THE REPUBLIC OF PRINCIPLE
Celebrating Dr. King, as
Hamilton Would Have Wished
by Dennis H. Speed
Jan. 20—The 225 participants in the Schiller Institute’s Jan. 17 Martin Luther King Weekend conference held at New York City’s Riverside Church, and the national and international audiences connected to that event live by Internet, experienced an all-too-rare occurrence in the trans-Atlantic world today: spiritual elevation. While it might be expected that such a thing should happen in a church, the means for this elevation was the wielding of the principle of Classical tragedy, in the service of reversing the likely global catastrophe of thermonuclear war. This was done by shocking the audience into the realization that only their unified action, as a singular indivisible American citizenry liberated from petty concerns and subscribing only to the General Welfare principle of the U.S. Constitution, would prevent the increasingly probable destruction of all life on the planet.
The conference’s keynote speaker, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, is recognized in much of the world as the embodiment of the concept needed to solve this unfolding world tragedy. Her work, particularly since November 1989, in co-inventing and advocating what has now become known as “The World Land-Bridge” policy, earned her, from the 1990s, the sobriquet “The Silk-Road Lady” in China. She is nearly as well-known among the planning and policy institutions of Russia and India. Her conference presentation, “BRICS Nations Revive Martin Luther King’s Dream: Economic Justice Is an Inalienable Right,” was the opening shot in a New York City-based campaign, called “the Manhattan Project,” initiated and designed by Lyndon LaRouche, intended to overthrow the murderous intellectual tyranny of Wall Street and the City of London over matters of economic and military policy that has dominated American thinking since the assassination of John Kennedy.
Prior to the keynote presentation, King was himself featured in a short video discussion from a 1967 talk show, discussing the unjust nature of the Vietnam War. Preceding that, a selection of arias from Handel’s Messiah, one of King’s favorite pieces of music, was performed by soprano Michelle Fuchs, alto Jessica Tremblay, and tenor Everett Suttle. Of Handel’s composing of Messiah, King had written as a young man in his 20s:
“His health and fortunes had reached its lowest ebb.... His right side had become paralyzed and money was all gone. His creditors seized him and threatened him with imprisonment. For a brief time he threatened to give up the fight ... but he rebounded again to compose the greatest inspiration ... which is the epic Messiah!”
The fact that the proceeds from the Messiah were used to pay the debts of destitute citizens, and that the highest works of musical genius might be wielded to alleviate the worst of human suffering, was not lost on King, who famously quoted Handel’s use of the prophet Isaiah’s text in his “I Have a Dream” speech of Aug. 28, 1963.
A War-Avoidance Strategy
The problem confronted by the conference was how to qualify at least scores of New Yorkers, already predisposed to reject Wall Street’s morally and financially bankrupt outlook, to circulate the newly released EIR Special Report, “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land Bridge,” in tandem with Zepp-LaRouche’s and Lyndon LaRouche’s own international efforts. The answer was: Give people the highest-level possible ideas, and shock “the better angels of their nature” into comprehending them, so that they are intellectually self-qualified to lead. They must act, in other words, not as “street activists,” not as “party advocates,” not as “lobbyists,” but as Alexander Hamilton, the founder of American New York, had done in his successful battle for the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and a single Federal government—not a Wall Street “confederacy of dunces.”
This is increasingly a life and death question, as the Obama Administration is “moving forward with an ambitious nuclear weapons modernization program that could dramatically raise the threat of nuclear war,” in the words of The Nation writer Theodore A. Postol. That article, which ran in that magazine’s Dec. 20 issue, also reported this chilling idea:
“Sophisticated Russian analysts, especially those who understand the technical aspects of nuclear weapons, see the [U.S.] modernization drive as a disturbing indication that the U.S. military believes a nuclear war against Russia can be fought and won.”
Mikhail Gorbachov, the last leader of the Soviet Union, told Der Spiegel magazine, referencing U.S.-Russian tensions over Ukraine:
“Such a war today would inevitably turn into a nuclear war. If someone loses their nerve because of the acrimonious atmosphere, we will not survive the coming year. I do not say this lightly. This is of truly the utmost concern to me.”
Concern alone, however, will not prevent war. Only the successful takedown of Wall Street and the City of London will do that. Only a Hamiltonian solution, with the immediate re-instatement of Glass-Steagall, the issuing of national credit for essential physical production, a crash international program for the creation of a thermonuclear fusion-powered economy to replace obsolete fossil fuels, and a joint space effort involving the United States, China, Russia, and India (the BRICS complex, in short, joined by the United States) for the “Strategic Defense of Earth” from asteroids, and the joint lunar mining of helium-3 to create an even more advanced fusion energy fuel base—only this latter-day implementation of Hamilton’s outlook can save the United States.
The sole intention of the ensemble of conference presentations, including the musical performances, was to identify the “republic of principle,” the spiritual domain of creative problem-solving, exemplified by Hamilton’s fierce defense of the General Welfare clause of the Constitution in his four economic reports of the early 1790s. This, then, was to be the qualification for taking up a fight for economic justice like that waged by Martin Luther King at the end of his life.
The Laws Must Change
“For the sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law”—so St. Paul admonishes us in his epistle to the Romans. But how are unjust laws then, changed? Ramsey Clark, former United States Attorney General, recounted how he, as Deputy Attorney General, had been responsible for the personal security of Dr. Martin Luther King in Alabama, particularly during the last of the three Selma-to-Montgomery marches. A Federal court order had permitted the march, but only 300 people people were allowed to participate at a time on the two-lane highway. By the march’s end, 25,000 people had assembled on the steps of the Montgomery state house. Twelve hundred white racist Ku Klux Klan activists, many of them convicted felons, were said to be in the area, intending to kill participants, including King.
Clark recounted a past-midnight discussion with King on a hill overlooking the temporary camping ground of the marchers. “It was reminiscent of a military encampment during the Civil War. There was a palpable fear in the air,” Clark told the audience. He reported that King said to him that evening, as Clark implored King to keep him informed of the smallest of King’s physical movements: “You cannot be afraid of death.” King believed that there was a higher law that could change unjust laws, and that is exactly what he had done in the case of Selma.
Clark’s overarching theme, that mass destruction through war must be ended on the planet forever, by appealing to a higher law, caused him to dwell on what many term King’s most controversial speech, the sermon that he gave on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church. In that speech, King pointed out that “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, is my own government.” He said, on that occasion, “the choice today is not between non-violence and violence. The choice today, is between nonviolence and nonexistence.” One year to the day after giving that speech, King was assassinated, in Memphis, Tenn.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s recounting of the 25-year campaign for the World Land-Bridge, as a “drum major for justice,” embodies the same rejection of the tragic in human history. From 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, and Lyndon LaRouche, then jailed in the United States as a political prisoner, invented the concept that became known as the “European Productive Triangle,” to the recent full adoption by the BRICS nations of the World Land-Bridge outlook, and through many rejections by the Bushes, Thatchers, Merkels, and Obamas of this world, that Hamiltonian outlook has now emerged as the best hope for mankind—but only if there are “drum majors for justice” who create the new laws that the human race needs. This requires a devotion to a higher, aesthetic principle, what the poet Friedrich Schiller identified as the Sublime, and which is contained in King’s famous “Mountain Top” speech, his last, on April 3, 1968. This is the domain of human creativity, from which all true science and art originate.
The final conference presenter, Jason Ross, of the LaRouche Basement Team, addressing this question, said:
“Creativity is not a mere aspiration of the human soul—it is the basis for the continued existence of humanity as such. Only the human race has economies. You may have noticed that animals do not have economies. There aren’t banks for squirrels, the ‘International Pigeon Institute’ doesn’t release indicators of inflation. There are no rhinoceroses that measure their manufacturing output....
“What could you, of today, have done in the world of 5,000 years ago? How would you have survived? Could you help people turn rocks into metal? Could you use the stars to navigate? ... Could you design a canal? Or take someone from 5,000 years ago and bring them to today? ... For a kangaroo, or a hummingbird, there really is not much difference. The world may be different, but the kangaroo or hummingbird of 5,000 years ago is not culturally different from those same species today. Time is something that exists only for us, as human beings. Human beings use their discovery and knowledge of the laws of the universe to change the species behavior of all human beings, even when everyone is not aware of a particular technological change....
“Man’s control of water, through the invention of dams, locks, and the water mill, is unlike that of animals. Animals do not plant seeds in the ground to come back to find new food later.... Human science developed such that tools were no longer made out of stone, or wood, or metal, but out of the ideas of man. All tools are in some sense machines, but it is different when an idea becomes a tool. The tools of Cusa, Kepler, Fermat, and Gauss were responsible for technological changes that changed, in turn, the definition of what a tool is.”
Man has, therefore, a self-evolving nature, and can choose to be better. Ironically, King had referred to a higher-order physics himself in his last speech. Sheriff “Bull Connor didn’t know history,” he said. “He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn’t relate to the transphysics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out.”
That Promethean fire that was the immortality of Martin Luther King was not merely recalled in the gathering of Jan. 17: It was reproduced. Alexander Hamilton, former captain of artillery of the Revolution, would have admired the weapons now about to be deployed in his New York.