The World Will
Never Seem the Same
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
LaRouche gave this keynote speech at the International Caucus of Labor Committees/Schiller Institute Labor Day weekend conference in Northern Virginia on Aug. 31.
Those of you who are present here, and and those of who are listening, and many others, are frightened. You're either frightened, in the sense that you admit you're frightened; or you're so frightened, that you can't face it, and try to deny the reality of what you are now experiencing, in the United States, and in the world at large.
So, my first job is to point you to the way to find your courage, to deal with something which has not been seen in European civilization in a long time. Something which has not been seen in European civilization since the 14th-Century New Dark Age, where a third of the population of Europe was wiped out, in a few decades, by bankers who insisted on collecting the full value of their debt, which was a swindle, at the expense of the lives of the people.
We are in a situation now, in which the government of the United States, the financial powers of the United States, the leadership of the two major parties, are presently committed to repeat, now, in the immediate future, what the Lombard bankers, and their political backers, did to Europe, in unleashing the New Dark Age of the mid-14th Century. You're living in a time, where you face the fact (if you are conscious of the fact), that every nation on this planet, could be swept away, almost as if it had never existed, within a few years from now. Not merely because of the aftermath of an unthinkable, foolish war, which a stupid President is impelled to launch against Iraq. Not merely because of a depression, but because of something much worse, as I shall indicate.
But, how do we address such situations as this, where the very existence of humanity is in peril? In Christianity, in particular, you have the St. Matthew Passion and the St. John Passion of Bach. Now, when these are performed with a congregation, as Bach had intended they be performed, where the congregation is responsive, the soloists, the musicians, the instrumentalists, the choruses, are responsive to their parts, the participants in the event re-live, as if they were there, the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. And the question, so posed, is: When contemplating the death of Christ, in that way—and the Passion of Christ—what does it mean?
Now, there's a dear friend of mine, who is not theologically too sound, but he's a minister nonetheless—which is a usual combination these days—who says to me, repeatedly, and to others, that, Jesus died because He made a mistake. And some people say, that Martin Luther King died because he made a mistake. Both are mistaken. Both died, as Christ said, and as Martin said, in his Mountaintop address: They died for humanity. For future humanity.
And, what this signifies is, that life, by its nature, is mortal. We're reminded of that, of course, emphatically today, by the passing of William Warfield. Life is mortal. It comes to an end. So, that there's nothing you can achieve in life, which, in and of itself, gives any durable value to your existence. Then, what gives value to your existence? That in the course of time, you come and you pass. And if you have done something which was needed, in honor of past mankind, and for the sake of the future of mankind, then you never die, because you are an efficient part of humanity. It is from this assurance of one's sense of such an identity, that people find the courage to overcome their fears, not to push them aside, to deny them, but to overcome them, as one imagines a soldier must, in battle. Why would a soldier risk their life, in battle, except for some higher purpose which lives beyond them? Why should anyone live a life, except in service of some higher purpose, which gives a special meaning to the mortal existence of the person? And it's only when you think about the essential immortality of the individual personality, an immortality of that particular implication, that you can find the strength, not to waver, not to turn coward, not to blind yourself to reality in face of terrible times, such as those which now prevail.
The Courage To See Reality
Now, my job is, since this point is clear to me, and has been clear for a long time—and if it hadn't been clear to me, my enemies have, from time to time, reminded me of it—a certain enthusiasm for getting rid of me. And the only constraint they seem to respect, is the fear that my martyrdom might be more dangerous to them than my living person. They would hope that I might disgrace myself, in some way, and thus relieve themselves of the danger of my martyrdom. But, therefore, I am confident in this, and I would hope that I can impart to you a sense of the reality of my reasons for confidence. And, that you who are here, or who hear me now, will find in that a source of your own personal strength: First of all, the courage to see reality for what it is, and not to pretend it's something different than what it is. And secondly, the courage to find your suitable role, in response to this challenge presented to all humanity. That you might stand upright and proud, as a human being, who is making a mark, for the future betterment of mankind. That even if we were defeated, we shall give such a lesson to humanity, that future humanity will benefit from it. But, we do not intend to be defeated. We will resort to everything needed, to win.
This Depression Could Be the Final One
What we've entered in, is not a Great Depression. Let's see the first one, the Dow Jones Industrial Average comparison (Figure 1). All right. Now, this is just a comparison of two depressions—the most recent one, now ongoing; and the preceding one of 1929-33. There was also one before that, in 1922. But, the difference is, this depression could be the final one.
Now, Nancy [Spannaus] spoke of Hitler, the danger of Hitler. The danger is not Hitler. There is no Hitler on this planet now—no Hitler danger. The planet, if it chooses the pathway of Hitler, will not make it to a Hitler. It will destroy itself, before it gets to that point.
Some people have set out—as in the United States, as around George Bush, the people who control him—to establish a new English-speaking Roman Empire. But they made a mistake. They didn't study history: The Romans started their empire at the height of the power of Rome. Poor George Bush is trying to create a Roman Empire, at the death of Rome! We've used up those sources of power, on which the power of the United States had been based, coming out of World War II as the only world power. We are now a junk heap, ready for the scrap-yard.
So, that is not the true picture. But it does give you an indication, of the fact that we are in a depression; that the President of the United States is denying it; that people have been denying it for a long time. Now, look again—look what we have as a figure on this depression. When did it start? It didn't start this year! Look back a few years, look back to 1996 and beyond (Figure 2): The U.S. Economy Collapse Function. All right. You see, here, that in relative terms, in 1996, this depression was already in full swing. Manufacturing employment was down; debt was climbing; about the year 1999-2000, the rate of monetary aggregate accumulation, that is, monetary inflation, exceeded the rate of growth of financial values on markets. That is a hyperinflationary function. In other words, what you're looking at there, is a depression, already in progress by 1996, which entered a couple of years later into a hyperinflationary function, akin to that which destroyed the German reichsmark, between June and November of 1923.
That's where we are. So, we're not in a simple depression. We're in something much more serious. We're in what is called "a general breakdown crisis."
Now, look at the question of the mass-layoff announcements—just see where we are (Figure 3). The significance is, that from 2000 to 2001, that George Bush was greeted, at his inauguration, with an acceleration, a hyperinflationary acceleration, of the rate of collapse in the depression. Then—think on that. Remember, that all the years that people were voting for Clinton, or thinking about voting for Gore, or some other foolish thing, or voting for Bush; other such foolish things; talking about prosperity. Do you remember that Gore and Bush, on a national television debate—so-called "debate": It was sort of a vacation, of two vacant chairs debating each other? Each was asked the same question by one of the questioning reporters, "What would you do, in case of an economic crisis?" They said, "We would follow the advice of Alan Greenspan." They did! And, that's what happened.
So, we're in a case, in which, not only are we in a depression, but we are in a very serious collapse phase of the depression.
The United States Has Not Been Prosperous
Now, look at Figure 4, the question of flow of foreign assets into the United States. The United States has not been prosperous. We could bring on some other charts, but it's not necessary; you've got them from other sources with us, earlier sources, anyway. But just to make this point: The United States has not been prosperous. Since 1977, when acting President Zbigniew Brzezinski dragged in Jimmy Carter from Georgia, and said, "You're President"
"What do I have to do?"
Brzezinski said, "Whatever I tell you to do."
But, the United States has been in an accelerating process of depression, for a long time. The Carter Administration was part of it. What Carter did to destroy, to tear down infrastructure, transportation, power, agriculture, and so forth, was the start of the real collapse of the U.S. economy.
The collapse of international economy had begun, by August 1971, when a perfectly workable fixed-exchange-rate monetary system, was swapped, for a floating-exchange-rate system, which was the beginning of economic Hell, on this planet.
So, during this period, the United States was able to appear prosperous, to fools, who didn't pay attention to what would happen to the lower 80% of family-income brackets, to cities, and so forth; to education, to health care, whatnot. They weren't paying attention to that, but they were looking at the stock-market values, or the so-called "official figures," while the people were getting poorer and poorer. The health care was getting less and less. The farmers were being destroyed. The industries were being destroyed.
"But we were prosperous."
We weren't prosperous! But, the people who control the United States, were amassing financial assets, and thought they were prosperous, because they had financial assets.
The Roman Empire Model: Thievery
How did they have financial assets? Well, the United States had become a kind of Roman Empire. Particularly with the collapse of the Soviet system, the United States—with its Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Canada, which were really part of the British Empire—these groups felt they could establish a world empire, an English-speaking world empire of financier interests, speculators.
So, they took the occasion, to begin the process of "globalization": NAFTA in the United States, a project to make all of the Americas, together with England, an extended version of NAFTA—a slave system! Nineteen eight-two: All of Central and South America began to be destroyed, in a process of destruction, which has not abated since. Now it's at the end. Virtually every country in South America is extinct, or is about to become extinct, including Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Central American countries; Mexico is threatened. There's no part of Central and South America which is not now in danger of extinction in the foreseeable near future, as a result of this process.
Why? Because we looted them! Africa is near extinction. Why? Because we looted it! We killed the people, and went in to grab the gold, the other mineral assets—petroleum and whatnot—the water, everything in sight. We did that. We looted Europe, our so-called "European ally"—we looted it. We looted everything else we could loot. From 1989 on, 1991, they looted the Soviet Union. They looted Southern Europe. They looted Eastern Europe.
So, the American empire, like Rome, following the Second Punic War, expressed its power, by ceasing to be a productive economy, shutting down our industries and things like that, and deriving our wealth by stealing it, by force, from other countries: South America, Central America, Africa, Europe, Asia—as much as they could; the former Soviet Union. We stole it!
And we lived upon the stolen wealth. We shut down the factories, and took the people who had been skilled operatives in these plants, and we put them into dead-end jobs. We destroyed communities; we destroyed families; we destroyed schools; we destroyed universities. Today, the price of tuition at a university is an inverse proportion to the value of the education delivered! A university is a place where a person gets no knowledge, but a lot of social status. You pay for the social status—because you surely don't get education!
They also propped it up, by imposing upon the world, our current-account deficit. We not only stole from other countries, but we bought from other countries, and didn't pay them: It's called the "current-account deficit." On top of that, our stock markets were collapsing, but we fixed that: We looted other countries of their financial assets. We induced them, under pressure, and inducements, to send their money into New York, into the New York financial system; so they built up the system. We forced Japan to print worthless money. The worthless money, printed by Japan on U.S. orders, was then sold overnight, for dollars, or deutschemarks. These went into the European markets, a little bit, but primarily into the U.S. markets. So, the Japanese yen was strangling and bankrupting itself, by propping up the New York financial markets—and other financial markets inside the U.S.
And that's what that is about. The foreign assets, flowing into the United States, have enabled those who had power, to believe they were rich, because they, as a shrinking minority of our total population, was enjoying wealth. For example, let's take how they survived in this area, here. We're about to have, probably, something in the order of a 30% collapse in mortgages in the area of Greater Washington, Northern Virginia, and so forth. This will be a reflection in part, of the dot.com collapse. People who are without skills of any merit, but who had inflated salaries, are now becoming unemployed—no place to go. They bought into plastic-coated, tarpaper shacks, with mortgage values assessed at between $500,000 and $1 million, or something of that sort. And, now they're bankrupt. The mortgages are hanging out there, bundled up and propped up by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Reserve System. And the mortgages are now becoming uncollectible. People in these areas, as long as the mortgages were increasing in valuation, were able to go to the bank, to refinance their account, and get some cash to spend on things like food and credit-card debt. And, therefore, the purchasing power in this area was sustained by borrowed money, generated, in large degree, from this swindle! The Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac bundled-mortgage, Federal Reserve System swindle.
A similar condition exists in California. Similar conditions exist in other pockets in the United States. It's coming down. The same thing is about to happen in the United Kingdom, where you have a similar real-estate bubble.
So therefore, what you see as a result of this, is, you see, what was the apparent prosperity, or the rumored prosperity, which was reported to you by a press, a major news media which was owned by the people who were putting the swindle. Take America Online. Take your major press—who? For example, take Citicorp. Who's the swindler at Citicorp? Sandy Weill. The same crowd, the Lazard Frères crowd, that owns the Washington Post. Enough said. You believe the Washington Post? Do you believe any—look at the television media, the so-called news media, the entertainment media. What news do you get on these things? Nothing! You get propaganda. You've got a President, who's not quotable—but that's good, because he doesn't say much. They have governments that don't state facts. They state conclusions, without attached facts, and no facts in sight.
So, this was the illusion of prosperity, over the period since the middle 1960s, when the United States was already going into a depression. It was a papier mache illusion, that there was not a depression. An illusion based on the perceived power—political, military, and other power of the United States, and of the English-speaking financier community.
Now, as of the year 2000, the whole thing began to collapse. As I said at the beginning of 2001, "This thing is gone." It's gone.
So, what has happened at this point, accelerated by crazy George's idea about a war with Iraq, by George's support for Sharon—who he may hate, for all I know; probably should hate, may hate—that this is driving a wedge between the United States, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The countries of Europe want no part of George Bush's war. Russia wants no part of George Bush's war. Asia generally wants no part of George Bush's war. The only government that seems to support George Bush, around the world, is really the Australian government—almost no other. They hate it. They're expressing their hatred of the United States, of this policy, their distrust of the United States, and also what they think is their own vital interests, by withdrawing their flow of money, from the United States, into Europe and other locations, repatriating their assets.
So, this is bringing the whole system down, and the month of September is going to be hellish, for those interests.
Now, take another factor here; take this next thing on the rail industry tonnage (Figure 5): Again, 1970 to the year 2000: What you see, into the early 1980s, is a rapid collapse, especially under the impact of the Nixon Administration program. A rapid collapse under Nixon and Carter—or which is better said, "under Kissinger and Brzezinski," of non-coal tonnage. It's the transformation of the United States, from the world's leading productive economy, to a post-productive, consumer society. Like Rome, in its decadence, we stopped producing wealth with our own people at home, and relied upon stealing from foreign countries. So, this is what that reflects. We get into long-term collapse of the entire system. You see the same thing reflected on this domestic, inter-city freight traffic—the same tendency, the same problem in terms of transport (Figure 6).
The American Republic
Now, before coming to more on transport, which is the main topic on which I want to focus in conclusion, let's look at some of the factors here: Why did we let them do this to us?
Now, the principle is this: The American populist will tell you, that the problem is "the guv'mint." Some will be "the politicians." Now, a politician is a prostitute, who walks the street of elections, and does what he believes his customers will find pleasurable. Now, who's the boss? Who's running the country? Is it Madame Government? Or maybe Hollywood Madame Government: That the orchestration of popular opinion and popular taste spreads corruption into the people first, and the politicians second. The politicians are the victims of the populace!
Americans are very funny people: They hate politicians, therefore they elect them! They hate the government, therefore they elect bad politicians, so they can hate the government more sincerely! The typical American populist has lost his sense of patriotism a long time ago. He wouldn't fight for anything; he would only fight to kill somebody! Typical of this kind of personality, the dual personality. The American is not a patriot. He does not see the United States and its Constitution, as the Founders of the nation did: To create an instrument on this continent, to establish a form of republic, which would be, as Lafayette later called it, "a beacon of hope and a temple of liberty for all mankind." This country was founded by Europeans, by the very best Europeans, who devoted their efforts to support the cause, the American cause of freedom, in the hope that by giving the United States, at some distance from old Europe, a free republic—the only place in the world it could be done at that time, was in English-speaking North America. And to give, thus, a republic here, which, as Lafayette said, would be "a beacon of hope and temple of liberty for all mankind."
Thus, we knew that we needed this government. We needed this constitutional government, to protect us, and to enable us to bequeath something to our successors. And to do a great deed for all mankind, by creating that beacon of hope, which would cause mankind to rally to the same cause. To create a new order on this planet, which was called by Plato, and by the Christian Apostles, John and Paul, a nation, or a state of affairs based on agape, which we otherwise call the "general welfare," or the "common good." The idea was to create a republic, and a system of republics, which would guarantee to humanity, at last, freedom of most people from the status of human cattle. Because, in all known society, prior to the American Revolution, and prior to the great 15th-Century Renaissance, which established the pathway to this revolution, most of mankind was either hunted—as wild cattle are hunted—or herded, bred, and culled, as herded cattle are kept as cattle.
To free man from his cattle-like, bestial status, to free the slave-holder and the slave alike, from that system, we needed a new form of society, a republic in which no one could be human cattle. And therefore, this republic was created on this continent for that mission, for all mankind: a unique mission, assigned to these people, in this place, at this time—a "chosen people" if you please, and a chosen republic. That republic, that form of republic has served us well, when we have served it well, by putting, not prostitutes, but representatives into government. And thus, the aspiration of an honest citizen, is to free himself from being a species of cattle, known as a populist—a bipolar cow—whose attitudes and sex are undetermined.
The point is, we must be citizens, and think of ourselves individually, as representatives of the rulers of this planet—not each as a ruler of this planet, but we are responsible for this planet. We are probably also responsible for this universe—that we will have to settle, we'll discover that, or not. But we know, that we are responsible for this planet. That means we are citizens. That means, while we live, we do things which are in honor and respect for our predecessors—their sufferings and their achievements—and in our obligations to our posterity. That we are concerned with the welfare and development of all humanity, in every part of humanity. We desire no empire, but rather an order among nations, of republics, of sovereign republics, who share a community of principle, a principle of dedication to this purpose, that no men shall be human cattle.
And therefore, we, as citizens, represent the highest rank of living being on this planet. And having that rank, entails responsibilities. We are responsible for mankind: We must create, and renew, a form of government, which fulfills that mission, that intention, that purpose. And therefore, we should love our government, and make it good, because we have, under our Constitution, the authority, and the obligation, to make it good. If your politician stinks, it's your responsibility! If the laws are bad, you must cause them to be changed. If injustice is perpetrated, you must cause it to be corrected. You are the one to whom someone turns; you are like the case of the Good Samaritan: You are the Good Samaritan. You are the person to whom society must turn, for succor, when man is jeopardy—when anyone is in jeopardy. If you can't do it yourself, organize somebody else to help you get the job done. That's government.
What Defines Humanity as Special
Now, also, there's another aspect of this thing, which is extremely important, which you have to understand before you come to the subject of understanding what's called "basic economic infrastructure." And that is: What is it, that defines a human as better than an animal? What's the difference between Al Gore and a baboon? When he gets down on all fours and walks, you may have trouble finding the difference—but, nonetheless, he is, all things considered, technically human. And what should he have been, having been born human—what should he have become, rather than, perhaps, what he became?
What is there about man, the individual person, that is special? If man were an animal, say, a baboon, or something like that—a higher ape—under the conditions, which we know from the past 2 million years, of the known Ice Age developments, the human population of this planet could never have exceeded several million living individuals. Then, why do we have going on 6 billion individuals, living on this planet now? No animal could do that! What is it about man, that qualifies man to increase man's power, per capita, in and over the universe, as no other species can do? Every other species is condemned, to an apparent genetic determination of their potential to adapt to an environment. Only man can willfully overcome that limitation. And has.
What is it? Well, Plato described that in the collected dialogues: the principle of Socratic discovery, of Socratic hypothesis. When we face an error, or simply ignorance, as a contradiction or paradox, the human individual mind is capable, as Plato demonstrates in the Socratic dialogues, of seeing the fallacy, in prevailing opinion up to then, and discovering an hypothesis, which will solve that paradox, enable man to conquer that paradox, provided that man is able to demonstrate that the hypothesis is true. Sometimes we call these discoveries "universal physical principles"; and they come in many forms: They come in the form of what we call "physics," physical science; they come in the form also, of social relations. Because, to organize society, you have to look at, not only what man is capable of doing as an individual; you have to see how these ideas, on which the increase of the power of man in the universe, is increased. You have to see these powers, and see how the fruits of these powers are transmitted from previous generations to the present.
For example: How can a child, living today, reexperience the act of discovery, performed by Archimedes, prior to 212 B.C.? This is true of all we know: We are dependent upon our predecessors—which are many; we come from many parts of the world, for our ideas—and the cultural transmission of discoveries of principle, like hypotheses, like universal physical principles, from one generation to the next, the development of forms of cooperation by which these ideas are discovered, transmitted, and applied—this is humanity!
So therefore, through this quality, that makes us special, we are able to master the universe, increasingly, as no other species can. And it is these processes, it is the exchanges of these kinds of ideas, through which man increases his power over the universe, and preserves that knowledge from one generation to the next, that we are human. And those qualities of social relations, which depend upon that, are precious: the things that make us different than the beasts.
And we see ourselves, then, in the likeness of the Creator. We see that we are endowed with that kind of creative power, we recognize, through the discovery, for example, of universal physical laws. These are the laws of the universe. They are universal! They are universal throughout the universe! We know these laws in a certain way, by a process of discovery; a Socratic process of discovery. Therefore we know these laws, not because somebody sold them to us, or described, "Oh, we looked it up on the Internet"; we know these laws, because we have reenacted the discovery of that knowledge. Therefore, we understand that as knowledge, and we understand that as the knowledge shared with the Creator. And thus, we find ourselves in the image of the Creator. And we have a moral sense, of the obligation of what our morality must be, because of that connection.
A Society of Entrepreneurs
So therefore, a society which is soundly organized, includes a society of entrepreneurs. Not joint-stock corporations—they're detestable things that have to be managed. They're like wild beasts: You must fence them in, and herd them, and watch them, or they tear down the fences and eat all the crops, and everything else. Terrible things: stock corporations! You may need them, but you've got to watch them, and you've got to manage them tightly—a cattle prod or two may help! As recent experience may have suggested to you.
But, the entrepreneur is a different creature. The joint-stock corporate leader tends to be a parasite. They're out there for what they can get, and not for what they can give. An entrepreneur, as I've known them, are really not greedy fellows. They may have some tendency in that direction; maybe their wife nags too much, or something of that sort. But they're generally not greedy fellows. A true entrepreneur who's successful, first of all, is embodied with a certain kind of creativity. They intend to do something; they intend to achieve something; they're frustrated: They don't want to just sit back, and just get money as an employee! They want to do something in society! They have a dedication, a mission; they enjoy it.
Now, what they have to do—the problem is, they want to do their mission; they have to survive while doing it. And, being human, they would like to transmit this thing, that they're contributing, to society afterward. Especially, hopefully, to members of their immediate family, who will take over the enterprise from them, or something of that sort. Or, adopt some young guy, who is promising; the kids don't want the job, they don't want the business: Give it to him. Keep the thing going; make a contribution to society. Like the farmer, the independent farmer, who improves production, who improves the quality of the crop. Who will sweat all kinds of hours, to save a crop, because of a seasonal disturbance: Get the hay in, before the rain comes! Things of that sort. Entrepreneurs. People who express the truly human quality of creativity, and apply it, energetically, to do some good; and demand only, "let us make a little money, to keep the show going, and to expand it, in the meantime."
This has always been the gut of the American System. This is what the socialists never quite understood: the entrepreneur; the creative individual, who is motivated to do good, to serve the common good; who wants to accomplish something good; who has chosen a career to do good: to make a better machine, to apply the profession with greater skill, to conquer a disease; or to do something of that sort. A sense of mission: "I am a body in trajectory on a mission. I have an intention. And let me keep going and do my mission. And when I pass on, let somebody else continue that mission, which I've embarked upon."
That's the gut of the American System. However, this is more or less an individual, or narrow social activity. It is not the whole society. In order to conduct these kinds of activities, you must create the environment, which is needed for such activities. For example: From the beginning of the Americas, as a colonization process, the constant process was to try to build a continent—to build a continent. To reach from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, from Penn's colony, and so forth, and to reach westward, through natural routes of progress—waterways, and so forth. So, in the early part of the 18th Century, the great development in the United States, or what became the United States, was the development of the highways and waterways, ocean coastal waterways, inland waterways, and so forth. In the course of time then, the railroad came into the process. Now we can move from—dependent upon waterways, across land mass-transit by the railroad system. And the railroad is not simply a system of communication: The railroad is an avenue of development, on both sides of the railroad, which connect interior parts of the country to the coastal areas. You now have towns springing up, farms springing up, other things springing up around the railroad, which this system of communication and transportation makes possible.
You have large-scale water systems, as we took the southern part of the Mississippi River, and the Ohio River Valley, and things like that. And these things create conditions for the improvement of the quality of production: an increase of the productive powers of labor.
The development of new energy resources, going from water power, coal-burning in England earlier on, in the 16th Century; continuing into the 19th Century, we went into improved forms of use of heat power—started largely with Leibniz, and Leibniz's promotion of the development of heat power, as a notion of power to increase the productive powers of labor. That spread over the course of the 18th Century. The development of the followers of Leibniz, such as James Watt, who was sent down to France to work with Lavoisier, to develop the Watt steam engine. Then you had the process of the improvements of reduction. Also Lavoisier was important in that.
So, then, in the course of the 19th Century, there's a rapid development of technology. At this point, you now get to new, more powerful sources of heat power. In the latter part of the century, we develop electrical power on a large scale. Largely due to the initiatives of Gauss, and people around him—his collaborators.
In the beginning of the 20th Century, we suddenly had a revolution in productivity, as we went from factories which were driven by steam engines, with belted pulley systems to power the machines, to individually electrically powered, motor-powered machines. And this introduction of the electrically powered machinery in plants, was one of the great revolutions, in the process of technology.
The Necessity of Government
So, all of these things involved the development of very large-scale transformations of land-areas, water-areas, transportation, and so forth. It also required something else: It required the development of the population. Now, the development of the population meant, again, something beyond the scope of the individual entrepreneur. Just as large-scale railroad systems are beyond the scope of the individual, private entrepreneur; as large-scale water-management systems are beyond that; as land-management systems are beyond that, so you have general education. We have to have a level of education consistent with the needs of the population as a whole, as a functioning population. Consistent with transmitting the knowledge from previous generations to the present, needed to keep the society on keel, and going ahead.
This can not be the function of private entrepreneurship. It's the function of government. And, in the United States' system, government means, Federal government; it means state government; it means municipal government; it means other institutions. And these agencies are responsible to create, to regulate essential forms of basic economic infrastructure, which provide the tilled field, in which the crop of entrepreneurship can be planted. It means health-care systems. It means a lot more DDT, right now! It means going back to Hill-Burton, and the end of the HMO. It means those kinds of things.
So therefore, there's a relationship between what we call "hard infrastructure," such as transportation systems, especially things like rail, magnetic levitation, water systems, air systems, and so forth; and the "soft" ones, which are general systems of education, and of health care, which must be developed according to the needs of the population, and its development. To overcome existing problems, and also to clear the way to be able to conquer new ones.
So this is the responsibility of government. And government must regulate this infrastructure. It must also regulate other things, that I've just indicated. But, it must regulate infrastructure, and it must, in many case, undertake the construction or development of infrastructure. It may, also, farm out infrastructure, in the form of utilities—either Federal utilities, state-franchise utilities, state-regulated utilities, county utilities, municipal utilities: that government assumes its responsibility for the infrastructure, or part of the infrastructure of an area, and may take care of the job itself, or may do it jointly through regulation, with a partly or entirely privately owned public utility. That's infrastructure.
Money Is an Instrument of Government
There's another aspect of infrastructure, which is the monetary-financial system. Now, money is evil. It's not the root of all evil: It is evil. Because, when money puts a value on itself, it becomes evil, because a piece of paper, or a statistic suddenly says, "I'm the boss! You human beings are my slaves. You work for me! Money makes money!" I don't know whether it's breeding in the back room, or something—but anyway, money makes money! Money is actually just a medium of exchange; that's all it ever should be. And, under our system, the American System, as defined, for example, by Alexander Hamilton, the American System: Money is created by the Federal government, according to the Constitution—by law!—and no currency may be issued, except by the Federal government, by law.
So, money comes from the government. The control of money must be by national banking, not private banking. And money must be regulated; its circulation must be regulated.
So, money is an instrument of government, which is controlled—created and controlled—for the benefit of the nation, and for the people who live in it. Because, if it's allowed to run out, on its own, as in usury, or, as we've seen in recent periods, since Nixon, it's a menace. So we have to control it. We have to manage the money, in a sensible way; which means you need a good money system, carefully regulated and supervised. You can not let the accountants run the system. You must have the system run the accountants.
On this thing: Why shouldn't you trust an accountant? Never trust an accountant to do anything, except what he's supposed to do. Because the accountant will tell you, particularly the most idiotic ones (they're the highest paid, usually; because they have no conscience—that's a luxury item; they get paid more for that). The accountant says, "The key to accounting is the bottom line." Well, the bottom line is nothing; the bottom line doesn't mean anything. If you reduce the expenditure for necessary costs, and thus generate a profit on the bottom line, what have you done? You stole it. You've done nothing. The accountant assumes, that by connecting the dots among financial figures, that you can derive an explanation of why the result occurred. But it's not. It's just simply a way of accounting for the flow of money. It may reflect something, but the rules by which money is accounted for, the rules for accounting, must be set as a standard, by government. Otherwise, you have the wrong kind of system.
The Rise of the Nation-State
For example, the problem we face, concretely, is this: The United States' uniqueness, as an economic system, the American System of political economy, is a result of something which is an historical accident, but not exactly an accident. Over 1,000 years ago, with the decline and disintegration of the Byzantine Empire, Venice emerged as an imperial maritime, throughout Europe and the Mediterranean region. Venice was controlled by a financier oligarchy. Venice ran all of the Crusades. Venice ran all of the wars, in conjunction with Venice's partners, the Normans, Plantagenets, and Anjou, and so forth—all the Crusades, all the wars were run, by Venice. And Venice used these wars to prevent the rise of nation-states, which was already a tendency, since Charlemagne. Charlemagne's empire actually set into motion, the impulse to develop nation-states. Venice moved to destroy that, to frustrate that.
And, from that point on, there was a conflict, between the so-called German emperors and monarchs, and this force around Venice. The tendency was—as with famously, the case of Frederick II Hohenstauffen and Italy, Alfonso Sabio in Spain—the tendency was to develop nation-states, under which the general welfare of the people was the accountability of a monarch. And therefore, the monarchical government would make law, in the interest of the general welfare. That was the impulse, which eventually led to the formation of the first modern nation-state in Louis XI's France, and later in England, under Henry VII.
So, Venice was always opposed to this. And it used the so-called "ultramontane" issue, of having a super-government—they would sometimes try to use the Papacy as a super-government—to eliminate all possibility of national government from existing in Europe.
So, when the Venetian system collapsed, and it collapsed, finally, after 1648; Venice organized religious conflict, religious wars in Europe from 1511, approximately, to 1648, to attempt to destroy the emergence of the nation-state, which had occurred in the previous 15th Century. But after that, the Treaty of Westphalia, which was organized, largely, by Jules Cardinal Mazarin, who had been the diplomat for Pope Urban III, broke the power of Venice, and led to the emergence of nation-states, beginning with France under Colbert. Colbert's effort was later destroyed by Louis XIV, but nonetheless the effort was made. And this was the context under which modern European civilization emerged out of the Treaty of Westphalia, out of the so-called Thirty Years War.
But, in that period, as Venice declined, about 1670 or so, it began to fall apart. The Venetians were succeeded by an Anglo-Dutch oligarchy, which was guided by Venice in its creation, and which was an imitation of Venice. So, this oligarchy, which was consolidated under William of Orange—the tyrant who later took over England and Scotland and Wales and so forth—this became, also, the British East India Company. So, the Dutch and British East India Companies became the dominant forces in so-called Protestant Europe. Outside of Europe, the dominant forces outside France, in particular, were the feudalistic governments of the Hapsburgs and people like that. So, Europe was divided between this.
The Central Banking System
Now, in this process, what has emerged as the modern nation-state, in Europe, is not a republic like the United States, in no sense, constitutionally. It is actually a result, an outcome of a Venetian model of imperial maritime power, based on a financier-oligarchical interest. The central institution of that oligarchical power, in the continent of Europe, is the central banking system. The central banking system is an aggregation of private banks, or private banking and financial interests, which have forced upon governments a concession, that the so-called "political" government, will be submitted to the supervision and control of a central banking system. Which is what happened in the unconstitutional creating of the Federal Reserve System in the United States.
The Federal Reserve System in the United States, was created by King Edward VII of England. King Edward II of England had a banker. The banker had an agent in New York: Jacob Schiff. The New York banker, together with the Teddy Roosevelt crowd, designed the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve System was put into power illegally, by a Bull Moose campaign, by Teddy Roosevelt, such that the Wilson Administration, and a Ku Klux Klan fanatic—Wilson—put through, or presided over putting through, the Federal Reserve System; and, also, the income tax, among other things (the populists like to complain about that).
So that, since that time, the United States itself has been controlled and corrupted, by a Federal Reserve System, which is an echo of the Venetian model of the central banking system, which dominates Western Europe. So therefore, the United States Constitution is violated, not only in technicality, but in principle, by the existence of a central banking system, or the equivalent in this form.
During Franklin Roosevelt's tenure, elected for four terms, Roosevelt, by leading the United States out of the Great Depression, accumulated such political power with the population, that he was able to resist, and provide a check on the power of the Federal Reserve System, and the people behind it. The minute that Roosevelt was dead—or within an hour or two of his death, when the news reached Washington—Roosevelt's successors, who hated him, moved to try to destroy his system. And thus, immediately, in the 1940s, we had this process: They couldn't get rid of what Roosevelt had done, immediately; it took them another 20 years to get to that point, with the beginning of the Indochina War. But, they began to tear it down.
The U.S. System of National Economy
And so, our problem in the United States has been, that we do not, today, know our own history. We do not know the nature of our republic. We do not understand the nature of the opponents of our republic—that is, the Venetian model, which still dominates Europe, and corrupts the minds of Europeans. We don't understand economics, because we try to say that the United States is a form of capitalism, like England. But it isn't! The United States is not a capitalist economy. The United States' economy, the American System of political economy, as defined by Hamilton and others, is not British capitalism: Quite the opposite. It is a form of national economy, as the famous Friedrich List described it: the "national system of political economy." The difference is, the so-called "capitalist system," as the British case defines it—as poor Marx defined it—is based on the assumption, that the central banking interest must remain independent! And that the government must be responsive, to the control, by the central banking interest.
The United States' system, the American System of political economy, in all its manifestations, except for outright traitors and fools, has always depended on the assumption, that the people, the sovereign people of the United States, are the controllers of the credit, and currency of the United States. And regulate the currency, and regulate the economy, according to laws, which are designed to cause the functioning of the economy to flow into channels which are consistent with the intent of the Constitution: the promotion of the general welfare and progress. Which means the promotion of the nature of man, as an individual made in the image of the Creator. That's the law, specified in the Preamble: sovereignty. The United States government is absolutely sovereign in all matters in its territory. That government—and it's our government: "We the People"—it's our government, not somebody else's.
Second: The United States and all aspects of its law and Constitution, are subject to the principle of the general welfare, otherwise known in ancient Greek as agape. Otherwise known as "general welfare." Otherwise known as "common good"; sometimes called "commonwealth."
Third: And this is qualified by the fact that we are as accountable to our posterity, as we are to our contemporaries: You can do nothing, which is bad for your grandchildren.
We are supposed to be a people, which is sufficiently conscious of these considerations: That we as a people, fussing and arguing with one another, through channels which we develop as institutions, will deliberate, with these principles in mind, and will try to come to an honest conclusion, about what best serves that constitutional purpose. This is our government! It is our friend. Sometimes, you have to get the rats and mice out of the house, but it's our friend, otherwise.
Our Purpose Is To Do Good
So therefore, we have this relationship: We have the relationship between entrepreneurship, which is only a typical aspect of economy, of private economy; the action of the voluntary individual, using the creative powers of reason and assimilating the transmission of knowledge from previous generations, can do some good. The general idea is, we promote the doing of good. It's what Benjamin Franklin based the design of the republic on, like Cotton Mather before him: to do good! The purpose of mankind and the purpose of the nation is to do good, in the sense of agape. So, we deliberate on that. And we decide, what is right. If we make a mistake, we correct it. That's our government; that's our friend. That's the best we can do. Man can not do better. We can not absolutely eliminate error. But, we can be accountable, for trying to do good, for all mankind, as well as ourselves.
Therefore, we must, first of all, through government, focus upon the general, basic economic infrastructure: which includes, transportation; which includes, not only transportation, water as transportation, but water for other purposes. It means, also, the provision of power. It means ports. It means health care. It means education. These are matters of basic economic infrastructure, for which the government must be responsible. Because it is something which concerns all of the land-area, and all of the people, and all of the activities of the nation.
We, then, providing this field—this tilled and fertilized field, of infrastructure—we then say to the people, "Go out, and do some good. And if you need help, we might help you. We'll pass laws to help you succeed, to regulate things, so that you have a chance to succeed. Go out and do good: You're the entrepreneurs.
"We'll allow joint stock operations, even though we don't trust them. We know they're inherently bad. But, if they're needed, we'll regulate them, and hope that, somehow, the spirit of entrepreneurship might infect them."
We promote discovery. We promote new ideas, especially scientific and related cultural ideas. We promote that which is beautiful, in the sense that it captures the essence of humanity. For example: We mentioned the Passion of St. John and the Passion of St. Matthew. These are objects of beauty. Why? Because the despondent person, coming into a performance of the St. Matthew Passion, when it's properly done, is going to experience the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. And, unlike my erring friend, the pastor, he will not think that Christ made a mistake. He will think that Christ was doing something for all mankind, and exemplifying what every one of us must aspire to do for mankind, in our own lives, in our own way.
Life is our coin. Model life is our coin: Spend it wisely. Spend it for the good. Look ahead to coming generations, and think what you wish you had spent it for.
When that experience, of discovery of an idea, lifting oneself out of the muck of despair and frustration, into a sense of the nobility of mankind, as the St. Matthew Passion does this, is beauty. It is true beauty. And the sense of beauty, is, in the final analysis, the most powerful force in humanity: the sense of the beautiful. Beauty will motivate you, as nothing else can do. A sense of beauty in that sense—that kind of beauty. Not the tangible beauty, because, for example: The beautiful thing about a great, Classical Greek sculpture, is not the physical object. The beauty, say, in a great carving in the Classical Greek sculptors, is a paradox. What you see, is a still body—a carved, still figure. What you think, is not a still body, but a body in mid-motion, an instant of mid-motion. That sense of capturing something in mid-motion, which seems to be still, that seeing beyond the limitations of perception, is the key to the idea of beauty.
It is also the idea of truth. There's a famous poet, John Keats, in his "Ode on a Grecian Urn": "Truth is Beauty, and Beauty is Truth." Truth and Beauty are linked, in a Socratic-Platonic sense. And that's our essential motivation—or should be our essential motivation. But, in order to fulfill that, we do physical, practical work.
We've Got To Save the United States
Now, therefore, look at problem of the United States, today. We've got to save the United States—and a lot of other things, as well. If we save the United States, a lot of other parts of the world are going to be happy. There are parts of the world that are very unhappy, right now, with what the United States is doing to itself and others. "We don't want the war. We don't want the depression. We don't want the brutality. Please take it away!" Okay, if we do the right thing in the United States, that problem can be taken away. That's our job.
Now, let's look at George Bush, sitting down there in Crawfish, Texas—Crawford, pardon me—sitting right next to the unsettled spirit of deceased David Koresh, down there in Waco. They had this silly conference down there, with a real carnival side-show—probably with belly-dancers. (It's a wonder, that Sharon wasn't there!) But, here he was confronted with something, and he had these clowns, down there. And his attention span is not the greatest—he's like some diseases: He's great on running, but not much on thinking. But, he's down there, he could have done a little bit of thinking—I mean, we can, rightly, demand of a President of the United States, a small amount of thinking; perhaps not too much—we don't want to strain that brain of his. But, he's faced with this terrible depression, which is crushing us, and about to crush us. And he's faced with a couple of problems. The immediate problem is transportation: The railway system of the United States is crashing.
Now, let's look a bit at this, in this picture of the Land-Bridge system crossing over into Eurasia from the United States (Figure 7). What you see there, is connectedness. We now have the ability to move freight, as well as passengers, by existing, known modes, at speeds of about 300 miles per hour. We can move them quietly, with magnetic levitation. We can also do a pretty good job even with friction-rail systems—not so good, but we can do it.
That means, that we have reversed, potentially, have reversed the great problem of humanity: For as long as we know, ancient mankind, especially under conditions of repeated glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere, mankind's development was restricted to water. That is, movement, civilization, depended upon movement by water. Water? Because water is necessary for life—fresh water, for example. Water because the sea is a great source of food. You try to build populations under primitive conditions, you would rely largely upon water—fish, things of that sort. And transportation by water. It's obvious, from what we know of the great ancient traces of calendars, that the earlier civilization, prior to, say, 10,000 B.C., that period, the earlier civilizations were largely riparian civilizations; trans-oceanic and riparian civilizations. That people travelled long distances. Some of the characteristics of these ancient astronomical charts tell us that—hymns, for example: Vedic hymns. They indicate that mankind had knowledge of things, which mankind would not have thought to have knowledge of, unless it was an ocean-going culture. Navigation: very precise. The first physical science that we know of, with any coherence, came from ancient calendars. As very late in the game, you have the Great Pyramids at Geza, in Egypt, which are an expression of this long process, of tens of thousands of years earlier.
So, man moved by water. Civilizations went by water. When the Northern Hemisphere was largely covered, where was civilization? It was largely in such places as the Indian Ocean. The seas were about 300-400 feet below what they are today, the ocean levels, and people travelled by water. And you had ancient cultures, from the Subcontinent, which were all over the area, travelling by water. There were trans-oceanic cultures, which existed at some earlier point. Man did not discover the New World, suddenly, in the 15th Century. Man had been travelling back and forth across the Atlantic for a long period of time. The route that Columbus took is a route, which was feasible for a sailing craft, such as of the Viking type, much earlier. The route is the same. Once you knew the trick of the game, you could do it, if you were a good sailor. Maybe at some risk, but you could do it.
So then, we moved to inland cultures, and we saw this in the history of modern European and other civilization: movement up river cultures—large rivers, as in the case of Mesopotamia, which was a barren area, until it was colonized from the Subcontinent. And the Subcontinental culture of Sumer, moved up. The Semitic population, which were largely sheep-herders, or something, became assimilated through this Sumerian smart culture, moving up the Tigris and Euphrates. The Nile is another example of this; the rivers in China—the same kind of thing. Man began to move inland, from the seas, by water. Then, we began to develop inland systems—canals, and so forth; not quite so efficient, but they worked.
Now, if you look at Asia, this map again: The central part, the north part and central part of Asia, is an area which is not very habitable. Part of it is Arctic tundra. Much of it is semi-desert, or desert. It is thinly populated. But underneath the soil, are large amounts of natural mineral resources, one of the greatest—probably the greatest concentration on this planet. Other concentrations are the South African Shield, and also South America, are great concentrations of mineral wealth, for all humanity.
You have, then, on the coasts of China, and India, and inland, you have populations, which need these resources. They don't have enough in their own territory, for their present and future needs. Therefore, they need development of these resources in the northern part and the central part of Asia.
Now, how can you develop resources? You must build a logistical system, which can support the development of these resources. This is in the middle of a land-area. Well, how do you do it? Well, by developing, not only merely rail connections across Asia, efficient rail connections, but also by developing corridors of development the way our transcontinental railway system developed the states of the West, through large agriculture and other developments on either side of the railroad of the transcontinental system. So the same kind of thing there, but in a more modern way.
We have now, the possibility, going from places like Pusan, at the tip of Korea, all the way to Rotterdam, and other places in Europe, of a continuous route, whereby the ocean travel, as a method of moving high-grade freight from one part of the world to the other, is out of date. We can move the freight more cheaply, more quickly, by land, than we can by sea, in terms of total economic cost. This means a transformation in the relationship of man's relationship to the planet: Suddenly, the inland areas, like the interior of China, Central Asia, North Asia, the Sahara Desert, and other parts of this planet, which were previously inaccessible to mankind for significant exploitation, are now opening up to us, through large-scale infrastructure.
We Must Save Our National Transport Systems
All right. Now, that being the case, what should George have done? The rail transit system in the United States is collapsing. If we allow George to sit back and let the collapse of the national rail system continue, and don't save the possibility of recovery of the railway tracks that we formerly had, say 30-40 years ago; if we don't do that, the United States will cease to exist as an integrally functioning national economy. And, we're at the point of no-return, now.
Similarly, we have a crashing of the airline system. Not the planes, but the system. (Hopefully, not the planes: I travel on a few of them, and I'm not ready for that, yet. I have a mission to do.)
All right, so therefore, what are we going to do? Because, if we lose a functioning airline system, and if we lose the rail system, if we lose the integrity of the U.S. as a potential economy, an integrated economy, we're finished, for a generation or more to come—to rebuild. Therefore, George Bush, sitting on his something-or-other out there, in Crayfish, Texas, should have said, "Well, there are consequences! We must do something about this, or there will be consequences!" And, what he should do, is—what we are going to have to get him, or the government to do, at least by November election time, we're going to have to burn the tail of the people and politicians of the United States: To make sure that we have, in the immediate future, an emergency commitment, to federalize, in terms of support, as an infrastructure project, the entire existing and potential rail and air-traffic system of the United States. That's a first step. It's not the only step, and it's not last step—it's a first step.
The first step has the significance of this sort: First, we must show that we mean business. We must show that we mean business, by taking an example of unquestionable urgency—the saving of the national transport system, as a way of saving the integrity of the U.S. as a functioning national economy. We take those issues, not as exclusive issues, but as leading issues, of rebuilding an efficient rail system, and saving the air-traffic system and rationalizing it, as a first step.
That means, that we will reduce the dependency, in a fairly short period of time, on short-haul air travel. Because, among the main trunk routes of the United States, we can move passengers more efficiently, from downtown to downtown, by using rail transport—high-speed passenger rail transport—than we can by air. The time it takes for you to get out of the house in the morning, to get to the airport, to line up to get searched, and researched, and researched at the airport, before boarding the plane, and whether the plane takes off or not, whether it's cancelled, you have to wait for the next one, and getting back to the next airport, getting off that, and finding a taxi, and a taxicab driver who doesn't rob you, and—. This is no way to run a railroad!
So therefore, that's a first step: to rationalize, to take the problem of rail and air traffic, as one problem: mass transit, mass traffic. And say, "We must integrate these two functions, of air and rail, so we have a rational system, from the standpoint of the citizen and the standpoint of the economy." We want people to be able to move economically and efficiently, from one place, where they live or something, to the place they want to do business. We want them to get there safely. And we don't want to have them sitting around, waiting to see if the bus failed, or if the road got torn up, or whatnot; or if cars don't work any more. So we want that kind of system, which is economical, convenient, comfortable, and gives the nation a sense: "We can get from one part of this nation to any other significant part, in fairly good time." We can get to almost any part of our nation, as fast as you can get from one part of Europe to another. We can do it.
And that kind of objective, the assurance that we have economic security for freight, as well as people, that our economy is integrated. Then we take areas, that are dead areas: areas like Buffalo, New York, which is dead; areas like Michigan, which are dying; areas of Pittsburgh are dead! Dead, dead, dead! All the places that used to be the most productive centers, industrial centers in the United States, are dead. This Red Line thing in Los Angeles: They bought it up and shut it down. And now, you have to build six more lanes of highway to get from one part of Los Angeles to the other, because that Red Line system went down.
So, rebuild these things, which were characteristic of what were formerly the most productive industrial centers of the United States. And also, agricultural centers, because agriculture and industry were developed, together, in the United States, at least in large degree: Develop that; rebuild it. Rebuild the economy. Get back to business. Stop being a consumer society. Go back to being a producer society. And the first step is that.
Now, there's one other thing, which is crucial—beyond that. Beyond the transportation project, which should be the primary concern for all of us, during the period up till the November elections. We want to turn the country upside-down politically, on the issue of this particular question, as a positive measure, as a Sublime action. Something good, to do good for the people of the United States. And get these Congressmen convinced, they better do it, or else.
So, we will be doing things: We'll have an EIR special report, which will contain a lot of information on this subject, which will be a resource for anybody who wants to study the question. That's in process now, and it will be produced very soon. We will have a pamphlet out, soon, by my campaign, which will take some of the highlights of this proposal, and put it in pamphlet form, again, for mass distribution. We will put out a series of leaflets, between now and November election time. The leaflets will change some of their content, appropriately, as time goes on, but they will all be on the same theme: Essentially, focused on this question of, rebuild the infrastructure and the rail and air-transport question as the leading issues. Those things we will do.
Developing the Great American Desert
But, beyond that, we've got to look at this water question. And, again, let's go to this North American Water and Power Alliance—just for a moment (Figure 8). Did you ever fly over the United States? Did you ever get from the 20-inch-rainfall line, as it's called, in the Midwest, to the West Coast. What are you flying over, largely? The Great American Desert. For now, nigh on 90 years or more, there has been no significant development—not counting Las Vegas, which I don't consider development: That's sort of Hollywood madam government territory. There's been no development of the Great American Desert. There's all that land-area. There are very significant mineral resources out there. There is, actually, under controlled conditions, agricultural potential. There is potential for new cities, new industries, in that area. The problem is, we don't have water, and power, in there. The Parsons company, and others, developed, some years ago, what was called the North American Water and Power Alliance [NAWAPA].
Now, water and power, apart from transportation, are the leading issues of infrastructure, or hard infrastructure, in the United States, today. There will be bills put through by some of our friends in California, to try to go back to an integrated system of regulated, utility, production and distribution of electrical energy, according to needs; and toward a policy of developing electrical resources, not based on price alone, but based on national strategic needs—as we used to do it.
This should be coupled with water management. And the movement of the water from Alaska and northern Canada, presently going into the Arctic Ocean, moving much of that water down, through a system which has been well-designed, into not only this great area of the Great American Desert, but to link that to the other water systems we have, such as the tributaries of the Mississippi system: We can link the entire nation, from coast to coast, and North to South; we can link it efficiently, with inland water transport, which is not only a means of controlling the water distribution of the planet and our country, but also, is a means of internal transportation of the kind of bulk freight, which is best transported by water. For example, grain is a low-value-per-ton bulk freight, which is conventionally shipped by barge, down the Mississippi and other routes. Why? Because grain is something that comes to harvest at certain points. Therefore, you have a peak supply of harvested grain at those points. So, therefore, you don't care (as long as the stuff is preserved) if it's in motion, down river systems, rather than being parked in a warehouse someplace, so the lost time in moving the freight from one part [of the country] to another is not a loss; because you're not going to consume it all at once. So you're going to spread out the consumption of the grain in the whole cycle.
So therefore, with freight such as coal, and other low-value-per-ton freight, which are of that character, you can move it more easily by inland waterways. Inland waterways, if you take, for example, in the case of a state like Alabama or Mississippi and so forth, the inland waterway system can be a boon, opening up areas which have not yet been quite civilized, into healthy, functioning parts of society. So therefore, that's part of it.
'We Can Change Things'
So, that, in general, is what I'm up to. As I say, the key thing that's posed here—there are a lot of technical questions: I've touched on a few of them, which I've thought are most important. But, the key thing here, is to get a sense of courage, of true courage. And the sense of true courage comes from recognizing what it is to be human: that we are not like an animal, whose life begins at birth, and ends with death. But, because we're human, because we're creatures of ideas, not simply animal behavior, we transmit culture from one generation to the next. We influence the way in which culture evolves, through our participation in it. We do things which help steer that process—some at the cost or risk to their life. But if we do that properly, we have a sense of a certain immortality, in us; that we're not creatures, which are born and die. We have a mortal coil. We live within that mortal coil. But, as individual human beings, as creatures of spirit, as creatures of mind, our span goes back to very ancient times, to the birth of the languages we speak; to the first ideas, scientific ideas, which we share today, from ancient times.
And we're linked, also, to the future bequeath to those who come after us. If we have a sense of immortality, a sense of a person and of a nation on a mission, then we will find, from that, we have a potentially infinite source of courage.
And, contrary to the pessimists, who say, "you can't change things," "You can't change things," we say, "You don't understand man. You don't understand God. We can change things."