[Marxism] Fwd: Could you trade in your political beliefs for their exact opposite? These six people did. - The Washington Post

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jun 25 06:13:22 MDT 2016

For Burnham, a falling-out with Leon Trotsky (their letters to one 
another are remarkable in their mix of erudition and pettiness) and a 
realization that the New Deal might really be as far left as America 
needed to go would nudge him away from the left and the American Workers 
Party. As one comrade put it, for Burnham the work of the party was “not 
a vocation but an avocation.” Podhoretz, a gifted magazine editor at the 
journal Commentary, was devastated after his grating 1967 memoir, 
“Making It,” received brutal reviews, including by friends on the left 
such as Norman Mailer. He had yearned for the recognition that comes 
with writing something transcendent. Instead, he realized that “he 
wasn’t great,” Oppenheimer writes. “He wasn’t even good. . . . And he 
was wrecked by it.” In that wreckage, Podhoretz remade his politics, 
leaving secular left-liberalism for a conservatism steeped in tradition, 
religion, duty, Israel and America. He also reinterpreted his memoir as 
a political battle rather than a literary project — and in that battle, 
those traitors on the left were the enemy. “It was as though he’d been 
replaced by a version of himself from an adjacent timeline,” Oppenheimer 


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