Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche keynotes the Schiller Institute’s conference, “Fulfilling the Dream of Mankind”, in Frankfurt, Germany, November 25 & 26, 2017. For the full conference proceedings visit, the Schiller Institute’s website.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Ladies and gentlemen, I want to greet you to this conference of the Schiller Institute. There are many honorable people in the audience, who we will introduce in the course of the event. But let me just greet especially the General Consul of Ethiopia.
So, let me start with an idea of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He said that we are actually living in the best of all possible worlds. This is a very fundamental ontological conception. It’s the idea that we are living in a developing universe; that what makes the universe the best of all possible ones is its tremendous potential for development. It is in such a way created, that every great evil challenges an even greater good to come into being. I think when we are talking about the New Silk Road and the tremendous changes which have occurred in the world, especially in the last four years, it is actually exactly that principle working. Because it was the absolute manifest lack of development of the old world order which caused the impulse of China and the spirit of the New Silk Road having caught on that now many nations of the world are absolutely determined to have a development giving a better life to all of their people.
Now, I think that the New Silk Road is a typical example of an idea whose time had come; and once an idea is in that way becoming a material reality, it becomes a physical force in the universe. I personally have had the chance to see the evolution of this idea, which in many senses really started with this great gentleman — my husband, Lyndon LaRouche; who many decades ago — almost half a century ago — had the idea of a just New World Economic Order. This then became more manifest in the ’70s, in the ’80s, but especially in ’91 when the Soviet Union disintegrated, this idea of creating a just New World Economic Order became very prominent.
I personally had the chance to see how this spread after Xi Jinping in 2013 in Kazakhstan announced the New Silk Road. I visited China in 2014, and at that point it was still a very small number of officials discussing it; but then it very rapidly spread. There were industrial fairs in all cities in China; hundreds of international symposiums. The BRICS countries started to join the same spirit; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Altogether, more than 100 large nations and international organizations. It spread to the Belt and Road Forum at the beginning of this year in May, where 29 heads of state spoke, 110 nations participated. I think this determination of the Chinese people to effect a New World Economic Order was consolidated in a completely new way at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party [of China] in October.
This has generated a completely optimistic perspective. Xi Jinping announced that China will be by the year 2020 a country in which poverty is completely eradicated. I think this is wonderful! And it is absolutely to be believed, because China had an incredible economic miracle, and they lifted 700 million people out of poverty. They have now only 42 million people left, so why should they not succeed that there are no more poor persons by the year 2020? Until 2035, China is supposed to be a great modern socialist country with Chinese characteristics; which in my view means predominantly Confucian characteristics. For 2050, China will be — according to Xi Jinping — a great modern socialist country with Chinese characteristics, prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. So, the Chinese people by that time are supposed to be happier and have a safer and healthier life. But also, the peoples of the other countries of the world are supposed to have a better and healthier and happier life.
Now the Chinese media announced very proudly that this is a grand vision for the future. A new era has been dawned. Xinhua wrote that China will make a new and greater contribution to the noble cause of peace and development for all of humanity. Well, it is very easy for the Chinese people to understand that, because the whole country is already united around this mission. The spirit of the New Silk Road has caught on also in the 70-plus countries which are cooperating [in it]. There are many people in the West who also have understood that; either because they have investments in China, or they know that the New Silk Road is the largest infrastructure program in history. It is already now 12 or maybe even 20 times larger than the Marshall Plan was in the postwar period; without the military connotation, however. It is basically causing complete enthusiasm among everybody who knows the project.
But there are naturally also those in the West who have complete opposition. You have right now the fight between the old paradigm of geopolitics against the New Paradigm of the one humanity. The representatives of the old paradigm say “Oh, what Xi Jinping is saying is just empty propaganda. The real intention of the Chinese is to replace the United States as hegemonic. Xi Jinping is a dictator; he just wants to have a system which is a threat to the Western model of market-oriented democracy. Therefore, it is bad.” The President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, even went so far to explain in his so-called “State of the Union” address that the EU is fully intending to block Chinese investments in Europe under all kinds of pretexts. You have many think tanks like MERICS or the Rhodium Group, who basically see it only as a geopolitical challenge. Spiegel magazine of last week had a big cover story with Chinese letters on the cover — ” Xing lái” which means “Wake Up!” — and an article about the awakening giant; saying that when Trump went to China just two weeks ago, he kowtowed; that this was his farewell speech handing over the leadership of the world. That the West must urgently wake up and unite against a rising China; that the Chinese achievements are a threat to the values and the system of the West.
Now, isn’t it funny? One day the headlines are saying that the collapse of the Chinese banks and the Chinese economy will trigger a world financial collapse; and the next day, the same papers write that China is about to take over the world. So, obviously, some of these critics are completely freaked out about the fact that the old order — the idea that you can have a unipolar world and geopolitical control based on the Anglo-American special relationship in the tradition of Churchill and Truman in the postwar period and what the neo-cons started to build after the collapse of the Soviet Union — that that system is very clearly not working. As you can see in a revolt against the system; the Brexit, the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the US election, the “no” to the referendum in Italy, the pitiful collapse of the Jamaica coalition talks in Germany. They collapsed because none of the participating parties had any vision for the future, or any substantive ideas.
So, there is no comprehension among these parties for the rapidly changing strategic alignment going on in the world. The common denominator between all of these phenomena is that the Western, neo-liberal, left-liberal establishment is completely unable and unwilling to reflect on the causes of the demise of this Western system. Which are: the absolutely ridiculous income gap where eight individuals have as much wealth as half of the rest of humanity, where the rich and poor gap is increasing in every country; the policy of regime change, of color revolution; the abysmal situation of the refugee crisis. Also, people have experienced that what we have been fighting for, for literally centuries, in terms of civil rights has almost vanished without discussion. You have a total surveillance by the NSA, the CGHQ — the British Secret Service; the Western values of democracy are in shambles. If the Democratic leadership decides one year before the party convention who should be the candidate, and then manipulates the election against Bernie Sanders for one year; is not a happy picture of democracy. You have the collusion of the Democratic Party of the United States with British intelligence and MI-6 to invent Russia-gate against Trump. You have the collusion of the Obama heads of intelligence against the elected President of the United States.
If you look at the famous human rights of the West, even the UN Human Rights Commission denounced what the Troika has been doing in countries like Greece, violating human rights completely. There is a deafening silence concerning the genocide in Yemen, conducted by the British and the Saudis. The way the EU has been treating the refugees has also been called by the United Nations a human rights violation.
When these people are criticizing China, what you can see is that they project their own intentions and viewpoints onto China and the New Silk Road. These people in the West who are attacking China cannot imagine the existence of a government which is truly devoted to the common good and a harmonious development of all people; because they think that the world is a zero-sum game, that if one wins, the other one has to lose. That they have to control the rules in order to be able to rig the game in their favor. If you can’t do that, you are a loser.
This all leads to very absurd conclusions. For example, in 1995, Lester Brown, who was the President of the Earth Policy Institute, had a big scare story — Who Will Feed China? — saying that the growing number of people in China will mean a growing demand for food, which will overstretch demand on the food supply in the world. Naturally, this is just the old Malthusian idea that the number of people will grow more quickly than the amount of food. Now if you look at China today, they perfectly well can feed 1.4 billion people; and I can assure you, with excellent food which many countries should be envious of having such good food — like the British, for example. They are producing right now 30% of the world economy. So, the reality is quite different than the Western media portray.
In 2014, we published a study called “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge”. That is exactly what is happening. What started with just the old Silk Road line between China and Europe, is now absolutely quickly developing into six major development corridors. There are already 40 rail lines every week from China to different European locations with cargo trains. The 16+1 countries — that is, the Eastern and Central European countries — are having a conference right now in Budapest, being completely on board of the collaboration with the New Silk Road. There is a new Balkans Silk Road. The President of Panama was just in China at the occasion that Panama switched their diplomatic relations from being tied to Taiwan; now they are allied with the mainland. The President of Panama said that all of Latin America will join the New Silk Road, and this is not directed against the United States because the United States is also invited to join. The New Silk Road has reached Africa; and there it has changed the mood in an unbelievable way. There is now a complete sense of optimism.
But the most important shift, naturally, is that of the United States and the relationship between China and the United States. At the recent trip of President Trump, where he made a two-day state visit, the obvious result was the most consequential. Because if the two largest economies of the world have a good relation, then world peace is moving in a very positive direction. Remember that the policy of Obama was the so-called “pivot” to Asia and the TPP; which was the idea of the encirclement of China and exclusion of China. There is still an element of geopolitics, so we have to watch whenever the term is being used — “India-Pacific”; which is the idea to make Japan, Australia and India as a counterweight to China. But the major breakthrough occurred when Trump visited China; where Xi Jinping gave him the most unbelievable, what he called “state visit-plus-plus”. Namely, for closing down the Forbidden City for one day; the Forbidden City is the largest conglomerate of palaces where the Chinese emperors lived since the 17th Century. It’s incredibly beautiful; it’s majestic, it’s really breathtaking. So, Xi Jinping used the whole day to give Trump and the First Lady a course in Chinese history. They had a beautiful gala dinner; they had three Beijing operas. I want to read to you some of the statements made by President Trump, which I think you need to know because the Western media naturally would not report one single word about that.
So Trump, commenting the next day on this treatment, said “Yesterday we visited the Forbidden City, which stands as a proud symbol of China’s rich culture and majestic spirit. Your nation is a testament to the thousands of years of vibrant living history, and today it was a tremendous honor to be greeted by the Chinese delegation right here at the Great Hall of the People. This moment in history presents both our nations with an incredible opportunity to actually advance peace and prosperity alongside other nations all around the world. In the words of a Chinese proverb, ‘we must carry forward the cause and forge ahead into the future.’ I’m confident that we can realize this wonderful mission; a vision that will be so good and in fact so great for both China and the United States. So, we come from very different places and faraway lands. There is much that binds the East and the West. Both our countries were built by people of great courage, strong culture, and the desire to trek across the unknown into great danger that they overcame. The people of the United States have a very deep respect for the heritage of your country and the noble traditions of its people. Your ancient values bring past and future together in the present so beautifully. It is my hope that the proud spirits of the American and Chinese people will inspire our efforts to achieve a more just, secure, and peaceful world. A future worthy of the sacrifices of our ancestors and the dreams of our children.”
Now I am sure that that is not what you read in Bildzeitung about Trump, nor do they ever report what President Trump is actually doing.
Now the Chinese Ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai, recently made the point that there were 16 times in world history when a rising country would surpass the dominant country up to that point. In twelve cases it led to a war, and in four cases the rising country just peacefully took over. He said that China wants neither, but we want to have a completely different system of a “win-win” relationship of equality and respect for each other.
Obviously, the most important question strategically, if you think about it, is that we can avoid the so-called Thucydides trap. That was the rivalry between Athens and Sparta in the 5th Century BC, which led to the Peloponnesian War and the demise of ancient Greece. If this were to occur today between the United States and China in the age of thermonuclear weapons, I think nobody in their right mind could wish that; and therefore, we should all be extremely happy that Trump and Xi Jinping have developed this very important relationship. I stuck my neck out in the United States in February of this year, by saying if President Trump manages to get a good relationship between the United States and China, and the United States and Russia, he will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents of the United States. Naturally, everybody was completely freaked out because that is not the picture people are supposed to have about Trump. But I think if you look at what is happening, you will see that Trump is on a very good way to accomplish exactly that.
So, he came back from this Asia trip with $253 billion worth of deals with China. I watched the press conference of the Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, where he said that now, because of China, there is hope in West Virginia. West Virginia is a totally depressed state; they have unemployment and a drug epidemic. But he said now we can have value-added production, we will have a bright future. So, the spirit of the New Silk Road has even caught on in West Virginia. Obviously the United States has an enormous demand for infrastructure, especially now after the destruction of all these hurricanes; which just to restore what has been destroyed requires $200 billion, not even talking about disaster prevention. So, this is all on a good way that China will invest in the infrastructure in the United States, and vice versa; US firms will cooperate in projects of the Belt and Road Initiative.
There is a strategic realignment caused by all of this. The relationship between President Xi and Putin is the best in history. They have developed a close friendship, and there is right now quickly expanding, integration of the New Silk Road and the Eurasian Economic Union.
In a separate, but nevertheless related development, there was just now an historic visit of President Bashar al-Assad from Syria in Sochi, meeting with Putin. What actually happened is actually the exact opposite of what you would read in the media, where naturally you would say this dictator Putin and this horrible Assad. But what happened was the opposite. Putin introduced Assad to the Russian military leadership, and Assad thanked them for having saved Syria. Remember, when more than two years ago, Putin decided that the Russian military would intervene in Syria to defeat ISIS, the country was in complete disarray. It was hopeless — al-Qaeda, ISIS. Now, they are militarily defeated and the reconstruction can actually happen. Assad invited the refugees to return to help in the reconstruction of the country. The Silk Road will also be extended into Afghanistan, into Iraq, and hopefully all the other places around. This is a grand design of Putin, which involves the Astana process. He integrates Turkey, Jordan, and even trying to get Saudi Arabia on a different track. So, the idea to extend the New Silk Road into Southwest Asia, we pushed already a long time ago. But in 2012, we had a conference of the Schiller Institute in Frankfurt where we said the only way how you can stop terrorism and have development and peace in the Middle East is if all the big neighbors — Russia, China, India, Iran, the United States, and also European countries — join hands in the development. This is now, because of the Russian military intervention and the Chinese extension of the Silk Road, an absolute possibility. In the context of which, also the relationship between Putin and Trump has gotten on a much better track. In the aftermath of the Assad visit, they had a 1.5-hour telephone discussion; and people in Russia expressed afterwards on various levels — in the Duma, in the Federation Council — extreme optimism that the relationship between Russia and the United States can now become much more fruitful and better.
So, just think about it, because almost everything I’m saying goes against everything you hear in the Western media. But think: From who comes the motion for peace and development? Is it coming from those who attack Putin, Xi, and Trump? And those who side with Obama? It’s obviously time for people to rethink how the Western viewpoint is on all of these matters. Or change the glasses which they have to look at the world.
Besides the change in the relations between the United States and China in Southwest Asia, the biggest change for the better as a result of the New Silk Road, is Africa. China has invested in Africa in railways, they have built a railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa; they are building other railways from Kenya, they are supposed to go to Rwanda; hydropower dams, industrial parks. Especially in the last four years, the outlook of most Africans has completely changed; because they see for the first time that the suppression of colonialism and the denial of development through the IMF conditionalities, there is a possibility to truly develop the continent. They do not any longer want to be lectured about good governance, human rights, and democracy with no development; which is what the Europeans normally offer. But they want to treated as equal partners.
Let me give tribute to that person who had that vision about African development more than 40 years ago. Again, my sweet husband. [applause] He wrote in 1980, as a supplement to the OAU Lagos Plan of Action, a paper with the title “Stop Club of Rome Genocide in Africa; A Critical Comment Appended to the Lagos Plan of Action”. There he laid out a beautiful vision, a grand design for the development of Africa based on the LaRouche scientific method of physical economy; which in turn is based on Leibniz and Alexander Hamilton’s credit policy. LaRouche naturally has added very much to that. He said, “The competent conception of economic processes flows originally from a moral principle, which is immediately accessible to any sane adult or adolescent in any part of the world; however literate or illiterate. To make my model individual existence of some value, how do I develop and inform my practice to produce something of benefit for the development of generations to come?” Lyn defines economic science as an inseparable facet of science, usefully called statecraft; which includes the development of the law and the cultural advancement of the people, of the development of the individual to master the lawful principles of the composition of the universe. He presented the total opposite of the Club of Rome, with appropriate technologies and sustainable development; which is just another word for no development. By proposing to upgrade the labor force continuously to higher modes of production, by changing the proportions of employment from rural to urban productive occupations using higher energy-flux densities in the mode of production continuously. He took as a referent point for the development of Africa, the development of the United States, and showed how, for example, US agriculture by the end of the 18th Century, 98% of the people worked in agriculture; and today, less than 4% producing obviously much more food than at the time, as the way for Africa to go. Including the development of roads, canals, railroads, the specialization of farmers, the increase of productivity in agriculture and industry, a shift away from labor-intensive to capital-intensive modes of production, better education, the development of the power of the population to produce the material alterations of nature with an increasing potential relative population density and higher energy-flux densities. He said, “The development of Africa must be directed to what nations of Africa are to become by the year 2000 and 2020.” This was written in 1980; namely, two generations. He said, “The conception needed is one of the development of the productive powers of the entire population over the development period spanning two generations.” Apart from the basic infrastructure — meaning a continental system of rail, waterways, highways — he proposed a string of new cities of 250,000 to a maximum of 2 million inhabitants. At the core of each new city would be an educational complex, pedagogical museums, libraries, cultural centers, parks, teaching and research institutions, including medical science and research institutions. He proposed a connected system of rapid transport for persons and freight; also the transition from low-cost in one mode of transport to another. Also, inner city distribution of freight from warehouses in the city, daily deliveries of perishable goods such as foodstuffs. And around the core of the educational complex, then residential areas, industrial and commercial areas.
The cities were not only supposed to be functionally well designed, but beautiful; using the principles of Platonic ratios in architecture. Using for example, those methods used in Gothic cathedrals, or the architecture of the Golden Renaissance of Italy. It included the idea of many trees, flora, so that people would be happy and the climate would be moderated. He said, “The essential thing which the citizens of such a city must experience over the course of the city’s gradual completion, is a sense of ongoing progress of perfection.” To aid this process, there should be the technology transfer from the developed countries, financed by grants. He made the correct point that the technology transfer from Europe and the United States to Africa would stimulate the economy in the exporting nations, increase their tax income. The developing countries receiving grants would become the next generation’s customer for purchasing on a credit basis. The exporting nations would develop prosperous customers for tomorrow, and have an accelerated turnover of capital stocks. And the exporting countries would increase their productivity and therefore, their national and per capita wealth.
Now, that is obviously the total opposite of what the IMF did, which lured countries into the debt trap which was quite dramatically by John Perkins in his book The Economic Hitman. Now, Lyn on the other side, said that the technology exporting nations must seek those portions of the labor force in the developing nations which can be upgraded immediately to productive employment using the most advanced technologies imported in the capital stock to be exported from the industrialized nations. The labor force is able to assimilate the advanced technologies, and that must be expanded; it requires methods of promoting the development potentials of the population at a large scale. So, the investment in infrastructure and the development of the population has to occur at the same time. He said, “Every infant born in any part of the world, has the potential for the development of his or her mental powers to the level sufficient for a direct competent use of modern technology. It is that potential development which is the only source of wealth. That development is a creditworthy asset in the eyes of a truly prudent lender.”
So what occurs at the point where the economic development had absorbed most of the population of the world? By that time, we must have an increase in the rate of development of technology such that we no longer depend on the expansion of the economy in scale. When that transition to a New World Economic Order has been completed, we will have more and more members of society living and working as artists; as golden souls as Plato describes them; as beautiful souls as Schiller talks about it; as “junzi”, the Confucian idea of the noble man; or the people living on the level of the Paradise in Dante’s Commedia; or as Vladimir Vernadsky says, that the noosphere, that part of the physical universe which is dominated by creative activity of man, will take over more and more of the biosphere.
Actually, what is happening right now is going in this direction. What Xi Jinping has defined as a goal for 2050 for China and the rest of the world, is to have better and happier lives, poverty eradicated, people being able to devote their lives to meaningful purposes, is actually going very much in this direction. Is this realistic? I practically can hear the howls of protest of the neo-liberals and neo-cons in the West alike. “What about Western values? What about our freedom? What about democracy?” Or better, market-conformed democracy as Mrs. Merkel likes to put it. We better reflect where these values have gotten us in Europe. Europe is completely disunited. We are faced with a financial crisis worse than that of 2008 about to erupt. The EU just completed guidelines eliminating the possibility for the separation of the banks, which China has just reconfirmed. The right-wing movements are rising; the refugee crisis has caused the reputation of Europe to go down the drain completely in the world. You have a very dangerous anti-immigration sentiment. The entire social and political fabric of Europe is disintegrating. Because Europe in its present form of the European Union is like a giant Babylon tower attempting an amalgamation of cultures, languages, and histories which is leading evermore to frictions between the supranational integration and the self-interest of these nations of Europe. Not to even mention the government crisis in Europe which is the worst since 1949; since the existence of the German Federal Republic.
Now, it is not the first time that Europe is in bad shape. This was addressed by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in a policy memorandum of 1670, where he named the challenges of his time — a badly established trade and manufacturing, an entirely debased currency, uncertainty of law and the delay of all legal actions, a worthless education, an increase in atheism, terrible morals as if they were infected by a foreign plague, a bitter strife of religion which will weaken us and in the end may completely ruin us. So, that was the situation Leibniz saw. This was still the aftermath of the 150 years of religious war in Europe. He came up with the idea that the solution was a merger of the Chinese ancient natural theology and European culture. He called it a beautiful coincidence that the two most developed cultures in the world are like on two poles reaching hands between Europe and China. By creating a common exchange between them, civilization could reach the next superior stage in human history.
In the preface of the Novissima Sinica — “The Latest from China” — he expressed this intention. Leibniz followed very closely all the news from China; he had a very lively dialogue with many of the Jesuit missionaries, who informed him about all the developments in science and the famous rights controversy, where he sided with the people like Matteo Ricci; saying that there is a strong affinity between Confucianism and Christianity. He said Confucianism has much more to offer than any other known belief system of his time. He said, “We need the Chinese to send missionaries to Europe, so that we can learn from them natural religion that we have almost lost.” He proposed an exchange of cultural ambassadors, which for his time was a very modern conception. He said, “There is in China a public morality, admirable in certain regards, conjoined to a philosophical doctrine, or rather a natural theology venerable by its antiquity, established and authorized for about 3000 years. Long before the philosophy of the Greeks.”
For Leibniz, the affinity of Confucius and Christianity, despite all differences in culture, proved that humanity has the universal characteristic of reason. The fact that the Emperor Kung-Xi and he — Leibniz — listened to the same mathematical solutions, proved for him the universal character of human reason and species. In the Chinese philosophy, he emphasized that the notion of the li refers to the supreme order of the universe in which harmony exists if each being exercises its lawful function in its proper place. And together with the notion ren, which approximates the Christian notion of agape — love — is using different terminologies and different conception, but they have an analogy and affinity which is what Leibniz describes in his Monadology. According to Leibniz: “God has created the universe by the way of a pre-stabilized harmony, where the realm of the spiritual and the material world, the soul and the body are in total correspondence. This is so, because God — in His divine anticipation — has created the material and spiritual substance in such an ordered way and with such a precision that even if they follow their own lawfulness embedded in their nature, nevertheless there is such a cohesion as if there existed between them, a reciprocal inference. And as if God, apart from His general contribution, would act concretely in each single instant. Each monad, each uniform substance, reflects in germ the entire universe at large. But they only relate to each other because they take part in the absolute being of God.”
Once one understands this inner cohesion between the Chinese ancient philosophy, especially in the Confucian expression and the idea of Leibniz, it is no surprise that he not only recognized the affinity, but concretely thought a reciprocal exchange of both cultures would merge into a superior, more advanced level of civilization. Among Leibniz’s plans for this project were the creation of a world language, for which he thought the Chinese language and script were most appropriate; the creation of a world academy of sciences, where Chinese and Western scientists would work together; the creation of a world citizenship, which would allow for every human being to absorb all cultures of the world. The future role of Russia to mediate between China and the West; the development of Siberia in relation to the development of northern Africa. Peter the Great, with whom he was in contact, ordered in 1712 the expedition of Fritz Jonathan Bering, for whom the Bering Strait has been called. Further, the comparative study of languages to find the common origin of human language, which was later pursued by philologists like Humboldt and others. A chronological history of the West and China, and the only museum where I have seen that is the museum in Taipei, where you have a beautiful exhibition where you see above the history of China, and below what happened parallel in the Western culture; which gives you a completely different way of thinking about universal history. Also, the binary system, which was becoming the basis of computers and things like that. The development of a key which would make it easier to learn the Chinese language. I think everybody who has tried to learn Chinese would be very thankful for such a key. The development of a method to teach the difference between Western and Chinese culture. The principles of a new moral code for Western statesmen and politicians; but also for the behavior among normal citizens among themselves, based on Confucianism. An analysis of Confucianism based on Western methods, with the purpose to show the closeness to Western Christianity.
If you look at these plans by Leibniz, it is absolutely amazing how similar they were to what Xi Jinping is doing with the New Silk Road policy today, which has aspects of all of these plans. So why then in the West, are so many people having a hard time to accept an offer of a “win-win” cooperation among all nations which would be so much clearly in the interest of all people?
Let me briefly go back to the end of World War II, to find the roots of this problem. Franklin D Roosevelt, in his famous dialogue with Churchill in Casablanca, had pledged the end of colonialism and the help of the United States to develop the developing countries. Churchill, on the other side, said the British did not fight World War II in order to end the British Empire. Now unfortunately, Roosevelt died at a very inconvenient moment, and Truman — who was a very small man — took over the White House. Remember what Lyn always said when he was in India about how shocked the people were about Roosevelt dying at this point. So, Roosevelt, who was allied with the Soviet Union in the Second World War, had gone. Churchill stepped into this vacuum, and basically then he made the famous March 1946 Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri, launching the Cold War. He proposed a new alliance, based on the special relationship between the United States and the British Empire. That speech by Churchill in Fulton, shifted the American view on the USSR. Then followed the Truman doctrine in March 1947, which allowed such atrocities for example as Senator Joseph McCarthy to start a witch hunt in America against everybody suspected of being a communist — a communist under every bed. Now this is what is happening with the anti-Trump witch hunt today.
What happened in Europe? Recently there was an amazing article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [faz] covering an exhibition taking place in Berlin right now, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the scandal erupting about the Congress for Cultural Freedom [ccf]. The Congress for Cultural Freedom, which lasted from 1950 to 1967, was the gigantic cultural warfare program by the CIA with the explicit aim to recruit lefty people, communists, into an anti-Soviet Cold War. They in reality wanted to destroy the axioms in the population which had made Franklin D Roosevelt possible. Because Wall Street had been completely freaked out about Roosevelt implementing Glass-Steagall, the New Deal, having an alliance with the Soviet Union. So, the moment Truman started in cohesion with the British to have the idea to establish a paradigm shift in the population, with a left-liberal outlook which we have today. That is what the FAZ article said; it said the CIA did not plan to foster reactionary movements; they have created exactly that left-liberal outlook which is the politically correct view in Europe today. I think that is really noteworthy to reflect upon, because that is exactly what they did with the Dulles brothers under the command of the High Commissioner John Jay McCloy. If you look at this operation, which was huge; it involved 35 countries, 20 magazines. They controlled practically every art exhibition, cultural event. In Europe there were very few writers, poets, musicians, historians, critics, or journalists who were not connected to this project. Some witting; many unwitting. It was part of the Cold War to fight for the liberation of the human mind. The CCF acted like a cartel; they controlled the entire cultural industry, and based it on the myth of a freedom-oriented outlook.
Remember, the CIA at the same time while they pretended to be for freedom, made a coup against Mossadegh, conducted the Bay of Pigs operation, the Phoenix Operation in Vietnam, and similar things.
It was in part funded with money from the Marshall Plan, which was diverted to the CCF; but also, all together 170 foundations. One of their key ideologues, George Kennan, in a speech in front of the National War College in December 1947, developed the strategy of the necessary lie; which would become an essential part of US foreign policy, laid down in the directive of the NSA, minus 48, and later another one for psychological warfare operations. This lasted for decades. So, the idea of fake news, of manipulating the population with lies, is not new, and it has not erupted only with Trump.
The aims of the CCF were very much those of the Frankfurt School. They wanted to destroy idealism, the Classical culture. Because Adorno, for example, argued that idealism leads to Nazism, because it leads to a radical view and that has to be rooted out; both in order to eradicate the remnants of Nazism, but also of the dictatorship of the Soviet Union. Adorno said for this, we have to eradicate beauty from art completely. Remember that Schiller said that art which is not beautiful is not art; and I fully agree with that, because art has to ennoble people and uplift their spirit. And when it’s not beautiful, it does not do that.
In music, the CCF started a vicious campaign against Furtwängler; and instead of Classical composers, they pushed atonal 12-tone music, Alban Berg, Schoenberg, Weber; and eradicated the idea of polyphonic harmonic composition. The famous writer Susan Sonntag said, “We knew we expected to accept ugly music as pleasant.” That is what happens when you go to the concerts — the Rheingau festivals or others — you always have Beethoven, Berg, and some other modern composer. You never can get a Classical concert.
They also made a list of allowed writers — Ibsen, Shaw, O’Neil, Wilder, Steinbeck. They forbade certain pieces by Shakespeare and Kleist, and they invented the famous Regietheater, which is the idea that you completely destroy the Classical composition of Schiller, Shakespeare, and each modern director can put his own interpretation in it up to the point where you cannot recognize these pieces anymore. A big role was played by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which promoted the modern painting — Cubism, Futurism, Dada-ism, expressionism, abstract art, serialism, and so forth. A writer called Eva Cockcroft wrote in the ArtForum magazine, “The abstract expressionism was a weapon of the Cold War.” The connection between the Cold War and this expressionism was absolutely no coincidence, because it was supposed to destroy the ability of the mind to understand anything. Harry Truman, of all people, liked to go to the National Art Gallery in the United States, looking at Holbein and Rembrandt. He said, “What a pure pleasure, and what a difference to our modern schmierfinken, our mucky pups.”
So, the CCF influence did not end in 1967. It ended then, it came out with a big scandal, but it is working until the present. This is why people have this left-liberal ideology today; this is what is behind the interventionist policy, the color revolution, the export of democracy, the right to protect. This is what the Foreign Minister of Russia Lavrov calls “the post-Christian values”. He said, “The Western values are no longer those values which were handed down from our grandfathers from generation to generation. But it has been replaced by ‘everything is allowed’; a complete hedonism, where freedom is misunderstood as the right of everybody to live out all their pleasures in the here and now. Do whatever you like to do.” That ugliness is what you see when you look at most movies nowadays, at the video games, the art, youth culture, which are all characterized by a cult of ugliness. So, in that sense, the CCF has done a very successful operation.
So, we do have a big cultural problem in the West. There is a huge drug epidemic in the United States, out-of-control violence, mass shootings in schools almost every week, terrorism. But the good news is that the solution to overcome these problems is readily available. When we founded the Schiller Institute — now more than 33 years ago — we said from the beginning that a just New World Economic Order must be combined with a renaissance of Classical culture. This is actually happening, because with the New Silk Road development being built since four years, the world has changed already; and many countries are reviving their Classical cultures. This is why the Schiller Institute, in all our conferences, always have a conference expressing this dialogue of Classical cultures.
We need obviously a completely new set of international relations. We must overcome geopolitics, and we must have a system of relations among each other with total respect for sovereignty, non-interference, respect for the different social systems, a “win-win” cooperation in the mutual interest of any of us, and the perspective of the one humanity. Nicholas of Cusa, who developed the method of the Coincidentia Oppositorum, the idea of the Coincidence of Opposites, argued that the One has a higher power, a higher order of magnitude than the Many. So, the idea of harmony in the macrocosm is only possible when you have the best development of all microcosms. That development must not be static or linear, but it works like a contrapuntal fugue, where each development furthers the development of the next segment being unified to a higher concept of the composition.
What we have to build is a completely new set of international relations; where each nation is allowed to celebrate statecraft, meaning making possible the creative potential of all of its citizens. An interaction among nations where each focuses on the best cultural tradition and potential of the other. China is reviving Confucianism and its philosophy of philosophical Classical culture in poetry, music, and painting. In Europe, we must absolutely do the same. The ancient Greek Classical period, which is what Greece is actually doing; they had recently a conference in essence of the ten oldest civilizations, and they revived exactly that spirit. In Italy, we have the Golden Renaissance; in Spain, the Andalusian renaissance and other great thinkers. In France, you have the tradition of Louis XI, Jeanne d’Arc, the [École] Polytechnique. In Germany, we have a tremendous wealth of philosophers and composers and poets; Schiller, Beethoven. In America, we have the American Constitution, the American System of Economy. All these treasures are there, and just need to be revived. If we undo what the CCF did, and revive the Classical culture of all nations, and enter a beautiful dialogue among them, mankind will experience a new renaissance and unleash an enormous creativity of the human species like never before.
So, it is very good to live at this moment in history and contribute to make the world a better place. And it can be done, because the New Paradigm corresponds to the lawfulness of the physical universe in science, Classical art, and these principles. Neo-liberalism and the left-liberalism are as outdated and will disappear like the scholastics debating how many angels can sit on the top of a pin. What will be asserted is the identity of the human species as the creative species in the universe.