|This address appears in the February 28, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The View from `Old Europe'
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
This keynote address given on Feb. 6 to the Schiller Institute/ICLC annual Presidents' Day weekend conference, by the founder and Chairwoman of the Institute, moved from the revolutionary moment of huge worldwide demonstrations against an Iraq war, through the great importance of Friedrich Schiller's life and work as a model for those who want to act for the good and the beautiful, in such revolutionary moments. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche was introduced by Amelia Boynton Robinson, Schiller Institute Vice Chairwoman, who emphasized that the Schiller Institute is the organization assisting the "least and most humble of humanity" to do something for betterment, "to leave footprints on the sands of time." Mrs. Robinson welcomed all the young people present, urged them to recruit others, to organize to vote, and to run for office.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche's presentation was punctuated by readings from some of Schiller's works, by Will Wertz. Subheads have been added.
Well, thank you, Amelia. You are a sweetheart, and my beloved mother.
I will present to you, today, a view from the "Old Europe," and I'm doing it very proudly. The good newsand for some, the bad newsis that, yesterday, in Europe, the largest demonstrations ever, occurred, with 3 million people in Rome; 2 million people in London; 500,000 in Berlin, which is the largest demonstration which took place in Germany in postwar history; and similarly large demonstrations in many other cities. In Rome, all traffic had broken downno buses, no subways, were possible. And even places where it does not sound like so much, like Sweden with 30,000; this is the largest demonstration which took place in Sweden since the end of the Vietnam War. And it, for sure, is the largest demonstrations which ever occurred before a war broke out.
Now, I think this is, from my standpoint, excellent news. And I can imagine that some other people feel like Rumpelstiltskin right now, not knowing exactly what they should do. They always have the choice of going the Rumpelstiltskin way.
But, what happened on Friday [Feb. 14] in the UN Security Council, already represented a historical watershed. And I think it demonstrates what Schiller said in the beginning of his historical writing about the Revolt of the Netherlands against the Spanish rule: That there is hope, when people unite for a just cause, and a good plan, and that they can stand up even against the biggest tyranny and biggest despots' plans. And what they can accomplish by uniting together. And, that is what Amelia was telling everybody, travelling to many places in the world: that people should unite together, and then there would be hope.
Now, if you read the U.S. media, that is obviously not exactly the view you will get. Lyn tells me, that this morning, the reports about the demonstrations were playing them down a lot. But, this is a revolution! I mean, when has this ever happenedthat before a war breaks out, millions are taking to the streets. And, in the United Nations Security Council: When has it ever happened, that there was an unprecedented alliance of France, Germany, Russia, China, India; and many small countries dared to speak up.
So that actually, if you look at it, who is left? It's the United States; maybe Great Britainthis will be decided this weekend, at the party day congress in Glasgow of the Labour Party; and Spain. But, 80% of the Spanish population are against the war.
Can't Go to War Based on Lies
Well, I think this means, the danger is not over, but it is an unprecedented alliance. And the Bush Administration and Blair face the dilemma: What to do now? And we know from all our contacts in Europe, they were not expecting this; they were not prepared that this would happen.
So, we have a couple of weeks' time to turn this around. The first date we should be absolutely focussed on, is the 1st of March, because this is the date, so far given by Powell, to review the situation. But, I think you will see, that in this period, the resistance internationally is growing. Not only because of Lyn's leadership, but because many, many forces in the world basically say, "No! We don't want this war."
The Pope actively intervenes in [many] ways: He met with [Deputy Prime Minister] Tariq Aziz from Iraq. He's intervening actively in many places, but also, 40 top church figures from all over the world. The Non-Aligned Movement: They will have a conference on the 20th of February, where the main subject will be Iraq. They have invited the OIC, the Organization of Islamic Conference, which is 53 statesrepresenting the majority of the world right there; but also, in Africa, unprecedented resistance is being voiced, and also in Latin America.
I normally don't like the political views of [German Foreign Minister] Joschka Fischer. But I must say, he did a good job, and when people do a good job, one has to note this: He made, at the Wehrkundethe annual conference of the NATO forces in Munichhe had a yelling match with [U.S. Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld, and shouted at him, "There is no case! There is no case for this war!" Blix and El-Baradei, the two inspectors, came back in the recent round, and said, "There is actually no evidence, that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction." And nobody can say, that there is an immediate threat. Nobody can say, that Iraq, in this periodin the next year, two years, five yearscould launch a war. This was clearly stated, by all the former UN inspectors: Scott Ritter, [Hans] von Sponeck, even this Australian [Richard] Butler, who used to be a raving anti-Iraq spokesman, they all basically said, "There is no case."
And, you remember that first it was supposed to be Sept. 11. Then they couldn't prove that. They said, "Okay, let's shift to `weapons of mass destruction.' " When they couldn't prove that, they said, "Okay, but maybe the al-Qaeda link." But that link does not exist. Everybody who has looked into the situation knows, that there is actually bitter tension and opposition between the fundamentalist al-Qaeda networks and the very secular Saddam Hussein regime, which used to execute imams and such people. So, it does not exist.
So therefore, what everybody says is, "Okay, maybe Saddam Hussein is not a nice person. And maybe Iraq is not the perfect place on Earth. But whatever problem exists, it can be solved with diplomatic and political means."
This is already the overwhelming evidence. But, then, it turns outand you will hear more about thisthat the famous Powell speech in the United Nations, on the 5th of February, was based on a fraudulent report, which British intelligence not only snuck, somehow, into Powell's speech, but that it was a 12-year-old, ancient student thesis. But now, it turns out that the whole thing is a complete concoction by a combination of the "chicken-hawk" network, using some contaminated Israeli networks. So, the whole basis is actually a complete fraud! And the world should go to World War III, based on a fraud? I think this needs to be out in the open!
Now, the most senior, and very respected British parliamentarian, Tom Dalyell, had, three days ago, an intervention in the British Parliament, where he accused Blair of lying to the British population. And, tumult broke out. He was actually dismissed for one day from the Parliament. But, as I said, this will all be debated at the Glasgow Labour Party Day this weekend.
But, the point Lyn made, emphatically, and I think this is the first thing people should think about: You can't go to war, based on lies! Now, when the whole world says this, and the Russians have made very clear, that for historical reasons, they have extremely good intelligence in Iraq, and they said, "There is no threat; there is nothing in Iraq, which can not be handled politically and diplomatically." The German Interior Minister, Schily, said there is absolutely no connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Now, that is the first thing: There is no case!
Those Who Know War
It's a pretty good reason. The second reason why "Old Europe" is so emphatically against the war, and why so many millions of people are taking to the streets, is because, contrary, obviously, to the foolishness of these war-party chicken-hawks in the United States and Great Britain: They know what war is! We have experienced two world wars.
And, even though I was born after the war, I have very vivid memories from discussions with my mother, my other relatives, and they told me many, many stories. You know, what it meant, again and again, when there were bombing alarms, to go into the basement; to sit there, not knowing if you would get out; not knowing what the street would look like, which house would be there the next day. Reports from people going to the front, and, after one week, the young husband had already been killed, leaving a young mother with two children in a bombed-out city. People don't want this any more! They don't want war! War is not a means of solving problems!
Now, if you look at what happened to European families, there is almost no family, which has not been touched in the most severe form, by the First World War, by the Second World War. I was riding in a train recently, and discussing with somebody, and an old woman came, and because of the discussion going on, she participated in the discussion. And, she said she was over 90, and how this present connection between the Depression and the war danger, how this was bringing up memories: how she had lost her husband; how her parents had lost their relatives in the First World War. And, I just want to tell you, people in Europe don't want warnot because they're evil, or because they're anti-American or something like that, but because they know what war is! And, they don't want it! And, I think it's very important that you understand this. Because the media portray Old Europe, as if we, all of a sudden, would have turned anti-American. Nothing could be further from the truth than that!
Because the situation is so dramatic, and the older generation has been traumatized. And, even if we, who have been born after the war, didn't experience it directly; but when you hear it from your parents, from your grandparents, it becomes part of the cultural matrix of yourself.
So, because the world is so appalled by what is going on, there is right now a big debate, in Germany, but also in France, about the firestorms in Dresden. Somebody who is a very famous author on the Holocaust, and other such questions (and therefore, nobody can accuse him of being one-sided), just wrote a new book, where he goes in detail, through the firestorms in Dresden and other citieswhich, actually, when it happened, was as bad as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because, when you have a fire-blast, and you have one-, two-, three-quarters of a city under complete fire-blast, there is equally no escape like if you are hit by a nuclear bomb! And, right now, there is a debate, that that firebombing actually represents a war crime, in the same way, as other things have been discussed in this way.
This is why, even in the "New Europe," people are not for this war. Cardinal Glemp, who is the Primate of Poland, came out with a statement attacking the Polish, saying that he personally has experienced the horrors of war, and therefore, this should never happen again, and therefore everybody should support the Pope.
Now, there was just the 60th-anniversary reunion of German and Soviet survivors of the Battle of Stalingrad. These are all men in their 80s, and one of them, Vasili Orlov, said, "I'm so happy to see that Germany and Russia have the same position on the looming war against Iraq. We, as veterans, do not want to see a new war. There has been too much killing already." Now, just to remind you, what the Battle of Stalingrad was: The German Sixth Army went to Stalingrad with, initially, about 300,000 troops. And they attacked Stalingrad in the late Summer 1942. Then the battle dragged on, and they were not prepared for the Wintera known phenomenon of people who invade Russiaand when the Soviet Union, despite the tremendous hardships which they had suffered at that time already, mounted a counteroffensive, in November 1942, with 1 million. By February 1943, the Sixth Army had to surrender, and only 90,000 were left alive. All of them were captured as Russian prisoners of war. And, only 6,000 came back after the war had endedso, 6,000 out of 300,000.
[German Chancellor Gerhard] Schröder sent a message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and he said: Stalingrad was a great tragedy, and therefore we must work together so that it never happens again.
War Could Cause Genocide
In the same way, what is the secret of this "evil" German-French alliance, which you hear about in the American media. It's a beautiful thing. I'm very happy about it, because the Elysée Treaty, which was concluded by Adenauer and de Gaulle 40 years ago, was a historical work, ending the so-called "blood feud" between Germans and French, which had actually, over 500 years, again and again, led to wars, and especially in the 20th Century, had pitted Germany and France in two world wars against each other. So, Adenauer and de Gaulle said, "Look, let's stop that. Let's work together that we have a friendship between our two countries, where we'll never have war again with each other. And furthermore, where we will coordinate all important issues, which have bearing on the future and existence of our countries, especially foreign policy and such questions."
I just was in France, and we had a beautiful celebration of this 40 years Elysée Treaty anniversary, together with Jacques Cheminade. And we pledged, that we will work together, German and France, not only for our own purposes, but that our two countries become a force of good in the world, and take a mission. Because, de Gaulle said, correctly, the French are not just a people of grass-eating cows, who fill their bellies; but, they have a mission. And so does Germany have a mission. And we agreed, that we will work together to make the Eurasian Land-Bridge and Eurasian integration a reality, so that no small country in Europe should be afraid of this German-French collaboration, but they should benefit from it.
Now, when George Bush, on the 1st of June last year, spoke in front of West Point Military Academy, he said, "America has military strength that can not be challenged by anyone. And we will keep it this way." Well, it can not be challenged, and therefore, they have no business to go to Iraq, because if it can't be challenged, then it can't be challenged! Condoleezza Rice said that never again, will the United States allow any other power to get close to U.S. military might.
Now, that is what everybody knows, and indeed, this military power of the United States is unprecedented. No country in the history of mankind was ever so powerful, so equipped with such powerful, modern weapons. And, that is why the Pope, Old Europe, Russia, China, and all these other countries who are opposing the war, say, "If you compare the potential threat from Saddam Husseindown the line maybe, even if one is generous; even if it would be a threat two years from now; five years from nowcompare that threat, in the light of the incredible military power of the United States, with the incalculable consequences the war would trigger."
And, let's be absolutely, crystally clear: If this war would start, the whole region, from the Maghrebthat is, Northern Africato Indonesia, and in betweenPakistan, India, Iran, North Korea, China; this whole region, Central Asia, parts of Russiawould explode. There is no way how it would be just Iraq. It would be the trigger point.
[Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf, who is a pro-American general, one could say, said, that if the war happens, Pakistan will be next on the list! Now, why? Because he knows perfectly well, that he could not probably stay in office much longer. And if you had Islamic fundamentalists taking possession of nuclear weapons, which Pakistan haswell, then I'm afraid, between India and Pakistan, things would really explode.
Now, there is another aspect, not only that it threatens to throw the world into a dark age. The effect that it would have on the world economy. It could just be the final blow, not only for the world economy, because of oil prices, and all of this. Even some idiots calculate that if you occupy these oil fields directly, and Iraq alone would produce 4.5 million barrels a day, then the income from that would help you to pay for the cost. I mean, these are just insane calculations.
If you look at it in reality, it would cause genocide, in the Third World. Because, industrialized countries may be able to pay high oil bills, but if you are a country in Latin America or Africa, which happens to have no oil, this would mean the death of many people; and it is exactly that, that the head of South Africa [President Thabo] Mbeki said, in a dramatic appeal. He said, "If this war occurs, all development in Africa will stop." [Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who's normally a very balanced person, said: If this war occurs, it constitutes genocide, because of the effect it has on the developing countries. The Nigerian Guardianagain, a paper which is normally very moderatesays: If the United States does that, they open themselves to charges of ulterior motives. They are sending a dangerous message to the world. And they put into question the legitimacy of democracy, because if its superior representative behaves in this way, then all of democracy will be disappearing.
The Shadow of Nuremberg Tribunals
And I think this is a serious argument, people should think about. If the United States would leave the United Nations process, and go unilaterally into this war, it would mean a complete breakdown of international law. What therefore is at stake, when we look at the situation, is the entirety of the present world order, the Western alliance, the unity of Europe, international law as it has developed since the Peace of Westphalia Treaty in 1648; it would totally throw out the UN Charter from 1945.
And, it opens another question: because, pre-emptive war is not allowed.
Preventive war is one thing. If you know that Canada has its missiles ready and they could hit Washington in eight hours, you are allowed to preventively attack Canada to prevent that from happening; because then you are in a defensive posture, even if you start the war.
But, the pre-emptive war is something quite different. A pre-emptive war is a war, which is trying to eliminate that a country, "potentially," "eventually," "down the line," becomes a threat. And that is very clearly, according to international law, a war of aggression. And that was the issue at the Nuremberg Trial. The speech of principle, held by Justice Robert Jackson, on the 11th of November 1945, in Nuremberg, when he was the chief prosecutor of the United States at the international military courtI want to read you some quotes. Jackson said:
"The statute of this court is based on the belief that the idea of law not only applies for the behavior of the little people, but also the powerful and the rulers themselves are subject to God and the law. According to the instructions of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the decision of the Conference of Yalta, I present to you a draft for an international agreement, which is the basis for the statutes of this court, and represents a certain notion of law."
Then, Jackson develops the historical reference, how this idea of law developed: that in the past view, there was the situation, where one could not be held responsible for the usual acts of violence as they happened during the conduct of war. Then, he recounts the history: that during the time of imperialism, in the 18th and 19th Centuries, there developed, in contradiction to the old Christian teaching and the teachers of international law, such as [Hugo] Grotius, the viewthe disgusting doctrine developed that all wars would be justified, legal wars. That resulted in the possibility that one could conduct war, without any penalty of the law.
Jackson continues, and says: "This became unbearable for an age which called itself civilized." Statesmen and legal experts defined rules which were supposed to make war more civilized. And especially after the First World War, it became common sense that the condemnation of war would be based on law. And in the '20s, the war of aggression was outlawed for the first time in different steps. One was the so-called Briand-Kellogg Pact from 1928, which condemned war as a means to solve international conflicts; and this was signed by nearly all nations of the world. Then, the Geneva Protocol of 1924, which said that a war of aggression represents an international crime. The Eighth General Assembly of the League of Nations in 1927 agreed unanimously, that a war of aggression was an international crime, and this was signed by 48 states. And then, the Sixth Pan-American Conference in 1928: Twenty American states also declared, that it's an international crime against humanity.
Then, Jackson said, "Any resort to war, to any kind of war, is a resort to means that are inherently criminal. War inevitably is a course of killing, assaults, deprivation of liberty, a destruction of property. An honestly defensive war is, of course, legal, and saves those lawfully conducting it from criminality. But, inherently criminal acts can not be defended by showing that those who committed them were engaged in a war, when the war itself is illegal. The very minimum legal defense of the Treaties, making aggressive wars illegal, is to strip those who incite or wage them of every defense the law ever gave, and to leave war-makers subject to judgment by the usually accepted principles of the law of crimes."
I think people better remember the Nuremberg Trial, and also come to the conclusion, that there is still time to stop this war. Because, if the war happens, the United Nations will have the same fate as the League of Nations. Europe will fall apart. International law will go out of the window.
Now, obviously, some Utopians have the philosophy, "Might Makes Right." But, remember the word of Bismarck: "Whoever wants to start a war, better think of the reasons which will be still accepted after the war."
When Germany, France, and Russia oppose the war, it is not only because of the trauma of the two world wars, but because Germany, France, Russia, and these countries are behaving in cohesion with international law, with the UN Charterand by the way, Article 26 of the German Constitution says, a war of aggression is banned by the Constitution. So, even if Germany wantedI mean, the Constitution says, "No!"
Now, there is talk, again and again, by Rumsfeld and, unfortunately, Powell, of a possible "coalition of the willing." Now, my suggestion to these "willing people" is that they better think what will be down the road for them, in terms of history, in terms of international courts, and so forth. And, that that is not an abstract question. You can see that there are already seven Scottish parliamentarians, who announced a legal case against Blair, in The Hague Court [the International Court of Justice], that, if he joins the attack, they will sue him before the same court which tried Milosevic.
The War-Hawks' Desperate Reaction
And, as you know, there is also a suit by some American Congressmen; and 90 cities in the United States, in the meantime, passed resolutions against the war.
Now, Schröder made a declaration of government before the Bundestag last week, where he said, "We are acting together, Germany, with France, Russia, and China, and others, because we have a mandate for peace. We are doing our duty for peace. The UN Charter is based on a ban of violence, and the driving force behind that was FDR. We want to act on the basis of the strength of law, and not on the right of the stronger." Now, what is criminal and wrong about that?
But, what is the reaction?
Well, I said already, the chicken-hawk war faction did not calculate the firmness of the Europeans and Russia. Their plans did not foresee that. They were completely caught by surprise. Because, in their estimate, Germany had no backbone, because they lost two world wars; France would be doing some diplomatic dancing around, and then capitulate; Russia would be bankrupt and corrupt, and therefore easy to be bought. But, now they're behaving differently. And what we hear from our European contacts is that the level of rage is unprecedented.
Behind the scenes, there were almost scenes of physical attack, against people who just opposed the war.
The media campaign against the opponents of the war, is absolutely unprecedented. They are being called "wimps"; "weasels"; and "monkeys"; "the coalition of cowards"; "the perfidious France"; "Germany is in league with Libya and Cuba"; France is being called "a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys"; and the whole coalition is called "the axis of devious characters."
Claude, please, first slide. Here you have a cartoon, saying, obviously, the "national bird of France"; Chirac is called a "positive monster of conceit," a "rat that tried to roar." George Will had an article, calling Villepin the "oily Foreign Minister"; Joschka Fischer was called "a terrorist" in the papers; the leading Greenie party, "an alcoholic"; Gerhard Schröder, supposedly a womanizera big campaign, that he's had an affair. And so forth.
Next. here you havethis is actually an American aircraft carrier. In the background you have the Chancellor office in Berlin, and the text says, "Schröder, go immediately into exile, or we shoot!"
Next: Here you see Bush and his Blair puppy-dog.
Next: This is Schröder, his last divorce. He's now having his fourth marriage. His last marriage failed, supposedly because his wife was a Greenie and she would only cook vegetarian food. He always wanted to eat like a curry-wurst! So, here he's eating a curry-wurst, and he says, "Good old curry-wurst. You I will miss the most in Libya." And, it says, "The Chancellor Agrees, and Goes Into Exile."
Next: Well, this is obviously[interrupted by laughter]. The Gulf War, starring such incredible stars!
Next: Here, it says, "Dammit Jack! If the French and the Germans don't surrender, we will have to go soon into Normandy again."
Next: Here you have a classical case of "material breech"! A lot of wind, obviously!
Just to give you a flavor of the condition of the "trans-Atlantic alliance."
But this is actually serious stuff, and you will see more of it, because I don't think this will go away that easily. For example, William Pfaff, in the International Herald Tribune, wrote, "Why the United States Fears Europe." And he said, that Rumsfeld is seeking the political destruction of Schröder, and he's trying to get a "regime change" in Germany. That they regard Germany as the most vulnerable member of the resistance of "Old Europe"; that France is a hopeless case, anyway, but that Bush thinks that Schröder must be humiliated, as an example to others. And, that the neo-con theory in Washington is, because they regard Europe as a principal rival and the future challenger of the United States, that it is absolutely unacceptable that Germany, for the first time, has taken a stand against the United States, and that therefore Schröder will not be allowed to get away with it, because it does reflect the popular opinion in all of Europe, and many other parts of the world.
Crusade, vs. Strategy
Now, I think this is serious stuff. And I think we should be very vigilant, for what is to come.
This is why the Pope went out of his way, to explicitly support the German-French coalition.
And, there's another dimension, which freaks Europe out, and that is: When Bush was meeting with the Christian broadcasters, he said, among other things, that Jesus was his favorite philosopher. Now, there's nothing wrong with being religious, and so forth, but the Europeans basically think that, when Bush, after the 11th September, said: "Our task is clear. We have to save the world from evil. We have to have a crusade. Nobody should get in the way. They're either with us, or with the terrorists"well, there are many articles now, in the European press, saying, this all reminds you of the early European history of sects, which divided the world into a realm of darkness on the one side, and the principle of light, the realm of good, on the other side. And, people are freaked out, because, they say, this is no longerwhat is this? This has nothing to do with Christianity, with religion. But this is something very, very strange.
The speeches by such people as Lantos, King, HydeI heard them on C-Span. (C-Span, by the way, I advertise a lot, because it's the only channel, where you get any resemblance of what is happening. No twist, no spin; you can hear what people are saying.) And, if you listen to these speechesI mean, I said, "My God! This is almost as if Europe would be the enemy already!" I mean it's unbelievable. And I think the idea, that these people do want to go for a regime change in Germany, had better be taken very seriously.
Now, the argumentthe two-by-four argumentused against Europe, is, "We freed you from Hitler; therefore you have to support us now." I can only tell you: Germany and the other countries in Europe are only doing what they decided to never do again! I mean, never again have this kind of thing! Never again, have war to solve a problem.
And, the last time you had millions of people in the streets in Europe, was actually in the early 1980s, when the [Russian] SS-20 and the [American] Pershing II had reduced the warning time of a potential world war to six minutes. This was basically putting NATO and the Warsaw Pact on "launch on warning"; because we had a situation, where, one missile by accident, and you would have had World War III. This is when Schmidt, the Chancellor then, warned, "We are on the verge of World War III." And, this is when the Europeans had a first taste of what the Utopian military faction in the United States is. I know that the Schmidt government was totally terrified about Brzezinski during the time of the Carter Administration, in this period.
And this, if you remember, was the time when Lyn reacted to this war danger, with his beautiful proposal of Mutually Assured Survival, as an alternative to MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction, of NATO. Now, Lyn mentioned, yesterday, this conception, which became, on the 23rd of March, 1983, official U.S. policy for a short period of time.
The Mission of the Schiller Institute
Now, I recall this period, because this period was actually the time when the idea, to have such an effort like the Schiller Institute, was born. Because I was travelling in Germany. And, because of this Brzezinski and other signs, there was a growing anti-Americanism in Germany. And, when I travelled in the United States, there was a growing anti-German, anti-European tendency, in the United States.
So, I had the idea that that was potentially very dangerous. And that, therefore, you needed an institute to put foreign policy on a completely different level: That the relationship between Germany and the United States should not be, that German history is reduced to 12 years of nightmare; but that you talk to Germany as the country from which Nikolaus von Kues, Leibniz, Schiller, and Beethoven came. And, that when you talk to the United States, you're not talking about the country which committed atrocities in Vietnam, Korea, Hiroshima, and Panama, but you are talking to an America of the American Revolution, which, actually, the best of European traditions, went into.
And, I can only advise you: Everybody should buy the recent issue of Fidelio [magazine], where this connection, between the best influences of European civilization"Old Europe," which made the United Statesactually are documented. But you talk about Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The same idea obviously goes for other nations: When you want to have positive foreign relations, you're not picking and saying, "This is your worst moment"; but, you think, what was the period in which you contributed something to universal history.
So, it immediately became clear that the Schiller Institute was not only to improve German-American relationsbut Europe-American relationsbut also especially with the entire developing sector.
I was looking in this period for principles of the Schiller Institute. And I read all possible international documents, and I came to the conclusion that the Declaration of Independence is actually the most beautiful document, which anybody could give themselves as a principle. And by changing only six words: Where it says, "the American colony," I say, "every country"; where is says, "the British occupying colonial power," I say, "the international oligarchical institutions." And by just changing five, six words, I make it applicable for the entire world. So, that which is the American Constitution and American Declaration of Independence can actually be the basis for the entire world.
Now as we have seen yesterday, performed on the stage [during the Feb. 16 commemorative celebration of the life of Schiller Institute Vice President Marianna Wertz], this is exactly the same idea as the Rütli Oath [from Schiller's drama Wilhelm Tell]. And I came to the conclusion, that, in a crisis like that, a systemic breakdown of a whole system, the solution can only be on the highest level. And, at a time where it is clear, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, Maastricht, the European Union, NATO, and so forth, are all about to disintegrate. We said this a long time ago, and people didn't believe it; they thought, "This is exaggerated." But, one can see, very clearlyand I hope this war can be avoided and we're not crashing against the wall, but, we are that closeone can see very clearly, that the old paradigm, these axioms and values which existed up to the present time, have utterly and completely failed.
The philosophy of the "fun society"materialism, egoism, "I," "me," "mine"these ideas are out. The question is, what is the new paradigm? And this is where Schiller and the Schiller Institute is absolutely important. Because we are faced today with the exact same question Schiller was asking himself: Why is it, that we are still barbarians? Because today, we are faced with the choice of either becoming complete barbariansDark Age, gangs, people fighting over food, killing each otheror we will have a new Renaissance. And if we have a new Renaissance, I am absolutely certain, it will be more beautiful than any one in the past has been.
Schiller's Idea of Mankind
Now, in this period, it is my viewand I hope I can convince you of thatthat the work and poetical method of Schiller is extremely crucial. And the reason why I gave the Schiller Institute his name for our efforts to have better relations among people, is because it is my viewand I have read many philosophers, poets, from many culturesbut I still hold, that he represents the highest principle of humanity. That he has more beautifully presented a poetical image of what man can be, than anybody else.
And, I think, if you look at Schiller and Beethoven together, these are the two towering giants of the German Classical period. You all know the Ninth Symphony, where Beethoven actually composed a symphony according to a beautiful poem by Schiller, the Ode to Joy, and he made out of it one of the most gigantic, most breath-taking works ever written on this planet. And, it combines the genius of Schiller and Beethoven. As a matter of fact, Beethoven said that Schiller's poetry was so complete, that it was almost impossible for a composer to write something more complete than that poem was already; and therefore, he mostly set to music Goethe and other poems, but not Schiller.
Now, the big question we have to ask ourselves: How is mankind supposed to come out of this present pit? I think we have to take the highest standard, the highest, most beautiful idea of man, and Schiller was very conscious of that. He wrote that he was conscious that his work would probably be only appreciated one or two centuries later, when new revolutions would have occurred in the philosophy of thinking. And that it would require an honest discoverer, to rediscover his work, and make it apply.
And, I have still a book from my school, which, for some reason (I don't know how this book came into my possession; it has the stamp from my school, so I shouldn't actually have it!), but, in this book, I wrote in the margin, next to "an honest discoverer": IchI. So, I'm very proud of this, because it meant that, as a girl, I recognized this.
So, we have to be the "honest discoverer" of Schiller. Because, as I said, nobody has a more beautiful conception of man, a more lofty ideal of mankind. And at the same time, Schiller, if you read him and study him carefully, has actually the deepest philosophical conceptions, in no way less than the level of Plato, Nikolaus of Cusa, and Leibniz isexcept that he has expressed these same ideas with poetical beauty.
Another towering giant of the German Classical periodactually the creator of the best education system in the world, Wilhelm von Humboldtwrote after Schiller had died, on Schiller and the Course of His Spiritual Development: "What must have struck any observer, as characteristically distinguishing Schiller, was that in a higher and more pregnant sense than perhaps with anyone else, thought was the element of his life. Constant self-active engagement of his mind seldom deserted him, and weakened only during the most severe attacks of his physical illness. To him, it seemed recreation, not exertion. Concerning the concept of beauty, concerning the aesthetic in creation and action, and through the foundation of art, as well as art itselfthese works contain everything essential in a manner which can never possibly be excelled. Never before, were these questions discussed in such a pure, such a complete and illuminating way. Infinitely much was thus gained, not merely for the positive analysis of concepts, but also for aesthetic and moral education. Art and poetry were directly joined to that in which the most noble in humanity were presented; that, by which humanity first awakens to the consciousness of its in-dwelling nature, which strives to transcend the finite."
Now, I thought, all the time, that Schiller could not be topped. There was no way how you could talk about these concepts better. And I was extremely happy, when I discovered that Humboldt had actually exactly the same view. Because, infinitely much was gained for the aesthetical and moral education of man.
The Poet of Freedom
Now, I will present to you, some of the key ideas and principles of Schiller, which actually do represent the highest standard of Classical art.
Schiller wrote something when he was 19 years old, his first dissertation as a medical student:
Now, I find this very beautiful: Just think, if you are 19 years old and you write that! That the universe is actually a thought of God, and that it's the destiny of man to be God-likeness and to discover the plan in this creation more deeply, ever.
This is actually the same idea, which you find in Nikolaus of Kues, the cohesion between the laws of the macrocosm, the physical universe, and microcosm. It's the same idea as Leibniz's conception of the monad, that every human being contains, in germ form, the entire complexity of the universe at large. And, Schiller liked that idea so much, that he wrote a poem about it. And, now I want Will to read the Columbus poem:
Wilhelm von Humboldt wrote about this, "The confidence in the efficacy of the power of the human mind, elevated into a poetical image, is expressed in this distich, entitled Columbus, which belongs to the most characteristic Schiller ever created. This belief in the invisibly indwelling powers of man; this view so sublime, and deeply true; that there must be an inner secret agreement between this power and that which orders and directs the entire universe, since all truth can only be a reflection of the eternal and original; was a characteristic feature of Schiller's system of ideas."
Schiller himself wrote, in the Philosophical Letters, about that, and used the formulation, "when Columbus made the dangerous wager with the unnavigated sea." In other words, you have an idea, Columbus had the idea, that there must be these shores, and then, indeed, he discovered the new continent. This is very important. I said, already, that I am having the deepest conviction, that the political solution of this present crisis, can only occur, if the political order on this world is brought into cohesion with the cosmic order, with natural law. This is no light thing, if we don't put the politics into cohesion with the cosmic law, the natural law of creation.
And therefore, if you have a poet who expresses this in this way, I think it is an extremely great gift.
Now, who is Friedrich Schiller, the German "Poet of Freedom"? Since there are several new people here, I want to quickly tell you some biographical things about him. He was born on the 10th of November, 1759, in Marbach, at the Neckar River. He had a very happy childhood. His parents were Johann Kaspar and Elisabeth. They lived first in Lorch. Then he went to the Latin school in Ludwigsburg, and then came a dramatic break, when Count Carl Eugen of Rothenberg forced him to go to the military academy, the Karlsschule.
He was then 13 years old, and for eight years, he studied close up, the oligarchical behavior of the court life. He saw how, when the oligarchs decided to have a hunt, they would go with dozens of horses, destroying the harvests of the peasants, without any compensation, and he saw the degraded cultural tastes of the time at the court. So, he developed a very strong anti-oligarchical sentiment. And Schiller suffered greatly, because he found the education in this military academy, completely restrictive. But, I must say, compared to the education people get nowadays in European or American universities, he was pretty lucky, because his teachers mediated to him the influence of Leibniz, Shakespeare, Lessing, Mendelssohn, and others; but also the British empiricism of Locke, Hobbes, Hume, Wright. And he had teachers, who were actually very good, especially one guy called Abel.
Now, what they mediate to him, was, among other things, the dominant influence of the British materialism: Hobbes, that all ideas are only the result of memories of sensuous experience; Locke, that man is born, his mind is a tabula rasa, an empty plate, where only sensuous experience then collects knowledge; and that Hume then said, that therefore, all ideas are accidental, because they are the derivatives of accidental sensuous experiences, and therefore all ideas are an illusion. And therefore, there is also no immortality of the soul. What would be called a soul, would only be a complexity of sensuous imaginations.
A Scottish philosopher called Thomas Wright made a critique of Hume, and said, what Hume called an illusion, actually did have reality, namely common sense, and that these principles of sound common sense would be self-evident truth.
Schiller and the American Revolution
Now, Schiller thought that all of these theories were an abomination. And therefore, he wrote, already in 1779, in his dissertation, that if all thoughts, in this way, are accidental, then the self-determination of the human mind, and the freedom of man is gone. And also, morality is accidental, and therefore, the human being is without any dignity. And he found this completely unacceptable.
This confrontation led Schiller to develop the absolute opposite, and to hate the method of education conducted by the Jesuits, the French and English materialists, and empiricists. And he saw, in these wrong teachings, the source of the inner conflict and endangerment of his time. He regarded it as his great task to overcome this inner conflict, and re-create man in harmonious development in all of his potentials. He said, all human beings have the potential to become geniuses. And the means by which to accomplish that, is the poetical principle, because that has the key to the innermost secrets of the human soul.
Now, Schiller was actually the poet of the American Revolution. As a matter of fact, he even considered at one point, immigrating to America. In the Letters on Don Carlos, one of his earlier plays, he commented that what this drama is actually about, was the most favorite subject of the decademeaning the 1780s, which was the period when the American Revolution was just successful. The highest possible freedom of the individual, together with the highest bloom of the state.
Now, Will, please read the Declaration of Independence.
Now, please read the Rütli Oath.
Now, you have seen the entire scene of the Rütli Oath yesterday [performed as part of the memorial for Marianna Wertz], and I think the sameness of these two concepts is so obvious, that I really want to encourage everybody to go home and read Don Carlos. Especially also because, if you look: Schiller, because of the oligarchical control of his time could not write as he had in the Kabale und Liebe, where he had actually attacked the selling of Hessian soldiers to the British in the American War of Independence, because he was outlawed, and he had to flee. So, he transposed these subjects, but discussed the same ideas. So, when he talks about, in Don Carlos, the famous dialogue between Posa and King Philip II, this is actually the principles of the American Revolution. And you can see, that this is a very powerful poetical discussion of the principle of empire versus republic. Because, Philip II, at that time, represented an empire, in which the Sun never sets, but obviously which was ruled with complete fear and misery. So, I want Will to prepare to read the quote by Posa, where he appeals to the King.
Now, this beautiful idea, "be a king of a million kings," meaning the idea of having equality on the highest levelnot like the French Revolution, where "Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité," in actuality meant, when Robespierre said, "The Revolution doesn't need any scientists," and he proceeded to chop off all the heads at the guillotinenot this Jacobin way, but to have equality on the highest level; on the basis of the inalienable rights of all people.
Schiller, before Lynsome of you remember Lyn's old writings about "The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites"Schiller actually had a work exactly like that, called Solon and Lycurgus, where he discusses the two models: the beautiful city-state of SolonAthenswhere he says, this is the republican model, where the purpose of mankind is progression, the perfection of man; versus Lycurgus, in the state of Sparta, a model of the oligarchical system, where the state, at first glance, looks very beautiful and perfect. But then, he says, one sees actually that the individual is sacrificed to the state. Schiller says: The state itself is never the purpose. It is only important as a condition under which the purpose of mankind can be fulfilled. And, that is nothing but the development of all of his powers, progression.
Government Exists for the