"Wouldn't the end of this looting system be a good thing?" said Steve. "The whole system is presently sick. It has become a horrendous form of stealing. The financial vultures that run the show got the private Federal Reserve to create real estate credits out of nothing. Other vultures then drive up the prices by speculation. Horrendous profiteering happens at every step along the way. That's why house prices are ten times of what they should be, even now. The current high-cost mortgages turn countless families into voluntary slaves. The whole system has become a new form of money laundering. The process starts with money created out of nothing, which is then used to get society to contribute the lion's share of its labor to feed the vultures that run the process. Don't you think the time has come to end this money laundering slavery process? The basic requirements for living, like having a roof over the head, should have never been turned into a profit engine. It should be free, because that's what the welfare of society depends on, like free roads, free bridges, free universal health care and free universal education. Even basic transportation should be free. That's the fundamental element of the General Welfare Principle. That's like a farmer sowing the best seeds he can get onto his field, and to sow them in rich measure and then apply enough fertilizers. If the farmer doesn't do that, he is working against himself. If society doesn't support itself with the most basic necessities for living, it is working against itself. It is literally shooting itself into the foot."
"The General Welfare Principle is dead in America," said Tony and laughed. "There's nothing left of it. Haven't you heard we are even dynamiting our public hospital system now, which are said to stand in the way of the private hospitals that operate as profit engines. We are privatizing anything now. We call the General Welfare principle, 'socialism.' We slander public electric utilities that sell their electricity to society at cost. Everything that a person needs to exist, especially the basic necessities, such as housing, transportation, health care and education have all been turned into profit engines to prevent America from becoming a 'socialist' state. America wants to be a capitalist society in which only 20% of society can live a decent life and the rest live as slaves." Tony kept on laughing.
"You shouldn't be joking about this," said Ushi.
"I am not joking," said Tony. "That is what America is committed to. If Peter were to stand before Congress and suggest that we should divert the funding for one single B2 bomber to eradicate homelessness and slum living in America and give America a brand new start, he would be branded a socialist traitor and be run out of the country. They would scream at him in a rage. They would predict that the moment that America would open the socialist gateway, the world would instantly line up at America's doorstep, wanting free housing. The country would be overrun."
Tony turned to me quietly. "Would you really do this, Peter? You may have dared to tell the President that he is an idiot and should resign, but would you dare take the next step and stand before Congress and propose universal socialism, declaring that all people in America have a right to a decent life as human beings, as have all the people in the world? I bet you wouldn't dare go that far. You wouldn't stand a chance."
"Why wouldn't I stand a chance, Tony?" I replied and laughed. "It would be to the greatest benefit for America and the world if I did this. In fact America needs more people to develop its potential. We should want people to come lining up at our doorstep to help build America up. We would want America to be rich in people. Indeed we would build this free housing project right now, immediately, if we were free of Palmerston's imperial poverty in thinking, including his lies and his sophistry in the defense of slavery. That is what sophistry has always been, an invention of lies to maintain the illusion that slavery is good, that grinding a people into the ground enriches society. Pericles of Athens was the undisputed master-liar in this art, but he couldn't avoid the consequences of hiding the truth. Athens collapsed. Rome collapsed, likewise. Every empire has collapsed, and so will Palmerston's empire collapse together with America that has become its appendage. And it's all natural, Tony. When society resorts to slavery, or merely condones it, it grinds itself into the dust whereby it dies a slow death. It's an agonizing process this slow dying. Athens spent seventy years, much of it under Pericles' leadership, to commit suicide. Rome died even more slowly. It took Rome 600 years to kill itself. Of course its death agony was prolonged since it was not just killing itself, but was killing much of Europe alongside with it. Of course, it will take America far less time to kill itself than it did Rome, and to expand the suicide globally. Rome had been slow to learn from Athens, but Rome perfected it. Hitler advanced it into the modern age. Never had a nation been dying in greater slow-agony than the nation of Hitler's Germany did, which had been like America is today, an Appendage to Palmerston's empire that is likewise in its death throes. It has never been fun for any nation to die in a long-drawn-out suicide. It has taken historically the most intense sophistry that could be devised to make the death struggle appear pleasant."
"In America the time may not be too distant when the sophistry begins to wear thin and holes begin to show," said Steve. "So, I'm saying, 'Why wait? Why not drill the holes now? Why not rip off the sophistry that smothers America and give America a chance to save itself while it still can, and heal the world that it has deeply injured in its stupor."
I agreed with Steve.
"But you don't dare to do it," said Tony to me. "Otherwise you would have done it by now. It's like your thing with Heather. You had big scientific ideas, but when you faced the real world you couldn't move. You got scared, You got stuck. You got small. You proved yourself to be impotent. In fact, you were probably glad that day at the SandCastle when your affair with Heather fell apart, so that you wouldn't have to face the greater challenge of inviting her to your home in Pittsburgh. You were an idealistic amateur then and not a practical man. It seems you haven't changed much."
"You are accusing me of essentially the same thing that Palmerston has been accusing me of last night," I said to Tony calmly. "He has been telling me for hour after hour that the world cannot be changed and be uplifted into a renaissance world, because his Illuminati clubs own every player in the world and determine the way society thinks, including the President, the Congress, and the Senate. Democracy has been bought, lock, stock, and barrel. He told me America, as any other nation on the planet, no longer owns itself, and is therefore impotent. He called us amateurs. That's what he drilled into me for almost five hours. And now you are saying the same thing. But it's all a song of sophistry, Tony, the kind of song that turns us into slaves. And why should we be slaves? Our country is rich. The world is rich."
"America has 170,000 cubic-kilometers of basalt deposits, the finest building material that one could hope for," Steve interrupted. "This material doesn't corrode like iron. It doesn't rot like wood. It's non-flammable, strong, and yet recyclable. One can even strengthen steel with it. And you say we won't use it? We won't even have to dig it out of the ground, Tony. It's sitting on the surface, in the open, ready to be picked up. There was a time when we regarded the oil that was oozing out of the ground in America as a nuisance, as it made the ground mucky. Now that we created the technologies to use this oozing oil, we sing a different tune. We power our world with it. Basalt is the same thing for the New World of free human living. Basalt will change the world as we begin to work with it. And India has even bigger deposits of basalt than America has. I have heard figures mentioned of deposits in India in the order of over half a million cubic-kilometers. That's all sitting in above-surface deposits. There's probably enough of this material in India, all by itself, to cover all of Eurasia and Africa deeper than a man stands high. It's literally inexhaustible, meaning that it can never be used up. I can see us using this material to build indoor agriculture and to build bridges across the oceans, miles-wide floating bridges to connect the continents, all carrying hypersonic trains in vacuum tubes, like subways, travelling at speeds over ten thousand miles an hour. Why would anyone want to resist this enormous development potential that we have readymade at our feet, and not use it?"
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