This transcript appears in the April 22, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
This is an edited transcript of the public discussion following the presentations to the Third Panel of the April 9, 2022 Schiller Institute Conference, “To Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for All Nations.” Participating were moderator Harley Schlanger and speakers Jacques Cheminade, Caleb Maupin, and Diogène Senny.
Harley Schlanger: We’ve received many more questions than we can get to, and I’m sorry we won’t be able to get to all your questions. But I thank people for the passion that went into these questions.
How To Make Westphalian Peace Possible?
Let’s start with this question, for anyone on the panel. Someone wrote in: “Given the obvious unwillingness of the U.S. and NATO to even consider President Putin’s reasonable insistence on security guarantees, and the enmity shown toward Russia with the sanctions regime, what change would make forgiveness possible to reach a Westphalian peace?”
Jacques Cheminade: I think both in the Western policies and international policies, there is a wrong sense of what “security” means. “Security” is not only to protect against vengeful enemies. Security is both social—to be fed and to have your health properly taken care of—security is economic, the capacity to develop your society to higher forms of production; it’s education; and it’s also, of course, public health. This is our Ibn Sina project.
So, this sense of security as a whole justice done to the creative powers of the human being, should be again put forward; and this is what our conference is doing, I think. It explains that if you need security, it can only be secured by development, and by mutual development. I think that’s the key of the period to come.
For that, you must feel in yourself the right emotions. When you see, as it was said before, millions—probably 1 billion people—threatened to die, either by hunger or cold, by inadequate cure, or other reasons. When you see that, if you are not moved, there is something wrong with you. Why is there then something wrong? This is connected to what Caleb Maupin just said. It’s a distortion of emotions. To do the right thing and to act according to a human behavior, you should feel in yourself the right emotions leading you to discover, to create, to do things that would improve the state of your society and the world. If you are fed with the wrong emotions, then you start to be destroyed and you can’t act as you should have acted.
It reminds me of a discussion with Amelia Robinson many years ago. We were discussing the issue of slavery; that people’s bodies have apparently been freed from slavery, but the minds have not been freed from slavery, and our task through a culture related to Westphalia, related to Bandung, related to all moments when human beings meant to do something better with themselves, should be to break with the slavery of the minds and inspire people to the spirit of Westphalia, which is not only the advantage of the other, but forgetting the grievances and seeing the future that is necessary instead of looking at the past. And in the past, looking at what was potentially and what brings a possibility for a better future. So, if you are like that, and in your behavior you all the time stick to that, then the world can be changed.
To Save a Billion from Starving
Schlanger: Someone wrote, “Why is no action being taken to address the danger of 1 billion people starving to death due to sanctions from the United States?” And a second question along those same lines, “How can an ordinary person contribute to establishing a new security order?” Caleb, why don’t we start with you?
Caleb Maupin: Sure. As far as the second question—How can an ordinary person contribute to establishing a new security order?—At this point, it is very important that every person learn to challenge the lies that we are being spoon-fed. Every day, coming out of our cell phones, there is just a wave of anti-Russian propaganda. It’s coming at us from Twitter, it’s coming at us from Facebook, it’s coming at us from our televisions and our laptops. The only thing that many of us have is our own voice.
Many of us know that these bio-labs that U.S. media pretend don’t exist, are, in fact, real. Victoria Nuland acknowledged them on the floor of Congress. Well, we have a responsibility to step into the uncomfortable situation and tell our co-workers about those bio-labs. We have a responsibility if we go to university to raise our hand in class, and tell our classmates about those bio-labs. When we hear Russia accused of these crimes now that it’s very apparent they haven’t committed—like this allegation about the Bucha massacre and other allegations that have been thrown at Russia—we have a responsibility to use our individual power as a person to stand against the grain.
The greatest heroes throughout history are not the ones who just went along with how things were going. Look at Joan of Arc, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These are people who took unpopular stands, and said things that were quite “cancellable.” But they knew they were true, and they knew the world was going in a dangerous direction, and they stood up and said things that were not popular. That’s what we need people to do: We need people to take a stand, and become heroic and not be afraid to say that the Azov Battalion, this division of the Ukrainian military that is made up of actual Nazis, is not worth the support of the American people.
Not one single American life should be sacrificed, not one single American should be sent to die in Ukraine to prop up a regime that tears down World War II memorials, impoverishes its people, and is working with the Pentagon on these mysterious bio-labs that now we’re being told don’t exist. People need to be heroic.
Now, as far as the first question, that was about what hope is there. In the United States there are a lot of small business owners. There are a lot of small farmers like we just heard from here on the panel. There are a lot of people who own their own company. There are a lot of tech start-ups. There are a lot of people who want economic growth. And they’re seeing how the big monopolies—the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, the DuPonts, the Silicon Valley tech giants, the big banks—have a strategy of keeping the economy wrecked as long as possible and securing their monopoly. That strategy stands in opposition to what’s going on in Russia and China. In Russia and China, they believe in economic growth. Marxism has changed a lot since the Cold War. Deng Xiaoping said, “Poverty is not socialism, but to be rich is glorious.”
There is understanding that while it’s important for the means of production—the banks, factories, and industries—to be organized to serve the people, and for there to be five-year economic plans and economic development directed by a government that fights for working people, you still need a private sector. You need hotel owners, you need small farmers, you need restaurant chains, you need tech start-ups. And an alliance between the members of the middle class, the small business owners who believe in growth, and the working class and the labor movement, who don’t appreciate what Jeff Bezos is doing and how he’s treating his workers.
That’s the way forward, and it the big monopolist, the huge corporations, the banks, the oil giants that are trying to roll back human progress. They are the enemy of all humanity. And it is ultimately in the economic interest of all working people—whether they work for wages or whether they own a small business—it is in their economic interest to see the artificial restraints imposed on society by the irrational rule of profits, rolled back. Kind of a new alignment based on understanding that economic growth is necessary; based on the understanding that war is not in the interests of the world; and World War III would be a nightmare. A new kind of alignment is necessary, I would say, and small business owners, farmers have an important role to play in it.
China would not have built itself up the way it has over the past 20 years without an alliance with a lot of Chinese small business owners who worked with the Chinese Communist Party to ensure economic growth. Growth is the way to a more egalitarian prosperous society. If you don’t believe in growth, you’re not progressive.
African Nations Stand Up
Schlanger: Diogène, let me ask you a question from your experience in organizing in Africa. What do you think is the role of the individual in accomplishing what you’re trying to do with Pan-Africanism? How do you organize people to become involved?
Diogène Senny: [via interpreter] Thank you. We in Africa were somehow the byproducts, we’re in the suburbs of the geopolitical, European, old colonial system; but everything which is going on there has side-effects on what is happening in our regions.
The fact that, because on the last vote [in the UN General Assembly to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council —ed.], many African countries abstained and were refusing to take sides, and were completely into the non-alignment, this is happening because, through modern technology and through the Internet, and especially since the Libya intervention , there’s a very deep awareness in the civil society in Africa about what’s really going on, and they don’t want to be taken hostage into this situation.
This new situation of information in civil society somehow makes our job easier, but Pan-African ideology and ideas which we are promoting in the UMOJA—We have been subjected to very much repression. The best-known cases are what happened with Patrice Lumumba, who was assassinated, and then many other people in this current, who suffered a lot of persecution, and finally they tried to put them in a box to isolate them, to prevent them from taking over by their ideas. But this now is falling apart and there is a new generation of young Africans who are completely open to the comeback of the Pan-African proposals.
We have to honor this revolution which is going on. It has been a long fight over decades to get to where we are today. Pan-African ideology is really an antidote to geopolitics because we will get rid of geopolitics, we will get rid of military bases, of zones and spheres of influence. And it will be a multilateral—not a geopolitical—new order of non-alignment which is being built right now.
Schlanger: In light of what we just heard, Jacques, for you, someone wrote: How do we get rid of the corrupt, obsolete Western institutions? And a second part of that is: Should institutions like the CIA and National Security Agency even exist, if we want to establish true collaboration between nations?
Cheminade: Well, people should learn what Lyndon LaRouche did during all his life against all this, against the oligarchy and the institutions of the oligarchy. I would simply say that exonerating Lyndon LaRouche is a matter of public security, of public safety, not only for the world, but for the minds of our fellow citizens in each of our countries. And that would be a good beginning: to discuss these ideas that we are discussing in fact today, but to continue as a pursuit of happiness in that sense.
What Solutions Are We For?
Schlanger: Caleb, this one is for you: How can the patriotic left and the right work together to overcome the imperialist Anglo-American oligarchy and make possible the new architecture for the world?
Maupin: I don’t think it’s a question of bringing people together on the basis of whether or not they are left or whether or not they are right. The unity that’s needed should be based on the program, what you are for, and serious proposals need to be put forward about what we’re for—not what we’re against, not where we stand in cultural divides, but what we are in favor of, what solutions we believe in.
Look at the situation on the U.S. border, for example: The fact that there are so many people from Central America coming to the United States. There needs to be an emergency plan for economic development of that region. The Mexican government would be on board with that; the United States needs to be on board with that. Nicaragua would be on board with that; China would be happy to get involved. And we need some kind of emergency economic development to address the needs of the people in that region. And that would address the issue of mass migration and the refugee crisis on the border.
So, it should be approached as, “Are you for an emergency economic development corridor in the Southwestern United States and in Central America, or are you against it?”
And the same for other policies. Policy solutions: Rebuilding the infrastructure of the United States, putting our oil and natural gas and natural resources under public ownership, so that money goes into the public budget, not into the pockets of Wall Street corporations. Setting up a National Bank that could lend money and rebuild the infrastructure of the country. These are policy solutions, and we should approach people on the question, “Are you for this or are you against it?” Not “Are you from a left perspective? Are you from a right-wing perspective?” That’s not the way to approach things.
And the more you get to know Americans, wherever you go in the United States, there’s a feeling that the economy is in ruin; there’s a feeling that a small group of rich people have the power; and there’s also a feeling that our civil liberties are being stripped away. And that goes for right-wing Americans, for left-wing Americans, for Midwestern Americans, for Southern Americans, urban Americans, rural Americans—everybody knows these things in their bones! They know that the country is transitioning to a low-wage police state and the economy is being demolished.
So, if we can present ourselves, all of us of different perspectives, as the force of opposition to that deadly transition, that deadly Great Reset, then we have a hope for changing things, and winning over popular support.
Schlanger: Thank you. We’re now going to conclude: I’m going to give each of you two minutes to give a summary. Diogène, let’s start with you.
Senny: [via interpreter] Yes, thank you. First of all, I want to thank all the people who organized the participation of this conference, which is coming really at the right moment, seeing the current events.
Concerning the information which we’re getting from the media, we have to remain very cautious. On the African continent, we are only waiting; we know that we will take part in world governance; our participation will be frank and full, and entirely participating. We are fighting from the inside to free ourselves, and to allow this continent, Africa, which gave so much to the world, to fully participate in world governance. Today, our continent is enlisted, it’s used as an army by other powers, the people are victims of these international policies.
The basis for Pan-African thinking is the right of the people, which includes the right for energy, water and healthcare. We will focus our fight against the illegal debt: We have been enslaved by debt which doesn’t represent real investment in infrastructure or anything else. We’re also fighting very strongly the military spheres, the foreign military bases on our continent; and naturally, for a sovereign continent, which can fully participate in the new world which we are building together. Thank you.
Maupin: I live in Brooklyn. I’m talking to you from Brooklyn, New York. And really close to my house, there is a bridge that overlooks the tracks where the N Train runs, the train I take to work every day. There’s a bridge over the train tracks. One day, I was walking past that bridge, and I saw a father with two little children. When the train came underneath the bridge, the kids were looking over the bridge, looking through little holes in the fence, in the concrete wall, and looking down at the train going on the tracks, and when they saw that train coming, they just jumped up, and cheered and celebrated! They were so excited to see that train.
And I’m thinking to myself, “This is the same train that I see every day, when I go to work.” But in a way, those kids are right, because a train is a miracle. If you think about what human beings have done: In just a few thousand years, we’ve gone from hunter-gatherers in the woods, to space travel and iPhones, and high-speed railway: This shows the power of human beings. Ants have been building their ant farms the same way for thousands of years. Beavers have been building their beaver dams the same way for thousands of years.
But there’s something special about human beings: We are a species that is constantly reinventing the way we interact with our environment, and it’s full of great potential. It’s that optimism that once filled the United States with hope. In better times, the time when the Second American Revolution was going on, when Abraham Lincoln was aligning with Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass to defeat the slaveholders; in the time of [Franklin] Roosevelt, when there was a popular front and labor activists and African-American organizers were coming together to align the United States with the Soviet Union to defeat fascism, there was a belief in this kind of optimism, and hope in the human spirit. It’s that kind of sentiment that we need to get back to. We need to get away from the pessimism, from the self-destruction from the hopelessness that is pouring from all sides of U.S. society right now. We need to rekindle and we need to connect. That’s the most important thing.
This pandemic has led people to being isolated from each other. But building real activist communities, where people are working together, and people learn to be patient with each other, they learn to depend on each other, they learn to draw strength from each other and build off of each other’s optimism, building real communities of solidarity, that is the hope for the way out of this. And that is the hope for getting the United States out of the crisis it’s facing. That is the hope for getting the world onto a better footing.
I hope that I’ve been able to contribute to this discussion well, and put forward that vision here. I want to thank, once again, the folks from the Schiller Institute for convening this very, very important conference.
Cheminade: Let’s continue to put together an end to something that we all feel is unbearable, including the abysmal present level of the French presidential elections, I must add.
Let’s fight with the eyes of the future to rebuild public credit, for development of a platform that has to be developed to make the world possible. Because we are faced with something which is really like a death sentence for the world, if it continues, through a danger of economic collapse, or war.
Demand first to work on our own way of thinking, redesigning our own way of thinking and of redesigning the world. Then politics get a sense—not what they are today—but politics have a sense, it’s just politics, and it brings joy and happiness when you are involved in them, and I think today is a proof of it.
Schlanger: Thank you, Jacques, Caleb, Diogène and also Mike Callicrate, for your participation. This brings to a close our third panel.