This article appears in the September 29, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche Webcast
Harmonious Principles Are Needed
in This Time of Great Crisis
The following are excerpts from Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s interchanges with listeners during her weekly webcast on September 20, 2023. The video of the entire program is available here. Subheads have been added.
Go to the Epistemological Underpinning
From Buffalo, New York: What do you think of World Federalism as a mechanism to enact your plan? Replace the UN Security Council to allow all nations to have a say, to draft jointly written laws, to give up the right to war and create a common global security?
Zepp-LaRouche: That’s a tricky question because there were several attempts to have such forms of federalism. Rather than discussing the specific predicates of it, I think more important is to really get serious on economic principles, on a new world economic order, which would take on the absolute need to overcome poverty and get new health systems, new education systems, new credit systems, and infrastructure for all the continents; to get a clear sense of the physical requirements of a new world economic order.
And then, equally important, are the philosophical principles. If it’s just a formal arrangement, it won’t work. The present United Nations, especially the UN Charter, is extremely valuable and must remain. Nevertheless, the UN is lacking what I would call an epistemological underpinning. That’s what I have tried to express in the last three principles of the : How to have a philosophical idea, where conflicts can be resolved, where there is a correspondence between what people do and the deeper lawfulness of the physical universe, and the conception of man.
I think that that needs to be urgently discussed. I would encourage people to back to us and engage in a dialogue. It would be good to have conferences, online conferences and physical conferences: One could have a conference on each of the ten points and have in-depth discussion. One could have conferences among think tanks, universities, among groups of countries. We need to have much more serious discussion when clearly the existence of mankind is at stake. We must sit down and find the wise people of every country and enter a dialogue: How should we create conditions so we can self-govern affairs on the planet without the danger of blowing ourselves up in a nuclear war? That debate, in my view, is extremely urgent: Let’s think of how to encourage these institutions to do just that.
Classical Education for Higher Solutions
From Rome: Lyndon LaRouche states that to gain knowledge of a higher order depends on access to the coincidentia oppositorum. This is indispensable for solving problems that otherwise remain unsolved by conflict. He also says you have to have a percentage of people with this ability to create a winning society or nation. The idea that the mind can be trained to open up to this higher level is absolutely revolutionary to me. Do you have further suggestions on how to educate the mind in this direction, and how to invite leaders of society to join this initiative?
Zepp-LaRouche: Well, that’s a very good question. The problem is the present intellectual level, as influenced by the mass media, and by the entertainment industry, especially the conscious effort to ruin theater and opera by something which is called in German Regietheater. It’s the idea that you destroy everything with modernism, with arbitrary alienation effects, just to break the concentration of the audience, so they are unable to absorb the messages of great art, whether in music, poetry, or drama.
People have really dumbed down. If you compare the intellectual level of the average person, with say someone of 30, 40 years ago, or 50 years ago, the intellectual level is clearly going down, down, down! And it has everything to do with the fact that, for example, in Europe, the education reforms made by the OECD in the 1970s, consciously threw out what they called the Bildungsverlast, the “burden of education” of 2,500 years, saying, “Plato, who needs that? Beethoven, who needs that? Let’s throw it all out.”
As a consequence, the curricula of most universities and schools were reduced. It’s much more sociology, much more comparative studies, but no longer going back to original sources, going back to the original discoveries, eliminating the humanist principle of [Wilhelm von] Humboldt’s system, for example. As a result, people are generally more stupid.
If you look at the average politician, whether in the United States or in Europe, what do they know about the great Classical culture of Europe? Have you ever heard them talking about that? I really have not met anybody in the present political leadership in Europe, or Germany, or the United States, knowledgeable of the great creative impulses in history: the Greek classics, the Italian Renaissance, the French Polytechnique, the German Classical period, the Chinese Sung period, the Indian Gupta period, and the Abbasid renaissance in the Arab world to name some of these. These were things which used to be common knowledge of the people.
Look at the poems of Friedrich Schiller, which are beautiful. He created something very specific, which he called “thought-poetry,” sort of a mixture between poetry and philosophy. And there, in these poems, which are wonderful, he incorporates references, metaphors, to specific cultural backgrounds. Sadly, most people today have no inkling of what these mean. They don’t understand these works anymore.
What is required, in my view, is that people have to acknowledge that lack of knowledge. The best of the people in political leadership should not be ashamed to say, “OK, we have to restudy, read the Dialogues of Plato, read the writings of Nicolaus of Cusa, study Leibniz, study the great scientists and philosophers of 2,500 years of European history. And then, take figures from other cultures, like Confucius, or Tagore from India, or other great thinkers, and make them part of one’s repertoire. Study all of that, so you will then be able to have judgment from a universal standpoint.
Classical music is indispensable. The difference between Classical music, and let’s say, pop music, is that Classical music addresses the creative faculties. It forces the mind, and the ears—the sense-perception of the music—to conceptualize what Furtwängler called “between the notes.”
Lyrical poetry or drama that draws on these Classical conceptions, forces the mind to think above the prose, to conceptualize the message which is above the simple words. And that kind of training of the mind is absolutely crucial. It happens to be the same kind of thinking as the Coincidence of Opposites—that the mind can conceptualize, always, the higher One. Without that, you get stuck into controversy: “my opinion is as good as your opinion,” and then people quarrel to no end and nothing functions.
Classical training is really important. There is a master of it: That’s my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche. He, fortunately, has written an enormous amount of work. So you can go to the , which is online. You can also go to the websites of the and the EIR, where you can find a lot of his articles archived: Read this! This is what you need more than your breakfast, dinner, and lunch.
True Knowledge, and Peace, Requires Love
Question: Will it require many years of experience in the field of Classical composition of music, poetry, and art, to understand these higher principles? It’s not very common in our society, except for a few here and there, who are trained in this field. China has begun to make the Classical tradition of Chinese history and culture more accessible. Russian President Putin talked quite a bit about this in his speech at Vladivostok.
Zepp-LaRouche: Yes, in one sense it does, because these are ideas which have some depth, and there are a lot of them and there is a structure to them. It’s not something you can fake.
The good news about it is that the human mind is capable of ordering principles. So that you don’t go about it like an Aristotelian thinking, “I have to read the Encyclopedia Britannica, and I have to learn all of that,” like preparing for a quiz show, where you have to be prepared to answer the most idiotic question, to become a millionaire. As a matter of fact, the Chinese government has eliminated quiz shows because those shows promote a wrong idea of knowledge. I think that’s very smart.
True knowledge comes from love. Something you don’t love, you don’t want to know. If you love something, then you will passionately try to find out what it is that you don’t know. Some people love physics, and then they will study an enormous amount until they really have a grasp of it. Others like biology; then they do all kinds of experiments with plants. They try to cross seeds; they have a little garden trying to experiment. They put their heart in it! And once you put your heart in it, you will see that wonders open up, and it goes very quickly.
Johann Friedrich Herbart and Bernhard Riemann talked about this process. They discussed the concept of Geistesmassen: Geistesmassen being basically thought-objects or ideas. So, you conquer one idea, let’s say in the field of mathematics, or physics, or philosophy, or poetry. Then you add these Geistesmassen, which follow a certain order in your mind, and each time you add a new such Geistesmasse thought-object or idea, those ideas resonate with all others. And the more you put into your mind, the more you will recognize that the mind recognizes similarities from one field with another field. All of it becomes, all of a sudden, more orderly and more accessible.
Once you plunge in and say, look, mankind is in a terrible crisis: I have to know everything about physical economy, because I have to be one of the people who knows how to remedy the economy. And then you start reading. Maybe you start with LaRouche, and then you go to [Gottfried] Leibniz, because LaRouche was influenced by Leibniz. Then you go to Friedrich List. Then you look at Henry C. Carey, Count [Sergei] Witte—all of a sudden you have, already, the whole area of physical economy as a basic foundation. Then you go to the next subject.
In other words, you have to start, and you have to do what people like Schiller did. You have to have a life plan, what you want to conquer, take a piece of paper, or your laptop, or whatever; write down what are the areas you absolutely want to conquer, and then start with them. And then after one month or half a year, you revise the plan, because you have now a much better idea of what you should be looking for, because, as Nicholas of Cusa said, you need a prescience for what to look for.
Otherwise, that’s the problem with a lot of people who are flooded with information from the internet and many other places, but they don’t know what to do with that information, because information is not the clue to knowledge. It’s the prescience that you know what you’re looking for, and that has a lot to do with the heart.
World peace is right now the most important matter. Because if you don’t have peace, there will be nothing, and we are very close to that. Try to find demonstrations for peace close to where you are—get in touch with the Schiller Institute. We will help you find a way: You can do a lot of things. You can visit your local politician, local leaders of civic or religious groups. You can write letters to editors; there are many, many things you can do. Most important: Become indignant; become upset about the condition of the world, and don’t let go of that. You can be part of what makes it better.