The following article appears in the Sept. 5 issue of the Russian political weekly Zavtra.
On September 8, 2012 the American economist and political figure Lyndon LaRouche turns 90 years of age. We send our heartfelt congratulations to this outstanding American economist and political figure on his jubilee, and wish him strong health and continued creative achievements.
Readers of Zavtra have had the opportunity to become familiar with L. LaRouche's views in numerous interviews and articles, beginning with our issue dated July 7, 2001, which contained D. Tukmakov's article "In the Image of God (LaRouche's Physical Economy as the Overcoming of Entropy)" and an interview with him, conducted by Tatyana Shishova, titled "The Sparkle and the Wretchedness of the New Roman Empire." These publications presented essential aspects of LaRouche's economic and historical investigations: "But why," wrote Tukmakov, "do the leading economists and politicians of our planet, deceiving people, lead their populations toward catastrophe? In LaRouche's view, it is because "the collapse was largely caused by flaws in the thinking of policy-makers. This collapse stems from the influence of zero-growth economic ideas, which were embedded as axioms in the works of Adam Smith and Karl Marx, and, more recently, in systems analysis, which was introduced into economics after 1938 by the radical positivist John von Neumann.'"
A descendant of Pilgrim setters of New England in the 17th century, LaRouche was born into the family of a shoe-manufacturer in New Hampshire. (For many years he would often wear a bow-tie, which was a practical matter as well as a symbol of American engineers and inventors in the mid-20th century, and a sign of respect for people working in the physical production industries.) Regarding American cultural and political traditions, LaRouche himself mentions "the continuing, live influence" at the family dinner table in the 1920s of his great-great-grandfather, a man of Abraham Lincoln's generation and an anti-slavery activist in the mid-19th century.
L. LaRouche served in the U.S. Army (1944-1946) in India and Burma. In Calcutta he witnessed India's struggle for independence from British tyranny. His political involvement dates from that time. Like many people all over the world, LaRouche had great hopes for cooperation between Franklin Roosevelt's USA and the Soviet Union in the postwar and post-colonial reconstruction of the world. But he returned from India to a United States where Harry Truman was President, rather than Roosevelt. The Cold War had begun.
LaRouche charted his own independent course in economic science, outside of generally accepted university norms. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he began to have a reputation among economists as an irreconcilable critic of the Wiener-Shannon information theory and von Neumann's game theory. As he developed his ideas about "physical economy," LaRouche turned to the works of Leibniz and Bernhard Riemann, as well as Vernadsky's conception of the Noosphere.
In 1959-1960 LaRouche made a long-term forecast that, if the USA adhered to its economic policies of that time, a series of international financial and monetary shocks would occur in the second half of the 1960s, leading to the termination of the Bretton-Woods agreements. And so it happened: the British pound sterling was devalued in November 1967, followed by the liquidation of the Bretton-Woods system after August 15, 1971. With the adoption of a floating exchange-rate system, LaRouche warned that the rupture of normal ties between financial assets and the real economy, and the overall inflation of purely financial speculation and bubbles, would result not merely in a new cyclical crisis, but a systemic one — a general crisis of the global economic system.
At the turn of the 1960s to the 1970s, LaRouche organized from within U.S. and European student milieu a philosophical association of supporters of scientific and technological progress and Classical culture, which did battle simultaneously against the Club of Rome malthusians and the rock-drug-sex counterculture. In 1974 he founded the research center that began to publish the weekly Executive Intelligence Review, and he was the initiator of the Fusion Energy Foundation. In 1977 LaRouche married German citizen Helga Zepp, who founded the Schiller Institute in 1984.
Starting in 1976, LaRouche ran for President of the United States eight times. The theme of these campaigns was that the world financial crisis, the threat of war, and radical population reduction throughout the planet were inevitable, unless the axioms of economic policy-making were changed. LaRouche's meetings with Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi (1982, 1983) and President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico (1982) were accompanied by his authorship of projects titled "A 40-year Program to Make India an Industrial Giant" and "Operation Juarez," which was designed to replace the debt slavery of the developing nations with continental projects for infrastructure development, industry, and agriculture. During those years LaRouche also served as an unofficial advisor to the administration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, winning the adoption of his idea that would become known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. In LaRouche's conception, the SDI was to have been an area of scientific and technological cooperation between the USA and the USSR for "the common aims of mankind" — military-strategic security, and economic progress at the frontiers of science and the economy.
The opponents of LaRouche's initiatives for a just world economic order and scientific-strategic cooperation launched legal frame-ups against him, resulting in his imprisonment for five years (1989-1994). Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark observed that the LaRouche case "represented a broader range of deliberate cunning and systematic misconduct over a longer period of time utilizing the power of the federal government than any other prosecution by the U.S. Government in my time or to my knowledge."
In December 1991 LaRouche warned that the City of London and Wall Street international financiers who were behind the financial bubbles system, now intended to turn the countries of the former Soviet Union into an area for looting, asset-stripping, and expansion of the narcotics trade. "If [President Boris] Yeltsin, for example, and his government, were to go with a reform of the type which [his advisors] demand, chiefly from the Anglo-American side," said LaRouche, the result would be "chaos" and "a strategic threat." He called on his supporters to develop and campaign for a program of continental development corridors — the Eurasian Land-Bridge, which could be financed by a new credit system, modelled on Alexander Hamilton's historical American System of Political Economy and the analogous approaches of Friedrich List and Count Witte.
Lyndon LaRouche's book So, You Wish to Learn All about Economics? was published in Russian in 1992 (Moscow: Schiller Institute for Science and Culture; Ukrainian University in Moscow), with a second volume, The Science of Physical Economy as the Platonic Epistemological Basis for All Branches of Human Knowledge, appearing in 1997 (Moscow: Nauchnaya Kniga). The stenographic record of a round table held with LaRouche on "Russia, the USA, and the Global Financial Crisis" (with introductory remarks by Academician Leonid Abalkin) was published in 1996 (Moscow: Institute of Social and Political Research, Russian Academy of Sciences). Russian matters have figured prominently in LaRouche's writings during the past two decades, including such articles as: "Memorandum: Prospects for Russian Economic Recovery" (1995), "The Vernadsky Strategy" (2001), "The Spirit of Russia's Science" (2001), "The World's Political Map Changes: Mendeleyev Would Have Agreed" (2007; paper presented at the Moscow conference on Megaprojects of Russia's East: the Transcontinental Eurasia-America Mainline across the Bering Strait"), and "Free Trade vs. National Interest: the Economic Debate about Russia" (2008).
In the 1994-2007 period, Lyndon LaRouche visited the Russian capital several times, taking part in conferences of the Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the RAS Institute of the Far East, and other places. He addressed seminars at the RAS Institute of Economics, the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies, and other venues on controversial topics such as "We Must Attack the Mathematicians to Solve the Economic Crisis" (1995), "Nothing Can Save the Current System" (1996), and "Russia's Crucial Role in Solving the Global Crisis" (2001). LaRouche testified at hearings held June 29, 2001 in the Russian State Duma on "Measures to Ensure the Russian Economy's Development under Conditions of Destabilization of the World Financial System." In the spring of 2007, he was an honored foreign guest at the ceremonial session held at the Russian Academy of Sciences to honor the 80th birthday of Professor S.M. Menshikov.
As he approaches his 90th birthday, Lyndon LaRouche regularly writes for EIR and speaks on the web TV channel of his LaRouche Political Action Committee, calling for an urgent change in economic policy: the restoration of Roosevelt's Glass-Steagall principle (separation of normal lending to the real economy, from the speculative operations of the investment banks), the institution of sovereign credit systems in place of the bankrupt monetary and financial system of the entire post-1971 era, and the immediate launch of major development projects to uplift the economy of every country and the entire planet. He devotes particular attention to issues of space exploration and the Strategic Defense of Earth, while demanding, in the short term, the nomination of a different Presidential candidate by the U.S. Democratic party, in order to reduce the danger of war that is linked with a continuation of the policies of Barack Obama.