On November 16, an seminar was held in Montreal Canada entitled “The Art of Peace: The New Silk Road Counters an Age of Turbulence” hosted by the Rising Tide Foundation, featuring six speakers tackling the multi-faceted New Silk Road from artistic, engineering, historical, philosophical and scientific standpoints.
Presentation 1: A new epoch of cooperation and win-win development has begun to emerge with China’s New Silk Road and the growing array of nations joining the new “multi-polar” order in opposition to the collapsing “uni-polar” zero sum system that has grown over-bloated under decades of consumerism, empire and short term thinking. In these introductory remarks, Journalist, and Rising Tide Foundation director Matthew Ehret introduces this new paradigm, the BRICS, and broader spirit of cooperation which westerners need to understand at this moment of world crisis in order to have a future worth living in.
Presentation 2: In this lecture, Rising Tide Foundation co-founder Cynthia Chung introduces the historical dynamics shaping global affairs throughout the 20th Century. Cynthia asked rhetorically, “Why can we not afford to miss another lost chance of 1989” by addressing the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, and the potential for peace that was destroyed with Russia’s betrayal at the hand of the western alliance in 1990, as it had been earlier during WWII, and in the war’s aftermath as the feared German-US-Russia industrial alliance envisioned by FDR was destroyed by those imperial forces within France, Britain and America who preferred a Cold War over an era of peaceful collaboration and win win cooperation.
Presentation 3: Geopolitics arose as a modern political doctrine at the turn of the 20th century as a way of looking at the world through a “zero-sum game” lens of each against all in a struggle of survival of the fittest. This manner of thought has done much to shape (or mis-shape) 20th century history but, as Aaron Kalfon (President of the Humanist Club of Concordia) explains in this short but concise lecture, the zero-sum game has come to an end as a new paradigm of cooperation and peaceful co-existence is beginning to exert its hegemony.
Presentation 4: Although it is well known that China has become the world’s largest and fastest growing economy in the world- outpacing the USA since the unveiling of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, it is too often forgotten that this dominant position is not new, but merely a return to the “normal” state of world affairs characteristic of the 15-19th century which saw China (followed by India) as the two most powerful economies by far on the globe. But is this economic leadership something which should cause fear of a new empire as is so common in the west? Should we believe that a powerful nation state must equal a corrupt/imperial state? As Shaoqian Zhang showcases in his presentation, China’s character as a powerful nation is not something to be feared as many western geo-politicians would have us do. Shaoqian explores the history of China’s philosophy of “win-win cooperation” and Core Confucian virtues as principles which have PRACTICALLY guided China’s relationship to other cultures and nations from the 15th century explorations of Adm. Zheng He to the modern era. He also addresses the important matter of British opium-politics which strategically targeted this economy for destruction throughout the 19th century.
Presentation 5: Is China’s expansion into Africa just another colonial debt trap which western geopoliticians claim, or are there practical and moral benefits which aim to uplift, liberate and enoble this long-abused continent? In this 5th presentation, Nicholas Jones (dancer with La Grande Ballet de Montreal, Instructor with Anno’s Africa and Artistic Adviser to the Rising Tide Foundation), takes you through the explosive rate of development which has occurred over only 2 generations in China and how this model is re-shaping the lives and hopes of a new generation of Africans.
Presentation 6: Many westerners are petrified of nuclear power. Images of Chernobyl, mushroom clouds, three eyed fish and Homer Simpson flash across the mind like an electric fence when one even mentions “atomic energy”. In this sixth presentation, nuclear engineer, and Rising Tide Science Adviser Cuautemoc Reale-Hernandez explores the science of nuclear energy and compares this source of power to all other major forms currently available to humanity (wind, solar, fossil fuels, hydro) and makes the case, that unless you want to lower the world’s population, nuclear must be a priority for the world.