Manhattan Town Hall event with Ben Deniston
LPAC Science Team member Ben Deniston is the featured guest at 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 you here for today's dialogue with Lyndon LaRouche. Now, the Manhattan Project has entered a new phase as a result of the fact that the nation has entered a new phase. There have been several occurrences in the last 48-72 hours. We're not going to take each one of these up, one by one; what we're going to do is to go right into — with a short introduction — the two presentations that we have for today. The first will be given by Ben Deniston, followed by Diane who will have a few comments, on the new release of our pamphlet "LaRouche's Four Laws and America's Future on the New Silk Road." Then subsequent to that, we will be having our presentation by John Sigerson. That's the subject, or substance rather, of today's meeting. But just to give a bit of a context to that, I'll say a few things.
The British Empire is upset about the fact that the Trump administration has created a new potential in the world. It has created a potential that the United States could be brought into the global New Paradigm defined as the One Belt, One Road policy of China, and the collaboration between China and Russia to that effect; along with other nations that have been brought into that policy. Now that potential is only going to get realized by a brutal, sudden shift of policy away from Wall Street's outlook toward Glass-Steagall and LaRouche's Four Laws. Now some of you know that on Thursday, the chief political economist for Newsmax, John Gizzi, asked the press spokesman of the White House, Spicer, a question about Glass-Steagall. Again, Trump's spokesman repeated that the President was for the policy. This is very important, because the context of this discussion — which was a discussion with small bankers of community banks — is similar to the context of the North Carolina discussion that happened during the Presidential campaign; where the President — in the case of a meeting he had had with black businessmen — has asserted the necessity for Glass-Steagall. But what's important is to think about this from the standpoint that this tells us that if our actions to make this policy happen are carried out from the standpoint that Lyn has outlined — his Four Laws standpoint; there's a willing partner participant in the President who will sign that. It will be up to us and others like us to make that happen. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives followed the lead of the Senate and passed the NASA Transition Act of 2017. Now what was significant here was not so much merely the appropriations of a certain amount of money for exploration of space; but there was a particular passage in the bill which said that the bill aims to "extend humanity's reach into deep space, including cislunar space, the Moon, the surface and moons of Mars and beyond." So that's a clear, shocking statement of a shift in policy.
I think just yesterday, Roger Stone, one of the important persons in and around the Trump administration during the period of the campaign in particular, was on the radio with Harley Schlanger. I don't know what he and Harley discussed at that time, but I do know we have had earlier statements from Stone; he's also been recently interviewed in RT and other publications. Just to say, he has made it very clear that there is an intention by the White House to expose Obama, expose the Obama apparatus, and take it down. Specifically, when Stone was asked why he thought the Russian hacking process was being talked about or kept alive, he said, because for 30 years, they have lied and broken the law. Lied about torture in the Iraq War; lied about Benghazi; lied about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein; lied about the Vietnam War; lied about Iran-Contra; lied about the Kennedy assassination; lied about Guatemala; that's what they do. He went on to say, I have committed no crime; General Flynn committed no crime. The crimes are being committed by the thugs at the intelligence agencies who are very disappointed that Hillary Clinton is not going to give them the promised war with Russia, war over Syria, an expanded proxy war; which, if they're really lucky, egged on by their munitions manufacturing friends, would end up in World War III. So, what's important is to recognize that people in and around the Trump administration realize that they're in a fight to stop the perpetration of World War III.
This, of course, is something that Lyndon LaRouche is very well known for, especially from the period of October 2011 at the time of the Libya assassination carried out by Barack Obama, declared that that was a process of starting or inciting World War III. This week also, Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Colin Powell, on his internet radio show said that the DNC and perhaps Obama himself had gone to their intelligence people, including Brennan, and basically asked them for wiretaps of the Trump people. But Brennan didn't want to get caught up in that, so they went to British Intelligence; they provided the wiretaps which were then handed over to Obama. In our briefing this week, we covered the fact that several different British operatives at different times have been the center of this entire process of going after the Trump administration around the Russia matter.
I won't take any time to go through this in detail, because we've covered it in briefings; and if there are questions, we can always get to it. The important point to say is the following: Lyn defined Four Laws; but the Four Laws are one concept. They are a revolutionary concept; but they are a revolutionary concept in line with Alexander Hamilton's Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project which Washington and Hamilton defined as the American Presidency was to wrest real independence from the British Empire by establishing the laws of economy and of science and technological development that are the actual bedrock of the American Presidency and the American System.
So, the fight we're having right now to publish and to disseminate this new report — along with the other things we've been putting out recently — this fight is the central fight of our time. It's winnable; there is a President who will respond to this fight positively. And therefore, it's up to us of the Manhattan Project to understand how that might be best shaped in terms of using the limited forces we have to stay concentrated and not be diverted. To stay concentrated on what Lyn has defined; not get involved in secondary considerations, peripheral issues, or small affairs that may be emotionally appealing but have nothing to do with the true nature of the strategic situation right now.
So, what we're going to do is go right now to Ben; who's going to tell us — he's been working on this report — so that we can get a sense of how this new weapon that we've developed can be deployed here in the Manhattan Project. So Ben, are you there?
BENJAMIN DENISTON: Yeah, I'm here. I think that was a very good introduction; and I want to get right into some of the details we're working on with this report and the mission before us — the LaRouche PAC, the LaRouche organization right now. If you're not aware, the general thesis of this new report is, the United States — as Dennis just said — joining the New Silk Road; joining this New Paradigm of win-win global economic development. And the role of LaRouche's Four Laws and really LaRouche's fundamental discoveries in the science of physical economics, which the Four Laws express and characterize; bringing that to the table as really the United States' unique contribution and addition to the whole global development paradigm. On the one hand, what's happening internationally is unprecedented; and it is an historic process that is going on right now, led by China. It is ushering in a new era of development; and the United States can not only participate in that, but we can provide a positive additional unique contribution by reviving, re-applying, and upgrading this Hamiltonian physical economic insight into the science and management of human economic progress. But in the more developed and unique form defined by Mr. LaRouche in his life's work; defining a science of physical economy.
So that's the thesis of the report; and it's really going to be on us to bring that level of discussion, bring that education to the American people, to leading layers and get this thing through. Because there are a lot of very interesting developments, there's a lot of motion on a number of fronts; but we do have a very unique and indispensable role to play on this particular issue.
Just to highlight it, because I think some people might have seen some of the headlines, but this is a good way to get into the discussion. Some people might already be familiar with this, but the American Society of Civil Engineers has just released their new Infrastructure Report Card for the United States; this is something that is released once every four years. It's been a while since one has been released, and it paints what most people have a genuine sense of, but it paints a devastating picture of the status of the basic infrastructure in the United States. I want to just go through a bit of this. They literally have report card-style grades for different categories of infrastructure in the United States. So, they look at airports as a category; and overall, airports in the United States are rated a "D" on the standard A, B, C, D, F. So, our airports are rated a "D." Bridges in the United States are rated a "C+"; and almost 40% of the bridges in the United States are more than 50 years old, and are rapidly nearing the end of their designed lifespan. 40%; almost half of all our bridges in the country that we depend upon are more than 50 years old and nearing the end of their lifespans. Nearly 10% are categorized as "structurally deficient." We have over 600,000 bridges in the United States; so 10% of that is almost 60,000 bridges that are categorized as "structurally deficient" — 60,000!
Dams are rated a "D," and a little over 2% of the country's dams are considered "high hazard potential" because they haven't been kept up properly. So, over 2% of the nation's dams are considered "high hazard potential." What immediately comes to mind? We had a gripping crisis around this dam in California, the Oroville Dam, which was threatening to have one of the spillways give out and flood some significant-sized cities; it even led to a massive evacuation. That's just one of a couple thousand dams if you take 2% of the total number of dams in the country; there are almost 100,000 dams in the country. So, that's 2000 dams that are in similar condition; the Oroville Dam is just one.
Drinking water is rated a "D." Electricity is given a "D-," including transmission lines and the like. Our ports system is given a "C+." The highest grade on the entire report card is our railroads with a "B." Roads are rated a "D"; and they say 20%, one fifth of all the mileage of highway pavement is in poor condition. 20%; a fifth of our entire highway system is in poor pavement condition. They rate transit systems as a "D-." This is a massive amount of decay and destruction of the basic infrastructure that sustains our economy. A lot can be said on the policies that led to this, but I think Mr. LaRouche's Triple Curve diagram — which most people are familiar with — characterizes the process that led to this in the most principled sense. This is a direct expression of the collapse due to de-investment or due to outright looting; the collapse of the physical economy in favor of sustaining of the financial bubble of the monetary and financial system. So just as we've seen this acceleration in the Bush-Obama era of building economic bubbles, creating monetary and financial assets just for their own sake, and gearing more and more of U.S. "economic policy" towards maintaining and sustaining financial bubbles, is directly related to the complementary lack of investment or outright collapse in the physical economy. This just underscores this typical collapse function that Mr. LaRouche had defined in the '90s with his Triple Curve.
The American Society of Civil Engineers says we need $4.5 trillion to rebuild this amount of infrastructure; and that is up from an amount of $1.3 trillion at the turn of the century around the year 2000. So, there's been a dramatic rate of growth of the investment deficit required to rebuild just the basic economic infrastructure in the country just during the Bush-Obama era. So now we're at $4.5 trillion as their estimate for rebuilding the existing infrastructure system in the country.
In that light, it is very important that President Trump has highlighted and emphasized a plan for investing $1 trillion into rebuilding the infrastructure; but you can already see, even from this alone, that's very much only a beginning step. I'm not going to go into the whole Four Laws program, because I think it's a been a subject of much discussion already; but obviously, if we are going to do this, we need to go with not just basic spending or private investment in this type of rebuilding. We actually need to go for a full-on credit system, a Hamiltonian credit system as we've been fighting for. We need to reshape the entire financial system to facilitate this level of investment.
But what I want to focus on, is that even that is not going to be enough. If we invested in this $4.5 trillion of investment required, that would do some good things. That would employ a lot of people; that would start to revive a lot of industries and require new job sets, new skills, new productive capabilities to be developed. So, in one sense that would obviously be a bit of a stimulus. But if you really understand Mr. LaRouche's insight into economy and his science of economics, you recognize that we need something much more than just rebuilding the infrastructure we have had. We need to create an entire new higher level of infrastructure that's going to create a higher level of productivity and a higher level of living standards and productive capabilities for the economy as a whole. So, we need something more than just rebuilding the system we already have; although we are going to need to do that obviously. We're not just going to let these dams collapse; we're not just going to let these bridges fall down; we need to rebuild all these things. But the way we're going to be able to do that, is by an investment in creating an even higher level platform for the economy as a whole; which will create the net new physical wealth and value for the U.S. economy which will allow us to then rebuild all these decaying systems, and be able to absorb the cost of that as a function of the net overall growth of the economy as a whole. That's what I want to try and focus on just a little bit.
The way we're going to do that, is LaRouche's Four Laws program; but it's LaRouche's Four Laws program in conjunction with joining this New Silk Road initiative, which has been explicitly offered to the United States by China to join into. Obama was given a direct offer to join in win-win cooperation with the Chinese on this program; and he rejected it. But that offer still stands.
I have a couple of slides here; I think we can have the first one pulled up here. [Figure 1 China's New Silk Road] I recognize that the text of this is not going to be legible; but this is something that is in the new report. It's a kind of overview, schematic breakdown of the Belt and Road initiative, or the New Silk Road as it is more generally referred to. The latest developments — and it's a bit of a challenge to keep on top of this because it's developing so quickly — but the latest development of this program breaks it down into six specific economic corridors, plus the Maritime Silk Road as a seventh route. In the report you can see that we have a breakdown of the six different corridors; some sense of the scale of development involved, but by no means a comprehensive picture. I think we're going to be working on some more updated overviews of the status of this in more detail; I believe Executive Intelligence Review magazine has been running a series of articles covering some of the developments in Central Asia in more detail in the context of this New Silk Road program.
But again, the scale of this really is unprecedented; it's been recently assessed that the size of this New Silk Road program is already equivalent to 12 Marshall Plans. The Marshall Plan being the major program to rebuild Western Europe after World War II; which obviously was a huge endeavor if you have any sense of the scale of destruction throughout Europe from World War II. The crash program to rebuild Western Europe after World War II as an entirety, the current level of investment and development of the Belt and Road initiative is already 12 times that level of activity. And that's before the United States joins, before the greater levels of expansion and further development this could absolutely go into. Already, there are over 60 nations involved; there are over 70 large-scale infrastructure outside of China, not even counting what's going on inside China as part of this.
This could be a series of classes and discussions in and of itself; but just to highlight a couple of things can give you a sense of this level of development. Just with this New Silk Road program, the level of foreign investment that is now going to be directed into Pakistan, for example, is greater than all foreign investment combined for the past 40 years; just to give a sense of what this program means for some of the nations in the region. If you add up all of the past 40 years of foreign investment into Pakistan, China's current investment with the New Silk Road program is greater than that. You have, for example, the longest tunnel in Central Asia has recently been completed in Uzbekistan; led by a Chinese company. This means for the first time, goods and people can travel across Uzbekistan without having to leave the country, go through another country, and re-enter the country; just to give you a sense of the lack of development that has been allowed to occur in some of these regions and what's now happening under this Belt and Road initiative. In Afghanistan, a new rail connection from Afghanistan to China will shorten travel times to about 2 weeks for large cargo shipments; whereas before, it took three to six months! So, it used to take three to six months to get large cargo shipments from regions of Afghanistan into China; now it's going to be down to a couple of weeks.
I could go on on some of this stuff, but part of the reason this is so significant is because it also goes to what Helga LaRouche has been emphasizing for a long time now. If you're going to actually overcome what's happened to some of these regions under this perpetual war policy, the issue of terrorism, the issue of refugees, it's going to come from this kind of development. Here you're seeing nations that have been pawns to horrific and terrible geopolitical games; nations that have been ruined, destroyed, and suppressed for decades now under the geopolitical framework of the post-World War II era. They're now getting some of the greatest levels of development and investment they've ever had in the context of this Chinese program; this "win-win policy" as China calls it. They are looking to these other nations from the standpoint of the more they develop and the more they become prosperous nations, the more of a common benefit that will bring to China as well as them. Creating new trade partners; creating new markets for their goods; creating a healthy, safe, stable international framework. Most people attending our discussion are aware of this; but this is not just something that's being discussed or mooted or thought about. This is real; this is happening; and this is what the United States can join. The United States joining this is going to mean this is going to be the world dynamic if the United States joins this. Referring back to what Dennis said at the beginning, this is what has the British Empire, this London and Wall Street imperial apparatus so completely freaked out; because this is becoming the global strategic dynamic. The U.S. joining that, will absolutely solidify that. This is an historical shift we're living in the middle of and fighting for.
This creates a completely new context for the U.S. recovery program. We don't have to focus solely on the United States rebuilding itself completely under its own capabilities. We have willing partners for international collaboration in rebuilding the United States and creating a new level of the economy for our country. This is the focus of this report — LaRouche's Four Laws, our recovery program — as a way for us to plug in to and cooperate with China and these other nations in this rebuilding process. Just to take one example that Helga Zepp-LaRouche has highlighted, which I think is a very good example to get people to think about this, is the issue of high-speed rail. China has developed an incredibly impressive and in-depth capability for the construction, production, development of high-speed rail systems. In just a decade they've exploded in terms of high-speed rail construction within China; and they're working with other nations to export those technologies, those capabilities to other regions as part of this Belt and Road initiative.
So, if we, the United States, want to have a sane and modern transportation system, then we have already before us a willing partner who has developed certain critical capabilities that could rapidly become accelerate the development of high-speed rail in the United States. Instead of having rebuild all of our industrial capabilities from scratch at this point, basically, especially after the destruction of certain critical industrial capabilities around the machine-tool sector in the auto industry, under the Bush era, the tragic loss of those capabilities; instead of waiting and trying to rebuild all of that, we already have a partner which has certain in-depth capabilities. And what we can do, is then look to China and look in terms of this "win-win" policy and say, "what can we produce and contribute" perhaps in certain areas of high-technology, certain fusion technologies, certain space technologies, what do we have that China could benefit from? And how could we define a framework, where actually sharing the technologies, sharing the capacities, that one nation maybe has in greater depth than the other, and vice versa in other categories, and in conjunction rapidly accelerate the development of our country and the expansion of this New Silk Road program to the full World Land-Bridge idea.
That's really the thesis of this pamphlet and LaRouche's Four Laws program, and really, LaRouche's science of economics is our indispensable contribution to this entire process. Now a lot can be said about this, and I know there's an ongoing class series on LaRouche's science of economics and LaRouche's methodological insights and discoveries more generally, and I know much has been discussed there already; but I do want to touch upon a couple points about how to think about this recovery program and the rebuilding of the United States from the standpoint of Mr. LaRouche's science of economics here. Because what we need is a recovery program for the United States, but I think even that word already starts to have the wrong connotations. Because we can't just "recover" to the same level we had before, because the nature of human economics is continual growth, continual development.
Jason Ross and Phil Rubinstein have presented some of this in their opening classes in this series. The measurement of human economic development and progress is the increase of the potential relative population density of human society. That's what Mr. LaRouche has defined as a hard, scientific metric and measurement of human economic growth. So any activity you have that is not contributing to an increase of growth in that metric is not actually adequate for society.
So we need a recovery, but we need to recover to the idea of growth, we need to recover to a new, higher level of development, which, to measure that, to understand that, you really have to go again to Mr. LaRouche's ideas of physical economy, physical productive capabilities, the physical power of labor as Mr. LaRouche has defined it. And I want to just highlight a couple of case-studies or examples of that in order to just stimulate some discussion and further dialogue around these ideas.
If we return to the slides here, and a lot of time can be spent on this, but I want to go through a couple things to get people thinking in the right direction. In this graphic here [Figure 2 Total Economy] we have a framework that Mr. LaRouche defined in terms of how to understand a physical economic process. So, if you're talking about economy, put money to one side, put things like GDP to the side, and if you start from this scientific principle of growth and increasing potential relative population density, you can define a framework like this, where you're really defining the economy as a self-bounded system, and you can define productivity, value, and investments all in relative terms to this self-bounded framework. So here you see on the left, on the one column, you have the division of the population of your society into industrial and agricultural populations, and then obviously the division of those into "youth, mature, elderly." And then on the other side you have the physical output of society, produced by the labor, industrial or farm labor; and that output is then broken down into the physical output needed to sustain the production process itself, the physical output needed to sustain other aspects of society of people and activities not directly engaged in the physical productive process; and then you have some idea of a surplus.
So right then and there you're already defining a framework in which you can quantitatively define real physical metrics of growth and development; so you're looking at basically the relationship between the population and the ability of the population to produce what is needed to sustain society and to produce what is needed for society to grow to new levels. And right here you can begin to identify in a real scientific sense, what types of investment are going to create the growth you need, and which aren't.
So we go through a couple case-studies examining that, and this is rather rudimentary or simple example, but it very much demonstrates the point: [Figure 3. Farm Jobs as % of Total U.S. Jobs 1790-2000] If you look at the percentage of the U.S. population historically going from 1790 up the year 2000, when this chart was made, what's the percentage of the population, or the percentage of total jobs that are in the farm sector? So you go back to this, what are the physical products produced by society needed by society to sustain itself, food's a pretty big deal. We have to produce the food we need to survive. Here we can see a rather remarkable historical continuous drop in the percentage of population that needs to be employed in the production of food, agricultural goods, to sustain society. And here you have a direct expression of increasing productive powers of labor, where, with the introduction of what Mr. LaRouche would call greater capital intensity, but greater levels of machinery, different technologies, and then also infrastructure associated with that, we've been requiring a smaller and smaller percentage of the population to produce the foods we need to sustain the country as a whole, agricultural goods needed by society as a whole.
This is not to say that some of the more recent trends towards Monsanto-style cartelization that's got other issues associated with it, but here you can see a very clear, physical expression of this type of process whereby it requires a smaller percentage of labor and labor force, the working population, to produce the goods needed to sustain society, in this case, food and agricultural goods over time.
Here's another example [Figure 4. Technology Elevated the Power of Labor in Blast Furnaces, 1700-1974] — unfortunately, I didn't have time to reproduce a better depiction of this, but this is another very interesting case study, just to get people thinking in the right terms of reference, of the production of iron over the history of the United States. What you have in relation here, the axes on this graphic is not just production over time; you're looking at the relation between energy-flux density and the productivity of the labor force. So on the bottom axis you have a direct measure of what is the energy-flux density of the production process, and on the vertical axis you have productivity, literally just measured in tons produced per worker per year. And over the history of the United States you can see very clearly, that the amount of goods produced per operative, is increasing over time, so it takes a smaller percentage of the labor force directly engaged in the production process to produce the goods needed by society. And iron is the major component to steel production; and if you want to go by weight, iron is actually the most used element in the periodic table by human society over all; it's a major component in all kinds of things.
And here we see a very interesting relation; this was a study done by some of LaRouche's associates in the '80s, under direct guidance by him in order to demonstrate some of these principles. But you see this direct relation between productivity, the productivity per worker increasing over time, and that being a direct relation to this idea of energy-flux density. Increasing energy-flux density of the productive process has enabled each worker to become more productive. I'm going through this quickly, but just to give you ideas of what types of processes actually crate the type of growth that allows the development of these new levels of society, and new levels of the economy. It's not just employing more people; it's not just applying more energy. But it's the development of the new technologies, higher levels of energy-flux density that enable leaps of in the productive powers of labor of society, allowing society to produce more goods, higher quality goods, new categories of goods to sustain society, with potentially even fewer people in the labor force directly involved in that production process.
Those are rather particular examples, but that's the kind of framework we want to be thinking in when we talk about what level of development, how do we define what types of investment, what type of growth do we need today to get out of the current crisis and create a new platform for the economy as a whole?
Now, one thing that's highlighted in this report that I want to end with a point of emphasis on is this idea of this role of so-called infrastructure as being an absolutely critical component to increasing these metrics of productivity in the U.S. economy. We really need to transform the discussion of infrastructure investment, from this standpoint, from this level of understanding that Mr. LaRouche has defined. Because we'll see clearly that it's not just about $1 trillion of investment, or $4.5 trillion of investment; it's about what will it take to create a new infrastructure platform that will enable new leaps in productivity, in the productive powers of labor, that will create the net wealth and growth and move society to a higher level, and pay for all the levels of repairs that we need.
So here's one depiction, just looking at the role of energy in the economy. [Figure 5 U.S. Energy-Flux Density (kW per person, by fuel source)] This is something we've cited a number of times: You look at the history of the United States in terms of the energy per capita, the power per person in the U.S. economy, and you look at historically there's been a very clear succession of shifts to different sources of power, and those have been associated with higher levels of production, higher levels new productive processes being associated with each of those shifts; and you can see clearly, the complete flat-line lack of development, and beginning collapse, of the level of the energy-flux density in terms of power per capita in the country, under the policies of the past 40 years and accelerated in the last 17 years under Bush and Obama.
So if we accelerate this process, for example, if we go full-scale nuclear fission, full-scale thermonuclear fusion, we can return to this process of dramatically increasing the energy-flux density of the economy as a whole. So again, not just rebuilding the transmission lines that need to be rebuilt, not just rebuilding the number of power plants we currently have, but building more and better, more efficient ones and ones centered around the higher capabilities of nuclear fission and fusion.
So if we increase this process, for example, if we have a higher level of energy-flux density for the economy as a whole, you can immediately start to transform our relations to certain things, like water, for example. With the development of mass nuclear fission systems, significantly higher levels of power available per person in the economy at the same or lower costs, you can afford nuclear desalination systems, en masse, and you can address these water crises very easily. There's no reason why the entire coast of California, every single coastal metropolitan area, isn't getting all the water it needs, through new, efficient desalination systems. One of the main reasons it's not done, today is because of what you're seeing here with this collapse in the growth of the energy-flux density of the national territory.
If you recall this idea of the iron production as a function of energy-flux density, there's new leaps in the production of iron and other critical metals and resources, which are sitting unused because we don't have the higher levels of electricity usage required to do those things. There's entire categories on plasma technologies, plasma processing technologies, the most advanced being this idea of the fusion torch system, which basically can recycle anything down to its constituent elements; but there's associated technologies which can dramatically increase further, the product powers of the population producing iron, steel, other material resources, but it requires these higher levels of energy-flux density to sustain those new technologies, and just rebuilding what we currently have and keeping the costs of and the levels of electricity at the current rate, is not going to enable those new leaps. But going to 50%, 100% increase in the energy-flux density measured in these terms, can enable these entirely new categories of production.
And maybe just to end off on one other example of the kind of physical metric to think about these things, you return to this idea of the high-speed rail system and its development in the United States. [Figure 6 How Rail Transformed America's Space-Time Relations] What does that really mean? People tend to think about it just in terms of their own personal convenience or how long it takes them to get around somewhere. But a modern, highly efficient, high-speed transportation system literally transforms the physical space-times relations of the territory as a whole. And I think you can see this, and I know Jason went through this in one of his earlier presentations, in another version of this graphic; but here is an historical case-study looking at how many days' travel did it require to get from New York City to different regions of the country in 1930 versus 1857? And I'm not sure how well the colors and gradations are showing up on the projector there, but you can see just with the introduction of the railroad system, between 1830 and 1960, the amount of national territory accessible in one day's travel time dramatically advanced.
Well what does that mean? That means that production processes, markets for the sale of goods, all the relations of the economy are dramatically changed through this type of process; you're changing the level of population, the diversity of industrial, agricultural processes accessible to any one region of the nation at any given time. And if we look towards the kind of program we're talking about of a unified national high-speed rail grid for the United States, this is not just going to make it easier for you as a person to get from here to there, but it means the relation of any single point in the territory of the nation to rest of the entire territory of the nation is completely transformed. And that redefines the productive capabilities of any region of the economy because you're changing the entire relations to the economy as a whole.
So again, back to the main point in the thesis, we need to rebuild certain existing systems that we have, but if we do that in conjunction with an entirely new level of, in this case, transportation systems, you're creating a completely new and higher level space-time relation to the national territory as a whole and to other nations obviously, with the whole New Silk Road and World Land-Bridge perspective. That enables a net increase in productivity, the productive capabilities of society as a whole.
These are the kinds of metrics and ways of thinking about economy, infrastructure, and production in particular that we have to work on and bring to the level of discussion today. Because these things are not going to be simply paid for by the profits generated to certain people investing in the free market. That's not how this works. These are going to be paid for by the fact that you create a completely new level of society for the economy as a whole, in which all aspects of production are more efficient, are cheaper, are better, and you increase the potential for a higher population-density for society and that's the only metrics you can start from, to understand how this process is going to work.
Those are some examples, and obviously there are a lot more aspects to the report and the whole program, but I thought it'd be worthwhile to give a little bit of detail on these elements, because this is going to be the critical level of discussion needed to get people to understand properly how this recovery program is going to work. So we can open it up for discussion.
SPEED: Yeah, let's do that now, Ben. We've got about 20 minutes for discussion. I wanted to interpolate one thing from Lyn: Some of you saw that we have the new issue of EIR and there's an article in there called "Politics as Art." It pertains to the dialogue process — I just want to reference it, since Lyn's not here; but his mind is:
"The relevant, functional relationship between the Classical drama on stage and the individual mind of the member of the audience, is the immediate topic on which to focus attention now. Once that connection is made clear, one might hope that the reader would recognize that the relationship of a speaker to his friend or acquaintance, in the proper art of truthful conversation, as in discussing any serious topic, even on a street-corner, is a replication of the same kind of situation existing between the drama and the audience in a Classical theatrical performance.
"In this course of completing this report, I shall come to the point that I am prepared to show, that the person speaking on that street-corner, is adopting the role of the playwright or actor, and, for that instant, the hearer is playing the part of the member of the audience. If the other responds in kind, the ensuing conversation is embarked on the beginning of what we might hope will become a real-life re-enactment of the principle of Platos Socratic dialogues."
And so the idea, in the period we take of our discussion let's think about that as an idea, as we go to the microphone. Go ahead, first question.
Q: Good afternoon, it's Bruce from New Jersey. I've been trying to get a sense of how rapidly the shift that's occurring both here and internationally, is occurring, and it's really hard to keep up with. Just as an example, I looked on RT today, and the Chinese announced that they're now building a capsule for low-Earth orbit and in the future to take astronauts around the Moon. And in that same article is the fact that they're now going to be buying from Russia the launch vehicles, actually, to get this going.
Now, I think we're seeing the same kind of thing, or the potential for development of the same kind of thing here in the U.S., and there's a lot of ways you can reference this: The fact that the Trump administration just changed Attorney Generals in the U.S. is probably one of the better examples of that because justice has been blind in the U.S. for a long time. And in just one part of that, the U.S. Attorney that handled the Southern District of New York, the so-called "Sheriff of Wall Street" who was just resigned, or forced to resign, however you want to look at it, by the Trump administration is clearly an example of that blind justice, where you've got the criminal operations of Wall Street, which have not been addressed, particularly on the areas of for example, HSBC, that got caught laundering drug money, yet this justice system in the U.S. Attorneys were so blind that they felt there was no need to even prosecute or pull their charter.
In my own district, my own congressman, that I went to a meeting with his staff yesterday, has requested and become the co-chair of the heroin committee down on Washington, D.C., so I had a chance to brief him on that, to give a personal copy to passed on to the congressman of Bob Ingraham's article in the recent EIR; and also gave them some staff copies to pass around. And he did that because the county I come from has the most death rate from heroin use of any county in the country.
So these are just to give people an idea. And also we had a meeting Tuesday, up in Albany, New York, to attempting to get the Glass-Steagall law brought in there, and a couple of really amazing discussions with people on Glass-Steagall, on this whole idea of not only saving but enhancing the potential capabilities of the population. So, I thought I would bring those up, because it clearly shows to me a huge shift going on, which is why the freakouts over stopping Trump, whatever.
I just wanted to bring that out, so many you can get some — elaborate that a little more.
DENISTON: Yeah, just picking up on this idea of the freakouts, I think the place to start from is the British Empire hates human economic growth. I mean, the entire origin of this green policy, this zero growth idea, is purely a Malthusian ideology that hates and despises and attempts to destroy the exact type of growth we're talking about here. I think Michael Steger referenced this in one of his articles recently: You go back to Franklin Roosevelt and look at this short, easy read, this book by Roosevelt's son, Elliot, As He Saw It; and you look at the exchanges between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and you immediately a very clear sense of Churchill's views towards the so-called Third World, their desperate attempt and their fixation on continuing this suppression of development, this looting, this idea that there should be no more underdeveloped nations becoming global economic powers, and they should be kept in their place and suppressed.
You have to recognize, that's the ideology leading into the entire Green movement around people like Prince Philip, Prince Bernhard, all these people we've discussed and exposed in detail.
But you have to really get a sense, how existential this is, right now, for these forces. Because if the United States joined with China, the world is never going to be the same! This is completely overturning the entire strategic framework, since the end of World War II, completely over throwing the table on this entire thing. This is what Reagan got shot for; Reagan, working with Lyn; this is why Lyn was attacked — this idea of the SDI being a joint, mutual technology-sharing program with the Soviet Union overthrowing this entire Cold War idea. Kennedy's orientation towards space cooperation and other forms of cooperation, potentially moving to end the Cold War and this proxy war framework with Vietnam and all these things.
These guys are desperate to maintain that global, strategic framework. And here Trump's coming in and saying, "We don't need this crap. We could actually be working with Russia, we could be working with China, we could be working in this mutual development area." So him even hinting at going in that direction, that is the ultimate source of the freakout from all these forces, that are trying to maintain their system against a huge momentum going in the other way.
And the reason why I highlighted just a couple of these projects in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, again these are places that have been allowed to have nothing! If not been subject to regime change, war, proxy wars on their territory. And now they're being given access to some of the most advanced infrastructure development available. That's just typical of where the world is going. And if the United States says, "forget this unipolar world/geopolitical framework, and let's cooperate with the other leading powers of the world, China, and Russia," history is not going to be the same.
So this is an historic shift going on under way, that we're fighting for, and it has these people rattled down to the very foundation, because this existential for them. This is the entirety of their system, that they've built on and developed and existed around for hundreds of years, really.
SARE: I just wanted to add something, a little related to what Bruce was saying, but which has been on my mind. Which is this question of how do you determine what is just, what is justice? Like this thing with the courts, you brought up various people being switched in and out. Because right now, Americans' determinations of what is right and wrong are very, very largely affected by what's in the news media, what's on their smart phones, and not from an internal sense.
And I'll just give a couple of examples: The front page of the Bergen Record today, the local New Jersey newspaper, had a picture of grandfather hugging his granddaughter, and he possibly may be deported in May. Now, my personal view, is, if we're going to go around bombing countries and promoting drug trafficking and the people who used to live in those country can't live there any more, then we should have a very open policy of accepting these refugees because we made their countries uninhabitable.
However: How many people do you know of who have died from the Trump travel ban? Did anyone die? Did anyone die in the airports when they were prevented from coming in? Not that I know of.
How many people died when Obama decided to drone and kill — we know 200 people were killed in Somalia on one drone strike. Two hundred people! We were told that they were all militants. Can anybody in this room prove that that's true? So you had 200 people killed, because the President of the United States felt like doing it. There was no outcry, there was no uproar in the New York Times. Well, that's acceptable, because the news media said it's acceptable, so he killed 200 people that's OK.
How many people were killed in Iraq under Bush Sr. and Jr., W. Bush, over the alleged weapons of mass destruction? There's a big question whether we were using depleted uranium at the Baghdad airport for example. So, hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions — Iraqis claim there 1.5 million in Iraq were killed, by our Iraq War, over weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. Well, does anyone think that's a crime?
In other words, if you were to ask yourself, or you were to ask whatever you think God is, or a universal principles, or the Creator of the universe, whether it's criminal to simply snuff out 1.5 million or a few hundred thousand, or 200 lives, to kill a large number of human beings, in the question of natural law, that would be a crime. That would be hideously criminal. Has anyone been brought up on charges in the United States for what we did in Iraq? How about Obama, what happened with these drones? That you have a President of the United States who can sit there with what they call "baseball cards," sort of link the Roman Empire — people have seen these Monty Python spoofs on the Roman Empire, thumbs up, thumbs down, you live, you die — that's what President Obama was doing every Tuesday. "Oh, this guy, yeah let's get him. Can you zero in on his cell phone? We'll blow him... Oh? They're having a wedding, great! We can get a few hundred people all at once. We'll blow them all up."
No outrage about that.
But. You are inflamed to imagine you're outraged over a particular immigration policy, which frankly given the lying, fake news media, I don't even think we can know what it actually is, or what the truth of it is!
So, we have come in this nation to have a very bizarre concept of what constitutes justice, which is not based on universal principle, which is not based on a question of truthfulness. And what you have with this so-called wiretapping, where what is Senator Grassley investigating: Did the FBI go to the MI6 and the GCHQ — and pay them — to get intelligence on Trump who was a Presidential candidate in the United States. Now, isn't that foreign meddling in a U.S. election, to go to a foreign intelligence service to request...? But somehow, there's nothing wrong with that.
What's really wrong is that someone who might have spoken with Donald Trump might also have spoken with someone from Russia. Now why is that a crime?
So I think it's very, very important through this campaign of hysteria, and you take what Ben just went through on these certain very real questions on the nature of the development of the Universe, that all of us check ourselves about these conclusions that we thing we have arrived at, on our own, based on so-called "objective facts," and approach it from the standpoint from what we know to be true in the Universe, and not some lower level question.
Anyway, I that's worth reflecting on.
Q: Ben, I have a question, this is Rick from Bergen County, New Jersey. A lot of fake experts on the fake news exhibit a lot of skepticism with regard to productivity growth figures of 3 or 4% which I don't think are inflated or unreasonable, assuming that some of these policies are put into place. Have you given any thought to, or is it worth giving thought to a few forecasting questions, such as, if the minimal upkeep on the infrastructure was repaired, costing the $4.5 trillion, that program you referred to, have you thought about putting in forecasting number to see what impact in the United States that would have on — I don't know, everybody seems to accept GDP as a measure. So that's one question.
And along with that, of course, you could go out with two other scenarios: You could say, what would happen if we did such high-speed rail? What would happen if we did full energy-flux density improvement through other means, so that we could basically give a lot of credibility or show in hard terms that this is not a dream, this is not just being thrown out there, but the reaching of 3 or 4% is eminently doable.
I believe it will happen just as a matter of course if one just repairs the roads and does the initial maintenance program that you referred to.
I have a second part: That is, you put in these maps having to do with the Belt and Road in Asia. Is there a well-defined Belt and Road plan for the United States, analogously? Has that been worked out?
DENISTON: Yeah, that's a lot in there. I apologize for forgetting the exact person this came from, but I know there has been reference to some Chinese officials that have stated that they thought the level of investment needed in the United States is higher than that. And if Diane or Dennis remembers later who that was... But it shows you some indication by people in China what kind of investment could be needed, or could be done. I don't know how much detail went behind that figure.
But obviously, you have the programs that we've been defining, with the high-speed rail systems, the water projects, the power projects, obviously, there are certain unique characteristics to the United States territory: the desertification in the West; certain places where new high-speed rail systems could dramatically alleviate certain transportation needs.
So we can define our perspective, and we have to some degree, what it would look like for that New Silk Road/Belt and Road Initiative to extend into the United States. Obviously, you have the Bering Strait connection which would be a keystone in that. But I'm sure other people have other ideas that probably are in similar lines generally. But that is what is outlined in this report, is a general framework for what level of investment, what it would look like for the United States to join this process, and I think we should continue to refine that assessment as we go along.
Regarding your first question, I think that's what we should be working towards in some degree. But I think the bigger issue is going to be also changing the framework of thought that exists and permeates these discussions generally. I mean, quite frankly, that's probably going to be a bigger challenge, rather than trying to prove this in the terms of thought that tends to permeate economic discussions today, we have to recognize where the framework of thought is fundamentally, axiomatically wrong, and how do we break through that and get people to think in the right terms of reference. And then I think it's going to be relatively easier to show the benefits and the necessity of, again, not just rebuilding what we have, but returning to the idea that the next — I mean, historically this is how it's happened! I mean, Franklin Roosevelt's recovery program was building an entirely new level of infrastructure and technological capabilities throughout society! Paving the way for nuclear power; the largest dam projects that the world had ever seen, the largest water diversion projects the world had ever seen. He had a lot of smaller things, but it was driven, you know you look at things like the Rural Electrification program in the Tennessee Valley, and taking a new technological infrastructure platform, bringing this new technology of electricity into these regions, and you're seeing the explosion of leaps in productivity as a function of this new principle introduced.
If you go back further and you look at what John Quincy Adams was doing, what Lincoln did with these rail systems, and canal systems. It's always been, and the reason why the United States has grown into such an economic power because it's always been this leap to a new level.
And today, we're uniquely, incredibly stupid when we talk about economics, because that's rarely ever in the discussion — I mean "we" being the country generally. You look at the discussion on the news, you look at the discussion throughout the country, who's talking about what fusion power can do, to not only provide effectively unlimited electricity, but completely transform how we relate to material resources? There's some discussions of rail systems, of maglev, of vacuum-tube maglev technology, but that should be the type of thing that we're actually taking a serious look at, and working on, and understanding how that would revolutionize the structure of the economy as a whole.
So, today, we have as much of a challenge in terms of breaking people's wrong ways of thinking about these issues, as we do in terms of trying to demonstrate why LaRouche's program is absolutely necessary today.
SPEED: Let me add something here, just in terms of what you just said, Ben. The Daily News yesterday, ran this article — can you see this, Ben?
This is the Daily News of yesterday [kicker/banner head] "To hell with science! EPA head says — CO2 NO EVIL."
Here's what happened, this is Scott Pruitt who's now the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and this is what he actually said, as opposed to what the headline says. He said, "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact" of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. "So no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don't know that yet.... We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis."
Now, here's why it's relevant to bring this up. The whole business about CO2 is a witchhunt against knowledge. The reason this is relevant is that there is no discussion about economy that goes on in the United States, there's a discussion about money. And that discussion is false. But what has happened is, as result of this individual, Scott Pruitt being put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, the actual debate can begin. We, that is, can now be reemployed to do what we used to do very, very well. We used to do it at airports all over the United States: We became notorious for it. It's the same thing we did with Obama on the moustache, we can now do in this field as well!
Now, what's the point? Science and economy are the same as politics and art, that is, the relationship between them. And the principle behind these things is what we'll get to in our second section, what John in particular will be discussing. But the primary idea here is that value in a society is determined by the human mind, and while people want to look, for example, at how many jobs do you get out of infrastructure investment — you know, they say things like that all the time; and that's relevant, it's certainly relevant to people who are unemployed, but that's not really what we're talking about. We're shifting the entire platform, not only of technological, scientific progress, but the entire cultural platform that is the cultural substrate of all of that.
British intelligence successfully destroyed the United States over 50 years through a cultural war, and we are reversing that cultural war. While it may be ironic, Donald Trump and his Presidency is the vehicle for that reversal, and as Helga Zepp-LaRouche has stated, shockingly, the Trump administration can in fact be one of the most important not merely Presidential administrations, but political administrations in human history.
Now, what determines that is people who have a sense of two things: A sense of truth and a sense of humor — they're actually the same. That's us. And what Lyn is trying to get us to do, I think, is to relax and focus on the initiative he created 50 years ago, because he was a lot old than the rest of us then; and we're older than he was then, actually now. But, back then, he had seen the world in a different. We didn't see it. We couldn't see what had happened to it. But he was telling us that there had been this great tragedy and it had to be reversed, and that's how he created this movement.
So I just would state, in addition to what Ben said here, that the Manhattan Project has a means that Lyn has given it, to really shift the whole discussion, including in the Trump administration, away from money, and away from particulars on economics in that sense, to what really underlies, the revolution that's about to happen, and is already ongoing in China and Russia, but it's about to become worldwide. And the space program is where we may, hopefully, see the greatest optimism. I think some people know that down in Hampton Roads there were a thousand people that came out for this lecture that was given by Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of the book Hidden Figures, and 200 people lined up to ask questions. So it wasn't that they came there because she was famous; they came there because they had scientific curiosity, they had scientific optimism, they had a desire to actually get close to an era that was apparently dead — the era in which Americans were allowed to think.
So it seems to me, this is really the prospect before us, if we choose to seize it.
Are there any other questions? If not we'll go to a summary, Ben, from you, and then we'll move to our next section.
DENISTON: I think that's well said. I think the point to be taken, is that we, working with Lyn, who has a completely unique and necessary discovery that does define the United States's role in this new international paradigm. And we have a big task on our shoulders to recognize that we're bringing something to the table, and Lyn has defined something does not exist without our intervention.
So we should have that level of responsibility and recognition for the critical role we play, not measured in terms of the money resources we have before our organization which I think many of us realize is not vast by any means, or number of people, but we have critical ideas, and they're critical ideas because they're scientifically true, they're valid, and they're ideas other people don't have. So our role as educators and leaders in the real sense of the word, leading as educating, as uplifting the way other people think and approach their work is critical at this point. That's it: If you really grasp it, this is an historic process we're in the middle of, and our role is key. I don't have anything more to say than that.
SPEED: Thanks a lot, and so we'll go to our next section.