More from Radical Son
I've just finished Radical Son. Those who recommended it to me were correct; it's a fascinating account of one of the biggest political "changers" of recent times. David Horowitz was way to the left of me in his "before" shot, but we seem to have ended up somewhat in the same place now.
Horowitz's book is filled with quotable quotes. From time to time I will post a few. Here he is in 1986, addressing a pro-Sandinista crowd at Berkeley (in the belly of the beast, as it were):
Twenty-five years ago, as one of the founders of the New Left, I was an organizer of the first political demonstrations on this Berkeley campus--and indeed on any campus--to protest our government's anti-Communist policies in Cuba and Vietnam. Tonight I come before you as a man I used to tell myself I would never be: a supporter of President Reagan, a committed opponent of Communist rule in Nicaragua.
I make no apologies for my present position. It was what I thought was the humanity of the Marxist idea that made me what I was then; it is the inhumanity of what I have seen to be the Marxist reality that has made me what I am now. If my former colleagues who support the Sandinista cause were to pause for a moment and then plunge their busy political minds into the human legacies of their activist pasts, they would instantly drown in an ocean of blood.
When confronted by a reality he couldn't deny, Horowitz refused to retreat into the world of pretty ideas. He finally faced up to the reality of the carnage created by Communism (and enabled by its "useful idiots" on the left) during the course of the 20th century, from Stalin's murders to Vietnam and Cambodia after the US pullout. History proved him right on the Sandinistas, too, although I wonder how many in that Berkeley crowd ended up taking note of that fact.
"They would instantly drown in an ocean of blood"...yes. Horowitz didn't pull his punches when he spoke for the left, and he certainly doesn't do so now that he's on the right. That, at least, has not changed.