One Century Later, Drawing the Lessons from the First World War

“Sleepwalking: Have We Learned the Lesson of How the First World War Came About?” is the title of an article written on Nov. 3 by the chairwoman of the international Schiller Institute Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in which she reviews the acute, but underestimated, danger of war today. She begins:

“Only five days after the [Nov. 6] mid-term elections in the United States, which will be decisive in setting the course toward war or toward peace, Presidents Trump and Putin will meet in Paris on the occasion of the centenary of the end of World War One. Among the topics of discussion is the unilateral cancellation of the INF Treaty by the US, and hopefully also how these two leading nations, in spite of the extremely tense international situation, can ensure that mankind will be spared a third – this time annihilating – world war.”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche just recently returned from a trip to Moscow, during which she had discussions with representatives of leading institutions, which gave her a “first-hand impression” of their assessment of strategic situation.

“From the various steps taken by the West and NATO – NATO’s expansion up to the Russian borders, the build-up of the missile defense system in Romania and Poland which can be transformed into an offensive system within a very short time, the cancellation of the ABM Treaty, and now of the INF Treaty, as well as the different ‘narratives’ portraying Russia as the enemy image and Putin as a demon – the Russian leadership has very clearly drawn the conclusion that a major war cannot be ruled out.”

In light of the recent warnings of the war danger and well as provocative moves by the West and NATO, Helga Zepp-LaRouche warned that “it is high time to realize that any deployment of nuclear weapons would set off a ‘doomsday mechanism’”, making any idea of a “limited” nuclear war an illusion.

The centenary of the end of the First World War, she urges, provides a much-needed occasion to recall “how easily mankind can ‘sleepwalk’ into a catastrophe on a pre-arranged chessboard. None of the war parties in World War I could have anticipated its course.”

Today, we need to realize the need to overcome geopolitics and to replace it “with a new paradigm of the idea of mankind as a whole”, which Chinese President Xi Jinping has defined in his way as win-win cooperation in international relations. “If we have learned anything from the tragedies of the 20th Century, then we must now learn to think about mankind in a completely different way”, Helga Zepp-LaRouche concludes.

The article can be read in full in English translation here., and in the original German at