Rediscovering the Mind
of Lyndon LaRouche
by Robert Ingraham
A PDF version of this article appears in the November 24, 2017 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is re-published here with permission.
Nov. 20—In January 2017, prompted by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Executive Intelligence Review initiated a project to begin republishing major works by Lyndon LaRouche. During the past eleven months we have run forty-six of these articles. As we approach the one-year anniversary of this project, it is time to reflect on the importance of this undertaking, particularly in light of the great new possibilities which have arisen on the world stage since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, also in January this year.
As of November 2017, human society is poised for perhaps the greatest transformation in the entirety of its existence. This current opportunity is best described as being a “Shelley Moment.” This is a time, as Percy Shelley writes in his “A Defence of Poetry,” when “there is an accumulation of the power of communicating and receiving intense and impassioned conceptions respecting man and nature. The persons in whom this power resides may often, as far as regards many portions of their nature, have little apparent correspondence with that spirit of good of which they are the ministers.”
Witness the recent—and mis-reported—visit to China by President Trump Nov. 8. Place that Presidential visit in the expanding global reality of the “win-win” Belt and Road Initiative. We are at the potential starting point of a new era for humanity, one governed by the Westphalian Principle of the “Benefit of the Other,” and one characterized by unprecedented progress in science, economic development, and human progress. This is a moment at which history can change, and this is precisely the breakthrough for which Lyndon LaRouche has been fighting for more than sixty years.
LaRouche’s personal courage and the works produced by his mind have created the potentials which now exist. Despite persecution, imprisonment, and ostracism, he has persevered. His is the greatest mind of our time. If we are to turn the current possibilities of this moment into a victory, it is vital that growing numbers of individuals take up the study of LaRouche’s works—to engage his mind at the highest possible level.
A Real Cultural War
Before turning to the subject of LaRouche’s writings, one essential—if dirty—piece of business must be dealt with. This difficulty defines both the obstacle and the opportunity for success.
Nations and peoples throughout the world are now jumping on the Belt and Road express. They want a future. The optimism radiating out of China is now spreading throughout the world. The obstacle to this becoming a universal paradigm lies within the trans-Atlantic culture of Europe and the United States. Much of the population in the trans-Atlantic world seems incapable of grasping the great opportunity which now presents itself. The very idea of a beautiful positive future has become alien to them.
Beginning after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, and escalating dramatically following the murder of John F. Kennedy, the trans-Atlantic world has undergone a deep cultural collapse, one which is still ongoing. This did not just “happen.” The spread of cultural pessimism and anti-human values was created by the oligarchical families of Europe, their aristocratic friends in the United States, and the British Monarchy. The origins of our current malaise go back even further, to the post-1815 “Romantic movement” and the devastation of World War I. By the 1920s, oligarchical-sponsored groups such as the Frankfurt School—and its many offshoots and derivatives—were already engaged in all out war to eradicate the Renaissance tradition in western culture, to deny the existence of human reason, to abolish the Promethean identity of Man, and to spread pessimism throughout the population.
This oligarchical project took a giant leap forward with the 1950 creation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), leading to a direct attack on the classical Renaissance tradition in both art and music. Under the direction of the CCF, irrationality, Dionysian Eros, and literal psychosis were championed as great art and music. The last great classical conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler, was persecuted, while the Nazi Herbert von Karajan was promoted. Great paintings were removed from museums and replaced by fecal smears on a canvas or “primitive art.”
Then came the 1960s, with the San Francisco Diggers’ admonition to “do your own thing” and “if it feels good do it.” A culture was created based on reducing the individual human identity to its most bestial content—a culture dominated by Eros, with higher human cognition discouraged and removed. As a result, today, many people are afraid of science, terrified of human progress, pessimistic about the future, and certain that mankind is destroying Mother Earth. We have reached a point where many 16-30 year-olds can’t even figure out what sex they are, and where drug addiction is simply considered a “lifestyle choice.”
There are many today who proclaim that what is needed is a “cultural war” to rid America of its growing resemblance to Sodom and Gomorrah. Those efforts will fail without the guidance of Lyndon LaRouche. It is not enough to simply be “against” moral corruption. Nor is just preaching religious doctrine going to work. What is at issue is the nature of Man. A “Christian” who believes in environmentalism is already on the road to degeneracy. What LaRouche asserts is the paramount importance of the magnificent heritage of Western culture. From Plato, through to Dante, Nicholas of Cusa, Gottfried Leibniz, and others, the core of western culture and progress has been located precisely in that quality which absolutely separates human beings from all other animals, i.e., Man’s ability to reason, to create through a lawful process of hypothesis, to discover new hypotheses. It is precisely the re-awakening of that power of the human mind which is urgently required today in Europe and America, and it is precisely within the Shelley Moment defined by the Belt and Road initiative that such a restatement of the human identity becomes possible
We should settle for nothing less. In this fight would it not make sense to utilize the greatest weapon in our arsenal? Should not the Mind of Lyndon LaRouche be brought into this battle?
During the past year, four reading groups have been created to study and discuss some of LaRouche’s articles, including those recently republished in EIR. Two of the groups are in Virginia, one in New Jersey, and one in northern California. Among the articles read and discussed have been: “Leibniz from Riemann’s Standpoint,” “On LaRouche’s Discovery,” “The Substance of Morality,” “How to Tell the Future,” “On the Subject of Education,” “Mathematics & Measurement,” “The Science of Physical Economy,” “The Truth About Temporal Eternity,” and “On the Subject of Metaphor.” All may be found on the EIR website.
This article will not attempt to reproduce the content of any of the aforementioned articles, nor to delve too deeply into the discussion process surrounding those readings. What will be stated here is that what has defined these study groups is a commitment by the participants to not merely quote from Lyndon LaRouche or to talk about his ideas, but to grapple with the mind of the man himself. At the heart of many of the discussions has been the proposition that “the issue is not what you think but how you think,” i.e., that real knowledge does not arise from accruing “information,” but in the rigorous realm of verifiable human hypothesis.
This question of the human cognitive identity and true social evolution arose in many different ways during the readings. Points of discussion have included LaRouche’s notion of Anti-Entropy; his concept of Higher Hypothesis, which has given mankind a method of provable validity; and his discussion of the relationship of the One to the Many, i.e., the universal to the particular, which is relevant to both biology and mankind’s relationship with the universe.
A featured topic in many of LaRouche’s writings lies in his concept of physical economy, an economic approach which, again, flows from the human creative identity. A great deal of discussion has taken place on the subject of “free energy,” and the necessity for that free energy to increase even while the “energy of the system” is also increasing. This then led into an examination of the question of the Productive Power of Labor. Needless to say, a mastery of this concept, and its implications, is of urgent importance given the opportunities presented by the Belt and Road today.
In at least three of the reading groups, extended discussion took place on the subject of LaRouche’s insights into Gottfried Leibniz’ Monadology, particularly as to the nature of the Monad and the relationship of the Monad to Creator. In at least one instance, this led into an extended discussion of Leibniz versus Newton on the Calculus. In New Jersey this also provoked a consideration of John Sigerson’s work on Motivführung and the question of classical composition.
Not all of the questions raised in LaRouche’s writings were “solved.” In one group an extended discussion took place on the subject of isentropic compression and its relation to economic forecasting, without fully resolving all of the issues involved. The readings and the discussions involved hard work.
Making People Human
One might imagine a musikabend at the home of the Mendelssohns or a poetry reading with Shelley, Keats, and their friends—events where human creativity becomes the subject of discussion. Perhaps the LaRouche reading groups have not yet reached such lofty heights; yet one after another of the participants has described the experience as a “reawakening of a part of your mind that you haven’t been using,” of being able to “relate to people on the basis of ideas,” and being “blown away.”
One participant even stated that the change in people was visible, that he noticed a “brightness in people’s eyes, more upright posture, mutual self-respect, and less anger.” Another participant also mentioned a “respect for the dignity of each other’s mind.”
A key to the process has been a willingness of the participants—in the tradition of Cusa’s On Learned Ignorance—to re-examine what one thinks one knows, to not be afraid to ask “What did LaRouche mean by that”? Yes, creativity is a product of the individual sovereign mind, but working through the challenges raised by Lyndon LaRouche—and then being willing to engage in a dialogue with others—has the effect of transforming the underlying relationships among the people involved. The New Jersey group has even adopted the name of “The Union of Ignorance,” and what has been constant through all the groups is a quality of “humbleness” and a willingness to enquire and to discuss the ideas presented by LaRouche.
Creativity will dry up if it is not used. People give in to practicalities, day-to-day concerns, or the mind-deadening bureaucracy of their workplace. The next thing you know, they’re carrying around grudges and repressed anger. That, of course, is where the true power of classical art, theater, and music comes into play. The problem today is that most people in the trans-Atlantic world have become so bestialized and pessimistic that they don’t even open themselves up to great art. They won’t “go there,” because their self-enslavement is so powerful.
That is where Lyndon LaRouche comes in. LaRouche goes right to the heart of the issue: “Are you human, or are you a monkey?” If you are human, what does that mean? What is it that distinguishes you as human? What is it that made possible the upward progress of the human species? Relentless, LaRouche takes no prisoners; he simply provides hope to all. As one participant in the reading groups stated, “LaRouche’s Mind is at the center of being able to make world history.”
This latter point gets to the most important aspect involved in the study of LaRouche’s writings, for what he is discussing is the quality of mind whereby an individual may affect the future. These are not academic exercises, but a social process whereby greater cognitive powers might be brought into the battle for the future of society.
The Battle Defined
We live within a trans-Atlantic culture where not only is every form of human degradation paraded on television and the internet, but where the very substance of human thought is under attack.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Lyndon LaRouche undertook an in-depth critique and refutation of the proposals of John von Neumann (Theory of Games and Economic Behavior—1944) and Norbert Wiener (Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine—1948). Central to LaRouche’s rebuttal was his insistence that human thought, i.e., the method of Platonic hypothesis, could not be reduced to a mechanical or mathematical model. Fast forward 70 years. Today, von Neumann’s and Wiener’s progeny, the icons of Silicon Valley and the information age, are hegemonic as to the nature of human cognition. The leaders of Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, Craigslist, Microsoft, and Apple have now been at it for forty years of creating a society based on linear digitalized information. Human creativity has been reduced to the “clever” ability to write sophisticated binary “computer algorithms,” capable of predicting and manipulating the behavior of a people who themselves have been reduced to sub-human linear thought. These are also the techniques which today dominate the financial institutions of London and Wall Street.
Sadly, in Europe and America this Eros-driven information age is now omni-present. Most people under the age of fifty have no concept of what a human culture—a human identity—actually is. Nevertheless, there are three powerful sources for hope in this situation:
First and foremost is the leadership now flowing from China, particularly in the global implications of the Belt and Road. The involvement of Russia along with many other nations, and now joined—minimally at least in intent and friendship—by Donald Trump, holds great promise for the future. Stupendous promise.
The second cause for optimism is to be found in the human spirit itself. Despite two to three generations of degradation, every human individual still possesses within himself or herself the power of agapic creativity, and the reality is that many, many young people today—despite their confusion and mis-education—are yearning for something better. Many know that there is more to life than drugs and video games. They need to be engaged.
Finally, we have the mind of Lyndon LaRouche. What LaRouche does is challenge people. He demolishes the comfortable axioms that are “common sense” to the majority, and he provokes their minds to work. Forcefully. Many others look for “agreement,” for practical compromise. LaRouche holds high the banner of Prometheus, and he offers a choice: Do you want to be human—or would you rather be a monkey?
EIR is republishing the works of Lyndon LaRouche for a reason. We urge you to take up the challenge.