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Historic Remarks by Lyndon LaRouche Open the Schiller Institute Conference

On the weekend of June 15-16, 2024, the Schiller Institute convened an online conference titled, “The World on the Brink: For a New Peace of Westphalia!” featuring an array of prominent, international speakers. Panel 1 of the conference, titled “Europe After the European Elections,” was opened with a video presentation of excerpts from Lyndon LaRouche’s keynote address to the International Conference of Labor Committees/Schiller Institute annual President’s Day conference on Feb. 20, 2005, titled “The Great Crash of 2005.” Panel 2 of the conference, titled “The Development Aspirations of the Global Majority,” was opened with a video presentation of LaRouche’s keynote address to the International Caucus of Labor Committees/Schiller Institute conference held in Bad Schwalbach, Germany, on May 4, 2001, titled “Winning the Ecumenical Battle For the Common Good.” A transcription of those excerpts is presented below.

Feb. 20, 2005

Without a Movement for Change,
the United States Is Finished!

We got August 1971: Shultz, of the Chicago School. We got the Azores Conference, the floating-exchange-rate system, directed by Shultz! Kissinger’s boss, and the tyrant, who moved on to install the fascist dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. And whose efforts sponsored the unleashing of a Nazi-based mass-murder movement throughout the Southern Cone of South America: Operation Condor.

Then we got Brzezinski, who is different, but in a very queer way. And Brzezinski proceeded to destroy the physical economy of the United States, by things such as deregulation. And by bringing in his crony Paul Volcker, also a crony of Shultz, to destroy the U.S. banking system.

We went on and on and on. And the changes that prevailed, with the exception of our intervention on the SDI the changes which prevailed took us down the road, worse, and worse, and worse. Under politicians who were not bad—but who went along. And therefore, by going along, they fostered the degeneration of the United States. And it went on and on and on, through 2000.

The shock came, with the certification of the election of George W. Bush. And there was a trickle of resistance, largely from the civil rights faction inside the Congressional caucus. But not much more….

And then, we came along through the war, the war in the Middle East, the terror, and the looming sense that the system is coming down. And it is coming down. It’s coming down now. Nothing can save this system, this world system, this United States system, in its present form! The date of death of that system is not yet written, but the inevitability of it is. If we as a people in the United States do not change—and there is a movement for change—this nation is finished!—with most of the people in it.

May 4, 2001

Corridors of Development from the Atlantic to the Pacific across Eurasia

There are some practical considerations in this, strategic ones. And you’ll see that the two focal points of this conference, will turn out to be, at the end, as they are at the beginning, the issue of Eurasian recovery, Eurasian development, as the pivot for world recovery, including the role of Russia as a very special part of any such recovery effort, and the relationship of this Eurasian commitment, to the contrasting situation of Africa.

In other words, to understand the world as a whole, in the simplest terms of reference, look at the possibility of what we can do in Eurasia, and then look at the needs of Africa, in order to see humanity in its wholeness. Those who have the means to lift themselves up, and those on whose behalf, in the larger term, they must act, to lift them up too. Because the idea of the general welfare, while it’s a notion of government of each nation, also must be a notion of the relationships among nations of the world. We must find a community of principle in the notion of the general welfare, to unite nations for a common good. The common good is the general welfare of the nations, of the people in each, and of the community of nations as a group. It’s the only chance for this planet….

In order to make this work, as has been understood for more than a century, almost a century and a half, the only way this could work, was to develop a system of infrastructural development which would effectively link the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean across Eurasia. This is not railroads, this is not Silk Roads, these are corridors of development, which run a range of, let’s say, up to 100 kilometers in width, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, going in various directions. Along these routes, as we did in the United States with the transcontinental railroad, the area on either side of the transportation axis becomes immediately, in and of itself, a sustainable area of economic development. By that means, you can branch out from the main corridors into subsidiary corridors of development and capture the area. If we can make that kind of link, one interesting kind of change occurs immediately.

Mankind’s Ancient Trans-Oceanic Culture

For as long as we know, mankind’s economy has been dominated by the oceans. Contrary to all these theories that the British Biblical archeologists tell you, civilization did not come from England and march down the rivers and the seas, it went the other way. Everything we know from especially information on the internal characteristics of ancient astronomical calendars, shows that they were predominantly calendars used by a trans-oceanic maritime culture, functioning over a long period of time when most of North Eurasia was under a giant glacier, for about 100,000 years. During that period, most of what later became civilization, was running around the oceans. From the time that these maritime cultures came back into Eurasia following the melting of the glacier about 20,000 years ago, when that began, they began to move inland. The first direction was to move along the great riverways inland, to move along the coastways, close to the seas and to maritime traffic. If you look at the map of the world, you find the characteristic of development or of non-development is the lack of the ability to utilize the inland areas, the land-locked areas, of the world, with the same degree of efficiency and productivity we can use the coastal areas and chief riverways.

Look at Asia today. In China, you have the coastal areas which reflect this, they are more highly developed, relatively speaking, and the inland is poorly developed, the population has a poorer standard of living and poorer opportunities for development. This extends then into Central and North Asia as a whole. Therefore, if we conquer this area, what happens? Take transportation alone. People who don’t think, think that ocean freight is the cheapest way to move freight. That is not true. The cheapest way is across land, but not by truck; trucks running up and down the highway tell you that the economy is being mismanaged. It costs too much, it’s intrinsically bad. Railways are much better. Integrated transport systems, featuring railways, especially magnetic levitation systems, are excellent. Magnetic levitation systems move passengers more rapidly, but those same systems for moving freight, that is really a wonder. That’s where the payoff comes. If you can move freight from Rotterdam to Tokyo at an average rate of 300 kilometers per hour, without much stopping along the way, and if for every 100 km of motion across that route, you are generating the creation of wealth through production as a result of the existence of that corridor, then the cost of moving freight from Rotterdam to Tokyo is less than zero. What ocean freight can do that? Did you ever see a large supercargo ship producing wealth while travelling across the ocean? And at what speed?

Now Development of the Internal Land-Mass of the World

Therefore, we have come to a turning point in technology, where the development of the internal land-mass of the world and the great typical frontier is Central and North Asia. That is the greatest single opportunity before all mankind for development. This requires some revolutionary changes in the way we think about things. This means that we would be engaged in the greatest change in the environment in the history of mankind. This single project, say a 25-year or more development of Central and North Asia in this direction, including the conquest of the tundra. (The Arctic tundra is one of the great frontiers to be mastered, and it can be done.) That would be a great change in the environment. How are we going to decide what is good or bad about changing the environment? What people think today about the environment is pretty stupid. It doesn’t make any sense, people don’t know what they’re talking about, and when you see the kind of education they get, it’s no wonder they believe that nonsense. Especially those with physics degrees.

The great theory of the environment was established by a Russian of Ukrainian credentials, Vladimir Vernadsky, with his concept of geobiochemistry. The problem is that what you’re taught in most universities about science is nonsense—it’s a damn lie, to put it frankly. What you’re taught as basic physics is mostly a lie. Because, as Vernadsky demonstrated this in his own way, and as others have shown, there are actually three principles involved in man’s physical relationship to the Earth and the universe. Three categories.

One is what we call non-living processes, what most call physical processes. The second, which those in molecular biology refuse to understand, is the principle of life; you will never get life out of a non-living process. Life is, as Pasteur insisted, a principle unto itself, a universal physical principle which, as Vernadsky demonstrated with his biogeochemistry, the oceans and the atmosphere were produced by living processes, down several kilometers below the Earth’s surface. Most of the Earth that we are in touch with as humanity was created as a by-product of living processes, with what Vernadsky calls the “natural products of the biosphere.” We can measure the power of the biosphere over the non-living processes, we can measure it!

Vernadsky: Mankind Is a Universal Power

Living processes are superior to non-living processes; they are more powerful, they are apparently weak, but their long-term effects are more powerful than the short-term effects of non-living processes.

There is a third thing, which Kant won’t let you know—that’s why they call him Kant, because he can’t do anything. The essential nature of man is that we are capable of making discoveries of universal physical principle, discoveries we can validate in known experimental ways. By applying these principles, we increase our power in the universe, in ways that can be measured physically, per capita and per square kilometer. We can measure this in terms of the demographic effect of this kind of action. That is, does the human species improve its life expectancy, its power to exist in the universe, as a result of this? If it does, that is good. Mankind’s primary mastery of nature has occurred in terms of his mastery and development of the biosphere. So actually, the biosphere, including what we call basic economic infrastructure such as waterways, power systems, transportation systems, the development of good cities—these are natural products of cognition which are reflected as improvements in the biosphere. The biosphere is weak, it is stupid, it does not know how to deal with the deserts it has, or the tundras, or other problems, but we, as human beings, can come to our poor, stupid slave, the biosphere, and say, “We will educate you and we will make you stronger and better.”

So, mankind intervenes in the biosphere to make it better. So the principle of discovery applied to the environment creates natural products of cognition in the biosphere which improves the biosphere, which increases the potential for human life. This is not a mysterious, arbitrary area, it is an area of science, of scientific precision. Which means the job to do is not to ask whether it is good or bad to tamper with the environment: It’s very good to do so if you know what you’re doing. But you have to develop the science of water management, the science of transportation, the science of reforestation, the science of how to change and control the atmosphere and the climate. You can’t make big mistakes, they will live with you for a quarter of a century or more; therefore, you have to have competent groups of people determining how to do this. But by changing the biosphere of Central and North Asia, and changing the biosphere in the arid regions of China, and so forth, we will create the greatest boom for humanity on any part of this planet.

What we need is a mission-oriented task force to undertake the policy planning for precisely this. And it must be international.