In my eccentric Left phase as a student I got very depressed by a popular book by a young David Horowitz, a prominent American Leftist who railed at great length (460 pages) against the iniquities of Amerika and its unforgiving anti-communist foreign policy machinations.
Not only was the USA surrounding the peace-loving USSR with military bases. It had corporations bent on world domination. Aaargh.
The book was called The Free World Colossus.
David Horowitz went on to fall out in a major way with his senior New Left friends, disillusioned and revolted by their lies, hypocrisy and casual violence.
He now keeps very busy tracking Leftist propaganda and trickiness in US universities and far beyond, with these days a special added focus on Left cosiness with Islamist extremism. All of which makes him a cult hate figure for campus radicals.
The interesting thing about Horowitz is is almost exhausting frankness about his former beliefs and why he had such a dramatic change of mind. He has written extensively on the subject, including on how his family life and personal relationships shaped his early Marxist politics. He pores over the way emotions and ideas play into each other. See his many works here at Amazon.
Which is why I commend this superb essay by him over at NRO, in which he tries to analyse the beliefs of Christopher Hitchens, another prolific eccentric belligerent militant atheist Leftist who in one way or the other has fallen out with many former comrades.
First, this is a beautifully written piece of work.
Second, it is generously done, on both the intellectual and human level.
Third, it is very smart as only a piece by someone who has brooded deeply on politics and life from most points of the political spectrum can be. It takes great events of our times and explores how political and private reactions to them run into all sorts of contradictions and hypocrisies.
Magnificent. Must-read if you are interested in ideas.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
From Charles Crawford's Blogoir: