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This transcript appears in the November 19, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]

Helga Zepp-LaRouche

A Terrible End or a New Paradigm?

This is the edited transcript of the keynote presentation delivered by the founder of the international Schiller Institutes to Panel 1, “Can a Strategic Crisis Between the Major Powers Be Avoided?” of the Schiller Institute’s Nov. 13-14 Conference, “All Moral Resources of Humanity Have To Be Called Up: Mankind Must Be the Immortal Species!”

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Schiller Institute
Helga Zepp-LaRouche

I greet you, and I’m very happy to speak to you wherever you may be watching this conference. We are at an extremely decisive moment. Let’s start with an optimistic possibility. Let’s make a Gedanken experiment, a thought experiment.

It would actually be quite easy to solve almost any of the many problems we are confronted with today if the majority of the governments of the European nations, and possibly even the United States government, would say, “OK, we messed up. We have to change our way of thinking. We committed a lot of mistakes. We neglected investment in basic infrastructure. We made policy favoring speculation over the real economy. We have allowed our farmers to be ruined at a time of a hunger crisis of Biblical dimensions. We should have known that we could not win the war in Afghanistan, which turned into an unmitigated disaster. We did nothing to overcome the poverty in Africa. We turned countries which were friendly and open to us, like Russia and China, unnecessarily into adversaries by pushing geopolitical provocations. We seem to be unable to get the pandemic under control, because we don’t want to reverse the privatization of the health system. And we only care about the rich countries in terms of vaccines.

“We neglected our great humanist cultures. We allowed the minds of our populations to be poisoned with a totally depraved entertainment industry. We allowed our youth to despair about the coming end of the world, by streamlining the media with pseudo-scientific propaganda about the climate. Because we recognize that we are about to drive the whole system against the wall, we change. And we join with the countries of the Belt and Road Initiative and work together with Russia, China, and other nations to solve all of these problems. Which we can, because together, we are the creative species.”

It would be really easy, but is it likely to happen? Unfortunately not, because so far, despite one policy failure after the other, the establishments of the West have shown zero capability to recognize and admit their mistakes and make the appropriate corrections. As a consequence, it is more likely that the entire trans-Atlantic system is about to disintegrate. Remember these sentences?

Our republic belongs today to the ten most powerful industrial nations in the world, to the roughly two dozen countries with the highest living standard.

The man who spoke those words on October 6, 1989 was Erich Honecker. Twelve days later, he was out of office, and 34 days later the Berlin Wall opened up.

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CC/Sue Ream
Atop the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate, November 9, 1989.

At that time, Pope John Paul II warned that one should not draw the conclusion out of the demise of the communist system that the Western liberal system would be morally superior. And if anybody had any doubt, one should look at the horrible condition of the developing countries.

In this period, I made many speeches in which I warned that if one were to make the mistake of superimposing the neo-liberal system on the whole world—and that is exactly what was attempted and is implicit in the euphemism about the “end of history” from Francis Fukuyama, and explicit in the idea of a unipolar world—it would lead to an ever more dramatic collapse of the whole system. I think this is exactly where we are now. We are on the verge of a systemic collapse of the neo-liberal system. It will take a different form than the end of the G.D.R. [East Germany] and the Soviet Union. But this system is in a process of self-destruction. The existential threat to the Western world does not come from the so-called autocratic systems and dictatorships of the planet, or any outside enemy at all. But it is entirely from the moral decadence, the result of the cultural paradigm shift which started in the 1960s, and which was clairvoyantly identified by Lyndon LaRouche at the time. And whose long-term effects we experience today.

Unless there is a sudden reversal of that paradigm shift, what they call the “rules-based order,” we will plunge into a Dark Age with very similar characteristics as the 14th Century, or worse. It will lead to total chaos on the planet, and world war.

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No. 10 Downing Street/Andrew Parsons
Prince Charles at COP26.
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UK Government/Karwai Tang
Opening ceremony for COP26.

For the last two weeks at the COP26 event in Glasgow, they tried to induce the nations of this world to swallow policies to reduce CO2 emissions which, if implemented, would lead to a population reduction by the billions, and dismantle the industrial nations to a pre-industrial state. This was fortunately a basic failure, since Russia, China, and several developing nations obviously have recognized the evil intention of that crowd, and only sent lower-level delegations and asserted completely different priorities, such as the right to development for their countries, or energy security. But it is also registered that not once was there on the part of the organizers a discussion of the catastrophic condition of already existing famine in many countries, or a breakdown of the health system, or the refugee crisis. Please show the clip now.

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Teeksa Photography/Skip Schiel
An Extinction Rebellion parade from Cambridge, Massachusetts to MIT, October 13, 2021.

[Clip of Extinction Rebellion actions is shown.]

These poor misled youth, misled by a financial oligarchy, are clearly not in the real world. No concern about the reality of mass starvation in the developing countries, the breakdown of civilization. After several years of apocalyptic scenarios that the planet will boil over (that was Obama), or that we only have 12 years left (this was FridaysForFuture and many others), or only 18 months (this was 18 months ago, Prince Charles), a mass psychological effect has induced terrible effects. According to the British Medical Journal, levels of eco-anxieties, especially among young children and youth, have led to a dramatic rise of depression, low mood, extreme mental stress, and suicide. According to the Lancet, a survey of 10,000 young people aged 16-25 in 10 countries, found that 84% are worried about global warming, 59% are extremely worried, 40% don’t want to have children. Le Figaro, reporting about this, adds, “Every newborn less would save us from emitting 58 tons of CO2 per year. That’s 50 round trips from Paris to New York.”

Contrast this mob shown in the video clip and controlled by the financial oligarchy with the reality of mass starvation around the world. On November 8th, the World Food Program made an emergency statement that 45 million people are on the brink of starvation worldwide. In Haiti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Burundi, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan. That figure is rising exponentially because of the rise in the prices of fuel, food, fertilizer. David Beasley was just in Kabul, where he said that we are facing in Afghanistan, the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, where 95% of the population is in danger of starvation in the next six months, and that there will be Hell on Earth.

What is the reaction of the West? After 20 years of war, the cost for the U.S. was $2 trillion, but you have to also add other NATO countries’ costs, which left the country completely destroyed. The West is now withholding $9 billion by the U.S. Treasury, $430 million by Commerzbank, similar amounts by the Bundesbank, Bank for International Settlements, and so forth. Their argument is that unless the Taliban fulfills certain conditions, this money will not be delivered.

What do you think will happen when more than 30 million people in Afghanistan about to starve and freeze to death this winter, how many million will try to get to Europe? According to the International Organization on Migration, already at the end of 2020, there were 281 million migrants in the world, plus about 55 million displaced migrants within countries. That makes 336 million refugees, and with a U.S. population of 329.5 million, that is 6 million people more than the entire U.S. population. This is happening under the conditions of a pandemic which is still completely out of control.

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Emigrants on the border between Belarus and Poland, November 10, 2021.

Now, there is a huge crisis at the border between Belarus and Poland, with several thousand refugees who have no food, no water, no shelter in freezing temperatures. What has the Polish government done? They sent 15,000 Polish soldiers; they have erected barbed wire fences. They are accusing, together with the EU, that [Belarus President] Lukashenko would be a dictator for having sent these people deliberately as a hybrid warfare. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg is already involved, making statements. There are calls for NATO to back up Poland. The accusation that these refugees are sent deliberately is completely fraudulent. These are refugees coming from Iraq, Syria, Congo, Cameroon, and other places. It is not Lukashenko’s fault that they are there; but that the United States and other countries conducted a war against Iraq in 2003 based on lies, which has never really stopped ever since. They imposed the so-called Caesar sanctions on Syria, to cause a regime-change against the Assad government by starving the population to death so hopefully they would rise up. This, according to Cardinal Zenari from Syria, has thrown over 90% of the population into food insecurity and extreme poverty.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Russian mission at the United Nations, who has addressed this Schiller conference repeatedly in the past, reports that in many instances refugees have been beaten at the Polish border, driven back into the territory of Belarus, and that this is a total disgrace. A violation of all international conventions. Obviously, these have become the mostly and many times quoted Western values of the rules-based order.

In the middle of this crisis, [German] President Steinmeier has nothing better to do than to receive [Belarus] opposition leader Tikhanovskaya, who got 10% in the last election, but who is upheld as the winner by the EU. [German] Foreign Minister Maas and the EU are calling for more sanctions, and they are meeting tomorrow to probably decide that. Lukashenko has said he will not accept that and may cut off the energy flows through Belarus. There is a big debate right now in the EU as to whether they should finance the construction of a fortified outer fence around the EU. So, we are back to the dystopia in the book by Jean-Christophe Rufin from 1991, called The Empire and the New Barbarians, which discusses the idea of building a new limit around Europe, whereby Southwest Asia and Africa [audio loss] … failed states with a few EU-financed refugee camps around, which have already been called by Pope Francis to be compared with the concentration camps, and where Frontex is involved in push-back operations where they clearly have discounted that many refugees die, drowning or otherwise dying. So, one should be absolutely clear: If you have a hyperinflationary blow-out of the system, like that in Weimar Germany in 1923, but this time not in one country, but in all countries, where there is no capital control; and if they implement the plans discussed in Glasgow about the Great Reset, you will get a migration of people as we see increasingly trying to move from South and Central America into the United States, and from the Near and Middle East and Africa into Europe, not just some migrants, but Völkerwanderungen—migrations of peoples, like in the ancient times.

Concerning the larger strategic situation between the major powers, in trying to evaluate the confusingly contradictory statements coming from the Biden administration in respect to the relations of the United States to China and Russia, one day promising, the next day invalidated by provocative actions by the U.S. around Taiwan or Ukraine or the Black Sea. One should not forget the remarks by the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, Admiral Charles Richard, who already in February this year, wrote in the magazine Proceedings [of the Naval Institute], “There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly into a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived the conventional loss would threaten the regime or state. Consequently, the U.S. military must shift its principal assumption from nuclear employment is not possible, to nuclear employment is a very real possibility.” This is a noteworthy statement. How likely is it that any of the two hottest potentials for regional crisis would be lost by Russia or China if it came to a conventional military action? Concerning a conventional attack on Russia, it would be wise for Admiral Richard to read Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace about the Napoleonic Wars, supplemented by the strategic studies by the brother-in-law of Friedrich Schiller, Ludwig von Wolzogen, who had designed the plan for the Prussian reformers and Russian Czar to lure Napoleon into the vastness of Russia, where he would be ruined by the logistical and material over-extension. At the end of the Napoleonic campaign, the gigantic army of Napoleon was beaten down to a few miserable bunches of people, hardly making it back to the West. And it is well known that the architect of World War II had learned nothing from that [audio loss]. The Great Patriotic War is still very vivid in the minds of the Russian population. So, the U.S. and NATO forces for sure have studied what a conventional war against Russia is like, and that it is not an option at all.

Recently, after some very misleading signals coming from the U.S. concerning their support for a potential Taiwan independence, culminating in President Biden’s so-called “slip of the tongue” that the U.S. would come to the defense of Taiwan after an incursion from the mainland, the Chinese media was full of articles expressing confidence that the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] would win any conventional war with ease. Indeed, how would any conventional force win against a highly motivated population of 1.4 billion people who are absolutely determined that the century of humiliation, whereby foreign powers would invade their country and grab territories, will never happen again. Especially if the logistical back-up for the other side is more than 7,000 miles away.

Earlier this year, Daniel Ellsberg, at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his revealing the Pentagon Papers, referred to a proposal by John Foster Dulles to launch a nuclear exchange with Russia and China in the Taiwan Strait even at the cost of the total annihilation of Taiwan, just to keep the U.S. position strategically. He cited a partially declassified study of the Rand Corporation from 1958 called “The 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis: A Documented History”; a paper which should be recommended reading material for our contemporary citizens who are in danger once again to sleepwalk into a world war. Ellsberg mooted the probability that a similar discussion was going on today and referred to the quote by Admiral Richard mentioned before. Then, he expressed his concern that without these discussions coming out in time, civilization will not survive the era of nuclear weapons. Admiral Richard mentioned before that while there are often tiny signs of an improvement in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia and China, such as the Biden-Putin summit recently, or the strategic talks in Geneva, or NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg saying China is not the enemy, it usually takes only a day or so until cold water is poured on that hope by some provocative action concerning Taiwan, Ukraine, or the present deployment of reconnaissance aircraft and U.S. warship deployments in the Black Sea. Which the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, warned that Russia regards as a study of the anticipated theatre of war in case Ukraine prepares a power solution to the conflict in the southeast.

Sometimes these actions are highly provocative and dangerous to the regional security and strategic stability. Sometimes, however, they’re also ridiculous, like when our intrepid Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sends a frigate into the Indo-Pacific to show the flag. Maybe she hopes—and the West with her—that they will win by causing the Chinese people to laugh themselves to death.

But the serious question is, can a war between the major powers be avoided? The real reason for all these tensions is the rise of China. A rise that cannot be stopped, because for the last 40 years, China has done things essentially right economically. Alleviation of 850 million of its own citizens out of poverty, then through the Belt and Road Initiative, offering the Chinese model to the developing countries, who for the first time, have the chance to overcome under-development left by the colonial powers, which was then continued by the IMF, the World Bank, and neo-liberal financial system.

Since poverty and starvation are, without dispute, among the worst violations of human rights, China has done more for the protection of human rights than any other country on the planet. But it is exactly that “crime” that the Western financial oligarchy is so upset about. If you read Klaus Schwab’s latest book, Stakeholder Capitalism, he spells it all out. It is the fight against poverty and the desire to lead a decent life which “destroys the planet.” And therefore, it is poverty alleviation which has to be stopped, if you want to save the planet. Since China is the main vehicle of that, China—according to this logic—is the enemy which has to be contained. And there needs to be a regime change of the CPC [Communist Party of China] as in the January threatened “Longer Telegram” article on the Atlantic Council website [“The Longer Telegram: Toward a New American China Strategy”]. So, it is labelled a dictatorship, an autocratic regime, etc.

But the fact is, with a population of 1.4 billion people, China so far has had only 4,600 deaths from COVID, as compared with 760,000 deaths in the United States, with a population of 329.5 million people, and Germany, with 97,300 deaths and 83.24 million people. By the same token, the Klaus Schwabs of this world are the worst human rights offenders of all, and that is the nicest thing you can say about them.

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Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

So, rather than getting drawn into a conflict with Russia and China which can only lead to the destruction of everybody, we should go back to the list of mistakes mentioned in the beginning and correct them. Given the enormity of the crisis, this must start with an emergency crash program for the salvation of Afghanistan and Haiti, with a two-fold approach. An immediate dramatic humanitarian program—food, medicine, fuel, energy, shelter. For this, all the monies belonging to the Afghan people must be released, and donor countries for both Afghanistan and Haiti must immediately resume adequate aid. There must be full international support for the integration of Afghanistan into the Belt and Road Initiative, and a real reconstruction program for Haiti. All neighboring countries of Afghanistan—the Central Asian republics, Pakistan, Iran, India, Russia, and China—have a fundamental interest to save and stabilize Afghanistan. The U.S. and NATO countries, which have conducted the war for 20 years and left the country in a catastrophic condition, have a moral obligation to contribute to both the immediate aid and the economic build-up of the country.

It should be obvious, as Lyndon LaRouche insisted already in 1973 with his Biological Holocaust Taskforce, that this and other pandemics already on the horizon will only be gotten under control, if the terrible underdevelopment of large parts of the planet is overcome for good. This has now to be accomplished by starting with the construction of a model health system in every single nation, with a top priority of Afghanistan and Haiti, but naturally also Yemen, Syria, and all the other countries in terrible need. For Afghanistan, we should call it Operation Ibn Sina. Ibn Sina, or Avicenna as he is called in the West, because this outstanding figure stands for the proudest tradition of this country.

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Ibn Sina (Avicenna) 980–1037.

There are different historical sources who debate if only the father, Abdullah, was born in Balkh, or also Ibn Sina. Balkh being in Afghanistan, and other places so named in Uzbekistan or Persia (Iran). It doesn’t matter. He is the son of the area of Bactria, what used to be called the Land of the Thousand Cities around the time of the ancient Greek civilization. Ibn Sina, who was born in 980 A.D., and died in 1037, is recognized by everybody to be the father of modern medicine. He was also a philosopher, a geologist, an astronomer. He studied earthquakes and cloud formations. He developed methods of chemistry, such as how to make sulfur. He also was an accomplished poet and wrote dramas. But especially in medicine, he made absolutely revolutionary breakthroughs. For example, he identified the function of the different organs, the pulse, the connection between the nerves and the movement of the muscles. He discovered meningitis, breast cancer, jaundice, bladder stones. He made a whole catalogue of medicines. He was the first to develop psychotherapy. He wrote a compendium about the soul; a treatise on how the cure of the soul can occur; the healing of doubt and despair. He wrote more than 200 books, maybe even double the amount. His Canon of Medicine was the standard work for physicians in Europe until the 17th and in some cases, even the 19th Centuries. Ibn Sina also developed the comprehensive metaphysical conception in the tradition of Plato, al-Farabi, and al-Kindi. He developed the extremely important conception of the necessary existence, the wajib al-wujud, which is Arabic for God. All the other existences only exist, according to this Necessary Existence concept, because God makes them possible. This idea of Ibn Sina’s influenced many thinkers in all kinds of different religions. He was also highly regarded by, among many others, Dante, who mentioned him in the Convivio and the Divine Comedy, as well as Nicolaus of Cusa, and in several texts such as his defense of his De Docta Ignorantia against Professor Wenck and his criticisms. Cusa writes: “Before Avicenna, the divine Plato in the Parmenides, made a very acute effort to open the road to God, because every image, as image, does not reach the truth of its exemplar.”

So, Afghanistan urgently needs modern hospitals, which could be built in two weeks, as Chinese have proven in Wuhan. They need modern, educated doctors. Many Afghan doctors are right now in Europe or the United States. They need educated nurses. And what better way than to give the effort to pull this together the name of Ibn Sina, to recall the tradition of one of the greatest thinkers of all of universal history? Avicenna is, at the same time, the connection between the humanist tradition of all European and Islamic nations, because of all the ideas of the ancient Greek philosophy which contributed to his work, which he in turn, had a major influence on. And he again, influenced many thinkers in many countries.

So, let’s make the effort to get the international aid and forces together to build a modern health system on an emergency basis in his name. By committing ourselves to that, we in the West may also regain the integrity and the moral stature which we need to get out of this crisis. Let us call up all the great thinkers and philosophers of our traditions to join together in this effort.

Operation Ibn Sina must also become the seed crystal for the cooperation between Russia, China, the U.S., and European nations in the effort to save Afghanistan. If we can overcome the geopolitical thinking in this joint mission, this can be one of the urgently needed confidence-building steps to create a new model of international relations on the strategic level. To address and solve all the problems of Biblical dimensions, as David Beasley of the World Food Program calls them: the world famine, the pandemic, the migrant crisis, poverty, and under-development of billions of people. The cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative is the only practical and already available framework for solutions. So, rather than proposing the pompous Global Gateway, which Ursula von der Leyen intends to make public in the next days during her visit to Washington, which Handelsblatt, the German newspaper, characterizes as “way below expectations without listing concrete projects or priorities,” and as a “lost occasion,” European nations and the United States should accept the win-win cooperation for a shared community of a joint future that President Xi Jinping has been talking about.

Let me make one final point. To overcome this multi-faceted, unprecedented crisis, we not only need a completely new paradigm in international relations, an unprejudiced study of what China does economically right, and why the West was unable or unwilling to develop the so-called developing sector, there needs above all to be a serious study of how it was possible for my late husband Lyndon LaRouche to forecast all aspects of the present crisis, which he presciently dated back to the 1964-72 cultural paradigm shift where New Age counterculture was introduced, and of which he warned in numerous articles. Among them, from 1998, “How to Think in a Time of Crisis,” that unless this paradigm was reversed, it would threaten the existence of the global civilization. In these articles, he identified the introduction of various forms of cultural relativism of the T-groups and the Rainbow Coalition as the division of everyone from everyone according to every discoverable distinction of ethnic origin, gender, or what have you, as that principle of everything is allowed, which would destroy society from within. Think of the video clip, we saw at the beginning of my remarks, of the Dionysian mob which indeed could cause the suspicion that body-snatchers from outer space have taken over the minds of these youth, which still may have the bodies of humans, but whose brains clearly are not of this species.

It is therefore a challenge for all serious scientists around the world to investigate why Lyndon LaRouche was so absolutely accurate in forecasting the timing and character of the present worldwide financial monetary and economic breakdown crisis, as well as his method of physical economy, if we want to develop our planet to be livable for all human beings now, and those who will be living in the future. In this spirit, let’s act on the joyous assumption that we are the uniquely creative species in the universe; that we are not Earthlings, but the potentially immortal species in the universe. Thank you.

Dennis Speed (moderator): Thank you very much, Helga. If you’ve just joined us, we want to welcome you all to the first panel of the morning session of this conference of the international Schiller Institute, “All Moral Resources of Humanity Have to Be Called Up; Mankind Must Be the Immortal Species.” We’re going to invite all of you to join the Schiller Institute; after all, we’re saying that all moral resources of humanity are supposed to be called up. That would include you, and we’d like to start with you. So, please become a member. You can do so by following the link that you’re seeing on the screen. We welcome you into our ranks.

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