Posts

A Brief History of Male Chauvinism

Women have always been exploited by men. That is a truth that nobody doubts. From the solemn lecture halls in Oxford to popular TV shows, from Collège de France to pop music groups, the world reaffirms that certainty, maybe the most unquestionable truth that has ever crossed the human mind—that is, if it ever actually crossed it, for it might have come straight out of wombs into academic books.

Not desiring to go against such an august unanimity, I here intend to list a few facts that may reinforce, in the hearts of believers of all existing and yet-to-be-invented sexes, their hatred against heterosexual adult males, those execrable creatures that no one who was unlucky enough to be born as a male wants to be when he grows up.

Our narrative begins at the dawn of time, at some imprecise moment between the Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons. It was in those dark ages that the exploitation of women started. Living in caves, the human communities were constantly ravaged by the attacks of wild beasts. Males, taking advantage of their prerogatives as members of the ruling class, hurried to secure for themselves the safest and most comfortable of places of the social order: they remained inside the caves—what rascals!—preparing food for their babies, while the poor females, armed only with clubs, went outside to fight lions and bears.

When the hunting and gathering economy was replaced by agriculture and cattle-raising, men took advantage of women again, always assigning them the hardest jobs, such as moving rocks and blocks of stone, taming wild horses, and cutting furrows on the ground with a plough, while they, those lazy pants, stayed home painting pottery and weaving. That is revolting.

When the great empires of antiquity dissolved, yielding their places to a bedlam of warring fiefdoms, feudal lords quickly formed their private armies, exclusively made up of women, while men took refuge in castles and remained there enjoying the good life, delighting in the reading of the poems that warrior women wrote, in between battles, to praise their manly charms.

When someone had the extravagant idea of spreading Christianity throughout the world, which required sending missionaries to all corners of the Earth, where they ran the risk of being impaled by heathens, stabbed by highway robbers, or butchered by an audience bored with their preaching, the heavy burden of that mission was laid upon women, while men Machiavellianly stayed home and made novenas before their family altars.

The poor women were victims of the same kind of exploitation on the occasion of the Crusades, where, clad in heavy armors, they crossed deserts to be run through by the swords of the moors (female moors, of course, since the partisans of Mohammed were no less sexists than we). And what about the great voyages of discovery!? Seeking gold and diamonds to adorn idle males, brave female seafarers crossed the seven seas and fought against ferocious indigenous male warriors whose only advances towards them were, alas, of a military nature.

Finally, when the modern state instituted military conscription for the first time in history, government armies were made up of women, and beheading at the guillotine was the punishment for those who insisted on resisting or dodging the draft. All of that, of course, so that men could stay home reading The Princesse de Clèves.

In short, for millennia women have been dying in the battle field, moving blocks of stone, erecting buildings, fighting wild beasts, crossing deserts, seas, and jungle, making all sorts of sacrifice for us, idle males, to whom no challenge remains other than that of getting their hands dirty in soiled diapers.

In exchange for the sacrifice of their lives, women, our heroic defenders, have not demanded from us anything except the right to raise their voices at home, make a few cigarette burn marks on tablecloths, and, occasionally, leave a pair of socks in the TV room for us to pick up.

 

Translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota.

 

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.  Translation from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota.

Jeff Nyquist and Robin Eubanks talks about education and the new administration’s policy.

Jeffrey Nyquist interviewed the ever fascinating Robin Eubanks of www.invisibleserfscollar.com to talk about our Sovietized education system.

Golitsyn’s Methodology and the Trump Administration

The new methodology provides explanations for many contradictions and anomalies in the communist world on which the old methodology throws no light. It explains the confidence of the communist world and the loyalty and dedication of the vast majority of its officials. It explains the reasons for disclosures of information by the communist world about itself and relates them to the requirements of long-range policy. It explains the seeming tolerance of a totalitarian system toward dissension openly expressed by its citizens in their contacts with foreigners. It provides criteria for assessing the reliability of sources, for distinguishing genuine secret agents and defectors from provocateurs, for distinguishing genuine information from disinformation and propaganda. It provides pointers to the identification of agents of influence in the West. It suggests that disinformation, recognized as such, can provide clues to the intentions of its authors. It offers guidance on the relative importance of the official and unofficial communist sources. It diverts attention from spectacular communist polemics between parties and focuses it instead on the solid advances in the groundwork of communist cooperation and coordination. It points the way to recovery from the crisis in Western studies and assessments of communism. It could help to revive the effectiveness of Western security and intelligence services. It explains the communist victory in the Vietnam War despite the Sino-Soviet split. Above all, it explains the willingness and ability of the communist world, despite the appearance of disunity, to seize the initiative and to develop and execute its strategies in relation to the United States, the other advanced industrial countries, and the Third World in the quest for the complete and final victory of international communism.

-Anatoliy Golitsyn, New Lies for Old, p. 102

 

What would Anatoliy Golitsyn, the KGB defector who correctly anticipated the fake collapse of communism, say about the Trump administration? I believe he would say that the communist strategists have launched a new provocation based upon a supposed split between the communist-dominated U.S. Democratic Party and (Soviet) Russia.

This supposed split offers some tantalizing tactical advantages to the communist side. It diverts attention from the extensive and treasonous collaboration of the American Left with Russia and the communist bloc. It also helps to camouflage future collaboration on the part of Trump’s critics. (People who warn of Russian interference with the elections will not be scrutinized too carefully themselves in this regard, especially by a media that is packed with communist operatives). To say that Trump is a Russian puppet diverts attention from the fact that those leveling the accusation have served Russia and the communist cause for many years. It weakens the authority of a president who has promised to reverse the many policies of national self-negation which have been the mainstay of the Democratic Party, and the watchword of the Republican establishment.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to relay commands to his leftist cadres within the U.S. Federal Government. This is why he stayed in Washington. For all intents and purposes, he is still president; that is, he is the commander-in-chief for the communists in Washington. Their conspiracy continues, as ever, toward the “inevitable” convergence of capitalism with communism (on communist terms).

It is important (from the communist point of view) that nobody guess the actual situation, that nobody see how far the subversion has gone, or how powerful the communist side has become within the state. While Obama was U.S. President an identical circumstance played out in Washington as in Moscow. In both capitals the communists were depicted as an inconsiderable and irrelevant minority. In reality, the presidents of both countries were committed communists. The levers of power were in their hands, and the world suspected nothing. While Obama worked to disarm the United States, Putin worked to rearm Russia. While Obama undercut our allies abroad, Putin invaded Crimea and intervened in the Middle East. As the danger grew, as Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next and final president, the collaboration between Washington and Moscow was guaranteed to result in America’s defeat.

But then a miracle happened. Donald Trump was elected president; a man of impeccable nationalist instinct, of remarkable courage in the face of the enemy. The communists were aghast at his victory. And so, strange as it seems, they decided on a preposterous fraud. While they posed as Russia’s enemies, Donald Trump would be depicted as Russia’s friend.

For the leading communists to deny their communist affiliation was a preliminary strategic step in both Washington and Moscow. Freed from the label of what they had actually been, the communists were able to advance without opposition from those annoying anti-communists. And now they are compelled by the logic of their false position to paint the “patriotic American dinosaur” (Donald Trump) as Russia’s puppet. Here the real puppet points to the man and declares that he is the puppet. It is a history-making deception. It is grand and it is bold. It cynically estimates the ignorance of the populace, the corruption of the political class, and the willing treachery of the media. It relies on the fact that the smartest strategists and analysts on the American side have been sidelined or murdered. So there is nobody to call out the truth.

Who now dares say the truth about what has happened in this country? Anyone writing in this vein is committing career suicide. Therefore, only someone without a career would dare to write along these lines at all! Even then it means being assigned to a death list, like Anna Politkovskaya and Alexander Litvinenko. (You want a successful career? You want to live? Sing the tune that is assigned. Play a role out of the communist script. You can be a conservative if you wish, but you will be Moscow’s conservative.)

Of course, you probably think I am crazy. You think communism went away in 1991. You think that communism no longer exists. But then you will have to explain how we got here – with communist thugs using open intimidation on the streets of our cities! If communism lost the Cold War, why does it presently hold such power in government agencies, universities and newspapers? Why do you think U.S. counterintelligence is spying on the President of the United States and his staff? Who wants to bring him down? You need to explain all the variable phenomena of today: from the communist-inspired economic sabotage of global warming “science” to the insistence that our border remain a sieve. It is only our enemies who stand to gain from these policies.

But communism is dead. Nobody believes in it anymore. We are told that the last true believer in communism was Stalin’s protégé and USSR Communist Party Ideology Chief Mikhail Suslov. Gorbachev and Yeltsin, and other top Soviet officials, made a show of abandoning communism. But I tell you it was only a show. Former KGB officer Anatoliy Golitsyn insisted that all communist sources of information are larded with falsehood; that communist officials publicly and privately make misleading statements about themselves, their thoughts and their intentions.

What do we actually know about the thinking of Mikhail Suslov or Mikhail Gorbachev (for that matter)? We only know what Communist Party officials say is true – about themselves and their party. And communists lie! There is also a more subtle point, which may seem contradictory, but is fundamental at the non-ideological level: It is irrelevant what Suslov or Gorbachev believed. Their personal beliefs would be decisive only if Marxism had been a mere belief system, if it represented a stable set of principles; but Marx himself did not believe in Marxism. He laughed at people who believed in it. Why would it matter if Suslov also did not believe?

What is decisive to understand about Marxism is its ever-shifting role as a rationale for a new kind of power. What is important here is not the particulars of the rationale itself, but the spirit which calls forth the rationale in the first place. If we want to understand how the great totalitarian machine is able to morph and shift and change with the times, we must go to its soul. At bottom Marxism is a strategy behind which stands a pathological desire for absolute power and global destruction. The outward phenomenon of Marxism is merely the intellectual camouflage of the politically self-actualized psychopath. Here is the outward expression of his rationalization for murder, for seizing power. This outward expression has changed time and time again, but its spiritual essence is always the same. And we always seem to miss the point of it. We always seem to address the inner thoughts and intentions of people who are assumed to believe or not believe in a set of “principles.” But this is an error. We do not understand these people at all! The communist does not take ideas seriously. He is serious only about power and strategy.

A mask is not an idea. A strategy is not a principle. These are tools, weapons, methods. Marx did not believe in his tools. He used them, and his followers used them, until the tools of the hour no longer served their purpose. Then the old tools, the old weapons, were discarded for a new set of weapons – “new lies for old.” Those who talk about belief or disbelief are only talking about the superficial shell of the thing, which can be replaced with a new shell – a new outward appearance. If Marx did not believe in Marxism, then the true Marxist should not believe in it either. It is a sorry swindler who believes in his own swindle. Behind the shell of the communist’s outward pretenses we find the same core phenomenon: the malevolent soul of the destroyer, the envious lusting for power and revenge, the hatred of the good for being the good. And in this soul’s self-affirmation we find, curiously, a reformulation of the same old totalitarian themes; the same old bag of tricks for debasing and leveling humanity. All that being said, the outward shell of the supposedly debunked Marxism is by no means out of the game. Out-and-out communism could return to power at any time. The various outer shells – the rationales and swindles – may change and shift as circumstances require; yet the driving force from within remains ever constant, ever alert to new opportunities. Marxism is strategy, not belief. That is why Mao Zedong said, “Marxism is better than a machine gun.” One does not believe in a machine gun. One uses it, merely, to neutralize an enemy. One must keep in mind the usefulness, in this regard, of ideological mortars and howitzers and atomic bombs – the whole arsenal of political correctness.

But you cannot get over this idea; namely, that communism is dead. You saw it die on TV. How can we talk once again about Marxism-Leninism? Or as an Estonian presidential candidate once asked in response to my discourse: “What’s Marxism-Leninism?” His pained expression relayed the idea that Marxism-Leninism was something that didn’t really exist. Nobody believed in it, so why did it matter? Even the communists don’t believe in communism anymore. It’s as simple as that! Any idiot who tells you that there are true-believing communists should wear a dunce cap. Russia a democracy. China is capitalist. Cuba is an open society with superb health care. And that nice little North Korean man is a champion of world peace!

It is merely one more ridiculous proposition out of many. In fact, it is the final ridiculous proposition. It is the proposition that crushes man’s soul. To say that communism doesn’t exist is to surrender. It means giving up your country to the communists who don’t exist. Remember the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s 1984? It was a ministry that dispensed nothing but lies. Now imagine if the Ministry of Truth disbanded itself and admitted to lying. “We are turning over a new leaf,” says the Ministry of Truth. “We are now the Ministry of the Real Truth.” Oh, it’s such a relief! Finally, we can believe in them! Marxism-Leninism is gone and the Marxist-Leninists are now honest! If they say we won the Cold war, we won the Cold War. In a world where nonsense is often believed, why would this nonsense not be accepted as the New Gospel (according to Saint Gorbachev)? The hammer and sickle comes down, the tricolor goes up. How could you question that? It’s like being against chocolate!

So where did all the communists go? Did they simply revert to Christianity? Did they become Scientologists? Stop and think for a moment. You control half the planet and you’ve been fooling people in every country for decades. And what do you do for an encore? You fall off the edge of the flat earth! Well, I guess they topped themselves after all. And then, twenty-five years later, suddenly, you discover they have taken over your child’s mind and sent him into the street to beat up an old displaced factory worker wearing a hat which says, “Make America Great Again.” You have the CIA and FBI spying on the President of the United States to the advantage of change agents. And Congress is dragging its feet on Trump’s cabinet nominees because they’ve been honey-trapped by the Satanic Pedophile communist zombie apocalypse. It is real Satanism, real pedophilia, real undead communists, and a real apocalypse.

Have you ever seen the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers? It’s an allegorical fiction about a communist takeover. Well, we’re living it. In fact, the pod people are attempting to convince the world that they are the ones fighting the alien invasion! This lie is repeated on every news channel. And you might easily believe them: First, because you did not understand who the enemy was. Second, because you don’t believe in pod people. Third, because you voted pod people into the White House in 1992, 1996, 2008 and 2012. And when the pod people finally colonized your government and rotted out your nuclear arsenal, the old pod president didn’t go back to Illinois. He remained in Washington to command the pod-people army inside the federal government, while Mr. Trump erroneously believes himself to be in charge.

So they don’t believe in Marxism-Leninism anymore? So why do we have socialized medicine? And why does Vladimir Lenin, who died in 1924, lie calmly with his eyes closed in his mausoleum on Red Square – not buried in a grave with a stone marker? No doubt, he is kept on display in Moscow because “nobody there believes in him anymore”! It’s a funny kind of not-believing in someone, don’t you think?

Nobody in Moscow believes in communism! They refuse to bury Lenin because he makes a nice tourist attraction. And besides, Vladimir Putin wears a cross and says he believes in God. (Well, he doesn’t really like to talk about it. But we think he believes in God.) And so, at the end of the day, we are all Kremlin puppets. We are all bouncing helplessly at the end of Moscow’s string. Even now the puppet-master appears to be at odds with his most secret creatures – the moles at CIA and FBI! Appearances notwithstanding, the puppeteer must always hide the puppet’s strings. This he accomplishes by a diversion in which he calls the man (Trump) a puppet and the puppet (Obama) he calls a man. And so, as well, he calls his friend enemy and his enemy he calls friend.

If President Trump could read one paragraph of these scribblings, I would wish that he read this last paragraph. Then he might understand, in an instant, who his enemies are – both foreign and domestic. And I say, that enemy is not an opponent, not a competitor, not a business rival. No, no. I mean – an enemy! And once our president can tell friend from foe, his strategic compass will align to true north and half the battle will be won.

Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.

This article was originally published at jrnyquist.com . The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

Strategical Possibilities and Dialectical Games

NATO membership for Ukraine means death for Russia.
– Alexander Prokhanov

In the first stages of Zyuganov’s creation of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (not without some participation on my part, as well as Prokhanov…), efforts were made to interpret and conceptually appraise the presence of the national component in the Soviet worldview (National Bolshevism), but this initiative was abandoned by the leadership of the [Communist Party], which had occupied itself with some other matters…. However, on the level of rhetoric and first reactions, Russian Communists in all senses present themselves as confirmed national conservatives – sometimes even as ‘Orthodox Monarchists.’”
– Alexander Dugin, The Fourth Political Theory

 

Alexander Dugin, quoted above, is not an ideologist. He is a strategist. Before delving into what strategy is, or can be, let us first consider the situation in Ukraine. Either Russian troops will drive into Ukrainian territory after 9 May, or Russia will rely on secret agents within the Ukrainian government to re-establish (or maintain) indirect control of the country. This latter strategy, if successful, could give Moscow a fresh avenue for making mischief within the EU. The fact that Russian clandestine structures are already embedded throughout Europe is hardly acknowledged or fully appreciated by expert opinion. Europe’s energy dependence on Russia is acknowledged, of course, but this is trivial in comparison.

Moscow’s grand strategy has always been multi-dimensional. To achieve a goal, the Russians do not merely follow one line of approach. They follow several parallel and opposite lines of approach simultaneously. This makes it difficult for Western strategists and politicians to anticipate Russian moves. Again and Again, Russia baffles us. We remain mystified, failing to realize that Russia possesses clandestine instruments developed under the Soviet Union that are unmatched in sophistication. We have nothing that can compete with these. To give a brief overview, there is the economic and financial penetration of Europe by Russian businesses and front companies. There is the role played by Russian organized crime in terms of blackmail and money-laundering. There also exists, as during the Cold War, classic networks of secret agents engaged in infiltrating governments and influencing policy. With regard to all these elements, until the countries of Europe grasp the possibilities open to Russia’s clandestine forces there will never be a full appreciation of the way Moscow is likely to use its military forces in combination with diplomatic leverage.

It was Clausewitz who said that war is politics carried on by other (i.e., violent) means. It was Lenin who inverted this dictum, saying that politics is war carried on by other means. The Bolshevik Revolution was not merely a social and political revolution. It signified a revolution in strategic thinking that has never been fully appreciated. Victory may be achieved with a combination of military and non-military means. It may be achieved through economic sabotage, through information warfare, or even through the corruption of government, language and culture.

The famous words of the ancient Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu, may serve as the inspiration for a new and all-pervading strategic science. Here strategy becomes the ruling god of all, the first principle of government and the East’s answer to the constitutional politics of the West. Oh yes, even in its decadence, the United States is (at least partly) guided by its Constitution. The Russian Federation is guided by its long-range policy (based on Sun Tzu’s principles). “All warfare is based on deception,” wrote Sun Tzu. “Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe that we are away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.”

The brilliance of Sun Tzu lies in the fact that his dialectical approach to deception can be applied to any set of opposites. Thus we may rewrite Sun Tzu’s words: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when you are a Communist, you must appear to practice capitalism (e.g. in Beijing); when you are a cynical atheist, you must appear as a Christian (e.g., Putin); when you are attacking an opponent through Islamic surrogates, you must appear to be attacked by these same surrogates (e.g., in Chechnya); when you possess strategic nuclear supremacy (as Russia does), you must appear as a mere regional power (because Obama says so). Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.”

The transposing of opposites from the dimension of time-space, to the ideological dimension of left-right, is only one of many permutations. If it was possible for Putin to have a Chechen alibi prior to the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11, it was also possible for him to have a Christian alibi (by jailing Pussy Riot) in the midst of the cultural breakdown of the United States. As Global Warming is used as a pretext to sabotage the economies of the West, it is pro-forma for Putin to declare that he believes in “global cooling.” Again, one might use the analogy of an alibi. Given these examples, we cannot take Moscow’s stated intentions at face value. Does Moscow really want to annex Ukraine, or push Ukraine into Europe’s open arms? Is Ukraine itself a poison vat, ready to spill into Europe? Again, Putin is making for himself an alibi: so that when Western culture turns gay, Putin will not be blamed; when global warming is found to be a hoax, Putin will not be blamed; when Ukraine is bailed out by the EU and proves the final straw that bankrupts Europe, Putin will not be blamed. (In fact, he will present himself as Europe’s savior.)

Sun Tzu suggested that excellence in warfare consists in winning without fighting. To accomplish this you infiltrate the enemy camp and disrupt his plans through provocation, sabotage, and by sowing confusion; you prevent enemy factions from joining together; you demoralize the culture, spread irrational ideas among the intelligentsia, promote lawlessness and drunkenness among the working and professional classes. As Sun Tzu said, “In all fighting, direct methods may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.”

You must know your enemy’s direction of march, but he must never learn yours. The best strategy is one that is unknown to others, and the most effective warrior is one who enters the enemy camp unrecognized. To accomplish any objective, depict yourself as one for whom the objective is inconceivable. Many might be capable of stopping you. But who would think they had to?

 

Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.

This article was originally published at jrnyquist.com . The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

How Free Is Your State? Cato Institute Releases Results of New Research.

Scoring all 50 states on over 200 policies encompassing fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and personal freedom, CATO INSTITUTE  releases research weighing public policies according to the estimated costs that government restrictions on freedom impose on citizens.

Cardbox Coffins: That’s What Venezuelans Can Afford to Bury Their Dead

According to report by several news sources, in Venezuela, the poor can no longer afford wooden coffins and are burying their dead in card box coffins.

Nicolas Maduro’s nephews have admitted to drug-trafficking in partnership with the FARC

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s nephews have admitted to drug-trafficking in partnership with the FARC, according to news report by El Nuevo Herald: http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article91491757.html

 

 

A Good Fight: The Political Journey of David Horowitz

David Horowitz is a political thinker and cultural critic who enjoys challenging leftist shibboleths. His main contribution to contemporary political discourse is a passionate commitment to an outspoken, unabashed, myth-breaking version of conservatism. If communism was the triumph of mendaciousness, he argues in this poignant collection of writings, conservatism cannot accept the proliferation of self-serving legends and half-truths.

This makes his public interventions refreshingly unpredictable, iconoclastic, and engaging. He is a former insider, and his views have the veracity of the firsthand witness. Horowitz knows better than anybody else the hypocrisies of the left, the unacknowledged skeletons in its closet, and its fear to come to terms with past ignominies. He is an apostate who sees no reason to mince his words to please the religion of political and historical correctness. His masters are other critics of totalitarian delusions, from George Orwell to Leszek Kolakowski; in fact, Horowitz’s awakening from his leftist dreams was decisively catalyzed by the illuminating effect of Kolakowski’s devastating critique of socialist ideas. Unlike his former comrades, however, Horowitz believes in the healing value of second thoughts.

Vilified by enemies as a right-wing crusader, Horowitz is, in fact, a lucid thinker for whom ideas matter and words have consequences. His break with the left in the late 1970s was a response to what he perceived to be its rampant sense of self-righteousness, combined with its readiness to endorse obsolete and pernicious utopian ideals. Born to a Communist family in Queens, Horowitz flirted with the Leninist creed as a teenager but found out early that the Communist sect was insufferably obtuse and irretrievably sclerotic. He attended Columbia, where he discovered Western Marxism and other non-Bolshevik revolutionary doctrines. From the very beginning, he had an appetite for heresy.

He joined the emerging New Left and went to England, where he became a disciple and close associate of the socialist historian Isaac Deutscher, author of once-celebrated biographies of Stalin and Trotsky. Thanks to Deutscher, Horowitz met other British leftists, including the sociologist Ralph Miliband (father of the current leader of the Labour party). Consumed by revolutionary pathos, he wrote books, pamphlets, and manifestoes, denounced Western imperialism, and condemned the Vietnam war.

Once back in the United States, he became the editor, with Peter Collier, of Ramparts, the New Left’s most influential publication. In later books, Horowitz engages in soul-searching analyses of his attraction to the extreme radicalism of the Black Panthers and other far-left groups. Under tragic circumstances—a friend of his was murdered by the Panthers—he discovered that these celebrated antiestablishment fighters were fundamentally sociopaths. What followed was an itinerary of self-scrutiny, self-understanding, and moral epiphany. He reinvented himself as an anti-Marxist, antitotalitarian, anti-utopian thinker.

Obviously, David Horowitz is not the first to have deplored the spellbinding effects of what Raymond Aron called the opium of the intellectuals. Before him, social and cultural critics (Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Nathan Glazer, to name only the most famous ones) took the same path; Bertolt Brecht’s Marxist mentor, Karl Korsch, broke with his revolutionary past in the 1950s. Even Max Horkheimer, one of the Frankfurt School’s luminaries, ended as a conservative thinker. As Ignazio Silone, himself a former Leninist, put it: The ultimate struggle would be between Communists and ex-Communists.

In Horowitz’s case, however, it is a struggle waged by an ex-leftist ideologue against political mythologies that have made whole generations run amok. Like Kolakowski and Václav Havel, Horowitz identifies ideological blindness as the source of radical zealotry. He knows that ideologies are coercive structures with immense enthralling effects—indeed, what Kenneth Minogue called “alien powers.” Putting together his fervid writings is, for him, a duty of conscience. He does not claim to be nonpartisan and proudly recognizes his attachment to a conservative vision of politics. But he is a pluralist: He refuses the idea of infallible ideological revelation, admits that human beings can err, and invites his readers to exercise their critical faculties. He does not pontificate.

Judith Shklar once wrote about a liberalism of fear, a philosophy rooted in the awareness that the onslaught against liberal values in totalitarian experiments inevitably results in catastrophe. Horowitz’s conservatism is inspired by the conviction that utopian hubris is always conducive to moral, social, and political disaster. It is not an optimistic conservatism, but a tragic one. Horowitz confesses that he is an agnostic, yet he realizes that liberty, as a nonnegotiable human value, has a transcendent legitimation in religion. In the absence of a moral ground, individuals are suspended in a moral no-man’s land: Rebels become revolutionaries and exert their logical fallacies to eliminate deviation from a sacralized ideology.

For Horowitz, the main battle is now related to cultural hegemony. He understands that political rivalries are directly linked to clashes of values. Refusing to be pigeonholed into a formula, he combines themes belonging to classical liberalism, Burkean conservatism, and neoconservatism. His social criticism is a response to what he perceives to be the collapse of the center in American politics and the takeover of the liberal mainstream by proponents of refurbished leftist fallacies. He regards anticapitalism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Zionism as ideological mantras meant to camouflage a deep contempt for human rights.

The Black Book of the American Left is an illuminating contribution to our understanding of what Hannah Arendt once called the ideological storms of the 20th century. It shows how American radicals partook of the same romantic passions and redemptive fantasies as their European peers. The philosophical languages were different, of course, but the electrifying desire to negate the existing order, no matter the human costs, was the same.

Vladimir Tismaneanu is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Western Civilization and the History of Ideas.

This article was originally published on TheWeeklyStandard.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.