Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America

By John George; Laird Wilcox | Go to book overview

31 The LaRouche Network

During the 1970s and 1980s it often seemed that the media had given the man two extra names. Most common references to him began: "Political extremist Lyndon H. LaRouche." Few would deny that the label was warranted--LaRouche's pronouncements and demeanor, as well as those of his associates, virtually personify the extremist style. He is one of the most accomplished and inventive conspiracy theorists on the entire political spectrum, and his organization has a well-deserved reputation for conducting smear campaigns against various targets, among whom have been Walter Mondale, Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, and the queen of England.

Other appellations applied to LaRouche have included "Communist," "Trotskyist," "former leftist," "neo-Nazi," "Stalinist," "Democratic candidate," "Marxist-Leninist," "cult leader," "small-time Hitler," "demagogue," "kook," "Hitlerian hate-monger," and "anti-Semite." (Ironically, most of these labels came from LaRouche opponents who object to his penchant for name-calling.) Depending upon what one focuses on and what one ignores it would be possible to make a case for each of the above epithets. It could also be argued that to one degree or another LaRouche contains elements of all of them. One thing is very certain: Lyndon LaRouche has spent much of the past twenty years cultivating a vast array of enemies, some of them not much less "extremist" than he. On the other hand, his distorted view of the world and his demonstrated hostility toward various groups, including Jews, has produced some justifiable alarm.

Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr., was born in 1922 to Quaker parents and grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts. He entered the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector in World War II, during which he served as a medic in Burma. While in Calcutta, India, he joined the Communist party. After the war he was a Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member for a few years; in 1949 he joined the Socialist Workers party (SWP), the principal U.S. Trotskyist group. He used the party name, Lyn Marcus. In all, he spent seventeen years in the SWP. His first wife, Janice Neuberger, was also a member. After their divorce he lived with another SWP member, Carol Schnitzer, who was still with him during the early years of his National Caucus of Labor Committees. 1

Although a committed Marxist-Leninist, LaRouche was always contentious and restless. He was secretly involved with embittered former SWP members, including Tim Wohlforth and his American Committee for the Fourth International, a small Trotskyist splinter group. In 1966 LaRouche was expelled from the SWP for working to organize a schism in the Trotskyist movement with Gerald Healy,

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