Schiller Institute NYC Conference: Inaugurating A New Paradigm—A Dialogue Of Civilizations
Schiller Institute NYC Conference: Inaugurating A New Paradigm—A Dialogue Of Civilizations, featuring remarks from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Schiller Institute founder and Chairwoman and Ben Wang, Senior Lecturer in Language & Humanities, China Institute.
DENNIS SPEED: My name is Dennis Speed, and on behalf of the Schiller Institute, I want to welcome everyone today to our conference inaugurating the New Paradigm, advancing the dialogue of civilizations. You could also refer to today's proceedings as the poetic principle in politics and art. It's sort of a two-day congress that we're holding; we're having a conference today, and a concert tomorrow in Brooklyn. These events are embedded, this dialogue is embedded in that process that's happening in the United States — the Presidential transition. The poet Percy Shelley, in the conclusion of his A Defense of Poetry asserted that poets are the "unacknowledged legislators of the world." Today, we seek and require that poetry, the poetic principle, be acknowledged at the necessary basis for statecraft and for a dialogue of civilizations.
Now the Schiller Institute was created as an attempt to introduce that principle into East-West relations back in 1983. But there was not really a vision in the U.S. government at that time for such a thing to occur. So Helga LaRouche, on her own, created and initiated that vision. This higher cultural idea was the actual basis, however, of what today you know as the World Land-Bridge, or the New Silk Road, or many other forms of proposals which are often referred to as economic proposals, or political proposals. But they are really policies for a new world cultural platform, and a higher conception of economics that would flow from that higher cultural conception. The General Welfare clause of the American Constitution is completely compatible with the concept of "win-win" cooperation that underlies the idea of the New Silk Road and the One Belt, One Road. The ideas, for example, that President Xi Jinping of China has been discussing. But, we need a cultural Silk Road as well.
For the last 20 years, Helga has been known as the Silk Road Lady because of the work that she did in China and in her speaking at a conference that happened at that time back in Beijing in June of 1996. Now more than ever, her contribution and the contribution that we made with respect to this idea of a dialogue of civilizations, will be the necessary basis for this new cultural paradigm. And so, it's always my honor to introduce the founder of the Schiller Institute, Helga LaRouche.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm very happy to greet you in this way, via video and "Hangout." But before I speak about this subject which Dennis mentioned — the dialogue of cultures; since we are living in so extremely dramatic times, let me spend a couple of minutes to situate the need for such a dialogue of cultures in the strategic situation.
Now, I think given the fact that you are in New York and in the United States, I don't have to tell you that the situation around the incoming new President can only be described as absolutely hysterical. I have never seen anything in my lifetime that you have a new elected President, who actually will come into the White House in all likelihood in six days; but the hysteria of the mainstream neo-liberal media and a large part of the political establishment on both sides of the Atlantic is not calming down. It seems that they still do not accept that there will be a new President.
Now this has everything to do with the fact that this is not an inner American incident alone, but the absolute surprising election for many, for most people, surprising election of Donald Trump is actually part of a global process which is underway; and which is not going to stop until the reasons for this process — which you can actually call a global revolution — until the causes are removed. Now if you remember, the Soviet Union only collapsed a quarter of a century ago; that is not a very long time in terms of real history. At that time, Fukuyama actually said this is the end of history; now the Western liberal democracy model has proven to be victorious over communism. In the future, there will no longer be a fight between ideas; the future will be characterized only by economic and technical problems, and therefore, it will be relatively boring.
He was obviously absolutely wrong; because this period of history, which I would say started with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and which led to what we call "globalization," is coming to an end. Or, has come to an end already. Now obviously, that process, which really started immediately with the broken promises of the United States and others not to expand NATO to the Russian border; which subsequently was broken many times. The recent deployment of U.S. and NATO troops and military equipment to the Russian borders is just the latest example of that.
So, that started practically immediately following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. But the real escalation of the financial dimension of this globalization occurred with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999; leading to the absolutely unrestricted speculation which then led subsequently to the crash of 2008, and which has now brought the world to the verge of another such crash, but much bigger and more dangerous.
So, what has happened now in the recent period is that the people who were the victims of these changes — where the billionaires became more rich, the poor became more poor, and the middle class increasingly vanished in many countries — there has been a revolt against that. Because the people who have come to the conclusion that with this system of globalization, they would not have a future, they started to revolt; and the first massive demonstration of this revolt was the Brexit, the exit of Great Britain from the EU in June of last year. The next major manifestation of that was the vote for Trump; where especially the people in the American "rust belt" and other areas where people felt they had no future with this system, voted against the tradition of Bush-Cheney, Obama, and so with Hillary as a clear continuation of that policy. Then, a couple of weeks later, the "no" to the referendum in Italy against the EU bureaucracy was an expression of the same process. It will continue, because this year — 2017 — there will be many elections in Europe, where you will see the same kind of dynamic in process.
The trans-Atlantic establishment was completely shocked. First about the Brexit, then about the Trump victory. It was very clear that from day one, they did not accept that. It was quite amazing to see that they expressed shock, they expressed dismay; they used the unbelievable language against the elected President of the United States. They did not accept it, but they also did not want to look at the reasons why this election result had occurred. So, they decided to replace the truth with a new narrative; the new narrative being that Russia stole the election by hacking the DNC, by hacking Podesta. Naturally what they didn't want people to be reminded of anymore was that if anybody stole the election, then it was the DNC stealing the election from Bernie Sanders; but that was sort of pushed under the carpet, and instead you had the absolute accusations that Russia hacked the election process. That it was Russia favoring Trump, and therefore Russia really stole the election; which is quite an admission all by itself, and quite ludicrous. But that is what they decided to go with.
Naturally, there was never any evidence presented for this. Then parallel to the Russian hacking story as such, a British agent, formerly of MI6 — British intelligence — Christopher Steele, started to put together a 35-page report with unbelievable allegations against Trump. I do not even want to give it the honor to repeat it here, it's totally ludicrous; again, no evidence. This report was available to all the media already in the election period — September, October; it was given to the FBI, but nobody touched it because it was so clear to everybody that there was absolutely no evidence to it.
So then, basically eventually the same paper was given by McCain to the FBI again, and only after Trump had said that he believed Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, more than the U.S. intelligence services. All hell broke loose, and the three intelligence chiefs — Clapper, Brennan, and Comey — first briefed the U.S. Senate, then President Obama, and finally Trump, with the so-called "evidence" of this Russian hacking. They made a 2-page summary of the 35 pages of this report by Christopher Steele, and added that into the material that they gave to Trump. That particular act — they gave this completely ridiculous report the integrity of being part of the official intelligence; then that triggered CNN to publish it. Then the internet firm BuzzFeed also, then all the media; and the whole thing broke out wide in the open. This occurred exactly the evening before the first press conference by Donald Trump.
Obviously, this is an unbelievable story; even French official intelligence people, like Eric Denécé, who is an official of French intelligence, said it is simply that the American establishment fears that with the new administration comes in a big clean-out, and they will lose their privileges and economic benefits. So therefore, they oppose it; but there is absolutely no evidence for it.
I think there is a deeper level to this whole thing; and that is the fact that what Donald Trump is threatening is that the unipolar world which the neo-cons and the neo-liberals have been building since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which went along with regime change, color revolution, wars based on lies against all countries that would not submit to the idea of a unipolar world run by the British and the American government.
Now Trump, as you know, has promised that he would remedy the relationship with Russia; and despite some tensions, there are also signs, that he may actually find quite good cooperation with China. Especially when he wants to realize the $1 trillion investment in rebuilding the American infrastructure; he already received offers from China to cooperate. He had an excellent discussion with the CEO of Alibaba, the large e-commerce firm of China. He met with Jack Ma; and they agreed to invest together in another $1 trillion investment. So the signs are actually quite good.
Naturally, if the United States would cooperate with Russia, and have a decent relationship with China, then naturally the entire game plan to have this unipolar world — or call it globalization, which is just another word for Anglo-American financial empire — would go out of the window. So, that is why they are trying to undo this election of Donald Trump; and you can see very clearly it is direct intervention by the British. So therefore, it's not a question of party against party; or it's not a question of nation against nation. It is the old dying paradigm of the British Empire — if you equal that with globalization — clearly reacting to the emergence of the New Paradigm. Now that New Paradigm, however, is already very strong; and it is moving very rapidly.
China has initiated this New Paradigm with this New Silk Road policy and has offered a "win-win" cooperation to all countries who want to cooperate. Already, more than 70 nations are engaged with China in huge infrastructure projects, projects of scientific cooperation, the most advanced technologies, space cooperation, and other such things. It's already 12 times the size of the Marshall Plan of the postwar period; and every day, new exciting breakthroughs are being reported. On Tuesday of this past week, the first railway between Djibouti and Addis Abeba started to function; this is a rail line of 750 km. It is now clear that China has engaged in making a feasibility study of the Lake Chad project, Transaqua; which is the idea to save Lake Chad, where the water has now shrunk to 10% of its previous levels. It's endangering the lives of about 40 million people living in the Chad basin. To undo that, reverse that, fill up Lake Chad with water coming from the Congo River area; by using about 3-4% of the unused water which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. But not taking from the mouth of the Congo, but taking it from the tributaries of the Congo River; and in that way, using gravity of 500-meter difference in height, to refill Lake Chad. This will affect the lives of 12 nations; it will give a navigable waterway, it will give hydropower, it will create large amounts of land for irrigation and agriculture. So, it is a fantastic development.
Similarly, news is coming that the Kra Canal, which will shorten the trip between the Pacific and the [indian] Oceans, which will be one of the absolute hubs for 3 billion people in Southeast Asia and South Asia, is also now on the agenda to be built. These are all projects we have been fighting for, for 20, 30, 40 years; so all of this is extremely positive and good.
Together with this ridiculous Fukuyama story about the end of history, 25 years ago, you had Samuel Huntington predicting that with the collapse of the communist system, however, you would still have a clash of civilizations. He claimed that the axioms of the different religions and civilizations would be so different, that there never could be unity and harmony for the human race. He wrote an absolutely absurd book called Clash of Civilizations. That is equally as wrong as Fukuyama was wrong; because with the win-win economic cooperation of the New Silk Road, you have the possibility of having a dialogue of cultures on the highest level. That is exactly what the Schiller Institute is promoting with conferences like this. The basic idea is that if all the people would just know the most beautiful expressions of the high phases of the other culture, they would love the other culture, because they would feel so enriched and recognize that it is a beauty that we have many cultures. It would be very boring if only one civilization; and especially the Western liberal one is not exactly attractive. Therefore, if you look at the Confucian tradition in China, Mencius, the literati painting; or you look at the Vedic writings, or the Gupta Sanskrit drama tradition in India. The Indian renaissance of Tagore, Sri Aurobindo; or you look at the Italian Renaissance, you look at the German Classical period in music, in literature — especially in music from Bach to Beethoven to Brahms. These are contributions to universal history which, once every nation knows the best expressions of the other one, I'm absolutely certain that all conflicts will absolutely disappear; and we will have a rich, universal culture consisting of many national expressions and traditions. But still being united by universal principles of art and science.
Now, the other dimension which must come to this dialogue of cultures, or dialogue of civilizations is a look into the future. Not only back to the best traditions, but a look to where mankind should be in 100 years, in 1,000 years from now. There, it is very clear that the natural next phase of evolution is space — travel, research, cooperation, colonization of space. If you think that in the long arc of evolution, life developed from the oceans with the help of photosynthesis, to land; you had higher forms of species developing with higher forms of energy-flux density in their metabolisms. Eventually, man arrived; man started to move from the rivers and ocean coasts inland, with the help of infrastructure, and opened up the landlocked areas. Now, we are at that point where the New Silk Road becoming the World Land-Bridge is completely that phase of the evolution.
So, the natural next phase of the evolution is the development of nearby space in the first period; and then further space travel as we develop the technologies to do so, with the help of fusion energy and similar technologies. Man will expand in space; and then we will no longer be just an Earth-bound species, but we will be a cosmo-political species if you want. That will then lead to a completely new knowledge about the identity of the human species.
We are in that period of a real epochal change; a New Paradigm, where I am absolutely certain mankind is about to become adult. Wars will absolutely be a question of the past; it will be not worthy of the beautiful human species which has so much creativity to still discover. We are just at the embryonic stage of mankind.
Anyway, I just wanted to share these ideas with you, because if Trump sticks to his guns, if he can defeat this assault against him; and if you can help to bring the United States into the New Paradigm — working with Russia, working with China — the future will be absolutely fantastic! So, that is really what I wanted to tell you.
SPEED: Thank you, Helga. The proposal "The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge" has been published by us in English; it's been published by friends of ours in Chinese; published with the assistance of various forces in Egypt in Arabic. So this exemplifies itself, this dialogue and the process that we have already initiated.
Helga has limitations in time, and what we're going to do now, is we're going to entertain a couple of things. John Sigerson's here; I'd like John to come to the microphone.
JOHN SIGERSON: Hi. For those people who don't know me, I'm John Sigerson, music director of Schiller Institute.
The hysteria around the Russian hacking reminds me most strongly of the situation in 1986, when two LaRouche activists won the Democratic primaries for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State in the state of Illinois. That unleashed a furor where every single media outlet picked up a lie that it was Lyndon LaRouche and his associates who were responsible for the recent assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. And it was truly incredible, the Big Lie that happened then. I just wanted to point that out.
But to get to my main question, I was recently in Washington meeting with congressional staffers, and in the process of that, I think I figured out what the big roadblock in Congress is. [laughter] In the remaining banter in the process of these meetings, I pointed out that I would be very interested in — I was pointing out that it would be very nice to found some kind of a chorus amongst the congressional staffers and maybe the congressmen and the senators themselves; because they really don't have anything like that. And in every single case, the staffer whom I was talking with said, "Well, that sounds like a wonderful idea, but I can't sing!"
So I think that in the process of learning to sing, we might be able to make some real progress.
But coming back to these meetings more seriously, what I was doing was briefing the staffers on the two events that we had here in Manhattan and in New Jersey, commemorating and giving condolence to the Russian people for the deaths of 92 people, including the large majority of the Alexandrov Ensemble, who were on their way in a jet plane to Syria.
For those people who don't know, that jet went down on our Christmas Day. A number of days afterwards, the Schiller Institute participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Russian consulate here in Manhattan, and we sang, in Russian, the Russian National Anthem. And this video went completely viral on Russian internet media, resulting in nearly 500,000 views and a flood, an outpouring of comments from Russians, thanking us for show that there are Americans who really don't believe in this crazy hysteria that's going on.
And then later on, on January 7th, which happens to be the Russian Orthodox Christmas, in collaboration with many organization including most prominently the New York City Police Department, we held a wreath-laying ceremony at the famous Tear Drop Monument [in Bayonne, New Jersey] which had been contributed by the Russians to commemorate 9/11. And I pointed out to the congressmen and their staffers that what is really required, in all of the things that we do right now, including the adoption of Glass-Steagall and other things, is that it's not so much a question of what we do, specifically, the legislation that we pass, but what it is is the intention behind what we do, and that the kind of messages that, say, Valery Gergiev gave when he went to Palmyra, to perform in a city in Syria which had just been recently liberated from the ISIS terrorists, and these kinds of gestures are absolutely necessary in order to send a message to the Russians and to the Chinese, that indeed there is an intention in the United States to collaborate, and that that is actually what China and Russia are waiting for.
And I would like you to comment on that, and on giving any idea of other kinds of messages that the American population and the American Congress can send to China and Russia, to give this sense that there's really going to be a change and that we can really do this. Thank you.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, there are obviously many things one can think of. But since you mentioned the '86 parallel, which is really absolutely to the point, I would like to answer the question in the following way:
What Trump is now experiencing is really what I would call "the LaRouche treatment." Because, my husband who is very, well known to many of you, he was a Presidential candidate several times; and the way how he was treated by the United States, including his illegal and criminal incarceration by the Bush family, I still think that the fact that because of this criminal campaign against him, the American people have been deprived of the most beautiful and most important ideas expressed by any living Americans in our time. And the fact that the United States is today in such a terrible condition, with a shrinking life-expectancy, with an increased suicide rate, alcoholism, drug epidemics, all of this is the result that because of this campaign committed by the Bush apparatus the American people could not clearly look at these ideas and adopt them. And the United States would be quite a different place today, if this would not have happened.
Now, the difference is, in the case of LaRouche, the British Empire and their British puppets in the United States were able to carry it out sort of clandestinely, in the way how spooks operate, with fake news, what you mentioned about the so-called Palme assassination was a classical case of a fake news, but many, many other fake news around LaRouche as well. And I think the best message to be sent, because there is a different America, would be that if this attack on Trump which is now occurring, not clandestinely, but it is all out in the open! The British Empire is personally showing its hand. Christopher Steele, MI6, former British ambassadors, are all openly speaking.
So it is really the time to straighten out the history: You know, America was made against that British Empire, the American Revolution was a revolution against that British Empire has subverted the American establishment and convinced the elites to rule the world as an empire based on the Anglo-American "special relationship."
Now the only way how people in the rest of the world will have confidence that the United States is again becoming a republic, would go also together with the rehabilitation of Lyndon LaRouche. Because I do not think this injustice which was done to, in my view, and you'll permit me to say it because I'm saying it, because I'm his wife, but I'm also saying it also saying it in the full estimate of his personality — if the rightful place of Lyndon LaRouche would be given by forces inside the United States, it would be the best message for China and for Russia, because it would prove that people are becoming serious.
SPEED: I want to ask to come to the microphone now, Mr. Faek Sadiki [ph], who's a member of a Pakistani think tank.
Q: Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, indeed it's an honor, a pleasure being part of this wonderful, beautiful event.
My name is Faek Sadiki [ph]. I'm a host on a Pakistani TV channel, TVOne, where we discuss political and social problems, whatever is happening around the world, and whatever is happening in America; whatever is happening with American Muslims, these are our subjects. [inaudible] asked me to recite a poetry. All of us, — not all of us, but most of us have an affinity towards poetry, and I believe that. And I will recite a poem here, the poet is from Pakistan; his name is Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and he was awarded, in 1962, one of the most prestigious awards, at that time, the Lenin Peace Award.
He was a genius, and very dignified man, and so many people, he has so many friends, and he's greatly admired in India, Pakistan, and all over in South Asia. His name was Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
The concept behind this poem is this: The poet is a young man. He's in love with a girl, and he's pressing all the time about her beauty, but all of a sudden, one day he thinks and he gets so sensual about the calamities taking place in the world, where people are hungry, where people are in blood, and where people are dying, and he devotes his thinking, instead of loving her, he now is thinking more about how to help those needy people. And this is the main concept of this poem, that he's in love, and then, all of a sudden, he moves his thinking and how he expresses himself.
He goes like this: [as heard]
"O my love,
O my love! Don't ask me for the love I once gave you
O my love.
I thought that life will shine eternally, one million years if I had you.
Spring becomes long lasting in the world, only because of your face!
Except your eyes, nothing is there in this world to see.
Except your eyes, nothing is there in this world to see
If I found you, my fate would bow before me!
This was not how I wanted, wished to happen
O my love, don't ask me for the love I once gave you.
Not only grief of love, the world is full of sorrows, heartache
There's happiness other than the joy of union,
The dark magic of uncountable dark years, woven in satin, silk and brocade,.
In every lane bodies' flesh is sold in market
Covered in dust, bought in blood,
Bodies retrieved from the furnace of diseases,
Pus discharged, flowing from their rotten ulcer.
What can I do? Sometimes I my eyes look in their direction also.
Even now, your beauty is magical, tantalizing, but, what can we do?
Even now, your beauty is magical, tantalizing, but what can be done?
Not only grief of love the world is full of, the sorrows, heartache
There is happiness other than the joy of union.
O my love, don't ask me for the love I once gave you."
This was his poetry. And this man was a very sweet and humble man. His message was this: That in this world, we should treat everyone with justice and justice should be for all of us. I thank you very much. [applause]
SPEED: Helga, how are you doing on time? I just want to make sure we don't stretch you out too much.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I can take one more question, if somebody has one.
Q: Helga, this is Rick from Bergen County, New Jersey. On the webcast last night, some people brought up the issue of in the Hamiltonian program, not simply considering this to be an infrastructure issue but rather a "platform." So raising the level of the discussion from simply talking about for example fixing the 35,000 bridges that engineers claim are structurally deficient the United States, but rather putting the whole thing into a broader concept.
Formerly, we had the Reconstruction Finance Corp. and one of the principles was the projects that would be embarked upon would carry the means of repaying the credit that was issued, in order to finance those projects. It seems to me a lot of people have trouble understanding that concept.
In your experience with the New Silk Road, have they set things up, do you see that financing mechanism being successful in that the investments are bringing back a return in the form of additional taxes, or other forms of revenues in the fact that new businesses will be set up along the Silk Road? Have you experienced that? Can you say anything about that?
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, obviously, infrastructure investment is not bringing returns back in the same year of 25% as Josef Ackermann, of Deutsche Bank, had demanded a couple of years ago. But infrastructure investments are long-term and sometimes take years and decades before they show the needed return. However, given the fact the AIIB and the New Development Bank only started to really operate last year it is really too early. But what one can see very clearly is that these projects are being built with an unbelievable speed; I mentioned the Djibouti-Addis Abeba rail line. There are many rail lines, fast rail lines; China wants to have, alone in China, by the year 2020, that is less than four years from now, 50,000 km high-speed rail, connecting all the major cities of China. And the New Silk Road is really the offer to take this Chinese model of economic development and give it to every country which wants to cooperate.
So if the United States would decide to go in the same direction, and Trump has promised he would invest $1 trillion, you could have a fast train system in the United States connecting all major cities in a couple of years from now, using the best technologies, maglev and other systems, and you would see that the role of infrastructure is not that it is profitable, as such, but that it creates the environment for middle-level industry, for basically productive firms to prosper.
I think the most important thing for the United States right now is a serious effort to increase the productivity of the labor force. Because you have almost 100 million people who are unemployed, but do not even show up in the statistics, because they have given up the hope to ever join the labor force again; then you have these unbelievable figures of increasing illiteracy, functional illiteracy, you have drug addiction; you have suicide as a result of either drug addiction, alcoholism, depression because of hopelessness for the future, and that has to be addressed with a real serious education program, a CCC program for the youth, and I think the biggest challenge is really there. Because even if one assumes, which I do, that Trump has the best intentions to do that, I think that there are probably many people in his team who still are of the old school of "money makes money," profit is something to be had, Wall Street type measures.
And you know, the American System of economy, as compared to the British system, really goes back to the idea of Hamilton and Carey, and such economists who have made very clear that the only source of wealth is the increase in the productivity of the labor force, caused by an increase of the creativity of individual human being. And that requires a lot: The whole education system must be changed. You have to throw out algorithms, you have to throw out mathematics, you have to go back to basic scientific discovery. You have to go to a Classical culture. And I think that that is so absolutely important why the Schiller Institute must really be a guiding force in this process, because you know, the popular culture in the United States is so detrimental to the idea of creativity, that I think we have to really intervene in this situation in a very, very powerful way. Because I think it can be done. I think Trump probably will go about it very energetically; I think he's a good businessman, I think he will have the right connections with forces internationally, if I take this meeting with Jack Ma as an example.
But it takes a lot more to get the population to the kind of scientific rigorous thinking, as you have seen it in the last time in the United States, really, in the Kennedy period with the Apollo program, and before that with Franklin D. Roosevelt. And in between you have 50 years where things went absolutely in the wrong direction, and that is a huge and gigantic job. It requires a national mobilization and international cooperation to turn this around.
SPEED: So Helga, as I said, I know that you've got to be going. I want to thank you for being able to address us today. We're going to continue here, and one of the things we'll do in just a moment is go to the requested poetic transition that we'll make.
So I just think everybody should join me in thanking Helga for being with us for this session. [applause]