Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIW
This article appears in the October 31, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Who Speaks for My U.S.A.?

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

October 13, 2003

The author is currently rated as second, as measured in popular financial support, for the 2004 Democratic nomination to become the next President of the U.S.A., according to the latest official reports published Oct. 15 by the U.S. Federal Election Commission. This article was released by his campaign committee, LaRouche in 2004.

Today's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung features what became a sharply controversial feature of the Frankfurt German Book Fair, a presentation entitled "Literature Is Freedom" ("Literatur Ist Freiheit").

Some among Ms. Sontag's points were not only factually true, but, to her credit, were important for presentation on such an occasion. Most notably, she emphasized, correctly, that the war against Iraq could not have happened as it did, had there been any essential difference in political quality, currently, between the currently top-ranking party leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties. The recent nightmare in California, which discredited the current leadership of the Democratic National Committee, may force the Party's return toward the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt; but, until that occurs, Ms. Sontag's point stands.

However, Ms. Sontag's expressed, eclectic habits and softness toward the anti-Classical Frankfurt School, would have been sufficient to prevent her achieving effective comprehension of the original intention and continuing influence of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Federal Constitution. The U.S. admirers of existentialists such as Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers, and Martin Heidegger, have expressed a kind of neo-Kantian hatred against a principle of truth, a hatred which goes directly against every principle on which the U.S. system of constitutional government was premised. The philosophical mediocrity she expresses in her failed attempt to define U.S. culture, is, unfortunately, shared among a large ration of the U.S. Baby Boomer generation today, and is a principal contributing factor to be corrected, in our efforts to mend the seriously injured state of relations between the U.S.A. and Europe.

All such things considered, the way the Book Fair incident was handled by the relevant parties, including the local press, did not contribute to improving the relations between Germany and my own U.S.A. That is my concern here.

There are some essential, real cultural differences between the United States and today's European political systems, even at the latter's relatively best. Even urbane and influential frequent European visitors to the United States usually do not understand either the nature and significance of the differences between the U.S. and European forms of government, or how those features of U.S. life conflict with the engrained habits and prejudices of even most well-educated and influential Europeans.

Essentially, putting aside some odd relics of feudalism here and there, the prevalent European political systems of today are based on the tradition of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal form of parliamentary government, a form of government, and of popular ideology, more or less dominated by the impact of a so-called "independent" central banking system upon the daily mental habits of the institutions of government, business, and also ordinary private life.

The rare European figure actually knows and understands Friedrich List's concept of national economy. Otherwise, contrary to the impact of those European institutions and habits of financial and political thought, my own U.S.A. has a constitutional form of Presidential government. When we follow our Constitution, the constitutional power over monetary-financial affairs of the nation as a whole reposes in a system of national banking, under which all crucial decisions respecting the nation's monetary and financial affairs, are subject to the constitutional principle of the common good (general welfare).

Notably, largely for reason of this specific difference in the respective political systems, mine is the only republic of the past two centuries whose constitution has survived every major crisis throughout the period from 1789 to the present date. Only a constitution which compels the government to prefer to defend the general welfare, rather than the private financier interest represented by an independent central-banking system, can survive as a democratic republic under conditions of a deep systemic monetary-financial crisis. Hence the relative durability of the U.S. Constitution, as compared with the relative fragility of crisis-stricken forms of Liberal parliamentary government.

Thus, the crisis of 1928-1934 paved the way for the spread of fascist and quasi-fascist forms of dictatorship throughout western and central continental Europe, in particular, and would have absorbed the United Kingdom, too, but for June 1940 collaboration between British War Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Today, all Europe is threatened again, in a similar, if not identical way; but—as the state of the current U.S. Bush Administration warns us—this time, the U.S. Constitution itself might not live out the current global monetary-financial storms.

However, despite those sometimes very significant functional differences between the post-1789 U.S.A. and European political-economic systems, the premises for the United States' culture and system of government are deeply rooted within the common bounds of modern European civilization, the Classical humanist tradition most notably. We also share some significant degree of experience with those evils, such as the slave-trading Spain's, Britain's, and Napoleon III's support for the Confederacy; and such as those two world wars of the Twentieth Century—evils whose effects the U.S.A. has suffered from among the worst periods of its experience with modern Europe. Those kinds of evils apart, there are deeper points of agreement which express our common interest. I emphasize the common interest first, and then the notable differences.

My point in stating this case, is that we of the U.S.A. and Europe need each other. Neither the U.S.A. nor continental Europe could, by themselves, conquer the terrible forces of political and monetary-financial crisis striking us now. Nor could we, together, solve the systemic world-wide crisis crashing down upon us all now. However, we together have common qualities which we must muster as our contribution to solutions for the world at large. To that end, we must reflect on certain deeper qualities of modern European civilization which we share in common, and form our collaboration around a better understanding of and devotion to those qualities. Therefore, we must look at those relevant highlights of our common history, within which the relevant principles of our needed present cooperation are embedded.

These are precisely the qualities which Ms. Sontag's expressed views lacked.

1. We Must Define Modern European Civilization!

The long-gestating, modern European civilization which implicitly unites European and American civilization still today, was given birth in the Italy-centered Fifteenth-Century Classical Renaissance. This Renaissance gave birth to the modern sovereign form of nation-state and to the modern science of, most notably, Nicholas of Cusa, Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, Gottfried Leibniz, Carl Gauss, Bernhard Riemann, et al. This development was marked in statecraft by the great wave of trans-oceanic explorations prompted by Cusa and his friends, and by the establishment of Louis XI's France and Henry VII's England as the first modern states committed to the governing principle of the general welfare (common good).

For the first time in known history, this revolutionary development established two complementary principles of statecraft. First, that no longer could some men condemn others to the status of hunted or herded forms of virtually human cattle, as Rome and ultramontane feudalism, for example, had done. The people must be a sovereign people, under governments whose right to exist is conditional—as America's 1776 Declaration of Independence and 1789 Preamble of the U.S. Federal Constitution insist—upon a primary obligation to do faithful service to the general welfare of all of the people and their posterity. Second, the nature of the human individual was defined as that of a creature set apart from and above the beasts, set apart by those powers of cognition through which the human mind reaches beyond the shadow-land of bare sense-perception, to discover universal physical and social principles. This second feature is otherwise known as the principle of Classical humanism which the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance traced chiefly from the legacy of Socrates and Plato.

This new, modern form of society was born and raised among those long-standing, hostile traditions and persons who represented the imperial, sometimes called "ultramontane" legacy of Roman empires and Venetian-Norman forms of feudal tyrannies. Those latter reactionaries unleashed religious wars which dominated most of the Sixteenth Century and later, until the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia; such were the adversities of modern European civilization's birth, childhood, and adolescence. The post-Renaissance reactionaries also focussed their attempts to kill modern Europe in its cradle, on the included effort as by Venice's archetypical "reductionist" Paolo Sarpi, to uproot and suppress conceptions of man which mark the distinction of man from beast. This opposition to the modern European revival of the Classical tradition in science and art is often called Romanticism.

The continuing conflict within globally extended modern European civilization has been between those whose utopian policies were described, on the one side, alternately, as ultramontane or imperial, and, on the other side, the principle of Classical humanism reflected in those creations of modern European civilization known as the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Preamble of its Federal Constitution.

Despite the specification of those principled notions of modern relations among respectively sovereign states, the world's nations are under the continued subjugation of supra-national forces which, in large degree, reflect forms of power left over from the combined heritage of ancient empires and medieval Venetian-Norman hegemony. These external pressures appear in the form of outright imperialism, such as that of the now fallen Habsburg legacy and, more prominently now, the heritage of the imperial practices adopted by the British East India Company of the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries. The principled differences between, and remedies for the sometimes contrary impulses of the U.S.A. and the European community, are to be found in that aspect of modern European history to date.

The present-day form of the difficulties to that effect, date, essentially, from the 1789-1815 history of France. Situate a relevant summary of the points of that history against Ms. Sontag's problematic opinions on the subject of U.S. culture.

The 1776-1789 creation of the U.S. Federal Republic was chiefly the result of the support for the Americans' cause from the Classical Humanist renaissance of the period from the middle of that century. This relationship continued up to the demoralizing effects of the successive Jacobin Terror and Napoleonic tyranny, for society on both sides of the Atlantic. The immediate preconditions for that role of late Eighteenth-Century European Classical humanism, were chiefly two. The first was the Fifteenth-Century, Italy-centered Renaissance which brought forth the first two modern nation-states, Louis XI's France and Henry VII's England. The second was the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which introduced that great principle of statecraft, "the advantage of the other," on which all the best achievements, and yet unfulfilled strivings of European and American culture have been commonly premised ever since.

The U.S. republic was created by leading Classical-humanist circles of Europe, working through such exemplary figures of our early American history as the Winthrops, Cotton Mather, William Penn, and Benjamin Franklin. Among the founding intellects of these American colonies and the later republic, the Classical cultural heritage of ancient Greece, of Solon through Plato, was a leading influence, together with the radiated influence of Gottfried Leibniz and, to only a lesser, but crucially important degree, J.S. Bach. In our national character, we are, predominantly, a leading expression of European culture, subject to the impact of most, if not all, of the regrettable variations which Europe has experienced during the interval from July 1789 to present date.

At this moment, my United States is principally corrupted by an evil, known variously by such titles as Martinism or Synarchism, whose origin is specifically European, dating from the period preceding that French Revolution of 1789-1815 in which London-backed Martinists and their collaborators played a leading role, through both the Jacobin Terror and the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. Such is our nature, our achievements, and our imported follies. Ms. Sontag clearly does not understand much of any of the cultural side of this history. Worse, her populist errors on the subject of culture, are as much a potential threat to the reaffirmation of the common interests of the U.S.A. and Europe, as that which she rightly identifies and attacks.

The issue posed by that distinction between the two sides of her remarks, is the Classical European humanist's issue of the Sublime.

That is to emphasize, we of Europe and the Americas are gripped by a tragedy of modern European culture which has now, once again, seized both continents. This is a fresh tragedy which is, like the fascist regimes and movements of the 1922-1945 interval, once again, a relic of the presently continuing, 1789-2003 Synarchist International and its predecessor, the Martinist cult of such as Cagliostro, Mesmer, and Joseph de Maistre. This situation, which our nations have brought upon themselves, has the essential features of one of the darker varieties of a Classical Greek tragedy.

The challenge to us all, is to arise to free ourselves from the grip of those tragic follies which have gripped the will, which have spawned certain ruinous policies of habituated economic and related practice whose effects, on one side of the Atlantic or another, now threaten our common, early doom. The needed remedy is to find in ourselves, in our historically informed imagination, those urgently needed, axiomatic changes in our current policies—policies by means of which we might free ourselves from the bonds of threatened self-destruction. We must free ourselves from those habituated errors which have become today's widely revered traditions which are about to destroy us. We must discover, so, the remedy which lies now, as in all comparable crises, in what Classical tradition knows as the Sublime, the truth which always lies ironically beyond the bounds of currently ruling bodies of opinion.

There, in that aspect of our common culture, lies the means for our escape from this present global tragedy. Turn attention, briefly, to the circumstances leading into the present global monetary-financial crisis.

Our Present Common Crisis

Now, as usually in the past, the greatest crises of post-1648 European civilization appear as a coincidence between great monetary-financial crises, on the one side, and threats and actualities of wars and revolutions on the other.

The present world monetary-financial crisis, which is presently in its terminal phase, has been long coming, since changes from a producer society to a consumer society which began to take over in the combined aftermath of the 1962 missiles-crisis, the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy, and the launching of the U.S. official war in Indo-China. The 1971-72 wrecking of the fixed-exchange-rate monetary system, and the spiralling rampage of deregulation which took command during the course of the 1980s, have now produced an existential crisis of the present world monetary system.

The collapse of the Soviet system, which I had publically forecast, in 1983, to occur by approximately 1988, actually occurred beginning 1989. The first major warning-sign of the present world crisis, the New York stock-market collapse of October 1987, combined with the waning of the NATO alliance's only significant rival, the Soviet Union, and the "Desert Storm" war with Iraq, signaled the approaching storm which has engulfed world history since January 2002.

President George W. Bush's inclusion of the "axis of evil" slogan in his January 2002 State of the Union Address; combined with the disgusting performance of Senators McCain and Lieberman, most notably, at a Wehrkunde proceeding; was the beginning of a process leading into the worst relations between the U.S.A. and Europe since the close of 1939-1945 war. If we take into account, the sources of that recent turn in U.S. policy, the present goals of renewed U.S.A.-Europe cooperation must focus on eliminating the factors behind that shift in U.S. official strategy toward the so-called "neo-conservative" doctrine of "preventive nuclear warfare."

There are two principal factors motivating the impulse toward global "preventive nuclear warfare" by the so-called "neo-conservative" circles associated with both former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz's protégé Vice-President Cheney, and also Shultz's other notable protégé, California's newly-appointed imported head of state from Austria, "beast man" Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of these factors is relatively new, an impulse to use the 1989-1992 collapse of the former Soviet Union to establish a system of "world government"; the second dates from the decades immediately preceding the 1789-1815 French Revolution—the same continuing association, typified by today's neo-conservatives, formerly known during the 1922-1945 interval as that Synarchist International behind the fascist states and movements of Europe during that time.

The crucial complicating feature of the combined economic-strategic crisis, since January 2002, has been the paradox that major powers no longer have the physical means to conduct the conventional wars toward which present trends impel them; such that, therefore, the escalating danger of nuclear wars dominates the period from the immediate weeks before us, into the time of the November 2004 U.S. Presidential election, and beyond.

As the world should have learned from those adventurous follies of the U.S. Truman Administration which set off the Korean War, the mere fact that one power, such as the United States, might appear to have assured nuclear supremacy in its weapons systems, does not mean such supremacy is absolute. Nations, especially major nations, whose existence is threatened, will resist, as the Spanish resistance set the stage for the rout of Napoleon's Grand Army at the hands of Russian and German allies. As the U.S. war in Indo-China should have reminded the United States of the lesson of the late-1940s follies of President Truman, absolute military superiority does not exist in the vocabulary of the human species.

Unfortunately, there are influential factions, now as then, which persist, as at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and still today, in sharing the late Bertrand Russell's belief in the goal of world government achieved through the terrifying threat of "preventive nuclear warfare." Now, as earlier, such nuclear warfare will occur only if we, of Europe and the U.S.A., allow such horrors to be unleashed.

Napoleon Bonaparte did not command nuclear arsenals, but the political issues leading toward generalized warfare today, are of the same species as those of 1789-1815. An orchestrated monetary-financial crisis, then as now, produces the conditions of instability within and among governments under which great nightmares may be unleashed. The task confronting nations now, is therefore twofold: to put the immediate threat of war behind us, and to remove those economic disorders which we of the U.S.A. and Europe have now brought upon ourselves.

The crucial decisions to be made center upon the issue of a reform of the present world monetary-financial system. The issue posed by the systemic characteristics of the present crisis, is whether the human rights of the people, or the creditors' claims of the financier interest shall be served. If the latter choice prevails, civilization is doomed, throughout this planet, for more than a generation to come.

The combination of the "post-industrial" ideologies increasingly rampant since the aftermath of the 1962 Missiles Crisis and Kennedy assassination; and the 1971-1972 scrapping of the fixed-exchange-rate Bretton Woods system by an increasingly deregulated floating-exchange-rate system; have destroyed a great part of the productive powers and previously invested capital of Europe and the Americas, among others. As we witness in the depredation of health-care and other social-welfare systems of nations, and the surge of mass unemployment, should nations persist in the desperate effort to sustain the present, systemically failed world monetary-financial system, we face the relatively immediate threat of a collapse of population comparable to that of Europe's Fourteenth-Century New Dark Age. Under such conditions, nations, even entire cultures, even entire national cultures of Europe, for example, would disappear in the course of approximately two generations.

If we of the United States and Europe agree, we have, embedded in our history—especially modern European experience—the keys to proffering to the world a general solution for the crisis which now affrights us. That solution is both moral, and scientific.

2. Man or Beast?

There is a deadly flaw expressed by the ancient and feudal misconception of a nation. Ancient emperors, kings, and the like, for example, regarded the majority of their subjects as virtually human cattle, and the populations of opposing nations as virtually wild cattle to be hunted down, slaughtered, or captured for use. When such rulers spoke of the interests of their nation, they expressed the same intention as the Dr. François Quesnay, the Physiocrat, who based the concept of what is called, alternately, laissez-faire, or free trade, on the definition of the subjects of the estate's owner as no better than human cattle. Under ancient society and feudalism alike, the majority of humanity was defined, juridically, as no better than human cattle.

The great conflict within modern European culture, has been between those who define men and women as a species apart from and above all beasts, and those, such as the Physiocrats and Adam Smith's British East India Company, whose systems of thought and practice defined the majority of humanity as virtually wild or tamed herds of human cattle. Such views, including the cases of Quesnay, Turgot, and Adam Smith, typify one expression of the enemy from within modern European civilization.

Although the concept of man and woman as set apart from and above the beasts, as made equally in the likeness of the Creator, is an ancient religious belief; it became known as also a scientific belief with the influence of such figures of Classical Greece as Socrates and Plato. These conceptions, as embedded within the Christianity of the Apostles John and Paul, and echoed by the Judaism of Philo of Alexandria and Islam, are the inner kernel from which the systemically progressive features of European civilization are derived. This is also the same principle from Classical Greek origins, which is echoed in Carl Gauss's attacks on the fallacies of Euler and Lagrange, in his 1799 version of The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.

On this point, it is a hard-won lesson of European civilization, that factitious religious doctrine must not be employed as a governing principle of, or among nations. If a universal principle for regulating government is true, that principle can be made known to us in the same scientific way which the Socratic principle of the immortality of the soul and related conceptions are stated in Plato's dialogues, and as freshly argued by Germany's Moses Mendelssohn. It is in that scientific expression, rather than what may be the same principle shared by a body of religious belief, that these principles, such as the principle of the common good, or the principle of the superior privilege of human life, may be adopted as efficiently ruling principles of natural law within and among nations. Thus, it is immoral, under natural law, to pretend to oppose abortion when one tolerates what is euthanasia, the withholding of needed health-care when it might be provided, or the judicial or kindred death penalty, as a matter of stated or implied fact of practice.

The scientific definition of the principled distinction of man from beast, may be identified, summarily, in the following way.

  1. The human sense-organs are part of our physiology, and, as the argument of Plato's Cave, in The Republic), argues, present to us, as the mere shadows of reality, the actions upon us by the universe outside our skins.

  2. As the ancient, pre-Euclidean Greek geometry of the Pythagoreans treated the principle of the line, surface, solid, and Platonic solids, and as Kepler's uniquely original discovery of universal gravitation illustrates the point for modern science, the human mind is able to reach beyond the shadows of mere sense-perception to adduce the existence of experimentally demonstrable universal physical principles, from the anomalies of sense-perceptual experience.

  3. It is by means of the application of the discovery of those principles, in the form of technology, to the human condition, that the human species has been enabled to increase its power to exist, as no lower species of life could do so, from the level of the potential of millions of a higher ape, to the more than six billions persons reported to be living today.

  4. The power of discovery expressed as the discovery of universal physical principles, is also expressed as the discovery of universal social principles. These qualities of discovery are typified by Classical universal principles of artistic composition, as great Classical tragedy typifies the education of audiences respecting the nature of their society and themselves.

It is the conception of human nature associated with that view of universal human nature, which defines the long upward struggle of European culture, as, in Schiller's argument, from Solon and Lycurgus. The emergence of modern European civilization, as a partial, if only partial triumph of the long struggle to establish a form of society suited to the nature of mankind, is a precious accomplishment for all humanity. The distinction to be emphasized is that we are not willing to sacrifice masses of human beings of our society, as they were human cattle, for the future glory of the form of state which a nation represents for today. Every person, of every nation, every culture, must be a precious life for all among us. We may often fail to find, or effect the remedies for some violation of that intention of ours, but we must never fail to weep at the prospect of our failure on account of that sacred intention.

With aid of the mobilization of the development and application of scientific progress in the physical condition of society, and commitment to the common good for our own and other nations, for the advantage of the other, we who put on the moral arms of the best of modern European civilization, must adopt a pivotal role in bringing about an effectively just, new world economic order among perfectly sovereign nation-states, an order whose intention is efficiently consistent with our principled notion of the special character and sacredness of individual human life.

We of European civilization have been at our best when we have been self-governed by a conscience of that quality.

The United States, as typified by our Benjamin Franklin, our chief founder; and our greatest hero, President Abraham Lincoln; has a special role to play. This role is assigned to it by the history of the efforts of modern European culture to produce such a republic from among the English-speaking colonies of North America. That is our essential virtue, and also our debt to European civilization as a whole. This trans-Atlantic connection identifies the common principle and intention which underlies our differences, the intention which must inform our common efforts to bring a just, new world economic order into being, at last, for the common benefit of all mankind.

Without the adoption of such a shared intention, I think our civilization will not survive during the generations immediately ahead. To that end, put aside the superficial and the eclectic, and look more deeply into our history, and our selves.