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A Conversation with NSA Whistleblowers: Rescuing the Republic from the Surveillance State

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Moderated by the Schiller Institute’s Dennis Speed, the speakers included Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Bill Binney (former NSA technical director), Kirk Wiebe (former NSA senior intelligence analyst), and Michael Billington (EIR). Held at the Thalia Theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the dynamic between the speakers and the capacity audience of about 160, exemplified the historic moment. A typical New York audience, it consisted of Democrats, independents, Republicans, 9/11 truth seekers, Assange WikiLeaks networks, foreign press, etc. A third of the audience had never attended a LaRouche movement event before, and were brought through various networks as well as a week of daily distributions on the Upper West Side.

 

 

Transcripts below


Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, delivered the following remarks by pre-recorded audio, to the February 29, 2020 Schiller Institute event, “Rescuing the Republic from the Surveillance State.”

Hello! I’m Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and I’m the founder of the Schiller Institute. I am very happy to speak to you in this extremely important moment of history. The world is heading for what easily could become the worst crisis since the end of World War II. Unless we have a change in direction, there is very clearly the danger that the whole strategic situation could get completely out of control. What makes it so difficult, is that there are many interactive elements to this crisis.

Now, let me start with a very worrisome aspect. Despite the fact that President Trump clearly has the intention to improve relations with Russia and China, there are also very different tones coming out of some other parts of the U.S. administration. Recently, U.S. Secretary of Defense Esper was participating personally in a war game which was based on a scenario of a “limited nuclear war” between the United States and Russia in Europe, which included the use of so-called “low-yield nuclear weapons.”

Now recently the United States did deploy exactly such low-yield warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles on the Trident submarines, and that deployment of such “low-yield nuclear weapons” is very dangerously lowering the threshold of nuclear war.

This week there was a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee where U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, who is also the commander of the U.S. European Command and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe — the so-called SACEUR — was asked by Senator Deb Fischer, “What are your views about adopting a so-called ‘no first use’ policy. Do you believe that this would strengthen deterrence?” General Walters said, “Senator, I’m a fan of flexible first-use policy.” Now, this is Dr. Strangelove in the position of the Supreme Commander of the U.S. forces in Europe. And this is occurring as the Defender 2020 NATO military exercise, which is the largest maneuver since the end of the Cold War, is moving tens of thousands of U.S. troops and others — like the Bundeswehr — to the Russian border for several months of maneuvers.

In light of all of this, the spread of the coronavirus, which, according to top health officials, is only a step away from a pandemic, naturally shows that we are on the verge of an uncontrollable situation. In Europe already, most international events and conferences have been cancelled, and the Lombardy region of Italy is now under quarantine; it has been named the Wuhan of Europe. People are being told by the media, by the TV, by the papers, to get food reserves for several weeks. Already now, the spread of the coronavirus has had a significant impact on the real economy.

In China, which has, according to the head of the WHO, set a new standard in the fight against such epidemics, because they put up the defense of life as the first priority and did outstanding measures to contain the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, their GDP in the first quarter will probably go down to 0% as distinct from the expected 6% [growth].

Now, China probably has the best chance to recover, but for the so-called West, it looks much more grim, because the international supply chains have been interrupted, and will be interrupted much more. This is now that the effects of so-called globalization are striking back. Globalization has led to an outsourcing of production into cheap labor markets such as the food production, which is now no longer under the sovereign control of countries, but under the control of international cartels. We no longer have food security in most countries.

The coronavirus, if it becomes a pandemic, or even if it spreads to more countries, is, in all likelihood, becoming the trigger for the financial meltdown. This is not the cause, but the trigger, because this financial system is already at the absolute limit. Since September of last year, the Federal Reserve has been pumping unbelievable amounts of money into the system in the form of the so-called repo loans. The other central banks — the ECB [European Central Bank], the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, and others — have pushed money into the system through quantitative easing, negative interest rates, and this is just absolutely now reaching an end point, an absolute boundary condition.

There is a way out.

On January 3rd, after the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani, and there was for about two days the danger of a very dangerous strategic confrontation, I issued à proposal for an immediate summit between the Presidents of the United States, Russia, and China, to introduce a new level of cooperation to overcome the danger of geopolitical confrontation. Now, in the meantime, President Putin has made a similar proposal that the governments of the five permanent UN Security Council countries should have such a summit. China and France have already accepted. And today, TASS reports, quoting a high-level U.S. official, that the United States would be very interested to have such a meeting on the level of the UN Security Council governments for a new arms control agreement.

Now, I think what we have to do is, we have to push the agenda of such a summit to occur immediately. Because I think any delay, given the dangers of the military situation and the dangers of the pandemic, the dangers of the financial system, any postponement is really not very meaningful. This summit must adopt what Lyndon LaRouche has proposed with his Four Laws: a global Glass-Steagall banking separation; the introduction of a national bank in every country; fixed exchange rates among these different nations, and clearly defined infrastructure and development plans which then can become, as a totality, a New Bretton Woods system; and then have an international crash program for reaching a new level in the productivity of the world economy by focusing on a crash program on fusion power, on optical biophysics and other life sciences, and international space cooperation.

Now, this is a moment of extraordinary danger, and we could lose human civilization. But if enough forces around the world join in our mobilization to bring this New Paradigm about, it could also be the beginning of a completely new epoch. There has been one man who proposed and prognosed all of these developments as early as August 1971. That is my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, who, when Nixon basically abandoned the fixed exchange rate system, and decoupled the dollar from the gold standard, Lyndon LaRouche said, if this tendency is continued, it will lead either to the danger of a new fascism and depression, or a just, new world economic order will be implemented.

Now, he also worked out the solutions for what can be done, which we have published and will continue to publish much, much more.

Therefore, I think that the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche, who was innocently put in jail by the same apparatus which was involved in Russiagate and the impeachment effort against President Trump, his exoneration will be key for the implementation of this program I just mentioned. To get mankind out of the present danger and into a new era, I think is absolutely linked to the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche.

Therefore, I am appealing to all of you to join the fight for the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche, and the implementation of his ideas. This is the very best thing you can do to secure the future.


DENNIS SPEED: Who is on this stage? And what has happened to the people on this stage? What happened to Lyndon LaRouche? What happened to you?

People like to talk about something they call the “deep state.” We don’t mind that, but we know that it is neither a state, nor is it deep. [laughter] We know, those of us that have been involved, from those early days of the ’70s in some cases, and later in other cases. That you’re talking about an imperial force, and it’s an imperial force that terrifies a lot of people, but it mainly terrifies them, because they refuse to submit themselves to rigorous thought in the service of bold action. That’s all the problem is.

The problem does not involve secret police and funny microchips, and weird drugs, and subliminal messages, and all those other things. It involves the inability to look into oneself, and admit that the actions taken by people like Martin Luther King, or the actions taken by people like Malcolm X, or the actions taken by JFK, are only characteristic of the actions that all of us must take, in the context of what we have been confronted with, ever since the 1960s, particularly coming out of the United States. It doesn’t originate in the United States, but it will only be resolved if people in the United States decide to act.

We’re starting today with someone who’s well known to most, and he and his associate who is with him, Kirk Wiebe, have been fighting for 20 years, to tell a story — they told the story; they told the story 20 years ago — but they’ve been fighting for 20 years to get other people to stand up. It’s important to say that there is a faction of the American military and military intelligence, which is patriotic. It’s a faction that intended to defend the United States, and it’s a faction that also intended to make certain kinds of engineering and technical, and even scientific breakthroughs, on behalf of utilizing technology for positive purposes.

William Binney, a former intelligence official at the National Security Agency for over a 30-year period, attempted to do that, and was prevented at a critical moment, prior to September 11th of 2001, from doing his job. The United States paid for that. And you can’t walk away from that crime.

But talking about that from the standpoint of whether the planes were real, or how the buildings came down, or all these other things, doesn’t cut it. You have to confront something else: You have to confront what’s happening to you, right now, apart from your partisan beliefs, your political affiliations, you have to confront the fact that something is happening to all of us, and it’s your responsibility to listen to the people that can tell you what that is, in such a fashion that you can then take the responsibility that many of us, all, want to take!

Bill has spoken to several audiences, including to one here, three years ago, at Symphony Space, and we’re happy to have him here with us today. So, without further need to say anything, I’d like you to join me in welcoming William Binney, NSA whistleblower. [Applause]

WILLIAM BINNEY: Thank you. As Dennis said, the government we had opted for bulk acquisition for two basic reasons, I think. One was set up by Dick Cheney, and he wanted to know everything about all his potential adversaries, politically or otherwise. So, that meant he had to have information about everybody. So, the bulk acquisition satisfied his need in that respect. But in the other respect, in the bureaucracies of the government, bureaucrats tend to like to get bigger and bigger budgets and bigger and bigger organizations, so that meant more and more money, and more and more influence. In order to do that, if you opt for this bulk acquisition on everybody so that you can satisfy Cheney’s needs, it also requires the Congress to give you much more money so you can build your bureaucracy. And those are, I think, the basic motivations to do this.

But they had known also from the very beginning that there was another solution that would actually do productive things, because when you took the bulk acquisition, that meant you couldn’t see the threats coming; there was just too much data. That’s why they haven’t been able to prevent any of the terrorist attacks that have occurred anywhere in the world. Because everybody has adopted this policy, and they can’t see the threats coming. This is documented internally in NSA records produced by Edward Snowden and also by MI5 and MI6 records, and some in GCHQ. They are saying, their analysts are telling them that there is too much data; you’ve buried us, you’ve overloaded us. We can’t see the threat coming.

Just for that reason alone, they shouldn’t be doing it, but the real point is, the solution existed all along, and we were developing that in the Thin Thread program. That basically had three tenets: one was a deductive approach; one an abductive approach; and one was an inductive approach. For the deductive approach, we simply looked at social organizations that stayed within one degree of the known bad guys, and used that data to pull out information, and only that information, from the data flow that we were looking at. We were looking at a number of terabytes a minute or so at the time, and we wanted to up that to about 20 terabytes a minute. That was our approach. That was the deductive side. So, that was the human behavior property that showed probable cause. If you’re contacting a terrorist, then you need to be looked at; that’s easy to justify in a warrant.

In the inductive approach, we used simply you’re looking at sites that are advocating pedophilia or sites that advocate terrorism or violence against the West, or bomb-making, or things like that. You could try to watch people who visit those sites so you can see their frequency of visit, and say that they are probably getting radicalized, or in the process of radicalization. Or, you have people who have cell phones in the mountains of Afghanistan, or satellite phones in the mountains of Afghanistan, or the jungles of Peru. And you say, they’re dope traffickers, or they’re terror potentials. And you look at those kinds of things. That’s kind of the inductive approach.

So far, those two approaches would have caught every terrorist attack in the world before, during, and after 9/11; every one. But did we do that? No, because that’s a focused, disciplined, professional attack on the data and against bad behavior by people indicating potential threats. The abduct approach is a little bit more abstract; it says you look a geographical distributions. If you have a network at one degree that is distributed in countries that are involved in terrorist advocation or something like that, you need to look at them to see if they’re terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terrorist attack or organization. Once you look at them, if they’re not, then you take them out, and you simply say they’re out. The rest data you simply let go right by.

Now what that does is, it gives everybody in the world privacy. And it respects the Constitutional and privacy rights of everybody in this country and every country in the world. Plus, it creates an extremely rich environment for analysts to succeed at preventing threats and potential adversarial attacks. That’s the whole point of why we did the Thin Thread program to begin with, because even back then our analysts were buried with data.

So the end result today is, we have a situation where — the key point here is NSA databasing of information. Because our country is the only country in the world that afford all the data storage that can store all the information they’re collecting. They’re collecting multiple petabytes a day. My estimate of the Utah storage facility alone was based on Cisco routers being put into it, and what they were estimating was 966 exabytes of data going into that data center a year by 2015. So, I figure they had to have at least five years of storage capacity, which meant five zettabytes, which is much less than a yottabyte, but still, it’s quite a bit. After that, we get a bunch of bytes, and a lot of bytes, and all that kind of stuff. So, it hadn’t been named above a yottabyte.

But the point is, NSA is the key element here, because it’s a storage facility for not just NSA, but all of the agencies of the United States government, all the Five Eyes, and the nine other countries that are participating with them in this worldwide collection of data and bulk acquisition of data on everybody on the planet. And all we would have to do is take our rules — deductive, inductive, and abductive — take those rules and run it and process the entire database that’s stored, and pull out only that which is relevant and purge the rest of it. At that point, there would be no data available for anybody in the US government or the British government or anywhere to use against their people. So it couldn’t be abused. So, that would fix the problem. That would mean that the FBI, the DEA, the DOJ, or anybody in the intelligence community, or in the Five Eyes, or any of the others, could not go into that database and find information on any one citizen, unless that citizen had probable cause, warrant-based evidence that they should be there. That’s the way to fix this whole problem and do it rather quickly. Because once you take that data out, no one has the ability to abuse it.

SPEED: Let me say that we’re going to have an extensive Q&A session, so anybody who has particular questions, you’ll be able to ask those questions. What Bill has just done is provide the solution; and that’s what we asked him to do.

We’re going to next hear from Kirk Wiebe. I don’t think a lot of people know much about Kirk, so I’ll just say the following: He and Bill, and another gentleman by the name of Ed Loomis, developed what is called the Thin Thread system, which was referred to just a minute ago by Bill. I’m going to let Kirk tell you a little bit; he has a very specific view about the relationship between intelligence and the Constitution. Kirk?

KIRK WIEBE: Hello. Thank you, Dennis, and thank you to the LaRouche organization for making this possible, and for inviting us to address these fine people before us.

A lot of people don’t realize it, but the National Security Agency — and I’m going to pick on them, because I worked there for a long time with Bill — has operated unconstitutionally for about 70% of the time it has existed on the planet. What do I mean by that? Well, the people in charge — namely, the Executive, namely the Legislative branches of government — have formed a cabal, a cartel, if you will, that has decided to mass surveil the world, stuff the information in a big database somewhere, and claim that they’re not violating your rights under the Constitution. Because they say, “Yeah, we collected it,” although they won’t overtly admit it, “But we haven’t looked at it. And if we haven’t looked at it, it hasn’t meant anything to an official in the government.”

Now, if we go back to the late 1700s, just before the outbreak of our famous Revolutionary War, King George of England, it’s documented, wanted to put a Redcoat — a British soldier — in the home of every colonial settler in the United States. And why do you think he wanted to do that? You know the answer. He wanted to know what they were thinking and doing. Let me suggest to you that, with all the electronic devices — if I asked any one of you, “How many electronic devices connected to the internet does your family have?” I know it’s more than one; probably four. What do you think, more? I agree. The point is this: Each of those is sources of information about you and those who you love the most. Every detail, every thought that’s communicated via those devices can be collected and put in a database. And when someone decides you’re important for some reason — it could be anything; somebody wants to blackmail you, somebody wants to scam you. The only difference between a good person and a bad person in government is what? What is it? Yeah, really, it’s opportunity. Do you have what we would call moral clarity? But beyond that, do you have a sense of what’s right and wrong in this nation? The founding document of which is the United States Constitution, and do you care?

Well, I would submit to you, we have in the news, events going on — namely, the attack using the weaponized sources of the intelligence community to subvert a duly elected President. If that’s not a warning, what do you think they could do to one of you? Or three of you? Or Bill and me? Or anyone else?

So, the threat is real. It has been abused, and it lies at the feet of people who are greedy for power. It didn’t start out that way; it started out nobly. But now, we’ve reached a point where people have decided they know better, they know best how to manage all of our lives. And it’s not just the NSA anymore. Google knows what you’re doing; Facebook knows what you’re doing; Instagram knows what you’re doing. It’s proliferating everywhere, and now we have the internet of things, where even your refrigerator can talk to the internet. It’s ridiculous; your whole lives are stuck in a database.

The point of it is, Bill has suggested that there’s a way to put the genie back in the box. But it’s going to be you, who makes it happen. Don’t expect some Senator, don’t expect some Congressman to do it. With the exception of CIA chief Pompeo inviting Bill to talk about the DNC data hack, no member of government has ever approached him or me, and said, “Would you come talk to a few Congressmen about what’s happened? Your ideas for fixing it.” No! Why? They like it the way it is. Your data is available to anyone in 16 agencies within the intelligence and law enforcement communities. That’s the threat, and only we can change it. Thank you.

SPEED: Thank you, Kirk. We’re going to hear now from Mike Billington, and Mike is going to tell you a bit about himself. He is, as is listed here in your program, Executive Intelligence Review Asia Editor. He’s author of a book called Reflections of an American Political Prisoner. Mike was offered — I say it and he has to say it — after two trials; one trial for which he served 2-3 years, he was offered a plea bargain, which would have meant that he would have simply time served. No time would have been additional. All he had to do was claim to be guilty of something of which he was not. A lot of his friends would have had a big problem. And Mike decided, “You know what? I don’t think I’m going to do that.” Despite the fact that his own attorney asked to be replaced, despite the fact that Mike said he would replace him, the judge in the case refused to do that; and Mike was given a 77-year sentence. He served eight years of it. Is that the price you have to pay for integrity in this country?

Now if it is, I will submit to all of you, as you listen to him, you think about whether or not that’s the kind of country you want to live in. Mike Billington.

MICHAEL BILLINGTON: Thanks, Dennis. If any of you have a sense that calling for the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche is a pipe dream, or that Trump would never do this, I want you to put that out of your minds. And I’ll try to prove that.

This is a rare moment in history for many reasons. But one, which I will address, is that this is, in fact, the time that the exoneration of LaRouche is both possible, absolutely necessary, and will transform not just the nation, but the world, forever. And I want to try to convey that in as clear a way as I possibly can. Let’s start by looking at the fact that just last week, Donald Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of 11 people. Some of them were people who, like myself and my co-defendants, were innocent and were illegally and unjustly charged and tried and sent to prison. Others did commit crimes, but they were subjected to outrageous sentences, not just to silence them, but to terrorize other people. The fact that Trump did this, and that he also addressed quite publicly and at some length the issue of Roger Stone, and the fact that, as he said, “He will probably be exonerated one way or another,” means that this very much on Donald Trump’s mind. And I’ll mention that Roger Stone, who is someone who has quite publicly addressed Lyndon LaRouche as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, has interviewed him, has spoken at our conferences, is very well known to the criminal network in the criminal justice system who have run the entire operation against Trump, against Roger Stone, and others. And I’ll come back to that.

One of the people released by Donald Trump was Rod Blagojevich. [shuffles papers] Somehow, I don’t have what I wanted to read to you. I will convey, in brief, some of what he said the day he came out, where he and his wife and his two daughters met outside the house. He addressed the fact, first of all, that there was no way to thank President Trump for freeing a man from a charge which he had not committed; there was no way to thank him. He said that Trump is a very firm leader, a very tough leader, but also has a huge heart. And that releasing Blagojevich was an act of kindness, which people had to recognize.

He then went on to say, to the people of Illinois who had elected him twice as Governor, he said, “I did not let you down. I would have let you down had I given into this; had I admitted guilt to something I didn’t do. If I had gone along to save myself this 14-year sentence” — of which he served 8 years. He then quoted from a Supreme Court Justice, Justice Breyer, who said that the idea that people in politics and the political world could be charged criminally for what they’re supposed to do as politicians is one of the greatest threats to America today. This is a Supreme Court Justice. And that in particular, he said, “Prosecutors armed with this potential is a grave danger to our system of government.” And Blagojevich said he learned that the hard way, as many of us did.

But I think it’s extremely important that you have people at that level directly addressing the broken criminal justice system that existed, he specifically said, since 1994 when this Crime Act was passed, which was a disaster. He described it as a racist and illegal act.

Lyndon LaRouche, long before that, was convicted and served 5 years of a 15-year sentence, from 1990-1995. He could have been exonerated by President Clinton; Clinton was considering it. Literally tens of thousands of leading citizens of this nation and from around the world wrote to Clinton, calling on him to pardon and exonerate Lyndon LaRouche; but he didn’t. He did make sure that LaRouche was released after the first parole potential, after five years. So, he served 5 years of that 15-year sentence. When he was released, he organized here in Virginia, a forum before a panel of very distinguished jurists and political leaders and others, testimony on the LaRouche case and on other cases of the misuse of the criminal justice system — in particular, the Fruehmenschen case, which was the official FBI doctrine that any black elected official was, by the fact that of being black, more prone to corruption and therefore legitimate to be investigated. In that hearing, I want to read some of what Lyn said himself in that testimony. He said — and this is long before the 1990s and 9/11 — this is back in the 1980s:

“We have, in my view, a system of injustice whose center is within the Department of Justice, especially the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The problem lies not with one administration or another, though one administration or another may act more positively or more negatively. You have permanent civil service employees … who are coordinators of a nest of institutions in the Criminal Division, which show up repeatedly as leading or key associates of every legal atrocity which I’ve seen.

“In my case, when the time came that somebody wanted me out of the way, they were able to rely upon that permanent injustice in the permanent bureaucracy of government, to do the job. … Always there’s that agency inside the Justice Department, which works for a contract, like a hitman, when somebody with the right credentials and passwords walks in, and says, ‘we want to get this group of people,’ or”we want to get this person.’ And until we remove, from our system of government, the rotten, permanent bureaucracy which acts like contract assassins, using the authority of the justice system to perpetrate assassination, this country is not free, nor anyone in it.” [applause]

Odin Anderson, Lyn’s lawyer, then presented a series of documents which we had obtained through Freedom of Information from the FBI, and I’ll just briefly mention, it included the idea of putting out false leaflets under the LaRouche organization’s name, going back into the 1960s and 1970s. It included Henry Kissinger’s letter to the head of the FBI saying, can’t you get this guy? He’s being very obnoxious. A letter from the Director of the FBI to some of his subordinates, saying let’s investigate him. We don’t know where his money comes from; let’s investigate him as being funded by a foreign hostile force, which then calls into being Executive Order 12333, which basically says somebody financed by a foreign hostile force, you can throw the Constitution out and do whatever you want. And others of this sort. So, this was well documented.

Then, Ramsey Clark spoke. Ramsey Clark, I’m sure most of you know, was the Attorney General of the United States under President Johnson. He became our lawyer for the appeal, when we were first convicted in the Federal case. Here’s what he said, first of all, in a letter that he wrote to Janet Reno, then the Attorney General — the same position he had held. He says:

“This case [the LaRouche case], I believe, involves a broader range of deliberate and systemic misconduct and abuse of power over a longer period of time, in an effort to destroy a political movement and leader, than any other Federal prosecution in my time or to my knowledge. A tragic miscarriage of justice.”

In the testimony of the same hearings that Mr. LaRouche spoke in, he said:

“What was a complex and pervasive utilization of law enforcement, prosecution, media, and non-governmental organizations [NGOs — those ‘no-good organizations’] focussed on destroying an enemy, this case must be number one. The purpose can only be seen as destroying more than a political movement; more than a political figure. It is those too, but it is a fertile engine of ideas and a common purpose of thinking and studying and analyzing to solve problems regardless of the impact on the status quo or on vested interests. It was the deliberate purpose to destroy that at any cost.”

So, this is what the LaRouche case was, and was recognized increasingly by many people. That’s why they had to destroy him and try to poison his name in the media, to prevent these ideas from being placed at the accessibility of the American and world populations.

Clearly, it’s exactly this same network that went after Donald Trump. I don’t think I have to explain that; it’s pretty obvious.

In terms of my own case, I think to get at that, I want to say something else about Roger Stone. You probably all watched the raid; the great raid on Roger Stone’s house. A 66-year-old man with no criminal record, attacked at 5 a.m. or something like that; with, of course, CNN standing out there. Everybody watched this horrible criminal, being put in handcuffs and dragged off.

Well, I’m very familiar with that scene. On October 6, 1986, the day of what we call the Great Panty Raid in Leesburg, armed forces from many different law enforcement agencies raided our offices, surrounded Lyndon LaRouche’s house. And when my wife got up that morning and was taking the garbage down to the end of our lane, she saw a whole slew of armed men in police cars — and CNN — ready to come in; for some reason, not coming in immediately. So, we called our neighbors, John and Renée Sigerson, who happened to live near us at that time, and said, “Why don’t you come over while we wait ’til they come in and arrest me?” So, we were sitting there watching The Marriage of Figaro on a video, when these men finally decided to come running up the road with their guns drawn and surrounded the house. They pulled me out and put me in chains and took me off, and so forth. Why? And CNN. My wife came out and said, “Get the hell off my yard, you have no right to be here.”

This is something that was going on then, and is going on now. In my case, there was something of this deep state — so-called — directly involved. A fellow named Oliver North — some of you probably remember — who was, at that time, running through the Iran-Contra operation, a scam where we were arming terrorists in Nicaragua. And the planes unloading the guns that were being shipped down to them, just as we were shipping weapons to al-Qaeda in Libya and so forth, were coming back loaded up with cocaine. We exposed that; that this was drug-running operation, and that Oliver North — the good friend of Henry Kissinger and others — was running this scam. Then we found out that Ollie North was also running around raising huge amounts of money — stealing really, huge amounts of money from people. Telling them that this was to fight communism; it was to save America, and so forth. When in fact, it was financing arms-running and drug-running. One of the people they scammed was somebody who was a major contributor to us, and with whom I was in regular contact. Oliver North told her that you had bad people, who are trying to undermine your doing good things; therefore, you should let me tap your phone, which was done. They monitored our calls. This was not just to get me, but it was to be fully on top of what exactly we were doing as an organization at that time.

So, I think that’s the reason I was hit particularly hard with the indictments. I was indicted both in the Federal case and in the Virginia state case. The “Railroad” as we called it, went forth; we were all convicted. I won’t go through the ugly details, but it’s worth reading. And I got three years in the Federal case. And then, as Dennis explained, I was told in the state case, where I was charged with crimes that could have been 90 years, that I simply had to lie, and — pffft! — I could go home.

So, that didn’t happen. And as a result, I got a 77-year sentence. Many of the people I met in prison, when I said I had a 77-year sentence, said, “how many bodies do ya got?” [laughter] So, I did not [lie to get out of prison], and I want to read something that Dennis actually read at a previous event and which really struck me, from Martin Luther King. He said, “You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid because you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized and will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you, or bomb your house, so you refuse to take that stand.

“Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you will be just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”

And I can assure you, that my life is proof of that fact: Because I did have to spend a total of 10 years in prison. But I can honestly say, these were the best years of my life — [applause] my only problem with my fellow inmates was my trying to convince them that this was the only chance they had in life, where they didn’t have to work, they didn’t have to support a family, they should learn, they should read, they should not waste away, feeling sorry for themselves. But I was given, really, the assignment of China — I mean, 77 years, you’ve got a 5,000 years of history to study, you need 77 years to take that on. [laughter]

But it became a real passion. It was something we needed to do. My co-defendant, Will Wertz, was at the time, translating Nicholas of Cusa, who was the relatively unknown great mind of the European Renaissance era; and I was then reading Confucius and Mencius and another relatively unknown but magnificent figure called Zhu Xi during the Song dynasty in the 12th century, and saw the comparison between what I was reading of Cusa, and what I was reading of these Chinese philosophers, and was able to pull together a sense of the way in which the great Christian Renaissance of Europe, and the Confucian Renaissance, where Zhu Xi, like Cusa, was restoring the Platonic tradition and the Confucian tradition which had been lost, over the dark ages in both Europe and China. So this it was a profound chance for me to really make great discoveries, which enriched my life, and through my work, hopefully, enriched the world, and made those who put me in prison very sorry that they’d given me the opportunity, to do that.

And, then, lastly, I’ll say, there was one particularly profound experience: At one point another of my co-defendants, Paul Gallagher and I were in the same prison, and we formed a Classical chorus. So we had a chorus of people — of criminals, some fairly serious criminals, child molesters, murderers — but people who, with one exception had never participated in any kind of Classical music, were totally unfamiliar with Classical music, and had never tried to sing. But we had been trained in some bel canto methods, and we began to train them. We sang Bach, and we sang Schubert, and we sang Negro spirituals. And in particular, we sang Beethoven. Now, this is the Year of Beethoven, our theme is to “Think Like Beethoven.” Many of you may have seen Helga Zepp-LaRouche, two weeks ago, gave a forum here in New York, from Germany, on Fidelio, the great opera by Beethoven: In which the woman, Leonora, dresses as a boy, “Fidelio” to work for the warden of a prison where she believes her husband is being held illegally, and secretly, by a tyrant. And through this story, she eventually frees her husband, and this is a very powerful story, and you can imagine why Helga loves this story, with Lyn having been in prison at this time.

And I had a similar experience: My late wife, at that time, traveled the world meeting with presidents and world courts, and so forth, addressing this injustice to Lyndon LaRouche.

And one scene in this great opera is called the “Prisoners’ Chorus,” where Leonora/Fidelio succeeds in getting the warden to let the prisoners out for just a moment, to get some fresh air. And they come out, and sing this male chorus, called, “O welche Lust,” “Oh, what joy,” to breathe fresh air again. And they think about freedom, freedom, freedom — Freiheit, Freiheit. But then, they remember that they’re being watched, and they sort of skulk back into their cells.

We sang this at the prison, and that, in particular — the whole thing — but that in particular, that Beethoven principle, had a profound effect on everyone of those people. And I’ve told this story before, and I tend to choke up when I say it: But every one of them, at some point afterward, came up to me, to try to express that they had never known of this kind of beauty in the world — and, let alone, that they could participate in the creation of that kind of beauty. So, when Lyndon LaRouche launched the Manhattan Project here in New York, with the intention of creating a vast chorus that would sing both the Classical repertoire and the Negro spirituals, because there were not just popular music, or gospels, these were songs that were about the fight for freedom, and had a Classical nature, in that sense — I understood exactly what he meant: That this was the way in which we can build the necessary movement for a true Renaissance.

So the Schiller Institute’s motto has always been, the Schiller motto, that the path to truth is through beauty. And that this is an example of why building this chorus — there was a Musikabend last night, and I understand that those people who went and participated in the music, who are being recruited to our political ideas, but it’s through participating in this kind of great culture, which we’ve lost, in America, with the ugliness that now passes for “culture,” that this is the way we create the potential to reverse the decay in the collapse of the civilization that we’re living in, and actually creating the New Paradigm that Helga addressed.

So, I think this is why, if we make this possible that LaRouche is exonerated by a President Donald Trump, who wants to achieve what he says, in terms of bringing the world together around these powerful ideas of development, of science, of cooperation, and great culture, that all of these ideas of this brilliant man, these beautiful ideas, will be made available to everyone, which has been denied them for these last 40 or 50 years, which is the great crime of the persecution of Lyndon LaRouche, that these ideas were prevented from being known and uplifting the population.

So this is where we stand, and I think this is why we have this kind of a fight, to expose and destroy, whether you call it deep state or British intelligence, destroy those who have purposely set out to destroy both the culture as well as the economy and the participation of our citizens in this kind of commitment, to what, in fact, can and must be, a New Paradigm. Thank you. [applause]


Release: Schiller Institute Day of Action for Emergency Summit of Trump, Putin & Xi to Stop Danger of War

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The Schiller Institute is organizing a Day of Action, Wednesday, January 15, to intensify support for the Institute’s January 7 “Call for Presidents Trump, Putin, and Xi To Convene an Emergency Summit to Address the Danger of War.” Activists on five continents will mobilize citizens, government officials, diplomats and institutions, in support of the call, which was authored by Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

January 15, which is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is the day of rallies and activity at appropriate locations, and on social media, websites, and all means of outreach. The Schiller Institute encourages all to commemorate the ideas and life’s work of Dr. King, by organizing for peace through economic development, as in the Call for the Emergency Summit.

The central international event will be at the United Nations in New York City, from 12 noon to 3 pm, Wednesday, January 15. Follow us on Facebook for on-the-ground reports from organizers throughout the world. To participate in New York, please contact: Lynne Speed, in New York, at (201) 562-9890.


Ceremony on the Third Anniversary Memorial for the Alexandrov Ensemble

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It Is Time That Man Grew Into a New Paradigm

On December 28, 2019 the Schiller Institute participated in the third annual memorial in honor of the Alexandrov Ensemble, at the Tear Drop Memorial in Bayonne, New Jersey.  In 2016, 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, along with 24 others, perished when their plane crashed into the Black Sea en route to Syria.  What follows is a transcript of the memorial including remarks from Capt. Donald Haiber, Father John Fencik, Chief Keith Weaver, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Mission to the United Nations Mr. Dmitry Chumakov,  Deputy Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic Mission Dr. Louay Falouh, Schiller Institute Founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche,  founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute New York City Chorus, Diane Sare, and Mr. Kevin Maynor.

Transcript of ceremony:

Capt. Donald Haiber, Bayonne, N.J. Fire Department: First I want to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas. Secondly, for those of you that have been with us for the last few years, it looks like we lucked out with some balmy weather. I know it’s been cold and snowing in the past, but today looks like a beautiful day, and it’s a nice way for a remembrance.

Some of the people who are here today, we have our Office of Emergency Management Director Mr. Ferantay [ph], the chief of the department Keith Weaver; we also have the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Mr. Dmitry Chumakov; and also, I’d like to recognize the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, Dr. Fallouh. And also a very special thank to Mr. Kevin Maynor, who’s behind me. I also want to recognize Father Fencik: He’s been here every year with us, braving the cold. And the last person I want to thank is the Co-Director of the Schiller Institute New York Chorus Diane Sare, who, without her, none of this happens.

On behalf of the Bayonne Fire Department and the City of Bayonne, we welcome you all to today’s ceremony. Father Fencik, would you please do the invocation?

Father John Fencik: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. O Heavenly King, the Comforter, O Spirit of Truth, Who everywhere present through all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come into all within us, cleanse us of all stain, and save our souls, O Gracious Lord.

This is the prayer that is traditionally said at the beginning of any type of function that involves the Russian people. We pray that we who are gathered here today, in memory of those departed members of the Alexandrov Choirs, those who departed with them this life in December of 2016. We pray that God give them eternal rest in His heavenly mansion. We pray that this ceremony retains their memory, and brings them all to life everlasting. Amen.

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Color Guard posts colors. Chorus presents the Russian Federation National Anthem and United States of America National Anthem.

Captain Haiber: Thank you all very much. That was beautiful. I’m going to introduce Chief Weaver who wants to say a few words as well. Professionally, he is my chief, he’s my boss, but I’m honored, personally, to say that he is my friend — Chief Weaver.

Chief Keith Weaver: Good morning to everyone in attendance today. I’m grateful for this opportunity to say a few words in honor of the lives lost on Christmas Day 2016. Today, we pause to remember and honor the tragic loss of Alexandrov Ensemble. The loss of this extremely talented group was a loss for the entire globe. I’m honored to be speaking at this fitting site, as this Tear Drop Memorial was donated to our city from our world neighbors in Russia. The gift is a reminder that although we may be separated by nationality, we are united in humanity. As brothers and sisters, we share in your grief, and also share in your hope for a brighter future for all mankind. May the lives lost on that tragic day, three years ago, rest in peace. Thank you.

Captain Haiber: Thank you, Chief. Mr. Chumakov will have a few words to say.

Dmitry Chumakov: Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends: We are very pleased to welcome all those of you who have joined us today in the memory of the Alexandrov Ensemble, and the victims of the plane crash that happened on the 26th December 2016, just a couple of days from today, three years ago. It was a legendary ensemble, media workers from Russian TV channels, and the famous philanthropist Elizaveta Glinka: They were bringing to Syria, the Christmas mood, they were bringing into a war-torn country, and it was a big tragedy and loss.

The Russian Mission is grateful to the Schiller Institute, to the Fire Department of the City of Bayonne: without you, this event would not be possible. It’s becoming a tradition. We are getting together for the third time now, and this is a great honor for us to share these human feelings and share with you the losses and compassion. This memorial event is a great example [inaudible] honor and solidarity between our countries. The Alexandrov Ensemble has been reinstated, and I just want you to know that the new performers [inaudible] we also want you to know that that humanitarian projects started by Elizaveta Glinka are implemented by her followers. And it’s also important to say that we’re still making a lot of efforts to bring peace to Syria, and to help Syria, and to help the political settlement in this country. So, it is only with political settlement that the problems can be solved.

We once again must give tribute to these brave and merciful people who are our modern-day heroes. They are symbols of patriotism and humanity are given to us today: May their souls rest in peace. And thank you very much for joining us today.

Captain Haiber: Thank you Mr. Chumakov. We are here once again to give our condolences and sympathy to the families of the Alexandrov Ensemble and to the people of Russia. Everyone here proves, I believe, that this small remembrance shows our humanity towards one another — and God knows, we could use more of that.

Once again, it’s fitting that we’re here at the Tear Drop, because the creator of this structure was the Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli. In the darkness after 9/11, this monument helped to bring peace and the light of hope to the many people [inaudible] here. We now wish to pay that forward, back to the Russian people and the families of the Alexandrov Ensemble.

May the serenity and hope that I feel when I am here be conveyed back to the people of Russia. Music has meaning, and this quote from Billy Joel conveys that better than anything I could ever say: “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by, no matter where we are from, everyone loves music.” It is times like this that we are neither Americans nor Russians, nor Syrians, but we are just human beings who genuinely wish peace and happiness to one another.

Once again, I will try to convey my thoughts in Russian. I’ve been practicing and hopefully this gets it through: [Russian remark].

It is now my honor to introduce Mr. Kevin Maynor. He has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and many others. Mr. Maynor was the first apprentice artist from the West to study at the Bolshoi in Moscow, where he studied and sang. He will now also share a few words with you.

Kevin Maynor: Thank you. [Sings Russian folk song “Still One Star”] I don’t think anybody can talk about the Alexandrov Ensemble, the great Russian Army Chorus, and not think of the great [inaudible] that was meant to encourage, sung by the Volga boatmen. I think of the Volga boatmen and the Volga River, which I had the pleasure of seeing in the year 2000-2001 upon my return to Russia. My first experience of 1979-1980, and the Russian people embraced me with a certain kind of love that I will never, ever forget. I love them dearly, from the bottom of my heart. There’s no bass in the world — no bass in the world — no singing bass, that does not admire the training and the beauty of the great Russian basses and the great Russian singers. I think these people and the contributions they have made to the world, regardless of the confusions and the politics that might be involved between countries, one thing for sure, music, it is true, it is the healing source. It is the language that we all speak and understand. And when we don’t understand one another, we learn to appreciate, which is the key, actually, to bringing people closer together, appreciation for one another.

I want to take the time to sing for you a spiritual, one that was sung by the great Paul Robeson, who was a great singer, one that many admire — certainly the Russian people admire. He sang this song amongst them, and I want to sing it for you all: It’s called There Is a Balm in Gilead.

God bless the Alexandrov Ensemble. God bless their mission. God bless all of you who are gathered here, today.

Captain Haiber: Thank you Mr. Maynor. I do have to say, that is probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Thank you.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I extend my greetings to all of you gathered today to commemorate the lives of the 92 passengers and crew, who died when the Russian TU 154 crashed into the Black Sea on December 25th, 2016. Sixty-four singers of the Alexandrov Ensemble, plus the crew of the plane, members of the Russian military, Russian journalists and the beloved relief worker Dr. Elizaveta Glinka all perished that winter night, while flying to give Christmas comfort and cheer to soldiers who were battling to liberate Syria from the terrorist scourge of ISIS.

Each of the people on that plane was like the Good Samaritan that Schiller writes about in his Kallias essays On the Beautiful. In Schiller’s story, several people stopped by the side of the road to help the injured man, but some asked for money, some wanted recognition, and to put down others who didn’t stop; but only one person stopped, and very naturally and happily put down his own load, to carry the injured man without a second thought for himself.

In 2020, the world will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazi terror in May of 1945. At that time, people vowed, “Never Again!” And now, 75 years later, mankind again is threatened with the danger of cultural decadence and even potentially a great war. As Schiller said, it is only through aesthetic education through great classical art that the ennoblement of man can occur. It is time that mankind grew into a new paradigm where, as Shelley and Schiller proposed, the poets and artists become the natural leaders of the age.

Diane Sare: Good morning, now speaking on behalf of the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, I would like to say that a chorus is a very special thing. It is a group of diverse individuals, who discover through the art of a great composer that their diversity becomes their strength.

Our chorus had existed for just two years when I received the news on Christmas Day 2016 of the crash of the Red Army Chorus, and it was like getting punched in the stomach. Some of us quickly enlisted the help of a Russian-American chorus member to pronounce the words to the Russian National Anthem, and we went to the Consulate and sang it outside on the sidewalk.

I learned that the NYPD Ceremonial Unit had been deeply moved by the Ensemble at the Military Bands Tattoo in Quebec City in 2011, which had happened to fall on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. A wonderful baritone, Grigory Osipov sang God Bless America, which they performed as a gift to the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, and a young boy came and presented the director, Lt. Tony Giorgio, with a single white rose. You will see Osipov’s name on the list of those who perished in that terrible crash.

The United States, Russia, and Syria have all suffered the devastating effects of terrorism, but I am optimistic that perhaps the warm weather here this year may be a sign of the warmth of the friendship that our nations and peoples may share in our musical dialogue.

Father Fencik: The Church teaches us that as long as we keep a person’s memory alive, they are still with us. It is traditional at the end of any memorial service that the hymn Eternal Memory is sung, and the Russian hymn. So we will conclude this memorial service with the prayer for the departed and the singing of the memorial hymn.

O God of spirits and all flesh, who has conquered Satan and vanquished death, and granted life to your world, Lord give rest to the souls of your faithfully departed servants. in a peaceful, serene place, from which all pain and sorrow and sighing are absent. As the good and gracious God Who loves mankind, forgive all transgressions committed by them in word or in thought, voluntarily as a human frailty. There is no man living who does not sin. You alone are without sin. Your truth is truth for eternity, your word alone reality. For you are the Resurrection, the Life and the Repose for your departed servants, Oh Christ, our God. We rend You glory together, Eternal Father, holy gracious and life-creating Spirit, always now and ever, and forever. Amen.

In blessed repose grant eternal rest, Oh Lord, to the souls of Your departed servants. Make eternal their memories, Vechnaya pamyat! [Eternal memory!]


NYC Event: Celebrating Schiller’s Birthday and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

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30 years ago 0n November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall came down. The anniversary marks a profound moment today where the irreconcilable differences between the hope expressed in 1989, which is embodied now by the New Paradigm, and the doom of geopolitics are coming to odds. The Schiller Institute in NYC celebrated the coincidence of the Fall of the Wall, Schiller’s birthday and the 35 anniversary of the founding of the Schiller Institute with a triumphant demonstration of beauty, outflanking the degenerate culture still dominating political discourse in the United States and Europe. Helga Zepp-LaRouche keynotes the event, followed by musical offerings from Schubert and Brahms and poetry by Schiller and Shakespeare.

A Three-Fold Anniversary
Address by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Excerpt from video: “The Lost Chance of 1989”
Schubert/Schiller: Die Hoffnung
Michelle Erin, soprano – Margaret Greenspan, piano – Elliot Greenspan, speaker

Schubert/Schiller: An Emma
John Sigerson, tenor – Margaret Greenspan, piano

Shakespeare: Luciana’s Monologue from Comedy of Errors, Act 3, Scene 2
Leah DeGruchy

Max Caspar on Kepler as a Philosophical Mind
John Sigerson

Schiller: “Die Teilung der Erde”
Frank Mathis

Schubert/Schober: “An die Musik”
Lisa Bryce, soprano – Richard Cordova, piano


Saturday, October 5 Conference—Mankind as a Galactic Species: The Necessary Alternative to War

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Join Helga Zepp-LaRouche and speakers from around the world LIVE on October 5 at 1pm EDT. to discuss mankind’s necessary development of a policy committed to our destiny in the stars. Only by considering mankind’s common destiny first can nations determine their appropriate national policy to serve both their own interest and that of the world. October 5th has been declared “International Moon Day” when thousands of people will be gathering to learn about the moon and man’s mission in space. We invite you to join us in our celebration and in the development of a political force capable of transforming mankind from mere Earthlings, to inhabitants of the Solar System and beyond.


The Necessity of Redefining “Sustainable Development” as “Sustained Development”

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The Belt and Road and Apollo Program: Sources of Inspiration

By Hussein Askary and Jason Ross

In just a few days, world leaders will gather in New York for the 74th U.N. General Assembly summit, whose theme this year is “Sustainable Development.” The gathering is expected to attract developing nations’ leaders who are eager to see the implementation of the prioritized UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2030). The priority goals are the eradication of poverty (Goal 1), eradication of hunger (Goal 2), providing good healthcare (3), quality education (4), clean water (6), available and affordable energy (7), economic growth (8), and infrastructure and industrialization (9). Despite the very real urgency of achieving these goals, the US, the EU, and the UN bureaucracy itself will likely place the greatest emphasis on Goal 13 (Climate Action)!

Wealthy doomsday prophets from Western countries will be descending on the UN building in New York, flying in planes, sailing on yachts, or crawling on the ground to preach the prophecy of the “end of the world” through the collapse of Earth’s climate—caused, they say, by continued economic growth and industrial development. They are joining a growing group of powerful financial and banking interests in the Western world who intend to enrich themselves through what they call “green growth” and “green finance.” The intention is to stop real economic growth and technological and scientific progress on a global scale to “save the planet.” In the meantime, the aspirations of poor countries and developing nations will have to take a back seat, because, obviously, there are more urgent matters than eliminating poverty and hunger, providing healthcare, education, and clean water and electricity to billions of people.

During the colonial period, the people of colonized nations were told that they were inferior beings, for whom poverty was the natural condition. In the post-colonial period, they were told that their poverty was the natural result of having corrupt leaders. Today, developing nations are told they are poor because the greedy, greedy industrial world caused climate change, and that they should never ever attempt to emulate the industrial world. Instead, they will get “climate-change mitigation” aid and handouts. Following this outlook would make poverty permanent (sustained) for generations. 

The continued drumbeat for ending economic development is not new, but it has reached a hysterical level threatening both industrialized and developing nations. The vague discussion of “sustainable development” is partly to blame. The authors of this article are inclined to believe that there is a fundamental contradiction and discrepancy between how this term is propagated in the West and how it is perceived in China and other developing nations. In China and other developing countries, it is read “sustainable development” (with emphasis on “development”), while in the West, the emphasis lies on “sustainable.”

The Main Premise: Limited Resources! 

The term “sustainable development” was formally codified by the United Nations through the 1987 Brundtland Report. (footnote 1) It is usually associated with promoting the use of so-called “renewable” sources of energy, such as solar and wind power, and is generally concerned with alleged adverse impacts of human activity on the environment. The referenced report states that “sustainable development” is defined as sufficient development to cover the “basic needs” of poor societies, i.e., the bare minimum to ensure survival, as well as extending to all nations and peoples the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations for better living standards.

However, the report states that many people in modern societies “live beyond the world’s ecological means, for instance in our patterns of energy use,” and warns that “sustainable development requires the promotion of values that encourage consumption standards that are within the bounds of the ecological possible and to which all can reasonably aspire.” How are these bounds determined? The report concedes that “the accumulation of knowledge and the development of technology can enhance the carrying capacity of the resource base. But ultimate limits there are, and sustainability requires that long before these are reached, the world must ensure equitable access to the constrained resource and reorient technological efforts to relieve the presume.” But are there truly ultimate limits for irreplaceable resources? Are the limits fixed by nature, or are they determined by our discoveries and inventions? 

The notion of limited natural resources and the so-called “carrying capacity” of the ecological system are not applicable to human society, since it is the level of scientific and technological progress which defines the range of “resources,” rather than an a priori “natural” limit. Therefore, adopting the “sustainable development” goals determined by such notions as are presented in the Brundtland Report poses a great obstacle to eliminating poverty and providing higher living standards and quality of life for all individuals and nations. What is needed is either a new definition of these notions, or the adoption of completely different concepts.

China has proven that the way out of poverty and onto the path of progress is through fast-track “industrialization” and large-scale development projects, including mega-projects, using the full range of resources, whether scientific, human, or natural. For example, all useful sources of energy, such as coal, oil, gas, hydropower, and nuclear power, must be used. While it is imperative that the sources of power with a greater energy-flux density, like nuclear fission and fusion, should replace the less dense sources, it is neither reasonable nor moral to ask poor nations to avoid the sources of power that enabled the United States, Europe, Japan and others to become modern industrial societies. The speed of power expansion required necessitates the use and construction of hydrocarbon power sources, while the needed nuclear industrial base is developed and scientific advances for fusion are made.

China’s economic miracle is based on implementing sound policies that seem to be the opposite of those demanded by such international institutions as the World Bank, the IMF, international environmental organizations, and financial consulting corporations and think tanks. China has followed a policy which was, ironically, the policy that made the US the greatest economic power on earth by the end of the 1940s, and made a ruined Germany the second greatest industrial power in the post-World War II world.

China’s is a dirigist policy of centralized, state-financed development of infrastructure and industry through national credit for long-term development, by using the latest technological and scientific innovations and developing new ones.

This discrepancy—between the proven successful methods of development, both current and historical (as in industrialization of the United States and Germany, for example) on the one hand, and what is now being promoted by international institutions on the other—must be addressed and eliminated. The new paradigm of development spearheaded by China and the BRICS nations is a key element in this process.

It is therefore necessary to state in clear terms, here, in this context, that the definition of the term “sustainable development” should mean the ability to maintain a process of providing ever higher levels of productivity and standards of living, both physically and culturally, to whole societies through scientific creativity and technological innovation. “Sustainable development” should not be used to mean the adaptation by society to an ever-shrinking base of fixed resources, because there is no such a thing as limited resources! What puts a limit to growth is the lack of cultural, scientific and technological progress.

China: The epitome of a developing nation

Between 1981 and 2018, China lifted 800 million of its citizens out of poverty—as attested by such institutions as the World Bank—by investing in urban and rural infrastructure projects, by completing mega-projects in transportation, water, and power, and by building an industrial and scientific capacity unparalleled in world history. The only close example of such rapid industrialization is the 1930s and 1940s New Deal and WWII mobilization under U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This unparalleled achievement can be replicated, in its outline, by all developing nations, although with different dimensions and characteristics. Over the past forty years, China built more water management projects than the United States had done in a hundred years. Another metric that emphasizes the immense magnitude of the undertaking is the fact that China used more cement in the three years 2011–2013, than did the United States during the entire 20th century! The Chinese 20,000 km high-speed railway network has already surpassed the combined networks of the Western European nations. China has 37 operating nuclear power plants (70% of which were built in the past decade alone), and a further 20 plants are under construction.

Enter the BRI 

The announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Chinese President Xi Jinping in late 2013, (footnote 2) which was a breakthrough for the New Silk Road policy adopted by China since 1996, transformed China’s development policy into a global strategy, an all-inclusive initiative for all nations, without exception, to join and to shape. The BRI hinges on the construction of infrastructure mega-projects whose scale has not been seen in the world since the U.S. New Deal before World War II, the post–World War II reconstruction of Germany, and the U.S. space program of the 1960s.

The 6 Corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road (A-F) and the Maritime Silk Road (F) which were announced by President Xi in 2013. The other global transcontinental corridors were envisioned by the Schiller Institute as early as 1992. Credit: Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX)

The 6 Corridors of the Economic Belt of the New Silk Road (A-F) and the Maritime Silk Road (F) which were announced by President Xi in 2013. The other global transcontinental corridors were envisioned by the Schiller Institute as early as 1992. Credit: Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX)

The BRI is based on the solid foundation of China’s own economic miracle in the past few decades, and is backed by the entirety of the massive financial, technological, human resources base, and political power of China. It has evolved from a national Chinese project of economic development and industrialization into a massive intercontinental initiative for connectivity and economic cooperation, an initiative that more than 120 nations have joined so far. The BRI is already becoming the biggest economic undertaking in the history of mankind. The developing sector nations, many of which enjoy massive geographical advantages and human and natural resources, are poised to reap major benefits from this global initiative.

The fact that China is sharing its amazing experience of industrialization and development of the past three decades with the rest of the world is a key element of success. 

Through the BRI, China is offering the rest of the world its know-how, experience, and technology, backed by a $3 trillion financial arsenal. This is a great opportunity for West Asia and Africa to realize the dreams of the post–World War II independence era, dreams that have unfortunately been sabotaged for decades. The dramatic deficit in infrastructure both nationally and inter-regionally in West Asia and Africa can, ironically, be considered in this new light as a great opportunity. Although many other industrial nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas have technological and labor capabilities similar to those of China, they lack the vision and political will to apply these capabilities and to finance their use. Since West Asia and Africa are such strategically important areas for both East and West, it is, therefore, a perfect place for bringing the capabilities of the nations of the world into one concrete project of peaceful cooperation and development.

Encouraging signs have simultaneously emerged from African nations that have realized the importance of joining and benefiting from the new paradigm of development based on industrialization and large-scale infrastructure projects. Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya, for example, have all designed impressive national development plans that are being implemented in rapid steps. But even here, China’s role is decisive.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—the most compact and well-defined BRI project—is revolutionizing Pakistan, a nation which until a couple of years ago was indebted and broken, economically. Now, Pakistan is bustling with optimism and its economy being transformed by all the power, water, transport, and logistics projects being undertaken at breathtaking speed under the CPEC. The industrial base of Pakistan which was mostly shut down in the past few years due to lack of electricity, is poised to reemerge now. Pakistans ports, like Gwadar, are in the process of moving from an isolated and abandoned fishing village to world-class maritime transport and logistics hub. China’s investments in Pakistan are reaching USD 60-70 billion from the originally planned level of $45 billion. 

Before the CPEC projects came to fruition, Pakistan’s economic development was stymied by the lack of electricity, which lack prevented the needed growth to escape the actual debt trap related to a lack of development. As a result of its large trade deficit, Pakistan’s growing foreign debt reached $95 billion in 2017. It has been running a yearly trade deficit of over $23 billion for the past few years. Pakistan’s main export items are raw materials and staple foodstuffs, and its main manufactured export is textiles. Staple food and raw materials suffer from price oscillations, whereas the textile sector’s competitiveness is crippled by the unreliable and inadequate energy supply. And it is precisely the crucial energy sector and transportation, that are the main focus of Chinese investments in the CPEC.

Pakistan’s energy imports have contributed significantly to its trade imbalance and indebtedness. Over the fiscal year 2017–2018, imports stood at $60.86 billion, 2.6 times the $23.22 billion of exports, resulting in a historically high trade deficit of $37.64 billion. Nearly a quarter of Pakistan’s imports were energy (oil and gas), amounting to $14.43 billion. (footnote 3) These energy imports constitute nearly half of the annual deficit! On August 3, 2018, the Pakistan Express Tribune reported that the British Standard Chartered Bank was to extend a $200-million commercial loan (at 4.2% interest rate) to Pakistan to finance LNG imports. The SCB is one of Pakistan’s largest lenders, with $1.1 billion in loans in 2016–2017 alone. This is how a nation walks into a debt trap.

Before the full completion of CPEC power projects, Pakistan’s total installed electrical capacity was 25,000 MW (2017), with the average demand being 19,000 MW.

Installed capacities, broken down by production type, was as follows: 1. Hydrocarbons (thermal) 14.7 GW, comprising 64% of installed capacity, 2. hydropower 7.1 GW (31% ), 3. nuclear 0.7 GW (3%), 4. wind, solar, biogas 0.4 GW (2%). (footnote 4)

Considered in terms of actual electricity production, the figures are as follows: (1) hydrocarbons (thermal) 58.5 TWh, comprising 60% of electricity production, (2) hydro 32.9 TWh (34%), (3) nuclear 5.0 THw (5%), (4) wind, solar, biogas 0.8 TWh (0.8%).

In the decade preceding the CPEC, Pakistan’s annual electricity consumption lingered in the range of 70–80 TWh, approximately 50 watts (or 440 kWh/yr) per capita. With the completion of a portion of the CPEC power projects, the nation’s electricity consumption rose to 100 TWh in 2018, bringing the average up to 500 kWh capita. This growth is good, but the figure is still far too low, and tens of millions of Pakistanis do not yet have access to grid electricity.

The CPEC energy projects will play a significant role in expanding electricity access in Pakistan. (footnote 5) This can eliminate the energy deficit and prepare the economy for a further surge in industrial activity. The breakdown of the investments that are completed, under construction or negotiation is as follows: Coal plants: 8,580 MW; Hydropower: 2,700 MW; other thermal plants (natural gas): 825 MW; Solar power plants: 900 MW; wind farms: 350 MW. (footnote 6) The expected total new electricity generating capacity is 13,355 MW. And the total cost of all these power generation projects (including mining of coal and electricity transmission lines) is estimated to be $23-30 billion, which is approximately the cost of two years’ imports of oil and gas, and less than the annual trade deficit.

To tell Pakistan today to stop the coal power plants amounts to telling its people to commit collective suicide. 

Pakistan was never enabled, or allowed, by its Western “friends”—who needed the country to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s and the Taliban since 2001—to fully develop its clean and “carbon-free” nuclear power. This is poised to change, since China and Russia are fully capable of assisting in the construction of nuclear power plants. The choice of coal power at this moment is due to the fact that Pakistan has the raw material in abundance, because it takes a relatively short time (18-24 months) to construct a modern coal power plant, and because the necessary skills, equipment, and planning to produce them in large numbers currently exist. Nuclear power plants are complicated in both time and physical requirements. While coal may not be an ideal choice over the long term (30-40 years), the only reasonable alternative is nuclear power, for which the necessary construction capabilities must be geared up worldwide. For the Pakistani nation and economy to reach the platform of being able to build or participate in building its own nuclear power plants, its economy needs to be revived and developed now.

The attempt to supply the energy needs of Pakistan—or nearly (footnote 7) any nation, for that matter—by so-called “green” or “renewable” technologies for electricity production, would be an exercise in extortionately expensive futility, leading to real human suffering.

Chinese President Xi’s Philosophy of Development: “Make the cake bigger!”

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

By carefully reading the speeches and writings of the Chinese President Xi Jinping without ideological prejudice, we conclude that what Xi means by “sustainable development” is not what politicians and economists in the West mean by that term.

In his speech to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 18, 2017, Xi thoroughly describes the goals of development set out by him and the party, and clearly explains his understanding of the “Scientific Outlook on Development.” According to him, this is one of the key five guiding principles of the Communist Party of China (besides Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of the Three Represents). In point four of his speech, “Adopting a New Vision of Development,” Xi said: “Development is the underpinning and the key for solving our country’s problems.” He emphasized: “We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.” 

Rather than focusing on “limited resources” and how to divide them, Xi often uses the metaphor of “rather than fighting over a small cake, make the cake bigger” when urging his party comrades to think outside the box. Most indoctrinated so-called experts in the Western world would see this today as a contradiction of terms, because they believe that increased production and raising the living standards cause ecological problems and will inevitably hit the wall of limited resources.

Even more provocative to Western observers are Xi’s repeated calls for the industrialization of Africa. In his speech at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015, Xi said the following: 

“Industrialization is an inevitable path to a country’s economic success. Within a short span of several decades, China has accomplished what took developed countries hundreds of years to accomplish and put in place a complete industrial system with an enormous production capacity…

“It is entirely possible for Africa, as the world’s most promising region in terms of development potential, to bring into play its advantages and achieve great success…. The achievement of inclusive and sustainable development in Africa hinges on industrialization, which holds the key to creating jobs, eradicating poverty and improving people’s living standards.”

President Xi did not say this as a provocation to the West, but because he truly holds this view, which is completely in sync with China’s own fantastic feat of development in the past three decades. 

The most transparent and scientific definition of “sustainable development” according to Xi is described in a speech titled “A Deeper Understanding of the New Development Concepts,” which he delivered on January 18, 2016 at a study session of the implementation of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The term “coordinated development,” he says, has acquired new features. In the usual Chinese philosophical manner that is not fearful of contradictions that lead to solutions, he stated: “Coordinated development is the unity of balanced development and imbalanced development. The process from balance to imbalance and then to rebalance is the basic law of development. Balance is relative while imbalance is absolute. Emphasizing coordinated development is not pursuing equalitarianism, but giving more importance to equal opportunities and balanced resource allocation.”

Xi continued: “Coordinated development is the unity of weakness and potential in development. China is in a stage of transition from a middle-income country to a high-income country. According to international experience, this is a stage of concentrated conflicts of interest, in which imbalanced development and various weaknesses are inevitable. To pursue coordinated development, we should identify and improve our weaknesses, so as to tap development potential and sustain growth momentum.” (footnote 8) 

No state of equilibrium: Breaking the boundary conditions

In this speech and other speeches on the concepts of development, Xi has emphasized that the way to overcome such contradictions is to pursue scientific and technological creativity and innovation. It is very clear that Xi realizes that there is no such a thing as a “state of equilibrium,” but rather there is a process of progress and sustained growth, although he emphasizes that the goal is growth that is qualitative, rather than merely quantitative.

People in the West hear every day that the modern civilization has hit the wall, that limits of growth and technological development have been reached, that Earth’s carrying capacity has met its limit, and that the solution is to slow down, roll back industrialization and reduce the world population, because we cannot sustain growth indefinitely. 

The proponents of zero-growth base their theories on a fictitious “state of equilibrium” in nature between limited natural resources and the biological needs of all species, humans included, on this one and only planet! Life itself, the biosphere and the human species have proven that there is no such a static state of equilibrium, but that there is a process of progress and development. But that process of development usually bumps into certain boundary conditions, because a previous key “natural resource” is depleted. However, creative and revolutionary technological leaps break that boundary condition and brings life to a new and more intensive platform of progress. In other words, when a society hits a wall, it has to build a ladder and climb the wall to come to the new, but higher platform of economic development. That ladder is scientific and technological progress.

Human Creativity: the Greatest — and Infinite — Natural Resource

In a discussion of the role of science as a driver for the development of any nation, President Xi stated in a speech delivered to the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on October 29, 2015, “Innovative development focuses on the drivers of growth. Our ability to innovate is inadequate. Our science and technology is not fully developed, and is unable to create momentum to support economic and social development. This is the Achilles heel for such a big economy as China.” (footnote 9) Concerning the primacy of human creativity to so-called natural resources, Xi stressed: “So we must consider innovation as the primary driving force of growth and the core in this whole undertaking, and human resources as the primary source to support development. We should promote innovation in theory, systems, science and technology, and culture, and make innovation the dominant theme in the work of the Party, and government, and everyday activity of in society.” (footnote 10)

This chart of human population over historical time reflects the unique characteristic of human life among all life known to us. Our species continually breaks the limits to its growth, by developing new knowledge that opens up new resources and increases the productive powers of labor.

This chart of human population over historical time reflects the unique characteristic of human life among all life known to us. Our species continually breaks the limits to its growth, by developing new knowledge that opens up new resources and increases the productive powers of labor.

Elaborating on the history of the impact of scientific progress since the Renaissance on the industrial development of Europe and later the United States, Xi informed his Party comrades: “In the 16th century, human society entered an unprecedented period of active innovation. Achievements in scientific innovation over the past five centuries have exceeded the sum total of several previous millenia… Each and every scientific and industrial revolution has profoundly changed the outlook and pattern of world development… Since the second Industrial Revolution, the U.S. has maintained global hegemony because it has always been the leader and the largest beneficiary of scientific and industrial progress.” (footnote 11)

Xi is not expressing frustration and envy over the fantastic past progress of Europe and the United States, but is urging his people to learn from those successes. As Confucius said in the Analects: “He who learns but does not think is lost. However, he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” 

President Xi’s thoughts are clearly in harmony with those presented by American Economic Lyndon LaRouche, who has defined and treated economics in a scientific manner the same way physics is treated. LaRouche, the pioneer of Physical Economics, defined the process of progress of society as the building of new economic platforms.

The LaRouche View of Economics:  Successive Economic Platforms!

Following his service in World War II, economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche tackled a central problem to understanding economic growth: the seeming impossibility of representing the incommensurable value of scientific revolutions. To give an example of the difficulty involved, consider the initial development of steam power. This new technology transformed the power of coal, which had been used as a source of heat, into a source of motion, making it tremendously more valuable than it had been. The ability to separate the process of production both from the muscle power of people and beasts, and from a reliance on such local peculiarities as the availability of wind or flowing water, transformed the economic geography completely. The power of an individual worked increased by an order of magnitude. Goods that previously were created by hand by artisans and were consequently available only to the wealthy, could now be produced efficiently in larger numbers, making them available to a broader population. How can these varied benefits — in changing resources, increasing productivity, and altering the importance of geography — be understood?

Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at a live webcast in 2010.

Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) speaking at a live webcast in 2010.

LaRouche begins his theory with a consideration of the most important metric of human economy, the potential population density that can be achieved by a given society’s cultural and scientific development, adjusted for the conditions of geography (including man made improvements to that geography). This metric, potential relative population density, gives a rough understanding of the economic power brought to bear by a civilization. True economic value exists in those processes and developments that act to increase this metric.

As an additional metric, LaRouche insists that the intensity of power applied by a society — at the point of production as well as more broadly considered per capita and per land area — must increase with economic growth. This metric, energy flux density, involves both the quantitative increase in power available, and also its qualitative nature, as expressed in its intensity. For example, a laser uses a greater density of energy than does a metal cutting device, yet it may be able to cut a metal part using less total energy. This is a reflection of the greater energy flux density embodied in the laser. A similar example is the increasing ratio of energy use specifically as electricity — a more concentrated form of energy — to total energy use in an economy.

In addition to the concepts of potential relative population density and energy flux density, add another: the concept of the economic platform as a superior concept to that of infrastructure.

Mankind Creates

As we progress, we rely increasingly on an improved environment. Rather than walking on paths made by herds of animals or floating on natural rivers, we use roads, rail lines, subways, sidewalks. We increasingly work in illuminated buildings and enclosed vehicles, safe from the ravages of weather, rather than unprotected outdoors. The substrate upon which we depend, this built environment, is often considered as an accumulation of pieces of “infrastructure.” LaRouche takes a fresh approach to this concept, as in a 2010 paper:

We should then recognize that the development of basic economic infrastructure had always been a needed creation of what is required as a “habitable” development of a “synthetic,” rather than a presumably “natural” environment, for the enhancement, or even the possibility of human life and practice at some time in the existence of our human species. . . .

Man as a creator in the likeness of the great Creator, is expressed by humanity’s creation of the “artificial environments” we sometimes call “infrastructure,” on which both the progress, and even the merely continued existence of civilized society depends. (footnote 12)

LaRouche reconceptualizes the history of human development from the standpoint of a succession of economic platforms. The earliest human civilizations were limited in their movements to land and to the oceans and rivers. And this water transportation itself required the technologies of ship-building and navigation. The sky itself served as an infrastructure platform, its stars providing a means of finding one’s way. The construction of new rivers, in the form of navigable canals, marked the next great stage of human advancement, providing a new platform upon which to develop. The land itself changed in value, as areas that were previously quite distant from the seas and rivers were brought within its reach, including through supplementary road networks. The railroads — rivers of steel — were the next great platform, utilizing the scientific knowledge of metallurgy and of the steam engine to transform our relationship to the land, and to space and time themselves. Distances that were traversable only in weeks could now be crossed in days.

Connectivity grew and the economic potential of land increased by the availability of rail transport.

The next great platforms upon which human civilization will be based, will rely on new technologies of greater energy flux density. With the realization of nuclear fusion, building on the gains already achieved through the control over nuclear fission, our relationship to travel and to resources will be fundamentally altered. Processing of ores, which today requires the use of coke produced from coal for its chemical transformation, could be achieved in a much simpler way. The value of high-level concentrations of mineral deposits will decrease, as lower concentrations will be economically viable to use. Our relationship to water — a precious resource required in great quantities — will take on a new form as we use nuclear fusion to use the plentiful water in the world’s salty seas. Our power over space will grow exponentially as nuclear-powered rockets propel us quickly through the solar system, and move asteroids that might strike the Earth onto safer orbits!

In all of this analysis, money itself plays a secondary, although important role. Money, being a scalar value, cannot be used to assign a value to the steam engine, to the development of railroads, to the 1960s Apollo mission to the Moon, or to the coming breakthrough of nuclear fusion. While money can measure more of what existed previously, the benefits of these leaps is that they allow us to accomplish more than we could before. In each of these cases, the potential population density of the human race is increased, processes of higher energy flux density are used or unlocked, and a greater platform of created environment upon which other activity unfolds is born.

LaRouche has consistently urged the creation of economic and political systems that cohere with the laws of physical economics. This means national and international credit systems under which long-term credit can be provided for projects that increase the physical productivity of the nation or society, including in the many circumstances that such investments would not be financially profitable to a private investor. Instead of suffering under economic “laws” that have no universal validity, the financial system itself must be subjected to the creative will of man, and brought into coherence with the long-term goals of the species.

Key in upgrading our potential is the conquest of space, that great domain lying always over our heads, beckoning us to look up and to think big! From space, there is only one Earth, populated by a single human race. From space, the overwhelming potential of that beautiful, creative species becomes manifest. It is for this reason that many of the greatest space visionaries and engineers have developed profound reflections on the human race itself. The German-American Krafft Ehricke is one such example.

A species not Earth-bound

Space visionary Ehricke, whose scientific contributions made the Apollo Program possible, strongly disputed the “limits to growth” philosophy, and his arguments in opposition to it were informed by his deep relationship to science and technology. In a 1984 speech, Ehricke said: “If you have a no-growth philosophy and if you regress into the Middle Ages, then you create an environment in which that, what you are asking the human being to do — namely to live with less and being very modest … and not to grow — is impossible, because a dog-eat-dog fight is bound to break out under those conditions. We’ve come too far. We have to go on. Life shows us that technological advances are the road to go. But based on those technological advances, must come the advances of the species and the advances of our civilization.” (footnote 13)

Ehricke argued that in the process of evolution on Earth, organic matter faced this crisis and overcame it: “Earth was like a gigantic flower, which soaked up solar energy and also utilized other energy to establish basic organic compounds, and amino acids. And when life began to stir here, there lived, of those fossil assets, Haldane’s famous ’soup that ate itself up,’ or something similar to that, and of course, eventually the resources ran out. And the first great crisis of life on this planet occurred, because they were living off previously generated organic substances… It was then, that we saw for the first time, two things: That what seemed to be an absolute limit to growth, was no limit to growth. It was a hindrance, that had to be overcome, and was overcome by technological advances — incredible technological advances, namely photosynthesis.”

The “first industrial revolution” is how Ehricke termed this advancement whereby organic matter found in outer space a new, extraterrestrial resource—solar radiation—for its continued development and survival.

Ehricke called for the human species to do the same, by going to outer space to explore and tap the unlimited resources that the solar system and the universe offers us: “This goes far beyond that… Information metabolism transcends planetary limitations, and is the metabolism on which life moves now over into space itself.”

Krafft Ehricke summarized his philosophy of astronautics in three laws, formulated in 1957:

First Law: Nobody and nothing under the natural laws of this universe impose any limitations on man except man himself.

Second Law: Not only the Earth, but the entire Solar system, and as much of the universe as he can reach under the laws of nature, are man’s rightful field of activity.

Third Law: By expanding through the Universe, man fulfills his destiny as an element of life, endowed with the power of reason and the wisdom of the moral law within himself. (footnote 14)

In a stark contrast to the mantra frequently repeated respecting environmental concerns that “there is no planet B,” the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the July 20, 1969 moon landing by the US Apollo 11 mission (Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins), has spread a new wave of optimism across the world, because it is such groundbreaking achievements that remind people of their true mission in life, on Earth and the universe — the mission to be creative, to discover and explore new frontiers of knowledge, science and technology while at the same time resolving a myriad of issues and conflicts that stem from the pessimistic and cynical view that the nature of humans is egoism and the characteristic of nations is to undermine each other and fight over purported “limited resources.”

A science city on Mars, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988, he wrote that “If the United States follows the approach I have proposed, we shall have our first permanent colony on Mars by the year A.D. 2027. During a few years following that, that colony will grow into an increasingly self-sustained community, the size of a medium-sized city on Earth. Long before A.D. 2027, the average U.S. taxpayer will have gained an enormous personal profit from the earlier, preparatory stages of the program as a whole.” The development of new scientific breakthroughs and technologies allows us, uniquely among known species, to transform our relationship to nature by improving the productive powers of labor. This creative potential, common to all people, is the basis for international collaboration in space, science, and culture, to advance the common aims of mankind.

A science city on Mars, as proposed by Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988, he wrote that “If the United States follows the approach I have proposed, we shall have our first permanent colony on Mars by the year A.D. 2027. During a few years following that, that colony will grow into an increasingly self-sustained community, the size of a medium-sized city on Earth. Long before A.D. 2027, the average U.S. taxpayer will have gained an enormous personal profit from the earlier, preparatory stages of the program as a whole.” The development of new scientific breakthroughs and technologies allows us, uniquely among known species, to transform our relationship to nature by improving the productive powers of labor. This creative potential, common to all people, is the basis for international collaboration in space, science, and culture, to advance the common aims of mankind.

“A community of shared future for mankind,” the concept pronounced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly in September 2015, should no longer be Earth-bound, but rather encompass everywhere human civilization reaches in the Solar System and the universe beyond. The fruits of space exploration by any nation should be celebrated and shared by all nations. This idea is shared by the best of the US and European astronauts and space scientists. When Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon, he said this was “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” He did not proclaim it a “giant leap for the US,” but for all mankind, because he understood the full implications the achievement.

In a recent intervention at a George Washington University event titled “One Giant Leap: Space Diplomacy, Past, Present, and Future,” Buzz Aldrin called for the creation of an “international space alliance” where the U.S. would cooperate with the space programs of China, Russia, Europe, Japan and India. He correctly argued that colonizing the Moon and making it a launchpad for manned missions to Mars cannot be achieved efficiently by one nation. In addition to the technical necessity, cooperation is also a means to achieve global peace, and to advance scientific and technological cooperation which should eventually include every nation in the world.

Harrison (“Jack”) Schmitt, one of the astronauts on Apollo 17, which made the last human landing on the Moon, and who is perhaps the most insightful spokesman for the space program, told the Daily Telegraph (footnote 15) that “Moon and Mars settlement is extremely important for the dispersal of the human species throughout the Solar System, and possibly beyond.” Harrison Schmitt envisioned the “100th anniversary of Apollo,” saying that at that time “there will be settlements on the Moon, people living there permanently, producing the resources of the Moon… Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”

The Moon’s status as a launchpad to further space dreams arises from its physical characteristics. The lunar regolith (soil) harbors unique resources, its small mass allows for easy takeoffs, and its proximity to the Earth makes it a convenient location.

One of the Moon’s unique resources is related to power. The best designs for nuclear fusion power require nuclear reactions without neutrons (uncharged particles, which cannot be controlled electromagnetically), and the ideal fuel for these reactions is helium-3. This special isotope of helium is almost non-existent on Earth, but is constantly emitted by the sun. Because the Moon lacks a magnetic field (or an atmosphere), this fuel source flung generously by the sun is caught in the lunar soil, where millions of tons exist today. This helium isotope, the best fuel for nuclear fusion power, can serve humanity both in space and on Earth, to meet the needs of all nations for probably hundreds of years to come.

There are several other benefits of Moon industrialization. Water on the Moon can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as fuel for rockets. Metals can be mined to set up local manufacturing on the Moon. This manufacturing will benefit from the Moon’s small size. As a result of the weaker gravitational attraction on the Moon, less than one-tenth as much power is required to a payload from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit as would be required to bring the same payload from the surface of the Earth to Earth orbit. And since the Moon is relatively close by, the journey time is not long.

Schmitt emphasizes these benefits of lunar development:

“Not only will that assist a Mars mission, but helium-3 is an ideal fuel for electric power generation because it creates no radioactive waste and demands for electrical power are not going to decrease; civilization depends on it [electrical power], and this is one of the major potential and long-term sources.

“The Moon’s debris layer provides the opportunity to produce water, hydrogen and oxygen as fuels. It’s also very fertile, so if you want to produce food, that’s achievable. Settlements on the Moon are going to be a piece of cake.”

The industrialization of the Moon could become the joint development project of the world. Not only does it open the frontiers of space, but it also breaks the pessimistic and unscientific ideology of limited resources. One of the important objectives of the Chinese lunar mission is to gather the helium-3 that is uniquely abundant on the surface of the Moon.

Conclusion

Lyndon LaRouche has been famous for his promotion both of nuclear fusion and of a fully developed Moon-Mars program, which would serve for decades as a driver of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. His 1988 campaign for U.S. President included a thirty-minute video, The Woman on Mars, which detailed his program to the general audience of American voters and thinkers worldwide.

In a presentation he gave in 2010, LaRouche put forward the motivations for humanity to reach into the heavens: (footnote 16)

Therefore, we have to go to Mars, not because we want to get there, but we don’t want to fail to get there! … We’re going to a new conception of basic economic infrastructure, which started with the space pioneers in the 1920s, and into the United States. We began to realize that mankind needs a new dimension, beyond railroads, beyond old water systems, needs a new dimension for the expression of humanity in the Solar System.

This is not just for “getting there.” This is for giving man a mission, a natural mission for mankind, on which we will base the culture which increases mankind’s options, and also the security of humanity. That is, by developing ourselves, instead of sitting on one planet and depleting that planet and doing nothing else, and becoming fat and lazy—instead of that, let’s take on a mission!

Let’s look ahead 75 years, three generations. And let’s take what we have now, with these—we’ve got young people under 25 who are in a disastrous state of education in life. They’re going no place, unless we do something for them. We’re going to have to give them a mission, and an opportunity, which inspires them, so that their children will not be so damned stupid. And therefore, by three successive generations of development … I’m satisfied that we could develop the scientific and technological capabilities, in three successive generations—all the time, bringing our people up to a higher level of productivity—to make up for what we’ve lost, and to go beyond that…

We know we have to develop the Moon, which is accessible to us, readily, with technology already developed by us. We know we can develop an industry on the Moon, because you don’t want to take off from Earth, and lug a lot of things up from Earth; there’s just too much effort involved. Go to the Moon, take your technology to the Moon, develop industries on the Moon: You can build the spacecraft and other things you need to go to Mars!

The lunar regolith (soil) includes many of the basic elements required for industrial production of rocket components and fuel. And its helium-3 is an ideal fuel for nuclear fusion, surpassing anything economically available on Earth. Once components are built on the Moon, they can be easily brought to Earth orbit. In fact, bringing payloads from the surface of the Moon to Earth orbit uses less than 10% of the energy required to bring them from the surface of Earth to Earth orbit! LaRouche continued:

Why do we go to Mars? Because it’s the nature of man to do so: The nature of man is expressed by the fact that we are not a fixed species, with fixed behavior. We’re a species that must develop, as mankind has developed, despite all the setbacks. Mankind has greatly improved, since our first evidence of what mankind was on this planet. Improved through technology, through intellectual development, stimulated by technology; by improvements in culture, especially Classical culture.

And the purpose of man, is to find his place in the universe.

Don’t worry about what the destination is. We’ve got to find our place in the universe: We must develop! Mankind is creative. Mankind must create! Mankind must develop!

And if we do that—the space program, as we would develop it—my estimate is, that it will take three generations to develop the capability to actually put human beings safely on Mars. To solve the problem of gravitation in interplanetary flight and that sort of thing. We can do it! We don’t have a population which is trained, yet, to undertake that mission. But we have a population, which is ready to be uplifted from despair, now, and plan that the grandchildren of people today, of young people today—the grandchildren of young people today will solve that problem! And it should be our mission to dedicate the United States, in particular, and the planet as a whole to that mission, to give mankind a sense and a determination of a future which should belong to mankind.

Mankind was put in this universe for some purpose. We’re not always too sure what that purpose is. But we’re sure of one thing about that purpose: It requires, as history has shown us, the development of the intellectual powers of mankind, the intellectual powers of man’s progress. The future, if it means anything to have children and grandchildren, is to ensure that the children and grandchildren have made an upwards step, beyond what’s impossible now. And to do as we’ve done before, from our past experience, in making the kind of progress, the changes in behavior, and progress, and increase in the power of mankind, to solve great problems, problems of disease, all kinds of problems.

What is the greatest focus for this human mission? LaRouche answers:

Therefore, we have to put a name on it, and the name we put on it for the short term, is the Mars Mission. And we say, that within three generations, we’ll take this wretched nation, this poor, broken-down, ruined, betrayed nation, and, in cooperation with other nations on this planet, we will develop a technology and the people capable of carrying it, which will, step by step, bring man to his true dignity, to recognize the place of man in the universe. Not to what we’re going to do in the universe, ultimately, but to know we’re there!

And we need that.

You know, people talk about immortality and so forth—what’s it mean? Just another person being produced, to replace the one that died? No. Immortality is the certain understanding, that you are living today, because you are doing something, which is going to lead to the development of man’s power in the future. Your immortality lies in your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren beyond that. Your immortality, your purpose of your life, is what comes out of it! That you’re a permanent part of the universe! Because, by developing within the universe, you’ve demonstrated that you’re not just a drop on the planet: You are part of the universe, forever!

And that should motivate you.

It is from this greatest of mission-orientations that we can draw inspiration for developing the necessary platforms of economic development to enable people from all nations of the world to live lives allowing us to meaningfully aspire to contribute something of enduring value to all of human history.

The endless pursuit of that goal is the only process of development that can truthfully be called sustainable.

Footnotes

1. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland headed the UN-appointed World Commission on Environment and Development, which released the report “Our Common Future,” also known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987: http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
2. President Xi Jinping announced the creation of the “Economic Belt of the Silk Road” in a speech in the Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2013. The Belt is a land-based economic corridor extending from eastern China to western Europe and engaging 69 nations in its path. One month later he announced, from Jakarta, Indonesia, the intention to launch the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road together with other nations. This includes building numerous ports on the sea lanes of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean. The two projects complement each other and together make up the BRI. http://english.gov.cn/beltAndRoad/
3. “Pakistan’s Trade Deficit Stands at $30.19b” Salman Siddiqui, The Express Tribune, Aug 14, 2018
4. Figures from Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, “State of Industry Report 2015”
5. For detailed description of the energy projects involved in the CPEC, consult the project’s official website
6. Since the expected capacity factor of solar and wind would be no greater than 30%, the energy generated by these systems should be estimated as being at most one-third their official capacity. These projects, by dint of the low intensity of their power sources, are also expensive. Considering both their cost and their likely capacity factors, the (intermittent) electricity produced by these projects will cost several times more than coal or large hydro.
7. There is a temporary exception of those few nations capable, by virtue of their geography, of utilizing large hydro plants and geothermal energy. Iceland is currently such an example, although future development will require energy beyond what can be supplied by these means.
8. Xi Jinping, The Governance of China II, pp. 226-227. (emphasis added)
9. The Governance of China II, Page 217. Speech titled “Guide Development with New Concepts”.
10. Ibid. Emphasis added.
11. Ibid.
12. Lyndon LaRouche, “What Your Accountant Never Understood: The Secret Economy” EIR, May 28, 2010.
13. “Lunar Industrialization and Settlement — Birth of Polyglobal Civilization” Presented at the October 1984 Conference of the National Academy of Science, on “Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century”
14. Cited in Marsha Freeman, How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space Pioneers (Washington, D.C., 21st Century Science Associates, 1993), p. 297.
15. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/07/21/mining-moon-could-help-save-humanity-says-last-apollo-astronaut/
16. Transcript available as “Change is a’Comin’” EIR, July 16, 2010


The writers are the authors of the Schiller Institute Special Report “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa”. Both are long-time members of the International Schiller Institute founded in 1984 by the German thinker Helga Zepp-LaRouche. 

authors Hussein Askary and Jason Ross

Hussein Askary, Iraqi-Swedish citizen, founding board member of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX). hussein.askary@brixsweden.com   brixsweden.com

Jason Ross, American citizen, Editor in Chief of the 21st Century Science and Technology Magazine.  jason@21stcenturysciencetech.com  21sci-tech.com 

 


NYC Schiller Chorus Gets Standing Ovation at South Bronx Church

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On Sunday July 28th, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus gave a concert at the Church of St Anselm and St Roch in the South Bronx.  The chorus of about 60, performed four Negro Spirituals (one was an encore) a couple of Spanish hymns (including a popular setting of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony), two movements from Schubert’s Mass in G, the Sicut Locutus Est from Bach’s Magnificat, and Gradual by Afro-Brazilian composer Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia.  This concert was unique because it came together as a result of a real collaboration between the chorus and the church, which serves a largely Spanish-speaking population from the nearby neighborhood, as well as English-speaking immigrants from various European nations.

The approximately 100 people in attendance rose to their feet in a standing ovation after the chorus performed the William Dawson arrangement of “Soon Ah Will be Done” as an encore. The fact that we included music of an Afro-Brazilian Classical composer in the program, was of particular interest to the priest, who stressed that in his Sunday announcements. The church also prepared an amazing reception. Many members of the church expressed interest in joining the chorus, but hesitation because of difficulty speaking English.
Founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute Chorus, Diane Sare.

Founder and Co-Director of the Schiller Institute Chorus, Diane Sare.

We look forward to future endeavors in collaboration with this historic church. Here is a story about the church, which, unlike many city churches, is packed with hundreds of people at its 11 am Spanish-language mass.  It has an earlier mass in English which is attended by 70-100 people as well.  It is related by design to a Byzantine church in Turkey, and has been home to many immigrants for over a century.

Conference: APOLLO +50

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MANKIND’S FUTURE MUST DETERMINE OUR PRESENT:

A Dialogue of Cultures on How to Develop the Population and the Productive Workforce for Earth’s Next Fifty Years

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 1 PM – 5 PM

New York City


Full Conference


Keynote: Helga Zepp-LaRouche


Andrea Jones, Goddard Space Flight Center, LIVE from Washington, DC


Dr. Xing Jijun,  Counsellor, Head of Science and Technology Section, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China


 Ben Deniston — Solar System’s Next 50 Years


Thermonuclear fusion, applied as a commercial power source, not only supersedes any other available power source, and is non-polluting—it would supply the only efficient power source for travel throughout the solar system. Humanity—not merely China, or the United States, or Russia, but all humanity—has always looked up to the stars, because we have an extra-terrestrial imperative, to know the secrets of the universe. Eliminating war through the joint investigation of the solar system and galaxy—the local neighborhood in which we reside—is our first next step toward the adulthood of the human race.

On this 50th anniversary of mankind’s greatest scientific achievement, let us take a page from the same President John F. Kennedy, who had proposed the Apollo Project to an inspired America, and who, together with America’s “mortal enemy,” the Soviet Union pulled the world away from the brink of extinction in October 1962. In September of 1963, Kennedy told the United Nations:

Finally, in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity-in the field of space—there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon. Space offers no problems of sovereignty; …Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries—indeed of all the world—cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending some day in this decade to the moon not the representatives of a single nation, but the representatives of all of our countries.

Now, many other nations—India, China, Brazil, several European nations—possess capabilities far more advanced than those of the 1960s Soviet Union or United States. If a mere fraction of the wealth now wasted on war, or foolishly misspent on global warming, were pooled and deployed in a joint space effort, we could in fifteen years create an entirely new economic platform for all of humanity—a worldwide cultural “paradigm shift” as has been proposed by Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche—that propels the human race forward, in the spirit of what has been called by China “win-win cooperation,” in the form of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI.) Lyndon LaRouche in his 1984 “Draft Memorandum of Agreement Between the US and USSR” provided a model for a durable survival solution to potentially lethal conflicts among nations, by elevating the discussion to the higher self-interest of humanity, thereby dissolving the basis for conflict.

President Donald Trump has recently met with Presidents Xi of China, Putin of Russia, and Chairman Kim of North Korea, as well as others, to avert war. President Trump has also proposed a return of the United States to the Moon in five years, by 2024. Might the United States take the occasion of the July 20 commemoration to propose a joint Moon-Mars mission, involving Russia, China, India, the European Space Agency, and nations in the continents of Africa and South America, both essential launch sites for the continuous and permanent missions required?

Why permanent? Because mankind will now permanently move to the first level of human civilization, which is expressed in the ability to navigate the solar system as a whole. The higher, galactic level (the second stage), and the yet higher intergalactic level, are what we are now only able to observe, in part. For these, we yet “see as through a glass, darkly.” But we know that it takes humanity as a whole, in the tens and hundreds of billions, to develop the scientific competence to investigate and explore the more than two trillion galaxies we now know to exist. We need the creative potential of every single person on the planet to accomplish this.

To prepare for this, the new space program must be part of a broader commitment to simultaneously revolutionize the labor process on Earth as well as in space, through new stages of technologies, and through ending poverty on the planet in the next years through the cooperative arrangements and economic development made possible through the World Land Bridge. Both tasks require mastery of the concept of increasing the energy flux-density of power systems. Lyndon LaRouche’s book, Earth’s Next Fifty Years, outlines how more than one billion jobs in mining, manufacturing and agriculture, of the highest skill levels, must be created now, to fulfill mankind’s “extraterrestrial imperative” to investigate the solar system, the galaxy, and beyond.

It is the power of this vision, the potential of what the astronauts saw when they watched the Earth rise from the Moon, which we of the Schiller Institute must seek to invoke in our fellow citizens, the nation, and the world, this July 20. Join us in this mission, for which “failure is not an option.”


In Memoriam: The Triumph of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

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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.


Introduction – Dennis Speed

Prologue – Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Lyndon LaRouche in His Own Words
Dennis Speed, narrator

Hall Johnson (arr.): “When I Was Sinkin’ Down”

Hall Johnson (arr.): “I Don’t Feel No-Ways Tired”
Reginald Bouknight, tenor soloist
Schiller Institute Festival Chorus
Diane Sare, director

J.S. Bach: “Jesu, meine Freude,” BWV 227
Schiller Institute Festival Chorus
Andrés Vera, violoncello
Bruce Director, contrabass
John Sigerson, director

INTERMISSION

The Third Trial of Socrates
Dennis Speed, narrator

Roland Hayes: “They Led My Lord Away”
Elvira Green, alto

Roland Hayes: “Crucifixion”
Frank Mathis, baritone

Johannes Brahms: “Dem dunkeln Schoß der heil’gen Erde”
Schiller Institute Festival Chorus
John Sigerson, director

Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata for Violonello and Piano, Op. 69
I. Allegro ma non tanto
II. Scherzo
III. Adagio cantabile
IV. Allegro vivace
Andrés Vera, violoncello
My-Hoa Steger, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven: “Adelaide,” Op. 46
John Sigerson, tenor
Margaret Greenspan, piano

Johannes Brahms: “Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer,” Op. 105, No. 4
Elvira Green, alto
My-Hoa Steger, piano

The Triumph of Lyndon LaRouche
Dennis Speed, narrator

Epilogue

Robert Schumann:
“Mit Myrthen und Rosen”, Op. 24, No. 9
John Sigerson, tenor
Margaret Greenspan, piano

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: “Ave verum corpus,” K. 618
To be sung by everyone

J.S. Bach: Chorale
“Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden” from St. Matthew Passion
Schiller Institute Festival Chorus

“Taps” for Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.


Schiller Institute NYC Chorus Memorializes LaRouche in Bronx Concert

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On Sunday May 5th, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus performed the Mozart Solemn Vespers, African-American Spirituals, and Verdi at a concert dedicated to the memory of Lyndon LaRouche in Little Italy of the Bronx. The chorus was joined by five professional soloists and orchestra, and everything, except the Bach organ prelude was performed at the Verdi tuning of c=256 Hz.

250-300 people turned out in the pouring rain to hear this wonderful program, which opened with the church organist playing a Bach organ prelude, and ended with Italian Opera arias sung by the soloists. Although there were several young children in the crowd, there was not a sound, except applause, which erupted after the first amen in the Vespers. One person commented that the Vespers was performed in such a transparent way that the genius of Mozart leapt out at him—the orchestra playing counterpoint to the chorus, as another voice, and not a unison.

may-5th-bronx

Having everyone’s best loved Italian Opera arias sung by African-American, Chinese, and Greek soloists definitely demonstrated the universal quality of great music, and thrilled the Italian-Americans in the audience, and several were heard to be singing along by the end.

Also in attendance was the Ambassador from Sri Lanka to the UN, who was recognized by the priest and by Dennis Speed in his welcoming remarks, who expressed a dedication to the memory of those who had perished in the Easter massacres in Sri Lanka, killing over 300 people, including children in Sunday School. In dedicating the concert to Lyndon LaRouche, Dennis quoted from LaRouche’s review of the Mozart opera La Clemenza di Tito, and spoke of Lyndon’s critical insights and support for the choral process in Manhattan.

“All Classical art speaks directly to you, as an individual personality; it addresses the question each of us must ask ourselves at some point in our lives, or perhaps even repeatedly,
‘Who am I, and what are we? Since we are all born, and shall die, what is the meaning of that individual existence we occupy between birth and death? What is the continuation of that life, even after we are dead?’ Thus, great Classical art touches the same issues as Christianity and the themes of Judaism treated by the great Moses Mendelssohn.

“So, Mozart speaks to you personally, through La Clemenza di Tito, from the operatic stage. “Mozart does not preach; he evokes the experience of the discovery of the principle of agapë within the cognitive experience of the individual member of the audience, by means of the unfolding, ironical development within the drama as a whole. In the history of Christianity, for example, it has been the similar re-experiencing of the Passion of Christ from Gethsemane through and beyond the Crucifixion, which has been the artistic quality of reliving that impassioned experience upon which the strength of Christianity has depended. There is perhaps no more conclusive demonstration of that, than is supplied by J.S. Bach’s
St. Matthew Passion.

“…At the time of his death, and earlier, Mozart was essentially a leading Christian of his time, as his Ave Verum Corpus expresses this principle of Classical artistic composition with wonderful succinctness.” 

Lyndon LaRouche

The chorus, now in its 5th year, has 80 members from Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and northern NJ, and the singers range in age from 27 to 89, and include college students, young professionals and retired people, a Chinese concert pianist, and a Bishop from a Church in Harlem, who also speaks German. They have all developed over the years, to the point that new members often flee, intimidated by the quality of the Manhattan rehearsal, and we have to call them back and assure them that many of the people they think sound so good, also couldn’t read music when they joined. (And many still can’t.)

The audience was largely from the neighborhood of the church, which is a very well-known Italian area, and has Italian shops, restaurants and bakeries which have been in the same families for over a century, in several cases. Italian-Americans from all over Westchester County, NJ and Connecticut come here to get their favorite Italian foods. These shop owners have been regular patrons of the chorus, buying ads in our programs for the last 3 years, and always asking us, “When are you going to hold a concert in the Bronx???” They were thrilled that we finally were at their church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The associate priest, who is from Ghana, loved every minute of the concert and asked us to come back. When we said, “Yes, maybe next year.” He said, “I wish you could be here every day!”

Video coming soon!

To find out more about the NYC Schiller Institute Chorus, visit sinycchorus.com.


At the Dawn of a Musical Revolution:

Mozart’s Solemn Vespers

The following was written by Schiller Institute music director, John Sigerson, who conducted the May 5 performance in New York City.

By the time he composed the Vesperae solennes de confessore in 1780, the 24-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was already a vastly accomplished composer who had produced 14 masses and hundreds of other works. Yet in this work, a setting of one of the most ancient offices of the Catholic Church, we experience vigorous new buds of a musical and scientific revolution—a revolution that today is making it possible to raise all humanity “out of the dust, and lift the needy out of the dunghill” (Psalm 113, “Laudate pueri”).

For today, we can celebrate the fact that the nation of Italy, cradle of the high Florentine Renaissance and of the Church, has reached out to officially join with history’s greatest movement to eliminate poverty worldwide, China’s “New Silk Road” or “Belt and Road” initiative, a policy grounded in Confucian principles which resonate with those of the best of the Western Christian humanist tradition.

“But wait a minute!” you might be saying to yourself. “How could a revolution in music possibly launch an economic plan to eliminate poverty worldwide?” The answer is both simple and complex: We are all human, and unlike other animals and inanimate things, our ability to make breakthroughs in our spiritual grasp of universal principles governing the created universe, enables us physically to devise new technologies, and also new forms of culture, to harness those principles for the betterment of all mankind. Every truly great physical scientist, from Nicholas of Cusa and Kepler to Einstein and Vernadsky, every great physical economist from Gottfried Leibniz and Alexander Hamilton to Lyndon LaRouche, and every great Classical composer from J.S. Bach to Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, well knew that connection.

The nature of what is best termed the Mozart-Haydn Revolution in Music, in fact occurred about two years after Mozart composed the Vespers, i.e. in 1781-82, when Mozart, who had just moved his family to Vienna, participated in discussions with Josef Haydn and others at the salon of Baron van Swieten, who from Berlin had brought back manuscripts of the virtually suppressed works of Johann Sebastian Bach. For both Mozart and Haydn, the explosive impact of Bach’s works such as The Musical Offering and The Art of the Fugue unleashed “a new way of composing” (in Haydn’s words), based not on melodic forms, but rather on more fundamental elements underlying those forms. This new method has been described by Norbert Brainin, the late first violinist of the legendary Amadeus Quartet, as Motivführung, or motivic thorough-composition; it frees all the voices in a composition to generate new forms in such a way, that it is not the sounds of the music—however pleasant they may be—but rather the underlying, soundless musical/poetic ideas which govern the development.

Returning to Mozart’s 1780 Vespers, in hindsight we see here the buds that bore that rich fruit, in relation both to J.S. Bach, but also to Mozart’s older friend Josef Haydn.

Take, for example, the second piece in the series, “Confitebor,” a setting of Psalm 111. Anyone who has heard J.S. Bach’s famous cantata “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” will immediately hear this echoed in the opening bars of the “Confitebor,” which also happens to be in the same key of E-flat Major. Had Mozart seen or heard that cantata? Probably not in performance. The original Lutheran hymn with that melody was first published in 1599 by Philipp Nicolai, and stood in many Lutheran hymnals. But more likely, is that it was suggested to Mozart directly, via a member of Bach’s large family which extended throughout Europe.

Consider this: In April 1778, J.S. Bach’s fourth son, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, traveled along with his own son Wilhelm to London, where he met up with his brother, Johann Christian Bach. Two years later, in 1780, J.C.F. Bach composed his own cantata “Wachet auf” as a tribute to his father, further developing its theme. We can only speculate that when he met his brother in London two years earlier, his plans to compose it were already ripening, and that it formed part of their discussions.

Now pursue the trail further: Five months later, in August 1778, Johann Christian Bach traveled to France, where he met 22-year-old Mozart at the estate of Louis, Maréchal de Noailles. (France had recognized the new American republic in April 1778; de Noailles was a backer of the American war against the British Empire, and his granddaughter’s husband had joined with Lafayette in George Washington’s army.) J.C. Bach, then 42, was a long-time mentor and friend of Mozart, having first met him in 1764 when Mozart’s father took the eight-year-old prodigy to London. Much later, Mozart’s sister Nannerl recollected that

“Herr Johann Christian Bach, music master of the queen, took Wolfgang between his knees. He would play a few measures; then Wolfgang would continue. In this manner they played entire sonatas. Unless you saw it with your own eyes, you would swear that just one person was playing.”

Could J.C. Bach have suggested the “Wachet auf” theme that his brother was working on, to his younger friend? Perhaps, perhaps not, but the facts alone already give an idea of the rich interpenetration of ideas among Europe’s greatest musical minds. The Vesperae solennes, far from being a “solemn” work which its title might suggest, is bubbling with optimism and kernels of ideas which he developed in his later works, especially his operas. In fact, these little idea-lets fly by so quickly, that one scarcely has time to take one in, before yet another cascades in.

In part, this lack of time to develop ideas was an evil from which Mozart was already plotting to escape, namely from the Bishop of Salzburg’s strict edict that no work of sacred music last longer than 30 minutes! Fortunately, we today do not have to adhere to the Bishop’s arbitrary rule, and so we shall take a bit longer than that, in the hope that you may manage to take in as many snatches as possible of these great ideas.


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