THE RULING IDEAS OF OUR TIMES
The final volume of David Horowitz’s “The Black Book of the American Left.”
Below is Richard Baehr’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, “Ruling Ideas,” which is the ninth and final volume of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of Horowitz’s conservative writings that now stands as the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda. (Order HERE.) We encourage our readers to visit BlackBookOfTheAmericanLeft.com – which features Horowitz’s introductions to volumes 1-9 of this series, along with their tables of contents, reviews and interviews with the author.
Many people I know grew up in liberal households, and at some point in their lives, they gravitated to the right politically. Many others were nurtured in conservative homes and moved left politically. These shifts are not too surprising. What made someone start in one place and move one way or the other is a function of many things, including the political thinking of one’s spouse or partner; the community where one lives; the schools one attended; the company where one works; the political environment of the country, which has shifted left and right at different times; and whether someone was religiously observant and became more secular or moved in the other direction. In general, most people are not obsessed with politics. They may have strong political views, but they don’t choose politics as a career path or live and breathe it to the exclusion of other interests or passions.
David Horowitz has had a fundamentally different life experience. He grew up in a communist household with parents who were true believers in the superiority of Marxist-Leninist thinking and the model of the Soviet Union as a pathway to a better world for those who could break the bonds that held them captive to ruling-class capitalist ideology and government. Horowitz’s parents were committed ideologues whose allegiance to the hard left never wavered. While they were momentarily upset with the revelations in 1956 of the mass murders committed by Stalin’s government in previous decades, they considered this at worst an aberration, not a reflection of the tyranny and destruction routinely associated with Marxist regimes. Their lives were too tightly wound in the narrative of the communist collective in the Queens neighborhood where they lived as public school teachers to allow themselves to rethink or reconsider their ideological faith.