It’s Worse Than a Conspiracy: It’s Consensus

Most readers will be familiar with Vladimir Bukovsky, the respected writer and former Soviet dissident. In collaboration with Pavel Stroilov, he has written a review of Diana West’s book American Betrayal for Breitbart.

As listed at the foot of the review, here are the bios of the authors:

Vladimir Bukovsky is one of the founders of the Soviet dissident movement. He spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals during his fight for freedom. In 2007, he was nominated for president of Russia by the democratic opposition in moral protest of Putin’s powers. His many works include To Build a Castle and Judgement in Moscow.

Pavel Stroilov is a Russian exile in London and the editor and translator of Alexander Litvinenko’s book, Allegations. He is co-author with Bukovsky of EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration, and the author of Behind the Desert Storm: A Secret Archive Stolen From the Kremlin that Sheds New Light on the Arab Revolutions in the Middle East.

So Messrs. Bukovsky and Stroilov have paid their dues as victims of communist oppression, Mr. Bukovsky through his time in the gulag. In their Breitbart piece the two men have done more than write a favorable review of the book: they have deconstructed the malicious ad hominem attacks on its author, and offered plausible explanations for the reprehensible behavior of people who otherwise seem sane and rational.

David Horowitz has already responded at FPM, saying: “Now, in the pages of Breitbart, even Vladimir Bukovsky, the great Soviet dissident, whose work we have previously admired in these pages, and will continue to admire, has joined [Diana West’s] wolf-pack.”

Well… I thought it was a “kook army”, but now it seems to be a “wolf-pack”, with Vladimir Bukovsky baring his fangs at the front of the ravening horde.

This is very strange, considering that Front Page Magazine has sung the praises of Mr. Bukovsky so many times in the past. Ten or twelve years ago, Jamie Glazov, Mr. Horowitz’ assistant, was particularly generous in his admiration of the courageous Soviet dissident.

But not any more. That was then, and this is now: I’m told that Messrs. Bukovsky and Stroilov first submitted their review to FPM, but Mr. Glazov turned it down. The authors’ opinions presumably failed to accord with the current party line laid down by the politburo editorial staff at FPM.

Below are excerpts from their review, “Why Academics Hate Diana West”:

Groundbreaking books about the history of communism, such as Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago or Viktor Suvorov’s Ice-Breaker, are never written by “professional” historians. Indeed, historians typically meet those books with remarkable hostility.

Yet, non-academic history books certainly have their advantages. For one thing, they are readable. More often than not, they are better researched too. Above all, they are intellectually honest, free from the unspoken taboos of the academic world and from allegiances to theories and to colleagues that tie the hands of many an academic.

Where a professional historian pursues an academic career, the amateur seeks after the truth. Ignorant of taboos, the amateur can follow the trail of evidence to wherever it leads and discovers things which, according to the academic conventional wisdom, are best left untouched and unsaid.

That is what Diana West does in American Betrayal:The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character. By her own admission, she started that book with no intention of writing much about the Cold War. She started not as a historian, but a simple mortal puzzled and disturbed by the obvious question: how on earth could this great civilization of ours have degraded into such a hypocritical nonsense as political correctness? Having written her previous book about the death of the civilization of grown-ups, now Mrs. West, in her own words, attempts a post mortem — only to discover unmistakable signs of a murder.

She digs deeper, “tracing references and footnotes backward along a well-mapped historical route that has simply fallen into disuse”, as she puts it — and discovers the true history of the 20th century, the history of communist crimes against humanity, to which so many in the Western Establishment were accomplices and collaborators; and then a massive cover-up of those crimes, which infested our entire public life with a culture of hypocrisy and double standards.


In the face of those proven facts, most of them now recognized even by academics, Mrs. West asks some bold but legitimate questions. Did all these people (the glorious FDR administration) really conduct the Second World War in the interests of Western democracies, or was it in the interests of Comrade Stalin? Having declared that war to defend the freedom of Poland, the Western democracies ended it by surrendering Poland and a dozen other nations to a totalitarian empire worse than Hitler’s. Was that really a victory? Above all, was that outcome inevitable, or did it, to a greater or lesser extent, result from the work of the Soviet agents of influence in the positions of power in the West?


Mrs. West has proven her point without access to secret archives on the basis of published sources alone. She would have found this much more difficult if she tried to continue her narrative much beyond the Second World War. Scandalously, most secret archives of that period remain classified to this day, and very few historians ever complain about that. It required some extraordinary efforts on our part to smuggle some of those archives out of Russia and make them available to the Western public. Of course, our efforts were attacked furiously by the very same academics who now attack American Betrayal, using exactly the same expressions It is their job to suppress any truth about the Cold War. However, despite all their efforts, we now know that the so-called Cold War was never particularly cold on the Soviet side and never much of a war on the Western side:

  • How the “consensus” of Western Establishment had accepted socialism as the inevitable future of the world, and “convergence” with the Soviet system as the only alternative to the Cold War.
  • How Western leaders developed their “détente” with the Soviets secretly, treacherously, through KGB channels, as a means to achieve that “convergence.”
  • How all Western policy throughout the Cold War was aimed to preserve ‘stability’ of the Evil Empire and not to achieve its destruction.
  • Finally, how all Western governments sided with the last Soviet leader against his people, and secretly worked with Comrade Gorbachev in the last desperate attempt to save his regime and his empire. Ever at Gorby’s service, they did everything in their power to prevent unification of Germany, de-communisation of Eastern Europe, collapse of the Soviet Union, and finally — alas, successfully — a Nuremberg-style trial of communism.

That treacherous Establishment is still there. We are still governed by a nomenklatura of collaborationists, Petains and Quislings of the Cold War. Mrs. West has reached that conclusion merely by examining the first chapters of this sad story. Sure enough, there are mountains of other and more recent evidence to support her conclusions. But of course, whatever the evidence, the “consensus” will never plead guilty. Rather, they will try and usurp the judicial seat.


The Left have learned a lot since the times of Duranty and Agitprop. They no longer try to argue with such books as Mrs. West’s. They no longer try to sue us for libel in the courts of law. They quietly assassinate such books well in advance, by confidential e-mails to publishers and editors. In rare cases when that does not work and the book is out, they simply ignore it and wait for another crisis in the Middle East, or the release of the next series of the latest blockbuster, or mid-term elections, to distract the public attention from everything else. They simply let the dangerous revelations sink in the massive flood of information that overwhelms today’s readers.

Fortunately, this did not happen with American Betrayal. The Left held their nerve all right; but — perhaps unexpectedly for Mrs. West — her book greatly offended certain “conservative” academics as well. It emerged that, in her “reckless” quest for the truth, she broke a number of taboos recognized across the academic world, Left to Right.

She attacked certain cows that are sacred across the political spectrum; gentlemanly “formulas of denial” long agreed between academics of all colors; certain “common values of mankind,” to use Comrade Gorbachev’s favorite phrase. Her facts (it has been reluctantly admitted) are of course correct, but her awful conclusions contradict “the consensus of every historian of the war”. The “consensus” is that Soviet agents of influence had no real influence, that FDR was a great patriot and war leader, and that Stalin’s occupation of half of the world was the best possible outcome of the war. On these points, it has emerged, the “conservative” and “liberal” academics have no disagreements. All their disagreements are about how exactly to explain away the facts that do not fit into their “consensus,” and how exactly to suppress dissent.

So, while the Left applied their usual tactics of silent censorship, the less advanced “conservative academics” have only reached the mediocre Agitprop level and responded with a Soviet-style propaganda campaign against Mrs. West and her book. In the best traditions of those campaigns, most of the eminent critics attacked the book without ever reading it, and some of them even admitted this. Come to think of it, one hardly needs to read a book in order to accompany any mention of it with a garland of epithets such as “awful”, “embarrassingly kooky”, “poorly conceived”, “ill-informed”, “conspiracy-mongering”, “preposterous”, “incompetent”, and “dishonest”, and to insult the author in similarly intelligent expressions, including positive assertions that Mrs. West is insane (pity Professor Lunz is no longer with us). This is all the “conservative academics” did, all they could do, and all they needed to do. Just look at their headlines:

  • McCarthy on Steroids;
  • Diana West vs. History
  • Why I Wrote a Take-Down of Diana West’s Awful Book;
  • Diana West’s Attempt to Respond;
  • Diana West Down Crackpot Alley;
  • Diana West Invents a New Conspiracy; etc., etc.

Amazingly and alarmingly, it was FrontPage Magazine that published the Pravda-style header which triggered that campaign, and provided a catalog of smears and insults for endless repetition by other members of the consensus. No doubt a highly distinguished “conservative historian” named Professor Ronald Radosh wrote a lengthy review of American Betrayal, headlined (with remarkable wit, good taste, and academic courtesy, if we may say so) McCarthy on Steroids. There, the Learned Professor dismissed the author as Sen. “McCarthy’s heiress” and the book as a “yellow journalism conspiracy theory” not really deserving the honor of his eminent critique. In his infinite generosity, however, the Learned Professor reluctantly agrees to provide some, and picks several specific points from American Betrayal to accuse Mrs. West of dishonesty and incompetence.

For anyone who has read both Mrs. West’s book and the Professor’s review, however, it is the review that is dishonest and incompetent. The Professor’s trick is to pick a couple of minor points from the book, invent a few more points of his own which he falsely attributes to the book, declare all those points to be “the pillars of West’s conspiracy theory,” and then to “disprove” them with all academic solemnity. Unable to argue with the book itself, he instead argues with his own misrepresentation of the book.


This “review,” with all its hatred and lies, comes as no surprise to those of us who have had the misfortune of hearing about Professor Radosh before. What is disquieting is the sight of the “conservative” crowd rushing into that campaign on sheer herd instinct, not only without reading the book, but apparently even without reading the Radosh review.

After all, its dishonesty is crying out to be noticed. It is dishonest to use meaningless labels in a debate. It is dishonest to attack anything whatsoever as “McCarthyist.” It is dishonest to attack anything as a “conspiracy theory.” So long as there are conspiracies in the world, a conspiracy theory may be perfectly true. It is a conspiracy theory that Al Qaeda organized the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and yet, it happens to be true. It was a conspiracy theory that the Nazi leaders plotted aggressive wars and genocide, but it was proven, and the conspirators went to the gallows. Unlike “academic consensus,” conspiracy is a concept with a clear definition; so much so that prosecutors can prove conspiracy theories beyond reasonable doubt in court. Moreover, the criminal law concepts of conspiracy and complicity are not very far apart. Almost anything we say about communist crimes against humanity can be attacked as a conspiracy theory — and, as a rule, is attacked in these terms by Radosh & Co.

It is high time to stop dismissing things as conspiracy theories or accepting things as being consistent with the academic consensus. Some of us here are talking about truth and lies. And this, perhaps, is precisely what annoys the academics, whose monopoly on writing history depend upon the half-truths of the “consensus.”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

There is another danger in attacking books without reading them. Aimed at the fake Radosh version of American Betrayal, the criticism obviously missed its target. Better still, the campaign has been a perfect illustration of the very point of the book (in Diana West’s original version): that “the consensus” about the Cold War is false and corrupt. It is a product of the great cover-up. It was the same consensus who first denied the facts about the Soviet crimes and Western complicity, then reluctantly admitted the facts but explained them away, and has never permitted any honest conclusions or even an honest debate.


No wonder, too, that this book is hated by ‘the consensus,” who feel perfectly comfortable in today’s world, and see no moral crisis at all. They have never thought of the Cold War as a great battle against the ultimate evil that has changed our civilization beyond recognition. To them, the history of that battle has been no more than a comfortable job. They never saw establishing the truth about it as a sacred duty we owe to the memory of millions of victims; but merely as a matter for “gentlemanly give-and-take” between “liberals” and “conservatives,” leading to a sound academic consensus.

Yet, they instinctively know this whole subject to be a minefield. The more evidence comes to light, the more scholarship is required to explain it away.


Clearly, history is far too important to be left to the historians.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

For links to previous articles about the controversy over American Betrayal, see the Diana West Archives.

56 thoughts on “It’s Worse Than a Conspiracy: It’s Consensus

  1. It’s jaw-dropping to see Horowitz headline his “attempt to respond” (to borrow a phrase) as “Another Personal Attack by Diana West and Her Friends.”

    Has he completely forgotten that the personal, nasty attacks began with his pal Radosh on the platform he provided, followed with more personal attacks by himself? Does he really believe that when West set about demonstrating how Radosh had been sloppy and/or disingenuous in his snark-filled “review,” she was simply launching a “personal attack” on him, Horowitz?

    Does he imagine Bukovsky and Stroilov to be close pals of West, commissioned to defend her and to “attack” him out of personal loyalty? Did he miss the clear evidence that she was surprised when they weighed in? Has he forgotten about the deep familiarity with Soviet communism that might, just possibly, inform their views?

    Does he really believe that West “attacked” him personally by the act of posting Bukovsky and Stroilov’s comments — whereas he did not “attack” her personally by publishing the ill-tempered Radosh piece and then piling on too, and saying that she “should not have written” her book?

    I began watching the debate unfold with no bias toward either side. Earlier, I noted that I did think West misconstrued DH’s opening line about how she “refused” the opportunity to respond to Radosh on FPM, and that he probably had good reason to be indignant that she characterized it as a lie. But the subsequent pile-on, the denial of space to Bukovsky and Stroilov, the whining that it’s “another personal attack by Diana West and her friends” — all that leads me to conclude that West hit a nerve, or that Horowitz simply handled the business in a questionable manner at the outset and keeps digging deeper into the same hole instead of entertaining some “second thoughts.”

  2. Radosh is one of a pack of supposedly conservative people whose actual writings and assertions seem to have the opposite effect of that which a genuine conservative would want.

    It’s as disturbing as the neocon chickenhawk behaviour at PJ Media- what is it really all about? It doesn’t help any conservative cause.

    Cryptosocialists are an established fact, and as far back as the original Manchurian Candidate movie the point was made that communists hide themselves behind the most strident conservative and anti-communist causes.

    • What isthe disturbing chickenhawk neocon behavior about? Easy peasy: F.U.N.D.I.N.G.

      Horowitz’ “Freedom” Center’s existence depends on keeping his big donors happy. Same with Pajamas Media’s funders. There are so many things you may not say, may not even vaguely refer to because the big moolah folks are, many of them, 9/11 ‘conservatives’

      IOW, their native tongue is political correctness in one form or another . They are high-strung & very easy to disturb. Once off the roost and squawking, it’s very difficult to get them soothed and quiet again.

    • Radosh is one of a pack of supposedly conservative people whose actual writings and assertions seem to have the opposite effect of that which a genuine conservative would want.

      Cameron (Brit PM) is one of a pack of supposedly conservative people whose actual writings and assertions seem to have (are having) the opposite effect of that which a genuine conservative would want.

      And can’t the same be said of alleged conservatives throughout the West – what help do they really give to any genuinely conservative cause?

  3. I must admit to a touch of schadenfreude regarding David H’s so-called rebuttal to Vladimir Bukovsky. Mr. H has apparently run the gamut of ways to defend his actions, and thus falls back upon tactics that even Old Scratch must tire of at times. Some lone fellow named Ziggy Zoggy is reduced to the same type of tactics in a failed attempt to defend the besieged Mr. H on the Frontpage website. We are at the point of farce.

    Who could reasonably trust Mr. H from now on?

  4. I am surprised by the continuing stupidity of Mr. Horowitz and FPM. When heavyweighters like Bukovsky and Stroilov write something – you don’t turn it down. And you certainly don’t attack them.

    This story has ruined the credibility of FPM, and harmed the credibility of Gatestone Institute. Silence can be just as informative (And just as violent!) as words – in this case the silence of John Bolton.

    I think Mr. Horowitz needs a lesson in what happens to boomerangs when they miss their targets. Maybe he’ll have to learn it “the hard way”?

    Marten, Soldier in the Kook Army

  5. The first rule of holes being stop digging, and I’m pretty sure DH knows that as well as anyone.

    So at some point I got the feeling he’s gaining something from all this. The “only bad publicity is no publicity” way of thinking. That repetitive troll ziggy zoggy on the West threads at FP demonstrates it too well. It keeps generating MORE responses.

    We in the West are constantly being played with. Good cop/bad cop is one thing. O’Brianism is what Orwell described. As Paul Western noted, DH is behaving as an anti-anticommunist. The troubling question is why did he choose NOW to drop his anti-communist cloak? Could it be in any way connected to the fact that just about all Progs have dropped their previous deviousness and gone full out radical in pushing their programs and demonizing their opponents?

    Perhaps his purpose is very very Stalinist. The idea would be to offer American constitutionalists their first vision of despair “All your institutions have been breached and taken over. What do you think you can do about it little men?”

    DH is too smart to not know the impression he’s leaving and the consequent reputation he’s discarding. Projection has always been a Prog tool, and DH has been using it throughout this episode like a once misplaced and now refound treasured toy.

    • If DH is “dropping his mask” there’s no need to assume he planned to do it at this time. The more reasonable assumption is that he felt he had to do it — because Diana West’s book is just that threatening to that which he has been spending his latter lifetime as an “ex-Leftist” and “ex-Communist” trying to protect (viz., the crypto- and stealth Communism that is protected precisely through an industry of pseudo-anti-Communism).

      • I didn’t say he planned it. I’m saying he’s going along with the other mainstream pols who were once only leftist or moderate Progs. The behavior of many of those has now gone completely radical. My point is Ms West’s point. He’s simply rejoining with his buddies while continuing to pretend he’s not. “Why tell the truth when a good lie will”… help keep the opposition off balance?

        I really think Orwell is informative at this juncture. We need to develop new leaders and discard old ones like DH. His antics are keeping lots of people scratching their heads — IOW, off balance. The time is ripe to make new leaders. They are not born.

        • Sorry: “My point derives from ms. west’s points”

          (and from your as well it would seem).

          If the mainstream pols have dropped their own cloaks, he no longer has to keep his. Now it’s only a matter of constant projection and denial and projection and denial.

  6. Sorry, it wasn’t Paul Western. It wasn’t even Paul Weston as I had originally thought. It was DH writing that Diane West called him an anti-anti communist. DH oughta know. 🙂

  7. Some of us here are talking about truth and lies. And this, perhaps, is precisely what annoys the academics, whose monopoly on writing history depend upon the half-truths of the “consensus.”

    This seems to be the great new trend among “academics” from more fields than history during the last decades.

    They never saw establishing the truth about it as a sacred duty we owe to the memory of millions of victims; but merely as a matter for “gentlemanly give-and-take” between “liberals” and “conservatives,” leading to a sound academic consensus.

    If the today’s “liberals” represents the thesis, and these “conservatives” the antithesis, please save us all from the expected synthesis.

    • You sound like your are ready to rename that famous methodology. Perhaps The Hegelian Dialectic Vise?

      In order not to be crushed, step outside the confines of Left or Right and recognize there is indeed an up or down.

      “Up to man’s ages-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. “

  8. “Bukovsky and Stroilov have … offered plausible explanations for the reprehensible behavior of people [i.e., Radosh and Horowitz, et al.] who otherwise seem sane and rational.”

    Bukovsky and Stroilov do go to the trouble of articulating an explanation; but whether it’s plausible is a matter of opinion. Bukovsky and Stroilov at least come closer than anyone else thus far (with the sole exception (not counting moi, as I don’t count) of Andrew Bostom who, however, has never expanded his view from terse and tart — and all too few — remarks) to the threshold of accusing Radosh and Horowitz of being Communists (i.e., perforce crypto- and stealth Communists); but they seem to shrink back from that threshold.

    Much like asymptotic analysts who come with a hair’sbreadth of holistically condemning all of Islam and all Muslims who enable Islam (and what Muslims don’t enable Islam?), Bukovsky and Stroilov may perhaps end up expending more time and complex theorization by trying to avoid the dreadful conclusion about Radosh and Horowitz than they would were they to allow Ockham’s razor to lead the way. They commend Diana West for “connecting the dots” about all the data that leads to her reasonable inferences about the deep penetration of Communists in America for decades (lasting, reasonably, into our present), but when it comes to the data concerning Radosh and Horowitz, which they — and especially Diana West in her three-part Rebuttal — have marshalled, they seem to shrink back from connecting the dots that lead to the most reasonable explanation: that Radosh and Horowitz are actual stealth Communists operating under the ingenious deep cover of being established anti-Communists.

    Certainly, such a conclusion is a grave one, and should not be arrived at lightly. However, when one reads Bukovsky and Stroilov’s articulation, and when one has fully assimilated Diana West’s three-part Rebuttal, any other conclusion seems an artful, and timid, evasion.

    • ” ….that Radosh and Horowitz are actual stealth Communists operating under the ingenious deep cover of being established anti-Communists.”

      My thoughts exactly. I made similar remark a while back. I picture the crew at FPM as a group that publishes just enough good information to look credible while running a full-blocking screen on the truly damning material.

    • I did not gain the impression that Bukovsky and Stroilov were condemning Horowitz (or even Radosh) of being stealth communists so much as collaborators with the systematic domination of academia by Marxist narratives. The distinction is crucial, because in fact there are always many more people guilty of collaboration with evil than there are ideologically devoted proponents with real power. This is one of the essential problems with every evil system, it is evil because it is incompatible with goodness, and thus it is generally opposed to human thriving. While the idiots willing to wholly devote themselves to the cause of International Communism may be numerous, most of them are useless by virtue of their wholesale embrace of a pattern of thought entirely contrary to the development of any kind of excellence (often a lack of ability to develop such excellence is their motive for communism).

      The “useful idiot” is useful precisely because he (and I here use the term advisedly, as women are rarely useful idiots, they are generally either useless or not idiots) collaborates to gain advantage rather than being really committed to the cause. I believe the point deserves consideration, though I am not myself strongly persuaded that Horowitz and the general run of “neo-conservatives” can be considered sufficiently free of Fabian Socialism to not be accurately described as “stealth communists” (I might use the term “creeping socialists” if I were to be so colorful, but the literal sense of the term gets lost in the merely abusive implications, as with “crawlingly vile totalitarianists”).

      Where, in principle, do we draw the line between those who commit a crime for “advantage” and those who do it for “thrills”? Or should we even draw such a line? A study of psychopathic behavior disorders suggests that, for the psychopath, the “fun” of committing a crime is inextricably linked to the advantage gained by getting away with it, it is a principle that seems to dominate psychopathic behaviors, including those that would not ordinarily be considered criminal as such. This suggests to my mind that questioning someone’s motives is only really useful when it isn’t a motive to commit a crime, because in the purest form of criminal psychology the ulterior motive is essential, there are no “pure motives” to criminality as such.

      C. S. Lewis says that a bad man is always seeking some kind of good for himself, just incidentally in a way that harms others. Nobody is “bad for the sake of badness”. My own experience is that the true disinterested pursuit of evil for its own sake is the domain of a certain kind of ally of Justice, the Templar who guides the “dark hero” to do what is necessary to defeat evil. The purest evil rejoices in the existence of ultimate good, because it is the possibility of redemption which makes the damnation all the more exquisite. And the truly good suffer even for the damned, a price which more than recompenses the heart of darkness for allowing some to “escape” damnation by always mourning others whom it has claimed utterly.

  9. “A totalitarian empire worse than Hitler’s…”. Worse by what measure? By total murders committed? That’s as much a function of the luck of the draw as it is of intentions. The Soviets won the war, and as a result, they got to play their hand for 70 years rather than the 12 or so that Hitler had. But if you pro-rate it, Hitler was worse.

    Also, worse for whom? Soviet rule was not worse for Poland than Nazi rule. Yes, the Soviets massacred Polish officer POW’s at Katyn. But that outrageous crime is a bucket of blood in a lake of Polish blood shed by the Nazis.

    • Oh, I don’t know. Consider the Ukraine famine, for starters. And on and on it went … Check out “Bloodlands” by Timothy Snyder.

    • The point is more that the one set of crimes was revealed and condemned while the other set was concealed and ruled “justifiable”. Of course a crime looks worse when it is fully revealed and judged by decent standards than when it is successfully carried off. We cannot dismiss so easily the thought of the hundred million Chinese people murdered with the active assistance of the Soviet Union, nor of the many tens of millions in other countries where International Communism was allowed to spread it’s influence.

      To say that these crimes had nothing to do with the decision of the Allies to cooperate with Stalin rather than fight him is…suspect.

  10. A friend brought to my attention David Gelernter’s book “America-Lite” whose description on reads: “In this refreshingly judgmental book, David Gelernter connects the historical dots to reveal a stealth revolution carried out by post-religious globalist intellectuals who, by and large, “can’t run their own universities or scholarly fields, but are very sure they can run you.” These imperial academics have deployed their students into the top echelon of professions once monopolized by staid and steady WASPs. In this simple way, they have installed themselves as the new designated drivers of American culture.”

    I have always wondered how such a huge body of PhDs as America has could be so stupid, so devoid of knowledge of the most basic realities of life and history, so anti-empirical in a culture that purports to value empiricism and grants the PhD degree in avowed recognition of one’s empirical prowess. The Radosh phenomenon seems to fit in with this syndrome. As to the others, e.g. PJ Media that has found not only DW but GoV non-kosher too, it’s servile catering to the milquetoast opinions of neocon donors.

    • At the moment I can’t think of what “DW” might be. I’m interested so perhaps someone will enlighten me?

      • DW: As far as this thread goes, it stands for Diana West. In your case, perhaps, [insult redacted]?

    • I think a sort of intellectual snobbery leads some people to reject what regular folks observe to be manifestly true. For example, in growing up I somehow knew that communism was oppressive and morally bankrupt, but then I discovered that the smart set tend to say, “No, no, it was a bunch of reactionary rubes who told people that communism was evil; but we know that’s a backward, uneducated way of viewing the world, whereas we’re enlightened and progressive.”

      Consider how much effort the deconstructionists and post-structuralists et al. have put into concocting incomprehensible theories in unreadable prose. It isn’t that they’re unintelligent — it’s that they’re trying way too hard to sound much more brilliant than the rest of us.

    • “I have always wondered how such a huge body of PhDs as America has could be so stupid, so devoid of knowledge of the most basic realities of life and history, so anti-empirical in a culture that purports to value empiricism and grants the PhD degree in avowed recognition of one’s empirical prowess. ”

      Stage hypnotists pre-select those who will end up on stage, and who will then prove susceptible to hypnsosis. This pre-selection is done by asking the audience to do a series of things at the start of the show. These steps show who is susceptible and compliant.

      The process of getting a PhD is similar. To be accepted you need a 1st class degree, which already shows you are good at jumping through hoops. You will only be accepted for a PhD by someone whose reputation will be bolstered by the contents of your PhD. If your thesis challenges that person’s work, you will not be accepted. Upon completion, your PhD will have been guided along the path by your supervisor to bolster his/her reputation. Your supervisor will work with you to select a team of examiners who are friends of your supervisor and who are sympathetic to your thesis.

      Those who get 1st class degrees and PhDs are amongst the most compliant people in our society. Having a PhD is as much an indicator of compliance and doggedness as it is of intelligence. Dogged compliant people do not rock the boat, and they will doggedly try to stop others rocking the boat.

  11. Frontpage Magazine was on my top sites list.
    After reading all this over a few weeks it isn’t anymore.

    Messrs Glasnov and Horowitz need to pull their heads in and apologise if they want to keep any credibility from here on in.

    Diana West is correct to ask the question “How did we get to here”.
    Her answers aren’t pretty.

  12. “What is the disturbing chickenhawk neocon behavior about? Easy peasy: F.U.N.D.I.N.G ”


    Dymphna’s earlier three-part comment hit the nail on the head.

    • I just read Takuan’s comment and I largely agree. But at least on my campuses, the WASPY professors seemed to be as left-wing as everyone else. And this was 40 years ago.

  13. Another good place to start for amateurs and truth-seekers is Evelyn Waugh’s Sword Of Honour trilogy, particularly the concluding volume Unconditional Surrender.

  14. What on earth is wrong with that Horowitz character? All this nonsense about kook armies and wolf packs hunting him down – he’s totally lost the plot.


    [Recommendation from Baron Bodissey: Turn off the caps lock.]

  16. Over at FPM, it has been pathetic and even tragic that first we have to see David’s disgraceful attempt to rebutt Bukovsky in which he tellingly admits that he refused to let Bukovsky run his piece at FPM. So at FPM we have a standard (just as they showed when they took down Tapson’s review) of not permitting competing views on West to run at their site regardless of who writes them. But oh my, David was all too happy to take advantage of the fact that Breitbart does not employ a similiar standard. That’s the ultimate hypocrisy.

    But then we have to see another round of vile, pornographic, misogynistic posts from the only vocal defender of David known as “Ziggy Zoggy” whose conduct is so straight out of loony Keith Olbermann-Bill Maher territory its beyond insane to see. Not only does this guy repeatedly lie and say West called for an alliance with the Nazis (opposing “unconditional surrender” is not doing so, and academics have been arguing this point for decades), he also elicits no comments of repudiation from David which is even more telling (though some of his posts are beings scrubbed, many more are still up).

    I do want to say that I think that those who are accusing Horowitz and Radosh of being stealth communists in disguise are guilty of the same problem of exaggeration extremism and missing a fundamental point. Radosh is concerned with protecting his “turf” of an interpretation of Cold War history in which the spying has to be acknowledged but through the liberal lens in which McCarthy and the conservatives of the era who were “right from the start” can still be depicted as dangerous fanatics who harmed the movement. It’s *that* part of the equation that Radosh can not stand because he prefers to represent the path of anti-communism that was not associated with conservatives of the 1940s but rather came round to the “liberal” interpretation of anti-communism which in effect amounts to having your cake and eating it too. In these interpretations, FDR can be seen as naive but not dangerous and more importantly Harry Truman is to get a free pass on everything because of his response to the external threat but never mind the fact that when it came to dealing with the internal problem, Truman acted disgracefully for partisan purposes. In short, this isn’t about stealth communists it’s about preserving a sacred cow of historical interpretation in which there can be no revisionism to suggest that maybe there was more than met the eye about the much maligned GOP members of HUAC and later still McCarthy himself. On *that* point is where this rests, because truthfully there is almost no difference between what Diana writes and what M. Stanton Evans/Herb Romerstein wrote. We have seen how Radosh behaved disgracefully in regards to Evans in the past and I think his assault on West was more his way of trying to get at Evans through the back door by smearing her reputation as not worthy of consideration which by extension, given Evans’ praise of her work, would also mean a backdoor assault on Evans (notice how in the original review Radosh took time out to protest the praises Diana received and the only name he did NOT mention was Evans?)

    In their zeal to promote a standard interpretation of how conservatives should think about the Cold War, which is to only accept half a loaf (the liberal anti-communist interpretation), Radosh/Horowitz in the process betrayed their committment to academic freedom. And that is why what they did deserves only the highest condemnation.

    • I think this is spot-on. Apparently one has to have been an American communist or far-leftist in order to speak authoritatively on communist plots in America. Having been a dissident in the Soviet Union is not a qualifier to speak about communism in America. Natch.

      Now we have a president who was mentored by a card-carrying communist, and who’s been identified by a college acquaintance as having been a hard-core revolutionary Marxist in his youth, and who openly acknowledges having sought out radical peers and Marxist professors in college, and who gives no indication of having made an ideological conversion, and whose policies have been applauded by the CPUSA (which has said its members don’t have to waste their votes on Communists, so labeled, when they’re getting the results they want by voting Democrat).

      And the mass media treat our Marxist president as the voice of reason and moderation, and his constitutionalist critics as extremists, anarchists, arsonists, etc. Most of academia does too, and various institutions of the “respectable” establishment.

      Can anyone doubt that Marxists have been worming their way deeply into the fabric of the nation for generations now? Or that influential figures in our culture, and government, have been suppressing an awareness of communist atrocities and the evils of utopian totalitarianism since Lenin’s time?

      Yet there are still “conservatives” insisting that some people who saw the danger and tried to do something about it were just as evil as the communist subversives, and maybe more so. Some “conservatives” seem happy to stress their contempt for McCarthy but reluctant to name any of the totalitarian subversives.

    • “I think that those who are accusing Horowitz and Radosh of being stealth communists in disguise are guilty of the same problem of exaggeration extremism and missing a fundamental point. Radosh is concerned with protecting his “turf” of an interpretation of Cold War history in which the spying has to be acknowledged but through the liberal lens …”

      Your objection to the hypothesis that Horowitz and Radosh are stealth communists does not take into accout an important fact: the behavior of Radosh (and subsequently of Horowitz) in distorting the data of Diana West’s book and of her position, though egregious and even “surreal” (West’s term, wholly apt, even restrained) tactics involving every logical fallacy under the sun as well as many behaviors either underhanded or astonishingly inept. Why people persist in ignoring this fact (which represents a tense cluster of things meticulously detailed in Diana West’s Rebuttal), I have no idea. I think they just didn’t read her Rebuttal, or they read it with their eyes dancing over the fonts and not really assimilating what she was saying, over and over and over and over and over again.

      When you and others who think the way you do really assimilate West’s Rebuttal and demonstrate that you do, get back to me. Until then, I stand by my hypothesis as the most plausible, however outlandish it may seem. Good God, the 20th century is littered with the bones of far more outlandish crimes and collusions.

      • The behavior only proves that (1) Radosh is hell-bent determined to stand by an “orthodox” interpretation of Cold War studies in which we must *never* engage in any potentially positive revisionism of McCarthy and the GOP members of HUAC, and must accept the “liberal” perspective of anti-communism (in which Truman is a saint) and (2) Horowitz has a disturbing blind spot of total fealty to Radosh as a demigod on this subject. It is not proof of being a “stealth communist” because let’s face it, Radosh did in his more lucid moments write some books about the Spanish Civil War, Hollywood etc. that acknowledges the basic *facts* of Communist subversion that the radical New Left academic perspective will lie and distort about. That’s why I used to have respect for him until his vicious broadside against M. Stanton Evans which revealed that Radosh will not tolerate anything that would constitute “rehabilitation” of McCarthy because in his mind, in keeping with the “liberal” anti-communist perspective, that is “bad for the movement.” In short, it’s echoing the “Manchurian Candidate” philosophy where the left-wing Senator says of the McCarthy clone “He could not hurt this country more if he were a paid Soviet agent” (which he in the end turns out to be).

        Radosh and Horowitz did enough to hang themselves with their conduct without having to have conspiracy charges of another kind being hurled.

        • Radosh has not been behaving like an academic hell-bent on protecting a paradigm. He has been behaving like a man threatened by a discovery of a truth he has been trying to hide for years: and what is it that has threatened him so? It centrally involves an exposé of Harry Hopkins and an exoneration of Joe McCarthy. Why is Radosh so intent on protecting Harry Hopkins and on demonizing McCarthy that he will serially lie, distort and obfuscate not to try to refute the opposition, but apparently only to muddy the waters apart from the substance of the supposed dispute (and it appears to have worked on some level)?

          One plausible explanation is that West’s revelations (which is a composite inference based on a mountain of data already known, though some of it late and much of it obscured by academic historiographic custodians like Radosh himself) startlingly remind Radosh of a truth he has labored decades to keep hidden in plain sight by offering the lesser scraps of a pseudo-anti-Communism to the literate intelligentsia.

          West’s book has had an effect on Radosh analogous to the sudden discovery of a revolver in a vase on the mantle of some millionaire with skeletons in his closet.

          • No, it is the protection of a paradigm in which the “virtuous” side of anti-communism are in the “principled liberals” only and not the conservatives of the day. For Radosh, heroism in the anti-Communist cause would end with the Americans For Democratic Action repudiation of Henry Wallace, or with Truman as a *liberal Democrat* reversing course on FDR foreign policy in Europe and thus being “principled” in recognizing the threat (or in seeing George Marshall as a hero because the Marshall Plan in his eyes saves Western Europe from Communism). So as a result, when you have a revisionist view that knocks the liberal anti-communists off their perches and suggests that they did things that didn’t serve the cause well, then *that* is where the hackles of Radosh and company get raised more IMO. In a real sense, we as conservatives for decades have made ourselves accomodate this perspective that in the early Cold War period the “best” anti-Communists were the “principled liberals” and that we could view the conservatives as the ones who “hurt the cause” like McCarthy. Now though, works like that of Evans and West force us to re-examine that paradigm, and in the process its revealing that Radosh and by extension Horowitz feel that their notion of “conservatism” is threatened if the old liberal anti-communist paradigm comes under assault. That is the simplest explanation (Radosh’s attempt to smear Stanton Evans through the backdoor by going after West also fits this theory) and IMO the correct and sensible one to explain things.

  17. Yep; I got M. Stanton Evans’ book on Kindle and started reading it & thought this is more or less what Diana West has said, so what’s the problem? Maybe the problem was as you say that this Radosh character had a bee in his bonnet about Evans & thought he’d fight a proxy war through an unarmed female who (he assumed) couldn’t defend herself against a big bad academic man. Pathetic, really.

    (& Z-Z is only having his comments deleted now because I’ve been flagging them and demanding that the moderators do so. Even so, they’re only deleting the worst of the worst.)

    • Dear Nick,

      Some 14 days ago, I followed a thread at FPM and wrote a post about it here at GoV. Ziggy Zoggy was the absolutely most industrious blogger at the thread.

      I’d like to spread a completely false rumour: I think Ziggy Zoggy’s real identity is Ronald Radosh.

      • He actually sounds more like Conrad Black. Black’s piece at National Review Online which used phrases like saying West wasn’t “housebroken” was an all-time low in the history of that website which now has me boycotting anything that has Black’s name on it for all time.

  18. Among the many distortions, inaccuracies and errors in Horowitz’s latest complaint about West, is this one:

    In her 22,000-word “rebuttal” to Radosh’s 8,000-word review West says it is “false” that she claimed that Washington DC was “occupied” by Communists and Stalin’s agents. Here is what she wrote in her book and actually quotes in her rebuttal:

    “The vast and deep extent of Communist penetration, heretofore denied, had in fact reached a tipping point to become a de facto Communist occupation of the American center of power.”

    Apparently she doesn’t realize that the Latin phrase de facto means “in fact.” It is impossible to argue with a mind as obtuse as this.

    Here we see Horowitz practicing kitman — a style of deception Muslims have practiced for centuries but of course didn’t invent (no doubt other fascistic and totalitarian worldviews also incorporated this tactic in order to fight the war of ideas when necessary). Kitman is telling part of the truth, while obscuring another part of the truth; it thus resembles an honest and fair approach. Thus, Horowitz is half correct that de facto means “in fact” — but he tries to hoodwink his audience whom surely he must know are not going to be hoodwinked in so sophomoric a fashion; for a common context of the term de facto is its apposition with de jure. In this context, the two terms are contrasting a state of affairs that has “for practical purposes” obtained (de facto) with a situation where what has obtained becomes solidified in official and institutional actuality. In this context, de facto does not mean simply “actually”, as Horowitz is — either slyly or with surreal bungling — trying to imply. Rather, in this context, de facto is meant to convey a situation where what would actually be the case approaches that, with considerable wiggle room and fudge factor accorded to the describer of the situation, who hopefully also supplies plenty of evidence and argumentation to try to make his case persuasive for that inference. One doesn’t, as Horowitz does so slyly or so hamfistedly, utterly deny the describer the courtesy of that wiggle room and fudge factor by tendentiously and cynically re-defining what convention has come to understand de facto to convey.

    • Good point. Obviously she meant de facto in implicit distinction from de jure, which is how the term is generally used. De facto (in English) conventionally means NOT officially, but to similar effect.

  19. “It’s worse than conspiracy, it’s consensus.”

    Sums it up. The Post WW2 Liberal Consensus.

  20. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not yet read Ms. Diana West’s book American Betrayal. Instead, with increasing curiosity, I followed the change of position by Mr. David Horowitz and Mr. Ron Radosh after American Betrayal had initially received a positive review on the FrontPage website.
    While I did not read Ms. West’s manuscript, I am more familiar with Mr. Horowitz’s books and turned to them for some clues as to what might be motivating his tirade following the reversal of position. To my mind, there has to be something deeper that triggered the abject retort as spouted by Mr. Horowitz.
    What is it that stirred this harangue?
    Some initial clues might be derived from Destructive Generation. Second Thoughts about the 60s” by Peter Collier and David Horowitz, Free Press Paperbacks, published by Simon and Shuster, Copyright 1989 through 1996 by Peter Collier, Inc., and David Horowitz.

    Chapter 6, The Last Refuge of the Left. McCarty’s Ghost, pp. 192-210.
    P. 195: “Communist” and “fellow traveler” are epithets that seem antique, almost comic. As they have gradually lost their sting, only one term from the 1950s retains the dark power of a political curse: “McCarthyism.” In life, McCarthy was part of the Right. In death, he has been possessed by body snatchers on the Left. The apprehensions aroused by charges of “McCarthyism” are based on the Left’s assertion that there is a powerful and destructive impulse lurking just under the surface of our political life: a native fascism easily ignited and ready to rage dangerously out of control.”
    P.195/6: “The Wisconsin senator’ strut on the stage ended in a crushing repudiation by his colleagues in the Senate and an enduring obloquy in the rouges’ gallery of American history, a position close to that of Benedict Arnold and a handful of other villains. His enemies survived to be rehabilitated as martyrs and heroes of an American political “nightmare,” while he himself is the only figure from that haunted era to suffer irreparable damnation.”
    P. 196: “Why do we hear so much about McCarthyism in the contemporary political debate? Is there a basis for the fear that we will return to the spirit of that brief moment in the 1950s when this bizarre figure dominated our politics?”
    P. 196: “If there is such a danger, it comes not from Joseph McCarthy’s followers on the Right, but from the Left which professes to hate McCarthy’s memory.”
    P. 197: “To accuse someone of being a McCarthyite, therefore, has become a way of embargoing ideas that the Left dislikes and invoking cloture on debates that it doesn’t want to have.”
    On FrontPage Magazine, Ms. West ‘s book was denigrated as “McCarthyism on Steroids.” It is also noticeable that the picture on FrontPage Mag of September 28, 2013, under the headline “Another Personal Attack Inspired By West,” shows McCarthy pictured next to Stalin. Chapter 6, above: “The Last Refuge of the Left. McCarty’s Ghost”….
    In David Horowitz’ magnum opus, Left Illusions. An Intellectual Odyssey (Dallas TX, Spence Publishing Company, 2002, edited, with an Introduction by Jamie Glazov), Chapter 26, Michael Lind and the Right Wing Cabal, p. 271–287, one reads on p. 274:
    “My only political regret was that the leftist delusions Radosh and I had abandoned were proving more tenacious than I had expected.

    • P. 196: “If there is such a danger, it comes not from Joseph McCarthy’s followers on the Right, but from the Left which professes to hate McCarthy’s memory.”

      Or from the Crypto-Leftist (if not Crypto-Communist) Ex-Leftist anti-McCarthy Right.

    • After JCL quotes from the Horse-owitz’s mouth from his own book in which he analyzes the cynical baiting tactics used by Leftsts exploiting anti-McCarthyite emotions, he then aptly notes Horowitz’s hypocrisy with regard to his treatment of Diana West:

      On [Horowitz’s] FrontPage Magazine, Ms. West ‘s book was denigrated as “McCarthyism on Steroids.” It is also noticeable that the picture on FrontPage Mag of September 28, 2013, under the headline “Another Personal Attack Inspired By West,” shows McCarthy pictured next to Stalin.

      It defies credulity to think that Horowitz is so stupid, and so obtusely hypocritical, that he cannot see what he is doing. The more plausible explanation is that he is deliberately using this tactic, among many others from the Alinskyite playbook — both because he thinks he can get away with it, and because he has been driven to this desperate measure because West’s book is just that threatening to what he wants to protect (the stealth Communism hidden beneath the pseudo-anti-Communism he has been publicly promoting).

  21. “To accuse someone of being a McCarthyite, therefore, has become a way of embargoing ideas that the Left dislikes and invoking cloture on debates that it doesn’t want to have.”

    I thought of this immediately when the Radosh original article hit. I havent read Left Illusions…but I have read Second Thoughts. I think Radosh discusses McCarthyism in his book Commies in a similar fashion.

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