2015 Silk-Road International Academic Conference
Gyeongju, South Korea
August 21, 2015
Presentation for Panel 7: Future Vision of the Silk Road
A New Era of Mankind Where We Become Truly Human
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
This is the text of a presentation by Schiller Institute Founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche to the 2015 Silk-Road International Academic Conference--How to Establish Silk-Road Studies as an Independent Discipline of Research--in Gyeongju, South Korea, the ancient capital of Korea, on Aug. 21. It was presented by Mike Billington on Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche’s behalf.
When we are talking about the New Silk Road as a vision for the future, we should see it as a synonym not only for a new just economic order, and emphatically as the basis for a peace order for the Twenty-first Century, based on completely different economic and scientific principles than the previous system of globalization, but also as a new paradigm concerning the identity of the human species as the only creative species known so far in the universe.
Concerning the first aspect, in respect to the new economic system, tremendous progress has been made with the recent BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summits. In these meetings, the integration of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt Policy, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) transport system, were agreed upon, which will bring tremendous benefits to all peoples of Eurasia. Through new banking arrangements, such as those of the Asian Infrastructure Bank, the New Development Bank, the SCO Bank, the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation Bank, the New Silk Road Fund, the Maritime Silk Road Fund, and the BRICS Contingency Reserve Arrangement,—all devoted to investments in the real economy and to fight off speculation,—a completely new economic and financial order has gotten well underway, which, in terms of human and natural resources and potential, represents the locomotive of the future world economy. (See Slide 1)
Both President Putin and President Xi Jinping, have emphasized that, while the BRICS is an organization of its own, they are open to collaboration with all other nations, including the United States, as well as European and Asian countries. President Xi Jinping has called this an all-inclusive “win-win” policy, in which all participating nations will enjoy mutual benefits. President Putin has reiterated that openness. The concept of the New Silk Road is therefore the most important strategic initiative, because it is the only available policy on the table to overcome the idea of geopolitics, which was the basis for the two World Wars in the Twentieth Century.
The prospect that nations, or a group of nations, would have legitimate geopolitical interests which would pit them against each other, must be replaced with the idea that there is a higher level of reason, on which historical, ethnic, or other conflicts disappear. Mankind must be defined in this way, for the first time in its history, by the common aims of the human species.
From Financial Crisis to War
This is not some vision for the far-distant future, but it is the indispensable basis for an immediate intervention into the strategic situation today, because there is an acute danger of a blowout of the trans-Atlantic financial system which would be much more dangerous than the collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG in September 2008. Directly related to that, is the danger of the escalation of the confrontation between NATO, and Russia and China, into what could become a global thermonuclear war.
“Doomsday Clock for Global Market Crash Strikes One Minute to Midnight as Central Banks Lose Control,” was one headline in the British Daily Telegraph on August 18th, being symptomatic of a general recognition among financial analysts that today there exist all the markers of the situation before the crash in September 2008. But today the too-big-to-fail banks are an average of 40% larger, their derivative exposure is around 80% bigger, and the so-called tool box of the central banks is empty, since the interest rates are already at about zero percent, and quantitative easing has been going on for many years, without getting the real economy restarted.
It is that pending systemic collapse of the trans-Atlantic financial system which is the acute basis for the danger that the West will indeed step into the much discussed Thucydides trap right now, resulting from the same geopolitical reasons, described by the authors of the geopolical doctrine, Halford Mackinder and Alfred Milner, before World War I. That same impulse very much governs those who wishfully call Russia only a regional power, which is ludicrous in light of Russia’s upgraded strategic nuclear capacities, or those who see in the rise of China something which must be contained.
The European Leadership Network, ELN, a thinktank consisting of former European and Russian defense ministers, just issued a stern warning that the presently ongoing maneuvers by NATO and Russia are making a war in Europe more likely. “Russia prepares for a war against NATO, and NATO prepares for a confrontation against Russia,” the study writes. Such a war, however, would not be limited to Europe; it lies in the nature of nuclear weapons, that once they are used, the conflict will become a global thermonuclear war, which would in all likelihood lead to the annihilation of the human species.
War Avoidance Through Development
In order to prevent that, it is urgent that the New Silk Road perpective be put even more energetically on the international agenda as a war-avoidance policy.
The Schiller Institute last year presented a 370-Page scientific study entitled The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land Bridge, which is the outline for an infrastructural integration of all continents, through a comprehensive system of fast train systems, highways, waterways, tunnels, and bridges as the arteries for development corridors. This comprehensive plan for the reconstuction of the world economy would provide enormous advantages for each participating country, enabling every part of the planet to participate in a “win-win” perspective. (See Slide 2)
Slide 2View full size
This will be the way to bring to the landlocked areas of the planet the same advantages which previously only characterized areas located on oceans or rivers. This infrastructure will not only be the precondition for the development of industry and agriculture, but especially for the increase of the productivity of the respective populations. As the opening-up of previously undeveloped areas progresses, and the industrialization intensifies, the speed and connectivity of transport becomes more important, and therefore the advantages of fast train systems over land become more significant than the cheaper transport by ships. Rather than transporting crude raw materials over many weeks over the oceans, where nothing is happening with them, countries can process them in industrial centers with a highly differentiated division of labor and complex subsequent processing. Time is of the essence.
One big area of the planet where a solution urgently must be found is obviously Southwest Asia and large parts of northern and central Africa. These large regions have been almost totally destroyed through wars, which were motivated by lies, and where the so-called war on terrorism has generated more terrorists with each bomb, drone, or killing. If the entire region from the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, as well as the just-mentioned parts of Africa, which literally have been bombed back to the Stone Age, is going to have a chance to cease to be a breeding ground for ever more barbaric forms of terrorism, there must be a real development perspective. (See Slide 3)
Slide 3View full size
Right now the refugee crisis erupting out of both Southwest Asia as well as Central and North Africa, is of a dimension not seen since the end of World War II when people fled from Eastern into Western Europe. At that time, 12 million people fled devastation.
Today, according to UN figures, there are 60 million people on the march, most of them being harbored in poor, completely overstretched neighboring countries, with a very large portion trying to somehow get into Europe. There, many of the communities are already overstretched, and in the short term, social explosions and xenophobic backlashes are threatening the stability of the societies.
Especially in light of the recent revelations of the former U.S. DIA director General Michael Flynn concerning the emergence of ISIS, it is urgent that an analysis of the root cause of the refugee crisis be conducted. But then a profound cure for the problem has to be offered.
Already, in 2012, we presented a comprehensive plan for the development of this region as a whole, at a conference of the Schiller Institute in Frankfurt. Only if all the region’s big neighbors,—namely Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Egypt, hopefully in cooperation with some European nations, such as Germany, France, and Italy, and the United States,—agree to, together with the BRICS, extend the New Silk Road development perspective into Southwest Asia and Africa, is there any possibility that the vision of a better future will convince especially the young men, that it is better to study to become a scientist or engineer and raise a family, rather than joining the growing number of jihadist groups. The perspective of a higher level of reason, embedded in the concept of the New Silk Road, the idea of peace through development, is the only way that the deep and bitter hostilities between different ethnic and religious groupings can be overcome.
What is needed is an integrated development program, including a war against the desert with the development of huge new water sources, infrastructure, industry, agriculture, new smart cities, and science and research centers. (See Slide 4) If all the countries which are presently threatened by the terrorism emanating from that region, would collaborate in this development, the danger could be overcome.
View full size
Likewise, rather than upgrading the border defenses with Frontexand deploying gun boats against streams of hundreds of thousands—potentially millions—of refugees, who are fleeing from war, hunger and disease, taking a 50% risk of death by trying to cross the Mediterranean, would it not make more sense to develop these regions, so that people would rather stay in their home countries, than go into a horribly uncertain future? We have to make up our minds what kind of condition that part of the world should be in, 50-100 years from now; in a miserable dark age at best, or in modern times with a decent living for everybody.
Due to climate change, caused primarily by solar and galactic influences on planet Earth, the belt of deserts, ranging from the Atlantic coast of Africa all the way through the Sahara and Sahel, the Arabian peninsula, the Near and Middle East to China, is expanding presently in a similar fashion to the desert spreading in the Southwest of the United States, and parts of Central and South America. The obvious answer to this problem is the creation of large amounts of fresh water through a variety of methods, such as desalination of large amounts of ocean water through nuclear energy, continental water diversification and management projects, weather modification, and ionization of atmospheric moisture.
In several countries, atmospheric ionization systems have been successfully used to increase precipitation, and in this way affect the associated weather processes. Successful application of this method, which imitates processes occurring naturally in our solar system and galaxy, has been tested over three decades. With international cooperation concerning the further development of these technologies, the desertification of the mentioned regions of the world could be combatted in a completely new way: by the management of the water resources of the atmosphere! (See Slide 5)
Slide 5View full size
Joint space research and travel is one of the foremost areas constituting the future common aims of mankind. It will lead to revolutionary and necessary insights into our Solar System and Galaxy. It is existential for protecting mankind from dangers from space, such as asteroids, meteoroids, and comets, and it will be absolutely essential to identify sources of practically limitless new resources, such as, for example, the mining of Helium 3 on the moon as a fuel for a future fusion economy on Earth. If one considers the enormous progress mankind has made scientifically and technologically, it is obvious that space science is presently still in its very first baby shoes.
At the recent BRICS Youth Summit meeting of youth representatives in Kazan, Russia, on July 8-9, the participants signed a memorandum of understanding, which urged the BRICS member-nations to set up a joint space station, as well as to commit to the creation of a system of research institutions, the development of technology parks, and the organization of exhibitions on research-related subjects, according to a news item issued on the Russian BRICS website. The MOU document stated: “Working together on a space station for exploring outer space and carrying out manned programs could become a symbol of the new world order based on BRICS values.”
While the concept of the New Silk Road becoming the World Land Bridge completes the era of the infrastructural development of the planet Earth, the extension of the New Silk Road into space represents the comprehension of our planet as part of our Galaxy and will enable us to understand the galactic processes of which we are a part.
A New Renaissance
Slide 6View full size
The beauty of our world is, that it has many rich cultures, which have contributed to the universal history of the human species. The ancient Silk Road not only led to an exchange of goods, such as silk, porcelain, glass, and spices, but it made possible the exchange of the most advanced technologies of that time, leading to the improvement of the living standard of all participating countries. With that came an exchange of cultures, philosophies, and new ideas, bringing human civilization forward. (See Slide 6)
The New Silk Road will make it possible for each culture on the planet to contribute its best and most noble expression in the areas of Classical music, poetry, the visual arts, philosophy, and science. There will be an exchange of the high phases of each culture and civilization; young and old people will study the Greek classical period, Confucianism, the Gupta period, the Abbasid era, the Andalusian renaissance, the Joseon [or Chosun] period, the golden Italian renaissance, the German classics, to only name a few.
By learning to know the best of each other’s culture, a deep understanding and even a love of the other cultures will develop, and in this way prejudices, chauvinism, and backwardness will be replaced by the spirit of a new renaissance, which will build on the knowledge of the old cultures, but will enlarge and enrich that wealth to the creation of new works of art in all fields.
The New Silk Road will open up a completely new paradigm for mankind, one in which that quality which differentiates human beings from all other species—their creative power of reason—will become the normal outlook. What was only characteristic in past history of exceptional individuals,—the great discoverers, scientists, composers, and poets,—can now become the more natural condition for more and more people, especially when each child has access to a universal education that emphasizes these treasures. This new renaissance will be the demonstration of the theory of the Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky, that in the evolution of the universe, the noösphere will increasingly influence and dominate the biosphere. The human species will develop its identity as the truly creative species. (See Slide 7)
So, we as humanity have reached the most important crossroads of our entire history. Either we can consciously organize our affairs based on the new paradigm which the New Silk Road represents, and deliberately create a new era in human history, or we may have the same fate as the dinosaurs. I would hope very much, that this conference and the New Silk Road study center will send a powerful message to the world to this effect. Thank you very much.
[fn_1]. Frontex is described as the agency of the European Union that manages the cooperation between national border guards that has undertaken to secure the external borders of the union, including from illegal immigration, human trafficking, and terrorist infiltration. The agency was established in 2004 and has its seat in Warsaw, Poland.