nov 13 2013
Helga Zepp-LaRouche is the international president of The Schiller Institute
En dansk oversættelse findes her.
There is a written English transcript of the interview below.
Here are the audio and video recordings of a 53-minute interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche in connection with the Danish municipal election campaign.
Besides being the intenational president of The Schiller Institute, Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche is the chairwoman of the German party Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität (BüSo), and the wife of Lyndon LaRouche, the American economist and statesman.
The interview, conducted by SIVE candidate Michelle Rasmussen, is wide-ranging, including:
* her endorsement of the candidacies of Tom Gillesberg, and the rest of the SIVE slate in Copenhagen and Aarhus;
* the the danger of nuclear war and economic collapse;
* the fascist economic austerity policy being implemented on behalf of the financial speculators by the “troika” of the EU, European Central Bank and the IMF in Europe, and, also by Obama in the U.S., — in light of the difference between the economic policies in Europe and the U.S. in the 30’s;
* the connection between war and economic collapse;
* the international fight for Glass-Steagall;
* LaRouche’s physical economy and the image of man upon which it is based;
* what Schiller can say to us today, and,
* if the actions of a small country or single individual can matter.
Resume på dansk:
København, 13. november, 2013 – Her følger links til et 53 minutter langt interview med Helga Zepp-LaRouche i forbindelse med det danske kommunalvalg, som Schiller Instituttets Venner (www.SIVE.dk) stiller op til. Foruden at være Schiller Instituttets internationale præsident (og stifter), er Helga Zepp-LaRouche formand for det tyske parti, Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität (BüSo), og hustru til Lyndon LaRouche, den amerikanske statsmand og økonom.
Interviewet dækker et stort område og omfatter:
* Hendes støtte til Tom Gillesbergs og de øvrige SIVE-kandidaters kandidatur i København og Aarhus;
* Faren for atomkrig og økonomisk sammenbrud;
* Den fascistiske, økonomiske politik, som »Trojkaen«, dvs. EU-kommissionen, Den europæiske Centralbank og Den internationale Valutafond, samt også præsident Obama i USA, på vegne af finansspekulanterne gennemtvinger – set i lyset af den forskellige politik, som Europa og USA førte i 1930’erne;
*Forbindelsen mellem krig og økonomisk sammenbrud;
*Den internationale kamp for Glass-Steagall;
* Lyndon LaRouches fysiske økonomi og det menneskesyn, på hvilket den er baseret;
* Hvad Friedrich Schiller, frihedens poet, har at sige os i dag; og
* Hvorvidt et lille lands eller det enkelte individs handlinger kan gøre en forskel.
Interviewet blev gennemført af SIVE-kandidat Michelle Rasmussen.
nterview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, international president of the Schiller Institute, in connection with the Danish municipal elections – November 13, 2013.
The interview was conducted by Michelle Rasmussen, candidate for The Friends of the Schiller Institute in Copenhagen.
This is an unedited transcript, which has been proofed against the audio.
Michelle Rasmussen (MR –): Thank you very much Mrs. LaRouche for agreeing to this interview – you are the head of the Bürgerrecthsbewegund Solidarität (BÜSO), the founder of the international Schiller Institute and the wife of Lyndon LaRouche, so thank you for being with us on the line from the United States today.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche (HZL): Yes, good day, hello
MR: We have a slate of candidates from The Friends of the Schiller Institute running in the municipal elections in Copenhagen and in Aarhus, with Tom Gillesberg as our leading candidate in Copenhagen, and our provocative slogans on our own very famous election poster is: Glass/Steagall – not EU fascism – the banking union will take your money and your life, so I would first like to ask you if you would endorse our candidates, and how you see the state of the world on the eve of the election here?
HZL: Yes, I do emphatically and full-heartedly endorse Tom, because he has proven over the years that he has, with great foresight, has always put his finger on developments to come, and while the posters may have chocked and surprised people in the relevant election campaigns, only a short period afterwards, people would recognize that he was the outstanding politician to have warned against dangers and also always showing what would be an alternative policy to the present track and trend, and what would actually create a solution and a way out, so I full-heartedly endorse him.
Now, I want to say that we are right now in such a precarious world strategic situation that we need a fundamental shift in the paradigm of practically everything, because we have a multitude of dangers. One which most people are not aware of but which is very much there, and that is the danger of the strategic situation deteriorating into a potential global thermonuclear war. I know that the mainstream media are not talking about that, but I can only say that the recent response of the Chinese PLA to the air-sea-battle policy of the US which they published in all Chinese publications last Monday …
MR: The Peoples Liberation Army?
HZL: Yes, yes, that China is basically prepared for a second strike reaction in case this air-sea-battle conception is taken down the defenses of China. Now, this is very scary, because this is even what many institutes in the US are now warning that this air-sea-battle conception in the Pacific is a provocation against China and can lead to a very quick deterioration and even war. If you combine that with the fact that the BBC just reported a couple of days ago that Saudi-Arabia is actually owning nuclear weapons which they financed in Pakistan and that they can call to have them in practically in a matter of a day or so which is an obvious threat; to the question of non proliferation, it becomes a joke because Iran – even if Iran would go for a nuclear weapon, and they do not have the intention to do so, I mean actually the P5+1 negotiations in Geneva are quite successful and promising – but if Iran would decide to acquire and develop nuclear weapons it would take them minimum a year, but Saudi-Arabia actually possessing nuclear weapons in Pakistan means they could have them in a day. There has been almost no comment on this, but I think it really shows how extremely dangerous the situation is, because you have to combine this Chinese development with what I just said about Pakistan and Saudi-Arabia as being part of a very dangerous world situation. Now that means, if there is such use of nuclear weapons we are really looking at the possible extinction of civilization. It is not true that the Mutual Assured Destruction Doctrine (MAD) no longer is valid which some articles recently have claimed, but we are looking into a crisis which is much, much more dangerous than the middle range missile crisis of the beginning of the 1980s.
That is one thing. The other thing is that there is no question that what the international financial oligarchy is intending to do with the financial crisis is to answer in the same way as it was done in the 30s, that is with fascism. Now, if you look at the combined policies of the Troika in southern Europe in Greece, in Cypress, in Spain, Portugal, and the kind of horrible austerity policy implemented in the US today right now, with the complete cutting of the health care system, the so-called Obamacare which most Europeans have not yet woken up to, but Obamacare means practically slashing health care to such an extent that it immediately will reduce the life expectancy of many people, because it will eliminate up to 80 or 90 % of hospitals in rural areas – you cut the medical personnel, doctors and nurses, and this is happening right now. Many people will not have access to health care, and informed officials in the US are warning that if the present policies are being implemented then in half a year from now you simply will not have the infrastructure for any kind of health care worth giving it that name. Then if you take the fact that 47 million Americans right now are dependent on food stamps. Now, 47 million, I do not know how many that would be in relation to the population of Denmark, but they are cutting 5 billion [dollars] of food stamps per year, and that means that out of every month, people will not have food stamps for one week. Now this will hit for the first time next wee,k which is the weekend of Thanksgiving, the last week of November, and people who are operating food kitchens and food banks are warning that this could lead to riots because if people have nothing to eat – they get desperate and do all kind of things – so we are looking at an unbelievable strategic and financial crisis.
Now, the good thing is that yesterday, the American senator, Elizabeth Warren, made a very important speech in a hearing in the Senate where she said that the world financial crisis right now is much worse than in 2008, which is absolutely true, and she pointed to the fact that the too-big-to-fail banks are now 30 % bigger than they were in 2008, and that the 4 largest American banks now run more than 50 % of all banking operations. Now that obvious means all the problems that existed in 2008, before the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, are now back there, and the dangers to the world financial system is therefore much, much bigger than even then, so she called for the immediate implementation of Glass/Steagall, the separation of the banks in the tradition of Roosevelt, and she said that there is an absolute chance that this fight can be won. David can win the fight against Goliath, but we have to take out our slingshots. Now, this is very important because this fight can be won, and people must understand there is an alternative in the same way as our movement has helped to create a big demand for Glass/Steagall in Italy. For example, yesterday, e.g., the Legion of Lombardy unanimously endorsed a Glass/Steagall resolution which was introduced 10 days ago. So, across all parties they decided to insist that a Glass/Steagall law must be implemented, and Lombardy is the third largest region of Italy. We have the German-French mayors initiative which is growing, and people in Italy are now joining it, so I mean there is hope, but you know, I would be dishonest if I did not say that the situation is extremely dangerous, and therefore the candidacy of Tom in Denmark is really, really important.
MR: Can you say somewhat more about how the Schiller Institute can say that the EU is implementing fascism and also what this has got to do with the question of the banking union?
HZL: I think that if you have a system whereby you redistribute wealth in large proportions from the general population to the speculators, which is what the bail-out policies of the last 5-6 years have been, because in reality all the bail-out packages were just redistribution of private gambling debt into state debt, and then after the states were indebted they turn around and say, now we have to have a debt brake, now we have to have austerity programs, and therefore basically the general population, the taxpayers, have to pay for worthless gambling debt. Now, obviously the gambling debt is much, much bigger than what they even can extract from state budgets through bail-out packages, and therefore they are now doing 3 things: They want to continue the bail-out programmes; they want to continue to print money which is the quantitative easing in the US, or the ECB which have just reduced the interest rates from ridiculous 0,5 % to 0,25 %, almost zero, which is money printing de facto, but they want to combine these two measures with the so-called bail-in which is the so-called Cypress-model, that is a creditor hierarchy, according to which the people who have accounts in the banks, the bond holders, are supposed to be participating in the losses with a “haircut,” as it was done in Cypress. Now, this is being prepared for the entire US and the EU – even Shäuble after being [inaudible] about it during the recent federal elections in Germany said it publically in an interview just last week, that such a creditor hierarchy is being prepared, and given the fact that you have an outstanding debt of 1,4 quadrillions in derivatives contracts, so even in the case of only a crisis where you would have to call in 700 billion, this is far beyond what you could accomplish, and therefore it would lead to a total collapse of the real economy, living standards, exactly as we have seen it in Cypress after the haircut. Now, the combination of these measures would mean such a dramatic cut in the living standard, the life expectancy, as we have seen it in Greece and Cypress, where the life expectancy is dramatically reduced – that this is killing people, these policies kill people, and that has to be understood, and that is why they have to be rejected, because, you know, there is now in the US, for example, a very important initiative, where a medical doctor, Dr. Shelley, has issued a statement where he refers to the argument of Dr. Leo Alexander who was the chief medical advisor to the Nuremburg Tribunal, where he, Dr. Alexander, said that it was the shift in the perception of the value of human life, that you all of a sudden have useless eaters, people whose lives are not worthy to maintain, that it was that shift in the attitude which led to the euthanasia of the Nazi’s, and he says that this Obamacare and these cuts have exactly the same kind of shift.
So, policies which honor gambling debt and high risk gambling, which is what derivatives and the creative financial instrument policy are all about, if you pay for that with the life of people then that is fascism, and that is the policy of the European Union – that is what the Troika has implemented in southern Europe, and that is why the person responsible for UN human rights has charged the Troika with human right violations in Southern Europe, and that is a mild way of expressing it. Now, we are on the verge of a blow out of the financial system, it could happen any moment, and if there is not a Glass/Steagall then these fascist measures would go into effect and you would see a terrible catastrophe happening in Europe, because if you do to all of Europe what was done in Cypress – I do not think it will be peaceful, I do not think it will be possible, because if you slash the real economy of countries like Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, and other countries, you cause mass revolt and mass death.
MR: You began your state of the world overview by speaking about the war danger. What is the connection between the war danger and the financial collapse, and, also, in light of what happened in Europe in the 1930s, as opposed to the US in the 30s under Roosevelt?
HZL: Well, the connection is very simple. You have to understand the concept of empire. When the Soviet Union disintegrated between 1989 and 91 there would have been the possibility of creating a real peace order, because the enemy, so-called communism, no longer existed. And the Schiller Institute at that time had a real proposal to create such a peace order which was the idea to combine the population and industrial centers of Europe with those of Asia through the Eurasian Land-bridge, and in that way have an economic platform for the countries of the Eurasian landmass to work together in a peaceful way for the common benefit of everybody.
Now that policy is in part being implemented right now after 24 years, by China, Russia, by other participants like South Korea and Japan, but that was not accepted by the EU or the US in the period immediately after the collapse of the communist system. And that happened because the neo-cons in the US around the old Bush-administration, Bush Sr., who formed an alliance with Margaret Thatcher, and they decided, instead of using this historical chance which the fall of the Wall did represent, they instead decided to go for an Anglo-American world empire and eventually eliminate all countries which would not agree to be submissive to this world empire, to eliminate their governments through regime change. This was behind the policy towards Iraq, Libya and, it’s now still in effect in Syria, in Iran and eventually against Russia and China. So, at the same time the so-called globalization started to go for an unlimited deregulation of the markets. Since the Soviet Union and the COMECON were no longer there, there was no reason to have any restrictions, and they decided to go for a globalization, total deregulation, which led to the present system of high risk speculation. Now, if you understand that globalization is really another word for Anglo-American-Dutch empire, i.e. the conglomerate of all central banks, investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, private equity firms etc., that this system is identical with the idea of creating a world empire. This financial system is now on the verge of collapse. I mean, that is not just our view, but people like Bill Cross of Pimco, Pimco is the largest management fund for certain assets, he said recently that he is concerned that the world financial system could evaporate one fine moment, like a supernova, when a star comes to an end in a process where an enormous amount of energy is released in a short period of time, but then the star dies. And the present exuberant behavior of the stock markets could really be compared to such a last moment as a supernova. Now, obviously there are forces in the financial oligarchy that basically will not see that their system is coming to an end, and they would rather go with a nuclear brinkmanship with Russia, with China, than allowing that their system is simply evaporating relatively peacefully, as it occurred with the Soviet Union. So, the war danger comes immediately from this idea of an empire, the idea that there is a financial oligarchy that is determined to keep their system no matter what, even at the risk of the possible extinction of civilization.
Obviously, our solution against that is we absolutely have to end this casino economy, go to Glass/Steagall like what Roosevelt did in the 30s, and today we have exactly the same choice that existed in the 30s. In Europe, unfortunately, we decided to go the way of fascism: Brüning, austerity, Schacht, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Petain in France, and out of that came World War II. Now, the danger is if we implement the same policies like Brüning, Schacht, Hitler, corporativism like Mussolini, then the danger is indeed World War III, and World War III would probably be the last world war because if you use thermonuclear weapons nobody is going to be left.
The alternative obviously was what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the US where he basically drew the conclusions of the character of the financial system by ending the casino economy through Glass/Steagall, by introducing the Pecora Commission to investigate who was behaving in a criminal way in the banking crisis and then basically creating a credit system, which at that time was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, to issue credit for the real economy, and in that way, through the combination of the New Deal and later the Breton Woods System, Roosevelt managed not only to pull the US economy out of the crisis, but with the Breton Woods system also create the basis for stabile conditions in the world financial system for at least two decades to come.
Interview with Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the International President of the Schiller Institute, in connection with the Danish election champagne, KV 2013
Now the alternative obviously was what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the United States, where he basically thought through the conclusions out of the character of the financial system by ending the casino economy by introducing Glass-Steagall, by introducing the Pecora Commission to investigate who was behaving in a criminal way in the banking crisis and then basically creating a credit system which at that time was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to issue credit for the real economy, and in that way through the combination of the New Deal and later the Bretton Woods system, Roosevelt managed to not only pull the US economy out of the crisis, but with the Bretton Woods system also created the basis for stable conditions in the world financial system for at least two decades to come. Now these things are proven and tested and therefore the movement for Glass-Steagall in the United States — represents a true change also for Europa to go that way and not fall into the danger of fascism.
MR: Can you explain more about the movement for Glass-Steagall in the United States and also in places like Switzerland and Belgium. Is it possible to actually get a Glass-Steagall bank separation and the other points of our three-point program, or is it just a pie in the sky?
HLR: Well, if it’s a pie in the sky, then actually we have a pie in Hell, because there is unfortunately are only two possibilities right now. One is the plunge into the Dark Age with danger of the deterioration into a war, or we in time reorganize the system as Roosevelt did it. Now, many people in Europe don’t really have a good understanding of what Roosevelt accomplished, but the common memory of the American population, this is different, because people have a family memory or memory in their culture, their education, that Roosevelt indeed ended the great depression of the thirties by implementing these measures, and given the fact, that the United States right now is in an absolutely terrible breakdown crisis, I mean, people were chocked a couple of weeks ago about the government shutdown, something which could happen again in a couple of weeks, because the debt ceiling was only prolonged for a short period of time, so the idea of the possibility of the state insolvency of the United States really shook people up, not only inside the United States but obviously internationally as well. But in the United States itself, you have the city of Detroit for example which is insolvent. And they are now negotiating the same kind of Cyprus model, bail-in policy for Detroit, which for example would take from the city pensioners 95 % of their pensions, would just be taken away and the kinds of settlements which are now being negotiated would not allow for these people to live. So you have an existential crisis between Obamacare, between Detroit — Time Magazine had a cover story, saying ‘Is your city next?’, because the indebtedness of most cities is not far behind Detroit. Then you have the cutting off of food stamps for forty seven million Americans. I can only say there is a revolutionary situation where people in the United States really understand for the first time, that these policies are killing them. As you know, we have been organizing book tables, information tables every day in the streets, or people call into our offices, and they say, ‘My God, I really understand this is threatening our lives, what can we do to help?’
So there is a completely different situation in the United States than what people think, and I understand that in Denmark, where you have the beautiful country of ‘hygge’ [coziness], people may not be totally aware of it, but I can only emphatically say that in the United States people do have a revolutionary sentiment, because people realize, that unless they reinstitute the American Constitution, and the ideas and values of the American Revolution, and the ideas which are in the Declaration of Independence, which is one of the most beautiful documents ever written, unless this is being reasserted, this great country may not survive, and that creates a very, very special moment, and therefore I think that despite the fact that there is enormous pressure from Wall Street not to go for Glass-Steagall, I think that there is the potential, that Glass-Steagall can be implemented.
And in Europe, I think the country where this fight is the most advanced is Switzerland, where the SVP from the conservative side, and the Socialist Party from the left side, have made an alliance to call for the separation of the banks, and behind that is the understanding, which is very wide spread among the population in Switzerland, that if one of the too-big-to-fail-banks UBS of Switzerland or Credit Suisse would collapse, it would totally, totally destroy all of Switzerland, because these banks have volumes which are far, far larger than the entire GDP of the Swiss economy, and therefore the Swiss population, which is very republican, they have not yet, and they will not, submit to the EU dictatorship, because they have a republican revolutionary tradition, which is a very good situation, the Swiss population are not underlings, they are very proud —
MR: — the tradition of William Tell, you mean.
HLR: Yes. Well, not William Tell, because he is sort of a legendary figure, but the tradition of the play William Tell by Friedrich Schiller, and many Swiss people identify with that play in this present moment.
MR: You have spoken about a “Shelley moment,” the possibility of having a total shift in the sentiment of the population, which can generate a political change. Can you explain that, please?
HLR: The poet Shelley had this beautiful, in A Defense of Poetry, in one of his writings, where he says, that there are sometimes moments in history, where the normal assumptions of the population are simply no longer possible, and these are the moments, where people are able to understand profound conceptions about man and nature, which they normally don’t understand, and these are the moments of revolutionary change and there is very clearly a pattern both in the United States and even in Germany and other countries, where people, all of a sudden, begin to understand tings, which they normally don’t because they are too busy in having entertainment or holidays or other things, but in these moments, more profound conceptions come into the public conscience. Now, in the United States it’s what I said before, it’s a combination of realization that Obama does everything that Bush did, just worse, that Obamacare is really killing people, and that the whole country is in mortal danger.
In Germany, I think that the one thing, that really did the most to cause such change is the NSA affair and the revelations of Edward Snowden, because in Germany this has brought forward all of a sudden a consciousness about the fact that, in the entire post war period, Germany had no sovereignty, and that what all of these foreign agencies like the NSA and the British GCHQ are doing in Germany, together with the BND by the way, that all of this means, that Germany has no sovereignty, and that the total surveillance of all citizens, every communication, means, that there are no more liberties, there are no more civil rights, and there is right now a real understanding that this cannot go on, that the combination of the EU policies, now the EU is today having a huge attack on the German export policy, basically trying to destroy the milk cow from whom they want to press more milk out, so there is right now an understanding, that the present institutions are fundamentally against the interests of the normal citizens and that the citizens have to start to defend their own rights, because otherwise, they may not exist in a very short period of time. So I think it’s a very pregnant moment in which one can cause changes and where I think the ordinary citizen is called upon to stand up and fight.
MR: 35.40: We’re not just speaking about the ideas of Roosevelt. We’re also speaking about the population being able at a time like this to understand some of the great ideas of your husband, Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, and his ideas of physical economy. In fact, one of the main reasons why Tom Gillesberg has been able to predict the coming crash is because of his cooperation with Mr. LaRouche and his ideas in the United States. Could you explain, what some of the most important ideas of LaRouche’s physical economy are, and which image of man, this is based on?
HLR: The most important thing is that money really has no significance. I know that is chocking to most people, but my husband has said repeatedly, that money is an idiot, because you can deploy it for whatever you want. It does not have an intrinsic value. Money is just a means, and money as such does not have any value. You can see by the fact that in Germany in December 1923, notes, Reichsmark, was the cheapest paper after the inflation had basically collapsed the system, so that people would use Reichsmark notes as wallpaper, because it was the cheapest paper.
The only source of wealth, in the concept of physical economy, is the creativity of the population. Therefore, a good government, who would be oriented towards the common good, would make sure, that the creative powers of their own population, are developed in the best possible way, because only if you apply creativity, which leads to better understanding of the laws of the physical universe, every time you make a discovery about these laws, you have scientific progress, and if you change this scientific progress into a technology, and apply it in the productive process, then this leads to not only an increase of the productivity of the labor force, of the industrial capacity, but to the economy at large; this leads to a better living standard with a longer life expectancy, and basically just a progress of civilization.
The focus therefore has to be on the creative powers of the labor force, starting with the schools, the parents naturally, the early education, the school system, the university system, and that way you can get a productive economy. This is obviously something completely different from what you have right now. Right now, the education system in Europa and in the United States, with very few exceptions, is geared to turn out illiterates. For example, in the United States you have no books in the schools any more. You have little computers or tablets and then they print out one page for one lesson, and no books. So obviously the children, who are being produced this way, in terms of students, they cannot build up a concentration span, they don’t do experiments in chemistry or physics – it’s just a complete destruction of the cognitive powers.
Physical economy to the contrary thinks about what are the necessary investments both in the own population and in the research and development to have a prolonged possibility for the population to reproduce itself on an extended basis from generation to generation. And that simply requires a high emphasis on higher energy flux densities in the production process, because this is what determines the productivity, determines what is the definition of the raw materials, what is the mode of production, and that has to be always going upward and has to increase man’ s command over nature.
This goes totally against the green paradigm, which is going to lead to the complete destruction of civilization, as you can see in the case of Germany right now, where all the major energy intensive industries are leaving, they are investing elsewhere, in Turkey, in the United States, in China, and obviously the green paradigm is really killing also Africa, the whole Western EU, which is entirely green. Basically, what we are fighting for with the concept of physical economy, is to bring the modes of production into conformity with the laws of the physical universe, which is developing from lower to higher energy flux density forms, and if we are to successfully come out of this crisis, we have to go back to a high emphasis on that, on science, on technology and future developments.
MR: And then, as the last question, I would like to ask about the fact, that we don’t just have an economic and a strategic crisis, but we also have a cultural crisis, where much of the greatest classical culture is being ignored now, and just on Sunday, it was the birthday of Friedrich Schiller, which The Schiller Institute is named after. I would like to ask you a combined question: What can Schiller teach us today, what inspiration can Schiller give us today, and also in terms of, we have here in Denmark a small country, we have a municipal election, we have single individuals, who don’t really think of themselves as being a real power of change in the world, so what do you say to these people, and what can Schiller teach us?
HLR: The cultural crisis you referred to, I think is nowhere demonstrated in a more obvious way as in the so-called youth culture. I mean, when Schiller was discussing the reason why the French Revolution did not lead to a positive outcome, he said that it was because people had crippled emotions, and that therefore the development of the Empfindungvermögen, I don’t want to translate that with empathy, but it is something similar, that that was the most important question of his time, because only if people are emotionally capable of having a real comprehension of their environment and of their century and of their time, and have passion to change it, that they can act as responsible individuals in history, and that was clearly not the case in the French Revolution. So Schiller said that the development of this Empfindungsvermögen, of this empathy, this love for mankind, is the most important thing. Now if Schiller were alive today, and saw how the children are looking, who in many cases are only the extension of their play station, totally autistic, mindlessly playing their violent video games, of having no cognitive powers because everything is being googled, google has become a verb, people think they have real knowledge if they push the search button and get out some stupid answer from Wikipedia or some other source; that has nothing to do with conquering real knowledge. I could go on with examples of youth violence and the whole terrible condition, in which the children are.
Friedrich Schiller discusses a lot of these things from the standpoint of how do you get people to not be based on their so called sensuous experience, but to liberate the mind to be able to understand the ideas, that are behind the appearances, and how the classical education and the classical art is helping people to become innerly free – that the inner person is what counts, that you don’t count on some outside influences, but that you have this strength and ability to find the source of your own creativity and apply it throughout your life in always new situations. And this inner freedom is what Schiller was absolutely concerned with in his dramas, in his poems, his theoretical writings. And therefore I think that the study of Schiller is about the most important and gratifying thing you can do, especially if you combine it with listening to classical music, but it must be good performances, because nowadays what they call classical music is not always what we really mean by that. I think that Schiller right now is one of the most important idea givers, because he has exactly that quality of setting the inner person free, and his beautiful, his image of man is extremely positive and optimistic. He believes that every human being has the potential of becoming a genius, and his definition of a genius is the beautiful soul, that the person, who does what is necessary with passion, is free, and that is absolutely true. The notion of the beautiful soul is almost a sacred notion for me, and fortunately now through the thirty years of work of the Schiller Institute, people around the world now appreciate this notion of the beautiful soul, which makes me very happy.
Now, your question was: What can a small country like Denmark do. Well, I think there are many examples in history where individuals, totally alone, changed history. One of them in the recent public knowledge obviously is Edward Snowden who has indeed caused quite a shakeup of the present world, which is still ongoing, but another example is for example Moses Mendelssohn, who is a person who lived in the 18. century in Germany, who came from a very backward environment in Dessau in I think it’s Sachsen-Anhalt now, and he decided to go to Berlin, and he decided to acquire knowledge, just everything, literature, music, geography, history, and in a very short period of time, he was known to be the Socrates of the 18. Century, and shaped, what became the German Classical period, he was one of the key influences preparing the grounds for that. And these two examples really are an example, that there is no limit, that you don’t have to be a big country or you don’t have to be a mass of people that every individual has the chance to intervene in history if you just take all the knowledge which is available.
And I think Denmark has a beautiful role to play, because you are relatively independent, you’re not in the Euro which is a big advantage at this point, and you have a great classical tradition which is linked also among other things to Schiller, because the Prince of Denmark [Prince Friedrich Christian of Augustenborg] was one of the persons who helped Schiller to survive at a crucial crisis at this point. So I think, that if the Danish population would recognize, because you still have a relatively good living standard as compared to Southern Europe for example, you don’t have to fall into the abyss before you can start to even go for better goals in the future, so I think that Denmark has a very, very good position to play a leading role in Europe and to acquire knowledge and contribute to mankind coming out of this terrible crisis. And since the Schiller Institute and Tom Gillesberg and you yourself are the representatives of these ideas, I really would like to propose to the voters to vote for you.
MR: As quoted in the very good interview with Tom Gillesberg today in the newspaper ‘Information’, he said it would be a political atomic bomb, if he got elected and would show that there are people in the country who believe that these ideas are very important for their future. So, instead of having the war drive, let’s have a political atomic bomb and get these ideas into the possibility of being realized through the elections.
HLR: Yes, so then have fun!
MR: I want to thank you very, very much for taking the time to speak to our listeners and we will be in touch with you further.
HLR: Okay. Bye-bye.