Editor's note: below are the video and transcript of David Horowitz's recent lecture on the destruction of American higher education and his new book, The Black Book of the American Left, Volume VIII: The Left in the University. Remarks were delivered at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles, CA and broadcast on C-SPAN2.
David Horowitz: Last week I was at the University of Houston in Houston, where the week before they had held a national conference for Students for Justice in Palestine. The university hosted it. Students for Justice in Palestine is a creature of the terrorist organization Hamas and is a Hamas propaganda network. I brought along a little clip to show you so you can share with me.
That was seven minutes into my talk, and I had said at the outset of the talk that when I was a radical at Berkeley and Columbia in the sixties, I always wanted to hear what the other side had to say because I felt that would make me a better radical. I would have the arguments. Those days are gone.
The greatest American tragedy in my lifetime is the destruction of our educational system by progressives and its conversion into an indoctrination and recruitment center for the ideological left. This book that I’ve written, The Left and the University, is the sixth book that I’ve written about the universities and this problem, which has been 50 years in the making. And it has a special interest because it’s really dispatches from a warfront. It’s what I wrote engaging in a battle to restore academic freedom to the university, to restore the modern research university to basically our liberal arts colleges, the principles of it.
I had based my campaign, which was for an Academic Bill of Rights for students, on the very famous Academic Freedom Statement of the American Association of University Professors, which these days is run by Stalinists who were not happy with my proposals. But I took their 1915 statement, which was really the statement that created the modern research university, basing it on scientific principles and scientific procedures, that is, you have a hypothesis and you confront it with counter opinions, and you try to test it by evidence.
Of course, in the liberal arts fields, the humanities, sociology, all these fields, political science, there’s no way of conducting the kind of experiments that scientists actually do, so every issue is controversial. And the 1915 statement said it’s not the place of a faculty member in a democracy to indoctrinate his or her students, but to present them with divergent opinions in a fair-minded way because the task of a teacher in a democracy is to teach students how to think, not tell them what to think.
What’s actually happened over the last 50 years is that the political left – and I suspect a lot of my generation of radicals stayed in the universities and pursued academic careers to avoid the draft and to avoid fighting communism, which they sympathized with – what they’ve done is they’ve reverted the universities, the colleges – obviously not the physics departments and geology departments, but the citizen-training aspects of the university, all the social studies fields and the law and so forth – they’ve reverted them to their nineteenth century origins. In the nineteenth century, all of our colleges were doctrinal institutions, they were religious institutions, Harvard, Yale, and what they were there for was to instill the doctrines of the particular denomination because they were training ministers and priests and so forth. That’s what our universities have become today except that the religious doctrines that they teach and instill are the doctrines of Marxism, identity politics, which is cultural Marxism, which I will explain shortly.
For those of you who are mystified that college students should want to – it’s not just the professors. Believe me, there’s a whole faculty cohort behind these pro-terrorist students and these anti-democratic students and anti-learning students. As I say, when I was a radical, and I considered myself a Marxist revolutionary at the time, I wanted to hear what our opponents were saying. I wanted to be able to answer them, and I was in school to learn how to do that. That’s the way I perceived it.
If you want to understand why there’s this concerted effort to shut down the other side of the debate, it’s because these are religious institutions now, our liberal arts colleges, and they are not dealing with a divergent opinion, as one would in a democracy. They are dealing with a religious heresy, and what you do to heretics is you burn them at the stake if you have enough power to do that, or you just close them down, as happened, for example, to Charles Murray at the University of Michigan and other conservatives. I mean, this is nothing personal. I don’t take this at all personally.
What happened was, beginning in the 1970s, the left saw the universities as instruments of their revolutionary designs. So the first thing they did was begin a purge of conservatives from faculties by not hiring them, basically, so that today on most campuses, conservatives are as rare as unicorns. They then purged conservative books from the required reading lists. A student, a normal student, an average student can go through four years of a college in our country today and never encounter a conservative adult or read a book by a conservative who hasn’t been dead for 100 years.
The next thing they did was to purge conservative ideas from the curriculum, and they did that by inventing what they called “studies”: American studies, black studies, women’s studies. These are all political fields. They are not scholarly fields, but they are about learning left-wing politics. You couldn’t be a conservative and be a women’s studies professor because women’s studies is not about the academic study of women, it’s about training Marxist feminists. It’s about training students in the thoroughly discredited Marxist idea that the environment determines everything, that we are socially constructed, and that’s how you get this idea that gender is socially constructed, not just socially influenced, but socially constructed.
If you go over to the neuroscience department or to the biology department, you learn that it’s hardwired into the biological system. Well, this is obvious to any normal human being who hasn’t had their brains glued up by leftist ideology. The fields now are so constructed that a conservative really can hardly be part of them or could not be part of them. There are no conservatives in women’s studies departments. In fact, some of the founders of women’s studies, who actually believe they should be about the study of women, have been purged and treated as enemies by these political radicals on our faculties.
The next thing that they did was to prevent conservative discourse coming in from the outside. Now, when you come to a campus and you get treated like this, of course the Cougar, the newspaper there, their entire report was of the demonstration, not anything that I said. So just basically the university was deaf to my presence, which is the purpose. It’s the agenda of the left.
But until about 2001, I was reminded of this by one of the chapters in my book, The Left and the University, it's called Ann Coulter at Cornell, and it’s when Ann was pelted with oranges physically, attacked when she was speaking. And if you think having an orange thrown at you at high speed isn’t intimidating, it is. I remember that in 2001 I had conducted a campaign. I thought the idea of reparations for slavery paid 137 years after the fact from people who were never slave owners to people who were never slaves was a bad idea and actually racist and had the indiscretion to say so.
When I was invited to speak by College Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, I asked the chancellor, I wrote the chancellor and said – because I knew that Netanyahu had been unable to speak in Berkeley because of the threats of violence which they couldn’t contain– so I asked him to introduce me or have somebody from his office introduce me just to protect the students, and what he did was he assigned 30 armed guards for my talk. When I had to go to the bathroom before I spoke, six guys in flak jackets proceeded me into the bathroom and kicked open the stall doors, and I remember saying out loud that this is an absolute disgrace in America.
But when you have university officials like that, there’s no way to stop it. You have to expel students who do things like these students did or like they are doing now at Reed College where they are demonstrating inside classrooms. They don’t want Aristotle taught because he was white. Wow, that university. Actually I had visited Reed, and I thought it was a pretty good school. Even though it’s a left-wing school, it’s very traditional and the students were all interested in discussing ideas with me, not attacking me politically, but that obviously has changed.
So in 2001, what happened is people started to get physically attacked, and I had a bodyguard for that Berkeley event and I have not been able to go to a college campus. I mean, I’ve been physically attacked before that. I’m trying to think because I’m a little lax about these things, and I visited Butler. I did not have a bodyguard when I was at Butler, and I was attacked. They threw this chocolate cream pie in my face, which isn’t physically damaging, but there’s a picture of me on the Internet looking pretty pathetic. I mean, I was wearing a suit and it was just gooey stuff, but I’ve been physically attacked where violence that would hurt me was intended, and I could never finish a speech if there wasn’t massive campus security.
The campuses know they have a security problem, so when I spoke at the University of Houston, there were about 10 cops in uniform and there were two undercover cops in the audience. That’s why they marched out because they knew now that they would be arrested if they did anything. But when you go to a campus and that’s the atmosphere, it’s not an intellectual discourse anymore. There’s not going to be an exchange of ideas.
And let me say, I’ve been on 400 college campuses, and only three times have I been invited by faculty. One by a dean who when I got there he hid from me because he was under assault from his own faculty, and the fact of the matter is that there is no – I mean, I’m sure there are decent people on faculties across this country, but none of them has the courage to stand up for the conservatives and invite them.
The solution to the Berkeley problem or any of these problems is for the faculty to band together and invite a conservative and lecture the students who come and the students on campus to fight for the right for free speech. There are no such people. That is a huge problem, and that is an indictment of the whole university system, the college system. That is part of the complete conversion of the university into a one-party system in a one-party state. One of the books I wrote with Jacob Laksin is called One-Party Classroom because that’s what it is. It’s a one-party state. You get one point of view.
Now, one of the consequences of this is the miseducation or lack of education of college graduates now. I had the figures here. I think one third of millennials think that George Bush killed more people than Joseph Stalin. Twenty-five percent of the students who actually know who Lenin was, and that’s a minority, think he was a great guy. You know, I could go on and on with these things, but of course, this has affected our judiciary. You wonder why the media is such a disgrace these days. It’s because of the way people are educated. The communications departments are training grounds in Marxism.
I’ve been to the University of Texas. When I went there in Austin, a professor of communications who is a Bolshevik – she’s a member of the International Socialists which is a Bolshevik organization which has called for a dictatorship of the proletariat in America – inside the lecture hall where I was supposed to speak she was leading chants exactly like the one you saw at the top of my talk here. And I was only able to continue because it was a vice chancellor who came, and this is in the good old days, and said, you’ll be arrested if you continue this demonstration in here. And it took her a long time to stop people. Usually they come in and they say, these administrators, they don’t say a word to me, but they’ll say, “There’s a safe room for people who are disturbed, distressed by what David Horowitz has to say.”
And to show you how far gone it’s gotten, a couple of weeks ago I was in Washington, DC, and I called up the Chronicle of Higher Education and told them I was coming. Now, 15 years ago, since I was a leading – I was probably the leading conservative critic of what was going on in the universities, the Chronicle actually allowed me to write a piece for them called “In Defense of Intellectual Diversity,” which is in this volume, To the Left in the University. So they invited me when they heard – oh, and I was featured, my profile, on the front page of the Chronicle also because I was such a prominent critic. They invited me, and I told them that I had a new book which I would like them to review, but I sent them a copy so they could look it over.
And they arranged – the editor, Scott Smallwood, who had treated me well. Fairly, I don’t know if it was "well," I don’t remember exactly, but fairly, somewhat fairly, 15 years ago. He’s the one who invited me. He didn’t show up for the meeting, but they had 10 editors and reporters shoot me questions for an hour. And then they asked me if I would come to a room and videotape an interview for 10 minutes that they were going to put up right away on their website. When I left, I got an email that they are not going to put it up, no explanation, and there isn’t a trace of my visit in the Chronicle of Higher Education. That is the intellectual journal. Well, you can see, there is no dialogue, no dialogue left.
So what is the religion that they teach? It’s very important. The religion is, as you all already know, is identity politics, which is really cultural Marxism which I’ll explain in a moment. Marxism is a view of the world in which society is divided into warring classes. Remember the Communist Manifesto: the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles, which is bunk, but that’s what Marxists believe.
Well, so what you have, there’s two ideas here. There are actually three. The first is that people’s class is the determinant factor. When the Bolsheviks came to power, of course, they set out to eliminate classes like the Kulaks, and by eliminate, it was at the point of a gun, which is what they did. So first of all, you erase the individual. Our whole society is built on the idea of individual rights and individual accountability, but if you have a Marxist view, it’s about classes. This is classical Marxism. It’s the Marxism I grew up with. The second idea is that society is divided into oppressors and oppressed, so there’s the ruling class and then there was the working class. And the third idea is that there’s a civil war between these classes, and it’s a conflict that can only be resolved violently.
Now if you think about it, this had a certain coherence, this idea. The idea was, of course, that private property which creates the classes is responsible for all of the social problems: wars, poverty, so forth. So if you have a revolution, the revolution was to take away the ownership of the means of production from the ruling class and put everybody in one class. Well, there’s a certain coherence to that idea because you wind up, after you’ve eliminated the bad oppressor class, where everybody is an equal because nobody is an owner of property. This is a delusional idea, and it led to the deaths of 100 million people in the twentieth century. Very destructive. If you take away people’s identity as individuals, individual merit. In the American idea is so much Martin Luther King’s idea that you judge people by the content of their character.
However, cultural Marxism, identity politics, is 100 times worse because it sees society as divided into races, ethnicities, genders, and it has this ridiculous – the way they judge who is oppressed is who’s marginal. I don’t know. If you dress yourself up in a dress and have a mustache and, you know, put rabbit ears on your head, of course you are marginal. Just look around you. You are going to be marginal. Now, that doesn’t mean you are oppressed, it’s just a fact. Jews are marginal. We’ve been marginal throughout history and persecuted for that matter.
But this is a very pernicious idea that society is divided into an oppressor group, based on race or based on gender or based on sexual orientation, an oppressor group and an oppressed group. And then of course the ideology is one of war. There’s a phrase for it. I’ve discussed this before, but it hasn’t been picked up by people, but it needs to be picked up by conservatives. “People of color.” Now, people of color is not a group. It’s not a group. There’s not an identity of interest. Just ask the Rwandans. Do you think the Tutsis and the Hutus had a common interest? Do you think that Pakistanis and Indians have a common interest? They are at war with each other.
The example I’ve given is Mexico, where you have two main ethnic groups: the descendants of the conquistadors who slaughtered the indigenous Indians, oppressors, and the descendants of the indigenous survivors of the indigenous Indians, the oppressed. But when they cross the border into the United States, they are both people of color, therefore oppressed, therefore marginal deserving special interests, special allowances. You don’t look at what they actually do. If they break the law, and I’m not suggesting that all Mexicans – I mean the left is so good at converting whatever you say into what you didn’t say – but it’s to confer power on these so-called oppressed groups and deprive the oppressor groups.
Well if you look at the world, the maharajas of India are people of color; beheaders in Syria, ISIS members, they are people of color; Idi Amin and Mugabe and these monsters in Africa, dictators, are people of color. Everybody in the world is people of color except the bad, evil oppressors, white people.
The biggest social problem we have in America is rampant anti-white racism. People talk now, Democrats, people that you would think had brains, talk about America as a white supremacist nation. It’s idiotic. It’s lunatic. Yeah, there are some Ku Kluxers around. There are some white supremacists. What are there – 500 were in Charlottesville out of a nation of 330 million? The Ku Klux Klan once had 11 senators and 75 Congressman. Name me the white supremacist, the actual white supremacist, who is a member of Congress. There are some black supremacists in Congress, I will tell you that, but what white supremacist?
The same thing with Nazis, the neo-Nazis. Those kids are – Hitler youth is what they are, literally. What they were cheering is an organization that wants to exterminate the Jews and says so in so many words, which I actually read war statements from Hamas, but you just have to read the Hamas charter to know that extermination of Jews is their agenda.
Now, I could go on and on about this, but this is the greatest problem our country faces. Why are we so divided? Because everybody on the left, everybody who’s a progressive, is seeing everything in racial, gender terms and lying about it. Hillary ran a campaign on the idea that women are somehow oppressed in this country by men to the extent that there is a gender wage gap so that women actually earn $0.24 less on the dollar than men for the same work and the same experience in the same jobs. It’s a big lie, and Hillary knows it’s a lie because she was around when a male dominated Congress in 1963, people, passed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, making it illegal to pay women less than men.
As I’ve said many times from platforms like this, you can show in one sentence why it’s a lie, and that is, if it were true, employers would fire all their male employees, hire women, and increase their profits 20%. It doesn’t happen because it’s a lie. And yet where’s the media? Where are the referees? Where are the sensible people in our public life pointing this out? They don’t exist, and that’s because of our corrupt, corrupted, destroyed educational system.
The modern research university, that’s where – and I got my model of what I wanted a university to look like from having gone – I went to Columbia in the 1950s as a Marxist. I was never harassed by my professors the way conservative kids are harassed these days. I never knew the politics of my professors. If students in the class took one opinion, they took the opposite to teach us how to think. That was what a university should be. It was one of the great achievements of mankind really, the modern research university that the left has destroyed. It doesn’t exist. What’s going on at schools like Harvard and Yale is disgraceful, and you can see – I mean it’s all over YouTube. You can see it.
Is there a solution? Well, there’s two ways of looking at that question. Sure. My Bill of Rights was one attempt at a solution. If they just observed, the universities, the principles that they preached, everything would be fine, but they don’t. They don’t. There isn’t an administrator in this country who has reached out to Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter or myself or any of the conservative speakers and attempted to reverse this. Not one. So here’s my proposal, and in doing the Academic Bill of Rights, I eschewed any external forces being placed on the university. We passed a few resolutions supporting the idea of those principles that there should be fairness, but no legislation and no wielding of political power. But the left has convinced me that appeals to reason are futile. The campaign I waged failed.
So here’s how I would fix it today. There are 33 states where Republicans control the state legislatures. The Appropriations Committee in both houses of the legislature in every one of these states controls the lifeline, the oxygen tubes, for the presidents of these universities and the universities. Eighty-five percent of our students go to public universities. All the chairman of the Appropriations Committee would have to do is call the president of the university say, you are constantly coming to me to fund, to underwrite, to make possible this for your university, that for your university, and of course to advance your own careers because you are judged on what you can bring to the university. So I have three things that I want from you, and if I don’t get them, I’m not going to answer your phone calls ever again.
First, I want you to provide me with the required reading lists for every one of your undergraduate courses in the liberal arts. And then I’m going to submit that to one of our conservative think tanks, and they are going to look it over to see if there is parity between the conservative books that you require and the conservative authors that you require students to read and the leftist ones. And of course there’s no parity whatsoever because the conservative books barely exist, and I know this because I did a book called, as I mentioned, One-Party Classroom, where I studied the reading lists of 170 courses, and I can tell you they are conservative book-free.
And that doesn’t even impose on the professor the responsibility not to ridicule the conservative ideas, but to present them so the students can weigh them. One of the complaints I had – I spoke at the Western New England Law School and the conservative students there, what their complaint was that every time the name Antonin Scalia or Justice Clarence Thomas comes up, they make jokes about them. That’s a way of stopping people from weighing their ideas. Ridicule is a very powerful, powerful weapon. And having submitted those lists to me, I want you, I give you a term to do this, to see that all the required readings for undergraduates on those lists, there’s parity between the required conservative and left-wing texts.
The second thing I want you to do is to provide me with a list of all the speakers who are invited to your campus, and often paid exorbitant fees if they are on the left. Michael Moore will get $50,000 from a state school during an election year to – election year for the Democrat. He ran this Slackers Tour. The Supreme Court has already said that that means Republicans have to get an exact amount of – the same amount of money just to adhere to the Constitution. Of course, that isn’t happening or hasn’t happened. So I want a list of all the speakers invited by your professors and by your student organizations, and within a year I want absolute parity between Republicans and Democrats, leftists and conservatives.
And the third thing I want is I want you – again, I will have a committee look over your faculties, and I want you to begin an affirmative action program to diversify your faculties. You have a law faculty – I could throw a dart at a board with universities named on it, and it didn’t matter which one I hit – you have a law faculty with 50 or 100 law professors and maximum two or three are Republicans or conservatives. You can’t tell me that Republicans aren’t lawyers. So I want you to begin a program to diversify, and I want a progress report every semester to see your progress on it. And then I will take your phone calls for your projects.
Now, will that happen? There’s only one Republican – well, actually there are two that I know who would do that. One of them is President of the United States and the other one is Steve Bannon. When I see other Republicans with some spine, I’ll think maybe something like this could happen.
I want to close with the – going back to the University of Houston. This was a national conference. Students for Justice in Palestine was created by the terrorist organization Hamas. Its founder, Hatem Bazian, is an agent of Hamas. Hatem Bazian is the chairman of the board of American Muslims for Palestine, which provides over $100,000 a year for Students for Justice in Palestine, which is a Hamas operation. Hatem Bazian, by the way, is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, and of course, he’s the head of the Islamophobia Studies program, which is a program to defame and libel and slander people like me and try to get people not to listen to us.
And the entire agenda of Students for Justice in Palestine is to spread genocidal lies about the State of Israel. The State of Israel doesn’t occupy an inch, not an inch of Arab land. The land on which Israel was created belonged to the Turks for 400 years prior. The Turks are not Arabs, nor are they Palestinians. There never was a country called "Palestine." It’s a geographical term that the Romans imposed on the Jewish homeland. The Jews are the only indigenous people of the land around the Jordan because it’s derivation is Philistine, who are the enemies of the Jews.
Palestine is a geographical area. It’s like New England. New Englanders. They didn’t exist, the Palestinian nationality or claim to a nationality, until 1964, 16 years after the creation of the State of Israel. Now, you can have all kinds of criticisms of the Israeli government, as you can of any government, but you can’t be spreading genocidal lies that come right out of the Hamas playbook calling Israel an apartheid state. It’s the only state in the Middle East that isn’t apartheid. And putting maps created by Hamas which show a country called Palestine existing in 1947, no such country ever existed, and then invaded by the Jews.
These are Nazis. They are Nazis on our campuses. These kids are Hitler youth, and they are supported by every university administration, including the University of Chicago, which people have praised it because they – you can’t believe a word that comes out of a university administrator’s mouth these days. Because it’s the universities that tear down the posters that we put up pointing this out. It’s the universities that provide offices for these Hitler youth, Students for Justice in Palestine, and they have the whole left in tow with them.
The Muslim Students Association, which like SJP is a Muslim Brotherhood creation, but the political left, which is a totalitarian, pro-terrorist left these days, all of them are in tow to do everything that they can to undermine the Jewish state and make them vulnerable to genocidal intentions, whether it is 30,000 rockets from Hezbollah and Hamas and Iran aimed at the Jewish state. This is an utter disgrace and the silence around it, which is a silence also by Jewish organizations that don’t want to upset the Muslims. It’s just amazing.
Every time there’s an atrocity committed by ISIS, all of the liberals in this country, so-called, rally around the Muslims as though somebody is persecuting Muslims. There’s something like, I don’t know the exact number, but it’s five or seven times the number of hate crimes against Jews in this country as against Muslims.
Just to close this. I have a reform proposal at the end of this book, but it would take administrators with some integrity to carry it out, which I don’t have any faith in anymore. I just think that our country is in grave danger because of this. It goes down. They have corrupted the K-12 system as well. Kids are being indoctrinated from kindergarten. They have no respect for youth, no respect for innocence.
They are on a mission from their god which is history, what they think is history; they are on the right side of it as though it is moving in any direction. That’s why they are so shell-shocked. They thought it was moving in their direction. Suddenly it isn’t. If Trump hadn’t come in and demolished ISIS, something Obama didn’t even try to do for eight years, who knows what the future would be? We could be back in the Dark Ages.
However, it’s a battle that I hope that you all would get involved in. We have websites that deal with this. We have campus campaigns, and I hope that more people on the right join us, and not just on the right. Hillel is an organization that’s gone now because it’s been taken over by the left, but there are some brave members of Hillel too. I’m waiting for them to come out of the woodwork and expose this terrorist network on our campuses. And this is just one piece of a gigantic problem that’s been caused over a 50-year period by the assault of the left on our universities and their conversion into cultural Marxist, religious institutions. Thank you. [Applause]
Moderator: If anyone has a question, I’d like you to stand up and to come to the mic and ask your question.
Attendee: Hello, David. Thank you so much. I fear we are having a problem with a certain viewpoint. You, myself, many people in this room, started off as socialists, communists. We were starting from a base of attempting to be good, decent, moral, ethical people, and we were misdirected, and once we learned about the body counts of how many people were murdered for this utopia, we started rethinking. I fear that’s what’s going on in the university is exactly what the government wants to be doing. You were talking about government funding. If you are trying to create a society of re-enslaving humanity, of tyranny, of undermining constitutions and democracy, they are doing exactly what they want them to do. And it seems like the only alternative is first, to just call them out, for employers, don’t hire people from Berkeley and Yale and Harvard.
David Horowitz: It’s impossible. Look, it’s very sinister what the left has done because you can’t do that. They’ve inserted themselves into – I mean, there are still – a university is a gigantic institution and there are marvelous parts of it, untouched. Well, not entirely untouched because in the medical schools and in the science schools there’s a leftist campaign to intimidate people into adopting all of the myths of identity politics, so there’s a political war going on for the students’ minds. But the fact of the matter is that a university like Berkeley or the University of Houston, a lot of it does really marvelous things in medicine, in physics, in astrophysics, in various technical fields.
So you can’t tell people, don’t send your kids to Harvard or Yale. They have to get it. Look, it’s a political battle. Conservatives don’t like politics. I mean, this is a huge handicap for conservatives. When I first came into the right, I looked around and I said, where’s the ground army? There is none. Conservatives – politics is a dirty business that we engage in every 18 months. Outside the 18 months, unless we are trying to get some favors for our companies or something like that, outside the 18 months, we go back to normal life which is creative. We are creating jobs, we are creating products, we are making people’s lives better. That’s what conservatives do. Whereas leftists are at war all the time.
Attendee: Right. Inasmuch as we are the creators, that we created these universities, we can re-create new universities: the Hillsdales, the Prager Universities, the online universities. It isn’t as if information isn’t available now.
David Horowitz: Well, look. I don’t know very much about Hillsdale, although I have done fundraisers for them, but I’ve never been to Hillsdale, I think because their president is a very traditional conservative who doesn’t approve of my confrontational politics. But the fact of the matter is these are tiny compared – we are not talking about Harvard and Yale. What are their endowments? Four or 500 billion dollars? By the way, one of the great things that Trump is doing, and I actually know the guy who proposed this, is that part of this tax bill is an endowment tax on private universities like Harvard and Yale. A 10% endowment tax would pay for all those student loans, wouldn’t it?
Attendee: But I’m just trying to think in a different way, inasmuch as we never had an Internet. We didn’t have the immediate information, instantaneous. We used to buy encyclopedias. We don’t need encyclopedias now. We have it all, and maybe we just have it reorganized.
David Horowitz: Look, I agree. The Internet has greatly, greatly increased the power of conservatives. It’s broken the information monopoly the left used to have. A lot of things are happening. The Trump movement is the biggest grass – it’s the first time, well, it’s the second time. When the Tea Party appeared, I said, “Ahhh, finally at last. A ground army is forming.” Now it’s much, much bigger. So there’s hope in that, but let’s not underestimate the odds. Let’s be sober about that.
Attendee: Hello, Mr. Horowitz. I think the hardest thing for conservatives is how to understand the liberal mind, the logic.
David Horowitz: It’s not logical.
Attendee: Right. I know that Dennis Prager and you have said it’s a religion, and it doesn’t require any – you know, it’s a faith-based type of thing, and I read Evan Sayet’s book on the liberal mind, which helped explain some of it, but children and students are impressionable. Their minds aren’t fully formed, but their professors and the leaders of the progressive movement are adults. And I want to ask you since you were in that – you had that perspective as a young man – how do they envision utopia? What are they – what is their idea?
David Horowitz: They don’t. Look, I mean, I’ve written so much about this. The second volume in this series, the Black Book series, is called Progressives. It’s in there. The difference is this. Conservatives form their views of the world by looking at the past, which is a record of what human beings are capable of, both good and bad. If you read about the founding of this country, that’s what they did. They studied societies, and they thought the democracy was a really bad system, but it was better than the others on practical grounds.
Leftists don’t look at the real world that way. They are always looking at an imaginary future. It used to be called communism, then it’s socialism, now it’s social justice, all the same thing. All ultimately the same thing, all headed in the same direction, to treat people as collectives, to erase their individuality, to judge them either on their class position or on their race or gender or sexual orientation, and always to see it in terms of oppressors and oppressed. That is what they are thinking, if you want to call it thinking.
And for them, it’s tremendous. They think of themselves – social justice warriors, we even use their language to describe them – they are heroic. They are living in a fantasy, a romantic fantasy in which they are saving the world. If you think you are saving the world, you are not going to give that up. I mean, you are not thinking logically. I watch the television like everybody, and I’m thinking, "Ah, if people get run over by a terrorist truck, it’s about gun control." What the hell is that? Doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. How can you even begin with a straight face to do things like that? And it’s because the elimination of guns, which is what their agenda is, is part of creating this world where we all get along. People don’t get along. They haven’t gotten along since Cain killed Abel for crying out tears.
Attendee: Well, that’s what I want to ask you is that, do they just discount history?
David Horowitz: Yes.
Attendee: I mean look at Nazi Germany was totalitarian –
David Horowitz: They think they are smarter than everybody else and everybody who existed before them. Look, the Bolsheviks, Lenin, Trotsky, these were very, very smart people. Michael Moore, pffft. You know? He doesn’t come up to their –
Attendee: But we can look back and see that those – Lenin at the time, that was the first time, that now we’ve had these totalitarian regimes. It never works out.
David Horowitz: Look, how did the left react to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the deaths of 40 million people, the starvation, the gulag? How do they react to it? Oh, that wasn’t real socialism. We are smarter than Lenin, than Preobrazhensky than Lukacs. I could go on and on. That’s the way people think. They are arrogant and they are stupid. What more can you say?
And there’s so much emotional satisfaction. It’s a religion. It’s a consolation from all the disappointments of life. That’s what it is, and to take that away from them would cause – I mean, I described in my book, Radical Son, the personal crisis I went through when I realized that Marxism is a load of crap. It was everything to me. It made everything I did important, and that’s the way it is for every leftist.
And you can see, by the way, in their contempt, their utter contempt for people who disagree with them, their arrogance, the lack of respect, it’s astounding. You see it every day on television. You see idiots like Joy-Ann Reid or Lawrence O’Donnell. Pathological liar in the case of O’Donnell, but just a moron in the case of Joy-Ann Reid. Why is she a moron? Because she can’t – there’s no empathy there. There’s no respect for people who disagree with her.
Attendee: Thank you, David, for what you are accomplishing. I would like to make a point. You had mentioned, very, very briefly in passing, the problem of K-12. I would like to bring to your attention, if you are not aware of this. For example, my wife is a teacher at LAUSD, the second largest public school district in the United States, second only to New York. And she recently showed me some literature from a course that the teachers are now being exposed to in terms of training the students of LAUSD in the importance of understanding the Muslim faith, the five pillars of the Muslim faith, their prayers, what they signify, when they prostrate themselves, what that signifies. They go into great detail about this. Any other religion, it would be totally banned.
David Horowitz: Correct, and that’s the problem. Not that they are teaching what Muslims believe, but the fact that Christians, Jews, probably atheists aren’t saluted. Why? Because they are oppressors of Muslims, and there’s a political agenda. In the Edina School District in Minnesota, it’s wealthy suburb of Minneapolis, they are giving first-graders a book – a kids book with big pictures, a big A on the front of it – A is for Activist, X is for Malcolm X, and on and on. I forget the other thing, but it’s a complete leftist agenda. I have a website called Stop K-12 Indoctrination, and on that website is a code of ethics for K-12 teachers which, if you don’t observe, you get suspended and then if you persist you lose your license. That would stop all this, but it requires a political city council, whoever oversees the school district, with integrity. They have to have integrity, and they have to have enormous guts.
Moderator: This is your last question.
Attendee: Mr. Horowitz, I’ve seen a lot of your videos on YouTube before, and I’ve wanted to ask you this question for a while because my grandmother actually had to live in Nazi Germany. The National Socialists in Germany frequently portrayed the Jews as being greedy, rich capitalists who only got rich because they stole everything from everybody else. They, according to Hitler, basically cheated to get to the top, but the concept of white privilege, which is what many liberals talk about today where they accuse white Christians like myself from basically stealing from everybody else. Do you feel that the National Socialist rhetoric of the Jews influenced many liberals today to come up with their rhetoric of white privilege?
David Horowitz: I don’t think it was direct, but maybe I didn’t make myself clear. They are collectivists. The National Socialists were socialists. They pick the outgroup, the group that’s the source of the problems, and the liberals in America who are not liberal, they are bigots. The most intolerant people in America are people who call themselves liberals. They have picked a group to scapegoat, which is white people. It’s quite amazing. The NAACP now wants to ban the National Anthem as the most racist anthem ever. These people, it’s nuts.
But not if you are inside the religion. Not if you are inside the religion. If you are inside the religion, black people can’t be racists, can they? Because they have no power. Well, tell that to Barack Obama and the two corrupt attorney generals we had during his administration. I don’t know. It’s amazing to me. Every time there was an officer was killed by individuals incited by Black Lives Matter, who would appear the microphone as the police chief, whether it’s Dallas or New Orleans or Cleveland? It’s always a black cop.
This country – we are the most tolerant, inclusive society in the history of the world, of any size. Of course, if you have only five black people and everybody else is white like in Switzerland or something, it’s not a big problem. But we have large minority populations, and people who are the age of most of the people in this audience can remember the difference 30 or 40 or 50 years ago.
The thing that really strikes me is one of the most pampered or the most pampered racist in America is Ta-Nehisi Coates. He’s the darling of The Atlantic and every liberal so-called organization, and he has a pathological hatred for America and for white people, if you read actually anything that he’s written.
You know, when I see these issues discussed publicly, what’s missing is a simple statement. You know America, the Constitution – Tim Kane the other day, who is a communist, Tim Kane was a Christic. Anybody know who the Christics were? These were communists supporting the Sandinista and Salvadoran communist guerrillas in the eighties. That’s what Tim Kane is. He attacked General Kelly the other day, and his idea is that the Constitution “enshrined,” as he put it, slavery.
Actually, the American founding – slavery existed for 3,000 years before anybody said it was immoral, not Jesus, not Moses, nobody. Certainly not Mohammed. The Muslims are still practicing slavery and still think it’s okay. But white Christians led by Wilberforce in England and by Thomas Jefferson here. Thomas Jefferson wrote into our birth certificate that we are all creatures of God. Whatever you think of other people, they could be inferior to you or not, they are creatures of one Creator, therefore equal in his, or I have to say these days her, eyes, whatever. And they have an inalienable right to liberty. Every black in America owes their freedom to Thomas Jefferson, the American founding, the 350,000 Union soldiers who gave their lives to free them, and a president, Abraham Lincoln, who gave his life as well. And when I hear that, then I know I’m in a conversation with rational people and not religious fanatics.
But I don’t – I watch quite a bit of television, although it’s very hard these days – I don’t see that simple fact recognized. It’s okay to be white. Are you familiar that some brilliant – I’m not good at this, I’m kind of a sledgehammer – but Milo Yiannopoulos, the trolls, I think it was Channel 4 which is a troll channel, conservative trolls put up a sign in Harvard Square, “It’s okay to be white.” And it drove the left up the wall. Why? Because they are racists. When I see a conservative on television say, “You are a racist” to a Democrat, then I’ll know we are on the road to freedom. Thank you.