skal være standarden for at vende det kulturelle sammenbrud,
der forhindrer fred og driver menneskeheden til global atomkrig.
Humanity has arrived again at the crossroads anticipated during the period of the American Revolution by Friedrich Schiller, the Poet of Freedom, who in 1785 published the work known in virtually all languages, the “Ode to Joy,” where it is declared: “All Mankind will become Brothers” (“Alle Menschen werden Brueder”). The poem had such a great impact in that era, that composer Ludwig van Beethoven spent decades of his life pinpointing the “seed crystal” embedded within the poem which would finally blossom into his final four-movement symphony, itself a monument to the principles of classical composition.
This reference point must be awakened in the hearts and minds of all those who view themselves as “Artists,” if our civilization is now to succeed in mankind taking the crossroads announced by the leaders of the BRICS, on Aug. 22-24, and other associations coming together to create a New Just World Economic reorganization of the collapsing dollar-based financial system, and end the spread of global war, which if allowed to continue will definitely become nuclear war.
Among the Artists of the last century, the internationally renowned violin soloist Yehudi Menuhin, a devoted advocate for the foundation of the United Nations, exemplified Schiller’s portrayal of that true Artist whose determination to eliminate the causes of war left a legacy to be followed.
Ever optimistic about the potential for advancing mankind’s condition, Schiller had estimated in his time that the anti-colonial American Revolution could be replicated in a transformation of governments in parts of Europe, ending the vestiges of Medieval practices which squatted upon all aspects of progress in the human condition. With Benjamin Franklin posted to France, the true leaders of the American Revolution had a strong impact upon a European “intelligentsia” from France to German centers such as Goettingen University, to Italy, and Ireland and other parts of the British Isles, who participated in multiple ways to support the breakthrough in America, the origins of which traced back to the influence of such prominent Europeans as Gottfried Leibniz and his work on scientific economics.
Schiller’s optimism was justified, but premature. The forces of progress in the European countries did not have the strength or means to squash the furious attack launched by the London/Swiss European oligarchy, who crushed this potential by ripping up France’s political system and imposing the dictator Napoleon upon the continent, whose wars raged across the continent for nearly two decades. Thus, was launched the countdown embedded in the western world for a sequence of British Imperial wars that began with the 1757 “Seven Years War/French and Indian Wars,” and persisted through World Wars I and II.
Schiller’s optimism that such a global tragedy affecting all mankind can be reversed is reflected in the content and method he used in his dramas on the histories of many nations in the world. It is up to us to seize this optimism today and deploy Schiller’s ideas on the true nature of the human family of mankind to now accomplish what was impossible two centuries ago: namely, a process of global peaceful development of the planet as a whole.
Schiller’s Poem The Artists (download a PDF)
In 1789, Schiller published The Artists, (Die Künstler), a “Thought-Poem” which he called an “allegory” because it reconstructs the process by which the advancement of humanity, since earliest creation, required—and then generated—creative genius in artistic or aesthetic modes to nurture the creative capacity of mankind. It has been hard-won creative discoveries, the “allegory” portrays, which has enabled mankind to arise to implement solutions to the crises that threaten human physical survival; and equally important, to then found principles by which all of the cultures that comprise civilization can cooperate, peacefully, from new knowledge gained, to foster the benefit of all.
Schiller offered, in his allegory poem, this tribute to those who become the leading Artists:
How beautifully, 0 man, with your branch of palm,
you stand on the century’s slope, in proud and noble manliness,
With open mind, with spirits high, stern yet gentle, in active stillness,
The ripest son of time –
Free through reason, strong through laws,
Through meekness great, and rich with treasures long lain
dormant within your breast;
Lord of nature who loves your chains,
Who tests your strength in countless battles,
Who under you emerged resplendent from the wilderness!
. . .
The bee can outstrip you in diligence,
The worm can be your teacher in skillfulness,
You share your knowledge with all superior spirits,
But you alone, O man, have art.
. . .
Only through beauty’s morning-gate
Did you penetrate the land of knowledge. (emphasis added)
The time has come for Schiller’s poem to be adopted as the standard for a revival of classical principles of culture, to secure this moment of great historic opportunity, so that humanity is uplifted to a more advanced cultural plateau from which it can shape policy on behalf of the Good, rather than the repetitive assumptions constantly leading mankind to wars; and to establish economic justice as the recognized foundation for trustful dialogue between nations. The Schiller Institute calls upon all Artists —painters, musicians, actors, as well as scientists, who introduce new ideas into society—to embrace and uphold Schiller’s view of the role of The Artist in society, so that at this historic conjuncture, the cause of peaceful cooperation between nations, will be defended.
Without the dedicated presence of those advocates of classical principles in art in society, to open “beauty’s morning-gate” to expand our knowledge and our moral strength, there always exists the danger of nations degenerating into a sludge of pessimism because of the mortal nature of our individual existence. What in fact is the ultimate purpose of life? As humans, we do not live, as argued by the British 18th century philosophers, simply to “seek Pleasure and avoid Pain.” There truly is an immortal purpose to our mortal existences.
As Schiller wisely warns those inspired by universal phenomena to become Artists:
The dignity of mankind has been placed in your hands;
Never abandon it!
It sinks with you! With you it will ascend!
Poetry’s sacred magic
Serves a widely-laid universal plan;
Steer it calmly toward the ocean
Of the great harmony!
The UN General Assembly and Musician Yehudi Menuhin’s Legacy
In search of the process by which mankind could replace war with reconciliation of conflicts by other means, Yehudi Menuhin became fascinated by the natural harmony of art with the creative discoveries that advance science. He advocated applying Einstein’s discoveries on the atom to the development of nuclear power. In 1959 he wrote:
“The creative act is as much a part of science as it is of art, and as it must be of every living gesture…. Undoubtedly art and science were and will always be one…. I conceive of art as the organization of a living moment and science as the crystallization of an eternal truth.”
The practical significance of this view of Art is the following:
On September 21, world leaders will assemble at the United Nations for International Peace Day. The Schiller Institute conducted a conference on Sept. 9 based on an Appeal to the Citizens of the Global North: We Must Support the Construction of a New Just World Economic Order! The proceedings of that conference can be sent to all organizations dedicated to war avoidance. The conference reflected the work of the International Peace Coalition (IPC), inspired by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, which assembled a broad-based alliance of international leaders on Aug. 6 at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza of the UN, in solemn memory of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Schiller Institute had been created by Helga Zepp-LaRouche in 1984 to foster a new dynamic in world diplomacy and relations between nations, grounded in the economic policy discoveries of Physical Economist and 8-time United States Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. The concept behind the decades of work of the Schiller Institute was to act, preemptively, to seize the great moment of crises that, as Schiller identified in his work on Aesthetic education and classical principles, prepare humanity for an upward development of civilization when the crushing force of global poverty, the breakdown of the dollar system as LaRouche forecast in 1971, and the danger of nuclear annihilation finally shock people to build alliances around truthful solutions to these problems.
We stand today, in fact, on the “slope of a millennium,” from which the changes already under deliberation, such as the Aug. 22-24 BRICS conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, portend a long-awaited shifting point in world history. We have a chance to improve the conditions of mankind and overcome both poverty and war as has never before transpired in human experience.
That moment of potential dramatic change, which would end a near millennium of imposed backwardness in human history, is now upon us. As noted by the great English poet Percy Shelley, great thinkers and poets look with anticipation for those rare moments, when quite suddenly, large numbers of people, including those who attempt to lead the institutions of government, become susceptible of “receiving and imparting profound ideas concerning man and nature,” allowing an elevation of human thought and culture to uplift the condition of entire nations.
The true Artist plays an indispensable role in empowering nations and individuals to succeed in this process. After World War II, United Nations advocate Menuhin lived a beautiful life, proving that Artistic genius is a natural companion of political morality. Contrary to the modernistic culture being spread today, he did not bend to the popular view that artists are motivated primarily by personal gratification and oblivious of what is viewed as “politics.”
Deceased in 1999, Menuhin has been increasingly “air-brushed” out of public mention as leading media have become the outlet for war-mongering racism typified by the “Russophobia,” coordinated by NATO and related military-industrial financial circles, to impose a “thought dictatorship” in support of their proxy war against Russia.
Menuhin was determined after World War II to turn his musical work into an aesthetic force that would prevent the atrocities of war from recurring. For an unprecedented six years, Menuhin was President of the UN’s International Music Council. After playing 500 concerts for Allied troops during World War II, he insisted that governments allow him in 1945 to perform in Russia and then Germany, to immediately begin restoring human relations between the people living in the adversarial nations. By 1952, Menuhin became a close personal friend of India’s first post-colonial Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and worked closely with India’s leading teacher of ancient music Ravi Shankar. Named UNESCO’s Ambassador of Goodwill in 1992, he told media, “We have to inculcate a respect for every other human being…. We have to develop a new form of thought which is not based on the reflexes of the caveman.” Music, he stated, is “the greatest therapeutic agent in the world.” It can change people “if they’re willing to listen. But if they’re already caught up in the madness, in the desire for revenge, for coercive power over others, then it’s too late.” He upheld the classical notion that the nature of all members of the human species is “naturally creative.”
We, as Artists, call for a revival of the Schillerian standard for the role of Artistic discovery and education as a basic human right; and that Beethoven’s worldwide call, “Alle Menschen werden Brueder” become the basis for a Renaissance needed to secure the success of a New Just World Economic Order. If the UN is to perform any useful role in the coming period, the legacy of Yehudi Menuhin should be revived, for his role as a world citizen of remarkable talent is in harmony with Schiller’s conviction that all humans are endowed with the potential for genius.