[important title=”Note”]This article was delivered on April 24, by Dr. Jonathan Tennenbaum, to the Moscow conference on “A Transcontinental Eurasia-America Transport Link via the Bering Strait,” and will appear in Russian and English in a forthcoming issue of FORUM International. The meeting was sponsored by the Russian Academy of Sciences Council for the Study of Productive Forces (SOPS), in conjunction with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Russian Ministry of Transport, Russian Railroads, and regional governments in Siberia and the Far East.[/important]
The intention to create a trans-Siberian rail system, implicitly extended, across the Bering Strait, to North America, dates implicitly from the visit of Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev to the 1876 U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The defeat of Lord Palmerston’s scheme for destroying the United States, by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s leadership, spread the influence of what was called The American System of political-economy into Russia, as also the Germany reforms under Bismarck, the industrialization of Japan, and elsewhere. These global, so-called geopolitical developments of the post-1865-1876 interval, have been the focal issue of all of the spread of great wars throughout the world from the British orchestration of the first war of Japan against China, in 1894-95, until the 1945 death of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.
Throughout the ebbs and flows of global economic and geo-political history, up the present day, the realization of Mendeleyev’s intentions for the development of Russia remains a crucial feature of that continuing history of the post-1865-1876 world to the present moment. The revival of the intention launched by him, now, is presently renewed as a crucial quality of included feature of crucial importance for the world as a whole today.
The same impulse toward new world wars persists in new guises today. At the present moment, the world is gripped by what threatens to be, very soon, the greatest global monetary-financial collapse in the entirety of modern history to date. The spread of warfare and related conflict out of Southwest Asia is nothing other than a reflection of the same, continuing, so-called geo-political impulse which has prompted all of the world’s major wars since the 1763 Treaty of Paris, but, more emphatically, the rise of the U.S.A.’s 1865-76 challenge to the Anglo-Dutch Liberal monetary-system.
This onrushing collapse of the world’s presently hyper-inflated, disintegrating world monetary-financial system, requires early concerted emergency action by responsible leading nations. A sudden change in U.S. political trends, back to the traditions of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is urgently needed for this purpose. Such a change in U.S. policy must be realized through emergency cooperation which would be led by a concert of leading world powers. These must include the U.S.A., Russia, China, and India, as the rallying-point for a new, spreading partnership among perfectly sovereign nation-state economies.
In such cooperation, the development of a great network of modern successors to old forms of rail transport, must be spread across continental Eurasia, and across the Bering Strait into the Americas. The economically efficient development of presently barren and otherwise forbidding regions in entry into the urgently needed future development of the planet as a whole.
Such a plan was already crafted, during 1990-1992, under the direction of my wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who remains the principal political and cultural leader among my associates in Europe and beyond. This perspective must now be revived to become a global actuality.
Technologically, the leading thrust of scientific development is located in the succession of the work of such exemplary figures as Mendeleyev and Academician V.I. Vernadsky, and the work of the relevant, but too little heralded leader in the same field, the American pioneer William Draper Harkins.
This requires the creation of long-term diplomatic agreements among nations, creating a new system of relatively fixed-exchange-rate treaty-agreements, at very low prime interest-rates, over forward-looking intervals of between a quarter to half century. These present periods covering the economic-financial half-life-span of principal long-term investments in the development of that basic economic infrastructure which the needs of the present and coming generations of the peoples of these natures require.
We have thus entered a time, measured by the clock of nuclear-fission and thermonuclear power’s development, when the long history of the domination over the land-masses of the planet by actually or implicitly imperial maritime powers, is no longer an acceptable practical proposition. Instead, the science-driven, capital-intensive mode of development of the basic economic infrastructure and standard of living of the populations, will dominate any successful form of civilized development of relations among the sovereign nations of the planet. To this end, the tundras and deserts of our planet must be conquered by the forces of science-driven technological development of the increased productive powers of labor. Development must now proceed from the Arctic rim, southwards, toward Antarctica.
The bridging of the Bering Strait becomes, thus, now, the navel of a new birth of a new world economy.