The View from `Old Europe'
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
This keynote address given on Feb. 6 to the Schiller Institute/ICLC annual Presidents' Day weekend conference, by the founder and Chairwoman of the Institute, moved from the revolutionary moment of huge worldwide demonstrations against an Iraq war, through the great importance of Friedrich Schiller's life and work as a model for those who want to act for the good and the beautiful, in such revolutionary moments. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche was introduced by Amelia Boynton Robinson, Schiller Institute Vice Chairwoman, who emphasized that the Schiller Institute is the organization assisting the "least and most humble of humanity" to do something for betterment, "to leave footprints on the sands of time." Mrs. Robinson welcomed all the young people present, urged them to recruit others, to organize to vote, and to run for office.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche's presentation was punctuated by readings from some of Schiller's works, by Will Wertz. Subheads have been added.
Well, thank you, Amelia. You are a sweetheart, and my beloved mother.
I will present to you, today, a view from the "Old Europe," and I'm doing it very proudly. The good news—and for some, the bad news—is that, yesterday, in Europe, the largest demonstrations ever, occurred, with 3 million people in Rome; 2 million people in London; 500,000 in Berlin, which is the largest demonstration which took place in Germany in postwar history; and similarly large demonstrations in many other cities. In Rome, all traffic had broken down—no buses, no subways, were possible. And even places where it does not sound like so much, like Sweden with 30,000; this is the largest demonstration which took place in Sweden since the end of the Vietnam War. And it, for sure, is the largest demonstrations which ever occurred before a war broke out.
Now, I think this is, from my standpoint, excellent news. And I can imagine that some other people feel like Rumpelstiltskin right now, not knowing exactly what they should do. They always have the choice of going the Rumpelstiltskin way.
But, what happened on Friday [Feb. 14] in the UN Security Council, already represented a historical watershed. And I think it demonstrates what Schiller said in the beginning of his historical writing about the Revolt of the Netherlands against the Spanish rule: That there is hope, when people unite for a just cause, and a good plan, and that they can stand up even against the biggest tyranny and biggest despots' plans. And what they can accomplish by uniting together. And, that is what Amelia was telling everybody, travelling to many places in the world: that people should unite together, and then there would be hope.
Now, if you read the U.S. media, that is obviously not exactly the view you will get. Lyn tells me, that this morning, the reports about the demonstrations were playing them down a lot. But, this is a revolution! I mean, when has this ever happened—that before a war breaks out, millions are taking to the streets. And, in the United Nations Security Council: When has it ever happened, that there was an unprecedented alliance of France, Germany, Russia, China, India; and many small countries dared to speak up.
So that actually, if you look at it, who is left? It's the United States; maybe Great Britain—this will be decided this weekend, at the party day congress in Glasgow of the Labour Party; and Spain. But, 80% of the Spanish population are against the war.
Can't Go to War Based on Lies
Well, I think this means, the danger is not over, but it is an unprecedented alliance. And the Bush Administration and Blair face the dilemma: What to do now? And we know from all our contacts in Europe, they were not expecting this; they were not prepared that this would happen.
So, we have a couple of weeks' time to turn this around. The first date we should be absolutely focussed on, is the 1st of March, because this is the date, so far given by Powell, to review the situation. But, I think you will see, that in this period, the resistance internationally is growing. Not only because of Lyn's leadership, but because many, many forces in the world basically say, "No! We don't want this war."
The Pope actively intervenes in [many] ways: He met with [Deputy Prime Minister] Tariq Aziz from Iraq. He's intervening actively in many places, but also, 40 top church figures from all over the world. The Non-Aligned Movement: They will have a conference on the 20th of February, where the main subject will be Iraq. They have invited the OIC, the Organization of Islamic Conference, which is 53 states—representing the majority of the world right there; but also, in Africa, unprecedented resistance is being voiced, and also in Latin America.
I normally don't like the political views of [German Foreign Minister] Joschka Fischer. But I must say, he did a good job, and when people do a good job, one has to note this: He made, at the Wehrkunde—the annual conference of the NATO forces in Munich—he had a yelling match with [U.S. Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld, and shouted at him, "There is no case! There is no case for this war!" Blix and El-Baradei, the two inspectors, came back in the recent round, and said, "There is actually no evidence, that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction." And nobody can say, that there is an immediate threat. Nobody can say, that Iraq, in this period—in the next year, two years, five years—could launch a war. This was clearly stated, by all the former UN inspectors: Scott Ritter, [Hans] von Sponeck, even this Australian [Richard] Butler, who used to be a raving anti-Iraq spokesman, they all basically said, "There is no case."
And, you remember that first it was supposed to be Sept. 11. Then they couldn't prove that. They said, "Okay, let's shift to `weapons of mass destruction.' " When they couldn't prove that, they said, "Okay, but maybe the al-Qaeda link." But that link does not exist. Everybody who has looked into the situation knows, that there is actually bitter tension and opposition between the fundamentalist al-Qaeda networks and the very secular Saddam Hussein regime, which used to execute imams and such people. So, it does not exist.
So therefore, what everybody says is, "Okay, maybe Saddam Hussein is not a nice person. And maybe Iraq is not the perfect place on Earth. But whatever problem exists, it can be solved with diplomatic and political means."
This is already the overwhelming evidence. But, then, it turns out—and you will hear more about this—that the famous Powell speech in the United Nations, on the 5th of February, was based on a fraudulent report, which British intelligence not only snuck, somehow, into Powell's speech, but that it was a 12-year-old, ancient student thesis. But now, it turns out that the whole thing is a complete concoction by a combination of the "chicken-hawk" network, using some contaminated Israeli networks. So, the whole basis is actually a complete fraud! And the world should go to World War III, based on a fraud? I think this needs to be out in the open!
Now, the most senior, and very respected British parliamentarian, Tom Dalyell, had, three days ago, an intervention in the British Parliament, where he accused Blair of lying to the British population. And, tumult broke out. He was actually dismissed for one day from the Parliament. But, as I said, this will all be debated at the Glasgow Labour Party Day this weekend.
But, the point Lyn made, emphatically, and I think this is the first thing people should think about: You can't go to war, based on lies! Now, when the whole world says this, and the Russians have made very clear, that for historical reasons, they have extremely good intelligence in Iraq, and they said, "There is no threat; there is nothing in Iraq, which can not be handled politically and diplomatically." The German Interior Minister, Schily, said there is absolutely no connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Now, that is the first thing: There is no case!
Those Who Know War
It's a pretty good reason. The second reason why "Old Europe" is so emphatically against the war, and why so many millions of people are taking to the streets, is because, contrary, obviously, to the foolishness of these war-party chicken-hawks in the United States and Great Britain: They know what war is! We have experienced two world wars.
And, even though I was born after the war, I have very vivid memories from discussions with my mother, my other relatives, and they told me many, many stories. You know, what it meant, again and again, when there were bombing alarms, to go into the basement; to sit there, not knowing if you would get out; not knowing what the street would look like, which house would be there the next day. Reports from people going to the front, and, after one week, the young husband had already been killed, leaving a young mother with two children in a bombed-out city. People don't want this any more! They don't want war! War is not a means of solving problems!
Now, if you look at what happened to European families, there is almost no family, which has not been touched in the most severe form, by the First World War, by the Second World War. I was riding in a train recently, and discussing with somebody, and an old woman came, and because of the discussion going on, she participated in the discussion. And, she said she was over 90, and how this present connection between the Depression and the war danger, how this was bringing up memories: how she had lost her husband; how her parents had lost their relatives in the First World War. And, I just want to tell you, people in Europe don't want war—not because they're evil, or because they're anti-American or something like that, but because they know what war is! And, they don't want it! And, I think it's very important that you understand this. Because the media portray Old Europe, as if we, all of a sudden, would have turned anti-American. Nothing could be further from the truth than that!
Because the situation is so dramatic, and the older generation has been traumatized. And, even if we, who have been born after the war, didn't experience it directly; but when you hear it from your parents, from your grandparents, it becomes part of the cultural matrix of yourself.
So, because the world is so appalled by what is going on, there is right now a big debate, in Germany, but also in France, about the firestorms in Dresden. Somebody who is a very famous author on the Holocaust, and other such questions (and therefore, nobody can accuse him of being one-sided), just wrote a new book, where he goes in detail, through the firestorms in Dresden and other cities—which, actually, when it happened, was as bad as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because, when you have a fire-blast, and you have one-, two-, three-quarters of a city under complete fire-blast, there is equally no escape like if you are hit by a nuclear bomb! And, right now, there is a debate, that that firebombing actually represents a war crime, in the same way, as other things have been discussed in this way.
This is why, even in the "New Europe," people are not for this war. Cardinal Glemp, who is the Primate of Poland, came out with a statement attacking the Polish, saying that he personally has experienced the horrors of war, and therefore, this should never happen again, and therefore everybody should support the Pope.
Now, there was just the 60th-anniversary reunion of German and Soviet survivors of the Battle of Stalingrad. These are all men in their 80s, and one of them, Vasili Orlov, said, "I'm so happy to see that Germany and Russia have the same position on the looming war against Iraq. We, as veterans, do not want to see a new war. There has been too much killing already." Now, just to remind you, what the Battle of Stalingrad was: The German Sixth Army went to Stalingrad with, initially, about 300,000 troops. And they attacked Stalingrad in the late Summer 1942. Then the battle dragged on, and they were not prepared for the Winter—a known phenomenon of people who invade Russia—and when the Soviet Union, despite the tremendous hardships which they had suffered at that time already, mounted a counteroffensive, in November 1942, with 1 million. By February 1943, the Sixth Army had to surrender, and only 90,000 were left alive. All of them were captured as Russian prisoners of war. And, only 6,000 came back after the war had ended—so, 6,000 out of 300,000.
[German Chancellor Gerhard] Schröder sent a message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and he said: Stalingrad was a great tragedy, and therefore we must work together so that it never happens again.
War Could Cause Genocide
In the same way, what is the secret of this "evil" German-French alliance, which you hear about in the American media. It's a beautiful thing. I'm very happy about it, because the Elysée Treaty, which was concluded by Adenauer and de Gaulle 40 years ago, was a historical work, ending the so-called "blood feud" between Germans and French, which had actually, over 500 years, again and again, led to wars, and especially in the 20th Century, had pitted Germany and France in two world wars against each other. So, Adenauer and de Gaulle said, "Look, let's stop that. Let's work together that we have a friendship between our two countries, where we'll never have war again with each other. And furthermore, where we will coordinate all important issues, which have bearing on the future and existence of our countries, especially foreign policy and such questions."
I just was in France, and we had a beautiful celebration of this 40 years Elysée Treaty anniversary, together with Jacques Cheminade. And we pledged, that we will work together, German and France, not only for our own purposes, but that our two countries become a force of good in the world, and take a mission. Because, de Gaulle said, correctly, the French are not just a people of grass-eating cows, who fill their bellies; but, they have a mission. And so does Germany have a mission. And we agreed, that we will work together to make the Eurasian Land-Bridge and Eurasian integration a reality, so that no small country in Europe should be afraid of this German-French collaboration, but they should benefit from it.
Now, when George Bush, on the 1st of June last year, spoke in front of West Point Military Academy, he said, "America has military strength that can not be challenged by anyone. And we will keep it this way." Well, it can not be challenged, and therefore, they have no business to go to Iraq, because if it can't be challenged, then it can't be challenged! Condoleezza Rice said that never again, will the United States allow any other power to get close to U.S. military might.
Now, that is what everybody knows, and indeed, this military power of the United States is unprecedented. No country in the history of mankind was ever so powerful, so equipped with such powerful, modern weapons. And, that is why the Pope, Old Europe, Russia, China, and all these other countries who are opposing the war, say, "If you compare the potential threat from Saddam Hussein—down the line maybe, even if one is generous; even if it would be a threat two years from now; five years from now—compare that threat, in the light of the incredible military power of the United States, with the incalculable consequences the war would trigger."
And, let's be absolutely, crystally clear: If this war would start, the whole region, from the Maghreb—that is, Northern Africa—to Indonesia, and in between—Pakistan, India, Iran, North Korea, China; this whole region, Central Asia, parts of Russia—would explode. There is no way how it would be just Iraq. It would be the trigger point.
[Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf, who is a pro-American general, one could say, said, that if the war happens, Pakistan will be next on the list! Now, why? Because he knows perfectly well, that he could not probably stay in office much longer. And if you had Islamic fundamentalists taking possession of nuclear weapons, which Pakistan has—well, then I'm afraid, between India and Pakistan, things would really explode.
Now, there is another aspect, not only that it threatens to throw the world into a dark age. The effect that it would have on the world economy. It could just be the final blow, not only for the world economy, because of oil prices, and all of this. Even some idiots calculate that if you occupy these oil fields directly, and Iraq alone would produce 4.5 million barrels a day, then the income from that would help you to pay for the cost. I mean, these are just insane calculations.
If you look at it in reality, it would cause genocide, in the Third World. Because, industrialized countries may be able to pay high oil bills, but if you are a country in Latin America or Africa, which happens to have no oil, this would mean the death of many people; and it is exactly that, that the head of South Africa [President Thabo] Mbeki said, in a dramatic appeal. He said, "If this war occurs, all development in Africa will stop." [Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who's normally a very balanced person, said: If this war occurs, it constitutes genocide, because of the effect it has on the developing countries. The Nigerian Guardian—again, a paper which is normally very moderate—says: If the United States does that, they open themselves to charges of ulterior motives. They are sending a dangerous message to the world. And they put into question the legitimacy of democracy, because if its superior representative behaves in this way, then all of democracy will be disappearing.
The Shadow of Nuremberg Tribunals
And I think this is a serious argument, people should think about. If the United States would leave the United Nations process, and go unilaterally into this war, it would mean a complete breakdown of international law. What therefore is at stake, when we look at the situation, is the entirety of the present world order, the Western alliance, the unity of Europe, international law as it has developed since the Peace of Westphalia Treaty in 1648; it would totally throw out the UN Charter from 1945.
And, it opens another question: because, pre-emptive war is not allowed.
Preventive war is one thing. If you know that Canada has its missiles ready and they could hit Washington in eight hours, you are allowed to preventively attack Canada to prevent that from happening; because then you are in a defensive posture, even if you start the war.
But, the pre-emptive war is something quite different. A pre-emptive war is a war, which is trying to eliminate that a country, "potentially," "eventually," "down the line," becomes a threat. And that is very clearly, according to international law, a war of aggression. And that was the issue at the Nuremberg Trial. The speech of principle, held by Justice Robert Jackson, on the 11th of November 1945, in Nuremberg, when he was the chief prosecutor of the United States at the international military court—I want to read you some quotes. Jackson said:
"The statute of this court is based on the belief that the idea of law not only applies for the behavior of the little people, but also the powerful and the rulers themselves are subject to God and the law. According to the instructions of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the decision of the Conference of Yalta, I present to you a draft for an international agreement, which is the basis for the statutes of this court, and represents a certain notion of law."
Then, Jackson develops the historical reference, how this idea of law developed: that in the past view, there was the situation, where one could not be held responsible for the usual acts of violence as they happened during the conduct of war. Then, he recounts the history: that during the time of imperialism, in the 18th and 19th Centuries, there developed, in contradiction to the old Christian teaching and the teachers of international law, such as [Hugo] Grotius, the view—the disgusting doctrine developed that all wars would be justified, legal wars. That resulted in the possibility that one could conduct war, without any penalty of the law.
Jackson continues, and says: "This became unbearable for an age which called itself civilized." Statesmen and legal experts defined rules which were supposed to make war more civilized. And especially after the First World War, it became common sense that the condemnation of war would be based on law. And in the '20s, the war of aggression was outlawed for the first time in different steps. One was the so-called Briand-Kellogg Pact from 1928, which condemned war as a means to solve international conflicts; and this was signed by nearly all nations of the world. Then, the Geneva Protocol of 1924, which said that a war of aggression represents an international crime. The Eighth General Assembly of the League of Nations in 1927 agreed unanimously, that a war of aggression was an international crime, and this was signed by 48 states. And then, the Sixth Pan-American Conference in 1928: Twenty American states also declared, that it's an international crime against humanity.
Then, Jackson said, "Any resort to war, to any kind of war, is a resort to means that are inherently criminal. War inevitably is a course of killing, assaults, deprivation of liberty, a destruction of property. An honestly defensive war is, of course, legal, and saves those lawfully conducting it from criminality. But, inherently criminal acts can not be defended by showing that those who committed them were engaged in a war, when the war itself is illegal. The very minimum legal defense of the Treaties, making aggressive wars illegal, is to strip those who incite or wage them of every defense the law ever gave, and to leave war-makers subject to judgment by the usually accepted principles of the law of crimes."
I think people better remember the Nuremberg Trial, and also come to the conclusion, that there is still time to stop this war. Because, if the war happens, the United Nations will have the same fate as the League of Nations. Europe will fall apart. International law will go out of the window.
Now, obviously, some Utopians have the philosophy, "Might Makes Right." But, remember the word of Bismarck: "Whoever wants to start a war, better think of the reasons which will be still accepted after the war."
When Germany, France, and Russia oppose the war, it is not only because of the trauma of the two world wars, but because Germany, France, Russia, and these countries are behaving in cohesion with international law, with the UN Charter—and by the way, Article 26 of the German Constitution says, a war of aggression is banned by the Constitution. So, even if Germany wanted—I mean, the Constitution says, "No!"
Now, there is talk, again and again, by Rumsfeld and, unfortunately, Powell, of a possible "coalition of the willing." Now, my suggestion to these "willing people" is that they better think what will be down the road for them, in terms of history, in terms of international courts, and so forth. And, that that is not an abstract question. You can see that there are already seven Scottish parliamentarians, who announced a legal case against Blair, in The Hague Court [the International Court of Justice], that, if he joins the attack, they will sue him before the same court which tried Milosevic.
The War-Hawks' Desperate Reaction
And, as you know, there is also a suit by some American Congressmen; and 90 cities in the United States, in the meantime, passed resolutions against the war.
Now, Schröder made a declaration of government before the Bundestag last week, where he said, "We are acting together, Germany, with France, Russia, and China, and others, because we have a mandate for peace. We are doing our duty for peace. The UN Charter is based on a ban of violence, and the driving force behind that was FDR. We want to act on the basis of the strength of law, and not on the right of the stronger." Now, what is criminal and wrong about that?
But, what is the reaction?
Well, I said already, the chicken-hawk war faction did not calculate the firmness of the Europeans and Russia. Their plans did not foresee that. They were completely caught by surprise. Because, in their estimate, Germany had no backbone, because they lost two world wars; France would be doing some diplomatic dancing around, and then capitulate; Russia would be bankrupt and corrupt, and therefore easy to be bought. But, now they're behaving differently. And what we hear from our European contacts is that the level of rage is unprecedented.
Behind the scenes, there were almost scenes of physical attack, against people who just opposed the war.
The media campaign against the opponents of the war, is absolutely unprecedented. They are being called "wimps"; "weasels"; and "monkeys"; "the coalition of cowards"; "the perfidious France"; "Germany is in league with Libya and Cuba"; France is being called "a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys"; and the whole coalition is called "the axis of devious characters."
Claude, please, first slide. Here you have a cartoon, saying, obviously, the "national bird of France"; Chirac is called a "positive monster of conceit," a "rat that tried to roar." George Will had an article, calling Villepin the "oily Foreign Minister"; Joschka Fischer was called "a terrorist" in the papers; the leading Greenie party, "an alcoholic"; Gerhard Schröder, supposedly a womanizer—a big campaign, that he's had an affair. And so forth.
Next. here you have—this is actually an American aircraft carrier. In the background you have the Chancellor office in Berlin, and the text says, "Schröder, go immediately into exile, or we shoot!"
Next: Here you see Bush and his Blair puppy-dog.
Next: This is Schröder, his last divorce. He's now having his fourth marriage. His last marriage failed, supposedly because his wife was a Greenie and she would only cook vegetarian food. He always wanted to eat like a curry-wurst! So, here he's eating a curry-wurst, and he says, "Good old curry-wurst. You I will miss the most in Libya." And, it says, "The Chancellor Agrees, and Goes Into Exile."
Next: Well, this is obviously—[interrupted by laughter]. The Gulf War, starring such incredible stars!
Next: Here, it says, "Dammit Jack! If the French and the Germans don't surrender, we will have to go soon into Normandy again."
Next: Here you have a classical case of "material breech"! A lot of wind, obviously!
Just to give you a flavor of the condition of the "trans-Atlantic alliance."
But this is actually serious stuff, and you will see more of it, because I don't think this will go away that easily. For example, William Pfaff, in the International Herald Tribune, wrote, "Why the United States Fears Europe." And he said, that Rumsfeld is seeking the political destruction of Schröder, and he's trying to get a "regime change" in Germany. That they regard Germany as the most vulnerable member of the resistance of "Old Europe"; that France is a hopeless case, anyway, but that Bush thinks that Schröder must be humiliated, as an example to others. And, that the neo-con theory in Washington is, because they regard Europe as a principal rival and the future challenger of the United States, that it is absolutely unacceptable that Germany, for the first time, has taken a stand against the United States, and that therefore Schröder will not be allowed to get away with it, because it does reflect the popular opinion in all of Europe, and many other parts of the world.
Crusade, vs. Strategy
Now, I think this is serious stuff. And I think we should be very vigilant, for what is to come.
This is why the Pope went out of his way, to explicitly support the German-French coalition.
And, there's another dimension, which freaks Europe out, and that is: When Bush was meeting with the Christian broadcasters, he said, among other things, that Jesus was his favorite philosopher. Now, there's nothing wrong with being religious, and so forth, but the Europeans basically think that, when Bush, after the 11th September, said: "Our task is clear. We have to save the world from evil. We have to have a crusade. Nobody should get in the way. They're either with us, or with the terrorists"—well, there are many articles now, in the European press, saying, this all reminds you of the early European history of sects, which divided the world into a realm of darkness on the one side, and the principle of light, the realm of good, on the other side. And, people are freaked out, because, they say, this is no longer—what is this? This has nothing to do with Christianity, with religion. But this is something very, very strange.
The speeches by such people as Lantos, King, Hyde—I heard them on C-Span. (C-Span, by the way, I advertise a lot, because it's the only channel, where you get any resemblance of what is happening. No twist, no spin; you can hear what people are saying.) And, if you listen to these speeches—I mean, I said, "My God! This is almost as if Europe would be the enemy already!" I mean it's unbelievable. And I think the idea, that these people do want to go for a regime change in Germany, had better be taken very seriously.
Now, the argument—the two-by-four argument—used against Europe, is, "We freed you from Hitler; therefore you have to support us now." I can only tell you: Germany and the other countries in Europe are only doing what they decided to never do again! I mean, never again have this kind of thing! Never again, have war to solve a problem.
And, the last time you had millions of people in the streets in Europe, was actually in the early 1980s, when the [Russian] SS-20 and the [American] Pershing II had reduced the warning time of a potential world war to six minutes. This was basically putting NATO and the Warsaw Pact on "launch on warning"; because we had a situation, where, one missile by accident, and you would have had World War III. This is when Schmidt, the Chancellor then, warned, "We are on the verge of World War III." And, this is when the Europeans had a first taste of what the Utopian military faction in the United States is. I know that the Schmidt government was totally terrified about Brzezinski during the time of the Carter Administration, in this period.
And this, if you remember, was the time when Lyn reacted to this war danger, with his beautiful proposal of Mutually Assured Survival, as an alternative to MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction, of NATO. Now, Lyn mentioned, yesterday, this conception, which became, on the 23rd of March, 1983, official U.S. policy for a short period of time.
The Mission of the Schiller Institute
Now, I recall this period, because this period was actually the time when the idea, to have such an effort like the Schiller Institute, was born. Because I was travelling in Germany. And, because of this Brzezinski and other signs, there was a growing anti-Americanism in Germany. And, when I travelled in the United States, there was a growing anti-German, anti-European tendency, in the United States.
So, I had the idea that that was potentially very dangerous. And that, therefore, you needed an institute to put foreign policy on a completely different level: That the relationship between Germany and the United States should not be, that German history is reduced to 12 years of nightmare; but that you talk to Germany as the country from which Nikolaus von Kues, Leibniz, Schiller, and Beethoven came. And, that when you talk to the United States, you're not talking about the country which committed atrocities in Vietnam, Korea, Hiroshima, and Panama, but you are talking to an America of the American Revolution, which, actually, the best of European traditions, went into.
And, I can only advise you: Everybody should buy the recent issue of Fidelio [magazine], where this connection, between the best influences of European civilization—"Old Europe," which made the United States—actually are documented. But you talk about Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The same idea obviously goes for other nations: When you want to have positive foreign relations, you're not picking and saying, "This is your worst moment"; but, you think, what was the period in which you contributed something to universal history.
So, it immediately became clear that the Schiller Institute was not only to improve German-American relations—but Europe-American relations—but also especially with the entire developing sector.
I was looking in this period for principles of the Schiller Institute. And I read all possible international documents, and I came to the conclusion that the Declaration of Independence is actually the most beautiful document, which anybody could give themselves as a principle. And by changing only six words: Where it says, "the American colony," I say, "every country"; where is says, "the British occupying colonial power," I say, "the international oligarchical institutions." And by just changing five, six words, I make it applicable for the entire world. So, that which is the American Constitution and American Declaration of Independence can actually be the basis for the entire world.
Now as we have seen yesterday, performed on the stage [during the Feb. 16 commemorative celebration of the life of Schiller Institute Vice President Marianna Wertz], this is exactly the same idea as the Rütli Oath [from Schiller's drama Wilhelm Tell]. And I came to the conclusion, that, in a crisis like that, a systemic breakdown of a whole system, the solution can only be on the highest level. And, at a time where it is clear, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, Maastricht, the European Union, NATO, and so forth, are all about to disintegrate. We said this a long time ago, and people didn't believe it; they thought, "This is exaggerated." But, one can see, very clearly—and I hope this war can be avoided and we're not crashing against the wall, but, we are that close—one can see very clearly, that the old paradigm, these axioms and values which existed up to the present time, have utterly and completely failed.
The philosophy of the "fun society"—materialism, egoism, "I," "me," "mine"—these ideas are out. The question is, what is the new paradigm? And this is where Schiller and the Schiller Institute is absolutely important. Because we are faced today with the exact same question Schiller was asking himself: Why is it, that we are still barbarians? Because today, we are faced with the choice of either becoming complete barbarians—Dark Age, gangs, people fighting over food, killing each other—or we will have a new Renaissance. And if we have a new Renaissance, I am absolutely certain, it will be more beautiful than any one in the past has been.
Schiller's Idea of Mankind
Now, in this period, it is my view—and I hope I can convince you of that—that the work and poetical method of Schiller is extremely crucial. And the reason why I gave the Schiller Institute his name for our efforts to have better relations among people, is because it is my view—and I have read many philosophers, poets, from many cultures—but I still hold, that he represents the highest principle of humanity. That he has more beautifully presented a poetical image of what man can be, than anybody else.
And, I think, if you look at Schiller and Beethoven together, these are the two towering giants of the German Classical period. You all know the Ninth Symphony, where Beethoven actually composed a symphony according to a beautiful poem by Schiller, the Ode to Joy, and he made out of it one of the most gigantic, most breath-taking works ever written on this planet. And, it combines the genius of Schiller and Beethoven. As a matter of fact, Beethoven said that Schiller's poetry was so complete, that it was almost impossible for a composer to write something more complete than that poem was already; and therefore, he mostly set to music Goethe and other poems, but not Schiller.
Now, the big question we have to ask ourselves: How is mankind supposed to come out of this present pit? I think we have to take the highest standard, the highest, most beautiful idea of man, and Schiller was very conscious of that. He wrote that he was conscious that his work would probably be only appreciated one or two centuries later, when new revolutions would have occurred in the philosophy of thinking. And that it would require an honest discoverer, to rediscover his work, and make it apply.
And, I have still a book from my school, which, for some reason (I don't know how this book came into my possession; it has the stamp from my school, so I shouldn't actually have it!), but, in this book, I wrote in the margin, next to "an honest discoverer": Ich—I. So, I'm very proud of this, because it meant that, as a girl, I recognized this.
So, we have to be the "honest discoverer" of Schiller. Because, as I said, nobody has a more beautiful conception of man, a more lofty ideal of mankind. And at the same time, Schiller, if you read him and study him carefully, has actually the deepest philosophical conceptions, in no way less than the level of Plato, Nikolaus of Cusa, and Leibniz is—except that he has expressed these same ideas with poetical beauty.
Another towering giant of the German Classical period—actually the creator of the best education system in the world, Wilhelm von Humboldt—wrote after Schiller had died, on Schiller and the Course of His Spiritual Development: "What must have struck any observer, as characteristically distinguishing Schiller, was that in a higher and more pregnant sense than perhaps with anyone else, thought was the element of his life. Constant self-active engagement of his mind seldom deserted him, and weakened only during the most severe attacks of his physical illness. To him, it seemed recreation, not exertion. Concerning the concept of beauty, concerning the aesthetic in creation and action, and through the foundation of art, as well as art itself—these works contain everything essential in a manner which can never possibly be excelled. Never before, were these questions discussed in such a pure, such a complete and illuminating way. Infinitely much was thus gained, not merely for the positive analysis of concepts, but also for aesthetic and moral education. Art and poetry were directly joined to that in which the most noble in humanity were presented; that, by which humanity first awakens to the consciousness of its in-dwelling nature, which strives to transcend the finite."
Now, I thought, all the time, that Schiller could not be topped. There was no way how you could talk about these concepts better. And I was extremely happy, when I discovered that Humboldt had actually exactly the same view. Because, infinitely much was gained for the aesthetical and moral education of man.
The Poet of Freedom
Now, I will present to you, some of the key ideas and principles of Schiller, which actually do represent the highest standard of Classical art.
Schiller wrote something when he was 19 years old, his first dissertation as a medical student:
The Philosophy of Physiology (1779)
This much will, I think, have been proven firmly enough one day: that the universe were the work of an Infinite Understanding, and be designed according to an excellent plan.
Just as it now flows from the design into reality through the almighty influence of divine power, and all powers are active and act on each other, like strings of a thousand-voiced instrument sounding together in one melody; so, in this way, the spirit of man, ennobled with divine powers, should discover from the single effects, cause and design; from the connection of causes and designs, the great plan of the Whole; from the plan, recognize the Creator, love Him, glorify Him—or, more briefly, more sublimely sounding in our ear: Man is here, so that he may strive toward the greatness of his Creator; that he may grasp the whole world with just a glance, as the Creator grasps it. Likeness-to-God is the destiny of man. Infinite, indeed, is this his Ideal; however, the spirit is eternal. Eternity is the measure of infinity; that is to say, man will grow eternally, but will never reach it.
A soul, says a wise man of this century, which is enlightened to the extent that it has the plan of divine providence completely in its view, is the happiest soul. An eternal, great and beautiful law of nature has bound perfection to pleasure, and displeasure to imperfection. What brings this characteristic closer to man, be it direct or indirect, will delight him. What distances him from it, will pain him. What pains him, he will avoid; what delights him, he will strive for. He will seek perfection, because imperfection pains him; he will seek it, because it alone delights him. The sum of the greatest perfections with the fewest imperfections is the sum of the highest pleasures with the fewest sorrows. This is supreme happiness. Therefore, it is the same if I say: Man exists to be happy; or—he exists to be perfect. Only then is he perfect, when he is happy. Only then is he happy, when he is perfect.
However, an equally beautiful, wise law, a corollary of the first, has bound the perfection of the Whole with the supreme happiness of the individual; human beings with fellow human beings; indeed, men and animals, through the bond of universal love. Thus love, the most noble impulse in the human soul, the great chain of feeling nature, is nothing other than the confusion of my own self with the being of fellow creatures. And this intermingling is pleasure. Love thus makes the fellow creature's delight my delight; his sorrow, my sorrow. However, even this suffering is perfection, and therefore must not be without pleasure. Thus, what were otherwise pity as an emotion, is blended from pleasure and pain. Pain, because the fellow creature would suffer. Pleasure, because I share his pain with him, since I love him. Sorrow and pleasure, that I turn his pain from him.
And why universal love; why all the pleasure of universal love?—Only out of this ultimate, fundamental design: to further the perfection of the fellow creature. And this perfection is the overseeing, investigation, and admiration of the great design of Nature. Indeed, all pleasures of the senses, ultimately, of which we shall speak in its place, incline through twists and turns and apparent contradictions, for all that, finally back to the same thing. Immutable, this truth itself remains always the same, forever and ever: Man is destined for the overseeing, investigation, and admiration of the great design of Nature.
Now, I find this very beautiful: Just think, if you are 19 years old and you write that! That the universe is actually a thought of God, and that it's the destiny of man to be God-likeness and to discover the plan in this creation more deeply, ever.
This is actually the same idea, which you find in Nikolaus of Kues, the cohesion between the laws of the macrocosm, the physical universe, and microcosm. It's the same idea as Leibniz's conception of the monad, that every human being contains, in germ form, the entire complexity of the universe at large. And, Schiller liked that idea so much, that he wrote a poem about it. And, now I want Will to read the Columbus poem:
Steer, courageous sailor! Although the wit may deride thee,
Wilhelm von Humboldt wrote about this, "The confidence in the efficacy of the power of the human mind, elevated into a poetical image, is expressed in this distich, entitled Columbus, which belongs to the most characteristic Schiller ever created. This belief in the invisibly indwelling powers of man; this view so sublime, and deeply true; that there must be an inner secret agreement between this power and that which orders and directs the entire universe, since all truth can only be a reflection of the eternal and original; was a characteristic feature of Schiller's system of ideas."
Schiller himself wrote, in the Philosophical Letters, about that, and used the formulation, "when Columbus made the dangerous wager with the unnavigated sea." In other words, you have an idea, Columbus had the idea, that there must be these shores, and then, indeed, he discovered the new continent. This is very important. I said, already, that I am having the deepest conviction, that the political solution of this present crisis, can only occur, if the political order on this world is brought into cohesion with the cosmic order, with natural law. This is no light thing, if we don't put the politics into cohesion with the cosmic law, the natural law of creation.
And therefore, if you have a poet who expresses this in this way, I think it is an extremely great gift.
Now, who is Friedrich Schiller, the German "Poet of Freedom"? Since there are several new people here, I want to quickly tell you some biographical things about him. He was born on the 10th of November, 1759, in Marbach, at the Neckar River. He had a very happy childhood. His parents were Johann Kaspar and Elisabeth. They lived first in Lorch. Then he went to the Latin school in Ludwigsburg, and then came a dramatic break, when Count Carl Eugen of Rothenberg forced him to go to the military academy, the Karlsschule.
He was then 13 years old, and for eight years, he studied close up, the oligarchical behavior of the court life. He saw how, when the oligarchs decided to have a hunt, they would go with dozens of horses, destroying the harvests of the peasants, without any compensation, and he saw the degraded cultural tastes of the time at the court. So, he developed a very strong anti-oligarchical sentiment. And Schiller suffered greatly, because he found the education in this military academy, completely restrictive. But, I must say, compared to the education people get nowadays in European or American universities, he was pretty lucky, because his teachers mediated to him the influence of Leibniz, Shakespeare, Lessing, Mendelssohn, and others; but also the British empiricism of Locke, Hobbes, Hume, Wright. And he had teachers, who were actually very good, especially one guy called Abel.
Now, what they mediate to him, was, among other things, the dominant influence of the British materialism: Hobbes, that all ideas are only the result of memories of sensuous experience; Locke, that man is born, his mind is a tabula rasa, an empty plate, where only sensuous experience then collects knowledge; and that Hume then said, that therefore, all ideas are accidental, because they are the derivatives of accidental sensuous experiences, and therefore all ideas are an illusion. And therefore, there is also no immortality of the soul. What would be called a soul, would only be a complexity of sensuous imaginations.
A Scottish philosopher called Thomas Wright made a critique of Hume, and said, what Hume called an illusion, actually did have reality, namely common sense, and that these principles of sound common sense would be self-evident truth.
Schiller and the American Revolution
Now, Schiller thought that all of these theories were an abomination. And therefore, he wrote, already in 1779, in his dissertation, that if all thoughts, in this way, are accidental, then the self-determination of the human mind, and the freedom of man is gone. And also, morality is accidental, and therefore, the human being is without any dignity. And he found this completely unacceptable.
This confrontation led Schiller to develop the absolute opposite, and to hate the method of education conducted by the Jesuits, the French and English materialists, and empiricists. And he saw, in these wrong teachings, the source of the inner conflict and endangerment of his time. He regarded it as his great task to overcome this inner conflict, and re-create man in harmonious development in all of his potentials. He said, all human beings have the potential to become geniuses. And the means by which to accomplish that, is the poetical principle, because that has the key to the innermost secrets of the human soul.
Now, Schiller was actually the poet of the American Revolution. As a matter of fact, he even considered at one point, immigrating to America. In the Letters on Don Carlos, one of his earlier plays, he commented that what this drama is actually about, was the most favorite subject of the decade—meaning the 1780s, which was the period when the American Revolution was just successful. The highest possible freedom of the individual, together with the highest bloom of the state.
Now, Will, please read the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Now, please read the Rütli Oath.
The Rütli Oath, from Wilhelm Tell
No, there is a limit to the tyrant's power,
Now, you have seen the entire scene of the Rütli Oath yesterday [performed as part of the memorial for Marianna Wertz], and I think the sameness of these two concepts is so obvious, that I really want to encourage everybody to go home and read Don Carlos. Especially also because, if you look: Schiller, because of the oligarchical control of his time could not write as he had in the Kabale und Liebe, where he had actually attacked the selling of Hessian soldiers to the British in the American War of Independence, because he was outlawed, and he had to flee. So, he transposed these subjects, but discussed the same ideas. So, when he talks about, in Don Carlos, the famous dialogue between Posa and King Philip II, this is actually the principles of the American Revolution. And you can see, that this is a very powerful poetical discussion of the principle of empire versus republic. Because, Philip II, at that time, represented an empire, in which the Sun never sets, but obviously which was ruled with complete fear and misery. So, I want Will to prepare to read the quote by Posa, where he appeals to the King.
Don Carlos, Act 3, Scene 10
Marquis of Posa: You wish to plant for all eternity,
King Philip: Who gave you such assurance
Marquis (with fire): Yes, by Almighty God!
(He approaches him boldly, while directing firm and fiery glances at him)
Now, this beautiful idea, "be a king of a million kings," meaning the idea of having equality on the highest level—not like the French Revolution, where "Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité," in actuality meant, when Robespierre said, "The Revolution doesn't need any scientists," and he proceeded to chop off all the heads at the guillotine—not this Jacobin way, but to have equality on the highest level; on the basis of the inalienable rights of all people.
Schiller, before Lyn—some of you remember Lyn's old writings about "The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites"—Schiller actually had a work exactly like that, called Solon and Lycurgus, where he discusses the two models: the beautiful city-state of Solon—Athens—where he says, this is the republican model, where the purpose of mankind is progression, the perfection of man; versus Lycurgus, in the state of Sparta, a model of the oligarchical system, where the state, at first glance, looks very beautiful and perfect. But then, he says, one sees actually that the individual is sacrificed to the state. Schiller says: The state itself is never the purpose. It is only important as a condition under which the purpose of mankind can be fulfilled. And, that is nothing but the development of all of his powers, progression.
Government Exists for the
In the Fourth Letter of The Aesthetical Education, Schiller says, "Every individual man, one can say, carries by predisposition and destiny, a purely ideal man within himself, to agree with whose immutable unity in all his alterations, is the great task of his existence."
I think this is very, very important, because every human being has such an ideal in him, or in her. And to bring that potential into actuality is the great task of our life. Now, most people, they get the famous "two talents," and they bury them in their garden, and they don't develop them. And, then when they die, they take the same two meager talents out, and that was it. And Schiller basically says: No! You have to develop all potentialities which are in yourself! Everything! You have to make this harmonious, beautiful person, which you potentially are, become a reality. And only if all people do that, the state can function. The state doesn't function by rearranging some democratic majorities of undeveloped idiots, but only if every human being develops the fullest potential, can the state function. And therefore, he says, the highest work of art, is the building of political freedom. Through the ennoblement of all individuals, that more and more people develop themselves to represent the character of the species, that the individual becomes the state. That the man of time ennobles himself to become the man of the idea.
Schiller, in the Aesthetical Letters, which he wrote when it was clear that the hope that the American Revolution could be replicated in France was not possible, because the Jacobin Terror had destroyed everything, asks himself: Where should this change come from, when the state is corrupt and the masses are degenerated? And he comes to this surprising answer: It can only come through great art.
Now, "The Artists," which was mentioned yesterday as one of the poems translated by Marianna, is actually an early poem. He wrote it when he was in his late 20s. But, in my view, it's one of the most beautiful celebrations of man, and his cognitive powers. Will, I want you to recite the first strophe.
How fair, O Man, do you, your palm branch holding
Stand at the century's unfolding
In proud and noble manhood's prime
With faculties revealed, with spirit's fullness
Full earnest mild, in action-wealthy stillness,
The ripest son of time,
Free through reason, strong through law's measure,
Through meekness great, and rich in treasure,
Which long your breast to you did not disclose,
Nature's own lord, she glories in your bridle,
Who in a thousand fights assays your mettle
And shining under you from out the wild arose!
Now, in this opening strophe, you have already the entire composition in a germ form. The "ripest son of time," refers to the image of man, of that historical moment which was full of optimism, and it reflects of the American Revolution: Man as the highest being of Creation. "Nature's own lord . . . who in a thousand fights . . . from out of the wild arose!" That shows the process of perfection, which led to the present situation.
In the second strophe, which will not be read here—because it's actually a long poem, of 33 strophes—he demands a self-reflection, that it was art, which helped man to overcome the degrading desire; that man is the only being, which has art. No other being, no other living being is capable of art. Will, please read the third strophe:
The land which knowledge does reside in
You reached through beauty's morning gate.
Its higher gleam to now abide in,
The mind on charms must concentrate.
What by the sound of Muses' singing
With trembling sweet did pierce you through,
A strength unto your bosom bringing
Which to the world-soul lifted you.
This is an interesting idea: "the land of cognition," man can only reach "through the morning gate of beauty"—only through beauty, man has access to knowledge. In a state of infancy of mankind, when man is still childlike, when he still has certain naivete, but a tremendous capacity for enthusiasm, for joy of discovery, man reacts to beauty in nature, and he re-creates it in art. It creates in him, the potential for reason. Please read the fifth strophe:
She, with Orions circling her visage,
To glorify her majesty sublime,
As purer spirits contemplate her image
Consuming, o'er the stars does climb,
Upon her sunny throne upraising,
Urania, so dreadful yet so grand,
Unburdened of her crown ablazing,
Does there—as beauty before us stand.
The belt of grace 'round her receiving,
That she, as child, the children understand:
What here as Beauty we're perceiving,
Will first as Truth before us come to stand.
Truth, at this stage of development is so strong, so shining, that man can not yet stand to look at it directly. But, the goddess of truth, according to Greek mythology, Urania, clothes herself in beauty. "What here as Beauty we're perceiving,/Will first as Truth before us come to stand." Only he or she who experiences beauty, especially as a child, will develop the emotional potential for truth. Now, I believe that to be absolutely true; and one of the big tragedies is the lack of beauty in the present American culture, which—some children just have absolutely have no chance, if we don't change this. Please read the ninth strophe:
The soul, so beautiful and free,
By you unchained sprang forth the vassal
Of care in lap of joy to be.
Now limits of the beast abated
And Man on his unclouded brow rang out,
And thought, that foreign stranger elevated,
From his astonished brain sprang out.
Now stood Man, and to starry legions
Displayed his kingly countenance,
Now, this is, among other things, a polemic against Hobbes and Locke: That, on the level of sensuous experience, man is not capable of capturing the beautiful soul of nature; but, the beauty in nature hints to something higher. Through its example, it awakens the creative powers in man, it inspires in him, for the first time, creation. And he produces more creations, and soon, develops a second, higher level of art. In the 14th strophe, he says:
Soon gathered near barbarians astounded,
To see the new creation's force they ran.
`Look,' the delighted crowd resounded,
`Look there, this all was done by Man.'
The self-consciousness about man's creative power grows. The view of beauty has an ennobling effect, and he is happy about his increasing ability to think. Now, Will, please read the entire quote from "the soul, so beautiful and free," until "the lovely valley":
The soul, so beautiful and free,
By you unchained sprang forth the vassal
Of care in lap of joy to be.
Now limits of the beast abated
And Man on his unclouded brow rang out,
And thought, that foreign stranger elevated,
From his astonished brain sprang out.
Now stood Man, and to starry legions
Displayed his kingly countenance,
Yet higher still, to ever higher stations
Creative genius soared to be.
One sees already rise creations from creations
From harmonies comes harmony.
The world, transformed by labor's hand,
The human heart, by new impulses greeted,
And exercised in battles heated,
Do your creation's scope expand.
So Man, now far advanced, on pinions elevated,
With thanks does Art transport on high,
New worlds of beauty are created
From nature richer made thereby.
That man unshackled of his duty now takes heed,
The fetters loves which him do lead,
Not prey to iron scepter of contingency,
This thanks you—your eternity,
If on the paths of thought without obstruction
Now roams th'investigator, fortune bold,
And, drunken with the paeans' loud eruption,
He reaches rashly for the crown to hold;
If now it is his rash conception
To noble guide dispatch with hireling's bread,
While by Art's dreamed-for throne's erection
The first slave office to permit instead:—
When he up to the hilltop with you sallies
And to his eye, in evening's shining part,
Is suddenly revealed—the lovely valleys.
Joy, thinking, creativity, love, are growing in ever-more-perfect creations and follow each other. The scope of creation expands, and with it man's capacity for beauty increases. Art enriches all areas of human knowledge, and is, in turn, enriched through the new creative discoveries in science and cognition. But, when the scientist tries to grapple the crown, Schiller intervenes and says: Science does not replace art from a certain moment on. There is no division between the natural and the social sciences. The truth is in the unity of art and science. The laws of the universe are efficient in all areas, and it was only the lack of development, that the scientists thought differently. Schiller then appeals to the artists, that it is in their hands, if the dignity of man goes up or goes down. I want you now, Will, to read this passage about the artists, and then the last strophe:
The dignity of Man into your hands is given,
It sinks with you! With you it is arisen!
The sacred magic of poetry
A world-plan wise is serving
To th'ocean, steer it e'er unswerving,
Of lofty harmony!
You free sons of the freest mother,
Swing upward with a constant face,
And strive then after no crown other,
To highest Beauty's radiant place.
The sisters who from here departed
In the mother's lap you soon will see;
What souls of beauty have imparted
Must excellent and perfect be.
Uplift yourselves on wings emboldened
Above your epoch's course be drawn;
See in your mirror now engoldened
The coming century's fair dawn.
On thousand twisting pathways chasing,
So rich in multiplicity,
Come forward, then, with arms embracing
Around the throne of unity.
As into gentle beams of seven
Divides the lovely shimmer white,
As also rainbow beams of seven
Dissolve into white beams of light—
So, play in thousandfolded clar'ty,
Enchanted 'round the heady sight,
So flow back in one band of ver'ty,
Into one single stream of light!
Now, this is a poetic expression, that truth, beauty, science, reason, are all one and the same. The good thing is, that Schiller wrote an extensive correspondence about how he made this poem, which gives an insight into the poet's own thinking, when he wrote to his friend Christian Gottfried Körner, who was one of his sponsors, and who invited him, in 1785, to Dresden. And this period of Schiller's life was actually the most harmonious, and without problems. He wrote the Ode to Joy, The Philosophical Letters, The Artists, and this was actually a period when he was very, very happy.
You Can Educate Your Emotions
Schiller in this period, was struggling to define a Classical aesthetical theory, a notion of beauty based on reason. On the 25th of December, 1788, he wrote to Körner: "All beauty eventually resolves in general truth. I'm convinced, if any work of art has no other demand on it, than beauty, it automatically fulfills all other demands, in a mediated way. If, however, one tries to find a compromise between beauty and morality, or something else, one can ruin both of them." I think this is a very important principle, because all art must be beautiful! If it's not beautiful, it's not art! It shouldn't be called this way.
This is obviously expressed best, in the last strophe of The Artists. Then he wrote to Körner: "The main idea is the disguise of truth and morality in beauty. It is an allegory. I open the poem with 12 lines on a presentation of man in his present perfection. From these, I develop how was his cradle. How art has prepared the scientific and moral culture, which are not the goal, but only the second level. Even so, the scientists and thinkers prematurely put the crown on their head, and give the artist a place below them. The perfection of man dissolves again in beauty, only when science becomes art."
And Körner answered him, enthusiastically, when he saw the whole poem: "You can ask, now, all poets of Germany to write something likewise. In terms of richness of ideas, this is without parallel." Then Schiller wrote back to Körner: "A poet orders the passions, the actions, and the fates, which man in real life can not always follow and keep an overview about, according to artful rules. Man learns through art, to project these artful relations to the situation in reality. His sense of harmony, in this way, is trained by art, that he no longer is content with incomplete fragments." This is the same idea Schiller has, actually, in The Aesthetical Education of Man and also in On Grace and Dignity, where he says: "The great task of man, is to become a beautiful soul; a person for whom freedom and necessity, passion and reason are the same. You have to educate your emotions on the level of reason."
Now, this is something which I think is very important, because, it is generally accepted that people should educate their mind, that they should study things, and know things. But, very little known is the idea that you can educate your emotions, in the same way. That you can train them, that you can make them more sensitive, more elaborated. And, this especially, was Schiller's controversy with Kant, who had published his different Critiques in the early 1790s—the Critique of Reason, Of Judgment, and so forth—in which Kant said, that art, in which you can not see the plan of the artist, which is just accidental arabesque somebody throws on the wall, would be more artful, than a piece where you can see the great design of the artist.
In the moral area, he [Kant] said that the guidance from moral behavior is the "categorical imperative": That nobody should behave in such a way, as he does not wish others to behave toward him. Schiller said, this is terrible, because, if you have a man for whom reason and emotions are in contradiction—and according to Kant, now, if you want to be moral, you have to tell your emotions to shut up! and basically suppress them, and "do your duty!" because you don't want this behavior to be done to you, the way you do it to others—Schiller said, this is awful, this guy Kant must have had a terrible childhood, that he comes up with such ideas. He's only writing for the slaves, and not for us, the beautiful souls. Because, it should be possible to develop your emotions, in the same way, that you can blindly trust them.
What you heard in the beautiful recitation of Kallias and the Good Samaritan yesterday. The fifth person, who blindly follows his instinct, because he has educated his emotions in such a way, that he blindly can trust them: That is a beautiful soul.
Beauty and Truth
Now, that beauty and truth, indeed, are absolutely crucial, not only Lyn has mentioned this many times, but the other leading thinker of our time, the Pope, has written, in a message last year, to Rimini, the following: "In our world, often, the thinking, that truth is outside the world of art, exists. Beauty would only concern the feeling, and would just be a sweet fruit, in front of eternal laws, which govern the world. But, is it really so? Nature, things, human beings, can truly astound us through their beauty. How can one not, for example, see something in the sunset, in the mountains, in the infinity of the oceans, in the features of a face, which attracts us, and invites us to deepen the knowledge of the reality surrounding us? Such reflections led Greek thinkers to the idea that philosophy was born out of the astonishment, never separated from the grace of beauty.
"Even that which escapes the sensuous world, possesses an inner beauty, which touches the mind and fills us with admiration. Just think about the powerful mental attraction of the act of justice, of a gesture of forgiveness, or the sacrifice for a joyful and generously-lived high ideal.
"In beauty, truth reveals itself. She attracts us, with the unmistakable winsomeness which comes from high values. In this way, emotions and reason could radically be united in their demands to man. Beauty possesses its own pedagogical power, which leads us to the cognition of truth."
And Cardinal Ratzinger wrote to the same meeting, that: "Already Plato and Augustine emphasized that beauty has nothing to do with the superficial aestheticism, but that beauty is knowledge, a higher form of knowledge, because she confronts man with the full greatness of truth. In this way, she opens the eyes of the soul."
Now, I find this a very beautiful idea, that the "eyes of the soul" must be opened. One example, where this could be seen, is in the music of Bach, which could have been born only out of the power of truth, which becomes reality in the inspiration of the composer.
Now, therefore, truth, beauty, reason, love, and the good, are not possible, one without the other. And this is why this discussion is so important today. Because, if you don't change people, and make them beautiful, and I mean, not architectural beauty of the Revlon Cover Girl variety—but I mean the inner beauty of the soul: That, if you don't make people more beautiful in the face of this gigantic world crisis, the world will not make it! Because it has a reason, why we have come to this point. The state is never better than its citizens.
Now we are in a countdown to war, in a global crisis, the systemic collapse is on. There is a tremendous hope and potential, because the alliance of Germany, France, Russia, China, is more deep than just against the war. As a matter of fact, Putin right now, is trying re-create the ideas of Count Witte—the idea of a triangle between Russia, Germany, and France. There's another triangle—Russia, China, India. In the United States, you have Lyn's campaign, and all of these are elements for a world solution. But, we need a cultural Renaissance.
Take Mankind's Problems Into Your Heart
You heard yesterday, in the Four Serious Songs [of Johannes Brahms], the formulation, "what is happening under the Sun"; and I want you to really study this Schiller, and the education of your emotions. Because, if you don't take the misery, "what is happening under the Sun" in this world, into your heart, who else will, and who should? We were in India; we were in Calcutta, and I can tell you, I couldn't breathe: because 3 million people are living in the streets, in conditions—poverty!
I thought I knew what poverty was! I saw it in Africa, I saw in Latin America. But, in Calcutta, poverty is when people are living on the street, with one little meal per day, a little room on the sidewalk, of about the size of a towel; in the dust, in the human excrement and feces; cooking in between, having no space. Having 100 people in a room that big. Being full of dust, living in the cold, living in the 50 degree Celsius heat in the Summer: 3 million people! It should not be!
I mean, there is a degree of poverty in this world, which nobody should accept. And, I think it is only the question of educating your emotions, that you take every problem "under the Sun" into your heart, and you do not allow this to continue.
Now, what we have to do, is we have to combine the beautiful idea of science, of scientific progress, with poetical ideas, with the idea of a cultural Renaissance. When Krafft Ehricke, who was a scientist, who was the crucial person to develop the Saturn missile, with which the Apollo project in the Kennedy period was made—so, he was a ground-breaking scientist. He died of cancer. And, in the last months of his life, I spoke with him many times, also on the telephone. And, he said, that while he's totally, totally for science—absolutely believing that there is infinite progress possible—he came to the conclusion, it's not the problem of science why man is having problems, but that this science is not combined with humanist education, with the development of the mind as Schiller, Humboldt, and these people have portrayed, and this is why he worked together with the Schiller Institute in the last phase of his life. This is what Schiller means, "the scientist must not take the crown too early; but science and poetry must be together."
Now, Schiller, in my view, is, for the United States, right now, to heal the soul of the American people, the most important thinker and poet you can possibly study.
Yesterday, the discussion was: Is the Youth Movement only a trick to arm-twist the stupid Baby Boomers, and to get their asses kicked? And obviously, it is not. The Youth Movement is important, to end, once and for all, the unworthy condition of mankind, where not every human being is developing their fullest potential. I would like that the Youth Movement adopt the idea of beauty. And, if you say: Okay, we will create a new Renaissance, where each of us has no higher ideal than to become a beautiful soul—well, then, we have it.