LYNDON LAROUCHE TO THE RUSSIAN DUMA:
Policy Changes Needed
This is the testimony of U.S. Democratic Presidential Pre-Candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., to the Russian State Duma's Economics Committee, in Moscow on June 29, 2001. See also LaRouche's concluding remarks.
To Overcome the Collapse
Presently, the world as a whole is dominated by the fact, that we are in the end-phase of the IMF system, at least as it has existed in the form it developed following U.S. President Nixon's introduction of a so-called "floating exchange-rate" monetary order in mid-August 1971. Contrary to some hysterical propaganda coming out of the now deeply troubled U.S. Bush Administration, nothing can save the present world financial and monetary system in its present form.
A continued refusal to accept certain necessary, sweeping reforms in those systems, would bring about not only an economic catastrophe worse that the worst period of the 1930s economic depression. The present crisis, unless it is stopped by drastically needed reforms, will also be a demographic collapse more or less comparable to what is called by historians "the New Dark Age," which dominated Europe following the Fourteenth-Century bankruptcy of the so-called Lombard banking system.
Therefore, to speak of any economic policy which does not include a early and sweeping reform of the IMF system, is worst than a waste of time.
We can overcome this collapse, but only if we are able to bring about a certain degree of international cooperation around four general intentions. The four essential classes of sweeping changes in the existing monetary and financial system, are as follows.
Changes That Must Be Made
- The total accumulation of indebtedness in the world today vastly exceeds the amount which could ever be repaid under existing terms and conditions of repayment. If either the creditors or debtors wish to survive, much of this indebtedness should be simply cancelled, as without merit. This includes what are in fact purely gambling debts, called financial derivatives.
What remains of morally legitimate debts, should be reorganized, in both amounts and terms, in the degree such reorganization is an essential precondition for sustainable physical-economic growth in per-capita output. In this reorganization, we must follow the advice of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, in insisting that the honorably contracted part of the nation's official debt, must be defended, as a precondition for its power to create new credit in the future. The principal amount of all other debt is negotiable under the conditions of a world crisis as disastrous as the present one.
- As a practical political measure, the revision of the international monetary and financial systems must incorporate the best features of the 1945-1958 cooperation between the U.S.A., Western Europe, and Japan. This must be a vigorously protectionist form of monetary and financial system, solidly based on true partnership among perfectly sovereign nation-states.
- This reorganization of the world monetary and financial systems, must be based upon the use of large-scale, long-term cooperation in infrastructural development within, and among nations, and heavy emphasis upon adopted targets of scientific and technological progress. The pivot for world economic growth, should be a new system of transcontinental cooperation among the sovereign nation-states of continental Eurasia.
- Those regions, within and among nations, which can generate "fountains" of scientific and technological output to regions which are deficient in their available supply of such technology, must be envisaged as the suppliers of not money-loans, but long-term purchasing credit, at nominal borrowing-costs. Continental Eurasia should be the center of such global economic recovery and growth, but all the world will benefit through participation as partners in that effort.
Since the general cycle of development based upon the combination of infrastructure and more advanced technologies is approximately a quarter-century, the system of credit and payments should be based on cycles of about a generation, and at simple interest-rates on borrowed purchase-credit at between 1% and 2% simple interest.
Under the conditions created by a general bankruptcy now pervading the world's principal banking systems, the required credit must be generated by political actions of sovereign governments, using newly created national-banking institutions as the pivotal agencies through which relevant agreements are coordinated.
Inevitably, there will be many who scream in protest against the return to the protectionist practices associated with the names of economists such as Leibniz, Hamilton, List, and Carey. No amount of such screaming will change the basic fact, that the system of "free trade" and "globalization," has proven itself a catastrophic failure, relative to the protectionist policies of the 1945-1958 interval. The U.S.A., the putatively leading economy of the world, is presently bankrupt, and under any continuation of the Bush Administration's present policies, hopelessly bankrupt. In the meantime, the movement toward cooperation within continental Eurasia, already represents the cornerstone for the kind of cooperation needed to rescue at least much of the world from the presently onrushing global financial, monetary, and trade crisis.
The Role of the U.S.A.
It would appear to many, that, since the present U.S. Bush Administration is hysterically opposed to any reforms along the lines I have outlined, the reforms I have indicated would be unrealistic ones. Behind that Administration's mask of mixed self-delusion and willful deception, the reality is quite different than many around the world have been misled to believe.
If you look at the widely circulated broadcast and other reports I have given since late November of this past year, the current Bush administration has followed the ill-fated course of policy-making I had warned it would, during the period prior to Jan. 20 of this current year. Already, as a result of Bush Administration blunders against which I had warned, the first phase of a political revolt against the new Administration has occurred, in the form of a Democratic Party regaining of control of the U.S. Senate.
Now, as the second quarter of 2001 has been a worse catastrophe than the first, and the third is on the way, the currently leading internal political issues of the U.S., energy, inflation, and health care, will be taken over by growing panic over the obvious onrush of a general economic depression.
With the presently accelerating collapse of the U.S. as the world's chief importer of last resort for Asia and other parts of the world as a whole, the world is near to that sense of global crisis, at which the need for a general, more or less planet-wide monetary and financial reform will be a leading theme of political discussion in many parts of the world, including the U.S.A. itself.
I shall not predict that the U.S.A. will be prepared to propose cooperation with the kinds of economic and related cooperation with which President Putin's efforts are associated. I merely say that under the likely changes in mood now developing within the U.S.A., the dumping of fanatics such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, in favor of U.S. cooperation with a Eurasian development perspective, ought to become U.S. policy. It should been seen as a policy well worth working to make a reality.
A growing number of influential U.S. circles, within the U.S. Democratic Party, and other circles, are now persuaded that my warnings and proposals are relevant. I am presently enjoying some significant political support for these efforts inside the U.S. and elsewhere. However, since, in politics, nothing good is ever guaranteed by fate, we must work all the harder for success.