The Proxy Wars

Many disciples of LaRouche attempted at various time to undermine his closed system of belief. All of them were defeated by his intellectual judo.

"borismaglev," Factnet, 05-09-2008, 08:43 PM:

The emergence of "intellectual heroes" other than Marx in the old Labor Committees took place after and not before LaRouche became the maniacal monster of "Beyond Psychoanalysis" and the Stalin Campaigner.[FN 1] These two pieces of writing were the foundations of his claim for absolute dictatorship over the group. The young intellectuals around him were initially shell-shocked and capitulated for a time. But then, gradually, they found new, imaginative, albeit sly, ways of resisting his intellectual monopoly. Over time, these new ways converged to a tactic of bringing forward other intellectual authorities who had in the past postulated the issue of human creativity (presumably LaRouche's specialty) in ways more efficient than LaRouche.

For example, to LaRouche's "creative mentation," Uwe von Parpart[FN 2] counterposed Cantor's concept of the "transfinite," and later Riemann's hypotheses that underlie geometry. Von Parpart's intent was to posit, ever so slyly, that there are more efficient ways than LaRouche's of being creative. LaRouche reacted by claiming that Cantor and Riemann were saying exactly what he was talking about but in less clear ways that von Parpart was failing to understand. He would disparage and dismiss von Parpart and proceed to explain "what Cantor and Riemann really meant to say," even though he had not been previously aware of the names Cantor and Riemann until Parpart brought them to the organization's attention.[FN 3]

Another example was Allen Salisbury's master stroke[FN 4] of arguing that the American System economists were superior to Marx (LaRouche's old and only real specialty). The genius of Allen's maneuver was in the timing: LaRouche had just destroyed Marx's authority in the group with his venture beyond psychoanalysis so attacking Marx was no longer a big deal; LaRouche had also started kissing up to American nativist groups so he was not in a position to attack American System economists at that time. So, what he did instead was to claim that he was an American System economist all along, to write in one of his endless autobiographies that he comes from a long pedigree of American country squires and yeomen, and restate and conceal his old Marxist obsessions of state-run economies in pseudo-American System language.[FN 5] To this day, he has not articulated one economic thought or argument that resembles Henry Carey or Mathew Carey.

Similarly with the Platonic idea of "hypothesis" and Avicenna's "necessary existent" that Syvriotis promoted as sly alternatives to LaRouche's "creativity." LaRouche claimed that he had these ideas already covered, that Plato and Avicenna were earlier, rough-draft versions of LaRouche himself, his less perfect predecessors in the long struggle between Prometheans and Olympians. Actually, that's when LaRouche got into this Olympian demonology. He skipped everything of Plato and focused on the Myth of Atlantis and all the Blavatskian baggage that goes with it, Arctic Home of the Vedas and what not.[FN 6]

Other young intellectuals would attempt to put forward other intellectual heroes and other great concepts, like the noosphere, Bach's well tempering, Cervante's ironic technique, Dante's Empyrean, Leibniz's monadology, etc. as equally feeble, sly attempts to undermine LaRouche's authority. In every instance, LaRouche shamelessly claimed that he knew all about it (he didn't, actually), he embraced all these new names and ideas as his own, claimed that he had studied them when he was a young man, distorted them, bowdlerized them and kept parroting them like empty slogans in May Day celebrations on Red Square. And told the young Jedi who brought them forward to get lost.

The only oppositionist young Jedi that didn't take this route was Gus Axios. He simply pointed straight to the real problem and said: LaRouche is stealing money from the American organization to sent it to the German organization and Helga, and I won't stand for it. LaRouche pronounced Axios mentally unstable and that was that. Axios was probably the only one of the young Jedi who understood that you can't beat LaRouche at his own intellectual parlor games with sly, half-hearted talk.[FN 7] All the others, who realized that LaRouche was a fraud and tried to fight him by presenting alternative intellectual role models were wrong. You can't fight a lunatic by pretending that he is just another intellectual role model like Vernadsky, Leibniz, Cantor, Plato or Riemann, etc.[FN 8] You have to tell him that he is a fraud and a thief outright. If you don't, he senses your fear to do so and he tears you up. Moreover, in the slyness of their proxy wars, the young Jedi were never really sure whether they were actually challenging LaRouche's intellectual authority or whether they were bringing more sacrificial offerings to his altar. The Dark Side and the Light Side of the Force was always struggling within them. They didn't find out which of the two sides was driving them until they quit, or were expelled, or were killed.

Rely by "yamabkad," Factnet, 05-09-2008, 11:59 AM

The narrative hasn't changed much since the prison days, except for the practicalities of the the day-to-day hustle for imaginary influence. The most the LYM can do is try to fill some gaps and expand upon the more fixed themes, no sly rebellions for this crowd. (This ironically is what we were told was everything wrong [with] the educational system, where the most a graduate student could do was kiss the projected shadows in the cave of the professor's ass.)

Lacking slyness is probably a good thing, since now the simpler rebellion is simply leaving, and maybe getting a systematic education in something so that they can write their own narratives.

Footnotes by Dennis King:

[1] The reference is to two articles by LaRouche from The Campaigner, the National Caucus of Labor Committees' former theoretical journal. The first article, "Beyond Psychoanalysis," appeared in the Sept. 1973 issue under the name "L. Marcus." It provided the theoretical foundation for the notorious "ego-stripping" sessions through which LaRouche would psychologically terrorize his followers, causing the most strong-willed of them to quit but subordinating the rest to his personal will. The second article, "The Question of Stalinism Today" (Nov. 1975 issue), appeared under LaRouche's real name and expressed a certain admiration for the Soviet dictator but also criticized him for not cracking down hard enough on "British" agents inside the Soviet Union. (Three years later, LaRouche would criticize the Nazis for the same alleged policy error.)

[2] Uwe Parpart a/k/a Uwe Henke used to call himself Uwe Henke von Parpart when he was in the LaRouche organization. "Von," in a German personal name, often denotes noble ancestry. In the 1980s, German anti-cult researchers searched through genealogical records and were unable to find evidence that Parpart's "von" was anything more than an affectation.

[3] In early 1981, several members resigned in protest over LaRouche's Stalin-style denunciations of Gus Kalimtgis (see FN 7). Among these defectors was Alice Roth, who had worked with Uwe Parpart on the so-called LaRouche-Riemann economic modeling project (an outgrowth of Parpart's abortive use of the opposition-by-proxy tactic). In a post-resignation letter to the NCLC membership, Roth described experiences that fit like a glove with borismaglev's thesis above.

[4] This is a reference to Salisbury's The Civil War and the American System: America's Battle with Britain, 1860-1876, New York: Campaigner Publications, 1978. (Campaigner was an in-house LaRouchian publishing entity.)

[5] LaRouche also benefited in another way from the "American System" research. Dr. Michael Hudson, a well-to-do economist and Wall Street consultant who had written on the same school of thought, was enticed by David Goldman and other NCLC members to lend money to the New Benjamin Franklin House Publishing Company for republishing works by these 19th century thinkers. But the money was promptly spent on propaganda written by LaRouche, not on the scholarly historical editions, and when Hudson asked for repayment of his loan, the LaRouchians began jerking him around. When he persisted, they published his picture in New Solidarity along with an article calling him a KGB agent. (FBI testimony during the 1986 bond hearing of three LaRouche aides indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston cited an alleged statement by one of these aides about Hudson: "Piss on him. Fuck him. That's what he gets for lending us money.") Hudson would become one of the LaRouche organization's most relentless foes, using his professional skills to help pierce their corporate veil and then testifying against them in a New York State securities fraud case that resulted in several convictions.

[6] For a fascinating account of LaRouche's obsession with Atlantis and the northern homeland of the Aryans, see "The Hostile Fantasy World of Lyndon LaRouche," a discussion paper by an ex-LCer (name withheld) who quit in the late 1970s.

[7] It is an exaggeration to say that LaRouche's former chief of staff Gus Kalimtgis ("Axios" was his party name) was the "only one of the young Jedi who understood that you can't beat LaRouche...through sly, half-hearted talk." Even before Kalimtgis resigned, many other well-educated young followers had come to a comparable conclusion, had quit the NCLC and had denounced LaRouche. Furthermore, some of them had done so after attempting, and failing at, the very tactic of opposition by intellectual proxy described by borismaglev.

For instance, in the early 1970s some NCLC members latched onto the ideas of socialist theoretician Rosa Luxemburg--in part out of their need for a counterweight to LaRouche's suffocating ideological dominance. But Luxemburg's ideas got lost in a welter of assassination hoaxes, ego-stripping sessions and general thuggery, and several individuals who admired Luxemburg's work ended up resigning.

Then, in the middle and late 1970s, LCers who worked on research about the British Empire for LaRouche attempted to use the writings of Prof. Carroll Quigley to construct a relatively moderate critique of the Anglo-American alliance and thus head off LaRouche's lunge into anti-Semitic conspiracism. But LaRouche simply selected out bits and pieces of Quigley's findings and inserted them into his theory of a vast plot by Jewish bankers. Some of the individuals who had participated in the research project came to realize, through this and other experiences, that it was futile to try to housetrain LaRouche. They too resigned from the NCLC.

I suspect that such exercises in futility during the LaRouche organization's first decade--and the fact that so many members drew the common-sense conclusions and quit--served as an object lesson for later defectors, including Kalimtgis, and helped them avoid the pitfall of "slyness."

[8] In fairness to the NCLC's various would-be reformers, it should be noted that they were still locked into LaRouche's theory that history is a secretive struggle of two elites, both of which employ--as important intellectual weapons--slyness, code language, deceptive cover ideologies, and philosophical attacks by way of proxies. (See "The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites," The Campaigner, May-June 1978, in which LaRouche alleges that the evil "oligarchical" elite deployed Aristotle to counter the influence of Plato, who supposedly was the philosophical agent of a beneficent "humanist" elite.) It thus would have seemed natural to restless LCers to use such methods in an attempt to ameliorate LaRouche's ideological excesses and otherwise limit his power within the organization. Unfortunately, LaRouche took his own theory of elitist intrigue seriously, slept with "one eye open" to detect covert philosophical challenges to his hegemony, and managed (as borismaglev describes so well) to deflect such efforts with relative ease.