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This article appears in the January 26, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Sare Campaign Highlights Need for Classical Music in Today’s Global Revolution

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EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
John Sigerson, long-time musical and political collaborator of Diane Sare and a member of the LaRouche movement, was the featured guest on her Jan. 12 Symposium. Here he conducts the Schiller Institute Chorus and Orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn, Sept. 11, 2016.

Jan. 16—Amidst the increasing chaos and growing popular fearfulness of a society in collapse, on what basis may a sentient minority scientifically establish a rallying call to gather forces for accomplishing the needed transformation of the nation? This question, the subject of a series of symposia led by independent candidate for U.S. Senate from New York Diane Sare, was answered provocatively on Jan. 12 as Sare was joined by long-time musical and political collaborator John Sigerson. His presentation, a refreshing departure from today’s typical “political discussion,” unseated practically every tenet of both political campaigning and qualification for public office.

Sare, the sole candidate in New York’s previous Senatorial election to gather the suddenly and onerously tripled number of qualification-for-ballot signatures—and who found her published election-night vote totals having been slashed during the night from a high of 57,000 to 29,000, and later by another 4,000—has publicly stated that she expects even more desperate efforts to keep her voice out of the election this time. In response she has focused on educating a stronger, more coherent campaign organization of individuals who understand the profundity of what they face.

Using Culture for Coups

Sare began her meeting with a video segment from former judge Andrew Napolitano’s “Judging Freedom” program, in which former State Department-Cyber employee Michael Benz reviewed the post-World War II change in approach to toppling governments. Replacing the use of military force, culture became the weapon of choice. Benz described the then-new CIA’s well-documented creation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) in 1952 as a vehicle for social manipulation, especially among youth. To destabilize governments, the new approach used music in particular to unite youth around political aims.

Having just come from a rally against the genocide in Gaza, Sare said that most of the demonstrators failed to grasp the profound changes occurring globally. She placed the symposium discussion in the context of South Africa’s historic case at the World Court charging Israel with violation of the 1948 Convention on Genocide (see articles elsewhere in this issue), and linked this historic action to the nation-wide upsurge in Germany, where the population has been supporting the farmers; unprecedented 100,000-strong week-long protests to save the country’s food production from murderous austerity and “green” restrictions.

Sigerson was introduced with a video of his conducting a section of J.S. Bach’s 1700s choral masterwork Jesu, Meine Freude (“Jesus, My Joy”) in 2019. He opened his presentation by recounting his 1971 entry into the movement first organized by Lyndon LaRouche several years earlier. A former Julliard School of Music student, Sigerson soon took leadership in an effort to build choruses among the organization’s membership, part of the activity that LaRouche emphasized as crucial to the full cultural development of the cadre organization he intended, one capable of contending with the fascist tendencies already nascent in the pervasive rock-drug-sex counter-culture.

Classical Music: Noun or Verb?

Challenging assumptions of his audience, Sigerson quickly qualified the nature of his fifty-some-year journey with LaRouche’s ideas. In the popular mind, he said, Classical music is a noun, a thing. Actually, he asserted, it is an action, “a voyage of discovery of the principles of the way that the human mind and the universe work,” essentially no different from the process of discovery by great scientists. The Classical idea is not something from a certain period, he added; it is a mindset involving both the willful process of discovery of universal principles and its communication to others, by which those others may become ennobled.

Was the LaRouche movement, then, a group of musicians? Hardly. In 1971 “we were revolutionary socialists,” mostly from the ferment on college campuses. However, unlike the nominally socialist organizations of the “New Left,” the LaRouche movement, due to LaRouche’s organizing method, comprised “thousands of the best and brightest,” though constituting a very “mixed bag” of opinions and areas of interest. They were young people in that tumultuous time concerned to do something to change the world, to solve its pressing problems. They coalesced most broadly around LaRouche’s singular economic analysis and programmatic thrust for economic development—“an amazing number of proposals we came out with”—for the underdeveloped countries as well as the advanced.

LaRouche: ‘We Have To Revive Music’

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EIRNS/Philip Ulanowsky
Lyndon LaRouche: “Music in its greatest forms ... expresses the emotion which is directly akin to real loving among people. Rock expresses the opposite: actual animal bestiality.” Here LaRouche speaks to a group of his associates at a musikabend, at his home, Ibykus Farm, in Leesburg, Virginia, Dec. 1988.

“We had many gifted musicians,” Sigerson recalled, “but there was no sense of how [the musical activity] could change the world.” This was due in part to the degenerated state of culture in general, which he described in several anecdotes from personal experience. Circa 1973, LaRouche intervened, arguing forcefully, “We have to revive music. You have to start singing!”

Despite conservatory-level musical training, we didn’t really know what we were doing in this realm, said Sigerson. Attempts to find competent teachers were unsuccessful. We knew, contrary to popular opinion, he said, that everyone can sing; we knew that the popular music of the day, being pushed by the CCF through its tentacles, was based on emotions that had nothing to do with Classical music; indeed, it evoked infantile emotions, such as rage and object-fixation, and fundamentally erotic impulses. “Rock,” he noted, pertains to repetitive rocking motion, not some other association.

Given the pervasiveness of this counter-culture, LaRouche (not only encyclopedically knowledgeable in Classical music and its history, but himself a pianist of exceptional ability) polemicized against it without quarter among the membership while striving to instill an appreciation of the universal, “humanizing” nature of Classical culture and its unity with science. It was in part for this reason that LaRouche’s effectiveness in recruiting on campuses drew the sharp ire of those in the financial oligarchy and establishment involved in such efforts as the CCF. (Nor did interference in the movement’s cultural work diminish in subsequent decades.)

Countering Neurotic Distortion

LaRouche applied his intimate knowledge of the creative process, and the obstacles to it, to helping organizers in the movement not only discover their ideological biases but to their learning how to recognize and overcome the way in which their own neuroses hampered their creative development. In the course of a lecture series and an accompanying series of essays, initiated with a 1973 paper titled “Beyond Psychoanalysis,” he referred to a book by Lawrence Kubie, Neurotic Distortion of the Creative Process, which had earlier examined why so many students of exceptional talent “burned out” by their mid-twenties. Key to LaRouche’s approach was an emphasis on the emotion most closely associated with creative discovery, that is, the non-erotic love referred to in ancient Greek as agapē, to which he referred at the time as the “fundamental emotion.”

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John Sigerson composes an article in the LaRouche movement’s 29th Street office in Manhattan, 1978.

Sigerson read excerpts of comments made by LaRouche to a Dec. 29, 1974, organizational conference, subsequently published under the title “The Reality of Loving” in the movement’s newspaper. “Music in its greatest forms,” said LaRouche, “most immediately, sensuously expresses the emotion which is directly akin to real loving among people. Rock expresses the opposite: actual animal bestiality.” This was no matter simply of personal taste, he underlined, but an urgent matter for the success of the movement’s effort. “We have to build a new society, but in the process of building it, our strength depends on the degree to which we provide those who participate in the struggle with a real, not an illusion-based sense of their real humanity. We must give them scientific certainty concerning the reality of their humanity, and an active, conceptual sense of the reality of loving themselves and other human beings because they are human and because they know what it is to be fundamentally human.”

‘Laughter, Music, and Creativity’

Sigerson also quoted briefly from a 1976 paper by LaRouche, Laughter, Music, and Creativity,” in which he addressed some of the essentials distinguishing great Classical music, as an art and a science: “Speaking broadly, counterpoint [the simultaneous singing or playing of two or more different but complementary lines, or voices, of music, Sigerson explained] is essential to making musical composition and performance a vehicle for communicating and evoking the development of emotional experience—as distinct from undeveloped music, in which it would be possible only to communicate more or less monotonously a single mood. The more profound significance of counter point,” he wrote, is that it permits the linking of the intellectual and emotional features of the experience.

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Schiller Institute
Book I, Introduction and Human Singing Voice, of a projected two-volume Manual on the Rudiments of Tuning and Registration, with a foreword and preface by Lyndon LaRouche, published by the Schiller Institute, 1992.

Sigerson further traced the history of the movement’s discovery of Classical principles in music and science, and his own involvement therein. This included the process of discovering the unity of principle in registers, or physically delimited zones of kinds of physical action, in both the natural singing voice and the harmonics of the solar system. Crucial to this was LaRouche’s 1980s breakthrough recognition that the accepted modern standard pitch for orchestral tuning and instrument manufacture (A at 440 Hertz) had been set arbitrarily high, a realization leading to historical research, publication of a new manual on tuning and registration, and an international Schiller Institute campaign for proper pitch endorsed by thousands of leading singers and other musicians.

Sigerson closed by cautioning the audience on the problem of seeking Classical music performance today. Thanks to many decades of efforts by the oligarchy’s CCF and related operations, the preponderance of recordings on major “classical music” radio stations is monotonous, hiding or even grossly distorting the music’s beauty—“embalming the pieces,” he called it. Exemplary of a truly Classical approach to orchestral music, he offered, was that of conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886-1954), who stayed in Germany during the Nazi regime to save Classical music from its depredations. Many recordings are available.

‘Do I Have To Be Moral All the Time?’

Sare returned to the discussion to stress that people typically view Classical music as just a choice of entertainment, a view resulting from a false division between mental and emotional life. The complaint that it is “too intellectual” should be reconsidered in light of the difference between creativity—re-creation—and merely feel-good entertainment. We need creativity, and “Classical music is the science of creativity.”

The people running the present system are finished, Sare concluded. They are desperate; we are not. “The purpose of my campaign is to elevate the thinking of the population, so that, as the system collapses, they are thinking, ‘What should a child born a hundred years from now have as a potential future,’ not ‘I wish I could pay the rent.’ ”

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