Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Think Like Beethoven!
Transcript included below. Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche will speak on the urgency of rediscovering the genius of Ludwig van Beethoven this year, the 250th anniversary of his birth, in order to solve the great crises facing the world. As she stated in a recent article, "Where else, other than in Classical music, can one strengthen and deepen the passion needed to look beyond one’s own concerns and to address the great objects of humanity?" Read Zepp-LaRouche’s article demolishing the arguments made by those currently acting to destroy Beethoven and beauty itself.
Please send questions ahead of time or during the event to: [email protected]
DENNIS SPEED: My name is Dennis Speed. We have a very special presentation for today. There will be much time to discuss all sorts of matters of political importance, but certainly after this past week, one thing that can be said for certain about the United States and the rest of the world as well, is that a new standard of truth is required of us and of humanity as a whole. Humanity needs to act without the false need of catastrophe. Many times in history, people have been set in motion by something bad, only to then do something good. We’ve seen that often to be the motivation for the necessity for war. We don’t believe that that’s a standard that humanity can afford. We think that humanity should try, for a change, to think like Beethoven. That was a theme of much of the life of Lyndon LaRouche, who is generally talked about as an economist and statesman and Presidential candidate and so forth. But most people are unaware of his work in music.
Recently a volume has been published, entitled Think Like Beethoven, which has a compilation of Mr. LaRouche’s writings. I want to refer to something that he said as a way of introducing our speaker. This is in the essay called “What Is Music, Really?” This was actually a conversation that was transcribed in which the subtitle here is “The Principle of Music Is Love”:
“The essential thing is love. Music is love. The principle of music is love, mankind’s love of mankind. Of what mankind could be. And you want to do something that’s beautiful in terms of what mankind’s nature says. And if it isn’t beautiful, you don’t want to do it. You don’t want ugly things! And the characteristic of the 20th century was ugly music. From the beginning it’s ugly music. And the music has become uglier and uglier and uglier all the time. On every street, even in speaking. In writing. Also in smelling….
“That’s the problem. Mankind tends toward the wrong standards of truth. It starts with the conception that mankind is an animal, and mankind is not an animal. When you start with saying that mankind is an animal, that’s when all the trouble comes in. And the only way you can deal with music, really, is on the basis of love. The love of mankind and what mankind can do that is loving of mankind.
“Because the future is: You’re all going to die. And what is the passion which corresponds, therefore, to mankind? Since everybody is going to die, what’s the meaning of human life? Is it a fact? Not exactly. It’s the creation of a more powerful capability of mankind by purging mankind of its own corruption. Extracting mankind into the freedom from corruption. And all practical measures to craft and improve the quality of art is crap, because they are not sincere. They don’t correspond to some principle of the matter.
“And this is true: You see it in drama; you see it on the musical stage; you see it in performance of all kinds. The beauty is creativity, per se. It’s also the measure of what creativity is.”
So today we’re going to hear from the founder and chairman of the Schiller Institute, and I think that à proposition is going to be placed in front of us all. And I want to dare to anticipate that proposition by saying the following: The only way to celebrate the Beethoven year, this being the 250th birthday of Beethoven, is to do something that Beethoven would do. And we have an indication of what he would do today, from his opera called “Fidelio.” I think you’re going to be hearing a bit of this. Exonerating Lyndon LaRouche would be the kind of action that would indicate that we had actually understood how Beethoven thought. We would be doing what Beethoven would have done; thus indicating that we understood how Beethoven thought. The idea of the liberation of the human mind from its own shackles, is something that was addressed briefly by the President of the United States at Davos, when he referenced the idea of optimism and the great Dome of Florence. An idea which took 140 years to complete.
But it doesn’t take 140 years to recognize the truth. And it shouldn’t take more than a few months to exonerate Lyndon LaRouche. So, though I know that the topics may range widely in the case of the next speaker from I exactly indicated, I’m going to anticipate that she’s certainly going to more than touch on that matter. So, it’s always my honor and pleasure to present Helga Zepp-LaRouche, chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, and the founder of the Schiller Institute.
HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Let me welcome you, and I will try to talk about the subject which Dennis just announced. But let me situate it in a specific context. We just in the last couple of days had quite tumultuous events, where the impeachment drive against President Trump was finally defeated. He was acquitted, and he gave a rather jubilant press conference or meeting afterwards. So it is actually a moment in which one should reflect on that coup attempt, which first was done with British intelligence, the intelligence community of the United States, the heads of intelligence of the Obama administration. If one would live in a different world, one would think, “Shouldn’t it be the case that the Left opposes the CIA? Opposes the intelligence community? Shouldn’t it be that the liberals somehow have a problem if there is a coup attempt against a sitting, elected President of the United States?”
Well, but we all found out that no such thing occurs. Neither the so-called Left — if it still exists — or the Left liberals had any problem with the fact that there was overwhelming evidence that the intelligence apparatus tried to make a coup by replacing the American Constitution, turning the American republic into a British parliamentarian system; which was emphasized by Dershowitz and others. So, why is that the case?
What my presentation, which is on Beethoven and the question of culture in general, I will investigate why this is. And you will be surprised, some of you naturally know the answer already, that this behavior of the Left and the left liberals in this entire process, is the result of a gigantic — and I really mean gigantic — brainwashing effort which people are not even aware anymore of why this is the case.
What has this to do with the Beethoven year? We have a full year now of many concerts around the world. Alone in Germany there are more than 1000 concerts performing Beethoven’s music. When the first performances occurred, I had the fortune of listening one entire day in an Austrian/Swiss/German TV program to different Beethoven compositions. That is a luxury which you normally don’t have, but if you do that, and you listen for an entire day to all the different pieces — the piano concertos, the symphonies, the Missa Solemnis, Fidelio, and many others — it has an incredible effect on you. Because you are being transformed with your mind and your emotions in a completely different universe.
So, it occurred to me that this Beethoven year was a perfect opportunity, because it coincides with extremely important political and strategic decisions which have to take place. Namely, that we overcome geopolitics; that we go away from the danger of the world plunging into another World War, sleepwalking like in the First World War. That you have the absolute necessity to do what Trump set out to do in the 2016 campaign: Improve the relationship with Russia, with China. We have incredible dangers. So, it occurred to me that we should use the Beethoven year internationally to basically have many people participating in the listening of Beethoven, in the performing of Beethoven; in order to develop this unbelievable emotional strength which comes from great Classical music. And which comes more from Beethoven than from anybody else. Because it has been clear to me since a very long time, that we will politically only succeed if we combine our political efforts with a cultural renaissance of Classical music.
Now Schiller, in his Aesthetical Letters, which was his reaction to the failure and collapse of the French Revolution when the Jacobin Terror had taken over, and therefore the hopes of all republican circles in Europe that the French Revolution could replicate the American Revolution, were shattered. When that hope was shattered, and Schiller said at that time said, “A great moment had found a little people,” because the objective conditions to have a change, to have an American-like Revolution were there. But that the subject of moral condition was lacking.
So Schiller then, in his Aesthetical Letters, said that he believed that any improvement in politics could only come from the moral improvement, the ennoblement of the individual. And I believe that is absolutely true. I have made that my own creed for the last half century. That only if individuals become better human beings, that they become more noble in their emotion, their thinking more great about humanity; only then can you move history forward. Schiller, in his Aesthetical Education Letters gave the answer, that it can only be through great Classical art that that can be accomplished. Now, some people would argue, “No, what do we need Classical art for? We also have religion.” And I’m not denying that also in religion there is the command to improve. There are other people arguing, “But why do you need Classical music? I don’t know it; I don’t like it; it’s alien to me. Why don’t we just concentrate on astronomy, looking at the stars? That is also having an ennobling effect.” So, I’m not denying that either; and I don’t think there is an exclusiveness between these three questions of Classical culture, religion, and astronomy. But it is great Classical art which does something very specific in order to favor the creative faculties of the mind.
Now Schiller, and also Lyn his entire life, proceeded from that assumption. As a matter of fact, all of Schiller’s works — his poems, his dramas — were all characterized and driven by the idea that the result must be the ennoblement of the human being. And the quote you just heard from Dennis by Lyn really expresses the essence of Lyn’s entire work as well. Schiller, Confucius, and some other great thinkers had this idea that the aesthetical education is doing that ennoblement. Because if the person sinks into a great painting of Leonardo da Vinci, or Rembrandt, or listens to a Schubert song, or listens to a beautifully performed American spiritual, then you forget about your greed, you forget about your selfishness. And while thinking in the creative composition you are engaging with, you become a little bit more like that yourself. The more you make that a habit, and the less you do selfish and greedy things in between, the more you become a better person.
Just in parentheses, I want to mention that Xi Jinping, the President of China, also has many times emphasized the need to have aesthetical education, especially of students, but also of all other age brackets of society. Because if people are educated aesthetically, they develop a more beautiful mind and a more beautiful soul. And that is the source of all great works then again.
Now Trump said something just recently, namely that he wants to write an Executive Order that Federal buildings should no longer be modernist, but should be Classical. Hopefully he means Greek Classical and Renaissance Classical, and not Roman Classical, because these notions are sometimes not differentiated. But I think this is a very promising sign that first Trump talks about the Dome in Florence, now he talks about making buildings beautiful. So, we should continue on this road.
Beauty is intelligible. This is a very important point because it goes beyond opinion. People say what is my taste is my thing, and I have the right to find this beautiful, and you have another opinion. But I want to put a notion of beauty against that which is intelligible. It goes to the Italian question of the Golden Mean in Renaissance paintings and buildings, but it is also a standard of composition. It pertains to the famous debate between Schiller and Kant, where Kant in his Critique of Judgement said any arabesque which a painter throws against the wall is more beautiful than a piece of art where you can recognize the intention of the artist. Schiller got very upset about that, and wrote many of his aesthetical writings exactly to rebut this idea of Kant. He said there must be a notion borne out of reason of beauty, and then if the empirical performance and evidence conforms with that idea of reason, it is good, but not the other way around.
Since we are talking about Beethoven, and I recently wrote an open letter to defend Classical performance of Beethoven and I vowed that I would initiate a campaign to really end the acceptance of Classical music being destroyed by the modernists. And end the ugliness in music, which Lyn also did not like, as you previously heard.
I want to talk to you a little bit about “Fidelio,” because this is an opera which is very dear to my heart, and it was very dear to Lyn’s heart. The two of us really thought it was our opera, for reasons which I will come to in a second. First of all, concerning the narrative of “Fidelio,” it definitely is referring to real historical events. I think more research needs to be done, and if some of you, our listeners and audience, feel compelled to join in that, you are welcome. Because we have certain hints, but in the literature about the origins of the libretto of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” there are different views. But I think a very probable hypothesis is that it pertains the arrest and imprisonment of the Marquis de Lafayette, who as you know, was a very much an ally of the American Revolution. And in that capacity, he drew the anger of the then-British Prime Minister, William Pitt, who put pressure on the Austrian emperor to put Lafayette in jail. And there he was for several years in a dungeon. He was then freed among other things, by the courageous intervention of his wife Adrienne, who joined him in the incarceration. And then because of an unbelievable international campaign involving many VIPs appealing to Emperor Franz, he finally was released. He was released in 1797, and only five months after that, the Frenchman Jean-Nicolas Bouilly published the libretto which Beethoven then used, called Leonore, or Married Love [Léonore, ou l’Amour Conjugal].
This is, as I said, very dear to my heart, because when Lyn was put in jail innocently by the Bush Sr. Administration, I launched something called Operation Florestan. Maybe you can show this picture [Fig. 1]. This was a situation where Lyn was put in jail by a combination of the British, the Bush apparatus, and also there were clearly some collaborations with certain Soviet forces. So, when you read this article, you have to see that in 1989, the [berlin] Wall had not yet fallen, the situation was still extremely tense between the Soviet Union and the West. [See EIR article: https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1989/ eirv16n11-19890310/eirv16n11-19890310_022-operation_florestan_will_save_la.pdf] So, some of these things have to be seen in the context in which they were written, but I think the setting of putting Lyn in jail innocently, deprived the American population from access to the most beautiful ideas probably ever written and thought in the history of the United States.
What we did with Operation Florestan was that we talked for about five years to thousands and thousands of VIPs. We had probably a couple of thousand signatures from sitting parliamentarians all over the world, from generals, from chiefs of staff, from bishops, from cardinals, from writers, from other notables. And we launched this campaign with the iédea that Operation Florestan, being modelled on the “Fidelio” opera and the example of Lafayette, that we would get Lyn out of jail. That was by no means certain because when Lyn was given this extremely harsh sentence, it was meant that he would die in jail. So, we launched this campaign.
Now I want to talk a little bit about the “Fidelio” to make clear why this is an absolute parallel to what happened to us. First of all, the actual narrative in the “Fidelio” opera is that Florestan is kept as a prisoner by Don Pizarro, a tyrant who basically keeps him there as a political prisoner because he fears that Florestan might reveal some very comprising truth about Pizarro. His wife, Leonore, dresses up as a man; she calls herself Fidelio. She gets hired by the dungeon guard, Rocco. And Rocco’s daughter, Marzelline, falls in love with Fidelio who she thinks is a man, despite the fact that she has a fiancé, Jaquino. In the beginning of the opera, you hear now this beautiful quartet, for which I ask our singers to get ready. This is still at the very beginning of the setting. The four characters — Leonore, Rocco, Jaquino, and Marzelline — are all singing. The beauty about this quartet is that they all sing about their hopes, their inspirations, and they are all different. But despite the fact that they are all very different, the harmonious composition is one of the most beautiful examples of the art of Beethoven. Now, let’s hear “Mir ist so wunderbar.”
[Quartet performed live]
Thank you very much. The reason why we have to do it like this is because neither YouTube nor the record companies allow you, because of copyright issues, to just use some of the performances. So, that’s why we’re doing it in a little bit of an improvised way; so please have an understanding that that’s the reason why we have to do it that way. This was obviously well done, and extremely beautiful.
Now, after this development in the beginning, Pizarro comes to the dungeon to look at the prisoners, because he has learned that the minister wants to come to inspect things. He is his political enemy. And he is afraid the minister will meet Florestan, and then he could reveal these secrets. So, he wants Florestan to be killed. So, he tells Rocco to go to the dungeon and kill Florestan. Rocco does not want to do it, but then eventually he agrees to at least dig the grave, and have then the corpse of Florestan buried. So, he takes Fidelio with him, because it is heavy work and he is a little bit old. So, Leonore and Rocco go into the dungeon, and then Leonore asks Rocco that the prisoners should be allowed to see the light of day, because they are in the dark. Then comes the most beautiful chorus, the Prisoners’ Chorus, which is very famous. If you don’t have it in your ear, you should go home and listen to the whole opera; which you should do in any case.
So then, Florestan, who is struggling in the dark, who has fever, who is feeling horrible, has this beautiful vision that Leonore comes and he sees her as an angel. This again is one of the most beautiful arias you can imagine. So then, Leonore/Fidelio asks Rocco that he allows her to give the prisoner some bread and wine. And while doing that, she recognizes her husband. So, then Pizarro arrives, and he is already moving with the dagger to kill Florestan. Then Leonore throws herself between her husband and Pizarro and says you have to first kill his wife. She threatens Pizarro with a pistol. At that point, the trumpets sound to announce the arrival of the minister. Then, basically the danger is over, and Florestan and Leonore embrace each other and then comes this unbelievable duet of joy, “O namenlose Freude!” While we are hearing this now as an audio, I want you to focus on the absolute beauty of the emotions — the joy, the limitless joy, the nameless joy which unites Leonore and Florestan. It is that emotion which is love; and it is that emotion which is pure joy. The same joy which Beethoven celebrates also in the Ninth Symphony in the Ode to Joy, especially the last movement when he talks about Schiller’s Ode to Joy and this becomes the chorus.
So, let’s now listen to the “O namenlose Freude!”
[Duet is played]
So after that, the minister opens all the dungeons; the prisoners come out and are free. He recognizes Florestan, his friend, then everybody joins in the great finale, the beautiful chorus, the so-called Heil chorus where they celebrate the love of mankind, the love between the two spouses, the absolute victory of freedom over tyranny, and what man can do if you have a good plan, there can be absolutely the defeat of all tyrants. This emotion, this idea that if you struggle for a good cause, and that you overcome all the difficulties that you arrive at this higher level of sublime feeling; this is expressed in this beautiful music. So, let’s hear the “Heil sei dem Tag, Heil sei der Stunde” chorus clip.
[Chorus is played]
Well, this is only the beginning, and I would really urge you to listen to a very good performance of the entire Fidelio. There is a very beautiful one with Christa Ludwig and probably many others, but I really think you should take the time to listen to the entire opera.
So, well, I had a very urgent need to go and see such an opera. It’s a very personal thing, because as you know, in a few days it is one year since Lyn has passed away. And around the Christmas period, I just wanted really badly to see a performance of Florestan. And contrary to my normal habit when I look at the reviews and critiques before I go, which I have not done for a long time, because they are all bad generally. I just went to a performance in the Darmstadt Theatre without checking it out beforehand. And maybe it was a shock, but I think it was a healthy shock, because it was so absolutely terrible that I felt to write the open letter which I mentioned earlier, and which you may have read. [https://larouchepub.com/hzl/2020/4703-year_of_beethoven-hzl.html]
Because what this opera performance did was not only to apply Regietheater to the staging. Regietheater, as you know, is this terrible thing which was developed in the 1960s and has been used ad nauseum a zillion times since, where modern Regietheater would just take a Classical composition of Schiller or Shakespeare or some other Classical poet or dramatist, and put his own projection of what he thinks is relevant and how it should be interpreted. Then you have soldiers not dressed in historical costumes, but sitting on Harley Davidsons or being Nazi officers, just to project whatever the personal opinion of the director is. And normally they have at least one naked scene in it; they copulate on the stage. There were performances which were so ugly, actually pornographic. This has been going on for more than 50 years, so it’s not exactly original. But until recently, this kind of Regietheater was limited to the staging, the words, but they never really attacked the music.
So what happened in this performance was, not only did they apply all the terrible elements of Regietheater — having film clips while people were singing, so it was completely chaotic — but for the first time, they also changed the music. Namely this grand finale, of which you just hear two minutes of the beginning, and a modernist composer with the name of Annette Schlünz, who comes from the Eisler school tradition. This is this basically going to this whole idea of Brecht and Eisler that you also can have the Verfremdung [distancing] effect which is the idea that you should no longer allow the audience to identify with the people on the stage and become elevated; but you have to interrupt this identification every five seconds by a sound or a movie clip or something which interrupts this process; which makes it absolutely unbearable. So, this woman, Mrs. Schlünz, writes in the introduction to the program that she took this music of the final chorus, repeating a beat, then stopping suddenly, introducing alien sounds, have eight vocalists distributed in the audience who then all of a sudden get up, and if you are unhappy and one of these people stands behind you, you can have a heart attack. Then trumpets from the balconies. She described that she had the fantasy of sitting at the mixing console of the music studio, speeding up the music. That when the actual joy in the chorus is expressed, according to her it becomes like a jubalization machine; like children becoming completely hyper when they lose control of their emotions.
So obviously, this woman is completely unable emotionally to comprehend the sublime notions of the music expressed that we saw with the nameless joy, or the love between the couple, or the joy of the victory over tyranny. All of this is alien to them.
Now, where does this come from? Well, this comes all from a very sophisticated, extremely huge CIA operation called the Congress for Cultural Freedom. This was an operation in the postwar period which broke up as huge scandal in 1967. Just recently, there was an exhibition at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of this CCF in Berlin. There was an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily where the author, in a very rare moment of honesty, says — the title of the article is “How One Steals the Big Words”; meaning freedom and so forth. He says: “The worrisome quintessence of what the CIA did is that they did not sponsor some sinister right-wing ideology, but they helped the left liberalism to become the hegemonic mainstream standard of intellectuals in the West today.” That is exactly what I referred to in the beginning. Why is it that the Left and the liberals are siding with the CIA against Trump and against being on the side of the coup? This is the result of this process.
How did the CCF work? Remember that we are soon celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, where the United States and the Soviet Union fought together in the fight against Nazism. This was going very deep. You will have on the 26th of April in Thurgau at the Elbe, the celebration of when the American and Soviet soldiers met for the first time. This was a very emotional event. For the Russians, this goes extremely deep, because they lost in the Great Patriotic War [World War II] 27 million people. They have absolutely not forgotten that, and they feel, when they allowed for example the German unification in 1989, all the promises were given to them that NATO would never expand to the East, never to the borders of Russia. They feel a tremendous sense of betrayal. This is a whole other story, but going back to this unified fight between the Americans and the Soviet Union, this was the case when Franklin D Roosevelt was still President; who had unfortunately a very untimely death at the end of the Second World War. When Truman came in, this was a much smaller man, and we all have heard from Lyn that he said when he was in India, and he got the news, the soldiers around him were asking “what do you think this signifies?” And Lyn said, I think we just lost a great man for a very little man.
It was the little man Truman who succumbed to the influence of Churchill in the postwar period. Therefore, this great alliance between the Americans and the Soviets was then replaced. Churchill announced in this famous Fulton, Missouri speech on March 5, 1946, where he announced practically what became the Cold War. That meant in the United States, elements of what Eisenhower would later call the military-industrial complex, which has turned in the meantime to what people mistakenly the Deep State, which is really the British subversion of the American intelligence services. They got more influence. In order to change the positive alliance between the Americans and the Soviets into a Cold War, and therefore a geopolitical confrontation, they thought that they had to change the axioms of thinking in the American people, but also in the European people. They had to change that which had allowed Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was after all very much anti-Wall Street, and they wanted to make sure that these values were absolutely replaced.
So in the United States, it was the attack on the tradition and heritage of Roosevelt, and in Europe it was especially that people thought they had to really destroy the roots of the people in their European Classical tradition. The CCF under the leadership of Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner, who at that time was the head of the Office of Policy Coordination in the State Department, were leading the effort. The CCF later was moved into the department for Covert Operations, and then proceeded to set up a huge cultural warfare in 35 countries. They set up 20 major cultural magazines; they controlled practically without exception all art exhibitions, concerts, who became a famous painter, who became a famous author or musician. Many of the people who cooperated with that were unaware of what they were part of; but some of them absolutely were aware.
The CCF was in continuation with the Frankfurt School, which had moved in the Second World War to exile in the United States. It was taken over by the U.S. intelligence services. One was Marcuse, another one was Theodore Adorno. Adorno explicitly said that it was now necessary to eliminate all [audio garbled]. In a piece called “Cultural Critique and Society” in 1949, he wrote that after the atrocity of Auschwitz, no one could write any poems anymore. He also had the absolutely insane idea that it was German idealism like that of Friedrich Schiller which would lead automatically to a radicalism and Nazism. So, that is something I really want to make a point for people to think. The image of man which is associated with the German Classical period, with the thinking of people like Lessing, Bach, Beethoven, Schiller, Humboldt, and many others, is an idea where man is principally good. Man is limitlessly perfectible. The aesthetic education allows for all potentialities in the human being to develop into a beautiful soul, into a beautiful mind, into genius. This idea of the potential of every human being to contribute through his or her self-perfection, to the common good of humanity is a very beautiful idea of man. And it has absolutely nothing to do with, and is the total opposite of what the Nazi ideology was, which was a blood and soil ideology. It was the racist idea that the Aryan race is superior to the colored races. That is what you find today in some people who say that China is the first time there is a threat coming from a non-Caucasian race to the West. Here you have it; that is Nazi ideology. I don’t need to tell you who says these things.
Now, one component to understand the work of the CCF was that also the CIA at that time started the idea that it is OK to lie. That if you have a national security reason or whatever you call it to be such a reason, it allows you to just say whatever you want, and to put in the world all lies possible as long as you have creditable deniability and you can pull you neck out the situation later on. Remember, more recently, Bolton basically said that it is completely legitimate to lie for such reason.
Obviously, the question of how the Classical German culture, which was probably the most culturally advanced period in the history of mankind; and I want to debate that if somebody wants to pick a fight. How did that end up in the pit of the 12 years of National Socialism, is obviously one of the most important questions. How does a great culture plunge into the depths of horrible things? This is a question which Americans had to go through in some recent administrations as well. How did the beautiful idea of the American Revolution turn into what was the policy of interventionist wars and everything we know? That transformation in Germany is a long story; a lot of things went into it. The Romantic movement which started maybe innocently as a literature movement, but became political and was taken over very quickly. The cultural pessimism which went with it; the destruction of the Classical forms through Romanticism; the actual cultural pessimism of people like Schopenhauer; Nietzsche; the different youth movements; the anti-technology youth movements before World War I. Then naturally, World War I, which was a long-orchestrated, British-steered event. The Versailles Treaty, which was completely unjust and could not function for a peace order. The Great Depression of 1929 and the beginning of the 1930s, and then finally World War II, and the takeover by the Nazis. But this is a long, complex story, with many factors going into it. A lot of manipulations. And the role of the British can be traced in many of these aspects.
So, I just say this: to say that the argument of Adorno, that it was German idealism that led to the Nazi atrocity, is just one of these absolute lies.
The CCF then proceeded to deliberately attack Classical music, Classical culture, Classical painting, Classical poetry. For example, they had an enormous repertoire. In 1952, they conducted a one-month music festival in Paris, which they called “Masterpieces of the 20th century,” with more than 100 concerts, ballets, operas, and they introduced all the modernist composers, atonal music, 12-tone music, Arnold Schönberg, Alban Burg, Paul Hindemith, Claude Débussy, Benjamin Britten. Some of these are full-atonal, some are mixed forms, but it was all meant to destroy the idea of Classical composition.
Why is this so absolutely bad? Because the idea that in a chromatic scale, all tones have an equal status, eliminates the possibility of the higher degrees of freedom, which you have if you have a polyphonic, harmonic contrapuntal composition, because it eliminates the possibility for ambiguity, for moving from one scale into another, of creating and fully exhausting a musical idea. It completely eliminates the idea of Motivführung [thorough composition], discussed so many times by Norbert Brainin, the first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, in long, long beautiful discussions with Lyndon LaRouche: namely the idea that you have a musical idea — a poetical idea, put into music — and then, through thorough composition, you develop this, you exhaust the potential, and you come to a conclusion.
Now, that technique has been described, and should be studied, by Norbert Brainin in beautiful master classes he did with the Schiller Institute, for example, in Slovakia. Lyn has written in the book Dennis showed you in the beginning, Think Like Beethoven, how Joseph Haydn’s music was developed then by Mozart in the Haydn Quartets, reaching the complexity of the late Beethoven Quartets.
Lyn has basically said that Beethoven’s achievement in counterpoint, has never been approximated by any composer to date. I think I can absolutely agree. Lyn even said—and I know some people were upset when I mentioned this recently in a webcast—that Beethoven is the absolutely towering giant of all composers. People said, “What about Bach?” I’m not denying Bach. But I have a quote by Lyn where he says: “Beethoven marks an Everest, which dwarfs even Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Brahms to be foothills.” Now, I’m not deprecating these composers. I just want to say that Beethoven is in a completely different league of composition, by applying this method, really in the most advanced form.
Now, Lyn wrote, over 100 pieces on music, where in this book you only find some of them. Already in 1976, he wrote a piece called “Laughter, Music, and Creativity,” which for Lyn was pretty much the same thing. He said that the 12-tone, or atonal music is a reactionary retreat led by dried-out 20th-century composers, who cannot compose. He again makes the argument, that the degrees of freedom are completely eliminated.
One important point, in my view, in this whole thing, is what the harmonic contrapuntal, polyphonic form of composition allows, it creates stress; it creates dissonance. But then, in a lawful way, in an expandable, lawful way, these stress moments get resolved, and you have the sense of completion. While in atonal and 12-tone music you have a lot of stress, for sure, but it’s never resolved. The audience is left with a complete feeling of disarray. And, therefore, exactly what the purpose and beautiful function of great Classical music is—that it elevates the emotion, that it elevates the mind, makes mankind more noble—that is completely destroyed. The whole idea of aesthetical education is denied, it’s opposed, it is meant to be made extinct. This is why this is such a devastating attack on this idea, that a moral improvement of the population can be accomplished.
What Lyn wrote in “What Is Music, Really?” which he gave as a talk on May 10, 2015, is that beauty is creativity per se, and the aim of it is to unleash the beauty of mankind. That was something that was absolutely known by many people. It was known by Confucius, who basically said that if you look at the music of a country, you can say what kind of state that country is in: whether it’s disorganized, whether it’s functioning, or not.
Now, if you apply that Confucian principle to the United States, or much of Europe today, you can say these countries don’t function very well, because their music is, for the most part, pretty horrible. It was also what Albert Einstein, for example, celebrated: Many times before he could continue working on his physical discoveries, he would play the violin, and put himself in that kind of a creative mindset.
That is why I think we cannot allow the destruction of Beethoven. This is why the defense of Classical music, of not allowing people to desecrate the greatest music ever written, that is why I wrote this appeal, asking not only all the lovers of Classical music in Germany, but actually all over the world, that we declare this Year of Beethoven, to be the end of the tolerance for ugliness.
I’m not saying we should forbid it. Let them have their atonal concerts. Let them have three people in the audience, because normal people really don’t like that kind of music, but, let them have it. I’m not for banning it. I’m just saying they should not have the right to destroy the great compositions of the Classical composers, just because they cannot write any music themselves which is beautiful.
I also absolutely want to urge you, that the Beethoven Year must also be the year of the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche. If you read what Lyn writes about music — it should be astonishing to anybody to find somebody who’s a total politician, a statesman, an economist, a scientist, and that he would also have such unbelievable knowledge of music.
I can remember one time, when Lyn was talking with Norbert Brainin for two days, when he visited us at our farm, that after these two days, Norbert Brainin said: “This man knows more about music than I do.” I absolutely can agree with that. Because Lyn knew not only the inner meanings of all the works, the historical periods, but he also knew especially what it meant to “play between the notes,” to have a sense of the inner intention of the composers, and he could communicate that in the most beautiful way.
The fact that Lyn’s ideas are being denied to the American people, and to much of the world population, because of the unjust incarceration, because of the same apparatus which was behind the coup against Trump: I think that when President Trump said a few days ago, that one must guarantee that what happened to him, with Russiagate and with the coup attempt, must never happen again — well, there is one absolutely durable way how this will never happen again, and that is the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche. Because, when that happens, it will become clear, that the apparatus of British infiltration of the U.S., of the idea to run the world as an empire based on the Anglo-American special relationship — which was put into place since Teddy Roosevelt, and which has been revived by many Presidents in the meantime — and that is the apparatus which tried to destroy the Presidency of President Trump.
So, if my husband is exonerated, for the sake of the beauty of his ideas, then a durable freedom in the United States, with the United States returning to be a republic, will be absolutely possible.
So, let’s make the Year of Beethoven, the year of the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche. [applause]
SPEED: Thank you very much, Helga. We’ll go right to questions. I want to know whether we have a copy of A Manual on the Rudiments of Registration and Tuning. OK. If we don’t have it, let me just mention something as we go to questions. Some people know that it was Lyn who commissioned the writing of A Manual on Registration and Tuning. John Sigerson was one of the co-writers of that. He’s here. Also Renée Sigerson worked on it.
I cite this because perhaps John or Renée will say something about the occasion at which Lyn began to insist that the problem with the music he was hearing, was that it was incorrectly tuned. Many of us could not figure out what he was talking about. We knew there were different tunings, and we knew that the tuning at the Metropolitan Opera was high. But he was insisting on something that then ended up being verified by Liliana Gorini, the leader of the LaRouche movement in Italy, one of our key members there. Working with her father on this, she went to the library and discovered a document involving Giuseppe Verdi having passed a law when he was a member of Parliament, legislating that the tuning should be at A=432, which was exactly what Lyn was talking about.
I don’t tell this story to impress people. I tell it to say that there are some very fundamental matters that we want to get at with this. We don’t want to avoid controversy, is what I’m trying to say. Because, by not avoiding the controversy around this question, for example, the issue of European culture which will be one thing I will be referring to in a minute—by not avoiding that, not avoiding the controversy around what’s ugly, what “taste” is versus “good music”/ “bad music” — by not avoiding that, we might be able to reunify this nation. It’s probably the only actual, efficient way to do it.
So, it’s very important for us, in this discussion today, to take up all those questions — or begin the process of taking them up. I just wanted to say that, as we go to the questions. Again, I’ll alternate with the questions here, and then I’ll alternate with the questions that have been sent by email or YouTube, and so on.
Q: Hi Helga, this is Denise [ham]. I wanted to bring up the fact that in the Western world, in the United States, in particular, there is a war against children going on. In fact there is a book by that name and it was rewritten and updated, and 10 years later, it was The War Against Children of Color: Psychiatry Targets Inner City Youth [by Peter Breggin and Ginger Ross Breggin]. In this book it puts out the idea, that children as young as 5, 6, 7 years old, especially Black children living in poor areas, were targeted; and the idea was that they were going to grow up to be criminals, and they said this explicitly. And what did they do to stop this? They brought in Ritalin and other mind-destroying drugs.
You can imagine, we know that the human brain is not completely developed until the 24th year of life. And you have at the age of 5, 6 and 7 children being put on Ritalin, so they are being destroyed.
Also, besides that, you have this newest thing in New Jersey, and I think across the country, is that children in middle schools are being taught about “gender issues,” you know, “what sex are you?” This is destroying these children, confusing them, and it is mental rape — this is mental rape against children. Rather than having the idea of beauty, and music, of poetry, science being brought up in class — this is what you have. I would like you to address that and let us know what you think can be done about it. Thanks very much.
ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think this is something which, if it’sis not corrected, will lead to the demise of the West. Because there is right now a huge campaign against China: That there is supposedly a fight of the systems, where the Chinese represent a threat to the value system of democracy, of human rights, of the liberal system of the West, and that that must be somehow contained and be defeated.
I can tell you that if we cannot, in the United States, or in Europe, for that matter, go back to a Classical education in science, in culture, and leave the trends you just described correctly, Denise — the absolute exposure to violence, through video games, the drugs; the addiction to digital overconsumption, children who are left by their parents and their environment to watch and play for hours and hours on their laptop, on their smartphone, on their Play Station, there are now many neurological studies which show, that when you do that, the synapses of the brain connect in a completely different way, and completely eliminate the possibility for truly creative work.
Now if you take that brain damage, which is caused by these phenomena, and also the whole idea of Ritalin, and the drug addiction, the violence — if you take all these factors together, I can tell you that our youth are not going to be an effective, competitive, or even equal, partner in the world community. Because the Asians are not doing that. I mean, sure there are some problems with the digital addiction in Asia as well.
But they are doing something we are not doing in the West, and that is, that they are reviving their 5,000-year-old ancient traditions in philosophy, painting, poetry, and are very proud to be some of the cradles of civilizations. They combine that idea of being based in the best tradition, with an absolute optimistic future orientation, which you see in terms of their ambitious programs for space colonization, for fusion research, and other breakthrough areas of knowledge.
So, I think that the West — I’m saying the “West,” because things in the United States and Europe are similar in this respect — if we do not shape up and really go back to a universal education, in the tradition of Wilhelm von Humboldt, who was the co-thinker of Friedrich Schiller; and he was one of the pillars of the German Classical period, who by the way, was extremely influential in the education system of the United States throughout the 19th century, and he had this idea that you had to have as a goal of education, a harmonious person, by teaching in certain areas which are more suitable to this effect than others: namely the command of your own high language, in the best poetic expressions, that would mean Shakespeare and other great poets who have written in English; then the universal history, natural science, philosophy; and that would then lead to the idea of the development of all potentialities, which are embedded in each child.
That was the Humboldt system, which existed in Germany, at least in some form until 1970, when it was replaced by an education reform, which consciously threw out that idea. But it is something which influenced every professor in the United States in the 19th century, who either studied in Germany or who studied with somebody who had been influenced by Humboldt. So there is an American tradition to connect to that. And I think that is what we have to fight for, because even if you don’t agree that this is what should happen, I think if the West is not going back to its own best traditions, they will just be pushed into the corner of history, and will become completely irrelevant.
Now I know that in the United States there is right now a tremendous possibility, because President Trump announced in his State of the Union address that he wants to fight for the full funding of the Artemis program: If you want to have lots of children and young people become astronauts, space scientists, and work on this perspective, you have to have an education system which goes with it, and you have to transform a lot of the children who are now in the condition you are describing, and actually get them in such a better condition; which is why we need a space CCC program [FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps], which must absolutely focus on this unified, harmonized personality, because, as Krafft Ehricke said: It is never the technology which determines whether it’s good or bad; it’s always the human being, who uses the technology. So we have a tremendous job in front of us; I think the potential is absolutely there, but it needs a real studying of what must be such a humanist education. And I think this is what only our organization can bring into this fight.