The following speech was given by Helga Zepp-LaRouche (Germany), Founder of The Schiller Institute during Panel 1 “The Strategic Situation After the Historic BRICS Summit” at the international Schiller Institute Conference “Let us Join Hands with the Global Majority To Create a New Chapter in World History!”
A Transformation Bigger than the End of the Cold War
It is most urgent that we make the ordinary citizens of European nations and the USA–who are bombarded on a daily basis with a barrage of news in the mainstream mass media, which all have generally a spin in such a way, as to create an almost entirely fictitious parallel reality–aware of the tectonic change going on in this historic moment. Because only if they recognize the choices clearly lying ahead of us, is there hope for a positive way out of the present existential crisis of humanity.
It is high time to review the success and respectively the failure of the official policies of the recent period in order to assess the validity or flaws of ones own axioms of thinking. If there is one lesson about how it came to two world wars in the 20th century, then it is the number of miscalculations on the part of the participants in those wars. Having that parallel in mind one can only sound the alarm bells in the shrillest way possible.
The geopolitical confrontation of the US-led NATO over Ukraine, which did not start „unprovoked“ on February 23, 2022, but really already with the „Orange Revolution“ financed by the NED in 2004, and escalated with Victoria Nuland’s Maidan Coup in 2014, is clearly not working the way it was intended. The unprecedented series of sanctions did not „ruin Russia“, as Annalena Baerbock had wished, but caused a far reaching reorientation of Russia to the East and the South. But also Russia’s expectation about a short term nature of the military special operation did not materialize since the Russian leadership obviously underestimated the effect of NATO-operations in Ukraine since the Maidan coup and the subsequent attitude of the population, as well as the far reaching willingness for military engagement in Ukraine by the West.
Now a military stalemate has been reached, and the continuation of the military operations can, despite all new weapon deliveries, only lead to the complete attrition of the human resources of Ukraine, who already has suffered horrendous casualty figures, and the danger of an escalation to the nuclear level, if either Russia sees its territorial integrity threatened or somebody thinks that a limited nuclear war is feasible.
If the Europeans believed that their giving in to the demands of ever „more weapons“ to Ukraine, would lead to a victory of Ukraine on the battlefield, that also did not work out. Instead European nations find themselves completely cut off from any ties with their neighbor Russia, the „energy- dependency“ shifted from Russia to the much more expensive American energy, and in the meantime Germany has lost even the appearance of a remnant of sovereignty and with it the respect in the whole world. Germany, the erstwhile economic powerhouse of Europe is rapidly undergoing a process of deindustrialization caused by exorbitant energy prices provided by the wonderful protective power and ally US, who is not hesitating to lure the battered German industries to resettle in the US with the help of the Inflation Reduction Act–not even to mention the North Stream Pipelines about which nobody believes the belatedly made up story about the sailing yacht Andromeda. A popular saying these days is: What do you need enemies for with friends like this?
Germany has been transformed into a doormat, trampled upon by NATO-boots, while the present political leadership with its green Atlanticist ideology, for whom it would be a euphemism to call it „German,“ is gambling away about everything all the generations have built up from the rubble fields after the Second World War. Half of the German Mittelstand, the source of the entire social system in the country, is either going bankrupt or leaving to reinvest either in the US or in China. The overwhelming mood in the country is one of desperation, restaurant owners, farmers, craftsmen, store owners, nurses, all kinds of service industries, all feel that the floor is being pulled away from under them, and those, who don’t want to move to the Alternative for Germany, a right wing party, with some good points, but also unacceptable elements in it, feel that they have no place to turn to. „Everything will crash against the wall“, is one of the most heard sentences in many private discussions. People feel completely betrayed. We should remember, it was that utter feeling of betrayal after the Versailles treaty, which was the death-nail for the Weimar Republic!
But what most citizens of the West have no inkling about, is that a much bigger, much more consequential development is taking place elsewhere, in those parts of the world, which are effected by what is going on between NATO and Russia, where the „collateral damage“, such as high energy and food prices in these countries was considered „negligible“. And now that oversight is turning out to be the biggest misjudgment of all.
The unilateral (and therefore illegal) sanctions against Russia and a whole series of other countries, the confiscation of state assets and weaponization of the dollar on top of the longstanding experience of unfair trade and credit conditions have led to a gigantic blowback in the countries of the Global South which since has emerged as the Global Majority, representing more than 85 % of the world population. The massive attempts by NATO countries to pressure countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa to take the side of the „democracies“ of the „rules based order“ against the supposed „autocracies“ and „dictatorships“ in the Ukraine conflict backfired thoroughly. The identity of these countries as being part of the Nonalignment Movement and the „Spirit of Bandung“, the major alliance between Asian and African countries of the 1955 conference, came back to life and with it the memory that it was the Soviet Union which had helped many of the developing countries in their struggles for independence against the colonial powers.
When Lyndon LaRouche, my late husband, had first proposed an alternative to the IMF and its conditionalities in 1975 with the proposal for the IDB, which was intended to issue 400 Billion dollar credit lines per year for industrial development projects, this proposal was fullheartedly endorsed be the NAM then, who incorporated it in their final resolution in Colombo, Sri Lanka, representing already 75 % of the world population. The reaction of the financial powers to be were brutal: Indira Gandhi and Mrs. Bandaranaike were ousted from power, President Ali Bhutto and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi several years later were assassinated. The NAM played a subdued role for many years to come as a result of these attacks.
Lyndon LaRouche, whose 101st birthday we were celebrating yesterday, and his international movement kept writing development plans relentlessly, a comprehensive infrastructure plan for the entire African continent, presented in 1976 in a conference in Paris, Operation Juarez for Latin America in cooperation with Mexican President Lopez Portillo, a 50 year plan for the Pacific Basin in light of the expected increase on population density in that part of the world, a 40 year plan for India, which Mrs. Gandhi started to implement, the Oasis plan for Southwest Asia, and in 91, when the Soviet Union disintegrated, the Eurasian Landbridge, the New Silk Road–all of these programs were presented at literally hundreds of conferences and seminars on five continents.
After President Xi Jinping presented the concept of the New Silk Road in Kazakhstan, exactly 10 years and 2 days ago, Western governments, think tanks and media amazingly ignored this program which was clearly the largest infrastructure program in history ever, easily an order of magnitude larger then the Marshal Plan for Europe after the second World War.
But for the countries of the Global South the BRI became the game changer, allowing many of them for the first time to seriously launch infrastructure programs, industrial parks, advanced science projects, etc. From the end of 2017 the attitude in the West towards the BRI suddenly shifted from indifference to hostility, in the security papers of the Pentagon first, and then synchronized in all western media and think tanks, China’s rise was characterized as „systemic rival“ and „opponent“ culminating in the recent „decoupling“ and „de-risking“ frenzy. With the recent enlargement of the BRICS into BRICS-11 and the expressed interest of around 40 more countries to join likewise, the idea of a complete decoupling from Russia and China is more than absurd: it is suicidal. The perspective of creating two more or less separate blocs in reality is not feasible and can be only seen as the futile effort to economically weaken an adversary before a planned military attack, which given the existence of several thousands of nuclear missiles would mean the annihilation of the human species and with it all life on earth.
It is time for a fundamental strategic reevaluation. Is it not now more in the interest of the US and European nations to take the initiative to cooperate with all the countries of the Global South and build a prosperous world for all nations, than taking the risk of pursuing a policy which may lead to the „end of history“, albeit in a different way than Francis Fukuyama, the father of all political misjudgments fantasized?
News are coming in this morning, that Prime Minister Modi announced in a long overdue step at the ongoing G20 summit in New Delhi, that the African Union has been admitted to the G20, making the G21. That is positive, but completely insufficient. In order to eliminate the danger of a third, this time thermonuclear war, we need to create a totally new international security and development architecture, which takes into account the security and economic interest of all nations on the planet. And that is only possible, if it is based on the development of all, on the interest of the other, and the creation of a common future, which is promising and uplifting for all of humanity.
The comprehensive study the Schiller Institute published in 2014 in response to President Xi’s announcement from 2013 in Kazakhstan, „The New Silk Road becomes the World Land Bridge“ can be the basis for such a peace order for the 21st Century. It gives a clear orientation for the economic buildup of all parts of the planet, concrete plans for overcoming underdevelopment in the Global South as well as concrete guidelines for the reconstruction of the decaying economies of the Global North. Together with the Ten Principles I suggested for such a new architecture, these proposals could be the basis for any serious attempt to find a solution to the present crisis. Why not conduct a special session of the UNGA to discuss such a new international architecture, when clearly so many people around the world are concerned about the threat to world peace?
The idea of a World Landbridge, connecting all infrastructurally developed continents through tunnels and bridges, so that one can travel soon with a maglev train from the southern tip of Argentina or Chile up north through the Americas via the Bering Strait all way along the transsiberean railway to Gibraltar and on through Africa to the Cape of Good Hope. This will be the realization of the vision of the German economist Friedrich List and his „space and time economy“, where he outlined, how an advanced transport and communication system with a high speed, dense regularity and cost efficiency of infrastructure would allow for new levels of the mental and material productive powers. This development would then lead to a „Republic of the planet“ based on the „economy of humanity“, which would make it possible that all talents would exchange their ideas and work together in all areas in science and art and all areas of knowledge, which in turn would increase the efficiency of all powers of humanity, the exact opposite of „decoupling“ and „derisking“, obviously.
A similar idea about the future development of humanity to become a great community of the entire world, a „datong shijie“, one can also find with Cai Yuanpei, the first education minister of the Republic of China and President of Peking University, who introduced Schiller’s conception of aesthetic education into China. Obviously the same evolutionary innate idea governed Nikolaus of Kues idea about harmony in the macrocosm based on the best mutual development of all microcosms. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’ idea of a preestablished harmony in the universe represents the same idea, Vernadsky’s notion of the increasing dominance of the noosphere over the biosphere, as well. And I remember very well, how Lyndon LaRouche stunned his associates, when he talked about how despite the present importance of the sovereignty of the nation state, that would not be the last stage in the evolution of the the development of humanity.
Look at this latest breakthrough China made in controllable nuclear fusion technology for a new generation of an „artificial sun“, the Huanliu-3, a week ago. They realized high-confinement mode operation with a plasma current of one million ampere for the first time, according to the China National Nuclear Corporation, (CNNC). The high-confinement mode, is also used as the standard mode for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), in Cadarache, France, which is run by seven member parties, China, the EU, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US. This inherently safe form of nuclear energy, once it is fully realized, is one of the technologies which will remove the basis for geopolitical rivalry, because it will make energy so plentiful and cheap, that it will be cheaper than the continuation of military conflict.
The perspective for a completely new paradigm in international relations is on the horizon, and this could come much faster then most can imagine. A change in the US with the next presidential election could return the US on the path of a republic. As Sergey Glazyev indicated, a new BRICS currency will likely materialize in 2024 during Russia’s chairmanship of the BRICS, which could turn out to be the lifeboat for the global financial system.
So, there is all the reason for a culturally optimistic view for the future of mankind, provided we replace hatred, envy and resentment with love, generosity, and curiosity for the potential of the other cultures. We still have time to reset the axioms of our thinking.