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Whence the Optimism Needed To Save Humanity?

Aug. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)—To provide the proper perspective on the current strategic crisis and how to change it, we entrust our readers today to coincident comments made by Helga Zepp-LaRouche during her remarks Aug. 20 to the “Tribute to the 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence” conference, and by Lyndon LaRouche, in his Nov. 8, 1999 writing, “On the Subject of Education.”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: The role of Mahatma Gandhi, who in the world in general is associated with the notion of nonviolence, is actually a much richer conception than what most people know. It’s not just not committing violence, but it is the opposite. It is the philosophy of love, it is a philosophy of including people; taking into the mind and heart the world, and in that way creating a harmony which creates peace.

Gandhi’s thoughts were the most important influence on the emergence of the Non-Aligned Movement, and basically what we see today—and that is also interestingly enough not known to most people in the West—is that we have a complete renaissance of the Non-Aligned Movement…. Basically, now the whole situation has escalated very far, and especially after the war in Ukraine, there is an effort to insist that the world has to be either in the camp of the so-called “democracies” which are in a complete mortal battle against the so-called “autocracies.” This is right now combined with the intention to completely decouple the United States, Britain, the EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia—because that is the only camp of the “democracies”—to completely cause a break from Russia, where it almost happened already entirely because of the brutal sanctions, but also to “reduce the dependency on China,” which is another word for economic break, and to somehow force everybody into a Global NATO.

... About the urgency of Gandhi’s philosophy, let me restate. We are confronted with an unbelievable situation; with the threat of nuclear war, which, if it happens, would lead to the annihilation of mankind. We are witnessing with increasing speed the blow-out of the financial system through hyperinflation….

So, therefore, we have right now, two completely different situations. We have the Western world, which seeks to remain a dominant factor, and we have the renaissance of the Non-Aligned Movement, the BRICS countries, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and much of the global South, which is, indeed, trying to create a new world economic order. They are also working very actively on a new credit system, like the New Bretton Woods, which Lyndon LaRouche defined as the absolutely necessary solution many years ago.

Lyndon LaRouche: Optimism respecting ideas, relies upon notions of truthfulness and justice. How may we be certain that a moment of historic discovery which we have re-experienced, was a valid contribution at the time that that discovery was made? Was that discovery a step forward toward truth for mankind, will it be justly viewed so still, generations beyond our time? Does it represent a contribution to the power of the human species in and over the universe as a whole? Does it represent a contribution to mankind’s ability and impulse to cooperate in ways which bring about needed increases in mankind’s welfare?

If those conditions are satisfied, then our view of all humanity is a loving one in the sense Plato gives to the Greek term agape, the same sense which the Christian Apostle Paul emphasizes in Chapter 13 of his first letter to the Corinthians. That practiced view of humanity, past, present, and future, insofar as we experience that view within ourselves, is the basis for historical optimism respecting humanity in general, and our own existence as well.

What then, if we take that quality of optimism away—as the positivists and existentialists do? What if we introduce the pathological pessimism of Hobbes, Locke, Nietzsche, or Heidegger? What if we introduce Immanuel Kant’s denial of the existence of knowable truth, as the existentialists Jaspers, Arendt, and Heidegger, among others, do. What if we accomplish this by ripping the principles of truthfulness out of education, and replace truth with the moral relativism of “sensitivity of feelings,” or simply the allegedly “democratic” authority of all differing opinion, instead? The result of such uprooting of the foundations of optimism, is to turn children into adolescent and adult beast-men. That has been the cumulative effect of the last two generations of systemic demoralization of our educational systems. Another generation continued in this same direction, would assure the at least temporary elimination of all we might fairly describe as “civilized life.”

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