This transcript appears in the November 19, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Second Discussion Session
This is an edited transcript of the second discussion period following Panel 1: “Can a Strategic Crisis Between the Major Powers Be Avoided?” of the Schiller Institute’s November 13-14, 2021 conference, “All Moral Resources of Humanity Have To Be Called Up: Mankind Must Be the Immortal Species!” Participating were panel moderator Dennis Speed, conference speakers Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Dr. George Koo, and discussant Madison Tang of the “China’s Not Our Enemy” campaign. Subheads have been added.
Dennis Speed: Now, we’re going to return to our questions and answers. The first thing I’d like to do, is see whether Helga, you want to take up now that earlier question from Ed Lozansky. He asked, “Taking into account this most dangerous situation, is there any way to poll the American people about their attitude to the current U.S. policy toward Russia?”
I’d like to take the opportunity to extend that question, because I think that Dr. Koo may have equally a view of how to handle the problem of registering the actual view of the American people toward China, as well.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I think the best way of approaching this is what we’re doing with this conference, and I would urge all our participants and viewers to help to enlarge the audience of such fora, because as people may know, YouTube put a one week closing of our channel because of a program which was aired in January, and it just hits this conference. So there’s obviously, not exactly only joy about what we are doing here, but I think it’s very important, because it is my deepest conviction based not only on experience, but also on knowledge and studying: I think the first simple thing, in my view, [is that] neither Russia nor China are aggressive nations, and the picture which is painted by the think tanks and the mainstream media about all kinds of dubious aggressions and devious plans—it’s just not true!
I mean, I have not seen any case, where, when China or Russia were accused of something, when it was not exactly the other way around. Like in the case of Ukraine mentioned earlier: The vote in Crimea, of the Crimean people, to be part of Russia, was the result of a Nazi coup sponsored by the West. Victoria Nuland is famous—or infamous—for her statements which are well-known to everybody. She bragged that the United States spent $5 billion on NGOs for regime change. The Maidan, we have documented in great detail. So, what happened in Crimea was a reaction to a coup! I mean, we know what happened in the period before. Then-German Foreign Minister Steinmeier was in Kiev those days, so there is no way how the Western leaders don’t know exactly what happened. I think a lot of dishonesty is in this reporting.
I fully agree with what Senator Black said about China and the Uighurs. I fully agree with what Dr. Koo said: The accusations against China are really not based on any reality. I think it is really important that people take a step back, and try to understand the other country, the history—and I thank Kirk Wiebe that he quotes Russian poetry; and also, Ray McGovern, whom I wish well, does that also, which I think is very, very important.
I can only say, the best thing to pull the American people in the direction of wanting to have good relations, is, we have to build a constituency, we have to build people like what the Schiller Institute intention was from the very beginning. You can have World War III with anybody, once you start to focus on negative points and make up bad histories and whatnot. But if you focus on the best tradition, you can immediately build friendship and trust, and I think that is most urgently needed. So, I would encourage more Russian culture, more Chinese cultural exhibitions, more discussion of the beauty of the other culture—and vice versa! Because the image of the United States needs urgently to be repaired in many countries around the world, as well!
We have to make a new phase and start to really relate to the other nations from the standpoint that all nations and all cultures have something to contribute, and many of them did contribute great things. Once you start to relate to that, you can actually build a community of nations, which are in friendship. That is the way to go. There must be a popular movement demanding that, and I would encourage everybody who agrees with what I’m saying: the Schiller Institute and become part of that effort.
Americans are Badly Informed
Speed: Dr. Koo, do you have any remarks you’d like to make at this point?
George Koo: The biggest, most fundamental problem that we have, as Senator Black pointed out, [is that] the American people are badly uninformed. And because they’re uninformed, they can be led by the media and by the politicians and go along with all the distortions and fabrications that makes the bilateral relations between U.S. and China so negative and so difficult to reverse and to change the trend.
So, I think we do have an uphill battle here, and certainly things that the Schiller Institute and others are doing, trying to shed more light on reality, and on the truth, is important, and is a continuing battle; and until the American people understand and realize that our leaders are putting our lives at risk, our sons and daughters, grandkids, their future at risk—until the American people object and will start to listen to real leaders that speak to what’s really at stake, and not the petty issues between the Republicans and the Democrats, until that happens—or I should say, in a positive way, when that happens, then I can see some hope in reversing this dismal trend that we’re at.
Speed: We have a questioner: This is Madison Tang from CODEPINK.
Madison Tang: Thanks for having me, and thanks for this conference by the Schiller Institute. I’m with CODEPINK: Women for Peace, and the “China’s Not Our Enemy” campaign, working to end U.S.-led aggression on China.
I will say that I think we have some different understandings, and we also have consensus: our values and beliefs are that we do need a big tent to stop U.S. aggression on China, and to create a prosperous future for all of our people and our planet, including human and non-human life. And for us, the idea of the cost to the planet from nuclear winter and, as has been mentioned, or global war, is too severe to risk escalating tensions further.
I think it’s time to stop the idea of a national security that we’re working for: Instead, we need to securitize people, if we’re going to survive on the planet. And that includes prioritizing food security as we’ve discussed today, as well as the need for renewable and clean energy. I think these two needs can coexist in being prioritized. One great example is Chinese scientists developing technology to produce animal feed from industrial gas byproducts. This would reduce their soy imports which are now 80% of consumption, and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time, which is a really remarkable technological advancement.
But my question builds on Dr. George Koo talking about how China, in the West, can’t be trusted, because it’s not a Western democracy. And then, on the reverse side, we also see that Chinese and Russian leaders don’t have a lot of trust or faith in the U.S. government and its leaders, because of a long history of reneging on agreements, hypocritical policies and statements, and just bad-faith negotiations.
Two examples of this, is the presidential executive branch authority to withdraw the United States from international treaties, without the consent of Congress, like we saw with the INF Treaty with Russia, and others. Right now, Rep. Elaine Luria, a congressmember from Virginia, is calling to expand Biden’s authority to go to war with China over Taiwan. This would be without Congressional approval. That’s one thing CODEPINK is advocating against, trying to get folks to be aware that this risk of nuclear war is very real.
So, how can we find other ways to build this trust? What are some opportunities for building trust between the governments of the U.S. and China in particular, for these panelists, in order to create more bilateralism that is built on a better foundation of trust? Any ideas for that? Thanks.
Koo: I really hate to be such a negative person, but I think the American people have to understand China has steadily said they would not be the first to fire, but they must have a credible second-strike capability, to deter anybody, any other country from thinking that they could launch an attack on China. And this is why they have been making so much technological advance in such things as a hypersonic missile, and so on; just because they want to make sure their threat is being treated seriously. It’s important for the American people to understand, that if our leaders in Washington start anything, everybody will have to pay, and it’s very, very serious, and deadly.
Zepp-LaRouche: If you ask around in African nations, or Latin American nations, you will find that people generally are so thankful and appreciative, because the Western powers could have developed Africa, Latin America, and much of Asia, even parts of Europe, but they didn’t! They did not! China came, and once they were in a position to do that—actually they wanted to do it much earlier. At the conference of the Regions Along the Eurasian Land-Bridge, which took place in 1996 in Beijing, which I participated in—already at that time—China said the Eurasian Land-Bridge was the strategic long-term perspective for China, up to the year 2010. And projects were being built, like the railway to Iran and things like that.
Then came the Asia crisis of 1997. This was a systemic crisis, which was then continued with the Russia GKO crisis. So, the whole thing got stopped.
But in the moment when China felt strong enough to make the initiative of the New Silk Road, they did! And in eight years, this has become the largest infrastructure development program in the history of mankind, ever. It completely dwarfs the Marshall Plan, and if other nations would take up the offer of the Chinese government, to cooperate in a win-win way, I think China would be very happy: Because the more countries would contribute, it would increase the stability, it would increase the benefits.
So, I think that there must be a real serious rethinking. Dr. Koo said earlier that 850 million of their own people have been lifted out of poverty. I was in China the first time in 1971, during the Cultural Revolution, and I have very vivid memory, and many pictures from that time; and if I compare that to today, there is nothing like that, there has never been such a transformation of any country for the benefit of its own people. And they’re now basically saying that they want to have a moderate, beautiful world, advanced culturally, by the year 2050 or 2049. If countries would just say, “Let’s do that! We are in such an incredible moment of history. Let’s join hands and really do these tasks!” Like developing of all the countries which right now are in terrible need.
Do you know what it means to be hungry every day? Almost 1 billion people are hungry every day; 2 billion people have no fresh water. So, if there would be just a stop to this stupid geopolitical confrontation, and one would say, the tasks of humanity are so enormous, why don’t we join hands and cooperate? It is just a small step! But it must be taken, and it should be supported by more and more people, so that there is the pressure from the population on the government to go in this direction. And I think that that is what we have to build.
Tang: I think the Belt and Road Initiative can be very much an alternative path forward, especially an alternative to U.S. unilaterally imposed sanctions, which are creating a lot of the famines and food insecurity globally. So, thank you.
Education in Times of Crisis
Speed: Thank you very much for your question. Helga, I think our final question for this panel, today, is the following: “My question is about the role of education in a time of crisis: John Quincy Adams is known for bringing the Russian language into school classrooms”—this was in the 19th century—“and believed that the next generation of students should value the culture and history of their distant friends. Could this be done today, while including Chinese and Russian as languages to be taught in schools, and these cultures to be taught in part of the curriculum, and what would the long-term effect of that be?”
Zepp-LaRouche: I’ve been convinced for a long time that you should give to every child, a newborn child, no matter where it’s born, the advantage of a universal education, in the tradition of Wilhelm von Humboldt, who said that the aim of education is a beautiful character. Humboldt defined that there are certain categories of knowledge which are more suitable to accomplish that beautiful character than others, one of them being the command of your own high language in the form of poetry, the learning of other languages, the knowledge about universal history, the natural sciences, as well as music, and things like that; that every child has the potential to become a genius.
No second person will ever become another Einstein or another Beethoven, because genius is very unique. But can you imagine what it would do, if we made a curriculum where children learn about universal history from the very beginning. That you take the history of humanity as your own, rather than just what your village, or your nation has accomplished. People would grow up as a different species; I mean, my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, at some point in his life started to talk about that however important the nation-state is, and it probably will be important for a very long time to come—because of tradition, culture, language—there will be another form of government, or another form of living together for the human species, which surpasses that.
I think the foretaste of that is how the astronauts are working together on the ISS, how astronauts report about their view of the planet from outer space, where you realize the vastness of the universe. If you remember the beautiful words of Lyndon LaRouche, which we heard at the beginning of this conference: we are a human species in a very large universe—2 trillion galaxies are known to exist so far.
Mankind as an Immortal Species
Lyn was saying great extinctions take place every 65 million years. That may not be what your ordinary politician is concerned about, because he thinks about the next election day, but if we want to think about becoming the immortal species, which I think we should, because it would be such a waste if all the beautiful music by Beethoven would be composed for no reason, or the works of Pushkin, and other great poets from other countries, we have to start thinking of how we, as a human species, can make steps in the direction of the long-term survivability of our species. And to stop the stupid conflict among the nuclear powers. It’s the first step, because if you can’t manage that, there is the danger of an annihilation of the human species, and it’s much closer than most people think.
Learning other languages—and I would please involve also German, which happens to be a beautiful language, and many pearls can be found if you master German—I think is an absolute right step to go. So, I would really enjoin our listeners: We can make a Renaissance! If we exchange the knowledge about the other great cultural traditions, I’m absolutely certain that that is the kind of environment in which a new Renaissance can occur. And why should we always be condemned to the ugliness of our present, so-called popular culture, which will be discussed tomorrow. There must be a desire for beauty for solving the problems, and I think we are on the verge of accomplishing that, if there are enough people of good will.
Speed: All right, thank you very much Helga. That will be the concluding remark that we’ll give for today’s Panel 1. We welcome you all to become of the Schiller Institute. For those of you who want to get the Collected Works of Lyndon LaRouche, the first of several volumes being published by the LaRouche Legacy Foundation is available .