Skeptics of America Who Swooned For The USSR

Unheeded Warnings In History

In his book Political Pilgrims (Oxford University Press 1981), Paul Hollander talks about alienated Western intellectuals who visited Communist countries such as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and North Vietnam in search of a better society. These intellectuals poured out praise for regimes that had killed large numbers of their own people, put political prisoners in labor camps, and indoctrinated the average citizen. As Hollander says “It seemed that they (the intellectuals) had a tendency for a selective preoccupation with various historical and social events and issues while allowing others to bypass them completely. I was struck by a puzzling juxtaposition of insight and blindness, sensitivity and indifference.”

How could these political pilgrims not see the underlying reality of the countries they visited? Hollander quotes a former admirer of Mao’s China, Jonathan Mirsky, who wrote in 1979 of his attitudes in 1972: “Throughout our trip…we sheathed the critical faculties which…

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Useful Stooge Hall of Fame: Malcolm Caldwell

Useful Stooges

caldwell Malcolm Caldwell

In a recent – and fascinating – piece for The Spectator, James Bartholemew bemoaned what he called the “socialist indoctrination” provided by British universities to foreign students who then return home, rise to positions of power, apply what they’ve learned, and as a result do a lot of damage to their nations’ economies. A current example: Yanis Varoufakis, who as Greece’s financial minister earlier this year turned what had actually been an expanding economy into a total disaster. In passing, Bartholemew noted that while most of the British professors responsible for converting foreign students to bad economics “remain comfortably” in the U.K., “uninvolved in the misery they have sown overseas,” there has been one striking example to the contrary: Malcolm Caldwell.

We have to admit that we were unfamiliar with the Caldwell case, so we looked into it. It turns out to be quite a story…

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