Born-again conservative Mr. Mark Gauvreau Judge was correct about one point in his “Turn to the Right” diatribe [September 25]: “Being a young radical leftist [is] hard work.” Especially when young radical leftists–the extant few–need to contend with people like himself, who were obviously never radical nor leftist in the first place but make such claims as yet another disparagement of those working for actual human progress. While Mr. Judge’s typically illogical rant hardly deserves a mention–whether coated in sweet tones of saving his wayward party or not–his claims of born-again rightism smack of the farce of homosexuals finding happiness in hetero marriages. A leftist who abandons his or her convictions for rightism couldn’t have been much of a radical to begin with. One can only assume that Mr. Judge’s belief that he was a leftist radical reveals much about the ease in which he embraced “all the things, in short, that made common sense” when they, in short, don’t. Immanuel Wallerstein explained this succinctly in a lecture in Prague last year. A rational system, he said, would be egalitarian and democratic. It “cannot be egalitarian if it is not democratic, because an undemocratic system is one that distributes power unequally….And it cannot be democratic if it is not egalitarian, since an inegalitarian system means that some have more material means than others and therefore inevitably will have more political power.”
That, Mr. Judge, in short, describes both the logic of leftism and the illogic of rightism.
I’m still wondering, though: What vast international communist conspiracy with treason in its heart is Mr. Judge referring to? As a graduate student in history–and I consider myself to be an honest one–it might be helpful for me to learn about it. (Or would be, if it had existed.)
Eric R. Smith
University of Illinois at Chicago