Go to home page

This article appears in the January 8, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

May 3, 1992

Break with Illusion
To Stop the New Dark Age

[Print version of this article]

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in EIR Vol. 19, No. 20, May 15, 1992, pp. 34-37.

A spark of sanity arose around the world going into the 2016 U.S. elections, with the election of President Trump, as evidenced earlier in the now sabotaged Brexit revolt against the EU dictatorship in the UK, later in the Yellow Vests demonstrations in France, and other such national demonstrations for a sane and just economic policy in many other countries. This speech, with its many eerie parallels to today, by then Democratic presidential pre-candidate and political prisoner Lyndon LaRouche, was delivered on his behalf at the May 3, 1992 conference of the Schiller Institute in Kiedrich, Germany. Let us enrich that spark of sanity, learning from Mr. LaRouche’s keen insights then.

cc/Ricky Bonilla
Since 1970-71, American industry, infrastructure, and agriculture have been collapsing and contracting. Shown (above) are buildings on fire during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and (below) a closed GM auto plant in Danville, Illinois.
View full size
EIRNS/Karon Long

I would like to address you on the subject of reality, politics, illusion, and the consequences of the intermingling of these three. I shall reference primarily the situation currently in the United States, but I shall compare this briefly with some things in eastern Europe, notably Poland, Russia, and Central Asia.

The foremost event of the moment in the United States is, of course, the rioting spreading out of Los Angeles, and the reaction of the White House to those incidents, particularly the failure of [President] George H.W. Bush to understand what he’s dealing with. The condition of the minority groups in the United States should be well known and well understood.

Despite the silly talk about prosperity, over the period of the past 20-odd years in the United States, since 1970-71, the condition of industry, infrastructure, and agriculture has been: Industry has been collapsing, agriculture has been contracting, especially since the middle of the 1970s, and infrastructure has been collapsing in net since 1970; that is, the rate of destruction of infrastructure, wear-and-tear, obsolescence, is greater than the replacement. So today, if we were to try to get back to conditions equal to those in 1970, it would require $4 or 5 trillion of expenditure for infrastructure immediately.

As part of this, the actual standard of living of the household of four or five, is way below that of 1968. That is, the real market-basket of consumption of a household of wage-earners in 1992, is way below that of the 1967-69 period. That rate of collapse has been accelerating since 1979, since the introduction of the so-called “controlled disintegration” of the U. S. economy by Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, with his high interest rates and conditionalities.

We have a similar situation, naturally, on a global scale. The world economy is generally collapsing and, except for the “tigers” of Asia, which are an ill mixed bag of some reality and some illusion, the whole world is in a state of economic collapse and contraction and has been predominantly over a period of 20 years, with a few isolated, temporary exceptions to this trend.

We hear recently that there’s an ongoing recovery in the United States, which, of course, is not true. There is some manipulation of financial figures, to attempt to show in financial estimates that there might be an increase in per capita income or a rate of change for the better in per capita income, but that’s all illusion, that’s all empty paper. In the meantime, the reality is that the United States is headed toward collapse.

This collapse is based on the fact that what enables society to survive are things typified by industry, agriculture, and basic economic infrastructure. I would identify as basic economic infrastructure, five leading categories:

Water management: the amount of clean, usable water available per square kilometer and per person, for different kinds of land use, that is, residency, agriculture, heavy industry, and so forth.

Transportation: The ton-mile hours and tons-per-mile per hour transported per square kilometer by different kinds of land use is a measure of transport capacity in a region.

Energy: The amount of energy per capita and per square kilometer is a measure of the potential productivity and potential gross output of any area per kilometer and per capita.

In addition, we have two elements of social infrastructure: the health system and education.

These elements of basic economic infrastructure are the precondition for the possibility of successful investment in industry or agriculture. Without these investments, industrial and agricultural investment is a flop. When someone comes into a country and says, “You don’t want to invest in infrastructure, the IMF or the World Bank says you shouldn’t invest in industry,” you should take that person and put them in the nearest lunatic asylum for people who are mentally incompetent in economics.

In those terms, the world is collapsing, and as a result, per capita yields are collapsing around the world. But the monetary values are artificially increased by pure parasitical speculation. That’s what we see in Russia, that’s what’s happening in Poland, where there’s an increase in financial aggregates in some sectors of the economy based on a collapse of the other part of the economy. This is pure cannibalism: It’s like eating one’s leg in order to stave off hunger temporarily. Then you eat the next leg and then what do you eat next? That’s the process of primitive accumulation that is going on in eastern Europe and Russia.

cc/Ricky Bonilla
Aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots: (above) the remains of a burned-out building on Hollywood Boulevard, (below) anti-police graffiti under Route 101, and looting of a department store.
View full size
cc/Ricky Bonilla
View full size
cc/Ricky Bonilla

The Los Angeles Situation

That brings us to the so-called riots, which are not essentially riots. The plan for these riots began about a year ago, long before there was a Rodney King incident. The Rodney King incident was merely something used opportunistically by those plotting the riots.

Those behind that, those connected to this process, include Warren Christopher and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, California. It also includes the Maoist groups, such as the Revolutionary Union and the Revolutionary Communist Party. There were some other organizations in this, some of them connected to the FBI, the national political police force, who orchestrated this. The hard core of this operation includes these Maoist groups and drug-running gangs armed with submachine guns and so forth.

These will total probably a hard core of 500 or so persons, who are rampaging, setting fires, and doing random killings as an act of terrorism. This activity sets loose looting by other parts of the population....

It’s very much like the Zubatov organizations of the Czarist Okhrana back at the turn of this century, who were trying to destabilize the government of Count Sergei Witte by these kinds of processes, leading into the 1905 Revolution, which burned down Baku....

But underneath what is being orchestrated by these people, you have reality. Now go back to the 1960s. We find exactly the same people in the establishment who organized and prepared these riots, so-called, which occurred over the 1964-68 period. The same people orchestrated, in a large degree, the 1970-71 explosions, the last wave of the anti-Vietnam War protest explosions.

Then, as now, there were real, legitimate, mass-based issues affecting the population, but the population was not reacting in a riotous fashion. The very people who were the oppressors, who were causing these atrocious, burdensome realities, were orchestrating protests against their own policies, in violent form, through gangs which they controlled, and through opposing gangs which they also controlled, in order to attempt to take the explosive energy of protest against horrible conditions such as the depression, and play this off into these controlled gang operations, as we see exploding in Los Angeles, and we’ll see exploding in other parts of the world.

The ‘Arc of Crisis’ Policy

For example, let’s look at the Balkans. I did a broadcast in 1988, as a part of a presidential campaign, in which I outlined the relationship of certain elements of the Soviet military, which turned out to include Marshal Yazov, who were working closely with the Serbian military, which was very much Soviet-controlled (and still is, in effect, in terms of nomenklatura categories), which would be used to set the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav Army against various minority groups inside Yugoslavia, as part of a general Balkan explosion akin to what the British did in setting off the Balkan Wars of the early part of this century to get World War I going.

We also have Transcaucasia: That’s a complicated thing I don’t need to touch upon here. But let’s go to Central Asia.

Back in 1978-79, we knew and we broadcast at that time the fact that, under [President] Jimmy Carter and [his National Security Advisor] Zbigniew Brzezinski, an operation was being set into place which had been organized by British intelligence, that is, by the Arab Bureau of Glubb Pasha, together with his subordinate, Bernard Lewis, who had been seconded to the United States, to develop what became known as the Bernard Lewis Plan, which Brzezinski called the Arc of Crisis policy, and which Carter referred to as the Islamic fundamentalism card. It was under this policy that various things began to happen in Afghanistan. The Soviets were provoked and lured into Afghanistan. It was under this policy that the British and Americans put Khomeini into power in Iran. The fact is that Khomeini and his father before him had been British agents going way back. So there was nothing very surprising about that.

Now we have the continuation of this policy with the Anglo-American “Great Game” from the 19th century being revived, in terms of destabilization of Central Asia under this long-term operation. We also have the involvement of Turkey. The present Turkish government has repudiated the policy of Kemal Ataturk and has gone over to the opposing policy, the Sykes-Picot policy, which was originally intended to dismember Turkey. If this process continues, Turkey may play a key role in contributing to destabilization in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, for reasons which specialists will understand very readily. But the end result is that Turkey itself will be dismembered, as the British and French intended with the Sykes-Picot Treaty of 1916.

What we have, then, is reality. We have real problems among people. We have real economic problems caused by bad policy. But then we have the secret agencies, the behind-the-scenes agencies, intervening with political movements and riots and so forth, to exploit the energy caused by problems and utilize that to neutralize the population, and thus introduce what?

Back in the 1960s, the name of the game was to destroy industry, to induce what the Anglo-Americans behind these operations called a “cultural paradigm shift.” To move society away from the idea of a society based on reason, to move it to a “post-industrial” society, a post-industrial utopianism, and to what was called the rock-drug-sex counterculture, and Malthusian, anti-industrial, anti-scientific movements, which have become the dominant movements of the so-called radicals throughout the United States, western Europe and elsewhere today.

These destructive movements, these nihilist movements used to feed on the energy of protest, the energy of legitimate issues back in the 1960s. This was used to destroy industrial society, agricultural society, and bring us into the ruin which we are now suffering.

At the present stage, the riots, the destabilization of Central Asia, the destabilization of the Transcaucasus, the ignition of the kind of Balkan wars which the British and their friends orchestrated in order to create World War I, the imminent explosion of new general wars inside the Middle East, the imminent explosions in Africa, the imminent explosions of all kinds in South America and Central America, the imminent explosions in East Asia-Southeast Asia, the possibility of the self-dismemberment of China coming in the few years immediately ahead-all of these things are the result of this kind of process.

What some people think, including the Trilateral Commission circles, which own Bush, who is a Trilateral member, Carter, [Walter] Mondale, and which own Clinton—these circles are determined, as they say, to impose upon the world a form of dictatorship mimicking what they did with Hjalmar Schacht in putting Hitler into power in Germany. This is a conscious intent. This was discussed by the Trilateral Commission at the 1975 Tokyo Commission meeting with the so-called Samuel P. Huntington report, The Crisis in Democracy, and that’s what these fellows are doing today.

The American population . . . How do they live? They live in fantasy life. Fantasy life is based on reliving throughout the day a kind of an echo, not of any particular soap opera or sports event or rock video, but a blend of these things which, as a sort of background noise in their minds, takes the place of reality. Anything that happens to them in real life is then interpreted from the standpoint of this mixture of soap opera, televised spectator sports, and rock video.
Publicity photo, NBC
View full size
cc/Kiernan Sanders
public domain/Paramount

Americans’ Collective Insanity

Now, how do they get by with it and how does that affect us? Let me describe the American population to you. I’ll exaggerate only slightly, in order to make the image a little more vivid. The American people, in the main part, are collectively insane. It’s organized insanity, along the lines depicted in approximation by George Orwell’s novel 1984, and also by the famous book and film Clockwork Orange.

What are the people of the United States involved in? They’re involved in flight from reality into what? A television soap opera, entertainment of that type, which has no correspondence to reality. It’s a form of insanity. They’re involved with large-scale televised spectator sports, in which the name of the game is winning and losing, in complete childishness.

You have the image in the United States that if a man were run over by a truck in the middle of the street, he would drag his injured body back home, crawl up the steps of his house, go in his living room and turn on the television set and wait for the mid-day news or the evening news to see if there was any report of his being run over by a truck. If he did not see such a report, he would say “I guess I wasn’t run over after all. I guess it never happened to me,” and roll over and die.

That, in the extreme, is the kind of mind-set which has affected the American population today.

How do they react? They watch soap opera, what are called rock videos, which are the lowest form of visual titillation, and mass televised spectator sports. These are the principal concerns of the American population.

How do they live? They live in fantasy life. Fantasy life is based on reliving throughout the day a kind of an echo, not of any particular soap opera or sports event or rock video, but a blend of these things which, as a sort of background noise in their minds, takes the place of reality. Anything that happens to them in real life is then interpreted from the standpoint of this mixture of soap opera, televised spectator sports, and rock video.

Even if they are more active and young and spend a little less time with television, in the middle years when they’re out roving the streets and doing other things, the same image dominates them.

Some people ask, what’s wrong with the United States, where’s the corruption in government—as I’ve said repeatedly, the most essential corruption in government in the United States lies in the highest level of government, which, in fact, is the mass entertainment and news media. Complete fantasy life.

The second level of corruption is in the population, which worships at the throne of the television tube, and whose beliefs, whose values, whose way of thinking about the world is shaped by soap opera, rock video, and televised sports spectacles principally.

These people are completely labile, to such effect that if an honest politician goes to Washington to represent the interests of his people, and these news media and entertainment media tell the people that the man who is representing them faithfully is some kind of a monster, the people will turn on the man who represents them, in order to be in agreement with this entertainment and news media. We’ve seen this again and again.

In Washington, political figures are terrorized by this kind of operation. And thus, the control of U.S. public opinion by the mechanisms associated with the mass visual (principally) entertainment and news media, has become the mechanism by which the United States is ruled, by which public opinion is ruled, by which people are prevented from acting in their own interest and are caused to act against their own interest.

The Enemy Is Illusion

The principal enemy we have, therefore—and this is true in many parts of the world—is the illusions that seize the minds of the people. For example, in eastern Europe, the illusion was that, since capitalism was the adversary of communism, capitalism must be good. What is capitalism? Well, they didn’t know. Whatever was practiced in England and the United States, they presumed, was the best model. They heard it was “free trade.” So they said, “Let’s do free trade. That means freedom.” They had sent to them the fascists who are called social democrats—otherwise known as the Project Democracy crowd—and the fascists assured them, that free trade is freedom. They said, “We social democrats would not lie to you. We admit that capitalism is good, and free trade is the essence of capitalism.”

Well obviously, free trade as practiced has no effect but to destroy economies. It’s no aberration that we see free trade destroying Poland, destroying the eastern part of Germany, destroying the areas of the former Soviet Union, destroying Czechoslovakia, destroying Hungary, to the degree that the Hungarians cannot resist it. It’s an illusion! But how many people say, “We must stick with the United States, we cannot buck the United States, we have to submit to the IMF, we have to learn to live with the IMF, we have to learn to live with these bankers”? And therefore they vote on decisions which destroy their own economy, destroy their own people, inch by inch.

Illusion. Just as the illusion of U.S. television entertainment and other mass entertainment and news media are an illusion in the United States. And thus, the ruling establishment create riots which they orchestrate largely through the controlled news media, the way the NBC TV network has orchestrated the rioting in Los Angeles, as well as helping to create it by their manipulations. And thus the people do not act in their own interests.

Now, we poor, simple people, we are proposing that people act in their own rational interests as a people, in terms of the fact that every individual wishes, or should wish, to have a sense of identity, that he or she is in some way necessary to the welfare of his people as a whole, that he or she is doing something with his life which is improving the chances not only for his descendants, but for all his contemporaries and descendants, in some way, or contributing to that process.

Our biggest opposition comes not from the forceful powers of the enemy, but rather from the corruption of the minds and wills of the very people we’re trying to assist in rescuing from this mess, the people who believe in these various kinds of delusions.

Every individual should wish to have an identity such that he or she in some way contributes to improving the welfare of his contemporaries and descendants. Shown: An Old Man and His Grandson, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1483.

The Battle Ahead

It’s a difficult road, but it’s one which we can win. When, I don’t know. I have no idea. I always fight to win tomorrow, to win the battle before me and would hope that that battle can be turned into a decisive turning point for a general victory of humanity. But often we lose those battles. Sometimes we win a few here and there. But the enemy keeps coming on. The enemy is becoming weaker, but we have not yet won a battle which is a turning point for the benefit of humanity.

The world is sliding into a new dark age. It’s happening because of the beliefs which I’ve referred to. It’s happening because the American people predominantly worship at the Satanic Church of the Television Tube, administered by Satanic priests of the type that organized these Maoists and drug gangs to start the bloodshed in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

It’s happening because people believe in the delusion of free trade. Because people wrongfully trust Project Democracy, one of the most evil and fascist organizations roaming this planet today.

So we fight principally in the realm of ideas. We fight not merely in ideas in the sense of one idea against the other, we fight to develop in people, at least in a nucleus of people and then more broadly, the ability to understand the laws of the universe; to understand what the general human interest is; to understand how the mind must be developed to cope with the kinds of decisions the problems before us present; to develop a nucleus of people among all countries of the world, who can give the ingredient of leadership to their own people, in concert with similar groups in other countries.

To the point that when people realize that they’ve been living in an illusion, have been controlled by a delusion, and wish to come out in the fresh air of truth and say, “How do we reverse all this damage which we have assisted in doing to ourselves, by complicity with this delusion?” that there are people there, in every country, whom Plato called the Philosopher Kings, who will step forth and provide leadership for the nation, to organize it.

The proper thing I think at this time is to concentrate above all on defining the programmatic approach to what we must do to rebuild this world. Not imagining that we’ll win the program simply because of its objective merits, but that in order to implement the program, we must at the same time educate concentric circles of people in other countries who are the nucleus of new leadership, to provide the counsel to agencies of government needed to bring about these policy changes, and to begin the reversal out of this dark age into which we’re sliding, into a new global renaissance, dedicated to the dignity of the individual human being, on principle.

Back to top    Go to home page