When left-wingers go bad

August 28, 2006 at 10:42 pm (Uncategorized)

You hear a lot of talk at the moment from blogosphere right-wingers and some on the pro-war left, insinuating that groups on the left, particularly some of those groups within it that opposed the war in Iraq, are comparable with, or accusable of support for, fascism. Whilst I don’t particularly want to get into that debate on this thread (we all know where we stand on it, and rehearsing old debate over again won’t get us very far), it did raise one question in my mind, which was originally brought up by our occasional commenter Daggi, on a different thread.

One group that actually did go all the way from Trotskyism to fascism, was that led by Lyndon LaRouche, aka Lyn Marcus, formerly a member of the SWP-USA. A former leftist, he has now been denounced as a fascist by many people across the political spectrum, and his views (convincingly on my reading) deconstructed to that effect, in print and on the web. A particularly good, and devastating, historical critique of the LaRouche group was done by Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, which as the name suggests is a liberal academic/political outfit based in the USA. “Fascism Wrapped in an American Flag” is probably the finest and most concise piece of work on the LaRouche group that I’ve ever read, and it should serve as a warning to those on the left who think that subsuming one’s political principles to reaction in an effort to adapt to new political circumstances, does not eventually lead one to change beyond recognition. In LaRouche’s case, his group seemingly quickly became something horrendous, taking increasingly bizarre political positions and being widely denounced as a right-wing political cult. It is to be hoped that history does not repeat itself, and that no more groups or individuals ever make the same political journey that LaRouche did.

Anyway, to return to Daggi’s question. It’s known that LaRouche operatives are around in Europe, in particular in Germany. But did they ever get to any meaningful level in Britain? I’d be delighted to hear that the answer is “no”, by the way.

1 Comment

  1. Hylozoic Hedgehog said,

    For the history of the LaRouche group in the American New Left, please see my How It All Began: The Origins and History of the National Caucus of Labor Committees in New York and Philadelphia (1966-1971) available at


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