October 27 Schiller Conference: Steering the World Past Thermonuclear WarBy Dennis Speed
Oct. 25—In two days, the Schiller Institute convenes a conference titled: “For World Peace, Stop the Danger of Nuclear War.” Subtitled the “Second Seminar of Current and Former Elected Officials of the World,” this particular conference intervenes, in the midst of the 60th anniversary of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, to pull the world away from the brink of thermonuclear self-destruction. The only force we wield is the force of ideas—but that is, as Russian-Ukrainian physicist Vladimir Vernadsky rigorously proved, the greatest force, geological or otherwise, on (and perhaps off) the planet.
The Institute’s three-year conference process, of which this Thursday is the latest session, has defied the presumption of a necessarily-tragic outcome to a half-century-plus of trans-Atlantic civilizational policy-failure on the part of the “Western” so-called “inner elites.” The assassinations of leaders, like Patrice Lumumba, the Kennedys and Rev. Martin Luther King, and the defeat and side-lining of others such as France’s Charles de Gaulle, has, over decades, landed mankind on the doorstep of ultimate wars of self-annihilation. Once the door is opened, it will never be closed. We are now at the door. Who will decide when midnight arrives, and we open it?
In a February 1996 Schiller Institute conference in Reston, Virginia, in a speech called “If You Passed Economics 101, You Are Probably a Member of an Endangered Species,” economist and statesman Lyndon LaRouche described the cultural principle that underlies the system of conferences, and congresses assembled by the Institute: "The subject, the actual subject … is the subject of history as tragedy; because we are living in a real tragedy. When a person says to me, ‘Why don’t you give answers in byte-sized doses, like the other politicians? Why don’t you take a poll and find out what the people want to hear, and state your proposition in terms of the prejudices which they already have, as the polls tell you?’ my answer would be: ‘I’m not a fool’….
“We now have a civilization, a worldwide civilization, which is doomed, in its present form. Over the next months or years, this civilization which people talk about—their opinions, their culture, their prejudices, their way of life, their traditions—are all gone! Nothing can save it. And it’s like clinging to a stateroom on the Titanic: If you cling to those traditions, you’ll go down and drown with it. We have to get the people of the Titanic, off traditions, into the lifeboats, so they may be saved.”
The iceberg looms large in front of the “ship of fools” that is the Anglosphere, as this day begins. Today, at the United Nations, Russia’s representatives intend to present evidence that Ukraine, with the assistance of Great Britain, has deployed to prepare and detonate a “dirty bomb,” a radioactive device, in Ukraine. Such an act would be seen by Russia as “nuclear terrorism.” After Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu contacted his counterparts in the United States, France, Great Britain and Turkey on Sunday, Oct. 23 to inform them of this, and the U.S., Britain, France and NATO Secretary Stoltenberg responded by rejecting Russia’s claims, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to their denials. “Their distrust of the information that has been relayed by the Russian side does not mean that the threat of the use of such a ‘dirty bomb’ ceases to exist. The threat is evident.” It is “their business, whether to believe it or not.”
There is no sign, at present, that Russia has changed its thermonuclear posture, upshifted the level of attack readiness of its strategic rocket forces, or taken any measures whatsoever to initiate an attack either on Ukraine or on NATO with nuclear devices. And don’t be fooled: Though Ukrainian forces are inviting IAEA inspectors to look at their nuclear sites “because we have nothing to hide,” Russia is stating that the fabrication of the dirty bomb device is not being done at a nuclear site, but rather is occurring at the Eastern Mining and Processing Plant, located in the city of Zhovti Vody, Dnepropetrovsk region.
Further, it should be remembered that the official United States thermonuclear nuclear weapons policy in force since 2002, and not overturned by any Presidential administration since then, does not preclude first use of such weapons. As the Congressional Research Service Report, “U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: Considering ‘No First Use,’” revised in March of this year, states; “Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has modified its declaratory policy to reduce the apparent role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security, but has not declared that it would not use them first…. In the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report, the Obama Administration stated that the United States ‘would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances’ … (but) the Administration was not prepared to state that the ‘sole purpose’ of U.S. nuclear weapons was to deter nuclear attack because it could envision ‘a narrow range of contingencies’ where nuclear weapons might play a role in deterring conventional, chemical, or biological attacks.” [Emphasis added.]
More American observers, far too silent up until now, have wondered aloud about the factor of insanity in American, and Anglo-American politics. Noam Chomsky, with respect to the provocations of Nancy Pelosi in China, and Jeffrey Sachs with respect to Ukraine, have recently referred to the United States policies as “insane.” Former Ambassador and Special Envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote recently called U.S. policy of military intervention insane. “The deportations (of Haitians) were the straw that broke the camel’s back. But the major reason I resigned is because I saw U.S policy moving in exactly this direction, toward intervention, which is, as Einstein said—and I’ll paraphrase—trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity.”
Historian Barbara Tuchman posed the question, in her book The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam: “A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests. Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government than almost any other human activity…. Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests? Why does intelligent mental process seem so often not to function?”
Lyndon LaRouche supplied the uncomfortable answer many times, in many locations. In one of them, Saudi Arabia in the Year 2023, written in 1983—forty years ago—he stated: “The pioneers in”post industrial’ self-destruction have been Britain first and the United States second. This drift is motivated by policy-beliefs which go so far as to propose that the population of the United States of America be reduced to about 70 million individuals during the coming century. However, this reduction of the populations of Anglo-Saxon North America and Western Europe is also intended to be accompanied by an increase in the Anglo-Saxon percentile of the world’s population as a whole. The population of black Africa is intended to be obliterated, except for a reduction of the population of Nigeria by approximately half…. The population of the subcontinent of Asia and of Southeast Asia is intended to be reduced by more than half through insurrections, communalist bloodletting, regional wars, and ‘natural economic’ processes such as famine and epidemic disease."
In the reaching of a “boundary condition” caused by the divergence of hyper-speculative and unpayable financial instruments, including currencies, from the real physical economy, a sudden, previously unthinkable “shock wave” of Malthusian breakdown occurs, eliminating whole populations overnight. Either that, or advanced industrial development, like that proposed in the Belt and Road Initiative, or the expansion of the BRICS nations, the continuing upward trajectory of China’s economic growth, and the failure of the “financial nuclear war” against Russia, is the future. Though LaRouche’s forecasts were often brutally truthful, they were never presented as the only policy options available to those who would choose durable survival over momentary survival. Saudi Arabia in the Year 2023 was a nearly-100-page proposal, outline and program divided into three sections. First, “Overcoming 1000 Years of Looting and Subjugation of the Arab World”; second, the “LaRouche/Riemann Method”; and, third, “The Social Composition of Development.” Section subtitles included “National Income Accounting,” “The Arab World/Saudi Arabia: Mathematics,” “The Division of Labor,” and “What We Mean by ‘Potential Function.’”
There is no way to engage the “captive nations” of the Anglosphere in the solution-concept of Peace Through Development, including in the short term, if the name and work of Lyndon LaRouche is not put at center stage in these coming hours, days and weeks. The alternative will be thermonuclear war, sooner or later. It is we, not fate or destiny, that must choose to determine that mankind’s midnight of total war never comes.