|This transcript appears in the March 17, 2000 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
`Escape from Fantasy
into the Hope of Reality'
Democratic Party Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. gave a
webcast videoconference speech on March 4 to simultaneous town meetings in New
York, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Iowa. The following are excerpts
from his opening remarks. The full text and audio are at
First of all, the general situation with the election is, we
have a couple of bozos running, who don't amount to anything, and don't have an
idea that means anything, as far as the nation's future is concerned.
We're headed now, as I've said before, and we're on the edge
of it still, for the worst financial crisis in more than 100 years, probably
worse than in several hundred years. It's going to hit very soon, it's
We're in the phase-shift, or terminal phase of a phase-shift,
in which this is inevitable. The only thing that is uncertain in this respect,
is exactly when, and in exactly what form will the blow-out occur? It could come
as a deflationary collapse, such as a Wall Street collapse; it could come as a
hyperinflationary explosion; it could come through crises, social or political
crises, which are triggered by this globally. Wars and so forth.
But very soon, it's going to hit the U.S. population with the
equivalent of what we experienced on Dec. 7, 1941, with the bombing of Pearl
Bread and circuses
These Americans, who have been sitting, whether voting or
not, behaving like the proletariat in the Roman Circus, living on welfare, in a
sense, of one kind or another, handouts, bread and circuses, and watching
entertainment, either in the Colosseum, that is, the stadiums, the sports
stadiums, or the rock concert stadiums, or on television in the form of
pornography and violence; the American people are doped-up on entertainment.
They're so doped-up on entertainment, that they have lost sight of reality, even
when they experience it.
You have people who are much poorer and aware of it than they
were 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, senior citizens and others.
People in the lower 80% of family income brackets are worse. The conditions of
life in most cities for most people, is worse. The job opportunities, the
industries, all are much worse.
And yet, these idiots say, "We've been living in prosperity,"
including the President of the United States, who babbles this nonsense on and
on, when everyone in the country, or nearly everyone, knows we're worse off than
we were before. So how can people mouth, "Well, how can you argue against the
prosperity?" They're living with threats to health care, where they're trying to
cut health care in the name of balancing it. That's called "prosperity." They're
out to cut Social Security, in the name of "protecting" it and "improving" it,
and they call that "prosperity." They're cutting all kinds of things on which we
used to depend, and they're calling that a result of "prosperity."
So, we have to realize that the American population is
largely disassociated, in the same way that Romans sitting inside a sick and
dying civilization, the old pagan Roman Empire, were going to the circuses,
living on bread and circuses, and imagining that they were in the most powerful
country in the world, just like many of our Americans today.
That illusion is going to be popped, and we're not going to
have much success with the American population, until that illusion is popped.
And it's going to be popped soon.
Return to reality
The other side of the formula, is a crisis is necessary to
shake the country up, to get it back to its senses, so people begin thinking
about reality, not which candidate has some loathsome disease that makes them a
"front-runner." They're going to start thinking about which candidate, or what
candidates and what policies are needed, not which ones are popular on the news
media, or on the entertainment media.
You need also leadership. You need clearly articulated
ideas, presented in a form that, with much discussion perhaps, but in a fairly
short period of time, people can begin to get these ideas, because people are
mobilized about ideas.
We have two kinds of ideas that are most important today.
One, are ideas from the past, which mostly senior citizens and people over 55 or
60 know. That is, people over 55 or 60, who are sentient and intelligent, know
what the difference is between the conditions of economic life in the United
States under Roosevelt, during the war, the postwar period, up until about 1966.
And they can compare that with the situation, the experience we've had since
1971, with the beginning of the floating exchange rate system, and Carter, and
all the other diseases that have hit us from front-runners. Diseases are
generally carried by front-runners, apparently.
But, people who are senior citizens know that. They
can compare the past with the present. Therefore, it's not difficult to explain
to them, that what we must do, in terms of ideas, is junk ideas which in the
past 30 years have failed us, and resume, as a starting point, the kinds of
things we used to do, which worked.
Now, Clinton's going to resist that, but he's going to have
to accept it.
The other thing is, there's some new things we have to do,
and those also have to be explained. Our best ally in this, we who are senior
citizens, is among young people, generally 25 and younger, who are largely on
our campuses, or similarly intellectually involved in life. They're spunky, they
have energy. They don't know much, because they haven't been educated properly.
But they're eager to learn, and have the brainpower to learn.
If we could put together senior citizens and these young
fellows under 25, thinking, we can do something to salvage a panic-stricken rest
of the population, like the dumbos between 35 and 55, like Clinton, and his
That's the way to win. Now . . . some of you are acquainted
with what Helga presented at the recent
conference in Virginia, in Northern Virginia, on this question of the Internet,
game theory, and such things as Pokémon, Nintendo-type games. . .
[Mr. LaRouche discusses the video-game craze, and the related
new breed of violence, as typified by the police killing of Amadou Diallo in New
This is typical of an entertainment society, of a society
which has fled from reality into "entertainment values." Just like people
sitting at home, watching a television set, watching pornographic gore or
blood-and-violence gore, or outrightly Satanic gore. People going to mass
football games and world class wrestling matches--of course, highly moral
edification of the population is occurring all the time. You see the sincerity
and honesty of these great competitions, eh?
This is where people are: They are buried in
entertainment, because they are in flight from reality. People in the upper
20% of income brackets, are largely in flight from reality. What do they believe
in? They believe in the market. They believe in the Nasdaq. They believe in the
Dow Jones, some of the older ones. They believe in all kinds of games. They
don't believe in reality.
They say the economy's better. Who says the economy's better?
These idiots? Our economy is worse than it ever was. Most people are
suffering. The economy is dying. We've lost our factories, we've lost our farms.
We've lost our infrastructure, we're losing our power sources. We're losing--the
airlines are no longer trustworthy. Planes are crashing. The market's
Management is incompetent. The automobile industry's
management is increasingly incompetent, as we have a strike going on in Seattle
now. And the people on strike are right: The management is incompetent! And
these planes are going to come down, crashing, unless we end that
We live in a society where the upper 20% is insane, most of
them, and the lower 80% are people who are largely fleeing from a reality they
don't know how to fix, into the consolations of entertainment and related kinds
We used to talk in the 1930s--there was a famous poem, about
a poor woman going into a theater, buying a movie ticket for 10cents and there
was a poem: "For Ten Cents, a Cheap Escape From Reality." The television set,
the mass entertainment, are exactly of that form. Just like poor Romans, sitting
in the Colosseum, cheering for the destruction of their society and
Now these issues, these little, very much "at home" issues,
as well as the economic crisis, are the issues which will move this population,
in a sense of crisis, to come back to reality, because it's not safe in the
fantasy world of entertainment any more.
Another example of this on the global scale, which is going
to hit the United States: what's happening in Mozambique. Millions of people are
dying in Mozambique. What killed them? The IMF killed them! The IMF praised
Mozambique, as a model case of a lack of infrastructural
Why are the people dying of these floods? Because there was
no infrastructural development, no water management, no infrastructure to
support them, as we have in the United States when we get hit by a flood or an
earthquake or something. Nothing there.
And nobody came to their aid, except a few helicopters from
South Africa. The United States wasn't there. The European nations weren't
there. And what's happening in Mozambique, is something which warns us what can
happen here, and in other parts of the world.
So, the only hope of survival, is that the shocks of the
crises hitting us, prompt people to come back to reality, because they realize
that fantasy is no longer a safe place to live.
The requirements of leadership
I remember this as well from the 1929-31 period. And I do
remember, even as a young fellow, I remember how silly our neighbors were, and
most of the people I knew. It was the Flapper Era. They believed in Wall
Street--less than they do today, but they were insane. It was a crazy
And then, in 1929-31, a terrible reality hit. People were
dying in the United States in the winter of 1932-33. They were dying in all
kinds of places. Evicted, dying, particularly in the northern states, dying
frozen in hobo jungles, things of that sort. Lots of them. It's going to be much
So, as the people come back to reality, because fantasy is no
longer a safe place to live, we have to be there. Say "Calm down." Say, "Don't
say `Fire!' in a crowded theater. Don't run, don't panic. We have
Roosevelt solved the problem once. You can criticize what he
did for shortcomings or mistakes or whatever. It doesn't make any difference.
The point is, he was there, he was concerned about the general welfare of the
population as a whole, he took measures in that direction. Without those
measures, this nation would have not gotten through the Depression and through
the war as it did, and the postwar period.
So, if we have the leadership, even if it's a small minority
of actual leaders now, with a minority support, in a time of crisis, that can
change, as the American attitudes changed suddenly on Dec. 7 and 8, 1941, in the
wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
We have to be there. We have to provide leadership. We have
to educate our fellow-citizens, whether they think they want the education or
not. We have to spread, not slogans, but ideas, concepts.
Our fellow citizens can think. They just have to take a lot
of encouragement to get them to do so. And that's what we're doing, I believe.
And that's why you're sitting there in these various locations today, to
assemble ourselves as a hard-core minority of people who are not only prepared
to think, but are prepared to represent to our fellow citizens, a core of people
on the day when reality strikes, that people can turn to, that neighbors can
turn to, and say, "Okay, you were right. What is it we're supposed to do
And then I think we'll do just fine. It's a tough thing. It's
like fighting a war. You're sitting there, holding a nerve, waiting to take the
flanking operation that might win the battle. It takes a lot of nerve. Don't
jump out of the foxhole and go crazy. Or don't sit there too long and wait for
somebody to drop a hand grenade in on you.
Be tight. Tight nerves. Clear-headed. Prepare to act, prepare
people around you and the ground around you, to provide the kind of intellectual
leadership, the leadership of ideas, which will be received by a population
which has decided to escape from fantasy, which has become dangerous, into the
hope of reality.
 Helga Zepp-LaRouche's
speech to the conference of the Schiller Institute and International Caucus of
Labor Committees is the Feature in this issue.