An important conference occurred from May 15-16 in Beijing which was missed by much of the western press. Titled “Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations”, leading heads of state, ministers and business representatives from all Asian countries converged to discuss the organizing principles of the new system being created by China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The event was designed to refute the toxic concept that civilizations are destined to clash.
President Xi Jinping set the tone for the event stating in the opening speech: “The intensifying global challenges humanity are facing now require concerted efforts from countries across the world”. In his presentation he discussed the importance of the new paradigm of win-win cooperation now unfolding and discussed the importance of transcending the “each against all” paradigm which threatens civilization’s very existence.
Xi made the point that cultures must focus on a higher principle of beauty if we will succeed in this endeavor when he said:
We need to uphold the beauty of each civilization and the diversity of civilizations in the world. Each civilization is the crystallization of human creation, and each is beautiful in its own way. The aspiration for all that is beautiful is a common pursuit of humanity that nothing can hold back. Civilizations don’t have to clash with each other; what is needed are eyes to see the beauty in all civilizations. We should keep our own civilizations dynamic and create conditions for other civilizations to flourish. Together we can make the garden of world civilizations colorful and vibrant.”
The conference was the first of its kind and resulted in the release of a text which is designed to establish a new organizing principle for international governance known as the Beijing Consensus, the full text of which was made public on May 24 and can be read in full here.
The west unfortunately had very little representation.
One of the few notable western representatives who at this prestigious event was Helga Zepp-LaRouche, President of the Schiller Institute who has been on record promoting the New Silk Road as the basis for a new world economic system for over 25 years. Zepp-LaRouche delivered a speech at the event which was widely covered across Asian press though entirely blocked by the west titled “The Highest Ideal of Mankind is the Potential of the Future”. Opening her presentation Helga pointed out that the world finds itself in a phase change between two paradigms when she said:
We find ourselves in such a phase change: the old world order, as it developed after World War II and especially after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, is in a process of dissolution, but what the new order will look like is by no means decided yet.”
Weaving through the ancient philosophical currents of Confucianism, Buddhism and Jainism, as well as Hindu texts such as the Upanishads and Rig Veda, Mrs. Zepp-Larouche made the point that the common universal principles which each culture has touched upon through their own pathways aimed at the same goal of a “commitment to lifelong self-cultivation and moral refinement of mankind””. This is a principled concept which is not only found within Christianity but is the life essence of all western development from the golden renaissance to the present.
Core principles found throughout these Asian traditions touch upon loving our neighbor like ourselves, and showing forgiveness over the desires for revenge. Zepp-LaRouche discussed how these principles gave birth to the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” organized by China’s Premier Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954 and expanded into the “Ten Principles of Bandung” in 1955 between Asian and African states. She went on to explain how these were the basis for the 1961 conference of non-aligned nations in Belgrade and are also organizing principles of the increasingly powerful Belt and Road Initiative and new Eurasian Paradigm which she explains the west must join if we are to avoid a civilizational collapse or nuclear war.
If you never heard of them, the Five principles of Peaceful Coexistence are: 1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, 2. Mutual non-aggression, 3. Mutual non-interference, 4. Equality and mutual benefit, and 5. Peaceful co-existence.
It should be noted that these are the same core principles upon which the modern sovereign nation state system was founded known as the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 which put an end to the 30 Years War between Catholics and Protestants in Europe and whose first principle was “forgiveness of all transgressions” followed by the principle that all nations must now would work towards the “benefit of the other”. Both Eastern and Western systems are thus founded upon common principles of natural law and thus antagonistic to the geopolitical “each against all” and “Might makes right” demanded by today’s bankrupt imperial system. When Sir Kissinger or Blair speak of their desire to create a “post-Westphalian state international order” these are the moral principles they are rejecting and demand that all of us reject along with them.
Ending her presentation with a surprising biography of China’s first Minister of Education Cai Yuanpei, Zepp-LaRouche explained that Yuanpei (and Xi Jinping’s) understood the role of aesthetical education to raise all people beyond their intellectual and religious biases to a higher universal sense of identity where the love of truth, beauty and justice become more powerful than lusts for pleasure, fame and comfort. Cai Yuanpei, whose writings should become again popular across east and west alike wrote extensively that without this growth of the moral and INTERNAL constitutions, all societies would be doomed to self-destruction. She wrote of Cai Yuapei:
Cai Yuanpei recognized the striking coincidence between the teachings of Confucius and the aesthetics of Schiller. The immersion in poetry, music, and painting during one’s leisure hours awakens in the beholder an aesthetic pleasure in which lies neither a desire for nor a rejection of the sensible world. Rather, the taste is formed and the emotions are ennobled. Aesthetic sensibility embraces beauty and sublimity, thus forming a bridge between the sensual world and reason. Every human being has a mind, but not everyone is capable of producing great and noble deeds. Therefore this mind must become stronger as a driving force, by ennobling it.”
As we move towards a new system of mutual collaboration led by the visionary leadership of Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin, I think it is worth reviewing the powerful thoughts as laid out by Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche at that event.