FREEDOM VS. 'DEMOCRACY'
How `Democracy' Became Diseased
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
March 5, 2002
Since the period of transition, from the LTCM crisis of August-September 1998, to the January 2001 close of the two-months-long Presidential election-crisis, a fundamental change has been under way inside the U.S.A., and also the world in general. The previously developing breakdown-crisis of the world's present monetary-financial system entered its present terminal phase, in time to greet the inauguration of a new President, George W. Bush. The intensity of the crisis has increased by steps, including the giant step of Sept. 11th, since that Presidential inauguration.
Already, now, what had seemed, to the wishfully self-deluded many, to have been the inevitable, irreversible trends inhering in the policies reaffirmed under the Clinton Presidency, are being wiped away. During my address of Saturday, Feb. 16th, and my written statement of Feb. 19th, I warned that we are presently encumbered with a decadent political-party system, a system which is ill-suited to meeting the challenge of the profound changes now fully under way. Those dramatic changes are in process, chiefly in triumphant defiance of that doomed system in its present form.
This present statement adds a crucial new dimension to the matters I addressed in that Feb. 19th report.
For reasons I shall set forth, during the course of this report, the notion of "democracy," as the term had come to be defined in practice during the preceding two decades and more, does not permit effective responses to the most crucial among the kinds of life-or-death challenges which reality is now shoving onto the government's agenda.
For this reason, a critical reexamination of the institutions of political-party-led government, is now mandatory. The challenge immediately before our government and the constituencies, is to define the practical meaning of the name of "democracy" in ways which are consistent with the continuation of that peculiar Constitutional form of government upon which our nation's past constructive role of leadership in world affairs has depended.
During the recent quarter-century, the official meaning of the word "democracy" in the U.S.A. had been shifted radically away from what it had signified during the Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. That change occurred in the form of a shift away from sundry earlier, loose, rule-of-thumb understandings, toward a thoroughly nasty, narrow-minded coincidence with the pro-fascist dogmas of Bertrand Russell's accomplice Herbert George Wells. I emphasize the indisputably fascist intentions summed up by Wells himself in his 1928 The Open Conspiracy.
Wells' book, which has served, continually since 1928, as the open pact among Fabian circles of Wells and Russell, is key to understanding the continuing basis for the rise of our nation's utopian political-military faction, during the time since the death of Franklin Roosevelt, and through the present day. That, in turn, is prerequisite for understanding the real challenge presently confronting the political system of the U.S.A., including its political parties.
The present codification of the term "democracy," as signifying Wells' utopian schemes, is echoed in the trend toward establishing an imperial form of what is termed, in technically precise, academic language, as universal fascism. That signifies: the dissolution of the existence of the sovereign nation-state, in favor of a global imperial order, ruled through the mechanisms of military tyranny like those of the Roman legions which the Nazi Waffen-SS echoed. Typical is Samuel P. Huntington's proposed parody of that Waffen-SS, his The Soldier and the State. This trend is typified by utopians such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, his Huntington, Henry A. Kissinger, and other associates and other co-thinkers of the late Nashville Agrarian, Harvard Professor of government, William Yandell Elliott. Those are the oligarchical, American Tory circles merely typified by the Smith Richardson Foundation.
Typical of the radiation of the Wells-Russell-centered "Open Conspiracy," to the present day, is the case of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She avowed publicly her own and her father's faithful debt to the doctrine of Wells, an announcement which she made even while she was serving as President Clinton's Secretary of State. Her ugly admission on that occasion points to the source of certain strategically significant, strident notes which erupted in Clinton Administration foreign policy, during her tenure.
Out of Albright-linked Brzezinski's initiatives to that effect, sprang that present quasi-dictatorship over our nation's party system, which is known as "Project Democracy." "Project Democracy" is, in fact, a by-product of the continued drive of the imperial utopian faction toward establishing world rule under universal fascism. Incredible? It is sometimes difficult for persons trapped within a rolling barrel, to discover the direction into which they are being maneuvered.
The leading antecedents for that intentionally misleading term "Project Democracy," are broadly traceable in ancient European history, from such evidences as the judicial murder of Socrates by the Democratic Party of Athens and the related, obscene meaning given to the name of "popular opinion," vox populi, by ancient Rome.
Project Democracy's Arcane Roots
However, Project Democracy's own use of the term "democracy," embodies a more narrowly specific variety of irrational, gnostic belief. By "gnostic," one signifies, in practice, the substitution of a controlling form of arbitrary belief in some unknowable principle, such as "secret knowledge," which is deemed to be "self-evident," even when its existence is unprovable by rational means. Examples of typical gnostic beliefs include Physiocrat François Quesnay's laissez-faire, and Adam Smith's plagiarism of Quesnay's term, under the substituted name of "free trade." In effect, Smith copied the text of the book, but added his own title.
That abuse of the term "democracy" has evolved out of a precedent from within medieval Europe, from a religious sect known as the "Bogomils." I have explained the continuing historical significance of that sect's influence in numerous published locations earlier. In short, the "Bogomils" were a neo-Manichean sect of Byzantine origin, which was spread from the Balkans into Italy and southern France, variously, under such titles as the Cathars, or, in English slang, "the buggers."
The connection is the following.
Those nasty meanings of "popular opinion" which I address here, more or less took over official English-language usage in the U.S.A., under the influence of those utopian uses of the term "democracy" which have been practiced in the U.S. during the recent thirty-five-odd years. As I shall explain here in due course, those usages echo the "bugger" sect's doctrine of "The Elect," a term synonymous with much of the contemporary U.S. use of the term "Establishment." The transmission of that doctrine into modern times, appeared in the guise of such forms of empiricism as the teachings of such modern gnostics as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Bernard Mandeville, Physiocrat François Quesnay, David Hume, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, and Immanuel Kant.
The currently popular connotations of "democracy," as a synonym for popular opinion, have often served in the past, as now, as a symptom of the influence of the American Tory tradition in our country, the tradition opposed to what utopian Henry A. Kissinger has denounced as the American intellectual tradition.
The crucial feature of the influence of all of those mentioned and kindred empiricist ideologues, such as H.G. Wells and his followers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samuel Huntington, and Michael Novak's radically empiricist American Enterprise Institute, is the systematic denial of the existence of actually knowable truth. This denial is premised upon the indicated feature of the "bugger" tradition.
Typical among those contemporary denials of the existence of knowable truth, are the arguments of such existentialist followers of Kant as Karl Jaspers, Hannah Arendt, and Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger. That latter, axiomatically irrationalist dogma, as practiced in the U.S.A. by Arendt and her accomplice Theodor Adorno, has been a significant environmental factor in promoting the influence of a specifically American variety of fascist movement now associated with such rabid American Tories as Brzezinski and Huntington.
Hence, as a result of those influences, we have such outcomes as the recent two decades' perverse uses of that notion of "democracy" and "popular opinion" within the U.S. Congress. Saving the U.S.A. from its present, willful plunge toward self-destruction, demands the uprooting of such radically empiricist, Wellsian myths as those of the rabid utopians Kissinger, Brzezinski, Huntington, Madeleine Albright, et al. Such were the corrupt influences leading to the establishment of Project Democracy.
I have addressed the crucial issue so posed in various published locations, such as my recent "Economics: At the End of a Delusion," in which the scientific side of the matter is developed at necessary length. Here, I rely upon public access to those earlier publications, to summarize the relevant portions of that earlier argument.
1. The Fight for Freedom
The issue in U.S. political processes today, is the inseparable connection between any meaningful use of the term "freedom" and the notion of truthfulness. I explain.
Many among the silliest, even most dangerous beliefs known to man, have enjoyed the charm of being upheld as popular tradition. This pathetic trait is the most common cause of the self-doom which nations and cultures have often brought upon themselves. So it is with that popular notion of democracy which expresses the childish wish that nothing in society should be decided contrary to popular opinion. Pathetic ejaculations such as, "You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube," or "Go along, to get along," or the reckless use of inherently tendentious "opinion polls," typify this commonplace symptom of the mind-set of the professional underling.
Many people, even ostensibly literate adults, will stubbornly insist on blind religious faith in popular opinion, even in face of the such abominations as the confirmation of the Adolf Hitler dictatorship by a vote of the overwhelming majority of the popular opinion expressed among German citizens at that time. The toleration of and support for the practice of chattel slavery, that done according to the teachings of John Locke, is a similar example of the evil often done on behalf of the silliness of blind faith in wisdom of the corrupted popular will.
Similarly, the destruction of the U.S. economy, away from the vigorous economy of the period from Roosevelt's "New Deal" through post-war reconstruction, into the terrible destruction which has been wrought as the aftermath of the Nixon and Carter Administrations, reminds us, once again, that even the long-persisting decisions of a popular majority, such as those of the recent thirty-odd years, are often wrong, even terribly wrong.
As I have emphasized earlier, in the indicated and other locations, and as many celebrated thinkers before me have pointed out, the doom which once powerful nations and cultures have brought down upon themselves, is usually the fruit of no factor so much as popular opinion itself.
Typical, among the great Classical tragedies which assist a population in understanding the actual making of history, is the case of Hamlet, whom Shakespeare portrays, contrary to the opinion of him prevalent among Romantic academics: as doomed precisely because he refuses to break free of the burden of the prevalent custom of his self-doomed kingdom. So, once-mighty Athens destroyed itself, to become a mere colony of Macedonia, as Rome also destroyed itself, precisely because it could not shake the fatal embrace of its own popular customs and opinion.
All great Classical tragedy and related compositions, such as those of ancient Greece, Boccacio's Decameron, Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, Cervantes' Don Quixote, Shakespeare's histories and tragedies, and the dramas and writings on history of Friedrich Schiller, teach the same crucial lesson, and usually show us, with the essential precision which only great Classical artistic composition can achieve, exactly how the specific cultures referenced in those compositions either virtually destroyed themselves, as Cervantes showed why Sixteenth-Century Hapsburg Spain was bringing about its own decay, or plunged themselves, through the sway of popular opinion, into extended periods of great troubles.
As I wrote recently on the subject of the current state of the Democratic Party, "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.' "
Such is the tragic challenge which looms over the U.S.A. today.
If we wish to free ourselves from the grip of our unfolding national tragedy, we must rise above the professional underling's foolish, blind faith in the simple popular vote as such. The noble essence of our wonderful U.S. Federal Constitution is expressed in two higher, scientifically grounded principles of universal natural law. These are, first, the defense of the institution of nation-states, and, secondly, that such states must be efficiently committed to promotion of the general welfare of all subject persons, both of the present and their posterity. Instead of regarding the voter's constitutional franchise as a matter of rule by the bitch-goddess known as popular opinion, let us recognize the actually lawful, and efficient basis for the universality of the franchise. Let us return to the form of self-government which is self-rule, not by mere opinion, but citizens' choices informed by the truthful fruits of reason.
How Underlings Don't Think
It has been the plausible, somewhat truthful argument of many modern historians and social theorists, that the typical source of the potential mass base for a fascist movement or regime, is populism. Those scholars' views may be fairly described as equal to saying that the typical expression of a fascist mass movement, is the same pattern of behavior witnessed in the behavior of a lynch-mob. It would be better to treat the term "populism" as a kind of slang word. I prefer the term which Shakespeare put in the mouth of Cassius: "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."
The appropriateness of the preferable term, "underling," is manifold.
I have used the term frequently to denote the slave who queues at the back door of the master's house, saying: "We don't ask for freedom; just pay us some reparations, and we will not ask for freedom." That slavish fellow is saying to his master and himself, "I do not claim to be actually human; I am an underling." If he adds the phrase, "and proud of it!" we should recognize him as a professed populist, and potential recruit to the timely arrival of a fascist mob.
Take the case of the debate over education of the former slave, which raged over the decades following the defeat of the Confederacy, a debate which rages, in fact, to the present day. Take the related, disgusting populist attacks on Frederick Douglass, or on President Abraham Lincoln, as typical of the appetites engendered by the mob-like mentality of the professional underling.
The struggle for freedom for descendants of African slaves, was most effectively led by men and women like Douglass, who defined freedom as essentially a developed quality of the individual human mind. Such men and women insisted that those of African descent should have access not only to reading and writing, but to mastery of the greatest Classical science and literature from the entirety of European civilization, and beyond that. They should become, not merely "employees," but enjoy the qualities of self-development required of the citizen of a true republic, educated as a person, instead of merely a prospective employee. The underlings retorted: "No, we should desire nothing but the destiny which has been preassigned to us."
A contrary opinion asserted, that education for freed slaves must not seek to educate the pupils "above their expected station in life." This opinion was not limited to policies for education of freed slaves; it is a philosophy of education savagely applied to the majority of the U.S. population by today's generally accepted policies of classroom education. Such prevalent trends in U.S. education today, have some ugly similarities to what might be recalled from the days of "blab school" for poverty-stricken "mountain whites." Today, even at the university level: "Don't educate people above their future station and paid employment in life." Many among today's university professors, and not only professors of economics, are capable of delivering nothing but exactly that outcome for their immediate victims, the students.
As the economic and cultural policy of the U.S. degenerated from a rational, pre-1965 producer's culture, to a lunatic, "post-industrial" consumer culture, the educational and employment policies of our own and other nations degenerated in a way consistent with those changes. So, today's university graduate is awarded a mean-spirited destiny like that which the American Tories of the post-Lincoln U.S. assigned to the freed slave.
In either case, former freed slave or today's typical university student, such educational policies treat the students not as truly human beings, but as "underlings." People who accept such notions of their role in society, have defined themselves, in their own minds, as of an inferior species, as "underlings." It is the mentality of the "underling" which represents the potential mass base of support for the "lynch mob" of yore, or the "democratic" base of support for trends toward universal fascism in the U.S. today.
The fight for freedom, now as before, is essentially a fight within the individual. It is a fight to uplift him, or her, from the habit of thinking like an underling. If you give them freedom for a moment or two, but do not remove the habit of being an underling from them, they will shuck off newly gained freedom, as it were this January's torn Christmas wrappings. We seek to give our people freedom; but, as Benjamin Franklin warned, once the U.S.A. had been given the Federal Constitution which made it a true republic: "We have given you your freedom. Can you keep it?" Providing the needed quality of universal education then typified that issue.
My use of "underling" is not some form of mere rhetoric. There are precisely defined, scientifically definable differences between the person whose sense of personal identity is that of a human being, and another whose sense of identity is that of an underling.
Citizens and Their Leaders
The best people of any society, those who do not think of themselves as underlings, fall into two general classifications.
The greater number of such people do not merely accept the name of being "made in the image of the Creator"; they actually know it; not as mere phrase-mongering, but, rather, as a good professional actor might say, they actually "own" that idea. For that reason, they are not underlings, but truly free human beings. Sadly, among our people today, too few have had the combined opportunity and courage to rise to the condition of being free persons in their own minds; they have accepted those meager privileges which the ruling establishment allots to the serfs of popular opinion.
Thus, so far, among the good people, there is a much, much smaller ration of persons who are also actually true leaders; even a much smaller ration among our people than a generation or two ago. The distinction that makes the true leader, is a sense of immortal identity, as higher than their merely mortal one. This decadence is, chiefly, the effect of the shift from the sane form of society, a producer society, to what is called a consumer society. The effect of such a shift, is inevitably, as in ancient Rome, a spiral of moral decay.
The good citizens not only know that they, unlike the lower forms of life, are made in the image of the Creator; their attachment to their true, immortal identity is so powerful a motive, that they can not be easily corrupted by excessive attachment to the mortal concerns of personal family and community values. The Rev. Martin Luther King, speaking on the subject of the "mountain-top," showed himself thus as such a true leader. His like has not appeared as a leader on that same national stage since Martin's death, to the present day.
The task before us, a task on whose outcome the continued existence of our republic may depend absolutely, is the rapid recruitment of young people, and others, to emerge, soon, as true leaders. That is the purpose of this appeal on behalf of the cause of true freedom.
The effective citizen of a republic is to be found where great ancient and modern philosophers, such as Plato and Moses Mendelssohn, found him, in a person conscious of the essential immortality of the human soul. Indeed, for reasons I have given at length in relevant locations, no competent theology could exist without Plato's own development of that conception.
All the accomplishments of modern European civilization are chiefly derived from that conception of the specific nature of the sovereignty of the human individual personality. This is the indispensable, ecumenical conception of constitutional statecraft, which is only typified by the combination of the best which the Fifteenth-Century Iberian Peninsula, and heirs of Alfonso Sabio, in particular, inherited from their combined Moorish, Jewish, and Christian culture.
The distinction of the human species from all lower forms of life, is that only the sovereign cognitive (creative) powers of the individual human mind, can discover and employ universal physical principles. It is the discovery and transmission of such discoveries over successive generations, which lifts the human species to those higher levels of power in and over the universe. This benefit occurs, as it could occur only among human beings, through the transmission, through replication, of such individual acts of discovery, from preceding generations, to the present and future of society. Such discoveries of principle have a quality of impact upon human existence, which only genetic change to a higher species could mimic in the animal kingdom.
Thus we are bound together by those qualities of the human mind, through which discovery of universal physical principles is variously generated or regenerated in the mind of the individual member of society. We are therefore bound together by the means through which societies develop those qualities of relations among persons through which cooperation in employing these discoveries may occur.
Because we live within that kind of social process, we individual human beings are, at the same time, both mortal and immortal. To be a moral person is to locate one's self-interest in the relatively immortal outcome of one's living and having lived, rather than merely the relatively bestial obsession with mortal sensory pains and satisfactions from immediate personal, family, and community forms of mortal life as such.
It is that quality of moral outlook, on our debt to the possibilities and hopes of progressive development of society, from the past and into the future alike, which defines the essential quality of a true citizen, rather than a mere underling. This concern for the progressive development of mankind, including commitment to realization of the frustrated just aspirations of those who have lived before us, constitutes the fundamental principle of moral law of all modern civilization, the principle of the primary obligation of government, to promote the general welfare, otherwise termed the "common good," of present and future generations.
Thus, the explicit, irrepressible conflict between the respective Preambles of the Federal and Confederate constitutions, sharply defines, in the blood of a great Civil War, the superior authority and meaning of the Preamble of our Federal Constitution over all other interpretation of the proper law of our republic.
Those thus qualified to be considered as truly citizens of a republic, are thus assorted into two general sub-types: ordinary citizens, and leaders.
The ordinary citizen recognizes his or her obligation to behave as a citizen, to develop children into the quality of citizens of a republic, to participate in society as a citizen, and to make decisions bearing upon the adoption of the nation's policies of practice as a citizen's obligations require.
The true leader of a republic must satisfy a significantly higher standard of passion and performance than the bulk of the citizens. For him, or her, it is not sufficient to be a mortal person with a sense of immortality, but to be devoted wholly to an overriding passion of service to immortality as a cause in and of itself, as Rev. Marin Luther King's "mountain-top" address typifies this quality of commitment, the model quality of commitment which the Christian associates with the passion of Jesus Christ.
In such future time that mankind may have developed to the level of true mental as well as biological maturity, all adults would be qualified as leaders of society. Even in that case, we should still be obliged to choose leaders, but as leaders chosen from among leaders. Unfortunately, at present, we are far from even an approximation of that accomplishment. In our present state, the best we can achieve is the selection of leaders who serve as the conscience of those who need to be reminded of their responsibilities as citizens.
I, frankly, am disgusted by supposed leaders, who like typical demagogues, address the cupidity of their audiences with words to the effect, "I am just another low-down, dirty dog, like you. Therefore, you should vote for me!" or, words to the same effect, "I go along, to get along!" The evidence is, as you identify that bitter, nauseous aftertaste still lingering in your mouth right now: you have either voted for, or negligently tolerated, the wrong choice of candidate, supported the wrong policy, selected the wrong education, the wrong entertainment, and other such things, most of the time, for most of the past thirty-odd years. Otherwise this nation, and its economy could not be in the mess it finds itself today. You do not need a father figure. What you need is a "Dutch uncle"! You need leaders in the mold of the Rev. Martin Luther King.
You need to be reminded, that you are often thinking and acting like just another underling, even most of the time, and we all have the evidence now in hand to prove just that. For the most part, your chosen leaders were not qualified to be leaders, and most of our voters were not behaving as citizens. The mess coming down on you right now, is the price of nothing as much as your own foolishness, the insistence of most of you, on thinking and acting as underlings, rather than as citizens.
2. Truth as Freedom
The intelligent use of the term "human freedom," signifies a quality not found in the decision-making of lower forms of life. Freedom is the exercise of the mental power to overturn false ruling assumptions, and to generate hypotheses which, when verified experimentally, are in fact additions to our stock of knowledge of universal physical principles.
This notion of freedom is best expressed in terms of the science of physical economy, my specialty. Here, in this branch of science, freedom is expressed in the form of "free energy" of that system which is society. This means, that through cooperation in the use of a valid, discovered universal physical principle, mankind's power in and over the universe is increased, over and above what were feasible without the addition of such a principle.
In that case, "truth" and "freedom" are two ways of expressing the same idea.
By "universal physical principles," we signify any discovered principle, whether of what is usually signified as physical science, or scientifically provable principles of social cooperation, if the application of those principles produces a measurable, beneficial physical effect of a type which qualifies as universally valid. Thus, the principle of the general welfare, on which the modern sovereign nation-state republic is based, is a universal physical principle, since its application results in an implicitly measurable increase in the society's power in and over nature. Great Classical drama and poetry, reflect universal physical principles, because of the effect of the improved quality of cooperation they make available to a society.
The crucial point, for the science of physical economy, is that society's gain in "free energy," through the discovery and cooperative use of universal physical principles, is shown to be truthful in the sense that any valid experimental proof of a universal physical principle sets a standard for definition of the word "truth," as opposed to the alternative, "false."
Thus, the political term "freedom," strictly used, signifies nothing other than "truth." Opposition to truth so defined, is falsehood, rather than being characterized by the evasive term, "a difference of opinion." However!
Knowledge pertaining to matters of freedom exists, as knowledge, only as a product of the sovereign creative-mental powers of the individual human mind. Such a discovery, if potentially valid, is called an hypothesis. Truth is expressed as crucial experimental proof of the validity of such hypotheses. Hence, this is the basis for defining the meaning of "personal freedom," including "political freedom."
The difficulty inhering is the fact that such freedom exists only in the form of an activity within the sovereign confines of an individual human mind's powers to discover validatable hypotheses. The difficulty is that the cognitive processes occurring in one person's mind can not be witnessed by means of the faculties of sense-perception of another. No principle could ever be discovered through an act of deduction. No principle could be demonstrated by "ivory tower" forms of mathematics at the blackboard, for example.
Principles are known only through the conjunction and agreement of hypothesizing and experiment. The act of discovery can be known by a second mind only through a combination of two means: first, replicating the experience of discovery of the relevant hypothesis, and, second, sharing the experimental validation of the hypothesis.
The notion of "freedom" thus enjoys the corollary significance of the individual's personal right to explore the domain of knowledge. For the same reason, it also signifies the moral and political right of the individual to access the store of existing human knowledge of matters pertaining to universal principles and their application.
For example, we make a corresponding distinction between persons who have merely learned what they have been taught, as a dog is taught to perform tricks, and those who have come to know the experience of discovering the relevant principle de novo. The proper primary goal of education, is not to prompt the pupil to learn, but to come to know.
Thus, a free society is one in which individuals are developed according to such views of freedom.
It is a society within which individuals are able to contribute to correcting and otherwise enriching the stock of knowledge of society. It is a society in which relevant forms of cooperation are fostered, with the aim of promoting the common good. It is a form of society which is dedicated to increasing mankind's power, per capita, per square kilometer of the Earth's surface: man's power to exist in, and over the universe as a whole. Progress so defined, is the goal of society, and the means by which the work of one generation achieves immortality in the benefits of increased power transmitted to its successors.
Free deliberation in a true republic, is the interaction of such free individual minds to the purpose of joyfully promoting the achievements of freedom for the present and future of that society as a whole. It is this quality of commitment to progress which elevates a society above the level of the mere beasts, its commitment to a universal principle of human progress, so defined.
'Free Trade' Buggered Progress
Physiocrat Quesnay and his followers echoed the gnostic Cathars in insisting that the increase of wealth taken as profit by the aristocratic landlord, was earned by that aristocrat through the magical agency of his title to that estate. The serf was, for Quesnay, nothing more than a form of cattle, who deserved no more than the care provided for herds of four-legged cattle. Non-interference with that profit was called the principle of laissez-faire, which Adam Smith adopted as "free trade."
The same magical principle borrowed from the "bugger" Elect, also provides the implicit basis for the empiricists Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Bernard Mandeville, and utilitarian Jeremy Bentham. Even in 1759, prior to his foraging among the fields of the French Enlightenment, Smith had expressed the same conception in his The Theory of the Moral Sentiments; it was a pervasive view among the empiricist followers of Paolo Sarpi, which Smith applied to political-economy after his study of the work of Quesnay, Turgot, et al.
Such fellows were arguing, in effect, that there exist little green men under the floorboards of the universe. These curious, mythical miscreants are assigned the arbitrary power to change the outcome of the roll of the dice, to make some men rich, and others poor. Thus, what chances to please those supposed entities must be accepted as the rules of the game. Similarly, as Leibniz emphasized, God must intervene periodically into Newton's universe, to wind it up from time to time.
Such conceptions of a universe based upon either statistical cheating, or cheating statistics, are the characteristic feature of the British empiricist and congruent systems of thought about man and the universe in general. In economics, this results in the substitution of the profits of trade for the profits of production. In such doctrines, man gains profit only by, either, stealing from nature, or stealing from other people. Like Newton's universal clock, the world is winding down; it is undergoing entropy.
In reality, in physical economy, true profit is earned by mankind, because mankind's discovery and cooperative use of universal physical principles has increased the total of the combined natural and other wealth of the universe, or, at least, the Earth, or at the very least, a local economy. In economic science, earned profit is a reflection of the fruit of anti-entropy. This latter sort of profit is the fruit of the creative powers of the individual human mind, the power to discover and to cooperate in use of experimentally valid universal physical principles, the fruit of implicitly endless scientific progress, in that sense.
In the science of physical economy, true economic cycles are the result of a combined process of entropy (attrition) and anti-entropy (scientific and related progress). An economy may enrich itself, temporarily, by depleting nature, or previously created man-made wealth: hence attrition, entropy. That economy secures a contrary, anti-entropic effect, through the realization of the benefits of investing in scientific progress.
The cycles so defined are, variously, short-term, medium-term, and long-term. The most important cycle to be considered in defining the horizon of present national economic policies, is between one and two generations, a quarter- to a half-century. This means, that a sane society is both protectionist, in Hamilton's, List's, and Carey's sense of the term, and is also dominated by long-range investments, such as those adopted in the so-called "indicative planning" of President Charles de Gaulle's Fifth Republic, or the long-range planning of Jean Monnet earlier.
This means, that a rational organization of a national economy assumes the form of a division of labor in government between public and private enterprise. The government assumes responsibility for that which pertains to the development of the economy as a whole, and government also defines conditions intended to encourage relevant categories of private entrepreneurship. The purpose of the latter, is, as Hamilton emphasized, to foster an abundance of the benefits which can be harvested only from the improvement of the creative activity of the individual human mind.
Thus government should think a quarter- to a half-century ahead. The participation of the citizenry as a whole in that deliberation, should be the normal course of the business of government and of the people in their private capacities. To bring that about, we must develop our people as a citizenry, not underlings, and craft the functioning of our institutions, including our political parties, in accord with that general mission of endless progress. We must define our national agenda as, predominantly, a long-range agenda, and define it in the general terms I have indicated here.
War and Peace
At this time, our nation, and the world, are imperilled by a conception of a long, essentially global state of warfare. This is a notion of national and world affairs echoing the awful decadence of ancient Rome, and the notions implicit in Napoleon Bonaparte's imperial war-making, and in a world which had been ruled by the Roman-legions-like Nazi Waffen-SS. This is the utopian notion which has been associated most conspicuously with such Golems of Nashville Agrarian William Yandell Elliott as Henry A. Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Samuel P. Huntington. This is also the natural outcome of that empiricist misconception of society associated with Thomas Hobbes. If the present doctrine of "the long war" were to persist, the entirety of this planet would now soon be plunged into the worst dark age known to any history.
The idea of perpetually inevitable conflict, made notorious by the mathematics pupil, Hobbes, of empiricist Paolo Sarpi's lackey Galileo, is a natural product of the empiricist misconception of the nature of man and society. If and when we consider the matter differently, it should be evident that warfare is a temporary, not a permanent characteristic of planetary society. This is no utopian sort of optimism; the premises are scientific and solid.
The aims of a republic, as I have indicated some leading features of that here, are directly contrary to the idea of perpetual states of either ongoing or imminent warfare among states. The only justified function of warfare in modern times, is to defend with the utmost efficiency the existence of the republic and communities of principle among republics, from the resurgence of those more brutish forms of government, such as the Roman Empire and feudalism, which preceded the emergence of the modern sovereign nation-state republic. The object of strategic policy, must be to secure the planet for a community of respectively sovereign nation-state republics.
In fact, the only great danger of major warfare on this planet today comes from the influence of those utopians who have devoted much of the Twentieth Century to bringing an anti-republican form of world government into supremacy over the planet as a whole. Those utopians are, presently, the only major threat to civilization, in part, or whole.
The way the present threat developed is most simply identified, by pointing to the principle of conflict central to Hobbes' doctrine. As I have pointed out here, the natural impulse of the republic is the fostering of endless progress through cooperation in discovery and utilization of universal physical principles.
The existence of the perfectly sovereign nation-state form remains indispensable, for cultural reasons. If a people is to deliberate, it must deliberate in terms of the culture made efficiently available throughout the pores of society. "Efficiently available" is the operative term. Thus, the world of nations must cooperate in a decentralized way, to a globally centralized effect which might be aptly identified as "the common aims of mankind."
Today, the immediate task of nations is digging our way out of the awful mess we ourselves have made of this planet, including digging out the relevant rubbish sitting as "popular opinion" in the minds of our people and the follies of our institutions.
The object of society, is to develop the relations among peoples and nations to the degree, that each matured adult has an active sense of participation in the building of the future of humanity as a whole, a world in which each nation proudly carries out its mission in the division of labor of the world as a whole.
If some force threatens such a peaceful, constructive order, that force must be efficiently repelled, but constructive peace among a community of sovereign nations, and avoidance of war, must become the basis for relations among states.
Since the U.S. republic has still the capability of assuming a unifying role, not easily replaced, of leadership among nations, the reform of our political-party system should be mustered around the effort to bring about those specific forms of economic cooperation to bring the world out of the mess the U.S. and its parties have contributed so much to creating during the recent thirty-five-odd years, in particular.
This does not mean utopian follies such as those associated with President Woodrow Wilson. It should signify the mustering of those changes needed to bring the world out of the condition represented by the presently ongoing terminal phase of economic collapse caused by the present monetary-financial system. The hotly contested steps toward returning to a "fair trade"-oriented producer society, from the follies of a "free trade"-oriented consumer society, now provide the pivot on which to mobilize the discussion of the broader issues immediately before us.