by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For a couple of years toward the end of the last century, David Horowitz contributed a regular column to the online magazine Salon. In 1999 he gathered those columns in a book entitled “Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes.” To return to this book today is to recognize that it could’ve been published yesterday, for the issues it addresses are now even more urgent, and the bizarre ideological tendencies now even more extreme than they were then.
To revisit in this book the subjects discussed … is like looking at an old photograph of the tree in one’s front yard and exclaiming, “Wow! We thought it was big then, but look how much it’s grown since!”
Given that Horowitz, in these columns, looks back time again to the days of the New Left in which the Clinton-era events he’s discussing had their beginnings, what we have here is a text that, revisited today, operates on several temporal levels. Horowitz takes us to the Sixties, as it were, by way of the Nineties, thereby shedding light on the process by which many of the intellectuals, rabble-rousers, and outright gangsters of six decades ago, became themselves. All of them were determined to tear down the American establishment in the name of Black Power or Women’s Liberation or explicit Leninist or Maoist revolution. By the 1990s, they were firmly entrenched members of the cultural, political, and academic elite, and are at present, to an alarming extent, our éminences grises, in all but absolute control of the legacy media, Ivy League, Democratic Party, movie business, Silicon Valley, an increasing number of major corporations, and even the military, FBI, CIA, and mainline Protestantism.
As for Horowitz, in the 1960s he was one of the left’s leading figures. But while other, lesser lights of the left rode the wave of anti-establishment rebellion to entrenched establishment power, Horowitz, recognizing the toxicity of the movement he’d helped lead and the value of the American institutions he and his cronies had sought to dismantle, switched sides.