Table of Contents

1. Motivation

Up until a few days ago, I paid no attention to LaRouche. I was vaguely aware that "LaRouchies" attended some of the same meetings I attended, and were passionate about nuclear power, but that was about it. Then a friend asked if I would look at the LaRouche movement and provide recommendations on how to address their positions and their participants.

This will hardly be a definitive analysis, but it should provide basis for further communication.

2. Lyndon LaRouche

Start with:

This is a disputed entry, with claims of bias. So see also the discussion of the controversy. We'll use it for basic biographical context. Here is the Introduction from the wiki entry, but you should read the whole entry, and the dispute material.

Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. (born September 8, 1922 in Rochester, New Hampshire) is an American political activist and founder of several political organizations in the United States and elsewhere, jointly referred to as the LaRouche movement. He is known as a perennial candidate for President of the United States, having run for the Democratic nomination for President in every election cycle since 1980 and having contested the 1976 election as the candidate of the now-defunct U.S. Labor Party--a total of eight attempts.

There are sharply contrasting views of LaRouche. His supporters regard him as a brilliant and original thinker, while his critics in the United States regard him as a political extremist, a conspiracy theorist, a cult leader and/or an anti-Semite. LaRouche denies these characterizations. The Heritage Foundation has said that he "leads what may well be one of the strangest political groups in American history." But the LaRouche organization was also described by Norman Bailey, a former senior staffer of the National Security Council, as "one of the best private intelligence services in the world."

LaRouche and his organization are active world-wide, and his writings appear in many languages. By the mid-1980s, LaRouche had assembled a "worldwide network of contacts in governments and in military agencies," and had private meetings with Jose Lopez Portillo when he was Mexico's president, Argentine President Raul Alfonsin and the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

LaRouche was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment in 1988 for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax code violations, but continued his political activities from behind bars until his release in 1994 on parole. Former U.S. Attorney General and activist Ramsey Clark charged that his case "involves a broader range of deliberate and systematic misconduct and abuse of power over a longer period of time in an effort to destroy a political movement and leader, than any other federal prosecution in my time or to my knowledge." However, a Federal Appeals court upheld LaRouche's conviction, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a final appeal.

He is currently listed as a director and contributing editor of the Executive Intelligence Review News Service, part of the LaRouche movement. He has written extensively on economic, scientific, and political topics as well as on history, philosophy and psychoanalysis.

From the same piece is a quote from Tim Wohlforth:

LaRouche had a gargantuan ego. Convinced he was a genius, he combined his strong conviction in his own abilities with an arrogance expressed in the cadences of upper-class New England. He assumed that the comment in the Communist Manifesto that "a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class" was written specifically for him. And he believed that the working class were lucky to obtain his services.

LaRouche possessed a marvelous ability to place any world happening in a larger context, which seemed to give the event additional meaning, but his thinking was schematic, lacking factual detail and depth. It was contradictory. His explanations were a bit too pat, and his mind worked so quickly that I always suspected his bravado covered over superficiality. He had an answer for everything. Sessions with him reminded me of a parlor game: present a problem, no matter how petty, and without so much as blinking his eye, LaRouche would dream up the solution.

This strikes me as dead-on. From the little I'd read of LaRouche's writings before seeing the Wikipedia article, I was struck by his:

  • Vast amazement at his own genius.

  • Scornful contempt for anyone who disagrees. (This shows up as old-fashioned schoolyard name-calling, not reasoned arguments.)

  • Facile reference to certain European philosophers.

  • Solid effort to identify global news events and trends, with special attention to Russia's role.

  • Inattention to technical facts-and-data.

3. The issues

EIR (Executive Intelligence Review) is the main publication channel:

Drawing specifically from the Feb 9, 2007 hardcopy issue, we find key themes repeated. The opening article by LaRouche gives 7 "delusions" of contemporary politics:

  1. That the present world monetary policy is stable.

  2. That Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are anything better than moral catastrophe.

  3. That we can ignore the need for massive deployment of nuclear fission power, and a crash course of development of thermonuclear technologies. (and "that both the human race and the irrationalist, neo-Malthusian perspective of a silly former Vice President Al Gore could successfully inhabit the same Solar System")

  4. That avoiding returning to FDR's paradigm of world leadership is compatible with "civilized life on this neck of the Solar System"

  5. That we can safely overlook neo-Nazism of JR Rees and Eric Trist of the London Travisock Clinic.

  6. That we can take the Baby-Boomer approach to current problems which is to not take responsibility for one's actions.

  7. That we can tolerate the new Tower of Babel, called globalization.

These are apparently the basis for pretty much everything the LaRouche Movement addresses today. I'll assume that anything published in EIR is approved by LaRouche personally, because the message and style are quite consistent across the authors.

3.1. Wealthy families are conquering nation-states.

In its clearest form:

The only beneficiary of Stiglitz's globaloney is the synarchy, which he intentionally misidentifies with the actual interests of the United States. The international financial institutions, he insists, "are not to blame." "They are run by the United States and the advanced industrial countries." The United States, he says, "reshaped the global system based on its own self-interest and that of its institutional corporations." If that is so, why has the United States been reduced to the collapsing junk heap and social decay we see today? The point is, that the multinational banks and corporations are run not by nation-states, but by an oligarchy which is intent on destroying the Wesphalian system of sovereign nation-states altogether -- and Stiglitz represents their interests in achieving precisely that.

Mike Billington, book review of J. Stiglitz's "Making Globalization Work". The review is titled "Stiglitz tries to Make Colonization Work." EIR Feb 9, 2007 pp 38-39.

From some reason LaRouche calls the bad guys Anglo-Dutch Liberalism. The term "synarchy" shows up too. He specifically mentions Felix Rohaten, George Shultz and a few others. He specifically references Perkins's book ("The Confessions of an Economic Hitman").

Is this vision or opportunism? The WTO Seattle 1999 uprising was 50,000 people already well-aware of the issue. Others have told the story with much more attention to detail (e.g., Korten, "When Corporations Rule the World"). LaRouche may be a good early adopter or publicist.

What is sure is that if this analysis is true, then those powerful parties being exposed will fight long, hard, and dirty to crush the tellers-of-tales.

One could expect LaRouche to be personally vilified as a "conspiracy theorist" and nut case. Perhaps a bit of jail time as well. Utter failure by the (corporate-funded) mainstream political parties to grapple with the implications of the analysis. Marginalization of anyone within those parties who speaks out.

Under this analysis WTO/NAFTA/CAFTA/IMF/GATT is a scam and free-trade/fair-trade is code for plutocracy-vs-nation-state. Whether or not LaRouche is personally a nut case, the issue is not going away.

3.2. Nuclear Power is the Answer

I could sarcastically note that it is a bit unclear what the questions might be, but the LaRouche answer is nuclear power, esp. breeder reactors.

However, the LaRouche position deserves a more thoughtful response. First, the global power brokers (in both senses) really believe the oil game will end within their lifetimes, and they are planning ahead. They really believe nuclear power, esp fast breeders, are the way forward. It generates electricity, and it keeps political power in a very few hands.

Many people are aware of the power consolidation issue. Instead of just vaguely worrying it might happen, LaRouche names names and provides citations:

The GNEP [Global Nuclear Energy Partnership] policy is very much the one laid out by George Shultz et al in a Wall Street Journal article of Jan 4, 2007, entitle "World Free of Nuclear Weapons", in which they make a veiled attack on Lyndon LaRouche's Strategic Defense Initiative, and call for "Getting control of the uranium enrichment process, combined with the guarantee that uranium for nuclear power reactors could be obtained at a reasonable price, first form the Nuclear Suppliers Group and then from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or other controlled international reserves. It will also be necessary to deal with proliferation issues presented by spent fuel from reactors producing electricity." This is a classic policy of empire, placing the control and use of life-providing resources and technologies solely in the hands of one supranational cartel."

Creighton Jones LYM, Bio-Cons Fool with Ethanol: Just Another Word for War", EIR Feb 9, 2007, pg 41.

In other words, whatever you think of nuclear power, you can appreciate LaRouche for pointing out that specific players are planning to run it as a worldwide cartel. That gives context for understanding Russia and the US vieing to help India do nuclear power reactors. And for the Bush/Carlyle intention to bomb Iran out of the nuclear business whether or not it is actually making nuclear weapons.

[Non-LaRouche aside: Notice that this is NOT about nuclear weapons. This is about controlling domestic power in the Post-Oil age. If your lights turn on, or your electric car runs, or your computer accesses the Internet, it will be because George Shultz approves of your political opinions.]

The odd thing is that even without the GNEP gambit, nuclear power plays into the hands of the global financiers LaRouche rails against. This is the kind of LaRouchian inconsistency that brings "poisoned well" and "nut case" to mind.

As a side-note, LaRouche sees nuclear power as the way to water desalinization and thus adequate water for everyone. I don't think the math works out that neatly, but I do applaud the attention to water. Of course soil scientists have been pointing out the crisis for decades. Again, visionary or early adopter?

3.3. Global Warming is a Hoax

It appears Mr. LaRouche is not a scientist. Or even a fan of the Roger Bacon's scientific method or Occam's Razor.

I get the impression that he tangles the problem of global warming with the leftie-greenie solution to use solar et al (and to avoid nuclear power). Something like: The solution is wrong and therefore the problem is a hoax.

3.4. Bio-fuel is a Hoax

Apparently the main scorn is for ethanol, where scorn is well deserved. There is little question (to me at any rate) that it is a scam perpetrated of/for/by agribusiness.

No mention of bio-diesel, though that too has some drawbacks. Even less mention of

  • Solar power (esp passive solar)

  • Social realignment to reduce dependency on high-quality power sources.

  • Impact of over-population (except maybe that "neo-Malthusian" crack about Al Gore)

3.5. Anti-Semitic

From what I see, the criticisms re anti-semitism are based on innuendo and inference (see the wikipedia article and its references). Given LaRouche's self-study in philosophy, and his concerns over international financiers, I can well imagine he does have hatred for certain specific Jews, or maybe even Judaism in general. But I also can imagine that the ferocious claims of anti-semitism are part of a deliberate smear campaign to isolate LaRouchies from their natural compatriots on subjects such as corporate rule or fair-trade.

Basically, I consider this a non-issue. Anyone reading LaRouche material should already have a well-formed understanding of the roles of Judaism, Zionism, Israeli government, Mossad, international financial transactions, etc. They should understand that "Never Again" includes willingness to do psyops on the American public. They should understand that wealthy Anglo (non-Jewish) power players are also willing to do psyops on the American public, and to use the label "anti-semitism" to those ends.

If a mild-mannered guy like Jimmy Carter can be excoriated for anti-semitism, maybe there is something amiss with the name-callers.

3.6. Fascism

We need to distinguish fascism from anti-semitism. German fascists used Jews (and gypsies) as scapegoats. These days American fascists sometimes use Hispanic immigrants. Fascism is not about the scapegoats but about the agenda, which is best summed up by Calvin Coolidge: "The business of America is business".

Fascism is often associated with the Big Lie technique of propaganda, and it appears LaRouche uses that:

I wasn't able to find specific comments or phrases symbolic for fascism, but here are some anti-LaRouchians on the subject

4. Summary

Anyone reading LaRouche material should already have a solid grasp of global politics and understand that

  • Cartels, consortia, and conspiracies really do occur at the highest levels of international activity. Wealthy families really do use corporations and privately held shells to screw people out of their money and their liberty. And manipulate the news and history to call their deeds good.
  • Sometimes people become convinced of conspiracy-based interpretations of events, and write eloquently of why and how this is true. Even when it didn't happen that way
  • As Davies ("Europe: A History") said, not all conspiracies are true, but some are.
  • It is up to an "informed electorate" to study the resources, use what is useful, filter the rubbish, reach conclusions, and establish and carry out policies despite an uncertain world

LaRouche personally is vastly amazed by his own brilliance. At least some followers are dazzled by him as well. The egotism is not warranted and gets in the way of otherwise useful analyses.

The LaRouche material is a mixture of what appears to be deep insight and utter nut case. The "deep insight" is never truly original, and may instead be early adopter or opportunism.

The juxtaposition of solid geopolitical analyses with nut case stuff brings to mind "poisoned well". Who benefits from a ready-made excuse to dismiss all anti-globalization analyses as lunacy?

Setting aside questions of motive, LaRouche provides links, citations and memes useful for understanding the world. Consider it an intelligence source akin to a stock market advisory newsletter. As such, you take nothing at face value, but you do appreciate the insights provided.

LaRouche claims to be a visionary -- every new idea was his and usurpers took credit. Some suggest he is selling the same Marxism over and over, but changes the sales package with the changing years. My impression is that his movement is on target about the role of wealthy families in conquering nation states (including the US), but the rest of it is dicey.

5. Recommendations

A true power player sees LaRouche as a way to pin the label "conspiracy nut case" on all anti-globalization efforts. This is done through shells and shills. True power players never ever appear in politics or in the tabloids. They hire senators, representatives, judges, and presidents to do their bidding. ("Hiring" is done by revolving doors where a promising political newcomer is shipped off to a corporate position at a bloated salary and even more bloated severance package; then back to politics to do the bidding of the masters).

A card-carrying Republican can safely call all LaRouchies nut cases and refuse to listen to anything they have to say. Reality has little impact on Republicans.

A card-carrying Democrat has a tougher time of it.

If you are the type who lives inside the two-party system, and believes in large campaign donations used to drive TV spots, then a LaRouchie is your enemy. Call them nut cases and kick them out of the temple. You can't afford to be contaminated by association. Republicans will play up every LaRouche/Democrat encounter.

If you are the type of Democrat who believes the Democratic Party is rotten at the top due to campaign financing, but can be salvaged from the bottom via grassroots, then invite the LaRouchie to participate in local discussion. But insist on informed, coherent dialog (from all parties).

A LaRouchie who just recites the EIR message-of-the-month and cannot explain WHY these positions are true and relevant is a disrupter who should be shown the door. On the internet they'd be called trolls.

A LaRouchie who actually understand the EIR message can provide:

  • An alternative intellectual context for discussing global events

  • Specific people, places, events where the conspiracy is taking place

  • Specific pieces of legislation wherein the conspiracy is being enriched -- and a potential place for Democratic legislators to catch it before voting.

You don't have to be a nut case yourself to appreciate and use the nuggets of information buried in the message. And the individual people who arrive bearing LaRouche literature may turn out to be interesting and valued associates.

On the other hand, I wouldn't go out of my way to pay attention to LaRouchies. Life is too short. There are far more efficient ways to find useful information.

Creator: Harry George
Updated/Created: 2008-03-05