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From the Pen of David Horowitz: December 12, 2009

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Posted on December 12 2009 4:49 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

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After Betty’s murder, I ceased to be politically active. I couldn’t even think about politics apart from these events. In my heart, I knew that it would not be possible for me to work for a cause again until I had resolved the issues of her death. As New Leftists, we felt ourselves immunized from crimes that the Left had committed in the past, both by acknowledging that they had occurred and by resolving to change the attitudes that had caused them. But we had changed the attitudes, and now the crimes were being repeated. I began to ask myself whether there was something in Marxism, or in the socialist idea itself, that was the root of the problem.I was not alone in raising this question now. The Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski had been an intellectual leader of the New Left until his defection to the West in 1968, after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Five years later, Kolakowski organized a conference at Oxford, which asked: “Is There Anything Wrong With the Socialist Idea?” In a paper delivered to the conference, he suggested that there was: The goals which socialists had historically pursued contained the seeds of the socialist nightmare.

The ideal of human unity was one. The end of “self-alienation” was really the core of the socialist hope. Socialists believed that private property divided human beings, making some rich and some poor, some oppressors and others oppressed. Private property was the root cause of social conflict. Socialists proposed to abolish property and unite people in the socialist state. But the abolition of property was really the abolition of private association and civil society, and of the bourgeois rights they underpinned. Socialist unity could only be achieved as a totalitarian solution.

Radical Son

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