[Marxism] Fwd: Lyndon LaRouche Is Running A Pro-China Party In Germany | Foreign Policy

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Sep 22 06:13:35 MDT 2017


BERLIN — A week before Germany’s federal elections, Berlin is blanketed 
in a layer of campaign posters, from Angela Merkel and the Christian 
Democratic Union’s bland slogan “For a Germany in which we live well and 
happily” to the far-right Alternative for Germany’s proclamation of 
preferring bikinis over burqas.

But one set of signs are particularly bizarre, even cryptic.

“The future of Germany is the New Silk Road!” reads one pinned to a 
streetlight near Berlin’s main train station.

“Cultural renaissance instead of barbarism,” reads another. And, 
“Germans can stop world war!”

These posters, in a matching blue and yellow color scheme, all urge 
Berliners to “vote BüSo.”

What the posters don’t say is that BüSo — short for Bürgerrechtsbewegung 
Solidarität, or Civil Rights Movement Solidarity — is a political party 
founded and operated by eccentric American millionaire Lyndon LaRouche 
and his German wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. For decades, the couple has 
lead a global political network with a devotion to conspiracy theories, 
anti-Semitism, and a belief in a looming doomsday economic collapse that 
will kill billions — but it is otherwise malleable in its beliefs.

LaRouche started on the far left of American politics before swinging to 
the far right in the 1970s. Today, as BüSo attests, the LaRouche 
movement’s enthusiasms are focused on promoting the interests of Russia 
and China in the West. And Beijing, at least, has been happy to 
reciprocate LaRouche’s support.

BüSo’s German-language website — which has a Russian-language version 
but no English — lists Zepp-LaRouche as its founder. The party operates 
11 different offices around Germany, according to its website, and 
advocates a patchwork platform of grand but vague ideas — including an 
overhaul of global banking as “the only way to stop the collapse of the 
financial system,” Germany’s exit from the European Union, a new German 
currency, extraterrestrial human colonization, a “renaissance” of 
culture and science, and nuclear energy for all so that “hunger and 
misery can be overcome all over the world.” The website also makes the 
claim that “the roots of the strange coalition of financial 
institutions, foundations, media, and environmental organizations go 
back to the eugenics movement of the Nazis and their environment,” a 
longtime LaRouche obsession. Other quirks, such as the belief that the 
British royal family runs the global drug trade, have been publically 
dropped over the years.

But outdated obsessions have been replaced with LaRouche’s newfound 
fascination with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road 
Initiative, also called the “New Silk Road”But outdated obsessions have 
been replaced with LaRouche’s newfound fascination with Chinese 
President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, also called the “New 
Silk Road” — which explains why campaign posters promoting the 
initiative as Germany’s saving grace now paper Berlin. It’s hard to tell 
what motivates that interest, whether it’s a remnant of LaRouche’s 
long-standing obsession with patterns of global trade, or a skillful 
attempt to appeal to the political mood in Beijing, where the project 
has become a shibboleth for support of an increasingly powerful Xi.

BüSo did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

In the United States, LaRouchites have long been treated as a 
legitimate, if unhinged, political movement. But in Germany, they are 
seen as a political cult — and a potentially dangerous one. In 2003, a 
22-year-old British man died under mysterious circumstances after 
traveling to Wiesbaden, LaRouche’s main base in Germany, to attend a 
LaRouche event billed as a rally against the Iraq War. No charges were 
brought, but BüSo and its ideology were portrayed unflatteringly in the 
extensive media coverage that followed. Germany is particularly 
sensitive about any groups that could be portrayed as a cult — most 
Germans, for instance, favor banning Scientology.

On their own, the LaRouchites seem hardly more threatening to German 
democracy than any fringe political group, through they are a 
well-funded one. (LaRouche’s money stream is uncertain, but the 
associated PAC raised $6 million last U.S. election cycle, seemingly 
from donations from the over 5,000 members.) “Nobody knows them. 
Sometimes they have their people on the street, and if you talk to them, 
they are kind of crazy,” said Stefan Liebich, a member of the German 
parliament, in an interview with Foreign Policy. “They invest a lot of 
money for their posters, but no one will vote for them.”

The question is whether LaRouchites’ real audience isn’t in Germany but 
rather in China, where there’s growing evidence the movement has 
influential followers. “Journalists” associated with the LaRouche’s news 
outlet, the Executive Intelligence Review, are regularly invited to 
Chinese government press conferences in Washington and are quoted 
extensively in Chinese state media, where they often parrot government 

If China is choosing to waste its time and energy on a fringe group, 
that’s hardly a worry. But there’s the dangerous possibility that 
Chinese officials and academics actually think the LaRouche movement is 
a serious Western group. For a middle-aged Chinese official with little 
experience in or contact with the West, distinguishing between 
LaRouche’s Schiller Institute and, say, the Brookings Institution, the 
Cato Institute, or other mainstream think tanks is tough.

And the LaRouchites are telling the Chinese what they want to hear: that 
China is the future and that Xi is respected globally. When Chinese 
media wanted to praise Xi’s call with U.S. President Donald Trump, for 
instance, they went to “German expert” Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Even if the 
officials and journalists dealing with them recognize they’re cranks, 
praise from compliant Westerners is useful currency in Chinese politics. 
(China Daily’s Chen Weihua, for instance, is a U.S. resident; that 
didn’t stop him from writing a puff piece about the group this August.) 
And in a country struggling to understand how Western politics works, 
conspiracy theories can be dangerously tempting.

Nobody’s listening to the LaRouche movement in Berlin. But they might be 
in Beijing.

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