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Toward A Dialogue Of Civilizations

Lyndon LaRouche Speaks in Rome, Italy
October 16, 2001

On Oct. 16, 2001, Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, in Rome for a few days of meetings and discussions, were invited to address an informal seminar held at the Italian Institute for Asia, an organization which for years has been promoting economic cooperation, cultural dialogue, and contacts between Italy and all the countries of Asia and the Middle East. About 20 people, including senators and parliamentary deputies and a delegation of the International Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (Movimento Internazionale per i Diritti Civili Solidarietà), participated in the event.

The meeting was opened by the president of the Institute, Sen. Giulio Orlando, former minister of the Italian government.
We publish here the transcript of the seminar. The questions and comments by the speakers have been translated from the Italian.

Toward A Dialogue Of Civilizations

Sen. Giulio Orlando: The last time we were together, we had a very interesting exchange of views, and given the nature of the international situation today, I'm sure the discussion will be very interesting. Along with the directors of the Institute, we decided to ask some parliamentarians to be present at our meeting. I would like to introduce them now: beginning with the vice president of the Institute, Sen. Gian Guido Folloni, a minister in the previous government; the Hon. Fabio Evangelisti, former Member of Parliament; the Hon. Tullio Grimaldi; the Hon. Mario Brunetti; lawyer Rita Bruno; Dr. Antonio Loche, general secretary of the Institute; a student from the University of Rome, as well as others. We will now give the floor to Mr. LaRouche.

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: Well, we are in a typical situation today. We have the disintegration of the world's present monetary and financial system. And we have the danger of things like world war. We've had, despite the newspaper reports, an attempted coup d'état in the United States, against the Bush Administration. And, unfortunately, that is the thing we must first consider, because otherwise we would completely misunderstand the world situation in all its aspects.

The monetary and financial crisis has been foreseen. There have been for some years, discussions of policy to be taken in case of such a crisis. All these discussions recently are based on the assumption of the post-Soviet period. With the collapse of the Soviet Union as an adversary of the United States, the question was whether the Anglo-American powers, and with the Israelis, could establish a Roman Empire. It's a special kind of Roman Empire, like that of ancient Venice, when Venice ruled the Mediterranean as a maritime power; of a rentier-financier form. We have today, with the Netherlands developments, in modern times, and with the developments of England, Britain, we have an international interest, which is centered in London, with a chief ally in New York, which is a world rentier-financier imperium.

Increasingly, since the period 1966 to 1971, this imperial power has dominated the world with a new monetary system of its own. The change from a fixed-exchange-rate system, to a floating-exchange-rate system, in 1971-1972, established a new world monetary and financial system. This system is now disintegrating. So, therefore, you have an Anglo-American rentier-financier imperial power, which is threatened with the extinction of its system.

The character of this is demonstrated by the attempt, since 1989, to establish what's called "globalization." For example, in 1975-1976, with the launching of the attempt to globalize Italy, under the IMF conditionalities, there's been the attempt to reduce even all existing nation-states, of European advanced nation-states, to essentially colonial dependencies of an international rentier-financier power. So, essentially, the conflict has been, and is now, a conflict between the modern form of nation-state, sovereign nation-state, and an imperial power of a rentier-financier form, a new kind of Roman Empire.

So, therefore, the conflict is essentially between the force behind this, and the forces which represent the interests of the modern sovereign nation-state.

The implication of this is seen clearly, when you think about what do we do, as nation-states, in the case of a collapse of the financial system? Under natural law, as it's been defined in Europe since the 15th-Century Renaissance, as established by Nicholas of Cusa's Concordantia Catholica, the only legitimate basis for the existence of a nation, a national government, is the efficient commitment of that government to promote the general welfare, the common good, of all of the people, and among nations.

Now, despite the problems of the religious war period of the 16th and 17th Century, we have managed to maintain that legacy of the common welfare, the common good, as a general fundamental principle of law of civilized society. Which means, in a time of crisis, the state, the sovereign state, must intervene, in collaboration with other sovereign states, to reorganize the financial system to ensure the protection of the general welfare. Thus, the modern nation-state, in this form, is the greatest enemy of the attempt to create a new empire.

We have, therefore, the significance of what is happening in Asia, which has two chief dimensions: On the one hand, we have, with the developments around President Putin of Russia, as with Prime Minister Primakov before him, a tendency to bring the nations of Asia, and Europe, into contiguity. The second problem, which is posed by that, is, we have two basic cultures on this planet. We have, not Western civilization, but European civilization. By European civilization, I mean something which began in Egypt, which developed in Greece around figures like Solon and Plato, and which became a new European culture through the apostolic mission of John and Paul.

The Basis For A Dialogue Of Cultures

Now this culture, European culture, is based on a conception of man in the image of God, which is the basis of the notion of general welfare in law. This includes the Reform form of Judaism, as typified by Moses Mendelssohn. It is also an influence on Islam; it is the origin of Islam. But when we go to South Asia, and East Asia, we find a different culture. The idea of the conception of man as in the likeness of God, does not prevail as a cultural standard in these cultures. You have an approximation of this in the influence of Islam.... Certain aspects of Hinduism are not entirely hostile to this. Nor is the Confucian tradition in China hostile to it. But when you deal with Asia, you do not have an acceptance of the most fundamental, and most precious principles of European culture.

So, on the one level, it is not difficult for us to approach China, Japan, India, and so forth, and say, "We want respect for the perfect sovereignty of nation-states." But when you say, what does that mean, you come to the conception of culture, the conception of man. In that case, you can not have—. If you try to approach it one way, you end up with an impossible, and a self-defeating policy. If you say we're going to respect the opinion of other cultures, you create an order which is like the Roman pagan Pantheon, and we see in the plan for a Clash of Civilizations, precisely how that works.

We have in the history of civilization, in ancient Babylon, for example, to the present, all empires were based on the principle of the Pantheon. And the way that the emperor ruled the empire, was to play the different religions of the Pantheon against each other. What Brzezinski is proposing, is exactly that: a war among cultures, to define the planet as a Pantheon, and to make war among the different religions and cultures of the Pantheon. That is the Islamic "Clash of Civilizations" thesis of Zbigniew Brzezinski.

So that, from the standpoint of our Christian tradition, you can't approach this from a standpoint of doctrine. You must approach it from a missionary standpoint, from an apostolic standpoint, not a doctrinal standpoint. Rather than saying, what are the differences between us, you have to say, what is the agreement among us? It means, there has to be, as Khatami has proposed, the President of Iran, there has to be a discussion of the agreement on an idea, a certain idea of man. And there must be a discussion, with agreement to the idea of man, but a continuing discussion of what that means.

You can never unify people except around a common principle. You can never unify people around a Pantheon. We see this in Babylon, we see this in the delphic cult of the Satanic Apollo, we see it in pagan Rome, and so forth. You can never—. You see it in the doom of Byzantium, which doomed itself in the same way the Roman Empire doomed itself, by trying to organize civilization around a Pantheon. There must be a conception of man. We must do that. So, this is our problem.

The Coup Plot

Now, the enemy is well aware of this. So now we have—the crisis is coming on, the financial crisis. Nothing can stop the collapse of the system, in the system's present form. Any attempt to perpetuate the system will only make things worse. Forget the financial markets, they're doomed anyway. What the financial market does this month, or next month, or the month after that, is totally unimportant.

The world economy, including the U.S., is going through a hyperinflationary, monetary-financial expansion, and a deflationary economic collapse. And the people who had planned this coup d'état against the United States, have accepted that.

Now, we don't know who the coup plotters are. What we know is, the fact is, that there are certain technical features of the attack that occurred on Sept. 11, that could not have been done by anybody outside the United States. This had exactly the form of a military coup d'état. Anyone who has studied coups d'état, of that type, knows exactly that, by looking at the facts. Every state has certain security provisions against coups d'état. These are more or less efficient, when used. Even if the coup might work, it probably will be caught, and be aborted. The plotters must be assured that either the security measures are not functioning, or that they are able to shut them down.

Now, this kind of knowledge does not exist so much in police departments; it exists largely in intelligence services, and military services. And always, when a coup is made, it's made because the people who are making the coup, are a minority in that interest. If they were the majority power, they would simply take power. So a coup d'état is a method of taking power by cheating.

Now, for example, you may start a fire in a theater, and the people will panic in response to the fire, and then you'll be able to do certain things, in consequence of a few people having panicked many. That's a simple explanation of the way a coup d'état works.

What they did is, they set fire to the buildings in Lower Manhattan, and the Pentagon, attacking personnel. There were tens of thousands of people in those buildings, of whom maybe 6,000 were killed. They aimed at the Pentagon. If they'd gone just a few feet higher, and when they came in to the attack on the Pentagon, they would have taken out the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All the security arrangements which should have been functioning, to prevent this from working, were down. The maneuvers were highly sophisticated. No Arab government, no Arab terrorist organization, could by any means have done it. It could have only been done from inside the United States command.

Now, there could have been foreign accomplices, but this is the crucial question.

Now, what does this imply? This means, on the one hand, we know from the character of the act, it was a coup attempt. What else do we know? What was the purpose of the attack? The purpose of the attack was, get the United States into a Clash of Civilizations war. Now, we know who has this policy. There are three places where this policy exists: the military command of Israel; the Blair government of England; and a lot of financier circles in the United States, typified by Henry Kissinger, Brzezinski, and so forth—many others. There are people inside the U.S. government who share that view. Wolfowitz, the Assistant Secretary of Defense. Armitage, the number two at the State Department. Similar people. Ashcroft is obviously part of this thing. Does that mean these people did it? Not necessarily.

In a coup d'état, what you have is, you have a large agreement among some people on a policy. Then some people, who have this agreement, now say, "We are going to make it happen." So that inside the administration of power, you have Mr. X, Mr. X, Mr. X, who also has a uniform, or has an official position, and he has a double position: one as a member of the authority, the establishment; another as a member of the coup plot. It's a true conspiracy—a true conspiracy. They exist, contrary to mythologies. Conspiracies actually exist. Some are silly, some are dangerous.

So therefore, what we've seen, is, you have a group which tried to set fire to the United States, to push the United States into supporting Israel, under its present command, in launching general war against the Arab world, to the purpose of geopolitics, to destroy the attempt at cooperation between Europe and Asia. So, we don't know who the perpetrators are, but we have seen that the present government of Israel, the Prime Minister of England, the United Kingdom, Blair, and others are behind this operation, this policy. It was Blair who pushed through NATO this Article 5 agreement, which otherwise had been resisted. So the push was to blackmail and terrify the President and others in the United States government, into bombing Afghanistan, which is silly. Supported by a lot of the U.S.-controlled mass media, which have been trying to panic the people into this state of hysteria, about going against, killing all the people who are Arabs, or something.

So that's the situation. And it becomes clear when the fight between Bush and Blair breaks out, as it did the last two days. When Bush says, "We must have a Palestinian state established," Blair says, "No," Sharon says, "No," and the Israeli military command says, "We'll kill." Now the character of the coup comes out into the open.

How Do We Deal With This Crisis?

Now, how do we react to this? Do you have to go in and find the people who planned the coup? That is the wrong way to go at it. While you're chasing them, you'll not be dealing with the problem. The point is, is how do you defeat the purpose of the coup? Well, if the people will not accept the result of a coup, then it won't work. A coup d'état depends upon the predisposition of the people to accept the fait accompli.

So, how do you establish the rule of law? You have to take measures which address directly the problem, which is, to use the principle of the nation-state, to bring about cooperation in Asia, Eurasia, around the basic economic and related problems, and get cooperation from the United States and others to support that. If the nations of Eurasia say, "We will not tolerate this," it will not happen.

My concern is to try to get the United States to say, it won't happen. And if that occurs, if that won't work, then what has to be done is to address the real problem, which is the financial, monetary crisis, which is what I propose, and others have proposed, as a New Bretton Woods approach. Or the idea of the Eurasian Land-Bridge is a very specific way of creating an economic policy, which supports the idea of a New Bretton Woods. It's obvious, it's very obviously needed. Europe, Western Europe, can not survive economically under present conditions. Unless Europe can again export, open up its exports, for technology products, especially into Asia, it can not survive.

In order to do that, means that we have to reach agreements on economic development in Eurasia, and then we face the problem of how do we transform a perception on the part of Japan, of China, of India, of Southeast Asia, how do we have an understanding on their part, as well as ours, of how we are going to work together? What principles, what ideas are we going to have, which are positive ideas of cooperation, not just trade? We must then have a conception of the issue of man. We must have a dialogue of cultures, but a dialogue not within a Pantheon, but a dialogue of cultures on the subject of the nature of man. A minimal objective should be to establish the same principle which was set forth by Cusa in Concordantia Catholica, and was also articulated by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of the United States, a community of sovereign nation-states, a community of principle. The principle is rooted in the nature of man. The principle is, the common good, the general welfare. So you must have enough agreement among Christians, various Chinese currents, Japanese currents, Indian currents, and so forth, an agreement on principle to the nature of man, insofar as it enables us to define agreement to the common good, the general welfare.

Ordinary treaty law, positive law, will not work to such purpose. It must be very simple law. The notion of the general welfare, of the common good, that whenever there's a crisis, the decision has to be, the deliberation must be: what is the general welfare? What is the common good? Because we must put this planet back together again. For as long as we know, human beings in large groups have been killing each other. There are those in the empiricist tradition, who say that will go on forever.

I think, contrary to Bertrand Russell, actually, that with the development of nuclear weapons, we reached the point that we should recognize that warfare has a limit. How do we reach this limit of warfare? We recognize that the solution does not lie in creating a Pantheon, as Bertrand Russell and company suggested; not turning the human race into a zoo, but by finding a common principle of law, true common principle. A law which is made clear to us by nature itself: the nature of man.

Man is a cognitive being, with the power to make discoveries of principles, which no animal can do: to transform nature, and to transform man's relationship to nature. The communication of these concepts of discoveries, which are discoveries in the arts as well as physical science, within a population, and from generation to generation, this should be the law. And that, I think, is the only hope. We must work, we must understand, there's a limit to warfare. Modern society has reached the point that warfare, in any case, can be made so terrible that it's unfightable. So, we must have the kind of thinking that is appropriate to that reality.

So we come to a point in history, at which there's an attempt to plunge all humanity into a Dark Age; and that's what would happen if Brzezinski's ideas prevailed. We must enter into the kind of dialogue of cultures I've indicated, around the practical question of bringing together the nations of Eurasia for cooperation in dealing with this crisis. And we must involve Africa and the Americas in that process. If we succeed, we shall have probably accomplished the greatest thing in all political history. We may have begun the adulthood of the human race.

So, that, in capsule, is my view.

Dialogue With LaRouche

Senator Orlando: Thank you very much for your intervention. Senator Folloni would like to speak now.

Sen. Gian Guido Folloni: You have given us a very stimulating view of the recent events, and I have some questions. The first is about what you called the second model regarding the cultural conception and idea of man.

Do you think that this model, which you indicated in the Oriental philosophies, rather than in the Oriental religions, has a strong presence inside Western culture, and in particular within the Protestant world?

The second question: What will be the attitude of the U.S.A. and the Bush Administration, which are conscious of this attempted coup, toward that which you called Eurasia? I ask this, because what you explained about the theses of Brzezinski is a debate which exists in the United States, and Brzezinski himself has promoted it in his books; the consequence of this debate has been a resistance in the U.S.A. to development in the Eurasian continent and to strong collaboration between the European Union and the strongest Asian nations. Is there a new attitude in the American administration or in American public opinion regarding the role which Europe and Eurasia can play in a new phase of international relations?

A final question, regarding how you think it possible to create this dialogue about the idea of man. It seemed to me that this was in the intentions of John Paul II when he wanted to go to Ur, a place which represents a synthesis of the three monotheistic religions. But my question is, how to start this dialogue with nations such as China, which have a philosophy which is very different. Why didn't you speak of China in your final considerations? You spoke of Latin America and Africa. Is China to remain outside, or can it be involved in this dialogue?

LaRouche: China is part of Asia, it's part of this Eurasia business. It's a key part. It's the most challenging part of the whole business, the most important part.

Orlando: I suggest that we hear several interventions before hearing the response.

I would like to say something about what has been said here. There are two aspects which very much convince me. The first is that the Pantheon is the negation of unity ... which honors neither religions nor the dialogue among religions. The idea of man as an end, not of a dialogue but of a new principle, goes together with a cultural tradition which begins with Greece and passes through Roman Law. It was good to cite Cusa, but if we look before him, in Roman law there is "Id quod naturalis ratio inter omnes homines constituit" ["Natural reason is common to all men"], and then after Cusa, the natural-law concept based on the defense of the natural rights of man.

LaRouche: As for Cicero, for example.

Orlando: Cicero, certainly; but also Seneca. I would like to say though, that after Cusa, Alberigo Gentili and others of the natural-law current exalted the function of man, the nature of man, the defense of the nature of man; naturally, though, all of this is part of European culture.

But I find myself agreeing with what you said about Asia, if we correctly judge the events which are taking place. I went to China when the kids were protesting and yelling "Down with Confucius," because this was the Order of the Gang of Four and of the Cultural Revolution. Now, it gave me great pleasure to see the revival of the Confucian studies departments in the universities in China, both in Shanghai, where I attended a class, and in Beijing and other places in China. I also heard the speeches of the Dalai Lama, who emphasizes man and the rights of man. So I want to say that, yes, there can be an impetus, but, as my friend and colleague Folloni said very well, how can all of this find a channel which helps to at least pose this question as the main problem?

On the principles, I think we won't find dissent. Among other things, it was good that Folloni mentioned the preaching of the current Pope, but I would also like to cite John XXIII and also Paul VI. The Popes of these recent decades have always exalted the function of man and the rights of man, and they have always polemicized against the consumerist and hedonistic structure of contemporary societies. Therefore, I agree with these two principles; the battle against the Pantheon and the support of man with all of his rights. Homo sive natura [man in his natural state], at times the pantheists of the Middle Ages said; it is a paradox from the Catholic point of view, but it expresses the idea well.

Where I'm a bit more skeptical is on the economic problem; that is, the destruction of the market economy; if this means the market economy as it is configured today, before and after these events, phenomena of growing recession in various parts of Europe and the world. But I think that the path taken by Bretton Woods is still practicable. We must remember that the final approach of Bretton Woods was the unity of a trading currency. The problem of exchange rates, the problem of using the dollar as the basic currency for trade, are things which came later. The Special Drawing Rights, which could have been, in a certain sense, meant overcoming the Anglo-American monetary domination, but never made it off the ground. So, I want to say that it is important not to forget certain lessons from the recent past in order to change a situation as difficult as that in which we find ourselves.

Eurasia: Eurasia is one of our goals. Our Institute was founded based on the collaboration between Asia and Europe. Italy has had and has an important role, including in dissent with the United States itself; just look at what we as an institute have done to break the isolation of Iraq, look at the evolution that is taking place inside Iran, one of the most important countries. Among other things, this oil alliance, which threatens to subordinate the politics of the United States to certain Arab countries which still maintain slavery, tolerate slavery, and ignore nations such as Iran, with a very ancient civilization. Iran is a democratic country. Where are the Parliaments in Saudi Arabia or in Kuwait or in the United Arab Emirates?

I would ask you to pass over the things I have said, and answer the questions put by Senator Folloni as to how we can join our efforts to arrive, in the name of the celebration of man and against the Pantheon, at this Eurasian cooperation in which also the Americas and Africa will eventually join.

What Is The Difference Between Man And Beast?

LaRouche: Let's take the first question from Senator Folloni. The question is, were there things, like the degeneration of morality in Europe today, experienced earlier in Asian cultures?

The history of man, the prehistory of man, is even as interesting as its history. But the essential thing about man is—which is a question which is very seldom addressed today in politics, or in theology also—is the question of what is the difference, from a scientific standpoint, what is the difference between man and an animal? For example, how do I tell the difference between a baboon and Henry Kissinger (which is a real challenge)? The point is, what does man do functionally, what is there about man's nature, which is different than that of any animal? Not as a doctrinal question, as a scientific question.

Now we have a very interesting Russian scientist, who has something to say about these things. He's not alive any more, except he speaks to me: Vernadsky, Vladimir Vernadsky. Now, Vernadsky correctly defined the physical universe as of three different components, distinct components.... And as Pasteur and others demonstrated, and as Vernadsky demonstrated in a different way, the living processes have effects on non-living processes, which never occur in non-living processes. Therefore, the principle of life is both universal, and it's independent of the principles of so-called physics, as generally taught today.

In the living universe, the cognitive processes of man have an effect on both living and non-living processes, in the same way that life affects non-living processes. No animal can do it. So the demonstration is, the continuity, the impact of the cognitive processes, is not shown merely in the individual discovery. And this is where Vernadsky misses the point. It is that the issue is not individual, it's social. The individual, by making a discovery, and sharing the act of discovery, with other persons, causes the process of transmission of human knowledge from generation to generation.

Man changes the universe by the existence of this power of cognition.

Now, the problem then is, in history, from what we know, we have evidence going back hundreds of thousands of years of actual discoveries by man. We can tell the difference between an ape and a man, if we can find some of the work of the man. For example, you discover certain tools, in a site with human remains. That was done by man, not a monkey. So by looking at the formal features of a relic, you can't tell the difference between a man and an ape. Only by looking at the work can you find the difference.

Two Opposing Cultural Tendencies

So, you say, "Why isn't this the basis of human relations? Why is our education teaching people to learn something, rather than discover it?" This is a big question. I shall not attempt to do here what I've done in many writings. But the point is this: The problem of mankind, as we know it, prior to the 15th Century, when for the first time, the idea of a principle of man was made law, is that man, all societies, have treated mankind as divided between three groups: top group—oligarchy; second group—lackeys of the oligarchy; third group—human cattle, wild cattle and captured cattle.

For example, you look at the Code of Diocletian. The Diocletian Code prescribes that the average person in society shall do what his father did before him. We find, in society today, an educational system; we say, we do not believe in the general education of people; children should be educated for their destiny, as employees. We get this in China, in Legalism. As opposed to Confucianism, which is the opposite. You find, even in Hinduism, you find division between two views on this question of education.

In the case of the United States, you have a patriotic tendency, which I represent, and you have my opponents, who represent an anti-patriotic tendency. Such as the Bush family, are not patriotic. They represent an oligarchical tendency, a financier-oligarchical tendency, which does not maintain health care, which does not maintain education, cognitive education; which does not promote the general welfare. Why? Because they say, most people are destined, we must have an orderly society based on our principles. And they have lackeys, who administer the society, so that essentially, we treat them as slaves. You say, where does this come from?

We have a treasonous tendency in the United States, that is, treason against the conception of its founding. One is a financial interest, a rentier-financier interest, which is based in the Northeast, or was, traditionally: the Bank of Manhattan, for example, founded by Aaron Burr, a traitor. The New England opium traders, and the Southern slaveholders. To understand the history of the United States, you have to see the struggle between the two forces, the patriotic forces, and these, what are called the American Tory forces. Lincoln is the best example of the patriotic forces, as is Franklin Roosevelt, for example. John Kennedy intended to become that.

But you have the other side, you have the ascendancy of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Nixon, and so forth. And this group—what happened in 1966-68, is that Nixon led the revival of the American Tory, pro-slavery tradition. And this has been the great struggle in European history, between what kind of society should we have: a society based on developing the individual around the mind; or maintaining the old oligarchical system, in which you degrade the majority of members of society to the conditions of animal-like human cattle.

So, what we know of mankind in general, is paradoxical. We have evidence, prehistorical as well as historical, of showing great efforts, and great accomplishments, within societies. But a predominant tendency, which always leads into the destruction of societies, which is against that.

Like, for example, the case of the crash of Rome. Rome died about the time that Scipio came back from Africa. The end of the second Punic War. What happened, is, you had the returning soldiers, or the knights, came back, and became a wealthy financier, latifundia class, which destroyed Italy from the inside, and degraded the Roman population to bread and circuses. So you had a brutalized, degenerate culture, Roman culture, from that time on.

So, then you had again the Byzantine culture, that repeated the same thing on a higher population base. You have ancient Babylon—the same thing.

So you have a history of cultures which destroy themselves. Sometimes it takes two generations, sometimes it takes 20 generations. Dynastic systems that destroy themselves, like the present dynastic system which is destroying itself.

In Western Europe, in the United States, the Americas, from 1945 to 1966, there was general progress. That is, there was an improvement in the condition of life for the average person, in postwar rebuilding. From 1966 to 1976, there was a change in the opposite direction. Since 1971, European civilization has been doomed as a system, like the Roman Empire before it, by its own internal rot. Most of the people today, living, except a few of us, did not live through the Second World War. We do not know what the kinds of decisions are, that you make in times of great life-and-death issues. We have generations that don't know what reality is. They don't know that you come to a time in life, when you as a person, have to make a decision about life or death, based on what you think society requires of you.

So we have a society of fools! We turned our children into fools. Because they believe you can manage everything, you can talk your way out of everything. We have the empire of the Sophists: You can talk your way out of anything.

So that, yes, what happened, the difference is that in the case of European civilization, or Christian civilization, if you look at it as a system, from the time of Solon and Plato, you see a long wave of European civilization which is moving generally upward, with many setbacks, but always persisting, always persisting, moving upward, up to this time. For the first time in all existence in European civilization, in 2,600 years, for the first time, European civilization's extinction has now become a possibility. A Dark Age for all humanity.

You look at the history of non-European civilizations, cultures—they've gone through this many times. Because never did they achieve what we achieved, in this conception. And we know how we achieved it. We achieved it through two things. Probably through a gift of Egypt, in the sense of this image of Athena, from the Egyptian image of Athene, into Greek culture. But around Solon, and around Plato, typically, there developed in Greece something which was crushed. And then this was rescued, by the apostolic mission, especially of John and Paul. This rescue, this Greek culture, made it the basis of a Christian culture, and this is what made European civilization possible.

If you look back to the period of Europe prior to the 15th-Century Renaissance, that, relative to the rest of the world, Europe was Europe, but it was not that well-developed, relative to the rest of the world. The great power of European civilization began in Italy in the 15th Century. Some people would say at Padua, with certain professors. But this—and only the creation of the idea of the modern nation-state, as an idea, the idea of the general welfare, of the common good, enabled European civilization to defend its most precious characteristic.

Since that time, we have had a constant struggle within European civilization, between forces which are for the common good, and those which are oligarchs, who are trying to suppress it. And the problem is, that our people are so poorly educated, that many people will simply say: "Well, I have to think about my family, and my community, and I have to make compromises for the success of my family and community." And therefore, they betray civilization, by making compromises which are morally rotten, against the common good.

'The End Of Compromise, Or The End Of Man'-

We come to a time, now, when all this foolishness must end. We must recognize that mankind is faced with an existential crisis of civilization. There's no possibility of compromising your way out of this one. The end of compromise, or the end of man.

That you have the problem—as is seen by the case of John Paul II. He's a man who's in very terrible condition, but who has taken up the cause, and I think not accidentally, by any means, but taken up the cause of an ecumenical, apostolic approach to world crisis—then you see those who turn against him. It's obvious, from my standpoint, that that is the only way we can save humanity, from a terrible time. What he did in Greece, what he did in Russia, what he did in respect to Ukraine, what he did in Kazakstan, what he did in Syria—this is exactly what we need! We need an apostolic approach to the sense of the common good.

I would say that, of this situation, Asian cultures went through this, and lost. European civilization, in its Christian form, has managed to withstand that, despite all evils up to now. But what I know of European civilization today, and its condition, I would say that is so morally bad, generally, that only a great crisis, which terrifies it, will teach it to find its own nature again.

So, in general, you have the following problem. You have only three national cultures on this planet today, which are capable of thinking, of proposing, initiating global solutions for global problems. One is the British monarchy, which has not introduced anything good. Another is Russian culture. Another is the United States, which is very brutalized, but not defeated. Then you have European nations which have been conquered and occupied so many times they no longer have the sense they have the authority to initiate global solutions.

So the problem is, as a practical problem, how do we mobilize forces, including Russia, including what Russia's trying to do with Asia, with cooperation in Eurasia, to bring the nations of Western Europe, in particular, and Poland, and Hungary, and Slovakia, and so forth—bring them into the dialogue on the future of mankind, so that they become again individual, sovereign voices in the process of discussion?

This is not only a matter of permission to participate; it's—without bringing in the factor of continental European culture, you will not get a good decision from even an agreement between the United States and Russia.

You see this in Italy, in the question of the Bretton Woods issue. You have, despite Italy's lack of power over European decisions, you find a higher intellectual and moral quality, of opinion, among Italian political leaders than you do in any other nation in Europe. So, if we do not bring the best of these European nations' voices into the dialogue, the dialogue will fail. And I would hope to inspire people in Europe to think like that.

The question of the European national identity. The Italian national identity in the world at this time. Maybe the French can find an identity too. I kept recommending François Rabelais to them, to have a sense of humor about France. And Germany, Helga [Zepp-LaRouche] has some ancient sources we hope to revive there too.

The Brzezinski thing, just finally. The Brzezinski thing—it's not Brzezinski's influence. If you know him, as we know him, he's an idiot. He's a mental case. He is also a member of a kind of Satanic circle, despite what some people think about him. Brzezinski was the son of a Polish bureaucrat, of the state bureaucracy. He went to Canada from Poland, and became a nonentity in Canada. The son went to Magill University, where he was a nonentity. He was then recruited to Harvard University, by one of the most evil men in 20th-Century U.S. history. You had a professor, William Yandell Elliott. Elliott was one of the key members of what was called the Nashville Agrarians, which was a pro-Confederacy memorial association, racist evil, and associated with H.G. Wells, and his philosophy. These were all people who were members of the families that founded the Ku Klux Klan. This is the hard core of the Southern crazy religious fanatics. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, these types, are all products of this movement.

Two people came out of Harvard who are most notable, who were trained and promoted by Elliott. One was Brzezinski, the other was Henry Kissinger. Madeleine Albright came out of the same background—didn't go to Harvard, but came out of the same background. Her father was Josef Korbel. They're very close to Brzezinski. Brzezinski married the daughter of Eduard Benes, and so forth, so it's all one tight circle. Brzezinski was the person who organized the Trilateral Commission, who got David Rockefeller to put money into it. He chose Jimmy Carter to become President. He went, through intermediation, to Islamic Jihad, which was then in Egypt, to organize what became the Afghansi, which became the Afghanistan war, and then became, eventually, the Taliban.

So, these people are purely evil, this whole circle. But, the important thing is, these are people, like Kissinger, who are typified—remember, both were, Kissinger was Secretary of State, National Security Adviser for Nixon; Brzezinski was National Security Adviser and controller for Carter. Twelve years of disaster. So, these people represent a certain faction, inside the U.S. Establishment and the British Establishment, and that's all they represent. They are not independent forces; they are lackeys.

So this is just a symptom of evil. This is like the Voltaires or the Talleyrands of modern politics.

The Nature Of Religious Wars

Hon. Tullio Grimaldi: I would like to ask a question which touches on political questions, rather than ontological or philosophical questions. You spoke about a coup d'état, attempted or successful, maybe more attempted than successful, a coup which had the aim of provoking a sort of religious war, a contest between the Western and Islamic worlds. The reality is, that this is, in a certain sense, taking place, because after the war into which America has been dragged with the attack on Afghanistan, there is a spread of Islamic fundamentalism beyond what there was before. A new order is shaping up globally because Europe is being kept out, except for the U.K., which has always been a close ally of the U.S.A. There's an instability in the Eastern chessboard between Pakistan and India, with Kashmir, a powderkeg which could lead to a possible war. There is also a destabilization of the relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States, relations which were very close. There is a different problem with Israel in the Middle East. All of this is creating a new order.

My question is this: Was there a mind which planned all of this, the massacre of the Twin Towers and the attack on the Pentagon, etc.?

LaRouche: Yes, sure.

Grimaldi: Did this mind foresee the scenario which is playing out? And, therefore, how is this new order governed? I don't much believe in the Pantheon as you described it. It's possible to govern with a Pantheon when everyone stays in his place. When some gods begin to fight amongst themselves.... I don't believe that "religious wars" are actually religious wars; they explode as religious wars, but they really always have material and economic ends. What is it that triggered this war, and did a mind foresee this or not?

LaRouche: Well, take it last. First, the religious wars that were fought in Europe between 1511 and 1648, were not prompted by religion. They were prompted by certain Venetian interests, and in the last case by Paolo Sarpi, who organized what led to the Thirty Years' War. The interesting thing is, in both cases—remember that the first attack came on England, with the operation on this foolish Henry VIII. The first modern nation-state was Louis XI's France; the first state, constituted on the basis of the general welfare. The second was Henry VII's England, which ended the Plantagenet councils. What happened is, the Venetians then, after 1511, organized to disrupt the unity which existed at that time, among England, Spain, Italy, France—in a sense—of community, and Germany. And it was done by religious war. Or religious conflicts, orchestrated from Venice, by Zorzi from Venice, for example, who became the sexual adviser to Henry VIII, by Cardinal Pole, who was a Plantagenet, and so forth.

For example, then you had inside the United States—the so-called fundamentalist movement in the United States, was always founded as a political tool of the British monarchy. The fundamentalists as they exist now, the crazy fundamentalists, including John Ashcroft, the Attorney General, were founded as a religious movement by the Nashville Agrarians. Also, you will find that many of the Islamic fundamentalist organizations were organized by British intelligence; that's their origin. In Egypt, and so forth, elsewhere. Many in India, Egypt, and so forth. So, they were organized. They were organized for this purpose, because the tendency was—this goes back to the Caliphate of Baghdad. In the time of Charlemagne, the Caliphate of Baghdad was the most advanced civilization in the world, in a period of crisis in Europe. It was destroyed, by what? It was essentially destroyed by the philosophy expressed by al-Ghazali, in his Philosophy of the Destruction. The beginning of this kind of process was with al-Ghazali, in the Destruction. Which was political, at that time.

So, when you see religious war, religions generally do not lead, religious belief does not generally lead to war. It may be a factor in war. However, religious war is the most horrible form of war that was ever developed, because it goes so deep into the person, that the person will keep on killing to the end. When Brzezinski, in conjugation with British intelligence, planned this Clash of Civilizations policy, the intention was to keep a perpetual religious war, in the center of Asia, in South Asia. Did the people behind the coup intend this kind of effect? Yes. I've watched this for years.

The Eruption Of Irregular Warfare

What has happened is, in the postwar period, with the development of nuclear weapons, and nuclear weapons policy, there came the adoption of a policy of using irregular warfare, as a surrogate for regular warfare in conflict among states....

So, what you had was a development, particularly in the 1980s, when it became consolidated, which was called the Israeli method, in which private sources of funds were used to create large armies which were irregular armies, and weapons trafficking and drug trafficking became the primary sources of wealth to do this. Afghanistan, for example, today, is the biggest source of opium in the world. For example, that's how the whole thing is financed. The Pakistani economy would collapse, without opium from Afghanistan. So, this is all planned—this part of it. This is the way they think.

You have—developed in the military—you have a faction, which is the special-warfare faction. They're crazy! They do these things. We have developed a command structure, inside NATO, as you saw in the Balkans. The Balkans war was totally orchestrated, immediately. They got through Desert Storm, they went and started the Balkan wars—generally French and British agents who organized it.... They intend to keep it going now. You have the U.S. Special Forces are running the UCK [Kosovo Liberation Army] as a terrorist organization against Macedonia. Soon, you will have Italian troops going into the Balkans with German troops, to take over from the NATO troops, to get killed there, in this war, which is being run by the British and the United States.

There are two other things that answer your question about the general nature of the objections. First of all, this is not the last phase; what you described is not the last phase of this intended operation. The plan was to put Europe and the United States under dictatorships. There are steps in that direction, but they have not yet been implemented. Which will take another stage to get to, to do that—like the Hitler dictatorship took about four stages to get it consolidated. And, think of this as like, analogous to the Hitler dictatorship, the Hitler coup, which was run from London and New York. But, what they've intended to happen, so far, is what they intended to have happen. They intended that the American people would be stupid enough to be stampeded into thinking that Osama bin Laden is responsible for what happened in New York. They were not completely successful, but they were largely successful. With British help, with the British government's help, they managed to stampede Europe into joining them—that's why we're having the bombing now. Blair's endorsement of this reversed the NATO non-decision, to a decision. That's why the bombing started. It's not NATO, but NATO gave the permission.

But, secondly, on this part: They're not such smart people; they're desperate people. They represent tremendous power, tremendous capability. And they have very weak opposition. The opposition is numerous, but weak and cowardly. But, they will not get the effects they want. They are unleashing something they can not control. If we don't stop them, there won't be any civilization. Because they will unleash things that nobody can control.

For example: If this revolt in Pakistan—then, the Indians will put nuclear weapons on top of Pakistan nuclear sites. That's why the Prime Minister of India has been warning about the terrible security situation. This can also be triggered another way, by an intensification of the Kashmir [conflict]. The ISI-types inside Pakistan may revolt against Musharraf, either directly or by stirring up the Kashmir operation.

But, the end objective—remember, that the objective of this thing, is two things: is war with Russia, a perpetual war with Russia; and the obliteration of China. This is clear enough in the, shall we say, the "Mein Kampf" of Zbigniew Brzezinski. And, that's what they're aimed at! Russia has nuclear weapons. The Chinese nuclear weapons don't mean much. But the Russian arsenal—what remains of it—means a great deal. Are you going to try to destroy Russia? Because that's the next step.

If you get a dictatorship in the United States, the dictatorship will be based on: China is the long-term enemy, and Russia better not get in our way. The continental Europeans will be slaves to the Anglo-Americans.

There's no possibility of tolerating what is happening, and surviving. We're in a period of great cowardice, where people will always find excuses to tolerate, to get along. It's easier for people of my generation to recognize this kind of problem. We lived through a generation of World War. We understood that. Unfortunately, the present generations do not understand that; they do not understand it emotionally. You don't play these kinds of games with history!

Grimaldi: That is possible, but a war like that of 1940-45 was one of destruction, but not total destruction; a nuclear war would allow the survivors to control only the ruins, nothing else. A mind which proposes this is absolutely insane; but this doesn't seem to be the case to me, rather, a clear mind which wants global dominion, sets the aim of a more immediate dominion, which can be used to impose a new order, something which may already be happening in this immediate phase. New alliances, new scenarios, a part of the moderate Islamic world which is absorbed, Europe out of the game ... a dominion of material interests, or multinational corporations. This is more realistic than an insane mind which wants to start a nuclear conflict, which would be apocalyptic.

LaRouche: They're actually that crazy!

The Culture Of Existentialism

Folloni: I recently re-read a book by an author from the end of the last century, Benson, The Master of the World. This came back to my mind because in this book, which has an apocalyptic tone, the world comes to Armageddon, and Benson uses the term which has reappeared today, the "alliance," an alliance as the new boss of international relations. My question is: You spoke about a Pantheon; what relation do you see in the formation of this alliance that the U.S.A. is asking the world for, and the Pantheon as you presented it?

LaRouche: Well, the Pantheon, the most dangerous Pantheon, is the one that's being formed within European civilization itself. What's happened to European culture, and religious culture in particular, has undergone a great decadence in recent times. This was already raised in the early 20th Century by the papacy, in a discussion involving Germany, in which the observation was that the most dangerous thing in Germany, from the standpoint of the papacy, was the influence of Nietzsche among German Catholics.

What happened, as we mentioned earlier, in the discussion earlier, in the case of Kant, is, Kant, essentially, was an empiricist of a British, Paolo Sarpi legacy, who introduced the categories of Aristotle to empiricism, and created a system called his Critiques. These Critiques were based on attacking, basically, Leibniz—the attack on Leibniz by Kant, which denied that there's knowable truth in the universe, and that everything was simply deductive. So that, in Germany, around Kant developed what was called the New Romanticism, of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and so forth. The denial of the existence of truth. This had the effect with Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and others, of the revival of the so-called existentialist movement.

Now, what happened in the degeneracy of the 20th Century, was largely the outgrowth of things like Nietzscheanism, which included the Frankfurt School in Germany, which included Heidegger, which included Jaspers, which included Adorno, Horkheimer, Hannah Arendt, Jean Paul Sartre, and so forth. These people created the new existentialist movement.

Now, if you look in the United States, look in Europe, you will find that existentialism in various forms dominates, and has replaced Classical culture generally. Now, this also in religion. So what happened is, now they say, "There is no truth, there is only opinion." They say, now, between Catholics and Protestants and this and that and so forth, there's no truth, there's only opinion. They say, "You can have your opinion. That's your doctrine. But the other person has this opinion, and this doctrine. And this person has this doctrine." If the churches accept that, the churches become part of a pagan Pantheon, as under the Roman Emperor. Then the possibility of a society which accepts the Pantheon, can not make a moral decision.

Folloni: In fact the Armageddon in Benson's book is the clash between the Alliance and the Catholic Church.

LaRouche: Exactly. But see, that's the point. If you don't have any principle—. You've heard this thing about the rule of law. Now, what they mean by "rule of law" in the United States, which came up, for example, in the debates on impeachment of President Clinton, it means the generalization of Roman law, not natural law, but Roman law, Romantic law. So, therefore, if you don't have natural law, how can you have a dialogue of civilizations? How can you resolve conflicts? How can you end religious war?

Remember the principle that Europe was able to end the religious war in Germany, in 1848, with the Treaty of Westphalia. As Helga has emphasized, read the documents of the Treaty of Westphalia: "You must love one another." Which is ecumenicism. So only through a non-doctrinal, ecumenical way can you avoid religious war, a Pantheonic kind of war, becoming an administration of the world by imperial methods.

The emperor, Pontifex Maximus, sits on top of the Pantheon, and adjudicates the differences among the doctrines. Anybody who does not accept the emperor, is called a "rogue state" and will be destroyed, as under the Roman Empire.

So that's the danger. The issue here is a question of moral judgment. The only thing that can save us from this nonsense we've brought on ourselves, is the quality of introducing this moral judgment factor of natural law. And John Paul II is the best lawgiver we have loose today. On precisely that point.

Confront The Economic Crisis

Student: A question on economics. We know about the overwhelming economic and commercial power of the United States compared to the rest of the planet. The Sept. 11 attacks have heavily destabilized the American economy internally as well as the global economy. Globalization has taught us that the world works like communicating vessels, not separate containers. The evil that can come with a coup in one country, on one continent, can end up bringing calamity and recession also in the bordering states and continents.

I read a radio interview you gave a few hours after the attack on the Twin Towers, in which you spoke about the risk of a depression on a global scale as a consequence of this attack. Is there not a bit of pessimism on your part, regarding the situation which has been created? You spoke of a global crash, or a global collapse, when all of the major international financial analysts, starting with Morgan Stanley, have spoken of a recession which can be overcome in six or nine months.

LaRouche: These fellows—. First of all, a world depression is in process. It is in process. And it's not a recession, it's a depression. People are trying to sell stocks. They will try to sell them, they'll probably say there's some, build up the delusion there's some hope of a recovery in that crisis.

Actually, Sept. 11 had very little effect on the economy, except on the airline industry. In the period preceding that, for example, between March of 2000 and before September, the United States New Economy stocks had lost about $30 trillion, in terms of nominal asset value. Wall Street in general, the Dow, all these values, had lost. So you have a general hyperinflation in monetary and financial assets in the United States, and a deflation of about 30% in employment, in industrial and real employment.

And the United States economy was much exaggerated in European opinion. For example, the United States economy is running on the basis of a current account deficit of about three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year. It was being propped up by large financial flows, multitrillion-dollar financial flows, into the United States financial markets. The dropping of the flow of financial flows into the United States financial markets, would collapse the U.S. economy immediately.

This is crucial, because the United States no longer produces most of its own product; it imports it. It's shut down its industries. You have a similar problem in Europe. European factories are shut down for cheap-labor markets abroad. Without purchasing power for cheap-labor products from abroad, Italy, Germany, France, and so forth, would be in a terrible situation. These kinds of things—globalization, free trade, ultra-liberalization, monetarism, and ecologism—have destroyed the economies of Europe and the United States, and much of the rest of the world besides.

See, you had the world's most powerful economy, the transatlantic economies, the most powerful combination of economy in the world, and in 35 years of stupid policy, we've destroyed it! And people say, "You can't change it! Look, this is irreversible. These trends, globalization, is inevitable. Free trade is inevitable. These things are inevitable." Of course, if they're inevitable, we're dead.

The question is, do we have the will to reverse, and change the mistakes we made?

You see in the thing in Italy, for example, with the Berlusconi government. You see the initiative, which is good, for this infrastructure development. The problem is, it doesn't go far enough. It's in the right direction, but it's not enough. You have all these years of destruction of the Italian economy, from the time that the Mezzogiorno project was really working. You look in Germany, over a similar period—a similar kind of destruction of the economic power of Germany. The United States is a catastrophe.

But we did it to ourselves. Nobody from Mars, or outer space, did it to us. We did it to ourselves. And we are now paying the price.

Look at the danger, clearly in the eye, and you can see the solution more clearly. If you see the solution, then you have a reason for optimism.

The worst place to go, in a bombing attack, is under the bed.

Orlando: We are very happy to have had this broad exposition, and especially happy for the stimulus which we have been given, since we have touched on some things which are unusual for us. I agree that this is a pessimistic view, but pessimism is an important tool, because it wakes people's conscience, or it should wake people's conscience.

If I were to give a synthesis, although it is impossible to do so, of everything which has been said, I would say that our attention must be concentrated above all on the grave loss of humanity which has taken place in the recent years. There are many other subjects which we have not touched on. For example, I think of the question of the United Nations, regional agreements, etc., but we can do this in another meeting, otherwise we'll be here all night.

I thank Lyndon LaRouche and all of the illustrious guests. Long live man!

LaRouche: I am grateful to you, as well.


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