LaRouche's years as a Trotskyist

  • Lyndon LaRouche comes clean (more or less) about his Trotskyist past. The NCLC chairman wrote this mimeographed memoir, "How the Workers League Decayed," in 1970, when he was still on the left and didn't yet need to rewrite his past. Here we have a detailed and psychologically revealing account that utterly refutes his later claim that he had infiltrated the left as a patriot in order to sabotage it and rescue young people from its clutches. The document also reveals how LaRouche's experiences with the SWP and with Gerry Healy, the leader of a cult-like British Trotskyist sect, helped him develop the ideas and methods that would result in the transformation of the NCLC into a full-blown cult in the mid-1970s.

  • LaRouche article (1962) on Erich Fromm. This article from the SWP's theoretical journal foreshadows LaRouche's later views and rhetorical style.

  • Former Trotskyist Tim Wohlforth on LaRouche. Author of The Prophet's Children remembers LaRouche from the Socialist Workers Party and later from an SWP splinter group.

  • Feminist-socialist Clara Fraser remembers LaRouche from his days in the SWP. Excerpt is from Fraser's Revolution, She Wrote (1986).

  • LaRouche article (1977) about his clash with a college classmate 30 years earlier. LaRouche still worried his grudge, like a dog with a bone, 30 years after Murray Gart unwisely tried to give him some friendly advice while they were both politically active students at Northeastern University.

  • LaRouche the Trotskyist as business consultant (circa 1963-64): "Shoe Data Processing Comes of Age." Here is a report that LaRouche prepared for either a single shoe company or for the shoe industry as a whole on the adoption of keypunch data processing. It is so clearly and concisely written that I suspect his then partner Carol probably produced the final draft. Yet it bears a certain tone of grandiosity (as in the remarks about "tycoons") and a certain lack of social grace (as in advising shoe executives not to "steal") that suggests Lyndon didn't accept all of her changes. I would suspect that the executives who ordered this report found it well worth the money spent, but were left scratching their heads a little about its author.

  • "Head Shrinkers" Versus "Head Fixers" (LaRouche, 1962). This unpublished manuscript, written by LaRouche under the pseudonym Lyn Marcus when he was still a member of the Socialist Workers Party, shows in a germinal stage the line of thinking that would blossom ten years later into an ego-stripping, cult-building form of amateur psychology. Also in this document LaRouche announces that the "most fundamental form of illusion is religious belief or patriotism, having much of the general form of mental disease." Religious skeptics and left-wingers who find themselves reacting favorably to LaRouche based on this quote might reflect on how he went on to build a truly illusory (or rather, truly delusional) system in which worship of LaRouche as a "world-historic" genius-leader replaces worship of God, and loyalty to the cult and its peculiar ideology becomes a kind of ersatz patriotism (LaRouche's followers have even claimed that their program is rooted in something called the "American System" philosophy, and have compared their fraudulent fundraising methods to those used by Benjamin Franklin to help finance the American Revolution).

    More to come