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LaRouche Youth Movement


Friedrich Schiller

On the Necessity of the LaRouche Youth Movement
What is it that Tragedy Stirs within us?
by Merv Fansler, of the LaRouche Youth Movement
from Vol XVIII, No. 46, Nov. 22, 2004
of The New Federalist

Related Pages

On the Necessity of the LaRouche Youth Movement

by Merv Fansler
November 5, 2004

What is it that tragedy stirs within us?

In Friedrich Schiller’s History of the Thirty Years War in Germany, he writes:

“Fearful indeed, and destructive, was the first movement in which this general political sympathy announced itself; a desolating war of 30 years, which, from the interior of Bohemia to the mouth of the Scheldt, and from the banks of the Po to the coasts of the Baltic, devastated whole countries, destroyed harvests, and reduced towns and villages to ashes; which opened a grave for many thousands of combatants, and for half a century smothered the glimmering sparks of civilization in Germany, and threw back improving manners of the country into their pristine barbarity and wildness.

“Yet out of this fearful war, Europe came forth, free and independent. In it, she first learned to recognize herself as a community of nations; and this intercommunion of states, which originated in the Thirty Years War, may alone be sufficient to reconcile the philosopher to its horrors. The hand of industry has slowly but gradually effaced the traces of its ravages, while its beneficent influence still survives; and this general sympathy among the states of Europe, which grew out of the troubles in Bohemia, is our guarantee for the continuance of that peace which was the result of the war. As the sparks of destruction found their way from the interior of Bohemia, Moravia, and Austria, to kindle Germany, France, and the half of Europe, so also will the torch of civilization make a path for itself from the latter to enlighten the former countries.”

The foregoing is an expression of a nobility of spirit which Schiller radiated throughout all his works; a quality of character which is rarely found in our world today, and yet, is so essential, that no nation could survive without individuals of this type.

Actualizing New Potentialities

What Schiller represents in his thesis, is a crucial understanding of the subjectivity of history which is embodied in his notion of universal history. As in the case of any Classical composer or performer, the artist’s focus is on the subjective development of the composition, as it unfolds on the stage of the imagination of the audience. The true domain of all artists is that of the mind of the member of the audience, which, as the composition unfolds, is transformed in a lawful way to convey to the auditor those principles that are ordering the changes he or she perceives. The challenge to the composer is to take those thought-objects he or she is placing in the mind of the audience and transform them such that new potentialities of higher-ordered thought-objects are generated.

This is most readily seen in such cases as the opening scene of Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar. If one looks carefully, one discovers that the entire opening scene, and the transformation of the audience’s conception of the subject of the scene, are ordered by the interaction of two indirectly referenced geometries: the banality of the popular opinion of the Romans, and the threat of Caesar’s rise to power. By the end of the scene, the audience has already formed a thought-object of the character of Caesar, who, missing from the entire opening scene, is the first to lunge forth in the second scene.

In Schiller’s thesis, he alludes to this subjective development of new potentialities of the population. He looks not at the Thirty Years War from the standpoint of so-called “objective reporting,” but provides clear insight into how this historical development made possible relations among mankind that never before could have been conceived by the general population.

Referring earlier to the Reformation, Schiller points to this newly emerging potentiality in the mind of the population:

“The differences of government, of laws, of language, of manners, and of character, which hitherto had kept whole nations and countries, as it were, insulated, and raised a lasting barrier among them, rendered one state insensible to the distresses of another, save where national jealousy could indulge a malicious joy at the reverses of a rival. The Reformation destroyed this barrier. An interest more intense and more immediate than national aggrandizement or patriotism, and entirely independent of private utility, began to animate whole states and individual citizens; an interest capable of uniting numerous and distant nations, even while it frequently lost its force among the subjects of the same government. With the inhabitants of Geneva, for instance, of England, of Germany, or of Holland, the French Calvinist possessed a common point of union which he had not with his own countrymen. Thus, in one important particular, he ceased to be the citizen of a single state, and to confine his views and sympathies to his own country alone. The sphere of his views became enlarged. He began to calculate his own fate from that of other nations of the same religious profession, and to make their cause his own.”

It was then, this shift in the population, that provided the basis from which France’s Cardinal Mazarin could establish the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. That treaty represents, in our civilization’s history, an actualization of a potential in mankind to grasp the idea of a community of sovereign nation-states and to act on the principle of the “Advantage of the Other.” Those wishing to do good are always in search of such newly emerging potentialities in the mindset of the population. This was well understood by by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, when he wrote: “At such periods, there is an accumulation of the power of communicating and receiving intense and impassioned conceptions respecting man and nature.”

Branching Points and the 2004 Election

It is, therefore, this domain of investigation which is of the utmost importance to any serious citizen under the conditions we face today.

What must be recognized in looking at the 2004 election is that there were two possible pathways that could have been taken (excluding extreme circumstances which are not necessary considerations for this line of development). At this particular branching point, the nominal results could have been: 1) the election of John Kerry or 2) the reelection of George W. Bush.

Now, what is of immediate relevance are the practical implications of these opposing results. These practical implications guide which direction one tries to influence the branching point to take. However, the relevance of a branching point is not limited to those practicalities. The strategic thinker must be prepared for either outcome, and understand the respective potentialities which will be generated by each of the uniquely defined geometries. In fact, even before the threshold is reached and an outcome is determined, one’s actions must be directed in such a way that one is already fostering the actualization of those new potentialities. The strategist’s actions in the present are determined by the existence of a future branching point, whose geometries are incommensurable to the present one.

In this particular case, if John Kerry had been elected, there would have been a newly generated sense in the population, especially amongst the youth, of their own power to shape the outcome of historical events. There would have been a greater aptitude to grasp the potential power and success of the mission of Lyndon LaRouche’s organization, his collaborators, and the LaRouche Youth Movement. This, as we know, is not how things turned out.

The question to us remains: What is the new potentiality which now exists in the population, now that “W” has been given another chance to claim the title, “Worst President Ever,” which was not there before? What is the missing principle which made this direction even possible?

Why Is Tragedy So Powerful?

At this point, I shall diverge from the general line of discussion at hand, and interject an idea whose relevance will become clear later. What follows is a short piece written a few days prior to this. It should be read in conjunction with Schiller’s “On the Reason Why We Take Pleasure in Tragic Subjects,” for it will elaborate and enrich the idea far more than my own naïve powers may yet attain.

* * * *

What is it that desolates us so with the loss of a beloved? Why should such anguish arise? Is it because we long to see their smile, or to kiss their lips? I hardly find so petty a cause as this to be noble enough to be written into the soul of Man by such a grand Creator. Could it be from memory of those shared moments which have now no future to recur? This does leave dismal the future with their sensual absence, but, No: Man, though taking part in the sensuous is not bounded by it.

What of that persistent harmony in which the soul finds comfort in knowing its existence, though vast oceans lie between it and the beloved? Ah! this is a noble thought, for in its loss, we are reminded of those times in which we forsake God and the soul wanders in wretched solitude, knowing no beauty in others; knows it not in itself. And yet this, methinks, still spreads too narrow to express a motive which moves Man to prefer his end than to persist. For this challenges merely a quality of the soul and not its essence. What else is there to dread so? What is it to annihilate the very soul itself? Does not the soul, like God, find life in that which creates? Does not the immortality of the soul lie in its posterity?

Imagine now, a musician, a great composer. He, through wisdom of the ebbs and flows of Harmony and Dissonance, and their proportionality to the mind, touches and moves the soul of Man. Through this medium of sound, he composes a true mirror, through which Man’s image is reflected to see Beauty in himself. Through this art of Music, he uplifts and ennobles Man’s conception of himself. The composer locates himself in his power to move Man. His greatest joy is earned when he knows himself as a creator of joy.

Now—imagine! Let his medium die. Allow all auditors to become as deaf. Let all harmonies and dissonances leave Man indifferent to their sound. Look on his greatest composition rendered impotent as silence. Look upon him now. How horrible is the curse that rendered him thus? What once reflected the nobility of Man is now as transparent as the air. Though his passion still burns, his power to express his love is gone. For now, the listener cannot hear his song.

This is the lover to his lost beloved. But now his challenge is: To find the Greater Art.

—November 2, 2004

Why Did the Population Fail?

In approaching this question, we must take the same precautions that any scientist, being “well trained” in formalism, then having rejected that formalism, takes in approaching science once again. The tendency of the formalist is to explain phenomena on the basis of an a priori set of rules. The practical failure of this approach confronts the reductionist in the form of paradoxical events and behaviors which cannot be explained from the standpoint of that adopted set of axioms. The usual reaction to this, is to concoct some new force to be added into their rulebook, which explains away any doubt one may have had in their glorious system. Meanwhile, the formalist’s very adherence to his system is what generated the paradox which he has encountered.

To illustrate the point, consider this short story.

A hunter walks into an emergency room with a blood soaked rag applied to his leg. The nurse asks, “What’s wrong, sir?”

He begins, “Well to understand that, you must know that when I was 12, my father first brought me to the Fish and Game to get my hunting license. From there—”

“No, sir, what’s wrong with your leg?,” she demands, cutting him off.

“Now, you don’t quite understand. I got up at about 4:30 this morning—my usual time when I go hunting—in order to be in the brush before the deer start roaming about. For breakfast, I—”

“That’s all fine, sir, but why are you bleeding?! Were you shot or stabbed?” she asks, more insistent than before.

“Well, you don’t understand. I, I—,” he tries to gasp out, as he collapses to the ground, and shortly, dies.

The coroner’s report reads: “Cause of death: loss of blood due to self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right leg.”

Now, look at those “anal-ists” in the Democratic Party as our dear hunter. When asked, “Why did Kerry lose the election?,” they respond with such nonsense as, “Well, you don’t understand how the youth think. If we had had more pop stars campaigning then—”

Asking them again, they yield to us the babble, “Well, you don’t understand. The population was more concerned about ‘moral’ issues than economic or foreign policy issues.”

At this point, unlike the nurse who allowed her patient’s lunatic denial of his mistake to play out till it was the death of him, we might intervene and say, “Can’t you see, sir? It is actually quite obvious what is wrong. You’ve shot yourself in the leg!”

So: Why did the population fail?

What is the failure of the formalist in trying to explain away a paradox? The formalist’s very system is a collection and classification of fossils which were once living breathing ideas. The formalist’s system is only possible after the real idea had been discovered. The reductionist’s claim to objective science is based on taking a posteriori results from subjective discoveries, and fitting them into an a priori set of axioms that can deduce the desired results. The failure of the formalist lies in his denial of the subjective development of ideas (the cognitive process) which generates true ontological paradoxes. The formalist fails because he denies the primacy of cognition (a denial of the soul) in the universe.

Similiarly, those foolish attempts at understanding the failure of the election reflect a denial of cognition in the population. This denial is not only a denial of the existence of a population that has a soul, but more importantly, the individual analyst’s insistence that he has no soul. Our dear hunter, denies his own cognition, for if he does not, he fears that what might really be to blame for his being shot in the leg just might be himself!

To Lead, or Not To Lead

The failure of the Democratic Party lies not in any objective circumstances of the election, but, more importantly, in the subjective question of leadership. This had been well pointed out to them by Lyndon LaRouche in his Jan. 10, 2004 webcast address, “The Crisis in the Democratic National Committee.” If they hadn’t done so before, they now have definitely earned the lead role as Hamlet in the Tragedy, and have now witnessed the self-induced wrath of Schiller’s “Cranes of Ibykus.”

When the nations of the world demanded leaders, they filled that void with the same populism which necessitated the leadership in the first place. Now that void has become much vaster and the demand much greater.

The challenge which every great leader faces is a subjective challenge. A leader must do as Xenophon did, and recognize that when a people is at their weakest and most vulnerable point, on the verge of defeat, their will to survive is at its potentially strongest; that their greatest potential to form the highest conception of the Good, and to reflect on the very nature of their souls, is achieved in the moments of greatest suffering. A great leader moves a people by the power of Love, by showing them that it is Love which moves him; he ennobles their being and shows to them their own souls by sharing his soul with them; he inspires them with what could be and leads them on the March Up Country.1

It is to this humble duty that the leader is relegated; the rest we leave in the hands of God.

Al-Baqara2

Behold, your Lord said to the angels, “I will create a vicegerent on Earth.”

They said, “Will you place therein one who will make mischief and shed blood, while we do celebrate Your praises and glorify Your holy name?”

He said, “I know what you do not know.”


Footnotes

1.. Xenophon, Anabasis (March Up Country).

2. “Al-Baqara” (The Cow), from the Qur’an, Chapter 2.030.


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