Teaching Math to LaRouchites

I send you back to the 2004 Washington Post piece, which if you have a few minutes you may want to read (or re-read as the case may be). But I will dwell on one small segment, the “Doubling of the Square” that LaRouchites apparently contemplate when they first attend a “LaRouche Cadre School” as to learn how to “think outside the box”.

LaRouche is preparing them to wage a new American revolution, Matthew Ogden, 21, says. He was a music student, studying bassoon at Indiana University, when planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Now, like Rouillard, he spends much of his time trying to persuade other young people to escape “the whatever generation, the culture of dullness” and become “historic individuals.”

Youth movement members attend LaRouche-sponsored classes where they learn how great figures of history such as Benjamin Franklin are similar to LaRouche. “You understand how they were operating in history and, even though they are dead, now you are actually carrying on their mission,” Ogden explains.

And they learn … um… mathematics? (Or supposedly relevant to LaRouchism Socratic dialouges.)

LaRouche, he says, challenges young people to ask the most important question: What is truth? “LaRouche and the youth movement have discovered a method where you can discover truth,” Hamler says.

What’s the method? “We have to double the square,” Hamler says, smiling.

LaRouche followers are big on doubling the square. Outside the room where LaRouche just spoke is a signboard marked with a square and the teasing question: “Can you double this square?” As Hamler leads a reporter through trying to double the square, a small crowd gathers. Young faces light up with encouraging smiles.

“This is from Plato; don’t worry,” Hamler says. “Let’s say you have a square with an area of one, what are your sides going to be? That’s right, one times one is one. Your area is one. Now, what I’m going to need you to do is double the area of the square. Physically, how could I produce a square with the area of two?”

A square where each side is two won’t do. Its area would be four. “Once you investigate things like this, what you automatically run into is what is called the paradox,” Hamler says. “You run into a problem that lies outside the way you are already thinking . . . You are going to have to think outside the way you were thinking to make this discovery, to make a breakthrough.”

You could draw a square where each side is the square root of two — but that number has an infinite decimal, with numerals stretching on forever. “How can you have a finite measurement?” Hamler asks. “How can you have a discrete side?”

So the problem can’t be solved?

“No, it’s doable,” Hamler’s friend chimes in. “There is a solution. But you are coming to see for yourself right now what happens when a system of thinking is, in itself, not adequate for the creation of something that you are looking for. When that’s the case, if you are not willing to change the way you are thinking about it, you are screwed.”

“That’s what the baby boomers are, screwed,” Hamler says.

Well, they at least know that doubling the sides of a square is quadrapling the area of the square, and that to produce a square with a measurement double the measurement of said square, the formula for the sides of the square are sqrt(2n) where n is the measurement of the side of the square. I apologize the square root of two has an infinite number of decimals (and that is the box that the LaRouchites have dug for themselves in not accepting such a thing), but for any practical purpose you round off after 2 decimal points, or for more advanced work, 5 decimal points… anything beyond that is just kind of gratuitous.

How that is supposed to bring me enlightenment or how this is supposed to blow my mind, I do not know. But now that I have let everybody in on the secret of “doubling squares”, there no longer is a need for anyone to attend the LaRouche cadre schools or to join the LaRouche Youth Movement.

slight update: Wow. Look who was interviewed on the “LaRouche Show”.

I’m talking, of course, about Lyndon LaRouche. And we’ll be joined later by a panel of LaRouche Youth Movement members who participated in the project with Mr. LaRouche: We’ll have on with us today, Cody Jones, Jason Ross, and Riana St. Classis.

So, we’ll begin by welcoming to The LaRouche Show, Lyndon LaRouche. How are you today, Lyn?

Uh. Huh. Lyndon LaRouche interviewed on the LaRouche Show, followed by a panel of the LaRouche Youth Movement. And perahps a musical interlude from the Lyndon LaRouche All-Star Band?

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