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Dialogue of Cultures
Successful Organizing In Poland
For Eurasian Landbridge
and Dialogue of Cultures
Media Reacts With Slanders
American economist, statesman, and Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche warned Poland in a May 2001 visit, in which he met deputies from the Sejm (national parliament), that bankruptcy reorganization of the world financial system, and for individual national financial systems, was the only realistic way out of economic breakdown crisis. Eight months later, Poland finds itself on the verge of state bankruptcy, given its deficit of 90 billion zloty (over $20 billion), the bankruptcy of its national electricity company, and so forth. The government and central bank are locked in policy battles. The country is searching for some way out that does not lead to social chaos."The collapse of Comecon [the socialist countries' trading bloc] should have become the signal for a great reconstruction effort in all of Eurasia," LaRouche said in May; "traffic, waterways, energy production, development corridors. When I, in a Berlin speech in 1988, first proposed this, I thought of the Polish railway industry, as one of the big potentials, which would enable Poland, to carry this economic development into all of Eurasia. Poland is a frontier area of this Eurasian development."
LaRouche's full speech was printed in the Polish weekly Mysl Polska. Apparently, after this, some people in the Anglo-American establishment, and their Polish offspring, lost their nerve over LaRouche's visit. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, and their circles regard Poland as their "protectorate," which, as a member of NATO and the European Union (EU), is obliged to assist the United States in unconditional solidarity. This includes having Poland play a geopolitical role as a buffer between Russia and Western Europe, as well as preventing Poland from breaking ranks with globalization, monetarism, and free trade.
This background explains the new and intense campaign of slanders against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche in Poland. This campaign has again been triggered by radical peasant leader Andrzej Lepper, whose party, Samoobrona ("Self-Defense"), became the third-strongest party in the September elections, and Lepper himself briefly became Deputy Speaker in the Sejm.
Given the dramatic economic and social crisis in Poland, Lepper's popularity is rising quickly. More than 20% unemployment, farms submitting to mass bankruptcy, and bitter poverty in the countryside: Under these conditions, his populist rhetoric against globalization, the EU, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gives him political credibility among a growing portion of the disillusioned population. As all too often in such crises, the victims look for a "strong man" who appears to take on the powers that be, not the thinker who offers real solutions.
Lepper thus used his new position as Deputy Speaker to set off a scandal, at the end of November, when he denounced Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz as a "scoundrel," for having gone to EU headquarters in Brussels and discussed details for the conditions under which Poland would join the EU, allegedly without prior consultation. As a result, Lepper was relieved of his post. In an escalation, he has now accused ten members of the government, among them the foreign and defense ministers, of corruption. He promised to present evidentiary documents, but has not.
To the extent that discussion in Poland now centers around Lepper, the pressing issue of the crisis is left out. The fantastic allegation was being retailed that the Schiller Institute had "trained and financed" Lepper, which is being used to fuel a malicious campaign against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche in the Polish media. The slanderous labelling of LaRouche runs the gamut from right-wing extremist, to left-wing extremist and sectarian. Some, however, go even further: The former communist-era chief of counterintelligence, now turned zealous liberal, Konstanty Miodowicz, slandered the Schiller Institute, during a Dec. 5 radio interview, as "anarchistic with a right-wing extremist cover." Miodowicz outrageously asserted that the Institute had been outlawed in the United States, and had then fled to Germany. Lyndon LaRouche is even mentioned in the same breath as the authors of the Oklahoma City bomb attack.
The Schiller Institute is preparing legal means against this slander.
Potential Of The Land-Bridge
The politically explosive question is, why is it in Poland, that such heavy guns are being pulled out against the Schiller Institute and LaRouche? This question can at present only be answered partially; however, the visit of a Schiller Institute delegation from Germany in the first week of December 2001, points toward some aspects of a solution.
A public seminar addressed by the Schiller activists at the Technical University of Warsaw, on Dec. 11, on a "Dialogue Of Cultures Instead Of War Of Civilizations" was attended by 70 people, including representatives of embassies and the government, journalists, professors, and students. In her presentation, Elisabeth Hellenbroich of the Schiller Institute discussed the background of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. She explained the strategy of a "War of Cultures"which includes the danger of a geopolitically motivated Third World Warwhich Samuel Huntington and Zbigniew Brzezinski have been propagandizing for for years. The Polish members of the audience loudly and openly expressed their disagreement with their "compatriot" Brzezinski. No one in Poland seriously believes in the "bin Laden thesis"; people were, instead, concerned about how the attacks could be used in the United States to abridge human rights. The response to the "War of Cultures" should be a "Dialogue of Cultures," Hellenbroich demanded, praising Pope John Paul II for his ecumenical dialogue among the religions, and presenting the call of Schiller Institute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche for a dialogue of cultures, which takes up the ecumenical tradition of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa.
The audience reacted unusually positively, and one could feel, how the ecumenical action of the great Polish Pope is strengthening the country in a time of world crisis. Schiller organizer Frank Hahn detailed the economic background of the Sept. 11 attacks, by showing that as recently as that Summer, it had been clear to the City of London and Wall Street that their financial system had come to an end. During the past 12 months, however, the fascinating dynamic for building the Eurasian Land-Bridge had come to the fore. There is a totally new quality of economic cooperation among Russia, China, Japan, Korea, India, and the nations of Central Asia in building great infrastructure projects. This represents the economic backbone of the dialogue, Hahn stressed.
For Poland's Real Interests
These responses indicate the process of fundamental re-thinking in Poland which goes unreported: The euphoria about the United States and the EU disappears, and Poles soberly realize that little economic support can be expected from the West. In several discussions with representatives from political, church, and economic life in Warsaw, it was stressed, that only 20% of Poland's population came out "winners" in the so-called "economic reforms" after 1990; most ended up losers. The country has been split between rich and poor, north and south, city and countrysidewhich could soon lead to a social revolt.
Polish farmers have lost their domestic market, because they cannot compete with the Western dumping of cheap food imports, and the massively overvalued zloty. Markets in the East represent the only chance of survival for Polish agriculture. And any reindustrialization of Poland must be based on cooperation with the East, on bartering "technology for raw materials."
From these pragmatic considerations has come the search to re-define Polish-Russian relations. They do not particularly love each other, but Poles welcome the fact that President Vladimir Putin has taken the place of Boris Yeltsin. They want economic cooperation, while deploring the lack of democracy and the imperial tendencies in Russia. And it is exactly at this point of political-cultural unease and economic dilemma, that LaRouche's influence in Russia comes to bear. LaRouche's recent presentations to Russia's scientific and economic elite, and his earlier testimony in June 2001, before the Economic Committee of the State Duma (the lower house of Russia's parliament), have been watched in Poland with great interest and an open mind.
In early December, during a seminar by the Schiller Institute at the education center of the Peasants Party (PSL), the audience expressed a great openness for a dialogue of cultures. As one participant said: This dialogue is conditioned on a cultural identity of its partnersGermans and Poles could have perfect dialogue, if Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz joined Germany's Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich Schiller as godfathers of this dialogue. Another connecting element is, of course, the Eurasian Land-Bridge. There was a lively debate about Poland's contribution.
We must also mention a book, recently published in Poland, which devotes a chapter to the "LaRouche school of physical economy": The Unusual Achievements Of The LiberalsIn The Destruction Of The Country, by Dr. Rudolf Jaworek.
New Leadership, Or Social Explosion
Poland is deeply split and shattered. The youth are disillusioned by mass unemployment and economic decline; farmers fear mass destruction of farms when Poland joins the EU; but only very few think about serious alternative strategies. The nation's political leadership is crushed between the EU and Russia, under pressure from the United States, and also from their own population, which will not tolerate the social depletion forever.
Poland does not have much time in which to forestall a social explosion, and this was the view of everyone the Schiller Institute had discussions with in Warsaw. This means all the more so, that its intellectual and political leaders will have to decide, whether they will now allow themselves to be frightened by a former communist counterintelligence chief and the Anglo-American-dominated media, or will follow LaRouche's ideas, in their own, well-defined self-interest.
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