Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A few days ago, Matthew Yglesias was lamenting all the reporters spending time trying to track down a copy of Barack Obama's undergraduate thesis:

When I was in college, I wrote a senior thesis. It was even, in a sense, on a politically relevant topic having to do with John Rawls' Political Liberalism. ... But realistically, insofar as I can recall what the thesis said ... it says stuff I don't believe anymore. If you really want to gain additional insights into what Matt Yglesias thinks about the issues, you should probably read my frequently updated blog.
Well, maybe so. But knowing where people came from can, at least, provide insights into their character. A few years ago, Stephen Schwartz did a piece at National Review responding to accusations that a lot of prominent neocons were flaming, open Trotskyists in their political youth. As with Yglesias, Schwartz didn't so much deny it (facts are facts, and they are on the record), as dismiss their relevance.

Now, maybe an endorsement of Matt's position is why we don't see more references to "ex-Trotskyist Irving Kristol" in journals of refined opinion. But I, for one, think there are insights into their character here, and think that we could stand to have at least a little more discussion of these guys' political upbringing in groups and movements dedicated to the use of deception and false fronts in undermining the health of capitalist states from within.