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- A Theory Of Political Organisation
- Michels And The Citizens Electoral Councils
- 1. Criticism Of The Leadership Is Forbidden
- 2. A Subservient Culture
- 3. The Leader As Hero
- 4. Crushing The Challenge
This account of the Simpson kangaroo court, is a case study of political mind control at work. It is an illustration of high-minded principles being subordinated to crude psycho-politics. It should act as a warning that Australians are not immune from such techniques.
The practices at the Citizens Electoral Councils are a textbook study of how leaders of a political organisation use well practised devices to maintain political control against perceived opponents. It shows what happens when “leaders” are out of control and are ruled by their own self-importance and “mission,” and when there are no institutional restraints on their ambitions. Robert Michels has written of such techniques in his classical study of socialist organisations.
A THEORY OF POLITICAL ORGANISATION
Robert Michels is the foremost theoretician on political organisation. He has written of the “iron law of oligarchy,” the principle whereby all organisations are eventually run by small cliques of oligarchies who jealously defend their prerogatives and privileges. Oligarchy is the natural tendency in unhealthy organisations. Micheis’ theory is further validated by recent LaRouche operations in Australia.
Ideals, professed by the CEC, and used to attract members, are quite secondary to keeping the myth of LaRouche’s infallibility prominent. These lofty ideals are quite secondary to “purifying” the organisation from dissent. No legitimate critique of LaRouche is tolerated in the organisation. All dissent or suggestions of alternative strategy is forbidden on pain of “exile,” “excommunication” or “purging”. The method of control is a variant of psychoanalysis which LaRouche laid down in his Marxist tracts in the 1970s. Far from being a “breakthrough” it is a carbon copy of the psychological practices of many cults and totalitarian organisations.
What follows is an analysis of the political operations at the CEC using M icheis’work as a general template of comparison. (39)
Michels And The Citizens Electoral Councils
1. Criticism Of The Leadership Is Forbidden
On a number of occasions within the CEC, gestures of mild dissent were made, for example: requesting an Annual General Meeting for the organisation; canvassing the idea of a new Chairman for the party; comments of financial matters; questioning of the appropriateness of organisational structures and policy; dissent over strategy. One CEC member pointed out that the advice from America on a legal matter was dangerous, he was denounced to the leadership. All of this was deemed to be a serious criticism of the American leadership.
Michels has written of how a leadership can interpret such actions:
‘When faced with a threat to their authority or office from within the organisation the leaders will become extremely aggressive and will not hesitate to undermine many democratic rights. To lose command of the organisation is to lose that which makes them important individuals and hence they are strongly motivated to preserve their position even if it requires using repressive methods. They legitimize such behaviour by pointing out that a mass organisation is inevitably an organisation maintaining itself by the struggle with powerfull and evil opponents. Therefore all efforts to introduce factionalism into the organisation, to challenge the appropriateness of paily or organisational policy, resulting in aid or comfort to its enemies. Serious criticism of the leadership is thus defined as treachery of the organisation itself “ (Page 18)
The CEC has developed a strictly hierarchical and pyramid like structure totally at odds with its founding charters and aspirations. The new “closed” arrangements are driven by fears of hostile takeovers and penetration, especially from British intelligence. This element of paranoid fear, apart from whether there is any truth in such fears, has been fanned from Leesburg, which sees a Redcoated Venetian plot behind every mind.
Whilst Australian members of the ICLC may, at times, be canvassed for ideas on day to day tactics, no meaningful policy making decisions are allowed from Australia. The control is downwards from Leesburg (through Douglas), to lsherwood, down to people who are given the security and attention afforded to the drone workers in a hive.
Any hint at dissent is derided as the product of a “blocked” mind. Repetition of the behaviour leads to psychological targeting, “demonisation” and expulsion. In fact, the “leadership” nominates their favourites, and thus factionalises the organisation. Far from creating a unified organisation, the “leadership” in CEC has developed a factional alliance to destroy perceived threats.
2. A Subservient Culture
Within the Citizens Electoral Councils, the leader, Lyndon LaRouche, must never be questioned, and a mindless conformism has developed.
But this is not “downwards” oppression by “dark forces.” The real sickness is from those who willingly prostrate themselves before the leader. This is what can be called the “Rubashov Principle.” Rubashov is a character from a Koestier novel. In Arthur Koestier’s Darkness at Noon, a literary portrait of the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s, the apparatchik, Rubashov, willingly went along with his own execution, because The Party needed a victim. He confessed to crimes he had not committed and willingly co-operated in his own demise.
The followers in an authoritarian structure need the leader as much as the leader needs the followers. There is a descending chain of “rudeness” from LaRouche down through the ranks to the Australian “street walkers” and fund-raisers, who are forced by the organisation to be the unquestioning drone bees of the organisation. Michels has the following to say:
“The masses experience a profound need to prostrate themselves. not simply before great ideals, but also before the individuals who in their eyes incorporate such ideals. Their adoration for these temporal divinities is the more blind in proportion as their lives are rude ... (and leaders being) the object of such adoration, megalomania is apt to ensue.
This overweening self-esteem on the part of leader diffuses a powerful suggestive influence, whereby the masses are confirmed in their admiration for their leaders and it proves a source of enhanced power.
The LaRouche psychology emerged from Marxist fringe infights on American university campuses in the 1960s and 1970s. his baggage is still in the LaRouche movement.
LaRouche has established himself as a “dictatorship of the cadres” (to paraphrase a Marxist idea).
3. The Leader As Hero
At all times the great feats and courage of LaRouche are promoted: he has claimed to be a communicant with God; he speaks to the great minds of history; he has changed the course of human history; he is at the forefront of every contemporary political issue; he is the central concern of evil forces, for He alone can save the world. In the areas of economics, philosophy, music, physics, mathematics, linguistics, and culture, LaRouche is claimed to have made dramatic breakthroughs, his feats are paraded before the loyal followers.
There is no doubt that LaRouche has shown courage in the face of, what this author believes to be, a kangaroo court against himself and others and an unjust incarceration in jail for 5 years, but all proportion has been lost, and LaRouche has become larger than real life.
A cretinous and sychophantic culture now permeates the CEC-LaRouche network in Australia. The ideal of creating unblocked” and “potent” cadres has failed. Alleged mother fantasies have been replaced by other fantasies and aberrations.
The American Controller who owns the Australian end of LaRouche (Alien Douglas), claims that LaRouche is, “The greatest mind since Leibnitz.” Perhaps LaRouche is in fact a greater mind than Leibnitz, this author has no way of evaluating that proposition, but if the great Leibnitz were around today, he would not be entitled to receive such fawning behaviour as is cultivated in the CEC in Australia.
Michels points out that there is an organisational imperative behind what must appear to many as ridiculous behaviour:
“The crowd always submits willingly to the control of distinguished individuals. The man who appears before them crowned with laurels is considered a priori to be a demi-God. If he consents to place himself at their head it matters little where he has gained his laurels, for he can count upon their applause and enthusiasm.
“The democratic masses are thus compelled to submit to a restriction of their own wills when they are forced to give their leaders an authority, which is in the long run destructive to the very principle o democracy. The leader’s principle source of power is found in his indispensability. One who is indispensable has in his power all the lords and masters of the earth. (page 111)
“The incompetence of the masses is almost universal throughout the domains of political life, and this constitutes the most solid foundation of the power of the leader. The incompetence furnishes the leaders with a practical and to some extent with a moral justification. Since the rank and file are incapable of looking after their own interests, it is necessary that they should have experts to attend to their affairs.” (Page 112, Michels)
Max Weber has also commented on the “charismatic” leader:
“the charismatic leader gains and maintains authority solely by proving his strength in life. “ (40)
But for charisma to work on the masses then there has to be an exclusiveness and turning-off of other distractions:
“Charismatic domination means a rejection of all ties to any external order in favour of the exclusive gratification of the genius mentality of the prophet and hero.
Promotion of LaRouche to absurd proportions is just one of the tactics to keep office workers in line and hard at fund raising activities. It is the organisation’s role to convince the organisation itself of this fact. With such blind assurance the organisation can ask for the supreme sacrifice. The LaRouche myth has degenerated to an organisational tool in Australia, and susceptible people have gone along with it all.
The goal of the LaRouche movement, IS the LaRouche movement. It exists for no other purpose than to perpetuate its own (self-adjudged) purity of method and doctrine.
4. Crushing The Challenge
The major role of the organisation is to maintain the organisation, and this means maintaining The Leader and those who walk in His image. A premium is placed on being more loyal than the loyal.
The CEC engages in very little effective political activity outside of promoting the LaRouche name and maintaining the organisation. Hence, hundreds of thousands of dollars, raised from near-destitute Australian farmers, are spent each year on sending members to the USA for “retraining.” The priority, at all .times, within the Melbourne office is ensuring the psychological loyalty of cadres and “unblocking” the thought processes of the “blocked.” The communications link into Melbourne from Leesburg is constant, relentless and paranoid. It has destroyed creativity within Australia.
Thought control within the organisation is THE business of the LaRouche-CEC operation. And to this extent, purges are an organisational imperative. An annual purge against evil is conducted. No dissent is tolerated, for if it was, the charisma of the leader and his role as an Agent of History, would dissipate, and the game would be over. A compliant, unquestioning “lapdog” attitude is encouraged. Certain chosen members are encouraged to seek out and spy on potential trouble spots and to report back to the
“leadership.” This process evokes images from George Orwell’s novel, “Animal Farm”where the dogs run and hunt down the “enemy,” to spy on old Snowball and then return to report to their leader “Napoleon,” the head Pig. Real and imagined opponents are denounced in private and campaigns of denigration are launched.
The consequence of this internal witch-hunting (the Australian LaRouche organisation literally does hunt the “witch-mother”), is the creation of an intimidated organisation and a sterility of human thought, quite the opposite from what the organisation claims fulsomely to be nurturing - a new Golden enaissance.
Michels points out that the “rank and file” willi ngly cooperates in its own subjugation:
“In the struggle against the young aspirants, the old leaders can as a rule count securely upon the support of the masses.
In order to combat the new chiefs who are still in a minority, the old leaders of the majority, instinctively avaiil themselves of a series of underhand methods through which they often secure victory, or at least notably retard defeat ... By labelling the opposition incompetent, profane, terming them sprouters, corruptors of the party, demagogues, they describe themselves as the collective will, and demand the submission of the insubordinate and even of merely discontented comrades.
A main cultural feature of office practice at the CEC, a practice cultivated, encouraged and developed by the leadership is the culture of “the underhand method.” Such a culture encourages spying, denigration, undermining, paranoia. It is of an authoritarian and undemocratic nature. In any mentally sane organisation it would be denounced as “backstabbing,” “petty minded,” and office infighting, but in the Australian LaRouche organisation it is an organisational tool, it is elevated to a semimystical process of cadre training. In the end it is corrupting. It encourages megalomania in its leaders and entrenches their paranoia.