Lyndon Larouche is dead

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John F
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Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by John F » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:38 am

Back in the 1980s I saw a few Larouche supporters at a table near the post office, handing out stuff. Hadn't heard of him before, but I heard a lot about him for a while afterwards. One of his cockamamie crusades was to have the standard musical pitch lowered to A=432 (instead of 440) to help opera singers with their high notes. He actually got Renata Tebaldi and other opera stars of the past to endorse him until they were informed more fully about his politics, mainly by Stefan Zucker, whom many of us know as the World's Highest Tenor. (http://reprints.longform.org/pitch-battles) Larouche's organization eventually gave up on that one, while concentrating on more dire and looney issues. No RIP for him; rather, good riddance.

Lyndon LaRouche, Cult Figure Who Ran for President 8 Times, Dies at 96
By Richard Severo
Feb. 13, 2019

Lyndon LaRouche, the quixotic, apocalyptic leader of a cultlike political organization who ran for president eight times, once from a prison cell, died on Tuesday. He was 96. His death was announced on the website of his organization, La Rouche/Pac. The statement did not specify a cause or say where he died.

Defining what Mr. LaRouche stood for was no easy task. He began his political career on the far left and ended it on the far right. He said he admired Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan and loathed Hitler, the composer Richard Wagner and other anti-Semites, though he himself made anti-Semitic statements. He was fascinated with physics and mathematics, particularly geometry, but called concerns about climate change “a scientific fraud.”

He condemned modern music as a tool of invidious conspiracies — he saw rock as a particularly British one — and found universal organizing principles in the music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

Some called him a case study in paranoia and bigotry, his mild demeanor notwithstanding. One biographer, Dennis King, in “Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism” (1989), maintained that Mr. LaRouche and his followers were a danger to democratic institutions.

Mr. LaRouche denigrated a panoply of ethnic groups and organized religions. He railed against the “Eastern Establishment” and environmentalists, who he said were trying to wipe out the human race. Queen Elizabeth II of England was plotting to have him killed, he said. Jews had surreptitiously founded the Ku Klux Klan, he said. He described Native Americans as “lower beasts.”

Even so, Mr. LaRouche was able to develop alliances with farmers, the Nation of Islam, teamsters, abortion opponents and Klan adherents. Acolytes kept Mr. LaRouche’s political machine going by peddling his tracts and magazines in airports, and by persuading relatives and friends to donate large sums to help him fight his designated enemies.

He operated through a dizzying array of front groups, among them the National Democratic Policy Committee, through which he received millions of dollars in federal matching money in his recurring presidential campaigns. His forces also sponsored candidates at the state and local levels, including for school board seats.


His movement attracted national attention, especially in 1986, when two LaRouche followers, Mark Fairchild and Janice Hart, unexpectedly won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, respectively, in Illinois. Adlai E. Stevenson III, the Democratic candidate for governor of Illinois that year, was appalled. He denounced the LaRouche group as “neo-Nazis” and refused to run with Mr. Fairchild and Ms. Hart, organizing a third-party bid instead. He, as well as the LaRouche supporters, lost to James R. Thompson, the Republican incumbent.

Some voters said they had voted for Mr. Fairchild and Ms. Hart because they had been endorsed by Mr. LaRouche’s National Democratic Policy Committee, which they thought was affiliated with the mainstream Democratic Party. Critics of Mr. LaRouche said he had used that committee to deceive people abroad as well. In 1982, he managed to arrange a meeting with President José López Portillo of Mexico, evidently because Mexican officials thought Mr. LaRouche represented the Democratic Party.

“I’m as American as apple pie,” Mr. LaRouche once said. Whatever he was, he received thousands of votes in his campaigns for president. In 1980, he outpolled Gov. Jerry Brown of California by a thousand votes in the Democratic presidential primary in Connecticut. In 1986, the candidates fielded by his National Democratic Policy Committee received 20 to 40 percent of the vote in local elections in California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas...

Mr. LaRouche’s political roots were Marxist. From 1948 to 1963, he was active in the Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyite group. His own group surfaced during the student unrest at Columbia University in the late 1960s as a faction of the left-wing Students for a Democratic Society. It evolved into the National Caucus of Labor Committees, an organization largely made up of young upper-middle-class people who espoused Mr. LaRouche’s Marxist views.

He first ran for president in 1976 as the candidate of the left-wing United States Labor Party, now defunct. By then, though, his politics had already begun moving to the right. And after spending much time in West Germany, he returned with right-wing, anti-Semitic views. Many of his followers made the shift with him.

George Johnson, the author of “Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics” (1983), wrote that Mr. LaRouche had developed a conspiracy theory that stretched back to the beginnings of civilization. “In the world according to LaRouche,” Mr. Johnson wrote, “history is a war between the Platonists (the good guys) and the evil Aristotelians. Anyone who has taken Philosophy 101 can follow the drift: Platonists believe in standards, an absolute truth that can be divined by philosopher kings like Mr. LaRouche. To the Aristotelians everything is relative.”

In Mr. LaRouche’s view, Mr. Johnson continued, “true Platonists believe that industrialization, technology and classical music should be used to bring wealth and enlightenment to the citizens of the world.” He added: “The Aristotelians are trying to stop them by using not only sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll but also environmentalism and quantum theory. With their bag of brainwashing techniques, they hope to trick civilization into destroying itself, bringing on a new dark ages in which the world’s riches will be firmly in the hands of the oligarchs.”

Mr. LaRouche’s views became the foundation of a political movement. By the mid-1970s, his organization had 37 offices in North America and 26 in Europe and Latin America. A core membership in the United States numbered about 1,000. One follower won 27 percent of the vote in a local election in Seattle. Mr. LaRouche was pulling in enough money nationally to qualify for federal matching funds for his presidential campaigns. He had also become an entrepreneur, starting three companies, one of which printed newspapers for high schools; together they brought in revenues of $5 million or more a year...

Mr. LaRouche was at the apex of his power in the mid-1980s, when he moved his headquarters to a large rented estate in Northern Virginia, in Round Hill, outside Leesburg. When neighbors wondered aloud why he had turned the estate into an armed camp, rigged with electronic security and patrolled by men with semiautomatic rifles, Mr. LaRouche went on the attack. He said that the Leesburg Garden Club was “a nest of Soviet fellow travelers.”

In 1987, after an F.B.I. investigation, Mr. LaRouche was convicted in Virginia on charges of scheming to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and of deliberately defaulting on more than $30 million in loans from thousands of his supporters. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and sent to a federal penitentiary in Minnesota. The conviction hurt his movement but did not end it. He was released from prison in 1994, after serving a third of his sentence. He immediately announced that he would run for president in 1996. He ran again in 2000 and 2004. After Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Mr. LaRouche warned that the new president was in “grave and imminent danger” of being assassinated by the “British Empire,” a familiar target of Mr. LaRouche’s.

By 2015 he had long turned against Mr. Obama, calling for his impeachment and accusing him in one instance of orchestrating Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet involved in the war in Syria. “Obama organized an act of war, and has thus endangered the United States, as well as all of humanity,” Mr. LaRouche wrote.

But he could be bipartisan in his attacks. He accused the Bush family of collaborating with Nazi Germany during World War II, and said that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a product of a neoconservative conspiracy, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, to deceive the American people. That view was expressed in a series of pamphlets, titled “Children of Satan.”

Mr. LaRouche was heartened by the election of President Trump, though he perceived a British conspiratorial hand reaching into the United States to foment efforts to “politically paralyze” the president and bring about his impeachment. That would be a mistake, he said. As his website declared, “Not since William McKinley has a president been so clear in his intent to return the nation to the economic tradition of Alexander Hamilton, to end the policies of British imperial free trade, and make a full commitment to industry, manufacturing, scientific advancement and world peace.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/obit ... -dead.html
John Francis

david johnson
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by david johnson » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:51 am

I definitely remember him. I never knew he wanted to lower to A=432.

Ricordanza
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by Ricordanza » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:56 am

I remember him from his left wing days, when he was known as Lyn Marcus.

It's not surprising that an individual has a paranoid viewpoint and constructs a worldview based on that. But it's still surprising to me that such an individual attracts a following of people who adopt the same worldview. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised--it saves them from thinking on their own.

John F
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by John F » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:42 am

That doesn't surprise me at all. There will always be people whose view of the world is irrational. Do you remember the Heaven's Gate cult whose members killed themselves expecting that this would transport them to extraterrestrial space ships? (Their web site is still online 21 years later - http://www.heavensgate.com/.) Remember Jonestown, where nearly 1,000 people killed themselves and their children when ordered to do so by their leader Jim Jones? For that matter, nearly half the electorate voted for Donald Trump even after he had been repeatedly exposed as a liar and fraud. LaRouche constantly hatches conspiracy theories that appeal to the gullible; as he once said, he's as American as apple pie. Well, now he's gone to that great garbage dump in the sky.
John Francis

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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by david johnson » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:07 am

John, the other half voted for Hil. She's as bad as Trump is said to be. Neither of them are a Jim Jones/Larouche.

John F
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by John F » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:51 am

david johnson wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:07 am
John, the other half voted for Hil. She's as bad as Trump is said to be.
After 2 years of Trump you can say that? Nonsense.
david johnson wrote:Neither of them are a Jim Jones/Larouche.
You miss the point, which is that no matter how illogical or dangerous, someone like LaRouche or Trump will always attract gullible followers in this country. And not just in this country; cf. Germany in 1933.
Last edited by John F on Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by lennygoran » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:57 am

John F wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:51 am
someone like LaRouche or Trump will always attract gullible followers in this country. And not just in this country; cf. Germany in 1933.
I've watched 5 of the 6 programs on dictators and their tactics-I think it's a wonderful show-footage I've never seen before. Regards, Len

https://www.pbs.org/show/dictators-playbook/

david johnson
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by david johnson » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 am

John, the nonsense would be Hil and self-styled progressives. The loonies all live at the polar extremes of politics, left or right.

jserraglio
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by jserraglio » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:39 am

Like Bill, Hillary is a centrist. Only by comparison with her opponent could she be tagged as a left progressive living on the fringe. One of the reasons she lost is that placating the Sandersites on the left cost her with the moderate Midwestern voters. Now that radical-left, anti-corporate faction, reincarnated in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, with Elizabeth Warren as Sanders' fellow traveller, is at it again. If they are allowed to dominate the Dem party, MagaMan is likely to be reelected.

lennygoran
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by lennygoran » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:33 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:39 am
If they are allowed to dominate the Dem party, MagaMan is likely to be reelected.
After Friday's revelation of Manifort's collusion maybe they can tie it to Trump! I recommend water boarding Manifort before he can get pardoned! Regards, Len [fleeing] :lol:

PS-they seem to be zeroing in on Stone too! :)

jserraglio
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Re: Lyndon Larouche is dead

Post by jserraglio » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:19 am

lennygoran wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:33 am
After Friday's revelation of Manifort's collusion maybe they can tie it to Trump! I recommend water boarding Manifort before he can get pardoned! Regards, Len [fleeing] :lol:
PS-they seem to be zeroing in on Stone too! :)
Even if Manifort turned on Trump, nobody would consider him a credible witness. So there's no hurry for MagaMan to pardon Manifort now. He can wait till after the 2020 election. That is, if Manifort survives. He is said to be a physical wreck by those that have seen him.

Stone presents a thornier problem for MagaMan. He needs to be silenced right away, and a pardon would be a good way to do it.

Cohen is already off the reservation but has such credibility issues he alone is unlikely to bring Trump down. Ann Coulter is seen as "off the reservation" now too, having had the scales drop from her eyes to see that MagaMan has no intention of building the Wall he still needs as his marquee issue for duping "the stupidest people in his base" to vote to reelect him. What is it with MagaMan and all the Native American metaphors, anyway? (Pocahontas and the "Trail of Tears").
John F wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:38 am
No RIP for him; rather, good riddance.
As for Lyndon Larouche, never heard of him, but do wish the man rest.

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