This article appears in the November 24, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Schiller Institute and the Eurasian Land-Bridge
Richard A. Black serves as the Schiller Institute’s Representative at the United Nations in New York City. This is his presentation to Special Session I, “Economic Integration and Conjugation in Favor of a Unified Eurasian Security Architecture,” of the high-level international conference “Eurasian Security: Reality and Prospects in the Transforming World,” in Minsk, Belarus, Oct. 26–27. Embedded links have been added.
The modern idea of Eurasian integration and security is as old as the Russian Academy of Sciences, itself. The 17th-Century universal genius, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, wrote in 1697, in his News from China:
I consider it a singular plan of the fates that human cultivation and refinement should today be concentrated, as it were, in the two extremes of our continent, in Europe and in China, which adorns the Orient as Europe does the opposite edge of the Earth. Perhaps Supreme Providence has ordained such an arrangement, so that as the most cultivated and distant peoples stretch out their arms to each other, those in between may gradually be brought to a better way of life. I do not think it an accident that the Russians, whose vast realm connects Europe with China … should be led to the emulation of our ways through the strenuous efforts of their present ruler [Peter I].
In my remarks today, I will review three aspects of the contributions offered by the Schiller Institute in the ongoing, historic dialogue on Eurasian integration: 1) the public introduction of the “Eurasian Land-Bridge” proposal of 1991; 2) the contributions to the science of physical economy made by American philosopher and economist, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.; and 3) a discussion document circulated widely by Schiller Institute founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, titled, “Ten Principles for a New Security and Development Architecture.”
‘The Eurasian Land-Bridge’ Proposed
The Schiller Institute responded to the disintegration of the Soviet Union by proposing, in 1991, the “Eurasian Land-Bridge” concept. The Land-Bridge would run along 3 corridors, East to West: Firstly, along the Trans-Siberian railway and the line of the ancient Silk Road; secondly, from China, via Central Asia and Eastern Europe; and thirdly, from Indonesia, through India, Iran, and Turkey, into Western Europe. In discussion with experts in China, we helped initiate in 1996, and participated in, a large in Beijing, on “the New Eurasian Land-Bridge.”
Several principles defined the project. Firstly, these proposed routes were to be not merely transport lines, but rather, corridors of economic development, within which lines of power and communication, educational institutions, and belts of materials processing industries would be built.
This proposal was then elaborated with the publication in 2014 of the book-length , “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” which included scores of maps detailing critical connections between the development corridors: a tunnel across the Bering Strait connecting [The Chukotka Peninsula of] Russia and [the Seward Peninsula] of Alaska; the Strait of Malacca Bridge; the Strait of Gibraltar Tunnel; and the Darien Gap Inter-American Railway, connecting Central and South America.
How Do We Pay for It?
How shall this network of major development projects be financed? This is addressed in a recent [June 16, 2023] in Executive Intelligence Review, “Some LaRouche Essentials for Transition to a New International Financial System.” Authors Small and Freeman outline the required principles for action. They write:
Stated simply: It is necessary, but not even close to sufficient, to abandon the sinking financial Titanic.... There are three, central criteria that the new system and its currency must meet:
1. Total separation between the new currency and participating national currencies, on the one side, and the predatory, toxic dollar on the other, i.e., no free convertibility between them. Exchange and capital controls become essential tools to achieve that result. For the United States, this means a return to Glass-Steagall, with its strict separation between productive credit and speculative activity.
2. A fixed exchange-rate relationship between and among those participating national currencies and the new currency. Floating exchange rates have been a tool of financial speculation since August 1971, and they are anathema to long-term trade and investment cooperation among sovereign nations.
3. Productive credit must be issued in that new currency to finance great development projects, with a heavy emphasis on science and advanced technologies…. Think Alexander Hamilton.
What does “Think Alexander Hamilton” mean? Here, we have a crucial principle of physical economy: a nation’s monetary process, run by the sovereign state, must serve the protection and the advancement of the general welfare of the citizenry. A case in point: in the 20th Century, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt launched the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), using these methods, to lift the nation out of depression, and to build the arsenal which came to aid the Soviet Union in the crushing of the Nazi scourge, only 75 years ago.
On LaRouche’s Discovery
As we examine the prospect of Eurasian integration, inclusive of each nation’s economic security, the question arises: is there a scientifically knowable set of principles which, if applied by sovereign nation states, can integrate the economic potential of the fertile soils of central Europe, the industries of the Ural mountain region, the river basins of China, and the tundra of Russia?
Lyndon LaRouche offered new ideas. He defined 1) the physical economic metric of potential relative population density in national sectors, 2) the measure of the comparative energy-flux density of power sources employed, and 3) the role of advances in fundamental science research for both the immediate and the very long-term success of a national economy. In a Nov. 21, 1993 , titled “On LaRouche’s Discovery,” LaRouche stated:
The central feature of my original contribution to the Leibniz science of physical economy is the provision of a method for addressing the causal relationship between, on the one side, individuals’ contributions to axiomatically revolutionary advances in scientific and analogous forms of knowledge, and, on the other side, consequent increases in the potential population-density of corresponding societies. In its application to political economy, my method focuses analysis upon the central role of the following, three-step sequence: first, axiomatically revolutionary forms of scientific and analogous discovery; second, consequent advances in machine-tool and analogous principles; finally, consequent advances in the productive powers of labor.
LaRouche’s Voice Was Heard Very Well
How are LaRouche’s discoveries in physical economy viewed in Eurasia today for providing both economic security and peace based on nations’ mutual advance? Eminent Russian economist, Commissioner of the Executive Body of the Eurasian Economic Union, Academician Dr. Sergei Glazyev, offered the following evaluation in a message to the Schiller Institute of Germany, on the occasion of the centenary in 2022, of LaRouche’s birth. Dr. Glazyev said, in part:
… As for the liberal globalization that today is leading to the collapse of the world financial system, LaRouche criticized it. He proposed a different model of globalization, based on the principles of Physical Economy: in particular, the famous project, which he and his wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, put forward for international discussion—the so-called Eurasian [Land-]Bridge. This is a splendid and interesting project, which now, after many years, has begun to be implemented through the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, which we support through linking it with the Eurasian Economic Union….
LaRouche’s voice was heard very well. We remember him. In practically all the major countries in the world that today are developing successfully—above all India and China—there are partisans of LaRouche. They have used his thoughts and ideas, for creating their economic miracles. It is the principles of Physical Economy championed by LaRouche, that today underlie the Chinese economic miracle and are there in the foundations of India’s economic development policy. The supporters of LaRouche in those countries exert a fruitful, very positive, and constructive influence on economic policy-shaping in these leading nations of the new world economic paradigm.
Ten Principles for a New Security and Development Architecture
Drawing on the work of 15th-Century philosopher Nicolaus Kusansky, she stated,
A solution to the existential threat to humanity cannot be found with the help of secondary or partial arrangements, but the solution must be found on the level of that higher One, which is more powerful than the Many. It requires the thinking on the level of Coincidentia Oppositorum, the Coincidence of Opposites, of Nicholas of Cusa.
Citing the well-known Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and the UN Charter, she elaborated principles of the fundamental human rights to a modern health system, to universal education, and to a monetary system which guarantees a modern living standard to the entire Global South.
So far, so good. But, by far the most controversial is the Tenth Principle:
The basic assumption for the new paradigm is, that man is fundamentally good and capable to infinitely perfect the creativity of his mind and the beauty of his soul, and being the most advanced geological force in the universe, which proves that the lawfulness of the mind and that of the physical universe are in correspondence and cohesion, and that all evil is the result of a lack of development, and therefore can be overcome.
A new world economic order is emerging, involving the vast majority of the countries of the Global South. The European nations and the U.S. must not fight this effort, but by joining hands with the developing countries, cooperate to shape the next epoch of the development of the human species to become a renaissance of the highest and most noble expressions of creativity!
Can Mankind be pulled back from the edge, now in sight, of thermonuclear war, stemming from the conflict in Ukraine and from the recent igniting of war in Southwest Asia?
Can the power of physical economic development, as the securer of peace, be revived in the West? The miraculous economic achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative had—to many observers—seemingly “come from nowhere!” Neo-liberal economists on every continent had predicted that the BRICS would fracture amid centuries-old conflicts. They were all wrong! Instead, BRICS is now a force in history.
On the question of security, in the West, a distinguished array of senior, retired military and foreign policy veterans are demanding a ceasefire and negotiations to end the conflict in Ukraine and demanding a new security architecture. Will they be successful?
The Global South Has Stood Up
The Global South has now stood up. The French-speaking nations of Africa have now stood up. Brazil has now stood up. Colonialism is dead. We must use every tool of history to force to emerge in the West the will to survive and to endure, to join the new system of development. Recall the history-shaping friendship between Roosevelt and Stalin; the extensive written correspondences between Khrushchev and Kennedy; the meetings between Nixon, Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, and Mao. The great Friedrich Schiller challenges us: “Dare to be wise!” The moral force of Eurasian development—across the Bering Strait and across the Strait of Gibraltar—must be brought to bear.