Our Creative Universe
Lyndon LaRouche delivered this webcast address from Northern Virginia, on April 19, 2011. LaRouche's opening address, transcribed below, was followed by a question-and-answer period between LaRouche and listeners [transcript available here]. Debra Freeman, LaRouche's national spokeswoman, was the moderator. The webcast is archived here.
Debra Freeman: Good afternoon, everyone.
Obviously, the last several weeks have been weeks of incredible events and activity, not only on the galactic level, but also in the realm of strategic policy, here in the United States, and really, all across the world. It is a period in which things that people normally did not expect to happen, have happened, and there are many occurrences that I think we will all experience, for better or worse, over the course of the coming days and weeks ahead. The question is, whether or not we, as a people, and as a nation, are prepared to face those questions, to address them, and to deal with them.
And with that, I think there's probably no one better suited to address those issues, than Lyndon LaRouche. So, without any further introduction, Ladies and Gentlemen, Lyndon LaRouche.
Lyndon LaRouche: Thank you. I didn't realize you all like bad news, because that's the best I can give you. The question is, can you turn the bad news, which I have to report to you, to the contrary, good news, by an act of magic, which is not really magic, but it's actually by telling the truth, which is itself, these days, rather magical. So I shall subject you to some magic.
First of all, we have two crucial problems before the human race as a whole, right now. The problem is, that while we have in the generation located chiefly between the ages of about 25 at the minimum, and up to about 45, we have generations or parts of generations, in the trans-Atlantic community in particular, which are very activated about some of the things which are very real issues, which constitute threats to mankind.
What you have in the older generation, is a lack of specific response, generally, to the reality of the present situation. They would like to have a reality which corresponds to their traditional agenda. And what is happening around the world today, including the United States, does not correspond, to anything that a Baby-Boomer would consider their traditional agenda. So there are very few people in that range of over age 60-65, who are still attuned to the kinds of things which are the reality of the world today.
We have two realities to contend with, two leading realities: On the one hand, you have, this week—and it broke out in Europe on Sunday and Monday—a present, immediate threat of a general breakdown of the European system. That does not mean that you can predict a date for the breakdown. It means that the condition of a breakdown exists. Don't look for an event, don't look for a statistical event. Look for the condition:
For example, the Finnish election set off a chain reaction, a shudder throughout Europe. What happened in Iceland, set off a challenge. Greece is ready to crash; Portugal is ready to crash. A chain-reaction crash of the economy is occurring right now, this week, all over the world! You find depreciation; certain banks and other institutions are sinking the value of the U.S. dollar and other currencies around the world.
The system is collapsing. The evidence is there. Everyone who is sentient in the United States, and abreast of what's going on, in a sense, knows it! But they're not responding to it. The response is coming largely from a generation between the ages of 25 and of 45. That's where you see the mass-strike effect, as in the movement of teachers and students, which is a reflection of the same mass-strike process which erupted in Europe, centered on the Tunis and Egypt developments; and is still going on.
The U.S. Can Not Survive with Obama as President
We are now in a condition of a general cessation of civilization! The breakdown is occurring in the trans-Atlantic community, but the Asian community, such as China and India, Japan, and so forth, could not withstand a chain-reaction collapse of the trans-Atlantic system. The British system is ready to blow. The United States will die, unless the current President is first removed from office! So anyone who's talking about postponing expelling this President from office, under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, is not talking about anything worth discussing, in the United States. Because, without the removal of this President, soon, abruptly, as soon as possible, there's not going to be a United States. You have a choice: Save the United States, or go down with Obama. If you don't get rid of Obama, you can not save this United States, from something which is coming down on it right now! And the development this week is typical of that.
The collapse of the estimated value of the U.S. dollar, accompanied by a series of collapses in Europe, indicates that we're now in the onset of a general, hyperinflationary-driven, breakdown crisis. It has happened. Don't read the newspapers, read the faces of your neighbors, when they talk about their employment, when they talk about the price of food, when they talk about these kinds of things. They will accept these facts, as facts, but they will not accept the reality of the situation.
The reality is, you can blabber all you want. You can talk about this, you can talk about that, but if you're not prepared to remove this President from office, under the terms of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, you are not serious about the United States. You may think you're serious about the United States. You may think you have deep feelings about the United States. But you're not doing anything, or thinking anything, that's going to lead to saving the United States! Because without the removal of this President from office, there is not going to be a United States! That's a fact!
You want to talk about other issues? Forget it! You're at war! The question is, are you going lose the war, or win it? You can't talk about the issues of warfare: Are you going to win or lose the war? Are you willing to make the decision, which is required, to win the war? If you're not discussing that decision, if you're not willing to act on that decision, you don't give a damn about the United States. You're just talking as if you did, or you're in a dream world, outside of reality.
We're now at the end of trans-Atlantic civilization. Europe is crumbling! Germany does not have a real government! What's going on in Europe is insane! The Green revolution is insane, it's criminally insane! It's the end of civilization, the end of humanity. These are the real issues.
People want to talk about finding a "practical" political solution; they're kidding themselves. They're wasting their own time.
And so, that's the fundamental reality, first of all, as of Monday, for example. In Europe, on Monday, the facts were laid down: This system is coming down! And U.S. dollar values were given a big inflationary kick in the pants, as a step to a collapse of the U.S. economy. You have not seen what can happen to the price of food in the immediate future for most Americans! And that decision has already been made! And you will never change that decision in time, if this guy is still President.
Now, what do you do, then? In other words, don't talk about the issues. I hear people talking about the issues, even in my own association. They talk about issues which are a change of the subject from the real issues. The real subject is, if you are not prepared to remove this President from office, under the provisions of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, you are not serious about the United States. And anything else you're talking about, that you think is the issue, is a damned waste of time. Because it's not going to actually do any good! There are certain specific measures, presented to us now, in this country and abroad. These measures, if enacted, if taken, can save the United States, and can save Europe. If these measures are not taken, you can not save the United States, and you can not save trans-Atlantic civilization. And if trans-Atlantic civilization goes down, the Asian section can not survive.
Glass-Steagall: At All Costs!
Now, that's not your only problem. That's the easy problem! That's the easy challenge. Easy? Get rid of this President; enact Glass-Steagall, which is now again on the agenda—and enact it, don't just talk about it, enact it! If you're not pushing for the enactment of Glass-Steagall, now, you're not serious. Because without the re-enactment of Glass-Steagall, this nation can not be saved! Therefore, you have to go for the re-enactment of Glass-Steagall at all costs!
Now, this President is not very popular any more. He's ready to be pushed over the political cliff. Push him. Pushing through Glass-Steagall will do it. If you can get some members of Congress with the guts, to vote through Glass-Steagall, the President will go willingly! He'll go nuts, at least, anyway, and there will be things that will go on as a result of the President evidently going nuts! And with people realizing that they have taken charge, again.
The re-enactment of Glass-Steagall in the U.S. Congress—just the passage of the bill, even if the President vetoes the bill—passage of that bill, now, in the Congress, will set forth a chain-reaction which can save this nation. If you do not push Glass-Steagall through now, through the Congress, there's no way you can save the United States.
So, you don't have any other issues! You have other issues in terms of interest issues, things that have to be done, but none of these things that could be done, that should be done, can be done, without the re-enactment of Glass-Steagall! You either pass Glass-Steagall, or you have betrayed the United States, if you're a member of Congress. You either vote for the re-enactment of Glass-Steagall as a member of Congress, or you no longer are a patriot of the United States; you're something much lower than that! That's your reality.
The time has come, when you can no longer talk about things. The time has come, when you've got to do things. That's the change in the situation.
Now, Boomers like conversation, and good Boomers like conversation. They like it, also, pretty, if possible, as well as good. They would like to have it nourishing, as long as it doesn't put too much weight on them, in two senses, either internally or from above, but they are not ready to make decisions. And that's a result of what happened to many of you, who don't know that—you weren't there when it happened—who went through the experience of what happened with Truman as President, and the consequences of what happened under Truman.
Therefore, what you had, is, when young kiddies born after 1945-46, went through life, especially if they went through so-called middle-class life, they were raised under conditions in which they had no morals. Because parents, often, were of two classes: You had parents who were on the wrong side of Truman, and people like that, and they were crushed. Their incomes were not so good, their chances of employment were not so good; their status, their political representation was not so good. And some of them were good people, but they were cowards. And so they capitulated to the circumstances of the time.
Even Eisenhower, who was a good general, a very good commander of military forces, and was very good politically—I happen to have some little inside knowledge of this matter, with a conversation I had with him back in 1947, and not a bad guy at all! But he was not able, except with a few exceptional situations which were crucial, where he did act on crucial points, successfully and effectively.
But the 1960s was a terrible time. The 1950s was a terrible time before then. So, the guts were not there, in the political system, to take the steps which would actually save the system. Now, of course, I was active in that period, and I know a good deal about it. It would be my first forecast, national forecast on economy, in 1956, and it came true in 1957, exactly when I said it would come. I said it was going to hit. I knew, not because of statistical predicting, but because I knew what the structure was in the automobile and related industries on credit systems. I knew that the credit system was going to blow up, as of the end of the first quarter in 1957, because I knew the automobile industry and other industries, and I knew what the structure was.
So I said, "As of now, without a change in policy, from the top down, this thing is going into the deepest recession of the post-war period, and it will occur in late February or very early March of 1957." It was my forecast in the Summer of 1956, and it came true on time. And I have been forecasting ever since, successfully, by similar methods, and with similar effects. We're now at the end of the time for forecasting.
It's now over. The whole system is over. All the economists, essentially, have been wrong. Not wrong in everything, but on the question of forecasting, of national forecasting, and international forecasting, they have been, in terms of this aspect of forecasting, wrong. Some of them, who are good economists, have done good work in other areas pertinent to this. And I rely upon them, because I know they're valuable. But on this kind of thing, on this kind of forecasting, of strategic forecasting, there isn't much out there, in terms of the economists.
So that's one thing. First issue.
A Potential Danger to the Human Race
Now, the second issue, I've got another kind of forecasting. And you've heard a good deal about that, or seen something about that, on the screen these days: It's called volcanoes and earthquakes, and similar phenomena. Now, we are now in a period, where we do know some things about this system, about what's happening around earthquakes, and volcanoes, and so forth. We do know something about the trend. We do know, that there's a potential grave danger to the condition of the human race—its existence for example, its continued existence. That's a fact.
We don't know what the real final answer is, the final outcome is, of this struggle. We do know how to go about putting up the fight, to save the conditions for humanity, under which the human race will survive. We do know how to approach that. We do not know, yet, how to answer that challenge: We can not give you a definite answer, "I can guarantee success." We can not guarantee success. We don't know that which will enable us to present a qualified, guarantee of success. What we do know, is what we should be doing, in order to attack that problem.
And the advantage that we have, is that we're human beings. And human beings can think creatively; animals can't. You see the way the animals react to an earthquake or a similar event; they panic. Now, why do they panic? They're not really panicking, they're behaving normally. You call it a panic. But they're acting like animals.
Birds—birds don't fly in the right direction any more, suddenly. Animals run; whales try to climb up the beach! Similar kinds of things. Well, they're not crazy, if you think about it, when you remember that most of our mammals and other animals, came out of the oceans. And some varieties of the things that had been swimming in the oceans crawled up on the land. You'll hear more about that from my associates, who will be publishing some material on this subject, soon, to help you understand this.
So, they carried with them the characteristics of being ocean creatures or sea creatures; now, what is the map which a sea creature uses, for travelling from one place to the other? The electromagnetic field. That's his map. So when you do something that jams up the electromagnetic field and makes it confusing, the poor creature has lost his map. Birds which normally will travel—homing pigeons and so forth—other birds that will travel north and south with the seasons, travel along these electromagnetic routes. And that's their map, that's their roadmap. You have a different roadmap, and you try to assume that they're using your roadmap. They're using their roadmap.
The whales that climb up on the beach are using their roadmap, but the problem is, the roads have moved! So they're now moving in a new direction, but the road moved! They're following the road. So, there are all these kinds of things going on.
But, we are human beings. We are not dependent upon electric road maps, except you wouldn't be able to tell the time of day, if you were out in the darkness, without this kind of electronic roadmap; so that's part of the picture, too.
But we as human beings have one quality which distinguishes us, from everything else that we know in the universe: We can think creatively. We can think cognitively. That's what distinguishes us as a species, from inanimate objects. No, the universe is creative, the universe as a whole is creative. Trying to talk about the Second Law of Thermodynamics—that's junk; forget it. It's a lie, it's nonsense.
The universe is creative! It's constantly evolving. The direction of evolution is partly destructive, but it's generally creative. The history of the Earth, as we know it, from the study of facts, based on millions of years of the Earth, is creative. It advanced to a higher state, produces mankind as a phenomenon, at a higher state. Enables mankind to rise to higher levels of achievement, with a power of creativity which is specific to mankind. Everybody's creative. The Earth is creative! Inanimate objects, so-called, are creative. All animal life is creative. But only man is willfully creative, or, shall we say, is allowed to be willfully creative; is equipped, to be willfully creative: only mankind.
Therefore, I would say, looking at the stars, well, maybe mankind's doomed somewhere in the period of this cycle, this galactic cycle. But, we being human beings, and therefore, having the power of creativity—actual creativity, not what you're told on Wall Street, but real creativity—by scientific creativity and related creativity, we have the ability to control the conditions of life under which the human race exists. And if we follow a cultural route, a scientific cultural route, which conforms to this mission, mankind has performed miracles of survival, and can find new miracles of survival.
So our concern is to say, "Okay, we face a situation in which the question is posed: Can the human species outlive the change in the galactic environment in which we live?" We say, we don't know. We say, we know we can forecast, we can see clearly what the nature of the threats are. That we can see. We don't have the answers, except we have a general answer: The answer is: human creativity, if pursued effectively, can work miracles which can not be accomplished in any other way.
We Are Going To Lick the Problem
So we have to get rid of the Greenies. We have to get rid of those who would want to go back to "the green," as they call it. We have to go with nuclear power, we have to go with thermonuclear power, we have to emphasize modern technologies, which are not yet modern, are about to become modern, we hope. We have to do these things which increase the power of mankind per capita and per square kilometer of territory. We have to increase the power of man, in influencing the Solar System around us! We have to increase the power of man, to hopefully influence what happens in the galaxy.
These are objectives which should not be considered alien to us, when we think about what mankind has accomplished so far, in this same kind of direction. If mankind is mobilized around human creativity, we have a capability that no form of animal life ordinarily has.
So therefore, we can say now—we should say, because it's true: "We do not know whether mankind will survive the present process." Presuming we get through this crisis—which, that's the easy one—but there's a longer-term threat which all these volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and so forth, which will increase, pose for us. But we know that mankind has the potential, as a creative potential, to understand and learn to control these processes. We hope, in time. We hope, soon enough. We hope, effectively enough.
So, our mission is to say, "We are committed to a policy of progress." Now, to launch that policy of progress, we have some assets. We have the Constitution of the United States. Now, the Constitution of the United States is the finest scientific instrument that ever existed, because it allowed people to think, even more than in Europe. Many Europeans think very well. (My wife would kill me if I say otherwise, right?) But we have the best system for creativity, and we've proven it. We've proven it by the nature of our system of government, which is one of our advances, our Constitutional system.
So therefore, we face a terrible problem for mankind. We, presently, with our present knowledge and capabilities, do not know that we can save humanity. But we know it is in man's nature, to discover the solutions which must be discovered, in order to save humanity. So let's put some faith in the system, that system, that if we mobilize our creative potential, we can, as a human species, make those discoveries, which will enable us to master these kinds of problems.
So, instead of weeping about it, and saying, "I want the final answer"—that's for babies—we say: "Okay, we got a terrible problem which threatens us, but we are going to enjoy the process of licking the problem. We don't know exactly how we're going to do it, but we know we've got to do it." And if we commit ourselves to mobilizing our creativity to do it, on the record of mankind's behavior so far, man can succeed. So, at some point, you've got to have a bit of faith in this business. But your faith has to be located in creativity. Not Green stuff, that sticky, smelly Green stuff.
Which means, a lot of nuclear power. It means thermonuclear power. It means transportation systems, mass transportation systems like you've never seen before. It means a lot of things like this. It means a completely new educational system, not the kind of thing we have now. Yes, some of the teachers are doing good jobs, but what do they have to work with, in terms of the subject matter, that can be improved? And I'm sure that many good teachers would be very happy to participate in doing just exactly that, especially with good students.
So those are the two issues. We face two existential crises: Number one, right now, if this President is not removed from office, under the terms of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, kiss the United States good-bye. You're on a short leash, a short moment of opportunity.
Now, the thing you have to do to get this President out, you have to get some guts in some members of Congress, who do not make deals, but who do what they know has to be done. This is like a decision in warfare: When you decide to go to war—and we're going to war, against the British influence internationally—you don't negotiate each foxhole. You make a decision to win the war, and plan the battle and conduct the battle to win the war! That's what we have to do.
Tell Congress: No More Compromises!
Now, how do we win the war? Well, you've got to get a little bit of an army, and the army is the people who are going to kick the members of Congress in the rear-end. Citizens, who are going to kick the members of Congress in the rear-end: Give them that old uplifting treatment! And say, "No more compromises, no more this and that. We want one straight thing from you guys, otherwise, your name is mud. We want you, to vote for the original, Franklin Roosevelt, 1933 Glass-Steagall Act. And if you don't do that, get outta town! Get out of the nation. Because you will have betrayed the United States."
If you put that act through, suddenly, all this wonderful bailout money, pffft! Gone! It goes to Wall Street. Wall Street? You got it, you can keep it! Just don't bother us with it. Our banks will be freed of any of this garbage money, this bailout money. It will just go away from our banks.
That's the thing that's going to drive the President out of office. He'll quit. He'll give up. That defeats him! If you don't do that, he defeats you. If you do that, you defeat him, and you'll get him out. If you don't do that step, that way, you're not going to save the United States: You sold it down the river. You were a coward, or a traitor, or whatever.
Now, what that means is this. Now, Europe, the European system, doesn't function. The European system is in a breakdown. The United States' economy is in a breakdown, actually, but the European system, western and central Europe, are in a worse breakdown than the United States; the situation is more hopeless. And if you know anything about Europe, as my wife will tell you, who is living in the middle of that thing, you don't have much of a chance.
However: If we, in the United States, re-enact Glass-Steagall, which we can do on short notice—if we've got the guts to do it—then we will save Europe. We will save the trans-Atlantic region for stability. If we do that, we then have a problem: how to get this world system out of a mess. It's very simple, essentially, in principle. Europe will have to go through a general reorganization, as will the United States, of the whole system of currency. We will go, under the U.S. initiative, away from monetarist systems; we will cancel and supersede all monetarist systems. In other words, money will not be the standard of value. Money will be used as a conveyor of value, not as the standard of value.
So, to make money behave itself for this purpose, you need what we did before: You need a fixed-exchange-rate system, just like Franklin Delano Roosevelt's fixed-exchange-rate system. You have to go beyond that, because you have to go to the world as a whole, and get them involved in a fixed-exchange-rate system, like the Roosevelt system, for the post-war period, the Bretton Woods system: a fixed-exchange-rate system, a credit system, not a monetary system, a fixed-exchange-rate credit-system.
Now, most people don't know what the difference is, but they can catch on very quickly to the practical effect of that change. They may not really understand why it works that way, or how, but it works. And they can see, rather quickly, that it works, when they see that inflation is under control; when they see that there is a fixed-exchange-rate system, that prices among nations are organized in a consistent way, that the interest rates are low. That long-term credit systems of investment, are turning loose; that the industrial production, the agricultural production potential, and development of the environment, are all going along, on a long-term basis, over 50 years. It will probably take 50 to 100 years to really fix up this planet the way it has to be fixed economically.
But we can start that now. And the day we make those changes, number one: Glass-Steagall—get it through, as it is, as defined. Then, establish a fixed-exchange-rate system, by treaty agreement among nations. And you look at the situation in the world: Every currency in the world is now going into a wild rate of accelerating hyperinflation. Something like what happened to Germany in 1923 is happening, now!
Under those conditions, people finding that money is becoming worthless, are going to become a bit excited, particularly, when they find their bank is empty, or that a $1,000 won't buy you a donut. That will impress them. So, under those conditions, they will be very happy to have someone do what Franklin Roosevelt did: Come in to a moment of crisis with a political solution, in law, which causes a recovery. In other words, we can change this whole world system's direction, and restore confidence very simply, if we put through Glass-Steagall, bounce this President out, and then go to a resurrection of the Bretton Woods system, as a credit-system, not a monetary system, we can start civilization back on the way up.
It's going to take hard work. It's not going to be easy. There's not going to be any great riches immediately for the human race. But there is going to be a meaning for people, adults today, for their children and grandchildren. And that's what civilization has often been based on, that kind of optimism, when we can turn things around, from going to Hell, as they are doing now. And as they are surely going to do, if we don't change things, these simple changes, starting with Glass-Steagall: get the President out, and negotiate with other nations, starting with a good candidate for negotiation, China.
China wants to have a stable currency situation. They don't want this loose money thing. Fine! They will be among the first to agree, because they want it! They want a fixed-exchange-rate system, because China is committed to a long-term period of development.
It's an existential question for China, long-term development: You've got a large population which can not sustain itself internally, by itself. It must develop; it must develop to the level that it becomes self-sufficient in development, not based on credit in the future. We can provide that condition, by a fixed-exchange-rate system, and do some of the things, the large measures which are required. We can change things. And that's what we have to do.
In order to do this, you have to have a mission of doing it! You have to get your mind wrapped around the idea of doing it. You've got to think clearly about what the horrors are of the present situation. In order to think about the horrors of the present situation, and not give up and faint, or something, you've got to have an image of what the benefits are going to be. You've got to see where the future lies under this change in policy! Starting with a very simple first step: Put the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act into operation, immediately. That will get rid of this President, and that will start us down the road to survival.
That's all you have to do.
You may not, yet, understand, what the technical-scientific implications are of this step. But it should be your business, to learn quickly what it does mean, and to start talking about it. This is the way you have to change the situation now.
Something Is Going On in This Solar System
Now, what this is going to require us to do, one of the things, one of the first things we're going to have to do, to deal with this other crisis: The crisis of an increasing threat of seismic effects, both on the planet, and in the space around us. Because this is not limited to just our planet. Something is going on in this Solar System, within this system.
So therefore, we've got to move on that, on that basis. We've got to think about where we're going to take the human species. Where's the road for the survival of the human species?
Now, first of all, we bring ourselves into order on this planet. But then, we've got to say, can we go beyond that, and in this context, can we act to save this planet and save the people on it, and beyond? Well, we can! I don't know exactly how; I've got a good idea where to start. I've got a very clear idea of the kind of educational system, and the kind of scientific research programs and investment programs, which will move us in that direction.
But in science, and in mankind, you don't have to know the bottom line of the final answer! You have to know what you have to get away from, that's final. But how are you going to get to where you want to go, in terms of effect, you really don't know. You've got to discover your way! You don't have a plan, a master plan, of how to design a product and produce it. You have a conception of your responsibility to say to yourself: "Well, this is very good, I've just discovered this. It works. But it's not good enough. I've got to discover something else, which will carry beyond another problem, because once I see this problem is solved, I am now able to see the next problem, which I didn't see before, which also, next, has to be solved."
So, obviously, you're looking at a conception, not of steps of events as such: You're looking at the mind of man, and the opinion that the mind of man expresses. We don't know the future of the universe! We haven't been there. A little obvious thing, which should occur to some people.
So therefore, you don't have a perfect knowledge of each step that you're going to go to. Nor do you need to have that perfect knowledge, in order to take the necessary steps. You take the step which stands before you, one step at a time, taken, three steps forward, considered: That's good enough.
So you have to think about making the discoveries which are needed, and have a commitment to scientific discovery, to progress in scientific discovery. And scientific discovery means, thinking three generations or so, at least, ahead—I mean, I'm in my fourth generation of life. I haven't completed four generations, but I'm in the fourth. That's not bad. I can't complain about that. And I'm still able to function somewhat—at least my enemies think I do.
So therefore, if we as human beings, can see, understand something about the past of humanity, and look at the experience of the past of humanity with the idea that we should be able to see about three generations ahead: I mean, that's like a 100-year investment, isn't it? It's four generations, a 100-year investment. We should be thinking now, and worrying that, do we have the concepts, now, in this year, to look 90 years ahead to the end of this century, this present century? Do we have the ideas which, from an engineering standpoint, you can work out, you know, like long-term investments?
Like, for example, China built the Three Gorges Dam: That's a century investment! It's consumed over a century. And then it will have to be considerably improved. So mankind, generally, functions these days, in terms of century-long investments, century-long thought about where humanity's got to go, the projects we're going to adopt today, to carry us through the rest of 100 years to come.
And think about where we might be going in science, beyond that. We're now thinking—for example, we have nuclear power. We have a foot into the area of thermonuclear fusion as a power source. We're thinking about matter/anti-matter reactions, which we know something about, in this area, but have not developed any idea of a system as yet, for this. And we know we're going to have to go beyond that. It's all laid out implicitly, in a paper written in 1854 by Riemann, in his habilitation dissertation, which looks essentially in this direction. It's looking implicitly, to 100 years, a century to come, in terms of thinking about mankind in the universe.
'What Will You Be When You Grow Up?'
And we, leaders of our society, should think in those terms: Why not? What do you say at the age of three, when you begin to talk, that is, talk intelligently, and maybe write and read a little bit also. At that point, you say, "Mummy, Daddy," you ask these questions: "Tell me, about the future. Tell me what this means?" And so, by the time you get to teenage, if you're still functioning, well-educated, you begin to worry, and think about these things. You're coming back and telling your parents, and telling your friends about the things that you discovered are possible for the future.
You have a little child at the age of three or four, who will tell you, when you ask the question "What are you going to do when you grow up?" And the child will, in former times, in my time, the child would respond to this friendly question, and would say, "Well, when I grow up, I'm going to be this." And you say, "Well, what do you think that means? What's important about that?" And the child will give you an answer, of what's important; they'll give you an answer from their experience. "I want to be a doctor." Why? "Well, I saw—my grandmother got sick, and the doctor took care of her. I'm going to be a doctor." Things like that.
So mankind normally, healthy mankind, gets the sense of thinking of previous generations, what they meant, in life; they think about future generations, as well. And people who are planning to do something with their life, and "make something of themselves," as we used to say, would think about becoming grandparents or grandparent age, or even like me, another step up in that direction. You think about a century ahead. You think about the world, particularly if you get some scientific education and know more about these things, you get a sense of what's going to happen a century ahead. What are we going to do, a century ahead?
And you think, then, also at the same time, about what happened with mankind earlier. You think of how mankind has progressed, you think sadly about the time that mankind failed to progress. You no longer think of yourself as your life being contained within your mortality of birth and death. Now, you're thinking about your life, as the meaning of your life: And the meaning of your life is located in the past, out of which you come, and the honor that you have shown to your obligations, to the past, and to the future. You think back, some of us think back in terms of two or three centuries in this country, as I do, because that's the time my first ancestor arrived here. And we think a century or more ahead. And we define a career, a mission in life; it should eventually become a competent sense of what you are going to contribute to mankind, as a result of your living during this coming century.
That's a normal, healthy, moral outlook. And so, therefore, what's wrong with that? What's wrong with doing that? What's wrong with taking this terrible thing, this present system, this terrible President, and the one before him who's almost as bad, and why not just say: "Chuck it. Let's go with the Glass-Steagall Act." That's simple, comprehensible. Don't monkey around with it, do it! That means you're going to have to chuck the President, and you're going to do it.
You're going to now move out to cooperate with other parts of the world, because we've got the greatest financial crisis, monetary-financial crisis in modern history, now breaking out there. We're not going to just sit there; we're going to have to do something about that! So we're going to talk to people abroad on other continents, and so forth, and we're going to come to an agreement, on a program, based on a division of labor among respectively sovereign nation-states, who are now going to devise, agree on programs, undertakings, projects, and so forth, which are going to carry humanity forward. And the leaders of society will be those who will be thinking a century ahead, about what this century ahead is going to do!
And we're going to live in the joy of participating in that mission! That will be our mission in life. And that will be our sense of our value of our own life! A value which lies not in self-appreciation, but in the appreciation of the mission that we are fulfilling by living our life!
So you don't need all the answers to the future. But you do have to think ahead, at least a century or so, to where you're trying to take the future. And once you get there, and once you're doing that, you have the right to being satisfied with the fact that you live and have lived, because your life means something, not to your ego; it means something to your sense of a person in society, as a functional, important person in society, who's performing a mission in society, for society. And fulfilling whatever that mysterious great mission is, which is the very existence of the human species.
And we have not gotten the answer on that one, yet. But, again, look into the future: Don't worry about it. We'll get the answer. Maybe, sometime. But in the meantime, we'll enjoy going in that direction.
That's where we are today.
A Century-Long Framework of Credit
So, in summation on this thing, where do we stand? We stand in the midst, we're on the brink of what promises to be—this past weekend's developments—we're on the greatest breakdown in modern history: the greatest economic, cultural, social breakdown in modern history, is now fully under way. We've come to the terminal phase of that, not this generation, but this degeneration. And we have before us visible options, such as Glass-Steagall, such an international fixed-exchange-rate system, such as agreements among nations, as sovereigns, to this perspective on the future, to agree to think at least a century ahead, where the human race on this planet is going to go. And to think of where it's going to go outside this planet, and beyond this planet. That, we have before us.
These are things that we can understand, or at least with the aid of science and scientific education, we can understand. We can understand this also by studying the past history of mankind, which is full of all kinds of lessons of successes and terrible mistakes! Like the Roman Empire, the British Empire, for example, which is another Roman Empire. And therefore, we have a good bead on where to go. And once we have the confidence that we understand that, and are willing and capable of acting on that, then mankind has a chance, a good chance.
And I'm sufficiently knowledgeable to say to you, "I can guarantee it to you." But that means that it has to be done, to make that happen. And that's what our Boomers are kind of weak on: They're great on sometimes wondering if there's not a good time ahead, but they're kind of weak on deciding to make it happen. They all want good things, and sometimes they desire things that aren't pleasant; but as you know, sometimes they eat too much, and their views become a little bit too wide, shall we say—using "view" in the loose term.
So we're at that point. And the issue is: Forget all these other shibboleths that are out there. What I've set forth before you, in summation today, before we get into the dialogue—that's the issue. It's coming down now. It's already coming down! The system is collapsing. If this President continues to be President, the situation of the United States is hopeless; and by implication, that of the trans-Atlantic system. If the trans-Atlantic system goes, then Asia goes. Humanity goes into a ditch!
So therefore, this must be faced! This is the issue! All the other issues, of this list of issues—bunk! This is it! Glass-Steagall, first. President out, second, or part of the package.
Approach Europe, approach the rest of the world, to establish a fixed-exchange-rate credit system, as Roosevelt had intended. Negotiate with nations on the question of how a credit system is used, to consider what are the great projects which must be immediately launched as great projects, great intentions, shared among mankind, to get this planet moving, for people on this planet! Find out how one nation is going to help the other, where a skill or technology in one nation is going to be delivered and made available to another. Because this is the way we're going to do it! We're going to have people who have skills of one kind; they're going to be investing those skills in producing something for the basic economic infrastructure, industry, science of another nation.
And it's going to operate on a credit system, which will function essentially within a century-long framework of credit. Or a century-long period of a credit system, a fixed-exchange-rate credit system, which can be adjusted, but it has to be adjusted as a fixed-exchange-rate credit system.
And that's where we have to go.
We Can Forecast!
We're going to have to worry about man in space. We're going to have to worry about this pattern of earthquakes and volcanoes and so forth, which are forecastable! The question is how to make them less imperfectly forecastable. Anybody who is not making forecasts, or useful forecasts about volcanoes and earthquakes, should be thrown out of public office, because they're of no use to mankind!
We are in a period of earthquakes and volcanoes, and similar kinds of phenomena, now! We are now in a condition, where the best forecast that can be made, is, this is going to become worse. The number of tornadoes, and similar kinds things you're going to face in the weeks and months ahead, is going to increase! You're going to have to think about new measures, emergency measures, for protecting mankind, about an increase of tornadoes and similar things, and earthquakes!
We can forecast! Anyone like Geller, who tells you you can't forecast, should be shot—whatever, shot with a camera anyway. And put up as a notice, "Wanted" or "Not Wanted," all over the place.
No, the President is a liar! We must forecast! Our forecasting is imperfect—yes! Why? Because we haven't done enough of it. We're not doing it enough. We're going to have to build a forecasting system. We can do that! We already have forecasting systems that are scientifically sound. They work. Will they stop a volcano? Will they stop an earthquake? We can't do that—yet.
What can we do? We can move people who are in danger to a temporary place of safety, until the thing has past. We can save human lives.
Just imagine: Let's take the case, a very concrete and brutal case, but I think our friends in California will forgive me, because they know it's in a good cause: We're now, immediately, in the state of Washington, and in Northern California, in particular, but also elsewhere, we're in the threat of major earthquakes. You're looking at the potential of 9 or higher, and with a lot of subsidiary earthquakes along the way.
Now, if it were to hit that area, in the Bay Area, and people were there, and it was a 9 earthquake—what the hell do you think that would be?! The state of California has long been considered the ninth-largest economy in the world: If you let people suffer in that section of the United States, which is part of the Rim of Fire, and if you don't warn them and move them safely out of the area of such a earthquake—think about what happened in Japan, with a 9-level earthquake. The killer was the tsunami, the wave of water, that came out of that: Imagine that hitting—what do you do in that case? What are you going to do? If you're fit to be President of the United States? If you're not, you throw him out!
What you're going to do, is, to organize a system of response based on forecasting. The minute you get indications of an earthquake on the way: You're going to move the population, with the aid of the Corps of Engineers, out of that area, into an area of safety, until the thing is over. We are then going to react, with the aid of the Corps of Engineers and others, to restore the area that was demolished by the earthquake. Because if we don't, if we allow that to happen, the United States will disintegrate: If we were to let what the President of the United States, the current President of the United States, is determined to do for such a case—and it hit the areas of Washington and California that we know are in danger—he would have presided over the destruction of the United States, physically!
You can not maintain the United States as it is, if you allowed this to happen. The effects—both the physical effects and the psychological effects—would have that effect under the present conditions. That area has no capability of defending itself against anything above a 5 level quake.
So, what is this President doing about that known threat, which exists now?
The job is to get enough forecasting capability, to be able to call the shot on this thing, as to when it is likely to happen. And to use the Corps of Engineers, reconstituted, and similar means, to be able to move those people to safety in a timely fashion, and then to restore the area, after the catastrophe has occurred.
If we can do that, if we can demonstrate we have the commitment to do that, then we have the right to call ourselves patriots, to call ourselves decent human beings.
If we refuse to restore NASA to its full function—because NASA is an essential part of the defense of the people of the world—against this problem: To understand this process, you must have your space exploration capabilities activated! We have instruments, flying around up there, which are very useful for this purpose. These instruments are broadcasting to us—but there's nobody on the ground, listening! There's nobody there, paying attention to the flood of information that's coming out of these satellites and similar relevant kinds of instruments, which perform a similar kind of function. None! The data is flowing down. You know the HAL [computer] of "2001'—that system is still talking, but there's nobody there to listen. And that's the kind of system we have.
So, this is an example of what faces us. This is an example of the crisis which we have to respond to: We need a Presidency which will respond to concern for the welfare, and even the lives, of the people of the United States. Any person, as President, who will not accept that commitment, must be immediately thrown out. In the case of this President, we know he's insane, at least according to the terms of the 25th Amendment, 4th Section: According to those terms, as the researches which are on the record, on which this decision was based, for removing a President, he fulfills those qualifications. Pfffttt! Good-bye Obama!
So that's where we are, and those are the challenges, on which we must focus. All other issues are subordinate to those which I just indicated.
 Robert Geller, an American professor of seismology at the University of Tokyo, is a leading international spokesman against research into earthquake precusors.