Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche and speakers from around the world LIVE on October 5 at 1pm EDT. to discuss mankind’s necessary development of a policy committed to our destiny in the stars. Only by considering mankind’s common destiny first can nations determine their appropriate national policy to serve both their own interest and that of the world. October 5th has been declared “International Moon Day” when thousands of people will be gathering to learn about the moon and man’s mission in space. We invite you to join us in our celebration and in the development of a political force capable of transforming mankind from mere Earthlings, to inhabitants of the Solar System and beyond.
On April 26, 2019, FBI Director Christopher Wray gave an address to the Council on Foreign Relations in which he made the astonishing claim that “no country poses a broader, more severe intelligence collection threat than China.” He explained:
“China has pioneered a societal approach to stealing innovation any way it can, from a wide array of businesses, universities, and organizations. They’re doing this through Chinese intelligence services, through state-owned enterprises, through ostensibly private companies, through graduate students and researchers, and through a variety of actors working on behalf of China.”
During his 2018 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Wray put it this way: “One of the things we’re trying to do is view the China threat as not just a whole-of-government threat, but a whole-of-society threat on their end… And I think it’s going to take a whole-of-society response by us.”
The above quotes are not from a paranoid intelligence officer from the movie Dr. Strangelove, although they sound like it. Hopefully the removal of John Bolton from his post as National Security Advisor will prove to be a step toward sanity in U.S.-China relations, but the danger to world affairs is too great to merely “hope” for a change. The anti-China fear-mongering must stop now.
After the firing of several top Chinese-American scientists, and the deportation of several Chinese post-doctoral students who were working on curing cancer and Huntington’s Disease, as well as the denial of visas to Chinese students trying to return for the new semester at several American universities, the FBI is demanding that university presidents, deans and professors assist in this McCarthyite witch hunt by carefully monitoring—i.e., spying on—the Chinese and Chinese-American students in their institutions, especially if the students are studying science, mathematics, IT or anything else with possible military applications.
Has China actually expressed an intent to destroy the United States? Or is it merely that some consider the development of China to be a threat to the United States? Is the threat actually the development of China, or is it the lack of development of the United States?
If a researcher discovers an effective treatment for a deadly disease, wouldn’t it be important to have a dialogue about how best to make this treatment available to those who are suffering, with appropriate patent laws and regulations, as opposed to taking action to halt the dialogue and shut down the research? Today, scientific research and journals are, by nature, international. Many research projects involve teams working in the West and in China, publishing papers together, on two continents. The actions of the FBI and related branches of government to persecute Chinese scientists in the US is nothing less than an assault on science itself.
What about the discovery of a universal principle, like gravity? If China makes the same discovery as an American researcher, or if a Chinese scientist observes an American experiment and tries to replicate it in China, has the principle been “stolen?” Does it no longer exist here because it also exists there? The great Hungarian-American physicist Dr. Edward Teller warned in a September 1987 interview with The Scientist that “exaggerated secrecy will drive away the best people. It is where secrecy gets married to bureaucracy, to doctrine—that is where secrecy does most of its harm.”
If we in the United States fail to act on a discovery of principle, by neglecting to put it into practice—as was the case with mag-lev rail, which was developed at Brookhaven Lab in New York, but never built in the United States—is that the fault of the Chinese?
It is true that China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years, while deaths from poverty-related diseases have increased dramatically over the same time period in the United States. It is also true that China has landed on the far side of the Moon and sprouted seeds there. China has doubled its budget for fusion research, while in the United States, fusion research has been starved nearly to death for lack of funding.
These developments are not an attack by China on the United States, nor is it China which has prevented us from making desperately needed repairs to basic infrastructure, or investing needed funds in the space program, medical research or other scientific endeavors. This has been the policy of the elected government of the United States for the past 50 years, which is only now beginning to change with the announcement of the Artemis Project for a manned landing on the Moon in 2024.
The stifling of cooperation and dialogue among scientists trying to solve the same problems, especially from varying perspectives, is akin to putting an iron rod through the spokes of the wheels of human progress.
As demonstrated by Socrates, Plato, and Confucius centuries ago, the pathway to true knowledge is through dialogue and free exchange of ideas. Obviously, there will be specific areas of military application that may need to be classified for a period of time. But exploring our solar system and galaxy and curing devastating diseases, such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, are endeavors for the benefit of humankind as a whole. If Americans are not allowed to collaborate with the Chinese in these scientific endeavors, the Chinese will go elsewhere, as they are already doing with their space program.
Open and collaborative international cooperation promotes the self-interest, properly defined, of all people and nations.
The Belt and Road and Apollo Program: Sources of Inspiration
By Hussein Askary and Jason Ross
In just a few days, world leaders will gather in New York for the 74th U.N. General Assembly summit, whose theme this year is “Sustainable Development.” The gathering is expected to attract developing nations’ leaders who are eager to see the implementation of the prioritized UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2030). The priority goals are the eradication of poverty (Goal 1), eradication of hunger (Goal 2), providing good healthcare (3), quality education (4), clean water (6), available and affordable energy (7), economic growth (8), and infrastructure and industrialization (9). Despite the very real urgency of achieving these goals, the US, the EU, and the UN bureaucracy itself will likely place the greatest emphasis on Goal 13 (Climate Action)!
Wealthy doomsday prophets from Western countries will be descending on the UN building in New York, flying in planes, sailing on yachts, or crawling on the ground to preach the prophecy of the “end of the world” through the collapse of Earth’s climate—caused, they say, by continued economic growth and industrial development. They are joining a growing group of powerful financial and banking interests in the Western world who intend to enrich themselves through what they call “green growth” and “green finance.” The intention is to stop real economic growth and technological and scientific progress on a global scale to “save the planet.” In the meantime, the aspirations of poor countries and developing nations will have to take a back seat, because, obviously, there are more urgent matters than eliminating poverty and hunger, providing healthcare, education, and clean water and electricity to billions of people.
During the colonial period, the people of colonized nations were told that they were inferior beings, for whom poverty was the natural condition. In the post-colonial period, they were told that their poverty was the natural result of having corrupt leaders. Today, developing nations are told they are poor because the greedy, greedy industrial world caused climate change, and that they should never ever attempt to emulate the industrial world. Instead, they will get “climate-change mitigation” aid and handouts. Following this outlook would make poverty permanent (sustained) for generations.
The continued drumbeat for ending economic development is not new, but it has reached a hysterical level threatening both industrialized and developing nations. The vague discussion of “sustainable development” is partly to blame. The authors of this article are inclined to believe that there is a fundamental contradiction and discrepancy between how this term is propagated in the West and how it is perceived in China and other developing nations. In China and other developing countries, it is read “sustainable development” (with emphasis on “development”), while in the West, the emphasis lies on “sustainable.”
The Main Premise: Limited Resources!
The term “sustainable development” was formally codified by the United Nations through the 1987 Brundtland Report. (footnote 1) It is usually associated with promoting the use of so-called “renewable” sources of energy, such as solar and wind power, and is generally concerned with alleged adverse impacts of human activity on the environment. The referenced report states that “sustainable development” is defined as sufficient development to cover the “basic needs” of poor societies, i.e., the bare minimum to ensure survival, as well as extending to all nations and peoples the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for better living standards.
However, the report states that many people in modern societies “live beyond the world’s ecological means, for instance in our patterns of energy use,” and warns that “sustainable development requires the promotion of values that encourage consumption standards that are within the bounds of the ecological possible and to which all can reasonably aspire.” How are these bounds determined? The report concedes that “the accumulation of knowledge and the development of technology can enhance the carrying capacity of the resource base. But ultimate limits there are, and sustainability requires that long before these are reached, the world must ensure equitable access to the constrained resource and reorient technological efforts to relieve the presume.” But are there truly ultimate limits for irreplaceable resources? Are the limits fixed by nature, or are they determined by our discoveries and inventions?
The notion of limited natural resources and the so-called “carrying capacity” of the ecological system are not applicable to human society, since it is the level of scientific and technological progress which defines the range of “resources,” rather than an a priori “natural” limit. Therefore, adopting the “sustainable development” goals determined by such notions as are presented in the Brundtland Report poses a great obstacle to eliminating poverty and providing higher living standards and quality of life for all individuals and nations. What is needed is either a new definition of these notions, or the adoption of completely different concepts.
China has proven that the way out of poverty and onto the path of progress is through fast-track “industrialization” and large-scale development projects, including mega-projects, using the full range of resources, whether scientific, human, or natural. For example, all useful sources of energy, such as coal, oil, gas, hydropower, and nuclear power, must be used. While it is imperative that the sources of power with a greater energy-flux density, like nuclear fission and fusion, should replace the less dense sources, it is neither reasonable nor moral to ask poor nations to avoid the sources of power that enabled the United States, Europe, Japan and others to become modern industrial societies. The speed of power expansion required necessitates the use and construction of hydrocarbon power sources, while the needed nuclear industrial base is developed and scientific advances for fusion are made.
China’s economic miracle is based on implementing sound policies that seem to be the opposite of those demanded by such international institutions as the World Bank, the IMF, international environmental organizations, and financial consulting corporations and think tanks. China has followed a policy which was, ironically, the policy that made the US the greatest economic power on earth by the end of the 1940s, and made a ruined Germany the second greatest industrial power in the post-World War II world.
China’s is a dirigist policy of centralized, state-financed development of infrastructure and industry through national credit for long-term development, by using the latest technological and scientific innovations and developing new ones.
This discrepancy—between the proven successful methods of development, both current and historical (as in industrialization of the United States and Germany, for example) on the one hand, and what is now being promoted by international institutions on the other—must be addressed and eliminated. The new paradigm of development spearheaded by China and the BRICS nations is a key element in this process.
It is therefore necessary to state in clear terms, here, in this context, that the definition of the term “sustainable development” should mean the ability to maintain a process of providing ever higher levels of productivity and standards of living, both physically and culturally, to whole societies through scientific creativity and technological innovation. “Sustainable development” should not be used to mean the adaptation by society to an ever-shrinking base of fixed resources, because there is no such a thing as limited resources! What puts a limit to growth is the lack of cultural, scientific and technological progress.
China: The epitome of a developing nation
Between 1981 and 2018, China lifted 800 million of its citizens out of poverty—as attested by such institutions as the World Bank—by investing in urban and rural infrastructure projects, by completing mega-projects in transportation, water, and power, and by building an industrial and scientific capacity unparalleled in world history. The only close example of such rapid industrialization is the 1930s and 1940s New Deal and WWII mobilization under U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This unparalleled achievement can be replicated, in its outline, by all developing nations, although with different dimensions and characteristics. Over the past forty years, China built more water management projects than the United States had done in a hundred years. Another metric that emphasizes the immense magnitude of the undertaking is the fact that China used more cement in the three years 2011–2013, than did the United States during the entire 20th century! The Chinese 20,000 km high-speed railway network has already surpassed the combined networks of the Western European nations. China has 37 operating nuclear power plants (70% of which were built in the past decade alone), and a further 20 plants are under construction.
Enter the BRI
The announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Chinese President Xi Jinping in late 2013, (footnote 2) which was a breakthrough for the New Silk Road policy adopted by China since 1996, transformed China’s development policy into a global strategy, an all-inclusive initiative for all nations, without exception, to join and to shape. The BRI hinges on the construction of infrastructure mega-projects whose scale has not been seen in the world since the U.S. New Deal before World War II, the post–World War II reconstruction of Germany, and the U.S. space program of the 1960s.
The BRI is based on the solid foundation of China’s own economic miracle in the past few decades, and is backed by the entirety of the massive financial, technological, human resources base, and political power of China. It has evolved from a national Chinese project of economic development and industrialization into a massive intercontinental initiative for connectivity and economic cooperation, an initiative that more than 120 nations have joined so far. The BRI is already becoming the biggest economic undertaking in the history of mankind. The developing sector nations, many of which enjoy massive geographical advantages and human and natural resources, are poised to reap major benefits from this global initiative.
The fact that China is sharing its amazing experience of industrialization and development of the past three decades with the rest of the world is a key element of success.
Through the BRI, China is offering the rest of the world its know-how, experience, and technology, backed by a $3 trillion financial arsenal. This is a great opportunity for West Asia and Africa to realize the dreams of the post–World War II independence era, dreams that have unfortunately been sabotaged for decades. The dramatic deficit in infrastructure both nationally and inter-regionally in West Asia and Africa can, ironically, be considered in this new light as a great opportunity. Although many other industrial nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas have technological and labor capabilities similar to those of China, they lack the vision and political will to apply these capabilities and to finance their use. Since West Asia and Africa are such strategically important areas for both East and West, it is, therefore, a perfect place for bringing the capabilities of the nations of the world into one concrete project of peaceful cooperation and development.
Encouraging signs have simultaneously emerged from African nations that have realized the importance of joining and benefiting from the new paradigm of development based on industrialization and large-scale infrastructure projects. Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya, for example, have all designed impressive national development plans that are being implemented in rapid steps. But even here, China’s role is decisive.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the most compact and well-defined BRI project—is revolutionizing Pakistan, a nation which until a couple of years ago was indebted and broken, economically. Now, Pakistan is bustling with optimism and its economy being transformed by all the power, water, transport, and logistics projects being undertaken at breathtaking speed under the CPEC. The industrial base of Pakistan which was mostly shut down in the past few years due to lack of electricity, is poised to reemerge now. Pakistans ports, like Gwadar, are in the process of moving from an isolated and abandoned fishing village to world-class maritime transport and logistics hub. China’s investments in Pakistan are reaching USD 60-70 billion from the originally planned level of $45 billion.
Before the CPEC projects came to fruition, Pakistan’s economic development was stymied by the lack of electricity, which lack prevented the needed growth to escape the actual debt trap related to a lack of development. As a result of its large trade deficit, Pakistan’s growing foreign debt reached $95 billion in 2017. It has been running a yearly trade deficit of over $23 billion for the past few years. Pakistan’s main export items are raw materials and staple foodstuffs, and its main manufactured export is textiles. Staple food and raw materials suffer from price oscillations, whereas the textile sector’s competitiveness is crippled by the unreliable and inadequate energy supply. And it is precisely the crucial energy sector and transportation, that are the main focus of Chinese investments in the CPEC.
Pakistan’s energy imports have contributed significantly to its trade imbalance and indebtedness. Over the fiscal year 2017–2018, imports stood at $60.86 billion, 2.6 times the $23.22 billion of exports, resulting in a historically high trade deficit of $37.64 billion. Nearly a quarter of Pakistan’s imports were energy (oil and gas), amounting to $14.43 billion. (footnote 3) These energy imports constitute nearly half of the annual deficit! On August 3, 2018, the Pakistan Express Tribune reported that the British Standard Chartered Bank was to extend a $200-million commercial loan (at 4.2% interest rate) to Pakistan to finance LNG imports. The SCB is one of Pakistan’s largest lenders, with $1.1 billion in loans in 2016–2017 alone. This is how a nation walks into a debt trap.
Before the full completion of CPEC power projects, Pakistan’s total installed electrical capacity was 25,000 MW (2017), with the average demand being 19,000 MW.
Installed capacities, broken down by production type, was as follows: 1. Hydrocarbons (thermal) 14.7 GW, comprising 64% of installed capacity, 2. hydropower 7.1 GW (31% ), 3. nuclear 0.7 GW (3%), 4. wind, solar, biogas 0.4 GW (2%). (footnote 4)
Considered in terms of actual electricity production, the figures are as follows: (1) hydrocarbons (thermal) 58.5 TWh, comprising 60% of electricity production, (2) hydro 32.9 TWh (34%), (3) nuclear 5.0 THw (5%), (4) wind, solar, biogas 0.8 TWh (0.8%).
In the decade preceding the CPEC, Pakistan’s annual electricity consumption lingered in the range of 70–80 TWh, approximately 50 watts (or 440 kWh/yr) per capita. With the completion of a portion of the CPEC power projects, the nation’s electricity consumption rose to 100 TWh in 2018, bringing the average up to 500 kWh capita. This growth is good, but the figure is still far too low, and tens of millions of Pakistanis do not yet have access to grid electricity.
The CPEC energy projects will play a significant role in expanding electricity access in Pakistan. (footnote 5) This can eliminate the energy deficit and prepare the economy for a further surge in industrial activity. The breakdown of the investments that are completed, under construction or negotiation is as follows: Coal plants: 8,580 MW; Hydropower: 2,700 MW; other thermal plants (natural gas): 825 MW; Solar power plants: 900 MW; wind farms: 350 MW. (footnote 6) The expected total new electricity generating capacity is 13,355 MW. And the total cost of all these power generation projects (including mining of coal and electricity transmission lines) is estimated to be $23-30 billion, which is approximately the cost of two years’ imports of oil and gas, and less than the annual trade deficit.
To tell Pakistan today to stop the coal power plants amounts to telling its people to commit collective suicide.
Pakistan was never enabled, or allowed, by its Western “friends”—who needed the country to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s and the Taliban since 2001—to fully develop its clean and “carbon-free” nuclear power. This is poised to change, since China and Russia are fully capable of assisting in the construction of nuclear power plants. The choice of coal power at this moment is due to the fact that Pakistan has the raw material in abundance, because it takes a relatively short time (18-24 months) to construct a modern coal power plant, and because the necessary skills, equipment, and planning to produce them in large numbers currently exist. Nuclear power plants are complicated in both time and physical requirements. While coal may not be an ideal choice over the long term (30-40 years), the only reasonable alternative is nuclear power, for which the necessary construction capabilities must be geared up worldwide. For the Pakistani nation and economy to reach the platform of being able to build or participate in building its own nuclear power plants, its economy needs to be revived and developed now.
The attempt to supply the energy needs of Pakistan—or nearly (footnote 7) any nation, for that matter—by so-called “green” or “renewable” technologies for electricity production, would be an exercise in extortionately expensive futility, leading to real human suffering.
Chinese President Xi’s Philosophy of Development: “Make the cake bigger!”
By carefully reading the speeches and writings of the Chinese President Xi Jinping without ideological prejudice, we conclude that what Xi means by “sustainable development” is not what politicians and economists in the West mean by that term.
In his speech to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 18, 2017, Xi thoroughly describes the goals of development set out by him and the party, and clearly explains his understanding of the “Scientific Outlook on Development.” According to him, this is one of the key five guiding principles of the Communist Party of China (besides Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of the Three Represents). In point four of his speech, “Adopting a New Vision of Development,” Xi said: “Development is the underpinning and the key for solving our country’s problems.” He emphasized: “We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.”
Rather than focusing on “limited resources” and how to divide them, Xi often uses the metaphor of “rather than fighting over a small cake, make the cake bigger” when urging his party comrades to think outside the box. Most indoctrinated so-called experts in the Western world would see this today as a contradiction of terms, because they believe that increased production and raising the living standards cause ecological problems and will inevitably hit the wall of limited resources.
Even more provocative to Western observers are Xi’s repeated calls for the industrialization of Africa. In his speech at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015, Xi said the following:
“Industrialization is an inevitable path to a country’s economic success. Within a short span of several decades, China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and put in place a complete industrial system with an enormous production capacity…
“It is entirely possible for Africa, as the world’s most promising region in terms of development potential, to bring into play its advantages and achieve great success…. The achievement of inclusive and sustainable development in Africa hinges on industrialization, which holds the key to creating jobs, eradicating poverty and improving people’s living standards.”
President Xi did not say this as a provocation to the West, but because he truly holds this view, which is completely in sync with China’s own fantastic feat of development in the past three decades.
The most transparent and scientific definition of “sustainable development” according to Xi is described in a speech titled “A Deeper Understanding of the New Development Concepts,” which he delivered on January 18, 2016 at a study session of the implementation of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The term “coordinated development,” he says, has acquired new features. In the usual Chinese philosophical manner that is not fearful of contradictions that lead to solutions, he stated: “Coordinated development is the unity of balanced development and imbalanced development. The process from balance to imbalance and then to rebalance is the basic law of development. Balance is relative while imbalance is absolute. Emphasizing coordinated development is not pursuing equalitarianism, but giving more importance to equal opportunities and balanced resource allocation.”
Xi continued: “Coordinated development is the unity of weakness and potential in development. China is in a stage of transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country. According to international experience, this is a stage of concentrated conflicts of interest, in which imbalanced development and various weaknesses are inevitable. To pursue coordinated development, we should identify and improve our weaknesses, so as to tap development potential and sustain growth momentum.” (footnote 8)
No state of equilibrium: Breaking the boundary conditions
In this speech and other speeches on the concepts of development, Xi has emphasized that the way to overcome such contradictions is to pursue scientific and technological creativity and innovation. It is very clear that Xi realizes that there is no such a thing as a “state of equilibrium,” but rather there is a process of progress and sustained growth, although he emphasizes that the goal is growth that is qualitative, rather than merely quantitative.
People in the West hear every day that the modern civilization has hit the wall, that limits of growth and technological development have been reached, that Earth’s carrying capacity has met its limit, and that the solution is to slow down, roll back industrialization and reduce the world population, because we cannot sustain growth indefinitely.
The proponents of zero-growth base their theories on a fictitious “state of equilibrium” in nature between limited natural resources and the biological needs of all species, humans included, on this one and only planet! Life itself, the biosphere and the human species have proven that there is no such a static state of equilibrium, but that there is a process of progress and development. But that process of development usually bumps into certain boundary conditions, because a previous key “natural resource” is depleted. However, creative and revolutionary technological leaps break that boundary condition and brings life to a new and more intensive platform of progress. In other words, when a society hits a wall, it has to build a ladder and climb the wall to come to the new, but higher platform of economic development. That ladder is scientific and technological progress.
Human Creativity: the Greatest — and Infinite — Natural Resource
In a discussion of the role of science as a driver for the development of any nation, President Xi stated in a speech delivered to the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on October 29, 2015, “Innovative development focuses on the drivers of growth. Our ability to innovate is inadequate. Our science and technology is not fully developed, and is unable to create momentum to support economic and social development. This is the Achilles heel for such a big economy as China.” (footnote 9) Concerning the primacy of human creativity to so-called natural resources, Xi stressed: “So we must consider innovation as the primary driving force of growth and the core in this whole undertaking, and human resources as the primary source to support development. We should promote innovation in theory, systems, science and technology, and culture, and make innovation the dominant theme in the work of the Party, and government, and everyday activity of in society.” (footnote 10)
Elaborating on the history of the impact of scientific progress since the Renaissance on the industrial development of Europe and later the United States, Xi informed his Party comrades: “In the 16th century, human society entered an unprecedented period of active innovation. Achievements in scientific innovation over the past five centuries have exceeded the sum total of several previous millenia… Each and every scientific and industrial revolution has profoundly changed the outlook and pattern of world development… Since the second Industrial Revolution, the U.S. has maintained global hegemony because it has always been the leader and the largest beneficiary of scientific and industrial progress.” (footnote 11)
Xi is not expressing frustration and envy over the fantastic past progress of Europe and the United States, but is urging his people to learn from those successes. As Confucius said in the Analects: “He who learns but does not think is lost. However, he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”
President Xi’s thoughts are clearly in harmony with those presented by American Economic Lyndon LaRouche, who has defined and treated economics in a scientific manner the same way physics is treated. LaRouche, the pioneer of Physical Economics, defined the process of progress of society as the building of new economic platforms.
The LaRouche View of Economics: Successive Economic Platforms!
Following his service in World War II, economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche tackled a central problem to understanding economic growth: the seeming impossibility of representing the incommensurable value of scientific revolutions. To give an example of the difficulty involved, consider the initial development of steam power. This new technology transformed the power of coal, which had been used as a source of heat, into a source of motion, making it tremendously more valuable than it had been. The ability to separate the process of production both from the muscle power of people and beasts, and from a reliance on such local peculiarities as the availability of wind or flowing water, transformed the economic geography completely. The power of an individual worked increased by an order of magnitude. Goods that previously were created by hand by artisans and were consequently available only to the wealthy, could now be produced efficiently in larger numbers, making them available to a broader population. How can these varied benefits — in changing resources, increasing productivity, and altering the importance of geography — be understood?
LaRouche begins his theory with a consideration of the most important metric of human economy, the potential population density that can be achieved by a given society’s cultural and scientific development, adjusted for the conditions of geography (including man made improvements to that geography). This metric, potential relative population density, gives a rough understanding of the economic power brought to bear by a civilization. True economic value exists in those processes and developments that act to increase this metric.
As an additional metric, LaRouche insists that the intensity of power applied by a society — at the point of production as well as more broadly considered per capita and per land area — must increase with economic growth. This metric, energy flux density, involves both the quantitative increase in power available, and also its qualitative nature, as expressed in its intensity. For example, a laser uses a greater density of energy than does a metal cutting device, yet it may be able to cut a metal part using less total energy. This is a reflection of the greater energy flux density embodied in the laser. A similar example is the increasing ratio of energy use specifically as electricity — a more concentrated form of energy — to total energy use in an economy.
In addition to the concepts of potential relative population density and energy flux density, add another: the concept of the economic platform as a superior concept to that of infrastructure.
As we progress, we rely increasingly on an improved environment. Rather than walking on paths made by herds of animals or floating on natural rivers, we use roads, rail lines, subways, sidewalks. We increasingly work in illuminated buildings and enclosed vehicles, safe from the ravages of weather, rather than unprotected outdoors. The substrate upon which we depend, this built environment, is often considered as an accumulation of pieces of “infrastructure.” LaRouche takes a fresh approach to this concept, as in a 2010 paper:
We should then recognize that the development of basic economic infrastructure had always been a needed creation of what is required as a “habitable” development of a “synthetic,” rather than a presumably “natural” environment, for the enhancement, or even the possibility of human life and practice at some time in the existence of our human species. . . .
Man as a creator in the likeness of the great Creator, is expressed by humanity’s creation of the “artificial environments” we sometimes call “infrastructure,” on which both the progress, and even the merely continued existence of civilized society depends. (footnote 12)
LaRouche reconceptualizes the history of human development from the standpoint of a succession of economic platforms. The earliest human civilizations were limited in their movements to land and to the oceans and rivers. And this water transportation itself required the technologies of ship-building and navigation. The sky itself served as an infrastructure platform, its stars providing a means of finding one’s way. The construction of new rivers, in the form of navigable canals, marked the next great stage of human advancement, providing a new platform upon which to develop. The land itself changed in value, as areas that were previously quite distant from the seas and rivers were brought within its reach, including through supplementary road networks. The railroads — rivers of steel — were the next great platform, utilizing the scientific knowledge of metallurgy and of the steam engine to transform our relationship to the land, and to space and time themselves. Distances that were traversable only in weeks could now be crossed in days.
Connectivity grew and the economic potential of land increased by the availability of rail transport.
The next great platforms upon which human civilization will be based, will rely on new technologies of greater energy flux density. With the realization of nuclear fusion, building on the gains already achieved through the control over nuclear fission, our relationship to travel and to resources will be fundamentally altered. Processing of ores, which today requires the use of coke produced from coal for its chemical transformation, could be achieved in a much simpler way. The value of high-level concentrations of mineral deposits will decrease, as lower concentrations will be economically viable to use. Our relationship to water — a precious resource required in great quantities — will take on a new form as we use nuclear fusion to use the plentiful water in the world’s salty seas. Our power over space will grow exponentially as nuclear-powered rockets propel us quickly through the solar system, and move asteroids that might strike the Earth onto safer orbits!
In all of this analysis, money itself plays a secondary, although important role. Money, being a scalar value, cannot be used to assign a value to the steam engine, to the development of railroads, to the 1960s Apollo mission to the Moon, or to the coming breakthrough of nuclear fusion. While money can measure more of what existed previously, the benefits of these leaps is that they allow us to accomplish more than we could before. In each of these cases, the potential population density of the human race is increased, processes of higher energy flux density are used or unlocked, and a greater platform of created environment upon which other activity unfolds is born.
LaRouche has consistently urged the creation of economic and political systems that cohere with the laws of physical economics. This means national and international credit systems under which long-term credit can be provided for projects that increase the physical productivity of the nation or society, including in the many circumstances that such investments would not be financially profitable to a private investor. Instead of suffering under economic “laws” that have no universal validity, the financial system itself must be subjected to the creative will of man, and brought into coherence with the long-term goals of the species.
Key in upgrading our potential is the conquest of space, that great domain lying always over our heads, beckoning us to look up and to think big! From space, there is only one Earth, populated by a single human race. From space, the overwhelming potential of that beautiful, creative species becomes manifest. It is for this reason that many of the greatest space visionaries and engineers have developed profound reflections on the human race itself. The German-American Krafft Ehricke is one such example.
A species not Earth-bound
Space visionary Ehricke, whose scientific contributions made the Apollo Program possible, strongly disputed the “limits to growth” philosophy, and his arguments in opposition to it were informed by his deep relationship to science and technology. In a 1984 speech, Ehricke said: “If you have a no-growth philosophy and if you regress into the Middle Ages, then you create an environment in which that, what you are asking the human being to do — namely to live with less and being very modest … and not to grow — is impossible, because a dog-eat-dog fight is bound to break out under those conditions. We’ve come too far. We have to go on. Life shows us that technological advances are the road to go. But based on those technological advances, must come the advances of the species and the advances of our civilization.” (footnote 13)
Ehricke argued that in the process of evolution on Earth, organic matter faced this crisis and overcame it: “Earth was like a gigantic flower, which soaked up solar energy and also utilized other energy to establish basic organic compounds, and amino acids. And when life began to stir here, there lived, of those fossil assets, Haldane’s famous ’soup that ate itself up,’ or something similar to that, and of course, eventually the resources ran out. And the first great crisis of life on this planet occurred, because they were living off previously generated organic substances… It was then, that we saw for the first time, two things: That what seemed to be an absolute limit to growth, was no limit to growth. It was a hindrance, that had to be overcome, and was overcome by technological advances — incredible technological advances, namely photosynthesis.”
The “first industrial revolution” is how Ehricke termed this advancement whereby organic matter found in outer space a new, extraterrestrial resource—solar radiation—for its continued development and survival.
Ehricke called for the human species to do the same, by going to outer space to explore and tap the unlimited resources that the solar system and the universe offers us: “This goes far beyond that… Information metabolism transcends planetary limitations, and is the metabolism on which life moves now over into space itself.”
Krafft Ehricke summarized his philosophy of astronautics in three laws, formulated in 1957:
First Law: Nobody and nothing under the natural laws of this universe impose any limitations on man except man himself.
Second Law: Not only the Earth, but the entire Solar system, and as much of the universe as he can reach under the laws of nature, are man’s rightful field of activity.
Third Law: By expanding through the Universe, man fulfills his destiny as an element of life, endowed with the power of reason and the wisdom of the moral law within himself. (footnote 14)
In a stark contrast to the mantra frequently repeated respecting environmental concerns that “there is no planet B,” the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969 moon landing by the US Apollo 11 mission (Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins), has spread a new wave of optimism across the world, because it is such groundbreaking achievements that remind people of their true mission in life, on Earth and the universe — the mission to be creative, to discover and explore new frontiers of knowledge, science and technology while at the same time resolving a myriad of issues and conflicts that stem from the pessimistic and cynical view that the nature of humans is egoism and the characteristic of nations is to undermine each other and fight over purported “limited resources.”
“A community of shared future for mankind,” the concept pronounced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly in September 2015, should no longer be Earth-bound, but rather encompass everywhere human civilization reaches in the Solar System and the universe beyond. The fruits of space exploration by any nation should be celebrated and shared by all nations. This idea is shared by the best of the US and European astronauts and space scientists. When Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon, he said this was “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” He did not proclaim it a “giant leap for the US,” but for all mankind, because he understood the full implications the achievement.
In a recent intervention at a George Washington University event titled “One Giant Leap: Space Diplomacy, Past, Present, and Future,” Buzz Aldrin called for the creation of an “international space alliance” where the U.S. would cooperate with the space programs of China, Russia, Europe, Japan and India. He correctly argued that colonizing the Moon and making it a launchpad for manned missions to Mars cannot be achieved efficiently by one nation. In addition to the technical necessity, cooperation is also a means to achieve global peace, and to advance scientific and technological cooperation which should eventually include every nation in the world.
Harrison (“Jack”) Schmitt, one of the astronauts on Apollo 17, which made the last human landing on the Moon, and who is perhaps the most insightful spokesman for the space program, told the Daily Telegraph (footnote 15) that “Moon and Mars settlement is extremely important for the dispersal of the human species throughout the Solar System, and possibly beyond.” Harrison Schmitt envisioned the “100th anniversary of Apollo,” saying that at that time “there will be settlements on the Moon, people living there permanently, producing the resources of the Moon… Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”
The Moon’s status as a launchpad to further space dreams arises from its physical characteristics. The lunar regolith (soil) harbors unique resources, its small mass allows for easy takeoffs, and its proximity to the Earth makes it a convenient location.
One of the Moon’s unique resources is related to power. The best designs for nuclear fusion power require nuclear reactions without neutrons (uncharged particles, which cannot be controlled electromagnetically), and the ideal fuel for these reactions is helium-3. This special isotope of helium is almost non-existent on Earth, but is constantly emitted by the sun. Because the Moon lacks a magnetic field (or an atmosphere), this fuel source flung generously by the sun is caught in the lunar soil, where millions of tons exist today. This helium isotope, the best fuel for nuclear fusion power, can serve humanity both in space and on Earth, to meet the needs of all nations for probably hundreds of years to come.
There are several other benefits of Moon industrialization. Water on the Moon can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as fuel for rockets. Metals can be mined to set up local manufacturing on the Moon. This manufacturing will benefit from the Moon’s small size. As a result of the weaker gravitational attraction on the Moon, less than one-tenth as much power is required to a payload from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit as would be required to bring the same payload from the surface of the Earth to Earth orbit. And since the Moon is relatively close by, the journey time is not long.
Schmitt emphasizes these benefits of lunar development:
“Not only will that assist a Mars mission, but helium-3 is an ideal fuel for electric power generation because it creates no radioactive waste and demands for electrical power are not going to decrease; civilization depends on it [electrical power], and this is one of the major potential and long-term sources.
“The Moon’s debris layer provides the opportunity to produce water, hydrogen and oxygen as fuels. It’s also very fertile, so if you want to produce food, that’s achievable. Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”
The industrialization of the Moon could become the joint development project of the world. Not only does it open the frontiers of space, but it also breaks the pessimistic and unscientific ideology of limited resources. One of the important objectives of the Chinese lunar mission is to gather the helium-3 that is uniquely abundant on the surface of the Moon.
Lyndon LaRouche has been famous for his promotion both of nuclear fusion and of a fully developed Moon-Mars program, which would serve for decades as a driver of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. His 1988 campaign for U.S. President included a thirty-minute video, The Woman on Mars, which detailed his program to the general audience of American voters and thinkers worldwide.
In a presentation he gave in 2010, LaRouche put forward the motivations for humanity to reach into the heavens: (footnote 16)
Therefore, we have to go to Mars, not because we want to get there, but we don’t want to fail to get there! … We’re going to a new conception of basic economic infrastructure, which started with the space pioneers in the 1920s, and into the United States. We began to realize that mankind needs a new dimension, beyond railroads, beyond old water systems, needs a new dimension for the expression of humanity in the Solar System.
This is not just for “getting there.” This is for giving man a mission, a natural mission for mankind, on which we will base the culture which increases mankind’s options, and also the security of humanity. That is, by developing ourselves, instead of sitting on one planet and depleting that planet and doing nothing else, and becoming fat and lazy—instead of that, let’s take on a mission!
Let’s look ahead 75 years, three generations. And let’s take what we have now, with these—we’ve got young people under 25 who are in a disastrous state of education in life. They’re going no place, unless we do something for them. We’re going to have to give them a mission, and an opportunity, which inspires them, so that their children will not be so damned stupid. And therefore, by three successive generations of development … I’m satisfied that we could develop the scientific and technological capabilities, in three successive generations—all the time, bringing our people up to a higher level of productivity—to make up for what we’ve lost, and to go beyond that…
We know we have to develop the Moon, which is accessible to us, readily, with technology already developed by us. We know we can develop an industry on the Moon, because you don’t want to take off from Earth, and lug a lot of things up from Earth; there’s just too much effort involved. Go to the Moon, take your technology to the Moon, develop industries on the Moon: You can build the spacecraft and other things you need to go to Mars!
The lunar regolith (soil) includes many of the basic elements required for industrial production of rocket components and fuel. And its helium-3 is an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion, surpassing anything economically available on Earth. Once components are built on the Moon, they can be easily brought to Earth orbit. In fact, bringing payloads from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit uses less than 10% of the energy required to bring them from the surface of Earth to Earth orbit! LaRouche continued:
Why do we go to Mars? Because it’s the nature of man to do so: The nature of man is expressed by the fact that we are not a fixed species, with fixed behavior. We’re a species that must develop, as mankind has developed, despite all the setbacks. Mankind has greatly improved, since our first evidence of what mankind was on this planet. Improved through technology, through intellectual development, stimulated by technology; by improvements in culture, especially Classical culture.
And the purpose of man, is to find his place in the universe.
Don’t worry about what the destination is. We’ve got to find our place in the universe: We must develop! Mankind is creative. Mankind must create! Mankind must develop!
And if we do that—the space program, as we would develop it—my estimate is, that it will take three generations to develop the capability to actually put human beings safely on Mars. To solve the problem of gravitation in interplanetary flight and that sort of thing. We can do it! We don’t have a population which is trained, yet, to undertake that mission. But we have a population, which is ready to be uplifted from despair, now, and plan that the grandchildren of people today, of young people today—the grandchildren of young people today will solve that problem! And it should be our mission to dedicate the United States, in particular, and the planet as a whole to that mission, to give mankind a sense and a determination of a future which should belong to mankind.
Mankind was put in this universe for some purpose. We’re not always too sure what that purpose is. But we’re sure of one thing about that purpose: It requires, as history has shown us, the development of the intellectual powers of mankind, the intellectual powers of man’s progress. The future, if it means anything to have children and grandchildren, is to ensure that the children and grandchildren have made an upwards step, beyond what’s impossible now. And to do as we’ve done before, from our past experience, in making the kind of progress, the changes in behavior, and progress, and increase in the power of mankind, to solve great problems, problems of disease, all kinds of problems.
What is the greatest focus for this human mission? LaRouche answers:
Therefore, we have to put a name on it, and the name we put on it for the short term, is the Mars Mission. And we say, that within three generations, we’ll take this wretched nation, this poor, broken-down, ruined, betrayed nation, and, in cooperation with other nations on this planet, we will develop a technology and the people capable of carrying it, which will, step by step, bring man to his true dignity, to recognize the place of man in the universe. Not to what we’re going to do in the universe, ultimately, but to know we’re there!
And we need that.
You know, people talk about immortality and so forth—what’s it mean? Just another person being produced, to replace the one that died? No. Immortality is the certain understanding, that you are living today, because you are doing something, which is going to lead to the development of man’s power in the future. Your immortality lies in your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren beyond that. Your immortality, your purpose of your life, is what comes out of it! That you’re a permanent part of the universe! Because, by developing within the universe, you’ve demonstrated that you’re not just a drop on the planet: You are part of the universe, forever!
And that should motivate you.
It is from this greatest of mission-orientations that we can draw inspiration for developing the necessary platforms of economic development to enable people from all nations of the world to live lives allowing us to meaningfully aspire to contribute something of enduring value to all of human history.
The endless pursuit of that goal is the only process of development that can truthfully be called sustainable.
1. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland headed the UN-appointed World Commission on Environment and Development, which released the report “Our Common Future,” also known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987: http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
2. President Xi Jinping announced the creation of the “Economic Belt of the Silk Road” in a speech in the Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2013. The Belt is a land-based economic corridor extending from eastern China to western Europe and engaging 69 nations in its path. One month later he announced, from Jakarta, Indonesia, the intention to launch the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road together with other nations. This includes building numerous ports on the sea lanes of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean. The two projects complement each other and together make up the BRI. http://english.gov.cn/beltAndRoad/
3. “Pakistan’s Trade Deficit Stands at $30.19b” Salman Siddiqui, The Express Tribune, Aug 14, 2018
4. Figures from Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, “State of Industry Report 2015”
5. For detailed description of the energy projects involved in the CPEC, consult the project’s official website
6. Since the expected capacity factor of solar and wind would be no greater than 30%, the energy generated by these systems should be estimated as being at most one-third their official capacity. These projects, by dint of the low intensity of their power sources, are also expensive. Considering both their cost and their likely capacity factors, the (intermittent) electricity produced by these projects will cost several times more than coal or large hydro.
7. There is a temporary exception of those few nations capable, by virtue of their geography, of utilizing large hydro plants and geothermal energy. Iceland is currently such an example, although future development will require energy beyond what can be supplied by these means.
8. Xi Jinping, The Governance of China II, pp. 226-227. (emphasis added)
9. The Governance of China II, Page 217. Speech titled “Guide Development with New Concepts”.
10. Ibid. Emphasis added.
12. Lyndon LaRouche, “What Your Accountant Never Understood: The Secret Economy” EIR, May 28, 2010.
13. “Lunar Industrialization and Settlement — Birth of Polyglobal Civilization” Presented at the October 1984 Conference of the National Academy of Science, on “Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century”
14. Cited in Marsha Freeman, How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space Pioneers (Washington, D.C., 21st Century Science Associates, 1993), p. 297.
16. Transcript available as “Change is a’Comin’” EIR, July 16, 2010
The writers are the authors of the Schiller Institute Special Report “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa”. Both are long-time members of the International Schiller Institute founded in 1984 by the German thinker Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
Hussein Askary, Iraqi-Swedish citizen, founding board member of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX). firstname.lastname@example.org brixsweden.com
Jason Ross, American citizen, Editor in Chief of the 21st Century Science and Technology Magazine. email@example.com 21sci-tech.com
The Schiller Institute hosted a high-level seminar in Berlin, Germany on August 29 to provide a report on the true significance and substantial progress of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), especially regarding developments in Southwest Asia and Africa. Forty-five people attended, including representatives of Germany’s Mittelstand (small and medium-sized industries), the diplomatic community, and other institutions. A visiting delegation of scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), an important academic organization and research center, presented papers on the role of the BRI in stabilizing the region through economic development. A common theme of virtually all presentations was that for peace to be achieved in this region, a commitment to real economic development is necessary, centered on advances in science and application of new technologies.
Moderator Stephan Ossenkopp of the Schiller Institute opened the event by emphasizing that there is an urgent need for a “rational dialogue” on what the Chinese are actually doing, as opposed to the negative reports in the western media. The BRI is not a unilateral, imperial project, but one which is comprehensive and inclusive.
The keynote, from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, expanded on this theme, noting that the BRI is “the most important strategic policy on the agenda.” The speed of its growth in the last six years has been amazing and it is of particular importance for rebuilding the war-torn nations of southwest Asia, and overcoming the suppression of nations in Africa, where Europe could have contributed to the industrialization of Africa, but has not.
Instead of allowing the opponents of development to turn China into an “enemy,” the truth of what China is doing needs to be more broadly known and understood. The Belt and Road Initiative is necessary for peace and stability, and should be joined by western governments, especially the United States.
Reviewing the present strategic crisis, which has worsened due to the unleashing by the British empire of destabilizations around the world, including against China, and Iran, Zepp-LaRouche said that Europe has an important role to play, if leading nations are to free themselves from their geopolitical strategic orientation.
She spoke of the tremendous potential for German Mittelstand companies to engage in joint ventures in third countries, noting that the policies of the present government do not favor that potential. She emphasized that key to creating change in the Trans-Atlantic region is to inspire optimism, to particularly emphasize the potential unleashed by the new initiatives in space exploration. We must think at least fifty years ahead, she said, and reject the pessimism that is being spread by the Greenies and the financiers who back them.
There were five speakers from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Prof. Tang, the leader of the delegation, spoke on “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security,” providing a broad view of the BRI approach to the subject.
He was followed by Prof. Yu, who spoke on the topic, “BRI and the Peace Between Palestine and Israel,” emphasizing the importance of economic development for Palestine, which is essential to realizing the two-state solution to the ongoing crisis. Prof. Wang addressed the “BRI in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Gulf Security” and Dr. Wei, “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role,” in which he highlighted the difficulties in rebuilding a nation subjected to a war that had destroyed much of its infrastructure. Dr. Zhu spoke on “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation,” presenting an optimistic evaluation of how the cooperation between the two states has provided tangible benefits.
Other Schiller Institute speakers were Hussein Askary, co-author of Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa, a book-length report, who gave an impassioned account of the progress of the BRI in the two regions, and Claudio Celani, whose report on the Abuja, Nigeria conference on Transaqua provided a concrete picture of what is possible with international cooperation—but also the obstacles created by international financial institutions and their geopolitical strategies which must be overcome.
There were questions from the audience after each presentation, evidence of a hunger for real solutions and a desire to draw out more of the thinking of the representatives from the CASS. Several questions were directed to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, including one on Malthusianism, another on the India-Pakistan crisis. A lively discussion continued after the formal proceedings concluded.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “The Strategic Implication of the New Silk Road”
Tang Zhichao: “China’s Concept on Security and Middle East Security”
Hussein Askary: “The Belt and Road to Peace and Prosperity in West Asia and Africa”
Yu Guoqing: “BRI and the peace between Palestine and Israel”
Wang Qiong: “BRI in the GCC and Gulf Security”
Claudio Celani: “Why the Transaqua Solution for Lake Chad is a Test of Morality for Europe”
Wei Liang: “Iraq’s Reconstruction and China’s Role”
Zhu Quangang: “BRI in Egypt and China-Egypt Cooperation”
The July 2 Schiller Institute conference, “France and the Maritime Silk Road: Past, Present, and Future,” held in Nantes, was a major intervention on a hot topic: France has a maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 10 million square kilometers and the world’s second largest maritime economic area. Nantes—a port city of 900,000 on the Atlantic Ocean and the birthplace of the visionary Jules Verne—has a place in France’s “blue economy.”
The four-hour conference with nine speakers was part of an international maritime exposition, La Mer XXL, that drew 38,000 visitors. Several of the speakers at the Schiller event had important institutional roles in France and all of the speakers were passionate about their subjects and conveyed a sense of optimism and mobilization. The creative ideas and science-driver perspective of Lyndon LaRouche, for the common good of mankind, were very much present.
The Expo was organized by one of the largest media groups in France, the Group Ouest-France; the Maritime Credit Bank; and the French Maritime Cluster, a business association encompassing all ocean-related enterprises—ports, transport o and from ports, shipbuilding, fishing, aquaculture, and deep-water research institutions in biology and mining (oil, rare earths).
For twelve days, June 28 to July 10, the Schiller Institute manned an exhibit at the Expo. At least 200 exhibitors—associations, companies, research institutions—had booths to present their work. Schiller Institute representatives were able to present the full spectrum of the Institute’s activities and the 484-page French edition of the Institute’s World Land-Bridge report released in November 2018. In the months preceding the event, the Schiller Institute had sent out mailings to regional industrialists and companies; French and Chinese engineers and scientists; and its own contact lists, and followed up with personal contact.
The four-hour, in-depth Schiller conference drew 60 people including representatives from the Friends of the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle, and the Maritime Cluster of Luxembourg, who were eager to get copies of the Land-Bridge report. People came from as far as Provence and Switzerland to participate.
Several copies of the Land-Bridge report were sold on the spot and more during the book dedication event set up at the Expo library. A professor from Africa, who attended the conference, when passing our booth the next day, said he was so excited that he persuaded his university to order five copies.
The Schiller Institute’s Karel Vereycken, who has studied the maritime domain for several years, was the moderator, and opened the floor to greetings: André Sobczak, a Nantes city councilman and the 15th Vice-President for International Relations of the Nantes Metropolitan Area, warmly welcomed the participants; Anne Lettrée, CEO of China’s Silk Road Business University and co-organizer of the event; two Minister Counselors of the Chinese embassy who were unable to attend at the last minute, and Minghong Chen, Chairman of the French-Chinese Intercultural Center.
Maritime Silk Road: Ancient and Modern
Vereycken presented the idea that the Maritime Silk Road in history—in China and other countries—has always been a space of cooperation and not of confrontation. With images of beautiful pottery, other ceramics, and other artistic or mechanical objects and utensils, he showed how each one, produced in one area, had designs and decorations coming from elsewhere, thanks to trade on the Maritime Silk Road. He presented another example of the high degree of development of that trade, the shipwreck of an Arab vessel made in Oman, from 826 AD, which was discovered recently on the sea floor near Java, Indonesia complete with the 60,000 pieces of ceramics and manufactured goods, including some with Persian motifs.
University Professor Antoine Cid followed, on Zheng He’s maritime expeditions to the Gulf and eastern Africa in the early 15th century and China’s peaceful and diplomatic objectives of cooperation. This activity was not limited to Zheng He, or to that period of time. Prof. Cid hypothesized that the Chinese, in the early part of the 20th century, decided to make this excellent story a positive epic narrative to convey the message that China is not a conquering power, on sea or on land.
Henri Tsiang, a former researcher at the Pasteur Institute, who also played an important role in mediating between France and China after World War II, went through what is happening in the South China Sea, the issues and the actors, and how the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has led to the expansion of other peaceful trade initiatives in the zone, a good way of solving disputes that had been used by geopolitical forces to harass China.
Sebastien Goulard, a public affairs consultant, and founder and coordinator of OBOReurope, countered the fake “debt trap” narrative and other false stories circulated to slander China. He made clear that problems can and do arise here and there, due to changes in political power in participating countries, and due to differing conceptions of investment terms: for the Chinese it’s the long term, while for the West it’s the time of an election cycle.
He showed that the Chinese are quick to find new solutions: The sale of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port to a Chinese company, with the possibility offered to the state to acquire up to 50% ownership in 20 years, protects that port from political changes created in the country by competitors to China, in this case, India. Chinese investments, he showed, improve competition in a good way. After the Chinese financed the port, the Indians decided to build an airport, which in the meantime has become complementary to the port!
Sébastien Périmony of the Schiller Institute Africa Desk spoke about projects of the African terrestrial and maritime “silk roads,” and reported on his recent experiences in Ivory Coast and Angola.
Contributions followed from people actively involved in New Silk Road cooperation.
The Silk Road Today and Tomorrow
The next speaker, Professor Mohamed Jebbar, held the audience in rapt attention. He is a professor of microbiology at Brest University, Director of the Microbiology Laboratory of Extreme Environments (LM2E) and co-director of the French-Chinese Laboratory of Deep-Sea Microbiology, called MICROB-SEA, which he fought for several years to establish. The laboratory’s objective is to study the conditions of ocean life at a depth of 5,000 meters—where the total absence of light had led people to believe that life was not possible, or that it was determined by life above those limits. Prof. Jebbar explained that life does exist at those depths, and that it is organized by bacteria that accomplish through chemosynthesis what the Sun accomplishes on the Earth’s surface through photosynthesis. He explained to the audience how this works.
His Franco-Chinese research center collaborates with the astrobiologists of the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space agencies to see what those extreme conditions can teach us about the existence of life in space. The first test carried out in a joint effort between the Chinese and ESA was to see if the microalgae called spirulina, sent in satellites, could grow in space.
Anne Lettrée spoke on “Earth, innovation, technologies, art, nature and health, a whole program.” She is an executive of the Silk Road Business School (Paris and Xi’an) who has become impassioned with China and fully supports the New Silk Road. She is creating a large holistic park, the Garden of Titans, in Normandy, with spaces for research, artwork, and theater, combined with ecology. Jane Han, the official representative in France of China’s largest photovoltaic company, confirmed China’s interest in this park conception.
Two important French figures spoke in the last section on the future of the New Silk Road. Michel Cantal-Dupart, architect, urban planner, and professor at CNAM (Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers—School of Industrial Arts and Crafts) is engaged in large urban architectural projects and territorial infrastructure—inland waterways, rapid transport—and works with the UN to develop these programs in developing countries. He was clear in his anger at the lack of vision by successive French governments for the development of France’s waterways and canals—the largest set of inland waterways in Europe, which are all totally disconnected today. Instead of having a system, France has a series of dead ends.
He was followed by Bernard Planchais, the recently retired operational Director General at the National Naval Construction Company (formerly DCNS and today the Naval Group), producing civilian ocean liners and military vessels such as the Mistral and submarines. Planchais presented a “war plan” for France to develop its maritime economy, since France commands, after all, the second largest maritime zone in the world. While at the DCNS, Planchais worked with the nuclear sector to develop Flex Blue, a program using nuclear submarine technology to build small nuclear plants operating on the ocean floor—a great idea which, like many others, was never developed at all by our successive governments.
The conference concluded with Odile Mojon’s presentation of the Schiller Institute’s Land-Bridge report, in the context of the ongoing fight by Helga Zepp-LaRouche today to bring about a just new world economic order.
The organizers of the Expo were impressed by the size of the group gathered for such a four-hour, in-depth conference and requested three minutes of video footage of our event to use in their Expo publicity.
by Christine Bierre, Bierrechristine@gmail.com
Hardly had the breakthroughs of the Xi-Trump meeting occurred at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan than London and its neo-conservative allies, in and out of the Trump administration, escalated a new flank in the war of nerves against China. Following the demonization of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by London’s neo-con and liberal acolytes in the United States and Europe, the trade-war hype, the Huawei saga, and the Hong Kong mass demo destabilization, in come accusations of mass torture in Xinjiang.
Attacks have been growing in recent months against China’s counter-terrorist offensive in this region, one that has suffered the most from the spillover of terrorism spawned in recent years’ Middle East wars. A Uyghur contingent that had joined ISIS and Al Qaeda in those wars brought that terrorism home to China. Accusations have been made that China has illegally jailed 1-3 million Uyghurs, and is subjecting them to torture, brainwashing and even organ harvesting!
These accusations came to a head on July 10 when a group of 22 nations (18 European nations joined by Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand), addressed a letter to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, noting “disturbing reports of large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs, and other Muslim and minority communities.” On July 13, however, a group of 37 other countries sent their own letter to the UN authorities, backing China and praising its government for having invited diplomats, think-tanks and media to visit Xinjiang, noting that “what they saw and heard in Xinjiang was in total contradiction with what had been reported by certain Western media.” Among the signers were ten Muslim States!
The Chinese government has, in fact, successfully conducted a counter-terror operation and is continuing to organize visits to Xinjiang. Between July 7 and 14, representing the French Schiller Institute’s China desk and as a journalist who writes on strategic and defense questions, this author had the opportunity of participating in one such visit, with a very interesting group of experts. They were representatives from Russia, Italy, France, Poland, Pakistan, Thailand, and New Zealand, including journalists and academic think-tank experts, most of whom had in-depth experience and knowledge of China. Our eight-day “Information Mission” concentrated on China’s policies towards ethnic and religious minorities in general, and on its policies of counter-terrorism in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
China’s Policies Towards Minorities
Our tour started with seminars at the Institute of Tibetology and the Institute of Borderline States, in Beijing. China, with its more than 5,000-year history, is a centralized but multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, home to 56 different ethnic groups, which benefit from having equal rights with the Han majority (92%). China has created 5 autonomous regions and 30 autonomous prefectures, in which minorities are granted some advantages beyond those available to the Han majority, such as favorable quotas to enter schools and greater access to jobs in the public companies as well as an exemption from the “one child only” policy that had been applied to the Han. Religious practices are strongly protected as long as they don’t promote separatist or extremist ideas. The Koran, the Bible and other scriptures are published by the State and are accessible through the internet and available at all libraries. The Muslim religion is practiced in 39,000 mosques in China (25,000 in Xinjiang alone) and requires only certification of the Imams.
The contribution of ethnic minorities to the particularly rich cultural and religious heritage of China is fully recognized by the State. However, due to the difficulty of reaching out to them in the border lands of China (e.g., Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang) and the daunting challenges of their geography, economic development has lagged, a weakness which the enemies of China have always exploited.
Xinjiang has been part of China ever since the Han dynasty, under the name of “Western territories.” But, at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, taking advantage of China’s weakness, the British, the Russians, and the Japanese fought for the control of this area in what was then called the “Great Game.” The ideologies of Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism promoted by the different camps gave birth to a movement in favor of an “Oriental Turkestan.”
Some were calling for an independent state on Xinjiang’s territory; others, for an Islamic State extending from Turkey to Xinjiang. The heirs to the British Empire today are following the same policies towards the Uyghurs and Tibetans. Is it a coincidence that the so-called freedom and liberation movements are both financed by the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington and that their main propaganda instrument, Radio Free Asia, was recreated by the U.S. government in 1996 and has been run by it ever since?
What is important in the Chinese counter-terror offensive is that it is based on the recognition that economic development is the key to solving those problems: “We have to eliminate the soil which allows extremist groups to recruit people, and that is poverty,” insisted Xu Jianying of the Institute of China’s Borderlands at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. The counter-terrorist campaign is also based on a clear differentiation between those who have committed major crimes, who are punished severely, and those who have committed minor crimes, who are offered a very positive rehabilitation program if they admit to their crimes and clearly express a desire to change. The Chinese policy aims, says the government, at striking the right balance between “severity” and “leniency.”
Gansu and Xinjiang
Our visit took us to two of the poorest provinces of China today, Gansu and Xinjiang. But thanks to modern road and rail infrastructure such as the Beijing-Urumqi Expressway inaugurated in 2017 and the Lanzhou-Urumqi high-speed train, these provinces are rapidly catching up with the rest of the nation. Both provinces played key roles in the ancient Silk Roads and are strategic to the success of the BRI today.
Gansu has a Tibetan minority and Xinjiang, a large minority of Muslim Uyghurs (45%). In these areas our group saw the ongoing “poverty alleviation” measures that had started with the Western development strategy (1999) and were accelerated by the BRI beginning in 2013. We also witnessed the strong protection given by the State to local cultures and to the practice of religions, and, in Xinjiang in particular, the ongoing massive rehabilitation efforts in this area, which has almost eliminated all terrorist attacks in the last three years, to the great relief of local populations and the Chinese government.
Gansu is a province with great disparities: a very mineral-rich soil, but a mountainous and desert-like geography. The rich Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Gannan (TAR) is an exception to this. We visited this beautiful area, home to some 120 Buddhist temples, and in particular to the Labrang monastery of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Here, a monk, with a Socratic outlook, having engaged in a 20-year study of philosophy, gave us a tour. “Man is not a beast,” he stressed. “He has access to the light of reason. Man can know truth, but for that he must first know himself!”
We visited a model village in Gaxiu that will replace 95 poorer villages totaling 1,800 inhabitants, as part of the extensive effort to meet the goals set by Xi Jinping of eliminating all extreme poverty by 2021. Five such new villages, equipped with clinics, primary schools, and areas for growing vegetables, have been already built. Twenty-five more will be built by next year. The villages are financed by the government, but built by the people, who become owners of their homes. Richer provinces also contribute 0.1% of their income. Today, in this area, 100% of the population has access to clean water and to 15 years of free education. With the orientation towards industry, ecological investments and tourism, a Tibetan yak herder today can expect to go from a yearly 9,000 Yuan income to 30,000 Yuan.
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
On July 12 we headed towards Xinjiang, taking a bus through the mountains on good roads that had gas stations and restroom facilities. First we visited Turpan, then the capital city, Urumqi.
These areas are the supposed site of the alleged massive arrests by the Chinese government. This Western state is strategic to the success of the BRI. It not only represents a sixth of China’s territory and is very rich in raw materials; it is also the door to the Silk Road leading to Europe. Without a peaceful Xinjiang, there will be no Belt and Road Initiative! Xinjiang has a large Uyghur minority and shares borders with eight states (Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kashmir) in which poverty and religious extremism is often endemic. This is the province in China that is most exposed to terrorism.
However, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs official accompanying us stated emphatically: “The Chinese government is not fighting Muslims or Uyghurs; it is fighting terrorism that has spilled over into our country through these borders, from people going back and forth to the wars in the Middle East.” Between 8,000 and 15,000 Uyghurs are reported to have joined ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the explicit aim of pursuing their Holy War against Beijing next.
A large International Exhibit on terrorism in Urumqi demonstrates, with extensive photo and video material, the extent of problem. No less than 14,000 bloody attacks occurred in Xinjiang between 1992 and 2015—suicide bomb attacks, vehicles launched against people in crowded areas, arbitrary knife, machete and axe attacks against ordinary people. The high point of these attacks was the 2009 riots in Urumqi which left 197 dead and more than 1,600 wounded.
A Preventive War Against Terrorism
This is the background to understanding what the Chinese government calls a preventive counter-terrorist policy. First, the decision was taken to improve the living standards of the local population, through development of infrastructure. And it works! Infrastructure has boosted tourism in the ancient city of Turpan, from 8 to 10 million visitors between 2016 and 2017 and up to 6 million in just the first six months of 2019.
In a White Paper on Xinjiang published on March 2019, the Chinese government lists the efforts it is conducting to “ensure and improve public well-being” in this area. Among those efforts are plans to transfer 100,000 jobs to southern Xinjiang (2018-2020); creating 1,400,000 new industrial jobs; free universal health checkups; health insurances for 15 serious illnesses; improving the social security system; and increasing allowances granted to impoverished populations.
While those having committed major crimes undergo “severe punishment,” those having committed minor crimes and having confessed, repented, and shown willingness to reintegrate into society, are treated with “leniency” and offered a full rehabilitation package.
Those who accept reintegration are then recruited to vocational centers where they undergo a well thought-out strategy of rehabilitation that can go from several months to several years. The first phase is the mastering of spoken and written Mandarin, along with their own languages, to be able to integrate in the society; then civic education given by legal experts, which educates people on China’s standards of criminal law.
Trainees then can choose among different vocational activities they want to learn in order to improve their chances to get gainful employment. The choices offered depend on the job potentialities of the local market. Options range from hairdressing, to garment production, medical first aid, tourism, and factory work. According to the White Paper, these rehabilitation centers for minor delinquents adopt “a boarding school management system,” in which “students can have home visits on a regular basis and can ask for leave to attend to personal matters. When the trainees meet the proper trade assessment standards, they get completion certificates and are assisted in getting jobs.”
Visiting Vocational Centers
When we arrived in Turpan, it was over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which is normal in its 100-day summer season! We first visited the Gaochang District vocational education and training center that has a capacity of 600 students.
The counter-terror policies were clearly carefully thought out. Xinjiang is well known for its beautiful folklore. What better way to counter the Wahhabite ideology, which rejects progress and social activities, than with beautiful music and dance? We were invited to watch a dance performance by a highly professional group, with projected images of local realities and of modern China in the background.
We then visited the vocational classes. One group was reading out loud in Mandarin a text composed by the class, focusing on local values. Later we spent some time in the civic education classes, before moving to vocational classes in learning how to use sewing machines, how to apply first aid, and a class training tourist guides. We then witnessed a group receiving art lessons: ten people were learning figure drawing and the use of watercolors in one room; another group was practicing calligraphy, copying and translating between Chinese and Uyghur; others were singing in a chorus accompanied by instrumental musicians.
There were many young people in those groups, especially young women. In the artistic classes, there was a form of playfulness and freedom, which is the key to reorienting people towards productive ideas of society, and contributing to social harmony, rather than criminal behavior. The environment we saw in those classes is coherent with the Chinese government’s stated policy of creating not only a functioning Xinjiang, but also a “beautiful Xinjiang.” Through these efforts and others, we saw a productive cross-cultural approach, bringing together different ethnic groups and the Han, coherent with the national orientation of China as a multi-ethnic unity, without trying to eliminate or marginalize minorities.
At Urumqi, we visited a cross-cultural center, created in 2001, working on the same principle. People of different ethnic groups are brought together to practice dancing, choral singing, cooking or other activities in order to better know each other. Here also, the environment was free and playful.
Our last stop in Urumqi was the White Mosque where the Imam reported the participation of 200 to 300 people in services every day; 1,000 to 2,000 on Fridays, and up to 5,000 during Ramadan. Parallel to the ongoing crackdown on terrorists in the area, the government has improved the material conditions in these mosques—providing water, electricity, flush toilets, radio and television facilities, libraries, and fans and air conditioning.
We visited the museum and public areas, confirming what other witnesses have reported, that the security situation has vastly improved in Xinjiang. The police presence and checkpoints, which were very visible last year, have disappeared. We were able to walk around the large, beautiful central park, which was thick with probably as many as 10,000 people enjoying themselves in the environs. The last stop was shopping at the bustling Grand International Bazaar.
China Denounces ‘Double Standards’
In such information missions, often the fear is that the country visited might restrict your access, displaying select showcase locations. The composition of our group was very helpful in addressing this concern, many having long experience in China and the regions of China that we were visiting. The group included Russian scholars from the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who have visited the province and working closely with Chinese institutes on the Xinjiang minorities, for more than 15 years; a former Pakistani Air Force officer, who is now a journalist and TV anchorman—his first visit to Xinjiang goes back to 1974; and the head of a China-New Zealand friendship association who organizes tourist trips to China, and is also involved half the year in poverty reduction programs in China.
All these experts confirmed the important improvement of living standards and infrastructure in the areas with which they were familiar. Our Pakistani expert, a practicing Muslim, who has a keen interest in seeing that Muslims can practice freely, confirmed that this is the case.
What we saw therefore, during this intense trip, is a model which has been able to cope with a highly degraded security situation, by giving to many Uyghurs, the possibility of looking towards a better future and integration in the nation. The Chinese government White Paper from last March openly discusses that “a large number of people are undergoing training.”
The terrorist problem is not Chinese in origin. China has been successful in bringing some 800 million people out of extreme poverty in the last 30 years. The approach to its western regions is aimed at solving the economic problems of provinces like Gansu and Xinjiang. But foreign powers, which since the end of the 1990s have been playing with fire, have been using Wahabbite extremists as cannon fodder first in Afghanistan, then against Libya and Syria. Chinese officials met on this trip denounced, in this respect, the “double standards” of some Western countries, which make distinctions between “extremists” useful to themselves, and others they decide to battle, letting “useful extremists” operate against China, some based in European countries.
In order to bring terrorism once and for all to an end, I am convinced, it is urgent, that this problem be brought up, once again, at the UN Security Council, as was done most effectively during the Syrian war. We were told, in briefings during the trip, that this approach is one supported by China.
Christine Bierre, Bierrechristine@gmail.com
Leading Russian Thinktank RIAC publishes analysis on failed Russiagate by Harley Schlanger, Vice President of the Schiller-Institute USA: “Anti-Trumpers in shock: Mueller testimony proves there is no case for Trump impeachment”
From the article,
“Mueller’s failed effort to provide a “smoking gun” proving Trump’s “collusion” or “obstruction” in his 448-page report, and then again in his testimony, was summed up in a simple, unambiguous statement during the nearly-seven hour hearing, when he said that his prosecutorial team “did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime.” However, this will not stop fanatics such as Schiff and Nadler from continuing to beat the drums for impeachment, as Russiagate has never really been about Trump or his campaign committing impeachable acts. The underlying issue, which was not addressed by those Republicans at the hearings who were defending Trump  is his commitment to break from the post-Cold War unilateralist paradigm, which under his predecessors G.W. Bush and B. Obama, escalated a geopolitical divide between the U.S., and Russia and China. Trump repeatedly stated, during the campaign and as President, that he wished to develop mutually beneficial, cooperative relations with Russia and China, as part of his effort to pull the U.S. back from its role as being the policeman of the world. We must end American involvement in endless wars, he said, wars which have been costly in both monetary terms and loss of life, and which have been pursued without serving any underlying national security interest.
“It was this commitment, to end these regime change wars, combined with his opposition to such “globalist” policies as neoliberal free trade agreements and the Paris Climate Accord, which paved the way for his election victory over Hillary Clinton, who adamantly favored a continuation of the Bush-Obama strategic direction. Unable to combat Trump on these matters, the British intervened as the actual “meddlers” in the U.S. campaign, inventing the story of Russian intervention on behalf of Trump. The British role in initiating the fraudulent narrative of Russian intervention, and the collaboration between British intelligence – including a direct role played by GCHQ, the equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency, and MI6 – with top officials of the Obama administration intelligence team, led to the convening of a “Get Trump” task force during the campaign, with former CIA Director Brennan and National Security Adviser Clapper playing leading roles.
“After his election, as Trump initiated steps to break with the unilateralist military/strategic geopolitical doctrine, in his early, successful meetings with Russian President Putin and China’s President Xi, the coup plotters went into overdrive. Shortly after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, on May 9, 2017, Mueller was appointed a special counsel to investigate the fake story, on May 17, 2017. From that point, until the release of Mueller’s report on March 22, 2019, every effort made by Trump to proceed with improving relations with Putin and Xi was characterized as evidence that he was acting under a blackmail threat from Putin, a charge stemming from the faked and now-discredited dossier compiled by “ex”-MI6 spy Christopher Steele.
“As was made clear by Mueller’s statement that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, which paid Steele with funds from Perkins Coie, the law firm representing the Clinton campaign, it is this connection, between Hillary’s campaign, Obama’s intelligence team, and the highest levels of British intelligence, that those behind Mueller wish to keep out of public view. In saying this, Mueller was either lying, in which case he could be charged with lying to Congress – a tactic he used in targeting Trump friend Roger Stone – or he exposed the fact that he was a mere front man for those who ran the investigation, and wrote the report. In either case, it is further evidence of the fraud employed by the Get Trump team.
Investigating the investigators
“It is precisely the nexus behind this fraud which is now under investigation. Attorney General Barr’s appointment of respected U.S. Attorney from Connecticut, John Durham, and the expected imminent release of an investigation conducted by Justice Department Inspector General Horowitz, into the use of the Steele dossier in the filing for a warrant before the FISA court to “spy on” the Trump campaign, has truly spooked the coup plotters. What Trump has called the “greatest political scandal in U.S. history” will be exposed, and many of the key players are fearful that they now face prison for their crimes.”
by Kesha Rogers and Brian Lantz
”Houston, Shackleton Base Here: Artemis 3 has landed!” You may be saying, “What? What is Shackleton Base? Isn’t it Tranquility? Artemis 3 has landed? I thought it was the Eagle.” Yes, it was the Eagle, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first men to walk on the Moon. Armstrong declared, “Houston, Tranquility Base here: The Eagle has landed.”
That extraordinary accomplishment of American astronauts landing on the surface of the Moon for the first time—“in peace for all mankind”—was followed by twelve more astronauts, participating in another six missions. The last mission was in 1972. That was the Apollo program, a program to go to the Moon and explore the lunar surface. The Apollo 17 astronauts would be the last to walk on the surface of the Moon. Following that last mission, despite several additional planned missions, the program was unceremoniously ended and funding for the future Apollo missions was cut. However, the cutbacks didn’t start abruptly in 1972; the mission was being chipped away at even as the Apollo program was getting started—the peak in funding was in 1966.
“Have you heard? We are going, not back, but forward to the Moon again! This time to stay!” The Shackleton Crater is the proposed landing site for the next Moon mission. Shackleton is an impact crater that lies at the lunar South Pole.
In December 2017, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, calling for the return of American astronauts to the surface of the Moon before the end of the next decade. In March of this year the plan and the timeline were accelerated, and it was announced by Vice President Pence, on behalf of the President, that NASA and its administrator, Jim Bridenstine, would be charged with a new mission to launch American astronauts to the surface of the Moon—they will be the first woman and the next man to walk on the lunar surface since 1972. This time, they will build a sustainable presence, and will develop the platform, technologies, and resources required to prepare the way for American astronauts to the land on the surface of Mars.
The bold and exciting new mission to return American astronauts to the surface of the Moon is Project Artemis, named for Apollo’s twin sister Artemis, the goddess of the Moon. Well, you may ask, this all sounds very exciting and optimistic, but how will it be done? We haven’t been back in nearly 50 years. What will be different now? How will we guarantee that we not only achieve the goal of returning to the Moon and go to Mars, but build a commitment and a policy with lasting impact for several generations to come?
Houston Meeting, Shooting for the Moon
The Schiller Institute is hosting conferences and seminars around the world, not only to educate people on the requirements for returning Americans to the lunar surface in 2024 and building a lunar base by 2028, but going beyond—setting forth a vision for the next two to three generations of space exploration.
In Houston, Texas on July 25, just one day after the 50th anniversary of the splash down of the Apollo 11, the Schiller Institute had its most recent such event. The theme of the community meeting was, “50 Years After Apollo: NASA’s Project Artemis, A New Generation of Space Explorers Emerges.” The meeting, held at the Bayland Community Center, was a major outreach effort with broad attendance and participation. The audience included blue collar families from the Houston neighborhood, university students, a high school science club, friends of the Fabrication and Innovation Laboratory at a local college, robotics club members, families with NASA ties, members of several local AARP chapters who had previously invited the Houston Schiller Institute Chorus to their meetings, and longtime Schiller Institute activists. There was great excitement following the presentations.
The environment was electric from the start! Attendees were greeted with a fascinating “Fabrication Lab” exhibit on 3D printing, overseen by the lab’s supervisor. 3D printing in its industrial applications is known as additive manufacturing and will be a crucial feature of building cities on the Moon and Mars.
There were also NASA memorabilia and models of a scramjet and a Space Shuttle. Also on display was an exhibit from the Houston Robotic Club, which brought a working robotic Moon/Mars Rover, built to NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) specifications. Discussion was continuous around the tables, including the Schiller Institute’s table and a display of Fusion and 21st Century Science and Technology magazines. Attendees got a direct idea of breakthrough work in 3D printing and robotics applications that are relevant for use here on Earth and in space travel and exploration. A group of high school students, all members of a robotics club, had a great time at both exhibits. Many people saw a 3D printer and a robot, up close, for the first time, and were able to talk to experts about the technologies involved.
Attendees also gained greater insight into international cooperation in space by seeing material from a project called “United in Space.” The project’s mission is to promote space cooperation between the United States and Russia. It is involved in creating and placing a statue of Neil Armstrong in Russia. The United in Space display included a scale model of the statue of Armstrong and announced that ground had been broken in Russia for the placement of a life-size statue. The Russian-American founder of United in Space has already placed a statue of Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly in space, in Houston, Texas.
Project Artemis and International Cooperation
The program was opened by Kesha Rogers, Lyndon LaRouche’s representative in Houston, speaking for the Schiller Institute. She presented a dramatic overview of the Artemis Project, opening with a 3-minute NASA film titled, “We Are Going,” which drew applause and shouts from the entire room. Rogers outlined the Artemis Project with detailed slides drawn from NASA and NASA contractors, including the project’s phased development, emphasizing NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and President Trump’s declarations that international cooperation would be required for Project Artemis to succeed.
We need cooperation with Russia, Europe, India, Japan and China, and the more so because Trump has committed the United States to use the Moon as a jumping off place to go to Mars, Rogers explained. She made clear that this perspective had been laid out by economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche, inspired by his collaboration with German-American rocket engineer Krafft Ehricke and many other scientists who worked with the Fusion Energy Foundation in the 1970s and 1980s.
A video except from a 2009 speech by LaRouche was shown, in which LaRouche outlined a future Mars mission as a “science driver” project for the United States, which would simultaneously require cooperation with Russia, China, and other nations, and thereby contribute to securing peace on Earth. Rogers then introduced a special guest, the Vice Consul of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston, Dr. Viacheslav Levchick, PhD, who received a warm greeting from the audience.
The View From Russia
Vice-Consul Levchick outlined some of his country’s work in space, stressing that he thought that cooperation between Russia and the U.S. had “a solid basis,” based on his visits to Johnson Space Center and the cooperative work on the International Space Station. He talked about some of Russia’s recent contributions, including the “Single Pass” delivery of astronauts to the Moon, which shortens the trip from six hours to two hours, saving astronauts and cosmonauts from exhausting trips as well as saving on costs and equipment. This drew audible agreement from the audience.
He also underscored the important breakthroughs in astronomy that are expected from the Specter RG telescope satellite, launched in July. Russia has its own lunar program, but the Vice-Consul wanted to stress the importance of ongoing cooperation, saying, “In 1998 when the first models of the ISS were launched, it was the U.S. and Russia who did it.”
Now there is a rapidly growing private space sector in many countries. “This is like the dreams of our fathers—or my grandfathers,” the youthful Vice Consul added, drawing chuckles. “It is important that we can talk casually about such huge projects,” he said. All nations are going to the Moon’s South Pole, adding that helium-3, along with ice water, are the major resources being sought. Russia, he reported, plans a manned landing on the Moon by 2030 and a permanent presence by 2040, adding that India and China have similar plans. Vice Consul Levchik’s relaxed and humorous remarks were warmly received by the audience and elicited numerous questions.
The Last Time We Went to the Moon
The next speaker was retired NASA and TRW scientist F. Don Cooper, who began working at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama in 1962. Cooper, an Oklahoma native, was soon assigned, as a young physicist and mathematician, to develop the targeting equations for Trans-Lunar Injection (TLI), which guided the Apollo projects to the Moon. Then from Houston, Cooper worked on eight Apollo missions, including Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. He also worked on the Atlas Centaur, the Air Force Dyna-Soar space plane, and the early planned Mars mission NOVA rocket. Cooper gave a very exciting presentation, which took his audience to the Moon, landed on the Moon, and back to Earth with Apollo 11, with a model Saturn V rocket, astronaut voice recordings, graphics, and whiteboard sketches, all making it come alive.
Since his retirement, Don Cooper has found a new calling—that of encouraging a new generation of students to pursue a future in the physical sciences. He enjoys speaking to youth groups, among others, hoping to inspire the technology leaders of the future with his first-hand account of the events as they actually happened. “Of the seven primary people who did this, I am the last one alive,” said Cooper recently. “Students do not know much about Apollo since it all happened before they were born. My objective is to show them how it happened, emphasize that education is essential, and show how math and physics solve real-world problems.” Cooper makes the point that “Apollo 13 was saved by thousands of nerds.”
Mars and Beyond
Brian Lantz, Schiller Institute spokesperson in Texas, addressed the audience on the need for a science driver perspective to realize the full potential of a Moon-Mars colonization over the next 50 years, as developed by the great visionaries, Krafft Ehricke and Lyndon LaRouche. He made clear that a Moon-Mars program is needed for transforming human civilization. A program to fully colonize the Moon and Mars will require major breakthroughs in science and technology, including a crash program for the development of thermonuclear power and fusion propulsion systems for space travel. The ability to sustain a long-term human presence requires the building of major infrastructure and the building of functional and beautiful cities on the Moon and Mars. This will require construction from the Moon’s regolith.
Cutting-edge technologies will have to be further developed, including robotic machines for mining and the production and assembly of habitats on the Moon and Mars. More powerful lasers and other electromagnetic plasma beam systems will be required for communications, for additive construction and manufacturing, and the mining of helium-3. Lantz presented LaRouche’s idea, made famous in the 1988 “Woman on Mars” television broadcast, that we require a telescope with the aperture of the Mars orbit, a concept that drew surprised gasps from the audience. As Lyndon LaRouche outlined in 1986, we will build a civilization on Mars, with cities of hundreds of thousands of productive human beings, because that is what will be required.
What will such an investment cost us? A Moon-Mars project, over two or three generations, will cost us nothing, Lantz emphatically stated. The importance of the American System of economics and the re-creation of a credit system and National Bank, as was understood and developed by our nation’s first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, and used effectively by Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt will be necessary. We know this from the Apollo program, which returned 10 cents back for every penny we spent. How is that possible? The source of wealth is human creativity. We must unleash human creativity and reorganize the financial side of things accordingly. After all, we have done it before.
President John F. Kennedy launched one of the greatest economic recovery and national credit programs the nation has ever seen, through the unleashing of the creativity of the population through the Apollo program. Indeed, a Moon-Mars colonization program—advancing through the long-term success of the Artemis program and the advancement of mankind in the Solar system—will multiply the productivity of our civilization while it uplifts mankind, as every human being’s capacities will be required.
On Sunday July 28th, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus gave a concert at the Church of St Anselm and St Roch in the South Bronx. The chorus of about 60, performed four Negro Spirituals (one was an encore) a couple of Spanish hymns (including a popular setting of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony), two movements from Schubert’s Mass in G, the Sicut Locutus Est from Bach’s Magnificat, and Gradual by Afro-Brazilian composer Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia. This concert was unique because it came together as a result of a real collaboration between the chorus and the church, which serves a largely Spanish-speaking population from the nearby neighborhood, as well as English-speaking immigrants from various European nations.
A Concert Celebration of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Leesburg, Virginia
Close to 100 guests joined the Virginia Schiller Institute Community Chorus for a concert in Leesburg, Virginia on July 21st, to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The event was not just a commemoration of that momentous achievement so many decades ago, but a celebration of and commitment to the next 50 years of human progress.
The chorus opened the concert with an arrangement of Beethoven’s “Die Himmel rühmen des Ewigen Ehre,” (“The Heavens Praise the Glory of Eternity”), after which conductor Megan Beets welcomed the audience, and emphasized that what we celebrate is an event of universal importance—mankind’s first step onto another planetary body, and its establishment as an extraterrestrial species. Humanity’s upcoming return to the Moon with Project Artemis must be the beginning of a new era of our exploration and development of the solar system; one of optimism about our limitless potential for progress. In that context, she referenced NASA’s recently retired Kepler Telescope, which in its 10 years of service surveyed 530,506 stars, and found 2,662 exoplanets, all within our galaxy. Think of the practically infinite potential for humanity’s development given that there are 2 trillion galaxies in our universe! She concluded by telling those gathered that such progress in science must be accompanied by a return to a culture of beauty, which celebrates and advances the creative spark inherent in every individual.
The first half of the concert began with a poem written and recited by Paul Gallagher, “The Sensitive Plant on the Moon,” followed by a number of solo offerings, including songs about the moon and the heavens: “Song to the Moon” by Dvořák, “Mondnacht” (Moonlit Night) by Robert Schumann, “My Lord, What a Mornin’” arr. by H.T. Burleigh; a movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14, known as the “Moonlight Sonata”; other offerings included “Da, chas nastal” by Tsaikovsky with text by Schiller, and a number of songs which have a relationship to mankind’s exploration of space: “Goin’ Home” the melody of which is from Dvořák’s “New World Symphony,” which Neil Armstrong took to the Moon; the famous “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s Magic Flute,” which has traveled 3.6 billion miles from Earth on the Voyager 1 and 2 Golden Records; and the first and fourth movements of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 in C Major (“Dissonance”) which opened Lyndon LaRouche’s famous 1988 presidential campaign broadcast, “The Woman on Mars.”
The second half of the concert featured the chorus and a small string ensemble performing Mozart’s “Solemn Vespers,” K.339.
The audience was composed of a wide variety of people from all over the region—from singers and musicians to community members looking for a way mark the Apollo 11 anniversary, to friends and family of chorus members. As a whole, the audience was clearly moved by both chorus and soloists. Two children, probably 7 and 9 years old, seemed bored and restless when they first arrived, however, much to their mother’s amazement, as soon as the Queen of the Night aria began they sat up straight and were mesmerized by the performance. Many commented on the high level of the chorus, surprised that it is a community chorus, and expressed interest in joining. A local music teacher declared that she wants to recommend the chorus to her students. A regular member of the orchestra said that he was honored to play in the event.
Humanity’s return to human exploration and development of space means that we are embarking on a truly new era of civilization. If we want this to be successful, and to shed the anti-human characteristics of the geopolitical, colonial system, we absolutely must have a renaissance of beautiful and profound works of art. It is the mission of the Schiller Institute, and the Schiller Institute Community Choruses, to give as many people as possible access to such works of art as audiences, and even more so, as participants, by joining the chorus.