Home/Daniel Larison/For My Next Trick, I Will Not Idealise Pol Pot

For My Next Trick, I Will Not Idealise Pol Pot

Trotsky lived on after Stalin, and to some extent is still alive today, not because young people want the world he wanted: a phantasm that not even he could define. What they want is to be him. ~Clive “Don’t Be Like Trotsky” James

Some clever observer could tie Clive James’ article with theories about the New Anger and the irascibility of bloggers and engage in some hyperean, Joe Klein/Jonah Goldberg-like declaration about extremism and “young bloggers” as a manifestation of romantic quasi-Trotskyism.  Someone else could make references to neocons and Schwartz miya, which might be more appropriate, but would still be a bit far-fetched, since no one to the right of Hugo Chavez admires Leon Trotsky, and even Chavez probably isn’t that interested(Chavez might wonder why anyone would admire the guy who lost).  One interesting thing that James did say in that article about the totalitarian impulse was this:

It is the trick of meeting contradiction by silencing whoever offers it. 

Certainly that part is familiar to many a prominent neoconservative.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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