|This article appears in the January 1, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Call to Arms of
Today’s situation is far worse than that which Dvořák faced, because of the comparable destruction of the entire practice of Classical musical practice since the 1960s, in particular. So is the Presidency far worse. So is the Congress, and perhaps, also, the population. As Martin Luther King said, however, in his April 3, 1968 speech: “But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.” The worst of situations submit to and may be overcome by the power of poetry, as Percy Shelley attests.
The methods brought to bear by the Manhattan Project are rooted in a deeper science than that of the earlier cultural attempts. For example, in Europe the work of Brunelleschi, Nicholas of Cusa, and Johannes Kepler was succeeded by the foundation of the well-tempered system of musical composition by J.S. Bach. This is crucial for any “music student” to know and to master, but is generally unavailable in any music conservatory. By focusing on the Bel Canto voice placement principle, from the advanced standpoint of the compositions of the Classical period from Bach through Brahms, Dvořák, and Verdi, and the conducting principles advanced by Wilhelm Furtwängler, it is possible to introduce tens of thousands of New York citizens, in the short term, to a new, human view of language once characteristic of American oratory and public speech.
Consider, for example, this sentence taken, essentially arbitrarily, from an 1851 Rochester, New York public address by former slave Frederick Douglass, whose every conscious moment was spent at that time clearly delineating the basis for the freedom of all men as clearly enunciated in the Constitution of the United States:
When I speak of such men, I can find no more appropriate language than the words of our Savior to the Scribes and Pharisees; and if any here deem the language I have already used harsh, or denunciatory, I commend to them the burning words of our Savior, applied eighteen hundred years ago to the same class of men as those who are now standing in the way of the slave’s redemption: “Woe unto you, Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith.
New York Historical Society
These Douglass speeches were virtually never written. They were declaimed indoors and outdoors, in all sorts of halls, schools, and churches, and with no amplification. Can anyone seriously imagine any of the Presidential candidates, or any of the too-prevalent semi-literate street orators, or television personalities, or talking heads, or Fox News screechers, or late-night television talk show hosts, or talk radio semi-pundits, speaking this way?
What was the music of speech that Douglass heard, and what is the music that they hear? What music is Donald Trump hearing? What music is Barack Obama hearing? What music is the Congress playing to drown out the sound of the Constitution being murdered every Tuesday by Barack Obama’s kill sessions?
Only by introducing a different practice of musical participation, including performance, in the population as a whole, in strategic parts of the United States, can this otherwise terminal civilizational condition be reversed. This is an essential pre-condition to re-establish the capacity of our society to elicit the moral fitness to survive from an otherwise doomed citizenry, now exterminating itself at an accelerating rate through drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, and various forms of non-lethal menticide, both self-inflicted and institutionally encouraged.
The defense of the republic cannot be successfully accomplished by the illiterate and semi-literate, no matter how good their announced intentions. In today’s United States, where the past two Presidential administrations have operated with the express intent of reducing the population of the United States itself through various forms of foreign and domestic warfare and economic deprivation, and where the sitting President holds a Nero-like and publicly acknowledged “kill session” every Tuesday,—is it any wonder that a mass shooting/killing occurs now every day?
In 1962, in a speech given at the University in California at Berkeley, after he had returned from a Santa Barbara Conference at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Aldous Huxley infamously remarked:
There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.
In 1974, political associates of Lyndon LaRouche who had been victims of drug-induced brainwashing, sometimes combined with physical assault, countered the effects of that brainwashing through intensive listening to the late Beethoven string quartets. These compositions acted as a particularly effective emotional mooring point, more powerful in their expression of human creativity and triumph than the then-crude, opposing methods popularly utilized by police agencies of 40 years ago. Such pedagogical exercises, properly supervised, can in fact reverse the sorts of effects that Huxley terms final.
Yes, great damage has been done, but if people gain the courage to wipe out Wall Street and its false conception of the value of human life, then that act itself will re-establish the sanity of the society as a whole. But from where will come the courage to do this?
This is where the truly revolutionary role of Classical music composition and performance comes in. People are not, in the final analysis animals, unless they intend to be. Today, simply reintroducing Classical musical principles will have a salutary effect, but that is not enough. To save civilization, it is essential to exemplify the future which is worth saving. That future is not “programmatic.” It is not “pragmatic.” It is not a “good, empty campaign slogan” like “Hope and Change.” It must ring emotionally true, and be true at the same time.
As we enter January and a new phase of cultural crisis, forces associated with Lyndon LaRouche’s Manhattan Project have vowed, as their New Year’s resolution, to supply the American population with the ganas—the desire (or, less delicately, the “testicular fortitude”) to “take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them.”
The arms to be taken up, are not bullet-firing semi-automatic weapons, nor apocryphal “Star Wars” light-sabers. They are the same weapons that the great Italian patriot and artist Giuseppe Verdi forged and wielded in his battle for a sovereign, single nation of Italy, a “Risorgimento,” which would successfully conclude a battle that the Florentine poet and statesman Dante Alighieri had waged and died in the service of, more than 500 years before Verdi’s work. LaRouche has specifically identified the Italian Bel Canto vocal training approach as the urgently required basis for teaching Americans what LaRouche refers to as voice placement. This is not esoteric or unintelligible—rather, it is an attack on unintelligibility.
The grunting that passes for public speech, most luridly on display in the political campaign screeches of Donald Trump, or the even more offensive Chris Christie, should reveal to the listener the mind only of the criminally insane. This is apparently, however, not the case; many Americans seem to no longer be able to hear how simply crazy these people, and their present President, are.
Has America been driven morally tone deaf by the noise now called popular music? What is the relationship between what Americans choose to listen to, and the political candidates that they tolerate listening to? Sixteen years of depressive dumbing-down, first by the “country and western” braying of the not merely illiterate, but anti-literate George Bush, followed by the “smooth jazz” patter of Barack Obama’s constantly contentless statements, was recently rudely and thankfully interrupted by Vladimir Putin at the September United Nations 70th Anniversary session. Americans and the rest of the world gratefully witnessed, by comparison, two opposing speeches, containing two opposing conceptions of world leadership. One was human speech; the other was not.
The purpose of the Manhattan choral project is to equip each citizen who volunteers to reverse the demise of civilization and humanity that is presently the sure outcome of the downward spiral that Barack Obama’s United States is leading the world into, with the moral weapons to accomplish that mission. Our power in this, is the capacity of reason in others. This capacity must, however, be awakened as an emotional disposition to act, not merely as a contemplative consideration of “what might be the right thing to do.” We are past the time for that.
In welcoming the audience for the Sunday Messiah performance at All Souls Church, Lynn Yen, founder of the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture, concluded her remarks by saying:
You cannot convert a man, woman or nation by killing him, her, or it. “You have not converted a man merely because you have silenced him.” Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, and other works are the most powerful “weapons of mass instruction” ever devised in Western civilization. When will we learn that this, not the gun or the bomb, is the true way to help change humanity for the better? The answer is, we will learn it only when so many young people around the planet, starting in places like the United States, understand the true dignity of mankind, because they have heard and performed it in this music; you will then be unable to silence them any longer, because they will have for the first time heard and been moved by the sound of their own singular voice.