|End of Page
|The Conservative Revolution
What follows is the speech by New Federalist Editor-in-Chief Nancy Spannaus to the Schiller Institute/ICLC Labor Day conference.
In a July 23 column in the Hollinger Corporation's London Sunday Telegraph, quintessential British Tory Sir Peregrine Worsthorne endorsed U.S. House Speaker Newton Gingrich as the man to establish a police state in the United States. Under the title, ``A Police State Beats a Welfare State,'' the British Lord said:
``Newt Gingrich's approach strikes me as much more honest than [British Labour Party head] Tony Blair's: brutally honest. No nonsense about how the state can guarantee security in a revolutionary age. He simply takes for granted that it can do nothing much except one most important negative thing. It can promise not to get in the way of those who have a mind to fight for their own survival.... The only responsible thing the state can do is to remove obstacles to the individual's own search for security....This endorsement by a representative of the British oligarchy, which has been echoed by fellow oligarchical spokesman Lord William Rees-Mogg, should not be surprising. Gingrich's ideas, such as they are, have been fashioned for him by a series of thinktanks whose key personnel are British fascists, from the school of the Mont Pelerin Society and Friedrich von Hayek. The Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation, The Adam Smith Institute, the Atlas Research Foundation, and the Institute of Economic Affairs are all devil-fathers (to borrow a phrase from Mr. LaRouche) of Gingrich's Contract on America. London is praising its own work, and it knows that its fascist programs, if rammed through, will accomplish its long-standing aim of destroying the United States.
``I am not suggesting that we are going to have to move straight from the welfare state to the police state, but such a suggestion is far nearer the mark than all the alternative systems of welfare..... In revolutionary times the only form of security for property and the bourgeoisie comes, not from think-tanks, but from tanks proper. Gingrich, like Richard Nixon, wields a mailed fist much disguised in an ideological glove, but clear enough for any but the blind to see. That is the real strength of the new politics in America.''
But unfortunately, defeating Gingrich is not as easy as simply exposing his role for the British.
You would think that the 52 year old, baby-faced, blow-dried Gingrich wouldn't be a great threat. After all, as the popular press has reported correctly for months, if not years, this guy is pure sleaze. He's a buffoon, a chameleon, an opportunist, a womanizer, someone who won't hesitate to kick out his wife if she's not young and pretty enough to be in the White House. While trumpeting himself as an ``intellectual,'' Gingrich cannot write anything but a garbage-can full of advertising slogans. Aren't Americans smart enough to see through this guy?
That question remains to be answered. We have gotten a very good response to the first salvo put out by New Federalist against Gingrich's Contract--over 2,000,000 copies of our pamphlet are currently circulating, with increasing numbers taken by constituency leaders in labor and the Democratic Party. But the populist style of Gingrich does make him extremely dangerous, because Americans have shown again and again their propensity to fall for such snake oil. And by the time our neighbors wake up, it may be too late.
Through the course of this panel, we are going to unmask the intellectual frauds that permit Newtie to present himself as the savior of ``American civilization.'' Graham Lowry will expose his rant on welfare and personal responsibility, which come from the radical British empiricist school of Bernard Mandeville. Linda de Hoyos will show that his revolutionary model is more appropriate to the French, not American Revolution. Jeff Steinberg will demonstrate that his economics come from the Free Trade school which created modern fascism. Dennis Speed will show you how Newt's self-proclaimed fight against the counterculture, really reinforces the libertarian, nihilist approach. And Ed Spannaus will demonstrate how the program ``to renew America,'' will actually destroy America.
All of Newt's so-called ideas come from an anti-American, British empiricist tradition of the same sort that created Nazism, but they have a pseudo-modern twist: that of the New Age. Actually, this New Age ideology is not new at all. Its methodology is as old as Dionysius and Aristotle, and we will proceed to unmask it.
In a major study of fascism presented in early 1982, Helga Zepp-LaRouche exposed the Conservative Revolution and provided a crucial framework for unmasking the New Age fascists of today. While she was addressing primarily the ``green'' environmentalist development in Europe, the analysis is equally applicable to the U.S. situation today. I quote:
``In a first approximation, it can be said that fascism and its precursors were characterized by the following principal defining characteristics: 1) Malthusian or racially motivated genocide; 2) fascist economic policy; 3) a fascist mass movement, and 4) a fascist elite, which controlled that mass movement, without that movement necessarily being conscious of the fact.''
The first point needs no elaboration, but the rest do. The essence of a fascist economic policy has been exposed by our movement for more than 25 years now--as centering on the reduction of living standards below the level at which life can be sustained. The dramatic end point of such a policy is the looting of life itself in the concentration camps, where prisoners are forced to expend more calories in work than they are given to eat. This policy can be described as primitive accumulation, which prioritizes the desires and needs of an elite over the requirements of life for the nation, on the implicit (or in some cases explicit) assumption that the bulk of the population is not fully human.
A fascist mass movement can be decribed in terms of a mob, manipulable by rhetoric and other emotional appeals into demands for immediate gratification. This phenomenon goes back to ancient times, as we saw in Rome and other empires. It also makes itself evident in culture--in a celebration of bestiality, extremes of sensation, irrationality, existentialism, not to mention the `blood and circuses' of the Roman imperial type.
A fascist elite is fundamentally an oligarchy committed to preserving its life-and-death power over the rest of humanity, and resting its authority on its position of power, rather than on clear and sufficient reason. As in the case of Hitler's regime, this elite is not necessarily willing to associate itself with its creation. In the 1930s, that elite was an international club which was centered in London and New York, as well as on the European continent.
Clearly, all these phenomenona exist today in latent form, especially through the genocidal economic policies of the International Monetary Fund, and the deliberate plans for world depopulation coming from the London-centered Club of the Isles, headed by Prince Philip. But the fascists have not consolidated power, in the sense that they have not yet destroyed barriers to their program, and created the kind of mass support they would need to do so. The nut which they have to crack for their world strategic plans is the United States. And the nut who's volunteered to do the job, is Newt Gingrich.
Newt talks a lot, and he admits that his brain is not always connected when he does so. But recently, the Speaker (or shall we say, the Squeaker) has produced a book which presumably he stands by. To Renew America is already a hot seller--and Newt is expecting to make a lot of money on it. Mercifully, it is only about 250 pages long.
Newt says over and over again that his identity is that of a ``revolutionary,'' who wants to rebuild or renew ``American Civilization.'' He also claims that ``romantic idealism'' is at the heart of America, and that he wants to restore that, while giving every citizen an opportunity to ``pursue happiness.'' Over and over again, you hear him quote the Declaration of Independence on the ``unalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,'' while noting that it's the pursuit you are promised, not happiness itself.
But what does being a ``revolutionary'' mean to history professor Newt Gingrich? From reading a wide swath of his writings, I can assure you that it basically means destruction. Newt's revolution would pull down the existing government, and then let everyone fend for himself. (Sounds like Worsthorne, right?) Interestingly enough, even Newt's discussion of the American Revolution contains virtually no mention of the fact that it was the British monarchy which the Americans revolted against--and which, as even the ignorant know, was the mortal enemy of this republic at least through the War of 1812.
And what is ``American civilization?'' This is a concept which certainly didn't exist for the American founding fathers. They thought they were carrying out a noble experiment in republicanism, which carried forward the ideas of western Christian civilization. An American System, yes--an American civilization, no! This second phrase likely came into U.S. parlance in the late nineteenth century, when a movement of what was called American exceptionalism was shaped, building toward what American sponsors of Teddy Roosevelt would call an American Empire. It reflects a chauvinism and a narrowness which denies the best which this republic has always represented for mankind, the tradition arising from the Italian Golden Renaissance.
The fact that Gingrich's idea of American civilization is a fraud, is evident throughout his speeches. When he spoke of the problems our nation faces at the July 18, 1995 speech at Georgetown CSIS, he indicated that his models were none other than the British and Roman Empires! I quote:
``If you go back and study the rise of the British Empire from, say, Pitt the elder through 1815, they stumbled around a lot, too. If you go back and study the Romans and the late phases of the republic when they were first becoming a dominant power, it is amazing how often they messed up and how many armies they lost and how many fleets they lost. By their standards, we've done nothing that's a significant problem.''
Newt's description of America as ``romantic,'' is also revealing. Interestingly enough, his description of this in his book, comes out of a story about discussing public opinion-polling, something he is more interested in than truth. ``I began to realize the degree to which America must be described in romantic terms,'' he writes. (p. 32) ``To take the romance out of America is to de-Americanize our own country. To me, America is a romance in which we all partake.''
Sound attractive? It shouldn't. Romanticism is a philosophy of irrationalism, which has everything to do with rejecting the creative powers of reason in the human mind, and celebrating the unmoored emotions. It's magic, it's entrancing--it's a pathway to being manipulated by the cool, calculating fascist elite. In Newt's case, it also seems to have led to not a few sordid affairs. Just American nature, he might say.
The Squeaker's paeans to the unalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence are also fraudulent. He correctly notes that Jefferson originally wrote ``the right to life, liberty, and property,''--a formulation which can be traced to that oligarchical apologist creep, John Locke. But instead of recognizing the antagonism of these two ideas, he asserts that Jefferson used ``happiness'' as just another word for ``property.'' This phrase is then used by Newt to apotheosize the private sector: As he said in the piece published in March 1995 by Family Voice, a publication of Concerned Women of America, ``the whole notion of markets is the best way of allocating resources, creating the future rapidly, and encouraging people to become prosperous.''
What he means by unalienable rights, therefore, is that you get a chance to fight for property. Meanwhile, Newt will get ``government off your back,'' except perhaps for some tax credits that will let you buy a laptop computer!
As I said earlier on, it would be a mistake to try to make Newt coherent. He is a creature of ambition, seeking to get funding and manipulate popular support. He wants that support from the Left and the Right, from the enraged, and, above all, from the rich. If you hate the state, if you hate industrial society, or if you just hate certain Democrats--Newt says he's your champion. It's the fascist elite above Newt who are coherent, and deadly so.
But Newt cloaks himself in the American flag, in the rights of the individual, in the demand for school prayer and God in the schools, and so forth. Let's rip away more of the mask.
To Renew America is organized around six major goals. The first is: ``We must assert and renew American civilization.''
Under this rubric, Newt argues that the country has been under assault by the ``counterculture'' since 1965. This is true. But not only does Newt not identify the source of this assault, as an act of British cultural warfare, but he embraces amoral libertarianism--feel-good personal morality--as the alternative. Now Newt himself knows a little about the counterculture, coming from the 60s generation. A recent unauthorized biography (Newt Gingrich, Speaker to America, by Judith Warner and Max Berley) reports his big political act at Tulane University, where he was at graduate school, to have been leading a week-long student protest demanding that some obscene photographs (and I do mean obscene) be included in an issue of the campus newspaper. He did it just on the principle of ``free speech,'' a friend told the authors--and probably didn't even look at the pictures.
If this is ``freedom,'' what does this ``renewing American civilization'' mean in action? It means kicking out immigrants, taking down government programs for the poor and sick, turning our back on the rest of the world, and--letting the looting begin without restraint.
The second major goal, in fact, demonstrates that Newt has no problem with the ``counterculture'' at all, in any principled way. For it reads: ``We must accelerate America's entry into the Third Wave Information Age.''
The Third Wave Information Age is the guts of the counterculture, based on the same premises which led to the hedonistic glorification of rock noise, drugs, and sex; the takeoff of environmentalism; the mass propaganda campaign for the depopulation lobby; and the rapid and deliberate destruction of the industrial and scientific base of the United States.
Gingrich's every speech glorifies the Third Wave, a phrase taken from a 1980 book by futurist Alvin Toffler. A perusal of Toffler's books, including his early 1970s mass international best seller Future Shock, and the recent popularization of the thesis published in 1995, called Creating a New Civilization, The Politics of the Third Wave, delivers an overwhelming stench of kookery, and fascism. The Toffler thesis is that industrial society (the Second Wave) must be destroyed, and the Third Wave of cybernetics/information take over.
Compare the following:
``When a society is struck by two or more giant waves of change, and none is yet clearly dominant, the image of the future is fractured. It becomes extremely difficult to sort out the meaning of the changes and conflicts that arise. The collision of wave fronts creates a raging ocean, full of clashing current, eddies, and maelstroms which conceal the deeper, more important historic ties.'' (Now, another author's gobbledygook:
Third Wave, p. 15)
``This life, whose progression is what perfects itself in the rhythm of rising and falling, in the depths of dying away, and at the peaks of culmination--this life also permeates the individual being. Birth and death seem absolute; in truth, they are utterly relative. What is actually born and dies, which takes on individual form and relinquishes it, is not the individual being, but Life overall. Birth, like death, animation and extinction are phases of that actuality; the particular form is only a transition. What exists in reality is the life of the species: the individual is only a wave..."Now the first of these comes from Newt's idol Alvin Toffler, the second from a fascist mystic, cited by Helga LaRouche in her 1982 attack on fascism. The mystical image is one of the Zeitgeist, dominating the individual and history, precisely the opposite of the Christian notion of individual man made in the image of the Creator.
The Third Wave explicitly lays out the futurists' rejection of the idea of man made in the image God, himself, a creator and molder of the universe, saying that such an idea belongs to the ``Second Wave,'' industrial society. Toffler specifically attacks:
1) ``The idea that humans should hold dominion over nature,'' which he identifies as going as far back as Genesis.Toffler identifies these ideas as the enemy--and by endorsing Toffler as a leading revolutionist for today, so does Newt.
2. ``Humans were not merely in charge of nature, they were the pinnacle of a long process of evolution.''
3. ``...the third core belief of indust-reality that linked nature and evolution together was the progress principle--the idea that history flows irreversibly toward a better life for humanity.''
It gets more specific. The 1995 book of the Tofflers, introduced and endorsed by Newt, asserts the following conclusion from the Third Wave:
``... [T]he most important political development of our time is the emergence in our midst of two basic camps, one committed to Second Wave civilization, the other to Third. One is tenaciously dedicated to preserving the core institutions of industrial mass society--the nuclear family, the mass education system, the giant corporation, the mass trade union, the centralized nation-state and the politics of pseudorepresentative government. The other recognizes that today's most urgent problems, from energy, war, and poverty to ecological degradation and the breakdown of familial relationships, can no longer be solved within the framework of an industrial civilization.'' (p. 73)This diatribe against industrial civilization goes on for hundreds of pages, interspersed with complaints about the so-called overpopulation problem, pollution, ``massification'' of society, and so forth. Trade unionists who want higher paying jobs than ``service'' jobs are attacked as self-interested, as are big industries. The argument begs certain obvious questions:
1. When we wipe out modern agriculture with government support, what do we eat?These questions are obviously too ``down to earth,'' or second-wave, for the Tofflers. But they are also never addressed by Newt. His entire To Renew America, never deals with the massive deficit in infrastructure in the United States, not to mention in the rest of the world. The need to rebuild cities, build nuclear power plants, build water systems, never gets addressed by Newt. Thus, in reality, the Gingrich-Toffler Information Age agenda is condemning millions, if not billions, to death by what it is refusing to do. By shuttling aside the question of producing the necessities of life, these kooks are creating a situation where a fascist bureaucracy will have to impose decisions on who will live, and who will die.
2. When we eliminate the big, heavy industry that produces houses and transport, where will we live?
3. How will we reproduce our society?
Newt is no Johnny-come-lately to this philosophy. When he went from Tulane to teaching at West Georgia College in the early 1970s, he cofounded an environmental studies program, which featured courses like Alternate Life Styles. He was a member of the Georgia Conservancy prior to entering the U.S. Congress in 1978, and endorsed by the Sierra Club in his electoral campaigns. In the Congress, he became a member of the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future, a small claque of futurists headed in 1980, at any rate, by a member of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome.
Nor is Malthusian genocide the only hallmark of the futurists Newt embraces. The Third Wave and Creating a New Civilization also promote decentralization of government and privatization of government services; call for stopping efforts to recreate the traditional ``Second Wave'' nuclear family; and urge mystical participation in, or submission to, ``creation'' of a Third Wave society where everyone ``communicates'' and doesn't worry about mastering nature, discovering the laws of the universe, or providing for the next generation.
The only striking difference between Newt and many of the futurists, and Zeitgeist philosophers of the Nazi era, is his so-called optimism. Newt even advocates the space program, but he does so by advocating an international consortium of private industry--not through government credits. This is a total fraud.
The last four of Newt's demands for change are more traditionally populist, but also dangerous.
Three is, ``we must rethink our competition in the world market.'' That is his embrace of free trade, which goes along with eliminating the powers and actions of government to protect society from looting.
Gingrich explicitly praises the ``moral framework'' of Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments as the basis for his vision of economics. In a Jan. 10, 1995 speech before his misnamed Progress and Freedom Foundation, Gingrich calls Smith's books ``the greatest single works'' of the late eighteenth century, and says The Theory... seeks ``to understand how it is that human beings function and what it is that drives them in concluding, as he put it, that there is a man in the mirror--today you'd say man or woman in the mirror--and that each of us internally in some way seeks to justify ourselves to what we would call a conscience.''
What he is referring to, is the amorality which LaRouche has often cited, where Smith argues that everyone can pursue his or her own vices, and leave it to God to create a moral result. It also seems to have escaped Newt that the American Revolution was fought to defeat the free trade warfare of the British East India Company and monarchy against their colonies--or perhaps he would have been on the other side!
In fact, Gingrich is attacking the powers and existence of the nation-state, just as nihilists like Nietzsche and other Nazi philosophers did.
The fourth demand is, ``we must replace the welfare state with the opportunity society.'' This is a traditional fascist economic policy demand, which calls for cutting off ``useless eaters'' who can't be made to work. Post-industrial policies have created the dependency of a small section of the welfare population--and have thrown millions of others on and off the rolls as it has lowered wages, and reduced jobs in the industrial sector.
The fifth demand is, to decentralize, ``replace our centralized, micromanaged, Washington-based bureaucracy with a dramatically decentralized system more appropriate to a continent-wide country.'' What a fraud! You don't hear him talking about ``democratizing'' the Federal Reserve and IMF dictatorship, do you?
Once again, this decentralization demand reflects the process of a traditional fascist movement. Zepp-LaRouche cites Conservative Revolutionaries who demanded the breakup of nation-states into ``clans'' and ``regions,'' the better to prevent the development of the industrial nation-state.
The sixth demand is also traditional fascist economics, as it calls for balancing the federal budget, and forecasts the horrors of interest payments which our progeny will have to pay, if things continue to go as they are, and the threat that the debt burden will pose to Medicare, for example. The choices Gingrich poses mean that he is calling for prioritizing interest payments over human life. That's monetarism, and fascism.
Before handing you over to my colleagues, who will provide more depth on these ideologies, let me give you a little bit of a personal sketch of Newt. He was an Army brat, whose father and step-father were both cold and mean, according to most reports. He was raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and then went to high school in France and Germany, where he received some exposure to European culture. The last stop was Georgia, which has been his base ever since.
Newt responded to his circumstances by determining that he would make something of himself. He was going to shape world history. This future didn't seem likely as he was marrying his high school math teacher, and going to Emory University to study history. But it seems that he determined, soon after he returned to Georgia, after graduating from Tulane University, that he was going to trade the campus life for politics, no matter what it took.
Newt, who had entered Republican politics at Emory, started as a Rockefeller Republican in Louisiana, and had a similar profile in Georgia on his return. He first ran for Congress in 1974--a campaign in which he took on a long-time Democratic incumbent. He lost, but the Republican Party was wide open in Georgia at that time, and he was determined to shape it. He turned more populist with the next election, hitting welfare, the minimum wage, and big government. By the third race--1978--he had cozened up to sufficient money (including in the national Republican party) to win, and utilized his viciousness to defeat his female opponent, claiming that she would leave her family to go to Washington if she won, but that he was a representative of family values.
It was an opportunist ploy, for as soon as he won, he began to move toward divorcing his own wife, ultimately pushing her into finalizing the split right after she had an operation for cancer. Newt denies that he took advantage of her weakness, or told a friend that she wasn't pretty enough to be the wife of a President of the United States, but he doesn't deny that he was doing a lot of sexual exploration during that period, as well as earlier. By August 1981, he had remarried, to Marianne Gingrich, and, although the rumors of continued infidelities abound, he makes a big point of saying he's sticking with it.
But Newt tore into Washington with ambition, including the specific ambition to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He became the master of the vicious slur, the maneuver, and the ethics complaint, which he ultimately used, with the help of his friends in the corrupt media, to hound Democratic Speaker Jim Wright out of office in 1989. He formed a claque in Congress in 1983, called the Conservative Opportunity Society, which specialized in attacking the welfare state. He was known for never sponsoring substantial legislation. He concentrated instead on massive personal publicity--marketing tapes of his ongoing classes, speaking and building up the Progress and Freedom Foundation, courting useful big spenders like press magnate Rupert Murdoch, textile magnate Roger Milliken, asset stripper Frank Lorenzo, insurance shysters like the Golden Rule Insurance Company, and so forth. Elected minority whip in 1989, and speaker in 1995, he was on his way.
How far will he go? That depends a great deal on the American population growing out of its populist infantilism, and giving Newt and his gang the come-uppance that Ollie North got last November. It means getting people to think.
|Top of Page
|The Conservative Revolution
EIR Special 1994 Issue: Gingrich's "Conservative Revolution" -- Contract ON America, $10.00.