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Conference Proceedings

Schiller Institute Conference on the New Bretton Woods

"The New Name for Peace is Development''

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
January 30-31, 1988

Part 1: Fred Wills (Video)

Transcript of Fred Wills's address (PDF, 222 KB)


 

The Development of Africa

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr

This appeared as an appendix to the book published as Schiller Institute Conference Proceedings "Development is the New Name for Peace." in January, 1988. Most of the material is taken from Mr. LaRouche's 1984 Presidential Campaign Platform book.

Over the course of the most recent two decades, the most characteristic problem of most so-called developing nations has become the transformation from a “pre-industrial“ to a “post-industrial“ society, without passing through the “intermediate phase“ of becoming an “industrial society.“ This transformation has been accompanied, in most cases, by a perpetual and worsening dependency upon imports of essential foodstuffs.

By “pre-industrial society,“ we mean a nation which employs 60 to 90 percent of its total labor force in rural occupations, while most of its urban labor force is either unemployed or employed in unskilled forms of labor-intensive occupations. A “post-industrial society“ is one in which more than 60 percent of the urban labor force is unemployed or employed in overhead expense categories. Among developing nations, the transformation directly from a “pre-industrial“ to “post-industrial“ state of affairs takes the form of a significant migration of rural populations to urban centers, to the effect that the increase of the urban labor force in this way increases chiefly the populations of both the unemployed poor and persons employed in administration, reselling, and labor-intensive services, with relatively little expansion of employment in capital- intensive industry.

The effects of such shifts are worsened by the fact that rural production remains more or less “traditional,“ labor-intensive, and of correspondingly low productivity, in mode.

If such nations are to survive, and the preconditions for durable forms of democratic institutions to be established, this pattern must be broken. It is indispensable that two conditions be met: First, that introduction of modern technology produce a continuing increase in per hectare and per man-year yields in agriculture; and, second, that more than 50 percent of the urban labor force be employed as productive operatives in combined modes of infrastructure development, mining, manufacturing, and construction—which rely increasingly on capital-intensive advances in technology.

There is currently in progress in Egypt a successful program of development which illustrates the proper objectives of U.S. economic foreign policy.

The Egyptian government is implementing a program to double the arable land under cultivation in that nation. By aid of large-scale water-management systems, Egypt is constructing new agro-urban complexes. Large new tracts of cultivation are being developed around newly created cities. The cities, designed to house hundreds of thousands, are the centers of the new complexes, like the hub of a wheel. Around this hub are the industries which employ the city‘s labor force. Surrounding this urban-industrial complex is the farming area. The farming area employs the American pivot method of irrigation for crop cultivation. In the areas beyond the circles irrigated by the pivot-systems, fruit trees are raised by aid of drip irrigation methods.

The urban centers provide housing that is modest in number and size of rooms, but otherwise modern. Excellent city planning places shopping facilities and light industry efficiently for city-dwellers. Outside the city, good management has often, already transformed the yellow sand of the desert into brown soil. In those sites, within a few years, where there is brown land today, there will be rich black soil.

According to official reports, more than 90 percent of the investment in such projects is internally financed by Egypt.

This example implies the principles of successful economic development of a “developing“ nation. It illustrates the relationship of development of basic economic infrastructure and investments in agricultural and industrial capital. It also illustrates the point that, in most developing nations, there are sufficient numbers of trained professionals and other national resources within the nation to contribute the greater part of a project, and that technical assistance and capital supplied by foreigners functions as the critical added margin needed to enable the job to be done.

How the U.S. Economy Benefits From Such Policies

There is both an immediate and a longer-term benefit to the U.S.A.‘s internal economy from exports of capital goods and engineering services as development assistance to “developing“ nations.

In the first phase, the immediate benefit is increased production and sales by our own capital-goods-producing industries. By accelerating the turnover of capital investment in these industries, we accelerate the rate at which those industries are able to incorporate technological advances into the design of the capital goods they produce. This means faster rates of improvement in the quality of capital goods those industries produce for our own domestic firms. This improvement, in turn, raises the average level of our national productivity at home.

The most important source of profit to the United States from capital goods exported is not the profit on the sale. The most important source of profit is the effect of increased capital

turnover in the exporting industries. They become more efficient, through increased volumes of production and sales; more rapid technological advances in those industries increase the productivities in all U.S. industries purchasing capital goods from those firms.

The increased margins of profit this contributes to the domestic economy of the United States more than pays the cost of financing the exports.

Second, not only are we paid back for the credit we extend to importing nations; those nations‘ cost of producing the goods we import from them is lowered. As they increase their average productivity of labor, it costs those nations fewer average man-hours to produce each unit of the products we import from them. We benefit from the lowered prices of those imports.

At the same time, as developing nations increase both their gross national output, and the output (and income), per capita, of their populations, those nations‘ purchasing power is increased. Their ability, and desire, to purchase increased volumes of capital-goods imports is increased. Our foreign markets grow in this way.

Everyone participates in the trading benefits equitably.

Approximately 120 million persons in black Africa are presently faced with death from famine and epidemic. An estimated 60,000 black Africans are dying each day of causes attributable to food shortages. Although the extremes of poverty among these new nations is a relic of European colonialism and the earlier direct and chain-reaction effects of 2,000 years of the slave-trade, the present peril of black Africa is caused by the coincidence of prevailing monetary and international banking policies with the policies of influential Anglo-Saxon eugenicists and other Malthusians who welcome a solution to the alleged “over-population“ of black Africa.

In fact, Africa is the world‘s most under-populated continent.

In the north of Africa, the present dictatorship of Libya is the chief instrument within the continent threatening the stability and continued existence of the nations of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, and many among the states of the Saharan and sub-Saharan region. The susceptibility of increasing portions of the populations of these nations, to insurgencies mediated through the Libyan dictator, is fostered by the spread of despair, of cultural pessimism. This despair is nourished by persistence of conditions which have existed and generally worsened since the middle of the 1960s. Newly liberated former colonies, which once hoped to participate in technological progress, are being driven into worsening conditions instead. This feeds despair, and the cultural pessimism of despair fosters susceptibility to the influence of dark forces of murderous irrationalism.

Needed emergency actions to halt the genocide, and medium- to long-term measures to develop the entirety of this continent, are complementary.

Immediately, to stop the extinction of tens of millions of Africans by famine and famine-fostered epidemics, we must bring emergency food relief. The additional problem is, that even if we bring such food relief to the ports of Africa, rarely do we find the means to transport this food into the locales it is desperately wanted.

Heretofore, emergency food relief to some stricken parts of black Africa has tended to create food-distribution sites in such a manner that hungry Africans were given no alternative but to trek by foot long distances to reach those sites. Such treks often became “death marches.“ The survivors assembled around the sites in encampments remind us somewhat of the refugee camps in Europe at the end of the last war. Food relief so conducted wrecked the fragile existing infrastructure and social organization of the affected portions of the populations.

The objectives of food relief must be:

1) To bring the food relief to the locales in which the needing population lives and works;

2) To supplement food relief with measures which aid in turnover in the exporting industries. They become more efficient, through increased volumes of production and sales; more rapid technological advances in those industries increase the productivities in all U.S. industries purchasing capital goods from those firms.

The increased margins of profit this contributes to the domestic economy of the United States more than pays the cost of financing the exports.

Second, not only are we paid back for the credit we extend to importing nations; those nations‘ cost of producing the goods we import from them is lowered. As they increase their average productivity of labor, it costs those nations fewer average man-hours to produce each unit of the products we import from them. We benefit from the lowered prices of those imports.

At the same time, as developing nations increase both their gross national output, and the output (and income), per capita, of their populations, those nations‘ purchasing power is increased. Their ability, and desire, to purchase increased volumes of capital-goods imports is increased. Our foreign markets grow in this way.

Everyone participates in the trading benefits equitably.

Approximately 120 million persons in black Africa are presently faced with death from famine and epidemic. An estimated 60,000 black Africans are dying each day of causes attributable to food shortages. Although the extremes of poverty among these new nations is a relic of European colonialism and the earlier direct and chain-reaction effects of 2,000 years of the slave-trade, the present peril of black Africa is caused by the coincidence of prevailing monetary and international banking policies with the policies of influential Anglo-Saxon eugenicists and other Malthusians who welcome a solution to the alleged “over-population“ of black Africa.

In fact, Africa is the world‘s most under-populated continent.

In the north of Africa, the present dictatorship of Libya is the chief instrument within the continent threatening the stability and continued existence of the nations of Morocco, Al geria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, and many among the states of the Saharan and sub-Saharan region. The susceptibility of increasing portions of the populations of these nations, to insurgencies mediated through the Libyan dictator, is fostered by the spread of despair, of cultural pessimism. This despair is nourished by persistence of conditions which have existed and generally worsened since the middle of the 1960s. Newly liberated former colonies, which once hoped to participate in technological progress, are being driven into worsening conditions instead. This feeds despair, and the cultural pessimism of despair fosters susceptibility to the influence of dark forces of murderous irrationalism.

Needed emergency actions to halt the genocide, and medium- to long-term measures to develop the entirety of this continent, are complementary.

Immediately, to stop the extinction of tens of millions of Africans by famine and famine-fostered epidemics, we must bring emergency food relief. The additional problem is, that even if we bring such food relief to the ports of Africa, rarely do we find the means to transport this food into the locales it is desperately wanted.

Heretofore, emergency food relief to some stricken parts of black Africa has tended to create food-distribution sites in such a manner that hungry Africans were given no alternative but to trek by foot long distances to reach those sites. Such treks often became “death marches.“ The survivors assembled around the sites in encampments remind us somewhat of the refugee camps in Europe at the end of the last war. Food relief so conducted wrecked the fragile existing infrastructure and social organization of the affected portions of the populations.

The objectives of food relief must be:

1) To bring the food relief to the locales in which the needing population lives and works;

2) To supplement food relief with measures which aid in
restoring the affected villages and their inhabitants to dignified self-subsistence.

The required methods are those with which some of us are familiar from U.S. engineering feats during World War II. We must build emergency ports, emergency rail lines, and emergency roadways, as U.S. engineers did during that war. We must use the logistical methods of general warfare for the great emergency works of peace.

The proper locations and routes of such emergency works of transportation will be the same locations and routes which must be developed and made functional as part of the long- term development of the same regions. The proper location for the emergency port will be the same place that nation needs a port in any case. The emergency rail line, the emergency roadway, will lie along the same route a permanent railway or road is required. The emergency efforts to develop a water-supply will be the same required to prevent the catastrophe from recurring. The military and other forces of African nations drawn into the effort will be practicing the methods and procedures the nation requires of them in further development and maintenance of basic economic infrastructure.

We Americans used to know how to accomplish what seemed miracles along those lines. If those skills have become rusty, our military and civilian task forces suited to such work reduced in scale, it is past time we restored ourselves to excellence in such matters. Let us put our Pentagon, our Army Corps of Engineers to work. Mobilize from ourselves, and our friends in this hemisphere, in Europe, and elsewhere, the ships, the fleets of helicopters, the trucks, to save lives now where desperately hungry people live. Accompany this first phase with the beginning of a second: show the miracles our ingenuity and stubborn wills can accomplish in creating emergency ports, cutting emergency roads, laying rail lines, moving water-supplies.

In the process, help these stricken nations to help themselves. Train their nationals to assist and continue the work, and phase ourselves out as those nationals take over the work of completing the task. Help get the crops planted, and set the needy back on their own feet.

For the longer term, Africa‘s most fundamental needs are the most basic of economic infrastructure and increased production of food: water-management, transportation, energy, and agriculture.

The heart of the solution for the urgent needs of the con tinent as a whole is a rail system cutting across the Sahel, preferably from Dakar in the west, to Djibouti in the east, and a redistribution of water, from the surplus water of the rain-forest region of north-central Africa into the central Sahel. The water-supplies must come from management of the Zairean and Victoria region and southern Sudan. The first line distributes water to the region around now-dying Lake Chad; the second is a program of cooperative water-management of the Nile system. The east-west rail line (actually projected as early as the 1870s!) intersects the existing railway systems of Nigeria and Egypt-Sudan. The rail network must then be extended by north-south intersecting trunk lines: north-south from Algeria, and south into Tanzania. Without these two sets of measures of water-management and railway development, the rational economic development of the continent as a whole is impossible.

The east-west rail line, across the Sahel, serves as the indispensable logistical base-line for deploying to reverse the present spread of the Saharan desert into the Sahel. By joining this with north-south links, this rail system plays a vital part in fostering initially modest but crucial trade among the nations of both Arab and black Africa. The combined effects of railway development and water-management are optimal exploitation of combined railways and navigable waterways, creating the beginnings of a functioning internal transport system. This development, enriched by development of the beginnings of a continent-wide system of energy production and distribution, provides the logistical basis to begin the improvement of agriculture throughout much of Africa, in depth. Politically, it aids African nations, by strengthening the benefits each local sector of the population enjoys through aid of the government‘s central authority.

On principle, there is little really new in such policies. These are proven policies which Europe and the Americas, and others before them, developed over thousands of years of cumulative experience.