|This article appears in the October 6, 2017 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The Attack on Christopher Columbus:
Some of you may remember that a couple of months ago, at a meeting in New York at which the Chinese Ambassador in Washington, Cui Tiankai, gave a presentation, he said that there were sixteen examples in history in which a country surpassed the then dominant power: that in twelve cases it led to war, and in four cases, the rising power just replaced the old dominant power.
Ambassador Cui said that China wants neither a future like one of the twelve cases in which war ensued, nor a future like that of the other four cases, because what China is offering is a completely new model of relations among states.
I want to go through this because I think it is absolutely key. China is proposing a new model for major powers, based on absolute respect for the sovereignty of the other states—including the principle of non-interference, the principle of the acceptance of another social model, and a win-win cooperation between the two of them.
A new diplomacy, free of geopolitics, based on a shared community of scientific principle: This is the future for the world if so desired by the United States. Celebrating the best of each culture’s contributions to world civilization, and a dialogue among all cultures, is a most effective way to initiate that diplomacy, and this has been the mission of the Schiller Institute since its inception. Fundamentally, that was also the mission of the Columbus voyages, as conceived by their originator, Nicholas of Cusa, friend of the Toscanelli who provided the maps to Christopher Columbus. It is this outlook which is the true target of the attack on Columbus. And just as British intelligence deployed Jacobin mobs to destroy France, so today Antifa and other forces are deployed to destroy the capability for this new dialogue of civilizations.
The past decades have seen an intensification in the worldwide destruction of irreplaceable cultural artifacts as ostensibly “collateral damage”
in warfare: the Baghdad Museum, the artifacts of Palmyra, the books of Timbuktu. In this destruction, the active hand of British intelligence, as well as the Malthusian cultural outlook of British-affiliated oligarchical forces is manifest. Such was the moral disposition that expressed itself in the firebombing of Dresden and the destruction of other targets of little military value during the Second World War. “Antifa,” Boko Haram, ISIS and other organizations are the fronts for this organized assault on the cultural memory and heritage of humanity as a whole.
A 225-year-old monument to Christopher Columbus, the oldest in the United States, was smashed in Baltimore, Maryland on Aug. 21. On Aug. 30, in Yonkers, New York, a statue of Columbus was beheaded. On Sept. 12 a Columbus statue was defaced in Central Park. In Columbus Circle, New York City, on Sept. 23, the hands of Columbus were painted. Just as in 1793 France, when the terrorist fanatics that beheaded statues of prophets and saints at the Cathedral of Notre Dame referred to themselves as “The Cult of Reason,” so today’s fascist “Antifa” has declared that Oct. 9 will be “Deface Columbus Day,” using slogans like “the future is racial and economic justice.”
While they claim to be defending others “against racial and economic injustice,” Antifa’s roots are with the Ku Klux Klan and the anti-Italian campaigns in the America of 125 years ago. In an Aug. 25 op-ed in The Hill newspaper, authors J. P. McCusker and Patrick Korten of the National Christopher Columbus Association wrote:
In the 1920s, from coast to coast, members of the Ku Klux Klan opposed Columbus. In Richmond, they tried to stop the erection of a Columbus monument. In Pennsylvania, they burned fiery crosses to threaten those celebrating Columbus. The Klan newspaper, The American Standard, attacked honoring Columbus—on the basis that a holiday for him was some sort of papal plot. The Klan was no fan of Columbus.
There is no reason to assume that the dupes, in or supporting Antifa, know any of this, since there is no reason to assume that they know anything. There is also no reason to assume that since George Soros simultaneously supports right wing Ukrainian fascists (who indeed do use the Confederate flag as a symbol of white supremacy) and Black Lives Matter—to the order of tens of millions of dollars—that the Soros funding conduit is not flowing in all directions in this case as well. Reversing the ongoing assault on human civilization in the form of the defacing and beheading of Columbus statues is best undertaken by using this present circumstance to probe Friedrich Schiller’s question: “What Is, and To What End Do We Study, Universal History?”
In the past two weeks, a re-investigation by Will Wertz and others, of extant materials regarding the fifteenth century cultural interchange between the “city-builders,” astronomers, artisans and machinists of Florence, and the scholars, ship-builders and navigators of China, has established something that is simultaneously of exciting historical significance, as well as urgent importance to the immediate future of the United States. It is, that the 1492 Columbian mission to China, involving advanced knowledge of techniques for the circumnavigation of the globe, and entrusted to Columbus in the 1470s, was discussed by Paolo Toscanelli with Chinese scholars as early as 1433. The Columbus mission was never merely to discover a “westward path to the east,” for purposes of trade. Rather, it was intended to create the basis to re-establish, if necessary, a failing European civilization in another location on the planet, free of the corruption of the “Old World,” and to initiate a dialogue on the most advanced principles of machine design, navigation and invention itself with a civilization potentially as, or more, advanced than that of Europe. The extraordinary Ming Dynasty fleet, which ruled the world’s known waterways for a quarter century (1405-1433) and dwarfed anything that would be seen from Europe for the next 400 years, demonstrated the scientific capabilities of that civilization.
It must, however, also be noted that in the Florence of those years, there was a qualitative difference, a new, unique accomplishment, one that would have already greeted the Chinese scholars that traveled to the Florence in 1433. A fundamental revolution in science had been effected by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, Filippo Brunelleschi, Paolo Toscanelli and others, which did not exist anywhere else in the world. This was their, and specifically Cusa’s, investigation of the creative principle of discovery itself. This was expressed in the three-fold process of Nicholas of Cusa’s book On Learned Ignorance, the building of the Brunelleschi dome, and the Cusa-proposed mission to the New World, an extension of his work to unify the world through the Council of Florence.
Toscanelli lived from 1397 until 1482, and was closely associated with Brunelleschi, Cusa, Leonardo da Vinci, Columbus, and others. The “machine-tool principle” was expressed in the various machines invented by Brunelleschi (recorded in drawings by his friend Mariano Taccola, 1382-1453), and was expressed in Toscanelli’s own astronomical inventions and experimental observations. Cusa’s De Docta Ignorantia was written by 1439 and transformed all of the science and theology before his time. That, in turn, informed and advanced the knowledge of his perpetual interlocutors, who together shared, once Cusa formulated it, his mission: “Ever to the West.”
It is the implications of this, the true mission of Columbus, for the United States of 2017, and for the future of the United States that embraces the World Land-Bridge idea, that the “anti-Columbus” campaign is intended to attack. For example, Lyndon LaRouche’s design of his Four Laws, including the “Fourth Law” emphasis on new Physical principles, on thermonuclear fusion for space flight, and on industrializing the Moon, including mining it for Helium-3, are the proper basis for a new diplomacy involving China, Russia, India, Japan, South Africa and all nations in a new world arrangement, never before seen or created. If Americans understand that it is this, the very historic mission that brought this nation into existence, that is under assault in the attacks on Columbus, they will also understand how to use the vigorous defense of Columbus to move the World Land-Bridge policy into place as America’s future. “Ever, Ever to th’ West!”
by Dennis Speed
Oct. 1—Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, a collection of essays entitled Dvorak in America 1892-1895 was released (John C Tibbetts, ed., Timber Press, 1993) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Dvorak’s coming to America, and American Jeannette Thurber’s attempt to create a National Conservatory of Music in the United States. Thurber, a thorough-going supporter of the idea of Classical composition as the birthright of all Americans, sought to deploy Dvorak as the champion of a new American “great and noble school of music.” Notably, she saw Dvorak’s mission to America as being identical in spirit and purpose with the Columbian mission.
To that end, Dvorak brought the Classical tradition, only represented in Europe at that time by Giuseppe Verdi, Johannes Brahms, and himself, to the shores of America. The enforcement of a racist policy at the Metropolitan Opera prevented Dvorak from performing there, since both he and Thurber insisted on instruction in, and performance of Classical music by students of African-American and Indian descent, as well as women. The classical principles of composition were not only for all people—Classical music could and should be composed and performed by all people.
Dvorak composed several works for America, the most famous of which became his symphony number nine, “From the New World.” Thurber, intent on forcing the Congress of the United States and the entire nation to support her concept of an American National Conservatory of classical music, also devised a specific “Columbus theme” for Dvorak. The following is excerpted from the essay, “The choral works: Te Deum and The American Flag,” by Nick Strimple:
When Antonin Dvorak arrived in New York on 27 September, 1892 to assume his duties as director of the National Conservatory, he had with him a new Te Deum and the piano sketch of a cantata, “The American Flag.” Both works were brain children of the Conservatory’s benefactor, Jeannette Thurber. Mrs. Thurber had thought that her new director should provide some suitable new work for the Columbus Quadricentennial Celebration scheduled for 12 October. It was at that concert that Dvorak would be officially “introduced” to the New World. Even though she had hatched this idea in the autumn of 1891, she had not provided any concrete suggestions until June 1892. At that time, Dvorak was requested to set to music one of the great ecclesiastical texts of jubilation, since an appropriate patriotic text had not been found . . . Within a month he received a copy of Joseph Rodman Drake’s poem, “The American Flag.” On 28 July he again wrote Mrs. Thurber:
“In my last letter I informed you that I would write a Te Deum and now I am able to say that it is completed and in a few days I will send it to you.
“If you wish to have it performed on the occasion of my first appearance in New York, on October 12, together with my Triple Overture it would be necessary to get it copied immediately. As to The American Flag by Joseph Rodman Drake (and the explanatory notes by his grandson Charles de Kay), I can tell you that I like the poem very much—it is really a grand poem—and your selection for a patriotic hymn—Columbus Cantata—is very well fitted for music.
“But what a pity it is that you did not send me the words a month earlier. It is quite impossible to get ready a work which will take half an hour in time for performance for October, and so I was compelled to write a Te Deum. I shall, however, go on with the work from which every musician must get inspired. Meantime, with many kind regards, I am faithfully yours,
Dvorak began work on The American Flag almost immediately; he completed the piano sketch before he left Europe on Sept. 17.
Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the first leader of an African-American regiment after Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, gave a speech in Dvorak’s honor at Carnegie Hall, reported in the New York Herald, Oct. 22, 1892:
Over all this wide land to-day men and women have been celebrating the finding of this continent with such zeal you would think that each one had a hand in the discovery. . . It is fitting that music should take her part in the great festival because music is the only art which, since Columbus, has also discovered a new world. We meet to celebrate that newer discovery, to lay upon the bier of Columbus the only wreath that has wholly blossomed since his time: the one art that is post-Columbian. . .
The triumphs of our own land in music, like most of our artistic triumphs, lie in the future, if anywhere. If we were all made of unmixed English blood, we might have long to wait for them. Moreover the material successes must come first. If you choose the picked young men of each college class and send them out on railroads art must wait, or if a man of commanding genius give half his energies to the building of steam engines and only the other half to making symphonies, the chances are that the steam engines may go at high pressure, but the symphonies will not. But we shall not always be thus one sided, and, moreover, we are not all of English blood.
. . . And we draw to-night on that wondrous country where, it used to be said, every child was tested early in the cradle to see whether he would choose the violin bow or the rifle with his baby hand, the country which has so identified itself with the fire of genius that Boyle O’Reilly makes the burden of his best lyric run thus:—
I had rather live in Bohemia
Than in any other land.
Let us hope that our guest to-night will at least not share this opinion, that he may consent to transplantation and help add the new world of music to the continent which Columbus found.