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This commentary appears in the October 10, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

The Fall of the House of McAuliffe

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

This "candidate's editorial comment on the election" was issued on Sept. 28, 2003 by Lyndon LaRouche's Presidential campaign committee, LaRouche in 2004.

Among my ten rivals who filed for the Democratic Presidential nomination after I had done so, none, so far, have done anything in the campaign to qualify them for serious consideration by the actually thinking variety of my fellow-citizens. The only apparent exception is that of Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) whose work in the Congress, if not his campaign, does have merit. The rest are acting—as candidates—as mere populist sophists, as charlatans peddling political snake-oil.

Some of those ten represent very bad, rather than merely inadequate choices. Lieberman and Sharpton are, most notably, very bad performances. The more general, politically fatal short-coming of all of them, so far, has been their commitment to the shallow-minded sophistry of opportunists' mindless appeals to popular opinion, as Howard Dean has done with rather malicious calculation, rather than anything resembling actually relevant attention to the critical problems facing our nation today.

A European friend has made a scholarly emphasis on the role of sophistry in bringing about that self-destruction of the once powerful Athens of Pericles by the Peloponnesian War; similarly, the sophistry of National Committee Chairman McAuliffe and his current crop of ten political dwarves, on the issue of Vice-President Dick Cheney's Iraq war, and on the crisis of the U.S. economy, is threatening to plunge the Democratic Party into perhaps terminal political bankruptcy during the weeks and months ahead.

That national party's recently-adopted obsession with playing the loser in the matter of the California recall campaign, by dropping the issue of Enron and Cheney, is typical of the national party organization's potentially fatal inclination for folly and failure today.

For example: Judging by the content of their campaigns, at least nine of my ten rivals can not be regarded as actually running to become President. Instead, they are trying so desperately to become the darlings of the mass media and the pollsters, that they avoid every issue which might define the competence of the next President of the U.S.A. It is virtually a miracle, of some kind or other, if President Bush's Karl Rove is not paying off the lemming-like losers of McAuliffe's National Committee leadership. Rove should be paying for services supplied, and the current National Committee leadership has earned its thirty pieces of silver from Rove's hand.

A successful street-prostitute could do no less than the nine indicated rivals of mine. They are operating on the sophist's assumption, that "If I am the most popular candidate, because of my reputation for a smile or smell, I will be chosen; that will be my qualification to govern"! Unfortunately, the suckers—that is, many of the voters—fall for that sophistry, because they, too are so corrupt by their wishful, opportunistic desires, that many would rather be seen as photographed with the winner of the next election, than be the kind of citizen who selects a candidate qualified to serve the most urgent interests of our nation.

Now, U.S. politics are sitting on the hot stove of a looming monetary-financial collapse, a collapse which, allowed to run its course, will produce effects far worse than those which halved U.S. income under President Herbert Hoover.

For example: Among the leading candidates for triggering the disaster, is the explosive accumulation of financial derivatives predicated upon a current hyperinflation in the market for mortgage-backed securities. A potential collapse of as much as fifty percent in real estate values in Western and Central Europe, as in the Americas, is only one of the potential options for the period immediately ahead. The collapse might prefer to break out in other areas of the world's present monetary-financial bubble.

That crash, in whatever form it chooses to break out, will also change politics around the world. For example, such a collapse in the U.S. markets would hit a China still heavily dependent upon exports to the U.S.A. very hard. Such a crisis of China would have turbulent, chain-reaction political effects in the world at large. Similarly, the attempted rape of Argentina by U.S.-based "vulture funds," threatens to set off a political-financial chain-reaction around much of the planet. Under these conditions, the same faction of the U.S. establishment which brought us the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, may strike here, or perhaps in Europe, seeking to create the form of crisis which would keep Vice-President Dick Cheney and his neo-cons in control of shattered U.S. internal politics.

What are my principal rivals for the Democratic nomination doing, in this circumstance? Of them it can be said, as of the Emperor in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Suit of Clothes": "But, Daddy, he has nothing on." A candidate advised by experts like those tailors who sold the Emperor on wearing, and paying for, a non-existent suit of clothes, may be duped into thinking that the sophistry of the sort practiced by those campaign advisors, pays. The question is, "Pays what to whom?"

Corrupt Democratic candidates do not call it "sophistry;" they call it "politics." The two words mean the same thing. The fault of both those rivals and their campaign advisors, is therefore more in the nature of a moral, than merely intellectual bankruptcy.

But, Then, What Are Crises?

As I summarized this during my recent Los Angeles address, to understand the people of the United States, and their behavior today, one must recall the succession of demoralizing crises built into the multi-generational memory of our nation since the days of Coolidge and Hoover. A study of that multi-generational experience illustrates the way in which crises such as the present one are allowed to come about.

Like the Baby Boomers of today, the "Flapper Age" of Coolidge-ism was a bootlegger's world of the Charleston and wild-eyed pleasure-seeking of F. Scott Fitzgerald's useless rich and their would-be imitators. Babbitt reigned in Middle America. The ordinary people—being more or less poor—admired, or, bitterly, even hatefully envied the useless wealthier pleasure-chasing class. They shared lies with visiting friends and neighbors, and then gossiped against those guests the moment the guests were let safely out the door. Then came the Depression which Coolidge brought, and which Hoover made much worse. As "Hickey" said, forlornly, in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh," suddenly, the life had been taken out of the booze. The U.S. population experienced a great shock, and passed the emotional experience into the memory of coming generations.

A shattered U.S. population was lifted out of despondency by Franklin Roosevelt's leadership, but at a time when London and New York bankers had funded Hitler's takeover in Hjalmar Schacht's Germany. We won the war, and had risen from wretched poverty to become virtually the only world power at the close of World War II. But with the death of Franklin Roosevelt, and Truman's launching of needless nuclear attacks on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we went into the pit again. A sweeping right-wing turn erupted under a Truman whose folly led us into a needless Korean War adventure. The American military traditionalist Eisenhower rescued the United States from what the inventor of "McCarthyism," wild-eyed nuclear utopian Truman, had set into motion. But the effects of what became known as Truman's and Roy M. Cohn's "McCarthyism," piled upon memory of Hoover's Depression, sent most of the returning heroes of World War II into fearful retreat from reality, while the mothers of today's Baby Boomer generation warned their children: "Don't be heard or seen saying or doing anything that will get our family into trouble."

Then came Eisenhower's retirement. The pro-fascist gang around Allen Dulles and his creepy James J. Angleton brought us the Bay of Pigs, the 1962 Missiles Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, and many kindred things in many parts of the world. For several days during the hot phase of the Missiles Crisis, the U.S. population went insane with sheer terror of an impending nuclear war which "might end it all." The Baby Boomer generation, in Europe and the Americas, has never recovered from the effect of those shocks, shocks combined with the official launching of the 1964-72 war in Indo-China. Such is the deep psychological and moral flaw embedded in the culture of the generation of Americans and Europeans presently in their fifties and early sixties.

The flight from frightening reality took the form of a managed slide of the emerging young adults of the 1960s into the swamp-like refuge of a post-industrial pleasure society, a consumer society, a no-future society of "little me" and my personal security and pleasure now. Two governments, under the guidance of Harvard-trained, pro-fascist National Security Advisors Henry A. Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, ruled the U.S.A. from Johnson until Reagan. During the quarter-century from January 1969 to January 1981, the process of destruction of the U.S. economy, and of the conditions of life of the lower eighty percentiles of our family households, was set fully into motion.

Through the change from that engine of prosperity known as the original Bretton Woods monetary-financial system, until the middle of the 1960s, the welfare of the economies and populations of the Americas, Western Europe, Japan, and elsewhere had improved more or less secularly, even despite Arthur Burns' bad advice to President Eisenhower. From the fiscal budget of 1966-67, the U.S.A. has been on a generally downward economic trend, a trend which spread into Europe and elsewhere following the 1972-1975 establishment and initial consolidation of the post-Bretton Woods "floating exchange-rate" monetary system. Sub-Saharan Africa was plunged into the abyss of genocide which has gripped it increasingly to the present time.

Under the floating exchange-rate monetary system, the U.S.A,, in particular, was enabled to rig monetary crises, and impose artificial devaluations of the currencies of Central and South America, and elsewhere, to such effect that the debt of those nations has been more than paid fully today, when honest accounting is employed. We, the British Commonwealth, and to a lesser degree western Europe, have looted the so-called developing sector of the world. We shut down our productive enterprises, and our places of productive employment in agriculture, industry, and related categories, while relying on "out-sourcing" from the looted virtual bodies of the poor of Mexico and other relevant cheap-labor markets of the world.

This transformation of much of the population of the United States into discarded categories of once-skilled labor, and the elevation of financial parasites into the super-rich, fostered in our Baby Boomer generation the delusion that we had a right to be a consumer society living off the backs of the desperately poor cheap-labor out-sourcing system. This morally and intellectually pathological trend in our population corresponds to the arrival of neo-conservative (read: fascist) Bartley as editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal.

The system of radicalized "free trade" which emerged from the continuing moral, intellectual, and economic decadence of the upper twenty percent of U.S. family-income brackets, the so-called "suburbanite" constituency of the pro-fascist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), has now come to a fateful point of general monetary-financial collapse of the present world system as a whole.

Now, a new great cultural shock is being experienced by the emerging young-adult generation of the world, especially in the Americas and Europe. The Baby Boomer generation's long-inbred character as the no-future generation, has left the generation in the 18-25 university-age range, and the adolescent generation coming up behind them, with a society which offers no visible future worth having. The resulting conflict between Baby Boomer and youth generations is now the characteristic, determining feature of the world entering the 2004 election-campaign. One way or another, the age of the reign of the Baby Boomer generation, the age of the "suburbanite" right-wing ideology of Roy M. Cohn's political heir Dick Morris and Al Gore's opportunistic affinities for avowed fascist Newt Gingrich, is over.

Either we return, so to speak, to the place where the U.S. economy made the wrong turn in the road—and in U.S. political trends—or the U.S.A. is soon finished as a world power; and, unfortunately, given the nuclear age, much of the rest of the world besides. The facts are clear; only desperate fanatics cling to denial, shrieking: "I will never believe what you have just said." The truth of the matter will be decided not as they choose, but by the process which chooses the fate of those gripped by such hysterical denial of reality as they express.

History has always worked in such ways, as the case of the role of sophistry in causing the doom of Greece through the Peloponnesian War, attests. Societies go to Hell, usually, because they have adopted foolish axiomatic, ruling assumptions of reigning opinion. The society so afflicted stumbles on, like prosperous pleasure-mad Pompeii, until the smoking volcano, which is the reality of false axiomatic assumptions, speaks. Thus, history of civilizations goes from crisis to crisis, as the false axiomatic beliefs of one or two generations, or more, present the bill for deferred payment.

The greatest enemy of the American people today, and of the Democratic National Committee's leading pack of pathetic sophists in particular, is the bad habits which have become customary popular opinion. Foolish people react opportunistically to such crises by appealing to the supposed authority of popular opinion, the popular mass media, "what my friends and neighbors tell me," and so forth. Then an undeniable shock occurs, like that in progress now. The wise leaders force a change in those habituated, but false assumptions which have led us into the worsening mess our nation, in particular, has become, since the time President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I am such a wise leader, a man of the future among a collection of prematurely aged political antiques.

You ask the question, "Will we survive?" I answer with a question: "Are you, personally, ready to change?"