Jesus Christ and Civilization
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
September 22, 2000
I think my earlier reports have prepared you to be confronted now with what will be, for many, the most important, and also most shocking fact which most people, including most among my usual readers, have yet to face.
As I have repeatedly warned of late, events have already reached the point which I had warned would have arrived, unless certain prescribed changes were instituted. Despite my repeated warnings, of the need to reverse the policies which have created this risk, the refusal of governments and others to heed my warnings has now already brought the U.S.A. into the final phase of an already onrushing, global financial collapse. Worse, that onrushing, global financial collapse, threatens now to plunge global civilization into a threatened new dark age for all humanity.
In earlier reports, I had emphasized those more obvious, immediate issues which must be addressed, if even a temporary recovery of civilization is to occur. Now, presume, for a moment, although my proposals for a New Bretton Woods system become increasingly drastic as the financial crisis worsens, if those strenuous measures were to be adopted and implemented, even at this late date, and, that, therefore, most of the world would soon be on the way to recovery, as it had recovered from the combined effects of the Great Depression and the ensuing great war, under President Franklin Roosevelt's leadership.
That presumed, now look at the deeper, essential, longer-range aspects of the problem. Consider the fact, that history, as we presently know it, has been dominated by cycles of collapse and, sometimes, at best, recovery. Therefore, how might we be assured, now, that even if we were to rescue humanity from the effects of the presently onrushing global financial and monetary collapse, by the measures which I have proposed, that our thus-revived civilization will not begin to slide back, a generation or two later, into a new round of collapse, a collapse perhaps even worse than that which menaces us at the present moment, a collapse to be suffered by your children or grandchildren?
The two issues so identified and distinguished, are linked to a third, overriding consideration. Is it possible, that even the mastering of the immediate financial crisis, requires that we must also act now to overcome the more distant threat of a new dark age? In other words, although I have shown how the world could recover from the presently onrushing global financial collapse, perhaps the world will not adopt that option I have given it. Is there, then, some deeper, longer-range sickness within the world's presently leading institutions, which, as seems probable at this moment, would prevent the world from accepting such a workable, near-term recovery program?
Therefore, I present here the case for thus linking the two questions, the immediate crisis, and the times beyond. I present the two as if they were one, indivisible subject-matter. Once I shall have said that much, I shall leave it to your conscience, to estimate, whether or not even the bare, presently continued existence of our civilization, depends upon our solving that worrying, longer-term challenge. This would mean, that, at the least, we would adopt an efficiently conscious commitment to solving it, to a significant degree, over the course of a generation or more immediately ahead.
On that account, I situate today's subject, by first restating, summarily, the general thesis I have just presented. I restate the problem I have just outlined, as follows.
To put the point bluntly: "What are the chances that most of humanity might escape the presently onrushing new dark age, even if the United States were to choose as its next President, a figure so thoroughly, morally and intellectually defective as either Vice-President Al Gore or Governor George W. Bush?"
Do not misinterpret that question. I am not presuming any fearful potency, for either good or evil, in either of those two candidates as persons. They are essentially no more than puppets of a Wall Street "establishment," which has selected such intellectually and morally crippled individuals to serve as the only leading candidates available, a perverse selection of such dummies chosen in accord with that establishment's own peculiar intentions. The difficulty in finding any point of actually principled difference between the elements of such a Tweedledee and Tweedledum pairing, is, in itself, the most significant feature of each of the candidacies. It is their common qualities, or, better said, the lack thereof, which reflects Wall Street's cupidity in selecting them as puppets for the occasion.
However, precisely for that reason, that each is virtually a less-than-nothing candidate, the offering informs us what kind of government that establishment intends to install this coming January 2001. This, in turn, tells us, implicitly, what kinds of policies and the like, either of the dummies were intended to follow as incumbents. Thus, the importance of both candidates, is that, especially under present conditions of accelerating world crisis, neither of those two brutish bunglers is capable of being a President in any meaningful sense consistent with the intent of our Constitution, even in the most unlikely case he were inspired, most miraculously, to attempt such a course of action.
The obviously implied intention of the financier oligarchy which has selected such candidates, is that in the circumstances of the presently onrushing global financial crisis, the United States, as defined by its Constitution, would follow the path dictated by the same Wall Street financier oligarchy which backed Adolf Hitler for Germany in 1933-1934, rather than the tradition of Presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt. Reading the history of 1932-1945 Germany, the question thus follows: which is the dumber dummy, either of the candidates, or any among those citizens who would vote for either of such candidates?
Were either such choice made, it were likely, even if not absolutely inevitable, that the United States would not survive the coming years in a recognizable form. Now is a time to remember, that the relevant institutions of Germany chose irrational and fanatical qualities of leadership philosophically akin to today's Gore and Bush, at the close of January 1933; see what happened as a result of that choice. A similar, probably quicker disaster than that which struck 1933-34 Germany, could strike us now, unless many American citizens suddenly, drastically change their current ways. Could most of the rest of the world survive under the conditions implicit in a Gore or Bush Presidency? Many leading circles, from around the world, are discussing such contingencies today.
In other words, just as Germany's power was revived, temporarily, under the Hitler regime, the effect of that temporary economic recovery, under fascist conditions, led Germany into a far worse crisis, that less than a generation after the London and New York bankers had first put Hitler into power.
Thus, as I have said, I leave it to your conscience to estimate, whether or not that planetary civilization's survival is barely possible under present political trends in the U.S.A., even if such a solution has not appeared to be likely since Gore's Presidential nomination was locked in, a few months ago, by Wall Street's virtual mass-media decree. To assess the possibilities, consider, summarily, the highlights of the existence of European civilization over the approximately 2,500 years of its existence to date. Some key facts of that history stand out as relevant for the thinking citizen of the U.S. or other nations today; those historical facts are key, for unlocking the answer to the questions I have just restated.
Once again, in addressing this matter, as I do in the following pages here, the answers may be found only by defining both the questions, and the clues to their solutions, in an appropriate way. That key to all such knowledge, lies in the appropriate definition of the universal quality of human nature, as distinct from that of all other forms of life.
As such questions imply, this report is addressed not only to the people of the United States, but also to those of the Americas as a whole, of Europe generally, and as an integral, and eminently most practical, and urgent feature of that proposed, broader, global dialogue among cultures of which the honorable President of Iran has spoken publicly on several recent occasions.
In the end, the reader will acknowledge, that the pivotal point, which I develop at an appropriate location in the following pages, is, according to some choices of academic language, "strong stuff," and perhaps beyond the easy comprehension of most living today. Nonetheless, I shall demonstrate two things here, urgent points for immediate policy-shaping practice among those qualified to be leaders in this time of crisis, supremely practical points which could be presented in no other way.
I proceed, therefore, step by step, to build up the case which must inform your practice now.
History According to Plato
Modern archeology substantiates Plato's summary account of the earlier existence of mankind, prior to the rise of Classical Greece. Once we have applied to archeology, that principle which sets mankind apart from, and superior to all other living species, we can positively date and classify relevant ancient sites as human. The answer to the relevant question is: they can be recognized as human, on the condition that they are associated with artefacts which could be derived only from the effects of what we call today, the technologies generated by discoveries of universal physical principles. On that account, we can positively date human existence within the territory of Europe, to no later than several hundreds of thousands of years ago, and might suspect the discovery of evidence from a much earlier time, in parts of Africa which were presumably left free of the impact of those long periods of glaciation occupying much of the northern hemisphere.
This poses the question implicitly addressed by Plato: "To where, and why did so many of those cultures of earlier hundreds of thousands of years disappear, often almost without trace?"
To review those bare essentials of the matter which are most relevant to the subject at hand, the following.
Plato, referencing Egyptian sources, gave us two answers to that question. The first cause of the vanishing of entire cultures, has been the kinds of natural catastrophes which mankind has not yet become able to control. The second, is the collapse of entire populations. such as ancient Mesopotamian culture, as caused by a self-destructive feature embedded in that culture itself. On the latter account, most of the ancient cultures we have been able to identify, were those which plunged themselves into a prolonged dark age, a dark age brought about by a dominant, characteristic, internal feature of that culture itself. There have been, after all, morally inferior cultures, many of which brought about their own destruction for precisely that reason.
In Plato's second of those class of disasters, that of culturally induced catastrophes, we have the repeated rise and fall of cultures in East and South Asia; we have Alexander's felling of that Persian Empire rotten-ripe for its own destruction; and, we have the accelerating cultural and moral degeneration, and collapse of the Roman Empire from its own internal, systemic moral and intellectual rot, first in the west, and later in Byzantium. The question today, as posed by the patterns of change which have become characteristic of the last hundred years, since the ominous, 1901 assassination of U.S. President William McKinley, is, whether or not the existing form of globally extended European civilization is careening into a general collapse of the type which Plato located within this second class?
From all that we presently know, humanity has stumbled along on this planet in such a fashion, for hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of years. This pattern prevailed throughout known history and pre-history combined, until a qualitative, revolutionary change for the better, a change which erupted at the beginning of mid-Fifteenth-Century Europe, during what has become known as the Golden Renaissance. (Figure 1.) Not only did that Fifteenth-Century Renaissance unleash an improvement in the conditions of human life, within its own region, which was qualitatively beyond anything shown by evidence of earlier times; the spread of the ideas associated with that Renaissance, assigned to all humanity equal right to access to those means to effect comparable advances in the conditions of life for the world as a whole.
This Golden Renaissance did not spring as if from the brow of the ancient Egyptian goddess whom the Greeks called Athena. It was the outgrowth of about 2,000 years of the history of European civilization, since Solon's revolution in Athens, and of, in turn, at least several thousands of earlier years, as typified by accumulated knowledge associated with more than 2,000 years of what were probably preceding years of ebbs and flows of progress in ancient Egypt, that from a time even much earlier than the building of the great pyramids.
That review supplied, we turn to the core of the case presented in this report.
Taken as a whole, the recent 2,500 years of rise of that adopted child of Egypt, that the birth and development of the now globally extended European civilization, is to be understood in terms of the three greatest bench-marks of its entire history: the consolidation of the development of Classical Greek culture around the leading figure of Plato, the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the Golden Renaissance. Without those three revolutionary steps forward, Europe and its civilization had neither come into existence, nor would have acquired the dominant significance in the planet which it has attained since the great, mid-Fifteenth-Century, ecumenical Council of Florence.
The essential qualities of change in the history of the world since that Fifteenth Century, have been dominated, increasingly, by a continuing conflict between the internal development of this Renaissance legacy, and those endemic moral disorders which have become characteristic of today's globally extended form of European civilization. That is to say, that because of the superior power intrinsic to the cultural revolution launched by the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance, the power of European civilization, either for good, or, all too often, for evil, emerged as the most characteristic feature of the combined cultural currents on this planet since. Hence, in that sense, and for that reason, modern history has been essentially, increasingly the history of a globally extended modern form of European civilization.
On account of the points just identified, there are certain things I must say here, not only because they are true, but because, for sundry factitiously misguided motives of other authorities, they were not likely to be published, until now, in this form, from any other living source, even from among those relevant authorities which would concur privately with my argument. In the course of reading the following pages, you should be able to recognize why certain other, relevant sources have been reluctant to address publicly certain crucial features of the report I present here and now.
The internal problems of modern Christianity, are among the sensitive issues which must be addressed here, even in spite of the grounds for reluctance on this subject from authorities other than myself.
Since the civilization presently gripped by a planetary existential crisis, has been, predominantly, a globally extended European civilization which is nominally, at least, Christian, there could be no competent examination of the present crisis which did not address and answer the immediately following question. Thus, that issue of Christianity itself can not be avoided by any strategic thinker who is both honest and competent.
For the reason just given, so, the fact of the present crisis, with its inhering threat of the planet's collapse into a new dark age for all humanity, is to be seen, at least on the surface of things, as reflecting an included failure of organized Christianity in its present form. The recent Vatican report on the Third Letter of Fatima points to that problem, and, as you shall see in due course here, that report answers the question, at least implicitly, and, I believe appropriately, at least in significant degree, and is accurate as far as it goes. However, to avoid a deadly fallacy of composition in the assessment, a more adequate treatment of the present existential crisis of global civilization, must bring numerous other considerations, not taken into account explicitly by the Vatican report, into view, as I do at appropriate locations within the present report.
In addition to those three great bench-marks I have listed above, the most significant positive event in European history since the Golden Renaissance, was the initial 1776-1789 victory of the American Revolution over its principal adversary, the British Empire's monarchy, a monarchy which has assumed a role in the world at large which it has modelled upon that of the financier-oligarchy power of the Venice of Pietro Pomponazzi and Paolo Sarpi, a Venice from whose much polluted canals it was originally spewed.
Since the tyrant William of Orange and the later accession of George I to the newly created British throne, the continuing conflict between the intellectual tradition of the American Revolution and our principal adversary, the British monarchy's empire, has been the characteristic source of all of the principal internal disorders and foreign wars suffered by the United States since. Since 1789, this conflict between the American intellectual tradition and the British monarchy's influence, has become the determining feature of all the principal developments within world history.
It is because of the moral and intellectual superiority of those features of European culture which are represented by all of the actual achievements of the American intellectual tradition, that the United States emerged, with President Lincoln's victory over the British monarchy's Confederacy puppet, as the world's most powerful single nation.
From the beginning of the European colonization of the Americas, the most advanced thinkers in science, art, and philosophy, have been, with very rare exceptions, continental Europeans, and neither British nor Americans. However, because of the effects of the emergence of Anglo-Dutch financier-oligarchical power, at the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, and such key subsequent developments as the London-directed Jacobin Terror of 1789-1794, the fascist tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Congress of Vienna, the patriotic forces within continental Europe have remained a minority, in the broader scope of the continent's science and philosophy as a whole, as in politics. For that reason, from the beginning of the European colonization of the Americas, with such rare exceptions as Benjamin Franklin himself, the quality of intellectual leadership upon which the progress of the U.S. has depended, has been supplied from that specific, pro-Greek-Classical minority of great intellects of Europe, such as, most often, those of France, Germany, and Italy.
Indeed, I can report, from my advantage as a close observer of relevant persons and facts, that even today, when continental Europe has been reduced by Anglo-American decisions of 1989-1992 to a virtual satrapy of English-speaking oligarchical power, the leading intellectual circles of continental Europe, including those of today's Russia, are, while exceptions even in their own nations, of a general intellectual quality superior to that found generally among even Americans of better moral and intellectual qualities. Ironically, the American political advantage, even among our typical boors, is the quality of strategic decisiveness exuded by, among others, Wall Street's leading oligarchical circles. This North American sense of political potency respecting matters of the world at large, lies in the sense of possession of a relatively superior, globally overreaching political power, whereas Europeans repeatedly crushed by the combination of two World Wars and prolonged Anglo-American occupation, tend to see themselves, as no more than satraps of a reigning Anglo-American oligarchical power. Otherwise, morally, those Americans are, with rare exceptions, morally and intellectually inferior to the best leading circles of continental Europe.
That qualification taken into account, for most of the past nearly hundred-forty years, since President Lincoln's great victory for civilization as a whole, the U.S. has been second in world power to no other single nation, but only, during some prolonged intervals, to the concert of forces led by the British Empire and its associated minions. Thus, in that sense and degree, the struggle within the U.S.A., to free the U.S. from the treasonous influence of the present British monarchy's Eighteenth-Century so-called "Enlightenment" tradition, has been the great struggle for the soul of the U.S.A. This struggle has been, and is, still today, the most crucial strategic factor in the shaping of the history of the world during the past two centuries, since the fall of the first modern fascist tyranny, that of the Romantic figure Napoleon Bonaparte. We Americans are nearly all, after all, predominantly Europeans, including our so-called African-Americans, essentially representatives of globally extended modern European civilization. Whenever some among us attempt to deny that essential fact, lunacy, usually of a dangerous kind, breaks loose among us.
Nonetheless, despite the tendency among even most of the decent Americans, toward moral and intellectual crudities, more than the alternative, the American system itself, is the best political system of today's world as a whole.
The term "American system" has no historically valid, literate meaning, other than preference for the ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Mathew Carey, Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, Friedrich List, Henry C. Carey, and President Abraham Lincoln, that over the opposing British system of Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, et al. This American System of political economy, takes its origins on our continent from the founding and initial development of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, that under the leadership of Winthrop and the Mathers.
That development, begun in pre-1688 Massachusetts, was continued under Benjamin Franklin, and through aid of Franklin's supporters from among the followers of Gottfried Leibniz in Europe. Such is the anti-British monarchy, American system set forth in the opening three paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the Federal Constitution. It is the American intellectual tradition of such foes of the British monarchy as President Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, Mathew Carey, Clay, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Franklin's great-grandson Alexander Dallas Bache, Henry C. Carey, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln. It is the American system whose legacy President Franklin Roosevelt worked to revive, as did the martyred President Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, too. Such is the American intellectual tradition, as identified, if merely typified, and afflicted by the British monarchy's self-professed and adopted agent of influence, Henry A. Kissinger.
That American System of political-economy, as I have brought its conceptual design up to date through my work in developing the science of physical economy, is the leading best expression of globally extended European civilization today. It is the conflict between that American system of political-economy, so best described, and the British monarchy's presently world-dominating rentier-financier imperial system, which defines all of the most essential issues to be considered here. The chief irony is, that an oligarchical, Wall Street-dominated "establishment," the oligarchical pack of rentier-financier hyenas presently exerting overlordship over the U.S. government, a pack represented typically more by the New York Times than the increasingly simply silly Wall Street Journal, has become an instrument of the British monarchy against the American system, and is today the bestial force chiefly responsible for corrupting the morals and culture of the U.S. population, and betraying our constitutional republic to the predatory dogmas of free trade and globalization.
Among educated adults of the world today, contrary views of the recent 2,500 years of world history are, at their least worst, childish fairy-tales designed to degrade academically misinformed public opinion to the same fantasy-ridden irrationality otherwise found in the credulities of the obviously illiterate. I explain all the immediately foregoing points, as follows. I proceed, next, to the matter of those three crucial revolutions which I underscored above.
Plato and Christianity
As the great poet and historian Friedrich Schiller warned his students, and others, in his famous Jena lectures on the principles of history, no one can understand anything truly important about European history, until one first masters the fact, that European civilization came into existence in the development of what we now term Classical Greek culture. That culture has sundry essential elements, including, in addition to the greatest periods of Athens, developments within Ionia and pre-Roman southern Italy; but the most essential and original feature of that culture, is to be found in the record of the transformation of the conception of the nature of man, as traced from the Homeric epics through the writings and acts of Plato.
In reading from the Iliad through the Socratic dialogues and Laws of Plato, we trace two giant steps upward, leading into Classical Greece's unique contribution to the origins and continued development of modern European civilization. First, there was man defined as the cattle-like plaything of, excepting Athena, the capriciously wicked gods of Olympus. Over a later span of time, as from the story of Ulysses, through Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, there is a great step upward, toward man as portrayed by the great Classical tragedies, in revolt against the tyranny of those oligarchical pagan gods. Finally, where Aeschylus' Prometheus trilogy ends, there emerges the second great step upward, the new, Socratic definition of man as made in the image of the Creator (Composer) of the universe, in the writings of Plato, such as his Timaeus.
This emerging, latter notion of the true nature of man, is inseparable from the concept of the idea, as Plato, most notably, supplies the first known, rigorous definition of the idea of ideas. Here lies the key to showing the connection and qualitative difference between the presently known culture of ancient Egypt and that of the modern European civilization rooted in Classical Greece. This pin-points the first of the three revolutionary developments, beyond barbarism, upon which modern, globally extended European civilization, depends absolutely.
Admittedly, ideas, as Plato defines them, and I have refined that notion from the standpoint of Christianity, did not first come into being with Classical Greece. Rather, Plato's Greece is the first location in known history, at which the idea of ideas in general is clearly defined. The difference is between the discovery of several or more experimentally validatable individual physical principles, and the discovery of the Platonic principle of universality underlying physical science in general. Plato's Timaeus, Critias, and Laws, as to be read against the background of his earlier works, set the benchmarks for that notion of the idea of cognitive ideas in general.
Typical of this difference, is the appearance of Classical Greek notions of sculpture, as typified by the celebrated influence of Scopas and Praxiteles, and by the great Classical tragedies. A modern example, is the way in which Johann Sebastian Bach created that well-tempered system of polyphonic composition, upon which foundation the great compositions of Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Giuseppe Verdi, developed the great Classical polyphonic legacy, they each and all in explicit opposition to such Romantic followers of the silly Rameau as Liszt, Berlioz, Helmholtz, and Wagner. The contrast between the Classical representative of actual ideas, and the aura of death around the earlier Archaic art of Egypt and Greece, a contrast typified by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael Sanzio, or Rembrandt's famous portrayal of an insightful bust of Homer contemplating the soulless stare of Aristotle, illustrates the essential species of distinction between the two.
In fact, any valid idea is an experimentally demonstrable discovery of a universal principle, such as a universal physical principle, or, in the alternative, those universal principles of artistic composition which underlie all that is properly classed as Classical artistic work. Classical artistic composition is to be recognized as opposite in quality to such forms of irrationality run amok as Romanticism, Impressionism, Modernism, Post-Modernism, and most of what passes, according to Hollywood, for today's popular, and usually bestialized forms of entertainment, the latter plainly echoes of the amusements proffered by that pagan Roman imperial arena in which Romans, by the "free choice" of popular opinion of their time, brought upon themselves the doom of their society. Thus, any valid discovery of a universal physical principle, is perfectly recognized as an idea, as distinct from mere sense-impressions or idle fantasy.
By idea of ideas in general, I mean, for example, as I have said, physical science, as distinguished from a collection of those respectively validatable individual discoveries which have yet to be integrated into the form of a validatable body of physical science in general. In other words, the point of the distinction is knowledge, or lack of knowledge of a conception of some principle of universal truthfulness, as Plato's dialogues elaborated such a principle. We also include those similarly validated universal principles of Classical artistic composition, principles which meet the same Socratic standard of agape echoed in Paul's I Corinthians 13.
Admittedly, not only do we find traces of the notion of ideas as such, in the work of a contemporary of Classical Greece, the great Sanskrit philologist Panini. The notions of astronomical cycles embedded in the design of the great pyramids of Egypt, are examples of the kinds of ideas which represent, still today, the forerunners of modern science. A similar case is to be made for those Vedic Central-Asia calendars dated to not later than between 6,000 and 4,000 B.C. Perhaps there was an idea of ideas like that of Plato's dialogues somewhere in the ancient mists of time; if so, we have no confirmation of such so far. Presently there is no rigorously defined, recognized evidence of earlier such notions from the known, pre-Classical cultures of the recent six thousand-odd years according to today's official world history.
By the idea of the idea, I mean the Classical Greek idea of human nature, as expressed best by Plato's dialogues, or, better, the Christian version of this Classical-Greek conception, or that of Moses Mendelssohn, among others, later. I mean, also, the distinct principle of Classical composition of sculpture, painting, poetry, music, and drama, which modern civilization has derived from the Classical Greek origins. We should mean, implicitly, and most essentially, the idea of man as made in the living cognitive image of the Creator of the universe. It is that discovery of a rigorous, Socratic notion of the universal, non-Aristotelean principle of cognition, as traced to its origins in Classical Greece, which defines the notion of globally extended European civilization as a distinct idea. Herein, let us discover together the solution to the riddle which I have posed in the opening paragraphs of this report.
To trace the development of this notion of the idea, it were most convenient to focus upon the example of the argument provided by Plato in the work often identified as The Republic. For this purpose, the student should focus upon the dialogue, in that work, among the characters Socrates, Thrasymachus, and Glaucon. The issues posed are the central issues of modern society, including the most important issues encountered at the highest levels of government and religious controversy. The characteristic feature of that dialogue, and of all Plato's dialogues otherwise, is the principle of the idea of the idea. The entirety of the development of Classical Greece, from the Homeric epics, to the Classical Greek culture known to Apostles such as John and Paul, is summed up in that example.
Another way of expressing the notion of the idea of ideas, is the notion of discoverable universal truthfulness respecting man and nature, as this issue is central to the central dispute referenced by Plato's dialogue among Socrates, Thrasymachus, and Glaucon. This quality of truthfulness, so located in the argument of that Socrates, is the essential distinction between science and pseudo-science, and the opposition of a natural law rooted in truthfulness, to the depraved misconception of law adopted for practice by today's doctrinaire, the notions of merely customary or purely positive law. The latter includes, notably, the evil work of such positivist acolytes of the evil Bertrand Russell as Norbert Wiener's "information theory" and John von Neumann's lifeless notions of "systems analysis" and "artificial intelligence."
Three most characteristic, and also multiply-connected notions of Plato's work as a whole, are to be recognized there. These are: the principle of truthfulness and justice; the supreme principle of law, identified by Paul's use of Plato's definition for the Greek term agape; and, by the idea of all ideas, the idea of man. This defines man implicitly, as distinct from all other living beings, the efficiently human personality of the human individual, as created in the image of the efficient Mind of the Composer (Creator) of the universe.
I shall return to that specific point; but, first, I must qualify the connection between the first two of the successive revolutions just identified.
Alexander the Great had been guided to his inspired victories, by aid from those students of Plato who were adversaries of Alexander's enemy, Aristotle. The assassination of Alexander spilled the seeds of self-destruction, like a soil poisoned by the blood from that murder, into the grand design which Alexander had represented. Although the Classical Greek culture of the pre-Roman, so-called Hellenistic period, was the most advanced culture in the Mediterranean region, until the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance, it contained thus a fatal flaw. As the United States' history illustrates the same paradox, the Classical legacy was the greatest legacy of its time, but, after the murder of Alexander, it harbored a parasite, an alien enemy within, an enemy akin in nature to our slave-holders and Wall Street gang. Hellenistic culture became thus vulnerable to its conquest by that intrinsically evil "New Babylon," which became known, otherwise, as the Roman Empire.
Thus, beginning at about the time of the Roman murder of Archimedes and the later death of the greatest scientific mind of that time, Archimedes' correspondent Eratosthenes, that creation of the Delphi cult of the Pythian Apollo known as Rome, emerged as an echo of both ancient Delphic Sparta and old Babylon, as the imperial New Babylon, sometimes known among Christians as "The Whore of Babylon." That pagan Rome erupted, thus, to power throughout the Mediterranean more generally. For nearly two centuries, from the murder of Archimedes to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Classical legacy waned. Then, came the time when Christ and his Apostles transformed the Classical Greek heritage, that in the fashion the Apostle Paul addressed the matter of the "unknown God."
For the Jews already in struggle against the tyranny of both Rome and Rome's "Quisling-like" lackeys of the Jewish puppet-regime, the arrival of Christianity was a revolution, a redemption of human nature, as human nature is defined literally within the first chapter of the first book of Moses. As for Moses, the universality of man and woman is, that each is made in the image of the Creator, and empowered and mandated to exert dominion over all other things within the universe. That power is nothing other than the non-deductive faculty of cognition, the latter that anti-deductive power of Reason unique to the human individual, the power of reason hated by the Immanuel Kant of his Critiques. Cognition is the means by which mankind is able to discover and employ experimentally validatable, universal physical principles, thereby to increase man's power in and over the universe.
This thus redeemed Mosaic notion of human nature, expressed as the mission of the Christian apostles to the gentiles, was the assigned great mission unique to the Apostles of Christ. That mission was dedication to the redemption of all mankind as such a special, cognitive creature, each individual made in the image of what Plato had defined as the knowable concept of the Composer of the universe.
No longer, as had been the case under the Jews of the time of Christ's birth, was one people to be preferred absolutely over others; rather, each part of mankind is obliged to serve the welfare of all mankind, to serve the universality of all humanity as a species of creature made in the image of the Creator. It was this alternative to the evil inherent in Rome and in the flaws of the prevalent form of the Jewish outlook at that time; it was a Christianity whose ministry to all mankind, has, despite all else, thus far saved mankind from the doom otherwise inhering in the legacy of that "New Babylon" known as the Roman Empire.
The Mystery of Jesus Christ
Those referenced similarities in policy taken into account, how must today's historians and strategists differentiate functionally between Plato's Socrates and Christ? In what degree does the ministry and crucifixion of Christ prefigure, but differ from the figure of the Socrates who also died for the cause of truth, that at the evil hands of the probably treasonous Democratic Party of Athens? Why must I now insist, that the Christianity which adopts and preserves the legacy of Classical Greece, be recognized as a revolutionary, divine intervention, one distinct from the best previously contributed by Plato et al.?
On first approximation, it was the legacy of Christ and His Apostles, which kept the contributions of Plato alive, at a time when those contributions had otherwise remained where the Roman Empire had enslaved or buried most of them. It was the long struggle of Christianity, including that led by Augustine, against the Roman Empire and its legacy, which brought the work of Plato to serve as a central feature of the political revolution which was the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance. Yet, although Plato's method is not only reflected, most emphatically, in the Gospel of John and Epistles of Paul, but represents an indispensably integral feature of the appropriate method of Christianity and its theology over nearly two thousand years to date, there remains a certain crucial, functional difference between the two, and a related political consequence for the world as a whole.
In Christian doctrine, the crucial difference, as stressed among the earliest Church Fathers, and by the legacy of Augustine for the West, is embedded within a single phrase of the Christian Creed, "and of the Son."
The crucial question is, "Why, if Jesus was born in the time of the reign of Augustus Caesar, did the Disciple John locate the existence of Christ from the beginning"? Here lies the relationship of the Crucifixion to the essence of Christianity. For Plato, this would be, admissibly, a concept not axiomatically alien to the method seen in his Timaeus, for example, but its origin and habitat is Christianity.
That, in turn, poses the question: What is the essential, necessary significance of the Crucifixion, which makes Christianity so powerful an idea of ideas? Therein lies the mystery of Christ. This is not a mystery in the sense of being inherently inexplicable to reason; it is a mystery in the sense it appears in the form of a profound ontological paradox, which can be made comprehensible only by mustering within oneself the relevant cognitive action of discovery. That mystery, so described, taken into account, what we must credit to Plato's Classical Greek culture, is the source of the capacity, or, if you prefer, susceptibility, to solve the paradox posed by Moses' definition of the nature of man.
There is no intrinsic incomprehensibility inhering in the mere fact of that mystery. As I shall stress, without this specific quality of Christianity, none of the positive developments leading into the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance had been possible. After we have taken all that we can adduce from Classical Greek culture, such as that of Plato, into account, that does not account for the Renaissance, for the birth of modern, globally extended European civilization. There is a special, efficiently superior universal principle embedded within what might seem otherwise the mere bare historical fact of Jesus Christ. It is a universal principle implied, as I have said, by a corresponding ontological paradox.
That paradox is crucial for actually knowing the characteristic feature of each and all of the three revolutionary developments upon which European civilization and its development depends. The mystery of Christ is the central, defining expression of that development. Consider that paradox in successive approximations.
In first approximation, the difference lies in the personal relationship of the Christ of the Crucifixion to the most destitute and otherwise most oppressed victims of Roman and other evil tyrannies. It has been the personal bond of that oppressed individual, even in death, to the personality of the crucified Christ, which has been the essential spark, the compelling passion, upon which all of the temporal achievements of globally extended European civilization have depended, and that absolutely, a civilization whose progress flowed, in such large degree, from the spilled blood of martyrs.
This points already toward a still deeper principle. The crucial conception, the idea of ideas, which makes that connection comprehensible, is the notion of the simultaneity of eternity. There lies the key to the challenge of that great metaphor, the historical mystery of Christ.
Unfortunately, such a statement, respecting the simultaneity of eternity, is heard by today's superabundance of academically trained illiterates, as a very strange formulation. The fault which may be thus attributed, unjustly, to the expression, does not lie in the form of the statement, but in the blinding effect of today's popularized forms of ignorance. Among the victims of their own lack of reason, we must include all those who profess themselves to be materialists, empiricists, Cartesians, Kantians, existentialists (such as the fascist admirers of Nietzsche and his follower Heidegger, and anarchoid leftists such as Adorno, Hannah Arendt, and Heidegger's follower Jean-Paul Sartre), and the modern positivists and structuralists. The idea which such illiterates profess they can not see with their senses, is a vision, but it is no mere fancy; it is, as I have said many times in what I have spoken and written on this subject, an elementary sort of experimentally demonstrable physical fact. This is the same quality of fact as any experimentally proven discovery of a universal physical principle.
It is the materialists, empiricists, and their like, who, directly contrary to their smug delusions, are living in a non-existent world of sheer lunatic fancy. This is precisely the idea which you--personally--must recognize, if you are to recognize the principle by means of which our presently imperilled civilization is to be rallied from the doom it is currently bringing down upon itself.
No sleight of hand, no magical powers of prophecy, or the like, are involved in this vision. It is all clearly shown by the standpoint of a valid quality of physical science. The problem of society today, is that most people are terribly, sometimes terminally ignorant, precisely because they are of that superstitious breed suffering the bestializing delusion, that physical means sense-impressions. The task, therefore, is to show conclusively, that such people, including notable professors of physical science, are deluded on this specific point.
The point, is to put on record the evidence, that the mystery of Christ, as set forth in the opening of the Gospel of John, is not a matter of blind faith, but a fully comprehensible fact of Reason, and thus knowable to all, Christians or not, who do not remain hysterically resistant to the influence of Reason. The self-blinded victims of unreason, may be otherwise described as persons so passionately occupied by the bestial side of their sensual nature, that they refuse to detach themselves from the delusion, that the image seen in the distorted mirror of sense-impressions, is the same thing as the object which the mirror but imperfectly, and incompletely reflects.
In such a vision of Christ, there is no mumbo-jumbo, no blind faith. There is, however, the confusion which tends to erupt among the illiterates. Such problems of the illiterates, are the usual source of the disorders which have prompted many such persons to resort to unctuous utterances which may be deemed plausible only to the degree that the minds of teacher and pupil are more or less equally confused.
This, as I show, is a conception solidly rooted in the principles underlying physical science. It could not be otherwise.
Economy and Theology
It is no mere coincidence, that this notion of simultaneity of eternity, is the most interesting, important, and profitable idea in all physical science. (There, it appears most frequently reflected, today, in its reflection as the relativity of time.) I presented the groundwork for defining this paradox in locations published earlier, where I have emphasized the fact, that there are three distinct, but multiply-connected qualities of universal physical principles to be taken into account: non-living processes, living processes, and cognitive processes. Therefore, here, it is sufficient that I merely summarize those points elaborated in those earlier locations. That summary of those aspects helps me in focussing the reader's attention on the crucial feature of the principal paradox, the mystery of Christ, as it provides the cornerstone for the entire subject of this report as a whole.
I summarize the physical-scientific basis for the argument, and thus so situate the core of the argument, respecting Christianity, itself in a provably knowable reality of experience.
As all my published writings and lecture-series on the Leibnizian science of physical economy, have emphasized, any competent notion of modern economy depends primarily, and absolutely on the notion, that the demonstrable increase of mankind's gains in power in and over the universe, is the result of nothing other than society's cooperation in applying experimentally validated discoveries of universal physical principle. It is from those experimental proofs of thus-discovered universal physical principles, that the relevant technologies are generated as by-products, thus increasing the potential relative population-density of humanity, as measurable per capita and per square kilometer of surface-area.
In those writings and lectures, I have shown, that the generation of such discoveries of principle, can not occur through deductive methods, but only through the non-deductive processes of cognition, in contradiction of the Immanuel Kant, for example, who denied such knowable cognitive processes to exist. These discoveries occur at the prompting of what Plato's method defines as ontological paradoxes of the sort which can not be overcome by deductive methods, but require methods associated with what Plato defines as a principle of higher hypothesis.
That is the same method to which Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa gave the title of docta ignorantia, the method adopted by Leonardo da Vinci from Cusa's work, the method of Kepler, Leibniz, et al. It is by the sharing of the experience of original discovery, this by aid of sharing the experience of both such relevant ontological paradoxes and experimental validations, that such a discovery is established as knowledge for practice, as opposed to merely learned "information." It is in the same way, and only this way, that any universal principle of physical science can be actually known.
These cognitive processes are of exactly the type illustrated by Plato's dialogues. They also are of the same type underlying all successful efforts in Classical forms of artistic composition. The method of well-tempered counterpoint developed by J.S. Bach, as shown in his A Musical Offering and The Art of the Fugue, is an example of precisely this point. The opponents of Bach's polyphonic method, in music, including Romanticists such as trivial Rameau and hoaxster Helmholtz, are typical of artistic (and, scientific) incompetence on this account. Thus, periods of history in which these Classical methods in science and artistic composition and performance predominate over so-called popular and other alternatives, are the great upward-moving periods in the entire sweep of globally extended European civilization since Classical Greece. It is periods in which cognitive literacy of this Classical form, in education, in scientific practice, and in artistic composition and performance, prevails, that the greatest relative progress in the human condition is obtained.
In contrast, it is during periods in which Classical forms of artistic composition cease to be popular, that societies tend to slide into their great cultural and moral catastrophes, as in the U.S.A. today.
Specifically, the mental activity responsible for the successful generation and sharing of a validatable, original discovery of universal physical principle, represents exactly the same quality of mental activity--cognitive activity--which is otherwise encountered in the Classical form of artistic composition and performance. The distinction between the two kinds of experience, is that the focus of physical science is man's increased power in and over nature, per capita and per square kilometer, whereas Classical artistic composition addresses the means, of person to person, means rooted in cognition, by which cooperation in fostering and employing valid universal physical principles is made possible. As Shelley describes the unity of the two, in his A Defence of Poetry, it is a matter of periods in which there is an increase of the power of imparting and receiving profound and impassioned conceptions respecting--both--man and nature.
Look backwards, from Riemann's 1854 habilitation dissertation, to Plato. Focus upon the notion of the kind of ontological paradox from whose prompting a cognitively generated, valid discovery of a universal physical principle flows. Contrast the type of case, in which a valid discovery flows from an isolated ontological paradox, to the alternate case, in which, as in Riemannian hypergeometry, all potentially well-defined new paradoxes are already implied, as cognitive potential, in knowledge of the manifold considered as a whole.
Take as an example of this, the relationship between Fresnel's devastating experimental design for the demolition of Newton's dogma on the propagation of light, and Wilhelm Weber's experimental proof of the Ampère angular force, thus refuting the neo-Newtonian fallacies of Grassmann, Maxwell, et al. on this point. The latter two conceptions, Fresnel and Arago on light, and Ampère-Weber on electromagnetism, were not only integrated discoveries in both their origins and their outcome, but were discoveries generated, as in the intimate collaboration among Fresnel, Ampère, and Arago, from the starting-point of recognizing a pervasive, systemic fallacy in the totality of the empiricist dogma of Sarpi, Newton, Leonhard Euler, et al.
The characteristic of the most productive trends in modern European culture's scientific and technological progress, is typified by the implications of Riemann's habilitation dissertation. It is viewing the entire sweep of physical science as an implicitly unified, unfolding manifold, as Cusa and Leonardo did before Kepler, Leibniz, Gauss, and Riemann, which moves scientific progress from the domain of seemingly haphazard solutions to isolated paradoxes, into a generalized, and more or less conceptually well-focussed onslaught on the frontier of existing science as a whole.
Those considerations, as just so summarized, lead us immediately to the central question posed by the notion of "simultaneity of eternity." That, in turn, makes the concept of the mystery of Christ transparent to the individual processes of cognition.
There are three crucial, multiply-connected ideas to be considered in that specific context.
First, if the functional relationship between man and the universe is located within the domain of cognition, rather than that of simple sense-experience, what is the form and quality of the willful choice of action which defines man's functional relationship to the universe?
Second, since such action is generated only within those sovereign cognitive processes of the mind of an individual, the which are impervious to observation by sense-perception, and since that individual is mortal, what is the relationship of that individual's mortal existence to the universe in which the effects of such cognitive acts unfold?
Third, what, on both accounts, is the relationship of the existence of the cognitive activity of the mortal individual to the existence of all humanity within the universe as a whole? There, in summary, in that third observation, and in nothing less than that, lies the notion of the idea of the idea of human nature.
The first of those three ideas, points to a fundamental quality of distinction between the commonplace, vulgar notion of a universe, as a bare reflection of sense-experience, and the notion of that experience of the universe in terms of the specific qualities of action which demonstrably increase the potential relative population-density of mankind, or of a specific human culture. This identifies the first conceptual hurdle which the student must overcome, if he or she is to attain an efficient notion of the meaning of physical science and technology.
Consider the definition of characteristically human action, to be solely: that action by means of which mankind's potential relative population-density is increased. Then, only those forms of cognition typified by valid discovery (and re-enactment of the act of such discovery, as by a student) of universal physical principles, correspond to such action. This can be represented, for example, by the image of a series of Riemannian manifolds (e.g., n, n+1, n+2,...) ordered accordingly. That image brings the action corresponding to the progressive ordering of that series of discoveries of principle, into conformity with what Riemann, following both Leibniz and Gauss, defined as the changes in characteristic curvature of physical space-time, as we proceed from one such manifold to the next.
By proceeding along that line of thought, we have freed science from the intellectually numbing grip of vulgar sense-certainty. Instead of the naive folly of attributing reality to the "ivory-tower"-like contemplation of sense-impressions, we now have, through the relevant modes of experiment, an immediate correlation between the cognitive action of the individual mind, and the effect of the action of the hand guided and controlled by the action of discovery by that mind. This relationship of the action of the cognitive state of mind to the change in effect induced by the action of the hand it controls, thus becomes the only definition of physical knowledge which we accept. This is Heraclitus' "nothing is constant but change," as that paradoxical ontological principle was clarified by Plato.
So, instead of inferring the action as congruent with an aprioristic kind of sense-certainty, or the so-called "Euclidean" physical space-time of the empiricist Galileo, et al., we define action in the cognitive terms I have just summarily described. Instead of the vulgar superstition of "action at a distance" (i.e., in "Euclidean" space-time), we adopt a Leibnizian notion of a principle of universal least action. This quality of action is, thus, the characteristic curvature of the kind of physical space-time associated with the action in which it occurs. The increase of potential relative population-density, provides a relevant standard of measure, the framework within which that "curvature" is to be defined.
The latter characteristic, is to be defined, in first approximation, in a Riemannian sense of the correlation between cognitive state of mind and the effective change--the change in pre-existing currents of change--induced by the hand it guides and controls.
Then, by measuring physical action so defined, in terms correlated with the notion of potential relative population-density, we have, in approximation, the image of the first of the three multiply-connected principles (ideas) listed above.
However, since such successful action by the human species, depends upon cooperation in sharing such ideas for practice of society, the physical relationship of the individual mind to the universe at large, is expressed immediately as I have indicated under the title of the second of the three principles listed shortly above. In this view, it is already clear that man acts efficiently upon the physical universe solely through the medium of those cognitively defined social relations, through which the transmission of such ideas occurs, through replication of their discovery. Thus, on this latter account, the role of Classical forms of artistic culture within the society, assumes a crucially determining character.
I emphasize a crucial point in this connection. I condemn to ridicule, the corrupted, actually degraded notion of art, as "merely entertainment," as "merely fiction." Of all compositions and performances of which it can be said, "This is primarily for your entertainment," either the work performed, or the particular performance of it, or, at a minimum, the audience's perception of it, is not an artistic experience. Classical forms of artistic composition, are the most appropriate means for the education of the soul, as Schiller's tragedies, Wallenstein and Don Carlos, for example, elevate history from the level of more or less tendentious accounting-practice, mere apologetics or empty fantasy, to the mission of imbuing performers and audiences with a sense of the truth respecting the historical issue presented on the stage.
Does the performance of the Bach Passions of St. John and St. Matthew, for example, quicken in the participating congregation a truthful sense of participating in those moments in the life of Christ? Or, Wolfgang Mozart's Requiem, in that Bach tradition, or Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, also consciously crafted in the same Bach tradition as Mozart's Requiem, but of which I have heard no truthful performance of the work as a whole to date. All true Classical art has the intended content, of composer and performer, of imparting to performer and audience an impassioned sense of truthfulness, a sense which can be effectively communicated in no other way than through the medium of Classical artistic composition. The best performance of the so-called Negro Spiritual, as Dvór[caron]ak and Burleigh followed the thinking of Brahms respecting insight into the perfecting of folk-music, expresses the same universal principle of Classical art.
As the development of those forms of language oriented to cognitive communication, is as essential as reliving earlier accumulations of valid discoveries of physical principle, so even the existence of such a use of language itself, ties each of us presently living to the long process of emergence and development of such forms of language itself. However, to agree on the meaning of this ostensibly self-evident fact, we must first make clear to ourselves, what a healthy development of the use of a language represents.
Here, we must depart from the presently customary academic tendency, the tendency to equate spoken and written language with one-to-one correspondence with a purely deductive, more or less a behaviorist's view of mathematics, with or without the included features of color, called emotions, added to the merely deductive forms of symbolic structures as such. As all successful forms of Classical artistic composition illustrate the relevant point most clearly, the essence of those forms of communication related to cognition is the principle of Classical metaphor. Relative to a formal classroom mathematics, the characteristic distinction of metaphor from a purely deductive form of language-use, is argument in the form of what Leibniz identified as Analysis Situs, this more or less as Riemann adopts a related notion of this.
In a relevant approximation, a metaphor is a stated gap, an apparent paradox, which can not be bridged by methods of deductive argument. It is, according to the standard modern English-language definition, by William Empson, the ultimate, relatively absolute form of literary irony. In all cases represented, as types, by Empson, the principle of Analysis Situs is either explicitly, or proximately present. Symbolism is the lowest form of irony, and tends to be the most often false and degrading. Metaphor is the perfect form of expression of irony, of Analysis Situs, and the most important, that on which the most profound arguments, such as the discovery of universal principles, must necessarily rely.
Thus, to the degree we are cognitively cultivated as children and adolescents, and at later ages, too, we each embody a corresponding mass of cognitive re-experiences, and also paradoxes, which we have thus acquired from preceding generations. Since the cognitive act of acquiring such combined knowledge and pre-knowledge, occurs within our perfectly sovereign mental processes, we each provide thus, potentially, a necessary link in the transmission of such knowledge from our predecessors to those who come after us. The actions of society, which are derived, as both potential and practice, from that thus-transmitted and -generated store of cognitive knowledge, are the means by which mankind acts upon the universe to the effect of increasing our species' potential relative population-density. Since the individual cognitive action, on which this transmission depends absolutely, is, ontologically, the sovereign cognitive action of each individual, each individual so engaged, represents a permanent--i.e., immortal--link in that chain of human development, a link to be found, as appropriate, in either Heaven or Hell.
Therefore, look at the universe in a different way.
In first approximation, the skein of human existence as a whole--as past, present, and future, can be conceptualized as a permanent, ontological process of constant change, so defined in terms of a universal principle of efficient cognition. This can be conceived as if all eternity existed as but an instant. Yet, within that eternal instant, there is an ordering principle, the ordering of before and after, as cognitive action defines such a succession. Time and space, in the sense of "Euclidean" space-time, vanish, leaving only the residue of cognitive action, an ordering of before and after, within that internally, cognitively ordered simultaneity of eternity. Action is preserved, where time and space remain only relative.
Thus, we have the following crucial ontological paradox to solve. According to the Gospel of John, the Jesus Christ born slightly more than 2,000 years ago, existed with God the Father at the beginning of time, dwelling in that moment, called eternity, defined by creative cognition. This paradox points directly to the truth underlying the mystery of Christianity. That also defines the nature of Christianity, and, also exposes, in a more profound way than ever before, the actual nature of man.
Granted, we can not suppose that more than a few Christian believers so far ever conceived the arrangement in exactly the way I have described it here so far. Yet, for any Christian (that is, a person situated, essentially, in the implied, living, efficient connection between the mortal individual person and the living Christ crucified), precisely such an implicit, personal relationship, is essential. The image I have drawn in this way, is no fantasy. What I have described is the demonstrable physical reality of a universe so mapped according to cognition (e.g., Reason) as a supreme ordering principle. The scientific proof of that fact, is elementary; I have stated it on many earlier occasions.
Thus, on that account, we have the following additional paradox to consider, the paradox of creation in general.
When mankind acts according to a discovered universal physical principle, the universe obeys that cognitively-generated command. Mankind's power in and over the universe is increased. It is thus as if the universe was predisposed to obey only such commands, as if by pre-design: as Plato argued, as if it were composed by its Composer. Scientific progress, when measured in terms of increase in potential relative population-density, from the standpoint of a science of physical economy, is "the great experiment," upon which the claims of science to authority depend absolutely.
Thus, in such action, mankind expresses itself, through the fruit of individual cognition, as made in the image of the Creator of the universe.
What I have thus described, is an image of the real universe, to be contrasted to, and to supersede the infantile and childish presumptions which attribute reality primarily to sense-perception, and to hedonistic responses to the objects of sense-perception. Such is the essential distinction in quality of mind, between a morally matured representative of the human species, and the classes of such morally infantile types as those among which we find a Governor Bush or Vice-President Gore. However, while the cultivated mind of a scientist should be able to grasp the axiomatic distinction as I have just described it, he might not yet "feel" the distinction, until he had taken the matter one crucial step further.
It is a common folly among putatively well trained physical scientists, much more so today than among those born during the period spanning two World Wars, that they tend to go cognitively dead when leaving the experimental laboratory to assume a position before the blackboard. In the better cases, such a figure at the blackboard might say in response to a crucial sort of paradox, "I see the point you are making;" but, at the same time, the acknowledgment is essentially an academic formality, and does not represent an act of comprehension. It remains, more or less, an academic formality. He does not "feel" the fact he has recognized; he is, in that degree, without expression of cognitive passion.
At this juncture, it is essential to stress again a point made above. That, the effect of mankind's relationship to the physical universe, may be measured in per-capita and per-square-kilometer values of potential relative population-density, but that the action by means of which this progress is motivated, and therefore accomplished, lies not within the domain of that observation, but only within the cognitive aspect of social relations. Here, only in that latter domain, one may "feel" the moral distinction in question. One might feel anger, for example, but not the quality of motivation (passion) associated with the cognitive willing of an action.
The experience of "feeling" that distinction, lies in the domain of Classical modes of artistic composition. Here, in this domain, we rise above the abstract individual thinker acting in terms of discovered universal physical principles; we leave the domain of mere shadow-figures, persons degraded by deductive logic into mere abstract objects, and enter the domain of real human beings. In the latter domain, we experience those passions through which cooperation in mastering the universe is motivated.
Thus, the Christian does not act because of the scientific idea of Christ, but because he or she loves Christ as Plato and the Apostle Paul define the quality of agape, and as the great Brahms sought to impart a sense of that within his Four Serious Songs, especially the concluding part. For that, will heroes and martyrs die, as the image of Friedrich Schiller's Jeanne d'Arc portrays this her passion in the closing moments of her life. It is in great Classical artistic composition, that such indispensable qualities of passion are rehearsed and strengthened.
It is precisely that same quality of passion which must be summoned from among our people, if we are to muster among us the will to free civilization from that awful curse presently descending upon the world. The lessons which were applied to bring the Golden Renaissance, including its birth of modern experimental science, into being, were not merely matters of formality; they were matters of great, and profound passion. Therefore, although only a few special persons are capable of rising to the cognitive quality of devotion which my foregoing outline describes, the lesson of Christianity over nearly 2,000 years, shows how the sense of a personal relationship to a living Christ crucified, supplied to European civilization that degree of admittedly unperfected passion for Reason, which has been proven essential to bring civilization to the levels reached by the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance and its actual progress in the human condition since.
In reality, the Christian so moved, is motivated by a sense of a living personal relationship to a living Christ. That this signifies that Christ lives today in the simultaneity of eternity, may be beyond the developed powers of that person's comprehension; but, his or her passion respecting that relationship to the living Christ, is efficient, even if the Christian would stumble in any effort to explain that relationship. So, a person may insist, quite rightly and passionately, that he exists and is alive, even though the details of the scientific proof may be beyond his present powers of comprehension.
From that observation, we see in the ebbs and flows of the development of European civilization to date, how periods of moral complacency make our people morally and intellectually careless, as the aging Solon complained of his fellow-Athenians. Yet, we also see, that, sometimes, the threat or actuality of terrible tribulations awaken in people a willingness to risk much, even to the point of death, to defend civilization from the abyss, and even to add some worthy steps forward. The question is: Whence can they muster the passion required to act so, the passion--in German military science, the Entschlossenheit--needed to rescue themselves from the new dark age inhering in their present condition of great folly?
How often people say, "I see your point. You may be right; but, I have to go along with ..." That is precisely the way in which the potential of the U.S.A. for a future as a nation is being destroyed by most of its citizens at this moment, such as those who argue, "Nonetheless, I have to be practical. I have to support Gore, even if that means holding my nose while doing so." Those citizens, do not wish to be malicious, but they make themselves malicious in effect, like Shakespeare's Hamlet, when they lack the passion to save their nation and themselves from the danger which is so clearly looming before us all. They lack that quality of passion, by means of which the greatest minds of Europe's Fifteenth Century pulled a great Renaissance out of the rubble-heap left by the Fourteenth Century's New Dark Age.
It is precisely in this current connection, that the New Testament image of Christ in Gethsemane, should be recalled to mind. For Christians, over nearly 2,000 years, the essence of their sense of personal connection to Christ is best summarized in the sections of the New Testament bearing upon the matter of Christ's passion in Gethsemane. The core of this matter of the crucified Christ, is presented in the Gospel of John, in Chapter 12: 23-40, echoing Matthew Chapter 17: 21-23. Here, from his reading of these sections of the Gospels, Johann Sebastian Bach crafted those great services known as his Passions of St. John and St. Matthew.
Hear those Bach passions, as if they were heard in the mode Bach himself directed their performance. Sit among the congregation, in the church where Bach conducted. Hear the score as Bach intended it be performed, not as merely a spectator's amusement, but as a great Socratic musical dialogue among the composer, the soloists, the chorus, and the responsive assembled congregation. Here, in this passion of Christ so re-enacted, is echoed that essential passion of Christianity, upon which all of the fundamental achievements of modern European civilization have depended for their effective motivation.
With those Bach passions echoing in one's mind, witness the Christians dying in Nero's arena, under the descending thumb of Roman popular opinion. Here, so, sense the passion which has protected the idea of Christianity from the deadening fist of today's doctrinaire pedantry and enthusiastic pulpit pornographers alike, and supplied to Christians that passion--again, Entschlossenheit--without which neither the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance, that Renaissance's launching of modern experimental science, nor all other benefits of modern European civilization, could have occurred.
In studying more closely the long waves and shorter intervals of moral and intellectual depravity, which have seized the U.S.A. during the sweep of the period since the assassination of McKinley, and, also the recent three decades slide into a moral and intellectual morass, we recognize that the greatest injury was done by the temptations of degraded forms of pleasure-seeking, especially popular entertainment of that sort.
The essential feature of such degradation, is best typified by examining the influence of the circles of such moral degenerates as Bertrand Russell and the circles of existentialists typified by the so-called "Frankfurt School" of Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt, et al., as from the same existentialist standpoint by Arendt's intimate, that follower of satanic Nietzsche, the Nazi Martin Heidegger. These fellows focussed upon denying the notion of existence of truthfulness, and thus drove their duped victims into a flight into the immorality of amoral pragmatist reliance upon the passions associated with sense-certainty. Thus, has our promising modern European civilization once again slid into the depravity which is the legacy of pagan Rome. This, and what it typifies, is our enemy from within.
Just so, until about thirty-five years ago, Christian civilization was greatly corrupted from two principal sources. One, was the infantile and related moral and intellectual poverty of the people and their culture, generally speaking. The second, was the role of the wealthy oligarchical family circles, whose instinct was to degrade the people generally into the semblance of brutish human cattle, by aid of vulgar, bordello-like, and Roman-arena-like public sports-entertainments, and kindred forms of popular entertainment, as a way of ruling over them; to the latter purpose, like the pagan oligarchy of ancient Rome before them, they transformed those they would keep as human cattle into pleasure-ridden spectators of degraded entertainments, including great public spectacles like those of "Hollywood" and the sports spectacles today, and the pagan Roman arena earlier. It was chiefly the influence--including the financial, so-called charitable contributions--of the simony practiced by such wealthy oligarchically inclined rentier-financier families, which has been the chief instrument thrusting corruption, in such forms as modern existentialism, into the Christian churches. This phenomenon has been especially notable since the mid-1960s.
If the poor will not rally to support their own causes, the rich will cheaply buy the souls of the poor and oppressed.
During the recent three and a half decades, since the 1962 missiles crisis and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the moral level of the general population has been degraded to a level approximately as bad as that during the 1618-1648 Thirty Years War, and the notorious depravity which seized both the rulers and general population of Walpole's England. It is the new wave of cultural depravity into which the post-Franklin Roosevelt U.S.A. has sunk, most dramatically since the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which has carried the U.S.A. over the line, from the earlier risk of simply a new Great Depression, into the present, culturally determined likelihood of imminent descent into a new dark age. The clearest symptom of the impact of the post-Kennedy countercultural revolution, is the depravity which has, to such a large degree, variously taken over churches, or simply depopulated the parish pews.
It is the loss of morally elevated, Classical-artistic qualities of passion, creating a vacuum filled by the depravities of pedantry and hedonism, which made the Twentieth Century a nightmare. It is the unleashing of a combination of radical positivism and outrightly satanic existentialism, like that of Adorno, Arendt, Heidegger, Heidegger's clone Jean-Paul Sartre, and Sartre's satanic clone Frantz Fanon, which typifies the pure evil which has dominated the process of internal decay of globally extended European civilization, and of the churches and synagogues within them, during the recent thirty-five years.
With the immediate aftermath of the death of a kind of Solon of that century, President Franklin Roosevelt, the citizens of the U.S.A. began to degenerate morally, rather rapidly, as Solon's poem addresses the decadence of those people of Athens whom he had led in rescuing earlier. The pragmatism of the myths of "White Collar" and "The Organization Man" reflected the rotting out of the morals of the new suburbanites of the 1950s. This, in turn, fostered that eruption of moral indifferentism which characterized the post-Kennedy rock-drug-sex counterculture, leading to a satanic defense of arbitrary values and mere opinion against any threatened encroachment from truth. Without a passion for truth, nothing is likely to lure the doomed out of the damned Cities of the Plain. Even the most enthusiastic Christian hypocrites of this time are really no better; it is their bank accounts and pleasures which these corrupt hedonists of those churches wish God to heal, not their souls, not their civilization.
Thus, I have summarized the case in which the mystery of Christ is to be situated, and understood, not only among Christians, but within the setting of the great dialogue of cultures which the honorable President of Iran has described.
The Golden Renaissance
The Fifteenth-Century Renaissance was the birth of modern European civilization, and the expression of the noblest among the embattled forces which, ever since, have contested control over the field which has been that civilization. In modern European civilization since, we find nothing of crucial importance during the recent half-millennium, which is both good and novel, which is not derived from that Renaissance. Everything of significance which occurred within European civilization later, which was antagonistic to the fruits of that Renaissance's Christian form of Classical Greek culture, has been a contribution to what is to be fairly described today, without exaggeration, as the Devil's own work.
To grasp the circumstances under which this Fifteenth-Century renewal of Christianity in Europe occurred, we must look back to the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II, and examine, in that light, the subsequent relative depravity into which European civilization was degraded through the Venice-directed, oligarchical Guelph League's wars. The essential motive for those wars, was the perpetuation of the globalized form of the feudal system, against, initially, Frederick, but also, from the start, against the entirety of that upsurge of Europe traced from Alcuin and Charlemagne, through the period of the building of the great cathedrals in the Augustinian spirit displayed at Chartres.
During that period of more than a hundred years following the same period as the German defeat of the Mongol invasion, at Wahlstatt, in 1241, through the period of the Black Death pandemic in western Europe, the Guelph League's depredations reduced the numbers of parishes and level of population by approximately one-half. The hundred-odd years between the launching of those Guelph League wars and the consequent mid-Fourteenth-Century New Dark Age, identify the barest essentials of the moral and physical self-degradation from which the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance uplifted Europe.
The policies of the Guelph League, were paralleled, later, by the methods deployed by Venice, from the beginning of the Sixteenth Century, to attempt to ruin the benefits of the Golden Renaissance.
The flood tide of that Renaissance was typified by Cosimo de Medici's, George Gemmistos' (Plethon's), and Filippo Brunelleschi's Florence, by the great ecumenical Council of Florence, by the influence of Nicholas of Cusa, and by the successive steps of actually establishing the modern form of sovereign nation-state, by France's Louis XI and England's Henry VII. The alliance of Leonardo's friends in Italy and France, the discovery of America, and cooperation among Spain and England during the times of Spain's Queen Isabella and England's Henry VII, typified the beneficial new order coming into being as part of this Renaissance.
In the wake of the betrayal and defeat of the anti-Venice coalition, the League of Cambrai, and in Spain's going over then to the side of the enemies of the Renaissance, Venice successfully created a great religious schism, put England and Spain at one another's throats, established the corruption which was the reign of France's Henry II, and drowned Europe in religious war for most of the interval of that new dark age, 1513-1648: from the consolidation of Venice's victory over the League of Cambrai, until the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. All this was a bloody warfare, orchestrated by Venice's financier oligarchy, against both the Renaissance in general and the institution of the modern European form of sovereign nation-state in particular.
Thus, following the defeat of the League of Cambrai, the alliance among France, Spain, and England was not only ruined, but transformed into the warfare which dominated most of European history during a period dated from the beginning of the Sixteenth-Century religious wars through the 1714 conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession. Europe today bleeds still, from the chain-reaction reverberations of the treachery which enabled Venice's defeat of the League of Cambrai.
There exists no tolerable excuse for the Guelph League, as there was none for the later launching of Europe's religious wars of 1618-1648, and no tolerable excuse for the criminals who acted to prevent Wallenstein from reaching the peace-agreement which would have brought that unjustified war to a close. There is no tolerable excuse for the conduct of the adversaries of Frederick II, and no imaginable, actually Christian excuse for the conduct of Spain's Philip II et al. in launching the Netherlands wars, or the criminal intervention of the Spanish house against Wallenstein's effort to end the useless butchery. These wars of 1513-1648, belong to a period which has been rightly described as "a little dark age," a period of Venice-orchestrated religious wars, echoing motives virtually identical to those of the Venice-directed Guelph League earlier.
In the instance of such follies as these, like the outcome of the recent, protracted U.S. War in Indo-China, there is crucial evidence embedded within the quality of the result itself, which attests conclusively to the depraved quality of the deed, and of the policy which brought about such an effect. In those referenced cases, the apology for the protracted war is perhaps an even greater crime, with effects continued even to the present day, than the protracted war itself. An evil war occurs, but apologies for that evil, like the version of "cabinet warfare" doctrine of Hobbesian perpetual warfare, which infects deranged and decadent, British-influenced U.S. military officers and others today, infects the future with yet more, perhaps even worse evil than it has either the past or the present. Over the course of known history to date, such apologies are most common among the doctrines which pre-shape and usher in a new dark age of humanity.
Under the continued policies of the Venice-directed Guelph League, over what had been more than a hundred years, European civilization had been not only gutted, but morally and demographically degraded by Guelph triumphs, thus reaching a depraved moral and physical condition of Europe, with physical conditions far worse than that which had existed at the start. For such actions, such as the policies which launched and, worse, perpetuated the 1618-1648 war, no apology is morally or theologically tolerable. Indeed, in the latter case, no solution was possible, but that adopted as the Treaty of Westphalia: to wipe the slate clean of the grievances and other follies raised and perpetrated from each of all sides. The same is to be said of the intrinsic moral depravity of the perverse collusion between that intrinsically depraved pair, Britain's neo-Thatcherite Tony Blair and self-avowed H.G. Wells acolyte Secretary Albright, in launching and extending, to the present day, the so-called NATO war against Yugoslavia, or the, similarly, continued bombing of Iraq.
Fortunately, it had been against such a background, that, during the late Fourteenth Century, forces emerged in Europe, as in that plague-stricken Florence which had been formerly a bastion of the doomed Lombard bankers of the early Fourteenth Century, a new movement, exploiting the self-weakened condition of Venice and its accomplices, to launch what became the Golden Renaissance.
The crucial thread of continuity, from Dante Alighieri, through Petrarch, into the Golden Renaissance, is a key bench-mark for understanding what happened. Crucial, is the work of Dante in setting the cornerstones for both a Classical transformation of popular national languages and culture, and the establishment of a system of sovereign nation-state republics conceived in the same spirit as Dante's efforts to elevate the popular language to a quality suited to the work of cognition.
It was the cultural shock, and the accompanying discrediting of the policies of the Guelph League, a discrediting produced by the New Dark Age, which created the opening into which the organizers of the Golden Renaissance deployed. Typical were the great teaching order, the Brothers of the Common Life (later suppressed by the pro-Venice, anti-Renaissance faction of the mid-Sixteenth Century), and the establishment of the great Greek Classical revival, at Padua, at the beginning of the Fifteenth Century. The latter was the Classical Greek revival which produced the leading intellectual forces of the Renaissance, as typified by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa and his friends. The former, the Brothers of the Common Life of Thomas à Kempis, represent the teaching method which produced numbers of the greatest leaders of the Renaissance, as typified by figures in the range of Cusa and Erasmus of Rotterdam.
The essence of the Renaissance is typified by two works of the young Cusa, his Concordantia Catholica, upon which the conception of the modern sovereign form of nation-state depended, and his founding of modern European experimental science, his De Docta Ignorantia. These two publications, with the great ecumenical Council of Florence which Cusa did much to organize, situated amid them, typify that Renaissance as a whole. The former book, the Concordantia Catholica, supplied the argument upon which that century's founding of the first two modern nation-states were premised. The second, De Docta Ignorantia, founded the modern experimental physical science of Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, Gottfried Leibniz, Carl Gauss, and Bernhard Riemann. It was the confluence of these two new institutions, the use of Classical Greek principles of artistic composition for creating the modern sovereign nation-state, and the fostering of science-driven progress in the productive powers of labor per capita and per square kilometer, which is the distinguishing essence of the revolutionary successes of globally extended modern European civilization.
It is, conversely, the abandoning of the functional interdependency of those two principles, under the corrosive influences of the unfortunate Vice-President Al Gore's pro-paganist cults of globalization and "ecology," which has done the most, during the recent several decades, to engender the spiral of the currently ongoing physical-economic collapse of Europe and the Americas.
The colonization of the Americas, the development of modern science by the successive work of Luca Pacioli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Johannes Kepler, and the revolution in Classical artistic composition once led by Leonardo and his followers, typify this Renaissance, as do the successive political revolutions by France's Louis XI and England's Henry VII, in their establishing the pioneer forms of the modern sovereign nation-state.
The makers of the Renaissance had a passion for truth, and a passion for that knowledge needed to find the pathway to its realization. The public figures who led the Venice-led, Sixteenth-Century anti-Renaissance, recognized any public zeal for seeking truth, as a threat to the systems of their financier-oligarchy and its feudal-aristocratic sponsors and paymasters. These corrupt adversaries of the Renaissance, devised sophistries in the forms of mixed myth, outright lies, terrorist methods of tyranny, and deductive fallacies of composition--or, what is called today "spin"--to craft the political and religious doctrines by aid of which the devastating religious wars of the 1513-1648 dark-age interval were promoted.
Otherwise, that stated as a matter of identifying relevant historical connections, I have written so much, so often, on the topics of the Golden Renaissance during the recent thirty years, that I should not find myself obliged to outline the leading features of that history in detail, again, here. The preceding, and a few now added, most crucial highlights suffice.
The central institutional feature of the Golden Renaissance, is that it has been the greatest political revolution in the known existence of mankind, the introduction of the principle of the modern European form of sovereign nation-state.
This Renaissance, when considered as a model political revolution, considered in all of its characteristic features, is the third great revolutionary development in the entire history of globally extended European civilization. For the first time in all presently known human existence, the entirety of the population of a nation was raised from the status of virtual human cattle, to a political condition, which, in principle, if not always in practice, is consistent with the Christian principle, that all persons are made equally in the image of the Creator, and that the efficient promotion of the general welfare of each and all of those people, and their posterity, is the sole basis for the legitimacy of government. For that reason, the Renaissance notion of the perfectly sovereign nation-state, has been the dividing line between good and evil, both in and outside the churches, ever since.
Without the revolutionary change in religious belief, created by Christ, and spread by the Christian Apostles and the martyrs, the creation of the modern sovereign form of nation-state would not have been possible. It was the passion embedded in Christianity which moved, and was unleashed by the Golden Renaissance.
Three principal elements combined to account for the possibility of this Renaissance.
First, the old, collapsed order was discredited, as the system of "free trade" and "globalization" is soon to become an object of both hatred and contempt, world wide, very soon now.
Second, there existed a kernel of new leadership qualified to inspire a growing number of others in a renaissance premised upon the Christian heritage of the Greek Classic.
Third, the principal qualification of those leaders of the Renaissance, was a relevant passion for cognition, as preferred over the relative sterility of deductive method, as Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa typifies those so affected and prepared, by cognitive labor, for their role.
It were sufficient for our purposes in this report, to focus discussion of the Renaissance itself upon those three elements.
To appreciate the roots of that Renaissance, we must take into account the continuing fact, that the curse of medieval and modern European civilization, to the present day, has been the legacy of the Roman Empire and its bestial doctrine of vox populi (e.g., "popular opinion," "established customs," "popular tastes," "popular fashions," "popular entertainment"). This is the evil of the pagan Latin-speaking legacy, as the case against it was documented by Augustine.
In the history of European feudalism, the specific form in which this Roman imperial legacy persisted, was, most notably, both the influence of the zero-population-growth practice prescribed by the Code of Diocletian, and the continued imposition of that Code by the Byzantine enemies of Alcuin and Charlemagne. Thus, despite liberators such as Charlemagne, and successors of Charlemagne such as the Emperor Frederick II, the feudal notion of "rule of law," has remained, to this day, that decadent oligarchical perversion of the lately discredited U.S. Republican Representative Henry Hyde, or the brutish Magna Carta, the rule of feudal law, rule by globalization, by the legacy of imperial law, traced from old Babylon through the Code of the Emperor Diocletian. That notion of an axiomatically irrational system of "rule of law," is the evil which we must act in concert to destroy, if the world is not to fall into a great new, planet-wide dark age, that of a duration of several decades or even much longer.
As typified by the life of Abelard of Paris, the political form of the great struggle to establish forms of society efficiently committed to the principle of man made in the image of the Creator, was concentrated in the issue of education of the young, especially the education of orphans and children from the families of the lower social estates, notably boys from the urban populations. If nations are to rule themselves according to natural law, rather than fall into the immoral corruption of mere custom (e.g., "tradition") as such, where shall we find the rulers qualified to perform that function, and the general population to consent to and support such a political and social order? This is not possible in a nation such as the early English society depicted, allegorically, by Jonathan Swift: a nation of Houyhnhnms and Yahoos, such as the popular-entertainment-ruined U.S.A. is becoming today.
All of the great religious teaching orders, the Augustinians and others, like the Brothers of the Common Life, centered their work in this mission. In the most relevant cases, as Abelard's battle against unreason typifies this issue, the crucial point in educational policy, was that the young should not bend in blind obedience to the instruction issued from the teacher, but should re-experience the discovery and validation of those demonstrably truthful ideas which converged most nearly upon universal principles. In brief, the issue was that of choosing between defending "What I have been taught to say," and being qualified to state and defend ideas which one has discovered, and validated afresh, through acts of cognition, rather than learning.
Only one who has rejected such rule by mere learning, actually knows anything. This method for development of actual knowledge, truthful knowledge, is Socratic method; it is the method of docta ignorantia which Luca Pacioli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Johannes Kepler, among others, adopted from the work of the intellectual founder of both the modern nation-state and experimental physical science, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa. It is the method of the physical science upon which modern civilization's avoidance of a new dark age depends without exception; it is the Socratic method upon which we depend absolutely for those Classical principles of artistic composition, without which effective cooperation in the discovery and application of universal physical principles were not possible.
It was the assembly of a cadre of such leaders, typified by the case of Nicholas of Cusa, their devotion to the Socratic method, and their passion for bringing into being a form of society consistent with the individual made in the living, cognitive image of the Creator, which made the achievements of the Renaissance possible. It was the condition of crisis produced by the preceding New Dark Age, which presented to that cadre the opportunity to undertake such a magnificent work. So, in times of greatest crisis for humanity, prayers may thus be answered: and prayers in the form of "God help me to do my duty," may be decisive in mustering the will of the believer to bring about the answer to those prayers.
The Ecumenical Principle
On condition that the representatives of Christian civilization rid themselves of the corruption which I have summarily identified here so far, the Christian will, and must evangelize accordingly, otherwise he is not honest with himself or herself. If he is not honest with himself in such matters, why should anyone else trust his good intentions? Thus, the expression of a certain truthful quality of Socratic, cognitive, not deductive, passion for what he or she believes, on that account, may not guarantee the success of an attempted ecumenical dialogue, but these Socratic qualities are indispensable for even the mere possibility of success.
Nothing is more abominable in an attempted ecumenical dialogue, than that representatives of differing faiths pollute the attempt in such ways, as putting themselves through the degrading spectacle of purporting to negotiate a plea-bargain respecting their differences, from the vantage-point of mere "sensitivity to the feelings of one another." Such immoral plea-bargaining, with disregard for essential issues of moral principle, was the cause for the failure of the recently attempted Camp David negotiations.
Nothing offends me more on this account, and justly so, than that most morally degraded of all moralists, the one whose expressed commitments are not to truth, but, rather, to affecting sensitivity toward the "feelings" of others and requiring that the other should do similarly, in return. "If you say that, you will hurt my feelings," has no legitimate right to prompt me not to tell the truth as I know it, and am prepared to prove that my views on the point are truthful. To blame Chairman Arafat, that even publicly, for his failing to submit to the terms of a proposed plea bargain, may be lawyers' standard current practice of positive law, but it is all the more immoral for just that reason.
If the parties approach one another with the expressed view, that there is no truth, but only differing opinions, differing values, you must walk away quickly from that conversation. Without a commitment to find an existing truth in a Socratic way, common to all, there can never be an honest agreement.
For example, there are many persons today, who tell us that they believe that man is merely another animal, and that every imaginable sort of lower species has the same rights which might be claimed for a human being. There are even well-known supporters of the candidacy of Vice-President Al Gore, who insist that man is about to be scrapped by "Silicon Valley," in favor of a superior species, "thinking robots," so typified by silicon brains as also, presumably, by silicone breasts. Toward such morally debased opinions, toleration is neither required, nor allowed.
So, a dialogue among cultures must draw the line, banning certain sorts of both outrightly lunatic and obviously disgusting beliefs from the agenda. For a successful dialogue, there must be a search for unanimity on some provable universal principle, a principle of the sort which is demonstrably embedded in the nature of mankind's relationship to the universe in which we live. The nature of those latter principles should be clear from the relevant portions of the discussion within the preceding pages of this report. What we must agree upon, is a functional definition of the nature of man, as distinct from the lower living species, and of man as the only known species which is capable of increasing its power to exist, per capita and per square kilometer, in the universe.
As I have emphasized, a dialogue focussed upon the objective of that sort of definition, is axiomatically Socratic in form. For that reason, the functional characteristic of that dialogue is cognitive, rather than deductive or symbolic. It can not be deductive, since the implied purpose of the dialogue is to detect and eradicate axiomatic assumptions which both divide us and which are demonstrably false.
Those indispensable observations on moral principle stated, what should be the objectives of an ecumenical dialogue among cultures today?
The political purpose of an ecumenical dialogue among cultures, should be centrally defined as the attempt to reach a common definition of natural law. The function to be performed by adoption of such a definition, is to create a principled form of agreement on the subject of constituting a community of principle thus constituted among a group of perfectly sovereign nation-states.
The most essential point of agreement to be reached, as an objective of the dialogue, should be agreement to three points: a) a stated conception of a common conception of the nature of man, as I have elaborated that definition afresh in the earlier portions of the present report; b) the definition of the nature of the perfect sovereignty of a sovereign nation-state; and, c) the implications of the principle, that no government has legitimate authority under natural law, except as it is efficiently committed to promote the general welfare of its own population and its posterity as a whole, and to fostering the same principle in the relation among sovereign states so defined.
Apart from those crucial points of needed agreement, everything else of importance should be put on the table, so to speak, and that as frankly, as rigorously, and as passionately as possible, even if agreement on such matters is not reached presently, or envisaged for the immediately foreseeable future. By agreeing to disagree, in such a fashion, we strengthen our agreement in principle, because we have understood one another, and one's relevant passions quite clearly. So, the great Moses Mendelssohn stated his adherence to the orthodox Mosaic heritage; so, it should be among Christian, Jew, Muslim, and others today.
 The attempt to explain the case of either Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler as evil master-minds, is not permitted by the relevant evidence. Think of them as in the tradition of Roman Emperors such as Caligula, Nero, and Caracalla, whose awful atrocities reflect not their strength of intellect, but rather the lack thereof. In revealing moments of crisis, both showed themselves for the wimps they really were. The threat they represented, partook more of the nature of a virus than an intellect. What makes a Governor Bush or a Vice-President Gore so serious a threat to the nation, is not the stuff within them, but rather what is fairly described as a certain lack of stuffing in either.
 Plato, Timaeus. Critias relates to Socrates and friends, a story told him by his grandfather, who said that "the achievements of the city in the old days, now forgotten because of the passage of time and the destruction of human life, were great and marvelous." The grandfather described an encounter between Solon, the ruler of Athens, and a very old priest. The priest tells Solon that the Greeks are but children, and do not possess "one old belief rooted in ancient tradition, nor any learning made hoary by age." "You recall only one deluge on earth, even though there were many," he tells the astonished Solon. "Moreover, you are ignorant of the fact that the best and finest breed of men once lived in your land and that you and your whole city derive from a small remnant of their seed. This you have forgotten because for many generations the survivors died leaving no written record." The priest goes on to explain that "the present civilized order in our part of the world," according to sacred texts, was established 8,000 years ago. But even 9,000 years ago, there existed a culture with many fine achievements, including trans-Atlantic navigation, which the priest describes. (Timaeus, translated by a team of LaRouche associates in The Campaigner, February 1980.)
 During, and immediately following, my April 1975 visit to Iraq, reflecting on my 1950s studies of the archeology of that region, I commented on how far the region had fallen since the time of the celebrated Caliph Haroun al Rashid. Such are the saddening evidences of the rise and fall of civilizations past.
 It was Nicholas of Cusa and his associates, who responded to the fall of Constantinople by organizing ecumenical voyages into the waters to the west and east of the Ottoman Empire. Since then, liars have perpetrated frauds in the effort to deny and conceal the documented evidence showing the means by which Christopher Columbus received the maps, and Cusa associate Toscanelli's other technical assistance in navigation, and the support which led him to rediscovery of the Americas. The English colonization of North America, best typified in the onset by the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was a product of the same, continued policy which had been launched earlier by Cusa and his circles.
 The statement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be found at
fatima_en.html. See also Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "Call Them the `Baby Doomers,' " EIR, July 21, 2000, p. 36, and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, "Third Prophecy of Fatima: A Summons to Repentance," EIR, July 21, 2000.
 The mortalist Pomponazzi was a central figure of the launching of the Sixteenth-Century anti-Renaissance; it was those Venice circles which orchestrated Venice's taking control of King Henry VIII. Venice's Paolo Sarpi, the founder of modern empiricism and intellectual controller of Seventeenth-Century figures such as Sir Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, set into motion both the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648 and prepared the way for the consolidation of Venetian influence over the English and British monarchies, beginning the tyranny of William of Orange.
 "Enlightenment" signifies, broadly speaking, the founding of empiricism by Venice's Paolo Sarpi and Sarpi's lackey, Galileo Galilei. However, the use of the term "Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment," signifies the Europe-wide network created by Sarpi's most influential successor, the Paris-based Venetian spymaster Abbot Antonio Conti. It was Conti's Europe-wide network of anti-Leibniz salons, which created Voltaire, Quesnay, and all principal varieties of the so-called French and English Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century.
 Henry A. Kissinger, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace 1812-1822 (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1957), and in his infamous Chatham House address of May 10, 1982: "Reflections on a Partnership: British and American Attitudes to Postwar Foreign Policy, Address in Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Office of Foreign Secretary."
 The Greek name of Athena associates her with the founding of the original city of Athens, under Egyptian sponsorship. In the legacy of Classical Greece, she is associated with the principle of cognition, as distinct from both simple irrationalism and deduction. On a related matter, see Diodorus Siculus on the mythical real-life origins of the Olympus cult.
 As distinct from, and opposed to the mechanistic, so-called equal-tempered system. Bach, as typified most efficiently by his crafting of his A Musical Offering, and in his The Art of the Fugue, followed Plato and Kepler, in defining the musical domain as what Gauss and Riemann later defined as a multiply-connected manifold. It is the ironies of juxtaposition of bel canto-trained singing voices, not a mathematical calculation in any ordinary sense, which locates the "orbital pathway" in which contrapuntal values of the sung tone lies. It is, as Wilhelm Furtwängler emphasized, "between the notes." Today's popular schoolbook doctrine on the subject of tuning, is to be viewed as typical of the witless quality of contemporary pedantry.
 After, most notably, the relevant work of Leonardo da Vinci, the great Classical Renaissance paintings, such as those of Raphael Sanzio and Rembrandt, are premised upon the locating of events as reflecting, implicitly, a physical space-time which is most fairly described as Riemannian. In this way, the great Renaissance painters brought into painting the same way of representing ideas associated with that of the Classical Greek sculptors, such as Scopas and Praxiteles, who captured their subjects in mid-motion, rather than as dead objects in "Euclidean" space-time. This Rembrandt work is, for the sensitive modern viewer, among the boldest of successful examples of that method of portraying ideas.
 The only valid form of a modern working definition of physical science, is that typified by Bernhard Riemann's 1854 habilitation dissertation, a dissertation whose development is premised, as Riemann insists there, on the preceding development of the notion of multiply-connected manifolds, by Carl Gauss. Thus, science rejects simple sense-certainty and, therefore, also, "Euclidean" notions of physical space-time, as the standard for interpretation of the crucial phenomena underlying the discovery of validatable universal physical principles. Only experimental validation of a universal scheme, as anti-Euclidean physical geometry defines this, a universality itself composed solely of experimentally validated as universal physical principles, deserves the name of physical science.
 The relevant standard of rigor is that exemplified by Bernhard Riemann's 1854 habilitation dissertation, in which all formal-mathematical derivations of notion of universality, are outlawed, that in favor of a physical-experimental determination of the curvature of the entirety of the physical-space-time within which the relevant action is situated. All efforts known to me to show an earlier dating for the idea of ideas, rest, to my knowledge, on arguments which include demonstrably crude, aprioristic assumptions.
 Cognitive, as the term is employed here, should be recognized as signifying the Mind of the Creator, as distinct from idols which purport to represent God in the image of the mere mortal body which the mind of the person inhabits. Thus, Classical sculpture and Renaissance painting, as contrasted with Archaic and Romantic styles, locates the image of the personality in the idea whose existence must be adduced by the mind of the viewer, the idea which lies ontologically within the mid-motion ironically represented.
 i.e., as elaborated by Plato in his Timaeus dialogue, and as typified by Paul's I Corinthians 13.
 Admittedly, some enthusiasts have argued that Christ represented a "New Dispensation," so argued from the dubious standpoint of Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries "Biblical archeology." Despite such apologetics, which tend to be associated with gnostic varieties of pornographic and numerological sophistries derived from their readings of the Old Testament, Christianity's redemption of the intent of Moses' utterance, did represent a break from the dogma of a "chosen people," a break without which such benefits as the Eighteenth-Century emancipation of the European Jews could not have occurred. Characteristic of, and often coinciding with such gnostic aberrations in theology, are all those varieties of pro-oligarchical apologetics, which locate morality almost hermetically in narrow matters of sexual behavior and family and community relations in the small, thus avoiding all the big issues of Christian morality, such as the evil inhering in the fostering of policies and arrangements which foster racial discrimination and other expressions of policies of oligarchical practice which treat some people as actually, or virtually human cattle. Typical are arguments to the effect: "Do not offend the rich and powerful," sophistries typical of gnostics such as the Bogomil (Cathars) cult and its derived, pro-satanic, "free trade" dogma, that of John Locke, Bernard Mandeville, Adam Smith, and their followers of the Mont Pelerin Society cult today.
 The adopted view on the antiquity of the Latin Filioque by the great ecumenical Council of Florence, was established by the work of the later Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, who presented the proofs from Greek sources he collected in Byzantium. An account of this, "Nicolaus of Cusa and the Council of Florence," was presented (in German) at Rome, to the 550th Anniversary of the Council of Florence, by Helga Zepp LaRouche on May 5, 1989. See Fidelio, Spring 1992, for the English-language translation of her address.
 Bernhard Riemann, Über die Hypothesen, welche der Geometrie zu Grunde liegen (1854), Bernhard Riemanns Gesammelte Mathematische Werke, H. Weber, ed. (New York: Dover Publications reprint edition, 1953), pp. 272-287.
 See Jonathan Tennenbaum, "How Fresnel and Ampère Launched a Scientific Revolution," and Jacques Cheminade, "The Ampère-Fresnel Revolution: `On Behalf of the Future,' " EIR, Aug. 27, 1999; Laurence Hecht et al., "The Significance of the 1845 Gauss-Weber Correspondence," 21st Century Science & Technology, Fall 1996; Laurence Hecht, "Optical Theory in the 19th Century, and the Truth about Michelson-Morley-Miller," 21st Century Science & Technology, Spring 1998.
 This includes the qualifying notions of improvement of the demographic composition of the population, both as considered in terms of households, growth-rates per capita, life-expectancies, and so on.
 Remember, that physical principles themselves are assorted among three sets of a multiply-connected, Riemannian-type manifold: principles adduced from non-living physical processes, physical principles peculiar to living processes, and physical principles peculiar to validatable cognitive processes as such.
 e.g., Bernhard Riemann, Theorie der Abel'schen Functionen (1857), Werke, pp. 88-144.
 William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity (Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1961).
 Among the most striking examples of this, is the commonplace evasion of the evidence which demonstrates that living processes represent the existence of a universal physical principle, of life, not to be derived from non-living processes. The evidence is conclusive; but, the passion needed to face the implications of that proof, excepting cases such as Pasteur and Vernadsky, has been usually lacking.
 In German, this is called Entschlossenheit.
 With Venice's successful deployment of yet another crusade, the Fourth Crusade (A.D. 1202-1204), this time to establish the Latin kingdom, and the virtually simultaneous onset of the Mongol invasions of western Europe, the Republic of Venice emerged as the de facto dominant imperial power in the Mediterranean region, an imperial position it maintained until the close of the Seventeenth Century. During the course of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries, Venice established a strong foothold at the court of Henry VIII, and, later, consolidated its grip on the English monarchy, through the agents of Paolo Sarpi. William of Orange typifies the takeover of both the Netherlands and the British Isles by Venetian rentier-financier interests during the interval 1688-1714, the process of takeover which concluded with the War of the Spanish Succession and the accession of George I to the newly established British monarchy of the United Kingdom.
 Typical of that Byzantine corruption is the pro-oligarchical hoax known as "The Donation of Constantine."