Are Trotskyites Running the Pentagon?





Mr. Wald is Professor of American Culture, University of Michigan.

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As a scholar researching for several decades the migration of United States intellectuals from Left to Right, I have been startled by the large number of journalistic articles making exaggerated claims about ex-Trotskyist influence on the Bush administration that have been circulating on the internet and appearing in a range of publications. I first noticed these in March 2003, around the time that the collapse of Partsian Review magazine was announced, although some may have appeared earlier.

One of the most dismaying examples can be found in the caricatures presented in Michael Lind's"The Weird Men Behind George W. Bush's War" that appeared in the April 7, 2003 issue of the New Statesman. Lind states that U.S. foreign policy is now being formulated by a circle of"neoconservative defence intellectuals," and that"most" are"products of the largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s...." Moreover, Lind claims that their current ideology of"Wilsonianism" is really Trotsky's theory of the permanent revolution mingled with the far-right Likud strain of Zionism."

However, I am not aware that anyone in the group of"neoconservative defence intellectuals" cited by Mr. Lind has ever had an organizational or ideological association with Trotskyism, or with any other wing of the Far Left. Nor do I understand the implications of emphasizing the"Jewish" side of the formula, although many of these individuals may have diverse relations to the Jewish tradition--as do many leading U.S. critics of the recent war in Iraq.

Mr. Lind's misleading representation of political biographies and theories of the group he calls the defense intellectuals stems from his eclectic use of the term"neoconservatism." Today the label appears as a catch-all phrase applied to diverse right-wing intellectuals, many with little palpable connection to the famous neoconservative movement that coalesced in the 1970s. The latter were one-time liberal intellectuals who shifted sharply to the Right in response to perceived excesses of 1960s radical movements.

True enough, after World War II, a number of one time Trotskyists, like others of their generation, moved in a conservative direction. The most notable, National Review supporters Max Eastman and James Burnham, were neither Jewish nor neoconservative, although they advocated a Bush-like foreign policy. In the Cold War era, Sidney Hook, a sympathizer of Trotskyism in the mid-1930s, and Irving Kristol, a member of a Trotskyist faction ("Shermanites") in the late 1930s and early 1940s, became militant Cold Warriors. Although both were deradicalized before the 1960s, these two are much identified with the original neoconservatism of the 1970s. However, Kristol's son, William, now editor of the influential Weekly Standard, was never on the Far Left, let alone associated with Trotskyism. Likewise, Elliot Cohen, who founded Commentary in 1946, had been a Trotskyist sympathizer in the early 1930s. But neither his eventual successor, one-time liberal Norman Podhoretz, nor Podhoretz's son, John, had any such Marxist proclivities.

Equally misleading is the glib equation of the defense intellectuals'"Wilsonianism" with Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution. Whatever the relevance of Trotsky's theory might be today, the original idea addressed the relationship of class forces in the economically underdeveloped world. It was Trotsky's strategy for escaping from Western domination, not expanding it, and the argument was that poor countries could only become genuinely independent by breaking radically with the"free market," not by embracing it. Any association with current"Wilsonianism" is far-fetched.

I certainly agree with Mr. Lind that we need to find out"Who is making foreign policy?" and"what are they trying to achieve?" But his amalgamation of the defense intellectuals with the traditions and theories of"the largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement" is singularly unhelpful.

Editor's Note

Several individuals have asked about the relation of"Shermanites" to"Shachtmanites" in Alan Wald's piece about alleged Trotskyists among the"Defense Intellectuals." Wald replies:

"Sherman" was the Party name of of PHILIP SELZNICK (born Philip Shachter in 1919). He became a young Trotskyist around 1937 and joined Max Shachtman's Workers Party (WP) when it split from the Socialist Workers party in 1940. Opposed to Shachtman, Selznick immediately organized a faction within the WP known as the"Shermanites." Supporters of the Shermanites included Selznick, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Seymour Martin Lipset, Marvin Meyers, Peter Rossi, Martin Diamond, Herbert Garfinkel, Jeremiah Kaplan, and Irving Kristol--all of whom became well known as historians, social scientists, and publishers. Both the young Irving Howe and Max Shachtman himself vigorously opposed the Shermanites in various debates. Among other things, the Shermanite group considered itself revolutionary but"anti-Bolshevik," which complicates a simple view of them as"Trotskyists."

The Shermanite grouping quickly left the WP and published the magazine ENQUIRY from 1942 to 1945. A full set of the journal has been reprinted, and abundant documentation about the faction exists. Selznick himself became a Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and was a supporter of the Free Speech Movement.


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Daniel Weisleder Garfinkel - 11/4/2008

Unfortunately, Herbert Garfinkel, or as I like to recall him, Grandpa, passed away around the same time you first noticed these claims. I would very much love to discuss this article with him and hear his opinion because I think he would disagree with you, and be very proud of his journey in life, as well as his "influence". I don't think his views were a direct influence on our current President but he was certainly part of the group that helped bring those views to the forefront.

I know Selznick, or as I call him, Phillip. I recently moved to Berkeley, where I've visited with him recently and have much enjoyed hearing him talk of being in the Comunist party with my Grandpa before they held a trial and kicked my Grandpa out for being a Socialist.

I never spoke to my Grandpa about Trotsky. There are however, dozens of books on Communism, Socialism, Trotsky, Neoconservatism, and numerous other topics relating to Governance, in his personal Library.

I don't think it's an over-exaggeration to mention the Jewish aspect. I think it's more appropriate to place these folks in the Zionist category. I think this is largely misunderstood outside of the Jewish community. Jewish and Zionist do not go hand in hand, and it varies between Jews of all sects, from Reconstructionists to Orthodox.

You seem to know more about Trotskyism and the finer points of Socialism than I, but all of these ideas helped lead to the current ideology that is plaguing our foreign policy. It may have been brief, and it may not be on paper, but I wouldn't rule out Trotskyism as a former doctrine of this group.

Phillip Selznick will be 90 years of age on January, 8th, a day before my 22nd birthday. My Grandma, Evelyn just reached 89. My Grandpa would have been 91 this year. My uncle, Herb's son, Paul, died at age 52. My Mom, Herb's daughter, is essentially my link to him.

My point here is that these people are more closely linked and there's much more to the story than just their names on a page. I found this article upon Googling my Grandpa's name. My Grandpa Herb certainly went through a lot to get to where he ended up. I don't remember much anymore other than his love and how much he was the center of our Family. Obviously I remember that he voted for Bush in '00. But I like to believe that this year I would have persuaded him to remember what it was like when he truly believed in Equality, and to finally let go of the Neoconservative Ideological grip.

It feels good to get that out.


Jan Cervenka - 1/13/2008

it sould be "very influential on thinking of other neocons"


Jan Cervenka - 1/13/2008

Oh, gimme a break!

As nobody else than comrade Schwartz has pointed out in one quite interesting of his pieces in NR, he had some and he was not alone...

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-schwartz061103.asp


Jan Cervenka - 1/13/2008

"...the idea of permanent revolution is that the capitalist class in the developing world was too weak to see through a bourgeois/democratic revolution by itself. According to Trotskyists, this task would fall to the the working class in the former colonies."

While this is not untrue, it is not all. In fact Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution included also from very beginning as its integral part an idea (shared with Marx and Lenin but later after Lenin's death dismissed by Bukharin and Stalin with their theory of socialism in one country) that socialist revolution cannot survive and be successful for long, if it would stay isolated and limited in any national frame. Trotsky and his followers as well as Zinoviev criticised Stalin and Bukharin's idea of socialism in one country as a treason of revolution with (according to these critics foolish and doomed) intention to make a compromise with ruling bourgeoisie outside of Russia and to keep their power of new ruling class (in fact, that's what was probably Stalin's greatest desire and ambition all the time - to be respected and accepted leader from part of other powers, very "conservative" and "realist" approach, isn't it?), which led to disaster for Communists in China during 1920s who were ordered via Comintern to join Kuomintang and were (once Kuomintang's in Moscow trained leader Chiang Kai-shek stabilized his power with Communist's help) purged and butchered in grand scale in April 1927. This feud which had much to do with struggle of power inside Soviet elite was in the centre of debates on the far left in the U.S. from where in 1930s and early 1940s some future neocon luminaries (very influential on thinking of) or their tutors like Schachtman or Burnham started their drift to the Reagan's camp in 1980s.


Graham Barnfield - 9/14/2003

Jag Vet says:
"also the idea of a permanent revolution is that the revolution can never rest. it must always attempt to spread and conquer its global enemies, otherwise it would perish."

No, the idea of permanent revolution is that the capitalist class in the developing world was too weak to see through a bourgeois/democratic revolution by itself. According to Trotskyists, this task would fall to the the working class in the former colonies. Upon obtaining democratic rights, the workers would at least have the opportunity to progress to socialism (hence 'permanent revolution'.)

The lack precision is astonishing. Part of the problem with this discussion, as formulated by Lind but also reflected in the recent toffs' quarrel between Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis over the book _Koba the Dread_, is that many of the protagonists are using such broad concepts, to the point where they become banal. This means more or less anyone can be made into a Trotskist, even if they don't know it themselves. Mr Jag - "they may not want to admit it in their minds...but deep in their hearts they know it's true" - predictably fits this into the fashionable language of therapy, suggesting that both neo-cons and Prof. Wald are in denial.


jag vet - 9/5/2003

the point lind makes in his article in the new stateman - a brilliant british intellectual magazine, by the way - is that there are similarities between the modus operandi of trotskyism and the neocons, and not in ideology. so yes, the neocons do not share in trotskys view of what the goal of the struggle is, but they do share in what means should be used to reach it.

trotskyits utilized political pamphlets signed by leading political figures in the movement to demand radical changes. these were full of fiery rethoric, paranoia and messianic overtones displaying the world in the "good/evil" type of dicthonomy. the same method was used by wolfowitz and friends during the 90s when they were ousted from power during the democratic era.

constantly they demanded an invasion of iraq, a unipolar us foreign policy and the use of pre-emptive military force to strike down supposed enemies of the US. see for example the PNAC-document.

also the idea of a permanent revolution is that the revolution can never rest. it must always attempt to spread and conquer its global enemies, otherwise it would perish.

the rift between stalin and trotsky in the early soviet union developed because trotsky wanted to go on and spread the revolution in the capitalist west, while stalin wanted to concentrate on re-building and modernising russia.

the same idea of viewing the world is apparent in the neocon view of "the war against terrorism" which is an on going process without and, and which cannot be stopped at any cost.

the defintion of terrorism, its roots and causes are watered down to " evil people who hate our freedoms". just like trotsky called all capitalists " enemys of the people"

linds parrallell is that necon foreign policy - just like trotskyism - is based on a simplified and militant world view where complexity, compromise, relativism and adjustment is equated with totalt defeat.

we all know how significant our family values and upbringing is to our moral and ideological view of the world.

the messianic, paranoid,revolutionary, simplified and vilified view of conflicts so apparent in trotskyism have survived and been transformed into the neocon agenda of these "childern of trotsky"...they may not want to admit it in their minds...but deep in their hearts they know it's true.


Mike - 7/9/2003

I used to work with Michael Lind's younger brother here in Austin, TX. I believe his name was Mark. Anyway, Mark revered his older brother. Mark was also a seething anti-semite who proclamed that the Jews controlled the world and therefore should be exterminated. To convince me of the cabal, Mark gave me his brother's first book to read. I got about 20 pages into it and realized that it was a hate-filled read, so I returned it. One has to wonder where young Mark got his ideas in the first place. The Lind family is a frightening one indeed - and I am not even Jewish!


Raymond Chase - 7/1/2003

While I am in overall agreement with Alan Wald, I think he glosses over the undeniable fact that the Workers Party membership was predominantly Jewish and New York City based. When the 1940 SWP split occurred relatively few Jewish members supported the Cannon led majority and stayed in the SWP. At that time, Trotsky was criticized for referring to the minority as being based in the Bronx, i.e., Jewish.


YSN - 6/28/2003


There are people who are unhappy with things, those that are, and those that haven't thought of it.

The people who don't like things may have any number of complaints, while those who are satisfied might be happy for any number of reasons.

A person who gets a great idea and runs with it to completion, bringing Society along with them, was a Liberal. That person who wants to make sure the idea stays, is a Conservative.

Now, we have Two Parties in America, both entirely Conservative.





YSN - 6/27/2003


What if, in attempt to grab the Left by the Brains on the "Road to War" (Starring: Bob Hope and Don Rumsfeld), the Pentagon...

consciously...

used Trotskyite language?

I mean, if I was trying to convince someone of Something I'd sure attempt to Learn the Language.

"Alienation's for the rich, and I'm feeling poorer every day" -- They Might Be Giants, 1986?


ruth formanek - 6/27/2003

You must mean Schachtmanites, after Max Schachtman, leader of the Workers Party.


Kenneth Gregg - 6/27/2003

Dr. Wald,
Thank you for your comments and the somewhat curious, but enthusiastic posts that your article has generated. I do appreciate seeing these. It does help me see the issues from a somewhat different stance than the one that I have used in lectures over the years on "The Left-Right Libertarian Flip-Flop", a somewhat flippant (pardon the pun) description of the first "wave" (see below).
Certainly as a student of the move from left to right by various intellectual groups in the post-WWI to Cold War period, it's fairly clear that there were two major "waves", so to speak, of this type of migration. The first grouping during the '20's and '30's were largely comprised of non-socialist leftists, mainly classical liberals (such as Cleveland or "Gold" Democrats) and more radical libertarians (single-taxers, decentralists, individualist-anarchists, etc.) somewhat simplisticly described in Dr. Rothbard's classic 1965 essay on the subject, "Left and Right: Prospects for Liberty" http://www.mises.org/journals/lar/pdfs/1_1/1_1_2.pdf and while I have some objections to Rothbard's interpretations, it is an excellent starting point to understanding this first wave.
The second wave occurred later in the '30's and throughout the '40's was comprised of former communists, including a number of ex-trots, and is described in various books, including, as one of the previous posts mentions, Dr. Nash's "The Conservative Intellectual Movement", supplemented by several other more recent works such as Justin Raimondo's somewhat flawed but occasionally brilliant "Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement", Samuel Francis' "Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism" and Dr. Paul Gottfried's concise "The Conservative Movement (Social Movements Past and Present)". Certainly, by the time one has reviewed these books, one can easily get more of a pattern for the evolution of the intricate strains within American conservative thought, both amongst the traditionalist (where neoconservatism lies) and the libertarian strains. Regrettably, there is no single work on libertarian history that I can recommend which describes the left-right movement in the '20's and '30's, but these books frequently touch on the matter (Raimondo's work, perhaps more than the others). One has to search amongst primary sources or relatively obscure papers published in various scholarly journals for insights on this period, and my post is already too long for me to delve further.
The recent article by Ed Crane and Dr. William Niskanen of the Cato Institute, "Upholding Liberty in America" http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1054966383325&p=1012571727088 criticises neocons from the more mainstream libertarian thinking and gives a feel for the growing tension within the broader American conservative thought. Perhaps it is inevitable, as most libertarians have never been comfortable with traditionalists, and the neoconservatives tend to be far too comfortable with democratic socialism than other traditionalists may like. The relatively recent growth of paleoconservatism has been like a wedge, splintering much of any unity that many conservatives have sought to maintain within the movement.
Kenneth Gregg
KGregg@free-market.net


Walter Hearne - 6/26/2003

yawn....


Vin Rosa - 6/26/2003


Mr. Hearne:

"I'm well aware that palecons have been using 'neoconservative' as a derogatory label for several years."

Is a "palecon" like a lifer who needs some sun?

"Why anyone with half a brain would care if the Birchers 'approve' is beyond me."

So in other words, you don't care.

"I have no idea how this vitiates my point that left-liberals only recently began using the term promiscuously, and I have no idea why my use of the word "promiscuously" would get your panties in a bunch."

We are in agreement. You indeed "have no idea." No need to say it twice. And give it up with the transference. My drawers are quite comfortable. You're the one with the intellectual wedgie.

"Many conservatives have in fact resisted setting down any conservative "program," and Russell Kirk, himself hardly a neoconservative, once said that conservatism was the "negation of ideology."

So is anarchy(an ideology itself, of course). Kirk was suggesting conservatism was more philosophy than ideology, meaning more passive than impressed, more voluntary than coercive, more laissez-faire than "do it my way." You've just verified your recognition of the most consequential difference between conservatism and neoconism. So whatever IS your point?

"Frankly, I don't care what your 'idea' of conservatism is, and I have no interest in getting into some sort of sectarian debate about it."

Three responses, couple-few-hundred words. Like to see how long you'd spin, evade and generally blabber if you DID care and WERE interested.

Congratulations. You're now an official member of the Loyal Order of Sophistic Shrubbery-Sprinklers. Your secret decoder ring is in the mail.


Walter Hearne - 6/26/2003


Perhaps someday you will make an actual argument, but I'll respond to your points.

First, regarding "left-liberals" and the Birchers, I'm well aware that "palecons" have been using "neoconservative" as a derogatory label for several years. (Why anyone with half a brain would care if the Birchers "approve" is beyond me). I have no idea how this vitiates my point that left-liberals only recently began using the term promiscuously, and I have no idea why my use of the word "promiscuously" would get your panties in a bunch.

Second, you demand that I define conservatism for you. The problem is that I'm not the one who started off declaring anyone to be "pseudo-conservative," as in your earlier post. Many conservatives have in fact resisted setting down any conservative "program," and Russell Kirk, himself hardly a neoconservative, once said that conservatism was the "negation of ideology." Frankly, I don't care what your "idea" of conservatism is, and I have no interest in getting into some sort of sectarian debate about it. (Talk about "minutia").

As for "Living History," I would never put it down, because I would never pick it up in the first place.

Do you have any more deep thoughts?


Leo Ribuffo - 6/26/2003

Wald's is a (typically) smart piece by someone who knows as much about Trots as any living American. But journalism being journalism, these cliches won't die. Scholars, at least, should do better.


Vin Rosa - 6/25/2003


Seems the little folk can't get together on their minutia.

Mr. Hearne:

"The term never had much truck with the masses until many left-liberal commentators and activists recently began using it so promiscuously."

"Promiscuously." Oooh! What a "conservative" choice of words.

I wonder if the "left-liberal commentators and activists" over at the John Birch Society would approve?

I've got an idea. Why don't YOU tell ME what "conservatism" is?

No cheating, now. Put that brand-spanking-new copy of "Living History" right back down.


Walter Hearne - 6/25/2003


Apparently, "pedantic pygmies" means "people who show Vin Rosa to be factually incorrect." What I find very humorous is that you so confidently find neocons to be "pseudo-conservative" when you (A) don't know the basic history of the conservative movement in postwar America and (B) you can't get straight basic facts about neocons themselves, e.g., William Kristol did not "introduce the term [neoconservative] to a mass-media audience." The term never had much truck with the masses until many left-liberal commentators and activists recently began using it so promiscuously.

You want to know why you should "agree" with "neoconism." Well, tell me what neoconism is. I would bet you can't, other than a few incoherent rants with "Weekly Standard" and "Commentary" thrown in.

I also patiently wait for you to tell us all how Washington and Madison would have camped out by the post road in a blizzard, anxiously waiting to lay hands on their copies of Chronicles. Remind us that it was Patrick Henry who so stirringly proclaimed, "Give me Joe Sobran [or Sam Francis or Justin Raimondo or Lew Rockwell], or give me death!"


Walter Hearne - 6/25/2003


When you write "it appears Mr. Kristol the younger was the first to publicly identify his father's pseudo-conservative movement as 'neoconservatism,'" you are not only wrong, you're badly wrong. First, the term "neoconservative" was first used sometime during the late 1960s by Michael Harrington, one of the founders of the Democratic Socialists of America, who used it as a term of opprobrium for leftists and liberals who were migrating rightward.

Second, Irving Kristol was probably the only neoconservative to ever really accept the term, and the idea that neoconservatism was ever a "movement" is extremely risible. (One wag remarked that "neoconservatism" was often "just Irving"). If neoconservatism merely means a group of conservatives who used to be on the left, then many of the founding members of the postwar conservative movement, including James Burnham, Frank S. Meyer, Ralph de Toledano, and Whittaker Chambers, would all be considered "neoconservatives."

So if William Kristol ever identified his father as a neoconservative, or the group of intellectuals he tended to ally with as neoconservatives, he would be in fact employing the term in its original and correct sense as applied to a specific group of left-leaning intellectuals who moved toward the right in the 1970s and early 1980s. Beyond that, the term really has little content.


Vin Rosa - 6/25/2003

PS (Postscript?) Bradley:

Okay, let's get really specific so the pedantic pygmies don't soil themselves.

Young William appears to have been the first to introduce the term to a mass-media audience, as opposed to pubescent Machiavellians who were hiding their zits behind Commentary in high school.

So now, tell everyone why neoconism is "a GOOD thing as to which I AGREE." Tell us all how Washington and Madison would have camped out by the post road in a blizzard, anxiously waiting to lay hands on their copies of the Weekly Standard. Remind us that it was Patrick Henry who so stirringly proclaimed, "Give me Goldberg, or give me death!"


PS Bradley - 6/25/2003

Vin Rosa made the following comment:
"An interesting "historical" perspective, since it appears Mr. Kristol the younger was the first to publicly identify his father's pseudo-conservative movement as "neoconservatism." I guess he he wasn't "using the term with much intelligence." Maybe he misconstrued "the original sense of the word." "

This is clearly wrong. I began reading Commentary in High School in the late 1970s. I read Irving Kristol's Two Cheers for Capitalism during the same time frame. I can assure you that the term "neoconservative" was being applied to, and self applied by, Kristol, Podhoretz, James Q. Wilson, etc. at that time. Likewise, Esquire came out with one of its periodic descriptions of politics which described the "neoconservative galaxy" in the early 80s. All this is, of course, prior to the advent of Kristol the Younger. It is so clearly wrong that William Kristol "invented" neoconservativism seems to be an attempt to deny a several decade old tradition in an attempt to redefine "neocons" as something like "its a bad thing as to which I disagree."





Vin Rosa - 6/25/2003

Mr. Hearne:

"The current usage of 'neoconservative' by many journalists, activists, and mere cranks bears absolutely no relation to the original sense of the word. For some, 'neoconservative' appears to mean 'someone or something I don't like and/or of which I am afraid.'

"I don't think it's a stretch to say that you can't use the term 'neoconservative' with much intelligence if you don't have a basic understanding of the history of the conservative movement and how certain intellectuals migrated from left to right."

An interesting "historical" perspective, since it appears Mr. Kristol the younger was the first to publicly identify his father's pseudo-conservative movement as "neoconservatism." I guess he he wasn't "using the term with much intelligence." Maybe he misconstrued "the original sense of the word."

Mr. Jacobson:

"Someone who is a full professor at a major university is not a 'self-proclaimed scholar.' They are a scholar. Anybody who does scholarly research for peer-review in their field is a scholar."

I believe you mean "clique-review." And if one does "scholarly research" for review by one's clique and conforms to that clique's ideological standards, one is a "scholar." So if you pee on ornamental shrubbery for review by other ornamental-shrubbery-whizzers, you are, in fact, an artist who works in water colors.

And when one compiles an extensive portfolio of urine art, one may be bestowed the coveted position of Full Revisionist Pompousass. Whom shall I contact to nominate you and Mr. Hearne?


Walter Hearne - 6/24/2003


All of Wald's major points are correct. The current usage of "neoconservative" by many journalists, activists, and mere cranks bears absolutely no relation to the original sense of the word. For some, "neoconservative" appears to mean "someone or something I don't like and/or of which I am afraid." Michael Lind's article is only one of the most egregious in this vein; Lind is a smart and knowledgeable fellow, but lately he's been off in la-la land.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that you can't use the term "neoconservative" with much intelligence if you don't have a basic understanding of the history of the conservative movement and how certain intellectuals migrated from left to right. (Try reading George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America).


Walter Hearne - 6/24/2003

Shouldn't "Shermanites" be "Schactmanites," after Max Schactman? Or am I missing something?


Alan Jacobson - 6/24/2003

Someone who is a full professor at a major university is not a "self-proclaimed" scholar. They are a scholar. Anybody who does scholarly research for peer-review in their field is a scholar. The fact you would even ask such a question shows pretty clearly that you are not a scholar.

Professor Wald is one of the foremost researchers on the topic of the Left and American Culture. It's not his fault you're not familiar with the body of study in the field.


JS Narins - 6/23/2003


His book "Up From Conservatism" definitely seems to exaggerate religious influences, although in that case it was the religious right and the republican party.

I took a look at some of Strauss's work. Five pages of the Introduction to The City And Man were quite beautiful.

It described a world of Republics.

I still say that if we, as a Republic, use force to achieve this end, it is nothing but a tyranny. Just as an aside, Trotsky was quite the petty tyrant when he held authority, both as Defense General and in his role smashing the Unions in Russia.

I read some of the Voegelin letters, and it seems Strauss was a bit of a heartless prick, and I should know. (He's dead)

This cartoon it is from America's Gilded Age
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA96/PUCK/322.jpg

I was thinking that, in a world of Republics, Monarchies and Despotisms, we have a Volunteer Duty to send our Armed Forces to stop aggression in other Republics, and (for always?) all Constitutional Monarchies, and even the Absolute Monarchies, when they are attacked by Tyrants (ha, only if we can set up a University in their Capital!)

Monarchs, of course, will have other interests, but all Republics should think fairly well the same.

j@narins.net


Jim Lynch - 6/23/2003

So, you're a (self-proclaimed) "scholar", eh, Mr. Wald? Before I tangle with you, I'd like to know: just what does that mean? What is your definition of "scholar"?