THE LEAD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Families and Making America Great

January 17, 2021
LaRouche's 1983 classic refuting Malthusianism.

by Brian Lantz


“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” —1 Corinthians 13:1

How can we restore the promise of “American Exceptionalism” as a continuing, profoundly positive factor in world history? First, you must qualify yourself as a leader. Traditionally, policymaking was a matter of discerning the universal physical and related laws that govern the universe in which we live, with a devotion to the future, and a shared sense of purpose that binds our sovereign republic, as a singular creation of mankind. The General Welfare and Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are then part and parcel of what it is to be preciously, essentially human.

The Tavistock Institute, primarily through the drug-rock-sex counterculture, induced a shift in the 1960s, replacing the scientific method with policymaking as a matter of “feelings” and consensus. One consequence of that shift was the destruction of family formation. Now we, as Americans, must climb out of the pit of mediocrity, informing ourselves and making the necessary effort to ensure that the United States remains the world’s great sovereign, republican nation. A nation ever engaged in constructing a more perfect union.

Now, we must now fire the imagination. We must break the oligarchy’s “empire of the mind.”

There Are No Limits to Growth

To secure our future, we also need more people. Thinking about the reason for families, or the lack of them, is something that, in the current situation, most people do not believe can be thought about. The idea of deliberately promoting families of more than two children puts progressives on edge, and many conservatives are alarmed about even legal immigrants. But young Americans do want to have more kids, and much of America is virtually empty. The Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbor for good reason.

Lyndon LaRouche refuted the Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth” Malthusian hoax and showed that human creativity expressed as continuous scientific and technological progress is the single prerequisite to secure the future of humanity and to spread the principle of life throughout more and more of the universe.

The science of physical economy requires it. Along with rising levels of energy flux density, it is specifically increases in potential relative population density which is the rigorous basis for measuring our increasing mastery of the universe and its physical principles, as physical economist Lyndon LaRouche specifies. After all, how else do we know that what we think and do corresponds to the actual universe around us?

Apollo astronaut Alan Shepard with his family, at home at the piano.

We are about the business of restoring the American System of physical economy, using the methods of Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon LaRouche. Such methods demand science-driver programs, as Ben Franklin initiated with electricity, as John F. Kennedy created with the Apollo mission, and as President Trump has initiated with NASA’s Artemis program for Moon and eventual Mars colonization, propelled by fission and fusion energy development. It is the mind of man, man in the image of God (imago viva Dei), that is our most precious and unlimited resource.

A growing division of labor is required to make possible such scientific and technological progress, and such progress creates the basis for a growing and happy society. This is the opposite of the “green” pessimism which would sacrifice human beings to Gaia. Such methods demand that our nation always, optimistically be engaged in launching the next “kicker” of scientific progress, creating the next leaps in mankind’s productivity.

There are no limits to resources that cannot be overcome with the discovery of new resources, and more profoundly, by the discovery of new physical principles that encompass our universe. Therefore, what is required is that we inspire the formation of growing numbers of families—growing families full of the noise and laughter of numbers of children—once again. Therefore, our country needs to adopt certain basic objectives for policy shaping:

  • We need to achieve growing productivity and a payscale that will support a one-paycheck household, at least through the children’s K-12 school years. Otherwise, we would need a lot of free childcare, which is not as desirable.

  • We also need stable, dependable long-term productive jobs, making the physical changes on nature for man. We reject post-industrialism, and the Silicon Valley/Wall Street return to the “piece work” of the “gig” economy of 18th Century Britain.

  • We therefore can and must grow stable neighborhoods with access to quality healthcare and schooling. This is the society’s investment in the typical American family household, whereby to produce productive and happy future generations.

Here it is important to quote statesman and economist Lyndon LaRouche:

“Improvement—i.e., physical growth, increased physical productivity, physically improved product—occurs solely through physical investment in the production of those physical effects which tend to increase the average level of the physical-productive powers of labor in the society as a whole. The state, with its unrestricted sovereign authority for the creation and circulation of its currency, must shape the rules of credit and monetary circulation in ways which tend to foster the physically desired long-term physical effects. The emphasis must be as much, or even more, than on the short-term effects....

“The most elementary type of long-term economic cycle is measured in generations: the investment which must be made, cumulatively, in the development of the newborn infant into an educated, economically efficient young adult, a generation later. For example, the cost and prices of production and exchange, must reflect the incurred physical cost of that investment in the development of a new generation of a certain productive potential.”

—Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., “Another Thing George W. Bush Does Not Know: The American System of Political-Economy,” October 7, 2002

Where Are We Now?

We must break the current long-term cycle of entropy, including the suppression of real wage growth, a major factor in the growth of more than a trillion dollars of student debt plus trillions more in credit card and medical debt. Growing indebtedness must be reversed if we are to create conditions for family formation. The idea of bringing a child into the world seems irresponsible or impossible if one is living with parents or renting an apartment shared with roommates.

The latest data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics through the National Vital Statistics System reveals the following:

  • The U.S. general fertility rate declined 1% in 2019 to 58.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, down from 59.1 in 2018. Rates declined for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women.

  • During 2007–2017, total fertility rates in the United States fell for rural and metropolitan counties: 12% in rural, 16% in small or medium metro, and 18% in large metro counties.

Further, the number of children living in households with one parent has tripled since 1960. Single parents can certainly raise their children. After all, George Washington was raised by his mother, Mary Ball Washington. Alexander Hamilton was an orphan. But there is an increased risk of declining family formation, even if the risk is not immediately apparent in the single-parent family per se. Children do better if they have a good relationship with the in-home parent or parents, especially if there is a low level of parental or family conflict; if the parent has economic resources; and if children have individual resilience to adverse circumstances.

The fertility rate among U.S. women has fallen from 3.5 in 1960 to 1.73 in 2018. However, writers often disconnect family formation from economic circumstances. For example, a payscale or salary that would support a family of four to six children requires an income today of approximately $75,000 to $125,000 or more.

The reader will probably wonder how this can be accomplished. Certainly it cannot occur under the policies of the “Great Reset.” It is the implementation of Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws” that most succinctly sums up the necessary and reasonable steps to be taken, and LaRouche PAC will be presenting more on this critical topic.

Restoring Our Nation’s Purpose

We would be fooling ourselves if we did not acknowledge that, in addition to the necessary physical conditions such as wages and salaries and stable productive jobs, there are profound subjective factors that must be addressed as well. To be that “City upon the Hill,” as John Winthrop foresaw, requires that we address the “black, empty hole” that exists in secular culture today.

That “black, empty hole,” is the desire to do The Good. As President Abraham Lincoln eloquently stated it at Gettysburg:

“…It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with his wife and children.

After all, European nations today offer many resources to encourage fertility, such as a child bonus or a child or family allowance, maternity/paternity leave, and increased public childcare coverage. Yet, European Union countries had an average total fertility rate of 1.55 children per woman in 2018—well below replacement levels, much less necessary growth. Even worse, according to the 2019 World Population Data Sheet, released on January 15, 2021 by the Population Reference Bureau, the lowest fertility rates in the world are currently South Korea (1.0), Singapore (1.1), and Taiwan (1.1).

It is widely feared that many young people will never be able to form stable families, because so many of them have never seen what that is like. Fewer than one-fifth of households now conform to the “nuclear family” model of mother, father, and children. In 1960, that number was 45 percent.

In a recent poll, fully half of single adults say they are not currently looking for a relationship or dates. A Pew report made the remarkable prediction that by the time today’s young adults reach the age of 50, about one in four of them will have been single their entire lives. That’s a cohort of 55-year-olds in which 25 percent have never been married. Among the younger groups, a growing number express no interest at all in romantic relationships or dating.

Growing Militant Rage

There is additional fallout and social devastation caused at least in part by collapse of the family, particularly the alienation of young men as evidenced by their plunging into left/right extremes, radical environmentalism, and nihilism.

We are seeing disengaged young men, whose behavior expresses confusion, and an attraction to groups that serve as family substitutes, “chosen families”—whether street gangs, BLM, or identitarian groups of the right or left. There is also an increasing flight into a sort of collectivism. It was reported that in Portland, protesters taunted cops with the chant “Your children will hate you.” What kind of political statement is that, if not one of rage against people who do have families?

It is also clear that some American citizens are becoming fearful of expressing their religious views, something that should not be in a country founded on religious freedom. Further, yesterday’s advocates for same-sex marriage, now promote all measure of further gender confusion. One writer referred to this as “mission creep.”

Another Direction

As Lyman Stone, Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, has pointed out, “Whereas Americans on both sides of the aisle once shared a basic model of family, today our political divisions show up quite literally at birth, with conservatives having (and desiring to have) considerably more children than liberals.”

Stone had also pointed out that it is not probably the case that young people do not want to have families:

"The gap between the number of children that women say they want to have (2.7) and the number of children they will probably actually have (1.8) has risen to the highest level in 40 years.” He also has pointed out that “President Trump did better in counties with higher birth rates, and the difference is fairly large, with the most pro-Biden counties having total fertility rates almost 25% lower than the most pro-Trump counties.”

A book by Matthew Yglesias, One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger, also has created something of a stir. Yglesias is a liberal, not a Trump supporter, and the co-founder of the very problematic Vox news website. Making his pitch to liberals, among others, Yglesias says, “The idea of taking deliberate action to increase national fertility gives some progressives the willies, just as conservatives are these days in a perennial state of alarm about immigrants. But Americans, as a whole, simply do want to have more kids. Supporting that desire doesn’t require a campaign of The Handmaid’s Tale–type coercion or the arrival of a different, atavistic social structure.” Rather, Yglesias argues, what is required is simply the kinds of social support that help in the raising of children.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.”

Young People Today

Most importantly, LaRouche PAC is posing a great challenge to young people today, as Lyndon LaRouche had posed it to many of us. Addressing a LaRouche PAC audience of young men and women in February 2006, Lyndon LaRouche’s message speaks to all of us today:

“What we have to re-create is this sense of scientific progress, as a driver of economy, which existed in previous times. The only way to do that, is to go back to the period of ancient Greece, the period of the Pythagoreans and Plato, and look at the approaches to the fundamental discoveries in physics, and science, which we now know were absolutely valid, as opposed to anything different subsequently. Go back to that, and build a base, a constituency among people in your age and younger, for the concept of a practice of science….

“You belong to the children of a generation which has lost that! So, the connection of science, which existed in Europe, from the 15th Century on, to recent times, was broken, with your parents’ generation. Because, they belong to a culture as adults which no longer believed in science. They believed in mathematics—information theory is an example of mass insanity! There’s no science as such, in information theory. It’s a trick! It’s a gimmick….

“So therefore, what we need, is a young generation which becomes the conscience of the older generation leading society, which does what you’ve been trying to do: Is to go back to the fundamentals of scientific knowledge, of cultural knowledge in European civilization, to re-experience in a condensed form, the generation of that kind of knowledge, to create among your generation a constituency for what we must do! And prepare yourselves to take over society, as you grow older….

“And you have to be the inspiration.

“You’re only a small number of the total population. But, if we do our job, and expand this operation, you’ll have more, who will go through the same kind of experiences some of you have gone through. And on that foundation, of education, and educating the educators, we will build the constituency of young people of your age-group, which will be the foundation on which the people of older generations will build the future of humanity. And the United States, which is the epitome of the principle of freedom, at least constitutionally, if not always in practice, is the place in the world, from which to launch this effort for the reform of civilization.”

To quote the great Frederick Douglass, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Read LaRouche's No Limits to Growth