The following resolution is being circulated internationally by the Schiller Institute.
At a time when we are witnessing growing mindless violence, the degeneration of cultural values, an almost unrivaled dumbing-down of popular taste, and the brutalization of interpersonal relations, we nonetheless still have a crucial source from which a cultural and moral regeneration can be spawned: classical art! The magnificent image of man that is associated with the poetic works of Dante, Petrarch, Lessing or Schiller, or the sublime compositions of Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann or Brahms, is still a reference point for the way in which we define ourselves as a society.
But when we consider the role of the artist in contemporary culture, and apply the yardstick given by Schiller:
The dignity of man is in your hands,
It falls with you! With you, it will rise!
A degraded picture emerges. Our education system hardly conveys any knowledge of classical culture, our so-called youth culture is dominated by a cult of ugliness, and classical culture itself is under massive attack. For decades now, post-war theater companies have invented new abysses of hideousness, productions of Shakespeare or Schiller have become unrecognizable, opera stages have also become battlefields for some time, on which the perverse fantasies of various directors are played out, and now self-styled modern composers are even molesting the compositions of Beethoven, evidently because they are unable to create anything themselves.
This must be stopped! The time has come to launch a counter-offensive!
The Year of Beethoven, in which many Beethoven compositions will be performed all over the world, offers a wonderful occasion for us to recall the best of our cultural tradition in western culture and to oppose it to the moral downward trend of the past decades. We can no longer leave a theater and music mafia, that has ruined classical art, at the helm. Therefore, we call for the creation of a Renaissance movement for the defense and revival of classical art. As Friedrich Schiller demonstrated so incontrovertibly in his Aesthetical Letters: It is only in great art that we can find the inner force to develop our own creativity and to improve ourselves as persons.
The world is currently in the midst of an epochal change in which the previous era, dominated by trans-Atlantic countries, is clearly coming to an end, and the focus of development is shifting to Asia, where there are several peoples who are rightly proud of their civilizations, some of which are more than 5,000 years old, and foster them. If the West has anything to contribute to shaping in a humanist spirit the emerging new paradigm in the world, it is our advanced culture of the Renaissance and the Classics.
I support this resolution!