To begin to answer this question, we have to start by establishing once more just who we really are, and why we are here. Among all the propaganda campaigns which have swept over us from Europe since colonial days, the most deliberately confusing and entangling has been the drivel which goes by the name of “economics.” Walk over to the nearest trash can, turn your head sideways and empty your ear of that unredeemable drivel straight into the trash can.
The reality is that New England was founded by people who took the Renaissance Christian idea that Man is made in the image of the Creator seriously. Whether or not your direct ancestors came here aboard the Mayflower (as did one of Lyndon LaRouche’s direct ancestors) or via later methods of immigration/assimilation, the idea behind the New England colonies remains the guiding principle underlying American culture today. Our founding ancestors would not submit to the Aristotelian ideas of a “steady state society,” in which the only changes allowed were associated with warfare among squabbling oligarchs.
Our ancestors sought to give immortal meaning to their lives by creating a New World in which creative contributions would be encouraged, cherished and passed down to succeeding generations, in a continuously expanding and developing process called progress. And they hoped that the example of successful progress in the New World would lead to improvements in the Old.
In general, people in the Old World were also creative, but constrained. For example, craftsmanship and various arts which oligarchs found useful were encouraged within certain bounds. But, any new thoughts, strategies or products which might affect the old “steady state” relationships between oligarchs and underlings were persecuted in many ways. In particular, American ideas were suppressed.
Over time, the New World approach became associated with terms like “pursuit of happiness,” the “American System,” or “American Methods,” but though the particulars and predicates have changed over time, as a long-term goal we have struggled to create conditions in which the individual can successfully alter and improve his or her thinking and practice to the increasing benefit of himself or herself and society generally—on into eternity.
In response to the early successes demonstrated in New England, the British Empire stepped up efforts to apply Old World imperial machinations to isolate, corrupt and undermine the New World, by such measures as large-scale introduction of the slave plantation system into Virginia and the Carolinas. Not all of the Empire’s countermeasures were so obvious. Many more were very subtle—which brings us to today’s topic—what is killing our economy? How is the life being extracted out of us? Take a look at what has been happening to people who uplift society with new ideas. What has been happening to the source of wealth—the human mind?
Creativity is sparked by a problem. The irritation, inconvenience, inability, or barrier, spurs the creative mind to search for new approaches and new vantage-points. Often the creative solution lies in application of a principle far removed from the problem. A new insight or hypothesis lays the basis for progress in society, and the increase of potential relative population density.
George Westinghouse, Jr., circa 1910-1912. Westinghouse Electric Corporation Photographs, Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center.
Among the millions of such cases, take the little-known example of the self-effacing great soul, George Westinghouse, Jr. Already having a couple of successful railroad patents and products to his name, as a young man he took up the problem of stopping trains. At the time, railroad brakemen were employed to jump from the top of one railcar to the top of the next sequentially down the train, to manually turn a mechanical brake wheel atop each car in order to stop the train. This process was very slow and killed thousands and thousands of brakemen—besides whatever damage took place ahead of the onrushing train. Reading about the use of compressed air drills operating miles away from compressors, and miles into a tunnel project in the Alps, Westinghouse investigated the possibility of using compressed air to simultaneously apply brakes down the entire length of a train. He succeeded with successively better and better air brake systems.
Later, Westinghouse applied all the knowledge he had gained in studying the control of compressed air, to the creation of an early natural gas utility—literally begun with wells in his back yard. In his gas utility, he transmitted gas at high pressure, and used a reducing valve to lower the pressure at the customer end for safe burning. When he saw the extreme transmission range limitations of Edison’s first neighborhood electrical power plant, he thought about potentials for an electrical transmission system similar to the high-pressure-to-low-pressure natural gas system he had used for transmission/distribution of natural gas. He developed step-up and step-down transformers for an entire long-range electrical distribution system, which became our modern system.
Books are filled with the details. Let’s just say that Westinghouse—who created over 60 industry-creating or transforming firms, and filed hundreds of patents along with countless patents from his employees—was always down on the shop floor or lab, personally solving problems. He never had a strike at any of his firms, because he was pushing to uplift working and living conditions for his people—just as he intended for society generally. Westinghouse’s problems were not with his workers but with the banks. Never holding back and always putting his profits right back into his people and projects, during the Panic of 1907, with no separate private fortune to fall back upon in a pinch, he lost control of his most important company, Westinghouse Electric, to the banks.
Although the smart folks Westinghouse had brought into his electric company continued to make important advances, over time the corrupting influence of the remote control by “investors” and financiers, gradually sucked the creativity and life out of the company—at great loss to humanity in general.
The same bank-takeover process had previously been imposed upon Thomas Edison and on most railroads, and was only later avoided by Henry Ford through extraordinary measures. Even though the general situation in America was more favorable than Europe’s to revolutionary creative developments, our biggest weakness has been founded upon misunderstandings about credit and banking. British Empire operatives became the theorists and experts in the area of manipulation of currencies, prices and “markets.”
By repeatedly shutting down our two explicit Hamiltonian National Banks, and later Lincoln’s Greenback system, and still later the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the oligarchical operatives in the City of London and Wall Street have not only been able to cut off credit for national projects and promising entrepreneurs, but have given themselves an open field to repeatedly manipulate boom/bust cycles to bankrupt and take over important national enterprises, and shut down their future potentials.
Through its various phases, the history of the United States has been that of a complex, many-sided struggle against attempts by the British oligarchy to either prevent progress, or to “rationalize” whatever could not be stopped. In rationalization, the oligarch will seek to apply the ground-rent approach to industry. “We know how to produce the product. We just have to figure out how to extract the most ‘rent’ possible from the process: lower the cost per unit input, decrease the cost of labor, cut out research and development, buy out competitors’ patents, increase the scale and speed of production, and manipulate increased demand.”
“We have a linear, steady-state process which we can loot indefinitely.” Just such oligarchical thinking imposed upon American industry, American science/engineering and the American worker, has nearly wiped out American industry. Such thinking was easily merged into straight British Imperial free trade and globalization dogmas.
As Lyndon LaRouche repeatedly pointed out, any such “rationalized,” steady-state system will eventually kill itself. At any given technology, the input resources easiest to obtain will be used up, and force the substitution of input resources more and more difficult to obtain (and therefore more expensive). Eventually this leads to collapse of the enterprise—or even the civilization if applied throughout society.
Besides the takeover of enterprises in a financial pinch, the oligarchical influence upon America is seen in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), which have skyrocketed in proportion with the collapse of American industrial output. Anglophile, and probably outright British operative J.P. Morgan famously used M&A to “rationalize” the steel and railroad industries. The resulting monopolies, duopolies and oligopolies applied the Aristotelian steady-state production assumptions. In recent decades a similar process was applied to the American aerospace industry.
Many friends from Russia remark that the current American corporate system is just like the old Soviet system. Again, as LaRouche repeatedly pointed out, replacing the spark of creative leadership with a rationalized, politically correct bureaucracy is a prescription for assured collapse.
Fortunately, despite all of the traps set to kill off American entrepreneurship, there are still people rapidly founding new productive enterprises based upon prospective new or better ideas for solving problems. However, most of these new startups are funded by Venture Capitalists who are also part of the “financialization” of everything. We must reestablish a Hamiltonian National Bank to issue credit not only to the great national projects—like the North American Water and Power Alliance continental water system—but also to issue the credit necessary to develop the creative new startups which will be the foundation of our future prosperity. To allow new enterprises to be dependent upon Venture Capitalists and speculative money, is to undermine new ventures right from the beginning, by putting medium-term financial returns at the top of the list of their priorities—instead of the interest of the nation and customer.
Such financial interests with their British economic theories lead to obscenities such as this famous phone imprint: “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” Moving production away from design and engineering is another prescription for eventual collapse.
So, again, if we are to re-Americanize the U.S. economy, we must toss out anything we “learned” as “economics and finance.” We have paid a terrible price for allowing the confusion thus spread to govern our decisions.
Lyndon LaRouche made a point of distinguishing between momentary survival and durable survival. He insisted that durable survival requires looking at a minimum 50-year horizon. Can we really expect that wiping out research and development, looting our labor force (or a foreign labor force), running our old machinery until it breaks down, discouraging births of a new generation, while paying maximum dividends to shareholders in the short term, will still be a workable policy in 50 years? Of course not. Nor will we be here to see that, unless we change our ways now.
We encourage the study of LaRouche’s work on physical economy, his Four Laws for Economic Recovery, and theoretical books, but at the same time, we know that such a study is a messy process. Such study requires reexamination of one’s own assumptions and ideas concerning such concepts as money, investment and growth. At the same time, we know that the Empire has been systematically twisting word-meanings into their opposites to the point that the ensuing confusion may seem impenetrable.
But LaRouche also based his work on the apparently simple Biblical injunction to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” So, in first approximation, you will be on the right track if you ask the question “Will any particular proposal implemented over a 50-year period result in increased or decreased power of society to ‘replenish the earth, and subdue it’?” This represents a sound beginning, both for approaching economic problems, and for beginning to study LaRouche’s works.
As you organize others around the LaRouchePAC resolution to Re-Americanize the Economy, bear the above principles in mind. You will hear back the craziest ideas put out by the City of London to confuse the citizens while allowing the Empire to continue its dirty operations: “Real estate is a sure bet.” “There is money to be made in the Green New Deal!” “It is more ‘efficient’ to outsource to other countries.” “Protectionism caused World War II and will cause another one if we try to impose tariffs.” “Americans are too greedy.” “Don’t worry, ‘THEY’ know what they are doing.”
Calmly bear in mind that just as there have been millions of unknown creative persons (like our Westinghouse example) who have built this country up from nothing, there are millions more looking for the opportunity and credit to solve a problem and move society forward. Put your interlocutor on the spot: “How will your counterproposal look in 50 years?” If President Nixon had been able to see America now, after 50 years, he would not have succumbed to his “expert advisors” and allowed the dollar, along with all of our productive powers, to be put under the control of the City of London and Wall Street speculators, market manipulators and asset grabbers.
Once freed from the psychological and financial constrictions imposed upon the American people, once our economy is “re-Americanized,” there is no limit to what we can accomplish for ourselves, our posterity, and the world!