In the Aftermath of January 28th
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Following is Mr. LaRouche's keynote address to the Presidents' Day Weekend conference of the International Caucus of Labor Committees and Schiller Institute, in Reston, Virginia on Feb. 15. The session was chaired by Nancy Spannaus, and Mr. LaRouche was introduced by Schiller Institute Vice Chairwoman Amelia Boynton Robinson. A version with graphics is available to subscribers to Electronic Intelligence Weekly. See also the transcript of the following question-and-answer period.
. . .This is the "youngest" conference of the LaRouche movement we've had in quite some time—say, probably, decades. And, that's good, because we have a revolution to make in very short order. Ours will be a republican revolution, even greater than that of 1776, when a group of young whipper-snappers, such as Alexander Hamilton, John Quincy Adams, and James Monroe, responded to the leadership of the octogenarian genius, Benjamin Franklin. Of course, we have our own octogenarian genius in Lyndon LaRouche. And therefore, our revolution will be all the greater.
I expect this conference will be a turning point in the minds and lives of many of you, as you turn your attention to posterity and against the fear of immortality. And, in that respect, I want to note, that, sadly, one month ago, our movement lost to immortality, one of its longtime members: Marianna Wertz. Marianna was the wife of our beloved colleague, Will Wertz, vice president of the Schiller Institute, and a major spark behind the Schiller Institute's activity. I'm very pleased that we were able to honor Marianna's wish, by bringing out a reprint of Amelia Boynton Robinson's autobiography in time for this conference. And I'm told that Amelia will autograph copies tomorrow.
In the meantime, we will be having a tribute to Marianna and the way she lived her life, this evening. But right now, I want to present to you, the woman who will introduce our keynote speaker, Schiller Institute leader and Civil Rights heroine, Amelia Boynton Robinson.
Amelia Boynton Robinson
I always look forward to these conferences. And since all of my life, especially adult life, I have been working with young people: They are my heart. And, I feel that the only way we're going to be able to make progress, is to stick with our leader, and back our leaders, that are the best in the whole world.
We know what is going on now. We realize that this world, this universe, is millions of years old. We don't know how many millions. But, when we find artifacts, where they have been excavated, and they show human beings who have been in this world millions of years ago, we had better take a second thought; and realize that we can go along with other civilizations, if we follow the leader, the leader that God has given us, the leader who is not just another one—one who has been endowed with a different type of just ordinary living—a leader, who is one that is an economist, a scientist, and one who really knows the road.
So, if we follow—God makes leaders. They don't just jump up and be a leader. God ordains them to be leaders. So, we have to save this world. And if it is to be saved, it will take the leaders of the Schiller Institute, and the members and people, who will work with us. Looking at the sign [over the podium]: "This Is Our Time." This is our time. And, if we don't realize that time passes, and if this is our time, we can not wait, and say, "We'll see what's going on." Because, if we just go on, and accept what is going on, we all will find that we are slaves. Slaves to the system. Slaves that we criticize other countries, whose people are not free. Slaves to ourselves, because we'll be like the people back there, in the time when I worked under the United States Department of Agriculture: Where people were afraid to think for themselves. Why? Because they thought that had to go along with the system. And, we would find ourselves in the same condition, if we don't work together.
And, I heard Lyndon LaRouche say, "We can save this world." And I believe that it can be done. But, no one person can do it by himself. It takes people. It takes dedicated people. It takes people who realize, that nothing is impossible with God. I think of what we are doing, going through now, and how the information we are getting from those who are inspecting Iraq. And I think of our President, who circumvents every thing that seems to be a light.
And, I think of a story, that I heard, because the President always says, that "we're going in, come Hell or high water: We're going into Iraq." It reminds me of a story of a woman, who had a son. She thought a whole lot of this son, but he had go into the Army. Finally, this group of soldiers came to the town. And she notified the whole town, to turn out. "My son, Micky, is in the Army. And Micky is going to be marching with the Army!" And finally, they came in. And, as they came in, they were in step—"right, left, right, left." Finally, she looked around and she saw Micky. And she said, "Oh! There goes Micky! Everybody's out of step, but Micky!" When they said, "Right," Micky would put his left foot out; and when they said, "Left," Micky's right foot went out. "Everybody's out of step, but Micky!"
Everybody's out of step, but our President—I'm sorry to say.
So, we have a leader. We're going to follow him. And we are going to turn this country around; the attitudes of those people, who are Chicken-hawks. And we are going to do it, because we are going to follow a leader, who needs no more introduction. But, I would say, when we get together, when we work together, for a common cause, we will do like I have said before: Those people, who figure that they can destroy the world. They can do what they want. They have left out love. They have left out understanding. They have left out communication. And they are on the outside of the circle. But they have drawn a circle, and they think that they can control the whole world. And I think of what I have said before. And that is: "They drew a circle, and left us out. Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love, the Schiller Institute, Lyn and Helga, have drawn a circle that's so large, that it has taken them in, with Love."
I present to you the man who has the spirit. He has the message—Lyndon H. LaRouche.
[Terry Jones of Chicago then brought the audience to sing the Civil Rights-era spiritual, "O Freedom!": "O Freedom, O Freedom, O Freedom over me./ And before I'll be a slave,/ I'll be buried in my grave,/ And go home to my Lord, and be free!"]
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Over the past six months, or so, up until about a week ago, even a few days ago, I was hearing from people in leading positions throughout the world, more and more: "This war must not happen. But, it can not be stopped. Therefore, you have to go along with it."
And, as the time passed, there were ebbs and flows in the moods—pessimism, optimism, modest optimism. But, they persistently, again and again: "This war—it's terrible! It must not happen. But, it is inevitable! It can not be stopped! Don't get in the way! Prepare to do something later. The United States will be discredited. Bush will be discredited. Wait! Wait! Be smart! Don't fight them, now!"
I didn't agree. And I shall deal with that subject, of agreeing or not agreeing, to such things, here, today.
But, the point happened, as you observed, a couple days ago, now in the United Nations: You saw nations, which, in point of fact, represent the overwhelming majority of the human race, saying, directly, or echoing the sentiments of other nations: "It shall not happen." And, if there are 100 million people in the world, as a whole, of the 6 billion, who actually want the war, I have difficulty to believe that. A very small number actually believes in this war. And, only a few very bad people actually wish it.
So, we've come to a point, that the war is still not prevented. But, we have seen the world move from a point of pessimism, about an inevitable war, to a strong conviction, even from leaders of nations who had shown cowardice or wavering beforehand, who are now determined, on behalf of the human race as a whole: This war shall not happen!
A great lesson. It reminds me, of course, and it should remind you of Abraham Lincoln, who, on one occasion, said, that "you can fool all of the people some of the time," and over the past 40 years, we've seen a lot of that. "You can fool some of the people, all of the time"—and we see that today, especially in Washington, and in stock-brokering circles. "But, you can not fool all of the people, all of the time."
Sometimes this fact requires great patience on the part of people. Sometimes, the patience is stretched over generations. Great injustices prevail; unnecessary great wars happen, repeatedly. But, nonetheless, sooner or later, again and again, the people realize: They can not be fooled all of the time.
We have now come to the point, that fooling is at the vanishing point. We have not yet had a victory. We must take strength from what we've accomplished thus far, to find more energy to win the victory, which still eludes us. But, we should take strength from what we have accomplished so far, in seeing the majority of the human race express, directly and indirectly, its determination that what we fought against shall not happen! And therefore, having come this far, this close to victory, it's time to examine the basis for our near-victory, to adduce that principle of victory, and to consciously apply it now, to make our victory total.
In the recent period, since I delivered a State of the Union message on the 28th of January—I had to deliver it, because nobody else was going to do so; the President couldn't make it to deliver it—I issued two reports on a fairly large scale, especially to Democratic National Committee circles, and others: one, a response to Democratic Party leaders, the candidates for nomination, to the war situation, and we find, that all of them have failed. They either acceded to Bush, on the question of the war; or, they admired him on the question; or, they opposed it, in two cases, with one case saying nothing—just opposing it; and the other case saying, they would regret it occurred. But, there was no leadership from these candidates, of the Democratic Party, or other spokesmen of the Democratic National Committee, against this war.
Then I wrote a letter—after exposing that—I wrote a letter to the Democratic National Committee, which is now available to you, in which I outlined some of the things which I will expand upon here and lay out here.
The Descent Into the Consumer Society
Let me start with some diagrams, which we have again. The standard Triple Curve [Figure 1]. What I want to emphasize is, what has happened to us, especially during the past 40 years. To get a picture of what Lincoln's aphorism means, that "you can fool all the people most of the time, some of the people all of the time, but, not all of the people all of the time." This is a picture, in general, which you've seen many times from me. This is what's happened to the U.S. economy, and much of the world economy, since 1966, since the U.S. budget of the year 1966-1967 fiscal year. What has happened over this period, up until about the year 1999-2000, is depicted thus: First, at the top, there's been a growth of financial aggregates, at the same time there has been a decline in per-capita actual physical output, in the U.S. economy and other economies. That is, the economy has been shrinking, while the money value of the economy, has been increased, as measured in financial terms. This growth of financial assets, has been driven by an increase of monetary pumping, by the Federal Reserve and other financial institutions, monetary institutions.
So, they've been pumping money into a collapsing economy, to increase the price of a diminishing product of the economy as a whole.
Let's take the next one in the series [Figure 2]. Now, you come to the following: There's a turning point, in September of 1998, in the U.S. economy. In August of 1998, Al Gore's agreement, or his deal with Boris Yeltsin, then the President of Russia, the 1996 agreement, to pull a giant swindle on the world—including some criminal types that Al was involved in, with Golden ADA and things like that. A part of this, apart from looting Russia by Al's friend Marc Rich—whose lawyer was Lewis Libby, who runs the office of Vice President Cheney, now. They came up with another swindle, called the GKO bonds. It was a swindle, a pure paper swindle, which involved hedge funds in New York and elsewhere. The whole financial system was about to collapse in August of 1998, when this hedge-fund collapse on the GKO Russian bonds occurred.
At that point, the President of the United States, in that period, together with his Treasury Secretary, indicated—and the President publicly, in an address he gave in September in New York City to the New York Council on Foreign Relations—the need for reform of the international monetary-financial system. He did not do it. Now, I'll let him tell you, in his own words, in his own time, why he didn't do it. It has to do with a stalker in the basement of the White House. And a scandal, which was done to prevent him from even threatening to do it.
As a result of that, in October of that year, 1998, there was a Washington monetary conference, of various nations coming in tiers and teams, and they adopted a policy. The policy was based on the fear, which I expressed at the time, and which they felt, that the Brazil currency was about to have a blowout, similar to the so-called "Asia crisis" of 1997, and the Russian bond crisis of 1998, to happen by about February of 1999. So, these fellows met together with George Soros, and his type—the drug-pusher that is; the swindler-drug pusher. And George recommended to them a policy that they called a "wall of money." That is, a great increase in the amount of money being dumped into the system—printed by governments, or central banking systems, or similar methods—to try to prevent the collapse from occurring.
Now, let's go back to the chart. What happened is, early in 1999, we began to pick up indications, that at least at that time, the amount of monetary aggregate being pumped out of the Federal Reserve System and similar institutions, exceeded the amount of financial assets they were rolling over or bailing out by that method. Now, this kind of thing had occurred previously, most famously in June of 1923, when an increase of printing of reichsmarks by the German central bank, the Reichsbank, resulted in what became the hyperinflation of Germany of June 1923 to November 1923—the famous hyperinflation of Germany.
Again, we watched this. And then, in the Spring of 2000, I was convinced that this was not an episodic development, as a result of the "wall of money" policy, but this was a long-term development. That meant the United States economy had entered into a crisis phase, as I indicated in that Summer of the year 2000. And, on that basis, I had made warnings, in the Presidential campaign of that year, of this problem. And, before "43" was actually inaugurated—that is, George Bush II, or the Empress Bush II—I indicated what was going to happen to the economy, under his Presidency. And, it has all happened! As I shall indicate.
So, the United States, as of that point, as of no later than this period between the Spring of 1999 and the Spring of the year 2000, had already entered what is a terminal collapse of the world's present monetary-financial system: That is, the amount of money that must be printed, to keep the financial system from collapsing, is greater than the amount of financial value being propped up by that mechanism. That is the classical mechanism for a pure hyperinflation.
The alternative to a hyperinflation, is a hyper-deflation—a collapse beyond belief. The greatest financial collapse in modern history is the alternative, if we simply let the system go this way.
All right, now, let's go a more detailed picture of this: what happened to the income of people in the United States, over this period from 1966 to the present [Figure 3]. Over the period—and you'll see another figure on this, from 1977, the day that Brzezinski became President of the United States, until the year 2000—the lower 80% of the family-income brackets of the United States, have been sinking, while the share of income of the upper 20% of family-income brackets was increasing.
Let's go to the next chart [Figure 4], to explain what this means. Now, what's happened is, that the lower 80% is getting less income, than the upper 20%, but a catastrophe has occurred in the upper 20%. In the lower half of the upper 20%, since the year 2000-2001, the people who were making money (they thought), on the so-called "Information Age," have lost billions, trillions. Many of them are wiped out. You see it on the highway from Dulles Airport to Washington, D.C. It's a ghost town, waiting for the deputy sheriff there to show you around the ghost town.
All right, now, look here [Figure 5]. We're going to 1977. Brzezinski has been made the acting President of the United States, and Carter gets out there and delivers the messages. But, look what happened until 1982—look at the collapse, of the U.S. lower 20% of households of the United States! A catastrophe hit people in the lower income brackets, as a result of loss of agriculture, particularly marginal agriculture, the loss of manufacturing jobs, and similar kinds of occupation. And it stumbled along like that, and it's now taken, in the most recent period, a further drop.
Next one [Figure 6]. You see, again, just a picture of what's happened, the collapse in the number of production workers, people actually producing, manufacturing, farmers.
All right, next one [Figure 7]. Now, here's an interesting thing: I called attention to this at the end of 1983. And in the beginning of 1984, I delivered a nationwide network television broadcast, in which I featured this. I reported then, that the Federal Reserve System and the Commerce Department, and some other folks, had introduced a piece of fakery they called the "Quality Adjustment Index." And, what they were doing was concealing the actual collapse of the economy—it was a political move—by what they called, adding "quality adjustment factors" to try to explain away the rise in prices and the collapse in the quality of automobiles, vehicles, and other things people were buying.
So, what this has done, as Richie Freeman and the staff have pointed out, is that the mean price for an automobile—a new car, $23,000 approximately in the U.S.—is actually equivalent, without this fakery factor, to a $9,000 (approximately) price tag today. So, when you're paying $23,000, you're getting, in terms of 1984 dollars, you're getting $9,000 worth at most. So therefore, the report on inflation in the United States, has been faked, by this method, consistently, over the past period since 1983-1984. Next [Figure 8]—the same picture, but seen from a different standpoint.
And then, next, finally [Table 1]. Here's a picture of what's happened to the labor force: We have gone from a producer society, to a consumer society. We live by looting the rest of the world. We destroy employment, productive employment, in our own country. Look, for example—workers, about half; farm, half. But, then look at "working physicians": What happened to your health care? How was it looted?
So, what you've seen, is this transformation of the United States, from, with all its faults, the world's leading producer society, in terms of physical output per capita and per square kilometer, of the planet, up until about 1964, about the time that the Vietnam War began. And, the degeneration of the United States, into an imperial society, which lives, not by producing wealth at home, but lives by looting the rest of the world, using the imperial military and financial muscle of the United States, to force other countries to feed us, on a slave-wage production budget.
So therefore, we've come to the point, where that system is now in a fatal collapse. It's a systemic collapse. The system, in its present form, can never be saved.
My Record in Forecasting
Now, these facts that I've just summarized, with aid of these charts, for you, are facts that were essentially available to anybody who cared to look, since 1954, when I began studying this as an economist, looking at the effect of Arthur Burns' influence on the policies of the Eisenhower Administration. The first recession that I forecast, which I came in rather close on—I said it was going to happen in February and it did; I made the forecast in late 1956, and it came in February 1957—was a result, strictly, of what I showed at that time to be Arthur Burns' policies. We had changed the character of our policy, in this monetarist direction.
Remember, Arthur Burns is the guy who invented Milton Friedman out of mud. Milton Friedman was studying accounting at a New Jersey accounting school. And through some misfortune, he fell into the hands of Arthur Burns, who was then a leading influence and a professor at Columbia University, and a strong influence on the economic policies of the Eisenhower Administration. And he converted this lump of mud, into a University of Chicago economist. He never became a successful economist, but he got a tremendous reputation—wasn't worth anything, but he had it, you know?—one of those things.
So, the system has been being destroyed, systematically, since about the time Kennedy was assassinated, and similar things happened in various parts of the world. The fact, that it was going in that direction, I've been talking about all these years! Saying, "if this continues; if this continues; if this continues; if this continues"—and I've never been wrong. Now, this is not a test of my particular genius, because anybody who had used their heads, and looked at the same facts I looked at, which are commonly available facts, would have to come to the same conclusion.
But, what was wrong? Why didn't they see it? All these professors of economics at universities; all these government officials: Why did they offer—all these years, when it was apparent as early as 1954-1956 they were headed in the wrong direction—why did nobody speak up? And say, "Let's go back to the system we had before this," the Roosevelt system? Because of what is called "popular opinion." "You can't go against popular opinion!" "You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube!" Well, I proved you can do it! And, I told people at one conference, exactly how you put toothpaste back in the tube. Very simple operation, to anyone who knows the elements of production.
But, we've been saying, all these years, "You got to go along with popular opinion." "You can't go against the news media." "You can't go against public opinion." "You can't hurt people's feelings, by telling them, they're stupid."
So, we went this way. And, as Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool all of the people, some of the time," and for 40 years, they were doing a pretty good job of it! And, people were fooled. Fooled people are called "fools." Unfortunately, these fools also voted! These fools also took over top positions in our leading corporations. These fools made the policies of our state and Federal government. We have been royally, gloriously fooled. And, as Abe Lincoln said, it just goes to show, "You can fool most of the people, some of the time." And it's been done—again.
The Drive for War
So, what we're coming to, is the tail-end, or the fag-end, of a process. No longer can people continue to be fooled about the economy. The way they try to fool them about the economy these days, is they try to start a war—in Iraq; a war against Islam; a crazy war. A war which is in violation of all morality. No person can advocate this war, and consider themselves a moral person: It can not be done. There are standards in warfare, especially in modern civilization. The issue of "justified warfare" is a clear issue. The issue of what is "unjustified" war, is clear: Preventive war is known to be an evil, for which people go to the gibbet, in places like Nuremberg trials! And, despite that, people are advocating "preventive war" again, as Bertrand Russell had advocated preventive nuclear war, back in 1945-46, publicly. The Bertrand Russell, who's responsible for the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was called a "pacifist," because the dead are very peaceful—especially the radioactive dead.
So, this has been the problem. The problem is our morals, our economy, have disintegrated, our culture has disintegrated, because people allowed themselves to be fooled—most people, most of the time. And only a rare bunch of people have not been fooled. Most said, "Watch your rear-end; watch your back. Don't go against popular opinion. You gotta listen to popular opinion."
Then, there's another side to this thing: How are people fooled? How do you become a fool. You say, "Well, I can't be concerned with these big things. I've got to think about my local constituency. I've got to think about my neighborhood; my township; my special constituency, my glitch." Right? "I can't be involved in big politics. We gotta start at the base, y'know what I mean? The base!" At the bottom, that is. And, when you dig at the bottom hard enough and long enough, where do you end up? Deeper at the bottom! Which is what's happened to people who do that.
A Classical Tragedy
So, what we're dealing with here, is known in Classical art, as "Classical tragedy." The United States, the people of the United States, in particular, are a Classical tragedy. Now idiots, who don't know how to teach, or who do know how to mis-teach, will tell you that tragedies involve the failures of leaders. Society is these nice, honest, poor people—people of popular opinion—who are misled by leaders who betray them. "But, the people are always right! But there are these conniving leaders, who betray them!" Not true! Not true. Who elected these leaders? Who elected the leaders you voted for? The ones that betrayed you? You did! You elected them, by either voting for them, or not voting. You elected them, by not using your head, about what you were doing, in your choice of vote, or your choice not to vote. You probably sat out there as a populist, saying, "I never vote. I don't want to be responsible for what happens to this government."
So, the problem here, is tragedy is always the people. And, all the great Classical tragedians have emphasized that, the ones that were any good. Except, in some schools, they try to convince you that's not the case. But, the cause for the collapse of humanity is always "popular opinion." Like the ancient Roman Empire. The rottenness of the ancient Roman Empire, was the rottenness of popular opinion, vox populi, the opinion of the people.
Now, I'm not saying that people are naturally rotten. They're not. I'll say quite the contrary. But, people behave as if they were naturally rotten, and that's how we get into these messes, called "tragedies." And then, the people, who have become rotten in this sense, select leaders, who will not be offensive to their rottenness. Leaders like Lieberman: owned by organized crime. Leaders like Senator McCain: owned by organized crime. Gore, if he knows who he's owned by, is actually owned by organized crime—international Russian-related organized crime.
So, people elect people, who are owned by organized crime! The entire crowd that is running the war policy of the Bush Administration, now, are people who are owned, outright, by well-known, international, organized crime, such as Marc Rich! Such as the Lansky mob! Such as the Bronfman mob; such as Max Fisher, so forth and so on. This is the mob! These are the criminals! They're just too wealthy to put in jail. (Or, they'd probably take over the jail, and run it.)
All right. But, people vote for the choices of these criminal types! The politicians who are owned by them—like McCain. McCain's family wealth, comes from the Bronfman family. The Democratic Leadership Council was created by organized crime! Gore was an influence for international organized crime, called the "Russian Mafiya." And so forth, and so on.
But, why did this happen? There were other leaders; there were other people on the scene. Why weren't they elected? Some were, once in a while. But, why were these guys elected? Because, the people voted for them. The people voted for them. Or, the people thought, "I have to go along with the local newspaper." "I have to go along with the local television show, The mass media." The people allowed themselves to be corrupt.
The Corruption of `Popular Opinion'
And, this is a large part of human history: Is empires, nations, cultures, which destroyed themselves, by selecting leaders who conformed to their choice of cultural standards. This is what's destroyed the United States, from the inside. We moved away from the standard of public opinion, which we developed under the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt, in getting this nation out of a hopeless Depression, and saving the world from domination by Adolf Hitler. Now, Roosevelt was not a perfect man—and who can claim to be perfect? But his leadership was the difference, which organized a movement, inside the United States, to rescue the United States from a terrible Depression; to rescue the world from Hitler, and what that represented; and to bring the United States from a Depression, in 1929-1933, to emerge from the war, as the only world economic power—as really the only world power—with the highest level of productivity in this planet.
And then, we began to destroy, what we had built. I was there, I saw it. I know exactly how it happened. I saw the corruption of the people; I saw the corruption of the people around me, who had been pro-Roosevelt, who would not put up with this. But the minute the so-called right-wing turn came in the United States, in '45-'46-'47, people who I thought were human, went the other way. And they became the parents of the Baby Boomers. And, that's what happened to our society.
So, we get to a point, where my experience is unique, in the sense, that I have been fighting against this so-called leadership, of parties, government, and so forth, for some years. And, I've been right on these issues. And, looking back today, to what happened over that period, it was known I was right. I was right, when I said what was going to happen with Carter, in 1976, if he were elected, under Brzezinski's direction. I was right, at what was planned for Bush, when they were running him for President, in 1979-1980. I was right, on the issue of Mondale. I was right, on the other issues. I was right in the year 1992; I was right in 1996; I was right in 2000. And, events show it, clearly, right now. But, why? Why? Some people agreed with me, no question about that. But why were we so few? Why could the people not see themselves, going into the pit, as I had described it, over the past period since 1996? Why was I not listened to? Because of popular opinion!
A Moment of Opportunity
Now, God works in mysterious ways, as they say. And, we have to understand this, and we have to arise, out of the "little me" view of history. The progress of humanity, has been a progress of degradation, cycles of degradation, followed by those crises in which man has come to his senses, and taken a step upward. And then, often, after that, man has, again, slipped back into degradation.
The classic reference for this, is a letter written by Solon of Athens, the man who freed the Athenians of a horrible system, who, in his older age, after travelling in various parts of the world—Egypt and elsewhere—returned to Athens, and found them becoming depraved again. And, he wrote this letter, which is actually a letter which inspired, in large degree, the Founders of the United States: a letter on the concept of the republic. Just as Plato's Republic was the basis, was the initiative, actually, for conceiving of what the United States was founded to become.
So, what's happened in history, is that, from time to time, in moments of crisis, there has emerged a leadership, which has been capable of addressing a people, who realize, "We've been wrong." When the people come to a time, when they realize, "We've been wrong, popular opinion has been wrong"—as popular opinion about money should have been proven wrong to a lot of people recently—they're convinced, we're in a crisis. The danger of great, senseless wars, sweeping over this planet, convinces people that something is wrong; that drastic change is occurring.
You can say, that what you saw, reflected in the Security Council, this past week, on the question of the Iraq war: You saw something approximating a revolution, in nations, governments, which you would have thought several months earlier would never have had to courage to stand up, as they stood up, then. They didn't do a perfect job, but they stood up. A revolution is in process, in this world. Whether it will succeed or not, is not clear.
But, in times of great crisis, such as that brought onto humanity by the past 40 years in the United States, you come to a point, where humanity has the opportunity to rectify its error; where people become awakened, as Lincoln said, to a point, where you can not fool all of the people all the time, any more. We are in such a period. We've come to a time, when it is no longer possible, to fool all of the people. Therefore, this is one of those great periods in history, a period of opportunity for change. It is not an automatic pulsation of change; it's an opportunity for change. And, in such periods, the fate of mankind depends largely upon a handful, or a relative handful of leaders; always has. And, there's a reason for it.
The Sense of Immortality
And therefore, I would say—to get to my point here, crucial point: Mankind is born good, the best thing ever invented in the universe. But, he does not necessarily mature too well. And therefore, we become susceptible to "childhood diseases" of humanity among adults. We become corrupt, like bad children in a schoolyard. And like a schoolyard tyrannized by bullies, we create a corrupt society in that schoolyard, or that society. Then, a time comes when people no longer put up with that tyranny. And they recognize it as wrong, and they're open to the possibility of changing it, of changing the rules. We've seen that a few times. But then, they often lose that opportunity, and slip behind.
For that reason, so far, the history of humanity has depended upon leadership. For example: In Christianity, the exemplification of such leadership is the person of Jesus Christ. That's the image of the need for leadership: To take a broken humanity, which found itself in the age of Tiberius—and Augustus before him—under the rule of evil. Under the rule of an evil, which had taken over the society of the Mediterranean region. And, in this evil, someone came, as a leader, as a model of leadership, and sacrificed their life, in a manner described by Socrates, in Plato's writing on Socrates: to sacrifice their life willingly—not to flee from death; but, to stand in place, and put their life on the line, for the sake of future humanity. That is a leader!
Nothing else is a leader, in a time of crisis. As we remember Martin Luther King, in this connection, in his address. He stood, and died, not for just African-American people: He died for all humanity, in the image of Christ, which inspired him.
Or the beginning of modern European civilization, which was made possible by a little girl (not so little, but a girl): Jeanne d'Arc. Jeanne d'Arc refused to flinch, in her mission. And her courage, in going to be burned alive by the Inquisition, inspired France to create the first modern nation-state, and inspired, to a great degree, the Renaissance, launched from Italy, which created modern society, and brought us out of the darkness of the Middle Ages.
It is always the kind of leadership, which is exceptional, and which has a certain specific quality, a quality which is called, "a sense of immortality." And, that is what it takes to become a leader, effective leader, in times of crisis.
What happens? You have people like Bill Clinton, for example: I don't have any enmity against Bill Clinton; he's a very good guy. His choice of girlfriends is not always too good, but—. He's a very bright guy. He's performing a useful role, still, some of the time, anyway. But, the point was: He flinched. He flinched; he does not have, at least not yet, that sense of immortality, which is required to become a leader, in times of crisis, such as this one.
Now, what is this mysterious quality of leadership, which, for the Christian, is typified by Christ? Typified by the case of Socrates? Typified by the description of the case of Socrates, by Moses Mendelssohn? Typified, in our time, by Martin Luther King's martyrdom, for humanity? And the fact, that nobody was there, in a top position, to pick up the role of leadership, that he represented, the moment he fell?
What is this mysterious quality of leadership? Where does it come from? How does it work? What has it got to do with the Youth Movement?
The Nature of Man
What is the nature of man? I'm talking about man—human rights; human nature. What is the nature of man? Man is certainly not a pig—much as we sometimes suspect it, in some cases. No, man has—there's something different about man, absolutely different from any other form of animal life. What is it? It's exactly what you don't get, in the mass media today. You don't get it in your primary, secondary schools or universities. So, you come out of these universities, out of these secondary schools, with no comprehension, whatsoever, of the most important subject of all: What is the difference between man and a beast? No conception whatsoever. What is the difference? Very simple, but not so simple. I've dealt with it many times, but it should be dealt with again, because the lesson has not yet been learned, and we sometimes have to keep teaching the lesson, until it is learned.
As human beings, we have what we call "sense perception." Some people call it "knowledge." It's not knowledge. What you detect with your senses, is not necessarily true. And most of what you detect with your senses, you find out is not true. So therefore, how do you know anything? Some people make that argument: You don't know anything, you only have opinion. How do you know anything? Well, what are your sense organs? Your sense organs are part of your physical organism, living organism. Do you know what happens outside your skin? Do you have any sense of what happens outside your skin, directly? No! None. What you know, is what the outside world stimulates, in your sense organs. And, if you try to extrapolate from that, and to assume that what you sense, with sense-perception, is the real world, you get into a lot of trouble.
So there, in the course of time, we discover that we gain knowledge of a world, outside the senses. Take the case, that I've often illustrated: gravity. Did you ever see "a gravity"? Did you ever taste one? No; it's a universal principle, discovered by Kepler, in a very specific way, as reported in his 1609 The New Astronomy. You can never smell it; you can never touch it; never see it. It's a universal principle. But, you can prove its efficiency.
Or, take another principle: the principle of least action, which was first made clear by Fermat, and then developed by Huyghens and Leibniz, into a principle of universal least action. Can you see it? Can you smell it? Can you taste it? No, not at all! But, it exists! You can know it; you can use it. It is a power in and over the universe. Therefore, you know this, because you are able to prove, that, being guided by this principle, rather than simply by your senses, you are able to increase man's power in and over the universe. That is what you know.
Now, no animal can do it. Mankind, by discovering principles of this type, universal principles—or approximations of universal principles—by a method described by Plato, in his collection of dialogues, called the "Socratic method" or the "Platonic method": By these methods, mankind is able to discover universal principles and their application, to such an effect that we increase the human power, over nature, per capita and per square kilometer.
If—for example, if man were a higher ape, which some of our politicians do resemble, in a certain respect (or, maybe not so high), then the human species, under the conditions existing on this planet during the past 2 million years, would never had exceeded several million, very poor quality, individuals—shallow, shoddy, shaggy, whatnot. Short-lived. We now have over 6 billion human individuals, on this planet. That's some orders of magnitude. That is a reflection of the difference between a human being and a monkey: It's precisely the ability to discover and apply universal principles, and to share their discovery with others, so that society changes its behavior to increase mankind's power in and over the universe.
Now therefore, we have another quality of mankind: We're born, and we die. That's another quality. Now, how do we put these two things together? Through social relations, and through the discovery and transmission of universal principles, we are able, as people used to think like that, that one generation can sacrifice, to bring its children's generation and its grandchildren's generation to a higher condition of life. Therefore, by sharing knowledge and transmitting it, we bring humanity from a poorer state to a higher state. We liberate mankind from oppressive conditions, and bring it into a more noble condition. And the most noble thing we do, is, as is said in the New Testament, on the question of the talent: We use the "talent" of mortality, which is given to us. We invest it, by expending it in such a way, that our lives mean something to those who have gone before us, and to those who come after us. Therefore, we have spent our talent wisely.
What we can do, that accomplishes that, is to share in the discovery of universal principles. To relive the great discoveries, made by people thousands of years before us, to transmit these discoveries, as in education and other means, to our contemporaries. And, to share this to future generations, and also to transmit to them, the knowledge of how to continue this process, of increasing man's power in and over the universe.
The Issue of Leadership
Now, the issue here, of leadership, is this: If you are such a person, who locates your identity, in the past and future of humanity, then you are a reflection of what humanity has given to you, in terms of this kind of knowledge; and, you are an embodiment of what the rest of humanity will receive from you, in the future, you have a different sense of identity, than if you think in terms of what pleasures and pains you are going to enjoy within the realm of your mortal life. People who are concerned only with their neighborhood, their immediate pleasures and pains, are not capable of leadership! Because, they can all be bought. They can be bought by the sense of pleasure, within the confines of mortal life. Pleasure and pain can buy them all.
Whereas, if you see yourself as an instrument of past humanity, and an instrument of future humanity, and see your mortal life as a link between the past of humanity and the future of all humanity—they can't touch you! They can't touch you. Which is what Martin was saying, in that last speech. They can't touch you! They can take your life away from you! They can kill you! They can starve you! They can imprison you! But they can't touch you! Because, what you are, can not be touched, in that way.
So therefore, you have to have a sense of immortality, as Jeanne d'Arc did. Jeanne d'Arc had a sense of immortality. They couldn't touch her! They said, "We're going to burn you alive!" They couldn't touch her! She was burned alive, and she changed history—the way she intended to! She performed her mission, for humanity. And, that is the sense of immortality. This is called, in Classical artistry, the "sublime."
The tragic, is the person, who is confined to mortal life, as such. The person who thinks, "Only what I enjoy and feel in mortal life is important." Such people can be bought, by pleasure and pain. Those who find their reality, not in the pleasure and pain of mortal life, but in the ideas, which they express, as bearers of what was given to us by previous generations; and what they are giving to future generations: They can not be touched. They can be trusted. Anybody who does not think that way, can not be trusted, because they can be bought. Like many of our people are bought, these days.
And therefore, the most important thing—and this gets to the issue of the youth movement: The most important thing, is to produce, among young people, when they are entering maturity, a sense—a true, deep sense—of immortality. That is done, precisely, by forgetting all the things that are normally taught—just put it to one side. You can come to know things much better, a much quicker way, and better, by reliving the acts of discovery. The great acts, for example, of scientific discovery, of physical science: Relive those acts, performed by great people before you. Re-enact that! Re-experience it! Don't talk about Archimedes: Re-experience what happened in his mind, as he made a discovery! Don't talk about how to interpret art! Live it! Experience the process of composition of the art. Experience doing it!
Don't interpret it. Don't put on a costume, like Lawrence Olivier, the worst actor, probably of the last century. He'd say, "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!" No great artist says, "Look at me." A great artist says, "Don't look at me. Experience what I'm doing. Experience what I'm doing. And, then be surprised, if you see me standing, this humble person, on the stage afterward, after I've done it. Because I'm only a vehicle of this; what you see, is the vehicle. I'm doing it!"
So, what we must do therefore, is inculcate in our people a sense of this "intimation," as poor Wordsworth said, "of immortality." The intimation of immortality comes from this sense of love for all humanity. The kind of thing that is attributed to Christ: love for all humanity. And, by doing things, which are necessary for all humanity.
Think of people in the past, for example, who have suffered: You can't touch them; you can't reach them, as mortal people. You can't go back to them and shake their hands. What you can do, is you can understand the meaning of their life, the struggle of their life, and how to bring to realization, that which they should have desired, as a consequence of their having lived.
You can't touch the future otherwise, except by the same method: You touch it by participating in scientific discoveries. You touch it, also, by Classical art, true Classical art; in which, the question is, is getting inside this process of the mind: How does one person communicate a discovery of principle to another mind? That's Classical art, as I used the case often, of this case of the cupola of the [Cathedral of] Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence, where you have the principle of art, the great principle of all great sculpture, Classical sculpture, which is the principle of least action, which is the catenary principle, which was expressed in the ability to construct the cupola, under those conditions. So therefore, you have the unity of science, and the unity of Classical art, in one, single act. And the communication of these ideas, is a matter of art. And thus, we enjoy these things; they become an art-form for us. Whereas we think of Classical science as man's individual relationship to the physical universe, we should think of art, as the same concept applied to man's relationship to man, in developing and conveying ideas about the universe, and ideas of cooperation.
A Great Moment
So, what we've come to is: We've come to a time of great tragedy, of great potential tragedy, and great opportunity. We've come to a time—as typified by the events of the past week in the United Nations and elsewhere—where mankind is shaken. We find people moving, as they have not moved for a long time. Governments and others, who you thought would never have given up on this, who you thought would have capitulated to the inevitability of a war. And even though the war has not yet been stopped, we have an affirmation from humanity, from implicitly the majority—the great majority of humanity, saying: "This war shall not be allowed to occur!" That is a great moment.
We, therefore, must realize, we are in such a time. We're in a time of great tragedy, and a challenge of awakening of humanity, in a way which has not been possible in recent times, the past 40 years, perhaps. And therefore, the question is, can we bring to this situation, where the opportunity for change is here: Can we bring the spark of true leadership into this process? My view is, from study of history, as confirmed by some of the reactions of young people who have been working with us in recent years: We can do it. But, the key thing to do, is, you've got to inspire the young, who wish to become that, to become an instrument for humanity.
And, you've got to use their sense, of being an instrument for humanity, to take the old fogeys, called their parents (those under 50, hmm?), and convince them, too, to join the movement, to make sense out of the lives of Baby Boomers, who mostly don't know what their lives are about.
You know, a typical Baby Boomer, about 55 or 60, is saying that, "We have children, Mamie."
"No, that was your other spouse's child."
"Oh. Yeah. What'd we ever want to do that for?"
And, the young people today, who are the children of these marriages, or so-called marriages, say, "Yeah, we wonder, too."
And therefore, what we have is, we have a Baby Boomer generation, which has lost its connection, largely, with humanity; which, if young people can get this sense of what leadership is, as I've touched upon this today, and can inspire their parents' generation and others, with a sense of what that leadership is; and if we, in the United States, in particular, can show that we represent, the continuity of this nation, its true historic mission for humanity, I think we'll find, the world is ready for us. It's ready for us to play a leading role, once again. And, we who have been the dirtiest, can become among the best.
[See also the transcript of the question-and-answer period.]
 Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "An Open Letter to the DNC: The State of the Political Parties," EIR, Feb. 21, 2003.