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What Makes Mankind Important?

June 2016

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr..

A PDF version of this transcript appears in the June 10, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is re-published here with permission.

This is an edited transcript of Lyndon LaRouche’s dialogue with the Manhattan Project on June 4, 2016.

Question: This is Al K— from New Jersey. Yesterday, we received a message that an officer in the Army wrote a letter to President Obama, resigning his commission because of the savagery of the drone program . . . Picture it to yourself; Suppose it was you in this neighborhood. You’re coming home from work; you hear a loud explosion. You come around the corner and you see that the house next to you is in rubble; lying on the ground and in flames. Your house has flames coming from the windows. The message is going back to the White House, “Mission accomplished; there is collateral damage.” This is the sort of thing that is done from the White House with no danger to themselves. Don’t you think this is time for the 25th Amendment to be implemented? Isn’t this what it’s for? Do we have to contend with barbarism and savagery?

LaRouche: Well, these considerations are of paramount importance, but they do not win on their own. We have to take that idea, the idea of what should be done, and we have to make it real. That is, we have to actually challenge Obama, for example. Now, we can do that. Putin, for example, in Europe, has done that; he’s challenged Obama quite successfully.

As a matter of fact, Obama is on the fall; he’s on the edge of collapse. Now, Obama could cause a great deal of harm to the population; no question about it. But, if the people of the United States and other nations decide that they’re not going to give in to Obama and to what he represents, then that, in and of itself, is right to be considered as on the edge of achievement. In other words, there are certain kinds of conditions in government and elsewhere, in these kinds of matters, in which you can say, “Well, we’re living in a hopeless cause.”

But we’re no longer in that; we are living in a deadly cause, but we’re not in a hopeless one. And what we’re going to have to do, is to get deeper insight into what the forces are that are necessary and are able to solve this problem. Because you’ll find that with enough courage from enough citizens, we can defeat Obama and everything that he represents, and that people who like him represent. We can do it; but we’re going to have to do it willfully and competently.

So, I would suggest we just start thinking about how does our mind—when working properly—how does our mind seem to accomplish miracles? They’re not really miracles, but they’re just the courage of people. Like in Classical music that we do in the Manhattan area—we give more and more attention to Classical musical composition and its performance on an international scale. And this is a power, because that kind of Classical musical composition, when understood effectively, is actually a force. A force which can defeat great enemies of mankind.

The Quality of Genius

Question: Good afternoon, Mr. LaRouche. This is Jessica from Brooklyn. I’m a teacher, as you and everyone here knows . . . My mom was a teacher, and she collected a lot of books and papers and stuff. In going through my mother’s teaching materials, I came across a book published in the early 1950s by Bertrand Russell. This book was on parenting and children. It shocked me that this book was around, and then when I thought about it, there are probably other things that the teachers were introduced to at that time . . . But parenting is not something that I think of Bertrand Russell as doing. He’s not a child psychiatrist or psychologist; he was not a teacher in a school system or anything like that.

Bertrand Russell here smiles upon victims attending his experimental school, Beacon Hill, founded in 1927.

One of the things that stood out—and that is totally opposite to what my mom used to do with me and my two sisters—was that it said that children should not be pushed and brow-beaten into careers that may be too difficult for them. And I thought about this and what’s going on in the school system now. We have a whole thing on career readiness, but the careers that this Common Core system is pushing on the children are, go to college—but they’re talking about community colleges. Get two years, that’s enough. You don’t have to get a bachelor’s degree; you don’t have to go four years . . . the aspiration to go to the higher level is kind of put down.

So, I would like you to comment on this; you once said that Bertrand Russell was the epitome of evil. And in reading this, where you don’t push your children into doing anything worthwhile, because it might be too hard for their little brains to understand,— I’d like you to comment on some of the things you said about Bertrand Russell.

LaRouche: Russell was a piece of criminality with Satanic qualities. He actually induced among people who had been scientists earlier in those immediate decades,— they sold their souls out in order to get a better income. Einstein was the only man who measured up to the challenge, and that is the thing to follow. What we need to do, really, is study Einstein; he’s the only one who knew what he was talking about, rightly. And therefore we should be organizing people to say, “Get that crap out of our school system. Get it out of the minds of our people; get it out of the minds of our so-called ‘scientists’ who ain’t much in science.” And build a basis by that mechanism which destroys Bertrand Russell and everything that he represents; but this really goes to opening the gate for access to the true principles of human discovery.

Albert Einstein as a 14-year-old student in 1893.

Question: Hi, Lyn; it’s Daniel. I have a question for you, which may or may not be related. Can genius be taught?

LaRouche: In a sense, yes. But the whole idea of genius is a quality of persons who have developed themselves to levels which are far beyond those of other people. Now if you look in the history of mankind, you can trace this kind of category of person quite well. I have enjoyed that material; I have seen the greatest achievements in terms of genius of people in their own time. I’ve seen implicitly and recognized that some of the greatest minds died, and there was no one to replace them. So, the question is, we have to concentrate on the idea that there has to be a standard of performance, like Einstein, and the people before him.

Shakespeare himself had a certain kind of this quality; he wasn’t an Einstein, but he had a certain quality which was very useful and made possible the progress of mankind in his own time. So the question we have to concentrate on is, what are the experiences which mankind has found? Like Jeanne d’Arc, for example, a hero figure; she was murdered, she was cooked in fact, by a British crowd. But she survived in memory and became a great force in France and for France at a later point. And despite what some French politicians might say, the essence of Jeanne d’Arc still lives.

What Is the Human Mind?
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Jeanne d’Arc, France’s murdered hero figure, shown here in battle. Her memory later became a great force in France.

Question: Good afternoon, Mr. LaRouche. I’m going to preface my question with a little bit about Chinese culture. I know that in their dealings with the world, they have a policy of not rocking the boat, you could say. So, my question is, how do you feel about the Chinese joining the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights this September?

LaRouche: I don’t think that China, the Chinese leadership, wants anything to do with anything that might come into connection with something like Obama, or people like that. Obama is something which is to be removed from the record of the human race . . . But the point is, mankind must actually think in terms of what we’d call a scientific principle, a social principle. And it’s the ability of great scientists, great musicians, and people like that,— these are the people who inspire the advancement of mankind through the minds of individuals among mankind. And that’s what you’re looking for; you’re looking to try to grab an idea. An idea which you can adduce; an idea which you can find in exploration. You want to see in yourself something of that creative power; you want to learn it, you want to accept it. You want to develop it, you want to preach it, you want to push it. You want to make it grow.

Just to get to the meat of the issue, what is a human mind? What is the human mind? It’s a creative force when functioning; and this power, this force is a thing that makes mankind meaningful. Without this quality, mankind ain’t useful. Just think of the number of citizens of the United States who seem to be surviving, seem to have strong opinions, but it’s all junk. They don’t have any brain power of any merit or worth, unless we can push them into seeing what that is. Our job is a missionary job; it’s to develop in our own citizens and among other citizens as well, a process of intellectual development which is truly unique. Not some guesstimate, but something which is precious. And you try to express what that goal is, in terms of things that you can come to understand, as being necessary.

Question: Hi, Mr. LaRouche; this is R— from Bergen County, New Jersey. We talk about a paradigm shift in moving from the “I win, you lose” old paradigm and the need to go to a new paradigm which is that we would both win. It reminded me of the early 20th Century, when Einstein published his papers [on Special Relativity] in 1905, there was a big paradigm shift in science that some people have described as a structure of scientific revolution. So it seems like we’re talking about a revolution in a paradigm, bringing in a new paradigm, which I believe would be a revolution of a sort. Can you think of a previous historical time, where such a huge paradigm shift that we’re talking about, has happened?

LaRouche: Yeah, sure. We’ve seen it in the Renaissance, the Renaissance itself. I’ve had a lot of experience with that in different parts of my life. It works that way! But you say, “How does this work?” That’s the question.

Well, the truth of the matter is that when human beings develop, what is it that makes them develop? That’s the question. Now, most people today, and in society today in most of the world, do not develop. They think they have what they call development, sometimes, but it’s not development.

See the problem is this, there’s this great story out there, this great fraud. The fraud is, the assumption that the human mind achieves creativity on the basis of a newborn baby. Not the parents! But the baby itself.

In other words, it’s not finding some smart guy out there, that makes human history. It’s when something happens, when the human mind is developed in some mysterious way, and this power is what makes mankind important. Mankind’s existence depends upon that particular kind of achievement. It is not done by learning lessons, by doing this, doing that; it’s a stroke of what we call “pure genius.” And what you want to do, you want to find out where genius is, find out how you can use it, and teach your parents how to discover it.

Where Genius Comes From

Question: Hi Lyn, it’s Chance. I’ve been in Germany for the last three years and it’s very interesting being here in Manhattan for the various activities that we’ve had. One thing you’ve always stressed, is how do we recreate the Manhattan Project in other areas, and I’ve been thinking about this a lot from the standpoint of European culture. And specifically in Germany, there is a tendency to over-examine things, and to not allow a certain amount of, I guess you could say, an internal instinct, which expresses itself in Manhattan as a type of patriotism. And we noticed this on Memorial Day: We had the celebration. A lot of people were performing music; a lot of it was the American pieces. And in my mind I just imagined how it wasn’t a “musical performance,” it was actually a response to being an American on Memorial Day and expressing what that meant.

So my question is, how do you recreate something like that in Germany, where you have this tendency to not necessarily express that patriotism. It seems like you have. . .

LaRouche: [crosstalk] . . . you had one of the greatest scientists in Germany [Krafft Ehricke], that is, in the course of his life; and he died, and was killed essentially, by Obama. That is, this great leader, was a creative force and there was almost no one like him. There were some people who approximated what he did, but he died because he had complicated diseases and conflicting kinds of diseases for which he could find no cure, so he died under those circumstances.

General Dynamics Astronautics
One of 20 components of a space station, Outpost, proposed by Krafft Ehricke (above) in 1958.

We now have, in the United States, in a good part of the southern states, we are taking and rebuilding that program. We’re developing it. We’re not groping for it.

You find the same thing in China. The leadership in China is going through a phase where in this coming period, you’re going to find a quality of genius in China, in the Chinese establishment, which you would never have sought before. And when the people discover this, they’re going to look at what happened in the testing of the principle of that . . . and we’re going to get a second chance where . . . there’s going to be another great turn, coming out of China, and this development is going to be a leading force in the development of mankind in general.

That’s what the truth is. And it’s the same thing: You have to say, genius does not come from babies; genius comes from babies who have a power to grow up, to think and so forth, where others have not. And the people who are these geniuses, are the people who may enable mankind to go into the whole system and create a new idea of the Universe. And that’s what the point is. We can do it. But you have to find the children, the geniuses, the Einsteins and people like him, and the Einsteins will give you the means to rescue the other people. And that genius is really sacred, as with Einstein.

Question: Hi, Lyn. I’m asking a question that was sent in by Avneet, who unfortunately cannot be here. So she asks the following:

“The Indian Prime Minister Modi is on his way to Washington, D.C. this week, where in a two-day visit, he will meet with President Obama and he will address a Joint Session of Congress. He is coming to the United States after visiting in Afghanistan where he is right now; and Qatar, Switzerland, and then finally he’ll be in the United States.

“In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Prime Minister Modi maintained the non-aligned stance of his government. Given that India, in a recent brilliant move to extend the Silk Road, is helping Iran build the Chabahar Port, what do you think that Modi is coming to the United States for? And what should he expect?”

LaRouche: Well, he’s not there to see Obama. [laughter] He’s making the visit for what it’s worth, as cheap material. He’s trying to capture an idea, and get rid of Obama, or throw him out of power; that is, to point out that he is really a failure, that he’s disgusting, he should never have been born, or things like that. Those are the kinds of terms.

So what we’re looking at, is this idea, this wonderful idea, that there are certain babies, which are born and developed and they are born and developed in such a way that they become what we call “geniuses,” like Einstein—like Einstein. And therefore, you will find that great people, in science and culture in general, will tend to lean toward the achievement of real human creativity. And that’s what we’re looking for: We want to find the babies who are going to be the leading agents for bringing ordinary human beings into the quality of the practice of genius.

It’s Not Mysterious

Question: Hi, Lyn, this is Asuka from New Jersey. I have exactly the question on what you stated about genius, and I hope that when we look for that baby, we know what we’re looking for. But I’ve been personally having a lot of questions about the dialogue process and the communication of ideas in society. There are a number of discussions that I have had,— unfortunately I have to characterize them as a failure in terms of conveying an idea or inspiring the other person’s mind. When you look at characters such as Einstein, one thing that comes up to me, is a generation prior to Einstein, where you had the Mendelssohn family, collaborating with Humboldt, Schiller, Riemann, of course, and other great minds in Germany, who were trying to create the nation.

So, maybe if you can give us a better sense of what kind of society do we need to create, to find and generate genius?

LaRouche: All the greatest minds that I know of, in history, are of that nature. . . What happens is, you get a great genius, somebody becomes a genius, but it’s not becoming a genius, it’s that the quality of genius infects them. They have it, and then, if they are smart, if they are up to living to what they should be, they will express what we call “genius.”

And therefore, we will use that in education, you will find great teachers are always that way. All great teachers are geniuses. And they seem to become so in various ways and various kinds of ways, but that’s the way it works.

And of course, the fools do not like that. They want everybody to become El Cheapo. So don’t hobnob with cheapos.

Just realize that there are people who do have a quality of genius, and they don’t smudge it! They recognize a genius in themselves, and they realize that this talent which has come to them, is something which is of a very serious nature, for the benefit of mankind. It’s when mankind sees himself as being a discoverer, whose work is indispensable for mankind’s future, that’s where the beauty comes.

Question: Good afternoon, Mr. LaRouche, this is I—. I attended a function yesterday of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance, and it was very good. Most of the people were Indo-Caribbean, but there were some black people there, and it was very good. You know, I always talk about the Caribbean, I’m pro-Caribbean; but the guest speaker said that the English-speaking Caribbean people must get together and pool our resources, so the region and those people who are living here can benefit from what is going on in America. It was very good, well received by everyone.

What I would like to know is if you have any pointers as to how those geniuses in the Caribbean who think they’re from a small region can contribute towards the world?

LaRouche: I have a friend who’s deceased [William Warfield], and this friend of mine was one of the greatest bass-baritones in the history of the United States. And he died, in due course. He was denied the right to have a wife, because the wife was chopped up in a sense by demanding that she do what the Met Opera does in Manhattan. And he went through a torture and she went through a torture, and they went through a life with a torture. This is the kind of thing you’ve got to think about! How do you ensure, that some of the greatest minds in art, and other things,— they are precious, but they are destroyed, or mauled, or manipulated, for the sake of, say, the opera in Manhattan. That kind of thing.

And what you’re looking at is a kind of degeneration, a moral fault, and that’s the way it is. So therefore, the question is, two things: There are factors which do account for what we call genius. Or, in time, it often comes up, a surprise, spurting out freely into society, and people are captured by it; they’re infected by it, they admire people who are creative. And this is all one big picture.

But the point is, the way you have to look at this picture, you have to look at the actual role of true genius, individual human genius. And you have to find out where that genius lies, where you can capture it, where you can make it play, for the sake of humanity—and for the sake of all humanity.

No, this is not something mysterious. It’s something difficult for some people to catch. I am not one of those people who cannot catch genius.

Fostering Genius

Question: Yes, good afternoon. My name is O— and I’m from Staten Island. The question I have is, and it’s based on the fact that our society is tinted—tends not to link us to genius, so to speak. That’s the vibe that I get. But what is the best way to search it out; what kind of environment is best at bringing out the genius in children? And how do we foster it within this American society?

LaRouche: Well, first of all, you have to have a genius in children. And you have to have a condition under which the children are energized and given access to great discovery. Now, not all children will come up to that standard. But if you don’t have any children that meet that standard, then society is in a terrible condition.

What happens is, genius nurtures genius. And you want genius of some kind to educate children, to educate the people who have great skill. And you want to put it to harness, in order to say, “this person, and this person’s activity, is essential for the progress of humanity.” Once you see that, and think that thought, you are on the road to genius.

Question: I just want to be thankful for your genius in our generation and our century, because none of us would be here, had you not taken this course in history. And I just want to add an anecdote. I hope it’s truthful. I’ve read it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. You made the reference to infancy and genius, and the story that I discovered is that Albert Einstein never uttered a word until he was two years old. His parents took him to specialists throughout Germany, where there were some of the best specialists in the world, and studied this problem. Was there something wrong, could he not hear? He couldn’t speak, what shall we do with little Albert?

So Mother brought home a surprise one day: A baby sister. And she presented the little sister to Albert, and said, “Albert! This is your baby sister.” And he spoke his first words, which were, “Where are the wheels?” It’s not that obvious who our geniuses are!

LaRouche: [laughs] You got it! You’re right, that’s the relevant example.

Dennis Speed: I have a question for you, as a final or concluding question. There’s an event that you may have heard about; and even if you didn’t hear about it, I’m going to tell you about it. The fighter, Muhammad Ali, passed away today.

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Now, I know that you—there was something you used to say, and it was in many of our publications in the 1970s and 1980s, that a person must use his mind like a Muhammad Ali uses his fists. Now, some of us should remember, his name was first Cassius Clay, and that in his first fight, he had changed his name and this became a great controversy. He was disliked severely for that, and then he said he wouldn’t go fight in Vietnam, and he was stripped of his title. Right? And he said many things. He did say, “No Vietnamese ever called me . . .” and he said the n-word. But he also said, “If I’m going to die, I’ll stay right here and fight my enemy, which is you.”

You used to talk a lot also about Jesse Owens: We know that sometimes in sports, a message is sent. But there’s something very specific which I want to say to you, Lyn, and bring up: Malcolm X recruited Muhammad Ali; you used to see Malcolm up at the Audubon Ballroom; and this whole idea of what Muhammad Ali really was, not just as an individual, but what he meant. There’s a time when it’s necessary to stand up and fight, and sometimes a person has limited resources. And I think, my question for you, for all of us here, because we got to stand up and fight, and some of us have limitations: So, how do we take what you’ve been talking about, all the last hour, this idea of genius—how do we take this, and make this, our way of fighting?

LaRouche: Well, what you’re talking about essentially is an area of functioning which has an aspect like genius, but which may not be successfully defined as genius. Now, what you have then, in the mess presented to you as a result of this process, if you can get through to people who have these kinds of potentials, and if they will accept that kind of potential, then they are likely to be successful. But you can still recognize the fact that, even if they failed, what they were doing was not simply a failure; it was the need for a better development of their skills.