Building a Youth Movement
To Save a Bankrupt Nation
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
LaRouche made the following remarks on Feb. 1, 2003, to an East Coast Youth Movement cadre school in Pennsylvania, and, simultaneously, by video-teleconference, to a West Coast youth cadre school, in total, about 200 young people. See also the transcript of the question-and-answer period.
Greetings to students, den-mothers, and resuscitated retirees. This is an interesting world.
Now, I would say that, first, as a little point of order we have to get straightened out, is, you probably heard about the Marc Rich connections in various directions, including into the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party. On the basis of this information, henceforth, Dick Cheney, the Vice President, will be known as the Al Gore of the Bush Administration. I'm sure they'll both like it. They'll find an affinity.
What I want to address, in particular, is the question of what the significance of this kind of youth movement is, in the context of what youth movements have been generally in the past. This is different, as you probably know.
Now, we're in a crisis, in a tragedy—you might call it the global tragedy. The popular opinion which has dominated the United States, in particular, increasingly over the period since about 1964, has been tragic, in the Classical sense of tragedy. What has emerged as popular opinion, resulted in a collapse of civilization, which has reached the end-phase of its existence, such that, if popular opinion is the standard of behavior of government, and of the population, this nation will soon cease to exist. All tragedy is based on that principle, true tragedy. Tragedy is not caused by mis-leadership. Tragedy may be contributed to by a lack of adequate leadership, but the root of tragedy is always popular opinion, established conventions, generally assumed beliefs. And that's why civilizations collapse.
And you can compare civilizations, in this sense, to the model, comparative model, of a Euclidean geometry. A Euclidean geometry is based on false assumptions, which are called definitions, axioms, and postulates. And all of them are intrinsically false. But they're arbitrary, and they're popularly believed, in most university courses to the present day.
If you try to get into space, or navigate the universe in other senses, from the standpoint of a Euclidean or a Cartesian geometry, you will crash. Or you will be sent to crash, as probably what has happened to this craft [the Columbia Shuttle] that's just coming in today, that didn't make it. Because somebody goofed.
And that's how tragedies occur. They occur on the basis of assumptions, beliefs, which act on the general behavior of the society, as do the definitions, axioms, and postulates of a Euclidean geometry. And as long as people continue to act on the basis of those generally accepted notions, the society is going to crash.
Now, that means that two things have to happen, two related things. First of all, somebody on the scene has to understand that public opinion must be changed radically. That is, at least some of the definitions, postulates, axioms, which control the system, which control popular opinion, must be destroyed. Otherwise, the society, civilization, will crash.
Once the idea exists, in the minds of some, the question is, how are we going to implement that idea, to cause society, at the brink of doom, to save itself, by, first of all, changing the generally accepted truisms of prevailing popular opinion, in government, in legislatures, in political parties, among the people in general.
Now, also, you have to consider a number of other factors in this. Such as generations. You have a generation, my generation, which has become somewhat of a de-generation. Then you have a greater de-generation, which is called the Baby Boomers, generally your parents' generation. And thirdly, since most of you are entering adulthood, or have entered it, as being between 18 and 25, you represent a new generation, a third generation.
The people from my generation, generally, if they're still functional, are more responsive to reality than the second generation. The second generation entered adulthood, about 1964, or later, from adolescence or childhood. Their entire adult life has been spent acting out generally accepted beliefs, which were increasingly insane.
Now, this is how this movement got started, before the youth movement: It started with me. It started at a time among people, from the generation that degenerated—your parents' generation—that some people of that generation did not go along with degeneration. They did not accept the counterculture. They did not accept the rock-drug-sex youth counterculture. They did not accept a consumer society, as opposed to a producer society. Right?
So, we fought, together.
But then, people that I recruited, began to become prematurely o-l-d. And they said, "We are now looking forward to a comfortable retirement, we don't want to think about the future, we wish to feel good." Or if one wife, or one husband, isn't enough for us, we'll get a new one—or one of each. And so, a process set in, which is lawful, which caused a de-generation of your parents' generation, even among better people. When you begin to feel that you're getting o-l-d, when, before, you were looking forward in the past, you were fighting the foolishness of society in the past, you now begin to become mellow. That's called decay. And what you do, is you begin to move sideways, rather than forward. Instead of trying to change the world for the better, you're trying to adapt successfully to your generation. You're beginning to assimilate the ethics, the assumptions, the definitions, the axioms and postulates, of your generation more widely.
When you were with me earlier, you were fighting against degeneration. At a later point: "We're too tired to fight. We have to relax and have some fun, some security." But you've got children? "Yes, but they're a bother. They're a burden. I don't know why we did that." "They're coming home for Christmas, it's terrible." "They want presents. Terrible!"
So, when people, our people, began to get absorbed into this process of degeneration of that generation, they just got plain w-o-r-n d-o-w-n. There's a reason for it. But what happens then, is they began to move sideways, and they began to look at peers, like family members, who they used to have fights with politically; old circles from school, they used to fight with politically, and say, "These guys are degenerates." Now they're trying to get warm with them. Now they're trying to find a common basis in opinion.
"Yes, we did believe that, and we were right. But, we have to be realistic, you know. Maybe it's not going to work out. Maybe it's not going to come in our lifetime. In the meantime, we have to get with our relatives, and old school chums, and so forth."
`Monkey See, Monkey Do'
Now, this goes with another process, which you should be well-acquainted with, by looking at people who are slightly older than you are. Not very much older, but slightly. I observed this, years ago, in my own generation, which was, as I say, a de-generation. What came back from World War II quickly turned into, from my generation, a de-generation. And I observed how this happened. The longer they spent in college, the more successfully they progressed in college, the more stupid they became. How did the stupidity occur?
It occurred because they were in a rush—remember, my generation, coming back from the war, five years at war. The wife is saying, "Look, we've got to catch up for five years. You didn't make any money. You were overseas. You were in the Army; you were in the Navy. We've got to catch up. We've got to have a house. We've got to build a family. We've got to make up for five years! And you keep your mouth shut, and don't do anything to get us in trouble, our family in trouble, or I'll kill you! Or, I'll divorce you."
Of which, the former was preferable, or something or other, or the second was preferable—which one?
So, what would happen, is, they would go to the university, with the assumption of passing the course, to get a grade, to get a rating, a ticket, which would be based, not on what they actually knew, but on what they would be assumed to know. They got a ticket, that certified, they were a knower—or a learner. And they would go out, and they would bluff their way through society, on things they really didn't know, but which they had learned. It's a sort of "monkey-see, monkey-do" kind of education.
"I don't know anything about it, but I learned it, and I keep repeating it, ever afterwards. Why? That qualifies me to get a better job. To get ahead. I don't care what's an education, I'm going to accept it. Because I want a better job! I want a promotion. I want to be a success."
And that's how it worked.
Now, what happens then, in this process? How does education often destroy the minds of bright students? They come out of high school only slightly damaged. They go to a university, and they begin to degenerate. They learn more and more, but they think less and less. Because they learn what they're taught: monkey-see, monkey-do. And therefore, their ability to think, in the sense of knowing, begins to decay.
Now this is a phenomenon—there was a fellow, Lawrence Kubie, who I've referred to a number of times. He was a famous psychiatrist at Yale. He was officially a Freudian, although he was much better than that, who did a study on the loss of creativity, within that generation in the population. And he observed that people, when they would get their degrees, or get their graduate degrees, or enter their professional status, that they would suddenly go dead, psychologically dead. They would be able to do the "monkey-see, monkey-do" things, but they were incapable of original thinking, in the sense of knowledge.
And he called this phenomenon, which he studied extensively, the "neurotic distortion of the creative process," which he wrote a book about, I think it was 1957, published on this subject, of his studies. Then later, for Harvard, in Daedalus, a magazine published out of Harvard University, he wrote a paper on the theme of the space-age development, on fostering of creative, scientific productivity in the population.
And this is the thing we look at, here at this point. It's—what happened? These minds went dead. They can still go through all the "monkey-see, monkey-do" operations, that qualified them to appear to be a doctor of this, or that, or this, expert in this, or that or this—but they couldn't think!
Now, we see that in universities in that period generally. People were taught to believe in things that aren't true—which the mind should revolt against. But, because they were seeking what is called security, they gave up what they believed, for the sake of succeeding in the eyes of authorities. So, they began to stultify, to numb, their ability to think creatively.
So, as a result of a progression in career, in education, they became dumber, from a cognitive standpoint, less human than they were three, four, five years earlier. And this would often hit around the age of between 25, 28, or 30. A process. And this is what I saw in my own generation, among those who, coming back from the war, were going through universities, getting into careers, and so forth. The greater the number of "brownie points" they had won in society, the more stupid they became.
And that was your parents' generation. It was affected by moving into suburbia, or someplace else, and having parents who thought that way. "What's true is not important! It's how you look. It's what the neighbors think of you. Now you may have your own private opinions, but don't voice it in public. You'll get the family in trouble! So, be smart. Have your own opinions. But always say what you think is wise for you to be overheard saying. Don't get the family in trouble. You won't make a career."
So, the Baby-Boomer generation, which came into adulthood during the 1960s, therefore, was fairly clever—that is, the suburbanite students. They're fairly clever. They could talk a good line. But they didn't know what they were talking about. And therefore, they would have a superficial level, of what they thought was socially acceptable, which they tried to appear [to be]—except when they were rebelling. When they were rebelling, they would fall back on the fact that they still had some cognitive ability, and would rebel. And that's where I recruited a bunch of them. They rebelled against being corrupt. But they didn't succeed in ridding themselves of the corruption, which they had from their family backgrounds, and social circumstances.
So, the efforts we had in that generation began to decay. And I said, "no." And, this is where you come in. It's not just a few years ago. What became the youth movement, was actually a conception that began to take form about four years ago, in a limited way. But the intent behind the formation of the youth movement, was something that was bothering me, extremely much, since about 1994-95. Because I saw the condition of society. And historically, only a certain kind of youth movement can change things.
A `No-Future' World
Your generation, as well as those among your parents' generation, who are still alive and viable, are confronted by the fact that your parents' generation gave you a no-future world. There's no way you can make a deal with this culture, which prevails today. No way. Because you can't survive! This culture cannot deliver you the means to survive. And you know from the broken-home background that your parents' generation created, in large degree, what kind of a psychological hell it makes for your generation.
How many mothers and fathers do you have, officially on the record, known and unknown? I mean, that's the condition of this generation, your generation.
So, you know that. What are you going to do about it? You know that you don't have a future unless you can change society. But you're a generation which is in a controlling position in policy-making of society. So what you do, is you go out like missionaries, and begin to organize the dead generation, your parents' generation, in society. And you see the impact you have when you go into these various places, like the campuses—go into places such as the state legislatures, or the Congress—you see the effect you have. The presence of four, five, or six of you, walking in, knowing what you're talking about, which is more than most of these legislators can do, and others: You have an effect on them.
What happens then, is not magical, it's principled. Whether people know it or not, the difference between man and a monkey, is the fact that the human species can do what no monkey can do, no ape can do, no Al Gore can do: Actually assimilate valid ideas of principle, and transmit them to a next generation. That's the difference between man and the ape. Man is capable of discovering universal physical principles by a method of discovery which is illustrated by Plato's dialogues. Or illustrated by the case of Kepler, or illustrated by the case of Gauss, or the case of Leibniz. Man can do that—and transmit these discoveries, about what's out there in terms of principles in the universe, and transmit this to new generations.
These discoveries, and their transmission, increase man's power in the universe, per capita and per square kilometer. Therefore, the most important thing about man, is society. We all die. Everyone is going to die. The mortal life of everyone will come to an end. So, you've got a mortal life; what are you going to do with it?
How long it is, is not the most important thing. It's what you go out of this life, leaving behind.
And what do you leave behind? You leave behind younger people. You leave behind successive generations of younger people. You leave behind what you transmit to them, what you contribute to their development, to the circumstances of their work in life, to the conditions of society, which gives them an opportunity to live.
Now, anyone who's human has within them the ability, if they haven't gone over to the apes completely, like Engels did—Frederick Engels—if they haven't gone over to the apes, then everyone who exists, has the capacity to recognize that principle: That we are human, we are different than the animals. The animals cannot discover a universal physical principle. We can. Not only that—we're able to transmit that discovery to others. We're able to organize cooperation in society, around such principles, and increase man's power, as a species, in the universe. We can change the conditions of life of the human race. We can improve it. We can give a future to coming generations.
And when you're wise, and you're living in a generation, you think about dying. Not in the sense of a morbid thing, but you say, "I'm going to die eventually. Now, while I'm still here, I'm going to get a certain job done. And my job is, to guarantee, to the degree I can contribute to this, that the next generation will have everything we have, in terms of knowledge, and the next generation will have a better life than we had. And that future generations will benefit from what we, in our generation, have done."
The Consumer Generation
Now, in the old times, you had an approximation of that in the family. Immigrants coming in from Europe, for example. They would often come in from places like Eastern Europe, Italy—very poor people. They would come into the United States, the late 19th Century, early 20th Century. They would move into areas that were often slum areas. They were getting the tail-end of the jobs, the tail-end of the economic opportunity, generally.
What did they do? They worked to ensure that their families, their children, in this society, would have a better life. They worked with the idea that their grandchildren would therefore have a still better life. And therefore, they would do things we call "sacrifices," in order to ensure that the generation of their children, and grandchildren, would have a better life.
So, everyone's capable of recognizing when they think about what life is, the fact that it's mortal, it doesn't go on indefinitely—what's your purpose in living? Your purpose is, to enjoy the sense that you're contributing to the betterment of coming generations. And that's a natural human feeling. What has happened to your parents' generation, is, they lost that. They became known as the "instant-gratification generation," the consumer generation. They became the "now" generation. They had no sense of immortality. That is, no sense, there's something in themselves, that would be efficiently transmitted to coming generations.
Now, when you turn on them, if you're smart at it, you put some pressure on it, what you do is you tap that. You address that. You talk about the future. You talk about your future, in terms of, that your future is their future. Your future is the meaning of their present existence. And that's how you can move these poor slobs, and get them back to some semblance of humanity, that many of them had back in the 1960s, or the early 1970s, when many lost it, because they "jes' got plain tuckered out," emotionally.
So, that's the case here. That's our mission.
Now, in order to perform this mission, to make it effective, it's not sufficient to have that intention. It's very good for people of your generation to have that intention. It's excellent. But how do you make it effective? "What do you got to do?"
Well, first of all, you've got to get a clear idea of what the difference between man and an ape is. And this is sometimes very difficult, when you look at some of the teachers you get in universities and schools. "Monkey-see, monkey-do," that's the program. There is no truth, there's only opinion. "Let's not study history, let's talk about current events." Down on the secondary-school level, extended into the university level.
"Well, let's talk about current events. What's your opinion, Johnny? What's your opinion, Jill? Fine. None of us agree. That's fine! Because everybody has their own opinion!"
This kind of thing. I mean, this is what has been going on. You have your own view of it, but it all coincides generally with that, right? That general direction.
So, therefore, the first thing you have to have, is a sense of what might be called "truth." What's the alternative opinion? "Oh, we think the economy is going to do just fine. It's going to recover. Dracula told me so." Never trust that sucker.
"And besides, many people say that you're w-r-o-n-g. And I have to respect their opinion."
This is what you run into: this swinishness—it's only opinion. "We're a democracy, everybody has their opinion." And you see the lemmings going right over the cliff—"follow the leader." They all have their own opinion, but it happens to be the same one.
So, that's the problem. Therefore, you have to have a criterion of truth. What truthfully, will make the next generation—what truthfully, will make the generation after that—better the conditions of humanity? What, truthfully, is going to eliminate AIDS in Africa? What truthfully, is going to eliminate the misery in South and Central America? What truthfully, is going to correct the destruction, which has occurred in the United States, over the past 35-40 years?
It's a matter of truth. The fellow says, "Well, you're wrong." "Well, no, buddy. You're wrong. You're ignorant. You don't know what's going on in the world. The problem is, you've got too many opinions, and not enough knowledge."
So, you have to, in order to be effective, you can't say that unless you know what you're talking about. You have to have a principle of truth, as a matter of your knowledge. Not because you were told it by somebody, but because you experienced the discovery of a principle of truth, by going through a number of stages, and taking up various questions, and saying, "This is true; this is true."
So, you know that you become an embodiment of a standard of truthfulness. Not that you know everything, but you have a criterion which you call truth, or truthfulness.
So, you go into this dumb politician. You know his opinion isn't worth anything, because you have a standard of truthfulness which causes you to judge what the situation is.
Youth Movements in History
Now, the problem of youth movements in the past, has generally been, that they did not have a standard of truthfulness. Not all the youth movements. You had the great Classical youth movement, which was started in Germany, by Abraham Kästner, a man from Leipzig. Born about 1719, a follower, in terms of his conviction, of Johann Sebastian Bach, and of Leibniz. A lot of strange things were going on in Saxony in this period, in the period of the disintegration following the Thirty Years War, and the Seven Years War, the War of the Spanish Succession, and so forth.
So out of this area, the Hartz Mountains, out of a place called Freiberg, an academy up there, there came this influence which created Dresden, which reinforced Leipzig and so forth. The culture of the Renaissance moved up through Germany, through Nuremberg, in this area. It was an area of development. And so you had from Leipzig, a lot of things develop.
For example. Leibniz was born in Leipzig, shortly after the Treaty of Westphalia, after the end of the Thirty Years War. He represented families, like his father's family, from Leipzig, from Saxony—he represented that. Slightly later, Johann Sebastian Bach, who was part of the same area, the Bach family, created modern music, created it in that area. Developed it officially in Leipzig.
So, Kästner, coming along, born in 1719 in Leipzig, later moving up to Göttingen, and similar places, became the central figure of science, in Europe, in the middle of the 18th Century. Abraham Kästner. Abraham Kästner, as you will read this month, in a publication [Fidelio], which is coming out, was the central figure, in collaboration with Benjamin Franklin. Kästner was also the teacher of Gotthold Lessing. He also represented the circles of Moses Mendelssohn, which followed him. He was the center, in all Europe, of the organizing of the ideas of Johann Sebastian Bach in music. He was connected to the people who developed Classical music following Bach, such as Hadyn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and so forth.
So what we have as music, is the product of this. Music came into the area of Pennsylvania, through circles which were influenced by this—the Moravians and so forth—came here, in Pennsylvania, on this basis. Bethlehem, for example, is famous, in this connection here. All the ideas of the American Revolution came from Europe, largely through the influence of Leibniz, as radiated chiefly by Abraham Kästner.
So that, this was a movement which created the Classics. In England, for example. The emergence of poets, like Keats and Shelley—and Shelley is also a very important philosophical figure as well. The Classical movement internationally, of the late 18th Century, and the beginning of the 19th Century, was entirely the product of these circles, including the United States! The United States was a Classical revolution, inspired on the basis of the transmission of the principle of Leibniz, by Kästner and others, through Franklin, which organized the American Revolution.
Now, that is a good youth movement.
Then, you had a youth movement of a different kind, sort of like vomiting, in France. You had a British agent, Jacques Necker, of Swiss origin, but a British agent, an agent of Lord Shelburne, who was sort of the power behind the throne, late-18th-Century Britain. Shelburne used Necker as an agent. In order to prevent a development in France, to prevent the introduction of a constitution, a monarchical constitution, drafted by Bailly and Lafayette. To prevent that, they deployed the Bastille events, in which both sides were organized by the same people. The Duke of Orleans, and Necker. These guards—there were almost no prisoners left in the Bastille at that point. The only inmates in the Bastille were a bunch of idiots, who were about to be transferred to a mental home, where they belonged. There were no political prisoners there. None.
The guards were instructed to fire on the mob. The mob was organized, and paid for, by Jacques Necker, with the collaboration of the Duke of Orleans, who had been Franklin's enemy in France.
Today the French celebrate July 14, 1789, as Bastille Day! The point that France's future was destroyed by a British agent, a collection of British agents.
Then you went on to the "great ideas" of the Jacobins Danton and Marat, who were both agents of the British Foreign Office. The Jacobin terror in France was deployed by the British, to destroy the potential of a healthy republican development in France. And the French celebrate that to this day as a great French Revolution! That's a youth movement.
Fascist Youth Movements
Then, Napoleon Bonaparte, the first modern fascist, came to power. And around Europe, on the basis of the victories of Napoleon, fascism spread throughout Europe. It spread out in the Code Napoleon, the system of France under Napoleon Bonaparte. Also his nephew, Napoleon the Turd, eh? This same crowd. It spread in the form of Hegel, who was the first philosopher of the fascist state, from which the Nazi state was derived. These are celebrated as great events! This was part of a youth movement.
You had a large youth movement, organized by Bentham and Lord Palmerston, which was called Young Europe, and Young America, which Karl Marx was sucked into. It was run by Lord Palmerston, from London. Marx was actually controlled from London by a guy called Urquhart, a top official of the British Foreign Office. Marx's studies were orchestrated and controlled from the British Library, by Urquhart, who was the coordinator of the Young Europe movement. These were the same guys who organized the Concord movement in the northern United States, and organized from Charleston, South Carolina, what became the Confederacy, called Young America. A branch of the same Bentham, Palmerston movement.
These were youth movements. This was Thoreau. This was Emerson, all the swine. These were youth movements, who repeatedly worked to destroy the United States from within.
They had two kinds of youth movements. When a society comes into a time of crisis, in which the existing generation, by clinging to its old ideas, is bringing society to the edge of a catastrophe, then a youth movement intervenes, for better, or for worse.
A youth movement such as that typified by the role of Kästner, in fostering the birth of the Classical period in Germany, and spreading throughout Europe. And Kästner, who was a key figure in bringing the American Revolution to the United States, through Franklin. This is one kind of youth movement.
Then you have the other kind of youth movement.
You have the youth movement of Plato, after the terrible destruction by the Democratic Party of Athens, which murdered Socrates. There was a youth movement, a real pig-sty, that youth movement. And so, Plato, at a later point, became the organizer of a youth movement, in Greece, which became the great Classical movement of Greece, based in Athens, which continued in the form of the Platonic Academy, from the time of Archytas and Plato, to Eratosthenes and Archimedes, in about 200 B.C. That was a good youth movement.
The Roman influences were a bad, evil youth movement.
So a youth movement is not intrinsically good. A youth movement is an instrument of society, based on a principle of this generational transmission, as we approach a crisis, a time of tragedy, in which, if the youth movement is bad, the result will tend, without a better leadership, will tend to lead society to the very worst effect. Like Nazism.
On the other hand, a youth movement which is qualified to play a leading role, in renewing the society, will save the society, if there's the right leadership.
Now, my job is to ensure that the youth movement has the right leadership. Because, without a youth movement, even though I may be the smartest man in America, particularly on these kinds of issues, I can do nothing by myself. It's a youth movement which can strike the preceding generation, and revive them, and touch their conscience, which will enable this revival of the United States to occur. And of civilization generally. Because we are a world power. We are the world empire—don't kid yourself! The United States is a world empire—don't kid yourself!
Don't say, "The Chinese are going to do this, the Koreans are going to do this, the Japanese are going to do this, the Africans are going to do this, the South Americans"—no, they're not! Because I know these countries. In none of them do they have the guts, to challenge the United States. They will all crawl, and whine, and whimper, and complain, and make insults, and curses, but they will submit from inside the pig sty, where they're waiting to be slaughtered.
We in the United States, and the youth movement in the United States, have the special responsibility, since this is the world power, in terms of political-military control of the world as a whole, we have to change it, from the inside, in order to save the world as a whole. And the world will look to us for this.
If we don't succeed, if I were to fail, if you were to fail, write the United States off, and be prepared to accept several generations of a dark age for humanity as a whole. If I continue to do my job, and you do yours, and develop this youth movement as it must be developed, we can change world history for the better right now. Because there is no other thing that's going to work, except this kind of change.
That's the principle of tragedy. That's also the principle of the sublime. And that's what you guys are about. You have to have a clear self-conception of who you are.
The Fear of Immortality
The final point is this, the conception of fear of immortality. The Third Act soliloquy of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Read it! It's explicit. This is not some mysterious interpretation, this is exactly what Shakespeare says.
"But . . ."
This guy Hamlet was a swashbuckling killer. All through the play, it's the same thing. He's out killing. He's going to the next war. He hears a rustling at a curtain. He puts his sword through, not knowing who's behind the curtain, he puts his sword there, and kills Polonius.
He's a swashbuckling killer. He's not reluctant to act. And this is thoroughly developed.
Then the Third Act, or the end of the Second Act soliloquy: "O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I." You begin to see there's something wrong. This swashbuckling killer is no hero. He's going to fail.
Then in the Third Act soliloquy, it all comes out. What's the story? "When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, . . ." What happens after I'm dead? What happens to me, after I'm dead? What torment must I expect? Isn't it better to be killed, without thinking about that?
And that's why politicians fail. That's why all kinds of politicians fail. That's why there's not a man in the Congress, not a man in this government, who's capable of doing what I can do. Because they're all afraid of immortality.
They will say, "Look, you can't go against popular opinion! You can't change things. No, no, no, no, no! You've got to be practical. You've got to make little suggestions, that people will accept. You've got to get popular support. You've got to get the press on your side. You've got to get the TV on your side! You've got to get people to listen to you!"
We don't have to worry about people listening to me. They're scared of me; they'll listen.
No, that's the problem. These guys are unwilling to operate on the basis of a conviction of truth, of truthfulness. They won't act for truth.
"Hey, you got to be practical! Look, this is how you do it. You've got to do this. Hey, you guys got to learn, you know! You've got to go through the things we went through, and become corrupt like us! Then you'll also be unable to do things, like us!"
So, the principle of the sublime depends upon, like Jeanne d'Arc, the sense of a lack of fear of immortality. I have one life, I'm spending it, I'm spending it wisely. I have nothing to regret for what I'm doing, and I have no fear of what the future will think of me, and my existence, I'm doing the right thing. And that's what I go by.
All these other guys will vacillate. And this is what the play is about, Hamlet. This. The lack of leadership.
Take Don Carlos, one of the younger plays of Schiller. Every figure, who's an acting figure in the drama, is a pig. They're different varieties of pigs, some are spotted, some are red, and so forth, but they're all pigs. The Grand Inquisitor is a pig. The king is a pig. Posa's the worst of all the pigs, because he knows better. But he has a fear of immortality, and therefore he capitulates. He betrays himself. Don Carlos is a fool. He knows about a principle. He's so lovesick, he can't pay attention to business. Everybody's a fool in the thing.
Again, this is typical of tragedy, as opposed to the Wallenstein, another case, a clear case, the trilogy of Wallenstein. Who's the guilty party? Ha! Yeah, well, you could say the Hapsburg family is the guiltiest of all the parties. But everybody else is guilty, too! Wallenstein has an idea of what the solution is, but he's unwilling and unable to act on it. Therefore, he's killed unjustly, and the Thirty Years War continues from 1630-32, and continues for another 16 years, into the worst phase. Because there was nobody on the scene, who would do what Wallenstein should have known to do. To betray his oath—which was his obligation. Because the oath was based on a falsehood, and an oath which is based on a falsehood, has no sanctity.
And every coward in the world, will tell you, that the lesson of Wallenstein is, that he violated his oath. That's why he was killed. And everybody who doesn't understand anything about history, will say that.
So, the key here is this sense of immortality. And you could only get that, in various ways. You can get as Jeanne d'Arc did, a fairly simple farm girl, who had a clear conception of what was needed. And, without any complicated argument, went simply and directly to that conception, and said, "Stupid Dauphin, you must become a real king. God wants you to become a real king."
And the Dauphin said, "What do you want from me?" She said, "I don't want anything from you. God is ordering you, to become a real king."
And from that conception, with the courage—and this is historical, not just in the drama—with that conception, and refusing to capitulate, and compromise herself, despite the fact that she was facing being burned alive, at the stake, by the Norman Inquisition, she went to the stake, and the inspiration of her courage on that point, inspired France to kick the Normans out of France. And to lead to the establishment of France, as the first modern nation-state, under Louis XI.
The result of that was the second modern nation-state, in Henry VII's England, in the defeat of Richard III.
So, this simple girl inspired the Renaissance, or contributed to the inspiration of the Renaissance, and by her actions, created the first of the modern nation-states, by inspiration of her courage and devotion. She had a clear sense of no fear of immortality.
But then, on a higher level, in organizing government, the challenge becomes more complicated. The required knowledge becomes more elaborate. And, the future lies with you, and people like you, to the degree you get this clear sense of immortality, and the sense of mission. The sense of mission. How to organize, what your role is in history, and to inspire the dead-beats, your parents, and other people, to come back to life, and care about the future, and find their identity in reality.
And to do this, you must, in yourself, develop a sense of what the principle of truth is. You've got to understand what truth is, you must come to know truth, not simply as a collection of facts, but as a method of discovering truth. Then you'll have the strength and confidence, to change people, to change the opinion of your parents' generation, and move them in directions so we can save this civilization. And I must not fail you. I must always deliver what I have to deliver. And I hope that by the time I pass on, you will have learned enough, that I won't need to worry.