Schiller Institute Strategic Seminar
"Will the U.S. Join the New Silk Road?
‘A Whole Different Conception
This is an edited transcript of Kesha Rogers’ presentation to the Schiller Institute’s June 8 Strategic Seminar in San Francisco, “Will the United States Join the New Silk Road?” The video of this presentation can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGQGkU-U1fI
Kesha Rogers, the LaRouche PAC Policy Committee leader based in Houston, Texas, was twice elected the Democratic Party nominee for the Congressional District that includes the Houston Space Center. She is leading the campaign for the revival of the U.S. Space Program shut down by Barack Obama.
I’m here and we’re going to talk!
It was a blessing when Mr. LaRouche asked me to lead the campaign to revive the Space Program, because the Space Program is at the heart of our nation’s potential contribution to the world, once we choose to return to space, as we must.
I agree with what Helga Zepp-LaRouche said at the beginning of her presentation: There is currently no discussion of the war policy which threatens the extinction of mankind. It must be addressed now. I also agree with Senator Gravel, who said earlier that Obama’s military provocations and his drive towards war threaten our very existence.
That also gets to the question of where the policy of shutting down NASA has come from. I ran for Congress against Obama’s destruction of our Space Program. But why is it that now, none of the presidential candidates, even Sen. Bernie Sanders, has the policy that we as a nation must resume mankind’s mission in space? We must reject the compromises which have been made with this President and his policy of dismantling the Space Program; we must recognize that that policy is a threat to human existence itself. The fact of the matter is, that not only do these Presidential candidates not have a space policy, but that they have continued to capitulate to President Obama’s policy of war, and to capitulate to President Obama’s policy of not collaborating with nations which represent the interest of who we are as a human species, particularly in space exploration.
Mr. LaRouche has long understood this: What we need right now is a transformation of our identity as a human species, and the best way to achieve that is through the understanding of mankind’s role in the exploration and conquest of space. Now, what the Space Program represents is not just the technological aspect, not just the development of new technologies, but it gets at the very philosophy that governs the fabric of our human existence. It is important to make that point clear. I know that there are a people here today who have very technical backgrounds, and who are probably more competent in various scientific aspects of the Space Program than I am. But what I would like to offer in this dialogue and discussion, is what has been lost in the shutdown of the Space Program from the standpoint of what the great German space pioneer, Krafft Ehricke, contributed.
Why is it that Krafft Ehricke was a great collaborator of ours, and someone who became very close to Mr. LaRouche and Mr. LaRouche’s thinking,— and to our movement’s thinking concerning the policy that governs the understanding of space exploration? Indeed, it governs not just space exploration, but the destiny of who we are as a species, as mankind. We have accepted a system of limitations imposed on mankind; in reality, there are no limitations to be imposed on mankind.
Krafft Ehricke was a German scientist who came to the United States and worked as part of Operation Paperclip, with scientists such as Wernher von Braun and others who had worked on the V-2 rocket in Germany.
Now, what is fascinating about Ehricke, is that he did not believe in or accept the conditions of being “practical” or of doing that which is acceptable, per se. He had a different concept, a different philosophy to understand and govern the relationships among nations, peoples, and the cosmos and the Solar system as a whole. He put forward the conception of nations moving from their understanding of the limitations of a single planet, a one-globe planet, to a “polyglobal” world. Now if we are going to defend ourselves as nations, as human beings, we have to look at what Russia, China, and other nations are doing to initiate what Krafft Ehricke understood as the emergence of a poly-global world, as our destiny in a world that expands out into the outer reaches of our Solar System, and that actually rejects the limitations imposed on mankind.
Ehricke understood, first of all, what would lead to a society which accepts dictatorship, a society which accepts chauvinistic policies in the political realm, or a society that accepts the dismantling of nations, or nations being divided. He saw that there were two opposing views of society. One he called an “open-world” conception of mankind, which rejects limitations imposed on mankind, while the other view was what he called a “closed-world” conception. I’ll discuss these in just a moment. He understood this also because he lived through those conditions in World War II Germany, and also understood why some accepted the policies of fascism under Hitler.
Krafft Ehricke’s identity was really formed when, as a child, at the age of twelve, he was introduced to the work of the great German space pioneer and scientist Hermann Oberth. He also saw Fritz Lang’s movie “The Woman in the Moon,” and this completely transformed his life.
He studied aeronautical engineering at Technological University of Berlin in 1938. He was drafted and sent to France. There he was run over by a tank, and had his leg broken in several places. Back in Berlin to recover, he continued his studies in engineering, and continued to promote, even through the horrors of Nazism and war, the importance of the exploration of space, where mankind would soon go.
After recovering, he was sent to Russia, in a tank unit. But what happened was that in 1942, because of the papers he was publishing on rocket design and some of his other works, he was called to work with von Braun and others at the Peenemünde V-2 rocket facility.
Later, Krafft Ehricke learned that his entire unit had been wiped out in Russia. Much of what we accomplished in space, and much of what we will accomplish in the future, would probably not have happened if he had stayed in Russia to be killed with the rest of his unit.
I find him very remarkable because, despite all this, when the first team of scientists was sent to the United States, to Fort Bliss, Texas, he declined to go. This was right after the war. He declined because he had a wife in Berlin. He was in Bavaria at the time. He walked for 30 days because, remember, all the infrastructure had been wiped out,— 30 days to the capital, Berlin, to find his wife. After that, they left for the U.S.
A Fight Worth Fighting
That history is relevant, because the determination of a human mind, the determination of a single individual to make such contributions, points to our creative potential as human beings to overcome any obstacles and to fight for that which is truly human; and that’s what Krafft Ehricke represents. That’s what our organization, and what Mr. LaRouche has continued to fight for.
What Ehricke made clear, was his understanding of the importance of his conception of space exploration, which has to be the model for why we fight on for the development of space: It is not simply for the sake of the technological advances, although they are useful; but he had a different idea.
Here is an example. Ehricke wrote: “The concept of space travel carries with it enormous impact, because it challenges man on practically all fronts of his physical and spiritual existence. The idea of travelling to other celestial bodies reflects to the very highest degree the independence and agility of the human mind. It lends ultimate dignity to man’s technical and scientific endeavors. Above all, it touches on the philosophy of his very existence. As a result, the concept of space travel disregards national borders, refuses to recognize differences of historical or ethnological origins, and penetrates the fiber of one sociological or political creed as fast as that of the next.”
I think that what we are seeing right now points towards the emergence of a new conception of mankind, a new era, a new paradigm for mankind represented by what Russia and China are doing, which half of humanity is now moving toward. It is the only choice, the only option that we have right now for a renewed conception of who we are as a species. None of this political stuff is going to suffice. No other lower conception will suffice.
Today’s trans-Atlantic system lurching towards war under British Empire puppet Obama, stands for a no-growth policy, and for crippling limitations imposed on mankind. Contrast that with the open-world system which Krafft Ehricke defines as the removal of limitations. With that we can actually take the economic expansion that we are seeing right now centered in Eurasia, and not only spread that for expansion throughout the world, but throughout our Solar System as well.
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So, let’s take a look at this for a second, because the philosophy of a closed world system has been a dominant one, but now that dominant philosophy is under attack and is being removed. [Figure 1]
This is the debate that is well worth having right now in any sort of political setting, whether Democratic, Republican, or whatever. This is the question of the human debate over who we are, and what our mission and destiny as a human species is. It is this which connects all of us, whatever our backgrounds, to a better understanding of what our contributions to the future of mankind must be. We must ask what are going to be the contributions we make to those future generations, those children not yet born; we must ask and study and find the answers. This mission must replace the present trans-Atlantic system headed for the annihilation of all humanity through thermonuclear war.
I’ve had my handy associate, my husband, put together these charts for me: These are charts which are enhanced from Ehricke’s work, from a schematic that he made in the 1970s, on the principle of a growth versus no-growth world, open-world versus closed-world system. If you think about the growth paradigm: It rejects the view of society based on limits to growth imposed on mankind, and actually rejects the entropic worldview. You can also see that it’s moving upwards in terms of developments around advances in technology and advances in global society, looking towards what we would call a maximum open-world system.
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It’s fascinating, because Ehricke was really forecasting what was to come, in terms of the acceptance of a society of bestiality, of chauvinistic views, of geopolitical policies, and all the rest of what he understood were the poisonous consequences of the Club of Rome’s no-growth policy. This is not the nature of who we are as a human species.
And also, he forecast [Figure 2] what we see as the move into a polyglobal world, which is being led by Russia and China. What you see here are the consequences of a growth paradigm. This growth paradigm today is the emergence of the 40-year fight of Mr. and Mrs. LaRouche around the Silk Road development plan, and the policy for space exploration. The travel to the far side of the Moon will become a new, total transformation of mankind in the coming two years, when China reaches that goal, never accomplished before.
Opportunities Before Us
I won’t go through all of these projects. The two red dots are Russia’s and China’s new space launch centers; the long purple line there that goes from China to Duisburg, Germany, is the rail connection and corridors of development there; you have also the development around the South-North Water Projects of China in the blue there; and also the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran, involving India and Afghanistan.
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This, then, is the growth paradigm that rejects the limitations that have been imposed on mankind. Now on the other side, Ehricke knew what would happen if we didn’t move in that direction. [Figure 3] These are the consequences of a no-growth system, of a no-growth paradigm which insists that there are limited resources, which accepts the winding-down of our system, and the idea that there are limitations that can be imposed on the progress of mankind.
He made this very clear. If you look at this, you see that this is exactly where we are today in the trans-Atlantic system, under the policies promoted by the British and promoted by President Obama. If you accept this no-growth paradigm, the results will be extreme poverty, mass starvation, and wars. This is what we see in the NATO escalation and provocations toward war on the Baltic Sea, and what we are seeing in the South China Sea. Ehricke was right on the mark in his understanding of what happens to a society that allows for the elimination of our creative identity as a species, and accepts geopolitical and other policies that say that human beings are nothing more than beasts.
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This closed-world system, at this very moment, is being rejected by Russia and China and their allies. [Figure 4] Think of the development plans being furthered by Russia and China, India, and throughout the world, including the water development projects, the projects for high-speed rail systems, and the expansion into space exploration. Think why it is that that represents a threat to the no-growth policies that we’re seeing here. Think in this connection of the hotspots of provocations of war. And these are just a few—but you get the picture: If you took that other growth map, and what we’re seeing in these development plans, and put this on top of it, you know why that represents a threat to the empire’s drive toward a war of extinction and annihilation, and why this has to be stopped now.
How Will We Do It?
I think we have a great potential and opportunity before us. I want to look very directly and clinically at why Mrs. LaRouche said that the absence of the discussion of the threat imposed on mankind cannot be accepted,— because until we discuss this threat, we will not be able to solve the problem. We must activate our human ability to transcend this threat to mankind’s very existence. And we have the potential to do that. We have the potential to actually take mankind to a new level of cooperation that has long been forgotten. That’s what we are seeing right now, and it requires the renewed creativity of who we are as human beings, of who we are in terms of our understanding of what we have to bring about for the future.
If you look at what it is that we have to create, it means that we have to look into the future right now, and most people don’t have that conception any longer, because they’ve lost a sense of our creative identity. We’re thinking about the “now,”— how do I survive? What am I going to survive on? How am I going to make my next paycheck? But Ehricke had a different idea about mankind: that the threat of starvation, and all of what we’re facing right now,— all of what people think are unsolvable problems on Earth,— are absolutely solvable, if we come together around an understanding of our extraterrestrial imperative as a species. Then we can solve these problems by rejecting the limitations that have been imposed on us, as we go out into our destiny in space.
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Courtesy of Krafft Ehricke
Courtesy of Krafft Ehricke
This is an artist’s painting from a drawing by Ehricke of a Moon colony. [Figure 5] It’s interesting that recently there’s been a lot of discussion related to this. At a recent conference, the head of the European Space Agency made the point of the importance of mankind going out into space, and said that we have to develop villages on the Moon and that our destiny is the colonization of Mars. This is also something that is being discussed right now by the Chinese, who want to send astronauts to the Moon by 2036. It is something that China and Russia are working on in collaboration, and other nations around the world are pursuing.
You ask, “How are we going to do that?” Well, we’re going to do that because we’re going to vastly increase what we can do to solve the problems here on Earth, by understanding the resources that exist within our Solar System,— such as the development of helium-3 on the Moon, which is a very important resource to develop for fusion power. [Figure 6] This is a lunar freighter that would allow for bringing different resources to the Moon. A flotilla of vehicles will go to the Moon, to develop the Moon, and develop the resources on the Moon that will allow us to expand on to Mars and other planetary bodies.
Now Ehricke was a pioneer of new chemical fuels for rockets; most important was the liquid hydrogen fuel of the Centaur rocket which was critical to the U.S. Space Program. But he had realized as early as the 1940s, that our exploration into space was going to have to be done through developing nuclear power resources.
So, he had a creative imagination that took the mind of man out of the swamp which says that we cannot solve these problems, and that we must impose limitations on ourselves; because he made very clear that the philosophy of man rejects this conception, the philosophy of our human species rejects this conception.
What eliminates the conflicts which pit nation against nation and family against family, is mankind’s collaboration around the development of space exploration. You just think about it: There on the Moon there’s not going to be a territory for Russia, a territory for China, a territory for India, and so forth. There are not going to be nuclear weapons on the Moon. There’s going to be a whole different conception of mankind. And that’s something that people can’t even imagine now, because we’ve become so accepting of this closed-world system, of this one-world system, that we have lost sight of the fact that our human species has a destiny!
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And that destiny can only be understood through the spark within us that is the reason we fight for a Space Program, that spark which is the reason that we now have the opportunity to put an end, once and for all, to the geopolitical view of the world, which has brought us almost to the annihilation of mankind. [Figure 7]
I hope I have given you something to think about. We have the opportunity to overcome these challenges, if we choose to do the right thing, which is located in our conception of what is going to unify us as a species, what’s going to develop and expand our human species to a level that has never been known before. I think Russia and China, and the nations joining them, are ready to do that, and have made a commitment to do that. The question is whether the American people, whether you are ready to do that.
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