The Vital Role of the Schiller Instituteby Nancy Spannaus
In Shaping History
A crucial part of the hidden history of the last 20 years is the story of the Schiller Institute, the international republican think-tank established in 1984 by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, a German political leader and wife of U.S. Democratic Party Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. The shocking truth is that, without the energetic work and leadership of this institution in spreading the concepts it has championed of the American Revolution and the Weimar Classic, the world would be a much different, and worse place today.
To understand the unique international role of the Schiller Institute, one has to comprehend the fact that ideas shape history.
Man Is Greater Than His Fate
In her Founding Message in 1984, Helga Zepp-LaRouche described Schiller's method as the one required to get mankind out of crisis. She said: "The kernel of this method can be defined in Schiller's own words: Man is greater than his fate. Even if the objective situation looks almost hopeless and desperate, we, like Schiller, are sure that a courageous spirit and human reason will always be able to find the higher level where the problems are solvable."
It is to that "higher level" that the Institute has devoted itself, largely through sponsoring seminars, conferences, Classical artistic performances, and tours. The seminars have ranged in topics from military strategy, to economic development, to the frontiers of science, and have occurred on every continent. Through these activities, the Institute has had a palpable effect on the policy deliberations, particularly on economics and science, of the countries of the former Soviet Union, where the scientific and political elite have engaged in intensive debate over the ideas of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche.
But, at the same time, the Schiller Institute has affected large numbers of "ordinary" people in many countries, through its sponsorship of cultural events, particularly concerts. In places like Sonora, Mexico the Institute is known for its huge Classical music concerts, largely involving children. And although not formally sponsoring it, the Institute promoted one of the most significant mass musical events ever to be held in Washington, D.C., the 1998 concert by the renowned St. Thomas Boys Choir of Leipzig, which drew thousands of people to hear the founding Classical music of Bach at its best.
While operating on a shoestring budget, the Schiller Institute sees these events as part of its commitment to create a New Renaissance of Classical culture, as the essential ingredient for preventing a descent into a New Dark Age. To supplement the events, the Institute has maintained an English-language publishing enterprise, which has produced four volumes of translations of the works of Friedrich Schiller. Among the products of the Institute's press have also been The Science of Christian Economy by Lyndon LaRouche, a book of translations of the works of philosopher Nicolaus of Cusa, and numerous other books, as well as a quarterly magazine in both German (Ibykus) and English (Fidelio).
Schiller and Civil Rights
In the pages below, Helga Zepp-LaRouche herself gives you a flavor of what the Schiller Institute has stood for for two decades, in its fight to revive the very best of the cultures of America and Europe. We include the founding principles and a short timeline of the Institute's activities. More on all these areas can be found on the Schiller website, at www.schillerinstitute.org. In addition, a fuller evaluation of the impact the Institute has had on history, will appear in a followup article by Mrs. LaRouche in an upcoming issue of EIR.
But even the briefest review of the Schiller Institute would not be complete without introducing the role played by its American Vice-Chairman, Amelia Boynton Robinson. Amelia Robinson is a civil right heroine, who brought the Rev. Martin Luther King into her home in Selma, Alabama and played a pivotal role in winning the Voting Rights Act of 1965. She has been awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation Medal of Freedom by the New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation, for "courage, conviction, and outstanding services to state and nation during the turbulent decade of the 1960s"—an accomplishment many would see as a culmination of a career.
But instead, Mrs. Robinson has taken up the banner of the Schiller Institute, as an ambassadress for its ideals of economic and social justice, travelling to East Germany at the time of the fall of Communism; to Italy during the buildup toward the war in Iraq; and to many other nations and everywhere within the United States, to inspire especially this generation of youth to join the battle for "true political freedom."
From the fight for the Strategic Defense Initiative, to the campaign for a New just World Economic Order, to the fight for a return to Classical pitch in musical performance, and to Classical Platonic thinking in science, the Schiller Institute has put itself on the frontlines of building a hopeful future for all humanity.
Whether it is ultimately successful, will be judged by the outcome of the world history which it is bending toward a new Renaissance, amidst the threat of a new dark age.