Friday, August 11, 2017

The Higgins Memo, Anders Breivik and the Lyndon LaRouche Cult

Back in 2011 after mass murderer Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway I had a look at his "manifesto" because I  had heard that it spun a conspiracy theory around "cultural Marxism," multiculturalism, "political correctness" and the Frankfurt School. It turned out that the document was largely plagiarized from "Political Correctness: a Short History of an Ideology?" by William S. Lind, who at the time he wrote his pamphlet was Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation. It also turned out that Lind's "short history" was also largely cribbed, in his case from an article published in 1992 in a Lyndon LaRouche  cult journal called Fidelio. The author of that article subsequently repudiated both his article and his association with the LaRouche cult.

Rich Higgins, the author of the May 2017 memo, "POTUS and Political Warfare," was in the strategic planning office of the National Security Council until soon after his memo was discovered and read, presumably by General McMaster, he was given the option to resign and then escorted out of the building. Higgins memo rehashes all the old Lyndon Larouche, William S. Lind, Anders Breivik rigmarole.

I'm not going to repeat that all here. I wrote about it in a series of posts at Ecological Headstand in July and August of 2011 and revisited the topic in an EconoSpeak post from August 2015, Politics of Pastiche: "voters... need someone to fire all the political-correct police". One fascinating aspect of this story is that Frankfurt School historian Martin Jay had an encounter with Lind and wrote about it in Salmagundi,"Dialectic of Counter-Enlightenment: The Frankfurt School as Scapegoat of the Lunatic Fringe."

The "lunatic fringe" is now installed in the White House. Although Higgins, Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey were fired, according to the Foreign Policy article:
In the meantime, however, the memo had been working its way through the Trump White House. Among those who received the memo, according to two sources, was Donald Trump Jr. 
Trump Jr., at that time in the glare of media scrutiny around his meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the presidential campaign, gave the memo to his father, who gushed over it, according to sources. 
In a comedy of errors, Trump later learned from Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and close friend of the president, that the memo’s author had been fired. Trump was “furious,” the senior administration official said. “He is still furious.”
See also Chip Berlet's summary from August 2011 of Breivik's Core Thesis is White Christian Nationalism v. Multiculturalism.

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