“Wherever the revolutionary left has triumphed, its triumph has meant economic backwardness and social poverty, cultural deprivation and the loss of political freedom for all those unfortunate peoples under its yoke. This is the real legacy of the left of which you and I were a part. We called ourselves progressives; but we were the true reactionaries of the modern world.” ~ socialist David Horowitz wrote in his letter to English socialist Ralph Miliband entitled, “The Road to Nowhere,” reproduced in chapter 2 “The Fate of the Marxist Idea” in Horowitz’s book “The Politics of Bad Faith.”
The theme of the book is the refusal of radicals to accept the implications of the collapse of communism for the future of socialism. Socialists are running away from their embarrassing history and the name of their ideology.
“For radicals, it is not socialism, but only the language of socialism that is finally dead. To be reborn, the left had only to rename itself in terms that did not carry the memories of the insurmountable defeat [including tens of millions of dead comrades], to appropriate a past that could still be victorious. Thus leftists now call themselves “progressives,” “post-modernists,” and even “liberals.””
After much introspection he shares with us in his books, essays and speeches, David Horowitz reformed and became a conservative. He explains, “The divisive crusades of the left and its failed ‘experiments’ must be seen for what they are: bloody exercises in civil nihilism; violent pursuits of empty hopes; revolutionary actes gratuites [gratuitous acts] that were doomed to fail from the start.”
In the introduction to the Horowitz’s book “Left Illusions,” Jamie Glazov explains that David “argues that the negative result of two hundred years of socialist efforts means that from its beginnings the moden revolutionary left cannot be regarded as a “progressive” force, but one that is destructive and reactionary.”