LAROUCHE OCT. 31 WEBCAST FROM BERLIN
World Crisis on the EveLyndon LaRouche addressed a LaRouche Political Action Commitee-sponsored webcast in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 31, 2006. The event was videoconferenced to an audience in Washington, D.C., and was watched by "satellite" audiences around the world, including 220 people at universities in Colombia alone. The moderators in Berlin were LaRouche Youth Movement leader Jessica Tremblay and Mr. LaRouche's science advisor, Jonathan Tennenbaum; the moderator in Washington was Mr. LaRouche's U.S. national spokeswoman, Debra Freeman. We publish here the full transcript. This is Lyndon LaRouche's opening presentation.
of the U.S. General Election
Jessica Tremblay: Today is Oct. 31, 2006, and I think that this day will go down in history as being a pivotal point in the decision of the direction of mankind, really for the future of the entire mankind.
My name is Jessica Tremblay and I have the great honor of introducing to you the greatest living American, Lyndon LaRouche, Jr., and the greatest economist of our day. I'd like to welcome all guests gathered here in Berlin, this full room, and I'd also like to welcome all guests who are sitting in Washington. I know that there are hundreds of gatherings throughout the world, today, and all of us are very anxiously awaiting the very wise words of Mr. Lyndon LaRouche. And the reason is, the current financial system is disintegrating. Therefore, LaRouche is rallying those forces who are going to really represent and fight for the General Welfare, be they in government, be they in the population. And I would like to say, specifically, also, especially thousands of youth throughout the world, who are those who are looking to live the next fifty years, and to give something great to posterity.
So without any further words, I'd really like to very much welcome Mr. LaRouche, and I think we'll have a lot of fun today.
Lyndon LaRouche: Thank you very much.
You know the worst and best moments in history come to most people, of the time, as a surprise. And that is going to be the case with what's happening in the world now. We are now at the end of an entire period of history. During the middle of September, in the U.S. and other parts of the world affected directly by the U.S., there was the beginning of a new downturn in the world economy. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that there is an election campaign, so-called midterm election, now occurring inside the United States. The party in power is losing power, that is, losing power in terms of support from the people. It is preparing to commit great electoral fraud in the United States, to try to keep some of that power. It is prepared to go to war, to try to preempt the situation, the political situation, to retain power. But it also has long-term intentions to establish world dictatorship, called globalization, which would mean a disaster for all humanity.
Now, these events are coming rapidly. There are some good things happening in the world, as well as these bad things: but they're coming together, as often, at the same time. As in war: A terrible war breaks out, and people are prepared for war, but they don't know what war is. Then suddenly, they get a taste of it, and it wasn't what they expected. And sometimes the war goes against the offender, and that's a good thing. That also comes suddenly, as surprising developments and mobilization of people and institutions, mobilizes people to resist evil. The same is true of great economic depressions. Everybody is surprised by a great economic depression, even those who predicted it. Because it doesn't come exactly as they thought it would, when it comes.
So that, in terms of governments around the world today, as I know of them and know what they're saying, most governments of the world, including the governments we've referred to principally today here, in Eurasia, will be taken by surprise: In China, in Japan, in India, in Russia, they do not yet have any sense, of what is about to happen. They have a sense of a crisis occurring, but they have dreams, they have beliefs that they believe they can control their situation by certain beliefs they're operating on now; and they won't be able to. Demands will be made upon them, which will catch them by surprise.
The Basis for Optimism
I'm not particularly surprised. I've got a pretty good idea of what's going to happen. And I'm also more optimistic, because I know that the good thing about this crisis—and there are many bad things, as well—the good thing is that what most people believe is going to be discredited. What most believed yesterday, they're going to find tomorrow, they no longer believe. It is going to seem to them, that everything they believed, is suddenly become untrue.
They believe they know how to manage an economy. Governments believe they can cope with the economy. They're trying to postpone the crash, which is already coming on. They can't postpone it. They may delay it for a short period of time, by another hyperinflationary inflection. Like in the United States: The United States' economy is disintegrating! It's not collapsing, it's disintegrating. The loss of the automobile industry, in the course of the last year, continued this year; the United States no longer has an automobile industry. It has some automobile plants in the United States, but they're no longer a U.S. automobile industry. They're foreign owned, and foreign controlled. The same thing is true of steel production in many parts of the world: All the essentials, are no longer controlled by nation-states and the people of nation-states.
And so, people have illusions: "Everything will be all right—our government will handle it." The government of France; the government of Italy is not a government. It's death, waiting to be buried. And this is characteristic of many parts of the world.
So that's what's coming upon us. Now, the turn came, as I indicated earlier, in the middle of September, with the onrushing, longstanding decline in the world economy, which has been in the process of decline since about 1971-72, actually. Some people were becoming rich, but at the expense of other people. Economies were collapsing. Look at the United States, every county by county around the United States. In virtually all counties where there used to be production, there is no longer production. People are no longer living by a high degree of skill. They're living as waitresses or waiters, or other kinds of things—so-called "service employment," largely make-work, which is not even necessary. You don't cook a hamburger at home, you go out to a hamburger stand. You don't need that.
So the economy has been disintegrating. But the upper 20%, particularly the upper 20% which is now in positions of power—people generally between 50 years and 65 years of age—that generation lives largely in an illusion. They think their world has come. They think this is a post-industrial society—they think that's good. They think globalization is good! Globalization is a disease that will destroy the entire planet, and kill off most levels of population today. It's an empire! It's imperialism! It's a return to a caricature of what happened in Europe in the Middle Ages.
And all these things are happening. And people are not prepared for the shock that suddenly is going to change. In the United States, the characteristic, as I said, is the election campaign. The attempt to postpone the appearance of reality, for just a few more weeks, hoping—on the part of the Bush Administration—hoping that they can deceive people, even though they're losing the election, losing popularity. And hoping they can hold onto power for one more round.
The United States Is Destroying Itself
And many people believe, for example, that the evil is coming from the United States. But it really isn't. The United States is not the source of this problem. The source of this problem is right here in Europe. It's in the Anglo-Dutch Liberal establishment of Europe. And what we have in the United States is an extension of that—and we can discuss that—but an extension of that. And what the United States is doing is not trying to conquer the world. What the United States is doing, is destroying the United States. To destroy a powerful nation, how do you do it? You induce that nation to discredit itself. You corrupt it. You lead it to discredit itself. It loses the confidence of its own people. It loses confidence abroad. It becomes desperate in trying to keep power, it makes mistakes, as the United States has.
Look for example, at Southwest Asia. Look at this war in Afghanistan. Look at this war in Iraq. Look at the spread of this same kind of warfare into other areas, the aim at Iran! The aim to break up Turkey—which is also on the agenda, as well as all of Southwest Asia. The intention to break up Pakistan. The intention to break up India. The intention to disrupt China. The intention to start a conflict with Russia, as in Transcaucasia.
The United States is key in doing these things. It's not the sole author of this mess, but it's leading in doing it. What is the United States doing? The United States which, six years ago, was still admired by many in Europe and elsewhere, is no longer admired. The Bush-Cheney Administration has destroyed the influence of the United States, its credibility throughout the world! The United States has destroyed whole sections of the world, and is spreading that to other parts of the world. What is happening in the process, as leading military figures in the United States, leading intelligence figures, leading political figures, who understand these things, see the United States under Bush and Cheney destroying itself!
Globalization Means Empire
Then, who benefits from the destruction of the United States? Well, who put this Bush-Cheney Administration into power? Ask the gentlemen in London, how this was done. Because the goal is a name you know! You've heard! It's the name for a poison, but you don't think of it as a poison. You think of it as the inevitable. The word is "globalization is inevitable! You can not go back from globalization to the nation-state! It's inevitable."
But globalization is empire. Globalization is the lowering of the standard of living throughout the world. You take a plan in Germany, as in Berlin! Look at Berlin since 1992: Did Berlin benefit from the breakup of the D.D.R.? In a sense. More freedom, but freedom to do what? Freedom not to work. Freedom not to be able to support the city, because the industry is taken away.
Where'd the industry go? Sometimes it just disappeared. Sometimes the jobs were shipped to parts of the world where people are poor, where they have no infrastructure, where they have no health-care. They work cheaper, because their standard of living is much poorer.
So what is happening, is, with the destruction of Germany, the destruction of the German economy, the Berlin economy in particular—under orders from London and France, the orders from Margaret Thatcher and Mitterrand, that Germany must destroy itself as a price for unification: The world becomes poorer. As the United States destroys itself, its economy, the world becomes poorer.
Work is shipped to poorer and poorer sections of the world. Jobs were exported to Mexico, but Mexico's too high-priced; they shipped the jobs to Central America. The same thing is happening throughout the world. Employment in production is being shipped from areas of high degrees of skill and high degrees of conditions of life for the population, to poorer and poorer parts of the world: This is called "globalization."
It's the elimination of the nation-state, the elimination of the protection, the standard of living, the health-care, the educational systems. All these things are being destroyed. You have—what?—10% of the labor force of Germany has no hope, no future. Germany is being destroyed. Italy is being destroyed. Some jobs are going to China.
What If the Dollar Collapses?
All right, but let's look at this thing, this American empire myth: What happens if the United States collapses? Let's suppose that a collapse occurs as a 20%, 30% collapse in the valuation of the dollar. Does that mean that other parts of the world suddenly become better? Because they take over from the United States? No.
If the United States goes under, the rest of the world goes under, immediately and automatically. Why?
In 1971, in August of 1971, the administration of that time, the Nixon Administration, through an individual called George P. Shultz—the man who later put the dictator Pinochet into power in Chile, together with Henry Kissinger and Felix Rohatyn—floated the dollar! That is, up to that time, the U.S. dollar had been a regulated currency, within a fixed-parity system among currencies internationally. The dollar was still, essentially, as good as gold. It was the dollar which was the only world currency at the end of World War II. The power of the dollar, the stability of the dollar, through things like the Marshall Plan, and similar arrangements, and the fixed-exchange-rate system, enabled a recovery of Western Europe, enabled a recovery in other parts of the world, through things like the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau in Germany; as vehicles for mobilizing credit to reconstruct the economy of war-torn Germany, to reconstruct the economy of France, to build up the economy of Italy, which continued into the late 1960s.
Now, in 1971, the dollar is turned into toilet paper, by an act of an administration. It is backed up in 1972, by a meeting of the International Monetary Fund. Again, George Shultz was there: They had a floating-exchange-rate system—what backed up the dollar? Well, the dollar was no longer a U.S. dollar. It was an IMF dollar: a U.S. dollar denominated in IMF conditions. With nothing underneath it—just good faith and trust that everything would be all right.
Now, everything in the world today, is related to this dollar. China has vast claims denominated in dollars. All parts of the world have vast claims denominated in dollars, assets denominated in dollars. What happens if the dollar collapses by 30%?
Then China collapses. Then India collapses. Because not only is the dollar worth less, in their so-called asset list, but the collapse of the U.S. market, and the chain-reaction collapse of the U.S. market, its effects on other parts of the world, mean a collapse of the economy of India, China, and so forth. And also Europe. So, a collapse of the U.S. dollar is a disaster for every part of the world.
And people don't understand that. There are a few people in the United States who understand that—I think Paul Volcker, the former head of the Federal Reserve System, I think he probably understands that; I know a number of other leading people in the United States understand: You can not devalue the dollar. If you devalue the dollar, you bring down the whole house of cards of the world system. Because world trade is denominated and calculated in dollars. The largest portions of the claims, the financial claims of the world, are denominated in dollars.
If the dollar goes down, everything goes down. Therefore, you have to worry about what happens to the United States. Because only if the United States takes action, with the consent and cooperation of other nations, to make the dollar a fixed value of security, thus maintaining the credit system upon which the entire world depends at this time, only under those conditions can you avoid something happening to the world as a whole, which is comparable to what happened to Europe in the Fourteenth Century, when the Lombard banking system collapsed, and Europe as a whole fell into a prolonged New Dark Age. The collapse of the dollar today, in the world market, would cause a collapse of the planet into a new dark age.
And therefore, this is typical of what happens on the day of crisis: Suddenly, you're faced with a point, a collapse of the dollar is about to occur. You say, "Well, the dollar's going to collapse, the rest of us will get by, China will do well, India will do well, Europe will find a way to manage, Russia will do all right..." No. No: The world will go into chaos. As one of those things that happened in a time of crisis, when people are taken by surprise, and things they kept telling themselves were true, are shown suddenly not to be true. And the survivors are those who wise up quickly, and recognize that what they believed was a fraud, was a lie.
A Culture of Sophistry
Because people live lies. This is also a sophist culture. The post-war world has become largely a sophist culture. Europe, the United States, in particular. We are sophists in the same kind of sophistry that led Pericles' Athens to destroy itself in the Peloponnesian War. That kind of sophistry: Words no longer have meaning. Truth no longer exists. Sophistry! "But, I don't know—you say it's true! But popular opinion says no. You say this is good, but popular opinion says no. Popular opinion says this is good, but you say no." What's your authority? "Popular opinion." Or what you perceive to be popular opinion, or some group's opinion. But a belief in something which is not proven, which is not true.
And that's the way civilizations are destroyed, especially European civilizations, ever since the fall of Athens under Pericles: "Golden Age of Athens"! The "golden age" proved to be something flushing, and Athens went down the toilet. "Golden Age"—this is the way this cuts.
How To Defend the Dollar
Now, let's look at the other side. That's the bad side. Not only are we in a period of war, we're on the edge of a threatened dark age, a collapse of the dollar, a collapse of the world. All of these things are now in process.
Well, I said, we have to defend the dollar. Let me explain that, again, as I have recently in some questions on this: First of all, the world is dominated—especially, the world denominated in dollars, it's denominated in a kind of pseudo-currency called financial derivatives, such as hedge funds. Now, what are hedge funds, what are financial derivatives? They represent gambling debts. There is no product in hedge funds. There is no product in financial derivatives. There's nothing physically worthwhile in them. What this is, a bet—it's a gambling bet! And then it becomes gambling bets on gambling bets, where hedge funds compete in gambling against each other. The world has become one giant gambling casino, ever since 1987, since Volcker left office at the Federal Reserve System and Alan Greenspan came in—and legalized what should have been outlawed as criminal practice, called financial derivatives! And the world is now run and controlled by financial derivatives. And this is a bubble, which is about to collapse. Hmm?
So, what do we have to do? The first thing we have to do, is get rid of this paper: Cancel all hedge funds, all financial derivatives. Now, you'll get a big scream from some people when you say that, but you have to do it. You'll do it one way or the other: You will either do it in an orderly fashion, by actions of government and agreements among governments. Or, it will happen to you anyway! And if it happens to you anyway, it's going to come like a collision, not a decision by governments. Because, we could never pay, the world could never pay, to support the claims denominated in hedge funds, in financial derivatives generally. It couldn't be done. The debt is so much bigger than the entire annual product of the world, and particularly at today's interest rates, you could never pay it.
So therefore, as long as you cling to financial derivatives and hedge funds, you're doomed. If your country supports them, your country's doomed. And it will find a new government, somewhere—maybe one that solves the problem, but it will be a new government, whether it solves the problem or not. That is, the crisis will occur.
Therefore, the first thing we have to do, is we have to put the world into bankruptcy reorganization. We have to agree, that the dollar must become, once again, a fixed-exchange unit. Why? Because it's worth that? No—because we're going to make it worth that. We're going to shift the world economy by putting it through bankruptcy reorganization, like any ordinary, orderly bankruptcy reorganization: We're going to put the world financial system into bankruptcy reorganization. We're going to convert short-term claims, if they're viable, into long-term claims. We're going to operate on a low interest rate, as we did in the 1930s, when the recovery was started in the United States. We're going to now re-create a banking system, because we have to save the banking system. We can't save many of the bankers, who are insane; but we can save the banking system. Because we need the banking system: The banking system is the method by which you handle deposits of people, by which you circulate credit, by which you build up long-term credit for investments, that sort of thing.
So the governments will have to intervene, to re-create, in bankruptcy reorganization, a set of banks, often the same banks that exist now, to go back and do business in a sane way, as opposed to the insane way we've been functioning recently. Because, we need the banks, we need them to support the investments that are being made in local industry, and so forth, and in personal accounts of citizens and so forth. And in local communities.
So, now we have to have a solid system of credit, based on long-term credit, on the elimination of claims, denominated in financial derivatives or similar kinds of things. Now we find that the world economy, particularly in Europe, as in Germany for example, or in France—but take the case of Germany, here: The problem is, that there's not enough production or productive employment for Germany to be able to pay its taxes in order to have a stable country, and to have growth. So the problem is a shortage of credit, because you have people who still have skills, and if they could be employed back at their professions, if businesses could be started up which were useful, especially in industries, like the industrialization of Berlin, then you could begin to have, very quickly, a recovery of the economy, with sufficient credit and reorganization of finances. This is true in all parts of the world, more or less. Now therefore, that means we need a new supply of credit, long-term credit, for that purpose.
A Mission To Develop Eurasia
This all fits into a global picture: We have two parts of Eurasia. On the one side, you have European civilization, as it grew up in Eurasia since the time of ancient Greece, the time of Solon of Athens for example. That's European civilization. This has undergone, with all its problems in between, betwixt and before, with all kinds of developments; European civilization is a very solid institution. It may not be solid in the way it acts sometimes, but it's a very good idea. As a matter of fact, it's the most successful idea for the development and improvement of the conditions of life of populations. The nation-state as developed in Europe, is a form of institution which, when properly developed, is the most efficient institution we know for promoting the improvements of the welfare of humanity. That's the case today.
So therefore, on the other hand, we have Asian populations. And Asian populations, until recently, until a modernization development occurred, have been essentially treating the mass of humanity as cattle. Yes, some people are wealthy; some people have an impressive culture; some people have this, and so forth—but the masses of people, 80 to 90%, are impoverished and living almost as beasts. With the life expectancies of beasts, the standard of living of beasts, enslaved. With no real development of the mind of the individual, the thing which in the best instances in Europe and the United States, we had.
So therefore, the problem is, we now have come to the point, on this account alone, that we must think about the world: We have a growing population of Asia. A growth area of Asia. We have to think about re-cranking up European civilization, with a mission-orientation for the development of Eurasia as a whole over the coming two generations. Which means Europe must crank up, as a source again, of scientific and industrial output, in the form of long-term credit, long-term investment, in exchange with Asia, to build up countries, like the 70% or so of the poor of India, of the poor of China, of the poor of other countries, where these poor have no future to speak of.
And we have to have a mission, of building up a just world, based upon cooperation among nation-states, with the Westphalian principle, that we must think, in all policies, we must think as the authors of Westphalia did: We must think about the other person, rather than our own demands, first. What are we doing for the other? What are we, as a nation, as a people, doing for the other people, the other nation? And to build bonds of cooperation, long-term cooperation among peoples and nations on that basis.
So we have to organize, in coming out of this depression, which is now hitting us, we have to organize on the basis of a long-term, 50-year approximately, perspective for developing the Eurasian continent.
Change the Relationship of Man to Nature
Now there's another aspect to this, which I referred to the last time I had a Berlin assembly here. And that is, we've come to the point where there's a fundamental change in the relationship of man to nature. The growth of population, and the increase of technology, improvement of technology, which is necessary for that growth of population, has created a situation where we are using up prime quality raw materials, more rapidly than the planet can regenerate them.
Now, we have entered also, a period, the period of fission and fusion processes, at which we can actually not only regenerate high-quality raw materials, that is, help the Biosphere recover from the damage of our consumption; we're also entering a period where we're going to create new conditions, and new kinds of materials on this planet which never existed before. Because we're going to go into the transuranic period of development of the planet, where we are developing new kinds of materials, with new purposes, new compounds, new things, we've never done before. We're going to have to, to meet the demands of the population, say, of China, over 1.3 billion; the population of India, over 1 billion people—70% poor! How are we going to produce enough from this planet to meet the demands, for power, for materials, for development and production of food, how are we going to do this, so that we provide the people, the children of the people now existing, in Asia, to provide them the opportunity of a standard of living which enables them to survive, and improve?
Therefore, we have entered a period, in which we no longer think about taking over and exploiting raw materials. We think of taking over and developing the planet's equivalent of raw materials, today. Which means an emphasis upon largely thermonuclear fusion and related technologies.
Return to Nuclear Energy
So the next 50 years will have to be that kind of transition. It means, now, a return to nuclear energy. For example, let's take the water crisis: We have on this planet, a freshwater crisis. This is particularly true in India. Look for example, at Southwest Asia: The essential crisis, apart from all the political problems, in Southwest Asia, is a lack of water, lack of potable water! Water for crop growth, water for drinking! The wars, like Israel's war with Syria, was over water! Israel had an expanding population; it had to steal the water from Syria; and grabbed the water from everybody around there, to meet their requirements. A water crisis. This is something we knew at the beginning of the last century. Before World War II began—we knew that you could have no stability in the Middle East without development of freshwater supplies. Without the change of climate, by the application of power and water management, to create an environment which would support a larger population, per capita, throughout that area.
We have, in India now, and other places, populations are living on what's called fossil water or semi-fossil water resources. You have water that's been stuck in the Earth, down in a hole someplace, for over the past 2 million years of glaciation. The melting glaciers and so forth, put water, deposited like some kind of metal, down there, deep under the soil. And people are now, as in Australia, they're drawing water up, that's fossil water. Or, they're drawing water, as in the United States, the Ogalalla Reservoir, withdrawing fresh water from reservoirs, more rapidly than they can be replenished, at present.
So therefore, we have a water crisis. We have plenty of water. You know about the oceans! We have plenty of water. That's not the problem. But we need a quality of potable water, for the development of agriculture, for greening and improving the climate by simply trees—trees and grasses and so forth, improve the climate. The more life you have in the ground, in the form of plant life, the better off you are, especially the green growth. So have it. We need that. We need fresh, clean, potable water for people. We can not get that economically, without the massive use of nuclear power, nuclear fission.
India has a very poor population: 70%. It's a very poorly educated population, this 70%. Therefore, you have to find a lever, to raise the standard of living, when you don't have the educational base in the population for getting this through simply technology by people. So what do you do? You come in with nuclear power. You suddenly get an infusion of power and water, cheaply and efficiently, and you've changed the conditions of life in which people live, and you increase their productivity by improving their environment, as a productive environment. This is true in other parts of the world, as in the Middle East; we have to transform these areas to make them more livable to meet the needs of their populations, today and tomorrow. And this must be the kind of mission we have over the next 25 and 50 years.
So, when we're building an economy, rebuilding an economy from the wreckage we've made of it since 1970 in particular, we have to think in these terms: We have to think two generations ahead. We have to think in terms of the Treaty of Westphalia: What are we doing for the other? What are we doing for Asia from Europe? What are we doing for other nations in Europe? What are we doing for Africa? The world as a whole? And therefore, in a sense that our life now has a purpose. We're not living like greedy Baby Boomers, trying to satisfy our own pleasure while we're still on this planet. We're now giving back a purpose in life, a mission in life.
We all die: What's our purpose in life if we all die? Our satisfaction while we're alive? Or is it what we're doing, while we're alive with our life, which is of continued value for the human race afterward, that makes our life having been lived, worthwhile for humanity? The thing that we can take pride in, in the eyes of our children and grandchildren, that we're doing for them, and for the world after us?
This is the passion which must grip us, if we going to come out of this mess. And therefore, we have to think in global terms. Not in terms of globalization. We have to think of mission-orientation, for bringing nations together, to bring their own houses in order, to bring our relations among nations in order. To create a world system of financial and related cooperation, which is organized to meet these kinds of needs, and to give us, again, not the pride of arrogance, but the pride that we are necessary, each of us, and each nation, is necessary for the benefit of the world as a whole.
That's the point we've come to, and that's where we stand now.
What Is Economics, Really?
Now, one of the problems here, is that most people think they know something about economics. And I can tell you, most people don't know anything about economics. They know what they've been taught. They know what they've been taught about money, money procedures.
They don't understand physical economy, for example—and Baby Boomers particularly don't understand physical economy, at all. Remember, the generation of Baby Boomers, the people in the upper 20% of family-income brackets, now, say, between 50 and 65 years of age, they don't have any understanding of economy. First of all, the 68ers, which they generally are, the 68ers were against production—it meant work! And they didn't believe in work, they believed in pleasure! All kinds of pleasure. And they picked up some pleasures and it got them sick. And so, they went to a different pleasure—or they went to sadism as a form of pleasure.
So we have a society which no longer thinks in terms of real values. It no longer thinks in terms of immortality, in the sense of, "Are you an animal?" If you're an animal, you come and you go, and you die. You live happily or you live miserably, but you die. What's the consequence of your having died? Somebody remembers a pet, an animal you had on a farm? But what importance did that animal have as an individual, for the future of the species? None.
Human beings are different. We are capable of reason. We're capable of discovering universal principles, as in physical science and Classical art. We transmit to develop these principles to coming generations. We thus increase the power of coming generations. We benefit the future generations of humanity.
The Baby-Boomer generation lost that. They didn't want to produce, they wished to have pleasure. They wished to have thrills. They wished to be able to ignore what was happening to the world around them. So we destroyed—. We had the green revolution, not the green in terms of vegetables, but the green in terms of, "I don't work, I don't produce." We live in a world in which most people are starving, and their starvation is increasing, and we don't care about what we produce or don't produce. We're indifferent to the rest of humanity. We think in terms of our greed or our pleasure, our lifestyles, our habits. We don't think of what we're doing, which makes us immortal, in the sense of what we're contributing to the future of humanity.
We've lost the sense of identity which was the basis for European civilization. Formerly, we thought in European civilization of what we're doing for our grandchildren and those who come after them. People would sacrifice for the sake of their children and grandchildren and what came beyond that. They would sacrifice to build something in which a future generation could take pride, that they'd done that. They'd built this, they'd accomplished that. We went from a generation which thought of making contributions, permanent contributions to the future of humanity, to one which was totally selfish: "what I get, my satisfaction, my pleasure." And this is how we were destroyed.
We were destroyed by our own sophistry. We wanted to be respected among people like ourselves, especially Baby Boomers. We didn't care about what happened to the rest of humanity. We wanted to beat them. We wanted to find somebody to beat, to get the better of them. We didn't, as people learned in the Treaty of Westphalia, after a horrible experience, learn that the way you succeed, is taking care of the other person first. And that's how you build a civilization which has a future orientation. That's what we need now.
The problem is, because people don't have the value that used to be the basis for European economy, that is, the idea of better production: better conditions of production, producing better conditions of life, better physical conditions of life, better mental conditions of life for physical production, and so forth. A culture, rather than just arbitrary pleasure—we've lost that. So we've lost the sense of what real value is.
The Power of Ideas
Value lies, in what? Value lies in those kinds of ideas, discovered and developed ideas, which enable us to improve the condition of humanity, per capita and per square kilometer of this planet. Which gives a better world, for a coming generation, than we had. This is done by work. By producing things. By using more advanced skills. By increasing the power per capita, to increase man's power in and over nature. By developing minds! So people can think clearly. People today don't have time to think, they're too occupied with pleasure-seeking, or avoiding pain. So therefore, we don't think about a purpose in life. Therefore, we don't understand what an economic value is.
Obviously, a physical economic value is what we can do, today, to improve the life of humanity in terms of developing things that are useful for the future, which means physical production of things that are useful for the future, and developing ideas which, passed on to future generations, will be used by them to make things better. So this is all tied up with what we call scientific and technological progress. And also, cultural progress.
For example: We've been working with this question with the Bach. People have forgotten what Bach was—some never knew. Bach was the foundation of modern civilization, his work in music, his work in counterpoint. His rediscovery which had been understood by the Pythagoreans a long time ago: the comma. Which is expressed in great performances of choral works by Bach, and by the great works of the Classical composers: All are based on this. Which involves the same spark of genius, in a different application than we have in the development of fundamental scientific discoveries.
So, what is important, in a healthy society, is the fact that you're dealing with ideas, whether in terms of physical scientific implications, or cultural artistic implications, ideas which you are creating, or improving in the sense of creating, that you pass on to future generations, so that somehow, mankind is progressing, because the generations of the future will be more powerful and smarter than we are today, in coping with the problems that humanity faces.
And as we see, we have to have this, because we've now come to this point of raw materials crisis. We could no longer solve the problem we're facing today, with the kind of approach we had to raw materials two generations ago. Couldn't do it. Without the development of a thermonuclear fusion technology, and what that connotes, we could not deal, successfully, with the problems of this planet, today. Without nuclear power, we could not deal, efficiently, with the water crisis of many parts of this planet, today. So this process of progress, of scientific progress, of cultural progress in general, is necessary, and is the essential value, the physical value, the real human value, which should dominate an economy as a sense of value. And what we put a higher price on, or what we value in money terms, in greater degree, should be those things that are of value, to the future condition of humanity: physical improvement in the conditions of humanity; improvement in the physical ability to survive, of human beings, for future generations; the development of the human mind, to a higher level of development of culture, through cultural development, which gives us an individual who's risen to a higher level of outlook, about man's position and function in this universe. These are the things of value.
A Society Without Values
And what do you have now? The highest prices, the highest wages are paid to the most useless people, the predators. Whereas the people who are denied the right to work, even simple work, respectable work which corresponds to their given skills, they don't have the jobs! The opportunities for farming, in a traditional sense, don't exist where they existed! The opportunities for the machine-tool designer, for the machine-tool maker, for the maker of a better-produced product—most people are denied the opportunity to have that! Oh, you can have a job, a single-euro job.[*] But you can't have a job which has value for society! A job which gives you the opportunity to have self-respect for what you're doing in society, a kind of job which says, "You are useful in my community. You have to be respected as a useful person." They don't have that kind of job.
You look at the figures in the United States, as we look at: Every county of the United States, we studied. And you look at, in the county, how much employment and how much economic activity was for producing useful things? Agriculture and industry, and so forth? As opposed to so-called "services employment"—doing somebody else's dishwashing? Being a waitress in somebody else's eating place? Picking up garbage, doing odds and ends, make-work? And you find a shift in the United States over the past 30 years, from people who were productive—county by county—counties where the majority of people were employed in productive employment, to a situation where a very few, a very small ration, of the people are in productive employment.
And the people who supervise the useless employment, are the people who get the biggest money!
So therefore, there's a moral problem here, and it's a problem of value. The problem of value, this term "value" has physical connotations as I've illustrated. There are physical benefits for humanity in this kind of production. Whereas simply pleasure production, which prostitution exemplifies, is not very productive. It is not intended to be productive. And that's our problem.
So therefore, we have to have a mission-orientation to organize this world, around a sense of mission, looking two generations ahead, about 50 years, and saying, "How can we get out of this Hell we've made of this planet, now?" And say, that 50 years from now, when the generation which is now becoming adults is approaching the age of nominal retirement, that that generation having completed its two generations of work—50 years—will be able to say: "We have contributed something to the future of humanity. We have contributed to the benefit of the conditions of life of people in Asia; we have built up our respect for ourselves, for what we're doing in Europe, or in the United States. We have stopped these practices which we know are immoral and abhorrent. We have stopped this abuse of whole sections of the human race." And take that as an objective.
And that's what we need.
We're coming to a crisis. We're coming to a crisis of values. What people accept today as normal, is rotten and evil. We have to change. We're going to have to change, because we're going to be forced to change. We can not continue to function, the way we've functioned since about 1970. We can't do that any more, in European civilization: We've got to change, and we're going to be forced to.
If we don't change, most of the languages of the world will disappear, as the nations disappear, as national borders disappear, in globalization. That's where we stand today.
Okay. I think we'll get some discussion now.
[*] Under Germany's Hartz IV welfare plan, an unemployed worker can only receive a welfare payment if he or she agrees to work at a job for 1 euro per hour (about $1.28).