comments

We’re on a fast track to something hereabouts, and I had always thought there about three shoes ready to drop.  One has dropped, I await the other two.  In the meantime, I floated about and noticed a cutesy bit of writing, as I scanned down their latest offerings, with the dateline of LPAC to the late 18th century… don’t quote me on that, because I was distracted by something more amusing on the sidebar.  “The FACTS on Duggan”.  Hovering right next to it was the recent article about how Nancy Pelosi is an asset, or in the same blood-stream, as Joseph Kennedy.  I’m not sure this is a good juxtaposition for them if they want to spell out their spin on Jeremiah Duggan, but I don’t know how something like that can be avoided.  (And wherefor are their Kronberg Facts?  Coming any day now, I suppose.)

FACTNet is back up, and somewhere amongst there I find this bit:

There’s some distress in the org over Molly Kronberg’s interview with Chip Berlet, along the lines of “How could she?”

No kidding.  Probably moreso than I can really comprehend.  By way of an answer, one can look to the the second part of the exchange between “res republica” and Molly Kronberg.

res republica:  Marielle, I respect your perspective. However, I would never have discovered List and Carey, or appreciated the genius of Benjamin Franklin without the work done by the best of the writers Ken published over the years: Spannaus, Chaiken, Salisbury. Or alumni like Robert Dreyfus. LaRouche, on the other hand, always needed a good editor, although I’m sure the problem is he would never permit it. IMO he hasn’t written much that’s new and interesting since Dialectical Economics. On coherence. If the ideas are not coherent, why I am able to guess LaRouche’s reaction to world events (whether I agree or not) before I open up the website or see the street sign. From its own points of reference, it holds together as a way of thinking. My real point is that people who feel that they wasted their time are over-estimating the value of much of what we “normal” working folks have done over the last 15 years. Apart from creating islands of sanity and joy in our families, friends and local communities, not much (at least for me, except I keep hacking away). Enjoy your freedom and the rest of your life without looking back with regret.

Marielle Kronberg:  I’m not likely to “enjoy my freedom and the rest of my life without looking back with regret,” since my greatly loved husband, the most important person on the planet to me, along with my son, was driven to suicide by LaRouche.

As for Spannaus, Chaitkin, etc.–if you want to read something decent published by a LaRouchie, read Ken’s stuff.

And as for being “free” of LaRouche–I’ve been free of him for decades.

Ken’s death didn’t give me any kind of freedom, it made my distaste for and disapproval of LaRouche into something far more visceral.

Which has a way of putting this comment in perspective:

What a shame that the LaRouche cult is being hounded in the man’s twilight years. One supposes he’ll be quickly forgotten when he snuffs it.

Which I take as a sort of “He brought us laughs with that ‘Queen of England'” thought on the value of Larouche as a curiosity.   A criminal enterprise that throws out kooky tangeants is still a criminal enterprise.  In other news:

LaRouche supporters distributed literature outside the Ciccone Theater, where the debate was held, saying the attacks on Johnson amounted to a “public lynching.” A man and a woman were escorted from the theater after accusing the forum’s moderator, Record editorial page editor Alfred P. Doblin, of bias for writing a column that took Johnson to task for contributing to LaRouche.

Later, a woman was ejected after she accused the forum’s sponsors — The Record and the League of Women Voters of Bergen County — of acting like a “lynch mob” for allowing a question about Johnson’s ties to LaRouche.

When order was restored, Johnson said he was initially intrigued by LaRouche’s allegations of “corruption in the pro-war actions of the Bush administration.”

“I now see that supporting this individual has hurt a lot of people, so I apologize for that,” he said. “And I ask people to look at my record, look at my character, look at my reputation. After that, I’m moving on.”

One of Johnson’s Republican challengers, Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz, said he was “surprised at Johnson’s lack of judgment,” adding he was stunned that Johnson, an Army Reserve officer and former Englewood police officer, “just allowed everything to pile up and blow up in his face.”

I gather that Johnson would … just as soon that the Larouchies… disappear.  He’s having a hard enough time as it is.  In other contortions of this news item, Eliot Greenspan offers his piece.  (Memo to self:  google ‘Eliot Greenspan’.)

60 Responses to “comments”

  1. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Elliot Greenspan ran for Governor of New Jersey on the LaRouche 4Ever Ticket a few times.

    As a person, he was a very sweet guy, but has been psychologically beaten up by the honchos of the Labor Cttee in NY/NJ–first Phil Rubinstein and Dennis Speed, and now that Phil is in California misbriefing the yutes about Kepler (according to LaRouche’s latest attack on an NC member), by Dennis.

    Elliot hangs around at card tables outside post offices or DMVs occasionally, where he recently had the effrontery and pathetic out-of-it-ness to tell Ken Kronberg’s cousin to join LaRouche “to honor Ken.” You can imagine how that went over.

  2. Justin Says:

    A “Steve”, who by what he posted I think posted hereabouts in February, posted at The American Prospect Tapped site, and so…

    I am a long time supporter of Lyn and his ideas who was never a “full time member”.

    And thus you know you’re in for a doozy.

    I’ll close with a capsule summary of one of Lyn’s most profound and oft maligned works – “Beyond Psychoanalysis”.

    hm. I can only tap my fingers a bit and marvel at some things. Really?

  3. Steve Says:

    Gee whiz, Justin, no need to be shy. Feel free to repost the whole thing. It’s “fair use” after all. Better yet, here it is. (There is subsequent exchange back at the TAPPED blog for those interested in digging deeper).

    -Steve

    ************* REPOST OF MY FIRST TAPPED POST ***************

    I just want to comment that from my own experience Res Publica is correct on the question of coherence and Molly is wrong. I am a long time supporter of Lyn and his ideas who was never a “full time member”. However, as a supporter, I was not recruited. I recruited myself through my reading of Lyn’s work. The way you can tell that his insights and discoveries are real is that you can read his work, and that of his associates, figure out the underlying coherence for yourself, look at the world around you in that light, and find that the world now makes better sense. In other words, Lyn’s ideas have explanatory power, even in the absence of a “controlled environment” of full time members. I would say, in fact, especially in the absence of such a controlled environment. It’s a fairly open secret that there are those in the organization who profess support for Lyn and his ideas, but have no real understanding of what they are about. Lyn has too much personal integrity to reduce adherence to his ideas to the level of parrots repeating a set of buzzwords. In fact if one has access to the briefings one will see that he frequently polemicizes against just that tendency. Unfortunately, though Lyn clearly has intellectual integrity, it would seem some members do not. Although Lyn would never willfully form a cult, I don’t think there is any way to prevent members from reducing his ideas to the status of a cult, due undoubtedly to their own other-directedness. Lyn once said “never say what you don’t know to be true”. The organization gets in trouble when individuals turn their back on this necessary and valid principle.

    I’ll close with a capsule summary of one of Lyn’s most profound and oft maligned works – “Beyond Psychoanalysis”. It is, unfortunately, written in a dense style, but it is intelligible if one works at it. Here is what I take to be the key insight of the piece. Have you ever had the experience of struggling to figure something out, and then, suddenly, there is the “flash of insight” where it all makes sense. This is sometimes visualized as a “light bulb” going on over one’s head. Well, Lyn says in BP (and extensively elsewhere) that this “light bulb” defines what it means to be human rather than a mere beast. And, moreover, that one’s very sense of personal identity changes when that “light bulb” is “on”. There’s much more, and those who choose to struggle with the work (available from various online sources) will be rewarded. But this is the key to Lyn’s coherence. This is the unbroken thread running through what his critics like to characterize as opportunistic and shifting “positions”. All the rest of his work is elaboration on this fundamental reality and adaptation of it to particular historic circumstances. ANd you can prove to yourself it is real – just look within your own sovereign mind at your best moments. It’s all there. There is no way to deny it without denying your own best self.

    Molly, I am sorry for your loss. I don’t know the circumstances of Ken’s death, nor do I know what Lyn is like behind closed doors. Perhaps he is a difficult person. Those of great intellectual insight are such, notoriously. But I know the man as one can know a figure through his public work, and I have been immeasurably enriched thereby. And, in spite of everything, I will be bold enough to recommend that to you, even in your grief.

    Best wishes,
    -Steve

  4. Rachel Holmes Says:

    And, since you’ve reposted, let me ask what Marielle Kronberg asked on the other site:

    If you’re a faraway supporter, never fulltime member, how on earth are you hold enough to recommend anything to her in her grief? Did you know her? Ken? The circumstances?

    The word presumptuous comes to mind.

    Unless of course you’re a fulltime member, posing as a supporter–that happens all the time, and would not, as they say, give surprise.

    Then you can presume all you want because you have, as the saying goes, an axe to grind and an ox being gored and a dog in this fight.

    Also, if LaRouche is the fons et origo of your intellectual life, I recommend you start doing some serious reading of Plato, Aquinas, Tacitus, Vitruvius, Boethius, Chaucer–ANYBODY BUT LYN.

  5. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    I am that bold because I’m speaking the truth, and the truth needs no apology. Had I approached Marielle in a deliberately insensitive manner, that would clearly have been inappropriate. But, even recognizing the depth of her loss, the question of who and what Lyndon LaRouche really is, as a philosopher, is far too important to humanity as a whole to be swept under the rug of what Lyn has called “company manners”. If Marielle, despite her years around Lyn, has not apprehended the central core of his thought, then clearly she should, not only to understand what is at stake for the world if we were to lose the benefit of that thought, but also because Lyn’s philosophical perspective is personally enriching, as I have found. If, on the other hand, she understands what Lyn is about, I think she should be open about why she thinks he is wrong in those principles.

    And as to the question of what I may or may not say on Lyn’s behalf as a supporter versus a full time member, to be lectured on this by one who I assume is an opponent of Lyn’s – all I can say is that perhaps you are qualified to speak on the subject of presumption.

    When I first encountered Lyn’s work in the early seventies I had the reaction I hear from many people today – are these guys crazy or what? Unlike some people, I investigated that question seriously before shooting my mouth off. Because, alongside the elements of Labor Committee ideology that appeared “crazy” were things to which I responded, well, of course that’s obvious – but why has nobody else ever said it? So there was a paradox in my mind to be resolved.

    At that point, I was unemployed, and had plenty of time to investigate. I read the lit, attended conferences and events (under a pseudonym, as I did not fully trust these people), and haunted libraries to try to find out what other sources had to say about the issues being presented. After two years of this, I came to the point of deciding that, within the limits of my ability to investigate, the viewpoint of the Labor Committees appeared credible, if not entirely correct. And, even if incorrect in some particulars, it was light-years ahead of the closest competition. I became a supporter then and have never regretted it.

    I have occasionally regretted not going full time, but realistically it would probably not have worked out well for me. If nothing else, during the years when Lyn was in prison, and Fernando Quijano ruled the organization with an internal reign of terror, I might have knuckled under and been destroyed morally (unlikely), left the organization and become irrelevant (more likely) or attempted to stand up to Fernando and been squashed like a bug (as I have no particular skills or inclination for the kind of down and dirty combat that Fernando appears to have engaged in.)

    But, I am loyal to Lyn’s principles, even as a Christian who is not a clergyman, and may not even attend church, may nevertheless claim to be loyal to Jesus. So, I will speak on his behalf to the extent of my knowledge and ability. I have no personal animosity toward Marielle, and I do feel sympathy for anyone who has recently lost a loved one. But she has chosen to be publicly critical of Lyn, and I think any supporter of Lyn’s has the right to speak up in his behalf.

    -Steve

  6. Justin Says:

    Gee whiz, Justin, no need to be shy. Feel free to repost the whole thing. It’s “fair use” after all. Better yet, here it is. (There is subsequent exchange back at the TAPPED blog for those interested in digging deeper).

    Steve: Yes. I could repost the whole thing. But simply put: WHY? This is one weird sense of entitelement and demand you want me to follow. I have the link in a few posts to the American Prospect Tapped blog entry where this exchange happens, and I’ve referenced what I need to. But it’s not my job to pass on Larouchian propaganda. That’s your job. I’m tempted to edit your message, leaving the link with “Message found here”, and I may do so in the future if that habit becomes a trend and it becomes tedious.

    Rachel — Of this grouping of Larouchian “supporters, never members”, Steve comes across to me as the most likely to be sincere. (Whereas Revinire was clearly lying.) He’s delusional, surely, and wrong-headed, but there you go: a sucker and true-believer.

  7. Steve Says:

    Justin,

    Are we a little sensitive here? I didn’t “demand” anything. This is your blog and you will surely post what you wish on it. I’ve got to say, I am a tad ticked off, as I’ve noticed at least one spot where you posted excerpts from what I wrote with disparaging comments about the omitted portion. At least there was a link to the thread at the top of your page.

    But really –

    “etc. etc. blah de blah nutcase kookery blah blah… boring and tedious buffoonery…”

    I assure you that what I wrote was thought out and intended to be meaningful.

    But you have the right to disparage as you please, just as I have the right to be ticked off. I’m certainly not “demanding” anything.

    Now, if your reason for posting LaRouche-oriented discussions on your blog has to do with wanting to find out (or facilitate others finding out) the truth about the man and his work, then it would seem reasonable for you to be gracious about giving full and fair coverage to opposing views – especially when you reference those views. At least by linking to them. This is not a “demand”. I’m just stating what I think would be reasonable.

    If on the other hand, your mind is completely made up about LaRouche, and you want to conduct your own propaganda campaign as an anti-LaRouche partisan, this is certainly also your right. But then expect it to be recognized as propaganda.

    (It occurs to me there is a third possibility. Perhaps you consider all this simply entertainment. If so, I think I would find more common ground with LaRouche’s dedicated opponents, who at least take him seriously.)

    And, while I’m being ticked off, would you like to support your choice of the word “delusional” above? If you think I’m wrong, that’s one thing. I think lots of people are wrong. Being wrong is one of the pervasive hazzards of life. But “delusional”, at least in common usage, carries connotations of a diagnosable mental disorder. Again, this is your blog, and it is your right to fling around gratuitous insults if you so choose, but don’t you think it’s just a bit childish?

    Ticked off like a mofo,
    -Steve

  8. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Steve–

    Could you say exactly what the central core of LaRouche’s thought is? Can it be spelled out?

    I would be interested to hear what you think it is, and I believe it would be useful for you to try to distinguish what is original to LaRouche from what he has picked up and applied or misapplied from a large number of predecessors, philosophers whom he has not, by and large, read.

    For example: Could anyone who had seriously read Plato call him the philosopher of change? Could anyone who had seriously read The Parmenides conclude that Parmenides was the “enemy”?

  9. Justin Says:

    Steve:

    Correction noted. I meant “deluded”. Happy now?

    I may even replace the “etc. etc. blah de blah nutcase kookery blah blah… boring and tedious buffoonery…” with the standard issue “[…]”.

  10. Steve Says:

    Justin,

    Thanks for the consideration.

    Rachel,

    I would have to say that the core of Lyn’s philosophy is the notion that it is the facility of creative reason which distinguishes humans from the beasts. And further, I suppose, would be his attitude, which is that he is what I might characterize as a partisan supporter of creative reason against its detractors.

    Now, that core stance may well not be original with Lyn, although I know of no other thinker who has made that stance the core of a political movement with which to organize the population.

    I think it is probably also unique to Lyn to identify human creativity as the central core of political economy. Certainly mainstream economists do not include creativity as a factor in their equations. Indeed, I believe Lyn is correct when he asserts that one could not, even in principle, reduce creativity to equations, to a computer program, to a structured set of market relations, to a step by step method such as Aristotelean logic, etc.

    To use a technical term from computer science, Lyn asserts (and I concur) that creativity is not algorithmic.

    Now obviously, the meat of all this is in the elaboration and application. You could take what I just wrote and spam it to billions of people throughout the Internet, and even if they all read it little or nothing would be accomplished. Philosophy is not just a set of words, it involves apprehending fundamental truth, connecting to it emotionally, and then putting it into practice. That is why I think it is so important that Lyn elaborates his insight, applies it to particular and changing historical circumstances, and organizes around it – with passion.

    There are plenty of other very important aspects of Lyn’s thought that I haven’t touched on, but I think they are mostly if not entirely elaborations of what I’ve identified here.

    Thank for asking,
    -Steve

    P.S. I wasn’t aware that Lyn had called Plato the philosopher of change. I am not steeped in Plato’s work, although I have read a few of the shorter dialogues over the years. I wouldn’t have thought to characterize Plato that way, but I don’t know enough about his thought to evaluate that characterization. Might I ask in what context Lyn said it?

    As to the Parmenidies. I have attempted it 2 or 3 times over the years. It is, as I’m sure you know, a notoriously difficult piece of writing. My own sense is that the young Socrates confronts Parmenides as an opponent, hence perhaps Lyn’s term “enemy”. And to the extent that there is a subtext of humor in the dialogue it is definitely Parmenides who is the butt of the joke.

    What I got out of the dialogue was an appreciation for the paradox of the One and the Many, as it is found pervasively in a variety of contexts.

    For example, if one reads, in the New Testament, the very famous passage I Corinthians 13, in which Paul discusses agape, it is interesting, in the light of a familiarity with the paradox, to back up and begin with I Corinthians 12. In chapter 12, Paul discusses the paradox of the one and the many as it was played out in the organizational infighting within the early Church. Paul then makes the statement which we have in translation “I will show you a more excellent way”. I wish I was qualified to determine what the connotations of that statement in the Greek would have been. What I believe it to be, is a transitional element linking the question of the one and the many, which Paul essentially poses as the problem, to the famous discussion of agape which can then be seen as Paul’s proposed solution to that problem. This would surely have escaped me entirely had Lyn not alerted me to the importance of the paradox of the One and the Many, as displayed in The Parmenides.

    Other areas where we see echoes of the paradox include the founding of the United States. To this day, our coins bear the mtto “E pluribus Unum” (From Many, One). We also see the same quality in the history of the Union movement. Consider the paradox confronting the individual union worker during a strike. To scab or not to scab? From the point of view of “individual self-interest” it always makes more sense to scab (leaving aside the question of retaliation, which need not in principle be part of the picture). But the committed union member will go out on strike, and face the attendant hardships. Why? If you can answer this, then perhaps, at least in that context, you have solved the paradox.

    Application of this paradox to a critique of “free market economics” is left as an exercise for the reader :)

    -Steve

  11. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Steverino–

    I will reply soon (I know you were worried), but I’ve had a busy week.

  12. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  13. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Hi, Steve–

    I wrote some thoughts about your last long post in the form of a dialogue–I took from your post the salient things you said (STEVE passages) and then replied (RACHEL passages). As follows:

    STEVE: I would have to say that the core of Lyn’s philosophy is the notion that it is the facility of creative reason which distinguishes humans from the beasts. And further, I suppose, would be his attitude, which is that he is what I might characterize as a partisan supporter of creative reason against its detractors.

    RACHEL: The notion that creativity distinguishes man from beast goes back at least to the Book of Genesis, where we find Adam naming the animals—participating in God’s creative act in the delimited and derivative way proper to humans—creative, but not godlike. (Note that Genesis says man is created in the image of God, and the serpent says to Eve “you will be like gods”—two different things, but not to Lyn.)

    Lyn’s insistence, however, on identifying being human with creative reason is not the crux of Genesis or of Jewish or Christian theology, no matter how loud he yells. Being made in the image of God has to do with love, with free will, with all sorts of gifts. By making creative reason the center of everything LaRouche demonstrates how anti-human he is. Because by his definition, if you ain’t creative, you ain’t human.

    So if you’re in a coma, if you’re developmentally disabled, if you’re brain-injured, in Lyn’s world, you’re not human. If you’re an infant, you’re only potentially human. In the 1970s Lyn used to misuse a Yiddish word he picked up somewhere—shmegeggy—to characterize human newborns—he took it to mean a little lump, a thing, a blob with no qualities—and he said an infant isn’t human till its parents recognize it as such.

    First, that’s not what shmegeggy means, but Lyn has always been bad at knowing what words really mean, and second, this is an argument for infanticide. After all, the baby does not yet participate in creative reason.
    No wonder there were hundreds of abortions in the LaRouche org.

    Don’t get seduced by Lyn’s bull about creative reason. Like everything else with him, it’s a license to kill. It also helps to explain why he carries on about people who aren’t human, from Nelson Rockefeller to Henry Kissinger to Dick Cheney to Nancy Pelosi. That’s a very dangerous practice, to start writing people off as “not human.” All in all, Lyn’s addiction to his version of “creative reason” gives him permission to characterize most of the human race as not human, because not creative.
    Guess who is creative? Guess who is endowed with a sovereign creative intellect? Just guess….

    STEVE: I think it is probably also unique to Lyn to identify human creativity as the central core of political economy. Certainly mainstream economists do not include creativity as a factor in their equations. Indeed, I believe Lyn is correct when he asserts that one could not, even in principle, reduce creativity to equations, to a computer program, to a structured set of market relations, to a step by step method such as Aristotelean logic, etc.
    To use a technical term from computer science, Lyn asserts (and I concur) that creativity is not algorithmic.

    RACHEL: Most economists and most philosophers know that human creativity, in the sense of human technological innovation and human labor applying those innovations, is at the center of political economy. When you say (a) that mainstream economists do not include creativity in their equations and (b) that creativity cannot be reduced to equations, do you see that assertion (b) kinda undercuts assertion (a)?

    Creativity is an imponderable, so hard to include in equations, you betcha. Meanwhile, of course, LaRouche said it couldn’t be done and then precisely tried to do it, in the so-called LaRouche-Riemann Model, which was unintelligible, unbuildable, unworkable, because dramatically flawed in its conception, which included the attempt to project economic developments by folding “creativity” into the “equation.” It had no equations, and of course no creativity.

    By the way, algorithm is not, at least not initially, a technical term from computer science. It is a concept that originated in mathematics, and was later applied to various disciplines, including computing.

    STEVE: Now obviously, the meat of all this is in the elaboration and application. You could take what I just wrote and spam it to billions of people throughout the Internet, and even if they all read it little or nothing would be accomplished. Philosophy is not just a set of words, it involves apprehending fundamental truth, connecting to it emotionally, and then putting it into practice. That is why I think it is so important that Lyn elaborates his insight, applies it to particular and changing historical circumstances, and organizes around it – with passion.

    RACHEL: What is the fundamental truth, what is the practice? If the fundamental truth is the primacy of creative reason, there is a problem—moral and epistemological. LaRouche wants to create the universe—wants to be God—but does not want to understand the universe. In other words, he subscribes to Karl Marx’s famous dictum “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” (From the Theses on Feuerbach, which Lyn had every member of the Labor Committee read, until one day Lyn “superseded” Marx and reemerged, for the time being, as an “American patriot,” something he “superseded” years ago.)

    Lyn wants to change everything. He doesn’t understand it, he doesn’t have to understand, he wants to change it. It’s like a first-year med student rushing into the Operating Theater during a complicated brain surgery and demanding to change the procedure, change the tools, change the concept, helter-skelter. Result? Anarchic disaster.

    That’s the application of Lyn’s various definitions. Which he certainly does do with a passion.

    STEVE: P.S. I wasn’t aware that Lyn had called Plato the philosopher of change. I am not steeped in Plato’s work, although I have read a few of the shorter dialogues over the years. I wouldn’t have thought to characterize Plato that way, but I don’t know enough about his thought to evaluate that characterization. Might I ask in what context Lyn said it?

    RACHEL: Lyn has said this in a variety of contexts, but I believe what gave rise to his utterly absurd notion that Plato is the philosopher of change, was his misreading (or rather, his being “misbriefed on”), the Parmenides. There matters revolve, as you note (see below) around the One and the Many, and the possibility of change or Becoming, the sort of way-station between Non-Being and Being. Because LaRouche identifies Parmenides as the enemy (see below), and Parmenides is seen to stand for the One vs. the Many, for Being vs. Becoming, Lyn assumes that this makes Plato the Philosopher of Becoming/Change.

    This is because Lyn assumes, erroneously, that Plato and Parmenides (or, in the dialogue, the young Socrates and Parmenides) are pitted against one another. And that he assumes because that’s how he understands the world. A vs. B. Always opposition, always enmity, always struggle. He should’ve written a book called “My Struggle.” Heh heh.

    But of course, reading Plato would give the lie to this absurd mischaracterization. Just go through the works of Plato and see what is said about Becoming and its ontological status. See how Plato regards the World of Becoming, as distinct from the world of the eidê, the world of Being and the Good. No serious reader of Plato could come up with the characterization of Plato as the Philosopher of Becoming or Change.
    But to Lyn, it’s all-important, because “the point is to change it.” Not for Plato, it ain’t, but Lyn has to make all philosophers agree with him, by violence to their work, if necessary.

    This is also why LaRouche is so enamored of Heracleitus, among the Ancient Greek philosophers. After all, didn’t Heracleitus famously say “panta rei”? “Everything flows/changes”? Now there’s a Philosopher of Change. He also said “You can never step into the same river twice”—that is, it flows, it’s not the same river. Marx was a big fan of Heracleitus, needless to say. “Dialectical.”

    STEVE: As to the Parmenides, I have attempted it 2 or 3 times over the years. It is, as I’m sure you know, a notoriously difficult piece of writing. My own sense is that the young Socrates confronts Parmenides as an opponent, hence perhaps Lyn’s term “enemy.” And to the extent that there is a subtext of humor in the dialogue it is definitely Parmenides who is the butt of the joke.

    RACHEL: What happens in the Parmenides is that the old Parmenides visits Athens, with his younger associate Zeno, and has a conversation with a very young Socrates—who is unskilled in the dialectic. In the dialogue, Parmenides plays the role we are used to seeing Socrates play—the older interlocutor to Socrates’ youth.

    Whether or not Socrates confronts Parmenides as an opponent, I leave to the judgment of the reader. In my view, the interaction between Parmenides and Socrates is a loving discourse, but maybe I’m not discerning all the enmity there is in this world.

    Parmenides gently shows Socrates that he can’t give a real account of his theory of the forms, in the first part of the dialogue—a sort of pregnant moment, pointing towards the future. It’s clear that he thinks the world of the young Socrates and his potential.

    I’d be interested to hear from you some quotes from the dialogue that show an “opponent” quality beyond what is usual for this form of dialectic throughout the Platonic dialogues that use dialectic.. Also, could you point out with quotes where Parmenides is the “butt of the joke”?

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, but am interested to hear your thoughts.

    STEVE: What I got out of the dialogue was an appreciation for the paradox of the One and the Many, as it is found pervasively in a variety of contexts.

    For example, if one reads, in the New Testament, the very famous passage I Corinthians 13, in which Paul discusses agape, it is interesting, in the light of a familiarity with the paradox, to back up and begin with I Corinthians 12. In chapter 12, Paul discusses the paradox of the one and the many as it was played out in the organizational infighting within the early Church. Paul then makes the statement which we have in translation “I will show you a more excellent way”. I wish I was qualified to determine what the connotations of that statement in the Greek would have been. What I believe it to be, is a transitional element linking the question of the one and the many, which Paul essentially poses as the problem, to the famous discussion of agape which can then be seen as Paul’s proposed solution to that problem. This would surely have escaped me entirely had Lyn not alerted me to the importance of the paradox of the One and the Many, as displayed in The Parmenides.

    RACHEL: I don’t believe that agapê—love—is simply Paul’s proposed solution to a problem of church infighting. It is the content of the message of Jesus, Whom and which Paul is attempting to re-present. The Christian concept of agapê (and the Jewish concept of chesed) reach far beyond solutions to the One and the Many paradox as exemplified in faction fights, to put it mildly. Also, of course, in any human institution there exist the difficulties Paul is trying to solve—we may frame them in the language of the One and the Many, but we are not following in Plato’s footsteps, or Paul’s, when we do that hyperphilosophizing.

    The One and the Many pertain primarily to modes of Being (or Becoming), not so much to mere matters of infighting or scabs and trade unionists (see below).

    The Greek of that line in 1 Corinthians 12 is κάι ετι κάθ υπερβολην οδον ΰμιν δεικνυμί. “And yet, a superior road/path/way will I show you.” It’s a straightforward translation.

    Jokes in this post:
    1. Notion that Lyn might have been “misbriefed on” something. This is what he said about the Theses on Feuerbach, when Christians in the organization in the 1990s complained about the arrantly anti-Christian tenor of his “The Case of Ludwig Feuerbach.” He said he had been misbriefed on Feuerbach! Wow! He didn’t read him—who’d a thunk it?
    2. Should have written a book called “My Struggle.” However, Hitler beat him to the punch and wrote it first—Mein Kampf.

    Thanks,
    Rachel

  14. Dennis King Says:

    Steve wrote: “Here is what I take to be the key insight of [‘Beyond Psychoanalysis’]. Have you ever had the experience of struggling to figure something out, and then, suddenly, there is the ‘flash of insight’ where it all makes sense. This is sometimes visualized as a ‘light bulb’ going on over one’s head. Well, Lyn says in BP (and extensively elsewhere) that this ‘light bulb’ defines what it means to be human rather than a mere beast.”

    I remember having a flash of insight in 1978 when I was reading a New Solidarity editorial about purging the Jews from U.S. public life because they are supposedly the evil agents of the “Zionist-British organism.” The light bulb above my head told me LaRouche was a Nazi. Now, my having this insight would qualify me (according to the alleged core idea in BP) as being a real human being. But thereafter LaRouche called me by various names suggesting that I am really one of the beast-men (for instance, he described me as a human “turd”). Am I to believe that the only light-bulb insights that qualify one for being fully human are insights that agree with LaRouche’s?

  15. Earnest One Says:

    Dennis Kings asks:

    “Am I to believe that the only light-bulb insights that qualify one for being fully human are insights that agree with LaRouche’s?”

    Yes. Believe it, worship it, then shit on it.

    Man versus beast? How inane. It is certainly true that the role of creativity is not emphasized enough in economics.

    But years ago (1950s, 60s), everyone spoke in terms of labor saving devices, inventions, etc. Note, too, that the (social) goal was to reduce the workweek, to have machines do all the drudgery and free people so they could concentrate their powers on art and science (or simply relax! — a wonderful concept for you Yutes).

    Man versus beast or beastman is a strawman argument. LaR is clinically insane (and deteriorating rapidly, in lockstep with the dollar). For someone so concerned about creative reason, he has little to show for his efforts, little to leave the world in terms of truly original ideas, let alone sustained, reasoned arguments.

    Stealing other people’s ideas and “repackaging” them as your own is dishonorable, despicable, and deplorable. A fine analogy is all that bad sub-prime debt, relabeled and repackaged until it became unrecognizable. Toxic waste indeed.

    Down with a–holes of every sort — then, now, and forever.

  16. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    Thanks so much for the effort you put into this. I’m afraid I can’t put a comparable effort into my response, as I’m having to steal time from my “day job” to participate in this discussion. But what I can do is pick points to which I can see a ready response and give those responses as I’m able. (And please excuse typos. I’m going to quick-proof this, but I probably wont get them all).

    I’ll adopt your typogaphical conventions, although in this usage they represent less a true dialogue and more merely my responses to selected points from your text.

    RACHEL: The notion that creativity distinguishes man from beast goes back at least to the Book of Genesis, where we find Adam naming the animals – participating in God’s creative act in the delimited and derivative way proper to humans – creative, but not godlike. (Note that Genesis says man is created in the image of God, and the serpent says to Eve – you will be like gods – two different things, but not to Lyn.)

    STEVE:If you are of a conservative religious tradition, you may be inclined to accept Genesis as authoritative. I am inclined to give “sacred” texts no more or less weight than a comparable “secular” text. Thus while I agree that Genesis can be read logically as distinguishing between being creative and being godlike, I would just say that I think Lyn is correct on this issue and Genesis (if that is indeed the true reading) is incorrect.

    RACHEL:Lyn’s insistence, however, on identifying being human with creative reason is not the crux of Genesis or of Jewish or Christian theology, no matter how loud he yells. Being made in the image of God has to do with love, with free will, with all sorts of gifts. By making creative reason the center of everything LaRouche demonstrates how anti-human he is. Because by his definition, if you ain’t creative, you ain’t human.

    So if you’re in a coma, if you’re developmentally disabled, if you’re brain-injured, in Lyn’s world, you’re not human. If you’re an infant, you’re only potentially human. In the 1970s Lyn used to misuse a Yiddish word he picked up somewhere-shmegeggy-to characterize human newborns-he took it to mean a little lump, a thing, a blob with no qualities-and he said an infant isn’t human till its parents recognize it as such.

    STEVE: From a purely logical viewpoint it would appear to follow that, therefore, these classes of individuals do not deserve the protections we traditionally afford to human life. However, Lyn’s epistemology has never, as far as I know, relied heavily on logic as a means of knowing truth. Now I’m sure an entire generation which has imbibed Aristotle with their mother’s milk are rising up as one to say “Hah! He admits Lyn is illogical!” to which I say “So?”.

    To the best of my understanding Lyn has *never* called for the death or mistreatment of the comatose or developmentally disabled, and indeed, has been stalwart in his opposition to such trends within modern culture. (See the Club of Life, see the work of Linda Everett in association with Lyn, see Lyn’s excoriation of the Nazis for their euthanasia policies.) In summary, though you could derive your some very sinister policy implications logically from Lyn’s viewpoint, the weight of the evidence is that Lyn does not do so.

    RACHEL:First, that’s not what shmegeggy means, but Lyn has always been bad at knowing what words really mean, and second, this is an argument for infanticide. After all, the baby does not yet participate in creative reason.

    No wonder there were hundreds of abortions in the LaRouche org.

    Don’t get seduced by Lyn’s bull about creative reason. Like everything else with him, it’s a license to kill. It also helps to explain why he carries on about people who aren’t human, from Nelson Rockefeller to Henry Kissinger to Dick Cheney to Nancy Pelosi. That’s a very dangerous practice, to start writing people off as “not human.” All in all, Lyn’s addiction to his version of “creative reason” gives him permission to characterize most of the human race as not human, because not creative.
    Guess who is creative? Guess who is endowed with a sovereign creative intellect? Just guess….

    STEVE: My understanding is that unlike Lyn’s philosophical opponents (Such as George Bernard Shaw who argued, I think in “Fabian Essays”, for educating people “up to the level of their ability” (quote approximate), Lyn regards human ability as open ended, in that anybody can potentially live as creatively human, and he seeks to create a society where this will be encouraged.

    Need I say that I think this is an excellent idea?

    I agree with you that Lyn probably did not, and may still not, regard abortion as murder. Many people of good will also take that stance. My first inclination is to say that if the large numbers of “mandated” abortions took place in the kind of circumstances commonly reported, I would have to regard that policy as a mistake. However, Lyn had the responsibility of command, which I have not, and I am reluctant to armchair quarterback on such points.

    I read Lyn’s characterization of people as “not human” as less sinister than you. First, because he holds out the possibility for almost anyone to become fully human in that sense. Secondly, when he states that a certain person is not human or will not become so, I read that as first, that this is their own willful choice, and second, that the notion that they will not and cannot become human is hyperbole rather that a literal statement. I have always taken it as one of Lyn’s depest principles that “people change”. Often in surprising ways.

    RACHEL: Most economists and most philosophers know that human creativity, in the sense of human technological innovation and human labor applying those innovations, is at the center of political economy. When you say (a) that mainstream economists do not include creativity in their equations and (b) that creativity cannot be reduced to equations, do you see that assertion (b) kinda undercuts assertion (a)?

    Creativity is an imponderable, so hard to include in equations, you betcha. Meanwhile, of course, LaRouche said it couldn’t be done and then precisely tried to do it, in the so-called LaRouche-Riemann Model, which was unintelligible, unbuildable, unworkable, because dramatically flawed in its conception, which included the attempt to project economic developments by folding “creativity” into the “equation.” It had no equations, and of course no creativity.

    By the way, algorithm is not, at least not initially, a technical term from computer science. It is a concept that originated in mathematics, and was later applied to various disciplines, including computing.

    STEVE: I totally fail to follow the point of your first paragraph above. (b) not only does not underut (a) It mandates (a)! In other words, it is precisely because creativity is non-algorithmic that it cannot be included as a factor in economic modeling, unless introduced ad hoc – by arbitrarily inserting figures derived from actual experience or from creative extrapolation.

    For example – could anyone create a valid equation or model relating the rate on capital investment to the increase of output? Not without knowing what innovations would be generated by the stated level of investment, and how those innovations would impact the productive process physically. And that would have to be evaluated via the use of creativity. (Wasn’t this the core of Lyn’s critique of Marx’s Capital?)

    I am dimly recollecting that Steve Bardwell did a lot of the work on the LaRouche Riemann model, and I seem to recall that Lyn eventually “ripped him a new one” for his unwillingness to break with the paradigms of conventional mathematics. I never understood how the model was ostensibly supposed to work, so I can’t comment further.

    RACHEL: What is the fundamental truth, what is the practice? If the fundamental truth is the primacy of creative reason, there is a problem-moral and epistemological. LaRouche wants to create the universe-wants to be God-but does not want to understand the universe. In other words, he subscribes to Karl Marx’s famous dictum “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” (From the Theses on Feuerbach, which Lyn had every member of the Labor Committee read, until one day Lyn “superseded” Marx and reemerged, for the time being, as an “American patriot,” something he “superseded” years ago.)

    Lyn wants to change everything. He doesn’t understand it, he doesn’t have to understand, he wants to change it. It’s like a first-year med student rushing into the Operating Theater during a complicated brain surgery and demanding to change the procedure, change the tools, change the concept, helter-skelter. Result? Anarchic disaster.

    That’s the application of Lyn’s various definitions. Which he certainly does do with a passion.

    STEVE: I don’t see where you get that Lyn does not want to understand the universe. It seems that much of the scientific work, from Kepler to Vernadsky is aimed at precisely that.

    Otherwise, your critique seems to apply to the counterculture youth of the “anti-globalization” and similar movements, and Lyn rightly criticizes this tendency.

    Or maybe you are simply accusing Lyn of hubris – a badge which I am sure you know he wears proudly.

    And I certainly think Marx is right on the point you quoted. Otherwise we are reduced to a Smith/Mandeville/Voltaire “local control” ideology in which we all selfishly cultivate our own gardens and the new world evolves via the magic of the marketplace (“emergent properties”).

    RACHEL: Lyn has said this in a variety of contexts, but I believe what gave rise to his utterly absurd notion that Plato is the philosopher of change, was his misreading (or rather, his being “misbriefed on”), the Parmenides. There matters revolve, as you note (see below) around the One and the Many, and the possibility of change or Becoming, the sort of way-station between Non-Being and Being. Because LaRouche identifies Parmenides as the enemy (see below), and Parmenides is seen to stand for the One vs. the Many, for Being vs. Becoming, Lyn assumes that this makes Plato the Philosopher of Becoming/Change.

    This is because Lyn assumes, erroneously, that Plato and Parmenides (or, in the dialogue, the young Socrates and Parmenides) are pitted against one another. And that he assumes because that’s how he understands the world. A vs. B. Always opposition, always enmity, always struggle. He should’ve written a book called “My Struggle.” Heh heh.

    But of course, reading Plato would give the lie to this absurd mischaracterization. Just go through the works of Plato and see what is said about Becoming and its ontological status. See how Plato regards the World of Becoming, as distinct from the world of the eidê, the world of Being and the Good. No serious reader of Plato could come up with the characterization of Plato as the Philosopher of Becoming or Change.
    But to Lyn, it’s all-important, because “the point is to change it.” Not for Plato, it ain’t, but Lyn has to make all philosophers agree with him, by violence to their work, if necessary.

    This is also why LaRouche is so enamored of Heracleitus, among the Ancient Greek philosophers. After all, didn’t Heracleitus famously say “panta rei”? “Everything flows/changes”? Now there’s a Philosopher of Change. He also said “You can never step into the same river twice – that is, it flows, it’s not the same river. Marx was a big fan of Heracleitus, needless to say. “Dialectical.”

    STEVE: I glanced at the beginning of the Parmenides to refresh my recollection. True, everybody is being meticulously polite to one another. It reminds me all too much of a dinner party of genteel folk, employing the bes “company manners”, with the claws barely sheathed. I can’t believe you cant see beneath the mask of overdrawn civility.

    And, yes, the notion of the dialectic is a method of evolution through opposition. I suppose ressonable people can disagree on whether the world actually works this way, but it seems plausible to me.

    Well, I don’t know if Plato is the philosopher of change or not. He certainly employs the method of dialogue, and the essence of dialogue is change of views as the discussion proceeds. That’s what the form is about. So that would give some weight to Lyn’s view. Plus, one of the dualogues that first impressed me, which I can’t recall the name of, has Socrates confronting a teacher of rhetoric. It reminded me entirely of lieutennant Colombo of the famous TV series. “Excuse me sir, I’m puzzled. There’s this one point I can’t quite figure out. Maybe if you can help me out here.” Precisely the method of Socrates. The difference being, that where Colombo exposed criminals, Socrates exposes fools – a much more dangerous enterprise – especially if the fools are influential. And, at the end of it all, can we really believe that Socrates was executed for his unswerving support of the status quo? I think not.

    And hey, if he’s wrong about Plato, then he’s wrong. It happens. He was wrong about nuclear fission in Dialectical Economics. This was later corrected and the organization has proudly supported fission ever since.

    I’ve always liked Heracleitus, maybe that’s part of why I like Lyn. I have to say that I was also heavily influenced by Alfred Korzybski. I have to regard his proposed system as more “Hyper-Aristotelean” than “non-Aristotelean, but I think his critique of object-oriented thinking as implied by his objection to the “is of identity” is right on. That’s almost certainly why a lot of Lyn’s comments about process made perfect sense to me, where they might not have to an Aristotelean.

    RACHEL: What happens in the Parmenides is that the old Parmenides visits Athens, with his younger associate Zeno, and has a conversation with a very young Socrates-who is unskilled in the dialectic. In the dialogue, Parmenides plays the role we are used to seeing Socrates play-the older interlocutor to Socrates’ youth.

    Whether or not Socrates confronts Parmenides as an opponent, I leave to the judgment of the reader. In my view, the interaction between Parmenides and Socrates is a loving discourse, but maybe I’m not discerning all the enmity there is in this world.

    Parmenides gently shows Socrates that he can’t give a real account of his theory of the forms, in the first part of the dialogue-a sort of pregnant moment, pointing towards the future. It’s clear that he thinks the world of the young Socrates and his potential.

    I’d be interested to hear from you some quotes from the dialogue that show an “opponent” quality beyond what is usual for this form of dialectic throughout the Platonic dialogues that use dialectic.. Also, could you point out with quotes where Parmenides is the “butt of the joke”?

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, but am interested to hear your thoughts.

    STEVE: I think you’re not discerning all the enmity there is in this world.

    If you don’t see a subtext of opposition in this dialogue, I don’t know how to illustrate it. But see my comments above on Socrates and Colombo. In Colombo the irony of his overstated bumbling friendliness is transparent. I see the same quality in Socrates. Your mileage may vary.

    Where I find the humor is in the following quote, at the very end, where Parmenides has totally tied himself in knots by trying to analyze the unanalyzable.

    (P) “Let thus much be said; and further let us affirm what seems to be
    the truth, that, whether one is or is not, one and the others in relation
    to themselves and one another, all of them, in every way, are and
    are not, and appear to be and appear not to be.”

    (S) “Most true.”

    But I often see humor where others don’t. For instance, I picture the crowd cracking up when Jesus delivers the line “Render unto Caesar…”. But that is not the way the passage in conventionally preached. :)

    RACHEL: I don’t believe that agapê-love-is simply Paul’s proposed solution to a problem of church infighting. It is the content of the message of Jesus, Whom and which Paul is attempting to re-present. The Christian concept of agapê (and the Jewish concept of chesed) reach far beyond solutions to the One and the Many paradox as exemplified in faction fights, to put it mildly. Also, of course, in any human institution there exist the difficulties Paul is trying to solve-we may frame them in the language of the One and the Many, but we are not following in Plato’s footsteps, or Paul’s, when we do that hyperphilosophizing.

    The One and the Many pertain primarily to modes of Being (or Becoming), not so much to mere matters of infighting or scabs and trade unionists (see below).

    STEVE: I must first reject strongly the equation of agape with our English word “love”. The word love in English carries a huge amount of baggage, much of it inconsistent with the meaning of agape. I’m sure you know that there are no less than 4 Greek words which may be translated into English as “love”. I prefer to use the untranslated term agape and let it speak for itself, as amplified by discussions such as Paul’s. “Love” is a mess linguistically, and it’s easier not to try to sort that one out.

    And, no, I don’t think agape is “merely” anything. It is a fundamental principle of the universe as Paul implies in his concluding remarks “now abideth these three…..” Immediately prior to that point Paul discusses the relativity of knowledge, how it passes away under the impact of superior knowledge (“that which is perfect…”). When Paul says “now abideth…” he is stating what modern mathematical physics knows as an “invariant under transformation”. The transformation of which he speaks is not one of geometry, but of the perfection of knowledge. He states that in the context of that process there are three invariants. Faith, Hope, and Agape. Now this only makes sense, in my view, if they are invariants with respect to that process because they are necessary aspects of the process. In other words, agape is a key element in the unfolding of the universe itself.

    Like my example above “render unto Caesar”, this is not the way this passage in conventionally preached. :)

    But, I do think that agape is useful in sorting out the kind of internal political difficulties the early church or Lyn;s organization find themself in. And I also think that, as sometimes happens, a limited and historically specific circumstance can serve as the springboard for a dicusion of principles which are universal in their applicability. After all, just look what Lyn did with the question of the Puerto Rican Socialist party. :)

    Note that Paul himself uses the terms “one” and “many” in his discussion of the factional problem, and uses them repetitively. He was an educated man, surely he was not ignorant of the resonance of his terms with those of Greek philosophy?

    I am not well versed in academic philosophy, so I am fuzzy on what abstract technical meanings “being” or “becoming” might have. Certainly, in a common sense viewpoint, one “is” (one bes?) on a picket line, on the job, or in any other aspect of life. Hopefullly one also “becomes” in these contexts. If these concepts do not apply to the practical matters of life, then what in heaven’s name do they mean and what good are they? And, if the One and the Many apply only in realms of abstract philosophy, isn’t it odd that we find them pervading critically important issues of practical life?

    Well, that’s all for now. It doesn’t pretend to be a systematic response, but maybe it will give you something to chew on.

    Best wishes,
    -Steve

  17. Steve Says:

    Dennis,

    I was reading NS during 1978, and don’t recall the statement you refer to. Did the editorial actually say “purge Jews from public life” or did it say something else you took to be equivalent?

    The flash of insight really has little to do with the *content* of the insight or who or what it agrees or disagrees with. It is simply a different (and superior) mode of thought to the conventional one which Lyn describes as “object images” linked by “feeling states”. The next time you have an actual flash of insight, pay attention and notice how you are different from how you are the rest of the time. This is absolutely nothing that anybody needs to be convinced of by argument. Pay attention and you will see for yourself.

    That’s all,
    -Steve

  18. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    I am puzzled by the accusation, which I have also heard elsewhere, that Lyn repackages the ideas of others as his own. What I have seen of Lyn’s writing is generous in referencing his antecedent thinkers.

    -Steve

  19. Earnest One Says:

    Justin,

    Not sure if you are joking.

    If not, then please explain the intellectual content of his “fundamental discovery” and the concrete essence of Lyn’s (personal) contribution.

  20. Earnest One Says:

    Sorry, the above should have been addressed to Steve (this explains “not sure” statement).

    It is early morning, before my tea fix; and I’m not usually up at this hour (lame excuse for not being careful).

    In any case, my sincere apologies, Steve.

    But please, go ahead and answer the question, in as much detail as you can. And, if you are truly sincere, I will study carefully, in great detail.

  21. rachel holmes Says:

    Steve–

    Thanks. Not sure I want “something to chew on,” but I’ll make a few short points now–or ask a few short questions now–and probably more later.

    1. References to Genesis were intended in part to show that Lyn’s understanding of man as creative were, to put it mildly, not new–that an ancient and well-known text understands man’s “capax dei,” his creativity, very well. If you have difficulty with religious concepts, take Genesis as a philosophical text.

    Further elucidation of Genesis was offered not because I happen to believe Genesis–which I do–but because Lyn referred to it constantly over years as one of his key texts, and the very notion of “imago dei” that he carried on about for years derives from those verses in Genesis.

    So it’s fair to compare what he says (and what he says Genesis says) with what Genesis actually says.

    2. On the translation of agapê–if you must strongly object to translating this word as love, please supply your four translations, and particularly the translation you believe most appropriate to Paul’s 1 Corinthians.

    I have here at hand the various translations of the word at different stages of the evolution of the Greek language, and would be interested to hear which one you think is preferable. I refrain from leaning on the fact that Christians have always regarded agapê in New Testament koinê Greek as meaning “love” (caritas in Latin, charity in the King James translation) because arguments from authority aren’t the greatest, even though the Christian community might be supposed to be expert on this.

    But just post the translations you have in mind, and also their provenance (quite important–in other words, I want the lexical translations, not your own, if you see what I mean).

    While you’re at it, you might check the actual Greek meanings of the word hubris, a word which Lyn did indeed proudly wrap himself in for years, but mysteriously dropped at some point (once you check out the translations, you’ll see why, I imagine). And I’ll be happy to identify the time, roughly, at which he stopped using the word, and explain why, if it’s not clear.

    Thanks.

  22. Dennis King Says:

    Steve, your serious reply deserves a serious answer. You can find the “Register the Zionist Lobby as Foreign Agents” editorial at http://lyndonlarouchewatch.org/images/register1.jpg As you read it, please ask yourself what the “Zionist-British organism” is a reference to. As to your comments on insight, I think we have insights all the time, and most of the time they are integrated into our daily lives so we don’t stop and say, hey, I’ve just had an insight. Simply because an insight is experienced in a lightbulb way (a VERY rough analogy) doesn’t mean it’s more important than non-lightbulb insights. I suspect that the lightbulb insight often occurs when we recognize something we didn’t expect to recognize, something really odd, which is primarily a function of the object or process being cognized, and only secondarily of the mind that does the cognizing. In addition, an odd insight is not necessarily a more important insight. I think you are defining the psychological category “insight” by one of its accidental surface features whereas a truly scientific definition would grasp the inner dynamics of that which is being defined. Finally, I think when we talk about insight we are talking about a spectrum of psychological processes that includes how we create or respond to jokes, puns, riddles, games and other kinds of playful behavior or playful tasks–not just to the kind of Platonic thinking that LaRouche regards as the manifestation of true humanity. And this brings us to the element of social expectation, as in a game where you are expected to cry out “ah-hah!” (If you want to experience lightbulb insights in such a setting, just play Scrabble with a kid.) What I’m saying here is merely armchair psychology (like LaRouche’s ideas on insight); perhaps we should call it it the hypothesis of the “lower” hypothesis to distinguish it from what LaRouche has asserted. Research psychologists or researchers in the physiology of the brain may come up with explanations of insight that relegate both LaRouche and me to the dustbin of 20th century speculation.

  23. Steve Says:

    Dennis,

    Thanks for your serious reply. I’ll try to continue in the same tone. My view of Lyn’s criticism of Zionism has always been that when he said Zionism, he meant Zionism. There are certainly ample grounds for a criticism of Zionism without thereby being anti-semitic. Even within the Jewish community, Zionism is only one view among several, and has been criticized from within that community. Admittedly, Lyn’s criticisms of Zionism are harsh in tone, That is, after all, what is meant by a polemic style. The polemic style, with its associated elements of hyperbole is not to all tastes, but I think it has a legitimate and important role in political discourse. And Lyn applies polemics even-handedly to Jews and gentiles alike. As to the “British-Zionist organism”, it has long been Lyn’s view that the Zionist movement, at least in part, is a creature of British geopolitics. I don’t know the history in depth, so I’ll simply say that whether or not Lyn is correct on this point, I think it is a view a reasonable person could hold without being motivated by anti-semitism.

    I recall, when I was quite young, reading some historical work on the creation of Israel. Whether fact, or fiction I don’t recall clearly. It may have been the novel Exodus. I was concerned with the question of why the Jews and Arabs were enemies. In my youthful ignorance, I could see no good sense to it (and today, in the dubious wisdom of impending old age, I still think I don’t). I remember going through the work rather meticulously, looking for the historical turning point that set these two peoples up for their subsequent enmity. I don’t remember the specifics, but I clearly recall that it was a decision of the British – who ruled Palestine at that point in time, which created a legal situation which virtually guaranteed that the two peoples would be pitted against one another.

    This was long before I had ever heard of LaRouche, and I was motivated by nothing more than honest puzzlement. And the answer came out “the British”. Admittedly, it didn’t occur to me then that this was done on purpose. However, I think the history of the Briitish Empire overall makes such geopolitical games eminently plausible.

    Whether Zionism is a force in American political life, is, I think, not very debatable. And this pattern is not unique to Israel. We see analogous, though probably lesser, influence in the case of the Cuban exile community, as one notable example. Whether ZIonism is a benign or a malign influence in American politics is debatable. But I don’t think a case can be made that the objection to such influence is a sign of religious or racial hatred.

    I, for one, will never forget a Nightline episode during some Mideast crisis or other, years back. (Invasion of Lebanon, perhaps?) There was an Israeli government spokesman on. And he referred to the “final solution to the Palestinian problem.” If that was intended as a joke, I missed the humor. For a historically conscious Jew to speak of applying a “final solution” to another people is flat out unconscionable. To do so in a public forum as a representative of the Israeli government borders on insanity. I can’t cite the episode, so anybody who wants to think I invented it or am misremembering it is free to do so. But that phrase is not something one misremembers. And I swear I am not making this up. What’s my point? That “da Jews” are sinister or evil after all? Not at all. That the Israeli government, at least in some incarnations, is homicidally insane? That’s pretty close. Just a personal example of why a person of good will could mistrust a “Zionist lobby” or “Israel lobby” influence in U.S. politics.

    I occasionally read material by real anti-semites. It is unmistakable in tone and content. They call a Jew a Jew and leave no doubt what they think of them. The difference is easy to tell.

    As to the question of how creative moments happen. This is a notoriously difficult thing to describe in words, as it happens in a wordless moment of consciousness, and whatever we say about it afterwards, though not exactly false, is limited to the point of being misleading. I’ll give an example that helped clarify it for me. I was at a conference and had wandered into an after-hours session led by Dennis Speed, with primarily LYM participants. Dennis was discussing what makes a joke funny, and was using socratic questioning to try to get at the point. And the discussion came around to, well, is it because the punch line is expected, because it “fits” with the buildup? Well, no, that didn’t seem to be it. Well, is it because it is unexpected. They thought so, until somebody gave an example of an unexpected punch line that wasn’t funny at all. Well, then my own “light bulb” went off. I waved my hand in the air, barely restraining myself from jumping up and down yelling “I know! I know!” Dennis called on me and I said “It *does* fit” – but not the way you expected!”.

    And, if you are familiar with some of Lyn’s other writings in this area, a lot of things come together here. Conceptualize it from the viewpoint of Lyn’s notion of “manifolds” or “theorem lattices” (and rather than try to define either of those terms logically, just try to have a “feel” for them – that’s what I do). Here’s how it works. The setup of the joke occurs in one “universe” (manifold, theorem lattice, whatever). There is a certain consistency of viewpoint depicted. If the buildup is done well, the listener is thoroughly sucked into that viewpoint. Then, the punchline. Voila! The punchline of a well done joke is entirely consistent with the buildup, but consistent from a higher (more developed, more advanced) viewpoint than that naively implied by the original buildup. The subjective sensation of flipping from the lower view to the higher is an instance of what Lyn has elsewhere characterized as “the fundamental human emotion” (aka creativity, aka “lightbulb”, etc.) This is not even particularly mysterious – just very difficult to analyze from the perspective of everyday language – and thus difficult to render as socialized knowledge.

    Now, one of the things I think is probably unique to Lyn, is his notion that the person’s sense of identity when being creative in this sense is different than usual. Lyn says, as you probably know, that usually people employ a persona (from the Greek word for a theatrical mask) as the face they show to the world. And, for most of us, this persona becomes our identity. We think that’s who we really are! Au contraire, the wordless moments of creativity define the true self. After all, the persona is a created entity. (Crteated how, by whom?) Who am I? Who is it that asks! Now suppose one could accept that the imposed limitations of the persona were not onself. Suppose one could actually “locate” their identity in the creative moment. Their view of life, the universe, and everything would become completely transformed. Unthinkable things would become possible. (And I mean “unthinkable” in a good way, not as a more cynical reader might interpret it).

    Well, I could babble on, but it would probably be repetitious.

    All for now,
    -Steve

  24. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    I think that Lyn’s “fundamental discovery” is that human creativity is at the center of political economy. Rachel suggests that most philosophers and economists know this, but I can’t regard that assertion as well supported, at least with regard to currently practicing economic authorities. Certainly Lyn has elaborated the point to a greater degree than found elsewhere. There are echoes of it in earlier thinkers. I believe it was Lincoln who wrote that “the animals labor, but only man improves his labor” (quote approximate). But even though this clearly foreshadows Lyn’s viewpoint, I don’t think Lyn’s views can thus be regarded as derivative. Henry Carey, who I have not read, may have made comparable points. However, Lyn came to his views some years before his discovery of Carey.

    -Steve

  25. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    I think Lyn’s reference to Genesis was not because he personally regarded it as authoritative, but that as a source which many others regarded as authoritative, it expresses the same truth which he is organizing around. I’m sure he would maintain his view, even had Genesis not supported it.

    I was probably not clear in my discussion of agape versus “love”. What I meant was there are 4 different words in the Greek which can translate into English as “love”. These are the three we learned in Sunday School – filios (sp?), eros, and agape – as well as a fourth, which I learned in my college humanistic psych class – storge (sp?) – love of the familiar – e.g. your comfortable old pair of shoes, your favorite pipe, etc. I really think it is most accurate to simply bring agape into the English text untranslated.

    I object to identifying agape as “love” because of the diversity of meanings the word “love” can have in English. I mean, do it if you like. I won’t hunt you down or burn your books, and it won’t affect our ability to communicate. I just think it’s confusing to the typical English speaker.

    I have always heard “hubris” described as the pride according to which man sets himself up in the place of the gods. Not surprising that the Olympian faction would disapprove. If there are nuances beyond that which I’m unaware of, let me know.

    -Steve

  26. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Steve–

    Well, yes, I think you’re absolutely right–Lyn uses Genesis as he uses everything else–to prove his point. Not because he agrees with it, or has mastered it, or has even read it, but because he knows others are familiar with it and attribute importance to it.

    However, characteristically, he distorts what he uses, through ignorance or malevolence or both. That is the case with his obsessive clinging to creative reason, and his use of Genesis as the support par excellence for his views on man-made-in-the-image-of-God.

    As a matter of fact, he has dropped Genesis, as he dropped hylozoic monism, creative mentation, the Filioque, Feuerbach, Descartes, and Marx–because it doesn’t quite serve his turn.

    In other words, examined more closely, Genesis does not make the same point that Lyn is organizing around. (For example, Genesis frowns on hubris, although of course that is not the word used.)

    Neither does Plato or Leibniz or the long list of “Labor Committee Greats” make the point that Lyn makes. Because the point Lyn is organizing around is, fundamentally, himself, his own Sovereign Intellect, his role as Creator. This is not a point that interests any preceding philosopher or scientist.

    As to agape–yes, there are several Greek words translated into English as love, or perhaps like (in fact, outside the New Testament and subsequent Christian usage, “like” or “have affection for” is a closer translation of agape).

    But Paul and the early (and later) Christians in fact use the word to mean love–or charity, in its original sense. LaRouche claims it means “love of justice” and related outrages against language, but it’s simply not true.

    I think to use agape instead of love is to remove the emotional content of the word for an English reader or speaker, unless he happens to be a Christian theologian familiar with the usage.

    So I think it is deceptive, although not intentionally so–because love is surely the most powerful (and creative, pace Lyn) force in the universe. Why be embarrassed to say it?

    On “hubris,” it seems to me your definition is not wrong, but does not convey the force of the word in Greek thought–the concept of the sin of overweening pride.

    Yes, that is man setting himself up against, or above, the gods, as a result of arrogance and incapacity to understand his limitations. (And, Steve, I do believe man has limitations. So does LaRouche. He just doesn’t believe HE has limitations.)

    In Christian theological terms, its foremost exemplar would be Lucifer.

    Pride, arrogance, and contempt for others are not to be recommended, nor do they translate into some sort of powerful positive mission.

  27. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    I shall have a reply — nontrivial and serious — later today.

    Let us seek truth and, without rancor, condemn bullshit and equivocation (when appropriate). On issues that can be documented — intellectual issues, where the evidence is crystal clear, in full view for all to see — honest people should, in principle, be able to agree.

    Again, I shall have a reply to Lyn’s repeated claims about having made a “fundamental discovery”. As point of departure, I’ll take your informal understanding explained above.

    I’ve read (and sometimes studied) Lyn’s writings and speeches for over thirty years — not full time, nor as a paid analyst, but as an interested observer.

    Your simple rendition of the heart of his claim appears reasonable; I accept it and and shall address it I look forward to your honest and thoughtful reply.

  28. Earnest One Says:

    Dear Steve (and others, if extent and interested),

    To reduce visual fatigue, I am dividing this long post into sections.

    This is section #1. The main theme here was prompted by my specific question to Steve (posted above) and the general question of whether Lyn has ever contributed a truly original idea – ever made a genuine, important discovery. To review, my question was:

    “Please explain the intellectual content of his “fundamental discovery” and the concrete essence of Lyn’s (personal) contribution.”

    Steve responded:

    “Earnest,

    I think that Lyn’s “fundamental discovery” is that human creativity is at the center of political economy. Rachel suggests that most philosophers and economists know this, but I can’t regard that assertion as well supported, at least with regard to currently practicing economic authorities. Certainly Lyn has elaborated the point to a greater degree than found elsewhere. There are echoes of it in earlier thinkers. I believe it was Lincoln who wrote that “the animals labor, but only man improves his labor” (quote approximate). But even though this clearly foreshadows Lyn’s viewpoint, I don’t think Lyn’s views can thus be regarded as derivative. Henry Carey, who I have not read, may have made comparable points. However, Lyn came to his views some years before his discovery of Carey.

    -Steve”

    Forgive the duplication, but I am gathering this together, in one place, simply for ease of comprehension.

    Note that I replied to Steve by acknowledging that he has, in my view, captured the essence of Lyn’s major claim; I promised a “nontrivial and serious” response. Note, too that Steve thought I was unfairly critical of Lyn, writing:

    “Earnest,

    I am puzzled by the accusation, which I have also heard elsewhere, that Lyn repackages the ideas of others as his own. What I have seen of Lyn’s writing is generous in referencing his antecedent thinkers.

    -Steve”

    I claim that Lyn is an intellectual fraud — that he is entirely disingenuous in his references to previous thinkers (on the subject of his purported “fundamental discovery”) and I will now prove this to all.

    End Section #1.

  29. Earnest One Says:

    Start of Section #2

    I am heartened by Steve’s reference to Lincoln. The thrust of this post, demonstrating that Lyn is an intellectual fraud concerns his most precious assertion – that he has made a “fundamental discovery”, a discovery the grants him permanent status among the elite thinkers of all time. Note that this claim vanishes into thin air in the presence of a famous lecture by Lincoln. More on this below.

    But already we can see problems. If, as Steve asserts, Carey “may have had comparable points,” but “Lyn came to his views some years before HIS [emphasis added] discovery of Carey” then what exactly is Lyn’s contribution? Is it that he discovered that Carey discovered the fundamental discovery (and earlier)?!

    Years ago, scientists discovered that the earth wasn’t flat. Suppose some (intellectually isolated) child discovers this on his or her own, now. This would be a fine discovery, something original (to him or her) and something that demonstrates true scientific talent. But it would be odd indeed if later, as an adult, the same person claimed it as HIS fundamental discovery — not only that but built a vast reputation based on it, claiming it as his or hers, without reference to all the others who proved that the earth wasn’t flat.

    I note a subtle slide toward equivocation in Steve’s response. Many laymen rediscover things that are well known to specialists. And many scientists rediscover things that are relatively unknown, yet already published elsewhere. This may hurt, psychologically. But it is actually a great sign: it shows the universal nature of discovery and man’s ability to master the laws of the universe. Taken further, it also shows that creativity is in all of us, at least in principle. In short, this part of my argument is already too long, as no HONEST scientist would make a big deal about a rediscovering something that has been well known for a long, long time.

    Worse, the claimed “fundamental discovery” that “human creativity is at the center of political economy” is obvious. It may not be talked about much now, during the lifetime of the present Yutes, where such things are verboten, but not too long ago, this concept was firmly embedded in the culture as a core principle, something that was widely regarded as the basis of human progress.

    To see the absurdity of it all, simply try to argue otherwise. Where would humankind be without the discoveries of fire, the wheel, electricity, and radio waves? Who could write a book about economics and neglect the role that creativity has played the history of humanity. It isn’t simply the discoveries, but all the truly creative inventions, accomplished by tens of thousands of people. These lifted humankind up and increased our standard of living. Decades ago, every serious person was talking about how technology increases our standard of living, how human creativity was the key, how science and technology were essential (along with humanism).

    This pervaded the culture. More importantly it was discovered and widely discussed LONG before Lyn’s claimed breakthrough.

    Again, I asked, ““Please explain the intellectual content of his “fundamental discovery” and the concrete essence of Lyn’s (personal) contribution.”

    End Section #2

  30. Earnest One Says:

    Start Section #3

    Now, some pedants may argue that there is some “formal” difference between human “creativity” and “discoveries/inventions”. Here is where simple honesty enters the picture. To me and to every sane person I have every met, invention is virtually synonymous with the creative part of the human mind. Discovery is a bit more complicated. Mathematical Platonists view objects as having an independent existence: in this world, one can “invent” a concept (or a contraption), yet one discovers mathematical theorems and proofs, as if they already existed (because they actually do exist, independent of us).

    Here, in this note, we do not worry about such issues. For us, invention and discovery exist at the highest levels of human thought. In short, invention and discovery cannot be divorced from creativity.

    Now, politicians, by definition, take positions that they themselves do not believe in. Therefore, politicians are, at root, anti-science.

    The above, possibly rancorous attitude, is designed to thwart various word game responses that might arise. For example, Steve: Your definition of Lyn’s contribution contains wording that might be used to equivocate and to bypass the common sense, sane meaning that one usually ascribes to discovery.

    Someone who promotes a product may or may not be the real inventor. One can write trillions of words about the discoveries of others, without making the slightest original contribution of one’s own. And one can write about other people’s discoveries without staking ANY claims about one’s own originality, other than, possibly, asserting that you are presenting the ideas of others in a novel manner. One can promulgate the work of others and say, honestly, “These are NOT my discoveries, but I believe that the core ideas are the most important issues of the day – issues vital to the survival of mankind. Here, vast credit should be granted to the person who stands up for truth, who demands nothing short of justice for all, irrespective of whether they had the original idea.

    Promotion, advertisement, promulgation and explication are useful – indeed, often essential – aspects of human progress. I do not denigrate the activity, indeed, one can surely use one’s mind to full advantage, and one can be extremely creative in the role of promoter, advertiser, promulgator, and expositor.

    But this is quite different than claiming to make a crucial contribution to science, or political economy, or physics, or XYZ. In short, such work does not rise to the level of fundamental discovery, especially if there is widespread evidence that the key discovery being claimed was actually made by someone else, or that it was never neatly summarized in one single location, but that educated people were well aware of the ideas and concepts.

    Again, I think Lyn’s case is worse: his claim is so obvious, so thoroughly embedded in the history of humankind that it is difficult to point to a single date or origin where the discovery was made (but this is often the case with such things). If true, however, one can certainly point to dates where various people promoted, advertised, promulgated and/or gave fine expositions of the core idea, the core discovery.

    That it is not in today’s textbooks is NOT evidence that Lyn made any such discovery. Look at the textbooks under Stalin or Mao. Whole sections of human history were re-written. In such an atmosphere (where people know nothing and have lost the ability to think critically), various frauds can easily appear on the scene, making claims of all kinds. But the claims are hard to check because almost everyone is lost.

    Finally, to end this section, I note a possible “out” embedded in Steve’s assertion – a built in opportunity for equivocation. Steve says:

    “I think that Lyn’s “fundamental discovery” is that human creativity is at the center of political economy.”

    Political economy? What is that? Perhaps your definition rests on Lyn’s definition, which rests on him being the person who founded the subject. “Center”? This has many interpretations. In short, there is certain wildly wide wiggle room, at the center.

    End Section #3

  31. Earnest One Says:

    Start Section #4

    Back to Lyn’s claim.

    Of course, if a clear exposition is found that PRE_DATES, by a hundred years, or even a thousand years, the repeated assertions of someone (i.e., Lyndon LaRouche) who claims to have made an original discovery, then questions of veracity arise. This becomes a critical item if the exposition in question was well known, indeed famous.

    Given all the above, I hope everyone takes the time to read the following lecture by Abraham Lincoln, titled Discoveries and Inventions”. The complete text of can be found here:

    http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/discoveries.htm

    Until recently, I never read the full text (I assume the above is genuine) but have only studied extended excerpts, which appear in an abbreviated and condensed two book compilation of Lincoln’s letters and speeches, something that I own and cherish.

    For those in a hurry, and who want to get to the meat, quickly, here are some key items, written well before Lyndon LaRouche appeared on this planet (note that the spelling is original):

    “Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions.”

    Given the entire speech, and the context of the times, I take this to mean that through creativity, man alone improves his standard of living. Lincoln, again:

    “Transportation — the removal of person, and goods — from place to place — would be an early object, if not a necessity, with man. By his natural powers of locomotion, and without much assistance from Discovery and invention, he could move himself about with considerable facility; and even, could carry small burthens with him. But very soon he would wish to lessen the labor, while he might, at the same time, extend, and expedite the business. For this object, wheel-carriages, and water-crafts — wagons and boats — are the most important inventions. The use of the wheel & axle, has been so long known, that it is difficult, without reflection, to estimate it at it’s true value.”

    Again, the emphasis is here is on discoveries and inventions that are “labor saving” (this was the old terminology; it included “labor saving devices”). But labor saving is simply another way of saying that the discovery or invention frees people to do other things — it produces “free energy” (Lyn’s schema), including freeing people so that they can make additional inventions and discoveries and thus further improve the standard of living for all. Here we assume that the benefits are shared throughout the society, another “problem” that Lincoln worked on! But let the master speak for himself:

    “The idea, being once conceived, of riding one species of animals, would soon be extended to others.”

    And now we have the machine tool principle:

    “Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of motive power — that is, power to move things. Take any given space of the earth’s surface — for instance, Illinois –; and all the power exerted by all the men, and beasts, and running-water, and steam, over and upon it, shall not equal the one hundredth part of what is exerted by the blowing of the wind over and upon the same space. And yet it has not, so far in the world’s history, become proportionably valuable as a motive power. It is applied extensively, and advantageously, to sail-vessels in navigation. Add to this a few wind-mills, and pumps, and you have about all. That, as yet, no very successful mode of controlling, and directing the wind, has been discovered; and that, naturally, it moves by fits and starts — now so gently as to scarcely stir a leaf, and now so roughly as to level a forest — doubtless have been the insurmountable difficulties. As yet, the wind is an untamed, and unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of the wind. That the difficulties of controlling this power are very great is quite evident by the fact that they have already been perceived, and struggled with more than three thousand years; for that power was applied to sail-vessels, at least as early as the time of the prophet Isaiah.

    In speaking of running streams, as a motive power, I mean it’s application to mills and other machinery by means of the “water wheel” — a thing now well known, and extensively used; but, of which, no mention is made in the bible, though it is thought to have been in use among the romans — (Am. Ency. tit—Mill) [.] The language of the Saviour “Two women shall be grinding at the mill &c” indicates that, even in the populous city of Jerusalem, at that day, mills were operated by hand — having, as yet had no other than human power applied to them.

    The advantageous use of Steam-power is, unquestionably, a modern discovery.

    And yet, as much as two thousand years ago the power of steam was not only observed, but an ingenius toy was actually made and put in motion by it, at Alexandria in Egypt.

    What appears strange is, that neither the inventor of the toy, nor any one else, for so long a time afterwards, should perceive that steam would move useful machinery as well as a toy.”

    End Section #4

  32. Earnest One Says:

    Start Section #5

    Our genius (Lincoln, not Lyn) continues:

    “The great difference between Young America and Old Fogy, is the result of Discoveries, Inventions, and Improvements. These, in turn, are the result of observation, reflection and experiment. For instance, it is quite certain that ever since water has been boiled in covered vessels, men have seen the lids of the vessels rise and fall a little, with a sort of fluttering motion, by force of the steam; but so long as this was not specially observed, and reflected and experimented upon, it came to nothing. At length however, after many thousand years, some man observes this long-known effect of hot water lifting a pot-lid, and begins a train of reflection upon it.”

    I include this because Lincoln’s lecture includes a vast number of concrete examples, showing that he had thought through the process of progress, and understood something deep about how it can occur slowing and quickly. Again, back to our hero:

    “The inclination to exchange thoughts with one another is probably an original impulse of our nature. If I be in pain I wish to let you know it, and to ask your sympathy and assistance; and my pleasurable emotions also; I wish to communicate to, and share with you. But to carry on such communication, some instrumentality is indispensable.”

    Later, we arrive at sublime beauty:

    “But speech alone, valuable as it ever has been, and is, has not advanced the condition of the world much. This is abundantly evident when we look at the degraded condition of all those tribes of human creatures who have no considerable additional means of communicating thoughts. Writing — the art of communicating thoughts to the mind, through the eye — is the great invention of the world. Great in the astonishing range of analysis and combination which necessarily underlies the most crude and general conception of it — great, very great in enabling us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and of space; and great, not only in its direct benefits, but greatest help, to all other inventions. Suppose the art, with all conception of it, were this day lost to the world, how long, think you, would it be, before even Young America could get up the letter A. with any adequate notion of using it to advantage? The precise period at which writing was invented, is not known…”

    Continuing the same thought:

    “When we remember that words are sounds merely, we shall conclude that the idea of representing those sounds by marks, so that whoever should at any time after see the marks, would understand what sounds they meant, was a bold and ingenius conception, not likely to occur to one man of a million, in the run of a thousand years. And, when it did occur, a distinct mark for each word, giving twenty thousand different marks first to be learned, and afterwards remembered, would follow as the second thought, and would present such a difficulty as would lead to the conclusion that the whole thing was impracticable. But the necessity still would exist; and we may readily suppose that the idea was conceived, and lost, and reproduced, and dropped, and taken up again and again, until at last, the thought of dividing sounds into parts, and making a mark, not to represent a whole sound, but only a part of one, and then of combining these marks, not very many in number, upon the principles of permutation, so as to represent any and all of the whole twenty thousand words, and even any additional number was somehow conceived and pushed into practice. This was the invention of phoenetic writing, as distinguished from the clumsy picture writing of some of the nations. That it was difficult of conception and execution, is apparent, as well by the foregoing reflections, as by the fact that so many tribes of men have come down from Adam’s time to ours without ever having possessed it. It’s utility may be conceived, by the reflection that, to it we owe everything which distinguishes us from savages. Take it from us, and the Bible, all history, all science, all government, all commerce, and nearly all social intercourse go with it.”

    Later:

    “I have already intimated my opinion that in the world’s history, certain inventions and discoveries occurred, of peculiar value, on account of their great efficiency in facilitating all other inventions and discoveries. Of these were the arts of writing and of printing — the discovery of America, and the introduction of Patent-laws.”

    More:

    “When man was possessed of speech alone, the chances of invention, discovery, and improvement, were very limited; but by the introduction of each of these, they were greatly multiplied. When writing was invented, any important observation, likely to lead to a discovery, had at least a chance of being written down, and consequently, a better chance of never been forgotten; and of being seen, and reflected upon, by a much greater number of persons; and thereby the chances of a valuable hint being caught, proportionably augmented. By this means the observation of a single individual might lead to an important invention, years, and even centuries after he was dead. In one word, by means of writing, the seeds of invention were more permanently preserved, and more widely sown. And yet, for the three thousand years during which printing remained undiscovered after writing was in use, it was only a small portion of the people who could write, or read writing; and consequently the field of invention, though much extended, still continued very limited. At length printing came. It gave ten thousand copies of any written matter, quite as cheaply as then were given before; and consequently a thousand minds were brought into the field where there was but one before. This was a great gain; and history shows a great change corresponding to it, in point of time. I will venture to consider it, the true termination of that period called “the dark ages.” Discoveries, inventions, and improvements followed rapidly, and have been increasing their rapidity ever since.”

    Next to final quote:

    “The capacity to read, could not be multiplied as fast as the means of reading. Spelling-books just began to go into the hands of the children; but the teachers were not very numerous, or very competent; so that it is safe to infer they did not advance so speedily as they do now-a-days. It is very probable — almost certain — that the great mass of men, at that time, were utterly unconscious, that their conditions, or their minds were capable of improvement. They not only looked upon the educated few as superior beings; but they supposed themselves to be naturally incapable of rising to equality. To immancipate the mind from this false and under estimate of itself, is the great task which printing came into the world to perform. It is difficult for us, now and here, to conceive how strong this slavery of the mind was; and how long it did, of necessity, take, to break it’s shackles, and to get a habit of freedom of thought, established. It is, in this connection, a curious fact that a new country is most favorable — almost necessary — to the immancipation of thought, and the consequent advancement of civilization and the arts.”

    Lincoln then ends with the appropriate flourish:

    “The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.”

    End Section #5

  33. Earnest One Says:

    Start Section #6

    The case has been made that others, prior to Lyn, not only had a complete conception of the crucial role of creativity in political economy, but also possessed a mastery of the details (or at least enough to give interesting examples to their audience).

    Again, I say that Lyndon LaRouche is an intellectual fraud. Test me. Search his writings and speeches for references to this great lecture by Lincoln, available as part of his complete works and, in abbreviated form, as part of the two book compilation. Lincoln is supposedly one of LaRouche’s great icons. Does he give credit where credit is due? Does he quote the great sentences, ideas, phrases, and paragraphs above?

    Can any HONEST person say that Lincoln has not grasped the essence of the role of creativity in an economy? (Here I exclude the politicians, because they are interested in power, not truth.)

    As the final stake in the coffin (and why not, fraud should be fought at every level) I have the perfect measure of Lyn’s sincerity. Lyn talks and writes and farts about “universal physical principles” stating, correctly (and obviously), that no ape can discover these things. This is a big thing for him — this is no minor issue.

    But where are the examples? Look at Lincoln’s great lecture. It is filled with examples, beautiful examples. Now show me where Lyn lists the ten most important physical principles. He rarely gets past gravitation, sometimes drifts into Fermat’s Principle of Least Time”, but rarely, if ever goes further. Are there only two or three, or are there ten or twenty or twenty thousand?

    Is he interested in educating the reader or listener? Here is my measure. Look through all of Lyn’s vast output, his life’s work. Count the number unique universal principles that he mentions, let alone explains, let alone explains coherently. Now divide this by the number of times he uses the phrase “universal physical principle(s)”. I claim that this ratio is infinitesimal. This, to me, precisely measures his insincerity.

    He has no interest in science, no interest in education and no interest in people.

    He is a fraud. The only discovery he’s made (till now) is how to run a cult of personality without having a genuine, human personality.

    End of Section #6 and Long Post by Earnest One

  34. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    I apologize that I was not able to read your discussion in thorough detail, but I think I have grasped the gist of it. You seem to be saying that Lyn’s most important points, though perhaps true and admirable, are not original with him, and that he is a fraud on that account.

    I don’t think that Lyn would deny at all the existence of views on the part of historical figures which foreshadow his own views. It was through Lyn, for example, that I myself discovered Lincoln’s commitment to the Idea of Progress and the industrial system. I had previously known him only as the wartime President who saved the Union and thus laid the groundwork for the eventual abolition of slavery – in short, the conventional view taught in school. It was Lyn who introduced me to Lincoln in greater depth.

    And, in general, this is a recurring pattern. Lyn consistently and repeatedly seeks out historical examples of those who have taught, argued and fought on behalf of the principles which he himself now champions. And he repeatedly identifies himself as in their tradition. To paraphrase a quote from Newton, who is not at all beloved of Lyn (but when he’s right, he’s right) – if Lyn has seen farther than others, it is because he has stood on the shoulders of giants. And I doubt Lyn would disagree at all.

    Lyn himself identifies his “discovery” as a reaction against the “cybernetic” school of thought, as exemplified by Weiner and Von Neumann in roughly the 1947-53 period. One can debate whether a systematic critique of that school – applied to the issues of political economy in the current historical context – qualifies as a “discovery”. It matters less to me whether we call it an original discovery than that it was and is a critically significant piece of intellectual work, of historic importance. I am simply glad that we have his contribution – not only as a piece of academic knowledge, but most importantly as the centerpiece of a mass effort of socio-political organizing. Henry Ford did not invent the automobile – but his name, above all others is associated with it in the popular mind – and I would say justly so.

    I think it is probably not unfair to call Lyn an egotist – but I would not see that as a bad thing in this context. He has a powerful intelligence, and a far reaching vision of what he might accomplish with it. And, like Spider-Man he seeks to use his power for the Good. Far from being somehow depraved or immoral, I think that is admirable.

    (And the Spider-Man reference is not intended to be flip. The comic in which Peter Parker rededicated himself to the Spider-Man role in the wake of Uncle Ben’s death has always had powerful meaning for me).

    Bottom line – the prior thinkers in Lyn’s school – and their followers today aside from Lyn, are nowhere to be found as effective fighters for those views in the current historical crisis. But a movement to fight for progress and creativity, in the most profound sense – not mere superficiality (e.g. “Progress is out most important product”) – is precisely what is needed today. I know of only a handful who attempt this at all, and none who do so with Lyn’s comprehensiveness and coherence.

    To paraphrase another quote, which I’ve entirely forgotten the source of, Lyn is a hero – not necessarily a saint.

    I hope this reply is well targeted to the thrust of your discussion.

    -Steve

  35. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    I agree with you that Genesis is a two edged sword on the question of the Godlike qualities of humankind. You are probably aware that textual analysts of scripture identify multiple sources for Genesis. You might know better than I whether the two divergent viewpoints in question come from a common source or from distinct sources. If the latter, which I suspect, it is entirely reasonable for the non-religious reader to conclude that Genesis is right about “created in our image and after our likeness” but is on the wrong side in the account of the temptation and the Fall.

    I think another issue we are running up against here is Lyn’s use of language. I suspect he would find it entirely appropriate to take language that commonly exists with a particular meaning, and through the use of metaphor and other such linguistic/poetic devices elevate the common meaning to one more profound. This is, after all, one of the ways language develops, and the ability to communicate “profound and impassioned conceptions regarding man and nature” is enhanced. You may say “dishonest”. Lyn would probably say “creative”. I vote with Lyn. (Of course, the appropriateness of particular instances of this practice is certainly open to debate. )

    And to take up again my personal preference for leaving agape untranslated. (I emphasize this is not Lyn’s viewpoint, as far as I know). Agape is relatively well defined, if only via Paul’s excellent descriptive exposition. “Love”, on the contrary, is multiply defined to the point of being almost *undefined* for practical purposes. It is a word which speakers of English babble in a nearly sense-free manner. Take a generation or so of relative sanity within which speakers could come to agree on a coherent sense of the term “love”, and then maybe it could be equated with agape without doing violence to that term. But, in my view, not today.

    (Example If “Love” is the most powerful force in the universe is the 12 year old who says ‘I love my boyfriend” stating a universal principle? Another interesting exercise – Google the phrase “I love my” – approx 2.4 million hits. Run through a sample and see how many seem to you to express the spirit of Agape.)

    As to hubris – I was at the time I first encountered Lyn a reader of the Christian theologian C.S. Lewis – so the Luciferian connection did not escape me. However, upon some years of reflection, I think the Prometheus image is really more appropriate. To make the figure of the “light bringer” the adversary of the Creator is, I think, entirely inappropriate and smacks of the “ID format” of the Olympian (=oligarchical) faction.

    Anyone who thinks the Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant as a coherent and literal text will surely disagree with me – and I suppose I must be content to accept that.

    -Steve

  36. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    Further, as to whether Lyn gives credit to his predecessors, here’s what I found on Lincoln’s speech in particular. The speech is excerpted at the link given below. I quote the introduction here.

    “Abraham Lincoln’s favorite speech of the 1860 presidential campaign, sets forth the basic philosophical principles of the American System of political economy.”

    “Abraham Lincoln once described this speech as his favorite stump speech of the 1860 presidential campaign. Lincoln uses the Bible to demonstrate that by use of inventions and discoveries, man has made successive advancements in his culture. More importantly, he locates the fundamental distinction between man and beast in man’s continuing ability to change his mode of labor through such discoveries and inventions. We reprint it From The Civil War and the American System, America’s Battle with Britain, 1860-1876, by Allen Salisbury, Campaigner Publications, New York, 1978. The book is now out of print; this particular speech has been omitted from all widely available collections of Lincoln’s works.”

    For any reader who may not be aware – Allen Salisbury was a member of the Labor Committees and Campaigner Publications was the LaRouche affiliated publishing company. I think it’s safe to conclude that the Lincoln speech was excerpted there with Lyn’s blessing.

    http://members.tripod.com/~american_almanac/lincoln.htm

    -Steve

  37. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Steve–

    Dashing off to work–but whether or not one believes in the inerrancy of Genesis is not the point. Lyn certainly does not.

    And the question of the existence of priestly and prophetic strains in Genesis, while fascinating, also seems to me off the point.

    Lyn cited Genesis repeatedly because it is a bedrock of Western intellectual as well as emotional culture and he was hoping to attach himself to that venerable tradition. But in doing so, he misrepresented it–and I am making the assertion that Genesis wins out.

    (It is no small thing that Lyn misreprsents everything he touches, from Ancient Egyptian religion to Leonardo da Vinci to the Golden Mean to the Filioque to …. This is not “metaphor”–very often the things of which he speaks are more powerful metaphors than he could dream up–this is distortion, whether wilful or subconscious I do not know.)

    In any case, back to Genesis vs. Lyn–for the reasons I said at the first–that it leads to writing off whole chunks of humanity as not human–LaRouche’s identification of the differentia specifica of humanity with “creative reason” is (a) wrong (b) immoral and (c) dangerous.

    Lyn’s habituated usage of the expression “not human” to characterize those he perceives as his enemies (including Aristotle and Euclid, at various points) suggests that this is no small thing with LaRouche. It turns out that Baby Boomers aren’t human, or barely human, Dick Cheney isn’t human, Nancy Pelosi ditto, Henry Kissinger ditto, Rohatyn and the Kennedys ditto, bankers ditto, and on and on. A search through his writings for the phrases “not human” or “barely human” would yield a treasure trove of invective from a man who concedes only his own humanity, and denies almost all others theirs.

    If he considers a St. Paul or a Lincoln human, it is only to the extent that he, LaRouche, believes that he somehow incorporates them in himself. He has said this, in fact–that the great figures of the past live again in him because they live in his (great) mind whose rediscovery of them and understanding of them gives them their true purpose.

    Talk about hubris! He had the effrontery to declare at a conference once that he understands the mind of St. Paul better than Paul understands himself. Of course, he never says WHY or HOW. Because Lyn never deals in specific CONTENT. He deals only in formulaic use of words as incantations, never in detailed examination of what someone says and what it MEANS.

    Gotta go. More later on hubris, agape, love, and Lewis.

  38. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    Your words are fine, but they do NOT address my original request or the main point:

    “Please explain the intellectual content of his “fundamental discovery” and the concrete essence of Lyn’s (personal) contribution.”

    Your initial reply was:

    “Earnest,

    I think that Lyn’s “fundamental discovery” is that human creativity is at the center of political economy.”

    Now, did he make a discovery or not? If so, was it “fundamental”?

    If no discovery was made, if Lyn is only rehashing other people’s work, then the claim of “discovery” is fraudulent. Note that this accusation (fraud, fraudulent, ect.) is something that Lyn hurls at others daily, and without reservation.

    Now, perhaps you or Lyn wish to “debase” the meaning of discovery, wish to debase the essence of language, if not the human mind itself. If so, then what is the point of this discussion?

    Finally, you made the following claim:

    “What I have seen of Lyn’s writing is generous in referencing his antecedent thinkers.”

    My long post above, containing a few minor errors, gives a concrete example of an “antecedent thinker” who produced a brilliant exposition on the subject of creativity, without making ANY claim about his own contributions.

    Now, I suggest that you read my post very carefully. I promised that I would take this seriously and I devoted considerable time and thought to it.

    Given that the lecture on “Inventions and Discoveries” was made by Lincoln, given that Lincoln is on the list of good guys, I want to know why Lyn himself has not quoted extensively from this very piece.

    Find me a published article or speech where Lyndon LaRouche himself, not some underling or associate, discusses this great lecture and encourages people to read it. Better yet, find me ten or a hundred.

    Absent such a “discovery” it would appear that Lyn is trying to hide (or ignore) a great, lasting contribution to his OWN field. This would be akin to someone promoting, for 40 years, his own contribution to the theory of gravitation without mentioning Kepler or Newton or Einstein’s Field Equations. I view the analogy as just.

    Again, I claim to have proven fraud, and at many levels. I suggest that you think this over, and reply with far more honest fervor. At minimum, you should read the post in its entirety.

  39. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    Your link brings up a page that purports to give the speech but only gives a section of it.

    Worse, it omits what Lincoln himself, in the speech itself, regards as man’s greatest discovery/invention.

    So much for promoting Lincoln, promoting discovery and invention..

    Moreover, the introduction states the following:

    “this particular speech has been omitted from all widely available collections of Lincoln’s works.”

    This factual claim can be compared to the evidence. I am in possession of one of the most widely available, definitive collections of Lincoln’s speeches, letters, and miscellaneous writings.

    It was first published by “The Library of America” (October 1, 1989) and was, therefore, available when the above statement — pure lies, pure fraud — was issued. And, of course, the Lecture appears in Lincoln’s complete, collected works.

    The two-volume set that I own is still available. Indeed, here are parts of two reviews:

    Christian Science Monitor
    “The best selection of Lincoln’s writings available today, perhaps the best ever … the English language at its finest … turn to this handsome set.”

    Alfred Kazin, New York Times Book Review
    “A momentous and thrilling addition to any private library.”

    Note that this two volume set DOES include the part of the lecture where Lincoln gives his brilliant exposition of what he considered man’s greatest discovery/invention.

    Given the above facts, a reasonable hypothesis is that LaRouche, et al, are the ones running an operation against Lincoln, not the Venetians or the British or the Jews or the Chinese, let alone the Trilateral Commission. And Cheney probably doesn’t enter the picture either.

    Perhaps “LaRouche” is a simply a club that people join where truth has no meaning and people are allowed to bullshit about any subject, all day and all night. Truth and honesty and integrity appear to be non-existent.

    But self-promotion rules.

  40. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Steve–

    On agape–I am assuming you are not making the assertion that the word agape is untranslatable–because if untranslatable, the question might arise whether it expresses a universal principle.

    Although translation can be extraordinarily difficult in some cases (of which this is probably not one), and although language shapes the thought process to a considerable extent, if we are talking about universal concepts we have to assume that translation from one language to another of the words conveying those concepts must be possible–that those universal concepts, because universal, cannot be specific to one culture.

    So therefore, I think you would want to be able to agree that agape is translatable into English. It seems absurd to make the claim that it is clearer not to translate it–particularly because “agape” in Christian usage has also come to mean the Lord’s Supper, a meal shared in love, etc.

    Your objection to the word love SEEMS to be that it has too many meanings–although of course all the best words, as it were, have many meanings (good heavens–look at the word “logos” in Greek or the word “ratio” in Latin–multiple meanings). And of course, multiple meanings often give words their richness and breadth.

    But anyhow, if you are willing to agree that agape CAN be translated, but rebel against the word “love”–and I think it is not because “love” has too many meanings, I think it is because of its emotional content that you rebel–but ANYhow–if you agree that agape can be translated, and don’t want to use the word “love”–

    What word or words are you willing to use?

  41. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    Certainly the word agape is translatable into English – badly. You can translate it as “love” as is conventionally done. But I challenge you thus. In the absence of Paul’s description – given only the translation as “love” – what English speaker hearing the word would then know what concept was being expressed? A pastor might then mount the pulpit and say “the Bible says we must all love one another”. Those who had not had the good fortune to read Paul’s description might well think he was saying we should all date one another!

    Do you agree in principle that there are concepts which are named in one language but not in another? And if you acknowledge this, do you think it is acceptable to pick a word in the target language which is “kinda close” and just say that this will be the translation – even though the word in the target language does not convey the same sense to speakers of that language that the original word does in the source language?

    And finally, do you really think that “agape” means to a Greek speaker of the appropriate historical period what “love” means to an English speaker today?

    In the cross-cultural comparison of language, the example is often given
    that the Eskimo people posses a wide variety of words for “snow” referring to varying types and conditions of snow. To take some highly specific word for a particular kind of snow and translate it into English simply as “snow” – do you claim this would be appropriate? Or do you deny that the cases are parallel?

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    -Steve

    P.S. A good example comes to me. Would “nirvana” be translatable into English? How about satyagraha .

    While checking the spelling of the latter term, I come across the Wikipedia entry with a quote from Gandhi, who coined the term. He says the following.

    “Its root meaning is holding onto truth, hence truth-force. I have also called it love-force or soul-force. In the application of satyagraha, I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself”

    So even the originator of the term, an accomplished speaker of English, does not attempt a translation into a single English term.

  42. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    I think you are simply being unreasonably picky. It is entirely possible that the writer of the intro paragraph was simply unfamiliar with the collection you refer to. In any event, if LaRouche really wanted to conceal the fact that other previous thinkers had a viewpoint similar to his own, why publish the Lincoln speech at all – and why cause an entire volume to be published consisting of excerpts and analysis of “American System” advocates in and around the Civil War period? That shows clearly that Lyn’s attitude toward his predecessors is not what you believe it to be, and it seems to me you are seizing on quibbles rather than admit you are mistaken.

    -Steve

  43. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    Again, my apologies for not complying with your request to read your entire post. It is long, and consists largely of Lincoln’s speech, which I will stipulate has the qualities you attribute to it. If I have missed a critical point that you made, please let me know. My only access to the Internet is in the workplace, and though my hours and conditions of work are flexible, I am taking away from my work hours by participating in this discussion. I’m glad to do that, because I think this is important. But sometimes I have to take shortcuts, and my quick skim of your post was one of those.

    Is a discovery a discovery if one comes to it independently of earlier thinkers? Is one dishonest if one does not acknowledge prior thought of which one is unaware? Lyn’s “discovery” occurs roughly in the period of 1947-1953. Lyn’s subsequent discovery of the “American System” as exemplified by Lincoln and Carey occurs, to the best of my recollection, about 1976, in the context of discussions with Republicans who were the inheritors of what Lyn has referred to as the “Whig Tradition”. And, by 1978, Lyn had moved to make the American System thinkers known to his audience by commissioning a book on the subject, drawing largely on original sources.

    Asking Lyn to deny that he discovered what he discovered just because elements of that discovery turned out to have been previously known seems a little unreasonable.

    Is this really your fundamental criticism of Lyn?

    -Steve

  44. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    Lyn certainly has a long history of bringing up historical sources which he claims agree with important elements of his viewpoint. He certainly does not do this gratuitously – else why champion (for instance) Leibniz over the vastly more popular Newton? Lyn’s view of history, as I understand it, is that there has been an ongoing struggle between the “humanist” and “oligarchical” factions throughout history and much of what we might commonly regard as prehistory. In that context, it makes perfect sense that when he sees a reference that appears to him to be the work of his faction and exemplify its viewpoint, he seizes on it and publicizes it. If such predecessor thinking is attached to a name or document that people regard highly, such as Genesis or Lincoln, then so much the better for effectively promoting his viewpoint. (Note, however, he does not hesitate to attack the popular and laud the obscure.) You may argue, as you have, that particular instances Lyn cites are off the mark in this regard, and I suppose this can be debated. However, I am not inclined to regard the practice in general as sinister or opportunist.

    My bringing up the question of multiple sources in Genesis was intended to be to the point, in this regard. If we regard Genesis as a coherently composed document, then it is legitimate to speak of the viewpoint of Genesis as a whole. It appears that you were speaking that way when you characterized Genesis as opposing hubris, although stating Man was created in God’s image. Now, if Genesis is a unified document, then those two sections can be taken as context one to another, with the account of the Fall modifying and amplifying what is or is not meant by being in the image of the Creator. However, if Genesis is a composite work, and those two sections are from different sources, the situation changes. The statement of Man in God’s image now can be interpreted as the viewpoint of a pro-humanist faction, where the account of the Fall is clearly of the opposite intent and produced by the opposite factional viewpoint.

    As to “not human”, I must admit that idea gave me pause when I first encountered Lyn’s work. However, I eventually noticed some other things. One is that Lyn consistently challenges people to *become* human! This notion of the divide between humanity and bestiality as one that can be crossed (in either direction, apparently) by an act of will, leads to far different implications than the traditional notion that one’s humanity or lack of it occurs on biological grounds. Looking at the history of people who have characterized others as “not human” is has been always or nearly always on biological (“racial”) grounds. Lyn rejects any such notion categorically, as I am sure you know. The other thing I noticed is that Lyn consistently, in the arena of policy, champions what would be conventionally called “human rights” of individuals who certainly do not meet a strict definition of humanity based on their individual use of creative reason. (e..g. the persistently comatose)

    I sort this out as follows, in my own attempts to get inside Lyn’s head. First, Lyn asserts as a *species characteristic* that our species has this power of creative reason while other species lack it. Note that the existence of occasional individuals within a species who may lack a characteristic is not a valid counterargument. Otherwise we could take a mammal whose teats are atrophied, underdeveloped, or damaged and say “aha – so not all mammals suckle their young!” Yes, I know mammals do not constitute a species, but I think I have made my point nonetheless.

    So, creativity may be a distinctively human species characteristic even though not every human exhibits it. But then what are we to make of calling people “not human” and telling them to “join the human race”. I think this is a moral statement – not a biological one. This is not unique to Lyn. It is not uncommon to great a particularly egregious act with the statement “that is inhuman”. “He/She is not human!” “That person is a monster!”, etc. Lyn sets the bar in a different spot than most people, but he is hardly unique in setting such a bar or employing such characterization. His usages are harsh, but Lyn is an advocate of the hard-hitting polemic style, including frequent hyperbole, and has never pretended otherwise.

    And what does Lyn advocate as policy toward such individuals? The harshest treatment I’ve heard him recommend toward any specific instances is that the “non-human” individual be removed from political or economic power. To my mind, anybody that doesn’t use creative reason *ought* to be removed from power – and that is the way I vote if the choice presents itself.

    So, yes, Lyn’s human/non-human distinction can be disturbing until you sort out his usage. You may still disagree, as I think you have shown you do, but the consequences of that distinction become less scary and more in line with what a reasonable person might consider acceptable.

    I’m not surprised Lyn claims to know Paul better than Paul knows himself. Lyn considers himself skilled at reading unconscious elements of personality – both in the conventional psychological sense and also in the sense of understanding the historical influences which shaped a thinker – even if that thinker was not aware of those historical elements. Was it not Lyn who wrote a Campaigner article “The Karl Marx that Karl Marx did not Know”? As I recall, it was largely an exposition of socio-historical currents which Lyn argued gave rise to Marx and shaped his work. As a person who often sees elements of unconscious influence, both psychological and historical, in individuals of my own acquaintance, I am not disturbed that Lyn makes a similar claim about historical figures.

    I think what a lot of people find annoying about Lyn is that he speaks his mind, unapologetically, even when what he says flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and or contains references or usage that may not be accessible to many in his audience.

    And I suppose I am about to follow his example, when I say what Lyn’s style (and its critics) reminds me of – a description of speaking style well known to those in the Christian tradition – “He spoke as one having authority – not as the scribes”. It was apparently unpopular in that day also.

    -Steve

  45. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Steve—

    In English as in Greek, there are multiple words and phrases to express different nuances of the word love, in both verb and noun forms. We have love, like, lust [after], dote, adore, enjoy, be fond of, care for, and on and on. It seems that we are at no disadvantage in conveying various shades and contents surrounding the notion of, and embedded in the word, “love.”

    In the absence of Paul’s description, and given only the translation of “love,” I think it unlikely in the extreme that any English speaker with two brains to rub together would think Jesus (the source of your bowdlerized quote) was saying we should all date one another.

    You tell me that agapē is translatable, badly, but offer no proof of that assertion. You rebel at the word “love,” believing erroneously that because slang usage permits “I just LOVE your car,” that means that “love” is a simply a portmanteau word.

    Of course, language is all about context—not about discrete words, nor words without context. The cultural context, the etymological context, the historical context, are all brought to bear by a reasonable translator—or even by a competent dictionary or lexicon.

    That being the case—context being the framework for all meaning—I would say yes, agapē means the same thing to the speaker of koinē Greek in Judea in the first century A.D. (or CE, if you prefer) that love does to the modern English speaker encountering it in the context of Christian theology or in the church, because agapē is a Christian technical term, if you will, just as chesed is in Biblical Hebrew, and in translation in, for example, the King James Bible (lovingkindness).

    I think it is the concept of “love” that is bothering you, just as it deeply perturbs LaRouche, but I won’t belabor that right now. If you wish to be more precise than a one-word translation, that’s fine—I am not limiting myself to interest only in single words—if there’s a phrase that more fully and richly conveys the content of agapē, by all means let’s examine it with a view to using that instead of “love.”

    (As a side note, I don’t think Eskimo or Inuit words for snow will help you here—I am listing a few of the huge number of websites with essays explaining the origin of this urban legend, the misunderstandings which brought it about, its probable derivation from a chance comment by Franz Boas or, better, a misunderstanding of that comment, etc.:
    http://www.mendosa.com/snow.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskimo_words_for_snow
    http://www.princeton.edu/~browning/snow.html
    http://www.derose.net/steve/guides/snowwords/
    http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000405.html)

    Your comments about nirvana and satyagraha are revelatory, because there you discuss translation into a “single English term.” As I indicated above, I’m not particularly interested in using a single term, nor do I see that as dispositive either way.

    I’m just interested in what your translation for agapē would be, and you’re just interested in not translating it—because, I believe, you know perfectly well that it doesn’t mean what LaRouche routinely claims it means.

    So, again, what would word or words do you suggest as an alternate translation to “love”?

    (I’ll have to leave Genesis, Leibniz and the man you call the “far more popular Newton” to another time–things to do now.)

  46. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    What has happened to your soul? When and why did you sell out? What happened to honesty, evidence, and truth?

    Of course, “It is entirely possible that the writer of the intro paragraph was simply unfamiliar with the collection you refer to.”

    But the WRITER claimed that,

    “this particular speech has been omitted from all widely available collections of Lincoln’s works.”

    Therefore, the onus is on him. But the statement is false, demonstrably false; this can be easily verified by almost anyone. The two-volume set that I previously referred to is a STANDARD Lincoln reference. Therefore, either the writer is lying or he is simply incompetent. No big deal, except that LaRouche and his followers constantly accuse OTHERS of lying and/or being incompetent. Anyone sensible person can smell the hypocrisy from a galaxy away.

    Again, it was the writer who posed as a Lincoln expert. Why did he have to say “all widely available collections”? Why not simply say “many collections” or “most collections”? His claim is extreme and, therefore, should have been verified. As it turns out, Lincoln’s lecture is famous and it appears in one of the most important and most widely available collections of his works.

    This is a minor issue save for the fact that the writer ALSO omitted the most important part of Lincoln’s lecture – Lincoln’s explanation of what HE himself regarded as man’s most important discovery/invention. So the writer of the introduction makes a false claim of omission by others yet HE himself commits a major omission!

    I warned you that I was growing weary of this discussion. Why should I devote time and energy communicating with someone who has no regard for truth, who equivocates about everything serious, and who cannot acknowledge simple, clear truths? I presented multiple lock-tight examples of fraud and or wild insincerity. These are staring you in the face. Your bizarre responses force me to question your sincerity.

    Your continued obfuscation about LaRouche’s “fundamental discovery’ is even worse. Again, you have not produced the SLIGHTEST evidence that he has done ANYTHING original. When I was a child, I noted that when I dropped a rock, it fell to the ground. Big discovery. LaRouche’s great discovery is about on this level. The difference, however, is that he has ordered the production of millions of pages of flyers, speeches, and articles that consistently claim he has made a great contribution, a “fundamental contribution”.

    Everyone re-discovers previously known scientific work. But almost no one attempts to build a huge reputation based on other people’s work, material that is well known to educated individuals. LaRouche repeatedly claims that he has made an original, creative contribution. Bullshit.

    I have proven fraud yet you continue to equivocate and defend this fraud. Perhaps you are actually that naïve. Can you engage in genuine, independent thought, or do you simply spout the party line, like a robot?

    The evidence, to-date, is that you are simply wasting my time, spouting the innane and insane party line (like a machine). My participation is quickly coming to an end. Your responses lack thought, lack reflection, lack any respect for the truth.

    You write:

    “Asking Lyn to deny that he discovered what he discovered just because elements of that discovery turned out to have been previously known seems a little unreasonable.

    Is this really your fundamental criticism of Lyn?”

    I am NOT asking Lyn to deny any act of re-discovery of other people’s well-known work. I am, however, asking for an explanation of his specific creative contribution. If no such contribution exists, then what is the big deal (why is HE making a big deal out of it)?

    The issue is this: What work of his, in economic science (or political economy), warrants millions of pages of self-promotion?

    As a child, I discovered that when the temperature of water was raised high enough, it began to boil. This was a genuine observation, a real discovery, something fundamental to science. Nobody would or should deny me the right to say that I made this discovery. But nobody in his or her right mind would take seriously any claim that MY discovery, made in the 20th century, was original or that it had ANY bearing on the development of physics. Only fools of the highest order would fall for a con this extreme.

    My arguments are based on common sense. I grant that LaRouche may have re-discovered ALL of the major scientific achievements of the past 20,000 years. So what? Show me some original work, something concrete, not simply a string of loose analogies or truly mediocre renditions of other people’s clear and original ideas.

    If concrete work does not exist – if it is all a fairy tale, sold to naïve youngsters — then we can fairly classify LaRouche as a genuine fraud and simply note that he is engaged in self-promotion, deception, and base advertisement. Period. There is no science, no interest in truth, and no personal integrity.

    That you cannot see this — or are so far gone as to argue the case that he deserves credit for observing obvious facts — is a sad sign, a bad sign.

    What happened to your soul? Why and/or when did you sell out and lose your ability to think independently?

  47. Steve Says:

    Rachel,

    Agape may be a technical term in Christian theology. I don’t really know because that is not an area I am knowledgeable about, except in a very casual sense. I am not really interested in whatever technical meaning the term may have in that specialized area of usage. I am interested in it from the point of view that Paul was describing it as something which exists as a feature of the universe, and of the mind, and of relationships among people. That is, it exists in the common context of everyday life, not as a term restricted to the use of experts in some highly developed area of discourse.

    This preference probably has a bearing on our disagreement. If you are interested in translating for theologians, then you assume an audience which will have a sophisticated understanding of the term “love” in its varied nuances, and can pick the one that is appropriate, without confusion. I am more interested in making the term agape intelligible to the broadest possible audience, including people with little or no specialized education in theology or related fields. For the broad population of English speakers who are not theologians or scholars, the word love is a confusing one, and it you involve yourself in casual conversations in which “love” is the subject under discussion, you will soon find for yourself that this is the case.

    I cannot understand why you criticize my reference to translating Nirvana or Satyagraha as a “single English term”. That is precisely the nature of your proposed translation of “agape” into the single English term “love”. I am trying to make the point that there is nothing unusual at all about terms which do not port one-to-one into another language. I further assert that agape is precisely an example of such a term.

    You challenge me to give a preferred English translation of “agape”. Have you understood nothing of my point? I don’t think an adequate translation of agape into English equivalents is possible. I do not have a preferred translation, because I prefer in the interests of clarity and honesty to leave it untranslated.

    There are any number of instances in which a word from one language expresses a concept which has no adequate socialized expression in a particular other language. What usually happens, as the two cultures interact, is that speakers of the deficient language begin to use the foreign term to express the concept. These are referred to as “loan words”. I am proposing precisely that agape become a loan word imported into English, rather than being “dumbed down” by translating it into an English word that does not adequately express its meaning.

    You may ask, how then will people know what “agape ” means? The same way we learn the meaning of any other word in our native or an adopted language. Watch how it is used, and, if that is not enough, avail oneself of explanations from those more familiar with the term – of which Paul’s discussion would be my recommended starting point.

    Paul did not write for theologians. He wrote for the members of the churches receiving his letters, which can be assumed to have been commoners from all walks of life. He is a brilliant thinker and writer, and I Corinthians 13 stands as a fine example of his work.

    Let me emphasize that my disagreement with you over agape has little or nothing to do with my defense of Lyn. If he wishes to translate it as “love of justice” well, perhaps that gives us some additional insight into the term.
    If I were to try to find “less bad” translations, I might pick on “universal love”, “unselfish love” , “love of mankind”, etc. These are less bad then simply “love”. However, the term love is *so* hopelessly corrupted in modern ENglish, IMO, that it would just be cleaner not to go there in terms of translating agape. Make it a loan word! If you want to know what it means, ask Paul!

    -Steve

    P.S. Earnest, It is late as I write this. I will try to reply to your post tomorrow night.

  48. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    You have managed to mightily tick me off. My response will be harsh at points. Make of it what you will.

    I characterized your attitude earlier as “unreasonably picky”. Your present post continues and amplifies this tendency. This, as much as anything, is what has angered me, along with your persistent derogation of my own moral and mental qualities of which you know little or nothing.

    It puzzles me that you say the writer “posed as a Lincoln expert”. I went back to the web page with the paragraph in question, and reread it. Nowhere does the writer make any claim of particular expertise. You attack his “omission”. If we are to descend to the level of hyper-critical nit-picking that we seem to have reached here, I am then entitled to ask you – what of your own invention – making up out of whole cloth a claim that was never presented!

    Now, if we knew the author of that paragraph, perhaps we might find that he does in fact make this claim. Anton “Tony” Chaitkin has as one of his special areas of interest and expertise the history of the Lincoln period. If he was in fact the author of the paragraph, then maybe we might hold him to a higher standard than if it were some other individual. I have looked on the EIR site for a table of contents – unfortunately these do not go back farther than 1995, and the year in question is 1992. (At which time the Lincoln collection you refer to would have been available in publication for roughly 3 years. Perhaps it was not yet as well known at that point as it later became). But whether it was Tony or some other, I don;t think we can accuse the writer of more than a bit of sloppiness. Yes, he made what may have been a factual error. (“May have been” because we do not have reliable knowledge of how available the collection you cite was in 1992.) In any case, my point will be that factual errors occur in all manner of discourse, and they are really not that big a deal. You say – well it would not be such a big deal except that LaRouche and his associates accuse others of lying and incompetence. I don’t think any of *those* accusations rest on such a flimsy foundation as your nitpick with the writer of the paragraph in question.

    But that brings up a more interesting question. What is truth – as Pilate is said to have asked. The positivist philosophical outlook will tend to identify truth with specific facts, which can be referred to empirical evidence. This appears to be your viewpoint as well. I would not go so far as to say such things do not deserve to be called “truth”, but they are a distinctly lower species of truth. The truth about how a person should live their life, or what is the true significance of “immortality” is far more important than true factual statements about whether the sun is shining, how far it is to the moon, the numerical value of the gravitational constant, or whether a particular Lincoln collection is “widely available”.

    You challenge me that I have not produced evidence that LaRouche produced anything original. Why should I? I am under no obligation to cater to your prejudices on this point. I have said repeatedly that it is more important that Lyn organizes effectively to save the world than whether his discovery is in fact original or merely derivative. Since I don’t care very much about this point, I can hardly be expected to spend a lot of time trying to convince you one way or the other.

    I *am* concerned to demonstrate that Lyn gives ample credit to his predecessors, and I have proved that point conclusively with regard to Lincoln, your meaningless nitpicks to the contrary.

    You claim you have proven fraud. You have done nothing of the sort. You have demonstrated probable cause to suspect a misstatement of fact. Fraud requires intent. Where is your proof of intent?

    You claim my responses lack thought. I assure you I did in fact think about them. Call me a liar if you like. I know who I am and what I am about, and I am not inclined to be overly disturbed by ignorant opinions about my mental processes.

    You ask what justifies “millions of pages of self-promotion”. What justifies it is that if we do not adopt the principles and proposals promoted by those “millions of pages” civilization as we know it will die, and billions of individuals with it. If you disagree with that assessment please say so and indicate why. If you think that concern is irrelevant, then I don’t know what else to say. This is the point you continue to ignore. You babble on about issues of fraud and intellectual integrity, but choose to ignore the more urgent questions of whether Lyn’s analyses are in fact accurate or inaccurate, and what the world must do to be saved from a rapidly approaching hell on Earth. I think this shows misplaced priorities.

    Now, I have to acknowledge that you have a point when you refer to my “obfuscation” of Lyn’s discovery. I assure you that this was not deliberate, and I apologize. When you first posed the question, I was in a hurry, and stated from memory what I believed to be an adequate rendering of his discovery. It turns out I was mistaken. What I represented as his discovery is probably better characterized as an important implication of his discovery. Since this question has become a continued point of contention, I went back and did what I might better have done sooner. I googled the phrase “my discovery” within the domain larouchepub.com to see what Lyn himself had to say on the point.

    I found a number of references, and I recommend you to repeat the process on your own to get a flavor of what Lyn himslef has to say on this point. There was one section that I picked out as probably the most informative from the documents I looked at. It is within a longer piece located at te link below:

    http://www.larouchepub.com/lar/2005/3213cauchy_fraud.html

    The section I recommend to you can be located as follows: Go to the subhead titled:

    “Where My Work Is Crucial Today”

    Then read the next 13 paragraphs. I do not make the claim that I have digested and comprehended what Lyn is saying here, thus I won’t attempt to summarize it. I recommend that you read this yourself, and you will then be in a better position to decide in your own mind whether this contribution Lyn claims is or is not original to him. Although, why you care so much about that point remains something of a puzzle to me.

    Best wishes,
    -Steve

  49. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    I saw and skimmed Lyn’s article in 2005 but read it carefully last night.

    I shall have a reply to your entire post shortly — probably by Wednesday evening give or take a day/night.

    Note that my hands are full, with serious things on my plate: my sweet 45 year old wife has a rare ovarian cancer, with multiple recent recurrences (the first treatment failed and now they are giving her the most extreme chemo regimen extent — I am working on obtaining other treatments); we live in the Northeast and are presently without a working furnace — to save money, I am installing a new one myself, and this requires “solving” many real-world problems, such as running new gas lines, new electrical lines, new vents to the back outside wall of the house — doing everything to comply with national and local “codes”; indeed, going beyond these codes in terms of safety and effectiveness.

    What I have to say about Lyn in particular and your post in general will not be long. It will, however, be precise.

    Best Wishes,
    -Earnest One

  50. Earnest One Says:

    Steve.

    I will address your post subjects in reverse order.

    First: Note that I have studied LaRouche’s “work” for over 30 years, not because it is interesting, but because a close relative (R1) had been captured by LL’s organization and another relative (R2) – a genuine, first-rate scientist – was obsessed with finding out how/why R1 was “captured”.

    By knowing the details of LaRouche’s essays, speeches, and claims, I was able to engage in coherent discussions with R2 about LaRouche and R1’s situation. R2 and I paid close attention to LaRouche’s politics but we quickly discounted LaRouche in other areas, concluding that he had NOTHING worthwhile to say about physics, math, music, biology, etc. On the other hand, I had always assumed — and for decades — that LaRouche had actually made one or more serious and “original” contributions to economics. But I never studied the matter, at all. I thought it unlikely that he could pull off a con so large, so I thought he had done something worthwhile..

    Long ago, R2 told me — in no uncertain terms — that LaRouche’s so-called contribution was basically bunk. On the other hand, since R2 was NOT an economist, I gave Lyn (and R1) the benefit of the doubt. All that changed three years ago when I devoted myself to studying economics in general and, for a time, Lyn’s economic books and economic theories in particular. Here I mean both the concepts and the nitty gritty technical details.

    The study was motivated by a work project (a contract) and my need to produce economic models that described the impact of natural disasters on economies — not simply the immediate impact, but the overall impact, over time. And, of course, the goal was how best to prepare, how to apportion resources in an optimal, rational manner, given the threat matrix.

    So I looked into these areas carefully, especially the concept of creative destruction. It turns out that many areas hit hard by disasters actually do quite well – and quite soon — as large infusion of new capital are often infused to replace the damaged old manufacturing and infrastructure. Here, there is a leap in productive capacity.

    Therefore, locally, conditions often get better faster than they would have otherwise. On the other hand, one must also consider the global picture: in principle, the same capital infusion might have been invested elsewhere, providing far greater overall benefits to the world. In any case, I thought about these things carefully, and some of LaRouche’s simple, elementary models were helpful. I certainly saw no great originality, simply a concentration on physical production and other sane measures. This sort of concentration appears in textbooks up until the late 60’s. Afterwards, financial speculation began to rule (again).

    Now, to the 13 paragraphs: I have read them, studied them. Only a few pertain to his so-called discovery or discoveries, the rest are mundane rants, and denunciations – standard fare that isn’t of interest because it only consists of strings of words and names. To me, and to every sane person I have ever met, LaRouche does NOT use language to communicate ideas. He does something else and it appears to work in terms of attracting a few hundred devoted workers that generate a living for him and his wife. But after a while they either burn out or are purged. Then another set of (slave labor) workers take their place.

    In terms of discoveries, this is the ONLY discovery of interest: How does LaRouche do it? Why would sane people devote their lives to someone who simply rants and raves and never, ever, makes any progress toward the stated goal (now 35 years old) of building a mass movement to change conditions in our fading, sick society.

    Now, in paragraph 2 of your recommended section he writes:

    “Thus, from the start, I refused to claim, then, to know the answers, but simply refused to swallow anything tantamount to the infamous “self-evident” axioms of a taught Euclidean or Cartesian geometry. It was those few, tentative, independent discoveries in physical economy which I made, in early 1948, in rejecting the crucial “ivory tower” presumptions of a pre-publication proof-edition of Norbert Wiener’s Cybernetics, which led me over the 1948-1953 interval to recognizing Riemann’s 1854 habilitation dissertation as the key for a systematic representation of the way in which the human mind generates those discoveries of universal physical principle on which scientific and technological progress in economy depend.[3]”

    Note the key sentence “It was those few, tentative independent discoveries in physical economy which I made, in early 1948, in rejecting the….”

    I ask again, “What discoveries?” Paragraph one does not explain them. Above, he merely STATES that he made a few discoveries – indeed, that he made “independent discoveries”. Perhaps “Riemann’s 1854 habilitation dissertation IS the key for a systematic presentation of the way in which the human mind generates those discoveries of universal physical principle on which scientific and technological progress in economy depend.”

    Assume it’s true. But where and what is LaRouche’s discovery? Is it that Reimann’s work is key for a systematic PRESENTATITON of the ways in which the human mind generates discoveries of universal physical principle that bring progress to economies?

    Fine. But he is simply claiming that he discovered a way to present the ways that the mind generates discoveries, he is NOT saying that he has FOUND a way to MAKE discoveries of universal principles! And even if he did make that claim (above, below, or elsewhere), he certainly does not explain it, or present it, or provide examples.

    Question: How many universal physical principles have been discovered, to-date? Does LaRouche ever name more than two? What are the top ten, or hundred? If only a few exist, then surely fundamental economic progress depends on other factors. LaRouche doesn’t like Maxwell –Maxwell’s equations enabled a vast expansion in our productive powers. Where do Maxwell’s equations fit into LaRouche’s obsession with using the term “universal physical principle”?

    Has LaRouche discovered a universal physical principle? I think not. And if he has some great inside into the human mind and how discoveries are made, why hasn’t he, or his group, done any original work in science. They represent themselves as leaders but they have produced nothing. No discoveries, no inventions, no useful products… zilch. Only stolen work.

    In my mind, discoveries are associated with something concrete, some advance, something tangible. If LaRouche has made an advance, where is it? The only claim, above, is that he discovered a better way to present the way the human mind works. But there is no evidence for this, anywhere, other than his being able to keep about 300 workers employed in his service, working at slave labor wages, Many people have theories about how the mind works. Show me the person who knows how to generate good ideas. Where do good ideas come from? This is the ultimate question! LaRouche has nothing to say about this matter.

    Perhaps I spoke too soon, In paragraph 4 he writes

    “At the start, in my impulse to refute Wiener’s silly doctrine of “information theory,” I focussed on the way in which invention occurs, so to speak, at the work bench, as the act of insight which finds a “better way’ ” through going outside the implied axiomatic bounds of previously generally accepted habits of thought, either in that particular field, or in general. That discovery, when it has taken the form of a previously unknown, but experimentally provable principle, can be applied to the process at work, to produce, thus, the effect of a qualitative net increase of the productive powers of labor of that society taken as an integrated whole. The realizable gain in productivity, per capita, and per square kilometer, is implicitly measurable as a gain generated by the discovered applications of newly employed universal physical principles.”

    Again, this is a description of a discovery, NOT the discovery itself. And again, if he has some new insight into the mind, and inventions and, experimentally proven principles, then why isn’t he USING this knowledge? Where are the applications?

    All I read are advertisements. LaRouche claims that a newly discovered universal physical principle will increase man’s productive powers. THIS IS NOT A DISCOVERY – IT IS AN OBVIOUS OBSERVATION.

    LaRouche continues

    “The leading, principled implication of my discovery, so summarily described, is that essential progress in man’s physical-economic power over nature, per capita and per square kilometer, begins within those aspects of the human mind which set the human individual absolutely apart from, and above any other living species.”

    Again, this is obvious. The carrying capacity of animals is fixed because they cannot generate truly original ideas, nor can they discover the laws of nature, let alone exploit them to increase their standard of living. Every economist agrees that, to-date, the carrying capacity of man has been increasing, due to his intellectual powers, his mind, his ideas, his inventions, etc. This is everything that Lincoln spoke about so eloquently in his lecture on discoveries and inventions.

    The question now is: Can this continue? Are we depleting resources needed to sustain us? Are we ruining the environment? What is truly sustainable?

    LaRouche is entirely right that, throughout history, new resources are generated, virtually from thin air. Where would be without electricity? But so what. It’s a reasonable focus of attention, but there are no “fundamental discoveries” associated with these simple facts.

    If LaRouche actually spent time educating people about the existing “universal physical principles” he would sound more genuine to me. And I would take him VERY seriously if he actually discovered a new principle himself, or if someone in his group did, using new methods that they’ve devised — whatever new insights that Lyn has brought to the world via his deep understanding of “creative mentation”

    Forgive the sarcasm, but he has done nothing, other than run a cult of personality, based on fake claims. He attracts attention from disaffected young people (who know nothing), mainly because his criticisms of the current system are often spot on, albeit wildly incomplete. But so are plenty of other thinkers, who write far more clearly and who do not make false claims.

    Why do I care? Why do YOU care? Did it matter to you that W made fraudulent claims about WMD in Iraq. ANY and EVERY intellectual dishonesty should be opposed, especially when the person claiming things goes out of his/her way to discount and discredit that work of others. And especially if the faker is seeking political power.

    As for the Lincoln, it is good that you got angry. But why direct it at me? Why not simply admit the simple truth The author was mistaken? Can any LaRouchie admit a mistake?

    “Bend over and take it up your soul”. This is one of many slogans (titles for a LaRouchian Broadway play) that I recently posted on FactNet. I respectfully suggest that you read the case histories over there because these insiders have seen the same dog and pony show for over 35 years. Only the Yutes have changed.

    To sum up: LaRouche, in my view, does not use language to communicate ideas. He has no original ideas and relies upon vast flurries and strings of words and names to impress people who know nothing.

    If anything, you should be angry with yourself for being taken in by such an obvious con artist.

    Besides, he works for the government – he works in other countries to suppress progressive movements, the very thing that he claims to support. So he is a fraud in many ways, some far more serious than the things described above.

    Not a short post. Probably not that precise either. I am tired, and could not devote the time to edit things down. But except for some expected (minor) errors, I stand by the above.

    Earnest One

  51. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    This will be quite short. Hopefully there will be time for more later.

    Whether Lyn’s use of Riemann’s thought to better understand physical economy is “original” or not is not a question of importance to me. It is more important that it appears to be valid, useful, important and necessary in the context of the present historical crisis, and that Lyn is the only visible force attempting to organize the population around these principles you take to be “obvious”. That, IMO, is plenty to earn him a well deserved place of honor in history. He need not also be “original”, although it is fine if he is.

    I’m sorry your relative had a bad experience. Joining a disciplined combat-oriented organization attempting to change the fundamental axioms of society under the leadership of a powerful personality is not for everybody. That is part of why I never joined. But what Lyn is doing is right and necessary, and whether I’m a member or not, I respect and support that.

    I think that’s it in a nutshell,
    -Steve

  52. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    I thought you said you were NOT a member? Hard to believe.

    Have you been lying, and on the blogSphere no less?!

    Honesty is a good policy, and not very difficult when the communications are anonymous.

    In any case, please tell me how an understanding of Riemann’s work is in any way “necessary” to have an understanding of why/how the carrying capacity of man is not fixed or that man is not a beast.

    Do you actually KNOW anything about Riemann’s mathematics or are you simply spouting slogans? What happened to Cantor and his transfinite ordinals? Long ago, THIS was necessary for a FULL understanding of economics.

    I agree that “Lyn is the only visible force attempting to organize the population around these principles” (i.e. using Riemann’s name and original work to promote HIS own reputation), but the world is filled with individuals and organizations that know fundamental economic theory, are fighting for economic progress, and are committed to the common good.

    That the “Org” is so centered on ONE SINGLE PERSONALITY is not a healthy sign. Elsewhere, this is called a “cult of personality”.

    Wouldn’t it be better to organize around a set of principles, instead of one person’s personality?

    What will you do when the great leader dies?

    Evidence is plentiful that LaRouche’s contribution simply consists of analogies. This is indeed useful, pedagogically, but it is NOT a scientific discovery.

    To claim otherwise is fraud, a charge that LaRouche directs towards many fine scientists who actually HAVE had original thoughts, original work.

    There is a large world out there, filled with people who want to make a change and improve conditions here on earth. Why isolate yourself in such an extremely closed sect? Almost all of the members who were around thirty years ago, spouting the same line, have now left, or have been purged by Lyn, like discarded dirty laundry.

    Your great Org does not have a pretty history. You might study THIS history first, before talking about the historical crises. There has always been a crisis at LaRoucheTown. It is going on 24/7/365/366. THIS is the MAIN operating PRINCIPLE!!!

    You sound like you just read the morning briefing. I look forward to your confessions, soon to be posted on FactNet, when it all collapses and you admit that you, too, were conned by very elementary “parlor tricks”.

    Actually, I would prefer to be shown wrong and shown a demonstration of why/how LaRouche’s use of Riemann work is “neccessary” for anything other than promoting himself among ignorant young people.

    What happened to the transfinite ordinals? They used to be the key elements!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    Sorry I have been long getting back here. If you still follow this thread, here is my response.

    I said before that I am not a member, and I will say it again because it is the simple truth. I’m not sure what was in my post to mmake you think otherwise. Indeed, my post contains the explicit comment “That is part of why I never joined.”

    As to why Reimann’s contribution is necessary, it’s hard to talk about that without explaining how Reimann fits into Lyn’s work. Moreover, my own understanding of that point is hazy at best.

    I’ll try to give some explanation as best I understand it. It is not guaranteed to be accurate.

    The most basic element of Reimann’s work, expressed in his habilitation thesis, is the statement that the curvature of space is a physical question to be determined by empirical observation and that space cannot be axiomatically considered “flat” apriori.

    Now Lyn uses this concept to attack the assumption of “linrarity in the small”. What does this phrase mean? Well, look at this whole issue of approximating a circle by successive polygons. If space was “linear in the small”, this process could actually work. You would reach some degree of “the small” where there was actually no difference between an infinite set of very small straight lines and actual curvature. This would imply that there was no such thing as “curvature” as a distinct species – only a derived quality from straightness. To say that space is not “linear in the small” is another way of saying that curvature exists as a species distinct from straightness.

    What is the relevance to economics? I have no direct professional knowledge of that field, so in what follows I am accepting Lyn’s word on it and attempting to represent what I take to be his views.

    As follows:

    The methods and models of modern professional economics make the assumption that economic space is “linear in the small”. Their methods of approximation are on a par with making a circle out of very many very small straight lines. In a space “linear in the small”, this would work fine. In real life it does not. People need to understand this, or they will continue to be mystified by the “magicians” and effed in the rear by the invisible hand.

    As to why organize around Lyn’s person, rather than abstract principles. That is the question of leadership. Movements in history which have accomplished larce ans noticible results have tended to be personality centered. Note the great religions, revolutionary movements, military campaigns, founding of nations, etc. Almost all are associated with the name of one or a small group of leaders. That’s just how that works.

    I like to compare it to Chistianity. Modern preachers would have you believe that the “name of Jesus” is some kind of miraculous passport to a “salvation” which guarantees you preferred treatment in the afterlife. Not meaning to give offense to those of conventional religious views, but I don’t think that’s the point at all.

    Some years back some of us supporters were in a local chapter in an area that had no full-time members- so we would try to organize occasionally. And most of had this big problem with the “L Word” (LaRoche) We were all scared to say it, because we feared the reaction. Think those early Christians didn’t go through something simlar or more so? That’s why tha name of Jesus meant so much to them that they would undergo martyrdom rather than disrespect it. Not because they sought eternal bliss in an afterlife, but because they realized the crucial issue that effective organizing around principles requires acknowledgement of the leader who embodies those principles.

    To organize as though principles esist in some abstract sense devoid of combat and leadership in that combat is foolhardy at best and outright lying at worst.

    All for now,
    -Steve

  54. Earnest One Says:

    Yes, Steve, I do check in here now and then. I wondered what happened to you.

    I remain mystified about the technical items that you speak about.

    I suggest that you review the LaRouche literature, and study the various tracts issued over the years about polygons and circles.

    For example, it is true that one can approximate the area of a circle, to ANY degree of accuracy, using circumscribed polygons. The greater the number of sides, the greater the degree of accuracy.

    It is also true that, for every such polygon with a FINITE number of sides, it will never BE a circle — it will always consist of straight lines with no curvature.

    But LaRouche lunacy enters into the picture here. Again, I suggest that you review the past literature. Years ago, when Cusa was a big deal, the following argument was made:

    As the number of sides of the approximating polygon increases, the resulting object becomes LESS and LESS like a circle BECAUSE the number of points increases (the points are where the straight-line segments meet). The claim was made that such an object actually DIVERGED from the circle, because of these points!

    This is indeed true in a very technical sense. Note, however, that it represents SOPHISTRY of the highest order. Why? Because as the number of sides increase, the ANGLE between every two adjacent sides DECREASES. The resulting object becomes more and more SMOOTH — more and more like a circle. Indeed, if you were traveling around such an object, it would be VERY difficult to know when you arrived at such a “point”.

    Indeed, in the limit, as the number of sides goes to infinity, the angle between adjacent sides goes to zero, so the “pointiness” goes to zero. LaRouche’s example is completely inane. It is bullshit.

    I do not have the links handy, but I can assure you that this (most obvious) observation – the above objection — was NEVER made by a singe LaRouchie. They all ranted and raved about how the polygonal approximation became LESS and LESS like a circle, because the number of points grew larger and larger.

    But the points become LESS “sharp” and the resulting object does, in fact, become smoother and smoother.

    This babbling about “linearity in the small” is simply nonsense. It is a con of Lyn’s — it is a phrase devoid of meaning. The parabola defined by the function y = x^2 is also never (completely) linear in the small. So what? The whole line of thinking (if it even rises to the level of thought) is boring beyond measure.

    There are truly interesting problems connected with non-linearity. LaRouche is lost when it comes to explaining even the simplest of these problems. His examples are meaningless nonsense. He is stuck on words and phrases. He does NOT communicate ANY meaningful ideas. THIS is evident by YOUR many disclaimers about how you don’t really understand what he is getting at. If he was any good, the concepts and examples should be crystal clear.

    But this is his trick. By saying nothing, albeit obscurely, young people seem to think he is saying “something” deep and profound.

    I respectfully suggest that you spend more time over a FactNet, reading the real life examples of how Lyndon LaRouche uses these elementary parlor tricks to get uneducated people to help support him, so that he doesn’t have to do any real work of his own (other than bullshit people about science).

  55. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    Sorry I have been coming here less often of late. Finally we have a topic where we might have a good solid disagreement of substance. I’m pretty sure I grasp why Lyn thinks the polygon approximation to a circle (and by implication, any curve – including the parabola – the circle is merely the best known classic example of the issue) is incorrect. When you create a true circle it is created by a generating principle (like the simple school construction using a pencil on a string tethered to a fixed point. That generating principle is what makes a circle a circle. Any object that has some other generating is not a circle because it does not partake of the principle by which a cricle is produced.

    It should be clear that the generating principle of a many sided polygon is radically different from that of the circle. Thus, no matter how closely you can get such an object to resemble a circle in appearance, it will always be a radically differnet species of object – because it represents an entirely different principle.

    And isn’t Lyn’s whole thrust epistemologically to get people to rely less on appearances (“sense ceretainty”) and see underlying principles which are not immediately visible to the senses and must be known by cognition? Is this a bad thing?

    Sorry you find this boring. But I suppose not everyone finds the same things to be of profound interest. And surely one opinion on that score is as ghood as another (not).

    As to Factnet I really don’t care how many people are there whining that Lyn did them wrong. And I only care marginally whether or not he may have actually done them wrong. We are imperfect beings – even Lyn, though I know there are members who would disagree on that point. We all do and have done and will do bad things. So he may have done some wrong to some people. That does not make him an evil hearted individual. Surely what mistakes he may have made in his behavior toward some of his associates, if in fact such claims are even legit, are outweighed by the great good he is struggling to acheive for all humanity.

    And in closing, the issue of linearity in the small is neither trivial nor irrelevant. This is perfectly clear to me. Sorry it is not so to you.

    -Steve

  56. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    What is the “generating principle” that produces the number 2?

    Here is one principle: simply add 1 to 1. Indeed, using the generating principle of always adding one, we can obtain ALL the positive integers.

    But what about producing 2 by addding the following: 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32…?

    Is there a difference in the result and/or in the generating principle?

    Question: If the number of sides to the regular polygon that approximates the circle goes to infinity, then the length of each side must go to zero. But what is left? How is the resulting object any different from the circle itself?

    It would appear that if the sides are no longer sides (because they no longer have ANY length, they CANNOT be sides, by definition). It seems that they have become points — the very points that comprise the circle itself.

    Infinity is fun. Surely you have heard of Zeno’s Paradox. If not, then look it up. Try to argue that infinity is an abstract concept or that it has no relevance to the above examples and the discussion about circles and lines and linearity and Lyn and Lym…

    Cheers,

    Earnest One

  57. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    Perhaps you are no longer checking in on this thread. It has been a very long time. But I’m here for a minute and I’ll try to answer.

    I’m not sure what Lyn would say about the following, so I’m speaking more for myself than for him. But I think I’m somewhere in his ballpark with my views.

    When you add the infinite series you reference the number 2 is not produced. Why? Because the process cannot be completed in the real world. If that were the actual process by which the number 2 were produced, there could never be two of anything, because we would have to carry out an infinite number of operations to arrive at 2, and an infinite number of operations cannot be carried out. Surely we can imagine them – but we cannot perform them.

    When you suggest that the number of sides of a regular polygon can “go to infinity” there’s a similar problem. You could never construct an actual object with an infinite number of sides because you would have to perform an infinite number of operations. You can imagine doing this – imagination is wonderful – but that doesn’t make it real.

    At any point in the process of adding sides, you never have a circle. You only have an increasingly many-sided polygon. The question of what would happen if you could continue this process “forever and a day” is irrelevant – because the day after forever never comes. You NEVER can arrive at a circle via the process you advocate. It’s polygons – all the way down. There is no “flip point” where you get tired and declare that (say) a googleplex of sides is “close enough for government work” and you might as well just declare the durn thing a circle. It still ain’t no circle and it won’t never become no circle.

    Hope this clarifies things.

    -Steve

  58. Earnest One Says:

    Your remarks clarify little, Steve. I think you are confused.

    HOW do we KNOW that 1 +1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + … = 2?

    We are not simply imagining the result — the result is real! We KNOW the result. It is not a guess.

    The same principle holds for taking the derivative of a function. You can never, in reality, do all the infinite steps, but yet the answers can be known with complete certainty.

    It is, therefore, hardly an “imagination-ONLY” situation.

    Exact answers to technical questions are based on ideas such as these.

    THAT is the proof that such methods are real and concrete. No amount of digital processing and computation will EVER give you the exact answer to the following question: “What is the area under the curve defined by the function y=x^2, between 0 and 1.

    But calculus says that the answer is EXACTLY 1/3. And the answer is obtained by using one’s mind in an imaginative way, similar, in many respects, to the example that I posed.

    You need to argue using infinity, and by doing so, truth emerges.

    How do you account for the fact that we can compute the above integral exactly, yet the method used is based on thinking of infinite series and infinite quantities (small and large) in “ONLY” an imaginative way (your words and way of thinking, not mine)?

    Again, the EXACT result can be obtained for a huge range of questions and technical problems where approximating calculations would never ever give you the real answer.

    How do you account for this paradox, this seemingly anomalous situation?

    It appears that the imagination, properly employed, can bring one to reality.

  59. Steve Says:

    Earnest,

    I think you have missed my point. The infinite series does NOT equal the conventional result. It would – were it possible to complete an infinite number of arithmetic operations. But this is not possible. I repeat – The day after forever never comes.

    By raising the issue of “imagination” I am not implying that the computation is “incorrect” in some technical sense – that the conventional value is “wrong” and some different value is to be preferred. If one grants the assumption that one could perform an infinite number of operations, then the answer is the correct. What line in the realm of imagination is the idea that an infinite number of arithmetic operations could be actually performed. It has not happened and it will not happen.

    Certainly it is true that the fiction of an infinite series is a useful computational device. It can, at least in principle, give you numerical values for various characteristics of curves to any desired degree of approximation. What it will never tell you is what that curve actually is – what species of object it belongs to. For that you need to know the generating principle. And an infinite series will never generate anything but approximations. And the “approximate objects” are not at all of the same species as the object being approximated.

    Now as to why you can get an exact result using an infinite series, I don’t know because I don’t know how such a computation is conducted. But I will tell you that any “infinite” approximation to a parabola will never create an actual parabola – even though as a computational device it may enable you to answer certain factual questions about the parabola accurately.

    So, I think you have not even understood what the issue is, since your response doesn’t seem, as far as I can tell, to address it.

    Best wishes,
    -Steve

  60. Earnest One Says:

    Steve,

    Well, yes, it does appear that you understand very little.

    It is an interesting “fact” that we can somehow “know” that the sum of the infinite series 1 + 1/2+ 1/4 + 1/8… = 2, yet we needn’t perform the actual computation.

    How can we obtain the answer? And know it with absolute certainty!

    You neglected to mention anything about the derivative and the integral and the “fact” that we know that the area below the curve y =X^2 between 0 and 1 = 1/3. These are amazing results, based on using the human mind.

    This precise number 1/3 is based on using The Calculus, and one doesn’t need to perform an infinite number of measurments or calculations to understand that the answer is exact. Indeed, one needn’t do a single measurement.

    We can know the values of the derivatives of many functions, yet we needn’t perform an infinite number of calculations to obtain these answers, answers that are akin to your problem of approximating the circle with polygons. Yet you regard that process with disdain, as if it had no purpose

    The fact that one can know the exact value of the tangent to a curve without actually performing an infinite number of arithmetical operations (each one providing a closer approximation to the ACTUAL tangent at a precise point) is a very interesting phenomenon. This, and other such results, are the basis of the current high living standards, and the fact that we could go to the moon.

    We can use the concept of infinity and, with deductive reasoning, etc., produce results that are exact, without having to actually compute an infinite number of arithmetic operations. The simple fact that we can obtain such results WITHOUT actually doing the computation is THE thing of interest.

    Your objections are a bit childish. Our imaginations AND logic AND reasoning permit progress in science. Exact results can be obtained, merely by using one’s mind.

    You mention the parabola. But this is defined by the function y=x^2. What on earth is an “actual” parabola?

    If you produce two of them, in the “real” world, they will never be identical. Therefore, how would you ever “know” which one is the real one?

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