This article appears in the March 27, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
December 7, 2008
The Lesson of Pearl Harbor Day
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in EIR Vol. 35, No. 49, December 19, 2008, pages 68-71 .
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. writes that something like a whiff of Pearl Harbor is in the air today, “a prescience of an imminent awakening.”
Dec. 7—I was nineteen at the time, that Sunday morning, sixty-seven years ago, when the news of the Japan attack on Pearl Harbor reached the streets of New York City. Suddenly, the Hitler sympathizers of a London-allied Wall Street, such as the grandfather of President George W. Bush, Jr., Prescott Bush, could no longer hold U.S. public opinion in check. So, the inevitable defeat of the Hitler gang was set into motion.
That should remind certain foreign powers today, and also certain of our own political figures, that there is a point in a process at which the disposition of a majority of our citizens will no longer submit to an orchestrated leading political opinion, whether that be the opinion in the Executive Branch, the U.S. Congress, our so-called mass media, some foreign power, or, even, all combined.
Those preceding words of mine on that subject, could be accepted, rather readily, among most of our thoughtful and seasoned patriots of today. Yet, often, as at this present moment of world crisis, a widely accepted opinion on such a subject-matter as this, while fairly truthful as a broad observation, tends, for that very reason, to conceal an even far more important conception.
The question which needs to be asked pertains to the subject of sudden, seemingly revolutionary changes in mass opinion, especially sudden mass changes which overturn what had appeared to have been in a solid position of a reigning authority. In the case of the Pearl Harbor syndrome of December 7th, 1941, it had appeared, despite President Roosevelt’s musters, that right-wing political opposition to a U.S. engagement against Hitler was rather solidly in place, especially in Wall Street, even after the leading circles in the United Kingdom had abandoned that view of the Hitler menace.
That is not something buried in the past; the same London-oriented, right-wing, sometimes frankly fascist Wall Street-linked circles, often disguised by cautiously adopted different choices of labels, are, in character, the same right-wing-linked U.S. circles opposed to any return to a Franklin Roosevelt approach to the world’s economic and related strategic crises of today.
Reflections on that piece of historical strategic ironies, should command uppermost attention among seriously thinking political circles still today. The question for today’s crisis is: what is the nature of those lawful social processes by which such sudden eruptions of the popular opinion, contrary to apparently entrenched power, come about? How did the U.S. Pearl Harbor reflex develop? In part, the answer might appear obvious; but, there are deeper implications of importance for the reality of today.
A Matter of Dynamics
There is a certain fundamental difference in the underlying political philosophy, and sociology of the United States and that widely shared in western and central Europe. It is a difference expressed explicitly in the essentials of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution, but its origins date from the earlier 1620-1688/89 interval of the founding of the English-speaking colony in New England, the Massachusetts Bay Colony most specifically. The cases of the Winthrops and Mathers, especially what Cotton Mather wrote later on the post-1689 change, is most typical.
Essentially, since that 1620-1689 interval, the essential difference between the political philosophies of Europe’s parliamentary traditions and the United States, has been typified by the leading American patriots’ adoption of the standpoint expressed by Gottfried Leibniz, as in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of the U.S. Federal Constitution, against that pro-slavery Liberalism of John Locke which the Confederacy puppets of Britain’s Lord Palmerston represented.
The differences between these two opposing, English-speaking currents have become, to that degree, axiomatic, defining those two sets of English-speakers as divided by use of a common language. Between the death of England’s Queen Anne and that subsequent 1763 Peace of Paris which established the British East India Company as a privately owned empire, the axiomatic quality of cultural divergence between the two cultures, American versus British, deepened in ways which came temporarily to the fore during the 1941-1944 interval of general warfare.
The World War II partnership between President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill was an alliance of two adversaries-in-principle thrust together for an urgent common cause of the moment. Churchill was devoted to the empire; Roosevelt was devoted to the eradication of all empires from the planet. President Truman betrayed our republic on this account, and we have never regained fully what Truman ruined, to the present day.
Take my own experience: my earliest American ancestors came into North America (New England and Quebec, respectively) during the mid-1660s. My own family tradition, dating to the grandparents of my grandparents, reaches back into the late 1770s. While there have been differences in currents of opinion within what amounts to a very extensive family grouping in North America since the 1660s, and even then known to me personally in the way I have indicated, the underlying, quasi-axiomatic characteristics of the Americans differ in systematic ways from the English in particular, and also the Scottish current. The most significant characteristic of the relevant difference echoes the opposition of Leibniz to Locke.
Despite the antiquity of much of my own family background, most of those families which came into the U.S. later, adapted their European or Asian cultural heritages to the axiomatics of the American System of political-economy. We were, in fact, enriched by these immigrants, the Germans most readily (until Confederacy heir Theodore Roosevelt’s German-hating, British-loving Presidency).
The significance of the sampling of facts to which I have just pointed, would be missed by most otherwise familiar with the facts I have just listed, unless they were familiar with the principles of dynamics. There are important similarities between Americans and Europeans, but there are also differences, principally differences of the type associated with the crucially advantageous distinction of an American Presidential system from the follies of philosophical Liberalism inherent in a European parliamentary system; but, the significance of these differences is not made clear until they, as facts of the matter, are examined from the standpoint of the principle of dynamics.
The root of the inability of most people of Europe and the Americas to understand how social processes actually work, is chiefly a result of the influence of the Liberalism of Paolo Sarpi on the Atlantic maritime cultures of the Sixteenth Century onward. The point should be registered, that the specific characteristic of cultures influenced by what became the Anglo-Dutch Liberalism of Sarpi’s principal followers was, in one sense, the removal of the obstacle to progress represented by the modern Aristotelean legacy; but, while Sarpi licensed some practical innovations which the Aristoteleans abhorred, Sarpi was vicious in his determination to prevent innovation from leading to the recognition of actual universal principles, of physical science, or otherwise.
Hence, we have had the typical distinction of mathematical formalism from physical science, and the consequent substitution of mathematical formulations for physical principles. For the same reason, the United Kingdom has no actual constitution worthy of the name: the mere principle of the authority to reign is taken as a British substitute for a constitution, while the rest is left to what current trends in convention will tolerate.
The conception of a Constitution such as that intentionally crafted for the U.S.A., is an anathema to the British system in particular, and to the practice of western and central European liberalism generally. Nothing typifies this typically European fault of governments as much as the adoption of the monetarist ideology of the once-avowed pro-fascist, John Maynard Keynes.
The exemplary and crucial issue so posed at the present instant, is that any efforts to negotiate urgently needed monetary reforms within the confines of so-called Keynesian assumptions, would ensure the early delivery of the entire planet into a prolonged new dark age more severe in effects than that suffered in mid-Fourteenth-Century Europe. Thus, I have warned, unless a suitable, clearly anti-monetarist agreement is struck among the U.S.A., Russia, China, and India, excluding British influence at the start, the entirety of present global civilization is condemned to an assured, early delivery into a planet-wide new dark age. A population of more than six billions individuals could not be sustained under any agreement based on Keynesian considerations; a population reduced to Prince Philip’s stated goal for his World Wildlife Fund, of much less than two billions, were more likely, and soon. Only an agreement based on the American System model could provide a remedy under presently urgent circumstances.
U.S. Social Dynamics
A society actually based on a single principle is one whose actual constitution mimics the Leibniz principle at the center of the U.S. 1776 Declaration of Independence, as elaborated in the Preamble of the U.S. Federal Constitution. Despite all amendments, for better, or for worse, which have been added to the body of that Constitution as a whole since, the central principle of that Constitution remains unchanged, and will threaten to assert itself in any crisis, as it did under President Franklin Roosevelt.
The effect of that Preamble on the evolution of the hereditary mind-set of the U.S. population as a dynamic process, as in Leibniz’s sense of dynamics, or Bernhard Riemann’s later, is a deeply embedded feature of the U.S. social process. It is a nerve which, when touched on the matter of its essential features, will rise up to strike down the offender, that in a fashion described with great precision by a great English poet who understood this matter, Percy B. Shelley, in the closing paragraph of his “A Defence of Poetry.”
Every new-born human mind is endowed from birth with a potential expressed as a quality of creativity not existing in any lower form of life. No matter how bestialized a population may become, the potential lurks on, like a leopard disposed to pounce, when a certain kind of prompting occurs. The quality of creativity, until it were virtually crushed out of existence by bestialization, is a more or less resonant quality within a population, varying in degree and choices of thresholds for its eruption, according to the culture and to the development of the individual within that culture. Thus, according to a certain kind of principle of resonance, it is awakened despite any want of such intention a moment before. It comes awake as a sleeping man does when alarmed to wakefulness; it recognizes the object which has disturbed its slumbers, and acts more or less accordingly.
This sort of awakening of the formerly mostly sleeping power of creativity, varies according to cultures and their development of the capability to respond appropriately. The habit of a true constitutional principle gives a people a greater capability for responding appropriately than a people which lacks the cultural experience of such a principle as a principle of human right.
From the start of the colonization of North America, the abhorrence of European oligarchical cultures, and the desire for scientific and related progress encouraged the development of the U.S. republic in itself, and in its capacity and appetite for assimilating other cultures into itself, that on the basis of a common American principle. We of the United States have reached the point of desperation that the very existence of civilized life anywhere on this planet is now immediately in doubt. We are put, thus, to the test: will we hear the call of our principle, and be aroused to rescue our nation from the follies of incumbent recent habits, in time?
Something like a whiff of Pearl Harbor is in the air; there is a stirring in the population, a prescience of an imminent awakening. Let the fools who would rob and torment this republic’s people beware. We are, when aroused, a capable people, who will defend our Constitution as we have in great times of crisis before. We are the republic of Benjamin Franklin, Washington, Hamilton, John Quincy Adams, Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt, which has been aroused in the past, when others had thought us almost counted out before.
In the emerging composition of the incoming new Presidency one senses that awakening in the air, we may expect great blows for justice throughout this planet as a whole, to be struck soon, again.