`Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread'
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Lyndon LaRouche gave the speech excerpted here to the Second International Food for Peace Conference, in Chicago, Dec. 10, 1988. Subheads have been added.
Around the world, as most of you know, the conditions of food crisis exist, and will worsen over the coming 12 months. It is almost as if we can hear a section of the Lord's Prayer coming from the developing nations, from the poor of Eastern Europe, from the poor, the tens of millions of poor in our own country: "Give us this day our daily bread."
The question is, who is going to answer that prayer? Who is going to be the hand of Providence to ensure that entire nations are not biologically swept from the map in the coming years, as Uganda is being swept from the map today? You have the greatest genocide in all human history; who will see that it is not unleashed in full force in the coming two years?
It is possible to locate fairly readily the principal culprits for this drought. The drought is not natural. We are in the middle of the natural cycle of droughts. We should be at the high point of our weather patterns, but we're in a manmade drought Which men made it?
In one part of the world, it was the Soviet Empire and Communist China. In the rest of the world, the drought was made by the kinds of policies which have been maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since the early 1960s. The USDA and its policies, as carried out by the European Commission and similar agencies throughout the world, if permitted, will kill more human beings with genocide than any other agency in history to date. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is not owned by the American people; it's owned by the international grain cartels. You had Daniel Amstutz at the USDA [as Undersecretary of Agriculture]; Amstutz is a Cargill grain company official. Cargill grain cartel officials have run the USDA since at least the early 1960s, under Kennedy and Johnson....
Much of this disaster has been caused by the influence of the environmentalists. The environmentalists are the greatest mass murderers in history, next to the grain cartels, and the USDA's policies.
We live in an earthly biosphere. The biosphere is organized in a certain way. I happen to know a great deal about that. I've spent a great part of my life on that particular question. The biosphere depends upon higher states of organization, and it depends upon an increase in the amount of energy organized in a suitable form available per square hectare and per unit weight of biomass. When you turn the clock backward, by simply depleting rain forests as they did in Brazil, as a result of U.S. and international financial institutions' policies, beginning in the 1960s, you are destroying the biosphere. The rainforest was looted, and the land was turned into a desert in the areas where this was done. This area is spreading. The amount of land area lost in Brazil every year is equivalent to the size of a state of the United States.
As a result of this, in particular, one of the great weather systems in the world—the Brazilian Amazon system—decided to move from its usual parking place over the Amazon Basin. It moved out into the South Atlantic. This happened in the early 1970s. This has had a ping-pong effect on the entire world's weather systems. As a result, we've had problems ever since then.
Nuclear Energy for Development
Similar policies were implemented in other parts of the world. When we put land in reserve without maintaining a cover on agricultural land put in reserve, we are destroying the environment. We are changing weather patterns. When we insisted that the sub-Saharan states increase the rate of taxation on grazing farmers, they over-grazed the land and helped to spread the sub-Saharan desert, destroying entire regions.
In Indonesia, an entire island's wood supply in a rainforest was cut down. This rainforest happened to be situated in a location which is one of the most powerful catalysts for the world's weather system, especially the monsoon system of South Asia and Southeast Asia. In India, the average temperature has risen about 10°F in the post-war period. Why? The cutting of trees as fuel for cooking. Why? Because of those who are opposed to a high-technology orientation for the development of India's agriculture.
We've looked at India's agriculture. It could be developed. In this case, it's not just the international authorities. It's the Indian state bureaucracy, one of the most evil phenomena on the face of this Earth, which ruled India....
India has one of the largest government development budgets of any nation in the world, a vast amount of money because of the country's large population. If this money were properly spent for improvement of water management for reforestation, especially with fruit trees, like the mango tree, [India's water resources could be brought under control, and] you could provide food.
Also needed is the improvement of the rail system, which is breaking down for lack of nuclear power. The only power available to solve India's economic development problem is nuclear power. What they now use is coal. They transport the coal from the mines to the places where they combust the coal for generating electricity. The entire Indian railway system is occupied by transporting coal, and it is collapsing as a result.
Without nuclear energy, which can be developed in India very easily, India will not develop. India has great resources of radioactive thorium and the thorium-cycle fission reactor is perfect for them. With that, water management, transportation development, the development of India could be very readily accomplished. But India's bureaucracy fears that if their country is developed, the "Untouchables"—politely called the "scheduled castes"—and the other low-ranking and poorer social strata in India, would rise to social equality with the South Indian Brahmins. They would rather keep their own country in perpetual poverty than allow their fellow Indians to achieve social equality with them....
Toward 100 Billion People
So that is what we're doing to nature. We are not developing. This would mean increasing the density of energy in use by man on the planet. We should have a very explicit policy to develop in terms of using gigawatts of energy a day, to using terawatts of energy, within two generations from now. This is very simple. We can do it, if we are determined to do it. We can increase the potential population density of his planet in the next 50 to 60 years by a factor of 10. If we used all the technology we had at the beginning of the 1970s, and applied it freely on a global scale to all the development problems, including infrastructural technology, this planet could sustain between 50 and 25 billion people at a standard comparable to that we used to enjoy in the United States when times were much better, about 20 years ago, when we all had a better living standard.
With what we have available, we can increase that standard of living by a factor of 40 to 50 times in terms of productivity, over the next two to three generations. We have the means in hand to do so, if we are so determined. If we were to take the attitude that the United States had under the Kennedy space program, or actually the Eisenhower-Kennedy space program, from around 1958 to about 1965, if we maintained that, combined with policies of tax credits for investment of a suitable kind, with a science enrichment program in our schools, and similar kinds of things, and we did that, nothing more than that, we could accomplish this task. I can assure you, that knowing what we know is important to work upon in science and technology, if mankind on this planet had the political will to do just that, we would increase the potential population density of this planet at a higher standard of living by a factor of as much as 40 over the next three generations, by a factor of 10. We could sustain by the end of two generations, a potential population in the order of magnitude of 100 billion people—more comfortably, much better fed, much more secure, much freer, much less crowded than today, because we'd use land more intelligently....
Farmers and Eaters Unite!
In this matter, the way in which we organize around the Food for Peace question will determine whether or not we succeed. Let me be very brutally frank about this, as I am on many occasions. I have been involved in a significant degree in fighting on the agricultural issue in this country and abroad for about 12 years. And I tell you that, in general, except for a handful of farmers in this country, farmers behave like a bunch of idiots.
When you would tell farmers how they ought to organize, they say, "No, we're just going to just organize farmers, and we farmers as farmers will work out tactics for solving our problems." Now, where are those farmers today? Where are those farm organizations which had this great all-so-wise policy?
And then, on the other hand, you go out to the other side of the tracks, to the people who eat. And you say to the people who eat, "Look, if the farmers are not able to produce, what's going to happen to your diet?" And they say, "I don't depend on farmers. I buy my food at the supermarket." And that's literally the case. I'm not exaggerating. That's not hyperbole. I have had this thrown in my face so many times by the so-called consumerists.
The society is divided into two kinds of people, according to the late President Johnson: producers and consumerists. And we have to protect the consumerists against the producers. As a matter of fact, we have succeeded. Less than 10% of the total population of the United States is in any way productive. Guess why we have inflation? Guess why we are poor?
Someone said we have too much agriculture, too much industry, too much infrastructure. All the things which are productive. So we have stopped doing productive things. We have turned ourselves into an international scrap heap, a junk yard, a wasteland, an agro-industrial wasteland. And you can see it, flying over this country on a clear day, agriculture as we used to see it. Look at it today. What about southwards of Chicago? What happened to that? What happened to the other industries? Where's the tax revenue base of the cities? What are we doing with our suburban sprawl?
We're not housing more people. We are moving people out of slums into places with a 30-year mortgage and a 10-year life expectancy. When these $300,000 gypsum shacks fall down, there won't be anything left. If a heavy man leans against one of these row shacks, the whole kit and caboodle is going to come down. Imagine if you had elephants with this thing! A gale-force wind would take the whole thing out into the Atlantic.
What we have to do is recognize that in order to win, we can't count people in numbers alone. You have to count the combat potential of people for what China calls "Peoples War," in which there are often no front lines, except everything is a front line. You have to build the spiritual strength of people....
We have to attend to the way our works impact upon the faith, the faith needed for the struggle. We have to fight in a manner which is consistent with the goals for which we fight. The farmers and the eaters must unite. They have but one cause, one common interest. There is no essential conflict between them. What is good for the farmer is good for the eater. Without that, eaters will cease to be eaters.
There is no part of society, no constituency, which does not have the same interest. There is no people of any nation which has any different interest than that of any other nation in this matter. We're speaking of the future of hundreds of billions of unborn souls, without whose success our lives mean nothing. That is the common interest which unites each and every one of us such that there is no distinction among any of us on this issue, on this cause, on this interest.
We must fight so, fight with love of humanity by thinking especially of those hundreds of billions of souls waiting to be born. Thinking also of those whose martyrdom and other sacrifice gave us what is our potential and our debt to them, respecting what we pass on to the future. We must think of our lives as something lived from moment to moment, but as a very small piece of experience with a beginning and, not too much later, an end. And think of our lives not as things that are lived for pleasure, in and of themselves, but as an opportunity to fulfill a purpose, a purpose which is reflected in what we bequeath to those hundreds of billions of souls waiting to be born.
We must understand that, if we at any point were forced to cut short our mortal life by spending it in a way which ensured the cause of those hundreds of billions of souls yet to be born, we could walk to death with joy, because we had completed our life. Fulfilled it. We might have been denied a chance of fulfilling it a little bit more, but nonetheless we had fulfilled it.
To do this, we must fill our hearts with love for our fellow human beings, a love called "agape" in the original Greek, "caritas" in the Latin, and "charity" in the King James version of the Bible, as referred to in Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. The quality of agape, the quality of charity, the quality of sacred love, which unites us as individuals with the hundreds of billions of unborn souls for whose love we can give our lives, and with whom we can walk smiling with joy, knowing that in a sense they love us too, even though they are yet to be born. It gives us a sense of the true importance of our lives, the true joy of being a living human being.
We must work with one another in the sense of that attitude toward historical humanity. Humanity which is as a great family which owes to its past generations and the present owes to its future generations. The love uniting that family is in the matter of works. Works are the practical expression of faith, from which faith derives the strength to fight and win this war.
If we can do so, I am certain we shall win. I am better than most at understanding the laws of nature, natural law generally, and understanding such recondite concepts as Absolute Time, and things of that sort. I can understand, perhaps, more readily than most, how faith expressed in this way, in a practical way, is assured of success. We are each little, we are each individual, but if we know we are united to this effect, then we know that what each of us as an individual does in this united way will be caused to prosper.
Thus, in this terrible moment of humanity, when civilization as we have known it for hundreds of years threatens to be removed from us in the coming two to ten years or so, as we face the risk of losing civilization, we also have the possibility of heroic solution to this crisis. Of becoming generations, which in our time, faced with the cup of Gethsemane, accepted it, and thus perpetuated, in the imitation of Christ, the cause of the salvation of future souls.