Panel 2: “Why a 1.5 Billion Productive Jobs Program Can End War, Famine, Poverty, and Disease”
DENNIS SPEED: Good afternoon. Welcome to the second panel of the Schiller Institute’s June 27th conference “Will Humanity Prosper or Perish? The Future Demands a ‘Four Power’ Summit Now!” This is the second panel of our conference and it is entitled “The World Needs 1.5 Billion New Productive Jobs To End War, Famine, Poverty and Disease.”
Our first panelist is Jacques Cheminade, President of Solidarité et Progrès in France. He’s speaking on “How Food Production Can Unite the World.”
JACQUES CHEMINADE: Good day. I’m very honored to be with you today, because of all you have done until now, and mainly because of what we all are going to do after this Schiller conference.
Food production unites the world: We are all conscious of the fact that the two first human rights to be upheld, are to be fed and to be kept in a good healthy condition, in order to contribute to the common good and the future of our societies. If we look at the world as it is we cannot but recognize that these two human rights are continuously and constantly violated and that the present policies of the main states and institutions, with a few remarkable exceptions, are leading us towards a world which is going to be much worse, if we allow it. We are set to become inhuman.
The question is therefore not to comment any more about what is happening or to complain, but to do something about it. That’s why we are here, to mobilize the best of our cultures and our nations to generate a world where the true creative powers of humanity will prosper, against all odds. It starts by food production which unites all people beyond and above cultural and language barriers. It seems commonplace to say such things, but the fact that we are morally and economically compelled to do so is precisely the sign of the inhuman condition in which we have been plunged, with the immediate threat that 100 million of our fellow human beings could die from hunger — 300,000 a day — while the farmers are trapped into a Malthusian world where they literally can’t breathe.
If we start from what humanity needs, taking into account the requirements for an adequate quantity and quality diet, sufficiency for everyone and the indispensable need to create food reserves, we must first double our food production. To produce 5 billion tons of grain, for example, means to more than double the present world harvest.
We hear in the Unites States “We American farmers can feed the world” and it’s true. We hear in Europe, “We European farmers can feed the world,” and it’s true. And we hear in the rest of the world, “We also can secure our food security and sovereignty,” and it’s true.
So what is happening? What’s happening, which makes this potential to not be actualized.
First, the whole world is ruled by the financial dictatorship of Wall Street and the City of London, which cannot care less for people and, in fact, openly promote world depopulation. Unable, in their own terms, to keep their power and to feed the world at the same time, they prefer to keep their power and envisage a world populated with less than 2 billion human beings. Their policy is to kill, either by murderous action, or by voluntary neglect. They let their ideologues openly front for it, under black or green colors.
Second, the outgrowths of this financial dictatorship, i.e., the food and farming cartels, dominate or control all the chains of transportation, distribution and sales in foodstuffs, including the property of vast domains of land.
Third, an anti-productivist ideology is promoted among the urban sectors of the service economy, dominant in numbers among Western countries, betting on both their ignorance of what a productive life is (they don’t even know what a productive life is!), and on their cultural pessimism, induced by the media and the entertainment sectors. There were no stocks of masks or tests in our Western states to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, just as there are almost no grain reserves today to deal with food shortages: the World Trade Organization and the cartels left it up to the marketplace. As a result, China has one-year grain stocks for its needs, Russia six months, the United States much less, and the European Union at best 45 days! Under its Green Deal, the European Commission has decided to cut by 50% the use of pesticides, by 20% the use of fertilizers and by 50% the use of anti-microbials for livestock and aquaculture. It expects to transform 25% of the land into organic bioproduction against 7.5% today. The point here is that, under the guise of caring for us, they obey their real financial masters and cut the means of production without providing any alternative to feed us and feed the world.
It’s criminal not to maintain food reserves. It is criminal to have brought farming prices below the cost of production. It is criminal to have pitted the producers of the world against each other, to lower the prices paid to them for the benefit of the worldwide cartels in grains, meat, seeds, seafood…. It is criminal, that in the poorest countries of the world, 70% of the production is allowed to be lost because there are no cold chains and too many rodents. It is criminal to compel those countries to pay more for the debt service to financial agencies than for building and maintaining hospitals or schools . It is, as Lyndon LaRouche repeatedly said, the model of the private British East India Company spread all over the world, controlling the chains of production, transportation and trade.
So this crisis should be the opportunity to recognize the absolute right to produce food and to get rid of the cartel monopoly system. This, of course, cannot be done as a thing in itself. It demands the shutdown of their source of money supply: the Wall Street and City of London rule, the British Empire. The criminal policies in the area of food and health, are, in that sense, for the people of the world the visible side of the oligarchy’s iceberg and our main weapon to fight the oligarchy. To show the peoples of the world that to fight for a new Glass-Steagall Act, a public credit policy, a National Bank, is not a technical question but a very concrete matter of life or death. The present financial system cannot be maintained through the rule of an unjust law and order, which has mutated into a system of chaos and disorder, based on an “everything bubble” which kills all the more as it inflates.
Therefore we have to come back and rethink about how we can inspire a strategy based on the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche, because they represent the architectural, unifying body for a change. To put it more concretely, the only possible exit door from the present fire.
As I am in Western Europe, I feel obliged to tell you how something which had a good start, failed because its environment was not shaped by a coherent principle corresponding to the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche: I am talking about the European Common Agricultural Policy, launched on July 30, 1962. It was based on four goals: increasing productivity; securing a fair living standard for food producers; establishing a sort of parity price including reinvestment; securing the food supplies and a reasonable price for consumers. It worked for about 30 years, based on a self-sufficient single market, with a productive priority connected to industrial progress (modern tractors, fertilizers, pesticides…), plus financial solidarity and a European preference. The financial aid and support were given in the form of a minimum price guaranteed to the producer, called “indirect aid.” As a result, the Common Market members, as it was called in those days, became self-sufficient and Western Europe grew to be the second world exporter of foodstuffs. The farms grew moderately in size, and the whole agricultural sector underwent a period of relative prosperity, despite its in depth and fast transformation.
Today, we have all the European farmers desperately protesting, hostages to the banks and living on subsidies, having become indebted, working hard and gaining very little, with their sons and daughters abandoning their farms to go to the cities. What happened?
First, under the pressure of the global financial deregulation, the Common Agricultural Policy was changed in the 1990s, the same period characterized by de-industrialization, banking rule and deregulation, mainly in France, but also in all Western Europe. The indirect aid based on price guarantees disappeared and were replaced by so-called direct aid, proportional to the surface of the farms. This was done under the pressure of the World Trade Organization with the pretext of avoiding “price distortions.” As a result, within a context of falling purchasing power of foodstuffs, the aid, decoupled from production, went mainly to the big landowners such as the Queen of England, the Prince of Monaco and the Duke of Kent. The small and medium-sized farmers were strangled through price decreases and the fall of aid. Their only option was either to leave or to be further strangled by the banks, including the farmers’ bank, the Crédit Agricole, which became a bank like all the others and even worse to its old clients! The European Union budget for agriculture was reduced in purchasing power and has decreased in percentage of the total EU budget. Add to that the vulnerability of all producers to the system of floating exchange rates, the middle-sized or small ones sinking and the big ones becoming more like “experts” of the Chicago market than real farmers!
Today, the main talk is to replace the “direct” aid based on farm surfaces, by “environment and climate aid,” of which only the very big ones can benefit. This is a policy of desertification and agricultural depopulation within a context of a green world depopulation. Within this system, there are a few Scotch tape measures proposed, which are maybe relatively helpful but not of a nature to change the situation. For example, it is proposed that the distribution of aid be based not on the surface of farms, but on the number of persons active in them. Others call for stocks of food security against the instability of the markets, fair prices and measures to fight against world hunger. Good intentions, but nothing tackling the depth of the challenge.
Our commitment is precisely to do that, to go to the roots of the problem. The Common Agricultural Policy failed because it did not deal with its global environment. Same thing for parity prices in the United States. You cannot do it within a system which creates all the conditions to go in the opposite direction. Besides, even in its best years, the Common Agricultural Policy was mainly defensive, in French terms, a kind of a Maginot Line doomed to fail under flanking attacks or attacks from above. And whereas it temporarily solved the food crisis within Western Europe, it did nothing to organize markets and food stocks at the needed level of an alliance of world nations of world population.
Clearly, we have now with the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche, not as mantra, but as a roadmap for the fight, the means to break with the existing rules of the game, which was not done under the Common Agricultural Policy. But for that we need to inspire and put pressure on the peoples of the world so that they pressure their governments, as was said in the preceding panel. That is for each of us an issue of life or death. And it can only win with a winner mind, with a tenacious commitment renewed every morning.
For that reason, let me tell you about two things, as a conclusion.
First on the way through which we can inspire. There are LaRouche’s Four Laws as a reference to explore, facing their numerous challenges for real, in the existing world. There is their application in our recent two programs: Build a global health system now! LaRouche’s “Apollo mission” to defeat the global pandemic crisis, and I would add “and beyond” the global pandemic crisis, and LaRouche’s Plan to reopen the U.S. economy: the world needs 1.5 billion new, productive jobs. It is only through this anti-parochial organizing, based on a dynamic development, that we can inspire people who are today so submerged by information and permanently thrown into situations leading them to emotional cop-outs as we see on both sides of the Atlantic. It is through our personal example, based on a tenacious directionality every single day of our lives, that we can lead them to become free organizers.
Second, I would like to give you an example of that, directly linked to our subject matter: It is that of the Maisons Familiales Rurales (Rural Family Houses), a project created by Abbot Granereau, a French countryside priest who introduced a new way of learning in the rural areas of France and beyond. There are now 432 of these MFR rural houses in Europe, 112 in Latin America, 118 in Africa (Mauritania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea…) and in the Indian Ocean and a few in Asia. In France this education is run in association with the state and the local governments, but with absolute emphasis put on the involvement of the families.
Abbot Granereau was the son of a peasant family, who at a very early age questioned both the Napoleonic, pyramidal organizing of the French education system and the fact that the public education system led the best sons of the farmers to quit farming, leave the countryside and often break with their traditionally-oriented families. He decided to solve the problem by launching a new system of his own, that the families could afford and that he called on “Our Lady of the Social Revolution” for inspiration. His idea was to have the high-school age students reside one week every month at an educational home for professional training, which he provided; he went around, buying places to have the students spend a week there, which he provided, not far from their homes and run jointly with the families and later with the teachers. The program ran from November to April, so that the parents could have their children the rest of the time to work at the farm. The education was to be paid by the parents and the status of the students was one of apprenticeship. During the three other weeks of the month, the students were provided with two hours of homework every day. The key to its success was the associative responsibility of the families family integration, and also the students educating their families; this concept of family integration which would be very useful today; the respect of the individual personality of every student, not as units but as persons; and the promotion of actions of social development: visits to farms, producing modern tools, tractors or fertilizers.
Granereau started in 1935 with three farmers, committed to support his project and four apprentices. And he managed in about 30 years to change the fate of the rural world and avoid, at the time, its debasement.
The secret behind his method was to be very rigorous and at the same time to make the students responsible. For every activity one of them was appointed to be responsible for all the others. His commitment was to give to all a good level of education, giving back their dignity to his brother farmers, a knowledge of the new methods of production within an education for their souls. For him, a good farmer had to be what he called “a scientist of the land.” When enough pupils and students came, he separated the functions of teaching, under a good and committed teacher from the Purpan high-level school of agriculture in Toulouse, from those of guidance, which was his full-time responsibility. Granereau wanted to create “peasant leaders” to enter the coming new world with Christian principles. He invented “in his way,” an active method based on exploration, cooperation, participation and mutual trust. He himself did change during all his life: he created a section for young women and girls, then organized a mixed-gender school, carefully promoting a mutual respect of the two sexes; and finally opened up his schools to all families, understanding that the notion of family and mutual respect was key and above religious affiliations. A lot of people were shocked, but he was delighted.
I am convinced that such an approach, based on the respect of every individual mind and the service to the other, should be thoughtfully considered as an inspiration to our methods of teaching today, those against which Lyndon LaRouche has so often polemicized. Not to copy it as such, of course, but to follow its spirit of exploration and creativity. In the countries with a longstanding family farming culture, like in Africa, it would be a model to ensure the transition of agricultural labor, as it has been in France.
The case of Granereau is also a good reference for how to change things. We should ourselves think much more about what Lyndon LaRouche did at the beginning: gathering a few persons in a pilot project addressing not academic questions but, from top down, the key challenges of our times, and sending memos and launching debates all the time. Then you have the best kind of excitement of actually discussing and enriching a program, all the time, and even the higher excitement to make it exist. Let’s do it.
SPEED: Thank you, Jacques.
We’re now going to hear from Diogène Senny, the founder of the Pan-African League — UMOJA. He is a Professor of International Intercultural Management, specialist in economic intelligence and international economic relations, Founder of the African School of Management (EAM) in Congo.
He’s speaking on the topic, “Prosper or Perish: An Introduction to the Geopolitics of Hunger and Poverty”
DIOGÈNE SENNY: Dear Speakers, Dear Participants, Dear Guests, First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the Schiller Institute for having associated me with this discussion at this very special time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, far from the one-off event, the circumstances in which this conference takes place make of it an Historical Moment, because the enormous health, economic and social consequences connected to COVID-19, are like “Challenges” and “Confrontations” launched against societies and men in the sense of the British historian, Arnold Toynbee.
For once, we are going to connect the issues of Hunger, Poverty and Health with History; not only in a memorial function, but also and above all to view history as the most powerful manifestation of social energy and the will of man to survive.
STORICISMO, in other words Historicism, as the Italians would say, is the act by which one creates one’s own action, one’s own thought, one’s own poetry by moving from the present consciousness of the past. We know that at least 13 billion people, twice the world’s population today, could be fed by the world’s agriculture. Therefore, the destruction of tens of millions of women, men and children by hunger is unworthy of such a rich century! Can we seriously consider alternatives to Hunger, Poverty and Health while maintaining a historical amnesia on matters of the economic and social rights of peoples?
II. Fight against Amnesia
Ladies and Gentlemen, who remembers that a third of the civilian and military deaths of the Second World War were due to malnutrition, tuberculosis and anemia? Who remembers the heaps of coffins have piled up in the churches of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague because of hunger? And especially in Poland and Norway, the fact that some families survived by eating rats and bark of trees? 1947, two years after this appalling reality, who recalls still this attack by the ambassador of Great Britain, while working with the Commission responsible for drawing up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I quote: “We want free men, not well-fed slaves!” End of quote. Who recalls the direct response of his Ukrainian counterpart, I quote: “Even free men can starve to death,” end of quote? This exchange illustrates the beginning of a new geopolitical order, that is to say, the Cold War, and the defeat of the recognition of economic and social rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10, 1948.
However, how to believe that the civil and political rights can be effective, without the economic and social rights? It took 45 years, almost half a century, in June 1993 for the UN to adopt a new Declaration in Vienna, making all rights (civic, political, economic, social and cultural) indivisible and interdependent. Alas, what wasted time !
III. The Disappointments of the End of the Cold War
Ladies and Gentlemen, The hope raised by the end of the cold war in terms of economic and social rights was very quickly lost because of the fact that the planetary power of transcontinental agro-industrial companies and Hedge Funds, these funds that speculate on food prices, arable land, seeds, fertilizers, credits, etc., is significantly higher than that of states. Hunger is not inevitable, it comes from organized crime. 90% of peasants in the south, in the 21st century, only have the following working tools: hoe, machete and scythe. FAO reports in the 2010s indicate that 500 million farmers in the South have no access to selected seeds, mineral fertilizers, or manure, and do not own animals. The overwhelming majority of farmers in India, Peru, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ecuador, etc. have no irrigation system. How can you be surprised then that 1 hectare of cereals gives about 700 kilograms to Africans, against 10,000 kilograms for the same space for their colleagues from the Gironde in France. As we have already said, Hunger is not inevitable. It is the result of the will of a few. And it is by the determination of men that she will be defeated.
Some examples to illustrate predation situations by multinationals of the agro-industry in Africa:
In Cameroon: In 2006, we remember the admirable struggle lead by the Development Committee of the N’do region, which brought together farmers’ unions and civil society in the fight against the grabbing of 11,000 arable lands by SOSUCAM (Société Sucrière du Cameroun) , authorized by the Cameroonian government. It should be noted that SOSUCAM is the property of Alexandre Vilgrain, a French industrialist and that this company had already acquired 10,000 hectares in Cameroon in 1965. Here, the colonial continuum is still in full swing in the economic field.
In Senegal: Here it was the Great Senegalese estates (GDS), belonging to French, Spanish, Moroccan, etc. financial groups which acquired tens of thousands of arable land in Saint-Louis, depriving the peasants of necessary spaces for basic crops. As in Cameroon, the farmers of Walo reduced to modest harvests on only 1 hectare of rice, organize themselves to resist with much dignity. In Nigeria, Benin and Mali: International hedge funds also rely on local oligarchs to organize land grabs.
This is how the wealthy merchants of Sokoto and Kano got hold of tens of thousands of hectares of food land.
In Benin, it is the political and economic barons who accumulate hectares, voluntarily left fallow, while waiting to resell them for a higher price instead of investing in the region of Zou, the former breadbasket of Benin’s Wheat.
Finally, we note the same trading mechanism in Mali where wealthy businessmen from Bamako are used to acquire arable land at low prices for resale at gold prices to Saudi princes or Hedge New York Funds.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The ruin of the economy and the disasters that are looming following the coronavirus pandemic are part of what is known as Cyclical Hunger. Its peculiarity lies in the suddenness and unpredictability of the highly visible damage generated. Its spectacular nature should not blind us to these real causes. However, what has been described throughout this intervention is structural hunger. Structural hunger has root causes. It is permanent and unspectacular, psychically and physically destroying millions of human beings. Structural Hunger exposes millions of malnourished mothers to give birth to deficient children.
Ladies and Gentlemen, We will precede the alternative presented by this conference “Prosper or Perish,” by the word Unity. Because, for us pan-Africanists, the question of Hunger is less about Food Security than Food Sovereignty. Only Political Unity will give us the weapons necessary to protect the immense resource of arable land all over the African continent. It is at this price that Food Sovereignty will be guaranteed to all Africans!
Umoja Ni Nguvu, Thank you.
SPEED: Thank you very much, particularly for that idea about food sovereignty. So people just know, we were listening to a translation from French.
We’re going next to Walter Formento, Director, Center for Political and Economic Research, Argentina. His topic is, “South America on the New Multipolar Road.”
WALTER FORMENTO: Good Afternoon: My name is Walter Formento. I’m the director of the Center for Political and Economic Research (CIEPE), and also a member of the Latin American Social Sciences Network, which is involved in all five continents.
It means a lot to us to be part of this conference, and we hope we can contribute to the dialogue that is beginning here.
In terms of the development and contributions of the New Silk Road and the World Land-Bridge which connects us all, we believe that South America—extending from Mexico to Argentina-Brazil, going through Colombia-Venezuela, Peru-Bolivia and Paraguay—has in its Hispano-American and South American history, a real and concrete accumulation of capabilities for building sovereignty, strategic industries, science and technology—both to contribute and to receive. This stems from each one of these nations individually and then, from an organized pluri-national, South American community, based on their common Hispano-American origins, but even more specifically, on the 2001-2015 period based on UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations), and CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States).
Looking first from Argentina: This South American nation launched the development of its strategic industries from the very moment of its battle against the British invasions of 1805-1807. At the beginning of the 20th century, the process continued with the development of its oil-related energy industries and hydroelectric projects, always interacting with the international context and receiving feedback from that framework.
From the Great Depression which was caused by the systemic crisis of 1929-1944, Argentina, together with Chile and Brazil—the ABC Alliance—deepened the process of sovereign development, strengthening their rail, maritime and river transportation as well as automobile and aircraft industries, which then became the basis for the development of their aerospace and submarine industries. While these industries maintained international ties, they always collaborated with each other, which allowed for their own joint scientific and technological development, This was once again a function of an international context favorable to South America, and particularly to Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
In the Argentine case, beginning in 1946, this positive process led to the creation, between 1963 and 1991, of a state-run, public-private industrial, technological and scientific matrix, in which 80% of the goods and services and parts required for national development were produced in our internal market. This also consolidated a social reality in which 90% of the labor forcé was formally employed, with a strong university-educated, technical-professional component, and in which the unemployed labor force was also formally recognized as well. So, from the standpoint of values, this was an integrated and committed social reality.
That is why South America (or Hispano-America), based on its own experience, recognizes the importance of developing a national strategic-industrial-technological complex, but also a South American community of nations as well.
The war and defeat which the London and New York-based Anglo-Dutch oligarchy imposed on Argentina and on South America, and did so with a vengeance, beginning with the 1976 coup d’état in Argentina, followed by the 1982-1991 Malvinas War period, put an end to this virtuous cycle and launched a cycle of decadence enforced by global financial neoliberalism.
Thus today, when we reflect on the New Silk Road and new multipolar financial system, and in that context the World Land-Bridge and its empowering the productive abilities of humanity and nature, including the Dialogue of Civilizations, we see this as auspicious and hopeful. We are called on to commit ourselves, to contribute to and transmit those initiatives promoting aerospace, transportation and new energy technologies.
In some ways, we’re already part of this. There’s the [bioceanic] rail transportation corridor from Brazil, traversing Bolivia and ending in Peru. We’re also involved in the modernization of a rail line, which extends from Buenos Aires (with its factories and workshops for maintenance of machinery and railroad cars), from the province of Santa Fe to Córdoba, Chaco, Salta and Jujuy in the north, then connecting to the main trunk line. In a joint effort, with Russia supplying components and new technologies together with Argentina, we are building a modern new railroad system capable of developing this area even further. We are also developing nuclear reactors, using Chinese and Argentine technology, as well as new hydroelectric projects in the southern Patagonia, close to Antarctica and the islands of the South Atlantic, with their natural interoceanic route that connects the three great oceans: the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic.
After 2008-2010, into 2014, the financial crisis of 2008-2009 again paralyzed the world, which revolved around speculative financial earnings.
But today there is another world, the multipolar world seen in the World Land-Bridge, the world of the New Silk Road, committed to interacting with all continents, and with all nations for a peaceful, harmonious development integrated into a new reality for all humanity—and for nature. We are a committed part of this process; we see ourselves as committed—in thought, in practice and in action—committed through our entire history.
This is our first contribution to these conferences you have been holding, and connecting us to the five continents and with the actors who are the great historical power— in this new commitment to humanity and nature in terms of social and integral inclusion.
I send you a warm abrazo and hope to be able to contribute further to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.
SPEED: Thank you very much, Dr. Formento.
We have gone from Europe, to Africa, to South America, and now we go to the Caribbean. Dr. Kirk Meighoo, political economist, broadcaster, and former Senator, Trinidad and Tobago: “The Caribbean’s True Importance in the Making and Re-Making of the Modern Global Economy”
KIRK MEIGHOO: Hi. My name is Dr. Kirk Meighoo, I’m a political economist, broadcaster, and former Senator from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. It’s a real pleasure to be here, to be part of this conference, with the Schiller Institute and I thank the organizers for inviting me.
I’ve been friendly with the LaRouche movement and the Schiller Institute for a number of years now. There are so many things that we share in common, and there’s a lot of projects that I want us to collaborate on, and this certainly is one them.
Now, I’m also a member of the official opposition party. We do have an election coming up this year, and we hope to take government. The platform, the manifesto of our party — and this is from before the COVID crisis — was to create 50,000 new jobs in the economy. And in our small economy, we have 1.3 million people in our island, and the labor force is about 650,000, so 50,000 was a big number. However, with the COVID-19 lockdowns and what it’s done to our economies and the whole global economy, we need to increase that number, at least to 150,000 and by combining it with this program from the LaRouche movement for 1.5 billion productive jobs around the world, there is an incredible synergy that we must take advantage of.
Now, one of the things that I’m always concerned about, is that we small states in the Caribbean, we are actually one of the bigger islands, with over a million population; like Jamaica has 2 million, a little over 2; many of the other islands are much, much smaller; there’s a tendency for us to be overlooked, for us to be forgotten in such schemes, and that is part of our lack of development here. But it is not just a matter of a lack of development, it’s also the type of development we’ve been undergoing.
I’m also part of a tradition of intellectuals here, started in the 1960s, soon after our formal independence, called the “New World Group.” And it’s incredible, the overlap with the LaRouche movement in terms of our analysis and our goals and our solutions. I have always found that to be an amazing thing, and it’s just another illustration on how the truth is one, and we can all arrive at the same truth from our very different points in time, space, and circumstance, and this is certainly one of those instances.
For the Caribbean, the point I’m making about the inclusion of the Caribbean in this global program that the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche movement is proposing, is not just a matter of charity. Because what the LaRouche movement is proposing is an end to the trans-Atlantic system, what might traditionally be called “imperialism,” to the imperial system, to the post-Columbus system, if you want to put it in those terms, and that is precisely what we have been calling for, for decades ourselves. Because, you see, the Caribbean has a special place in this 500-year modern world economic system, that we need to understand, because our participation in it was central. The Caribbean was where the modern world began: It’s where Columbus came in this voyage, it’s where the first global production of sugar, rum, alcohol, etc., which enriched New York, Boston, the East Coast of the United States, fed into the industrial revolution. The organizing of these huge plantations in the Caribbean was a forerunner to industrial capitalism in Europe, and our great intellectuals, such as Dr. Eric Williams, our first Prime Minister spoke about that in his seminal book from 1944, Capitalism and Slavery.
So, we’ve had a long experience, analyzing this, our own experiences. Because we represent the dark side of this modernity. Of course, modernity has brought a lot of good to the world. But in the Caribbean, this type of economy now has become, let’s say since the 1980s and ’90s, the neo-liberal system, but it really starts from the system of slavery in the Caribbean. Because, think about it: These economies were founded on slave labor, which is imported farm labor at cheap or free cost. It decimated local economies. We made nothing for ourselves here. Everything was around sugar production, mainly; sometimes some other people had other crops, but whatever the early English colonists had here for their own self-development — tobacco, food crops, etc.—local settlements, colonies in the true sense of the word, where you’re making your own settlement elsewhere — part of this imperial system that the Caribbean was central to, and this global sugar production, the triangular trade where we were central — this is actually what’s going on in the rest of the world. Because when they established it here, they had to gut out the independent farmers; they had to buy out all the independent landowners, so that the big sugar interests could own all the land, control all the production, in a global system of raw-materials export, where the value added would be done elsewhere, and you break up the whole chain of production.
What did that mean? That meant no manufacturing here. What did that mean? That meant that we were connected to the metropole, rather than to ourselves. So, for example, it’s easier for us in Trinidad to go to New York, and it’s cheaper for us to fly there, than it is to a neighboring island, like Curaçao, or even Antigua, or St. Kitts. Because our communications and infrastructure were always to the metropole. We did not have an internal economy with manufacturing: We did not make our own clothes, we did not make our own food, we did not make our own basic commodities and services for survival. They were all imported. We were a pure import/export economy and we remain so, whether it be in tourism or offshore banking, or oil and gas, like we have in Trinidad and Tobago.
So we’re been struggling with this issue and problem for a very long time. We have some great insight into it, which we can offer the world. And what we see is that this same process is happening around the world, to other countries. So it’s as if they took this early model, pioneered in the Caribbean, which produced tremendous inequality, tremendous misery, tremendous underdevelopment, this is what the trans-Atlantic system is projecting to every country in the world.
Now, solving the problems here will help us solve the problems for the rest of the world. This is where it started. We pose some challenges because of our size, but there are also some opportunities. Our small societies in the Caribbean are like the small city-states of ancient Greece, where Plato and Aristotle and the great philosophers flourished. It’s like the Florentine city-states: These places were 40,000 people at their maximum population. We live in human-scale societies, and these massive, mega-cities which are part of the whole trans-Atlantic system, mainly financial centers processing these huge, global, faceless corporations, those are inhuman environments. And I think it is not coincidental, that much of the violence that we’re seeing in the world is happening in these big cities, where there’s so much anomy, so much alienation, and a lack of humanity, of the face-to-face societies that we have here in the Caribbean, that have produced such amazing creativity, such amazing thinkers, like V.S. Naipaul, like Sir Arthur Lewis, like Derek Walcott, like C.L.R. James, from such tiny, tiny, small islands.
So, this is a plea, a reminder, to think of how we can take our outlying territories, which seem like outliers are the world system, but were essential for the development of the modern world system, and I daresay, we can play an essential part in the remaking of that world system to a more humane, global system.
I want to thank you for the opportunity to make our presentation. I look forward to questions and to interacting with you and also partnering in the future.
Thanks very much.
[Editor’s note: For time reasons, the prerecorded remarks of Mark Sweazy, former UAW trade union leader, were unable to be aired in the panel. We include here his complete remarks, on “Returning the U.S. Work Force to a Culture of Scientific Progress.”]
MARK SWEAZY: Hello, and welcome! My name is Mark Sweazy. I’m the Past President of Local 969 in Columbus, Ohio of the United Auto Workers’ Union. I learned a lot about the Labor Department and how labor works in the United States. With the international union, I chaired for six years the meeting of the 21 Delphi [auto parts] plants in Detroit. When we come together obviously we discussed our problems and the future. What we saw was, the door was shut on our future. 17 of those 21 plants closed. It changed people’s lives forever and ever. I also learned that our history, that you’ve heard some about, teaches us that the struggles and the conflicts and the wars have consequences that become a negative and seldom produce a positive or good result. So, we faced these things over a period of time.
What we face today is the need to put people back to work, regardless of where you live or what you do. We need to get people gainfully employed in the workforce so that we can make better lives for the people themselves, better lives for their families, and better lives for the area in which they live. So, this is a worldwide situation; it’s not just one locale, or one area of a country. This is worldwide. I hope you understand that little bit of an entry, because it’s important. This affects each and every one of us. If we have pride, we want to restore — let’s say we want to restore a great workforce as infrastructure projects have produced in the past. We’re looking to put people back to work regardless of occupation. You can start one place, and transfer to another. There’s nothing that says in the workforce that you have to continue to do something that you’re not fond of, or you just don’t like that job. You can always retrain and become trained to do another job. So, keep that in mind also.
What rewards do we expect? Our rewards in life are in direct proportion as to what we contribute. So, if we contribute something to life itself, we’re going to see the rewards. That’s important to me, because there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a person who enjoys what they’re doing, and the fact that what they’re doing is productive to our culture. There’s nothing worse than seeing people that don’t have opportunities. As I visited Mexico, Mexico City, Monterrey, what have you, 9 cities in Mexico, I saw people who were educated, become college graduates. But the opportunity to work was not there, and it broke my heart because I’d look into the eyes of these graduating classes, and I’m saying to them, “Are you happy?” And they’d look at me, and they’re questioning — why would I ask them are they happy? Well, there’s no opportunities to work in Mexico; it’s a darn shame. Very few. They’ve got taxicab drivers that should be an attorney. You’ve got taxicab drivers who could have been an engineer. You’ve got taxicab drivers that could’ve been a doctor. I can’t imagine that. In the country I come from, the United States obviously, I can’t imagine somebody going to school and having that type of training, but not having the opportunity to use that training.
So, this is an opportunity to get worldwide training. Not just in the labor fields, but completely through skilled trades, machine tool trades, tech center trades, the building trades — of course, that’s plumbing, pipe-fitting, welding. There’s no end to what this can offer. And how the unions will actually gain, and all the independents who work without unions will gain as well. But who will gain in the end? The communities and the families. The opportunity is there; we just got to look for it. We’ve got to honestly make it happen. This is not a project that’s going to last one year, six months, one or two years. We’re talking 10-20-year projects.
So, LaRouche organization has lined up projects all over the world. And of course, now Helga’s at the helm, and we have a good leader. We want to continue to carry on with that leadership and get people to work so we have viable jobs. People doing what they can for their own families, and possibly in a few years we’ll see these results. And everybody will benefit. The unions will benefit, the independents will benefit, everybody will benefit on that spectrum. It’s a great opportunity for those that need to be employed, and that’s anybody that’s graduating from a high school or tech school or what-have-you. But take it from there. We’ve got people 30, 40, 50 years old looking for jobs. Everybody knows that; it’s not a secret. And not only in this country. So, the benefits are greater than we’ll ever imagine, and what an opportunity we’ve got today to do it in.
Our world deserves today, tomorrow, and in the future, an immediate effort to develop this program, or this type of program. So, the opportunity is ours; the hard work is yet to happen, but it can be done. And that’s what I want everybody to understand. The work can be done. The infrastructure projects are in front of us. So, let’s pick up our shovels, push out our chairs, let’s get up and go back to work. I think we’ll not only enjoy a better life, but I think we’ll enjoy a better future for our nations, as we work together to solve some of these worldwide problems that can be solved through cooperation. To me, I think that’s the real answer that I would have, is worldwide cooperation. We need that today, more than ever. Working together, forming solidarity, and hoping that we can stay employed because of what took place. This program was the beginning. As we look back, we’ll say, “Well, I was part of that in the beginning.” That’s to me the most rewarding aspect that we could ever say for each of our nations today.
So, with that, I’m not going to hold you to your chairs and hope that you take heed to this, but I pray you will. Because it’s necessary and needed. I want to thank you, take care, and remember, the LaRouche organization is there for you. All you have to do is ask the question; they’ll get you an answer. Thank you. Mark Sweazy over and out.
SPEED: Thank you, also.
Now, we’re going to hear from Bob Baker, who’s the agricultural desk for Schiller Institute, and he’s going to be introducing the next video which is by Mike Callicrate.
BOB BAKER: Thank you, Dennis, and thank you Schiller Institute, Mrs. LaRouche, panelists and participants throughout the world.
Image 1. Coronavirus
Look at the state of farming and food in the world, and you see huge disruptions. Just one little microbe—the new corona virus, coming on top of the system already in breakdown, has led to terrible things.
There is a disaster in the meat industry. The mega-global, cartelized packing houses from Australia to Germany to the Americas, are in a breakdown crisis, as workers are sick and living in poor conditions. Masses of meat animals are stranded. And the farmers were hit hard as they’re forced to kill their own livestock.
IMAGE: 2, 3, 4 Doctors Without Borders, or a migrant worker
There is a disaster in fruits and vegetables. Thousands of workers, who travel between countries, and work in hard and poor conditions in fields and orchards, are sick, from California, to Spain and the Middle East. It’s so bad, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) went into Florida last month, to care for thousands of poor farmworkers who had nowhere to turn. In Canada, 60,000 such workers—one-half of them from Mexico—are getting hit, and with the sickness hitting so many Mexican workers in Canada, Mexico’s government suspended travel this week, until something can be worked out.
There is a disaster in the staff of life—wheat, corn, rice. It is—fortunately—not because of a bad crop failure somewhere, except for the locusts in Africa and South Asia, but because we are growing far too little grain. Period.
Lyndon LaRouche would say that the way to think of how much food the world needs, is to start from 24 bushels of total grains per person a year. What that would mean is, we should be having a world harvest of 5 billion tons of all kinds of grains together. Currently, the world is growing less than 3 billion tons. And that would mean enough for direct eating as bread, noodles, tortillas—whatever you like, and milk, meat, eggs and so on. Plus, another 25% for reserves, which now, because of the World Trade Organization, does not exist.
In Biblical terms, it’s seven lean years and seven fat years. We should have strategic storage reserves, we should have silos and warehouses all over the world, of grain, cheese, butter, sugar and other basics. Stockpiles in case of storms, epidemics, fires, locusts. We must double food production.
IMAGE 5: World Map of Hunger
Instead, we’ve had decades of what should be called a “famine policy.” The City of London/Wall Street circles have cartelized the farm-food chain so extremely, so they can “harvest money.” Yes: harvest money. They decide where and how anything is produced, and who gets to eat or not. They ripped off the farmers with below-cost of production prices and make record profits from the consumer by jacking up the retail price. And that is how you cause hunger for millions throughout the world.
IMAGE 6 & 7: June map of locust spread
No wonder we are vulnerable to locusts, and diseases. The locusts in South Asia and East Africa are now heading westward. By August they may reach Mauritania. This must be stopped. A fellow speaker today, from Kansas-Colorado area, will be talking more about the physical conditions connected with just “harvesting money” instead of food. And we will soon hear from the Mexican grain belt.
IMAGE 8, 9, 10: Astronaut farmer
How did we get this way? It is not because we had no alternatives.. We are in the age of the astronaut farmer. We can produce food for all. And it wasn’t like we were all given a pill to make us dumb—except that comes from the entertainment and news media: communication monopolies.
We are all played off against each other, and that must stop. Farmer vs. city people. Nation vs. nation. There is all the talk about “competition” in world food trade. And about having a “level playing field.” It’s all Bunk! It’s not a game. It’s not a playing field. It’s food. It’s the means to life! And farmers are on the streets again in Germany with tractorcades for the right to grow food!
In conclusion, I think of President Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s, when the whole United States nation was played off against each other. In fact, the British sent in forces to help bust up the new nation. Still, during Civil War and a great depression, in only a year, Lincoln and others implemented measures for science and hope. They created science-based farm colleges (the Land-Grant system), settle the entire Midwest with the Homestead Act, crossed the country with a new railroad and corridors of development, and issued a new credit called the Greenbacks.
In this same tradition, a hundred years later, with the help of the two fathers of the scientific Green Revolution, Henry Wallace and Norman Borlaug, a scientific Green Revolution spread from Mexico and the U.S. among international scientists, to make India food self-sufficient in 1974, and China self-sufficient in 1984. Let’s make the whole world self-sufficient in food! Let us begin with Africa right now on an emergency basis; and then, open up the universe!
I’d like to now take this opportunity to introduce Mike Callicrate, who is a board member of the Organization for Competitive Markets, a rancher, and a meat producer from the Kansas-Colorado area. His topic is “Food Unites People Around the Planet.”
MICHAEL CALLICRATE: I’m Mike Callicrate, I’m in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I have a company called Ranch Foods Direct. I also produce livestock on my operation in northwest Kansas, which I’ve done for the last 45 years. But my focus has really been to try to build an alternative food system to the industrial one that we have now.
When I’m asked the question, “Prosper or perish?” it makes me think of David Montgomery’s book Dirt. In his book, David Montgomery talks about the erosion of civilizations and the importance of soil. Without soil, we basically don’t have life. So, I’m going to kind of come at this question of “Will humanity prosperity or perish?” from that perspective, because I think soil is critical to our survival as human beings. The impoverishment and nourishment of a civilization is directly with the consolidation and industrialization of the food supply. Concentration of power and wealth is the greatest threat to any free society. Rather than creating new wealth from healthy soil, the current system is mining and destroying our land for the short-term benefit of a few global corporations. This is a photograph from northwest Kansas where I live. This photograph was taken in December 24, 2013, Christmas Eve. The dirt cloud extended 200 miles from Colorado Springs to the Kansas border. It was 12,500 feet high above sea level to the top; 4 miles across, moving at 50 miles per hour. This is soil; this is the blowing away, the destruction of civilization currently. Much of eastern Colorado’s topsoil is already gone. I fly back and forth between my rural community of St. Francis, Kansas and the urban center of Colorado Springs, where we market our meats that we produce. This is what you see across the eastern plains of Colorado, is the mining of these soils. The withering away of that topsoil. Previously, when it had fertility, it grew healthy plants that fed livestock, which in turn became food for human consumption.
We’re mining our water resources. HBO’s “Vice” did a documentary called “Meat Hook; End of Water” that talked about the global water supply being consumed and used up. This is another indication that humanity is going to perish if we don’t change our ways. We’re pumping the precious fossil water from the Ogallala Aquifer, just to name one of many around the world that is being pumped dry for the benefit of industrial agriculture. Again, an example of a mining operation.
We’re ravaging the environment; we’re building factory farms in low-lying areas. These low-lying areas on the East Coast of North Carolina, South Carolina, places where there’s a lot of rainfall. We’re locating these facilities in low-lying areas because it’s the cheap land. It’s also the place where the cheapest workforce resides. So, this is exploitation of the environment, of the workers. Think about being an animal in one of these facilities, inside one of these barns. Again, in Hurricane Florence, we flooded the factory farm facilities, and rather than let these animals out, they sort of learned their lesson. They kept the animals in the barn, where they starved and consumed one another before they died. This is the earlier Hurricane Floyd, where they let the animals out, and so we’ve got a total disregard of animals, which is another indication of a failing system in a failing society. St. Francis of Assisi said, “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” Which is certainly what we’re seeing today.
“This global cartel, controlled food system rather than nourish the people who sustain it, consumes them. The result is a food system that concentrates money and power at the top, and poverty at the bottom, while compromising food access, quality, and safety in the process.” That’s a quote from Albert Krebs, Agribusiness Examiner.
With the help of the U.S. government, global gangsters have turned our agriculture into a massive agribusiness mining operation. Meet felons Wesley and Joesely Batista of JBS, who have been in prison, and have recently because they’re considered essential, been invited back to run the biggest meat company in the world — JBS. JBS is headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, and has been part of the four big meatpackers now under investigation for lowering prices to livestock producers at the same time they’re raising prices to consumers. These men should not be involved in anything to do with a critical industry, especially food; but our government allows them to operate.
Allan Savory I thought put it well. He said, “We have more to fear from USDA than any foreign power.” USDA refuses to enforce the Packers and Stockyard Act, which would have prevented the shared monopoly that the Batista brothers hold with Tyson, Cargill, and Marfrig (another Brazilian company). USDA makes life for small plants extremely difficult; making it impossible for them to operate, and giving the advantage to the biggest meat plants who have now failed us in this COVID-19 outbreak.
The industrial food system did fail the COVID-19 test. It has no resiliency. It has extracted, it does not create and build well, it extracts well. It destroys our very mechanisms that we create wealth from; that is, the soil. On the left, you see my store in Colorado Springs, on the same day — March 13, 2020 — on the right is the big box stores in Colorado Springs. Shelves were completely empty; no meat was available. Yet in my store on the left, which is about a 200-mile supply chain from St. Francis, Kansas to Colorado Springs, Colorado, you see full shelves. So far, our supply chain has held up well. We don’t stack employees on top of each other; we remain healthy in our operation.
So, let’s look at what I think we ought to be doing. I think we ought to be returning to a regenerative farming and ranching operation. One that’s made sustainable because it’s supported by consumers who care about the soil, who care about communities and people and the environment in general. So, I’ve set up what I call the Callicrate Cattle Company Regenerative Farming and Ranching concept, where basically it’s a circular economy, not a linear economy that extracts. It’s a circular economy that puts back into the soil, into the community, into the people. So, we start with the soil, and we return to the soil. Critical to this concept working is our ability to access a marketplace that demands what we produce.
“The soil is the great connector of lives; the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it, we can have no community, because without proper care for it, we can have no life” (Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture).
Creating community around local food will be essential in supporting this new regenerative approach to agriculture and food systems, where family farmers, ranchers, and small businesses can prosper, and consumers can have access to safe, dependable, and healthy food. Thank you.
SPEED: Thank you. Our final presentation today is by Alicia Díaz Brown, of the Citizens Movement for Water, Sonora, Mexico. We’re going to play an excerpt of this, because of time constraints. Her presentation is,
“Let Us Return to the Best Moments of the U.S.-Mexico Relationship.”
ALICIA DÍAZ BROWN: Let’s turn to the best moments in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. We thank the Schiller Institute and its President Helga Zepp-LaRouche for kindly giving us the opportunity to participate in this international gathering, in which special importance is given to the problem of food production. In every civilizational crisis the threat of hunger, epidemics and war appears. That is why we agree with the title which headlines this meeting: Will humanity prosper, or perish?
My name is Alicia Díaz Brown and I live in the Yaqui Valley in the south of the state of Sonora in Mexico. I belong to a family of agricultural producers, pioneers in this valley, and I am a member of the Yaqui Agricultural Credit Union and of the Citizens Movement for Water.
For many years, I have been involved in the discussion of problems related to the production of basic grains; but in the last decade I’ve been more intensely involved, because the public policies in Mexico have grown in their disregard of the countryside, to the point of proposing to take water from this region to divert it towards activities which they consider more profitable monetarily, even though that means reducing the land under cultivation and with it the production of food. They don’t care about harming a region that produces 50% of the nation’s wheat production, as well as a significant percentage of its corn production.
I recently saw a photograph that captures a very evocative moment of historical intimacy and common purposes that Mexico and the United States shared in the noble task of producing food to relieve hunger in the world. The picture takes us back to the decade of the 1940s, and the photo shows the then Vice President of the United States Henry Wallace touring a wheat crop in the Texcoco region of Mexico, and receiving a technical explanation from Dr. Norman Borlaug. accompanied by Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and ex-President Lázaro Cárdenas. The government of President Ávila Camacho was just underway.
That was a time in which Mexico and the United States enjoyed governments with sufficient social strength to enforce the principle of the general welfare. Those efforts culminated with the Green Revolution, whose improvements in seed genetics made it possible for there to be substantial increases in yields per acre, principally of wheat and corn. The entire world benefited from this; the hunger of hundreds of millions of human beings was relieved for a time, and it turned out to be a fundamental experiment which demolished the Malthusian and anti-population theories which accept hunger and its aftermath of death as a matter of fate.
The Yaqui Valley in Sonora and the Texcoco region in the State of Mexico were experimental centers, in which Borlaug shared with Mexican researchers and producers his own research, his discoveries, but above all his human conviction that, with the systematic use of science, you can constantly maintain growth of production and combat the blights and fungus that damages plants. They proved that hunger is not an inexorable evil, but rather the result of twisted practices in economic and marketing criteria.
So Mexico and the United States share the prize that, at one point in history, we were able to relieve hunger in the world, because this knowledge was taken to India and to the countries most affected by hunger on the African continent.
But we lost that mission, and the production of food, as with other strategic areas of our economies, was trapped by the corporatization of the economy and by monetarist criteria, in which monetary profits comes first and foremost, and physical production is no longer a moral imperative, and instead becomes an optional element dominated by financial speculation. These policies took over at the beginning of the 1990s and they govern the free trade agreements among the United States, Canada and Mexico.
During the last 30 years, national grain production in Mexico has lacked a price policy which would guarantee the producer his capitalization. Parity prices were eliminated—they had been the cornerstone for the country to be able to achieve an important degree of self-sufficiency in wheat, corn, beans and rice. The state withdrew from the marketing process; the domestic market was abandoned; and national production passed into the hands of international corporations which monopolize world trade and speculate on grain prices on the Chicago Board of Trade
The result of all this is that Mexico has become an importer of basic grains. The current government talks about food self-sufficiency, but they confuse it with self-consumption, and they disperse resources to regions of the country that only consume what they produce, but which lack the ability to produce the food that the country needs. The regions with the greatest productive capabilities in wheat and corn have been left to the mercy of the big corporations that control the international markets, and they withdrew the compensatory support that allowed them to survive.
They try to make Mexican producers believe that these policies benefit North American producers. But at this meeting we see that authentic American producers are complaining about the same problems. If these policies are harming the producers of both countries, we should ask ourselves: Who are the big winners and predators under these rules of the game?
The big winners and predators are not engaged in producing food; they speculate with existing production. They control the prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, and they have turned the market into a dictatorial instrument. They are not interested in producing. Their preferred world is one of shortages and hunger. And what is sorrier still is that our governments have given in to those interests. In that way, the U.S. loses, Mexico loses, and the world loses.
When governments give in, we citizens have the moral and political duty to enforce the principle of the general welfare. At the beginning of my remarks, I referred to a photograph which bears witness to a historical moment of excellent relations between Mexico and the United States. For now, we do not have in our governments people of the moral stature and courage of those who were shown in that photograph.
For that very reason, I believe that now is the time for citizens to make their governments rise to the challenge. Let these meetings serve to begin to weave an alliance of Mexican and North American producers with the ability to exercise the required political and moral pressure on our governments, and in that way establish common goals in terms of how to increase food production; how to reestablish parity prices; how to increase yields per acre; how to build great infrastructure projects of a bi-national nature to manage increased quantities of water and power, which will allow us to significantly increase land under cultivation.
These are some of the tasks we have before us; but what is most urgent is to tell the world that we have initiated this relationship, that we are going to maintain it, and that we are going to resume the historical impetus of the best moments of the Mexico-U.S. relationship, to demand the required agreements among the world’s powers that are morally obligated to lift humanity out of the uncertainty in which the shocking economic crisis has placed us, with its inherent threats of pandemics, hunger and war.
Thank you very much.
Questions & Answers
SPEED: What we’re going to do now is bring our entire panel — everybody that’s live with us — up on screen. We’ve got one or two pieces of business from the first panel that we have to conclude. One question in particular which we are going to direct to Jacques Cheminade, which will get us started. Then Diane has two questions which will be addressed to the entire panel.
So, this question is from Ambassador Dr. A. Rohan Perera, former Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations. I’m going to direct this to Jacques. He says:
“The biggest foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka has been the tourism sector, which had been dependent on tourist arrivals from Europe, and on the garment export sector, mainly to the U.S. market. The total estimated loss as a consequence of the coronavirus lockdown is in the region of $10 billion. In the garment sector, recovery efforts will require liberal access to the U.S. markets.
“Overall, Sri Lanka will require debt restructuring arrangements with lending agencies like the World Bank and with the developed countries who determine their policies. It may be recalled that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit Declaration — adopted in Colombo at the Fifth Summit in 1976 — cited the New International Economic Order which referred to, among other things, debt restructuring, debt moratoria, and the restructuring of multilateral financial institutions like the World Bank. The idea of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — is a step in that direction.
“Please comment on the vital question of debt restructuring, amidst this coronavirus crisis, and new institutions that may be required. Thank you.”
JACQUES CHEMINADE: First, on this tourist issue. Very different countries, like Sri Lanka, Cuba, or France, had, because they were not able to develop industrially or to really have a fair development of agriculture, have to make money on tourism; on their beautiful things to see in Sri Lanka, in Cuba, or in France. But this tourism was of a kind not of an educational treatment of the culture of the country, but to a kind of servant economy transformation of the country where there was a service economy based on let’s say arranging things for people who wanted to have fun. This has been a complete disaster. This is because of a lack of a commitment to an economic physical development, like Lyndon LaRouche developed during all his life, and industrial development connected to, as part of representing this in-depth economic development. Therefore, what happened is that progressively, despite the benefits of tourism — I would say because of the type of economy what was created — the countries were trapped into a debt system. This affected first the countries of the Southern Hemisphere. It affected countries of Ibero-America, countries of Asia, and in particular Africa. Through a system of accumulation of interest over interest, this is what our friend Dennis Small calls the banker’s economy or free market. The free market becomes sort of a flee market where they rob you; it has become that. So, it has become debt that accumulates over debt, and you have normally, or if you follow this accumulation of debt because in an unfair economy, you have to pay two, three, four times more debt that what you got from the loans. This is what was imposed on the countries of the South. It is coming inside countries like Spain, Italy, or France at this point.
So, you have the whole world trapped into this debt system. And the whole economy now is an economy which is no more, I would say, a free market economy. It is a controlled free market economy by the laws of the British Empire imposed by central banks. So, this is only maintained through fake money. You have flows and flows of fake money dumped on the markets, which don’t go to the producers, don’t go even to the consumers. This fake money goes into the whole financial secrets of the oligarchy. So, this is what has to be forever eliminated. It’s the British system of Anglo-ization of Anglo-Dutch system of an economy which is not based on a human level and human development, but it’s based on financial dictatorship. Which I call now the system under which we are; a market economy without a market; a dictatorship of these financial interests in all sectors, including culture.
So, we have to free ourselves from that. All the life of Lyndon LaRouche in particular as a point of reference historically, was in 1982 with Lopez Portillo, and in 1976 with our friend Fred Wills in Colombo, was to say we need to be freed from the debt. And we need a bank organized for the development of whole countries of the world. This is what the World Bank was intended to be after World War II. But then, as the Bretton Woods system, it was miscarried by all the Western leaders. What we need now, is what the Chinese with the New Silk Road are doing by let’s say directing economies. It’s an economy based on real physical development, and a growth based on the development of the creative potential of the human being, including in culture. There are efforts in China for Classical culture, for Classical Chinese poetry. And all of this is connected to the whole — which the West would never tell about that — to the whole development of the New Silk Road concept of the Belt and Road Initiative.
So you have that as a reference. And you have the whole fight of our lives which comes into this direction. And now we have a big chance that this becomes for us a real point existing in reality and accomplished. So, we have to go much further, and we speak about the World Land-Bridge. There has been a World Land-Bridge, as we said it with the United States, China, Russia, India, and all other countries that would be connected to this system. So, it demands a mobilization of the leaders of the world, but also the populations everywhere to put pressure on the leaders of the world and the economic system. It’s very interesting from that standpoint that the Yellow Vests in France are calling some of us to be experts in this debt moratorium or debt amelioration, which would get rid of this debt system and see what’s fair and unfair debt.
So, the Glass-Steagall proposal is absolutely a part of that. It means that banks which are involved in giving credit or organizing deposit accounts would be separated from banks which are involved in the markets and which are becoming elements or scions of this whole British system. So, the separation would clean the system.
We need much more, that’s why we need a credit system for the future, developing this type of physical economy with increasing productivity per unit of surface per human being and per matter brought into it. So, this is a sense of a high flux density economy; high energy-flux density should be the choice of this economy.
Among the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche, this is the fourth law. What you should choose once you clean the system, and once you get rid of this debt system. That’s the key, because it’s there that you have to invest human creativity in things that put human beings at the border of this capacity to create. And it will connect the space programs — the astronaut, after all, has to work both with his brains and his hands; exactly like farmers have to work with their brains and their hands. The more advanced farmers in the United States or in Europe are, in their tractors, real astronauts on Earth. I liked a lot this presentation of our American farmer, Mike Callicrate, who said that the soil itself has to be seen as a living matter. It is something that is alive, and it has to be enriched and developed. It has not to be seen as a support or something that you take advantage of; it is something that you feed into for the future. I think that this concept is what links the astronaut and the farmer and which links all of us in this society. I raise this issue of farmer’s education, because I think, what we always discussed with Lyndon LaRouche, that the type of education that this requires is an education which creates or generates in human beings this constantly increasing capacity and this joy to create when you do something socially good for the others. It’s a big issue today, as Helga said before, is public health, because it’s a matter that involves the whole world. It demands world cooperation. And what I keep repeating is that instead of organizing hospitals through financial management, we should organize states as hospitals for the care and development of the people.
SPEED: Thank you, Jacques. Now, Diane, who is an orchestral conductor, has the following task. We have approximately 15 minutes all together. It means that what we have here is very little time for discussion. In fact, what’s going to happen is, she’s going to pose something that came from a couple of countries, and each of you is going to have approximately two minutes to say whatever you have to say, both to one another, you can choose to respond to the question or not, but that’s what you’re going to have. Diane will now take the floor, and if necessary, I will intervene.
DIANE SARE: OK. This question is from Ambassador Mauricio Ortiz, who is the Ambassador of Costa Rica to Canada. He says:
“In your proposal you mention ‘an emergency mission to build a fully functional health infrastructure for the world particularly in South America, Africa, and parts of Asia.’ This proposal is very much needed in those regions.
“Are the international financial institutions willing to invest in that proposal, and what will be the arguments from the Schiller Institute to these institutions to make it real?
“If your proposal is realized, you might note that our country, Costa Rica, has an efficient primary health system with more than 1,000 rural health posts and, along with Chile and Cuba, one of the best health programs in Latin America. This is a system that can be replicated in other countries, including developed countries.”
I’m going to ask the other question here as well. This one comes from the Mission from Colombia to the United Nations:
“Dear all, on behalf of the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the United Nations I would like to pose the following question: How can Latin America play a determining role in the consolidation of this new global configuration?”
“Best regards, Carolina Gutiérrez Bacci; Third Secretary”
SPEED: OK, so what we’re going to do is this. You can choose to address either of the questions or neither of the questions, because you only have, as I said, a couple of minutes. I’m going to start quickly with Bob Baker.
BOB BAKER: Thank you, Dennis. In terms of the health infrastructure and my particular focus on agriculture, I think it’s an absolutely vital situation to develop a food system where everybody can get a proper diet of nutritional food. That is the basis on which to build the argument why every community should have access to the most advanced healthcare that science has brought us to this day. But the driver in that obstacle behind the scenes is an international financial cartel that’s building world global monopolies to stop that. To the extent the nations of the world can expose that and unite the people to take a stand against it, that’s going to be a very important aspect of getting a healthcare system internationally. But this is also why this type of conference we’re having becomes very instrumental if not a key element of getting that done.
SPEED: Thank you. Now I want to go to Kirk Meighoo, whose presentation I particularly appreciated.
KIRK MEIGHOO: Thank you very much. I’ll quickly address the problem. We’re close neighbors of Costa Rica, and we have some links with them that we’ve established recently. This problem of self-sufficiency is something, especially for a small society, and all these small little islands, the question of self-sufficiency in everything is just simply not there.
So, people have even asked questions whether we deserve to be independent, or should we be permanent colonies? These are questions that stay with us, even after independence. It’s something we struggle with. We do have to have a system where we do access, just as the last speaker said, the best healthcare possible for all humanity. But we cannot simply be recipients, receivers of these things; dependents, colonial dependents as we have been for 500 years. We have to have a system where we are also producers.
So, what is the system of trading a local economy, of local production where we are contributing to our own development, as well as participating with others? That is the type of system that the global financial system has been against, and has never been for. It is the old imperial system, and they are just merely modern continuations of that. What we have to do, what our task is, is to create this new system. Not just money from the old system to create this, but how do we make the system where not only do we each benefit from the best the world has to offer, but that we are also contributors, as full human beings to it, as well. That is where I would like to leave it.
SPEED: OK, thank you. Walter Formento, you’re up.
WALTER FORMENTO: [as translated] All of the contributions that are made are very significant. It’s clear that for South America the call for the five nations that Putin made, which Helga also referred to, is a matter of great hope, because this would allow us to ensure that we could achieve peace. Therefore, it will be international politics that will allow us to decide things based on a dialogue of civilizations, a dialogue of peoples, of nations, what the future of mankind and nature will be. In Argentina in particular, the production of food — Argentina is a great producer of food, along with South America, along with Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay as well. The great multinational conglomerates involved in the food sector have taken control as of 30 years ago in Argentina, both in terms of our ability to produce as well as export.
Therefore, at this moment in Argentina and in South America, governments have changed, and with the backing of such an international conference that President Putin has called for, we can move forward in providing sovereign channels for both producing and exporting. The policies that can be carried out inside Argentina in the food sector have to do with allowing producers’ cooperatives to be a part of the great conglomerates that engage in production. We shouldn’t dissolve large-scale production and technology, but rather introduce the nations and all society through such cooperatives so that they participate in the solution, and to be part of the solution. Therefore, there is a way to democratize production.
SPEED: We’re going to have to stop. Thank you. Sorry, we’re going to have to move on. Mike Callicrate?
CALLICRATE: I was really moved by Dr. Meighoo’s comments about islands and the small economies on those islands. I can really get somebody pretty seriously depressed when we talk about the state of the world. But, I can also lift them and get them more excited when I talk about the possibility of going home. Going home to our communities and making them as good as we possibly can. Become wealth creators, grow things, make things, restore the primary wealth trading enterprises to societies around the world. Like with Kirk, if you can just stop the predators, the economic, financial, big food monopoly predators from extracting the wealth and leaving nothing but poverty behind, I think we can begin to repair this damage. Because we do control, as farmers and ranchers and citizens, we do to a large extent control our ability to create the wealth. It’s what happens to it after we create it. The last speaker talked about we shouldn’t dissolve the big corporations. I would argue yes, we should dissolve them. The big corporations should be broken up; not completely eliminate their facilities, but at least put them to where they have to perform in line with the public good. So, I love that analogy of those small islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and islands all across the Caribbean and how that is very much like the islands in rural America, in rural communities around the world. I’m saying let’s go back to making things and growing things, and teach that and kill this model of industrialization of these critical industries, like food.
SPEED: Thank you, very good. We’re trying to get Diogène Senny’s audio up. I don’t think we have it yet. So, let’s go to Jacques.
CHEMINADE: Just one word about Cuban doctors, to speak about that island. It’s proof that you can have the most advanced medicine, interferon, where French doctors have to go there to learn from them. Then you have the best doctors, because they stay and live where the patients stay and live. And third, they are involved in cooperation with other countries in the whole world. They send them, and they do a very good job. In particular, they are now in Doha, in Europe in Italy, and now in French Martinique, so the French have to recognize — and sometimes it’s difficult for them — that these were the best; a team of 15 Cuban doctors in Martinique now. So that’s proof that an island can do an excellent job in a very advanced field, and at the same time they are most human.
SPEED: Thank you. I hope that we have the audio for the Pan-African Congress representative. We are not going off until I hear that. We’re going to do a sit-in until we hear from him!
SENNY: [as translated] The global question of poverty is just a part of the world situation and the African situation. We all know that when we present the situation of the continent, we are more interested in the question of the debt, money, slavery, and we forget that, for example, monoculture which has been imposed by the international cartels have destroyed agriculture with the hedge funds that I denounce, because they want to make money with our land. They buy what we have in our continent, in our countries, to generate profit for them, for a small group of people. But not allow millions of lives of people to develop their land.
That’s why this question of agriculture and self-sufficiency in Africa is one of the most important problems. It’s not an agriculture, it’s a money culture; that’s the agriculture we have. If we want to have modern rice, we have to have modern developments. It’s very important for us, this agricultural question. We see that it is a world problem. What was used before by the African farmers are not in their own hands, because it is in the hands of the hedge funds, the speculative hedge funds.
It is very important to understand, and it is not very well known in the international debate now. That’s what I wanted to add. Thank you very much.
SPEED: Thank you very much. So, now Diane, you have 45 seconds, and I have 45 seconds. Do your postlude.
SARE: OK. I’ll be very brief. I think we should all remember that we have been blessed to have inhabit a beautiful, fertile planet which is very conducive to sustaining life, and in particular human life, if we are sane. But there are 2 trillion galaxies or more in the universe, and each of these many have many other planets. So, contrary to the views of the Malthusians and the money-changers, the creativity of each and every human being on this planet is urgently needed; because we are not capable of making too many discoveries to develop the universe as a whole. Therefore, we have to grow into a new era of mankind.
SPEED: Thank you. So, I will now conclude this panel — largely due to time — by just pointing out that we’ve had Europe, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and the United States all on this panel in the form of discussion. This is the process that must be correlative to whatever happens among heads of state. And this process which the Schiller Institute is initiating, which is also bringing up various forms of important ideas and painful truths as well, is crucial to the actual success of the global Four-Power and related summit that we’ve been talking about. Finally, in the era of coronavirus, this is the only means by which people will be able to prosper and not perish; is this people-to-people dialogue we’ve conducted here.
I want to thank all of the panelists who were with us today. I think there’s a lot that can be done also in additional presentations that we may find in the future, pairing some of you together. I’d certainly like to see the Pan-African Congress together with Mr. Mike Callicrate. I’d like to see Kirk Meighoo involved in some discussions like that. Jacques is always welcome, and he’s always teaching us things. He had something new for us today; go back and take a look at his presentation afterwards, because he has some very interesting ideas that he put forward there.
So, we’re going to conclude now…