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An EIR Article:

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Date: November 28, 1997

"We live in a system which has a high level of uncertainty and a great degree of insanity. The time to start worrying, is when someone tells you everything is entirely rational, and that the fundamentals are sound."

--John Kenneth Galbraith ,  to BBC. Nov. 23, 1997

The essential outcome of the Vancouver meeting of APEC, is the refusal of the President of the United States, President Clinton, to visit that "mountain" referenced in the famous address of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. That "mountain" has a way of dealing with those who attempt to ignore it, as President Clinton did before, and during that conference. Soon, that "mountain" will visit President Clinton. This time, he will not be able to pretend to ignore it.

There is a characteristic behavioral peculiarity among the majority of "Baby Boomers," or, in Europe, the so-called "sixty-eighters," and their children. This sort of negation was typical of the existentialist "transvaluation of values" which dominated the student population of our universities during the passage through the Vietnam years of 1964-1972. Here, in the United States, this pathological trait is expressed commonly by the expression: "Don't go there."

Then it was: "Vietnam? Don't go there!" "Industry and its blue-collar life-style? Don't go there!" "Bourgeois values? Don't go there!" And, so on.

Today, when those acquired habits, adopted by a majority among two generations of today's adults, are expressed by our head of state, as his response to present moments of crisis, a fruitful reflection is to be found, once again, by reference to Hamlet's celebrated Act Three soliloquy:

"Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them..."

To this, the all-too-typical "Baby Boomer," like his or her offspring, responds, ritually: "Don't go there." The President hears this litany reflected in the reports he receives on recent opinion polls, and, often, the perceived "voice of the people," rather than reason, may govern his response.

What this says, today, is summed up in single antiphony: "The Future? Don't go there!" The danger is, that, under the influence of that litany, we, our nation, like our posterity, will, indeed, have no future.

The President of our United States, like all heads of state, is confronted by two horrifying choices.

On the one hand, he is confronted by an ongoing, rapidly accelerating process of disintegration of the world's entire financial system. I believe, that he now knows that this is the worst crisis this planet has known in all of modern history. There is no way in which this present system can be perpetuated longer than a very short time; it is as doomed as the sinking {Titanic}; nothing could save it.

On the other hand, the kinds of protectionist "New Bretton Woods," Hamiltonian measures which could prevent the passengers of that {Titanic} --nations and their populations-- from going down with the doomed ship, would provoke a murderous rage against the President from the most dangerous killers on this planet, the British monarchy-dominated "Club of the Isles," the insider's name for that London-centered international financier oligarchy and its lackeys.

The apparent White House reaction to this dilemma? "Let us discuss publicly the worst financial crisis in modern history, now hitting us."

"Don't go there!"

"Let us discuss publicly the kinds of measures which might enable the nations to survive the collapse of this doomed financial system."

"Don't go there!"

Indeed, that litany, "... Don't go there," has been the sum and substance of President Clinton's public appearances at the Vancouver APEC conference. One must hope this will change. Although it is not certain that that happy change will actually occur, the President has only begun to feel the pressures of the reality he has seemed to deny exists.

The President would not visit the mountain while in Vancouver? He would not "go there?" Very well, the mountain will visit him soon, at his Washington, D.C. Executive Mansion. He need not "go there;" the mountain will come to him.

This is the stuff of which the real-life, Hamlet-like tragedies of governments, nations, and even entire civilizations are made. The President should hang a specially prepared reproduction of the famous painting "Belshazzar's Feast," on a wall-space of his "Oval Office," facing his desk. The special feature of this reproduction would involve no other change, than in the choice of the faces for the characters depicted. "Belshazzar" himself would wear the homely face of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and the horrified face of the President himself would be among those prominently visible nearby. The moving finger would have nearly completed the message.

What will actually happen when the mountain visits the President in his Executive Mansion? That is for the President himself to answer, and to think about, during the coming days. The fate of this nation depends upon his answer.

The President's Difficulties

Yes, at Vancouver President Clinton showed Hamlet-like vacillation in face of a deadly crisis; but, virtually none of you are in a position in which you are entitled to condemn him for that too readily. The pressures upon him, are in fact far beyond anything the general public, or the leading daily news media recognizes. The citizen should awaken to reality, to recognize the awesome nature of the pressures which are acting upon the U.S. President. Rather than condemn him for his weakness, one should explore means to deal with some of the monstrous political and other pressures upon him at this juncture. Your survival, your family's survival, our nation's survival, our civilization's survival, may each and all depend upon many of you doing just that.

This pressures fall, predominantly, into two classes. One of these classes is "external," the other, "internal." Both kinds of pressures interact, and neither can be overlooked in any serious attempt to correct, or even to understand the President's problem.

In respect to all among those contributing causes which make the present international financial crisis systemic, as opposed to cyclical, the origin of the present crisis is changes in cultural values which were introduced to a majority among students at the 1964-1972 university campuses. These changes, away from the tradition of fostering investment in scientific and technological progress for increasing both the productive powers of labor and for demographic improvements in households, are the entirety of the distinctive causes for a systemic world crisis at this time. It is the persisting influence of these cultural changes, during the recent thirty years, which is entirely to blame for the world's present state of misery. That is the source of the most relevant external pressures.

The two generations --called, in the U.S.A., "Baby Boomers" and "Generation X"-- which now dominate the adult population and its opinion formation, are the internal, "peer group" pressures faced by nearly every member of those two generations. The myth of the "golden generation" is typical of the most deadly expression of those "peer group" pressures.

One aspect of this "peer group" pressure stands out when we think of person occupying or advising the top-most decision-making centers within our society, especially within our government.

In my own generation, for example, the possibility of a necessary and justified war, as St. Augustine has defined this, was a fact of life, for which nearly all thinking citizens knew they must be prepared. This meant warfare with the characteristics of modern warfare since Lazare Carnot's 1792-1794 introduction of the principles of modern warfare. This implied the possibility of "putting one's own life on the line," and possible also the lives of other, all for the sake of one's nation, and of humanity generally; it was the cup which could not be refused when it was passed directly to you. You had to anticipate "going there."

The proper policy debate in such matters, was never whether such decisions should be made, but whether the particular choice of decision proposed, qualified as a necessary and justified cause for such action in the particular case considered. In a society committed to the notion that truthfulness and justice must always overrule precedent and procedure, such decision-making, while often monstrously difficult and frightening, was always possible.

The lack of that sense of that "cup," a deficiency expressed by the cant-litany of "Don't go there," represents a moral defect in the developed moral and intellectual capacities of the victim, an inability to make and to execute rational decisions under the pressure of extremely traumatic circumstances. The commitment to avoid making such decisions of great pungency and force, is, for many of the post-war adult generations, a virtual absolute.

Under the latter circumstances, truth and justice are the first victims to be sacrificed to such a sense of axiomatic expediency. In effect, morality has flown out of the window, and pragmatic expediency in service of precedent and established procedure, fill up the space from which considerations of truth and justice have been expelled.

This kind of peer pressure, from the so-called "me generation," and the "Xers," is the most deadly enemy of nations from within today. The accustomed hostility to the kinds of decision-making which have distinguished every occasion civilization, in the past, has risen above a menacing crisis, combined with the extent and irrationalist intensity of peer-pressure on this point, makes it most difficult for any President, especially one who himself represents the relevant, afflicted generations.

This internal problem, is combined with actual fearfulness of the external enemy. Combined, it represents a challenge to leadership which would have been accepted, fruitfully, by such among our national heroes as General William Tecumseh Sherman or General Douglas MacArthur, or France's Lazare Carnot. It is a challenge not easily accepted by those reared in the circumstances of those whose childhood and adolescence occurred during the post-World War II decades. I have no difficulty confronting such challenges; at least, relatively to the monstrous challenge this represents for even the most exceptional leading persons among the post-war generations.

The correlated difference, is that the best among those of us from earlier generations pursued happiness, in that sense of joy, called {agape}, gained from living the life of a needed person, whereas the post-war generations offset an intrinsic lack of happiness in their choices of what are called "life-styles," by an obsession with pursuit of momentary pleasures. The moral relativism of the post-war generations, by rejecting the notion of a common truthfuless for all mankind, has successfully expelled truth from their lives; in this circumstance, what could they imagine the truth of their own lives to be? What, in truth, is so valuable to them, that they would lay down their lives, their careers, their fortune, for the sake of that truth? Without a compelling submission to truth, lacking in these generations, effective choices of decision, in matters requiring great pungency and force, simply do not exist.

Only a great shock, can shatter the mortal grip of the post-war 1964 changes in cultural orientations. That financial shock is about to be delivered to the White House gate. The mountain has packed its bags, and is coming soon, to visit our President at his Washington residence.



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