what former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President François Hollande admitted in respect to their cheating on the Minsk Accords, so there has to be a credible statement. But I think that would be the only way, and that’s what we have to organize for.

Development Is the New Name for Peace

Schlanger: We’re continuing to get questions in from all over the world. Here’s one from Zambia which is interesting, because I believe that’s where Kamala Harris just was, trying to lecture them about democracy. It’s a question from George who writes: “The link between peace and development is what I’d love to explore more. Could you go into what this could look like?”

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David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program, has published figures showing almost two billion human beings—a quarter of humanity—are food insecure and have no access to clean water.

Zepp-LaRouche: I think if one would agree that the world is in an urgent need for development—I mean, look at the situation. I don’t have the latest figures from the World Food Program, but the last time its Executive Director David Beasley published these, there were almost two billion people who are food insecure; two billion people have no access to clean water; the health conditions are terrible; you have countries such as Syria, Haiti, Afghanistan, many others which are at a starvation level, with Syria, 90% of the population are below the poverty line. Now, that cannot remain! The very idea that you would have such conditions persisting, I don’t understand how anybody could think that that is the normal condition of humanity.

We need a plan to have economic reconstruction, or building up every continent. The way it’s being done is fairly obvious, because every country which ever had an industrial revolution started with basic infrastructure. Because if you don’t have roads, highways, integrated waterways, energy production and distribution, communications, as a precondition for industrial parks, for the mechanization of agriculture, for the improvement of food processing, transport. These are the basic things you need, and that is what the Schiller Institute has been fighting for, for decades.

When Xi Jinping announced the New Silk Road in 2013, we upgraded and updated all our development programs which we had been working on for decades, and we called it “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.” Now, that report, which you can also buy on the internet, is a blueprint for what could be done today or tomorrow, if there would be a design and willingness to build up the world economy.

This is the idea to connect all the continents through bridges and tunnels, with basic infrastructure in all continents, eventually to get to an infrastructure density as it used to be in better times in Germany. People may not remember, but Germany once had a railway system which ran on time. That’s almost forgotten, but there was such a time. We sometimes had a highway system where you wouldn’t have repair and traffic jams and whatnot. But the density of infrastructure in Germany is actually not so bad. It’s now decaying. There were waterways. If you look at the Rhine you have beautiful [audio loss]—… they’re connected with railway lines, like the Duisburg inland port, this is connected very densely with highways.

So this is the kind of infrastructure that we can build up in Africa, we can build up in Latin America. It’s happening already with the help of China, mainly with the Belt and Road Initiative, in countries like Indonesia, in Laos, in many other countries. That is the sign of the times, because the countries of the Global South do not want the relics of the colonialist system any more, and I think that that is what would create peace! If you agree, you have to put man, human beings, in the center of economics, and that the casino economy has to be replaced by long-term, low-interest investment in real production.

That is in the interest of humanity as a whole. It is not in the interest of the speculators, because they want to have returns of 20% a year or something, which you do not get from infrastructure. Infrastructure should not be looked at as a profit-making investment, because infrastructure is what creates the precondition for industry and agriculture to function.

So we have to make that shift, and I’m quite optimistic that it can be done, because the majority of the world is moving in this direction: the BRICS, the countries that have applied for membership in the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), ASEAN, most of what I know about the African Union. Our job is to persuade countries like France, Italy, Germany, and others, and the United States, that they should join that. There are such traditions. America was not always the way it is now, trying to maintain a unipolar world.

The original American Revolution was different. It was supposed to be a republic. John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president, said the aim and purpose of the United States is not to go abroad in search of foreign monsters to fight, but to have an alliance of perfectly sovereign republics. In Europe, Charles de Gaulle had the idea that France has a mission in the world of bringing development to other countries. He said the French are not cows, standing in the pasture eating grass, but we have a mission. In Germany, in the periods when Germany did function in the 1950s, and ’60s, into the 1970s, Germany was very respected by many countries in the world for “Made in Germany,” which was originally meant to be a shame turned into a quality mark, because it stood for precision, industriousness, excellent technology. Now that is vanishing. The image of Germany is quickly eroding in the world, but maybe German industry, the Mittelstand, German trade unions, German farmers, can revive that idea of Germany playing a positive role.

In the same way, Italy has the tradition of Enrico Mattei, where Italy regarded itself as a bridge between Africa and the Middle East. So, there are positive traditions in all of these countries, which we have to revive.

Get Active with the Schiller Institute!

Schlanger: As you were just talking about Europe, we got three questions that just came in about Europe, and I’ll lump them together. One is from Andy who said: “Europe and Finland seem euphoric about Finland’s joining NATO. Why is Finland so upbeat about this?”

Then from Charles, we have: “My greatest fear is a hindrance for the West to enter multipolarity as the military-industrial complex. How entrenched is the war industry in Europe and can it be overcome?”

And then we have, I guess we can say an expression of German pessimism, from Janos, who said: “You talk like you believe that inside this corrupt system, change is possible. I can’t see it. If we’re truthful, there’s no real movement on the inside to stop this fascist war machine. What do we do?”

So, three questions basically from Europe for you.

Zepp-LaRouche: I think the Finland decision is really bad. I really think it’s stupid, because Finland had a tradition of neutrality, and northern Europe, especially, was one of the most stable regions in the world.

Now, they have basically given that away, and as I said earlier, I think one has to expect that there will be a Russian reaction, totally logically. Probably they will put some major weapons systems along that border, which will make it clear to the Finns that this was a really rotten deal they got there.

Sweden: there is tremendous pressure on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he should give up his blocking the entry of Sweden into NATO. There is an election coming in Türkiye.

But I think that that is just a terrible move, because to think that by joining NATO at this point, that you improve your security, is just unbelievable. People should get out of NATO! I think there must be a movement of citizens to say, that with the present policies, we do not agree with that, and therefore we demand that our country get out of NATO. Who asked the European citizens if they want to become a Global NATO? I don’t remember that there was a vote about that, or a referendum. Nevertheless, the last NATO summit last June in Madrid decided that NATO will go global; will become a Global NATO, go into the Indo-Pacific. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had a meeting with NATO, basically saying that the EU and NATO now have an agreement whereby if you’re a member of the one organization, you automatically relate to all other elements of the other one, making it an intertwined affair.

I have not been asked about that! I would have voted strongly against it, because I think it’s detrimental to German interests and to the interests of the world. So, we need a mass movement of people.

Now, the military-industrial complex obviously is a big factor. It is very dominant in the United States and Great Britain. The United States almost has no industry but the military-industrial complex, because they outsourced everything else to cheap labor markets in the last several decades, and that’s a big problem. One has to really think how one could reorganize American industry, for example, to build up American infrastructure. That would not hurt. America has no fast train system. China has 40,000 km of fast trains. Maybe it would be more beneficial for the United States to use the enormous amounts of money and capital and labor power—more than $800 billion a year for the military-industrial complex—to use that to reconstruct the American economy domestically! Wouldn’t that be better for the United States? I think so very much.

And concerning the possibility of a change: look, if I would only look at the situation in Germany, I would get totally depressed, because what is happening in this country is almost not understandable. We have a government, which fortunately is losing in the polls very rapidly, and the effort by the mainstream media to twist that and say this is because the so-called “Traffic Light Coalition” [CDU (red), FDP (yellow), and Greens (green)] is not dealing with the migrant issue. I don’t think that that’s the main thing.

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CC/Michael Brandtner
Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Foreign Minister.
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CC/Michael Brandtner
Robert Habeck, Germany’s Economics Minister.

I think people are upset about what Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock [Green] is doing. I think people are hysterical about what Economics Minister Robert Habeck [Green] is doing. Habeck is going to Kiev and saying there is a state guarantee for all investments in Ukraine. That’s the German taxpayers’ money! Baerbock goes there and says she will do whatever Ukraine needs, no matter what the German voters think. I think that’s what people object to! Habeck, who used to write children’s novels, should go back to his original vocation, and write books for children, where he’s not creating—I have never read these books, so maybe they’re doing damage as well—but it would be for sure less damage than what he’s doing to the German economy.

Hopefully, this government will be voted out at the next early occasion. But if I only would look at the domestic situation in Germany or even in Europe, I would also say it’s bordering on impossibility.

What we are experiencing right now, is a tectonic change, an epochal change, much, much bigger than Chancellor Olaf Scholz talking about a Zeitenwende, a change in history. We are experiencing right now a change which only occurs sometimes every 500 years. I think what is coming to an end right now is the system of colonialism. Because the countries of the Global South do not want to be exploited any more by some European powers, the former colonialist powers, the Global North more generally, and I’m absolutely certain that that cannot be put back. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. Because this is the vast majority of the world; these countries are much more vibrant, much more intelligent, much more morally focused on the common good of their people, than you can see in the Global North right now.

I think we’re heading for a tectonic change. We may head for a crash of the financial system much more quickly than people think. Changes will occur. And the reason why we are doing what we are doing, is we want to have this be an orderly transition if possible, because if you have a disorderly collapse of the system, it has incalculable consequences. But the change will come, for sure, and as I said, we have to get more people to be reasonable and take the interests of humanity as a whole as their guiding point. And then define national interest in cohesion with the interests of humanity as a whole. And then we have a chance.

So, all I can say is, you are right to be worried, but don’t be passive. Get active with the Schiller Institute because we have been fighting for this perspective for a very long time; we have thought about it a lot; we have a big network of people who think likewise all over the world; and we have to bring into force that power right now, before it is too late. So, join us, and don’t be desperate, because the situation is very grave, and I’d rather have people have sleepless nights, than sleepwalking into a catastrophe. There is a chance to make a change if enough people collaborate to this end.

Schlanger: Well, an antidote to the pessimism would be to register to join our conference on April 15–16, participate online and bring other people in, because that’s where this kind of discussion will generate outwards.

Prospects of Changing Europe’s Policy

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EC/Dati Bendo
“China is the locomotive for the world economy. If Europe wants to survive economically, it has to work with China!” Shown: Emmanuel Macron, Xi Jinping, and Ursula von der Leyen in Beijing, April 6, 2023.

Helga, I have two more questions I think you probably want to take. One you can probably answer quickly. It’s from a foreign policy analyst in Europe who writes: “Is there anything the Chinese could communicate to von der Leyen and Macron, that might change their policy?”

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I would hope that they will do that; I’m sure they will do that. They will make clear to the Europeans that it is in their interest to cooperate with China. China is the locomotive for the world economy. If Europe wants to survive economically, it has to work with China! The idea to diversify, that’s fine, but to replace China with the idea to become “independent,” that’s just not going to work. Because if you look at regions like Shenzhen and Zhuhai, and Guangdong, those are like the motor of the world economy. All of Asia is much more optimistic. China will have a growth rate, even according to the World Bank, of more than 5% this year. That’s in stark contrast to the expectations in Europe.

So I’m sure that the Chinese will emphatically make clear that the interest of both sides is to cooperate. Maybe Macron will listen, because he has made very beautiful speeches when he was in Xi’an some years ago. Unfortunately not much of it materialized, but he does have sometimes the ability to pick up on good suggestions. With von der Leyen, I’m more skeptical. She is so dyed-in-the-wool anti-China, and anti-Russia, and I don’t have any hope for her, frankly. Let’s see what happens. Maybe I would like to be surprised for the better, but at this point, I think she is not in the right position. I think she is not doing good for Europe.

A Mass Strike Process

Schlanger: Here’s a question that is something of a follow up from our friend Nataša from Serbia. She writes, “Thank you, Helga. My question is, can the ongoing protests in France change the EU policy regarding, first of all, negotiations to stop the war, and secondly, to lift the idiotic sanctions and sanction policy?”

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, not as such. Because, from what I have picked up from our colleagues and friends in France is that the protests are not just about the pension reforms, but it is that the majority of the French people are extremely concerned about their future. They realize that the cost of the present policies, including the war policies, is translated into brutal austerity, Schachtian economics. This is happening not only in France, it’s happening, for example, in the United States, where they’re now kicking 15 million people off of Medicaid, the health insurance for the poor. In Great Britain, because the life expectancy in Great Britain has dropped for two years in a row, they’re now talking about a “windfall profit” in terms of pensioners not consuming so much money, because they’re dying earlier! This is such a cynical, disgusting idea, but that’s what happens. If you have a neoliberal economic model, then Schachtian economics in times of crisis are what they go with.

So I think this is a mass strike process. Many factors are involved, but I think what is needed, is that the people in France consciously take into account that the Dutch farmers, the German farmers, the people protesting in Italy against war, people in the United States who were in the February 19 “Rage against the War Machine” demonstration in Washington, they all have a common interest, and they have to internationalize their fight much more closely.

Given the fact that the war danger is international, the oligarchy is international, the peace movement has to become international as well, and, they have to ally with the Global South, because they have the same problem. That is not yet done. It requires organizing, and I can only repeat myself: Join that effort. That’s the most important thing you can do.

The Case of Donald Trump: A Diversion

Schlanger: Helga, I have one more question I think you might like from the United States. Someone wrote in: “Do you find it curious that Donald Trump was indicted in New York City several weeks after Putin was indicted by the ICC?” implying that in a sense it’s a replay of Russiagate. Any thoughts on that?

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I think it’s terrible! To charge a former President with such flimsy constructs. Obviously Trump has many more legal troubles coming ahead, but to use that particular incident of this lady, who is not exactly a high example of morality to say the least, it’s just so obvious, that they want to distract the population from the two issues which are really the important ones. One is the financial blowout, the Silicon Valley Bank and everything related to the banking sector. That is what people should be thinking about, and not have the headlines full of some sex affair of Trump which could be true or not, who knows? But it’s a distraction. And the other topic from which it is a distraction is the increasing war danger. I think that that’s what people should keep in mind, and just put this other stuff out of their mind, and concentrate on the real issues.

Schlanger: Well, Helga, once again, thank you from all the people who wrote in and from all your viewers, for your participation today. We’ll be looking forward to seeing you again next week. In the meantime, people should go to the Schiller Institute website and register for the conference on April 15–16. Get our material on it. There’s a promotional you can use to organize everyone you know. This has to become the basis for doing what Helga’s been talking about, which is moving people in the West into an alliance with the Global South, the real Global Majority.

So, Helga, thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you again next week.

Zepp-LaRouche: Till next week.

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