Dialogue With LaRouche
Lyndon LaRouche addressed an international webcast on July 25, in Washington, D.C., which was attended by about 150 guests, and broadcast in full over the Internet. LaRouche's opening remarks were followed by two hours of dialogue. Here is the edited transcript of the dialog.
Freeman: ...We have a number of questions that came in while Mr. LaRouche was speaking, and some that were submitted even before he began.
Emergency Legislation To Prevent Foreclosures
A number of questions, Lyn, are dealing with the current crisis in housing. The first one that I would like to ask you comes from a senior member of the Democratic staff in the House of Representatives, actually from one of the most powerful committees up there. And what she asks is: "Mr. LaRouche, as you know, several committees on the House and Senate side, including our own, have introduced legislation to rein in the private equity and hedge funds. Regarding the proposals on carried interest and the 15% vs. 35% tax payments, I did see your very cogent comment that 'they should pay their taxes.' Even our limited effort thus far, has caused quite a response from the hedge funds, and from equity fund managers. Beyond what has already been proposed legislatively by the House and Senate committees, what more do you think we should do on this?"
LaRouche: You know, battling hedge funds is like proposing to eliminate prostitution in Las Vegas. You're threatening the income of, shall we say, the procurers. But we are beyond that. We are at the point that we need emergency legislation to provide for non-foreclosure.
Look, you've got two problems. First of all, the whole banking system of the United States, the major banks, are all bankrupt in one sense. And you can't have them closing their doors, so therefore, you're going to have to provide these banks with protection. Now, you have to protect them from that which, essentially, controls them—the hedge funds, and similar funds. Therefore, you've got to protect the bank as an institution against the hedge funds, and other financial interests, which are actually larger and more powerful than they are. Because, we need the banks; we don't need the hedge funds. There's not a single hedge fund or related organization, that we need. As a matter of fact, if they would disappear, it would be much better. I would propose to the hedge funds, "Go! Before we jail you." That's the attitude.
But we have to protect the banking industry. This housing swindle—which is what it is—is run by the Federal Reserve System, because of the appendages which have been tacked to it. Remember that in 1987, we had the equivalent of a 1929 crash. It happened in October 1987. The incoming replacement for the Federal Reserve System chairman said, "Hold everything!" He should have held his mouth. But he said, "Hold everything, because I'm coming in." And you say, "We're locking the door before you get here." But he came in with this business of various methods, and others were accomplices, in flooding the market with phony dollars, with credit systems, with all kinds of things that should never have been allowed; that should have been considered illegal, immoral, and everything else.
So, therefore, what happened is, the system went bankrupt. 1987, October 1987, a 1929-style bankruptcy occurred. I had the privilege of forecasting it, on time. "My baby." They should have shut it down, as I said. We really had to go into emergency measures, Roosevelt-type measures then. Roosevelt-type reforms which would have reversed the decisions made under Nixon, and under Carter, and afterward. They should have been reversed. We should have gone back to a fixed-exchange-rate system, actually to conditions from before 1968. Just reverse the whole legal structure. Say, "This is bad, this is an outhouse, this is a house of prostitution, and let's get out of here before we catch a disease." And get out of it, and go back to what had worked, which is the Roosevelt system of the fixed-exchange-rate system of the Federal Reserve System, with a fixed-exchange-rate system on the dollar.
Then, we should have gone back and repealed all that garbage that went through under Carter, the Trilateral Commission stuff, and gone back to what was there beforehand, which is a protectionist economy, which is the only kind that works. A fair trade economy is the only kind that works, especially one that protects infrastructure. We were destroying our infrastructure, going to cheap shots, gambling as opposed to actually producing. We shut down agriculture, we bankrupted the farmers. We shut down the savings and loan associations in a swindle! Volcker organized a swindle, and the entire savings and loan associations system, which had been the bulwark of the housing rebuilding in the postwar period, was shut down, with a swindle. We allowed usury. Our banks in the United States had anti-usury laws; we shut them down. We shut down the anti-usury laws; we unleashed usury. We turned the thing over to the loan sharks, and so forth. So, this was the problem; this is still the problem today.
Now we come to the point: What is the law of the United States? What's our law? What is the issue of the Declaration of Independence? The principle of law at the center of the Constitution, is in the Preamble. And the Preamble says the same thing which was the intention stated in the Declaration of Independence, on the Pursuit of Happiness. And what is in the Preamble of the Federal Constitution is the same thing spelled out in different words than Leibniz's argument for the Pursuit of Happiness, as the fundamental law of government. Therefore, we should have gone back to it; and we have to go back to it today.
Under our moral law, which is our Constitution, as interpreted from the standpoint of the Preamble, and the implications of the Declaration of Independence—that's our law, not British law—we are not a monetary system, we are a credit system. We do not allow our government to be controlled by money; we control money. We utter currency under the Constitutional provisions. It is a credit system; our money is credit, backed by the U.S. government, the Federal government. We authorize, through the Congress, the utterance of a currency. The authorization for the utterance of a currency, or similar actions by the Congress, especially the House of Representatives, empowers the Federal government, through the Treasury, to utter credit, to print money and to otherwise utter credit.
Particularly, we put the emphasis, wherever possible, on giving credit to the states, or to the Federal government, for large-scale works in infrastructure or other programs, which are capitalized programs. We engage the private banking system, together with the Federal banking system; we engage them in the creation and management of a massive credit, which is supposed to be steered primarily into improvements, which are of two types. Public improvements at the Federal level, or the state levels, or local levels as a subsidiary consideration, or for large-scale private projects which we provide credit for, as we did with the War Production Acts during World War II. We provide the credit; we encourage entrepreneurs to proceed with things that are in the national interest, and we give them preferential treatment. And we manage the system so that it is not inflationary. We also allow laws for things that are more valuable to the United States, to be taxed less than things which are wasteful.
For example: a producer, an employer, a corporation. We invest capital in improving the firm. He's going to be taxed less for his profit than if he takes it out and disperses it. If he disperses it as profits to his stockholders and so forth, he gets taxed more. If he retains the earnings to improve his firm, or to assist through his bank in assisting other firms, he is taxed less, with an investment tax credit type of program. That's how we did things; that's how we did war production; that's how we turned the nation from a junk heap into the most powerful machine the world had ever seen during the course of the 1940s, under Roosevelt.
So therefore, our law is that. Our law is the general law of the nation, and welfare of the people, and justice for the people, is our financial law. Somebody comes in and says, like the British system, "Well, I'm sorry, but the money has to be primary." That's a monetary system. Money becomes the law. Under the American System, money is controlled by the law. Under the British system, money controls the law. Under the American System, the law controls the money. And the law is the moral law. The moral law is specified by the Preamble to the Constitution. Any act, any amendment to the Constitution which defies the Preamble to the Constitution, is inherently unconstitutional, and must be nullified.
So, therefore, that's what we have to do. We're in such a situation. You can never collect and foreclose; you never collect on the mortgage obligations which are outstanding in the mortgages which are collapsing now. The collapse of these values by as much as 20%, essentially bankrupts most of the entire mortgage system, because the equity of the mortgagee is now nil: They don't own anything; they're in negative equity! So therefore, do we want them evicted?
Let's take the case of Loudoun County. Loudoun County is an insane county. I know, I live there, and I saw it at close range. In 1983, they were going with what they called "development," by the Mellons, and people like that, other fruitcakes. Anyway, I said, "This is crazy." You have an area which is largely farming; the ground is no good for anything else except really cattle growing and a few things like that. It has no utility for anything else, and it was being used that way, which was sensible. It needed a mass transit system in there. But we built up, as you can see, if you look around this area; you see we have this great agglomeration of housing, all around greater Washington, D.C. It's insane! You have great residential areas, with no agriculture, and no production—that is, no physical production, or very little. You have people coming from West Virginia, and similar locations, driving along the highways every day, to get to work in the area around Washington, D.C. We built up large highway systems to accommodate this, and they're still jammed.
Obviously, they're nuts! These guys don't know how to manage anything, totally incompetent! The way you manage land use, is, you have decentralized land use. You have communities in which you have a distribution of places which generate wealth, as by production, and you have people who live there, generally, who are associated with those functions. You don't have migration over 60 miles. You don't have one-and-a-half-hour to two-hour commuting to work daily each way. What does it take coming from West Virginia at high-traffic hours? And back and forth? Four hours a day, on the highway, or longer on an "off" day. So, this is insane.
Now, you have no tax revenue base in the areas where people live. The only tax revenue base is housing, habitation. Commuting! Now, you have to pay for all this commuting cost, including highway systems, and so forth, which are enlarged to carry all this commuting. But then; now what happens? You go into a speculation, housing speculation like in Loudoun County. It collapses, and this place is ready to collapse by 40% to 50%. Forty to 50% of the housing of Loudoun County is doomed. That's what you have to estimate as your immediate, very near-term exposure.
Now, what happens when the 40% foreclosures occur, or the equivalent? What about the tax revenue base? Ha, ha, ha! Yes, but you've created a county government with its functions, its municipal functions, which now have a tax base below the cost of maintaining those functions, because of the collapse. Idiots! Lunatics! They call themselves accountants—fire them! They call themselves economists—shoot them! It's insane!
We have all this territory in the United States, we are one of the least densely populated areas in the world, in developed areas. We have vast areas of farming, vast areas of industry which we've shut down. Cleveland is dead. We've shut down much of Ohio; we've shut down Michigan; we've shut down all this vast area which used to have in it, in Roosevelt's time, plants in various areas, and you would travel, you would commute 15 minutes to and from work, at most, in these communities. And the flow was nice. Some people could walk to work and back. And the community had its own tax-revenue base, it had a productive base, industries and so forth in this area, and services all together. You had a decentralized form of utilization of land area, so you didn't have to travel from California to get to your job in New York City, which is the direction we've been going in if something doesn't stop it!
So, therefore, we have to think about going back to fundamentals. There are no "fix-it" things that are going to work. The catastrophe is beyond belief in terms of anybody's usual thinking. You have to say, we're going to have to put this thing through a drastic bankruptcy reorganization. We're going to have to freeze a lot of things. If someone's living in a house, they're living in an area, they're not going to be evicted. We'll convert their obligation to a rent, we'll maintain the thing. We want them to stay there until we can find, in a natural way, a better option for them. We are going to recognize that we made a terrible mistake in our land-use programs since the 1970s, our tax programs, everything has been insane; since Nixon, everything has been nuts. And we're going to have eat it, and we're going to have to go back to a high-tech industry.
A Fifty-Year Perspective
See, the need of the world is typified by Asia and Africa. The need of the world is, you've got areas where people can not feed themselves, like Asia. The population, 70% of the population of India, is in terrible condition. Most of the population of China is in terrible condition. This is the typical condition of Asia. You should look at what the income is in Africa; you should look at the income levels of a typical person in so-called Southwest Asia. It's horrible.
We're going to have to transform the planet, we're going to have the change the character, we're going to have to change water-supply availability. We're going to have to develop power systems. We're going to have to transform this planet into a productive planet. And Africa and Asia generally are the two areas which are the most brutally afflicted. We're going to have to save them; change our policy. We're going to make Europe, we're going to make North America—again, it's going to be the fulcrum of high-technology production; capital good production, high technology. We're going to produce high technology for the world, these nations. We're going to build a rail system in Africa. They can't afford it? We'll give it to them, because they can't develop without it. And we're going to have a 50-year cycle, we'll figure this out on a 50-year basis. We're going to give ourselves 50 years to work it out.
In the meantime, what we're going to have to do, in response to the question as such, in that context, we're going to have look at emergency measures to freeze things to prevent catastrophes from occurring. We're going to buy time. We're not going to meet scheduled obligations, financial obligations, because they can't be met. So, in lieu of having a general bankruptcy which would shut down the economy, we're going to defend the economy by reorganizing; that is, going through a kind of a bankruptcy reorganization of these kinds of things. We'll say, "We're going to write down your mortgage here. Your mortgage is too big. You've got a $500,000 mortgage; we're going to write it down for $200,000." And so forth, things like that. Write-offs. Because, we've got to think about the future of humanity.
And my estimate—and I'm a pretty good economist, probably the best you can find on this stuff—we need 50 years to put this planet back into shape. We need a 50-year margin of reorganization, until things can come back into some kind of automatic balance. Any other view is insane; it doesn't recognize the reality, that the thing is coming down. So, what we need is the more drastic action. The things referred to in the question that was asked, yeah sure, in normal times that's the way you look at it; but we're not in normal times.
We're in an impossible situation. But I love impossible situations; it's some wonderful challenges.
Freeman: ... I'd like to mention before I read this next question, that as is always the case, there are a number of organized gatherings around the world that are auditing or watching this webcast, and I certainly would like to extend our welcome to them. We have three groups at various universities in Bolivia, at the Unifranz in La Paz, Bolivia; at the university in the city of El Alto, at Universidad de San Simon in Cochabamba. We also have audiences connected to Lyn's webcast in Ecuador, in Costa Rica, in El Salvador, Venezuela, and Guatemala, and we certainly welcome all of them to today's proceedings. We also have a gathering of the Zimbabwe LYM, currently monitoring this webcast. I want to especially welcome them, and Richmond there has a question for you, Lyn, which I'll read to you. And hopefully, one of these days, Richmond can ask the question himself.
How Can Zimbabwe Recover?
What Richmond asks is: "Lyn, Zimbabwe has been isolated for the last decade. As a result of the land reform program, illegal sanctions have been imposed, and the country has a huge foreign and domestic debt. The U.S., under Roosevelt, created the best industry, from almost a similar situation. How best can Zimbabwe recover, and in fact, become the bread basket for all of Africa?"
LaRouche: Well, in point of fact, as anyone in Zimbabwe knows, it means you have to repeal the British United Kingdom, because Zimbabwe—as some people should know—was formerly known as southern Rhodesia, and that was not a good name. It was one of the last hold-outs in the humanization of South Africa, but the significance of it was, you had an African farmer development, which was actually Brits, largely, who had these farms, large farms. And the British farms in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, were a prime supplier for London of foodstuffs and things of that sort. So now, from the beginning of the liberation of Zimbabwe, of Rhodesia, the issue was, were we going to allow the indigenous African population, who were farmers, to have access to farmlands, and to the development of those farmlands for production? The idea is simply, you would have an African farmer, and there's a European farmer next to him: Would the African farmer have the opportunity to rise to the same conditions of production as the European farmer, the same system, the same advantages? "No," was the point.
So, the issue here with Zimbabwe, was that the British set out, with the complicity of a rotten U.S. government, to oppress Zimbabweans historically, to try to bankrupt the place, in short. And got the other African states to collaborate with the British, because the other African states were frightened, and therefore they collaborated with the British—because the British kill! That's what they do best. They don't know how to build, they know how to destroy. So therefore, it's just like what they did with the flooding in southern England, today, as a result of British stupidity—and venality. I don't know which is the greater evil, but that's the point.
So therefore, that's the problem. And we need, really, the implementation of what Franklin Roosevelt intended as postwar decolonization. That, in effect, Zimbabwe, while it has political independence, is not really given the right to exercise its independence, and it's on the issue of the British control over the agricultural production and others things in Zimbabwe. They're out to destroy the government! And destroy the state.
It's a crime against humanity.
But you see an example, in this issue of this British demand that a Russian citizen be delivered to trial in London, when no adequate grounds have been presented for accusing him of a crime. And the British have threatened to make a war, virtually, over this issue. The British have no respect for these things. They still think in these terms, and the Thatcher government was like that, and the Blair government was like that, and the present government is like that. They have no respect for the rights of others: They still think, as Putin said, in colonialist or imperialist terms when dealing with other nations. And Zimbabwe is a victim of British imperialism, and it is a victim of the tradition of Cecil Rhodes, in particular.
Can We Succeed—in Thirty Days?
Freeman: Okay, I'd like to take a question from the audience here. Professor [Miczinski?], why don't you come up to the microphone.
Q: Mr. LaRouche, you told us that there are certain very important things that need to be done—or at least started—in the month of August: Impeach Cheney; pull the troops back; get Russia, India, China together with the U.S.; begin to change the currency policy throughout the world.
Do you really think, that with this government, and with these candidates that we have for the Presidency, that anything along these lines can be started in the next 30 days?
LaRouche: Absolutely! [laughter, applause] It can be done. I know how to do it. And we've got some politicians in the United States, who are capable of understanding that and doing it.
Remember, we have also in the United States, we have a military. We have institutions of the Federal government, and people who are retired from the Federal government who still function. That's our system here, as you are probably quite aware: that many of us are part of the government without actually being a part of it. And we have in these institutions of government, professional people, skilled people, experienced people, who know where the chains and faucets and so forth are, to do these kinds of things.
Right now, for example, in the case of the withdrawal, the pullback in Iraq, this has been vetted. I pushed it—it was vetted also by some people who are professionals in that area of the military, and in other areas, who have passed along their endorsement of what I proposed to certain Congressmen, and other things like that.
So, under conditions of emergency, under conditions of crisis—as you probably know from your experience, in politics you come to a point of crisis where wills are broken: that is, where the will to act, or the will not to act, is broken, because reality strikes hard! And someone knows that and pushes hard on reality, and causes a sudden change. We are in, as I'm sure you'll appreciate, a time of sudden changes.
What you need is leaders of the tenor to do that, the insight to do that, and people who are willing to go along and make it work. And we have, on the issue of getting the troops out of Iraq, as such, we have a very good pull right now, with about 75% of the Democrats and others in general for it. We have a few cowards and corrupt people who are against it. But we have the clout to do it.
My point is, if you pull the plug—the plug is called Cheney—you can flush a lot of things at that point.
And you have, even with the Bush family—. Look at what you have: You have Henry Kissinger, of all people, in the negotiation I was involved in without being witting to all these things that were going on around me. When I was going to Russia and so forth, and having these discussions, we also had the two former Presidents, George H.W. Bush and Clinton were at a meeting, in the environment of the Yeltsin funeral. Henry Kissinger was also there. And people I know on the Russian side were also negotiating with these guys. So what happened at Kennebunkport, where the President and his idiot son showed up and met Putin: This was something which had actually been brought to maturity, by people, including the former President Bush, and others, who realized that this had to be done! We had reached a point of no return, we had to make a change. And there was no good reason for not trying to come to an agreement with Putin, at least on some key, leading issues. Knowing that, if we got a key, leading issue through with Putin, and so forth, on some steps toward progress, we could go further. And under conditions of desperation, yes, we'd do it.
You know, this is like war. Doing what I do, it's like launching war, isn't it? And if you look at it in those terms, you say, "Well, wars can be launched and won. There's also the risk of failure." So, that's the situation we're in. And I'm in a situation where we have to fight this war, we have to launch it, we have to fight it. We don't have a choice! There is no other choice. The circumstances give us no other choice. And I think it's winnable. The question is, can we find enough good men and women, in key positions, who are willing to do their part to make it work?
I think we can do it.
The Immigration Crisis
Freeman: Lyn, we have a number of questions that have been submitted both from Capitol Hill and also from around the country, on the question of immigration. This question has been submitted by Mark Thomas, who is a business agent for Iron Workers local #3 in Pittsburgh.
And he says: "Lyn, the situation on immigration is getting quite horrible. We have numbers of people sending in applications to be union iron workers, and we are in the midst of negotiating contracts to employ our members. At the same time, there are large numbers of people, who are either here legally, or who are completely undocumented, who are waiting in line to take the jobs being offered, who are obviously not in the union. These people, who are in fact desperate, are willing to work for low wages, and for very few benefits. Many of these folks have no health care. They themselves are living on a shoestring. The whole system is unfair to them, and they are being treated as virtual slaves. But it's equally unfair to skilled union employees, who also need to support their families. Can you describe what would be a sound immigration policy for the nation?"
LaRouche: Well, don't start with immigration, because that's not the place to start. Let's start, by talking about a national minimum wage law. Huh? And at the same time, let's talk about talking to Mexico, about building industries in northern Mexico. We've already got the problem, we caused it, because we wanted it! We wanted cheap labor!
Now, the point is, the Mexican is desperate, and he goes to some gangster, who's a drug-runner and a militarily skilled guy who kills. He's desperate, and he has nothing, so he slips across the border. These guys are slipping across the border, because they have no chance in Mexico! Particularly in northern Mexico. No chance at all!
And the jobs are offered here: They're brought into the United States! They don't break into the United States, they're brought in! By whom? By gangsters. And the United States doesn't dare touch some of these things, for example, in northern Mexico, right on the Texas border: The United States is fully aware of what's going on there with the drug running—one of the major sources of infiltration in that part of the world. They didn't do anything about it—they never did! They want it! They want cheap labor. And they want to break the unions in the United States.
So therefore, we have two policies: Number one, we're humane. We don't do anything inhumane. The first humane thing is, raise the minimum wage level! And enforce it! We need to do that anyway. We have people who can't afford health care—why? because they don't get enough income, things like that. So: Raise the minimum wage.
We don't need multibillion-dollar parachutes for bloodsuckers. Why aren't we taxing the hell out of these guys? Why are we giving them exemptions? Why are we giving them these things? We can take that away; they have no right to that, that's not a right!
And the other arm of the thing, is to cut a deal with Mexico! To build the industries in Mexico. Promote the industries in Mexico. For example: Mexico needs everything. Mexico does not have a rail line from Mexico City to El Paso. Doesn't have functioning rail line! It doesn't have water processing. Mexico has water; it has areas for growing crops, but it's not allowed to do that. This is something the United States created—and I was there, when it happened, in 1982. When they crushed my friend President López Portillo of Mexico. And that's when this hell started there. They had industries—they shut them down! They looted the place! They stole the place!
So therefore, we have two things: We've got to protect American workers? Protect them. All right, what's the best way to protect them? Minimum wage. That's your first line of protection. Protect their health-care systems, protect the things that are needed. We don't allow people to work cheap in the United States. We don't allow it. Then, we do what we can to deal with the problems, to upgrade people into higher-paying jobs, which is not going to hurt anybody who came into this country, to get a higher-paying job.
And we also, at the same time, work with Mexico and other countries below the border, to promote the industries and development in their own countries, particularly in infrastructure, the major area of immediate investment in northern Mexico. Because they have no infrastructure, so therefore, you can't do much there, because you don't have the infrastructure to do much with. So, build a couple of railroads, build some water management systems. That will keep people employed. You've got whole states in Mexico, where the remittances from people working in the United States pay for the families that live in Mexico, in those entire states. It's insane; it's inhuman.
So, if you take a human approach, it's a challenge, but it's not really a contradiction. Help them to stay in Mexico: which means you may have to give a few lectures to the current Mexican government, which is not a people-friendly government. But we can encourage, however, the government of Mexico to become a people-friendly government. That can be done, with U.S. help. In the meantime, raise the minimum wage here: We have to do it, anyway.
Real Leadership, Not 'Group Dynamics'
Freeman: The next question is from a Congresswoman from a major East Coast city. She says: "Mr. LaRouche, I represent a district, where the only hope many young men have of avoiding a life of crime, of obtaining gainful employment, and of possibly furthering their education, comes by joining the military. One of those young men, who did exactly that, and who served this country with two tours of duty in Iraq, is now facing criminal charges because he hired somebody to shoot him in the legs so he would not have to go back to Iraq. He would rather live his life as a cripple, than to have to serve a third tour.
"You began your remarks discussing a withdrawal plan. Yet, despite massive popular sentiment against the war, despite what we are told is major disquietude among the military brass, and despite the fact that an increasing number of Republicans seem to be coming out in opposition to the war, even a very small step to end the war failed to pass the United States Senate.
"I'd like to know from you, 1) what you think it will actually take? And 2) I am familiar with your Southwest Asia Doctrine and I was wondering if you had amended or altered that plan from the standpoint of an actual withdrawal?"
LaRouche: On the Southwest Asia policy, I have not really altered that in principle in any respect. It still applies. We have to engage the nations in the region in a cooperative venture. As I said, that will not work without some other things as well. But the other things won't work without that, too.
In this case here—I have a problem: I'm probably quite a capable leader of our country. But I'm all too capable for the liking of some people in power. Therefore, I'm not in that position—because they don't want me in that position! I've done a few things, as some of you know, in my life, in the 1970s and 1980s in particular, which terrified some people who thought I was all too powerful. And the SDI was one of these ventures, and some other things as well. And so therefore, they try to keep people like me out of government. They like cowards in government, they prefer them. And I'm afraid that you've got a streak of cowardice which is endemic.
You know, if a man gets into the Senate or the House of Representatives, you know how he's told what the rules of the game are. And the rules of the game make him impotent.
I've written a great deal about this business. This is an important scientific and political question, as to how people are turned into impotent people, who would not be impotent otherwise. You know, the myth is, that, in society, everyone is measured by their own qualities. That's bunk. Tragedy is never a matter of individuals. The exceptions to tragedy are a matter of individuals. Only exceptional individuals will break free of a tragedy.
Most tragedies are caused by common opinion, by shared cultures. You know, you'll often see people who, as individuals, will act quite rationally. But when the same individual is with a group, he will not act rationally. And he's operating under the influence of group dynamics. And all real Classical tragedy, including those written by Shakespeare, some ancient Greek tragedies, those written by Schiller and so forth: All great tragedies involve group dynamics. There is no tragedy which involves a hero. They're called "heroes"—they're not heroes. But they all submit to group dynamics. And they say, "Well, I would do that myself, but I can't, because I have to go along with my friends"—or this, or that. "Therefore, I can't consider that."
They come like Hamlet, you know? Hamlet, all Danes of that type—not our visiting great Danes, but the great Danes of that act—were cowards! Intrinsically cowards! Hamlet was a coward! But what kind of a coward? He's afraid of a ghost! He's afraid of the King. He wants to maneuver, with a play. It doesn't work. Then he says, "Well, nothing works! Therefore, I'm just going to go throw my body on the line, and get everybody killed," in the Third Act soliloquy. So therefore, all the figures in Hamlet, except Horatio, are traitors; they're all skunks. There's not a good man among them. There's not a good person in Macbeth. There's not a good person in Lear, not a sane one in Lear, they're all nuts. There's not a good figure in Julius Caesar, except the one who's mentioned, but not present: Cicero.
All tragedy is based on the commonality of self-destruction, of corruption, which works as group dynamics. The individual is bound as by an electric fence of opinion, and can not act independently. And you find, often in society, you find a real-life situation, in which an individual as an individual, isolated from their cronies, will act as a rational person. But when they're with their group, they're skunks. Hmm? And the problem here is, the "go along to get along" principle in the Congress, is a Skunk Hollow principle. The individuals who are perfectly sane, intelligent people, will not in the Congress in their capacity as members of Congress, act in an intelligent and honest way.
So therefore, you will find the individual general, the this, the that, the so forth, who's outside that particular part of the process. And the way you deal with that is you stir up a revolt against the consensus: Break the consensus! Destroy the consensus. That's the only way you get rationality under these kinds of conditions. Don't accept a consensus. Someone says, "I have to go along. I have to go along with my friends. I have to go along with this, with that."
"You're corrupt! You're rotten! You're part of the tragedy. You are the problem! Because you go along to get along, you are the problem."
It's breaking that, when you know morality requires you to break it, the guts to do that. And I have the guts to do that. I also happen to know a few things, which helps me choose when to do that.
But that's exactly it: We're in a situation, where we can win. The ability to win this fight is there. The trouble is to find enough people with the guts to do it!
'Are We Doomed to Mediocrity?'
Freeman: Lyn, the next question is from a state official. He's from the same state as the Congresswoman who just asked you the question. He says: "Lyn, today's Washington Post poll on the Presidential candidates indicates that to most respondents, strength and leadership are more important to them, than what was identified as 'new ideas.' There is no question that I will work to elect the Democratic Presidential nominee, whoever he or she is. But given the nature of the current crisis, particularly as you've described it, I can't honestly say that any of the announced candidates stand out, either because of their new ideas, or because of the strength of their leadership. And as such, I'm not really comfortable picking a President by default.
"Is there a dark horse potential out there? Or are we in fact doomed to mediocrity?" [laughter]
LaRouche: Well, I'll tell you—let me just say, that when I say that government must do something, I'm taking personal responsibility for getting it done. If I say that we need a President with certain qualities, and I'm prepared to do my part, to ensure that the President has available, the qualities they need for that part. I'm not running for office; but if we get a good selection, a workable selection, I'm going to be there. And I'm going to do my job. And it will happen. And I know some other people around government, who have similar qualities, and I would ensure, or attempt to ensure, that they are represented.
You know, when Roosevelt took over, Franklin Roosevelt, he brought in a guy, Harry Hopkins, who didn't come from nowhere. Harry Hopkins was a specialist, who did a great deal in building up the mass employment and so forth, the public works programs, but he also was a military programmer. Because, the day, as now, as I described the situation today, now—remember that Roosevelt was actually inaugurated as President within a couple of weeks after Hitler had received dictatorial powers from the original author of the Federalist Society in the United States, Carl Schmitt. And therefore, Hitler had become a dictator, through Hermann Göring, who was the Dick Cheney of the moment, who set fire to the Reichstag, in order to create a 9/11 type event, which was used to give Hitler dictatorial powers, which he never relinquished until the day he died.
So, Harry Hopkins came in as Roosevelt's man, because Harry Hopkins was also a key part of the military organization of the United States. And the day that Franklin Roosevelt became President, he already knew that the United States was going to fight a war against Hitler, and that we had to prepare for it. And the entire organization of the effort, which included people like Dwight Eisenhower; also MacArthur was a key part of this, the industrial policy; other people. That the recovery program of the United States was a dual program: It was building an industrial capability for fighting and winning a war.
Our soldiers were not the most capable soldiers that existed during World War II. The Germans were. Performance all the way around, the German military was far more capable than we were in combat. But we had one thing, which the United States had, and created under Roosevelt, which Harry Hopkins represented: We had logistical capability. Where they had a few hundred pounds, we had tons of logistics. And we built a system: We built more airplanes than the world ever believed could have existed, each year! We built more of this and more of that than anybody! And I was there. And I trained some of our soldiers, that was one of my jobs—they were bums! But we won the war! And we won the war with logistics!
And Roosevelt came in, and therefore he picked a team of experts among all the people around him, and that hard-core team knew that we were going to save the U.S. economy, and they knew we were going to have to fight war against Hitler.
And the problem was, we had to get the British, who put Hitler into power, to quit, and join the United States. And we did: As long as Roosevelt was around to bite the heels and the legs of the British, they behaved themselves ... somewhat. And Roosevelt used to refer to them as "that bastard!" "That bastard! That bastard!" He would tell Churchill that his key man, "Hey I know why you brought that bastard here!" And so forth.
So, Roosevelt had no illusions. He was an actual, real leader. And you need a real leader in the United States. But that's the kind of leader you need—you need the American-style leader, not the dictator, but the American-style leader, who knows what has to be done, who is determined to do it, who has a long view, and who pulls the crew around them to get the job done. It'll be a mess. It'll be slop, like our war was slop... but we won! And if Roosevelt had lived, we'd have won more. And that's the way you have to approach it.
A Mission-Oriented Approach to Economics
Freeman: The next question will come from the audience: Michelle Rasmussen, one of the leaders of our Danish organization.
LaRouche: A Great Dane.
Q: Your associates in Europe, in the Schiller Institute, are organizing a conference on Sept. 15th and 16th on the subject of getting a Bering Strait connection built. And we in the Schiller Institute in Denmark have been proposing, that Denmark lead Europe in building the first commercial maglev line. These proposals have really sparked the imagination of the population and of some of the political institutions, some of the press. And the only real significant opposition so far has been people who say, "Well, it costs too much money!"
You addressed some of this in your speech, but I just wanted to ask you, how you respond to those people. And what more can you say about the importance of the Bering Strait Project, to help inspire people to participate in the conference?
LaRouche: See, the problem with most economists, especially accountants, is they think like monkeys. And therefore, they don't know how to do these things, because they think like monkeys.
Now, human beings are not monkeys. Some people fool us and pretend to be, quite successfully, but people are not monkeys. Now, the difference is, human beings change the productive powers of mankind, through the assimilation and generation of discoveries of principle, and the discoveries of applications of those principles. That's the difference between a human being and a slave. A slave is not allowed to invent anything. A slave is told to do as they're told. And most people in society today, in the United States, are slaves. They're told not to think—and they do that very well. They don't think.
So therefore, the key thing here is, economics is based on a principle which is unknown to virtually every professional economist in the United States. That principle is the human mind, the creative powers of the human mind. Those of us who are old enough to remember the time that we were actually productive; in all kinds of jobs, you would have factories that would have production suggestion boxes. Now, they were not junk; a typical suggestion for a company that had some high technology in it, would be something that would have been crafted over a period of probably some months, by one person or a number of persons who were employees in that plant. And they would work out a plan, a detailed plan for a device or a tactic or something; they would work it out in great detail, with essentially the equivalent of scientific precision, or a machine-tool like precision. They'd work it through, and it wasn't—you know, "Give a Kleenex to the something or other," but something really serious of that type which would affect production.
In World War II production, under those kinds of conditions, even in the postwar period, you would have this kind of re-lofting of an aircraft. For example, Grumman at one point, in the immediate postwar period, was making innovations in its aircraft. And they made the mistake of having this pile-up of revisions. At first, they would say, "Well, let's make each revision in order." That is, they would take revision #1, revision #2, revision #3, and the problem was that when they put these series of revisions through, they were cutting holes in all kinds of things, in making these different kinds of attachments and arrangements. So, they realized they had to re-loft the whole thing from the end result, rather than trying to do it step by step. And what we would have, is you would have people who would make these kinds of suggestions in these kinds of industries, who actually would go through that process and say, "This is the mistake we're making. Here's how we have to do it," and that kind of re-lofting idea would come out of that sort of thing.
So, you had, in the idea of high-technology production, especially coming out of World War II, where we brought a lot of people into war production and similar things, we had a high premium on innovation. This continued in the so-called Cold War period, where innovation was important. But as the effect of the right-wing turn into suppressing the mental agility of people in production, they became less and less creative, and a smaller and smaller number of people were working.
We had a convergence, where the launching of the manned Moon landing, actually on the authority of [President] Kennedy, was the last great step we made in net effect in this direction. By the 1970s, we were already destroying that power of innovation in the population, and people were becoming less and less creative, and what's called "innovation" today, tends toward crap more often than it is something useful.
So, that's the problem. But we have the ability, if we organize properly, to stimulate this creative power in people. Look, we're doing it in the Basement out there, in a sense, in getting people to go through a certain sequence of their own self-development.[*] What's important is not getting the result which they produce for somebody else to look at. What's important is the self-development of going through this exercise, of working something out more or less independently, and developing their own mental powers. And that's what's important.
So if I say, we take a mission-oriented approach to management, as opposed to what's called a "management approach" today—and you give people a mission-oriented assignment, with some freedom to express this mission orientation, you will find that the human factor among talented young people, will cause you to generate improvements in the process, which will increase constantly, the effective, productive powers of labor. That, what you do in planning the economy, planning programs in the economy, is you play on that factor: of inspiring people to become creative in a true sense, not creative in some kind of "how to make a better paper clip," but really—and you get that creative factor; if you have a high science content in your drive, that sort of thing. You know, the farmers, for example, in the 1950s, the farmers in the United States, were coming out of the World war II experience, and you had young farmers going to agricultural institutions, and they were becoming agricultural scientists, agronomists. And they were making innovations in crop design and in methods of production, faster than the Agriculture Department or anybody else could keep up with them. This was killed in the 1970s, this impetus. This is the same thing, in the history of war production during World War II and immediately after, the same thing that I referred to before.
So therefore, if you plan development properly, if you plan it from an economic standpoint, to activate the human factor, of human creativity, in this way, in productive efficiency, then this is the source of the gain which is the net physical gain in productive output that you get by an investment. It comes from the human mind. The activation of the creative powers of the individual human mind, those innovations are the margin, by which the increase in the productive powers of labor is generated. And the key thing to successful economy is to organize an economy around that kind of motivation and method. And we know that you can take a 3 to 5% average gain in productive powers of labor in society, by simply approaching things with that kind of understanding. It's automatic.
That's why we insist that the rate of interest on loans for production should be less than 2%. Because at less than 2%, we can create a significant margin of gain in productive powers of labor, so that we can easily afford the 1 to 2% interest rate on the loans, if it's not compounded.
So, that's the way it works. And we know that works, we know how that works (at least some of us do), and therefore, when you plan how the economy should go, that's the way you do it. You look at these kinds of factors, you know how you can get the gain, and you're getting the gain by what the innovation factor is that you're getting from the people who are doing the job. It is the productive powers of labor, not the shrewdness of management! It's not money that earns profit: It's people that create it.
'What Can Save the Auto Industry?'
Freeman: The next question is from Darrin Gilley [ph], who is a UAW official from St. Louis, Missouri. And he says, "Lyn, would it be possible for the Big Three automakers to actually negotiate a fair labor agreement with the UAW under current market conditions? Is it possible for the auto industry to overcome the unfair trade practices that are currently undermining all American industry? What do you recommend for the UAW and other unions, as we approach these current labor negotiations that are now set to begin, given the current economic crisis as you've developed it?"
LaRouche: Well, I would say, the easy way to get that, is to let me do it.
Because you're not going to get it from the union level. That's not the way you're going to get the result. You get the result from the participation of the people in the unions on the program, but you have to have a Roosevelt type of approach. It has to be, the government which is able to organize its tax policy, and other things, simply says, "We have a policy," as Roosevelt did. "We have a policy."
As I said earlier, in response to an earlier question: Raise the minimum wage. Raise it! Enforce it! Enforce the raise in the minimum wage.
You also do other things the same way. And what you do, is you consult with everybody involved on these things. You consult with the unions and so forth involved, and you negotiate, sitting around a table or discussions—you negotiate, and say, "Would you go along with this? Would you go along with this?" That sort of thing. And you come up with a package.
But the intent, is the commitment of government to make something work. You never will have a private initiative on this kind of policy question, which by itself will solve a problem on a national basis. It has to be the government. The government has to have a political commitment to achieve a result. And call in the people who are affected, like the unions and so forth, and say, "Let's discuss this. We're looking in this direction: What do you have to say about it?" And you come up with a package. And with the power of government behind the package, you make sure it works. And if the union understands what it is, if they cooperate, it probably will work! Usually does. If it doesn't work, you'll learn a lesson from it, and you go back and take another crack at it and try it again, and you'll get the result.
But it's the human initiative, and human will. It's not systems; it's not plots and schemes, and so forth. It's a social process, always focused on one thing: a mission-orientation—where do you want to take society? Where do you want to go? How can we get there? What are the implications? And then the will and cooperation to get the job done. Just like warfare.
But the emphasis always has to be on human creativity. And you will find in general, that the guy who is creative—. See, the worst trade union bureaucrat is the hack. He doesn't want to think about creativity. He wants to think about "this here deal." He doesn't want to think about creativity. But the young, vigorous, or the old guy who likes science, who likes that sort of thing, he wants to do a good job. And he has ideas about how things can work, and he'll make things work. Whereas you get this bureaucratic mentality, that's tough to deal with.
But you work around it. You find the creative people in the situation, and you try to give them a little more leverage, and make their weight felt more effectively, and it comes out.
But the way to do it, is simply, we have to lower the profits in the United States, particularly financial profits. We have to increase the profitability of production, have to lower the profitability of speculation to less than zero, hmm? Shrink it down. And we have to emphasize scientific and technological progress, greater capital intensity, much more emphasis on basic economic infrastructure that's related to production. And being intelligent. That's all there is to it.
But if we decide that we're going to change the United States back to what it was, before Kennedy was killed, at least—if we decide we're going to do that, and we're going to use those kinds of criteria, it'll work! It'll work. Unless they kill us. But it will work.
And that's how it's done. It's done by the human will and intellect, but you have to have a commitment from the top down, or it won't work. If you have a commitment from the top down to prevent it from working, it's probably not going to work.
The 'Lobster Summit'
Freeman: Lyn, the next question is from the chief of staff of a Senate office, which has major responsibility for foreign policy. And she asks: "Mr. LaRouche, at the beginning of this month, coming out of the "Lobster Summit," it looked as if reason had prevailed and that our planet had been granted something of a reprieve. Now, however, it looks like that reprieve was a very brief one. In your view, have we lost what was accomplished there? If not, how can we actually regain the momentum of the Kennebunkport process, and by doing so, avoid what some have referred to as the 'Guns of August'?"
LaRouche: Well, in a sense, I don't think we lost anything as such. We lost time; we lost an opportunity, a momentary opportunity. But the problem is, we didn't get rid of Cheney! That's the problem.
I mean, when the President got back to Washington, and he got into the hands of that Rove-ing idiot who advises him, and Cheney, hmm? Or, Rove-ing hands, or whatever he is. But, the President took a flop backwards. He's of fragile mind anyway, and the flower, the bloom wilted rather quickly.
See, the fact is, the President is actually Trilby. He can only sing when his hypnotist has got him under control. If the hypnotist doesn't hypnotize him, he can't sing. So, he's dependent upon Cheney. It's a horrible spectacle, isn't it?
But, anyway, he got back and Cheney went to work on him. And he went back into Cheneyism.
And my answer is: You idiots! You're talking about impeaching Bush. You idiot! You idiot! You idiot! What you have to do is get rid of Cheney. By impeaching him? Well, you don't have to really impeach him. First of all, you have to decide you want to get rid of him, and you want to get rid of him without shooting him. There are ways to do that. You just have to have the determination.
If you get the right combination of people to realize they're going to save the nation, and some tough people who won't give up, Cheney is out! That simple. If Cheney is out, Kennebunkport is back—provided we do what I've indicated today has to be done. You have to commit yourself absolutely: We are getting the troops pulled back in August! Not September, not November. They're pulled back in August.
To make that possible, we have to enter into a discussion with Russia—because Western Europe doesn't mean anything right now; there's no competence there. China, and India—because India's now scared, because of what happened with Pakistan. Because anyone in India who understands things, knows that a destruction of Pakistan, of the type that's in progress now, means that India's going to be affected. So therefore, this is essential.
If we do that, then that puts it back on the table. In other words, you had the father of the idiot, who's not the brightest bulb in the world either—but the father of the idiot, and the idiot, decided that they wanted to move in a certain direction. And the father was pushing it, and other people were pushing it. That's good. All right, we've lost that in that form, but if we do this, and then get Cheney to get out, and then push this at the same time, then go back to Russia. Because the White House knows, whether the President fully understands it or not, that if we want to pull this off in Southwest Asia, we have to have cooperation from Russia. There's no other nation that's crucial for this, otherwise. The others then come in, and you can pull it together.
So therefore, we have not lost the issue. That was a gain that that happened. We've lost the way we thought we were going to get it, by getting a first step, and then going to another step, and then another step in cooperation. We lost that. But what we did, was good, it was important. We can bring it back, this way. And the way to do it, is go at: We know we've got to pull this deal with Southwest Asia; we pull out, get the agreement. But we know that won't work, without the Presidency going to Russia, going to Putin, to get the other nations involved, to create the circumstances in which the thing will work.
So, I don't think we lost anything. We lost time. And get Cheney out: It's all solved. But get him out!!
The Principle of Creativity
Freeman: This is a question from the audience, from Alan Egre.
Q: It comes from your new paper, "Music: Science or Fantasy," footnote 3, to be specific, where you go through the whole progression from Archimedes' quadrature of the circle, and then Nicholas of Cusa, his refuting of the quadrature of the circle; and then you go through Kepler's discovery of gravitation, to the infinitesimal calculus, to elliptical functions.
Now, my question is general, but I want to understand that progression more, because working on the Kepler work, it's hard to really understand what Kepler's going through without really understanding the whole progression. Like what is the actual historical context that he sits in. So, if you could elaborate.
LaRouche: There's a principle involved. And the principle is that Archimedes was wrong! Archimedes was incompetent. He was competent in some things, but on this he was incompetent. Because you can not define the circle, ontologically, by quadrature. You never come to an actual circular motion: It's always in some small—it's rectangular.
Now, this becomes obvious to you—Nicholas of Cusa was the one who recognized this. Nicholas had been getting all these papers, which he and others had collected from the archives in Greece, where some of these old things were still there and maintained. He realized that Archimedes was wrong, and he realized that it was a systemic error in the thinking of Archimedes, which in point of fact, was not an error in Archimedes' associate and correspondent, Eratosthenes. Eratosthenes of Egypt made no such error; Archimedes did.
Now, the thing becomes clear, on reflection, when you go to the first stage of Kepler's discovery of gravitation. And the point is, as long as you believe—which is what the error is, of this quadrature—as long as you believe, as most people today who are mis-educated believe, that if you know the mathematical formula, the formula is what determines the pathway of action. But the formula does not determine the pathway of action: The formula was an attempt to describe the pathway of action, it does not determine, it is not the motive, as Gauss dealt with this thing—it is not the motive for the action. What pushes, what causes, what is the motive? Because, not only does the planet follow an elliptical orbit, but it has a certain variation in its rate of motion, of the equal times/equal areas, right? So, where does the motive come for equal times/equal areas? Because it's the equal time/equal area, the volume, and the volume effect, which determines the rate of change of motion. So, you don't have quadrature, because you have a rate of change of motion! A rate of change of the vector of motion! In the smallest degree: So there is no possibility of quadrature.
This then involves the fundamental principle, which becomes the principle of the Leibniz calculus, which is first defined as the principle of the calculus by Kepler, on this basis, and on the basis of harmonics. Which means that, when you get to harmonics, you realize that—as I lay out in the paper here—you have this relationship: You've got on the one hand, two senses that are primary, vision and hearing, harmonics. Now, these are two different senses. Now, you often will find, as you can hear, up here at the podium, at the same time you have vision and hearing, are going on simultaneously. Vision and hearing, which are two distinct senses, are like instrumentation of your experience of the universe.
Vision and hearing, they're different. Hearing is not symmetrical with seeing. Seeing: Idiots believe in something like Cartesian geometry, or Euclidean geometry—but only an idiot really believes in Euclidean geometry. Because Euclidean geometry says, "I believe in what I see. I pay no attention to what I hear." Hmm? Typical idiot. He sits in a classroom, "I see everything," he hears nothing. Like the three monkeys.
So, in any case, the point is, that the mind is not a simple reflection of sense-perception. A description of motion, as described by a faculty of sense-perception, whether it's harmonic or vision, is not reality. Reality is something which is neither, but is that which is common to both. Now, this faculty of the human mind, to define an infinitesimal, as Kepler defines an infinitesimal, is the faculty of science, physical science, which corresponds to human creativity, which is the difference between man and a monkey.
So, that's the issue. So therefore, on the issue as I lay out that series, is, Archimedes made an error. Archimedes was a very creative mind, but he couldn't identify creativity in geometry. Whereas Eratosthenes could, his correspondent.
So therefore, once you define creativity, which is what Kepler did with that discovery, and then he went to harmonics, and he defined the relationship—Kepler's calculation for gravitation involves harmonics, not just vision. It's not just equal areas/equal time—it involves harmonics. So therefore, you have the faculty of vision and the faculty of hearing, or harmonics—harmonics is not just hearing—but harmonics, and therefore harmonics determines the organization of the Solar System. It's not quite the way you would think otherwise, but it's that.
So thus, the mind is neither sight nor hearing: These are merely instrumentations, like instrumentation of any experiment. The mind resolves that which does not correspond simply to sense-perception. And it's this understanding, the human mind's ability to discover these things, discover the ironies of sight and hearing, in respect to a phenomenon, which is the location of the function of creativity in the human being, which distinguishes the human being from an animal.
Now, once you discover this, then you have Leibniz's discovery of the calculus, which is based on Kepler. Then you have Fermat's proof of least action, which is another irony of the same type. So, now, when Leibniz unifies, together with Jean Bernouilli, the question of the relationship of the harmonics and vision in this way, by taking least action as well as this principle of the infinitesimal, then you get the universal physical least action. Which is the basis, which leads into—once you get rid of Euclid and all of this other nonsense—it leads into Riemann. And once you get to Riemann, you have a picture of the universe as man knows it, today. It's not as we will know it a hundred years from now, but it's as we know it today.
So, the point is, once you get on that track, as I enumerate that track, the point is, that this is a track which defines human creativity. Which means, if you just study mathematics and don't learn to sing, like Bach would force you to sing, or should force you sing, you don't know a damned thing! You have to know both. And because you have to find the resolution which makes you something more than an animal, something more than a machine: You're not simply a piece of instrumentation attached to another piece of instrumentation. You are the living mind, which distinguishes you from an animal. And society, and social relations should therefore be based on that which distinguishes human beings from animals. That's the issue.
Freeman: Well, when we started today's seminar, we started with the idea that we needed three more members of Congress to sign on to the Kucinich resolution, in order for Chairman Conyers to proceed with impeachment proceedings. Before we actually officially convened, we needed [only] two more.
Lyn, in his first remarks, said that "it was time to make history," and there are few things that he has said that I agree more than that....
You've been a great audience. Please join me in thanking Lyn.