Rally the Citizens
Behind a Mission
for All Mankind
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
The speech was given by Lyndon LaRouche on Aug. 18, before an audience of about 200 especially younger people, from all over Europe, east and west, who came together in a youth hostel in Oberwesel, Germany, on the beautiful banks of the Rhine, for the traditional Summer Academy of the Schiller Institute. Every year, the Schiller Institute organizes such a two-day event in Germany, with presentations on politics, economics, science, and culture, along with musical contributions, and a lot of formal and informal discussion. This year's Summer Academy had the theme "The Battle for the Mind—What Is the Prospect Facing Young People Today?"
The program was idea-dense, indeed. Following LaRouche's keynote, Bruce Director spoke about the history of the calculus, tracing it back to Kepler's elliptical law of the planets' orbits. Another panel was on the neo-Darwinian attack on man, dealing with questions like human cloning, Peter Singer's utilitarian movement, and what "Life Sciences" should really be all about.
On the next morning, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the president of the Schiller Institute in Germany, spoke on "The Bankruptcy of Today's Ruling Elite, and the Alternative in Schiller's Idea of the Sublime." The lively discussion led into presentations on two great Renaissance personalities: the French heroine Jeanne d'Arc, and the English humanist Thomas More.
The Academy ended with a presentation on the foundations of Classical musical composition. It had also opened with music: a rehearsal of the European chorus and orchestra of the Schiller Institute. They worked on a choral fugue by J.S. Bach (Overture in C Major and motet "Jesu, meine Freude") and on excerpts from Joseph Haydn's oratorio "The Creation."
Now, what I'm going to say, is something of importance. But, because of a certain diversity in the backgrounds of people attending, I shall have to try to present it in a way, which is comprehensible, or at least nearly so, to most of you. Some of this is of a sensitive and professional quality; it's important. But, at the same time, it's very important that we take on the task of making things clear to general populations and politicians, which are not generally clear to them.
My problem, today, is, I know exactly what the situation is, in terms of the nature of the crisis. I also know what the remedies are, at least in terms of types of remedies. The problem is, how do you make the connection to the politicians, who, in general, do not know? The political class today, in the United States and in Western Europe, in particular, or in South and Central America, is of a much poorer class than existed in the 1970s or early 1980s. As a matter of fact, our politicians, as a class of people, are generally political illiterates, by the standards of politicians of the same rank, twenty years ago.
Therefore, people today do not know history. The educational systems of the past thirty years, and longer, have been destroyed. Classical humanist education, which is the only competent education, has been ripped out of the curriculum. Teachers, who are qualified to teach in a Classical humanist classroom, generally, no longer exist. They have long since retired, and many are deceased. The teachers available and teaching today, are not qualified. The politicians are not qualified. The population is not qualified to vote! In terms of understanding the consequences, for them and the future of humanity, of what they vote for! They don't know! Many of them don't care! They're taught to plead for some special thing that bothers them, and to ignore the rest.
In the United States, this phrase is used, and has been used since the draft-dodgers of the 1960s: "I don't go there." You bring up a subject: "I don't go there. Don't bother talking to me about that. I won't do anything about that."
"Well, what if it hurts you?"
"It won't hurt me. I don't go there."
"There will be a depression."
"I don't go there. I don't discuss a depression. It doesn't affect me. I don't go there."
So, that's our problem. So, those of us who have some understanding, literacy, have a problem. The politicians don't have the sense, presently, to know what to do. And, what has to be done is rather urgent: The survival of civilization depends upon it. The populations we have to lead, don't understand their own problem. They don't know what the solutions are. And, I'll indicate one of these, a very specific problem, of the population in general.
So, therefore, what is needed is, to take people who are capable of understanding, which is a very rare part of the population—academic and political, and so forth—very rarely—. For example, you probably have a couple of people in Germany, who are capable of understanding what I talk about—really understanding it; and fewer in France. And, they're probably much older than I am. There are older people, long since retired, who still remember how history used to work, at least in their time. In the United States, the entire younger generation, people born after 1945, in general, with almost no exception, are not only intellectually incapable of understanding the issues that face the world today—the United States, in particular—they're not even capable of understanding their own issues.
They had a program, back in the 1950s, a television program, called "Romper Room." And, this was a program designed for children, but actually designed for the parents, who were rendered infantile by the way children were being raised at that time. In other words, if you wanted to qualify as a parent, you had to get down to your child's level; and many of them succeeded in reaching that level, and even lower. And, the television program, which featured this kind of entertainment, in the morning or early afternoon, for parents and their children—age five and under, or something like that—was called "Romper Room."
Now, there are people, and even some of my associates in the United States, who, emotionally, when put under stress, raise the elevation of their speech; they go into the fourth register, and squeak, and say very simple and very stupid things! And, you think, "Ah! Romper Room has returned!" Even in my own association, in the United States, I hear conversations, reports, discussions—even among leading members of my association in the United States—which take me back to Romper Room! What has happened is, Romper Room lives inside them, and under stress, tends to come out and re-enact itself!
Now, you find similar things in Germany, and Italy, and so forth. I've seen evidences of this.
So, the problem is, you have a population, which, by all usual standards of the early Twentieth Century, or a little earlier, is not qualified to arrange for its own survival, under the kinds of problems which are facing the world today. Therefore, our job—those of us who do understand, who do know, who do know what the solutions and the problems are—our job, first of all, is to present the general nature of the problem and the solution, to a very limited number of people, including, perhaps, the dozen people in Germany who can understand what I'm saying. That is, in terms of these problems.
We, among these small groups, as I presented this to a group of accountants, whom I addressed in Mexico City, by satellite communications; we had three hours of various things, and we went through this. We have to bring together, first of all, the people who are capable of immediately discussing intelligently, the kind of problems, the kind of solutions, that I know exist.
It's Not Enough To Know the Solution
But, that's not enough. I know what the general possibilities are; I know what the problems are, in general. But, then, we have to implement these solutions. For example, take the Argentine case: The best estimate, right now, is that, next week, Argentina will go under. That's the best estimate; it may go on longer, but that's where it stands. Now, what happens when Argentina goes under? And, that will start a chain reaction: Turkey will go next. Poland is ready to go. Poland is in worse condition than Argentina, in some respects, financially, because of the mismanagement of the people who have taken the place over, under advice from people in the post-Soviet period.
What do we do?
I know what the solution is. But, how do I, tomorrow morning, or the week after—how do I actually proceed, in the case of Argentina, as such, to solve the problem of Argentina, without making a mess of everything else I've got to do, in Brazil, or in Western Europe, and so forth? How do you deal with that? That means, I've got to talk to people, who are capable of defining a policy of action, to say: "The United States government and other governments, will make the following measures available to Argentina, now, to guarantee the continuity of the functioning of that nation." Which means, whatever else happens, the pensions will be paid; employment will continue; essential functions of government and production will continue; trade will continue—and will grow.
Because, the only way you get out of a depression, is not with fiscal austerity. You never cut employment, as a way of dealing with a depression. You never cut production, as a way of dealing with a depression. You never cut government expenditures, as a way of dealing with a depression.
That's how Hitler came to power, in Germany, when people made the foolish move, of cutting things, and cutting things; instead of maintaining government; instead of maintaining employment; instead of maintaining security; instead of maintaining trade, and so forth.
So, we have to keep Argentina alive. And, we must make the decisions, the management decisions—practical, immediate, emergency decisions—which keep Argentina alive.
Now, that means we have to come to some agreement on these measures. We have to actually discuss, and say, "What is a tolerable solution, and what is an intolerable one?" We have to consider, not only Argentina today, and next week, and next month; but, we have to think about what's going to happen to Brazil, to Chile, to Poland, to Turkey: All of these economies are collapsing.
Fiscal Austerity Is Lunacy
We also have to think about the fact that, there's not a single economy in Western Europe, which is not really bankrupt. That is, every economy in Western Europe, is producing less, than is required to maintain what it was yesterday afternoon. We're eating more than we're producing, in terms of overall necessary inputs. That's what you see reflected in the government with Eichel, for example, here in Germany: Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut! Fiscal austerity! Fiscal austerity! Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut!
Every time they cut, they make the problem worse.
Now, there are certain things that could be cut out. without damage to the economy: not paying certain politicians, or something like that. That would be helpful! But, in general, as Wilhelm Lautenbach laid out his policy in the now-famous meeting of the Friedrich List Gesellschaft, in 1931, cutting—cut, cut, cut—is the mark of a lunatic beast, under conditions of depression. To cut, cut, cut, now in Western Europe, is a piece of lunacy.
What we have to do is, increase production, and increase employment. And, thus, bring things above the so-called breakeven point, in terms of levels of output. That means, we must find the markets for Europe, so that Germany can go back to being an export-leveraged nation. Markets for France. Markets for Italy, for example. Markets for the so-called Scandinavian region. We must develop those new markets, or expanded markets abroad, for the things which Western Europe produces best, the quality of goods which are most needed in these markets, which are largely developing-sector markets; and are largely in East, South, and Central Asia—especially East and South Asia.
These are the great markets. These are the great population centers. This is where the great development is going to occur. We have the Three Gorges Dam in China, as an example; there's a proposal for a large dam on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet—one of the great rivers of the world. It has the greatest hydroelectric potential of any project available for construction now. It would transform the entire region, of China, and of that part of Northeastern India; and would also enhance flood control, for not only India, but also Bangladesh, which has a big flood problem, largely defined by the Brahmaputra flows.
So, these markets exist, and therefore, we want to say, "We must re-tool the economies. Get rid of the fluff. But maintain pensions, rebuild the health-care system, rebuild the educational system, build infrastructure." Build infrastructure: That's the easiest place to start expanding employment. Because, there's always needed infrastructure—urban infrastructure, general infrastructure, reforestation, health-care systems, so forth. All this is needed. Never a waste of money. And, which contribute to the productive powers of labor, not only per capita, but for the population as a whole. It would be not too difficult, with what I know, to bring all of Western Europe, quickly, from its present state of poverty, of sliding into a bottomless pit of "cut, cut, cut," into a period of resumed long-term growth, with a 25-year assurance of long-term growth. That we can do.
Therefore, we need minds of people, who say, "That is the mission. The world is greatly mismanaged. The economies are incompetently managed. The governments have been incompetent. And, now, we're going to change it. We're going to restore confidence, for a 25-year perspective, for expanding, developing the world, so we will leave the next generation in far better condition, than the one we have now.
"That's our mission. And, therefore, we'll sit on the case of Argentina, and every other case. And we will make those decisions. And, we will debate: `Are we going to do this? Or are we going to do that?' And what we will settle upon, is what we can live with. And what we can live with, is what the next generation can live with—the whole world's next generation can live with."
So, then, we will say: "We, therefore, agree. We didn't have detailed agreement all the way through, at the start of the conversation. We faced the problem. We had debates among contending groups of experts. We talked it out, again and again. We said: `What can we live with? What can they live with? What can the next generation live with?' We've got to do it tomorrow! We're going to do it!"
Now, what do we do next?
At that point, we have to be prepared to go to the politicians, and say: "Dear, friendly idiot: Here is what you guys have got to do. And, if you don't do it, here's what's going to happen to you." Now, naturally, screaming and yelling will emerge; banshee shrieks. People will change their sex, right before your eyes. But, you've got to respond to it; you've got to box them in! You're dealing with people, who say, "I don't go there." "There is no truth." "It's only a matter of opinion." This is the kind of idiocy, you're going to face.
"Well, whatever your opinion is, buddy, you either do this, or this country's dead! So, you'd better change your opinion!"
And, you have to present them the hard facts—box them in, no matter how much they scream and yell—box them in! "You want to govern this nation? You want to decide how to govern this nation and relations with other states? Then get with the game, or get out of it! Because, if you don't go for this, we're going to denounce you, publicly, over what the effects will be, of not doing what you have to do.
"The games are over. Your pet projects are over. We're now at a point, where the human race has to decide to survive. And, you—buddy—learn the lesson, now. Just assume you don't know anything, and you're learning, as of today. You have to complete the lesson, before the end of the day, because you're going to go in and vote for it. You're going to have to make the legislation. You're going to tell the professional bureaucracy what to do. And, they're going to do it! You're going to go to the bankers, and tell them to straighten out! `We don't want any banker, who disagrees with Herrhausen.' " Just go back to Herrhausen: That's the last banker in Germany that understood anything. Start from there: what he recommended for Eastern Europe, before he was assassinated. That's where you start from.
So, therefore, we have to start, first, with the circles of people who are capable of understanding, and discussing these matters, and deliberating on them, in a responsible way. But, these groups of people do not have the authority to make the changes. They have the moral authority to lead, but they don't have the authority to make the changes. The authority lies with governments and other important institutions of society. So, therefore, the experts have to immediately educate the decision-makers. And, the best of the decision-makers and the experts, together, have to rally the institutions of the populations, to support these things.
Mobilize, As If For War
It's very much like conducting a war. (There used to be wars, you know; there could be again.) In war, how do you get a people to fight a war? Well, first of all, you take 'em back about 50 years, or so, when they could still do that. Now, they just say, "I don't go there." "I'm a soldier. But I don't go to the Balkans." (You can imagine a German soldier, these days, on the German budget. They say, "You have to go to the Balkans. You're our German force in the Balkans. But you don't have any uniform; you don't have any money. Just get down there." The guy has to go in as a nudist. He infiltrates an Albanian nudist camp, and steals some clothes and weapons, and then deploys!)
But, that's not the way wars were fought and won, in the past! Wars were fought, first of all, because a people, who didn't like to die, believed that it was necessary for them to put themselves at risk, in order to save the nation, and to save the conditions of their nation and humanity for the next generation, and that beyond. And, therefore, they would willingly—with fear, with trepidation, with great reluctance—but would willingly do what they thought was necessary for them to do.
Now, the same thing is true, the moral equivalent of going to war, is what we face now. We have to take this population, just the same way that people were drafted in 1940-41 in the United States, out of all kinds of conditions, and we say, "We're going to war. We're going to war against chaos. We're going to war against depression. We're going to war against misery, and stupidity. Because, if we don't win this war, there's not going to be a next generation, at least not one in fit condition to live." And, therefore, we have to put ourselves on the line, for the coming generation. And we have to find, in ourselves—to do that, to fight that kind of fight, either a war, or the kind of fight we have now to make, under very difficult conditions of world depression, which is already here. We have to mobilize in people, a sense which is a much higher sense of personal morality, than exists in populations today.
The Moral Issue
Now, I mean by this personal morality problem: People who lack personal morality, are people who talk about "my interests," "my family interests," "my personal interests," "my career," "my community," "my particular trade union," "my particular industry," "my city." "My, my, my." "Mine, mine, mine." They think about it, in terms of the next few years, at most. If they're a banker, they think in the next few minutes. They don't think about the future! Gratification in the here and now, is everything. Pleasure and pain, in the here and now. Protecting one's illusions, in the here and now. "I don't want to know what's going to happen next year! I want to feel good, now." The entertainment society: It's not a work society any more, it's an entertainment society.
In order to get a population mobilized to defend itself, you have to evoke in them a sense, that there's something more important about their life, than their personal experience in the next few minutes. Or, their immediate surroundings. Or, their personal prejudices, or tastes, or preferences. They have to think of themselves as a part of humanity. They have to think of themselves as sharing the gifts of ideas, of knowledge, of culture, which have been transmitted to them over previous generations; which persons, though now deceased, have given to them: The great scientific discoverers, of centuries earlier; all the great artists of centuries earlier; have given to us—now that they are deceased—they have given to us, through transmission to us of the great gifts of culture, on which our powers of society depend, per capita and as an individual in society. We are going to die, all of us. We don't take it with us—not our mortal selves. What we take with us, is what we give to humanity, that comes after us. It's the meaning of our life. What do we give to humanity? What is our sense of saying, "We have lived"? without blushing in shame; without saying, "My life was nothing. All of this was just my pleasure. All of this was my pleasure-seeking—my personal gratification from moment to moment."
"What does my life mean? I'm about to die. What does it mean? What did the whole life mean?"
Well, the time to start thinking about that, is long before you die. The first objective, is to acquire as much as you can, of the gifts of humanity to you, especially in terms of ideas, culture, opportunity. The second thing, is to develop yourself as much as possible, to make a similar contribution, at least, in the transmission of that culture to future generations. And, that's the least you do.
When you say, "I'm that kind of person," then you have made the transition, from being merely a mass of people, to becoming a true citizen, of a true republic. As a citizen, you live for the society, for all time. You bring new meaning, and added benefits of outcome of the lives of those who have gone before you. You take their gifts. You build upon their sacrifice, upon their contributions; and you change the outcome of what they gave you, by making it successful. More successful. You add something to that. You give it to those who come after you. And, you are happy, because you sense that you have lived, inside you, like the figures I've often referred to, in the School of Athens of Raphael—the mural in the Vatican library. All of these people: They all live in a different time, they're not contemporaries. Some of them are, some are not. They're different people. They all represent, from the standpoint of the Classics, they represent ideas. Each person represents a contention about an idea. The works of each of these, as a painter or philosopher, can be re-enacted in modern times. Each of those figures you see portrayed by Raphael, in the School of Athens, was a living person, whose work is known, whose discoveries and arguments you can re-experience in yourself. You know the name. You have a picture. You know the circumstances (if you have a decent education)—they live inside you! They live inside your memory! Not as pictures; not as images. They live as the process of generating ideas. It's their ideas, that live in you. The struggle among ideas, among them, lives within you! That is what you have inside you, in your memory. All these great contributions: They're living there—like people, like your conscience, inside you. You don't obey them, but you respect them. And, you don't do anything shameful in front of them, in your own memory. That's conscience.
You look to the future. And, you imagine the faces of those who are going to come after you. And, you think what the future must think of you. And, what are you going to give to the future. Are you going to create a future, that will enhance the outcome of your having lived? Can you make a contribution, and ensure that future generations will take your contribution, and build upon it, to do something more than you've ever achieved?
I mean, people used to have these ideas, you know. People, for example, immigrants in the United States, would come, for example, from Europe: The first generation would struggle greatly. It was difficult. It was painful. They'd sacrifice. They'd raise a family. And, their objective was, that that family would have a better chance, than they had. And, they would think about their grandchildren, the next generation after that: That generation would be professional, would be skilled, would be a solid citizen of the country they were living in, would make an important contribution. And in a simple way, these people, who came to the United States, as immigrants, would think like that. They'd work like that. They'd live like that. They'd say, "Something better is going to come out of my having lived, and what I'm doing now. I don't know what it will be, but I know it will be good. And, I'll see it coming, in a dream."
A Sense of Mission
That's what we have to mobilize, in the population. You start from—as I said, you start from the crisis. You go from the crisis, as discussed among the experts you bring together, who are willing to face the problem of the decision, as the case of Argentina, now, confronts us. Or the case of Poland, really. Or the case of Turkey—same thing.
Then, you have to win over the institutions, which must make these decisions, to suddenly become sensible, when these institutions, right now, are not very sane. Just look at any parliamentary procedure—look at Jospin in France. It's a tragedy! Then you say, "Well, that's a terrible tragedy, to have such a Prime Minister." Then you look at the President: "Oh, my God! Another tragedy!" Then, you look at most of the ruling class there—same thing. You look at almost any country. You look at most of the parliaments. You look at the politicians. You look at the publications! The leading newspapers, the television! Look at how people spend their time, with their entertainment, their reading, their discussion, their behavior. It's frightening! This is decadence! In the extreme! So, we have this decadence: We have the decadence among the politicians. They have to be frightened into suddenly becoming sane, and guided—held by the hand. A strict teacher is going to have to teach them. We're going to have to mobilize the population and its institutions, at the same time.
But, we're going to have to—as an end result—give a sense of mission to that population and to those institutions: a sense of mission of what we're going to accomplish; what the end result will be; what the next generation's judgment will be, of what we've done for them, on a planetary basis, and in each nation.
With that sense of mission, all the other things will tend to follow. And, we've got to do that. We have to do that.
Otherwise: "Look, Ma, no world." We have a terrible problem.
Origins of the Current Crisis
Now, let me just indicate how we got here. We'll take it in two steps. We take the first step, is the general period since 1945. As the end of the war approached, Roosevelt was committed to eliminating all vestiges of colonialism from this planet, and eradicating free trade. This, he said to Churchill, in 1942, and otherwise. He said: "Wiinstoon!" and Winston was glowering. And, at Casablanca, Winston brought along this guy, Louis Mountbatten—Lord Louis. And, Roosevelt came into the room, and there's Winston and Mountbatten standing there, and he said: "Winston, I know why you brought that bastard" (Roosevelt was a very insightful fellow). He said: "We're not going to do it any more, Winston. And, when the war ends, we're going to take down the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English, and the French colonial systems and their vestiges. We're going to give these people, whom you brutalized, a chance to have their own countries, and a chance to develop their own countries, including—. Listen, I'll show you, Winston, what we're going to do in Africa." And, he put up these charts, showing the large-scale infrastructure projects, intended for Africa. And, Roosevelt—it wasn't Keynes, it was Roosevelt—designed the postwar Bretton Woods system, in its first form, at Bretton Woods.
Then Roosevelt died, before the end of the war. And, the successors of Roosevelt, couldn't wait until his body was cold, to tear up many of the things he decided to do. Among these (you notice, immediately), was that British, Dutch, and other troops—including Japanese troops!—were sent in to re-colonize the areas, which Roosevelt had described would be freed. And they did it in a bloody way: the Dutch and the British, with U.S. backing in Indonesia, and so forth and so on.
And, then they also, in order to prevent Eurasia from being organized, the British and their friends, organized what became known as the Cold War, to divide Eurasia against itself, as a geopolitical strategy for controlling Eurasia. You see, people in Eurasia do not conduct wars against each other. People in Eurasia are treated like puppets on strings. And the puppet-master, the Anglo-American puppet-master, pulls the strings, and has the various people or the various nations, make war against each other. And, then, as Henry Kissinger expresses it, they come in with "conflict management." Which is what the Roman Empire did. The way it controlled the subject peoples, the way the empires of Mesopotamia, in their time, controlled subject peoples: How does a small oligarchy control a large mass of people? You divide the people against themselves, put them at each other's throat, and then come in as a manager, as an arbiter, between them. You play one against the other.
It's what they're doing in the Middle East now, with this crazy thing from Israel. This is not a Palestinian-Israeli conflict: This is a puppet conflict! Orchestrated by Anglo-American interests, who, for geopolitical reasons, stated by Brzezinski, are determined to have a "Clash of Civilizations" war, throughout the southern strip of Eurasia, in order to break up Eurasia—to destroy it—so they can manage the world for their globalized system.
That's why nobody can stop the war, unless we do it, the way we're trying to do it, now. Can't be stopped. And, it will not be a war. It will not be a war: It will be a religious war, which is what they intend it should be. Why should any idiot want to send a mob of Protestant fundamentalists from the United States, up to take the Dome of the Rock, and ravage it, and establish a Temple on the Dome of the Rock? They're starting religious warfare! Why? Because they want to start religious warfare! You take all the divisions of Islam, and all the other religious issues of the southern strip of Asia and Central Asia; you start an attack on Islam of that type, a travesty of that type, you will set into motion a chain reaction of bloodletting, worse than what happened in Europe, in the period 1618-1648 with the Thirty Years War. Which was intentional!
The Thirty Years War was not something between Protestants and Catholics in Germany: It was something orchestrated by Venice, in an operation, which had initially been planned by Paolo Sarpi. Which had been delayed, for a while. It was a pattern of religious war in Europe, which went from 1511 to 1648. Which almost destroyed Europe, which was created in Europe. The Europe of the Renaissance was devastated, in the main, by religious war, directed by Venice, which began in 1511, under Venetian direction, and continued until 1648. We got out of it, with the Treaty of Westphalia.
Now, we should have learned the lesson, and never again allow religious war to arise on this planet. Because the consequence is, to plunge the planet into a virtual dark age, plunge humanity backwards.
Anyway, that's what the problems are. So, that was what happened to us. But, under those conditions, we had from 1945 to about 1963-1964, in the relations among the United States, the Americas generally, Western Europe, Japan, there was a general improvement in the average conditions of life of the people; a general improvement in the economy; a general growth, postwar rebuilding, and so forth. Similarly, at the same time, in the Soviet Union, there was a significant amount of reconstruction, which continued, also, in the same period, to about the middle of the 1960s, under the Soviet system, in a different way. So, that, overall, say, if you go back to the period from 1945 to 1963-64, there was a general period of net progress, under terrible conditions, admittedly, but in these parts of the world.
An Accelerating Decline
In the middle of the 1960s, a change occurred. You take the entire period, from about 1966-67 to the present time, there has been a period, generally, of an accelerating rate of decline of the conditions of life, worldwide: in the United States, in the Americas, in Western Europe, and in the former Soviet Union and Comecon. The actual physical conditions of life—life expectancy, health care, nutrition, so forth—all of these conditions of life are worsening. Poland is in a worse state today, by far, than it was in 1989. You had an initial government of Poland, in that period, the Solidarnosc leadership, which wanted to reconstruct Poland, immediately; very sensible objectives. But, then, the pressure came in from the Anglo-Americans, and Poland was stripped down. The Mont Pelerin Society came in, with its ideas, the Thatcherite ideas—stripped it down. East Germany? Yes, in parts of East Germany, after the Wall came down, certain things were improvements. But: The agro-industrial potential of the area of East Germany was ruined! Much of the infrastructure that was built up, in the postwar period, was actually infrastructure that was built up on a credit system, which turned a mountain of debt, into an enlarged mountain of debt, for speculators. The kind of debt speculation, which you see, for example, in Germany today, in Berlin, in the collapse of the Berlin Bankgesellschaft, which is the result of private speculators looting the government, indirectly, and the people, through real estate speculation. And living on it—whole party functions, party functionaries, getting into power, through this kind of grab.
And, this is the situation throughout Europe. The situation in the former Soviet Union is the same thing: Looted! Looted! Looted!
Or, take South and Central America: Look below the borders. Go back to 1988, the beginning of 1989. Look at the map of Central and South America: How many of the nations, designated then, on this map, were then independent, functioning nations? That is, with governments which actually had some authority, with institutions which were stable, and with some of the capabilities for economic growth? Well, what happened to Central America? Central America was destroyed. What happened in Colombia? Colombia's essentially destroyed. Venezuela's about to be destroyed. Ecuador doesn't really exist any more: Its sovereignty was dollarized out of existence. Peru was just crushed by a coup, imposed from the United States—a real, fascist style of coup. Argentina's being destroyed; Chile's being destroyed; Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay. Brazil is largely carved up, and threatened with destruction. This whole area, that used to be an area of proud nation-states, admittedly, with afflictions, but proud nation-states, that don't exist any more. Or, they're hanging by their nails, on the edge of a cliff.
Look at Africa: Africa was in terrible condition. What's its condition now? Genocide! Beyond belief! And, it's raging on! Predators, like the older George Bush, with Barrick Gold in Congo—mass murder, with private armies, to loot the raw materials of the region!
Look what's happened in Europe, Western Europe: economies that were once strong. Take the number of industries—think back, 1988—think of the best, leading high-tech industries of Germany: What has happened to them? How many disappeared? How many still exist, but are gutted? Think of the German banks, in 1988, even into late 1989, including Deutsche Bank, which were functioning, real banks, with real capabilities, real powers, and real policies. What happened? They're gone. They're shells, controlled by wild-eyed speculators, and young people, who don't even know what money is.
Look in the United States: a similar kind of process. Look at the destruction of the health-care system, in each of these countries. Notably, compare Germany and the United States, which are quite comparable. Same thing. Destruction.
Look at education: Is there going to be a next generation of Germans? What's coming out of the school systems of Germany, today? What's happening to that generation? Are they going to be capable of handling the country? Enraged people? Is this country going to survive?
So, over the period since 1964-66, there was an overall change from the system, which, with all its imperfections, worked. There was still net progress. And, the problem was to remove the problems, within a system which had net progress. From that point on, we've gone to a system, overall, globally, of degeneration, decadence. We're now at the point, that the world, as presently organized, with its present population, is not capable of continuing to exist, with the present trends. The system is collapsing; it's disintegrating.
We've also had, at the same time, a disintegration morally and intellectually, of the generations and institutions, who have participated in this degeneration. We have a moral and intellectual degeneration of the populations themselves. People born after 1945, who were educated between 1945 and 1965, for example, in the United States, are morally inferior to the preceding generation; morally and intellectually inferior to the preceding generation. Their children, the children of those born in the late 1960s, and on, their intellectual and moral capability is inferior—the so-called Generation Xers—inferior to those of their parents. Their capability of living, is less. They're not capable of the kind of productive employment that their parents' generation was capable of. They don't even know it exists, any more. People think in terms of money.
Economics Is Not `Money'
Now, let me get to this thing I said I was going to get to: The characteristic insanity, in all of this, is money. Money and pleasure. Money and pleasure. These are the markers of moral degeneration. The reality is, that money is not, in itself, intrinsically important. Look, a government can cancel money! Money is about to cancel itself, in a number of parts of the world. It cancelled itself in Germany, in 1923. And that can happen again. You don't have to dive into the euro, to kill the deutschemark. It could kill itself, under present conditions. So, money can evaporate. Banks can evaporate. Financial accounts can evaporate.
So, therefore, the competent person, especially the politician, does not think in terms of money, or finances. They think of money and finances as instruments of government; not as the authority over government, but as the instruments of government. Any sovereign nation-state has the intrinsic moral authority to create a currency. And only a sovereign nation-state has that moral authority. A state has the moral authority to eliminate a currency, to cancel it; because the function of a currency, is to enable society to function. So, a currency is created to enable society to function.
Now, what is the function, that society must perform? What is the economic function, society must perform? Well, the essential thing is, society must develop mankind's relationship to nature. Such things as producing food, for example; transforming the desert into a habitable area, in which food can be grown. Infrastructure, to enable us to use land-areas, so people can feed themselves. The development of technology; the development of industries; the development of mineral technology. All these kinds of things, which are necessary—to do what? To increase man's power over nature. In what sense? By what standards? Well, per-capita power. Take, for example, life expectancy. Take child mortality rates; decrease child mortality rates, number one. Increase life expectancy. Prevent crippling diseases, or minimize them; recovery from diseases. A population, for example, which has a life expectancy of about 40 years of age, can not be a modern society. How can you educate a child for 25 years of life, to become a professional person, if the average member of society doesn't live beyond the age of 40? How are the children going to be maintained?
So, therefore, increasing life expectancy, decreasing child mortality—because that's an investment; every child is an investment. It's an investment of the parents, in creating the child. It's an investment in raising the child. It represents, in a sense, a sacrifice. It represents a cost—a real, human cost—to produce that child and educate him. If the child dies, society has a loss! A loss of a potentially valuable individual, which it cost to produce! That's why the great tragedy is the death of children: the life that could have been, which it cost so much to create, in which so much hope was bestowed. Taken away!
So, this is the thing. How do we do this? Well, we do this, in two general ways: First of all, we make discoveries in scientific principle, in which mankind's intellectual power over nature is increased. And, this is expressed in things like technology. Or, the ability to control forces of nature.
It's also expressed in culture, in a general way, because mankind is a creature of ideas, which no animal is. No animal has ideas; they have impulses; they can be happy, or unhappy. But, they don't have ideas. Every dog does what a dog does before it. A dog is a dog, is a dog, is a dog. And, sometimes, we say, a politician is a politician, is a politician, is a politician!
But, human beings are faced with challenges, make discoveries of principle, are able to prove these discoveries experimentally. They pass on the transmission of this discovery to someone else, to re-enact it. These discoveries are then shared, within society. Society is able to cooperate around these discoveries, for joint action, for common purposes, and to adopt purposes which coincide with these discoveries. But, also, to do this, you must have a certain kind of social relationship: a social relationship, which is based on ideas, not words, not so-called information. Because the most important thing about a human being, is, they are a human being, not a dog; not a cat; not a mouse, not a worm. (Some politicians may qualify as worms, but that's a different story.) The essential thing about a human being, is the ability to transmit those kinds of things, which correspond to humanity, rather than bestiality. Those transmissions, are ideas: Ideas as typified by scientific discoveries.
The Lessons of Classical Tragedy
And, the use of great art, like Classical art, as a way of enabling a society to understand itself, or great Classical tragedy. What is that? A society is doomed. Well, many societies have been doomed. Practically every society that ever existed, has been doomed. It's collapsed. Why did it collapse? Isn't that an important question? Here you are, you're investing in trying to build a society, and all these societies—people say, "Welll! These societies before you, collapsed! Why d'you worry so much about it? Ours'll collapse, too! They all collapse! You know! They all collapse!" It's like the new car you bought yesterday: It's going to collapse tomorrow. It's this new-fangled type, you know, to stimulate demand.
Well, what do you learn from tragedy? In a Classical tragedy, like the Classical Greek tragedies, what's presented to you, contrary to what's taught in some schools about tragedy, is not the flaw of the individual personality. It's not a character flaw. What is demonstrated to you, as in the case of Hamlet, the famous Shakespeare Hamlet: Hamlet was not a person of flawed moral character. He was a person who represented, like most of the other characters in the play, the society which had doomed itself! And, every case of Classical tragedy, presents a case—an historically specific case, or an idealized case—of a society which doomed itself. And it selected leaders, whose opinions were consistent with the flaw in the character of the society. And, Hamlet was just that. Hamlet was consistent. Remember the last scene in Hamlet: You have Hamlet's corpse being carried off-stage. And, you have Fortinbras, this crazy Norwegian; they just have about destroyed Denmark, and are about to destroy the rest of the world, with all these crazy killings. Throughout the entire drama, remember? "to smite the sledded Pollacks on the ice," in Hamlet, all this killing is being done. Killing, murder, and so forth. A real disgusting kind of society, portrayed by Shakespeare in great detail, and great refinement. And Hamlet is a perfect expression—you have these British directors, they'll take Hamlet: "He cawn't make up hith own mind. He mutht be one of thothe kindth of people"; like a Laurence Olivier portrayal of Hamlet. Disgusting.
What is Hamlet? Hamlet is a swashbuckling swordsman. He hears a rustling behind the curtain—he throws the sword behind it and kills the guy, without even finding out who it is! He comes back constantly from battles, and he talks about the number of people he killed! He's typical of his culture! And, he goes down in the slaughter, of his culture.
And, then, you have the final scene, with Horatio and Fortinbras. And, Fortinbras is a—"CHARGE!! We're going to do it again!" And, Horatio, in an aside to the audience, says, "Let us re-enact these events, while they're fresh in mind, before mischance, by plots occur." In other words: Change the society.
And—Helga [Zepp-LaRouche] will probably deal with this—the principle of the Sublime, the Erhabene, which Schiller brings out. In the greatest form of tragedy, it's no longer tragedy. In tragedy, the audience learns by watching this (if it's well done); learns that, here's something, how a society destroyed itself, and to develop an insight into how to prevent that from happening, the way Horatio puts it, in the last scene in Hamlet: "Let us re-enact these events in our mind, lest more errors, by plots and mischance, occur." Rethink! The same thing is true in all great art. All great Classical art has this characteristic.
But the best, the Sublime: The real, historical case is Jeanne d'Arc, who is a true case of the Sublime. There's an element of the play, which is a change by Schiller, but it's for dramatic purposes, and legitimate ones. Otherwise, it is historically specific to the actual events which occurred. A peasant girl, devoted to making a fool, her King, a real King. And, she's clear on this. She goes to this King, and says: "You are going to become a King! I'm not taking orders from you. I'm giving you orders from God! You're going to become a King; and you're going to save France." And, she did! And, died in the process. Died horribly, in the process—in reality! as well as in the play.
But, what she did: She made possible the first modern nation-state, that of Louis XI's France, and made possible the succession of that in England of Henry VII, getting rid of Richard III. The effect, already, in 1430, in the period of the Councils, the meeting of the Councils, the effect of her case on the Councils, stimulated the discussion, which actually brought into being, the Renaissance in Italy, and the general Renaissance. So, this peasant girl, inspired peasant girl, adopts a mission, for society; does everything, for that mission, with one little vacillation (which was actually this question of men's clothes), changed history! Made the modern nation-state possible. And eliminated, by that act, the worst of history, which had come from the accession of Henry II through Richard III, in case of the Dark Ages before. Began modern civilization! Can you say, that this woman's death is a tragedy? That her life is a tragedy, of error? No! She actually made modern history, one of its best periods.
So, the function of tragedy, is shown best as in the case of Schiller's treatment of the Sublime; Helga will deal with that—leave it up to her.
But, it's made clear to us, by these cases of the Sublime, which is what Plato criticized in Classical Greek tragedy, on the basis of it. That, Plato gives you, with the Socratic dialogues, an example of the Sublime: that every dialogue, leads, not to a tragedy, but leads to overcoming a potential tragedy, to arrive at a solution; and, very simply, the first thing in the Phaedon is the perfect example of this, but, also, things like the Meno. The Meno's a perfect example of this principle of the Sublime. The slave-boy is able to re-enact the scientific discovery. So, that, in every case, of a Plato dialogue, there's a great success for humanity; it comes out of seeing what could potentially be a failure and a tragic situation. The tragedy is overcome. So, the most important thing about that, is the revolution which had occurred in religion and art, and an understanding of history, where humanity has learned, how to have insight into humanity, in order to rise to higher levels than before, and to avoid the kinds of mistakes, which have led to tragic consequences for humanity in the past.
Isn't it a terrible thing, to see a society die by its own hand? To see the great suffering, and misery, of a society, dying by its own hand?
The Discovery and Use of Ideas
All right, so, on this issue then, if we include the idea of Classical artistic conceptions, insight into the relationship of human being to human being; correlate that with the significance of scientific discoveries, the discovery of scientific principles, and cooperation to solve the problems of mankind in life, through that; then, an economy is, what? An economy is, the cooperation among human beings, around the discovery and use of ideas, to solve mankind's problems. To illustrate that: The state does, what? What should the state do? The state should start from a generation: That is, today, we mean a generation, biologically, 25 years—that is, from the time that a child is born, until the child has reached physical intellectual maturity; that is, where the biological processes of maturation are complete. And, it is our desire, of course, today, to have every child educated through the age of 25, to the equivalent of a professional education, of the Classical humanist quality. To realize, as much as possible, the potential of every child.
Now, this means, that we have to be able to support the child in that development, provide that quality of education, and support; which means we have to increase our productivity, to do that. We must organize our efforts, to invest in those things which will bring about that consequence. Now, how do we invest? Well, society creates credit, and a currency. And society plans for 25 years ahead—at least a generation—on certain things that will be done during the current 25 years, which bring society to a higher level 25 years hence.
Now, that's not only a biological condition of the individual human being, it's also the fact that, to build and maintain, and to begin to pay for, infrastructural projects, like large water-management systems—. Let's take the Middle East—water management. You have to think in terms of 25 years. Because, what you will have to do, you will have to invest in developing, over 25 years, before it begins to, so to speak, pay for itself. A large mass-transportation system—a real one, a modern rail system, with magnetic levitation—it's a 25-year investment, just to recycle the period from the investment, until the time it's a self-sustaining investment. Large-scale investments in technologies: You have to train the labor force; you have to invest in equipment; you have to build the machinery, and develop the machinery. Even developing a good, new product, an industrial product—any particular product—may take five to seven years. From the time that you decide you're going to make the product, until the time you have all the tools in place, the parts, and the flow, and you're able to live with that product, as a mass-production product, may take five to seven years, typically. Or, a garment—to produce a new garment, may take two to three years. Just a new type, a new style, may take two to three years. To produce a new automobile, may take ten years, to produce something of quality; from the time that you start to plan the thing, until you actually can begin to mass-produce a finished model, may take ten years, or longer.
So, therefore, in order to improve the society, you have to think in terms of the development of the population; you have to think in terms of the investment in infrastructure; you have to think in terms of the investment in the development of agriculture and developing industry. And, these take time. Therefore, what does society do? We're not going to benefit from water management, today? It'll take us a few years, before we benefit? Fine. How do we pay for it? Society has to advance credit. The state collects taxes. The state uses credit to build infrastructure. The state assists private industries, in getting credit, for long-term investments, in various ways. The state creates a currency; the state creates banking systems, public banking systems and private ones. And, creates them for the purposes of creating credit.
So, therefore, again, we're back to mission. The function of the state, is to enable society to adopt a mission, which is generally 25 years ahead, a generation ahead, which is your horizon, at least. You adopt that mission, and then, you provide the organization, by society, of the means to carry out that mission. So, it's like a war.
The main thing we have to accomplish, strategically, in all the things we do now, is, to essentially define a mission for mankind, which ultimately is a mission which should be adopted by every person, in society. And, we should aspire that each should adopt that personal mission; that their sense, of their participation, in that mission.
Eurasia: A Great Opportunity
And, we have some things that are to our advantage. And, the great advantage is in Eurasia, which is the pivot of all possibility of Europe's surviving this presently onrushing, great depression. And it's more than a depression: It's a breakdown crisis. It's not a depression; it's not a cyclical depression. This is a breakdown of the entire economic system of the planet. And, under the present political system, the entire system will disintegrate; the entire physical economy will disintegrate. Nothing! We've gone too low. We can not bounce back; it is not capable of self-recovery. We have to change the system, and it could recover.
Now, for that purpose, our great advantage is Eurasia. Eurasia has a peculiarity, of being—on the one hand, it includes European civilization's development, modern European civilization, which has certain special features, which are very important for this kind of mission. It also, through the mediation, especially with Russia, which is a Eurasian nation: That is, it's a nation of essentially European culture, but it has a very strong interface, with Central, South, and East Asia. By its very history, it's a Eurasian nation. Therefore, Russia defines a surface—as, in some degree, the Balkans—a point of intersection between European civilization and non-European civilization: China, India, Southeast Asia, and so forth. Now, this is the great area of interface, between two great parts of the world population. It's the largest single land-mass on this planet. It has the greatest concentration of natural resources, of any part of this planet, most of which are untapped. The greatest area of undeveloped area untapped, outside of South America.
Africa is a long way behind, in reaching that point. In there, you have a corner of the Middle East, which pivots on Egypt, because Egypt is an old culture, and is the pivot to Africa. Every time we go at this issue of Africa, we always come back to Egypt. If you want to develop Africa, you must focus on Egypt. Egypt is the gateway to Africa. More than a physical gateway, it's also an intellectual gateway to Africa. Because of the history of Africa. Therefore, the Middle East comes in, as Egypt's relationship to the Middle East. And the lack of stability in the Middle East, and the lack of stability in the Balkans become the two great flanking threats, to Eurasia and to European civilization. The soft underbelly of Europe, the Balkans, which is constantly being destabilized, is a great weakening of all of European civilization. It is complementary to the destabilization of the Middle East, which is also a pivotal flank of all Eurasian civilization. And, that's where the enemy is attacking now. The enemy is attacking in the Balkans; he's attacking in the Middle East—the British enemy, or the British Anglo-American enemy.
Attacking the Balkans: What did they do? 1989: In order to destroy the possibility of Eurasian cooperation, coming out of the dissolution of the Comecon, they started the attack on Iraq—the war. Mrs. Thatcher said, "George! You're going to do it!" He said, "What, Mrs. Thatcher?" "You're going to do it, George!" (He's not a very intelligent man, but a nasty one.) And, so they went about, and they had the Desert Storm war. And, when they finished that (or, didn't finish it, they just shut it down a bit), then they went, and they started a war in the Balkans! An Anglo-French operation, starting a war in the Balkans; a series of wars. And, they have gone on since! The attack on Iraq, was on, and continues to this day! The Middle East destabilization continues to this day! The attack on the Balkans is escalating, right now, with the Albanian thing. Run by a United States special warfare division—typical operation.
This is where our future lies, on these issues. But, the possibility is, when you take the development of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, as we defined it, and look what's happened, since we defined it. Look at the agreements that have been reached, especially, first of all, the attempt under Primakov, as Prime Minister of Russia; and, then, later, under Putin, as President of Russia: The agreements that have been reached, among the nations of Asia and Russia; look at the fact, that there's no possibility of Western Europe surviving, without the great markets, which are represented by the Eurasian Land-Bridge.
Typical is the case of the German Magnetschwebebahn [magnetically levitated rail system]. A short time ago, the Magnetbahn was dead in Germany, killed by its parents. It survived, only because China decided, in Shanghai, to proceed with it there. It's now alive. It's being extended. That typifies the situation, that, every possibility of any significance, for reviving the economies of Western Europe today, depends upon following that same pathway, of developing long-term infrastructure and related projects, together with countries in Asia, the great population center of the planet. And, tapping into, through large infrastructure projects, the greatest undeveloped resource, proximate to us in Europe: Which is North and Central Asia. A great desert area, rich in raw materials, ripe for development, but you can not develop it, without the infrastructure. Economic development is impossible, without infrastructure.
So, therefore, saving Europe, Western Europe, in particular, means that you must have the Eurasia Land-Bridge. Because, it's not sufficient to have a correct economic policy, a correct financial policy, to replace this one. You must have a mission, which is actually going to bring about, or enable you to bring about, the kind of growth, which you need to rebuild these shattered economies in Western Europe.
The United States, which has become a parasite nation—we don't produce much any more. Everything that's called "Made in the U.S.," is usually made in some cheap-labor market, elsewhere. Ask the American workers, where they produce this. They'll say, "We don't produce it. We just buy it." So, the world has been supporting the United States. Because, we and the British were top dogs. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand: They run the world! They loot the world! Everybody pays them. Everybody drops their currency to a lower price. Everyone contributes money. Money flows into the United States, to support a bankrupt U.S. market. So, the U.S., like ancient Rome in its death throes, is living on its ability to prey upon its friends, and victims. So, therefore, the United States, now: Its existence, now depends upon resuscitating those it has been sucking upon, especially for the past ten years.
So, therefore, the vital interest of the United States, is to have Europe's successful cooperation in the Eurasia Land-Bridge realized. In order to do that, we must have the mechanisms of credit created; financial reorganization; we must have conditionalities, of the type we had under the old Bretton Woods system—that is: fixed exchange rate, preferably a gold-reserve standard, to stabilize currencies; low-cost interest rates; 1-2% long-term, 25-year loans, and so forth. And, long-term agreements of that type, which are not money investments—as such they may be money investments, but they're largely the issue of purchase-credit from countries which will export to countries which will import, on the basis of long-term agreements, under an overlapping nest of 25-year agreements, among governments. In other words, even if private industry does it, the governments have to negotiate the treaties, under which these private agreements work.
It could work. What is being done with the Magnetschwebebahn between Germany and China, is only an example of the general pattern, which must be set.
So, in sum, that's what we have. We have a great crisis. A crisis has happened in its various stages—I could have gone back earlier, to earlier history, to how this whole thing began, but I didn't. We have a crisis, which most people who were born after 1945, really do not understand, including the top politicians. And which still-younger generations have no comprehension of. We have people, who are in the top-most positions, generally in government, and similar positions, today, who are people who were born after 1945. And, generally, as a generation, they are not capable, on their own, of understanding what this is all about.
So, therefore, those of us who are older and wiser, must work together to educate these dumb fellows we should have educated before, who are now in high positions of government, and other positions of authority. They must act, with us, to mobilize the population for a mission, and to get the population to understand the mission, the same way you mobilize the population for war. But, this is a war for peace. And we must continue that, a 25-year sense of mission. We must say, "Find our identity, in what we living, today, mean for the future of humanity, 25 years from now." That's our mission, and that should be our sense of identity.