Presentation of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Ibykus Festival Augsburg, West Germany Jan. 10-11, 19

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Presentation of Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Ibykus Festival Augsburg, West Germany Jan. 10-11, 1987 Beauty and Freedom by Helga Zepp-LaRouche "With the coincidence of grace and dignity in one person, humanity perfects itself." "One calls it a beautiful soul, when the moral sense of all emotions of a person have ultimately become so secure, that it can surrender the direction of the will to the emotions without fear, and without running the danger of being contradicted by the decisions of the emotions. For that reason, the individual deeds of a beautiful soul are not properly moral, rather the entire character is so. The beautiful soul has no other merit than that it exists." --Friedrich Schiller It does one good to elevate oneself to Schiller's ideal of humanity. And the more we immerse ourselves in the poetry and the works of our great poet, the greater is the healing effect of his thinking and his plans. But then the moment necessarily comes, when we have to turn our attention to reality, and, horrified, we pose ourselves the question, whether there reeally are persons today who are beautiful souls, whose merit consists in nothing else, than that they are? In fact, there seems to be no greater contradiction, than that between the beautiful picture Schiller paints of mankind, which was also the foundation of his conception of art, and the image of mankind we confront today. Of course, that does not mean that the red-green teacher is right, when he asks what Schiller could posibly still mean for us today. To the contrary, as several times before in history, we have to ask ourselves today, how we compare ourselves to Schiller, as dwarfs, bread-earning scholars, or even as yuppies? Unfortunately, the fact is not to be overlooked, that we live in an apocalyptic time, in which the proverbial four horseman of the apocalypse threaten to descend upon us, the epidemic AIDS threatens all of humanity, a massive starvation crisis in large parts of the world, the danger of a large war, and the reality of regional, brutal wars and civil wars, terrorism and irregular warfare, and a worldwide, bitter war of the drug mafia. But the essential reason that it seems to be so difficult to solve these problems, gigantic as they are, to be sure, lies in the fact that the West is in a profound cultural crisis, in which the West seems to have shoveled closed the accesses to its own spiritual sources. The essence of all politics, and thus also political solutions, is culture, for culture is nothing else than the way in which one thinks. Culture does not necessarily determine the diverse contents of thought in the respective epochs, but it does determine the method with which the mind forms its conceptions. And is it not true, that the truly great interpreters of classical art are threatened with become representatives of a dying art? Whether it is the classical method of singing or classical conducting which is at issue, faithful renditions in theater, or the art of recitation, wherever we turn, a few remaining artists have the same complaint, that the official business of culture leaves little room for the creativity of the old school. No, it is not a very encouraging picture which surrounds us. That which is our best tradition, classical art, is cut to pieces increasingly by "modern" ugliness. "Regie"-theater (director-centered) deforms theater as well as opera, and what young actors today still learn how to speak correctly? Of course, there are islands of real culture, individual artists, here and there in some families. The majority of the values constituting the phenomenon of culture today, however, are of a completely different kind. But since they determine the form of thinking, they are also forms of culture, or, actually, of un-culture. A terrifyingly large and growing part of the population has succumbed to a new spiritualism, esoteric cults are multiplying, superstitution and the occult have been proliferating for years, and not a few among our contemporaries have converted to Satanism. Besides the journal Ibykus, there were only few some years ago who pointed to the connection between the drug and rock culture and the proliferation of Satanic cults. Without giving Der Spiegel undeserved crediblity, this magazine reflected a real problem, when it recently devoted its cover story to the proliferation of belief in Witches and worship of the devil. It is no surprise that discussion about Satanism is among the most discussed subjects in the schools--you merely need to consider the numerous and explicit Satanic texts of a large number of rock music groups. Perhaps less dangerous, but nevertheless a reflection of corrosive mediocrity, is another phenomenon, that of the careerists who earn plenty of money, those new-rich professional bores, who call themselves yuppies. Outside of expensive cosmetics, fine meals, and the lifestyle of their clique, they are interested in very little. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung posed the absurd question in its New Year's edition: "Is the Yuppy happy? The Yuppy cautiously leaves the question of what future the earning of money has in an apocalyptic time to the apostles of armaggedon, or the weakling fun-seekers. An "inner emptiness" is the inevitable consequence, and it is not possible to suppress a bit of black pleasure when one learns from this newspaper, that the number of Yuppies who have to go to psychiatrists to find meaning in their lives is increasing. One thing seems certain: even an exhaustive analysis of this "inner emptiness" will produce nothing but a more differentiated and more multifaceted emptiness. What a perspective! But, irony aside, I do not intend to list all of the phenomena of our cultural crisis, so a few examples should suffice. The real problem we are dealing with is that of the potential answer to the deeply unsettling question of how we can get our of this crisis--indeed, whether we in the West as a whole still have the intellectual and moral reserves, in view of a situation which so many people, for entirely different reasons, perceive to be apocalyptic, to bring changes into motion soon enough to prevent being thrown into a catastrophe and to be able to actively formulate a positive future. It is characteristic of persons who are "other-directed," whether they are drug addicts or object-fixated money-earners, that they have no self-consciousness. So, such a person does not even know why he is convinced of what he thinks he is convinced of. In contrast to the large mass of victims of this ideology, there are a certain number of people who understand themselves to be groups of elites, and they have understood very well the relationship of culture as the basis of all policy, and so, looking down disparagingly at the business of day-to-day politics, they have concentrated on systematically influencing the cultural matrix of entire continents, and on producing a paradigm change in the population in their own interests. It cannot be denied that such a dramatic paradigm change has in fact occurred over the last 20 years, and there are many today who are going along with the "trends" would no longer recognize the views they held in the middle of the 1960s. While that earlier period was largely characterized by economic growth, faith in scientific progress, even by a certain enthusiasm, for example, for the space program, today we are confronted with a totally irrational hostility to technology. Only one thing has grown, and in an astonishing mutifarious way, and that is a nearly limitless ugliness, in so-called art, in fashion, architecture, pornogaphy, and much more. You will recall, in the 1960s there were no greenies. (What a wonderful thought!) Sure, here and there, there were people who hung onto the "eternal yesteryear," like Ernst Juenger, but at that time he kept his head low, while in the 1970s he emerged to call himself the grandfather of the ecology movement. How did this change of values come about? It can be documented beyond any doubt, that it was an intervention of certain oligarchical circles in Europe and in the USA which deliberate set this paradigm change rolling. Here, too, only a few examples: The long-term, most far-reaching effect was induced by the destruction of education in Western Europe by the group which was later to call itself the Club of Rome. In 1963, Dr. Alexander King, then the OECD director in Paris, circulated a plan for a reform of the education system. Up to that time, instruction in high schools was still a mixture of curricula content and methods, in which a traumatic reaction against most recent history was present side by side with teaching of the classics and natural science. By and large, the generation of students from this period still had a good chance, if they had some good teachers, to at least come into contact with the classical educational material of our European culture. Alexander King's educational reform aimed primarily at removing this memory of about two and a half thousand years of Christian humanist tradition from the curricula, and replacing it with "practical, future-oriented, assimilable material." These so-called reforms were introduced under the Brandt government in the Federal Republic of Germany, and, in one or another form, in the other European countries as well. The consequences are well know: a massive destruction of education and knowledge among the poor students affected by the "reform." Building on the foundation of a thorough lack of basic knowledge, it was relatively easy for the Club of Rome in the 1970s, with its absurd theses on the limits of growth, to build up the coming green movement in a targeted way. The circulation of the Rappaport Report after 1967 aimed in the same direction, a report which aimed at extirpating the enthusiasm of young people for science, unleashed by the Apollo Moon program. Hand in hand with the Club of Rome, there was the World Wildlife Fund, an utterly anti-human oligarchical organization run by Prince Philip, which, using the pretext of trying to protect endangered animal species, aims at annihilating the values of Christian civilization once and for all. In September of last year, this World Wildlife Organization organized an international conference in Assisi, which aimed at nothing less than a long-term design for destroying the Catholic Church as the chief vehicle of the values of the West. In Assisi, a new alliance of all religions and cults was supposed to be created, out of which a form of ecological nature-religion was intended to emerge, with the clear goal of destrying the "industrial cultural matrix," i.e., the faith in science and technology, as developed since the Golden Renaissance of the 15th century. Pre-Christian nature-religions, in which the mythical powers of Mother Earth are worshipped, were proclaimed as the replacement of the values of Judeo-Christian religion. Augustinian Christianity proceeds from a conception of the universe, in which the perfectibility of man through his creative work aids in the further development of Creation. If the notion of a cyclical universe is put in its place, in which the human being is not the crown and master of Creation, but in which the individual is less important than the "conservation" of nature, then the essence of our culture of Western civilization is under assault. All of these oligarchical circles, of which the Club of Rome and the World Wildlife Fund are only exemplary, have been working for more than 20 years for a perspective of what they call the "New Age," the new age of Aquarius, which, according to their own strange ideology, presupposes the destruction of the 2000 years of the "Age of Pisces." It is the representatives of the New Age who systematically promoted over this period of time the rock-drug-counterculture, from the promotion of the Beatles to today's escalation of the santanic rock groups by a well-coordinated music mafia. The issue in this sort of controlled counterculture is nothing less than maintaining the masses in a controlled state of backwardness. There is no reason to fear, that drug addicts or youth with Walkmans plugged into their heads will develop into citizens of a republic, nor that followers of mystical nature-religions would do so either, since the "culture," the way that people think, is controlled top-down in principle. It was also in September of last year that a meeting of the infamous Cini Foundation was held on the Venetian island of San Giorgio, titled "Europe of the Regions." Here, too, the common denominator was the attack upon the humanist-Christian high-culture of Europe in favor of promoting relgional ethnocentricity and dialects. Here, too, the intent was basically the same, and aimed at other features of what constitutes culture and the identity of individuals. When the nation-state and the highly developed form of language developed under the nation-state are set under attack, and thus the potential of a representative republican system of government, in which cultured, intelligent citizens can participate, then it is rather obvious, what the alternative is. In a Europe of the regions, all sorts of separatist and ethnic groups can go ahead and babble their impoverished, blunted dialects, but they can never become politically, not to speak of militarily, effective, and then it will be no problem for a supranational, self-designated elite, to keep the mass of population under feudalist control, in backwardness and dependency. In various other places, other people are putting their minds to the question of how Europe's culture should be shaped in the future. In August of last year, a new Soviet "Cultural Foundation" was founded, with the influential Raisa Gorbachova elected to the presidium. The 79-year old Dimitri Likhachov was elected chairman--one of the best known representatives of the so-called Russian Party, and thus of the attempt to bring all of the ethnic groups and nationalities of the Soviet Union within the cultural grip of Holy Mother Russia. At the end of the 1940s, Likhachov published a brochure on Russian history, which stresses the support for the conception of Moscow as the capital of the third and final Roman Empire by the Senate of Venice in the 16th century. And so, it is no surprise, that there is close cooperation between the members of the Russian Cultural Foundation, Soviet Club of Rome members like Frolov, the Cini Foundation, and other counterparts in the West. Or, to put it another way, the cultural crisis of the West is not an accidental affair, it is rather the result of a deliberate influencing of cultural currents. Moscow sees itself very close to its goal of achieving world hegemony. And in the West, there are these oligarchical circles, who are quite willing to grant Moscow's domination, as long as they can be the administrators in a New Yalta divided world. What connects both sides is a deep hate for the values of the West, based on Western Christian civilization, and thus a higher conception of the dignity and inalienable rights of each individual person. If one compares today's phenomenon of cultural crisis with the final phase of the Weimar Republic, the parallels become strikingly obviious. Heathen cultural ideas were as much inherent in the National Bolshevist tendency as the ideas of Nietzsche and Dostoyevski. Then, like today, Christianity was seen as the incarnation of the hated West. Thus, it is no wonder, that Pope John Paul II, who comes from Poland, so profoundly understands the threat to the West as well as the Catholic Church. So what is to be done? The problems are immense, how shall we find a solution? Now, first of all we have to reflect on the fact that truth is not what today's reality makes it seem. It is not true, that the universe moves in cycles, rather modern science proves beyond any doubt, that the lawfulness of the universe is a process of negentropic perfection, which is not determined to collapse necessarily, but will collapse for sure if this lawfulness if violated. And it is also not true, that human life has no meaning. And this meaning is of such universal truth, that it is as valid today as it was when it was first formulated. Every individual person, one can say, carries implicitly and potentially a pure, ideal person within himself, whose development, in his immutable unity through all alterations, is the great task of his existence--Friedrich Schiller. The realization of this ideal person in one's self, this is the definition of the great task of one's existence. In this remarkable sentence, of course, there lies the key to everything. I said at the beginning, that a part of the problem is that we have shoveled shut the doors to the springs of our best intellectual tradition. And the quintessence of all of that which distinguishes European culture from all others in this world is the unique role of the individual, who is called upon to develop all of his potential creative capacities to the greatest possible perfection. It is obvious, that all totalitarian states and dictators consider it to be their chief aim to smother this idea of the freedom of the individual to perfect himself. And since the individual person, and the beauty of his soul is at the very center of concern for Christianity as well as for European humanism, it is also no wonder that it is represenatives of these two cultural currents who are at the forefront of the battle to find solutions to the present crisis. The Pope and Cardinal Ratzinger have repeatedly said, that only an ethical rejuvenation of a "humanity become senile" can overcome the crisis. And in the face of all the ugliness, the mediocrity, and the openly evil which surrounds us, we must agree with Wilhelm von Humboldt and Schiller, that an improvement in political affairs can only be achieved through an enoblement of the character of people. A state can never be better than the citizens who live in it. In many respects, we confront the very same issue as Friedrich Schiller, when, in the face of the barbarism of the French revolution, he had to give up hope, that the state of reason would soon be established, and he formulated this issue in his aesthetic letters. Where should this enoblement come from, if the state does not have the intellectual power, and is in part itself responsible for the crisis, and, on the other hand, the masses are in a state of degeneration? With Schiller, it is my conviction, that the enoblement of the character of persons is only possible through art. But only such an artist can reach this high goal, who elevates the individual in himself to the level of the species, and thus speaks the truth on behalf of everyone, and when he liberates all of the objects he deals with of accidental and ephemeral features, so that his art addresses the species in the individuals. Like Schiller, I too think, that only such art deserves to be presented to the public. The artist, who has such love of beauty, will himself be beautiful. In the beautiful vision of the ideal, the artist, the philosopher, and the poet will themselves become the great and good persons, whose image they design. In his work on "Theater as a moral institution," Schiller defines moral harmony as the highest goal of our existence, as the balance between our sensuous and our intellectual natures. And, in turn, it is art alone, which is capable of producing this condition, and thus capable of contributing to the enoblement of people, and the general welfare. If theater is capable of that, writes Schiller, then it assumes a rank among the highest of the institutions in the state. Certainly, the theater today is not like this, but the principle is, nonetheless, correct. For anyone, who has not entirely given up his humanity, would not already have been moved through great culture, whether it be music, theater, poetry, so that, in him, a power has been set free, which lasts much longer than the moment of the work of art? It is man who has become idealized up to the level of his species, this man confronts us in the artist, and if he, the artist, playfully lifts us up to his level, then we will really become better people. But, is it truly so, our unbelieving contemporary might ask, that, in our time, which we ourselves have described as apocalyptic, that art is a solution? Shouldn't we now directly occupy ourselves, as Schiller in the second of his aesthetic letters writes, with the "most perfect of all works of art, the building of political freedom?" And is it not, today, all the more true, that the great fate of humanity is being negotiated? But, precisely for this reason, Schiller is right, that, in order to solve this political problem, one must take the path through the aesthetical, "because it is through beauty, that one wanders to freedom." If our period is sick from an overdose of ugliness, an ugliness which is entirely intentional--whether it is a question of "Regie-theater," or the Punkers--and also, the sign of a dying society, then indeed, the only answer is to counterpose the maximum of beauty to this reality. Indeed, a beauty according to objective laws, and not something in the sense of Kant, a subjective, accidental beauty. In the "Kallias-Schriften," Schiller defined this objective conception of beauty as "the freedom of the epiphany," as the knowledge of the rules of the laws of reason, the knowledge that, whatever is free, exists according to its own laws of nature. Beauty is the epiphany of the free expression of a type, beauty, in other words, nature in its art-fullness. If a person is then confronted with beauty, which is also based on objective conditions, then, too, will the laws of reason be stirred in him, for this was absolutely the vision of the artist, to achieve such a lawful effect. Now, Schiller differentiates between architectonic beauty, which also, indeed, fulfills the condition, that it imitates the laws of nature, and another property, with which beauty is very much connected, but which is something else, namely, grace. "What, however, is grace, if it is not in the most loving way, although not exclusively, connected with beauty? If it is, indeed, derived from beauty, but the effect of which also appears in the not-beautiful? If beauty, indeed, can exist without it, but through it alone can a first inclination be inspired?" Today, the concept of "grace" is, for most of our contemporaries, certainly a very unusual one, and not a few will imagine, in this regard, somehow accultured and affected. It is also an indication, how far removed we are from the illuminating height of classical thought. For, as Schiller explains, ONLY the human being is capable of grace, and only in those in whom the soul is the guiding principle, and only in the soul is contained the basis for the beauty of movement. Grace, therefore, is not beauty which is given by nature, but rather, it is brought out only through humanity, is it is the expression of the beautiful soul. Schiller concedes power over matter to this beauty created by the soul; that is, he sees grace also in fixed gestures which have become features of the face, and isn't it true that nature has a much greater share in the appearance of children and adolescents, while for adults, with increasing age, the soul expresses itself more and more in the features? And a human being, who is evil, will not be able to hide this, after a certain age, just as the one who has great beauty of character, and whose features will reflect mildness and grace. "In grace," writes Schiller, "as beauty above all, reason sees its demands for sensuousness fulfilled, and surprisingly she meets one of her ideas in appearance. This unexpected harmony of the accidental of nature with the necessity of reason, awakes a feeling of well-being, which is relaxing for the sense, but reviving and engaging for the spirit, and an attraction of the sensual object must follow. This attraction we call pleasure, love, a feeling which is inseparable from grace and beauty." Here the secret is lifted for our contemporary, who has long since given up any serious belief in the perfectability of man, and in his enoblement, because who has heard anything like this? He is only skeptical toward this concept of an ethical renaissance, because he knows very well that he does not want to give up certain inclinations, also called the internal Schweinhund. But in front of great art, which reflects the beautiful soul of the artist, and in front of grace, as a motion created by the soul, anybody will be touched, who is still capable of more human feelings. If beauty and grace produce love, then is the problem solved. Only grace can entice and soften up the hardened character, and coin it anew. All great humanists, from Plato, Augustine, Nicholas of Cusa, Leibniz, or Schiller, always equate truth, beauty, reason, and the good. And if our period is defined by ugliness, evil, irrationality, and false appearance, then this is to be traced to a lack of beauty, as also to a lack of love. "Love alone, therefore, is a free emotion, for its pure source streams from the seat of freedom, from our divine nature. It is here not the senses, which look up to the laws of freedom; it is absolute greatness itself, which in grace and beauty imitates itself, and in the moral laws finds itself satisfied, it is the Lawgiver himself, the God in us, who plays with his own image in the world of the senses." The capacity to become like God is what the person irrevocably carries within himself. If we look to the development of inner beauty and grace is bestowed upon our deeds, we become in the image of God, a second God, as Nicholas says. Such a self-image of man is the absolute precondition for a cultural renaissance, and every time that man has succeeded in history in overcoming earlier and similar crises, he necessarily proceeded from such an image of man. On the other hand, the contrary was the case in each and every cultural crisis and phase of decadencce. The Person, the Pig, says Gottfried Benn. Today's rock-groups mirror externally their own self conception --Satanism. When Schiller calls the connection of dignity and grace the perfection of the beauty of character, it is worth reflecting on the sense in which he uses the notion of dignity. Mastery over desires by moral forces is what he calls freedom of mind. And dignity is what he calls its epiphany. Now the inalienable rights to human dignity aooear in a new light. For they pressupose a minimal degree of the preconditions of life, which however most people in the Southern Hemisphere today lack. That is why Schiller also says: "Human dignity? Give them something to eat, and dignity will come of its own." The person who combines grace and dignity in himself, who seeks to deliberately develop the divine spark in himself--it is from such a self-conception that cultural optimism is self-evidently born. People who think that way, set great tasks for themselves and for humanity. For such a person, it is morally intolerable, that the greater part of the human species lives in inhuman conditions. He will seek solutions himself, and it is self-evident for such a person, that freedom means development. He will love people, because he can love himself. His mind will naturally want to gaze searchingly into the future; limits of growth are inconceivable to him, because he actively and openly seeks to extend his horizon. Research in outer space is among his passions, because such a great mind cannot tolerate the close space of only one planet, when he only needs to raise his eyes to the heavens, to be able to see there infinitely more. The great German scientist and friend of the Schiller Institute, Krafft Ehricke, was convinced, that the age of reason would only really begin, when mankind began to live in colonies on the Moon and Mars, because he would then be forced into the Age of Reason by the Extraterrestrial Imperative. Lurking there is the idea, that the human being cannot just jump out of a spaceship out of irrational reasons, if it is no longer comfortable. This does sound a bit like Kant's Categorical Imperative. And Krafft himself emphasized before the end of his life, the necessity of education of the character of people as the necessary accompaniment of scientific progress. Schiller composed, in the poem Die Kuenstler, the image of the necessary unity of beauty and science. "Wenn auf des Denkens Frei gegebenen Bahnen.... ...seinem Auge sich im milden Abendschein das malerische Tal auf einmal zeigt." So it is necessary to educate the person's capacity for emotions, and to that end is art called upon. Only art can easily demonstrate that beauty is the necessary condition for humanity, and with grace. The renaissance we must call to life should lead to the establishment of the aesthetic state. Schiller had asked: "But does such a state beautiful in appearance exist? And where is it to be found? In need, it exists in every fine soul. In deed, one wishes to find it, like the pure church and the pure republic, only in a few, select circles, where it is not mindless imitation of foreign custom, but its own beautiful nature which directs us, where the person passes through the most complex relationships with bold determination and calm innocence, and has no need to treat upon foreign freedoms to sustain his claim to his own, nor cast away his own dignity to demonstrate his courage." To realize this aesthetic state, this is our goal. We make make the Earth into a beautiful garden with the aid of science, and when the people are satiated with what they need, they will bring forth new and great art. Our children will live on the Moon and Mars and other colonies in space, in beautiful, artificial natural landscapes. Beethoven and Mozart will sound in space, and the works of new composers and poets, who have become possible through them. Humanity can have a beautiful future, and it depends upon us to realize it, to will it, and then from us, with the help of art, from the better and thinking part of society, the light of wisdom will flow, and distribute itself in milder beams through the state. Right ideas, enlightened principles, pure emotions will flow from us through the veins of the people. The fog of barbarism and dark superstitions will disperse, and the night will give way to victorious light. If Christianity and Humanism, two warlike angels, fight jointly for the enoblement of mankind, then will any improvement in political affairs be possible. I invite you warmly to take part.


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