It seems I got somebody's attention. Of course, civilization isn't a game with predetermined rules and principles that assure its defeat. In fact, there exist no antagonistic universal principles that I am aware of. The entire war of empire versus civilization has not a single principle to stand on. It's platform is a mockery of the principles of civilization. In the face of this mockery the principles become lost, pushed aside, so that their power remains unrealized. That is where tragedy lies. Wars happen, not because they are inevitable; they happen because the principles of civilization are kept hidden under the cloak of the imperial mockery of these principles. The tragedy is that they are allowed to happen, even though they are avoidable with the power of already known principles.
War or the collapse of civilization is the consequence of a failure, the loss of the power of principle. The deeper reaching this process becomes and the longer it is endured, the more devastating the consequences become. Scientific and technological progress is an inherent element of the advance of civilization, increasing the power of mankind for creative and constructive achievements, but if this power is abused turned against mankind in the war of empire versus civilization the consequences become evermore devastating. Herein certain dynamic patterns come to light that make it evermore urgent for society to shut down the processes of empire, thereby shutting down the war of empire versus civilization that is becoming increasingly intolerable. Economic looting; cultural warfare with goals for depopulation; and in addition physical warfare in a nuclear armed world, have alltogether placed us into a boundary zone beyond which the survival of civilization is in doubt. The consequences of society's failure to end the rule of empire are definitely mounting up as modern history amply illustrates. But is society's determination to free itself from its impending detriment intensifying in the same measure, or even in a greater measure than that by which the existential challenge is increasing? The unfolding pattern of history appears to promise to most people living today: Let another Strike-Out happen and You're Gone.
In the long history of civilization the war of empire versus civilization has produced a number of devastating strike-out consequences. One of the earliest was probably the invasion of India by the Aryan 'Empire' around 1500 BC that caused the Vedic and Brahmanic Dark Ages, which lasted for 2,500 years and nearly destroyed civilization there. The rise of the Persian Empire had a similar effect on European culture. The great Greek Classical culture was overwhelmed by the war of this empire against civilization. In this war Pericles became a tool, and a fool who lost his life by the consequences of this war that he himself advanced. Plato and Socrates fought to recover the lost principles of civilization, but even their remarkable achievements were not sufficient to hold back the Persian legacy that gave rise to another empire, the rise of Rome as an empire by which civilization was nearly destroyed once again, and Greece with it. It appears that Greece lost over 75% of its population density in the shadow of Rome.
Society tends to underestimate the consequences of the war of empire versus civilization. Alighieri Date might have been the first to openly warn society of those larger consequence, speaking against the practices of the Lombard financial Empire that flourished in Florence at the time. He was promptly excommunicated from his beloved Florence. While he continued his warning and his fight for civilization with his poetry and his efforts in uplifting the Italian language with his poetry, he failed to inspire society sufficiently to end the rule of empire at this stage of history. As a consequence the collapse of society happened in 1345 when the Lombard system had looted the European economies to the point of disintegration, which in turn opened the door to the black plaque. The strike-out that society suffered was so severe that a third of the population perished.
One wonders if the tragic outcome could have been prevented if society had not underestimated the consequences of its failure in halting the rule of empire when Dante had put the fight on the table. The entire outcome of history would likely have been different. Of course we don't have to go back in time to the 14th Century to ask that question. The struggle of Dante became reflected in modern times in the history of the American republic. The USA was founded on a partial victory in mankind's struggle to free itself from the rule of empire, while the full victory was never won, with the result that the consequences of this failure have been mounting up along the entire front of empire versus civilization, erupting across the world financially, economically, culturally, politically, and militarily.
The ever-intensifying dynamics of this history seem to suggest that most people in modern society might not survive another strikeout. World War II was a small war in terms of the modern nuclear-war potential, but I do remember that as a boy, when the war ended, none of my classmates as far as I knew, had a father left. There might have been a few exceptions. In today's world there might be fewer exceptions still, if any. The saying, Three Strike-Out's and You're Gone may indeed apply to everyone, because nobody lives outside the sphere of the modern consequences, and by the same token lives without the responsibility to prevent the potential Strike-Out.
While the above saying has its root in an American ball game and cannot apply as a rule to the fate of civilization, it evidently reflects an awareness by the developer of this ball game that by failing repeatedly, the player (as society as a whole) puts itself out of the 'ball game.' The individual player responds by training himself or herself to become alert and skilful, so as not to miss a single opportunity to score a victory. Can we say this of society today in the most critical fight in history? That's the crucial question. The dynamics in this fight will determine the future, and the heart of the question should reflect what Shakespeare had Hamlet say aloud: "To be or not to be, that is the question." So what is the answer going to be? Shall we stand as human beings or fall with Hamlet in an act of folly?
History repeats itself
People say that we have seen periods of chaos before, that history repeats itself, meaning thereby that all the tragedies in history become repeated again and again as if by some higher law. While this endless-seeming repetition is indeed an historically observable pattern, the above statement is not true. The truth is that the tragedies in history are being repeated again and again because the underlying failure has not yet been corrected. Until the underlying failure is corrected, the results of that failure will hit mankind over and over again. In the case of the repeating failures in civilization the underlying cause is mankind's failing to end the rule of empire. Until the rule of empire ends on this planet, the ongoing "war of empire versus civilization" will continue and its ravishing will continue to escalate in the way that wars always tend to escalate.
History repeats itself therefore not because its endless seeming cycle is a built-in feature of a game. The development of civilization is not a game with built-in regulations that decree a certain outcome. The development of civilization is a process that is built on the discovery of harmonizing universal principles and the mastery in society of an understanding of these principles. If society fails itself in this process, its civilization will fall into chaos and will eventually disintegrate. A civilization can be as just readily lost by society's lack of the mastery of its principles, as a game can be lost when the players repeatedly fail to master the necessary skills.
A civilization is not a gift that the universe bestows on a silver platter. It is the construct of intelligent processes for which the universe merely supplies the underlying principles. The process of applying them is located in the court of mankind. Thus, it is up to us all to take the necessary steps that assure that we won't fail any longer. The dangers are too great for this failing to be allowed to continue. However, the greater tragedy lies not in failing, but in not winning ourselves the kind of renaissance civilization that we are capable of winning as human beings, by which the dangers fall by the wayside.
There is no chronic trend in history
When history repeats itself, it does so not because a chain of historic tragedies bears upon the present. If history repeats itself then it does so, because the historic mistakes are repeated anew each single day. There is no law in the universe, no power, nor principle, that decrees that historic mistakes must be repeated day after day. If they are repeated the mistakes are made anew.
The world-renowned American economist and statesman, Lyndon LaRouche, teaches us by example that we have the capacity as human beings to step out of this historic shadow of self-made tragedies and step into the light of our humanity. His entire life has been devoted to interventions of this kind. After decades of the Cold War and the impending doom of a nuclear holocaust coming ever closer he stood up and said, "hey look, we don't have to go there. We have the capacity as human beings to step out that environment and join hands globally to built ourselves a strategic defence that would make all the missiles obsolete while we develop the whole world economically at the same time with the scientific and technological advances the program would bring about. That's an example of breaking a chronic seeming trend of war, impotence, and poverty by simply stepping into the light of what we can accomplish as human beings.
LaRouche continued making these kinds of proposals. While the Soviet Union was collapsing economically and the West was on the same track, LaRouche proposed that it is possible to step away from this track of economic decay and economic isolation and mobilize the industrial capacity of central Europe into an economic engine to develop the whole world, which became known as his economic triangle proposal. This stepping away from a chronic historic economic practice could have been easily accomplished, by which the whole world would have been uplifted. When this didn't happen and the Soviet Union collapsed LaRouche immediately proposed an even bolder plan for stepping away from old history into a new world of global cooperation and global economic development. From this proposal the Eurasian Land-Bridge concept developed. The proposal could have been easily implemented with the former Soviet nations looking for sovereignty and economic development.
Unfortunately mankind persisted in making the old historic mistake again and again by supporting the rule of empire in each of the above cases, case after case, time after time. LaRouche, of course kept saying, you fools, you don't have to do this. You can step away from this chronic practice. His New Bretton Woods proposal for a new world-monetary system built on a foundation of national sovereignty and economic justice, is a case in point. He made many such proposals, like his Oasis Plan, his Operation Juarez plan, the NAWAPA plan, which are all proposals that involve a simple stepping away from a chain of historic mistakes that don't have to be repeated.
Unfortunately society continues to repeat its old historic mistakes as if they were a part of a chronic disease, but which in reality are mistakes made anew day after day. LaRouche demonstrates that it is possible to break this chronic seeming pattern and step up to higher ground where the human being is not a slave to traditions, but is free to develop the principles of human civilization.
If this had been understood a long train of tragedy could have been prevented.
The First Strike-Out
The first strike-out might have already been suffered when the USA was formed. The founding of the USA was a revolutionary event for mankind, but it was not a victory for mankind in the war of empire versus civilization. It was merely a victory over imperial colonialism. It maintained America's concession to slavery, and thereby to empire.
The two terms, empire and slavery, are functionally synonymous. There is no empire without slavery and no slavery without empire. The war of empire versus civilization should have ended in America with the founding of the USA as a republic -- a slavery-free world. This fundamental principle should have been enshrined in the republic's Constitution. But this didn't happen. The evil that should have ended right then was allowed to continue.
Prior to the American Revolution, all of the British North American colonies had maintained slavery. The War for Independence gave some impetus to a general antislavery sentiment, but not enough to abolish the practice. Slavery was not abolished. Thereby the evil of empire was allowed to remain operational right in the midst of the republic that had defeated the British Empire at the colonial front, but not at its core issue, slavery.
Still, the fight against slavery continued somewhat on the political level. Many a great American patriot spoke out against slavery and empire and waged some rather amazing battles. The most notable among them was likely John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), "Old Man Eloquent" as they called him in later years. But in those days the voice of reason was often gagged. The forces of empire and slavery that had the ill-gotten means at their disposal to prostitute most of the politicians of the time into fulfilling the 'empires' wishes (as this still happens today) had managed to get laws enacted that effectively gagged all critics of slavery. John Quincy Adams stood up as a champion for free speech and a strong force against the enslaving practice of empire. He, probably more than all others, understood the inseparable link between slavery and empire.
With the help of Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams was elected President in 1824. His election might have also been aided by the timely return visit to America of the famous last surviving general of the Revolutionary War, Marquis de Lafayette, whose visit was celebrated nationwide. Still, even as President John Quincy Adams stood little chance to turn back the tide of empire, always fighting against the machinations of the many political prostitutes, whom the slavocracy owned. Adams lost the 1828 elections by a landslide to Andrew Jackson who was followed eight years later by Martin Van Buren as President (1837-41), one of the stooges owned by the forces of empire, one of their 'hired' presidents . John Quincy Adams described Martin Van Buren as “a northern President with southern principles.” Evidently his pliancy in the face of the slave-traders was nothing less than shameful. He was Andrew Jackson’s controller, and later referred to his own Presidency as a “joint stock company” between himself and Jackson. (See: John Quincy Adams Battles For the American System)
This deep reaching surrender to empire was the kind of curse that the fragile new nation allowed to come upon it. The evil of empire should have been abolished during John Quincy Adams' Presidency. The opportunity existed and the forces we still high on the horizon to utilize the opportunity, but as in Shakespeare's Hamlet the environment had not been created by society for this overturning of the rule of empire to become possible. It wasn't that nobody in society was aware of the dangerous forces of empire arrayed against civilization. To the contrary, Mathew Carey had written "the book" on this 'war' against empire that had to be won for civilization to survive. His book, The Olive Branch, was first published in 1814, and by 1818 it had gone through ten editions. It is said to have been the best-selling book, second only to the Bible, which continued to be published for decades, provided a strong background for the John Quincy Adam Presidency that should have been exploited by society to its fullest advantage. The book might have been called a citizens manual for defeating the empire. The potential for it existed. Nevertheless society failed itself in its self-defense, which kept the door open to the forces of empire and enabled their advance on society to succeed. The Andrew Jackson Presidency represents a turning point in history towards this regressive direction that eventually set the stage for the coming Civil War.
Since America was rapidly loosing its republic in the ensuing endless battle of empire versus civilization, the specter of civil war emerged ever closer on the horizon. The battle that should have been won by society on the floors of its Congress and Senate, was allowed to continue until nothing short of an emergency rescue effort could save the republic and thereby save the nation from dropping back to the status of a colony once again. The final black cloud rose over America in 1860 when the imperial slavery states seceded from the Union (The United States of America) to form the Confederate States of America.
The secession began when the republican politicians gained the upper hand and finally forged a strong opposition against the expansion of slavery. Their victory in the presidential election of 1860, won by Abraham Lincoln, resulted in seven of the southern slavery states immediately declaring their secession from the Union even before Lincoln took office. The Union rejected the secession, calling it a rebellion. Nevertheless, the die was cast by then.
Slavery wasn't abolished until 1862 with the Emancipation Proclamation, which became the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution in 1865. All of that came far too late of course. The American Civil War exploded a year after the first secession, on April 12, 1861, when forces of the newly-formed Confederate States of America under Jefferson Davis attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. When Lincoln responded to the attack with calling for a large volunteer army, four more Southern states declared their secession. At this point the stage was set for horrendous human losses.
Beginning in 1862, the ensuing battles, such as at Shiloh, caused enormously massive casualties that were unprecedented in U.S. military history. In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made the policy of ending slavery in the South a major war-factor that complicated the Confederacy's manpower shortages, though it didn't break the force of war itself.
By the time the war ended in 1865, a total of 620,000 soldiers had been killed together with an undetermined number of civilians (probably 300,000). All of that pain, loss of life, and material destruction could have been avoided if John Quincy Adams would have found a stronger support in society against the forces of empire, enough to block the empire-stooges like Martin Van Buren. But the evil that should have ended in the 1820s, was allowed to go on, which finally became a monster that extracted a price from society for its omission that no one would likely have foreseen back in the 1820s. And that is once again our situation today.
So, when did the first strike-out occur in that
period? That's an
important question for our time. Did it occur when the Union was formed without
addressing the question of slavery, which is a question of empire? Or did
the strike-out occur in the 1820 when this question could have been settled,
but there wasn't enough of a commitment to do it? Or did the strike-out
occur only when the monster had grown to such proportions that war was no
longer avoidable? These questions remain yet to be answered.
Let's go backwards this time. The second strike-out ended with the end of World War II, a war fought not for any of the countless reasons officially given, but which was essentially another phase of the old war of empire versus civilization. The war could have been avoided up to the early parts of 1933, before Hitler was set up as a dictator with absolute power who promptly eradicated all viable opposition. At this point the die was cast. The outcome from mankind's failing itself in 1933 exacted a price that an estimated 72 million people paid with their life in a rampage of violence and destruction that affected most parts of the world.
In real terms the strike-out began much sooner. The early 1930s are somewhat comparable to America's 1820s when a grand opportunity was missed to close the door to the march of empire that should have ended then. Hitler was a nobody in the early days of the 1930s, before he was financed into power by Anglo American imperial stooges. It was not a secret that this financing was happening. The process could have been stopped. Nor was Hitler's war-madness itself a secret. He himself published the book on it. But where were the pioneers of humanity? Who was standing in the way of the unfolding monster? History tells us that a grand opportunity was missed. The evil that should have been stopped then, was allowed to go on. Stopping it could have saved 72 million lives and a horrendous destruction. If that opportunity had not been missed, the world would likely have advanced economically, culturally, and scientifically by leaps and bounds. All that became lost.
Of course the strike-out might have been prevented at a still earlier stage. It would likely have been prevented by decisive anti-empire actions prior to December 23, 1913, the infamous day when America surrendered its currency and credit creation into the hands of the now worldwide private imperial monetarism where America's currency became an instrument for private profit instead of national development. It is said that America lost World War I for mankind at Christmas time in 1913, half a year before the war had even begun. America's capitulation to empire literally placed the whole world into imperial hands. Whas that the time when the decisive strike-out occurred? World War I started less than eight months later, in which 40 million perished and another 40 million died in the flu epidemic that the war had caused at its very end.
The Third Strike-Out
Some say that the third strike-out hasn't occurred yet, and some suggest that it occurred when Japan was baited to attack Pearl Harbor, and Japan took the bait, which enabled the USA to enter the war, but which didn't follow through with its goal to eradicate fascism and empire.
I would like to suggest that this might be a fallacy in perception. They die was already cast by the time of the Pearl Harbor event.
World War II had not been a war in the standard sense. It had been a contest between two killing machines in which one eradicated the resources for the other, by which the war ground to a halt. No real victory had been won by mankind, though a steep price was paid. I don't think that this essential victory over empire had been on the agenda. Franklin Roosevelt might have aspired to it had he remained alive, but the world of politics was already being laced with many hidden stooges who had prostituted themselves to the empire.
The rule of empire certainly had not been defeated at the time the war ended, nor had the rule of fascism been defeated which became just another new facet of slavery in the 20th Century. All of these empire-forces-and-faces continued to rule after World War II ended, and they are still ruling the world.
America had fought World War II to end these evils. A potential opportunity to do this truly existed in 1945, but even before Franklin Roosevelt had died too many political forces who had prostituted themselves to the old empire's jingles had already positioned themselves into places of power, who then acted fast to restore the old empire. Before Roosevelt was even in his grave, his policies were being overturned and his dream of freedom for mankind drowned in a new wave of violence. I think this is where the now looming third strike-out could have been prevented. It should have been stopped in Truman's days and thereafter with the power of whatever patriotism still remained. However, no victory was achieved. Many patriots were assassinated and many great opportunities were lost, for which we might yet have to to pay the price.
The postwar period became openly a period of empire, and empire became once again a monster, with society becoming a coward in the face of it. Many opportunities opened up along the way to shut down the monster, but those grand moments consistently found society a 'little' people.
And that is where we stand today
What we see today has all been seen before, except the scale is larger now. We still have the prostitutes of empire sitting in high positions of power, reminiscent of Martin Van Buren in the 1820s. Only now they fill all three houses of government in the U.S. almost to the last man. The greatest war monger in modern time who is committed to setting the world on fire, with nuclear weapons fully on the table, hasn't even received as much as an official rebuke, much less an impeachment response. We are living in a world that is physically, financially, and economically collapsing, with rulers in charge who have no brains and we see a line-up of candidates for election of whom none is even remotely qualified to face the onrushing crisis, while society stands aside with its hands folded behind its back uttering a few complaints. If this isn't a perfect set-up for the final strike-out, then I must ask, what is?
Still the opportunity to prevent the strike-out remains, while time remains, but time is fast running short. The forces of empire are moving. Huge preparations have been made for what some call the final war, a war without end that starts with the war on Iran. Once such a war starts the die is cast. There is no way out, no turning back the clock, nor will there be victory at the end of the road. The concept of victory is no longer valid in the final strike-out environment that is looming before us, and the boundary leading into it is wearing thin. Many covert attempts to start such a war have already been made both by the USA and Israel. Fortunately all of these attempts have so far been foiled. But these heroic successes by a few patriots offers no guarantee for a secure future. When even a single new attempt succeeds, of the many that keep on being repeated in different ways, then all predictions are possible and no outcome is certain, except to say that it won't be a pleasant one.
The cost of war is escalating
The total loss of life resulting from the American Revolutionary War
was relatively small. An estimated 25,000 American Revolutionaries died, 8,000 of these
died in battle; the other 17,000 deaths were caused by disease. Another 8,000
died while being prisoners of war. The seriously wounded or disabled have been estimated
between 8,500 to 25,000. On the British side app. 1,200 were killed in battle,
18,500 died from disease, and bout 42,000 deserted.
The same is evidently true for today in our world that has 10-20,000 nuclear bombs piled up on the horizon, depending on who counts what. No one can imagine the outcome of a war for which that enormous stockpile is maintained. Statistics have become meaningless in this new world where even a single one of the big bombs, strategically placed, could potentially disable the USA.
If the historic trend of casualties from .05 million to 0.9 million and on to 135 million is an indication of things to come, we may be heading into the boundary zone to extinction when the third strike-out occurs.
In addition the financial and economic cost is incalculable. The cost of the Revolutionary War was less than half a billion. The Civil War cost about 10 billion. World War I is estimated to have cost $200 billion (adjusted to the 1990 dollar value), with World War II coming in at over two trillion. The current Iraq war, all by itself will likely exceed the cost of all of the above combined before it is finished, if indeed such measurements make any sense at all.
The financial war of empire versus civilization has already destroyed the world economy and the entire currency-value system more deeply than anything ever before in the history of mankind, with the entire global system now teetering at the brink of disintegration. The current system is so far gone that nothing short of a global bankruptcy reorganization-- ending the war of empire versus civilization--will be sufficient to put the house back together again and keep World War III off the table. If World War III erupts beforehand, meaning that the urgently needed financial and economic reorganization of the world is prevented by the strong-arming of the empire, then the war costs will most certainly tally up to claim 100% of all the wealth of all the nations with nothing remaining, if indeed we would have anything like a civilization remaining with a significant human presence on this planet. That is what we face today. But we are also human beings, and as such we can turn the present loosing streak around and start winning by gaining the mastery of the principles that built a civilization.
What is the answer then?
Many say that the answer is to impeach Vice President Cheney as the world's foremost insane person in power calling for war. The population wants him impeached, but there is not enough action in Congress to do it. Nor is this surprising. Wherever money rules in the political world the empire's men tend to be protected. And so the train rolls on towards society's self-made appointment with Armageddon. No, it doesn't have to be that way. History does not have to be repeated. There is no chronic focrce that ties us to historic mistakes. If the historic mistakes are peated, they are repeated anew each single day in a pattern that can be broken. We can step away from the pattern of historic mistakes and step up to the platform of the principles of civilization and discover the power of our humanity.
In this context LaRouche tells us that the impeachment of a corrupt government is totally possible, and that even then, this stepping away from a long train of submission to impotence would only be a first small step, though an essential step. The entire rule of empire needs to be stopped, and can be stopped on this platform. He has been fighting this larger battle for decades, for ending the war of empire versus civilization by dissolving the entire globalized imperial monetarist system in a global bankruptcy reorganization, and restoring a world of sovereign nation states on a platform of shared principles.
This platform of stepping away from chronically repeated mistakes had been pioneered with the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia that once ended a 80-years string of war. LaRouche fights to prevent the final strike-out of civilization on a similar platform, because the chronically repeated mistakes do add up to Armageddon, financially, economically, socially, and militarily with the start of a nuclear holocaust already on the table. LaRouche says we don't have to go there. (See: LaRouche latest statement (on the dollar collapse): Create a New Bretton Woods - End Post-Industrial Society)
Of course the empire is scared of loosing its power and has called on all its stooges not to let LaRouche through any gate or door to any chamber where policy is made for mankind. However, there is a wide open door at the grassroots level of society where LaRouche is welcomed evermore widely. That is where his front-line battle is being fought right now, with his legislation proposal: The Homeowner and Bank Protection Act (HBPA). That is where the financial system is already unravelling and the pain is being felt by millions. He sees it as a first step towards a New Bretton Wood's type system and the end of empire, which has become an essential necessity for protecting civilization and mankind as a whole. Speaking of the HBPA, he said that this is one policy fight that we must absolutely win, and we can win this. It is possible for society to begin to step away from the pattern of its historic mistakes and rediscover its humanity as human beings.
So what is the answer? Will society win this fight? He can't win this alone. The ghost of Hamlet stands before us. In Shakespeare's Hamlet the tragic figure wasn't Hamlet as one assumes, but society itself.
So what is the elegant solution in our age?
What are the harmonizing principles? Maybe there are no solutions possible anymore. Maybe the die has already been cast.
I would like to suggest that for as long as human beings are in the world there remains hope. The harmonizing principles that can eradicate empires are known. One of these principles is the Principle of the General Welfare. Another is the principle of the abolition of slavery. Another is the federal credit creation principle. America's Constitution is full of tools that can be employed to defeat empires. But most of all the movement has to begin within, with a kind of respect for one another as human beings that causes people to move forward on all the other, lesser fronts.
The war against empire cannot be won in the sewer where empire rules and controls the game. It can only be won in the daylight above the sewer where empire has no power. The fight has to be a positive fight, a fight carried by us all FOR our common humanity. It cannot be a fight against something, against empire. This positive fight can be won on this higher level above the sewer and in the daylight, because no empire can reach that high and oppose mankind there. LaRouche is fighting at this level, though far too few stand at his side, and yet he says this fight must be won.
I would like to suggest that there is ample hope at this
level. Under LaRouche's leadership and his youth movement to carry the flag,
mankind has a chance to avoid the final strike-out. The empire just hasn't got it where
it really counts. It has no power at this level. It has no heart and no soul and no
love, which are mankind's real power. That is how we will win, and it is up
to us, all of us, to become a part of the "elegant solution."
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