In reviewing some history, you might be shocked to discover that the Belt and Road Initiative is more American than the America which the world has come to know over the past 50 years.
The American Revolution as an International Struggle
The fact that the American Revolution was an international affair is made evident by the fact that without the collaboration of the leadership of Russia, France, as well as many powerful forces in Poland, Spain, Germany the revolution could never have succeeded. Catherine the Great led the League of Armed Neutrality ensuring arms and funding to the rebelling colonies while the great Polish general Kosciusko working with German and French military officers were organized to help train and lead the American farmers during this battle.
American support was not limited to Europe however, as the South Indian Mysore rebellion against the British East India Company was organized by pro-American Muslim leader Hyder Ali which tied up British troops from being deployed to America. Ali was so admired that American poems were written about him and in 1780 a sixteen gun war ship was set from Philadelphia to do battle with the British Navy named the Haidar Ali. In Africa, under Emperor Sidi Mohammed’s direction, Morocco was the first nation to recognize American independence in 1777. The nation also harbored American ships, protecting them from British-controlled Barbary pirates with George Washington later writing letters of thanks to the Sultan of Morocco.
Many of these international forces were organized over decades by the brilliant planning of Benjamin Franklin who wrote extensively that America should model itself on the best principles of Confucianism and even argued for the modelling of America’s civil service upon China’s meritocracy. Franklin’s discoveries in electricity were directly tied to his concept of natural law and statecraft earning him the reputation of the “Prometheus of America”. Even the greatest artists of Europe such as Mozart, Schiller, and Beethoven were inspired by the idea that the American experience was merely the precursor to a new age of reason that would soon liberate Europe from the shackles of oligarchism. Not only was Schiller’s great poem Ode to Joy an homage to this hope for a brotherhood of mankind, but so was Beethoven’s later musical expression of it in his 9th Symphony.
The Sabotage of the New Paradigm
While some United Empire Loyalists left the USA to set up English-speaking Canada (creating a British-controlled beachhead in the Americas ever since), some traitors such as Aaron Burr (VP under Jefferson) chose to stay behind and work to undermine America from within by killing American System founder Alexander Hamilton and setting up Wall Street as a Junior partner to the City of London.
As the spirit of American republicanism in Europe was crushed under the British-sponsored Jacobin Terror, Napoleonic wars and then the iron fist of monarchism with the 1815 Congress of Vienna, slave interests of America’s south advanced a program of imperial thinking and slavery throughout the 1830s-1850s leading into the Civil War. A leading proponent of the true American spirit was Lincoln’s bodyguard William Gilpin, who played an instrumental role as Governor of Colorado during the Civil War. With a vision of Lincoln’s transcontinental railway extended to Asia, Gilpin famously said:
“Salvation must come to America from China, and this consists in the introduction of the “Chinese constitution” viz. the “patriarchal democracy of the Celestial Empire”. The political life of the United States is through European influences, in a state of complete demoralization, and the Chinese Constitution alone contains elements of regeneration. For this reason, a railroad to the Pacific is of such vast importance, since by its means the Chinese trade will be conducted straight across the North American continent. This trade must bring in its train Chinese civilization. All that is usually alleged against China is mere calumny spread purposefully, just like those calumnies which are circulated in Europe about the United States”.
China’s “founding father” Sun Yat-sen, an avowed follower of Abraham Lincoln composed his International Development of China (1920) calling for international construction of rail, ports and resources from China throughout Eurasia connecting to Europe and Russia (a precursor to today’s BRI). In his work he echoed Gilpin’s vision by saying “The nations which will take part in this development will reap immense advantages. Furthermore, international cooperation of this kind cannot but help to strengthen the Brotherhood of Man.”
The Spirit of the New Paradigm Sabotaged Again and Again and Again…
In the wake of the Civil War, Gilpin and other Lincoln allies such as William Sumner, and Ulysses S. Grant fought to spread the “American System of Political Economy” across the world and nearly succeeded in fulfilling what the American Revolution failed to do with Russia’s Alexander II applying this system to build the Trans-Siberian rail, American statesmen helping to build rail and national credit under the Meiji Restoration in Japan, and pro-American forces in Germany, France and beyond industrializing themselves with rail, national credit, protective tariffs and industrial growth programs. Gilpin went the furthest in illustrating this grand design with his 1890 book “The Cosmopolitan Railway” uniting all continents in railways and calling for something which looks a lot like the Belt and Road Initiative today.
Envisioning this new just world order of sovereign republics cooperating on the common aims of humanity, Gilpin wrote: “The civilized masses of the world meet; they are mutually enlightened, and fraternize to reconstitute human relations in harmony with nature and with God. The world ceases to be a military camp, incubated only by the military principles of arbitrary force and abject submission. A new and grand order in human affairs inaugurates itself out of these immense concurrent discoveries and events”
A wave of assassinations and wars aborted the birth of this new era however. The 20th century was shaped by a battle between opposing forces within America.
Although valiant efforts to end the cold war and usher in this new paradigm were made by John F. Kennedy, Charles De Gaulle and later Robert Kennedy, the Anglo-American alliance grew over their dead bodies and a hellish growth of empire unfolded from 1968 onward. While bold opposition to this New World Disorder occasionally arose from nationalist leaders in Africa, Asia and Latin America, very little was done to keep this torch alive from within America itself aside from the considerable efforts of American economist Lyndon LaRouche. As the British-Deep State gained dominance of the Trans-Atlantic during the NAFTA-1990s and Post-911 world, a new system had been quietly forming to finalize what the American Revolution had sought to do in 1776.
A New Opportunity with the BRI
Surprisingly, it was in 2013 that the New Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative) was announced presenting an incredible opportunity for a new era in human relations. Echoing the spirit of William Gilpin and Sun Yat-sen, China’s President Xi Jinping recently said:
“To respond to the call of the times, China takes it its mission to make new and even greater contribution to mankind. China will work with other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind, forge partnerships across the world, enhance friendship and cooperation, and explore a new path of growing state-to-state relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. Our goal is to make the world a place of peace and stability and life happier and more fulfilling for all.”
This new paradigm proposed by Xi Jinping and expressed by the BRI’s political economic practices are exactly what the best American patriots fought for, and so the question becomes: will America finalize the intention of the American Revolution by work by joining the New Silk Road or fail to recognize its own destiny?
*Adapted from a report originally published on the Strategic Culture Foundation