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This transcript appears in the April 1, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Europe Must Regain Classical Culture

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I would just like to say one final thing: What people don’t know is that in China, Confucianism is very much alive. China is doing the things it does because the present Chinese leadership is not so much communist, but much more Confucianist, and they’re putting a lot of emphasis on education, on the development of the minds of the young people, on excellence in creativity, on moving forward.

We have lost that spirit in Europe. We are not thinking about Classical culture. The only reason why people are afraid of foreigners is because we have lost our culture!

You know the famous discussion about Leitkultur is a joke because we have no more consciousness—I mean, we are one of the richest cultures of all the countries of the world, the German Classical period. But is it the live culture in our population? It’s not!

We have always said that one can only solve this problem by combining economic development with a cultural Renaissance. This is why we’re putting a lot of emphasis on Verdi tuning, we want to go back to the Verdi tuning and bel canto singing; we emphasise Furtwängler; we emphasise the great German Lied, because we have to have this combination, we have to find a way to get back to the humanistic ideas of Schiller. I’m the president of the Schiller Institute because I believe that we need the image of man of Friedrich Schiller.

It’s therefore not just a question of economics, it’s not just a question of infrastructure, but it’s a question of building a Renaissance. And I think if we do our job right, we can revive the German Classical tradition, the Italian Classical tradition, we can relate to Confucianism in China, we can go to all the high points of all the cultures and have a dialogue among the Gupta period, the Vedic writings in India, the best traditions of Persia, of Africa. There were periods during which Ethiopia was one of the greatest cultures of mankind! Many schools of thought say that the entirety of human development comes from Ethiopia.

So we have to understand that we either go under as a barbaric culture, which we are on the verge of doing, or we revive the best traditions of all civilizations and have a dialogue among them, and make a new Renaissance out of that. And that is a joyful perspective, and I want to advise and invite all of you to join it.

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