The following is part of the proceedings of a June 11, 2002 conference sponsored by the Alumni Association of the Superior War College (ADESG) and Executive Intelligence Review, and held in the auditorium of the Latin American Parliament in São Paulo, Brazil. Lyndon LaRouche delivered the keynote address. For an overview of Mr. LaRouche's visit to Brazil, see "Lyndon LaRouche's Visit to Brazil, June 11-15, 2002."
Value Is in Human Minds
Adauto Rocchetto asked Lyndon LaRouche to respond to the commentaries by General Oliva and Congressman Cintra.
LaRouche: On both cases, my point of disagreement is answered by addressing one topic. There is a great Russian scientist, a follower of the great Mendeleyev. Not only was he a student of Mendeleyev, but he applied the methods of Mendeleyev, and was undoubtedly one of the most productive scientific minds of the 20th Century. He was the founder of geobiochemistry. He was the discoverer of the Biosphere in the scientific sense. He was the generator of the concept of the Noösphere. He was the father of the development of nuclear technology in the Soviet Union. He was the architect of the Soviet bomb, which the Soviets had the technology for by 1940, on their own development: Vladimir Vernadsky; died in 1945.
Now, Vernadsky was a follower of the greatest minds of previous centuries, and used the method which unfortunately is little known in universities today. This is a typical one of our problems in physical sciences. Remember, the first discovery of a universal principle of mathematical physics was the discovery, first published in 1609 by Johannes Kepler, of universal gravitation. This was the first discovery of a universal principle of mathematical physics. It was by Kepler. Many people have opinions about Kepler, but, among those who have opinions, none have ever read his works. They've read commentaries on him, textbook footnotes on him. But Kepler's method is extremely important. And if you don't understand Kepler's method, you don't know anything about the history of modern science.
Or you could go back to Kepler's predecessor, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, in the 15th Century, who was the discoverer of modern experimental scientific method, in a series of books beginning with one entitled De Docta Ignorantia. And Kepler was one of the explicit followers of Cusa, as he said, as well as of others: Leonardo da Vinci, and so forth. This became known as the Classical school of physical science, typified by Huyghens, by Leibniz, by Jean Bernouilli, by someone who is probably very little known but was a very important scientist, Abraham Kästner of Germany, the teacher of Lessing and one of the great teachers of Gauss.
Very little is known of Gauss, of his actual work, even though he is much commented upon. Most people in universities don't know that the work of Lagrange was discreditedlike some of the work of Eulerwas discredited definitely by Carl Gauss in "The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra."
Economic Value vs. Frauds
The reason I mention this, and I mention Vernadsky in this connection, is thathow do we understand, how do we define what we mean as economic value? Generally, the definition given is the definition of the Utilitarians, such as Jeremy Bentham, who was the former head of the secret committee of the British Foreign Office, the man who caused a lot of trouble, as Bolívar said, in South America. How do we know what value is? Objective value. Not value in the sense of what someone will pay. A man will pay for a prostitute. What's the value of that? Prostitution is a service. What does it contribute to the national economy, except income for doctors who treat venereal disease? Or insanity. So services are not, by their nature of simply being paid for, of value.
We see the collapse of the so-called New Economy worldwide. It's the greatest hoax and the greatest catastrophe, apart from the monetary system itself, of this century. It's a fraud. How do you define economic value? Look at Vernadsky, the way I do. I don't completely agree with Vernadsky, in the sense of thinking that he had all the answers. He didn't. But he's an extremely valuable and important person, whose contributions are all positive.
How do you define value? Human value has to be defined on the basis of the distinction between the human species and the animal species. I mentioned in my remarks today that, probably, if man were an ape, with our physiology, with our physical capabilities, if man were an ape, we would never have had more than several million individual human beings on this planet to this day, over the past 2 million years. We now have ... 6 billion people. With existing technologies, we could support 25 billion quite comfortably, on this planet. What's the difference? The difference is that the human individual has the power of mind which is referred to in Genesis as being made in the image of the Creator of the universe. Man is able to discover universal physical laws and related laws, and to apply these to produce an effect that no other species can produce: an increase of its power in and over the universe. Only man can do that.
This is the thing that distinguishes us in social values as well. Animals can not transmit discoveries of scientific principle from one generation to another. The characteristic of human beings is exactly that. What we take for granted, often, are the results of the discoveries of universal principles, using these powers of cognition which Immanuel Kant, for example, said didn't exist. Which the empiricists say didn't exist. So, what is of value, therefore, to a human being? What is of value to society? The value lies in that which distinguishes man from the beast. That is, the power of creativity to discover valid universal principles and to transmit the experience of that discovery from one generation to another.
So, therefore, economic value and moral values are one and the same thing: the discovery and transmission of that which is valuable to the human species, as a species, and to maintain what was discovered in previous generations, and to transmit those benefits to future generations. That is moral value, and that is economic value. That is the scientist's view of the scientific proof of Genesis. The scientific proof of the principle of Christianity, that man is made in the image of the Creator of the universe. We're the only species that can know that, can express that. We are the servants of the Creator, and value is that which corresponds to our species nature, as servants of the Creator.
The Power of Invention and Creativity
Now, therefore, what's all this garbage about New Economy and services? The question is, the test is, do weby our actsdo we perpetuate and increase the power of the human species to live in this way, to live in that image, as an individual? Do we? That which serves that end has value; it has objective, scientific value. We can measure it. We can measure it in terms of the increase in the productive powers of laborrelative to nature.
Now, here's where Vernadsky comes in. And we'll come back to the question of energy resources. Vernadsky definedusing the fundamental scientific method of Kepler, of Cusa, of Plato, and othershe defined that there are three distinct categories of existence in physical science. That is, when we conduct experiments, we can set up an experiment which is based on the assumption that the universe is abiotic; that is, a non-living universe. By conducting experiments that way, we can say, "Okay, these are the principles of an abiotic phase-spacenot the total universe, but a phase-space." Then we find another characteristic which does not exist in the abiotic universe: living processes. We can, by experimental methods, determine what living processes are, and we find that it is a different phase-space than non-living processes.
We also find in the case of the human being, that we can change the Biosphere by improving it. Not using it, but by improving it. We can make the deserts bloom. We can improve the weather. We can do all kinds of things, always increasing man's power over the universe. No other species, no other kind of existence can do that. Abiotic processes can not do that. Even the empiricists will agree with that. Biologists would agree with that. Only the human species is capable of creating a Noösphere. So therefore, it is this power of creativity, and the ability of mankind to conquer and utilize the abiotic processes of the universe to enhance the position of living processes of the universe, and the ability of mankind to improve the Biosphere and to go beyond that, to create new conditions in the universe which never otherwise existed.
Now, in the case of energy, what does that mean? The definition of energy we generally use is idiotic. It's a so-called abiotic definition. The Clausius-Kelvin-Grassman definition; the Helmholtz definition. But energy is not necessarily that form. Energy is a much more interesting phenomenon. When you include the effect of living processesthe processes of the mindon the efficiency with which energy is expressed, you must ask questions about your definition of energy.
The Club of Rome Is Wrong
So, in this case, the energy we have available to us of importanceanything that the Club of Rome says is good, is wrong. It's a fraud. Petroleum is not actually in danger. We probably will have enough petroleum to take care of this planet at present rates, for about 40-80 years; minimum of 40-80 years. And we don't even know that petroleum is a fossil fuel! Coal is a fossil fuel. Petroleum is not necessarily a fossil fuel. You can generate petroleum within the Earth today, if the Earth were [in a] "reducing condition," as it's calledin the Earth. Oil may be being produced by the planet now. New oil is being generated by the planet now, in two ways: It can be generated in an abiotic way, in a reductionist environment; in a hydrocarbon environment, you will generate methane, the methyl series, and so forth. It can be generated, in those conditions, by a kind of bacteria which can operate in those kinds of temperatures, which can transform hydrocarbon material into petroleum or similar kinds of material.
We have a similar problem, in terms of the Biosphere. Most of the ores we extract come from the upper surface of the planet, they come from a fossil area of the planet, down to several kilometers of depth, which were all produced as fossils of living processes. When you get these ores, generally these ores are where they are, because of the intervention of some living process which left that as a deposit. The estimate of the best Russian specialists who work on this in Siberia, is that the problem today is not that we're using up the ores, but we are consuming the ores which we are finding in the fossil area at a rate in excess of the rate in which the lower level of the planet is pushing new parts of this up to the surface.
So, these are the kinds of problems we face. Now, the energies which are available to us, obviously all of the energies which the General referred to, are either finite in absolute termswhich I think most of them are notor in relative terms: That is, the rate at which they are being generated may be less than the rate at which we are consuming them. And we have two things we can do. We can act upon the planet through scientific work, to try to increase the rate at which these things we are using up, are replaced. Like maintaining the atmosphere, for example. The atmosphere is a fossil. It's a fossil of living processes. The oceans are a fossil. They're a fossil of living processes. They were not created by an abiotic universe. They were created as fossils of living processes. So, the energy we have, essentially, is to use what we have now and to get free of the lock of these kinds of energies.
Now, Brazil once wanted to have that kind of energy. Brazil wanted to have nuclear energy. International forces said no. We had a famous German banker who was assassinated over the issue of Brazil's getting nuclear energy: Jürgen Ponto, 1977. I was on the hit list at that time, so I happened to have had a personal interest in that story.
We also have today a form of nuclear energy, which is not generally being used, though it's being developed in China and South Africa, among other places. It's called a high-temperature reactor. The best model of this high-temperature reactor is the so-called Jülich model, developed by a Professor Schulten in Germany. He's now deceased, but the model still exists. This would be a reactor in the 100-200 MW range. It's a self-regulating reactor of a different type, using what's called a module. That is, you don't have the same kinds of problems you have in managing the fuel cycle of most reactors.
The Vast Resources of Brazil
Now, you take a country like Brazil. Brazil has vast natural resources, just as Siberia does and Central Asia has. Vast natural resources. The challenge is how to develop this hemisphere, this continent. And Brazil is typical of that. The future of Brazil lies in development of its potential resources, in management of its resources, including the vast water resources. The Amazon system is a vast resource, a vast power resource. It's also probably more valuable as a resource for biological development, and transformation of the Biosphere, than it is as an energy source, because the long-term objective is to meet that kind of challenge.
Now, what would you want for Brazil? Do you want to transport energy resources over great distances, which Brazil has, especially in low population-density areas? Or would you rather have the ability to put up rather rapidly, within a few years, high-temperature reactorswhich you not only put up in multiples, as 200-400 MW maximum, say four or five of them, if you need them in an area; so you eliminate a transportation problem; but a high-temperature reactor also has some other advantages.
With a high-temperature reactor, you can transform water into a fuel. You transform it into a fuel by high-temperature reaction, into either a hydrogen fuel or a methane fuel, or similar type of fuel. You can consume this stuff by burning itwhich is the worst thing to do with itor you can consume it by various kinds of processeselectrolytic cell processes, or things like that. So therefore, you can produce the kind of fuel you need for vehicles, for aircraft, and so forth, in the area in which you need them, and Brazil has that typical characteristic. If you can have the right kind of energy in any part of Brazil, which perhaps has agricultural or other potential, you can deal with that problem.
So, therefore, the question of value lies in what the human mind is able to develop, which will transform man's relationship to nature, in the sense of the Noösphere, and thus increase not only man's condition in life; but if we can take the entire population and educate them on university levels to the age of 25, and shift our employment from low-technology to high-technology employment, and scientific employment, then we will have produced true value which our descendants will bless us for.