by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
In the referendum on the independence of Scotland, London once again got its way, by the skin of its teeth—at least for the time being—thanks to a massive campaign of scare tactics. But even the New York Times commented that the anger expressed in Scotland against Westminster’s policies—in favor of the super-rich, imperial wars, etc.—is paradigmatic of the growing anger of the populations of the United States and the Eurozone about the blatant failure of the establishment’s policy.
In stark contrast, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are proceeding to build an alternative economic system and have declared themselves optimistic, noting that China and India together account for 35% of the human race and are together writing the screenplay for the future.
Indeed, Xi’s three-day state visit to India represents a qualitative breakthrough in Sino-Indian relations. Not only does China intend, in the next five years, to invest $20 billion in the expansion of India’s rapid transit systems, the modernization of its railway stations, industrial parks, power transmission equipment, and auto parts production—it also wants, in return, to open its market for Indian pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, and films. Other agreements were reached on cooperation in the development of nuclear energy, the peaceful use of space, a sister-city relationship between Shanghai and Mumbai, as well as cultural exchanges, and—especially importantly—it was agreed to prioritize settling the country’s outstanding border dispute, once and for all.
Solving this question threatens to leave the Western media and think-tanks with nothing left to say that would satisfy their need, bordering on the absurd, for nitpicking. Failing to recognize the grand design behind this summit, the Western media have tried to outdo one another in describing only the supposed geopolitical conflicts of interest between the two nations.
“No man is a hero to his valet; not, however, because the man is not a hero, but because the valet is a valet,” wrote Hegel in his Phenomenology, describing this state of mind. What these media representatives and think-tanks don’t understand, from their petty, geopolitical perspective, is the qualitative change that has been underway for more than a year, with Xi’s New Silk Road policy, and the drive of the BRICS countries for real development. More and more countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa are defying the conditionalities of the IMF and World Bank and are creating their own development banks, the AIIB [Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank], NDB [New Development Bank], and a bank of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which are dedicated to financing only real economic projects and not speculation.
Underlying this is the determination to finally tackle the shift from underdevelopment and poverty, to the defense of the general welfare of their people. What the scribblers and talking heads cannot imagine, is that there are governments today that truly represent the interests of their nations and of mankind—and not those of the banks, as is common in Europe and the United States.
The growing alliance of the BRICS countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa], the Union of South America (UNASUR) countries, and the ASEAN and SCO members in Asia, in which such countries as Egypt, Nicaragua, and South Korea must also be counted, is not only joined by the common perspective of economic development, but also by the recognition that the current strategy of confrontation against Russia on the part of the U.S. administration, Great Britain, NATO, and the EU, is causing the imminent threat of global thermonuclear war.
Prof. Han Xudong of the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army, in an extraordinary article headlined, “As Possibility of a Third World War Exists, China Needs To Be Prepared,” deals with this question. “As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, international observers have become more and more concerned about a direct military clash between the US and Russia. Once an armed rivalry erupts, it is likely to extend to the [rest of the] globe. And it is not impossible that a world war could break out,” he wrote in the People’s Daily on Sept. 16. “…Currently, the world has entered an era of new forms of global war. Outer space, the Internet and the sea have become the battlefields of rivalry… China should not be pushed into a passive position where it is vulnerable to attacks. We must bear a third world war in mind when developing military forces, especially the sea and air forces.”
Pope Francis said essentially the same thing, on the occasion of a commemoration of the outbreak of World War I. “A third world war in pieces” is already being waged, with crimes, massacres, destruction, he said. And German historian Michael Stuermer, writing in Die Welt, gave the diagnosis that since the Ukraine crisis began, world politics has found itself in an experimental mode, in which the time-tested rules of crisis prevention and crisis management have been thrown overboard, and senior staff are inexperienced in the management of emergencies. The saber-rattling, he wrote, fails to take account of the limitless possibilities of destruction and self-destruction. The security architecture that emerged during the Cold War and that ended in German unification—amazingly, without catastrophe—was an era of undeclared small wars with no beginning and no end, extending from Indochina/Vietnam to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. In the Ukraine crisis, he wrote, both sides have acted without a goal or an exit strategy; nobody knows where it will end. One escalation drives another, and the reasoned imperatives of the long nuclear peace seem to be forgotten.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, for his part, addressed the situation at an economic conference in Sochi recently: “Essentially the entire system of European security is threatened, as well as fundamental values, further globalization, and basically the entire concept of peaceful development. I have a feeling that the West has completely forgotten that Russia has its own national interests. History clearly shows that all attempts to exert pressure on Russia by such measures [sanctions], have been in vain. We will not give in to any political blackmail. We are the largest country in the world, a nuclear power in which 150 million people live, an area with immense natural resources and a huge market for goods, services, and investments. The West, however, acts as though Russia simply does not exist on the world map.”
From the Chinese military to the Pope, the Russian government, and growing segments in all European nations, people see that World War III has actually already started, that all the rules of war prevention have been thrown overboard and there is actually no longer a security system. Why then do we not immediately pull the emergency brake and stop this madness, this train that is hurtling at full speed toward a wall behind which there is only a great void?
We immediately need a global emergency conference with only a single theme: How should a global, inclusive security architecture be designed which guarantees the existence and security of all nations on the planet?
It is obvious that the strategic crisis began with the broken promises to Russia at the time of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, namely that NATO would never be extended up to the borders of Russia. We must start again from that point and the equally obvious point, that in 1991, there were no convincing reasons to exclude Russia from alliances, but rather to expand NATO and the EU further to the east; the intention to encircle Russia and eventually render it indefensible can no longer be denied.
President Xi has repeatedly argued that there can be no security structure that grants security only to a few states, while others remain in chaos and danger; only an inclusive security architecture can guarantee world peace. Precisely such a security architecture, which encompasses all States, must urgently be placed on the agenda, if we do not want to collectively kill ourselves off.
The obvious economic basis for such an inclusive security approach is the New Silk Road program, which China is working to bring about and whose spirit the aforementioned alliances have embraced. The Chinese government has repeatedly stressed that this New Silk Road is an open concept, which every nation can join.
The human species will survive only if we learn the lessons of the two world wars of the 20th Century and stop thinking in geopolitical categories. We must replace this imperial, oligarchical approach with a new paradigm: that the common aims of mankind are the priority for everyone. This is also the view of “the coincidence of opposites” that Nicholas of Cusa put forward in the 15th Century, in his Coincidentia Oppositorum: that this is the only way to achieve “concordance in the macrocosm.”
Now we have arrived at the point where our survival as a species depends on achieving this level of thinking.