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From the Writings of David Horowitz: August 18, 2010

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Posted on August 19 2010 6:45 am
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david_p

Dear Ralph,

It has been over a decade since this silence as durable as an iron curtain descended between us. In these circumstances, I have had to depend on others to learn how you regard me these days: how, at a recent social gathering, you referred to me as “one of the two tragedies of the New Left” (the other being a former Brecht scholar who now publishes guides to the nude beaches of America); how my apostasy has inflicted an emotional wound, as though in changing my political views and leaving the Left I had personally betrayed you.

I understand this. How could it be otherwise for people like us, for whom politics (despite our claim to be social realists) was less a matter of practical decisions than moral choices? We were partisans of a cause that confirmed our humanity, even as it denied humanity to those who opposed us. To leave such ranks was not a simple matter, like abandoning a misconception or admitting a mistake. It was more like accusing one’s comrades. Like condemning a life.

Our choice of politics was never a matter of partial commitments. To choose the Left was to define a way of being in the world. (For us, the personal was always political). It was choosing a future in which human beings would finally live as they were meant to live: no longer self-alienated and divided, but equal, harmonious and whole….

What persuaded us to believe that socialism, having begun everywhere so badly, should possess the power to reform itself into something better? To be something other than it has been? To pass through the inferno of its Stalinist tragedies to become the paradiso of our imaginations?

The Politics of Bad Faith

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