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Michael van der Galien

David Swindle: The Books that Change Us

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Posted on March 30 2010 8:00 am
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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FrontPage Magazine published a follow-up to David Swindle’s article of yesterday, about the indoctrination of America’s college students. Like the first part of this article, I advise you to read it. It’s a bit long, yes, but it’s well worth your time.

David first explains how and why he turned his back on the progressive ideology he held dear in college and before:

Any journey from Left to Right is going to follow two related, parallel paths. One is based on experiences and life events which challenge the “progressive” world view. The second is formed by way of an intellectual journey through key texts which provide for more accurate explanations of reality.

He continues:

I took deeply seriously my father’s suggestion to “take the professor, not the course” — sound advice for any college student. In my literary courses I made a conscious decision to take every class I could taught by Dr. Pat Collier, a specialist in British Modernism — the works of T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and other authors from 1890-1940. The principle lesson that I formulated from my engagement with this literature was this: life is complicated, multiple perspectives on the world are vital, no one knows everything. Joyce’s Ulysses, the magnum opus of Modernism, is written not with a single all-knowing narrator but with dozens (hundreds?) of voices. We see how overwhelmingly complex just a single day in Dublin on June 16, 1904 can be. The universe is too big for us to truly grasp. In Woolf’s novels the view peered inward into the infinity of individual minds. Yet we think we can effectively legislate a better world into existence? We think we’re able to plan utopia in a world of limitless variables?

He also changed, he explains, because of something called life. Socialist ideas may sound good (to some, at least), in theory, but those of us who actually live in the real world realize that they can never be implemented successfully because man is a flawed being. We are selfish, greedy and lazy. In other words, “we are broken.”

And that’s only the beginning. There’s much more food for thought in the article. David also explains, for instance, how he became a hawk on foreign policy and the War on Terror (or Islamic extremism); how he came to support Israel unconditionally; how we can make the world a better place “one person at a time,” and, finally, how we can “improve” the “corporate order” not “through a change in government and a restriction of freedom, but in a transition of culture to rebalance economies so that both local and international commerce can thrive.” Read the whole thing here.

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