March 4, 2007

Horowitz - Indoctrination U.

From the introduction to his newest book, David Horowitz makes the case for his campaign for academic freedom, and says he doesn't take personally the leftist smear job being done on him, recognizing it as necessarily part of the radical project. Clip and Save.

Because the attacks on the academic freedom campaign have focused to a great extent on me as the individual responsible, the narrative that follows necessarily deals with personal experiences. The political left which has orchestrated these attacks has a long history of conducting its campaigns through ad hominem charges. It is not for nothing that the word “purge,” for example, is a leftwing coinage, or that every purge has featured the slander of its individual targets. The political purge is a purification ritual and its roots can be traced to the fact that radical politics is essentially a religious vocation.

This religious character is determined by the fact that its adherents conceive their projects as revolutionary or “transformative,” secular terms for what in effect would be a religious “redemption,” albeit an earthly one.


The extravagant goal of redeeming humanity justifies uncompromising means. Social redeemers regard themselves as an “army of the saints,” and their opponents as the party of sinners. They do not view their conservative opponents as supporters of alternative means for improving the lot of women, minorities and the poor, but as enemies of women, minorities and the poor. Progressive agendas cannot be opposed, therefore, on grounds that are principled or practical or compassionate. Opponents of “progressives” are defined as “reactionaries” – advocates of racism and sexism, practitioners of “McCarthyism,” and other incarnations of social evil.

Consequently, to be demonized by “progressives” as, in fact I have been as a result of my efforts in behalf of academic freedom, is not a personal matter, but is an ineluctable consequence of opposing their agendas. The anathemas academic leftists have pronounced on me and the academic freedom campaign have a long and squalid history in the left’s battles with previous opponents.

Posted by dan at March 4, 2007 6:04 PM