Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and president of the Schiller Institute, outlines the perils ahead of us in her keynote address. These are a financial crisis that could rapidly turn into an implosion of the system, as we move towards the final issue of the Greek crisis by the end of June; and the growing threat of war, including nuclear war, against Russia and China. The source for that war drive in the Anglo-American camp is the neo-conservative ideology of the PNAC (Project for a New American Century), which proclaims that no other power should be allowed to rival the global power of the British Empire’s Anglo-American relationship.
Conference Press Release
On June 13 and 14, eminent representatives from three of the five countries which make up the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and countries associated to them, were featured speakers of an exceptional international conference of the Schiller Institute in Paris, France, titled “Rebuilding the World in the BRICS era”.
The aim of the conference which brought together some 500 people was to have the winds of progress blowing over the BRICS and their allies reach France and Europe, and bring them to rise up against an international order, which has nothing to offer but the return of Empires, wars of all against all, and the systematic looting of peoples and public goods.
Also under fire at the conference was the rampant Malthusianism spread in the context of the climate change swindle, and the UN climate change conference (COP 21), which is now being prepared to take place at the end of the year in France. That Malthusianism is the mortal enemy of the development of the BRICS and of the rest of the planet.
War, or peace through economic development
Helga ZeppLaRouche, founder and chair of the Schiller Institute, keynoted the conference, outlining the perils ahead of us: a financial crisis that could rapidly turn into an implosion of the system, as the Greek crisis comes to a head at the end of June, and the growing threat of war, including nuclear war, against Russia and China. The source of that war drive in the Anglo- American camp is the neoconservative ideology of the PNAC (Project for a New American Century), which proclaims that no power should be allowed to exist which could threaten the global power of the British Empire’s Anglo American relationship.
In that context, her husband, U.S. statesman and economist Lyndon LaRouche, addressed the conference per video, supporting the protests of three highlevel German figures, two former chancellors, Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder, and the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, FrankWalter Steinmeier, against Chancellor Merkel’s decision not to invite President Vladimir Putin to the last G7.
Mrs LaRouche, however, was optimistic in presenting the BRICS, the New Silk Road of President Xi Jinping and the Eurasian Economic Union, as the alternative to those dangers. She also underscored that the Schiller Institute has contributed for at least 25 years to building that alternative, having proposed after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an international order of peace through mutual development for the 21st century, based on the launching of infrastructure corridors throughout Eurasia.
Russia, China and India
Representatives from Russia, China and India gave the conference a sensuous idea of the “polycentric” world, or embryo of a new, more just, international economic order that the BRICS call for, and which is coming into being at breathtaking speed. The Iranian Ambassador in France, His Excellency Ali Ahani, sent a message indicating that the Islamic Republic of Iran is “willing and ready to cooperate with the BRICS countries in order to offer its assistance and support to solve regional and worldwide problems.”
Russia became acting president of the BRICS in April, and Mr. Leonid Kadyshev, Minister Councilor of the Russian Embassy in Paris, listed the priorities that the Russian presidency will announce at the upcoming BRICS summit in Ufa (Russia) on July 9 and 10.
Before that summit is convened, the New Development Bank and the Currency Reserve Arrangement (CRA), adopted at the Fortaleeza summit in 2014, will be launched, Mr. Kadyshev reported, since the ratification process is “going well”. A road map should then be voted which defines precise investments in infrastructure projects, as well as a new axis of cooperation in areas such as “mining, energy and communications”.
Professor Shi Ze of the China Institute for International Studies then went through the different goals of China’s New Silk Road : reducing the internal economic imbalances between its Eastern and the Western regions, and improving foreign trade with its Western neighbors (Central Asia, India and Russia), which can contribute to China’s huge need of energy for development. But the “One road, one belt” strategy, Prof. Shi stressed, is also China’s contribution to the world in the Confucian tradition, as “the development of the Eurasian continent,” will create “a new locomotive for growth in the world” and “reinforce peace and security worldwide”.
A very important contribution followed from Indian Ambassador Viswanathan, Senior Fellow of the Observer Research Foundation and coordinator of all activities related to the BRICS. In light of the fact that the BRICS represent 25% of the world’s GDP, but only 11% of the voting rights in the IMF, he denounced the “completely anachronistic character… of the IMF, the World Bank and the Security council of the UN”.
Thus, while the BRICS started as a group that aspired to a better order, they have now decided to be one that determines the agenda of the present order. That is confirmed by the creation of the NDB and the CRA, which Mr. Viswanathan pointed out were the first global institutions to be created in 200 years without the participation of the West.
The future “looks bright” for the BRICS, he said, but cautioned that the group is “a work in progress and not a finished product”.
The two days of intense discussions involved hundreds of Frenchmen and delegations from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Australia, Poland, Romania, Russia, China, Peru, and yet others. The public came to understand that they were not attending a “conference as usual”, but rather participating in an ongoing international fight to ensure their own survival and that of the human race, and thus decided to become active actors in shaping their own destiny.
A solution for “Greek” and “African” debt in the era of the BRICS
The problems of debt and of a productive economy, as opposed to the predatory financial system which has taken control of the transAtlantic economy, were at the center of the June 1314 Schiller Institute conference in Paris. At stake is what type of economy the world will build in the BRICS era, to make it truly human.
Jacques Cheminade, Chairman of Solidarité & Progrès, opened the second day of the conference on the theme of “Public credit and debt cancellation, the political challenge for Europe”. He gave numerous examples of a world financial system that has gone mad and become criminal: the EU demanding that countries include prostitution and gambling in their GDP; the incestuous relationship between the banks and the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon); high frequency trading with no judicial control; shadow banking and “alternative pools”; $800 trillion of derivatives claims.
We have to reestablish a world of real growth, said Cheminade. It is better to jump on the train of the BRICS than to stay behind, or even worse, to actively oppose them as the oligarchs propose. However, the real challenge for Europe is “to add a surplus of power and a larger horizon to the impetus of the BRICS”. Cheminade went on to outline Lyndon LaRouche’s measuring rod for a productive economy, which Russian scientist Pobisk Kuznetzov once proposed to call the “L”. That means understanding that man is not a “geopolitical animal seeking to occupy territories and control resources against other human beings”, but a creative being capable of discovering universal principles and transforming society for the better, thorough high technology applications.
Greece: a silent putsch is underway
In contrast, Greece today presents a case study in oligarchical practices. Steglios Kouloglou, a European MP from the Greek Syriza party, engaged the audience by showing how the Troika (IMF, European Central Bank and EU) is using the debt issue to try and overthrow the current Greek government.
The situation is comparable to that of Chile under Salvador Allende, he said. Before Pinochet came in with the tanks, President Nixon told the CIA: “Let the economy scream”. And the banks cut off all credit to Chile. Today, the coup is “not with tanks, but with the banks”. As soon as Syriza came to power, explained Steglios Kouloglu, Mario Draghi of the ECB cut, without the slightest justification, the main source of financing of Greek banks, and replaced it with the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), a facility which must be renewed every week. This, he used “as a sword of Damocles hanging over the head the Greek government.”
Mr. Kouloglou used the occasion to address bitter remarks to France: “Abandoned by those forces whose support they were counting on the French government Greece cannot solve the major problem of the country: an intolerable debt,” which was used essentially to bail out French and German banks in Greece. “The proposal for an international debt conference like that of 1953 which freed Germany from the greater part of debt reparations, opening the road to the economic miracle, has been drowned in a sea of threats and ultimatums,” he charged. In that loaded climate, Russia’s positive answer to Greece’s request to participate in the new BRICS bank came as a “sigh of relief and optimism for Greek public opinion.”
Mr. Kouloglou received a standing ovation from the 450 participants. “We will resist,” he concluded, underscoring that time is of the essence: “Best wishes for the Greek government are no longer enough. The solidarity it deserves must be expressed by acts. Time is limited.”
Africa: the myth of African independence
Diogène Senny, Secretary General of the UMOJA PanAfrican movement, then showed how the indebtedness of Africa is the result of a “cleverly orchestrated policy of new conquest by neo- colonial forces”, and should thus be declared “odious” and “illegitimate”, just as the Greek debt should be.
Several phenomena contributed to inflate African external debt: 1) private debt in the form of excess eurodollars reoriented to Africa in the early 1960’s, and then of petrodollars after the oil shock of 1973; 2) public “tied debt”, i.e., aid tied to signing contracts with the companies of the donor country; 3) multilateral debt given by the IMF and the World Bank. Between 1970 and 1980, Africa’s foreign debt rose to $89 billion. According to UNCTAD (UN Commission on Trade and Development), between 1970 and 2002, Africa received $540 billion in loans, and reimbursed $550 billion, and yet today, the debt is still of $295 billion. Studies by the CADTM (Committee for cancellation of Third World debt) showed that in 2012, SubSaharan Africa returned to the world 5% of its GDP (in investment profits and debt service), while development assistance only accounted for 1% of the same GDP.
So, “who is helping whom”, Diogène Senny asked rhetorically. Debt audit and cancellation for which UMOJA is fighting are “not a request for generosity from the creditors, but a reparation and an act of justice for peoples betrayed”.
|10h45 – 12h45||THE NEW SILK ROAD AND THE BRICS :|
A NEW PARADIGM FOR CIVILIZATION
A look at a new concept and the remarkable practice of China’s development through the “One Belt, One Road”
Pr Shi Ze,
H.E. Ambassador H.H.S. Viswanathan,
Message de H.E. Ali Ahani,
|14h15 – 16h30||ERADICATING THE GEOPOLITICS OF WAR|
BY PURSUING THE COMMON AIMS OF MANKIND
Jean-François Di Meglio,
Colonel (c.r.) Alain Corvez,
|16h30 – 18h30||GREAT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS ARE THE ONLY REAL ALTERNATIVE|
Pr Mohamed Metwally,