Who Is Lyndon LaRouche?
LYNDON H. LAROUCHE, JR. (1922–2019) emerged, over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, to rank among the most controversial international political figures of his time. This controversy, which also features such related issues as his efforts to destroy the international drug traffic and his initiating role in formulating what President Ronald Reagan announced on March 23, 1983 as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), is principally rooted in not only domestic U.S., but, also, global political-economic issues.
A demonstration of his exceptional qualifications as a long-range economic forecaster, especially since his July 25, 2007 webcast, placed him at the center of the presently erupting, global systemic crisis of the world’s economy. Thus, the relevant resumé is that which helps to situate his career in terms of his actual and enduring role in dealing with that present global crisis, far beyond his death on February 12, 2019.
LaRouche as an Economist
Both Lyndon LaRouche’s standing as an internationally known economist, and his exceptional successes as a long-range forecaster, are the outgrowths of his original discoveries of physical principle, dating from a project conducted during the 1948–1952 interval. These discoveries arose out of his opposition to Bertrand Russell devotee Professor Norbert Wiener’s efforts, as in the latter’s 1948 Cybernetics, to apply so-called information theory to communication of ideas. As part of that same project, he also opposed Russell devotee John von Neumann’s efforts to degrade real economic processes to solutions for systems of simultaneous linear inequalities.
The outcome of this project was LaRouche’s introduction of axiomatically non-linear notions of individual human cognition, explicitly, to that science of physical economy which had been first established by the relevant 1671–1716 work of Gottfried Leibniz. His own work located the determining, non-linear factor in increase of society’s potential relative population-density in the relations exemplified by the role of the machine-tool principle in linking proof-of-principle experiments to the development of advanced designs of both products and productive processes.
In his subsequent search for a metrical standard for this treatment of the functional role of cognition, he adopted the Leibniz-Gauss-Riemann standpoint, as represented by Bernhard Riemann’s 1854 habilitation dissertation. Hence, the employment of Riemannian conceptions to LaRouche’s own discoveries became known as the LaRouche-Riemann Method. That work was further enriched by his study of the Riemannian biogeophysicist Vladimir Vernadsky, whose concepts play a major role in LaRouche’s scientific work.
LaRouche's work is best known through his success in two long-range forecasts, and his verdict on the death of the current financial system in July 2007. The first of these was developed during 1959–1960, forecasting, that, if the axiomatic policy-shaping assumptions of the Truman-Eisenhower Presidencies persisted, the second half of the 1960s would experience a series of international financial-monetary crises, leading toward a breakdown in the existing Bretton Woods agreements: this occurred during the interval from the British Sterling devaluation of November 1967 through the breakdown of the Bretton Woods agreements, on August 15–16, 1971.
The second was premised upon the implications of the 1971 breakdown. He forecast, that, if the dominant powers resorted to a combination of increasingly rapacious, monetarist forms of austerity measures, the result would be, not a new cyclical crisis, but, rather, a systemic crisis, a general breakdown crisis of the global system. Since the October 1987 U.S. stock-market crisis, and the strategic, economic, financial, and monetary decisions of the 1989–1992 interval, the existing global financial-monetary system has become locked into the presently erupting series of seismic-like shocks expressing such a global systemic, or general breakdown crisis.
A now-famous conclusion by LaRouche came in his July 25, 2007 webcast, on the cusp of the first visible signs of the current world financial breakdown crisis, when he said, without hedging, that the current bankrupt financial system was finished. Since that time, LaRouche’s credibility in certain limited, but significant U.S. professional economic circles, and internationally, skyrocketed, and his international campaign for the return to a Glass-Steagall standard of banking, and a new agreement among sovereign nation states for a fixed exchange rate credit system, has gained increasing international support.
A Figure of Political Controversy
LaRouche’s work and activities as an economist have always intersected a continuing commitment, since military-service experience in post-war India, to what has been often termed a just new world economic order: the urgency of affording what have been sometimes termed Third World nations, their full rights to perfect national sovereignty, and to access to the improvement of their educational systems and economies through employment of the most advanced science and technology. On this account, he has continued the same quarrel with the policies of the British Empire and Commonwealth which U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt had, on these same issues, with Britain's war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
To similar effect, he opposed the economic and related policy-matrices of the administrations of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, and Nixon, Carter, Reagan, both Bushes, and Obama. Inside U.S. domestic and foreign-economic policy, his commitment was typified by intractable opposition to the relevant policies concocted by British imperial interests—such as free trade, “governance,” and limited sovereignty—and also the neo-malthusian doctrinaires generally.
On these issues of both U.S. domestic and foreign policies, he was aligned with the tradition of what used to be known as the American System of political-economy, as that patriotic, anti-British tradition is typified by the policies of Benjamin Franklin, and such adversaries of the dogmas of British East India Company apologist Adam Smith as U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, Philadelphia's Mathew and Henry Carey, Friedrich List, President Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt. He always supported the kinds of dirigist policies associated with that American System tradition, and that tradition’s emphasis upon fostering investment in scientific and technological progress, and development of basic economic infrastructure, against the free trade and related dogmas of the Haileybury and positivist schools.
Since his studies of the 1948–1952 interval, he always situated the deep political basis for the opposition between the two modern camps in economic policy in the struggle of those forces which find their self-interest in national economy, such as farmers, industrial entrepreneurs, and operatives, against those oligarchical financier interests which loot the national economy through mechanisms of financial and analogous forms of usury.
In a related matter, he located the historically exceptional importance of the American Revolution and Federal Constitution in the fact, that although the ideas of the American revolution were products of the European tradition of the Fifteenth-Century Renaissance, North America provided the relevant strategic distance from a Europe still dominated by those combinations of feudal landed aristocracy and feudal financier oligarchy which were typified by the Castlereagh-Metternich alliance at the Vienna Congress. Thus, the nation-states of Europe emerged chiefly as quasi-republican, parliamentary reforms within nations still ruled from the top by feudal oligarchies, such as the United Kingdom, rather than true republics, such as the 1789 U.S. Federal republic.
On this account, as soon as LaRouche began to achieve some degree of political influence, first inside the U.S.A., and then abroad, he came into increasingly embittered political conflict with the financier-oligarchical strata and its lackeys, both inside the U.S.A. and internationally. In the U.S.A., these are the combination of oligarchical families formerly associated with the New England opium-traders, Manhattan bankers in the tradition of Aaron Burr, Martin van Buren, August Belmont, and J.P. Morgan, and those who cling to the tradition of southern slave-holding. Among their prominent spokesmen have been Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz.
Additionally, beginning 1964–1972, he became been a leading organizer of the opposition to the 1964–1972 cultural paradigm-shift. On this account, he became a leading target of bitter enmity from ideologues of such sundry New Age cults as the rock-drug-sex counterculture, post-industrial utopianisms generally, and neo-malthusian forms of anti-scientific, environmentalist fads.
As a result of that, he was the target of sundry known efforts to eliminate him, even physically, by sundry official and private agencies inside the U.S.A. and abroad. This pattern is typified by a 1973 plot directed by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, as admitted in official documents subsequently released, and by a 1983–1988 U.S. official operation run under the cover of Executive Order 12333.
Campaigns for Public Office
LaRouche campaigned repeatedly for the office of U.S. President, beginning 1976: seven times for the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination. His last campaign was in 2004. In each of the 1976, 1980, and 1984 campaigns, the leading motive was the same: the virtual inevitability of a long-term, downward slide into a global, systemic financial and monetary crisis, unless certain specific types of changes in economic, financial, monetary, and social policies were introduced. In 1988, the theme of the campaign was the imminent collapse of the Soviet system, and prospective early reunification of Germany, beginning in eastern Europe as early as 1989. In 1992, the theme was the fact that a financial-monetary mud-slide was already in progress, leading toward a threatened general financial-monetary collapse sometime during the course of the decade. In 1996, 2000, and 2004 that the outbreak of a general, global financial-monetary systemic crisis, already reflected in the derivatives bankruptcies of 1994, and 1998 Long-Term Capital Management blowout, was imminent. The premises offered for this perspective were always the same: the long-term prospect for a break-down crisis, already forecast in the setting of the 1971 breakdown of the Bretton Woods agreements.
During each of those campaigns, the proposed remedy was always the same: a fundamental reform of the planet's economic, financial, and monetary systems, emphasizing:
During the 1976–1984 campaigns, a leading included feature, were proposals for measures of scientific and technological cooperation between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., to realize what Dr. Edward Teller described, in late 1982, as the common aims of mankind. Exemplary of such proposals was the original, 1979 version of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), featured as a leading plank of the 1980 campaign for the Democratic nomination. In 1988, the SDI was superseded by a program of food for peace, premised upon the cascading economic crisis expected for eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, beginning 1989. For 2000, the campaign was intended chiefly to foster the early establishment of a New Bretton Woods agreement, centered around cooperation between the Presidents of the U.S.A. and China, long before the year 2000 arrived. The 2004 campaign, which began as soon as the dubious President George W. Bush was installed in office, was aimed at rallying Democrats, in particular, to resist the danger of fascism—which LaRouche, in January 2001, forecast to be threatened in a form of a Reichstag Fire kind of event, a forecast more than vindicated by 9/11 and its aftermath. At the end of July 2004, LaRouche abandoned his campaign and established the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LaRouche PAC), which for a time served as his major political policy vehicle, in conjunction with the LaRouche Youth Movement. Today, his policies continue to exert a profound influence on policymaking worldwide, through The LaRouche Organization, headed by his wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
Science and Classical Art
The central feature of all LaRouche's activities, is emphasis upon those sovereign cognitive powers of the individual human mind, whose functions are merely typified by validated discoveries of physical principle. Since his original discoveries of the 1948–1952 interval, he emphasized that the processes responsible for discovery of physical principles are identical in nature with those responsible for the composition of metaphor in great compositions in Classical forms of poetry, music, tragedy, and plastic arts. This view he acquired in rejecting Immanuel Kant’s Romantic dogma for aesthetics. Accordingly, he rejects the empiricist, cartesian, and positivist notions of both objective science, and the separation of science from art. He treatsed science and art as intrinsically subjective, rather than objective, as the subjective generation of objectively validatable new principles of science, new ideas spawned as resolutions of metaphor.
These were leading considerations in his 1974 co-founding of a scientific association, the Fusion Energy Foundation, and his support for his wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s founding of the International Club of Life and international Schiller Institute, during the 1980s. During the 1980s, he launched a project for clarifying certain crucial principles of Classical musical composition and performance, out of which one important book has been produced. In the first two decades of this century, he continued to work with some among his collaborators in developing improved approaches to education and science, specifically, with a core of LaRouche Youth Movement members known as the “Basement Team.”
Lyndon LaRouche Biography
Born: Sept. 8, 1922, Rochester, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
Parents: Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Sr., native-born citizen, Internationally known technological consultant to Footwear Manufacturers; Jessie Weir LaRouche, native-born citizen.
Married: December 1977 to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, native and citizen of Germany; Specialist in Nicholas of Cusa, Friedrich Schiller; founder and Director of the Schiller Institute; political figure of Germany.
Son: Daniel Vincent LaRouche, born August 1956; data-processing specialist.
Schooling: Rochester, New Hampshire and Lynn, Massachusetts Public Schools; attended Northeastern University during 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947.
Military: AUS, 1944–1946. Overseas service in India, Burma.
Professional: Management Consultant, Economist 1947–1948, 1952–1972. Founder: (1974) Executive Intelligence Review weekly; Co-Founder: (1974) Fusion Energy Foundation; Member: Schiller Institute.
Political: Candidate for U.S. Presidential nomination of Democratic Party: 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004. U.S. Presidential Candidate, U.S. Labor Party, 1976; Independent, 1984. Candidate, U.S. Representative, Virginia, 1990. Founder and Principal of the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee, 2004.
Conviction: Convicted and sentenced on conspiracy charges, December 1988, 1989–94, in a political show-trial which was described (1989) by Germany law specialist Professor Friedrich A. Freiherr von der Heydte as comparable to the scandal of the case of France's Captain Alfred Dreyfus: “Everything we have been able to find out about the trial against Lyndon H. LaRouche, has been yet another painful reminder that the exploitation of the judicial system for the achievement of political ends, is unfortunately a method used repeatedly today in the West as well as the East.” Testifying on Sept. 2, 1994 before a Commission investigating the same case, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark described the case as representing “a broader range of deliberate cunning and systematic misconduct over a longer period of time utilizing the power of the Federal government than any other prosecution by the U.S. Government in my time or to my knowledge.” More