Influence of LaRouche's Ideas
Continues to Expand In Russia
by Rachel Douglas
A new economics publication was inaugurated on Oct. 30 in Moscow with a featured interview with U.S. economist and Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche.
Russky Predprinimatel (Russian Entrepreneur) was launched at an event in the huge, rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Savior, attended by 400, including businessmen, economists, and Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) leaders. They heard the editors of the new journal speak on its concept of bringing morality back into economic policy and practice. In his speech, Deputy Editor Andrei Kobyakov explained that the commitment to a morally engaged economics, made it appropriate for the first issue of Russian Entrepreneur to feature a big interview with Lyndon LaRouche.
The "theme of the issue" is "The Crisis of Immoral Economics." Editor-in-chief Andrei Chernakov reminded the audience that "money is not the main thing" in the economy. The new publication will focus on religious and moral precepts, in the domain of economics. The first issue contains an article on President Putin, who is shown with ROC Patriarch Aleksi, as having begun to move the Russian economy "out of intensive care," although it is not yet healthy. In this context, the magazine calls for the press to stop playing a destabilizing role in society, and become a stabilizing, constructive factor.
Russian Entrepreneur, said Andrei Kobyakov, will be a "passionate publication," which will take sides and promote certain values. Kobyakov described LaRouche as one of the most profound thinkers alive today, and the interview feature is titled, "A Man Who Is A Titan." Kobyakov stressed that this was what the great figures of the Renaissance era were called—titans. The interview and photo feature appears under the headline "The Engine Of Progress Is The Striving To Do The Good."
Sharing the first issue is Kobyakov's own article analyzing the breakdown of the financial bubble in the United States. This is the topic on which he gave expert testimony at economist Sergei Glazyev's June 29 State Duma (parliament) hearings, which LaRouche keynoted (see EIR, July 20, 2001). Several other participants in those turning-point hearings also attended the inauguration of Russian Entrepreneur, and Jonathan Tennenbaum of the Schiller Institute addressed it on behalf of the LaRouche movement.
New Journal Asks:
What Is Christian Economy?
This interview with Lyndon LaRouche in the Oct. 30 inaugural issue of Russian Entrepreneur is entitled "The Engine Of Progress Is Striving To Do The Good." The interviewer is deputy editor Andrei Kobyakov.
Russian Entrepreneur: Ten years ago, you published a fundamental work, The Science of Christian Economy. Could you explain, in an accessible form to our readers, what meaning you gave to that concept? What is Christian economy; on what is it based; and what are its main characteristics?
LaRouche: "Christian economy" signifies, most broadly, the Mosaic doctrine of man, as created by, and in the image of the Creator of the universe. More narrowly, it signifies Christ's redemption of mankind, as stated, for example, in the Gospel of John, and implicit in the emphasis on the concept of agape, in Paul's I Corinthians 13. It signifies a notion of scientifically verifiable natural law consistent with those two, crucial elements of Christian teaching.
The emphasis is on the physical evidence which demonstrates absolutely the characteristic difference between man and beasts. As Vladimir I. Vernadsky argued, man is essentially a cognitive being, capable of discovering, and successfully applying experimentally verifiable, universal physical principles; the beasts are not. Therein lies the definition of the specific creative powers of the individual person, the powers of the human being which mirror the character of the Creator of the universe.
It is through those creative powers, and only those creative powers, that society is enabled to increase the potential relative population-density of the human species, or a specific society, as no species of the animal kingdom can do this.
While the discovery of a verifiable, universal physical principle, is characteristically the sovereign act of an individual human mind's cognitive processes, the ability of society to employ such discoveries, depends upon the replication of those acts of discovery in the minds of other individuals, and to bring such knowledge into currency for society's practice by such routes. Therefore, a corresponding quality of relations among persons within society, is essential to the realization of mankind's true potential as a creature made in the image of the Creator. This is therefore a moral principle, without which society can not function adequately.
Russian Entrepreneur: Earlier, you introduced into scientific usage, the term, "physical economy." How does the concept of "Christian economy" relate to your conception of "physical economy"? Are the two concepts identical?
LaRouche: The concepts underlying those two terms are congruent, but respectively distinct. The science of physical economy was originally introduced and developed by Gottfried Leibniz, over the course of 1671-1716. Originally, it appeared in Leibniz's work as a revolutionary transformation in the work of those cameralists who were sometimes associated with "mercantilism." I revived Leibniz's usage through original discoveries I made during the interval 1948-1952. By the beginning of 1953, I adopted Bernhard Riemann's revolutionary 1854 discovery, which had founded an explicitly anti-Euclidean form of physical geometry, as the way in which to organize my own original discoveries into a generalized form for practice.
As a part of my teaching at various locations during 1966-1973, I applied my own original discoveries in physical economy to a critical assessment of Karl Marx's "four volumes" of Capital in the light of post-1945 developments in the world economy. With the 1971-1972 vindication of my published forecasts for the U.S. economy, which brought me into modest, but growing prominence around the developments during and following mid-August 1971, the pedagogical methods I used in classes taught during 1966-1973, became known widely in many parts of the world, and, after 1991, drew attention increasingly in Russia.
In Russia, for example, a significant number of scientific thinkers either accept, or would tend to accept, my notion of physical economy. Yet, even among them, a significant number would not yet have accepted fully either my insistence, nor that of Vernadsky, that the principle of human cognition can not be derived from a mathematical-physics based upon currently popular notions of the universal principles of an abiotic universe. The latter persons could not yet reconcile the notion of a principle of physical economy, with the fact that it is the efficiency of cognition which proves conclusively that man is made in the image of the Creator. That is typical of the difference in meaning many observers would tend to attribute to the terms physical economy and Christian economy.
Russian Entrepreneur: Why is liberal economics, economics based on liberal theory, anti-human and anti-Christian by its nature?
LaRouche: Over the course of the 17th Century, in England, and then in France, "liberalism" signified a social philosophy premised upon a more or less radical version of the empiricism of Paolo Sarpi and Galileo Galilei. Sarpi's theory, as expressed by Sir Francis Bacon and Galileo's student Thomas Hobbes, was given a systematic form through the influence of such writers as John Locke, Bernard Mandeville, and David Hume. Later, this social dogma acquired a more radical form under the influence of Lord Shelburne and Jeremy Bentham's leading role in the British East India Company's Haileybury School.
The general form of this social theory, from Hobbes on, was that our universe functions on the basis of long-range percussive, statistical interactions among individual human "particles." The doctrine of "free trade," from Mandeville through the 19th-Century marginal utilitarians, was premised upon a frankly superstitious interpretation of that axiomatic presumption.
First of all, this social theory is both dangerous and scientifically absurd. Man's mastery of nature depends essentially upon the discovery and cooperative employment of those verifiable discoveries which are typified for science by discoveries of universal physical principle. It is the cooperation in application of these discovered principles, upon which progress in the human condition depends absolutely. This cooperation, not percussive interaction, is thus the essential interest of not only society, but also of each individual within society. It is the intention of the members of society to serve an efficient, willful intention to do good, which is the motor of human progress.
Second, the empiricists' percussive theory of social relations, is a modern product of a long and ugly tradition, in those ancient, medieval, and modern societies, in which a relatively small oligarchy and its lackeys variously hunted down, held captive, and culled, "herds" of human beings which lived in relative subjugation as virtual human cattle. Adam Smith's adoption of the doctrine of laissez-faire of the reactionary feudalist François Quesnay, is an example of the connection between ancient oligarchical traditions and modern liberal doctrine.
Third, not only was the author of modern liberalism, Sarpi, then the de facto lord of a Venice, that during a period Venice was in the concluding hundred-odd years of its role as the dominant imperial maritime power in Europe. It was the Venetian model, as typified by Sarpi, and under his direct influence, which took over England and the Netherlands during the course of the 17th Century. This Venice-modelled, Anglo-Dutch form of rentier-financier-oligarchy-ruled imperial maritime power, is the form of oligarchism under which the spread of liberalism has occurred, as we meet this phenomenon in Russia and elsewhere today.
Fourth, since ancient imperial Rome, the method of social control over a mass of human cattle, has been what the Romans called vox populi, or, in modern English, popular opinion. Liberalism is a form of belief which functions like a psychotropic drug, whose intended use is to induce the popular-opinion-"drugged" human cattle to put on their own chains each day. The people so "drugged" by the oligarchical predators who herd them as cattle, are induced to accept both what is done to them, and what they do to each other, as the marvelous will of fate; in this case, "the invisible hand of free trade" serves as a synonym for "the hand of fate." Since popular opinion, sometimes called "democracy," is a more efficient instrument of tyranny than the whip, in ordinary times the Enlightened rentier-financier oligarchy prefers to herd and loot its victims in a most liberal manner.
In a society consistent with Christian belief and practice, the primary motive of the people is the intention to bring about good. This is called serving the general welfare, the common good. In such a society, it is the rulers, above all others, who have the greatest obligation to serve that common good.
Russian Entrepreneur: In the course of centuries, Russia remained without interruption a Christian country. Only in the 20th Century, she did not stand firm in the face of many temptations, and she fell victim to completely destructive doctrines and utopias, losing much of her identity in the process. There were, of course, positive accomplishments, but they were attained at too high a price. Perhaps the main accomplishment may be the kind of bitter experience, which can exert a minimizing effect, providing an antidote to new temptations. But, it seems, the period of anti-natural social experiments in Russia has not yet come to an end. Will Russia, in your opinion, survive the present infatuation with ultra-liberal ideas?
LaRouche: I am, of course, aware of the complex of developments to which you refer. On some points, I can respond with relative certainty; on others, I do not consider myself qualified to make blanket judgments. I do know, that the October 1917 revolution would never have occurred but for the personal role of Lenin, and Lenin's continuing pre-assessment, that a revolutionary situation was inevitable, because neither the Czar nor any of the so-called reformers would be willing to take Russia out of the war. Thus, the seizure of power in October occurred in a relative vacuum. Then, Lenin was shot, and essentially out of control of the situation. There was Russia, seeking survival in those circumstances of the 1920s and beyond.
To assess that situation, consider the circumstances. The British monarch, Edward VII, was determined to put his nephews, Czar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm, at one another's throats. The uncle was evil, the nephews were fools, and the Habsburg Kaiser was the biggest fool of them all. Except for U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, the 20th Century was, essentially, a global tragedy, a down-slide into global cultural decadence. The problems of Russia, including the developments of 1914-1917, and since, have been essentially a reflection of the heritage of the long wave of cultural decadence which took over European civilization as a whole, from about the time of the Dreyfus indictment in France, until the present moment.
That decadence has now reached a critical point; we either reverse that trend now, or the worst is to be expected. This is the issue on which my attention and efforts are primarily focussed.
Russian Entrepreneur: Your special relationship to Russia is well known. Could you please explain to our readers, why you consider Russia to be key to the 21st Century? What is the geopolitical and general civilizational role of Russia in the world?
LaRouche: Today, Russia is one of the only three national cultures which enables its people to think in global terms. These three are, the British monarchy, the U.S.A., and Russia. East and South Asian cultures do not think in world terms, but of defending their place within the world. Continental Europe thinks of itself as a mere satrap of Anglo-American maritime supremacy. Africa and South America think of themselves as captives of (chiefly) Anglo-American imperial maritime power.
Any world economic recovery now will depend absolutely upon the integrated economic development of the nations of (chiefly) continental Eurasia, in which Russia, a specifically Eurasian nation with a European cultural basis, is the crucial link between European and South and East Asian cultures. If the U.S.A. were to cooperate with Eurasian development, then the means for launching the sustained progress of South and Central America and Africa would be assured.
For that role, Russia is indispensable today.
Russian Entrepreneur: What are the main causes of the series of financial crises, which have become inseparable characteristics of the world economy in recent decades?
LaRouche: The roots of the present crisis go back to the period of the American War of Independence. The victory of the U.S.A. then, was accomplished with the role of France as its principal ally, but with crucial strategic support provided by Russia and other members of the League of Armed Neutrality. Since that time, the pivotal strategic issue within globally extended European culture, and beyond, has been the determination of the British imperial maritime power, with aid from its temporary ally Metternich, to crush the young American republic, and prevent anything like it from existing within Eurasia.
The victory of the U.S.A. over the Confederacy, and the rapid rise of the U.S. economy to the position of a leading economic power, during the 1861-1876 interval, was a potentially crushing defeat for the global interest of the British monarchy and its oligarchical allies. The cooperation among Germany, Russia, and others, during the post-1876 period, created a growing pattern of cooperation in Eurasia which threatened to supplant London-led maritime power with continental Eurasian economic cooperation. The 1901 assassination of U.S. President William McKinley, and the 1905 Russo-Japan War, marked pro-Confederacy Presidents Theodore Roosevelt's and Woodrow Wilson's reversal in U.S. traditional policy, toward close alliance with London against continental Eurasia. The objective of the London-centered rentier-financier interests, was both to set the nations of mainland Eurasia permanently against one another's throats, and to bring to an end the commitment to science-driven agricultural and industrial development which the U.S. developments of 1861-1876 typified.
The Churchill-Truman orchestration of the post-Franklin Roosevelt, strategic conflict of the 1945-1989 interval was a continuation of that so-called "geopolitical policy."
In the aftermath of the 1962 missile crisis, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Anglo-Americans used the situation to introduce an axiomatic change in U.S. cultural and economic policy. Beginning with the influence of the pro-racist "Southern Strategy" Richard Nixon election-campaign of 1966-1968, sweeping reversals in direction of economic and social policy were unleashed. The 1971 collapse of the old Bretton Woods monetary system, and the savagely destructive policies under Brzezinski's President Jimmy Carter, were leading elements in this continuing trend. The result is the 35-year downward trend of a self-doomed system introduced during the mid-1960s.
Russian Entrepreneur: In the consciousness of the masses, "America" is closely associated with the ideas of "superpower," "financial power," and "technological leader." For this reason the present financial and economic crisis in the U.S.A. shocked the majority of inexperienced observers, appearing to them totally unexpected. Incidentally, for fairness' sake, one should note, that many "professionals" were revealed to have been intellectually and morally unprepared (for such a development). You and a few other analysts and economists, who came out with dark prognoses about the inevitability of a crash, were relegated to the margins of science. Now, history itself is opening the eyes of many to the correctness of your conclusions. How serious, in your view, might become the consequences of the present American crisis?
LaRouche: The crisis was, chiefly, the inevitable result of the axiomatic changes in economic and social policy-shaping of the past 35 years. The deluded faith in the alleged "resilience" of this presently collapsing world system, was essentially a reflection of the moral, as well as intellectual corruption, or perhaps the simple ignorance of the believer.
Typical of the process, is the present collapse of that deliberately created swindle, the 1995-2000 financial bubble called "the new economy." Also typical, is the presently overstretched U.S. real-estate bubble, and the global, hyperinflationary debt-bubble built up in the sphere of international financial loans.
The only solution is to put the entire international financial and monetary system into bankruptcy-reorganization: to simply eradicate most of the mass of accumulated financial debt of the world, and resume building the real economy under a new system with many of the leading features of the 1945-1963, gold-reserve-based international monetary and financial system. If that reform is not made, then a planetary new dark age is inevitable for the medium-term ahead.
The practical question for the near future, is: Who has the will to make the needed, drastic reforms; and, when will such persons acquire the power to make that decision? Certainly, if Russia and the U.S.A. were united in this purpose, drawing other nations into partnership, success would be virtually assured. Otherwise, avoidance of a plunge into a planetary new dark age, would be probable, if not absolutely inevitable.
Russian Entrepreneur: What must be done, in order to prevent a catastrophic scenario for the outcome of events?
LaRouche: Three most essential steps are to be considered. First, who has the knowledge to take the needed steps? Second, who will soon have the power to enact those measures? Third, who, having the knowledge and power, has the will to see through the needed reforms quickly? If those three conditions of adopted leadership among nations are satisfied, we shall probably succeed.
Russian Entrepreneur: Building the world, creating the future of mankind, is generally considered to be the lot of politicians. But the politicians do not always fulfill our expectations, and often do not measure up to the scale of the tasks. What could ordinary people do, to oppose destruction? What role could entrepreneurs—as the most active part of society—play in this constructive opposition?
LaRouche: See this as in the case of President Franklin Roosevelt's leadership, during the 1932 election-campaign, and during his first year in office. In all known history, the people have never spontaneously overcome a crisis of a degree of severity comparable to this one. The people require leaders who will give a frightened and confused people the courage to think clearly, for a change, and to have confidence in both their leaders and themselves. The leaders must represent an appropriate policy and program. They must quickly set the people into motion in doing the things which can and must be done. As the people thus acquire increasing confidence in both their leaders and themselves, apparent miracles become possible. So, it has been in terrible wars which could not be avoided; so it is with the times during which the challenge of the works of peace are most frightening, as now.
The entrepreneurs will not solve the problem "spontaneously." Large-scale infrastructural projects will create employment and also opportunities for entrepreneurs to find employment for their efforts. The government's adoption of national technological missions, in addition to infrastructural developments, will inspire and assist technologically creative entrepreneurs. The process of progress, through a combination of infrastructural improvements and acceleration of the rate of technological progress in both designs and methods of production, will increase the rationality within the population affected by these developments.
Out of progress in such directions, we must aim to foster a shift away from the bureaucratic mentality of administration for administration's sake, toward increasing emphasis upon progress in the development and fruits of the productive powers of labor. This, today, is a world-wide challenge. We must change the people's opinion of themselves, by demonstrating to them, before their own eyes, how ingeniously productive the people can become. A happy producer, is one who admires himself or herself as being a productive individual who never need be ashamed of what he or she is.
In some distant future, when most of the population is brought to true adult maturity, the relative role of the national political leader will be less than is most urgently required today. Throughout today's world, most biological adults, are not truly adult specimens of a humanity made in the image of the Creator. Most of our biologically adult population is too small-minded, too obsessed with narrow and short-term interests, rather than having the moral and practical outlook of individuals who embody the history of the past and a sense of the role their life must contribute to future generations. All true national leaders are those who have reached, at least approximately, what is presently a rarely achieved historical sense of what true maturity signifies. In times of crisis until now, such leaders are indispensable; without them, a society will collapse into a period of ruin, even vanish in the unfolding of a new dark age.