This transcript appears in the April 22, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Crisis Facing U.S. Society
This is an edited transcript of the remarks of Caleb Maupin to the Third Panel of the Schiller Institute’s April 9, 2022 conference, “Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for All Nations.” Mr. Maupin is the founder and Director of the Center for Political Innovation.
I would like to thank the Schiller Institute for inviting me to join this very important web conference. I would like to thank Helga Zepp-LaRouche and all the other speakers who have come together today. Many different perspectives and many different parts of the world represented here on this panel; so many important voices. I’m really glad to be here representing the Center for Political Innovation today.
The economic crisis facing the United States is very serious. One thing that you will see that is greatly, heavily affecting working families throughout this country is the rising cost of fuel. If you go to a gas station anywhere in middle America, in Ohio where I was born, in Pennsylvania, in Texas, in Alabama, in Colorado, you wait outside of the gas station, you’ll see one thing. Usually, you’ll see a mother with children in the back seat of the car, and she’ll pull up to that gas station, and she will get out of her car, and she will take the gas pump out and she’ll put, very carefully, just $10 worth of gasoline into her car. She won’t fill up the tank; she’ll just be very careful to stick the gas pump into the tank, and just very carefully put $10 worth of gasoline into her car.
Why is she doing that? You can’t go very far on $10 worth of gasoline. But it’s enough to get the kids to school; it’s enough to get to the grocery store and buy food; it’s enough to get to work for one more day.
Working families across the United States are struggling, and Joe Biden seems to say this is our patriotic duty; we just have to endure this. This is the cost of being supportive of Ukraine and fighting against Russia. But there are millions of Americans who don’t buy it, and millions of Americans who are sick and tired of seeing big banks and big oil companies and big Wall Street monopolists enrich themselves while the country gets poorer and poorer and poorer.
But I want to contrast that example of what you’re seeing all across America, with what’s going on in Eurasia. A few years ago, I had the ability in 2017 to go to Sochi, Russia, to what they call the Valdai Discussion Club. This is a think tank that’s run by the Russian government. I got to hear a number of key voices speak. Among those I heard at the Valdai Discussion Club was Asle Toje of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. In his remarks, Asle Toje talked about how in Eurasia and in Russia, and in China, and in the Central Asian countries, and in Pakistan, this is a golden era. High-speed railway is being laid; access to electricity is being brought to remote regions; people are being lifted up from poverty; new opportunities are being created.
Americans have been shielded and prevented from being aware of the huge amount of economic growth and opportunity and construction that is taking place in Eurasia. It has been just completely covered up, and people don’t know about it. I think part of the reason that U.S. media has worked so hard to conceal the economic miracles that are happening on the other side of the planet from us, is because it’s just common sense.
When you see so much construction and so much growth, what the BRI, the Belt and Road Initiative, is doing; what Russia is doing with the Eurasian Economic Union; what’s happening with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor—when you see that, it’s just common sense that as the economy in the United States is getting worse, that rather than having a hostile attitude toward Russia, and a hostile attitude toward China, we should be cooperating with them.
If we want conditions in the United States to improve, we should start doing business with them, and we should start trying to figure out how we can get some of that growth to come over here. And how we can cooperate and have joint ventures. How Russian companies and Chinese companies can team up with American companies to make life better in the heartland where our roads are crumbling and where the water treatment facilities are falling apart, and the power plants are in shambles. It would just be common sense to have Russia, China, and the United States working together to build a whole new country.
About the Center for Political Innovation
I’m coming here as a representative of the Center for Political Innovation, and I want to let you know about the Center for Political Innovation. We are a think-tank; we are not a new political party or a new political formation. We are simply an entity of people rooted in socialist and Marxist and historical and dialectical materialist world views, who are trying to develop policy solutions and carry out political education in the United States. We begin each of our conferences with the following pledge:
The CPI Pledge of Unity
We pledge that we shall remember this unity forged at the end of the Second World War, not only today, not only this week, this year, but always. Until we have built the world we have dreamed of and fought for, we pledge ourselves to build the unity of the people of the world; all races, all colors, all nationalities, all beliefs. To eliminate all traces of fascism from the Earth; to build a deep and sincere international friendship among the people of the world. To keep a just, lasting peace; to eliminate want, frustration, and enforced idleness. We have come to confirm the unity of all people; to salute our comrades who have died; and to pledge our word that skillful hands, keen brains, and bold enthusiasm shall nevermore be wasted in war.
That is the CPI—Center for Political Innovation—Pledge of Unity. We got it, we adjusted it, adapted it from the pledge of the World Democratic Youth Federation. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Soviet Union convened the World Democratic Youth Federation, and brought together young people from all across the planet to come together and pledge to build peace in the world, to oppose fascism, to oppose imperialism and war, to fight for economic development. That is a form of left-wing politics that has been largely obscured.
At the Center for Political Innovation, we do a lot to talk about Henry Wallace and his great Presidential campaign in 1948, standing against McCarthyism. We talk about William Z. Foster and his optimistic vision of the new Europe coming out of the Second World War, and the hope that countries could come together. We talk about the heroism of those who stood up against McCarthyism; Ideas They Cannot Jail, by Eugene Dennis, and others. This is the kind of socialist politics that’s largely missing from U.S. political discourse.
Leftism in the United States has become tainted with pessimism, hopelessness, destruction, culture wars, and vengeful politics. One example is, there’s a socialist group in the United States that claims to be a Maoist organization, that claims to support the Chinese Communist Party. They’re called the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. And while the country is facing the economic crisis that’s devastating middle America, and while we have this danger of war on the horizon, what are they focussing on? Well, their activism right now is focussed on trying to get Republicans banned from student governments in universities in Texas. They are focussed on trying to purge Republicans from student governments.
This is a ridiculous distortion of the politics of so many heroic individuals like Eugene Debs and Gus Hall; those who laid the basis with the Civil Rights Congress; Paul Robeson; William L. Patterson, and so many others. This destructive, cancel-culture leftism is a complete distortion of what so many people who believed in socialism, believed in Marxism, and had an optimistic outlook stood for.
It’s in that light that I want to thank the Schiller Institute for convening great conferences like this. I want to thank The LaRouche Organization for what they have done. And even though we have a different world view and we’re coming at things from a different perspective, I must say that your organization has been a great source of inspiration.
I actually wanted to hold this up [holds up a book]. I was very excited when I got my copy of the Collected Works of Lyndon LaRouche. I was very excited to get my hands on it, but I was a little bit disappointed, because when I opened to the Table of Contents, I discovered that I already owned every book and every text that was reprinted in it!
You can be sure that the experience of the Schiller Institute and of The LaRouche Organization, and the history of the National Caucus of Labor Committees, and the organizing that was done in times past and continues to go on by the Schiller Institute and The LaRouche Organization, is definitely a source of inspiration for the work that we are doing. We are definitely learning from so much of the great work that has been done by your organization over the years, and we appreciate the ability to cooperate on things we agree on. Like rebuilding the country with infrastructure; like building understanding and international friendship and cooperation with Russia and China; like opposing the drive for war and political repression.
‘We Fight for the Millions, not the Millionaires’
I really am hopeful, that despite all the pessimism, and despite all the distortions we’re currently seeing in U.S. politics, that something optimistic can break through. There are many people in the United States who don’t buy what Joe Biden is saying; don’t buy the de-growth agenda that speaks in the name of socialism and leftism. And instead would like to challenge the powers that be, and fight for economic growth and construction in this age of darkness and pessimism, and look to Eurasia for inspiration.
There was a friend of mine who was a German anti-imperialist activist, and he told me about how back in the 1980s, he used to see campaign posters for organizations aligned with Lyndon LaRouche and the Schiller Institute in Germany. They would have images of railways and trains across Russia and China going into Europe. They looked at these posters and they thought, “This is crazy science fiction! This is delusional.” Now, he looked back on that, and realizes just how right and how much of a visionary Lyndon LaRouche was—that he really did understand the way the world was moving.
In one of his books—I believe it’s Earth’s Next Fifty Years—he talked about the Eurasian future for the planet. And that in the writing of Lyndon LaRouche, there was a huge amount of deep understanding of how the world works, of what motivates people, and where the world is going. There’s plenty that can be learned from it.
It’s very clear that the reason Lyndon LaRouche was put in jail was not for any crime he committed, but because he stood up to the forces of destruction and pessimism. That’s why he was put in prison. Exonerating Lyndon LaRouche and making clear he was not guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted is something that should happen.
All political prisoners should be freed in the United States. Instead of jailing political activists and instead of keeping political activists from the Black liberation movement or the Native American struggle, like Leonard Pelletier, in jail, we should begin investigating the crimes of American intelligence agencies and the crimes of the FBI and the COINTELPRO program; what they’ve done to progressives throughout U.S. history.
I want to just end by going back to what I started with—that image of those children in the back seat of the car, where the mother is putting just $10 worth of gas in the tank of her car. And I want to remind people, that that’s who we’re fighting for. We fight for the millions, not the millionaires. We fight for a United States where working families can have justice, and can be seen as an asset. And all people are given a place, and an economy that marches ahead and builds a whole new world. We’re fighting for a society where human beings aren’t viewed as animals or economic calculations, but rather as creatures with great creative potential to build a new world and create great discoveries and innovations.
So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this invitation, and I look forward to the discussion at the conclusion of hearing from the other speakers.