For Humanity’s Sake, Choose To Not Be TragicBy Dennis Speed
May 19—Why would the Vatican, even after Zelenskyy’s apparent rejection of any rational peace plan whatsoever, send a simultaneous mission to Kiev and Moscow “in pursuit of a cease-fire?” Perhaps there are those in the Vatican who have not only an appreciation, but even a mastery of the principle of tragedy, a principle that the comedian Volodymyr “Pagliacci” Zelenskyy will probably only come to recognize in the form of Nemesis. With yesterday’s announcement by Russian Security Council head Nikolay Patrushev that the Russian military’s destruction of stockpiles of Ukrainian depleted uranium munitions had caused a radioactive cloud to begin to drift westward towards Europe, the world was reminded—including G7 members assembled in Hiroshima for their summit—how unpredictable the winds of war can be.
Concerning the depleted uranium munitions stockpiles, Patrushev said, “Their elimination has caused a radioactive cloud that is now moving towards Western Europe. An increase in radiation levels has already been registered in Poland.” Importantly, Patrushev added: “the U.S. is developing and already using chemical and biological weapons, including in Ukraine.” Directly referencing the May 19-21 G7 summit in Hiroshima, he, according to TASS, “recalled that in August 1945, without any military necessity, the U.S. dropped A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which caused ‘disastrous consequences and the death of a huge number of civilians.’”
Under these increasingly complex conditions, only those already knowledgeable of how to apply the lessons supplied through the application of the principle of Classical tragedy, especially as practiced by William Shakespeare and Friedrich Schiller, to the requirements of contemporary grand strategy, are capable of today effectively engaging in “waging peace,” as that international campaign must be fought today. The head, the heart, and the voice must be properly “placed.” Last fall’s “Dona Nobis Pacem” offensive, conducted throughout the world by the Schiller Institute and friends’ limited but effective forces, illustrates the tactical application of the principle of Classical culture presented in the Ten Principles for a New International Security and Development Architecture authored by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute. It is her mastery of the work of both poet Friedrich Schiller and theologian Nicholas of Cusa, the founder of modern science in the West, and the diplomatic architect of the 1439 Council of Florence, that qualifies Zepp-LaRouche to supply, under circumstances not generally comprehended by others, including leading strategists, the necessary “higher manifold” insight required. Often, the insight, at least initially, is “invisible” to others, particularly those who continue to assert that geopolitics, and not statecraft, is the level at which “reality operates.”
Consider the just-released Zepp-LaRouche document, “Urgent Appeal by Citizens and Institutions from All Over the World, Including the U.S., to the (Next) President of the United States!” While the immediate inspiration of the document may seem to be the June 10, 1963 American University speech of President John F. Kennedy, consider what the statement—which is actually an “hypothesis”—actually proposes: "Since Russia and the U.S. presently have 90% of all nuclear weapons directed against each other, which could destroy the world many times over, it is a question of urgent concern for every human being on Earth, that we must find a way out. The solution must be on a plane which overcomes geopolitics and takes the perspective of the interest of the one humanity.
“We, the undersigned, therefore express our hope, that the (next) President of the U.S. finds the greatness in herself or himself to adopt the viewpoint which was expressed by JFK in his historic speech.” The viewpoint adopted by JFK, a mere eight months after the “near-civilizational-death-experience” of the Cuban Missile Crisis, was that of the “coincidence of opposites.” After speaking about the apparently irreconcilable differences between the “two systems” of the United States and the Soviet Union, Kennedy said:
“Today, should total war ever break out again—no matter how—our two countries would become the primary targets. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours…. So, let us not be blind to our differences—but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved…. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” Kennedy proposed a “higher manifold” in which the “irreconcilable differences” of the two sides were subsumed, above the geopolitical dead-end which would have then, and will now, if pursued, destroy the human race at this juncture.
Zepp-LaRouche’s “Appeal” later continues, “Many may think that it is impossible today for an American President to make such a speech…. But Kennedy nevertheless praised the Russians, and lauded their great contributions in science, industry and culture. He praised their courage in defeating Hitler in World War II, which caused them to sacrifice over 26 million lives. We want somebody to be President of the U.S., who sees the best tradition in every nation, including Russia and China, as the basis for mutual trust and the basis for peace.” (https://schillerinstitute.nationbuilder.com/urgent_appeal_by_citizens_and_institutions_from_all_over_the_world_to_the_next_president_of_the_united_states)
This is an example of an application of the higher principle of Classical tragedy to the strategic situation. For our purposes, since we are proposing to conduct an international intervention on the American Presidential system designed to invoke the “better angels” of its history, we will refer to the means of this intervention as the “Abraham Lincoln” approach to the resolution of tragedy. Lyndon LaRouche in his “Politics As Art” observed “that President Lincoln had won a terrible, justified, and absolutely necessary war on behalf of all humanity, by aid of lessons adduced from Shakespeare, which he had taught, as directives, to the members of his Cabinet. No one, friend or foe, laughed at the awesome result of that instruction.”
It should be recalled, that it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who “posthumously recruited” the Republican President Lincoln to the Democratic Party, earlier the party of slavery and treason, to address the “Forgotten Man” of the Great Depression. This process was re-invigorated by the Kennedy Presidency in the Civil Rights Act address to the nation given June 11, 1963, one day after the American University commencement address to which Helga Zepp-LaRouche refers. Kennedy’s back-to-back June speeches, one on foreign policy, the other on domestic policy, were each visions that came from the same “higher manifold” that demanded that people were greater than their destiny. It was that creative mind-set, and its infectiousness among Americans, which was hated, and was a “casus belli” for Wall Street and London.
It was Abraham Lincoln’s mastery of the poetic principle of tragedy, written in stone on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in the Gettysburg and Second Inaugural Addresses, that qualified him to be the greatest military commander of the 1861-65 international war. This method for strategic victory in apparently “impossible circumstances,” in which “impossible” things are achieved by “impossible” people, became the trademark of Lyndon LaRouche and his association in the 1970s. “The society has reached the point at which it can no longer exist on the basis of the previously dominant sets of institutions. As a result, what worked as reactions to events in the past, no longer works. In a very meaningful sense, the laws of the universe have suddenly broken down in so far as relations within that society approximate a set of implied universal laws of social practice.” Sound familiar?
“The world has entered a transitional period in which old habits of judgment and orientation are useless and even contraindicated for practical evaluation of most of the emerging phenomena of the strategic and national-tactical developments…. The society has reached the point at which it can no longer exist on the basis of the previously dominant sets of institutions. As a result, what worked as reactions to events in the past, no longer works. In a very meaningful sense, the laws of the universe have suddenly broken down in so far as relations within that society approximate a set of implied universal laws of social practice.
“Without employing exactly this method, it is impossible to comprehend the varieties of actual and alternative potential political-economic transformations to which the world is presently
subject even during the very short-term period…. Our approach depends absolutely upon applying our energies, on very short notice, and in a concerted way, at certain momentarily crucial points of current developments." That is precisely what defines this next three weeks, prior to the 60th anniversary of the June 10, 1963 JFK American University speech.
We can win, but only if our approach is that of cultural optimism, which is not an “attitude,” but a vocation. We can choose not to be tragic, which is the central lesson, as well as method, of Classical tragedy. In the present action of certain circles of the Vatican, or in the speech of Xi Jinping’s to the China-Central Asia Summit in this year of the 10th anniversary of the New Silk Road, the vocation of cultural optimism, as with Nicholas of Cusa’s “impossible” 1439 victory at the Council of Florence, lies the basis for a new strategic and development architecture, should we choose to make it so. That is the “urgent appeal” to the future, unknown President of the United States: to make it so, “to be again the America expressed in that beautiful speech of JFK.”