Go to home page

This transcript appears in the May 31, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


Lyndon LaRouche’s Unique Contribution To the Science of Universal History

[Print version of this transcript]

EIRNS/Rachel Douglas
Lyndon LaRouche lectures at P.G. Kuznetov’s “President” program, held at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, April 28, 1994.

The following is an edited transcription of a class delivered by the author to a LaRouche PAC audience in New York City on May 11, 2019.

The title of this series of classes is “Earth’s Last 50 Years and Earth’s Next 50 Years.” The great scientist, theologian, Nicholas of Cusa said that when you rise to the level of creative reason, you are actually in timeless time. What I will be trying to demonstrate today is that Lyndon LaRouche was such an individual, who rose to a level of creative reason, and therefore operated, in his time, to influence certainly the next 50 years. But he did so from the standpoint of what is often called “the simultaneity of eternity,” or timeless time.

One of his greatest contributions, in my mind, is his conception of history, because if you want to know exactly how to shape the future, you have to have a conception of the principles which define not only past history, but the future. Lyndon LaRouche has made a unique contribution to resolving this question.

History as Science

One of the writings in which he addresses this is an essay which he wrote in prison. It’s entitled, “History as Science”; it was first published February 8, 1993, when he was in prison. I find this writing, and a number of other writings that he devoted to this subject, to be absolutely extraordinary; because he uniquely develops the actual metric, the criterion which you need to be able to judge history. It’s very important, as I said, that this be done, because there are a lot of historians out there who, in fact, are not concerned about understanding from the standpoint that LaRouche does; which is to understand it from the standpoint of humanity and humanity’s progress.

Many of these historians are actually the representatives of an imperial point of view, and their entire operation is to try to prevent the development of republics throughout the world and to preserve empire. As you’ll see through the course of this class, the current one empire in the world is not America, is not China, is not Russia; but it is the continuation of the British Empire, or what is better known as the Anglo-Dutch imperial liberal system.

Now, in this work—“History as Science”—what Lyndon LaRouche wrote is as follows:

Unfortunately, the study of a recognizable subject called “history,” is virtually outlawed by the “politically correct” classroom of today. Yet, even had history not been expelled so, the history textbooks supplied during the 1920’s through the 1960’s were tendentiously misleading concoctions, typified by Charles Beard, Arnold Toynbee, or Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope. From such sources, or such lower extremes as Francis Fukuyama’s banal exercise in Lockean utopianism, his End of History, very little of use is to be learned for dealing with today’s real history.

Again, I would really stress, history is something which is made, as you’ll see from the course of this presentation. What Lyndon LaRouche did is he developed a mission to shape history and to give it the positive outcome which it requires on behalf of humanity.

Four Cited Historians

Now what I want to do is just mention these four historians which Lyndon LaRouche just cited.

Charles A. Beard in 1917.

First of all, let’s start with Charles Beard. Charles Beard wrote something called An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States in 1913. What he wrote there is:

[The members of the Philadelphia convention were] immediately, directly, and personally interested in, and derived economic advantages from, the establishment of the new [Constitutional] system. . . .

It cannot be said, therefore, that the members of the Convention were “disinterested.” On the contrary, we are forced to accept the profoundly significant conclusion that they knew through their personal experiences in economic affairs the precise results which the new government that they were setting up was designed to attain.

So, we are led by Charles Beard to believe that the Founding Fathers merely were interested in their personal economic interests; as opposed to the conceptions which are put forward in the Declaration of Independence in terms of the inalienable rights of man to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” That’s a principle which is applicable to this day throughout the world. In fact, when she founded the Schiller Institute back in 1984, Helga Zepp-LaRouche authored a declaration of independence for all of humanity by merely altering some of the language of the Declaration of Independence of the United States to apply to all peoples and all nations of the world.

We are to believe, according to Charles Beard, that they were just interested in their personal economic well-being when they wrote the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, including the principle of promoting the General Welfare. Where did that come from? Certainly not just from personal economic interest. This is a completely empiricist conception of human behavior; it reduces humanity to the condition of a beast where all that people are interested in is achieving pleasure and avoiding pain. This is a typical British epistemological conception of history.

The second example I’m going to give you is Arnold Toynbee. Who is Arnold Toynbee? Arnold Toynbee was a British historian who in World War I was recruited by the British Empire to head up British foreign intelligence. So you have to ask yourself, why would that be the case that an historian is brought in to head up British intelligence? What he did was, he wrote something called A Study of History, which was a 12-volume study on the development and decay of 19 world civilizations. That may give you an idea of why he was brought in by the British Empire to head up foreign intelligence. In a certain sense, he was the successor to Gibbon, who wrote the book on The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.

What the British Empire and its lackeys are committed to, is finding ways in which you can preserve an imperial system by studying how other imperial systems rose and then collapsed, such as the Roman Empire. This is a complete pre-occupation of the British. How do we prevent the British Empire from suffering the same consequences as the Roman Empire or these other 18 civilizations?

Arnold J. Toynbee


What I’m going to read to you is a quote from his A Study of History, which discusses the process of disintegration of an empire or of a civilization. This, of course, is what they want to avoid; but this is the basic idea:

The schism is itself a product of two negative movements, each of which is inspired by an evil passion. First the Dominant Minority attempts to hold force—against all right and reason—a position of inherited privilege which it has ceased to merit; and then the Proletariat repays injustice with resentment, fear with hate, and violence with violence when it executes its acts of secession. Yet the whole movement ends in positive acts of creation—and this on the part of all the actors in the tragedy of disintegration. The Dominant Minority creates a universal state, the Internal Proletariat a universal church, and the External Proletariat a bevy of barbarian war-bands.

The basic idea is, think about the Roman Empire. In a certain sense, what he’s describing is the attempt on the part of a dominant minority to hold onto its power after having made fatal mistakes. And then what you have is the emergence of the internal proletariat which creates a universal church—think of Christianity; and an external proletariat which becomes barbarian war-bands. Let me continue:

These three achievements are, no doubt, extremely unequal in the respective degrees of the creativity that they manifest. We have noticed . . . that the universal church, alone of the three, has a prospect in the Future as well as a footing in the Past, while the universal state and the war-bands belong to the Past exclusively. And it hardly needs to be pointed out that, of the two backward-looking institutions, the barbarian war-bands are poor affairs indeed compared with the universal state. By creating a universal state, the Dominant Minority performs the worthy feat of checking, for a time, the process of social disintegration which its own past action has precipitated, and thus enabling the temporarily reprieved society to enjoy a brief “Indian Summer.” In creating barbarian war-bands, the External Proletariat has merely sharpened its predatory beak and claws in preparation for a carrion-crow’s feast upon a dead civilization’s carcass.

Rather graphic; and that, of course, is what the British Empire is afraid will happen to it.

Now, in 1939, Toynbee wrote, “The challenge of being called upon to create a political world order, the framework for an economic world order, now confronts our modern Western society.” He lived until 1975. The basic idea here is that Toynbee’s thesis is that a civilization, an empire, is confronted with a challenge, and it must find a creative solution if it is to survive. But what he means by creative is not what Lyndon LaRouche—as you will see—means by creative.

Mankind’s Creative Nature

Lyndon LaRouche identifies the creativity as the actual nature of man, and as that which must be fostered if human society as a whole is to avoid collapse and is to progress. What Toynbee means is that the empire does not have to promote the creativity of the population as a whole, but rather has to generate gimmicks which allow the imperial elites to sustain their power over the rest of humanity. That is this fundamental distinction.

As you will see, throughout history, this is what the British Empire has attempted to do. For instance, we will see that, confronted with the development of Eurasia at the end of the 1800s, following Lincoln’s promotion of the Transcontinental Railroad in the United States, the British came up with a creative solution to maintain empire; which was promoting the Japanese to carry out warfare against China and Russia, and finally, the First World War. They also, after the First World War, came up with the Versailles Treaty.

Think about after World War II, how did they preserve the British Empire? Well, one of the things they did was to create the British Commonwealth. And they moved after Roosevelt’s death to try to establish through Truman and others, control over the United States of America. That’s what they mean by creative; it has nothing to do with fostering the creativity of mankind as a whole, which is the essential quality of what’s required.

Carroll Quigley in 1970.


Then we look at Carroll Quigley. Carroll Quigley was a professor at Georgetown University, who had a very famous student by the name of Bill Clinton. I’ve read that Bill Clinton actually got a “B” as a grade under Carroll Quigley. He wrote book called Tragedy and Hope. Let’s see what Quigley says:

There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the Radical right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other group, and frequently does so. I know of the operation of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of is instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies . . . but in general, my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.

So here we have Carroll Quigley and his book Tragedy and Hope, identifying an Anglophile network which could come under various names. He refers to it as the Round Table groups, the Milner group, and so forth and so on. But he actually endorses it, and he also misleads the reader by suggesting that it’s [only] been around for a generation. This is a long history in terms of the British Empire; it certainly goes back more than one generation. But again, here you have an alleged patriot—Carroll Quigley—teaching a previous President of the United States, Bill Clinton, about an Anglophile network which he actually agrees with in large part. He only disagrees in respect to particular policies.

Gobierno de Chile
Francis Fukuyama in 2015.


Then we have the final of the four, Francis Fukuyama, who wrote The End of History and the Last Man. So, what does he say?

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such. . . . That is, the end of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

In an article by him in the Guardian, April 3, 2007, “The History at the End of History, he wrote:”

The End of History was never linked to a specifically American model of social or political organization. . . . I believe that the European Union more accurately reflects what the world will look like at the end of history than the contemporary United States. The EU’s attempt to transcend sovereignty and traditional power politics by establishing a transnational rule of law is much more in line with a “post-historical” world than the Americans’ continuing belief in God, national sovereignty, and their military.

By the way, Fukuyama proudly announced that he voted for Barack Obama. So, he is not just a neo-conservative in his advocacy of a unipolar world, to say the least.

So, what do you have with these four examples? There are many more examples that could be cited, but these are the four that Lyndon LaRouche mentions in “History as Science,” and I think that they’re very useful to put forward. Because if you look at them, there is no principle involved in any of these other than the idea that man is motivated by his base interests—as in the case of Charles Beard—or the preservation of empire, or this idea of Western democracy as exemplified by the European Union, in which sovereignty is wiped out altogether.

So, the basic idea here is that this is the kind of material that is presented in our school system. Not only in the United States, but in many other places throughout the world; and not just in Western Europe or the United States or Great Britain, but throughout the rest of the world. That’s what is taught as history.

Lyndon LaRouche’s Concept of History

Let’s go to Lyndon LaRouche’s conception of history. In “History as Science,” what Lyndon LaRouche writes is as follows:

A rigorous definition of the term “history” begins with the fact, that the continued existence of our human species is governed by a principle which does not exist in any other species of life. Relative to its environment, every other form has a limited, apparently genetically predetermined range of capability for acting to increase, or even more, maintain the present potential population density of its own population. . . . The human species, alone, is capable of willful alternation of that characteristic behavior which we recognize as “culture.” An alteration to the successfully intended effect of producing a relatively superior culture, this is the intended effect of successive, sustainable increases in mankind’s potential population density.

Look at the graphic of “Human Population Growth.” What Lyndon LaRouche is laying out here is that the fundamental principle of history is the nature of man as distinct from a beast. And that what man has—and we’ll see this as we go through this—is the capability through his creative reason and his agape¯, or love for truth and for mankind, and for the Creator in whose image he is created; he has the capability of making hypotheses which allow for supersession of previous geometries of economic and other activity such that he can continue to increase his potential relative population density. What you see in this chart is a reflection of the unleashing of that creative capability and the growth of population density and related parameters; particularly after the period of the Council of Florence in 1439.

imago viva Dei

What Lyndon LaRouche continues to say in another article, which was also written in prison, “On the Subject of God,” this was written in July of 1992.

If we measure history by the standard of each person as imago viva Dei, we have a completely different notion of history in general than is taught in our foolish university textbooks and kindred places.

Thus, the development of the individual person’s ‘divine spark’ of potential for creative reason, imago viva Dei, is the essence of history and thus the measure of the immortal necessity earned by an individual mortal life.

So, that is the issue of history. That man is created imago viva Dei, that is, in the living image of the Creator—of God. It’s very important that you have the word viva—living; because man is not just some sort of passive image, but rather, he is a vital force. Vernadsky, for instance, the Russian scientist, discusses the fact that man, through his creativity, through his noetic willfulness, actually is a geological force. You could go further than that and say not just a geological force on Earth, but as an extraterrestrial geological force as well.

Know Your Enemy

Lyndon LaRouche, in 1982, about 11 years before he wrote “History as Science” while he was in prison, wrote something called The Toynbee Factor in British Grand Strategy. In the class last week, Dennis Small mentioned that this particular book was transmitted to López Portillo of Mexico, along with Operation Juárez and other writings as part of a package at that time. Lyndon LaRouche’s concern was to warn López Portillo and other world leaders and others who read this document, of what British grand strategy is; so as to combat it effectively and know what the alternative is. What he wrote there is:

We present universal history as a comprehensible process of those developments of knowledge and of social institutions which represent the republicans’ struggle to perfect the individual and society; a struggle against the evil forces of oligarchism typified during our early history by the British monarchy and the forces behind the 1815-1848 Holy Alliance.

The conflict of these ages has been the struggle of the forces of republicanism against the forces of oligarchism.

For the past 2,500 years and somewhat longer, the entirety of the conflict within Middle East and European civilizations’ development has been only one underlying issue. . . . For 2,000 years to date, the solely determining conflict within European civilization, including our 1776-1783 war with Britain, has been a struggle of the forces of Judeo-Christian republicanism against the law, the immorality, and the religious outlook associated with the Republic and Empire of Rome.

I want to go into further depth of this principle of imago viva Dei, and I have a few quotes from Lyndon LaRouche on this. Then after that, I’m going to go through what he describes as the three critical points of historical development going back to the 1300s or before, through to today, judged from this standpoint. So, what he writes in “History as Science” is as follows:

The Christian Platonist Method

Consider now, in review, several of the fundamental considerations distinguishing the Christian Platonist method:

1. Imago Dei: Man as a sovereign individuality in the image of the Creator. The person has this quality by virtue of nothing other than an inborn potential for a form of creative reason which imitates the Creator’s process of creation. . . .

2. Capax Dei: [That is, the capability of participating in God.] The individual, sovereign person participates in the work of the Creator by means of acts which are products of creative reason motivated by agapē [that is, love]. . . .

3. The ontological principle of change (e.g., a notion of the ontological transfinite) [which was developed by Cantor, the German scientist and mathematician]. . . .

4. The individual “soul,” and its characteristic activity of agapic creative reason, is the location of the true self-interest of each and all persons.

5. The proper business of society is the successful reproduction, development and useful employment of such sovereign individual souls, each according to his or her such true self-interest, and to an overall effect which may be fairly described as centered practically on the effect of generalized, continuing, unending scientific and technological progress.

Then he continues:

It is the combining of three features of our view of this matter, through which these issues of history are rendered . . . intelligible objects of creative reason.

A. Creative reason as the successful generation of axiomatic-revolutionary forms of change in the lattice-theorem form of ideas efficiently governing human practice in respect to the integrated whole of past, present, and future.

C. That knowledge is the effort to perfect the process of hypothesizing the higher hypothesis, by means of locating the corresponding development of one’s own powers for creative reason . . . in the view of one’s creative-reasoning self, as microcosm, in an efficiently reciprocal relationship with the macrocosm.

Mankind’s Mission

Now that last concept, it seems to me, embodies Lyndon LaRouche in particular. This idea that man is a microcosm and that what he does is, he acts on the macrocosm of past, present, and future of all mankind. This is the conception of the simultaneity of eternity. It’s a conception that man’s mission is to further the creative process of the Creator. If you look at Lyndon LaRouche, the thing that really stands out about this man, is that he devoted his entire life to develop within himself the knowledge and the capabilities which are required to act on the world as a whole. Another conception which he develops is that of the necessary predecessor and the necessary successor.

The fact of the matter is that throughout history there are certain creative developments which are breakthroughs which are made; those are the necessary predecessors. But man’s knowledge and his actions in the world don’t stop; they have to progress, and that’s the necessary successor. This is a lawful ordering which takes place. You can see this throughout history.

For instance, Nicholas of Cusa refutes Archimedes’ idea that you can square the circle. Then you have Kepler, based on Cusa, actually develops astronomy. Then you have Leibniz, based upon requirements put forward by Kepler, who develops the calculus. So, that’s just one example. You have similar examples of necessary predecessors and successors in terms of art, in terms of culture as well; music in particular.

But let me just say that there are three, in a certain sense, examples of conflicting world views which are seminal for what I’m developing today based on what Lyndon LaRouche’s conception of history is. Those are: Zeus versus Prometheus; Solon of Athens versus Lycurgus of Sparta; and Plato versus Aristotle.

Prometheus giving fire to man.

If you go to most schools, you will hear that Aristotle was actually the student of Plato, and further realized Plato’s writings, which is the biggest lie that you can imagine. You will also hear certain religious circles argue that Prometheus was attacking God; he was rebelling against God. As if Zeus, a pagan god, is the Creator. It’s actually a blasphemy in religious terms to be putting forward such a conception.

But let’s look at these three.

Ancient Conflicts

In the case of Zeus and Prometheus, Prometheus acts out of love of mankind, to give mankind what he needs in order to further develop; that is fire, but not only fire. He gives him an internal fire which is the internal fire of creative reason. He basically teaches man how to think creatively. This is a challenge to the imperial system of Zeus. For that, Prometheus, in Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, is tied to a rock allegedly for eternity, and he’s tortured. The rest of the trilogy was destroyed; undoubtedly by imperialists who didn’t want us to know exactly how Prometheus escaped this fate. But that’s the issue. Prometheus is acting on the basis of creative reason and agapē, as Lyndon LaRouche indicated.

If we go to Solon and Lycurgus, Friedrich Schiller—the German poet and historian—gave a lecture when he was a history professor at the University of Jena in Germany, on the legislation of Solon and Lycurgus. Lycurgus is an imperialist; he runs a slave-ocracy. So, you have helots or slaves who are doing all the work, and then you have the warrior class. His whole idea is, how do we preserve Sparta by not allowing the citizens of Sparta to have any access to trade, to industry? To not have any access to other cultures, so we can freeze it in time? That was the idea of Lycurgus.

Left: Lycurgus of Sparta; right: Solon of Athens

On the other hand, Solon devoted his entire form of government to the intellectual progress of the population. Very interestingly, his first decree was to cancel all of the debts. Solon was an anti-monetarist; he was thoroughly committed to a conception of development of the creativity of the human population.

In terms of the third example, you’ve got Plato versus Aristotle. As I said, Aristotle was not a student of Plato. He opposed Plato on all fundamental issues. The fundamental issue which has relevance to what we’re talking about here, is that Plato developed the idea that there is creative reason or intellect, which is a higher form of the use of the mind than mere logical deduction or empiricism. Aristotle, on the other hand, limited all human mental activity to induction and deduction; that is, to come to conclusions based on empirical observations, and then to make deductions from the fixed logical categories which are derived from that empirical perception. That’s a way of enslaving people, by denying them creativity.

This is what the Roman Empire did under Diocletian, where you couldn’t have an occupation other than that which your great grandfather, your great, great, great grandfather had. You were frozen in time; no development of the mind.

Detail from Raphael’s The School of Athens, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle.

Plato and Platonic Method

What Plato writes, which is very important, in a dialogue called the Philebus, is that what Prometheus did was to give mankind a method for thinking, not just fire. And the method was that everything is a combination of a many and a one. One combination is to impose a one on the many, or a limit on the unlimited. If you do that, then you have a collapse of a civilization, as in the case of Lycurgus’ Sparta, as in the case of every form of imperialism. Because every form of imperialism sees the development of the creative capabilities of the population as a threat to its power; therefore, they commit menticide. They stifle creativity.

The other combination of the one and the many is an unlimited succession of limits. This is what led to Cantor’s conception of the transfinite. You have a similar concept which was developed by Nicholas of Cusa in his refutation of Archimedes’ quadrature of the circle. That is, that circular action is of a higher order than polygonal action. So, if you were to inscribe and also circumscribe a circle with a polygon, you can multiply the number of linear sides, but it will never reach congruence with the circular action.

Polygonal action is of a lower species than circular action. In fact, it’s only from the higher standpoint of circular action that you can derive polygons. So, it has a higher causal element, an ontological element. Cantor says he finds his notion of the transfinite not only in Plato’s Philebus, but also in Nicholas of Cusa’s writings. Both conceptions are necessary predecessors of Cantor’s concept of the transfinite, as is Plato’s concept of higher hypotheses and hypothesizing the higher hypoethesis.

The point being, that in the realm of becoming, of creation, you must have a succession of higher order scientific breakthroughs and cultural breakthroughs which allow society to progress. If those don’t exist, then the society will collapse. No matter what gimmick Toynbee or Gibbon can come up with, it will collapse. This is what Lyndon LaRouche refers to as a transfinite ordering of progress of a necessary predecessor, necessary successor, if societies are to continue. This is also described as anti-entropy by Lyndon LaRouche. These three contrasts convey that. This is the essence of the fight not only throughout European civilization, but all of civilization, whether people know that or not.

Toward a Second Treaty of Westphalia

Let me go to the next two quotes. In “Toward a Second Treaty of Westphalia; the Coming Eurasia World,” what Lyndon LaRouche writes is:

The most efficient approach to that task [reaching a European-Eurasian treaty agreement based on principle] is to present the Asian intellectual leader with a shockingly clear statement on the interrelated subjects of monotheism and Promethean man.

In “History as Science,” Lyndon LaRouche is already addressing the issue of China, in 1993 while in prison. And he says that if they continue with their cheap labor policy, they will suffer a Dark Age. So, he was already proposing that they abandon that policy and go for what later became the Eurasian Land-Bridge, what today is the One Belt, One Road perspective. In there, he cites the writings of Leibniz which establish the affinity between Christian civilization and Confucian civilization. But very interestingly, which is in line with this quote on Promethean man and monotheism, what he stresses is that both pre-Christian Platonism and also Confucianism lack one thing. They lack this conception of imago viva Dei and capax Dei.

Europe and Asia

So, this is something which is important to stress, because of course, we’ve lost any understanding of this within Western Christian civilization, and knowledge of that may not actually have existed, and may still not be known in Asian cultures. So, it’s something very fundamental, because what Lyndon LaRouche is saying is that this is the fundamental issue of all history; and it’s the fundamental issue as to whether you’re going to have a Eurasian-European treaty agreement which is based upon principle, which is what you need if it’s going to be durable. Of course, with all of the friction that we have today, this is especially important.

He continues to say, in “Toward a Second Treaty of Westphalia”:

The entirety of the principal conflicts within European history from approximately 600 B.C. must be understood as the continuation of the conflict between the republicanism of Solon of Athens and the oligarchism of the sodomy-ridden slave society of Lycurgan Sparta. Only if the United States’ wars against Britain are examined against the background of the conflicts between republican Athens and oligarchical Sparta, is it readily possible to understand the profound premises for the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

And I’ll come back to that at the very end.

In another writing called, “Economics as History,” which was written in September of 2009, Lyndon LaRouche wrote:

Europe-Mediterranean-based monetarist systems have been operating since the time of the Peloponnesian War.

Throughout the entire period since about the time of the Peloponnesian War of B.C. 431-404, first, Mediterranean, and later, European cultures have been dominated by Mediterranean types of monetary imperialist systems. This includes the Roman Empire, Byzantium, the post-A.D. 1000 Venetian-centered system of feudal forms of monetary power, through the Fourteenth-century New Dark Age.

CC/Il Sistemone
Statue of Dante Alighieri in Naples, Italy.

Three Turning Points in Recent World History

Now going back to “History as Science,” Lyndon LaRouche identifies three critical turning points in recent world history. And this is what I want to emphasize at this point.

The first of these three critical points is the so-called “New Dark Age” of the post-Dante Alighieri, mid-fourteenth century Europe.

The second is the beginning of the post-medieval, modern history, that fifteenth-century “Golden Renaissance” pivoted upon the A.D. 1439-1440 Ecumenical Council of Florence.

The third, is the beginning of the march of this planet toward two “world wars” and now possibly the onset of a third—during the present century; a period inaugurated by the murder of British imperialism’s most efficient foe, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

OK, so what I want to do is just go through these three shifts in recent world history. First of all, as Lyndon LaRouche points out, what you had is a succession of imperial systems, the Roman Empire, Byzantium and then the Venetian Empire. For instance, if you look at the New Testament, what is the Babylonian system? It’s this kind of monetarist, imperial system. And so, you’re talking about the Mediterranean area and the European area. As he said, it’s been a fight against monetarist forms of imperialism, which have succeeded each other over this entire period of time.

And in this first period, of the so-called New Dark Age, what you had was the emergence of the Venetian system, which promoted the Crusades into the Middle East, and was a banking center which had policies of free trade, policies of usury and so forth.


And Venice became hegemonic around 1250 A.D., with the death of Friedrich II Hohenstaufen, who was Holy Roman Emperor at the time. This was a guy who spoke several languages, including Arabic, didn’t want to carry out a crusade against the Middle East—in fact, he was ordered by the Pope at one point to carry out a crusade. He became sick en route and came back. He was excommunicated for not carrying out the crusade. And then he finally carried out a crusade, and he walked into Jerusalem peacefully, because he had sent a letter, written in Arabic, to the Muslim leader, so it was not a typical Venetian-Norman crusade!

At any rate, these policies of Venice resulted after the mid-1300s, in a period of a Hundred Years War, which is called the New Dark Age, a period in which the population of Europe and adjacent areas was massively reduced as a result of the spread of the plague, and of course, they had no science, so they had no idea what caused the plague. They actually took measures which contributed to its further circulation.

And Dante, whom Lyn refers to, actually was one of the people in the forefront of fighting for a new paradigm at that point against the Venetians. He wrote a book called De Monarchia, in which he said that the purpose of government should be to stress intellectual growth. So again, the fundamental principle of imago viva Dei, as the opponent to imperialism. Dante wasn’t successful, at that point, but he contributed to this development of a republican form of government that emerged out of the Council of Florence much later.

And there were various groups that contributed to this development, including the Brothers of the Common Life, who were anti-Aristotelian and who educated young orphans by getting them to copy—because there was no printing as of yet—to copy manuscripts of important, fundamental treatises, so they could actually learn from the direct sources. And Nicholas of Cusa, for instance, is said to have studied under the Brothers of the Common Life.

An Ecumenical Concept

Then, what you have, going into 1439-40, which is the second phase, you have Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake in 1431—why? Because she was fighting against the British and Normans, their Norman allies in northern France. And remember the Hundred Years War was between France and England, with England trying to take over France and saying that they had a greater right to run France than France. She was burned at the stake for fighting for what became the sovereign nation-state, with Louis XI. And that itself was a development which was shaped by Nicholas of Cusa, who wrote a book called Concordantia Catholica in 1433, which really laid the basis for the development of sovereign nation-state, and built on what Dante had done before.

Top: Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa; bottom left: King Louis XI of France; bottom right: King Henry VII of England.

Cusa also wrote De Pace Fidei, which put forward an ecumenical concept based upon the principle of love, of agapē among different civilizations and cultures.

In contrast to today’s ideologues like Samuel Huntington, who called for a Clash of Civilizations, Nicholas of Cusa, all the way back then, was putting forward an ecumenical concept based on the fact that all of us have reason, imago viva Dei and agapē, love: That should be the basis for collaboration. As the Chinese advocate today with their “win-win” perspective. And then, of course On Learned Ignorance, which really launched the scientific revolution, which was necessary to get out of the New Dark Age, when they didn’t even know what had caused the Black Plague, among other things.

Then, you have the first nation-states, which as I said, were France under Louis XI, and then England with Henry VII. But as Lyndon LaRouche has written, the problem was that these sovereign nation-states did not become the hegemonic form of government throughout the world. You didn’t have a community of principle among sovereign nation-states throughout the world. Rather, you had imperialism still in power, and so these nation-states were not able to survive. So you had what Lyndon LaRouche has called a “symbiotic relationship” between the imperial system, which remained dominant, and the emergence of sovereign nation-states which is the future.

And unfortunately, this is the situation which still persists to this day, and our job, in a very real way, as defined by Lyndon LaRouche, is to create a family of sovereign nation-states throughout the world, as part of planetary culture, a New Paradigm, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche has called for repeatedly over an extended period of time. And part of this failure of the nation-state to become hegemonic was that the Venetians and the Habsburgs went on a total counteroffensive. Cusa’s collaborators, in a certain sense, tried to flank this.

The New World

They were the ones who sponsored and gave intellectual direction to Columbus’ rediscovery of the Western Hemisphere. The executors of the will of Cusa, Toscanelli and Ferdinand Martín, a bishop in Portugal, were the people who were in direct contact with Columbus before he finally got sponsorship for his voyage to the Western Hemisphere in 1492. And that was a flanking operation, to create the conditions under which you could have a new society emerge, distant from this Venetian/Habsburg-controlled European oligarchy.

The Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster (Westphalia) by Gerard ter Borch, 1648.

But unfortunately, at the same time, the Venetians were unleashing a religious war. Even as Spain sponsored Columbus’s trip, you had Torquemada and the Grand Inquisition expelling the Jews and Muslims from Spain. And you had religious warfare from about 1492 until the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years’ War in Europe between Protestant and Catholic in 1648.

In this entire period—and this is very important to understand—Venice, which had been the imperial power over this entire period, was very vulnerable, located in Italy in the Adriatic area. So they moved northward. They moved to the Netherlands, and they moved to Britain in succession. And this starts in 1529, when a Venetian by the name of Francesco Zorzi was deployed to England to give sex advice to King Henry VIII. And this same Zorzi printed a book during this period, which explicitly attacked On Learned Ignorance by Nicholas of Cusa. It was called De Harmonia Mundi (On the Harmony of the World).

Then in 1600, you have the creation of the British East India Company—this is before the Thirty Years’ War—and in 1602, the creation of the Dutch East India Company. And then, even after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, in 1688 you had the Dutch Prince William of Orange invade Britain. So what you have is over a period of time, a relocation to Netherlands, and the consolidation of a British-Netherlands imperial system, which is essentially the Venetian Party. And actually, there was a party in England, called the Venetian Party. So this is quite explicit that this is a Venetian, Anglo-Dutch imperial system, which took root in Britain and the Netherlands.

East India Companies

This then resulted, in 1763, in the Treaty of Paris, after the Seven Years War, or in the American colonies called the French and Indian Wars, where the British Empire was formally established under the British East India Company. And it was against the British East India Company that we waged the American Revolution, contrary to Charles Beard. The tea that was thrown into the Boston Harbor was British East India Company tea—that’s where it came from.

This then gets into the development of the American System, and I will just say, as Lyndon LaRouche has said, the fundamental split in European civilization, and by extension all of the world, because after all, who ran India? The British East India Company. Who ran the Opium Wars against China? British East India Company. We have a common enemy, which is the British East India Company, which is the Anglo-Dutch imperial liberal system: That is the enemy in the world.

It’s not just that British intelligence, that Christopher Steele, and Richard Dearlove, and Robert Hannigan and Alexander Downer from Australia and the Five Eyes, were involved and are continuing to be involved in a coup against the President of the United States: This is a bigger, deeper issue, involving the Anglo-Dutch liberal system, and a mode of thinking, contrary to a republican, Judeo-Christian conception of thinking based on imago viva Dei and capax Dei. That is the fundamental issue, really, in human history, to this day.

American System economists Friedrich List (left) and Henry C. Carey

The American System of Political Economy

So you had the development of the American System, which is a system of political economy under Alexander Hamilton. There were others, who continued with this tradition—Henry C. Carey, Friedrich List, a German who lived for a long time in Reading, Pennsylvania, before going back to Germany. These ideas took hold throughout the world, in opposition to Adam Smith, who was an agent of the British East India Company, and advocate of free trade as a way of forcing the underdevelopment, or lack of development and looting of less developed countries than Great Britain and the imperial system.

I’m not going to go into that in thorough depth at this point, but the basic point is on the emphasis on the productive powers of labor, which you see in Alexander Hamilton, and the opposition to the slave trade, which you see in Henry C. Carey, in particular.

And of course, Lincoln was in this tradition. In 1823, John Quincy Adams, whose mentor was Benjamin Franklin, and who was himself the mentor of Abraham Lincoln, put forward the Monroe Doctrine, and I’m going to come back to this, as I said, at the end. But the fundamental concept of the Monroe Doctrine is the community of principle among sovereign nation-states. And Lyndon LaRouche, our association, and probably only a very small number of people throughout the world actually understand what the true intent of the Monroe Doctrine is. And that that’s the actual concept of it: It is not an imperial argument.

Teddy Roosevelt developed the Roosevelt Corollary, which was in fact imperialistic, in 1904. But the original Monroe Doctrine was an extension of the idea of community of principle among sovereign nation-states, which is consonant with Nicholas of Cusa’s conception of De Pace Fidei, or On the Peace of Faith.

Now, OK, so let’s look at this period after Lincoln is assassinated. In this period, there were already moves towards a Eurasian Land-Bridge being advocated by Count Sergei Witte of Russia and Gabriel Hanotaux of France. This was already under way. You had the Trans-Siberian Railroad; this was modelled on Lincoln’s Transcontinental Railroad. What the British did was, they saw this as a complete threat, and they moved to prevent it.

Wikipedia Commons
The Trans-Siberian Railway in the 19th century.

This is a good example of Toynbee’s creative solutions to a challenge. What happened? Well, the British Empire formed an alliance with Japan, which had earlier been revolutionized by the American System during the Meiji Restoration. But they formed an alliance with Japan, and Japan went to warfare against China and Russia in the late 1800s, and that continued into the 20th century.

Wash drawing by T. Dart Walker
The assassination of U.S. President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901.

British Empire

That was one thing that was done. You also had a number of assassinations. First you had the removal of Bismarck from power in Germany; then you had the assassination of William McKinley, and you had Teddy Roosevelt coming into office—he was McKinley’s Vice President. Then you got the Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which changed its nature all together. Then you had a shift from an alliance among the United States, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, China, into the first formation of the “special relationship” between the United States and the British Empire, our sworn enemy that we waged three wars against. Before the assassination of McKinley, you had the assassination of Sadi Carnot, the President of France.

What the British did was, they launched another Seven Years’ War, just like the French and Indian Wars, but this one was a World War. That’s what World War I was. And that’s what World War II was; World War II was an extension of the failed policies of the Versailles Treaty after World War I. This was all organized by the British.

Delegations signing the Treaty of Versailles in Paris, France on June 28, 1919.

After all, it was the British and people like Prescott Bush who helped put Hitler in power in Germany. They thought he would march east against the then-Soviet Union. But when he marched west as well, then Churchill had to form an alliance with the United States to get out of the mess that he and others had created. During this overall period, you had ideologues like Halford Mackinder, who developed a geopolitical view of basically preventing the Eurasian Land-Bridge from ever occurring, by focussing on isolating and ruining Russia.

So, that gives you a sense of these three periods that Lyndon LaRouche discusses as really critical turning points in world history. As he says in an article entitled, “Can We Change the Universe?” which was written in 2001:

Every major war within European civilization since the 15th century, including the religious wars of the interval 1511-1648, has been an expression of the efforts of the oligarchical faction to stamp out the existence of the sovereign nation-state and the principles of economy associated with that nation-state model.

He then says, in “Economics as History,” written in 2009, I believe:

Every major war on this planet since 1865 has been an offshoot of the principal goal of the British Empire.

Of course, you can look as well at the Prometheus versus Zeus, Solon versus Lycurgus. You can look at Plato versus Aristotle. You can also look at Franklin Roosevelt versus Churchill, particularly as seen through the eyes of his son, Elliott Roosevelt in As He Saw It. The point that President Roosevelt made was, we are not fighting World War II in order to preserve the British Empire. We’re going to use American methods after the war to develop the rest of the world, as the United States had done during the 1930s and 1940s. That, however, was aborted with Roosevelt’s death. And what do you have that emerges after that?

You have the World Wildlife Fund, headed by whom? Headed by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Prince Philip of the British Empire, just as a sort of a paradigm of this Anglo-Dutch liberal imperialist system that we’re plagued with today.

White House/Tia Dufour
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton.

The Anglo-Dutch System
Must Be Replaced

Now, the basic point here is that the enemy that all of humanity faces is, in fact, the Anglo-Dutch imperial liberal system; which is a monetarist system, which has to be replaced. It was with an awareness of that, based upon this “History as Science” that Lyndon LaRouche proposed the Four Powers agreement to create a New Bretton Woods to replace that monetarist system, and to ensure that we have a World Land-Bridge and also space exploration as the future of mankind over the next 50 years. In his book, Earth’s Next 50 Years, written in 2004, what Lyndon LaRouche writes is as follows:

The key to all understanding of the modern world history of more than three centuries to date, is the recognition of the essential, true fact, that the history of the world as a whole, since no later than the February 1763 triumph of Lord Shelburne’s British East India Company, has been shaped by the continued, actually globally imperial power of an Anglo-Dutch Liberal system. Yet most of the world today, foolishly, pretends, as if politely, not to notice this plainly visible fact—this veritable elephant standing and trumpeting, unnoticed, in the middle of the honeymoon couple’s bed—and its profound practical implications for every part of our world as a whole, still today.

The attempts to effect reforms such as cultural agreements, among nations today, will fail, assuredly and absolutely, however noble and impassioned the sentiment supporting such proposed reforms, until the pathological factor of the subsuming system, the system of financier-oligarchical imperial Anglo-Dutch Liberalism—the currently reigning “fishbowl mentality”—is excised from the institutions of world power.

The problem is not so much the sickness of any one nation, as the prevalent current agreement of all to share the disease.

Now, that is absolutely critical, because it’s so easy to focus on the shadows on the wall of the cave, when you try to say who the enemy is. You have to know who the enemy is, and you have to have a scientific, principled basis for judging who the enemy is that must be replaced if mankind is to realize its mission in the world. In the recent period, John Bolton, the National Security Advisor to President Trump, was on CNN being interviewed by Jake Tapper. This was March 3rd. Bolton said, “Look, in this administration, we are not afraid to use the phrase ‘Monroe Doctrine.’ This is a country in our hemisphere.”

John Bolton is not the only one who doesn’t understand the Monroe Doctrine, but his stupidity is unacceptable. Unfortunately (as our colleague Dennis Small noted in the last class) very few people outside of the association of Lyndon LaRouche and maybe a few Argentinians actually understand the actual content of the Monroe Doctrine.

The Theodore Roosevelt corollary reads as follows:

If a nation shows it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations [that’s critical; I don’t think he’d like Solon very much], it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, require intervention of some civilized nation.

Daguerrotype by Philip Haas
John Quincy Adams in 1843.

The Real Monroe Doctrine

That is Theodore Roosevelt; and that is actually what John Bolton is referring to in his ignorance. But the actual concept of the Monroe Doctrine is quite different. As I said, it’s the concept of a community of principle among sovereign nation-states.

Lyndon LaRouche gave a speech on November 25, 1984, and he said as follows:

The only proper foreign-policy doctrine of the United States today, is a revival and expansion of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams’s formulation of the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

Today, the Monroe Doctrine must be greatly expanded in scope, to include the republics of Europe, and also those nations aspiring to free themselves from the last vestiges of European colonialism in Africa and Asia.

It must be a pact of friendship and alliance among republics which are each fully equal in respect to their sovereignty in all matters of economic and political life. Among the ranks of its friends, the United States must never aspire to anything more than the status of first among equals.

Now of course, most people throughout the world conceive of the Monroe Doctrine as an imperialistic doctrine, because they associate it with the Teddy Roosevelt corollary. But the actual policy of the Monroe Doctrine is completely different, as you can see. Lyndon LaRouche, in 1984, was putting forward the Monroe Doctrine as the basis for a compact among nations for a New World Economic Order, in contrast to what people like Toynbee were looking towards in the post-World War II period. They were looking for a Keynesian monetarist new world economic order, as opposed to a New World Economic Order based upon human progress and American System methods.

So, Lyndon LaRouche is proposing that the Monroe Doctrine, in terms of John Quincy Adams’ actual conception, should be the basis for the New Bretton Woods; for cooperation among nations in respect to the World Land-Bridge, which today is embodied by the One Belt, One Road policy of China.

These conceptions, I think, are absolutely critical to the crisis that we face in the world today. In that sense, Lyndon LaRouche lives in the simultaneity of eternity; and he lives in timeless time. The issue is that we must do the same; we must operate on an understanding of world history as he developed it. If we do, then we have in our hands a solution to the current crisis. We can shape history; but you have to know what the principles are. I think Lyndon LaRouche developed those, and I hope that this gives you an idea of exactly what he contributed to universal history.

Back to top    Go to home page