Berlin Appeal to the U.S. Senate,
For a New Atlantic Alliance
At a well-attended event in Berlin on Oct. 21, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche issued a Berlin Appeal to the U.S. Senate, in which she called for the creation of a New Atlantic Alliance based on a return to the policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That call, which was enthusiastically endorsed by those present, succinctly summarizes the worlds current conjuncture, and what must be done. We reprint it in full:
We are currently living through a phase-change in world history, and the fate of humanity depends upon how we react to the challenges which lie before us. The world financial system is facing shocks for which the recent tsunami and hurricane were only the foretaste. The world system doesnt function any more, either in the so-called Third World, as is obvious in the African refugee crisis in the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Mellila, or in the so-called industrial nations, which are devastated by mass unemployment and plant closings. If now a large part of the American auto sector goes bankrupt, along with the bankruptcy of General Motors and its largest feeder-firm Delphi, and many smaller companies, with it about a third of the American machine-tool capacity, and a million jobs, directly and indirectly, will be lost.
Thus countless people are in danger of losing their existence, their homes, their health care, and their pensions. The social and political consequences of such a collapse are incalculable. The demand by the management that the workers at Delphi either agree to a de facto reduction of their wages and benefits by 70%, or the company will entirely close down, is outright intimidation, and an unprecedented attack on the living standards of the workforce and their families. The success of this pressure would mean both the smashing of the trade unions and a collapse into barbarism. These measures clearly violate the general welfare clause of the American Constitution.
We appeal to the American Senate, not to permit the United States to collapse from a superpower to a Third World country. The Senate must declare the stricken industrial capacity a question of national security, put it under receivership, and put into effect the retooling program for the reconstruction of national infrastructure which has been proposed by the American economist Lyndon LaRouche. Just as the saving of the capacity of the auto industry, so the reconstruction of the hurricane-struck states of the Southern U.S. also demands the immediate revival of the policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal.
But the crisis, which is affecting the American auto sector, is only a symptom of the international crisis of the world financial system, which finds itself in the last phase of a systemic collapse. Therefore the crisis also demands an international solution. The greatest danger threatening the common good is unemployment, which is so large in the so-called developing countries that you cant even get statistics. But also in the so-called industrial nations it has reached unbearable dimensions, such as in Germany, where de facto there are about 10 million unemployed. We therefore appeal to the U.S. Senate, to put the necessity for a new financial architecture on the agenda, as well as call for an emergency conference for a New Bretton Woods, and, at the same time, and make room for a New Deal policy.
A New Deal in America would have signal effect for a similar policy in Europe, which urgently needs a New Deal policy in the tradition of the Lautenbach and Woytinsky-Tarnow-Baade plans. A policy like that of FDR and his New Deal and the New Bretton Woods must be the basis for a new Atlantic Alliance, if the world is not going to sink into the chaos of an uncontrolled financial collapse. The injustice of the system of globalization has brought about an unbearable situation. The masses of people in every land are poor, while a relatively small financial elite enriches itself personally, through often criminal and exorbitant ways. With the existential crisis for Delphi there is now a crisis for the American nation as a whole. We appeal to the Senate, to seize this crisis as an opportunity to once again implement the commitment to the common good guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
We should be happy to live in such a moment, when the fate of humanity for many generations will be decided. Such an opportunity comes, in the best of situations, once in a lifetime. We can be sure that history will testify to our honor.
Hurricane in Washington:
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
A New Policy in Berlin Now!
In Berlin the negotiations are taking place over the government program of a Grand Coalition, while in the U.S.A., leading representatives of the neo-conservative cabal in the White House are under heavy fire. The chairwoman of the Germanys Civil Rights Movement Solidarity party (BüSo), Helga Zepp-LaRouche, pleads, in this statement issued Oct. 24, for a new Trans-Atlantic Alliance, which should rest on the values of European culture, and on recognition of the accomplishments of other cultures.
The earth-shaking shocks, which have seized the Bush Administration with the new Watergate-process against Cheney, also change the premises of politics in Germany. With the possible resignation of Vice President Cheney, as well as the expected indictments against Cheneys chief-of-staff, Lewis Libby, and Bushs chief political advisor Karl Rove, the neo-conservative forces in Germany and all of Europe have lost their primary backing.
These seismic changes in Washington come not a moment too soon: the collapse of the global financial systemtriggered by the bankruptcy of the largest American auto parts supplier Delphi, the immediately threatened bankruptcy of General Motors, the crash of criminal hedge funds like Refco, the bursting of the real estate bubble, a speculation-driven hyperinflation, or by a combination of these factorsdemands action. Only a new Atlantic Alliance in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which decides to create a New Bretton Woods system, can prevent a plunge into chaos.
In Germany, the estimation of the situation in the U.S.A. has changed since Hurricane Katrina demonstrated how catastrophic the dismantling of the State can be. It did not seem to cross President Bushs mind at all, that the State must play the decisive role in protecting the population in the face of a catastrophe. And as the magnitude of the disaster then became clear, it turned out that the infrastructural capacities were not available, which would have been necessary for rapidly rescuing people. Now, seven weeks afterwards, the complete inability to organize the reconstruction is becoming clear.
The revolt against the White House by the Senate, which voted 90 to 9 to prohibit the torture of prisoners of war, has also been noticed, at least within politically informed circles. Thus once more, Bush could not exercise his planned veto. And now that the media have hesitantly begun to report on the depth of the scandals and criminal charges, which are afflicting the neo-cons in the Republican Party, this is gradually also penetrating the public consciousness.
Disconnected From Reality
But the discussions and debates, which flank the coalition negotiations and the new constitution of the Bundestag, are in blatant contrast to the turbulences which are erupting in the U.S.A.! It appears as if politics in Germany is wrapped in a giant wad of cotton batting, which has been shoved like a thick, white protective screen between the politicians and reality.
The strategic context, in which the attempt to form a government in Germany is being comsummated, is no less important than the downfall of a regime, which was determined to dominate the globe as a world empire. It is the nature of the beast, that the leading representatives of this imperial claim to power remain dangerous, and become even more dangerous, the closer they come to their own demise. In this complex situation, there can be no simplistic approaches, and unfortunately, also no certainty, as to what the various forces at play will ultimately decide to do in these extraordinary situations.
But one thing is certain: A responsible policy cannot consist of passively waiting until things have taken their course, but rather it requires an active intervention to work towards a positive outcome for this historic moment.
As a consequence of the policies of the neo-cons, the trans-Atlantic relationship has reached an absolute low point, and the damage to the image of the U.S.A., a high point. Now there are not a few in Europe or Asia, who project scenarios in which in the future the U.S.A. would no longer play a role, and in several years Germany and France, for example, would be full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organizationagainst which idea no one can argue in principle. But the idea of a new Alliance, which ignores the U.S.A., is a dangerous illusion.
The New Trans-Atlantic Alliance
We need a new Atlantic Alliance which, however, cannot be established upon pragmatic or geo-strategic principles, but which rather will only function, if the U.S.A. and Europe create a genuine renaissance of their best cultural traditions. The historical roots for this exist; afterall America is Europes daughter, in whose development the best ideas and concepts of European intellectual history are incorporated. That began already with the discovery of the New World by Columbus, which would not have occurred in this form without the astronomical revolution in the thinking of Nicolaus of Cusa, and its influence on the cartography of Toscanelli.
Later in the 17th and 18th Centuries, it was the ideas of Leibniz, which inspired the Republican forces in Europe and America, to establish on the American continent a Republic committed to the General Welfare, which then led to the American Declaration of Independence, and the American Constitution. The British Empire never got over the fact that its best colony had separated from it, and has attempted since then to reverse the independence of America and in turnaccording to the motto British brains and American muscleto incorporate the U.S.A. in the British Empire through a special relationship with Great Britain. This tendency for an Anglo-American Empire had been finally achieved with the Neo-cons and the doctrine of a New American Century in the Bush/Cheney Administration.
In a certain way the same problem occurs today in an altered form, as it did at the beginning of the 1980s, when the trans-Atlanic relationship also reached a low point because of the conflict over the stationing of intermediate-range Pershing II missiles (opposing the SS-20 missiles on the Soviet side). At that time there was a deep-seated anti-Americanism in Germany, which at that time also confused the legitimate concernthat Germany would have no chance of surviving with NATOs Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine in the event of warwith the question of America in general. Conversely, in the U.S.A. there was a potentially still stronger tendency for anti-Europeanism, and considerable resentment against Germany in particular. At that time, the idea was reinforced for me, that the Antlantic Alliance must be established on an entirely different basis. The founding of the Schiller Institute was the result of this consideration.
The founding idea of the Schiller Institute was to create an institute for the improvement of foreign relations and statecraft, in which the different states relate to the best tradition of the other. Instead of singling out the darkest point in the history and culture of the other, each should relate to the ideas and accomplishments of the other, which belong to its proudest legacy. We in Germany should relate to the American Revolution, Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King; and the U.S.A., in respect to us, should relate to Nicolaus of Cusa, Leibniz, Bach, Beethoven, and Schiller, to mention only a few examples.
But the most important idea was, and is, to give this Alliance a common vision and mission, and that can only be based on the fact that we work in common for a new just economic world order, as this was already laid out in the ideas of Leibniz and John Quincy Adams: for a community of principle among perfectly sovereign Republics, which makes possible the survival with human dignity of all human beings on this planet.
It is even more urgent today to define the Atlantic Alliance anew. That will only occur, if the U.S.A. revives its best tradition, that of the American Revolution and Constitution, of the inalienable rights of all mankind, and of the principle that government has to promote the General Welfare; and if, conversely, Europe, and in this case Germany, becomes conscious of its Classical humanist tradition, and makes sure that it is revived, and replaces the vapid Zeitgeist. A new, positive concept for the shape of the future can only emerge from the dialogue of these best traditions.
There is at present in Germany an enormous vacuum of moral leadership, and the political sullenness of the citizen is nothing other than the reaction to the impression, that the political class is nothing more than a bunch of corrupt, power-hungry egoists, who are attempting to obtain the best for themselves by elbowing out others. The behavior of managers, who themselves stuff millions and billions into their pockets, while they send hundreds of thousands of human beings into unemployment and poverty, has already ignited the fuse for a social explosion. The same is true in the U.S.A. There is still time to turn back.
We are determined to counter this vacumm, to bring together the best minds and personalities on both sides of the Atlantic, to create a new vision for the future and to see it as our mission to achieve this. The measure of this new Alliance will be, first and foremost, to overcome poverty, on the domestic as well as on the international level.
As Schiller said in his epigram on the Dignity of Man:
Naught more thereof, I beg you. To nourish give him, to shelter,
Have ye the naked bedeckd, dignity comes on its own.