This transcript appears in the February 28, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
August 18, 2002
LaRouche Challenged the
George W. Bush Presidency to Rebuild U.S. Infrastructure
Editor’s Note: This presentation was first published in EIR Vol. 29, No. 34, Sept. 6, 2002, pp. 24-37.
This is the edited transcript of a briefing by then Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche to a meeting of 90 youthful campaign activists, volunteers, and new recruits in San Pedro, California on Aug. 18, 2002. Subheads and three footnotes have been added.
Let’s have some fun, as I say: Fun means to face a catastrophe, to enjoy it, and to discover a solution for the catastrophe, which is why you enjoyed it, because you knew the catastrophe was going to force you to find a solution.
Now, we have a catastrophe: It’s called the [George W. Bush] Presidency of the United States. He was on vacation, from the Presidency. This is obvious, when you saw the performance, in the homestead of the deceased David Koresh. I don’t know why President [Bush] likes to have his house in the vicinity of David Koresh’s murder, eh? But he does, anyway. So, he lives in a tin shack, in a place called Crawford, outside of Waco, which some people, with his conference, might call “Wacko.” And, he expressed optimism about the economy.
Now, that is not having fun: Because we have a catastrophe. And you can have fun, but only if you recognize that it is a catastrophe. And the reason you can enjoy the catastrophe, is because you’re confident that you can find a solution. Now, the joy comes, not from having the catastrophe to solve; the joy comes from the sense that the catastrophe was something that you caused, by a long period of bad behavior, and the joy comes from the fact that the catastrophe is going to force you to discover a solution, and to prevent you from repeating that bad behavior. And, that’s what we have to do today.
Now, recently, as you know, we have a crisis in the United States, among other things, with the railway system. We also have a crisis with the air-transport system. Airlines are going belly-up, which is not the recommended attitude for a plane in flight!
So, what do we do about this? Everyone is saying, “Well, put them through bankruptcy; apply shareholder value. And, we’ll have to cut back, cut back, cut back: Raise prices. Raise fares. Raise prices.” Well, to some degree that’ll have to be done, because the el-cheapo fares were actually a game that was being played. It was not justified. We also have the rail system, and the Congress and President [Bush] are prepared to abandon the rail system, largely. Privatize it, which means that only one person can use it, or something of that sort.
So, these things are being destroyed. Now, what’s being destroyed, in these areas of rail and air traffic, air travel, is an essential part of the infrastructure, on which the economy of the United States depends. Now, you may become used to commuting by automobile. It may have occurred to some of you that that was a catastrophe, a bad habit. Some of you may have experienced the actual catastrophe in a more poignant way. But the point is, it’s much better to have the kind of organization of society that we had over 35 years ago, even over 50 years ago, than today.
A Continental Nation
The United States, for example, was built as a nation, by a policy of development of corridors of development, from the Atlantic Ocean reaching toward the Pacific. The idea of building a continental nation, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, is an old idea among Americans, since the 18th Century, since the times of Benjamin Franklin and his associates. Actually, since the beginning of the 18th Century, with the first efforts to open up the corridors across the Appalachians, into the great central plains: the Mississippi River Basin.
The unity of the United States was effected under the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, who introduced the transcontinental railway system. This transcontinental railway system established the United States as a nation, functionally, economically, as a nation. Without it, we would not have become a nation. Now, what was built, were not just transcontinental railroads: What were built were development corridors, reaching actually from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Because, on the side of these rail rights-of-way, the U.S. government and other agencies, like state agencies, opened up areas for development, of agriculture, towns, and so forth. So that the colonization of the barren wilderness of the great American middle—the Mississippi Basin, the Great American Desert—to California, was accomplished by means of this railway development. Cities were improved. The functioning of the economy was improved by the development of local rail systems, like streetcar systems and other kinds of systems—mass-transit systems for the transport of both freight and of people. And, this process of transport systems was also a way of developing the economy, of increasing the productive powers of labor, in a way that could not be accomplished without that method.
So, we also had, later, more significantly, the development of power, especially electrical power. And electrical power, which was developed, essentially, as a process in the late 19th Century, actually became generalized over the course of the 20th Century. This was a great increase in the ability to produce: an increase in efficiency, an increase in the productive powers of labor. Again, and this was done under government protection, as the railroad development had been done, as a way of developing the economy—infrastructure.
Prior to that, the United States had been committed from the beginning to the development of water systems—water transport and water-management systems. This particular idea had been developed extensively in Europe by—guess who? Charlemagne, when he was the Emperor, in his time. And, even only recently, have we tended to complete what Charlemagne proposed 1300 years ago! A waterway along the Rhine, along the Main, into the Danube, to connect the North Sea with the Black Sea, which meant that all Central Europe is now, essentially, connected, by inland waterways.
And inland waterway development was a general water development. For example: We should be moving, in the United States, we should be moving water from the Canadian north, the Arctic Ocean, where the polar bears won’t miss it (they like salt water best); so, we’ll bring the water, or a large part of it, down from Alaska and Canada; we’ll bring it down, according to this Parsons development project [The North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA)], bring it down through the Great American Desert—which is still a Great American Desert: You can fly over it, drive through it, it’s a Great American Desert. All this wasted land. You’ve got California, right around here, you’ve got the extension of the Great American Desert; it’s right here—staring at you! Or, burning your backside, you’re sitting on it.
So, we should be developing this area of the United States, into Mexico, through large-scale water management. We should be developing improved, mass-transit systems, including magnetic levitation mass-transit systems. We should be redesigning the way we build cities, and I’ll get to that, in a very particular way. We should be doing these kinds of things that will, in principle, express the attitude of the most effective nation builders of Europe and the United States, in an earlier period. And that will depend upon this kind of approach. [box: President Bush Should Have Acted ‘In an FDR Fashion’]
How FDR Saved the U.S.
We had, most recently, in the most recent century, Franklin Roosevelt, who took over the government in a period of great crisis, saved the United States from the kind of fascist takeover which was threatened here, which occurred in Germany. He started economic recovery. He got the United States through a terrible war, imposed by European follies, and built this economy to a level it had never been built before. He did it with the intervention of the Federal government, in coordinated efforts by state and local governments on the same principle; put the unemployed to work, largely in infrastructure at first, rebuilding things. Because unskilled people have trouble fitting into jobs, therefore, you take areas of great need, or work to be done, and you take people who are otherwise unemployable, with no chance, and you employ them. You employ them, not too efficiently at first, but gradually, they get up speed at what they do. And they devote their efforts to constructing things, or participating in that, which are necessary for the future development of the nation.
For example: The United States military was not the greatest fighting force in the world, in that period. In point of fact, we had become a great military power, in the course of the Civil War. We emerged from the Civil War with the leading military capability in the world, which was largely logistical: the military capability based on railroads, based on engineering training of officers, based on the Corps of Engineers and its work. But we were not the greatest shooters, and in the latter part of the 1870s and 1880s, the Congress, in its great wisdom, had destroyed the U.S. military. And, that policy generally continued, into the time of Roosevelt, except for the period of the First World War.
So, when we went to war, the soldiers were really not trained. I was involved in that, and I tell you: They were not trained. Because we dragged them off the streets and the hill farms in peculiar places, and they were suddenly dragged into a company street, where some poor guy like me, would be lining them up for their first time on the company street, as a new training platoon. And, I tell you, I looked at these, and I’ve said it many times before: I looked at these guys lined up, I’d look around, and I’d say, “We just lost the war!” But, nonetheless, we put this thing together, and we came out with an American military force in the order of magnitude of 16 million. Women of the United States went to work, because the men had gone abroad in those numbers. And we won the war.
Now, how did we win the war? Well, we won the war, because of what Roosevelt had done in the 1930s. Roosevelt, of course, had known the war was coming, from 1936 on; it was obvious to him that the war in Europe was inevitable, and that we would be drawn into it. So, he met with his associates, sometimes secretly, but sometimes in ways that are known today. And they planned what a war mobilization would be, of the United States, for the United States’ role, in a generalized war, spread out of Europe. In 1940-41, we went to work, full steam, in developing that system for defense of the United States. We developed it on the basis of things like the TVA—Tennessee Valley Authority—and many other projects, which were projects of things like the WPA [Work Projects Administration], or similar kinds of government projects.
So, the government intervened, to take a bankrupt nation, when the so-called “private sector” had failed utterly, to create the foundation for the revival of an economy. We won the war, not because our soldiers were the best shooters—they weren’t. They were not the most effective military force, man for man.
They were very poor, compared to the German army, which was far superior to the U.S., both in the training of the soldier—including the moral training of the soldier: because we train our soldiers, too often, like Marines, which is the worst thing you can do to a person. You train a Marine: You destroy them. “You are a piece of filth. We are now going to destroy you: We are going to make you a man!” Eh? And it’s like [adopting a robotic monotone], “I have learned to talk in the way a good Marine should talk.” “I shoot, frequently.” Whereas, in the German system, as the training goes on, the objective of the training is to get an individual, who may be in a position of leadership from corporal to colonel or lower general, who is faced with a situation, where he has a mission—either on the platoon level, or the section level—he has a mission. And the mission is clear; he must carry out the mission. But the problem he faces was not something that was anticipated when the mission was given to him. So, the effective military force relies upon a soldier, who is developed and well-trained, but is also trained to think, to solve problems, to solve the mission.
Now, what we did in World War II: We solved the mission. We did not solve it with our shooting ability. We did a lot of shooting; we threw a lot of hardware around, and so forth. We went with logistics: We had logistical capabilities that no country in the world had. We emerged from the war, as the only world power, because of our logistical capabilities: Nobody could match us, in logistical capabilities.
That, we have destroyed. We now have the so-called “utopian” conception of brainless killers, like the ones in Columbine [High] School, trained, as the military now admits, by videogame training, point-and-shoot games, who react to a provocation, a sign, a signal—react by pulling out a weapon, and shooting desperately and accurately at everyone in sight, with no human quality whatsoever to their behavior. They become a zombie, a killer-zombie. And, you see that in what goes on in Afghanistan: killer-zombies on the loose—no discretion, no judgment.
In fact, in Afghanistan, you notice, there is no exit strategy. In a war, competently conducted, you don’t conduct a war unless it’s necessary; and you never conduct a war, without an exit strategy! What do you mean by winning the war? If you declare peace, what kind of a peace are you going to have? How are you going to live with these people you were shooting at? So, you have to have an exit strategy. Your objective is not to enrage the situation. The objective is to bring about an agreement, which will lead to a new arrangement among the nations—called “peace.” You don’t achieve peace by war. You don’t win peace by war. The warfighting has the objective of creating the conditions, under which a willingness to discuss and negotiate peace occurs. But the peace is developed by other methods.
Infrastructure as National Security
But, anyway, back to the point of the Crawford-Baylor, so-called “economic summit” of a sleeping President—the President that wasn’t there. What we should do, of course (just to get back to that part of it), is, recognizing that the rail system and the air-transport system, as presently constituted, is an essential, national security asset—national economic security asset—meaning, the nation would be seriously damaged if this thing were to be disrupted, if this were not developed. Therefore, under a situation like this, the government must intervene into areas of basic economic infrastructure, put them back under regulation, provide credit for their rational reorganization, and expansion, and improvement.
For example: The problem with rails in the United States, the fundamental problems—why we can’t even use trains that are improved trains—is because the track has not been maintained. The track is not safe to use at high speeds. The systems are old and antiquated. We need, therefore, a national railway development program, as an emergency program, at this time. We need a national air-transport development program, so that, while we’re trying to reorganize air-traffic companies rationally, we must make sure they continue to function; that the maintenance required for aircraft continues, and competently; that aircraft are upgraded, so they don’t crash on your roof, or trying to get out of the airport—that sort of thing: So, you must go back to a regulated system, which is government-protected. That does not mean you have to de-privatize everything, but it means you have to regulate it.
And, the only competent response—and it’s an urgent, emergency response, which a real President would have made, at the time that the vacationing President was talking nonsense in Texas—what we should have said is, “The United States government is going to ensure that rail and air traffic are maintained; that we do not lose that quality, we do not lose that capability. And, the Federal government is going to intervene to get that thing straightened up.”
Now, that’s going to mean raising some money. It’s going to mean a change in the present Federal Reserve System; a change in the laws in Congress, going back to a Franklin Roosevelt approach to these kinds of problems. That must be done now: What if these companies break up in three months? What if the leading air-transport companies of the United States begin to break up, go into irreversible disorganization, over the next three months, which is now a quite-probable situation? This would be a national-security disaster.
We have no national-security disaster in Iraq. We have an Iraq policy, which is a national-security disaster, but Iraq is not our problem. Our problem is chiefly right here! In the United States: our mismanagement of our own society.
Roosevelt faced that kind of situation in 1932-33, when he was running for President, and when he first became President: Take emergency action, to save this nation; not merely to deal with the crises, which were presented, but to launch programs, using the power of government to do this, to set things into motion. As a result of what he did, in the public sector, and by certain reforms, he created the condition under which we had a very successful—on balance—a very successful progress in economic development, over the period from 1933, actually until 1964. There was a general improvement, despite the injustices; there was a general, net improvement, in the conditions of life in the U.S. and, to a large degree, outside the United States, as a result of that change.
From after 1964, with the beginning of the Indochina War, we lost it. Nineteen seventy-one, Nixon’s change of the monetary system, we lost it. We’ve been going downhill for 35 years and carrying much of the world with us.
We’re now in the greatest depression in modern history. It’s here. It’s not something to debate—“Is it here?” It is here, without question. Don’t pay any attention to the market— that doesn’t mean anything. Look at unemployment, look at closed firms, look at disasters; look at the effect of a collapse of the real-estate bubble, where people begin to get mass evictions from areas of recent buildup.
So we have a national crisis: Therefore, the response should be, to respond immediately to this air-traffic crisis, as the President did not, and take the immediate measures for a restoration of a policy, which will ensure, that those areas of national infrastructure, which are in the vital national economic-security interest, are protected, and maintained, and improved.
Now, look at some of the other aspects of this thing, the broader aspects: What is called “infrastructure” consists of several typical types of elements. We have “hard infrastructure,” which means, generally, physical infrastructure. This includes such things as rail; it includes air traffic, today; it includes ports. You can see right out here, an example of a problem, a great problem: a great incapacity to handle freight. What do you do when you get it here? It’s a problem! How do you transport the freight and distribute it in a timely fashion to places where it’s economically needed? How do you get the stuff shipped out in a proper way? So, the ports are extremely important—to have adequate ports for ocean traffic and ports which deal with inland waterway traffic, because inland waterway traffic and ocean port traffic are very closely interrelated. That’s one kind of infrastructure—transportation.
This also includes urban transportation and suburban transportation. It’s notorious in Los Angeles, of course: traffic. Well, this is insane! I think many of you think it’s insane. You suffer through it. And, take a little example of this: How many hours of the day, does the average person spend commuting? What portion of the living time of the day, do people spend commuting—and also hating it, while they’re doing it? It’s not exactly an uplifting experience! Well, this is insane! Why don’t we have mass-transit systems, which move people efficiently so they don’t get out there in that stream—which is very inefficient; economically, extremely inefficient! To pile people individually into cars, or two in a car; drive through this congestion, to get to work, an hour, or two hours and so forth; being forced to drive long distances, in many cases, because of the patterns of employment these days.
Then, what is the effect of this kind of society on raising children? If parents are working two jobs; if they’re commuting two hours, or four hours a day totally, various ways; where’s the time to raise the child? If you don’t have neighborhoods based on active family participation in the neighborhoods, controlling the neighborhoods effectively, just by living together as neighbors, what kind of an environment are you creating for the children? What kind of school systems do you have, if you don’t have the intervention—efficient intervention—of an active parent generation, community generation, in this process? Who do you go to, to complain about it? The brainwashers, who say, “Give the kid Ritalin”? Why’s the kid jumping around? Because the teacher’s boring! Get some competent teachers in there!
So, having an efficient mass-transit system, which delivers people in comfort, and with certain reliability, to reduce the hours wasted in unpaid travel time, to get to and from work, in the process of helping to destroy the functioning of the family, and destroying the conditions under which we raise children. So, therefore, this extension of a mass-transit system, is also essential.
Also, the way we’re developing communities—zoning— is insane! Look at what happened to Los Angeles: Isn’t this insane? The way this city is organized, is absolutely insane! It’s not organized for people: It’s one vast slum! Sometimes more obviously so than others! It’s a city, in which hate is inherent in the physical organization of things!
You know, in the better times, you would have places of employment—often in better areas, several opportunities of major places of employment. And people would tend to be concentrated in their residences around areas where they either had employment, or were otherwise likely to find replacement employment. So, therefore, you had people living in a community, which would often be defined by a group of major employers, as well as all the other auxiliary employers, of small machine shops and so forth, that went with it. So, you had a sense of community. And you had a primary motion, in the course of the day—whether shopping, or going to work, coming from work, going to school, meeting with neighbors, these kinds of connections—were all within a fairly restricted area, almost within walking distance, if not absolutely within walking distance. And this was achieved, partly by having an efficient mass-transit system, which enabled us to do that.
So, we need good mass-transit systems, as well as inter-city systems.
FDR Paradigm in Energy Production
We also have other areas of infrastructure. Power: There’s a big crisis in California, with the Enron rip-off, and similar kinds of rip-offs. This was a swindle. Deregulation was a crime against humanity. The way we would set up power production in earlier times, the assumption was, when you would make an investment, an investment in a power plant or power facility, we’re talking about a quarter-century or more. When you talk about “site development,” you’re talking about a much longer period: 50 years, or so, because of the impact of having a central power system, with respect to any community and its functioning. So, therefore, we’re talking about long-term investment.
How do you construct the investment? Well, it’s regulated. Now, the regulation, in the case of power, is chiefly, even though there should be Federal oversight on interstate aspects, the regulation of power is largely a function of states, the Federal states, and of the communities, the municipalities. What happens is, a state creates an authority, authorizing the forming of a corporation, whose purpose is to produce and distribute energy, in such a way that the aggregate of such entities will meet the needs of the community, both presently and for the foreseeable future of growth and requirements. Therefore, you integrate. From the beginning, the concept is the integration of responsibility for production and distribution of power. This is done, usually, by oversight of state governments, with some Federal intervention in the process of setting national standards, and interstate standards. California is going to die, if it does not have, does not return to this kind of energy production, and expansion of it.
Where’s the money to do it? Are you going to go to [Gray Davis,] the present Governor, and get him to get something through the legislature, to fund, or bail out, these existing entities? No. You’re not going to get it that way. You’re going to have to have a Federal reform of the present financial and banking system, which is now bankrupt, under which credit can be generated through the Federal government, the way that was done by Roosevelt with his Reconstruction Finance Corp., to make credit available through local, designated financial institutions, in cooperation with the states and the municipalities, to ensure the existing power production and distribution function, and that the necessary prompt steps be made to expand power production.
Without that, how are you going to restore the lost industrial opportunities, which used to exist in this state? How are you going to guarantee protection to the farmers of this state—and this is the big agricultural state? You can’t do it.
So, therefore, the Federal government may not be the party to actually set these things into motion in the state and municipalities, but the Federal government’s intervention is essential to create the conditions under which a state like California, which can not, by itself solve this problem, is given the Federal assistance of the type it needs, to reorganize its affairs, and get on with the work of providing power.
Water Projects for the Americas
Another key area, which I already referred to, is the area of water. Water is another part of the essential, physical infrastructure of a national economy. We have enough water, available, if we’re willing to look ahead to Alaskan Arctic sources, and look ahead to Canadian Arctic sources. And, to enter into agreements with neighboring Canada, for joint development, and agreements with Mexico! Because, any efficient line of the Great American Desert development, of water development, is going to move water, in great amounts, from the north, from Alaska and Canada, through the area between the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Range area; going to move great amounts. And the end-line of that, will be Mexico.
So, therefore, an Arctic Ocean to Mexican border system is needed, which should integrate with what Mexico should have, which is to open up the canals, which have been projected by Mexico for over a century: canals to move water from the south, where there is excess rainfall in Mexico; to move it along the coastal canals to the northern areas, such as Sonora, which need water, in order to develop agriculture. Sonora, like the Imperial Valley, has a tremendous natural potential for agricultural development—if the water were there; if the water management were there.
We need to protect the agriculture in California alone. Fighting with Arizona, and the gangsters who control Arizona, over water—like [Sen. John] McCain, for example, the Keating Five—that is not the way to solve the problem. That may be necessary, but the way is, to find new sources, new arrangements, in water management, for transport and for other essential uses. To take this area of the Great American Desert and turn it from a negative factor in the U.S. economy, and turn it into a positive factor, for all of the economy around there. And we can do that. So, these are essential things.
Then, you have other things, which are called “soft” infrastructure: health care. Health care is a national security issue. Let’s take the nasty case of DDT: There was never any legitimate grounds for banning DDT. It was purely a cult, fanatic program. DDT never ruined a robin’s egg. It may have cut down its meal a bit, by killing flies and worms, but it did not ruin the egg. It was all a fraud.
We are now exposed to West Nile virus, a deadly, mosquito-borne, or mosquito-vectored virus, which is moving into the middle of the United States, from Africa. It’s moving in from Africa, because we didn’t do anything to help Africa. We didn’t bring the conditions in, which would have enabled Africa to control the thing at the source. We say, “We’re not going to put money in Africa!” “We’re going to take gold out, not put money in!” That’s the idea: “Oh, gold! So, take it out!” So, therefore, because we didn’t give them the means, and the support to get up the pest-control systems and health systems they required—as a matter of fact, we bombed Sudan’s pharmaceutical plant, because some idiot in Washington, some right-wing kook, pushed the President into going along with it. And the President had to quietly admit afterwards, that there was no reason for bombing that plant; no excuse for it.
So, it now comes here. Diseases from Africa are going to come to visit the United States, no matter what the Customs agents and Immigration officers say. We used to be able to control—we had the mosquito, malaria and so forth, under control in the United States, by DDT, which is the most effective drug we ever had, against this kind of problem—the most effective. And, for some crazy reason, it was banned—arbitrarily, with no supporting evidence for the banning. Everything about, “DDT was a danger to the environment,” or something, or health, was a lie: There never was any scientific evidence presented to support that.
So, we’re going to have to get it back.
Now, that’s only one aspect of health control. In the postwar period, as a result of our experience in warfare, especially, we adopted a piece of legislation, called Hill-Burton. Hill-Burton was a very intelligent approach to improving the health care of the citizens of the United States. It said, simply, this; it started with an assumption. The assumption was, because of the way medical practice is structured, the major hospitals and clinics in a county are the center of the functioning of the medical profession and of public-health facilities. What you need in any area is, you need a very high-grade, full-service teaching hospital, the kind of institution which covers the entire spectrum, which trains nurses and physicians, and educates them and produces them as a by-product of its function, which has extensive research facilities of scientific, as well as other, nature.
And therefore, when you get into a national health crisis, you have doctors out there. The doctors, for major care, rely on their relationship with clinics and hospitals. The hospital is the center of mobilization of a community, of a county, for health-care problems, new diseases. What do you do? Laboratories: extensive research, tied to other research institutions, in touch with research institutions throughout the country and internationally. They go to work on a problem, which is newly discovered, and try to quickly discover an approach for dealing with a new type of problem. Or an outbreak of an old disease in a new form, like bubonic plague, for example, which may come out as pneumonic plague.
So, the doctors, now, are able to function, because you have a team relationship, between the individual physician, the local hospital or clinic, and the central hospitals, which are the mobilization points, the rallying points, for national security in health care, in health protection.
Now, Hill-Burton specified, therefore, that the United States should adopt—it’s a very simple piece of legislation, not one of these pieces of nonsense, but simple legislation stating a principle: It is the objective of the United States, that we shall increase the number of beds of a predetermined, required quality, in hospitals, based on a county-population requirement. That is, every county should be getting an equitable approach to treatment of disease in that county. Because, if you do that, for the reasons I just gave, then you have a system which is capable of responding intelligently, sometimes in concert with government, to any kind of disease problem.
Now, the idea was, that you would form organizations in each state, with Federal protection—Federal sponsorship and protection. These would be organizations based on state facilities; they would be based on public facilities; based also on private hospitals and similar institutions. And these institutions would meet on an annual planning basis, to set out a budget based on required number of beds, estimated in that area, to improve the situation. And, to determine where the money is going to come from to support this number of beds, of these qualities, in that county. Therefore, what they would do is, the various institutions would estimate expected revenues from various sources that could be obtained, define the deficit, and then say, “Where are we going to get the money to fill the deficit?” They would go, first of all, to voluntary fundraising for hospitals and health care, in general. They would then go to municipal and state governments: What can the municipal government, the state government put into the kitty, to fill the deficit? And, if that isn’t adequate, then they go to the Federal government, which is sitting there as an interested party, and say to the Federal government, “This state, in the coming year, is going to have the following deficit, based on currently determined sources of applicable revenues. We need some help. Get us a bill through the Congress, to authorize a special allotment for this state.”
That’s the way it worked, until 1973. It was one of the best health systems the world ever knew.
And Nixon destroyed it—with the help of a “great Democrat,” Daniel P. Moynihan, who was in charge of this social reform, at that time. What came in, was the HMO legislation—health-management-organization legislation, repealing Hill-Burton. And you may have some idea of what happened to health care, as a result of the HMOs and the replacement of Hill-Burton.
So, we need a health-care system, as a matter of a national security interest. A health-care system, while it probably includes many private aspects, must have the backing and support of public agencies and the public sector, including the Federal government. And the Federal government must act as a coordinating agency among the states, to determine a national-security approach to health-care requirements: whether strange diseases, or simply other disease problems discovered; maybe like how to remove a video game from a child, huh? To save the kid’s life, or his neighbor’s life.
Education for Citizenship
So, you have another area of national security interest, which is primarily the responsibility of government. Education: Now, I know that most of you hate education, because you’re not getting any of it. But we’re doing the best we can, with our limited resources, and by going on the things which we think are most essential.
So, if you can’t get a decent education at a university, create your own. It doesn’t have to be a university, it has to be a process, in which you’re engaged, in yourself, developing yourself, in a social kind of way—individually and socially; by getting at things you need to know, to make you capable of understanding society, and understanding your place in it. And how you can do work, that sort of thing. Base it in science, base it in Classics, base it in social relations—history. Those things, if you can’t get them from the schools, or the universities, you must organize and provide them for yourselves.
Remember, healthy university systems were not created by God. He left some things up to man, to create for himself. And the best educational systems, came in opposition to previously established, failed institutions. And they were organized by young, vigorous people, who were dedicated to discovering the truth, and learning to master it. And, by mastering a few areas, in a few topics, they would open up themselves to the capability of knowing how to master others. So, what you need in education, essentially, is a foundation. You need a foundation, which enables you to fit yourself in society, as a person who can think scientifically, who knows what social relations are, who knows how ideas function in history, who knows how societies collapse or succeed; and you start from that kind of basic knowledge, and then reach out, to anything else which you think is important, or interests you. And you’re able to do it, because you’ve created a process, in which you yourselves, can do it, for yourselves.
You become, then, a true citizen, not a beggar. The typical citizen of the United States, today, is a beggar. They beg! They beg from the news media. They beg for a place at the table, with public opinion. They beg for this; they beg for that. They don’t think about what they can do for themselves. This is called “free trade”: What can I sell myself for?
So, the basis of citizenship is essentially education, as Benjamin Franklin emphasized, and warned, when the Constitution had been adopted. And education means that you are, first of all, that you are a citizen, who is capable of thinking for himself or herself, as a citizen. This means, that, instead of depending upon doing as you are told, or thinking what you are told to think, that you have gone through the experience of discovering universal principles, which are universally true, with the powers of your own mind, usually doing this as part of a social process of dialogue with other people.
Once you know that something is true, in your own mind, in that way, then you can stand up, and say: “I know.” And when you can say, “I know,” then you’re a citizen. Then, you are entitled to instruct government to pay attention. And if it doesn’t pay attention, to make some changes. Not the kind of beggars that call themselves “citizens” today: “I have to go along with the Party. I have to go along with public opinion. I have to go along with this.”
And here you are, sitting in the middle of a failed society—this society has failed! Over 35 years, this society, this United States, has gone from the most powerful nation on the planet, the richest, the most productive, the most progressive, to one of the worst! It’s the bucket shop, of humanity! We’re bloodsuckers. We don’t produce our own wealth; we steal it! We steal it, by free trade. We’ve rigged the value of the currency, of the peso in Mexico; we rigged this; we rigged that. Other countries slave for us, work under virtual slave-labor conditions, to give us the cheap goods that you buy at Wal-Mart! By some poor creature, standing, unable to move, because they represent destroyed people, who somebody’s employing at X number of dollars per hour, to stand there and look as if they’re working.
This is what we’ve done to the American people! We’ve done that to them. We’ve taken away their dignity, and one of the ways we did it, was with education. Look at what is taught in universities and schools. Look at the nature of the curriculum. Some kid thinks the teacher is stupid, he’s got to have Ritalin. Do you know what Ritalin, and Haldol, and Prozac do, physiologically, to a human body, over several years of application? Do you know what this is? Read a book (but don’t take it too seriously): Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Soma. What you are getting, no education in the schools, and if you don’t sit there like a happy little zombie, the teacher says, [very nasal] “You’ve got an Attention Deficit Disorder.” And you say to the teacher, “No, Teacher, I don’t have ADD. You’ve got BDD—a Brain Deficit Disorder!”
But this is a kind of menticide: The obvious purpose is, is to destroy the mental capability of the American youth to function. Because, once you get him on this dope, you don’t come back so easily. Some of you have some experience with it, in yourself, or know it with others: You don’t come back so easily. And, when you lose the years of your life, the years when you are most susceptible of actually developing concepts; when you’re going through the secondary-school age, and the university age, 18 to 25, that area, is the period of life, in which most people have the highest potentiality for developing the power of conceptual thinking. Once you have mastered that, in those age intervals, then you don’t stop developing. You go on, and you become more powerful in your ability as a thinker, from that point on. But, if you don’t lay the foundation, in cognitive thinking in those age intervals, you’ve lost those years—precious years of your life, you can’t make up for so easily.
So, in a sense, the function of education is not simply to produce people who are qualified to pass tests which are designed by idiots. You know, multiple-choice questionnaires. (If you pass a multiple-choice questionnaire, you must have taken a lot of Ex-Lax.) Those tests, by themselves, are evil.
What is a reasonable question? You’re probably getting some of this here. But what is a competent examination, in a secondary school or a university, say on a science subject? Fill out a questionnaire? No. Fire the teacher. If the school issues a questionnaire, fire the school administrators. If the teacher gives you a multiple-choice questionnaire, fire the teacher. You’re not getting an education.
What is an education? The test of an education is a test of the school and of the teacher, as much as it is of the student. What are you testing for? A good test, which is done with the best—the best so-called “intelligence test,” would always have this feature in them. A good test will always challenge the student with a question, for which they have never been prepared in class or textbook. And you would test the student, therefore, on the ability to solve that challenge, at least in a credible and competent way at that time. That would tell you how well the school program and the student combined, had developed over the preceding period. So, the ability to think cognitively, to discover solutions for problems, to discover new principles, under stress: That is the test of education. Because that’s what it is in production.
Entrepreneurship in production is the same thing. In production, what you face are problems you never saw before. In government, you face problems you never saw before. So, who do you want to deal with that problem? Do you want some bureaucratic idiot, who’s filled out multiple-choice questionnaires? Or do you want someone, faced with an entirely new experience, a new challenge, unexpected, in some area, in which they have a certain competence, to be able to respond to that challenge in an intelligent, effective way? This is developing a new product, solving a problem that’s never been solved before; this is what the best military training is: Auftragstaktik, it’s called in German—the ability of the soldier, the commander, under a situation, which he did not expect, to be able to carry out a mission, under conditions which are slightly different than those which were anticipated. By finding a solution to that problem. Not by changing the mission, but accomplishing the mission, by discovering a new way of correcting for the difference between what was expected and what you have.
The Problem Gauss Solved
That’s what a good education is: the ability to think. The ability to invent valid approaches to previously not-known issues. For example: One reason I specified in response to the question, this issue of the 1799 paper by Gauss on the fundamental theorem of algebra. Every faker will go to a Lagrange approach to that problem. Every faker in school will teach that: It’s one of the most important developments, in all modern mathematical physics, that particular paper by Gauss. And virtually every school, which teaches in that area, in that subject-area, fakes it. And says, there’s a solution at the blackboard, as such; a mathematical solution at the blackboard, as Lagrange said, for that problem. If you accept that, in mathematical physics, if you accept the assumptions on which the Lagrange argument is made, you will never be competent in science, because you have never faced the crisis that you must face, the crisis posed by Gauss’s attack on Euler and Lagrange, in that paper. You’ll never understand what the word “physical science” means. You’ll fake it. You’ll think of some formula, you get out of a textbook, or look it up on the computer. And, it’s not.
Also, important, that particular case, because it refers to knowledge which existed, long prior to that; knowledge which existed at the time, in particular, of a student of Pythagoras, Archytas, who was associated with Plato. And the circles of Plato, Archytas, and so forth, through the death of Archimedes and Eratosthenes, developed an understanding of the same issue, which was presented by Gauss’s solution for the question of the fundamental theorem of algebra.
So therefore, if you solve this and understand this, not only do you know what real science is (and otherwise, you don’t), but you also have an understanding of something about history. If you look at the connection, between what was known by Archytas, by Plato, by Eratosthenes—if you know that—then you say, “Where’d we get this?” “We got this from them! We got this from them, in a period 2600 years ago, or so. We got this, by a transmission of Classical culture—despite the Roman system, despite Romanticism—which was revived in modern Europe in the 15th Century, which was the birth of modern science, and the birth of modern society.
So therefore, the student who has gone through that kind of educational experience, has a foundation to understand both physical science, mathematics, and history. Because history is the relationship of the transmission of ideas that no monkey could ever understand, by human beings from generation to generation. Culture is the same thing. Language is the same thing. Languages have been developed, by the human species; different languages have evolved in this process of development. These languages are transmitted from generation to generation, as ideas. When you wish to communicate with people, as I spent some of the weekend communicating with people who are Chinese speakers, you run immediately into problems of understanding on both sides, where it’s very difficult to communicate certain ideas. Because the language culture is different, and people think in ways, in which language is a crucial part.
And thus, the way to administer society—yes, we are a community of nations. But we must also recognize that the primary responsibility of citizenship, is to organize around a specific national historical language-culture. Not because one culture is better than the other, in any intrinsic way—some have advantages, true—but, because you must reach the ideas. You must, in the case of giving an idea in a different language than you’re using, you must also find some way to get the root of that idea, the paradox, into the mind of someone who’s using the other language, in their national language culture.
So thus, our education of the American young person, into age of 25 and so forth, in terms of our national language culture—a Classical form of our national language-culture—becomes an essential basis for citizenship. Because it is through a language, so understood, so mastered, that we’re able to communicate what Shelley describes as “the most impassioned and profound conceptions respecting man and nature.” And that’s what citizenship is: To have a sense of what needs to be done, or at least what question needs to be asked. And, to be able to put that forward as a citizen, in a way which commands attention to what you propose, it commands attention to the matter of the answer.
That’s the way we can govern ourselves. We don’t govern ourselves by opinion. Most of the opinion in the United States, as you know, is idiocy. Would you want to be ruled by popular opinion? It’s a mass of babbling idiots! Does that mean that you hate the people, because they’re babbling idiots? No. You want them to be good people. You want to develop them. So therefore, you want to ensure that every child has access to that quality of education, which is required. You wish that for yourself; you wish to make that kind of Classical approach to communication, an integral part of the way society functions and makes decisions. We are not monkeys; we are not baboons. We do not communicate by sign languages or grunts or snarls. That should not be the way that we function, though often that happens in the Congress. We should be people, who are able to communicate by reason, and reason means exactly that.
So therefore, an educational system, based on reason, is a vital matter of national security. It’s primarily a responsibility of government, in the collective sense, as such is the nature of things.
What We Can Do to Save Our Nation
This is what we have lost. This is why George Bush was— not elected, exactly, but inaugurated. They just said, “Well, who’re we going to inaugurate? Which of these bums that wasn’t elected are we going to inaugurate?” And we did. But, how did that happen? How did we get to the process that we had a Dukakis, running for the Democratic nomination for President in 1988? An absolute mental case. Going into a severe crisis, do you want to put a mental case into the White House? Well, Gore is the same thing—a different kind of mental case. Bush is, shall we say—the only thing spectacular about him, are his disabilities. But, he’s the President: And you and I have to manage this Presidency. I mean, you can’t shoot him. It’s not a good idea; and it wouldn’t do any good. It would do bad. That’s not the way you settle problems; you may do it in some neighborhoods—try to settle problems, by shooting the guy you don’t like. That doesn’t settle anything; that just makes the problem worse.
You don’t try to overthrow the government, the way some populists do. You know, “The government’s always bad. If we could only get rid of government, everything would be good.” You baboons would run the place, huh?
No, the point is, we have the responsibility of affecting the institution of government, to cause the constitutional institutions of government in particular, to respond to our perception of what our national security requirements are, as a nation, as a people. What we think is just, in terms of our relationship to people in other countries. We have to force government to behave itself. Not as the adversary, but just like a foolish child, that you have to sometimes keep them from putting their hands on the hot stove. That sort of thing. You must intervene as a citizen, to take responsibility, as a citizen, for what your nation does. And, we have a Presidency. We have the finest Constitution ever devised, so far: Use it! But know how to use it: Be ingenious, in using it. How do we get the Presidency to respond in a way which George Bush were not likely to do? How do you shape the environment around the President, such that the institutions of the Presidency, and government generally, and other influences, will act upon him, to accept what I’ve proposed, say, today: “Please, George Bush. Stop this nonsense! Accept reality. This system is coming down. No recovery will ever occur. I don’t care what Dracula says, there’s no recovery in progress.” “Please Mr. President, do a simple thing: Put DDT back in circulation. We don’t want our people dying of West Nile disease. Just do the intelligent thing. Protect the national security interest, in terms of railroads; in terms of our air-traffic system; and a few other things like that—for starters.”
And, that’s, I think, what we, as Americans, among other leading things, should be saying. That’s what should have been said, in effect, at Crawford, or at Baylor. We should have said, “Hey! This is stupid. This system is coming down; let’s stop kidding ourselves; let’s stop the delusion. There are things we can do to save our nation and save the world. Let’s do them! They’re not perfect solutions, but they put us on the road toward solutions.”
And that’s the gist of the matter.
[fn_1]. For Mexico’s Plhino and Plhigon water management projects, see the article, “Plhino: Water to Green Mexico’s Farmland,” by Alberto Vizcarra Osuna, in 21st Century Science & Technology, Spring 2009, pp. 50-53. [back to text for fn_1]
[fn_3]. Carl Friedrich Gauss, “New Proof of the Theorem That Every Algebraic Rational Integral Function in One Variable Can Be Resolved into Real Factors of the First or the Second Degree” (Helmstedt: Fleckeisen’s, 1790. English translation by Ernest Fandreyer, Prof. of Mathematics, Fitchburg State College. [back to text for fn_3]
President Bush Should Have Acted ‘In an FDR Fashion’
Lyndon LaRouche laid out his post-Labor Day drive for national infrastructure security, in an Internet radio broadcast Aug. 24, 2002. To watch the full broadcast, click here.
After Labor Day, we shall release a new phase of the campaign. This phase will be in response to the utter failure of President Bush to deal with reality in the so-called Waco Conference, which he attended briefly, at about four times, I understand. At the time that he was speaking in Waco, we had two crises developing, which are of immediate significance, and require immediate action by him, and by other elements of our government.
First of all, we are losing our rail system, the last vestige of it. We are also in the process of crippling, and virtually destroying, our air-traffic system. Now, if we understand the effect of this, if you continue this process, you have the following things to consider. The breakdown in the economy—the private economy of the air-traffic system—means that we must shift from the less economical routes, which are the short-term routes, to concentrate only on the longer-term routes, which are essential air travel. Short-term routes are not essential for air travel. Quite the contrary. As a matter of fact, sometimes you have high-speed rail—say, between New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, and Washington’s [Union] Station—you could probably make the distance with high-speed rail in a shorter time than you could make it by using air. So, it obviously is foolish to rely upon air travel, between New York City and Washington, D.C., when you should have rail travel.
Now, also, more strategically, to get rail traffic, and to eliminate these kinds of problems with air travel, we would have to restore a true, interconnected, transcontinental rail system, which means you could get to every principal center in the United States—whether freight, or passenger—conveniently and efficiently, by rail. This, of course, means improvements in rail, over what we had before. But now we don’t even have what we had before. The track is old. It’s last century vintage, early last century, probably 1926, approximately, with some slight repairs in some cases, in between.
If this were to occur, if you have a continued break-down of the rail system, away from the idea of a transcontinental, interconnected system; if you have an accompanying crisis in air travel, then the United States ceases to be an integrated nation.
What are you going to do? Drive by Tin Lizzy, from the East Coast to the West Coast? The United States is no longer efficiently connected. It is no longer a unified, efficient national economy.
Key Issue of November Elections
So, therefore, these areas are one of the first areas the President must act upon, in a Franklin Roosevelt fashion. First of all, for government intervention and regulation, to defend, and improve the national rail system, as a high-priority investment project. Number two, we must save the air-traffic system. Both of these are essential parts of our national economic security. So he must do that. He should forget the nonsense that was babbled out at Waco, and similar locations, and get down to business.
And the Congress must be pushed into doing this. But it must be done now. Otherwise, no nation.
This has to be made a key issue of the coming elections, the November elections. It should be clear by election time, for these state, Senate, and so forth elections, that anyone who is not pushing for infrastructure, is not working in the national interest. Therefore, we have to have a weeding-out of those members of Congress, who, among their other faults, are not pushing for immediate restoration of rail service, and defense of air traffic.
Now, that’s only the beginning, but those are two areas, integrated areas, on which the President must act immediately, now! And the testing time is the November election. Nobody should vote for anybody who is not for this. Otherwise they’re being silly.
Now, that opens up a larger area. We are now in the greatest depression in more than 200 years, right? This means that we have to make some fundamental changes, away from the policies of the past 35-odd years, back to the policies of Roosevelt, and the policies of the post-Roosevelt period, from 1946 through 1964. We have to go back to that kind of economic system, now. Which means a regulated system: End privatization, end deregulation, end the funny monetary policies, all these things—get back to things that worked before, and do it immediately!
The area in which we can employ people—because we have many people who do not have the skills they had 35 years ago, the population had—therefore they are unemployable for many high-grade jobs. The way we handled it with Roosevelt, the way we have to handle it now: We have to take areas of primary need, primary national need in infrastructure, where people with poorer skill levels, can be efficiently employed in work which would be of national importance, and national economic significance. That work, which is in the area of infrastructure, will create the basis for the expansion of the private sector: in agriculture and industry. We must have policies with that goal.
Policy for the Next Two Years
Now this covers several areas, which should be the basic policy of the United States for the coming two years, and longer, up to the run-up to the 2004 election. First of all, a national infrastructure policy. Air travel and rail represent aspects of the transportation sector of basic economic infrastructure, which is largely government-funded, government-controlled, government-regulated. You can have the private sector in there, but they are regulated, the way we used to do it. So, air and rail are one of these areas.
In transportation, we also have ports. We also have power and water, which are other areas of physical infrastructure which are necessary. We must end deregulation of power. We must have a policy of national support for a system of state-regulated utility systems, of utilities which have long-term investment with government backing, and regulation, for the generation and distribution of essential power. We must have a water system, which is not only to supply our water needs, for human and related consumption. We must have a water-inland transport system, like the Mississippi River, other rivers, the cheapest way of moving freight, which is of low value per ton, and therefore is not high priority in terms of time of delivery. We depend upon that for grain, for ores, things of that sort. Inland waterways are ideal for that purpose, much more efficient than rail for that purpose.
For sensitive high-value freight, rails are indispensable. For the highest sensitivity, yes, we require international, and national, air travel.
In addition to that, we have soft infrastructure. Public health: We have destroyed public health since 1973, the HMO [orientation]. We no longer have a public health system. We are now faced with the increment of diseases, caused by economic conditions, caused by other conditions. We are not equipped for disease, epidemic disease. Therefore, we must rebuild the health care system now. Forget this HMO, repeal HMO, go back to Hill-Burton. That worked; HMO [Health Maintenance Organizations] do not work.
Education: Today, in universities, the price of tuition is in inverse proportion to the value of the education delivered. This is a scandal. Look at what’s taught in universities. Frankly, its garbage, and the students know it. They deeply resent it. Many of these students who are more intelligent, realize that they have to go outside the university to get a competent education. The case, as I’ve been emphasizing, the importance of Gauss’ Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, as presented in 1799, for the first time; to understand this is an ABC of education. And I guarantee you that most college graduates today, have no comprehension of the actual significance of that 1799 discovery, on which the fundamentals of 19th-Century scientific achievement were based. So we need a revolution in education.
And these are areas of national priority, upon which the strength of our population, the maintenance of our economic potential in general, depend. My campaign, for this period, will be a massive campaign, on a larger scale than the recent campaign of the past month; go up immediately after Labor Day; and it will continue, with the target being the immediate November elections. To begin to weed out the chaff. To get rid of those politicians, as much as possible, who will not support urgent infrastructure-rebuilding measures. To go on from that, to deal with the larger issues. [back to text]