"An examination of the occultist ideas associated with the whole range of stages of the development of fascism, from its early forms to its recent 'neo' phase, shows LaRouche to be only the latest, even if one of the less original, of a tradition, a tradition that even under the LaRouchian guise of 'humanism' is the veritable enemy of humanity, and in the name of 'Progress,' the sworn enemy of all progressives."
Although the "tactical" shifts of the LaRouche cult may require it to assume a wide variety of chameleon-like forms with which, and through which, to organize specific rightwing layers, inside the cult itself, within the "cadres" of the NCLC, European Labor Committees, and other "core groups," a systematic and relatively unified set of doctrines has been developed, an "occult inner knowledge" which is defined as the "method" which guides LaRouche, since he himself is the alleged author of it. These "secrets known only to the inner elites," as LaRouche himself defined it in a major statement in the NCLC theoretical magazine The Campaigner, is actually not even the product of LaRouche's own perverse thinking, although it coheres with most of his actual world view even in his supposed "socialist" phase. This occultism, which LaRouche calls "Neo-Platonism" and "Humanism," is familiar to anyone, whether bourgeois scholar or militant anti-fascist investigator, who has examined the early fascist and Nazi movements. Although there are a few new "twists" that LaRouche has himself added, as an attempted currying-up to specifically American chauvinist tastes, this set of doctrines is essentially identical to the occultism of the Nazis, both in its early "radical" and fragmented stages as well as in the later, more consolidated expressions such as suited the Nazis when in power.
LaRouche’s "Neo-Platonism," as he himself has admitted on many occasions both in writing and in speeches, is an intentional political code through which the Labor Party, Fusion Energy Foundation, or LaRouche's own "Presidential campaigns" can make "signals" to the whole range of rightist, fascist, and neo-Nazi groupings whose leaders, if not members, are familiar with the terms and concepts involved. This paper shall make it clear that the use of Oswald Spengler’s fascist occultism, for example, a primary inspiration for Nazis and neo-Nazis alike, is also a major influence upon such rightist formations as the John Birch Society, as well as LaRouche and his cult. Thus, when LaRouche begins to make extensive remarks about Atlantis, for example, it is no coincidence that the official program of the National Renaissance Party should be called "The New Atlantis," that the use of the Atlantis myth by Plato should be a major source of doctrine for Spengler's The Decline of the West, in the period before the Nazis took power, and that the identical theme should also pervade various other reactionary "counter-culture" cults, whether explicitly "primitivist" or "technocratic" in their belief-structures.
Several of LaRouche's pet obsessions are derived directly from Spengler's The Decline of the West. In some cases the identical phraseology of the two tempts one to identify LaRouche's theories as "Neo-Plagiarism"! The great polemic against "Entropy" as the enemy of progress, the siding with Leibniz against Einstein, in physics, defined as a question of not only politics, but "good" versus "evil" religiosity, and in particular, the breaking down of historical phases and modes into three great definitive elemental "essences"--all of these LaRouchian formulas can be found, intact, in Spengler's work.
Spengler starts off section XIV of the chapter on "Nature-Knowledge" of his Decline of the West (page 420, 1927 Knopf edition): "Amongst these symbols of doom, the most conspicuous is the notion of Entropy...what has never hitherto been fully felt, and what leads me to regard the Entropy theory (1850) as the beginning of the destruction of that masterpiece of Western intelligence, the old dynamic physics, is the deep opposition of theory and actuality...." Spengler identifies the "old dynamic physics" with the same primary figures which LaRouche claims showed him how to "correct," and then reject, Marx. The index to Spengler's book shows that he makes more reference to Leibniz than any other individual person except for Nietzsche and Kant. Riemann, another LaRouche favorite, is also abundantly treated by Spengler.
Spengler's book is an attempt to mesh classical Greek philosophical concepts, particularly the elitist metaphysics of Plato, with the modernity of mathematics, physics, and the other rigorous sciences. American brands of occultism, such as the Scientology cult, have often been based on this particular blend, but it is LaRouche who claims to develop this into a formal ideology, even a religious belief. In The Case of Walter Lippmann, LaRouche's primary "Presidential" statement, the Spenglerian formula that divides history into three general modes of expression is restated by LaRouche as the division of all "Epistemology" into "Promethean," "Apollonian" and "Dionysian." The first category is claimed to be that of LaRouche and his following as well as a "handful" of the world's "inner elites," but it is also meant to represent, as in classical fascist ideology, the "essence of the Western Soul," the supposed occult inner dynamic that has given the European capitalists, and also the American imperialists, a special "right" and "duty" to rule the world.
In Chapter IX of The Decline of the West, Spengler presents the notions that LaRouche bases this formula on. This chapter, "Soul-Image and Life-Feeling--On The Form of the Soul," presents Spengler's idea of the "Soul-image as function of World-Image....Psychology of a counter-physics....Apollonian, Magian, and Faustian soul-image...." It is clear that Spengler's "Faustian" is the same as LaRouche's "Promethean." Likewise, both use the Apollonian category in the same sense, while the third category--Dionysian or Magian--is reserved for all those "alien" concepts and influences which are judged by Spengler and LaRouche to be responsible for all the evils affecting otherwise "dynamic" western civilization.
After Spengler, but before LaRouche, Oswald Mosley, the British fascist, is to produce an identical occultist system, also, like LaRouche, partially as a code to conceal advocacy of policies which would otherwise be condemned as nazi. In Chapter 25, "The Faustian Riddle," of Oswald Mosley by Robert Skidelsky, it is described how Mosley, during the time that he was interned as a suspected Nazi agent during World War II, concentrated on translating Goethe's Faust from German into English, as well as working on writings of the 18th century German neo-Hellenists, other than Goethe. On pages 479, 500, and elsewhere in his book, unabashed Mosley admirer Skidelsky points out Mosley's study of the "Platonic problem of making men fit for power," and the need for the post-war fascist movement to developed a "Platonic Academy" (page 500). This particular project has become a pet obsession with LaRouche.
The Blue Book of the John Birch Society, which is the organization's basic political manual and statement of beliefs, written by Robert Welch, the JBS founder, also makes extensive references to and use of this Spenglerism. The 12th printing of the Blue Book, issued in 1961, presents it as following. Section One contains the standard anti-communist paranoid schema. However, Section Two, entitled "But Let's Look Deeper" (page 41, 1961 edition) presents the actual internal rationale, for Welch as with other elitist fascists, for the anti-communism itself. Welch writes, in the second paragraph of this Section, "In my opinion, the first great basic weakness of the United States, and hence its susceptibility to the disease of collectivism, is simply the age of the Western European civilization. Some of you will already have recognized, in fact that I am drawing a corollary to the conclusions usually connected with the name of Oswald Spengler...the convincing way in which Darwin’s general theory fitted the known facts of human history just would not let his conclusion be downed and forgotten....Until at last the international socialists, with the Fabians and Labor Party bosses in England taking the lead, made one grand and lasting effort to have Spengler discredited...." Like LaRouche is to do more than a decade and a half later, Welch identifies the Fabians as the special enemies of "western civilization" and its would-be spokesmen.
The use of the terms "Dionysian," "Magian," etc. as code-words for anti-Semitic attacks against ideological enemies or rivals, a tradition begun by pre-Nazi fascist and racialist ideologues, was passed on into the lexicon of the early attempts at building mass fascist political movements through the droves of White Russian counter-revolutionary émigrés who flooded the greater and lesser capitals and cities of the west after the 1917 revolution. These layers had inherited the occultist traditions within the decadent Russian nobility as well as [theories that] were popular, spiced with the fabrications of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in the ranks of the Czarist secret police, the Okhrana. After the revolution, bookshops in Paris and London were flooded with books written by dispossessed nobility which laid the blame for Bolshevism upon "dark forces," especially the alleged "international Jewish conspiracy." Seeking to open up relations with homegrown reactionary and rightist currents, many of these books were written in an occult or semi-coded form, using categories already familiar to the conspiracy-fixated French right wing, for example.
This material has been picked up by LaRouche and his associates, lock stock and barrel, and has been "recycled" and "updated" for use as a basis for a neo-fascist ideology and movement in this country. Whether this movement is to be actually composed of the NCLC, USLP, etc., they are intended to serve as the advance guard of this movement, testing the waters with various formulas and approaches in such a way as larger, more factionally-interlinked rightist formations cannot do. This is clear when we examine the similarity, if not identical character, of the early fascist occultism with LaRouche’s.
One of the best sellers in the White Russian/occult fascist category is a book, recently reprinted by Steiner Books (Blauvelt, New York, 1971) entitled Atlantis/Europe: The Secret of the West. This book was written in the 1920's by Dmitri Merejkowski, son of an official at the Czar’s court, in exile in France after 1917, who remained in Paris when it was occupied by the Nazis, considered favorable to the fascist cause generally, and died there in 1941. This book is entirely constructed, as is LaRouche's occultism, around Plato, the myth of Atlantis, and the lessons of the "fall of Atlantis" for the "West." Merejkowski draws extensively from Plato's Timaeus, which was recently reprinted in an allegedly new "truthful" translation, by the LaRouche cult, and considered the main source for the Atlantis myth. The main theme that emerges from all of the various uses of this myth, including by the reactionary Plato himself, is that Atlantis--the West--is "betrayed," or threatened by "betrayal," from within, from alien elements that violate the principle of hierarchy--so-called "Natural Law"--by their alleged rebellion or dissent against the ruling elites. All of them identify this rebellion or dissent with "primitive," "backward" Dionysian, "sub-human, bestial," and other such categories. All the Plato-loving occultists make Science and the ruling Religion synonymous, so that dissent is an alleged "threat to Progress." (Along these same lines, striking workers are accused by LaRouche and his cult of being "Luddites," "anarchists," enemies of progress, etc.)
Other than Merejkowski, another White Russian exile who had an even more direct personal role in the development of Nazism was Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg's recently reprinted writings (Race and Race History and Other Essays, Harper & Row, 1970, series of books on "roots of the right") express many strong similarities with both the Spengler occult-fascist tradition as well as LaRouche's neo-fascism today. Rosenberg uses the Platonic occultist categories to define those he identifies as the "alien enemy" of the West--like Spengler and LaRouche, Rosenberg firmly believes in a conspiracy theory of history. Rosenberg first identifies the "spiritual" nature of the enemy as he sees it in the first essay in this collection (pages 49-50): "Dionysus entered into Greek life as something racially and spiritually foreign and in this role he was a sure sign of the physical decline that accompanied the decline of the Nordic race. Under the flickering light of torches, accompanied by the clashing of metal cymbals and hand-clapping and the shrilling of flutes, Dionysian celebrants collect themselves into a swirling circle-dance....Each and every one of these customs was completely opposed to those of the Greeks. They represented the 'religion of frenzy' which dominated the entire eastern region of the Mediterranean, a religion borne by the Afro-Asian races and race mixtures."
This attack by Rosenberg is identical to the attacks that LaRouche makes in his various writings against what he calls the "Dionysians," the "Cult of Isis," and the "anti-humanist secret elites," all code words for the traditional fascist bogeyman--the Jewish people. LaRouche's The Case of Walter Lippmann (page 117) is illustrated with a full-page picture from an ancient Greek vase, with the sub-title: "Dionysus, ancient god of wine, and modern symbol of the nominalist and Tory world outlook...." The theme of the modern revolutionary and left-wing movements as being "Dionysian" shows up again and again in LaRouche’s works. In his "Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites" (May 1978), one of his photo captions states: "Dionysian cults, yesterday and today: throughout the centuries a basic item of anti-humanist social control technique" together with illustrations (pages 22, 23) portraying alleged "Dionysiac frenzies."
Rosenberg continues his version of history along the same lines as LaRouche. Like LaRouche and other fascists after him, Rosenberg idealizes particularly the person he calls "inconceivably great," Frederick II of the Hohenstauffens (pages 73-74, Race and Race History) who Rosenberg says, "formed the first secular state, the Sicilian royal house, and who settled its provinces with German aristocrats...." Like LaRouche, Rosenberg, drawing upon the Spenglerian "thesis" about western science, declares that Leibniz is the source of inspiration for "true" "German" modern physics, as opposed to "English empiricism" which is equated with the Dionysian or nominalist and bestialist world outlook. Rosenberg (page 87, Race and Race History) declares: "Leibniz was opposed to the mechanical atomism of someone like Hobbes, who maintained that society, a totality, originated from an adding together of unformed pieces....Leibniz claimed that the blending together of the individual and the general consummated itself in the form of individuality, and, in so doing, this synthesis concretizes itself in a living, unique manner....Similarly, Herder, who in one way was seeking a humanistic absolute, penetrated even more deeply into the great thought of Leibniz...." This type of thinking is exactly what LaRouche represents today: Use and misuse of the ideas of Leibniz or whoever is used as a smoke screen for a racialist and elitist occultism, the threads from which Nazi and fascist ideologies were always woven.
As far as any actual "philosophical" content that can be ascribed to this whole world-outlook, the following must be pointed out. Despite various differences in the forms and formulas employed, Spengler, Rosenberg, and LaRouche are all associated with an attempt to separate the dialectical method from, and against, materialism. They all attempt to separate the conclusions of modern science from, and against, the traditions of scientific method that led up to those conclusions. Separating science out from, and pitting it against materialism, an allegedly "bestial" and "alien" world outlook, they are forced to "replace" it by adding in the religious, occult and mythic component. Thus, the grotesque anachronism of LaRouche, like the Nazi scientists who worked on attempted nuclear weaponry at the end of the war, blending scientific advances, including nuclear technology, together with occultism, an occultism that actually itself stems from pre-capitalist and feudalist outlooks.
An examination of the occultist ideas associated with the whole range of stages of the development of fascism, from its early forms to its recent "neo" phase, shows LaRouche to be only the latest, even if one of the less original, of a tradition, a tradition that even under the LaRouchian guise of "humanism" is the veritable enemy of humanity, and in the name of "Progress," the sworn enemy of all progressives.
It is no coincidence that of all the elements of "Neo-Platonism," as applied by LaRouche, the Platonic mythology and symbology of Atlantis should be particularly important. The irony of the use of the Atlantis myth by LaRouche in that association with this myth actually points to a completely regressive view of history, a view of history that is the opposite of any notion of historical progress! Essentially the myth of Atlantis, as defined in Plato's original conception, and as understood by LaRouche and other neo-fascist occultists, states that history begins at a certain peak, a height, from which it is descending. Atlantis, a supposedly higher civilization, was destroyed, from within and through "betrayal," etc., and all those stages of civilization that have followed have been basically lower forms, as they move further into the present period, and thus further away from the earlier Atlantean "Golden Age." This reactionary occultism also underlies the outlooks that permeate the ranks of believers in UFO’s, hollow-earth quacks, and the current pyramid and "lost civilizations" cult generally.
In LaRouche's particular version of this mythology, Atlantis' fall was followed by the rule of "bestialists" and "anti-humanists," under which he groups practically all of the cultures of ancient history as we know it, which LaRouche declares to be a "monstrous fraud" since it leaves out the earlier "Golden Age." After the fall of Atlantis, in LaRouche's eyes as in Plato's, the Atlantean knowledge was passed on through "secret elites," down through history. Furthermore, all actual scientific discovery and artistic creativity is explained, not through actual historical progress as a scientifically-defined process, but as "secret knowledge" which has been "leaked" out to the non-elite masses by the secret elites.
The Nazi high-command, like Larouche, have a long documented history of fascination with, and use of, the Atlantis mythology. The Morning of the Magicians (Pauwels and Bergier, 1960) dealt in some detail with the occultism of the Nazi movements, before and during the period when they took power. This book points out that the occultism of the Nazis was not merely a feature of their "early" or "kooky" phase, when fascist gangs were formed out of occult societies like the Thule Society, but was also carried right into the decision-making circles of the Nazi leadership during the war. Records on OSS activity show that this element of the Nazis’ profile was closely studied and exploited by allied intelligence services and their psychological-warfare "black operations" branches.
On page 206, Rauschning, Hitler's personal aide, is quoted: "At bottom, every German has one foot in Atlantis, where he seeks a better Fatherland and a better patrimony. The double nature of the Germans, this faculty they have of splitting their personality which enables them to live in the real world and at the same time to project themselves into an imaginary world, is especially noticeable in Hitler and provides the key to his 'magic socialism'...."
Part Two (190-284) of The Morning of the Magicians deals extensively with the occultism of the early and later Nazis, and its links to their scientific and pseudo-scientific researches, including their efforts in rocketry, nuclear [etc].
In the section of their book on the Nazi use of the Atlantis myth, Pauwels and Bergier identify the origins of this idea in early Nazism in the person of one Hans Horbiger, a quack scientist-physicist who in 1925 began organizing his own movement as an explicit scientific-academic parallel to Hitler’s Brownshirts. Horbiger still has over one million followers in the world today, largely in West Germany! Perhaps they are supporters of the "Atlantean" zombies of LaRouche's West German affiliate, the ELP. In any case, Horbiger believed that several succeeding higher civilizations on the earth had each been destroyed by a series of cataclysms wherein three of the earth's four moons had fallen on the earth, causing the disaster. According to Horbiger, the present moon is the fourth, also scheduled to fall. In his scheme, Atlantis is the third, or previous, civilization to our own, higher than ours in every way. Horbiger, like Hitler, saw the Germans, the "Aryans," as being the "true" descendants of the lost Atlanteans. All others are "subhuman" and in fact are a totally different race, or "species," a favorite LaRouche conception!
DENNIS KING COMMENTS: This essay was not written for publication but as a discussion document which the author circulated to a few friends and journalists. It represents the thinking of a number of individuals who left the LaRouche organization in the late 1970s and demonstrates, among other things, that I was not alone in detecting a crypto-Nazi code language in LaRouche's writings. I have taken the liberty of copy editing the document for punctuation, spelling, capitalization, etc. In addition I added in brackets the words "theories that" in the second sentence of the ninth paragraph, since this was obviously the sense of what the author was trying to say. I also took the final clause from the first sentence of the 10th paragraph and moved it to the beginning of the next sentence for the same reason, while changing "LaRouche states" to "one of his photo captions states" in the last sentence of the 13th paragraph.
Although this is a fine essay full of original insights, there are two caveats that I feel sure the author would want pointed out today. First, the reference to Oswald Spengler's "fascist occultism" is imprecise. Spengler was not an occultist, and at the time he wrote The Decline of the West, fascism was only in its infancy. However, there were certainly proto-fascist, chauvinistic and irrationalist elements in Spengler's thinking that fascist occultists and just plain fascists would seize upon. Spengler himself briefly supported the Nazis in the early 1930s but began criticizing them as early as 1933. After the war, American writer Francis Parker Yockey, in the infamous Imperium (1948), would present a neo-Nazi philosophy based on a somewhat fanciful interpretation of Spengler. Second, in the appendix on Atlantis above, reference is made to The Morning of the Magicians by Pauwels and Bergier. It is now known, thanks to the British scholar Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (The Occult Roots of Nazism, 1992), that certain claims in their book are inaccurate, overwrought or even downright fraudulent. But the basic point of the Atlantis appendix is still valid, since its author avoided the more outlandish claims of Pauwels/Bergier and because Goodrick-Clarke's definitive study documents an abundance of real links between Nazism and the occult (the influence of occultism on various other far-rightist and fascist trends throughout the 20th century is beyond dispute). In addition, the urban legends of Pauwels and Bergier--and of their many imitators--have become integrated into the thinking of many neo-Nazis and neo-fascists around the world. Believing the lurid claims in such books, half-educated or fantasy-prone ultrarightists have striven to imitate fiction by studying the occult (as did members of the National Renaissance Party in the United States) and dreaming of Atlantean ruins under the sea. It is natural that an opportunist such as LaRouche would weave Atlantis into his own propaganda tracts in order to gain the attention of such elements (and steal their credit card numbers).