excerpt from Buckminster Fuller’s Critical Path (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981), Chapter 3: “Legally Pigally”, pp. 113-120.
Today’s (1980) world-power-structures struggle is one between the U.S.S.R. and big capitalism, which we now call lawyer capitalism, which deliberately took the world’s private-enterprise corporations out of the fundamental jurisdiction of America. They have kept their U.S.A. operations going in a seemingly normal way, so people in U.S. America haven’t realized that these companies are officially situated elsewhere despite the incredible amplification of those great corporations’ annual profits, whose annual totals payable to these corporations’ stockholders are of the same magnitude as the annual increase in the U.S.A.’s joint internal and external debt increases.
America is utterly bankrupt externally in terms of balance of trade due to its own oil companies now operating as Arabian business. The national debt at the time of the New Deal was $33 billion—which was the cost of World War I. Before World War I we frequently had no national debt whatever. We have today a national debt that exceeds $800 billion—30 percent of that indebtedness came from underwriting of ever-longer-term mortgages. In 1934 the U.S.A. underwrote a completely obsolete building industry while Eisenhower allowed the banking world to make an incredible amount of money in interest rates and services (in 1978 over $1 billion just for transferring home-ownership deeds) in support of the building and real estate game, which building industry—if it were any good—would pay the U.S.A. back handsomely. The U.S.A. cannot even pay the annual interest on its $800 billion national debt. That is why the Nixon presidency and all those since have had to enter each year with a negative budget, acknowledging that at year’s end the U.S.A. will be a $100 billion-magnitude unrecoverably deeper in debt. Our foreign-trade-balance indebtedness is (as of September 1979) $104 billion ($86 billion if foreign branches of U.S. banks are taken into account). Sum-totally, what has been taken from the people of the U.S.A. runs into many trillions of dollars. In the quarter of a century since Eisenhower America has become completely bankrupt, with its world leadership, its financial credit, and its reputation for courage, vision, and human leadership gone.
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None of this was the American people’s doing. It was all done in an absolutely legal but utterly invisible manner by the lawyer-capitalism. Individual bankers, industrial-corporation officers, et al. have had to do what their lawyers told them to do. No bad people have been involved. The lawyers were following their survival instinct—and doing so completely legally.
Everything we have reported here has been published at one time or another, but with the individual items often so far apart from the last relevant item that the public has tended not to remember and associate the items. As a consequence the total picture presented here is approximately unknown to any but the Wall Street lawyers’ grand strategists, most of whom are no longer alive.
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One of my earliest books was Nine Chains to the Moon, written in 1935 and published by Lippincott in July 1938, and now being published by Doubleday. In it I referred so frequently to Finance Capitalism that I developed a contraction of those two words into FINCAP. FINCAP had died a lingering death between 1929 and 1934. In this book, Critical Path, I refer so often to the lawyer-resurrected “capitalism” that it is appropriate to refer henceforth to LAWCAP. LAWCAP’s “capitalism” is paradoxically the most highly socialized organization in all history—the citizens of LAWCAP’s welfare-state—the whole body of corporate stockholders—having an annual average dole of $100,000 per capita without their even having to make a pretense of getting a job.
If we take the billions of dollars given in the 1930s to the great U.S.A. defense-industries corporations by the New Deal’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation ... if we take the hidden tax-deduction subsidies to do research, development, and advertising given to all these companies in pre-1942 dollars between 1933 and 1980 ... if we take the $100 billion in foreign aid that paid for the overseas establishment of the great corporations ... if we take the $155 billion of atomic know-how and development taken over by the oil companies ... and if we take the number of fine ounces of gold bullion taken out of America exclusively by the capitalist world’s banking system ... and if we take a reasonably low estimate of the unknown billions of dollars taken out of the U.S.A. by the CIA to operate exclusively on behalf of international capitalism without the knowledge or authority of the people of the U.S. of America’s quasi-democracy ... and if we multiply the sum of the foregoing figures by twenty-five, which is the amount to which our present U.S.A. dollars have been depreciated between the time of the appropriations and January 1, 1980, we come to a figure in the magnitude of $6 trillion that has been legally transferred from the U.S.A. people’s national capital account over to the capital ownership account of the stockholders of the 1000 largest, transnational, exclusively American-flag-flying corporations.
The transnationally operating LAWCAP in the early ’50s resurrected the twenty-year-dead FINCAP and its “capitalist” world and left only its American-flag-flying storefronts in the U.S.A. to cover its comprehensive financial withdrawal from the U.S.A. LAWCAP silently and invisibly moved capitalism’s big-time operations into the any-legally-propitious-elsewhere. With its invisibly operating CIA (Capitalism’s Invisible Army) LAWCAP exploited the unwitting citizens of the U.S.A. in order—they hoped—to destroy socialism.
The 1947-50 LAWCAP decision to start a World War III had two objectives: (1) to keep capitalism in business, and (2) to prevent the Russians from employing their industrial productivity to produce a higher standard of living for their own people than that demonstrated in the U.S.A. LAWCAP’s decision to start World War III inaugurated history’s greatest game of poker, with the U.S.S.R. as a very reluctant player, worried about its ‘home-folks” political agitation for a few “goodies.” It became a poker game that called for each side adding approximately $100 billion per year into the “killingry kitty.” They have now done so for thirty years. This amounts to $6 trillion. By complete coincidence $6 trillion happens to be approximately the same magnitude as that of the total mileage per year traveled by light operating at 186,000 miles each second of the year.
Throughout those thirty years, the U.S.A.-half of this $6 trillion (that is, $3 trillion) was redeposited at various turnover rates per year in the Western-world banks, and the latter continually reloaned those dollars, at historically unprecedentedly high rates, to armaments industry. The net of it all was to convert science and technology’s highest capability into accomplishing the killing of ever more people at ever greater distances in ever shorter time.
LAWCAP’s comprehensive grand strategy had its Achilles’ heel.
Having successfully lifted $6 trillion from the mid-twentieth-century world’s leading nation—the U.S.A. and its people—LAWCAP puppeted the U.S.A.’s people into expending another of their own $6 trillion in playing “the drop-dead killingry poker game” with the U.S.S.R. exclusively on behalf of invisible LAWCAP. The latter was sure that with its complete control of all the world’s money to back the U.S.A., the latter could not lose the killingry poker game with the U.S.S.R. Counting on winning the poker game, LAWCAP started planning its own post-World War III future.
LAWCAP once more deceived its so-easy-to-deceive U.S.A. puppet with the kibitzing of the U.S.A.’s playing of its killingry poker hand. LAWCAP did so through its enormous media control and its election-funding and lobbying power of the American political game. LAWCAP had its political leaders convince the U.S.A. people that they were playing the poker game so satisfactorily that the U.S.A. assumed that it was far ahead in atomic bombs, which gave it complete national security and assumedly maintained its world-around power and prestige.
LAWCAP was confident that with ownership of all money and control of all the Western world’s arms-producing facilities, they could outlast the U.S.S.R.’s ability to cope with its internal pressure for shifting its productivity toward its people’s life-style—as surreptitiously agitated for by the CIA’s psycho-guerilla operations.
Because it was a “poker game” the Russians, realizing that intercontinentally delivered warheads with a twenty-minute lag between rocket blastoff and landing bang-off inadvertently provided a twenty-minute radar lead, that meant for the first time in the history of war that both sides would be able to see the other side shooting at them twenty minutes before the bullets would reach them, which gave both sides twenty minutes within which to get away all of both sides’ atomic bombs, gases, germs, and death rays before the Big Bang, thus producing the first war in history in which both sides and all their allies would lose. To be a survivor of such a war would be worse than being killed by it. Planet Earth would be humanly untenable.
Because the Russians knew all this was so, and the American people did not seem to know it was so, the Russians assumed after the Khrushchev-Eisenhower Geneva Meeting of 1955 that atomic bomb warfare would never occur—that is the way the U.S.S.R. played their poker hand. They assumed only enough atomic bomb-making to camouflage their strategy, while they counted on conventional arms, vast divisions of armed and trained men, and the greatest ever of world history’s line-of-world-supply-controlling navies. The latter featured all of their now-perfected Vertol planes, being above-the-sea-surface-emitted, vertically ascending into the sky from enormous-bellied atomic submarines, moving far more swiftly submerged—seventy knots—than could the surface-battling, forty- to fifty-knot aircraft carriers. This the U.S.S.R. assessed to be the world-winning strategy.
The reason that LAWCAP’s strategy kibitzed its U.S.A. players into holding four atomic bomb “aces” and an aircraft carrier “king” was because LAWCAP wanted to be sure that the atomic energy technology was so advanced and proliferated by World War III’s end that they could employ its U.S.A.-peoples-paid-for basic equipment and widely developed uranium mines and production sources and its scientific personnel to produce the energy to run through their money-making meters after their fossil fuels were exhausted.
LAWCAP’s cupidity outwitted its wisdom. LAWCAP’s sense of evolutionary-event acceleration was faulty. They bluffed only the people of the U.S.A.—not the Russians.
The Russians have now attained so commanding a lead in the killingry poker game that even the U.S.A. president concedes that it would take the U.S.A. a minimum of ten years to restrategy itself so that it could in any way cope with the Russians’ “conventional” naval supremacy and its vastly greater numbers of modernly armed divisions of world-around warfaring capabilities.
In the meantime as already mentioned the United States has gone completely bankrupt internally, its national indebtedness coming very close to a trillion dollars and its balance of trade debt to $109 billion—worsening at a horrendous rate due to LAWCAP’s arranging to force the U.S.A. to obtain almost half its petroleum energy from the Near East. The U.S.A. has for eight years past been unable to meet even the interest on its internal debt as demonstrated by a negative balance of trade. Its future credit has been hypothecated thirty years beyond Armageddon. Nothing to stop the U.S. Treasury from issuing 2050 notes, but for how far into the future can LAWCAP keep selling U.S.A. promissory notes?
Unless God has something else in mind, it looks as though it will not be long before LAWCAP’s kibitzing of the U.S.A. will have lost the $6-trillion killingry poker game. Russia will not hesitate to “call” the U.S.A. hand and rake in the winnings of omniworld, line-of-supply control—maritime, aeronautical, and astronautical.
In one way the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. citizens are in much the same socioeconomic position. The Communist party which runs the U.S.S.R. consists of about 1 percent of their total population, while the U.S.A. is controlled by about the same 1 percent, who are the LAWCAP strategists of the great U.S.A. corporations.
The U.S.A. is not run by its would-be “democratic” government. All the latter can do is try to adjust to the initiatives already taken by LAWCAP’s great corporations. Nothing could be more pathetic than the role that has to be played by the President of the United States, whose power is approximately zero. Nevertheless, the news media and most over-thirty-years-of-age U.S.A. citizens carry on as if the president had supreme power. All that he and the Congress can do is adjust to what the “free-enterprise system” has already done. They are riding on the snapping end of the power-structure dragon’s tail.
If I had not been studying and working for a half-century on the assumption that this present state of affairs would come about at about this moment in history, I would have to be very pessimistic now about the human affairs of the 7 percent of the world’s population situated within the national boundaries of the U.S.A. let alone critically threatened omnihumanity.
But, in fact, I have been studying and working anticipatorily throughout all those intervening fifty-three years, and I know what I am talking about. The world now has an option to become comprehensively and sustainingly successful—for all—and that is what this book is about: How to do so ... and do so expeditiously enough to succeed within the time limit. “How to do so” is implicit in the chapters that follow starting with the manner in which I came to discover the critical options and the individual self-disciplines that came naturally to disclose the grand strategy of human survival and successful functioning.
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>Only cosmic costing accounts for the entirely interdependent electrochemical and ecological relationships of Earth’s biological evolution and cosmic intertransformative regeneration in general. Cosmic costing accounts as well for the parts played gravitationally and radiationally in the totality within which our minuscule planet Earth and its minuscule star the Sun are interfunctionally secreted. Cosmic costing makes utterly ludicrous the selfish and fearfully contrived “wealth” games being reverentially played by humanity aboard Earth.
Fortunately, the Sun does not demand payment for all the energy that it delivers by radiation to Earth in the overall cosmic scheme, which is trying to make humanity a success despite our overwhelming ignorance and fear. The stars are trying to tell humanity to awake and prosper and to consciously assume the important cosmic responsibilities for which it was designed. Since realization and fulfillment of that responsibility involve evolutionary discovery by humanity of the cosmic stature of its mind and the inconsequentiality of its muscle, the planting of humans on Earth may not bear fruit.
When Universe is developing important functional interdependencies, she does not put all her embryos in the same proverbial “basket,” (or fiscus). So poor is the probability of self-discovery by humans of the infinite potential of the mind and the relative triviality of human musclepower (which is not even as capable as a grasshopper’s) great nature must have planted a myriad of human-function-equivalent seedlings on a myriad of planets. In order to succeed as local-in-Universe critical information-gatherers and local-in-Universe problem-solvers in support of the integrity of eternally regenerative scenario Universe, the human-function equipment for local-in-Universe information-gathering will be as variable as the varied environments in Universe. Rarely will they have the appearance of human organisms—such would be employed only under environmental conditions similar to those of planet Earth.
The first manifestation that humanity may make good on this planet will be the serious introduction of cosmic costing into the mainstream deliberations of Earthians.
Cosmic accounting completely eliminates the economic validity of bankruptcy accounting, except when humans make the mistake of trying to hoard or withdraw critical “capital” assets from production-functioning. Withdrawal of capital assets is akin to attempting to withdraw one of the stars from the celestial system. Into what Universe, other than the cosmic totality, may the star be transferred? Every atom and electron is an essential part of the eternally regenerative—ergo, totally inexhaustible (but always locally ebbing and flooding)—pulsative Universe.