Berlin Seminar Dialogue No. 1
Here are excerpts from the discussion that followed the morning panel on Jan. 12, 2005, of an EIR-sponsored seminar in Berlin, Germany. The moderator was Michael Liebig.
Michael Liebig: [thanking General Saighal] And you presented the crucial concept of discontinuity. I would propose that before we engage in the general discussion, I would ask Lyn to comment, because a number of very specific points were raised within the last 45 minutes of so. And then open the floor for general discussion.
Discontinuities and Revolutions
Lyndon LaRouche: Fine. Well, simply to concentrate upon what the General just said—it's true, but it's not true. What you have to take into account in history, is the factor of mass insanity. That's how discontinuities occur: They occur in revolutions and outbreaks of mass insanity. That's how discontinuities occur: They occur in revolutions and outbreaks of mass insanity.
The government of the United States today, the present government, is a case of mass insanity. That's where the discontinuity lies.
Yes, you're right about the returning troops—that is a factor. That is a coloration, which betrays something much bigger.
Look, you have a President of the United States, a position which is presumably the leading power in the world: The man is clinically insane! And stupid! Not merely wild—but stupid. You have Cheney, a gum-chewing version of something or other. The man is—he's a thief! He was picked off a campus, he was a wreck; picked off a campus as a high school football star, rescued by his wife, who's a British agent, and picked to go into this track of representing these corporations, and these [types]. Yes, he's a thug. He's a killer. But you can find that on the streets of New York, in terms of the organized crime types. He's no different.
The point is, the government of the United States is clinically insane. Look at the reality: We're bankrupt. We're hopelessly bankrupt. Now, these financial derivatives are not something they can roll over. They have to be cancelled. The whole system's coming down. So, it is an absolute discontinuity. This is what might be called, a classical revolutionary situation, in the United States and the world. That's what I'm dealing with. I'm a revolutionary, of a special kind. This is my meat—I may be a little bit old, but this is my meat, this is what I'm good at. And we're trying to make a revolution in the United States.
Look, this happened before in U.S. history. You had a role by John Quincy Adams, who, when he grew out of his father's and mother's influence, became not only a skillful diplomat, but a bit of a genius. John Quincy Adams in a sense created the United States: It was his work as a diplomat who defined the United States as a continental nation, from the Pacific to the Atlantic and with northern to southern borders. One of his protégés, Abraham Lincoln—at the time that he died, Abraham Lincoln had been his protégé; Abraham Lincoln represented John Quincy Adams in opposing Polk on the war with Mexico. Abraham Lincoln was a revolutionary. He re-enacted the American Revolution, one of the greatest changes in world history, by any individual.
We had others who were of a similar temperament and qualities: Franklin Roosevelt was a revolutionary. He didn't change anything in the Constitution, he upheld the Constitution. His policies were those of his ancestor, Isaac Roosevelt, the founder of the Bank of New York, the collaborator of Alexander Hamilton. And Roosevelt proceeded from an understanding of a Hamiltonian principle of the American System.
Now the key thing we have, as an asset, as I said before, in the United States: The asset we have is the American System of political-economy. It's the only system that works! Now, other countries have at times, for example:
Germany, 1877: Bismarck, the reforms of Germany, the effect of the work of Abraham Lincoln.
Japan, 1877: Reform in Japan, American reform.
Russia: Reform in Russia, by Mendeleyev, coming back from the Philadelphia Centennial [Exposition]. The industrialization of Russia.
France: In the 1870s, 1880s, began to develop in this same industrial mode, which had not occurred earlier, even though the time of Carnot and so forth would see things were moving in that direction.
So, the world has suddenly reached the point where the American System, the influence of Lincoln and the aftermath of Lincoln, had changed the world. Northern Italy had changed. Italy was becoming a nation, and northern Italy became an industrial power. Germany changed, became an industrial power for the first time, under American influence. Japan became a power in the Pacific, under American influence. The same ideas with Sun Yat-sen, on the ideas of a new China. Read Sun Yat-sen's works—the same thing.
So, you come into a time, in which these ideas may prevail, and they prevail in a revolutionary way as they did in these cases.
On the other side, you have an ancient regime, which is impossible, it's insane. The people who support Bush are clinically insane—or, just terribly frightened. You should see these people, they're insane! That's mass insanity! They sit, and they say, they're voting for Bush to protect their prosperity, when they're in a state, which in the recent five years has gone from an agro-industrial-power state to a bankrupt state.
So, they're clinging to insanity.
This is the phenomenon in history. I call it the "fishbowl syndrome," and it's characteristic of all societies. That, the human being is intrinsically revolutionary, by nature—but doesn't often act that way. He's revolutionary in the sense, that animals are limited by their genetic and related conditioning. They can not go outside the framework of this set of axioms, to choose their behavior. They may act violently, they may act otherwise. But they can not change the situation.
Man, with his power to make fundamental discoveries of principle, is able to change the laws of human behavior. So, when you come into a situation where an existing geometry of behavior no longer works, the people who cling to that geometry, will go collectively insane, because no longer does the geometry work. Whereas, this becomes the opportunity for the revolutionary, is that where the idea which should have been adopted as a corrective, now comes into play.
Exactly what we have in the United States—as I'm sure that Dr. Kiracofe may have something to say about it, because we're going through a similar experience—is, in the United States, we have a force of sanity. It's not a force which is united by exact agreement on every detail, but it's almost like an instinctive agreement, that these are the things were good in our history, these are the things that we must introduce now, to replace this mass insanity. And, if the United States does that, now, the test is going to be this question of the Social Security reform.
A Very Short Fuse
The final stage of this system—and it will collapse; it will not be prolonged. They can't prolong it. They may think they're going to prolong it, but they're not going to: It's finished. There's no way this system, in its present form will exist. The holdings of China, and other countries, in the U.S. dollar, are worthless now. And that worthlessness will express itself—violently, very soon, and rapidly.
So, we're coming to a point, that what these guys will go for, what they have in mind—I know their minds—is dictatorship. World dictatorship. What they have in mind, is not fighting forces. What they did to Iraq, is what they intended to do to Iraq. Now, a lot of our military friends said from the beginning, this was a catastrophe, a military catastrophe. But they said, therefore, it shouldn't be done because it was a catastrophe. But, some people who did it, did it because they wanted exactly that catastrophe. The purpose was not to subjugate Iraq. The purpose was not, in a sense, to humiliate it, control it. The purpose was to destroy the entire Middle East!
Imagine the effect—because the next target in line, is Saudi Arabia! Now Gulf oil, what's the cost of Gulf oil, as opposed to petroleum from other parts of the world? This region has an 80-year supply! At present rates. Known supplies. (What does Russia have, in terms of supply? What about the North Sea oil?) This is one of the richest, most long-lasting, cheapest parts of the world! Now what happens if you destroy the whole region? What happens to the price of petroleum? What happens to the economies of the world?
This insane madman—he's insane, but they intend to do what they're doing. And we have before us, in my view, we have a very short fuse, a very short opportunity, in which to move to save civilization. We have people in the United States, enough of them, who could form a government; who could, in fact, be called in to do the job of government. We could deal with the problem. The question is, in my view, are we going to be able to do it? Because, if we fail, if we in the United States do not do what I'm determined we shall do, I guarantee you: a Dark Age for all the entire planet.
You're right about the discontinuity. We're sitting, as of now, in the weeks before us, we're sitting on the edge of a discontinuity. And this discontinuity will be decided—it could have been decided this past week. But, when people stood up in the Congress, and said, "We do not support the certification of Bush in the vote for Ohio," that was a turning-point, in the politics of the United States. Now, the fight will be on two things: The Gonzales issue, the question of Abu Ghraib—that's important. It's not decisive: The Social Security question is decisive. If we lose the Social Security question, if that goes through, then we've lost. And if we've lost, the world's going into Dark Age.
If we win the Social Security issue, then Bush is a lame duck. And the government will now fall back into the hands of the Congress, through a combination of Republicans and Democrats. Under those conditions, we have a change.
So, I say, I'm a revolutionary. You're right: There is a discontinuity. But, there's also a revolutionary opportunity.
LaRouche responded to the remarks and questions of four individuals at the close of the morning's panel:
The first person asked what impact the emergence of a Russia-China-India alliance would have inside the United States, whether it would be healthy or not.
The second individual spoke at length about his view of the strategic situation, noting that in the short term, Bush, who he thinks has gained new legitimacy from the election, faces two crises—finding a way to exit gracefully from Iraq; and solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He also stressed that it is important for Europe to become a regional power, including militarily, and that Turkey not be excluded, because of its importance in encouraging a democratic trend among Muslim countries.
A third speaker expressed disagreement with LaRouche's view that the free-market economy was a threat.
A fourth questioner asked what the role of Africa would be in the context of a Eurasian Land-Bridge development.
The Future for Africa
LaRouche: I'll take the last one first, because it's very easy to deal with as a matter of principle. When I say "Eurasia," I'm not excluding Africa, in the sense that Africa's a characteristic problem. Of course, there are two parts, Northern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
But, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the problem, of course, is genocide. And the problem there is also associated with raw materials, as raw materials are of the biological nature, and also the mineral nature. Therefore, the question of providing justice for Africa, would mean that a global approach to raw materials, would also cover Africa the same way: that Africa would have protection of its role as a raw materials region, and must have the same kind of protection. My view, when I emphasize Eurasia, Eurasia to me is—United States support for Eurasian development is the key to changing the world.
And the problem of Africa, is a big problem, because it goes back to—essentially, the modern European problem with Africa goes back to the time of the Grand Inquisitor of Spain in 1492 and afterward, when Spain introduced the idea that Africans were animals, and therefore could be hunted down and captured to be slaves. This happened in Spain. It happened in Portugal. The British and Dutch picked up the process from there. The British dumped it, because it was less profitable than drug trafficking into China. And this is the problem.
We have, in the case of Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, we have a moral problem, of European civilization which has not recognized the criminality of that decision, to say that one part of humanity is less than human. Spain did the same thing to the Mexicans. It said: Well, they're not totally unhuman, but they're irrational, and therefore, they have to managed as if they were cattle—which is the system of peonage, which we saw in Mexico.
These crimes against the nature of humanity, are the problem. My view is that a Eurasian agreement is the key to establish an international agreement, for dealing with this kind of problem in Africa. And it ties into the question of: How shall Africa have the right to develop, and makes its contribution to the world's raw materials supply, as a sovereign act, under that same kind of protection we would expect for Eurasian nations?
The `Free Market' Is for Monkeys
On the other ones—let's take them in reverse: Don't believe in the free market. I know about the free market. First of all, and what we have to do in this, as in some of the cases that were raised by our friend from France, we get away—when we start to talk about economics, I've talked about things that assume economics, we tend to wander to insanity, because the current ideas about economics in the world, are generally insane.
The world is dominated by the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system. The Anglo-Dutch Liberal system is not new. It is actually a continuation of the Venetian system which ran Europe from about 1000 A.D. until the New Dark Ages in the 14th Century. The Venetian model—it was the Venetian financial oligarchs, in alliance with the Norman chivalry, which ran Europe. What you're looking at today in the Anglo-Dutch model, is a direct continuation, a transplanting of the Venetian model into the Anglo-Dutch area, around the British Empire. It was these people that invented the idea of free trade.
Now the idea of free trade was developed by some really idiotic people, such as Mandeville. And all of the free traders are clinically insane. The one thing they avoid fundamentally, is the question of truth. The first thing is the truth about man: What's the difference between man and an animal? No free trader can tell you. They can't tell you.
Economy is based on the fact, that the individual human mind is capable of discovering universal physical principles, which no animal can do. Economy and profitability and growth are based on the application of this quality of the human mind, by society, to improve its practices in ways that no monkey could do it.
Free market is fine for monkeys! It's not good for human beings. All free-market theory is clinically insane. It denies that. It also denies something which is related to that: It denies the principle of truth. The free market says, "Let all practices compete. And let's see which one works out the best." It takes no responsibility for foreknowledge of the consequences.
In a regulated society, we promote those things which are beneficial to society, and we should do it on the basis of truth. What you're living in Europe today, and the United States today, is, you're living in a society whose culture is that of sophistry! For example, the real ugly thing in Europe, comes out of the immediate post-war period, when Nazism was introduced, again, in the form of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, in which people who were Nazis, but who weren't qualified for Nazi Party membership because they had Jewish birth certificates, such as Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt, went to the United States, where, in Columbia University, they were turned loose; where their brand of fascism, their brand of Nazism, was brought back in the form of the anti-Communist movement of the Congress for Cultural Freedom—saying, "Nazis are the best anti-Communists, therefore, look the other way, when they do this, or this."
It's like the question of the use of the term "terrorism," which came up in the discussion. There is no such thing as "terrorism" as an international movement! The fight against "terrorism" is a fraud! Terrorism is a practice of many different kinds of people. Terrorism is what the United States is doing at Abu Ghraib! So therefore, should we kill the President of the United States, because he's practicing terrorism, by his order, in Abu Ghraib?
Terrorism was practiced in Europe by NATO! Shall we kill NATO? Who did the terrorism in Italy, in the first half of the 1970s? It was NATO!
But, the problem is: We're in a sophist society, in which we no longer say, "Truth is important." I know a lot of truth. I've had the privilege of discovering a lot of truth about what happened in recent history, because of my work, and the nature of my work. And I can tell you, the problem with society today, is people don't believe in truth.
Take the case of The Authoritarian Personality: The basic principle, the basic doctrine of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, is, there is no truth! This was the doctrine of Hannah Arendt! This was the doctrine of Adorno. Adorno was worse: Destroy anything that looks like truth—especially in music. This kind of thing.
So, the problem today, is in economics, is there is no principle of truth being practiced in the teaching and practice of economics, by government. So therefore, we don't apply the idea of scientific truthfulness, we don't have the idea of scientific truthfulness, in the sense of a scientific debate on certain grounds, of what is good. We also don't recognize that the question of freedom is not a question of arbitrary freedom, of arbitrary choice: It's the question of the freedom to discover truth.
For example: the right of dissent. We must have dissent in society—not because we want dissenting, but because we want the freedom of dissent, especially among young people, in order to force us to look at ideas that society's overlooking. So you have to have channels of expression of dissent. Yes, we have to have a society which is consenting to dissent, which provides channels of expression for dissent; which provides a forum in which young people can get up, and insult the government—which is probably good for the government, often. We need dissent.
But, the idea of free market—Mandeville's idea, is that the promotion of vice, promotes the public good. But what we need is, we need regulation. In the United States, we had that experience.
National Sovereignty and the Principle of Truth
On some of these other questions, like our French friend raised. Again, this question of truth: Do we believe in a principle of truth in government? What is the relationship of a principle of truth, to the idea of national sovereignty? What is wrong, with taking a group of Europeans who have different language-cultures, and ramming them together, and saying you now have one nation, or one political unit? What's the difference between that, and having a system of fraternal collaboration among perfectly sovereign nation-states?
My view is that, language as such, is defined, essentially, and the nation-state is defined actually, by the argument which was made by Dante Alighieri, on his correlation between the definition of the function of language, of the national language, and the function of the nation-state, as in his De Monarchia.
The question of truth, is a question of the ability of the human mind to discover truth, rather than being taught how to behave. This means, as I lay it out in these papers, the function of irony in art, and in the use of language, is the means by which a people, finding the experience of irony in the experience of their own language in dealing with an unfamiliar idea with a pre-existing language, are forced, through irony—or Rabelaisian irony, preferably, just to get a good expression of it—to discover a meaning, a concept, an idea, which did not exist before. But, it's an idea that corresponds to reality.
Now, the way we do this—and we see this, especially in the language side of Classical artistic culture—we see that the people use a language, which has its own peculiarities, and they use that language in an ironical way to develop ideas that correspond to their discovery of truth, like scientific truth. And good Classical art does have the quality of scientific truthfulness, as Shelley and so forth could demonstrate.
Therefore, I think the key thing is, we have to realize the importance of promoting the full realization of a Classical conception, a Classical artistic conception, of the sovereign nation-state. Because our objective should be to bring the individual citizen: Let's take the fellow in India, the poor one, of the 700 million poor; or the many poor in China, or similar parts of the world: How are we going to get them to become equal to us? We have to let them, using their language, their experience, to educate them, to bring them up, so that they identify themselves as citizens, not as semi-citizens. We have to have a development of people. And the sovereign nation-state, which takes the language-culture, the national culture, and uses that as a medium of irony, to raise the level of participation of the fellow who has no education, or very little education, raise him up to a level of thinking.
We know this from experience. We've seen this. And therefore, I think we have to say, that the function of Europe should be a federation of respectively sovereign nation-states, or respectively sovereign cultural formations of nation-states, in which the richness of the language-experience is used to develop ideas through the mechanism called irony. As opposed to the so-called Cartesian method, which denies the existence of irony. . . .
The key thing is, the Baghdad issue: Look, the United States went into a war, which is a crime. Regime-change is not a legitimate purpose of government. Sending an army in, because you don't like a regime, to change a regime, is not a legitimate instrument of warfare. The United States went in for regime-change. That's what they went in for—not because there were any weapons of mass destruction. There were none, or none, significant. They want in, because they want to start a war. In which Baghdad was the first target. Syria was a target. All of Southwest Asia is a target. China's a target. North Korea, obviously, is a target. Russia's also a target.
In Russia, you have irregular warfare that is being conducted by American and other forces against Russia, through the North Caucasus. It started with Brzezinski, who launched the attack on the underbelly of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan; which created the forces which are called "terrorist" forces today—drug forces; these forces, armed with drugs, expanded drugs, operating out of a base in Afghanistan, and in the North Caucasus, targetting the south of Russia, the south of the former Soviet Union, is a menace all over Europe.
This process is ongoing, now! And, as long as we tolerate this, we get this situation.
Now, what do you get in Baghdad? Yes, Bremer came in, and destroyed a rational solution for a war which had been already made. By firing the Iraqi Army and firing the Ba'ath Party, he destroyed any possibility of a constructive reconstruction of Iraq. By continuing the policy they conducted with that, in that way, they destroyed the place!
Now, the point is, we should be out of there. The United States should be out of there. But, the problem is, we've created a mess, which is insoluble. The mess is a threat, not only to there. But, as mentioned, the question is: You can't solve the problem of Southwest Asia without settling the Israeli/Palestinian question. It can't be done. I think it could be done, from the United States, with the support of Europe. We could find solutions. We're working on some of these things now. There are possibilities. But, without including Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, and Southwest Asia as a whole, including Egypt, into this combination, there is no possibility of stability in the Middle East. There is no possibility of avoiding an explosion of the whole Arab oil-producing region, and the consequences that means. Yes, it's right.
But, to do that, we have to have some sense of truthfulness, and some sense of culture, and some sense of the value of the nation-state. I think, if we would affirm that in some way, that we could find, that we could rally the people of Iraq into some enterprise, which would be an international, cooperative enterprise to rebuild that nation. And I think that's what we have to do.
Nations Are Not Governments
On the question of [an India-Russia-China alliance and its impact in the United States]. Let's change the focus a bit. There's been much discussion about nations, here, nations identified with governments. I don't identify nations with governments. A nation is a process. Some of the nations here, have gone through a process, of becoming nations. And the nations were created by people—by a people.
Or, the case of India, for example: the case of Tilak, the meeting with Tilak and Gandhi. They had a famous meeting, which gave Gandhi, after Tilak's death, but gave Gandhi a new perspective on how to deal with the people of India, which was realized by Nehru's development program for India. So, India developed a concept from its people, of becoming a nation. Now, the split of Pakistan and India, was horrible.
But the idea of becoming a nation: that we have to think of nations, not as something which is fixed, not as a container, in which people are rattling around. We have to think of nations, as something which should be constantly in the process of becoming. When a nation has a bad government, it becomes—like the case of China. China has gone through many such becomings. And when you identify with China interests, you don't mean the government, as such. You talk about the government, yes, but you talk about it in terms of the interests of the Chinese people. You talk about India, you talk about the interests of the people of India, not the accidents of a particular government.
And the thing in Europe, in particular, in applying this to United States: The United States is not a property of its government, of the incumbent government. The United States is more my property, than Bush's. I'm an American—I don't know what Bush is! I don't even know what his species is, after the drugs he took.
So, the point is, that inside the United States, you have a tremendous amount of goodwill, but you have a problem which you have in other countries. In the past period, since 1977, the lower 80% of family-income brackets have had a catastrophic decline in income; such that, today, the upper 20% of family-income brackets have a greater total income, than the total of the lower 80% of family-income brackets. The result has been, that in a breakdown in the political system, the American citizen, generally, in the lower 80% is not in the system, he's not in political system—he's outside. He goes to the political system, by threatening the politicians or promising to support them if they will give him one thing, or take away one thing. Single-issuism is a result of that process. The citizen is no longer concerned about what kind of a government he has. He's concerned about what he, personally, gets or doesn't get, from that government. So, he's begging, like an underling at the door, like a dog barking at the door of the house. Hmm? The upper 20%, the politics of the upper 20% is largely controlled by the Baby-Boomer syndrome, the outgrowth of the Congress for Cultural Freedom's impact on the internal United States.
But, again, we're all human in the United States, and you can not wipe out, from us, a tradition which we have—which I have, for example, my family background: I have a conscious connection that goes back now over 200 years. Makes me pretty old! But, I have the living memory of members of my family with whom I'm associated going back now over 200 years. So, the culture, the cultural experience of our nation lives in me—as it does in most nations. A cultural experience that goes back centuries actually, culturally.
And what we represent, as the United States, is the idea of our becoming a nation. And the way we respond, given the fact that 80% of our people are largely demoralized, and about much of the upper 20% are pretty corrupt—but I saw something like that, back in the 1920s, when I saw a very corrupt nation I was born into.
But, we've come out of it. And I know that the way we function, is, we have certain images of our historic past—heroic images, of the American Revolution; of the Massachusetts Bay Colony earlier, which was actually the beginning of a republic; our memory of Quincy Adams, partly; especially our memory of Abraham Lincoln; our memory of Franklin Roosevelt: These kinds of things are what identify United States. And anyone who's conscious who cares in the United States, thinks in terms of these points of reference.
We think in terms of our relationship to European culture. Most Americans came from Europe. They came from every part of Europe. They found a land of opportunity (prior to 40 years ago). They became a part—the United States is a repository, chiefly of European culture. It's now getting, also, an Oriental, Eastern Asian culture as well; but it's primarily a European culture. We represent a distillation of European culture. Our instinctive reaction toward Europe, is to say, "It's good." Well, our ancestors came from there—most of our ancestors came from Europe. And so, when we look at Europe, our attitudes are of that type.
So, if you have a government like Bush's which doesn't care, a reactionary fascist government, in fact—that's there, it's true. But, the American people are not like that. The American people, unfortunately, over 80% of them, think like underlings, largely because of what has been done to them, especially since 1971. And that's bad, and it's sick. But, they're good. And they can be reached; they're reachable—except for a few nuts. And any European can reach them. They have a conscience: Just approach them the right way.
So, you don't have a problem with the United States. You have a problem with the government of the United States. And it's a thing we have to deal with.
 Lyndon H.LaRouche, Jr., "Toward a Second Treaty of Westphalia: The Coming Eurasian World," EIR, Dec. 17, 2004; and LaRouche, "The Dialogue of Eurasian Civilizations: Earth's Next Fifty Years," EIR, Jan. 7, 2005.