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This article appears in the March 22, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Steel Tariff Paradox Blooms

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

Saturday, March 9, 2002

Around the world, many victims of the so-called "Baby Boomer" generation are threatening to go stark raving mad, in reaction to the recent announcement of a U.S. return to "fair trade" in the matter of steel prices.

The news is, that the cause for their acute anxieties over this matter, is not the matter of the price of steel as such. The psychiatric problem we are witnessing in the case of some nationally known columnists and others, is explained as the fact that most "Baby Boomers," and many among their present-day, college-age children, simply refuse to cope with any paradox, simply for the reason that it is a paradox.

The new steel tariff posed a classical, textbook form of ontological paradox. It can be summarized as follows.

A fellow says, in the usual mantra: " 'Free trade' is good for the economy, and we must continue to adhere to that policy." However, the same fellow says: "Steel is also necessary for the economy, and steel will not survive without 'fair trade.' " Hearing this paradox, some people in the U.S.A. and abroad, are suddenly transformed from apparently sober citizens, into something like a creature performing a "geek act" in a cheap carnival.

Why the psychopathological reaction? It is like the case of the man who smashed the headlights of his automobile, because "it refused to start!"

The majority in the Congress, and the President, have reacted to the fact that the continued existence of the U.S. steel industry is a prime national-security issue, both for the economy as such, and for national-defense requirements as well. However, typical "Baby Boomers" and certain newspaper columnists, hate to be reminded that reality exists. Like the wild-eyed mechanic who reacts with rage, smashing the headlights because the automobile he "just fixed, refuses to start," they lash out with fury against a world which insists that they behave reasonably.

The objectors hate real paradoxes. Therefore, many in the U.S.A. and Europe have reacted as extremely upset to the news on the steel tariff. One might fear, that live chickens who fall within their reach might come suddenly to a horrible end.

As in the case of any true ontological paradox, the paradox forces the mind to meet the challenge of discovering some universal physical, or similar quality of principle, such as Johannes Kepler's original discovery of universal gravitation, which solves the paradox, and thus causes it, in effect, to disappear.

Why Joe's Wife Drowned Her
Baby in the Bath Tub

For more than 35 years, two generations of Americans, those then in adolescence and their children of today, have been conditioned to welcome what was called, back then, a "post-industrial society." Beginning then, educational institutions, mass media, and employment policies have combined forces to brainwash the majority of those generations into belief in an anti-scientific world, in which the "consumers" are triumphing, like contemporary Luddites, over the hated "producers."

Among the psychological weapons typically used to accomplish that mass brainwashing of two generations of our people, have been a combination of measures, headed by the drummed-in mantra "we must fight for and defend free trade." "Protectionism," "production technology," "physical science," "industry" and "farmers," became "downers," ideas fit only for the lower classes who should be, preferably, cheap labor used as "out-sources" from other nations. It was said, over, and over, and over again, "Prices must be driven to the lowest level, even if that means shutting down our farms and industries."

Added to this roster of mantras was the campaign to eliminate the nation-state, through the introduction of such forms of economic lunacy as NAFTA, "globalization," and establishing the "world rule of law" as a weapon for destroying all sovereign nation-states, including the U.S.A. itself.

Such was the list of mantras headed by the name of "free trade."

Meanwhile, approximately 1995, lunacies such as NAFTA were aggravated by the addition of a psychotic dream called "the new economy," which just recently went bankrupt, around the world. The "new economy" was heralded as the alternative to farming and industry, which would, aided by out-sourcing, free us all from everything good the U.S. economy used to be. Now, the "new economy"has gone kerplunk, as all sane and intelligent people always knew it would; we, like the spectators at the parading of the Emperor's New Suit of Clothes, suddenly realize that we, like that Emperor, have next to nothing on!

Like the innocent boy-hero of that story, Senator Daschle said, in effect, "I dearly love 'free trade,' but saving the steel industry means adopting 'fair trade.' " That paradoxical statement by Daschle, echoed by Republican Trent Lott, and by the U.S. President's acting as Lott promised he would, has suddenly changed the whole blessed world. The keystone of the economic insanity which has ruled the world increasing for about 35 years, just went kerplunk. For those among two generations who succumbed to brainwashing in "post-industrial" ideology, it seemed to them that their universe, the fantasy universe in which their minds had lived, suddenly came to an end, in the moment President Bush confirmed the CNN discussion featuring Senators Daschle and Lott.

The paradox is a true one, from which all sane people and recovering lunatics will learn the appropriate conclusion. Contrary to the mantras of consumerism, the wealth which will exist is the wealth which we produce. The world, if it is to survive, is now on a short trip back to protectionism. It is about time!

Naturally, those who had been successfully brainwashed up to that point, went more than a little bit crazy. You better watch out. That guy with the funny look around his eyes, might be about to smash the headlights on your parked automobile.

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