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  • The Flight of the Intellectuals

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 18th May 2010 (All posts by )

    Michael Totten, whose blog I read and support has a marvelous interview with Paul Berman, author of Flight of the Intellectuals. The interview is lengthy and wide ranging but worth the time to read it. Unfortunately, for some reason, Michael doesn’t have a permalink on the article so you have to scroll down to May 11. [Jonathan adds: Link to Totten’s post] One sample. They are talking about Bush Derangement Syndrome:

    Paul Berman: I had an experience like that in relation to Ronald Reagan. I had a huge learning experience in Nicaragua in the 1980s when I was reporting for the Village Voice on the Sandinista revolution — a Marxist semi-communist revolution in those days.

    Reagan was against the Sandinistas, and he did all kinds of things that, at the time, I thought were terrible. And I still think he did terrible things. Still, I was always astounded when I was among very poor people in Nicaragua to learn how many people liked Ronald Reagan. I would question them, and I could comprehend their answers, pretty much.

    MJT: What did they say?

    Paul Berman: Extremely poor market women, for instance, in an extremely poor town, would tell me, “the workers and peasants are suffering.”

    I would ask, “Who is defending the workers and the peasants?”

    And they would say, “Ronald Reagan.”

    I said, “Ronald Reagan is defending the workers and peasants?”

    [Laughs.]

    MJT: [Laughs.]

    Paul Berman: And they would say, “Yes!”

    All they knew—and they got this from the Sandinista news radio—was that if the Sandinista regime had a bitter enemy anywhere in the world, it was Ronald Reagan. And therefore they felt he was defending the workers and peasants. Their way of speaking about the workers and peasants reflected the Marxist rhetoric, but they hated the Marxists.

    MJT: [Laughs.]

    It is terrific, as are most of his posts.

    Posted in Book Notes, International Affairs | 6 Comments »