Entering the Economy
of the Noösphere
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. gave this speech to a Moscow conference on April 14, 2004 at the Vernadsky State Geological Museum.
Hopefully, the increasing severity of the present world economic and related crises, will compel us to institute those urgently needed changes in the present world order, in which cooperation among sovereign states converges upon the great principle of the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, rather than continuing the currently widespread Hobbesian notion that nation-states must be inherently in perpetual mortal conflict among themselves. In the case that that urgently needed improvement is made, our principal challenges will be of the different, nobler quality of scientific mission on which this present conference is focussed, here today.
It has been reported that there are more than six billions human individuals presently living on this planet. A large portion of that total is concentrated not far from the coasts of East, Southeast, and South Asia. If a dark age does not take over this planet, the development of the nations and populations of those regions of Asia will become one of the leading drivers which will compel revolutionary scientific progress on this planet as a whole. For reasons which are more or less apparent to those assembled here today, the growing needs of humanity could not be met without the kind of scientific revolution which we should associate with what the great V.I. Vernadsky defined as the Noösphere.
Under those conditions, the greatest portion of the development within Eurasia as a whole will involve large-scale long-term investments in basic economic infrastructure, such as generation and distribution of power, large-scale water management and resources development, revolutionary progress in mass transportation of people and freight, technologically innovative programs of development of new urban centers, and, not least, the development of new methods of management of the mineral resources upon which such increase of population and its development will depend. We must think of everything which we could make manageable as part of the basic economic infrastructure on which habitation and work in even remote regions may depend.
Let us consider this on two levels. First, quantitatively, and, second, qualitatively.
Germany's increased pursuit of technology-sharing with China, is a symptom of what must become a general pattern in western and central Europe's orientation to East, Southeast, and South Asia. This means the development of new quality of mass-transportation links from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This will develop not only through the territories of Russia and Kazakstan, but the development of the territories through which this transcontinental transport occurs.
For example, the first transcontinental railway system was developed in the United States. It was this U.S. example which inspired Mendeleyev to work for the trans-Siberian rail system. The feasibility of building and maintaining such a transport network depended upon fostering the economic activity of agriculture and industry, and new towns and cities along the routes of these transport lines. The benefits of such an arrangement are such, that the actually incurred physical cost to the nation of the transportation system is less than nothing. The production and trade made possible by the existence of the transport system pays for the essential real cost of maintaining such systems. Indeed, those rail lines could bear the costs of everything but that of carrying the burden of the predatory London and New York financiers, sometimes called our "robber barons," who looted them, and continue to loot them, even where they have ceased to exist, down to the present day.
What my associates and I have described as a Eurasian Land-Bridge, requires an integral development of the regions through which it passes for its own existence, and the Land-Bridge's function as a transport-route from Europe to the Pacific and Indian Ocean rim, could not be sustainable without such development. Such transport systems and associated settlements along their routes are also necessary for the development of primary materials in the regions through which these routes pass. The development of China and other countries of the Asia rim over the coming two generations, will confront us with a qualitatively new challenge: the management of the mineral and other resources of Central and North Asia. This will require a redefining of raw materials, their applications, and their replacement or replenishment. The development and extension of the Land-Bridge-system will be essential for this management of the mineral and related resources of the entire region of central and north Asia.
For reasons reflected by the papers already listed to be presented as part of this conference, Russia's science and experience, combined with its character as a Eurasian nation, afford it a special quality of competence in dealing with the challenge of development and raw materials management in those areas of central and north Asia which will be of increasing importance during the coming two generations. When we consider a reasonable estimate of the growing requirements, over one to two generations, of trade and two-way technology-transfers between Europe and the nations of the Asian rim, the development of a Land-Bridge system becomes not optional, but essential.
So far, my observations here have been predominantly in the nature of a quantitative forecast. However, the changes in ratio of human activity to the natural resources apparently available to support that activity, forces our attention to qualitative implications. When we consider even simply, the estimated quantities of certain minerals to the rate of growth of consumption of such resources, we must either conclude that the implied improvements in the growth of human condition are impossible to sustain, or, that we must bring about the qualities of scientific revolution which will overcome the superficially apparent constraints.
The common folly of most cultures up to now, has been that, apart from a relatively few exceptional individuals among us, our social systems operate on the basis of more or less shared belief in certain axiomatic assumptions, assumptions which function more or less as the definitions, axioms, and postulates of a Euclidean geometry. Some of the assumptions, are true; some are, in fact, absurd; other principles of the universe remain unknown to us, and are therefore ignored in our practice. On this account, I have often compared prevalent systems of belief, such as those in my own nation, as creating a "fishbowl" culture. The minds of the people swim within the boundaries defined by accepted assumptions, in such a way that a larger reality periodically takes that fishbowl and dumps its contents, or threatens to dump them into an historical sewer-system, such as a general economic depression, or a foolish and ruinous war which might have been avoided.
Often, for example, a nation, or group of nations no sooner recovers from an economic depression, than such nations return to the same assumptions which had caused the previous economic disaster. So, after the United States, under President Franklin Roosevelt's leadership, had defeated the Depression and Hitler was nearly finished, in Summer 1944, the right wing in the U.S. began to return to the same kinds of policies which had led it, and other nations, into the crises of depression and fascism during 1928-1933.
Until now, generally, peoples and their governments have functioned largely on the basis of something like a "fishbowl" ideology. They act on the basis of agreement with some set of currently accepted assumptions, such as the assumptions that define a "fishbowl." They tend to react so in such a way, that, at a certain critical time, either the principled source of danger is ignored, or a great principled opportunity for overcoming a problem is ignored. When we think, today, of the practical implications of the present trends of change in Asia over the coming two generations, we should recognize that we can no longer return to business as usual, to the same old "fishbowl" which had defined conventions of policy-shaping in early generations. We are entering a new era of mankind, an era which must grasp more fully, more practically, the implications of V.I. Vernadsky's development of the notion of the Noösphere.
We, as a community of principle among sovereign nation-state republics, must adjust our thinking to the potential crises confronting us, should we fail to consider the practical policy implications of the requirements of a growing, developing population, such as those of the coming two generations in Asia. We must break free our thinking in terms of fixed, "fishbowl"-like boundaries.
This applies to the needed development of those kinds of systems of management of mineral resources which anticipate the requirements of a growing and developing Eurasian population, an area in which Russia's science has a predetermined historical qualification. We must think in terms of managing the Solar system, to bring it ultimately into the reign of our Noösphere.