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This article appears in the February 8, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Agapē as Policy:
General Douglas MacArthur and Japan

[Print version of this article]

Army Signal Corps
General MacArthur arriving at Atsugi airdrome near Tokyo, Japan on August 30, 1945.

Feb. 4—What will the world look like when the United States finally joins the One Belt One Road initiative launched by China’s President Xi Jinping in 2013?

That is a question that has tickled, taunted, and tormented me over the last few years, as the New Paradigm, long advocated by Lyndon and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, makes soaring leaps in Africa and Asia, while the collapse of the trans-Atlantic world accelerates to what will surely be a resounding doom. The tension between these two coinciding (for the moment), worlds is now at the breaking point.

When one ponders the horrific state of mind of the majority of young Americans, and the degeneracy of their pot-smoking parents, who are making arguments for legislation that is approaching the advocacy of cannibalism (is that perhaps the end result of cannabis?) one is caused to consider whether a great moment is once again going to find a people who are too depraved to seize the opportunity to transform mankind.

For example, the former German Deputy Defense Secretary, Willy Wimmer, cautioned those who are calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, that Donald Trump is very likely the only thing standing between them and World War III. Wimmer is very clear, at least, that the ultimate success of China’s President Xi Jinping’s initiative to end poverty worldwide by 2050—as propelled by a commitment to scientific progress and creativity—depends on what happens here in the United States, in the relatively very short term.

Human Progress Depends on a Few Precious Individuals

The progress and long-term survival of the human species depends on those few precious individuals who have managed to muster the courage to actively love mankind, and most importantly, to love mankind’s potential. Jeanne d’Arc and Martin Luther King, Jr. come immediately to mind, but I would add that the extraordinary success of the American Revolution against the bestial world outlook of the British Empire, a success expressed in our Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution, created an “American Culture” that produced several such individuals, who were quite conscious of their philosophical roots, including Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Douglas MacArthur, to name a few, culminating in the person of Lyndon LaRouche, who is to date, the pinnacle of “American Culture” or, dare I say “American Exceptionalism”?

Because of Lyndon LaRouche’s extraordinary life, through his scientific breakthroughs in the field of physical economy, and eight presidential campaigns, providing presidential leadership, and building an international philosophical association, there is a very good possibility that the United States will ultimately move in the needed direction, but that depends on the American people regaining their sense of cultural optimism about the potential the future holds, and thereby finally recognizing the foul and evil stench of the dying British Empire, and collaborating with the LaRouche Movement to crush it.

To that end, please now reconsider LaRouche’s words from a 1986 paper, “Truth is Beauty and Beauty is Truth,” published in the January 25, 2019 EIR:

Although the principles of art so adduced, seem to be particular to western Europe and the Americas, they are true principles, nonetheless. If the person encultured in this western European civilization wishes to understand the artistic works of Asian cultures, that person will find that the principles seemingly only specific to the Augustinian tradition are truly universal ones. That person will be enabled to discover, that by situating the notion of art rigorously in terms of his own cultural experience, he acquires in this way the power to comprehend art universally.

The most beautiful aspect of Christianity is presented first in the opening chapters of the Gospel of St. John; later following St. Paul, this truth and beauty is affirmed and elaborated by St. Augustine. The clarification of the Latin Nicene Creed with the Filioque, captures the essence of this.

National Archives & Records Administration
When MacArthur arrived in Japan, millions were homeless, food and medicine were sparse to non-existent, and the destruction was extensive. Shown here (top) is a makeshift “home,” and a view of the bombed out Nihonbashi business district of Tokyo (above) in 1946. Many second generation Japanese-American (Nisei) women went to work for American government agencies during the occupation (below).

Agapē Is the Unifying Principle

LaRouche continues:

The Logos (conventionally referred today by today’s Christians as the “Holy Spirit”) is the essence of Reason, as we have identified the higher-order laws of the universe here. Yet, this is not abstract reason; without the active role of a certain quality of love, agapē, reason dies. This quality of love is the essence of Reason. It is, at once, love of God, and also a kind of love toward mankind made concrete by Jesus Christ as God’s love toward mankind. Whom God loves, we love, and in that fashion. The flow of perfect Reason and perfect Love from Christ toward mankind, as from the Creator, is the common essence of science and art.

This love toward mankind is focussed on that aspect of the individual personality which distinguishes mankind absolutely from the lower species: the “soul,” the development of the divine spark of potential for scientific reasoning.

This principle of agapē is the unifying principle embodied by all great leaders, including military leaders, whose intent in war is not to kill the most people (as the sick Robert Strange McNamara enforced in Vietnam, a war which the U.S. did not win), but to save the most people, and their posterity, even if it means giving one’s own life to do so.

This was the mindset of General Douglas MacArthur, whose father had been an important military leader in Abraham Lincoln’s Union Army from a tender age. According to General George Kenney, the Commander of the 5th Air Force under MacArthur in the Pacific during World War II, MacArthur had a picture of President Lincoln, with the following quote from Lincoln, which he hung in every office he ever occupied:

If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.

Lincoln’s Presidency was the embodiment of those principles expressed in our founding documents, referenced above. As brutal and bloody as the War of the Rebellion (misnamed the “Civil War”) was, and as treasonous as the Confederacy was, Lincoln had already expressed in his Second Inaugural Address his intent to forgive the South (“with malice toward none, with charity for all”) before the war had been won. As far as he was concerned, losing that war against the British-orchestrated Confederacy was not an option, and happily, his Generals Grant and Sherman were of the same opinion. President Lincoln’s intent was to secure the peace, but not a peace of oppression, but a peace worthy of the dignity of mankind, for the future potential of mankind.

When the Confederate Army surrendered at Appomattox, great care was taken by General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, on the President’s behalf, to afford the surrendering soldiers a dignified submission of their arms and flags, which was not well received by some, but created the possibility for the nation to “bind up its wounds” as Lincoln had intended. While the soldiers were marching back from Appomattox, burying their dead as they went, and remembering the bitter battles, the word came that President Lincoln had been assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., even before the victory parade was held. Because of Lincoln’s commitment to this principle, and the culture created by his leadership, the nation survived, and even prospered, although much impaired relative to what might have been.

Royal Navy/W.G. Cross
Douglas MacArthur reading the surrender terms to the Japanese representatives aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

MacArthur as Supreme Commander in Japan

When General MacArthur first landed in Japan at Atsugi Airdrome, which had been a hotbed of Kamikaze fighters, after the surrender (but before the signing ceremony, which was two weeks later, on board the USS Missouri) General George Kenney was surprised by MacArthur’s order that all the American soldiers should remove their pistols, which they habitually carried. Kenney writes:

There were about 15 Jap divisions within a few miles of us that had not yet disarmed. If the Japs didn’t really mean what they had said about surrendering, those pistols wouldn’t do us much good. We left them behind. It turned out later that MacArthur’s instinct for figuring out the workings of the Oriental mind was still paying off. A number of Japs told me afterward that the sight of all those generals and officers walking around unarmed in a country of seventy million people, who only a few days before were enemies, made a tremendous impression on the Japanese. It told them more than anything else that they had lost the war.

The situation in Japan at the end of the war was a delicate one. General Kenney described the population as sullen and depressed. The Emperor had been venerated as a God, more than as a man, and the announcement of the surrender was a great shock to the culture and identity of the Japanese people. As a result of the war and blockade, millions were homeless, and food and medicine were sparse to non-existent. Two nuclear bombs had been dropped on major population centers on orders of President Truman, in spite of the likelihood that Japan was about to surrender due to the blockade. Because of the lack of communications, not everyone was aware of the extent of the devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That was probably fortunate. If action were not taken immediately to address the immiserated state of the population, with millions of soldiers returning from battle, Kenney feared that a rebellion could erupt, and keeping over 70 million people under martial law did not seem like a viable prospect.

MacArthur, who had visited Japan with his father in 1905, was acutely aware of the challenge he faced as the “Supreme Commander” overseeing the occupation of Japan. He wrote in his autobiography, Reminiscences:

Because I had been given so much power, I was faced with the most difficult situation of my life. Power is one thing. The problem of how to administer it is another. My professional military knowledge was no longer a factor. I had to be an economist, a political scientist, an engineer, a manufacturing executive, a teacher, even a theologian of sorts. I had to rebuild a nation that had been completely destroyed by war. Whatever my ethical teachings had been, whatever my basic character was, whatever the concept of mankind that lay within my soul, I would have to bring into this political, economic, and spiritual vacuum concepts of honor, justice, and compassion. Japan had become the world’s great laboratory for an experiment in the liberation of a people from totalitarian military rule and for the liberalization of government from within. It was clear that the experiment in Japan must go far beyond the primary purpose of the Allies—the destruction of Japan’s ability to wage another war and the punishment of war criminals. Yet history clearly showed that no modern military occupation of a conquered nation had been a success.

If any occupation lasts too long, or is not carefully watched from the start, one party becomes slaves, and the other masters. History teaches, too, that almost every military occupation breeds new wars of the future. . . . My doubts were to be my best safeguard, my fears my greatest strength.

U.S. Army/Gaetano Faillace
Gen. MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito meeting for the first time at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, on September 27, 1945.

Justice Is a Universal Principle

Once again, Aristotle’s view of the human soul as a “blank slate” was refuted, as the people of Japan demonstrated that justice is indeed a principle universally abiding in the human identity, no matter how remote it seems from the prevailing opinion. Instead of being a source of rage and resentment, the war crimes tribunals had a moralizing effect on the population, as the perpetrators of hideous deeds were located and held accountable for their crimes. MacArthur absolutely refused to put the Emperor on trial, as the Soviets and others were demanding, not intending to humiliate the Japanese people any further. As absolutely barbaric and savage as the Japanese soldiers had been toward the peoples they conquered, and toward their American prisoners of war, MacArthur exercised care to not allow any sense of revenge to prevail, but rather, of justice, and the population responded favorably.

Clearly, many of the Japanese people had themselves been victims of the fascist regime in Japan, with thousands having been thrown into prison for “political” crimes, including those who represented a pro-American outlook, probably including friends of MacArthur’s father, and people associated with them. MacArthur released the political prisoners, including the Communists, declared freedom of the press, and gave women the right to vote.

There were, of course, many economic measures taken, from the immediate task of getting food and medical supplies to the population, to breaking up family monopolies, and establishing many new manufacturing firms and businesses. There was a direct relationship between Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Dealers,” including credit from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the reconstruction of Japan. Through all of this General MacArthur was acutely conscious that the Japanese people had to be responsible and engaged in the future direction of their nation. The occupation had to be short lived, and the change in Japan’s culture, economy, and government had to endure, as the legacy of the Japanese people themselves, and not evaporate the moment MacArthur left.

Others have written much more about the specific policy actions taken by General MacArthur to “unleash the passion of the Japanese people,” as LaRouche’s late collaborator Don Phau was investigating before his death. I will not attempt to itemize any of that here. What provoked me upon reading General Kenney’s account of MacArthur, was that I had never considered the extraordinary cultural shift in Japan, which occurred in such a short time. That is, that a totalitarian military dictatorship, which had engaged in hideous war crimes abroad, and brutal repression of its own people, could become in less than five years a peaceful, industrial power.

Earlier U.S.-Japan Contacts

It is true that MacArthur’s occupation was not the first relationship that Japan had had with the United States. In 1852, President Millard Fillmore had sent Commodore Matthew Perry to open a commercial relationship with Japan—which was only trading with the Dutch and China—at the time of the British Opium Wars against China. President Fillmore was certainly thinking about curtailing the British Empire’s reach into Asia, and Perry’s mission was ultimately a success.

U.S. President Grant has an audience with Japan’s Emperor Meiji and his Empress on July 4, 1877.

Later, in 1871, Emperor Meiji, in consultation with U.S. President Ulysses Grant, sent his Junior Prime Minister, Iwakura Tomomi, and his Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs as Ambassadors to the United States for the purpose of “reforming and improving” the Japanese economy. Later, they had a crucial meeting with economist Henry Carey, who sent back his book, Principles of Social Science, to be translated into Japanese.

For a full discussion of the importance of Tsuyoshi Inukai and Henry Carey in Japan see Asuka Burke’s article, in the February 9, 2018 issue of EIR.

Clearly these historic ties between American System proponents in the United States, and their Japanese collaborators contributed to the success of the American occupation.

However, the crucial factor in the success of the “liberation of the people of Japan” was MacArthur’s embodiment of the universal principle of , as LaRouche expresses it in the paragraphs above. That quality of sublime anguish is expressed in MacArthur’s self-doubts about whether he will be able to accomplish the “liberation of the Japanese people” through a military occupation. Because of his personal commitment to that principle, and the resonance of that principle in the hearts of the Japanese people, despite the vicious opposition to his approach from London, and Moscow, and the repeated efforts of President Truman to bring him out of Japan prematurely, General Douglas MacArthur succeeded. Japan has become a scientifically advanced, peaceful power, and more than 70 years later has not engaged in another war. This is an important lesson for Americans today.

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