Helga Zepp-Larouche on Beauty and Freedom

Presentation of Helga Zepp-LaRouche,
Ibykus Festival
Augsburg, West Germany

Jan. 10-11, 1987

                          Beauty and Freedom

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

"With the coincidence of grace and dignity in one person, humanity
perfects itself."

"One calls it a beautiful soul, when the moral sense of all emotions
of a person have ultimately become so secure, that it can surrender
the direction of the will to the emotions without fear, and without
running the danger of being contradicted by the decisions of the
emotions. For that reason, the individual deeds of a beautiful soul
are not properly moral, rather the entire character is so. The
beautiful soul has no other merit than that it exists."
                                 --Friedrich Schiller

     It does one good to elevate oneself to Schiller's ideal of
humanity. And the more we immerse ourselves in the poetry and the
works of our great poet, the greater is the healing effect of his
thinking and his plans. But then the moment necessarily comes, when
we have to turn our attention to reality, and, horrified, we pose
ourselves the question, whether there reeally are persons today who
are beautiful souls, whose merit consists in nothing else, than that
they are?
     In fact, there seems to be no greater contradiction, than that
between the beautiful picture Schiller paints of mankind, which was
also the foundation of his conception of art, and the image of
mankind we confront today. Of course, that does not mean that the
red-green teacher is right, when he asks what Schiller could posibly
still mean for us today. To the contrary, as several times before in
history, we have to ask ourselves today, how we compare ourselves to
Schiller, as dwarfs, bread-earning scholars, or even as yuppies?
     Unfortunately, the fact is not to be overlooked, that we live in
an apocalyptic time, in which the proverbial four horseman of the
apocalypse threaten to descend upon us, the epidemic AIDS threatens
all of humanity, a massive starvation crisis in large parts of the
world, the danger of a large war, and the reality of regional, brutal
wars and civil wars, terrorism and irregular warfare, and a
worldwide, bitter war of the drug mafia.
     But the essential reason that it seems to be so difficult to
solve these problems, gigantic as they are, to be sure, lies in the
fact that the West is in a profound cultural crisis, in which the
West seems to have shoveled closed the accesses to its own spiritual
sources. The essence of all politics, and thus also political
solutions, is culture, for culture is nothing else than the way in
which one thinks. Culture does not necessarily determine the diverse
contents of thought in the respective epochs, but it does determine
the method with which the mind forms its conceptions.
     And is it not true, that the truly great interpreters of
classical art are threatened with become representatives of a dying
art? Whether it is the classical method of singing or classical
conducting which is at issue, faithful renditions in theater, or the
art of recitation, wherever we turn, a few remaining artists have the
same complaint, that the official business of culture leaves little
room for the creativity of the old school.
     No, it is not a very encouraging picture which surrounds us.
That which is our best tradition, classical art, is cut to pieces
increasingly by "modern" ugliness. "Regie"-theater
(director-centered) deforms theater as well as opera, and what young
actors today still learn how to speak correctly?
     Of course, there are islands of real culture, individual
artists, here and there in some families. The majority of the values
constituting the phenomenon of culture today, however, are of a
completely different kind. But since they determine the form of
thinking, they are also forms of culture, or, actually, of
un-culture. A terrifyingly large and growing part of the population
has succumbed to a new spiritualism, esoteric cults are multiplying,
superstitution and the occult have been proliferating for years, and
not a few among our contemporaries have converted to Satanism.
Besides the journal Ibykus, there were only few some years ago who
pointed to the connection between the drug and rock culture and the
proliferation of Satanic cults. Without giving Der Spiegel undeserved
crediblity, this magazine reflected a real problem, when it recently
devoted its cover story to the proliferation of belief in Witches and
worship of the devil. It is no surprise that discussion about
Satanism is among the most discussed subjects in the schools--you
merely need to consider the numerous and explicit Satanic texts of a
large number of rock music groups.
     Perhaps less dangerous, but nevertheless a reflection of
corrosive mediocrity, is another phenomenon, that of the careerists
who earn plenty of money, those new-rich professional bores, who call
themselves yuppies. Outside of expensive cosmetics, fine meals, and
the lifestyle of their clique, they are interested in very little.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung posed the absurd question in its New Year's
edition: "Is the Yuppy happy? The Yuppy cautiously leaves the
question of what future the earning of money has in an apocalyptic
time to the apostles of armaggedon, or the weakling fun-seekers. An
"inner emptiness" is the inevitable consequence, and it is not
possible to suppress a bit of black pleasure when one learns from
this newspaper, that the number of Yuppies who have to go to
psychiatrists to find meaning in their lives is increasing.
     One thing seems certain: even an exhaustive analysis of this
"inner emptiness" will produce nothing but a more differentiated and
more multifaceted emptiness. What a perspective!
     But, irony aside, I do not intend to list all of the phenomena
of our cultural crisis, so a few examples should suffice. The real
problem we are dealing with is that of the potential answer to the
deeply unsettling question of how we can get our of this
crisis--indeed, whether we in the West as a whole still have the
intellectual and moral reserves, in view of a situation which so many
people, for entirely different reasons, perceive to be apocalyptic,
to bring changes into motion soon enough to prevent being thrown into
a catastrophe and to be able to actively formulate a positive future.
     It is characteristic of persons who are "other-directed,"
whether they are drug addicts or object-fixated money-earners, that
they have no self-consciousness. So, such a person does not even know
why he is convinced of what he thinks he is convinced of. In contrast
to the large mass of victims of this ideology, there are a certain
number of people who understand themselves to be groups of elites,
and they have understood very well the relationship of culture as the
basis of all policy, and so, looking down disparagingly at the
business of day-to-day politics, they have concentrated on
systematically influencing the cultural matrix of entire continents,
and on producing a paradigm change in the population in their own
     It cannot be denied that such a dramatic paradigm change has in
fact occurred over the last 20 years, and there are many today who
are going along with the "trends" would no longer recognize the views
they held in the middle of the 1960s. While that earlier period was
largely characterized by economic growth, faith in scientific
progress, even by a certain enthusiasm, for example, for the space
program, today we are confronted with a totally irrational hostility
to technology. Only one thing has grown, and in an astonishing
mutifarious way, and that is a nearly limitless ugliness, in
so-called art, in fashion, architecture, pornogaphy, and much more.
     You will recall, in the 1960s there were no greenies. (What a
wonderful thought!) Sure, here and there, there were people who hung
onto the "eternal yesteryear," like Ernst Juenger, but at that time
he kept his head low, while in the 1970s he emerged to call himself
the grandfather of the ecology movement. How did this change of
values come about?
     It can be documented beyond any doubt, that it was an
intervention of certain oligarchical circles in Europe and in the USA
which deliberate set this paradigm change rolling. Here, too, only a
few examples:
     The long-term, most far-reaching effect was induced by the
destruction of education in Western Europe by the group which was
later to call itself the Club of Rome. In 1963, Dr. Alexander King,
then the OECD director in Paris, circulated a plan for a reform of
the education system. Up to that time, instruction in high schools
was still a mixture of curricula content and methods, in which a
traumatic reaction against most recent history was present side by
side with teaching of the classics and natural science. By and large,
the generation of students from this period still had a good chance,
if they had some good teachers, to at least come into contact with
the classical educational material of our European culture.
     Alexander King's educational reform aimed primarily at removing
this memory of about two and a half thousand years of Christian
humanist tradition from the curricula, and replacing it with
"practical, future-oriented, assimilable material." These so-called
reforms were introduced under the Brandt government in the Federal
Republic of Germany, and, in one or another form, in the other
European countries as well. The consequences are well know: a massive
destruction of education and knowledge among the poor students
affected by the "reform."
     Building on the foundation of a thorough lack of basic
knowledge, it was relatively easy for the Club of Rome in the 1970s,
with its absurd theses on the limits of growth, to build up the
coming green movement in a targeted way. The circulation of the
Rappaport Report after 1967 aimed in the same direction, a report
which aimed at extirpating the enthusiasm of young people for
science, unleashed by the Apollo Moon program.
     Hand in hand with the Club of Rome, there was the World Wildlife
Fund, an utterly anti-human oligarchical organization run by Prince
Philip, which, using the pretext of trying to protect endangered
animal species, aims at annihilating the values of Christian
civilization once and for all. In September of last year, this World
Wildlife Organization organized an international conference in
Assisi, which aimed at nothing less than a long-term design for
destroying the Catholic Church as the chief vehicle of the values of
the West.
     In Assisi, a new alliance of all religions and cults was
supposed to be created, out of which a form of ecological
nature-religion was intended to emerge, with the clear goal of
destrying the "industrial cultural matrix," i.e., the faith in
science and technology, as developed since the Golden Renaissance of
the 15th century. Pre-Christian nature-religions, in which the
mythical powers of Mother Earth are worshipped, were proclaimed as
the replacement of the values of Judeo-Christian religion.
Augustinian Christianity proceeds from a conception of the universe,
in which the perfectibility of man through his creative work aids in
the further development of Creation. If the notion of a cyclical
universe is put in its place, in which the human being is not the
crown and master of Creation, but in which the individual is less
important than the "conservation" of nature, then the essence of our
culture of Western civilization is under assault.
     All of these oligarchical circles, of which the Club of Rome and
the World Wildlife Fund are only exemplary, have been working for
more than 20 years for a perspective of what they call the "New Age,"
the new age of Aquarius, which, according to their own strange
ideology, presupposes the destruction of the 2000 years of the "Age
of Pisces." It is the representatives of the New Age who
systematically promoted over this period of time the
rock-drug-counterculture, from the promotion of the Beatles to
today's escalation of the santanic rock groups by a well-coordinated
music mafia.
     The issue in this sort of controlled counterculture is nothing
less than maintaining the masses in a controlled state of
backwardness. There is no reason to fear, that drug addicts or youth
with Walkmans plugged into their heads will develop into citizens of
a republic, nor that followers of mystical nature-religions would do
so either, since the "culture," the way that people think, is
controlled top-down in principle.
     It was also in September of last year that a meeting of the
infamous Cini Foundation was held on the Venetian island of San
Giorgio, titled "Europe of the Regions." Here, too, the common
denominator was the attack upon the humanist-Christian high-culture
of Europe in favor of promoting relgional ethnocentricity and
dialects. Here, too, the intent was basically the same, and aimed at
other features of what constitutes culture and the identity of
individuals. When the nation-state and the highly developed form of
language developed under the nation-state are set under attack, and
thus the potential of a representative republican system of
government, in which cultured, intelligent citizens can participate,
then it is rather obvious, what the alternative is. In a Europe of
the regions, all sorts of separatist and ethnic groups can go ahead
and babble their impoverished, blunted dialects, but they can never
become politically, not to speak of militarily, effective, and then
it will be no problem for a supranational, self-designated elite, to
keep the mass of population under feudalist control, in backwardness
and dependency.
     In various other places, other people are putting their minds to
the question of how Europe's culture should be shaped in the future.
In August of last year, a new Soviet "Cultural Foundation" was
founded, with the influential Raisa Gorbachova elected to the
presidium. The 79-year old Dimitri Likhachov was elected
chairman--one of the best known representatives of the so-called
Russian Party, and thus of the attempt to bring all of the ethnic
groups and nationalities of the Soviet Union within the cultural grip
of Holy Mother Russia.
     At the end of the 1940s, Likhachov published a brochure on
Russian history, which stresses the support for the conception of
Moscow as the capital of the third and final Roman Empire by the
Senate of Venice in the 16th century. And so, it is no surprise, that
there is close cooperation between the members of the Russian
Cultural Foundation, Soviet Club of Rome members like Frolov, the
Cini Foundation, and other counterparts in the West.
     Or, to put it another way, the cultural crisis of the West is
not an accidental affair, it is rather the result of a deliberate
influencing of cultural currents. Moscow sees itself very close to
its goal of achieving world hegemony. And in the West, there are
these oligarchical circles, who are quite willing to grant Moscow's
domination, as long as they can be the administrators in a New Yalta
divided world. What connects both sides is a deep hate for the values
of the West, based on Western Christian civilization, and thus a
higher conception of the dignity and inalienable rights of each
individual person.
     If one compares today's phenomenon of cultural crisis with the
final phase of the Weimar Republic, the parallels become strikingly
obviious. Heathen cultural ideas were as much inherent in the
National Bolshevist tendency as the ideas of Nietzsche and
Dostoyevski. Then, like today, Christianity was seen as the
incarnation of the hated West. Thus, it is no wonder, that Pope John
Paul II, who comes from Poland, so profoundly understands the threat
to the West as well as the Catholic Church.
     So what is to be done? The problems are immense, how shall we
find a solution?
     Now, first of all we have to reflect on the fact that truth is
not what today's reality makes it seem. It is not true, that the
universe moves in cycles, rather modern science proves beyond any
doubt, that the lawfulness of the universe is a process of
negentropic perfection, which is not determined to collapse
necessarily, but will collapse for sure if this lawfulness if
     And it is also not true, that human life has no meaning. And
this meaning is of such universal truth, that it is as valid today as
it was when it was first formulated.
     Every individual person, one can say, carries implicitly and
potentially a pure, ideal person within himself, whose development,
in his immutable unity through all alterations, is the great task of
his existence--Friedrich Schiller. The realization of this ideal
person in one's self, this is the definition of the great task of
one's existence.
     In this remarkable sentence, of course, there lies the key to
everything. I said at the beginning, that a part of the problem is
that we have shoveled shut the doors to the springs of our best
intellectual tradition. And the quintessence of all of that which
distinguishes European culture from all others in this world is the
unique role of the individual, who is called upon to develop all of
his potential creative capacities to the greatest possible perfection.
     It is obvious, that all totalitarian states and dictators
consider it to be their chief aim to smother this idea of the freedom
of the individual to perfect himself.
     And since the individual person, and the beauty of his soul is
at the very center of concern for Christianity as well as for
European humanism, it is also no wonder that it is represenatives of
these two cultural currents who are at the forefront of the battle to
find solutions to the present crisis. The Pope and Cardinal Ratzinger
have repeatedly said, that only an ethical rejuvenation of a
"humanity become senile" can overcome the crisis. And in the face of
all the ugliness, the mediocrity, and the openly evil which surrounds
us, we must agree with Wilhelm von Humboldt and Schiller, that an
improvement in political affairs can only be achieved through an
enoblement of the character of people. A state can never be better
than the citizens who live in it.
     In many respects, we confront the very same issue as Friedrich
Schiller, when, in the face of the barbarism of the French
revolution, he had to give up hope, that the state of reason would
soon be established, and he formulated this issue in his aesthetic
letters. Where should this enoblement come from, if the state does
not have the intellectual power, and is in part itself responsible
for the crisis, and, on the other hand, the masses are in a state of
     With Schiller, it is my conviction, that the enoblement of the
character of persons is only possible through art. But only such an
artist can reach this high goal, who elevates the individual in
himself to the level of the species, and thus speaks the truth on
behalf of everyone, and when he liberates all of the objects he deals
with of accidental and ephemeral features, so that his art addresses
the species in the individuals. Like Schiller, I too think, that only
such art deserves to be presented to the public. The artist, who has
such love of beauty, will himself be beautiful. In the beautiful
vision of the ideal, the artist, the philosopher, and the poet will
themselves become the great and good persons, whose image they design.
     In his work on "Theater as a moral institution," Schiller
defines moral harmony as the highest goal of our existence, as the
balance between our sensuous and our intellectual natures. And, in
turn, it is art alone, which is capable of producing this condition,
and thus capable of contributing to the enoblement of people, and the
general welfare. If theater is capable of that, writes Schiller, then
it assumes a rank among the highest of the institutions in the state.
     Certainly, the theater today is not like this, but the principle
is, nonetheless, correct. For anyone, who has not entirely given up
his humanity, would not already have been moved through great
culture, whether it be music, theater, poetry, so that, in him, a
power has been set free, which lasts much longer than the moment of
the work of art? It is man who has become idealized up to the level
of his species, this man confronts us in the artist, and if he, the
artist, playfully lifts us up to his level, then we will really
become better people.
     But, is it truly so, our unbelieving contemporary might ask,
that, in our time, which we ourselves have described as apocalyptic,
that art is a solution? Shouldn't we now directly occupy ourselves,
as Schiller in the second of his aesthetic letters writes, with the
"most perfect of all works of art, the building of political
freedom?" And is it not, today, all the more true, that the great
fate of humanity is being negotiated? But, precisely for this reason,
Schiller is right, that, in order to solve this political problem,
one must take the path through the aesthetical, "because it is
through beauty, that one wanders to freedom."
     If our period is sick from an overdose of ugliness, an ugliness
which is entirely intentional--whether it is a question of
"Regie-theater," or the Punkers--and also, the sign of a dying
society, then indeed, the only answer is to counterpose the maximum
of beauty to this reality. Indeed, a beauty according to objective
laws, and not something in the sense of Kant, a subjective,
accidental beauty.
     In the "Kallias-Schriften," Schiller defined this objective
conception of beauty as "the freedom of the epiphany," as the
knowledge of the rules of the laws of reason, the knowledge that,
whatever is free, exists according to its own laws of nature. Beauty
is the epiphany of the free expression of a type, beauty, in other
words, nature in its art-fullness.
     If a person is then confronted with beauty, which is also based
on objective conditions, then, too, will the laws of reason be
stirred in him, for this was absolutely the vision of the artist, to
achieve such a lawful effect.  Now, Schiller differentiates between
architectonic beauty, which also, indeed, fulfills the condition,
that it imitates the laws of nature, and another property, with which
beauty is very much connected, but which is something else, namely,
     "What, however, is grace, if it is not in the most loving way,
although not exclusively, connected with beauty? If it is, indeed,
derived from beauty, but the effect of which also appears in the
not-beautiful? If beauty, indeed, can exist without it, but through
it alone can a first inclination be inspired?"
     Today, the concept of "grace" is, for most of our
contemporaries, certainly a very unusual one, and not a few will
imagine, in this regard, somehow accultured and affected. It is also
an indication, how far removed we are from the illuminating height of
classical thought.  For, as Schiller explains, ONLY the human being
is capable of grace, and only in those in whom the soul is the
guiding principle, and only in the soul is contained the basis for
the beauty of movement. Grace, therefore, is not beauty which is
given by nature, but rather, it is brought out only through humanity,
is it is the expression of the beautiful soul.
     Schiller concedes power over matter to this beauty created by
the soul; that is, he sees grace also in fixed gestures which have
become features of the face, and isn't it true that nature has a much
greater share in the appearance of children and adolescents, while
for adults, with increasing age, the soul expresses itself more and
more in the features?  And a human being, who is evil, will not be
able to hide this, after a certain age, just as the one who has great
beauty of character, and whose features will reflect mildness and
     "In grace," writes Schiller, "as beauty above all, reason sees
its demands for sensuousness fulfilled, and surprisingly she meets
one of her ideas in appearance. This unexpected harmony of the
accidental of nature with the necessity of reason, awakes a feeling
of well-being, which is relaxing for the sense, but reviving and
engaging for the spirit, and an attraction of the sensual object must
follow. This attraction we call pleasure, love, a feeling which is
inseparable from grace and beauty."
     Here the secret is lifted for our contemporary, who has long
since given up any serious belief in the perfectability of man, and
in his enoblement, because who has heard anything like this? He is
only skeptical toward this concept of an ethical renaissance, because
he knows very well that he does not want to give up certain
inclinations, also called the internal Schweinhund.
     But in front of great art, which reflects the beautiful soul of
the artist, and in front of grace, as a motion created by the soul,
anybody will be touched, who is still capable of more human feelings.
If beauty and grace produce love, then is the problem solved.  Only
grace can entice and soften up the hardened character, and coin it
     All great humanists, from Plato, Augustine, Nicholas of Cusa,
Leibniz, or Schiller, always equate truth, beauty, reason, and the
good. And if our period is defined by ugliness, evil, irrationality,
and false appearance, then this is to be traced to a lack of beauty,
as also to a lack of love.
     "Love alone, therefore, is a free emotion, for its pure source
streams from the seat of freedom, from our divine nature.  It is here
not the senses, which look up to the laws of freedom; it is absolute
greatness itself, which in grace and beauty imitates itself, and in
the moral laws finds itself satisfied, it is the Lawgiver himself,
the God in us, who plays with his own image in the world of the
     The capacity to become like God is what the person irrevocably
carries within himself. If we look to the development of inner beauty
and grace is bestowed upon our deeds, we become in the image of God,
a second God, as Nicholas says. Such a self-image of man is the
absolute precondition for a cultural renaissance, and every time that
man has succeeded in history in overcoming earlier and similar
crises, he necessarily proceeded from such an image of man. On the
other hand, the contrary was the case in each and every cultural
crisis and phase of decadencce. The Person, the Pig, says Gottfried
Benn. Today's rock-groups mirror externally their own self conception
     When Schiller calls the connection of dignity and grace the
perfection of the beauty of character, it is worth reflecting on the
sense in which he uses the notion of dignity. Mastery over desires by
moral forces is what he calls freedom of mind. And dignity is what he
calls its epiphany. Now the inalienable rights to human dignity
aooear in a new light. For they pressupose a minimal degree of the
preconditions of life, which however most people in the Southern
Hemisphere today lack. That is why Schiller also says: "Human
dignity? Give them something to eat, and dignity will come of its
     The person who combines grace and dignity in himself, who seeks
to deliberately develop the divine spark in himself--it is from such
a self-conception that cultural optimism is self-evidently born.
People who think that way, set great tasks for themselves and for
humanity. For such a person, it is morally intolerable, that the
greater part of the human species lives in inhuman conditions. He
will seek solutions himself, and it is self-evident for such a
person, that freedom means development. He will love people, because
he can love himself. His mind will naturally want to gaze searchingly
into the future; limits of growth are inconceivable to him, because
he actively and openly seeks to extend his horizon. Research in outer
space is among his passions, because such a great mind cannot
tolerate the close space of only one planet, when he only needs to
raise his eyes to the heavens, to be able to see there infinitely
     The great German scientist and friend of the Schiller Institute,
Krafft Ehricke, was convinced, that the age of reason would only
really begin, when mankind began to live in colonies on the Moon and
Mars, because he would then be forced into the Age of Reason by the
Extraterrestrial Imperative. Lurking there is the idea, that the
human being cannot just jump out of a spaceship out of irrational
reasons, if it is no longer comfortable. This does sound a bit like
Kant's Categorical Imperative. And Krafft himself emphasized before
the end of his life, the necessity of education of the character of
people as the necessary accompaniment of scientific progress.
     Schiller composed, in the poem Die Kuenstler, the image of the
necessary unity of beauty and science.
     "Wenn auf des Denkens Frei gegebenen Bahnen....
      ...seinem Auge sich im milden Abendschein
das malerische Tal auf einmal zeigt."
     So it is necessary to educate the person's capacity for
emotions, and to that end is art called upon. Only art can easily
demonstrate that beauty is the necessary condition for humanity, and
with grace. The renaissance we must call to life should lead to the
establishment of the aesthetic state. Schiller had asked: "But does
such a state beautiful in appearance exist? And where is it to be
found? In need, it exists in every fine soul. In deed, one wishes to
find it, like the pure church and the pure republic, only in a few,
select circles, where it is not mindless imitation of foreign custom,
but its own beautiful nature which directs us, where the person
passes through the most complex relationships with bold determination
and calm innocence, and has no need to treat upon foreign freedoms to
sustain his claim to his own, nor cast away his own dignity to
demonstrate his courage."
     To realize this aesthetic state, this is our goal. We make make
the Earth into a beautiful garden with the aid of science, and when
the people are satiated with what they need, they will bring forth
new and great art. Our children will live on the Moon and Mars and
other colonies in space, in beautiful, artificial natural landscapes.
Beethoven and Mozart will sound in space, and the works of new
composers and poets, who have become possible through them. Humanity
can have a beautiful future, and it depends upon us to realize it, to
will it, and then from us, with the help of art, from the better and
thinking part of society, the light of wisdom will flow, and
distribute itself in milder beams through the state. Right ideas,
enlightened principles, pure emotions will flow from us through the
veins of the people. The fog of barbarism and dark superstitions will
disperse, and the night will give way to victorious light. If
Christianity and Humanism, two warlike angels, fight jointly for the
enoblement of mankind, then will any improvement in political affairs
be possible. I invite you warmly to take part.