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BECK: A guy whose parents were actual Communists. He now spends more time fighting for the other side and is probably one of the biggest American heroes alive today. I want you to meet him. Everyone wants meaning in their lives. There is no such thing as social justice. We have to find meaning in the pain. We have to find meaning in joy. When we find meaning in whatever it is we’re doing we not only survive we thrive. David Horowitz has written a book called, “A Point In Time: The Search For Redemption In This Life And The Next.” I just asked David before we came on the air, “Are you dying? Because this is a very philosophical book. You’re not dying are you?
HOROWITZ: No I’m not. I’ve written three books about mortality.
BECK: Why are you fascinated by it?
HOROWITZ: I’m 72 years old. When you get to pushing 70 you have to think about final things.
BECK: Man, you don’t look 70. I would have never guessed that. To put you in a context for anybody who doesn’t know, give us a little bit of history of your childhood and the 1960s.
HOROWITZ: I was born into a Communist family. Both of my parents were card carrying members. My whole family circle and their friends were Communists. I was a founder of the New Left in the Sixties. The New Left was founded by children of Communists who felt that Stalin had tainted socialism. We were going to revive it the socialist/Communist dream. That’s who we were.
BECK: Back then did you hang out with Bill Ayers?
HOROWITZ: Yeah. I despised him. When he was a senior in college he boasted that he hadn’t read a book in a year. Yet he was playing with people’s lives. He was a violent and destructive human being. I despised him.
BECK: I have to tell you that by page four of your book I said to myself this is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a long time. I have to make decisions quickly as to which books I’m going to read all the way through. By page eight — this usually doesn’t happen by page eight — I knew it was going to be a book I was going to read all the way through.
HOROWITZ: Thank you. I put a lot of work into making it a book one would want to read.
BECK: Here you are a guy who knows it inside and out, and then people like me come along who don’t. The first time we talked I didn’t know who you were. I didn’t know what progressivism was. How have you stood as a sentinel for so long with so much hatred, so that so many people have tried to destroy you? How have you done this without losing your mind watching what was happening to our country?
HOROWITZ: I was brought up that way in combat. My parents Communists were in the darkest moments of the Cold War. We were an isolated community, and my fights in school were all over Russia. I was brought up to engage in this battle. Now, to use a California term I’m living out a karma. I felt I had to take make sense of what I knew, to resolve it all in the end. This book, A Point in Time is really a summation of what I have learned. It’s a small book but it took me three years to write. I thank you for recognizing the effort I put in to make it what it is.
BECK: It’s beautiful.
HOROWITZ: You have to ask yourself why people hate America. Why do they hate conservatives the way they do? It’s evident practically every time they open their mouths. They hate us. And I understand this in my bones because I grew up in the hate.
BECK: The hate.
HOROWITZ: What it comes from is a vision of a possible future that is perfect — where there is no racism, no sexism, no war, no poverty. Where there’s social justice instead. If you believe that you can achieve a world like that then you see yourself in effect as part of the Army of the Saints, and everybody opposing you is the Party of Satan. If you think of hellfire and damnation preachers you understand exactly who “liberals” are.
BECK: You see it in Al Gore.
HOROWITZ: Of course.
BECK: You see it in anybody who’s on this climate thing. If you disagree with them you’re going directly to hell.
HOROWITZ: Exactly. Where does all this secular crusading come from? If you look at the decline of the organized religions which begins around the time of Darwin, that’s when you have the rise of socialism, Communism, fascism, all secular chiliastic faiths. All of these secularisms are really searches for redemption. But redemption in this life and achieved by human beings.
BECK: This is where President Obama gets the idea of collective salvation that he is always preaching about, which is the exact opposite of the Christian idea. The exact opposite understanding of what Christ, a divine being, did.
BECK: There is no collective salvation.
HOROWITZ: The one addition you have to make to this analysis, is to include the Islamists who are not secular but who believe in redeeming this world. A true Christian or Jew understands that only God can make this world right. The first chapters of Genesis reflect a very profound understanding of who we are.
When God expelled us from the Garden of Eden he put an angel with a flaming sword at the gate to prevent us from returning. We are the problem, not society. Society is just a reflection of who we are. We are the problem, and we can’t fix it. If you understand that, then you are a conservative. If you think that the human problem can be fixed by other human beings then you’re a leftist and dangerous.
BECK: I believe there are two categories in the left. There are those who really do have this hope, this idealistic, hope and they’re generally young. They believe if we have a big enough government we can get rid of all the bad guys.
HOROWITZ: It’s a youthful mistake. Young people do not understand. You have to have lived to witness how normal it is to be betrayed.
BECK: Over and over again. Betrayed by good people who were your friends who had a moment in time where they went off the tracks, and all of a sudden betrayed their friends.
HOROWITZ: You have to see into yourself, and see your own weaknesses.
BECK: There are the youthful naifs on the one hand, then there are the nasty ones who know and who are doing it for power.
HOROWITZ: Exactly. You start off as an idealist, but soon you find yourself chanting “Hey hey L.B.J, how many kids did you kill today?” which was the big slogan for my generation. I remember as a leftist thinking, “Would I rather be a prisoner of Lyndon Johnson and trust my fate with him or Ho Chi Minh?” The answer was obvious, even to a Marxist. That was one of the beginnings of my understanding of how wrong we were. It starts with idealism perhaps, but the higher the ideal — the more the beautiful the idea of what you can achieve in this life — the more destruction and hate that will enter your soul.
BECK: Unless it’s based on the individual ideal.
HOROWITZ: If you’re talking about the salvation of an individual soul, a truly religious person will understand that we see now through a glass darkly. Only after we die will we see face to face and learn whether there is meaning to our existence. Of course nobody knows whether there is or not. You can’t know. That’s why it’s a matter of faith.
BECK: You were raised in this hatred. You have a reason to hate now. So many people have tried to destroy you. I know what this is like from the last 4 years. It is exhausting. It really is exhausting. I have found my way to being able to find meaning in what I do and find meaning in their hate, and I’m actually growing in love. I actually am less angry today than I was four years ago which I think is a miracle in and of itself. How did you do that?
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