Santa Barbara, CA
February 8, 2013
The U.S. has the world’s most powerful military machine. Its navy controls the seas, its air force the skies. Almost 70 years after the end of World War Two, its armies occupy bases from Germany and Italy to South Korea and Japan. Its CIA-operated drones attack Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Its multiple intelligence agencies have black sites and black budgets and carry out black operations. The financial costs of maintaining an empire are enormous. The moral costs are incalculable. And some would suggest the external violence connects to the murderous rampages and shootings here in the homeland. The signs of structural decay are all too apparent. Nation building begins at home. Can we imagine a culture of peace? Can we create a political and economic system that serve the needs of people and protects and honors the Earth?
This lecture is available as a CD or mp3 or transcript from Alternative Radio
Dennis Kucinich served as a member of Congress from 1997 to 2013, representing Ohio’s 10th district. He brought articles of impeachment against George Bush and Dick Cheney. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 and 2008. He was an advocate for the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Peace. Upon leaving the House, his colleague Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota said of him, “We’re really going to miss Dennis. He is a transformative leader. He stood up and spoke eloquently and passionately about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. He was a consistent voice for peace.” He is the author of A Prayer for America and The Courage to Survive.
You can listen to Dennis Kucinich speak for himself here.
I’ve given some thought to the broader concepts that deal with the human condition, violence in our society and violence which is initiated and authorized by our government. I take you back to what I think is one of the greatest films ever made, and that is Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Just after the majestic opening of Richard Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” a soaring sun splits the darkness, seemingly heralding the new genesis and next a man-ape uses a femur bone to dispatch the leader of another group in order to gain control over a water hole. It is a simple act of one mammal clubbing another to death. It is what Friedrich Nietzsche, in his novel Thus Spake Zarathustra, may have countenanced as
the eternal recurrence of the same.
Yet, Kubrick does not leave us stranded upon the darkling plain of brute violence, for emotion is admitted, and so exultant is the conqueror at the demise of his extant competitor that he flings the femur skyward in triumph and, through the match-cut magic of movie making, the femur tumbles end over end, high up into the heavens, where it is transformed—into a space station!
We surf on Kubrick’s monolith into an evolutionary spiral across space and millions of years, now equipped with high technology, but burdened with the signal responses of our lower limbic system and its embedded fight/flight conflicts, ever ready to take up the electronic cudgel to drive contestants out of water holes or oil holes. Violence is. Its expression neither regressive nor progressive, it exists as a disconnection from our own divinity, a fall from the heavens, a departure from grace, a descent into the lower circles of that philosophical hell of dichotomous thinking, of us versus them, whoever they are. The invention of “the other,” the evocation of the out-group, the conjuring of the enemy are precedents of violence. We hear the siren call.
But what makes us answer the tocsin of rage clanging in our heads, in our homes, in our cities and in the world? Could it be the ripping of the moorings of our reality, the anxiety of separation shaking our core, the earthquake beneath our ground of meaning, dissecting through our bedrock beliefs when we learn that that what we thought was true was indeed false? Peter Berger once wrote that reality is socially constructed and culturally affirmed.
But what happens when the sociopathic trumps the authentic?
We cannot justify violence, but we must determine its roots. Before Kubrick, before Strauss, there was Zarathustra, or Zoroaster himself. He confronted us with this moral proposition: The central struggle of our existence is the determination of what is true and what is false. Is it our inability to strive for, to discern, and to receive and know truth which binds us to violence? Is what we see what we get? Are we bound to truth-shattering illusions? How do we know what we are told is true? Has the misuse of power in our society so distorted meaning that truth and lies are indistinguishable, or worse, morally relative?
These are questions of import in our interpersonal relations, and the consequences of untruth grow geometrically when a major progenitor of perceptions in our society—the government—stumbles or seeks and practices to mislead.
To ponder that question, let us first look at another production called 2001: September 11, 2001, the catastrophe of nearly 3,000 innocent souls perishing in waves of hate. That date is burned into our memories as one of the worst days we have ever known. We know the choices which our government made, acting with the tacit consent of we the people, to respond to the 9/11 crimes committed against our nation. But we seldom reflect on our government’s response, as though to do so publicly is either impolite or un-American. Is it rude to mention that, acting upon the choler of crime and tragedy on September 11, 2001, we began a descent to officially sanctioned mass murder called war, into the lower circles of the infernos of torture, rendition, and drone assassination? That we established an antidemocratic state of emergency, which exists to this day, with its Orwellian PATRIOT Act, its massive spying networks, its illegal detention, its extreme punishment of whistleblowers, and its neo-police state, in violation of posse comitatus, which put MPs on the streets of Washington, D.C., during the recent inaugural?
We have cut and pasted the Constitution in the manner of a disambiguated Word document, through sheer casuistry, excising those sections which guarantee protection from unreasonable search and seizure, which protect individual rights of habeas corpus, due process, which prohibit any one person from simultaneously being policeman, prosecutor, judge, jury, executioner, and coroner. Violence has enabled the government to grow and the republic to shrink.
Ten years ago the United States, despite a massive peace movement that put millions in the streets protesting the upcoming invasion, launched a full-scale attack on the nation of Iraq. “Shock and Awe” it was called. Hellfire was brought to the cradle of civilization, to its people, its culture, its antiquities in our name—for a war based on lies. In awe of our weapons, we shocked ourselves vicariously with their effect, never experiencing the horror visited upon the people of Iraq.
When I say “we,” I mean all morally conscious Americans. Over 1 million Iraqis were killed in our name. I want to say that again. Over 1 million Iraqis were killed in our name—for a war based on lies. In awe of our destructive power and its toll on innocent human life, we shocked ourselves and then returned to our normal lives. Trillions of dollars damage was done to that country, in our name—for a war based on lies. Trillions more spent by U.S. taxpayers—for a war based on lies. In awe of the monetary cost of war, we shocked ourselves with massive deficits. Thousands of U.S. troops were killed, tens of thousands wounded. In awe of the long-term human cost of war, we shocked ourselves with broken lives, broken families, suicides, PTSD.
Shock and awe indeed. We attacked a nation which did not attack us and which had neither the intention nor the capability of doing so. We attacked a nation which did not have the yellowcake to be processed into a substance fit for a nuclear warhead. We attacked a nation which did not have weapons of mass destruction. We visited upon the people of Iraq the equivalent of one 9/11 a day for an entire year, and with it the irretrievable rending of families, of places to live, places to work, places to worship, ripping apart Iraqi society in a war which soon became so remote that it was finished off by unmanned vehicles. The mission that was “accomplished” was wanton destruction, ecocide, alienation, statecraft puppetry.
And for what? What was it all about? It did not make us any safer. It weakened our military. It killed and injured our soldiers. It seriously weakened our nation financially. The long-term cost of the post-9/11 wars of choice will run over $6 trillion. Is anybody asking one reason why we have a $16 trillion debt? We borrowed money from China, Japan, and South Korea to pursue wars while these countries built their economies and their infrastructures. We blew up bridges in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan at such expense that we are now preaching austerity here at home, unwilling to face the fact that we have over $2 trillion in infrastructure needs in America which have not been met. Unwilling to invest in America, all too willing to invest in wars, we became the policeman of the world, and ended up being resented worldwide. We have fueled the fires of reactionary nationalism abroad, which are easily stoked by foreign occupation or invasion. We have helped further fundamentalism and made decisions which placed in positions of power those whose very existence supposedly drove us to the conflict in the first place.
What passes for our recent history is an acculturated, sleep-inducing lie from which we must wake up. We must awake from the stupor of our self-imposed amnesia or shock. We must shake off the awe which comes from the misuse of power on a global basis. We must always question governments whose legitimacy rests not upon accountability and truth, but upon force and deception. A government which assumes that we are neither intelligent enough nor loyal enough to know the truth about its actions a dozen years ago or, for that matter, a dozen days ago, is not worthy of a free people. We must bend the fear-forged bars which imprison the truth. We must seek the truth. And we must know the truth. For it is the truth that will truly set us free and lead to the wisdom that can rescue us from destruction, the wisdom that can reclaim America.
America. The mere utterance of the word should set the pulse pounding with the excitement of discovery, of possibility, of love—not fear.
The time has come for us to demand that our nation, America, establish and empower a commission on truth and reconciliation so that those who are responsible for misleading us into the annihilation of the innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere can brought forward to public accountability in a formal process of fact finding, of inquiry, of public testimony, of admission, of confession. This is a process that has worked in other countries, notably South Africa. Frankly, there is no way out of this moral cul-de-sac in which reside the monstrous crimes of massed murder, torture, kidnapping, rendition other than to have an atonement—an at-one-ment. It is in at-one-ment, atonement, that we will achieve what Blake called “the unity of opposites.” It is in reconciliation that the Blakean idea of the contrary nature of God, containing multitudes of humanity, causes us to understand the fragility of our social compact and the possibility that any one of us could be a murderer or a victim. Lacking public expiation over the unbridled use of force, the wanton violence we have writ large across the world will replicate, it will perpetuate, and it will be our ruin. This is the importance of a formal process of truth and reconciliation.
We had and we have a right to defend ourselves as a nation. But we went on the offensive. And the violence that we have visited abroad will inevitably blow back home. The violence that we create in the world in turn licenses and desensitizes us to the display of wanton violence which is exercised in our streets and, unfortunately, in our homes. We must understand the causal links. What is outermost presses down upon what is innermost, and what is innermost becomes outermost.
Once a full process of truth and reconciliation has helped us to discern the truth of our experience of the past decade, equipped with the truth of our errant descent into errant wars, we must be prepared to forgive those who would be forgiven, and forgive ourselves for having participated, with either our assent or our silence. Then we may move forward, with truth as the standard under which we organize a stronger and better America.
We must think often of our nation, reimagine it, reestablish it as the exemplification of our highest ideals. Think of those lofty sentiments present at the founding of our nation, its spiritual origins: One motto, the Latin words Annuit coeptis, “He has favored our undertaking,” an allusion to the guidance of providence. Think of the transcendent purpose in the founding of America, united states, presaging human unity. Our first motto: E pluribus unum, Latin, “out of many, one.” the paradox of multiplicity in singularity. What extraordinary faith, courage, and spirit were present at the founding of this country.
Let us renew our faith in our nation. Let us unite so that the power of unity will lift up this nation we love. Let us declare our faith again in each other, as it occurred so many years ago with that clarion call for the rights of we the people. Let us find that place within ourselves where our own capacity to evolve catalyzes the evolving character of America; where, through the highest expression of informed citizenship, we quicken the highest expression of informed nationhood.
America. America for Americans. America for the world. Let the truth be our empire, the plowshare our sword, nature our textbook, and let us once again celebrate the deeper meaning of what it means to be an American.
Then, reimagining the town hall model—that model where people get together and they talk about things that concern them—let us consider what America represented to each of us on the day before 9/11, on September 10, 2001. Let millions of people, in tens of thousands of places across our nation, meet, rediscover, and celebrate our nation and its purpose and recapture the spirit of America, which we know already resides in countless places. The spirit of America is always ready to be called forward, with a sense of wonder and joy, which our children will in time come to understand as our capacity to rise from the ashes of our own suffering and disillusionment, a quality which becomes their civic inheritance.
We were not a perfect nation by any means before 9/11. But I remember a greater sense of optimism, a greater sense of freedom, of security, of control of our destiny. We need to come together now in town halls across America to appreciate our common experiences, to share our narratives about what is best in our nation, about what we love about this country, about our own journeys to share with each other those things in our lives that directly connect us to what we call the American dream. And when we come together in that way, when we so share, we will know each other better and love our country even more.
The violence of today has cast us into a psychological wilderness. There is a path out of the wilderness of violence in which so many of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen are lost. If we are to help them find that path, it would be helpful for us to look again to the origins of our nation and find the map.
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously declared the independence of 13 colonies, and the achievement of peace was recognized as one of the highest duties of the new organization of free and independent states. Peace at the founding. Yes, there was the paradox of revolutionary war, but the destination was peace, articulated and enshrined. The drafters of the Declaration of Independence appealed to the supreme judge of the world and derived the creative cause of nationhood from the “Laws of Nature” and the entitlements of “Nature’s God,” celebrating the unity of human thought, natural law, and spiritual causation in declaring,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with her certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
The architects of independence, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, spoke to the activity of a higher power which moves to guide the nation’s fortunes and lends its divine spark to infuse principle into the structure of democratic governance.
The Constitution of the United States in its Preamble further sets forth the insurance of the cause of peace in stating,
We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….
We must remember where we have been so that we can chart to where we will proceed. It is the sacred duty of the people of the United States to receive the living truths of our founding documents and to think anew to develop institutions that permit the unfolding of the highest moral principles in this nation and around the world.
Some of these words that I just shared with you are from the preamble to legislation that I wrote in 2001. They form the basis of my understanding of the conceptive power of freedom. The founders of this country gave America a vision for the ages and provided people with a document that gave this nation the ability to adapt to an undreamed of future. What can we give back?
When I first came to Congress, I saw how easily we slipped into conflict. I saw how normally placid representatives could get swept up in war fever. It led me to study war. I learned that during the course of the 20th century more than 100 million people perished in war, most of them innocent noncombatants. And here today, violence is the overarching theme of our time, encompassing personal, group, national, and international conflict, extending to the production of nuclear, biological, chemical weapons of mass destruction, which have been developed for use on land, air, sea, and space. Such conflict is taken as a reflection of the human condition, without questioning whether the structures of thought, word, and deed which we have inherited are any longer sufficient for the maintenance, growth, and survival of our nation and the world.
But we are still relatively at the beginning of a new millennium, and the time has come to review to review age-old challenges with new thinking wherein we can conceive of peace as not simply being the absence of violence but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of human awareness, of respect, trust, and integrity, where we all may tap the infinite capabilities of humanity to transform consciousness and conditions which impel or compel violence at a personal, group, or national level. We do this towards developing a new understanding of and commitment to compassion and love in order to create “a shining city on a hill,” the light of which is the light of nations.
It was this thinking, this articulation which I was privileged to bring forth on July 11, 2001, fully two months before 9/11, to introduce a bill, H.R. 808, to create a cabinet-level Department of Peace, soon to be reintroduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee as the Department of Peace Building.
Imagine, coming from a position of love for our country and for each other, if we move forward, without judgment, to meet the promise of a more perfect union by meeting the challenge of violence in our homes, our streets, our schools, our places of work and worship, to meet the challenge of violence in our society through the creation of a new structure in our society, which can directly address domestic violence, spousal abuse, child abuse, violence in the schools, gang violence, gun violence, racial violence, violence against gays. This goes much deeper than legislation which forbids certain conduct, it goes much deeper than creating systems to deal with and to help victims. Those are necessary, but they are not sufficient. We need to deeper go if we are at last to shed the yoke of violence which we carry through our daily lives. We speak of creating a structure where all across this country we tap the creative energies of those who have committed themselves—the sociologists, the psychologists, the counselors, who commit themselves to help people through their daily lives. Across the country we begin to transform our educational system to teach children peace giving, peace sharing, mutuality, to look at the other person as an aspect of oneself.
We know violence is a learned response. So is nonviolence. We must replace a culture of violence with a culture of peace. Not through the antithetical use of force, not through endless “thou shalt nots” and not through mere punishment, but through tapping our higher potential to teach principles of peace building and peace sharing, and to teach them at the earliest ages as part of a civic education in a democratic society. Carl Rogers, the humanist psychologist, has written,
The behavior of the human organism may be determined by the external influences to which it has been exposed, but it may also be determined by the creative and integrative insight of the organism itself.
We are not victims of the world we see. We become victims of the way we see the world.
If we are prepared to confidently call forth a new America, if we have the courage to not simply redescribe America but to reclaim it, we will once again fall in love with the light which so many years ago shined through the darkness of human existence to announce the birth of a new nation. Out in the void I can see a soaring sun splitting the darkness. Behold the dawn of a new nation, our beloved America. Thank you.
Two words: positive vision. It’s been a whole generation at least since people got out in the streets, not just against war and so on but a positive vision. We have tens of millions of people out of work while we need to build a future for sustainable energy and sustainable transportation. Why are we not calling for people to get out in the streets for a positive vision?
The potential of being able to move a new agenda in this country for economic justice is unlimited if we regain the civic capacity for action, if we are willing to be visible. This is really one of the great preconditions for being able to create change in Washington. It’s to become visible. And when you do it en masse, it has impact. There’s just no question about it.
But lacking visibility, it’s very hard to have to rely on the built-in inertia which tends to characterize activities within the Beltway.
So specifically, I introduced legislation in the Congress, H.R. 2990, called the National Employment Emergency Defense Act. The whole idea is to create millions of jobs rebuilding our infrastructure. People will say, Where is the money coming from? Keep in mind, we borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China, South Korea, Japan to finance wars. We pay interest on that debt. We have a trade deficit with China that is about $200 billion. China, Japan are reinvesting in their country. We’re not doing that. We have the power under the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, to coin or create money. It’s an inherent power of the government that was written into the Constitution specifically so we wouldn’t be in hock to the banks. A series of presidents have warned against that.
In 1913 the Federal Reserve Act was written, and what happened was that it took over the money power, so the government then was at the threshold. You pass an income tax, you fund the government. But actually what happened is it imposed on the people a greater responsibility for coming up with the resources for governance instead of recognizing that the innate power to put money into circulation rested with the government.
Instead, what do we have? Money is debt. The whole system is upside down. So you start thinking about money and how a different concept of money could start to change things. We have the power right now to get our way out of these doldrums, to put America back to work, to reject austerity as a way of life, and to stop the raid on Social Security and any of the other programs. You’re right. Social justice and economics are twins in the same march here. Thank you for your question.
I have seen a lot of people in this country do absolutely nothing compared to what we’ve needed to move the kind of consciousness that you’re talking about moving tonight.
I mentioned in my prepared remarks that there’s a sense in which we have to forgive ourselves. This is about all of us, not just one of us. We can look back over 10 years, and it’s pretty shocking. If you were to go home tonight and Google
Kucinich October 2002 analysis of the Iraq war resolution,
you will see that, look, I’m not a swami, but I picked up right away what was going on. And anybody who really spent the time would understand what was going on. But we were pushed into this war. There’s a lot of dead people as a result. I can’t get that out of my head. To me, our nation needs to—how do we get beyond it? I really am concerned that if we just bury this whole discussion about what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan—and there’s a few other places—we’re never going to recover the country. We’ll be dragged into more wars. We’ve got to stop the beat.
I have two questions for you. How best can we support your vision, which is our vision, in both the micro of our own lives and the macro of government and the world? And how best can we support the Department of Peace?
Let me take the second part first. Before I left Congress, Barbara Lee and I had many long talks, and she agreed to take that baton and keep running with it. We made some changes to the legislation that will emphasize peace building in an active capacity, which is really good. I think that it would be helpful, for whatever Congressional district you’re from, to ask a member to sign on to the bill. But it also would be helpful, given what an extraordinary community this is, to create a forum where you could talk about some of the practical applications of this.
Keep in mind, there is a legitimate concern that, “Yes, what this country needs is a bigger government, right?” But what we’re talking about here is actually a transformative purpose. We need to get in the discussion.
This is the problem. When you create a department, it legitimizes the discussion about justice, about labor, about the environment, about health. And peace is seen back here. It’s almost like it’s an airy-fairy notion instead of central to our existence and our continuation as a species. Remember, I introduced this in 2001 in July, and I saw people’s eyes were rolling. “Yeah, right. Another department, bigger government.” Hey, wait a minute. If we’re spending half of our budget on the implements of war and preparing for war, what if we spent just a couple percentage points on trying to create peace? There are financial issues here as well, not just moral issues.
And you can come at it from the practicalities. With all the shootings that are happening around the country, and a lot more attention is paid to it, we need to get underneath that and talk about what’s happening. Why is our society becoming so unhinged? Guns are one thing that people use, an implement of violence. But even if they pass an assault-weapons ban, which I of course would vote for, we’re still stuck with the fact that there are 100 million, according to many different reports, gun owners in the country. That’s something we’ve got to be aware of, we can’t ignore it. And there’s 300 million guns. So the urgent question deals with the issues of violence in the society.
I was glad to hear you use the term ecocide. Could you comment on the burgeoning student divestment-from-fossil-fuel movement and the renormalization of civil disobedience evidenced by the tar-sands blockade, 350.org, and the Sierra Club’s commitment to nonviolent direct action for the first time in its 120-year history.
You see the response here. The public is ready for a more active approach in confronting the destruction of our planet, the destruction of the natural world. It was Thomas Berry, the late philosopher, who said that the major work of our life should be a reconciliation with the natural world. And we’ve seen this natural world being cartelized, being auctioned off. So the work that 350.org., the Sierra Club, and others are doing is absolutely important. It’s about a type of civic action that is our responsibility of citizenship.
As far as the money aspect, look, after Buckley v. Valeo, which basically said that money equals free speech, and Citizens United, which gave corporations the ability to contribute corporate dollars into federal campaigns, what’s happened is the whole thing is an auction. And the candidates that are often brought forward are the candidates who went to the highest bidder.
Does that mean they’re all crooks? Absolutely not. It means that the system is a rotten system. And if we’re going to free our country from this stigma of “pay to play,” the only way we can do it is a constitutional amendment that would stop all private funding of elections once and for all, private funding, private ownership of the process, and have only public funding, the chance that we might actually have our government back.
I just wanted to reiterate the question that was asked earlier about party politics. Bush’s crimes have become Obama’s crimes. And at this point the only person who is faced with prison for torture was a whistleblower.
At what point do we give up on Democratic politics and seek a third option?
I think that’s part of the discussion that’s going to happen in the next few years, depending on the direction that we go in. If people see whistleblowers punished and people see those who perpetuated crimes against others go free, then they’re going to ask questions. That’s why what I advocate is to look at South Africa’s experience, look at other nations that have had a process of truth and reconciliation. We need to bring the whole range of the top decision makers in to explain what happened. We’re a democracy. Just because you held a high office doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re unaccountable. We need to do that to save our country.
And it’s not about putting anybody in jail. It’s about the truth, which has a much greater value than imprisonment. We need to know the truth. So, yes, I would like to see President Bush and Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld and all of them brought in. And it’s about loving our country. That’s what it’s about—how much do we love America.
I too am more or less a recovering Democrat. I love your analogy to the femur bone. I feel that drones are the next manifestation of that femur bone. I’m so glad you mentioned drones. I know that’s one of your issues. Do you think we finally have a chance, if we get ahead of the game, to make a difference?
Mechanized warfare, war by robots, robot planes, whatever, what it does is it removes us from our humanity, it separates us from actually having to make decisions. And it sets us on an inconscient path, going deeper into the darkness of hate and a loss of humanity. I saw this when I first heard about it back in 2005, when a wedding party was blown up in Pakistan with a drone strike. We have to watch this. And I will tell you this, that the administration’s description—people, if you get a chance, look at the 16-page legal memo which came out of the Department of Justice.
I didn’t go to law school. I play a lawyer on TV occasionally. But I will tell you this. I don’t know if they have a class in pretzel making at Harvard Law, where they twist the Constitution into a pretzel so you’re supposed to understand it, but that whole memo is an exercise in casuistry and sophistry, having no connection to any solid, bedrock constitutional principles. The use of these drones shreds the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments with respect to due process.
Look, I’m all over this. We could spend the rest of the evening talking about it. But we need to fight back on it and push back. And that cannot be who we are as Americans. We cannot permit our country to wage war without any accountability, assassinate people, whoever we want. Baloney.
Thank you for your inspirational speech. You’ve been my hero in politics ever since I started following politics. I’m an inventor and entrepreneur who is trying to start jobs in clean energy. How can people like me get the $500 billion that’s put into war and put that to where it needs to be put to rebuilding our energy infrastructure and providing jobs?
This is the whole question about resources. When you think about it, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz wrote a book the title of which is The Three Trillion Dollar War, he and Linda Bilmes, his associate. They updated it to say $5 trillion war. Imagine for a moment that instead of investing in war, that we had invested in carbon-free energy technology. We would have been energy independent. We have the ability to able to use our resources right now to invest in the creation of alternative energies.
And we should be doing that instead of our reliance on coal, on nuclear, on oil. We can no longer do that. It’s apart from our natural world. Mother Nature doesn’t make deals with politicians. Mother Nature just responds in a very powerful way to the assaults on her planet. So we need to invest in that. And it’s part of the cycle of job creation. So thank you and stay with that, because that time is coming.
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