EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR MONDAY JULY 18, 2022
Anguish at the Crisis; Hope At Its Solution
July 17, 2022 (EIRNS)—At last Friday’s Schiller Institute weekly strategic discussion with members and supporters in Ibero-America, one after another of the participants came to the microphone on the video conference call to report on the anguishing economic collapse underway in each of their countries.
In Mexico, there is a deadly drought striking large portions of the north of the country, aggravating the already grave food crisis. One million people have been ordered to ration water. Inflation is at 8% and rising; a growing number of industries can no longer get the inputs they need to keep producing.
In Peru, one-third of the country’s 33 million people are eating only one meal a day, and 13% are eating only one meal every other day—according to a radio report by an official of the National Statistics Institute. Urgently needed imported fertilizer is no longer available, due to sanctions against Russia and soaring international prices. The cost of public transportation in Lima was just raised by 30%.
In Argentina, the inflation rate rose to 64% in July, up from 61% in June. Poverty has increased by some 40% since the beginning of the year, and now stands at about 43% of the population. Subjected to financial warfare as well, the official peso exchange rate is 130 to the dollar, while the black-market rate has soared to 300. The country risk rating on debt stands at 2,700—a 27% premium on the interest rate that the country has to pay lenders. These are default levels: bankers are betting that Argentina is going to blow out.
Argentina is only the worst case, but the rest of Ibero-America is also being wrecked by inflation. The July rates are:
Haiti 25.2% (up from 24% in June)
Chile 12.5% (up from 11.5%)
Brazil 11.9% (up from 11.7%)
Colombia 9.7% (up from 9.1%)
Peru 8.9% (up from 8.1%)
Mexico 8% (up from 7.7%)
The situation in other developing nations in Asia and the Middle East is the same. In much of Africa it is worse.
Yet at the same time, in every nation around the world, people are gazing in wonder, and with optimism, at the photographs of our universe which the James Webb telescope is sending back to Earth. As a Mexican businessman participating in the Schiller Institute meeting put it, after reporting on the deadly crisis facing his nation: “But I think we should also congratulate the entire human species for the Webb telescope achievement!”
A half-century ago, Lyndon LaRouche foresaw the coming breakdown crisis of the trans-Atlantic world under these policies, and repeatedly provided a policy alternative. For example, his article “President Reagan’s New Strategic Doctrine as the Alternative to Soviet Thermonuclear Confrontation,” which was published in the Nov. 29, 1983 issue of EIR included the following policy perspective which remains fully applicable today:
“The limitation of the causes of warfare requires two broad categories of political cooperation between the two Superpowers.
“The first must be cooperation in creating a new global economic order among states, consistent in effect with the 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio. We must replace the bankrupt and oppressive Bretton Woods system with a new global monetary order supplying low-cost, long-term credit for technology transfer to developing nations. This will foster a capital-goods export-boom in industrialized nations, while increasing the productive powers of labor among developing nations. If the United States and the Soviet Union can join to effect what Dr. Teller has called the ‘common aims of mankind’ in this way, that cooperation will contribute greatly to removing the political causes of war.
“Such an implementation of Populorum Progressio is not to be considered as something merely added onto the strategic doctrine. The new technologies required for defensive weapons-systems represent the greatest technological advance in the productive powers of labor in human existence to date. The mere $200 billion spent over five years or so, by each superpower in developing the new defensive systems, will be paid back to humanity many times over even during the remaining years of this century, through great advances in the productive powers of labor occurring as these technologies spill over into civilian economy through improved machine tools and other categories of capital goods production.
“The second general area of political cooperation must be in the areas of exploration and human colonization of nearby space. This has more direct bearing on the technologies employed in the new defensive weapons-systems, and has profound implications for changing the way in which the human race views itself within our universe.
“With or without beam weapons, the progress of science today is more or less entirely centered around a revolution in our knowledge of the laws of our universe emerging from three overlapping areas of fundamental research. The first is a revolution in plasma physics fostered by advances toward mastery of controlled thermonuclear fusion as the future primary energy source of human existence. The second, somewhat distinct but closely related to the first, is progress in development of high-powered modes of coherent radiation of beams of energy, for which the development of the so-called free-electron laser is one of the most interesting programs presently under way. The third area is a new approach to the mastery of living processes, for which micro-biotechnology is an important but ultimately relatively minor feature. If one were obliged to identify some single area of human activity in which all three elements perform an interdependent function, one must choose man’s colonization of the Moon and Mars as exemplary....
“It has been and continues to be my proposal that the negotiation of agreement on the new strategic doctrine be the foundation for developing agreement for collaboration on these two larger tasks of the next hundred years.”