Go to home page

This article appears in the February 4, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

April 4, 1987


‘Never Accept the Idea of
Being a Poor Country’

[Print version of this article]

View full size
EIRNS/Catalina López
Lyndon LaRouche addresses an international conference, “Development Is the New Name for Peace,” sponsored by the Schiller Institute and Peru’s St. Augustine School, on the 20th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Populorum Progressio. Lima, Peru, April 3, 1987.

Lyndon and Helga LaRouche spent a week in Lima, Peru, in April 1987, a political visit that culminated with their participation in an international conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Populorum Progressio. The two-day conference was sponsored by the Schiller Institute and Peru’s St. Augustine School. On April 3, Helga Zepp-LaRouche delivered a keynote address to some 450 participants on “Christian Morality and the International Debt Question.” The next day, April 4, Lyndon LaRouche, then a Presidential pre-candidate in the U.S. elections, delivered the following remarks. This article is now being published in EIR for the first time.

It was forty-one years ago, in India, that I first committed myself to economic justice for what we today call the “developing nations.” Since I first became an international political figure, more than a dozen years ago, I have shared the hopes and defeats of my collaborators among the Non-Aligned nations and others, in our common struggle for this just cause. The most recent developments allow me to hope, that if I live, I shall see the victory at last, during the next year or two ahead.

There is no guarantee that we shall succeed, but the correlation of forces and circumstances favoring success today is vastly better than has existed at any time during the past forty years.

One of the key differences now, is that the world is sliding rapidly to the brink of the greatest international banking collapse in history. Some leading circles in the United States estimate that the international banking collapse will occur during the coming Summer. Whether it occurs then, or earlier, or later, depends upon political decisions which have not yet been made. Since we do not know in advance exactly what political decisions will be made, we can not predict exactly when the international financial collapse will occur. We know only, that it is very probable that the collapse will occur very soon.

Already, in more than thirty-one states inside the United States, the degree of collapse of farms, industries, and incomes has reached levels last seen during the middle of the 1930s depression. In Britain, it is much worse. On the continent of western Europe, if the present rate of collapse of farms and industries continues, those countries will soon reach the depression-levels already existing inside my own country.

The political importance of these facts, is that the combination of a new international banking collapse, with the deepening depression inside my country and western Europe, means that the economic and banking policies of the past twenty years are now becoming very unpopular inside these industrialized nations. Although many governments, as well as banking circles, are screaming that the IMF system must be saved at all costs, there is no way in which the IMF system could be saved for many more months. It is doomed to collapse sometime rather soon. When that collapse occurs, the majority of the population within most industrialized nations will be demanding a new system, with more or less as much passion as patriots of Central and South America are demanding today.

The Enemies of Economic Justice

The change to a just economic order will not come without a battle.

During the past dozen years, my friends and I have watched governments which fought for this change overthrown, and some heads of governments assassinated for no other reason than they shared the same views as I do.

There are bankers and their social-democratic errand-boys who are doing all that is politically possible to attempt to destroy me by one means or another, even in my own country. These bankers and their social-democratic errand-runners are the so-called “secret government” exposed by a recent major scandal in my country; on the record, they are killers.

These same enemies of mine are the enemies of every government and leading personality who works for a just economic order. These same enemies of mine, are presently massively deployed against Pope John Paul II, partly because they view Populorum Progressio and the recent document of Iustitia et Pax as consistent with the policies of the government of Peru and the recent actions by the government of Brazil. These powerful enemies of mine would destroy entire nations in the effort to maintain the old system. We must not underestimate the wickedness or power of those who oppose the needed changes.

During the past forty years, there have been several leading fights for international economic justice from within South America. The nearest we have come to success, until very recent developments, was under the leading influence of Argentina’s President Juan Domingo Perón, during the first decade after the last world war. The second, was a major new effort set into motion by the 1967 Populorum Progressio of Pope Paul VI. During the past dozen years, I have seen two great efforts for this cause from within Peru, the efforts during the period 1974–1975, and the movement for this same cause among the leading heirs of the memorable Haya de la Torre.

View full size
CC/Anuradha Dullewe Wijeyeratne
Within one year of the Non-Aligned Movement’s adoption of the Colombo Resolution in 1976, Mrs. Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (above), and Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (below), were toppled. One year after the Non-Aligned adopted a similar resolution in 1983 proposed by Mrs. Gandhi, she was assassinated.

Worldwide, during the past dozen years, we have seen two major initiatives from within the Non-Aligned Nations organization. The first, during the years 1975–1976, led to the resolution adopted at the August 1976 meeting of the Non-Aligned at Colombo, Sri Lanka. Within a year, several of the leading figures who sponsored the Colombo resolution were toppled from political power, including India’s Indira Gandhi and Sri Lanka’s Mrs. Bandaranaike. In 1983, under the leadership of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the Non-Aligned again adopted a similar resolution, leading to the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi by forces operating with the political support of that murderous collection of bankers and social-democrats exposed as “Project Democracy” during the continuing major scandal in the U.S. today.

Every developing nation which dares to raise the cause of just economic relations among states knows, that in fighting for justice for its own nation, it risks foreign-directed assassinations of its political leaders, and perpetual efforts to organize coups d’état against the government which has offended the combination of bankers and social-democrats typified by the name of “Project Democracy” in the U.S. official investigations of high-level corruption today.

A New Global Threat to Public Health

Now, there is a new danger. For probably fifteen years or longer, there has been the silent spread of the most deadly epidemic which mankind has ever faced. In English, this disease is called AIDS. This is not just a single type of virus; it is a rapidly evolving disease, which is appearing in new forms, and threatens to be transmitted in new ways. The best estimate is, that around the world, the number of persons infected with this disease doubles each eight to twelve months. Our best knowledge so far, is that the infection is fatal within as short a time as from a few years, to perhaps as late as fifteen years after infection.

View full size
Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche in India, April 4, 1982.

As a result of the addition of this new epidemic, to other conditions of famine and disease, at least one nation of black Africa is doomed to biological extinction within about ten years. Within about ten years from now, eighty or ninety percent of the population of that nation will either be dead, or fatally infected. At the present rate, within two decades or slightly longer, most of the population of black Africa, from the Sahara down to the Cape of Good Hope, could be in a similar condition. The entire developing sector is threatened in a similar way, unless necessary measures are taken very soon. North America and Western Europe are threatened with a similar fate, perhaps a decade later than developing nations.

At the present time, no government of the world could promise a vaccine or cure for this infection within less than about ten years. We might be fortunate; biological research might produce something earlier: but no responsible government would promise its people a cure within less than ten years. Unless necessary, and very costly public health measures are taken now, to slow the spread of the infection, a cure might come much too late to save most of the world’s population.

Under the present monetary order, many governments so far have opposed spending the resources needed for public health measures against the spread of this disease. Other powerful forces, such as the Malthusian population-control fanatics of the Club of Rome and World Bank, are opposing action against the disease, because they hope this disease will reduce the world’s population to one-fifth or less of the present level. Without the new resources, and changes in policy which only a just economic order among nations could bring about, the very existence of the human species is now a precarious one.

We must win the fight for such a just economic order, and we must win it now. Unless we unite in fighting for the change, we shall lose. Nonetheless, our possibility of winning the fight for economic justice today, is far better than at any time during the past forty years.

Earth’s Next Fifty Years

Let us assume, for a moment, that we are going to win the fight for a just international economic order sometime during the months ahead. What will we do with that victory? What kind of a world will we build to be enjoyed by the grandchildren of the younger people in this audience today? The best test of any policy a government might choose today, is to think very carefully about the effect of that policy two or three generations ahead. What sort of a world should we be fighting to build with the help of a just international economic order?

View full size
EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Lyndon LaRouche addresses the Krafft Ehricke Memorial Conference, sponsored by the Schiller Institute, Reston, Virginia, June 16, 1985. Helga Zepp-LaRouche is seated to his immediate right.

About two years ago, my wife invited me to speak at an international conference in memory of a dear friend of ours, the space scientist Krafft Ehricke. Krafft had spent most of his life on reaching and industrializing the Moon, and had seen the development of the Moon as an indispensable stepping-stone to the colonization of the planet Mars. I thought that the best way to honor Krafft was to present a policy for the colonization of Mars by some definite, practicable date. About a year later, a similar program for colonization of Mars was adopted by the U.S. Space Commission.

If we get through the present international financial crisis, the Mars-colonization project will be implemented by the United States, with the participation of other nations. If I am the President of the United States, I pledge to your President, that Peru, as well as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and other nations of this hemisphere, will be invited to participate. If that project is funded, it will determine the kinds of changes which will occur on every part of Earth for the next fifty and more years to come. It will determine the technological possibilities for Peru over the coming forty to fifty years. I am too old to live to see the colonization of Mars, but I am confident that President Alan García will.

I worked through, step by step, every step we must take, beginning during the 1980s, to establish a permanent colony on Mars. On that basis, I proposed: let us commit ourselves to begin that permanent colony during the year 2027 A.D. I chose that date, because it is a schedule I know we could achieve, on the basis of the scientific knowledge we have today.

On condition that we establish a just economic order during the months ahead of us, the children of some of the younger people in this room will land on Mars. Children and grandchildren of some of today’s poorest rural families in Peru will land on Mars. Some will stay on Mars as colonists. Others will return, probably to share their experiences with some of you in this room today. At the same time, the new technologies we develop, in each step of preparing for the colonization of Mars, will be used on Earth, and will transform production and life on Earth, to higher levels of income than even most people in the industrialized nations would dream possible today.

For example: With these technologies, Peru will be able to transform seawater into fresh water, cheaply, and to pump that fresh water inland cheaply, to transform some of your deserts into rich gardens, and new cities. About thirty years from now, perhaps sooner, every person in Peru could have about ten times more energy available to use than in the industrialized nations today. The income of every Peruvian will be several times that in the wealthiest industrialized nations of today.

I give you another example of what these technologies mean here on Earth. Ten or fifteen years from now, as a result of aircraft designs already being developed for the first step of Mars colonization, it will be possible to fly from Lima to Washington, D.C. in about two hours. Twenty-five years or less from now, the same journey could be made in about one hour.

Just to give you a few general ideas about this Mars project, I shall mention a few highlights of the project.

With today’s space-rocket technologies, it would take about two years to make an average round trip between Earth and Mars. In the year 2027 A.D., passengers will fly from Earth to Mars in an average of less than two days, about twice the time it takes to fly to Europe from Peru today. These fast spaceships will be driven by fusion power; each ship’s engines will generate much more power than the entire electrical grid-system of Peru today. In other words, a few such power-plants could meet the future national electrical power requirements of Peru at the time. Using more of that same kind of power, the population of Peru could increase to between four and five times that today, and with average living standards several times greater than the average in the United States or western Europe today.

Sometime later during the next century, long before the population of Peru reaches four times its present size, we shall have new sources of energy, much more powerful than fusion energy. Some of the astrophysical research we shall do in space near our Mars colony will help us to develop those more advanced forms of energy generation.

Of course, you must develop new universities and schools in Peru, so that young people are able to master these technologies, but with aid of such educational and research institutions you will be an important part of this progress.

View full size
NASA/Johnson Space Center
Lyndon LaRouche: “On condition that we establish a just economic order during the months ahead of us, the children of some of the younger people in this room will land on Mars.” Lima, Peru, April 3, 1987. Shown: an artist’s concept of humans on Mars.

A Bright Future Within Reach

To some of you, all this may seem beyond your dreams. I remind you of three facts. First, everything I have described is based on scientific work in progress today. Second, what I am describing is within the reach of the children and grandchildren of young people in this room today. Third, what you and I do today, will decide whether Peruvians forty years from now are actually able to enjoy these benefits.

Let me say the same thing in a slightly different way: this is merely two generations from now. Do you know your grandfather? Did you talk to him about his experiences and the work he did when he was young? I am nearly sixty-five years old. This is the year 1987. The oldest of my two grandfathers was born in 1862, 125 years ago. I knew personally a great-grandfather who was born about 150 years ago. I remember the changes in technology which have developed over the past 150 years. I have lived through sweeping changes in technology during my own lifetime.

When I remember my great-grandfather, forty years into the future does not seem far away to me. A person in Peru who is twenty years old today, will be sixty years old in 2027 A.D. By that time, that person should have experienced every one of the kinds of changes in technology I have described. What that person has done during each year of those forty short years, will determine how far Peru has progressed in reaching those goals. To reach those goals, we must begin now, guiding our work through each year with those goals as our objective.

This means, that we must think of increasing the physical output of a nation such as Peru by as much as ten percent or more each year over the next forty years. To sustain that growth, we must increase the productivity of employed labor by an average such as “not less than three to five percent a year.” This means a continuing process of technological progress. You will require cooperation from the United States, but it is my will that you should have that cooperation. Our own and other nations, working together to reach our goals forty years from now, must adopt the right policy today, and progress along that pathway year by year.

The best way to choose today’s policies, is to select the goals we know to be possible and desirable forty to fifty years from now, and shape today’s policies to guide us step by step to those objectives.

Never accept the idea that some countries are rich, and other countries are poor. Never accept the idea of being a poor country. Never think of yourself as a person from a poor country. I have asked you to turn your eyes up to the stars, to see, with pride and confidence, what your mind is capable of enabling you to accomplish. Your dreaming that dream of the stars, is your nation’s potential; your nation’s potential is its future reality. What it shall become in the future, is what your nation is becoming today.

With the right policy, under a just international economic order, within forty years you can be part of helping Peru to do anything that any other nation could do, including achieving about the same standard of living as the people of any other nation. Never accept the sight of human misery; human misery is unnecessary. Never accept the idea that the world is in danger of being overpopulated by anything except a surplus of diseases and Malthusians.

What I have described is a scientific reality. All that we require is a just international economic order during the months just ahead of us today: and then all that I have described will be the future of Peru forty years from now, a future you will personally help to build, with your labor of today and tomorrow. Let a true vision of what you and your children could build Peru to become, be your source of pride and confidence in our common effort to build a new and just order among nations.

Back to top    Go to home page