Issues Urgent Call for Action
The following resolution was passed at the conclusion of the international Schiller Institute conference in Rüsselsheim, Germany, Feb. 21-22, 2009.
The threat to the Opel automobile plant, right here at the site of our conference, is a dramatic illustration of the wrong direction that industrial policies have taken, especially during the past several decades of globalization. The shift from a producer to a consumer society has had drastic negative consequences, the worst being the scandalous neglect of the human right to development and progress. This right can be realized only if the main orientation of human creativity is towards finding the means by which underdevelopment and political suppression, famines, and epidemics—so far viewed as allegedly "chronic"—are replaced, once and for all, by a new economic and social order that knows no limits to the full realization of the potentials of mankind. Otherwise, mankind will be faced with the perspective of a prolonged new dark age.
There is an enormous need for vehicles for farming and harvesting, and for construction of vital infrastructure, in large parts of today's developing nations of the world. Mankind is posed with a great challenge to rapidly develop capacities for the production of millions of such vehicles, and the experience of the automobile sector can be used for this new perspective.
Also, the fuel of the future shall be hydrogen, mass-produced by high-temperature nuclear reactors, since the gasoline technology has reached its limits.
We are demanding an immediate start to the process of reconstruction of the African continent. With 203 million people suffering from malnutrition, 10% of whom are children under the age of 15(!), in the Sub-Sahara area alone, Africa is in desperate need of the machine-tool capacities that are being put in danger of disappearence right now.
We are of the conviction that there is no chance of a recovery of our civilization without solving this problem.
The future of the enormous machine-building capacities so far used for the production of cars for individual transport, should moreover be sought in the development of public means of efficient and affordable transport of passengers and goods. This can be achieved by revolutionary technologies like maglev transportation for use in densely populated urban areas, as well as over long distances between these areas. Development of such transportation systems will help to make so far uninhabited regions of the world habitable.
There is a future for today's car-making branches, other productive industries, and their qualified workforces with this approach. It is high time that such a new and reasonable mission be defined in the context of a new and just world economic order.
Let us take a first big step right here, from Rüsselsheim!