Category Archives: Reviews

David Horowitz’s Curtain Call?: Review of “Ruling Ideas” by Richard Kirk

Originally published in The American Thinker, June 23, 2018

Unlike Columbia president Nicholas Butler, who, when asked around 1913 if he had seen Progressive historian Charles Beard’s last book, responded, “I hope so!,” I myself won’t be happy to think that Volume 9 of The Black Book of the American Left, Ruling Ideas may be David Horowitz’s final salvo directed at the political left.

This work reads like a curtain call composed of a few important works that summarize the career of a man passionately devoted to two diametrically opposed missions during the first and last parts of his life.  Aside from a few edits, introductory remarks, and postscripts, all the Horowitz material in this book was published previously – the first chapter in The Politics of Bad Faith (1998), the second in Uncivil Wars (2002), and the other two chapters on Horowitz’s Frontpage website (2010, 2017).  Part Two of this work begins with an overview of Horowitz’s life and work written by the author’s friend and colleague, Jamie Glazov.  Then comes a complete bibliography of Horowitz’s writings, a list so long one wonders when this brilliant political pugilist found time to eat and sleep.  The book ends with an extensive index that locates major topics (from Academia to Zionism) discussed by the author in his nine-volume opus.

Anyone unfamiliar with Horowitz’s biography must read his classic work Radical Son in order to understand the psychological trauma he experienced after being raised in a communist home, experiencing the public revelation of Stalin’s crimes, becoming a literary figurehead of the “New Left,” then having his socialist faith undermined after his friend Betty Van Patter was murdered by Black Panther associates.

Horowitz’s break from socialism and his ostracism by former friends is the focus of the first chapter in Ruling Ideas, “The Fate of the Marxist Idea.”  Two extensive letters (the first addressed to a red-diaper friend, Carol Pasternak Kaplan, and the other to his political mentor, Ralph Miliband) explain the historical, intellectual, and personal reasons for Horowitz’s break from the left as well as his ultimate act of betrayal: publicly supporting Ronald Reagan in 1984.  The former missive is revealing of the way not only “renegades” become nonpersons to fellow leftists, but also loyal party members like Horowitz’s father, who was remembered with banal political phrases at his sparsely attended funeral.  This portrait in miniature illustrates how leftists disregard flesh-and-blood humanity for the sake of an ideology.  As Horowitz puts it, “[t]otalitarianism is the crushing of ordinary, intractable, human reality by a political idea.”

The letter to Miliband focuses primarily on the monumental failures of socialism.  In addition to the tens of millions murdered for the cause around the world, Horowitz provides scores of facts that undermine the persistent belief that the USSR nevertheless made huge economic strides.  For example, “after 70 years of socialist development, 40 percent of the Soviet population and 79 percent of its older citizens” were living in poverty – though almost 100 percent of the populace was poor by U.S. standards.  Moreover, in 1989, “the average intake of red meat for a Soviet citizen was half of what it had been for a subject of the czar in 1913.”  Amazingly, “blacks in apartheid South Africa owned more cars per capita” than citizens of the Soviet Union.  In page after page, Horowitz documents socialism’s failures, including the fact that 70 percent of the USSR’s atmosphere was “polluted with five times the permissible limit of toxic chemicals.”

As a symbolic coup de grâce, Horowitz notes that glasnost-era Russians gathered outside Moscow’s new McDonald’s “in lines whose length exceeded those waiting outside Lenin’s tomb.”  These customers waited four hours and spent half a day’s wage to enjoy this most ordinary of capitalist pleasures.  Horowitz ends the letter to his former mentor and “ex-comrade” by noting that the Iron Curtain dividing “the prisoners of socialism” from the free West has now been torn down; however, “[t]he iron curtain that divides you and me remains.  It is the destructive utopian fantasy that you refuse to give up.”

Chapter Two, “Slavery and the American Idea,” is an edited version of Horowitz’s 2002 refutation of the reparations argument.  This extended essay provides a comprehensive defense of America’s role in eliminating slavery and promoting civil rights for black Americans.  It also destroys the bogus claims that American slavery was a uniquely cruel instance of the institution and was largely responsible for creating the nation’s wealth.  Horowitz analyzes both the prevalence and severity of slavery throughout history and observes that “the responsibility of American slave-traders amounts to a fraction of one percent of the black African slavery problem.”  Additionally, the author discusses how race has become a “primary weapon” in the left’s attack on America’s constitutional system.

Horowitz’s analysis of race-based politics is expanded in his subsequent chapter, titled “America’s Second Civil War.”  In this piece, the author links the “deep division of America’s political life” to “the adoption of ‘identity politics’ as the left’s ‘progressive’ creed.”  Horowitz also deals explicitly with the “resistance” to President Trump and observes that the Democratic Party for the second time in its history “has opted to secede from the Union and its social contract.”  In this instance, Democrats have replaced Marx’s vision of warring classes with a narrative of victimized races, genders, and ethnicities.  That party now employs the banner of “social justice” to achieve its ultimate goal – a utopian, socialist, and thus totalitarian future.

Finally, the chapter titled “The Two Christophers” offers an analysis of the life and political peregrinations of Horowitz’s sometime friend, Christopher Hitchens – an analysis that draws a clear distinction between Horowitz’s decisive rejection of leftism and Hitchens’s self-regarding vacillation.  This ambivalence allowed Hitchens to retain a romantic attachment to the socialist ideals that motivated most of his life’s work and thus to keep open a few leftist doors.  Admirers of Freud will be drawn to Horowitz’s analysis of Hitchens’s family dynamics, especially Hitchens’s attachment to his “exotic” and “sunlit” mother, Yvonne, who committed suicide after (and, in Hitchens’s mind, possibly because) several calls she placed to her then-adult son went unanswered.  Horowitz thus fills in yawning psychological gaps that Hitchens tellingly fails to address in his often duplicitous memoir, Hitch-22.  Horowitz, for example, notes that Hitchens viewed Trotsky as “the arch-romantic, the incarnation of the lost Yvonne.”  Moreover, this Trotskyite pose allowed Hitchens to assert, “I am no longer a socialist, but I am still a Marxist.”  Horowitz observes, more honestly, that Hitchens’s Trotskyism meant “that he could regard himself as a Marxist and a revolutionary without having to say he’s sorry.”

By contrast, after honestly evaluating the historical and logical consequences of socialism, Horowitz’s life and writings constitute an enduring and intellectually compelling apology for actions and writings that occurred prior to his renunciation of an unspeakably destructive doctrine.

Richard Kirk is a freelance writer living in Southern California whose book Moral Illiteracy: “Who’s to Say?”  is also available on Kindle.

The Left’s Ruling Ideas: A Review of Volume IX by Mark Tapson

The core motives of their forever war against America.

Below is Mark Tapson’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, “Ruling Ideas,” which is the ninth and final volume of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of Horowitz’s conservative writings that now stands as the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.) 

“This is the ninth and final volume of my writings about progressivism, a movement whose goals are the destruction of America’s social contract at home and the defeat of American power abroad.”

That blunt statement from Freedom Center founder David Horowitz begins Ruling Ideas, the just-published, concluding volume of his series of collected works titled The Black Book of the American Left. Horowitz, of course, is the red-diaper-baby-turned-conservative-firebrand and the author of many other books, including the classic autobiography Radical Son, the battle plan for political victory titled Take No Prisoners, and the recent New York Times bestseller Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America.

In his introduction to this volume, Horowitz notes that The Black Book of the American Left series was conceived as a corrective to the frequent inability of conservatives “to appreciate the anti-American animus of the left and its apocalyptic goals.” As a former radical leftist himself, Horowitz has a deep appreciation for that animus and a unique grasp of the left’s religious fervor for a society built upon the utopian dream of human perfectibility. Ruling Ideas is the latest addition to his ongoing illumination of the left’s often deceptive animating principles.

Part One of the book includes three essays which Horowitz says “have more or less defined my life’s work.” With “The Fate of the Marxist Idea” he reprints two letters to former fellow radicals announcing and explaining his break with the left, one a childhood friend whose father was a cell leader in the local Communist Party, the other his political mentor and friend Ralph Miliband, the father of future British politicians David and Ed. The letters were impassioned attempts to awaken former comrades from their radical intoxication by presenting the undeniable, sobering realities of their failed dream.

“Slavery and the American Idea” addresses the Progressive determination to “destroy the American social contract and the constitutional system that supports it,” primarily by weaponizing the issue of race. Horowitz’s aim in the essay – first published as the closing chapter of Uncivil Wars, Horowitz’s controversial denunciation of slavery reparations, and updated for inclusion here – is to celebrate the vision of American exceptionalism behind this country’s successful ending of the near-universal human practice of slavery. The essay remains as vital today as when it was published, thanks to a revival among black intellectuals and politicians of the demand for reparations.

In the short essay “America’s Second Civil War,” Horowitz discusses the collectivist creed of identity politics as “the antithesis of the principles that are the cornerstones of America’s social contract.” A “reversion to tribal loyalties” and a condemnation of the anti-American mythology of “systemic racism,” identity politics is now the tip of the spear of the Democrat Party’s divisive platform and agenda. In contrast, Horowitz closes the essay by quoting President Donald Trump’s unifying call, “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”

“The Two Christophers” is a deeply thoughtful and personal essay about “radical contrarian” writer Christopher Hitchens, whom Horowitz befriended near the end of Hitchens short life. It is not so much about the stretches of an intellectual journey they shared as it is about their divergent paths. To the very end Hitchens clung, writes Horowitz, to “the romantic idea of a revolutionary transformation” that shaped his political choices. Horowitz hopes that the essay will serve as “a useful guide to the great schism of our times.”

“In the quarter-century since I published these reflections,” Horowitz writes about the essays in Part One (and this equally could be said of his work in general analyzing and opposing the left’s totalitarian vision), “there have been no attempts by progressives to answer them.” The left’s usual response to its critics instead has been what he calls “an intellectual omerta,” an attempt not to engage them in reasoned debate but to obliterate them as “un-persons.” In all of the left’s flood of virulent condemnations of Horowitz personally, “[w]hat is lacking is an intellectual argument to refute my views and specifically my reasons for rejecting the left; or reference to a historical record that would provide a critical response to the case I have made.”

That failure exposes the left’s inability – not unwillingness or indifference – to counter Horowitz’s analyses, because he knows the left better than they know themselves. Having been steeped in their Communist ideology and then having become an activist for their cause himself, even working with the Black Panthers, he knows every power-mongering aim, every subversive strategy, every linguistic manipulation, and every thuggish tactic of the Progressive agenda. They know he knows, and that’s why he is their most hated apostate and why they have no choice but to resort to the politics of personal destruction rather than reasoned argument.

Part Two includes “The Writings of David Horowitz,” a bibliography by Mike Bauer of Horowitz’s books, articles, pamphlets, and online writings that runs an astonishing 56 pages; an index for this volume as well as a very useful summary index by David Landau of key terms that span the entire series of The Black Book of the American Left, terms such as academic freedom, black reparations, identity politics, race profiling, and Stalinism, and key figures and groups such as Saul Alinsky, Hillary Clinton, Hezbollah, Huey Newton, and the Weather Underground; and a brief end note in which Horowitz explains that he had decided, early in his conservative career, to leave three aspects of the left’s agenda for other conservative writers to cover: constitutional issues, the market economy, and the environment. Instead, he chose to “focus on dissecting those aspects of the radical agenda which either remained opaque to the conservative perspective, or whose malignancy was not fully appreciated by the conservative temperament.”

Part Two also includes an absolute must-read, 40-page essay by the Freedom Center’s longtime FrontPage Magazine editor and host of the internet show The Glazov Gang, Jamie Glazov. Titled, “The Life and Work of David Horowitz,” Dr. Glazov’s essay spans from Horowitz’s childhood in a Communist enclave in Queens, New York, through his time as the editor of the foremost radical publication Ramparts to his political epiphany and “slow-motion transformation from theorist of the left to its worst enemy.” The essay is, as Horowitz puts it in the book’s introduction, “accurate and insightful,” but more than that, it is compelling reading.

This final volume of the Black Book of the American Left collection is a concise, must-read capstone to David Horowitz’s writing about the destructive utopian delusions – the “mirage,” as Friedrich Hayek put it – of Progressivism. Ruling Ideas, like the preceding volumes, highlights the epic clash between what Horowitz calls the two ideas – the American and the Marxist – that “constitute an ideological thesis and antithesis of the modern world. The resolution of the conflict between them will shape the course of human freedom for generations to come.”

Reprinted from PJ Media.

Inside the Mind of the Left: A Review of Volume IX by Michael Ledeen

David Horowitz’s magisterial series concludes with a deeply personal ninth volume.

Originally published at City-Journal.org

I knew David Horowitz in his “second thoughts” years, when he turned away from the Left and became a conservative; he often came to our house to satisfy his craving for Chinese takeout and to structure his new political movement. My wife Barbara worked closely with him and Peter Collier, and we’ve been friends ever since. I’ve often seen him offstage, and much of this fascinating, significant, and highly readable new book contains important material that reflects the man. His passions and intellect are on full display.

Ruling Ideas is the ninth and final volume of Horowitz’s collected conservative writings, and in many ways it is the most important. It contains an invaluable guide to Horowitz’s work written by Frontpage editor Jamie Glazov and several short essays on current events. Readers are also treated to two extended glimpses into Horowitz’s life, one having to do with his touchy friendship with Christopher Hitchens, the other the sad end of a long relationship with Carol Pasternak, a former comrade for whom he cared deeply. The volume also contains three long letters, retelling crucial events in Horowitz’s life and linking those events to his political evolution. Regrettably, diaries and letters are largely vanishing from our culture. We’re fortunate that these letters have survived, because without them, readers wouldn’t understand the drama and pain that brought Horowitz to anti-Communism after growing up in a Communist Party home, attending a Party school, fraternizing with almost exclusively like-minded peers, and finally becoming a leader of the New Left.

Horowitz’s odyssey wasn’t purely ideological. His break with the Left resulted from the Black Panthers’ murder of a friend and comrade, bookkeeper Betty Van Patter, in the winter of 1974. This incident ended my own career in the Left. I suspected that the Panthers had done it, and some members later confirmed this. Others knew that the Panthers had killed others, like Ellen Sparer, a teacher murdered in her bed by a “troubled student.” In his letter to Pasternak, Horowitz mulls over Sparer’s case, musing: “You and I were able to share our grief over the friend we had lost, but we were never able to share an understanding of why she was dead. In your eyes, Ellen died a victim of circumstance; in mine, she died a martyr of a political faith that had made her blind.”

Horowitz’s embrace of conservatism came directly and powerfully from real events—the murder of people he knew and his discovery that even these powerful facts were insufficient to make many of his friends reject the cause. The Left’s ideas are essentially a political religion, and for true believers to reject them is spiritually impossible. Even Christopher Hitchens couldn’t do it. Hitchens could deny God, but he could not deny leftism.

Horowitz’s discussion of Hitchens is respectful and affectionate but unflinching when it came to Hitchens’s desire to have it both ways: a sometimes-outspoken critic of the Left, he remained a follower of the politico-religious faith that one day, the dream of freedom, equality, and true socialism would be fulfilled. Hitchens’s family life contained both themes. His father was a military officer; his mother was an exotic. Thus, he was buffeted back and forth between “fight or flight” in family events. “More accurately,” Horowitz writes, “it left him with a sense of flight and fight on all occasions.” In a memorable passage of his essay, “The Two Christophers,” Horowitz reflects: “The utopian romance [Hitchens] never gave up was the perfect prescription for continual fight in the present, and a never-ending flight into the future.”

No one with Hitchens’s intellect could fail to recognize that the Left had enthusiastically imposed tyranny whenever it had the chance. Yet, in the end, Horowitz pulls back from a full-throated denunciation, not wishing to consign his late friend to the Dantean level of hell to which the great essayist had dispatched many others.

Ruling Ideas offers a unique and uncompromisingly personal view into the mentality of the Left. It makes a fitting capstone to David Horowitz’s magisterial work on the criminal conspiracy of American Communism, a series that deserves to be read in full.

David Horowitz Explains the Ruling Ideas of the Left: A Review by Richard Baehr

Below is Richard Baehr’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, “Ruling Ideas,” which is the ninth and final volume of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of Horowitz’s conservative writings that now stands as the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.)

Many people I know grew up in liberal households, and at some point in their lives, they gravitated to the right politically.  Many others were nurtured in conservative homes and moved left politically.  These shifts are not too surprising.  What made someone start in one place and move one way or the other is a function of many things, including the political thinking of one’s spouse or partner; the community where one lives; the schools one attended; the company where one works; the political environment of the country, which has shifted left and right at different times; and whether someone was religiously observant and became more secular or moved in the other direction.  In general, most people are not obsessed with politics.  They may have strong political views, but they don’t choose politics as a career path or live and breathe it to the exclusion of other interests or passions.

David Horowitz has had a fundamentally different life experience.  He grew up in a communist household with parents who were true believers in the superiority of Marxist-Leninist thinking and the model of the Soviet Union as a pathway to a better world for those who could break the bonds that held them captive to ruling-class capitalist ideology and government.  Horowitz’s parents were committed ideologues whose allegiance to the hard left never wavered.  While they were momentarily upset with the revelations in 1956 of the mass murders committed by Stalin’s government in previous decades, they considered this at worst an aberration, not a reflection of the tyranny and destruction routinely associated with Marxist regimes.  Their lives were too tightly wound in the narrative of the communist collective in the Queens neighborhood where they lived as public school teachers to allow themselves to rethink or reconsider their ideological faith.

David Horowitz, on the other hand questioned things from the start of his politically conscious years.  While he remained on the left for another two decades after the news of Stalin’s crimes, his allegiance was never so tight or his mind so closed as to be unable to challenge his belief system when presented with new evidence or arguments.

Horowitz’s path from left to right, and then his role as a spokesman for conservative ideas, has been documented through his enormous collection of articles and books, a full bibliography of which totals 56 pages in this ninth and final volume of his Black Book of the Left.  The Horowitz catalog includes nearly 80 books authored, co-authored, or edited.  While David Horowitz once enjoyed critical acclaim from the book-reviewers of America’s elite newspapers and magazines, since his shift to the right, his books are never even considered for review.  Why would the New York Times Book Review waste time finding a reviewer to combat Horowitz’s arguments when it is so much easier to fill pages with laudatory reviews of those who have stayed on the left’s plantation and parrot its talking points?  Ignoring someone is also a way to say that such person and his views do not matter. And certainly no left-wing media outlet cares to encourage apostasy by others.

This last volume in Horowitz’s series of books on the American left reinforces his central argument that the left is different from the right in the totality of its commitment to advancing its agenda and destroying its enemies.  Conservatives are conservative not only in political orientation, but in how they do battle.  Preservation of what is good requires a different kind of motivation and energy from revolution or upheaval. The battle is not between two sides who agree on ends, but see different ways of getting there.  The left, according to Horowitz, is ruthless both in pursuit of victory and when given the reins of authority.

Naturally, there are gradations on the left as there are on the right.  There are moderate, centrist Democrats, a declining group for sure, who remain committed to some of the same things as many on the right.  These “collaborationists” are despised by the true believers on the left.  The energy and the firepower on the left belong to more absolutist types, who accept far less of any consensus view of what American represents, its uniqueness, the trajectory of its history, and what needs to be preserved or destroyed.  There is little or no pride in America on the left, since so much remains to be fixed and so much power remains in the wrong hands.  The resistance to Donald Trump is a reflection of how grating the concept of American greatness is to the left.

Volume 9 of the Black Book series contains four chapters written by Horowitz and one chapter by Jamie Glazov, which provides a history of Horowitz’s political evolution as seen through his writings.  The longest chapter, “The Fate of the Marxist Idea,” includes two letters Horowitz wrote to former friends and mentors in the communist movement, and were initially published in 1998.  The first is to a member of the Sunnyside, Queens collective whose parents worshiped communism in the same “church” as David’s parents.

Horowitz’s former friend chose not to attend the memorial service after the death of David’s father in 1987, seeking to ignore any need to debate any of the political ideas that both had once absorbed and that Horowitz had since abandoned.  Instead, she wrote a short letter saying the personal and the political cannot be separated, that socialism is better than capitalism, that she had abandoned Stalinism (what courage!) and socialism had not really been tried, the real reason why it had “not worked” so far.  And then she added the insults, accusing Horowitz of having lost the compassion and humanism of his youth, which always motivated their parents, evidenced by his support of Ronald Reagan’s vile policies.  Horowitz’s lengthy point-by-point refutation of her letter was never answered except by threat of a lawsuit.

A more comprehensive analysis of the failures of the left was sent to Ralph Milliband, a Marxist writer who was a mentor to Horowitz when he lived in London in the ’60s.  The letter outlines the cold reality of communist-socialist rule wherever it had been tried and the enormous death toll attributable to the tyrannies and tyrants associated with these regimes – whether in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Venezuela, North Korea, or Cuba among others.  These countries are not and were not similar to the social welfare states of Western Europe that emerged after World War 2.  These states have moved much farther along the continuum toward higher taxes, and a larger government share, and bureaucratic control of the economy than in the United States, but they still sustain a reasonable commitment to preserving the political freedoms of individuals and the belief in democracy and a free people.

The true believers on the left say they want nothing more than equality and better lives for the masses, but communist equality has always meant equalizing the suffering, reducing living standards, and eliminating dissent or political opposition.  Milliband also ignored engaging with Horowitz, obviously a lost cause in his eyes as far as rejoining the legions on the left.

Horowitz devotes two chapters to issues concerning black Americans.  The first provides a commentary on the campaign for reparations, advanced by Randall Robinson, among others, 15 years back, and now getting new life from support by the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates, the current black intellectual designee by the major media and their partners in universities.  Coates is the author of a commentary on the 9-11 attacks that concluded that the police and firefighters who died “were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could – with no justification – shatter my body.”  So the men and women who entered burning buildings, and climbed dozens of flights of stairs with 75 pounds of equipment on their backs to try to get people out of the buildings before they collapsed, were really just biding their time until they could get on to their real task of destroying black bodies.  This is what qualifies one as a thought leader in elite circles these days.

Horowitz destroys the argument for reparations, and in a second chapter, he challenges the victimization logic that offers white racism as the excuse for any “underperformance” by the black community.  There is no one alive today who held any slaves or personally was a slave.  Many black Americans in the country today have no ancestors in America who were slaves.  A majority of Americans are descended from people who came to the United States after the Civil War and bear no guilt for the ugly practice in one region of the United States two centuries ago.  Those who are descended from people who lived in the states that did not join the Confederacy have 400,000 dead Union soldiers, plus many hundreds of thousands injured, as their sacrifice to liberating the slaves and preserving the Union.  Reparations for Japanese-Americans in the United States or Holocaust survivors in Europe were paid to people who had themselves lived through specific horrors or criminal behavior by governments.  Must all Americans today pay for something that ended over 150 years ago and for which a bloody war was fought?  Are all African-Americans equally entitled to compensation for something that impacted some of their ancestors seven generations back?

The victimization theme – that white racism is solely responsible for the economic situation of black Americans, their higher crime rates and poor academic performance, eliminates any agency for individuals to beat the odds or take advantage of the increased opportunities that are now available, including trillions spent on social welfare programs over the past half-century, much of that designed to address the needs of African-Americans.  These programs include affirmative action admissions to universities and similar approaches to hiring by corporations and other firms.  Martin Luther King was aware that racism and discrimination were present in 1960s America, as was segregation in large parts of the country, but he believed that these should not be an excuse for black American behavior that only worsened their plight.  Charlatans and race-hustlers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have dominated the civil rights movement since King’s death, always pushing the white racism bogeyman, while those more in line with King’s legacy, including Jason Riley, Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, and Glen Loury, are ignored or condemned as sell-outs.  Arguing that cultural norms within a community can be damaging to the success of future generations is simply a forbidden theme – witness the recent campaign against University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax.

Horowitz’s final chapter is a review of Christopher Hitchens’s book Hitch-22 and the British author’s political path from a Trotskyite of sorts to something a bit more nuanced and sane.  Horowitz is clearly disappointed that Hitchens’s movement did not follow his own trajectory, which resulted in abandonment of the left and a commitment to fighting it.  Instead, Hitchens’s politics at the time of his death from cancer was something of a confused palette: anger at Islamic extremism and hostility to Israel, appreciation for American uniqueness but fondness for the collectivist ideal.  Hitchens tried to hold a place in two camps – not an easy task, and one that can lead to incoherence.  Most people would not get too upset or frustrated about someone who moved some way toward their worldview, but Horowitz’s life experience has been consumed with politics, first from the left, and for the last three decades from the right, and he prefers enlightenment to cautious mush.

There is a passion among the politically most active, and when their politics shift, they often have a story to tell about the illusions and lies they encountered and addressed that motivated the change in allegiance.  The nine-volume series, The Black Book of the America Left, including this final volume, is a unique outline, filled with many chapters and verses, about why the left has been consistently wrong and produced so much destruction in its wake.  Someone who never started on the left, and did not understand its convictions, its messaging, and its tactics, could not have written such a series.

This article was originally published in the American Thinker

Ruling Ideas and Annals of Evil: A Review by Bruce Bawer

David Horowitz’s “Black Book of the American Left” reaches its triumphant culmination

Below is Bruce Bawer’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, “Ruling Ideas” which is volume 9 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz’s conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.) 

The last five years have seen the publication of a landmark shelf of books – namely, the collected conservative writings of David Horowitz under the title The Black Book of the American Left. Others may know as much about this subject as Horowitz does. But no one could possibly know more. And no one could possibly understand it better. Nor could anyone be more gifted at finding just the right words to explain it all.

In short, Horowitz has knowledge, insight, and eloquence. And that’s what makes these books indispensable.

Each of them takes up a different theme. Volume One explored Horowitz’s personal history as a leading figure of the left and his subsequent struggle with his intellectual loyalties – a complex, probing experience that made him uniquely qualified to elucidate both the appeal and the folly of the leftist dream. Subsequent volumes focused on leftist ideology; the left and race; the left and Islam; the left after 9/11; and the left in government, on campuses, and in the general culture.

The ninth and last volume of Horowitz’s Black Book, entitled “Ruling Ideas,” has now been published. Among its highlights is a 1987 letter written to a childhood friend, Carol, who, like Horowitz, was raised in a Communist household in Queens. In a note to Horowitz, Carol had stated that while she had (supposedly) given up on Stalinism, she continued to embrace what she called “our common heritage,” persisted in the belief that “socialism is better than capitalism,” and regarded Horowitz’s apostasy from the faith of their youth as a loss of “compassion and humanism.”

Horowitz’s 29-page reply to Carol could not be improved upon as a philosophical account, moral critique, and psychological analysis of the long-distance love of Soviet Communism on which both of them had been brought up. Horowitz discusses the then-recent death of his father, who had devoted his life to the Party, and whose friends had gathered at the Horowitz family home after his passing. These people had known Horowitz’s father for decades and shared his politics. Yet once he was gone, they could only speak of him, to his mourning son, in trite ideological cliches: “Your father was a man who tried his best to make the world a better place…your father was a man who was socially conscious.

Nothing that they said suggested that they ever, for a moment, had been capable of viewing the elder Horowitz as a complex human individual rather than a fellow exponent of a dehumanizing ideology. During all those decades, their minds had been so completely in thrall to an abstract concept that it was as if they were now, Horowitz observes, “unequal to the task before them: to remember my father as a man.” Horowitz saw, as clear as day, that this cruel obliteration of personal particularity by a political idea was one of the ultimate curses of the cult of Communism.

Horowitz’s friend Carol had referred to their “common heritage,” which, as she apparently still deluded herself, had something to do with a concern for humanity. But Horowitz, as he explained to her, had come to perceive that “the very humanity that is [Communism’s] alleged object of ‘compassion’ is a humanity it holds in contempt.” Indeed, what lay behind that cozy turn of phrase, “common heritage,” was nothing less than the monstrous evil of totalitarianism, which, as Horowitz puts it, amounts quite simply to “the crushing of ordinary, intractable, human reality by a political Idea.”

There is more in this letter, much more: it is eminently quotable from beginning to end. Suffice it to say that Horowitz dissects his father’s – and his friend’s – Communism with the skill of a master surgeon. And what makes the dissection all the more powerful is that, unlike his friend Carol, who has accused him of abandoning his humanity and selling out for money, Horowitz is kind and restrained throughout, contemplating his loved ones’ Communism more in pity and grief than in anger. The result is a deeply poignant human document – a human document about a thoroughly inhuman creed.

Less personal but equally estimable is Horowitz’s “Slavery and the American Idea,” which seems to me a definitive response to those who would use America’s history of slavery to deny the nation’s status as “a beacon of freedom.” Then there is “The Two Christophers,” which is by far the best thing ever written about Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011). After Hitchens died, I wrote a brief sendoff for Front Page that focused with admiration on the fact that, after 9/11, he broke free from his pals at the Nation to excoriate Islam and defend America. I didn’t know Hitchens personally, and pre-9/11 I frankly hadn’t paid that much attention to him; Horowitz, however, knew him for a long time and followed his work carefully, and in his essay he recognizes his old friend as a puzzle – and does an absolutely fascinating job of putting the pieces of that puzzle together.

Perusing Hitchens’s 2010 autobiography, Hitch-22, Horowitz notices a number of curious things. Why does he write so much about his parents and so little – almost nothing, in fact – about his brother (the writer Peter Hitchens), his two wives, his three children? Horowitz zeroes in on the chronic lack of introspection in Hitch-22, and particularly on Hitchens’s refusal to renounce Trotskyism. Horowitz had spent years interrogating his own deepest political convictions – challenging himself, excoriating himself, enduring a veritable dark night of the soul, and ultimately offering up a very public mea culpa and making a very public change of course. By contrast, even as Hitchens walked away from the Nation, junked some Marxist baggage from his ideological backpack, and became a cheerleader for America, he saw no need for any such personal reckoning.

Which is especially weird when one considers that over the years, in innumerable articles, book reviews, media interviews, and public debates, Hitchens relentlessly challenged other people’s ideas and clobbered them for their self-contradictions, ingrained prejudices, and unexamined assumptions. Yet even as he was doing all this, Hitchens himself was a mass of contradictions, which he appears to have preferred not to examine too closely. Horowitz notices, for example, that in one passage of Hitch-22 Hitchens declares his abiding love for free expression and his everlasting hatred for “dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation” – only to proceed, shortly thereafter, to fulsomely praise as one of his “heroines” none other than the execrable Jessica Mitford, who, as Horowitz quite rightly points out, was “a Communist hack who spent her life supporting dictatorships, stupidity, demagogy, bullying, intimidation and censorship.”

Anyway, there’s much more here on Hitchens (almost fifty pages’ worth), and it’s all incredibly acute and absorbing – a remarkably perceptive case study of a writer who trained his mind mercilessly and incisively on pretty much everything other than himself. But let’s wrap up. In addition to these splendid pieces, this book contains a good deal of useful back matter: an adept 40-page summary of Horowitz’s life and work by Jamie Glazov; a comprehensive 56-page bibliography by Mike Bauer of Horowitz’s writings from 1951 to 2017; and a thematic index to all nine volumes.

The Oxford English Dictionary originally ran to 10 volumes. Over the years, as the English language changed, several more supplementary volumes were published. The left, alas, isn’t going to go away any time soon. With any luck, David Horowitz will continue to chronicle, explain, and criticize it all –  and, like the editors of the OED, will add more and more volumes to this extraordinary set of books.

The Left in the Universities: A Review by Mark Bauerlein

Originally published September 18, 2017 at seethruedu.com

There is a book coming out that everyone interested in campus politics should read.  It is a refresher course in the recent past, years 1998-2010, well before the current protests and disinvitations and riots broke out, though it foreshadows everything that has happened since.

But before that, a little background.

I first came upon the distinction between respectable conservatives and right-wing ideologues some 15 years ago.  I don’t mean to say that it really existed and representatives of each were easily found, only that there was a distinction, real or fabricated.  Up till then I had no idea there was a split in the right between those figures who seemed politic and statesmanlike and those who had a rougher edge and approached politics as combat, not compromise.  I remembered the Pat Buchanan vs. George H. W. Bush contest in 1992, highlighted by Buchanan’s rousing culture wars speech at the convention, but didn’t mark much difference between the two figures from my position well on the left and largely ignorant of conservative politics and tradition.

I hated Buchanan’s speech—and loved it.  A secular atheist liberal academic couldn’t help but ridicule and abhor his every contention, but at least he gave us a potent rhetorical adversary, unlike President Bush who was frustrating in his bland and responsible leadership.  That may have been why the Republican machine didn’t want Buchanan around.  He got the other side riled up.  He said controversial things.  He was divisive.  But to me, though, they weren’t much different, one just a little more blunt than the other.

It took another ten years and a drift to the conservative side on my part before I began to sense a divide between the responsible, sober conservative and the in-your-face conservative.  David Horowitz was the instrument.  I’d first come across his name (if I remember right) in a Chronicle of Higher Education story on an event at the American Studies Association convention in which Horowitz criticized the members for their leftism and narrow-mindedness.  The debate was acrimonious, and Horowitz’s final comment was, “You people are hopeless.”

The comment stuck in my head.  It may have struck most readers as insulting and pointless, but to me it marked someone who had realized that there was no advantage to debating with the academics.  Their minds were made up, their positions unshakable.  And they had the jobs, too.  Why bother, then, to play the game against them when they were the other team and the umpires, too?

This was, increasingly, my experience as well.  Though an outsider—or maybe because of that—he understood the politico-rhetorical dynamic of academia better than just about anyone involved.  In those years just after 9/11, he had jumped into the controversies over political correctness and speech codes by developing an initiative called the Academic Bill of Rights, a plan to institute academic freedom for students, not professors and administrators (in 2003, conservative and libertarian students seemed to be the victims of indoctrination in and out of the classroom).  It was a full-on campaign at the state level, with legislative hearings, lots of op-eds and position papers on all sides, and hundreds of speeches by Horowitz himself.

His example was inspiring.  I had seen professors and administrators run of all kinds of games with hiring and curriculum, some of them of the bullying kind, and I didn’t have the intellectual clarity and moral courage to stand up to it.  I had just begun to work my way through Hayek, Russell Kirk, Whitaker Chambers, and more recent efforts such as Tenured Radicals and The Burden of Bad Ideas (by Heather MacDonald).  They helped firm up my grasp of a conservative alternative to the feminist, postcolonialist, and other identity-based approaches that we were spoon fed through graduate school.

Horowitz’s Radical Son helped, too.  It is, I believe, one of the great memoirs of the 20th century.

I was surprised, then, when I got to know him, when he said that he wasn’t much welcome in polite conservative circles.  They liked him, yes, because he had a knack for fundraising and for crystallizing wedge issues.  But he had too edgy an aura.  He talked about the left in warrior terms.  He was a leftwing radical in the Sixties who got too close to the Panthers, they thought, and now he’s a rightwing radical who hasn’t lost his extremist tendencies.  We need a softer approach, a “compassionate conservatism,” not Horowitz’s anger.

If only, I remember thinking.  I’d been at enough academic gatherings to know how well the conciliatory strategy worked.  From what I’d seen of academic behavior in the preceding 15 years, Horowitz discerned all too accurately the political theatrics of identity politics on campus.  The aggression among women’s studies and other political formations pretending to be academic disciplines disallowed dissent.  To meet them on their terms was to accept the guilt they imputed to everyone else (male guilt, white guilt, Christian guilt, American guilt).

Instead, Horowitz threw the guilt right back at them, and when people on the Right feared that he was too combative, he had a simple reply: “What do you think the Left has been doing to us for 40 years?”  They hire their own, they invite their own to give lectures, they publish one another, they teach their own traditions and exclude the rest.  And they’ve succeeded gloriously.

Now, a decade-plus later, it looks like all of Horowitz’s heated contentions of 2003 have come true.  That’s why the new book is a worthy read.  It is Volume VIII of his writings on the American Left, this one entitled The Left in the Universities.  It compiles essays Horowitz wrote during the years 1998-2010, some of which are astonishingly pertinent at the present time, plus a final reflection from last year, “The Free Speech Movement and Its Tragic Result.”  The latter piece demonstrates Horowitz’s insight.  While many people have deplored recent campus violence, especially at Berkeley, as a betrayal of the Free Speech Movement founded there 50 years ago, Horowitz opens with a fundamental clarification:

In fact, the Free Speech Movement was not about civil liberties.  Nor was it about free speech, nor could it have been, since that is a right already guaranteed by the First Amendment and obviously honored by the liberal administrators at UC Berkeley and at all other public universities at the time.  What the “Free Speech Movement” was about was the right to conduct specifically political activities on the university campus, including the recruitment of students to political causes. (p. 380)

Right there we have an explanation for the heckler’s veto and storming-the-stage antics of protesters, along with the tepid response of security and administrators.  Free speech implies a neutral arena in which different political opinions may contend.  But if the Free Speech Movement was more about politicizing that space then securing it from politics, well, that changes everything. Once politics come into play, then the intimidation tactics of social justice youths acquire the same status as the speech of a conservative guest.  The Free Speech Movement, in other words, produced the freedom to be political on campus, to deny academic freedom and explode the campus as an open marketplace of ideas.  The disinterested pursuit of knowledge was over.

There are many other illuminations and curiosities in the book, for instance:

  • John Podesta’s appearance, through his organization Center for American Progress, as a prime opponent  of the Academic Bill of Rights
  • The first academic occasions (that I know of) of conservative intellectuals being called “Nazis”
  • Professors urging people not to read Horowitz’s work, a sad anticipation of the anti-intellectualism of today’s protesting students
  • Leftist figures such as Julianne Malveaux calling for the death of conservative leaders
  • Conservative and libertarian professors remaining in the closet, fearing reprisal for their mainstream rightist opinions

The book will be available on October 2nd.

The Ideological Hijacking of the University and the Betrayal of its Traditional Mission

Reprinted from American Thinker.

Below is Bruce Thornton’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, “The Left in the Universities” which is volume 8 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz’s conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.) We encourage our readers to visit BlackBookOfTheAmericanLeft.com – which features Horowitz’s introductions to Volumes 1-8 of this 10-volume series, along with their tables of contents, reviews and interviews with the author.

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

The corruption of American higher education has been in the news a lot in the last few years. “Snowflakes” and “safe spaces,” crowds of thugs shutting down conservative speakers, craven administrators caving in to demands of activist students and faculty have become increasingly common since the rise of Donald Trump sparked a “resistance” movement. Even progressives who have run afoul of campus Robespierres are writing books about free speech now that their revolutionary children have started devouring their own. What David Horowitz has been warning about in his books and speeches for more than thirty years — the ideological hijacking of the university and the betrayal of its traditional mission — has finally grabbed the national spotlight.

The essays in his latest book, The Left in the University, are indispensable for anyone who wants to understand how we got to this pass.

The first chapter, “The Post-Modern Academy,” is a succinct analysis of the left’s takeover of the university. He starts with one of the most publicized and representative incidents that illustrates how far our campuses have descended into preposterous political correctness and left-wing shibboleths. Ward Churchill was the University of Colorado professor who called the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks “little Eichmanns,” and whose exposure in 2005 led to a national scandal when his academic and personal frauds were revealed. What is less well-known is the enthusiasm that many universities had shown in inviting Churchill to speak at their campuses — 40 invitations before the scandal broke — despite his vicious anti-Americanism and shoddy scholarship. As Horowitz explains, such views were “far from obscure to his academic colleagues. They reflected views comparing America to Nazi Germany that were part of the intellectual core of his academic work.” The widespread agreement with such nonsense implicated not just one rogue college professor, but “the academic culture itself.”

How did such a consensus of belief in ideas more at home in the pages Pravda or Granma happen? The Gramscian “long march through the institution” on the part of Sixties radicals began the redefinition of academic work from a search for truth according to professional norms, to a political activism that in the name of “relevance” and “social justice” shaped research and teaching to confirm leftist ideology and discredit whatever alternatives students might believe. These new academic departments and programs like Women’s Studies and Black Studies, Horowitz writes, “maintained no pretense of including intellectually diverse viewpoint or pursuing academic inquiries unconnected to the conclusions they might reach.”

That these new “disciplines” were political rather than academic was obvious in their creation, which resulted from political protests and sometimes threats of violence, most famously at Cornell, where in 1969 black radicals with loaded shotguns occupied the administration building. Soon, Horowitz continues, other “studies” like Post-Colonial Studies and Social Justice Studies proliferated to promote “narrowly one-sided political agendas,” and create “institutional settings for political indoctrination” and the “exposition and development of radical theory, and education and training of a radical cadre and the recruitment of students to radical causes.” Moreover, their claims to be pursuing “social justice” or “equality” have created an end-justifies-the-means rationalization, a “logical consequence of decades of university pandering to radical intimidators and campus criminals who regularly assault property, persons and reputations” with charges of racism, sexism, or even rape. “If the ideas are correct, it’s okay to silence anyone who disagrees.” In the last few years this phenomenon has become public knowledge, as Antifa thugs have disrupted campus events. Way back in 1998, Horowitz presciently called such behavior “brown-shirt activism.”

Horowitz in his essays frequently makes an important point: it’s not just the ideological prejudices of this or that faculty member, but a whole institutional, professional, and administrative apparatus that has made possible today’s overwhelmingly leftist and progressive university.

For example, the problem of conservative speakers being underrepresented at campus events is not a dearth of interest among students. At Vanderbilt, a conservative student group called Wake Up America was formed to invite conservative speakers to campus. But the university refused to provide the same sort of funding it gives to other student groups. When challenged, the administrator in charge of Student Life hid behind the Speakers Committee, which Horowitz describes as “a partisan student group dedicated to bringing left-wing speakers to campus.” With $63,000 a year to spend, the Committee had brought expensive lefties like James Carville and Gloria Steinem. Wake Up America, Horowitz writes, in its entire existence “has never been granted a single cent to bring conservatives” to Vanderbilt.

Such largess for leftists go beyond funds dedicated to speakers. In 2002, when Horowitz was invited, Vanderbilt disbursed over a million dollars to student groups ostensibly to promote a “diversity of activities,” in the words of the university. At the same time that Wake Up America received nothing, other identity-politics groups received over $130,000. Horowitz recounts other appearance he made across the country where left-wing speakers received tens of thousands of dollars, while his visit had to be financed by funds raised off campus. As Horowitz notes, such political bias is “completely normal in the academic world.”

The bulk of Horowitz’s book documents his efforts to get state legislatures and college administrators to adopt an Academic Bill of Rights (ABR) as a way of stopping such abuse. After some initial successes, particularly in Colorado, the campaign was stalled by relentless misrepresentation and outright lies on the part of colleges, the media, and academic organizations. For example, the ABR called for common sense principles similar to those colleges adopted over a century ago. But the principle that universities should base hiring on a candidate’s “competence and appropriate expertise in the field,” and foster “a plurality of methodologies and perspectives,” was transformed by the Colorado media into “affirmative action for conservatives.”

Most reprehensible was the reaction of the American Association of University Professors, which has long touted its dedication to academic freedom. In 1915 the AAUP promulgated a report that gave impetus to a wider recognition of the need for universities to respect the freedom of its professors to practice research without fear of retribution for challenging any ideologies, preferences, and prejudices. The AAUP report became the template for most of higher education’s policies on academic freedom.

The University of California’s Berkeley campus, for example, in 1934 established the “Sproul” rule, named for its author, university president Robert Gordon Sproul. This rule identified the function of the university as the effort “to seek and to transmit knowledge and to train students in the processes whereby truth is to be made known. To convert, or to make converts, is alien and hostile to this dispassionate duty.” If “political, social, or sectarian movements” are to be considered, they should be “dissected and examined, not taught, and the conclusion left, with no tipping of the scales, to the logic of the facts.”

In 2003, the Berkeley Faculty Senate voted 43-3 to scrap this noble aspiration. The distinction between indoctrination and education was tossed, and the faculty were made the arbiters of teaching and research standards “by reference to the professional standards” and “the expertise and authority” of the faculty, which now should govern the acquisition of knowledge. As Horowitz writes, “academic freedom is whatever the faculty says it is.” The proliferation of “studies” and programs nakedly political and designed to pursue politically correct ideology, rather than a dispassionate search for truth through disinterested professional methodologies, guaranteed that “professional standards” would be politicized. The academic freedom created to protect scholarship has now been changed to a “substitute for it — a license for professors to do what they liked.” As a result, courses like “The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance” replace traditional history courses that present all the documented evidence of a historical event gathered by the neutral protocols governing research. The decline of professional competence, as Martin Kramer documented regarding Middle East Studies programs in his Ivory Towers on Sand, creates a vacuum filled by political ideology and faddish theory.

Of course, the AAUP, its board dominated by leftists, had long ago abandoned the principles of the 1915 report, tending instead “to overlook infringements” of it, like the excising of the Sproul rule, “and even defend them,” Horowitz writes. So it is no wonder that the AAUP went after the ABR, misrepresenting its clear meaning. During the debate over the Colorado state legislature’s bill to codify the ABR into law, the AAUP went on the offensive, calling the ABR “a grave threat to fundamental principles of academic freedom,” and recommending that it should be “strongly condemn[ed].” It also blatantly distorted the bill’s language, saying it required that “universities… maintain political pluralism,” a phrase that doesn’t appear in the bill, which called for “the fair representation of conflicting viewpoints on issues that are controversial,” as Horowitz explained. The numerous other misrepresentations that Horowitz analyzes show that the AAUP, much like the UN, no longer believes in the principles of one of its foundational documents.

With such concentrated opposition by university faculty, administrators, unions, and professional organizations, the ABR didn’t have a chance. As Horowitz writes of the AAUP response,

If any act might serve as a symbol of the problems that have beset the academy in the last thirty years — its intense politicization and partisanship and consequent loss of scholarly perspective — it is this unscholarly assault on a document whose philosophy, formulations and very conception have been drawn from its own statements and positions on academic freedom.

Such an abuse of language to serve power and ideology, first described by Thucydides and memorably expressed in George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language,” is now standard operating procedure in the American university.

Now that Donald Trump’s success has driven the academic left into even greater absurdities and thuggery, perhaps conditions are right for cleaning the Augean Stables of campus corruption. But such change will require the efforts of congressmen, state legislators, the Department of Education, university trustees, and the taxpayers who directly and indirectly fund American higher education. And we need many more champions of the university’s mission to study and teach “the best which has been thought and said in the world, and, through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly but mechanically, vainly imagining that there is a virtue in following them staunchly which makes up for the mischief of following them mechanically,” as Matthew Arnold wrote.

David Horowitz has long tried to hold accountable the presumed guardians of the university’s mission. It’s time for more citizens to join him and dismantle the “stock notions and habits” of the left that are responsible for so much of our country’s political and cultural “mischief.” Reading The Left in the University is the place to start.

Black Book Matters:  A Review of Volume VII by Lloyd Billingsley

How the Left hijacked the Democratic Party.

By Lloyd Billingsley

“Ever since I abandoned the utopian illusions of the progressive cause,” writes David Horowitz, “I have been struck by how little the world outside the left seems to actually understand it.” A key part of what they fail to understand is the subject of Volume VII of TheBlack Book of the American LeftThe Left in Power: Clinton to Obama.  The story here is “the transformation of the Democratic Party from a party of the American center into a party of the political left.”

Going into the 2016 elections, “the views held by the Democratic leadership on national security were virtually indistinguishable from those of the Progressive Party, whose 1948 presidential campaign behind the candidacy of Henry Wallace defined itself by opposition to American ‘militarism’ and rejection of the Cold War policies, which the Democratic Party was then pursuing against the Communist threat.”

This transformation isn’t exactly clear to voters, candidates and, in particular, the establishment media reporters who, as presidential mouthpiece Ben Rhodes said, “literally know nothing.” As for David Horowitz, his vast knowledge of the Old Left, and first-hand experience with the New Left, comes through on every page. He knows, for example, that George McGovern, the Democrats’ candidate for president in 1972, launched his political career in the Wallace campaign. He knows that, with McGovern’s support, “the New Left radicals were able to take commanding positions in the party’s congressional apparatus, and eventually in its national leadership.”

David Horowitz doesn’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows, as Bob Dylan said. He does know, however, that Weatherman Bill Ayers, “organized a terrorist army in the 1970s with the intention of launching a race war in America and bringing down the ‘empire.’” The author shows how such radicals were able to colonize the Democratic Party, particularly during the two terms of Bill and Hillary Clinton. With a transfer of power from the current president to his designated successor Hillary Clinton a possible scenario in November, this material is highly relevant.

Hillary was converted to the Social Gospel at the United Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. Wellesley undergraduate Hillary Rodham wrote a 92-page thesis on Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky, whom she had interviewed. For Alinsky, a leftist admirer of Capone mob hit-man Frank Nitti, gaining and keeping power is “the all-consuming focus.”

As the Black Book notes, Hillary jostled with New Leftists at Yale. Full of the spirit, she became a pro-Castro volunteer in the Venceremos Brigade, helping to prop up a loathsome sado-Stalinist dictatorship. She called her politics a “Third Way,” an “independent socialism located somewhere between the Soviet gulag and America’s democracy.” As David Horowitz shows, there is no “Third Way.” There is only “the capitalist, democratic way based on private property and individual rights; and there is the socialist way of group identities, group rights, a relentless expansion of the political state, restricted liberty and diminished opportunity.”

This volume of the Black Book does not mention Hillary’s work for Bob Treuhaft, head of the California Communist Party, whose firm was a legal asset for the CPUSA and the Black Panthers. On the other hand, the author does recall that partisans of Hillary’s views found a home in the Clinton administration. For example, acting deputy attorney general Bill Lann Lee had been “involved in supporting, protecting or making excuses for violent anti-American radicals abroad, like the Vietcong, and anti-American criminals at home like the Black Panthers,” all in the name of  “social justice.”

Going into the 2016 elections, it may have been forgotten that the Clintons’ national security advisor Sandy Berger, “was a lobbyist for Chinese companies before being appointed to his post.” Berger was also fined $50,000 and forced to give up his security clearance for ripping off classified material on terrorism from the National Archives. He stuffed copies of the documents in his jacket, destroyed some of the documents, then pretended he never possessed them in the first place. Who knows what Berger, who died last year, had stashed away on his computer, or maybe on his private server.

The Black Book also recalls John Huang, whom the Clintons made a top official in the Commerce Department, where he could access, “all the information an agent would need to strip America of the supercomputer technologies vital to the development of advanced weapons systems.” Huang also “inexplicably retained his top security clearance in the Commerce Department when he left the government.” The author wonders whether this was connected to “the Chinese Communist cash-flow to the Clinton-Gore campaign,” and if not, “what was the payoff the Chinese expected?”

Hillary Clinton may be “America’s most prominent leftist,” as the author contends, but The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama does not come up short on the current president, “born, bred and trained in the progressive movement.” His mentors were “Communists and their progressive successors,” so no wonder he presided over “ the institutionalizing of the policies of the left in government” for eight years. His global “apology tour” conceded “guilt” towards the Muslim world “but also towards surviving members of the Soviet bloc in Central America.” His foreign policy featured “retreats from America’s battlefronts against Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Going into the 2016 elections, that should be evident but this volume recalls players such as Van Jones, the president’s “green jobs” czar. Establishment reporters who “know nothing” can learn that Jones, a self-described “communist,” served a prison term after being arrested in the LA riots and then became an activist with the Maoist organization STORM—“Stand Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.” This far-left radical was a 9/11 “truther” and a supporter of the Hamas view that the entire state of Israel is “occupied territory.” On this theme, the chapter “Obama and the War Against the Jews” will prove enlightening.

The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama documents how the current president has “transformed a nation that had been the world’s bulwark of democracy and freedom into an enabler of the very forces that are intent on destroying them.” The author finds it “hardly coincidental, therefore, that Obama’s tenure in office has been accompanied by a rash of terrorist assaults.” What was once the arsenal of democracy is “now under the command of an anti-American president.”

On the domestic side, the author does not neglect “the toxic bailouts, stimulus packages, and entitlement programs” that generate “increasingly unsustainable debt” and create dependency on big government. The president “and the leftists in his administration are fully aware of the effects of their actions, yet they are determined to stay the course they have set for themselves.” The strategy, devised by the radical left forty years ago, “is to dismantle America’s private enterprise system and implement a socialist redistribution of wealth.”  Going into the 2016 elections, that reality should painfully evident to all but the willfully blind.

Unlike some collections, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama delivers more than it promises. Readers will find helpful background on leftist bagman George Soros, Occupy Wall Street founder Kalle Lasn, Eric Foner, Edward Said and Reps. Ron Dellums and Barbara Lee, whom the author met in the 1970s, when she was an aide to Huey Newton, “Minister of Defense” of the Black Panther Party. The leaders of Black Lives Matter may be favored guests at the White House but for the author BLM is a “roving lynch mob whose premise is the claim that a systematic war is being waged on black people.”

Readers of The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama won’t need a Weatherman, or any of their friends and supporters, to know which way the wind blows. In the Age of the Tweet and a nation with the attention span of a hummingbird, it is helpful to recall that soi-disant progressives are congenital liars.

In 1917, for example, Lenin’s slogan was not “Socialist Dictatorship! Firing Squads! Gulags!” Rather, it was “Peace! Land! Bread!” In similar style, President Obama said “You can keep your plan, period,” but you can’t. “In sum,” Horowitz writes,  “it is necessary to lie to the people in order to pass progressive laws, and the lie is justified for the greater good.” His “Treason of the Democrats” chapter, meanwhile, will make exactly clear what’s happening here, why it happened, and where it came from.

“To the progressives seduced by Stalinism,” David Horowitz explains, “democratic America represented a greater evil than the barbaric police states of the Soviet bloc.” This happened because “the Stalin regime was identified with the imaginary progressive future,” and all its nefarious actions blamed on its enemies, primarily the United States. “Once a promise of redemption is juxtaposed to an imperfect real-world actor, all of these responses become virtually inevitable.” Hence “the gluing of the brain” Leon Trotsky associated with Stalinism remains evident on every hand.

“The Soviet Union is gone, and history has moved on,” Horowitz observes. “But the Stalinist dynamic endures as the heritage of a post-Communist left, which remains wedded to fantasies of an impossibly beautiful future that bring it into collision with the flawed American present. This left is now the dominant force in the Democratic Party.”

Going into the 2016 elections, and beyond, that may be the best takeaway from The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Film Industry.

Review of The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama by Barbara Kay

December 27, 2016
Frontpagemag.com

After the federal election, an African-American child asked at a family dinner if he was now “going to be treated as three-fifths of a human being.” A teacher from a rural black elementary school reported her students were asking her if they would become slaves again. A black student told a guide on an outing to the nation’s capital he was afraid the new president was “going to round up all the black people and kill them.”

Understandable, progressives might say. Considering the racism we saw expressed during the campaign and the people the president-elect has surrounded himself with, who can blame these kids for their fears?

The problem is, these anecdotes did not arise from the 2016 election, but from the 2000 election. No reasonable person can believe George W. Bush is or ever was a racist.

Yet, just as in this election, incredulous that their preferred candidate might lose, there were many irresponsible progressives in 2000 who filled their children’s heads with this damaging nonsense and much other nonsense besides.

In 2004, after his hotly contested narrow loss to Bush, Gore told audiences that Bush had won by stealing a million black votes, even though not a single case of black voter fraud was uncovered by civil rights organizations. The left never really loses an election; elections are stolen from them. Sound familiar in 2016?

I found the anecdotal material above in a column, “How Leftists Play the Race Card,” in the recently-issued seventh volume of David Horowitz’s Black Book of the American Left, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama.

What Horowitz calls a “climactic place” in his series, this volume was released before the election that against all odds brought Donald Trump to power. Reading it under the assumption Hillary Clinton was going to be the incoming president produces a markedly different response from reading it today.

I know, because I read half before and half after. In my mind it is almost like two different books, as I experienced first despair at all the wrongheadedness and corruption Horowitz’s columns reminded me of that were likely to continue, followed by triumphant elation at the knowledge that the Obama-and-Clinton kakocracies were well and truly behind us.

I see in some of these writings prescience where I might have seen wishful thinking. For example, in his 1997 column, “Conservatives need a heart,” Horowitz addresses the “confusion in conservative ranks.” Conservatives, he writes, have demonstrated three tendencies in their polemics: the “leave us alone” mentality of those advocating for less governmental regulation and intrusion; the emphasis on family values and the re-moralization of society; and the federalists, wanting more power returned to the states. What is missing, Horowitz says, is “a conservatism committed to national greatness.”

It took a while for the American people to internalize the source of their discontent, but that is what has just happened. Volume VII delivers a great deal of satisfaction to right-of-center readers in combing over the glowing ashes of all that has been found wanting in the Clinton-Obama nexus, and why.

“The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama” traces the history of the Democratic Party from center – to hard left. From the muscular anti-communism, civil rights and balanced budgets of JFK, the Dems came to embrace the Marxist agenda of the nanny state, identity politics and retreat from foreign-affairs leadership.

In a word, the party shifted from classic liberalism to progressivism, a benign locution to deodorize the uncomfortably redolent Marxism that greases the wheels of the party’s mission. Under the aegis of Bill and Hillary Clinton (it was never less than a presidential partnership) and Barack Obama, the administration became stacked with far leftists.

Outgoing President Obama (“outgoing”: it dances trippingly off the tongue) marinated his entire pre-presidential life in Islam apologism and the politics of progressivism. Mentored by communists, he came to power with a negative view of America’s history and distrust of the nation-state as a vehicle for human progress. Conversely he held an exaggerated and largely uncritical respect for America’s enemies, like Cuba and Hamas, but Iran especially.

Both Obama and Hillary Clinton took lifelong inspiration from the writings of political guru Saul Alinksy (1909-72), whom students of left-wing radicalism in the U.S. will remember as the American version of Machiavelli. Horowitz devotes a long essay, “Rules for Revolution” in Part III of this book (the original pamphlet form of this essay has been distributed and sold to more than three million people).

Alinsky wrote the book Rules for Radicals, a how-to manual for revolutionaries, which emphasized strategies of deception rather than open confrontation as the best way to advance a Marxist revolution in the U.S. Don’t sell your agenda as socialism, he urged, sell it as “progressivism” and “social justice.”

Alinsky’s strategy was to work within the system while accruing the power to destroy it. Many of the student radicals who went on to influential political careers were well-versed Alinsky acolytes. In fact, in 1969, a certain Wellesley College student named Hillary Rodham wrote an admiring 92-page senior thesis on Alinsky, likening him in cultural stature to Walt Whitman and Martin Luther King Jr. Barack Obama followed Alinsky’s rules with assiduous attention when he worked for ACORN as a community organizer.

In his column, “Candidate of the Left,” Horowitz reminds us of Obama’s lies that were swallowed uncritically by his starry-eyed followers. Who were they? “[E]very anti-Israel, anti-American, pro-Iranian communist in America is supporting Barack Obama; every pro-Palestinian leftist, every Weatherman terrorist…all Sexties leftists and their disciples…every black racist follower of Louis Farrakhan…every ‘antiwar’ activist who wanted us to leave Saddam in power and then lose the war in Iraq; everyone who believes that America is the bad guy and that our enemies are justly aggrieved; every member of ACORN, the most potent survivor of the Sixties left…along with al-Jazeera and Vladimir Putin and the religious fanatics of Hamas and the PLO.”

Examples of Obama’s lies? One was that he really had no idea who Jeremiah Wright, his pastor of 20 years, was, because the optics of friendship with “a racist, Jew-hating, terrorist-loving acolyte of Minister Farrakhan” didn’t look so good. Another was that unrepentant Weatherman Bill Ayers was not just “a guy in the neighborhood” as Obama claimed. Obama launched his campaign for a senate seat in Ayers’s living room, it was Ayers’s father who was responsible for Obama’s job at the Sidley Austin law firm, and it was Ayers who “hired Obama to spend the $50 million Ayers had raised to finance an army of anti-American radicals drawn from ACORN and other nihilistic groups to recruit Chicago school children to their political causes.”

But the lie that will never lose traction as the others did, because it affected so many Americans, was “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Obama lied about his healthcare plan, because, as Horowitz has often stated, “[t]he first truth about progressive missionaries is that the issues they fight for are not the issues. What drives all their agendas is the fantasy of a social transformation that will lead to a paradise of social justice.”

And therefore, as MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber explained, “This bill was written in a tortured way…[because] if you make it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed, okay? Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” Lack of transparency has been the hallmark of Obama’s reign and both Clintons’ entire political careers.

The column “Obama’s Communist Czar” demonstrates the depth and complexity of the far-left networks that flourished under Obama’s nurturing hand. Van Jones, for example, now a respected media commentator who never speaks of his past as a self-described communist, was appointed Obama’s “green jobs” czar. Before he joined the administration, he was a longterm activist for the communist group (with the Maoist title) STORM: “Stand Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.” He was (is?) a 9/11 “truther,” as those who believe 9/11 was an inside job call themselves, and who supported (supports?) Hamas’s view that all of Israel is “occupied territory.”

All the “social justice” movements are connected at the root level of funding and protest organization, and this column shows in detail how it works. Whether it is a global demonstration against the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, or coordinated, worldwide “antiwar” protests, or the Occupy movement, none of these events can happen without planning and funds to ensure large turnouts, as well as resources to keep protesters fed, postered up and rehearsed. If you follow the money, you inevitably end up with George Soros and his Center for American Progress.

As the final act of his presidency and a f*** you gesture both to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and incoming president Donald Trump, Obama has, as I write, just instructed the U.S. to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in “occupied” Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and the Western Wall, Israel’s most sacred site, defying heavy pressure from long-time ally Israel and President-elect Donald Trump for Washington to wield its veto. If there was any doubt of Obama’s longterm bias against Israel, even to diehard leftists, this should dispel the illusion.

This is therefore a good moment to read Horowitz’s long essay in Volume VII, “Obama and the War Against the Jews,” written with Jacob Laksin in 2010. I cannot do it justice here, but urge it upon anyone who wants a clear and relatively concise summary of Obama’s attempt, from his initial “apology tour” at the beginning of his presidency forward, to enable Iranian hegemony in the Middle East at the expense not only of Israel, but of America’s traditional Arab allies, by appeasing terrorist Hezbollah and Hamas, and subverting Israel’s legitimate claims to their indigenous lands from time immemorial.

The media today can’t wax indignant enough over the choices president-elect Trump is making for key cabinet positions. They’re too wealthy; they’re too right-wing; they’re too cozy with Russia. The agitated media pearl-clutching is a sight to behold.

Former Breitbart editor Steve Bannon has the media reaching for the smelling salts, yet they never complained when the Democratic National Committee appointed Carlotta Scott, former mistress of the Marxist dictator of Grenada and supporter of Communists during the Cold War, as “political issues director.” Her longterm commitment to Soviet interests is laid out in “A Question of Loyalties.”

Nor did we ever see the media taking to its fainting couch over Bill Clinton’s disgraceful record with the Communist Chinese dictatorship. Bill Clinton was not the ideological leftist his wife is, but he came of age in the counter-culture, and was therefore tolerant of the hard leftists favoured by Hillary, whom she invited into the Clinton entourage.

The Clinton team became more than tolerant in the course of their reign though. They are responsible, Horowitz writes, for “the most massive breach of military security in American history.” In “The Manchurian Presidency” (a must-read), Horowitz exhumes sordid activities by Bill Clinton’s that should have galvanized media too preoccupied with a pretty intern, cigars and a stained blue dress to notice their president was overseeing the handover of America’s nuclear secrets to Communist China.

The publication of the Report of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China, known as the Cox Report (Republican Representative Chris Cox chaired the committee that produced it), chronicled and assessed covert operations by the China within the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s.

The report revealed that Clinton had downgraded security controls at America’s nuclear laboratories, with the consequence that the Chinese were able to steal the designs of America’s nuclear-weapon arsenal, including her most advanced warheads, as well as the secrets of America’s intercontinental ballistic missile systems.

Horowitz writes: “In a little over five years [1994-99], the Chinese Communist dictatorship has been able to close a technology gap of twenty years and to destroy a security buffer that had kept America safe from foreign attacks on its territorial mainland for more than a hundred.” America became vulnerable not only to China, but to rogue states China has been happy to arm, like Iraq, Syria and Iran.

One of the more concerning aspects of Clinton’s cozying up to China was the Clinton administration’s failure to prosecute spies engaged in critical thefts of American military secrets.

Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwanese-American scientist working for the University of California at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, downloaded millions of lines of computer code, revealing the designs of nuclear warheads. But after being held for nine months, he was released in 2000, without being charged with espionage, although he pled guilty to mishandling computer files. Notably, a request to wiretap Lee’s phone was denied by the Clinton Department of Justice, a virtual first for the DOJ.

Peter Lee (no relation), a physicist born in China who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, pled guilty to lying on security-clearance forms and passing classified national-defense information to Chinese scientists on business trips to Beijing, educating Beijing on warhead testing techniques and the radar technology to locate American submarines. But he served only a year in a halfway house.

A Wikipedia entry on the subject unironically notes, “The issue was a considerable scandal at the time.” Not unlike the Rosenberg ‘scandal,’ called by its real name, “treason,” one might add, which ended in execution. Autres temps, autres moeurs, as the French say: other times, other customs.

As Horowitz points out, the whole intricate, perfidious story is recounted in Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II’s book, The Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash (1998). These two national security professionals uncover a history leading backward from Clinton’s triangulation with Communist China to relationships begun back in Arkansas.

Summary accounts of two men favored by the Clintons for their funding help in tight situations who were deeply involved in the China network: Arkansas resident James Riady, a Chinese-American scion of a multi-billionaire financial empire in a working partnership with Chinas military and intelligence establishment; and John Huang, Far East manager for the Arkansas-based Worthen Bank, who became a top official in the Commerce Department, make for fascinating reading.

I mentioned the very different attitude shown to traitors in the days of Stalinist fellow travellers from those in the Clinton era. Of the contrast Horowitz writes that it could at least be said of the Rosenbergs “that they did not do it for themselves, but out of loyalty to an ideal, however pathetic and misguided. Bill Clinton has no such loyalties – not to his family, his party, or his country….The destructiveness of Bill Clinton has emerged out of a need that is far more banal – to advance the cause of a self-absorbed and criminal self.”

Until the night of November 8, Bill Clinton had every reason to believe he would be back in the White House again with Hillary, this time nominally as First Gentleman, but practically as the co-president Hillary was in his tenure.

Will Donald Trump “make America great again?” Maybe, maybe not. But just knowing that their new president has America’s restored national greatness as his vision has already given Americans what they were promised and never received eight years ago: real hope and real change. Reading Volume VII of the Black Book is a salutary reminder of the bullet America has just dodged.

Review of The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama by Richard Baehr

Below is Richard Baehr’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama(reprinted from American Thinker with permission). The book is volume 7 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz’s conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.)We encourage our readers to visit BlackBookOfTheAmericanLeft.com which features Horowitz’s introductions to Volumes 1-7 of this 9-volume series, along with their tables of contents, reviews and interviews with the author.

Every year, there is some report of the blissful ignorance of American history demonstrated by the supposedly best and brightest at elite American universities. Suffice it to say the collected writings of David Horowitz on the American Left, which constitute part of a solid foundation for understanding the last half century of American politics, are nowhere to be found on any college or high school reading list.

Horowitz’s latest book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama, is the seventh volume in his nine-volume collection, The Black Book of the American Left. This new volume provides a collection of his writings over the last quarter century, focusing primarily on the Left’s control in our government and culture. As Horowitz reveals, even during the Bush years, conservatives were on the defense and leftists controlled the narrative as they attempted to destroy Bush and his chances for re-election in 2004. Their primary mode of attack was to undermine America’s efforts in Iraq almost from the start of the conflict, when just months earlier a majority of Senate Democrats and near half of House Democrats had supported the President. The Left then destroyed Bush’s second term with bogus charges of racist neglect in the handling of Hurricane Katrina. There was plenty of incompetence in the response to Katrina, but local and state officials — all Democrats, of course, and many of them African American — were the principal operators on the ground during the crisis.

The immediate abandonment of support for the Iraq war effort was a signal event in American history, sending a message that a large part of the Democratic Party was not remotely concerned about the morale of our men and women fighting overseas. The weak effort by some Democrats to hold onto an ounce of patriotic resolve — “end the war, support the troops” — was designed more for campaign speeches than any meaningful attempt to convey national unity for the effort underway by our armed forces. So too, the obsession with Abu Ghraib gave the lie to the Democrats’ “support our troops” message, as a broad brush was used to paint the incident as somehow what you would expect from our military on a routine basis.

Horowitz outlines this narrative, faulting the Bush administration for failing to fight harder to present its story of why we went into Iraq and the risks if we had done nothing.  Regrettably, the Bush administration never had a chance to get a better defense of the Iraq war out to the media. Most in the media considered the Bush administration illegitimate due to its narrow victory in the 2000 presidential contest, a lie to be sure. Unfortunately, it is almost certainly true that the media today are far more in the bag for the left than ten or twenty years ago and work harder at pushing the left’s agenda. The soft liberalism of Walter Cronkite has been replaced by cable and national network anchors who routinely bury stories embarrassing to their side and focus on those that can do damage to the other side. During the current Presidential election cycle, we have seen the most prestigious media organs explain why it is necessary and appropriate for them to be biased this year.  It is a special time, they argue, because Trump is, in their view, a unique threat to the Republic.

On the other hand, the media have been loath to consider the damage to the country caused by Barack Obama — the loss of respect abroad for America’s will to fight, the degradation of our military readiness, the fraying of ties with allies, and the near obsessive outreach to America’s enemies that led to agreements such as the nuclear deal with Iran, best described as an abject surrender of American interests that will lead to the funding of fanatical nuclear regime. About 85% of those supposedly sensible pro-Israel Democrats walked the plank behind their great leader on that deal, with no visible regrets to date. There was simply too much political risk to oppose the first black president of their party. The media were happy to parrot the administration’s talking points for the nuclear deal, something the manipulators crowed over at the White House.

At least in the propaganda use of Abu Ghraib, the Left was honest in revealing what it thinks about the military. As Horowitz outlines in article after article, the Left is fighting a war that most Americans do not see, disguising its intentions through its aggressive, unceasing promotion of “progressive” policies “to make America a better place.” This commitment to deception emerges, Horowitz reveals, from the allegiance to the ideology of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” a formative doctrine for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The progressive goal is to achieve a new society that has never been seen before in this country, though it has been promised and has catastrophically failed in many places around the globe. In America, the Left is not only unconcerned with selling their program to the public, but also, Horowitz argues, it is fearful of the result of voters knowing what it is pursuing. One prime example was the admission of MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that health care law would never have made it through Congress if it had been presented honestly.

The Left is also busy at work making it easier for itself to win politically. Horowitz provides chapter and verse on the Left’s efforts to rapidly change the composition of the voting pool — motor voter registration with no birth certificate required, fighting every effort to combat voter fraud with charges of racism and “turning the clock back,” even when  states were willing to pay for potential voters obtaining the needed documents to register, support for open borders, expansion of legal immigration, and amnesty and citizenship (and voting rights) for more than ten million already in the country illegally. Here the Left’s mentor and financier is George Soros and his buddies, who have funded dozens of organizations which fight on multiple fronts every day to advance the left politically. And Horowitz has done a great public service by his Discover the Network listing of the people responsible for America’s steady drift to the radical Left.

The Left uses the racism charge in many of the confrontations it creates. Of course, the problems of America’s inner cities, all under complete control of one political party for half a century, have never been of even near equal interest to the Democrats as their ability to continue to win enormous majorities among inner city voters, particularly African Americans.   The Left has fully endorsed the teacher unions’ opposition to charter schools, and voucher programs, though both are popular with minority group parents and children. The two major teachers unions are simply too powerful a support group for the Democratic Party (campaign cash, votes, and volunteers) for the Left to support policies that might lead to a better future for kids as opposed to continued growth in expenditures for the teachers unions and their workforce.

In the last two years, the Soros-funded Black Lives Matter movement has created a near national hysteria over the alleged systematic effort by police to kill unarmed black men.  Between two and three dozen unarmed blacks are killed by cops each year, many of them in situations where the ”victims” were almost certainly responsible for what happened to them — Michael Brown in Ferguson is a prime example. One wonders where the news media are to report on the police shooting of unarmed whites, which greatly outnumber those of unarmed blacks. Perhaps because there are no riots, or looting, these incidents have no cachet. More likely, they do not fit the systemic racism charge now routinely thrown around by everyone from the current President to Hillary Clinton.

In Chicago in 9 months this year, over 400 blacks, mostly men, have been shot and killed, almost exclusively by other black men. By year end, over 4,000 Chicagoans will have been shot. One might think this was a bigger story of urban calamity and civil society breakdown than a shooting in Charlotte.  Chicago’s mayor says that police “have gone fetal,” avoiding making stops in crime ridden neighborhoods, with the ACLU looking over their shoulder demanding a report for every stop, and activists in the neighborhoods treating the police with scorn and abuse, following a bad police shooting captured on video and kept hidden from the public by Chicago’s mayor to protect his re-election bid. Rahm Emanuel must also have read Alinsky, for he knows whose hide to protect first and foremost. The victims of the police pullback in Chicago, Baltimore, St, Louis and other cities, called “the Ferguson effect,” are many more dead black men, killed in crime waves that are reminiscent of the 1990s.  Even the FBI Director admits the Ferguson Effect is real, when not covering for Hillary Clinton.

Horowitz’ latest book is full of insights and straight talk on the goals and the mission of the Left, and how it has advanced its cause this last quarter century. He provides the kind of arguments that keep his books from getting reviewed by the New York Times. And there is always a horrible slur available from the Left to describe a viewpoint that counters one of its missions. The Left chooses to ignore the argument and uses character assassination for the people making it. It argues that these are people (Horowitz included) unworthy of serious consideration, or respect.

Silencing the critic or the dissident or limiting his visibility has been a long time weapon of the Left.  So far, Horowitz keeps writing, and America is free enough that the Left, though it clearly wants to, cannot ban his books.  George Soros and his family have another $20 billion to spend on changing America. The Alinsky acolytes have their mission laid out to make use of the funds and create an America where the smart bureaucrats can organize society and distribute its wealth, so results are all equal. And we can all sing along with the Pete Seeger songs as we turn away from any role overseas (where of course we have primarily been an agent of evil) and disinvest in defense every year.

Let’s hope that some of America’s young will read Horowitz’ books,and learn what their professors and teachers won’t teach them.