[September 20, 2016] Socialism is a system of government and economics that has historically been associated with totalitarianism and with the deaths of tens of millions of people. Logic and historical fact however is not how those enthralled with the theoretical foundation of socialism argue for its benefits. David Horowitz is opposed to it because those adhering to it so faithfully ignore the violent and oppressive nature used to implement it.
Growing up and while attending Columbia University, Horowitz was a true “red diaper baby.”1 He was a dedicated socialist, as were his parents. Specifically he was one who upheld the virtues of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and socialism’s variations. He spent many years attempting to create a positive perspective on socialism but became disillusioned as he tried to justify Marxist materialism with modern socialistic theory.
Horowitz saw something good when the leaders of the Black Panther Party announced they were giving up violence and turning to community activities instead. He saw this as a “constructive leftism” and began to raise funds for a learning center for Black Panther children. He recruited bookkeeper Betty Van Patter to maintain the accounts of the tax-exempt foundation he had created.
But it was the murder of Van Patter that got him to thinking that their announcement at the time to “put away the gun” was just a façade. Police were convinced she was murdered by members of the Black Panther Party, but prosecutors were unable to bring an indictment and the Department of Justice chose not to pursue it under pressure from other Leftist organizations.2
“Like all radicals, I lived in some fundamental way in a castle in the air. Now, I had hit the ground hard, and had no idea of how to get up or go on.” – David Horowitz
Over the next ten years he undertook a political journey from Left to Right. He didn’t see Stalinism as a cruel socialist aberration but that the roots of Stalinism and totalitarianism lay in socialism itself. During this transition, Horowitz wrote many books; one theme being that a nation’s character, as defined by its early history, shapes its destiny.
This was the time that he was witness to the slaughter of millions of Cambodian peasants by its Communist government and the slaughter of tens of thousands of Vietnamese in the re-education camps of the North Vietnamese. What stuck him foremost was how the American Left refused to hold itself accountable for the Communist victories they had fought so hard for and did not care for the suffering of those people who they had once purported to speak.
In subsequent writings, Horowitz provides us with the theme that Leftists refuse to accept the implications of the collapse of Communism. Now, those same Leftists have been reborn, only to rename themselves in terms that don’t carry the memories of defeat and now call themselves “liberals” and even “progressives.”
[Don’t forget to “Like” the Leader Maker at our Facebook Page.]
- This led to Horowitz’s disenchantment with the organization. They were not, as they claimed, to be victims of police oppression because they were militants but they were simple ghetto thugs running a con game and committing crimes against vulnerable black citizens. Horowitz’s whole political life was built upon the socialist dream and now it crumbled before him.