A Moment of Epic Decision
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Here is Lyndon LaRouche's keynote to the Labor Day conference of the International Caucus of Labor Committees and Schiller Institute, Sept. 4, 2004. The panel was chaired by EIR Editor and ICLC Executive Committee member Nancy Spannaus; Schiller Institute Vice Chairman Amelia Boynton Robinson introduced the speaker. Audio and video archives of Mr. LaRouche's address are available.
Well, as Nancy said, mark this day, Sept. 4, 2004. We have 59 days to change history. The central feature of this change at this time, is the candidate Sen. John Kerry. A few days ago, Senator Kerry's campaign seemed lackluster. He was carrying weight he shouldn't have carried. But then, a few days ago, with the intervention of various people, known to me, Senator Kerry was freed from his bondage—and you saw the result on the late night, after the incumbent so-called President, George W. Bush, was coming off the screen, Kerry gave an address, which marked the real campaign, finally getting under motion.
Now, I, and we, people associated with me, are, without any formal arrangement—we don't need one, at this stage—we are working together, each doing our part, to win this election. But, it's more than just winning an election: What will happen 60 days from now, will determine the future of humanity. If the present Administration were re-elected, we will be plunging inevitably into wars, a continuation of what we see now in Asia. For example, some of you may recall, that after Summer 1999, I produced a program on tape, which was broadcast and circulated otherwise in various parts of this world. The title of that is still "Storm Over Asia."
And, what you're seeing today, in the aftermath of what happened in Russia, North Ossetia, is the continuation, not of some local event, but it's a part of the same pattern as the war in Iraq, the abortion performed in Afghanistan—a mess which is now far worse, in every dimension, than before the U.S. forces moved in; an impossible situation developing in Iraq; a threat of an attack on Syria; the drums of war around Cheney's people, beating for an attack on Iran; the demand for $100 a barrel oil, coming out of the Vice President's office, in the form of setting fire to the world to the degree in which the price of oil will go to about four times the price that the present world economy can stand, which is about $25 a barrel.
Hundred-dollar-a-barrel oil, or anything approaching that, will mean a detonation, an immediate detonation of a hopelessly bankrupt international financial-monetary system. It would mean, with the continuation of these kinds of wars, global asymmetric warfare, with nuclear and other weapons put in to enrich it—something far worse than the Vietnam War; something far worse than happened in Algeria. This planet would go into a new dark age, out of which, you would have, soon, a population—optimistically—of less than 1 billion people, from the more than 6 billion, who live today.
People around Cheney and Co. are pushing for a war with China. They're pushing for a war between forces on the island of Taiwan and the mainland of China. The best estimation is that if that were continued, you could talk about a general war, in the year 2007, under the next administration.
So therefore, winning this election is not winning a prize: It is moving in, at a moment of crisis, to save humanity when humanity might not otherwise survive. Oh, human beings would live as a population, but we would go through a new dark age. And whole languages that are spoken in the world today would disappear. Nations would disappear from the map, through the aid of globalization and similar kinds of obscenities.
So therefore, it's a fight to turn the course of history.
Empire Against the Republican Nation-State
Now, this kind of fight is not entirely unusual to the United States. In 1763, after a great struggle to establish the nation-state as an institution on this planet, which had been attempted first by the Renaissance in the 15th Century, and then, by the Treaty of Westphalia in the 17th Century, that Anglo-Dutch Liberalism, coming largely out of Venice, a clone of Venice, moving through William of Orange, the tyrant who moved into England, made an effort to establish a world empire, somewhat modelled upon the model of Venice.
In the 18th Century, after wars which attempted to disrupt the effort to rebuild the nation-state, the British East India Company organized a series of wars on the continent of Europe called the Seven Years' War. At the conclusion of that, there was a peace treaty, in February 1763. And this peace treaty established the British East India Company—not the King, but the British East India Company, an independent central banking system, if you please, as a world empire, immediately taking over India, which was the keystone of the British Empire from 1763 onward. And, taking over the northern part of North America, Canada, from the French. That was the beginning of the British Empire.
In 1763, when this empire was first established in that form, the freedom of the people in the North American English-speaking colonies was in jeopardy. All humanity was in jeopardy as a result of this new, evil empire: the empire of the British East India Company. There were other evils in the world, but the British Empire of that type, in that time, was the most important one.
Our people, in this country, in North America, began to struggle around Benjamin Franklin, first to negotiate and try to reform the British System, and then, knowing that the British System was not going to be reformed, to prepare to fight to establish a new republic on this planet. A new republic, cast in large part in the image of the 15th-Century Renaissance, cast in the image of the Treaty of Westphalia, cast in the image of Solon of Athens, cast in the image of those, like Plato in Greece, who had tried to prevent the collapse of civilization, then. And, while Greek civilization degenerated—and did collapse, despite Plato's efforts, and despite the efforts of Alexander of Macedonia—the legacy of Classical Greek culture, as adopted and enriched by the mission of the Apostles Paul and John, persisted as a force for the greatness of humanity, from that time to the present time. And that inspired the founders of our republic to wage the fight. They reached out, and were reached to, by the greatest minds and the noblest spirits of Europe, which looked to the struggle to establish the United States as a republic. That struggle was recognized by all great Europeans as the investment of Europe, in its own recovery and survival. We were not just a bunch of people cast upon the shores of North America, trying to whack an existence out of the wilderness. We came here with a mission! The founders came with a mission, to establish here, on these shores, the republic, which could not then be established in Europe. Hoping thus, by establishing this republic, Europe would be enabled to free itself from a kind of slavery from which Europe has not yet been freed to this day!
So, we saved the world. We set a line of resistance against the empire, and similar evils. We were dedicated, very simply, to the conception that man is not a beast: that every person has not only the qualities of inorganic matter, not only the qualities of life, but an additional quality: a power of creativity, which no animal has. A power of creativity which is innate to the nature of every human being. A power of humanity which makes the individual human personality, potentially immortal, as no animal can be. And we shall deal with that question persistently, and pervasively, throughout the coming three days—the two days of the public conference, and our general business assembly, on the tasks before us, especially with the task of winning this election, firmly before our eyes. That is the nature of the situation.
So, this republic has a Constitution, formed and forged in blood and struggle, like no other constitution on this planet. Now, we don't always submit to this Constitution. We have a lot of evil running loose. But, the Constitution, as embodied essentially in the Preamble and the conception of a Presidential system of government, this Constitution is the only true republican Constitution on this planet today.
Our job has been, repeatedly, when we as a nation, have erred, corrupted ourselves, and destroyed ourselves, as we have, particularly over the past 40 years; when we transformed ourselves, beginning about 40 years ago with the launching of the Vietnam War, from the world's greatest producer nation, the nation which had been crucial in preventing fascism, under Hitler, from taking over the planet; the nation which had rebuilt a war-torn Europe at the end of the war, through the legacy of President Franklin Roosevelt: That great nation, with all its faults, that great tradition, with all the baggage encumbered with it, saved Europe, and saved the world, in the post-war period.
The End of the Line
But then, beginning 1964, in the wake of the Missile Crisis, in the wake of the assassination of President Kennedy, in the wake of the launching of that war, we changed. We went from being the world's greatest producer nation, to becoming, increasingly, a decadent, post-industrial, morally, spiritually corrupt, rotten society. Step, by step, by step: through Nixon, through the establishment of the floating-exchange-rate monetary system in '71-'72, through the system of rampant deregulation, launched under Brzezinski during the Carter Administration, and so forth and so on.
We, for 40 years, have gone, step by step, to the bottom of the sewer. And the sewer is our nation, in which we reside.
The lower 80% of family-income brackets suffer a degree of homelessness, which has not existed in our memory, in the United States! Vast tracts of our territory, which were once prosperous, are destroyed, and wastelands. The edifices upon which security stands today, inside the United States—I'm talking about health security, economic security—they're crumbling! And they're crumbling at a rapid rate, under the present administration.
So, we have reached the end.
Look at the rest of the world. There is not a Federal state in the United States today, which can survive, and maintain the present level of existence on the available tax revenues. It doesn't exist. We are bankrupt! The same thing is true in Europe. There is not a nation in Europe—not a single one, on the European continent—which is not bankrupt!
On top of that, the entire world monetary-financial system is bankrupt: That is, the collapse of wealth, physical wealth, collapse of production in real terms, has been accelerating downward. You see it around you! You see it wherever you go. But, the spiral of monetary and financial aggregate zooms upwards, skyrockets. We're in the greatest inflation in modern history! And the amount of debt outstanding is such that this can never be repaid. We've reached a boundary condition, a limit: This system is now going to collapse! It may collapse tomorrow morning (not because of what I say today); it may collapse in a week; it may collapse in two months; it may wait till the end of the year—I doubt it will make it that far. Its legs are giving out.
We will then be hit with the awareness of something far worse than the Depression of 1929. We will be hit by murderous conditions, far beyond those that our people suffered increasingly over the period of 1929, into the time of the inauguration of President Roosevelt.
This is the harsh reality now: Anyone who tells you there's a prospect of recovery, is a liar or a fool! He should probably be incarcerated for his own protection. Maybe we could sort of seal the White House and keep the inmate in there. Unless we change, unless we change the direction in which we've been going, in particular for the past 40 years, we are not going to survive.
Now, as for the rest of the world: China seems to be a prosperous nation, relatively speaking. But, China's prosperity depends on its exports to the United States and to Europe. That's the ability of China to develop. If these markets collapse—and we are part of the market—then China collapses. The same is true of much of the world besides. There's no place of refuge: This is a global problem.
Only the U.S.A. Can Provide the Solution
The problem, however, is this: Because the vestiges of the so-called "independent banking system" have not been lifted in Europe, because parliamentary governments prevail rather than true, Presidential constitutional systems, continental Europe is incapable of saving itself by reforms enacted by its own means. The only way that Europe is going to be saved, is by action from the United States to transform the international monetary-financial system, and economic policy, to eliminate globalization! To eliminate free trade! To eliminate central banking systems. And to go back to the original Washington-Hamilton model of a Federal Presidency, in which, according to our Constitution, the power to create money, the power to utter, is a monopoly of a sovereign government, not a private central bank, or syndicate of private central banks.
It is the responsibility of government to regulate the circulation of that money, by law, by tariffs, by taxation, and other means, in order to ensure that the money does not go awry. Because money has no intrinsic reason. Money is a piece of paper; it's a fiction. It's an idiot. It can sometimes be a useful idiot, in the hands of government. We need to create money in order to foster, as the Massachusetts Bay Colony did in creating scrip as a kind of sovereign currency, back in the 17th Century, to promote employment, production, investment in capital. But we must regulate it. We must not let the money-changers, with money as such, transform the physical economy on which we depend for life, into a house of prostitution, which is what this monetary system is today.
Therefore, we must restore honest money. Now, money is not honest by intention, because money has no intention. Money is the perfect idiot. Therefore, you have to supply to money the intention which it lacks. And that is the function of the policies of government. The government has two functions: to build up the essential infrastructure upon which all of the functions of all of the territory and all of the people depend. And to consign to private entrepreneurs, the responsibility for using their ingenuity and intention to make those useful improvements which we would encourage, through government, upon which the general growth of the nation depends.
That is essentially the American System of political economy, as defined, either explicitly or implicitly, by Alexander Hamilton, during his term of service as the Treasury Secretary of the United States.
In Europe, there was, for a time, admiration of the United States. But, it didn't last long. In 1789, you had the British—the British Foreign Office orchestrated what was called the French Revolution, beginning July 14, 1789. And thus, our greatest ally of that moment, the United States' greatest ally, France, was sent into turmoil, into a terrible reaction, run by Jeremy Bentham, as the key official of the secret committee of the British Foreign Office, who owned Philippe Égalité; who controlled the Swiss agent of Lord Shelburne, Jacques Necker; who controlled the Martinist cult, which organized Marat, which organized Danton, which organized the Jacobin Terror, and which created Napoleon Bonaparte, the first modern fascist terror.
There we were, a tiny nation, huddled upon the shores of this continent—7 million people—threatened by the combined powers of the British Empire and the Habsburg Holy Alliance system, which were rivals against each other, but which were commonly determined to destroy us, and to eradicate the very memory of our existence from the memory of Europe and the rest of the world. That has been our situation.
And because of that, Europe, to this day, has not developed a competent form of self-government: Because it continues the legacy of reformed parliaments, or reformed parliamentary systems, which are derived from feudalism, and reformed for modern times. It continues to be controlled, as Europe was controlled by the Norman chivalry, and the Venetians prior to the 15th Century. By syndicates of private financial cartels, which control money, control the credit and debt of nations, and make nations the mere pawns of international financier-oligarchical interests.
Europe is still a slave of those institutional traditions. We were able to save Europe, through Franklin Roosevelt. We were the only power in the world, which—well, the Soviet Union was a different case, a different kind of system. But, we were the key power which made possible the defense—including the defense of the Soviet Union—the defense of the world, the mobilization of Britain and the Soviet Union, and other forces, with us, to defeat the Nazi system. If Franklin Roosevelt had not existed, if Franklin Roosevelt had not provided that kind of leadership to prevent the United States from becoming a fascist system under the control of a syndicate of the du Ponts, the Morgans, and Mellons and so forth, then—these were the people who helped to put Hitler into power in the first place; and they would have had a fascist system here, if Hoover had been re-elected. Franklin Roosevelt saved the United States, itself, from fascism; enabled a recovery of the U.S. economy; and created a situation in which both Britain, around Churchill, and the Soviet Union, were able to fight against the Nazi system, and made possible what would otherwise have been a worldwide Nazi empire today.
So, the United States saved Europe, then, in World War II. And the United States saved the world, even under this Truman, who was no shakes—and saved the world, by the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt's efforts, on behalf of the larger world, most notably Europe and the Americas.
It was not until 1964, that we began to throw that away.
`We Became Like Ancient Rome'
We've now come to the point, 40 years later, after the launching of that war in Indo-China; and the launching of the effects of the Congress for Cultural Freedom which corrupted us; and the effects of young people going to the university, where it trained and produced the future elite—who went to college to learn, and took their clothes off and took LSD, and had sex with the nearest lamppost: And these people who did that, are now running the United States today. Or, should we say "ruining"?
This was the post-industrial cult. This was the epidemic of free trade. This was hatred of honest work, with dirty hands and labor. This was the cult that hated honest labor, that hated the honest farmer, that hated the honest artisan, that hated the former independent entrepreneur, and wanted the big financial corporations which sit like parasites and suck the blood of the world, and our own people.
We destroyed our own character.
We became like ancient Rome, ancient Imperial Rome, which ceased to work, and stole by military means from the rest of the world; introduced large-scale slavery, and transformed its society, as we have transformed the United States these past 40 years, from the world's greatest producer nation on the planet into a bread and circuses society, a hunger and mass-entertainment—or shall we say, "mass-degeneracy-as-entertainment"—today.
We have taken the morals, and judgment, and reason, out of our people. We are ruled by what is called "popular opinion," by a sophistry, which would make the Sophists of Athens blush.
So, this has often happened to humanity, things like this. And this time, leadership must step forward. And what must we do? Establish a dictatorship? That is the general proposal these days, around most parts of the world: "Let's have some more wars. Let's terrify the people into submission. Let's create tyrannies, as we used to have under feudalism, when Venice's oligarchy ran the world with the help of the Norman chivalry, which killed everybody in such forms as crusades." That's what we're talking about: We're talking about a satanic crusade! Satan Cheney is going to lead a crusade to free the world from Islam—from who knows what else? From people! Hmm? It's just like this guy, Zell Miller, from Georgia, who's proposing to defend the nation, for the defense of "our precious bodily fluids." This kind of insanity.
So, that's the direction we're going in. You see that in that Nuremberg rally that was broadcast as the Republican National Convention! What do you think Zell Miller was doing? What do you think Cheney was doing? What did you see? You saw that the thing was totally scripted—Hollywood-style script, of the kind of thing that a Hollywood producer would be ashamed to produce. You have the script, it's the speech. Everything is programmed to the last detail. In the speech, it's marked: Cheney is going to talk about this—suddenly, the signs pop up, at the point that part of the speech is mentioned. And, the hyperventilated idiots get up, and start screaming, dancing, and roaring! Cheney waits. Then, he goes back to the script. He reads some more from the teleprompter—reads another sentence. The signs pop up, on the new theme, "Four more years! Four more years!" No more brains! Hmm?
Now, that gives you a portent of the mental quality of the current leadership of the Republican Party, under George Bush and Dick Cheney. Now, many Republicans are sane, but they're in a prison. It's called the "Republican Party," where you're compelled to be insane, or be killed, or beaten, or whatever. It's coming: Next, they'll have Abu Ghraib for dissident Republicans. Next thing you know, they'll get out there and interrogate them to find out if they're secret admirers of John Kerry. We're getting to that kind of state of affairs.
We have to actually save the nation.
Now, how do you save the nation? Well, first of all, you had to change the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party policy. The Democratic Party policy was, rely on the suburban vote, and the customary voters, who had voted at least three times out of the past four national elections. And people were doing things about how we could influence that expected vote. Now, four Federal elections is eight years. How many people reached the age of 18 in the past eight years? How many people have stopped voting because they don't see any point in it? And what about the people, who are so discouraged, they don't think about making government, they don't think about changing the government, which is what is needed now.
The government policies are wrong: Don't just try to change the policies. You have to change the people who make the policies. Policies are not things that come out and stand up by themselves, and make themselves! It's people that make policies. It's institutions, run by people, that make policies. And if the policies are wrong, and if you keep making wrong policies that lead to destruction, you obviously have to change the policy-making people! And we haven't done it. So, most of our citizens have given up.
What do most people do who do vote, especially from the lower 80% of family-income brackets? They don't vote for government! They beg! And threaten. "We will vote for you, if you give us this little thing. We will vote against you, if you don't give us this little thing!" "Don't talk to me about the Federal government. Don't talk to me about national policy. Tell me about my neighborhood!" "Tell me about my pet peeve." "Don't try to save the nation from going to Hell, my pet peeve is more important than Hell!"
Now, these are people. These are people who are perfectly capable of moral behavior. Many of them are normal family people who, in terms of concern for members of their family and so forth, and neighborhoods and whatnot, are perfectly normal people. But, they behave like idiots! Why? Because they are idiots? No, they're not too well educated; they're very badly informed, in fact. But, they're not idiots. They're perfectly capable, under the right circumstances, of being rational people, who will struggle to improve their minds, and will struggle to improve society. They have an instinct for what is good. They know that growing is good, living is good, health care is good, education is good. They know these things.
But, why do they behave in such a way? Because, they have been effectively put into the condition of herded cattle. They are told, "You are a cow. Go out into the field. You have a right to complain about the grass, but you don't have a right to complain about your condition of being a cow! "And, you will go to the slaughterhouse to be culled, when you are no longer useful, just like the other cows are!"
And that's happening to people: The HMO system is a system for culling cows, human cows! By denying people preventive health care, and denying them normal health care, apart from preventive health care, we're killing people. We're killing people because we don't want so many old people. So, how do we kill them off? Well, Hitler had a method. We have a method: It's called HMO—no mo' people.
We take the population, look—they don't like—they're racists. The power in the country today is a fusion between Southern racists, who joined the Republican Party, together with the other type of racists who joined the Republican Party. And the honest Republicans find themselves overwhelmed and swamped, and they have no control over their own party.
So, you have this—this is manifest in hatred against so-called "minorities." Which are really no longer minorities. If you add up all the minorities in this country, they're the majority! Including the lower 80%, the biggest minority of them all.
So, what do they do? How many people—young, black males, are either in prison, or have been in prison, and have ruined lives? How many people under the guidelines, are in prolonged sentences, for often what would be considered relatively secondary offenses, while the big boys go free? As in the case of Enron, which typifies how big boys may get ahead, while the little people sit in jail.
So, we have vast sections of our population which are being destroyed. Not only the immigrant population. Not only the people who are illegal immigrant population. But all kinds of the population are being systematically destroyed—by triage, one section after the other—to try to control the vote, so the African-American doesn't really have a vote, because there are not enough of them. And those who are so intimidated will often let themselves be bought. Bought for a peeve, or bought for some small, local favor. Or bought for a little piece of money, one at a time. And therefore, you destroy the ability of entire parts of the constituency composition of the society to govern; to even think about governing.
Youth Will Create a Landslide Democratic Victory
So therefore, what we have to do to win an election 60 days from now, what we have to do, is we have to create a landslide victory for the Democratic Party.
What we have to do to do that, is not go out and say, "Come in. Be our landslide." What we have to do, is we have to go out and earn that effect. And we have to do it in 59 days!
How do we earn that effect? We earn that by getting the individual citizen, who is now estranged from the idea of controlling government, to think of himself or herself as important, and being heard! Being told and being heard. We have to do that, largely with youth. Because young people, 18-25, have a certain quality, which older people—that is, old people, like those 30 and 35—do not have. You get to my age, and the oldness wears off. You're no longer old. You've gone through that, and you're now back to your youth again!
I have great fun with these young people. I mean, many of them have real problems. They've been given a terrible education. They barely have a subsistence living—do you know that? They've been thrown out of the nest, and told to forage on the streets, virtually, or something like that. Right? They weren't well-educated. But, they know one thing: They know that the United States today, as given to them by the generation which has reigned over the past 40 years is a no-future society! And, if you're 18-25, and you think you might have 40 years of life or so before you, you don't want to spend that 40 years in living Hell, or the alternative of going directly there, and taking the shortcut to Hell. Therefore, you have a deep, inner motivation to change the direction in which the society is going. Otherwise, you simply turn against society and become an anarchist. And therefore, young people have to, first of all, get a sense that we can change the direction of society, in the direction of creating a landslide victory for Kerry. Not for Kerry—but Kerry, as the instrument of our victory. As our representative, in the process of establishing our victory.
On the basis of doing this, we have to arm these young people with a form of organization where they can go to their parents' generation, and bring their parents' generation back into the process. As Roosevelt did, in his way, back in the 1930s, as the American Revolution was founded on.
You had an old geezer like me, Benjamin Franklin. And around Benjamin Franklin, you had a youth movement which included the Jeffersons, the Madisons, and Hamiltons, and so forth, and the others—who made the Constitution and made the Republic. Under Franklin's guidance, from the finest minds in Europe! Who had a great intellectual investment in creating this Republic on these shores. The greatest scientific, and political, and Classical literary, and other minds of Europe were devoted to bringing this nation forth, in the United States.
And they were mostly a youth movement of this particular generation: young people with energy, seeing the alternative, with building a future and a no-future society, who then are able, by their example and influence, to confront their parents' generation, and say, "Come on! Come back into the human race. Get out of fantasyland! Stop your escapist ideas. Rip up and destroy your comfort zones. Come back into reality! This society is dying!"
We Are Immortal!
Now, how can you do that with a human being? Well, we are immortal. And that theme of immortality is going to be persistent throughout the remaining days and hours of this conference—both in the two public sessions and the one internal session. And we're going to refer to some immortal people, including some of our immortals—by name—in order to give people a sensuous grasp of the fact that we are immortal.
Now, this does not mean you're picked up someplace, and put in storage, and then dumped out in some completely different universe. This means, that you are immortal in this universe. And the theologians used to call this "the simultaneity of eternity."
Think about what the difference is between man and an animal: No animal could discover and apply a universal physical principle. Only the human mind can do that. All the so-called "physical principles" of that nature, the principles of Classical artistic composition, are of the same nature as science. No animal is capable of Classical artistic composition. (Though some human beings try to be animals when they do it, the results are not very satisfying.)
So therefore, because we are immortal, as we shall emphasize in various points here, in these proceedings these three days, when we develop an idea, or when we receive the ability to re-create that idea of principle within ourselves, we are expressing an immortal relationship between those who lived before us, and ourselves. When we talk about the discoveries of Archimedes, when we relive the act of those discoveries, we re-create the living Archimedes in our own mind, and Archimedes lives, as an efficient part of society, today.
This is true of all great discoveries. The progress of man from the few million individuals which a higher ape species could attain, to 6 billion or more today, is entirely the result of immortality: the ability of a human individual to receive, generate, and transmit discoveries of universal principle, from one generation and person to the next. That other people live within us. Those of us who know anything about life, know of the other people who live within us, who are now dead, but they live within us because something of themselves which has a creative impact, lives within us. It strengthens us, if we use it. It gives us the power to improve society. That is how society has progressed. That is why you must be optimistic about the native goodness of the human individual.
There are no inhuman individuals who are born bad. Every human individual has the creative power, which defines each human person, as in the image of the Creator. We are the only creature who can discover the principles of creation, of the Creator, can adopt them, can use them, and can increase man's power over the universe, by using those creative principles which the Creator has provided, but only we, as human beings, can access.
And when we participate in the Creator in that way, by devoting our lives to that side of our life which is truly human, we become consciously, really, and powerfully human. This is the power which is shown by Jeanne d'Arc, in making possible the establishment of the first modern nation-state in human existence. This was the same quality of creative passion which Martin Luther King showed, especially on the eve of his death, on the night before he was murdered.
Martin was not devoted simply to pleading a cause. Martin's cause was clear: to heal the abuses of any and all, within this nation, or nations of the world; to heal the abuses, that people in this nation suffer. You can not correct those errors one at a time. You must go to the core of the matter. You must uproot the cause of the rot. You must tap the principle which makes it possible to do that. You must uplift people, and say, "We must make this nation whole. We must transform this nation, so that this nation itself, by its own impulse, will not allow the legacy of slavery, or similar crimes to go on. That we, by being conscious, by being human, as a nation, will not, as a nation, allow humanity to suffer the kinds of conditions which it often has to suffer." And when we act, by scientific discoveries, or by an act of goodness, in that direction, we are each immortal.
When we come to a crises like this, we have to awaken in the mind of the individual who feels on the lower echelons of life, who feels that he can only beg for favors, or blackmail the boss, to get him to look at himself in a higher sense, and say, "What's important to you?" He says, "What I feel. What I sense." I say, "But, you're going to die. We're all going to die. Therefore, what's important to you, if you're all going to die? What can you take in life, as a mortal being, that you can keep when you're dead? Is there something which you as a human being, in the image of the Creator, must desire above all other things? To be a permanent part of creation by contributing to creative knowledge, and a creative act, which only a human being can do."
Therefore, our job, as Martin Luther King tried to teach a lot of people in his development; as Jeanne d'Arc did, who went to her death knowing that she had to go to her death—not because she wanted to, but because if she took the route to escape that death, she would have left humanity with a betrayed gift which she carried. Therefore, she died willingly, with the image of Christ before her, because she was willing to take that sacrifice, because it gave meaning to the purpose of her life, in the whole skein of humanity, and eternity.
Now, you find, as Amelia has often emphasized, in talking about this fight for voters' rights in the civil rights cause, in Alabama and elsewhere: Who were the first to support that cause? The have-nots. The people who knew they had nothing. As Amelia has often described this, what blocked others, who were also victims of the same persecution, but who had a house, who had a job, who had a profession, a business? They could not put that earthly thing, that transient thing, on the line, for the greater principle. The have-nots, who had absolutely nothing, found it easier to say, "I'm going to do something, with my miserable, physical life—I'm going to do something with it which has meaning. I'm not going to be a meaningless zero, a meaningless person."
That exists in all of our people. Oh, there are exceptions here and there. There are Cheneys and so forth. There are mental defects, like George W. Bush. But, this is not the majority of our people. Our people are behaving badly. They're often doing wicked things! But, they're doing it out of their smallness! They're trying to grasp on little things, petty things, to try to accommodate to their fears. They are not thinking of their eternity. They're not thinking about immortality.
And they're disregarding the legacy of their own families. For example: In my own case, I had a great-great-grandfather, Daniel Wood—he was a Quaker abolitionist, who was chased out of the Carolinas, because his anti-slavery policies were not popular among some of the local residents there. He went up to Ohio, married into a Quaker family up there, and he set up the Underground Railway station north of Columbus, in Delaware County, and was an associate of the Whigs, of Henry Clay and so forth. And—quite a life. Now, he was a personality at the dinner table of my family. He had died before I came along. But he was still well known and familiar to members of my family at the dinner table. He was a dominant figure in that part of world, where they were living, that part of the family, and therefore his name would come up as sort of a landmark in any significant dinner conversation where the family was gathered—particularly when they were coming together again, for some special occasion. And this is true of every part of our lives, if we know that. We can trace our personality back to generations before. We know people, directly and indirectly, who are part of us; whose idea, whose presence, whose touch, is part of us. We think of these people. We look inside ourselves, and we see the faces and memories of these people, who have long since died: They're part of us, as we are going to be part of those who come after us.
Our interest, therefore, lies essentially in what we do with the mortal life we have. But, the thing for which we struggle is what we leave behind. As healthy, normal parents, as immigrants coming into the United States, sacrifice for their children and grandchildren. There are legacies of this, all over the world, of this kind of thing. The most normal thing, about human beings that we know, given a chance, is a willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of the generations coming after them. To take pride—and to die with a smile on their face! Because they know that their life has not been a waste. And that the good they have done, is being nurtured and protected for the benefit of humanity by those who come after them.
What do you want of a child that you have? You want that child to do something good. You don't care what it is, as long as it's something good. But, as you are dying, you want to think about that child going forth in the world to do something good, that they choose to do. You take pride in that. You identify with that. That, to you, is a sense of beauty, a sense of permanence. It is, as is often said by theologians: It is an intimation of immortality.
Now, we've got poor people all over the United States, who fit into that category. And what they have to do, is know that someone is fighting for, above all others, the lower 80% of the people of this nation. And the way to get that across is to let the youth, who are immediately faced with the prospect of a non-immortality, a no-future society, let them inspire their parents' generation and others, to come back into the human fold, and stop being human sheep, herded, like human sheep.
The Science of Physical Economy
Now, what we're going to do, in addition to that, is we have a program which will be featured by some of our people, tomorrow morning here on this platform in the first session, which pertains to something I've insisted be done at this time. I always did this, in a sense, but, in trying to convey ideas to people who are stubbornly attached to money—if you wanted to explain what was wrong with the economy, you had to talk about money. And, I said, "Money is the last thing I want to get around to. Yes, we're going to have to use money. We're going to need it; we're going to use it. But, let's decide what we're going to do first, and come to the money part, second. In other words: What are we going to do? What does this country need? What do we need? And what are we going to do about the money side of managing this country and the world? So, let's talk about the physical things, that are important."
The greatest problem is that when you say "physical," people think of sense-perception. "Show me the object! I'll buy it!" Money! "Purchasing power" now is the nexus of human identity. "I can be bought and sold, like anybody else. I'm a potato—I can be bought and sold."
But, what is human? This quality of humanity is not a sense-perceptual object. The quality that distinguishes man from a monkey—which some politicians have trouble in recognizing—is that man is capable of discovering a true universal physical, or Classical artistic, principle. No monkey can do that. A monkey is, "monkey see, monkey do." Like some of our politicians.
But, with a human being, what's the difference? The difference is, a human being is capable of discovering something that can not be seen with the senses! A universal physical principle. An artistic principle, like a Classical artistic principle—you can't see it! You can know it! But you can't see it. You have to go through a cognitive process, which is something beyond sense perception, to see a principle buried behind the shadows of sense-perception. That's what "physical" is. "Physical" is the development of those powers, the powers of knowledge, by which mankind is able to do what no monkey can do: Powers to make the universe change, physically, through the use of that knowledge. Whether it's in Classical art, in music, in the use of irony in poetry, in metaphor, or whether it's in a physical principle, a scientific principle. You can never see a scientific principle. They can not be seen. They exist. You can prove they exist. But, you can't see them, through means of sense-perception.
So therefore, when we mean "physical," we don't mean—or, should not mean—simply objects of the senses. What we mean is: the power to change the physical order of events; the power to increase the productive powers of labor; the power to cure disease. These are powers which are based on knowledge of principle, and the experimental method of discovering, and using and applying those principles. In music: You can have idiots humming tunes. You can get a chimpanzee to hum a tune. That does not necessarily make him a musician. You may sneak him into a rock concert, but he's not a musician! As the great conductor Furtwängler said, the music lies between the notes, not on them. It's not the notes, as perceived. It's the way there's a principle operating to bring forth and replicate and communicate that principle to another mind. That is Classical music. To communicate an idea, not by dictionary uses of words, in the sense of the dictionary, but by putting words together in a way which conveys an actual idea, an idea you can not simply see directly. But, an idea which is efficient, nonetheless.
This is the kind of thing, to get away from this empiricist, "I'm only a monkey. I'm only a piece of human cattle."
And, to get that sense. And therefore, what we're going to show in these economic studies, which are going to use a lot of animation—you'll see some examples of what we're talking about tomorrow, here—we're going to show exactly how an economy actually works. And by showing this, to indicate to people, not only how the economy works, but why we must do certain things!
For example: The greatest issue today, in terms of government policy, is the question of basic economic infrastructure. Now, for 40 years, especially for the past 30-odd years, we have been saving tax money by destroying basic economic infrastructure, in mass transportation, in power generation and distribution, in the form of available health care in hospitals, and so forth and so on. We say, "we can't afford it. Therefore, we're going to save money! Oh, save tax money! We're going to make things better, by cutting tax expenditure," as Bush is doing. And what we're doing, thereby, as we have done for 40 years: We have let our dams, our water systems, our power systems, our school systems, our health-care systems, and everything else which is essential to life, collapse.
On top of that, with the introduction of free trade, and worse, with globalization, we have destroyed private capital, on which we depend for employment, and for improvement of the productive powers of labor. We say, "Now, the product that we consume, must go to the part of the world, where the production is the cheapest." By doing that, and using cheap labor, which we're actually burning out in other countries, to replace our production of these goods, we destroy the capital investment in our industries, in our farms, in our places of employment. And we give the people the advantage of being able to buy the goods that are cheaper, at Wal-Mart, by this kind of process.
This is nuts! It's insane!
If we want to have a safe environment; if we want to have clean water; if we wish to have power; if we wish to have health care; if we wish to have education; if we wish to have national security; if we wish to have safe communities: We've got to invest in it, in terms of long-term investments in basic economic infrastructure.
For example: Let's take a person, 25 years old. Now, 25 years old, today, is the age at which a person could be expected to have acquired professional competence for their life's work. What is that 25 years? "What does this kid produce, in the 25 years? What does he produce when he's six years old? Maybe if we cut him out, we can save money!" Is that logical? The kid is not productive. Families will tell you, "We can't afford children—so let's abort them!" George says he's against abortion, George Bush. But, he's committed more abortions than any President on record! Simply by his economic and social policies!
So, the basic investment in society today, in a society at our technological level—unless we're going to become a Third World society—is investment in the development of our young people for the first 25 years of their life—a quarter of a century!
Now, long-term infrastructure investments have a life-cycle, a physical life-cycle, generally running in the order of at least a half-century. Industrial investment has a cycle of, at least, a quarter of a century. Elements of production have a life-cycle of less, maybe 5 years, 10 years, 15 years.
But therefore, it's investment in capital, in the form of physical capital, or intangible capital, such as the development of a human being, which is the basic unit on which a modern economy depends. And therefore, if you don't invest, and measure your investments today—in the United States, we have to invest, measure capital, in terms of quarter-centuries. That is, that part of the life-cycle, coming from birth to a matured professional, ready to enter life. We have to pay for that 25 years of that development of that individual. That means, not only payment to the family, or by the family, but payment to the community for those things that are provided by the community, or by the nation as the whole, for each of those individuals, as opposed to what comes out of the family income.
We have to do that; because, our basic capital is human. Our basic capital is human beings. And in modern civilization today, which is living up to being a modern civilization, the first 25 years of life are the first, primary capital investment in society. And therefore, we have to protect, we have to structure prices, we have to structure investments, and national policy, in such a way, that we ensure that for the entirety of our population, that standard of living of children and young people is maintained. That means we put a charge, built into the price of everything produced, to cover that expense. It means we plan our tax programs that way. It means we plan our government budgets that way, to make things work. To get the maximum potential out of each person, but also to give them the potential to be that kind of producer.
We have to give people a vision of the physical reality. That it is this skill, that it is this investment into humanity, which is based on investment in knowledge; knowledge as expressed typically by scientific and related technological knowledge; and knowledge expressed by Classical culture, in various forms, which is an essential part of this.
We have to do that. We have to bring the individual member of society, especially those depressed and frightened, and who have given up, in the lower 80% of our family-income brackets, whose standard of income has been declining, decaying over the past 40 years, we have to give them a sense, that they have the right—not the opportunity, but the right—to have that kind of policy, in our nation, and in the world.
They don't believe they have that right.
You know, there's a professor out in the University of Chicago, or in that area, who has emphasized Franklin Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights, which he uttered in the 1944 period, I believe, of his Presidency. And it has been recommended that we look into it, and I would encourage this—that we look into the Democratic Party's adoption of that Second Bill of Rights, as, at least, an educational policy, for the Democratic Party in this campaign: The idea, that people have rights; the nation has rights, and that we as a people, as an ensemble of people, must ensure that these rights are provided, are maintained, for our people.
By doing that, we have to go to our people, especially the lower 80%, and give them a sense that they are not forgotten, that they have rights. We may not be able to afford, right now, delivering on all those rights. But, we do have the power to commit ourselves to building ourselves to the point that we can deliver those rights, and declare them as rights!
This is the problem we face, all over the world.
Let me put it in this way—I've said it many times, but I think, at this point, it's a good way to cap this thing. Because, we'll talk about other parts, about what we're going to do with this campaign, tomorrow, and also the day after that; so there'll be more aspects of this discussed, practical aspects. But, the essential problem is that we have not actually understood adequately, the nature of man, nor of history. I've said today, a number of things about what's wrong with Europe, and I can tell you frankly, I do not exaggerate: If the United States were to disappear from this planet, in effect, today, there's nothing in Europe which would enable the governments and institutions of Europe to save themselves. They would go to Hell. These parts of the world, in fact, the planet as a whole, would not survive, without an intervention by the United States, of the type that Washington, and Hamilton, and others made, in that time of crisis; the kind of intervention which Abraham Lincoln made, which was not simply something in the United States, it changed the world for the better, very quickly, throughout Europe and elsewhere; without the kind of critical change made by Franklin Roosevelt with his intervention: We, in the United States, must make that kind of intervention, in not only our own affairs, but in world affairs, now.
We Require a Great Presidency
We must understand that we, too, are immortal. We, as a nation, have a mission. We're the only nation on this planet which has these essential qualities, which the world needs from us. This was the case of the founding of the U.S. republic. This was the case of Lincoln. Lincoln saved humanity, by what he led us in doing. This is what Roosevelt did, who saved humanity, by the leadership he provided from the United States, at that time.
We are now at a point, where again, we require a great Presidency: a great Presidency, like that of Washington; a great Presidency, like that of Lincoln; a great Presidency, like that of Franklin Roosevelt. We need such a great Presidency. I understand how to be that kind of President. That's one of my weapons. I know how we can make a good President, such a President, by putting together the right forces in the right way, to transform John Kerry—who is a good man—but to transform him into the guy who could play the role of a great President. Because great Presidents are not simply secretions of individual people. There are many people, who have been great Presidents, who were no better—or great leaders of society—who were no better than people who seemed rather ordinary, in the course of history.
What defines a great President of the United States, is the coincidence of a crisis, the coincidence of a challenge to humanity, and to the United States itself, in which some person is great enough, to be able to fill the shoes of doing that job. It's like finding a general, to lead in winning a war. The general does not win the war. But, the general of that quality is essential to win the war. You need leaders, individual leaders, who you've strengthened, who are supported. In a time of crisis, when leadership is crucial, that makes for a great President. People who are equally good as potential Presidents or actual Presidents under other times, do not seem as great, because the challenge of their time was not so frightening, not so deadly.
But when we come to a point of crisis, when civilization as a whole is in danger, or a nation's existence is in peril, then a person who is adequate to play the job of leadership, who has the associates who, together with that leader, is capable of mobilizing the nation to save itself, becomes a great President, or a great leader. Such is the nature today: Do not expect John Kerry to be an absolute miracle-man. We have to make his Presidency look like that of a miracle-man, like a giant of modern history.