The Crisis in the
Democratic National Committee
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche gave this webcast speech in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 10, 2004. Video and audio archives of the full webcast are also available:
|High-speed video/audio:||Stream||Download (215.3 MB)|
|Low-speed audio only:||Stream||Download (24.5 MB)|
What I shall address today, before you get at me, which will come in due course, and also people out there, through the media, who will be calling in, as usual—including my wife, who will be watching very closely, and supervising me implicitly, from a distance: three themes.
First of all, the crisis, in the formal sense, which the Democratic National Committee leadership is facing. And also the nine others—I wouldn't call them "candidates"; I'll call them "the others."
And secondly, the nature of the crisis, which is going to be a crisis for them, all of them, including "the others."
And then, to get also to a tougher point, for the audience: Is, what is wrong with the people of the United States, and also the people of Europe, particularly Western Europe, that this that has happened to us, could have happened? What must they do, not merely to change their preference in voting, but to change their way of thinking? Because, despite the fact, that most of our political leaders, in Europe and in the United States, have been incompetent over the past 40 years, have failed miserably; yet, those were the people who were chosen to be leaders, implicitly, by the voters, either by voting or by not voting. So therefore, the American people, in particular, have to look inside themselves. It was their negligence, which created the monster which I shall describe to you today. And, unless the American people are willing to change the way they think, the United States is not going to survive. Make that clear.
Terry McAuliffe and 'the Others'
All right, now, what we have is, to start with, we have the case of a gentleman whom I'll come to in a moment: Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic National misleader—official misleader. McAuliffe typifies a problem of both himself, the Democratic National leadership at present, and "the others." Common problem.
First of all, Terry McAuliffe knows he's a liar. He sent out letters all over the place, messages all over the place, saying I'm an anti-Semite and a racist. He's a liar. The man is morally unfit to hold any public office in the United States. He's a public liar, on an issue as important as the selection of the President. He is not fit to be seen in public. He should wear a mask, from henceforth.
Now, all of those "others," who have consented to go along with him, also know that he's a liar. And yet, their behavior toward me and toward my campaign, is based on what they know to be a lie! They are unfit to be candidates for the President of the United States. We can't have a man, who's soft on lying, as a President of the United States; nor a candidate of the Democratic Party. They should resign in shame, and purge themselves of this guilt. Because none of them are morally fit, to be President of the United States at this time. Particularly on the question of their behavior toward me. That is, they have adopted a lie, as a basis for their behavior.
The whole campaign, as run by "the others," is one vast lie. They have said absolutely nothing, of any substantive relevance, to the issues that face the nation now. And they have talked at some length, in many fora, and over many media—and they have said less than nothing, about the reality of the situation.
So, that's the creature.
Now, there's a story, which my wife likes very much. It's a story which is written out, by one of the greatest poets and playwrights of human existence: Friedrich Schiller. It's a poem, which has been referenced often by us, at her instigation, in organizational forums: Ibykus. Now, Ibykus was a real-life character of ancient Greece. He was a famous poet. He was not a great poet, but he was a famous and popular poet. And the story about him goes essentially as follows, as it's relevant to the case of the Degenerating National Committee, as it's called today.
He was on the way to participate in a conference at Corinth, where he was to be featured as a poet. And on the way, he was overtaken by two robbers, who robbed him, and murdered him. And, dying of the wounds inflicted upon him, in his death agony, he looked up, and there were two cranes flying overhead. And he cried out, "Let these two cranes be witness to the murder which is being done to me here!" And he died.
And then events proceeded, including the two murderers, who went to Corinth, and sat in the crowd. In the course of this event, the Erinyes—the monsters who take vengeance on the wrongdoers, sort of a spiritual force who suddenly appear, as apparitions, and destroy and tear apart those who have been the wrongdoers—appeared. And the appearance of these monsters was so frightening to the guilt-ridden criminals, the murderers, that they revealed their identity—and were so judged, because they exposed themselves for the murderers, the criminals, they were.
And that is this—we have a picture of him: Terry McAuliffe [displayed on video screen]. He sees them coming! They're coming to get him! He's about to confess!
In any case. So, what is going to happen is this, in the election campaign: Right now, the important thing for me, and for my campaign, is to get as many votes as possible, as many delegates as possible, as much impact as possible, and to build a larger and larger movement, centered on a youth movement. That's the mission-orientation of the moment. Because we're marching toward a point of crisis, which will settle accounts with the "murderers," in a sense—the "others" and Terry McAuliffe—and their crimes will be called to account rather soon. The date on which this will occur is not yet certain. But the arrival of that date, is inevitable.
Whatever happens, in terms of scores and reports, about progress in the election, during the interval until this moment arrives, is essentially irrelevant, except as we do our job. Except as I do my job, except as we build the movement, except as we win delegates wherever possible, get as much of the vote as possible. And mobilize especially among the "forgotten men and women" of the nation. Because those are the ones, who can be called upon to make the change. That when they stand up on their hind legs and say, "We're no longer going to be treated the way we're being treated, we're going to demand our rights," that's going to be the crucial thing that decides the future of this nation. As it did in the time that the Democratic National Committee, in 1931 and 1932, did everything possible, to prevent the winning candidate, Franklin Roosevelt, from winning. Just as Beast-Man McAuliffe is trying to stop me from winning. There is going to come a time, soon, in which all the good that we do in the meantime, is going to come to a point of crisis, for those who are committing the abuse.
Create a Force to Deal With the Crisis
What is in process now, which is merely typified by the collapse of the value of the dollar, relative to the euro—I guess, the last I heard, the euro was worth $1.28; not so long ago, a euro was worth 83 to 84 cents. What this represents is a collapse of the U.S. dollar. It's a collapse, relative, now, by one-third. You measure it the other way, in terms of the 83 to 84 cents, it's a collapse by one-half since that time.
If you look at the prices of groceries in the store over the past six months or so, you see a similar thing. The United States is going through a vast, accelerating rate of inflation. The inflation is being driven, partly by the collapse of the value of the dollar. It's being driven by the fact that a great amount of money, is being poured in, to keep the Wall Street figures up—the official ones. The ones that don't look so good, they don't report. In other words, the figures that get into the averages, which are reported on the day's results, on betting on the Wall Street lottery, only the good cases are reported. The majority of cases, that are moribund and are dying firms, are not reported.
They don't report unemployment! They only report employment, while the unemployment increases more rapidly than the gains of employment. And they call it "a growth of employment."
These are the things that are happening!
Now, in the meantime, the current account deficit of the United States is piling up. The United States as a nation is bankrupt. Ah! But that's not the story. The world output is now estimated at $40-plus trillion a year, of which the United States' output has been reported in the range of $11 trillion a year. But, the medium- to short-term debt of the world is measured in hundreds of trillions of dollars. Now, how do you pay those figures off? You don't. You don't.
So therefore, what happens at the point that the breaking point, in the U.S. dollar, means a general collapse of the system? This general collapse can come from any number of sources: It can come from a collapse of the mortgage-based securities bubble, the favorite bubble of "Bubbles" Alan Greenspan. The man who could never become clean, no matter how many years he sat in his bathtub. But he should try: He should get out of politics, and get into his bathtub. And hope that grace will strike him, and get him clean again.
So, we're on the verge of something. And this something, whatever it is, is going to happen soon. It's going to happen this year. So, soon, you're going to see a crisis hitting the United States and the world, much bigger than anything from the 1928-1933 interval. It's going to be an existential crisis. Not a crisis of, "I'm poor," or "I've lost my job." An existential crisis. That's the time that the Erinyes appear in the arena. That's the time, that every delegate, and every vote, and every word of praise that one of the "others" has accrued, becomes worthless currency, becomes trash.
So therefore, you're in a period of crisis. A period in which—it is in the short term ahead—this system is dead, without any way of escaping in its own terms.
So therefore, we're marching to create a force to deal with this crisis, which the Democratic National Committee leadership, and the "others," pretend not to exist. Every word coming out of the mouths of these "others," is an exercise in futility!
The Candidates Are Babbling
What are they talking about? They're talking about essentially nothing. One says, "I am going to have a plan—." Let me give you one of the worst ones; I heard it about three days ago. Gen. "Screwup" Wesley Clark: He was being interviewed—I don't know what day the interview was; it appeared on the television set, about three days ago (four days ago, perhaps, now—yes). And he was asked how he stands on this and that. And, he said, "Well," he said, "we've got to get more money to the lower income brackets." Fine. Noble sentiment? Not at all! Hear the words that followed! You see, his argument was as follows: That people spend money; they have to have it to spend it. Now, the reason we've got to increase their income, is because our economy needs people to spend more money! For, the strength of our economy depends upon their ability to buy! Not on their ability to consume what they need—but their ability to spend money, to buy! That's the strength of our economy.
I mean, the man is a blasted fool! No wonder they didn't give him that other star. They should have deducted about three or four! On the basis of his performance in the Balkans.
Now, Kerry—Kucinich does say a few things once in a while which are right. But that's—he doesn't have much impact. Kerry, who is probably the only one of the "others" who has much substance to him, as a candidate, has carefully concealed that substance, as much as possible. I passed a piece of property in Boston just the other day, on Beacon Hill, where he has a house, which I understand has been mortgaged out for about $7 million. I mean, that probably puts him in a lower income bracket up there.
But, in any case, he's said nothing, about anything of any importance. He said a little bit about this; a little bit about this. He refuses to get off the edge, on the question of his being sucked in, to support the Iraq War! He ducks the issue! He's now got questions about it. He did say something, once, in the Congress about this thing. He knows that this was a fraud! He knows he was taken in! He is not man enough to say he was taken in, even though the evidence has been presented.
Corruption in America: 'Go Along To Get Along'
This is the case, with all of them! They double-talk. They have a "plan" for this, a "plan" for that, a "plan" for this. All these "plans" mean nothing! The question is, where's the money going to come from? There is no source of money for this thing.
Now, this is typical—and this is where I get to the hard part: It's typical of Americans, and not only Americans, but also Europeans. Very few people have much acquaintance with reality. Very few people know the difference between man and a monkey: That's why we vote for some of the candidates we vote for.
Now, what does it mean? Concentrate—some of you have been concentrating on this subject, some not—but, concentrate: What's wrong? We in the post-war period came out, under Roosevelt, and despite that fascist Truman—and I say that advisedly, I can prove it if contested—despite that, we still represented, into the middle of the 1960s, a producer society, which is the world's leading productive economy. Then that changed, about 40 years ago. It changed after the Missile Crisis. It changed after the assassination of Kennedy. It changed as we entered the Indo-China War.
People went crazy. The Baby Boomers went crazy. They were then in their late teens, or entering university. They went crazy. They were frightened. They were frightened because they'd been raised by their parents, of my generation, who had become cowards when the right-wing turn came under Truman; who raised their children not to tell the truth, but to be careful about what they said, where they might be overheard by the FBI, or something like that. So, the parents of the Baby Boomers taught their children, the Baby Boomers, to lie. "Don't get caught looking as if you might be FBI bait." The great right-wing turn, which later became known as McCarthyism.
So then, when these children had been told never to quite tell the truth, because it might get their parents into trouble, with the FBI—hmm?—we were faced with a crisis. The crisis was, no longer [was there] the charm—it was no longer Dr. Spock, and I don't mean that creep in outer space. I mean the one who was in the nursery, back here on Earth. No longer this Howdy Doody culture! Now things began to get nasty.
Eisenhower, who had been their blessing and protector from the evil worms of Trumanism—and he did, he did a good job of that. But he brought in Arthur Burns, and that was bad. But then, when he left and Kennedy was elected, Kennedy was not yet prepared, intellectually or otherwise, to deal with what was hitting him. Nor did he have the influence and understanding of the U.S. military which he needed to have, in that situation.
And so therefore, the funny-funny people, whom Truman had brought into power—the fascists, the nuclear war freaks, "preventive nuclear war," that Truman represented—these freaks came out of the woodwork, and they launched the Bay of Pigs; and they and their types internationally launched the 1962 Missile Crisis, where everyone was running into a bar, calling for God. They were scared for several days.
Then Kennedy was shot. And other things like that happened. They were terrified. And they said, "I'm getting off this planet, now! I've got a ticket. It's called LSD."
So, the world shifted, with orchestration, into a counterculture, the rock-drug-sex counterculture; which became the keystone for the culture as a whole of the Baby Boomers. Now, some people said, "Well, I never took LSD." What's the matter—you couldn't find it? But, whether they took LSD, whether they had sex with five rabbits or not—to the degree they were gregarious, they learned to fit in with their generation. Which, for some people, was called, their degeneration. And therefore, they became responsive to what their neighbors thought. And the standard of culture, within the entire generation, the standard of being accepted, if you were applying for promotion in a firm: You had to say the right things, or you didn't get there. So, even if you weren't an LSD freak, you had to be careful about the sensitivity of the LSD freak next to you.
So, the whole generation became, in the main, corrupted. Running from reality, into learning "to go along, to get along." And this was as much true in Europe, as in the United States. So we have a generation, now in their fifties and in their sixties, who culturally, as a generation, were sucked into "going along to get along." If you want to survive, if you don't want your relative to send poison to you, or something. "Go along to get along." Listen to what the press says, what the news media tells you, what the mass media tells you. These are the things—"If you're not accepted by the mass media, nobody is going to accept you!" Whether you like it or not, you have to learn "to go along and get along and adapt to the mass media." That's the culture! So, everybody is corrupt! Or, nearly everybody, in that generation, in Europe and in the United States. They are equally corrupt, in that way.
Because, a society is not just a collection of individuals. It's a social process. If you don't resist the social process which is corrupt, you become part of the corruption. If you are a typical citizen, who looks like a typical citizen in everything you do, you are as corrupt as the rest—because you went along with the operation.
Just like these nine "others," who went along, with what the DNC said. They didn't care if it was a lie! They went along with economic policies, which are a lie. "To go along, to get along." The motto hanging over the U.S. Congress is: "Go along, to get along." The first thing they tell you, when you go into the Congress, you're newly elected: You learn "to go along, to get along"! When you go into a corporation, for employment: "Go along, to get along"! When you're walking down the street, "Go along to get along—who knows what else will happen to you? Be careful how you look." "You're walking in that neighborhood! Go along, to get along!" Don't tell me you were individually different, when you "go along to get along." You're not different—you're just as corrupt as the guy walking down there, wandering through Never-Neverland on LSD, because you decided "to go along, to get along."
Goldfish in a Bowl
Now, what happens? It means that what you do, strictly for your own self-defense, you don't raise certain questions. You don't pose certain doubts. You don't resist certain things.
Give an example: When I was 12 years old, I was exposed to a high school course in mathematics. And in this period, I made a remark about geometry. And, I was told this was silly. But I happened to be right. Because what they were teaching, they were teaching a geometry, with these so-called basic definitions, axioms, and postulates, which is based on arbitrary assumptions, called a priori assumptions. And, in this, they try to fit everything, and explain everything, that is deductively consistent with this geometry. And say, "That is reality. That is geometry."
Now, you have, particularly since the introduction of the New Math, especially in every mathematics course, and in all teaching—about economics, about statistics, and so forth—the same nonsense is there! You're told that if you believe this, if you believe in these definitions, axioms, and postulates, you can prove something is true or not, by using that kind of mathematics—if it's deductively consistent!
But it's always wrong.
The same thing has happened in society. You're told that free trade is good. You're told that this practice is good. That we're moving away from industry, into post-industrial society. "We're into the information age!" You're told these things! And someone gives you a mathematical proof, or statistics to prove that that's the way things are going. But, it is that which is destroying this country, its economy. The submission to arbitrary doctrine, arbitrary definitions, axioms, and postulates of behavior. And, I described this the other day in Germany, at a cadre school.
The result is, mentally, because the population accepts ideas like this elementary notion of geometry—definitions, axioms, and postulates, based on pure deduction—that the population becomes like a bunch of goldfish in a bowl. And the bowl is the axioms, definitions, and postulates. And, the bowl is being carried to dump the fish in the toilet. But the fish, swimming in the bowl, decide that the future of their civilization, depends upon staying in the bowl. That's what's happened to this society: We have accepted assumptions about economy, about behavior, about policy, which are assumptions like those made by a goldfish, being carried to the toilet where he's about to be dumped.
That's what the situation of humanity is: We assume that certain thing work. They don't work. But time catches up with us. We've reached the point that they cease to work, as they always will.
Now, you look at this process, in the history of mankind—we've referred to things like the Peloponnesian War. We've referred to other crises of that type, where societies have gone along for an extended period—multiple generations. And a once-successful society adopts certain policies, and, two or three generations later, it's collapsed—as ancient Greece.
Ancient Greek society, which was a product largely of Egypt—in point of fact, the best features of it came in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. And this is the birth of modern European civilization, or European civilization in general. So, this civilization rose, as the most successful civilization of its time, from that time to the present—modern European civilization. But then, with the Peloponnesian War, it destroyed itself.
Then, after that, came a lower form of society than Classical Greek culture, called Roman society, Italian society—which was inferior to Greek, morally and otherwise. And mankind did not recover, from the effect of the degeneration that Roman imperial culture represented, until the 15th-Century Renaissance, when, for the first time, Europe returned to Classical Greek culture, and created the modern nation-state. All during this period, the assumptions of law, the assumptions of behavior, of all of humanity up to the present, up until the 15th Century, was that some people—who are beasts—treat the rest of the people as beasts. Beasts that rule, rule by subjecting other beasts to the status of hunted, or herded beasts. Most of humanity is treated, most of the time, like animals, like cattle, like human cattle!
This is what we mean, in the United States today, when we talk about the lower 80% of the family-income brackets. In an earlier time, prior to the change, especially prior to the change that occurred from the middle of the 1960s on, we still believed in the notion that the development of the individual, to their fuller potential as a thinking human being, was a goal, even if it weren't reached in practice. That that was the obligation, to get to the point that all human beings were treated as truly human beings, not as cattle. That they developed around ideas—discoveries of principle; science was an idea; Classical culture was an idea, because it represented the achievement of the recognition of the difference between man and a beast, in the development of the individual.
They stopped that.
What has happened is, we are beasts, ruled over by people who have become beasts. The people who run the society, run it in a beastly way.
Look at HMO, for example—1973: The Nixon Administration destroyed the Hill-Burton policy, which was the health-care policy of the nation; and the security policy, the health security policy of the nation. What have we done? We've said, "Well, some lives are not worthy to be lived." Just like slaughtering the old cow! And we do that, by pulling the plug, in a hospital. We do that, by denying care that would keep people alive, because we say, "Their lives are not really that worth living. They've had their run. It's time for them to go." "Look, they're too sick. They're suffering. We should relieve their suffering. Let them go!" "Deprive them of care. They're not worth it any more. It's not economically sound!"
"Don't educate people above their class!" For example, go back in the history of the United States, in terms of the post-Civil War period, in Reconstruction. Prior to the end of the Civil War, the leading edge of U.S. policy against slavery, was that the first step toward freedom was to elevate the mind. The policy of Frederick Douglass—whose homestead is not far from here. That a person who is free in their mind, who knows the culture of the human race, who knows the best—the best in music, the best in that—that this person is free, in their own mind. And people who are free, in their own mind, in that sense, can be made free, as people.
The first step to freedom is knowledge, the power of knowledge. And knowing what the difference is, between a human being, and a beast.
We took that away! We took it away, right after, even under the period of Reconstruction. We said, of the slaves, "Are we going to educate these slaves in schools, with our knowledge? No!! We are not going to make them dissatisfied, by educating them to the point, that they will be dissatisfied with lives of menial labor. Therefore, we will create an educational system, which will keep them in their place. We will tell them it's their culture, that it's good for them." Telling a person, that it's good to be a cow. To be milked as a cow.
The same thing happened in health policy, under the HMO system. We no longer have a health policy based on the assumption that a human being is a human being, and that that life is sacred and important. We now say, "Well, the private corporations, that invested, yesterday, in taking over a health plan, have a right to their share of profit. And, if they're not getting enough profit, then they're going to have to cut down on the care given to the patients, the recipients." Which is what they do! Look at the increase in the cost of health care, under all kinds of plans, now. Look at the cuts in health care. Look at the number of hospitals that are closed. Look at all these things that we go through here.
Human beings are being treated as human cattle. And they're told, that that's the best they can get, if they're in the lower 80% of the family-income brackets. They vote that way! Citizens don't vote for what's good for the nation. They vote, for a little thing they think they can get. They say, "Well, this candidate's going to give us this. And we think we ought to unite, and get it." They don't say, "What's good for the country?" They say, "Well, maybe, this guy will give us this." So, they sell themselves; they sell their birthright for a piece of pottage. And turn themselves, thus, into virtual slaves again.
This is what has happened to us, this kind of thing. We have people who think of themselves as people in power. And we think of ourselves as people who are under the thumb of those in power. We think of ourselves as predatory animals, who are the guys on top, and the victims, the animals on the bottom. And we begin to think like animals. We begin to react like animals. And, out of that, you get some fascists, and things like that.
So, what's happened is this, is, when you discuss issues in campaigns, what do you get? Look at what "the others" are doing? Are they talking about the great crisis, the worst crisis, in modern history, coming down, now? Are they talking about the changes in policy needed? The changes in axioms and definitions and postulates, needed to get this nation through the crisis? No. They're talking a "plan," within the framework of existing policies, and doctrines, to make a slight adjustment in the coefficients. A little more for this bracket of income. A little less for this one. You'll have to sacrifice for this. Fiscal austerity.
The Challenge of Space Exploration
Now, let's look at the economics of this, just to make this clear: There is a Washington Post. And if there's one this worse than the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., it's the Washington Post. Their capacity for telling the truth is at a minimum. Today, they demonstrated how bad they are, by an attack on the President, of all people: You would think he's bad enough, that they would approve him. But they attacked him on his proposal to do something about space exploration. Hmm?
Now, the argument, of course, is the following. Let's look at the history of the space program; this gives you a typical idea, of what the Post thinks they can sell, demonstrates what they think the state of mind of the population of their readers is. And the state of mind of their readers, if it's what the Post estimates, is very, very low. I'll explain to you.
What about the space program? What about Bush's—he says we're going to have a space program. Well, Bush, in his own stumbling way, has done one thing right. It must come as a sweet relief to all of us, that this President, so ill-chosen, could do one thing right. Maybe he might even be able to do two things right! Like walking the dog, or something.
All right, what's the point? We had a space program, which was announced by President Kennedy, who was not exactly a dummy. Now, what did this space program do? This space program unleashed a technological revolution in the United States, such that for every penny we spent on the space program, we got at least a dime back, in terms of benefits. Benefits, which were produced by scientific discoveries and technological progress, generated within the space program, which then spilled over into other parts of the economy, to increase the quality of life and the productive power of our people.
So, the space program was not money thrown into outer space. The space program was money invested, in increasing the productive powers of the American people by a factor of up to 10! For every bit spent on it. The same thing would be true now.
Now, here's where Bush, of course, fails. I've been at the space program, and I've been attacked for it, over a long period of time. What's the point of the space program? We go into outer space, because we're in search of something called "power." We on Earth, are searching for power on Earth, through space exploration! Why? This comes to the hard part I promised you.
In ancient Greece, and before ancient Greece, a concept existed, called "spherics." Now, spherics is rather elementary. If you don't have any definitions, axioms, and postulates, or other such trash hanging around, and you look up to try to understand what's going in the nighttime sky, or by special methods, by looking at the nighttime sky in daylight, then you realize that you're looking out, and you're seeing these objects, these illuminated objects in space—stars and planets. And there's a process of motion going on, in the whole system, and there's motion within the system of motion. Now, you don't know how far these objects are away from Earth. You just know the angular distance between them, as you observe them; and the changes in angular distance. This was called spherics.
And all mathematics, and all mathematical physics, of the early Greeks, was based on the Egyptian conception of spherics, which you can find expressed in the Pyramids of Giza, about 2700 B.C. The Pyramids contain exhibitions of elementary principles of spherics. This was the work of Thales of Ionia. This was the work of the Pythagoreans. This was the basis for the mathematics of people such as Plato.
So therefore, looking up, you find these anomalies. And you could come up with a definition, when you discover certain physical principles by making these kinds of observations. First of all, you say, "How is the universe run?" The universe. We are here in the universe; how is this universe run, from the standpoint of spherics? There are certain principles we call "universal physical principles."
From that beginning in ancient Egypt and Greece, through the Platonic process, the pathway charted by Plato, we came to a more general understanding, of universal physical principles, including microphysics—nuclear physics, and below. So, we discovered these universal physical principles. What are we looking for? We're always going back to this standpoint of spherics, of looking at the universe, in which we're located, and trying to discover what principles are universal, in all parts of the universe.
How do we do that? We do that by astronomy. We do that the way Kepler discovered the principle of gravity, uniquely. We do it by taking the same approach to microphysics. We find a relationship between the microphysical and the astrophysical—these kinds of things: universal physical principles. What happens in space exploration? We are looking out to the universe! To do what? To discover new physical principles. Universal physical principles, which, once discovered, will be applicable to our life on Earth. And that's exactly what the Kennedy space program demonstrated.
If you look out at the challenge of exploring space, you're forcing yourself to see problems and opportunities, which show you principles you otherwise would not discover.
Now, let's take where Bush missed the point; where the space program now misses the point. Mars-Moon exploration: Von Braun earlier, back in the 1950s, said that if we're going to send someone to Mars in the future, we would never send one ship. And he used as his example, the fact that Columbus had three ships, when he crossed the Atlantic. Why? Because you're going into the unknown. And you can never build into an exploration of the unknown, a pre-certainty of what you're going to find. Therefore, when you go to the unknown, you are going into the area of the unexpected. And what is going to happen, if it's important, is going to be unexpected. You're not going to prove something you already know. You're going to find something you didn't know! And you're going to run into an encounter with it. And your life may depend upon your ability to deal with that encounter. So, you don't send one lonely ship out there.
You don't take a model of the shuttle, and send it on a trip to Mars! That would be idiocy! You wouldn't even send a shuttle-type model to the Moon, regularly. We did it once. We did it to demonstrate a point. But there is a larger risk involved. Going to Mars is a tremendous risk. Now, travelling that distance as a human being, over the months it would take over a gravity inertial flight, or a low-powered flight, is also a high risk. You're going out, and subjecting human bodies into conditions which are unknown. You don't know what the effect of this kind of environment is on the human body. You're taking a very long trip, if you're using an inertial flight, or a low-power flight. When you get there, you don't know what you're going to be running into, for human beings.
Therefore, what you do, is you have to carry a logistical capability, for adapting to problems—first beforehand: We need a more powerful form of flight. We need a higher order of power. We need at least nuclear propulsion. You would never send anybody to Mars, that's a human being, with any less capable system, than nuclear propulsion. What is recommended, is thermonuclear fusion propulsion. Which has already been worked on, that problem. Because if you had a 1g rate of acceleration, by propulsion, guess how long it would take you to get to Mars? You go up to mid-point at a certain speed; then you decelerate down into Mars. How about a weekend flight? Or, how about a few days' flight, or a week flight?
So therefore, what you require, then, is a logistical system, extending from Earth, by way of the Moon, into space, to make these kinds of explorations, into the known, into the unexpected! What's the result? What do we discover? We discover new things about the Solar System we didn't know. And these things will reflect our understanding of what is going on on the planet Earth itself.
This will give us new technologies, for example, for developing the Sahara Desert, for managing this planet. So, this is not some kind of a joy-ride. It is not a weekend excursion, to an entertainment park. This is very serious business. And, it's from this sort of thing, that we get the scientific technology, which enables man to increase the productive power of mankind on this planet; to find better ways of managing relatively scarce natural resources, and things of that sort.
So, what Kennedy had in mind, or what he proposed, was not some joy-ride into space. What he proposed was a thrust into the unknown, which would open up to us new knowledge of what goes on in the universe, including what goes on on Earth itself. And what we can do on Earth.
So, just as in the first phase of the Kennedy space program, crash program, so now a space program would function as a science-driver, to give us the new technologies, the new principles, to increase the productive powers of man on Earth.
A Mission for Global Development
Look at what we have in China, for example: We have a country of over 1.3 billion people. It's crowded largely into a coastal region, and they're very poor people, for the most part. Some are fairly rich, but most are very, very poor. The inland regions are poorly developed. Therefore, for the future of a Chinese population, which is growing, you need to build vast infrastructural systems in China: water systems, of the type that are being developed; power systems, especially nuclear power, absolutely indispensable; large-scale mass transit systems, like rail systems and magnetic levitation; new urban centers; the transformation of land, of relatively arid, poor land, into richer land, by these kinds of processes. These things are all necessary for humanity.
But we have limited resources on this planet. To the north of China, in Central Asia and North Asia, you have vast resources under desert and under tundra. But these minerals themselves, which were deposited largely by living processes, billions of years ago—a chalk cliff: how many trillion dead bodies of animals are in a chalk cliff? We find minerals. We find them, how? They're deposited by the bodies of animals, or plants, in the Earth, in the fossil areas of the Earth. We go down there; we dig them out. How do we replace them, if we use them up? These are the kinds of questions that have to be faced, if we're looking at two or three generations ahead.
We're trying to give an orientation to the meaning of life, if we care, not about just going along to get along, in our generation, but we think about the future of humanity. These are also morally important. Because we're all going to die. But, what assures us of immortality? Certainly not Tom DeLay. Certainly not John Ashcroft. What assures us of a sense of immortality, is a demonstration that we, as human beings, do have in practice an immortality, which we express by scientific and other progress: When we transmit cultural knowledge and so forth, and scientific knowledge, from the work of our generation into future generations, we are expressing the immortality of human beings. An immortality which does not exist in animals. The immortality of those ideas, which represent these discoveries.
So, when you look back, today, toward Archimedes, or Eratosthenes, or other great names known to us from science, we are reliving what went on in their minds, to make these original discoveries, on which we continue to depend today. We see that kind of connection of ourselves to those who went before us. And we wish that we would be that kind of people, who had a similar relationship to those who come after us. The idea that our dying is not for nothing. That our dying is a point at which we cease to be living people, but what we have represented lives on, after us, as a benefit and improvement for coming generations. That is our sense of immortality, in our practice in life.
When we go into space, to explore space, to make discoveries, which will improve the condition of life of future generations of humanity, we know that our coming and going, between birth and death, is not a mere existentialist exercise of being thrown on a mud-heap. That life means something. That life is a mission. And for people to sense themselves as human, and to treat others among them as human, they must have some sense of mission in life. You must have a mission in life, a purpose for living! Something that is counterposed to the rate of adolescent and older generations' suicides, which is increasing in the world today.
What will save this planet, what gives you the courage to face whatever you have to face, for humanity, is a sense of mission: That your life is a penny, and that you're spending it wisely. And that expenditure of your penny, means something which honors your ancestors and is a benefit to those who come after you.
This sense is lost in the population today. It's lost, especially with the Baby-Boomer generation. And you have this conflict, between the youth generation, the young people, the 18 to 25 group; and their parents' generation. The parents' generation have no sense of immortality. They seek it in places like Tom DeLay's barroom (or whatever else he has there, in place of the barroom he used to attend). They don't seek it within the meaning and practice of their own lives. They don't see society as having a mission. They think of what they're getting out of life. They're like Hamlets, who was willing to go out and die, and be killed; but he lacked the courage to save his nation, because he had no faith in there being a meaning for his having lived, after he's dead.
And that's the typical problem of politicians today. What you're looking at with this group, of "others," at their very best, they are Hamlets. They are futile existence, with no sense of the future, with no mission, no purpose. And, because they have no sense of mission themselves, when a nation like our own needs a mission—it is not from them, you'll get one!
My job is to give the people of the United States, in particular, a sense of mission, our mission, as a nation in the world. What we have to do, among nations, to lead other nations—by leadership, not by rule; not by domination; not by giving orders. But by being a factor of leadership on this planet, which gets this planet out of this horrible danger before us now.
And those who don't have that, shouldn't be President. Roosevelt had something of that. Lincoln certainly did. Franklin certainly did. All of our best national leaders had a sense of mission, of their life, as a penny spent for the advantage of coming humanity, and for honor of previous generations. That is lacking in our politics today.
And my job, above all else, above what I must do as President: My job is to bring that sense of mission, and that sense of immortality, of each individual back into our politics again.