A SWIFT MODEST PROPOSAL
Can the Democratic Party Survive?
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
February 19, 2002
This statement was issued by LaRouche in 2004, Lyndon LaRouche's Presidential campaign committee.
The following is written and issued as a formal confirmation of statements on the subject of the future of the U.S. Democratic Party, which I made in the course of several sessions of the Reston, Virginia conference held this past Presidents' Day weekend. This present statement should be received and appreciated as a standing policy-statement by me.
My optimistic estimate, from among the possible near-future options for that Democratic Party, is premised on the uncertain, but plausible, prospect that the present crisis could soon become the occasion for a "Franklin Roosevelt Reflex," like that which once formerly took over the Party, with Roosevelt's first nomination and election to be President.
One would therefore hope, that now, as then, the presently continuing, and worsening succession of crises in the world, the nation, and the party itself, would push to one side the rotted wood assembled presently as the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) clique of John McCain's accomplice Joseph Lieberman. To that purpose, we should recall, that Franklin Roosevelt acted under the conditions of the 1929-1933 crisis, to return the Party, as he did, to that principle of the general welfare upon which the U.S. Federal constitutional republic had been founded in 1787-1789.
Without such a change, the U.S. Democratic Party has no hopeful outcome from the presently accelerating process of general breakdown-crisis of the post-1971 world monetary-financial system, and, perhaps, even no future at all.
Since May-June of the past year, in the aftermath of notable meetings among Senators McCain, Daschle, and Lieberman, the Democratic Party in the Congress has been, collectively, an unmitigated disaster. Whatever tacit or explicit understandings might, or might not have been reached between McCain and Daschle, the affinities of McCain and Lieberman are both obvious and odious. Taking other relevant matters into account, the kindest of the epithets which the combination of both parties deserves, is, that, so far, the combination of these parties of the Congress is "the gang that couldn't shoot straight."
Obsessed with their Dracula-like prayers for a midnight recovery of the hopelessly bankrupt, present world monetary-financial system, the behavior of our leading electoral parties presents a spectacle like that of the doomed, post-Czarist reform parties of war-torn Russia's pre-October 1917 agonies, or the Weimar Germany parties on the eve of the events of February 1933. Our present parties' continued follies are an invitation for an even fatal sort of national constitutional disaster.
What is to be done about this situation?
Some suggest forming a new political party. I have repeatedly warned enthusiastic proponents of such ventures, that simplistic schemes for forming a new party, have the smell of a foredoomed, Romantic political fantasy. The timely reorganization of leading political parties for a time of crisis, must unfold as a well-directed process, not as the sudden inspiration of a would-be Hollywood scenario-writer.
Perhaps the present crisis could lead to the emergence of a new political party, as the Republican Party superseded the hopelessly corrupt, increasingly treasonous Democratic Party under the control of such heirs of the treasonous "Hartford Convention" as Martin van Buren, Polk, Pierce, and Buchanan. However, contrary to efforts to launch a new party from scratch at this moment, there is, as I have said, the best hope is that the Democratic Party of today might be pulled back from the grave it appears to be digging for itself. Such a recovery will occur only as a change like that associated with the memory of Franklin Roosevelt. The latter would be the best option, if we could make it happen.
The problem is, that saving the Democratic Party, if that is, indeed, still possible, requires something more than a simple proposal for action. The necessary action could not be understood, unless we change the way in which most in the party, and outside it, think about politics up to now. I address that crucial background first, and then present the proposed remedial action against that background. Let us, therefore, put the tip of our finger on the problem, and then point to the solution.
1. The Roots of the Crisis
Among you Democrats, as among Republicans of today, the fault in all this lies, essentially, exactly where Shakespeare pointed, when he put the following words into the mouth of his character Cassius: "Men at some time are masters of their fates: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." You have become, more and more, like the self-doomed ancient Democratic Party of Athens, or the foolish so-called citizens of ancient Rome, the slaves of an Orwellian, mass-media-dictated tyranny, which most of you refer to, dreamily, as "popular opinion," or, among most members of the Congress, "the market."
Saying publicly only those words which you are afraid not to be overhead saying early, loud, and often, is the current, usual, rather disgusting definition of a "democracy" in today's U.S.A. The honest name for such "democracy" is that it represents the pitiable spectacle of slaves lining up at the back door of the master's house, saying, "Please, master, don't give us freedom; just hand out a few small payments as reparations for the way you strip of us of our freedom and make us suffer." Most of you vote, and even think, as Cassius said, as "underlings."
All the greatest historians and tragedians of European civilization, have sought to warn you, that, contrary to the myths shared among the anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists, and populists, the tragic threat to a powerful nation does not come as a betrayal of an innocent, wide-eyed, honest people, betrayed by dishonest, or incompetent leaderships. The dishonesty and incompetence among national leaders, which does, of course exist, is a product of the way our voters select their leaders. The corruption, to the extent it occurs, is, therefore, chiefly a reflection of the moral decadence of that majority of popular opinion which has preferred the kind of leadership which exhibited precisely such moral and intellectual defects.
Typical is the case of Enron, whose odorous state of corruption is essentially a product of policies which have been set into motion, step by step, by the bi-partisan complicity of an effective majority of the whole Congress. Therefore, perhaps it were more beneficial to strike the problem of such corruption at its root, by investigating the Congress itself, rather than the obvious pirates of Enron, in this matter.
The case of the lynch-trial of Socrates by the corrupt Democratic Party of Athens, illustrates the point. Socrates was accused of violating that popular opinion to which the leaders of that Party pandered. Similarly, to appease public appetites, the Christians were slaughtered by the Emperor Nero, to provide popular sports entertainment to masses of fanatics, of the type otherwise known, today, as "fans," among the spectators. Although that party of Athens was later defeated, after it had murdered Socrates, Athens as a whole did not long survive the outcome of its own judicial crime in that case. Similarly, the great culture of the Golden Age of Greece did not survive its earlier popular folly of the launching of the Peloponnesian War. So, the presently depression-wracked U.S.A. could not survive the folly of a global perpetuation of what is called currently "the war on terrorism."
These pages from the history of Greece are most important to us, because of the excellence of those features of ancient Greek culture which were contrary to the legacy of that Democratic Party, a culture which has been associated with one of the principal sources of all that is true and beautiful in European civilization as a whole, to the present date. The accomplishment of Schliemann, in finding the clues to the astonishing degree of truthfulness and precision of Homer's Iliad, is part of this legacy. The principles of presenting an image of life in motion by Classical Greek sculpture, and, above all, the matchless truth and beauty of Plato's dialogues, show us how a nonetheless great culture went down to self-induced destruction, through such tragic follies as those expressed by the incumbency of the momentarily popular Democratic Party of Athens.
Let us end the past two decades customary, Romantic prattle about our so-called "democracy."
As it is attested, still, by the 1776 Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of our Federal Constitution, our constitutional republic was founded to become a temple of liberty and beacon of hope for all mankind. Under that constitution, the authority of government was delimited to the efficient defense of our national sovereignty and the promotion of the general welfare of all of our people and their posterity. The highest rank to which a person could lawfully attain, was that of citizen.
True, that is not the case today, when such alien, explicitly pro-oligarchical doctrines as anti-human "shareholder value," are upheld by a majority of the U.S. Federal Court.
Throughout most decades of the just concluded century, our nation was usually under the thumb of an oligarchy which President Franklin Roosevelt identified, and denounced as "The American Tory" faction. This faction is an oligarchy originally composed, chiefly, of a combination, of financier interests associated with American agents of the British East India Company, and the slaveholder-centered oligarchy then spread from the original Federal states of South Carolina and Georgia. Today, since neo-Confederate Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, and, again, since the untimely death of Franklin Roosevelt, the U.S. has been dominated by a partnership between that sort of financier oligarchy and the legacy of the Confederacy. This is especially so since the 1966 launching of Richard Nixon's campaign for the Presidency.
Do not ask how political parties determine the policies of the present government. Ask, instead, how the "Big Brother" of our national financier oligarchy controls the popular opinion through which the parties and their candidates are, for the most part, chosen, and controlled. Ask how the minds of the majority of the nominal citizens of the nation are controlled in the manner Walter Lippmann described such brainwashing, in his 1922 book Public Opinion.
The majority of the citizens are controlled, thus, in much the same way the ancient Roman emperors controlled the popular opinion of the so-called citizens of ancient Rome. The first step to freedom today, is to recognize not only that popular opinion of the majority of our citizens is controlled to much the same effect a herdsman and his dogs herd sheep, but, also, to recognize how that control is exerted. Otherwise, almost none among you would have behaved, repeatedly, as most of you, unfortunately, have done.
Your decision not to continue to behave as political sheep, as what Cassius identified as "underlings," is now your first crucial step toward true freedom.
Who Is the Oligarchy?
To the degree our republic is under the thumb of what Franklin Roosevelt denounced as "The American Tory" forces, that oligarchy is composed most notably, of the following elements at the top. To enable you to understand our problem, I catalog some leading, but usually overlooked features of that oligarchy, and then summarize some leading features of the methods by which it creates and controls popular opinion.
The principal elements of that oligarchy, are the following.
- A financier interest, descended principally from Britain's Eighteenth-Century East India Company, which usually controls the banks and insurance companies, for example, but which is above those institutions, and may, from time to time, loot them, discard them, and replace or, later, resurrect them.
- As the case of John J. McCloy typifies this, a set of powerful law firms, typified by those of Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., which are the most immediate partners of the financier family interests, and are the most important influences in control of whole sections of institutions of government, especially the Federal government.
- Major accounting firms, which function as complements to the major law-firms of the oligarchy.
- Major universities and the sundry foundations and kindred instruments, which have come to exert a dominant influence, often including willfully false teachings in science and art, in the course of their effecting induced intellectual servitude. The institutions play a crucial role in the crafting and installation of oligarchical policies.
- A complementary oligarchical interest centered in governmental professions such as the military.
- Mass entertainment, which is today, as in Nero's Rome, the most significant instrument of the oligarchy's more or less dictatorial power, its power to condition and thus largely control popular opinion.
So-called mass-media "news reporting," is predominantly a subsidiary part of the same mass-entertainment activity as spectator bodily-contact sports, game-shows, Sunday morning talk-shows, and violence-oriented entertainment such as Pokémon and other cartoon productions for children, or story-free video, violence-and-sex pornography for adulterated people generally.
The American Tory party's array of instruments controlling most of our nation's policy-making, are, in part, peculiar to our nation and our times, but, yet, the principles of the methods they use are continuing echoes of an ancient tradition.
In a general way, the oligarchical practices of globally extended modern European civilization, are an extension of the precedents of ancient imperial Rome. Indeed, the characteristic cultural feature of modern oligarchically ruled society, Romanticism, is a specific form of systemic irrationality, a form of popular irrationality traced explicitly to roots in the depraved cultural characteristics of ancient Rome. It is various forms, or so-called "spin-offs" of just such Romanticism, which are the characteristic, pathological features of the inner mental life and social relations among our people today.
However, the most important variety of Romanticism shaping forms of oligarchical rule in modern European civilization, such as those of the U.S.A. today, is that rooted in the social structures and methods introduced continuously to Europe by medieval and modern Venice, until the latter's loss of explicit political power as a state, over the course of the Eighteenth Century.
Venice had emerged from the process of collapse of the Byzantine Empire, as the dominant imperial maritime and financial power of Europe, and of the Mediterranean region more broadly. The leading feature of this empire included the use of the Normans and their Anjou-Plantagenet offshoot, as a military arm and leading chess-pieces on the world board of Venice's policies. In the history of England, this included the Norman conquest, but was also, more narrowly, the notable feature of England's history, from Henry II through the fall of Richard III. Venice's own power at home, was centered in a system of oligarchical families, which were chiefly associated with financier interest, a social formation which often displayed certain resemblances to a slime-mold.
With the rise of modern Europe, and its technology, Venice's position at the head of the Adriatic was no longer as suitable, as earlier, to serve as the command-center for a quasi-world-wide maritime empire. Beginning early during the Sixteenth Century, Venice sought to create two potential maritime powers at the north, England and the Netherlands, as virtual clones, or, as some might argue, Golems, of Venice itself. The India companies of the Netherlands and England, emerged both as rivals of the also Venice-controlled, imperial Habsburgs of Spain and Austro-Hungary, and as the ultimately hegemonic world, financier-ruled form of maritime empires. The American Tory current inside the U.S.A. itself, is not only an echo of the old Venetian model, and also old Venetian ideology, but is modelled, more immediately, predominantly, on the specifically Anglo-Dutch variety of a neo-Venetian oligarchy.
The certain complexities of the presently reigning political system of the United Kingdom and its control over the British Commonwealth, can be more readily understood, when that institution is recognized as the same Venetian model consolidated as the new, British monarchy with the accession of King George I. The ideology and principal features of the American Tory faction's oligarchy in the U.S. itself are modelled largely in imitation of that Anglo-Dutch precedent.
With the rise of the United States to become a leading economic power, over the 1861-1876 interval, and the unfortunate, later, post-McKinley capture of control of much of U.S. policy by the British monarchy, the resulting, English-speaking Anglo-American alliance, became the dominant power in the post-1917 world. So, the oligarchical culture of the British monarchy and the similar culture of the American Tory faction, became the common outgrowth of the Venetian model prevalent in the world's affairs today. It is that present variant of the Venetian model which currently bears the oppressive burden of "democracy."
What Is 'Popular Opinion'?
Concentrate for a moment on the most visible part of the oligarchy's "Orwellian"control over U.S. popular opinion, the control of "public opinion" through the mechanisms of financier-controlled mass-entertainment and "news" media. The best way to understand those mechanisms of control, is to compare the methods of mind-control which were used in creating the popular opinion of ancient Rome's citizens, with the way the same principles are applied, using modern technologies, today.
Under ancient empires, such as the intrinsically satanic empires of Mesopotamia and Rome, the principal mechanism for exerting imperial control, by a relatively few, over the many, was pantheism. The imperial authority, the relatively few, relied upon nurturing the ethnic and religious differences in belief and habits of practice among various portions of the total population, to control the entire population through orchestrating the use of these differences as potential points of conflict among the many. Today, this is rarely called "pantheism," but, instead, by such intentionally misleading names as "cultural relativism," "pluralism," or "democracy." Racism, as practiced by Richard M. Nixon's 1966-1968 campaign for the U.S. Presidency, is an example of the true meaning of today's application of the notion of "pluralism."
This method of imperial control works as follows. The method can be reduced to a set of pathological types of axiomatic presumptions. Those presumptions are, at core, two:
- The false assumption, that there is no truth, but only opinion.
- Therefore, accepting that assumption, differences in opinion can be managed only through the intervention of a higher authority. In the case of Rome, that higher authority was known as a Pontifex Maximus, which was otherwise named "The Emperor." Under ancient imperial Rome, the imperial authority was maintained through a Pantheon of the various, certified religions of the Empire. For example, the Byzantine Emperor Constantine did not become a Christian; he simply legalized "Christianity" as a part of the Roman Pantheon, and, as reflected in the controversy at the Council of Nicea, insisted on his higher authority to determine what could be chosen as legally approved forms of religious belief and practice, and also leading church officials.
We see the effects of this in the imperial efforts of such a would-be Pontifex Maximus as Britain's Duke of Edinburgh, and others, to impose a "world religion," and a matching "world rule of law," from the top. We see the efforts from the U.S. Supreme Court's Justice Antonin Scalia, and others, to impose mandatory reforms within religious belief, such as the radically irrationalist, paganist dogma of "textualism," to bring current doctrines of U.S. pantheism (pluralism) into accord with contemporary globalizing trends in philosophical liberalism. The campaign for a "politically correct" world super-religion of all the tolerated religions—a neo-Roman imperial pantheon—is in progress at this time. Zbigniew Brzezinski, for example, is such an extreme form of pantheistic paganist.
Thus, under what are appropriately identified as the empires of Mesopotamia, Rome, Byzantium, and so forth, the only agency empowered to make law as such, was the Pontifex Maximus, or the equivalent, such as the Emperor. Hence, prior to the Fifteenth-Century birth of the modern sovereign nation-state, the form of prevalent law was imperial law, law defined in consistency with what Roman style identified as a Pontifex Maximus.
There were but two significant forms of opposition to imperialism within known ancient and medieval European culture. The first was the notion of law defined by a principle of reason, to which all rulers must be subject, as best typified by the Socratic dialogues and The Laws of Plato. The second, coinciding with the essential features of Plato's contribution, was Christianity, as this was expressed as the issue of the epoch-making conflict between the Emperor Constantine and the Christians, at the landmark Council of Nicea.
In fact, Constantine was the successor of the Emperor Diocletian, of Diocletian Code infamy, who had, up to a point, continued the practice, since the Emperor Nero, of mass slaughter of Christians. Diocletian decided, for opportunistic military-political reasons, to cease the ritual mass-killing of Christians. Constantine gave Christianity the legal standing of an official cult of the imperial Pantheon, and subject to his own higher authority in determining its beliefs and practices, and appointments of its officials (bishops).
The popular opinion implicit in such imperial pantheonic axioms and postulates, was made efficiently part of popular opinion through such methods as public executions, especially in such mass spectator bodily-contact sports as gladiator fights to the death in a public arena. Public hangings, in former times, and the reintroduction of the death penalty, to U.S. judicial practice, are typical of mass-brainwashing of populations, their reduction to bestiality, through a heightened sense of blood-lust. The fanaticism evoked in the spectators (i.e., the "sports fans") by that slaughter, lent the force of passion to the rules of the game acted out symbolically in the arena. It was not reason, which reigned in Roman public opinion (vox populi), but thus-induced, impassioned attachment to the name of a cause, such as a rule of conduct.
That today, is still the efficient connection between irrationalist forms of mass-spectator bodily-contact sports, and popular opinion. This is called "rules of the game," a form of brainwashing of people which begins during childhood. So, pre-adolescent Pokémon addicts tend to acquire a cohering disposition to become killers. Thus, Nintendo games were developed intentionally, as by pro-fascist U.S. utopians, as an efficient way of conditioning adolescents and others to become purely irrational mass killers.
Thus, popular opinion is created as a kind of religious belief, but existing on a higher level of social and intellectual authority than the beliefs of any particular religious body. This is expressed by the change in patterns of religious belief in the U.S.A., for example, in the combined aftermath of the 1962 missiles crisis and the protracted warfare in Indo-China: men went to war, but, often, only the living bodies, not the souls, were returned. The pews of the traditional churches were emptied, replaced, more and more, by the ill-concealed pornography of the wild-eyed "Elmer Gantry's" revival meeting.
It is "escapist" forms of mass entertainment, including relevant forms of spectator sports, especially bodily-contact competitions, which are the prevalent basis for the actually practiced forms of religious beliefs among the majority of the U.S. population today, including the professed atheists most emphatically. The spill-over of those sports-cathexised "values" into the domain of "news reporting," including election-propaganda and mass-media reporting on electoral campaigns, merely typifies the "Orwellian" conditioning of the majority of the U.S. population during recent times.
The result of a population conditioned to such forms of popular opinion, whether in ancient Rome, or today, is "the mob," as in "lynch mob." We used to speak of "mob rule." We used to speak of demagogues, who reigned by their ability to incite an irrational mob-spirit among clusters of "popular opinion." We used to speak of the "appeal to mob-spirit." All these and kindred forms of pathology, are expressions of "popular opinion," as in ancient Rome, and as the mass media spreads and uses such tactics today.
When Teachers 'Brainwash'
A well-educated citizenry has a healthy contempt for the opinions of "the mob." The alternate name for such contempt, is "sanity." This includes antipathy toward all activities which express the kinds of "popular opinion" associated with the mob-spirit of what Shakespeare's Cassius called those "underlings" which were the typical citizens of ancient Rome. Take, for example, the mob-spirit typified in Shakespeare's portrayal of Mark Antony's demagogic address.
In broad terms, "a well-educated citizen" tends to point to a well-informed, disciplined mind; but, it also signifies a desirable quality of attitude which may also be found among the relatively illiterate, and also even very young children. In all cases, it should be understood as signifying "an instinct for truthfulness."
A famous example of this quality of "instinct for truthfulness," is the case of a little boy we might recall from Hans Christian Andersen's story, "The Emperor's New Suit of Clothes." It was that little boy, who broke the spell of that kingdom's equivalent of a "new economy" cult, by saying, "But, he has nothing on!" We need Senators and Representatives who share that boy's instinct for truth, in the Congress today. The emphasis is upon how the individual, or the nation thinks, rather than what he or she might think at a particular moment.
In our society, more and more, the power to direct and rule is concentrated in what are regarded as educated strata of the population, as typified by university graduates encumbered with what are called, sometimes ironically, "terminal degrees." Thus, to control popular opinion in modern society as efficiently as the oligarchy tends to desire, the intended corruption must be deeply embedded, at least widely, in the mental life of the most highly educated strata. On this account, the universities and "foundation"-like "think tanks," perform a crucial role, like that of ancient "high priests," in the mind-control which the oligarchy exerts over the society as a whole.
The oligarch's brainwashing trick used by today's typical classroom, is a direct echo of the fundamental principle of imperial law. The most convenient illustrations of the general principle involved, are the cases of generally accepted classroom instruction in Euclidean geometry, and of the radical form of such doctrine known as empiricism. Empiricism, combined with its Kantian derivative, is the most typical root-characteristic of modern, reductionist modes in oligarchical dogma and classroom instruction.
For example, in the pathological form of generally accepted classroom instruction in physical-science subject-matters, the student is indoctrinated, both explicitly and otherwise, in the notion that there exist certain so-called "self-evident truths," which are in fact, false, such as the set of definitions, axioms, and postulates of a Euclidean geometry. This vicious misrepresentation of the nature of the physical universe, and of physical science, is the prevalent standard of instruction in most classes in mathematics, physical-science topics, and artistic and related programs.
While this educational practice does not prevent the production of graduates possessed of certain degrees of actual technological and other competencies, it does have a destructive impact, comparable to the meaning of the term "brainwashing," on the higher, cognitive potentials natural to every new-born child. The core of this "brainwashing"-like effect, is the virtual obliteration of a sense of the meaning of the distinction between truthfulness and mere opinion. The mere opinion known as "authoritative," is the most significant in the functions of the oligarchy's mass mind-control over the mass of the subjects.
If one could deprive a population of its inborn potential for that quality of Socratic reasoning known as truthfulness, the victimized society has no confidence in its ability to resist the attempted imposition of purely arbitrary beliefs. That imposition occurs by those methods of aversive conditioning described, as "negation of the negation," by Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Practical Reason. Kant's "negation of the negation," is the same notion expressed more crudely, as "repression," by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. The aversive force of "popular opinion," is, as Kant describes the matter, just such a form of repression.
In the case of the typical form of brainwashing met in the typical post-primary-school indoctrination in Euclidean geometry and algebra, as earlier in arithmetic, the relevant definitions, axioms, and postulates are presented as "self-evident." That means, that to the degree the victim, the pupil, accepts the authority of such "self-evident" assertions, the pupil is led to define "rationality" as any scheme which can be shown, deductively, to be consistent with those, chiefly arbitrary, "self-evident" assumptions.
Under the ancient Roman Empire, and in late-medieval and modern classroom instruction, the model for a system of allegedly self-evident sets of definitions, axioms, and postulates, was Aristotle. The blunders in astronomy by the Aristotelean ideologues Claudius Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe, are examples of this. However, by the beginning of the Seventeenth Century, an even cruder version of such a system was introduced by the then lord of Venice, Paolo Sarpi, the empiricist system of Sarpi's agents Sir Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes.
Since that time, the ruling doctrines of English and American Tory thought are essentially, predominantly empiricist, rather than the earlier Aristotelean. Kant is notable as a devout disciple of British empiricism who sought to improve upon the empiricism of his former mentor, David Hume, by putting certain features of the structure of Aristotelean method back into a reformed form of empiricism. It is chiefly through conditioning the population to accept empiricist forms of argument, such as those of Kant and the modern existentialists, that the population is more or less successfully "brainwashed," and thus controlled.
Consider the way in which empiricism is used to promote such cattle-like obedience in the students. Understand the submissiveness of the general population from this vantage-point.
To assess any university, one of its departments, or one of its classrooms, it is essential to begin by focussing sharply on the implicit set of definitions, axioms, and postulates which regulate the taught doctrine and related opinions, to which the victims, the instructors, and the students alike, are subjected. To appreciate the significance of such an assessment, it is useful to compare the now virtually banned method of Classical humanist education, to the opposing method of emphasis on virtual, or even actual "programmed learning" methods typical of contemporary pedagogy.
The alternative to such pathologies of today's educational institutions, the Classical humanist method of education, is typified by the Humboldt program for secondary education, which focusses upon enabling the students to relive the experience of typically important discoveries by preceding generations. This is a method in which the teacher and students experience the act of challenging the prevalent definitions, axioms, and postulates of their own and earlier times, and to make experimentally proven discoveries of principle which validate those discovered hypotheses. The method is, essentially, the method of Plato's Socratic dialogues. It is the same method made famous by the great Moses Mendelssohn, as by Friedrich Schiller after him, and Humboldt on the premises supplied by Schiller.
The significance of this type of education, is that instead of learning formulas, the student comes to discover principles, as in the sense of experimentally demonstrated universal physical principles. Johannes Kepler's original discovery of universal gravitation, is an example of this. The discovery of the physical meaning of numbers and geometry, by Carl Gauss and his follower Bernhard Riemann, without using arbitrary definitions, axioms, and postulates, are crucially important examples, of great relevance for urgently needed reforms in virtually all educational programs today.
In sociology, the difference between the student who seeks to imitate the teacher and classroom in a course based upon "self-evident" definitions, and the student who actually knows what he is talking about, is sometimes referred to as the distinction between the so-called "other-directed" student (the copy-cat), who has learned to act out what he has been taught, and the "inner-directed" student, who actually knows what he or she is talking about. "Popular opinion" can be described fairly as a common symptom of the disease of "other-directedness."
If and when, the leading professionals of a society are subjected to a personal educational history based upon the fostering of "other-directedness," those professionals lack a sense of the meaning of truth. For example, we have the student of so-called liberal arts, who takes a certain degree of pride in claiming not to understand physical science, and the damaged mind of that science graduate who claims to take pride in his ignorance of, and hostility toward Classical liberal arts. When the most influential strata within the institutions of the economy and public life are conditioned into habits of "other-directedness," the result is a population which, in general, has no clear sense of the distinction between truthfulness and the falsehoods prevalent within today's body of popular opinion.
Some Typical Examples
To understand the way this disease called "popular opinion" pollutes political life today, consider some recent examples from the field of my outstanding special expertise, economics.
Take the cult of "free trade." In our nation's history to date, every time the U.S.A. has bent to the influence of the fanatics who insist on "free trade" policies, the economy has undergone ruinous effects. The long, post-1966 decline in our formerly progressing economy, especially since 1977, is a direct result of the folly of returning to the same "free trade" policies which had often ruined our nation's economy in the past. No competent form of proof was ever given for "free trade" policies, and never could. Nonetheless, if popular opinion can be, once again, swindled into believing that "free trade" is the current trend in popular thinking, there we go, diving into the same old manure pile once again! Then, we wonder why the economy is being suffocated!
Take the case of the so-called "new economy." This hoax was pumped up by the U.S. government and Federal Reserve System, over the 1995-2000 interval, but began to collapse, inevitably, in spurts, over the interval from Spring 2000 to Spring 2001.
That "new economy" swindle was based upon the earlier influence of such Bertrand Russell devotees as Norbert Wiener and John von Neumann, in creating the related set of cults known by such names as "information theory," "systems analysis," "artificial intelligence," and "technetronic society." No scientific community which had not been heavily indoctrinated (e.g., "brainwashed") in the kinds of radically empiricist misconceptions of cult-figures such as Russell, would have been duped into tolerating any of these silly fads. Even otherwise gifted scientists and engineers, were lured into these forms of irrationalism, out of fear of offending the high priests of empiricist forms of "generally accepted classroom mathematics." That mass-brainwashing of even prospective scientists has thus been a leading contributing cause for the imperilled state of the U.S. and other economies today.
Take the case of "deregulation," as set wildly into motion under Brzezinski-misguided President Jimmy Carter. That four-year term, with its fanatical emphasis on the combined follies of "fiscal austerity" and "deregulation," did more damage to the U.S. economy, in four years, than has been done under any other post-1945 Presidency, prior to the drive to "globalization," begun at the beginning of the last decade.
The now onrushing chain-reaction collapse of the world's vast financial-derivatives bubble, as merely typified by the Enron case, is typical of the vast swindles which inhere in continuing what Carter began, as his "deregulation" program. Deregulation is the chief culprit in that chain-reaction financial collapse, which is now bringing the world economy, including the U.S. economy itself, down around our ears.
"NAFTA" and "globalization," make absolutely no sense in any sane economic doctrine. Excepting the looting of other nations through such imperial means as colonialism and international loans, all progress of modern economy has depended upon a combination of protectionist measures by government, including large-scale public works, combined with the regulated generation of credit, which is steered into areas of those technologically progressive productive investments which are assessed as priorities of national economic interest. Globalization, if continued, means a march down the road of technological stagnation toward the early doom of the world economy, a world threatened with a hopeless collapse into a planetary new dark age.
Such are typical of the terminal diseases of popular opinion.
The world's greatest fool, is the one who says, "None of my friends would agree with you." Almost as bad, is the foolish person who excuses his behavior, "I had to go along, to get along." Such are, once more, typical of the potentially terminal diseases of popular opinion.
2. The Democratic Party Might Be Saved
Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought the Democratic Party, and the nation, too, out of a virtual grave dug for it, notably, by scion of the Confederacy Theodore Roosevelt, by Ku Klux Klan fanatic Woodrow Wilson, by Calvin Coolidge, and by Andrew Mellon. One of the clearest markers for that change in the party itself, was the movement of so-called African-Americans, from the Republican Party, into the Roosevelt-led Democratic Party. Although that shift in the vote was only one of several crucial features of the change, it provides the simplest and clearest illustration of the point, that Franklin Roosevelt turned the nation back into the direction of its true constitutional principle, the promotion of the general welfare of all of the people and their posterity.
Serving the general welfare does not mean handing out benefits, like the rich lady inviting the town's poor to her back lawn once each year. It means mustering the general population into active participation in the rational, truthful deliberation of the nation's long-term, as well as current policies. It means treating the citizen as a true citizen of a republic, not some foolish pseudo-citizen such as the wild-eyed sports-fans streaming out of such places as ancient Rome's Colosseum or Circus Maximus, nor like too many politically illiterate members of popular opinion coming bleary-eyed from mass spectator-sports exhibitions on their television screens, or from the increasing popular gambling centers. That remedy, the citizen's broad participation in defining the requirements of the general welfare, is what the Democratic Party ought to have come to mean since Franklin Roosevelt saved it, and cleaned it up quite a bit, back during the 1930s.
That means, changing today's typical citizen, from the boob controlled by popular opinion, into a person who is zealous to get the truth of any matter of policy before him. That means, party leadership, at all levels, of a quality which evokes that kind of search for the truth of a matter from among the members of the party at large.
The degeneration of the Democratic Party, in particular, since the Brzezinski-Carter administration, has been the increasing sensibility among farmers and others, that no one "up there" cares any longer about their interests, or the welfare of the nation as a whole. The opinion, which has led most of the citizens out of active participation in either major party, is the sense that, "it simply does not matter what I really think, or say. They are going to do what they are going to do to me anyway."
The fact of our national economic decadence can not be denied by any rational person. Look, for example, at the curve of the declining share of total national income possessed by the lower 80% of our nation's family-income brackets (Figure 1). Look at the uglier truth of the statistical fraud practiced since the 1982-1983 introduction of the official "Quality Adjustment" index. Look at the collapse in quality of education, in health-care, in basic economic infrastructure. Look at a majority of the U.S. population, 401(k)'s and all, being driven like mythical lemmings over the cliff into the ocean of world depression lurking below.
It were rightly said, that the Party leadership, especially the DLC faction, has become like spiders, who offer their victims, the American people, nothing more than a lot of sleep-inducing comforts of "spin." They are the kindly people who console their victims with the loving information, that what we are doing, in pushing "deregulation," or "free trade," or "new economy," or "globalization," is really "in your best interest," even if it kills you.
If it were any consolation, the Republican Party's condition is as bad, or even worse. Between the two, as long as the present DLC faction remains in the Democratic saddle, as even Al Gore admitted during some of his worst moments as Vice-President, there is not much of a choice.
In fact, at the moment, we really do not have any national party worth shucks. That does not mean that there are not some useful people, even important people, within each of the parties. It means that each party, as its behavior is presently organized, has reached the point it is incapable of deliberating and functioning in the way that our leading parties used to be able to do, even as recently as the 1970s or mid-1980s. We must think of those parties as places into which some useful people have happened to have wandered, often, perhaps, through a profound misunderstanding of the situation in which they presently find themselves. The challenge is to bring those useful people, together with others, into building a new political leadership of our republic.
My desire is, that such people, once assembled, will take over the Democratic Party as Franklin Roosevelt did.
The danger is, that this presently extremely decadent condition of the political parties, might be an invitation to the kind of dictatorship, or worse, from which President Franklin Roosevelt's intervention saved us at that time. I speak frankly; there are two presently obvious dangers in this direction.
Brzezinski, McCain, and Lieberman
First, symptomatically, a recent edition of the New Yorker magazine, indicates that Republican John McCain is threatening to do to President G.W. Bush, what Theodore Roosevelt did to President William Howard Taft. The New Yorker has written of a possible "Bull Moose" ticket for McCain in 2004. Recently and currently, McCain has been closely associated with Senator Joe Lieberman. The slide of Donna Brazile, a former campaign manager for Vice-President Al Gore, into the McCain camp, is just one more or many indications, that the McCain-Lieberman "Harpo-Groucho" act is moving toward the disintegration of both of the major political parties.
There are warning-signs of very advanced, potential fatal sickness in all political parties. Like McCain, Lieberman, Brazile, et al., the hyenas and vultures are circling, anticipating a feast on the herd's remains. In the meanwhile, the present party leaderships are about as productive as geldings at a stud-farm. The mares are becoming restless, looking toward a possible future for the species in fields beyond.
The spectacle is a looming truly Classical tragedy. The sickness typified by the current roles of McCain and Lieberman, is a warning of the condition into which political institutions find themselves, when they remain too long unwilling to accept the reality of a systemic change in the national and world situation. The Congress is burying itself under the debris of a fool's effort to continue business as usual even after the business has virtually gone out of existence; they are going toward Hell because they continue to insist on "going along to get along." Such has been the suicidal inclination of the Democratic Party in the Congress since the May-June interval of last year. The moral sickness was already there, and already far advanced; since the past May-June, the symptoms have become increasing signs of imminent terminal decay.
Secondly, a Classically educated observer of the present, advanced state of decadence of our U.S.A., would be reminded of a famous poem by Heinrich Heine, the Doppelgänger, one of those set to music by Franz Schubert. The man who meets his double is doomed; thus, we of the U.S. political system, have met our true enemy, and he is ourselves.
True, our nation does have external adversaries. The most notable is the international drug-trafficking cartel, which has been fostered by leading financier and related political interests, inside the U.S.A. itself, such as the representatives of the international drug-legalization lobby, such as the influential George Soros, and forces within the Inter-American Dialogue. That has been, and continues to be principal threat to the U.S.A. in the Americas, as from the narco-terrorist organization, the FARC, in Colombia. There is the international drug and weapons trafficking, which has been the chief logistical support for the conduct of international terrorist and related operations by relevant British, U.S.A., and Israeli interests, and some others.
The continuing source of augmentation of dangers of that sort comes, inclusively, from those inside the U.S., including the Congress, which, for example, refuses to allow effective measures against the use of financial-derivatives traffic and kindred exotic means for laundering the proceeds of drug and illicit weapons-trafficking. There is, therefore, a Doppelgänger stalking the corridors of our Congress itself.
However, during the recent dozen years, there is no foreign nation-state power which represents the combined capability and disposition for posing a serious capability of threat to the U.S.A. We have reached the point, that our republic will have no serious enemies, except those within our own borders and our own existing institutions, unless we ourselves create them. In effect, there is no major threat to the U.S.A., which our government and oligarchical establishment, has either not brought down upon us, or is engaged in the attempt to bring down upon us out of lustful desire of discovering foreign adversaries. There are only those who seek to draw emnity upon our nation by their own folly, such as the circles of Zbigniew Brzezinski. Otherwise, all the important dangers to our republic we have brought upon ourselves.
The crux of the problem is the continued, overreaching influence of that American Tory cabal whose most essential features I have already identified in this communication.
The successive electoral victories of Presidents Nixon and Brzezinski's Carter, have resulted in measures which, on the one side, destroyed the measures of economic reconstruction which brought us out of the 1930s Depression and through the successful post-war economic reconstruction. On the other side, these two ill-conceived Presidencies typify the political process by which an increasingly parasitical role of financier-speculative interest has gained increasing power to loot our own and other nations, and has sucked the juices out of our economy and its people, over a period now approaching thirty-five years.
The Congress, and the leading political parties have built up the increased power of that American Tory succubus which is now bankrupting us, and sucking the juices even from the looted bodies of our people. The established political parties have made themselves the paid lackeys of that succubus. Thus, when the time has come, at which the continued existence of our constitutional republic requires bold measures to return us to the kinds of policies on which our former well-being depended, the parties can do nothing which would displease the financier interest which has become their master. In short, they can do nothing which will be a remedy for the great world economic breakdown crisis now descending upon our nation as a whole. The parties as a whole have thus become like the inmates of a prison, or lunatic asylum, as they may choose; they debate much about affairs within those walls, but dare not step outside the bounds prescribed by those interests which have come to confine them within its embrace.
Something fairly described as "mass insanity," thus becomes the characteristic, top-down feature of these political party formations. They flee into fantasy-life, like the hysterically happy man scheming to steal possession of an abandoned luxury stateroom on a sinking ship. A popular belief among such poor fools is the effort to convince one another that, "We will all make it, if we can only agree to believe in the recovery, where things can return to what we were accustomed to." Thus, we have the spectacle of members of the Congress, acting like desperately competitive men hopefully shooting craps in the dining room of that sinking ship.
Meanwhile, while some in the parties try to continue playing their traditional, foolish games, others are shrewder. These others smell the wild desperation within the ranks of the ruling oligarchy. That oligarchy is increasingly inclined to tear up the Constitution and crush the existing political liberties, just as desperate men in London and New York brought their choice, Adolf Hitler, to power, in January-February 1933. The talent scouts are out interviewing prospective recruits to a new political formation, to play a key role in giving the appearance of a political party which can give the appearance of necessity, if not legitimacy to a new quality of post-Constitutional dictatorship in even the U.S. itself.
The McCain-Lieberman flirtation with Eleanor Holmes Norton's and Al Gore's Donna Brazile, is not necessarily the wave of the future; but, it is a warning, and a frankly disgusting one, at that, of the direction in which things are moving, rapidly.
The Available Option
Watch the way you use verbs these days! The Democratic Party will not improve; but, it can be improved.
Let me shift to a strongly autobiographical tone of voice. I do not wish to argue that former President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter destroyed the Democratic Party's vitality, since the principal devil in that detail was, as I believe the late Cyrus Vance would have come to agree, Carter's sponsor and chief controller, Zbigniew "Chicken Game" Brzezinski. The key fact to emphasize on that account, is that it was Brzezinski, who succeeded his rival Henry A. Kissinger as National Security Advisor. The fact remains, that the Carter Administration wreaked a degree of destruction of the Party from which it has not recovered to the present day. It was during the two years immediately preceding Carter's election, that I assembled a foresight into a Brzezinski-led Carter Administration which stands up as fully accurate in all essentials, to the present day.
It was for that and related reasons, that I launched an effort to revive the legacy of the Adams-Carey-Clay-Lincoln Whig Party as the basis for my own independent U.S. Presidential campaign of 1976. It was for that reason, that I campaigned for the Democratic Presidential nomination, against Carter and Mondale, in 1979-1980. On all the issues, I have been proven correct in that political perspective, up to the present day. When the sheer horror of the Carter Administration's actions turned many Americans, temporarily, into "Reagan Democrats," I remained a Democrat, but sought, as a patriot, to make useful, relevant contributions to the Reagan Administration, from its beginnings. (All patriots try to make the best, if possible, of our Presidencies, even simply as the patriotic thing to do.) My role in designing the policy later named a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was among the results of that 1981-1983 relationship. My included purpose in designing that policy, was to defend our nation against the horrifying lunacy of the policies of Brzezinski and his confederates, or, should I say, "Confederates"?
During that period, my key personal collaborators included the subsequently deceased Allen Salisbury, who did extensive original research into crucial topics of U.S. history, and also, the Foreign Minister of Guyana, the distinguished Fred Wills, who played a key role in introducing my proposed reforms of the International Monetary System into the historic, August 1976 Non-Aligned conference at Colombo, Sri Lanka. Allen and I worked through the role of the Whig Party in the Nineteenth-Century diplomatic and related history of the U.S.A., and also came to play a leading role in my election-campaigns. His 1978 The Civil War and The American System, is a reflection of that collaboration. Fred Wills, deeply experienced in the internal affairs of the British Commonwealth, and one of the persons most knowledgeable in the internal politics, including the liberation struggles, of sub-Saharan Africa, was also of enormous value to me in these and other matters. Essentially, I was, then, in 1976, and remain, an "American Whig" of the Quincy Adams-Carey-Clay-Lincoln tradition; back then, those typify the collaborators with whom I shaped that commitment, from then to the present day.
It is through the eyes of that tradition, including Benjamin Franklin's designated successor, Mathew Carey, that I view the present crisis of the U.S. political-party system.
During the crisis which gripped our nation under the successive failures of the Jefferson and Madison administrations, Carey issued a call to the nation, published under the title of The Olive Branch. This book, through its several successive editions, formed the kernel of the appeal to rescue the nation from the bankruptcy of our leading political parties following the death of President George Washington and the assassination of Alexander Hamilton by Bank of Manhattan founder and British Foreign Office asset Aaron Burr. The result of Carey's campaign was the emergence of the Whig Party.
For many reasons, Carey's effort, and that Party serve, still today, as the model to which we must turn our attention now. The point is not, as I considered such an option back in the mid-1970s, to re-create the Whig Party (in fact) as a way of dealing with the onrushing degeneration of the Nixon Republican and Brzezinski Democratic parties. The purpose must be to define a national patriotic conception which help us to shape an urgent reform of our present partisan politics.
A patriotic political party is not based upon "business arrangements," but a coincidence of commitment to nation-building principles. In the case of the U.S.A., this must be nothing other than a return to what is sometimes identified as the "American Exception," the exceptional role which the American Revolution played in pointing the way out of that rubble of feudal and Venetian decadence which had continued to dominate Europe in the still-turbulent aftermath of the 1511-1648 wave of Venice-orchestrated religious warfare. The U.S. was created, with indispensable intellectual and other aid from the best circles in Europe, to provide what Lafayette aptly described as a "temple of liberty and beacon of hope for mankind." It is to the degree that we evoke the active spark of that legacy within our political system, that, despite our morally and intellectually decadent condition today, we are once again capable of great things, for our nation, and for the world at large.
Therefore, let us change the rules. Let those meet, discuss, and collaborate who should, within, or outside the framework of partisan alignments. Let our association in that way become an inspiration to institutions which, otherwise, could not save themselves from the doom inhering in their presently habitual ways.