Manhattan Town Hall event with Jeff Steinberg
Manhattan Town Hall event with Jeff Steinberg
Jeff Steinberg fields questions from NYC activists during this week’s Manhattan Town Hall event.
DENNIS SPEED: My name is Dennis Speed, and on behalf of the LaRouche Political Action Committee, I want to welcome everybody here today for the Saturday dialogue with Lyndon LaRouche.
Today, we’re going to be hearing from Jeff Steinberg. Jeff, Diane, myself, and several others were in a conversation with Lyn just before this meeting. We’ll begin with an opening statement by Jeff, and then we’ll go directly to questions and answers; the microphone is here in the center, for those of you here for the first time. At the point that we get to the Q&A, please state your question clearly and as shortly as possible. Jeff, I think you have about an hour, am I correct?
So, we’re ready for your statement Jeff; go ahead.
JEFFREY STEINBERG: Well, it’s a pleasure to be here, even if only by Google Hangout. I just want to say at the beginning that it’s imperative that coming out of this discussion today, everyone has a very clear strategic focus on our priority tasks. There’s an enormous amount of distraction and literally a willful campaign to demoralize the American people by turning this year’s Presidential elections into a pornographic reality TV show. There’s a reason why major forces within the Establishment are trying to do that. We’re at a point of grave crisis; the entire trans-Atlantic financial system is hanging by a thread. You could literally pick up the paper Monday morning, and find out that we’re going through a Lehman Brothers’ shock, but 100 times worse. Deutsche Bank is a major international bank; it’s actually a City of London bank, it no longer has anything to do with Germany or with the prior tradition of Alfred Herrhausen and classic Rhineland German banking, industrial banking.
We also face the reality that President Obama, on behalf of the British and their Saudi allies, is attempting to provoke Russia; provoke President Putin through again, a guttural propaganda campaign of lies with the intent of goading the Russians into taking a strategic step that would prove to be a blunder. That is not about to happen; Putin is far too smart for that. The Obama forces, the British, the Saudis are still reeling from the strategic defeat that they suffered, which all of you played a very critical role in, in the passage of JASTA; and then the overriding of President Obama’s veto by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in both Houses of Congress. I can assure you that this is not something that has been accepted and minimized on the part of the Obama circles, the British, and the Saudis. After the override of the veto, the Saudis began doubling amount of money that they’re spending in trying to buy off and corrupt the Congress; so they know that this is simply the beginning of the end of their entire global terror empire operation.
So, what are our priorities? In the discussion with Lyn and Helga earlier today, there were two things that became crystal clear. Number one, that we have got to continue the drive for Obama’s removal from office. If you simply consider the fact that he continues to conduct these Tuesday kill sessions in which extra-judicial assassinations are mapped out and signed on to by the President — including extra-judicial assassinations of American citizens; it should be very clear why it is that the very principles of our Constitution are jeopardized if this kind of behavior is in any way, shape, or form tolerated. Of course, by keeping up the heat, by forcing people to remember what the actual legacy of this President is, we go a long way towards making sure that he is denied any opportunity to blow things up even worse in his final three months in office. So, the removal of Obama, the demand that Constitutional principles be revived and this guy is removed, even in the very little time left in his Presidency, is something that carries a very powerful message.
Secondly, we’ve got to make sure that our strategic efforts are focused on effectively establishing the same kind of emergency measures that were adopted by President Franklin Roosevelt in the first 100 days of his Presidency. And of course, as all of you know, the immediate reinstatement of Glass-Steagall is an essential element of that effort. But alone, Glass-Steagall doesn’t do the job; it’s a necessary first step, but we’ve got to insist on something much more than that. Namely, a full-scale Hamiltonian revival. Now, that’s exactly what the legislative package that Franklin Roosevelt pushed through in his first 100 days in office accomplished; and we know the history of Roosevelt’s own deep studies of Alexander Hamilton, going back to his own family legacy. One of his relatives was one of the closest partners and allies of Hamilton during the formative years of the republic after the Constitution. So, we’ve got that same task.
When Lyn wrote his Four Cardinal Laws several years back, he was basically — as he has emphasized this week — putting forward a framework for applying Hamilton’s core principles to the current circumstances that the United States faces. And of course, the situation globally, if you step back and look at the Earth as a whole, has shifted to a major center of gravity of real growth, of scientific and technological progress is in Asia; extending into Eurasia. Western Europe, including Germany, is bankrupt; the United States is an economic basket case with a collapse of infrastructure. With word that now many of your have perhaps directly received that Obamacare is in a state of disintegration. One of our colleagues in Maryland received a letter which is typical of the letters received by over 1.5 million people just in the last several weeks; that the Obamacare health care is going to increase in price by 61% this year, and with a dramatic reduction in actual services provided. So, this is just typical of the general directionality of the collapse of our real economy.
So, it’s this policy agenda that is vital to everything that we’re doing. In all likelihood, there will be another President; and as we know very clearly, the next President is going to be problematic in the same way that the last two Presidents were very problematic and worse. So, we’ve got to keep the perspective that the kind of laser-focussed mobilization that we accomplished that led to the victory in the JASTA fight, has to be carried forward. And the singular focus of that effort has to be on the implementation of a Hamiltonian recovery for the United States.
Now, we’re not starting from Ground Zero by any means. Both political parties have adopted Glass-Steagall in their platforms; and that was not just some minor thing. This was noted by Wall Street in a real reaction of panic, because of the implications of Glass-Steagall plus the other measures that Lyn has clearly laid out. So, that’s the task before us. And one of the first challenges is to make sure that everybody’s head is absolutely clear that the distractions that abound are not a diversion away from forcing people to face the reality that, unless we can succeed in implementing these kinds of major changes in policy direction, the country is doomed and future generations are going to be in very big trouble. And of course, the war danger is a byproduct of the desperation of those who are trying to hold together a system that’s already dead. What we’ve got to clearly put on the table as a definition of leadership, which you’re not getting from Clinton, you’re not getting from Trump, you’re not getting from anywhere else. We’ve got to define the policy agenda that must be adopted and implemented in the immediate period ahead. That is an underlying reality that basically has to be the driver for all of our work; because we can achieve a major breakthrough. The American people are hungry and desperate for the kinds of policies that we’re putting forward. When we present these policies in a way that they understand what the historic roots are; that this is a restoration of the core principles upon which the American republic was founded. That we fought a revolution for against a British Empire that is still the center of evil in the world today; we can make miracles happen.
So, Dennis, Diane, why don’t we just throw things open now?
SPEED: OK, let’s go to the first question.
Q: Good afternoon. This is Jessica from Brooklyn. I’m hearing what you’re saying, and everyone in the room is getting — you feel that tension from energizing ourselves to get ready for this fight. As a teacher, I noticed this past week, that in our mailboxes, there were Time magazines; so the Time magazines are totally pushing against — I brought two of them with me — pushing this propaganda against Putin. We are supposed to be presenting these kinds of things in the classroom. As far as what’s going on in Syria, it’s saying that the Russians are preventing us from actually fighting ISIS. Yeah; how about that? And other things that Putin is trying to intervene in our elections. It’s just crazy stuff! So, I hear you; I know that we have to be ready — we are ready for this fight. I just want you to comment further on the strategy that needs to be used, because the propaganda is outrageous; it’s just everywhere. Time magazine, Daily News, everywhere; well, the Daily News is stuck on the election. So, if you could comment further on where we start, how we strategize; and what needs to be done to intertwine impeaching Obama and getting Glass-Steagall.
STEINBERG: I think that there’s a good reason why you have this effort at demonization of Putin; because with limited resources, Putin has successfully outflanked all of the war party operations around the Middle East. We’re at a point right now in Syria where the Syrian government forces — with strong support from Russia — have completely cut off and isolated what’s called the Aleppo pocket. This is the area of eastern Aleppo that’s been in the hands of al-Qaeda; which is really the mother organization of the Nusra Front, no matter how many times they change their name.
Al-Qaeda has a last remaining stronghold in that city; it’s encircled, it’s under siege, it’s collapsing neighborhood by neighborhood. Everyone who thought that Putin was stupid, thought that the Russians would be drawn into Syria, in a way that would become another Afghanistan kind of trap. Putin has basically outflanked them all; and it has now become clear that anyone looking for peace and stability in the Middle East — or frankly, anywhere throughout Eurasia — has to deal with Russia, has to work with Putin.
Now, you’re going to see an even further round of hysteria coming out by the early part of next week; because what you’re going to hear about is that the BRICS heads of state meeting has taken place over this weekend. Already today, there have been extremely important, bilateral heads of state meetings between Putin and Modi; between Putin and Xi Jinping; and between Modi and Xi Jinping.
That’s just for starters. There have been massive agreements — both security agreements and vital economic agreements — expanding on the One Belt, One Road program that are coming out of that whole discussion. There’s actually, ironically, a piece in the New York Times today that begrudgingly admits that with a very small expenditure of resources, Putin has succeeded in having Russia re-emerge as a major global player. Last week, Putin was meeting with Erdogan in Turkey, and consolidating another major piece of the economic agreements which are now part of an integrated Russia-China, One Belt, One Road/Eurasian Economic Union progress.
This is all bluff and lies; and we’ve got to basically just dismiss it as exactly that. I think the question to pose to people when they raise all of this insanity about Putin, is to ask them, do they really want to start a nuclear Third World War? Because this kind of activity is leading in exactly that direction.
The fact of the matter is, that Eurasia is organizing itself around Hamiltonian principles. At the very end of the 19th century, the foreign policy of the United States was to build what today is called the Eurasian Land-Bridge. What Lyn and Helga called the Eurasian Land-Bridge, beginning at the moment that the whole Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union collapsed, In the 19th century, American military engineers were in Russia, building the Trans-Siberian Railroad with the Russians. Friends of the United States in the circles of Bismarck, were building rail links from Berlin to Baghdad. In France, the American System faction around Carnot and Hanotaux were building rail links from Paris to Vladivostok. So, Eurasia had an American System concept back then that’s now been revived by China, by Russia, by India. So, the question is, why is it that the United States has abandoned its own concept of how to organize both our own economy and the economy of the rest of the world?
I think all of these things go hand-in-glove; and we’re at a real inflection point moment right now, where people have to understand that it’s really a choice between war and peace. In this case, peace means the kind of economic development that we’re seeing emerging out of Asia in particular, but which can and must be integrated here in the United States. Remember when Xi Jinping initiated the development program, and announced the launching of the AIIB, he made it clear; he made it clear to President Obama face to face, that China absolutely wants full engagement and participation by the United States in these efforts. That’s simply an international corollary of what we’ve got to do in terms of a complete overhaul of our economic and financial policy at home.
I know the second half of today’s meeting is going to begin a detailed review of the major papers that Alexander Hamilton wrote as reports to the Congress. Those principles, as you read through them and look at Lyn’s Four Cardinal Laws from that context, you’ll see; everything is there in conceptual outline for how to carry out a complete revival of the U.S. economy. And for the United States to join what used to be historically American foreign policy: Namely, encouraging the building up of infrastructure everywhere around the globe; the cooperation in scientific advancement; the things that are going on in Asia that used to be the cornerstones of why everybody around the world looked to the United States for leadership.
So, there’s reference points for what we’ve got to do that I think are understandable to an overwhelming majority of our citizens. We’ve got to get people excited and engaged in thinking about ideas, rather than this process of dragging people down into the gutter; which is what the whole character of this Presidential campaign and the debates has been. And Time magazine — look, remember that Time magazine is the legacy of the Luce family. They put Adolf Hitler and Mussolini on the cover of Time magazine as world leaders to be emulated throughout the 1930s. So, it’s a scandal that Time magazine is being used once again to put propaganda together on behalf of war.
Q: The front-page headline of the New York Times says “How Has the U.S. Become More Involved in Yemen?” Reports are that the U.S. has been backing the Saudi war against the Houthis themselves. How can Obama do this? Under what authorization? He’s not supposed to declare [war]; only Congress is. Shouldn’t he be impeached for going to war again? With no authorization again?
STEINBERG: Absolutely. The Yemen war, in certain respects, really brings this to a head, because you’re absolutely right. There has been no debate in Congress; no authorization for the use of military force. But the United States is providing critical intelligence to the Saudi Air Force for these bombing operations; we’ve provided most of the ordnance. There was a fight in Congress just before Congress left town a few weeks ago, where a large group of members of Congress said that the arms sale to Saudi Arabia — the $1.15 billion pending arms sale — should be cancelled because it’s replenishing the Saudis with the weapons they’re using to carry out war crimes and crimes against humanity in Yemen.
And now, just in the past week, we’ve actually escalated Obama’s war inside Yemen under the claim that there were missiles fired from Houthi territory against U.S. ships in the Gulf of Yemen, the U.S. this week carried out three bombing operations, three missile strikes ostensibly against the Houthi positions from which those rockets were launched. It’s being claimed that the Houthis are being backed by Iran; but there’s no evidence that has ever surfaced in any what that that’s the case.
So, we are aligning ourselves with Saudi Arabia in carrying out war crimes; because quite frankly, the Saudis have been at this war for a year and a half and they’re losing it. There have been attacks inside Saudi territory.
So, Obama — you’re right — has once again brought the United States into a war. The specifics of the Authorization for Use of Military Force is that we can engage in a foreign military operation for 60 days; after which time, it’s either got to be ended, or Congress has to give full authorization. You’ve got two problems — you’ve got the fact that you’ve got a criminal in the White House; and again, the Tuesday afternoon kill meetings. Lyn was really, really emphatic in our discussion earlier today that you don’t have to come up with a long list of crimes by Obama; the fact that he is presiding over a White House meeting once a week — and he’s done it for seven years — in which a target list is presented to him and he signs death warrants with no judicial process. We don’t know how many Americans have been killed under this kill list policy. I don’t think there’s any way of even calibrating it, because very often the drone strikes are not even directed against a specific target; but are directed against something that, quote, “looks like it might be a terrorist concentration.”
Yes, he should be impeached; and absolutely yes, we should be denouncing this Yemen operation. We should be cutting off military aid to the Saudis; we should be withdrawing all of the U.S. active military support. The Saudi planes could not fly their bombing sorties into Yemen without U.S. planes providing mid-air refueling for them. In every respect, this is a coalition war, in which Saudi Arabia is partnered with the Obama administration and the British in carrying out war crimes.
Q: Hello, Jeff. I’m Hans F—. I have a question which is actually two questions which are interconnected. There was obviously some strong relationship between the success of the passing of the JASTA bill and the choral process, the musical process going on here in New York. For me, specifically the four concerts that were done in connection with the 9/11 fifteenth anniversary; this relationship for me is not totally clear. It’s clear that it’s strong; but exactly how it works is not totally clear for me. That’s my first question. My second question is, how would you apply that same process to get Glass-Steagall through and get Obama out?
STEINBERG: On the first part of the question, there are details that some of us know about how the whole 28 pages and then JASTA fight played out. I think the best way, without going into an enormous amount of detail — some of which probably shouldn’t be discussed publicly anyway; the fact is that from the time of the original 9/11 attacks, from nine months prior to the attack when Lyn, in that testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the confirmation of John Ashcroft as Attorney General, opposed Ashcroft because of the emerging character of the Bush administration. He said, this is a government that will look for the first opportunity to stage a Reichstag Fire to go for dictatorship. So, nine months before 9/11, Lyn was forecasting on the basis of the shape of that administration that was just coming into office, that this would the nature of what they would be like and what they would try to do. And of course, Lyn was being interviewed live when the 9/11 attacks took place; and again, it’s another piece of a sort of history.
The fact of the matter is that our campaign around justice and getting at the full truth behind 9/11 had been going on for 15 years. The work that we did with Congress — I can just tell you — created the conditions for this to happen. People understood that Lyn was prescient in a way that no other living human being was about what was going to happen; what the Bush administration was like. And every single warning that we issued was absolutely born out — unfortunately — by the events that followed. So, we developed an enormous amount of recognized credibility on that issue. Nobody could challenge us on the question of 9/11; why it happened, the elements that were involved in it.
Members of Congress, based on our work literally, decided that this was a critical flank that had to be developed. We drove that flank through the kind of mobilization around the 28 pages, around the JASTA fight. And we knew even after the 28 pages were pried out, after Obama lied for seven and a half years that he would release them, he was finally forced to do it, at the point that members of Congress said, we’re ready to drop the Gravel bomb: We’re ready to just make it public on our own; and so, certain of Obama’s aides said it’s going to come out anyway, so why should you, who’s obsessed and desperate for a legacy, be the demon in this story.
And of course, the buildup for the concert series, and the fact that it came off as effectively and as profoundly as it did, was a vital factor in the victory around the JASTA bill battle. Remember, we not only had those concerts, which inspired many, many institutions — the firefighters, the police, the families; people who were fighting this fight for 15 years, and thought that it was a lost cause, suddenly found that because of our commitment and the way that we carried out that fight, that something that they thought was impossible, was now suddenly possible.
And by introducing the intervention into the 15th anniversary through that series of concerts, that had a critical impact on everyone involved. You know, from being there, how much people were inspired. And since the question of willingness to fight is always a question of morale and morality, it should be clear that the miracle that we pulled off around those concerts, the quality of the performance, the impact that it had, was another factor that very much shaped the developments that ultimately led to that victory.
I think the larger lesson to be learned is that when Lyn launched the Manhattan Project back in October 2014, what he understood was that there was a certain quality among the population of the New York City area that was unique and could be a kind of a moral anchor for mobilizing the population of the country as a whole, and for impacting on members of Congress who are under constant pressure to go along to get along, and now the kinds of despicable things you have to do to go along have gotten worse than ever.
So the fact that Congress through an overwhelming, bipartisan majority stood up to Obama, the British, and the Saudis is a clear indication of what can be accomplished, but that it requires all of those elements that we bring into the equation that nobody else brings into it. And so, there have been two issues which for the last number of years have been the absolute, priority flanks that Lyn has wanted us to concentrate everything on: One was the Saudi fight, the 28 pages/JASTA, but really, it was a flanking assault against the entire Anglo-Saudi empire which controls this Obama Presidency and controlled the Bush Presidency before it.
So that was a critical flank and as I say, they’re more hysterical now than they were going into the JASTA vote, because they saw that Saudi money, and I said this to some of the family members, quote/unquote “Saudi money can’t buy shit anymore in Washington, D.C.,” if it’s held up against the kind of mobilization that we conducted, with Manhattan being a centerpiece of that effort.
The point is, that we were able to assemble together a combination of forces that reached way beyond our own immediate means, around a critical strategic flank that was in the interest of everybody. And that’s exactly what we’ve got to do on the issue of Glass-Steagall, and the Four Laws and a revival of Hamiltonianism. This is an ever bigger interest for the American people at large, because far more people understand that their conditions of life have disintegrated over the last 15, 16 years, than understand the details of 9/11.
So if anything, we’ve got a broader constituency to reach out to on this issue, and we’ve got to be very attentive to the issue of morale and morality, in the same way that that was a driving factor in how we cumulatively created the conditions for victory on the issue of the 28 pages and JASTA. Because it’s a much bigger victory. It was a punch in the nose to the entire British-Saudi empire, and it ain’t over. You know, the 20th of this month is the first scheduled court appearance where the Saudis should be reinstated into the lawsuit by the families. There is a massive amount of evidence yet to be made public.
There’s things that are going to follow through on that. But we’ve got to make sure that we achieve an identical victory, using the same principles and methods. Who are going to be our allies in this fight around a revival of the Hamiltonian principles, starting with Glass-Steagall? You know, there’s many, many institutions, and I’ll tell you right now, in Washington, we are known from the standpoint of the two issues that we’ve strategically focused on. Every member of Congress knows that we created the conditions with a number of individual members who adopted a responsibility to behave in a way that goes way beyond what they previously or normally did. Remember, Walter Jones was the guy who was so angry at the French when they wouldn’t support the Iraq War that he labelled them “freedom fries,” not “French fries.” And he said that the two worst mistakes that he made as a member of Congress was supporting the Iraq War and supporting the repeal of Glass-Steagall.
So we’ve got to be the moral compass from which we create the combination of forces — we have the ability, Lyn has always emphasized this, to be the catalytic factor that activates and moralizes forces that go well beyond our immediate, direct reach and resources.
So it really requires a certain amount of thinking on all of your parts, on what are the opportunities, where are the flanks, how can we broaden it, how can more and more people be brought into the fight around these core Hamiltonian-LaRouchean principles starting with the Glass-Steagall issue which is before both Houses of Congress: There’s bills in the House, there’s bills in the Senate. Everything that we’ve done on these policy issues has been uniquely bipartisan, because these are issues that are in the interest of the entire nation, and this is where the partisanship breaks down. Go back and read Washington’s Farewell Address, where he not only warns about foreign entanglements, but says the greatest internal danger to the United States is the emergence of parties and factions.
So we’ve got to be above that and force people to think in that elevated way.
Q: [Renée Sigerson] Hi Jeff. I want to slightly reshape that question. Actually on the question of bipartisanship, I’m finding that there’s tremendous response when people find out that at Lyn’s 90th birthday, he gave this address with the panorama of the Virginia countryside where George Washington used to ride his horse all the time behind him; gave the address where he said it’s time to dump the corrupt, “hopelessly corrupt” party system in the United States. And when I keep telling people, since there’s not one sentence in the Constitution about political parties, we can really invent a new way of choosing Presidential candidates, and we can dump this Wall Street-controlled idiocy.
In a similar vein, the real issue I think is the economic crisis and the way people respond, paradoxically to the economic crisis, and you can actually judge how much the enemy fears this by the intensity with which they attack Putin. Because the more they attack Putin, you know they’re trying to change the subject. And what they’re afraid of, is that that great hurricane called, the Mozart Hurricane that hit New York City on the weekend of September 11, and travelled like a flood into Washington, D.C., obviously — I mean, if you get 4,000 people going to a concert for the families in New York City, on the basis of getting out 100,000 pieces of literature, and a million people having access to it on cable television, some of our Senators and Congressmen actually know what that means.
And so we have to turn the hurricane flood called Mozart, into the hurricane flood called Hamilton. And I think we’re in a period where we can do this, because the real issue is the fact that Americans are completely flipped out, beyond belief about what’s happening to their living standards and their ability to survive which is beyond imagination. Lyn actually sent us a message not too long ago, where he said, “I think our support is greater than we think. We’ve got to get a handle on it.” And from just calling the lists of people that we sign up in the street, you can see that this is absolutely the case. The problem is that people are somehow blocked from seeing their own mental state as being important to the process which we have to change.
One of the things I want to ask you which I think is relevant to this, I can remember months ago, even a year and a half ago, members of Congress telling us at that time — you can tell me whether this is accurate — that if Glass-Steagall, which already has 100 cosponsors, again, between the Senate and the House, as it’s had every session since 2010; if Glass-Steagall were ever put up for a vote in the Congress it would pass, which is exactly the way the JASTA thing did, which is why it’s never put up for a vote.
Now, do you think that that’s an accurate characterization of the situation?
STEINBERG: Yes. Yeah. That’s why I say, we are a lot closer to forcing a victory on that. You know, look, a year and a half ago, Thomas Hoenig, who was formerly president of the Kansas City Fed and is now vice chairman of the FDIC, scolded members of the House Financial Services Committee, and he basically said: You need to put Glass-Steagall through before the next crash, and I can guarantee to you that there will be another one unless there’s that change in policy. And he said, the problem is, you’re a bunch of cowards and you’ll tend to not act and then when the bottom falls out, you’re going to have a replay of what Paulson did in 2008. He came in and said “the sky is falling” and you guys caved in.
So our job is to make sure that it happens in the kind of immediate period ahead. We have a situation where it’s the biggest open secret, that Deutsche Bank is 100 times bigger in terms of a crisis for the entire trans-Atlantic financial system, as Lehman Brothers was in September 2008, because it was never a Lehman Brothers crisis in the first place. It was a blowout of a system-wide bubble, and now you’ve got an even and even bigger situation.
So we’re right on the absolute edge of the blowout and when you look at the conditions of life that people are in, I think the bottom line is that there’s no doubt in the minds of an overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens, that their conditions of life have collapsed. For the first time, in the last year or so, when people are polled about whether they think their children and grandchildren will have a better or worse condition of life, they say “worse.” That’s the first time in the history of our republic that people have had that kind of view.
So there’s a level of understanding and receptivity out there, and I think your point about the Mozart principle is absolutely right, because you’re battling against a culture and against a media and against an administration that is absolutely out to demoralize and break down the fabrics of society. Every time that Obama writes an article for the London Economist or Wired magazine, about how the U.S. economy has just gone through the greatest recovery in history, we look at him and we say “he’s clinically insane, he’s a pathological liar, and an agent of the British Crown.”
But a lot of other people hear that, and they say, “What’s wrong with me? How come I’m not part of that?” And the intent is to demoralize people. So the issue of morale and the issue of mobilizing people’s better selves into this fight is crucial, and I think it comes down to the fact that people have to be told the truth, they have to have a sense that there’s leadership that both knows what to do and values their role in this fight. We would have never won the fight around the 28 pages, JASTA, the Anglo-Saudi business, if it was exclusively within the confines of Washington, D.C.. We marshaled the population and again, that’s why Lyn sees something unique in the quality of the people of the New York City area that is a leading force for the nation as a whole. That’s why the concerts were possible in New York, in a way that it was probably a lot more challenging to do it anywhere else in the country.
That factor is clear. The only other thing I want to say is that we had a crisis in the 1850s, and the political parties collapsed and disintegrated under the weight of their own corruption; and that’s where we are right now. And in an ironic sense, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are allies in pointing to the fact that the political system has become so corrupt that it’s got to be totally shaken up and overhauled.
Q: [follow-up] Then I just want to ask you one other thing which I think is important for people to reflect on, because of the fact that people are so angry, but then they say, “there’s nothing I can do, or maybe the problem is with me.” Now, Deutsche Bank was a major factor in the mortgage crisis in ’08, and of course the reality is that this crisis is the same crisis as in ’08, it’s just that there’s a lot of confetti to disguise that. But we really never solved any of these crises. But they were deeply involved with that.
Now, we’re about to read the 1791 paper by Alexander Hamilton sometime down the line On Manufactures; which by the way, as we were reflecting last night, 1791 is also the year that Mozart was murdered. It makes you kind of think about the connection between this advancement in the U.S. and the oligarchy’s reaction to it. But the point is in the paper we’re about to read today, he’s going through the state debt and how the Federal government has to assume responsibility for the state debt; we have state governments. I know Lyn is not ecstatic about us spending a heck of a lot of time organizing the state legislatures, because if you’re organizing the Federal government in a certain sense that happens organically. But we know tons of people in these venues; what would you say about other kinds of institutions that would give people a feel for when you — you know, state and local institutions that deal with the crisis as it slams them? What do you think about that? So that we’re clear in our minds about how the entire government works; the way Hamilton had to deal it on the debt question?
STEINBERG: Well, look, Hamilton understood, better than anybody, that had we retained the Articles of Confederation which was a states’ rights document. Just hold up, if you want to have a useful exercise, it doesn’t take a lot of time: Hold up the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution against one another, and you see what the difference is.
So Hamilton, in negotiating that debt agreement that the Federal government would be the only part of the government that would carry forward debt, understood that you had to create a system where the primacy of the Federal government was critical to holding the whole thing together. And so this is a critical element of it.
Now, look, remember, up until 1913, one of the things that bound the Federal system together was the fact that state legislatures chose the U.S. Senators. And again, the intent of the Founders was to create a responsibility among the states for thinking outside of simply the interests of the states, but to have representatives of the state legislatures sitting in Washington with enormous power, as the upper branch of the Legislative branch of our Federal government.
So, their whole concept was centered around the primacy of the Federal government, the Federal government control over the debt. What did he give to Jefferson and Madison? He gave them a swamp that was carved out of Maryland and Virginia, which is now called the nation’s capital.
So we have an enormous amount of reach into state and local elected officials, and to labor officials all over the United States, into civil rights organizations, and these are institutions which, if they are really, convinced of the urgency of Glass-Steagall and the other elements of a full, Hamiltonian revival, they can be mobilized and become a very important multiplier effect in terms of what’s going on. Again, I think that — think about New York, think about Manhattan as a kind of a driver of all of those kinds of things: Look at the institutions that were brought in, around the 9/11 fifteenth anniversary commemoration.
So we have an enormous amount of things going on: I was briefly in Jersey, on Monday night, and had a chance to get caught up — sometimes it’s useful to be a kind of outside voice coming in and just saying, “Hey, what’s up?” And what I heard in terms of the progress that we’ve made in the last year, in all kinds of important and potentially powerful institutional layers in the New York area between the UN, the ethnic communities, the intellectual think tank networks that are in New York, we’ve got a mobilization capability that is probably far greater than we reality and it’s a matter of just simply concentrating our efforts, being very clear for starters on what the priorities are: With our limited resources, what can we do that’s going to have the biggest impact? And on the whole issue of Deutsche Bank, Monte dei Paschi, all of that, I think the point to bear in mind, overarching everything, is that there is no solution within the current systemic framework. The first step, and this is the beauty of Glass-Steagall, is that you’ve got to wipe out the entire derivatives, the quadrillion-dollars-plus, completely bankrupt financial bubble, that’s the parasite sitting on top of everything: That’s got to be step one. , it’s on the LaRouche PAC site, makes that point very clear. Same thing, we had a discussion with him yesterday about Deutsche Bank and he said, “You know, sure German industry can step in and they can revive it as a German Rhineland retail bank, funding industrial development; but you’ve got to get rid of the derivatives bubble right on top. The minute that you pass Glass-Steagall and you basically take all of that gambling and set it aside, it’s no longer under FDIC insurance protection, you’re going to get the biggest margin call in human history. You’re not going to have to wait two years when the law fully goes into effect: It’ll happen instantly, there’ll be a stampede for the door, and Glass-Steagall ensures that what happens at that point is orderly and not completely chaotic.
But that’s only clearing deck: It’s like taking out the garbage, after a garbage strike that’s gone on for 15, 20 years. You have to get the garbage out of the way. We’ve got to clear the air. But then you’ve got to have a clear plan for what you do, and that’s where Lyn’s Four Laws and what you’re about to start to discuss in about a minute and a half in terms of Hamilton’s work, is really vital. And it’s the task of everybody.
SPEED: Jeff is your time — we’re now at about 3.
STEINBERG: Yeah, we should probably break here, and I cede the floor to Mr. Hamilton from New York. [applause]