The Key to History:
Discover a Principle
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Here are Lyndon LaRouche's remarks following Jeffrey Steinberg's presentation during the afternoon panel of an EIR-sponsored seminar in Berlin, Germany on June 27, 2006. See also Mr. LaRouche's keynote address to the seminar.
I would just add one theme, on this thing. What has to be emphasized is something which I referred to earlier, and I'll just pick up and put it into focus here, at this time. Because we have some other interventions that are going to occur today, and Helga has something which is quite relevant to what has just been presented, from a standpoint, not, shall we say, local, but with particular emphasis on the Berlin campaign going on there now.
The problem with history is what you're faced with here. You're looking at a typical case, in which what people think their experience and knowledge is, is one thing, and what they believe happened, is something completely different. The only way you understand history is by beginning to study it, not as a collection of facts, because a collection of facts is simply sophistry. You present the facts; everybody glues the facts together with different cement in a different organization, and comes to a different conclusion. The question—to avoid sophistry—is, not what are the facts? Because a dog, by sniffing at rear-ends knows what the facts are, but he doesn't become anything more than a dog by doing so! Human beings have a similar accomplishment when they try to imitate a dog.
The question is principle. You know, the great discovery, as an example of principle, the great discovery in modern history, modern science, was: You had a case of Brahe, Tycho Brahe, who demonstrated the importance of collecting facts about astronomy ... but he came up with the wrong conclusion, because he didn't know what the principle was. Then, by working on the work of Brahe, and going further as an astronomer, Johannes Kepler, a more refined investigator, reorganized the entire approach, to discover what is the principle that caused the phenomenon. Now, idiots think that what he discovered was the elliptical character of the orbits, and that's what the idiots believe. But an ellipse is simply a thing you can draw on a blackboard. You can take it, with a couple of pins and string, and you can draw it.
Well, that's not what moves the planets. The elliptical orbit is a product of a principle of action. In other words, the action is not determined by an ellipse, the ellipse is a product of the principle of action. What is the principle of action that forms this elliptical orbit, which is not a regular orbit? There's no way you could simulate it as a regular orbit with pins and string. It can not be done. What is the action of principle in the universe? A principle as big as the universe, which produces an actually infinitesimal rate of change at every point of motion in the orbit? A principle! A universal principle, that defines a universe which is finite—hmm? A finite universe! Which is self-bounded, not externally bounded, but self-bounded.
That's the difference. That's what we mean by a principle.
Now, all scientific method, and particularly in European history since the time of the study of Sphaerics by the Pythagoreans, and people like Thales and Plato, has always been the same. Discover a principle.
The Orbit of European History
Now, we have a history. Let's look at this orbit of European history, and look at the events we've just been discussing, in the orbit of European history. What is the complete orbit of human history to date? The orbit starts with the emergence of Classical Greece, under Egyptian influence, about 700 B.C. Nobody knows anything, really, about real history before that time. We know a lot of facts; we can determine from astronomical studies certain other facts. But the principles of human behavior, known factually, determined as principles factually—we only begin to understand that about 700 B.C. on, in the emergence under Egyptian influence of the Greeks, who were pretty crude and stupid people then; in Ionia and in southern Italy, Magna Graecia, in Athens.
From that time on, what is the motion of history, up to the present time? Well, Greece was destroyed. How was it destroyed? It was destroyed by the Congress for Cultural Freedom. It was destroyed by the Frankfurt School of existentialism—or, its predecessors, called sophistry. It was destroyed by the Cult of Delphi, the Apollo Cult, as exposed by Aeschylos in his Prometheus trilogy. They went to the people and they did the same thing that was done to people in Europe and the United States, today. They went to them and they said, "sophistry."
They started with the little kiddies. And they tried to get rid of [Franklin] Roosevelt, by destroying the minds of the members of the generation born between 1945 and about 1957, by destroying their minds and their morals. How? By working on them, specifically on the layer, which by economic and social circumstances would be going into universities in the 1960s, and would be the 68ers! And the 68ers, after this conditioning—the destruction of art, the destruction of Classical music, the destruction of science, the destruction of morals—was manifest by the 68ers, who said: "Get rid of the workers! We don't like blue-collar people! Get rid of the farmers. We don't like science! Get rid of nuclear energy. Get rid of science! Get rid of Classical art."
And others who didn't agree with that, but because they were the same generation, said, "Well, we have to respect the opinion of our peers." The same thing that happened in Athens, in the 50 years preceding the Peloponnesian War!
Now, what did we get as a result of that? We got the Roman Empire later! The Roman Empire contributed absolutely nothing to European culture—except syphilis and similar kinds of things. It was succeeded by the Byzantine Empire, which was the result of an abortion; it was a lousy birth.
You had the attempt to establish civilization again, by various forces, repeatedly, repeatedly. European culture didn't die. The legacy of Greece didn't die. It kept surging forth as a minority force, again and again, in unexpected places in history. The Christian Church was almost destroyed by Constantine, who said, "You could become legalized, if you let me appoint the bishops." In other words, he declared himself Pope.
So, you had the emergence of the Augustinian movement, as a reaction against this corruption under Constantine. And the Augustinian movement was chased. It went into Spain; Isidore of Seville. It went into, where? of all places, Ireland. Can you imagine a Christian in Ireland? It's a very difficult thing to conceive of. They're always killing each other, and beating each other up all the time—that's not a good, Christian civilization. But, from Ionia and so forth, they did another miraculous thing: They Christianized Saxons! This is a very difficult thing—but they succeeded! Not only that, but they helped to Christianize—Frenchmen: Now, that's a miracle! When you see a Frenchman, today, you realize what a miracle that is! You can hardly find a Christian in the bishops of the Christian Church in France. They usually are the Napoleonic Church or the Church of Louis XIV, some foolish thing like that.
But then, you had this emergence in France around Charlemagne, through the Augustinian influence, of this great effort to civilize humanity. And Charlemagne reached out—not only tried to build a system in Europe, which remained until approximately about the 800s, but reached out to the Baghdad Caliphate, and reached out to bring the Jews into a role in both Islamic society and in Augustinian Christian society. And after his death, this was crushed, step by step.
We had a new system. What was the new system? Well, whereas Charlemagne had worked with the Baghdad Caliphate, which was the leading area of culture and science of that time, working with Jews between the two, to build an ecumenical peace among Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as a new order of peace. Again, the Venetians came in, and took power, took power from the Byzantine Empire which had collapsed of its own rottenness. And they allied with a bunch of Danes and so forth, who were really terrible people! These were people who had fled Saxony, and hated everybody, and they were basically thieves. And they went around on ships of various kinds, and went out killing people, robbing, stealing. And somebody decided to make them an organized-crime organization, rather than this independent criminal organization, and they organized them and they became known as the Normans: the Norman chivalry.
The Norman chivalry was employed by the Venetian whores, to conduct religious warfare: various Crusades. Every Crusade was a crime against humanity! The Crusades were the prototype for fascism! The prototype for what is happening today. Integralism in so-called Christian Church and other things is a manifestation of fascism, the same bestiality and degeneracy, in the name of Christianity! If you want to commit a crime, give it the name of God. God may not like it, but you do it anyway.
So, out of this, then we had a collapse of this crazy civilization, a collapse based on the ideas of banking and finance which are popular in Europe today. The monetarist system. And Europe has never freed itself from the monetarist system. There have been some efforts to do so, but never, in net effect today, it has never been freed.
So then, you get another phase: You get religious warfare coming out of the Renaissance, after the Renaissance. In 1648, that's defeated, under the influence of Mazarin, and with the continued effort of Jean-Baptiste Colbert. That's destroyed, by Louis XIV, with his crazy Fronde friends, who get him into quarrels with the Dutch, and drown France in perpetual religious warfare.
And this system of religious warfare leads into 1763, when the British East India Company, as the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system establishes imperial power, taking over North America (that is, Canada), and taking over India and other things.
So, this corruption has never ended, except that the United States has been created. And what do they do? They try to corrupt that and destroy that.
The Principle of Creativity
So what you're seeing here, is a principle involved, as I said earlier this morning: The principle involved, is, mankind is inherently good, naturally good. But if mankind denies the goodness within it, then it becomes bad, becomes evil. And denying the sacredness of mankind and the distinction of mankind from the beast, which is explicitly creativity, creativity of the type that Plato defended—and Aristotle tried to destroy, and Euclid tried to destroy; and the Romans tried to destroy! The idea of keeping a thing where you have an elite, an oligarchy in control, like the financier-oligarchy; and they use the doctrine that "people are bad." They use the doctrine of "original sin," that, "People are bad; therefore they have to have people to control them"—called dictators, or kings, or emperors, especially emperors of that type. And that is evil!
When the great imperial authority comes on, to try to control people, to prevent people, who are inherently good at birth, to prevent them from realizing the humanity which is in them, and imposing obedience upon them!—instead of a voluntary impulse to do good. Every child is born with a voluntary impulse to be good. Well, I don't know—it probably happens before they're born. Actually, because we know, when you're a six-month-old preemie, you survive these days, medically. You realize that the little thing in the womb is hearing all the gossip and yelling and so forth, the parents are making around them. And so you have to wonder about what the bad behavior of the parents, and the hearing of the child sitting in the womb, has on the emotional life of the child, even before it's born! I mean, pretty obviously, a six-month preemie is a fully functional personality, a human personality. It's been proven. Six-month preemies who live, all turn out to be just about as good as those who are born after full term at nine months. That means that this little creature in there is wise to you guys!
So, this creature is good. It's born good. It is born innocent, and good. And we allow society to corrupt it, and that's what evil is.
And the essential corruption is to create a society in which you suppress the creativity, in the sense of a search for truth. And the greatest crime, is to lie, because you want to keep on good terms with a circle of friends. Or you want to keep on good terms with a lawyer, or, on good terms with some authority. Or you want to apply for a job; or you want to be accepted in a certain circle. You want a professorship at a certain university. You lie! You commit a crime against yourself and against humanity! You lie! You don't tell the truth, you say "it's for a good cause," but you're lying. And there's your corruption.
And that's what happens, when you say, "I am going to be obedient, I'm going to submit." Then you decide to be successful. You have to be one of the beaters, rather than the beaten. And when you try to be "successful" in that way, which is called sophistry, you become a bastard—which no honest parent would want to acknowledge.
And that's what the lesson is. That's where these fascists and similar things come from. Where evil comes from: It's denial of the difference between man and a beast. Man has a creative potential which no beast manifests. But I know—and Jonathan [Tennenbaum] has also discovered painfully, from his efforts in this direction—I know, that what most people think they know today about science: They know nothing about science. They know how to recite. They know how to perform, like a trained seal, but they don't know what thinking is.
They don't recognize what Kepler recognized: That there are principles in the universe, universal principles, which are as extensive as the universe, and that only mankind is capable of knowing those principles.
And therefore, just in the same way, violation of those principles has penalties. The history of mankind is, as far as we know it, for nearly 3,000 years, is, mankind had a potential but somehow lost it, by corruption. Corruption typified by sophistry. Typified by the typical way people behave in Germany, as in the United States, today! You got a stinking collection of sophists! It's hard to find an honest man on any street, or in any precinct in the United States or Germany—not to even speak about France!
This is the problem. The problem is essentially corruption. And the solution is, to do what? Is to affirm goodness. To affirm goodness is to worry about the next generation. It's not only about our generation. Think about our grandchildren, and think about their grandchildren: And live our lives, now, today, to bring about a future for our grandchildren, and for their grandchildren. And bring about a future which is based on the discovery of principles.
For today: What's the great principle? We need two things, most of all, in terms of science: We must have an immediate explosion—not of nuclear bombs, but of nuclear power plants. Without that, we're not going to be able to deal with the water problems of the planet. We're not going to deal with the pollution of the planet, none of these things.
If we don't develop thermonuclear fusion power as a general source, within a quarter-century, the raw materials crisis which we're facing as you have a population of over 6 billion people, is going to struggle to find the use of the natural resources needed to bring their standard of living, up to what ours is, at the best, in Europe and the United States today! They have a right to that! And we can't give them that, because the raw materials of a high quality, relative to our needs today, are being used up! They're finite resources which exist within the Biosphere. And they're being used up.
We have to be able to replace these chemical resources! We can, with thermonuclear fusion technology. We must, therefore, develop that technique, and we must do it in the next quarter-century, because time is running out.
If we don't have a mass use of nuclear power today, we won't have fresh water for people! Drinkable fresh water. We're running out of fresh-water resources, we're using them up. We can generate it.
So, when someone says you've got to show respect for a Greenie, you say, "Why?" If they are denying people the nuclear power development for the human race, denying the development of thermonuclear fusion power, they're condemning people to death. They're not good people. They don't have democratic rights. People have their liberties.
This is the kind of issue, the sense that there are principles in nature, as they affect the human being, as they affect human society as we know it for the past 3,000 years, approximately. There are certain principles in history. And what we have to do when we see a phenomenon, like the type just being described now, this phenomenon of fascism, modern fascism and where it comes from—there's a principle involved here! It's not a question of who is connected to whom, who whispered in whose ear. It's a principle running through the current of history. And therefore, we have to do something now, which has not been done in schools or universities for a long time.
I know. I was at a university once; a couple times, actually. And the education was essentially incompetent! Immoral! Degraded! And I hated it. Because it was immoral, degraded, and false. And we have to give people a correct understanding of the processes of history, in terms of principles, extending back through at least all of European civilization, extending back for at least 3,000 years.