more peering into and making sense of the mechanics of a political cult

Okay, so Ken Kronberg is dead. The in-house printing companies of Larouche Inc. is bankrupt — or liquidated. Larouche claims their demise as an effect of Baby-boomer mismanagement, slyly referencing any minute sparks of independence… they pooh-poohed his prediction of the economic collapse unleashed by the bursting of the Tech Bubble, apparently. This works as a good message for the modern Larouche Youth Movement “leaders” in that bizarre generational dichotomy Larouche has set up.

with the LaRouche org’s destruction of WorldComp and PMR, they are in quite a pickle in terms of where to print, especially because using a non-LaRouche printer means having to pay.
In the past year, the following LaRouche publications have croaked: New Federalist, 21st Century Science & Technology (now “online” but really dead), and Fidelio (partly for money, partly because Kronberg, who edited it, just stopped doing it last year).
Hanging on by a thread are EIR magazine and occasional pamphlets, pretty much printing LaRouche ramblings at webcasts.
However, the reduced runs of publications and the loss of many of the publications doesn’t mattermuch, because the LYM couldn’t get the stuff out anyhow.


Now it will be interesting to see how ole Lindy gets his stuff printed. How long can they pay an outside printer to do what they refused to pay Kronberg to do? How long will an outside printer print, if he doesn’t get paid?
Note that in recent years, the organization lost New Federalist (Kronberg finally stopped mailing it, and then stopped printing it, because he couldn’t get paid); 21st Century mag (now in some online avatar of no clout); Fidelio (Kronberg stopped putting it out, and since he was the only one who worked on it, that was that); etc.
Apparently the EIR runs have been cut drastically since Kronberg’s death, too. So what are the yutes going to wave around while they sing Jesu, Meine Freude on street corners? How on earth will they get contacts if they don’t have any literature to put on the card tables?

I wonder how much importance any profit margin of those ridiculous “card-table shrine” pamphlets. They strike me as loss leaders, those damned $5 suggested donation I find it impossible to imagine anyone shelling out. They are always ALWAYS unloaded in bulk at the end of the Larouchies’ excursion. (Here, Here, and Here, when I get a moment or run into it.) It looks like a Recruitment Show, and if money comes pouring in it’s off of larger donations when the Larouchites get the conduct information of the curious or interested and pester them to death for money later on. I suppose the Larouche book-keeping enterprise could pretty well squelch the payment to the Printing Component of the whole Enterprise to Zero, screwing Ken Kronberg as it did, which I guess would only mean that the LYMers will have to shake the unfortunates who leave their phone numbers for more money still.
I can’t tell if the absence of anything other than those shoddier and shoddier pamphlet-ings are essential to the running of the Cult. Those pamphlets are indelibly important — you have to wave something around, even if you’re actually physically selling a mere fraction of your stock. Beyond that… I am of two minds. Notice here in this silly LYM presentation the reference to — I’d have to watch it again to know for sure — either 20th Century Science and Technology or Fidelio as the “Third best selling journal” in its genre. If they disappear into the ether, one artifice of the Intellectual Potemkin Village that Larouche Inc has set up falls aside… can you continue to make that claim if everything is peering from, at best, Online? Are there other artifices of this type that will just have to take its place? The Robert Beltran Acting School, I suppose. And those brilliant discussions on the… um… Larouche — Riemann Method. (As “sancho” put it, sounds rather like the Curly-Dalai Lama method.)
EIR is indexed online in Google News, the positive and negative sides of Google News in their broad reach of including material. There is a sort of throw-away reference in one of those Larouche internal memos to the effect of how the Baby-boomers let lay the online side of the enterprise, which almost seems like a rationalization for their forced entry of… bulking up their online presence in, what I have noticed, they are pumping out garbage at a rather frenetic clip.

In terms of the evolution of Larouchism, it occurs to me that, starting out, Larouche first surrounded himself with College Graduate Students. He has reached lower and lower, to the point where… apparently admist his group are high school drop outs, and I somehow managed to miscommunicate my bafflement at this on the FACTNet board.
On the youth, there are a couple of considerations that indicate how LaRouche has perfected his technique.
When I and my age cohort joined, we were either college grads or in college or perhaps in grad school. We held jobs. In other words, we were independent, or could form an independent thought, and had to test those thoughts and our performance at work and/or in school.
We supported ourselves. We were able to buy clothes and food and books, and pay rent.
We were THE SAME AGE then, when we were doing all these “grown-up” things, that the yutes are today.
Now, this eroded over time, particularly in regions, where people’s rent and medical bills, etc., began to be paid for them, so that they were infantilized and rendered dependent. When I was a member, however, we called this becoming lumpenized–that is, some part of us still recognized that it was a Bad Thing to live 6 to an apartment, eat all our meals together, live off what we made at field deployments, etc., share our cars (and have them destroyed in the field).
Today, what we used to criticize as lumpenization is held up as the ultimate politico-monastic existence.
That is the crux of the operation: Keeping the LYMers in communalist dorms, feeding them from communalist pots, paying all their bills for them, imprisons them psychologically and financially. They are absorbed into The Family.
The vestiges of independence that we older people retained is one reason LaRouche hates the Baby Boomers and their immediate successors so much. For those older members, no matter what LaRouche does, he can’t impress them the way he can impress the LYM.
Also note that a couple of years LaRouche stopped the process of National Conferences in the U.S.–conferences attended by the old members as well as the young. Now in their place they hold LYM retreats, off in the mountains someplace in isolation.
There are NO conferences for older members–where someone might get up and say what he or she thought. And now the old members are taught by the LYM–very rarely is the LYM taught by old members. There are just a handful of old members “cleared” to teach–Jeff Steinberg, Harley Schlanger, Phil Rubenstein, Bruce Director, Michelle Steinberg, come to mind.

The question, one I would want to throw to Freakonomics : how do you classify a LYMer? Are they expenses? Initial Investments, which will turn into profit on a later date? PRODUCTS??? The set up has been built for them. How much of the enterprise does it cost to pull them up?
Oh, mercy me. I never thought I would ever end up looking at as much insight on the internal mechanics of Lyndon Freaking Larouche, but there you go. Now you too, oh long time blog reader of mine, have the same murky pleasure. And I have no goddamned clue what you could possibly use with this information, except to give a slight pause the next time you see that Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episode with Homer shouting “Oh My God! Lyndon Larouche was Right!”

I exchanged about three emails with Avi Klein of the Washington Monthly (who I can mention because he gave his name on the FACTNet board). It was, as I posted before, largely a deferral and acknowledgment that I know nothing, a couple of email addresses for contact information he may or may not have found helpful, and just for the sake of it — I made a quick test to see that he had enough minimal background knowledge to avoid a string of references to the Queen of England in whatever article she was working on (and, for the life of me, I can’t quite tell what direction he is taking it in — it looks like one of two directions). I don’t think I am out of school to refer to one statement he made:

A good book about the movement itself has yet to be written.

The frightening thing is I am staring at an oral history, although it probably gets weaker depending on which end of the strand it lies on — plenty from the NCLC days, not as of yet a whole lot first hand from ex-LYM members, as that little innovation is a bit too recent and, for the most part, any “ex” members would, almost by definition, not have fully indoctrinated themselves.

Leave a Reply