INTERVIEW WITH GUADALAJARA RADIO
LaRouche Defines U.S.-Mexico
Relations in Time of Global Crisis
Lyndon LaRouche was interviewed on Dec. 18, 2000 by Genaro Amador of Radio Triple A, one of the leading radio stations in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city. The following is the full text of the exchange.
Q: We are very interested to know your opinion about what's happening in the United States, with the election process that you had there.
LaRouche: Well, first of all, I've done two webcasts on this subject. One on the 14th of November, and one this past week, on the 12th of December. This is a real mess. It's a crisis, not only an election crisis, but it's a constitutional crisis, and it's also a world economic crisis. If things were going to go on the way they are at present, without change, I think we're heading for catastrophe. It could even lead to a planet-wide Dark Age. The question is, whether the shock of what is going to happen, will bring some people to their senses.
We have some intelligent responses from other parts of the world, such as in the 13 nations of East and South Asia. The negotiations of Russia with Central Asia, East Asia, and Western Europe, are very useful.
At present, the United States is on an insane course.
My particular job at this time, is to try to use what influence I have inside the United States, in particular, to catalyze certain changes in U.S. policy. As the financial collapse goes on, my credibility and influence increase greatly. But people will be reluctant to accept that leadership, unless they are forced to, by circumstances. And so, I think I know how to deal with this world financial crisis. There are many people around the world who agree with me, and possibly, I might succeed in influencing people in my own country to begin thinking in the direction of what I propose.
So, therefore, I do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation, but I'm also optimistic about the possibilities of how we might improve the direction of policymaking. But at present, there is no one in power in the United States who has a clear idea of what will work at this time. We simply have to, as we say in the United States, "sweat out" the situation, waiting for a willingness on the part of some people to begin changing the policy direction.
I think I can sum up the answer by saying, this is one of those moments in history which sometimes breaks people's nerves. It's a crisis period in all global history.
Q: You are talking about a crisis, but we have seen an historic growth in the economy of the United States. Apart from that, in Latin America, for example, we see that the crisis indeed exists, because there are very, very poor people in Mexico. There are 14 million poor people, and the rich are very rich, and the poor are very poor. Is that part of the crisis you are talking about?
LaRouche: Well, yes, this is part of it. The United States is going through a crisis which is not as severe, by any means, as what is being suffered in Mexico, for example. But there's a very severe crisis in the United States. The crisis the United States faces right now, is far worse, as an economic crisis, than what was faced in 1929-31. This could be the greatest catastrophe the United States has had to suffer in more than 150 years.
Q: I would like to know what kind of crisis you are talking about? In the United States, we see a lot of growth in consumption, there are jobs, and we see the economy growing. Where is the crisis you are talking about?
LaRouche: First of all, the figures that show the U.S. economy as growing, are fraudulent. They are not true! For example, the United States has, at present, at best estimates, a $600 billion a year current account deficit. The U.S. is effectively bankrupt, and has been living on its credit from other countries for some time. The condition of the lower 80% of family-income brackets in the United States is horrible. We have, for example, a more than 10% annual rate of inflation right now, and we're getting into 20-30% inflation in some large categories, such as real estate and energy prices. What has happened, especially during the period of the recent election campaign, the last ten months, is that the United States has been pumping out the greatest amount of lies about the U.S. economy ever seen in its history.
Now, the thing that you have to think about, is you look at the situation in Mexico, for example, and the effect of the United States on Mexico. The United States is considered in the world as the importer of last resort. What happens if there's a 20-40% collapse in the value of the dollar? It's what we're looking at, in this period immediately ahead. What happens, for example, to Mexico's exports to the United States, under conditions of, say, a 10% increase in unemployment inside the United States?
So, actually, what we face, is economic disaster inside the United States, which, when it occurs, will spread with great force into countries which have been essentially markets for the United States up until this time.
For example, look at the maquiladoras as a part of the U.S. economy. But look more significantly at the rest of the Mexican economy, which depends upon—apart from the maquiladoras—exports to the United States.
These are the kinds of things I'm worried about, in terms of, how do we manage relations with Mexico, under these kinds of conditions of crisis? Obviously, you're going to have in Mexico a similar problem to what we're having in California and Texas, in terms of these energy shutdowns.
So, we're going to have to think about depression-style emergency measures, both inside the United States, and in cooperation with neighboring countries such as Mexico. Mexico is going to require some assistance, to get through the difficult conditions which will be produced by a collapse of the U.S. market. I'm thinking in terms of areas of infrastructure development as a possible area of cooperation, in which U.S. relations with Mexico might be defined, under such conditions.
Q: What is the chronological order of the crisis? What kind of symptoms are we going to see in the future, and in the present, of such a crisis?
LaRouche: We're going to see a crisis such as European civilization, globally extended, has not seen in 300 years. This is not a cyclical crisis, this is not a business-cycle crisis. This is a breakdown crisis, which modern economists have talked about at various times, but we've never had a global breakdown crisis before. On the basis of the lessons we have from the Franklin Roosevelt period, we in the United States know how to deal with such a breakdown crisis, both for the United States itself, and in cooperation with our neighbors and friends. If we do not take those measures, we are going to have a global disaster, which could lead to a vast collapse in the level of the world population, very rapidly, within a generation or two. If we do take those measures, which I know we can do, then we can get through this crisis quite safely.
So, the question then becomes a question of political will, which means that the people and government of the United States are going to have to face the fact that, for about 35 years, they've been doing the wrong thing. We're going to have to go back to the kinds of measures which I proposed in 1982, in this book-length paper I wrote on "Operation Juárez." And we're discussing similar types of measures with people in Italy, with people in Eastern Europe, with people in Asia. So, there is a political movement for that. But we have to, first of all, break the resistance to adopting those kinds of policies, and then we can get through safely.
If we do not adopt those policies, then you're going to see Hell on Earth for two or three generations to come. And the big problem is the poor quality of politicians we generally have, compared to what we had, say, 30 years ago. But, as I say, I'm optimistic, despite all these bad things I have to say about the situation.
Q: What are the measures to take, and what is the resistance to those measures, Mr. LaRouche?
LaRouche: Well, remember, we got into the Great Depression in the beginning of the 1930s. We were fortunate at the time, to have a new President, who came into office in March of 1933, Franklin Roosevelt. Despite everything else, Roosevelt saved the United States and preserved the Constitutional order of the United States. And even after Roosevelt's death, in cooperation between the United States and Western Europe, and to some degree Mexico as well, we prospered. We used the method of the Bretton Woods system at the time, which was fixed exchange rates, capital controls, exchange controls, regulation. These methods worked. The same methods would work again, which merely means that the number of nations which represent a part of the present IMF system, would have to take over the IMF system and reorganize it, in accord with those kinds of principles. And it would mean, of course, a return to strengthening of the role of the sovereign nation-state, and a turn away from globalization.
The only way we can rebuild countries which need this kind of restructuring—. Take Mexico, for example. You have to think in terms of 25-year lines of credit, which are generally the lines of credit you require for large-scale infrastructure projects. Then the investments in such infrastructure building, become the stimulant for agriculture, manufacturing, and so forth.
So, essentially, what we need is an international credit rate for long-term credits for such projects, of not more than 1% simple interest per year. This means a lot of credit going out, in terms of 10-year projects, 15-year projects, 25-year projects. And these are the things that usually take a generation anyway, from the time of the birth of a child, until they come to maturity. That's generally the span of a rebuilding process of this type. But in European civilization, we've done that before, and we can do it again.
So, that's what we face. We have a perfectly feasible way of dealing with the problem. It takes strong nerves and a clear mind, but it can work. But it's like the man on the sinking ship: If he doesn't get off the ship, he's going to drown. The reason we're in a crisis, is because the present world policies, for about 30 years, have been increasingly insane. Now we're paying the price for such insanity all these years. If we come to our senses, we'll come out of the mess. I just hope that we find enough people who will take on the role of bringing us back to our senses.
Q: Mr. LaRouche, is the world ready to take on that change? Do you think there are the persons and the ideology to do it?
LaRouche: Oh, I think so. I think the world is ready. Otherwise, there's not going to be much of a world.
You know, there's a question that comes up from time to time, in human existence, called the moral fitness of cultures to survive. If we don't take the kind of measures I've indicated, within about 5-10 years, a lot of nations of the world will disappear. There will be literally a Dark Age around most of the world. So, as Jonah, going to Nineveh, the Ninevehs of the world have a choice. They can listen to the advice, and survive. Or, like Nineveh, they can reject the advice, and die. That's something that has happened in human existence many times before. Now, it's happened to us.
I'm optimistic: Where there's such a crisis, people will tend to come back to their senses. They'll come back to their senses, because they'll recognize that what they've believed in for the past 10 to 20 years, doesn't work. And they will look at the faces of their children, and they will say, these children must survive. And then they will make the right decisions. At least, I hope so.
Q: What happens with Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the nuclear weapons, biological weapons, terrorists, the Middle East? What happens with all of that?
LaRouche: Well, we've got genocide in Africa, as a result of the same policies. It's essentially Anglo-American genocide. You should know the details of the situation, as I do. The Middle East: Well, the problem is not so much the Israelis and Palestinians; it's a bunch of U.S. madmen, these crazy fundamentalist Protestants, who are the problem there.
The problem is, there's a lack of will to come up with the kind of policy which will tend to bring people to their senses.
Let's take the case of the Middle East: In the coming year, there will not be enough drinking water in the Middle East to provide the necessary amount of water for all the people living in Israel and Palestine right now. Without the development of a large-scale desalination project, there's no possibility for peace in the Middle East. However, if we were to take that approach, of large-scale desalination programs, then we would have the objective basis for bringing about a peaceful resolution in the Middle East. In that sense, while you can not solve every problem with economic policies, you will generally find the difficulty in preventing us from solving problems that we could solve, is because of a bad economic policy.
Q: What kind of relations should be established between the United States of America, and the countries of Latin America? Do you have an idea, any proposals?
LaRouche: We have to establish the principle based on what John Quincy Adams presented as the "community of principle" idea in 1823. That policy was revived by President Franklin Roosevelt as the "Good Neighbor Policy," and it was also the intention of President Kennedy, had he not been assassinated.
We of the sovereign states of the Americas, have a special relationship to one another in history. There are enormous areas of Ibero-America which are undeveloped, with the potential of developing tremendous riches, and supporting a much larger population, and prosperity. Therefore, we should have special regional agreements between the United States and the other countries of the Americas, with cooperation to realize those potentialities. Of course, Mexico is the second largest of these countries south of our border, in terms of people. And despite the hard times in Mexico now, it's a very important country—because of its history, its population, and so forth—in making such agreements.
I've dealt with this over so many years, I know this very well. There's no reason—that is, human reason—why we couldn't have the kind of cooperation we require. It's just a matter of finding the will to do it.
Q: We have the problem of the rich North, the poor South, the immigration. What's going to happen to the Latinos in the United States in the future, and in the present?
LaRouche: This should not be a great problem. You know, Spanish is a second language in the United States these days. The Mexican-American population is a very significant part of that, and, to a significant degree, very well integrated. So, the question is, what's going to happen to the economy? If you can look 25 years ahead, and say that the baby born today, is going to have a good education, good development, health care, and the prospect of a meaningful future as an adult, then I think there's no problem in dealing with these kinds of challenges. But if we don't do that, and if we go into a period of extended deep poverty, then you will find that poverty itself will tend to produce the worst kind of social relations, with the obvious implications.
One of the things that I recommend strongly, which I've been working on for Eurasia as well as other places, is that we should do something about the long-intended plan to develop land-route high-speed development corridors—transportation corridors—north to south through the continent. That kind of project would actually result in making clear to the people of the hemisphere, what kind of cooperation we want among the nation-states, to the mutual benefit of all involved. Like the development of the transcontinental railroad system in the middle of the 19th Century, across the United States, integrating the United States as a nation. If we do the same thing north to south, in the Americas, that would be the catalyst, I think, which would actually bring the relations among the states of the hemisphere together, in the proper way.
Sometimes, in politics, it is necessary to capture the imagination of the population, at the same time that you're giving them a benefit, and I think projects which are beneficial and which capture the imagination, are what this hemisphere needs right now.
For example, the development of an adequate railway system for Mexico, north-south, which is an integral part of a north-south link hemispherically. That in itself would be a good catalyst for the development of the internal Mexican economy. You have the power, you have the transportation, you have the water management, you have the public health, the educational systems. Everything becomes possible.
Q: Do you think the Latin American countries are ready to see the United States as a development partner, and not an invader?
LaRouche: If I were President, I would ensure that it would be possible. The problem is that the countries of Central and South America don't trust the United States, and for very good reasons. The resistance, the strain, is greater now than it has ever been in my lifetime. It is a change in the direction of the United States policy, that will produce a change in the reaction among leading circles in the countries of Central and South America. If the U.S. comes as a friend, rather than as a boss, to Central and South America, things will go just fine.
Q: What will happen with people who think they are superior to other people, like the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis, and those kinds of movements? Are they important in the world today?
LaRouche: Yes. This is important: The United States' problem is the "Southern Strategy," which is really the tradition of the Confederacy, and has taken over the top levels of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. That's a minority force, but it's a very powerful minority, presently, in the United States.
The problem is that the 80% of the American population in the lower-income brackets, thinks of itself almost like human cattle. They don't believe they have any authority to change these policies. Franklin Roosevelt dealt with a similar problem, by trying to get the American people to see themselves as citizens, rather than as human cattle. And to a very significant degree, that worked. Unfortunately, after Roosevelt died, things went back to the old ways. I think that most people in the Americas would probably find, on these kinds of questions, that the character of the head of state of the United States, and that head of state's immediate circles, will essentially determine what the role of the United States is, with respect to the hemisphere as a whole
You think of American Presidents, such as John Quincy Adams, or Abraham Lincoln, or Franklin Roosevelt, or Kennedy, and you find that these kinds of U.S. Presidents correspond to the best developments in relations among states of the Americas. The same thing applies today. The importance of national leaders, particularly of institutionalized national leaders, is that a people tends to see its identity reflected in the quality of that leadership. We are still in that primitive condition of mankind, in which nations depend upon a good quality of leadership, to find the best quality in themselves as a whole. And thus, in my dealing with the Americas or other parts of the world, I always look at my own role as a leading figure in the United States, as being a crucial part of defining the relationship of the people of the United States to the people of other countries.
Q: What's going to happen in the near future with George W. Bush as President of the United States?
LaRouche: We don't know, because young Bush is not a particularly intelligent person. He's a man known by his limitations. He has around him a very large retinue of people, some good, some bad. He can not govern effectively without cooperation from a large part of my party, the Democratic Party, in which at this time I'm a very significant leader, since the defeat of Gore.
So, what Bush is going to face, is the fact that the policies he has now, that is, the policies he advertised during the election campaign, can not work. They will be a disaster. He can not run a strictly Republican administration. That won't work either. So, he's going to come to the point, where he's going to have to change some of his administration's policies, from what he has said they would be up to now. Given some of the idiots in his own party, some of the worst racists and others, he's going to depend on cooperation with the right circles in the Democratic Party, to be able to get anything done that makes any sense.
Now, naturally, despite the fact that I've been a political adversary of his, the fact is, that he's going to have to depend upon me, in a certain sense, and on what I represent in the Democratic Party—not necessarily as an adviser, of course, but as part of the reality which he and his group in the Presidency will have to deal with, in order to get what in the United States is called, "getting the job done."
There comes a time, as you'll probably see in Mexico right now, with President Fox coming into office, in which a man who is elected as President of a republic such as the United States or Mexico, goes through an initial period in which he has to assume control of his own government, and where the power of the team fades somewhat into the background, and the personality of the President himself becomes important. Now, a successful government under a presidential system, tends to take on more and more of the quality reflected in the personality of the President, as opposed to his being a mere figure in the administration. I would take, for example, the case of Mexico. I would expect that President Fox would exert more and more of his image, in terms of the Presidency. Similarly, in the United States, if Bush is going to be successful, he will have to depend upon putting a personal stamp on his administration, and defining that with respect to cooperation with the Congress.
Therefore, the initial period for Bush is going to be a difficult one, but if he's going to be successful, it will be in that direction. You can't say exactly what's going to happen. I can say, and I think others might be able to estimate as well, what should happen, and we have to work and see if we can make that happen, as it should.
Q: Finally, Mr. LaRouche, will you summarize all the things we have talked about.
LaRouche: Well, I'm very happy to have this opportunity to speak to people in Mexico, which reflects a long-standing relationship with Mexico, with which some people in that country are quite familiar. I think the practical thing, is that we have to keep our heads together, and our imaginations functioning, in order to find ways to deal with the kinds of problems we've talked about in this conversation. And it should be a two-way discussion, in which possibilities are considered, and possible agreements are decided upon.
Q: Thank you very much, Mr. LaRouche. This has been a very interesting interview, and I think we're going to have a lot of air time with it. Thank you again.
LaRouche: Thank you very much.