Since life is not fair and one cannot become un-famous, unless I suppose one is a victim of a Communist purge, Claire Berlinski will likely live in the shadows of Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter for the foreseeable future. That is, for the public mind. For me however, I have just been astonished to find her - another of the insightful writers at the Manhattan Institute.
She is genuinely of polymathic interest, one of the sorts of individuals I'm sure Gerard Vanderluen had in mind when he took it upon himself to found the Right Network, that thing coming to fruition that appeals to the Right American on more than just a urgent level. Nobody whose company I particularly enjoy is a huge fan of Rush Limbaugh, and for a certain uninitiated segment of the Polloi, there are perhaps six poles of conservative thought, three of whom I've already mentioned, the other three being Beck, Palin and Bush. But they forget the think tanks and serious policy wonks, and those that remember tend to forget that my favorite is Manhattan.
Well, now we add Berlinski. And she writes spy novels too!
So here, I reiterate the great gaping hole in Left thought that leaves them oblivious to the brain-dead obvious reason for my abandonment of Progressivism. Stalin. But I know the name doesn't quite resonate and more than a few Americans are guilty of oblivion. Berlinski sees deeper into this dilemma.
In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.
For evidence of this indifference, consider the unread Soviet archives. Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can’t get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can’t get anyone to take much interest in them at all.
I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to get Google Alerts to find much, though I want to set it up to poke me when 'Pavel Stroilov' crosses its radar. It seems to me that it would be a no-brainer to get the right grant money to have this stuff translated if only for the probability that Condi will get her hands on it and add insight.
Martin Amis, it is rumored, is likely to ditch England to live over here in the States, and so we can expect him to do something altogether proper to alert us to what we've forgotten. One might hope that he can become our equivalent of Rudyard Kipling and bring the message of the appropriate Empire back into our conciousness.
In the meantime, Berlinski gets it in dimensions and flavors that awaken the senses without being so dour and sarcastic as the still funny Mark Steyn. As you can see, I like the literate sophisticates to illustrate the bad ideas against which we properly rail. Welcome Claire.