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This transcript appears in the November 23, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this transcript]


Discussion: Humanity at a Crossroads

This is the edited transcript of the discussion session following Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s presentation to the Nov. 17, 2018 Manhattan Project meeting in New York City. Subheads have been added.

Question: I was going to ask you a question that I’ve been asked, “What does the U.S. have to offer a New Bretton Woods?” But at the end of your talk, you really captured my imagination about culture and what it ought to be like. So, I want to ask you, if you could, to paint for us an image of what culture should be like. Maybe it’s easier to imagine what it’s like to have high-speed rail, how that will change our lives: How should we envision the kinds of cultural relations to expect among people, in the kind of world we’re hoping to bring about?

Zepp-LaRouche: There is a tradition in China of emphasizing aesthetical education, which had been, among some thinkers, very much further inspired by Friedrich Schiller. I was just reading an article by one former dean of the Beijing University about aesthetical education. He said that he concluded that the source of all evil is greed, desire; that people who are driven by desire have wants—they want material things, they want objects—and that becomes more obsessive. And the more obsessive they become, the more they’re willing to step over rules to even become criminal and really become totally evil.

The only thing which really remedies that is beauty, is what he said. This is absolutely true. Once people start to discover the beauty in music, the beauty in Classical music, in poetry, in painting, and begin to discover the lawfulness of what it means to write a Classical composition, either in music, in drama, or in poetry. That captures their mind, and they are so overwhelmed by the beauty which appeals to the senses, but also, according to Friedrich Schiller, something which is a notion of reason. Schiller says, we do not need the sensuous experience of beauty to conclude that it’s beautiful, but beauty is a notion which reason defines, and if then something in the sensuous world coincides with that, it is a pleasure, but you don’t need the sensuous experience first: You know what beauty has to be.

And since beauty is both appealing to the senses and to reason, while we are exposed to it, it is having this aesthetical effect of improvement, it ennobles your emotions; you become, the more you engage in it, a better person and you develop the inner strength to reject the ugliness of the present culture.

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Max Planck (left) presents Albert Einstein with the inaugural Max Planck medal for extraordinary achievements in theoretical physics, Berlin, 1929.

My image of how the culture will be, is like that between the great scientific minds of the past, the relationship between Schiller and Humboldt, Schiller and Goethe, at least for 10 years when they did work on the aesthetical lawfulness of poetry, or between Einstein and Planck. If you look at the letters exchanged by these great minds, they are fighting for ideas, they are discussing the merit of universal principles. And a scientist, or a musician for that matter, or a poet, once they are really into their great art, this becomes so important to them, that they would never chase money on the stock market, they would never try to have as many Porsches as possible. And in a certain sense, you become transformed, and you become a completely different person.

So I think that the future of mankind, when we reach that point, which I think is eminently possible, will be among cultures, that kind of a relationship, like musicians of the world who would all be working in the same orchestra; or people working in the same chorus; that the relationship will be simply based on people relating to the most creative aspect of the other mind; that we will stop being naughty little children, kicking each other, and that we respect the creativity of the other person. This will be when human beings become truly human. I think we are tasting that already.

The Physical Force of Ideas

Question: I have a somewhat half-formed question about dynamics and history, in a sense about the process of the evolution of the human species, what you and Lyndon LaRouche have both discussed, as have Percy Shelley and Rosa Luxemburg. There are historical moments in which there is an unconscious process sweeping people along in a certain direction. These moments require the intervention of a very conscious type of a leadership with an insight, a foreshadowing of the future of where mankind needs to go.

Can talk about this, so we can think about it for the organizing, and think about the physical force of ideas and what kind of process and moment we’re living in right now? What is acting on people, in perhaps an unconscious way? At the same time, the necessity for a very conscious creative intervention that rejects and goes against everything that existed before.

Zepp-LaRouche: What we are now seeing in many parts of the world, in different ways, is a global mass strike process—a global rejection of the old paradigm, seen in the election results in the United States and in several European countries. We may have a fall of the May government on Monday or soon thereafter, and a complete change in France very quickly. This is a tremendous process of rejection of this old paradigm.

We have a completely different type of process in Africa. While there are still terrible problems—many people are trying to flee to Europe, risking drowning in the Mediterranean because of extreme problems of poverty and terrorism—at the same time, a completely different spirit is growing in power. Many leaders of Africa, having been reinforced and assured by China, are defining goals for their countries to be fully industrialized countries in a very short period of time, with a prosperous middle class and top-of-level science. Now, who would have thought that the so-called developing countries, all of a sudden, would say, “We do not want to be second-class nations, but we want to be in an international division of labor, where we will take certain leading scientific areas, and cooperate”?

We now have the potential for the whole world order to change. Most people never thought the Soviet Union would collapse. My husband, Lyndon LaRouche, in 1984 when his proposal for the SDI was rejected by the Soviet government at that time, said that if the Soviet Union continues like that, they will vanish in five years. And nobody—I remember this very well—nobody believed that this would happen. Many people in Russia, also, admit that even in Russia, nobody thought the Soviet Union would ever disintegrate.

Now, we’re talking about something completely different, that the present world system, which was leading, because of geopolitics, to two World Wars—and we’re not out of the danger zone of having a Third World War—if these crazy ideas like what I reported about the National Defense Strategy Commission report, that these ideas and the European army idea, if they prevail, we could have a Third World War.

But what people cannot imagine—but I think it’s eminently something for people to imagine and really understand that this is already happening—is that you could have a new world order, a new system where geopolitics does not exist anymore, where you do not have the kind of competition where you have a zero-sum game in which one wins and the other loses, but that you can actually establish a completely new set of relations among countries, based on sovereignty, on respect for the other social system. That you do not proselytize your idea or your values, but that you actually engage in a productive dialogue where you refer to the best tradition of the other country, and vice versa. Basically you define the relationship from the standpoint of the common aims of mankind: Most people really have no idea that this is a possibility. They have never thought that this is something to be desired.

Annihilation or a New Paradigm?

If mankind is to survive, this is a very serious challenge. Either we make that jump or we blow ourselves up. It is not an academic question; it is not something for the far distant future: Some military in the United States say a war with China is very likely to occur within the next 15 years. There was even a Rand Corporation study that said, it’s better to have the war now because now the casualties would be less than they would be 10 years from now—absolute craziness.

There is also the idea to increase tactical nuclear weapons, to have a “limited” nuclear war. I think that Ted Postol and other similar voices are right: Once you start to use nuclear weapons, it will go all the way. It is the very nature of nuclear war that once you start it, all weapons systems will be used.

We have to really look at this possibility of the annihilation of mankind, to then take from this possibility the absolute energy to say, “No! We want to have a new paradigm, a new phase in humanity.” And I can only say the reference to the 15th century and the Golden Renaissance was a total rejection of all the axioms which existed at the time of the 14th century, a century characterized by scholasticism, by witchcraft belief, by superstition, by the thinking of the Peripatetics.

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The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster (Westphalia) by Gerard Terborch, 1648.

All of that was rejected, then, in the Golden Renaissance. There was a rebirth of the study of Plato, whose writings were brought to Italy at that time on the initiative of Nicholas of Cusa by the Greek Orthodox delegation. Cusa himself said he would write a method of thinking which has never been thought by any man before: And he developed the idea of the “coincidence of opposites,” that you can think of the One as of a higher quality than the Many.

And I think this is a concept that absolutely can be applied to the present situation: That we can think of the One mankind being of a higher order than the Many, being many nations and many cultures, and that we can actually start to think in terms of solutions. If you make a new discovery in a field of science, or if you compose a Classical composition in music, or if you write a poem according to Classical criteria, your mind has to accomplish exactly the same thing: Because if you want to develop a poetical idea, a musical idea, and then apply the principles of thorough-composition by exhausting all the potentials which are lying in that idea, your mind has to do exactly that!

You have to form a concept on a higher level than simply prose. If you want to just write prose, you will never arrive at a poem. In the same way, if you want to make a Classical composition, you have to have that unity of the entire musical idea, at least in germ form, before you set the first note; or, you have to have the first musical idea, having involved all the potentials.

Thinking of this Oneness, thinking of the future, is exactly something you can train your mind to think. Classical music, Classical poetry are the best training for your mind and not stick to the axioms of contradictions, not to stick to the Aristotelian idea that A is either A or B, but that you can actually synthesize the higher quality, which means thinking the new conception.

And I think that that is absolutely something which has been applied to history many times before; I think it was essentially the quality of thinking leading to the Peace of Westphalia, and it is exactly the kind of thinking we need now, to overcome this terrible danger of a new confrontation between the United States, China, Russia, and possibly even the silly Europeans, at least the silly ideas of a European army, which I think is really an outgrowth of this idea of geopolitical confrontation.

So, given the fact that we are celebrating Schiller’s birthday, I can only advise people to read the Aesthetical Education of Man by Schiller, which develops exactly that idea that the future of thinking must belong to the artists, to the scientists, because these are the only people who think in terms of provable principles and not of opinion. And on that level, there is no limit to the generation of new ideas, and that is exactly the kind of thinking we need right now.

The Humbling Awesomeness of the Universe

Question: I appreciate your presentation. One of the things that struck me, when you were talking about the possibilities of a thermonuclear war—the insanity that man might even be capable of doing that, annihilating himself—you mentioned one of the projects could be to use the Moon as a stepping-off spot for exploration of the universe.

I had the fortune to be in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. It’s one of the four darkest spots in the world, and from that area, it appears that you’re right in the Milky Way. They have telescopes there, where you can see easily the rings of Saturn and you can see the Andromeda Galaxy! And I think that when you see that, you are humbled, you’re awed, you’re in mystery. You’re totally in connection with the Divine—to think that we are a little planet in the Milky Way with hundreds of millions of stars, as big as our Sun if not bigger—there’s a certain reverence there.

No country, whether China, or Russia, or Germany, has put people back on the Moon. When you can see the stars, like I’ve been able to see them, it creates a different energy, a different appreciation of life, a different value system. But in our big cities, at night, you never see the sky, you never get beyond more or less the fog of our reality here.

My question is—and I think it’s a good point—how do we get to the Moon, and set up installations there with other countries, and start exploring the universe, and start appreciating our position in the universe? Thank you.

Zepp-LaRouche: I think that this is indeed a very, very good point, because anybody who has looked at the Hubble Telescope pictures sent back from their exploration, this is unbelievable. I watched a movie a while ago, where you see all the different formations of the stars, the planets, which are manifold! They’ve discovered now that there are, to our present knowledge, two trillion galaxies. Now, you say, the Milky Way is already breathtaking, and for sure, it is. But the very idea that our galaxy is only one of two trillion, I mean, that really puts awe into you. And it really demonstrates the point that we, our knowledge as human beings, is really just at our very first baby step about how our universe works.

The good news is that especially Russia, China, and India, apart from the United States, also have very ambitious space programs. The Chinese space program, while it started relatively late, has really leapfrogged, and they have these Chang’e-4 and Chang’e-5 missions later this year going to the far side of the Moon. India also has a very ambitious unmanned space program. All of these countries definitely have the perspective of Mars missions. And the very successful cooperation between Roscosmos and NASA is showing the way. And I think to make the step between the United States and China, to abolish the legislation which forbids the cooperation, would be absolutely key.

If these four nations—the United States, Russia, China, and India—would put all their space research efforts together, and naturally they have already invited many other countries to participate in it; ESA also has a quite significant idea of a new village on the Moon—if you would put together and pool all of these efforts, I think we could really have the kind of absolute revolution in the productivity on the planet. Because, as was the case with the Apollo project, all the breakthroughs made in space had multiple benefits for the economy on Earth. Space medicine, space-related agriculture—everything would be revolutionized from a completely new economic platform, and that is exactly what we have been proposing to the presidents and leaders of these four countries.

I have written a letter to them, and we also have made a campaign that they must take this step of looking at the world from the future, to overcome this present situation.

And I think that, naturally, the first reaction in Russia is, “This is completely impossible; even if President Trump would agree at a summit, let’s say, with Xi Jinping to such an approach, or with Putin, he could come back home and the neo-cons and the neo-liberals and the war party in the Democratic Party, would immediately nix all of that.”

Naturally, that is a danger. But on the other hand, if these four leaders would basically take an approach which would be an effort to not only overcome the bilateral tensions among their countries, in other words, not just look at how to remedy the conflict between the United States and Russia, or the conflict between the United States and China, but to say that they will work together with the idea of uplifting the entire human population out of its present dangers of thermonuclear war, a new financial crash; that these leaders put together a proposition which addresses these dangers for all of humanity, like a New Bretton Woods system would do, they would outflank the opposition because it would cause so much excitement.

Just imagine if the four leaders, or even two leaders, and then maybe later another two, came out with such declarations and say, “We will work together to eliminate the danger of war; we will create a new financial architecture, a New Bretton Woods system which will launch the biggest development industrial program in history, if we work together.” This would shake the world! This would absolutely be feasible, and it would electrify the population, so that the war party in each country—each country has war parties, people who are orthodox military, or basically people who would not agree; it would outflank them! It would absolutely cause excitement and, whatever you called it—the “New Silk Road Spirit” or the “New Paradigm Spirit,” or even the “Buenos Aires Spirit”—would catch on, and it would transform the world.

Our task is to create an environment to support President Trump if he were to go ahead with such a four-power agreement. If he has backing from the American people for such an idea, the chance of it happening is that much more possible. Without broad-based popular support, it becomes more difficult.

I think we are on the verge of exactly accomplishing that. I agree with you: Lifting our eyes to the stars, to the vastness and beauty of the universe, is exactly what frees us from this idea that we are in a limited, in a closed system of a planet with limited resources. That is an oligarchical idea. Looking at the universe at large shows you that we are not in a closed system, but we are just a tiny, tiny blue planet in a huge universe we are just beginning to explore. And if we want to survive as a human species, then that is exactly what we have to do.

Go to China, See for Yourself!

Question: I read about your husband’s having had a couple of famous debates, at some point, which created a great stir. It seems like we’ve got to stir things up!

We need to have debates now and find someone that could really stand up to you, because you’re a strong woman and you have a strong argument. Thank you for hearing me out on this. It’s not that you need to be challenged, but our people are confused and not thinking clearly. We, as a people, need to see the challenge before us.

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EIRNS/Alan Yue
Lyndon LaRouche (speaking) crushes economics professor Abba Lerner (seated right) in debate at Queens College, New York, December 1971.

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, I’m open to debate anybody, so—bring it on! [laughs]

I would actually encourage you to pick out somebody, and let’s work on it. The policy, basically, has been to prevent exactly that, because after my husband successfully won the debate with Abba Lerner at Queens College, in December 1971, our opponents basically decided that they would never allow that to happen again, simply because we would out-discuss any of these opponents.

But I’m perfectly willing to do it, and you are absolutely right, that we need more debate. Tomorrow, there will be a concert, so hopefully there will be a lot of people being touched by the beauty of the Classical music, and as you know, we plan to build more conferences in the coming year, which you can find out about from the people there.

The idea is not to stop this mobilization with the G-20 and whatever happens with these summits, but that we want to really go, in the next several months, at the beginning of the year, into an absolutely, unprecedented outreach, into all pores of society—in the United States, in Europe and also in other countries—to exactly put this idea of a new paradigm on the table. Because, in a certain sense, there is a complete vacuum right now. You will have Trump probably being in a freer position, now that the Mueller investigation is really reaching a certain rock, but it will remain a big fight. With the campaigns we did with Kesha Rogers, with Ron Wieczorek, what we did in several Midwestern states, there is an absolute openness to discuss the ideas of my husband, of LaRouche economics.

I like your idea. I would like to have a debate. Nowadays, you can have actually an international debate among countries in a conference call, from Russia, from China; we could have a debate about that, where we would emphasize our outreach beyond what we’re doing right now. I absolutely agree with you, that we have to put our minds together.

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Helga Zepp-LaRouche poses in front of a statue of Confucius.

Pilgrimages to China, I had advertised already 20 years ago. I made a speech in Washington, I think in 2000 or so, where I said why Americans should go there, and I made a quite good, I must say, presentation, using a lot of documentation of the ancient Silk Road, the Taklamakan Desert, and tried to encourage people to go to China. When I was in China in 2014, I had the pleasure to be invited to visit parts of the ancient Silk Road, from Lanzhou to Dunhuang, and farther west toward the Taklamakan Desert. I actually saw how the railway was built from Lanzhou to Urumqi, which they built in half a year! And I saw how it was built simultaneously, at like 50 places, and a few months later, it was ready. I only saw a little of it—tiny excavations, which later became the tracks.

I can only encourage people: Go to China. It’s not such a big deal. I rode on the maglev test track in Emsland, Germany; this is now, unfortunately, no longer functioning. I also rode on the Chinese maglev from Pudong to Shanghai, from the airport to the city. It’s not such a big deal. I like the Chinese fast train systems much better. They’re faster, at this point—maglev may be in another generation much faster—but they’re so quiet! Anybody who travels on the Chinese fast train will be convinced that that’s the way to go.

So, if you have the possibility, go to China, and spread the word. Because anybody who either was in China, worked in China, is married to a Chinese, they all have a completely different view, and they would never fall for all the lies being spread about China. What China is doing is really the greatest strategic initiative on the planet right now—offering a way to overcome the geopolitical danger—and if more people knew that, it would help a lot.

But maybe we should work on building an international videoconference, and trying to involve as many networks, social media and so forth, and debate this idea! Like the Federalist Papers: “Can Mankind Govern Itself, or Are We Condemned to Continuously Destroying Each Other?” Maybe we should build such an international videoconference. I think that that would be a first step in the direction you are saying.

Educating the Emotions

Question: This question of joy, or this question of happiness, and how that is so connected with scientific progress and economic development. Because when you get a sense that you have a future, which is better than the present, there’s a quality of optimism, in which all kinds of crazy things that you get very obsessed with and that are very grinding and wearing, just totally evaporate.

And then I was reflecting on what occurred in the 1960s in the United States, where we had Kennedy’s commitment to land on the Moon: So, you had spectacular breakthroughs in science, you had the highest standard of living that we’ve had in the United States in many years.

Coupled with that, however, was the vicious onslaught of the Congress for Cultural Freedom. So that, instead of the natural explosion of development and goodness of people, you had instead, a population that was prepared to accept an unnatural entropy, where you reach a condition, as Helga mentioned earlier, which is the forest fires killing we don’t even know how many people; or a situation in New York City where it can take literally six hours to get from New Jersey to New York in a snowstorm—or sometimes, not even in a snowstorm—or if you’re on a subway that breaks down, or when the portal bridge breaks down, and the little man has to come out and hammer it back together after a boat goes through. These are things that it’s actually unbelievable that we’ve tolerated.

I think this quality of education of emotions, what I talked about at our [Nov. 10] Schiller celebration, where, to do the good, even if it’s against your “physical wellbeing” becomes your first impulse and first instinct, is not something that is remote. I think it’s very possible, and I think it’s a quality of a cultural Renaissance combined with the kinds of economic breakthroughs that we have to get.

The Schiller Institute NYC Chorus is just an extraordinary bunch of very, very different, individual people. And the thing that unifies them is their commitment to the music, and I realized at our rehearsal last night from a couple of conversations with members of the chorus, how completely impassioned they are, how personally they take their relationship to this great art, and that is another way, a Cusan way, of creating a kind of unity among people who find themselves diverse.

Example: California Is Disintegrating

Question: You’ve raised California a couple of times, Thursday on the webcast, and again today, so I feel compelled to address this question.

Let me give a quick sense to people who don’t know: In California we now have not “Skid Row,” but “Skid Blocks” all over Los Angeles. There’s a homeless epidemic, which then leads to a typhoid epidemic.

There’s a kind of breakdown there that’s hard to imagine when the state was the leading industrial and scientific state 50 years ago. Today, half the state’s children are in poverty; it’s got the second worst educational system in the country. It’s just been mangled and destroyed.

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Residents evacuating along the Pacific Coast Highway as the Woolsey Fire encroaches on Malibu, California, November 9, 2018.

These massive fires are so big, and the smoke is so bad, that for the last week we’ve had a smoke red-alert condition in the Bay Area—300 miles away! The smoke has just barreled into the Bay Area. It’s now been 10 days straight—we can’t even send our field squads out. We were out in Livermore two days ago and a press van stopped and wanted to interview us, saying they wanted to know who is so dedicated to their cause that they would actually be out in this smoke, it’s so bad. [laughter]

In our 2007 video on “The Coming Financial Crisis,” we compared it to the Weimar hyperinflation and pointed to Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg as the key figures of a fascist policy in the United States. Schwarzenegger cut all the fire infrastructure, anything that was redundant, anything that you wouldn’t use except under severe, emergency circumstances; every decade, those were cut out of the budget—and they never came back. He was governor [from 2003] until 2010; the crisis hit in 2008, and this massive fire infrastructure was cut.

Your response has been that we’re closer to a breakthrough than ever before. My question to you is to ask you to elaborate on that: being so close to a breakthrough on a new paradigm, but so equally close to chaos and world war.

Western Civilization at a Breaking Point

Zepp-LaRouche: The key will be to discuss this idea about Western values. Because, in my remarks to the Nov. 10 New York Schiller birthday event [see EIR, Nov. 16], I mentioned that you have these mass shootings in the United States, you have already more than 300 this year! If this rate continues, it will be an increase over last year, which was 345 mass shootings in one year. And only the most spectacular ones are still getting coverage.

Germany has many problems but there is still a conscious approach [to forest-fire prevention]. The forests are being managed, dead wood is being cleared out, new colonies of trees are being planted. It’s more like a garden, it’s not just something you leave as it is.

Look at all of these aspects of today’s American society—the lack of infrastructure investment, the lack of forest management, the length of commuting time, the violence in the schools, the opium epidemic—anyone who puts all of this together and does not recognize that this is a collapsing society, is just not in their right mind. And I think a lot of people sense that.

I said, look at what China is doing: They put a ban on hip-hop music, because the lyrics present a degraded image of women and men. China is banning banal quiz shows, because they destroy creativity. I got a very upset answer from somebody who had listened to me, asking, “Are you proposing to get rid of the First Amendment?”

No, I’m not saying that. However, we must recognize that what is being peddled as “Western values,” is not the freedom of expression of your own opinion. But if you have an onslaught where everything goes in terms of culture, and the common good is kicked to the ground and completely neglected, then you must rebel against that. We need an uprising in which people demand the common good. That is the kind of broad discussion which we have to have, and I think that is exactly what we have to generate—”it’s in the air.”

Before the G.D.R. [East Germany] collapsed in 1989, it had probably been clear to the party leaders as early as the spring or summer of that year that the country was completely bankrupt, and they tried to hide it. Then you had this sudden trigger with the visas. Many, many people did not like the fact they could not travel outside the Comecon countries. Within weeks, you had the Monday demonstrations, going from a few hundred, to few thousand, and then to 100,000, and finally there were two million in the streets. That is the kind of process we need. We need a public expression from people who do not want this collapse any more.

Trump had a meeting with some executives from the entertainment industry after one of these shootings. We have to fuse all of these different things together: the people who are upset about losing their properties in California, people who are outraged about the incredible commuting time they’ve been force to endure—we somehow have to get all of these people together. We will be working to accomplish that unity in our organizing efforts in the first three months of the coming year. There will be a unique opportunity to fuse the rejection of these different evils, to lase them all into one effort—that will be key to get the United States into a different mode.

I’m absolutely convinced it can be done. Things come to a breaking point: I don’t think this can continue much longer. I directly addressed the German Industry Association complaints about the Chinese model of state control. If the West cannot take care of its own next generation, of its children and youth, there will be an organic disappearance of the Western system. We have to address the people who can see that and mobilize them.

I think we are closer to a breaking point than you can imagine. Look at the facts as they are. The European Union is in a centrifugal disconnect. I cannot say how quickly that will go, but the speed is accelerating. The financial crash is coming; the cultural collapse is coming. It’s much like, though it’s never the same, not exactly like 1989 in the G.D.R., but it’s the kind of process in which the tension becomes so great that you know a break is coming. It will be our intervention, providing leadership to this by fusing these different elements into one. I think it can be done.

The ‘Choral Effect’

Question: My question is about the choral effect, as we’re on the eve of the concert. Earlier in our rehearsals, Diane [Sare] and John [Sigerson] urged all members to read Schiller’s Song of the Bell and On the Sublime. If we did not develop in ourselves an understanding of what we were presenting, we would fail in our objective to communicate these ideas.

Last night, while we were rehearsing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, John stopped us and pointed out, with an ironical smile, that the way we were singing at that moment would come across much more like the Nazi version of it. He told us a story about some of that history. Needless to say, we made that correction quite quickly and that was heard, and felt.

Now, for that choral effect, Thursday night—I live 12 miles from Midtown Manhattan, and it took me six and a half hours to get home. I won’t go through the details, but I’ll tell you that I took a bus, a taxi, a long walk, a train, another long walk, a train and then a long, long wait for a cab, before I finally got home. That took six and a half hours. I then slept probably, maybe, about four hours.

And the choral effect was this: It was a long, tough day. One of the things that helped me through this ordeal, was telling those around me, my coworkers, this story. One asked me, “Did you lose it?” And I said, “No. Because I sing.” And, exhausted as I was, I think everyone has experienced this before. That final rehearsal changed everything for me. These things are still amazing to me, how that happens—and it was a joy, even though I was exhausted.

During that Thursday night, the glimpse of chaos was very clear. People were losing it during that horror show of the transit collapse. I was in many different places, traveling through a gauntlet of breakdowns. In that type of circumstance, you really see the need for us to present these ideas to a desperate population, so that they don’t “lose it.” Which is what the guy said, “How did you not lose it?” Well, that wouldn’t have helped.

Zepp-LaRouche: The Choral Fantasy is one of my absolutely most favorite pieces, exactly because it has this idea of the beautiful soul you’re addressing:

Nehmt denn hin, ihr schönen Seelen,

froh die Gaben schöner Kunst. . . .

[Accept then, oh you beautiful spirits

Joyously of the gifts of art. . . .]

That’s exactly the emotion of love, speaking to the divine spark in the other soul, and transmitting this idea of the beauty of great art. So when you do this tomorrow, you should be joyful and happy, because that is exactly the kind of spirit of the new Renaissance. I think the Ode to Joy, the Choral Fantasy—these are the best expressions to know with your soul and with your mind of what this new age has to be, what this new paradigm of civilization can really mean for all of humanity.

From Where Does Our Power Come?

Question: In 1989 you were poised to see something in a way that very few people have ever been poised to see it: the sudden re-creation of a nation, in the case of Germany, even as your husband was in prison, in a situation where, at the time, of course, most of us thought he could very well die there, because of the way in which George Bush ’41, in particular, and others, had sought his demise.

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EIRNS/Richard Magraw
Helga Zepp-LaRouche (light coat, with flag) joins the U.S. “Franklin Brigade” at the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

But, at the same time, the day after the first breech in the Berlin Wall, Lyn, from prison, promoted or advanced the idea of what would be the Eurasian Land-Bridge: It was the seed crystal of what we’re talking about right now. Schiller has this idea that man is greater than his destiny.

And so, I wanted to know if you would say something further about your own, subjective, not merely experience, but the way in which you were able to deploy, using this idea which was completely new—yes, Lyn had referenced these things, and he’s doing this from prison—and at the same time, that we had the problem of that situation of Lyn, we had this capability and then we had to do something—you did—at that time.

I think what’s important for us to think about is, what are we, that we are able to get world leaders of nations [to act]. We don’t have a nation, we don’t have power, in that sense. Where does our power come from, and how was your own situation in that circumstance, how did you think of what you had to do, and then proceed?

Zepp-LaRouche: Well, this was a process. If you remember the period of the SDI, we had many discussions with people from the Soviet Union, more than one year of backchannel discussions. Then the rejection coming from Moscow. The announcement of Reagan of the SDI. Lyn’s draft proposal for the relation of the superpowers, one year later. His prediction that the Soviet Union would collapse in five years. Then, he spoke at the Kempinski Bristol Hotel in Berlin in 1988, where he said the German unification will come soon and Berlin will be the capital of a unified Germany, and that Poland should be developed as a model for the transformation of the Comecon. Then Lyn was put in prison. And then all of this development happened.

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Erich Honecker (center, in dark suit), with Mikhail Gorbachov on his right, celebrate the 40th (and last) anniversary of the German Democratic Republic, October 7, 1989.
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The fall of the Berlin Wall, November 9, 1989.

In my mind, there was never a doubt: We had followed the economic difficulties of the Comecon. In a certain sense, we were the only people, the absolutely only people, who were not surprised when the Wall came down. I’m saying that with full determination. [East German party head Erich] Honecker at the 40th anniversary of the G.D.R., its big military parade, said his famous rhyme, “Sozialismus in seinem Lauf halten weder Ochs noch Esel auf.” (“Socialism in its course will not be stopped by ox or ass.”) [In other words,] the Socialist G.D.R. would be there for 1,000 years. Two weeks later, he was out, and three weeks later the Wall came down.

So, it’s clear that Honecker was quite off, but so was the West. Despite the fact that the unification was the raison d’être of West Germany’s entire postwar statehood, so to speak—they did not believe it. They did not believe it. They published the documents about the 1989, I think it was in 1997, or several years later, much earlier than they normally do these things, admitting that despite the fact that German unity was the primary goal of West German politics, they had not prepared a contingency plan. They just assumed it would not happen.

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Schiller Institute
The Paris-Berlin-Vienna Productive Triangle pamphlet.

So, we had the Productive Triangle concept and one week later, about one week after the Wall had come down, I wrote the first leaflet. I think the headline of it was, “Continue, Beloved Germany.” “Geliebtes Deutschland, weiter so.” It contained the idea that this was the right process. I put in the idea of the development of Poland, and then, we went immediately to the borders, and we talked to all the people in the Eastern states. By January, we had the first pamphlet out, the Paris-Berlin-Vienna Productive Triangle.

In the next year, in 1990, our first trip I think was to Hungary and later to Poland. And this was a big deal. Don’t think that it was such a self-evident thing to travel to meet people in Poland and in Hungary, because while the Iron Curtain was there—and if you had no relatives, like in East Germany—Poland was really an Iron Curtain country, you had no connection. So, to go there, in an uncharted territory was quite something, because we did not know what to expect, we didn’t know what the reaction would be, but we went to all of these places, and proposed the Productive Triangle, including having this huge conference in the spring of 1990 in Berlin, with many, many people from all over Eastern Europe, Russia. The germ of the Eurasian Land-Bridge was laid there. And then, we proposed a conference.

The Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. We immediately extended the Productive Triangle into the Eurasian Land-Bridge and proposed a conference to all countries of Eurasia. It took several years before it actually happened, but I know this conference in 1996 was a result of our proposals, and only China accepted the idea.

So in a certain sense, you can say it took a long time, but, I really think that if you know that what you’re proposing is the right thing, because it corresponds to the laws of the universe, because it corresponds to what is the true character of humanity—well, once you know that an idea is an adequate idea, then you are confident. And that’s why I’m confident that there is the absolute potential that the new paradigm can be realized in the near future.

I don’t say that just to cheer you up, or make you happy, or console you over the terrible circumstances of the United States—that is not why I’m saying that. I really believe it is possible. I’m also saying it’s possible that the world could be blown up, but if I did not believe that the true nature of humanity is to overcome challenges on a higher level, that Leibniz’s idea that a great evil tends to cause a bigger good to emerge, if that were not the proof of the evolution of mankind, we would not have made the tremendous progress that we have. I think that that is the absolute message of the future which we can bring to change and shape the present.

So, I think our history proves that that principle is true.