This transcript appears in the July 10, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Discussion: Conference Panel 2
Three questions for the panelists followed the main presentations of Panel 2 at the Schiller Institute International Conference, on June 27, 2020, “Will Humanity Prosper, or Perish? The Future Demands a Four-Power Summit Now.”
This is an edited transcript of those questions, and answers from panelists Cheminade, Baker, Meighoo, Formento, Callicrate, and Senny; with further comment from co-moderators Dennis Speed and Diane Sare.
Panel 2 was titled, “Why a 1.5 Billion Productive Jobs Program Can End War, Famine, Poverty, and Disease.”
Ambassador Dr. A. Rohan Perera, former Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations: The biggest foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka has been the tourism sector, which had been dependent on tourist arrivals from Europe, and on the garment export sector, mainly to the U.S. market. The total estimated loss as a consequence of the coronavirus lockdown is in the region of $10 billion. In the garment sector, recovery efforts will require liberal access to the U.S. markets.
Overall, Sri Lanka will require debt restructuring arrangements with lending agencies like the World Bank and with the developed countries who determine their policies. It may be recalled that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit Declaration—adopted in Colombo at the Fifth Summit in 1976—cited the New International Economic Order which referred to, among other things, debt restructuring, debt moratoria, and the restructuring of multilateral financial institutions like the World Bank. The idea of BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—is a step in that direction.
Please comment on the vital question of debt restructuring, amidst this coronavirus crisis, and new institutions that may be required. Thank you.
Jacques Cheminade: First, on this tourist issue. Very different countries, like Sri Lanka, Cuba, or France, because they were not able to develop industrially or to really have a fair development of agriculture, have to make money on tourism; on their beautiful things to see in Sri Lanka, in Cuba, or in France. But this tourism was of a kind, not of an educational treatment of the culture of the country, but of a kind of servant economy transformation of the country where there was a service economy based on, let’s say, arranging things for people who wanted to have fun.
This has been a complete disaster. This is because of a lack of a commitment to a physical-economic development, like Lyndon LaRouche developed during all his life, and industrial development representing part of this in-depth economic development. Therefore, what happened is that progressively, despite the benefits of tourism—I would say because of the type of economy that was created—the countries were trapped into a debt system. This affected first the countries of the Southern Hemisphere. It affected countries of Ibero-America, countries of Asia, and in particular Africa. Through a system of accumulation of interest over interest, this is what our friend Dennis Small calls the banker’s economy or free market. The free market becomes sort of a flea market where they rob you; it has become that.
So, it has become debt that accumulates over debt, and you have normally, or if you follow this accumulation of debt because in an unfair economy, you have to pay two, three, four times more debt than what you got from the loans. This is what was imposed on the countries of the South. It is coming inside countries like Spain, Italy, or France at this point.
So, you have the whole world trapped into this debt system. And the whole economy now is an economy which is no more, I would say, a free market economy. It is a controlled free market economy by the laws of the British Empire imposed by central banks. So, this is only maintained through fake money. You have flows and flows of fake money dumped on the markets, which don’t go to the producers, don’t go even to the consumers. This fake money goes into the financial sector of the oligarchy.
So, this is what has to be forever eliminated. It’s the Anglo-Dutch system of an economy which is not based on a human level and human development, but it’s based on financial dictatorship. What I call now the system under which we are; a market economy without a market; a dictatorship of these financial interests in all sectors, including culture.
So, we have to free ourselves from that. All the life of Lyndon LaRouche— in particular as points of reference historically, in 1982 with López Portillo, and in 1976 with our friend Fred Wills [at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit] in Colombo, was to say we need to be freed from the debt. And we need a bank organized for the development of whole countries of the world. This is what the World Bank was intended to be after World War II. But then, as the Bretton Woods system, it was miscarried by all the Western leaders.
What we need now, is what the Chinese with the New Silk Road are doing by let’s say directing economies. It’s an economy based on real physical development, and a growth based on the development of the creative potential of the human being, including in culture. There are efforts in China for Classical culture, for Classical Chinese poetry. And all of this is connected to the whole—which the West would never tell about—to the whole development of the New Silk Road concept of the Belt and Road Initiative.
So you have that as a reference. And you have the whole fight of our lives which comes into this direction. And now we have a big chance that this becomes for us a real point existing in reality and accomplished. So, we have to go much further, and we speak about the World Land-Bridge. There has to be a World Land-Bridge with the United States, China, Russia, India, and all other countries that would be connected to this system.
So, it demands a mobilization of the leaders of the world, but also the populations everywhere to put pressure on the leaders of the world and the economic system. It’s very interesting from that standpoint that the Yellow Vests in France are calling some of us to be experts in this debt moratorium or debt amelioration, which would get rid of this debt system and see what’s fair and unfair debt.
So, the Glass-Steagall proposal is absolutely a part of that. It means that banks which are involved in giving credit or organizing deposit accounts would be separated from banks which are involved in the markets and which are becoming elements or scions of this whole British system. So, the separation would clean the system.
We need much more, that’s why we need a credit system for the future, developing this type of physical economy with increasing productivity per unit of Earth’s surface per human being and per unit of matter processed. So, this is a sense of a high flux density economy; high energy-flux density should be the choice of this economy.
Among the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche, this is the fourth law—what you should choose once you clean the system, and once you get rid of this debt system. That’s the key, because it’s there that you have to invest human creativity in things that put human beings at the border of this capacity to create. And it will connect the space programs—the astronaut, after all, has to work both with his brains and his hands; exactly like farmers have to work with their brains and their hands.
The more advanced farmers in the United States or in Europe are, in their tractors, real astronauts on Earth. I liked a lot this presentation of our American farmer, Mike Callicrate, who said that the soil itself has to be seen as a living matter. It is something that is alive, and it has to be enriched and developed. It has not to be seen as a support or something that you take advantage of; it is something that you feed into for the future. I think that this concept is what links the astronaut and the farmer and which links all of us in this society.
I raise this issue of farmers’ education, because I think, what we always discussed with Lyndon LaRouche, that the type of education that is required is an education which creates or generates in human beings this constantly increasing capacity and this joy to create when you do something socially good for the others. A big issue today, as Helga said before, is public health, because it’s a matter that involves the whole world. It demands world cooperation. And what I keep repeating is that instead of organizing hospitals through financial management, we should organize states as hospitals for the care and development of the people.
Two Questions for the Whole Panel
Ambassador Mauricio Ortiz, Ambassador of Costa Rica to Canada: In your proposal you mention “an emergency mission to build a fully functional health infrastructure for the world, particularly in South America, Africa, and parts of Asia.” This proposal is very much needed in those regions.
Are the international financial institutions willing to invest in that proposal, and what will be the arguments from the Schiller Institute to these institutions to make it real?
If your proposal is realized, you might note that our country, Costa Rica, has an efficient primary health system with more than 1,000 rural health posts and, along with Chile and Cuba, one of the best health programs in Latin America. This is a system that can be replicated in other countries, including developed countries.
Carolina Gutiérrez Bacci, Third Secretary, Permanent Mission of Colombia to the United Nations: How can Latin America play a determining role in the consolidation of this new global configuration?
Robert Baker: In terms of the health infrastructure and my particular focus on agriculture, I think it’s an absolutely vital situation to develop a food system where everybody can get a proper diet of nutritional food. That is the basis on which to build the argument why every community should have access to the most advanced healthcare that science has brought us to this day. But the driver in that obstacle behind the scenes is an international financial cartel that’s building world global monopolies to stop that. To the extent the nations of the world can expose that and unite the people to take a stand against it, that’s going to be a very important aspect of getting a healthcare system internationally. But this is also why this type of conference we’re having becomes very instrumental if not a key element of getting that done.
Kirk Meighoo: We’re close neighbors of Costa Rica, and we have some links with them that we’ve established recently. This problem of self-sufficiency is something, especially for a small society, and all these small little islands, the question of self-sufficiency in everything is just simply not there.
So, people have even asked questions whether we deserve to be independent, or should we be permanent colonies? These are questions that stay with us, even after independence. It’s something we struggle with. We do have to have a system where we do access, just as the last speaker said, the best healthcare possible for all humanity. But we cannot simply be recipients, receivers of these things; dependents, colonial dependents as we have been for 500 years. We have to have a system where we are also producers.
So, what is the system of trading [for] a local economy, of local production where we are contributing to our own development, as well as participating with others? That is the type of system that the global financial system has been against, and has never been for. It is the old imperial system, and they are just merely modern continuations of that. What we have to do, what our task is, is to create this new system. Not just money from the old system to create this, but how do we make the system where, not only do we each benefit from the best the world has to offer, but to which we are also contributors as full human beings, as well.
Walter Formento [as translated]: All of the contributions that have been made are very significant. It’s clear that for South America the call for the five nations that Putin made, which Helga also referred to, is a matter of great hope, because this would allow us to ensure that we could achieve peace. Therefore, it will be international politics that will allow us to decide things based on a dialogue of civilizations, a dialogue of peoples, of nations, what the future of mankind and nature will be. In Argentina in particular, the production of food—Argentina is a great producer of food, along with South America, along with Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay as well. The great multinational conglomerates involved in the food sector have taken control as of 30 years ago in Argentina, both in terms of our ability to produce as well as to export.
Therefore, at this moment in Argentina and in South America, governments have changed, and with the backing of such an international conference that President Putin has called for, we can move forward in providing sovereign channels for both producing and exporting. The policies that can be carried out inside Argentina in the food sector have to do with allowing producers’ cooperatives to be a part of the great conglomerates that engage in production. We shouldn’t dissolve large-scale production and technology, but rather introduce the nations and all society through such cooperatives, so that they participate in the solution, and are part of the solution. Therefore, there is a way to democratize production.
Michael Callicrate: I was really moved by Dr.Meighoo’s comments about islands and the small economies on those islands. I can really get somebody pretty seriously depressed when we talk about the state of the world. But, I can also lift them and get them more excited when I talk about the possibility of going home—going home to our communities and making them as good as we possibly can. Become wealth creators, grow things, make things, restore the primary wealth trading enterprises to societies around the world. Like with Kirk, if you can just stop the predators, the economic, financial, big food monopoly predators from extracting the wealth and leaving nothing but poverty behind, I think we can begin to repair this damage.
Because we do control, as farmers and ranchers and citizens, we do to a large extent control our ability to create the wealth. It’s what happens to it after we create it. The last speaker talked about how we shouldn’t dissolve the big corporations. I would argue yes, we should dissolve them. The big corporations should be broken up; not completely eliminate their facilities, but at least put them to where they have to perform in line with the public good. So, I love that analogy of those small islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and islands all across the Caribbean, and how that is very much like the islands in rural America, in rural communities around the world.
I’m saying let’s go back to making things and growing things, and teach that, and kill this model of industrialization of these critical industries, like food.
Jacques Cheminade: Just one word about Cuban doctors, to speak about that island. It’s proof that you can have the most advanced medicine, interferon, where French doctors have to go there to learn from them. Then you have the best doctors, because they stay and live where the patients stay and live. And third, they are involved in cooperation with other countries in the whole world. They send them, and they do a very good job. In particular, they are now in Doha, in Europe in Italy, and now in French Martinique, so the French have to recognize—and sometimes it’s difficult for them—that these were the best; a team of 15 Cuban doctors in Martinique now. So that’s proof that an island can do an excellent job in a very advanced field, and at the same time they are most human.
Diogène Senny [as translated]: The global question of poverty is just a part of the world situation and the African situation. We all know that when we present the situation of the continent, we are more interested in the question of the debt, money, slavery, and we forget that, for example, monoculture which has been imposed by the international cartels has destroyed agriculture with the hedge funds that I denounce, because they want to make money with our land. They buy what we have in our continent, in our countries, to generate profit for them, for a small group of people. But not allow millions of lives of people to develop their land.
That’s why this question of agriculture and self-sufficiency in Africa is one of the most important problems. It’s not agriculture, it’s money culture; that’s the agriculture we have. If we want to have modern rice, we have to have modern developments. It’s very important for us, this agricultural question. We see that it is a world problem. What was used before by the African farmers is not in their own hands, because it is in the hands of the hedge funds, the speculative hedge funds.
It is very important to understand this, and it is not very well known in the international debate now.
Diane Sare: I think we should all remember that we have been blessed to have to inhabit a beautiful, fertile planet which is very conducive to sustaining life, and in particular human life, if we are sane. But there are two trillion galaxies or more in the universe, and each of these has many other planets. So, contrary to the views of the Malthusians and the money-changers, the creativity of each and every human being on this planet is urgently needed; because there is no such thing as making too many discoveries. We have to develop the universe as a whole. Therefore, we have to grow into a new era of mankind.
Dennis Speed: We’ve had Europe, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and the United States all on this panel in the form of discussion. This is the process that must be correlative to whatever happens among heads of state. And this process which the Schiller Institute is initiating, which is also bringing up various forms of important ideas and painful truths as well, is crucial to the actual success of the global Four-Power and related summit that we’ve been talking about. Finally, in the era of coronavirus, this is the only means by which people will be able to prosper and not perish; in this people-to-people dialogue we’ve conducted here.
I want to thank all of the panelists who were with us today. I think there’s a lot that can be done also in additional presentations that we may find in the future, pairing some of you together. I’d certainly like to see the Pan-African League together with Mr. Mike Callicrate. I’d like to see Kirk Meighoo involved in some discussions like that. Jacques is always welcome, and he’s always teaching us things. He had something new for us today; go back and take a look at his presentation afterwards, because he has some very interesting ideas that he put forward there.