This transcript appears in the June 15, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
PANEL I DISCUSSION
A New Paradigm of Global Relations, Ending Geopolitics—The Four Powers
The following is an edited transcript of the Panel 1 Question and Answer session at the Schiller Institute conference, “Dona Nobis Pacem—Grant Us Peace, Through Economic Development,” convened in New York City on Saturday, June 9, 2018.
Dennis Speed: We’re now open for discussion and questions.
Elliot Greenspan: As Helga emphasized in her remarks, you’ve got the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) event ongoing this weekend; you’ve got the North Korea-U.S. summit in three days; then there’s the discussion of the possibility of a U.S.-Russia summit perhaps as early as July, and so on. I would like to ask Helga and the representative of Russia, both, if you look forward over the next period, what your thoughts are about the prospects, the kind of discussion coming out of this weekend, the kind of discussion which could be taken up between President Trump and President Putin, the subject areas, the potential to transform the very significant prospects which are ongoing, but to build on that?
Possibilities for Transformation
Dmitry Polyanskiy: I wouldn’t overestimate the importance of the top political level. Of course, it’s important if two leaders come together and establish terms on certain issues, but I would think more important is the dialogue among ordinary people, among civil society. The problem I see—I’m here in America only four months—is I see that a lot of people really don’t understand what’s happening in Russia, and have very clear anti-Russian sentiments that are being driven by some pieces of information that I really don’t understand. Like everybody’s asking me questions in the street, when they know that I’m Russian,—very simple people ask me, “Why did you meddle in our elections?” I say, “How do you know?” They say, “They say that you’re meddling.” “OK, I will say that I’m from the Moon—will you believe me?” That’s the level of expertise, really! [laughter]
It’s more important to rebuild trust between our two peoples. In the beginning of the 1990s, we Russians were initially very much welcoming the American presence in our country. We were really hoping that Americans would bring us economic expertise, good advice, money, and the world would be prosperous and there would be no more conflicts.
We were a bit naive. Since then, we’ve lost a lot of trust in your country, frankly speaking. We feel that there is a very clear hidden agenda behind almost everything you are doing. And even if our Presidents come together, even if there is some kind of détente and—I don’t know—love, between our countries, I think that we shouldn’t be too optimistic.
We need to re-establish the trust and reestablish the desire of the common people to see each other in a positive light and to do away with all these stereotypes that we have. We need more Russians to come to America, and more Americans to come to Russia, to bring our people together, to bring young people together, to understand that we are really not enemies but friends, and we can do a lot together.
So I would accent ordinary people meeting ordinary people, rather than some artificial summits and benchmarks—they come and go, but our countries remain. My countrymen are very friendly, very optimistic, we don’t bear a grudge against the United States. There’s a personal grudge against some politicians. We understand that you’re a big country and we really need to have some time to understand what’s happening and how to deal with it. We are a patient people; we’re not pressing you.
Thank you. [applause]
The Role of Leadership in World History
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I obviously believe in the value of peoples-to-peoples communication, getting to know each other’s culture, the beauty of each other’s culture. Normally you find that ordinary people are warm-hearted. Most people, simple people, tend to be much better than the official institutions—at least in the West I can say that.
However, I think we are in a historical period which is really dramatically changing. In my view, we are experiencing the collapse of an era. I have several times made the point that the kind of change we are experiencing right now is as big, if not bigger, than the change from the Middle Ages to modern times. If you look at the axioms characteristic for the Middle Ages, in Europe, you had scholasticism, you had the Peripatetics, the neo-Aristotelians, you had witch-belief. And then came the Italian Renaissance and because of the work of Nicholas of Cusa—Nikolaus Cusansky—and the re-introduction of Plato, who was brought by the Orthodox delegation coming to the Council of Florence, you had a Renaissance of Platonism. All of sudden, you had a completely new image of man, a modern image of the individual, and the role of the state as being responsible for the common good, which did not exist before, and out of that developed modern science and Classical art as we know it.
That was a paradigm shift. We are experiencing right now a similar paradigm shift. In the past you had empires, you had colonialism. The consequences of colonialism are with us, still, to the present day. Africa still in large part suffers from that. It’s the same in many other developing countries—the result of hundreds of years of colonialism, and for that matter, the IMF conditionalities, which did not allow for any development.
But then came the New Silk Road idea of Xi Jinping. The reason why it’s so extremely attractive and gaining so much support, is because it addresses exactly the fundamental needs of Africa and Latin America, and even parts of Europe. What you see right now, in my view, is the emergence of New Paradigm about man, about how nations can work together, a new model of great-power relationships, which is being implemented right now in a perfect way between Russia and China, and which Xi Jinping has also offered to the United States. There is a much bigger emphasis on innovation, on the excellence of education. We are witnessing right now a transformation to what I would call the Adulthood of Mankind.
If we can overcome the remaining big problems which are big—for example, the West is still threatened with a danger of a financial collapse; the Deutsche Bank situation; the Italian banking system is not the only one which is bankrupt, many banks are actually bankrupt. Even discounting the derivatives, the situation is one of a total lack of liquidity. So that is a big challenge, because if you have an uncontrolled collapse of the financial system, everything will be thrown into chaos.
Transformation Will Not Be Easy
I’m not saying that the present transformation is going to be easy, but I think that in addition to civil society exchanges, you do need leadership from the top. We have the very good fortune of having outstanding leaders right now. President Xi Jinping is an absolutely outstanding personality, deeply Confucian, educated; President Putin is also an absolutely incredible strategist who continues to outwit those evil forces that have worked to reduce Russia’s status after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to that of a third world, raw-materials producer. President Putin has been able to reverse that, not totally yet, but he’s on an absolutely remarkable path of doing that. Hopefully we will have some new important leaders emerging. Leadership in these times is very important.
We proposed, very early on, a summit between Trump and Putin. The entire Russiagate operation was designed—by piling it on that he was in the White House only because of Putin, and Russian meddling—to prevent Trump from fulfilling his election promise to improve the relationship between the United States with Russia. This was all designed to box him in. He wasn’t able to meet Putin until the G20 in Hamburg last year; and was forced to meet Putin only on the sidelines of some other summit. But having an in-depth discussion, Putin and Trump being able to define new conceptions for the world, is very important, in my view.
There are many conceptions which need to be discussed. For example, the Belt and Road Initiative being integrated with the Eurasian Economic Union, gives the concept for a Eurasian integration from Vladivostok to Lisbon. I think this is something which should be placed on the agenda. We have campaigned to get the United States on board with a Four Power Agreement, so it’s not a contradiction to a Eurasian conception.
A new international security architecture, based on such economic cooperation, is very urgent. There is, as both leaders have said many times, the danger of a new arms race, which is really a terrible waste and also very dangerous. So the question of a new international security architecture would be also such a subject.
I think it’s very important to do both. People need to meet and know other people, to love the other culture, to know it. But I think leadership is also urgently required in a historical moment like this. [applause]
How Does the New Paradigm Differ
From the Old?
Question: I hope that Schiller Institute can translate the conference Invitation into Chinese, because it’s a new area for me. I’m a linguist and teach Chinese at Howard University.
My question to Helga is, what’s a “New Paradigm”? Can you identify it and explain what the difference is between the New Paradigm and the old paradigm?
And for Dmitry, my question is, what’s the strategic partnership of Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union, and difference with the G8? And, can you identify and explain the difference? Thank you.
Zepp-LaRouche: The old paradigm is what I would associate with the present, dominant axiomatic belief-structure of the West, which unfortunately is characterized by geopolitics, the idea that Europe must unite to be able to play their role against other great powers, such as China, Russia, and now, with Trump as President, even against the United States—especially against the United States. The old paradigm is also neo-liberalism in economics; it’s the idea of a neo-liberal moral value system. It’s an image of man which is associated with the idea that man is either only a more advanced animal—which you hear a lot—or that there is no way to establish a knowable truth, that every opinion is equally good. In the cultural realm, the old paradigm really has become the idea that “everything goes”: There is no perversity, no violence, no ugliness which is not allowed. Everyone, according to the old paradigm, can insist on their personal right to be pornographic, to be violent: If it’s what want someone wants, it is okay.
All of this is symptomatic of an absolutely decaying culture, of a system in its death agony. For example, a year and a half ago, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov gave a press conference in which he said the values that the West are trying to export to our country are no longer the values which were passed down from generation to generation, but these are what he called “post-Christian values,” exactly the idea that “everything goes.” That’s really the problem: You have a system in which it’s the survival of the fittest. It’s an inhuman image of man. The fact that we have this drug epidemic in the United States, that we have an increasing suicide rate, that we have such violence in the schools: These are all symptoms of this old paradigm.
I absolutely contrast that with the New Paradigm, which defines humanity from the standpoint of the future. How do we want mankind to be in a hundred years from now, or even in a thousand years from now? Do we still want to have wars? Or, don’t you think that the kind of international cooperation which we see right now in space cooperation should be the model for how we organize relations among people on the planet Earth?
Look to the Paradigm of Space Cooperation
German astronaut Alexander Gerst just went up to the International Space Station together with an American female astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut. When you listen to these astronauts you get a feeling—their collaboration, working on exploration, their efforts to better understand the universe. There are two trillion galaxies out there! Can you imagine two trillion galaxies? And what do we know about them? Absolutely little. Everything we explore in space very much leads us to realize that we are the only species known so far—for sure the only species on Earth—that can travel into space. Why? Because we are the only creative species.
The New Paradigm is basically the idea that, that which combines individuals and nations is our common identity as creative beings, and the future kind of healthy cooperation to be expected among people. I have the image of every child having access to universal education, having no material need. Not having excessive riches, but enough so that every child can study universal history, every child can study other languages and other cultures, can have a science education and a Classical art education. That people will have quite different wishes and aspirations.
If you talk to excellent scientists, they never are greedy, they never want to accumulate enormous stock portfolios; they want to do their science. If you talk to good artists, do they want to become millionaires? No! They want to be excellent and truth-seeking in their art, and that’s what gives them a fulfilling life.
So the New Paradigm is human beings become really human by developing their creativity and relating to each other on the basis of the other person’s creativity, creating something good for all of mankind out of it. [applause]
The Role of Eurasia
Polyanskiy: I will try to be short in answering your question because it’s very easy: We shouldn’t compare the G8 with the Eurasian Economic Union, because these two are absolutely different. The G8 is a kind of discussion club: It’s a forum of eight—now seven—heads of state plus some ministers that come together. They don’t have a charter. They don’t have any treaties among them. It’s just a temporary construction.
We value the G20 very much because it comprises other states which are very important, like China, like India, like Indonesia, like Russia, so it would be very difficult to formulate any economic agenda in the world without the participation of these states. I think everybody understands this.
As for the Eurasian Economic Union, it’s the organization of economic integration. We have a treaty; we ceded parts of national sovereignty at this supranational level. So it can be compared, more or less, with the European Union. You have the Eurasian Economic Commission, which has certain prerogatives to work in certain spheres on behalf of our five states. And we are trying to enlarge this supranational responsibility.
So this is our response to the trend of globalization. We believe in integration, we believe in interaction between different countries and peoples, and our response to it was the Eurasian economic project and the Eurasian Economic Union. So, it is an open project which promotes the idea of integration of integrations, to bring to one table, the European Union; so it’s kind of an expansionist and integrationist project; and the G8 is like a closed club—I don’t know, something like that.
Diane Sare: I’m Diane Sare, one of the directors of the Schiller Institute Chorus. I want to say a couple of things. First, on the perception of the American public, when you have people such as [former Director of the CIA] John Brennan, who testified before Congress saying, “I don’t do evidence,” who then becomes an anchor person at NBC [laughter], that does call into question the legitimacy of what’s in the U.S. news media.
Music and Putin’s Visit to Austria
I want to ask you some questions about Putin’s visit to Austria. It appears he was very warmly received. I was particularly happy about his short meeting with the very young musician and composer Alma Deutscher. I also understand there were street festivals celebrating the musical culture of Austria and Russia. You may be able to confirm if they declared 2018 to be the Year of Music, something that I heard, which is very optimistic.
As you may know, a year and a half ago, on our Christmas Day, we received the horrible news of the plane crash carrying the Alexandrov Ensemble. For many of us, particularly those of us involved in music, it was like a punch in the stomach; it was a horrible loss. Last year and this year, we organized a memorial at the Tear-Drop Monument in New Jersey. Many Americans actually are very concerned that there be peaceful relations between our countries, and also have more knowledge [of each other]. It turned out that the father or uncle of the chaplain who spoke at that memorial service had been the translator at the famous meeting at the Elbe in World War II.
But I thought you might have something to say about this question of music—if it is the Year of Music. Also, I wanted to personally extend to you—and I don’t wish to impose—but anyone you wish to send, we will give you tickets to our concert tomorrow at 4:00 o’clock. I’d love to see you or any representatives there. We’ll give you good seats. [laughter]
Polyanskiy: Thank you very much for these kind words and I’m really very grateful to you and your colleagues for what you’re doing in the memory of the Alexandrov Choir. I can tell you that the choir, of course in a different composition, has now reemerged. There will be a number of concerts of this new choir in the coming days in Moscow and St. Petersburg. We hope it will become as popular and as famous as the previous crew who, unfortunately, lost their lives.
Music and Culture Are Universal
Answering your question: Music and culture are universal values. They don’t need translation, everybody understands them. We have a lot of students in Moscow in specialized institutions—the Conservatorium and academies of music and fine arts—and they don’t need interpreters, they don’t need translators, they understand very well what people want to say. Of course this is a universal tool, it will remain so regardless of the political conjuncture, regardless of all the problems we may face, because we will still listen to the music, and people will still ask themselves the questions, “What was the country, what was the situation, that really helped this piece of music to be born?” And if it’s attributed to Russia, of course, people will understand that Russia is not some country that you really can sideline somewhere on the sidewalk and ignore.
The Rich Classical Music Culture of Moscow
We have an enormous potential, an enormous cultural life. I really miss a lot Moscow culture life here. The cultural life is very rich here in New York, of course; it’s one of the centers of cultural life. But still, in Moscow, cultural life is a bit different. We placed a greater emphasis on theaters, on music; we have several platforms for Classical music, and I’m really looking forward to going back on my vacation and seeing my friends there. I have a lot of friends among artists, among performers. I encourage very much the cultural exchanges with any country—with the United States, with Europe.
This brings me to your other question, Putin’s visit to Austria. Austria is a very particular country. First of all, the Austrians are very stubborn. They really are neutral and it’s difficult to prove to them your point of view, if you don’t have enough reason. That was always so. I served in Austria for several months in our bilateral embassy, so I like that country very much. They are very grateful to Russia, to Soviet Union. They still remember that Soviet Union liberated them from Nazism. We actually are one of the guarantors of the Austrian republic, which is a legal status. And sometimes we act as guarantors, still now. There are four states involved—this is a post World War II construction, so we play a certain role in Austrian politics.
That’s why it’s not very easy to bring into Austrian minds the idea that Russia should be ostracized and isolated and ignored—they resist this idea, traditionally. That’s why we maintained dialogue with this country for many, many years, and nothing serious has changed, even in the context of the sanctions and all these problems that we are having with many countries of the world. Many of them are partners with Austria, but that doesn’t change very much.
That’s why it’s very symbolic that our President visited Austria after his reelection right now. This is a gesture to the people there who came to power and who are very friendly, who are very eager to cooperate. It’s not that we are trying to use them to create certain instability in Europe, to break the ranks among the European Union. It’s up to them to decide what they are doing; but there are more and more voices saying that the sanctions against Russia are detrimental to the European Union.
It’s not a very big problem for the United States, because our two countries’ economic cooperation is very symbolic on many issues. But when it comes to Europe, people really are losing a lot because of the sanctions: They have lost work places, they have lost contracts. Imagine how difficult it will be now for producers of agricultural products to try to reenter the Russian market, when we’ve gotten used to our own production. Why do we need something that’s more expensive, when the quality is the same and the price is much less? So they have already lost this market. Car producers also have difficulties. Those who took political decisions to leave Russia, regret it now. But well, politics comes above economics here, and this is not right.
The Austrians managed to keep a balance and always remain a bridge between Russia and the European Union. Since Soviet times, as you may know, Austria was the first sort of hub for Soviet gas coming into Europe, and this is also very symbolic.
Cultural Exchange and the Role of Austria
That’s why it’s not a coincidence. We have programs of cultural exchanges and years of culture, not only with Austria but with many countries. Even with such countries as United Kingdom, regardless of how difficult our political relations might be, people still want to listen to Russian music, to see Russian ballet, and to visit Russia. There are a lot of English fans who are coming to visit World Cup these days, although there were different terrible stories about Russians beating English fans, bears walking in the streets, and I don’t know [laughter]. All this is coming back.
I think people here and people in Europe are much wiser sometimes than politicians; they know what they want, and it’s very difficult to spoil with this political, I would say, foam which is on the top, to spoil the deep-rooted feelings and mutual interests between them, between Russians and Europeans, and Americans. And I hope this will prevail in the nearest future.
Question: My question is for you, Mr. Polyanskiy. The Schiller Institute and the LaRouche movement more generally have been involved for decades in trying to communicate to the Americans the role of the British in determining U.S. policy as well as U.S. public opinion. A few months ago, Maria Zakharova outlined some of the really horrific history of the British Empire. And now, with the ongoing attacks against our elected President, we are beginning to see evidence surfacing of the role of British intelligence in trying to undermine the decision of the American voters in electing President Trump.
My question is whether you think among the Russian people or among the Russian institutions, there is an understanding of the distinction between the United States and the British poisoning of U.S. policy and public opinion?
Polyanskiy: That’s a very philosophic question, I would say. I didn’t analyze this as deeply as you, the role of British intelligence and Britain in influencing public opinion. I know that United Kingdom and United States are very close—you speak one language, more or less, so you really have the same values, and you have no constraints in travelling. That’s why it’s understandable that there is a mutual, I would say, influence, between London and Washington, and this is very good.
As for the intelligence, well, United Kingdom is not the only country that possesses intelligence in the world. There are other countries, which can have counterintelligence, and this is the rule of the game. Every action causes certain reaction to this action, so the stronger they try to do something bad, the stronger will be the response, everywhere, and I’m absolutely sure that in this country, people will understand that they are being manipulated at some point, and they will make their conclusions themselves. We’re not imposing our opinion anywhere. But we like the things about James Bond, really. [laughter] Let’s keep the image of efficient British intelligence based on these films, OK? [applause]
Youth and an Alliance Against War
Question: My question is very simple, for Mr. Polyanskiy: What do you think of the idea of young people advocating for the alliance against war?
Polyanskiy: That’s a good instinct, but why only young people? I think everybody wants to live. I think young people maybe don’t have a lot of institutional memory about what has happened in previous years, and this is an asset. They do not prejudge the situation, from the stereotypes that sometimes we have and our elder colleagues do have.
Youth is the key to everything. We do everything for our children, for our grandchildren. And of course, their interests should prevail, and they shouldn’t be ignored. Take this country, the demographic situation is one way; in Russia, it is another, but close to that of this country. But if you take Africa, for example, you will see that the number of very young people, for example ages 14, 15, are close to 50% or even more, which is a big, big challenge, and it’s a question of education that should be really put on the agenda. Because, well, it’s our responsibility, it’s the key to everything—education and good atmosphere, good environment.
It’s our task to give the conditions and basis for these young people to get the understanding of life, to get ideals that would not be harmful to the world, that would promote cooperation and friendship, that would exclude hate speech—not to zombie them, but to give them an open mind. If there are more and more open-minded people, not biased, not limited by any ideological framework, that would be beneficial to all of us. Thank you.
Speed: We’re at the conclusion of our first session, and I wonder, Helga, if you want to respond to either of the last exchanges, or just want to give a summary statement at this point?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think that the historical moment is totally exciting. There are periods where things are sort of stable, normal, decades go by when nothing much changes, and nothing much can be done, because history is in a calmer mode.
A Moment of Epochal Change
This is clearly not the case of our present time. We are today seeing changes that are so dramatic. Almost every day you have some breaking development, where, as I said in my presentation, new strategic alignments are occurring, new conceptions are being put forward. And I think it’s a very exciting moment to be alive. You cannot always change certain objective conditions because they’re too big or too gigantic to be influenced, but a time of such epochal transformation is also the best time when ideas can matter.
I can only say that the ideas of my husband Lyndon LaRouche, who has been working on these kinds of conceptions of a just new world economic order for more than half a century (as a matter of fact, probably more like 75 years, or even longer than that) but now these conceptions are influential—what Jason Ross discussed in his presentation—LaRouche’s work in terms of having this idea that the underdevelopment of the developing sector must be overcome; the many, many scientific conceptions he revived, in terms of the 2,500 years of European civilization. A lot of these things are now coming into being, because some powerful countries are working in this direction and realizing them.
So, the power of ideas is absolutely crucial, and we are very fortunate. I’m not diminishing the dangers which are still there. The possibility of a big war is not by far eliminated. But I want everyone to have an optimistic sense that we can experience in the very near future, in our lifetimes, a completely different world, if we activate ourselves now and fight for that better future. Because right now, we have a constellation of many countries in the world acting optimistically. The mood in African countries is absolutely changed; Latin America is changed; and also in Eurasia, many countries and peoples in those countries are talking about the future in a much more optimistic way than we see it for the most part in the United States or in Germany for that matter.
If people have a vision, that with their own work, they can help to create a more human world, and they believe that change is absolutely possible, I think we can do it, and we should be happy about it, and be self-assured and confident in our ability to make a better world. [applause]