From Critique, Summer Issue 1981
PART II: WHO BE LAROUCHE?
Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr., founder and chairman of the US Labor Party, was the party's candidate for President of the United States in 1976. He managed to obtain 40,043 votes, roughly .05 percent of the electorate.
By 1978, LaRouche was ready to launch another campaign for the U.S. presidency, this time as a Democrat. In his amusingly delusional autobiography, LaRouche writes, "If I survive the months immediately before me at this moment of writing (September 1978), it will become reasonable--=at a rapids rate--that I might be inaugurated President of the United States in January 1981."
He did not become inaugurated, of course. But, he concedes in his book, "If I did not become President in 1981, I would be in a position to significantly determine the selection and policies of an appropriate alternative nominee."
But hence the reason, we are told, for his autobiography: "The presently increasing demand for written autobiographical information will expand considerably. Either way, assassination or active political like before me, a single sort of autobiographical dissertation best serves all proper requirements. Either way, what need be known are those features of my life which have enabled me to accomplish things of a special quality which few in this country have been able to match?"
Such is the delusional state of mind of LaRouche, who once depicted himself as "the American Lenin."
Aside from being a grammatical catastrophe, LaRouche's autobiography is comically pompous and at times rabidly incoherent. At best, it is a testament to his acute paranoia. Like most self-published books, it is poorly edited, perhaps because no editor employed by his publishing company wished to risk LaRouche's wrath by correcting him. Other than offering marvelous insight into the schizoid mentality of the Labor Party, LaRouche's book is an unintentional joke. It portrays a man who desperately craves attention; a man who would prefer to die a martyr than be ignored.
How then has LaRouche been able to amass a huge cult following?
Probably for the same reason that the People's Temple, Scientologists, and Moonies were able to flourish over the years: there are always those willing to believe, willing to allow themselves to be hypnotized by demagogues, in their search for purpose and identity.
LaRouche found his opportunity to prey upon this need in 1968 while teaching courses in Marxism at the Free University in New York City.. He took advantage of the student strike at Columbia University to join up with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Organizing his most dedicated students, LaRouche formed the SDS Labor Committee.
LaRouche and all thirty disciples on his committee were expelled from SDS in 1969 for violating a New Left ruling by supporting a strike by New York City teachers.
In 1971, the larger and better organized Labor Committee officially became the National Caucus of Labor Committees/US Labor Party, a radical organization bent on Marxist revolution.
Born in Rochester, New Hampshire, in 1922, LaRouche grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts. His father worked for a shoe machinery company.
LaRouche spent several years at Northwestern University (he did not graduate), and most of World War II at a special work camp for conscientious objectors.
In 1948 he joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a Trotskyist group, and assumed the party name "Lyn Marcus."
"They were intellectually mediocre," LaRouche writes. "One had to begin somewhere."
Nonetheless, LaRouche stuck with the SWP for nearly ten years.
For a while, it looked as though the Labor Party would simply become LaRouche's version of the SWP. But then began the first of LaRouche's two transitions.
Next: Transition One