Global Crisis: Proposals for Solution – Schiller Institute Conference – former Ambassador Leonidas Chrysantopoulos (EPAM, Greece)
“I totally agree with the Schiller Institute’s viewpoint that we need a renaissance of Classical culture, as we see measures being taken to prevent it from happening. Not only is the educational system in Greece doing everything possible to make Classical culture disappear,— it seems to be following steps taken in the United States and in other EU countries. It seems that Classical culture, which also encompasses humanism, philosophy, the sciences and art, creates fear among the ruling classes who do not want to see the people thinking again. We should resist any such tendencies.”
Leonidas Chrysantopoulos (EPAM)
Creating A Common Future For Mankind And A Renaissance Of Classical Culture
June 28, 2016 — The Schiller Institute’s international two-day conference gathered more than 300 guests from 24 nations and four continents for an intense and profound dialogue on how to stop the immediate danger of world war, by creating instead a new paradigm of global cooperation and development, based on a dialogue of civilizations and the unique creativity of mankind. Conference participants were extremely alerted about the escalation of western geopolitical confrontation against Russia and China and the danger of thermonuclear war and passed a resolution calling for an immediate end of sanctions against Russia and Syria. To end the war and to reconstruct war-torn Syria and the greater region of Southwest-Asia, was a key focus of the conference, during which Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Presidency of Syria, addressed the conference audience and engaged in a moving Q&A via live stream.
Global Crisis: Proposals for Solution
Global Crisis: Proposals for Solution
Leonidas Chrysantopoulos EPAM, Greece – former Greek Ambassador to Poland, Canada and Armenia, former Secretary General of the Black Sea
“Allow me at the outset to congratulate the Schiller Institute and its Director, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, for trying to make the world better for humanity. I wish us all success in this important conference and hope that the outcome will be beneficial for us all.
The theme of our conference is very appropriate and comes at a moment when humanity is not only facing its worst economic crisis since the depression of 1928, but also the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, due to the aggressive policies of the United States in the last decade, that have destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The EU is continuing to gradually collapse, as it destroys its member states, forcing some to consider leaving, while its democratic deficit is increasing and far-right parties are closing in on power.
The world economy cannot get out of a vicious circle that it has been in since the outset of the crisis in 2008. We are witnessing global demonstrations against austerity measures that enhance poverty instead of growth, and against greedy financial systems that lead to extreme social inequality. The demonstrations in France are a good example. Until now, nobody has been listening to the people. It is due time that decisions be taken on priorities beneficial to the interests of human beings. We should no longer ask the question of what the markets are saying, but what our people are saying.
The EU not only has become an incompetent organization, but is also in disarray as more and more is being heard every day about political parties with rightwing programs, and exiting the EU. The UK referendum of Thursday demonstrates the case.
In Greece the situation is deteriorating. After the legislation adopted by Parliament on May 22, Greece has ceased to exist as a state, having given the economic management of the country to the lenders and to the EU for the next 100 years. It is the first time in history that a country has dissolved itself. Parliament will no longer have any role to play in this area. In May 2010, the Greek government was forced to sign the Loan Agreement so that it could, through austerity measures, reduce the public debt which in 2009 was 129% of GNP or 299 billion euro in absolute numbers. After three memoranda and the mistaken policies of the EU, the IMF, and the Greek governments, not only was the public debt not reduced, but it has increased to 180% of GNP.
The Syriza government was elected on an anti-austerity program, yet betrayed the Greek people by doing exactly the opposite. It did not even take into account a referendum in which 62% of the people voted against the austerity measures. In spite of the fact that they had acknowledged their mistakes, the EU, the European Central Bank, and the IMF continue to insist on the implementation of the same ineffective policies that are destroying a member-state of the EU and its people. Unemployment is up to 25% from 9% in 2010, Greeks looking into garbage bins for food is a common sight, overtaxation has paralyzed the economy, and the health system has collapsed, while more than 5,000 people have committed suicide.
But it is not only that the measures are erroneous, they have also violated the Lisbon Treaty as well as the human rights of the Greek people, something that is also mentioned in the report dated February 29 of the UN independent expert, Juan Pablo Bohoslavski, to the UN Human Rights Council:
The US-provoked war in Syria with the participation of some EU states, has created the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Almost 5 million refugees have left Syria to ask asylum mainly in the EU. Germany has 484,000, Sweden 108.000 and more in other Member States. Turkey is currently hosting 2,748,000, Lebanon 1,500,000 and Jordan 1,265,000.The EU, once the champion of humanitarian assistance, was incapable of managing the refugee flow. Greece, a country that had no participation in the Syrian war, was inundated with an increased number of refugees while many of its Central European members refused to accept them. Though the movements into Greece were gradually reduced after the shaky EU-Turkey Agreement of March the EU has still to live up to its previous decisions, according to which 60,000 refugees from Greece and Italy would be resettled in EU member-states. Today, Greece has 56,000 refugees, all of whom want to depart North. It is, however a shame that the US has accepted only 4,000 refugees.
Another threat facing humanity is the U.S. animosity towards Russia, as if we were still in the cold war period. A missile system is being set up to encircle Russia and, of course, Moscow is preparing a defense shield to counter it. The EU embargo on Russia after the Ukrainian crisis is not at all helping the situation. Also, threats have been recently made by Obama against China with references to the need to restrict her economic power.
With a collapsing EU and a United States looking for confrontation with Russia and China, a solution for humanity can be the BRICS’ initiative. This is an initiative of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa to pursue a policy of economic development for the benefit of humanity. They created their own Development Bank to invest in necessary development projects. China has also established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, joined by over 20 Asian nations as founding members, and has set up a Silk Road Development Fund. Within the BRICS, China has proposed the creation of a Free Trade Area of Asia and the Pacific. The Chinese proposal was quickly rejected by Obama, who created his own free trade organization. The incorporation of the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement to the BRICS could create a formidable power, which—if remaining out of the control of the bankers—could be decisive so that humanity reaches global peace and ends poverty through economic development.
From what was previously mentioned, we can see that there is a crisis of civilization that is impeding humanity’s progress. I totally agree with the Schiller Institute’s viewpoint that we need a renaissance of Classical culture, as we see measures being taken to prevent it from happening. Not only is the educational system in Greece doing everything possible to make Classical culture disappear,— it seems to be following steps taken in the United States and in other EU countries. It seems that Classical culture, which also encompasses humanism, philosophy, the sciences, and art, creates fear among the ruling classes who do not want to see the people thinking again. We should resist any such tendencies.
As for the dialogue of cultures,— yes by all means this should take place, and perhaps we could get on board the UN dialogue of civilizations and make it even better. Both dialogues are useful efforts to enhance efforts for a permanent global peace.
In conclusion, and after having criticized the EU and the United States, allow me to propose some solutions that would be beneficial for humanity.
For Greece it is imperative to denounce the Loan Facility Agreement of May 2010, on the basis of Articles 8-52 of the Vienna Convention concerning the Law of Treaties. These articles anticipate the invalidity of a treaty, if there was error, fraud, or coercion of a representative of a state. The cessation of payments with the denunciation of the Loan Agreement and the nationalization of the Bank of Greece, will allow Greece to repair the damage done and instigate true development. Adoption of a national currency will follow. The Unified Popular Front (EPAM), a political party not in parliament yet, supports such a policy.
There must be a transformation of the EU into an efficient organization, having as its sole priority the safeguarding of the interests of its people. A new charter is necessary, drafted by movements of citizens of member-states who will submit their proposals to a European Assembly composed of representatives of these movements. The existing EU must be dissolved.
The United States
It must stop its policy of destroying nations, and Obama must return to the Nobel Committee the Peace Prize that was awarded to him, since he did nothing to deserve it. The same applies to the EU, which also received the Peace Prize. The United States must adopt a more friendly policy towards Russia and the rest of the world, for the benefit of humanity.
The deletion of the global debt, which is about $600 trillion, will allow humanity to restart on a new and healthy basis. In history, we have examples of debt deletion, from the ancient Greek Sisahthia to the Jubilee of ancient Hebrew communities, where every 50 years all debts were cancelled. Even during the 1970s, the developed countries of the West deleted the debt of the Non-Aligned Movement, thus allowing the economic boom of Yugoslavia. The BRICS’ movement can promote this while the decision must be taken by the G-8. Humanity as a whole will benefit, because it will be able to restart on sound and healthy principles.
In order to implement the previously mentioned proposals, it is necessary to have politicians with imagination, vision, and courage — politicians who care about the progress of humanity and who can control the greed of multinational companies by restricting their power. Such politicians do not exist today. So we have to create them.”
Introduction: Chaos reigns and spreads as enraged leaders in the US, Europe and their clients and allies pursue genocidal wars. Mercenary wars in Syria; Israel’s terror bombing on Gaza; proxy wars in the Ukraine, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia.
Tens of millions of refugees flee scenes of total destruction. Nothing is sacred. There are no sanctuaries. homes, schools, hospitals and entire families are targeted for destruction.
Chaos by Design
At the center of chaos, the wild-eyed President Obama strikes blindly, oblivious of the consequences, willing to risk a financial debacle or a nuclear war. He enforces sanctions against Iran; imposes sanctions on Russia; sets up missile bases five launch minutes from Moscow; sends killer drones against Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan; arms mercenaries in Syria; trains and equips Kurds in Iraq and pays for Israel’s savagery against Gaza.
The Chaos President is blind to the fact that starving one’s adversaries does not secure submission: it unites them to resist. Regime change, imposing proxies by force and subterfuge, can destroy the social fabric of complex societies: Million of peasants and workers become uprooted refugees. Popular social movements are replaced by organized criminal gangs and bandit armies.
Central America, the product of decades of US direct and proxy military interventions, which prevented the most basic structural changes, has become a chaotic, unlivable inferno for millions. Tens of thousands of children flee from their ‘free market’- induced mass poverty and militarized state and gangster violence. Children refugees at the US border are arrested in mass, and imprisoned in makeshift detention camps, subject to psychological, physical and sexual abuse by officials and guards on the inside. On the outside, these pitiful children are exposed to the racist hatred of a frightened US public unaware of the dangers these children are escaping and the US government’s role in creating these hells.
The US-backed Kiev aviation authorities re-directed international passenger airlines to fly over war zones bristling with anti-aircraft missiles while Kiev’s jets bombed the rebellious cities and towns. One flight was shot down and nearly 300 civilians perished. Immediately an explosion of accusations from Kiev blaming Russian President Putin flooded Western media with no real facts to explain the tragedy/crime. War-crazy President Obama and the slavering prime ministers of the EU ejaculated ultimatums, threatening to convert Russia into a pariah state. ‘Sanctions, sanctions, everywhere . . . but first… France must complete its $1.5 billion sale to the Russian navy.’ And the City of London exempts the Russian oligarchs from the ‘sanctions’, embedded as they are in London’s money-laundering, parasitical FIRE (Fire, Insurance and Real Estate) economy. The Cold War has returned and has taken an ugly turn… with exceptions…for business.
Confrontation among nuclear powers is imminent: And the maniacal Baltic States and Poland bray the loudest for war with Russia, oblivious to their positions on the front lines of incineration…
Each day Israel’s war machine chews up more bodies of Gaza’s children while spitting out more lies. Cheering Israeli Jews perch on their fortified hills to celebrate each missile strike on the apartments and schools in the densely populated Shejaiya neighborhood of besieged Gaza. A group of orthodox and secular entrepreneurs in Brooklyn have organized group tours to visit the Holy Sites by day and enjoy the Gaza pyrotechnics by night . . . night goggles to view the fleeing mothers and burning children are available at a small extra charge…
Again the US Senate votes unanimously in support of Israel’s latest campaign of mass murder – no crime is depraved enough to ruffle the scruples of America’s leaders. They hew close to a script from the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations. Together they embrace a Beast from the Apocalypse gnawing on the flesh and bones of Palestine.
But, Sacre Bleu! France’s Zionists have prevailed on the ‘President-Socialiste’ Hollande. Paris bans all anti-Israel demonstrations despite the clear reports of genocide. Demonstrators supporting the Gazan resistance are gassed and assaulted by special riot police – ‘Socialist’ Hollande serves the demands of powerful Zionist organizations while trashing his country’s republican traditions and its sacred ‘Rights of Man’.
The young protestors of Paris fought back with barricades and paving stones in the finest traditions of the Paris Commune waving the flags of a free Palestine. Not a single ‘red banner’ was in sight: The French ‘left’ were under their beds or off on vacation.
There are ominous signs away from the killing fields. The stock market is rising while the economy stagnates. Wild speculators have returned in their splendor widening the gap between the fictitious and real economy before the ‘deluge’, the chaos of another inevitable crash.
In industrial America’s once great Detroit, clean water is shut-off to tens of thousands of poor citizens unable to pay for basic service. In the midst of summer, urban families are left to defecate in hallways, alleyways and empty lots. Without water the toilets are clogged, children are not washed. Roscoe, the master plumber, says the job is way beyond him.
According to our famed economists, the economy of Detroit is ‘recovering . . . profits are up, it’s only the people who are suffering’. Productivity has doubled, speculators are satisfied; Pensions are slashed and wages are down; but the Detroit Tigers are in first place.
Public hospitals everywhere are being closed. In the Bronx and Brooklyn, emergency rooms are overwhelmed. Chaos! Interns work 36 hour shifts . . . and the sick and injured take their chances with a sleep-deprived medic. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, private clinics and ‘boutique’ practices for the elite proliferate.
Scandinavians have embraced the putschist power grab in Kiev. The Swedish Foreign Minister Bildt bellows for a new Cold War with Russia. The Danish emissary and NATO leader, Rasmussen, salivates obscenely at the prospect of bombing and destroying Syria in a replay of NATO’s ‘victory’ over Libya.
The German leaders endorse the ongoing Israeli genocide against Gaza; they are comfortably protected from any moral conscience by their nostalgic blanket of ‘guilt’ over Nazi crimes 70 years ago.
Saudi-funded Jihadi terrorists in Iraq showed their “infinite mercy” by… merely driving thousands of Christians from ancient Mosul. Nearly 2,000 years of a continuous Christian presence was long enough! At least most escaped with their heads still attached.
Over one hundred thousand agents of the US National Security Agency are paid to spy on two million Muslim citizens and residents in the USA. But for all the tens of billions of dollars spent and tens of millions of conversations recorded, Islamic charities are prosecuted and philanthropic individuals are framed in ‘sting operations’.
Where the bombs fall no one knows, but people flee. Millions are fleeing the chaos.
But there is no place to go! The French invade half a dozen African countries but the refugees are denied refuge in France. Thousands die in the desert or drown crossing the Med. Those who do make it, are branded criminals or relegated to ghettos and camps.
Chaos reigns in Africa, the Middle East, Central America and Detroit. The entire US frontier with Mexico has become a militarized detention center, a multi-national prison camp. The border is unrecognizable to our generation.
Chaos reigns in the markets. Chaos masquerades as trade sanctions: Iran yesterday, Russia today and China tomorrow. Washington, Watch out! Your adversaries are finding common ground, trading, forging agreements, building defenses; their ties are growing stronger.
Chaos reigns in Israel. War-obsessed Israelis discover that the Chosen People of God can also bleed and die, lose limbs and eyes in the alleyways of Gaza where poorly armed boys and men stand their ground. When the cheers turn to jeers, will they re-elect Bibi, their current kosher butcher? The overseas brethren, the fundraisers, the lobbyists and the armchair verbal assassins will automatically embrace some new face, without questions, regrets or (god forbid!) self-criticism –if it’s ‘good for Israel and the Jews’ it’s got to be right!
Chaos reigns in New York. Judicial rulings favor the pirates and their vulture funds demanding one-thousand percent returns on old Argentine bonds. If Argentina rejects this financial blackmail and defaults, shock waves will ripple throughout global financial markets. Creditors will tremble in uncertainty: Fears will grow over a new financial crash. Will they squeeze out another trillion-dollar bailout?
But where’s the money? Printing presses are working day and night. There are only a few life boats . . . enough for the bankers and Wall Street, the other ninety-nine percent will have to swim or feed the sharks.
The corrupted financial press now advises warlords on which country to bomb and politicians on how to impose economic sanctions; they no longer provide sound economic information or advise investors on markets. Their editorial rants will incite an investor flight to buy king-sized mattresses for stuffing as the banks fail.
The US President is on the verge of a mental breakdown: He’s a liar of Munchausen proportions with a bad case of political paranoia, war hysteria and megalomania. He’s gone amok, braying, ‘I lead the world: its US leadership or chaos’. Increasingly the world has another message: ‘It’s the US and chaos.’
Wall Street is abandoning him. The Russians have double-crossed him. The Chinese merchants are now doing business everywhere we used to be and we ought to be. They’re playing with loaded dice. The stubborn Somalis refuse to submit to a Black President: they reject this ‘ML King with drones’ . . . The Germans suck on their thumbs in total stupor as Americans monitor and record their every conversation…for their own safety! “Our corporations are ingrates after all we have done for them”, the First Black President whines. “They flee from our taxes while we subsidize their operations!”
Final Solutions: The End of Chaos
The only solution is to move on: Chaos breeds chaos. The President strives to project his ‘Leadership’. He asks his close advisers very hard questions: “Why can’t we bomb Russia, just like Israel bombs Gaza? Why don’t we build an ‘Iron Dome’ over Europe and shoot down Russian nuclear missiles while we fire upon Moscow from our new bases in Ukraine? Which countries will our ‘Dome’ protect? I am sure that the people of East Europe and the Baltic States will gladly make the supreme sacrifice. After all, their leaders were at the very front frothing for a war with Russia. Their reward, a nuclear wasteland, will be a small price to ensure our success!”
The Zionist lobby will insist our ‘Iron Dome’ covers Israel. But the Saudis may try to bribe the Russians to spare the oil fields as Moscow targets the US missile bases near Mecca. Our radio-active allies in the Middle East will just have to relocate to a new Holy Land.
Do Obama and his advisers imagine reducing the Asian population by a billion or two? Do they plan several hundred Hiroshimas because the Chinese crossed the President’s ‘red lines’: China’s economy and trade grew too fast, expanded too far, it was too competitive, too competent, too successful at gaining market shares, and they ignored our warnings and our unparalleled military might.
Most of Asia will inhale nuclear dust, millions of Indians and Indonesians will perish as collateral damage. Their survivors will feast on ‘radiated fish’ in a glowing sea.
Beyond Chaos: The New American Way:
Because our ‘Iron Dome’ will have failed us, we will have to re-emerge out of toxic ashes and crawl from our bunkers, dreaming of a New America free from wars and poverty. The Reign of Chaos will have ended. The ‘peace and order’ of the graveyard will reign supreme.
The emperors will be forgotten.
And we never will have found out who fired that missile at the doomed Malaysian airliner with its 300 passengers and crew. We will have lost count of the thousands of Palestinian parents and children slaughtered in Gaza by the Chosen People of Israel. We will not know how the sanctions against Russia panned out.
It won’t matter in the post-nuclear age, after the Chaos…
Can’t understand how the US Senate can unanimously pass a resolution supporting the murderous Israeli assault on Gaza? Get some clarity. Award-winning Author and Professor Emeritus James Petras gets between 5-7,000 hits on his website every day.
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About James Petras
He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as The New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, Temps Moderne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.
His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished service award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).
He has a long history of commitment to social justice working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from The University of california at Berkeley.