From Volume 4, Issue Number 30 of EIR Online, Published July 26, 2005

Latest From LaRouche


We Are Intervening To Change the Universe

Here are Lyndon LaRouche's (slightly abridged) opening remarks to a LaRouche Youth Movement cadre school in Toledo, on July 17, 2005.

Now, there's a fundamental problem in all teaching of political science and psychology, which is rampant in the United States, among other places, today. And that is, that we are so much influenced, in our culture, by the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system of thinking, the so-called Lockean-Cartesian system of thinking, that we no longer understand the essential principles of history, in which critical decisions at critical turning points in history, have to be made. People think of things in, as I said, a Lockean, mechanistic way, or in a Cartesian Flatland basis. They don't understand that history itself, is a determining factor in history. That there is a dynamic relationship, or interrelationship, or interaction, between the quality of the individual human being—which is a uniquely human quality, of the ability to discover universal physical principles, which no animal can do—and the impact of a society, which is evolving on a scale which is determined by the cumulative effect of either discoveries of universal principle, including Classical artistic principles, or the suppression or absence of those principles once they have been discovered.

So that, what you have in dealing with a culture is, you have not a simple model of the type, say, this fellow Jerrold Post represents in his book on the subject of political psychology—which is a Cartesian system; it's a Cartesian "Flatland," on which he situates all history. He mixes up characters from different parts of history, and judges them on a single, contemporary, empiricist psychological standpoint, and takes into account nothing about the fact that history has been evolving, that cultures have been evolving, that the role of the individual in society is changing qualitatively as a result of these changes in culture. And that the individual intervention in society is one of the key ways in which culture is changed.

So, you have a truly dynamic model of society, of history, rather than what is usually taught, and generally accepted, in today's politics, as politics on a Flatland, merely of opinion.

What you have essentially, from a standpoint of law, is, you have a conception of society, which is based on positive law, not natural law: That is, the idea of society is based on the assumption you have a collection of individuals, like a new assortment of piglets. And they come together, and they find they're living in anarchy, as piglets tend to do. But, in order to become social, what they do is, they negotiate agreements, like contracts, social contracts. And they make up laws. They make rules, they make up choices of languages, by which they agree to regulate their interrelationships—or to violate them, and they often do.

But, that's the way society is organized, in their view of things. That's the conception of positive law. It's the conception for example of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, with his idea of textualism: that the interpretation of the language of a particular agreement, and the nature of the radically conceived positive law, is law. Which is nonsense.

So, instead of looking at the question of effective law, the law which is characteristic of development of cultures, as being a body of scientific knowledge—it's actually natural law. The idea of natural law is based on the different quality of mankind, or the human individual, than of any other living species. So, the difference between man and animal, in terms of the effects of the cognitive potential of the individual, is the fundamental difference between man and beast. This is the foundation of natural law.

The Implication of Creativity

The other specific quality of natural law, which again is completely absent from most political blather, despite the religious fanaticism you hear about, the other factor, is the implication of creativity. Now, the characteristic that differentiates the human species from the animals, and other lower forms of life, is that the human being is capable of discovering universal physical principles. Now, the discovery is ambivalent, in the sense, that it is a discovery of something, a potentiality, which existed in the universe, before mankind discovered it. But, mankind's discovery of it, changes the universe, now that man is able to act on the universe, on the basis of discovery of these principles, which changes the universe. And more immediately, changes the way we interact in the universe on Earth, in particular—and as we're now moving into the Solar System, more and more.

So, we're intervening in the universe, to change the universe. The characteristic effect of the changing of the universe, is the fact that the human species, if it were a higher ape, would never have achieved a population level of more than several million individuals, living individuals, during the past 2 million years of known characteristics of the planet, and under the terms of the ice age cycles.

So therefore, the difference is, mankind is a willful creator of what Vernadsky defined as the Noösphere.

Now, the thing that defines this difference, is the ability of the individual human mind, to make a discovery which is equivalent to a valid universal physical principle, such as Kepler's discovery of universal gravitation. Which, as all of you now know: that Kepler recognized that the elliptical orbit of Mars—recognized it by a more precise—by dropping the assumption that it had to be essentially a circular orbit, and allowing a more careful examination of the evidence, of the normalized evidence of observation, to show that the orbit of Mars was actually elliptical; and then, looking at the characteristics of the elliptical orbit, discovered that there was a singularity, a physical singularity, in the universe, which is not accounted for by any of our assumptions about the individual observations that have been made on astronomical bodies.

This singularity, which defines implicitly the general notion of elliptical functions, and implicitly then goes on to imply higher functions than elliptical functions, were the basis of adding new singularities of the same general nature. This is the dynamic model. And since this model is premised, in practice, on the propagation of valid universal physical principles, or equivalent principles, discovered by the mind of individuals, this as defined by Dirichlet's principle, defines the nature of the human individual, according to Dirichlet's principle.

But the characteristic of that individual, the efficient characteristic of the existence of the individual in society, is not their reaction according to rules, to existing stimuli. The characteristic feature of human society, which differentiates itself from a troop of baboons, is the fact that these ideas, once discovered by mankind, ideas such as Kepler's discovery of gravitation, now act to change the culture of human behavior. And these ideas, which are transmitted from the mind of one individual into society, define the individual as immortal.

Now, take one other factor which has to be considered, to define what this means. Look at it from the standpoint of Vernadsky's definition of the universe as a dynamic system, rather than a mechanical system. He defines three phases of the physical universe, from the standpoint of experimental physical science: In the first case, following the rule of Docta Ignorantia of Nicholas of Cusa, Kepler for example, defines gravitation as a universal physical principle; and similarly Fermat defines least action—as opposed to shortest distance, Euclidean or Cartesian shortest distance—defines least action as a manifestation of the essential irony, the essential anomaly from the literal standpoint, of man's behavior in the universe.

So therefore, using that method, what is done by Vernadsky is to say: All right, let's look at the universe, or physical experimental experience, in light of the assumption that everything can be explained in terms of what we call "nature," non-living nature—excluding all considerations of life as such, as a principle. Making, in a sense, models of an assumption about the universe, saying, "Let's look at the phase of the universe, in which our investigation can assume safely, the absence of any principle such as life, which is not included in a mechanical sense, of the universe." And of course, that's not quite valid either, but anyway—the distinction is there.

The Question of Life

Now come along with the question of life. And you find that living processes are governed by an adducible principle, which is not found in any system of scientific investigation which is based on the assumption of abiotic systems. We call the result of this, the Biosphere. The Biosphere, however, is efficient, in terms of the Earth: It acts upon the Earth; it transforms the Earth, in such a way that the Earth as a whole has been and continues to be transformed by the action of life on the Earth, in the way we call the Biosphere. That is, the percentile of the total mass of the Earth has been transformed, from what is implicitly an early phase of domination by non-living processes, into increasing domination by the effects of action of living processes. For example, the oceans, the water systems, the atmosphere, and the general crust of the Earth, the fossil layer which is a sort of an envelope of the Earth, including the atmosphere, are products of these processes. And this process of life acting upon the so-called abiotic domain, is the characteristic of the existence of the Earth itself.

Then, we operate on the basis of living systems. We assume, to investigate those living systems which can be explained in terms of life as such, as distinct from non-living processes. So, we have a different conception, the so-called Biosphere.

But then, we have something else: We have phenomena which are different than anything otherwise found in life. And this is the effect of human discovery of universal physical principles, on human behavior, in such a way that the fossil part of the universe, of the Earth in particular, is being transformed, in a way which does not fit within the confines of a Biosphere: which is what Vernadsky calls the Noösphere. Which indicates that there's a higher principle involved, a principle of cognition, of discovery of universal physical principles and similar kinds of principles of Classical artistic composition, which are social principles. And this, again, is a distinct principle.

Now, in the case of the living human being, the difference is focussed on a very curious set of facts: First of all, only living processes generate living processes. That's the simpler part of the thing. Only living processes, acting upon the abiotic domain, transform the abiotic domain in a way which is not possible within the principles of the phase-space called the abiotic domain; but creates a new domain, called the Biosphere, in which all living processes are governed by a principle which does not exist in mechanics. It does not exist in the simple mechanical conception of a non-living universe. That is, you can never get life, out of non-life. You can never devise a living process, out of a digital computer model. There are some people who try to do that. They are called "crazy." You can't do it. They're insane!

All right. Now you get, by the same problem, to the question of the Noösphere: Human beings, through discoveries of universal physical principle, and similar principle, transform the efficiency and effectiveness of man's action on the universe, to create an accumulation of effects, comparable to the Biosphere, or the fossil area of the Biosphere, a new set of fossil effects, which are caused by human creative only—and not by any form of life, otherwise.

We see the growth of the cities, the physical transformation of the surface of the Earth; man's exploration to an intervention in nearby areas of the Solar System. All of these things are effects, which are created by the action of human intelligence, which are not a part of the Biosphere. This defines the Noösphere, within which human activity lives.

Now, this change in the Noösphere, the raising of man above the level of the Biosphere, and development of the Noösphere, is the characteristic of the human individual mind. This becomes extremely interesting: The mind of the individual exists only in an appropriate form of living process, called a human being, a member of the human species. And there is no difference, racial differences in the characteristics of members of the human species. All members of the human species belong to the same biological race. That's one of the characteristics of human life. And the whole system doesn't work, unless you recognize that racialism is junk. And people who are trying to argue which race is better, are simply idiots. There is no scientific basis for it, and those kinds of prejudices, where they exist, actually destroy the effectiveness of the human mind of the victim who believes in them. Hmm?

But what you have, is, you have this condition, in which you say: Yeah, okay. Now human creativity exists outside and independent of the Biosphere, at least as a phase-function. Now, how's it do that?

Ah! There is something about the biology of the living human being, from its beginning as a fetus, which is appropriate to the intervention of a higher order principle, called cognition; or, what we manifest as cognition in the growing child and adult. But, this thing is there, from the moment of conception: Suddenly, you have something, a living being, which has a peculiar quality of being susceptible to infection, and takeover, in the sense of control, by a principle which does not exist otherwise in living processes. And that is cognition.

So, what happens is, this higher principle, just as life takes over the abiotic domain and creates the Biosphere, so the action of this universal principle, of discovery of universal principles, infects the universe in such a way, that wherever a biologically human entity comes into existence, this thing is infected by cognition. And it's infected by cognition in its development all the way through. We can not find, for example, in the case of the fetus, very simply, a place where you do not have a manifestation of human characteristics. For example, you know, a six-month-old premie, if born, and kept alive, has all the characteristics of a human being, including its cognitive potential. And we don't know how far back that kind of manifestation can be traced!

Immortality and Natural Law

So therefore, because of man's ability, to develop ideas which correspond to principles of fundamental scientific discovery, mankind's transmission of ideas, from individual minds, into other individual minds, gives the individual a potential immortality.

In other words, here you have this principle of cognition: It's individuated. It's individuated by its infection of a young fetus, which it has found appropriate to infect—this higher principle of cognition. And out of that, you get the transmission of ideas from one individual, to other individuals, to change the practice of human beings, upon the Biosphere and Noösphere, and the abiotic system as a whole.

So now, in the transmission of ideas, of this particular quality, ideas which correspond to those of universal physical principle, each person becomes implicitly immortal: That in death, the biological base, on which cognition, individual cognition functions, and sustains, has gone. But the effect, the effect of the ideas of principle, assimilated by and transmitted from the individual who just died, lives on. As we know from the study of the history of the development of physical science; as we also know from the history of great Classical art: That the transmission of ideas, developed uniquely within the mind of a scientist or artist as a discovery, as transmitted as a reexperienced discovery, to successive generations, sustains the personality of the discovery, as existing in the universe, even after the personality involved is biologically seemingly dead, and the body carried away.

So, this is the fundamental basis in modern scientific outlook, for defining natural law: That the human individual, who lives within the Noösphere, as defined, dominates the Biosphere, in turn, dominates the abiotic systems of the universe, as it infects the universe with this quality; and therefore, the principle of law, the fundamental principle of law, is, necessarily, the promotion of fundamental scientific creativity, of this form, as the basis of law.

That's natural law.

We form societies, that is, nation-states, and similar institutions, in order to accommodate this requirement. The most important requirement, is that we provide the individual who makes the discovery, or simply repeats it, the ability to transmit that discovery, of this kind of idea, across generations, across distance. The transmission of such ideas, ideas of culture and so forth which come from this, are called society, properly. The nation-state is the only form, which is suitable: Because we have different languages; different languages have the transmission, with certain implications, of different cultural forms, of what are otherwise universal ideas. So that the nation-culture is appropriate to the spread of these ideas, which correspond to the immortality of the individuals who first generate, or who replicate, the discovery of those ideas.

That's the natural law. Not some touchy-feely relationship among pigs in a barnyard, or human beings behaving like pigs in a barnyard, and discovering positive law principles, like those of Antonin Scalia, for managing their affairs. And that's where our problem is.

Now, the other aspect of the problem, the psychological and emotional aspect, is that most people in society, particularly because of the influence of the current culture of empiricism, positivism, existentialism—these cultures are diseases, which destroy, or greatly weaken the human character of the human individual. And because of the prevalence of these cultures, you have crazy religious fanatics running loose, and similar kinds of problems, which are based on individuals' alienation, or estrangement, from the essential nature of the immortality of the human individual. And that's where our problem chiefly lies.

Our present system of government—not our Constitutional system, but the actual practiced system of governing, the behavior in society—is based on a degenerate culture, which does not admit the efficient existence of natural law, the efficient existence of those principles upon which human society's perpetuation depends. ...

Now, the world society, European civilization, globally, has been degenerating for about 40 years. We've now come to the point, that we've run out of the margin, for tolerating the condition of this degeneration. We must change the direction. ...

So we've come through a long cycle, since the death of Franklin Roosevelt, a cycle which in the first phase, emphasized cultural, but more manifestly economic security, stability, and actual net growth. Then you enter a second phase, coming out of the '64-'68 period, of the cultural paradigm-shift, in which we began to destroy, intentionally, the very foundations of our national and world economy. And now, we're at the point, where we have destroyed both. And we're now at the point, where the Earth says, "No more. You gotta go. It's time to depart. Get rid of the disease. Debride the disease, and go back to being human again." ...

So, we've come to the point that we've begun to recognize, that these phenomena, which have become characteristic of our society, over the period since the death of Roosevelt to the present time, that these factors of change, of downshift in culture, have now come to the point, that we either get rid of them, or they get rid of us.

And the problem we have, is, some people are still clinging to what they consider "their culture." The culture by which they willfully contributed to the destruction of their own society, and themselves.

That's it.

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