"hasn't everything been said
Important messages by past VIP's
Zarathustra, da Vinci, Michaelangelo,
Jordans, Kant, Wild, Heuss, Menuhin, Postman, Eibl-Eibesfeldt
Zarathustra (1000 BC)
There is only
one path towards redemption and perfection: not an escape from
the world, rather a cleansing of the world, an overcoming of
the world or overcoming oneself and that means; the constant
inner fight against ones base nature, which means, against
untruth, impure thoughts, feelings, plans, goals, words and
deeds. Only though this can man receive harmony, peace,
consciousness, knowledge of oneself, wisdom and joy.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
realisation that doesnt pass through the mind cannot
result in any truth but a damaging one
Buonarotti (1475-1564) - The Creation of Adam
Jordans (1593-1678) - Satyr and Peasant (1620)
Immanuel Kant, (1727-1804)
defined by his logic, existing in a society with other people
and in it to cultivate himself through art and science, to
civilise and to moralise; however insurmountable his bestial
tendencies may be, to resist the temptation of comfort and of
luxury. Thereafter man must be educated in goodness.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
of life lies in the search for beauty.
Those who discover
good intentions in beautiful things have culture. They are our
Prof. Dr. Theodor Heuss (1884-1963)
German President 1949-59) Politics can not determine culture,
but culture can determine politics.
warm wishes to the United World Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1928 - )
from his book
of Freedom - Limits of Security
Rüegger - Zürich/Chur)
trap of short-term thinking - our programming on the
competition at present
We are a part of the most
successful species. But our success is demanding new challenges
of adaptation because we,
within our work-sharing
millions-strong society and our technical civilisation,
created an environment
where our historical roots are not sufficientely adapted.
For the longest period of
time in our history we lived on a level of stoneage dear
hunters. Our emotions and way of thinking are stone aged based
and created for a life as a family connected personal contact
and related small-group adopted,
which are territorially
On a cutural basis we are
able to extend the family small-groups-ethic into friendly
which are linked between
behavior-dispositions which contribute and others which produce
in special situations.
very old stoneaged programming is our competition based
behaviour of dominant
with its concentration on the competition at present.
prevents sustainable behavior in daily action!
present within the global framework of globalization mentioned
competition, which has been rightly critisized as
is trying to legalise itself with the power of nature which
knows no mercy.
is true in many cases, but is obviously not the rule. Even
vertebrates, which show no prosocial behavior, developed a
non-blood competition of forces within ranking-fights, because
it developed as an advanged.
in addition developed, related to evolution, the individual
caring behavior and motivation as well as the capability of
relations, which opened new opportunities for kindness, love
and empathy which made permanent co-habitation possible.
of our ability of speech we are aditionally able to overcome
our emotionally based behavior of the dominant, at present, as
we have the imagination and awareness of the past and the
is why we are also able to develop a generation related
finally will achieve the goal of happiness of future
on the eco-social market economy we are on a good track to live
in peace with nature and mankind, although,
are open to corrections of our mistakes on our way to this
counter-productive, within the framework of globalization,
mistakable development of farming, industrialisation and
commerce as well as the problems as a result of requests of
unlimited open borders for immigrants has been reflected, and
a concept of the eco-social area of peace has been confirmed.
Translation german to english by
Best wishes to the project from
Neil Postman, October 20, 1999
Of course, it is to late in
the year for me to involve myself in the Convention (Cop5,
UNFCCC), but it all seems both exciting and worthwhile. Perhaps
I could connect with you in the future.
Forward We are amusing
ourselves to death
by Neil Postman
- Ulysses and the Sirens -
by John William Waterhouse
with courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria
keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy
didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of
themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever
else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been
visited by Orwellian nightmares.
But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark
vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well
known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and
Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we
will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in
Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people
of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people
will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies
that undo their capacities to think.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books.
What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a
book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell
feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared
those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to
passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be
concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in
a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive
culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture,
preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy
porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in
Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians
and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny
"failed to take into account man's almost infinite
appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley
added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave
New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.
In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley
feared that what we love will ruin us.
This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not
Orwell, was right.
Message to the world from the honorable Lord Menuhin
Lord Menuhin: I am happy to be able to greet my young
colleagues of the United World Philharmonic on this great
occasion, their own inaugural concert, but happening also in
Kyoto to inaugurate the climate change conference.
I am very
satisfied, as a man of 81, and reassured, that my younger
colleagues Chloe Hanslip and Keisuke Okosaki and all the members
of the orchestra from all over the world are showing such a sense
of responsibility and dedication, and working with their music
and their heart for a better environment, for a better future,
for the future of their children.
I take this opportunity of
greeting the delegates from all over the world who are coming for
this important climate change meeting. I wish them good luck. I
think that anyone who stands in the way of the severe, urgent and
very quick reduction of the gases emitted by our WC-civilisation
... I hope that they will not find too much resistence because
people who stand against that are, in fact, no less than
criminals who would inflict cancer on the whole of mankind. In
fact all you have to do is visit Mexico City to see where 14
million people are dying of that now.
of the UNITED WORLD PHILHARMONIC in Kyoto 1997
UN-CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Interviewer: Can you say something about the problem of
soil erosion? We have to think about the developing world,
Lord Menuhin: Owing to our own western great advance in
technology and owing to the preponderance we have in terms of
equipment, money, weapons, we are not aware of the penalties that
the rest of the world is paying for our temporary well-being.
are dispoiling the earth of its cover, of its green, of its
forests. We are poisoning the oceans, and the waters. We are
allowing every kind of erosion to take place, not least the
erosion of our own sensibilities, our own hearts, and we live
more and more in the narrow, ever more bitter concept of the
future instead of opening up and doing all we can to help the
Third World and all who suffer and all who will suffer as a
result of our own ruthlessness, who persist in putting up
barriers to every sensible suggestion. We will soon be paying
ourselves for this lack of foresight and of understanding.
Interviewer: Do you think that we can find solutions
together with the United Nations?
Lord Menuhin: Yes. I think solutions, or at least a
retardation of the speed with which the menaces are crowding in
around us, must start with a re-education of children. This is
We think that we can control crime with police
and prisons but we are producing it every day. We allow
children's minds to be filled with horrific images which crowd
out even the advertisements with which they would like to
persuade children to buy post-toasties. And we see violence
creeping ever closer, ever more distressing, the streets,
one-parent families, attachments to earth, to people, to families
This is a poison that is contagious and it can only
be broken by learning that our neighbour can be of great help to
us - especially when we are sick and we need him. And that our
neighbour is not necessarily an enemy, and if we bring them
encouragement, help, goodwill, if we spread trust in the world
instead of spreading fear we would be surrounded by friends.
we did not make Nature into an enemy, Nature too would heal - and
help us heal - ourselves. There is perhaps hope but for that we
have to change the thinking and the feeling of a good part of
Interviewer: Do you think it is true to say that it
will still take mankind 500 years to be further developed than
Lord Menuhin: We don't have 500 years. Without
education, and if we let things drift as they are now, I don't
think we have 500 years. I think that we must act immediately.
The dangers are too close and they have already taken their toll
in many parts of the world. There are parts of the world that are
on the verge of famine, or have famine. There are parts that are
diseased, there are parts where there are no trees growing. There
are many peoples, and many races, and many species who have
So that the fact that we can still look
forward to tomorrow's meal does not mean that these menaces will
not be upon us the day after tomorrow. What happened in
Yugoslavia could easily happen in Belgium - or anywhere else. And
it is not only a matter of thinking wrong, of being encouraged to
vengeance for the purposes of building up the vanity of some
leader, but it simply is a general worldwide ruthlessness that
has come to a certain extent with this childish assumption that
capitalism has won.
Capitalism produces enormous energy and
releases wonderful ambitions. But it also has its limits when it
comes to the sale of drugs and arms and the ruthlessness with
which it pursues its aims in the Third World. Therefore we have
to have a mixture - not in opposition - but a cooperative,
complementary mixture of those who give us energy - the
capitalists, and those who give us protection - the socialists.
Unless we have a mixture of the two we cannot hope to live in a
honorable Lord Menuhin
Interviewer: What part can classical music play in
Lord Menuhin: Well, I am actually more interested in
children singing themselves, singing and dancing. Yes: folklore,
classical chorales, religious music, folk music of every kind
from every part of the world - that is very effective. I think
just listening passively is not sufficient.
Interviewer: To be active.
Lord Menuhin: Yes.
Interviewer: Do you think the change for a better world
should come from the individual in principle- as a grass-root
Lord Menuhin: I think it will come from individuals. I
don't think it will come from governments. I think it will come
from groups of people who are convinced and non-governmental
organizations and from private people and modest people like a
wonderful little group in Switzerland that calls itself "Un
pays - deux peuples" - "One country - two people"
and always one Israeli woman and one Palestinian woman go
The world will change when people will understand
their enemy, when they will forgive them and when they will
realize that we are interdependent, that the tragedy of one
people, or one part of the world, is as if it were our own. We
cannot be happy any more than the Israelis can be happy when the
Palestinians are unhappy. That's just the situation we are in. I
don't think it's impossible.
Look at South Africa with its
sudden change from the harshest injustice to a regime of justice.
Of course, they had the advantage of a great leader who himself
survived 17 years in prison and was able to forgive. That is a
wonderful example. Our leaders unfortunately were not formed that
way. It would have been very good if they had been.
Interviewer: You were always a leading personality for
society, a guide.
Lord Menuhin: No, not a guide but simply one who felt
very deeply for the ills of mankind, and for the sadness of
people who lacked compassion and for the desire just to see
people understand each other. Our century has produced such
disasters. And the fact that people who behaved in an
unacceptable way are people who today are the most civilised and
that terrorists have become Nobel prize-winners simply proves
that we are redeemable - that if we are ready to confess, if we
are ready to mature, then we are redeemable, we can do good
But there are so many vested interests in keeping us
ignoble and, in the wrong sense, ambitious and ruthless -
everything around us, all the advertisements, the names of cars -
it's all aggressive, it's all trying to impose ourselves as macho
It begins in the home. The greatest part of the
population of the world that is exploited and abused are women -
and children. They should have a voice too. But I think contracts
that deal with money have no heart and yet they should have.
person sitting in an office in New York is very, very far away
from the native in Senegal, in Tansania. He only sees his books
and says "We're not making enough profit". And he isn't
a bad man. If he were himself there he may himself be a very
generous and good man. But the separation of mankind into
categories, this kind of forced order, "he's a banker and he
must make a success of that, he's an industrialist, he's a
priest, he's a musician"; and we all depend on each other.
The banker won't survive any number of bunkruptcies and
disasters himself. In fact now, in the hopes of making money very
quickly, they accorded credits for industrial purposes, and
airlines, and steelmills to countries that were not ready and
couldn't pay for it. And now the whole economy of Japan and no
doubt the western countries will suffer for having given money
credits - in order to keep our own industries going - which
shouldn't have been given. If they had given help to these people
in terms of real restoration of their irrigation, their water,
their well-being, their health - if that had been done instead,
we'd have had grateful friends.
honorable Lord Menuhin
Interviewer: Compared with your own youth, do you think
Chloe has a harder life now? a harder development for her career?
Lord Menuhin: I don't think so. I think gifted
violinists, gifted instrumentalists, with much to communicate
will have the opportunity of doing so, I am sure. I really do
I know that all musicians who go out of my school
are doing all very well.
Interviewer: Are the marketing departments of record
companies and so on a danger because they just promote musicians?
Lord Menuhin: The danger of the "classical world"
is that we have exploited Beethoven without putting anything
back. We are playing him all the time, he's becoming banale, and
instead of being deeply moved by his music and playing it as it
should be, we hear it in any which way.
In fact I've been to
hotels where they put in the rooms the Beethoven Ninth or
"Emperor" Concerto without even giving the names of the
orchestras or the performers. It's just like company names for
fruit. You get bananas - and they carry a company name. They
don't even tell you whether they come from South America or
Africa - it's just the company name.
And so it's becoming
more and more anonymous - and who wants to hear an anonymous
performance of a work of Mozart or Debussy or Wagner? They only
play the notes - that's anonymous. But people who buy it, buy the
Ninth Symphony. They think they have it in the bag.
Interviewer: From a marketing standpoint it's easier to
have a fast career in this media world but for the development of
the soul of an artist it has become more difficult. Do you agree?
Lord Menuhin: I know. The only criteria at competitions
are those that hold for the Olympics, that is speed and you can
But there are other values in music. What
often is ignored in music is economy, whereas in sport economy of
motion, economy of energy spent, is of the greatest importance.
Very often you see violinists sweating away, with no elegance or
economy of performance, and with no sense of style for the work
they are interpreting. And more and more orchestral musicians
look bored when they play, and conductors go through the motions.
But if you played, if you heard, as I have recently played
with orchestras and young people, or spontaneous orchestras
composed of a teachers' conference - because I am President of
the European String Teachers Association and the English String
Teachers (we had a meeting last Sunday) and they said "Now
we must play something!". And they played with such devotion
and beauty of feeling - it was quite extraordinary. Those were
real musicians. But in that case they behaved like amateurs
because they were teachers, they weren't orchestral musicians.
And the professionals behave like bored people who are not
interested in their profession.
Interviewer: They are frustrated?
Lord Menuhin: Frustrated? Yes, yes.
Interviewer: Human society must reflect more about
itself to see what should be achieved, and to re-evalutate its
goals. Do you think that our concept to use classical music as a
messenger in this sense is correct?
Lord Menuhin: I think so. I think music is a wonderful
messenger, that's true. But I think we have a little too much
faith perhaps in just an isolated concept.
What we need is
singing and dancing in all the schools every day, every morning,
folklore of every country, chorales from different religious
sources. That's what we need.
Interviewer: To rediscover the right spirit?
Lord Menuhin: Yes.
Interviewer: And for a better society?
Lord Menuhin: I hope.
Interviewer: I thank you very much.
Interview by Rüdiger Schramm/ Brussels, November 1997
Schramm speaks to the UN-Delegates in Kyoto
at the Convention
Hall about the orchestra concept.