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Leftism Revisited: From De Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot Hardcover – February, 1991

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Pub; Subsequent edition (February 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895265370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895265371
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly extraordinary book by the Austrian Nobleman Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. Being the recipient of an American public school education(which teaches that democracy is the only valid form of government), I was somewhat floored by the author's basic argument. This being that democracy in itself is leftist, and inevitably leads to tyranny, collectivization and war. All you hear in American politics is how superior democracy is and how it is our duty to spread "freedom" to the rest of the world. What a breath of fresh air this book is.

The author explains at length the leftist origins of National Socialism as well as Communism. He methodically dissects the leftist mindset, while tracing basically everything he views as leftist, back to the French Revolution and it's aftermath. He rails against democracy as being no different than socialism in it's impossible and harmful quest for equality. He makes no secret that he is a Christian aristocrat and supports a form of monarchy as the only true "rightist" government. He also claims that monarchy provides more personal liberty than democracy. If, like me, you blindly believed in democracy as a superior way of life, this book is a wake-up call. That being said, atheists and secularists will most likely reject this book, as K-L's entire philosophy rests on the foundation of a transcendent worldview that sees God as the ultimate authority.

Some notable ideas include:

Contrary to popular belief, fascism is a leftist movement. Enforced uniformity and the exaltation of the state above all else is a leftist invention that has the same origins as communism. Mussolini was an ex-socialist. The Nazi's saw all German communists as potential recruits. They were also anti-aristocrat, anti-tradition, and anti-capitalist.
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Format: Hardcover
The author was that rare breed of classical European liberal, a species now all but extinct. In this masterpiece he investigates the Leftist mindset, Leftism in history and in the foreign policy of the USA. Most important, the book provides a valuable description of Real versus False Liberalism.

Kuhnelt-Liddihn's aim was to reinforce the noble Western tradition of individual freedom that has been under assault for so many decades now, from so many sides. Not an easy read, the book can be quite exhausting in places as the author puts his vast knowledge of human thought to work in support of his great insight.

Under the Leftist Mind, he discusses certain good forms and bad forms of government as they manifest in the realm of politics, e.g. monarchy versus tyranny, aristocracy vs oligarchy and republic vs a democracy. In this section he also explores some 40 odd characteristics of the Leftist mind, like hatred of freedom, secular fanaticism and materialism.

In the section titled Leftism In History, Kuhnelt-Leddihn provides an awesome analysis of Leftist history with reference to the French Revolution, the birth of the USA, and various manifestations of collectivist movements like Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Fascism and Nazism. He considers the French Revolution as the most characteristic manifestation of Leftism.

The author then examines American foreign policy under Wilson and Roosevelt, the Vietnam War and the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. Here he also talks about the fanatical nature of totalitarian ideologies that fills the void left by an imploding Christianity.

The passage on Liberalism, Real and False, reveals profound truths. Under Real Liberalism, he discusses the thinkers, the timeframe, the leaders, and attitudes towards religion.
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Format: Hardcover
"Did the Nazis describe themselves as rightists or leftists?" In 1998 I submitted this question to Professor von Kuehnelt-Leddihn himself. (Incidentally, when he was among us, a person fond of titles would have called him Knight better than Baron, though this kind of titles have been forbidden in Austria since the end of the First World War.) Kuehnelt-Leddihn answered my question by quoting an article in "Der Angriff" (The attack) of Dec 6th, 1931 in which Goebbels declared: "The NSDAP is the German Left. We despise bourgeois nationalism". As to Hitler and Rudolf Hess, they always stressed the "democratic" character of the NSDAP, but they also claimed to be "rightist" and "liberal". This is what Kuehnelt-Leddihn told me. Hitler was anyway a genius of deception and tried to draw votes by promising something to everybody. Though the keenest observers, like Thomas Mann, Stefan Zweig, Otto von Habsburg, the future cardinal von Galen and Kuehnelt-Leddihn himself had no doubts from the beginning, many were deceived by his apparent "democraticism". Kuehnelt-Leddihn reminds us in his book that Lloyd George, asked why he was sympathetic to Hitler while disliking Franco, said: "I always line up on the side against the priests". Never forget that the acronym NSDAP means: "National Socialist Party of German Workers". The Nazis themselves adopted the shortened form "Nazi-sozi", while the term nazi prevailed only after the war and helped to overlook the reference to socialism.Read more ›
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