The Schiller Institute has organized on July 8 and 9 an international conference titled “On the Verge of a New World War – European Nations Must Cooperate” in Strasbourg, France.
Several politicians and scholars from a wide range of countries participated, and UWI will present a number of selected speeches from the conference.
We start our series with the opening speech of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder and leader of the Schiller Institute.
“Let a Garden amidst a Million Gardens Bloom!”
Mrs. LaRouche is the founder and leader of the Schiller Institute, Germany.
Excellencies, Distinguished guests, dear friends of the Schiller Institute!
What a joy to welcome people from so many nations here in Strasbourg in person, after circumstances forced us to hold our Schiller Conferences only virtually for over three years! But we used this time well to bring together so many new forces worldwide, with which we can intervene together at this crucial moment in world history to create a new paradigm for the future of humanity!
Let me say it straight away: Even if our continent is in an existential crisis, we will not allow its demise. Rather, we will revive the best of what European culture has produced, and what is now buried under the speech balloons of a decadent counterculture and the barbarism of the diehards of the past, and we will bring that into the shaping of the New Paradigm!
Unquestionably, we are now in the most dangerous moment the human species has ever faced, as we are extremely close to extinction as a species on this planet, because that would be the consequence of a global nuclear war. And contrary to what the propaganda of the trans-Atlantic mainstream media claim, the danger is not due to “Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression” nor to “China’s increasingly aggressive imperial power grab,” but to the trans-Atlantic forces who are unscrupulously playing with nuclear fire, while attempting by all means to exert unipolar dominance over the world when it has long since been moving in a multipolar direction. While the mainstream media in unison slander as “Putin sympathizers” anyone who dares to think that history did not begin on February 24, 2022, and while NATO and the U.S. government fund organizations that put people on lists that put their lives in danger, the nations of the Global South have very much gained an independent view of things.
The sixfold expansion of NATO to the East, coming a thousand kilometers closer to the borders of Russia, despite promises to the contrary, can be as little covered up as the efforts of the Northern “ATLANTIC” defense alliance to expand in the Indo-Pacific region as Global NATO. Above all, with the increasingly blatant and arrogant appeals with which representatives of the “rules based order” demand that the whole world submit to their intrigues and their “indulgences” in modern garb (such as a carbon tax or CO2 emissions trading), they have crossed the Rubicon. But it is by doing so that they hope to prolong the existence of the hopelessly bankrupt neoliberal financial system at least a bit longer.
We are currently experiencing a change of epoch, albeit not of the kind that Chancellor Scholz referred to on February 24, 2022, which amounts to the militarization of Europe as a protectorate of the United States. Rather, what we’re seeing is the end of some 500 years of colonialism, which the countries of the Global South are determined to finally shake off with the help of China and the Belt and Road Initiative. For example, at the recent International Finance Summit in Paris, [South African] President Ramaphosa demanded that the international community provide funding for the Inga Dam.
I quote: “Let’s get that done and then we will be convinced that you are serious with the promises that you make. It is estimated that the price tag would be $80 billion and generate at least 42 gigawatts of electricity, which would have an absolutely revolutionary impact on the entire continent’s energy supply and economy.”
More than 30 nations have applied for membership in the BRICS, which will then include the world’s most populous countries. The attempt, coming mainly from the US and the UK, to “decouple” from China or to “de-risk,” as this foolish phrase has come to be called, when all these countries are closely linked with China. So this can only lead to economic suicide, or to an equally suicidal formation of geopolitical blocs, which would carry the seeds of a world war.
In the face of this tectonic shift of power, which occurs at most once or twice in a millennium, the European nations—but also America—must decide whether they want to cooperate productively with this emerging world order, or whether they, NATO, the U.S., the U.K. will opt for total confrontation and the attempt to oppress the absolute majority of the human species. And the decision between these two options will test at the same time our moral fitness to survive: Are we, as rational beings, able to give ourselves, together with the Global South, an order that guarantees the coexistence of us all, or, as Leibniz would put it, allows the happiness of future generations? Or are we soulless human machine guns, hatefully directed only toward the destruction of the supposed enemy?
This is not an academic question, as will become obvious in four days at the annual NATO summit in Vilnius, at which the Hungarian government, thankfully, announced that Ukraine’s admission to NATO will remain out of the question for as long as the war continues. That should actually be self-evident. Now, however, there are recent statements by Berlin’s two leading think tanks, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik (DGAP), both close to the government, about possible security guarantees for Ukraine outside of formal NATO membership. Even if these are only ideas from think tanks, and not necessarily the policies of Berlin, these papers deserve the closest attention, because their authors are typical of the so-called “experts” who speak non-stop on talk shows, and in this way influence the views of the population.
It is not only in France that there has been a great deal of concern recently about Germany’s seemingly complete loss of all sovereignty, as could be seen in the German government’s lack of response to the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.
Now, it must be taken into consideration that the SWP, which advises the government, the Bundestag, the EU, NATO and the UN among others, was created on the initiative of the BND [German Foreign Intelligence Service], which, when it was founded under the aegis of the American occupying power in 1962, incorporated personnel from the military intelligence service Fremde Heere Ost and the Gehlen Organization. The AWP was initially based in Ebenhausen, a small town near Pullach, where the headquarters of the BND was located. The much larger DGAP (German society for foreign policy), 2800 members, was founded as early as 1955 in cooperation with and modeled on the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and the British Royal Institute for International Affairs, known as “Chatham House.”
Now, on the 29th of June, 2023, the AWP put out a paper entitled “From Ad Hoc Support to Long-Term Security Guarantees as a NATO Member.” And there it stated that there are two options, apart from full NATO membership, that could guarantee Kiev’s security. The first is “demilitarization” of Russia by reducing its armed forces and arms industry to a level that rules out “offensive operations.” This would only be possible through “external shocks,” a clear defeat of the army, a renunciation by the leadership of its “neo-imperial understanding of its role,” which would require a change of regime, and the simultaneous denuclearization of Russia’s military potential. That, however, they say, is “currently unrealistic. The second option would be for Ukraine to build up its own nuclear arsenal.
Just in case, the DGAP, the German society, provided yet another option, circulating under the keyword “hedgehog,” as an animal symbolizing such a massive rearmament of Ukraine—into a super-armory, so to speak—that it would deter all future attacks. This includes the variant proposed by the chairman of the British defense committee, Tobias Ellwood, which envisages support from a coalition of the willing and a powerful task force, a Joint European Defense Initiative (JEDI). Germany’s Rheinmetall Group has already announced plans to build a modern tank factory and other weapons factories in Ukraine. Meanwhile, U.S. defense contractors Grumman, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin sponsored champagne receptions at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, not least to celebrate the memorandum of understanding that the world’s largest financial services firm, BlackRock, which manages $10 trillion in assets, landed with the Ukrainian government. JEDI is only intended to help bridge the gap; in the long term, NATO membership is indispensable, and the goal is to anchor Ukraine irrevocably in the Euro- Atlantic structures. The priority, therefore, is to proactively communicate to their own populations the “meaning, purpose and goals” of NATO membership for Ukraine and to take action against institutions that claim to be part of civil society, like the Schiller Institute, but are in fact controlled by the Russian state. We are not controlled. Just for the record I say that.
What a nightmare! The largely destroyed Ukraine is to be transformed into a mega-armed country, a “hedgehog,” or rather into a permanent cash cow for the military-industrial complex on both sides of the Atlantic; it will become a “frozen” conflict that can be activated at any time, as a permanent crossing of the red lines defined by Russia which, in the meantime, is supposed to be “ruined” (according to Baerbock), or permanently weakened (Austin, RUSI, Stoltenberg, etc.).
There’s not a single thought about ending the war through diplomacy, no peace negotiations, no positive vision for the Ukrainian people, and certainly not a peace order for the world as a whole! What an ugly, destructive spirit rears its head here, no human emotion influences the thinking, it’s cold as a robot which is steered by a worm-eaten algorithm! And we can add to that that the U.S. has just decided to deliver straw bombs, dispersal bombs [cluster bombs—ed.] to Ukraine.
But the arrogance that leads some to claim that they belong to the camp of the “good people,” and can therefore suggest the most horrendous things with impunity, also blinds them. The reality is by no means that the Russian economy is collapsing; quite the contrary. Economic growth in May was 5.4%, while Germany is officially in recession, and Russia was forced by the sanctions to build up many branches of production for its own benefit and redirect trade patterns from the West to Asia, where the momentum of the world economy is anyway.
The trans-Atlantic financial sector, on the other hand, is sitting on a bubble of two quadrillion dollars of outstanding derivative contracts—that’s a 2 with 15 zeros—which ultimately means hopeless systemic debt. Central banks are switching back and forth between QE [quantitative easing] and QT [quantitative tightening] and apparent disinterest in orientation. But Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, takes the cake. He recently stated with utmost arrogance at the European Diplomatic Academy in Bruges that Europe is a garden, while most of the rest of the world is a jungle that could intrude into it.
Such a point of view will find no sympathy among the 5,000-year-old cultural peoples of Asia, who together with the other countries of the Global South have long been putting into place a New World Economic Order—and while Mr. Borrell is now regarded as a comedian but not one one would invite for a visit—or among the nearly 50 percent of German companies that are fleeing the country, due to the mismanagement of the German government and the unaffordable energy prices. They have no sympathy for such a view, either.
Hearing Borrell’s misplaced comparison of a garden, one is reminded of scene ten in Act II of Schiller’s play Don Carlos, when the Marquis of Posa, who sees himself as a citizen of the world and carries the liberation of Flanders from the Spanish yoke in his heart, confronts King Phillip II, the absolute ruler of Spain.
In Borrell’s misplaced garden comparison, one is reminded of the tenth entrance in Act II in Schiller’s play “Don Carlos,” when the Marquis of Posa, who sees himself as a citizen of the world and carries the liberation of Flanders from the Spanish yoke in his heart. Here, he confronts King Phillip II, the absolute ruler of Spain, the “empire on which it was said at the time “the sun never sets.” Phillip says something very similar:
“Behold my Spain, see here the burgher’s good blooms in eternal and unclouded peace. A peace like this will I bestow on Flanders.”
And the Marquis answers:
“The churchyard’s peace!.. And do you hope to end The universal spring, that shall renew
The earth’s fair form? Would you alone, in Europe, Fling yourself down before the rapid wheel Of destiny… Vain thought!”
“Sehet in meinem Spanien Euch um. Hier blüht des Bürgers Glück in nie bewölktem Frieden; und diese Ruhe gönn ich den Flamändern.”
Und Posa antwortet:
“Die Ruhe eines Kirchhofs,
Und Sie hoffen…den allgemeinen Frühling aufzuhalten, der die Gestalt der Welt verjüngt? SIE wollen-
Allein in ganz Europa- sich dem Rade
des Weltverhängnisses, das unaufhatltsam
in vollem Laufe rollt, entgegenwerfen?
Sie werden nicht!…”
The absolute majority in Germany, for example, has lost confidence in the government, and according to recent surveys, 79% are not satisfied with the government’s policies. Here in France, we have just seen what state the social fabric in this garden is in. No wall can be built high enough to protect the garden, Borrell says? Well, we see at the external borders of the EU, what these walls look like. Pope Francis described the reception camps for refugees in the border countries of Europe as concentration camps, which are surrounded by high walls topped with NATO barbed wire, and are repulsive enough to deter people from venturing in small boats over the Mediterranean Sea, which has long since been turned into a horrendous mass grave.
No, Mr. Borrell, this Europe is not a garden, it is a continent that competent politicians, such as Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, wanted to bring out of the rubble of the Second World War into a better future, and which a thoroughly decadent political caste, having thrown out the window its duty of peace, is now leading into a renewed catastrophe that threatens to far surpass the horrors of the Second World War.
And if large parts of the world outside Europe resemble a jungle, it’s because Europe has not developed Africa in the past centuries, but well-known families in the trans-Atlantic world have built their fortunes on the slave trade, have drawn profits from the opium trade, or are profiting from the modern successor of colonialism—the casino economy—in which the wealthy determine the rules of our oh-so-fantastically-organized rules-based order.
Or maybe other regions are a jungle because the trans-Atlantic interventionist armies took up residence there, as NATO did for 20 years in Afghanistan, during which time nothing was built, and then left the country in ruins. Or as in Iraq, where a country rising to modernity was bombed back into the Stone Age, and concerning which Madeleine Albright said the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was a fair price to pay for the right to continue ruining the country. And the list of why some countries of this world are not gardens could go on: Syria, Yemen, Libya, Haiti, etc.
But there is a way out. The nations of the Global South, whose existence was just recently discovered by the G7, apparently in the Hiroshima summit, and which represent the overwhelming majority of humanity, have long been shaking off the shackles of modern colonialism and creating a new international currency, new development banks, a new credit system. Over 30 countries have applied for membership in BRICS-Plus; the SCO, AU, ASEAN, EAEU, Mercosur and other organizations have moved to carry out their trade in national currencies. One hundred and fifty-one countries cooperate with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary, and managed during that decade, to make sure the term “developing countries” really does apply to the countries of the Global South.
We in Europe, and even in America, have to give up the already doomed attempt to contain the rise of these countries by decoupling or “de-risking.” We have to replace confrontation, which in any case only benefits the military-industrial complex, with cooperation. Germany, France, Italy, and all other European nations must become part of the new paradigm in international relations, our middle class, now bankrupt under the old paradigm, can not only help build the Inga Dam, but realize the Transaqua project that will provide electricity to twelve more nations in Africa. We can cooperate with China to provide the entire global South with a high-speed rail system, we can build ports and waterways, green deserts through large-scale desalination of seawater, and build new cities.
Yes, and while we’re at it, we can also modernize our own ailing infrastructure instead of enriching the defense industry and impoverishing the population; we can repair our schools, make the health care system functional again, intensify international cooperation on the fusion project ITER as a crash program in order to achieve commercial use of fusion energy faster, and we can spare ourselves all the pollution and the destruction of our landscapes with those unspeakable wind turbines. We can also rebuild Ukraine as a bridge between Central Europe and Russia as part of the new Silk Road.
To bring Europe, and America, onto this path, is our commitment. And let us remember what Posa said to King Phillip, and what we, together with Schiller, say to the many Borrells of today:
Geben Sie die unnatürliche Vergöttrung auf, die uns vernichtet!…
Sie wollen pflanzen für die Ewigkeit,
Und säen Tod? Ein so erzwungnes Werk
Wird seines Schöpfers Geist nicht überdauern…
Give up the unnatural deification that destroys us!… You would plant
For all eternity, and yet the seeds
You sow around you are the seeds of death! This hopeless task, with nature’s laws at strife, Will ne’er survive the spirit of its founder….
Was Sie uns nahmen wieder! Lassen Sie, Grossmüthig, wie der Starke, Menschenglück Aus Ihrem Füllhorn strömen- Geister reifen In Ihrem Weltgebäude, Geben Sie,
Was Sie uns nahmen, wieder. Werden Sie, von Millionen Königen, ein König!
Restore us all you have deprived us of,
And, generous as strong, let happiness
Flow from your horn of plenty—let man’s mind Ripen in your vast empire—give us back
All you have taken from us—and become, Amidst a thousand kings, a king indeed!
Today, we no longer need a king, but as a variation on Posa’s words today, let us say: Let a garden amidst a million gardens bloom!