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Zepp-LaRouche in Xi’an: How to Help the West Better Understand the Belt & Road Initiative

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Presented at the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum, which took place in historic Xi’an, China, bringing together over 1,000 people, representing more than 58 nations from Europe and Asia, for two days of presentations and discussion. Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave this speech as the keynote presentation to the Forum’s “Think Tank Meeting” on Sept. 11. 

For most Chinese, it is very difficult to understand why so many institutions in the West are reacting so negatively to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, or New Silk Road), and why an anti-Chinese mood has been stirred up recently; why in the USA, for example, Chinese scientists and 450,000 students are suspected of being spies, which is reminiscent of the worst days of the McCarthy period, while in Europe, some security authorities are making similar allegations. It is difficult to understand, because the Chinese people experience the reality of the BRI from a completely different perspective.

For the people of China, the experience of the last 40 years of reform and opening-up policy since Deng Xiaoping is an incredible success story. From a relatively poor developing country—as I myself experienced it in 1971, when I was in China for the first time—China has developed into the second, and in some categories even the first national economy in the world. Eight hundred million people have been freed from poverty; a wealthy middle class of 300 million and soon 600 million people with a good standard of living has developed. The pace of modernization is unparalleled in the world, as is demonstrated, for example, by the expansion of a 30,000-kilometer high-speed railway system that will soon connect all the major cities.

Schiller Institute founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum.

Schiller Institute founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum.

Since President Xi Jinping put the New Silk Road on the agenda in Kazakhstan, in September 2013, China has also made cooperation with the Chinese model of success available to all other states for “win-win” cooperation. In the mere six years that have passed since then, there has been an incredible response to the BRI, which now has 130 nations and more than 30 large international organizations cooperating with it. This, the largest infrastructure project in human history, has launched six major corridors, built railway lines, expanded ports, built industrial parks and science cities, and for the first time offers developing countries the opportunity to overcome poverty and underdevelopment.

From the very beginning, the BRI has been open to all the countries of the world. President Xi Jinping has not only explicitly offered cooperation to the USA and Europe, but has also said in countless speeches, that he is proposing a completely new model of international cooperation among nations, a “community for the shared future of mankind.” In doing so, he has proposed a higher conception of cooperation, unprecedented in history, which overcomes geopolitics and replaces it with a harmonious system of development for the benefit of all. In this sense, the BRI is the absolutely necessary economic basis for a peace order for the 21st century!

While in many countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and even some in Europe, the New Silk Road is welcomed as the greatest vision, as a concept of “peace through development,” as Pope Paul VI had formulated it in his encyclical of 1967, Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples)—yet its adversaries call the same policy a “competition of systems.” Many Chinese do not understand why this violent reaction, fuelled by geopolitical motives, is taking place. Meanwhile, the West has begun to habituate itself to the changes that have fundamentally altered its political orientation and its scale of values over almost the last 50 years.

The crucial point is that a paradigm shift has taken place in the West since 1971, leading in the opposite direction from the path that China has taken.

Toward a New Fascism

When President Nixon triggered the dissolution of the Bretton Woods System on August 15, 1971, with its fixed exchange rates and gold reserve standard of the dollar, he set the course towards an increasing renunciation of a policy oriented toward the real physical economy, in favor of a policy aimed at the monetary profits of the financial economy, which was increasingly oriented toward maximizing those profits.

This tendency was reinforced by the abolition, in 1999, of the Glass-Steagall banking separation system, and the accompanying complete deregulation of the financial markets, which led to repeated financial bubbles, and finally to the crash of 2008. Yet the central banks have done absolutely nothing to remove the causes of that crash, but on the contrary, have promoted speculation in the casino economy at the expense of the real economy, through continued quantitative easing, zero interest rates and now even negative interest rates. As a result, the trans-Atlantic financial system, today, faces the danger of an even more dramatic crash than that of 11 years ago.

The late American economist, Lyndon H. LaRouche, JR. , 2018

The late American economist, Lyndon H. LaRouche, JR. , 2018

The American economist Lyndon LaRouche, my recently deceased husband, farsightedly warned in August 1971, that a continuation of Nixon’s monetarist policy would lead to the danger of a new depression and a new fascism—if it were not replaced by a new world economic order.

In 1972, LaRouche also opposed the Malthusian-inspired thesis of the Club of Rome, that the “limits to growth” had supposedly been reached; a false doctrine on which the entire environmentalist movement is still based today, and which has led to a “greening” of a large part of the political party spectrum of the West.

LaRouche replied with his book, There Are No Limits to Growth, which emphasizes the role of human creativity as the engine of scientific and technological progress, which is the factor that defines what a “resource” is. At the same time, he also warned that the shift in values towards a rock-drug-sex counterculture associated with this neo-liberal economic policy, would, in the medium term, destroy the cognitive faculties of the population, and thus not only cause a cultural crisis, but also ruin the productivity of the economy.

Unfortunately, this is exactly where we are today.

China took the opposite path in 1978. It replaced the anti-technology policy of the Gang of Four, with a dirigist real economy, based on innovation and financed by a state credit policy.

What is not understood in the West, is that the Chinese economic model is identical, in its basic principles, to the American System, as developed by the first Secretary of the Treasury of the young American Republic, Alexander Hamilton, and his concept of the National Bank and sovereign credit creation. This concept was elaborated by the German economist Friedrich List, who is very famous in China; it was the framework of Lincoln’s economic advisor Henry C. Carey, and it influenced the economic policies of Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation, with which he led the U.S. out of the depression of the 1930s. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was later the model for the Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, with which Germany organized its post-war reconstruction and the German economic miracle.

So today, China is doing the same thing that was the basis of the economic success of the USA and Germany, before they turned away from this policy and replaced it with the neo-liberal model, whose “success” can be seen today in the  example of the world’s largest derivatives trader, the bankrupt Deutsche Bank.

Cai Yuanpei and Aesthetic Education

An extremely important aspect of the success of the BRI, which is insufficiently understood in the West, and, in my view, not sufficiently emphasized by China, is the basic cultural orientation of the 2,500-year-old Confucian tradition of Chinese society, which was only interrupted during the ten years of the Cultural Revolution. In China, thanks to this tradition, the common good plays a greater role than individualism, which has acquired a greater significance in the West since the Renaissance, but which, to some extent, has taken on a life of its own with today’s liberal change in values, and has degenerated into “everything is permitted.”

The Confucian tradition also implies that the development of the moral character is the highest goal of education, which is expressed in the term junzi, which roughly corresponds to Friedrich Schiller’s concept of the “beautiful soul.” It has therefore been taken for granted in China, for more than two thousand years, that respect for public morality and the fight against bad qualities in the population are the prerequisites for a highly developed society.

In the West today, with the abolition of the Humboldt educational ideal—the core of which had also been the development of the “beautiful character”—the idea of the necessity for moral improvement goes completely against the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. It is therefore only from the point of view of the liberal system, that someone could call China’s an “authoritarian system,” but by no means from the point of view of China’s own cultural history.

Italian economist Nino Galloni, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Solidarité et progrès head Jacques Cheminade, and his wife, Odile Mojon.

Four participants of the 2019 Euro-Asia Economic Forum, Italian economist Nino Galloni, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Solidarité et progrès head Jacques Cheminade, and his wife, Odile Mojon.

Anyone who wants to understand Xi Jinping’s intentions must consider his letter in reply to the request of eight professors of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), about a year ago, in which he emphasized the extraordinary importance of aesthetic education for the spiritual development of China’s youth. Aesthetic education plays a decisive role in the development of a beautiful spirit; it fills the students with love, and promotes the creation of great works of art.

Confucius had already understood that the study of poetry and good music should have a decisive role in the aesthetic education of man, but a master key to the understanding of Xi Jinping’s vision, not only of the “Chinese Dream,” but of the harmonious development of the entire human community, is the scholar who created the modern Chinese educational system—the first Minister of Education of the Provisional Republic of China, Cai Yuanpei. During his travels in search of the best educational systems of his time, Cai finally, in Leipzig, came across the aesthetic writings of Baumgarten and Schiller, and, through the writings of the philosophical historian Wilhelm Windelband, became aware of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s educational concept. He was totally enthusiastic about the affinity of Schiller’s aesthetic education to Confucian morality, and recognized that Schiller influenced the spirit of German Classicism with “great clarity.”

Cai used these ideas to modernize the Chinese educational system, and created the new term meiju, for aesthetic education. This strengthened the idea, already found in Confucius, that the refinement of character can be achieved by immersion in great classical art, so that in this way, a bridge can be built between the sensual world and reason. In an essay of May 10, 1919, Cai formulated thoughts that could also build a bridge for today’s problems in the West:

“I believe that the root of our country’s problems lies in the short-sightedness of so many people who want quick success or quick money without any higher moral thinking. The only medicine is aesthetic education.”

Is the Good No Longer Conceivable?

Many people in the West today, find it hard to believe that China could be serious about its idea of win-win cooperation, because they have become too accustomed to the paradigm shift already described, with its axiom that all human interactions must be a zero-sum game. But we in the West should remember that the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, which ended 150 years of religious war, established the principle that a lasting order of peace must take into account the interests of others. It was the Peace of Westphalia which established international law and laid the foundations for the UN Charter.

It is the West, and not China, which has moved away from the principles laid down therein, such as absolute respect for the sovereignty of all states—adopting instead concepts such as the alleged R2P (right to protect), so-called “humanitarian” wars of intervention, and regime change through color revolutions, as we are currently witnessing in Hong Kong.

Xi Jinping’s vision of a “community of a shared future of humanity” corresponds to the Confucian notion of a harmonious development of all, a tradition to which Cai Yuanpei also contributed essential thoughts. He designed the dream of a “great community of the whole world” (datong shijie), which would be harmonious and without armies and wars, and which could be achieved through the dialogue of cultures, comparing the partaking of a culture by the culture of other peoples, with the breathing, eating and drinking of the human body, without which it can not live. Indeed, a look at history shows that any higher development of mankind has always taken place through involvement with other cultures.

It is significant that hardly any real analysts or politicians in the West have responded to Xi Jinping’s idea of a “community of destiny for the future of mankind” in any significant way. If it is mentioned at all, it is only in passing, as if it were not worth regard as anything other than communist propaganda, and as an announcement of China’s intention to play a leading role on the world stage in the future. But what Xi said at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2017, was that by 2050, at about the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, the people of China should have democracy, human rights, a developed culture and a happy life. And, not only the Chinese, but all peoples on this planet.

This implicitly poses the question—and answers it positively—that should occupy all philosophers, scientists and statesmen and stateswomen, in view of the many chaotic developments on our planet: Can the human species give itself an order that guarantees its long-term survival, and is appropriate to the specific dignity of humanity as a creative species? Xi’s concept of the one community of a shared future, very clearly presents the thought that the idea of the one mankind be put first, and only then can national interests be defined in agreement with it.

West Must Return to Cusa, Leibniz, Schiller

In order to be able to keep up with the discussion on this level, of how to shape this new order of “reformed international governance,” we in the West must  return to the very humanist traditions that we have pushed aside with the liberal system. Corresponding ideas can be found in Nicholas of Cusa, who considered a concordance of macrocosms possible only through a harmonious development of all microcosms. Or in Gottfried Leibniz’ idea of a pre-stabilized harmony of the universe, in which a higher order is possible, because with higher development, the degrees of freedom increase and therefore we live in the best of all possible worlds. Or in Friedrich Schiller’s idea that there need be no contradiction between the citizen of the world and the patriot, because both are oriented towards the common good of the future of mankind.

In conclusion: China must help the West to understand the concept of the New Silk Road. China must not react defensively to the anti-Chinese attacks, but should instead emphasize the brilliant periods of its own history all the more proudly and self-confidently: the depth of Confucian moral theory, which inspired Benjamin Franklin to his own moral philosophy; the profundity of Chinese poetry; the beauty of Literati Painting. And China should challenge the West to revive its own humanistic traditions, of the Renaissance, of Dante, Petrarch and Brunelleschi; of classical music in the culture of Bach, Beethoven and Schiller; and of republican traditions in politics. Only when the West experiences a great “rejuvenation,” reviving the ideas of Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List and Henry C. Carey, can the problem be solved.

Leibniz was very enthusiastic about China, and he tried to learn as much as possible about it from the Jesuit missionaries. He was fascinated that the Kangxi Emperor had come to the same mathematical conclusions as he had, and concluded that there are universal principles accessible to all people and cultures. He even thought the Chinese were morally superior. He wrote: “In light of the growing moral decay, it seems to be almost necessary that Chinese missionaries be sent to us, who could teach us the application and practice of a natural theology. I therefore believe: that if a wise man were chosen, to judge not the beauty of goddesses, but the excellence of peoples, he would give the golden apple to the Chinese.”

The German middle class and the German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and cities such as Genoa, Vienna, Zurich, Lyon, Duisburg and Hamburg, and many more, have long since come to realize the potential that lies not only in the expansion of bilateral relations, but above all in the expansion of  cooperation in third countries, such as the industrialization of Africa and Southwest Asia.

The enthusiasm that is evident in international cooperation in space travel—the ESA cooperation in the projects of the Chinese Space Agency, the idea of international cooperation on the future Chinese space station, the construction of an international moon village and the terraforming on Mars—underlines that Xi Jinping’s vision of the community of a shared destiny for the future of mankind is within reach.


International Call to Youth: “The Age of Reason Is in the Stars!”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Founder and President of the Schiller Institute
zepp-larouche@eir.de

PDF of this statement

There is really good news: Man is capable of reason and therefore limitless intellectual and moral perfectibility! We can do something that neither the donkeys nor the monkeys can do: we can discover new scientific principles of the universe in which we live, without limits! And these qualitative discoveries mean that, unlike donkeys and monkeys, we can constantly redefine what resources are, therefore making them unlimited, and that we can continue to improve the livelihoods of humanity!

We are experiencing unprecedented, fascinating scientific revolutions: the Chinese are exploring the dark side of the Moon with their Chang’e Moon missions, planning to mine helium-3 as fuel for the coming fusion economy on Earth, and next year a Mars mission will investigate the conditions for terraforming the red planet. With their Chandrayaan-2 mission to the south pole of the Moon, the Indians will explore the ice in the craters there, which are always in the shade, and thus one of the essential prerequisites for life on the Moon. The European Space Agency is working on concrete plans for international cooperation on a permanent Moon village! The U.S. is building upon the Kennedy Apollo program with its Artemis program, and Russia, the U.S., and China all see nuclear-powered spaceships as the right choice for future flights to Mars and deep into space!

The great thing about space travel is that it proves that we are not living in a closed system where raw materials are limited and the murderous views of Thomas Malthus, Julian Huxley, Bertrand Russell, and Prince Philip would be correct, but on the contrary, we live an anti-entropic universe. Space travel is the irrefutable proof that the universe “obeys” an adequate hypothesis of the human mind, that there is therefore absolute coherence between the immaterial ideas produced by reason, and the physical laws of this universe, and that these ideas are the spearhead of the anti-entropic dynamics of the universe.

There have been groundbreaking proofs recently: around 100 years after Einstein’s theses on the existence of gravitational waves and black holes, the change in space-time has now been proven, and shortly thereafter, with the help of eight radio telescopes distributed all over the world, images were made of the area around a black hole whose mass is 6.5 billion times larger than that of the Sun, 55 million light years away at the center of the M87 galaxy. There is still so much to discover in our universe, where, according to the Hubble telescope, there are at least two trillion galaxies! Space exploration opens up a deeper insight into how the laws of our universe work, and what role we humans play in it!

This is the life-affirming cultural optimism that comes with the idea of humanity as a space-faring species, in complete contrast to the contrived doomsday atmosphere which is spread by the apostles of the coming apocalypse—such as Prince Charles and the hedge-fund cover girl Greta Thunberg. Behind the Greta hype are quite vile interests: the trans-Atlantic financial system is facing a more serious crash than in 2008, and the financial sharks and locusts of the City of London and Wall Street are trying one final big deal, to steer as much investment into “green” technology as possible, before the systemic crisis hits.

A closer look at the sponsors of Greta’s extremely ambitious and well-funded agenda, the Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Fridays For Future (F4F), reveals that this movement is being funded by the richest people on Earth, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and Ted Turner. The fact is that the beneficiaries of the climate hype and the Green New Deal are the banks and hedge funds.

The target of this unprecedented manipulation is you, the children and teenagers of this world! Shouldn’t it make you stop and think, when your alleged “rebellion” is supported by the whole spectrum of mainstream media and the entire liberal establishment? Yet the vile idea that manipulating the paradigm shift of an entire society must begin with the indoctrination of children is nothing new. As early as 1951, Lord Bertrand Russell wrote in his article “The Impact of Science on Society”:

“I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology. … Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. … It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment. The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. …not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten.”

The goal of the apocalyptic scaremongering by people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“We have only 12 years left!”), or the head of the British Commonwealth, Prince Charles (“We only have 18 months left!”), is an induced radical change in way of life of mankind. Everything that we have understood as progress during the last 250 years should be abandoned, and we should return to the technological level that existed before the Industrial Revolution. But this also means that then the number of people who can be sustained at that level will drop to about a billion or less.

It would mean that developing countries would have no prospects for ever escaping poverty, hunger, epidemics and a shortened lifespan; it would be a genocide of an unimaginably large number of people! If “climate scientist” Mojib Latif thinks that the Western lifestyle can not be transmitted to all people in the world, and if Barack Obama is outraged that many young people in Africa want a car, air conditioning and a big house, then behind that lurks the inhuman arrogance of members of the totally privileged upper class. It is precisely this view by the colonial rulers that is responsible for the fact that Africa and much of Latin America are still underdeveloped, and many hundreds of millions of people have died early unnecessarily.

For the developing world, the pseudo-religion of anthropogenic climate change means genocide, but for the soul of the young people of the world, the cultural pessimism it induces is a poison that destroys confidence in human creativity. When everything becomes a problem and is suddenly laden with guilt—eating meat, or eating at all, driving a car, flying, home heating, clothing, and indeed life itself—it destroys any enthusiasm for discovery, any enthusiasm for that which is beautiful, and all hope for the future. And if every human being is just another parasite that destroys the environment, then quite a few come to the misanthropic conclusions of the mass shooters of Christchurch and El Paso, who in their “manifestos” cited environmental reasons for their actions.

Conversely, the scientific and technological advances associated with space travel are the key to overcoming all apparent limitations of our present existence on Earth. “Terraforming”—the creation of human conditions—then becomes possible not only on the Moon and Mars, but also here on Earth, and in the future on many heavenly bodies in our solar system and perhaps beyond.

In his “Anthropology of Astronautics,” the German-American space pioneer Krafft Ehricke writes:

“The concept of space travel carries with it enormous impact, because it challenges man on practically all fronts of his physical and spiritual existence. The idea of traveling to other celestial bodies reflects to the highest degree the independence and agility of the human mind. It lends ultimate dignity to man’s technical and scientific endeavors. Above all, it touches on the philosophy of his very existence. As a result, the concept of space travel disregards national borders, refuses to recognize differences of historical or ethnological origin, and penetrates the fiber of one sociological or political creed as fast as that of the next.”

Today, we need this culturally optimistic image of mankind, and the passionate love for humanity associated with it as the only creative species known to date! The fact that we can venture into space means that we can overcome the narrow, Earth-bound mindset. “There, in the stars, lies mankind’s entry into the long-awaited Age of Reason, when our species sheds at last the cultural residue of the beast,” as Lyndon LaRouche put it.

It is an incredible privilege to be young now, to reach for the stars and help shape an epoch of humanity that, for the first time in history, can unleash the unlimited potential of our species!

 


Zepp-LaRouche—Mega-Manipulation: Rescuing the Bankrupt Financial System with Climate Hysteria!

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, zepp-larouche@eir.de

As the storm signals of the impending financial crisis become more alarming, we are witnessing what is probably the largest social engineering experiment that has ever taken place. The aim of this trans-Atlantic campaign is to make the population—with the help of orchestrated climate hysteria (“We only have 18 months left!”)—voluntarily accept a collapse of its standard of living while directing all investments into “green” projects.

At the same time, the “Great Transformation of the World Economy” is supposed to give “green” investors huge profits and—together with the miraculous increase in money supply via endless “Quantitative Easing”—postpone the collapse of the hopelessly bankrupt financial system once again.

Sixteen-year-old climate star Greta Thunberg, the FridaysForFuture (F4F) student movement, and the Extinction Rebellion (XR) are being strategically exploited by the neoliberal financial oligarchy through a whole complex of institutions and organizations—including investment bankers, consulting firms, the Tavistock Institute, entire battalions of psychologists and behavioral therapists, the World Bank, the European Union (EU), and several billionaires, as well as internet platforms and veterans of the population reduction lobby.

‘Green New Deal’ is a Bad Deal

It uses the whole gamut—from panic-stricken children to “Green New Deal”-advocating “internet personalities,” to groups that are also willing to cross the boundaries from civil resistance to more violent forms—to enforce the demands of the Paris Climate Agreement well before the agreed-upon date of 2050. It includes all the green cadres, from Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to the internet platform wedonthavetime.org, “We don’t have time,” on whose advisory board sits, among others, Greta Thunberg.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel who, along with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had previously praised the F4F movement, commented in her summer press conference that Thunberg’s demonstrations had certainly accelerated the government’s decision-making process toward implementing efficient measures to reduce CO₂ emissions. The German “Climate Cabinet” will announce a whole series of measures on September 20, among which the determination of a “carbon price” will be of central importance. Whoever “pollutes” the atmosphere with carbon dioxide will have to pay a price in the future.

Thus, Mrs. Merkel has finally joined the camp of the ideological climate lobby that wants to “nudge” the population, via an increase in prices for energy and transport, to change its behavior. In practical terms, this will mean that a majority of people will no longer be able to afford to use cars or planes, or have adequate heating or power supply.

It means a bonanza for investors, on the other hand, should this measure become policy. This point was made at a June 7 event on “Sustainable Financing” at the House of Finance in Frankfurt by Dr. Christian Thimann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Athene Deutschland Holding, a subsidiary of the insurance company Athora and a long-time employee of the IMF and European Central Bank.

Often one strives unsuccessfully for years for something, and then suddenly something surprising happens, which changes everything. For example, the topics of the “limits to growth” of the Club of Rome, and climate protection, have been under discussion for decades, but only after the notable phrase, “The climate goals will only be achieved if we direct the capital flows into sectors with low emissions,” was formulated in the Paris Climate Agreement, did the climate for the financial sector change completely. Suddenly the issue of “sustainable investment” became central to the economy; suddenly twelve million young people took to the streets, and suddenly this became a “big thing.”

The EU is working on guidelines on emissions trading and climate protection, and legislation that is designed to make these guidelines binding for investment in green technology. For an industrialized nation like Germany, but also for the whole of Europe, this is nothing less than a pre-programmed course for economic suicide.

For what neither the EU bureaucrats nor the sharks of the financial sector understand, are the principles upon which the real, physical economy is built: There is a direct correlation between the energy-flux density applied in the production process, the productivity of the economy, and the number of people whose lives can be supported through these parameters. A diversion of investments exclusively into so-called “sustainable” areas, e.g., “renewable” energy sources such as electricity generated by wind turbines and solar cells, as well as carbon emissions trading, and mandating that the transport, construction, and agriculture sectors must comply with climate regulations, in fact means devolution back to pre-industrial society. For Germany it effectively means the emigration of young workers, more of the aging population left without adequate care, and general impoverishment.

Scientists Dispute Anthropogenic Climate Change

This “Great Transformation,” the complete decarbonization of the world economy, which has long been propagated by German climatologist Hans Joachim “John” Schellnhuber, CBE, is all the more criminal, because the alleged scientific consensus on the thesis of anthropogenic climate change is a fiction. There are many declarations worldwide that have been signed by thousands of scientists, including the late Frederick Seitz, the former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; scientists and scholars associated with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC); and hundreds of Italian, Scandinavian, and Japanese scientists addressing this very problem.

Contested by all these experts, is the claim that the anthropogenic contribution to climate change plays any noteworthy role. They argue that the causes of changes in the Earth’s climate are, above all, natural fluctuations that have to do with processes on the Sun, cosmic radiation influences on cloud formation, the Solar system’s changing position in the Milky Way galaxy, and other cosmic phenomena.

They also stress that climate simulation models do not reflect the actual climatic fluctuations of the past 10,000 years, and that nature—not man—determines the climate. As the recent petition by the Committee of Italian Scientists led by the renowned Professor Uberto Crescenti highlights, it is therefore illusory to suggest that a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions could control the climate.

However, Christoph M. Schmidt, the chairman of the so-called economic “Five Wise Men” of Germany, the top advisory body of the German government, did not refrain from praising the F4F movement at its Congress in Dortmund, for allegedly making it clear to the public that present policies cannot continue. Schmidt also fully supported an increase in the CO₂ emission allowance price as a “basic tool” in the fight against climate change. His appearance in Dortmund and his statement are equally scandalous in view of the consequences of this policy and raise the question of whether he should resign because of incompetence, or because of profiteering.

Banks and Foundations in the Climate Line-Up

In the financial markets, initiatives are popping up such as the Climate Bond Initiative, which seeks to turn the $100 trillion global bond market into a giant new platform for investing in sustainable economic activity of all kinds. (The EU has so far provided “only” $360 billion.) Participants in this initiative include the Rockefeller Foundation, Bank of America, HSBC, the Inter-American Development Bank, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the government of Switzerland, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Frederick Mulder Foundation, OAK Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, FSD Africa, NAB (Australia), European Climate Foundation, the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust, the EU’s Horizon 2020 Program, Climate Works Foundation, UNDP, Climate KIC, KR Foundation, and Martin International. Equally active are the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), The Economist magazine, and the Green Climate Fund, to name but a few.

Ironically, it is clear to Greta Thunberg herself that wealthy interests are involved in the controversy. In a speech to schoolchildren in Katowice, Poland, she said:

“I do not care about being known. My concern is climate justice and a livable planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunities of a small group of people who want to make more and more money.”

However, exactly these sentences were deleted in the publication of this speech by the Internet platform Avaaz. Avaaz, a product of the George Soros-related MoveOn.org platform, specializes in collecting personal information on every conceivable topic by organizing petitions around the world.

Will the Real Economy Survive?

This is precisely the point: At a time when the real economy in Europe and the United States is crumbling and the next collapse of the financial system can be delayed only by a new flood of liquidity, a new gold rush for green investment is being generated, which perhaps may enable speculators to make a large amount of money for a short time. The effect on the developing countries will be catastrophic, the non-affluent part of the population in our country will be clobbered, and after a super-short boom in the monetary area, Germany will be destroyed as an industrial location.

It is high time to pull the emergency brake. But who will do this if the EU and the Berlin government are part of the problem, and the Greens obviously represent the same thing, only colored in green? It can only come from the parts of society that are the victims of that policy: the middle class, the productive part of the working population, parents, teachers and all thinking people.

We urgently need a public debate on these issues. Germany is currently driving at full speed off the cliff!


Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Bring America Into the BRICS Paradigm!

Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, prepared a video address on Dec. 6 to be played at the Schiller Institute’s Dec. 13 conference in New York City, as well as other meetings in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco and Houston. The following is a transcript of her remarks.

I think that if the average American knew how close we are to World War III, people would be out in the streets, and they would demand a change of the present policy of the Obama Administration.

The former Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, Gen. Yuri Baluyevskiy, a couple of days ago gave an interview in which he said that he believes the conflict between NATO and Russia is already underway, that it began with an information war, with a tremendous psychological campaign, pressuring the minds of the population, and that military force proper will only be the final phase of this. When he was asked if he thought it still could be stopped, he said, unfortunately, he believes that it is no longer possible; that the mechanism has been set into motion; that our adversaries’ aim has been clearly defined: They will try to prevent Russia from becoming their equal partner, militarily or economically.

At a recent conference in Slovakia, Prime Minister [robert] Fico said that he believes that the likelihood of a thermonuclear war, involving more countries than just Ukraine and Russia, is 70%.

Yesterday, there was a group of people in Germany, very important dignitaries, who issued an appeal to the German government and the German Parliament, with the headline “War Again in Europe? Not in Our Name!” [See EIR, Dec. 12, 2014] They outlined why they think the present course of policy is going to go to war with Russia in the short term, and they appealed to the German government and to the media to stop the disinformation campaign, the demonization of Russia and China. It was signed by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, by former President Roman Herzog, by the former head of the Munich Security Conference, Horst Teltschik, and many important people from industry, politics, the media, and the cultural world.

Now, that is very good, because we are right now on a confrontation with Russia in the short term, which can only mean the extinction of civilization.

All of this really started with the neo-con policy at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the neo-cons decided to create a world empire with the British, based on the model of the British Empire and based on the “special relationship” between Great Britain and the United States. And all the steps that have been taken since—the color revolutions against Ukraine and Georgia; the attempt to do so in many other countries in the world, to cause regime change among all countries which would not submit to this idea of the empire. The promise at the time of the German unification, not to expand the borders of NATO to the Russian border, was obviously broken.

The sanctions against Russia, as Foreign Minister [sergei] Lavrov recently said, are not really aimed to force Russia to change its policy, but to create such havoc economically in Russia, that the Russian population would turn against Putin and topple his government, and then go for the dismemberment of the Russian state.

This all is a situation which must not happen, because there is an alternative. What the mass media in the United States have completely blocked out, is the fact that since July of this year, since the summit of the BRICS countries in Fortaleza, Brazil, a completely new economic system is developing very, very fast. You have right now a situation where more than half of mankind—the BRICS countries, most Latin American countries, many Asian countries, even some African countries, like Egypt and South Africa—are on a road of a complete explosion of economic reconstruction, of development projects which had been prohibited by the IMF conditionalities for the last several decades.

Following the Fortaleza summit, for example, China is now helping Nicaragua to build in five years a second Panama Canal through Nicaragua, which is immediately creating 50,000 jobs; it will create two ports; a major transport line from one ocean to the next; a new city, a new international airport, and it will transform Nicaragua from a poor country into a very, very hopeful country of prosperity.

The same is happening in many Latin American countries: China is helping Brazil to build a transcontinental railroad from Brazil all the way to Peru. Many of these countries are cooperating in the building of new nuclear plants, between Russia and Argentina, China and Brazil, India and Russia, and many other combinations; and they’re also going on the path of absolutely fantastic space exploration.

Also these countries have created new financial institutions, which are only devoted to financing physical economy, development projects, and are devoted to the common good of the people. There is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) by China; there is the New Development Bank of the BRICS countries; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is in the process of creating a new bank. Also the South Asian countries of the SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] states are creating a new bank. There is a new development fund for the Silk Road.

All of these projects will go in a very positive direction, to eliminate the poverty of these countries in only a few years. Since India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, came into office, there is an explosion of enthusiasm in India. He has announced that he will build 100 new cities, that he will create 1 million jobs per month; he is reviving 30 water-management projects which were put on hold after Indira Gandhi was assassinated. So there is an enthusiasm in India which you have no idea about!

The same is true for China: Don’t believe one word that you have heard about China! I was in China two times this year and I can assure you that the population is absolutely optimistic. They are convinced that the unbelievable Chinese economic miracle, which they were able to accomplish in only 30 years, will make an industrial revolution possible, which most countries of Europe, and the United States, needed 200 years to accomplish! And when President Xi Jinping announced the New Silk Road as the basis for a new world economic order, this meant simply that the Chinese government is offering now, that every country which wants to participate can repeat the same principles of this Chinese economic miracle in their own country.

I’m absolutely certain that the only way we can stop the escalation to World War III, is that we take up the offer of President Xi Jinping, which he made at the closure of the APEC summit, in a press conference together with President Obama, where he offered to Obama that the United States and other major countries should join the New Silk Road and these new financial institutions.

I have not heard Obama making any response that he would do so, but I’m absolutely certain that the countries of Europe, which are in rebellion against the war danger, are absolutely capable of joining with the BRICS countries for this global development.

And I appeal to you: We have to get the United States to stop the war posture against Russia and China, and we have to get the United States to work together with the BRICS, for a new world economic order.

We will only come out of this mortal danger to the existence of civilization if we get the United States to join this new paradigm which these countries are already living in. Do not believe the propaganda! China is based on Confucian ideas right now; India has revived the great spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru; and that optimism is profound and it has been contagious for the populations of these countries. There is a completely different paradigm already working in these countries, which, together with the other Asian, African, and Latin American countries, after all, represent the majority of civilization.

So, let’s join, to get the United States and Europe to join with the BRICS, to join with the new paradigm, because that is the only war avoidance strategy which will work.

 


Happy 35th Birthday to the Schiller Institute!

In honor of the 35th anniversary of Helga Zepp LaRouche’s founding of the Schiller Institute, we’re re-releasing a 1984 documentary about the revolutionary genius of Friedrich Schiller.


Amidst US/China Tensions, Schiller Institute Holds “Win-Win” Forum on BRI in Los Angeles

In the midst of a flare-up of tensions between the US and China, sparked by the Anglo-American establishment’s fierce commitment to drive a wedge between the two nations, the Schiller Institute held a forum on June 15 in the Los Angeles area to promote the idea of cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The session was opened by a movement from a composition for unaccompanied violin by J.S. Bach, performed by a student from the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts. This was followed by a five minute video of Schiller Institute founder and chairperson Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who greeted the attendees and provided a strategic context for the meeting. She deplored the recent nasty provocations being directed at China by some notorious political factions in the US, and presented a vision of an alternative path, where the US and China lead the world into the future based on the highest cultural and scientific principles, and the most ambitious infrastructure scheme in human history, the BRI.

Zepp-LaRouche was followed by Shi Yuanqiang, deputy consul general for the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles. Shi provided a very thorough explication of the goals and structure of the BRI, stressing that there is extensive consultation between China and the other nations participating in the project, that all parties participate as equals and share in the benefits. He provided examples of the projects that are being built with Chinese collaboration in Africa and Central Asia, and elaborated on President Xi Jinping’s vision of a “Community of Common Destiny”, a mutually beneficial, “Win-Win” relationship among nations. Shi emphasized that there was a place at the table for the United States.

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Following Shi’s presentation, there were remarks by Richard Chen, a board member of the US-China Forum who had acted as an interpreter for Chairman Deng Xiaoping during his historic visit to the US in 1979. Chen said that the two great accomplishments of the US after the end of World War II were the establishment of the United Nations, and the Marshall Plan. He compared China’s current role with respect to the developing nations, to the Marshall Plan.

Platt-presentation

The concluding presentation was by Schiller Institute representative Daniel Platt. He opened with an image that juxtaposed two historic paintings, showing Americans and Chinese fighting their respective battles against British colonialism during the American Revolution and the Opium Wars. Platt asserted that the methodology of the Empire, typified by the “Zero-Sum Game” approach of geopolitics, is an “article of faith” for today’s neoconservative movement. To this he contrasted President Xi’s concept of “Win-Win”, or Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s vision of humanity entering adulthood. He discussed the historical parallels between the US and China with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s embrace of the economic conceptions of Abraham Lincoln, and their shared approach to infrastructure development. He then reviewed the history of the proposals made by Lyndon LaRouche in the years following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, culminating in the World Landbridge.

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Among the eminent personalities who took part in the forum were the consul generals of Kenya and Belgium, as well as consular officials from Armenia and Malaysia, and a large delegation from the PRC consulate.


Zepp-LaRouche in China: “The Highest Ideal of Mankind is the Potential of the Future”

Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche has just returned from a 10-day visit to China, including public presentations and private meetings, which she stated went exceptionally well.

The trip began with her participation in the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, held May 15-16 in Beijing, where President Xi Jinping delivered the keynote. Zepp-LaRouche presented a paper and a 10-minute speech, with the title “The Highest Ideal of Mankind Is the Potential of the Future,” which has already been published as part of the Conference proceedings. We feature it immediately below.

She also had daily, high-level meetings with representatives of many top institutions that she has been in touch with since the 1990s. She reported that these occurred at a moment of very grave tensions between China and the U.S.—because of the collapse of the trade talks, the Huawei affair, and other issues—which made her presence all the more important. Many people look to the LaRouche movement for solutions to these problems, she reported.

Zepp-LaRouche also delivered a speech at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University in Beijing, and granted a number of press and TV interviews.

In addition to Beijing, Zepp-LaRouche visited Nanjing where she met with the publisher of the Chinese-language edition of the first volume of “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge” special report, where she learned that the publisher had just published a second printing of that report, because they consider it one of the most important books of their publishing house. They also will be publishing a translation of the new report, “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, Vol. II.”

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The Highest Ideal of Mankind is the Potential of the Future

By Helga Zepp-LaRouche

It is the characteristic of turning points in history that the majority of people have no concept of what is occurring. Only those visionaries who have a clear idea of the positive potential of the future are able to intervene in the process at moments of decision, to avert potential catastrophes, and instead usher in a new epoch of humanity. We find ourselves in such a phase change: the old world order, as it developed after World War II and especially after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, is in a process of dissolution, but what the new order will look like is by no means decided yet. We are in a period when even international law seems to be overridden, as at the moment neither the UN nor any other institution seems to be able to enforce it.

But it is undeniable that the pendulum that favored Western civilization over recent centuries—though for thousands of years Asia had occupied an outstanding and even leading place in universal history—has long been swinging back. This is clearly supported by the demographic development of Asia, completely new strategic interventions such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and clear objectives, such as the concept “Made in China 2025” or the outlook that President Xi Jinping has set for China by 2050.

Tremendous opportunities for Asia arise from this, and perhaps along with them a completely new form of responsibility, which should ignite the inspiration to work out concepts about how to advance humanity as a whole. President Xi Jinping obviously has this very approach in mind when he speaks of the “Community of a Shared Future of Mankind.” We are now experiencing a precious moment, for never before in history has the conscious design of a new epoch, with the idea of a unified humanity as a higher idea, been so clearly defined as a task. If we want to create a more human order, it must be built on the best concepts that have been produced by various cultures. Those concepts must, so to speak, have an ontological character, because nothing in them can be accidental or of merely contemporary character, if they are to determine the Dharma—the moral codex—which the spiritual leaders, and with them Asian societies, are to follow in this new chapter of universal history.

It is also obvious that the impetus for defining this “righteous way” must come from the ancient traditions of Asia, such as Confucianism, Buddhism or Jainism, which are clearly linked to a commitment to lifelong self-cultivation and moral refinement of mankind. Though the West had the same claim in its Classical and Renaissance periods of humanism, the idea of the ethical improvement of man as a purpose in life is almost the opposite of the Western liberal model, where any priority of moral requirements or the superiority of one philosophy over another are emphatically rejected.

How then must the principles be designed, so that the new paradigm of a coming Community of Mankind is on such secure foundations that the requirements of modern natural science as well as those of a new system of international relations can be satisfied?

This question must be answered on different levels. A good starting point is The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, or Panchsheel, as laid down for the first time in a formal way in the Trade and Transport Agreement between the Tibetan Region of China and India on April 29, 1954. The preamble states that the two governments have agreed on the following principles: 1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, 2. Mutual non-aggression, 3. Mutual non-interference, 4. Equality and mutual benefit, and 5. Peaceful co-existence.

The first conference of independent Asian and African states in Bandung in 1955, led by Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, expanded the Five Principles into the Ten Principles of Bandung. The same principles were underlined as a core element of international law at the 1961 Non-Aligned Conference in Belgrade. With the BRI, China has defined for the first time the concept of this relationship between nations as the basis of a global reorganization which is open to all nations. President Xi emphasized in his keynote speech at the first Belt and Road Forum in May 2017,

“We are ready to share the experience of development with other countries. We have no intention to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, export our own social system or model of development, or impose our will on others.”

These principles of peaceful coexistence have deep roots in several Asian cultures. Some of these concepts are philosophical in nature, others are part of theological considerations. This article is about the identification of the approaches that have advanced humanity and are relevant to the future understanding among peoples. This is also the approach adopted by President Xi on his overseas visits, as he emphasized in a speech in New Delhi to the Indian elite in 2014:

“Even in ancient times, people in China came to the realization that a belligerent state, great as it may be, ultimately fails. Peace is paramount. Harmony without uniformity, and universal peace must be achieved. The Chinese concepts of ‘universal peace’ and ‘universal love’ are very similar to the Indian concepts of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakum’ (the world as a family) and ‘ahimsa’ (do not inflict injury).”

Thus, in the ancient scriptures of India, the Vedic texts, the Upanishads, and the classical Sanskrit literature, there are many important concepts that have both a religious and a practical political significance. This includes, for example, the principle of ahimsa mentioned by Xi, the respect for all other creatures—not only the renunciation of any physical violence, but also of hurting the other in any way, either verbally or spiritually. Ahimsa is also a method of war prevention and conflict resolution, even for complex challenges in the real world.

The collections of the Rigveda are the oldest surviving complete literary work, and have been handed down orally for centuries with the help of sophisticated mnemonics. In the Rigveda there are fundamental thoughts on the cosmic order, which ultimately also provide the guideline for human action on earth.

In the Upanishads there are five principles that reflect the same basic orientation. The most basic concept is that of the all-embracing Brahman. “Ishawaram idam sarvam jagat kincha jagatvam jagat”—Everything that exists, wherever it exists, is permeated by the same divine power. This idea is found in a similar form in Gottfried Leibniz’s idea of the Monad, where within every Monad the entire lawfulness of the universe is contained.

The second principle is that the Brahman, the creative principle whose expression is the entire realized world, is in every individual consciousness, the Atman. Atman is the reflection of this all-embracing Brahman. It is the individual consciousness, but it is not fundamentally separate from Brahman. “Ishwara sarvabhutanam idise tishtati”—the Lord dwells in the heart of every individual. The relationship between Atman and Brahman is the core around which the whole Vedic doctrine revolves. In the philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa, this corresponds to the affinity of the macrocosm and the microcosm, which makes it possible for an intangible force—an idea created by creative reason—to bring about a further development of the physical universe.

A third Vedic principles is that because of their common spirituality all people are members of a single family. The Upanishads speak of humanity as amritashya putra, “Children of Immortality.”

The fourth concept the Upanishads present is the idea of the consubstantiality of all religions, all spiritual paths. “Ekoham svat virpra bahuda vadanti”—“The truth is one, the sage calls it by many names.” This idea corresponds to the “Sanatana Dharma,” the single religion which stands above all religions, an idea also expressed by Nicholas of Cusa in his Platonic dialogue “De Pace Fidei,” which he wrote immediately following the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the associated bloody conflicts. In this dialogue, representatives of various religions and nations turn to God for help, because all of them are fighting wars against and killing each other in His name. God instructs them that they are all also philosophers in their respective nations and religions—beyond all religious traditions and teachings of the different prophets—and therefore can understand that above religion there is one God, and above different traditions, one truth. Incidentally, the Hindu Monk Swami Vivekenada cited the same argument in his famous speech before the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago on September 11, 1893: The followers of different religions have argued and fought each other purely because their point of view is too narrow, and they don’t grasp that the highest Being is infinite.

A fifth Vedic concept is that of the welfare of all creatures. “Bahujana shukhaya bahujana hitaya cha”—the Hindu philosophy seeks “the good of all people and all forms of life on this planet.” The affinity to the Confucian ideas of harmonious development of all is evident, as Confucius says explicitly: “They who have success should help others to succeed.” Naturally, this is the idea at the basis of the BRI and the conception of “win-win cooperation” between various nations. The Confucian philosophy also gives a name to the new era which was to begin with the prospective Japanese Emperor Naruhito: “Reiwa,” which literally means “pursuing harmony.” Japanese commentators emphasize that this term reaches back to the famous classical poetry anthology, “The Poem of Manyoshu,” though as the scholar Wang Peng points out, the term ling-he was used by the ancient Chinese emperors as the name for their reign, just as in present day China there are best wishes for peace and harmony.

The idea of a harmonious development of all as the basis for a world peace order is thus laid out in several Asian cultures, and stands in direct contradiction to the idea that relationships among nations constitute a zero-sum game. However, its realization in practice obviously requires a new stage of development in the evolution of mankind, the Age of the Spiritual Man, as Sri Aurobindo has expressed it; or the increasing dominance of the Noösphere over the Biosphere, in which Vladimir Vernadsky saw a trajectory laid out by the natural law of the universe.

The universe has an inherent lawfulness which advances it to higher stages of development. Vernadsky saw the creative reason of mankind as an essential component of that universe, as a geological power, which has been qualitatively advancing this higher development since the existence of human evolution. In the science of physical economy, Lyndon LaRouche delivered the proof of the absolute efficiency of human creativity, which distinguishes man from all known living creatures, with his concept of Potential Relative Population Density.

Yet this anti-entropic higher development is neither linear, nor the automatic result of objective processes—as in the variations found in historical or dialectical materialism, for instance—as, along with the objective effect of newly discovered physical principles in production processes, now a substantial component of this process has become the subjective intellectual and moral higher development of man.

In meeting the task of consciously shaping a new paradigm for humanity stated at the beginning of this article, it is certainly an enormous advantage for Chinese and other Asian cultures that, thanks to the philosophy of Confucius, the development of a moral character has been the most important goal of education in broad areas of Asia. Despite the considerable hype about the digitalization of the economy and the roll of artificial intelligence in future economic platforms, it will always be a question of the moral qualities of human beings which will determine whether the new technologies are deployed for the benefit of mankind, or for evil purposes. Thus, of first-rank strategic importance is the letter written several months ago by Xi Jinping to eight professors of the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, where he emphasized the extraordinary importance of aesthetic education for the mental development of the youth of China. Aesthetic education plays a definitive role in the development of a beautiful soul, filling the students with love and promoting the creation of great works of art.

Thanks to the continual influence of Confucianism—only broken by the ten years of the Cultural Revolution—there is a continuing tradition going back thousands of years in which the development of a moral character represents the highest goal of education. It is thus taken for granted in China that attention to public morals and combating bad characteristics in the population constitute the precondition for a highly developed society. For example, the Court Report on Educational Goals of the Academic Ministry of the Qing government in 1906 required, above all course content, the teaching of public morals (gongde) and Confucian teachings on virtue, in order that “each has concern for others as he does for himself, and loves the state as one loves his own family.”

A key to understanding the special significance of aesthetic education in China today, however, lies not only in the teachings of Confucius—who assigned a crucial role in the development of a moral character to the occupation with poetry and good music—but in the scholar who has influenced China’s modern education system more than anyone else: the first Minister of Education of the Provisional Republic of China, Cai Yuanpei. Cai acquired the academic title of xiucai at the age of 15, due to his extraordinary intelligence and diligence, the highest title jingshi at age 24, becoming a bianxiu in 1894—and at the age of 26 had reached the highest level of academic career in the Qing dynasty. He had excellent knowledge of the classical script and was famous for his beautiful classical style.

During this time, Cai, along with the entire Chinese elite, was shocked that China was defeated in the war against Japan, and had generally lost out in every invasion since the Opium Wars, paying high reparations and ceding rights to the invaders. Among intellectuals, it was discussed how Japan—which for centuries was considered backward—had become so strong through the Meiji Restoration, and they sought to learn the lesson of this transformation.

The corruption of the Qing dynasty was also blamed for these disgraceful defeats. Cai was convinced that the state would only survive if there was a change in the consciousness of the people, and that this improvement could only be achieved by improving the content of education. Cai first began to investigate the Japanese and then the European educational systems. Finally, he traveled to France and Germany, where he studied civilizational and cultural history of the West in Leipzig from 1907 to 1911, before he was appointed as Minister of Education by Sun Yat-sen in 1912.

Cai undertook in-depth studies of the aesthetic writings of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Schiller, as well as the concept of education of Wilhelm von Humboldt. Inspired by the excellent studies on the history of philosophy of Wilhelm Windelband, and by direct study of Kant, Schiller and von Humboldt, he realized very quickly that Schiller’s conception of aesthetic education was not only in complete affinity with Confucian morality—Schiller’s concept of “the beautiful soul” completely corresponded with the Confucian idea of the junzi—but Schiller spoke about these questions with greater clarity and from a higher point of view than any earlier or contemporary philosophers. “The comprehensive theory of Friedrich Schiller and the idea of aesthetic education brought great clarity to everyone,” writes Cai. “Since that time, the European idea of aesthetic education can supply us with a great deal from which we can draw for developing our own understanding of the subject.” Cai Jianguo further quotes Cai Yuanpei: “In Germany, aesthetic education impressed me greatly. I want to use all my powers to promote them.” Cai created the Chinese term meiju, which had not previously existed in that language.

Schiller wrote the “Aesthetic Letters” in response to the failure of the French Revolution, and argued that from then on, any improvement in the political realm can only come from the ennoblement of the individual. Only if man rises above the transient happiness of the world of the senses, and engages his efforts not only for himself, but the community; not only for the present, but the future; not for physical pleasure, but spiritual creativity; only then could the state prosper. In the “Letters” and in further pioneering writings on aesthetics, Schiller developed why this ennoblement of character can be achieved by immersion in great classical art.

Cai Yuanpei recognized the striking coincidence between the teachings of Confucius and the aesthetics of Schiller. The immersion in poetry, music, and painting during one’s leisure hours awakens in the beholder an aesthetic pleasure in which lies neither a desire for nor a rejection of the sensible world. Rather, the taste is formed and the emotions are ennobled. Aesthetic sensibility embraces beauty and sublimity, thus forming a bridge between the sensual world and reason. Every human being has a mind, but not everyone is capable of producing great and noble deeds. Therefore this mind must become stronger as a driving force, by ennobling it.

In 1912, Cai wrote the “Theses on New Education” and the “Textbook on Moral and Personal Development for the Secondary School,” in which he characterized human conscience as the essential guide to behavior. In an essay of May 10, 1919, he wrote: “I believe that the root of our country’s problems is in the shortsightedness of so many people who want quick success or quick money without any higher moral thinking. The only medicine is aesthetic education.”

Of course, it should not go unmentioned that Cai, as president of the University of Beijing, led this institution to internationally recognized scientific renown, taking up many suggestions from Wilhelm von Humboldt, who established the unity of research and teaching, and the beauty of character as an educational goal at the University of Berlin. Because of Cai’s prestige, the University in Beijing soon became a magnet for many young Chinese scholars returning from overseas, just as he became the inspiration for many other art colleges and academies.

In my view, Cai Yuanpei’s conception of the state as a larger family in which the interests of the state must take precedence over the interests of individual families, is also of paramount importance for understanding the policies of President Xi Jinping and his idea of the “Community for the Future of Mankind,” because for him the prosperity of the state was the prerequisite for the happiness of the citizens. However, the interests of the world as the home of all living beings was also set before the interests of the individual state. Cai wrote: “Until the ‘great community’ of the world is realized, the interests of society cannot be identical with those of the world.” He also emphasized that in fulfilling the duty to the state, one must be careful not to contradict the duty of the world. He dreamed of a “great community” of the entire world, (datong shijie), which would be peaceful and harmonious, without class distinctions and state boundaries, without armies and war. All humans would understand each other in this world community and help one another. Cai saw the “Dialogue of Cultures” as the pathway to this goal: “I have often thought that a nation must necessarily absorb the culture of other peoples. This is like the body of a human being who cannot grow without breathing the air of the outside world, without eating and drinking.” Yes, he saw in this meeting of cultures the absolute prerequisite of higher development: “If one takes a look at the development of the world history, one sees that the confrontation of different cultures always leads to the emergence of a new one.”

The realization of this vision is absolutely identifiable through the dynamism and the “Spirit of the New Silk Road.” The principles that must determine the “righteous path” for the new paradigm are not static axioms, but consist of the prospects arising from the aesthetic education of, eventually, all human beings. In a world where economics is not based on the principles of profit maximization and the greatest possible satisfaction of individual greed, but on the best possible promotion of human creativity as the motor of an anti-entropic developing universe; if, so to speak, the “cosmic order” inspires political, economic and cultural life, then the dreams of Confucius, Schiller, Cai Yuanpei, Xi Jinping and Lyndon LaRouche are the political legislators of humanity. As Tagore expressed it in his famous dialogue with Einstein: “When our universe is in harmony with people, we feel the eternal that we know as truth, as beauty.”


Toward a Renaissance of Classical Culture

This article was written by Mrs. Helga Zepp LaRouche, Founder of the International Schiller Institute and president of the Schiller Institute in Germany, for publication in the May 2012 German language magazine “Ibykus.”

What has become of our world? Top bankers are warning about the “apocalypse”—which doesn’t prevent them at the same time from stuffing seven-figure bonuses into their pockets—as if burial shrouds had pockets! Politicians are willing to sell their own grandmothers in order to calm down “the markets,” while the General Welfare which they have sworn to protect, has been erased from their vocabulary. Heads of government who have just finished expunging democracy and constitutional rule from their own countries, are now prepared, under the pretext of concern for democracy and human rights, to march from a “humanitarian intervention” into a neighboring land, straight into a thermonuclear apocalypse.

Hundreds of millions of human beings are under dire threat of starvation, disease, and lack of clean water; but meanwhile at church councils, the use of bio-fuels is defended, and the popes of environmentalism get decorated with the Medal of Honor for stopping agricultural production and water management, causing millions of human lives to be lost. For decades, “society” has been tolerating the tearing down of one bastion of civilized behavior after another; and so is it any wonder now, that twelve-year-olds are downloading pornographic videos onto their smart phones and showing them around on the school playground; or that it’s considered almost normal that individuals riding the subway or walking on side-streets are “ripped off,” and have to relinquish all their valuables in order to forestall something far worse? Might we not, then, say that a society in which teenagers are the most menacing social grouping, can be considered a failed society?

This list of social evils could be expanded in many directions. It’s certainly true that the root of many of the problems lies in the false axiomatics of economic, military, and social policy. Yet perhaps the most important area where development has gone completely awry, is the shift in cultural paradigm in the western world over recent decades.

Even if during the decades of Germany’s post-war reconstruction everything wasn’t perfect, nonetheless the vector of development was positive: There was an enormous desire to rebuild, and secondary virtues such as diligence and honesty—virtues later denigrated—fostered the General Welfare and promoted social cohesion. Our schools were still governed by the Humboldt educational ideal, namely that developing beauty of character within each student was at least one aspect of the goals of education. Classical culture in music, poetry, and the fine arts played an important role in all grades, but especially in our Gymnasia.

The fact that this has long not been the case, is due to many factors: the Frankfurt School’s deconstructive role regarding Classical music and poetry, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, the advent of “director’s theater,” the Brandt educational reforms, the ’68er movement, the counterculture, and pop culture in general. The end-result of all these influences is a cultural wasteland: shriveled hearts, bereft of all ability to experience profound intellectual emotion; and for many of our fellow men, a loss of the ability to judge, with any sense of justice and injustice supplanted by a striving to conform to popular opinion.

If Schiller, already in his own time—and even more concretely after he witnessed the failure of the French Revolution—had to ask: “How has it come to pass that we are still barbarians?”, then how much more urgently would he be posing that question, horror-filled, today? Unfortunately, yet another facet of our time demonstrates how right he was, that a society that has degenerated from a higher level to a lower one, is more despicable than one that is still striving to free itself from underdevelopment. In his Fifth Aesthetic Letter, Schiller writes:

“Through his actions, Man portrays himself—and what an awful form do we see depicted in our present-day drama! Here brutalization, there decadence: the two extremes of human corruption—and both united in one age of history!

“In the lower and more numerous classes, we see raw, lawless impulses, unleashed after all bands of civil order have been dissolved, rushing with ungovernable impetuosity toward bestial satiation…. Its rudder gone, our society, instead of speeding upwards into organic life, is relapsing back into the inorganic domain.

“On the other side, the civilized classes present us with an even more detestable spectacle of decadence and depravity of character, which disgusts us all the more because it feeds upon the culture itself. I no longer remember which ancient or modern philosopher remarked that the nobler person is all the more abhorrent in his self-destruction; but one will find this true in the moral realm as well. From the savage, run amok, there emerges a madman; from the disciple of art, a worthless nothing.”

In further letters, Schiller discusses how, in view of this situation, any improvement in the political domain can only come about through the ennoblement of individual man’s character—an insight which is equally true today as it was in his own time. But whence, asks Schiller, is this ennoblement to come, when the masses are desensitized, and the nation is in a state of barbarism? And in his Ninth Letter he arrives at the point “toward which I have been striving in all my previous remarks. This instrument is Classical art; these wellsprings open up to us in their immortal exemplars. Art, as well as science, is absolved from everything based on mere sense-experience and imposed by human convention, and both enjoy absolute immunity from the arbitrariness of men.”

The key to overcoming the present existential crisis therefore lies in affording people access to their own creativity, in rekindling within them the divine spark which brings their full human potential to fruition. Our task is thus to strengthen this faculty of the human spirit—a place where scientific discoveries are made, which is the same place where Classical art is born, and where musical and poetical ideas are developed according to the criteria of Classical composition. Whenever man discovers new universal scientific principles, or when the composer or poet harkens to the rules of Classical composition, or lawfully extends them, then the creativity of an inventive mind comes into complete harmony with the creatively self-developing physical universe.

And thus, if we wish to survive the present crisis, a renaissance of Classical culture will be the absolute prerequisite. Therefore the Schiller Institute, along with its cultural journal Ibykus, supports Lynn Yen’s initiative (see below), and calls upon all artists and friends of Classical art to become part of a worldwide movement which will continue to fight for this renaissance until we have banished the current Dark Age—just as the Golden Renaissance of the 15th Century banished the 14th-Century Dark Age, and as German Classicism overcame the destruction wrought by the Thirty Years War.

Please also read Open Letter from Lynn Yen to Classical Artists in the Whole World!

 


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