Last June 13 and 14, the Schiller Institute of the Larouche Movement conducted a conference in Paris to further enhance the awareness of the Europeans with regards to the massive rebuilding of the world through the leadership of the BRICS Alliance.
For nearly three decades, the Larouche Movement has been at the forefront of the advancement of progressive ideas such as the Eurasian Land-Bridge aimed at connecting the economies of Europe and Asia through networks of high speed railroads and bridges that would encourage cultural exchanges enhancing mutual understanding among Western and Eastern populations, thereby creating a more peaceful and prosperous planet.
The BRICS Alliance is making this dream a reality not just with land bridges but with maritime infrastructures, too.
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Rebuilding the World in the BRICS Era
Rebuilding the World in the BRICS Era
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
[PDF version of this article]
June 13—Thank you, and I welcome you. I would like to preface my actual speech with a short report about what Mr. LaRouche had to say yesterday, because yesterday we had extremely important breaking developments. President Obama went to the Congress and tried to really threaten the Democratic Party members of the Congress, telling them that they absolutely had to vote for the Fast Track Authority, as it’s now called: that this was not about the free trade pact (TPP), but it was about him.
Reports were that when this 40-minute session was over, members of Congress came out completely furious, and then voted with an overwhelming majority against this TPP proposition, which is really a major defeat, one more of the many defeats of Obama in the recent period. Mr. LaRouche commented, that this is a reflection not of a last-minute opposition, but this is a process of rebellion going on in the last period on both sides of the Atlantic. And it reflects much more an awareness by important factions, that we are in the danger of immediate nuclear war.
So, he said that that means for the next period, you have to expect even an increase in the inclination of the Obama Administration to push the confrontation, but that the real reason has to be addressed, and that is that Wall Street is on the chopping block, that the entire trans-Atlantic financial system is hopelessly bankrupt, and that the only hope is in the existence of a bloc of nations who are numerically much stronger. However, he said that what has to be also avoided, is the plunge of the world into chaos. And that therefore, we need a program which immediately addresses the situation, because you have the impending blowout of the Greek debt, which would have immediate consequences for Spain and Italy, and that even if Germany is in a relatively stronger position, we’re looking at the breakdown of the entire trans-Atlantic financial system.
Therefore, the kinds of measures which have to be taken, are like what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the period from ’33 to ’39, and that is what we have to concentrate on. I think that is something which the deliberations of this conference must deal with.
Because this is not an academic conference. This is an actual effort to intervene in a moment, when it is very clear that the leading institutions of the G7, for example, which just met in their summit, have absolutely failed to address these existential dangers for civilization.
Now I will come back to these optimistic solutions, but let me tell you: Mankind has never been at such a dangerous moment.
In the beginning, I want to express my conviction that I think it is absolutely possible to save civilization, and realize the very beautiful options and alternatives which will be the subject of this discussion. If we do our job right—and obviously it will not only depend on us, but our subjective intervention, I think, will be the margin of difference as to whether mankind goes into annihilation, or into a new era of civilization—we could have, very soon, a completely different world.
And I think it’s important to start with the vision of where we want to go, because we could have a completely different relationship among nations, not focussed on geopolitical confrontation, not focusing on so-called narrow or national interests vs. the national interests of some other country, but where we would be united for the common aims of mankind, such that we could have a new world economic order, which would give justice to every nation on this planet, combined with a Classical Renaissance of culture, which, in my view, is equally urgent, if you look at the degeneracy of the Western culture at this point.
But that can only be realized if we succeed in realizing the task which we set out for ourselves quite some while ago, namely that we get the European nations, and the United States, in a cooperative mode with the BRICS nations, and the win-win policy of President Xi Jinping of China.
Now, this is the program Figure 1, a blueprint for the next 50 years. Maybe, if you look at the speed of developments in China, it will take only 20 years, but it could also be the next 100 years. It is really the key. This program of building a World Land-Bridge, uniting all the nations on the planet in a common development strategy, is really the way in which to overcome all problems.
*The war danger—because it would represent a peace strategy for the Twenty-first Century;
*The underdevelopment and hunger of billions of people—because it would provide development and production for all of them;
*It would eliminate, or help to eliminate, the drug trade, and it would especially give hope for the future, and therefore overcome the decadence of the mind.
However, this shift has to occur very, very suddenly. Because it’s very urgent.
If you look at the results of the recent G7 summit, well, you have a situation where unfortunately Chancellor Merkel, pushed by Obama, Cameron, and Canada, excluded President Putin for the second time, and that action of Mrs. Merkel created the forum for Obama’s very provocative attacks at the end of the Summit.
Now, given the fact that the G7 only represent about 10% of the world’s population, I find it quite an enormity that they decided to implement a so-called decarbonization of the world economy by the year 2100. Who authorizes 10% of the world population to define the program of the entire world for 90 years from now?
Mrs. Merkel, if history remembers her, will probably go into history for her very infamous exit from nuclear energy, and the sole reliance on renewable energies. Decarbonization would mean only having solar and wind—no fossil fuel energy resources—and since they are also against nuclear energy in Germany, well, it basically would mean implementing the program of Mr. Schellnhuber, who is the head of the VDGU in Germany, an advisory institution, but also a CBE, Commander of the British Empire. He has developed this program of the transformation of the global economy which would be decarbonization of the world economy, and if we realize that there is a direct correlation between the energy flux density in the production process, and the number of people who can be supported with that energy flux density, you have to come to the conclusion that the approximate number of people who could be maintained is about 1 billion people.
Then there was this very ominous meeting between President Obama and Sir David Attenborough. Sir David Attenborough is the key advisor for environmental and energy questions to the British Crown. He was flown in by Obama shortly before the G7 summit, and basically it was not made public what they discussed, but we know what Attenborough has said in the past: namely, that mankind is a plague. That we should purge it massively by at least half; so you can assume that what went into this summit on the side of Obama, was the British advice on how to reduce population.Now, fortunately, there are three important German personalities who intervened shortly before the G7 Summit, saying that President Putin should be invited. They were, very importantly, the current Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier; and the former Chancellors Gerhard Schröder and Helmut Schmidt; and Helmut Schmidt, in particular, said not only that Russia should be invited to the G7 summit, but China and India as well. And Schmidt, who is 95 years old—it seems to be the quality of older people that they are often more courageous in speaking the truth, than younger people—had warned of World War III many, many times before.
So, you can be assured that these people—Steinmeier in that sense really being on a completely different track than Merkel— know the warnings which military experts in the recent period have expressed: Namely, that we are today in a situation that is more dangerous than at the height of the Cold War. And the height of the Cold War was the Cuban Missile crisis.
Now during the Cuban Missile crisis, you had, despite the extremely adversarial relations, communications between President Kennedy and Khrushchov, and they were able to defuse the crisis at the very last moment.
That is not the case between President Obama and President Putin. It has been noted by many military experts that the biggest danger, or one of the biggest dangers, is that there is no communication between the United States and Russia, in particular.
A Cuban Missile Crisis in Reverse
How did we get to this crisis?
This has been the result of a long-term buildup, which really started with the decision of the neo-cons in 1997 to go for the policy of the PNAC, the Project for a New American Century. This was the idea that, especially when the Soviet Union disintegrated, between ’89 and ’91, no country could refuse to be part of an Empire run by the Anglo-Americans, based on the special relationship between Great Britain and the United States. And it was explicitly noted that the goal was to maintain a U.S. global pre-eminence precluding the rise of a power, or a group of nations, who could challenge the power of the United States. And it is that concept which still exists. It was only briefly interrupted halfway into the Clinton period. It was fully carried on by Bush Sr. and Bush Jr.—two administrations—and now by six and a half years of Obama.
So what this policy meant is that immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the neo-cons went into policies of regime change, through a variety of measures—color revolution, paying NGOs with the aim of toppling the democratically elected government, with policies of sanctions—we see it in the case of Russia, where the exclusive aim of these sanctions is to cause so much uproar inside Russia, that you would have a Maidan phenomenon in Moscow, and get rid of Putin.
These policies included the NATO and EU expansion to the borders of Russia, whereas, according to Jack F. Matlock, who was the American Ambassador in Moscow during the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, promises were given that this would never happen. These promises were never kept. And it means troop and military equipment forward-positioning at the Russian borders.
And now, very recently, you have the extremely flimsy accusation that Russia has violated the INF treaty, and that this could be related to an alleged test-launch of a sea-based cruise missile from a launcher on land, which, if it ever happened, or something similar, would have been an extremely minor technical thing,—but, as I said, it’s not even proven. The Russian side has maintained very clearly that there is no proof, and Deputy Defense Minister Antonov basically has said the U.S. is ramping up these allegations against Russia, to justify their own military plans to return the U.S. short- and medium- range missiles to Europe and other regions.
When Obama came into office, he had promised that he would reduce nuclear weapons, and eventually get rid of them, but now, for him to put nuclear weapons back into Great Britain—which already has been accepted, in the person of Cameron—and other places, is really a push for nuclear war. Some people think it would be nuclear war in Europe, but by the logic of nuclear war, it would not be just for Europe. It would be a generalized global thermonuclear war, which nobody would survive.
General Leonid Ivashov, who is right now the head of the Academy of Geopolitics, said this is a Cuban missile crisis in reverse. And it is the acting-out of the Cheney-Wolfowitz doctrine of a unipolar world.
Now the Obama Administration has admitted that it is considering an option of leaving the INF Treaty, deploying so-called counterforce IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles) to Europe, or even a countervailing strike capability involving the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on targets inside of Russia.
Also, the transformation of the military doctrine during the last period—Prompt Global Strike, and the U.S. Ballistic Missile System are de facto first strike doctrines. And if you remember what President Putin said when he announced the upgrade of the Russian military doctrine over the Christmas period,—he said there may come a point where Russia feels compelled to use nuclear weapons to avoid this danger. That should show you why we are really in mortal danger, and absolutely must act.
The NATO website presently lists 71 maneuvers and events between April and November, all close to the Russian border, in the Baltics, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. And Poroshenko just announced that he is ending all military cooperation with Russia, which blocks the supply of Russian troops in Transdniestria, Moldova, and this, on the surface, could be a repeat of the events of Georgia in 2008, but it could also be a pretext used for actions against Russia.
Russia is intensifying its strategic ties with China and India, and Russia and China are drilling their airborne amphibious troops in the Far East, in a maneuver called Joint Sea 2015.
In light of the fact that the pretext for all of this escalation against Russia is the Ukraine situation, supposedly the Crimea issue,—it should be absolutely noted that what triggered this event was, on the one side, the fascist coup in Kiev on February 18-22, 2014; and before that, the effort to incorporate Ukraine into the EU through the EU Association Agreement; and even before that, as Helmut Schmidt said, and I fully agree: the real Ukraine crisis started with the Maastricht Treaty, because this is where the idea of having an eastward expansion of the EU really started.
So what happened therefore at the G7 meeting, you could only call a suicidal delirium on the side of Germany, France, Italy, and other nations. The only chance is that the opposition of Steinmeier, Schmidt, and Schröder has to be escalated. Merkel, in my view, should be replaced, because she is violating her oath of office—to protect the German people against perils—and because of her scandalous behavior in the NSA-BND affair, which violates the rights of all German people, and not only the German people. Because, as you know, the BND-NSA collaboration spied against France, against Belgium, Austria, even Germany’s own industry,—and Merkel obviously doesn’t know that the German economy, without cooperation with Russia and the BRICS, does not function.
Now, Russia is part of Europe, and the sanctions designed to harm Russia are really extremely stupid. Because they not only hurt Russia, which obviously is suffering from them, but, for example, in the first quarter of this year, German machine tool exports to Russia collapsed by 28%, and German industry is extremely furious that the U.S. exports to Russia in the same period, increased by 17%.
Basically, there is not only stagnation in the economy of Europe, but there is right now nothing to protect all of Europe from disintegration, especially in light of the pending explosion of the Greek situation, which seems clearly to be coming to a head.
So Merkel should be either forced out, or she should be completely reined in, subdued, by forces in Germany from industry, the military, and a larger faction in the SPD, represented by these three individuals. But we should also be aware that the United States has long been running on this geopolitical idea, of preventing collaboration between Germany and Russia. I think that what needs to be done—and it is not just the task of Germany—but all of Europe has to make sure that the sanctions are ended right away. And it’s very easy. All we have to say is, we are starting to trade with Russia again, and that would be the very first step to get back to normality.
A Policy of Genocide
But the declaration of decarbonization and economic warfare against Russia are not the only terrible evils which were agreed upon at the G7 summit. They decided on a hard line against Greece, an austerity policy to the total advantage of the too-big-to-fail banks, and one should note that 97% of all the so-called rescue packages, really went back to the banks. And what is being imposed on Greece is the kind of debt dungeon, or debt corset, in the tradition of Versailles and Brüning. And Jean Ziegler, who’s a prominent Swiss activist and UN representative, basically said the modern slaveholders are sitting in the upper floors of the banks and multinationals. And he called the present system of globalization “cannibalistic,” and that is absolutely true.
Your average Eurocentrist will say: Oh, Mr. Ziegler is too radical. But if you think about it, is it not true? What is the difference between the ships of the slave traders and plantation owners of the Confederacy, where thousands of people drowned or died of hunger and thirst, and the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, where many thousands of people, almost every week, are risking their lives and that of their children, having a 50% chance of not making it, running away from wars in the Middle East, starvation, and epidemics in Africa, and terrorism?
The EU policy on refugees, for me, reflects the total moral bankruptcy of that institution. Because the EU is only serving the interests of the too-big-to-fail banks and the IMF, which are run by the interests which basically have turned the whole developing sector into a plantation. You think about the land grab, speculation on scarcity of water, blocking water management projects with the purpose of having high water prices, to speculate in bottled water, controlling the food chain. Jean Ziegler said that every child who dies of hunger, is murdered. And I agree. Because it would be so easy to solve it. It would take half a year, and you could eliminate that from happening.
A few days ago, on the plane, I watched the movie “Twelve Years a Slave,” which is a remarkable movie. I normally don’t encourage people to watch movies, but this one is very advisable. Because it captures the mentality of the slaveholders which is today alive and kicking in the U.S. pro-British tendency.
Behind this unipolar world outlook, is, in reality, the mentality of plantation owners and slaveholders in the modern form. Granted, the CEOs of too-big-to-fail banks and the EU bureaucrats probably don’t have the perverse lust which is portrayed in this movie, where you can really say that the sadism and absolutely disgusting mentality goes to the borders of what human beings should be able to do. But nevertheless, they are the masterminds, behind the desks; they are the perpetrators at the desks; they speculate with CO2 certificates, and they couldn’t care less about the consequences of their policies. As long as they have profit, what happens to the people as a result, leaves them completely indifferent.
This brings us back to Mr. Attenborough, who said that we human beings are the plague on the Earth, and that we have to fight the explosion in human numbers. He is associated with the so-called Optimum Population Trust (now called Population Matters), which basically says that the present number of people on the planet, has to be reduced before the end of the century to half—that would be 3.5 billion. One in every two people? You have to take it very personally.
Friedrich Schiller, in the very beautiful essay “The Legislation of Lycurgus and Solon,” portrayed Sparta as the oligarchical model, in which he said that the oligarchical model permits the elimination of the so-called helots. They can be killed off if there are too many. Bertrand Russell, in his book The Impact of Science on Society, wrote:
Bad times, you may say, are exceptional, and can be dealt with by exceptional methods. This has been more or less true during the honeymoon period of industrialism, but it will not remain true, unless the increase of population can be enormously diminished. At present the population of the world is increasing at about 58,000 per diem. War, so far, has had no very great effect on this increase, which continued through each of the world wars… War has hitherto been disappointing in this respect… but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. The state of affairs might be unpleasant, but what of it? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially of other people.
In his Prospects of Industrial Civilization, Russell wrote:
The white population of the world will soon cease to increase. The Asiatic races will be longer, and the negroes still longer, before their birth rate falls sufficiently to make their numbers stable without help of war and pestilence… Until that happens, the benefits aimed at by socialism can only be partially realized, and the less prolific races will have to defend themselves against the more prolific by methods which are disgusting even if they are necessary.
With that mindset, a splendid little war—as the British always used to call it—seems to be just the right thing, even a splendid little nuclear war. It may be disgusting, but necessary.
The Promise of the Silk Road
Now, fortunately, there is an alternative.
Since about two years ago, when President Xi Jinping announced the New Silk Road and the maritime Silk Road, and especially since the Fortaleza Summit in July 2014, there has been a completely different economic system. The BRICS have made among themselves an enormous number of deals: areas of cooperation, involving infrastructure, science and technology, nuclear energy, space development, worth several trillions of euros, dollars, and so forth.
From the standpoint of European habits of the last couple of years, these countries have done so with an unbelievable speed, and other organizations have coalesced around the BRICS. All of Latin America, most of ASEAN, parts of Africa, and even Europe. With Chinese help, they are now building a second Panama Canal in Nicaragua. The Chinese are planning to build a trans-continental railway between Brazil and Peru. This plan was concluded at the recent visit of Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Latin America. And they are also building four tunnels between Chile and Argentina, all with direct Chinese investment.
But beyond that, the BRICS have created a completely parallel financial system: the New Development Bank, with initial capital of $100 billion; the Currency Reserve Arrangement, which is a pool to defend participating countries against speculation; the AIIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, where, contrary to the wishes of the Obama Administration, 58 nations rushed to be founding members, including France, Germany, Italy, and Scandinavia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has a new bank; so does SAARC, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. There is a New Silk Road development fund, and a Maritime Silk Road Fund. And they all have the explicit aim of filling the vacuum that has been left by the IMF and the World Bank, who only spend $60 billion a year for infrastructure investment, and therefore, these banks have now engaged in an effort to invest in huge infrastructure development programs all over the developing sector.
Now the main impetus of this clearly came from the Chinese President Xi Jinping, but there is also an extremely strong strategic partnership between Russia and China. The New Silk Road, and “One Road, One Belt” policy has, in the recent period, completely integrated with the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Belarus, Kazakstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan. There is an extremely close strategic cooperation between Russia and India, and at a recent visit of President Putin to India, President Modi said that India and Russia are united by the strongest strategic partnership in respect to security in the past, and it will be like that for the indefinite future.
Also, between India and China, the strategic partnership has been strengthened, and territorial and other conflicts have been put on ice. At the visit of Li Keqiang to Brazil, a couple of weeks ago, he was able to completely reverse a strategic attack on Brazil by Wall Street, and stop the destabilization efforts against Dilma Rousseff.
So, there is right now emerging, a completely different model of relations among nations, based on completely different principles. Not so completely different, because they used to be the property of the United Nations, before this imperial policy took over. Like non-interference, respect for the different social models, mutual economic benefit, a “win-win” policy.
Obviously this new model of economy has an enormous attractiveness, and it has led to an eruption of optimism. Projects which have been on the shelf in many countries, have been taken off and are now being realized.
The Chinese economic miracle has become contagious. China, since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, and especially in the last 30 years, has developed at breathtaking speed, and was able to do what the industrialized nations needed 150 to 200 years to do. China, contrary to the coverage in the Western media, has the best human rights record in the world, because they have transformed 800 million people from extreme poverty, into a very decent living standard. And what is a greater human rights violation than poverty?
Now, with the New Silk Road, China is also intending to upgrade the not-yet-developed parts in its interior region, and upgrade the living standard of the rural population. It has announced that it wants to double the GDP from 2010 to 2020. Now that is a remarkable goal, and it is believable if you look at what happened in the last 30 years.
The Realization of Our Vision
Now, for us in the Schiller Institute, the New Silk Road is a realization of a vision which we started to develop 25 years ago. At the time of the Fall of the Wall, we proposed to unite the region between Paris, Berlin, and Vienna into the so-called Productive Triangle, because the Wall was no longer there. And when the Soviet Union collapsed in ’91, (Figure 2) we extended that Productive Triangle into the so-called Eurasian Land-Bridge. This was the idea of uniting the industrial and population centers of Europe with those of Asia, through so-called Development Infrastructure Corridors, but it was not only meant as an economic program. It was deliberately meant as a peace-order for the Twenty-First Century.
The Eurasian Land-Bridge was the idea of having a higher order of reason, where historic conflicts, tensions, ethnic tensions, and so forth—wounds of the battles of the past—would be overcome because there would be a mutual benefit for everybody to participate in this program. It was really, even if we didn’t call it that, a “win-win” policy.
Now, naturally, it did not get realized, because of the reason I just said—the Project for a New American Century, the efforts by Bush Sr., Margaret Thatcher, and Mitterrand, to force Germany at the time of the German unification, to give up the D-mark for the euro. And the Maastricht Treaty. But, up to ’89, it was the so-called best-kept secret of NATO that Germany was still an occupied country,—and the Maastricht Treaty would ensure that Germany would remain an occupied country, by containment, by putting Germany into the straitjacket of the Stability Pact, the debt brake,—and it was clear to us that the euro could not function, because it was not designed to be an economic program. It was a geopolitical attack on Germany.
At that time, we conducted hundreds of conferences and seminars on five continents, and in ’96, at a conference in Beijing on the Eurasian Land-Bridge, that program was de facto put on the agenda by the Chinese government to be the strategic perspective for the year 2010. And naturally that got interrupted by the Asia crisis in ’97, and the Russian state bankruptcy in ’98.
Therefore, we were overjoyed, but not fundamentally surprised, when Xi Jinping announced the New Silk Road.
Now, for about two years, the mainstream media has completely ignored the fact that a parallel economic system is developing, or they slandered it by giving Putin a bad name, or Xi Jinping. But for the last four weeks, you have a flood of articles. As in Time magazine: “New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever;” “Great Infrastructure Projects in History—This is a great game over the control of Eurasia, It could lead to a New Cold War. The outcome is uncertain.”
Deutschlandfunk also has had coverage of the New Silk Road.
Most of these articles are all of a sudden saying, there is a completely new system, but you know, it is still really geopolitics. And they completely miss the point that this is explicitly a way to overcome geopolitics by inviting everybody in the whole world to participate.
They also say, China must have a secret agenda. They want to take over the world. They want to replace American imperialism with Chinese imperialism, and it is very clear that the journalists and politicians of the trans-Atlantic region, have an extremely hard time imagining that there could be governments which are devoted to the common good. Because you have not had such governments for such a long time, that it’s almost a distant memory. It reminds me of Hegel’s words, when he wrote that if a world-historical individual has a valet (a butler), that the valet, who sees the world-historical individual always in only his underwear, cannot imagine that he’s a world-historical individual. But he says, this is not because the world-historical individual is not a world-historical individual, but because the valet is a valet.
Now, the key to understanding the real motives of China is Confucius.
From Confucius to Schiller: The Beautiful Soul
Confucius has, along with Mencius, influenced Chinese philosophy, actually the Chinese state philosophy, for about 2,500 years. That philosophy has an image of man that man is good by nature. The key notions of the Chinese philosophy are ren, which is the idea corresponding to agapē—love, charity in the Christian tradition; and the idea of li, meaning principle, which is the idea that if each person and each thing develops in the best possible way, you have harmony in society. This corresponds to the idea of Nicolas of Cusa, that if each microcosm develops in the best way, you have concordance in the macrocosm; or the idea of the monad of Leibniz, that if each develops his fullest potential, you have harmony.
Now, the idea of harmony is very central to Confucian philosophy. It is not an aesthetic relationship, but a contrapuntal development of mutual forward development: If all microcosms develop in the optimal way, you have harmony in the macrocosm.
There’s also the idea that there is such a thing as the Mandate of Heaven: that there must be harmony between nature and man, and this comes originally from the idea of God’s will of the Western Zhou dynasty, from 1046-771 B.C., which said that there must be harmony between the heavens and man, and that they are closely related.
This concept, by the way, exists in all great religions and philosophies: You have the same idea of cosmology in India, coming from the Hindu tradition. You have it in the form of natural law in the European tradition. And it is really what we have to come to as humanity, if we are to overcome the present level of thinking.
Harmony without uniformity is what Confucius writes about in his Analects. Unity in diversity is the idea as expressed by Nicolas of Cusa. In the Book of Rites, which is the preface to the Great Learning of Confucius,—it’s attributed to him,—he says:
The ancients, wishing that all men under Heaven keep their inborn luminous virtue unobscured, first had to govern the nation well; wishing to govern the nation well, they first established harmony in their household; wishing to establish harmony within their households, they first cultivated themselves; wishing to cultivate themselves, they first set their minds in the right; wishing to set their minds in the right, they first developed sincerity of thought; wishing to have sincerity of thought, they first extended their knowledge to the utmost. The extension of knowledge to the utmost lies in fully apprehending the principle of things.
Now, harmony in society and among nations is based on an understanding of the principles of things. This is the same idea Friedrich Schiller has in the Aesthetical Letters, that only scientists and Classical artists understand the truth. Xi Jinping, in his book Governance of China, which is a collection of 71 of his speeches, 2013-14, reflects this Confucian spirit. He quotes an ancient Chinese saying:
Learning is the bow, while competence is the arrow. You should regard learning as the top priority, a responsibility, a moral support and a lifestyle. You should establish a conviction that dreams start from learning.
This is what Confucius meant when he said ‘if you can in one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day.’ Yes, let there be daily renovation. Life never favors those who follow the beaten track, and are satisfied with the status quo, and it never waits for the unambitious and those who sit idle and enjoy the fruits of others’ work.
This is what Lyndon LaRouche says to us every day: that we cannot do today what we did yesterday, and that each day we have to be creative and innovative. Xi Jinping quotes Victor Hugo, who said, “Things created are insignificant, when compared with things to be created.”
China has been able to progress step by step over centuries, thanks to the tenacity of generations, one after another, and to the nation’s spirit of constant self-improvement through hard work. “Innovation-based economy” is what China is aiming at and already realizing: not to have “Made in China,” but “Created in China.” Xi Jinping has demanded breakthroughs in basic scientific fields such as the structure of matter, the evolution of the universe, the origin of life, and the nature of consciousness.
Where does the new road lie? It lies in scientific and technological innovation, the acceleration of innovation-driven growth, and he also said that they are proud to have the most scientists and engineers in the world.
But I was most impressed when I found this quote by Xi Jinping:
Like the spring drizzle falling without a sound, we should disseminate the core socialist values in a gentle and lively way, by making use of all kinds of cultural forms. We should inform the people by means of fine literary works, and artistic images: What is the true, the good, and the beautiful? What is the false, the evil, and the ugly? And what should be praised and encouraged, and what should be opposed and repudiated?
I wish we would have politicians in Europe and in the United States who call for the “implementation of the true, the good, and the beautiful.” Because the idea, that there is a coherence between those—the true, the good, and the beautiful—was the idea of the ancient Greek Classics; that there is a knowable truth; that man is good; that when he is a truth-seeking individual, what he then discovers is beauty, as well as that the process of discovery is beautiful. The idea of “the true, the good, and the beautiful,” is the essence of the German Classical period, and Friedrich Schiller said, “Art is only art if it is beautiful, because only then does it elevate the human soul.”
Now, by that definition, most of what is being produced today, does not qualify as art, because it’s not beautiful. Because the idea of beauty is an idea derived from reason, not from sensuous experience. Schiller is emphatic on that: that you do not define beauty by your opinion, your likings, but that there is an idea of beauty associated with reason, although at the same time, it appeals to the senses; and that through aesthetical education, beauty becomes the synonym for the happy reconciliation between reason and sensuousness: That in beauty, things harmonize.
For Friedrich Schiller, the highest idea of man was the beautiful soul for whom freedom and necessity, passion and duty, are one. But also, the analogy between beauty and freedom is pretty obvious, because both are not determined from the outside, but from the inside. The greatest idea of self-determination reflects itself from certain characteristics of nature, and that we call “beauty.”
But beauty is also, according to Schiller, a necessary condition of mankind. The state is merely the means; the goal is humanity alone. The ideal of the state presumes, therefore, the ideal of mankind, and the idea of mankind is based on the laws of the beautiful. Schiller in 1789 writes to his friend Körner:
What is the life of man if you take away what art gives to him? An eternally discovered sight of destruction. Because if you take out of our life what serves beauty, the only thing remaining is need, and what is need, other than protection against the always-threatening demise?
Schiller, with that, most convincingly argues against the state whose only purpose is the maintenance of power, which is what the state is today! The politicians have no interest in beauty or the perfection of their people, but in keeping their job, in keeping their position. But only when the beautiful has become the purpose of the life of the people and nations, rather than the necessity of organizing everything for protection against permanently-threatening doom, do you have humanity. The condition of the West, especially in the United States after September 11 should really looked be at from the standpoint of the soon-to-be-published 28 pages, revealing who really financed the terrorist attack; and the DIA documents pertaining to what really happened in the Benghazi attack. But the war against terrorism has become a hydra, where life has become quite miserable by being reduced to only protecting people against the threat of terrorism.
Therefore, this new model of cooperation among nations is not a utopia, but a vision of the future. The closest thinker in the European philosophical tradition to Confucius, Nicolas of Cusa, created an epochal new philosophical approach, which really separated the Middle Ages from modern times: He said the principle bringing about order and wholeness, the idea of concordance, of a universal concordance in the universe, is that harmony is not an aesthetic thing, but that in a contrapuntal way, the different microcosms must develop each other to the fullest, to the benefit of the other—the “win-win” idea; also the principle of the Peace of Westphalia.
Why is it that some people can see and believe in this vision, and others cannot? It’s an epistemological problem. Cusa makes the distinction between ratio, what Lyndon LaRouche calls “practical people,” and the intellect and reason. On the level of the ratio, the understanding, you have the level of Aristotelian contradictions of what we perceive with the senses. The intellect, however, reason, transcends the ratio; the intellect is situated as an indestructible prescience; it is our eye for the search for truth. If we didn’t have that, we would not even start the search, or even if we found something, we wouldn’t know if that were what we sought. The intellect is an intuitive insight, which allows us to see the coherences and conceptions of causal relations, of connectivities. It is a new method of thinking, completely different from the discursive way of thinking. The Aristotelian practical man, according to Nicolas of Cusa, is like a horse tied to a feeding trough, who only eats what is put in the trough.
If you are on the level of the intellect, you have to free yourself from established opinions to be open for new thinking. And one has to break free from the trough. “You can’t do anything anyway,” that is what most Europeans say when you talk to them about that. But it’s not true! Why should Europe go along with a policy like the U.S. nuclear missiles in Europe, which only makes Europe the target of its own extinction? Why should we get drawn into another war based on lies? The lies of those around the Ukraine crisis?
The truth must come out of that. It is not enough to oppose the war, but we have to do, maybe what Charles de Gaulle did in 1966: namely, disassociate from NATO. More important, we have to implement these existing solutions. We have to mobilize like nothing in our lifetime before, to get the European nations and the United States to join with the World Land-Bridge, and to create a peace order for the Twenty-First century. By joining the New Silk Road and the World Land-Bridge (Figure 3), we not only cooperate with the developing countries, like Africa and Latin America, to develop them, but we need to rebuild the United States! We need to have a transcontinental fast train system across the United States, because the infrastructure in the United States has completely collapsed. We have to declare a war on the desert, because California, Texas, the states west of the Mississippi, are being destroyed by drought.
We have to do what Prime Minister Modi of India said: we have to build 100 new “smart cities,” which we called for many years ago, “Cusanus Cities,” although it would take too long to discuss this now. We have to build up southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa; we have to overcome hunger; we have to create a world which is livable for every human being. We have to create a new paradigm based on the common aims of mankind.
We have to consciously initiate the next phase of the evolution of the human species, and agree on joint space exploration. All the BRICS countries are space-travelling nations, and Europe and the United States have to accelerate their efforts to cooperate on that. We have to take the view of the astronauts, cosmonauts, and taikonauts, who, when they look at the blue planet from outer space, always say, “there are no borders,” and they realize how small our planet is, in a very large Solar System, and even larger Galaxy, in the middle of billions of galaxies.
And if we want to exist in 100 years, in 1,000 years, in 100 million years from now, we should prove that those geophysicists who say that mankind only arrived one second before 12, and will disappear one second after 12, are wrong: That mankind, so far, is the only creative species we know.
Vladimir Vernadsky said that the nösphere will gain more and more dominance over the biosphere because the human creative process will become more important in the universe, and that is what we have to focus on. Because the future of mankind is one where the identity of each individual as a genius will become the rule. Each man becoming a genius in the future: But for that to arrive, beauty is a necessary condition of mankind.
Human Creation, Source and Measure of the Real Economy
Human Creation, Source and
Measure of the Real Economy
by Jacques Cheminade
[PDF version of this article]
June 14—Introductory Remarks before Panel IV
God laughs at those who deplore the effects of causes they cherish.
Bossuet’s curse of the Seventeenth Century has the merit of striking today at the countries of Western Europe and North America, where people are stirred up with the statistics and apparent forms—the increase of unemployment, lack of social equality, drug consumption, and money and weapons trafficking—without uprooting that which would allow them to bring them to an end.
Oligarchies keep peoples in a state of voluntary submission in effect, and fake the environment in which they operate. To increase the Gross Domestic Product of the EU member states, the European accountants demand that from now on, countries must include in their statistics the revenue generated by all sorts of trafficking. By the magic of the markets, prostitution, for example, is no longer a human tragedy or a burden on society, but becomes a profit appearing on the balance sheets. The precept of Mandeville, according to which the sum of private vices is a public virtue, dominates the entire scope of western behavior, up to the point of making human labor an “adjustment variable,” and making profit generated to the detriment the exploitation of human labor, the supreme reference for the markets.
Our trans-Atlantic region is in this way dominated by an incestuous relationship between banks from Wall Street and the City, and the large cartels of cyberindustry, nicknamed the seventh continent of GAFA, meaning Google (G) for cartography and databases, Apple (A) the internet provider, Facebook (F) the social networker, and Amazon (A) the bartender of culture.
That system gambles without producing, and does so at the speed of light. High Frequency Trading (HFT) outside any legal control, operating on alternative platforms of global shadow banking, has reduced the institutions of Nation-States to the servitude of debt, and individuals to the enslavement to the desire to possess, by finding out not merely what we do, but by attempting to predict what we will do, and even to know it before we do, thanks to a multitude of data about us accumulated without our consent on the web.
The Pathology of the System
This predatory society makes up a modern version of the British Empire, but with the same destructive impulses as those resulting from the fusion of the British monarchy and the East India Company. It carries within itself war as rain clouds carry the storm, because its predatory character makes it incapable of producing the resources required for future generations. Hence, for one euro or dollar produced, it creates at least four Euros of debt and an accumulation of debt titles without historical precedent.
We know the official figure of financial derivatives, which are gambling claims on future prices which are traded independently of the possession of the underlying asset: 800 trillion dollars, or more than ten times the entire world’s annual production. The real figure of all these accumulated money claims, which nobody can determine with certainty since the cross-engagements among financial institutions are managed by computers operating at speeds counted in billionths of seconds, is undoubtedly far in excess of two quadrillion (million billion) dollars!
We have really come to “mad finance” in the primary meaning of the term, but also the madness of a pathological killer. It destroys the human capital on which the entire society is based. Countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States or Germany feign to have fewer unemployed, but have in reality suppressed them by statistical manipulation and organized hardship.
Under these conditions, a climate of war has been born, which the Pope rightly denounced in Sarajevo. We are living in an “Empire that kills,” he said already some months ago. The folly of finance is genocidal. More and more officials, from China to the United States, and especially Russia, compare the current situation with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis; the only difference being that this time, it is the United States, the United Kingdom, and NATO which have deployed their forces and nuclear missiles on the borders of Russia, violating everything they promised at the time of German reunification.
Two factors make the situation in which we are now, infinitely more dangerous than in 1962. The first factor is the fact that the majority of citizens do not mobilize any longer against the coming war, or against the looting of their existence. And when they do mobilize, they do it because they have their backs against the wall of their exploitation and exclusion, as in Greece or in Spain. They reject what should be rejected, but have no project to achieve what is necessary.
Yet, if we want to re-establish a world of real growth and mutual development, we have to offer to the impetus of the BRICS countries and their associates, an accrual of power and a larger horizon. We cannot simply say we’re going to get on the train of the BRICS and wait till they take us to a good place! That’s already better than remaining on the platform, or obstructing them as the oligarchs desire us to do, but it isn’t up to the level of the challenge, our challenge and theirs.
We have to contribute the best of ourselves, since it is the economic orientation of the entire world which we have to change. It is not this or that element of the current system which leads us to disaster, but the entire logic of the system itself. We have to change the system. That change is the precondition of a future peace, a capacity to create the conditions of a harmonious mutual development based on the win-win principle, as underlined repeatedly by the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
What a Real Economy Is
Therefore, we really need to understand what economy really is. It is in reality the conception of what a human being really is, which we have to rediscover in ourselves. Human beings are not geopolitical animals trying to occupy territories or control resources to the detriment of other human beings, but instead those who define themselves by their capacity to discover the principles of the universe they inhabit, and to modify the environment through the application of discoveries to allow themselves and their fellow humans to grow and multiply towards a better existence.
That means economy doesn’t mean buying cheap and selling dear, and having a financial gain, but the construction of platforms of mutual development to produce more and better with less, thanks to technological applications derived from discoveries. It means increasing our productivity per capita, per surface area and per unit of matter employed in these processes. These platforms incorporate the means to guarantee this dynamic: human infrastructure, education, health and R&D and physical infrastructure, transportation and production units. U.S. political statesman and economist Lyndon LaRouche called this capacity of the human individual, the potential relative population density, relative to the technological and human platform which has been set up.
This notion of potential, of capacity per human being, has been taken up by the Russian friends of LaRouche. The Russian scientist Pobisk Kuznetsov proposed to call it the “La,” an economic unit measuring the applied and verified impact of human creation. You now understand why I called my intervention, “Human Creation, Source and Measure of the Real Economy.”
It is crucial to underline that with their conception of “one belt, one road,” of the terrestrial and maritime New Silk Road, the Chinese experts and leaders are expressing the same conception of the human being. As far as my understanding goes, the concept of the shi evaluates the potential to be developed. We no longer require any longer a pre-established detailed plan, but consider situations as a mine to explore, whose veins we’re going to exploit with a transformative idea, operating in such a fashion that at the point I engage my action and my combat, I’ve already won, since I’ve prepared the conditions to win over my enemy, by transforming him into my partner. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed that he fully understood this principle when he declared at the conclusion of the BRICS summit in Fortaleza last July:
The uniqueness of THE BRICS as an international institution [is that] for the first time, it brings together a group of nations on the parameter of future potential, rather than existing prosperity or shared identities. The very idea of BRICS is thus forward-looking. I believe they can offer in this way new perspectives and ways to function for the existing international institutions.
This conception of the economy is radically the opposite of Aristotle’s formal logic based on the “principle of non-contradiction,” according to which an enemy is an adversary to be destroyed. While for us, an adversary is some one to win to your cause, on condition of elevating the debate. As Nicolas of Cusa underlined the matter, creation supposes the “coincidence of opposites,” which makes knowable and controllable at a higher level of conjecture, what on a relatively lower level appeared as unknowable and uncontrollable.
Confucius, with his conception of the ren,—i.e. the advantage given to the other, allowing him to acquire the mandate of heaven by instructing him,—develops an approach of a similar nature. Contrary to the current Malthusian nonsense which pretends that “the history of a finite world has begun,” Jean Bodin, in his Six Books on the Republic, in the footsteps of Cusa, states that, “There is no wealth nor strength but man,”—provided that that a leader makes “accords from discords,” an aspiration for unity in diversity whose principle runs as a red line through Chinese civilization.
What We Have To Share
Hence it is clear that we Europeans and Americans have a lot to share with the BRICS, and even to contribute to them. In France, the reign of King Henri IV, with Sully, Laffemas and Olivier de Serres, in Germany, with the Enlightenment of Lessing and Mendelssohn and the concept of National Economy of Friedrich List, and in the United States, with the Hamiltonian conception of political economy. It is there that there appeared most clearly a sense of economy and of a society driven by a vector of scientific progress and not by the submission to a tradition.
In two of his four founding reports of the “American System of Political Economy,” Hamilton shows that public credit, organized by a National Bank, is the foundation of an economy, since it represents a “bet on the future,” on the capacity of future investments to produce the means to reimburse the debt incurred. The future of the United States, he understood, was in manufacturing, i.e. industry supported by public credit, and not in agriculture as wanted by Jefferson, since it is industry which can increase the quality and the quantity of human labor. It is the increase of the density of the flows of energy and technology which permits this “physical surplus,” allowing reinvestment in still a higher level of future human creation.
In his “Report on a National Bank,” Hamilton demonstrated in particular, to the great astonishment of the other founding fathers, how debt can be transformed into money, allowing the emission of public credit. The National Bank was conceived of as a receptacle for deposits coming from various income of all origins, including from titles of the federal debt, which could be capitalized and lent to investors.
In that way, the debt served as a guarantee to circulate money credit and avoid the control over the American economy by foreign interests, emphatically British. Needless to say, these deposits could not be seized and the debts could not transformed into shares of the bank as many would like to do today in Europe, in order to bail out speculative bankers. This was all about the real economy, dealing with projects that produced productivity, and not financial gambling to expand private banks to the point they become systemic, which means that their size allows them blackmail the government to prevent their bankruptcy, and to demand help from the state in case of difficulties, to the detriment of peoples.
This reference is essential today in dealing with the issue of the current Greek public debt. In respect to the criteria defined by Hamilton, and in respect to the debt cancellations granted to the German Federal Republic in 1953, we have to add the separation of reimbursable and legitimate debts from those debts that are not. Scarcely ten percent of the debt incurred by Greece was in the interest of the people and the economy; the rest only benefitted the internal compradors, and even more so, the external financial speculators, who unduly demand their “pound of flesh” today. If there is negotiation, it should involve this point, and not the tourniquet imposed on the Greek population and the economy by the “institutions,” in the form of an austerity that amounts to bleeding a body that was already made sick.
In short, what is needed is: A platform for taking off and development, great infrastructure projects, public credit, energy and technology flux density, inspiration and support. Charles de Gaulle, in a speech given in Lille on Oct. 1, 1944, said, when speaking about ending the war:
We want to pool everything we possess on this Earth, and to succeed in doing so, there is no other way than what we call the directed economy. We want the state to lead the economic effort of the entire nation for the benefit of all, and to ensure that the life of every French man and woman becomes better.
Earlier, in Algiers on May 1, 1944, he said:
Great human affairs can not only be settled by logic. One needs the atmosphere that can only be created by the agreement of sentiments.
You also need a lot of courage, which, fortunately, is contagious. This is what Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to say in New York’s Madison Square Garden on Oct. 31, 1936, about his enemies, who were the same as ours are today: “They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.”
A direction, an inspiration, and a sentiment: that was the “detente, entente and cooperation” among peoples of General de Gaulle. This is what Valentina Matviyenko, President of the Russian Federation Council, calls today “a certain format of cooperation between the five BRICS countries that have a common agenda,” including:
defense of their national sovereignty, the protection and promotion of their national interests on the basis of the principles of equality, non-interference into their respective internal affairs, and the refusal of a unipolar world.
That is what is prompting China to agree with India and Russia, to open access to its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for investments in infrastructure in Japan and in the United States, in spite of historical litigation and unfriendly actions of both of them. That is also what has prompted Chinese interests to open a trans-oceanic canal in Nicaragua, to invest 50 billion dollars in Brazil, and to finance a railroad, again a trans-oceanic one, between Brazil and Peru. And this is what has inspired the Russian Central Bank to propose a new bank clearing system similar to the Western Swift system.
Are We Capable of Change?
Let us consider for a moment the economic changes for the past 100 years. China was the only country which did not sign the Versailles Treaty in 1919, because it had been stripped of its territory. China was not even invited to the San Francisco Conference after World War II, although it had fought with great courage against Japan. Once we are aware of what China has had to suffer worldwide, we can better understand the sympathy it has for Greece today, and for Russia.
Because what we are inflicting upon Greece today, we of the European Union, is what we inflicted yesterday on China. Are we capable of changing? Are we capable of understanding that what is happening to Greece today, can happen to each of us if we do not change policy? Voices are being heard in Germany, as we heard, to ask for Russia to be invited back to the G8. That is more in our interest than in Russia’s interest, because the latter is linked to the BRICS, that is to say, to more than half of mankind. Are we able, as Europeans, to avoid a new war? The test will be what we can do for Greece, and de facto for ourselves.
Economics means to recreate the conditions of a will to live together, by bringing together our creative competences and making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Today, in the skies of Eastern Europe and above the South China Sea, if two planes come too close to each other, everything can degenerate. Today, the depopulation policies have started. And faced with the waves of migration, the only idea which our countries can come up with, is bombing the ships transporting the refugees, and starting a new colonial expedition. Are we so stupid as to accept going down into a barbarism which is deadly for the others and suicidal for ourselves? Economics means recovering the creative goodness of Aeschylus’ Prometheus, offering to all the possibility of growing and multiplying thanks to a greater mastery of science, beyond everything known, and finding new vigor by reminding ourselves of our best accomplishments.
Economics means doing for peace through mutual development in the Twenty-First Century what we did for war in the Twentieth Century, i.e. radically changing, overnight and from top to bottom, our way of thinking and conceiving the world.
A new economy will be the smart cities of the future, digital technology freed from financial domination, and not a fatal destruction of jobs as anticipated by the experts, but the foundation of a new economy associated with new, higher forms of energy density, such as controlled thermonuclear fusion power. No solution can lead us back to the past. It is only by re-establishing confidence in their own creative powers, and rejecting their exploitation by their oligarchic masters of the trans-Atlantic zone, that our fellow human beings will rise to the level of the challenge of our epoch. Space exploration and colonization will necessarily play a fundamental role as a common objective for mankind, to escape from our earthly cradle.
However, all of this will not happen through mere fate or mechanically. The reality is subjective. We have to recover the courage of Victor Hugo, who, in 1861, denounced the sacking of the Summer Palace in Beijing, the garden of vortexes of clear water and the gardens of perfect clarity, constructed by the Qianlonq Emperor and the Jesuits:
One day two bandits entered the Summer Palace. One plundered, the other burned. Before history, one of the two bandits will be called France; the other will be called England. Mixed up in all this is the name of Elgin, which inevitably calls to mind the Parthenon. What was done to the Parthenon was done to the Summer Palace, more thoroughly and better, so that nothing of it should be left.
For having done that, we owe to China that we enter with her into the future, not to destroy but to rebuild the world in the BRICS era. Let me nevertheless tell you that I’m proud of the fact that Hugo’s letter is on the official Chinese websites and on the internet, translated into Mandarin. Now I myself want to speak about what we are doing to Greece and the refugees coming from Africa, with the same anger, as inspired by that of Victor Hugo.
However, there remain reasons to be optimistic and reasons to hope. First, because it is the BRICS which from now on will define the tuning of the world orchestra, and a new drive towards political change is manifest in Europe, including in those countries where the physical economy remains relatively robust, such as in Germany as we have seen yesterday, and also in the United States with our own political movement and the candidacy of the [Martin] O’Malley, who took a stand against the bandits of Wall Street, and is calling for a new Roosevelt-style Glass-Steagall.
Looking into this room, I see we have friends and fighters for this idea from the entire world. So we can hope that the Silk Road will arrive among us, and that we can make it a common objective for mankind in its way of conceiving the world by walking the unknown path, both in our own heart, as well as in the growing mastery of what is taking place inside the solar system and our galaxy, because it is there,—yes clearly there,—as the next speakers will demonstrate, that lies the economy, the real one,—that of our future.
Since I evoked Victor Hugo, let’s ask him for more. Confucius teaches us one has to tease and challenge our friends to oblige them to rise above the contradictions of a given situation. It was also in June, 130 years ago, that he entered our Pantheon. Let’s listen to what he wrote in Lux:
O vision of the coming time!
When man has ‘scaped the trackless slime
Upon the sky-line glows i’ the dark
The Sun that now is but a spark;
But soon will be unfurled—
The glorious banner of us all,
The flag that rises ne’er to fall,
Universal Republic of the World!
Simone Weil, our great Platonic philosopher, once said that in all labor resides a part of poetry, since real human labor is always creative. Here’s the labor before us.
To someone who asked me why Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Chinese leader had both hit upon what he thought was the strange name, “the New Silk Road,” I answered: it was only natural for them, since the economy is based on creative human labor, and work is pregnant with poetry. And that is what we tell the world which gives its verdict.
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