In order to set the context for the book that we are presenting today, The five higher principles: How to humanity’s great transformation back on track, I will start with the following statement: one day we will recover what humanity lost on the night of 22nd December 1913.
But what did humanity lose on that dark night of 22nd December 1913?
In the book I explain that that night was a key moment in the beginning of the great transformation that is leading us towards disaster.
It is possible that many of you have already made your deductions about what this great transformation is that I refer to, and that you are already on the right tracks.
Perhaps you have thought of the great scientific and technological revolution that has taken place during the last 100 years, and its undesirable consequences: the weapons, especially the nuclear weapons; the environmental damage etc.
Yet the atomic bomb called ‘Little Boy’ was released by the now legendary Enola Gay over Hiroshima on 6th August 1945, more of three decades after this date in 1913 that I consider the key moment of change.
Neither in 1913 could people have yet imagined the serious environmental problems that now threaten our planet as a result of this scientific and technological revolution.
It is possible that those of you who are particularly well informed about the history of science might recall that in 1913 Albert Einstein was in the midst of his search for the theory that really would represent a profound scientific and technological revolution: the theory of general relativity.
However, he would not publish his theory until a couple of years later. As such, neither am I referring to the work of the father of modern physics.
Perhaps some of you have also thought of another great revolution, intrinsically linked to the previous revolution that we have mentioned: so-called globalisation, with its serious and undesirable consequences.
Indeed, these two great revolutions, the scientific-technological and that of globalisation are two of the three processes in which our species finds itself immersed and to which I refer in my book.
However, we are missing a third; that which began in that terrible night shortly before Christmas of 1913. I believe that the third and most dangerous process in which our species finds itself immersed is none other than the ever greater concentration of capital and power in the hands of a very small number of people.
In order to ground this argument, in my book I have not turned to the accurate political, social and economic analyses of Karl Marx, as this would open up too great a polemic due to the knee-jerk reactions that the word ‘Marxism’ usually provokes.
It was in fact Albert Einstein himself, so aware of the enormous destructive capacity of the atomic monster that he had helped to create that he fought for nuclear disarmament (he was terrified that the Nazis would soon have the atomic bomb), who considered that the real source of evil in our times is this concentration of capital and power.
More fearsome still than the nuclear weapons are the political leaders who are in control of them, none of whom I believe currently in Occident have sufficient statecraft to confront the interests of the powerful economic lobbies that took them to the positions of power that they now occupy.
Now, forty years after the events, we have the recordings of the terrifying conversations in which Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger expressed their total disdain for the lives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians and in which Richard Nixon went so far as to ask Henry Kissinger to think big for once and consider the option of using the atomic bomb.
I believe that the current government of the USA and the future of humanity are in the hands of people like these. They are the inheritors not of the professional soldiers who disembarked on the beaches of Normandy and that rose up against and defeated Nazism, but of those who were able to decide in cold blood that Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities with no special military relevance, should be raised to the ground.
General Eisenhower, the future president of the USA, General Curtis LeMay, General McArthur, Admiral Nimitz, the five-star admiral Wil Leahy – they didn’t consider it necessary to drop the two bombs, given that they knew that Japan would soon surrender, but there were some who wanted to send out a warning to the Soviet Union.
These people always have, according to them, good reason, even the necessity, to launch wars or weapons of mass destruction.
There is surely only one difference between those declassified conversations between Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and those that must be taking place today: we don’t have recordings of those that are taking place today.
There are however some indications of what is going on. For example, in his book Bought Journalists, the renowned journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former correspondent of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the leading German newspapers, describes how American and Germans politicians exert influence in the German media, ensuring that journalists take the desired angle on global events.
With regards to the nuclear question he states: ‘Today the Americans have even considered the possibility of blowing up a nuclear energy plant in Ukraine and insisting that those responsible are separatists or Russians.
Another fact that supports Albert Einstein’s analysis, a fact that you can also find in the book, is the quantity of money used in the so-called ‘rescue’ of the western banks: figures incomparably greater than the two billion dollars invested globally in weapons each year. The profits from the arms industry, while they may be large, are not comparable with the profits from the financial sector.
The only audit of the Federal Reserve that the US Congress has been able to carry out to date indicated that in excess of 16 trillion dollars were injected by the Federal Reserve into the major banks in just two and a half years. Some experts speak about double that figure.
Either way, we are talking about at least 50 billion dollars multiplied by 365. I’ve chosen this figure of 50 billion dollars because it is what is required to eliminate world hunger, but which is never available for such an end. Yet the Federal Reserve has produced this amount every day for a year in order to strengthen the position of the largest western banks.
That is 16 trillion dollars that journalists and economists never talk about in spite of the fact that it is a figure greater than four years’ worth of the total US budget.
Now that the mystery of the second half of the statement with which I started this presentation has been dealt with – relating as it does to the concentration of money and power in a very small number of hands – I want now to focus for a moment on the first part of this title: ‘One day we will recover…’
It is written in the first person plural. It refers to all of us. Noam Chomsky often refers to a second global superpower, after the US. Is he referring to the great military power of Russia, or the great economic power of China? No; he is referring to public opinion; to you and I…
So we find ourselves once again confronted with another mystery. As in so many myths or legends about a hunt for treasure or the discovery of a great secret, we find ourselves in front of another closed door. How is it possible that a bunch of human beings as insignificant as you and I can be the second global superpower? How can we be that yet also be so powerless in the face of so much evil?
In order to open this door I will once again turn to the mythical for reasons that I will explain later. I believe that Noam Chomsky was right: we are like a powerful king but… we have been put under a spell!
We live outside of reality, in another kind of reality that is far more fictitious than we realise, a virtual reality that a few powerful media empires cultivate hour by hour.
Do you remember King Theoden in Lord of the Rings who is put under a spell by the wizard Saruman thanks to the help of the king’s advisor, Grima, who works in secret for the wizard? Well, something similar is happening to us.
I call it a spell because it is something more complex than simple ignorance or disinformation. A spell can only work because of our own emotional and spiritual weaknesses, our own feelings of inadequacy and what we ourselves project: fear, conformity, petty personal interests without sufficient interest in the really important issues, ambition…
For this reason I like to say that “the antonym of the beautiful word utopia is not realism but maliciousness” and its synonyms are equally beautiful words; empathy, magnanimity, faith and courage. Reality is not something ‘out there’, solid and unchangeable. It’s not only the various ancient spiritual traditions that make this point but also, as of the 20th century, physics: the observer always influences the observed, even simply through the act of observation. Dignity and generosity are always worth something. There are not observers outside of reality: we are all actors who shape history with our own insight or with our subconscious, but above all with our generosity or our maliciousness.
It is possible that some of you are thinking that this deeply negative assessment of the major ‘information’ agencies and television channels is too ‘radical’.
As such, I will turn the burden of proof around and put to you some of the questions that I ask during the course of the book:
- Why do none of the official economic gurus refer in the mainstream media to the 16 trillion dollars that I referred to earlier, or to the serious pressure and threats that members of congress were subjected to in order for this scam to be carried out?
- Why can one not find on the main television channels Wesley Clark, the American general, revealing and denouncing years in advance his government’s plan to attack Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria etc?
- Why don’t they talk about the 10 million victims that the West has caused in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, or about the hundreds of thousands of rapes that take place and that are still taking place in DRC yet the 400 young women kidnapped by Boko Haram have received a good deal of space on the front pages?
- Why does nobody know about the leader of the Rwandan opposition, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who has been in prison for five years for having refused to collaborate in the US’s looting and carving up of the DRC?
- Why does hardly anybody know about the decree in which the judge Fernando Andreu imputes 40 of the leading officials of the current Rwandan regime and its president Paul Kagame, who the UN have made the joint president (along with José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero) of the noble Millennium Development Goals, for some of the most heinous crimes?
I myself have experienced incidents that have served as evidence that our society lives immersed in a great farce:
- In February 1997, the day in which, in Brussels, I delivered to the Spanish Exterior Minister Abel Matutes a letter identifying Bill Clinton as the person responsible for the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Hutus in the east of DRC (then Zaire), a letter I wrote during a 42-day fast and that was signed by some of the most well-known Nobel prize winners as well as the presidents of the various European political groups, the correspondent for TVE in Brussels apologised to me for being unable to film the meeting with the minister as they had already prohibited them showing any images of it.
- Around the same time the very existence of these many hundreds of thousands of refugees was denied, until the European Commissioner, Emma Bonino, went to the region and her colleagues filmed the dantesque scenes of this human river that supposedly didn’t exist.
- In November 2009 a UN report on the DRC, which received broad coverage in the ‘progressive’ newspapers El Pais and Público, accused me of being the principal financier of the ‘genocidal Hutu terrorists’ of the FDLR. The only proof consisted of a grant for 50,000 for receiving children who had been raped… that our foundation never received! Later on, five cables released by Wikileaks uncovered the plot to bring to an end the criminal proceedings that we had initiated in the National Court.
I am convinced that we are as if under a spell. I could describe some of the strategies that are used to achieve this state of affairs, but the main one is that of silence and hiding everything that questions the great farce that is the Western system.
There is also the ‘convenient’ description of those facts that cannot be hidden, descriptions in which we are always ‘the goodies’; or the creation of as much confusion as possible, or strategies of distraction.
For the Western Empire their financial power and devastating military power is not sufficient. It also needs a third leg on which to build its global domination: moral legitimacy. Yet it is exactly legitimacy that is its great weakness, even though it pretends to be the ally of global democracy and human rights. This is what explains the strength of the non-violence movement, the foundation of which Mahatma Gandhi laid in the power of the truth.
And so, now that we have it clear that in the title I am talking about us, ourselves, what is stated clearly stated at the beginning of the title is that one day we will recover something very important that we lost that sad night a century ago.
That is to say, I claim that one day the spell will be broken. I claim that truth, justice and charity will have the final word. I claim that those who come to own the world will be those who show compassion and seek peace, and not those who control and manage ‘the markets’, the power and the armies.
Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King arrived at this wise yet surprising and even paradoxical conclusion because during the course of their lives they had learned that wisdom and God’s will are infinitely greater than our thoughts, and that their timeframes are not the same as ours.
Yet this profound intuition was not only a spiritual vision but also contained a scientific insight, valid even from the position of those without a faith. It’s the same insight that meant that, in their enquiries, James Hutton or Charles Darwin were able to disentangle a whole series of until then unresolvable problems and arrive at their ingenious theories: about the age of the world and that the age of life on earth is far greater than it was previously thought to have been.
The realisation that the mountains rose up due to the continental drift and plate tectonics or the discovery of the evolution of the species were only possible once James Hutton and, a little later, Charles Darwin realised that the periods during which these processes took place were enormously longer than conventional wisdom at the time would have had them believe.
Similarly, we can only correctly understand the truth and the force of the doctrine and movement of non-violence when we abandon our narrow beliefs about the time-scales of human history and about the supposed ineffectiveness of our actions in favour of a better world.
The age of the world, of life on earth and of humanity are far greater than we usually think, and everything will end well.
However, the very small elite that during the last four decades have led the world through a process in which big finance has come to dominate, a process that has made them immensely wealthy and powerful but whose origins lie in a huge impoverished mass, who imposed the system of petrodollars which is responsible for so many wars… should not believe that their domination cannot be challenged.
We cannot allow it: their days are numbered, humanity is coming to a moment of change, the different peoples of the world are opening their eyes, the Western system is slowly tearing itself apart and other powers are emerging around it…
As Marina Rosell told us yesterday in the words of her friend Paco Ibáñez, ‘Let’s get them – they are few and they are cowards’. Thank you Marina, once again, not only for being here and for your support with your music and your singing, but also for your ideas and the stands that you take – always on the side of the small and of the victims.
This small but cowardly group pretend that there are no alternatives to their system. They pretend, for example, that Iceland, which has liberated itself from their yolk and is now flourishing, is too small for its experiences to be applicable to other countries.
They always come up with some way of silencing, confusing etc. What they never say is that many alternatives only did not become alternatives because they made sure that that they were sunk before they could become alternatives. Yet there is a stubborn reality: of course what is happening in Iceland can be extrapolated to the Spanish case, but even speaking about it causes some to panic.
This is because one thing is certain, and here those with the money are correct, there is a big difference between Iceland and Spain: the size. If Spain followed Iceland’s path the Western system would have an enormous problem.
More specifically, I believe that in order to find the solution to this terrible labyrinth in which humanity is currently lost one has to take a key step: return to the supreme law of the United States.
By which I mean, return to its Constitution. Yes, you have heard me correctly.
I say this because I believe it to be the case. And, indeed, to give a bit of a headache to those who would describe me as being anti-American – although in fact, and excuse the joke, it might be more accurate to say that it is to calm them down.
So what do I mean by this? Let us now uncover the mystery that is hidden behind the title of this discussion.
On the night of 22nd December 1913, the major Anglo-Saxon banking families, in contravention of the constitution of the USA, created the Federal Reserve.
And on that night everything began to turn. They created a central bank from private property. It is, as it sounds, a complete contradiction, a total farce: a state entity but private.
From that night onwards, up to the present day, a handful of families have been imposing their will and their power over the democratic decision-making of western societies; because I’m not talking only about the USA but also about the situation here.
During the course of the following decades, those presidents and political leaders who have sought to return power over the Federal Reserve and the control of money to the state have just happened to be assassinated or ‘disappeared’ from the political scene.
I’m not going to reveal to you now how these great financiers have managed to control or to attempt to control the world, because if I did you wouldn’t need to buy the book.
But joking apart, what I want to do now is to turn to what could be the way to resolving the serious problems in which humanity today finds itself entangled.
I am going to set out now the model offered to us by those who have taught us about non-violence, failed but victorious, shot down but still alive and kicking among us. These people have shown us that there are always alternatives, that one is always able to do something to change the course of events.
It is true that the current problems are of a scale that dwarfs us, that their origins lie somewhere way beyond our everyday lives, that they require an urgent response for the millions of victims here and in the poorest countries…but the message of those who have shown us the way of non-violence is that in these extreme situations their often emerges a mysterious and powerful force that offers us solutions not previously imagined.
The five superior principles that I describe, drawing on their lives and message, are a series of rules that can produce the ‘miracle’ of amplifying beyond all recognition our efforts; the ‘miracle’ of the expansion of good in the face of evil; the ‘miracle’ of finding, paradoxically, our own happiness in the same moment as we make it becomes linked to the happiness of the most vulnerable; the ‘miracle’ that the heaviest of yolks, the renunciation of our own selves (a charge greater than our own power), becomes light and soft in the same moment in which we accept it and believe that a superior Power will help us to support it.
These are powerful rules with a greater reason that integrates the everyday logic of efficacy and results into a wider frame. This is why you don’t need to concern yourselves with majority opinion. Who remembers the hundred authors who wrote books against Albert Einstein and his theories? As he said himself, ‘Why one hundred? If they were right, one would be enough’.
Some of us should remind our political leaders of the words of Martin Luther King: The real leader or statesman is not somebody who depends on public opinion but somebody capable of forming public opinion.
We have had enough of the ‘socialist’ leaders who change the Spanish constitution for the worse as soon as they receive a letter from the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, a man in the service of the great families that control the Federal Reserve.
We have had enough of the ‘popular’ leaders who save Bankia with everybody’s money as soon as they receive a call from the secretary of the US Treasury, Timothy Geithner, whose bosses are the same as those of Jean-Claude Trichet.
We have had enough of the main political parties that change the law under which we all live as soon as they receive a scolding from the US ambassador in Madrid, another person in the service of the great economic powers of their country. Or when they offer them the bases of Rota and Morón so that they can carry on their pillaging of Africa, taking desolation and even genocide to the people of Africa.
We have had enough of the ‘leaders’ who are always in the thrall of the public opinion surveys of a sociological research centre that I am not convinced really understand the reality that is unfolding in our world.
I try to the take the reader of my book beyond the conventional thinking based on ideas of efficacy and results, a way of thinking which is too flat, too one-dimensional. I attempt to introduce the reader to the thinking of the great figures of non-violence and science.
Yet today we are three days away from the elections. Yes, I couldn’t not say something about the elections, and that is because it is precisely the challenge that Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King set for us to integrate this higher way of thinking into the political context.
Many, influenced undoubtedly by the mass media, are afraid of a situation that becomes what they call ‘ungovernable’. What makes me worry is not such an ungovernable situation but the opposite: the concentration of power.
Among their many manipulations is the imposition of the Hondt electoral system in which one person does not mean one vote. They impose it on us, so they say, to favour stable government.
Yet the fact is that, without this rule, minority groups would have far more representatives and we would decide more quickly stable majority government than we do at present with the Hondt system. However, of course, it would be the stable majority that is not in the interest of the powerful.
If I had to note, to finish now, some pathways towards a solution, they would all be in one direction in particular: placing as much decision making capacity at the local level as is possible. This, I believe, finally, forces us to prepare our society for a politics of independence for which it is still not yet prepared.
After several years of ‘emotional drought’ a couple of weeks ago the words of a politician finally managed to move me. I was listening to Biel Barceló express himself with the same conviction and force with which the great figures of non-violence did so.
For this reason I want to finish with those words with which he closed his meeting on the last St. Jordi’s day, ‘how to make a revolution’. After setting out a really exciting programme of government, he said:
That would all be wonderful if it was possible, if we won. But have we ever won? Yes, our ideas have always won.
If Cala Mondragó, Es Trenc, Es camí de cavalls, Sa Dragonera, Cabrera or Son Real are protected beaches or areas it is thanks to us. It is us who protected Es Jonquet, the historic town centre of Sineu, Ruberts, the Mar i Terra Theatre, the Ruta de Pedra en Sec and Sibil·la.
We have always been ahead of the times; we have made history and we have never been wrong. At times we have not had enough power, that is true, and because of that it has taken longer for us to achieve it, but we have achieved it all the same.
We defended recycling over incineration and today we recycle more than anyone else in the country. We defended the train, public transport and greater use of bicycles, and today cities across Europe are doing the same.
In 1993 we were the only ones demanding fair autonomous finances and today all the parties include it in their political programme. We proposed that we should have public communications in our own language, and everyone was against the idea. Today we have it. And with the help of thousands of Mallorcans, we brought TV3 to the islands and will bring them again.
Did Emili Darder win? Yes. The great republican and Mallorcan major from Palma, shot by the fascists one morning won because in 1936 Emili Darder said, ‘Who has a lot should pay a lot, and who has less to offer should give what they can’, and that is how it is today in the advanced social-democracies in the north of Europe.
Darder was passionate about education and worked tirelessly to dignify and spread it. Sometimes I ask myself what would Emili Darder have thought if he saw 100,000 people in the street defending public education and public schooling? He seemed like a visionary, but he had already seen what was coming; now it is the whole country that stands up to defend its schools.
It is true that this country has many enemies, but it is also true that it has an unbreakable weapon, its own people, a people ever more aware and more sure of the kind of country that they want and deserve.
As Mahatma Gandhi believed, the truth is powerful, the reality cannot be changed. The root of Satya (the Sanskrit term that he so loved and used), Truth, is none other than Sat, which means to be. For this reason he and Albert Einstein, the great physicist so passionate about the ultimate nature of matter, understood each other so well.
We tend to relate truth to facts and think of matter as only being something that ‘things’ have. Yet by bringing together space and time in a four-dimensional spatial-temporal continuum, Alert Einstein brought together truth and matter into one reality made up of a form of ‘fabric’ made up of closely interwoven events.
For this reason physics is one of the three main themes of my book, along with political-economic analysis and spirituality. In these other two main questions both are also points of universal and timeless reference.
Formulating it in such a way that it would be accessible for non-theists and atheists, Mahatma Gandhi made non-violence into a method with well-defined socio-political objectives that are of great contemporary and enduring relevance for our world: imperialism, its excesses and the struggle against it.
As Albert Einstein warned, today the threat comes from an essentially economic form imperialism, but one that also uses military aggression. It is an imperialism more damaging than nuclear weapons, than the British Empire against which Mahatma Gandhi fought and more dangerous than all other previous empires.
What united most closely these two exceptional figures is that which constitutes the very essence of religion: admiration, empathy and respect for the Universe, for the mystery of life and for the very smallest creature