LaRouches Keynote Dubna Conference
in Russia on Science, Development
by Sergei Dyshlevsky
MOSCOW, Dec. 24—Video-recorded remarks by American economist Lyndon LaRouche and a strategic presentation by Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche keynoted the opening plenary session of the IV International Scientific Conference on Fundamental and Applied Problems of Sustained Development in the System Nature-Society-Man: Science, Engineering, and Education, held Dec. 22 at the Dubna International University of Nature, Society, and Man, in the Moscow Region. The annual event is organized by Professors Boris Bolshakov and Oleg Kuznetsov, associates of the late Dr. Pobisk Kuznetsov, a Russian visionary, organizer of industry, and friend of LaRouche. Both videos were greeted with applause, and several of the speakers went on to mention LaRouche as a leading thinker of our time, reflecting the widespread recognition in Russia of his record.
This year's conference was attended by over 100 scholars and students, with speakers from Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Greetings from Academician Sergei Glazyev, in his capacity as head of the Russian Academy of Sciences Scientific Council on Complex Problems of Eurasian Economic Integration, Competitiveness, and Sustained Development, were read by his colleague on the Council, Prof. Yevgeni Naumov, at the opening.
Kuznetsov, Bolshakov, Prof. Yuri Yakovets, and Prof. P.G. Nikitenko from Belarus, all touched on the current grave strategic crisis in the world. Kuznetsov, describing the world as moving along a razor's edge, said that Russia was not alone, in its economic crisis, but that such a crisis afflicts the world as a whole. He called for shifting from "the consumption society," to "a society of creating."
Yakovets, an economist, likewise described the current historical moment as "a civilizational watershed." He (rather politely) characterized the G7 countries as being "in counterphase" to the nations of Asia. Russia, he said, continues to have an ambiguous situation: On the one hand, it has tremendous scientific potential, which has begun to be reactivated following the setbacks on the immediate post-Soviet period in the 1990s. At the same time, the speaker warned, a powerful "herd of neoliberals" persists in promoting the growth of a money-grubbing middleman layer in the economy. In his view, outside forces, disappointed in their failure so far to organize a "color revolution" in Russia, want to fan discontent by driving the Russian standard of living downwards. In this context, he charged that Russia's major banks, with their currency dealings, are operating against the national interest.
Declaring that "the age of superpowers has passed," Prof. Yakovets called for promoting scientific ties between Russia and non-Western countries, hailing efforts to establish an Academy of Science and Education of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).
'Breakthrough Technologies' Needed
Prof. Bolshakov took up the Dubna conferences' traditional theme of "sustainable development," for which the Russian term means "stable" or "sustained" development. He drew out the difference, with its usage in the West, saying that the "Russian school of sustained development" differs from how "sustainable" development is treated in the West. "The Russian school is against the theory of 'heat death,' " said Bolshakov, adding that V.I. Vernadsky's noösphere conception should be the basis for unifying human thinking about development and overcoming the notions of a "green economy" or "zero growth."
"All countries need breakthrough technologies," Bolshakov insisted, "but for Russia, breakthrough technologies are a matter of life and death for the Russian state and Russian civilization." He called for "eliminating speculative capital." Bolshakov's proposal to replace GDP in economics by an "index of happiness" was covered in the Russian media.
There were three workshops after the plenary, one of them dedicated to the ideas of the late Pobisk Kuznetsov, the 90th anniversary of whose birth was marked earlier this year. A second session took up the legacy of the philosopher Evald Ilyenkov, likewise born in 1924, who died in 1979. In the late 1970s, the LaRouche movement's newspaper New Solidarity, in an article by Susan Welsh, reported on a then-revolutionary article by Ilyenkov, in the official journal Kommunist, about the work of Soviet psychologist Boris Meshcheryakov in educating deaf-blind children; it was startling for its departure from the precepts of materialism, delving into concept-formation in the absence of sense-certainty. A.V. Suvorov, who 40 years ago was one of the students educated by Meshcheryakov, was present at the Dubna conference and took part in this round table.
The third workshop, designed especially for young people, was on the Russian universal genius Dmitri Mendeleyev, the 180th anniversary of whose birth is this year. Its theme was planning for mankind's future, through developing new technologies.
Participants from Sevastopol, in Crimea, attending for the first time, described efforts to revitalize science on the peninsula. Other participants mentioned the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine as a disaster for science, lamenting that ties with the Ukrainian scientific community have been thoroughly disrupted. Prof. Kuznetsov also emphasized that scientific ties with colleagues in the USA and Europe must not be broken, despite the current sanctions imposed against Russia.
Translated from Russian by EIR.