This article appears in the August 16, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
President Putin Offers
International Cooperation for
Fusion Power Development
Richard A. Black is the Schiller Institute representative at the United Nations in New York.
July 27—Over the past several years, Schiller Institute founder and President Helga Zepp-LaRouche has forcefully brought forward for international dialogue, the warning that the Old Paradigm of liberal economics, and related foreign relations, is dying and dangerous. A New Paradigm is urgently required. Despite fierce opposition, this new reality is close at hand, through the potential cooperative pursuit, among key nations, of both space exploration and of the harnessing of the vast energy resource of thermonuclear fusion. Now, these same themes are being prominently addressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leading Russian figures.
In July, President Putin delivered a very strong appeal for international cooperation in the development of fusion power in his address to a major international manufacturing conference hosted in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Putin’s sharp call for an international economic policy based on a new “science driver” of fusion research and achievement, coupled with his recent attacks on the “Euro-Atlantic model” of banking, in light of the 2008 financial crisis, positions President Putin to potentially define a new course for Russia—a course which rejects the British Mont Pelerin Society model installed in Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Zepp-LaRouche, speaking in Beijing in May of this year, raised the issue of the current collapse of the British Empire-defined “liberal” order in the West:
We are now experiencing a precious moment, for never before in history has the conscious design of a new epoch, with the idea of a unified humanity as a higher idea, been so clearly defined as a task.
She offered a pathway towards a new ordering principle for humanity, exposed the failure of the “liberalism,” of today, and defined a direction for natural science with emphasis on international cooperation for galactic space travel and on the related harnessing of limitless energy through controlled thermonuclear fusion.
Zepp-LaRouche had developed similar themes in a well-attended address in Moscow, in October 2018, to a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Perhaps reflecting the adage, “Ideas whose time has come,” Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin is currently developing similar themes. This raises the question, “Is President Putin not only preparing to jettison the ‘liberal’ economics of the IMF and Thatcherism, but, as well, to move towards the production and innovation policies of China and the American economist Lyndon LaRouche?”
Liberalism is ‘Obsolete’
In a wide-ranging interview with editors of the Financial Times (FT) of London, published June 27, 2019, President Putin spoke at great length about his view that the “Liberalism” of the West had become “obsolete.” In that interview he stated:
What is happening in the West? What is the reason for the Trump phenomenon?. . . The ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of people.
There is . . . the so-called “liberal idea,” which has outlived its purpose. Our Western partners have admitted that some elements of the liberal idea, such as multiculturalism, are no longer tenable. . . .
So, the “liberal idea” has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. Or take the traditional values. I am not trying to insult anyone, because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia as it is. But we have no problems with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. . . . But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.
All right, have we forgotten that all of us live in a world based on Biblical values? Even atheists and everyone else live in this world. We do not have to think about this every day, attend church and pray, thereby showing that we are devout Christians or Muslims or Jews. However, deep inside there must be some universal human rules and moral values. In this sense, traditional values are more stable and more important for millions of people than this liberal idea, which, in my opinion, is really ceasing to exist.
This dramatic attack by President Putin was also reflected earlier, in his June 7 keynote address at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). There he presented the failure of what he termed the “Euro-Atlantic” economic model, as exemplified by the global economic crisis of 2008.
Likewise, in an interview on the eve of the SPIEF, Putin commented that it is regrettable that young people are being mobilized into the streets on environmental issues, yet, there are no such demonstrations over the “global threat” of world war.
Importance of FDR and Glass-Steagall
Again, in early July, an exposé of the failure of “liberal economics” was presented by another leading Russian government official, Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Alexander Yakovenko. In an article published in the widely read Russian government daily newspaper, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, titled, “An Idea That’s Lost its Steam—What Happened to the Western Liberal Idea?” Yakovenko in part responds to a defense of liberalism by Financial Times Economics Editor Martin Wolf. Yakovenko, referring to President Putin’s FT interview, writes:
Thus, the Russian leader had merely stated the existence of a problem, which the Western elites are incapable of acknowledging, as they desperately insist that there is no alternative to the status quo.
Yakovenko then identifies the takedown of Glass-Steagall banking separation in the West as a key element of the “liberal” economics which has led to economic failure in the West:
The systemic crisis of Western Society, to call things by their name, goes back to Reaganism and Thatcherism, i.e., to the early 1980s, when, forgetting the lessons of the Great Depression, led to attempts by the Anglo-Americans to “test out” pure capitalism of the pre-1929 model, unleashing the spontaneous action of the “self-regulating market” with a minimized regulatory role of the state—the key idea of liberal economics. There was simply no place left for the notion of some social responsibility on the part of business.
Simultaneously, there was a several-stage takedown of regulation of the financial sector through the Glass-Steagall law, which had been one of the key elements of F.D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. . . . It is lawful that the current crisis came about in 2008 in the banking sector, which had lost its connection with the real sector of the economy.
Later on, the Anglo-Saxons started to impose neo-liberalism, as it began to be called, on the European Union through the Lisbon Agenda. Tony Blair, the UK Prime Minister at the time, did a lot in that regard. When Margaret Thatcher was asked what she considered her greatest achievement, she replied that it was Blair, who under the slogan of “New Labour,” had continued her economic policies.
‘Liberal’ Economics Caused Genocide in Russia
The same Thatcherite economic policy was brought into Russia in the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, in the form of the Shock Therapy policy from London and Wall Street. This has been documented by Professor Stanislav Menshikov in his book, The Anatomy of Russian Capitalism and by Academician and Adviser to President Putin on Eurasian Affairs, Sergei Glazyev in the book, Genocide: Russia and the New World Order. In June 2001, Glazyev, as Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, invited American economist Lyndon LaRouche to testify in the State Duma on national economic security in times of financial crisis.
The Shock Therapy policy amounted to a genocide against the Russian population: an absolute, steep rise of the death rate and the collapse of the productive sector of the economy in favor of wild speculation and capital flight. In the Russian weekly Zavtra of June 6, Academician Glazyev pointed out that of all the G20 countries, “only Russia and Brazil are conducting a macroeconomic policy in line with IMF recommendations,” i.e., budget austerity and high interest rates. According to Glazyev, “We in Russia have created for ourselves a chronic crisis, following IMF recommendations to starve our economy of credit.” Russia’s economy today is characterized by budget austerity, high interest rates, sliding household real incomes, rising value-added taxes, and a recently raised retirement age for workers, raised to the average age of life expectancy!
Fusion: Nature’s Creation Processes
Is President Putin moving in the direction of ditching these hold-over policies of “liberal” genocide forced on Russia in the 1990s? On July 9, President Putin addressed the Second Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS), held in Yekaterinburg, east of the Ural Mountains. GMIS is a joint initiative of the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In that speech, he obliterated the arguments of the Greenies who demand that mankind “give up progress” so as to benefit the “local well-being for a select few.” He called for international scientific cooperation to develop controlled thermonuclear fusion—“a colossal, inexhaustible, and safe source of energy . . .” derived from “nature-like technologies that reproduce natural processes and systems according to the laws of nature.”
Putin denounced the rejection of nuclear and hydrocarbon energy as “a road to nowhere” that will “only lead to new conflicts. . . .” Importantly, he offered Russia’s pre-eminent science research infrastructure for cooperation among international teams of scientists, in order to create “better living conditions and opportunities for unleashing human potential. . . .”
Will Russia Adopt China’s Innovations?
The extraordinary success of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its poverty elimination programs—which have already lifted 800 million Chinese out of poverty and brought great projects of infrastructure to the former colonial sector—has had an impact on Russia. Just before the SPIEF, Presidents Putin and Xi announced an upgrading of their relationship to a “Comprehensive Partnership of Coordination for a New Era.” Thirty China-Russia investment projects were agreed upon. On the sidelines of the mid-June Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the Kyrgyz Republic, and at the Osaka, Japan G20 summit at the end of June, Presidents Putin and Xi again discussed economic and strategic matters, and were joined by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Putin advisor Academician Sergei Glazyev has been active in organizing and leading seminars of experts in both Russia and China, with an eye toward shifting Russia’s economic policy. With Russia’s 2019 first quarter annualized GDP growth at a stagnant 0.5 per cent, and with average household incomes sliding, economic stagnation is, today, a political concern for the Kremlin. Glazyev argues that if Russia were to follow China’s type of credit policies, it could rapidly achieve 8 to 10 per cent growth annually. Half of still-existing industrial manufacturing capacity in Russia, he says, remains idle.
Last year, speaking to a conference of Chinese and Russian economists, Glazyev said:
Under International Monetary Fund (IMF) supervision, the heads of our economic agencies continue to implement market fundamentalism, which is incompatible with the accelerated economic growth goals set by the President of Russia. I would send our ministers to do internships in China, to make them understand how to develop an economy in today’s world.
Glazyev Evaluates New Potentials
In recent web TV and newspaper interviews, Glazyev has stepped up his polemical criticism of the Russian Central Bank leadership and other economic officials who have been schooled in Anglo-American neoliberal economics—a part of the “liberal idea” which President Putin has, recently, so sharply criticized.
In a June 17 interview, Glazyev noted President Putin’s recent speech at the SPIEF, in which President Putin characterized as a failure, the West’s Quantitative Easing “solution” to the 2008 global financial crisis. Glazyev said that Putin’s remarks were “fundamental and, in many respects, revolutionary.” He called President Putin’s language at the SPIEF “a fundamental breakthrough in terms of both a theoretical grasp of the current systemic crisis, and proposals for practical ways out of it.” He said that President Putin’s speech at SPIEF could be compared in significance—in the economic realm—to what Putin’s 2007 security policy speech in Munich, Germany represented, in the military-strategic realm.
In the midst of these important discussions, the worldwide July commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Mankind’s first landing on the Moon has become the occasion for furthering the appreciation that mankind can collaborate in science for the economic betterment of all. During the week of July 20, celebrations and forums took place in 124 nations to mark Man’s first steps on another planetary body. A Russian rocket was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, sending a team of astronauts from Italy, Russia and the United States to the International Space Station. India launched its Chandrayaan-2 mission to the Moon. The U.S. celebrated NASA’s newly announced Artemis Mission to put a woman and man on the Moon by 2024. Meanwhile, China’s Moon rover was re-activated to continue exploration of the far side of the Moon. “Moon fever” has excited the imagination of millions of people around the globe.
As Helga Zepp-LaRouche envisioned this spirit in her 2018 address to the Russian Academy of Sciences:
The combination of a fusion economy and the industrialization of the Moon, as the next steps in an unlimited process of mankind’s continued mastery of the laws of the universe, will mean an entirely new economic platform in the sense defined by Lyndon LaRouche.
Now in 2019, President Putin’s recent public discussions concerning universal moral values, international economic policy, and most importantly, fusion power, in particular, are a valuable contribution pointing toward that “entirely new economic platform in the sense defined by Lyndon LaRouche.”
President Putin on Fusion Power—
‘A Colossal, Inexhaustible, and Safe Source of Energy’
On July 9, 2019, President Putin gave an address at the Second Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS) held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The Summit was attended by 3,300 delegates and media representatives, 120 heads of foreign companies and 250 heads of Russian companies. Many foreign ministers and diplomatic personnel were also in attendance. The following are excerpts from that address. Subheads have been added.
It is not yet clear how to combine long-term development and production build-up while preserving nature and high living standards. How do we prevent the digital technological revolution, robotization and the general move to the “internet of things” from ending in a deadlock without resources and with environmental damage?. . .
Regrettably, instead of discussing essential matters on the climatic and environmental agenda, we often see overt populism, false allegations, and, I dare say, obscurantism.
Things have reached the point of appeals to give up progress, doing which would make it possible, at best, to perpetuate the situation and create local wellbeing for a select few. At the same time, millions of people will have to settle for what they have today or, it would be more honest to say, what they don’t have today: access to clean water, food, education and other fruits of civilization.
Naturally, such outdated approaches are a road to nowhere. They can only lead to new conflicts. . . .
Absolutist, blind faith in simple, showy but ineffective solutions can lead to problems . . . such as the total rejection of nuclear or hydrocarbon energy, for example, in favor of exclusive reliance on existing alternative energy sources. Will it be comfortable to live on a planet covered with stockades of wind turbines and several layers of solar batteries?. . .
Everybody knows that wind power is good, but is anyone thinking about the birds? How many birds die? [Windmills] vibrate so much that worms crawl out of the ground. This is not a joke, really, it is a serious side-effect of these modern modes of energy generation. . . .
Radically New Technologies
I believe that in order to secure cleaner air, water and food, which also means a better quality of life and longevity for billions of people on our planet, we must offer radically new technologies and more efficient and environmentally friendly devices.
Such super-efficient scientific, engineering and manufacturing solutions will help us establish a balance between the biosphere and the technosphere, as well as to minimize and better control the anthropogenic impact on nature, on the environment. This also includes so-called nature-like technologies that reproduce natural processes and systems according to the laws of nature.
It may seem strange at first, but thermonuclear fusion energy, which in fact is similar to how heat and light are produced deep within our star, the Sun, is an example of such nature-like technologies. Potentially we can harness a colossal, inexhaustible, and safe source of energy. But we will only succeed in fusion power and other fundamental tasks if we establish broad international cooperation and interaction between government and business, and unite the efforts of researchers representing different scientific schools and areas—if technological development becomes truly global, and does not get split up, or held back by attempts to monopolize progress, limit access to education, and put up new obstacles to the free exchange of knowledge and ideas.
Russia Open to this Cooperation
By the way, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) serves as a prime example of open scientific and technological cooperation. Scientists are now planning to use it to achieve controlled thermonuclear fusion. Our country is actively participating in this project and is now prepared to suggest using Russia’s scientific infrastructure for joint research, joint scientific investigation, for the international scientific teams working on nature-like and other breakthrough technologies, including unique mega-science installations.
With their help, scientists will be able to literally see nature’s processes of creation. I would like to note that such an installation has become an essential part of the interdisciplinary center for nature-like convergent technologies, in operation for more than a decade at one of Russia’s largest scientific centers, the Kurchatov Institute. . . .
For international research teams who want to work in Russia, and for hosting large-scale interdisciplinary projects and establishing international scientific clusters, we intend to come up with the most comfortable conditions and support mechanisms. . . .
To accomplish these goals, we intend to use the potential of our major, partially government-owned companies. As you may know, I recently visited Italy and spoke to our partners; our colleagues, there, use partially government-owned enterprises. It might seem strange, but we are following the same direction—first, because this is an international task, and second, there exist state resources that we can use in key development areas. . . .
I believe that in this era of tectonic changes and, sadly, of increasing uncertainty, absolute values—that is, creating better living conditions and opportunities for unleashing human potential—must be a priority. Impressive technological development should serve this purpose. This is where great responsibility lies with us for the future of our nation and the world in general—, and we definitely must work together.
Friends, Russia is open to this kind of expansive and equitable cooperation.