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A New Dark Age or A Renaissance?

by Sean Stone

January 2013

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Sean Stone.

Sean Stone is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and actor, whose most recent production is the film “Greystone Park” (2012). He was an editor of “The Untold History of the United States” (2012), a documentary TV series directed by his father, Oliver Stone.

The issue of discussion today that [moderator] Dennis Speed posed is, “Is it a new dark age, or a new age of civilization; a new dark age or time for a renaissance?”

That, I think, has been the fundamental history of our planet, as long as humans have been here, as Lyndon LaRouche knows very well. And I’ve always been an admirer of his work, because of his understanding of a very long lineage. There’s a lineage, as many of us know, of those humanist thinkers-in the Platonic tradition, let’s say-that has always valued the place of man, somewhere between angel and animal, whose mission, God-given, is creativity; whose inherent nature is being created in the image of God. We are creative beings who have a power to uplift emotionally, spiritually, and physically, ourselves and our fellow man. And it’s a generational process; that ideally we are progressing historically.

And in opposition to that impulse-which I think is innate-we have a select group that we might call elites, or oligarchs, or imperialists, who believe in the nature of empire-which is to say, slavery. No one really likes to consider what slavery means any more, because we feel like we’ve gone beyond it. And yet the nature of slavery is money; it’s monetarism.

The American System vs. British Imperialism

The empires are always predicated on the value of money, as opposed to the value of humans. People will tell you money in our culture now is supreme; if you have money, you can do things! If you have money, you can make a life! And yet they don’t recognize that what we’re living in is a debt trap. It’s been foisted upon us by a financial system that is in opposition to everything that a humanist stands for, because humanists realize that in the world we’re living in currently, we young people have no future. We are looking at no prospect for ever emancipating ourselves from the debt slavery that we’ve inherited.

That’s the point we stand at now. So from the point of view of a young person, you can easily be a pessimist and say, “We’re going into a new dark age, and we’ll begin to cannibalize ourselves in order to survive.” But that’s not my belief.

Everything begins with ideas. The American Revolution began with ideas. It was a very small group of people who achieved the American Revolution, and the American Revolution carries on to this day in the form of the American System. The American System of economics is predicated on the humanist tradition, because the American System says the value is not in the money that’s owned by the bankers, or the central bankers, and that’s issued to you in debt, and as a result, everything you create is created as a continuation of that debt. The American System says the value is in what you can create. The value is in the technology that you create to make your life easier; to offer hope to mankind. True hope! Not Obama’s hope. The actual sense of hope being, for example, dreaming of the stars, dreaming of man’s mission to travel the stars, to become intergalactic in our consciousness. To improve our standards of living. Because as anyone who has traveled the world knows, as your standard of living increases, your ability to produce things and to acquire increases.

So, you have to recognize what’s essentially happened over the 20th Century. We’ve been sold the notion that, by cheapening the costs of production, we’re actually enhancing our ability to create; that we are evolving, by evolving free-trade techniques. This is an essentially British imperialist philosophy.

When you go to a school like Princeton, and you take an economics class, they tell you there’s Adam Smith’s version of free trade, and then, in opposition to that, there’s Karl Marx’s form of communism. They never really tell you that both Smith and Marx were trained by the same British elite-Marx at the British Museum in London, and Smith as an agent of the British Empire, notoriously such. So they’re creating a false paradigm of free trade vs. socialism/communism. And as a result, we’re at a point where people of average means look around and say, “Our system has failed. Capitalism has failed.” But they don’t recognize that what was buried was the American System.

The American System, if you want to read up on it, I would suggest beginning with Henry Carey’s writings. Because philosophically, spiritually, morally, economically, this is the most rational point of view you can have: that there is a harmony of interests among all people. There’s a harmony of interests in the sense that the people you pay as your laborers, the people that you want to have a decent standard of living, are your consumers.

If you go to the policy of free trade, for example, and you drive down the working class’s wage standard and you drive down the standard of living, those people resort to a debt system-what people call credit, but it’s essentially a debt system. In order to afford something that they used to be able to afford within their own purchasing power, they become debtors. But we say, “We’re making profit! This is the only way we can compete!”

So what you’ve created now is a mentality of survival. It’s a mentality of animals, essentially, competing for survival as opposed to cooperating. The debt-slavery mentality creates a culture in opposition to the Classical culture that we’re discussing today. Because the debt-system mentality, the enslavement of mankind, the bestialization of mankind, turning man into an animal, essentially creats a culture of sensationalism. It creates a culture of desiring instant gratification and instant success. It creates a culture that doesn’t have time to appreciate the evolution of work through progress. All good work takes time. All Classical culture, Classical creation, Classical art, was predicated on a notion of investment of time to think, to analyze, to assess.

‘We’ve Lost Our Moral Compass

I’ll give you a perfect example. 9/11 at the time of the attack-whoever may have perpetrated it-was considered a tragedy. It wasn’t a tragedy. It was a shocking incident; it was a moment of awakening in the American psyche. Regardless of who perpetrated the attack, there was a moment of realizing that we were not alone in the world; that we were part of a global community; that we needed to start recognizing who, in truth, were our enemies, and who were our friends, and how we were going to elevate the people of the world in actually a positive sense, as opposed to what becomes now, a tragedy. 9/11 becomes a tragedy now, ten years later, because we used that incident to perpetuate wars that have augmented the amount of bloodhsed, chaos, destruction-culturally, internally, as much here as abroad. That’s the tragedy of 9/11.

We’ve come to the end of our history. The moment when Obama allowed the assassination of American citizens, regardless of whether on foreign soil or domestic-the moment that he executed that authority, we ended our history as Americans. Because the Constitution that provides protection for due process, that same due process that we honor in every Classical conception of politics, of economics, of living-was abrogated. It was violated and destroyed. The fact that the director of the FBI can be asked now, by a Congressional committee, whether the U.S. government has the right to assassinate American citizens on U.S. soil, and he can’t give an answer, shows you their disrespect for humanity.

Not to say that America is the only country in the world; not to say that we are necessarily the shining pillar on the hill; but to say that what we honored, what our Founding Fathers honored, in the system of the Constitution, giving a balance of powers between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches; with the conception of a republic being predicated on the people-that was lost. The American people have forsaken their right. They’ve given it up, without a thought!

Last year I did a little piece, called “Impeach Obama 2012,” which went viral, through Alex Jones, and with the support of Dennis Speed here. It was only a ten-minute piece; without malice, it was not intended as malice, but simply to elucidate certain points that Obama had violated constitutionally, that deserved attention and potentially impeachment. (And by the way, people know that impeachment doesn’t mean the removal of the President; it simply means that you have to take accountability and responsibility.) But rather than this video gaining millions of viewers, as I’m sure Lady Gaga’s last video did, this video gained less than half a million viewers.

You might say we’re in a new dark age. That’s what it would look like statistically. But so long as the idea of the American Republic exists, so long as the ideas enshrined in our Constitution-. Remember, the preface of our Constitution says that Congress is there for the benefit of the general welfare. That principle is a humanistic principle. So long as we remember our fundamental humanity, so long as we stop to reflect upon the consequence of our actions, there is still hope for this country.

As I said, it’s not that America is the exceptional country, as Madeleine Albright tried to claim, as though we were exempt from international-not law exactly, but exempt from any kind of moral repercussion. No! But if we don’t recognize that we are an exemplar by our actions, we can never attain again that heroic status which we had a moment of achieving, from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, until the assassination of Kennedy-both Kennedy brothers-and Martin Luther King.

King is a wonderful example of how we’ve lost our moral compass. It’s great that we honor him; recently, for example, we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. But rather than focussing on the fact that this man went from being a leader of civil rights, to being a motivator of the anti-imperialist agenda here, a man who came out saying, I can no longer stand simply for social equality at home so long as my government is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world-rather than remembering him in that light, we limit him to being someone who was only in favor of empowering African Americans to have the right to vote, and the equality of races.

So you see, we’ve even diminished Martin Luther King’s tremendous efforts to put an end to this militarist, imperial mentality.

That’s why we’re asking this question at this moment: Is this a new dark age? Are we going to forget everything that was given to us by our ancestors? Everything that creatively has inspired us as human beings, to compel us to go forward, to cooperate, to build together? Are we going to forget that, or are we going to utilize those ideas that are passed down generationally, to inspire our new renaissance?

Because we are at that moment. This is the moment now, there’s no turning back. There’s no saying, four years from now, “Well, we should have gone the other way.” American citizens will be assassinated. People will be gunned down in the streets, as we see with these horrible massacres. But rather than asking ourselves, “Why is this happening? What sickness is in our society? What sickness is in our government, in ourselves?” Because we are our government. We the people are the government of the United States. Until we recognize that fact, we will continue in our ignorance, our sensationalist mentality, animalistic behavior, of worshipping a culture of sex, violence, and death, which does imperil the future of my generation as we stand at this turning point.

So, I leave you more with the positive note: Remember where we come from; remember who we are, so that we can take back our future. We’re not going to forget. This will not become a dark age. It will become an age of illumination.