Who Is This LaRouche and What Does He Want? (Mark Evans)
Buried in the Lyndon LaRouche/U.S. Labor Party file at the Data Center, the off-Broadway media/research outlet on 19th Street in Oakland, is a curious document dated January 16, 1981, in which the late Larry MacDonald, Congressman from Georgia and John Birch Society elder, read some interesting comments regarding LaRouche and his organization into the Congressional Record: “The NCLC,” said MacDonald, “is a closed band, but one with its own unique twist that makes it as bizarre among political groupings as a Mobius strip is among geometric figures.” This phenomenon of the pot calling the kettle black is typical in the factional fighting among the political cults, not only on the Right, but across the political spectrum. The Right, we should recognize, is not monolithic.
Depending on whom you believe, Larry MacDonald himself is alive (John Judge) or dead (most of the media). The late Mae Brussel, researcher par excellence, in an exposé of MacDonald and his associates published in the February ’84 Hustler, made a strong case that Larry MacDonald and KAL 007 were taken out, not by the Russians, but by the CIA because MacDonald, whose neo-Nazi connections had begun to surface, had become a liability to his old friend Ronald Reagan. Be that as it may, mulling over MacDonald’s evocation of the image of the Mobius strip regarding LaRouche, I decided that the Mobius strip is an apt geometric metaphor for the whole political spectrum.
Lyndon LaRouche, aka “Lyn Marcus” (1922-), an ex-Trotskyist (and ex-Wall Street economic consultant, who retired in 1964 with a cool million at the age of 42), was the economic theoretician and father confessor to the “National Caucus of Labor Committees” (the NCLC), which originated within the Columbia University chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The NCLC began as a neo-Marxian sect. Lyn Marcus was teaching an admixture of Gaussian and Riemannian physics grafted onto Marx in a loft in Greenwich Village, beginning in the Summer of 1966, under the auspices of the Free University of New York, an entity similar to the Open Exchange of San Francisco. Because he was witty, and by all accounts, “one of the more entertaining speakers on the Left” at that time, Lyn Marcus attracted a number of fairly bright, economically oriented, Greenwich Village radicals. After a couple of summer-sessions, he sent his newly recruited cadres uptown to Columbia University to join the SDS.
The “Labor Committees” were involved in the student strike at Columbia in the Spring of 1968. They are mentioned in The Strawberry Statement, James Kunan’s topical work on the subject. In the fall of ’68, the Labor Committees were kicked out of the Columbia University SDS by Mark Rudd and Bernadine Dorhn, who went on to found the Weather Underground, the wild-in-the-streets, cultural radical Maoists. After the big split in SDS at the Chicago convention in the summer of ’69, the NCLC went back into SDS to become the inside opposition to the Progressive Labor (PL) faction who retained the mailing lists and the name SDS in the struggle that followed the split. The PL faction, “bow-tie Maoists,” followed Milt Rosen, who followed Chairman Mao, while the NCLC followed “Chairman Lyn.” Sometime during 1971-72, the NCLC positioned themselves to the left of the PL, essentially by accusing them of being the “running dog lackeys” for Rockefeller and the British Crown, which is another whole story in itself.
Sometime during 1973, “Lyn Marcus” proposed a united front with the Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party, with himself as the head of a new “revitalized” left. After this proposal was rejected by those formations, the NCLC, under LaRouche, proclaimed themselves to be the true “Revolutionary Vanguard” and proceeded to physically attack members of the CP and the SWP (“Operation Mop-up”) during the Spring of 1974. Subsequently, upon finding themselves ostracized out of the Left and the Revolution slipping out of their grasp, the NCLC, during 1975-76, “rediscovered” the American Revolution just in time for the Bicentennial and formed a united front with Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby. The LaRouchies were loosely allied with the Liberty Lobby throughout the late seventies, but broke with them when Willis Carto, in the winter of 1979, embarked on his campaign of “Holocaust Revisionism,” denying that six million Jews were murdered by Hitler.
After 1976, LaRouche and his followers graduated from Marxism into being born-again Hamiltonians when they “discovered” that all of Marx’s best ideas were supposedly lifted (without so much as an acknowledgment), from Alexander Hamilton. Their version of how they arrived at this collective conclusion was presented in The Civil War and the American System, by the Afro-American LaRouchian historian, Allen Salisbury. Since the early eighties, when they were eager Reagan-boosters, attending American Legion conventions and glad-handing Legionnaires, the LaRouchies have done some fancy footwork and have mellowed into “conservative” JFK-style “Democrats.”
The spectacle of this whole process may indicate that the political spectrum is not a line-segment, as is commonly believed. After all, any line segment or strip of paper sufficiently long may be coaxed into a circle. A circle, coming undone, may also be twisted into a Mobius strip. Therefore, the two most appropriate descriptions of the political spectrum seem to be (1) the merry-go-round and (2) the Mobius strip. The whole spectrum resembles a continuum where both sides eventually become the same side or one side eventually becomes both sides, depending on the way you look at it.
LaRouche himself and the NCLC are worth studying as a point of reference, not only because they are prima facie evidence of the twisted nature of the political spectrum, but also because, as a highly sophisticated intelligence front and economic cult, they have held shifting positions over the years on various issues. Evolving into a synthetic political cosmology, they have developed a weltanshauung that addresses almost every subject under the sun. The LaRouchies have identified and embraced some of the genuine high points of Western culture, like Plato, the Golden Renaissance in Florence, and the music of Bach and Beethoven. At the same time, the LaRouchian political analysis represents a species of “modified limited hangout,” fulfilling the Buddhist maxim of “hiding in the open” what the ruling class wishes to conceal.
LaRouche seems to have been assigned the role of “Joker” in the political deck. Most of the Left consider him a fascist. The Heritage Foundation, however, in the ’80s, stated that the NCLC was a wing of the STASI (East German Military Intelligence). The Media, owned by the very “Oligarchy ” that the LaRouchies so articulately “expose,” also comes at them screaming. Many of the various programs which the LaRouchies advocate (such as the AIDS Quarantine, the MX Missile, Star Wars/S.D.I. and Nuclear smokestacks as a viable energy-source) are odious to most Liberals, Progressives and Greens. LaRouchian advocacy of these programs also is a strong indication that the group functions as a shill for the Military -Industrial Complex. These bizarre contradictions effectively contain the deep information that is often hung out on the LaRouche clothesline.
Mae Brussel, who for the better part of 17 years (1971-1988) conducted a weekly 60-minute radio program on KAZU in Pacific Grove, California, unraveling the full ramifications of the assassination of JFK, stated off camera that the LaRouche material is about 80% “deeply factual” (comparable to the information found in Covert Action Quarterly ) and about 20% “rat poison.” In other words, at the core of the NCLC (as with other political cults) probably 20 members or less actually see the “big picture,” while 95% of the group-true-believer types, the “drones”-man tables and phone lines, do research, write stories, and believe they are on the side of the angels “fighting the Oligarchy.” Meanwhile, a monkey wrench gang in the editorial department determine the party line and put a spin on the aggregate to make it unpalatable with 90% of the public.
Mae Brussel, who inspired a whole generation of researchers (sometimes known as “Brussel Sprouts”) taught her disciples to read everything across the whole political spectrum and to sift and weigh all pieces of information as separate elements of the collective aggregate. She taught us to compare everything with every other thing and to work out the contradictions between the various voices that speak conflicting things because everything means something and nothing is without significance. If we use our heads, we can eventually find the whole truth. Reality is the total synthesis of all the voices, past and present, and in politics (polis being the city or society at large), every political faction contains a certain amount of truth as well as varying degrees of error. This is the main difference between the followers of Mae Brussell and the followers of Chip Berlet. Mae told us to study everything and to learn how to discern what is real from what is not. Chip Berlet, on the other hand, whose sudden prominence and cachet on the progressive political scene portends a dangerous tendency which might aptly be called Neo-Mugwump or left-wing McCarthyism, implies by innuendo that all information hanging out in right wing journals is ipso facto false, at best tainted, and those caught reading it are de facto, polluted. Certain people, it seems-a new class of “experts”-have elected themselves to be the intellectual food-tasters and the watch-dogs for the rest of us. The new shibboleth seems to be, “I am not now, nor have I ever been a reader of politically incorrect literature or a person who talks to politically incorrect people.”
Chip Berlet and his sidekick Dennis King, author of Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism, have made careers out of their postgraduate preoccupation of being “LaRouche watchers.” To them, Lyndon LaRouche, recently released from prison, is the Great Beast. Berlet and King’s own political trajectory, in shades of The Big Chill, led from Chairman Mao to Yippie, to Yuppie writing for the Reader’s Digest-a path parallel in its revisionism and no less bizarre than that of the despised object of their fixated animosity, LaRouche himself. Curiously, in the course of their careers and after debriefing presumably dozens of former NCLC members, they have never been able to come up with the scoop of where the LaRouche money comes from.
That’s easy-the money comes from Rockefeller-at least $10 million dollars of an original package of seed money did, to expand the NCLC, to buy telexes, computers, and printing presses in the early seventies (probably, circa 1971). The persistent, though unsubstantiated rumor to this effect, which oddly enough, Berlet, King, & Co. have never reported, was confirmed in early 1973 by a high-ranking “Caucusoid” in a candid moment to a professor of Afro-American Studies in Rochester, New York, in the privacy of the professor’s home. Robert Veenis, present at this meeting in 1973, told me about it in 1989. I don’t think it should be a secret.
Shouldn’t we ask ourselves why Berlet and King maintain that “No one knows where the money comes from”? I suggest that the reason for that piece of disinformation is because if the identity of the financial uncle of the LaRouchies was made known, it might give away the whole Game. People might begin wondering who owns Doubleday (the publisher of Dennis King’s book), or why Dennis King, in the preface to his book on LaRouche, thanks a member of William F. Buckley’s Conservative Party of New York for explaining to him the arcane and near incomprehensible mysteries of the LaRouchian Cosmology. William F. Buckley, veteran CIA operative, is, after all, a longtime comrade of David Rockefeller, as well as a member of the Bohemian Grove. None of which should really surprise anyone. It’s all the same cocktail party at the top.
I suggest that LaRouche-phobia is actually something of a red herring. To cast Lyndon LaRouche in the part of Bete-noire and stalking-horse of Fascism, was to construct a straw man-a process in which LaRouche himself may have played a witting role. Berlet and King may perhaps be forgiven if their prescient sense of impending Fascism erred in prematurely identifying LaRouche as the agent of its re-emergence (LaRouche, the former Marxist professor in the loft in Greenwich Village, was too intellectual and too arcane to achieve mass-appeal). However, they were not completely wrong. Sixty years after the publication of Sinclair Lewis’s novel It Can’t Happen Here, the Bishop Prang and the Buzz Windrip of American Fascism have arrived in the persons of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, two people who truly appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Ironically, the LaRouchies have been warning about Gingrich-another Rockefeller man-for years.
RESPONSE TO Mark Evans on LaRouche
Mark Evans in his essay on LaRouche accuses me of covering up Rockefeller funding of LaRouche. Evans quotes a single hearsay source for the Rockefeller connection who in turn received it from a second hearsay source. I had never heard this story before; it I had, I would have checked it out. But I would not have printed it as fact the way Evans does without solid substantiation. I am dubious of the story because (among other things) of the date: Evans says the conversation took place in 1973, but the LaRouche organization never obtained large sums of money to launch an international intelligence operation until 1976 (their spending prior to 1976 can be explained in large part by the fact that wealthy members turned over their trust funds to the organization). Evans fails to note that I was the one who obtained a 1976 CIA document under FOIA in which a top aide to George Bush (then the director) speculated in a memo to Bush on the possibility of making use of the LaRouchians. I did not state this was the source of the sudden influx of money to the LaRouchians, because I could not obtain any proof (speculation in a letter about the possibility of something is not proof). I did however reveal that the LaRouchians were given an expensive Wang computer at the time by Wang Laboratories (an intelligence community contractor), that a computer software company secretly controlled by LaRouche raked in millions for the organization in the late 1970s, that the LaRouchians ran a successful shakedown operation against Resorts International, that they engaged in wire fraud and check kiting fraud in the 1970s, that they obtained money from the Loews Foundation (Tisch family) in 1981 when they were running electoral dirty tricks for NY mayor Ed Koch, that they obtained a large donation from a friend of Jesse Helms after running dirty tricks for Helm’s 1984 reelection campaign, and that they raised tens of millions of dollars a year in the mid-1980s through credit card fraud and loan scams targeting senior citizens. The substantiated facts about LaRouche’s sources of money are weird enough even without the ghost of Nelson Rockefeller.