The World Landbridge
Development is the New Name for Peace
In order to have durable war avoidance, we must find a common interest among the sovereign nations of the world. The common aims of mankind include economic progress - the raising of the standard of living for all, which means infrastructure to provide fresh water, transportation and power. These are the indispensable preconditions for a decent standard of living.
Economist Lyndon LaRouche has proposed a "World Landbridge" to this end, based on the principle that the "new name for peace is development".
The proposal is to build a worldwide network of high-speed, magnetic levitation railroad-centered development corridors. This transportation network would allow one to travel from the southern tip of South America, all the way up through North America to Alaska, through a tunnel underneath the Bering Strait, (only about 55 miles of ocean separate Alaska and Russia at the closest point), then across the Eurasian Continent, and down to the southern tip of Africa.
The proposal is not, however, simply to have high-speed railroad connections, but rather to have a corridor, perhaps 60-100 miles wide, centered on the railroad. In these "development corridors", all kinds of infrastructure will be built: fiber optic cables for telecommunications, oil and gas pipelines, agricultural infrastructure, highways and roads, power plants, electricity transmission lines, water development infrastructure, new factories, and in fact, new cities. Hundreds of cities will tend to arise, as if organically, in the corridors defined by such high-speed railroad connections. This corresponds with the U.S. experience in building the transcontinental railroad; almost anywhere two railroads intersected, a town or a city sprang up.
Imagine flying over a vast desert, and all you can see in every direction is unending expanses of barren sand. Suddenly, a broad, green stripe appears, cutting right across the desert. That's the concept of a development corridor.
In other words, this is a vision for creating 2 billion new, productive jobs over the next 50 years. And, it is a plan for lifting billions of people out of poverty and backwardness.
Over one billion people worldwide lack reliable access to fresh, clean water. Almost one quarter of humanity, about 1.6 billion people, live without electricity. And, as long as this is the case, we will not have peace. One of the reasons that extremist organizations can find such fertile recruiting ground for their violent ideas, is the brutal poverty that exists in so much of the planet. This obvious injustice invites resentment, bitterness and hatred. If we are to achieve a lasting peace, we must increase social justice.
The grinding poverty we see in so much of the world, is a hold-over from the old colonial empires. The essence of colonialism was (and is) to extract raw materials from a subjugated people, while keeping them down, backward and weak, so that they can be more readily exploited. The American Founding Fathers conducted a successful revolution against this form of tyranny, and out of the struggle against such colonialism, created the world's first constitutional form of representative self-government. This was a monumental achievement, but they were not able to overcome the power of the deeply entrenched, european colonial and imperial empires.
Now is the time to finally overcome that legacy of colonialism.
Undoubtedly the objection will be raised, that although the idea of the World Landbridge may sound wonderful, perhaps it is a fantasy. Perhaps it is too large, too complex - after all, how are you going to get all these nations to agree to build such a system?
Such an objection would be understandable, but it has been overtaken by events. In fact, the Landbridge has been officially, publicly adopted by Russia and China as their policy. You would never know this from reading the major U.S. print media, or watching television, yet there is ample proof available.
In 2007, a seminar took place in Russia involving hundreds of participants, organized by a coalition of Russian institutions, entitled "Megaprojects of the Russia's East: A Transcontinental Eurasia-America Transport Link via the Bering Strait". There were two American participants who made contributions to the event: former Secretary of the Interior and governor of Alaska, Walter Hickel, and economist Lyndon LaRouche. The conference organizers, which included the Russian Academy of Sciences, produced a pamphlet containing the conference proceedings. The cover page of the pamphlet shows an artist's conception of coming up out of the Bering Strait Tunnel, and seeing a large city of perhaps a million people on the banks of either Russia or Alaska, where of course right now, there is nothing but frozen tundra. So, it's clear the Russians have the idea that this is not simply about building railroads, but about building civilization.
In 2009, Vladimir Yakunin, the president of state-run Russian Railways, gave an interview to the London Sunday Express, in which he announced his intention to build the Bering Strait tunnel.
The World Landbridge proposal grew out of an earlier proposal, the Eurasian Landbridge. LaRouche suggested, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, that the West do something that would on the one hand address the desires of the people of the East, who clearly yearned for a better way of life than communism had provided, and at the same time, would benefit the West as well, by opening up huge export markets for our heavy industries - industries that already at that time had been progressively shutting down since the 1970's. This was the concept of railroad-centered development corridors that would connect Europe and Asia. There were three main routes envisioned - a northern, middle, and southern.
The Eurasian Landbridge is also referred to as the "New Silk Road", after the ancient overland trading route between China and Europe made famous by Marco Polo in the 13th century.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Lyndon LaRouche's wife, participated in a seminar in China in 1996 on the Eurasian Landbridge. The Chinese media, after the seminar, pronounced Helga's presentation the best of the conference, and dubbed her the "The Silk Road Lady". Helga emphasized in her presentation that the Landbridge would be important, not merely for economic reasons, but as a way of promoting a Dialogue of Civilizations that lay along these routes. The sharing of cultures, the increase of knowledge of each nation about the others, would tend to lessen the danger of conflict, in the context of the principle of progress. So, the Landbridge is a policy for war avoidance.
In 1998, the Chinese government announced the formation of an official Chinese government office of the Eurasian Landbridge, and that they intended to build 200 new cities, each of a million people, in the corridors defined by high speed railroad connections along the Eurasian Landbridge over the course of the next 50 years. Today, they are in the process of doing exactly that. They have even created a monument, dedicated to the Eastern Terminal of the New Eurasia Landbridge, in the eastern coastal city of Lianyungang, which is where the three main routes of the Eurasian Landbridge come together.
China has since become the first country in the world to build a commercial magnetic-levitation railroad. The train goes from downtown Shanghai to the Shanghai Pudong airport, a distance of about 18 miles, and it travels that distance in about seven minutes. It is the fastest commercial train in the world, hitting a top speed of over 250 mph.
In September of 2013, the new President of China, Xi Jinping, reaffirmed China's commitment to the "New Silk Road" in a speech he gave to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as reported in the "Asia Times Online":
"While the whole world was terrified by the prospect of the Obama administration bombing Syria, Chinese President Xi Jinping was busy doing the Silk Road. (...) Xi's official 'economic belt along the Silk Road' is a supremely ambitious, Chinese-fueled trans-Eurasian integration mega-project, from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea".
Later in the same article, Asia Times reports,
"Beijing is already massively investing in new roads and bridges along the Eurasian Land Bridge - another denomination of the New Silk Road... the New Silk Road is all about highways, railways, fiber optics and pipelines - with now the added Chinese push for logistics centers, manufacturing hubs, and inevitably, new townships".
The World Landbridge is in the process of being built, and Russia and China have officially adopted it as their policy. Leading factions of every major government in the world are informed of this concept, and support it.
What about the United States? Why shouldn't the USA lead the way?