Monday, July 16, 2007

Odd Man Out

The Loony Who's Staying Home: Lyndon Larouche is the title of The New Republic article that provides, for the nth time, the standard overview of Larouche. This is a puff piece filled with the usual suspects. Nothing new or interesting here, suggesting that Conor Clarke, the writer, lacked the time, interest, or angle, to focus on the ongoing upheaval in Leesburg since the death of Ken Kronberg, and the decimation of the German leadership reported by others. The article exists because Larouche isn't running in 2008. If Larouche, or his myriad organizations, are in financial, or other, jeopardy this article would never clue you in.

Clarke trots out the history:

After being released from prison in 1994--five years earlier, he was convicted of running a massive mail-fraud scheme--LaRouche found that many of his original associates had abandoned him. Most of the turncoats were baby-boomers, so LaRouche began writing off the entire generation as "generally crazy" and saving his affection for the young, whom he sees as filled with revolutionary promise. Of course, it doesn't hurt that most of the impressionable college students LaRouche recruits are too young to remember that he spent five years in prison for mail fraud.

the current events discussed at FACTNet:

Many of the LaRouche youth drop out of college to work for the movement full-time, and most move into crowded and filthy group housing, where they work long hours distributing literature and making fund-raising phone calls. A number of colleges now warn incoming students about the group.

and the future for the LYM, pedagogically speaking:

he is now hard at work on a new "educational program" for the LYM--which, he says, starts with "questions of the Pythagoreans," then dips into "[Carl Friedrich] Gauss's 1799 doctoral dissertation," and then moves on to the work of nineteenth-century German mathematician Bernhard Riemann. "If you don't understand Riemannian dynamics," intones LaRouche, "you don't know how economies work." He chose the curriculum based on "the kind of things that a leading cadre of economists"--like himself--"should have mastered."

Nothing to see here that we haven't see before.

I was in contact with Avi Klein, who was a tad concerned that this article took the wind out of his sails, as his has yet to be published in The Washington Monthly. It should show up on line or in print next month. If Klein took a different approach that delved into the context of the Kronberg suicide, the demise of PMR, and the fallout upon the LPAC (for starters) we should see a very different and hopefully more informative piece than TNR offered up.


Conor said...

as it happens, I had reported on all of those things - the magazine just wasn't interested. sometimes that happens and it's got nothing to do with the writer..

Kheris said...

We can hope The Washington Monthly takes a different approach then. Although, it is my understanding that editors know what the 'angle' is, or should be, before they commission the piece and presumably the writer does too. TNR's article title says it all actually, and that should have been my first clue that this wasn't going to amount to much.

Too bad. It was a wasted opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it was a lost opportunity for those who want to see this psychopathic cult leader out of business. The problem is that by having the article in this spread on candidates, it gives him far more credibility than he deserves. His organization is primarily a cult and not interested in actual political work. Hopefully the future will bring harder-hitting information and the editors will agree to publish it.

Anonymous said...

not interested in actual political work? The LaRouche group has a lot of contacts in the political world, and encourages them to take very specific political initiatives. Many don't, some do, but no matter what you think of the guy, a lot of people listen to what he says, and what his people do.

Kheris said...

And I'd want to know exactly who it is that is listening, their track record, and just why they find this cult leader so fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you "watch" LaRouche, you'll see that at his webcasts there are numerous questions sent in from House and Senate offices asking about Cheney, Gore, derivatives, etc. I guess you could say the moderator is just making it all up, but that would be a conspiracy theory... Some of the people who are known to have closely followed LaRouche's proposals are wackos such as a former U.S. President and a former Secretary of the Treasury, who don't associate with him publicly, though. At the international level you get people who do it openly, as they're not pressured as much to stay away from the "political extremist" LaRouche: in Russia they're interested in his promotion of the Bering Strait tunnel project and high-speed rail; in Italy the V-P of the Parliament said he thinks LaRouche's ideas for large-scale infrastructure projects are very important, while holding a conference with Larouche at the Italian Parliament. (all available on LaRouche's web site).

Kheris said...

Can't name names? That's a ringing endorsement. If you are reading the rest of my blog, especially the latest post, you know that the man and his followers are living in their own 'special' world. For that reason alone he is beyond the pale as a political extremist. What no one seems to realize is that he is his own worst enemy, and his sycophants do him no favors by engaging in such nonsensical assertions.

Anonymous said...

Clinton and Rubin went in the direction of the "new financial architecture" indicated by LaRouche at a certain point; check the web site and you'll see plenty of names, including names/pictures of the international events. Fact is though, that if the pols in the U.S. supported him publicly, he'd probably be in Congress rather than trying to influence it from the outside. But do you have anything to say about the content of LaRouche's work? In the 'real world' the LaRouchies are active on a lot of political issues. You seem to be obsessed with everything but content.

Kheris said...

What I have to say about the so-called 'content' of Larouche's work is that it comes across as so much obfuscating hot air. I have read it and commented on it elsewhere. The former members, who were far more indoctrinated than I, have done a fair job at FACTNet describing that work and the way it is recycled to meet the need of the moment.

Larouche has predicted global financial collapse for some time, and I have said that it will likely occur, but not for the reasons he states and certainly not because he is some sort of prophet. A stopped clock is still correct twice a day.

Anonymous said...

It's hot air if you don't take the content seriously and prefer to be offended by LaRouche's very polemical style. The economic collapse is very real, not some hypothetical prediction; its disastrous effects are visible for poor populations around the world, not to mention the (former) working class in the U.S.
As for the former members at FACTNet, I've only read some of the postings, but whenever I get to some point which seems like it could be a legit criticism of the movement, they throw in some BS assertion or gossip which convinces me that they're not in good faith. If I have time to write something there, it won't be difficult to break down some of their sour grapes assertions. (like the LaRouchies being anti-semites)

Kheris said...

I cannot take an ex-con seriously when he positions himself as the only person who can change the world, especially when he claims that is a burden he'd rather not have but after all, what would happen to us all if he wasn't here to disburse his wisdome. Sorry Anon, but that is nonsense on its face.

As for any economic collapse, it doesn't take a genius to see that Africa is in deep trouble, and will remain so if the leadership doesn't change. Mugabe has run Zimbabwe into the ground, Liberia has suffered through disastrous civil strife and Nigeria is chock-a-block with corruption that prevents it from fully benefiting from the oil revenues as it should, to the point that some wells are now shuttered due to the kidnappings that are going on. It's far more complex than LHL will admit, and as for the rest of us -- I seriously doubt that the synarchists, Rohatyn, and the rest of the targets du jour have a lot to do with the current credit crunch. I have been reading some very sober analyses that are, thankfully, bereft of the hyperbole so favored by LHL.

Seamus said...

Sober Alanayses, ok, sounds fun, actually I don't know if it will be fun, but it should be interesting. Why not link to these analyses that we too may read them. The financial system is crap, still here, question is really for how long. Globalisation should be as dead as Karl Marx if society was not so transfixed on its own genitalia (you excluded, as writing a blog cuts down on the amount of time one can masturbate, physically anyway).