Talk:Views of Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouche movement/Temp

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Lyndon LaRouche

The political views of Lyndon LaRouche are the source of much controversy. For one thing, LaRouche's critics and supporters often have difficulty agreeing what LaRouche's views actually are. This is complicated by the fact that LaRouche's views have changed over time, particularly during the 1970s when he abandoned many of his Marxist views.

Further complicating any explanation of LaRouche's political views is the fact that discussion of his views is generally carried out either by his supporters or by his fierce critics, meaning that most sources about LaRouche are heavily biased to one side or the other.

Core beliefs of LaRouche[edit]

These are views that LaRouche and his supporters present as the most essential features of LaRouche's political and philosophical outlook.

Lyndon LaRouche regards government, not as a "necessary evil" that has to be regulated by a "contract" between the state and the citizenry a la John Locke or Newt Gingrich, but rather as an expression of the highest aspirations of the citizenry. LaRouche believes that the material and cultural progress of humanity is the proper concern of government, and the state does not serve a merely negative function, i.e., to ward off hostile foreign powers or restrain criminals. LaRouche regards "freedom" in the highest sense as the right to participate fully in that progress of humanity, which requires certain minimum standards of material well-being, and universal public education that will equip the citizen to play such a role. In LaRouche's view, the political system which enables this to occur is the republic.

The following are a number of specific stands taken by LaRouche and his organization on controversial issues:

  • They defended President Bill Clinton, claiming that those who called for Clinton's resignation or impeachment following the Monica Lewinsky scandal were hiding their true motives.
  • They opposed both of the recent wars against Iraq.
  • They opposed, from 1979 on, the deregulation of trucking, airlines, telecommunications, public utilities, and financial services, during a period when deregulation was embraced by the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

LaRouche on economics[edit]

LaRouche views economics as the "mother of the sciences," consequently, LaRouche often combines discussion of economics with a discussion of science, philosophy and culture.

LaRouche began as a Marxist, but by the mid-1970s he had abandoned Marxism in favor of the school of thought known as the American System.

LaRouche has said that a fundamental question of economics is the problem of diminishing resources. He argues that this can be overcome through the creative power of the human mind, which makes it possible to harness elements of nature that were once considered useless, such as oil, and then find new resources before the old ones have been depleted. Thus, in LaRouche's theory, the principal subject of economics is the ability of the cognitive powers of the individual human mind to make new "discoveries of universal principles." These discoveries, LaRouche says, lead to revolutions in technology, which re-define man's relationship to nature in a non-linear way (LaRouche's most recent book on economics, entitled The Economics of the Noösphere, praises the ideas of Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky.) Such revolutions, he says, are contingent on the viability of the culture, on its capacity to absorb and transmit new ideas: LaRouche asserts that the most historically successful variety of culture is what he terms the classical culture of Ancient Greece during the time of Plato, or the culture of Europe in the centuries following the Renaissance.

Central to LaRouche's theory is the idea that there are certain higher mental capacities, associated with hypothesis formation, that are the essential topic of study in economics, and LaRouche came to believe that classical art, and in particular classical music, provided the most useful domain in which to investigate these capacities. Consequently, classical music has played a central role in the history of LaRouche and his movement, and brought LaRouche into a collaborative relationship with artists such as Norbert Brainin and William Warfield. LaRouche wrote a series of articles while imprisoned in the 1990s, in which he discussed the relationship of artistic creativity to scientific creativity, and how an original discovery may be communicated to others; these articles were entitled "On the Subject of Metaphor."

LaRouche favors extensive government intervention, both in terms of regulating sectors of the economy that are essential to the well-being of the nation, and in terms of providing credits for investment in infrastructure projects and science projects such as NASA that are too large and long-term for any private firm to pursue. LaRouche points to policies such as Abraham Lincoln's transcontinental railroad and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Tennessee Valley Authority as examples of successful economic policy. LaRouche also supports the selective use of government's power both to tax and to issue credits (see national bank) as a means of encouraging productive investment, while discouraging speculation. He calls for greater federal investment in science and technology, particularly the space program and nuclear energy (with a special emphasis on nuclear fusion.)

He believes that if governments do not play a strong role in directing national economies, the gap will be filled by various sorts of monopolies and cartels. It is for this reason that LaRouche opposes Free Trade and globalism and supports protectionism.

LaRouche maintains that supranational financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund are committed to a policy of looting the living standards of the world's populations through austerity and speculation, while contracting the actual productive base of these economies -- a policy that he claims is a revival of the economic approach of the German central banker Hjalmar Schacht, who held office both before and during the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler. To remedy this, LaRouche proposes a new international conference, modeled on the Bretton Woods Conference, for the purpose of reorganizing a bankrupt monetary system, and eliminating most of the presently unpayable debt. For example, he advocates the retroactive cancellation of all financial derivatives contracts. He proposes that new credits be created for very large infrastructure projects all over the world; LaRouche has published specific proposals for such projects in Eurasia, Africa, the Middle East, North and South America, and Australia. LaRouche considers it to be the unfinished mission of the United States of America to end any form of colonialism, which he associates in particular with the austerity policies of the International Monetary Fund in the post-1972 period.

Political philosophy[edit]

LaRouche's views on politics come out of his ideas about epistemology. In 1978, he wrote The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites, in which he described the history of European civilization as a battle between two conflicting images of man, one proposed by Plato and the other proposed by Aristotle (this analysis is similar to the one published a century earlier by the German poet/philosopher Heinrich Heine.) LaRouche favors the Platonists and opposes the Aristoteleans. As LaRouche describes it, Plato and his followers saw the universe as an ongoing process of creation, in which man plays a central role through his powers of cognition. Aristotle and his followers, on the other hand, saw the universe as static and fixed, with humans being just another species of animal.

According to LaRouche, the political expression of Platonism is the republican current, while the rival Aristotelean camp is oligarchical. The republicans seek a form of society which cherishes the creative mental powers of the individual, and seeks to cultivate those powers as the key to economic and cultural progress. The oligarchs seek to suppress the mental powers of the individual, because they prefer a fixed, feudal form of society and consider change to be disruptive and dangerous.

In LaRouche's opinion, the conflict between these two camps is the essence of politics, and all of the contemporary notions about "left vs. right" and "liberal vs. conservative" are a red herring.

LaRouche emphasizes the importance of the Renaissance as a point in the history of Europe when there was a major resurgence of Platonic thinking. European culture gradually embraced the idea of progress, a radical shift from feudalism, which was characterized by the Aristotelean view of the universe as fixed and unchanging.

LaRouche believes that the American Revolution and the adoption of the U.S. Constitution mark a watershed in history, as the most successful attempt to put the republican theory of politics into practice. He also places great importance on the Monroe Doctrine, believing that it is the mission of the United States to oppose colonialism and imperialism.

Fascism[edit]

According to LaRouche, the first fascist state was France under Napoleon Bonaparte. European oligarchical forces, he claims, intervened in the French Revolution to prevent it from becoming a republican, American-style revolution, and steered it instead toward becoming a bloodbath followed by a dictatorship. LaRouche calls this the beginning of modern synarchism, a revival of feudal-Venetian methods.

Most contemporary definitions of fascism emphasize components such as racism, chauvinism, and authoritarianism. LaRouche, however, points to a specific economic policy as the foundation of fascism: it is a situation where the financial system has become insolvent, and rather than put it through a bankruptcy reorganization, the ruling powers attempt to prop it up by cannibalizng the workforce through radical austerity and forced-labor policies. LaRouche identifies these policies particularly with German finance minister Hjalmar Schacht, who LaRouche considers to be instrumental in bringing Adolf Hitler to power. With the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1972, LaRouche warned that key financial institutions of the world were committed to a revival of Schacht's policies, first in the form of intensified exploitation of the Third World, and increasingly with respect to the economic policies of the more wealthy nations toward their own populations.

Controversial Views of LaRouche[edit]

Other than direct quotes, the characterizations of LaRouche's views that are found below come from LaRouche's critics.

Lyndon LaRouche's ideas have generated a great deal of controversy and criticism. Although LaRouche's supporters generally dismiss his critics as either failing to understand LaRouche's points, or of intentionally misrepresenting them, it remains the case that LaRouche is a figure of great controversy, attracting constant and often quite intense criticism (see LaRouche's critics.)

LaRouche and Marxism[edit]

Lyndon LaRouche began his political career as a Marxist but he and his National Caucus of Labor Committees abandoned this outlook in the 1970s. LaRouche no longer opposes capitalism as an economic system, and his analysis of political events is no longer phrased in terms of class. To LaRouche, the main enemy is now the conspiracy of financiers he calls the Synarchist International.

During and after the period of his break with orthodox Trotskyism, LaRouche's theory was influenced by what he called his "Theory of Hegemony" which was derived from Lenin's view of the role of intellectuals in being a vanguard helping workers develop their consciousness and realise their leading role in society. He was also influnced by Gramsci's concept of a hegemon as an intellectual and cultural elite which directs social thought. LaRouche's theory saw himself and his followers as being able to become such a hegemonic force. He rejected, however, Gramsci's notion of "organic intellectuals" being developed by the working class itself. Rather, the working class would be led by elite intellectuals such as himself.

LaRouche was also influenced by his readings of Rosa Luxemburg's The Accumulation of Capital and Karl Marx's Capital developing his own "theory of reindustralization," arguing that the west would attempt to industrialize the Third World, particularly India, and attempt to solve the economic crisis both by developing new markets in the Third World and using its cheap and surplus labor to increase profits and minimise costs (see neocolonialism.) This attempt would be unsuccessful, however, and would lead to catastrophic economic collapse. To oppose this, LaRouche argued for a "reindustrialization" of the United States with himself at the vanguard of the effort allowing him to personally resolve the crisis of capitalism. Though his arguments have since been stripped of their quasi-Marxist language and citations, his core theories have remained essentially the same since the late 1960s.

Wohlforth writes:

This scheme, which shaped LaRouche writings and agitation in the late '60s and early '70s, was presented in an increasingly frenetic manner, bolstered by predictions of economic doom. LaRouche was a crisis-monger of the highest order. LaRouche and his followers became increasingly convinced that the fate of the world rested with their group and their great leader. The problem lay with the stupidity of the nation's leaders and the boorishness of the masses. If only LaRouche were in power, all the world's troubles - perhaps even the rats problem in New York City - would be resolved swiftly.

According to research conducted by journalist Dennis King, LaRouche developed an intense interest in fascism in the 1970s, and began to adopt some of its slogans and practices, while maintaining an outward stance of anti-fascism. King generally claims that LaRouche's public statements do not reflect his actual views.

LaRouche's conspiracy theories[edit]

LaRouche steered the NCLC away from the Marxist left while retaining some of the slogans and attitudes of the left. LaRouche's critics, particulary Dennis King and Chip Berlet, characterize his new orientation as a conspiracy theory. In their view, the Marxist concept of the ruling class was converted by LaRouche into a conspiracy theory, in which world capitalism was controlled by a cabal including the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, Henry Kissinger, the Council on Foreign Relations and other standard villains of the extreme right, many though not all of them Jewish.

In the 1960s and 1970s, LaRouche was particularly focussed on the supposed danger posed by liberal Republicans such as Nelson Rockefeller believing that they were attempting to rescue a debt-strapped international financial system by imposing austerity and forced-labor programs on impoverished populations in order to facillitate debt collection. LaRouche called this "Fascism with a Democratic Face," and charged that it was similar to the tactics of German Economics Minister Hjalmar Schacht.

The heart of the conspiracy, according to LaRouche, was the financial elite of the City of London. LaRouche has always been stridently anti-British — a trait shared by many American isolationists — and has included Queen Elizabeth II, among others, in his list of conspirators.

In 1999, an article in the LaRouche-controlled Executive Intelligence Review accused senior advisers to the Royal family and MI6 of planning to assassinate him, after a British women's magazine called Take a Break published a critical article about him. [1]

On August 2, 1999, Debra Hanania-Freeman, national spokeswoman for LaRouche, issued the following statement about the alleged threat: "After consulting with security experts familiar with the modus operandi of British intelligence networks, we are treating the piece as a cover for an MI6 order, probably with direct backing from someone in the royal household, to assassinate Lyndon LaRouche.... The inflammatory article ... reflects a growing hysteria around Buckingham Palace, over the growing global influence of LaRouche's ideas and his continuing exposé of the British oligarchy...

"We are also passing the information on to the White House so they can assess whether the article also constitutes a threat to the security of President Clinton." [2]

LaRouche has also argued that Adolf Hitler was brought to power by the British; Menachem Begin's "policies are indistinguishable... from Nazi policies"; The Beatles were "a product shaped according to British Psychological Warfare Division specifications; and that roque elements within the American military took part in, or planned, the September 11, 2001 attacks as part of a coup d'etat.

According to his critics, LaRouche's personal egotism is a significant force driving his politics. In 1979 he wrote: "My principal accomplishment is that of being, by a large margin of advantage, the leading economist of the twentieth century to date."

In "An Open Letter to President Brezhnev" (June 2, 1981) LaRouche identified those pushing the world toward war as "the forces behind the World Wildlife Fund, the Club of Rome, and the heritage of H. G. Wells and the evil Bertrand Russell."

LaRouche claims there is also a conspiracy by the "Establishment" and the press it allegedly controls to deny him coverage and prevent his views becoming known.

LaRouche and feminism[edit]

In 1972 LaRouche's second wife, Carol Larrabee (also known as Carol Schnitzer), left him for Christopher White, a younger man who was a member of the LaRouche movement in Britain. Following the personal crisis of his marital breakdown, his writings became, in the view of some critics, obsessively anti-feminist, even to the point of misogyny, and obsessed with sex. In an article, "The Sexual Impotency of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party", LaRouche wrote:

The classical case is the sexually athletic Macho who regards himself as a successful performer in bed, the Macho who has much to say and think respecting his capacities for various modes of penetration and frequency and cubic centimeters of ejaculations. The ugly secret of the matter is that he is almost totally sexually impotent.[1]

In 1974 and 1975, on the heels of Operation Mop-Up, the LaRouche organization took what his critics call a further turn towards misogyny and psychological mistreatment of its members. LaRouche issued an article called "Beyond Psychoanalysis" which instituted a regime of "ego-stripping" sessions and what has been called social coercion, in which individuals would be subjected to incessant group criticism.

According to disaffected ex-members, LaRouche's theories of sexual dynamics and female domination of men resulted in a breakdown of relations between the sexes and the break up of dozens of relationships as women were attacked for being "sadistic bitches" and "witches," and for "mother-dominating" men.

A September 1973 editorial in the NCLC's Campaigner charged that "Concretely, all across the U.S.A., there are workers who are prepared to fight. They are held back, most immediately, by pressure from their wives. . . ."

In an August 16, 1973 internal memo, "The Politics of Male Impotence," LaRouche told his followers:

The principle source of impotence, both male and female, is the mother. . . .to the extent that my physical powers do not prevent me, I am now confident and capable of ending your political—and sexual—impotence; the two are interconnected aspects of the same problem. . . . I am going to make you organizers—by taking your bedrooms away from you until you make the step to being effective organizers. What I shall do is to expose to you the cruel fact of your sexual impotence, male and female. . . .I shall destroy your sense of safety in the place to which you ordinarily imagine you can flee. I shall not pull you back from fleeing, but rather destroy the place to which you would attempt to flee.

LaRouche and gay people[edit]

LaRouche activists formed the "Prevent AIDS Now Initiative Committee" (PANIC) in 1986 and in 1988 the "Prevent AIDS Now In California" (also PANIC) committee, each of which placed initiatives on the state ballot. The measures would have required that AIDS be returned to the California state list of communicable diseases, which are subject to Public Health laws.

"The initiative declares that people who have AIDS, or who are "carriers" of the virus generally believed to cause AIDS, would have an "infectious, contagious and communicable" condition. The initiative would require that people in these categories be reported to public health authorities," wrote the Wall Street Journal. "Opponents, including state political and medical leaders and gay-rights activists, say there is little simple or reasonable about the initiative. AIDS victims and those exposed to the virus — many of whom, researchers believe, probably will never contract the disease — could be barred from jobs involving the handling of food and could be banned from working in, or even attending, schools. The initiative also could bar people from traveling without permission of health officials, opponents say. Possible use of the state's quarantine powers has led Bruce Decker, chief fund-raiser of the opposition effort and head of a state advisory committee on AIDS, to raise the specter of "concentration camps" for AIDS patients. [3] Both measures were overwhelmingly defeated at the polls. [4][5]

The argument in support of Proposition 69 which appeared in the Voter's Guide published by the State of California said that "These measures are not new; they are the same health measures applied, {by law,} every day, to every other contagious disease." [6]

Opponents of these initiatives characterized them as anti-gay. Since the gay community was initially one of the major sectors of the population to be affected by AIDS in the United States, the relationship of the disease to so-called gay lifestyles became controversial; among the measures which could have been implemented, had the initiative passed, were sexual contact tracing, which was depicted as an invasion of privacy by opponents of the initiatives, and possibly the closing of bathhouses or other environments where anonymous sexual contacts might take place. Under public health law, persons with communicable diseases may be subject to quarantine at the discretion of the health department; this possibility was raised to suggest that LaRouche wished to use the measure to persecute gays. Jean V. Hardisty, then director of Political Research Associates, charged that the "initiatives sought, in effect, to require quarantine for people with AIDS."[7]

In 1986, the LaRouche publication, Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) published a transcript of a speech by LaRouche, where he said the following about gay people, AIDS and civil rights:

"We have another purpose in fighting AIDS, for our fighting AIDS — for our inducing people to do what they should have done anyway without our speaking a word. Government agencies should have done this. There should be no issue! But government agencies didn't! That's the issue. Why didn't they? Because of a cultural paradigm shift. They did not want, on the one hand, to estrange the votes of a bunch of faggots and cocaine sniffers, the organized gay lobby, as it's called in the United States. (I don't know why they're "gay," they're the most miserable creatures I ever saw! The socalled gay lobby, 8% of the population, the adult electorate; the drug users. There are 20 million cocaine sniffers in the United States, at least. Of course it does affect their mind; it affects the way they vote!"
"What was the problem? The problem was the cultural paradigm shift. If someone comes up and says, "Yeah, but you can't interfere with the civil rights of an AIDS victim" — what the devil is this? You can't interfere with an AIDS victim killing hundreds of people, by spreading the disease to hundreds of people, which will kill them, during the period before he himself dies? So therefore, should we allow people with guns to go out and shoot people as they choose? Isn't that a matter of the civil rights of gun carriers? Or, if you've got an ax — if you can't aim too well, and just have an ax or a broad sword — shouldn't we allow people with broad swords and axes to go out and kill people indiscrimately as they choose, as a matter of their civil rights?
"Where did this nonsense come from? Oh, we don’t want to offend the gays! Gays are sensitive to their civil rights; this will lead to discrimination against gays!
"They’re already beating up gays with baseball bats around the country! Children are going to playgrounds, they go in with baseball bats, and they find one of these gays there, pederasts, trying to recruit children, and they take their baseball bats and they beat them up pretty bad. They’ll kill one sooner or later. In Chicago, they’re beating up gays that are hanging around certain schools, pederasts; children go out with baseball bats and beat them up—which is perfectly moral; they have the civil right to do that! It’s a matter of children’s civil rights!"
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "The End of the Age of Aquarius?" EIR (Executive Intelligence Review), January 10, 1986, p. 40.

In the 1970s and 1980s, LaRouche and his supporters frequently wrote articles containing animosity toward gay people. In 1986, an editorial in the LaRouche publication Illinois Tribunal wrote that "... as a category, gays and lesbians do not represent a valid voting consituency, and neither do prostitutes, drug pushers, child molesters, warlocks, witches, pornographers, or others who are morally equivalent." ("End Harold Washington's Consistently Disgusting Career," Illinois Tribunal, July 7, 1986, editorial page).

LaRouche has written that history might not judge harshly those who joined lynch-mobs and beat gay people to death with baseball bats to stop the spread of AIDS:

"The lynchers…are a special variety of political revolutionary, and express, spontaneously, the conspiratorial and other ethical characteristics of political revolutionaries….

"Since the idea of touching the person of the carrier is abhorrent, stones and the nadiest approximation of a collection of baseball bats, come to mind. Certain individuals, of known haunts, first suggest themselves as easy targets....

 

"The point is fast approaching, that increasing portions of these populations will focus upon the fact, that a dead AIDS carrier ceases to be a carrier. If governments were to proceed with repeated mass-screenings of the population, and isolation of carriers, the likelihood of a teenager lynch-mob phenomenon would be small. If not, then other ways of reducing the number of carriers will become increasingly popular.

 

"In that case, the lynch-mobs might be seen by later generations’ historians, as the only political force which acted to save the human species from extinction."

 ::Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "Teenage Gangs’ Lynchings of Gays is Foreseen Soon," New Solidarity, February 9, 1987, p. 8.

In 1986, an editorial appeared in a publication produced by LaRouche supporters in Illinois. The Illinois Tribunal wrote that "... as a category, gays and lesbians do not represent a valid voting consituency, and neither do prostitutes, drug pushers, child molesters, warlocks, witches, pornographers, or others who are morally equivalent." ("End Harold Washington's Consistently Disgusting Career," Illinois Tribunal, July 7, 1986, editorial page).

LaRouche seemed later to modify his views. In a town meeting which was webcast on December 11, 1999, LaRouche said:

"Look, take the case of AIDS, which I've been attacked for by all kinds of crazy people. I proposed that we mobilize $40 billion from the Federal government — that's back in the middle of the 1980s — to combat a danger, an epidemic disease of a new type, which implicitly threatens all mankind, which has — it's also in the United States, and it's in Africa: In Africa, because of environmental conditions and other tropical-disease conditions, the rate of spread of AIDS is now that most of the population of black Africa is threatened by virtual extinction — not total extinction, but near-extinction.
"We have a little better conditions in the United States. Some people get drugs which they can't afford in Africa, because Al Gore won't let them, among other reasons. But that we're all victims of it. Who cares about whether the guy's a homosexual? It's irrelevant! It's a human being who is suffering from a disease, who needs help and protection--in the interests of the General Welfare. Who wants to make a category of "homosexuals"? I don't believe in it; it's not a legitimate category. It's just people, people who are suffering and dying.[8]"

Criticism of LaRouche's economics[edit]

Although he has no academic qualifications, LaRouche has written extensively on economic subjects. He states that his economic ideas are descended from the "American System," a slogan originally associated with Alexander Hamilton (Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington and the main critic of the policies of Jeffersonian liberalism), and later with Henry Clay. LaRouche also says that his ideas are based on the economic policies of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln's advisor Henry Carey, as well as those of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

In practice this amounts to advocating centralised, though not socialist, state control of the economy, with heavy state investment in industry and science.

Critics claim that LaRouche's ideas are not original and are similar to the policies of Germany under Bismarck, the corporatism of Spain under Francisco Franco, and Portugal under Antonio Salazar. LaRouche believes that capitalism is not, as Marxists argue, the principal enemy of progress. LaRouche has developed the theory described above, in which he says that an oligarchical faction within the financial community is in fact that principal enemy of progress. This elite conspiracy, he says, predates and transcends both capitalism and socialism.

LaRouche and the Jews[edit]

LaRouche has been regularly accused of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. From the early 1970s LaRouche regularly criticized Zionism. The relationship of Zionism to Judaism is controversial; supporters of Zionism allege that anti-Zionism is often a form of disguised anti-Semitism. In 1979 the LaRouche publication Campaigner published an issue entitled "Zionism is not Judaism."

In NCLC publications during the 1970s, some Jewish individuals were accused of running the slave trade, controlling organized crime, and the drug trade. LaRouche also claimed that the "Zionist lobby" significantly influenced the U.S. government. Any American professing "Zionist loyalties" was, he said, a "national security risk." However, during this period LaRouche publications such as Campaigner magazine often promoted Philo of Alexandria and Maimonides as positive examples of the "Platonic humanist current in Judaism," and most of the leadership of the NCLC was Jewish.

Dennis King has described LaRouche as LaRouche as expressing anti-Semitic ideas in both an open and a coded form. As an example of the open form, King cites LaRouche's statement under the pen name L. Marcus) in The Case of Ludwig Feuerbach (1973), where he said that "Jewish culture ... is merely the residue left to the Jewish home after everything saleable has been marketed to the Goyim." As an example of the coded form, King alleges that when LaRouche and his followers use the term "British" in certain contexts which King characterizes as "conspiracist" or "racialist", they actually means "Jewish." One example is an unsigned editorial in the official LaRouche newspaper New Solidarity in 1978 which states: "America must be cleansed for its righteous war by the immediate elimination of the Nazi Jewish Lobby and other British agents from the councils of government, industry, and labor."

LaRouche has been regularly accused of Holocaust denial, widely seen as a hallmark of anti-Semitism. In 1978, LaRouche wrote (in "New Pamphlet to Document Cult Origins of Zionism," New Solidarity, December 8, 1978) that "only" 1.5 million Jews died during World War II.

It is argued [LaRouche wrote] that the culmination of the persecution of the Jews in the Nazi holocaust proves that Zionism is so essential to "Jewish survival" that any anti-Zionist is therefore not only an anti-Semite, but that any sort of criminal action is excusable against anti-Zionists in memory of the mythical "six million Jewish victims" of the Nazi "holocaust."
This is worse than sophistry. It is a lie. True, about a million and a half Jews did die as a result of the Nazi policy of labor-intensive "appropriate technology" for the employment of "inferior races," a small fraction of the tens of million of others - especially Slavs - who were murdered in the same way Jewish refugee Felix Rohaytin proposes today. Even on a relative scale, what the Nazis did to Jewish victims was mild compared with the virtual extermination of gypsies and the butchery of Communists.

Not only does LaRouche place "holocaust" in inverted commas and refer to the "the mythical six million Jewish victims", his assertion that Jews died only as a result of forced labor can only be read as a denial that the extermination camps existed, a denial of the fact that the Nazis directly and deliberately killed millions of Jews, both in these camps and by means of the Einsatzgruppen.

LaRouche's critics claim he is a "disguised anti-Semite," in that he takes the classical anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and substitutes the word "Zionist" for the word "Jew", and ascribes the classical anti-Semite's caricature of the evil, scheming Jew to particular, named, Jews and groups of Jews, rather than to the Jews as a whole.

The Czarist Okhrana's "Protocols of Zion" include a hard kernel of truth which no mere Swiss court decision could legislate out of existence. The fallacy of the "Protocols of Zion" is that it attributes the alleged conspiracy to Jews generally, to Judaism. A corrected version of the Protocols would stipulate that the evil oaths cited were actually the practices of variously a Paris branch of B'nai B'rith and the evidence the Okhrana turned up in tracing the penetration of the Romanian branch of B'nai B'rith (Zion) into such Russian centres of relevance as Odessa..."

LaRouche's principal target in this article is "Zionism." Zionism is a Jewish political movement supporting the creation and, since 1948, defense of Israel as a Jewish state. For LaRouche, however, it is an underground conspiracy, existing since the 16th century. "Modern Zionism was not created by Jews, but was a project developed chiefly by Oxford University," LaRouche says.

Today, LaRouche says, Zionism is controlled by the financiers of London: "Zionism is the state of collective psychosis through which London manipulates most of the international Jewry", and "Zionist cultism is among the most important of the levers through which British criminality and miscalculation is plunging the world towards [war]."

LaRouche denies equating "Zionism" with Judaism. "You cannot be a Zionist and also a Jew," he writes. However, when LaRouche accuses "Zionists" of treason and conspiracy, he is seen by Jews, and many others, to be levelling those accusations against most Jews. When he accuses organisations such as B'nai B'rith, the ADL, and many individual Jews, of various crimes, he is seen to be attacking the great majority of Jews who support those organisations and those individuals. His critics claim that he attributes to the ADL "the classic crimes of the sterotypical Jew of the anti-Semitic imagination," although he has also referred to the ADL as the "FBI's private asset."

LaRouche has never explicitly repudiated the views expressed in the 1978 article, and in the 1980s, the Supreme Court of New York state ruled that calling LaRouche an anti-Semite was "fair comment".

In recent years, however, LaRouche appears to have modified his views on these subjects. In 1999, LaRouche published an article called "A Personal Statement from Lyndon LaRouche on Music, Judaism, and Hitler." In this article, he several times refers to "the Jew," a usage typical of anti-Semites and one which he must have known is offensive to Jews. Nevertheless, in the course of a discussion on Moses Mendelssohn, LaRouche acknowledges the contribution made by Jews to European civilization. He says: "Germany can never be truly freed from the legacy of Hitler's crimes, until the contributions of German Jews, in particular, are celebrated as an integral part of the honorable history of Germany." The article contains several other statements in similar vein, including praise for Walther Rathenau, an archetypal Jewish business figure.

In the same article LaRouche also acknowledges that the Holocaust is not mostly mythological or a Zionist swindle. He says: "We cannot allow 2,000 years of Jewish survival in Europe to be buried under the faceless stone epitaph which speaks only of a bare 13-odd years of Hitler's Holocaust." He explicity states that "Yes, Hitler killed millions of Jews," a direct repudiation of his 1978 statement that only 1.5 million died and those not as a result of a deliberate plan of extermination. This article can be seen as a significant, if unacknowledged, retreat by LaRouche from his statements of the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, LaRouche publications have begun to feature articles praising the Yiddish Renaissance, such as I.L. Peretz, Father of the Yiddish Renaissance. LaRouche and his organization have also maintained a public dialogue with Israeli and Jewish leaders, such as Maxim Ghilan and Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, who advocate a negotiated peace with the Palestinians. Whether LaRouche can be fairly described as an anti-Semite today is thus an open question.

Is LaRouche a fascist?[edit]

LaRouche is frequently described by left-wing writers and orators as a fascist. Journalist Dennis King used this thesis in the title of his book Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism. Fascism is a difficult word to define, and has been debased since World War II by its frequent use of a term of general abuse. LaRouche himself frequently describes his enemies as fascists or proto-fascists.

Most definitions of fascism agree on a number of elements: nationalism, militarism, contempt for democracy, the advocacy of some form of authoritarian rule, and economic corporatism. Organizationally, fascist movements are characterized by the use or advocacy of violence, lack of internal democracy and regimentation in the service of charismatic personal leadership. Racism, and specifically anti-Semitism, are often characteristics of fascists and fascist parties, but are generally not held to be essential elements of fascism.

Based on that definition, LaRouche is not a fascist and his organizations are not fascist parties. LaRouche does not advocate American nationalism or militarism. He has never publicly advocated the abolition of democracy or the imposition of authoritarian rule. Operation Mop-Up, which consisted of violent physical attacks on left-wing meetings, is the genesis of most accusations of LaRouche being a fascist; however, the LaRouche movement has not engaged in physical violence against its political opponents since the 1970s.

The perceived abusive and demagogic nature of his political speech also leads to him being accused of being a fascist.

Since the 1980s, a new set of theories about fascism has gained attention in academia. These include the work of Roger Griffin (fascism as a right-wing populist movement calling for heroic rebirth - palingenesis) and Emilio Gentile (the sacralization of politics). Using these and related theories, critics such as Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons (see link below) have described LaRouche as a neofascist.

LaRouche's critics[edit]

Although some criticism of LaRouche has come from his former allies on the political left, including Tim Wohlforth, Clara Fraser, and Fred Newman, LaRouche publications allege that a key nexus of criticism was what they call the "John Train Salon".

John Train Salon[edit]

The John Train Salon is the name given by supporters of the controversial American fringe politician Lyndon LaRouche to three meetings they allege took place between 1983 and 1985 at the home of New York investment banker John Train. Articles published by the LaRouche organization claim that these meetings, which were attended by a number of journalists and others, were held in order to plan the publication of articles critical of LaRouche.

In an affidavit, Herbert Quinde, a writer for the LaRouche publication Executive Intelligence Review, says he conducted interviews with three participants at the meetings: Michael Hudson, Sol Sanders and Chip Berlet. According to Quinde, Berlet said he was introduced to other individuals at one of the meetings who were identified only as "gentlemen with a government connection." Confirmation that the meetings took place was provided in sworn testimony by Mira Lansky Boland of the Anti-Defamation League on May 24, 1990 before the Commonwealth Court in Roanoke, Virginia.

A LaRouche publication claims that "[on] May 26 and June 2, 1983, Michael Hudson, a participant in the first Train meeting of April 23, told [LaRouche writer] Robert Greenberg about the meeting. Hudson described [John] Train as the man who was coordinating the media slander campaign, and as the person who had introduced him to officials of the FBI and the IRS with the aim of instigating criminal prosecutions of LaRouche." It further claims that participants wanted to keep the meetings secret: "On August 6, 1984, attorneys for LaRouche depositioned Dennis King. When asked about the circumstances under which he was introduced to Pat Lynch, King was silent. His attorney, Scott McLaughlin, interrupted the deposition, and took King out into the hallway for 20 minutes; when they returned, King claimed he could not recall how he had first met Lynch." [9]

According to the LaRouche organization, those who attended the meetings included:

Berlet and King are considered leftists; both have written for High Times and other alternative publications. Rees, on the other hand, is considered to be a rightist, having been a frequent contributor to publications put out by the John Birch Society. Mellon Scaife has a reputation for funding clandestine activity, such as the Iran-Contra affair, as well as campaigns to discredit targeted politicians such as Bill Clinton (Mellon Scaife provided funding for the lawsuit of Paula Jones[10].) Representatives of LaRouche's 2004 Presidential campaign claim that the odd mixture of political persuasions of the participants, the presence of persons such as Godson and Lansky Boland who have documented connections to the intelligence community, and the presence of representatives of high-profile news media (both liberal and conservative), suggest that these were not just casual meetings, but rather, planning sessions.

The LaRouche organization claims that news coverage describing LaRouche as a fascist, communist, racist, anti-Semitic, cult leader and conspiracy theorist resulted from these meetings, [11] [12] although many articles making these claims had appeared in the mainstream and alternative press before the meetings are alleged to have taken place. According to a log of media coverage compiled by the LaRouche organization, NBC-TV also broadcast two programs in April of 1986, produced by alleged "John Train Salon" participant Pat Lynch, which repeated her earlier characterizations of LaRouche's ideas, and went on to accuse LaRouche of plotting the assassination of Henry Kissinger. NBC then broadcast programs in March and December 1986 claiming that LaRouche had been responsible for the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

The information published by the LaRouche organization about the John Train meetings has not been independently verified, and critics point to this alleged meeting as an example of a LaRouche conspiricy theory.

External links[edit]