This transcript appears in the July 17, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Discussion: Conference Panel 3
This is an edited transcript of discussion that followed the main presentations of Panel 3, “The Job of Youth,” at the Schiller Institute International Conference, on June 27, 2020, “Will Humanity Prosper, or Perish? The Future Demands a Four-Power Summit Now.” The session was moderated by Megan Beets. Participating were panelists José Vega, New York; Chérine Sultan, France; Daniel Burke, New Jersey; Franklin Mireri, Kenya; Lissie Brobjerg, New Jersey; Carolina Domínguez-Cisneros, Mexico; and Sarah Fahim, a Moroccan student studying in Paris; and members of the audience.
Maddie: Thank you, José for your impassioned speech, because that’s what we need. We need somebody who’s going to connect with people. A theme throughout the conference is that history is made by individuals. Every single one of us has the potential to change the world. Unless we act on that, the future we all dream of is not going to come into being.
José Vega: It’s true. History is changed by individuals. But what good is writing the greatest symphony, the greatest essay if nobody is going to read it or listen to it? You really have to organize people around your ideas. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an amazing reverend, preacher, organizer, non-violence promoter. But it was the people around him, the people who organized with him who really made that possible. So, I don’t think you can forget about the unsung heroes. They’re just as important, if not more important. A great philosopher from the 13th century wrote about civilizations that were great, but were lost to war and famine, and no one has ever heard of them since. How do we stop that from happening to us? That requires everybody to come together to prevent what we do here from getting lost and destroyed.
Chérine Sultan: Creativity is a big word that attracts people. But often we don’t know what we are talking about. When you are creative, maybe you don’t recognize it at the time, but if you are confident in the long run, finally you will see the difference between a false creativity and the true one. I encourage people to do the tough work, to work on science, to work with others, because to do it by yourself is quite difficult.
A Multi-Polar World?
Vicente: I would like to ask the panelists if they can clear up a doubt that I’ve been thinking about. Today, as we can see, it is inevitable and it is impossible; we cannot implement all these projects of the LaRouche movement and the Schiller Institute without the concepts for embracing globalization and various alternatives like the multipolar world, and this is talked about in the BRICS and the New Silk Road.
These are all new alternatives for globalization, but as we can see in nature, as in the human spirit, multipolarities don’t exist. Is the multipolar world for globalization you embrace coherent with the physical laws of the universe? Because in nature, there is no multipolarity and neither in the human spirit. Earth is a polar world and as the Chinese Book of Changes—they call it the Zhou yi or I ching—teaches, you can bypass the polar concept, but you have to go beyond the polar concept. It’s not anymore polar; it’s passive. It’s not any more active, it’s beyond. So, these are not active spaces on Earth; these are passive spaces on Earth.
Does the multipolar world of the alternative of globalization being embraced in BRICS and the New Silk World, coexist with the universal laws of physics and the human spirit?
Lissie Brobjerg: We have to start from the standpoint of trying to understand the nature of the universe. When we look at how life has been developing biologically, we see that new solutions are found all the time in order for life to manifest itself more effectively. It’s interesting how animal life and plants develop new biological technologies in order to do that. But the mind is superior to that. Vladimir Vernadsky discusses how suddenly you have an explosion in the world because of human cognition. We make all these discoveries.
I don’t think that the nature of our universe comes down to a question of multipolar or not. I think what’s interesting is our creative ability to find solutions and to manifest ourselves in our thoughts and our ideas more effectively in this universe. What do you think about that?
Vicente: Yes, well, I think that the universe is as Lyndon LaRouche said, it’s negentropic. We see that mathematics and its closed systems are entropic models, models that can’t understand the universe. I am asking because if in politics and in the economy we create on Earth, yet embrace a concept of the alternative of globalization that’s based on the multipolar world idea, it is the same as we can see if we just study old civilizations.
They say it is proven scientifically that Earth is based on two poles—the North Pole and the South Pole. This is gravitational and electromagnetic, so I don’t understand the concept of a multipolar world when you want to embrace it on Earth. I want to understand if this is an entropic system or a negentropic system that can coexist with the universal laws of physics. This is in the aspects of politics, economy, and globalization, so is this negentropic or entropic?
Carolina Domínguez-Cisneros: You’re going to have to discover this for yourself. We’re working on Kepler, and that’s the best method. There’s a document LaRouche wrote for all youth, people who are younger than me, people young like you and even younger people. It’s called “My Early Encounter with Leibniz,” which is a document for young adults. I’m not going to save you the hard work that’s required, but let’s keep studying Kepler.
Burke: What do we mean when we say “globalization”? This is something that Helga LaRouche has referenced more than once. It is not her view that there is such a possibility of a multipolar world, and I concur. In other words, one in which you have multiple poles of influence that are collaborating; it’s meant to be in opposition to what’s called the unipolar world, which is where you have a concentration of power in one center. Neither of these theories of the world really coheres with what is happening, which is that we live in an era of oligarchy.
The British Empire’s operation to suppress humanity is the key enemy that we have. It’s not a matter of one nation holding power over others, although the United States has often played the role of the brawn for the British brains, but rather, it’s a matter of creating a community of nation-states. Or, as the President of China refers to it, “a community of shared destiny.” “A community of principle” is what President John Quincy Adams called it.
The purpose of a nation and the purpose of our republic here in the United States is to advance the pursuit of happiness for our population. But it’s based on the idea of universal rights of the individual that extend naturally beyond Americans per se, as Benjamin Franklin emphasized, back then, we have the prospect of national governments working together for the common aims of humanity.
If we want to demonstrate that the world is not a closed system, not an entropic system, as you’re raising, Vicente, then the strongest way to do that is to have collaboration among Russia, China, and the United States, and other countries. All other countries that we possibly can bring into this, for the exploration of the Solar System and the galaxy. Because as José said, it’s a future in which we’re all going to have our own galaxy. There are two trillion galaxies out there, and there’s more than enough room for the human population to extend out there. It’s a demonstration that there’s not such a thing as fixed resources, or a closed system, or that we must manage through a unipolar or multipolar system.
What we need is a level of recognition of sovereignty, respect for the sovereign governments of many nations, that they can form agreements in which they can work together for the benefit of all. This realm of space science would be a great frontier by which we could change everything.
The Jobs of the Future
Calvin: There was a comment about people becoming slaves of white social networks and social platforms, further going on to criticize young people for making a huge amount of money by doing things such as selling make-up and making a lot of videos. That criticism about the way people choose to make money reminded me of a conversation I had with someone last week about Uber and Lyft, not being real jobs, that they aren’t productive, and they don’t provide a security for people.
We talk about a lot of advances, but I see a lot of advances in this society technologically and non-technologically in both ways. I do think the result of some of these advances lets some of the white people choose to make money. But my question is, what’s wrong with people making money selling videos and doing Uber and Lyft and things like that? I’m all for the 1.5 billion industrial jobs, but I think some people have to be realistic. Not everyone wants an industrial job; some people are satisfied with selling make-up for the rest of their lives. I’m just trying to understand what’s wrong with making money making videos and stuff like that.
Sultan: There is a common point between this and in the past when people had still productive jobs. The less-educated were workers, and the more educated ones were the bosses. It’s too simplified, but that was the question. Because you asked yourself, “Do I need to find a job on my own and the society won’t help me? So, I have to fight for my future on my own?” The question today is quite the same. “If I use all my own means, if I can make videos in my bedroom, in my bathroom, I will make it. I will own my life, and if I have more skills, I can produce some software, some applications, I can invent something.” But there is no collective work. We have to work on this issue.
Vega: Calvin, always a pleasure talking to you, pal. I actually had this same discussion with a few friends the other day. Is it immoral to want to make a living for yourself, and want the best conditions for yourself, if that involves you working a menial job or selling content—whether that be stupid videos on the internet or whether that be dirty pictures and videos on the internet? My point is simple: I think you’re worth more than that. I think you’re worth more than a 9 to 5 [job], and I think you’re worth more than any salary or any amount of money that you could ever make in the world. I think everybody is worth [audio loss] dollar amount.
But where is that worth? That worth is in the soul and in the mind; that’s what makes you beautiful. I’m simply saying the country needs the means to develop that beauty that lies within everybody. That’s where your real worth is. You could die with $50 million in your bank account, five homes in Beverly Hills, twenty luxury cars. I think Jay Leno has a robot that he can use. None of that will mean anything. You die, and you’ve contributed nothing. Is that what you want your life to mean? Life is not defined by the present, but by the future. If you live in the present, you will die when you die. But if you live in the future, you become immortal. That’s where true beauty and meaning in your life exists—in the future. That’s my response to you, Calvin.
Do Some Jobs Have No Value?
Calvin: José, I truly and honestly agree with everything you say, 100%. But maybe it’s just me—I don’t know if there’s bias on my end, but I think those jobs have value. It’s good to live for the future, but I think we also have to live for now. A few examples: Uber and Lyft drivers. Not everyone is in the position to afford a car. Some people must get a job. It’s more affordable than catching a cab. Selling make-up—that’s a huge industry. The make-up industry is a huge one in America right now. We have beauty standards in America, unfortunately. You have to look a certain kind of way to get a job; have a certain kind of hairstyle to get a job. These are jobs that help satisfy those requirements to get those jobs or get to work and things like this.
Don’t you think it’s a bit odd to say that those jobs have no value when they in a way satisfy certain things that are needed today? I don’t know; I hope that makes sense. I think those jobs that people consider unworthy are worthy.
Mireri: I just wanted to say I totally understand where Calvin is coming from. I am a content producer, by the way. I produce gospel music when I’m not doing youth engagement work. What I can say is that I think I heard the contributor saying that it isn’t bad to be making content and to be spending your time using your talent—whatever it is—to make a living, and as José was saying, explore your creative aspect.
But what I see most young people doing is that they see it as a means to an end. It stops there. The intellect is not growing. Because yes, you can be making music, but also you should be developing your mind. When you look at how the [societal] structures are, as one of the contributors was saying, in the medieval times, and while the economy was developing, the ones whose intellect was more developed were the bosses, and the rest were the peasants. Sadly, that’s how the world is. When your intellect and your ingenuity are not explored to the fullest, you are, so to speak, confined to just the menial crumbs of the economy.
Yet, we could do much better. Let me give our context in Africa, for example. A lot of youth are spending more time trying to be YouTubers, trying to be on TikTok. It’s not bad, but we could be doing so much more, like exploring funding opportunities, exploring opportunities to be computer scientists. So, that is the whole aspect. We are not saying that yes, content production is not bad, but let us do more. And with that, we will open up a whole new basket of opportunities for the economy.
Brobjerg: I have a question for Calvin. What kind of culture, what kind of thinking is needed among people today and in the future for us to face a situation in two billion years when the Sun burns out? How will we solve that? Yes, we have creative abilities, we have the ability to solve problems. But what kind of culture do we need in order to do that?
Many animal species went extinct, and if we do not act on a higher level, if we do not develop and make new discoveries, and develop in a way that will make us able to solve that crisis in two billion years, then we could go extinct. What’s special about man is our minds. That’s the most precious thing we have.
Therefore, I think in terms of necessity, necessity changes. New discoveries make a lot of what you can call practical jobs, or anything, obsolete. What do you think? What kind of thinking do you think is needed for facing that in two billion years?
What Kind of Thinking?
Calvin: Critical thinking, logical thinking. Most definitely some form of intellectual thinking would be needed to at least secure that kind of future or to contribute to it. It would most definitely be a culture of critical thinking.
Brobjerg: Yeah. It’s not an easy question, so we really have to look into how we answer that question. Lyn had a huge attack on the educational system, this drill-and-grill method where people have to learn as if they are like a box. You fill the thing and you basically just have to learn like a dog that learns tricks.
He was challenging people, especially young people, to go through the discoveries. Who made the biggest changes for mankind? Who had these huge, large-scale geological influences on behalf of mankind? Carolina was talking about Kepler, who discovered how the Solar System works. So, we should look at those people who actually did change physically and through the noösphere, and redefined mankind and the role of mankind, and the future of mankind. Look at how they thought; we should rediscover their discoveries so that we become qualified to answer that question. What do you think?
Sarah Fahim: The problem is deeper than just selling products. What kind of society are we thinking about if we reduce all our visions to social media? We are encouraging a lack of ambition, we are encouraging the idea of easy money, of not developing our minds because we imagine we can have a normal life by just selling products on Instagram or something. We are not educating people if they believe there is a future in that type of work. It can be a first step; you can sell products to win money to create another project. But it can’t be a vision. This is not the way we should imagine a society; this is so small.
Social media is part of our lives now, we can learn to live with it. But we can’t make it the major part of our vision. I do not agree with that, because I don’t want my society to not be educated but only to dream about selling products and nothing more.
What Is Economics?
Joshua Kisubika: A question to Daniel, just to get to know the position of the LaRouche group regarding supporting the youth in Uganda. I was saying that over 700,000 people reach working age every year in Uganda. This is expected to rise to an average of 1 million in the decade from 2030 to 2040. It’s already creating a mismatch between labor demand and supply. While Uganda’s youth are known for being highly enterprising, fewer than 4% of Ugandans are employers.
So, you can see that even in this case, it all goes back to maybe leadership. I was trying to look at which strategies we can decide on and fight together with you to help the youth in Uganda to start living life to the full.
Burke: You’re raising the prospect of dialogue and discussion about the epistemology of economics. It depends upon your point of view.
The point of view expressed by this British imperial, oligarchical financial system is that if you have many mouths to feed and you don’t have enough food, or if you have many youth to employ, but you don’t have enough jobs, that means you’re poor.
But from the standpoint of the American System—I’m not referring to what the United States has been doing recently or even over most of its history, but rather the so-called American System of economics from Alexander Hamilton, developed by Lincoln’s economist, developed under Franklin Roosevelt, developed under John Kennedy, and in particular, by Lyndon LaRouche as an economist and as an individual—you look at a large number of youth and you say, “My goodness! What incredible wealth we have.” We say so because of the creative powers of their minds, and because it’s our understanding, as it was Hamilton’s, that it’s through the function of the human mind making discoveries that we are able to increase our wealth, our ability to provide for the population and for the future population.
If we approach the circumstance from that aspect, we will immediately begin to identify the great projects that need to be built that would establish a new platform of infrastructure, a new platform of capability for the nation and for the region and for the continent, and therefore, for the world, providing the basis for qualities of economic activity that otherwise were not possible. In doing this, you create a future with a future. You create the next step for the system.
But it’s most important that this be under the idea of a leapfrog. We say “leapfrog” to signify going beyond any of the so-called intermediate steps that the IMF demands that people take, which is total nonsense. You may have seen on Panel 1, that Daisuke Kotegawa, former Executive Director for Japan at the IMF, dealt with this idea, that it’s ridiculous that we should be expecting nations to go step by step by step up the ladder of industrialization and so forth. That’s nonsense! We should go to the highest available technology, and thus overmaster all the problems that have come before and go for the most rapid possible advance of productive capability.
We would like to discuss with you the principles by which this can be achieved in Uganda, in the region, in the continent, and in the world, and what are we demanding from governments.
That’s why presently, given the conditions of total breakdown of the system—what we’re faced with right now—we really have got to bring forward youth leadership to demand this summit of those nations capable of initiating a New Paradigm. Because if we want to get that kind of project rolling, that kind of new platform, then we’re going to have to change the whole financial system. We cannot allow the continued suffocation of the so-called developing countries. What the Schiller Institute is proposing is 1.5 billion new jobs. The discussion is that this could mean $125 trillion of international credit, provided by international credit institutions to nations.
We’d like to discuss this with you and the youth that you work with, and come to a shared understanding of what is necessary. Then, we will have a basis by which to demand concrete actions of the government there, and of the people of the world, and the governments of the world. Thank you very much for participating.
Beets: I encourage everyone who did not get an opportunity to ask a question today to send your question in. We will direct it to the panelists, so that we can continue this fun, fruitful, and important dialogue.
Would each of our panelists who remain with us please say something in closing before we end our panel.
Sultan: Once you have discovered a kind of truth, a kind of direction society must take, maybe you didn’t aim to take leadership, but now the fate is upon you to act on the responsibility for that leadership.
Brobjerg: We will all become very old and wrinkled and ugly and all that, in old age. The question is, when you are there, can you think about your life and say that, “Certainly, my life was important, and I am not just going to be worm food.”
Domínguez-Cisneros: I’m very happy. This is the first time we’ve had a forum of this sort for youth. What helps me to understand and organize youth is to not be judgmental, but to try to inspire them, to view them from the standpoint of agapē, of love. If we see youth on drugs or doing other destructive things, if this causes pain, we have to realize that perhaps there is a better option.
We should take the occasion to try to communicate to them the idea that we can change all of this. We have tremendous potential. The more people die from drugs in the streets, the worse it is; rather, they can have lives based on creativity and agapē towards others.
Fahim: I think this is extremely amazing to be all gathered today to fight for our ideas and for a better world. This is so powerful and inspiring at the same time. I’m really happy that we’re slowly changing our world, and I’m glad to be a part of that change.
Burke: I totally agree with Sarah. It’s inspiring; it sets a standard that encourages us to go higher. So, I just want to quote the immortal words of Lyndon LaRouche: “Have fun!”
Vega: Think like Beethoven!
Beets: I thank all the panelists, everyone who got on to ask questions, and the rest of our audience for watching today.
If you’re young, if you’re old, get active with the Schiller Institute. We need you to become a member. We need you to sign and circulate our petition for a global health system. We need you to circulate our program for 1.5 billion new, productive jobs. We need you to organize, and we’ll see you again soon!