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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 rumbling.

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 Harbor.

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 tribe.

That's the way to win. Now . . . some of you are acquainted with what Helga[1] 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 York City.]

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 next.

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 incompetence.

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 of escapism.

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 themselves.

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 development.

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 time.

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 worse now.

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 ideas."

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 now?"

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.

[1] Helga Zepp-LaRouche's speech to the conference of the Schiller Institute and International Caucus of Labor Committees is the Feature in this issue.

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