Suicide of the West, by James Burnham
Imagine a Trotskyite turned conservative. It was a common post World War II phenomena in the United States. Once some of these thoughtful leftists took a hard and realistic look at the world, they began to see the folly of communism and statism. One of these found a place on the editorial staff of National Review. His name was James Burnham.
In 1964, as today, it is very easy to see how a thinking person might see the intellectual drift to the left as a move toward societal suicide. For liberalism is a cry for the supremacy of general good intentions over the practical application of common sense. Burnham said that liberals are often driven by "profound non-rational, often anti-rational sentiments and impulses." Ideas like the welfare state and leniency on criminals to facilitate rehabilitation may have sounded good coming out of the mouth of a liberal, but they were disastrous in practice.
Burnham's book, "Suicide of the West", was in effect a warning that leftward drift would ultimately destroy all affluence and freedom in the world. Fortunately, many of the readers of his book heeded Burnham's cry and helped stem the leftward movement of policy and ideas in America.
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