October 29, 2007
Publish and Perish
For thirty years, the Lyndon LaRouche movement has been a ubiquitous, if diminishing, presence in the political landscape of America. Earlier this year, LaRouche's longtime printer, Ken Kronberg, committed suicide by throwing himself off a bridge onto a Virginia highway. In the current issue of the Washington Monthly, Avi Klein brings us a fascinating and mysterious tale of how Kronberg's death presaged the end of a unique, if strange, era in American politics.
Although LaRouche has been the subject of numerous articles over the years, Klein points out a central truth about his organization: even more than a cult of personality or a political movement, it most resembles a vast and bizarre vanity press. As the movement's printer, Kronberg was at the center of LaRouche's attempts to change the world through mass production of pamphlets (which warn of enemies such as the "Conrad Black-backed-McCain-Lieberman-Donna Brazile cabal.") But the printing press was also what kept the movement afloat financially for most of its existence, raising money from the sales of magazines, books, and special reports offering "intelligence" of dubious veracity. Ink, in other words, was the lifeblood of LaRouche's organization. The story of Kronberg's death, and the demise of his printing company, is the story of the death of the LaRouche movement itself.
Editor in Chief
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