Obituary: Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. (1922–2019)
This obituary was originally published by EIR magazine. See also, "A Talent Well Spent" and our campaign report, 'Restoring the Soul of America: The Exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche.'
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., the American economist and statesman who compiled, between 1957 and 2007, the most accurate record of economic forecasting in the world, passed away on February 12, 2019. The author of thousands of articles and over 100 books and book-length pamphlets and strategic studies, LaRouche was one of the most controversial political figures in all of American history.
One reason for this was LaRouche’s proud, vigorous, and enduring Presidential campaign, 1976–2004, to re-establish American Constitutional self-government following the 1963–1968 assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. Another reason was his successful establishment of an independent news service and intelligence gathering capability that allowed him and his associates to develop an unfiltered evaluations process, which was unique in journalism, and which equipped them to accurately report the true state of the American economy, and often, the true nature of otherwise mysterious American and international political processes.
LaRouche also created an international philosophical association, on the basis of re-creating the knowledge about the millennia-old controversy between the Platonic tradition and the school of Aristotle, the fight between the republican model of state and the oligarchical system of empire.
LaRouche’s reach outside the United States was the result of his successful recruitment of hundreds of politicized students from many nations, particularly in Europe, and the Americas. This self-selected intelligentsia gave him the power to originate and implement policy shifts through the deployment of modest but well-trained and extremely well-informed units that catalyzed much larger forces in various nations to sometimes act as “one mind across many continents.”
LaRouche was known for his insistence that all citizens of the United States, as well as citizens of any sovereign nation, have the responsibility to educate themselves on the crucial matters of policy that affect the future of their nations, and of humanity; to propose and defend only those policies that “promote the General Welfare” of “ourselves and our posterity”; and to defeat predatory financial measures enacted in the pursuit of racialist depopulation policies, sometimes disguised as “environmentalism” or “sustainable development” aimed particularly at the nations of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
Prominent international persons and institutions have recently begun reporting about LaRouche; however, despite his having been one of America’s most prolific writers, no “major media source” has yet dared to quote Lyndon LaRouche’s actual views on any policy matter for which he was noted. This fear of LaRouche is notable, but not new. It was always true that the power of the ideas of LaRouche, as much as, or even more than the person of LaRouche, was deeply feared by his opponents. That fear will not abate with his physical demise.
LaRouche’s Four Laws, his proposal for a United States-Russia-China-India Four Powers Agreement, his invention of the 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) announced by then-President Ronald Reagan, and his unique five-decade advocacy of thermonuclear fusion power cannot be allowed to be mentioned by “mainstream media” today, even upon the occasion of LaRouche’s death. Were the American people now to know about these policies, and thereby learn what they had been denied by the decades-long enforced conspiracy of silence around LaRouche, particularly during the financial crises and useless predatory wars of the past 15 years, they would immediately conclude that someone has been trying very hard all these years to keep them away from Lyndon LaRouche’s ideas.
“He’s a bad guy, but we can’t tell you why” will no longer suffice as an explanation for these people, as to why they should not, even now, know “who Lyndon LaRouche is.” In successfully breaking the confines of fake news at this moment, the real Lyndon LaRouche can finally be heard and become known. To that end, the following brief, very incomplete account of his life and work is supplied.
The Development of a World Statesman
LaRouche established himself over more than four decades as the foremost enemy of the British Imperial System, in both its pre-World War II and ongoing post-war Commonwealth incarnations. LaRouche’s service in World War II, particularly in the China–Burma–India theatre, was personally decisive. “It was the experience in Calcutta, in 1946, which defined my principal lifelong commitment, that the United States should take postwar world leadership in establishing a world order dedicated to promoting the economic development of what we today call ‘developing nations,’ ” LaRouche wrote in his autobiography, The Power of Reason: 1988. LaRouche began to do battle with the “political economic theorists” and slave-traders of the modern-day British East India Company, whose theories dominated American university Economics departments in the aftermath of World War II.
LaRouche fiercely opposed the conception of man as a beast, advocated by Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, Parson Thomas Malthus, and John Locke. Instead, LaRouche re-established the science of physical economy in the United States, a science invented in 1672 by the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, inventor of the calculus and co-inventor of the steam engine. Through an intensive period of study between 1948 and 1952, LaRouche advanced his independent studies in physical science in order to develop his method of economic forecasting. The 1983 book, LaRouche: Will This Man Become President? states: “What LaRouche first recognized during 1952, was that by adopting a conception of energy which is fully consistent with [bernhard] Riemann’s 1854 dissertation, ‘On the Hypotheses Which Underlie Geometry,’ it is possible to measure both technology and economic growth in terms of energy so defined. In LaRouche’s work, economic value—real economic growth—is measured primarily in terms of increases of the potential relative population density of society.”
LaRouche, however, looked at all of his work on physical economy as the specific expression of a deeper epistemological task. In his 1988 article, “Beethoven as a Physical Scientist,” LaRouche writes:
My most important discoveries, in every field which I have contributed, are based upon my successful refutation of the famous Kantian paradox reasserted in Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment. Kant asserted two things of relevance here.
First, he insisted that although creative processes responsible for valid fundamental scientific discoveries exist, these processes themselves are beyond all possible human understanding. That I proved to be false, and from that proof developed an approach to intelligible representation of those creative processes, and hence the implicit measurement of technological progress as such.
Second, on the basis of the first assumption, Kant argued that there were no intelligible criteria of truth or beauty in aesthetics. The toleration which has been gained so generally by all modern irrationalism in matters of art, has depended upon German and other acceptance of this thesis on aesthetics advanced by Kant and Friedrich Carl von Savigny later.
The prolific nature of Lyndon LaRouche’s writings, in the fields of music, economics, history, language, and the physical sciences, inspired many collaborations and exchanges with people throughout the world. LaRouche, importantly, was a statesman—not a politician—a practitioner of statecraft, in the Socratic-Athenian sense. He established organizations through teaching, starting with a several-part lecture series in 1966, through which he advanced and debated his method of economic forecasting, especially on university campuses. Many first encountered LaRouche on one side of a debate, held with campus economic and political authorities of the 1970s. This ended after LaRouche’s famous 1971 debate with economist Abba Lerner, who lost by admitting that if the austerity policies of German Finance Minister Hjalmar Schacht had been implemented in the 1920s, “Hitler would not have been necessary.” Within months, no one could be found to debate LaRouche, and no such debates ever again occurred.
LaRouche’s lectures on what were at the time called “dialectical economics,” were precisely that—dialogues between LaRouche and philosophical, economic and scientific figures from history, portrayed by him with storyteller precision, always done without notes, and often done without any books at all. Students were supplied with an extensive syllabus of reading material, with suggested readings detailed week by week. One student recalled that “passages were referred to from a work like Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason, for example. You would be told to read it. If you did so, and came to the class the next week, he would first describe what his idea was of the passage, which was persuasive as well as accurate. He would then proceed to destroy it piece by piece, and because you had read it, and accepted it, you got to discover the fallacies lurking at the bottom of your own mind. He demonstrated to you the difference between reading and thinking. They weren’t classes: they were soliloquies. And that’s how we got interested.”
LaRouche’s primary organization was the National (later International) Caucus of Labor Committees, a philosophical association organized as a “system of conferences,” usually held twice yearly. From this association sprang many other organizations, such as the Fusion Energy Foundation, the U.S. Labor Party, the National Democratic Policy Committee, the Anti-Drug Coalition, and others. LaRouche also founded and worked with organizations in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Australia, and many other nations.
In December of 1977, LaRouche married Helga Zepp of Germany, later the creator of the Schiller Institute, a policy institution for the promotion of statecraft and a renaissance of Classical culture.
“In the fall of 1977, I suggested that we marry…. I was a little surprised, but pleasantly, when she agreed.… There was nothing ordinary about the lives of either of us, nor was it ever likely to be otherwise. We married in Wiesbaden on December 29, 1977. The service was in German; the official of the Standesamt asked me in German, if I knew what was happening. There was laughter about that question among my friends for weeks afterward.”
They remained married for 41 years.
The combative nature and polemical style of the campaigns, electoral and non-electoral, of LaRouche and his associates were unique in American political life in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. LaRouche’s 1976 half-hour broadcast, “Emergency Address to the Nation,” was the first time an independent candidate had ever purchased that quantity of television time in a U.S. federal election. LaRouche appeared on television fifteen times during the Presidential election of 1984 in 30-minute segments, virtually inventing what would later be imitated as the “infomercial.” The LaRouche Presidential candidacies, and the candidacies of his associates, including the running of 1,000 candidates for office in 1986 alone, both terrified LaRouche’s opponents in the United States, and inspired others to have the courage not merely to run for office, but to support policies designed to benefit all of humanity, not merely “their local mud-hole.”
The eight LaRouche presidential electoral initiatives, from 1976 until 2004, were in fact a single campaign for the Presidency. LaRouche, through these interventions, powered by the daily street organizing and public discussions led by hundreds of members of his international movement, committed the “Promethean” act of “leapfrogging” the British-American Establishment’s presumed influence in the corridors of power. The intellectual output of LaRouche and his movement, through his newspaper, weekly magazine, and periodic special reports and books, allowed the LaRouche movement to directly access the power of the American Presidency to change the world. While his successful campaign to propose the Strategic Defense Initiative “beam weapons” policy was LaRouche’s most stunning success, it was only a reflection of the consistent approach to grand strategy which LaRouche taught to his associates, an approach that the philosopher Plato, or the theologian and organizer of the Council of Florence, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, would have readily endorsed.
One such policy-expression of grand strategy was the International Development Bank (IDB), a 1975 LaRouche proposal to replace the International Monetary Fund, and to develop what was then termed “the Third World” through providing for the export of, not only American-built technology, but entire cities. These cities were to be built as training sites for the rapid development of the skills of developing-sector populations, enabling them to create their own “full-set” economies, rather than become debt-slaves, as in fact occurred.
Persons such as Frederick Wills, the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Guyana, advocated LaRouche’s IDB proposal in a 1976 session of the United Nations. Mexico’s President José López Portillo and India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi met with Lyndon and Helga LaRouche and adopted aspects of his proposals, many of which were presented as book-length treatments, such as “Operation Juárez” for Mexico and “The Industrialization of India: From Backwardness to Industrial Power in Forty Years” and a “A Fifty-Year Development Policy for the Indian-Pacific Oceans Basin”—all papers written by LaRouche in the early 1980s, and whose central outlook is still current, not only for today, but for the next decade or more.
The unorthodox method for dispersing these ideas advocated by LaRouche was Socratic: talking to people one on one. This daily street organizing occurred at unemployment centers, post offices, airports and traffic intersections, street corners, downtown areas and shopping malls. This direct contact with the American population resulted in LaRouche having a better reading on what was happening in the United States “from on the ground” than any other political force in the country. Corrupt elements of the Justice Department, and “quasi non-governmental organizations” who were given the green light to illegally disrupt the Constitutionally-guaranteed right of LaRouche’s associates to organize were forced to resort to characterizing the organization as a “cult” in order to dissuade citizens from contributing to companies associated with the LaRouche political movement.
None of LaRouche’s detractors are able to deny his record of successful economic forecasts, including the collapse of the Bretton Woods System on August 15, 1971, the October 1987 collapse of the Wall Street stock market (which LaRouche forecast in May of that year), and his July 25, 2007 forecast, captured in webcast format, of what later became the September 2008 “trillions-dollar bailout.” Some of the most stunning of LaRouche forecasts, though, were not, strictly speaking, economic. On Columbus Day, October 12, 1988, Lyndon LaRouche, speaking at Berlin’s Kempinski Hotel Bristol, said:
By profession, I am an economist in the tradition of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Friedrich List in Germany and of Alexander Hamilton and Mathew and Henry Carey in the United States. My political principles are those of Leibniz, List, and Hamilton, and are also consistent with those of Friedrich Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt. Like the founders of my republic, I have an uncompromising belief in the principle of absolutely sovereign nation-states, and I am therefore opposed to all supranational authorities which might undermine the sovereignty of any nation. However, like Schiller, I believe that every person who aspires to become a beautiful soul, must be at the same time a true patriot of his own nation, and also a world citizen.
For these reasons, during the past 15 years I have become a specialist in my country’s foreign affairs. As a result of this work, I have gained increasing, significant influence among some circles around my own government on the interrelated subjects of U.S. foreign policy and strategy. My role during 1982 and 1983 in working with the U.S. National Security Council to shape the adoption of the policy known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, or ‘SDI,’ is an example of this. Although the details are confidential, I can report to you that my views on the current strategic situation are more influential in the United States today that at any time during the past. Therefore, I can assure you that what I present to you now, on the subject of prospects for the reunification of Germany, is a proposal which will be studied most seriously among the relevant establishment circles inside the United States. Under the proper conditions, many today will agree, that the time has come for early steps toward the reunification of Germany, with the obvious prospect that Berlin might resume its role as the capital.
Targeted for Destruction
Two days after his Kempinski Hotel speech, federal indictments were issued against Lyndon LaRouche and several associates. Later, LaRouche, in speaking at the National Press Club on the indictments, stated: “One could say of the indictment itself, that all those that perpetrate offenses against God, or humanity, or both, are sooner or later punished.”
This was not the first contrived legal action against LaRouche. An earlier prosecution of LaRouche in Boston had concluded with a mistrial in May 1988, and had already revealed what former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark would later term “a broader range of deliberate and systematic misconduct and abuse of power over a longer period of time in an effort to destroy a political movement and leader, than any other federal prosecution in my time or to my knowledge.” As documented in the 1989 book Railroad!, “The prosecution was caught hiding evidence and violating discovery obligations… There were also days of hearings on issues of classified information… Judge Keeton later found that the government had violated the discovery obligations and that there was serious government misconduct… The Boston mistrial was called a ‘stinging defeat’ for the government by the National Law Journal… When the case ended…, the jury declared they would have acquitted all of the defendants on all charges. ‘There was just too much evidence of government misconduct in what was happening to the LaRouche campaign,’ one juror was quoted as saying.”
In the Boston trial, a May 5, 1986 document taken from Iran–Contra conspirator Oliver North’s safe, and made available to the LaRouche defense through the offices of Lawrence Walsh, the independent counsel for the Iran–Contra investigation, referenced Fred Lewis, part of a crew of operatives, working under Vice President Bush’s office, against LaRouche. This, combined with other revelations, led Judge Robert E. Keeton to hold weeks of hearings to determine the extent and impact of the prosecution’s hiding of evidence. As a result, Judge Keeton, following the classified trail which he viewed in documents which he ordered be presented to him in camera, ordered a search of Vice President Bush’s office for exculpatory evidence.
Panicked, the Justice Department rushed a new case to trial in Alexandria, Virginia, the backyard of the intelligence community beholden to Vice President and former CIA head George Bush, in order to “place a thumb on the scales of justice.” The Boston trial was scheduled for retrial on January 3, 1989. Before that could occur, the Alexandria court would indict, try, and convict LaRouche, in the space of two months—October 14 to December 16. The Boston retrial would never occur, and the true nature of the political persecution of Lyndon LaRouche would never be brought before an American jury, since Judge Albert Bryan, who presided over the Alexandria case, prevented the defense from exposing any of the government’s activities, including an unprecedented government-instigated bankruptcy which prevented repayment of the political loans at the heart of the charges.
Yet, even this criminal abuse of law, which resulted in LaRouche’s incarceration, was not the worst of actions carried out against the persons LaRouche and his wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. On October 6, 1986, there was an assassination attempt against LaRouche, about which LaRouche wrote in his 2004 pamphlet titled “ ‘Convict Him, or Kill Him!’ The Night They Came To Kill Me.”
On October 6, 1986, a virtual army of more than four hundred armed personnel descended upon the town of Leesburg, Virginia, for a raid on the offices of EIR and its associates, and also deployed for another, darker mission. The premises at which I was residing at that time were surrounded by an armed force, while aircraft, armored vehicles, and other personnel waited for the order to move in shooting. Fortunately, the killing did not happen, because someone with higher authority than the Justice Department Criminal Division head, William Weld, ordered the attack on me called off. The forces readied to move in on me, my wife, and a number of my associates, were pulled back in the morning. This was the second fully documented case of a U.S. Justice Department involvement in operations aimed at my personal elimination from politics.
Though LaRouche and six others were found guilty in an Alexandria, Virginia court on December 16, 1988, and were imprisoned on January 27, 1989, the international and national outcry against those corrupt convictions continues to this very day. Executive Intelligence Review’s September 2017 dossier, “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job If You Let Him” comprehensively reviews how the current special prosecutor against Donald Trump was a key component of the political persecution of Lyndon LaRouche in the 1980s.
During his time spent in prison, LaRouche continued to write, often by dictating whole chapters of book manuscripts on phone calls, sometimes without reference works of any kind. Apart from the collection titled The Science of Christian Economy and Other Prison Writings, LaRouche, while imprisoned, wrote and recorded many short works, including in the form of correspondence.
During 1989, as it became clear that the Soviet Union’s Comecon sphere was experiencing increasing economic difficulties, LaRouche and his wife Helga cooperated intensely on a program called the “Productive Triangle Paris-Berlin-Vienna,” which after the disintegration of the Soviet Union was extended into the “Eurasian Land-Bridge.” After the elimination of the Iron Curtain, this program suggested the integration of the population and industrial centers of Europe with those of Asia through so-called development corridors. It was the only comprehensive peace plan for the 21st Century on the table at that time, an option which was fiercely countered by British and the Anglophile neo-cons in the United States, who instead pushed their policy of a unipolar world and neoliberal system. The Eurasian Land-Bridge, very early on, became known as “The New Silk Road.” Over two decades later, the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, which grew out of this concept, has become the primary locomotive of world physical economy.
Changing Thousands of Lives
Upon his release from prison on January 26, 1994, LaRouche continued his career as a forecaster. He developed his “Triple Curve” pedagogy in 1995 to illustrate to non-economists how the process of “Weimar Germany-like hyperinflation” had gripped the trans-Atlantic world, and had so looted it that nothing could be done to preserve the dominant money system; It would have to be reorganized from the top down, utilizing Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act to begin the process of bank reorganization. He warned in January 2001 of the danger of a violent terrorist attack on one or more American cities, placing this warning within the context of reviewing why and how the financial system had entered a phase of a “high-tech bubble” during 1999–2000.
LaRouche spoke of a “Reichstag Fire” possibility in light of the emerging ungovernability of the United States, under conditions of deepening economic ruin. And, as with his May 1987 forecast of a collapse of the stock market in October of 1987, LaRouche stated on July 25, 2007, one year before the Lehman Brothers/AIG meltdown of September 2008:
The world monetary financial system is actually now currently in the process of disintegrating. There is nothing mysterious about this; I’ve talked about it for some time, it’s been in progress, it’s not abating. What’s listed as stock values and market values in the financial markets internationally is bunk! They are purely fictitious beliefs. There is no truth to it; the fakery is enormous. There is no possibility of a non-collapse of the present financial system—none! It’s finished, now! The present financial system cannot continue to exist under any circumstances, under any Presidency, under any leadership, or any leadership of nations. Only a fundamental and sudden change in the world monetary financial system will prevent a general, immediate chain-reaction type of collapse. At what speed we don’t know, but it will go on, and it will be unstoppable. And the longer it goes on before coming to an end, the worse things will get.
LaRouche, as evidenced from the above forecast, produced at 84 years of age, continued to be uniquely productive. At the turn of the millennium, LaRouche spearheaded a movement to recruit youth—a movement which became so successful that the Democratic Party in various parts of the country even attempted to co-opt it. Thousands of youth went through this educational process. Groundbreaking contributions in the presentation of the work of physicist Johannes Kepler, in the practice of bel canto Classical singing both for general secondary school education and as an antidote to cultural self-degradation, and the presentation of American history, including American current history (rather than “current events” or the even more degrading term, “news”), in video format, such as the documentary 1932, were produced by the LaRouche Youth Movement.
From the time of his emergence as a public figure over fifty years ago, the only tragedy that characterized Lyndon LaRouche’s life, is that he was never permitted to carry out, either as President or as an adviser to the serving President, the economic reforms that would have improved the lives of tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of millions around the world.
Although Lyndon LaRouche has many friends who were leaders in the fields of science, music, economy, and politics, his greatest friends, apart from his wife, Helga, were the forgotten men and women of America and other countries.