My Cold War

“My Cold War,” The National Interest, Spring 1993.


The truth is that, by the time I came to Encounter, anticommunism or anti-Marxism or anti-Marxist-Leninism or anti-totalitarianism had pretty much ceased to interest me as an intellectual project. As a young Trotskyist in my college days, I had studied Marx and Lenin and Trotsky to the point of disillusionment. It was a useful inoculation that rendered me, not only immune, but positively indifferent to the ideological chatter around me. For almost half-a-century now, I have found it close to impossible even to read any apologia for a communist regime, any political analysis written from a pro-communist point of view, or any socio-economic analysis written from a Marxist or quasi-Marxist point of view. Only rarely did I feel moved to refute such writings. I was happy, for the most part, to leave that to others–scholars, journalists, publicists–being content to associate myself with their efforts to do God’s work. I heartily approved of their Cold War but it was not my cold war.

Brad DeLong