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Leftist Condescension on Display in Yet Another Lecture from a Zinn Disciple

Posted on February 11 2010 6:00 pm
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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Well, I suppose better late than never. “Robin” found David Horowitz’s January 30 commentary on Howard Zinn, and they were not happy:
Robin Ince's avatar
the ignorance of this piece is astounding, in fact, Horowitz has revealed himself to be more of Stalinist than Zinn ever was by using a Communist smear tactic. In 1946 Zinn then serving in the US air force (which service have you been in Mr Horowitz to defend your country) was given a book by Arthur Koestler that opened his eyes to the hideousness of Stalin. he knew from that point that Stalin was a despot and never celebrated him (let’s not forget that was about the same year he ceased to be a US ally, so Zinn was not exactly a Johnny Come Lately). Horowitz’s lie is disgusting and demonstrates a deep and ugly savoured stupidity.

DavidSwindle's avatar - Go to profile

You don’t really understand why Horowitz is calling Zinn a Stalinist. When you shill for Stalinist dictators in the third world (Castro, Che Guevara, etc.) and demonize those who are fighting them then you can be called a Stalinist.

Robin Ince's avatar


so Reagan was a Fascist then for his support of Suharto in Indonesia, Pinochet in Chile, the Contras in Nicaragua etc etc? Or was Reagan a drug dealer for his involvement with Oliver North? This is where you end up if you are so simplistic. Zinn a Stalinist , Reagan a drug peddling Nazi.
You don’t really understand the Cold War very much do you? You’ve just swallowed the communist version of events and now appear to vomit it back up as though I’ve never heard this stuff before. (I actually used to promulgate stuff like this myself.)

Conservatives did not embrace Pinochet the way leftists continue to embrace Che and Mao to this day. (Pinochet t-shirts and flags? Is Benicio Del Toro going to play Pinochet in a 4 hour biopic?) If you’re America which would you rather have in your backyard, a capitalist totalitarian state or a communist totalitarian state that’s actually a satellite state of the USSR? Look at Chile today and you’ll see that conservatives were right with Pinochet. Conservatives understand that in politics, foreign policy especially, your options frequently range from the lousy to the horrific.

Read David Horowitz and Peter Collier’s “Destructive Generation” they talk about the issue that you’re bringing up — a view I once held when I was a leftist myself.

Robin Ince's avatar
I don’t think we’ll find any common ground. all i asked was for quoted justification of an attack on a man who had just died. no one on this site managed it and now we’ll get trapped in semantics. thank you for your time.
DavidSwindle's avatar - Go to profile
No, you didn’t ask for a quote in your comment. But since you’re demanding one now I’ll give it to you.

Quoted justification:…

These quotes are from A People’s History of the United States:

In Professor Zinn’s view, Maoist China was “the closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people’s government, independent of outside control”; Castro’s Cuba “had no bloody record of suppression”; and the Marxist dictators of Nicaragua were “welcomed” by the people, while the opposition Contras, whose candidate triumphed when free elections were held as a result of U.S. pressure, were a “terrorist group” that “seemed to have no popular support inside Nicaragua.”


Now do you see how one who shills for Mao, Che, Castro, and the Nicaraguan Marxists could be called a Stalinist? Zinn was a supporter of totalitarian mass murderers and dedicated his life to slandering America as an entity not even worth acknowledging. How can you tolerate and celebrate this?

Robin's avatar

we see history from entirely different perspectives. Your use of Zinn quotes is taken from a one page summary of him, maybe you should read his books, not summaries of him. I don’t agree with Ann Coulter but I do read her books, if you want to attack/disagree with someone then you should really know their work. I will not deny their have been cruel leftist regimes and cruel rightist regimes, both sides have had a hideous number of totalitarian regimes. How can you declare Castro a despot and yet think Pinochet was right. is the herding of your opponents into sports arenas to be tortured and killed in any way acceptable? Is the disappearing of thousands, including teachers who dared to teach what was deemed unacceptable to the regime morally acceptable? Or murdering folk singers for singing against a dictatorship? This is not a defence of Castro, this is me trying to discover what is good about Pinochet and bad about Castro or similar regimes. Many have a poor records on human rights I am trying to find out what you believe in, who do you think is a good example of a leader, who is bad one. It would be good if we could leave the tags of left and right and worry about people instead. My apologies about the request for quotations, that was under the other article on this site. You may say Zinn was “evil” , but does it make the majority of US presidents evil for being complicit with totalitarian regimes, for usurping a democratically elected leader in Guatemala to keep United Fruits happy but leading to oppression of the population? For their work in El Salvador? Indonesia etc etc . if you can despise Zin for your belief in the sides he supported, why don’t you despise most of your presidents who aided oppressive regimes or is it that you think if they are an ally of America (like Saddam Hussein used to be) then to hell with their people.
DavidSwindle's avatar - Go to profile
You are so condescending and arrogant. I have read Zinn. And I’ve read Chomsky. And I’ve read the Nation, ZMagazine, etc. I was a leftist for years and read the people whose opinions you’re parroting.

Your condescension is predictable and discouraging:…

How can you expect to come in here and lecture we evil, warmongering neo-cons when you do so from a position of such arrogance? Why would we want to entertain your positions when you’re so disrespectful?

I’ve addressed your point about the US’s reliance on a real politik foreign policy during the Cold War. You ignored it. When I’m trying to discuss issues with a leftist friend and they start ignoring my arguments and just continuing their monologue then I know that they’re not worth my time.

I hope some day you’ll have the courage to challenge you political faith as I did. Best of luck.

Update: Robin continues to respond on the thread, ignoring that I’ve lost faith in the value of discussing the issue with them. If the discussion continues then the new subject will be their bad behavior and disrespect.

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