Point / Counterpoint: How Refreshing is Kool-Aid?

I am scouring through comments, and for instance
Not enough in the article about how LaRouche wormed his way into Reagan’s NSC during the first term with info from his personal contacts in foreign countries. Until the media started reporting the NSC’s interest and exposing LaRouche’s record he was quite welcome by the Reaganites.

This Probably because the article wasn’t about that at all, and was not set to scratch anyone’s particular political itch. Anyway, Dennis King already covered that, and … well, the rest of that comment is highly entertaining, as is a bulk of these “I remember” comments. Here is the first level of interest for this article: the cockeyed look at a peculiar sub-culture that has been extent for the past few decades, off of anyone’s line of vision, as it approaches what appears to be its second death-bed. (Remember my “Zombie” theory… or, I can suggest it’s a series of half-lifing aways.)

Then there’s this position:

Who knew we needed reconfirmation that the LaRouchies are crazy? What’s next? The Monthly blows the lid off the Prohibitionist Party?

I’m all for that, actually. The Prohibitionist Party — the tiniest of political parties but plenty old — split into two at their 2004 convention, held in the kitchen of the long-time party leader, because the others had come to the conclusion that he was mostly running a political parephenilia business under the umbrella of the political party. Anyway, as ugly as that split was, nobody died. And whatever else the Prohobitionist Party is, it is not a cult, nor the most visible cult on college campuses, ensnaring ultimately a mere handful — but a handful too many.
You know, on second inspection, this comment is more pernicuous than my first scan of it.

The Washington Monthly article is an interesting piece of journalism that sheds real light on a truly disturbing event: the death of Ken Kronberg. Unfortunately both Kate’s post and Avi’s article suffer from the usual problems with LaRouche critics: (i) over-reliance on emotive words like “crazy” and “cult” which don’t describe much except to advertise the writer’s status in the respectible anti-LaRouche crowd (ii) and mischaracterization of the ideas of the LaRouche movement. The key test I use to judge the level of mischaracterization is to ask the question: could I gain any understanding of what the movement’s ideas are solely by reading the article? The answer for Avi’s piece is “no.” Although I have never been a member of the movement, I have read LaRouche’s publications over a long period of time. My verdict is that the movement represents a coherent set of ideas. These ideas are not beyond of criticism, but charge of impenetrability is an empty one. If you read the movement’s writings with an open mind and a critical eye, in the aggregate the basic points will be clear and you will end up learning much of value. Sometimes I think that those who like to present the ideas themselves as “crazy” use that term as a device to convince intelligent fair-minded people not to bother reading the movement’s writings. At the same time, LaRouche’s personal behavior and often rhetorical style makes the critics’ mischaracterizations an easier sell. That may be the true crime. Just because Lyndon LaRouche made some unique discoveries in method (intersection of economics, mathematics and technological development)does not necessarily qualify him to lead a movement to put those ideas into practice. I encourage those former cadres who are worried about irrelevence to consider how many people have absorbed important discoveries from he writings but still wanted to keep as far away from the movement as possible because of LaRouche’s (let’s be kind) ideosyncracies in leadership style. But I would also urge them to stay active politically and bring the best of those ideas into the deliberations of mainstream political organizations that could benefit from them.

Maybe I can leave it at Marielle Kronberg‘s response, but I won’t.

Speaking as Ken Kronberg’s widow, and a LaRouche “insider” from 1973 till earlier this year–when Ken died–res publica is kidding himself/herself about LaRouche’s relevance and the quality of his discoveries and the coherence of his worldview.

I was in the organization, I knew the players, I was on the National Committee from 1982 till, I guess, now–and coherence was never a characteristic, nor did LaRouche make any significant discoveries–economic, philosophical, ontological, or otherwise.

That’s what I thought was so on the mark about Avi Klein’s article: It didn’t get sidetracked onto politics or policies, which makes sense, because LaRouche has neither.

Res Republica provides a response to this, but I do have a general sense of “Who cares?” about me. So, we have someone who has “never been a member of the movement” (And why not? The movement needs some soldiers right now, goshdarnedit!) suggesting that this is an “interesting piece of journalism that shed real light on a truly disturbing event” by someone who has ingratiated himself into the “respectable anti-Larouche crowd” with highly emotive phrases (“cult”) that avoid the real issues in hand with Larouche’s marvelous ideas — and here’s the kicker: LaRouche’s personal behavior and often rhetorical style makes the critics’ mischaracterizations an easier sell. That may be the true crime. That may be the true crime! THAT! As opposed to, you know… what was the first sentence, on what this article’s positive points: sheds real light on a truly disturbing event.

Oh well. It’s all awash in the end. I have made minor effects here and abouts, and it is evident: For instance: the image that the Washington Monthly uses for its blog entry was from the youtube video which they nabbed from Scott McLemee (sp?) who lifted it from me. This is the power of Infinitisimals, and it’s kind of goofy.

4 Responses to “Point / Counterpoint: How Refreshing is Kool-Aid?”

  1. Scott McLemee Says:

    “Lifted” it? I made it a point to acknowledge that I had seen it at your site. So much for courtesy.

  2. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Not Michelle Kronberg, but MARIELLE Kronberg! Also known as Molly Kronberg–that’s Ken Kronberg’s widow, and the person who wrote that comment.

    Don’t know what Res Publica said in return, but all these folks (like Revenire, Odd One, Brewncue, Time for Truth, etc.) who claim they were never in the LaRouche movement and then write boilerplate LaRouche-isms are somewhat tiring.

    Not that Res Publica is like that. Necessarily.

  3. Justin Says:


    I do not mean any negative connotation with the word “lifted”.


    Indeed. Tedious. Also, I have corrected the name… all this time I’ve referenced her as “Molly Kronberg”, but here she used the other name.

  4. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Thanks very much for the correction, and for the speed with which you did it.

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