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This transcript appears in the February 14, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


Think Like Beethoven

[Print version of this transcript]

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Ludwig van Beethoven, in a portrait by Willibrord Joseph Mähler, 1815.

This is the edited transcript of Mrs. LaRouche’s presentation to a special Schiller Institute meeting in New York City on February 8, 2020. Dennis Speed introduced her, saying “humanity should try, for a change, to think like Beethoven.” He underscored that Lyndon LaRouche is best known as an economist and statesman and Presidential candidate, and that most people are unaware of his work in music. Speed read from an essay in the recently published volume of his writings, Think Like Beethoven, the essay, “What Is Music, Really? The Principle of Music Is Love.”

The essential thing is love. Music is love. The principle of music is love, mankind’s love of mankind. Of what mankind could be. And you want to do something that’s beautiful in terms of what mankind’s nature says. And if it isn’t beautiful, you don’t want to do it. You don’t want ugly things! And the characteristic of the 20th century was ugly music. From the beginning it’s ugly music. And the music has become uglier and uglier and uglier all the time. On every street, even in speaking. In writing. Also in smelling. . . .

That’s the problem. Mankind tends toward the wrong standards of truth. It starts with the conception that mankind is an animal, and mankind is not an animal. When you start with saying that mankind is an animal, that’s when all the trouble comes in. And the only way you can deal with music, really, is on the basis of love. The love of mankind and what mankind can do that is loving of mankind.

Because the future is: You’re all going to die. And what is the passion which corresponds, therefore, to mankind? Since everybody is going to die, what’s the meaning of human life? Is it a fact? Not exactly. It’s the creation of a more powerful capability of mankind by purging mankind of its own corruption. Extracting mankind into the freedom from corruption. And all practical measures to craft and improve the quality of art is crap, because they are not sincere. They don’t correspond to some principle of the matter.

And this is true: You see it in drama; you see it on the musical stage; you see it in performance of all kinds. The beauty is creativity, per se. It’s also the measure of what creativity is.

Speed closed his introduction saying,

This year being the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, let us do something that Beethoven would do, an indication of what he would do today is in his opera Fidelio. Exonerating Lyndon LaRouche would be the kind of action that would indicate that we had actually understood how Beethoven thought. We would be doing what Beethoven would have done; thus indicating that we understand how Beethoven thought.

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White House/Shealah Craighead
President Trump in a news conference, the day after his acquittal by the Senate on bogus impeachment charges.

Feb. 8—I will try to talk about the subject that Dennis just announced. Let me situate it in a specific context. During the last several days, we witnessed quite tumultuous events. The impeachment drive against President Trump was finally defeated. He was acquitted, and gave a rather jubilant press conference, a meeting, afterwards. It is a moment in which we all should reflect on that coup attempt, which started with British intelligence, members of the intelligence community of the United States, and the heads of intelligence of the Obama administration. If one were living in a different world, one might think, “Shouldn’t it be the case that leftists would oppose the CIA? Oppose the intelligence community? Shouldn’t it be that the liberals somehow would have a problem when there is a coup attempt against a sitting, elected President of the United States?”

Well, but we all found out that no such thing occurred. Neither the so-called left—if it still exists—or the left liberals had any problem with the fact that there was overwhelming evidence that the intelligence apparatus tried to make a coup by replacing the American Constitution, turning the American republic into a British parliamentary system, which was emphasized by Alan Dershowitz and others. So, why is that the case?

My presentation, which is about Beethoven and culture in general, will investigate why this is. Some of you will be surprised that this behavior of the left and left liberals in this entire process, is the result of a gigantic—and I really mean gigantic—brainwashing effort, which many people know very little about, or about how and why it works.

What has this to do with the Beethoven Year? We will have a full year of concerts around the world. In Germany alone, there will be more than 1,000 special concerts performing Beethoven’s music. When the first performances began, I had the good fortune of spending one entire day listening to an Austrian/Swiss/German TV program presenting many different Beethoven compositions. That is a luxury that you normally don’t have. However, if you do that, and you spend an entire day listening to many different compositions—piano concertos, symphonies, the Missa Solemnis, Fidelio, and many others—it has an incredible effect on you. Because you are being transformed, your mind and your emotions are moved into a completely different universe.

So, it occurred to me that this Beethoven Year is the perfect opportunity—it coincides with extremely important political and strategic decisions that have to happen. We have to overcome geopolitics. We have to avert the danger of the world plunging into another World War, sleepwalking, as happened with the First World War. The world needs Trump to move forward with what he set out to do in the 2016 campaign: improve the U.S. relationship with Russia, and with China. We face incredible dangers.

So, it occurred to me that we should use the Beethoven Year internationally to have many people participating in listening to Beethoven, in performing Beethoven—in order to develop the powerful emotional strength that is at the core of great Classical music, more from Beethoven than from anybody else. It has been clear to me for a very long time that we will succeed politically only if we combine our political efforts with a cultural renaissance of Classical music.

Why Classical Culture?

Schiller’s Aesthetical Letters, was his reaction to the failure and collapse of the French Revolution when the Jacobin Terror had taken over, and the hope of all the republican circles in Europe, that the French Revolution would replicate the American Revolution, was shattered. When that hope was shattered, Schiller said, “A great moment has found a little people.” The objective conditions for a change, to have an American-like Revolution were there, but the subjective moral condition was lacking.

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Friedrich Schiller, in a posthumous portrait by Louis Ammy Blanc, 1861.

In his Aesthetical Letters Schiller wrote in response that he believed that any improvement in politics could only come from the moral improvement, the ennoblement of the individual. I believe that is absolutely true. I have made that my own creed for the last half century. Only if individuals become better human beings, becoming more noble in their emotions, thinking about the nobility of all of humanity; only then can you move history forward. Schiller, in his Letters on Aesthetical Education, gave the answer, that it can only be through great Classical art that that can be accomplished.

Now, some people would argue, “No, what do we need Classical art for? We also have religion.” I’m not denying that in religion there is a command to improve. There are other people who argue, “But why do you need Classical music? I don’t know it; I don’t like it; it’s alien to me. Why don’t we just concentrate on astronomy, looking at the stars? That also has an ennobling effect.” I’m not denying either. I don’t think there is an exclusive separation among these three realms, Classical culture, religion, and astronomy. But it is great Classical art that does something very specific in fostering the creative faculties of the mind.

Schiller, and also Lyn during his entire life, proceeded from that assumption. As a matter of fact, all of Schiller’s works—his poems, his dramas—were all characterized and driven by the idea that the result must be the ennoblement of human beings. The quote you just heard from Dennis by Lyn expresses the essence of Lyn’s entire work quite well. Schiller, Confucius, and other similar great thinkers promoted the idea that aesthetical education brings forth that ennoblement.

If you immerse yourself in a great painting of Leonardo da Vinci, or Rembrandt, or listen to a Schubert song, or a beautifully performed American Spiritual, then you forget about your greed, you forget about your selfishness. While thinking in the creative composition you are engaging with, you become a little bit more like that yourself. The more you make that a habit, and the less you do selfish and greedy things in between, the more you become a better person.

Just in parentheses, I want to mention that Xi Jinping, the President of China, has frequently emphasized the need to have aesthetical education, especially of students, but also of all other age brackets of society. Because if people are educated aesthetically, they develop a more beautiful mind and a more beautiful soul. And that is the source of all great works.

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CC/Jiuguang Wang
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy, topped by Brunelleschi’s dome.

There are many reports that Trump intends to issue an Executive Order that Federal buildings should no longer be modernist, but should be Classical. Hopefully he means Greek Classical and Renaissance Classical, and not what’s called Roman Classical, because these notions are sometimes not differentiated. But I think this is a very promising sign. First, Trump talks about the Dome in Florence, and now he is considering making buildings beautiful. So, he should continue on this road.

Beauty is intelligible. This is a very important point because it goes beyond opinion. People often say, “What my taste is, is my thing, and I have the right to find something beautiful, and you have a right to another opinion.” I want to offer a notion of beauty that is intelligible. It goes to the Italian use of the “golden mean” proportion in Renaissance paintings and buildings, but it is also a standard of composition.

It pertains to the famous debate between Schiller and Kant, in which Kant, in his Critique of Judgement, wrote that any arabesque that a painter throws against the wall is more beautiful than a piece of art in which you can recognize the intention of the artist. Schiller got very upset about that, and wrote many of his aesthetical writings to fully rebut this idea of Kant. He said there must be a notion borne out of reason, and of beauty. If the empirical performance and evidence conforms to that idea of reason, it is good, but not the other way around.

Let us go back to Beethoven. I recently wrote an Open Letter to defend the Classical performance of Beethoven works in which I vowed that I would initiate a campaign to end the acceptance of the performance of classically composed music as it is now being destroyed by the modernists, and to end the presentation of ugliness in music, which Lyn did not like, as Dennis presented it to you.

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George Washington and General Lafayette at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78, in a painting by John Ward Dunsmore, 1907.

Beethoven’s Opera Fidelio

I want to talk to you a little bit about Fidelio, because this is an opera which is very dear to my heart, and it was very dear to Lyn’s heart. The two of us really thought it was our opera, for reasons which I will come to in a second. First of all, concerning the narrative of Fidelio, it definitely is based on real historical events. More research needs to be done, and if some of you, our listeners and audience, feel compelled to join in that, you are welcome. We have certain hints. In the literature about the origins of the libretto of Beethoven’s Fidelio there are different views.

A very probable hypothesis is that it relates to the arrest and imprisonment of the Marquis de Lafayette who, as you know, was very much an ally of the American Revolution. And in that capacity, he drew the anger of the then British Prime Minister, William Pitt, who put pressure on the Austrian emperor to put Lafayette in jail, where he was imprisoned for several years in a dungeon. He was freed from prison by the efforts of many, including through the courageous intervention of his wife Adrienne, who joined him in his incarceration. An enormous international campaign ensued, involving many VIPs appealing to Emperor Franz, so that Lafayette finally was released. He was released in 1797, and only five months after that, the Frenchman Jean-Nicolas Bouilly published the libretto that Beethoven then used, called Leonore, or Conjugal Love.

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public domain
Left: Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, as a Lieutenant General, in a portrait by Joseph-Désiré Court, 1791. Right: Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles, the wife of Lafayette.

This is, as I said, very dear to my heart. When Lyn, who was innocent of any crime, was put in jail by the Bush Sr. Administration, I launched Operation Florestan. This was a situation in which Lyn was put in jail by a combination of the British and the Bush apparatus, and there was also clearly some collaboration with certain Soviet forces. So, when you read this article on Operation Florestan, understand that in 1989, the Berlin Wall had not yet fallen, and the situation was still extremely tense between the Soviet Union and the West, so, some of these things have to be seen in the context in which they were written. The setting of putting Lyn in jail innocently, deprived the American population of access to the most beautiful ideas probably ever written and thought in the history of the United States.

With Operation Florestan, for the next five years, we spoke with thousands and thousands of VIPs. We had probably a couple of thousand signatures from sitting parliamentarians all over the world, from generals, from chiefs of staff, from bishops, from cardinals, from writers, and other notables. We launched this campaign with the idea that Operation Florestan, being modelled on the Fidelio opera and the example of Lafayette,— that we would get Lyn out of jail. That was by no means certain. Lyn was given an extremely harsh sentence—the intention was that he would die in jail. So, we launched this campaign.

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EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Lyndon LaRouche being escorted out of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia after sentencing to 15 years in prison, January 27, 1989.

Now I want to talk a little bit about the narrative of the opera Fidelio to make clear why this is absolutely parallel to what happened to us. In the opera, Florestan is held as a political prisoner by Don Pizarro, the governor of the prison and a tyrant, who fears that Florestan might reveal some very compromising truth about him. Florestan’s wife, Leonore, disguises herself as a man, calling herself Fidelio. She gets herself hired by the warden of the prison, Rocco. Rocco’s daughter, Marzelline, falls in love with Fidelio—who she thinks is a man—despite the fact that she has a fiancé, Jaquino.

In the beginning of the opera, you hear this beautiful quartet, for which I ask our singers to get ready. This is still at the very beginning of the scene. The four characters—Leonore, Rocco, Jaquino, and Marzelline—are all singing. The beauty of this quartet is that they all sing about their hopes, their inspirations, and they are all different. But despite the fact that they are all very different, the harmonious composition is one of the most beautiful examples of the art of Beethoven. Now, let’s hear “Mir ist so wunderbar.”

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The singers performing the “Mir ist so wunderbar” quartet from Fidelio, during Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s Schiller Institute meeting. Left to right: Elliot Greenspan, Nancy Guice, John Sigerson, and Michelle Erin.

(The live performance of the quartet at the meeting is available here.)

After this development in the beginning, Pizarro comes to the dungeon to look over the prisoners, because he has learned that the minister wants to come to inspect things. The minister is his political enemy. And he is afraid the minister will meet Florestan, who could reveal the secrets. So, he wants Florestan to be killed.

Pizarro tells Rocco to go to the dungeon and kill Florestan. Rocco does not want to do it, but eventually agrees to at least dig the grave, and then have the corpse of Florestan buried. Rocco takes Fidelio with him because it is heavy work, and he is a little bit old. So, Leonore and Rocco go into the dungeon. Leonore asks Rocco to allow the prisoners to see the light of day, because they are otherwise always in the dark. Then comes the most beautiful chorus, the Prisoners’ Chorus, which is very famous. If you don’t have it in your ear, you should go home and listen to the whole opera, which you should do in any case.

Florestan, meanwhile, who is struggling in the dark, and who has fever and is feeling horrible, has a beautiful vision that Leonore has come for him and he sees her as an angel. This again is one of the most beautiful arias you can imagine. Leonore/Fidelio asks Rocco to allow her to give this prisoner some bread and wine, and while doing that, recognizes her husband. So Pizarro arrives, and he is already moving with a dagger to kill Florestan. Leonore throws herself between her husband and Pizarro and says “First kill his wife!” She threatens Pizarro with a pistol. At that point, the trumpets sound to announce the arrival of the minister. The danger is over, and Florestan and Leonore embrace each other and then comes this unbelievable duet of joy, “O namenlose Freude!”

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Leonora confronts Don Pizarro and saves her husband Florestan in Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, in an engraving by M. Weber based on a painting of Eugene Klimsch.

While we are hearing this now as an audio, I want you to focus on the absolute beauty of the emotions—the joy, the limitless joy, the nameless joy which unites Leonore and Florestan. It is that emotion which is love; and it is that emotion which is pure joy. The same joy which Beethoven celebrates also in the Ninth Symphony, especially in the last movement when he incorporates Schiller’s Ode to Joy and this becomes the chorus.

So, let’s now listen to the “O namenlose Freude!”

(The performance of the duet played at the meeting is available here.)

After that duet, the minister opens all the dungeons; the prisoners emerge and are free. The minister recognizes Florestan, his friend; then everybody joins in in the great finale, the beautiful chorus, the so-called Heil chorus in which they celebrate the love of mankind, the love between the two spouses, the absolute victory of freedom over tyranny, and that with a good plan, man can absolutely defeat all tyrants. This emotion, this idea that if you struggle for a good cause, you overcome all the difficulties, and that you arrive at a higher level of sublime feeling—this is expressed in this beautiful music. So, let’s hear the “Heil sei dem Tag, Heil sei der Stunde” chorus clip.

Well, this is only the beginning, and I really urge you to listen to a very good performance of the entire Fidelio. There is a very beautiful one with Christa Ludwig and probably many others, but I really think you should take the time to listen to the entire opera.


So, well, I had a very urgent need to go and see such an opera. It’s a very personal thing, because as you know, in a few days it will be one year since Lyn has passed away. And around the Christmas period, I just wanted really badly to see a performance of Fidelio. And contrary to my normal habit of looking at the reviews and critiques before I go, which I have not done for a long time, because they are all bad generally, I just went to a performance in the Staatstheater Darmstadt without checking it out beforehand. Maybe it was a shock, but I think it was a healthy shock, because it was so absolutely terrible that I felt compelled to write the Open Letter I mentioned earlier, which you may have read.

Regietheater, as you know, is this terrible thing which was developed in the 1960s and has been used ad nauseum a zillion times since, in which the director takes a Classical composition of Schiller or Shakespeare or some other Classical poet or dramatist, and projects onto it what he thinks is relevant, how it should be interpreted. Then you have soldiers, not dressed in historical costumes, but sitting on Harley Davidsons or being Nazi officers, just to project the personal opinion of the director, whatever it is. Normally they have at least one naked scene; they copulate on the stage. There were performances which were so ugly, actually pornographic. This has been going on for more than fifty years, so it’s not exactly original. But until recently, this kind of Regietheater was limited to the staging, the words, but they never really attacked the music.

So what happened in this performance was, not only did they apply all the terrible elements of Regietheater to the staging—having film clips, for example, while people were singing, so it was completely chaotic—but for the first time, they also changed the music. A modernist composer by the name of Annette Schlünz, who comes from the Eisler school tradition, changed Beethoven’s grand finale, of which you just heard two minutes of the beginning.

This goes to the idea of Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler that you also can have the Verfremdung [distancing] effect, which is the idea that you should no longer allow the audience to identify with the people on the stage and become elevated; but you have to interrupt this identification every five seconds by a sound or a movie clip or something which interrupts this process, which makes the performance absolutely unbearable.

So, this woman, Mrs. Schlünz, writes in the introduction to the program that she took this music of the final chorus, repeating a beat, then stopping suddenly, introducing alien sounds, having eight vocalists distributed in the audience who then all of a sudden get up, and if you are unhappy and one of these people stands behind you, you can have a heart attack. Then trumpets from the balconies. She described that she had the fantasy of sitting at the audio mixing console at the music studio, speeding up the music. When the actual joy in the chorus is expressed, according to her, it becomes like a jubilization machine; like children becoming completely hyper when they lose control of their emotions.

So, obviously, this woman is completely unable, emotionally, to comprehend the sublime notions that the music expressed, that we saw and heard with the nameless joy, or the love between the couple, or the joy of the victory over tyranny. All of this is alien to Mrs. Schlünz.

The Congress for Cultural Freedom

Now, where does this come from? Well, this comes all from a very sophisticated, extremely huge CIA operation called the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF). This was an operation in the postwar period which broke up in a huge scandal in 1967.

Just recently, there was an exhibition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of this CCF in Berlin. There was an article in the daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in which the author, in a very rare moment of honesty, says,— the title of the article is “How One Steals the Big Words,” meaning freedom and so forth. He says: “The worrisome quintessence of what the CIA did is that it did not sponsor some sinister right-wing ideology, but it helped left liberalism become the hegemonic mainstream standard of intellectuals in the West today.” That is exactly what I referred to in the beginning. Why is it that the Left and the liberals are siding with the CIA against Trump, and not against the coup? That is the result of this process.

How did the CCF work? Remember that we are soon celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, in which the United States and the Soviet Union fought together in the fight against Nazism. On the 26th of April in Thurgau near the Elbe, there will be a celebration of when the American and Soviet soldiers met for the first time. This was a very emotional event. For the Russians, this goes extremely deep, because they lost 27 million people in World War II.

They have absolutely not forgotten that, and they feel a tremendous sense of betrayal, after they allowed, for example, the German unification in 1989, that all the promises given to them were broken that NATO would never expand to the East, never to the borders of Russia. This is a whole other story, but going back to this unified fight of the Americans and the Soviet Union, this was the case when Franklin D. Roosevelt was still President, who had unfortunately a very untimely death at the end of the Second World War. When Harry S Truman came in, he was a much smaller man, and we all have heard what Lyn said when he was in India, and got the news, that the soldiers around him were asking “What do you think this signifies?” And Lyn said, I think we just lost a great man for a very little man.

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Truman Presidential Library
President Harry Truman applauds British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri, March 5, 1946.

It was little man Truman who succumbed to the influence of Churchill in the postwar period. The great alliance between the Americans and the Soviets was replaced. Churchill announced in his infamous Fulton, Missouri speech on March 5, 1946, practically what became the Cold War. That meant that in the United States, elements of what President Eisenhower would later call the military-industrial complex—which has turned in the meantime into what people mistakenly call the Deep State—is really the British subversion of the American intelligence services. They got more influence.

In order to change the positive alliance between the Americans and the Soviets into a Cold War, and therefore a geopolitical confrontation, they thought that they had to change the axioms of thinking in the American people, but also in the European people. They had to change that which had allowed Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was after all very much anti-Wall Street,— and they wanted to make sure that these values were absolutely replaced.

In the United States, it was the attack on the tradition and heritage of Roosevelt, and in Europe it was especially that they thought they had to really destroy the roots of the people in their European Classical tradition. The CCF, under the leadership of Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner, who at that time was the head of the Office of Policy Coordination in the State Department, led the effort. The CCF later was moved into the Department of Covert Operations, and then proceeded to set up cultural warfare in 35 countries. It set up 20 major cultural magazines; it controlled practically without exception all art exhibitions, concerts, who would become a famous painter, a famous author or musician. Many of the people who cooperated were unaware of what they were part of; but some of them absolutely were aware.

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Freie Universität Berlin
Ernst Reuter, Mayor of West Berlin, welcomes the delegates to the 1950 Congress for Cultural Freedom, established to destroy Classical culture.

The CCF was a continuation of the Frankfurt School, which the Second World War had moved into exile in the United States. It was taken over by the U.S. intelligence services. One was Herbert Marcuse, another was Theodor Adorno. In a 1949 essay, “Cultural Critique and Society,” Adorno wrote that after the atrocity of Auschwitz, no one could write any poems anymore. He also had the absolutely insane idea that German idealism, like that of Friedrich Schiller, leads automatically to radicalism and Nazism.

That is something I really want to make a point for people to think about. The image of man associated with the German Classical period, with the thinking of people like Lessing, Bach, Beethoven, Schiller, Humboldt, and many others, is the idea that man is principally good, man is limitlessly perfectible. The aesthetic education allows for all potentialities in the human being to develop into a beautiful soul, into a beautiful mind, into genius.

This idea of the potential of every human being to contribute through his or her self-perfection to the common good of humanity, is a very beautiful idea of man. And it has absolutely nothing to do with, and is the total opposite of Nazi ideology, which was a blood and soil ideology, the racist idea that the Aryan race is superior to the colored races. That is what you find today in some people who say that the emergence of China marks the first time there is a threat coming from a non-Caucasian race to the West. Here you have it; that is Nazi ideology. I don’t need to tell you who says these things.

Now, one component in understanding the work of the CCF is that at that time, the CIA started the idea that it is OK to lie. That if you have a national security reason or whatever you call it to be such a reason, this idea allows you to just say whatever you want, and to put into the world all lies possible as long as you have creditable deniability and you can pull your neck out of the situation later on. Remember, more recently, John Bolton said that it is completely legitimate to lie for such a reason.

How the Classical German culture, which was probably the most culturally advanced period in the history of mankind—and I will debate anyone who wants to pick a fight with me on this—ended up in the pit of the twelve years of National Socialism, is obviously one of the most important questions. How does a great culture plunge into the depths of horrible things? This is a question which Americans had to go through in some recent administrations as well.

How did the beautiful idea of the American Revolution turn into what was the policy of interventionist wars and everything else we know?

That transformation in Germany is a long story; a lot of things went into it. The Romantic movement started maybe innocently as a literature movement, became political and was taken over very quickly. The cultural pessimism which went with it; the destruction of the Classical forms through Romanticism; the actual cultural pessimism of people like Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche, and the different youth movements; the anti-technology youth movements before World War I. Then, World War I, which was a long-orchestrated, British-steered event. The Versailles Treaty, which was completely unjust and could not function for a peace order. The Great Depression of 1929 and the beginning of the 1930s, and then finally World War II, and the takeover by the Nazis. But this is a long, complex story, with many factors going into it. A lot of manipulations. And the role of the British can be traced in many of these aspects.

I will say this: To say that the argument of Adorno, that it was German idealism that led to the Nazi atrocity, is just one of these absolute lies.

The CCF proceeded to deliberately attack Classical music, Classical culture, Classical painting, Classical poetry. It had an enormous repertoire. For example, in 1952, it conducted a one-month-long music festival in Paris, which it called “Masterpieces of the 20th Century,” with more than 100 concerts, ballets, and operas, introducing all the modernist composers, atonal music, twelve-tone music, Arnold Schönberg, Alban Berg, Paul Hindemith, Claude Débussy, Benjamin Britten. Some of these are fully atonal, some are mixed forms, but it was all meant to destroy the idea of Classical composition.

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EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche with Professor Norbert Brainin, first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, in 1994.


Why is this so absolutely bad? Because a chromatic scale in which all tones have an equal status, eliminates the possibility of the higher degrees of freedom, which you have if you have a polyphonic, harmonic contrapuntal composition, because it eliminates the possibility of ambiguity, of moving from one key into another, of creating and fully exhausting a musical idea. It completely eliminates the idea of Motivführung, discussed so many times by Norbert Brainin, the first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, in long, long beautiful discussions with Lyndon LaRouche: namely, the idea that you have a musical idea—a poetical idea, put into music—and then, through thorough composition, you develop this, you exhaust the potential, and you come to a conclusion.

Now, that technique, which should be studied, has been described by Norbert Brainin in beautiful master classes he gave with the Schiller Institute, for example, in Slovakia. Lyn has written in the book Dennis showed you in the beginning, Think Like Beethoven, how Joseph Haydn’s music was developed further by Mozart in his Haydn Quartets, and reached the complexity of the late Beethoven quartets.

Lyn said that Beethoven’s achievement in counterpoint, has never been approximated by any composer to date. I absolutely agree. Lyn even said—and I know some people were upset when I mentioned this recently in a webcast—that Beethoven is the absolutely towering giant of all composers. People said, “What about Bach?” I’m not denying Bach. But I have a quote from Lyn in which he says, “Beethoven marks an Everest, which dwarfs even Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Brahms to be foothills.” Now, I’m not deprecating these composers. I just want to say that Beethoven is in a completely different league of composition, by applying this method, really in the most advanced form.

Now, Lyn wrote over 100 pieces on music; in this book you find only some of them. In 1976, he wrote an article called, “Laughter, Music, and Creativity,” which for Lyn was pretty much the same thing. He said that twelve-tone and atonal music is a reactionary retreat led by dried-out 20th-century composers who cannot compose. He again makes the argument, that the degrees of freedom are completely eliminated.

One important point, in my view, in this whole thing, is what the harmonic contrapuntal, polyphonic form of composition allows: it creates stress; it creates dissonance. But then, in a lawful way, in an expandable, lawful way, these stress moments are resolved, and you have the sense of completion. In atonal and twelve-tone music you have a lot of stress, for sure, but it’s never resolved. The audience is left with a complete feeling of disarray. And, therefore, exactly what the purpose and beautiful function of great Classical music is—that it elevates the emotions, that it elevates the mind, makes mankind more noble—that is completely destroyed. The whole idea of aesthetical education is denied, it’s opposed, it is meant to be made extinct. That is why this is such a devastating attack on the idea that a moral improvement of the population can be accomplished.

What Lyn wrote in “What Is Music, Really?” which he gave as a talk on May 10, 2015, is that beauty is creativity per se, and the aim of creativity is to unleash the beauty of mankind. That was something that was well known by many people. It was known by Confucius, who said that if you look at the music of a country, you can say what kind of state that country is in—whether it’s disorganized, whether it’s functioning, or not.

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“Many times before he could continue working on his physical discoveries, Albert Einstein would play the violin, and put himself in that kind of a creative mindset.”

Now, if you apply that Confucian principle to the United States, or much of Europe today, you can say these countries don’t function very well, because their music is, for the most part, pretty horrible. It was also what Albert Einstein, for example, celebrated. Many times before he could continue working on his physical discoveries, he would play the violin, and put himself in that kind of a creative mindset.

That is why we cannot allow the destruction of Beethoven. That is why we defend Classical music, and not allow people to desecrate the greatest music ever written. That is why I wrote this appeal, asking not only all the lovers of Classical music in Germany, but actually all over the world, that we declare this Year of Beethoven, to be the end of the tolerance for ugliness.

I’m not saying we should forbid the ugliness. Let them have their atonal concerts. Let them have three people in the audience, because normal people really don’t like that kind of music, but, let them have it. I’m not for banning it. I’m just saying they should not have the right to destroy the great compositions of the Classical composers, just because they cannot write any music themselves which is beautiful.

I also absolutely want to urge that the Beethoven Year must also be the year of the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche. If you read what Lyn writes about music, it should be astonishing to you to find somebody who’s a total politician, a statesman, an economist, a scientist, who also has such unbelievable knowledge of music.

I can remember one time, when Lyn was talking with Norbert Brainin for two days, when he visited us at our farm, that after these two days, Norbert Brainin said: “This man knows more about music than I do.” I absolutely agree with that. Because Lyn knew not only the inner meanings of all the works, the historical periods, but he also knew especially what it meant to “play between the notes,” to have a sense of the inner intention of the composers, and he could communicate that in the most beautiful way.

Exonerate Lyndon LaRouche!

The fact is that Lyn’s ideas are being denied to the American people, and to much of the world population, because of his unjust incarceration, because of the same apparatus which was behind the coup against Trump: I think that when President Trump said a few days ago, that one must guarantee that what happened to him, with Russiagate and with the coup attempt, must never happen again—well, there is one absolutely durable way this will never happen again, and that is the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche. Because, when that happens, it will become clear, that the idea of running the world as an empire based on the Anglo-American special relationship—which was put into place by British infiltration since Teddy Roosevelt, and which has been revived by many Presidents in the meantime—is the same apparatus that tried to destroy the Presidency of President Trump.

So, if my husband is exonerated, for the sake of the beauty of his ideas, then a durable freedom in the United States, with the United States returning to be a republic, will be absolutely possible.

So, let’s make this Year of Beethoven, the year of the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche.

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