I Was Smeared

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Mr. Lind is Whitehead Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation.

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Last week HNN published Alan Wald's critique of an article written by Michael Lind for the New Statesman in which Mr. Lind argued that defense policy in the Bush administration is orchestrated by a group of people, many of whom are Jewish, who were allegedly shaped by Trotskyism. This week we publish an exchange between Mr. Lind and Mr. Wald. Below is Mr. Lind's statement. Click here for Mr. Wald's.

I thank Mr. Wald for helping to prove my case. Indeed, the details he provides suggest that the existence of the influence of ex-Trotskyists, Shermanite and Schachtmannite alike, on the neoconservative faction within American conservatism was even greater than I and others have realized. It is not every day that an incompetent critic unwittingly undermines his own case in attempting to refute yours.

I stand by the observation that there is a distinct Trotskyist political culture, which shows its residual influence even on individuals who renounced Trotskyism or who were never Trotskyists but inherited this political culture from their parents or older mentors. An unusual belligerence in foreign policy combined with a desire to export "revolution" (first socialist, and then, among ex-Trotskyists who move to the liberal center or the Right, the "global democratic revolution" in the phrase of Schachtmannites like Joshua Muravchik) distinguishes these ex-Trots and inheritors of ex-Trot political culture from other kinds of conservatives and liberals--for example, Anglo-Catholic Tories, Rooseveltian New Deal liberal internationalists, and Buchanan-style isolationists. Not only in the U.S. but in Britain and continental Europe, ex-Trots have tended to go from advocating promotion of socialist revolution to promoting liberal or democratic revolution. This is a minor but genuine feature of the trans-Atlantic political landscape that is so familiar, and commented upon so often by members of the foreign policy elite, not only in the U.S. but in Britain and France, that it surprises me to learn that anyone claims it is controversial.

Now for a word about generalization. It is impossible, and would be inaccurate, to write either history or political journalism without generalizations. This is particularly important when the subject consists of enduring political traditions. How you would discuss the theology of the religious right without mentioning Calvinism or Darbyism is a mystery to me. And the influence of various strains of black nationalism and environmentalism on contemporary Democratic liberalism is equally legitimate as a subject of political analysis.

Not only I but most students of the political culture of neoconservatism, including many neoconservatives themselves, have described the various influences that distinguish this branch of the Right from others: influences including not only the vestiges of Trotskyist foreign policy activism, but also Straussianism, Cold War liberalism, and a peculiar kind of Anglophilia based on the veneration of Winston Churchill, who is far more popular among American neocons than Franklin Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson. (Even neocons like Max Boot who claim to be "Wilsonians" never quote a line from Woodrow Wilson, and nothing could be less Wilsonianism than their militaristic rhetoric about "empire," which actually derives from their idealized vision of the British empire, not from anything in the resolutely anti-imperial American political tradition). Can one identify individual neoconservatives who were not influenced by Trotskyism, Straussianism, Cold War liberalism, the myth of Churchill, and the mystique of the British empire? Certainly. Does that mean that anyone who mentions any of these influences is therefore an unscholarly conspiracy theorist, of the kind Mr. Wald accuses me of being? Oh, please.

The Straussian movement split long ago into "East Coast Straussians" and "West Coast Straussians." In addition, there are a few neoconservatives who know little or nothing about Leo Strauss. A defender of the neoconservatives as intellectually dishonest as Mr. Wald could use these facts in denouncing any scholar or journalist who mentions the influence of Straussianism on the distinctive political culture of the neoconservative faction of the Republican Party. If he were as disingenuous as Mr. Wald, he could argue that since there are East and West Coast Straussians, Straussianism therefore does not exist, and anyone who talks about a distinctive Straussian intellectual culture, or Straussian influence on neoconservatism is a) unscholarly and b) a paranoid conspiracy theorist who probably believes that the Shriners control the Council on Foreign Relations.

I happen to know a little about conspiracy theorists. At the cost of my career as a rising intellectual on the American Right, I exposed Pat Robertson's conspiracy theories about international Jewish bankers, Freemasons and Satanists in the New Republic, the Washington Post and the New York Review of Books between 1992 and 1995. My criticism of Robertson's anti-semitic conspiracy theories was the major factor in my expulsion from the neoconservative movement, in which I had taken part as the Executive Editor of the National Interest, published by Irving Kristol. Irving and Bill Kristol, of course, knew that everything that I said about Robertson was true--but my exposes were inconvenient for their personal political ambitions, which required an alliance of convenience rather than conviction with the religious right activists who dominated the Republican Party. For a similar tactical reason, Commentary, the flagship neocon magazine, began publishing articles in the 1990s claiming that Darwin, the bete noire of Southern Baptist creationists since before the Scopes "Monkey Trial," was wrong and that "biblical" creation science has been vindicated, something that Norman Podhoretz, Neal Kozodoy and other neocon intellectuals know very well is nonsense.

But wait--I used the word "neoconservative." Mr. Wald says not only that neoconservative originated as a pejorative used by Michael Harrington (true, if irrelevant) but that there never really were any self-identified "neoconservatives" (false). This line that there never really were any neoconservatives has long been used by Irving Kristol in interviews. I used to laugh about it with other of Kristol's employees. The non-existence of neoconservatism, except in the minds of conspiracy-mongers, certainly would have come as news to me and my fellow neoconservatives when I worked for Kristol and attended conferences and dinner parties with Gertrude Himmelfarb, Bill Kristol, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Peter Berger, and other self-conscious neocons. Unaware that we were not supposed to exist, according to Mr. Wald, we neocons were well aware of the shared views on the Cold War, race, and other topics that distinguished us from the Buckley Tories and the Buchananite Old Right. If Mr. Wald knew more about the neoconservative intellectual network of the 1980s and 1990s, as opposed to the long-defunct Workers' Party of the 1930s, he would know that there was a bitter war in the conservative press between "neoconservatives" (many of them former Trotskyists, as he has confirmed) who reluctantly or enthusiastically accepted the term to describe themselves and the "Old Right" of Patrick Buchanan. Mr. Wald's quibbles about the term "neoconservative" are therefore either a deliberately dishonest debating trick (my guess) or evidence of a profound ignorance of what was (and remains) one of several self-conscious factions on the American Right.

One final point. For pointing out what every history of the subject takes for granted, that the Trotskyist movement was largely though not exclusively Jewish in membership, defenders of the neocons (not, interestingly, any present-day Trotskyists!) have hinted that I am an anti-semite (they don't know, or don't care, that I am partly Jewish in descent). This has come as no surprise to me--anyone who criticizes neoconservative influence on U.S. foreign policy is quickly vilified by the gutter journalists--and the gutter professors--of neoconservatism as an anti-semite, a traitor, an appeaser, an enemy in "the culture war," or a combination of two or more of the four. Since HNN, to its discredit, has seen fit to publish several such smears against me on its website [click here and here], I would like to make one point, not so much in my defense--I have nothing to be defensive about--but in defense of scholarly freedom from intimidation and self-censorship, where ethnic or regional sensitivities are concerned.

Analysis of the role of ethnic and regional groups in U.S. politics is standard in political science, and it is not evidence of hostility toward the ethnic groups or the regions being analyzed. Indeed, this seems to be accepted by neocons in most cases. Not a single one of the critics who professes to be disturbed by my mention in passing of the Jewish role in American Trotskyism has objected to my repeated observations in print that the Southern Religious Right reflects the political culture of the Scots-Irish, with its historic links to Protestant Northern Ireland. Why not? Aren't both points equally illegitimate, in their eyes? Why has no neoconservative angrily written a screed claiming that "Michael Lind's allusion to a supposed connection between Scots-Irish ethnicity and Southern Protestant fundamentalism proves not only that he is a conspiracy theorist but hates the Scots-Irish as well!" (For the record, I am partly Scots-Irish, as well as partly Jewish, in descent).

The list of Shermanites that Mr. Wald gives is disproportionately Jewish in membership, although he does not say so. If Mr. Wald had actually used the phrase the "disproportionately Jewish Shermanite movement," would this have made him, not only a conspiracy theorist (after all, did Shermanism ever really exist, except in the imaginations of conspiracy theorists like Wald?) but an anti-semite as well? What about the mere act of drawing up and publishing a list, the majority of whose members are Jewish? Seems kind of creepy, come to think of it. Is Mr. Wald's creepy list the product of a sinister, conspiratorial imagination? Has he tried to smear all Jewish-Americans, tarring them by association with a supposed "Shermanite" conspiracy? Perhaps someone should alert the Anti-Defamation League to Mr. Wald's disturbing comments...

I encourage interested readers to read my essays and books on the subject of the American Right--essays and books in which my chief focus is on the Southern Protestant Right, without whose electoral clout neocons (including former Schachtmannites and former Shermanites and their progeny) would have no influence at all on U.S. foreign or domestic policy. The readers of HNN should not trust dishonest misrepresentations of my statements and views on the part of apologists for neoconservatism.

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. Neoconservatism does not exist and never has. And there was no such thing as Trotskyism, either.

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More Comments:

steve olson - 3/7/2005

Larouche left Trotskyism by the late sixties, if not earlier. He was expelled from SDS, Columbia branch. He wasn't considered part of the Left after the violent Operation Mop-Up, directed against the CP and the SWP. If anything, Larouche is proto-fascist. His contributions to Trotskyism are next to nil (I believe I read somewhere that he had contributed 1 or 2 brief articles to the SWP press but these were not seminal, nor much respected.) At Columbia, it has been written, he had attracted bright intellectuals with lectures and discussions of physics and Marxism. Now, he spouts 'Hamiltonianism' and 'physical economy.' Little in common with neo-con weltanschauung except for a desire to rule the world.

Rowan Arthur Berkeley - 7/28/2004

I think it's time someone bought Daniel Teodoru a drink.

"This will be reflected in the crushing firmness with
which Bush will be imposing the road map on Sharon.
The era of neoconservative "influence"-- not
domination-- of Bush has come to an end with Powell's
irreversible private announcement last week of his
plans to abandon Bush."
(Daniel E. Teodoru on August 6, 2003)

Bryan Murphy - 9/17/2003

What we are doing is NOTHING compared to McCarthyism, and you using the term like that shows your own ignorance of both situations. McCarthyism was an istitutionalized witch hunt against non existant "coomunists". The only thing anyone is doing with regards to thos in the Defense Dept. LYING about the war to get us into it, and we know for a FACT that they did lie, even Powell lied at his UN speech. The fact also that Shulsky and Schimmt wrote the "Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence" memo and then distributed it at the def dept. shows that Strauss did have a long lasting effect on policy makers. It is a good thing to know what that effect is. If Strauss's teaching tell them lies are ok, or that the only natural right is for the strong to rule the weak. Then we need be aware of that, and have the public debate so that IF they are wrong, if "Straussianism" itself may be deeply flawed, then WHY it is wrong, or flawed.

Bryan Murphy - 9/17/2003

We sure as hell don't except them on our side. Thats why Larouche isn't even allowed to register dem anymore. BUT, for every "conspiracy theory", there may be some truth to it. Did the Bush Administration lie to get us into war? Everybody knows the answer is yes. From the Al-qaeda- Iraq Connection, to the WMD. Who was in charge of this? The usual suspects Shulsky, Wolfowitz, and Perle. And Shulsky along with PNAC chairman Gary Schimtt did write the memo "Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence." There aim is to manufacture consent, by trying to manipulate all public information. The danger is NOT from the conspiracy, conspiracies are actually very normal ,as Dr. Popper points out in The Open Society and its Enemies.

I do not wish to imply that conspiracies never happen. On the contrary, they are typical social phenomena. They become important, for example, whenever people who believe in the conspiracy theory get into power. And people who sincerely believe that they know how to make heaven on earth are most likely to adopt the conspiracy teory, and to get involved in a counter-conspiracy theory against non-existing conspirators. For the only explanation of their failure to produce their heaven is the evil intention of the Devil, who has a vested interest in hell.

Conspiracies occur, it must be admitted. But the striking fact which, in spite of their occurrence, disproved the conspiracy theory is that few of these conspiracies are ultimately successful. Conspirators rarely consummate their conspiracy.


The danger lies in us, not knowing WHY they are wrong. There is even more danger in the current drive to create a new conspiracy to displace the "Straussian Conspiracy," We are given a chance every 4 years to make decisions on the right and wrong in America. While we still have that, we should be using it. We should also be educating ourselves on the means these people use, so that we are not caught off guard by their constant scheming.

DE Teodoru - 8/17/2003

The DEBKA.file is written by an Israeli group that has
befriended several Mossad and Shin Bet operatives and
is at times "fed" scoops by the Israeli PM's office.
It is therefore hard to pick the wheat from the chaff
without parallel assets. But a most telling series of
reports are its accounts of Hizzbollah accumulation of
rockets in Southern Lebanon. That, more than any
arguments about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) may
help to explain why President Bush seemed to have
become impatient in March and launched an invasion of
Iraq after giving Saddam 48 hrs. to get out of
Baghdad. This Bush did, even though, according to
Russo-Franco-Brit intelligence reports, the
choreographed maneuvers of US troops in the desert on
the Iraq-Kuwait border were dissolving the Ba'athist
regime in fearful anticipation.

Why was Bush suddenly in such a rush? The nuclear WMDs
threat mentioned by Bush and the "45-min. interval to
devastation" of Blair were "sexy" inventions, that may
have hidden the real issues at play. Barton Gellman et
al, in a very elaborate account in the Washington Post
(8/10/03) entitled: "Deception of Threat Outgrew
Supporting Evidence," presented a case against the
evidence for nuclear WMDs. We know of Saddam's
tactical bio-chemical weapons from their use. But
these are meaningless against America's multimegaton
nuclear devises and its inescapable delivery systems.
But an unsubstantiated case was made for a nuclear
threat-- where there was none-- a case, according to
Gellman et al, that was deliberate and of long
duration. Why?

It is here that DEBKA.file's reports on Hezbollah
rockets comes in. It turns out, according to Gellman
et al, that the smoking gun-- "aluminum tubes"-- were
not meant for centrifuges that separate out enriched
uranium for nuclear bombs, but as components for the
Italian Medussa 81 rocket, whose blueprints the Iraqis
had acquired. Such medium range rockets were believed
by Israel to be intended for mass production, armed
with bio-chemical WMDs for delivery to all anti-Israel
guerrillas. Sharon, apparently threatened to take
immediate action unless Bush, within 48 hrs. invades
and disarms Iraq. Since the production and storage
areas were dispersed so that Israel did not know
precisely where they were, Israel would need to engage
in a massive preemptive nuclear bombardment of Iraq in
order to sanitize it and avoid becoming victim of a
first strike. This would result in a devastating
Mideast conflagration. To avoid this, Bush grafted on
to his administration the Sharon argument for acting
abruptly. However, to make it credible, the regional
nuclear threat from an Israeli first strike, he
attributed to Iraq. The Syrian disarmament of
Hezbollah in Lebanon of Iraqi missiles after the
invasion, it is said, supports this argument.

An addendum was proposed by a number of intelligence
sources. Brazenly, after blackmailing Bush into
attacking Iraq, Sharon blackmailed Bush with exposure
of this if Bush continued to insist rigidly on the
roadmap limitations on the security wall and the
settlements in the Palestinian territories. Facing the
prospect of having to resign if the Israeli attorney
general takes the Israeli police investigators''
advice and indicts him for illicit campaign and
personal finances, Sharon may have shed all
inhibitions of his threats to Bush for his devoted
cause of Greater Israel and no Palestinian state. Bush
and Blair are thus left unable to explain the need for
a sudden invasion of Iraq and for capitulation on the
roadmap. In conclusion, the real deception may not
have been that of Iraqi WMDs, but the fact that Bush
acted out of fear of Sharon instead of fear of Saddam.

Daniel E. Teodoru

DE Teodoru - 8/11/2003

There are three items in today-- Sunday 8 Aug, 2003--
NEW YORK TIMES that are critical to our Iraq
experience as a lesson in the philosophy of using

(1) This is my "I told you so favorite." It gives only
a partial glimpse to how much into the bowels of
Saddam's regime our intelligence operatives had
penetrated. All the while Rumsfeld pooh-poohed it all,
driven by his neoconservative (neocon) cabal of unaccountable, non-liable neocons providing Rumsfeld griss for sophistic missiles landing as "Rummy
snowflakes" on the President's desk, designed to kill any alternative to: "kick the sh-t out of those damed
Iraqis and bring democracy to the survivors" whether
they like it or not; but never so much democracy so
that the 65% devout Shi'ites can take over the regime.
I am reminded of Zionist radical Jabotinsky's "Iron
Wall" solution to Palestinian nationalism: in effect,
kill half and the other half will agree to anything we
ask. Well, Rumsfeld almost got that kind of a deal
but, to his dismay, the Iraqis did not hold out on
behalf of Saddam long enough to allow him to fully
exercise his intended ordnance delivery. So peace came
too soon and we found ourselves short on peacekeepers.
If anyone wonders why Chalabi's crew is out, this
article will make clear that so many alternatives
existed in-country that these shaddy exiles did not seem worth the cost, Rummy's snowflakes notwithstanding.


(2) The second article raises the issue of whether we
are bringing terrorism on ourselves as response to our
hubris-- we know better what is best-- and points to
sweaty days for Rumsfeld before inquisitions by next
year's Democrat Congressional majority. The recent
announcement by Mr. Bremer of a "return" (sic) to Iraq
of the global terrorist front, does more to throw
doubt that there ever was a link between secular Iraq and fundamentalist Moslem terrorists. But sure enough,
given the opportunities created by the access to
Bush's brain enjoyed by the neocons, our messy
occupation in the name of imposing democracy is now the focus of all Islamist radical terrorists ready to make a name for themselves taking out "infidels" made in USA.


(3) The third article is one of those "I know it all
because I work for the NY Times" columns by Tom
Friedman, who, in classical sophist tradition, deeply
believes that if three monkey beating at the keys of a
typewriter until infinity can produce Macbeth, surely,
"a nice Jewish boy from Minnesota" can produce a
a scoop of a finding that stands out in his sea of wrongs. Mr. Freedman has that essential neocon characteristic afterall; he's a liberal, Step 1 to becoming a neocon. He may have assumed that in his Jewish genome there are alleles for Superman-like vison that enables him to see right through Moslems subtrifuges and conspiracies to their very soul. Like Barry Rubin, the Israeli "scholar"-propagandist, who
claims to devine what Arabs-- particularly
Palestinians-- really think, Friedman has selected THE only truthful Shi'ites on whose words we can fully relly for mysterious reasons. There have beens Jewish
Arabists who have had incredible insight into the Arab
culture (most of them British). These can truly be
deemed among the best, Edward Said's insistance to the opposite notwithstanding. But most share Said's
glaucoma when it comes to seeing in the Arab soul--
the blindness of academic ARROGANCE. Some think most
of us are "dumb goyim" who don't know better, so they can sneak by us a lot of Likud propaganda designed to
make Jabotinsky's thesis seem the best policy-- not
only for Israel but also for post-9/11 America (Rubin,
Lewis, and the American Arabist, Kaplan-- as opposed to the wonderful British Arabist, Kaplan). Others are
neocons who consider Arabs just another of those Third
World barbarian lots, corrupt to the hilt, untrustworthy and of a lowly merchantile character, unable to qualify for Americanglobalism. Yet, just as
outrageous diseases hit someone eventually, "smarts'
might well miraculously hitMuslims at some time
or other too. Friedman believes that he has found it,
having looked into the souls of two mullahs over
dinner of fish and flat bread. He quotes, two of them,
one, Khomeini's grandson, of all people:

Mr. Jamaleddine, age 42, grew up in Iraq, sought exile
in Iran after one of Saddam's anti-Shiite crackdowns,
tasted the harshness of the Iranian Islamic revolution
firsthand, moved to Dubai, and then returned to Iraq
as soon as Saddam fell. Here is a brief sampler of
what he has been advocating:

On religion and state: "We want a secular
constitution. That is the most important point. If we
write a secular constitution and separate religion
from state, that would be the end of despotism and it
would liberate religion as well as the human being. .
. . The Islamic religion has been hijacked for 14
centuries by the hands of the state. The state
dominated religion, not the other way around. It used
religion for its own ends. Tyrants ruled this nation
for 14 centuries and they covered their tyranny with
the cloak of religion. . . . When I called for
secularism in Nasiriya (in the first postwar gathering
of Iraqi leaders), they started saying things against
me. But last week I had some calls from Qum, thanking
me for presenting this thesis and saying, `We
understand what you are calling for, but we cannot say
so publicly.'

"Secularism is not blasphemy. I am a Muslim. I am
devoted to my religion. I want to get it back from the
state and that is why I want a secular state. . . .
When young people come to religion, not because the
state orders them to but because they feel it
themselves in their hearts, it actually increases
religious devotion. . . . The problem of the Middle
East cannot be solved unless all the states in the
area become secular. . . . I call for opening the door
for Ijtihad [reinterpretation of the Koran in light of
changing circumstances]. The Koran is a book to be
interpreted [by] each age. Each epoch should not be
tied to interpretations from 1,000 years ago. We
should be open to interpretations based on new and
changing times."

How will he deal with opposition to such ideas from
Iraq's neighbors?

"The neighboring countries are all tyrannical
countries and they are wary of a modern, liberal Iraq.
. . . That is why they work to foil the U.S. presence.
. . . If the U.S. wants to help Iraqis, it must help
them the way it helped Germany and Japan, because to
help Iraq is really to help 1.3 billion Muslims. Iraq
will teach these values to the entire Islamic world.
Because Iraq has both Sunnis and Shiites, and it has
Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. . . . If it succeeds here it
can succeed elsewhere. But to succeed you also need to
satisfy people's basic needs: jobs and electricity. If
people are hungry, they will be easily recruited by
the extremists. If they are well fed and employed,
they will be receptive to good ideas. . . . The
failure of this experiment in Iraq would mean success
for all despots in the Arab and Islamic world. [That
is why] this is a challenge that America must accept
and take all the way."

Mr. Jamaleddine, Mr. Khomeini; these are real
spiritual leaders here. But if the U.S. does not
create a secure environment and stable economy in
Iraq, their voices will never get through. If we do,
though — wow. To the rest of the Arab world, I would
simply say: Guess who's coming to dinner.
That's quite an insight-- especially coming through an
unknown translator!


All in all, anyone who sticks with the Iraq story,
reading it in parallel with the history of the demise
of the Bush roadmapto Israeli-Palestinian peace,
will realize what a mess the neocons have made of a
brilliant global strategy that made the Bush
Administration look so promising before 9/11. Many,
but certainly not all neoconsare Jewish and grew
up as cultural outsiders. So their effusive love of
America is ever tempered by a weary memory of rejection in youth which they attribute to the
evil of anti-semitism-- not the kind that manifested in
Europe, but the kind that explained an adolescence of
rejection by Shichsta girls, not for being
scrawny and pimply and otherwise unattractive, but
because they are Jewish in an unintellectual world of
Christians prone to believe the "blood slander" of the
fraudulent Russian "Protocols of the Wise Old Men of
Zion." That explains their youthful attraction to
Leninism, be it in the American CP version (Stalinst) or the American branch of the Fourth International
(Trotskyist). It meant finally meeting girls in a
movement that supposedly shuns ethnic barriers and
national flag waving, which they deemed typical of
the hubris of American exceptionalism. Of course, as
the Left took an anti-Zionist turn and as with age our
revolutionaries developed a taste for the nice things
in life that only money could buy, they looked for
position, prestige and renumeration inside the
Establishment. For some academia was a safe place; for
others capitalism a great opportunity; but for
others, renting their talents out to Wash DC "beltway
bandits" seemed more promising. So long as things went
well-- FOR THEM PERSONALLY, that is-- it was God bless
America, it's such a great palce. But as soon as things
went bad, rejection could not be because they are pompus and wrong most of the time; it had to be, once
again, because these "dumb goyim" are anti-semites; so it goes....anti-semitism, a perfect way to avoid facing
up to critics of their ideologies. Afterall, Israel's
rightwing Jewish leaders--called "Zionazis" by many of
their compatriots, including some of mankind's leading
thinkers (Buber and Leibovitz)-- have usefully shrowded
their Jabotinskyish blood baths of Palestinians under charges of antisemitism leveled at critics to scare them off (to date, one of their standing mantras with which they silenced critics of Likudnik-Zionism is the
sweeping charge: "Europe is antisemitic," engaging in
"blood libel." The old professional Jew, Abe Foxman,
makes his living lambasting Israel's critics as
antisemites (or, if the critics happen to be Jews,
"self-hating Jews"). He demands that we all accept
the Holocaust as a uniquely tragic genocide only
because it is God's chosen people who were massacred
(presumably the victims of other genocides were just
"dumb goyum" who do not count for much much). Recently
he apologized at a Zionist conference in Jerusalem for
not going after opposition to Israel on campuses more
vigorously because he claimed to have been busy
keeping us "dumb goyim" from intermarrying with God's
chosen people. It is organizations like the
Anti-Defamation League which have been seeking for
decades to keep Jews from integrating into the "goy"
American society by scaring the hell out of them over
the coming Holocaust!

Sharon went one step further and warned that Jews that
do not make an aliyah to Israel by 2020 will lose
their souls. Since these olims will not be able to live in Israel standing on eachother's head, they will need a lot more land that is encompased in Israel's present borders. Hence, the Bush roadmap to a Palestinian state is, for these Jabotinskyite right wing Zionists, anathema....They need much more land for the future settlement of Greater Israel!

It must be noted, that THIS is the pablum on which
today's neocons were raised: you are a Jew; you
can never be one of them "goyim" because they will
always hate you; they hate you because you are so
smart and part of God's chosen people; but that
doesn't stop you from making alliances with the nutty politically active hyper-Christians with lots of clout,
(even though they strongly support the expansion of Israel because its existance marks the end of the world when Jesus will return to choose from amongs mankind those who go to Heaven and those who go to Hell ( that includes, they claim, all Jews except
those who repent for crucifying the Messiah and change
their faith; the rest will perish in the fires of Hell-- so much for the Judeo-Christian alliance. It doesn't matter, the JERUSALEM POST explains, because these nuts are "useful idiots," a term applied to the Christian-right fellow-travelers and now the title of a new neocon book.

Ethnic cleansing and apartheid in the name of the
Bible cannot be advocated for anything but the most
sordid, opportunistic and psychotic reasons-- hence
the so called Christian right- Zionist right alliance
that the neocons view as their base of power.

I address this missive to the HISTORIANS amongst you.
I pray that you will recognize that hateful, violent
insanity can raise its ugly head in the best of
palces-- including the cradle of 21st Century
globalist democracy, GW Bush's "Republican Majority
America"! It's time to see exactly what is the
historic hereditary insanity from which the neocons draw their sense of inevitability. Their ideologies KNOW NO FIRMER GROUND!!!!

As criminal as it was back in the 1960s, sending
young boys who haven't had a chance at life to die in
the jungles of Vietnam in service of very confused national policies, it is now much older fathers of three, four and five little children that we are sending to die in Iraq for a most muddled set of dubious ideologic reasons.

As people come to see the idiotic arrogance that
allowed the unbalanced minds of the neocons to a la
Startrek "mind meld" through Dr. Spock (in the form of VP Cheney) with Pres. Bush, the neocons, like roaches
dominated by a negative tropism, will scurry for the
darkness, never stepping up to the plate to debate
their subtrifuges and odd alliances that dwindle our armed forces and cause so many to die(almost all neocons never heard a bullet fly by). The doubt that
comes from moral righteousness (the pact between man
and God) is not to be expected of these Leninism-
derived secularists. Nor can an ethical query (the
pact between man and man) be expected to inhibt the neocons, for they see themselves asMachivellian
survivalists who expect the next antisemitic Holocaust
right around the corner; so what can they expect in
the way of ethics from us dumb goyim? They will never
say to themselves: our critics are angry with us
because of our nutty neocon coneries....no, no, no.... They are angry with us because we are Jews who
achieved influencing the highest level....Afterall, is that not what started the Spanish Inqusition? That kind of logic is definitely defined in the DSM-VI as paranoid and antisocial pathologies...But don't dare
psychoanalyze them, for if you do, old Abe Foxman will
come out swinging, dennouncing you as an antisemite or a self-hating Jew. The fact that MOST American Jews
consider the neocons what the French consider
them--"cons!"-- does not faze them...They were, are
and always will be victims of antisemitism in their own eyes whenever criticized. Take the case of Michael Lind, once a leading neocon who erred by showing that Pat Robertson is an antsemitic bigot....Sharon needed the alliance with the avengers of Christ, so Kristol fired Lind! But when Lind attacked the neocons as revolution-drunk Trotskyists polluting the President's
brain, suddenly Lind was labeled an antisemite since one of his parents is not Jewish!!!

Sitting somewhere in a hole trying to dodge our bunker
busters, reading the WASHINGTON POST by flashlight,
poor old binLaden must be smiling and saying to
himself: "It was my second stringers who pulled off
9/11. But since then my first rate first line guys--
the neocons-- have been doing a marvelous job. Together
with hyperprostatic Rumsfeld they are doing far, far,
far more damage to the Pentagon than the commercial jet
usedc as a missile could . Afterall, peace in the
Middle East would make alQaeda superfluous-- AS IT WOULD THE NEOCONS-- so why not stir the pot: first, Iraq--> then Syria--> then Iran-- all the time Arik Ceasar Sharon can move his way into Lebanon and Jordan; afterall, they were said by some right-Zionists
to always (circa 3000 years ago, so the Bible sais) be part of Israel anyway.

In America we have academia run amok. Screwy acads on
the campus are perverting America's youth. At the same time, the neocons in the Wash. DC Beltway are poluting
our head of state. In the last 6 months I read 3,000 press articles, each putting in one piece of that puzzle. For negatively tropistic roaches that need darkness to feel safe, like the neocons, all
this media attention must be quite stressful. But that
only add to the madness and deception of the neocon spiel....One need only monitor Bill Kristol on Fox News TV three times a week togage his deterioration when impromptu.

The neocons can STILL be an invaluable asset. But first
they must free themselves from the antisemitism vision
thing that weighs them down so much. They must come
into the light of meaningful dialogue and get used to
it....learning from the experiencece. IN FACT-- EXCEPT
of which PRECLUDES calm unassuming debate. They must
also realize that Pat Robertson is not Machiavelli's
"Prince," neither is George Bush his nave (or is he?).
Rabid Zionism and rabid Biblebelt yahoo Christianity
do not form the kind of alliance necessary to defeat
global terrorism. It takes UNASSUMING smarts...look, listen and think!

The three stories from the NY Times, if nothing else,
show that nobody has all the answers, especially not a
fist full of one time dark side radicals now thrust in
the limelight, but not into the light of reason and
debate, rather that of hyperboles and ideologic platitudes. They come at a price that Bush will soon
realize he cannot afford to pay. Yet, it may be that
under all the smoke and mirrors neocons may have very
substantive ideas to offer. If so, I recommend
realizing that ideas are not like high velocity
bullets, they do not penetrate the skull. They must
assault the brain through the senses, AND THEN IN A
WAY THAT DOES NOT INSULT MEMORY. Be ideas as they may,
all ideas face a test of history. If they were ever
tested before, there soon comes up someone to recall
the relevance of the past. That's where the debate

Daniel E. Teodoru

Daniel E. Teodoru - 8/6/2003

My first encounter with the neoconservatives of today
came at youth programs of the Ethical Culture Society
of New York when I first came to America. Since then,
one might say, we grew from adolescence to old age
together. First and foremost, it must be realized that
the term neoconservative was a designated pejorative
put upon them by fellow liberals in order to indicate
their expulsion from liberalism's left ranks. Much has
been made by Michael Lind of the Trotsyist beginings
of many of its founders. That is quite true, but it
goes far further back to WWII disillusion with
Stalinism by youths seeking an identity in a nation of
Anglo-Saxons that would not accept them.

Yet, the issue during WWII was that Stalin had his
"Jews" and FDR his; the question was where would the
preponderance of them go. Stalin lost, hence his
rather aggressive attitude towards FDR in his last
days and towards Truman. Our most effective Cold
Warriors were indeed Jews working form the ranks of
government and labor. Stalin's beginning of yet
another pogrom in his last days should make clear that
he saw Jews as pro-American, despite the Zionist
sympathies he had cultivated. The "Old Left"-- as the
"New Left" later called it, was marked by last ditch
efforts to stick with the Bolshevik class war with
America, despite Stalin's anti-semitism. The AFofL-CIO
provided many Jewish leftists a home where they could
fight for humanitarian labor causes while maintaining
their Bolshevik revolutionary elan fighting AGAINST
Communism. After 1956, the liberal-left Jewish "we can
get along" attitude towards the USSR served their
American civil rights emphasis. But, as Khrushchev
chose to side with the Arab nationalists and
Palestinians, the young future neoconservatives (a
small fraction of the Jewish population) began their
drift into a complex contradictory position of "New
Left" socialist student revolutionaries while
supporting Zionist nationalism and expansion by force
of arms. I recall the peculiar character of debate in
mid-1960s UC Berkeley, wherein the vituperative
criticism of the "neo-imperialism" of "Amerika" was
not to be allowed to extend to US support of Israel.
Our guns, in other words, were evil in the struggle
against Communist expansionism but highly moral in our
support of Israel. It is this contradiction which Bill
Buckley's Young Americans for Freedom played on to
discredit the Jewish left's opposition to our Vietnam

Amongst many left Jews a rude awakening occurred--
well chronicled in Judy Klinghoffer's THE JEWISH STAKE
IN VIETNAM-- when in 1967 it was realized that Moscow
considered the Middle East a "second front" in the
global struggle. It is then that many leftist Jews
jumped to the right of the Democrat Party. Also, a
number of long time liberal Wilsonians who had
supported the LBJ-Meany global struggle against
Communism with a ferocious energy, now were ready to
support abandonment of Vietnam so that America would
be free to focus on the Middle East. Ironically, Nixon
had independently recognized during the 1967 June War
that America's involvement in Vietnam made it
incapable of defending Euro-American oil interests in
the Middle East. He favored a quick-fix resolution of
the Vietnam War through "linkage" and a more vigorous
defense of the Western stake in the Middle East. This
led to a more favorable view of him by many Jewish
liberals, abandoning their long tradition of hating
"Tricky Dick." However, they did not abandon Humphrey
in the 1968 election. It is only when Nixon squeaked
in as President and chose to model domestic affairs
after Prof. Moynehan, that they saw a way of marrying
their hawkish foreign policy perspective with their
liberal domestic agenda, under Nixon's tent. The
candidacy of McGovern in 1972 drove them fully (though
secretly) into the Nixon Camp, given McGovern
insistence on even-handedness in the Middle East. One
more critical item was the effort of "Soviet Jewery
Inc." to mobilize a massive campaign to force the Red
Bloc into permitting massive Jewish migration to
Israel in order to balance the very large Arab
population Israel had inherited after its 1967
conquests. Israel needed people, and the claim of
anti-semitism was deemed the best way to mobilize
support. Of course, the long time black allies of the
civil rights struggle were expected to vigorously jump
in. When they refused, an anti-black feeling exploded,
reciprocated by the submerged anti-Jewish feeling of
urban blacks of the North. This latter sentiment was
quickly exploited by Arab assets and funs, generating
strong anti-Zionist feelings amongst many sectors of
the black population.

What unleashed, as chronicled in the excellent book
TORN BY THE ROOTS, is a powerful popular Jewish
conservatism, distinct from the left-liberalism of
national rabbinical leaderships. This has brought
great political and financial power to the
neoconservatives at the very time when the funding of
the conservative movements from corporate Mongols was
drying up. The Reagan victory allowed much Jewish
money and support to keep alive otherwise moribund
conservative organizations and publications. With the
end of the Cold War, the foreign policy right was
rendered moot by the conservative tendency towards
domestic issues. Here the bankrolling by
neoconservatism's sympathizers brought a new guard in
the right, much of it Jewish. Though vociferous on
issues of race relations and culture, these
neoconservatives prefer involvement in security and
foreign policy issues-- the "big stuff" that does not
require much dealing with minutia but rather lends
itself to ideological personalization...such as the
New Republic's Sullivan's reference to "Europe feels

9/11 created a vacuum in the know-how of the Bush
defense and diplomatic bureaucracy, one that Zionists
and the Likud rulers of Israel were quite familiar
with. That has enabled them to greatly influence US
policies. The neoconservatives, already muddled in
their Americanistic primacy by their equally strong
Zionism, served as a conduit for the Israeli right
into the White House. Before 9/11, Sharon was seen by
the Bush team as something of an unsavory character.
But 9/11 changed all that, and the neoconservatives
put their laboriously forged ties with the despised
Christian right to work, forming a radical flank to
neoisolationist American conservatism. None of this
would have worked had Clinton not put America's global
position on hold for eight years. The neoconservative
argument about how much damage Clinton had done to
America's "unique [post-Cold War] moment" really
caught on in Republican circles and allowed the
neoconservatives to impose ideological arguments upon
America's frightened leadership. Doing to alQaeda what
Sharon was doing to the Palestinians felt right. It
was from there an easy jump through Israeli
intelligence dis-information to an attack of Iraq,
particularly in light of the unfinished job of Bush
Sr. (unfinished because in that way Bush got the war
payed for by the Arabs and could form a most desirable
coalition with them).

Bush Jr. failed to note the open ended "black hole"
into which he was allowing the neoconservatives to
drive him. By the time his Secretary of State
irrevocably told him that he had had enough (last
weekend), Bush realized that he had allowed himself to
be dragged where he could not afford to go. So now
appeals went out to Bush Sr. to provide moderate staff
that can undo the influence of the neoconservatives.
This will be reflected in the crushing firmness with
which Bush will be imposing the road map on Sharon.
The era of neoconservative "influence"-- not
domination-- of Bush has come to an end with Powell's
irreversible private announcement last week of his
plans to abandon Bush.

Daniel E. Teodoru

Hward Fertman - 7/19/2003

Stephen wins another spelling bee, and almost leaves one of his own grammerical errors uncorrected. Three cheers for Stephen.

"Lind’s problems seems increasingly a topic about which another famous Jewish intellectual, Sigmund Freud, might have much more to say than Leon Trotsky, Max Shachtman, or Irving Kristol."

The genius of Stephen, a true renaissance man, without even an undergraduate degree in his resume. And now he is also a pyschiatric diagnostician.

ron smith - 7/7/2003

elia - see turner above - referring to trotsky as a "giant of history" self-disqualifies as meaningful dialogue. should I say something like "the thinking of red bull and turner merits serious . . " just stop reading right there - I've meandered off the range.

fascism, though not descending on us, is a phenomenon likely to increase in second tier countries. classically, an alliance, an unstable alliance, between patriotic bourgeoise and the working class - think argentina in the mid to late 40's - eva and the descamisados, juan and the anti british bourgeoise. possibly the purest model so far. authoritarian yes, not always tyrannical though tending in that direction and usually getting there with the defrauded working class on the tail end .

here there is growing tyranny of a different order. evident enough. lots of good material on the net about it. dare I assert that the political economy here not only dictates the control of middle east oil, but also a concommitant need for capital export to that region. there are many mutually conditioning factors with no diametric path - it is informative though to look at the major contradictions and work back and forth from there. dialectics again


Elia Markell - 7/7/2003

Boy, Peter, THAT really said a lot. Now I see. Schwartz is no good because the New York Review of Books says so, apparently. Is this supposed to be an argument?

Mike Finley - 7/5/2003

You don't seem to get the point that you need to back up your claims. Citing someone else's work on LaRouche's political affiliations without presenting any ideological link is just dumb. Labeling is one of the problems of a simplistic mind. This is the atmosphere McCarthy thrived in. You have repeated what you have been told and accepted someone else's word that it is true. It seems that you have dropped your other accusations also. Come on, back up your claims. Show us that you can stand behind your slander.

John G. Fought - 7/5/2003

Actually, they don't have such a saying, though I think it's a shame, since it would mean approximately "There he is, whoever thinks ill of it." The saying is meant to be 'Honni soit qui mal y pense', whose first word is the past participle of an archaic verb meaning 'to cover with shame' (honte). And it's not a saying, it's the motto of the English Order of the Garter. Still, this one belongs in any collection of maimed French. Timely. Goes well with the sound of tumbrils rumbling through both authors' polemics. Notice how you can shove the man out of the movement, but not vice versa?

Lurker - 7/4/2003

I repeat, Finley, I am not interested in debating Larouche's ideas. Do you dispute his political history? Or do you think personal attacks are a substitute for confronting the facts? It's already been pointed out on this list that Larouche's followers used to beat up political opponents (usually Communist Party octogenarians), so I suppose you consider yourself in good company.

Peter Turner - 7/4/2003

I happen to know Mr. Schwartz much better than Elia Markell does, and I know his interest in history to be mostly to distort it. I would refer the reader to the review of his recent book "The Two Faces of Islam" in the New York Review of Books. Regarding concern over Lenin and Trotsky, Elia Markell should review the writings and ruminations of Mr. Schwartz more thoroughly, since he attributes great importance to those two giants of history himself. Red Bull sounds like someone who has a very good perspective on all of this.

James Jones - 7/4/2003

All generalizations are false.

James Jones - 7/4/2003

All generalizations are false.

Peter Turner - 7/4/2003

In spite of the fact that Stephen Schwartz is an intellectual fraud, coincidentally he is absolutely right in this article. He is living proof of the adage that even a broken clock is right twice a day. For the record: Harry Lundeberg's "alliance" with Trotskyism has always been tremendously exaggerated by Schwartz in order to justify his own peculiar interpretation of history and his place in it, Schwartz being the author of the amateurish propaganda piece claiming to chronicle the history of the Sailor's Union of the Pacific. Schwartz was never an active Trotskyist, having joined only the Spartacist League, from which he was quickly expelled. Even that haven for misfits found him too unsavory.

Mike Finley - 7/4/2003

I might suggest that if you are going to link LaRouche to Trotsky and anti-semitism, you might do it with a thougthful debate on ideas rather than a hit and run. Just what exactly do you disagree with LaRouche on? What do he and Trotsky agree on? How is he anti-semitic? I see why you prefer "lurking" in the background - it's safer.

Lurker - 7/3/2003

I am not trying to criticize Larouche's ideas only point out his political history. You are right that is not my research see International Trotskyism by Robert J. Alexander. Just which part is hogwash? Why not set me straight

Elia Markell - 7/3/2003

Finish it for yourself, ron, since you seem to know its profound point already.

If there is a dark night of fascism anywhere now, it was in Iraq until yesterday, it is in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, with Hezbollah and Hamas, and among the Palestinians, tragically many of whom glorify the deaths of children tricked into killing babies. The notion that fascism is here or on the way here is as absurd as the remark Berlusconi made -- at which for some reason the rest of the EU takes offense even though it has regularly

ron smith - 7/3/2003

elia - I am glad someone finally gave me an agenda; I have been rudderless since 1917 - yes, guilty, ossified, just muttering revolution tomorrow. where can I get a good book on dialectics?

I thought the operative sentence in the second message commented that roots versus coincidental similarities re the neo cons and trotskyism was unimportant; whatever trotsky may have been, the neo cons strike me as ideologues with a fixed agenda. May I venture to say they're dangerous.

finally, . . "soft there, a word before I go, the dark night of fascism descends . . I spoke not wisely perhaps, but too ...(elia please finish)"


Mike Finley - 7/3/2003

If you have even tried to read LaRouche's writings, which it is obvious you haven't, you would know that ALL of what you say is complete hogwash. A serious criticism would entail some mention of his political ideas (As for Marx, LaRouche has always been a critic of his political theories). Don't be a stooge and regurgitate someone else's material. Do you own work.

armand de laurell - 7/3/2003

Interesting read. i along with several others [internet chit/chat] have always held the belief that the invasion of Iraq was due principally to the fact that Mr. Hussein was insisting on getting paid in 'euros' for his oil and that he was urging other opec memmbers to do the same.

And here all the time the believers thought that Bush and Blair were invading Iraq to liberate the 'evil' Saddam. Its rumored in some parts of the ME that the Iraqis actually enjoyed more freedom under SH than they do now after their liberation.

But then the Iraqis have always had the reputation of being ungrateful This statement is attributed to a British member of Parliament. It seems that when the British General who was in charge of occupying Iraq for some unknown reason back in 1955 actually gassed many Iraqis who wanted the British Army to get out of Iraq.

Hey thats people for you, hein?

Red Bull - 7/3/2003


Elia Markell - 7/3/2003

Red Bull

It could be true, as you claim, that "some people have an interest in history on this list." However, except for a few posts, such as that by Stephen Schwartz, I've seen no evidence of it in this discussion. Certainly not in the way you and ron have been going on about Lenin andTrotsky. The views of those two men are most certainly among the most important in understanding the 20th century, especially its disasters. But they have nothing to do with the neocons or, really, with either ron's or Lind's actual agenda -- which is merely to engage in partisan polemics and excite themselves with the delicious thought that the dark night of fascism is about to descend unless we all wake up and listen to them. This is NOT history.

Red Bull - 7/3/2003

Bravo, Markell! We've learned that you couldn't care less about Lenin and Trotsky's differences, or lack thereof. Surprise, surprise, you don't approve of their goals or methods, and therefore don't think they're worth knowing anything about. How wonderfully enlightening! Certainly information worth sharing, both for its intrinsic interest (answering the burning question of what's on Markell's mind today) and its refreshing originality (there's a real need for another "Lenin as devil" caricature in today's world -- most people haven't heard it before!). Some people have an interest in history on this list.

Love them or hate them, Lenin and Trotsky's views are among the most important for understanding the history of the 20th century.

armand de laurell - 7/3/2003

the french, [who else] have a saying that goes "on y soit qui mal y pense". but then the french never experienced a "high noon" makebelieve like stand-off.

m.lind is to be commended for his stand and its defensable thesis.

Elia Markell - 7/3/2003

Amazing. We've settled into a discourse here on what Lenin really thought about Trotsky's dialectics. Who cares? Lenin was as often wrong as right about things, in fact more often wrong. But he was a brutal opportunist, who saw his opportunities and took them, no matter what the price in blood. He expected a revolutionary tide to sweep across Europe at a point when it was already going out. Faced with the options of bourgeois democracy or "merciless" (his favorite word) dictatorship (sans proletariat), the choice was for him a simple no-brainer. How anyone can think it matters a wit what Lenin thought of Trotsky and who's dialectics were more dialectically clever than who else's, escapes me. Amazing.

Elia Markell - 7/3/2003

Amazing. We've settled into a discourse here on what Lenin really thought about Trotsky's dialectics. Who cares? Lenin was as often wrong as right about things, in fact more often wrong. But he was a brutal opportunist, who saw his opportunities and took them, no matter what the price in blood. He expected a revolutionary tide to sweep across Europe at a point when it was already going out. Faced with the options of bourgeois democracy or "merciless" (his favorite word) dictatorship (sans proletariat), the choice was for him a simple no-brainer. How anyone can think it matters a wit what Lenin thought of Trotsky and who's dialectics were more dialectically clever than who else's, escapes me. Amazing.

Wolf DeVoon - 7/3/2003

I hope Mr Wreszin knows what he meant to say, by characterizing Lind as "a flaming radical, liberal, god knows what." I regret that I am unable to parse it.

With respect to Lind's theory, I find it overreaches the facts to grasp for an explanation we do not in fact need. There is a Texas realpolitik that intersects the interests of Israel and American Jewry, as far as I understand it, with Dick Cheney in overall command. It was Cheney's office that stage-managed the WMD lies, for example. So, I find it unconvincing that the ghost of Troksky is a living inspiration among the guilty.

Lind, however, is on much firmer ground when he characterizes We The People of United States as resolutely anti-imperial, and I would gladly dispute those who cite American invasion of Puerto Rico, Cuba, etc. All such expeditionary projects, including the late conquest of Iraq, were authored by those in power -- not by the hapless electorate who agonized about which boob candidate was least repellant. 9/11 sent Bush into hiding, Cheney firmly at the helm, the Fourth Estate gifted a nobrainer to sell TV time and print space, all of it painted red, white, and blue. How horrible for all of us, that a blitz of blind flag-waving should preclude frank discussion of why Cantor Fitzgerald was targeted.

Wolf DeVoon

ron smith - 7/2/2003

neo con and trotskyist thinking converge on prematurely set ideas with a tendency to overreach what reality tenders. like a stopped watch, they may be right occasionally - e.g. the above example for Trotsky. Overall though,static in thought, often frantic in activity. Re the neo cons, roots in Trotskyism or coincidental similarities is interesting but not important.

The neo cons are scary but perhaps more for the warning signs they give. Maybe the watch is just at their point on the dial. they seem to provide a rationale for what would likely happen anyway given current political economy.

Lenin did make the comment cited about Bukharin; hardly the universe of his comments about dialectics and revolutionary comrades. My source was a presentation given by a former woman secretary of Trotsky's at UCSB in the late 70's.

the mystery here is "red bull" .?? it sounds like it, but a little uncertainty is welcome

Red Bull - 7/2/2003

It was Bukharin, not Trotsky, who Lenin said "has never made a study of dialectics, and I think, never fully understood it." (Moshe Lewin, Lenin's Last Struggle, p. 79). Lenin's criticism of Trotsky was that "he has displayed excessive self-assurance and shown excessive preoccupation with the purely administrative side of the work." (ibid., p. 80) Not the same thing.

And Lenin was clearly NOT referring to what Smith mis-characterizes as the "stage-skipping, revolution now approach," i.e., Trotsky's apparently still poorly understood theory of _permanent revolution_. Obviously, Lenin's April Theses called for "revolution now" -- and the events of October 1917 illustrated that Lenin did not advocate sitting around and waiting for capitalism to pass through "stages" before the socialist revolution. It was Trotsky, not Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin or any others of the high-ranking Bolsheviks who supported Lenin and was with him to take the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, while the others were at home -- not "skipping" any "stages" that night, to be sure.

The Russian Revolution "proved" the theory of permanent revolution, which obviously has nothing to do with what Lind imagines it does. The aspect Lind is probably referring to was Trotsky's prediction that unless the revolution spread to an advanced capitalist country, it would be encircled by the capitalist nations and strangled. That has as much to do with Bush's (or the alleged neocon cabal's) foreign policy as Lind has to do with a researched essay.

Lurker - 7/2/2003

How ironic that Anonymous looks to Larouche for ammunition against the neocons. Unlike any of neoconservatives in Lind's stupid piece, Larouche is, in fact, a former member of several U.S. Trotskyist parties. He joined the Socialist Workers Party in 1948 or 1949 and remained a member until 1966, when he left the SWP and briefly joined the Workers League, then the Spartacist League, before starting his own "SDS Labor Committee" within the SDS in 1968. Soon thereafter Larouche founded his own "National Caucus of Labour Committees." Free to indulge his delusions and fantasies as the head of his own inconsequential grouplet, Larouche soon broke with all forms of Marxism and began to spew increasingly outrageous -- and yes, anti-Semitic -- conspiracy theories. The answers to Larouche's degeneration would be better sought by a team of psychiatrists than in the history of the Trotskyist movement in the U.S.

ron smith - 7/2/2003

Lenin reportedly once remarked ". . .Trotsky, for all his brilliance, never understood the dialectic". In this he was critiquing the stage-skipping, revolution now approach to building socialism characterized by Trotsky and his followers.

Decidely undialectic, trotskyism is, generically, a climactic view of making history; no waiting for these guys much less an engagement with reality as it unfolds. They already have the answers and a master plan.

good work, Lind

M.R. Khan - 7/2/2003

The neoconservative/Likudnik responses to Michael Lind's trenchant critique invariably resort to snide innuendo and name calling without answering the substance of his criticism. While using vulgar and sweeping stereotyping against traditional conservatives, liberals, Muslims, and African-Americans amongst many others, they hysterically cry anti-Semitism when Jewish reporters like Seymour Hersh reveal that Neo-Cons in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans sneeringly refer to themselves as the "cabal" while fabricating evidence for war. It is inaccurate to refer to them as "Straussians" since they have never evinced the deep appreciation for classical political philosophy that Leo Strauss did and its cardinal virtues of justice, moderation, and wisdom. Rather, Podhoretz, Kristol, Krauthammer, Feith, Perle et al are followers of the aggrieved ultra-nationalism and ressentiment of Vladimir Ze'ev Jabontinsky which gave rise to the present Likud bloc. Their avowed agenda is to usher in W.W.IV and global empire which will spell the death knell of American democratic and republican ideals. Much of this neoconservative-Likud agenda is critically examined in an upcoming book "The New Crusades" Ed. Emran Qureshi and Michael Sells, Columbia University Press, 2003.

Sam - 7/2/2003

There are some similarities between 'activist' policies advocated by Trotsky during his permanent revolution days and neocons and also its 'Jewishness' but I think Lind blows it out of proportion. The fact is that the central role of Middle East policy to US foreign affairs tends to give a prominent Jewish character to it. You will see less Jewishness with regards to, say US Cuban or Chinese policy. Since the instrument of US expansion in Middle East has been the Jewish state hense the Jewish influence seems prominent. The activist character of it seems to come out of necessity and the fact the the status quo is breaking down. If one prefers to attribute it to some genetic trait in their leftist days it may be more accurate to attribute it to pre-1920 Bolshevism...

Anonymous - 7/2/2003

G-d help you Jonathan Burack. Do not invoke a false shield here. There is no question that the member of the neo conservative movement are brilliant and hardworking. It is through many many years of effort and planning that they have managed to gain such positions of power and influence. They should be commended at ever turn for the greatness of their achievements. However this does not make their dishonesty any less dishonest. This does not obsolve them from misrepresentation. While the tone of outrage of Mr. von Kyberg is unbecoming, his main allegations still stand.

That some members of this group are Jewish is not relevant. Crime is crime no matter who commits it. Semitic persecution is a horror and any charges of such a crime should be taken very seriously. However it is much more horrible when these charges are misused as they demean the suffering of those who are and have been truly persecuted.

In the early part of the 17th centuries many people made the accusations of witchcraft against other people. Witchcraft was at the time believed to be just as much a horrible crime as Semitic persecution is in this modern age. It was the prevention of these terrible persecutions for which modern judicial systems were created.

The misdeeds of the neo conservative movement are beyond the level of rhetoric accusations and need to be placed under the light of judicial investigations. Further the allegations of semitic persecution are just as serious and also need to be put under judicial investigation, to stop the perpetrators of these actions.

For the neo conservatives the game is over- put up or shut up.


Anonymous - 7/2/2003

Watch your language man! Semitic persecution is a horrible thing, and charges of such should not ever be brushed off lightly. Rather it is the misuse of these claims by these people that is so outrageous and deserves to be condemned. And ultimately this misuse is just another deflection of personnel responsibility.

While many people in this neo-conservative movement have tried to shield their actions by claiming semitic persecution, it is very clear this is more an attempt to drag innocent jewish people to their defense. It is a bit like Osama's group trying reframe his crimes into a Holy War so that muslims will come to his defense. Jewish people are not a monolith.

To implicate that justifiable questions of an individual or a small group of individuals would some how taint a larger group or a whole ethnic people is disgusting. It shows the lack of morals of the claimants, that they would hide behind innocents rather than face the consequences of their own actions. The fact that this shield is used so often and so casually shows how little the users of this defence value the past sufferings of others.

Do not be distracted be these claims when they are obvoiusly a ruse to get you angry.


Anonymous - 7/2/2003

You miss the point. The point is that these typical out of power, never had it never will groups, are agreeing with former and current military commanders and analysts, that there is a HUGE PROBLEM. Persecuting the messengers of this reality does not solve the problem, whatever their background. I urge you to study this phenomena. Can all these different groups possibly have converged to the same conclusions, or is there really a very big problem? Use Occam's razor.

McCarthy was only stopped when he started confronting highly ranked general's and politicians with his witch hunting fantasies. This was symbolically demonstrated for the nation on TV by an Edward R. Murrow. With regard to the current problem the Internet has permitted many many people to work in a very disconnected fashion to see the truth. The constant allusions to McCarthy when studying this problem are not a cooincidence. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck.

The game is up. The tipping point has been reached. I was just alerting the HNN so that it might be recorded.

Anonymous - 7/2/2003

Mr. Moser,

People are not coming out of the wood work, the opinion of the average joe is coming forward in via the through which they can express it. The internet serves as an outlet for comment for the large masses of people who are unrepresented. Look at the Dean fund raising success. This is a referendum on the Bush administration foreign policy. By focusing on Larouche and totally ignoring the whole former Defense and Intellegence structure voices you miss the point.


John Moser - 7/2/2003

We're not talking about an agreement on a particular point of policy, or a matter of personal taste--for example, "like Hitler, X is a lover of dogs." We're talking about a silly Elizabeth Dilling-style conspiracy theory that, if it were coming from Republicans, would immediately (and rightly) be dismissed as McCarthyism. And fittingly, we now have people crawling out of the woodwork to insist that they were the first to call attention to the dastardly plot.

A few months ago I wrote a piece for HNN claiming that if one wanted to find the roots of a new McCarthyism, one should look to the leftists (and some rightists as well) opposing the Iraq War. The recent accusations of "Straussian" and "Trotskyite" conspiracies among the neoconservatives convinces me even more that this is the case. "Are you now, or have you ever been, a Straussian?"

jamal mecklai - 7/2/2003

draft of the future (and I don't mean beer)

the explosion of sept 11 was an end of something - nothing (except maybe the universe) begins with a bang

the two forces that collided that day were the desecration of religion (more later) and the foolishness of US policy (more later)

thus, these two forces are spent, over, kaput - what we have been seeing since september 11 and are seeing now is the debris of the explosion - I repeat BOTH THESE FORCES - U.S. FOOLISHNESS AND THE DESECRATION OF RELIGION ARE OVER

religion - loosely translated as the word of God - has been in the hands of hoodlums ever since Nietzche, Marx and finally Sartre and gang made it uncool to believe in God - I'm sure even as you read this (particularly the word God) you cringe a little bit internally - so, since the intelligentsia has eschewed God, it has fallen into the hands of hoodlums and thieves - Muslim fundamentalists (Osama and gang), Hindu fundamentalists (VHP, et ,) Christian fundamentalists (Bush, et al), Jewish fundamentalists, etc. The reason it has become such a potent force is that a huge number of people in the world (from all cultures) BELIEVE in some form of God. Even hip people have been seeking alternatives for over twenty thirty years now. So, since God is a real force to billions of people and it is now - and has been for some time - in the hands of hoodlums, we have all this wild shit going on. It will only change when the intelligentsia, opinion makers, etc etc retake God as they own (I know that sounds fundamentalist) - the good news is that the process is already happening - note I'm not making a case for going to church, although I think you will find that more and more people in the U.K., etc. are - I'm making a case for BELIEVING and, importantly, acknowledging this belief - as they say in the trade, aa jaon maidan mein!

So much for the desecration of religion - what about that other foolishness - US policy - well, that's going to be easier, if, perhaps, more painful - the markets will drive Bush and his gang out of office, that much is clear, but that's not enough - what's needed is a new America that has a genuine understanding of interconnecteness and that mutual interest is actually self-interest - I fear there will be much pain, some of it pleasant to us (e.g., the dollar will fall to, say, 2 to the Euro so that American tourists won't be able to visit Europe and bray like they do - for Europe, the loss in income will be made up by sharply reduced costs of commodities like oil which are priced in dollars); some horrifying - I fear race riots in New York in September 2004 when the Republicans are holding their presidential convention (sleazebags are trying to take advantage of the Sep 11 sentiment) - good thing I'll be vacationing in Tuscany (or some such)

awful though all of this sounds, go back to the top - U.S. FOOLISHNESS AND THE DESECRATION OF RELIGION ARE OVER

Derek Catsam - 7/1/2003

So let me get this straight. If someone loathsome happens to agree with something said in a particular media source, that entire media source is suspect? By that rationale, are all conservative papers, magazines, thought journals, and internet sites suspect because they intersect on a range of points with david Duke or the Aryan League? Are all liberal sources suspect because a Marxist might agree with something said in them? Where is the pure media source, then, the one with no adherents who aren't bozoes, bigots, idiots, frauds, charlatans or thugs?What a colossally stupid argument.

Jonathan Burack - 7/1/2003

A post such as this does not invite a serious response on substance, since there is absolutely nothing of substance to respond to. However, there is one part of this diatribe worth commenting on as a specimen of something rank. This particular part chillingly conveys imagery that has historically been central to anti-Semitic rants of similar paranoid dimensions. The part I mean is this one:

"Mr. Lind is right to point out that these bloody-minded neocons in actuality do not enjoy a broad base of popular political support among the American electorate, relying instead exclusively on piggy-backing themselves by influence and favoritism with elected politicians into their appointed positions of authority and power in our national government."

What's eerie here, of course, is the notion of a parasitic group of secret connivers, without intrinsic value or potency of their own, but able to batten ("piggy back") on those who do have independent efficacy, thereby feeding off of a larger society's force and creative energies. This is exactly, Franz, how Adolph saw the Jews. But far be it from me to suggest that the purveyors of the neocon conspiracy theory have anything in common with him.

Franz von Kyberg - 7/1/2003

My sincere thanks to Mr. Michael Lind for his courage in speaking his mind, and sticking to his guns, regarding the nefarious clique of neoconservative pseudo-intellectuals.

Like all modernists of every stripe, the neoconservatives inhabit a strange fantasy world of strident ideology. The rapacious appetite of these 'couch warriors' for continuing ruthless wars of aggression--to be fought by other people's sons and daughters who DO serve in the U.S. military forces and to be paid for by the hapless American taxpayers--has been more than amply illustrated by the collective public statements and writings of the neocons extolling such humane doctrines as "creative destruction", military aggression (including, not rarely, advocacy of the free use of nuclear bombs to obliterate millions of "the enemy" if such extraordinarily destructive and murderous military force appears to them to be expedient), and demonization of everyone and anyone both here in the US and around the world who demurs from their apocalyptic vision of "the march of empire".

Mr. Lind is right to point out that these bloody-minded neocons in actuality do not enjoy a broad base of popular political support among the American electorate, relying instead exclusively on piggy-backing themselves by influence and favoritism with elected politicians into their appointed positions of authority and power in our national government. The neoconservative faction, therefore, speak for no one but themselves and their personal appetites for career and financial advancement and their incredible lust for power.

The neoconservative ideology is a rant for war, war, and more war. These absurd ideologues have no realistic, serious post-war programs, calling instead for--you guessed it!--another war. The post-war position of the US in Afghanistan and in Iraq is a pathetic morass fast causing those countries to sink into utter chaos, from which it will doubtless take their unhappy inhabitants literally decades to extricate themselves (assuming they even manage to survive). The cruely and lawlessness increasingly darkening the daily lot of the Afghans and the Iraqis--post-conquest--apparently illustrates what the comfortably living neocons blithely dismiss as "collateral damage".

Michael Lind understands all of this very well, and he has courageously written in protest of it--for which I thank and commend him. Mr. Wald's defensive tactic of shrilly denying the existence of either a neocon ideology or of neocon advocates of that vile, immoral, and inhumane ideology is of course just about the oldest rhetorical trick in the book. How terribly frustrating it must be to him and to others of his ilk to have to deny that they exist just when their strangle hold on the military and foreign policies of the United States appeared to be nearly complete. Reality bites--and bites hard.

Elia Markell - 7/1/2003

With the possible exception of the Independent and Haaretz, I fail to see why these entities should find LaRouchies any more disconcerting than the LaRouchies will find them. Birds of a feather ...

But otherwise, this point is well taken. It would seem Mr. Lind is getting some support here from pretty deep down in the woodwork. I recall the LaRouchies when they were the infamous NCLC ("Nicklick") gangsters who went around beating up other leftists not as insane as they are.

Kevin Carson - 7/1/2003

I have a copy of R. Emmett Tyrell's *The Liberal Crack-up* with a cover blurb by Jeane Kirkpatrick, in which she approvingly describes him as a promising young "neoconservative" writer. Neither one of them is Jewish, BTW.

So much for the intellectual whores who claim neocon is just a "code word for Jew."

John Moser - 7/1/2003

For the record, the LaRouchies also think that Henry Kissinger and the Queen of England are involved in a massive drug-running operation. I hope that "Democratic Party activists, far left liberals like Robert Fisk, intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, mainstream British newspapers like the Gaurdian [sic], the Independent, the BBC, Isreali [sic] newspapers like Haaretz, and ivy league proffesors [sic] like Paul Krugman" realize the sort of company they are keeping these days.

George B. Clark - 7/1/2003

I can't figure what these people are arguing about. Trotsky is dead and his ideas were before he hit the ground.
Many Jews are conservative, but mostly they are, because of their religion, liberals. They naturally take the side that fits them best.
So what. As long as they don't try to force me to accept their philosophy, I wont try to force mine on them.
Have a pleasant day Lind and Wald, if that is possible.
George Bransfield Clark [no "e" please, it sounds Jewish].

Anonymous (I am afraid of persecution for stating the truth) - 7/1/2003

Large numbers of articles have been written about the intellectual roots of the PNAC group who have been linked together by their own organized and widely reported actions. I would ask HNN to collect these links and post them for all to read.

The PNAC group should be commended for its many, many years of hard work to establish its position of influence. However the sheer volume of lies and spin they float daily about their own origins, interconnections, and intentions would make OJ Simpson blush. The daily moise should alert any observer that the neocon's influence however hard won, is not in any interest but their own. Mr. Wald's efforts are par for the course.

The Larouche organization was the first to indicate the outlines of this group in their Oct 26, 2001 publication
Larouche has followed up with article after article about the nature of neo-conservative intellectual underpinnings, for the last TWO YEARS.

During the lead up to the spring 2003 military action the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace had a whole archive devoted to the tracking of articles printed in mainstream newspapers and news magazines the overwhlemingly demonstrated the intentions and connections of the "invisible" hand of this organization. Any student of serious history should be well acquainted with the massive amount of documentation that has been written on the subject. To have lived in America within the last several months, one would have to be willfully blind to not see it.

When people on the far right like Pat Buchanan, independents like LaRouche, Libertarians, Democratic Party activists, far left liberals like Robert Fisk, intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, mainstream British newspapers like the Gaurdian, the Independent, the BBC, Isreali newspapers like Haaretz, and ivy league proffesors like Paul Krugman all of whom wield no US government power and have no ability to exercise any US power, decry a group whose members make up KEY US GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT BOARDS, and KEY POSITIONS IN THE PENTAGON, WHITE HOUSE, DEFENSE and STATE DEPARTMENT, and obviously can and do weild government power there is a serious problem. When retired and active US generals, former and current defense department, state department and CIA intellegence analysts come together to publicly decry this same group there are problems of HISTORIC PROPORTIONS.

The fact that Mr. Wald can see no evidence of Mr. Lind's allegations indicates willful deceit on Mr. Wald's part.
The game is up.


Since Wolfowitz has been appointed by Rumsfeld to head the military tribunals I am afraid to reveal my name,


Jon Burack - 7/1/2003

Simply devastating, Steven Schwartz.

I'd only add to that Freud bit at the end. Freud's Interpretation of Dreams talks about free association in the way dream elements get linked. You could charge Lind with "guilt by free association" in his linking of Trots and Neocons on the basis of their (supposedly) shared hope for worldwide social change. Never mind what the nature of that change might be. On this basis, we could say the U.S. is really a communist country because its flag has red in it, just like the red of Red Russia.

Jon Burack - 7/1/2003

Talk about being smeared! It is illustrative of Mr. Lind's bullying and clumsy manner that he would charge Commentary with publishing articles supporting biblical creration science. This is a smear if there ever was one.

What Commentary has published are articles, mainly by David Berlinski, on "intelligent design" theory. Advocates of this notion explicitly REJECT biblical creationist myths and accept that fact of evolution over many millions of years. What they challenge is the mechanism Darwin posited to explain evolution -- i.e. natural selection. This interesting debate is one that can in fact be conducted entirely within the framework of evolutionary science, and those who do conduct it are generally scholars trained in such fields as molecular biology, evolutionary science and mathematics. Moreoever, the articles in Commentary have by no means constituted a one-sided endorsement of the intelligent design hypothesis.

In other words, Mr. Lind's understanding of this matter is on a par with his understanding about the relationship between Trotskyism and neoconservativism.

Jon Burack - 7/1/2003

Talk about being smeared! It is illustrative of Mr. Lind's bullying and clumsy manner that he would charge Commentary with publishing articles supporting biblical creration science. This is a smear if there ever was one.

What Commentary has published are articles, mainly by David Berlinski, on "intelligent design" theory. Advocates of this notion explicitly REJECT biblical creationist myths and accept that fact of evolution over many millions of years. What they challenge is the mechanism Darwin posited to explain evolution -- i.e. natural selection. This interesting debate is one that can in fact be conducted entirely within the framework of evolutionary science, and those who do conduct it are generally scholars trained in such fields as molecular biology, evolutionary science and mathematics. Moreoever, the articles in Commentary have by no means constituted a one-sided endorsement of the intelligent design hypothesis.

In other words, Mr. Lind's understanding of this matter is on a par with his understanding about the relationship between Trotskyism and neoconservativism.

Stephen Schwartz - 6/30/2003

Lind’s problems seem increasingly a topic about which another famous Jewish intellectual, Sigmund Freud, might have much more to say than Leon Trotsky, Max Shachtman, or Irving Kristol.

Stephen Schwartz - 6/30/2003

As the only person prominent among the presently active American neoconservatives – i.e. a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard – to have been a serious Trotskyist, I have some comments on Lind’s latest polemic.
I don’t deny a connection between Trotskyism and neoconservatism, but since, as noted, I am the only person to presently embody it in full form, I think I am justified in saying it is a tenuous one.
Even if I were to accept the repellent Lindian theory of “genetic politics,” under which it is presumed that Bill Kristol is somehow Trotskyistic because of his father’s politics, I would still feel compelled to point out something much more interesting. That is a kind of Stalinism by osmosis that seems to come into play when one becomes a Trot-baiter. Lind now writes in the manner typical of the Daily Worker in its glory years.
But first, if he is going to publish serious commentaries on history he should at least learn to spell the names correctly. On the other hand, his infelicity in this area may not be innocent: his transformation of Shachtman into “Schachtmann” seems deliberately intended to make the name seem more Jewish.
Slovenly argumentation was always a hallmark of Stalinism. Lind suggests that the entire cadre of present-day neocons have an “idealized vision of the British Empire.” However, I don’t know anybody among the neocons who has such a vision; I certainly don’t – never had, never will. My book The Two Faces of Islam blames the British for complicity in the rise of Wahhabism. I don’t spend time with Max Boot, so I may be missing something here, but I’ve spoken enough with the rest of the bunch to know that nostalgia for the British Empire is generally missing among them.
A few lines above that pearl, Lind denigrates Winston Churchill and “veneration” of him. An interesting little slip. Shall we ask Lind to expatiate on what he finds so bad about Churchill? Churchill is mainly remembered today for his sterling opposition to Hitlerism. But since Lind has joined the camp of Jew-baiters – meaning those who use personal identification of Jews as a substitute for political argument – the issue may be obvious.
Lind, with considerable conviction, praises a “resolutely anti-imperial American political tradition.” Really? Tell it to the Mexicans, the Puerto Ricans, and the Filipinos. Here he simply exposes himself as an ignoramus. Or was the Mexican War something other than imperialist? And the Spanish-American war? Since the latter was fought under the rubric of saving the inhabitants of the Spanish colonies from benighted rule, much like the Iraq war today, perhaps in defending that war Lind might inadvertently confess that the imperialismS he imagines has America in its grip today is only obnoxious to him because Jews are involved in it. His mentor, Buchanan, would certainly not support handing the American Southwest back to Mexico – indeed, he seems to favor expelling the Hispanic remnant from it. Would Lind, the hater of empire, call for Hispanics in the U.S. to be granted the same rights as Palestinians in Gaza?
Lind gives his game away with his reference to “A defender of the neoconservatives as intellectually dishonest as [Alan] Wald.” This is right out of Pravda, about 1937. Unless Lind is incapable of reading as well as thinking, he knows Wald is a defender of the Trotskyists, not of the neocons. This line alone should exclude Lind from any consideration as a serious intellectual himself, and brands him, not Wald, as an exemplar of pseudo-intellectual dishonesty.
Lind states that “the Trotskyist movement was largely though not exclusively Jewish in membership.” In this he reveals both ignorance and prejudice. Did he intend to leave out the qualifier “American?” It is true that the American Trotskyist movement recruited a number of Jews who went on to become prominent intellectuals. But it is also, and unquestionably, true that for most of its history the American Trotskyist movement was overwhelmingly non-Jewish. Its main leaders for years were James P. Cannon, the Dunne brothers, Carl Skoglund, and Farrell Dobbs – all non-Jewish labor leaders from the Midwest. Indeed, at the time when it was a real force to contend with in the U.S. labor movement, it was concentrated in the Minneapolis-based over-the-road trucking branch of the Teamsters’ Union, hardly a redoubt of Yiddishkeit, and its main ally was a Norwegian, Harry Lundeberg of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific. In the late 1940s the Shachtmanites enjoyed significant influence in the United Auto Workers thanks to a bloc with Walter Reuther, who was not Jewish. The most influential intellectual to participate in American Trotskyism and to remain on the left was a Caribbean Black, C.L.R. James. And Malcolm X, who was certainly not Jewish, was the movement’s main political ally in the early 1960s. But perhaps Lind, who has described Rumsfeld as Wolfowitz’s puppet, sees all these individuals as victims of Jewish manipulation.
The argument was made in the early 1940s that the Shachtmanites who eventually moved in a conservative direction had been a foreign element in the Trotskyist movement, but that is another story entirely.
In reality, of course, “the Trotskyist movement” was international. The section of the movement with the greatest influence on political events was the Spanish branch, known as the ICE, a leading element in the revolutionary movement in Spain from 1931 until its merger into the POUM in 1935. No Jews there, though the POUM had a Catalan base, and Catalans are often called “the Jews of modern Spain.” In the overall history of the Comintern, outside Russia, the most important figure associated with Trotskyism was a Chinese – Chen Tu-hsiu. If he was Jewish, a lot of history should be revised. The Vietnamese and Greek sections of the Trotskyist movement were also influential in their time; there were no Vietnamese Jews, though there were some among the Greeks (Sephardim from Salonica.) Overall, Bolivia and Sri Lanka are the only two countries in the world where Trotskyism consistently dominated the left. Of course, Jews do get around, so perhaps those Indian tin miners in the Andes were actually Hebrews – and those Creole intellectuals in Colombo did have Sephardic-sounding names… so who knows? The French Trotskyists of the 1930s had a good deal of influence, but their Jewish component was no larger than that in the U.S.
This point might seem gratuitous, except that turning the Trotskyists into “a gang of Jews” was characteristic, in the 1920s, of Stalin and his cabal during the internal struggle in the Bolshevik party. And with Lind, such slipshod handling of history is habitual. Early in his complaint that he has been smeared, Lind states falsely “Not only in the U.S. but in Britain and continental Europe, ex-Trots have tended to go from advocating promotion of socialist revolution to promoting liberal or democratic revolution. This is a minor but genuine feature of the trans-Atlantic political landscape that is so familiar, and commented upon so often by members of the foreign policy elite, not only in the U.S. but in Britain and France, that it surprises me to learn that anyone claims it is controversial.”
It is true that a number of Trotskyists in France became Gaullists even before their counterparts in the U.S. became the first generation of neocons. But Lind apparently refers to ‘60s radicals, not their predecessors. In reality, this occurred as a general phenomenon of that generation only in France and Spain. In the U.S. and Britain, aside from individuals like myself and Christopher Hitchens, the overwhelming majority of those who joined the Trotskyist movement in the 1960s remained leftists or, if they changed ideologically, abandoned politics. Alan Wald, with whom I seldom agree these days, but who is absolutely correct in his response to Lind, is an excellent example. And the matter hasn’t been much of a subject for comment at all. When Lind writes that it “is so familiar, and commented upon so often by members of the foreign policy elite,” he is indulging in fabrication, the favored mode of discourse among Jew-baiters.
Lind’s problems seems increasingly a topic about which another famous Jewish intellectual, Sigmund Freud, might have much more to say than Leon Trotsky, Max Shachtman, or Irving Kristol.

Arnold Beichman - 6/30/2003

I thank Mr. Lind for helping to prove my case. Indeed, the details he provides suggest that the existence of the influence of ex-Communists on the neo-liberal faction within American liberalism was even greater than I and others have realized. It is not every day that an incompetent critic unwittingly undermines his own case in attempting to refute yours.

I stand by the observation that there is a distinct Stalinist political culture, which shows its residual influence even on individuals who renounced Communism. who were never Communists but inherited this political culture from their parents or older mentors. An unusual belligerence in foreign policy combined with a desire to export "revolution" (first Stalinist, and then, among ex-Communists who move to the liberal center or the Right, the "global democratic revolution" in the phrase of Stalinists distinguishes these ex-Communists and inheritors of ex-Stalinist political culture from other kinds of liberals--for example, Anglo-Catholic Tories, Rooseveltian New Deal liberal internationalists, and Buchanan-style isolationists. Not only in the U.S. but in Britain and continental Europe, ex-Stralinists have tended to go from advocating promotion of Communist revolution to promoting liberal or democratic revolution. This is a minor but genuine feature of the trans-Atlantic political landscape that is so familiar, and commented upon so often by members of the foreign policy elite, not only in the U.S. but in Britain and France, that it surprises me to learn that anyone claims it is controversial, (For the record, I am partly Trotskyite, as well as partly Jewish, in descent).

Michael Wreszin - 6/30/2003

Michael Lind's response to Alan Wald's critique is probably one of the worst examples of academic snideness and snobbery that I have read in my 40 years in the academy. To have the gall to say he was smeared by Wald and then attack WAld for dishonesty lack of integrity, intellectual incompetence and countless other personal failings is astonishing. To see Wald's piece as an apolgy for neo conservatism is bizarre. I have sometimes disagreed with Alan Wald's interpretations but surely there is no more honest, dedicated scholar of the American left. Lind is obviously one of those zealots who once a conservative now is a flaming radical, liberal, god knows what. He also suffers terribly from verbal diarreah