This editorial appears in the March 20, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The American System Impulse Emerges
March 15—As the U.S. ramps up efforts to contain and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, the long-simmering impulse of the American people to free their nation from the decades-long self-destruction of globalization and free trade, which ultimately drove the election of Donald Trump, is beginning to come to a boil.
Once-strong proponents of globalization are now agreeing to reforms that would return production of critical supply chains back to the U.S. Politicians who just weeks ago were trying to throw Trump out of office are now compelled to collaborate on emergency legislation to give the government the power to fight the contagion. Red tape and regulations are being cut. Companies are being pressed into collaborative efforts with each other and with government to marshal the capacity to meet the emergency. Calls for a national industrial policy and infrastructure program are increasing and being heard. The President has pledged to employ the full power of the federal government in coordination with the states, cities and counties, to take measures that have never been done before and to get them implemented on “Trump time.”
The process is reminiscent of President Franklin Roosevelt’s mobilization for World War II, in which he succeeded in mobilizing the entire government and the financial and industrial sectors of the U.S. economy to create the resources to win the war. Even FDR’s most bitter enemies were compelled to collaborate with him. People who were previously wedded to failing ideas, quickly changed. As FDR famously said, “New Deal is out. Win the War is in.”
As this crisis accelerates, the long-needed deconstruction of the globalized new world order—organized, dominated and controlled by the financial apparatus of the crumbling British Empire—is proceeding. New sets of financial and economic relationships based on national sovereignty will now have to come into being. International collaboration on the scientific/physical-economic level is growing, as typified by the collaboration of U.S. and Chinese scientists and companies on the development of treatments and vaccines. In sum, the crisis is bringing about a change in thinking that has been long in the making.
Some may think, or wish, that this is only a temporary shift in the face of the emergency, and globalization will reassert its dominance as soon as the crisis passes. But more astute students of human nature and its expression in the American experience will recognize that these developments reflect the underlying characteristic of the American idea.
Lyndon LaRouche, on ‘The American Idea’
The late Lyndon LaRouche repeatedly emphasized this characteristic of the American idea:
We in the United States, not merely because of the power of the United States, despite our wrecked condition today, but because of our tradition and heritage, have a unique responsibility, a moral responsibility on this planet. We’re the only nation-state thus far which was formed and founded and dedicated to this principle, that every man and woman is made in the image of God, and that we must have a system of social relations, and law, which is based upon that as the fundamental governing principle of the nation-state. That is what the nation-state properly exists to enable.
Despite the fact that we have turned rotten at many times in our history; as we saw as the case with Lincoln’s leadership during the middle of the last century, we see that, embedded in us, we have this heritage, this legacy, which we have found it possible to summon forth from within us, in certain times of crisis. It was decades from the time the United States had a patriotic government, until Lincoln was elected. From the time of the end of the administration of John Quincy Adams, we had no patriotic government of the United States. The Presidency was occupied by fools and traitors: Jackson and Van Buren; the worst of them, of course, were Pierce and Buchanan, and, of course, our dear friend, [Polk] who made the war with Mexico.
But, in Lincoln’s time, decades after that, after all this evil that occurred, Lincoln was able to call forth the principles upon which the republic was founded, in a time of crisis, to rebuild the nation.
Then we were corrupted again: We got Grover Cleveland. Grover Cleveland was a spawn of the Confederacy, a thoroughly evil man. And the fact that he could be elected, indicates that evil had taken over the country. Teddy Roosevelt was a spawn of the Confederacy. He was our first Jim Crow President, and he fully deserved that name. He was a filthy character, an evil man, who got his job by assassinating his predecessor, or having it done for him. Woodrow Wilson, who, while President of the United States in 1915, refounded the Ku Klux Klan in the United States, personally, from the White House. Calvin Coolidge, who was no better. Hoover wasn’t so bad, he was just a Republican, and that wasn’t too good.
Then you had [Franklin] Roosevelt, who, in a time of crisis, was able to call forth from those of my generation, that same dedication as from Lincoln’s time. As a matter of fact, you recall: If you studied in the northern states, in particular, how many of you of my age, or approximately that, say, in the eighth grade, learned the Gettysburg Address? How many of you went to war with the image of Lincoln in your mind? How many of you in that time looked at what we saw overseas, in the world around us, through the eyes of memory of Lincoln? How many of us identified our patriotism with Lincoln? And that began to end in about 1963, with the assassination of Kennedy.
The civil rights movement was energized—why? By my generation coming into the White House, in the form of Jack Kennedy. And Jack Kennedy, with whatever else he was, represented a revival of our commitment during the war, to deal with evil as we saw it in the world, the evil which Truman had allied us with, and the evil which Mr. Eisenhowever did not want to deal with, because he had two loyalties, the United States and the British, and he was always conflicted on those issues.
So, we have this within us still. And I would hope that those of you who sometimes feel weakened because you’re in your seventies, or sometimes older, realize that you are extremely important, and you have a resource in the fact that you have embedded in you, the ability to call forth that legacy.
Our Nation Is Organized by Principles
The phenomenon described by LaRouche fundamentally rests on the fact that the United States is organized by principles, not a set of rules, definitions, and regulations. Those principles, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution, reflect the idea that the fundamental nature of human beings is their creative powers, and thus, the purpose of government is “to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” The American practice of political economy developed from those principles through the leadership that emerged, especially during a time of crisis, as emphasized by LaRouche.
Those principles are now being called forth as the means to confront the crisis at hand. Many specific programs and policies will be proposed and implemented. As in all crises, some will work, and some will need to be refined or abandoned. The specifics are not the key. The key is the mobilization of the government and the people to act and think on that level.
This is a time to emphasize principles as expressed in LaRouche’s Four Laws: Glass-Steagall banking reform; national banking; a federal credit system to generate increases in physical-economic productivity; and a fusion-driver crash program of scientific/creative development. The first three principles are the necessary predicates for the development of the fourth. The scientific collaboration now underway to treat and eliminate the coronavirus, lays the basis for long-term scientific collaboration on the large scale demanded by LaRouche’s fourth law.
Thus, a voice for principle is what is urgently required. As LaRouche stated in his January 17,1998 keynote speech to an international Schiller Institute conference, quoted earlier in this article:
The key thing is: Have you introduced the proper axiomatic assumptions on which the people who are going to make the decisions, are going to operate? That’s what I’ve dealt with today. I’ve dealt with, in a preliminary fashion, identification of the axiomatic assumptions about the nature of man, the nature of ideas, the nature of economy, which govern the way that anybody who is going to run an economy or deal with an economy, is going to react.
In other words, if I wanted to create an army of people, who were going to go out there and take this economy over, and run it for the people: You want people who are going to respond to a situation, to make decisions that conform to certain axioms, or axiomatic beliefs. And they’re going to have to know how to change and improve those axiomatic beliefs.