Story by Joseph Ford Cotto
People have said a great many things about Lyndon LaRouche over the years.
To be fair, he has shared more than a bit about his own views -- and why not? At 94, he has a lifetime of experience in traversing the maze of politics, economics, science, and cultural pursuits that makes our world go 'round.
While LaRouche's claim to fame is principally of a fiscal nature -- his LaRouche-Reimann Method is perhaps the most accurate economic forecasting model yet devised -- the man has delved into so many different facets of the human experience that one can legitimately elevate him to polymath status.
Whether one should read his views on classical music or space technology, it is a wonder that a single fellow is capable of holding so much knowledge about such a diverse array of topics. Even in the case that his views are found to be disagreeable, it must be admitted that he knows his stuff.
The child of an independent-minded New England Quaker family who served in World War II, LaRouche was imbued with a deep sense of purpose from a young age. Having interviewed the man on several occasions and reviewed his biography, it seems clear to me that, for the immense complexity of his life's work, the overarching goal is raising the bar of civilization so as many people as possible enjoy a more-than-decent standard of living.
Of course, certain voices will point out that he ran into a financial snafu with the federal government, for which he did some jail time, or that the LaRouche organization is run with military-like efficiency -- something starkly unusual for civilian politics.
I say that nobody is perfect. I also say that, given his age and multitude of life lessons, he should be deemed a living historical monument. Special emphasis is due the word 'living' as LaRouche's movement is arguably stronger than ever, thanks to the Internet, and the finely-tuned publishing empire he built ensures that his views will remain in circulation for quite awhile.
LaRouche spoke with me about several timely issues. Some of our conversation is included below.
Joseph Ford Cotto: More than anything else, why do you think Trump managed to secure a victory that many seasoned political operatives deemed unlikely?
Lyndon LaRouche: That is sort of an amusing question. The answer is that Trump is actually supporting a refreshed status for the economy. The Trump vote in the U.S. is one of many expressions of populations being fed up with being victims of the system of globalization, which made the poor poorer and destroyed the Middle Class. Trump gave expression to that sentiment.
Cotto: How large a role do you believe that Barack Obama's presidency played in driving late-deciding voters into Trump's column?
LaRouche: No. There was no connection in that sense. The point was, we dumped that. Obama was dumped and just keep it that way. Trump was the good guy as opposed to the bad guy. It is not a mystery for me, something that I have to explain away. Trump moved in and he changed the course of history. He got the job that Obama lost. Trump will have to lead a successful renewal of the economy of the United States.
There can be little doubt that revitalizing the U.S. economy is a powerful theme, and one which served Trump very well. While the issues facing American economic policy are in constant flux, there are some fundamentals which could best be described as sticks in mud. To show precisely what I mean, consider the following exchange between LaRouche and myself. Despite being half a decade old this year, its message resonates louder than ever.
Cotto: Prominent economists and politicians say that free trade will only benefit America in the long run. What are your opinions about this idea?
LaRouche: They are repeating the same arguments which have failed our nation's economy at an accelerating rate, since the "68er" rampages, especially since 2007. All successful economies depend upon superseding the depletion of what existed in the past, by progress into the urgently needed future replacements, with better methods, and with superior technologies: otherwise, we would plunge into the attrition and related decay which has plagued us since the fag-end of the Indo-China war of the mid-1960s.
Cotto: One of the reasons that the American economy consistently fails to emerge from the Great Recession is that it produces a decreasing number of material goods. What would you say can be done to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector? Honestly, is this even possible now?
LaRouche: As I am certain that your circles are adequately aware, our chief economic problem has been the reversal of the principle of economic progress - - actually at the accelerating rates prevailing since the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Without a correction from that trend now, trans-Atlantic civilization, in particular, is doomed: we are at the fag-end of our recent decades of foolishness. The loss of much of the machine-tool design capabilities which had been represented by the legacy of the machine-tool design-driven U.S.-built automobile, aircraft, and space potentials, since the virtual collapse of "Detroit," must now be replaced by "machine- tool design" programs for reviving and improving the technological improvements, programs on which we depend, absolutely, if any recovery at all were to be made possible.
The entirety of the recent Obama presidency must be swept aside, or else there will be, simply and soon, no more United States, to be seen in the aftermath of that which we now see in the disintegration of the formerly sovereign nations of continental Europe, today.
Cotto: Libertarian economic theorists tend to believe that trade deficits are of minimal importance. Do these deficits have a great impact on America's economy?
LaRouche: What are sometimes mis-identified as being trade-deficits are actually the effect of collapse of technological progress. We need a "protectionist" policy of a certain, very specific type: scientific-technological progress, rather than the death of the former system of sovereign nations in western and central Europe. We must protect our economy's healthful scientific-technological progress. And, then we would have no continuing fear of "competition." Financial gambling will never be an actual substitute for science-driven economic progress.