On Tuesday, former Marxist-turned-conservative icon David Horowitz spoke at the Heritage Foundation to mark the launch of what will be a ten-volume compendium of his writings on leftism, The Black Book of the American Left. In his wide-ranging speech, Horowitz described his transition from left to right, and discussed the shortcomings of a conservative movement unwilling to deal with the ugly realities of what the American left represents.
Horowitz began by distinguishing the David Horowitz Freedom Center from other think tanks, instead characterizing it as a “battle tank.” He labeled himself “monomaniacal” in his focus on the left and its relation to communism. “There are hedgehogs and foxes. The foxes know many things. And the hedgehogs know one thing. I am a hedgehog,” he joked.
“My parents called themselves progressives,” Horowitz explained with regard to his communist parents. “The agenda was a Soviet America…the slogan of the communist party in those days was peace, jobs, democracy. Sound familiar?”
That was the theme of Horowitz’s speech as he continued: how the communists had taken over the Democratic Party. “The communist party is the Democratic Party,” Horowitz stated. “In The Great Gatsby, [F. Scott] Fitzgerald describes the rich as people who break things and leave them for others to clean up. That is a wonderful description of the left.” Horowitz, who began as a radical Marxist, said that the modern left had learned stealth from their failures in the 1960s: “The left have learned from the 1960s…we in the 1960s didn’t want to pretend to be Jeffersonian democrats…That’s why we failed in the 1960s. That’s why they’ve succeeded now.”