Manhattan Town Hall event with Phil Rubinstein
Manhattan Town Hall event with Phil Rubinstein
DENNIS SPEED: My name is Dennis Speed and on behalf of the LaRouche Political Action Committee I want to welcome you to today’s dialogue with LaRouche. Our speaker today is going to be Phil Rubinstein.
I want to say a couple of things about where we find ourselves this morning. There was a St. Patrick’s Day gift given by Donald Trump to Angela Merkel yesterday, and it also is a “gift that keeps on giving.” The British weren’t too happy about it. The Failing New York Times reported the following today: ” President Trump provoked a rare public dispute with American’s closest ally on Friday, after his White House aired an explosive and unsubstantiated claim that Britain’s spy agency had secretly eavesdropped on him at the behest of President Barack Obama during last year’s campaign.” It went on to say, “Mr. Trump’s strained relations with Europe, which had viewed his ascension to power with trepidation, were fully on display on Friday; not just in the British spy flap, but also in the venue in which it was addressed. The President was hosting, for the first time, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who is seen by many Europeans as the most important champion of the liberal international order. Mr. Trump’s unremorseful tenor further stunned British officials, who thought they had managed to contain the matter. Kim Daresh, the British ambassador to the United States, had raised the matter on Thursday night with Mr. Spicer at a St. Patrick’s Day reception in Washington.” And so forth and so on. It goes on, and then it says, “White House officials, who requested anonymity, said Mr. Spicer had offered no regret to the ambassador. ‘He didn’t apologize, no way, no how,’ a senior West Wing official said. The official said they did not know whether” and so forth and so on. Then, finally, “The conspiracy theorizing,” the Times says, “also tested what is often called the ‘special relationship’ between the United States and Britain. American intelligence agencies enjoy a closer collaboration with their British counterparts than any other in the world. GCHQ was the first agency to warn the United States government that Russia was hacking Democratic Party emails during the Presidential campaign.”
So, what has happened as of St. Patrick’s Day, and maybe this was in commemoration for the 1776 defeat of the British in Boston by George Washington — which happened also on St. Patrick’s Day — I don’t know; but clearly, Barack Obama’s backers are now being backed against the wall. That’s important, because although we’re not going to dwell on him in our narrative, because we’ve got other more important things such as what’s happening with our friend and collaborator Jacques Cheminade in Paris; it’s important nonetheless to keep our eye on the Obama process. Because as we go into this next phase of our work here in Manhattan, and we look at the possibilities for assisting in the opening up of a relationship between China and the United States, for example; we have to keep in mind who the enemy is. They’re being defeated; but they won’t be defeated if we drop the ball.
In France, Jacques Cheminade successfully filed for the Presidency of France. This required him to recruit 528 mayors of various cities of France who had to endorse him; and that was successfully done, despite the fact that 85 mayors had dropped out two weeks ago and we had to replace them, as a result of political pressure and other things. We’ve been getting coverage in dozens of newspapers and other venues for the last couple of days, and we expect a lot more of that to happen as well. So, the international side of the LaRouche process — I’ll call it that, rather than merely movement — has also taken another step upwards.
So, in terms of where we are, we’ve talked a lot and Lyn has made it very clear that the image of Krafft Ehricke, the great scientist, and Lyn’s and Helga’s appreciation for Krafft Ehricke’s life and work, is something that we’d like to keep in mind. March 24th will be the 100th anniversary of Dr. Ehricke’s birth; and we’ve made a very important assertion that politics, culture, economics, and science are one thing. Those who were at the first couple of classes that we did in the ongoing economics class series — and that class series will continue today, which John Sigerson will give — know that Phil Rubinstein started us off. Everybody doesn’t necessarily know the origin of the class series. In looking at the prospects in the Manhattan Project for actually upgrading and recruiting new groups of people, we decided some weeks ago that the best person and best means by which we could introduce that upgrading process was Phil. I just wanted to say that publicly, because it’s important to recognize that we’re on a particular pathway right now. What we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to seize a form of intellectual hegemony in the United States. This does not depend on large numbers; what this depends upon is large ideas, and turning people’s minds on so that they can think clearly about great ideas. That’s the way that you win in a situation like the one we’re in right now.
So, we’re involved in a battle which is being successfully fought; but the right weapons have to be brought to this fight. As they say in the street, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” You can’t bring a low-level idea to a world-historical mission such as the one that Lyndon LaRouche had this organization embark on. That’s why you need to hear people like Phil Rubinstein and how they think, so you can think the same way. So Phil, why don’t you take over?
PHILIP RUBINSTEIN: Well, I think part of what Dennis raised is that we’re seeing this fight now in a very interesting way; and I think we ourselves have to take a certain, very definite role in this. I’ll give you an example of what I mean, because in the Q&A session, maybe some of this will come up. There’s a tendency to want to know when is Glass-Steagall going to be passed; and then there’s the discussion around the appointments — is this a good appointment, is this a bad appointment. Obviously, there’s a lot of people from Goldman Sachs. One view, of course, is not so bad, is that Trump is going to lock all the Goldman Sachs people in a room, and say you’ve got all these appointments and leave them there for four years; who knows? Some people think that Lincoln put certain people in his Cabinet to keep an eye on them; and there’s a little bit of truth in that. I think it’s somewhat exaggerated, but nonetheless true. Lincoln’s Cabinet had all the people who ran against him for the Republican Party nomination: Chase; Seward — even though Seward was close to Lincoln at a certain point. They had all run for the Republican Party nomination, and were not that thrilled when Lincoln got the nomination. He then appointed them — including Wells and so forth — to his Cabinet.
Keep that in mind. Because I think the relevant part of the situation — and this is partly a philosophical question — that you really have to think in terms of universals, or what we mean when we refer to Plato. Plato believed in the reality of universals; the ontological reality of universals. It’s the universal process that’s real; it’s not the individual fact that’s real. And I actually mean that probably beyond the way that people think about it. For example, think of yourself. You’re not what you are at any given moment. If that were the case, how would we recognize that you’re the same person that you were 30 years ago. I look at pictures of myself from 30 years ago, and I wonder how that could possibly be the same person. I was taller; I had more hair. How is this the same person? They replaced my eye lenses; I’m not even sure how much of me is artificial, and how much is natural at this point.
No, the fact is, it’s your identity as a universal, as a process that you represent as your identity over the period of your life. While it’s true we have a certain kind of immortality, it’s also the case that we can only act as individuals during our mortal existence. So, you have to really think in terms of what makes you who you are. At the same point, you embody a certain amount of history. What went into you, even though you may not know the details, is the history of the family, the history of the country that you came from; the history of the human species.
Now, I have an interesting example, because yesterday Suzanne and I met with a professor at Princeton University. He’s a person who has been very active against the climate change; very prominent, very active. He’s also a physicist of some justified reputation. I’ll give you an example. Very soon, we have an array of radio telescopes, including some in the Atacama Desert in Chile; which is maybe the driest place in the world. There are other of these large-array radio telescopes in Africa, in the United States. The idea is to get a large aperture; in other words, you’re going to make it be like a telescope spread over a large area, and have a very large opening. Which means you’re going to have a very refined resolution.
Now, what’s the idea? It’s a fascinating idea. They think that over the next year to year and a half, they may be able to actually see at certain wavelengths the event horizon of what’s called a black hole; but I think is better understood. It’s now pretty much believed and ascertained, that at the center of most galaxies, there is a super-massive object of some kind. That’s what they call a “black hole.” Now, a lot of the characteristics of this are unknown. One of the reasons that we’re going to be able to do this, is that we can focus the electromagnetic waves similar to lasers; and we can adjust for the distortions of the atmosphere. In other words, they can take out the distortions of the atmosphere by certain techniques. It’s very interesting, because this is an astronomical observation; this technique was developed under the SDI. One of the ideas of using ground-based lasers, is that you needed to keep them focussed through the atmosphere. So, they developed techniques to do this; to maintain the characteristic of the laser over long periods going through the atmosphere. The same technique is used in these observations; in this case, intergalactic observations. This has all kinds of implications for what we might learn about processes in the universe and so on and so forth. How much the far side of the Moon will be helpful in this, I’m not sure.
The person who we spoke to, is one of the people who developed this technology. He has spent a great deal of time fighting the idea that carbon dioxide is the cause of climate change, the whole idea. As he said, the idea of climate change is absurd. On the one hand, the climate always changes; on the other hand, we probably wouldn’t be here if the climate hadn’t changed. The human species comes roughly out of the Pleistocene, which is defined by the last couple of million years of ice ages. Most of the development of the human species has occurred during these periods of ice ages. If we didn’t have that kind of climate change, we probably, we might not have been here; we might not have evolved.
So, climate change on the one hand, is a wonderful thing; now, on the other hand, not a single one of these climate models has ever shown itself to be genuinely predictive. In fact, most of them fail in their predictions every year; or every day. We just an experience of weather prediction here in New York. Everybody was panicked over the 18-inch blizzard that was going to hit New York and environs on Tuesday. How many people got panicked over the predictions of snow? It was snowstorm; but it was hardly the monster blizzard from the South, or whatever it was supposed to be. Now, I’m not knocking the development of weather forecasting; it’s better than it was when I was a kid. But it’s not the kind of thing that you would assume that these climate models have anything to do with reality.
This guy has fought this; and the relevant point is, as we were talking to him, looking at it from inside the United States, his view was somewhat skeptical and cynical. OK, Trump’s against climate change; that’s good. But then, he’s got so-and-so, his daughter is weak on the question of climate change; he actually had some views on some of the other people that were a little surprising. He talked about the massive legal fight to defend nuclear energy, and so on and so forth. He was pretty unexcited during this part of the discussion.
What was interesting was that Suzanne and I at a certain point, raised that the real issue here — and this is what LaRouche said literally the day after the election; he said the issue is international, it’s global. You have what the Chinese are doing, which is a development project on a scale that has not been thought of — and you can say it’s never been thought of at this level. But to make a point, the only time it’s been thought of at this level is during the period that Trump referred to in his address to the Congress; in the period around the 1876 Centennial. Because people like “Pig-Iron” Kelly, who was a Congressman from Pennsylvania, and others like that — the McKinley school and so forth — the true Lincoln followers of the time, talked about girdling the globe in an iron rail. I.e., they were talking about a global rail development project in the 1870s and 1880s; and actually during the period of Lincoln, because remember, Lincoln opened up the Transcontinental Railroad, in the middle of the Civil War, — he began that project.
So, the only time that you actually this same kind of thinking as the Chinese, whose Belt and Road is literally a global development project. They’re pouring tremendous effort into Africa; it’s too much to even document. Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, tying Mombasa to Nairobi to Mombasa; South Africa nuclear projects. Throughout Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, even into Afghanistan; Iran, India, Russia, Northern Europe. The Silk Road from our standpoint is not just East to West; which is the way most people think of it. But it’s also South to North; from Central Asia, the Subcontinent, across Central Asia into Russia, up into Northern Europe. It’s a global project. The only equal of it that I can think of, in terms of an actual project that was worked on, the Americans after the Civil War, sent engineers to Russia. They were involved in the development of the Trans-Siberian Railroad; they sent people to Egypt to join in building the Suez Canal.
So, the only time we’ve had anything like this, is the American System; particularly in its development in the mid-19th Century under Lincoln. That’s what the Chinese are talking about; that’s what the Russians are working with the Chinese on. What that has done is, we know have developments in South America that can move in that direction. They haven’t won in all these places; but they represent an actual conception, active conception of what to do.
And it’s in this context that we have to think in the United States; because the only way we’re really going to bring the United States into an alliance with the Chinese, the Russians, the Indians in this development, is for Americans to see precisely that they’re part of this kind of global development. It’s not going to be won by arguing with your next-door neighbor. You might argue with your next-door neighbor, but what you have to bring to the argument is, “Look, I represent a force that is a complete change in dynamic on a global scale.” A paradigm shift, as Helga has put it, where people are thinking about possibilities and they’re liberated to think about those possibilities in ways that they never thought of it before. They didn’t allow themselves to think about it; or if they did, they would get depressed. They’d say, “Well, we could do these things, but it can’t ”
And I mean, this goes to the question of Krafft Ehricke. Some of you are my age; some might be a little bit older, a little bit younger. But think about it: we put a man on the Moon; 1972 was the last time. That is 45 years ago! No one has been on the Moon — or anywhere else; it’s not like we got beyond it — since then.
Not only that, if Trump said tomorrow, “OK, we’re going to the Moon; manned project to the Moon”; could we do it? No. We don’t have the capability to send a manned vehicle to the Moon and back; or to the Moon period. To me, that says everything. And I tell you, I wasn’t one of these youth who — I know people like a friend of mine on the West Coast who can tell you every step and every astronaut, every rocket that ever went off. But it’s somewhat obvious. Forty-five years ago, we went to the Moon. I remember the experience of looking up at the Moon in July of 1969, I wasn’t watching; all of sudden, I looked up at the Moon and I said, “My God! There’s a man up there.” It was hard to conceptualize. What would it be like to be on the Moon, looking down at the Earth? Now, 45 years, and we can’t do that.
To give you an example, Trump is talking about in the NASA budget, building a large rocket; they call it the SLS, which would be a Saturn V-class rocket. Now, unfold what that means. The Saturn V was largely designed by Krafft Ehricke; it’s a very concrete thing about his role and his vision, which is similar to Lyn’s. He was one of the designers of the Saturn V. Now, the Saturn V had 7.5 million pounds of thrust. I don’t think there’s a rocket in the world today that’s half that size. I’m not sure exactly how much thrust there is. For example, the Chinese are talking about getting into being able to launch an 80-ton or a 100-ton payload into orbit around the Earth. The payload of the Saturn V was well over 130 tons. We have to get back to that level! There are improvements in the technology and so on; and really, we want to go beyond the whole idea of the kind of rocket that the Saturn V was. But that’s going to require some real breakthroughs, and probably some use of some rockets like the Saturn V.
I once went down to Cape Canaveral, and they had a mock-up of the Saturn V lying on the ground. By that point, really the skill level — and this is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about skill level — the skill level to put together a rocket of that type, the machining capabilities; or to improve on it. During that period, by the way, we had a program for developing nuclear-propelled rockets, called NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application). And of course, nuclear-propelled rockets would have significant advantages. We also had an experimental aircraft — not like the Space Shuttle — but a self-propelled aircraft that could basically be flown into near-Earth orbit. All of that has been dropped; and we haven’t improved a whole lot in that direction.
The Chinese are moving in that direction. The only thing I would say is, I think we could do — without being crazy — I think we could do a lot of these things a lot faster; if you actually had the Russian scientists, the NASA scientists, the Chinese scientists, the European Space Agency, and then all the developing countries. If you had all that working together on these kinds of projects, from a global standpoint; there’s a whole different world that you could open up. I’ll tell you something, that would have a huge role to play in changing the cultural dynamic. The attitude of adolescents; and I want to make a point about that.
When you bring this up, when we brought up the international conception, who was moving; what kind of thinking was going on globally in China, in Russia, in places in Africa. This is a huge change; most of my life, Africa has been considered a dead continent. You can’t develop it; it’s extreme poverty; it’s too much, so on and so forth. We have something right now that’s totally different. Africa is being moved to the front end of global development; there’s a lot to be done — an enormous amount — but we’re beginning to see the idea that it could be done. The Chinese are saying they’re going to be part of doing it. In fact, one of the leading spokesmen for the Chinese, from the Foreign Ministry, said, this is not only about China; we’re talking about creating a symphony of global orchestration that’s going to produce this kind of development. This is what’s at stake.
For example, how are we going to get a situation where, if as has been mooted — although we don’t have this definitely — Xi Jinping comes to Mar-a-Largo in Florida for a summit with Trump in the first week of April. How do you create a situation where it’s clear and Trump accepts the invitation to then proceed to the mid-May conference which has been called by the Chinese for a global conference on the One Belt, One Road? The One Belt, One Road means something way beyond China.
The way we’re going to do that is by bringing to the American population the fact that this is the way is going. The only thing that could stop it, is an insane slide into confrontation, led by the British Empire. Otherwise, we have the winning hand. But if we allow ourselves to be dragged into a conception of this, which is, “what’re we going to do with the Congress?” What’re we going to do with this and that? Not that we don’t have to change these things, but if we approach it by a one-on-one, “I have to get my neighborhood straightened out, we’ve got our local problems,” and so on — there are no local problems. We’ve got to change the relationship of the United States to this global process now.
And you have to realize how much this is part of reality. For example, we talk about the generations, the culture, and you’re going to have the class at 3 o’clock with John Sigerson will continue some of this discussion; because the question of culture is a question of an identity of a population. This is about who am I? People express who they are largely in their leisure time. What do they do with their leisure time? If you like your job, if your job’s productive, maybe in your leisure time you think about what you’re working on. If you hate your job, or you think your job is purposeless, you take your leisure time and that’s your time to get “pleasure.” And that reduces you to a certain state.
Now, what do we have in the culture today? It’s “entertainment.” It’s not art, it’s “entertainment.” They’re two different things. When you go to a Shakespeare play, now admittedly, partly it’s old and so forth, but you don’t think of it exactly as “entertainment.” Or, if you do, at a certain point you realize, you’re denigrating the play. You know, when they do these things like when they do Macbeth as Adolf Hitler and everybody’s dressed up in Nazi uniforms and they discuss everything in the urinal — which is what they did in one of the performances; none of this is made up. Macbeth goes into the urinal and he’s talking to one of these other guys, and they’re both peeing — if you think you need that to make Shakespeare “entertaining,” then you’ve got a serious problem.
Because Shakespeare isn’t “entertainment.” Shakespeare is a polemic about human society. What is Lear about? Holding a kingdom together. Somebody pointed out that it’s very interesting that Lear was written during the period that King James came to the throne after the death of Elizabeth. And of course, what was the big issue? Was the kingdom going to hold together? Was Scotland going to be brought into the Kingdom because James was the King of Scotland. And there are other things, but everything that Shakespeare is raising, is about human nature, and human society, and human history.
What do we have today? We have “entertainment.” We have something that jostles your insides. Most music is not addressed to the brain, it’s addressed to what’s called the “second brain” — the stomach. And the lower regions. That’s where you actually — you “feel” it. It rattles your insides. Metal rock. Even Frank Sinatra! Most people think Frank Sinatra’s Classical music! Because it’s “older.” And it’s not as noisy. He couldn’t sing! These weren’t great pieces of music; popular music in general has no intellectual, no creative content. And the idea is, “don’t tax my mind.” In fact, people get angry if there’s a certain difficulty in understanding what’s going on. This is supposedly to keep me entertained, and a large portion of it, comes from the fact that otherwise there’s no purpose in what they do. There’s no sense of a future. And that’s where you get the real cultural disaster.
I have a certain view of this and I think Lyn has some work he did on this in the ’70s, which he called “Beyond Psychoanalysis.” You look at what’s happened to the male member of the species, otherwise known as “men” [laughter], — at least those that choose to remain men — but anyway, a lot of what goes on, if you take young males, adolescents, 18, 16, and then into young 20, 25, and you have the conditions that you have today, where a significant number of these guys are raised without fathers; period. They don’t know who the father is, or the father disappeared. Many of them don’t know who their father is. They have no sense that they have a future, a skill, that they’re going to be able to raise a family. What do you produce? You produce mindless young men, who frankly find — what is available to them? Opioids, anti-depressants, and in some cases terrorism. Violent acts.
Here’s something, and this I’d say, in the White population, the White population in the United States; not the Hispanic population, not the Black population. Of course we know the Asian immigrants are all better, so that’s OK. But over 35% of the births in the White population are to single mothers, 35%. In some of the poorer neighborhoods that figure goes up to 80% or 90%. But the city I come from, in Baltimore, which is about 65% African American, about 90% of the births are to single mothers. But for the White population nationally, over 35%, which means that these guys are growing up largely without fathers, and if they do end up with a father, he’s also somebody who has no sense of the purpose of what he’s doing with this life. There’s no future, no development. Growth is bad, progress is bad, the space program — “been there, done that.” This was what was so evil about Obama.
You have to keep in mind, he really was a killer. I can refer people to an article by Carl Osgood that was in EIR last week [“Good at Killing,” EIR, March 10, 2017, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2017/4410obm_good_at _killing.html]. He was a killer. But I think as deadly was his whole cultural outlook: All of the things, science, technology, development, progress, exploration — these were all, no they’re not important, they’re no good. A completely British outlook. When Lyn says that Russell is the most evil person of the 20th century, you have to realize, that Obama is the perfect product of Bertrand Russell. Russell did not believe in scientific progress; he didn’t think there was anything valuable in it. One of his favorite artists was D.H. Lawrence, although they ended up in a fight. He did not like either the Soviet Union or the United States, because they were too industrialized and too oriented to scientific progress.
What he liked was the China that he visited in 1920-21, because he liked the backwardness! That this was somehow a “civilized” culture that didn’t have a great industrial development. And somehow they lived a decent life, and that was a good model, for Bertrand Russell. Think about how much that parallels Obama’s outlook.
That’s the idea.
Now, what’s changed, as that, whereas that was the dominant, as Dennis was referring to the intellectually hegemonic outlook, increasingly during the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and in particular over these last four presidencies. What did we have? We had the rise of environmentalism, which says that human existence is the cause of all the problems on the Earth. If we had a globe that was populated by termites, ants, maybe some bees, you don’t want to get too sophisticated; monkeys? That’s dangerous. That could lead, as the joke goes, that could lead to dancing, it could lead to human beings. So you don’t want to let that progress go too far.
They hate science! Because they’re frightened of it. And what now exists — here’s what you have to remember, up until the 1990, 2000, there was no particular sign that China was going to break through in its developments. You had the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with all of its problems, you had this disastrous period in the 1990s in Russia. And you had basically the supremacy of the British system. The United States had been, since ’71 in particular, but before that, with the assassination of Kennedy; look, what we’re seeing today, this thing that Dennis brought up in terms of the GCHQ and the relationship to the CIA, this goes back explicitly, to minimally, the beginning of World War II, when the U.S. intelligence services, including the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, were reporting to the British intelligence under William Stephenson right here in midtown Manhattan. And everything went through them! Everything.
The great problem, the disaster coming out of World War II, was this idea of the “special relationship,” between the United States and Great Britain. I don’t think, I could be wrong, but I don’t think the “special relationship” existed in this form until World War II. There may have been some of it going into World War I until Wilson and so on, but it consolidated with World War II, and the death of FDR. Because when FDR died this link up between the British intelligence and the American intelligence services was consolidated.
And you had, what? The McCarthy — really the Truman era — the witchhunts, which did what? What did the witchhunts target? Lyn has made this point, the witchhunts — there was, yes, a general witchhunt, but the main target was the scientific community. The main target was the people who needed security clearances; and by the way, by the end of World War II, with the beginning of the Cold War, everybody needed security clearances. Anything in science needed a security clearance, because everything is dual usage. What is there that you can have in science that you can’t use militarily? Well, you’d say, medicine? No! Improvements in medicine means you can keep your soldiers alive. And so you had basically some 4 million Americans in the scientific community, in the defense industries, and so on, were forced to sign loyalty oaths. There weren’t that many who were fired. Maybe 500 lost their jobs, because most people capitulated. And in fact, that mentality has been dominant since that point. That’s what you have to get at.
Now, what’s happening, is that the Chinese, the Russians, many representatives of developing countries, often with a good deal of ambiguity; the Japanese in their own way, some of them, like I think the Japanese sort of smelling which direction things are going, have recognized that there is, in fact, a new paradigm, a new set of relations, new banking relations. I mean, we’re actually at the point where we could implement in practice, Lyn’s Four Laws. You’re beginning to get banking associations that have the character of national banking, national credit, or are meant to back that up, like the AIIB, or the BRICS New Development Bank.
These are along the lines, they may not be perfect, but they’re along lines of what Lyn and Helga have been calling for. The problem is you have to bring the United States into this, now. Now, a good example of this is, yes, Trump has said he’s for Glass-Steagall; Spicer repeated this two times. Hoenig, who is the vice-chairman of the FDIC, and may or may not end up with the position in the administration, has said that he’s for a “version” of Glass-Steagall. Now, I think that’s one of these things that you have to be very clear: It’s good and it’s bad. The good news is, he brought up Glass-Steagall. The bad news is, what he has proposed, leaves open the possibility of commercial banks bailing out investment banks. That it doesn’t cut off the commercial banks from being involved in speculation, maybe through a back door, but still available.
Now, I think what that does, it shows you how important, not only it is for us to fight for the real Glass-Steagall — that’s true. Lyn has made that point over and over again, “FDR’s Glass-Steagall.” Now that’s all you need. It’s not that complicated. There’s not that many technical details. I mean, partly that’s a bit of smoke and mirrors. They throw around a few words and people say, “I’m not smart enough to be a banker.”
I’m not smart enough to lose a couple hundred billion dollars. Actually, it’s like a good thief: They’re smart enough to lose a couple hundred billion dollars and get away with it.
So the fact is, “FDR’s Glass-Steagall.” But that itself, I’m not saying don’t do it — do it! I’d be happy to run the risk of doing it and getting it done, and maybe people have to catch up with what it means.
But: The important point to see about the Hoenig question, is, we have to have a certain intellectual hegemony. We have to be leading the way in understanding what these things are, and what they mean. We have to explain to people why we had Glass-Steagall, and why it’s the 1933 version of Glass-Steagall. If we do that, then what people like Hoenig are doing, will turn out for the best. We’ll make them better than they are. But that’s what we have to do.
We can’t complain that Hoenig didn’t say exactly the right thing, there’s no point in it at this point. There was a point in it, maybe when everything was going in a bad direction, when the British were hegemonic, and you would say, “well, the fact that Hoenig didn’t say the right thing, there’s no hope.” No, the point is, because in fact the British are in the verge of being defeated, the whole British system is being rejected by large portions of the globe. Therefore, what Hoenig said is useful, because we can turn it into what it needs to be. Because by fitting it in with an alliance with the Chinese, by going to the Belt and Road Forum in May in Beijing, if we get that done, we will turn that into what is needed.
And the idea of winning these things often throws people off. That’s when you really get nervous. See, if you’re going to lose, no matter what you do, you don’t really get that tense about the situation. You might be upset, but you go through, and you say, “well, I have my position, and my position is the moral position, and it’s the moral position and it’s the good people; but it’s a loser, so, you can’t blame me.” And there isn’t a whole lot of tension in that.
When you could succeed, then you get nervous. “What if I’m unable to do what I’m supposed to do? What if so-and-so needs me to lead them, to tell them how to do it?” What if they need me at the late night meeting to straighten this out? Then you get scared. And I think that’s a lot of what we have to deal with, in the organizing and in recruiting people. Because what happens to people that you talk to? They come up with a lot of stories, but mainly, they don’t want the tension. They don’t want to be scared, they don’t want to have on their head that if they do it wrong, they might cause us to lose a winning situation.
So a lot of what people are getting right now, you know, Trump hasn’t implemented Glass-Steagall; we don’t know if he’s going to the May conference; oh, he appointed another Goldman Sachs guy! All these things are problems. But, indeed, now we’re not talking about Obama! We’re not even talking about George W. Bush! We’re talking about a situation where we could get this implemented, we could get it changed: But we have to take on the whole ball of wax.
You have a situation where a vast number of the children that we’re talking about, don’t have any kind of family. That’s what we’ve done over these 30 years — what is this? This was all part of the sexual revolution. You don’t like your wife, trade her in. Maybe you can get a new model, a younger model, a prettier model; or a model that’ll just let me do what I want. Whatever.
You don’t like your husband? Get rid of him! The kids? Granma will take care of ’em. That’s become a good chunk of the culture. Look at the entertainment. I don’t want to sound too much like a prude, but — my mother was a bit of a prude, but anyway — what they consider “evening entertainment,” when I was growing up, it was called “pornography.” That’s just a fact of the matter. You could never have had on evening 7, 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock at night, some of the stuff that you have on today, the “Naked Wives of Orange County” or whatever it’s called.
And we have to be in a situation to call the shots on these kinds of things. This is the kind of thing that — “entertainment” is not what we’re talking about. When we say, when Lyn in the article “Politics as Art,” in the March 10th EIR, we’re talking about the kind of thing that Lincoln did. A lot of his biographers are kind of quizzical about it; there’s the famous scene of when Lincoln was with Grant on the James River on this steam-powered ships, he read Shakespeare to them — at cabinet meetings! He used to read sections of his favorite Shakespeare plays, which were generally the tragedies: Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear. This is what he read to the cabinet, because this was statesmanship! This was politics, to understand what they were going through in the Civil War, understanding the kinds of things that Shakespeare was talking about. Where the whole future depended on what people did.
When the tragedy was that most of these tragedies were based on the fact that the civilization was corrupt, not the leading individual, per se. Remember, Hamlet was the favorite of the Kingdom of Denmark. He was popular with the population! He was admired. And this was a guy who couldn’t get it together to put the affairs of the population he was supposed to be the heir to, he couldn’t overcome his personal rages — but it was exactly that which the culture liked!
These were the kinds of things that Lincoln was talking to his cabinet about — and implicitly with the American public. If you think of the last inaugural, the Second Inaugural, that’s one of the most condensed lessons in statecraft that you could possibly imagine. And by the way, the other thing was this was not just rhetoric for Lincoln. Lincoln meant it when he said, the South and the North, to put the proper emphasis, failed, on the way to the Civil War. In the North, to a certain extent, the British ran good chunks of the abolitionist movement, the North was dominated by New York, Boston, the financial districts, the drug trade. And maybe our sins have led us to the point where we had to have this brought upon us, to learn the proper lesson.
But he also said, now is the time to take up the orphans and the widows. And remember his last speech was on reincorporating the seceded states into the Union, as though they had never been out, and that was the main conception. It wasn’t to give in to everything they had done. The idea was never to recognize that they even had the right to leave the Union, so they were never out of the Union! So he meant what he was talking about.
And that’s what we have to have, the same sense; that’s what Bill Roberts means, as Dennis referred to: Politics, art, science, they’re all the same thing. They’re inseparable. You can tell a great deal about a population by its music. You can probably predict better than climate forecasting, what the climate is going to be like.
And I think we leave some time for questions, but this is where we are. We have a moment, an opportunity and you can’t let it go. OK? [applause
SPEED: Because of the time, what we’ll do, is we’ll take one question here, and the other questions can be asked of John at the next presentation — I’m sure he’d be happy to answer them, even though he wasn’t here.
Q: [Rick from Bergen County] I’m thinking about the Four Laws in particular, a little bit about the background of Glass-Steagall, how it came about and the thing that ruined it, which was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. And I’m trying to hook up the idea of Glass-Steagall with the creation of a National Bank or some kind of a bank that is set up by the government, for example, an infrastructure bank.
And in thinking about it, I think a case can be made that the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was unconstitutional, at least from the point of view of the General Welfare. The Congress in passing that, passed something that was just patently dangerous to the general population, and I think that a good legal case could be made that based on its constitutionality the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act should be repealed.
Now, since the Banking Act of ’33 that you referred to, I believe is still in place, apparently that what happened legally was that Gramm-Leach-Bliley pulled out the investment/commercial separation and left the rest of it; in particular, note, that part of the rest of it was the FDIC insurance. So, not only is there the question of constitutionality of what gave rise to the elimination of Glass-Steagall, there’s also the issue of the fact that the population is now behind a very flawed insurance of reckless behavior: I would make that case. That the currently existing FDIC insurance was not meant to be in place, and I believe one could find arguments of FDR and the people around him at that time, that it was not the intention to have the Banking Act of ’33 with FDIC insurance and without Glass-Steagall.
So in a sense, taking away Glass-Steagall really voids the whole thing by leaving the FDIC insurance, which is ridiculous, in my opinion. Because we are put in the position of insuring something that was never intended to be insured without the lower risk aspect of that Banking Act.
So, I could go in another direction on this and argue that we should pull, from a business standpoint, anybody who’s not willing to put the Glass-Steagall back in, should have their FDIC insurance cancelled. That’s what a good insurance company would do.
But the other aspect of it, is, where do people go, and here’s how I hook it up with the bank. The government, in line with that, could set up a bank where the deposits could now move to this special bank, with a guaranteed rate of return, that would be guaranteed up to $250,000 or more, attract depositors for any institution that does not wish to put into place Glass-Steagall, if they are receiving FDIC insurance. What do you think?
RUBINSTEIN: I think it’s an interesting point, that the insurance doesn’t make sense without Glass-Steagall, because you’re basically backing up whatever risk is to be taken on. And there’s no doubt that the FDIC, — Roosevelt himself was a little bit questioning about that kind of insurance anyway; but ultimately he realized that it was necessary. And the FDIC was clearly meant to insure a basic level of bank deposit, but not to be a blank check for any form of speculation.
The one thing I would say, however, is, in terms of the legal action, right now, we need something quicker and what we need to do, is to get the Trump administration to just go full publicly with the Glass-Steagall and break open this thing where we got 40, 50, 60 sponsors but they never really push it.
Now: Kaptur has said on a couple of things that, including this question of a steel plant in Ohio and so forth, that if Trump went with Glass-Steagall and fought for these jobs, she would back him up.
We need somebody to break from this Democratic Party phalanx, unity of “resist,” as somebody said — I forget who it was, I think it was in one of these articles; what does it mean, “resist” — whatever they do, “resist, resist!” This is absolutely absurd!
Now, the other point I would make is, I think the driving force in the Four Laws is the Fourth Law, in other words conceptually, even though in practice, Glass-Steagall may come first, and may have to come first, and you’ve got to have some braking of this idea of speculative investment and monetarism; nonetheless conceptually, with the population, they have to see that indeed, we need a real space program, we need a fusion program, not just because it’s “energy forever.” But because of the conception of energy-flux density, that is, to get the kind of progress the human species needs, you’ve got to have fusion energy, a space program, and I think conceptually, you have to work back from that, to get them to see everything else that’s needed, that Lyn is putting forward.
SPEED: OK. So, we’re going to conclude by treating you all to the exchange, if you want to call it that, between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel.
[VIDEO last question at their join press conference]
DIE WELT: A question to you Mr. President. [gchq] rejected White House claims that the elite wiretapping on you, on Trump Tower, on Trump Organization or on members of your campaign, that British intelligence was either responsible for it, or involved in it. And after these claims are rejected, what is your take on that. Are there other suspects, or do you think it was a mistake to blame British intelligence for this?
And by the way, my second question, are there from time to time Tweets that you regret in hindsight?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very seldom.
DIE WELT: Very seldom, and so you would have…
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very seldom, yes. Probably wouldn’t be here right now, but very seldom. We have a tremendous group of people that listen and I can get around the media when the media doesn’t tell the truth. So I like that.
As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. [The President cast a sideways glance at Mrs. Merkel]