The following contribution by Lyn to the Festschrift for Helga's 60th birthday, was made available by the author.
In a notorious act of what had been justly named "Perfidy," London's George Soros, himself a Jew, served while a teenager, in assistance to Adolf Hitler's mass-killing of Jews. In more recent times, that George Soros worked for the British Empire, with that same wicked spirit. This change in the ownership of Soros involved no perceptible change in Soros' principles of ethics, either claimed, or merely coincidental.
After all, it had been British interests represented by the Bank of England's Montagu Norman and President George W. Bush, Jr.'s grandfather, Prescott Bush, who had played leading roles in putting Hitler into power in Germany. After all, it had been the British Empire's Prince of Wales, Edward Albert, which had organized World War I, and whose successors raised Hitler to the role of he played during World War II.
It is not individuals who create "world wars" and kindred horrors. Mere individuals, even exceptionally powerful ones, lack the power to do this. It is certain institutions and their traditions, such as the tradition of Paolo Sarpi's Anglo-Dutch Liberalism, which have already given us two "World Wars" since the work of London's hand behind the 1890 ouster of Germany's Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. and, thus, behind the forces now threatening, afresh, to bring the planet into a third, now thermonuclear war.
In other words: Old habits often make more recent crimes.
Where shall we find the heroes and heroines who will now free us from a presently corrupted civilization's toleration of such recurring, imperial evils as those?
If we limit ourselves to appearances, the following can be said about the circumstances typical of those which grip the world today.
First, as I have said:
A proximate threat of nuclear-weapons assault against Russia, by London and its foolish accomplices, was averted for that moment, through the bold, and fully appropriate action by Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. This action was taken in the matter of the British Foreign Office assets' orchestration of a war-crime, against the people of South Ossetia, by George Soros' puppet, Mikhail Saakashvili.
It can be fairly said again here, as I have written earlier, that:
The elementary fact of that case at hand, is that Georgia's Mikhail Saakashvili, an acquired puppet of Britain's George Soros, directed the armed invasion of South Ossetia on behalf of an attempted strategic bluff directed essentially against Russia itself, an assault which was crafted under the guidance of Soros' overseers in the British Foreign Office of Deputy Minister Lord Mark Malloch Brown.
Subsequently, when it became clear to relevant British circles that the attempt to bluff both Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin into submission, had failed, relevant British circles put on sheepish grins, saying, in effect, "You caught us with our hands in the cookie-jar, fair and square." On the other hand, the reactions to this development by both U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr. and U.S. Senator John McCain, were as foolish as those of one of Pavlov's decorticated dogs, blinded by rage. At the same time, the reaction of George Soros' protégé, U.S. Senator Barack Obama was, to describe it in the very kindest among the terms available, predictable.
Otherwise, British sheepishness and all that, there remained no excuse, even that of extenuating circumstances, which could conceal the simple fact of the attempted war-crimes for which Georgia President Saakashvili is guilty in this matter. Nor is there any honest denying of the fact, that the Saakashvili whose role in this affair was virtually created by British asset Soros, was acting on behalf of an attempted, London-led, if failed nuclear strategic bluff, a failed bluff against Russia's government.
Nor, on the other hand, is there any competent reason to doubt that Prime Minister Putin's reaction to Saakashvili's war-crime, aborted what could have led to a missile-crisis-like nuclear showdown between the forces of both the U.S.A. and British allies in western and central Europe. When the British backed down, what had been the rather immediate risk to civilization generally, was postponed for that moment.
So, summing up some essentials gathered from among leading elements of the British press, it must be conceded that Putin's prompt, carefully measured actions wrecked Britain's potentially deadly bluff at that moment, and did so in the only reasonable way available at that time. Compared to London's relatively saner reaction to Russia's action, most among London's U.S. political lackeys, including pre-candidate Obama, have, thus far, behaved in this matter with a mouth-foaming, stupid rage worthy of a decorticated mastiff.
As I have also written earlier:
Once the fact of the clear intention of Saakashvili's war-crime, and of Soros' role in this, are duly taken into account, the legal debate concerning what had happened must be brought to a close. The actual evidence is now clear, and also the conclusion to be reached on these points. The makers of future history must now replace the discredited lawyers who failed mankind in both their response to this development, and the process leading into this incident. The makers of a future history of mankind must now step in, to create a new body of law where the old one had just failed. What is required is a new ruling body of international law, a new cooperation among sovereign nations, which must emerge to check what has been the recently continuing trend toward a global conflict from which civilization as a whole could not survive.
That needed new law is fairly described as the rebirth of the old 1648 Peace of Westphalia, and of the related law of Nicholas of Cusa's Concordancia Catholica.
On the other hand, to understand the more profound aspects of this present world crisis, we must consider the fact, as I have repeatedly stated this of late, that the U.S.A. has an essential interest, directly opposite to the postures shown in this matter, so far, by the current Bush Administration, and also, by Senators McCain and Obama.
Presently, the U.S.A. itself how has a vital, immediate, overriding self-interest in securing long-term close cooperation with such leading nations as Russia, China, and India. Whereas, some desperate, predatory fools inside the U.S.A. are now involved with the British Empire in seeking to create a vast, actually unlawful debt against the account of the U.S.A., a swindle which is intended to bail out greedy financial speculators who had badly gambled and fairly lost the financial game they had played against the present and future general welfare of both the people and posterity of the United States and other nations.
Contrary to those so-called "hedge funds" and corrupt practices of a kindred, larcenous spirit, the credit of both the sovereign U.S. and the value of its debts to other nations must be defended. This could be done presently only through the establishment of an international, fixed-exchange-rate credit-system, one comparable in conception and intention to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt's policies stated at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference.
Otherwise, the entire planet will be soon plunged into a generations-long, planetary "new dark age," during which we must expect an outcome comparable to, but far worse than Europe's Fourteenth Century New Dark Age. The entire world is presently already sliding, at an accelerating rate, into the verge of such a general physical-economic breakdown-crisis, unless this remedial action is implemented very soon.
This urgently needed defense of the true vital interest of both the U.S.A. and its partners in such a system, requires close cooperation in defending a common physical-economic interest which it presently shares, in fact, with exemplary nations including Russia, China, and India. British predatory speculator and promoter of what must be classed as criminal drug-trafficking, George Soros, is not only a British subject, but also an enemy of every moral principle of nations which needs to be upheld in related matters. He and his accomplices, including high-ranking political allies, might expect no better consideration than some degree of charity from the injured subjects of the United Kingdom and others, toward such wretches as Soros and his like. At the same time, if essential interests are to be served, the subject Soros is himself an expression of an intrinsically evil form of corruption which is to be taken out of positions of influence over the shaping of both international relations and of the internal affairs of the U.S. republic.
On this account, as I have emphasized repeatedly during the most recent twelve months,[fn1] the relevant defense of the U.S.A. itself, and also other nations, against a presently onrushing, accelerating, global financial break-down crisis, requires three keystone measures to be taken by the U.S.A. and its prospective leading partners. 1.) The adoption into law of a U.S. Federal Act placing both mortgages and traditional Federal- and state-chartered banks under protection of U.S. Federal bankruptcy law (HBPA). 2.) A two-tier Federal credit-system, with a minimum level of 4%-per-annum discount rate for Federal banking, and lower rates of lending solely in act of Federal legislation supporting essential economic reconstruction of the economies of states, localities, and the nation as a whole, or under long-term U.S. Federal treaty agreements, with other sovereigns. 3.) An agreement, initiated by the U.S. government, with the co-sponsoring governments of Russia, China, and India, establishing the present-day equivalent of the fixed-exchange-rate, international credit-system intended by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference.
Since the margin of obligations denominated presently in dollars are the pillar of the existing international monetary and credit system as a whole, the very absence of this three-point reform would be sufficient to plunge the entire planet into the early experience of virtual physical-economic Hell far worse, in depth and in duration, than that experienced by Europe as the Fourteenth-Century "New Dark Age." Only an initiative to this effect from the U.S.A. could provide the global form of agreement on financial reorganization needed to prevent a rather immediate, onrushing plunge of the planet as a whole into a general, and prolonged dark age.
Therefore, the continuing effort of both the U.S. government and the Obama campaign, to condone the Soros-linked, British launching of an oncoming, global strategic confrontation with Russia, China, and India, would be a virtually criminal act of mass-insanity. Any official, such as a U.S. Presidential candidate, who continued to support the relevant current folly of the U.S. Bush Administration in this respect would share in the kind of ignominy which the fading specter of Adolf Hitler suggests today.
To understand the great crisis of the world's civilization at this moment, one must first grasp the following conception.
What has become widely, and wrongly accepted among the putatively education body of opinion of today, is the misguided notion that tragedy, is an expression of the so-called "tragic individual figure" in history, as in the silly notion of the "tragic individual figure" of Shakespeare's Hamlet. In actuality, there are no "tragic individual figures" in history. Rather, there are leading figures in society, like Shakespeare's character Hamlet, whose only essential offense is their foolish submission to the prevalent customs of the tragic, prevalent culture of the society which they inhabit. Such a tragic culture, or similar association, is typified by the case of the globally extended cultural influence of the British, Anglo-Dutch Liberal empire today.
The murdered Jeanne d'Arc was not a tragic figure, but the heroine whose devotion to her mission was, in historical fact, the keystone on which the birth of the modern sovereign nation-state, under France's Louis XI, was made possible. The tragedy of her case, was that of the people who, in one fashion or another, condoned her judicial murder. Her case is thus typical of the history of mankind, from known old times, to present date. It is the folly of the people and their adopted traditions, not the leader, which is tragic.
As we may know leading aspects of the history of specifically European civilization with increasing clarity, on this account, since about the time during the Seventh Century B.C. alliance against the predatory maritime power of Tyre, by the forces of Egypt and Cyrenaica allied with the Etruscans and Ionians, virtually every known culture has experienced a tragic role for itself at some crucial point of its existence, but for those cases of potential tragedy, when exceptional individual figures have emerged as leaders like legendary Prometheus, who have been able to intervene, as did the Germany's Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, with prompt avoidance of a new tragedy, who prevented what he foresaw as a threatened "New Seven Years War," for as long as he remained the Chancellor, preventing his foolish Kaiser's plunge into the folly which became known today as "World War I," a past war which has since served as a model for the principal of the recurring horrors of the 1890-2008 interval to present date.
It is the lack of a chosen leader, such as an Abraham Lincoln, a Franklin Roosevelt, a Konrad Adenauer, or a Charles de Gaulle, who mobilizes a resistance to the popular tragic impulse, which is the principal cause of all national and comparable tragedies which a people would inflict upon itself, in the past, as in the U.S.A. and most of the governments of Europe today. So, most recent leaders of trans-Atlantic nations have been tragic, when afforded the opportunity to be such, so far. They are tragic because they express the tragic impulse prevalent, unless checked, within the mass of the population and their institutions generally. The typical tragedy occurs when the people themselves select either a bad leader, or a morally and intellectually weak one.
As the English Classical poet Percy Bysshe Shelley emphasized, it is poets, in the broader meaning of that term, who are, like Germany's Friedrich Schiller, or Nicholas of Cusa, Johannes Kepler, and Gottfried Leibniz, the true great legislators of mankind. Or, we might say, the greatest legislators are, in one guise or another, the great poets of their time.
Such poets, some famous, some which appear, mistakenly, to some among us today as having been relatively obscure, have been the instruments which have quickened what had been a corrupted culture's turn to a saving act of wisdom, such as the 1932 election of President Franklin Roosevelt, thus accomplishing this as if miraculously.
Society has accomplished this by means of what Shelley identified as some "profound and impassioned conceptions respecting man and nature," to bring about, the great changes in human destiny, such as the great Eighteenth-Century struggle for freedom against the Liberal heirs of Paolo Sarpi. Such was the struggle for freedom which was led by, among others, the patriotic founders of the U.S. Federal constitutional republic, a recurring struggle for freedom through which the humanity of certain times and places has been led to a morally higher place of safety, even at times when a new tragedy of the misguided popular will might have reigned instead.
Presently, since no later than about 1968, Transatlantic European civilization, in particular, has been plunging, faster and faster, into its popularly inspired self-destruction. During this recent time, during the aftermath of the crisis of 1968, since she returned from her bold journey to China, our Helga has been a special, notable exemplar of the necessary poet of this, our currently imperilled, present time.
This, therefore, is my poem in her honor.
To really understand our Helga, it is essential to know her as I have come to know her. We are, indeed, an extraordinary pair. For today's occasion, the most relevant features of my relationship to her, and hers to me, contains, in itself, some extremely relevant sources of insights into the possibility that our civilization might still find its way out of the present lurch toward the awful, planet-wide nightmare which menaces all mankind at the present moment of an onrushing, global threat of an actual breakdown-crisis for all mankind.
This is also a reflection of the special, principled role of the sovereign individual human personality, in the shaping of the history of mankind under conditions of existential crises such as the world's present one.
Helga was born into the post-war world of her Heimatstadt of Trier, as the sole child of her parents, on August 25, 1948. There, she pursued a Classical Humboldt program of secondary education there, out of which the strongest feature in her academic development was the work of Friedrich Schiller. In fact, she experienced the last really tough class in the Classical Humboldt tradition of German drama and poetry taught there. It is my privileged knowledge, that that background, her pioneering trip to China, combined with her meeting with me, slightly later, and her work with the leading figure, Father Haubst of the Cusanus Gesellschaft, have turned out to have been the most significant intellectual experiences of her early adult life.
That trip to China, combining the sea-voyage there and back, and the experience of being the first western European journalist of that period there, was of outstanding impact upon the shaping of her later development. It was partly a result of that experience, that after selling her story of her trip to Der Spiegel, she announced to them that her intention was to pursue a Classical university education. Then she settled into an academic life in West Berlin of those times, and, soon, found herself joining some fellow students in a visit to meet with me in the United States.
It was during the weeks of her attendance at courses I taught at university locations in New York and Philadelphia, that I had some brief direct exchanges with her. However, during a discussion of an intended work-project, which occurred near the close of the time of that visit, I was suddenly confronted by some most remarkable evidence of a mind-set in her kindred to my own. For me, I experienced something in her which might be compared to an ugly duckling, me, and a resulting sense of suddenly, like some ugly duckling, meeting one of my own species. For her, it was as she often described that occasion, like the experience of Hollywood actress Fay Wray's meeting with "King Kong."
Today, to understand Helga competently, you must understand our relationship, which is something of a very rare quality in my observation of relationships known to me from my lifetime's experience to date. The subject is the quality of human individual creativity which exists in no known member of a living species but mankind, but a quality which, in known societies thus far, represents a potential, the "fire of Prometheus," usually suppressed to large degree among those victims which are the most among even the privileged members of the intellectual communities known thus far. For most of the minority of persons in whom some significant development of creative powers is actively expressed, the clinically typical quality of such powers of discovery are recognizable, but this is usually limited to something which, when the person expresses it, simply "seems to happen," but beyond the reach of willfully direct control of the summoning of such powers.
Thus, the predominant suppression of "Promethean fire" by most known cultures, has produced the effect that only an important minority from among what constitutes the body of persons privileged to be developed as actually creative personalities, as in scientific and artistic achievement, are enabled to go a step further, to secure some degree of willful control over the summoning, care, and feeding of developed creative powers in one or more categories of intellectual specialities. In general, the loss of such intellectual powers has increased so much since the middle to late 1960s onward, that only a tiny fraction of what the U.S. population had achieved earlier among generations which are now dying out, is available in the fields of art, science, or other highly skilled employment today. Generally speaking, current generations of students are graduated from secondary schools and universities of England and elsewhere today, only by constantly lowering, even disastrously, of the standards for what are called, ironically, "passing grades."
I recognized the unusual quality of this gift in Helga, and was, therefore, not surprised by what I recognized when I took into account the significance of her pioneering trip to China. I have strong reason to believe that the strongest external, personal influence in her further intellectual development of her creative powers, apart from my own encouragement, was that of the Cusanus Gesellschaft's Haubst. However, I am wise enough in these matters to know the limited, even if crucially significant influences, such as that of Helga's fortunate experience, under a teacher of Schiller's and related work in Trier, or my own influence, or that of Father Haubst. However, at the same time, I know from experience of my own development, and from the fruits of my efforts to promote the development of others, that the crucial part of the actual experience of self-development of creative potentials occurs within the sovereign domain of the creative potential of the individual himself, or herself.
In my own case, for example, the crucial conscious experience was that centered upon my early adolescent and later encounters with Gottfried Leibniz. Yet, what had attached me to Leibniz, from among all of the other prominent philosophers of, chiefly, modern philosophy, was my own rejection of Euclidean geometry, a rejection based on a discovery which caught my attention in studying certain structures at the neighboring Charles Town Navy Yard: the demonstration that the ratio of total mass to the mass of supporting structures depended upon the physical geometry of the structure. This turned me to Leibniz, as a matter of principle, as I was overtaken by the same intellectual sensation, about two decades later, in 1953, in reading the closing sentence of Bernhard Riemann's habilitation dissertation.
It was my personal recognition of the intrinsic, ontological absurdity of the Aristotelean root presumptions of Euclidean geometry, even before my first encounter with classroom Euclid, which has remained always my essential point of reference, in my own experience, for everything which I have actually come to know about the act of experiencing human creativity in itself.
Now, that I have stated the general point, I turn your attention to the practical implications of this matter for Helga's most crucial kind of role in political life today. It is a subject whose relevance will be clear to all who know Helga.
When you think of known tragedies of what had been, earlier, seemingly successful societies, you would probably tend to be confused by that part of the evidence which shows that the usual case of such a fatal decision by a society, that that decision was made by persons of influence who we might have thought would have foreseen the folly of such a decision. Then, if we are competent, we come to recognize that the root of the failure of such leaders lay in the reflection of systemic features of the characteristic culture of that society as a whole, such as Hamlet's, in itself.
Hamlet did not fail his society; his society's culture failed, and destroyed him. The imagined ghost of his father, like an evil god from Homer's Iliad, or from the typical tragedies of ancient Classical Greece, seemed to be the mysterious, eternal powers, the powers of superstition, the magical powers of the indefinite idea of "they," which "make cowards of us all."
The hero, which the slaughtering Hamlet was decidedly not, is like that of Homer's Odyssey, defies those menacing gods, as Aeschylus' Prometheus did, where the legacy of the Iliad's gods, excepting the Grecian Athena, was one of tragedy, of doom written into the character, and souls, of those veterans and their descendants. The hero is the one who rescued his, or her society from the peril inhering in that society's accepted culture, the one who had escaped the grip of the prevalent mythologies of his, or her time.
While this problem is general for known societies of the past and present, alike, the most significant examples for today are those found among the typical cases of the presumably well-educated individual who lacks, nonetheless, a conscious access to the creative mental processes waiting to be quickened within himself, or herself, and, for this very reason, expresses something akin to the modern sophistry which locates physical science in mathematical forms as such, rather than recognize such forms, when they have experimental validity of reference, as merely the shadows, rather than the substance of scientific or comparable knowledge.
The victim of the influence of modern Liberal sophistry, for example, exhibits precisely that failure in his inability to recognize the implicit, ontological and moral identity of the principles which, as Johannes Kepler demonstrated crucially in his Harmonies, commonly underlie the ideas of physical science and Classical artistic composition, as in the compositions of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven — this, as distinct from the sterility of a so-called "Romantic" or "modernist" composition or style of performance.
This notion of ideas, as the case of Plato illustrates the point, points to the crucial distinction which I am underlining here. So, in general, the corrupting emphasis on a brutish quality of sense-certainty has degraded mankind, so far, to becoming less than he, or she actually is, as human, rather than beast-like, in fact.
That development of the individual's naturally inbred power for Classical insight into what Plato identifies as ideas, is the natural source of the power of those individuals in society whose special role includes the function of affording the members of that society the power of insight into that force of tragedy by which all known societies have, sooner or later, tended to bring about their own destruction, as have the successive empires of known past brought themselves down, through, as Dante Alighieri also warned, nothing so much as the faulty, but cultivated use of the established language by their own populations.
So, we have the famous exchange within Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, in which Casca, in Act I, Scene 2, refers to his auditing of a speech by Cicero:
Cassius to Casca: "Did Cicero say anything?"
Casca: "Aye, he spoke Greek."
Cassius: "To what effect?"
Casca: "Nay, and I tell you that, I'll never look you in the face again. ... but, for mine part, it was Greek to me."
So, with that reference to Cicero, we are forewarned that all of the plotters, including Julius Caesar himself, are doomed by the choice of culture which envelopes the common quality of their willfulness, So, it is in all true tragedies, as in the life of entire nations and their prevalent cultures, or in a good composition well performed on stage. It is not the individual who is tragic, but the society which shares that fatal cultural trait with itself.
So, the ultimately tragic end of today's British Empire is not the fate foretold to his master. Lord Shelburne, by the foolish soothsayer (and rejected lover) Edward Gibbon of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is not the adoption of the example of Julian the Apostate which would save the British Empire from that of ancient Rome; but, as we might foresee today, it is precisely Britain's present emulation of Julian the Apostate which were most likely to bring on the fatal stroke. Precisely such an outcome looms darkly above the British Isles today.
The unfortunate thing about such falls of empires, such as the British empire in its terminal phase today, is the fact that such a decline tends to carry most of a complicit humanity, but also the innocent, down with the imperial power which has been permitted to rule too long. It was the culture of imperial Rome which ultimately doomed it from its inception, much in the fashion against which the real-life, Classical Greek wisdom of Cicero had warned.
As the prospect of a U.S. Presidential election-campaign of Senator Obama against Senator McCain most strongly suggests, it is not this or that prominent individual, but the very adopted culture of a people, which is the actual authority which impels leaders and led alike into wreaking their common doom upon themselves. So, it is in each of the cultures presented in Shakespeare's tragedies; it is the common folly which sweeps the relevant culture from the top to its bottom, which carries all, like the floating objects in a great flood, to that common destruction to which the entirety of that culture conveys its leaders and ruled alike.
Just so, all cultures which lack, or resist the force of scientific and related Classical progress, such as the "green" Malthusians of today, are self-doomed by that very conviction. Mankind's existence is distinguished from that of the lower forms of life, not only by the necessity of scientific and technological progress, but by the need to accelerate precisely such kinds of progress for the sake of the urgency of precisely such kinds of progress, an urgency driven by the unavoidable effects of consumption of a relevant portion of what are currently defined as what are called natural or related resources. The rule of the survival of nations, and of mankind as a whole, remains "progress or die."
Mankind's creative powers, absent in all lower forms of life, are mankind's obligation. A pro-Malthusian society, such as today's so-called "Green" society, is inherently a self-doomed society, doomed because it has rendered itself, tragically, unfit to live. Thus, a pro-Malthusian society is a society self-doomed by its submission to the bestializing dogma of Aeschylus' Olympian Zeus. Thus, even the stupefying of a large, subject population, to the effect of producing underdevelopment through some means such as "property, tradition, and family," approximating "zero technological growth," dooms all tyrannies in the end.
Any society, or any other human association, which does not submit itself to scientific and cultural progress in a Classical mode, is doomed, sooner or later, to be destroyed by its own hand. About a year ago, at the close of July 2007, "later" arrived.
This principle applies not only to the physical economic progress of nations and peoples, but to associations, such as our own, within society. An association which does not commit itself to grow and to develop to higher states of practiced knowledge, is already a dying association. Such deaths of associations tend to emerge as products of fear of seeming to challenge the relevant powers, as some foolish Christians sought a Roman imperial refuge from slaughter in the imperial arena, by submitting to acceptance of the terms of the pagan Roman imperial pantheon. "Behave yourself, and you will be tolerated, even, perhaps, accepted into our salons," is a typical reflection of the onset of a decadence which fore-shadows doom.
For that reason, my beloved Helga is, in fact, almost as precious to you, as she is to me.
1. Since my address of July 25, 2007.