In one sense the central strategic issue of the day, that question does not yet have a certain answer. And as it is being fought out, Helga Zepp-LaRouche warned in her weekly webcast yesterday, “the strategic situation is becoming increasingly worrisome, because you have a real collapse of relations between the U.S. and Russia, the U.S. and China, the EU and China. So all of this forebodes nothing good, and needs some urgent change in direction.”
Is it President Joe Biden who speaks for the United States? Not according to the President himself, who yesterday announced that he was naming VP Kamala Harris to head up border issues for the administration, and that “when she speaks, she speaks for me, doesn’t have to check with me.” A few weeks earlier he had similarly given Secretary of State Tony Blinken carte blanche, and told the world that what Blinken says is American policy. World leaders are well aware that Biden can scarcely carry a thought all the way across a room, let alone navigate through the most complex economic and strategic crisis in centuries.
If not Biden, is it then Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who have spent the better part of the last two months denouncing Russia’s purported “reckless and adversarial actions,” and China’s “challenge to the rules-based order,” while imposing new criminal sanctions on both countries?
Or, worse still, is it admirals Davidson and Aquilino, or the Dr. Strangelove-wannabes of the US Army’s “Multi-Domain Task Force,” who argue that “the line between conflict and peace is blurred,” and who therefore promote forward-basing US forces to surround China in the Pacific, and who openly call for the use of military power to forcibly split Taiwan from China? If such British imperial utopian policies prevail as the voice of the United States, then the trajectory towards full-scale thermonuclear war is indeed a short one.
Fortunately, there are other voices and other policies being heard—emphatically including those of Lyndon LaRouche, “now through the voice of his wife, Doña Helga,” as former Mexican President López Portillo stated in 1998. Others in that international chorus of voices were also heard at last weekend’s Schiller Institute conference, putting together a global policy alternative to the bankruptcy of the trans-Atlantic financial system, which is the driving force towards war. The remarks of former state senator Richard Black stand out as another strong voice for the true United States.
But the issue posed is actually a deeper one: What is that real United States? We were wise to turn to Gottfried Leibniz, one of the true founding fathers of the United States, whose philosophical concept of happiness or felicity—as diametrically opposed to the hedonist’s notion of pleasure—defined the substantive content of the Declaration of Independence as well as the General Welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution. But Leibniz also addressed the fundamental issue of foreign policy—the nature of justice in our relations with other sovereign nations—in his writings.
Take the question he posed at the outset of his 1702 “Meditation on the Common Concept of Justice.”
“It is agreed that whatever God wills is good and just. But there remains the question whether it is good and just because God wills it or whether God wills it because it is good and just, in other words whether justice and goodness are arbitrary or whether they belong to the necessary and eternal truths about the nature of things.”
Leibniz himself answered that the former view “would destroy the justice of God. For why praise him because he acts according to justice, if the notion of justice, in his case, adds nothing to that of action… Moreover this opinion would not sufficiently distinguish God from the devil.” He emphasized that those who hold that view “have done wrong to the attributes which make God lovable, and, having destroyed the love of God, they have left only fear behind.”
That distinction lies at the heart of a properly defined American foreign policy, especially in times of an existential crisis facing all mankind, when our very survival depends on achieving the general welfare of every other nation on the planet, as well as our own.