by Jason Ross
The author is a founding member of the LaRouchePAC science research team, also known as “The Basement.”
August 23 — With the collapse of the trans-Atlantic system of finance and geo-politics, and the rise of a new system of physical economic and scientific development, centered in Russia and China, we are confronted by the need to develop an adequate concept of the human individual and of relations among people. Statesman Lyndon LaRouche points to the personality of Albert Einstein as key to providing such an outlook.
Why Einstein? What role can he serve today? First, some misconceptions must be cleared away. On August 15, LaRouche remarked that “very few people understand Einstein. They make up myths about him and explain everything in terms of what he was suspected of doing, which is nothing of the kind… he’s a scientist who had a reach beyond what other scientists had achieved.” We must focus not on the scientific principles themselves, but on the increase of mankind’s devotion to mankind.
Einstein is not an eccentric creator of abstract concepts, irrelevant to our lives. His work on relativity and quantum phenomena have been verified by countless experiments and serve as a basis for understanding nuclear reactions, particle physics, gravitational waves, and astronomy—everything from the very small to the very large—including even the proper functioning of the GPS system.
Considering Einstein as a complete individual reveals a thinker concerned with justice, an opponent of militarism in Europe which allowed the two World Wars, a supporter of the civil rights movement in the U.S., a serious musician whose love of Mozart and the violin directly contributed to his scientific work, and a courageous fighter who stood up for what he considered to be the truth in any field.
Throughout Einstein’s life, LaRouche emphasizes, he understood that “the object of mankind is not to reproduce human individuals; the process of mankind is a higher one. It’s the ability to generate and develop children who are geniuses in one degree or another.” But Einstein is not concerned with the individual child; “he’s concerned with what is necessary to induce in the members of the population, a kind of creativity which is immortal. And that’s what he did.”
Einstein was, from an early age, conscious of his devotion to this process of development. In his “Autobiographical Notes” he remarks, “Even when I was a fairly precocious young man, the nothingness of hopes and strivings, which chases most people restlessly through life, came to my consciousness with considerable vitality.” Rather, he decided to devote himself to “the contemplation of the huge world, the vast riddle of the Universe around us,” which “road to paradise of knowledge” was one that he “never regretted having chosen.”
It’s NOT ‘All Relative’
While the space available here is too brief to address Einstein’s work in any great detail, a central theme can be addressed: the relationship of the developing human mind to the universe in which we live. This consideration is central to his work both on relativity and on quantum phenomena.
Contrary to popular gossip, Einstein did not prove that everything is “relative.” While his theory of relativity reveals that such measurable values as distances and times may vary depending on the motion and gravitational field of the vantage-point of the observer measuring them, the conclusions of reason, in order to comprehend physical processes, are universal. The same truthful conclusions, which cannot come directly from observation, can be reached by any observer in any reference frame; it is mind (reason) that is invariant, not space or time.
In the world of quantum phenomena, a field that Einstein pioneered, he became an outcast in the latter half of his life by his refusal to accept the prevailing theory of quantum mechanics, i.e., the “Copenhagen interpretation,” according to which, only observations are real, and the concept of reality independent of observation loses any meaning. Science was recast, not as an understanding of what is (of reality), but merely what we can say about events (of observations).
Einstein never accepted this abandonment of the concept of reality, and instead insisted that our understanding of the quantum world was simply incomplete. Although the quest for knowledge will never be complete, there can be no true aspect of the universe fundamentally unknowable to the developing minds of human beings.
This great genius of the last century is the more remarkable for what followed him, or rather what failed to follow him. Within the shift in thinking at the turn of the twentieth century, especially towards mathematics and away from reality, both in physics and culturally—in essence, a rejection of mind as a component of the universe—Einstein stands out as a courageous pioneer demonstrating precisely that power of mind. His work ushered in a total reappraisal of the most basic concepts of science: those of space, time, energy and matter, and he continues to inspire new experiments offering new potentials for discovery, e.g. the construction and successful application of the LIGO project to detect gravitational waves. Why has the world not seen his equal since?
Reached for comment today on Einstein’s present-day importance, Lyndon LaRouche responded that the focus must be on developing mankind’s power to discover his own nature, via children who go beyond their parents. That process, that rate of fostering creativity in future generations, is a measure of development. He concluded, “It’s not Einstein’s mathematics; it’s the self-creation of the human species. That defines the nature of the human individual.”
Be like Einstein: be a mensch.
See lpac.co/einstein for more on Einstein’s work, personality, and necessary relevance for the present.