Looking back from 500 years in the future, what will have been the meaning of your life—the importance, for those living, of your having existed? Megan Beets discusses the fusion economy, the next upward leap in mankind’s anti-entropic development. Fusion is not simply a way to produce electricity—it completely transforms our power in and over nature, with applications ranging from basic resource creation, metallurgy, machining, medical science and space travel. The opportunity is before us today to make a fusion platform the basis of a New Paradigm for mankind.
DENNIS SPEED: My name is Dennis Speed, and on behalf of the LaRouche Political Action Committee, I want to welcome everybody here for today’s Dialogue with LaRouche. I’m going to simply introduce Diane, who will be introducing our keynote speaker for today.
This morning we had a discussion on our daily phone call, and Bruce Director called our attention to the principle of inversion; which is used very much in Classical music, but it’s also used in science more generally. This doesn’t just mean turning something upside down. It means being able to consider that action has a peculiar physical geometric property. For example, in Bach’s well-tempered system, going up is not the same thing as going down. Space is shaped by a different intent, and direction is also a function of intention. Rather than try to say a lot about what we were talking about there, let me give you an example of the sort of thing that we see ourselves in right now. Jan. 30th, which will be FDR’s birthday, will also be the day of the State of the Union address. Donald Trump will be giving the State of the Union address that day. We don’t know what he’s going to say. We do know what the intent of the Constitution and the intent of the present period requires of the Presidency.
Now, although there has been a continuous prosecution of that Presidency from prior to its occurrence — in other words, Donald Trump was being investigated illegally and criminally by ostensible agencies of the government prior to his Presidency. That prosecution is itself now in the crosshairs of an investigation of its criminality. At the same time, Mr. Trump has a certain relationship with Xi Jinping of China, and also with President Putin of Russia. But there’s another relationship that you may remember; President Abe of Japan also came and visited with President Trump. Some of you old enough to have followed these matters, remember something called the Trilateral Commission; which was this premise that the modern world was to be essentially run by a kind of triumvirate of Europe, the United States, and Japan. This was run by the elites and it was run by what people today would likely call the “Deep State.” It had this tremendous power and so forth. But Japan has been, in the last few weeks in particular, pursuing forms of action which seem to be completely out of character with that nation’s recent history and with its apparent geopolitical interests. Well, of course, it is no longer operating according to so-called geopolitical interests. It is pursuing a peace treaty with Russia; it is pursuing a completely different relationship with Japan. The Japan that was responsible largely for over 30 million Chinese deaths in the Second World War. And it is pursuing a certain policy also with respect to North Korea. These things that Japan is doing are completely at odds with what the so-called “trilateral” arrangement would dictate.
That can’t be happening in the absence of the United States; that’s an impossibility. That doesn’t mean that I’m saying that the actions of the Japanese are being in any sense dictated by the United States; but I’m telling you that there’s something underway, just in that one example. And I don’t mean to over emphasize that example, but just in that one example, which we need to take account of. In the world today, it would appear that on the one hand, we are on the verge of thermonuclear war and on the other that we’re on the verge of the greatest physical transformation of the globe in its history. Both things in one sense are true; but you can’t organize from the standpoint of trying to compare one condition to the other condition. There’s another principle all together that has to be brought into play. LaRouche has emphasized this in the form of his Four Laws, but there’s a philosophical and epistemological premise and substrate if you want to put it, to all of that.
We were discussing that this morning, because what we’re trying to figure out is, how do we get across to a population that is largely bamboozled — as we talked about last week — baffled, befuddled, just bewitched and bothered and bewildered, as they say. How do we get across to them that there’s an entirely different action, set of principles that are actually underway and are available to them to change the world? So, first Diane will come up, and Diane will speak with us. Then, she will introduce our keynote speaker, Megan Beets.
DIANE SARE: Well, as Dennis alluded to, I do think that we are on the brink of a spectacular victory for mankind, as people can see, because President Trump has decided to fight back on this Russia-gate witch hunt. The FBI is not looking so great; Robert Mueller is in some trouble; more and more material is coming out, more texts and all kinds of things are coming out. This could really break the back of a treasonous operation that goes back to the time when they put Lyndon LaRouche in prison. I have to say that the targetting and jailing of Lyndon LaRouche was probably the most serious crime committed by Robert Mueller and this British puppet apparatus, because of where the United States and the world are not relative to where they would have been had Lyndon LaRouche been allowed to become President of the United States.
But at any rate, this is going very well — delightfully well. As Dennis was mentioning, you have had extraordinary conferences on the development of the Arctic, the development of the Caribbean. China is moving ahead with its plan as Xi Jinping outlined at the 19th Communist Party conference, that poverty should be eradicated on the planet by the year 2050. Poverty will be eradicated in China by 2020. This is not to say that we should take this for granted, but what I would like people to consider is, that while we are focussed on these fights — and we should be absolutely focussed on the destruction of the British-run police state apparatus that Robert Mueller is the hatchet man for; it’s as if people are standing facing the wrong direction which a gigantic comet is about to hit them in the back of the head. That comet is the blow-out of the trans-Atlantic financial system. Because what we have been living through after 2008, was not a correction or anything that was done to address the systemic causes of that collapse; but rather Glass-Steagall was not reinstated, LaRouche’s policies were not implemented. What happened is, money was printed — nowadays it’s not even printed — computers made up large sums of money for quantitative easing and created a bubble which is far larger than the one that imploded in 2008. It is a very risky business for President Trump to be associating himself with this, by saying that this indicates an economic recovery.
I just want to share with you an article that was written by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard from Davos. Let me just read you the first three short paragraphs; you’ll get it.
“The world financial system is as dangerously stretched today as it was at the peak of the last bubble, but this time the authorities are caught in a policy trap with few defenses left, a veteran central banker has warned. Nine years of emergency money has had a string of perverse effects and lured emerging markets into debt dependency without addressing the structural causes of the global disorder.” I might say it’s not just the emerging markets; this thing is going to be biggest at Wall Street and London. “|’All the market indicators right now look very similar to what we saw before the Lehman crisis, but the lesson has somehow been forgotten,’ said William White, the Swiss-based head of the OECD’s review board, and ex-chief economist for the Bank for International Settlements. Probably someone who would have an idea of what’s going on.”
So, speaking of inversions, this is why what we decided here in the Manhattan Project is to dedicate the first weeks of the new year to Mr. LaRouche’s Four Laws as the solution. We tend to think one, two, three, four; Glass-Steagall, national bank and credit system, infrastructure, fusion economy. But actually, it is the fourth law which is the primary, subsuming law which causes the others; or, the others are necessary because of that. That is exactly what Megan Beets is going to address. So, without saying more, I will turn it over to Megan Beets from LaRouche’s Science Team.
MEGAN BEETS: Before I get into what I wanted to say, I just wanted to make an announcement that the LaRouche PAC Science Team, with other collaborators, are going to be holding a second class series which will be accessible via the LaRouche PAC website. I encourage everybody here in the room and everybody watching this online to register for it. The topic is “What Is the New Paradigm?” and it will begin February 10th, opened up with a class given by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, so that’s something you don’t want to miss. There’s going to be information on the website, so people can register at that link — lpac.co/2018newparadigm.
OK. I want to begin actually picking up on something that Dennis included in his presentation last week on the space program. That is, a slide he showed the Martin Luther King center down in Atlanta, which had a quote of the principles of nonviolence. The sixth principle of nonviolence was “Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.” That’s very similar to the famous quote by Martin Luther King that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That very challenging notion is really no different than something which Mr. LaRouche and other great geniuses in history have come to recognize; which is that we live in a creative universe. A universe the fundamental characteristic of which is goodness. Now that is a topic of our discussion here today.
We’re all human beings, correct? Hopefully. As a human being, I want you to ask yourself a question which no animal has the power to ask itself, which is: Where do you locate the meaning of your existence? Your mortal life is limited; it is very short, relatively speaking. Your mortal existence between those bookends we call birth and death. So, the question is where — and more importantly — when in physical space time do you place the purpose of your having lived? In really considering that, as Lyndon LaRouche has — and many others; Joan of Arc, Franklin Roosevelt. In really considering that seriously, you come to realize, as they did, that the human identity occupies and experiences a different kind of space time than that which is accessible to your sense experience. That which you believe to be real as you go about your day and suffer a series of sense impressions of sight and sometimes smell; things which come and go in linear succession. But the meaning, the purpose of your life doesn’t exist in that linear time. It has a certain simultaneity with the past and the future, and it’s not fixed, even though the person in question may have long ago passed away. The meaning of your life can still change after you die.
So, with that in mind, I want you to pause; and I want you to allow yourself to enter a domain which is much closer to reality than that domain of sense experience, and much more substantial. That is, the domain of the imagination. In your imagination, I want you to stand face to face with a young person who will be born 500 years from now. This person will live in a world which is very, very different than ours; one way or the other, for better or for worse. And I want you to look that young person in the eye, and I want you to give account of what you did with your time on Earth. Explain to them what you did for them with your life. That’s the proper standpoint from which to consider the opportunity before all of us today as we face the possibility of entering upon a new era for mankind; a New Paradigm. And as we face a very important responsibility in the United States to shift the U.S. over to that New Paradigm this year.
So, the issue that we’ll take up today in that context, from that starting point, in its specifics if the science of human progress. Specifically within that, the necessity, the non-optional step to be taken to shift over to a fusion platform; and we’ll come to know a little bit better what that means.
To open up the discussion, and to test our A/V capability, I want to open and let Lyndon LaRouche introduce the topic.
LYNDON LAROUCHE : If we were to take the attitude that the United States had under the Kennedy space program, or actually the Eisenhower-Kennedy space program, the post-Sputnik program we had from around 1958 to about 1965, if we maintained that, combined with policies of investment tax credits for investment of a suitable kind, with a science enrichment program in our schools, and similar kinds of things, and we did that, nothing more than that, I can assure you that knowing what we know is important to work upon in science and technology, knowing the kinds of projects which are the best way to express these technological improvements, I assure you that if mankind on this planet had the political will to do just that, we would increase the potential population density of this planet at a higher standard of living by a factor of as much as forty over today’s, over the next three generations by a factor of ten. We could sustain by the end of two generations, we’d be sustaining a potential population in the order of magnitude of 100 billion people — more comfortably, much better fed, much more secure, much freer, much less crowded than today.
BEETS: Now today, we don’t have 100 billion people; we have 7.6 billion people. Which is roughly 9% of the human beings who have ever lived, are alive right now — 9%. Does anybody know when it was when we finally supported 1 billion people on the planet? 1800. It took all of human existence up until the year 1800 to be able to support 1 billion people on the planet. Does anybody know when we doubled that to 2 billion? 1930. It took all of human history to 1800 to get 1 billion people; it took 130 years to double that. Does anybody know when we doubled it again and got to 4 billion? 1974; 44 years later. And we’re close to doubling that again.
Now that figure, 7.6 billion, it should be 20-25 billion today. We’re living much longer, healthier lives than most people enjoy today. And there would be 20-25 billion people living on the planet today, but for the more than half century of the dominance of geopolitics that the world has suffered since the deaths of Franklin Roosevelt and the assassination of John F. Kennedy; and very importantly, the sabotage of both nuclear fission and nuclear fusion power.
To underscore that, the optimism that the world had with the prospect of fusion power, I want to read a quote from a man named Lewis Strauss, who was the head of the efforts in the United States to achieve fusion power in the 1950s. Go to the next slide, please. So Strauss said in 1954 about fusion: “Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter. It is not too much to expect that our children will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history. Will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them, and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds; and will experience a life span far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age.” Now that’s more than just lowering your electricity bill, that’s an entirely new outlook for mankind.
Now, what if fusion? I know some people might have more of an idea, and some people less of an idea. In its most general terms, fusion is a process of transformation which is associated with the atomic nucleus; where we are moving beyond mere chemistry down to the atomic level. Fusion is different than fission — the so-called splitting of the atom. Fission, where we begin with heavier elements like uranium or plutonium and induce them to go through a transformation which seems to split them apart into lighter elements of approximately half the mass, and also releases a large amount of energy. With fusion, coming back to the issue of inversion, with fusion we’re not splitting the atom; we are uniting atoms into a single unified new entity. And it is not the simple inverse. With fusion, we bring together very light atoms such as hydrogen or helium or boron, and we induce them to go through a process where they unite. In uniting, they do not unite in the way that elements unite in chemistry, the way that hydrogen and oxygen come together to form a water molecule. But they unite in such a way that they form a new atom, and release an amount of energy which is an order of magnitude beyond fission.
Just to give you a little bit of a sense, and we’ll see a reflection of this in a chart I’ll show later, in chemistry when we bring, for example, hydrogen and oxygen together, we don’t fundamentally alter the parts — the hydrogen and the oxygen. They come together and they form water, and they can be split apart again. Those kinds of chemical reactions, when they happen, some of them yield a small amount of energy in the form of a few electron volts. When we bring together hydrogen and helium atoms in a fusion process, and bring them together to form a new atom, we’ve eliminated the parts; there is now a new existence in their place, and the energy yield is 1 million times greater than chemical reactions. So, this is something fundamentally new.
Now, I want people to just hold those thoughts, and I want to turn for a little while to a few very crucial aspects of Lyndon LaRouche’s discoveries in the science of economics. Lyndon LaRouche is the most successful economic forecaster who has ever lived, and that’s not by some small margin. Lyndon LaRouche has been right in all of his major forecasts, where all of his rivals have been dead wrong. That is not because he has some special insider information, it is not because he has a crystal ball. It’s because he made and elaborated fundamental discoveries in the science of economics over the period of 1948 to 1952. And discovered the fundamental principles which underlie human economy, not as the stock market, but as a physical science with knowable, physical laws. Even though it’s been 70 years since that time, those discoveries have still not been put into conscious practice either in policymaking or economics education. We plan to change that. What those discoveries center around is an understanding of the human species as a unique kind of anti-entropic process in the universe.
What LaRouche identified is that over time, not only does the human population grow, but also the power and the resources required to support each individual of that growing population also grow. You can think, for example, of the difference of what it takes to supply all of the needs of somebody in a developed country today; somebody sitting in this room, versus 200 or 300 years ago. So, think of everything that is required to supply the electricity in your home, the electricity in your place of work. What did it take to mine the coal or natural gas or whatever fuel is going into that power plant that produces your electricity? To transport it to the power plant? What does it take to build those buildings? What did it take to build the hospital that you were born in? What does it take to grow the food that you eat and transport it to market? So, think about all of the inputs per capita that are required to supply the basic and other needs of life of individuals today versus in the 1800s. Each person in society today — at least in the developed world, and very soon globally — each person is far more expensive than we were in previous eras.
In a healthy economy, even though we have far more people, each of whom is far more expensive than in previous stages of development, in a healthy economic system, that process does not run down. That process actually grows. Why? The reason why is because even though each person is more expensive than in the past, each person is also much more powerful in what he or she can produce with his or her labor. Each person has more power than people in the past to produce and create change in the universe. As an example, you could think of the farmer. And you could of the difference of the farmer of the 1800s versus the farmer of today. You can think of what a farmer of the 1800s would do with a team or horses or oxen and a simple plow, and how it would take an entire day to plow a small field. Now, compare to what our friend Bob Baker calls the astronaut farmer of today, who has GPS satellites, gigantic self-driving farm machinery at his or her disposal; which has sensors which can sense by the square foot exactly what nutrients are lacking the soil and deposit those tailored down to the square foot. And with a day’s labor, what can that farmer do? How many fields can that farmer plow, each square foot of which is orders of magnitude more productive than the farmer 200 years ago? So, the difference in the day and what the day of each of those two farmers can produce, that difference is what Lyndon LaRouche identified as the productive powers of labor. That’s the key to this anti-entropic process called human progress and human economics.
The population is growing; the expense of each person is growing; and the productive powers of labor are growing faster. It’s that which produces the surplus. It’s that which produces what LaRouche called the free energy, or that which goes beyond simply maintaining the current status of the system which can be reinvested into growth, development, and progress.
I want to play another clip. You can hear LaRouche himself on that.
LAROUCHE : There’s no economy among animals. An economy reflects a characteristic of people, of the human individual; the difference between the individual and the beast. That is, these cognitive powers by which we discover universal physical principles derive new technologies or apply new technology based on these principles; we apply them to our problems. And therefore we find that through our efforts, our physical efforts or the expenditure of our time, that we are able to produce more wealth than it costs to keep us in the process of production, both in terms of our labor, in terms of the cost to maintain the families from which we come, but also in the cost to society in capital expenditures on which we rely both in private industry and by government; including large-scale infrastructure and things of that sort. We rely upon this; our productivity depends upon it. Therefore, it is the power of man to make these discoveries and to use them; discoveries derived from discovery of universal physical principles which increases the value of what is produced over the cost of production. The root of an economy is man.
BEETS: Now that is an anti-entropic process. It is mankind manifesting, in a unique way, the creative principle that characterizes our universe as a whole. That power that we have is the result of something animals cannot and will not ever do, which is the introduction of new technologies into the economy. New technologies which themselves are shadows of, or unique applications of discoveries of never-before-known principles of the universe. You could for an example, an example I want to give today is you could think of the introduction of electricity into factories, or the introduction of the electric motor into factories; which occurred at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century. This revolutionized industry. Rather than having a giant steam engine in the basement of the factory, which was fed with coal and had to be close to a water source; which would turn a gigantic drive shaft in the basement of that factory which was then connected through miles and miles and miles of leather belts to other drive shafts on different floors or parts of the factory. Rather than that — and you can see that in this picture here. Rather than that, now each small group of machines and then more and more each individual machine was run by its own electric motor. Now what did this do? You can look at this slide; these are two examples of factory floors which are still using belt drives. Then, go to the next picture, and see the difference. These are two factories which are using electric drive for the most part. So, factories became cleaner; they became better for your health to work in. This improved the food safety of food producing factories, to not have dust flying everywhere as these belts turned. This improved safety generally, because you didn’t have belts snapping. This dramatically improved and lessened the amount of maintenance that had to be done on machines, because you could now have a smooth, steady electric drive rather than this jerky and unpredictable belt drive.
Factories could sited farther from water sources. The power supply to the machines was much more consistent and much more tailored to the job to be done. Then probably one of the biggest effects is that you didn’t have to run all of the machines in a factory at once; you could run just the machine you were working on. This took an enormous power load off of the factories. All of a sudden, with a relatively small investment of power, you could produce the same amount in that factory versus what was possible before. This was just an enormous leap in many ways both qualitative and quantitative in productivity.
Now, where did the electric motor come from? Do you find electric motors in nature? Though I like how people always say, “Well, animals use tools. Monkeys find sticks and use them to dig little bugs out of trees, or logs.” You’re never going to find an electric motor in nature. An electric motor is an original creation of mankind. It’s a projection into and a construction within physical space which is demonstrating the existence of a principle which is intangible and invisible. And up until that moment, didn’t exist anywhere for mankind except within the imagination. The proof of principle of the existence of that scientific principle is the construction of the electric motor. In this specific case that I’m giving, this is an application of the discoveries of Ampère and others of the principles of electromagnetism. That electricity and magnetism were not separate phenomena, but were something completely new.
These original creations give us increased power over nature. And it is the succession of the introduction of new sets of technologies based on creations which come as applications of new discoveries; this is the anti-entropic process that we call human economy and human progress. If we go to the next slide, this is another original creation of mankind. This is a tokomak; otherwise known as a fusion machine. This machine contains within it, when it’s running, a rarefied gas which we call a plasma which can be heated to 10 times hotter than the center of the Sun, and has driven incredible innovations in technologies in metallurgy, magnets, electricity, a deeper understanding of what causes certain behaviors of the nucleus. This original creation of man has helped us to open up fully the atomic domain. With a full mastery of the principles of the atom, the human species moves out of the mode of just interacting with matter on a physical or chemical level where we’re simply melting or heating or recombining matter to make new things. We move to a level where we are creating matter and fine-tuning the characteristics of matter down to the atomic level. Fusion — and also fission which has not been fully realized in society, though we’ve had control over it for some time — fusion is the next anti-entropic step for mankind in our increased power over nature; and the increase in our power applied to the economic process.
That difference that this will make is not just an incremental difference; and I want to give some sense of that now. So, we can go to the next slide. This is a chart of the energy density of different kinds of fuels that we use for power. And it’s put in terms of how much fuel would it take to meet New York City’s electricity requirements for one year. You can see, starting at the top, that if we supplied all of New York City’s electricity using wood, this would take 16 million tons of wood per year. If we did it with coal, it would take half of that. If we did it with petroleum or natural gas, it would take just over half of that. If we did it with nuclear power, with fission power plants, look at the difference. You’re talking five orders of magnitude difference. If we did it with fusion fuel which is on the chart here as deuterium and tritium, if we did it with fusion fuel, you’re talking about less than 1 ton. And then, matter-antimatter is far, far beyond that.
With that image of the kind of different quality that these different fusion fuels give us, I want to think about something Diane brought up at the beginning; which is China’s commitment to end poverty in China by 2020 — which is two years from now — and in the world by 2050. What could moving to a fusion platform, even if only for electricity generation, do towards that effort? If you think about what are two of, or maybe the biggest squeezes on ending poverty in the developing world are today, they are resources for energy, including electricity, and water. With fusion fuels, we could supply the electricity needs of every single human being on Earth today with less effort — actually I’m going to say that differently. With fusion fuels, we could supply the electricity needs for 20 billion people on the planet today with less effort than it takes to supply the energy for the developed world today. Yeah, with fusion fuels, with widespread fusion power plants, we could supply the electricity needs for 20 billion people with less effort than it currently takes to supply the developed world today.
Water. With abundant, cheap electricity, the idea of desalinating sea or other brackish water on a large, large scale to create new, fresh water for agriculture, to become an easily solved problem, and we could double or triple world food production in very short order. If you want to end poverty, make fundamental progress in science.
Now, I want to go through a couple other aspects to spark your imagination of what shifting to a fusion platform could mean. Because of the extremely high temperatures attainable inside of fusion reactors, in the tens or hundreds of millions of degrees — now remember, the center of the Sun is 15 million degrees — so we’re talking tens and hundreds of millions of degrees temperatures; because of those incredibly high temperatures and the energy associated with that, our relationship to mining and resources is fundamentally changed. Currently, the way we get resources out of the grounds is we mine an enormous amount of ore, right? And then we use different processes, from blast furnaces, from chemical leaching processes, other processes of chemical reduction, and we find ways of extracting the little bits of metal and other things we need from that large quantity of ore.
With fusion plasmas, the process becomes something else entirely. I want to show a short video clip [she narrates]. Inside a fusion reactor, you have plasmas which reach as I said tens and hundreds of millions of degrees, and part of that plasma can be funnelled off, into a separate reaction chamber which is called a “fusion torch.” First the plasma is passed basically around a curve to eliminate those white dots which are the high-energy neutrons, which we don’t want, and then they’re passed into a special reaction section, where the plasma is still hot enough such that any material, anymaterial dropped into it, is immediate shock vaporized, and becomes part of the plasma. So the plasma, which is now a relatively low temperature plasma, is a mixture of the original reaction gases, plus the atomic nuclei and electrons of that material that was dropped in; and then at this point, that plasma can be moved off to a separate chamber for separation. (I think I included the separation section here, too.)
This is one example of a separation process. So, again, accessing the unique atomic properties of matter, we can pass the plasma — this is called the plasma separation process — using resonance technologies we can selectively energize a very specific isotope of a very specific atom and cause its orbit around the magnetic field lines to widen, such that it can’t fit through those collector plates, and gets collected, — in what are in this picture, those white collector plates — and we can “mine” the plasma that we created. [end video]
This means that we could take scrap metal, garbage from landfills, both of which are incredibly dense and rich with the materials that we already need and use in our day-to-day life, relative to the dirt that you pull out of the ground; we could dump that into the fusion torch and mine a human-created deposit of resources which is going to produce something which is much more pure and much more tailored, even down to the very specific atomic weight, than anything we could pull out of the ground, using much less energy — and much less human labor.
Again, imagine what that would do to the so-called resource-challenges in the world?
Now, in machining, we could replace metal-on-metal, water-jet or conventional laser-cutting or other machining, with extremely high-powered petawatt and higher lasers. And petawatt lasers deliver a quadrillion watts of power to the target material: That’s over 1,000 times the capacity of the U.S. electrical grid. But it’s delivered in a timescale which is less than a trillionth of a second; to say it differently, that’s about the amount of energy in a 100 watt lightbulb, if the lightbulb was turned on for a about 2 seconds, except this time, instead of being spent in about 2 seconds, it’s being delivered in less than a trillionth of a second, which is, if we use this, for example, to cut steel, this deposits the energy in the steel faster than the steel can deform.
I want to show you, to give you a little bit of a sense of what that might mean, if you can go to the next slide. So here is a microscopic picture of glass, which has been cut with two different methods: On the left, it’s been cut mechanically with a blade and on the right it’s been cut with a conventional laser, and you can see the difference in precision. So this is a mechanical versus conventional laser cutting, and look at how smooth that is. And let’s go to the next slide. However smooth you thought that was, that’s what you see on the left. What you see on the right, is the same action done with a petawatt laser.
So this lends a new universe of precision, and to give you a sense of why that’s important: You think about all the different technologies that had to be developed and breakthroughs in precision machining for the space program, when we put men on the Moon, where things had to be precise down to the micrometer. This also has applications in medicine, where if used for surgery, we can vaporize cells without the next cell noticing. That’s another application of this fusion platform.
Another one that I’ll mention is that with widely available fission and fusion reactors, we can begin to transmute materials, as an everyday commonplace practice, in its applications in both medicine and in industry. Where this might come in, for example, is in being able to create, not as a specialty, but as a regular feature, very specifically tailored kinds of steels, which are doped with very specific isotopes of elements which lend a completely different characteristic to the steel, making it much more temperature resistant, making it much more flexible, making it much stronger while being much lighter; so these are the kinds of things we could be able to do. Where could we apply things like that? Maybe in the new 600 mph high-speed rail that the Chinese are developing; maybe in settlements that we begin to build on the Moon and Mars. And then, in its applications in medicine, we already do use isotopes in medicine today, but this can become the way we approach the human biology, to begin interacting with it, on an isotopically specific level and begin to move forward in freeing mankind from disease.
Finally, the last application I’ll mention, next slide, is in space. And that is that with the great concentrations in energy in these fusion fuels, we can open up the Solar System to exploration and settlement by mankind. And the reason is that a rocket that you send into space has to carry the weight of the fuel that powers it. You saw in that chart, that the fusion fuel, there’s so much more power concentrated in every ounce of fusion versus chemical fuel; with chemical fuels today, we are limited when we send these probes out into the Solar System, we can’t carry enough fuel with us to power that flight out to Mars or Jupiter or Pluto. It’s physically impossible for that rocket to carry enough fuel to be able to fire the rocket and get that thing there in a reasonable amount of time, and so we’re forced to go on trajectories that take not months, six, or ten years to get to the target.
Now, number 1, you’re not putting any people on that mission, but number 2, take the example of the New Horizons mission that arrived at Pluto a couple of years ago: This thing took nine years to get there. When it finally arrived, it didn’t have enough fuel to stop! [laughs] It was an amazing mission, but still, it didn’t have enough fuel to stop; it flew by and took some amazing pictures. It may be finished, but for a long time was still sending the data back, because it didn’t have enough power to send back high-powered communications.
But with fusion fuel, we could get there in a matter of weeks or months; we could stop. We could land. We could communicate with a lander on the surface. We could send data back very quickly to Earth, so that the scientists could interact with the probe on the surface of Pluto. It really opens up the place!
The other thing we could do is we could get astronauts to Mars in a matter of weeks, instead of almost a year. So, there’s a lot more say on that, but for time’s sake, I’m not going to. But this is really part of not just human progress on Earth, human progress as people tend to think of their world, this really is part of the progress of man, off of the Earth, into the Solar System.
So what we’re talking about is a new mankind, we’re talking about a mankind which is now endowed with powers which give him or her greater potential to contribute to and elaborate the goodness of the Universe.
So, before concluding, I do want to mention some specifics of the fusion program. Most people in the U.S. have no idea that coming out of World War II, the United States began a very vigorous program to try to master fusion power, even though we had just mastered fission power, through the Manhattan Project. From 1953-1958, the U.S. had a classified program called “Project Sherwood,” — you can ask me later why it’s called that; there’s a very funny reason. This classified program was run under the Atomic Energy Commission out of the national labs. It was declassified very early; it was declassified over 1956-1958, under the auspices of the Atoms for Peace program. And so, from the beginning fusion was an program for international cooperation for peace.
Now, the efforts that were begun in the 1950s, continued with increasing support, and increasing and very inspiring success throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and early ’80s, until it was sabotaged and undermined, as British Empire-style geopolitics more and more took over in the United States following the death of President Kennedy. Just to illustrated I want to pull up a quote from James Schlesinger, whose name I can never pronounce! Schlesinger was trained, as of all things, an economist! He wrote this quote, as a book called The Political Economy of National Security while he was teaching economics, I believe at Harvard.
After that, he had a stint as the Secretary of Defense and he had a stint as our very first Secretary of Energy. In the late 1970s, he was head of the Department of Energy. And here’s what he said: “Economics is the science of choice in a world of limited resources…. We have gone around the world spreading the gospel of plenty, raising the level of expectations … [but] in the nature of things, these rising expectations can never be satisfied…. We must in our strategic policy return to the days before the Industrial Revolution … [and] prepare to fight limited wars.” — James R. Schlesinger, The Political Economy of National Security, 1960.
So this is the head of the Department of Energy. Keep that in mind. We’ll come back to him in a minute or two. But what I want to do, is quickly, and I wrote an article on the history of the U.S fusion program, and also our organization, as I’ll show in a moment, was and is, right in the middle of this, so we have abundant material in our archives where you can learn more.
I just want to go through a few of these slides. Let’s go to the next one: These are two very early fusion machines. This is in the 1950s: The one on the right is called the “Perhapsatron” — perhaps it would work, perhaps it would not. This is out of Los Alamos, and this is based on a fusion design called the “pinch.” The one of the left is one of the first “stellarators,” which is a type of closed, donut-shaped design, which is twisted, and this is out of Princeton, New Jersey.
Next slide: This is a modern picture, because I couldn’t find one from the ’70s, but this was the Alcator tokamak, which was built in 1974 at MIT, and this tokamak set some really important records, and even set a very important record the day before it was shut down a couple of years ago. The Alcator is a tokamak design, which is basically shaped like a torus, a donut.
Next one: This is called the Tandem Mirror Experiment, begun in the 1970s, but upgraded throughout the ’70s and ’80s, out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. This is a linear design which uses giant magnets at the ends to keep the plasma inside.
Next one: This is the Mirror Fusion Test Facility, which I am very inspired by. This is kind of the next generation of the Tandem Mirror design. This machine that you see here, was finished in 1986, and never got to run a single experiment, because the budget was cut the day it was finished.
One more: This is the Princeton Large Torus, and I wanted to mention a couple of things specifically on this, because it has to do with our organization. The Princeton Large Torus was a large torus built at PPPL at Princeton, New Jersey, and this fusion machine set a very important record in 1978. In July 1978, reports began to come out that this torus had created a plasma with a temperature of 60 million degrees which is the hottest temperature achieved in a tokamak so far; and the reason this was important, is because this was the first time the temperature threshold for a self-sustaining fusion plasma had been surpassed, and until this point it was unknown whether this was possible.
Now, the PLT set this temperature record, shortly before the Alcator tokamak at MIT had set two other records, demonstrating that the threshold of the confinement time of the plasma, and also the density of the plasma, which are the other two necessary components to having a successful fusion reactor, could be achieved. So, the 1978 record of the PLT broke an extremely important psychological barrier, demonstrating for the first time that fusion reactors are possible.
And if you could skip ahead to the quote? Yeah: This is from Stephen Dean, the head of one of the divisions in the Department of Energy. He said, about this: “The question of whether fusion is feasible from a scientific point of view has now been answered…. It is the first time we’ve produced the actual conditions of a fusion reactor in a scale-model device.” — Stephen Dean, Head of Confinement Systems Division, DOE.
So that was the significance of that.
Now, guess what? Schlesinger tried to prevent this from getting out. And when you see somebody like Dean, what he said, recognizing that fusion is possible, and then you see the mindset of somebody who is so steeped in geopolitics like Schlesinger — so Schlesinger tried to prevent the word from getting out about this. And our organization played a very important role in making sure that word did get out about it: This was released to the public.
Shortly after this, our organization worked with a congressman named Mike McCormack, who was out of Washington State, to pass — almost unanimously in the Congress — the Magnetic Fusion Energy Engineering Act of 1980, which was dedicated to creating an engineering center to unify all the fusion efforts around the country and create a demonstration reactor that would put electricity on the grid by the year 2000. This didn’t happen, as you might know! This was shut down, and again, my article goes through a lot of the details about this, this was shut down by people like these agents in the British Empire, Schlesinger; McCormack was voted out of office that fall.
But the point is, we are now at a real turning point. Just to conclude, I’ll just say again very briefly: Where are we today? Where do we stand today? It’s no surprise that over the last 30, 40 years the U.S. fusion and space and other programs have been dealt a near-death blow and are now barely surviving within the U.S. But things are shifting as this New Paradigm comes into being, and it should be no surprise that China is playing a leading role in the efforts for fusion.
Next slide: People might have seen this before, but this red line, the flat line, “1978 Level of Effort — Fusion Never” was the known baseline of funding at which we would never have fusion, and the curves above it were proposals for different funding regimes to achieve fusion by different years. And the actual level of funding is what you see dropping below the “Fusion Never” level.
Next slide: Today, there is an important international effort called ITER, International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor, which is being built in France as an international effort, including the U.S. There’s a lot to say about — it’s not the end-all and be-all, but it’s very important work that’s being done; and it recently achieved the halfway mark to the first plasma being expected in 2025, — as long as the U.S. doesn’t cut the funding.
Next slide: This is an old picture, but it’s a picture of the EAST tokamak in China, and the EAST tokamak has set some incredible records in the last few years. In 2016, it set two records for confinement time, one was that they confined a plasma for 102 seconds; and then the next one, I forget how long it was, a little bit less, but it was in something called the “high confinement mode” of a tokamak, which is important for achieving fusion. And with the confidence of these victories and also with the outlook of China going into the next 20 and 50 years, China has announced that even though the international project hasn’t even produced a plasma yet, they’ve already committed themselves to building a demonstration reactor in the early 2020s. They now have three Chinese cities which are fighting to become the site for this demo reactor.
The other really important thing about China’s work on fusion, is that when Emmanuel Macron was in China just a few weeks ago, an agreement was signed for cooperation between France and China on fusion. And if you remember, that Macron said that France is going to lead the way within Europe for joining the New Silk Road. So this cooperation that is now going on between the EAST tokamak, and France’s tokamak is called the WEST, is characteristic of cooperation that’s already going among scientists in the United States, scientists in smaller fusion efforts in Iran and many other places.
Next slide: This is a picture of two of our members, Marsha Freeman and Bill Jones, in Korea. They also have a really incredible superconducting tokamak in Korea called KSTAR.
Next slide: This is a very important fusion machine, called the Stellarator. If you remember that twisted thing I was showing you that was invented in Princeton. Germany just finished upgrading their Wendelstein 7X stellarator last year, and fired their first plasma which worked perfectly. You see the photograph of that there.
What about the U.S.? Our budget has been cut; our Alcator tokamak at MIT was shut down by budget cuts; our domestic program is hanging by a thread. The Trump administration just announced budget cuts to our contributions to ITER on top of that. But I want you think of this principle of inversion that was raised, and think from the standpoint of the future, and the standpoint of what the U.S. will be able to contribute when we win this fight.
Just to conclude, I have a final clip from Lyn. This is 1988, less than a month before Lyn went to prison. And as you listen to him I want you to think about this question that I posed at the beginning about where you locate the purpose of your life.
LYNDON LAROUCHE: In order to deal with the kind of crisis that confronts us, we must look within ourselves and find a value within us so precious, that if we spent our lives to defend that value, we would have thereby gained our lives, because we had gained the purpose of our mortal existence. And that’s what a soldier ought to carry into battle as courage. Not patriotism, but that. Not patriotism as the abstraction of a flag, not patriotism as a racist concept, not patriotism as in any other of these symbolic senses, but patriotism in the sense which we ought to have in the United States but are pretty much estranged from.
To know what Ben Franklin and the others represent, this system of representative self-government under natural law, and under law governed by natural law. Imagine the horror of having once known such a form of self-government, and to imagine living under slavery, which is not only a material oppression, but a destruction of the very soul of one’s children, and their lives upon us then, and how we respond to that challenge. The moral responsibility of hundreds of billions of souls, who, in all propriety, should be born, in the time to come. …
There lies upon us the responsibility of looking back to those martyrs who gave us institutions in which truth was given social standing and this freedom. There is no freedom without truth, and there is no truth without freedom. The right of an individual informed by right principles to come to an opinion based on reason, not arbitrary opinion but based on careful employment of reason, and the right of that individual to stand up and say, “This is what I believe unless I am persuaded to the contrary by reason.” That is freedom. If the entirety of society disagrees with you, so what? You have the right, as long as you are guided by reason, and as long as you will submit yourself to the correction of your opinion, by reason, the right to assert your opinion, contrary to the society around you. That is freedom.
A democratic society, as Project Democracy and the Congress define it today, is the most horrible abomination imaginable, against which the founders of the United States warned. Democracy is the worst of all evils, the worst of all tyrants, because there is no worse tyrant than in the irrational mob, the lynch mob. Democracy, as they define it, is lynch-mob democracy—(just don’t have the wrong color of skin or the wrong color of opinion!)—under which the individual has no right, but the right to agree with what appears to be majority or ruling opinion. And if the mob changes its opinion, you tear off your clothes and put on the clothes it puts on, and so forth and so on. A society of fads and insanity with no moral purpose, no character, and no ability to reason.
The defense of the individual who wishes to reason, who wishes to be governed by natural law and reason, that is the most sacred duty of society, the defense and nurture of such individuals. And a society which does not fulfill that mission, is unfit to exist. A form of government which does not serve that purpose, is not fit to exist, because it does not protect the most precious part of human society, the development of the powers of reason in the individual. The thing which makes us truly human. The thing which makes our individual lives each sacred. And that’s what is insane. [end video] [applause]
Q: [Denise H] That blew my mind! Especially the last 20 minutes of what you just gave us, made me think about the idea of space-time, in that what we know in the universe is not what you can taste, feel, smell, or any of your senses can give to you, but that your ability to reason on higher and higher levels, like accomplishing fusion, which is bigger than the Sun, do it on Earth and feed billions of people, this is where we have to go.
The space-time of the future we’ll be able to talk to people on Mars, and have Skype meetings. We’ll be able to do this in the future. And if you take, as you said, 500 years from now, you’ll be seeing people like yourself, who are 92 years old, but don’t look a day over 30. [laughter] This is very exciting, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving it to us. Thank you.
Q: [Michelle F] I’ll just ask a question that often comes up when you try to organize people around how great it’ll be for us to develop fusion power, which is there’s this very pooh-pooh line, “fusion is always 40 years away,” as in the development of this new power, we’re never going to achieve it. And I know, as organizers, many of us have ways that we respond when someone brings that up, but I want to see what you have for us? Thanks.
BEETS: Well, two things — I’ll just very quickly address the factual part of it, which is, if you see the funding chart it’s just not true. And no scientist who’s actually working on it thinks that it’s 40 years away. It’s people that write articles that want to demoralize the population that say that. But I think more fundamentally, how do you address people? I’ve gotten that line as well as an organizer, and I think you really have to go at people’s fundamental outlook on mankind, and try to activate something within them that has a kind of emotional response to the prospect of mastering fusion, that one would expect from a child that’s making their own original discoveries and that kind of natural excitement over discovering that the universe is different than you fundamentally believed, and getting a taste of the kind of powers that could come to man to do the Good, that would be a result of mastering that.
I think the important think is to activate in that person, that sense, find that in there, somewhere, and then I think they’ll drop that silly line, which they might not otherwise drop if you just argue with them on a factual basis.
And then, I just want to say something very briefly, Denise, on what you said about the space-time of the human mind: One aspect of LaRouche’s discoveries in economics that’s difficult to wrap your mind around, and I am not claiming to have done that completely, is that he was looking at the ordered succession of human discoveries that have been root of human progress over time, and how each of those fundamental discoveries overthrew what came before, was fundamentally inconsistent with what came before. And yet, the human mind existed in both discoveries.
And so, he was feeling out a certain understanding of what is that continuous process of the human mind which is developing through all of these discontinuous leaps. And I think it’s actually an incredibly optimistic idea, because the human mind is in a sense, recreating itself on a higher level with each of these fundamental discoveries that we make.
Q: [Lynn Y] Just a comment on the fusion torch, in case people think it’s a matter of future development: The fusion torch has been around for years. In fact, ten years ago when I was working in investment banking, the fusion torch — there are companies that use fusion torch, to break down toxic waste, especially very difficult to break down waste, and there were companies that were being funded or formed in various parts of the world, including Panama, there was once an attempt; so, it would take materials that would be possible to break down otherwise, and use it in such a way.
BEETS: Thank you for bringing that up. Yeah, absolutely. It was conceived in the late 1960s, but we don’t have fusion plasmas today, which are, as I said, in the tens or hundreds of millions of degrees; but we have lower temperature plasmas, which can do this on a lower level and at a lower scale. So, right, exactly. Thank you.
Q: A long time ago, I saw a cyclotron at Cornell University, so I’d be interested in where is the cyclotron, somewhere in history of what you’re talking about today? That’s my concrete question.
My other comment is: To hear a woman speak scientifically, knowledgeably, and in depth, also infusing human values and LaRouche values, in a presentation was really dynamite (obviously the wrong… [laughs]). But it was nuclear! You went nuclear!
And the other thing is, I do have a little hearing loss, and I think it’s regrettable that you not use the microphone to your advantage, because you’re also the high and low of a woman’s voice carries differently from a man’s; I wanted to invite you to keep that in mind for us in the audience.
BEETS: I’ll use my bel canto voice more consciously! In terms of women, please register for our class series, and Helga Zepp-LaRouche will lead that off. And she is an absolutely incredible, living proof of principle of what it is to be human.
In terms of the cyclotron, I’m a little bit rusty on that, but I know it came out of the Manhattan Project and our great friend and collaborator Robert Moon was part of developing that at the University of Chicago. So, I’m sorry I can’t say more on that right now.
Q: My question is, going back to the fusion torch, I wanted to know if you could dump things in like nuclear waste? That’s what she was saying? Because we have a lot of that nuclear waste around, and if it could be converted into…?
BEETS: Yes, yes, you can. You could absolutely, you could dump nuclear waste in there, you could separate out the radioactive isotopes, and toxic waste, chemical waste, and once you isolate that, you could either contain that until it decays or you could use neutrons from a fission or fusion reactor to transmute them and make them safe. Yeah.
Q: [follow-up] Yeah, because we have tons and tons of that stored in some kind of mountains somewhere.
BEETS: Well, yeah, but the nuclear waste thing is a huge scare story. There really is no such thing as a nuclear waste. We have spent nuclear material, most of which we can reprocess, using these various — as I said, using neutron sources, we can reprocess them and actually renew them into usable fuel again; or, we can convert them into isotopes which are usable in many, many other economic applications.
So the whole thing with nuclear waste is usually put out there to make the population terrified that they’re going to grow a third eye. And most people have no idea what radiation is! They hear, “that’s radiation, not in my backyard!” Well, what is radiation? You know that you get hit by radiation from the Sun on a much higher level than you ever would walking next to a nuclear power plant? Or flying in an airplane?
So the big part of this, is we need to do a reeducation of the American population.
Q: [follow-up] Absolutely. Thank you very much.
Q: [alvin] On the subject of education, one of your last slides featured nuclear power being developed in Korea. And I remember reading from the organization some years ago, for the first time becoming aware that the United States built their first one, if my dates are off, maybe 30 years ago. And that all the people of South Korea could do at that time, when they arrived, was to build the units where the engineers and scientists would be staying. But that now, annually, they’re producing something 200 or 300 every year or specialists and engineers and so on all in this field.
So when you talk about the lack of funding on a national level to advance fusion, but just the actual education of the American to prepare them for that future, is desperately needed, and of course, I’m going to school for finance. So I just want to raise that to you and ask you, what would Lyn’s outlook be on how you would structure that from grammar school right on up, or starting in higher education so we could have that same type of will that the Koreans have so successfully demonstrated?
BEETS: I think the first thing is, from an extremely early age, we have to teach children how to have creative play. I mean, that really is the nature of scientific work, is creative play. It’s also the nature of artistic work.
I know — and also LaRouche has said a million times to us, to knock it into our heads, that the dominance of the educational system and of science itself, by the British empiricism, has been one of, if not the most damaging things to the human species over the past century. The idea that people think that deductive reasoning is science, that logic, that combining conclusions reached by sense-perception will ever generate a new thought; and the stunting of people’s ability to have new thoughts that aren’t consistent with deduction, with what are the answer?, and so forth, it’s in a certain sense, without the promise of what we see in the New Paradigm, it has really put the human species’ existence into question. I think having a reversal of that, with the insights into the human mind that Lyn and Helga have provided, from a very early age, is crucial.
But also, I wanted to mention something I forgot to say, in going over the U.S. fusion program: which is a little bit more specifically on the role of the Fusion Energy Foundation, which was founded by Lyndon LaRouche in the 1970s and some organizers in this room participated in this directly. And the Fusion Energy Foundation was founded with the collaboration of some of the greatest minds in fusion research in the country, including as I mentioned, Robert Moon, Dan Wells, Winston Bostick, the greatest experimenters in fusion, to come together and have a free discussion and considerations of the fundamental scientific principles which were at issue in plasma science, and so on, in dialogue with Lyndon LaRouche, who’s the greatest genius alive today.
And also in dialogue with the population at large. At one point, Fusion magazine, our publication had the second largest subscription base of any scientific magazine in the country, of 100,000 subscribers. So you talk about educating the population, the Fusion Energy Foundation, it was, and it is, in its form now in our organization, an indispensable part of a republic, where you have to have, number one, an educated citizenry that understands policies at issue. But more importantly, if you’re talking being able to implement applications of a new discovery in the form of newly invented technologies that didn’t exist before, the working population, the industrial workers, the entrepreneurs and so forth, the students, have to have an understanding of what this thing is.
So the Fusion Energy Foundation played, and is playing in its current embodiment, an absolutely indispensable role in education.