|This testimony appears in the July 7, 2000 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Providing the Leadership
the American People Will Need
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
The following videotaped testimony was presented by Democratic Presidential
pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche to the Ad Hoc Democratic Party Platform hearings,
which were held in Washington, D.C. on June 22, 2000.
We face a situation now, which is roughly comparable to the
situation when President Franklin Roosevelt was running for office in 1932.
Contrary to wishful delusions about the economy, this economy is finished. It
can go in one of three ways: We could have had, since 1997, as I warned, a
collapse of the type where the stock market collapses by 50% or
more--suddenly--a deflationary collapse, chain-reaction collapse. But
then, in October of 1998, there was a change in policy to try to avoid a
financial chain-reaction collapse, by hyperinflating the world monetary and
financial systems, as a way of trying to postpone, if not prevent, a coming
financial collapse--that's the second financial alternative, and that's the one
we face right now.
The third alternative, is that governments, including the
government of the United States, the President of the United States, personally,
most notably, must intervene to call a conference, an international monetary
conference, to reorganize what is actually a bankrupt international financial
and monetary system.
Now, in the recent period, in the most desperate
period--where Larry Summers and Alan Greenspan have been attempting to postpone
what they know to be, or should know to be, is an inevitable financial
crash--we've entered a hyperinflationary phase, somewhat comparable to Germany
in mid-1923. When the thing will blow out, or when it might blow out, is
not yet certain; but the threat of the blowout is present and growing. And that
threat is a problem we're going to have to deal with--now.
The alternative, as I said, is to form a new monetary
conference, call a number of nations together, and put the present system into
bankruptcy reorganization, and start all over again, in effect, the way we did
with Roosevelt, when he was first inaugurated in 1933. We're going to have to go
through that. We have been--we must admit it, we must face reality: The
population of the United States, or at least those in the top 20% of income
brackets, and others, have been about as crazy, or more crazy than Americans in
the late 1920s or early 1930s. We had a big financial bubble then, which
resulted in the stock market crash of 1929. We're headed for a bigger crash now.
We had a crash, not only because the bankers were crooked, as they always have
been--our Wall Street banker-types are not exactly too moral--but, because
they're worse today, and there are more people, a larger percentage of the
population are involved in this euphoric belief in an ever-ongoing prosperity
under this so-called new form. And we're crazy. Therefore, we're going to have
to go back and change our ways.
What's Required Is a Shock, and Leadership
We're not likely to change our ways until a great shock hits.
Well, I tell you, the shock is coming. So, the chance to change is now. But,
you're going to have to realize, that we as a nation have been crazy. What we've
been doing in financial policy, in economic policy over 30 years, has been
crazy, and has been getting crazier by the decade. We're now at the limit:
Either we reorganize the system, and become sensible, or we're headed for
something beyond belief.
I think, that with a shock, many Americans will wake up.
What's required, however, in a shock like this, is leadership, the way that
Franklin Roosevelt provided leadership in 1932-1933. Without that kind of
leadership, after a shock, the American people will still be crazy. People
recover from these kinds of situations only when shocks bring them to their
senses, number one; and number two, when they have the leadership which inspires
in them, the confidence to undertake rebuilding--and that's what we need now.
That should be the function of the Democratic Party's Platform formation and the
Convention--admittedly, a radical change from the trends in the party leadership
right now. But that change must come, otherwise, you're going to be saying,
"President George Bush." And that won't be pleasant.
So, there are several areas we have to cover. One area of the
Platform, primarily, is the reorganization of the monetary system. That means
we're going to have to cancel all the funny-money games and go back to a strict,
hard-core, hard-commodity program. That is, we're going to have to rebuild our
industries, we're going to have to invest in capital goods, in
technology--forget this so-called "New Economy," it's dead, it's
already as good as dead. We're going to have to go back to the old ways.
We're going to have to make a number of social changes, as well as economic
changes. Among the economic changes, of course, is rebuilding our
infrastructure. We're going to have probably about 10% of the population from
the upper-income brackets, along with others, who are going to be out of jobs
very soon. That is, people in the top half of the top income brackets, they're
going to be losing their jobs, most of them. We're going to have to provide mass
employment. The driver for increasing the level of employment, will have to be
basic economic infrastructure: water systems, power systems, transportation
systems, sanitation systems.
Education and Health Care
We're going to have to also rebuild the physical and other
infrastructure of our education system, and our health-care system, both of
which are essentially breaking down. For example, reports are now, that half of
the pupils reaching the eighth grade in the United States are illiterate.
Now, that's not a problem just of money; that's a problem of bad teachers and
bad teacher policies in the educational system. Yes, we need more money. We need
more teachers. But we also have to have teachers who are committed to
teaching--not what too many are doing today.
But, we have to build the infrastructural system.
We have a worse problem in health care, relatively speaking.
In health care, we're losing, and have lost, a great bit of our institutional
infrastructure, particularly over the past 25 years, since the repeal of the old
Hill-Burton law, and its replacement by the so-called HMO law. This change has
resulted in a disaster in health care. It's not just a matter of who's going to
pay. That's not the issue. The issue is, if you don't have the hospitals, if you
don't have the physicians, if you don't have the emergency clinics, if you don't
have the other physical infrastructure, where physicians assemble to
perform various kinds of medical services, apart from their private offices, you
don't have medical care.
So, the main concern of the United States today, as before,
in the postwar period, should be to build up our institutional capacity for
delivering medical care as needed by the population, rather than anything else.
If we provide the number of physicians, support the number of physicians, and so
forth, who are needed, to work with these institutions, we can do as we were
doing quite successfully, under the old Hill Burton system. Go back to it, but
we have to rebuild much plant; we've lost hospitals, we've lost
The Threat of Infectious Diseases
We have also, at the same time--as President Clinton has
admitted and emphasized--we have a global infectious disease threat, which is
hitting largely in places like Africa, but which is also a threat to the United
States and its people, already. That is, the basis for this report by the CIA,
which the President used to declare this emergency, is the fact that two U.S.
agents, travelling in strange parts of the world, could pick up, in the course
of their travel, a disease from Africa, which was previously unknown, virtually,
in Europe or the United States, and arrive at their destination in the United
States, or Europe, dying from this disease, like Ebola, or other kinds of new
On top of that, as the report emphasized, we have an
increase, through the failure of our antibiotic program--that the antibiotic
program, and health-care program, as presently administered, is actually
increasing the incidence of resistant strains of old epidemic diseases like
tuberculosis. Therefore, we have to have a lot of emphasis on research to
develop new technologies, as well as the support system for dealing with these
kinds of diseases.
We have, in addition to that, all kinds of problems: We have
urban problems; we have housing problems; we have social problems and
mental-health problems, which are a by-product of this situation. And therefore,
we've got to address these things.
The `New Violence'
We also have another problem that I've addressed recently,
together with others: It's a threat in the United States which I've called, "New
Violence"; that is, violence is old, but the form of violence we're undergoing
now, in Europe and the United States, is different, is a new form, not what
we've experienced before. What's happened is, through the spread of military and
other types of Nintendo games, such as Pokémon, our children in the
highly suggestible age groups of three to eight, nine, and so forth, have been
subjected to conditioning by these kinds of games. And these kinds of games
produce a quasi-psychosis, where these children are doing violence to each
other. Not just with guns, but look at the kinds of death that are
proposed in Pokémon. Look at the way people are killed in the
Pokémon stories. These ways are spreading.
Not only that, we have it in the police departments. From our
military and police departments, we've gone to a Nintendo style of military
training, of shoot-and-kill--point, shoot, and kill. As a result, we've produced
people who, on instinct, can empty their weapons, rather accurately, at a bunch
of targets. And we've had these cases of police shootings, violence. For
example, the famous case in New York City, where several police, four in total,
unloaded 41 bullets into the body of an unarmed man [Amadou Diallo], before
finding out who he was. This is typical. Our military are being trained in these
As a result of this kind of thing, the spread on television,
through Nintendo-style games, and related methods, we have brought into the
United States, as we saw at Columbine, a new kind of violence--a new motivation,
new mental mechanisms for violence--into the United States. It is not guns.
Remember, no gun, ever of its own volition, shot anyone. But the man who had it,
did the shooting. To understand the problem of violence, don't look at weapons.
Look at the mind of the individual. It is the mind of the individual that does
the killing. And that's where you've got to go.
So, we have to clean this up. We have to clean up our
entertainment system. Some people say this is a matter of free speech. It's not
a matter of free speech. If you're taking children, putting them before a
television set, every day, hour on hour, playing with these Nintendo-style
games, hour on hour, they're being trained to kill on instinct. This is not a
matter of free will. They're being conditioned. They're being literally
brainwashed. People in our military are being brainwashed in similar
ways. And some of our police teams are being brainwashed in similar ways. This
is the kind of things that the violence is producing.
It is not only in these departments; it's in our mass media,
our television, our electronic games, and similar kinds of things. If this
continues, we're not going to have a society worth living in. And don't say this
is a matter of free speech. This is the same thing with drugs and other things.
It's not a matter of free speech and free choice. If you have a society which is
afflicted with these kinds of habits, that society will destroy itself. And the
decision you have to make, is whether you're going to condone our society's
destroying itself. Or whether you're going to say, this kind of thing is not to
be encouraged in our country.
So, those are the kinds of problems we face.
The `General Welfare Clause'
Otherwise, we face a more general problem. The difference,
essentially, between the stock market or financial market lunacies of the 1920s,
and again today, is that people no longer believe in the principle upon which
this nation was founded. You can find that principle stated in various ways.
It's stated in the first three paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.
It's also stated in the Preamble of our Constitution. Sometimes it's called the
"General Welfare Clause." The principle on which our government was founded, our
republic was founded, the principle which we contrasted to feudal society, and
similar kinds of oligarchical society, is that, the government has no authority,
no moral authority, except as it is officially committed to defend the general
welfare of all of the population and their posterity.
That means that the economic policies, must be policies which
promote the general welfare; that means, which promote the standard of living;
which promote the security; which promote the health-care system; which promote
the national defense, of course; which promote good education; which promote
good opportunities; which promote upgrades in the conditions of life of our
citizens at work, and elsewhere. These are the primary responsibilities of
Now today, we've gone to a different system. It's called the
John Locke system: The right of property. The argument is, that anything which
makes money is good. And therefore, if we have owners of property, they have a
right to their profit, they have a right to profit, even as it is being made now
in the Internet area. Just pure speculation, the kind of speculation which is
destroying our economy and destroying the world. So, the fact that people
condone this, think this is right, think that shareholder values are primary,
the corruption of the majority of the members of the Supreme Court--as Roosevelt
faced back then in the 1930s--these are the problems. And as long as we as a
people, believe you have to go along with public opinion, as expressed by our
major news media; have to go along with the idea of shareholder value, you have
to submit to that--as long as you accept that, you're bringing it on yourself.
You're bringing doom on yourself just the same way that the so-called popular
opinion, the vox populi of the pagan Roman Empire, sent the Latin Roman
Empire to its doom. We're headed in that direction.
We've often made that kind of mistake in our national past.
Fortunately, in our past, we have corrected that mistake--again, and again, and
again. We must now correct that mistake once more. We must say that shareholder
value, the kind of free trade and related policies that we've imposed upon
ourselves, are lunacy and they have to stop.
What you should do is look at what the hearings were, before
the Congress and elsewhere, when Roosevelt became President, Franklin Roosevelt.
Look at the investigations that were conducted against Wall Street and others at
that time. Look at the laws that were passed to prevent this foolishness from
continuing. Those laws helped us. They carried us through most of the years up
to recent decades. In recent decades, especially since the Carter
Administration, we have been destroying those very laws, which the Roosevelt era
put into place to protect us from the insanity that led us into the Great
Depression of the 1930s. Today, the same kind of insanity prevails. It is
supported by popular opinion. It's supported by leaders of the Democratic Party
and their leading candidates. It's wrong. It was wrong then, and it's wrong now.
You don't go along to get along. You go along with this, and you go
So, to sum up, first of all, we have the worst financial
crisis in modern history. We shan't survive it, unless we come to our senses. If
we come to our senses, we can. We need programs to deal with it, programs which
do have precedents, and we need leadership, leadership typified in the past by
people like Abraham Lincoln and President Franklin Roosevelt. With that
combination, we can survive. With that combination of leadership, we will fix up
our infrastructure, go back to high levels of productive employment, restore our
health-care systems, restore our power systems, restore our transportation
systems, restore our education system, and get some good old-fashioned clean
morality into our nation.
Under those conditions, we can survive. That, I think, is the
gut of the platform which the Democratic Party must shape during this coming