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This article appears in the September 22, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

Live Dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Moving Forward after the BRICS and G20 Summits!

Subheads have been added. The video of this dialogue is available here.

Harley Schlanger: Hello and welcome to our weekly dialogue with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute. It’s Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 and I’m your host Harley Schlanger. If you want to ask questions or make comments, you can send them to questions@schillerinstitute.org.

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President Vladimir Putin announced that the economic and cultural development of Russia’s Far East will be Priority No. 1 for Russia in the 21st Century, along with the discovery of “new physical principles” to secure Russia’s sovereignty. Eastern Economic Forum, Russky Island, Sept. 12, 2023.

Helga, last week, when we spoke, you talked about the breathtaking pace of events. I would say, if anything, the pace has quickened since we last spoke: There was the G20 summit, which was a flop for those in the unipolar order who are trying to force the rest of the world to knuckle under to their “rules-based order”; there was the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, where [Russian President Vladimir] Putin made a very interesting speech. And then the Schiller Institute conference Sept. 9, which featured presentations by people from many countries at the forefront of shaping events. Let’s begin with your assessment of these events: What’s your sense of what’s happened over the last week?

A New World Economic Order Is Rapidly Forming

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: We are experiencing right now the very rapid formation of a completely new world economic order, whereby the majority of the nations of the world in the Global South are moving to get rid of the remnants of colonialism, and actually have very exciting plans for the future. The leadership of the Global North, somehow just don’t get it: They’re sort of trying to go with their old schemes. Look at this Foreign Minister of Germany [Annalena] Baerbock. She’s running around the world, but she has no clue! That’s the problem.

What we did in our conference was an effort to put the perspective of the Global South on the agenda, so that people in the North can actually hear first-hand from very important spokesmen of the Global South, what these countries aspire to, and why it would be in the very best interest of the countries of Europe and the United States to cooperate with this new, emerging order.

I encourage people to watch the conference yourself, but I think what was very important in the first panel, was that not only did we have a very high-ranking diplomat from the BRICS countries themselves, we had several Americans. I think this is very important that there are Americans who are reasonable—naturally, Diane Sare, who is running a very successful campaign for U.S. Senate in New York; we had Scott Ritter, Ray McGovern, and several very important representatives of churches in the United States, both Catholic and also some other denominations. So I think the first panel was very important for that reason.

The second panel was also very interesting, because you had spokesmen from Latin America, South Africa, India, who expressed very clearly how the majority of the world is looking at the present processes. So please take the time to watch this.

Now, the G20 established already that the efforts by the Global North to have the usual tactics of getting the countries of Africa, and Latin America and Asia, to try to get them to condemn the “Russian unprovoked aggression,” absolutely did not function.

There could be nothing more different than the image and the perception which is being attempted to be created by the Western media about what is going on with Russia, China, even North Korea, and the reality of it: Look at what happened at this conference in Vladivostok, which is a huge business event. The idea that Putin is isolated is completely ridiculous. There were a lot of delegations, large business delegations and the perspective which was presented by Putin. If people were not so ideologically biased, they would recognize what a tremendous potential that is—I mean, some people do, but for geopolitical, not-so-nice reasons.

President Putin pointed to the vast potential of the Far East of Russia. He basically said that only 30% or so of all the Russian territory is developed from the standpoint of even recognizing where what resources are. And the fact that Russia has, within its huge territory, all the raw materials which exist or have been discovered so far on the planet. The raw materials richness of Russia is gigantic, especially if you think in terms of the next period of industrial and technological-scientific development.

So Putin said this will be the priority of Russia for the 21st century. He said this plan is not a reaction to what happened with the events from 2014 in Ukraine, meaning the Maidan coup. He said, this was a plan which started 10 years ago, which the Russian government started to look at the perspective of building infrastructure in the Far East in order to create access to the vast raw materials. He said, “We made a little mistake by not really anticipating the potential, because we did not think that there would be such an incredible amount of cargo being traded in this region, which is now shaping up that it will be the case.”

At the Eastern Economic Forum, Putin referred to the Trans-Siberian Railway, built from 1891 to 1916, the longest in the world, connecting Moscow and Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean. Shown: An electric locomotive pulling a container train in a stretch along the beautiful coast of Lake Baikal in southern Siberia.

So there will be a tremendous development. He referred to the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Count Witte plan, which at the time was interrupted by the Russian-Japanese War of 1905; but that is a plan which is absolutely back on the agenda, and a lot of countries are planning to invest big-time, including China, for which such the opening up of such vast resources is of vital importance.

This all proves that the effort to divide the BRICS, to say there are all these tensions, it’s just not true in reality, because I think these countries are completely determined to build a new system based on equality and based on joint ventures of win-win advantages for everybody. Rather than being completely hostile to this development, it would be very high time for the Western elites to just say, the majority of the world is moving in a different direction, and let’s take the positive step to cooperate.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (right), is now proposing yet another disastrous policy: punitive tariffs against Chinese e-cars being sold in Europe. Here she shares the stage with Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock.

Unfortunately, nothing of that is being seen right now. It’s definitely not seen from the Biden administration, and it’s also not seen from the European Union. Ursula von der Leyen, [President of the European Commission], just made a speech in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where [she] made one of her theatrics, which she must have studied for a very long time how to look good. But what she said was not so good, namely, that she is now proposing punitive tariffs against Chinese e-cars being sold in Europe. The Chinese have already responded that if that happens, it will open up countermeasures. So we are looking at the prospect of a trade war, which is really the worst thing to do under present circumstances.

So I can only say, we have to educate the population about the potential of building a world in which all the countries work together. Europe is in a terrible condition. The German economy is in free fall, and we should not tolerate these policies which alienate Russia and China, and the Global South and the BRICS countries, but we should take steps to cooperate.

There are some voices of reason in Germany and in United States, but they’re the minority right now, and we must have them heard better.

‘New Physical Principles’

Schlanger: Now, in that context, we have a question from C.S., who refers to the Chandrayaan-3 landing by the Indians on the Moon; the similar programs from Japan and elsewhere, along with Putin’s discussion of “new physical principles,” that these are events and discussions that change the strategic situation. He asks, reflecting back on Lyndon LaRouche’s original SDI policy, “Can’t we find people of good will and reason in the U.S. and Europe who would be committed to ending the war policy, and create a new paradigm based on these kinds of developments?”

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India is now the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the Moon. India’s Prime Minister has proposed a consortium of the BRICS countries for space exploration. Here, India’s Pragyan rover has just ramped down from the Vikram lander onto the lunar surface.

Zepp-LaRouche: I think it will not go unnoticed that India was able to have this lander landing softly on the South Pole of the Moon, being now the fourth nation which has been able to have a Moon landing. And what Modi said in terms of building a consortium of space exploration among the BRICS countries, that means there is a total determination by not only the BRICS but also many other countries to take advantage of the scientific breakthroughs which are automatically generated if you are serious in terms of research and space travel.

Having said that, President Putin has said that they are about to discover “new physical principles” or are in the process of discovering them, which will basically create safety. Now, it’s too early for me to comment on the content of it, because it’s probably laser weapons, it’s probably directed-energy weapons, it may be some other new physical principles which we looked at the last time in a serious fashion in the time of the SDI, but that was the vision of my late husband when he suggested this, and President Reagan picked it up, you know, where Reagan made it official policy to offer to the Soviet Union at the time, that the two superpowers would cooperate together to develop such new technologies based on new physical principles, in order to make nuclear weapons obsolete; and then implement those together, and eventually overcome geopolitical bloc thinking.

That was an incredibly potent and fruitful moment in world history, and obviously, the Russians have been continuously working on that. The byproduct of it was that Putin announced the new missiles, which are not ballistic missiles, but basically are movable at a very high speed, which completely upset the strategic balance in terms of the effort by the United States to build a global missile defense system.

So it is very clear, you cannot stop technological progress, but you can use it to create a safer world. I’m very interested to find out more about this, because the scourge, or the Damocles’ sword of potential nuclear annihilation, if that can be overcome through scientific and technological means, this will be probably one of the great breakthroughs for humanity.

In the period before the SDI announcement by President Reagan in March 1983, we had had conferences in Paris, in Rome, in Bonn, in Washington, and we had discussions with a lot of military, top-level people, generals and admirals and others at the time. There was a very serious discussion about that. If we can revive that, I think this can, indeed, open up a way out of the present deadlocked situation. So I think this is a very optimistic thing, and I hope to be able to give you more details in the future.

‘Integration of Infrastructure Will Happen’

Schlanger: Helga, I have three more questions directly related to the aftermath of the BRICS summit. The first one, there were several people who wrote in about India. One said there’s obviously a concerted effort to pull India away from an alliance with Russia and China, as a way of undermining the BRICS. They write, “It doesn’t seem to be working,” but they ask: “Do you think there’ll be more pressure on India, and can it succeed?”

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Despite Western pressure to break with China and Russia, the foreign policy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, rather, one of non-alignment.

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, there will be more pressure on India, but I don’t think it will succeed. I think what people underestimate is that the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi—I don’t want to comment on any criticisms concerning the internal Indian situation, which some people are critical of; I think that’s a matter for the Indians to discuss—but my impression is that the policy of India is, indeed, non-alignment. I don’t think that India is in any way planning to give up their historic positive relations with Russia. I think the Western politicians and media are over-stretching the tensions between India and China. I think that the effort to somehow—like this IMEC, the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor, it’s a corridor which goes from India all the way through the Middle East and eventually into Europe; this was touted a lot as being the counteroffensive against the Belt and Road Initiative and against all the Chinese-related corridors in the region.

Well, I said immediately, “don’t worry about it,” because my idea of how mankind will develop is along the lines of what we presented in 2014, after Xi Jinping had announced China’s New Silk Road policy. We published at the time, the updated version of all of our studies and we put it out in a big report, called, The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.

That was a comprehensive plan for how all the continents will be developed through infrastructure, and how all the continents will then be connected through tunnels and bridges, so that soon you would be able to travel by maglev train from the southern tip of Argentina or Chile, all the way up through the Americas, crossing the Bering Strait onto the Eurasian Land-Bridge, and then going all the way to Gibraltar, and then farther on to the Cape of Good Hope on the tip of South Africa. So you could travel, via land, so to speak, all the way (except Australia, naturally) throughout four continents this way.

That integration of infrastructure is going to be what will happen—if the world is not blown up, and mankind ends. That’s the natural way to go.

I was extremely happy and satisfied, when I read what President Putin had said, when he was asked in Vladivostok what he thought about this IMEC (India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor project). He had essentially the same answer, saying, “let them build it.” It just helps to build up the logistics and it all will work together, because if you have transport of cargo, you need a very tightly knit integrated infrastructure system, where you move containers, for example, from ship to train to truck, and all these things working together.

That’s the way to look at it: Any kind of infrastructure building has a positive effect on both the people who are building it, and also on the people who have the benefit of having this new infrastructure in their environment, because it broadens their view, it brings them up to a higher level. Eventually the World Land-Bridge will grow together—I think there is a futile effort to try to divide and conquer, but the new spirit is stronger and I’m quite confident that that will prevail.

Schlanger: You can see Helga’s keynote to the Sept. 9th conference which is posted on the Schiller Institute website, as well as several other presentations posted on the Schiller Institute YouTube channel, and we hope to get them all individually posted in the next couple of days. Go here, or here to download, read, watch and share the discussion that took place at the Schiller Institute conference.

The Name for Peace Is Development

Here’s a question from David from Nigeria. He asks: “Will the BRICS help countries trapped in neocolonial relations, and will they intervene in fights which arise in Africa?”

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. The tendency is that the projects which have been known for a long time can come on the agenda now, and that will change the environment. Sure, there is right now still the danger that there will be a military intervention against the countries, especially those in West Africa, that recently changed their governments through coups. There are clearly signs that some Western powers do not want to give up their inclination, but I think the momentum on the other side, coming from the interest of China, Russia, India and even Japan, and hopefully, the Europeans, whom we are working hard to convince that they should also have an attitude of investing in Africa. There are certain projects which really would be a complete game-changer.

For example—it’s so tragic!—what happened on the northern coast of Africa: first the earthquake in Morocco which killed several thousand people, and not all casualties are found yet. Then you had this horrible flood in Libya, which may have killed already more than 20,000 people in one city! Twenty percent of the entire population was just flooded into the ocean.

Why did this happen? OK, it was the quarrel between Libya’s east and western governments; or the eastern government which is actually the elected government; and then the western government which is for some strange reason proclaimed by the European Union as the official government, despite the fact that they were the ones who made the coup, because they are sitting in the more interesting location from the standpoint of the EU, in terms of being in the way of the refugee situation, and the EU wants to make deals with them. It’s completely insane.

What that has meant, is that ever since the absolutely criminal behavior of NATO in 2011, which led to the coup and then the killing of [Muammar] Gaddafi—Gaddafi had actually worked on infrastructure developments of not only Libya but for all of Africa. He had made access to two sweet-water reservoirs, which fed, among other things, the water supply of the cities which are now affected. Now, after Gaddafi was killed, there has apparently been absolutely no maintenance or repairs also on the dams which broke, so you can actually say that the tragedy of what is happening right now, is the late fruit of such people as Barack Obama, as Hillary Clinton.

We will never forget her disgusting remarks: “We came, we saw, he died,” talking about Gaddafi. You know, that was the image of a very ugly mind which presented itself there. So you can actually say that the terrible neglect of the infrastructure repair which is one of the major contributing reasons why this tragedy, or both tragedies, actually, became so devastating, goes on the account of the people who made this military operation there in 2011, which, among other things, also started to put the UN Security Council out of business, because they lied, saying they would just make a neutral intervention, which then turned out to be a military intervention.

This was, by the way, the moment when my late husband said, this killing of Gaddafi and the circumstances proves that NATO wants to go to World War III against China and Russia: And look at what has happened since.

At the New Global Financing Pact Summit in Paris, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told Western leaders that $80 billion in financing for the Grand Inga Dam Project would be a sign of good faith, without which discussion of a global climate change tax could not proceed. Paris, June 22, 2023.

What is the answer to that? The answer to that is to put some of the major infrastructure projects in Africa on the agenda, and rally around that. One is what South African President [Cyril] Ramaphosa had said at the New Global Financing Pact Summit in Paris in June, where after Macron had made a big speech: President Ramaphosa said: I don’t want to hear this, we don’t want to hear this. Finance the Inga Dam in Congo, which is only about $80 billion but which will give electricity to about a dozen countries in Africa, and unless you do that, we don’t want to hear anything else. That is the language which is required.

And do the same thing for the Transaqua project, which has been agreed by six countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission already in 2018 at a big conference in Abuja, Nigeria. The Transaqua project would take only about 3% of the excess of water of the Congo River, now going unused into the ocean, and would, through a system of rivers and canals, bring the water to Lake Chad. It would give plenty of opportunity for irrigation for the Sahel zone, it would made industrial development possible along this water system, and it will refill Lake Chad.

These are the things the Africans must rally around, and not allow any more disturbances against them. Because the name for peace is development, and that goes also for the stabilization of every single country on the African continent.

We should discuss these projects more. We wrote long development projects for the entire African continent. You can go to our website: You can see we wrote—the first such report, we wrote in 1976, and we had a big conference in Paris about it. We published it in 1978. My late husband has written a Critical Comments Appended to the Lagos Plan of Action: The Economics of Nation-Building in 1981.

We have been involved in being concerned about infrastructure development of Africa for a very long time, and now is the time to realize these plans. One of our World Land-Bridge reports is “Extending the New Silk Road To West Asia and Africa: A Vision of an Economic Renaissance.” You should look at these plans, and make sure that we get that on the agenda. And I think with the BRICS development and with the African Union now being named as part of the G20, this is all going in the right direction and has to be accelerated.

Schlanger: Helga, I know you’re very busy and have to run shortly, but I have two more questions on the BRICS that I’ll put together. One came in on the chatroom page: One is from Corey, who asks: “Is the solution for us in the West to become friends with the BRICS?” And then Ken asks: “Is the BRICS New Development Bank going to replace or work with the overhaul of the World Bank?”

The Nations of the North and West Must Change!

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, the first question is an obvious one. Look, geopolitics is a disease! Why should the world be divided into geopolitically divided blocs, where one group of nations says, this other group of nations are my enemy, and therefore I have to have a military buildup? You know, this is only in the interest of the military-industrial complex and the people who are speculating in the endless wars, because endless wars mean endless weapons, means endless profit. That has to stop! All the military production is essentially, from the standpoint of physical economy, a pure waste!

We have reached a point where if we continue on with military conflict, with wars as conflict-resolution, we will blow ourselves up, and that will be not so smart. If we are the intelligent, creative species on the planet, the only one we know of in the universe, so far, should we not be able to govern ourselves in a way that a brotherly or sisterly collaboration among nations is possible? I believe that that’s the case, and that’s the vision which should guide us.

Look at Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which is based on the beautiful Ode to Joy by Friedrich Schiller, and listen to this music, where in the choral part, there is one verse, “All men become brethren”: “Alle menschen werden brüder.” And that’s the normal thing for humanity to move into the future.

I think we have to organize very, very hard and sharply in the countries of Europe and in the United States so that people say, “We should not regard Russia and China as enemies, because they are not!” I mean, OK, you can make anybody into an enemy if you keep yelling at them, and telling them how ugly they are, eventually you will make them get angry, and you will have World War III. But I think we have to take this step of really working together, using the industrial capacity of Europe and of the United States to join hands with Russia, China, Japan, India, to develop those parts of the world which are not yet developed. So I think that’s the perspective we have to go in.

And for the second question, I think it could, but that would require that the World Bank changes. You know, so far, both the IMF and the World Bank, which should do otherwise, but have not—they should because they are institutions of the United Nations, and therefore, they should represent the will of the majority of the member states of the United Nations, and not just the orders of the strongest one. But so far, the IMF conditionalities and the World Bank loans were basically not furthering long-term investment. World Bank loans normally were always too short, they had to be paid back too quickly, so that the country which would have received that loan would sit on a pile of debt, but the project was not yet resulting in actual profit or wealth. So that is how the debt trap developed. It was not China. We had these statistics: The debt is owed to the banks of the Paris Club primarily.

We need a reform: I think the World Bank could play a positive role, but they would have to change their policy. If they don’t want to do that, then I think the need will be to build up the New Development Bank, which is on the way already anyway, because they will start now to issue credit based on local currencies, on rupees, on rubles, on renminbi, other currencies. For example, one of the Russian officials just said that they will use the incredible rupee assets which Russia has from trade with India, to issue credit through the New Development Bank for development projects. So that is happening already.

One can only hope that there are people in the West, in the North, who are willing to change, because that is, I think the big question. Are we capable of changing when we recognize that we were on the wrong track? And that is what we have to organize toward.

Harley Schlanger: To keep up with these quick-breaking developments, you can always go to the Schiller Institute website (https://schillerinstitute.com), and also EIR’s website, where you can find a lot of the writings of Lyndon LaRouche that Helga mentioned earlier.

Helga, thank you for joining us again this week. I have a note from a regular viewer who said, “Please thank Helga for providing me with my weekly dose of optimism.” With that, I’ll see you next week!

Zepp-LaRouche: Yes. And please do not forget to prepare to participate in the next big rally in front of the United Nations on Sept. 21st., International Peace Day. And if you have any other demonstrations and rallies, join them, because it is very important that we increase the movement for peace.

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