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At the Crossroads of History: ‘We Need an Explosion of Optimism’

July 9, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Weather forecasts can be fairly predictable, except when they’re not. It’s those fascinating intervals when great forces gather, seemingly out of nowhere, that epochal changes may occur.

At a momentous Schiller Institute conference in Strasbourg, France, its founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche challenged those attending on her forecast. The variety of processes that are unmistakably afoot—including the blowout of the financial system, the exhaustion of the Ukrainian population, the Global South on the rise—make the immediate period ahead both full of danger and pregnant with the most exciting opportunities for world development. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was cited as encapsulating the rise of the Global South. His June 22 Paris challenge to the West was to put up or shut up: Build the long-delayed Inga Dam project for the Congo River (key for addressing the over half a billion Africans without electricity) or we simply can’t trust anything you say. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche emphasized that there is a palpable determination to build a new, workable economic system, but that there are branching points in history when changes may come too late. We are in the middle of that process now, and that is the defining activity for at least the next year or two.

On the eve of the NATO summit in Vilnius, July 11-12, Western media outlets are obsessed that Vladimir Putin and Russia will celebrate the disunity and fracturing of the vaunted Western alliance, on the heels of the vaunted Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ruptures over whether to commit to Ukraine joining NATO, which is understood to mean an escalated path to thermonuclear confrontation with Russia, is dividing Germany from Poland, etc. The media outlets, however, are mainly concerned not to give Putin a victory, so their concerns over Vilnius amount to putting lipstick on a pig. Yet the participants have to figure out how to phrase NATO’s language on the future Western collaboration with Ukraine, and this boils down to, how long can one dance with the devil of a thermonuclear exchange. Further, the decades-long immiseration of Western industry has left Ukraine without munitions, and the price of buying time is the only supply of munitions the U.S. can throw at the problem—cluster bombs. The ugliness of such desperation is fracturing the Western allies even further.

In the U.S., Politico covered the outbreak of various Democrats to Biden’s decision, including that of Rep. Betty McCollum (MN), the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, who said: “The decision by the Biden administration to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine is unnecessary and a terrible mistake.” They reported on months of efforts by House Democrats, warning the administration to stay clear of cluster bombs. Whether their perceived insult and outrage drives them toward sanity remains to be seen. But they are not alone.

On July 7, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s craziness accomplished some good. He claimed that his resolution for putting Ukraine into NATO was supported by “an overwhelming majority of senators”; and this triggered a very healthy outburst of Republican legislators calling out Graham’s flight-forward as “madness” and “exactly wrong,” even bringing up the systematic extension of the “Cold War relic” NATO as the cause of the present conflict.

Of note, Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy perhaps said it best:

“Joe Biden needs to man up to his bully-friend Zelensky & clearly state that we are dead-set opposed to Ukrainian admission to NATO. This should be a hard red line. It’s shameful that even Republicans like Lindsey Graham are now pushing for it. Stop marching us to the brink of nuclear war.... [T]he neocon-Democrat establishment is shockingly silent on James Baker’s famous 1990 ‘Not-One-Inch’ commitment to Gorbachev that NATO would never extend east of Germany. NATO was created to deter conflict with the USSR, yet NATO has expanded most rapidly after the fall of the USSR & is now worsening the risk of nuclear war with Russia itself. This is sheer lunacy. As President I’ll refuse to be bullied by an anti-democratic comedian-turned-leader & it’s truly mystifying to me that the rest of the West is eating out of this Pied Piper’s hand every day” (emphasis in original).

Between Democrats betrayed over cluster bombs and Republicans horrified over nuclear gamesmanship, a certain reality, seemingly unexpectedly, made its way into American politics over the last 48 hours. But a great moment in history must not find a little people. The deliberations of the last 48 hours at the Schiller Institute European conference are the most efficient pathway to overcome littleness.

More will come shortly on the deliberations of that conference. For now, here is a paraphrase of some of Zepp-LaRouche’s concluding remarks:

We have to go out of the conference with the commitment to organize this beautiful European continent. We contributed science, but what is of lasting value to the new paradigm, which is possible in the short term, is our culture. Africa, Latin America, Asia are moving forward. We have to prevent that Europe should end in chaos, sidelined, in a museum in Mongolia.

We have had the Italian Renaissance, the French Polytechnique tradition, German Classical music. Not one European politician speaks about the substance of the great thinkers. We have to have the commitment to revive the European culture. The human soul, the power of creativity is stronger than the power of hatred.

We need an explosion of optimism—that with our optimism, we will be hegemonic, and not the enemy.

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