David Horowitz

In the aftermath of the 2007 UK smoking ban, my politics has shifted sharply to the right. Classic case of “a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.” And, boy, was I mugged!

The result is that I take much more interest in conservative commentators than I ever used to do. And yesterday I came across one-time Marxist David Horowitz talking to the Heritage Foundation in 2013.

In his wide-ranging speech, Horowitz described his transition from left to right, and discussed the shortcomings of a conservative movement unwilling to deal with the ugly realities of what the American left represents.

Here’s the speech he made, which I was watching last night as the rather spectacular eclipse of the moon was taking place:

Horowitz’s parents were card-carrying communist party members, as was he for many years, so I guess that his is an insider view of the US Left.

He said there were four features of the ‘progressive’ leftist mentality

  1. They’re all Rousseauians. They all think, like Rousseau, that “Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains.” They also believe that in a “state of nature” people behave well and get along fine.
  2. Progressives are focused on the future, and see history as a forward march.
  3. They’re usually alienated from their own country.
  4. They lie.

He regarded the Democratic party as a Communist party, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as communists.

He was very critical of conservatives, for not fighting back against the Left. He said,  “We are within reach of a totalitarian state in this country…These are very very dark days for this country.”

I wondered what he might think of Donald Trump. I dug out a YouTube video on it, in which he says:

“I love Donald Trump. I  think he’s probably going to be a big problem for Republicans, but I just wish that every Republican had the fire in his belly that he has, and the no-back-down attitude. I can only think of someone like Ann Coulter as someone who won’t back down. He could have crafted his initial statement a little better, but people don’t believe any more in our political leaders…”

Interesting guy, but I expect somebody will tell me that Horowitz is a right-wing lunatic.

Anyway, in my slightly left-wing days, I was never anywhere near being a Marxist or even a Rousseauian. Nor have I ever been ‘focused on the future’. Nor even particularly alienated from my own country. So I guess I was never really very left-wing. But even now I can’t really think of myself as a conservative.

And I’ve ordered a couple of new books. One is Mao by Jung Chang. And the other is an intriguing book that was mentioned in comments a few weeks ago, Smoking Kills: The Revolutionary Life of Richard Doll. Richard Doll was also once a card-carrying member of the Communist party (in the UK), and I also think that he was most likely a serial liar. I’m wondering if George Godber was too. And whether when people get the Communism bug, their primary allegiance is to The Cause rather than to their profession’s ethical code.

About Frank Davis

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28 Responses to David Horowitz

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Liberals aren’t liberal their flat out Communists/Facists.

  2. Nika says:

    O/T, more pseudo-scientific conclusions drawn from miniscule “studies” …

    Early Exposure to Tobacco Can Cause Behavioral Problems in Children: “Researchers from Inserm and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), in collaboration with the university hospitals of 6 French cities, have analysed data on pre- and postnatal exposure to tobacco in the homes of 5,200 primary school children.” [only 21% or about 1,092 of those children were tobacco-exposed] Tobacco “exposure is associated with a risk of behavioural disorders in children, particularly emotional and conduct disorders. The association is stronger when exposure takes place both during pregnancy and after birth.”

    Prenatal Exposure to Certain Pollutants Linked to Behavioral Problems in Young Children: “Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health reports that mothers’ exposure during pregnancy to pollutants created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and other organic material may lead to behavioral problems in their children, according to a new study. Researchers found that within a sample of 215 [only 215?] children monitored from birth, those children with high levels of a pollution exposure marker in their cord blood had more symptoms of attention problems and anxiety/depression at ages 5 and 7 than did children with lower exposure.”

    All those taxpayer/research dollars spent … only to end up with contradictory “causes.” Real scientists like Louis Pasteur would probably gag at how frequently “risk,” “may” and “can” are used to sell such worthless, unscientific conclusions (and pharmaceuticals) these days. Why, it’s enough to make an adult misbehave!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Junk Science – a term used to describe false or misleading research that is offered as real science, but which was not obtained using the accepted scientific method . The term “junk science” is often applied to deceptive environmental and health studies.

    • nisakiman says:

      So, we have a situation where 50 years ago when nearly everybody smoked there was no significant evidence of behavioural problems in children, whereas now that hardly anyone smokes, half the kids are on Ritalin.

      And exposure to smoke causes ADHD?

      Do these people really believe we are brain dead?

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Do these people really believe we are brain dead?

        The Nazis don’t get it yet,the worse of the Nazis keep tossing out ever more insane trash thinking people will still believe their BS claims. Third hand smoke and outdoor bans is what killed the anti smoking movements belief system with the public besides everything else.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Nisakiman, isn’t the BBC constantly lamenting the mental breakdown of youngsters these days? They are at best off sick (on the taxpayer, of course) long term.
        My generation grew up with smoking and smokers. ADHD? Ritalin? Off sick with some sort of mental problem? Who? When? Where?

        And, now, my generation “lives soooooo much longer” – we may as well carry on working in order to keep the mentally ill youngsters (and the government) afloat.
        I was told that I shorten my life by 10 years if I don’t smoke.
        Well, in that case, get only the smoker haters to work 10 year beyond retirement age.

        Oh, and something else: the BBC lamented the cost of the increasing number of Alzheimer affected people.
        It made me laugh.

      • edith482 says:

        I think they believe that if they repeat a lie long enough it becomes the truth. Good point about the behaviour of children 50 years ago.

  3. waltc says:

    Here’s Horowitz’s website: http://www.frontpagemag.com

    I like him too, btw, but wonder if he still likes Trump and, if so, how deeply– belly-fire notwithstanding. I’ve also long liked Coulter and for similar fiery reasons in addition to her wit. Even had dinner with her once or twice yrs ago BUT she’s gone over the edge about Trump, defying her own sense of razor-sharp logic and she recently tweeted some anti-semitism much to the perplexity of many so I’ve mentally put her on probation.

    • Frank Davis says:

      She’s written a book called Adios America about mass illegal immigration, and Trump is saying what she’s been saying, so she’s right behind him. The ‘antisemitism’ was a reference to Jews with an “f—ing” preceding, which may have been antisemitic, but also may have just been an intensifier. I occasionally put f—ing in front of something to intensify/underline it.

      • waltc says:

        I too oppose mass illegal immigration but she defends him on everything, even when (and it’s frequent) he goes off half-cocked. His impractical, expensive, unconstitutional and pogrom-like plan is to overnight deport 12 million people and then sort them out later. When asked what he’d do about the mess in the middle east, his sole response was “I can talk to Putin. Putin would like me.” His campaign style is slash-and-burn, dismissing serious rivals as “clowns” and “jokers” and “hideous failures” sneering at one as a “loser” because he isn’t rich; sneering at guys in the armed forces who got captured, calling them losers too and adding ‘I like winners.” He retaliates against the slightest sleight with a metaphoric, often adolescent , nuke. I’d hate to see him have a real one at hand.

        As for Ann, the context was her rebuking the R debaters for their mentioning the US alliance with Israel which she apparently considered political pandering to American Jews. Her comment, roughly, was “how many f’ing Jews do they think there are anyway?”

        I don’t, otoh , want to coopt the board and turn this into a political argument. There’s too much we all agree on to start getting divisive. FTR, my general politics are libertarian/ semi-conservative. What calls itself Liberalism today is far too illiberal and collectivist, and Progressivism to me feels like progress along the road to serfdom.

    • smokervoter says:

      Even had dinner with her once or twice yrs ago

      Inquiring minds what to know. What’s she really like in person and did she smoke? If so, happen to remember which brand?

      I burn hot and cold on her, but mainly hot. As Mick Jagger once sang (from Memory Motel)… ‘She gotta’ mind of her own and she uses it well’ … ‘She’s a one of a kind’

      • waltc says:

        Yes, she did smoke back then. And I distinctly remember Carlton 100s. This was before the complete ban on smoking in NYC restaurants so there were still some restaurants –I think the dividing line was “under 50 tables”– where smoking was legal.. I believe she quit when the full ban came in because it was too socially difficult. What she’s really like in oerson is what you see on television. Very definite, funny, but actually warm. As for smoking, I recall, perhaps incorrectly, that she said her parents didn’t know she smoked tho she said she smoked a lot when she wrote, she was, likely still is, close to her family. I haven’t seen her in a long time tho once in a rare while we exchange emails. I should ask my cousin, thru whom I met her, what he thinks of her trumpeting Trump and the fing Jews tweet.

  4. mikef317 says:

    FD quote: “I expect somebody will tell me that Horowitz is a right-wing lunatic.”

    Let me be the first!

    I listened to 25 minutes. It was all I could take.

    Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the South African government – Communists are all over the place. (It’s been a long time since South Africa has been an issue in American politics.)

    Right-wing lunatic!

    But…. I’m not going to defend my case. Not now, and probably not ever.

    I hate video presentations. If I had a text file I could copy some words and argue that the points are incorrect. To counter Horowitz’s claims I would have to transcribe video to text, and then spend a month or more writing a lengthy document refuting his issues. But I won’t. I don’t have time to do that much writing to debate this video. Life is too short.

    I’m not going to debate the four points, either. No time!

    It’s a piss poor argument to say that Horowitz is a nut, and then say that I can’t be bothered to explain why. But that’s what I’m doing. I say he’s a nut. Other people may deem him a genius if they choose.


    I’m really unhappy with this comment.

    I’ve been writing two long pieces on U. S. politics, one on Donald Trump, and one on Ann Coulter. (Neither is complimentary.) Don’t know if I’ll post them or not, but if I do, these I will defend.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to post a short (nasty) item on Donald Trump.

  5. mikef317 says:

    Frank, look at the picture of Trump in your August 8th post. (I put it in my comment; if it fails to reproduce, maybe you can fix it.)

    Should this man be in charge of the American nuclear arsenal, pounding his fist on the table as he lays down the law to the Russians and Chinese?

    Maybe The Donald will also lay down the law to the Brits. He has expressed his opinion of rapist Mexicans. Does he hold Limeys in higher regard?

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Id give em the button for nuke weapons……………….he might actually use it and end the world take over by these NAZIS in the UN

  6. garyk30 says:

    The leftists would be ok if they used their ideas for their lifestyle and did not try to force the rest of us to support and pay for their programs.

    They should be content to keep their ‘ideal world’ dreams to themselves.

  7. Clicky says:

  8. rauchen says:

    Hmm. aren’t smokers currently “alienated” from their own countries? And don’t libertarians believe that if left alone, people will behave well? Don’t garden-variety liberals (and conservatives for that matter) believe that we need the government and other authorities to make us behave decently?

    “A liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested.”

  9. rauchen says:

    PS. And don’t politicians of all stripes lie?

  10. Will says:

    I’d say the past century has been “progressive” and all about people gaining more freedoms yet now it seems like liberals want to go backwards.

  11. Frank Davis says:

    One thing I forgot to mention in the post above was the first thing Horowitz said that I agreed with:

    “What freedom do we have left if the state controls our health?”

    It’s something that’s been bothering me about the UK’s NHS since the smoking ban. Now that they’ve decided that people shouldn’t smoke, there’s nothing to stop them refusing treatment for smokers, expelling them from hospital grounds, and treating only ‘healthy’ people. They can start blackmailing people into doing whatever they want. No compliance, no treatment.

    There was a famous case in antiquity of a doctor who would only treat people on the condition that, if his treatment was successful, they would become his slaves. They were being asked to trade their freedom for their lives.

    It’s why I’ve begun to think that universal state healthcare is the gateway to slavery, and that private medicine. If you don’t like your doctor, you hire another one instead. That way doctors must compete. Once competition is removed, they become petty tyrants.

    • beobrigitte says:

      If you don’t like your doctor, you hire another one instead.
      That’s the way it was when I grew up. I didn’t like the attitude of one GP I just got a second opinion from another and never returned to the annoying one. GPs were paid by patient. They had no “normal” salary.

      That way doctors must compete. Once competition is removed, they become petty tyrants.
      Giving these guys/girls a salary regardless how many patients they have to treat opens up any reasonably well financed lobby group heaven.
      WHO then cares for the well-being of people?

  12. slugbop007 says:

    Who pays their salaries? We do. Time to downsize?

  13. waltc says:

    Hey, Frank. Trump just came out in favor of universal, gov’t backed health care. Saying ” i knoe it’s un-Republican but,,,”

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