On behalf of the Officers and Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, I wish to extend warm greetings and congratulations to the Schiller Institute on the Occasion of its 30th Anniversary.
The IAM and the Schiller Institute have long shared a vision for a world built upon progressive concepts and the ideas leading to a better, brighter future for all nations.
The application of sound economic principles, such as those contained in the proposed reauthorization of Glass-Steagall legislation, combined with a renewed emphasis on an innovation-driven industrial policy in tandem with rebuilding the global energy distribution network, are the goals that capture the imagination of nations as we collectively seek to build productive, progressive, and sustainable societies.
The IAM applauds the Schiller Institute for its monumental efforts to inform, educate, and promote the alternative ideas our entire planet is yearning for.
Best wishes to all for a successful 30th Anniversary celebration.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the SchillerInstitute international think tank, “urged the U.S. to join theBelt and Road Initiative during a forum that shed light on theprinciples and scope of China-proposed global developmentinitiative,” China Daily, the national English-languagenewspaper, reported Tuesday.
China Daily cited Zepp-LaRouche’s videotaped message tothe forum held by the Schiller Institute and the P.R.C. Consulatein Glendale two days ago, on the subject of “China’s Belt andRoad Initiative — A Historic Opportunity for the U.S.A.”
“`We want to cooperate with the Belt and Road Initiative,but we emphatically insist that the U.S. must be a part of it,’Zepp-LaRouche told the forum, which was attended by diplomatsfrom China, Belgium and Kenya, as well as representatives oflocal government,” the paper reported.
“Zepp-LaRouche praised China’s reform and opening-upefforts, which she said has not only transformed Chinaeconomically, but also allowed China to help other developingcountries overcome underdevelopment and poverty. ‘Now, the Westshould not be upset about it, because they could have done thesame thing. Why didn’t the U.S. and Europe develop Africa, LatinAmerica, and most of the Asian countries?’ she asked.”
Notably, China Daily reported that in his presentation onthe BRI to the forum, China’s Deputy Consul General in LosAngeles Shi Yuanqiang said that while the U.S. government did notsend any representatives to the Second Belt and Road Forum forInternational Cooperation this year, U.S. Embassy representativesdid attend, and “in fact, the U.S. had the largest group ofdelegates among all the countries at the second forum.”
Shi emphasized that countless opportunities are availablefor American corporations through BRI projects, China Dailyreported.
CGTN anchor Yang Rui interviewed Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Bill Jones during their recent China trip, which was aired on June 13 for the “Yang Rui Dialogue” program, headlined “BRI Incentives and Risk Assessment.” A transcript is provided below.
YANG RUI: The Belt and Road Initiative has been thrust intothe media limelight for several years. With more and morecountries onboard now, China will not be the party that dictateswhere the cooperation is heading. For all parties’ commoninterests, China will inevitably undergo a range of policyadjustments along the way, to ensure the Initiative deliverswin-win results that are long-lasting and sustainable. But, whatis behind some of the criticisms against the Initiative, and whatcan the BRI us? Unilateralism undermines world economicpatterns. To discuss this issue and more, I’m happy to be joinedin the studio by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and President ofthe Schiller Institute, and Bill Jones, Washington bureau chiefof Executive Intelligence Review.
That’s our topic. This is “Dialogue.” I’m Wang Rui.
Welcome to our show. Do you think the rest of the world hasdeveloped a better understanding about the Belt and RoadInitiative after so many years of debates, discussions and mediafanfare since 2013?
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I would think that the people ofAsia, for sure. I just attended the Conference on Dialogue ofAsian Civilizations, and the reaction to Xi Jinping’s speech wasreally extraordinary, because people realized that they areparticipating in the evolution of a completely new system ofinternational relations, which is overcoming geopolitics. Ithink people are sick and tired of confrontation and war as a wayof solving problems, and they appreciate very much that everyconflict on the planet can be solved through dialogue. So, Ithink this is very well understood in Asia, in Africa, even someof the Europeans are becoming very enthusiastic. As matter offact 22 of 28 EU nations are already cooperating. So I think therest will be a question of time.
YANG : But it seems the top concern of the EU about the BRIhas been the issue of transparency. Bill, what do you make oftheir concerns?
WILLIAM JONES: I think a lot of it is a tempest in ateapot. The Belt and Road Initiative has been transparent to thepeople who are receiving the investment, who are benefitting fromit. There is also an issue that people can see what’s happeningon the ground, with the improvement of the general conditions oflife of the people who are recipients of the Belt and RoadInitiative. The reason that there’s this objective is, however,that people are concerned, on the one hand, that it has been aChinese initiative, not an initiative taken by the EuropeanUnion. It is also breaking with the policies of the EU and ofthe West generally, of demanding conditionalities for anyinvestment that’s made in places like Africa, India, and Asia.China has been intent on building infrastructure: They don’tdemand certain conditions which are not necessary, and they’renot concerned about the different political systems that exist inthose countries: The goal is to improve the lives of the people,and people can see that on the ground. And the objections thatare raised to the so-called “transparency” issues, I think arejust an attempt to stop the momentum that has been created.
YANG : Helga, it seems, some of the member states of theEuropean Union are starting to break the silence, by standing upto the BRI memorandum, such as Italy, which indeed surprisedtheir American friends. Do you think what Italy has done, islikely to trigger a similar domino reactions that the Britishauthorities had done before the rest of the European Union hadfollowed suit, regarding the AIIB?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the Italian memorandum ofunderstanding with China can be the model for the relations ofall European countries with China, not only in the bilateralagreement, but to have a joint mission, for example, to developthe continent of Africa. Africa will have 2.5 billion by theyear 2050, and either the Europeans join hands with China andother nations to industrialize the African continent, or you willhave the biggest refugee crisis ever in history. And the Italiangovernment, especially Prime Minister [Giuseppe] Conte hasalready advocated that Italy intends to take the lead to bringthe Europeans into cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative.And the good thing is that, contrary to what some people think,Conte also has a good relationship with President Trump.
So I think the strategic question, number one, is how do weget development among many nations in the world, but finally, theUnited States must be brought into the Belt and Road Initiative,because if you don’t do that, there is the danger of theThucydides Trap. But I think the Italian government is play avery constructive role in all of these questions.
YANG : Secretary Pompeo has been selling the idea, whereverhe goes, that China will be a threat. Why are we so bad?
Now, when we look at, say, our investment in theinfrastructure building in Africa, it seems to amount to aproject, a mega one, of industrialization, a massive project ofindustrialization. What about the consequences arising from, forexample, the trade war that is just started between the UnitedStates and China? What do you think of the impact of this tradedispute between Washington and Beijing upon Africa, and ourbusiness presence there?
JONES: It’ll be absolutely disastrous, because it willhinder, it will place an obstacle in the free development of theBelt and Road Initiative; it’ll raise suspicions that really haveno basis whatsoever. And it’s disastrous for the United States,itself: President Trump is not going to be able to create astrong economy in the United States through trade embargoes ortrade tariffs. He has to invest in infrastructure, he has toinvest in science and technology. And there are certain attemptsto do that now, over the last couple of weeks, in terms of thespace program in the United States and the attempt to have adiscussion with the Democrats over infrastructure. But if hedoesn’t bring down these tariffs, if he doesn’t create a goodrelationship with China, this is not going to work.
China, in fact, can help in building infrastructure: Theycould invest in an infrastructure bank in the United States withmuch of the money that is now held in Treasury bills, in order tobuild high-speed rail in the United States. The U.S. economy isgoing down, not because of trade, and not because of China, butbecause of a failure of governments over decades, in investing inindustry and technology.
YANG: The idea of a China threat covers many things, such asideology. Well, many say that the Cold War is making a comeback.So, does it mean, Helga, that many African countries have to takesides?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: The Chinese model is very attractive to theAfrica countries, because it shows a way of how to overcomepoverty, the miracle which China has undergone in the last 40years is admired by many Africans, and they are now demanding tobe treated more equally by the Europeans. They don’t want tohear Sunday sermons and words about human rights and goodgovernance, and no investment. They demand from the Europeans,direct investment and not development aid which disappears intothe pockets of the NGOs.
So, I think we are in a period of transformation, whereeither the West finds its way back to better traditions, like thehumanist periods of the Classical period of 200 years ago, wherethere was actually a much larger affinity between the moralvalues of the European classics and China. For example, if youlook at the similarity between Confucius and Friedrich Schiller,after whom the Schiller institute is named, they have the sameidea of the moral improvement of the population. Confucius talksabout the aesthetical education of man; Xi Jinping has put a lotof emphasis recently on the aesthetic education of the students,because the goal of this is the beauty of the mind, and this isthe ideal which used to be the case for Europe, and for the earlyAmerican republic! The problem with the West is that, as you cansee in the United States, they have turned away to a very largedegree, from the ideas of their early historical period. Butthey’re going down: The West is in a moral collapse, the economyis far from being in such a great shape as they say, and thestatistics would say. So it’s really a question for the West tochange.
And I think there are many countries, you mentioned some inEurope already, which absolutely are willing to find a new model.I think it’s not so much a question of choosing; I think we arewitnessing the creation of new paradigm of internationalrelations, where the best of all countries and traditions mustcome into it.
YANG: Increasingly, there’s no question that much of thestrength that China can project into a continent like Africawould largely depend on the construction of “soft power.” What doyou know about Confucius schools in Africa? Why do you think theUnited States considered things we teach Confucius schools in theUnited States a threat, whilst it seems these schools are verypopular in the African continent?
JONES: Well, you see in the United States, there is a groupof people, some of whom are in the Trump Administration of aneoconservative bent, who have never come to terms with the factthat China will become a major industrial power. And they haveinitiated a major campaign similar to what was done during theMcCarthy era, to blacken China’s name on all levels — in thearea of economy, in the area of culture, in the area of socialgovernance. And so you have this situation where major scholars,who are most knowledgeable about the United States are now beingrestricted from coming to the United States! And this is a veryserious thing, because, it’s not only that we agree to disagree,but we must also find the common interests: We’re all on thesame globe, we have major problems that we have to resolve, notleast of which is population alleviation not only in China, butpopulation alleviation in the world. And we need populationalleviation in the United States: We haven’t talked about thatfor 40 years. That should be on the agenda. And China’sinitiative, to try to educate Americans about the ideas ofConfucius and to learn the Chinese language, which is a basicelement in learning another culture is learning their language,the Confucius Institutes have been very important in providing ameans of learning the Chinese language. Chinese right now,still, is one of the most important second languages in whichschoolchildren are trying to learn, because they realize this isgoing to become the most important language.
YANG: Language learning is fast becoming an instrument inbuilding interconnectivity, a very critical idea for ourunderstanding of the BRI. During the Cold War, the former SovietUnion was accused of spreading its ideology of communism. Today,one major factor that has prevented United States fromundertaking an all-out Cold War against China, the rising power,is that China is not as aggressive as the Soviet ideology: Wewant to build a community of shared future.
So, do you think what the United States is concerned with,holds any water? Where do you stand about the issue of ideology,of course, in the context of how to build a soft power, and theestablishment of Confucius Institutes?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think that what China is doing is amoral model of improving the livelihood for people, but alsodemanding that the people improve. Xi Jinping has talked aboutthe role of the artists, that they have to uphold the morality ofthe population. I think that one of the reasons why certaingeopolitical factions in the West are so negative, is because theliberal system has reached a point of degeneration, whereeverything is allowed, every perversion, every new pornography,every new violence, the entertainment “industry” in the West hasreally become terrible! And I think that the people who aremaking their profit with these kinds of things, they don’t likethe idea that somebody says, you should be morally a betterperson.
But I think we have reached a point in history, where, youknow, we are at the end of an epoch. I don’t think that thechanges we are experiencing are just the Chinese model versus theliberal model. But I think that we are experiencing a change asbig, or bigger than the difference between the Middle Ages inEurope and modern times, which will mean completely differentaxioms. And I think what Xi Jinping discusses in terms of the“shared community for the one future of humanity” it is reallythe idea of how you can put the interest of the one mankind aheadof any national interest. So, I think the way to look at thepresent situation is, where do we want to be in a 100 years fromnow? We will have fusion power. We will have the ability tohave limitless energy; we can create new raw materials out ofwaste by separation of the isotopes. We will have space travel.We will have villages on the Moon.
So, I think that at that time, humanity has to be one, orelse we will not exist! Take the recent imaging of the blackhole: This was only possible — first of all, it proved thegeneral relativity theory of Einstein, which is a wonderful thingall by itself, because it will mean new breakthroughs in science,at all levels. But, this was only possible, because you hadeight radio telescopes at different points in the world, inSpain, in Chile, in the United States, in the Antarctic, whichtogether could make this image! You could not have done such aproof of a physical principle of the universe by only one countryalone. And I think that that particular incident of imaging theblack hole, gives you a taste of the kind of cooperation mankindwill have in the future. And the key question is, do we getenough people to understand that in time, to make this jump?
YANG: Thank you so much. You’re watching “Dialogue,” withMme. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and President of the SchillerInstitute, and Bill Jones, Washington bureau chief of ExecutiveIntelligence Review.
Welcome back: The BRI would not only cover the Sub-Sahararegion. Most countries in the South — I’m talking aboutSouth-South cooperation — would benefit from infrastructurebuilding. Let’s do a case study: Hambatota Port in Sri Lankahas caused many debates as to whether China has developed aconspiracy theory, whether the Western media concerns about the“debt trap” would hold any water? I would like to have yourthoughts very quickly.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think this is turning the truth upsidedown. Because if you look, why is Africa underdeveloped? Fivehundred years of colonialism, and then about 70 years of IMFconditionalities. If you look at the 17 poorest countries inAfrica, which are in danger of defaulting, only in 3 of them isChina involved, but all the rest are indebted to the Paris Club.So the debt trap was created by the IMF before, and China isactually giving many grants and —
YANG: Do you agree, Bill?
JONES: I do agree with that. I think we’ve seen the debtsituation spin out of control, long before the BRI. We haveneeded international financial reform that we have been talkingabout, that Helga’s husband, Lyndon LaRouche has pointed out fordecades, prior to his recent death, of trying to change thefinancial system, in order to create credits for infrastructure,instead of credit for repayment of old debt. These countries inAfrica have been saddled with debt by the IMF, not by China. Asa matter of fact, most of the countries that are in the biggestdanger of their debt being a problem, are those which are notinvolved in the BRI — countries in Africa. And therefore, whathas to be done, is really a reform of the international financialsystem, in order to perhaps even write off some of this debt, andto insist, as we go forward, that any debt that’s given out willgo to increase the physical production capabilities of thesecountries, because if it does that, then it’s debt that’s goingto be repaid. But if it goes to repay old debt, or if it’s thecasino society that we’ve known over the last 20 years, it’sgoing to become a bubble, and we’ve got to change the way we dobusiness in that respect.
YANG: What about financing vehicles, Bill? Is that a majorissue for the beneficiary countries?
JONES: What we actually need is the creation of somethinglike an infrastructure bank in the United States, which wouldallow China to help invest in infrastructure there. Foreigndirect investment by China now becomes something of a problem,because of the atmosphere that has been created by the neo-cons;but otherwise, China could help with this. China has a differentorientation toward finance. Chinese finances to the Belt and Roadgo to transportation infrastructure. It brings the countriestogether, it creates a greater production capacities, and it hasbecome, I think, a template for how a functioning, how a healthyfinancial system has to operate. We’ve got to get away from whatused to be called the “bankers’ arithmetic,” in which moneychased after more money. The money has got to be used to financephysical economy, and then it becomes a means of growth for thepopulation, and is no problem in terms of repayment, because thepopulation becomes richer.
YANG: I wonder if you have followed very closely thedevelopment between Malaysia and China, on the construction ofthe east coast railway link, that has a lot to do with how we dorisk assessment, political and legal; and this helps us go backto one of the earlier questions on the issue of transparency. Sodo you think this poses a serious challenge to the prospects ofthe BRI in developing countries, some of which are youngdemocracies, according to Western standards?
JONES: Well, I think a lot of this is a matter of alearning curve that the BRI has been through over the last fiveyears. The Malaysia situation was unfortunate, but it haslargely been resolved, and it’s been resolved because China hasbeen very flexible in dealing with the countries on the BRI, andI think they have a clear indication, a clear orientation forimproving the situation in the countries in which they areinvolved. And if problems arise, or if discrepancies occur, Ithink they have shown a willingness to diplomatically resolve theproblem to the benefit of the countries that are involved. Andthey have to do that.
Look, a lot of mistakes were made by the Western countriesin terms of initial attempts to industrialize Africa, and as aresult of that, they left. They left Africa in the dust. Chinais there, there may be some mistakes in individual cases, butChina learns the lessons and does not leave, and this is theimportant thing: Because the fortitude of continuing with theproject, which is the most important project for mankind today isabsolutely necessary, and I think the Chinese government hasshown the fortitude necessary to move forward on this.
So, yes, problems may occur. They have occurred in thepast. They have been resolved, and I think they will be resolvedin the future, if they would occur again.
YANG: The last two remaining questions will be about, firstof all, the alleged westward expansion of the BRI through theEurasian continent. The other, of course, is the Maritime SilkRoad: Do you think this idea of a Maritime Silk Road, Helga, willhelp ease tensions further between China and other countries thathave competing claims on the maritime stakes in southeast Asia?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think the combined concept of the BRI andthe Maritime Silk Road is really a program for the reconstructionof the world economy. And in the beginning, people said, “thisthis railway from east or west or north or south, more beneficialfor China or for Russia?” And I kept saying, “don’t worry aboutit, take it a couple of years from now and all of these networkswill grow into one.” This is why we published this report “TheNew Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.” Because, if youlook at it from the standpoint of the evolution of mankind, it isvery natural that eventually the infrastructure will reach allcontinents, will open up all interiors, will connect the maritimeconnections. And for example, Portugal and Spain and Greece andItaly, these are countries that want to be not only the hub forthe Eurasian Land-Bridge on the land line, but they also want tobe hubs for the maritime connection, connecting to all thePortuguese-speaking, Spanish-speaking countries. So, I thinkthis will also grow into a World Land-Bridge connection.
YANG: Bill, what do you think of the connection, betweenChina’s BRI and President Putin’s vision for the EurasianEconomic Union?
JONES: I think they will tend to converge, not on allpoints, but in the basic orientation, because what PresidentPutin wants to do, is to take those countries which have beentraditionally associated with Russia and create some kind ofcommon economic entity. But, the Belt and Road is providing theinvestment for all of these countries, including Russia, whichbenefits tremendously from it. And therefore, there is a meansof really bringing together the two most important countries inEurasia around a common goal of developing infrastructure,transportation infrastructure, and improving the conditions oflife in all these countries. So I think there is thisconvergence going on that will become greater with time.
This new 36 page booklet about the Schiller Institute movement provides the history of our three decades long fight against the prevailing trend toward cultural and political barbarism, and it will help you organize others to participate in creating the urgently needed Paradigm Shift. We can and must pull mankind from the abyss and make a new Golden Renaissance!
A memorial event celebrating the life and legacy of American statesman, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. was held in Manhattan, June 8th, 2019 with simultaneous satellite events watching across the country. See the full program below.
This article appeared in the January 24, 2014 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. We post it here with the permission of the publisher.
By Dennis Speed
I was Twenty-three years old at the turn of the century. It was a time of brave expectations. Many believed that a new epoch was at hand—that the dawn of the twentieth century would prove to be a turning point in the affairs of men. They cited recent scientific advances and predicted a future of great social progress. The era, they said, was approaching when poverty and hunger would at last disappear. In the way people make fervent resolutions at the start of a new year, the world seemed to be resolving at the start of a new century to undergo a change for the better. Who then foresaw that the coming decades would bring the unimaginable horrors of two world wars, concentration camps, and atomic bombs?
Joys And Sorrows
Those capable of foresight—and for civilization to survive, the American population must become so capable—will recognize the truth in Casals’ observation. Yet, it is our duty to shape the future, and thus to know it. To paraphrase another slain U.S. President: We are now engaged in a 150 years war, testing whether any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, as is the United States, can long endure. Assassinations against American Presidents, have been the preferred criminal method of choice, for dealing with the problem of the American Cultural Exception. So it was with John Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Dr. Martin Luther King.
To respond to the challenge of reproducing and increasing the power of foresight for civilization’s survival in the short and long term is the unique mission of the Schiller Institute, a mission which the Institute brought to the City of Boston on Sunday, Jan. 19. The Schiller Institute Chorus, augmented by additional singers and an orchestra largely comprised of volunteers from the New England Conservatory of Music, presented Mozart’s Requiem in its entirety to an audience of 1,200 at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross, performed exactly 50 years to the day, of a 1964 Solemn High Requiem Mass specially requested by the Kennedy family.
One year after his October 1962 defiance of that faction of “principalities and powers,” including Britain’s Lord Bertrand Russell, that dared to believe that nuclear war against the Soviet Union was not only conceivable, but winnable (the Cuban Missile crisis), John Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. His assassination, along with that of his brother Robert, and of Martin Luther King, has hung “like a dead hand upon the brain of the living,” until now. Four generations have been unable to shake off their effects. That is because there is only one reliable method for doing so: People must be elevated above and beyond their own pre-selected, limiting self-expectation. People require, not “the facts” of “what really happened,” but the fire of insight needed to reverse our unending national trauma. No preaching, slogans, or imprecations will cause a terrorized people to have courage. Only their own voices, heard as through the mirror of a great artistic performance, can move the despairing to a higher place, a mountaintop where their souls, much to their surprise, actually live.
Conductor and Schiller Institute Music Director John Sigerson, in an interview with a reporter from The Pilot, newspaper of the Boston diocese, was asked whether the Schiller Institute believes that “Classical music can create a change in our culture.” Sigerson’s answer to this was “No.” Rather, he asserted, it was the juxtaposition of the “musical” with the “non-musical,” in this case several excerpts of speeches by JFK, heard at precisely selected points in the Requiem, that would allow members of the audience to be provoked to change their minds, and thus hear the music. Sigerson said: “The JFK speeches alone wouldn’t work, and the music alone wouldn’t work. It’s the uncomfortable juxtaposition of the two that works,” this by creating an unexpected cognitive discomfort and tension for the audience.
The Schiller Institute has employed for the second time—the first being in Vienna, Va., on Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of the President’s assassination—the spiritual and therapeutic power of the MozartRequiem to restore the power of cognition to Americans. As Schiller Institute Founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche said in her remarks, such a Classical revival is necessary to inspire Americans to take up Kennedy’s mission again, even as the world currently stands at the edge of thermonuclear war.
The Preparation of the Audience
Master of Ceremonies Matthew Ogden provided a prelude to the music, using a selection of speakers, messages, and quotations to allow everyone in the audience equal access to the depth of meaning contained in the moments they were about to experience, “not in time, but in the Idea,” as Nicholas of Cusa says. For those two and one-half hours, the “virtual reality” brainwashing that accounts for the toleration of a Nietzschean “all is permissible” popular “culture” was interrupted. Those who might have objected that “it’s too long for the audience to concentrate” were once again proven wrong. It was essential that they be prepared to listen, and not merely hear, the Mozart composition. But why?
In the words of the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, “As far as music is concerned, there is nothing about which the so-called ‘public’ knows less than about its own mind. Above all, there is one prior condition needful to the listener—whether as an individual or as an audience—if he is to formulate a judgment of real value: and that is, he must have enough time.” This essential pre-condition having been met before a single note was sung, the audience was thus pre-organized to respond at a higher level than it would otherwise have been capable, even with the best musical performance.
There was more to the audience preparation, however. This audience was assembled through a thorough, consistent political intervention and fight. This audience recruitment was the result of an intense organizing effort conducted over about six weeks or so. There was a successful “outreach” campaign throughout the Boston metropolitan area. One portion of the audience had come because of ads in theBoston Globe and other news outlets. The Pilot was cited by many as their source of news. Several Boston schools and colleges were represented, along with senior centers and various community organizations. Leaflets and posters were distributed in Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French. Several foreign consulates attended the concert, as well as state representatives from Maine and Rhode Island. There were messages from Michael D. Higgins, President of the Republic of Ireland; Boston City Councilman Steven Murphy; and from Nicholas Di Virgilio, tenor, the only surviving soloist from the 1964 concert (see below for his remarks).
Many who attended recalled having been at the 1964 performance: it must be remembered that for the then-largely Catholic Boston, Holy Cross was their local church. Ray Flynn, former Boston Mayor, and later, Ambassador to the Vatican, who had also attended the 1964 performance, expressed the sense of gratitude and true happiness that the citizens of Boston felt for the thoughtfulness that went into ensuring that the historic nature of the occasion did not go unrecognized (see box).
The Performance, and the ‘Pitch’
The Schiller Institute Chorus, soloists Ron Williams (baritone), William Ferguson (tenor), Heather Gallagher (mezzo-soprano) and Nataly Wickham (soprano), and the largely New England Conservatory of Music-based freelance orchestra constituted for Sunday’s performance, accomplished its primary task: to present the Mozart Requiem as a single, unified Idea. The unity of effect of the performance allowed the words of President Kennedy, the which worked to punctuate and underscore Mozart’s presentation of the idea of immortality, to pose a dialogue about the nature of immortality’s triumph over death with each audience member, as well as the audience as a whole. Maestro Sigerson also noted that the performances of the “Recordare” and “Benedictus” sections of the piece, both set for vocal quartet, were “of a piece” with the entirety, and were delivered with the exact meaning that Mozart intended them to convey.
The performance was conducted at a tuning of A=432, nearly a quarter tone lower than most modern performances, and is a standard feature of Schiller Institute musical practice. While this is sometimes referred to as the “lower” tuning, that designation is imprecise. It is the propertuning; it is merely “lower” than what is currently practiced as the wrong, “higher” tuning. The tuning range for music is perhaps more clearly stated as middle C=256 cycles per second, which yields an A=427-432. The C=256 is the tuning at which the Mozart Requiem was composed, designed, and intended to be heard.
The next day, The Boston Music Intelligencer, self-described as a “virtual journal and essential blog of the classical music scene in greater Boston,” ran an extensive positive review under the headline, “JFK Remembered in Musical Tribute,” characterizing it as “a polished traditional performance.”
One of the supporters of the Schiller Institute, conductor Anthony Morss, who has worked with, and conducted experiments demonstrating the reasons for insisting on what is also referred to as, “the Verdi pitch,” supplied an essay that appeared in the concert program intended to provide some background on the matter (see below).
Art as Necessity
The necessity of art—not only its moral, but physical necessity—was stressed in the brief and precise remarks directed to the audience by Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
“It is necessary to commemorate the celebration of Mozart’s Requiemwhich was performed for John F. Kennedy, 50 years ago in this cathedral. It is urgent to evoke again the divine spirit of beauty of Mozart’s composition in order to reconnect us with the better world which both Kennedy and Mozart represent,” she said. Zepp-LaRouche insisted, along with the “Poet of Freedom” Friedrich Schiller, after whom the Institute, which celebrates its 30th year in 2014, was named and founded by her, that death is swallowed up in the victory of the power of musical immortality as Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven exemplify, and as the power of the Kennedy Apollo Project also demonstrates. Kennedy’s optimism allowed every American, and, with the successful landing of the human species on the moon, everyone on the planet, to know, by demonstration, that the mind, though contained in a body, is not that body; the mind has no physical limits (see box).
Zepp-LaRouche’s reference to “reconnection to a better world” highlighted the inevitable and necessary Ideas that were not merely evoked, but provoked, by the performance. And, it must needs be so: Kennedy’s appreciation for and promotion of the Classical arts and of Classical artists was at the very foundation of his Presidency, though this has been largely ignored in these intervening years. Who, for example, would even today recognize these as the words of JFK, given on the occasion of a commemoration of the poet Robert Frost at Amherst College, October 26, 1963, less than a month before his death?
“Our national strength matters, but the spirit which informs and controls our strength matters just as much. This was the special significance of Robert Frost…. it is hardly an accident that Robert Frost coupled poetry and power, for he saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself. When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”
Now, and Then
There were some key differences between the 1964 and 2014 performances. In 1964, it was an astonishing step to include the Mozart Requiem in the context of the Catholic Solemn High Requiem Mass ceremony—the first time that that had ever been done in the United States.
There was another important difference. In the case of this performance-commemoration, 50 years of erosion of the thinking capacities of the American people, particularly by means of the cacophonous obscenity known as “popular entertainment”—including in the form of the post-2000 American Presidencies—required a uniquely insightful rendering of the music by the performers.
It is essential to note, that the chorus was composed of non-professional Schiller Institute singers, many of whom are involved in daily organizing work with both Helga and Lyndon LaRouche. Initially, many Boston-based semi-professional and professional singers had volunteered to be part of the performance, but withdrew because of a campaign denouncing the Schiller Institute, carried out by certain local members of the Democratic Party to intimidate singers. Some refused to listen, and thus “qualified” themselves to participate. Importantly, not only did the local organizers of the event, composed primarily of former members of the LaRouche Youth Movement who were assisted by an experienced and older group of LaRouche Political Action Committee organizers, not attempt to conceal in any way “who they were.” In fact, the organizers insisted that everyone they speak with fully understandwhy it was that only the Schiller Institute, and Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, out of everyone in the United States, had insisted that this 50th anniversary commemoration take place.
To answer that question, we pose a seemingly unrelated question, actually identical to the first.
Why was Kennedy, despite his flaws, seen as exceptional by people who were often critical (and sometimes pitiless) judges of human character, such as Charles de Gaulle, Douglas MacArthur, and Eleanor Roosevelt? Posed another way: Why did Kennedy embody for these severe critics of human character, as well as for many “normal Americans,” an efficient deployment of the U.S. Presidency on behalf of furthering the progress, not merely of the United States, but of mankind?
The answer to this is posed as follows.
A statement from his Jan. 20, 1961 Inaugural Address, differentiated Kennedy then, and differentiates Kennedy now, from all the Presidents who have served after him: After listing all of the tasks his Administration will aspire to accomplish, including “a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, ‘rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation’—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself,” Kennedy observed:
“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
Kennedy forecasted his “willed fate” truthfully, and acted accordingly. Despite all the things he did not live to accomplish, in that thousand days, Kennedy managed to save the world from nuclear destruction, and send to, and put the human race on the Moon. The capacity to access the revolutionary principle embedded in the American Constitution and its Declaration of Independence, on which the Lincoln and Kennedy Administrations built their respective commitments and contributions to American progress, has simply not emanated from the Presidency as the guiding policy outlook of any U.S. Administration since Kennedy’s assassination.
In fact, today, the opposite commitment now exists, in the form of the Obama Administration, and the predecessor Bush Administration, and must be reversed by an American people made culturally competent to do so.
That is the reason that the Schiller Institute was uniquely qualified to propose, organize, and perform the Nov. 22 and Jan. 19 Kennedy remembrances. We refuse to submit to voluntary amnesia. There is a connection between courage and intelligence. Kennedy lived up to his own studies of courage under adversity. None of us can do less.
On January 19, 1964, Boston Honored Her Fallen Son John Fitzgerald Kennedy With A Performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross
Join Us, Exactly 50 Years Later, In A Commemorative Performance.
SUNDAY, JAN. 19, 2014
CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS
1400 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118
Admission is free. First come, first seated.
“From the past, man obtains the insights, wisdom and hope to face with confidence the uncertainties of the future.”
– John F. Kennedy’s remarks to the centennial of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1963, three days before his death
It is fitting that 50 years later we commemorate the spirit of cultural and economic progress that John F. Kennedy’s leadership represented for America and the world. With this spirit, President Kennedy confronted and sought to overcome the terrifying prospects of global war, poverty, and human degradation that faced our nation and the world during his time. In the intervening years, these existential problems have come to threaten mankind in even greater magnitude, but the national mind that had joyfully embraced the challenge to conquer the Moon, has been supplanted by a spirit that belittles the sacredness of the human individual and the power of human creativity.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem is a most fitting tribute to John F. Kennedy, as Mozart’s work communicates the same optimism and belief in man’s infinite progress to which President Kennedy dedicated his life. The spark of optimism which marked the Kennedy era, though dimmed, is still present among us because it is embedded in the very fabric of our nation from its founding.
Let us honor the memory of John Kennedy by not only reflecting on what was, and what could have been, but on how our culture has changed, and how we must now recommit ourselves to its renewal.
The concert will be performed by the Schiller Institute Chorus along with an orchestra and soloists assembled for the occasion by the Schiller Institute. The performance will be at the natural “Verdi tuning” of A=432 Hz.
The Schiller Institute was founded in 1984 on the initiative of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, wife of the American statesman and physical economist Lyndon LaRouche, for the purpose of reviving the paradigm of Classical culture and reasserting the right of all humanity to material, moral, and intellectual progress. It is named after Friedrich Schiller, the “Poet of Freedom” whose ”Ode to Joy” is immortalized by Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony.
The Schiller Institute announced today that it will present “A Remembrance of President John F. Kennedy and Recommitment to the Principles of His Presidency, Featuring a Performance of W.A. Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, K. 626” on Friday, November 22, 8:00 p.m., at St. Mark Catholic Church in Vienna, Virginia.
The concert will be performed by the Schiller Institute Chorus along with an orchestra and soloists assembled for the occasion by the Schiller Institute. The performance will be at the natural “Verdi tuning” of A=432 Hz, in keeping with the Schiller Institute’s decades-long campaign to return to the tuning which has been demonstrated to maximize the beauty of the singing voice and of fine musical instruments.
In its flyer for the concert, the Schiller Institute elaborates on why it is holding this event at this time.
“From the past, man obtains the insights, wisdom and hope to face with confidence the uncertainties of the future.” —President John F. Kennedy’s remarks to the centennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, November 19, 1963—three days before his death
November 22, 2013, will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is fitting on that solemn occasion to commemorate the spirit of cultural and economic progress with which Kennedy confronted, and sought to overcome, the terrifying prospects of global war, poverty, and human degradation that faced our nation and the world during his time. In the intervening years, these existential problems have come to threaten mankind in even greater magnitude, yet our national spirit of progress has been replaced with cultural pessimism and indifference. The great economic, scientific, and cultural projects begun then have long ago been dismantled, and their memory buried and all but forgotten. The national mind that joyfully embraced the challenge to conquer the Moon has been supplanted by a spirit that belittles the power of human creativity and accepts the inevitability of economic decline.
Therefore, to properly honor the memory of John Kennedy, not only must we reflect on what was, and what could have been, but on how our culture has changed, so that we can recommit ourselves to its revival. The spark of optimism which marked the Kennedy era, though dimmed, is still present among us, because it is embedded in the very fabric of our nation from its founding, having its roots in the great Renaissance thinker Nicholas of Cusa, in such works as his Concordantia Catholicaand De Docta Ignorantia.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem is a most fitting tribute to Kennedy. It expresses Mozart’s passion for the concept of Man which he saw, in his time, as forming the basis for the establishment of the American republic, that Kennedy would come to promote and defend, and because the young genius Mozart pitted his creations directly against the same regressive social forces which arranged the assassinations of the President, his brother, and Martin Luther King.
An honest performance of Mozart’s work communicates the same optimism and belief in man’s infinite progress to which Kennedy, following in Franklin Roosevelt’s footsteps, dedicated his life, in resolute opposition to those who wish to drastically reduce the world’s population through perpetual warfare and denial of basic needs, and in affirmation of that which distinguishes him uniquely from the beasts, namely his creative capacity to discover new, yet-unthought universal principles.
The Schiller Institute was founded in 1984 on the initiative of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, wife of the American statesman and physical economist Lyndon LaRouche, for the purpose of reviving the paradigm of Classical culture and reasserting the right of all humanity to material, moral, and intellectual progress. It is named after Friedrich Schiller, the Poet of Freedom whose Ode to Joy is immortalized by Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony. The institute has sponsored many international conferences devoted to promoting the idea that a dialogue among cultures can only be fruitful when it focuses on each culture’s noblest expression.
[Transcript included] Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave an excellent 42-minute video interviewto GBTimes’ Senior Editor Asa Butcher on May 10. GBTimes is aChinese multimedia site based in Finland, and established toenhance a dialogue between China and Europe.
GBTimes: We’ll begin. I’m going to focus on the Belt andRoad Initiative today, following on from the Forum in Beijinglast week. If you could describe your feelings on the outcome ofthe Forum that concluded last week in Beijing.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Oh, I think it was very a reallyimportant progress as compared to the first Belt and Road Forum.The first Belt and Road Forum was filled with optimism and theknowledge of all the participants that we were experiencing thebirth of a new system of international relations — that wasalready extremely important. But I think the Second Belt andRoad Forum saw a consolidation of that, so you have actually anew system of international relations which is overcominggeopolitics, and I think this is one of the most importantoutcomes, apart from, naturally, the enormous economicdevelopment which was presented. But I think the idea that youhave a system which has a win-win possibility for everybody tocooperate, is the way to overcome geopolitics, and that is theremaining danger, which after all, caused two world wars in thelast century. So this is a real breakthrough for humanity.
GBTimes: There’s been a growing criticism and backlashagainst the BRI. Do you think this is misunderstanding,suspicion toward this new system? What are your thoughts onthat?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It’s actually a temporary phenomenon,because the funny thing was, here you had the largestinfrastructure program in history, ever, with enormous changesfor Africa, for Latin America, for Asia, even for Europeancountries, and the Western media and think-tanks pretended it didnot exist for almost four years! And then, all of a sudden, theyrealized, “Oh, this is really growing so rapidly; it is includingmore than 100 countries.” So they started what I think was acoordinated attack, slandering the Belt and Road Initiative, witharguments which I think can all individually can be proven to bea lie. It comes from the old geopolitical effort to control theworld by manipulating countries against each other, and with theBelt and Road Initiative, I think that possibility is vanishing,and that’s why they’re so angry and hysterical.
GBTimes: What could China do to reduce this demonization ofthe BRI?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think China is already doing a lot. Forexample, even Handelsblatt, which was very negative towards theBelt and Road Initiative in the past, they had to bring anarticle which brought out the fact that the whole argument thatChina is putting the countries of the third world into a “debttrap” is not holding. For example, the IMF just released figuresthat there are 17 African countries which may not be able to paytheir debt, but China is only engaged in 3 of them, and all ofthe others have huge debts to the Paris Club and to other bigWestern banks — so, who’s putting whom into a debt trap?
All of these arguments will be very easy to counter-argue,and the more China makes known its beautiful culture, people willbe won over. Because the beauty of Chinese painting, ofClassical music, it will win over the hearts. And the mostpeople understand what China is actually doing, the less theseattacks will be possible to maintain.
GBTimes: The attacks are more on China than on the Belt andRoad Initiative, you say?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, yes. They’re on China because Chinais the major motor behind it. And some of the attacks were thatChina is supposedly an autocratical dictatorship, andsurveillance state and all of these things. But first of all,concerning surveillance, I think the NSA and the GCHQ haveoutdone anybody already. And naturally China has a system whichuplifts the morality of the people: This is based on theConfucian tradition, and for some of the very liberal people inthe West, that is already too much, because it disturbs theiridea that everything goes, everything is allowed, and from thatstandpoint, any kind of emphasis on morality is too much forthese people.
GBTimes: Isn’t sometimes criticism of new ideas andinitiatives healthy? It’s what we understand here in the West, wedon’t openly unquestionably accept new things. We do question,and we are a little bit cynical sometimes.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: It’s superfluous. It’s a waste of energyand it distracts people from accomplishing what needs to beaccomplished: Namely, to overcome poverty in Africa, in LatinAmerica, even in Europe. You know, Europe has 90 million poorpeople, and I have not seen a plan by the European Union toovercome poverty by 2010, which China intends to do with its ownpoor people.
So I think it’s a waste of energy, and it comes from what Icall, when people put on geopolitical spectacles and haveneocolonial headphones, then they see and hear the world quitedifferently from what it is, namely, they only project their ownviews.
GBTimes: Having been writing about China for the last 5-7years, it has made a dramatic entrance onto the world stage, whenI started writing about it many years ago. And the speed of itsarrival, the size of the investments, it can scare a lot ofcountries — just family and friends who don’t know much aboutChina, they want to know about my job where I’m introducing Chinato the West, as this bridge. There’s a lot of amisunderstandings. Do you think some of it comes from thisignorance? And how could that be changed?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I have the feeling that everybody who was inChina, either as a tourist or as a business person, investing ortrading, they all come back and they have a very, very positiveview. People are impressed about what they see, the reallyincredible fast train system. Then, if you go in the region ofShenzhen, Zhuhai, Guangdong, Macao, Hong Kong, this is thepowerhouse of the world economy, not just the Belt and RoadInitiative.
Compare that with the decrepit infrastructure in the UnitedStates or many parts of Western Europe, for example. Less thantwo years ago, I was in Zhuhai at a conference, and we visitedthis bridge between Hong Kong and Zhuhai and Macao, linking thisentire triangular: And this bridge was built, I think, in sixyears or eight years, including planning! Now, in Germany, wehave a famous bridge between Mainz and Wiesbaden, which has beenin repair for almost six to eight years, and it’s still notready!
So, I think if people go to China, they come back and theyare completely impressed, because they see that in China, peoplehave now virtues, like industriousness, ingenuity, creativity —these are all values we used to have in the West, like when theGermany economic miracle was made in the postwar reconstruction,these values and virtues were German. But now, no longer. Now,we have all kinds of other crazy ideas, and therefore China istaking the lead.
So the people who go to China come back with a positiveimage, and those who have not been, naturally, they’re scared bythe negative reports in the media. So the more people canactually go and form their own image, the better.
GBTimes: I have myself, I’ve seen a disconnect betweenChina and Chinese society, and then the role of the Chinesegovernment, the more negative side that gets covered about in theWestern media. Do you think, for instance, with the BRI is justa way to legitimize the Chinese leadership in the world, and toraise it up to the same level that is given to the othercountries? Do you think that’s acceptable?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, it is a challenge. Some of the Westerninstitutions talked about that there is now a competition of thesystems, meaning the Chinese state model and the Western freemarket model. And in one sense, it is true; the only problem isthat if you have the neo-liberal system, especially after thecrisis of 2008, only favoring monetarist interests — the banks,the speculators — and the gap between the rich and the poorbecomes ever wider, naturally, then, if you have a country wherethat is not the case, namely, China having a policy which isoriented toward the common good, an increasing well-to-do middleclass of 300 million people, which in 5-10 years will be 600million people, and obviously the vector of development isupward, naturally that is regarded as a threat by the neo-liberalestablishment, which only takes care of its own privileges.
So in a certain sense, the challenge does exist, but I thinkthere is the possibility of a learning process, so one can behopeful that even some elements of the Western elites willrecognize that China is doing something right.
GBTimes: What do you think China could learn from theWestern mode? And vice versa, what do you think the two couldlearn from one another?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think China can learn a lot from the West,but I’m afraid to say, not from the present, contemporaries, or,there is very little to learn. Naturally, ESA cooperating withthe Chinese space agency, there is a lot of exchange possible.But in terms of general, cultural outlook, I think China has togo back about 200 years to find positive things in Europe, or theUnited States, for that matter. You know, European Classicalculture can be an enormous enrichment for China, but these arecomposers who are Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, orgreat poets. But these are all things which, unfortunately arenot dominating the cultural outlook of most Europeans andAmericans today. So there has to be a dialogue across thecenturies, and then both sides can profit from each other.
GBTimes: In a sense, you’re very pessimistic about theWestern stands at the moment. Do you think China is the onlyoption available to the West at the moment?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: No, I’m not pessimistic, I’m just sayingthat you see that some of the elites, or so-called elites, arehardened in their view. You have others who are absolutelyrecognizing that the whole mankind needs to cooperate together innew ways, for example, Switzerland. You know the President ofSwitzerland, who participated in the Belt and Road Forum justsigned a memorandum of understanding, not only for Switzerland,but for a whole group of Central and Eastern European countries,which Switzerland is representing in the internationalorganizations.
So there is a big motion. You have Italy signing amemorandum of understanding with China, on the development ofAfrica. Greece wants to be the gateway between trade from Asia,through the Suez Canal all the way into Europe. Portugal andSpain want to be the hub for the Portuguese- and Spanish-speakingpeople around the world.
So there is a lot of dynamics and motions, I’m justreferring to some of the monetarist views and those people whotalk about the “rules-based order” all the time, but what theyreally mean is austerity.
So, I’m not talking about the West in general. I think theWest — I’m an optimist about the potential of all human beings— I’m only talking about certain parts of the establishment inthe West.
GBTimes: You mentioned Italy and Switzerland. Howsignificant is it that they signed up to the BRI now?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think this is extremely important. Firstof all, Italy, as you know, is the third largest economy inEurope. The north of Italy is highly industrialized and has alot of industrial capability; many hidden champions actually arein northern Italy. So, if such a country is now, as the first G7country, officially joining with a memorandum of understanding,this can become the model for all of Europe. And Prime MinisterGiuseppe Conte who just participated in the Belt and Road Forumcame back and said exactly that: That Italy plans to be theleader in bringing about a better relation between China andEurope. So I think this is extremely important.
And Switzerland, even if it may be a small country, they areindependent; they are sovereign, they are not part of theEuropean Union. And President Maurer just declared, or hisspokesman, that they do not need advice from the European Unionbecause they can make their own policy. So, I think this is alla new, healthy spirit of self-consciousness and self-assertion,which is very good, and can be indeed a sign of hope foreverybody else.
GBTimes: How do you see it impacting Europe, theirparticipation in the BRI, in the short term, and perhaps in thelonger term?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, there are different learning curves:Some are quicker, others are slower. For example, the so-calledfour big countries — that does not include Italy — that didnot send heads of state or government, but only ministers, Spain,France, Germany, and I think Great Britain, by not sending theirheads of state sort of expressed their reservation. But theneven the German Economic Minister Altmaier, who on the first dayof the Belt and Road Forum basically said, “we have to havetransparency and rules,” with the usual kind of arguments, butthe next day, he said something much more positive. He said: Oh,this was much better than I expected, the Chinese are actuallytrying to solve problems, and I will come back in June with alarge delegation of businessmen. So, I actually find this quitegood. It shows that eventually, I think, I hope, reason willprevail.
GBTimes: I think some of the obstacles for Westerncountries, is like Turkey refusing to participate because of theUighur problem; that there are other issues that aren’t relatedto the Belt and Road, that China has to overcome first.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: All of these problems will eventually besolved, because I think the key to solving of any regional,ethnic, historical cultural problem is development. If peopleactually see the advantage of turning non-developed countries orareas into prosperous ones, into having more youth exchange,young people understanding each other, people-to-people exchange,dialogue of cultures, bringing forth the best tradition of eachculture; plus, naturally, real improvement of living standards,longevity, I think that even if not all develop with the samespeed, we are at a tremendous change of an epoch of humancivilization. The idea of these local and regional conflictswill eventually not be there any more.
If I just can point to the fact that now the eightradio-telescopes working together, being able to make, for thefirst time, images of the black hole in a galaxy which is 55million light-years away, proving that Einstein’s theory ofgeneral relativity was actually correct — now, that, for me isthe sign of the future: Because this image could not have beenmade by one country alone. It needed telescopes sited in Chile,in Spain, in the United States, in the Antarctic, and you neededthe whole world actually working together to make such atechnological breakthrough possible.
I think that that will be the kind of relationship peoplewill have to each other in the future, and I think this is whatXi Jinping really is the kind of thing he means when he says, “ashared community for the one future of humanity.” Because thecommon interest will eventually come first, and then everythingelse will fall into place.
GBTimes: Another one of the criticisms was currently “allroads lead back to Beijing” rather than a multilateral approachto BRI, where it’s between other country, it always leads back toChina at the moment. Do you think that is a problem?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I don’t know. First of all, I think Russiahas a big influence, I think the African countries are becomingmuch more knowledgeable and confident about their own role. Thereare many Africans who speak that, in the future, Africa will bethe new China with African characteristics. So, I think it’s allchanging very quickly, and those people who complain that thereis too much Chinese influence, well, then they should bring intheir active, creative contribution, and define what the newplatform of humanity should be.
And I think China has said many times, and I have absolutelyevery confidence that that is the case, that they’re not tryingto export their social model, but that they’re just offering theexperience of the incredible success of the last 40 years of theform in opening-up, and basically tell developing countries,“Here, if you want to have our help in accomplishing the samething, we are willing to provide it.” And naturally, thecountries of the developing sector, which had been neglected, oreven treated negatively by colonialism, by the IMFconditionalities, when they now have the absolute, concrete offerto overcome poverty and underdevelopment, why should they nottake it?
So, I think all these criticisms are really badly coveredefforts to hide their own motives. I really think China is doingthe best thing which has happened to humanity for a very longtime, and I think the Belt and Road Initiative is the onlylong-term plan for how to transform the world into a peacefulplace. And I think that should be applauded and people shouldhave a cooperative approach.
GBTimes: My next question was going to be, how confidentare you that the BRI will pay off for China, but I get the sensethat you’re very confident.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Oh, I think it already paying off! First ofall, it makes it more easy for China to develop its own westernand internal regions, because they are now sort of integratedinto the Belt and Road transport routes to Europe, to CentralAsia, integrating the Belt and Road Initiative with the EurasianEconomic Union, and hopefully eventually also the European Union.So I think it is already bringing benefits to China.
And from an economic standpoint, the more a country exportshigh technology goods and technologies, the more than becomes amotor to develop one’s own industry even to high levels. So it’slike a self-inspiration, so to speak, and that is already payingoff. That’s what any country should do.
GBTimes: You mentioned technology: It’s also the digitalSilk Road, Digital Belt and Road. Of course, China has a lot ofcontrol over its internet, on the Great Firewall: How much of abarrier do you think that will be for countries to buildrelationships via the Belt and Road Initiative?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: You mean the G5 question and Huawei?
GBTimes: Well, partly that, too, but also the control ofthe internet inside of China, which is difficult for Westerncompanies to do business, to establish themselves, as there are alot of controls there. Do you think that could be a barrier, aspart of the digital Belt and Road, that’s also being discussed.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think there can be ways of makingarrangements which are satisfying to everybody. This wholequestion of “digital control” and so forth, is highlyexaggerated, because, if you look at who is controlling theinternet, you have the big firms, Apple, Google, Facebook, andthey are very linked with the Western government’s. You know, ina certain sense, after the scandal of the NSA listening intoeverybody’s discussions, which erupted a couple of years ago andwhich was never changed or remedied or anything, we are living ina world where that already happening. And I think China is notdoing anything more than the NSA or the already mentioned GCHQdoing that in the West.
So I think the fact that China has a competitive system, tothis Western system is what causes all of this debate. Becausethe people who had the control of the internet first, they shouldlike to keep it that way, and they regard China as a competitor,which they don’t like, but that’s a fact of reality now.
GBTimes: One question I have is why do you think the Beltand Road Initiative is needed, when there’s the AsianInfrastructure Investment Bank, now? Do you think the two aremutually exclusive, or do they work together?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: No, I think the Belt and Road Initiative hasmany financing mechanisms. You have the AIIB, you have the NewSilk Road Fund, you have a lot of the Chinese banks themselveswhich are doing the investment. I have been advocating for avery long time, that the West should modify its own creditinstitutions to work on a similar principle. Now, that would beactually very possible, because the American System of economy asit was developed by Alexander Hamilton, who created the firstNational Bank as an institution for issuing credit, that isactually very close to what China is doing. As a matter of fact,I would even go so far as to say, that the Chinese economic modelis much closer to the American System, as it was developed byAlexander Hamilton, and then revived by Lincoln, by Henry C.Carey, by Franklin D. Roosevelt; so if the United States wouldsay, we create our own national bank; and Germany, for example,would say, we go back to the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, theCredit Institution for Reconstruction, which was used for thereconstruction of Germany in the postwar period, which was also astate bank, — or it still is a state bank — then you could havea new credit system, whereby each country would have their ownnational bank; you would have clearing houses in between them tocompensate for duration of investment, or the differences betweensmall and large countries with lots of raw materials, or not somuch — you need these clearinghouses. But you could create anew credit system, a New Bretton Woods system with fixed exchangerates, having a stability in the system which the Western systempresently does not have.
So, I think that the more countries go to these kinds ofcredit financing of projects the more stable this new system willbecome.
GBTimes: Do you think the United States will ever becomepart of the Belt and Road Initiative, under the Presidency ofDonald Trump, or perhaps whoever is voted in next
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: That’s actually the big question, you know:Will the rise of China be answered by the United States, eitherwith a war, the Thucydides trap which some people have mentionedas a danger? There were in history twelve cases where a risingpower overtook the dominant power up to that point, and it led towar; and there were four cases where it happened in a peacefulway. Now, China, first of all, has offered that neither of thesetwo options should occur, but they have offered a special greatpower special relationship model, based on the acceptance of theother social model’s sovereignty, non-interference. And I thinkTrump with his America, First policy is more inclined to respondto such a model than the previous administrations of Obama andBush, who had these interventionist wars in the Middle East andeverywhere else for exporting their system of so-called“democracy” and human rights.
So I think President Trump has said very clearly that hewants to have a good relationship with China. He calls PresidentXi Jinping his friend all the time. And I think the presenttrade negotiations actually, in my view, demonstrate that theUnited States would suffer tremendously, if they would try todecouple from the Chinese economy. They probably would suffermore than China, because China is much more capable, in my view,to compensate for the loss of the relationship with the UnitedStates.
But I think that the hopefully reasonable way would be tosay, “OK, let’s use the foreign exchange reserves of China whichthey have in terms of U.S. Treasuries; let’s invest them throughan infrastructure bank in the United States, to help to modernizeAmerican infrastructure.” And that would be an urgent need,because if you look at the U.S. infrastructure, it’s really in aterrible condition, and President Trump, who is talking today, Ithink, with the leading Democrats Pelosi and Schumer on a newinfrastructure legislation; the sums which are discussed here,from what I have heard so far, are so small! First of all, theRepublicans don’t want to have Federal spending; the Democratsare talking only about “repair,” and small issues.
So, what is lacking in these discussions is a grand design,where you would take the approach China has taken for themodernization of its infrastructure: To have fast train systemsamong all the major cities, to have slow-speed maglev trains forintra-urban transport. Now, you could take that same approachand modernize the entire infrastructure of the United States. Andif China would, in turn, off that U.S. companies would integratemore into the projects of the Belt and Road around the world, itwould be beneficial for both. Some American companies are alreadydoing that, like Caterpillar, General Electric, Honeywell, butthat could be a real incentive for the United States to go in tisdirection.
Hopefully it will happen that way, because if not, I think aclash between the two largest economies would be a catastrophefor the whole world: So, let’s hope that the forces of good willall work together to get to this positive end.
GBTimes: Let’s talk about the Schiller Institute itself asa think tank. What is your day-to-day role in the promotion ofthe Belt and Road Initiative? How do you work to support it?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Oh, you know, this all goes back to thelife’s work of my husband, who died recently: Mr. LyndonLaRouche; who spent, actually, the last 50 years, to work on veryconcrete development projects. The first such project wepresented in ’76 in Paris. This was a comprehensive plan for theinfrastructure development of all of Africa. Then we workedtogether with the President of Mexico José López Portillo on aLatin American development plan — this was ’82. We worked withIndira Gandhi on a 40-year development plan, and also in thebeginning of the ’80s, we developed a 50-year development planfor the Pacific Basin. And then, when the Berlin Wall came down,and the Soviet Union disintegrated, we proposed to connect theEuropean and Asian population and industrial centers throughdevelopment corridors, and we called that the EurasianLand-Bridge.
So we have been engaged in these kinds of big projects forthe transformation of the world economy for the last decades, andnaturally, we proposed it to China in the beginning of the ’90s.I attended a big conference in ’96 in Beijing, which had thetitle, “The Development of the Regions along the EurasianLand-Bridge.” And China, at that time, declared the building ofthe Eurasian Land-Bridge the long-term strategic aim of China by2010. Then, naturally, came the Asia crisis in ’97, so the wholething go interrupted.
We were very happy when Xi Jinping announced the New SilkRoad in 2013, because, in the meantime, we had kept working forthis. We had many conferences, actually hundreds ofconferences and seminars all over the world. So this is has beenone major point of what the Schiller Institute has been doing forthe last decades. So naturally, we are very happy that now, whatwas only planning on our side is now being realized by the secondlargest economy in the world, and therefore, it becomes reality:And that makes quite happy.
GBTimes: Is there anything else you’d like to add? I’veasked my questions and a lot more. Is there anything we haven’ttouched upon, you’d like to talk about?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: We could talk a little bit more about theculture of the New Silk Road.
GBTimes: Please — in what way?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think that the New Silk Road, or theBelt and Road Initiative, it’s not just about economics andinfrastructure. But I think equally important, if not moreimportant, in my view, is the cultural side of it: That it couldlead and will hopefully lead to an exchange of the besttraditions of all cultures of this world. And by reviving thebest traditions, like Confucianism in China, Beethoven inGermany, and Schiller; Verdi in Italy, and so forth and so on, itwill ennoble the souls of the people, and I think that that isthe most important question right now, because I agree withFriedrich Schiller, according to whom this institute is named:That any improvement in the political realm can only come fromthe moral improvement of the people. And therefore, I think it’salso very interesting to me that President Xi Jinping hasemphasized the aesthetical education as extremely important,because the goal of this is the beautiful mind of the pupil, ofthe student.
Now, that is exactly what Friedrich Schiller said, who inthe response to the Jacobin Terror in the French Revolution,wrote his Aesthetical Letters in which he develops hisaesthetical theory, which I find is in great cohesion with whatXi Jinping is saying; and that has also to do with the fact thatthe first education minister of the Chinese Republic studied inGermany, and he studied Schiller and Humboldt; his name was CaiYuanpei — I’m probably pronouncing it wrong again — but hewas the first president of the Beijing University, and I thinkthere is a great affinity, a much greater affinity between thethinking of the aesthetical education as it is discussed by XiJinping and as it does exist in the Schiller-Humboldt traditionin Germany, in particular. I would just hope that that kind of adialogue could be intensified, because then I think a lot of theprejudices and insecurities about the other culture woulddisappear, and you would bring back and bring forth the best ofall sides.
GBTimes: How could this be accomplished, do you think? Whatsort of forms?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: You can organize conferences, you can moreconsciously make the poetry known — I think poetry is very, veryimportant, which is naturally not so easy, because as Schillersaid, you have to be a poet in two languages to do justice to thepoetry of one language. You could have more conscious theaterperformances, not just as an entertainment but involvingstudents, children, adults, and make more exhibitions, make moredeep-level understanding of the other culture.
I think China is doing an enormous amount of that, but Iwould have still some suggestions to make it more thanentertainment, because many people go to these things, and theydon’t quite “get it” what it’s all about; and then, it was nice,but the deeper philosophical, poetical, musical meaning could bemade more pedagogically intelligible, and I think that would be away of opening the hearts of more people, because they wouldrecognize what treasures are there to be discovered.
GBTimes: Do you have any closing words on the Belt and Roadyou’d like to share with our readers?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think we are probably the generation onwhom later generations will look back to, and say, “Oh! This wasreally a fascinating time, because it was a change from an epochto another one.” And I have an image of that, which is, thischange that we are experiencing right now, is probably going tobe bigger than the change in Europe between the Middle Ages andmodern times. In the Middle Ages you had people believing in awhole bunch of axioms, the scholastics, Aristotelianism,witchcraft — all kinds of strange beliefs — and then, becauseof the influx of such thinkers as Nicholas of Cusa, or theItalian Renaissance, the modern image of man, of science andtechnology, of the sovereign nation-state, all these changeshappened, and they created a completely different view of theimage of man and of nature, and the universe, and everything wecall “modern society” was the result of this change.
Now, I think we are in front, or the middle of such anepochal change, where the next era of mankind will be much, muchmore creative than the present one, and that’s something to lookforward to, because we can actually shape it, and we can bringour own creative input into it. And there are not many periodsin history when that is the case: So we are actually lucky.
The following resolution was adopted on April 14, at the conclusion of a two-day conference by the Schiller Institute, which was dedicated to the creation of a New Paradigm to Save Civilization.
“We, gathered here near Frankfurt, Germany, representing countries from all continents, give our full support to the immediate voting up of a Glass-Steagall Act in the United States, both in the House of Representatives and the Senate, in line with the bill introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Rep. Walter Jones called the “Return to Prudent Banking Act” (HR 129).
“We are all convinced that it is a matter of life or death, and that it is only a Glass-Steagall Act in the United States that can stop the genocidal policies of the worldwide monetarist system. It is the necessary weapon to break the chains of the British Empire. In a word: It is either Glass-Steagall, or chaos and genocide.
“We in our respective countries are committed to lead that fight for a Glass-Steagall principle, both in the United States and within each of our nations. Glass-Steagall is only the first step. We must also replace the present monetary system with a public credit system in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton, based on national banking, in order to finance reconstruction of the world economy. That implies each country’s sovereignty over its own currency.
“If mankind is to have a future, we must end the present policies of conflict resolution through war, and agree on the common aims of mankind, such as overcoming poverty on Earth, and defending the planet against the very real dangers from outer space through the policies of the Strategic Defense of Earth.
“The immediate implementation of Glass-Steagall, however, is the absolutely irreplaceable mandatory first step, without which none of the other objectives has any chance of realization.
“Our common development is the new name of peace and the only alternative to thermonuclear war.”