by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
This speech was prepared for delivery to a conference sponsored by the International Caucus of Labor Committees and the Schiller Institute, in Bad Schwalbach, Germany, on May 26.
Forecasting Versus Predicting
From my knowledge of the world situation today, the currently leading policy-postures of the U.S.A., as expressed in its leading news media, and in the presently dysfunctional three branches of its Federal government, represent, for civilization as a whole, a recipe for a global catastrophe of monstrous proportions and profundity. The central feature of this tragedy, is the fact, that the U.S.A., like the world in general, is presently gripped by the terminal phase of the worst financial, monetary, and economic crisis in more than a century.
The most ominous feature of the situation, is not merely that economic crisis itself. The worst problem, is that state of mind which is expressed by the current policy-shaping of not only the U.S.A., but by London, and also among numerous other leading governments of the world. This state of mind bespeaks the characteristics of societies which appear to have mislain that moral and intellectual fitness needed to survive that economic collapse which is now looming for the world as a whole. For that reason, because of that mind-set, global catastrophes are now extremely probable, if not yet absolutely certain, for some time sooner or later, during the course of the months immediately ahead.
The crucial feature of the report I present here today is, the following.
The exact timing of any critical phase-shift within the economic process, is determined by human choices of actions, or by the simple absence of competent choices. Therefore, exact dates for important breaking developments become predictable, only under unusual, very extreme conditions. Such unusually extreme conditions, are typified by the circumstances of my successful, June 1987 forecast of a probable major stock-market collapse for October of that same year. Those extreme conditions are also typified by the exceptional circumstances of my October 12, 1988, Berlin press-conference forecast: that an imminent collapse of the Soviet economic system was pending, with the prospect of reunification of Germany, to occur during the period then immediately ahead.
If we avoid the common folly of simple-minded predictions, and engage in competent forms of long-range forecasting, we will produce the kind of forecasts which only rarely attempt to predict exact dates for stock-market convulsions. Instead, we must provide forecasts which have a less exact dating, but which are not merely reliable, but indispensable guides, for the purpose of informing the long-range policy-making of any government or large private enterprise.
Such latter qualities of long-range forecasting are indispensable, because investments in physical capital are based on long-range commitments, with which we must often live for periods as long as a decade or generation ahead. A major investment in public works, in education policies, or any other long-term capital investment, or the lapsed time from the date of the first stage of generating a new line of product, until its actual production for general use, years later, are examples. These kinds of forecasts, are indispensable, to enable us to assess the long-term risks incurred by continuing to adhere to any presently operating sets of policy-guidelines.
It would have been widely accepted, among reasonably competent statesmen of former times, that the course of economic developments, of a nation or world economy, is shaped by choices, especially choices of policies made during the critical phases of an unfolding process. However, most among today's generation of statesmen are too often lured into the often fatal folly, of relying upon so-called objective, or statistical forecasting. We must never forget the determining factor: it is the human will, in choosing, or failing to choose, appropriate kinds of voluntary, critical changes in policy, which shapes the future of nations, and of mankind as a whole. These are the decisions which have relatively decisive impact on the course of events, especially under crisis-wracked conditions similar to those prevailing, world-wide, today.
For example, what foolish U.S. and European officials deluded themselves into calling the "Asia crisis" of 1997, actually marked the entry of the world's financial, monetary, and economic systems, into the present, terminal phase of decline of the present form of that combined, global system. It was failed policy-decisions, made by the U.S. government, and others, in response to the so-called "Asia crisis," which led, more or less inevitably, into the global conditions reflected in the Russian GKO bond crisis of August-September 1998.
Similarly, although U.S. President Clinton had threatened, during September of 1998, to introduce deliberation on reforms of the structure of the international financial system, a few weeks later, at the time of the October monetary conference, the President had chosen to capitulate to prevailing, Anglo-American-dictated policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
As a result of the decisions made during that Washington conference and its sequels, the world financial system was shifted, then, into the same kind of hyperinflationary phase-space, which is typified, in historical precedents, by the case of 1923 Germany [Figure 1].
That pro-hyperinflationary policy, was later affirmed, in a deliberately chosen reaction to the inevitable Brazil crisis of February 1999, and has entered the phase of utter desperation and madness, in the more recent attempt, expressed by the U.S. "Plunge Protection Committee." Those "Plunge Protection Committee" and related measures, were taken as the result of a choice, by the U.S. President, and others, in their desperate--one must say, hysterical--attempt to prevent a global financial crash from undoing, suddenly and fatally, an intrinsically unelectable Vice-President Al Gore's aspirations for election--by virtual Hitler-style plebiscite--as the next U.S. President.
I hear repeatedly, from leading U.S. circles, that Al Gore's election as President is "in the cards." The truth is directly the contrary. That catastrophic commitment to support for an intrinsically disastrous Gore candidacy, was the result of the sleight-of-hand methods used, by Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and foolish Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, among others, during the recent four months.
As the 1998 folly of the Nobel Prize-winning Black-Scholes formula, illustrates the point: no statistical formulation could actually predict a crucial economic event mathematically. The characteristic of all social processes, including economic processes, is the voluntary role of the individual human will, in shaping policy. Such is the nature of the possibilities and challenges for forecasting in a real-world political-economic situation.
On the condition, that we view a political-economic process from the same standpoint as a qualified scientist who is seeking to discover, prove, and willfully apply a new universal physical principle, a scientific quality of political-economic forecasting becomes feasible. By studying financial processes, as something whose practical effects are ultimately regulated by the way in which policies are willfully applied, primarily, to non-financial, purely physical economic processes, we are able to trace the phase-shifts to be expected at fairly estimated future critical points in the unfolding process. Usually, we may not be able to predetermine exactly the month, or even the year, when those critical points will be reached. However, we can, and must foresee the way in which those critical points will be brought into being, and must be prepared to recognize warning-signs that such a forecast threshold-condition is about to be reached. We may not be able to predict in advance, even the month, or even the year, an earthen dam will disintegrate; but, we can recognize the warning-signs, that such a foreseeable event is threatened.
We can also estimate, similarly, the new critical choices which are available to be made, at future turning-points, during the period beyond whatever crisis-points are presently being approached. Similarly, we can foresee the likely way in which each among the critical choices we might make, at each subsequent crisis-point, will set into motion a process which must tend to lead us toward some more distant, next critical point, beyond the crisis-point immediately ahead of us. Each and all of such a succession of crisis-points, are determined by voluntary choices. Such a pattern of choices, each and all, together, represent a critical pathway which we have just willfully chosen, a choice which is the result of the methods we have habituated ourselves to employ, in making such a succession of critical policy-decisions.
For an example of such critical pathways, consider a series of mid-1970s studies, identified as the "1980s Project," published by the New York Council on Foreign Relations. In this case, a succession of such critical choices--a critical pathway in policy-shaping--was outlined for the Trilateral Commission's candidate for U.S. President, Jimmy Carter. As experience has shown, the critical choices outlined by the Trilateral Commission, back during 1975-1976, were destructive to the point of being insane, but those choices, as outlined there, have continued to impact the Wall Street crowd's shaping of U.S. and world policies ever since.
For example, in that series of studies, prepared, during the years 1975-1976, under the direction of later Carter Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, and later National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, et al., the plan was detailed, to introduce a global policy of "controlled disintegration of the economy." Four years later, Paul Volcker introduced exactly that policy, by that name. The policy not only did cause a directed disintegration of the U.S. and other nations' economies; that policy has continued, under the successive direction of Volcker and Alan Greenspan to the present moment. I speak here today: a quarter-century after that policy-draft was adopted for the incoming Carter Administration.
The method of that usual gang of Wall Street bankers and law-firms was wrong, even evil, but these fellows had, at least, a vision of a succession of culturally motivated changes in the nature of U.S. and world society, which they intended to induce over a period of decades ahead. The reason those fellows so often win the big game in current history, is not only that they have power, but that they are thinking ahead, while most ordinary citizens are thinking foolishly, thinking only of their begging for better personal opportunities, and for odd bits of local community and personal family interests, that for little beyond the next year to two immediately ahead. "I have to think about my community and my family affairs," these poor, foolish citizens say. So, most of the people, in most so-called democratic nations, fool themselves, most of the time.
If we study the behavior of powerful centers of power and policy-making, and take into account their various failures and successes in shaping current history, it should become clear to us, that in all attempts at long-range forecasting, over spans ranging, usually, from decades to generations ahead, there are certain knowable factors governing relative, if not exact timing, as in forecasting the future of any physical process for which we do not yet know all of the determining factors.
Usually, estimates of timing can be made only in broad terms, as I, in 1959-1960, accurately forecast the probable outbreak of a series of monetary crises for the second half of the 1960s, and the subsequent breakdown of the existing form of Bretton Woods System ensuing from such a series of monetary crises. I neither predicted, nor even thought of predicting the exact timing of the November 1967 and March 1968 monetary crises, nor the mid-1971 date for breakdown of the system, but my broad approximations as to timing, which I had outlined more than a decade prior to the August 1971 crisis, were correct, and as precise as to timing as such matters might usually be forecast.
Thus, the function of economic forecasting is not a formal-mathematical, ivory-tower sort of predicting of the exact dates of specific future events. The competent forecaster refuses to answer the question: "On exactly what date should I pull out of this market?" Competent long-range forecasting, is, chiefly, a guide to medium- to long-term policy-shaping; it is concerned to determine what choices among available pathways of policy-correction, must be made, and approximately by what time-scale, on whatever date the critical point of decision actually arrives. Long-term forecasting shows us what policies we should support, and which we should abhor, if only out of simple prudence. The goal of forecasting, is not how to calculate the way in which to squeeze the last ounce of speculative gains, up to the instant before a financial market collapses.
Presently, we have come to the point, that the near-term future of the present world economy, can be successfully forecast within the terms of the conditions I have just summarized. So, we may safely forecast, that the present form of the world's financial and monetary system, under present economic and related policies, is doomed. Exactly when the point of disintegration of the system will occur, can not yet be predicted, because the policy-choices which will determine which of three available choices is made, have not yet been decided with finality; nonetheless, as much as we can and should know about factors of timing, is readily available to those among us who have done our work. The time is now becoming very short.
Broadly, there are only three alternative ways in which the present IMF and related global systems will cease to exist, that fairly soon.
Until the Washington conference of October 1998, the more likely scenario for then-existing policies, was a deflationary collapse, a collapse of a form like that of the 1929-1931 interval, or the 1987 U.S. stock-market crash. At the present time, when the policy-shapers have succeeded, temporarily, in resorting to hyperinflationary financial-pumping measures, aimed to postpone an otherwise inevitable deflationary collapse in the world financial system, those policy-makers also set into motion a new threat, one even more deadly than a deflationary collapse: we are now building up toward a hyperinflationary blow-out, resembling the hyperinflationary acceleration of the German Reichsmark over the March-October 1923 interval, but this time on a global scale. In the latter, presently threatened, global alternative to deflationary collapse, one does not merely suffer deflationary losses; entire currencies evaporate.
Now, the world financial and monetary systems, taken as a whole, are gripped internally by these two presently interdependent, but also opposing alternatives, each alternative becoming worse weekly: the system is sustained, against the worsening pressures for deflationary collapse, only to the degree that the managements of governments and the international financial institutions, consent to increase the rate at which hyperinflationary infusions of financial growth, are accelerating the underlying rate of inflation. Those rates of financial inflation, are now skyrocketting, not toward Heaven, but, rather, toward the Hell which erupts as soon as the accumulated financial inflation explodes as commodity-price inflation. Under a continuation of present Anglo-American policies, the postponed expression of that underlying rate of hyperinflation, will erupt in a pattern similar to the case for March-October Germany of 1923, but this time on a global scale.
Thus, under such present conditions, increasingly precise forecasting, if not yet prediction, becomes, unfortunately, more and more feasible with each passing week. The ratio of the two simultaneous, financial-monetary processes currently ongoing, when compared to a shrinking, common physical-economic base, defines a curve of self-aggravating instability, akin to physicist Bernhard Riemann's defining of the way in which a transsonic shock-wave is generated. A critical set of values is being ever more closely approached. Recent months' trend toward increasingly wild hyper-instability of fluctuations in financial markets, reflects the convergence upon that boundary condition, creating a spectacle akin to the efforts of desperate firefighters, creating an inflationary fire-storm, by attempting to quell a conflagration, by flooding the fire-scene with increasing volumes of deflationary, ice-cold gasoline.
That image of fiery times, suggests Federal Reserve Chairman Alan "Seneca" Greenspan taking his final bath, while U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry "Nero" Summers fiddles.
Thus, there are two choices of ways in which the present system will soon destroy itself, if a third option does not intervene. The only workable third option, is the rational one: that we put the existing system into bankruptcy-reorganization, by cooperating sovereign actions of nation-state governments, and that we establish, almost instantly, a new system premised largely on the model conditions which ruled under the 1945-1958 interval of the post-war Bretton Woods system.
The reason we must move quickly toward adopting that old Bretton Woods model of the Marshall Plan period, is that sudden political decisions to implement urgently needed, sweeping reforms, must have a clear precedent. The revolutionary quality of the action, is to be confined to the action itself, without incurring the additional burden of measures which lack such a clearly visible precedent. After we have established the new system, premised chiefly on the best features of the protectionist model from the 1945-1958 interval, we can add further innovations, as necessary, but at speeds which due deliberation, under relatively less sudden conditions, permits.
Admittedly, among the leading nations of the world, the current policy-shaping trends within the U.S. government and major public-opinion-manufacturing media, the sickness of U.S. adherence to current Anglo-American policy-making, is the most dangerous immediate threat to global civilization. However, although many from leading nations' policy-influencing circles agree, that this is the present pathetic state of U.S. (and British) policy-making, every leading nation, as a growing number of leading circles of thought in Western Europe typify this, wonders if the world as a whole could survive the looming crisis, unless the self-styled U.S. military superpower itself, were to begin, once again, to assume a more useful, relatively much saner role in world affairs than has been seen since the close of 1989. Yes, the policy which is ruining us, is primarily of British authorship, as the Blair "Third Way" government typifies such rampant lunacy at its Luddite worst; but, it is the adoption of such policy by the U.S.A., which is the most crucial problem thus presented to the world at large.
On this point, there is an important lesson to be learned from the exceptional success of my long-range forecasting practice over the recent forty years.
Very little has happened in the world's general economic situation, as I have just described it, which I did not forecast, repeatedly, over the course of the 1959-1973 interval: those were forecasts which I presented in sundry written forms, and in classes I taught, during that period, and updated still later. If one examines the forecasts which I included within my lectures on various campuses, and elsewhere, during the 1966-1973 interval, the crucial developments which have actually occurred, since 1966, follow with relatively great precision the forecasts I made during that interval.
Over the course of the recent four decades, in many cases, I have watched, sadly, as foolish firms and national economies ruined themselves, quite predictably, and repeatedly. In the relatively simplest cases, the ruin was the result of relying on short-term considerations, when medium-term effects of those policies would be disastrous. In other, more important cases, such as those of governments and major private enterprises, attention to medium-term effects, blinded policy-shapers to the disastrous, long-term effects of their decisions, that is to say, over the span of approximately a generation. Most of the calamities which have struck national economies during the course of those decades, have been ruinous conditions of the type against which my long-range forecasting had forewarned ever wider audiences in the relevant professions and governments.
That example, the results of my method in forecasting, supplies an appropriate study of the characteristics of successful approaches to long-range economic forecasting, as I have just addressed the matter of the possible degree of precision with which scientific forecasts differ from that more popular, and illusory sort of card-reading and crystal-ball-gazing which is commonly represented as statistical forecasting.
That is to say, if we consider the sequence of developments leading from the mid-1960s to the present state of impending world financial debacle, and compare them with what I have forecast, we have, thus, a lapsed-time view of the way in which the thus foreknown, and therefore foreknowable effects of critical choices, or lack of choices, shape the long-range unfolding of a foreknowable consequence of likely trends in political-economic decision-making processes, as by leading governments and other relevant agencies.
Those immediately foregoing remarks have illustrated the nature and proper role of long-range forecasting. That leaves us with one, remaining, even more important problem to consider: How can we foresee, and operate to influence, the cultural paradigms which will, in turn, decide the way in which populations and other policy-shapers will respond to a global financial and political-economic crisis-shock of the kind now rapidly approaching?
The first lesson in long-range forecasting, is that the failure of the forecaster to influence policy-shapers, is not necessarily the result of some lack of proper evidence and rhetoric presented by the forecaster. In most history, of most cultures and their nations, the plain fact is, that most of the time, as in Washington, D.C. at the present moment, people, even in high places, do not wish to hear the truth, if the truth is perceived to conflict with those of their prejudices to which blind hysteria has lent an axiomatic authority in their mind-set.
It is only when the shock of events prompts people to call into doubt their own mind-sets, that those populations become open to considering uncomfortable truths about their own deeply-held opinions. Thus, in history, there is a time and place where populations are willing to hear the truth; most of the time really accurate forecasts are to be found languishing, through no fault of their own, on unfertile popular ground. Good long-range forecasts are like stubborn, good seeds, which bloom in suitable circumstances; it is one of the essential qualifications of a forecaster, that he or she learn to live with, and act upon that fact.
Now, the time has come for the relevant seeds to bloom. That is the kernel of the matter I put before you now, here today.
During the immediately preceding months of the Year 2000, the intelligence news-weekly Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) has featured four of my writings which are of special and immediate relevance, as background references, for the subject of cultural paradigms, which I address here. Taken together with what I shall add here, these four items represent my view, set forth in my official capacity as Vice-President Gore's only current rival for the U.S. Democratic Party's Presidential nomination. The purpose of those four items, like the present report, is to set forth a perspective for those early political decisions which could bring the world out of that catastrophic, global strategic crisis, which is now confronting all regions and nations.
The first of this series of EIR Features, was published in the January 28th edition. It included three elements. The first was a transcript of my televised address of January 14, 2000, on the subject of the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. republic. The second element added a brief summary, by Nancy Spannaus, of the most notable precedent for my statement of foreign policy, that provided in 1823, by then U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. The third element provided a brief summary of another leading precedent for my policy, by the James G. Blaine who was Secretary of State in 1881, and, again, during 1889-92.
The second item, was my featured report, on the subject of "The Becoming Death of Systems Analysis," outlining the case for those new, revolutionary accounting standards, required for managing a general economic and monetary reorganization, and economic recovery in world affairs today. This report, written beginning March 2nd, appeared in the March 31 edition.
The third item, written beginning April 2nd, was titled "When Andropov Played Hamlet," which presented the cases of Soviet General Secretaries Andropov and Gorbachev, as a Classical tragedy in the tradition of accounts by Aeschylus, Shakespeare, and Friedrich Schiller. Andropov's Hamlet-like folly, from March 24, 1983 on, was the decisive turn in strategic policy-thinking, which virtually pre-doomed the Soviet system to its 1989-1991, and ensuing collapse. This addresses the similar, potentially even more deadly, and global tragedy, which is not to be repeated in U.S.-Russia relations today. This Feature was published in the April 21st edition.
The fourth and final item of that series, written beginning April 18th, focussed upon the implications of the ongoing process of disintegration of the U.S.-centered "Information Society" and its tulip-craze-style financial bubble. This report, titled "Information Society: A Doomed Empire of Evil," was published in the April 28th edition.
In addition to those four items, I refer your attention to a video-recorded address I made, nearly a month ago, to a late-April conference in Australia [see "The Terminal Phase of the Bankrupt System: What Nations Must Do Now," EIR, May 19, 2000]. In that address, I offered a lapsed-time view, covering the recent forty years, of the change in the characteristics of the U.S. and world economy, a change from the relatively successful fixed-rate monetary system of the 1944-1966 interval, to the ruinous floating-exchange-rate monetary system launched in August 1971.
Here, today, I offer you a similar, but different lapsed-time image than I presented to that Australia audience, an image of the change in the characteristic cultural features of a globally extended European civilization, a change which began with the October 6, 1901 assassination-attack on U.S. President William McKinley, and that President's subsequent death on the following October 25. It is in the domain of such cultural factors, that there exists the possibility of forecasting which of the available critical choices in political-economic policy, are likely to be adopted under presently unfolding conditions of crisis.
The replacement of President McKinley, the last President who typified the patriotic veterans of the U.S. Civil War, replaced by an unredeemed scion of the Confederacy, President Theodore Roosevelt, introduced a fundamental strategic shift. This was a shift, not only in U.S. policy-shaping, but in world politics.
This shift within U.S. policy-shaping, which was set into motion by means of McKinley's assassination, made possible the project of Britain's King Edward VII, for bringing France and Russia into Britain's plan to destroy both Germany and Russia. That shift in the U.S.A.'s cultural paradigm, which was reversed, if only temporarily, by the governments of Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, was a shift in U.S. policies, begun under Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Ku Klux Klan fanatic Woodrow Wilson, a dramatic change, away from the anti-British tradition of all U.S. patriots up to that time of McKinley's assassination. It was a change from my nation's patriotic traditions, to a U.S. becoming, for most decades of the just-concluded century, little more than a dumb giant with a head of clay, a virtual Golem, a virtual appendage of British-influenced "free trade" and related kinds of policy-paradigms.
The effect of the U.S. adoption of those British policies, led into the Great Depression, World War II, and the prolonged strife of the 1945-1989 interval, a trend in London-steered, Anglo-American global policies, which has been continued, since then, to the present day.
It was this change in the cultural paradigm of the U.S. government, which established, under the Presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Wilson, the growing, almost dictatorial power of a British-American-Canadian group, often identified by the initials BAC, and centered, inside the U.S.A., in Wall Street's complex of financial houses and the extremely influential law firms attached to them. The case of the late John J. McCloy, typifies the post-World War II role of this BAC. The anglophiles' alliance between this Wall Street complex and the tradition of the Confederacy, has been the cornerstone of the way in which, with the exception of the Franklin Roosevelt Presidency, U.S. policy-making has been dominated, with but a few interruptions, more or less increasingly, ever since 1901. This legacy of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidency, is the enemy against which President Franklin Roosevelt fought, the decadence which President Kennedy challenged, and that which I have been committed to overcoming, a commitment I have maintained since the years of my foreign military service, in Asia, during World War II.
Consider the past decade's world history in light of that legacy of the McKinley assassination.
Consider the effort, of Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, France's President François Mitterrand, and U.S. President George Bush, to turn the collapse of the Soviet system into the basis for today's Anglo-American effort to establish a globalized echo of the old Roman Empire: which the decadent U.S. President Bush described as a "new world order." Now as then, this same Anglo-American-dominated, globalized new world order, is intended, like Adolf Hitler's promise of a thousand-year Reich, to rule the entirety of the planet for as far as the horizon of the imagination might reach. That predatory doctrine of "free trade" and globalization, is a consistent outgrowth of that specific, new form of London-Wall Street symbiosis, which was consolidated through the assassination of McKinley.
Although President Franklin Roosevelt had intended to eliminate the domination of the world by "free trade" and colonialist legacies, as soon as World War II had ended, his untimely death resulted in an immediate restoration of the colonial powers by the politically corrupt government of President Harry Truman. Truman was used, by circles associated with Bertrand Russell and others, to set into motion both the age of the bomb, and the other aversive features of the post-1945 world order, which have led us, through the prolonged Anglo-American conflict with both the Soviet Union and the Non-Aligned Nations leadership, to the catastrophic situation which has developed over the course of the post-1989 decade. This, in turn, has brought us to the present brink of global catastrophe.
To deal effectively with the global crisis now maturing, we must put aside the usual news-media, television talk-show, and similarly silly commentary on currently breaking events. We must adduce, from the entirety of the seemingly diverse global developments of the past hundred years, a single concept, a single principle, by means of which we are able to recognize the actually underlying, long-term forces determining the course of current history. To this purpose we must, first, look back, as the great poet, tragedian, and historian Friedrich Schiller proposed, to the birth of the entirety of the history of today's globally extended European civilization, in the emergence of Classical Greece.
Since the rise of Classical Greece, which was the place of birth of today's globally extended European civilization, that civilization has been, at all times, in the grip of two opposing cultural forces: the Classical tradition of Greece, versus the echoes of the ancient Mesopotamian oligarchical model, known as the legacy passed down to the ancient pagan Rome. This is the legacy of that Rome which various Christians and Jews of the First Century A.D. sometimes described as either "the new Babylon," or "the Whore of Babylon."
That "Whore of Babylon," that legacy of pagan imperial Rome, is to be recognized today as what is called the Romantic cultural tradition. All of the internal history of European civilization, since its birth in Classical Greece, is to be understood in no other way, than as a continuing of the conflict between two irreconcilable cultural currents, the Classical versus the Romantic. These currents are, the republican, as typified by the reforms of Solon and the dialogues of Plato, versus the Romantic, oligarchical model, the latter associated with ancient Mesopotamia, Tyre, and pagan Rome.
It is in that approximately 2,500-year span of the history of European civilization, that we are able to discover the underlying, axiomatic forces at play in shaping the, increasingly, Anglo-American-dominated world history of the recent hundred years.
The most efficient way to present that historical cultural conflict in the classroom, is to view each of these two contending cultural currents, as like two mutually incompatible physical geometries. These are sometimes described as mind-sets. To describe this conflict in the classroom, it is convenient to begin, by looking at these two geometries--these two, opposing mind-sets--in terms of the corresponding, irreconcilable differences between two opposing sets of definitions, axioms, and postulates. Instead of becoming mired in the useless confusion of debating theorems of these two sets, focus upon the difference in the axioms which determine the way in which the theorems are generated and adopted.
The most essential difference between the Classical and Romantic mind-sets, is their mutually opposing definitions of human nature. The Romantic, as typified by the British legacy of beast-men such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, and Jeremy Bentham, defines man as naturally predatory and wicked, as another species of beast, with fixed, chiefly feral sorts of inbred sensual impulses, and relations of man to nature, and man to man, as defined in terms of sense-perception. The Classical standpoint, especially in its Christian expression, defines individual human nature as naturally good, as a being set apart from and above the beasts, made in the image of the Creator of the universe, or, as in Plato's Timaeus dialogue, as made in reflection of that adducible personality who is the Composer of the universe.
In the Romantic tradition, the natural order of society, is seen in the circumstance that some men should prey upon others, in imitation of the way in which the farmer breeds, cultivates, uses, and culls cattle. John Locke's notion of property, is typical of this bestial, oligarchical misconception of the natural form of composition of society. Locke's notions of slaveholder value, or its contemporary expression as "shareholder value," is typical of that oligarchical, bestial conception of mankind and society. François Quesnay's mystically irrationalist argument for what he terms laissez-faire, is of the same general, bestial type as Locke's, Adam Smith's, and the utilitarians generally.
For example: The recent rise in influence of a new kind of fascist insurgency in the U.S.A., since approximately the mid-1970s, is an expression of a blending of the legacy of John Locke with an extreme form of radical positivism in law and policy-shaping, a positivistic misconception of law characteristically even worse than that of Savigny, Carl Schmitt, and Roland Freisler for 1930s Germany.
This clearly, axiomatically fascist trend in today's U.S.A., is shown most conspicuously by that present majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, that centered around the most rabid exponent of so-called "shareholder value," Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Locke's defense of chattel slavery, in the name of slaveholder values, and the notion of shareholder value espoused by creatures such as Ayn Rand fanatic Alan Greenspan and Scalia, or to patent, as property, the genome which my body invented, represent an axiomatic misdefinition of human nature, as a mere beast, as mere human cattle, to be bred, used, and culled by the owners of shareholder value. The "useless eaters" policies, the policy governing "lives not worthy to be lived" of the executives of U.S. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), typify that legacy today. These bestial notions of man, such as those to be compared for similarities and differences, with the influence of Karl Marx's law professor, the neo-Kantian Romantic Savigny, for Germany, are derived, in European civilization, from pagan Roman law and the Roman notion of vox populi.
Although the culture of ancient pagan Rome, is fairly recognized by all qualified historians, as echoing the oligarchical evil of ancient Mesopotamian cultures, and that of Tyre, Rome's more immediate model was that of Sparta, as the code of Lycurgus is associated with the Delphi cult of the Pythian Apollo. This cult organized a predatory culture among a faction of the Latin-speakers, in which the mass of the cult members, the populari (e.g., the Latin term for predators), were deployed by the ruling oligarchy as a military force, for looting, rapine, and conquest against their neighbors.
All forms of European fascism are derived directly from that Sparta-like, pagan-Roman legacy. The depraved set of opinions induced among the populari, opinions used by the rulers to impose self-policing among the depraved masses of ordinary Romans, was known as vox populi: the "voice of the people," a popular mass which was defined as predators. This is a dogma similar to that of the Democratic party of Athens which murdered Socrates. This Romantic tradition of pagan Rome, has been passed down to modern times, as the philosophically irrationalist worship of the pagan gods of what are called today either popular, or public opinion and tastes.
That Orwellian notion of vox populi, or "public opinion," is a wicked conceit, copied into the practice of a corrupted modern society, as a means for controlling the foolish mass of popular political sheep in the image of François Rabelais' account of Panurge and the self-doomed Ding Dong and his sheep. Such popular opinion was never in the interest of anyone but the ruling oligarchy, of Rome then, or of modern nations, such as today's U.S.A. So, President Abraham Lincoln spoke aptly of the folly of today's typical Americans, all of whom are fooled most of the time, and some of whom are fooled all of the time. Fortunately, not all Americans can be fooled all of the time, but only most of the time.
The contrary, Classical conception of man, placed the emphasis on those cognitive powers of the individual mind, by means of which truthfully validatable and just, universal physical and other universal principles, such as Classical-artistic ones, are discovered, and those discoveries shared within society. In Classical culture, it is ideas born of cognition, as Plato's Socratic dialogues define the cognitive generation of ideas, in that sense, which supply the empirically validatable definition of human nature, as located in the natural goodness and fruitfulness of those cognitive powers.
On account of the Christian appreciation of that Classical Greek conception of the universality and goodness innate to the newborn human individual, it came to be established, in the course of time, as a matter of universal principle, that no government, or form of government, has the moral authority to govern, except as it is efficiently committed to promoting the general welfare of all existing persons and their posterity. That is the cornerstone of natural law. The revolution in statecraft effected in Europe, during the course of the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance, established practical precedents for this republican principle of the general welfare (or, commonweal), in France under King Louis XI and in England under Henry VII. Such are the precedents to be found echoed in the opening three paragraphs of the 1776 U.S. Declaration of Independence and the 1789 Preamble of the U.S. Federal Constitution.
With the waning of the power of the feudal landed aristocracy, as typified by the decline and fall of Metternich's power, the essential conflict within globally extended European civilization, became that between the republicans, as typified, for example, by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on the one side, and the oligarchical interests and ideologies typified by the City of London, the Wall Street bankers, and the slaveholder system, on the opposing side.
The Lincoln legacy thus represented the republican, Classical legacy, whereas Wall Street's adopted scions of the treasonous Confederacy, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, as followed by Wall Street's Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush, like the earlier, treasonous, pro-slavery scoundrels and U.S. Presidents van Buren, Polk, Pierce, and Buchanan, who preceded Lincoln, have typified the kind of political rule dominated by today's Anglo-American financier, and similar oligarchies.
To understand the history of ancient, medieval, and modern Europe, it is indispensable to avoid being trapped into a discussion of particular current issues, as if such issues, in and of themselves, were the causes of principal political and other conflicts. To understand all, or any part of the history of globally extended European civilization, one must define the issues at their root: in the continuing conflict between the oligarchical (Romantic) and republican (Classical) conceptions of man and man's relationship to nature.
At this point, consider the following lapsed-time sketch, of the most relevant highlights of the history of European civilization since the famous, initial, 1776-1783, victory of the United States and its allies and friends, over the British monarchy's tyranny. The indispensable function of this synopsis, is to bring the underlying principle of that span of modern history into clearer perspective.
From 1782 on, Lord Shelburne, then Prime Minister of England and leading representative of the British East India Company, was determined to destroy both King Louis XVI's France and the young United States. The key to Shelburne's policy, is located in the 1782 preliminaries of the proposed peace-treaty between Britain and France. The methods used are best typified by Shelburne's positioning his lackey, Jeremy Bentham, as de facto head of the newly founded British Foreign Office and its "secret committee," which, among other projects, launched and directed the Jacobin Terror in France.
The central target of this policy, was the circles of the influential admirers of the U.S. republic in France. Through the "free trade" agreement which Shelburne's circles foisted upon France, the French monarchy was bankrupted, under the ministrations of Shelburne's asset, France's Finance Minister Jacques Necker.
When the circles of Lafayette sought to remedy the situation with a constitutional reform, Bentham orchestrated the destruction of Lafayette's faction, by launching and orchestrating the French Jacobin Terror from London, using assets such as "Philippe Egalité" (the Duke of Orléans), Necker, and such London-trained and London-directed, Jacobin demagogues as Robespierre, Danton, and Marat.
Five years of rising, London-directed Jacobin Terror, from July 14, 1789, until the end of mass-murderers Robespierre and Saint-Just, despoiled France of much of its natural republican intelligentsia, as the U.S. schools are effecting a similar result today. This depletion of the rational elite of France, produced the condition in which France's political leadership passed from the worthy hands of Author of Victory Lazare Carnot, to the despicable hands of, first, the monstrous Barras, and, then, the first modern fascist, the would-be Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon is to be recognized, today, as forerunner of the modern Caesar, Benito Mussolini's tyranny in Italy, and the figure emulated by such other would-be modern Caesars as Adolf Hitler and London's Mussolini-like Tony Blair.
The Vienna Congress, and its included imposition of a British puppet, the Restoration monarchy, upon France, as aggravated by the Metternichean Carlsbad decrees, put the very existence of the young U.S. republic at peril. Under these conditions of the aftermath of the Metternich-orchestrated, mass sexual congress conducted at Vienna, all Europe, whether Habsburg or financier-oligarchical, was bent upon the destruction of the emerging republics of the Americas, the U.S. first and foremost.
This Vienna Congress, combined with the Restoration monarchy in France, was a strategic disaster for Europe, as it was a disaster for the U.S.A. It not until President Abraham Lincoln's defeat of Lord Palmerston's project, the treasonous, Lockean Confederate States of America, that the effects of the Vienna Congress could be reversed.
Lincoln's victory, and the brilliant success of the U.S.'s 1861-1876 economic mobilization, established the U.S.A. as a world power, and as the model for a new form of agro-industrial nation-state economy. Following the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, this 1861-1876 model of the Hamilton-Carey American System of political economy, was copied, as economic-development policy, in Emil Rathenau's Germany, Dmitri Mendeleyev's and Sergei Witte's Russia, Japan, the circles of Sun Yat-sen, and elsewhere, during the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century.
It was to counter this spread of the American-system model of economy, into the other parts of the Americas, into Germany, Russia, Japan, the new leadership of China, and elsewhere, that the British monarchy prearranged, and launched the First World War. Under the leadership of Britain's Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, the British monarchy, aided by the revanchist anti-Germany panic catalyzed in France through the Dreyfus affair, orchestrated the development of the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale, and led Russia into the self-imposed doom of the Czarist system under King Edward VII's other nephew, the pathetic Nicholas II. The British backing for the first Sino-Japan war, for Japan's seizure of Korea, and for the Russo-Japan war of 1905, was a crucial prelude for the Balkan wars, and that Russian general mobilization for attack on Germany, which actually set Edward VII's intended World War into motion.
Britain's strategic intent, in organizing what became World War I, was to set the Eurasian admirers of the 1861-1876 Lincoln-Carey model of agro-industrial development, at each other's throats, and to break the U.S. itself from what had been its traditional friends during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, such as Germany and Russia. The pivotal issue, for London, was the influence of the success of the U.S. transcontinental railroad system, in reviving in the Nineteenth Century Europe of Mendeleyev, Witte, Rathenau, and Siemens, the old proposal of Friedrich List for railway development of the largely untapped, vast Eurasian heartland. This railway development, which we have revived, and defined, since the beginning of the 1990s, as the Eurasian Land-Bridge project, became the central focus in London's determination to destroy Germany and Russia through what became World War I.
The British could not fight such a war without first, breaking the U.S.A. from its traditional friendships with Germany and Russia, and, second, without mobilizing the U.S.'s great agro-industrial might on the side of Britain's war-effort.
Thus, from 1782 until the defeat of the Confederacy, the global intent of all British policy, had been to isolate and destroy the U.S.A., to ruin it economically, to break it up into quarreling, balkanized baronies, easily manipulated and controlled from London. The failure of Palmerston's British-backed Confederacy, prompted a shift in British policy, toward that of taking control of the U.S. through political corruption, rather than a renewed raw attempt to dismember it through direct action. The terrorist's assassination of McKinley, by aid of New York's notorious Henry Street Settlement House, accomplished Britain's intended Twentieth-Century aims, as if almost at a single stroke.
Teddy Roosevelt, assisted by such wretched creatures as a member of the Napoleon Bonaparte clan, his Attorney-General Charles Bonaparte, established a political-police force, on the French Napoleonic police-state model, in the U.S. Department of Justice, thus founding what is known today as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Similarly, large sections of the Federal Executive bureaucracy became, with the help of Teddy Roosevelt's corrupt Democratic Party predecessor, Grover Cleveland, elements of a European-style state bureaucracy, a bureaucracy controlled directly by representatives of Wall Street financial houses and their attached law firms.
The Presidencies of Teddy Roosevelt, a nephew and protégé of the former chief of the Confederacy's intelligence service, the notorious filibusterer, Captain James Bulloch, and that of Ku Klux Klan fanatic Woodrow Wilson, established the Federal Reserve System created by agents of Edward VII's banker Cassel, and otherwise transformed the institutions of government of the U.S.A. London and its Wall Street accomplices relied, chiefly, then, and also, now, in the Bush and Gore candidacies for the Year 2000, upon the combined political and social base provided by Wall Street and the persisting tradition of the Confederacy.
It was the election of President Franklin Roosevelt, which brought the patriotic currents of the U.S.A. back, temporarily, into positions of power after three intervening decades. It has been the destruction of that Franklin Roosevelt legacy, by measures including the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt admirer President John F. Kennedy, which has enabled the rise, since the U.S. Republican Party's "Southern Strategy" of the middle to late 1960s, of the Old Confederacy, in alliance with Wall Street power, as the dominant, pro-racist force today, in the Supreme Court, the Congress, within the Al Gore-led faction of the U.S. Democratic Party, and in large parts of the Executive Branch's permanent bureaucracy.
In this process, the BAC forces have spent the period since Franklin Roosevelt's death, working to destroy what former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once called, and denounced as the patriotic "American intellectual tradition." Typical of this is the role of radical positivism, such as that of Norbert Wiener and John von Neumann, combined with the corrosive role of the so-called Frankfurt School, which was temporarily lodged, to spawn, like a pack of cultural termites, within the intellectual institutions of the U.S.A. The depravity which is characteristic of the pagan-Roman tradition, has, predominantly, taken over control of the popular and academic culture of the U.S. today, as through comparable age-groups in Europe, and has virtually eradicated all remains of the Classical tradition from leading representatives of the age-groups of less than fifty years of age today.
As a result of these and other malicious influences upon the post-Franklin Roosevelt U.S., the generation of the age-intervals between thirty-five and fifty-five years of age, who are represented in most of the leading positions of executive power there today, have, with relatively few, but important exceptions, lost the moral and intellectual capacities which were more typical of those, from the Americas and old Europe, who grew up during the Great Depression and the ensuing war.
In such a circumstance, the only hope for civilization is a great shock, a shock which shatters confidence in what are presently still the prevailing cultural and scientific norms of behavior among those of ages below fifty-five. In modern U.S. history, the sudden popular reaction to news of Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, qualifies as a shock of the type needed today. That shock is imminently available, in the form of the catastrophic collapse of the world's present financial system: on the day when the light is turned on in the kitchen, and the cockroaches panic.
To find the deeper causes for the presently onrushing general collapse, of not only the present world financial system, but also the world's physical economy, we must focus attention upon seven structural changes in the form of the modern European nation-state, changes which have been built up over the period since the relevant bombing of Hiroshima.
Over the entire post-Franklin Roosevelt period, to date, the most conspicuous change, has been the first change, the introduction of the nuclear-weapons policy, including the proposal for a so-called "preventive nuclear attack" upon the Soviet Union, as outlined in Russell's policy-statement in the September 1946 edition of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. From the start, throughout the Twentieth Century, Russell, an avowedly perfervid hater of the U.S., was committed to eliminating the existence of the sovereign nation-state, and dedicated to imposing a new version of the old pagan Roman Empire, which he identified as "world government."
Russell stated repeatedly, that he intended his version of "world government," called, variously, "globalization" or "rule of law," today, to be established as a side-effect of nuclear-terror-stricken governments' panic-stricken flight into arms-control treaties. The Cuba Missiles Crisis of 1962, orchestrated, from London, by Britain's Bertrand Russell, and the subsequent assassination of President John F. Kennedy, set that process fully into motion.
The second succession of radical changes erupted during the period immediately following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (For as long as he lived, Russell was always a leading figure behind each of these monstrous concoctions.) The general change, was the self-destruction of a large portion of the university student population which had been born after the close of World War II; the result, was the so-called "rock-drug-sex counterculture."
The selection of recruits to that counterculture, to be chosen to rise, rung by rung, to influential positions within government and other leading institutions, provided the shock-troop battalions of the type which had been prescribed earlier by Britain's Brigadier John Rawlings Rees of the London Tavistock Clinic. These victims of the "rock-drug-sex counterculture," served as a pro-terrorist mob, like the Robespierres, Dantons, Marats, and Saint-Justs of 1789-1794, as the Baader-Meinhof gang typifies this, to be deployed for other radical changes, changes which have had a devastating impact upon the governments, economies, philosophy of law, and leading institutions of the U.S., western Europe, and elsewhere.
The third radical change, was an effort to halt the role of technological progress, whether in the name of defending the "environment," or preventing the development of "dual use" technologies, a charlatan's trick performed with aid of the sophistry, that these banned technologies might be imagined to be useful for developing "weapons of mass destruction."
This change was first introduced during 1966-1967, in massive cut-backs in the Kennedy space-program, done on the pretext of bringing expenditures "back from space," which was explained, fraudulently, as an attempt to help alleviate poverty. The full-scale rant to this effect, was unleashed in 1970-1971, in the name of "ecology." This cultural-paradigm shift in policies respecting science and technology, combined with the ruinous effects of the August 1971 conversion of the IMF system into a "floating-exchange-rate monetary system," led to an accelerating stagnation and collapse in the rate of growth of both the physical productive powers of labor, in the standard of living throughout Europe and the Americas, and an unspeakable catastrophe unfolding for Africa.
Under the Trilateral Commission's Carter Administration, there was a fourth axiomatic change, a full-scale effort to destroy the most essential underpinnings of the U.S. economy. This occurred, most prominently, in the domain of basic economic infrastructure. This has proven to be an essential part of the effort to obliterate the existence of the institution of the sovereign nation-state. Carter's appointment to be Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker, wrecked the U.S. economy, to a degree which has never been reversed to the present day. This was done under the name of effecting a "controlled disintegration of the economy," a phrase from the Trilateral Commission's handbooks, which Volcker cited in his 1979 campaign for the Federal Reserve appointment.
A fifth crucial attack on civilization, was the process of eradicating Classical humanist forms of educational programs, both from public schools, and also, to a large degree, on the level of university education.
Sixth, it is most notable, that without the anti-free-trade, protectionist measures typical of the American System of political-economy, it is impossible to have a self-standing form of healthy economy. No national economy based on a "free-trade" doctrine, ever prospered, except by looting its own natural resources and population, as Britain did, or, by looting other nations, as the British Empire and colonial system did, and the Anglo-American hyper-power has been doing since 1989. The use of taxation, tariffs, fair-trade policies, and public investments in basic economic infrastructure, is essential, to set those price-levels at which long-term, capital-intensive forms of improvements in the productive powers of labor are effected, as these are to be measured, in physical-market-basket terms, per capita and per square kilometer.
The unleashing of the dogma of "free trade," under Presidents Nixon and Carter, destroyed the private productive sector, such as agriculture and manufacturing, of the U.S. productive economy, as we see the same result unfolding in the United Kingdom, over the span from Harold Wilson's, Margaret Thatcher's, and Tony Blair's efforts--Luddites one and all--to bring those islands, finally, back to the Orwellian stone age now called "information society." This has all been done, in the fashion typical of the great swindlers, like John Law, of all modern times, of claiming nothing so passionately as the desire to promote greater glories for "free enterprise."
Furthermore, seventh, without national banking, as the past functions of the U.S. Export-Import Bank typify this, which depends absolutely on the institution of the sovereign nation-state, it is impossible to mobilize in a sustained way, the low-cost, national, long-term public credit, needed to support a healthy form of private banking system, and ensure rates of productive investment needed for genuine economic growth, both within nations, and among the world's trading-partners.
The downshift in U.S. economic policy on these seven points, typifies the hopeless situation to be faced by this planet as a whole, unless and until, those seven retrogressive trends are summarily reversed, unless the Romantic cancer of "globalization" is eradicated.
To understand the importance of the modern sovereign form of nation-state republic, we must understand the indispensable function of that institution for maintaining a civilized form of human life on this planet. In summary, the following points are to be made.
The axiomatic difference between the human species, and all other living species, is the function of the development of the cognitive powers of the individual. This is typified by man's unique ability, as a species, to generate validatable discoveries of universal physical principles, and to develop both Classical methods of artistic composition, and also statecraft, in the same way.
It is by means of the cultivation of those powers of individual cognition, as Classical humanist education typifies such policies, that the human species expresses its unique capability for willfully increasing its potential relative population-density. It is the universalizing of social relations, to the effect of fostering that cultivation and expression of the cognitive powers of each and every member of society, which makes the sovereign nation-state form of republic, the only form of political institution consistent with the distinctive need for true personal freedom, as required by the nature of the human species.
It is through fostering the discovery of such universal principles, either as original discoveries of validatable principles, or as re-enactments of such discoveries of universal physical and artistic principles, that mankind has become able to promise, now, to deliver to the generations immediately ahead, actually human conditions of life to every person on this planet. Without the continuation of that quality of progress, decent human life for all were not possible. Indeed, unless that policy is restored, very soon, a prolonged new dark age of mankind, throughout this planet, were presently inevitable.
Since the willful administration of the affairs of a people must be organized in a literate form of scientific and language-culture, the sovereign nation-state provides a uniquely appropriate instrument for the participation of the individual in society generally. This participation, outlaws the degradation of some parts of society to the virtual status of human cattle, as pro-racist U.S. Justice Scalia degrades the victims of his policies, for example. The role of Classical culture in the life of the sovereign nation-state republic, fosters the participation of the individual in all humanity, a result which tends to be made universal, through a community of such principle among a world composed of sovereign nation-state republics.
Thus, the promotion of the cognitive method for development and propagation of scientific and Classical culture, through institutions of education and economy, is the precondition for the continuation of civilized life on this planet today.
To meet the physical requirements for all humanity, there must be a forced-draft emphasis upon capital investments in the fostering and application of scientific progress, expressed as increases in the productive powers of labor, as the increase of mankind's physical power, per capita, in and over the universe. Without this, a return to barbarism, or worse, were inevitable. Without the protectionist form of nation-state economy, which is dedicated to that function, the collapse into a dark age of barbarism, were inevitable as characteristic of the immediate decades ahead.
Thus, the defense of the institution of the perfectly sovereign, economic-protectionist model of nation-state republic, is not really debatable. Unless those reversals in policy-trends are introduced now, there is presently no future for the U.S., or most of the population of this planet. The apostles of "free trade" and "globalization," have always been the pro-oligarchical enemies of human freedom.
The type of impending shocks, which I have identified here, like wars, and the critical battles of such warfare, are dangerous. There is an unavoidable element of great risk involved. In such a situation, as in the most notable flanking strategies of the greatest commanders, great creative insight is needed to avoid catastrophe. Without the mustering of effective leadership, any such crisis ensures disaster.
In such crises, there are brief intervals, during which the general population, or a large part of it, is open to new leadership, new policies. For the U.S., it was fortunate that Franklin Roosevelt provided that quality of leadership, as this quality was otherwise best typified by war-time commanders such as General Douglas MacArthur. A successful leader, under such crisis-circumstances, never relies upon appealing to popular opinion; rather, he revolutionizes it, by an appeal to reason. He relies upon a revolution in the thinking of those under his command, or influenced by other modes of leadership. Without such leadership, a great crisis, like that onrushing today, leads to nothing but great, and probably still greater catastrophes.
This requirement flows from the nature of truly tragic crises, such as that facing the world today.
As the great Classical tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Schiller, expose this fact, humanity never suffers any peril, unless it be from natural causes beyond our present means to control, except as the result of a fatal flaw of character in either the ruling agency of society, or in the culture of that society as a whole. Thus, all man-made catastrophes occur solely as the outcome of prolonged adherence to a mind-set which is alien to the principles upon which the universe is constituted.
Thus, a great crisis, brought into being in that way, can be mastered only by methods and policies which must appear to the existing generations of society as revolutionary. Truly great leaders, in such times, are those who successfully violate prevailing popular opinion, on behalf of reason, rather than acting in the intrinsically irrational, customary way which had led to that crisis. Herein lies that characteristic of the true making of important developments in history, which the high-priests of Europe's late-Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries' social-democracy abhorred as "the evils of voluntarism." Pity those foolish high-priests! Most among them would have been offended to hear themselves ridiculed so, but are they not just an echo of foolish, predatory spectators in the Roman Colosseum, cheering for the lions tearing apart the Christians in the arena, raising thumbs up (!) for vox populi?
No society can destroy itself of its own will, unless it is impelled to do so in order to maintain conformity with a pre-existing, prevalent mind-set. The individual, or group which is gripped by that delusion, will do nothing so much as appeal to the authority of public opinion, which is to say, to the stipulations of the established mind-set. Thus, in the end-phase of any tragic cycle in the history of any nation, any culture, it is continued adherence to accustomed public opinion, which renders that people one which has lost the moral fitness to survive. The collapse of the regimes, not only of Russia's weak and foolish Czar Nicholas II, but of each and all of the 1917 successor governments of reformers, is an example of the control of populations and their foolish leaders by the influence of habituated delusions. If a crisis-stricken nation is to survive, it must act just as a scientist must, when he or she is confronted by a stubborn error in pre-existing scientific opinion; the nation must locate and uproot the fatal flaw rooted in its own prevailing, habituated mind-set. Here lies the necessity for revolutionary action in such a circumstance. Not only must axioms be changed, but the action to be taken must reflect such a necessary change in axioms.
What then, must be changed in this matter of opinion? The outcome of this entire period of world history depends upon our recognizing the proper choice of that factor.
The essential change to be made, is the superseding of the relics of oligarchical rule, such as financier oligarchy, by republican self-rule. This means a cultural change, cleansing society of the old syphilis, that Romantic legacy common to most of the institutions and populations of extended European civilization today, to put the society again under the cultural dominion of the anti-Romantic, Classical legacy.
The leading tragic element in the culture of Europe and the Americas today, is the expelling of Classical humanist forms of education, and of Classical forms and principles of artistic composition, from the life of society in general. It is in what passes for entertainment today, in a form of popular opinion congruent with such degraded popular forms of entertainment, that the root of civilization's present tragedy is rooted.
For example, the popularization of Nintendo killer-games, and martial arts, for young children and suggestible adolescents, games modelled on the worst post-war parody of the Japan Samurai mythology, typifies a culture which, by thus destroying its own young children, proclaims itself a post-modernist culture, with no prospect for future existence, except of the most bestial sort.
The crucial consideration, which I have elaborated by identifying those seven acts of destruction of the nation-state, referenced earlier here, is to rediscover the principle that human relations, as opposed to bestialized ones, are located essentially in those cognitive processes which are brought to the surface in the Socratic dialogues of Plato. These are the same cognitive processes, by means of which a validated universal physical principle, as also a validatable principle of Classical artistic forms of composition and performance, is generated. It is the sharing of such cognitive discoveries, by means of which mankind's increase of power in and over the universe, per capita and per square kilometer, is effected.
It is sharing those cognitive scientific and Classical-artistic experiences, which expresses the natural, and naturally fruitful relations among human beings. To that we must return, if our nations are to outlive the calamity now descending upon us all.