Lyndon LaRouche Reports to Peru Conference,
on the Fight for a New Bretton Woods
Lyndon LaRouche made the following remarks to a meeting on April 20, 2005, sponsored by his co-thinkers in Peru and workers from several unions, primarily oil workers, in the PetroPeru headquarters, and devoted to reversing privatization in Peru.
Well, we have an interesting situation in the United States. I should start by saying that we are now in the onset of the greatest world crisis in the memory of anyone living today. This is much worse than the 1930s crisis, what is coming on. It could be controlled, but this would require a radical change in current policies. These changes will have to come, especially from inside the United States itself.
The reason is simple, which I think many of you realize. The present world financial monetary system, is a dollar system. The dollar is bankrupt, and might plunge into depths at any time, right now. The crisis of the automobile industry internationally, as well as inside the United States, is one of the triggers. The financial system of the world is ready to explode, explode in a way which is much worse than during the 1930s.
That's our situation.
But if the dollar were to collapse, then the holdings of dollars in Brazil, in other parts of the Americas, in China, in India, in Europe, would also collapse. A 50% collapse of the dollar value on the international market would be a collapse of the entire system in every part of the world. No part would escape.
So, therefore, unless we do something to prevent the collapse of the dollar, which we could do, the entire world is on the verge of going into the deepest depression anyone could imagine, right now, very soon.
The possibility of a change is not something far removed. This past weekend in the United States there was a crisis of the present government, the present Administration. This was shown in many ways, including an issue about this fellow Bolton, whose confirmation is now in jeopardy, and it might not make it at all. So, there's a tendency now for a general shakeup in the U.S. government, in a governmental crisis. The Bush Administration is not a solid entity. It's a tyrannical entity, but it's not solid. It has great weaknesses, and it could collapse at any time. The whole system.
So, therefore, we have to think of winning the fight inside the United States, and tying winning the fight here, to things such as the recent resolution in Italy, in the parliament, to have a new Bretton Woods system, that is, to go back to the kind of system we had before 1971, which was the system under which we worked fairly well in the hemisphere. Most countries did undergo some significant degree of development in the hemisphere during that period. It is since 1971, 1972, especially since 1982, that the great catastrophes have happened to the economies of Central and South America.
So, we're in that kind of situation.
We have a prospect of winning. The winning must come from the United States, because, as I said, if the dollar were to collapse, in a chaotic way, which could happen, unless we make a change in U.S. policy — then a collapse of the dollar would mean a collapse of the entire international system, in every part of the world. No part of the world would emerge as triumphant over a collapse of the dollar at this time. Because the dollar system is the world system.
Therefore, what we have to do here, is to put the dollar system under reorganization of the type that Franklin Roosevelt used, in his work in the 1930s and 1940s. Under those conditions, if we stabilize the dollar on a long-term basis, we can stabilize the international monetary system, and with that stabilization, make the reforms in the monetary system which return to a fixed-exchange-rate monetary system, instead of the floating-exchange-rate system which has ruined, in particular, South and Central America, which is just a direct result of the floating exchange rate system.
Under those conditions, it means tht we will have to launch a reversal of trends of the past 35 years. We will have to go back to the emphasis on industrial and agricultural development, that is, physical industry, physical development of agriculture, physical improvement, large-scale infrastructure, basic economic infrastructure. Transportation, power management, power itself, water management, that sort of thing. Education, health care, all these things will have to be put back into place. Which means we should be thinking about a period of two generations ahead, of rebuilding the world economy, every part of it.
We have to have a fixed exchange rate, so we can have cooperation, and long-term credit, which will enable us to do this.
So, that's where we stand right now. We're at the point where we could go to hell, or we could go, not to paradise, but to something which is much better than hell. We could do that now.
This means that the United States, and we in the United States who are leading this fight, internationally, must reach out and must have ties, effective ties, with other parts of the world. Cooperatin with other forces in the world, which are for development.
For example: You have the recent situation in South America, where what would have seemed impossible recently, where the Prime Minister of Spain met with the Presidents of Venezuela, and Colombia, and Brazil, and, in these cases there was cooperation, which people might have thought never could have happened before. These kinds of cooperation, extended throughout the hemisphere and internationally, are what are needed. If the United States changes its policy, then these new kinds of cooperation, which have emerged again, typified by the Uribe, Chavez, Lula cooperation, on infrastructure development, can mean a revival, in particular, of the entire hemisphere.
This is our chance. It's a good chance. We have a major fight in the United States, like fighting a war. Even if you have the right policy and the right forces, the victory in the war is not guaranteed beforehand. But the change to win the war, is presented. We now have the chance to win the war. We have the chance to reverse the ugly trends of the past 30-odd years.
And in Peru, of course, that can be quite promising. There are natural potentialities, which I'm sure you know about. These potentialities could be mobilized, and could mean a reversal in the trends in Peru, to an upward trend of the type that people have talked about over a few generations.
So, that's where we stand. I'm optimistic. Our situation in the United States summarily is this: I broke into a significant position in shaping the policies of the Democratic Party. I'm not running the Democratic Party, but my influence — the doors were opened for my influence in shaping party policy. This began, in a sense, in the [Democratic] Convention of last summer, last July. Then in the fall, I was brought in as a factor in the running of the Kerry Campaign for President. We went through the experience of the bad counting of the votes, Election Day, but on the 9th [of November], I launched a campaign with the website. This campaign changed the direction of motion in the Democratic Party. It began to move, as a solid force, within the party, and when the fight over the certification of the election of George Bush occurred, the Democratic Party was again a fighting force. Not perfect: We have to watch it every day to make sure it doesn't make more mistakes.
But we're on the up, and as of this past weekend, with the developments here in Washington this past weekend, there's a change. Everything is up to be decided. We'll have a change somehow, in some way, in the politics of the United States very soon. The fight is on now. The fight around the Bolton nomination, the fight around Social Security, these things are coming together. There will be a change, as some Republican Representatives, Senators and others, move into a bipartisan cooperation on certain issues. That bipartisan cooperation can mean a sudden and significant change in the direction of U.S. policy-making.
Under conditions of crisis, especially with the now-ongoing collapse of the auto industry around General Motors, and Ford, this means that a change is being forced. The real-estate bubble in the United States is ready to collapse. You have the current account deficit, the fiscal debt of the United States, which is becoming worse; the manifest incompetence of the Bush Administration. These factors are coming together. We're on the verge of a potential sudden and significant change in U.S. policy. And that change in policy promises the feasibility of the kind of changes we want in other countries, and in international cooperation.
That's what I can report to you now.