LAROUCHE DIALOGUE WITH AN ITALIAN SENATOR
Build Great Projects, Bring Peace With an International 'New Deal'
Lyndon LaRouche was interviewed on June 6 at the Italian Senate building in Rome by Sen. Lidia Brisca Menapace of the Rifondazione Communista party during a visit to the city June 4-6 (see the June 15 EIR for more on his visit). The Senate group of Menapace's party issued a news release on the dialogue, which was published June 13 in the Il Velino newswire. Here is an edited transcript of the dialogue with Menapace, whose comments were translated from Italian by EIR.
Senator Menapace: First of all, I want to say, this [discussion] is to provide another voice from the United States. Because, generally the media in our country, report solely the voices which are in favor of the government in power. So, whoever makes a critique to the United States for something they're doing, is considered automatically anti-American. And that's why it's so important for us to establish a dialogue with somebody who, in Italy, although you're not, would be called "anti-American."
Lyndon LaRouche: Well, I'm hardly anti-American. I'm a very American person. I'm a figure of the institutions of the United States, and at present, on some things, like the issue of the war, and the issue of the current policy of the United States government, I think I have the support of the majority of the rank and file of the Democratic Party in the United States.
Menapace: And the same is true for me, because I have been criticized as anti-Italian, just because I criticized [former Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi, and I've been a partisan, a fighter as a partisan, so you cannot say that I don't love my country.
LaRouche: I think these are ways that people avoid the issue by using "anti-" this, "anti-" that, rather than trying to define what people are trying to say, affirmatively. For example, I think that the policies of my own government are not good for Italy, or for my own country! As a matter of fact, we are destroying our U.S. military, by order of our President—which is not exactly a pro-American action on his part. We are ruining the world economy, not just the United States, but the British and others are ruining the world economy. We have produced more suffering among the lower 80% of family-income brackets on both sides of the Atlantic in this period, than at any time since the end of the war. So I don't think that any of the governments in power today, have much to say about being in favor of their own people. It's obvious that we have to make changes. Every government needs changes, not only in terms of particular governments, but in terms of international relations.
Menapace: I fully agree. And I would like to tell you what has impressed me most about what you said yesterday at the Defense Committee.... [It] was what you said about the connection between infrastructure development and human development, and military expenses; normally, they speak in terms of the opposite. You emphasized the civilian aspect connected to the military, and this is very important. And I also was impressed by what you said about nuclear power, because I'm one of the few people in the Italian left who think that it's wrong to just rule out nuclear power because the physics can be developed in such a way that it can be useful.
This is just a little note, which I made yesterday, as a former professor, that the question of the common good, which you referred to as going back to the Council of Florence. It actually goes back to earlier than that, to St. Thomas.
LaRouche: Hmm! The question there, was simply the issue of when the policy was adopted by nation-states, and institutions. We fought for that, it was an old fight. It was a fight from ancient Greece in fact—in Classical Greece, the same thing. But the question was winning, and at some point, we had won improvements in the standards of policies of governments, which changed the character of governments so that the people were actually represented, at least under constitutions. As in the commonwealth conception of policy.
On the war and power, the thing to me, probably as an old man, I see this as so ridiculous! You think about World War II: The United States, of course, with war going on in the East at the same time, the United States won World War II—by what? We were not the best soldiers—weren't the best trained; the Germans were much better trained than we were ... but we had one thing which was the advantage: We had logistical capabilities that no other country in the world could match, and it was those logistical capabilities, which is the same thing as infrastructure, which we won the war with. Not by shooting, but by infrastructure.
Menapace: Yes. There's a French historian who says that Hitler was defeated, not only because of the superiority of the Allied military powers, but also because of the combined hate of the European people, but I think it was also that infrastructural superiority....
LaRouche: In a sense, also, it was the case even in the Soviet Union. The Soviet forces were enabled to survive against the German onslaught, only because of the logistical support sent to the Soviet Union by the United States. Trucks, matériel for tanks, the support to get into the northern ports by the tanker ships and other ships which were making the crossing through the North Sea. So, this element of logistics was crucial.
And it's the same thing in society, today: How do people live? Without logistics, without power, without sanitation, without health care, without development of resources, you do not have productive powers of people.
Menapace: I also found interesting what you said yesterday, in the Defense Committee, on the long wars. It's interesting, the fact that, after the Second World War, no army ever managed to win a war. For example, Vietnam, they didn't manage to win; in Algeria, the French; even Israel, which is very well equipped, is not managing to win over the Palestinians. Bush father and son did not manage to win, practically, either in Iraq or in Afghanistan. And you were saying yesterday, that this is due to the fact that these are long wars. Isn't it also the fact that there is a popular resistance, that a people who doesn't want to be defeated will not be defeated, even if it takes 30 years?
LaRouche: Well, it's not just that. Long wars, under modern circumstances, come from the inability to resolve aggressive warfare. The long war is a result of starting a war that you can not win, and this is the same thing, in principle, that goes back to the question of ancient Athens, which engaged, beginning with the crimes against humanity against the island of Melos, in a long war among the Greek peoples. And Greece never came back from that, even though Greek culture had greatness in it. We benefit from the culture, but they don't benefit much from it themselves.
The problem here is that, we ended a war under Roosevelt's leadership, and under the influence of Churchill and company, the British, and because we had a President to replace Roosevelt—Truman, who was no good—we started what became known as the Cold War. There never was a reason for starting that conflict.
Also, we started the war, Truman did, by using two nuclear weapons, which were only prototypes—they were not regular weapons—we used the two nuclear weapons against a nation which was already ready to surrender, and against a civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We then, at the same time, through Bertrand Russell, declared a policy of preventive nuclear warfare against the Soviet Union: This introduction of nuclear weapons under conditions where peace had just been established, created a situation in which no war which involved major-power interests could be won, because it could be won only with nuclear weapons.
Menapace: Can I say something about that? Actually, it's interesting that you said that, because the first article that I wrote, when I was 21, one of the first articles, was when there was the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and I entitled my article, "This Makes You the Same as the Nazis." Because, what I was saying, is that this was a totally useless and unnecessary use of violence, and that it also established that war becomes outlawed, that there is no legal consideration for war....
LaRouche: I think I'll tell you something, and probably you may not know, which may be useful to you in this connection: There was a man, who was later my friend, Max Corvo. Max Corvo, during the war, had actually helped in planning the operation in Sicily, because he was of Sicilian origin, and his family gave him the ideas on which to base the entire plan. Max Corvo, as a result of that, then became the director of OSS on the ground in Italy. That continued as long as Roosevelt lived. When Roosevelt died, things changed.
Now, what happened in the meantime, which is of interest: Max was also in touch with the Secretary for Extraordinary Affairs of the Vatican. And in this capacity, he was handling the appeal of the Japanese system, to negotiate peace. So, an agreement was struck, among the ambassadors of Japan, and implicitly the Emperor, that if the United States would acknowledge the Emperor as a negotiating partner for peace, that they were prepared to surrender to the United States. This was before Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Now, Truman, when he became President, didn't know that these weapons existed, because a Vice President in those days didn't know anything. He wasn't supposed to. He was supposed to keep shut up, and replace the President. So, when he found out about it, under pressure from Churchill and company, the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in order to start the conflict as what Russell called preventive nuclear war against the Soviet Union. That was the reason.
Max was in the middle of this, and I knew the details because of that, which were later confirmed by sources in the Vatican, the Secretary of State. So, in terms of your experience, you realized what was going on when you were 21, writing this article about this, and here, one of the greatest frauds and swindles in all history since that time, was going on under your nose....
Menapace: I would like to go back briefly to these two issues which impressed me from the Defense Committee: the question of nuclear power, and infrastructure, as related to the military.
LaRouche: The problem we have here is a general ignorance of physical science, and therefore people accept the idea that sunlight, or burning fuel—that the relationships among these things are alternative. And from a standpoint of physical science, this is an incompetent assumption. That the idea of energy, as measured in watts or other things, is false; that power is measured in terms of what we call "energy flux density," that is, the equivalent of the concentration of power per square kilometer, or per square centimeter, or cubic centimeter of volume. And therefore, when you go to higher density power, you are capable of making more efficient changes in nature, than you are when you use low-temperature power. And this is what the issue is.
That with fission power, there are certain things you can do in the universe, that you can not do with anything less powerful than fission power. To do other things, you have to have thermonuclear fusion power. So therefore, the key issue here, or the crucial issue on the planet, is two things: First of all, water; and secondly, the source of fuel. On water, as I mentioned yesterday, we have a crucial shortage of fresh water for human use. Therefore, we must have nuclear power, as the only efficient way to produce large amounts of fresh water for human use.
Secondly, we are hauling gasoline, or oil, all around the world, which is a very low-grade product at a very high price for transportation and speculation. With nuclear power, with an 800 mw power unit, we can produce hydrogen-based fuels which are more efficient and cleaner, than petroleum fuels. We can produce them locally with fission power. So therefore, we have a fuel whose waste is water, which is not exactly a pollutant.
Menapace: I fully agree on this. Actually, what I think we should do, is rethink completely the physics of the nucleus. For example, the fact that it shouldn't be a function of war, as it was at the time of Einstein and Oppenheimer, but it should be a function of peace and peaceful projects. And I think the best would be cold fusion, which would also reduce any possible risks.
LaRouche: Cold fusion is not really a power source. Cold fusion is a technology. It's of use.
Menapace: [Carlo] Rubia is working on this medium.
LaRouche: Yes, it's very useful to work on all these areas, but there are certain specifications you require for power. For example, one shouldn't overlook the importance of this work: We're now coming into a time, where we have been living for a long time on assuming that we draw raw materials out of the Earth. And in point of fact, we are now getting to a point, if we want to maintain a high standard of living for people, we have to look at how we make changes in chemistry, to provide the materials that are needed for a high standard of living, for cheap raw materials. Therefore, in these areas, all areas of experimentation are important. One may be useful for a source of power, another one may give us—for example, a byproduct of nuclear fission: One of the biggest uses today is nuclear radioactive isotopes for treating cancer and treating other kinds of problems.
So therefore, developing experimental methods for developing new kinds of isotopes and their use for all kinds of purposes, including medical purposes, is extremely important; for example, in China, we have 1.4 billion people; in India, we have 1 billion people. In both cases, 70 to 80% of these populations are very poor. We have similar conditions throughout Asia. We have terrible conditions in Africa. Without these technologies, we can not meet the requirements of the future generations of Asia or Africa, as well as in Europe.
So therefore, the broad development of technologies and scientific research and applications development in all of these areas, is necessary to give us what might be called a repertoire of options for dealing with problems. This should be coordinated by government, but it should not be limited to government.
Menapace: I'm very impressed by what you just said about the repertoire of options, because it is—I call it a "cocktail of technologies." Because, the tendency here, I guess also in your country, is to say, "Only in this way can we solve this particular crisis." And it's wrong to say that everything should be solved in only one way. There are many ways: For example, on the water crisis, there are ways to develop water, what you said about nuclear power; there are also ways, where you can save water, and where there is little, there are ways where you can save it, or recover it, or act such that you don't throw it away.
So, I think the cocktail of technologies, and a repertoire of practices would be important. And this is important not only in technologies, but also in politics. Because also there, in order to be really democratic, because otherwise the tendency is to say, "the only person who is right is that one," and you stick to that one only.
LaRouche: The problem is, we have a breakdown in education worldwide, and we do not educate people scientifically, as we used to. The ration of qualified scientists—information theory is not science—but the development of a scientific cadre which is capable of actually dealing with this diversity of resources problem is what's lacking. We need to emphasize—of course, this is what I'm involved in, in these pilot educational programs, on the academic level and higher, among young people. And we have demonstrated what can be done to change the quality of education, and we should do it!
And we must produce a leading cadre of dedicated, young people, who are the future leading scientists of the world. After all, we're human beings, and the development of the quality of human beings in society determines what that society is going to become.
Menapace: What you did with the youth—teaching how not to become stupid.
LaRouche: Actually, what we do, is we go back to a Classical approach, which is based on ancient Greek traditions of the Pythagoreans and Plato and so forth. I take a number of areas, starting with the Pythagoreans and Plato and his associates, their contributions; then, we start again with the European Renaissance, which is centered here in Italy, which was centered around the Council of Florence. And here, you had the rebirth of science, under the direction of Nicholas of Cusa. And with the followers of Cusa, such as Leonardo da Vinci, and then, of course, Kepler: that all of modern science, all the achievements of modern science of distinction, are either a revival of the past by such people, or breakthroughs in science that come from these people: From Kepler through Einstein generally defines the scope of actual net progress of the quality of scientific education.
So, I put them in groups of five or six people. I give them an assignment: I gave one group, the first stage of Kepler's New Astronomy. They came up with a brilliant job. I gave a second group about the same size, the Second Book of Kepler on The Harmony of the World. We then went to how Gauss saw Ceres, the asteroid problem. We then will go to the Riemannian physics. And these groups of people do not simply study and learn: They go through the experience of discovering, independently of me. I structure the challenge; they provide the answers....
... The point is, the essence is, the people who want to set up an education program have to ask themselves: Is there a fundamental difference between a chimpanzee and a human being? A chimpanzee is very good at imitation. Parrots can be taught to talk.
The key thing is, only a human being can discover a universal physical principle or an artistic compositional principle. And therefore, the key thing is the development of the bare creativity of the mind: a mind which is trained to be creative can learn anything. A mind which has learned much and is not trained to be creative, is only an imitation of a monkey.
Menapace: That's true. And it's manifold.
LaRouche: Yes! There are a few crucial principles which mankind has learned, as universal physical principles, typified by the discovery of gravitation by Kepler, a few principles which actually are the models for all kinds of knowledge. And if people learn that, they can learn less and know more.
I would like to ask, finally, the question of the connection—what you said at the Defense Committee—the connection between infrastructure and weapons, and war.
LaRouche: Well, first of all, you're talking about in warfare—going to basics—you're talking about the power to make war or peace. So, it's a question of developing the power of mankind, and using the power you developed in mankind to solve the problem of peace or the problem of war. The object of war, is to get it over with as soon as possible, if you have to fight it.
I've used the case often of Louis XI of France, who founded the first modern commonwealth state, and he bribed his enemies—and they were all enemies—the Spanish, the English, and so forth. He bribed his enemies to give his people peace, so that they could develop. And this was the most successful model of economy in modern times, the modern success, which was imitated in England under Henry VII. He bribed to avoid war, in order to give his people the benefit and prosperity of peace.
If you take the case of World War II, the ending of it: The United States, as I said yesterday, had created the greatest economy and most effective war machine in terms of material capability that the world had ever seen, and had done it from the depths of a depression. We came at the end of the war, with the greatest military power, the greatest economic power, the world had ever known in one nation. Roosevelt's intention was to use that power, by converting this war machine into the mechanisms of peaceful development, to transform the world by eliminating all colonies, by freeing all peoples, and giving them assistance to develop their nations. So, there's an interchangeability between the capability of warfare, and the capability of peace. But the capability used for warfare is wasteful, if you can avoid the war. But the same capability is used for peace.
We now have a situation, which is comparable, worldwide: The British are leading, presently, leading the world toward a new world war. The conflict with Russia today, which is coming out of Britain—not really the United States, the United States is an accomplice of this—this is a great threat to all humanity, today, this new threat of war. It will be horrible, beyond anything anybody can imagine.
But at the same time, if we use the capabilities we have, for economic development, and use economic development as a weapon of cooperation, a weapon of achievement, a weapon of progress, we will succeed.
But, the point is, that the power to do either, is the same power. It's the same technology. And therefore, we must develop the technology, but we must have politicians who will use the technology as a power for peace. For example, what I referenced yesterday, in fact it probably may come in the G-8 meeting: But, Helga [Zepp-LaRouche] and I were involved, in various ways, in developing a program for the Bering Strait development. This is part of work that Helga worked on, back, now nearly 20 years ago, for a global system of railways, by running a new high-speed rail-type, or maglev-type system, throughout Eurasia, and crossing into North America through the Bering Strait, and then integrating all the Americas by rail; and then, at the same time, the intention was to move into Africa, by the same type of method. So that you would have a worldwide system of high-speed ground transportation, of rail or magnetic levitation, to develop the world as an integrated process.
Recently, I made a proposal at a Russian conference, by Russian scientists and others. That policy has now been adopted by Russia: President Putin has adopted it for sponsorship. The intention which I hear from Russia—I haven't gotten any other confirmation—but what I have from Russia, is that President Putin intends to present that proposal on the Bering Strait project at the G-8 meeting. That is an example of how you use, in a situation of war danger, a measure for great world peace.
Menapace: Like an international New Deal.
LaRouche: Yes, exactly. As a treaty organization.
Menapace: The question is the role Europe should play in this, because, I think I'm very supportive of the question of European unity from the standpoint of the common civilization, of a common culture, although it's impossible to decide in the European Parliament which language should be spoken. You have many languages.
Could Europe be an example of how you can use, put together all this multiplicity of cultures and languages, in a political cocktail or repertoire of options as you were mentioning? What do you think of this?
LaRouche: Well, we were close to that many times in Europe. The problem is, Europe has an oligarchical past, which people came to the Americas to get away from the oligarchical influence in Europe. And therefore, you have people of European origin in the United States who form one nation, and they do a fairly decent job of it, when they have a decent President.
But in Europe, it's more difficult, because the oligarchy keeps coming in, the financier oligarchy, other oligarchical tendencies, and prevents, two things: They prevent the development of the people. It's like the Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus: that Zeus orders that Prometheus must not teach the people how to use fire. And therefore, a combination occurs, that we have mismanaged oligarchies which tend to control European countries, top down. And with the exception of a few great cultural periods, like the period of the culture in Germany, for example, toward the last part of the 18th Century, when you had people like Lessing and Mendelssohn, who started the great Classical Renaissance—this kind of thing. But generally, the problem in Europe has been, repeatedly, Europe has been crushed by the rise again of oligarchy, oligarchy, oligarchy, and particularly financier oligarchy.
What's lost in the process, as we know it in Italy—when you look at Italy, you take certain things around Florence, and you think about the history of Florence; you say, "This was the leadership of the world! What happened?" Then you take what happened in the opening of the 19th Century, of the development of science around [Enrico] Betti and so forth in Europe, in Italy; and how in Northern Italy, a great development occurred. Then you get the frustration, which I had repeatedly in Italy, about the failure to implement the plan of the Cassa del Mezzogiorno. So you have half of Italy left in great poverty, in deep poverty, and the other half is on the edge.
You look in Germany, you look in what happened after the end of the division of Germany: Under French and British orders, Germany looted its own East Germany, when it was absorbed, and destroyed its own industries.
And therefore, I'm very distrustful of any unification process in Europe, as long as these oligarchies, which have done this repeatedly, are still in control.
The other side of this, from my concern, is the development of the creative cultural power of the people at all levels. We, in the United States, know this, from our historical experience. After all, we're mostly Europeans, and we did this. So, if we did it, people in Europe can do it, and have done it in certain parts. The development of the creative powers of the individual person, which always occurs in terms of their own culture, and their own language, the development of their own language as an instrument of culture and development, reaching down to all levels of that population, is to me the primary concern. We have translators, we can use translators. But the most important thing, is to engage our own people, in their own language, in the experience of creativity.
Menapace: We Italians have been always subjects, concerning this oligarchical control you were talking about. We have been subjects of the Popes, of the Bourbons, of the Habsburgs; then later, Mussolini; and even today, where, on paper, we are citizens, we tend to be militants of parties which sometimes replace the oligarchy, function as an oligarchy. So, the latest development are these movements of citizens, which do not depend on parties. For example, the citizens of Vicenza were fighting against the enlargement of the American airbase in Vicenza, or other such events. Another suggestion to defeat the oligarchy would be, if Europe proposes to reform the UN, because Europe is the continent where you have both victors and people who were defeated [in World War II].
LaRouche: My view is of this, is, great projects, like the project we're engaged in now. We have three, essentially, cultures in Eurasia, which extend to other parts of the world: We have European culture. We have an Eurasian culture, which Russia and the East, which is a Eurasian culture, not a particularly European culture. And we have Asian culture.
What I foresee, which is why the railway project is so important, is to engage in a 50-year cooperation among Asia, Eurasia, and Europe, but as a world effort, as a world policy: To create long-term credit for basic transformation of the conditions of life through infrastructure development, and through education, to free the Asian poor from the condition of being Asian poor. It will take 50 years to do this. If we commit ourselves to create treaty agreements on credit among nations for these large-scale projects, and have an equitable approach to distribution of the participation in these projects, I think we can recreate the cultural basis for political relations among nations, finally, on a rational basis.
But it will take us 50 years, and we have to realize, now, we are in an existential crisis of civilization, right now. We have to respond to that with some great project, to unify nations in a common effort. And out of that unity of a common effort, let naturally occur, what should occur.
Menapace: It's important to start now, if it has to take 50 years.
LaRouche: Absolutely. Especially at my age!
Menapace: Me, too!
LaRouche: We have to give the planet a new sense of mission, as a substitute for war.
Menapace: Ah, yes. Absolutely.
LaRouche: And, I think it can succeed, if the willingness is there.
Menapace: Yes, yes, certainly. I fully agree. I'm not scared by anything.
Menapace: I'm ready to go!
LaRouche: It's difficult to frighten older people.
Menapace: For sure. And also, ancient people. They don't get frightened so easily.
LaRouche: No, no. Thank you, Senator.
Menapace: Thank you, thank you very, very much.