Excerpts from the proceedings at Lyndon LaRouche's lecture to Prof. Wilhelm Hankel's senior adult economics class at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany on May 29, 2006.
Prof. Hankel: [translated] May I make a short comment? If debates are dishonest, then they never end. And one of the most dishonest debates which has lasted over 200 years, is the debate between free trade and protectionism. And the debate goes to the great credit of a world economist almost unknown today in Germany, namely Friedrich List. I am grateful to Mr. LaRouche that he always gives him his due. The great accomplishment of List is that he shows blunt and scientific evidence that the free trade ideology is nothing more than a ideology of special interests, lobbyism.
The strong, the one who has market power, uses this and unconvincingly claims with the free trade doctrine, that this use of market power should be good for all participants, also for the weak, also the underdeveloped, also for Prussia of that time. And it is of no importance whether Prussia was little then, or the Third World has a considerably bigger potential now; what is crucial is that the argument is false.
There is only fair competition as in a foot race where everybody starts from the same point, and as long as this is not the case, free trade is the exploitation of the weak. I'm very glad that another great contemporary economist in the tradition of List, not the exceptional LaRouche, but Paul Samuelson, again reminded us in the last months, that you have to contrast the so-called gains from free trade, with the lost potentials for development in the Third World, the lost incomes which never come into being, the lost productivity potentials, which can't be fulfilled and developed.
I think this point is very important and I'm glad we address it here again. Nevertheless, in the interest of the agenda, I now propose that we take the other point, which I would hold for even more important: Does not Europe, with its self-infatuation with integration questions, gamble away the great themes with which it is actually confronted, for example, the bridge to Russia, the inter-European-Asian bridge, the responsibility for the Asian continent? Yes, we are only a part of Asia, a very small part, and what happens in the main part, I am very grateful that he mentions it. Mr. LaRouche, that is very important, also for that small point earlier.
Therefore, let us concern ourselves again with his concept of the Inter-European-Asian Bridge. If there are no other questions, I would say, he should again make clear how that would look in his concept. The alternative to European integration.
LaRouche: Yeah, okay. This involves a philosophical point, because all scientific questions do involve a philosophical point. First, the question comes up, why the nation-state? The nation-state has to do with language, but we've idiotic ideas like Esperanto. Why do we cling to the idea of the national sovereignty of a people, which speaks a language, but also has certain other things in common? It's because that—again this comes back to the question of ideas, the question of science, the difference between man and the ape. We don't care what language gorillas speak. All gorillas are probably pretty much the same. Human beings have somewhat different languages. The ideas we should have will ultimately be the same, ideas about the nature of man and nature, how society should be run. But these ideas are expressed in terms of things which are not explicit. You can't find them in a dictionary. What you find in irony. Metaphor, irony: which is peculiar to the use of a language by a people. And therefore, a people develops its collective intelligence, in the form of its use of a language and other forms of language, such as music.
And therefore, people understand each other, because they understand the ironies which flow from their use of speech, as in poetry, is the perfect of example of this. Classical poetry is the model of how to understand a people. What is their Classical poetry? What is their dramas, their Classical dramas? How do they express their ideas? How do they respond? How do the characters in a drama, a Classical drama, respond? In that way, we understand, in looking at history, we understand different cultures. But then, we also understand, that we all have the same culture, essentially: The truth is always the same for all of us. But it's expressed differently, because we have a different pathway of coming to it.
Now therefore, when you come to the matter of states, and relations among states, you don't have to have an agreement with what the other state is, in its form. You don't need that. What you have to do, is proceed, not from the idea that one state has its idea of man, and another another, in terms of their language and culture. You have to proceed from a higher standpoint. This is what the Schiller concept is so important in: world-citizen and patriot. World-citizen asserts the fact that there is a truth. Not one perfectly known, but one that exists. And the responsibility of the leading and thinking person, is to seek the truth, as a world truth, a truth about humanity: to discover principles, and recognize principles that have been established, that are humanity.
All right. Now, we deal with all kinds of nations on this planet. Some of them are not the best. But, what do you do? Shoot them? Make war against them? Go out and try to make regime change against them? Or, do you proceed from a higher, world standpoint, and understand that you must deal with the personalities of nations.
Therefore, you must have a world conception: Because the world is not Cartesian; the world is not mechanistic. The world is dynamic, in the sense of the way the term was used by Leibniz, in echoing the ancient Classical Greeks. The world is dynamic. And therefore, we are not trying to impose a system on people. We're trying to introduce a system of cooperation which will make the world better, without having to go out and shoot people to make them conform to our ideas.
That's the problem. So therefore, as a citizen of the United States, and also a world-citizen, that's my responsibility. I have a responsibility to my nation, but I also have a responsibility to take account, and to instruct my nation's conscience, as much as I'm able to, on how they should see the world as a whole. How should we think about Russia? How should we think about their government? How should we think about China? We have to look ahead, we have to look ahead at least two generations, the generation of young people becoming adults today. We have to think of what kind of a world we're creating for them. And our mission, in whatever we do, must be a world-citizen's morality, of what we must for humanity. Then we must, at the same time, respect the fact, that we're dealing with national cultures.
Now, what do we have to do: Take two specific problems, physical problems. Take the work of Vladimir Vernadsky. Vernadsky is a crucial scientist in all modern history, because of the way in which he developed the concept of the Biosphere, as a dynamic concept, a revolution in biology, a revolution in science. And he went from that, in the same principle, and developed the concept of the Noosphere: the idea of the role of human creativity in the existence of man on this planet, the distinction between man and the beast.
Now, what have we got? We have a world. We depend upon what we call raw materials. The population of the world is now over 6 billion people. Many are hungry, and they want improvement in their standard of living. If we don't do that, there is no peace. India: 1 billion people; 70% extremely poor. China: 1.4 billion people. Very poor people. Working at cheap wages, and producing for the world market. The whole territory of Asia. These populations are demanding products which are the result of processing of raw materials. The simplest one is water, which is a product of the Biosphere. It was produced by living processes. Much of the world is now depending upon fossil water, that is, fresh water that was deposited a long time ago. We are now draining it. Land is subsiding, because we are draining fresh-water supplies.
We have, also, minerals. We are depleting the richest part of the deposit of minerals on the planet. We've located a number of them. The greatest one, of course, is the ocean, but otherwise on the land-area. We are depleting the richest resources, and we're going to marginal resources. This increases the physical cost of production.
Now, if you've got a mass of people on this planet that want to increase their standard of living, and just live as we do, physically, how are we going to supply the raw materials their life requires, at a physical cost per capita, which they can afford? Well, there's only one answer: Technology. What is the technology? Well, we have two technologies that address that. One, on water, we could probably solve most of the fresh-water problems of the planet today, with nuclear power. We're now going back to nuclear power—though there's much resistance against it, it's inevitable. You can't avoid it. We're going to be bringing what we should have done two decades ago, or two and half decades ago. We should be using the Jülich model of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor for the thorium cycle. Norway is just starting to do that: It's committed to an all-thorium Norwegian economy. India is committed, largely, by its leading people, to getting a fast breeder system in order to energize and charge a thorium nuclear-reactor system.
With that, with a nuclear reactions, we can deal with most of the fresh-water problems on the planet today. But, we can not deal with that alone, without something which goes to a higher order of magnitude. Fusion is not fission. Fusion is the forces that hold the core of the atom together. These are very powerful forces. Thermonuclear fusion is also the area of power, where we can take inferior materials and process them to meet human needs. And by the efficiency of going to a higher-power-density system, we can provide the raw materials that are required to meet human need. Therefore, this is a perspective, you take 25 years of fission development, nuclear fission development. At that point, we must have had thermonuclear fusion developed. The next 25 years was that. That's where we have to go.
Look at the world resources thing. Look at northern Russia. Look at the Arctic region. Look at the undeveloped regions where these raw materials lie. Look at the Chinese population, hungry for these raw materials. How're we going to meet this? There's only one way: Europe is not an area of concentration of raw materials any longer. But Europe is an area of concentration of a tradition, a history, of the development of European science and European technology. We have a population which has deeply embedded in it, over traditions which are transmitted over generations, the ability to mobilize quickly to go back to becoming a high-technology economy, with a very high percentile of the labor force employed in high-technology production. Especially production of capital goods, which means a great expansion of the machine-tool sector of small private industries which are machine-tool industries in a traditional German way: To produce products, which these countries can not produce, this is the driver for all of Europe. And you have a situation, where Berlin to Moscow, across Asia, to Shanghai, and so forth, this is the future of Europe.
European and the European land-mass is functionally an integrated land-mass, composed of populations which are each different and have different cultures. Therefore, we have to think as world-citizens, first, and conceive an approach which will bring these nations together, whatever their differences in culture, in order to build a future for the next two generations. And that's the way to look at it. Don't try to get a formula, where you impose a rigid formula on everybody. Be more flexible. Be imaginative. [applause]
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