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Strategic Cooperation:

Prof. Devendra Kaushik
February 2009

Prof. Devendra Kaushik of the Asian Study Institute of the Indian Ministry on Education addressed the Schiller Institute conference on Feb. 22.

Madame Helga, Great Teacher Mahaguru Lyn, esteemed friends from Germany, colleagues from the Schiller Institute, other fellow co-participants from countries of Europe, America, and other continents. I would, at the outset, like to express my gratitude to the Schiller Institute, and its dynamic director for giving me this opportunity to be here with you this afternoon.

EIRNS/Julien Lemaître
Prof. Devandra Daushik at the Febrary Schiller Institute Rüsselsheim Conference.

Incidentally, it marks this year, the half a century of my first interface of a stint with your country, Germany, which I visited for the first time in 1959. I was impressed by what in those days used to be called the “German miracle.” But, as a young lecturer of international relations from India, I had just begun my academic career, I was not aware of all the complications, the techniques, the mechanisms of this recovery. And here, you know, my association with the LaRouche movement, with this young couple—ever young, because youthfulness is not measured by age. Well, his youthfulness, his exuberance, his optimism is simply infectious, and it has infected me, and not me alone, but many in my country.

I have been a teacher, for now more than half a century. And in my humble way, I’m lovingly and fondly addressed in India as a guru. But here, is Mahaguru, “Guru of the gurus.” Yes! I’m not saying it just to express certain pleasantries, but this is what I have experienced over the years.

In the beginning there was difficulty in understanding his ideas. I thought, here is some staunchly anti-British American, who, because of his German connection perhaps, he is—you know, the old Anglo-German rivalry, and all that!—there were certain aspects. But then, I could reach the kernel of truth: this British Empire.

So, the British Empire he refers to, is not the British people! It is an institution, a reincarnation of Venetian usurers, going to Dutch, Anglo-Dutch, British, and then finally, Anglo-Dutch-British-Saudi Arabia.

It took me quite some time, but I think my first association with the LaRouche movement goes back to the period when the Soviet Union was disintegrating. In the immediate aftermath of this disintegration, my association with the LaRouche movement, his representatives in India, and here in Germany, in America, became quite active. I was a sad, disillusioned person, because of my passion for Communism/Marxism—I would not conceal it—and for the Soviet Union. At that time, I was already working in the Jawaharlal Nehru University as a professor of Soviet Studies, so my discipline was about to disappear! The Soviet Union disappears, and well, you can imagine my pride! And so, how to explain this disintegration and all this?

So, my serious journey, with Lyn as lodestar, and Helga also as a guide, started.

To be precise, in 1997, Helga was in Jawaharlal Nehru University; I was chairing that session, and she made a presentation on—I think it was the Eurasian Land-Bridge. And in that connection, the Eurasian Land-Bridge, through slides, she presented the railroads and the connectivity between Europe, and Russia, and the Far East, and down to South Asia, and the Bering Strait Tunnel, and then to Alaska, and to Latin America; and through southern Europe to Africa. Africa was not neglected. In her presentation, Africa was very much there, and I still remember, she presented slides on the screen showing that this is the idea of the Eurasian Land-Bridge which will expand to other states, and which will be an effective instrument in fighting the impending economic crisis, and staving off that economic crisis—in 1997!

Several important academics from Delhi, including a former university grants chairman, were there. They were quite skeptical. They thought that she was perhaps overdrawing a negative picture of world development—slightly pessimistic.

The ‘Landmarks of History’

But then—she had just left, and the next month, you know, the 1997 Asian economic crisis blew up: ’98, the GKO crash in Russia; ’99, Brazil. So, it became apparent that the crisis was not just a chance occurrence or just a cyclical thing, but a systemic crisis. And then, our academics started turning to me, and saying, “Oh—how come she was so accurate?” I said, “Because she has learned this science of forecasting from her spouse,” whose writings I was already following very closely. So this physical economy, real economic thing: anti-monetarism—she’s a student of history. My attention was at once drawn to these. These facts were known to me, but not in this perspective! This Leibniz, this Friedrich List, Adam Smith on the other side, free market and protectionism, and national sovereignty. And this Treaty of Westphalia.

These are things which are landmarks of history; without closely following these events, you cannot understand the present crisis.

And his forecast—he had been writing, and during my interactions with him, I said, “When is the crash coming?” He said, “Oh, it’s like, you are with oars, you are going through the Lake District, and the Niagara has not yet been reached. So you think, ‘Ah! Everything is fine, I have been sailing like this, and no crisis. And we will cross the bridge when it comes, so why worry about it—nothing has happened so far.’ So that is the reason to expect that nothing happen in the near future.” You cannot argue with such people. I still vividly remember.

But it happened. Well, I don’t take any pleasure in recollecting that he forecast it. I mean, he was really concerned about it, and he had been forewarning, “It is coming! It is coming! And it will be a thing human history has never witnessed before, much worse than the 14th-Century Dark Age.”

At that time, it was a dark age confined to Europe—a Eurocentric dark age. Now the world is so integrated that it will be a calamity. And this calamity is now staring at us. And we have to search for solutions and answers, answers he has given. I wish the United States leadership, the new leadership of Obama—he’s dynamic; I have also hope from him. People from India, in spite of what our Prime Minister might be saying—there are a few people who are nostalgic about Bush, even after Obama’s victory—our economist bureaucrat-turned-prime-minister, told Bush, “Mr. President”—“our good President” he didn’t say—“people in India deeply love you!” And just last week, a spokesperson of the Indian National Congress, a Member of Parliament, a young member, Singhvi, suggested and proposed that Bush be conferred the title of “Gem of India,” the highest honor the government of India can confer.

The Civilizational Wisdom of India’s People

So, we have such people. But then, the great merit of my country is the wisdom, intuitive wisdom, civilizational wisdom of our people. Our people, always, they have corrected the leadership, and I’m proud of it. They have corrected even great leaders, made them realize their folly. So, one need not bother about India’s reaction in this regard. It’s not the reaction of the Indian people; it’s a transitory phase—some people are sorry for the exit of Bush, but there are millions and millions of Indians who are very happy about the change that has come in the United States of America. It’s really changed. And the influence I got from Lyn and Helga: I have come to think of the United States as an important center of world development, and an independent center of development. It’s not my Marxism—I was trained like that to think in two terms, socialism and capitalism, like that.

And of course, even today, I would say that, in spite of all its deviations, aberrations, and excesses, the Soviet system, if you just assess its performance on the scales of history, has contributed many positive things to the welfare and well-being of the Soviet peoples: space age, development of science, culture.

So, the better part: The American scene has to be viewed as an important scene, and this change has come. And hopefully, Obama—I mean, he doesn’t understand, as Lyn has been telling us, comprehend much of the economic processes; but one can hope that he’s intelligent enough to grasp the reality, the new reality, and take the right steps.

Of course, the people, people in America, people in Europe, in Germany, in India, in Russia, in China—people of the whole world—have to struggle for the right course, for the right solution, because there are still a lot of misgivings being spread: “Well, protectionism is a danger, and the free market should not be given up.” We have this perennial song being sung by Gordon Brown, by many people. Even in India, there is a thinking that only tinkering is required, accountability of the system, transparency and things like that, but no systemic overhaul is called for.

So, Mr. LaRouche has come out with a very realistic, bold, imaginative plan to overcome this economic crisis. Bailout—nothing: You can continue to sink even billions and even trillions, but it’s not going to help. And it’s against the principles! After all, free market and free enterprise teaches you cannot just have it your own way: that you gulp what is sweet and you throw out what is bitter. So it is your misdoing: You speculated, you gambled. Now, you pay for it. I mean, why should you call the poor taxpayer to come to your rescue?

He has come out with a plan which is catching the imagination of people in our part of the world—in India, in China, in Russia. Well, in my capacity as a humble student of this Eurasian area, China and the former Soviet Union, the Central Asian Republics, I visit these areas quite often, and I find, his ideas are catching on. In China, in Russia, in India, they are catching on. But more needs to be done.

The Expanded Quadrangle

Well, I think I have deviated a bit. I was supposed to speak on the Quadrangle, the Expanded Triangle—now the Triangle growing into a Quadrangle. In his solution for the crisis, he has suggested an alliance, or a sort of strategic cooperation among the United States of America, Russia, China, India. But lest one makes a common mistake that it is just these four powers which are prominent and he’s making a case for a four-power overlordship of the world, or hegemony, or leadership, it’s not his point. As I can understand him, he said, just as a nucleus, we start with this nucleus. Japan will follow, South Korea, Africa, other countries will follow.

And it’s a continuation of the line: You started with the Productive Triangle, to save the Soviet Union, at the time: Paris-Berlin-Vienna. But it was not picked up. And then the Eurasian Land-Bridge and the Strategic Triangle between Russia, India, and China, this Strategic Triangle. And now, the Expanded Triangle includes the United States, after the overthrow of the Bush regime—so, America. So, this Quadrangle can contribute a lot to save the world from this impending New Dark Age.

Well, triangles, initiatives in diplomacy and history for triangular alliances, you have several instances: the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente before the First World War—very retrograde: These two triangles brought the First World War. Then, so many triangles: One hears of the U.S., Israel, and India triangle. There are some people who are located in this. In our country, there were some people who called for a triangle between Japan, Australia, and India.

In this connection, I am reminded of a call for very a progressive triangle, productive triangle, given by Sergei Witte,1 triangle among France, Germany and Russia, to build infrastructure, railroads, and to connect Siberia and the Far East. And he persuaded even the Czars not to go in for adventure against China, not to seize the Chinese lands, which grabbed Russia into a war with Japan. But this triangle could not materialize. But it was really a progressive triangle.

Similarly, this Russia-India-China triangle in Eurasia, the centrality of Eurasia, was focused upon by this triangle, and this triangle was an expression of the Nehruvian “Area of Peace” approach. It was not a military triangle. It was a triangle to promote security and peace through non-military means.

And the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in my opinion, with all its lapses and inadequacies, is a right step in this direction. Because it is security through cooperation, meeting the challenges of, you can say, a non-conventional nature: drug traffic, traffic in arms, refugee problems, problems of energy—security in terms of contribution to these problems. So that is how this Shanghai Cooperation Organization grew.

But then, the initiative by [then-Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni] Primakov, 1998; earlier than that, 1996, this Shanghai Five, then elevated to Shanghai Cooperation Organization. So these positive developments took place because of concern for security, counteracting the threat to the security of the new Russia in South Caucasia, the threat to the security of that country from elements of forces of religious extremism. China in Xinjiang, again religious extremism. This organization was founded to meet the challenges of extremism, terrorism and secessionism, separatism.

And to forge cooperation in these Eurasian countries, not as an exclusive club: So India is an observer, Iran is an observer, and even it is open to United States—I mean, there is nothing in the charter of SCO that prevents the United States from joining the SCO. It’s not NATO of the East. It’s an altogether different type of regional cooperation, which deserves support. And which I think can play a very constructive role in finding a solution by undertaking mega-projects of infrastructure development, development of power, development of energy resources, the idea of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, extending to Africa from the Mediterranean. And just giving a stimulus to construction activities, to activities through which the world economy, had it been done in time, I think it would have saved the crisis. But it was ignored. Mega-projects were not undertaken, and much time was lost.

Well, two years before Primakov, I don’t know how it happened, but I made a presentation in a seminar which was inaugurated by Mr. Gujaral, then foreign minister of our country. It was exactly the end of 1996. In 1997, it was published in a book form. And I happened to argue for building this triangle, the strategic triangle among the three Eurasian countries. I thought, this is the only concrete way to checkmate the expansion of the northern alliance, the alliance of the North, and by promoting multipolarity, things like that.

Then 1998, Primakov’s proposal came. India gave some qualified support to it. It did get a response. But then we got immersed in so many problems, and the triangle took time to materialize. The three countries, their foreign ministers were meeting in the UN General Assembly, and things were getting on track. Yearly meetings of foreign ministers have been taking place, but it’s still a far way to go, for this triangle to become really effective. And there are many things to be done, before it can play its meaningful role.

A New Turn to Human History

Now, America, as Lyn has proposed, must join this triangle, as a new nucleus, to grow, and just to include other powers also. So it’s a good suggestion, because it’s a new America. It’s not the America of monetarists; it’s not an America of globalization; it’s not an America of empire: It’s America of the national republic. And there is a realization in America, and outside America, that the problems of the world cannot be solved by America alone, but these problems also cannot be solved without the cooperation, without the involvement of America. America remains important, a new America.

So, if America joins this triangle, this will give a new turn to human history. And I think it will be exploiting asymmetrical powers, asymmetries in power for collective benefit.

Many people who are skeptical of American inclusion in Asian affairs say, “Well, America—their habit of thinking in terms of hegemonies is too strongly entrenched. For the last 60 years, the American elite had been thinking they are on top of the world, so it’s very difficult for them to shed this idea.” But then, after all, the United Nations and other institutions, and the whole history shows that asymmetries of power can be institutionalized; some can be baneful, some can gainful, useful, and in this sense, the Quadrangle which is being advocated by Lyn, to my likes, is of a different character. It is going to help this area to regenerate itself by the use of physical principles, physical economy principles, real economy principles. Of course, I would not like to minimize the problems and difficulties. There is still a lot of misunderstanding in these three countries about their role.

In India, we thought, “Well, we need not bother about this crisis. We are not so well-integrated, so deeply integrated in the world system, world market, so it will not affect us.” But it is affecting us. Just last week, an unemployed Indian youth immolated himself before the Presidential Palace. He was working in Dubai, he was laid off. Textiles, garments, and the gem industry, and outsourced industries—they are feeling the impact. Of course, it’s another thing, “our resilient economy,” you know, the growth rate will come down from 9% to 6%, but still it is something. It will be there. We are not so much dependent on exports as China.

China: When Lyn visited India in December, during that period, I had to leave for China. And in China, I found it was amazing! The Secretary of the Communist Party of China, of Guizhou province, our host, and governor of that state, they said, “No, this global tsunami, it will not affect us. We have a huge reserve, 1.6 trillion reserve of foreign currency. It is rather an opportunity for us! We can go in and buy American enterprises, American financial institutions, or....” So, I said, “Excellencies, you are unaware of the magnitude—my guru has taught me that many of you think your 1.6 trillion will bring another 1.6 trillion, but you will be the loser, your money will be wiped out! You do not know what a bottomless gulf it is, the magnitude of this speculation! So, hedge funds, derivatives, and these things....” Unfortunately, the leadership, in its zeal for achievement: “Oh, we have achieved something, and we are immune to it.” Now they are also realizing 20 million [people who had migrated to the cities, but returned home when they were laid off] did not return from the rural areas, and China is in the midst of a crisis.

And the ideas of Lyn can help the Chinese, the Russians and the Indians. Because this Quadrangle, as he says, has to be propagated. Why is America needed? Because America is not monetarist! It has a Constitution which is not monetarist. It is committed to national sovereignty, a republic. So, America has a place.

Russia, because of the Siberian wealth—I used to say, when some Indian economist was skeptical of Russian economic performance, “Oh, if your Soviet Union is approaching now 2-3% growth,” in the Brezhnev period. I’d say it is still 3%. “Don’t worry,” I used to say, “They have Siberia.” You just poke your foot anywhere in Siberia, and you can say, “here lies diamonds, here lies copper, here lies petroleum, here lies gas.” Anywhere you step, so rich in natural resources and raw materials. But they have to be exploited. And the scientific community of Russia—you see the influence of the real economy, Vernadsky, and Lyndon LaRouche. So, the scientific community is there! Technology is there, mining is there, resources are there. So Russia remains important.

In spite of, Putin—I would like him to perform much better. Well, he has performed all right, but I was disappointed by his speech in Davos, where he attributed the crisis to excessive state role! My goodness—contradicted himself. Because, the analysts used to say that he is moving in the direction of state corporatism. State corporations are growing under him; he’s a statist in his own way, and he’s following state dirigist policies. At least, that is better than following the oligarchy. But then, at times, he has a tendency to fall under influence of the wrong people, this Tony Blair, the British; and Bush, like his predecessor Yeltsin, and Gorbachov, they’re very fond of the elder Bush. At times, I feel that there is a very personal rapport with Bush. So that kind of approach, you know, a knee-jerk approach. He’s a strong man, a karate fighter. But you have to react from here [the head], not from the knee—not knee-jerk reactions.

I remember, in Brussels, Bush made a speech advising Russia about its place: Your place is in Europe. You must integrate with Europe, you must only aspire to be a great a European power. And turn your back on Asia, Eurasia. And, like a loyal pupil, President Putin said, “Well, we were in Europe, we have been in Europe, we will always be in Europe.” Nobody prevents you from being in Europe, but a large part of your territory lies in Asia! You cannot forget Eurasia!

But, Russia remains important: resources, and the scientists, scientific community, technology. And America, because of the Constitution, not just because of the dollar, the dollar as an international currency, but also American technology. And China, China and India, we are live economies. China, in spite of the recent setback, is still growing at the rate of at least 7%, 8%, or something like that.

But more than that, what Lyn has been telling these people, people in my country and in China, is that, you see, the Indian farmers, the Chinese farmers, they cannot wait indefinitely to improve their skills. Of course, education and health, etc., sanitation programs, must continue in a big way, but it will take time! If you give them proper technology that will augment their productivity. So he’s advocating for nuclear, just to improve the lot of the Indian poor. He says, India must nuclearize, civil nuclear power. And plutonium, thorium reactors, small reactors on the coast of India, southern India, can be used for desalinating, solving the water problems. Things like that. So for that, cooperation with Russia, China—big markets. And there is hope that if this area is regenerated, by intensified cooperation, then it will help the entire world to recover from this crisis.

But then, there are forces in Russia, and also in China, which just do not want to look beyond their nose. We have a very strong presence of the Carnegie Foundation in Moscow, at the Carnegie Center. And I’m reminded of one work recently published by Dmitri Trenin, “The End of Eurasia”: The Eurasian concept is over, it is no longer valid. Of course, physically it remains, but it was, he says, just an extension of the Russian Empire. And since Russia is now a weak economic power, in spite of its nuclear weapons, it can no longer realize its Eurasian dream, so it must seek its rightful place in Europe, as a third-class—. You know, the second-class Europeans, those who joined later on—how many are they? Poland, Czechoslovakia, and all this.

I will just end up here. East European diplomats had gathered to discuss the European Union, and they were expressing a great desire and hurry to join European Union! And it appeared to me that they were under the impression that once they join the European Union, they will be in Heaven. They will be living in an age of plenty, and they will become prosperous, and things like that. And when they came in—and the French and some other Western European ambassadors were there—I said, “Ask them: Are they really happy with this community? You see people who are watching this show, this theater of European progress, the European Union, are not applauding this spectacle! And you are queuing up outside, in a hurry to purchase tickets to enter this movie which is already a flop!”

A New Century of Universal Values

I think America should be included in this triangle: You have to build America into Asian regional systems. As some ambassadors, some diplomats said, “Well, the Asians are in a theater, a cinema, and they are looking to America as the screen, without looking to each other.” In a way, by my training, temperament, everything, you may say I’ve misunderstood America a little bit; I’m an anti-American, in a broad sense. But then, I see, if America is integrated into building this region, that will be a very positive thing. And the regional organizations in Asia are open organizations, they’re not exclusive clubs, so America is welcome. But it should not be America the Monetarist, America of Globalization, America of Speculative Finance. It has to be a new America, with a new understanding of the current developments, and a new approach.

So, this visit of Mrs. Clinton, the new Secretary of State, to—I’m sorry she will not be visiting India, but we should not be oversensitive for that. She had been there a number of times, along with her husband. They are good friends of Lyn, and they are good friends of India. We don’t mistrust them. So let’s not be fussy that’s she’s visiting first Japan, and China, and South Korea, and Indonesia. But of course, it will be misinterpreted as a revisitation of the Pact of Free Asian Nations, which had been there on the American agenda since Eisenhower’s time.

But then, when [then-Indian Foreign Minister Atal Bihari] Vajpayee went to China in 2003, in his meeting and later in the joint statement, and in St. Petersburg at the economic summit, the two leaders of India and China spoke about and expressed their faith in the Asian Century: that the 21st Century will be an Asian Century. Well, I have a way of looking at these definitions of history periods—Asian Century, Pacific Century—but then, if you think America is a legitimate Pacific power, and the Pacific Coast looks toward Asia. So, there is no harm. It will be progress if the trans-Atlanticism of NATO and those military pacts, and that Cold War type approach is given up, for this movement towards the Pacific and Asia. In fact, the new century has to be a century of universal values: not the Asian Century, not the Pacific Century.

Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1948, in Paris, addressing the UN General Assembly, said: “The world is not just Europe alone. Asia counts today; it will count much more tomorrow.” That day has arrived. Asia counts. Asia is an important center, it has become a center of gravity on the world stage. But that should not make Asians feel proud of these developments in a narrow, nationalistic way.

I think we have tried, through Japan and China, the Asian values and all these things. But still, we have to move towards universal values, which can be imbibed by adopting the Renaissance spirit, and national sovereignty, and sovereignty of culture—as we had the discussion at your place last night—sovereignty of cultures: all cultures sovereign, and they must propagate their fine points, their high points. And that should be a theme of dialogue. And then, through interaction, association of nations, then an international community will be formed, based on the spirit of Westphalia, mutuality of interests: My interests are better served if I accommodate the interests of the other party. That should be the spirit. And this is a renaissance; India, Eurasia—the Eurasian concept is a cultural concept for us. We are wedded to Eurasia. Tilak’s Arctic Home in Vedas. This route was ours: migration through Central Asia, one part to Iran, the other part to the Subcontinent—Pakistan and India—and in Tajikistan, the Avestian term ”aryanam vaychak” [phonetic], the “Aryan space.” Not in a racist sense, I’m saying, but culturally, it is “Aryan space”: Afghanistan, Aryana; Iran, also, Aryan.

So, this community of our ancestors, who stayed together sometimes in close proximity, close neighborhood, this attaches us to Eurasia, which is becoming a laboratory of new experiments. It has all the potential of becoming the laboratory of implementing, working out mega-projects: railways, powerhouses, energy, pipelines, roads, which will have a healthy effect on revival of the world economy. I think this cooperation among the four power, if this idea is propagated in a big way, and is internalized by the people in this area and beyond, has the potential of kick-starting the world recovery.

Thank you so much.


1Count Witte (1849-1915) was the Russian prime minister (1905-06) who oversaw the extension of American System economic principles to begin the industrialization of Russia.