Theodore Dalrymple about The Black Book of the American Left from David Horowitz, frontpagemagazine.com, 18-12-2013.
It is on the psychological reasons for eschatological leftism that Horowitz is best. Eschatological leftists, rather than genuine liberals, or for that matter eschatological nationalists or religious fanatics, are not interested in righting this or that individual wrong, reforming this or that defective institution; they aim at resetting the terms and limits of human existence itself. They are like doctors who, instead of wanting to cure illness, want to abolish death. They dream of an existence in which there are no frustrations, no contradictory desires, no conflicting interests. For them anything less than root and branch change is but a sticking plaster over a gaping wound, and anyone who enjoys the present moment is deficient in compassion for those who are not in a position to do so. The only permissible enjoyment is in fighting the good fight.
Why? What is the gaping wound that they want to heal? It is the transitoriness of human life to which, in the absence of religious belief, they cannot reconcile themselves, the life that Macbeth says is full of sound and fury that signifies nothing. They seek in political action that transcendence that would assure them that their lives in fact have significance; and since the problem is a metaphysical one that will never be solved, victory over eschatological political belief, of whatsoever kind, is never final or even very lasting. Indeed, as things get materially better chiliasm grows stronger, for people have greater leisure to dwell upon their dissatisfactions.