Message from Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “Turn Swords into Plowshares!”

No one will be able to claim, as historians said of World War I, that we sleepwalked into World War III. The war cries today are so deafening that they threaten to awaken from the dead all of the victims of previous wars, including the First and Second World Wars.” This is the opening observation of a Christmas and New Year’s message issued on Dec. 21 by the Chair of the Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. She continues:

Tax money is poured into military spending of all kinds, while civilian economies collapse, infrastructure decays, and schools and hospitals are closed or fall apart. In the United States, the Pentagon’s defense budget for 2024 amounts to nearly one trillion dollars, while the entire EU budget and all national budgets in Europe are slated for militarization. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is demanding that society become ‘war-ready’ and has asserted that we only have five to eight years before a major military confrontation with Russia. American think-tanks are working feverishly on ‘war games’ for a major war with China, which should, in their view, take place sooner rather than later.”

How did we end up on such a path, that can only lead to a Third World War, Helga Zepp-LaRouche asks, and then goes on to expose the unwarranted influence that the military-industrial complex (MIC) has acquired, in all areas of society. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union:

The U.S. and NATO countries went for political control, for the idea that all countries in the world had to adopt the Western neoliberal model, i.e. regime change, color revolutions; interventionist wars in which many millions have died; military bases built around the world; war training for their foreign allies; imperial expansion of the EU and NATO up to the point of creating a global NATO as a means to contain real and potential rivals; sanctions aimed at affecting regime change; and finally weaponization of the dollar. All this under the banner of the “rules-based order,” liberal democracy, and human rights.

China, on the other hand, went for economic development and overcoming poverty for 850 million of its own citizens, initially, and then increasingly for win-win cooperation with the nations of the Global South through the New Silk Road Initiative. Thanks to this cooperation, those nations were given the chance for the first time to free themselves from the poverty and underdevelopment dating back to the colonial era. Today, 150 countries of the Global South are working together with China on thousands of New Silk Road projects, building roads and high-speed railroads, ports, airports, development corridors, industrial parks and more. (…)”

The conclusion Helga Zepp-LaRouche draws is that the attempt to build a “unipolar world order”, on the basis of military power, has been a monumental failure, and has led to an “unprecedented strategic blowback”. The crucial question now is whether the West will be able to change its policy in time, in order to cooperate with the Global South and to ensure mutual economic development.

The main obstacle to that, she points out, is that “much of the economic capacities in the United States, and a growing share of those in Europe, have been taken over by the MIC, and are so closely entwined with the big investment firms and asset management companies of Wall Street and the City of London, that a better term is the military-industrial-financial complex (MIFC).

Technically speaking, it would be relatively easy to re-tool these capacities for civilian purposes, and rather than producing bombers, fighter jets, and missiles, to produce modern high-speed rail systems, inherently safe nuclear reactors of the 4th generation, and nuclear fusion reactors, as well as space stations for international space travel. In other words, all the industrial capacity currently used for the destruction of actual physical value — what else are weapons systems good for? — could serve the production of useful goods that promote the common good. Instead of tanks and ammunition, they could produce schools and hospitals, and help our nations to have prosperous economies once again!”

The full text can be read here.

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