The Radosh-Horowitz riddle

Suppose Diana West had written the worst book ever on Roosevelt, Stalin and the Cold War. She hasn’t – she’s crafted one of the best books on this issue ever written – but suppose she had written one of the worst. Suppose the facts didn’t stack up. Suppose there were large gaps in her logic and in the analysis. Suppose it was a pot boiler badly crafted and convincing to no one. Suppose she had done that.

Well so what if she had. Throw it out there for others to deal with. Let it be refuted by those on the left if they have the nerve and the knowledge to do it. Let them unpick her errors and mistakes. Let them take the time and the trouble. If she can establish a case, even on really flimsy grounds, that Roosevelt’s White House was riddled with Soviet agents and that America’s strategy during World War II was shaped in major ways to suit the Soviet Union and Stalin, well, where’s the problem with that? It is an idea worth pursuing and even if the evidence had been thin, it’s not for people on our side to knock it over. There is nothing to be gained by doing the left’s work for them. Put it out and let it be debated.

And the fact is that there is no value whatsoever on the conservative side of politics for anyone on the right to attack West’s book, whether it is good, bad or mediocre. This is politics at its most dangerous, not some useless academic tearoom debate. This really matters if we are to understand the world we live in. Who cares whether there are some obscure errors in what she wrote that no one can see unless they have spent thirty years in an archive. How moronic and politically stupid do you have to be to challenge such a book, even if it is badly done. Whose interests are being served, and exactly why are they being served by seeking some pristine purity and perfection that no one else has ever achieved or could be expected to.

If people are such idiots that they actually think that the interests of the conservative side of politics are served by ridiculously high standards of scholarship that no one can meet, then they should get out of the political arena and sit in their archive and stay in the tearoom because they are useless to any kind of political debate.

The only interests that are served in attacking Diana West’s book are the interests of the left. No other. If that is not 100% obvious then these people are political fools of the highest order. And if they do understand that, who are they really and where are we then?

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