Russian Academy of Sciences Celebrates 80th Birthday of Prof. Stanislav Menshikov; LaRouche Is Featured Guest at Impassioned Discussion of Earth's Next 20-50 Years
MOSCOW, May 16, 2007 (EIRNS)—Two days of celebration of the 80th birthday of the prominent Russian economist Stanislav Mikhailovich Menshikov concluded here this evening with a party in his honor. The toasts offered tonight continued a wide-ranging discussion by an array of Russia's leading Academicians, other economists, and specialists in international affairs, which began yesterday during a special session held in Menshikov's honor at the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The retrospective on Professor Menshikov's long and varied scientific career was transformed into a very forward-looking deliberation by the honoree himself, who keynoted the May 15 session. Menshikov presented a 20-year economic and strategic forecast, looking at the world as if from the standpoint of his 100th birthday, in 2027.
Prof. Menshikov first introduced to the Academy of Sciences audience his foreign guests for the occasion, starting with the American economist Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute. He then developed alternative scenarios for Russia up to 2027, returning at the end of his lecture to LaRouche's and Zepp-LaRouche's Land-Bridge and New Bretton Woods proposals as crucial to a shift for the better.
Menshikov said that more than 50% of Russia's current economic growth is derived from burning up the skilled labor and fixed capital, created during the Soviet period. Those are "one-time" factors, meaning that Russia cannot do without new productive investment, in order to grow. President Putin took note of this in his recent speeches, Menshikov said, by talking about the need for an industrial policy. So far, Russian oligarchical capitalists do not want to make productive industrial investments, despite exhortations from Putin, but Menshikov pointed to the prospects for investment in infrastructure opening the way to a better policy. If one might expect the world's biggest economies in 2027 to be those of China, the USA, India, Japan, and Russia, Menshikov said, clearly cooperation among them is essential. In particular, he said that the LaRouche Land-Bridge program can restructure the economies of all Eurasia. This involves long-term projects, and thus the question of financing is a serious one, which can be solved through LaRouche's New Bretton Woods idea, Menshikov said. If Russia can rely on the China-India-Russia Eurasian triangle, but not forget cooperation with the industrialized nations, a "conflict-free situation" for development may be created, as against the stagnation and downturn that would otherwise occur.
Lyndon LaRouche addressed the meeting immediately after Menshikov. He posed the question: What do we give to the future? In a situation where practically every country in Europe to the west of Belarus and Russia is close to being ungovernable and a "failed state," LaRouche said, the need is to change the world agenda. While politicians may be corrupt or incompetent, a quality of clearer thinking is available, for example, in the USA, from among senior professionals in and around the institutions of government.
What happens in the next 20 years can be changed, LaRouche said, but the question is who will do it. Who will not only forecast reality, but change it? LaRouche noted that President Putin has repeatedly cited the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, especially, recently, in the context of the commemorations of World War II. Thus, the United States must approach Russia, India, and China, with smaller nations to be brought in subsequently, with a Rooseveltian agenda for economic cooperation. Russia's scientific culture will be of great importance, LaRouche concluded, in furthering a dialogue among senior figures from those four countries, which will establish a sense of the reality of the possibilities for large-scale economic recovery and development.
Academician Valeri Makarov, the well-known mathematical economist, chaired Professor Menshikov's jubilee session at the Academy of Sciences. Among other speakers were Academician Ruslan Grinberg, and Academician Alexander Granberg, who worked with Stanislav Menshikov in Novosibirsk, and who, last month, chaired the Moscow conference on Megaprojects of Russia's East: A Eurasian-American Multimodal Transport Link Across the Bering Strait. Representatives of the USA-Canada Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and of the Higher School of Economics also spoke.
The well-known former Pravda journalist Georgi Mirsky described Menshikov as a flying creature, who worked all over the world, and always shared his talent. "You could never catch up with Menshikov," he said.
Prof. Menshikov's wife, the economist Larissa Klimenko-Menshikova, as well as his daughters and other family members, were with him throughout the celebrations.
Prof. Karel van Wolferen of the University of Amsterdam read greetings from University of Texas at Austin Professor James Galbraith, whose father, John Kenneth Galbraith, had a long and unique collaboration with Menshikov. Van Wolferen also made remarks of his own, while Eitna van Wolferen read a message from another long-time friend and associate of Menshikov, Prof. Angus Maddison of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and the University of Brisbane (Australia).
Dr. Sergei Glazyev, the economist who is a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, arrived at the meeting directly from business at the State Duma, of which he is a member. Glazyev took up the difficulties of getting people to think (the Russian word for the parliament, "duma," comes from the word for thinking) the way Stanislav Menshikov always has gotten people to think. He congratulated Menshikov on the great accomplishments of his life to date, which he said Menshikov had done, "with love for his country, and the confidence to live according to his own mind." Unlike some younger people who today are stuck in virtual reality, Glazyev said, Menshikov has already been reality-oriented, and, together with his willingness to look reality in the eye, he has provided in Russia and elsewhere a tremendous charge of optimism.
The celebratory session at the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences concluded with the presentation by Georgi Tsagolov, a former student of Menshikov and now his co-author, of three just-published books. One of them is the English translation of Menshikov's The Anatomy of Russian Capitalism, which EIR News Service brought out in March. Its translator, Rachel Douglas, reported to the meeting that the book is currently being circulated to members of Congress, who need to grasp what Menshikov can tell them about the complex economic processes in Russia during the last 15 years. She noted that 2007 also marks the 200th anniversary of Russian-American diplomatic relations, and of the publication in Russian of Alexander Hamilton's Report on Manufactures.
Menshikov's memoirs, just published in Russian under the title About Our Time and About Myself, were hailed by numerous participants for providing extraordinary insights into the history of the past 65 years. The third just-published volume is a survey, by Menshikov and Tsagolov, of some cases of Russian businesses that have actually contributed to development of the Russian economy, unlike the carpetbagging described in The Anatomy of Russian Capitalism.