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The Emergence of the Global South Against Geopolitical Blocs

The Emergence of the Global South Against Geopolitical Blocs

Jacques Cheminade – Mr. Cheminade is President of Solidarité et Progrès, France.

We are gathered here in Strasbourg in the face of the risk of a conflagration in the world, the risk that “humanity will one day annihilate itself in monstrous destruction.” Today, we are experiencing the first signs of this conflagration in Europe, and particularly in my own country, France.

It is at such tragic moments that it is essential to restore hope. That’s why I want to start by showing you the four bas-reliefs on the base of the statue commemorating Gutenberg, just a few minutes’ walk from here. This work, executed in 1844, carries the impetus of social emancipation for all the peoples of the world. You’ll see Europe, Asia, Africa and America, everywhere doing justice to our share of humanity. You’ll find Schiller and Franklin, Confucius and Râm Mohan Roy, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Mahmout II and Abbé Grègoire. From this Râm Mohan Roy, the Tagore family, from Indian Bengal, was the political and spiritual heir, and in the 20th Century, Rabîndranâth Tagore is the most accomplished expression of this heritage. Xi Jinping addressed the 23rd summit of the Shanghai Economic Cooperation Organization (SCO) on July 4, quoting “the great Indian poet Rabîndranâth Tagore”: “The ocean of danger, doubt and denial that surrounds man’s little island of certainty challenges him to dare the unknown. We must rise to the call to action of our time.”

In the midst of the storm, here and now, this is the call we are hearing from the countries of the global South and East. The 23rd SCO summit was attended by [Indian President Narendra] Modi, [Chinese President]Xi Jinping and [Russina President Vladimir] Putin, representatives of East Asian countries, Pakistan, and new SCO member Iran, via video-conference. Discussions focused on security, respect for national sovereignty and the desire to gradually develop trade in national currencies rather than dollars. In all, representatives of over 40% of the world’s population. If we add to this the members of the BRICS+, we’re talking about over 66% of the world’s population and, in terms of National Product measured in purchasing power parity, practically the same percentage in relation to the production of physical goods. Clearly, Western countries are proportionally in the minority. This tilting of the world is not a partial or temporary phenomenon, but a global groundswell.

It is a matter of life and death: the battle between the Malthusian, domineering financial oligarchy that occupies our Western countries and those who believe that the human species has a right to development, the right proclaimed by Lazare Carnot “to elevate all individuals of the human species to the dignity of man.”

The countries of the global South have clearly understood that the dumping of counterfeit money by the G7 central banks has resulted in the accumulation of fictitious capital in the form of debt and financial securities, to their detriment. To the detriment of their peoples and producers. They have understood that this neo-liberalism, organized and protected by military means and physical threats, imprisons them in the trap of continuous indebtedness. They have realized that the liberalism of the Washington Consensus, imposing on them the freedom of financial foxes in their minimized hutch states, no longer applies as soon as it is necessary to divert public funds to save the possessions of the financial oligarchy or arbitrarily freeze the assets of those who oppose it. They have understood that the damage inflicted on them, the dismantling of their social services and public sectors, has not been done by mistake or inadvertence, but with the conscious aim of preying on them. They have understood that they are victims of a rigged economy in which the dollar is militarized, a weapon of war pointed at them. So, it should come as no surprise that they feel concerned when Vladimir Putin says, at the St. Petersburg Forum just held from June 14 to 17: “Today, around 90% of trade within the member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union is conducted in rubles, and 86% of trade with China is conducted in rubles and yuan. This means that the harmful neo-colonial international system has ceased to exist.”

 It should come as no surprise that the Russian-Chinese alliance, consecrated on February 4, 2022, appears to them as a positive option and a chance to escape the trans-Atlantic straightjacket. And when Xi Jinping speaks of “the common future of mankind,” they see that China, without inflicting more or less hypocritical moral lessons on them, is building bridges, railroads, dams or harbors, and thus see that words are followed by deeds. Even if the achievements are imperfect, for them it’s better to have something than the “Western” almost nothing.

With this in mind, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Lula and Chinese Premier Li Qiang each addressed Emmanuel Macron at the summit for a new global financial pact held in Paris on June 22, 2023, criticizing existing financial institutions and what remains of the Bretton Woods order. Lula tore up his prepared speech, condemning the “inequalities” in the governance of international financial institutions and calling for a new order that “responds to the aspirations of the world.”

These countries of the global South, we are told, are not united and have no common project. No doubt, but they do have a common rejection. They have understood that Western leaders are wary of China’s development, because they think in geopolitical terms of friend and foe, and fear those who challenge their privileges. In the growing number of international meetings, on which the Western media report so little, links are organized outside the dollar system, which is no longer even an American currency, but that of a financial oligarchy reigning over a market economy without a market. The Schiller Institute welcomes this development as a fundamental step towards a road to peace through mutual development.

For those of you who don’t know, because it’s not the sort of thing the Western media report, Russian economist Sergei Glazyev, Minister of Integration of the Eurasian Economic Union, now organizing the implementation of de-dollarization, declared on September 8, 2022, that “it is the principles of physical economics championed by Lyndon LaRouche that underpin the Chinese economic miracle today, and that are the basis of India’s economic development policy.”

For those who don’t know, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president and founder of the International Schiller Institute, is Lyndon LaRouche’s wife. This means that the long struggle we have waged, and continue to wage, is in the name of LaRouche’s conception of a successful economic policy: increasing the potential for relative economic density, a welcoming policy that is anti-Malthusian in principle. LaRouche’s conception, based on the human capacity to discern new physical principles applied in the form of technologies that produce more with less physical effort, goes beyond the short-term appearances of those “sense organs that lack the capacity to think and allow themselves to be obsessed by external things” evoked by Mencius, the spiritual heir of Confucius. He added: “As long as we begin to build what is great, smallness will not prevail within us.” This presupposes, of course, the long-term vision we lack today in our “world of money,” currency and immediate appearance. Let’s listen to Tagore, in his Religion of Man, before or perhaps after his dialogue with Einstein: “Of all creatures, man alone lives in a boundless future. Our present is only a part of it. Ideas yet to be born, minds still unformed, provoke our imagination with an insistence that makes them even more real to our intelligence than the things around us.”

It was with this in mind that seven African countries organized their delegation of mediators in the Ukrainian conflict. “We’re not here as beggars, we’re not going to ask for favors from one or other of the belligerents,” declared [South African President] Cyril Ramaphosa, “we want to be essential players on the world stage.” The “South” is thus directly and independently involved in the affairs of the “North,” outside the realm of NATO. Under China’s auspices, Saudi Arabia and Iran are renewing diplomatic relations, an Africa-Russia summit will be held in St. Petersburg on July 26 and 27, India is using Chinese yuan and even UAE dirhams to buy oil from Russia, and even [French oil giant] Total, to conclude a contract involving the Emirates and China, is also concluding a contract in yuan. Emmanuel Macron is striving to be invited to the 15th BRICS summit, to be held from August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg, but member country Russia feels he has no place there as “an adherent to the NATO line.”

The world is changing and becoming multilateral. Western leaders are slowly waking up to this fact. It is not from them that we can expect a step towards peace in the world, because to accept its foundations would be to put an end to the preponderance of the oligarchy that dominates them. It is therefore the rise of the global South that offers a chance for peace, outside the logic of blocs. We have seen how this is taking shape, and how necessary it is for us Europeans to follow this rise and understand its causes. But of course, this is not enough. We need to rediscover our own national sovereignty and independence, buoyed by this example. This is the first of the ten points proposed by the leader of the Schiller Institute for our consideration. This requires not only a change of direction in the politics of our countries, but also a change in ourselves.

France and even European countries alone cannot change the direction of a world that is self-destructing under piles of counterfeit money and increasingly destructive weapons. We must rely on this planetary South to prevent us from continuing to be the darlings of a tragic face, in which a “war economy” leads us to war at all. A war that will cross the nuclear threshold of our destruction if we don’t root out the roots that lead to it.

This means defining together the new architecture of peace through mutual security and development that the countries of the global South are rightly demanding. This is a force without which, given the interlocking production and value chains of today’s Western countries, we will not be able to change direction. It is this voice, along with China, the SCO and the BRICS, that my country should carry to the United Nations Security Council. We have fewer excuses than others, for we are the only country in Western Europe without American bases and, for some time to come, an independent nuclear military force and civilian industry.

Our challenge, to avoid a future war between blocs, even if we escape the present threat, is to change the economic, political and cultural direction of all the countries of the Atlantic world. By making our peoples understand that they are suffering, within our States, the same damage as that inflicted on the countries of the global South, from which they are striving to extricate themselves.

Citizens of the world, unite! But this presupposes an effort on our part to stimulate our curiosity and imagination to explore the unknown, without any fascination for violence or submission. A capacity, for each citizen, to prioritize collective interest over personal interest, so that the advances in world knowledge that are the expression of our sovereignty can lead to a higher level in which the conjunction of opposites becomes the harmony of dissonances. That’s what I was thinking confusedly, between French culture and Argentine culture, looking to the Crux (Southern cross) constellation of my childhood to find a beyond that encompasses both without betraying either.

Let’s dare the unknown so that the beauty of the world is not destroyed!

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