Organizing Report: BRICS Nations Revive American System, Will the U.S. Join Them?
By Dennis Speed
LaRouche representatives in the New York-New Jersey area are involved in an increasingly active "street symposium" regarding returning the United States to the principles of Hamiltonian economics—from an advanced standpoint. The strategic physical-economic implications of the policies now being advocated by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—the BRICS nations—have not only been anticipated, but have been consistently advocated, and that uniquely, by Lyndon LaRouche and his movement over the past 40 years. With the recent Chinese announcement of their plan to mine the moon for helium-3 , and the immediate implications for establishing a thermonuclear fusion-based economy as a global "crash project" over the next decade and a half, The LaRouche "New Economic Platform" policy has assumed the weight of irrefutable fact as the leading policy-outlook of advanced world strategy.
Manhattan has been, particularly since 1974, the epicenter of that constant discussion. This year will mark, for example, the 40th anniversary of LaRouche's April, 1975 International Development Bank (IDB) proposal, which "uncannily" contains every essential conceptual tool required to understand the true importance of the impending economic revolution that would now be possible through an American alliance with that BRICS process. The "street symposium" discussion process reveals essential mistakes in outlook on the BRICS that now are being corrected through the organizing process. The Executive Intelligence Review report "The New Silk Road Becomes The World Land-Bridge", and its companion pamphlet, are the means of intervention being deployed for this purpose.
U.S. Institutions Forced to Face BRICS Reality
At a Columbia University Conference entitled "BRICS 2.0: Pursuing Global Governance and Economic Growth", LaRouche representatives spoke in the question and answer section of a panel entitled, "Are BRICS The New Platform For Global Economic Governance?" The orientation of the speakers varied "from pessimistic, to skeptical, to cynical", according to one observer. That may have partially been because several of the participants, who came from the nether-regions of the World Bank, various hedge funds and investment organizations, were attempting to primarily analyze the BRICS as a "new investment opportunity", rather than a new physical-economic presence.
BRICS 2.0 event at Columbia University where LaRouche representatives intervened.
A World Bank official wondered aloud "Why these countries would even propose having a separate bank." He spoke of the tension between the existing institutions (such as the IMF and World Bank) and "the people behind the BRICS". The official readily, but incompetently admitted the problem that the amount of physical infrastructure actually needed world-wide, "including that required to deal with global warming", dwarfed any financing that seemed to be deployed for that purpose. How would this be done? He pointed out, that while there has since 2008 been a massive increase in liquidity, the majority of that is going into debt renegotiation. "This liquidity is not included in long-term investment". He then discussed the creation of the alternate funds, admitting that it could be said that "the existing institutions would see the emergence of these new BRICS development-financing institutions 'as a threat'".
An Indian Professor from Columbia University, after pointing out the complete bankruptcy of the IMF, used the example of how the "Asian tigers" had been misled by monetarism in the 1990s. International bankers convinced these nations to go into short-term investment, "though their economies were doing fine before that". When that blew up, the IMF demanded devaluation of their currencies, and then the cutting of investment in essential projects. "What does that mean for your nation at that point?...The IMF and the United States have not been benign in their relationship with these states. How can the US be the center of international finance if it is not benign?" Certainly, an answer to that question should not be sought from the City of London.
The next panelist, a professor from American University, delivered a Cheney-ac diatribe which revealed the real reason that tension exists between the United States and the BRICS: "I'm cynical about this. Let's face it—the big question is Russia. Why aren't the BRICS countries attack Putin? They are always talking about democracy, but Putin is invading Crimea and they aren't saying anything about it." Ever earlier, when the Indian professor had merely mentioned Putin at one point, there had been heard an audible twitter from the 100-person audience. A LaRouche representative, in order to dispel this "BRICS? Bah! Humbug!" atmosphere, intervened in the question and answer period:
"Helga LaRouche, wife of the founder of EIR, Lyndon LaRouche, has been the chief proponent and architect of the Silk Road, and we are incredibly enthusiastic about the BRICS nations. Their real importance is not monetary: it's a different conception of economics entirely. This is based on the idea of physical production and productivity". The speaker then referenced Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea that the source of that country's potential wealth is that 65% of the population is below the age of 35. "One million jobs/month for ten years? That's a different conception of economics and the future."
What was interesting was the reaction that this elicited. While none of the speakers responded at that moment, there were three people, including one of the speakers, that met with the LaRouche representative immediately afterwards; other members of the audience sought the speaker out for discussion as well. A head of "emerging markets research" for an equities fund expressed a genuine confusion: "one of the problems with emerging economies, is that they make a certain amount of progress, and then they hit a brick wall—basically because you cannot keep lowering the costs of labor. Something different has to happen at that point." He was referred to the proceedings of the recent Schiller Institute Conference held in Frankfurt, Germany, and particularly to those presentations focusing on space technologies and crash thermonuclear fusion power development. Wages should be higher, not lower; labor costs rise not fall, but decline as a portion of the total productive economic output, as a result of higher and more efficient energy throughput produced by frontier power-technologies. It was emphasized that it was LaRouche's conception of value, like that of Alexander Hamilton, which completely distinguished his policy from anyone else's. China's helium-3 moon mining program was the "shorthand" way that this difference, rooted in a different conception of the future, was concretely illustrated to him. As the exchange concluded, he said: "My take on this, is that China is the essential piece on the whole of the BRICS. Nothing else will work without that."
Getting Americans To Think American Again
The street dialogue, however, extends much farther than Columbia University. In the midst of organizing in Brooklyn and the streets of Manhattan following the Eric Garner choking death tragedy, one organizer challenged people to think with this question: "Prime Minister Modi wants to create one million jobs per month in India. Do you think that anything like Ferguson would be going on, if we had one million jobs per month, for our youth population?" Other organizers report that contacts associated with the Tea Party ferment of 2009-2010 are generally "completely freaked out about Russia and China being Communists". These people have to be worked through their real difficulty: they are singularly unaware, in almost every case, of what the American System of Economics is.
Street organizing in Manhattan.
One such "Tea Party supporter" was changed from anti-BRICS paranoia in mid-stream, when it was discovered, while attempting to get him to think about US-Russian collaboration in space even during the height of the Cold War, that he was demoralized about the state of the US space program. When we told him about the idea of joint Russian/Chinese/American/Indian "Strategic Defense of Earth",he got out of that state of mind, and stopped his "anti-communist" tirade. One of the signers of the petition being circulated by the Schiller Institute to bring the United States into accordance with the BRICS nations, signed it precisely because it was clear to him that the purpose of the attacks on Russia was to break up the BRICS.
Organizers have noted the appearance in recent weeks of "ad hominem" attacks against all of the BRICS leaders, in fact. This is picked up "in the street" as a random sample of the population is engaged. The Brazilian government is said to be "an economic failure". Modi is attacked for forced conversions. China "cannot be trusted" and is engaged in the process "to make money". Putin is attacked Ukraine. South Africa, if identified by people at all, as even associated with BRICS, is essentially dismissed, or there is stereotypical muttering about "corrupt African heads of state".
Some individuals have an insight into the importance of the BRICS process because of their connections to other countries that want to join it, or are attempting to pursue similar policies. A New Jersey university professor who is very active in the Egyptian community, connected to the BRICS process because of what he sees as similarities in the emerging Egyptian policy for development, especially in water management and power development. Supporters of Senator Elizabeth Warren's recent attacks on Citibank by name, who rallied on Wall Street and gave insightful speeches about Glass-Steagall, were nevertheless unclear about any connection between "what we are doing in the United States, and what's going on in other countries". This is a fatal flaw, one which the LaRouche Political Action Committee has sought to correct by emphasizing what LaRouche calls his Four Laws.
Trade union officials, state assemblymen and senators, and former Cabinet officials have all been challenged to support the "Hamiltonian" BRICS in the name of the American System. Developing the courage to do so, is the subject of the upcoming January 17 Schiller Institute conference in New York City, "The BRICS Nations Revive Martin Luther King's Dream: Economic Justice Is An Inalienable Right." More details on the our international January 17th event coming soon!
The following Schiller Institute "Why the U.S. Must Join the BRICS" event playlist features speakers including Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Ray McGovern, Terry Strada, Jeff Steinberg, speakers from India, China and South Africa, and, a variety of musical and cultural offerings from all over the world.