Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Europe's potential role in the reconstruction of Africa....
Europe's potential role in the reconstruction of Africa....
Portia Tarumbwa-Strid, who is originally from Zimbabwe, is a leader of the LaRouche Youth Movement in Germany. She gave this speech to a conference of the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo), the German "LaRouche" party, in Berlin on March 20, 2009. The conference was titled "The Reconstruction of the World Economy After the Crash of the System." Her speech has been translated from German. See PDF version of this presentation here.
I would like to begin with this statement: If Europe had heeded the voice of the developing nations, at the summit of the Non-Aligned Nations at Colombo [Sri Lanka] in 1976, which very clearly demanded the policy of Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the world would not have landed in this crisis, which, as everyone admits, has struck with breathtaking speed.
Why do I say this? It was, at that time, a moral failure by Europe. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche came back from that conference and informed the media and the political institutions about the Resolution of the Non-Aligned nations; she was told that they had no interest in this whatsoever. I maintain that this attitude is the origin of today's crisis.
Here, the majority of the world's population—85 nations—spoke in favor of a new financial system, and a debt moratorium for developing nations. That is, the fictitious debts which the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had forced upon the developing nations—as is still true today—needed to be cancelled, to clear the way for North-South technology transfers, as providing the indispensable basis for the reconstruction of the so-called Third World.
There have been frightful consequences because of the fact that, instead of endorsing this policy, the West decided to reject the industrialization of the developing nations. In purely demographic terms, Africa is dying. The cynical reigning policy is exactly that described by Aldous Huxley in his book Brave New World, and supported by the British Empire. The people of Africa are suffering disease and death from epidemics which were last seen in Europe in the Middle Ages, as the result of underdevelopment.
For example, of the 922 million people who live in Africa, 20% are undernourished, most of them children under the age of 15. For a child, malnutrition or simply a lack of food, means the body does not grow properly, and the child cannot fulfill his intellectual potential, because hunger over long periods prevents one from concentrating, or even leads to lasting mental impairment. Twenty percent of the population of Africa is affected by iodine deficiency, which causes goiter and is life-threatening. Since the onset of globalization, Africa south of the Sahara is the only part of the world where malnutrition has increased in the last 20 years. Fifteen thousand children starve to death every day in Africa!
Therefore, for European civilization, whether or not we permit such genocide, is a question of the moral fitness to survive. There is no reason to allow Africa to continue in this way any longer. We have all the necessary technologies to transform Africa into the breadbasket of the world.
This means that for you and me, if we truly want to get out of this crisis, we can no longer tolerate the customary excuses, "Oh, what can we really change anyway?" and "The bigshots are just going to do what they want to do, anyway."
All one needs to cure this pessimism, is a strong dose of what Friedrich Schiller calls Empfindungsvermögen [sensitive faculties]. As he writes in the Tenth Letter of the Aesthetical Education of Man, "Whoever does not venture into reality will never discover truth."
Therefore, I would like to bring up a few examples at this point, to point the way to what can be done immediately, if both Europe and Africa determine to overcome this crisis.
LaRouche's Physical Economy vs. the British Empire
Most people, whether they be economics students or the average consumer, think of economics as a question of sums of money, of income streams, and household finances. Knowingly or unknowingly, everything is reduced to the calculations of a milkmaid, whose creed is: "One can spend only what he takes in." Nothing else exists. So profit is falsely defined as purely monetary growth, expressed as the difference between what is bought cheaply and sold dearly.
One could say that this idea of profit maximization, which lies at the basis of so-called "market philosophy," is exactly that which is breaking apart, as a failed system. LaRouche calls it the British Empire, because the entire modern ideology of the era of globalization follows either in the footsteps of Thomas Malthus (the father of the "green" movement) or of Adam Smith (the father of neoliberalism), both paid apologists of the British East India Company. It is no wonder that the World Wildlife Fund and most of the tax havens of the hedge funds are in the hands of the British monarchy!
The axiom of this British thinking was, that the world population must be reduced, so that the world's raw materials can be snatched up and world domination secured. Henry Kissinger's infamous memorandum, NSSM 200, expressed this explicitly: If an industrialized Africa is permitted to exploit its own raw materials, this would not leave enough reserves of raw materials for the Anglo-Americans; therefore, the population of Africa must be reduced, and food must be employed as a weapon toward this end.
In opposition to this, LaRouche's theses are based on physical economy. Looking back through history, at man's development from a simple hunting-gathering society to a modern, industrial society, it was not only the quantities of food which increased to feed an growing population, but it was the transformation of the way and manner that food and raw materials were acquired and used. Moreover, the development of basic infrastructure is the expression of the level of technology in a society up to that point. That means that money does not rule the world, but the mastery of principles of nature by the human intellect does!
Basically, the formula is very simple. When the production costs of goods and raw materials rise in relation to the entire labor power of society, that is clearly bad. When the costs to society of acquiring raw materials or food becomes too high, this pulls down the potential population density. One can see, therefore, that when societies have collapsed historically, it was always because technological progress had failed to adequately maintain a higher population density. Hopefully, in the future, we will find the technology-averse relics of the green movement, such as photovoltaic cells and windmills, in museums, because if we continue with the swindle of supposedly free energy sources, the population will be drastically reduced. It seems therefore that the green movement is in reality a brown [Nazi] movement.
Let's take a very concrete look at the projects which we are putting forward for the development of Africa.
As everyone knows, the Sun shines in the most lovely way on Africa, and we should without a doubt take advantage of the terrific climate to achieve a higher crop yield per year. This can only be done with water-control projects such as canals and dams, as we have long advocated.
This must be done for the North of the continent as well as for the South. Water from the Congo River in the North can be managed so as to replenish the dwindling aquifers in the Chad Basin. With retooling, within three months, the automobile industry could supply all the dams, locks, and suitable machines needed. It really wouldn't be that hard.
The same goes for a railroad network. In order to transport four harvests per year to their destinations, the existing rail network—which originated in the colonial system of building rail only from mine to port—must be massively expanded. I think that the Transrapid maglev, rather than conventional trains, should be selected for this purpose. As it is, there exists no railroad spanning Africa, and if one wants to build an African transcontinental railroad, since this would constitute an investment for the next 50-100 years, it would be cheaper to purchase a magnetically levitated system, because that is an orientation toward the future.
In short, instead of remaining imprisoned in the British monetarist profit-motive mentality, one must think like a Lyndon LaRouche or a Franklin Roosevelt, and plan for the long term. Because, ironically, true profit only comes if one invests in human creativity and transplants new ideas into the economy.
In order for this to come true, we need a lot of electrical power. Optimally, we will be able to have 3 kWh per day per person, so as to provide every person three meals a day, clean running water, a good education, and a rational medical-care system.
To provide for one person with water (taking into account all requirements), you need between 3,000 and 5,000 liters per day. Africa does not now have this quantity, but it could be furnished through the desalination of sea water through reverse osmosis. To produce water in the quantities needed, solar panels or windmills would be unsuitable.
Fourth-generation nuclear power plants, that is high-temperature reactors (pebble bed reactors), such as South Africa has already built in cooperation with the Chinese, are the only rational solution for African nations, because these do not present troublesome problems of atomic waste or nuclear meltdown.
The irony is that this technology, with which the developing nations can finally develop themselves, was developed in Germany by Prof. Rudolf Schulten, but is taboo here in Germany!
Stop the Current Tragedy
If we take stock, again, of the actual situation in 2009, and examine more closely why we have gotten into a crisis, we see that there is an unbelievable coverup of the situation Africa faces in the financial crisis. "Experts" claim that "Africa is for the most part not integrated into the financial markets and therefore tends to be less of a concern."
I believe, however, that the food crisis of the last year proves these experts wrong. Unrest in more that 40 nations worldwide has unmasked the evil role of biofuels, and the "green" value-shift is exposed as the enemy of humanity. Speculation on food commodities, through so-called "food futures," has made what mankind absolutely depends upon to sustain life, namely food, into the prize in a game of chance!
The truth is, the worldwide collapse of demand for raw materials is causing production cutbacks, or the complete closure of raw materials production facilities over broad areas of Africa. In Congo alone, 61 mining firms have cut their workforces, creating an additional 200,000 unemployed in that industry. After the prices of copper, diamonds, and uranium crashed, a presentation was made to the houses of Parliament in Namibia by the President, Hifikepunye Pohamba. He declared an emergency because of the flooding of the Zambesi River in northern Namibia, because the entire crop was obliterated. Flooding occurs there every year, but this time over 400,000 people were affected, and the main reason is a shortage of infrastructure. There is a dam project which could solve this problem in Namibia, and which has been known about for a long time, but it has never been implemented.
The plan that the LaRouche movement worked out in the late 1970s for the development of African infrastructure, involved a project to channel water toward the south, through dry Botswana, to the Limpopo River. I think that definitely, Germany must begin this project, to reverse the breakdown of its machine-tool sector.
In Sudan, the attempt to arrest the sitting President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, by an illegal court, the International Criminal Court, threatens to plunge the whole country further into chaos, just as the government was about to complete a peace settlement. Every African knows that this court is carrying out a neo-colonialist policy, because it brings charges only against Africans, and is funded by private non-governmental organizations, such as those of George Soros and his former business partner, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown (responsible for Africa and Asia in the British Foreign Office).
The African Union, the Arab League, and the Non-Aligned Movement want to cancel this arrest warrant, because they know it poses a threat to the sovereignty of their nations. The message it sends to them is: "If a head of state in the Third World chooses to no longer participate in the system of globalization, we are going to thrown him overboard."
This becomes even clearer, when you know that soon, under President al-Bashir, the largest building project in Africa in decades [the Merowe Dam] will be completed, and that he gave a contract to the Chinese which did not please the European Union, and particularly did not please the British.
In Zimbabwe, there is a similar principle of retribution: Sabotage by international financial institutions has pushed the economy of this small, landlocked African nation into an unbelievable inflation, and forced the population to its knees. More that 4,000 have died there in an outbreak of cholera due to a breakdown of infrastructure.
And exactly what is happening in Zimbabwe—hyperinflation—will be caused worldwide by the new agreement that came out of the G-20 summit in London on IMF special drawing rights.
The cholera epidemic, which spread rapidly as a direct result of the economic collapse, is the forewarning of what LaRouche means by "New Dark Age." I have personally experienced this in Zimbabwe, and declare here, that this is simply unacceptable!
Africa and Europe and the entire world simply have too much potential, and are too beautiful, to yield to the despair of a failed elite, to whom it is of no concern whatever, whether Europe and Africa survive.
The Africans would be happy if the Germans, and the Europeans generally, would stop being enraged over what the Chinese are doing in Africa, and instead do what the Chinese are doing. The Chinese come and say, "We want raw materials. But therefore, we shall build infrastructure for you." One should be clear on this point: The Africans are not stupid. They know that the Chinese are doing more for human rights, by helping to eliminate hunger, need, and misery, instead of coming in with a catalog of various instructions, enumerating them as preconditions for giving aid. The Chinese call what they do, not "development aid," but "business"!
And as the entire world economic system is now collapsing, together with the auto industry and entire areas of the real economy, the unique solutions for retooling the auto industry would be to help with the reconstruction of Africa.
This orientation has nothing to do with altruism, for pure altruism does not really exist. It actually has to do with what gave Europe its longest period of peace in history—the principle of the Peace of Westphalia, with the creed of always looking after the interests of the other. This is exactly the opposite of what Adam Smith preached: that egoistic man grasps for everything, and that if everybody does this at all times, the market will reign with an Invisible Hand! We see today where that has taken us; in opposition to it stands the idea that every nation thinks of the advantage of the other, and by doing so, can fulfill its own potential.
You really have to ask yourself, what were the Europeans thinking in 1976 when Helga Zepp-LaRouche's proposals were not adopted? Perhaps Europe was afraid that others would rise too high? Perhaps they simply did not notice, that without the other, you cannot survive yourself. But today, it is the question of one's own survival as a sovereign nation! The industrialized nations must help the African nations build roads, ports, and railroads, for this is the way that they themselves can make their way out of the crisis.
I am firmly convinced, that we can only succeed together. Europe must learn anew the lesson from the recent school shootings in Winnenden, Germany, and say, "Our youth need a future!" Instead of mind-destroying education with pure rote-learning, the Classical curriculum of Humboldt and Schiller must be revived, with which children, who have more passion for ballgames, could again acquire a passion for intellectual development, and thus become the engineers, doctors, and teachers who will carry through the technology transfer for the reconstruction of Africa. If we write off Africa, we are also writing off Europe!