FÊTE FOR PROFESSOR MENSHIKOV
LaRouche in Russia Is Featured Guest at Academy of Sciences
by Rachel Douglas
Russian-American relations—adversarial as they were during the Cold War and collaborative as they might become in the next 20 to 50 years if the outlook and policies of Franklin Roosevelt were revived in the United States—were the thread running throughout the Russian Academy of Science's celebration of the 80th birthday of Stanislav Mikhailovich Menshikov, the prominent Russian economist. Professor Menshikov introduced EIR founder Lyndon LaRouche as his personal guest at the events, held May 15 and 16 in Moscow. LaRouche's own contributions, and responses to them by Academicians, Russian economists, and specialists in international affairs, shaped an impassioned discussion of the Earth's next two to five decades.
During his short visit to Moscow on this occasion, LaRouche was in demand for a series of newspaper, Internet, and television interviews. In all these exchanges, LaRouche stressed the urgent need for such changes in the U.S. government, as would allow an American approach to Russia, China, and India with a proposal to immediately organize a new, development-oriented international monetary system. This "four-nation" policy for cooperation on transforming the world economy through the high-technology development of Eurasia, in particular, was put forward by LaRouche as a path away from the looming danger of spreading "permanent war," and into the development of our planet, for which the next generations thirst. LaRouche emphasized that Russia's own scientific heritage, from the time of Peter the Great in the early 18th Century, through scientists of the stature of Dmitri I. Mendeleyev and Academician Vladimir I. Vernadsky, will be an essential element of the success of this effort.
Looking to 2027
At a special gathering, held in Menshikov's honor on May 15 at the the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the retrospective on his long and varied career was also transformed into a very forward-looking deliberation, by the honoree himself. Menshikov keynoted the session with a 20-year economic and strategic forecast, looking at the world as if from the standpoint of his 100th birthday, in 2027.
Menshikov first introduced his foreign guests, starting with 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 and Zepp-LaRouche's Land-Bridge and New Bretton Woods proposals as crucial to a shift for the better.
More than 50% of Russia's current economic growth, Menshikov said, is derived from burning up the skilled labor and fixed capital, created during the Soviet period. Those are "one-time" factors, meaning that in order to grow, Russia cannot do without new productive investment. 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 largest economies in 2027 to be those of China, the U.S.A., 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 U.S.A., 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 Roosevelt, especially, recently, in the context of the commemorations of World War II. Thus, the United States must approach Russia, India, and China with a Rooseveltian agenda for economic cooperation, subsequently bringing in smaller nations. 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, a well-known mathematical economist, presided over the Academy of Sciences special session for Menshikov's jubilee. Among other speakers were Academician Ruslan Grinberg, and Academician Alexander Granberg, who worked with Menshikov in Novosibirsk. Last month, Granberg chaired the Moscow conference on "Megaprojects of Russia's East: A Eurasian-American Multimodal Transport Link Across the Bering Strait." Representatives of the U.S.A.-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.
Professor 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. 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), was also read.
Love of Country, and Optimism
Dr. Sergei Glazyev, an 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 always 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 of three just-published books, which were announced by Georgi Tsagolov, a former student of Menshikov and now his co-author. One of them is the English translation of Menshikov's The Anatomy of Russian Capitalism, which EIR News Service brought out in March. This author, who translated The Anatomy of Russian Capitalism, reported to the meeting that the book is currently being circulated to members of the U.S. Congress, who need to grasp what Menshikov can tell them about the complex economic processes in Russia during the last 15 years. The exchange of key publications between Russia and America brings to mind, 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 in the Academy session and the May 16 celebratory banquet, 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.
Next week EIR's report on LaRouche's visit to Moscow will continue, with transcripts of presentations made at Professor Menshikov's jubilee.