Edited version posted: 10:50pm edt, 7/11/2012.
The recent effort for a virtual renaissance for Glass-Steagall, has now surged, somewhat abruptly, into a narrow, but marginally regained, leading role for those in both the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. who are now privileged to have become manifestly sensible of the present policy requirements for the survival of civilization. Rather than continuing to gamble on the outcome of civilization under what have been recent policies, mankind must begin to respond to the fact that that galaxy, which our Solar system inhabits, is currently entering a long wave of change, a change in effects to which leading currents in mankind must now prepare themselves to respond.
Certain so-called traditions must now be abandoned, as having shown themselves to have become worse than useless in the present circumstances; but, there are, in addition, also contrary traditions too often underestimated, which must be reawakened, and quickened instead.
Take, for example: “fire.” After all, the voluntary trend of increase, in modes of cultural progress and the power of mankind to exist, have always depended upon what is termed in modern language, “increased energy-flux density.” The fireside has always marked the essential difference of man from beast. It is the species which succumbs to a declining, or even merely a fixed energy-flux density in the mode of its existence, which has been the likeness of the doomed “dinosaurs” of every successive age of the biology of life.
In the course of what is, for mankind, the long history of life as such on this planet, we must now examine the prospect for our galaxy, a galaxy which is the location of crucial factors in the existence of our Solar system, and of life on Earth itself. Nonetheless, the distinction of the evolutionary progress of living processes for mankind, has been more or less steadily upward in the long term, from lower to higher qualities expressed by our own living species. Such has been the effect of an adducible law of nature as known to us presently, a notion which expresses a lawful impulse which finds its outstanding present expression in the emergence of that special trait of noëtic impulses which seems, this far, to be unique to our human species. The essential distinction is, that mankind is the only species presently known to us, which is capable of voluntary evolutionary progress in its embedded species-characteristics.
Only humanity expresses truly voluntary creativity.
The world of late, most notably the trans-Atlantic region generally, has been plunging into a presently accelerating trend of (de facto) willful decline within the domain of the human species’ habitation. This recently accelerating trend has been underway since the launching of the great folly of a post-President John F. Kennedy, virtual decade’s length of a long, wasting U.S. warfare in Indo-China. Despite some relatively transient exceptions, trans-Atlantic civilization has been in a broad, general trend of physical-economic decline, since the approximate coincidence of the essentially successive assassinations of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert.
Admittedly, that pattern to which I have just made reference, has not quite fit a simple trend-line as matters have appeared to many over the indicated span since the beginning of that interval. The changes have occurred, much less by the will of a passing term of apparent leadership, than as long-term trends over the course of successive generations, as since the 1890 ouster of Germany’s Minister Otto v. Bismarck. The trends responsible for this effect have not been simply episodic; they have been essentially and persistently systemic in direction, and in design, over, for example, the course of the 1964-2012 interval, or, even, in my own personal awareness of this continuing long process, since the regrettable accession of the wretched U.S. President Harry S Truman.
Among the most convenient of what might be attributed to be causal features of such a long-term culturally-determined trend-line, there are, and have been the indications of a relatively long-term setting in the direction in cultural trends. Similar, has been the trend-line set into motion in trans-Atlantic policy-shaping of governments and populations over spans of several recent generations. The most recently presented initiative of certain notable figures of the United Kingdom, typifies the kind of “ripened cultural” harvest of change in the initiatives on whose effect the presently needed, more or less profound cultural and technological changes in policies depend. It is this factor, upon which the success of such urgently needed, epochal changes in direction now depends.
What has changed, most clearly and simply, is that the entirety of the trans-Atlantic system, had entered a descent into a kind of an inflationary “break-down crisis” which had been set into motion by the combination of the Kennedy assassination and the fraudulent treatment of the event, through attempted concealment of the essential facts of that case. We have come to a point of global crisis, at which there is no remaining option for tolerating the continuation of this presently continuing crisis, a crisis actually in progress over more than a century of hitherto prevalent parameters of change, since 1890.
On such occasions, the option of urgently needed, upward change, when it occurs, were to be passed along, immediately, to those leading circles which are qualified to rise above the currently tired notions of tradition which have reigned over the term of even a set of successive generations; we must now escape the shackles of those recent decades of established trends of practice. As in the instance of the outcome of Shakespeare’s Richard III, only the rarer circles of leadership which possess “deep reserves of historical insight,” as Shakespeare did, insight beyond those of ordinary political leadership, are capable of instigating those urgently needed, truly successful cultural revolutions within and among nations, and doing so under the kinds of stressful conditions which confront the trans-Atlantic world, in particular, at this time.
The essential lesson of economics for this moment, is one we should learn from the history of known living species over the span from the earliest known varieties of life on Earth, up into our modern biological times. When that span is presented against the specific backdrop of several millions years of human cultures on Earth, we may name the case as being the history of the evolution of mankind’s progress through the characteristic expression of advances in “the use of fire.” Among the considerations so posed, we have the special case of the increase of the energy-flux density in modes of warfare, on the one side, and the recent generations’ poorer progress of the per-capita increase in the rate of man’s effective capture of “energy-flux density,” on the other.
This is to be understood as a principled outlook overlooking both a long past, and the hope of rescue, to be provided by a prospective, immediate future alternative. Consider the following, crucial perspective.
The ouster of Germany’s Chancellor Bismarck in 1890, unleashed the intended state of general warfare which Bismarck’s diplomacy had impeded up to that point in the process. The result of Bismarck’s ouster has been, not a particular sequence of distinct wars, but a virtually pulsating continuation of a state of general, implicitly global warfare, warfare sometimes subsiding, but still oncoming, if briefly waning, coming upon us in wave-like expressions of fluctuating phases and tempos over the entirety of the period from the ouster of Bismarck to the present date. The ironical juxtaposition of the roles of the increase of “energy-flux-density” in intertwined and contrasted warfare and production is to be considered from that vantage-point.
I have much to say on this important matter at an appropriate, later point in this present report.
Meanwhile, this ironical juxtaposition of physical economy versus warfare, then, had brought us to a breaking-point expressed in the 1944 Normandy landing and its kaleidoscopic-like, immediate consequences. The irony of the consequences of that special moment in history, was, that, despite the consequently accelerating rush toward thermonuclear arsenals and their impedimenta, the net, long-term cultural trend in world economic affairs centered upon the trans-Atlantic sector, has been chiefly downward, economically and morally, despite the instances of technical progress occurring within the context of the general economic decline. Typically, the assassinations of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, and the related matter of the actual launching of the virtual decade of wasting warfare in Indo-China, brought to an end the thrust toward net physical-economic progress within the reach of the trans-Atlantic sector of the planet.
Thus, the ruling parameters of deliberate and correlated change in policies of social-economic progress, have defined the downward-leading edge of the trans-Atlantic world’s trends, since the notable assassinations of the two Kennedy brothers. Mid-1968 has been the crucial, datable, estimated turning-point in the social process for the trans-Atlantic world. Since that time, episodic changes aside, the trans-Atlantic section of the world as a whole has never turned back into a sustained, truly upward direction up to the present time.
This process has brought us, now, to the point of “critical mass,” as follows.
This locates the point at which my significant present, personal role in these developments emerged: exactly during the onset of Autumn 1977. I had not been unique in my own commitment to promote the military conception of strategic defense; but, as a participant in the formation of the Fusion Energy Foundation (FEF), I had, as if instinctively, committed myself in that direction. It became a matter of a personally independent initiative, such that I found myself, over a few following years, caught up, more and more, by what was to become known as a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
From the start of that process, I had seized upon strategic defense with a certain lusty commitment. For reason of the cumulative science-driven commitment in which I participated, I came to recognize and emphasize the notion of the superiority of the strategic defense over the alternative. As a result of my advocacy to that effect, I chanced, in the setting of the process leading into the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, to come into a leading position in the launching of an international orientation toward strategic defense. My personal role in approaching Soviet representatives (with my government’s clear knowledge), had, up to a point, engaged a shared U.S.A.-Soviet exploration of strategic defense, a shared interest which had come near to actual adoption during the period of the still oncoming election and installation of President Reagan. Later Soviet officials had developed a contrary position, which led into the largely self-induced disintegration of the Soviet Union over the course of the decade of the 1980s.
Unfortunately, the prospect for strategic defense was soon wrecked, as much by U.S.A. and western European circles, as by a ruinous change in the leadership of the already worried Soviet economy itself. The hope of the inherently principled advantage of the defense, was thereupon postponed, until a recent rebirth now centered in the intersecting strategic-defense policies of both the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and the evolution expressed in the presently current negotiations with Russia’s military institutions.
The fact is:
Any general warfare between the United States and Russia, then, as still today, would be a warfare approaching a virtual extermination among the contending forces, and, perhaps, even the human species as such. The relevant experimental demonstration of that thought has not yet been made, and, hopefully, never will be.
That setting, which came to a moment of climax during the early years of the U.S. Reagan Administration, created the circumstances for both the presently onrushing general economic collapse of trans-Atlantic society, and the threat of a crucial, virtual “extermination warfare” between the clusters of the Anglo-American and opposing forces. The virtual enemies of civilization, including the presently outgoing U.S. President, Barack Obama, have typified those whose foolishness would bring a virtual state of “extinction-warfare among the nations” into being. Truly competent, leading representatives among sundry sides of the military posture, have understood this. The presently reigning monetarist interests, including the current President of the United States and certain among related European factions, have so far refused to understand this.
Now, sane representatives among the relevant parties have reacted, openly, to bring the pending thermonuclear mass-insanity to a halt. Others have yet to face the truth of the situation.
What I have just stated, this far, in opening this chapter, demands careful reflection on the following, sundry accounts.
In large degree, much of what I report here, reflects work done among my associates, or by worthy other sources which have had no other ties directly to me; but, the responsibility for presenting it here in this specific form, is my own.
The present, actually scientific assessment of the natural processes of development of living species on this planet, is divided broadly, among relevant categories of specialists: among categories which are concerned with a mission of a better understanding of the principled features of the past and prospective emergence and development of the human species.
The success of our species’ self-development over the long course of its known history, has, in turn, depended, this far, upon a persistently upward evolution toward increasing energy-flux density of the cultures of human society. Such patterns of rise and fall of all living species known to us from the experience of Earth, share a quality of remorselessness respecting those species or societies which fail to rise continually in the long-ranging increases in relative energy-flux density of their modes of existence. The rule of nature in life, is progress or become extinct. Increase the appropriate relative intensity of managed energy-flux density, or become extinct.
The human species is distinct, categorically, from all others known to us. We, of our species, are distinct in being enabled, by our nature, to increase the potential energy-flux density of our species willfully, as no other known species has been known to have been capable of this.
It is true, of course, that life, in general, is governed by what is termed evolutionary development of living processes; but, so far as we know presently, only the human mind is capable of truly voluntary qualities of actually willfully determined forms of such creative action. Without the use of that quality which the human mind owns as its unique capabilities, mankind would become as extinct as any other form of animal life, unless that species’ continued own existence were provided by human aid, as by animal husbandry as it is maintained by mankind.
What mankind, in its expression as society, encounters, is the same principle of fatality as any quality of living species: evolve to higher states of existence—higher degrees of evolution of our species’ capabilities, or face probably expected extinction, or quasi-extinction of the cultures which fail to progress.
Presently, that general rule which I just summarized, has taken a certain turn. Our Solar system has taken a turn into a channel within the galactic system, a turn, with which we had virtually nothing to do, and which also increases the expected factors of risk, factors which demand a compensating trend toward significant, humanly willful abilities to adapt to a sterner environment during the term ahead. In principle, as a matter of a scientific perspective, mankind’s continued progress in relevant directions of technological progress should be expected to become an unending increase in willful capability of meeting, and overcoming new qualities of challenges.
The standpoint of the perspective which I have just summarized, is associated with a principled notion of an accelerating increase in directions of progress which were set down by such as Max Planck and Albert Einstein during the transition from the close of the Nineteenth Century into the early Twentieth. Since the accumulated discoveries of nuclear fission, fusion, and matter-antimatter reactions, during that revolutionary interval, the onset, duration, and aftermath of what came to be named “World War I” set into motion a process of degeneration, from which there had been some notable periods of exceptions, but which have dominated the history of what is called “European civilization” up to the present time, especially with the change in directions since the closing months of 1945-1946 when Bertrand Russell, in 1946, campaigned publicly for an immediate commitment to what he termed “preventive” nuclear warfare against the Soviet Union.
That commitment, as presented then by Russell, explicitly without his expressed regret, has continued to pollute and dominate the planet’s internal relationships since that time, up through the present date.
Thus, the considerations of recent world history which I have indicated here in these preceding remarks, must be examined in terms of the contrast between modern physical science, as well typified by the effects of the work accomplished by such as Max Planck and Albert Einstein into the early or middle Twentieth Century, and a pro-oligarchist policy which history traces, as if to a tradition, to the conflict known as the Trojan War. The most notable fact on this account, is that we are confronted with the conclusive evidence that that model of deadly conflict among nations, could not now outlive its own inhering consequences.
While leading circles among some governments, remain obsessed by their own, childish awe of the relatively puny forces which mankind has mustered for its petty-minded homicidal rages, the forces which now confront us, and that increasingly, within and beyond the Solar system, are the grave threats to mankind presently lurking, implicitly, within Solar system and the galaxy.
Fortunately, the advent of man’s control of nuclear fission, introduced our species to the lower level of orders of magnitude of such higher forms and qualities of power far, far beyond anything which had been imagined prior to the work of such distinguished pioneers as Max Planck and Albert Einstein.
It is by no means superfluous for us, to emphasize the included fact, that one of the great powers which is of the greatest relative importance of all, has been the scarcely recognized benefits of a collaboration between Max Planck and his collaborator Wolfgang Köhler, respecting the outline of the proper notion of the human mind, in place of the sheer pettiness of the commonplace, reductionists’ standpoints of “Tinker Toy”-like games. I shall explain this below.
Still today, after all that science has accomplished this far, society
generally has failed, including the universities so far, to understand the integral relationship, the interdependency, between physical science and Classical irony, the irony of a legendary distinction between mind and matter. The collaboration between Planck and Köhler, exemplifies the actual “connection,” as the greatest of our poets and composers have expressed a view of that connectedness after their own fashion.
Köhler’s emphasis on proceeding from the intrinsic unity which is the characteristic root of the natural functions of the mind, which is to be contrasted to the notion of an assembly of cluttered and clattering parts, is among the potentially most crucial considerations in applied physical science under presently advanced outlooks. It is mankind’s coming to an understanding of the actuality of the developed human mind, which will prove itself to be a most crucial aspect of man’s efforts to understand those great, potential powers of mind which match the vast orders of magnitude of sheer power which encompass the actuality of not only the Solar system, but, implicitly forces beyond. Such is the basis-prospect for mankind’s hope of achieving its true destiny.
Now, presently, within a generation, more or less, from the present time onwards, mankind should have developed the feasibility of manned craft sent, by means of thermonuclear fusion, from the Moon into the orbit of Mars within the span of a week. The most obvious function of such particular explorations as this, will be mankind’s, necessarily Earth-based defense of human life on Earth from deadly objects, such as relevant types of asteroids or comets. This is the kind of defense which includes repertoires such as early future countermeasures directed under control of mankind, organized from such distances as the orbit of Mars. This is already a known specification of defense. Such defense takes mankind into a dimension of quality of action matching thermonuclear fusion-based operations.
Similarly, the development of thermonuclear fusion’s functions brings mankind into the range of development of “unmanned” systems within the Solar orbits, through which mankind were to be enabled to harvest the “needed things,” for matters of security of our species, from within the Solar system, and beyond.
The Solar system itself, is not an inevitable end of all for mankind. It were more or less sufficient for us presently, to look to the development of the means of matter-antimatter reactions, for us to begin, at the least, to understand the kinds of human opportunities which may become accessible to us within the future of our present galaxy. The important thing for us to know now, is that such means are possible. Man has been around for merely an estimated few millions years; there is no present knowledge of a living creature possessed of actually noëtic powers of cognition otherwise. The range of future opportunities, well situated before a time when the Sun would almost certainly threaten to blow up, might prepare a sufficient margin of safety for our species, on the condition that we rise soon enough, and far enough in our pursuit of the development of those human powers, to meet the challenge.
Mankind’s most deadly adversary can be our own, ostensibly unique species’ failure to grasp the conceptions which the intersection of such as Planck, Einstein, and Köhler have represented in the intersection of their initiatives.
There is a principle which must be seriously considered, in all of this, if the higher objective of the existence of mankind is to become attainable for our species.1I have treated this subject, in some preliminary degree, in a location published under the topic of physical-scientific implications of certain work of Wilhelm Furtwängler, in an earlier location.
Mankind’s essential enemy is that which mankind has so far resisted becoming. That is the true principle of physical science’s practice, and is the force of passion, called creativity, which drives the human being, from the inside, into great achievements of science and Classical artistic composition. These two aspects of the human mind’s powers, otherwise known as the force of irony, are the essential expression of the creative powers and true destiny of our human species. The musicians and scientists Planck and Einstein, express this quality in a manner which I find essentially delicious.
Consider the matter of the relevance, the appropriateness of what I have presented here.
Mathematics, as presented in its presently conventional setting of practice, is a gritty prospect: it is the grinding of dirt without appropriate passion. True human creativity, and the passionate regard for the meaning of lives of persons, are most intimately related experiences, the experience which separates love of mankind from the dirty business of mere deduction. Or, to state the matter in plainer terms, the difference is locatable in a certain quality of passion, a quality of passion which separates that of swine from human fixation on that power of mankind which is known to us as a reflection of metaphor. Rather than relying on counting of things, we must rely, to be truly human, on that specific quality of human passion, recognized in the expression of metaphor, which transforms the substantive meaning of anything through the powers of impassioned metaphor, rather than the counting of percussively engaged, arithmetic grinding of pieces of dirt. I mean, the sense of awesome grandeur which should have enveloped us as with the great poet’s, musician’s, and true scientist’s use of those powers of the imagination, powers which are the only true expression of creativity as such: as Max Planck and Wolfgang Köhler came to recognize the common unity of their respective professions in this matter.
The human mind as such, is an essential power in itself, a power which inhabits us, and should be permitted to lift us above all other types of species presently known to us.
It is that specific quality of devotion, when shared as a matter of collaboration on behalf of the nations and such of which human society is composed, which draws us, if we permit this, into a devotion to the changes in the world which we are properly obliged to serve, which lends to the appropriately sentient person, the power to rise to those devotions which are to higher achievements by mankind, which supplies the passion through which man and woman must rule themselves, and provide for the appropriate self-government of our species.
It is the sense of beauty specific to the great poets, musicians, and dramatists, which supplies truly creative insight to the scientists and poets, and, also, the governments which mankind deserves. It is that quality of impassioned commitment to the future of each nation, and of mankind as a whole, which must be summoned with the power of a voice, of a trumpet which calls mankind to its true destiny, as by nations, and among nations. The essential function which systems of government must impose upon themselves, is calling the poor sheep of our world to the true profession of being human, and, in that sense, also partaking of what we might truly regard as “humanity.”
That presently rising degree of mortal dangers to human existence, contains an implied warning, concerning the customary notions of “sense-certainty” which mankind has enjoyed under the protection of the system of life on Earth, which is protected “as if from above.” This has confronted our species with the need to pay attention to the matter of the limits of that protection provided by the complex within which life on Earth has been shielded heretofore. It happens that this confrontation with the surroundings of the inhabited elements of our planet, has placed question-marks on the presumed authority of what we are accustomed to consider as “sense-perception as such.” This also pertains to what Bernhard Riemann had emphasized in the concluding section of his 1854 habilitation dissertation, as “the very large” and “very small.”
How far can we dare go within the limits of what we might confidently consider reason, in a continued reliance on the employment of an extended notion of conventional sense-perception as a defining parameter of “what is out there?” These questions had confronted us more clearly since the relevant evidence presented to us by the turn into the Twentieth Century under the considerations of such as Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and (once more) the conception of the human mind associated, later, with the work of Wolfgang Köhler. How shall we free our beliefs from religious devotion to the worship of the theory of dirt? Might we not suspect the Creator to be displeased with such childishness among us?
There are several, respectively valid, and practical approaches to treating this troublesome bit of ambiguity. The significance of such questions as this, for our purposes here, is that mankind, whether directly, or by aid of his instruments, now depends for our species’ continued existence, on the capabilities for defense of the continued existence of our species, an undertaking which plunges us into consideration of matters which the living human species has never truly experienced before. We have entered a form of practice in a domain beyond anything which we might have assumed before the disturbing quality of the actually valid discoveries of Planck and Einstein, and, slightly later, the rarely actually understood discovery of a principle of the human mind by Wolfgang Köhler.
To what degree can the conventional evidence of life, as derived from notions of sense-perception, be considered sufficient for investigation of the meaning of human mental life in the very small, for the exploration of life expressed in the Solar or Galactic “all”? Were there objection to that consideration, consider the compelling evidence on the subject of sense-perception in the physical principles commonly located in the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, Arthur Nikisch, and Wilhelm Furtwängler. This set of questions could not be competently set aside so readily as many might presume.
The specific distinction of man from other species of behavior is located in precisely that locale of physical evidence known as actual economic forecasting of the occurrence of a future state of the human experience, a state which can not, on principle, be adduced from statistical projections: my particular expertise. A close examination of the work of Johann Sebastian Bach suffices to demonstrate the principle which I have just referenced here. Consider what I have just stated very carefully; it has extremely important practical implications for all mankind today.
The principal crises of mankind are associated with the widespread confidence in what is customarily identified as “sense-certainty.”
The problem is, essentially, that the sense of a future depends upon recognizing the authority of what has not yet been experienced. The imperative quality of this prescription confronts us when we recognize the intrinsic absurdity of the belief in what is conventionally understood as the errant compulsion to presume that reality is to be found in “mere sense-certainty” as such.
To escape that pathway of customary error, it were essential to shift belief to something beyond sense-perception as such: what must be sensed to be known, is not real, because it excludes the actual experience of the future, rather than the record of sense-perceptions of what are called “things.” It is on that account, most notably, that the principle of Classical musical composition obtains its means of access to the reality which exists only in the anticipation of the future, as in all great Classical musical compositions since Johann Sebastian Bach.
That is not a musical matter as such; it is that experience of the future in progress which is the expression of the actual principle of truth which is otherwise known as metaphor.
In the immediately preceding chapter of this present argument, I have emphasized that the actual location of the power of human reason is located independently of mathematical calculation as such. The power is located in the specific quality of passion expressed otherwise by the greatest poets and composers of music, or, to say the same thing in an other way, the passion which is human creativity in motion. In other works, in ontological change as such, in the powers of metaphor.
Fools are taken in by calculations. Those who have discovered the secret of human powers of reason as such, are not fooled; but, such persons are, unfortunately, far more rare, as in trans-Atlantic nations, than had been the case in a rather long time. It is not the passion for consuming, grabbing, or simply rejecting “objects,” but rather human creative insight into what were otherwise the unknown, but knowable realities of the settings we occupy, which must capture our attention, and corresponding intention.
In short, trans-Atlantic culture is degenerated because this was not merely permitted, but also encouraged to become a degeneration of current trans-Atlantic civilization (in particular) in such a fashion.