The following speech was delivered by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, on July 29 at the “Think 20” Forum in Beijing. The Forum was organized by three Chinese think-tanks: the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS), and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), with the participation of 500 think-tank experts, politicians, and representatives of international organizations from 25 countries, with a view to formulating suggestions to the heads of state and government of the G20 member countries. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche spoke on the first panel of the two-day conference dedicated to “Global Governance: System Improving and Capacity Building.”
Since the G20 represents the most powerful combination of industrial and emerging countries on the planet, there is presently no other agency which can address the existential challenges facing civilization and implement solutions to them in time. The populations of most countries have the very real experience of being engulfed in terrifying crises — a terrorist threat out of control internationally; the migration of millions of people attempting to escape war, hunger and death; the resulting refugee crisis that is shaking the foundations of the EU; the rise of anti- establishment parties in many countries; the Brexit as a warning shot of the potential disintegration of the EU; the increasing gap between the wealthy and ever more layers of society who are losing their well-earned status as middle class or are living in poverty; the experience of the impact of “unorthodox monetary measures” on life savings and expectations for the future; the limits of social acceptability of bailout and bail-in measures; and the growing fear that the world has entered a new cold war and a nuclear rearmament spiral. In short, a growing loss of confidence in the establishment of at least the transatlantic sector.
The refusal of the upcoming G20 summit to acknowledge that situation; an effort to hide the failures of the dominant policies, in particular since 2008, behind public relations rhetoric; and failure to take the chance of the upcoming summit to present real solutions to these crises, will not have effects in the realm of virtuality, but in terms of real history and the lives and happiness of billions of people.
There are immediate solutions at hand, but they require the willingness of leading institutions to revise the axioms of current policies and return to policies that have not only proven to be effective in previous situations, but also represent a new paradigm, that can lay the basis for the next one hundred years of the human species and beyond.
In order to give hope for a better future for all of mankind, a hope which has been lost in many parts of the world, the G20 summit must come forward with a vision that offers a remedy, a pathway to overcome those crises mentioned, the establishment of a higher level of reason to realize the common aims of humanity.
1. The only “practical” expression of that vision—and that is not a contradiction in terms—is the perspective of the New Silk Road put on the table and implemented for three years now by the Chinese government. As of now, over 70 countries are participating in various aspects, and infrastructure and development projects of it. What China calls “win-win” collaboration in such joint projects is not only the only efficient way to overcome geopolitical confrontation, the root cause of two World Wars in the 20th century and of the underlying danger of a third, global war today, which, given the existence of thermonuclear weapons, would be a war of annihilation. The “win-win” perspective is also coherent with the principles of the Peace of Westphalia, according to which any successful order of peace must be based on the “interest of the other.”
The New Silk Road concept must therefore be extended to all regions of the world as a concrete offer to overcome underdevelopment, as a “World Silk Road.” If the G20 member states were to issue such a promise, with the solemn commitment to overcome hunger and poverty, and provide clean water for everyone within a few years, something which is technologically eminently feasible,— it would cause a revolution of hope and optimism in the world.
2. In order to eliminate both the reasons for mass migration from South-west Asia and Africa and the environment for recruitment of terrorists, there must be a comprehensive industrial development perspective for both, which not only rebuilds the war-torn regions, but also puts on the table an integrated plan of infrastructure, industry, agriculture and education, to transform those parts of the world into areas of high productivity of labor power and capacities.
In general, the projects of the World Silk Road must be defined so as to have the optimal impact on the cognitive powers of the populations of the respective countries, to facilitate the best possible increase in productivity of the world economy. The focus therefore must not only be on innovation, but on qualitative breakthroughs in the understanding of qualitatively new physical principles of our universe.
Examples of this are crash programs for the development of thermonuclear fusion power, which will provide energy and raw material security for mankind, as well as the development of new water resources through the peaceful use of nuclear energy for the desalination of large quantities of ocean water, the ionization of moisture in the atmosphere, and other technologically innovative forms.
International cooperation in space research, travel and colonization defines the pathway for the next necessary breakthroughs in science and technology. It also represents the future-oriented platform for a peace order for the 21st century. And most importantly, it marks the transformation of the human species toward greater consciousness of its own identity as the only creative species known in the universe so far.
3. An uncontrolled collapse of the financial system of the trans-Atlantic sector would threaten to throw many parts of the world into chaos with unpredictable consequences. The so-called “tool-box” of financial instruments, which was decided upon after the 2008 crises rather than implementing true reforms, has been used up. The consequent “unorthodox monetary instruments,” such as quantitative easing, negative interest rates and helicopter money have in large part produced the opposite of the intended effect.
The fact that the reintroduction of the FDR Glass-Steagall banking separation law has been adopted in the election platform of both the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, and the fact that there is a growing discussion in several European countries on reducing the future risk of the financial system by introducing Glass-Steagall criteria in Europe as well, create a very favorable precondition for agreeing upon a global Glass-Steagall Act at the upcoming G20 summit.
If the G20 Summit were to put the World Silk Road on the agenda, the Chinese Dream would become the World Dream.