Former Radical Talks On Conversion to Right

A former '60s-radical-turned-conservative blasted "the new left" in a speech last night sponsored by the Harvard Salient, the conservative campus publication.

Author David Horowitz recently published an autobiography titled Radical Son that describes his transformation from a radical leftist in the 1960s to an advocate of conservative politics in the 1990s.

"The left always appears noble and forward-looking when [it is] in reality reactionary and vicious," Horowitz told a crowd of about 20 in Sever Hall.

Horowitz said that although he "still believes in the liberation of the poor and minorities," he now believes the welfare system promotes dependency, breaks up families and is an incentive for women to have children out of wedlock.

"The KKK could not have developed a more diabolical system," he said.


Horowitz, the son of parents who were both members of the Communist Party, is a former editor of Ramparts, a radical journal. In fact, he said that he had "committed treason" by publishing a encoded American document while working for Ramparts.

Horowitz said his political disillusionment came about in the mid-'70s after his dealings with the Black Panthers, the radical black organization pioneered by Huey Newton.

Referring to the Black Panthers as "gangsters," Horowitz claimed that members of the group had been involved in up to 12 murders, including that of a woman Horowitz knew personally. He did not provide any evidence for that assertion.

"It was as if you were a minister of a church and your congregation supported the murder of a mother of three," he said.

Horowitz also stressed what he called the insincerity of the students involved in the Vietnam War protests.

According to Horowitz, mass protest of the war stopped in 1971 in response to Richard Nixon's ending the draft laws.

"Once the draft was over, all the priviledged college kids went home," he said.

Horowitz also lambasted the current state of higher education in America, often referring specifically to Harvard.

"Educational institutions conceive themselves now as a political party," he said. "The liberal arts colleges are at the lowest intellectual ebb in their history.