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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Horowitz brings controversial ideas to Student Union

Editor’s Note: Due to the snow day, this article will appear in the paper edition of Thursday, Feb. 25. As such, the online article has been slightly updated.

Ashley Lesperance/Collegian

On Tuesday evening, former New Left radical turned conservative pundit and author of such works as “Hating Whitey: and Other Progressive Causes,” and “Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left,” David Horowitz spoke in the Cape Cod Lounge in the Student Union.

Outside the Lounge two UMass Police officers were stationed at the door, with numerous law enforcement officials inside in plainclothes.

Justin Thompson, vice president of the University of Massachusetts Republican Club, the RSO which brought Horowitz to UMass, defended the heavy police presence at the event, citing previous events including Don Feder’s speech in March 2009, which was disrupted by protesters.

David Horowitz is described by the Republican Club as a well-known author and lifelong civil rights activist. He was sponsored to speak at UMass for a payment of $5,000 plus expenses, including transportation, lodging, and payment for protection.

Those protesting disagree that his speech was worth funding.

“I am here protesting because, as a UMass student attending a public university, I don’t welcome homophobia, and Islamophobia that is integrated in Horowitz’s hate speech.” said Marah DeFlavia, a junior at UMass. “I feel that bringing Horowitz to this campus was socially irresponsible, and it sends a negative message regarding our campus.”

Protesters passed out flyers labeling Horowitz a racist, citing an article he wrote which likened calling Rush Limbaugh a racist to calling minorities racial epithets.

The evening seemed a perfect test of some of Horowitz’s primary tenets, as he has asserted that liberal thinkers suppress free thought in academia in such pieces as “The Professors: 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.”

Ultimately, this forum turned out better than last year’s contested gathering. Some protesters did speak out, and while they were asked to leave, none were forcibly removed or arrested.

The UMPD also implemented security measures, including not allowing audience members to bring backpacks with them inside. Members of the audience were also asked not to hold up signs or interrupt, though some disruption did occur.

UMass student Alex Tuffile was excited for the night’s events, having read all of Horowitz’s books. When asked his thoughts on the protesters, after viewing them quietly passing out flyers, he responded that he liked them. Citing past speeches, specifically the Don Feder speech, Tuffile said he feels the security measures are necessary.

“It was a disaster. I don’t have a problem with people when they protest, but it was ugly,” he said.

Thompson, the Republican Club vice president, gave opening remarks and thanked everyone for attending the speech, stating that Horowitz’s presence would hopefully facilitate conversation and debate.

Thompson explained why the Republican Club chose Horowitz.

“David Horowitz has been a strong proponent of free speech on campus,” he said.

Horowitz also provided an outlet for the club to display a more conservative speaker.

“You may remember Ms. Meghan McCain, who brought a more independent viewpoint [coming to campus.] Surprisingly for some, she wasn’t conservative enough,” said Thompson.

Next to speak was Derek Khanna, the president of the Republican Club. Khanna spoke of Horowitz’s lack of political correctness and the need for such in the University environment. Khanna spoke of not being able to call his country a “she,” and said, “Today, we live in a society where use of the word ‘niggardly’ requires an apology,” which the audience greeted with hissing sounds.

As he took the stage, Horowitz began his speech with an attack on liberals.

“Universities were set up to be free institutions that taxpayers pay for. It is due to out of control spending on faculty and out of control governmental loans that tuition costs are so much,” said Horowitz.

He went on to call college professors lazy, claiming they only work “nine hours a week, eight months out of the year.”

He continued to claim that professors generally represent just one side of the aisle politically. Horowitz sat in on a 90 minute civil liberties class during Tuesday’s classes, which he felt did not show multiple viewpoints on the subject.

“The professor tried to sell students on the decency of the Supreme Court, and denied them key information,” he said, furthering that he believes an educator’s job should entail “teaching you how to think, not what to think.”

Midway through his speech, Horowitz spoke on an educational department with which his views are commonly connoted. Horowitz said that women’s studies departments’ goals are to “make students into radical feminists.”

On the issues of gender and racial hierarchies in society, Horowitz claimed such inequities do not exist in America. He also said, to much audience protest, that the women’s studies department “doesn’t actually care about women,” because of genital mutilation occurring in Islamic cultures.

Horowitz expanded on his view of education stating that “the entire liberal arts college cannot give you a good education.” The only department Horowitz felt was of value was the engineering college, because through science, he believes the department presents facts without political slant.

Horowitz also told the crowd his views on religion. He deemed Muslims radicals, citing a poll claiming ten percent of Muslims agreed with jihad, or holy war. Making numerous comparisons to Nazi Germany, Horowitz called the Islamic jihad worse.

“Islamists are worse than the Nazis, because even the Nazis did not tell the world that they want to exterminate the Jews,” he said. In another comparison to Nazis, he added, “there are good Muslims and bad Muslims just like there were good Germans and bad Germans.”

After an hour of speaking, Horowitz took questions. Numerous students asked him about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, to which Horowitz responded heatedly, “The Palestinians are Nazis. Every one of their elected officials are terrorists.”

He spoke of how the countries in the Middle East were created and had no right to the lands that now make up Israel. “The Jews were attacked. They had every right to expel every Arab from both Israel and, when they were attacked in ‘67, from the West Bank.”

Zamil Akhtar, president of the UMass Muslim Student Association, spoke of how every Muslim, himself included, did not support the jihad, and said, “You said that you had not heard Muslims condemn the jihad. I can show you hundreds of Muslim scholars that disagree.”

“You also spoke of genital mutilation,” added Akhtar, “which is not a part of the culture – of my culture – as you said.”

Horowitz asked if Akhtar would denounce Hamas, to which Akhtar responded he would, and retorted by asking Horowitz if he would denounce Ann Coulter’s Islamophobic remarks, to which he responded, “It was a very apt satire.”

On the differences between sex and gender, UMass student Ashley Lesperance tried to explain the differences between gender and sex.

“Gender is defined as socially constructed to oppress women, versus sex which is what you are born with, gender is what is in fact socially constructed,” Lesperance told Horowitz.

Horowitz retorted by referencing former Harvard President Larry Summers, who drew criticism when he claimed women had lesser scientific abilities than women.

“Women possibly have a lower aptitude for math and science than men. And that’s a gender difference. Women have a lower aptitude in mathematics than men, and that is a scientific fact,” said Horowitz.

After a 30 minute question-and-answer of agitated remarks between the protesters and Horowitz, he told audience members lined at the microphone that he was finished answering questions and was escorted out of the room by his bodyguard.

Michelle Williams can be reached at [email protected].

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  • J

    Jason KamMar 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    What is David Horowitz so angry about? Chances are, it has absolutely nothing to do with the topics he is talking about. Those are just the things his anger is landing on.

  • N

    NoGuffDec 9, 2011 at 5:12 am

    BEN RUDNICK wrote: “The word is spelled “niggardly.” By mispelling it in this article they way you did you evoke the same mistaken interpretation of the word”
    –Apparently the writer spelled the word exactly as you did. If you’re going to try to belittle someone and ‘teach them a lesson,’ you should do so based on something factual.

    MUAD’DIB wrote: “‘niggerly’ IS NOT A WORD”
    –According to the Random House 2011 edition it means “1. reluctant to give or spend; stingy; miserly. 2. meanly or ungenerously small or scanty.” and its origin goes back to the 1520s. So again, if you’re going to try to belittle someone and ‘teach them a lesson,’ you should do so based on something factual.

  • D

    DanielDec 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Ethnic Cleansing: “The purging, by mass expulsion or killing, of one ethnic or religious group by another, esp. from an area of former cohabitation”1

    Elimination: “The action of turning persons out of doors, or expelling them from their country; the fact of being thus expelled.”2
    From the OED:

    1.ethnic cleansing, n.
    Third edition, March 2002; online version November 2010. ; accessed 11 December 2010.
    2.elimination, n.
    Second edition, 1989; online version November 2010. ; accessed 11 December 2010. Earlier version first published in New English Dictionary, 1891.

    So, Ethnic Cleansing, as defined by the OED, does not specifically mean killing people. And by your definition, “Ethnic cleansing is the intentional ELIMINATION (read: murder) or a specific ethnicity” does not actually say anything about murder unless you just decide to replace the word Elimination with the word Murder.

  • M

    muad'dibApr 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    The tribalism of these comments is hilarious. The conservatives sit around justifying anything and everything the Republican Party does, no matter how obviously moronic, while the liberals focus on insulting the liberals instead of fighting for their own agenda.

  • B

    BillMar 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    More foolishness from Marxist Mike. Let’s try to correst the fallacies he is spreading, shall we?

    “Next you say that the free market would increase the value of a college degree, because fewer people would go to college. That’s true, but I’m amazed that you’re willing to admit it.”

    Amazing. You admit that education does not exist in a free market. And yet two posts earlier, you wrote this:

    “if you hate the products of UMass so much, why do you keep buying them? Why are you here, paying tuition, if you think professors are biased and overpaid? Why don’t you transfer to a university where professors get paid less (though, admittedly, it may be hard to find one)? Be a real Republican and embrace the free market!”

    Secondly, you’re making several critical errors in your analysis, a not uncommon occurrence among those who subscribe to the tired, failed, and laughable philosophy of socialism.

    Eliminating the distortions in the education market would result in lower prices. It would also increase the value of a college degree. But it would also accomplish one crucial feat; it would eliminate all of the waste, excess, and illegitimate investments muddying the system.

    In short, it would get rid of everyone who’s not serious about learning.

    The mistake you made was assuming a free education market would automatically result in ‘fewer people getting an education’. An incredibly large portion of the kids at UMass (and this holds true for many state schools) have absolutely no intention of ‘getting an education’. They’re here for the 4-year 24/7 party, the excuse to get blasted for 8 semesters – all on the government dime.

    If these same kids were faced with the choice of getting a job or ACTUALLY paying for their education(by getting a parttime job, waiting tables, etc..), THEN you would see who really wants to learn, who really wants to ‘get an education’.

    But you would have to be absolutely wasted to think that every kid whose tenure at state universities is being co-sponsored or totally sponsored by the government is thirsting for that knowledge, hungering for that education. Give me a freaking break. I’ve spent time at 2 UMass schools and half of these kids have no business being here.

    Not only that, but in a TRUE free market system, prices would be LOWER. With reduced demand comes lower prices. 40-50 years ago, it was possible for a young man/woman to actually pay their way through school by getting a part-time job, waiting tables, whatever. What changed? The government nationalized the student loan industry, jacked prices, and now that’s impossible, thanks to the absolute IDIOCY of socialism. Could you make $18,000 in one summer waiting tables? Doubt it, unless you’re providing off-the-menu services on the side.

    This is one of the CORE problems of socialist thinking. There is no merit involved whatsoever. Everyone gets these great benefits whether they’ve worked for them or not. Socialism ENCOURAGES people to be lazy. Why would you work? The government provides everything.

    “I’ve just given you evidence that centrally planned economies with no price signals performed better than capitalist economies. They started out very far behind, but they were catching up. Would you like more data? I’d be happy to provide it. Just tell me what you need. Being a commie, I believe that education should be free, so I will happily educate you on this matter.

    There is no such thing as a ‘free’ education. Where do you think the government gets the money to ‘educate’ the people? They steal it through punitive and excessive taxation. It’s like you stealing all my money and then giving me a ‘free’ basketball. In real life, you’d get beat up, but somehow as a philosophy it’s awesome.

    Similarly, there is no such thing as ‘free’ healthcare. The money they spend on healthcare COMES from the people through excessive, punitive, and illegal taxation, i.e. theft, i.e. socialism/communism. You guys are still pushing these talking points? I thought they went out of style 20 years ago.

    The ONLY possible argument you could make for the government stealing my money and providing a service I could otherwise buy is that the government could do it more efficiently and for less than I would spend. This too, is true socialism fail. Not only is the government pathetically wasteful, it’s irresponsibly and possible criminally inefficient with citizens’ monies.

    Virtually every public institution spends more than private ones. Public schools spend more per pupil than private schools. And don’t even get me started on healthcare, which (again) does NOT exist in a free market and SHOULD be much cheaper. Here too, the government has inflated prices through onerous regulation, subsidization, lack of competition, frivolous litigation, and monopoly pricing mechanisms. Healthcare used to cost pennies, until the government (starting in the U.K) said it was TOO CHEAP and destroyed the system.

    This is getting long, so I will briefly discuss the Soviet Union’s economy. A socialist points to the growth rate because that is all has, and it is not lost on me that your sole link is An objective, neutral observer, I am absolutely certain.

    The Soviet economy was a joke. The central planners thought they were God and that they could anticipate every possible need of the people. However, because their system was so crappy, there were chronic shortages and surpluses. The lower managers ONLY cared about making their quotas, so would fiddle, fake, and fraud the numbers to do it. A factory would produce 1,000 tractors even if nobody used them. Why? Because some bureaucrat at GOSPLAN said so. And you’re saying socialism is an EFFICIENT system? Are you high?

    They paid their people the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM in order to cut costs, and Stalin’s collectivization scheme exported all the people’s food in order to fund his industrialization. The standard of living was pathetic. Why do you think exchange of currency was one of the biggest crimes in the U.S.S.R? Because they knew how worthless their currency was, and couldn’t afford to have their citizens fleeing it. This was exposed when they finally did allow it and the exchange rate plummeted to pitiful depths.

    But I don’t even care about that. I understand socialists don’t really have anything good to point to, they don’t really have any good examples. Every socialist country has been a joke, so I kind of feel bad for them. But that’s not why every free thinking human should hate this system.

    They should detest it because it’s slavery. The government takes your wages and decides your life for you. They decide what you’re paid. They decide what kind of healthcare you get. They decide what you can do. They decide how you’re educated. They decide where you should work. You are a slave to the state. Even speaking in simple economic terms, you’re a slave, because they take all your money and leave you crumbs. It’s economic bondage.

    Capitalism and the free market doesn’t guarantee you anything, but at the VERY LEAST it doesn’t guarantee you servitude. I’ll take that any day.At the very least, it gives you a chance to succeed based on merit.

    I would write more on this last point, but this is getting insanely long, so I will simply say this about Bush and Horowitz.

    The little brother of nationalization is subsidization. And the government is the KING at propping up failing companies or firms that should fail. A bailout is subsidization. A bailout is supporting an institution that should fail in a free market. The beautiful thing about bankruptcies, recessions and and company failures is that it cleanses the system of bad investments or misallocations, something the Soviet economy could never do. The Soviet central planners never knew when they were making a malinvestment or ordering too many models. There was no structure to do so, which is why it was amazingly wasteful.

    By supporting the banks and other firms, the government is doing EXACTLY what the Soviet Union did in terms of subsidizing inefficient and wasteful companies. And if you read what Hitler wrote about socialism (yes, Hitler was a socialist), he said it wasn’t necessary to nationalize all companies as long as “the State had supreme control”. And what is Obama trying to do now? Use the ‘bailout’ as an excuse to dictate terms, fire CEO’s, manage wages, plan for them(hmmm, sounding familiar).

    As for Horowitz, he is an American patriot who can stomach things that no socialist wimp would be able to. Frank Rich would probably cry if he was confronted with even half of the diseased exhibits the ISO displays constantly. Ethnic cleansing is the intentional ELIMINATION (read: murder) or a specific ethnicity, and advocating mass deportation as a national security policy HARDLY even comes close. Furthermore, considering that it has been a stated strategy of numerous groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the PLO to use Arab nationalist populations within Israel to foment violence and trigger bloodshed, it seems like a sensible, if not obvious policy. The funny thing is, like Horowitz, you will probably see the error of your ways within about 10-15 years when you grow up and realize how misguided you are and how firmly implanted socialist propanda is in your head. Until then, however, be careful of doing things you’ll probably be embarrassed of later. What if everything you currently believe is a lie?

  • M

    MikeMar 1, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Bill, I gave clear numbers and sources to back up my claims about the Soviet economy. And they were Western, American sources – the first one was a report published by a conservative think tank, actually.

    You, on the other hand, provided nothing but unfounded claims. If you’re going to just make stuff up, might as well go all the way and say that socialists and communists eat babies for breakfast every morning, with fresh toast and scrambled eggs on the side.

    Nevertheless, I’m bored, so I will respond to your main points (such as they are):

    1. You said that the government raises demand for education – which means that, in the absence of government, demand would be lower. Which means that fewer people would get an education. Wow, congratulations, you’ve just admitted that the free market reduces the number of people going to college, and government intervention increases it. And that’s supposed to be an argument in FAVOR of the free market?

    Next you say that the free market would increase the value of a college degree, because fewer people would go to college. That’s true, but I’m amazed that you’re willing to admit it. You are admitting that the free market would greatly reduce the opportunity to attend college, and then you’re saying that this is a GOOD thing (for the wealthy few who could still afford an education), because the smaller number of college graduates would have less competition on the job market and so they would be able to earn more! You are admitting that the free market would make most people poorer (and less educated), but you support it because it would make YOU richer! Unbelievable.

    2. You are talking about “no price signals” and “a centrally planned economy” as if they are bad things. But I’ve just given you evidence that centrally planned economies with no price signals performed better than capitalist economies. They started out very far behind, but they were catching up. Would you like more data? I’d be happy to provide it. Just tell me what you need. Being a commie, I believe that education should be free, so I will happily educate you on this matter.

    You mentioned Stalin and the Gulag. Stalin is not “my buddy.” In fact he murdered many communists whom I consider to be “my buddies.” He was a vicious tyrant. But you should be aware that Stalin died in 1953 and the Gulag was closed down in 1956-57. Stalin =/= the Soviet Union. Just like Southern Slavery =/= the United States. It’s easy to cherry pick the worst parts of the history of your opponents, but it’s dishonest. Take “mass starvation,” for example. Yes, that happened in the Soviet Union in 1932-33, as a result of Stalin’s agricultural policies, and then again in the last years of World War II (because the war had destroyed most of the food supply). But then it never happened again for the remaining 50 years of the Soviet Union’s existence. You are cherry picking a horrible policy enacted by Stalin for only 2 years, and making it sound like it was a constant part of Soviet life. That’s like cherry picking slavery or the Jim Crow laws and talking as if they never ended in America.

    By the way, I assume you support America, yes? But you don’t support every single president that America ever had, right? And you don’t support every single law or every single aspect of life that ever existed in America. You can support the founding principles of the United States without agreeing with everything that was ever done in the name of those principles.

    The same applies to communism and the Soviet Union.

    Finally, regarding the end of the Cold War: As I just pointed out (and backed up with sources), the Soviet economy was actually out-performing the American economy during most of the Cold War. Then, the Soviet economy experienced a slow decade (1975-1985), when their economic growth was roughly the same as in the West. That was slow by their standards. So they looked for a solution to this problem, and unfortunately picked Mikhail Gorbachev to fix things. Starting in 1986, he instituted a series of market reforms known as perestroika. These were exactly the sort of things that conservatives would have recommended: getting rid of central planning, forcing companies to compete in the market, allowing profits and price signals, etc. It was a total disaster. The market reforms turned a minor problem into a massive catastrophe, and the Soviet Union faced the first economic recession in its history. That is how the Cold War ended. The Soviets committed suicide. The only question is whether the Soviet leadership did it out of stupidity, or whether they intentionally betrayed their own system. After the collapse and the move to full-blown capitalism, things got even worse. During the 1990s, capitalism brought economic ruin to Russia and Eastern Europe – with levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality not seen since the Great Depression. Ordinary people lost their jobs because of privatization, and lost their savings to inflation. Many of the former “communist” leaders, on the other hand, turned into capitalists overnight and grew filthy rich. I think that proves that they betrayed the Soviet system on purpose.

    3. Bush was not a conservative? Really? But he claimed to be a conservative. Are you saying that political leaders might not be what they claim to be? Then perhaps you should also look at socialist or communist leaders and see how many of them went against socialist principles and were not what they claimed to be.

    And speaking of socialist principles… come on, Bill, everyone knows that socialists hate banks and corporations. Everyone knows that socialists want economic equality. I understand that you are woefully uneducated about us and what we stand for, but saying that we want to give more money to capitalists is really too stupid even for you. Every socialist group in America has been screaming against the bank bailouts since the day they were proposed.

    A socialist policy towards the banks would have been to take them into public ownership, make their shareholders pay the bill for the mess they got us in, and fire all the managers and CEOs who caused the crisis.

    4. Your boy Horowitz openly came out in favor of ethnic cleansing in his talk (he said Israel should expel all Arabs, which would be ethnic cleansing), and you think the ISO is the one giving the university a bad name?

  • M

    Michael Foley-RöhmFeb 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I just cannot fathom why anyone would pay to hear that crackpot speak.

    I guess their ideas are so idiotic that they even have to pay to have them reinforced by the ignorant twits whom they’ve claimed as their ‘leaders.’

  • B

    BillFeb 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    And Marxist Mike rears his silly head with more ignorance to mock. So much foolishness, I will try to address it quickly and attempt to cure you of whatever malady appears to be plaguing your brain cells.

    Education does not exist in a free market. The government has twisted, distorted, and generally screwed up the natural market forces that should exist in the education market. The universities can charge these ridiculous prices because the government subsidizes the loans, thus increasing demand. In a natural market, demand would be much lower, thus lowering prices AND increasing the value or a degree. Ever hear how a college degree isn’t what it used to be? Thank Uncle Sam for his stupid liberal ‘generosity’ for that.

    Secondly, it’s almost unbelievable that you are actually extolling the virtues of the Soviet Union’s economy. Lol I mean this is the same economy that had no price signals, no allocation communication, had a centrally planned economy. It was pathetic.
    Factories would simply produce good that wouldn’t be used, or be complete pieces of crap – it wouldn’t matter. All they cared about was making their ‘quota’, because they didn’t want to get sent to one of your buddy Stalin’s gulags. Their policies caused mass starvation. They were ripping off European auto blueprints, stripping them bare and renaming them as their own ‘invention’. The only people who benefited were the Communist elite. Perhaps you envision yourself being one of those one day. Well, that’s awesome, but at least have the guts to be honest and say you just want to use the government to line your own pockets – at the cost of lowering everyone else’s standard of living.

    How do you think the Cold War ended? The Soviet economy couldn’t keep up with a capitalist economy. They were clumsy, unresponsive, mechanical, they couldn’t respond quickly, because they were being run by idiot bureaucrats.

    Thirdly, nobody claimed Bush was a fiscal conservative. He wasn’t.

    He was a fiscal socialist. You know, YOUR kind.

    In other words, he implemented your kinds of policies. Socialist economic policies.

    A genuine fiscal conservative would never bail out banks. A genuine fiscal conservative would never have done what Bush did. He was a fiscal socialist.

    This is why it’s so hilarious to watch socialists blame Bush for the economy’s problems. They explicitly admitting their ideas are absolutely idiotic when it comes to managing the economy. By blaming Bush, they are blaming themselves.

    Lastly, as for your pathetic bleating about Horowitz’s measly fee, please stop before you cause yourself any more embarrassment. Those that attended with an open mind could have actually gotten their money’s worth if ignorant simpletons like those of your ilk weren’t throwing childish temper tantrums the entire time, giggling hysterically or ginning themselves up into frothing madness. The International Socialist Organization put on a shameful exhibit of foolishness, immaturity and disrespect by shouting loudly, using profanity liberally, and generally casting the University in a bad light.

    Hopefully the administration considers punitive measures against the ISO for their shameful and inappropriate behavior during the Horowitz event, starting with but not limited to reducing their funding, putting them on probationary counseling, and possibly suspension of the organization. We cannot afford to host student organizations that will give UMass such a bad name; perhaps the infants in the ISO will learn their lesson, but by now it is too late.

  • M

    MikeFeb 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Lucklucky, I’m surprised you think that Communism “was the worse system devised by Humans.” Perhaps you’ve never heard about slavery, in the United States and elsewhere? Or perhaps you believe, as David Horowitz does, that the black slaves should have been thankful to their white masters? In any case, I suggest that you take the time to inform yourself on the real history of Communism – and its achievements – before you make embarassing comments like this one:

    “If it wasn’t for Communism freezing the brains of billions we would already have probably cure for cancer and many others. If people had been free like in West i think their output instead of 10% of the West it could have been 50-60% because they started less developed.”

    Why is this comment embarassing? Because, in fact, the Soviet economy started out (in the 1920s) at roughly 25% the size of the economy of the United States. By 1955, it climbed to 40%. In 1965 the Soviet economy reached 50% of the contemporary US economy, and in 1977 it passed the 60% threshold. [source: Gur Ofer, “Soviet Economic Growth: 1928-1985”, RAND/UCLA Center for the Study of Soviet International Behavior, 1988] So, amusingly enough, the commies ended up achieving exactly the kind of output you thought they could only achieve “if people had been free.” (oh, and please ask the Chileans or Indonesians about that “freedom” provided by capitalism; there were plenty of countries where speaking out against capitalism would get you shot)

    Notice, by the way, that the Soviet economy was slowly but steadily catching up to the American economy all throughout that period (1928-1977, roughly speaking). They started out very far behind (not their fault), but they had much faster growth, and so they were catching up. Here’s a comparison of economic growth rates in the Soviet Union and the United States:

    1928-1940: Soviet Union 14.9%, United States 1.7%
    1941-1950: Soviet Union 5.1%, United States 4.5% (WW2 destroyed a lot of stuff on Soviet territory)
    1950-1975: Soviet Union 8.0%, United States 3.3%
    [source: David Kotz and Fred Weir, “Russia’s path from Gorbachev to Putin”, Routledge, 2007]

    And of course, all these comparisons between the Soviet Union and the United States fail to take into account that there is also a very large number of capitalist Third World countries, who were doing much worse in every field (economic growth, living standards, arts and sciences, everything) than Communist countries.

    Speaking of arts and sciences, do you ever use Google maps, or GPS, or anything else that relies on a satellite connection (satellite TV, perhaps, or one of those really expensive cell phones). Yeah, guess who invented artificial satellites. Also, there were 14 Soviet Nobel Prize winners, in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Literature, and Economics (well, and Peace, if you want to count Gorbachev as the 15th, but that prize was a joke so I skipped him).

    In terms of living standards, it is useful to remember that Communist countries provided free health care and education (at all levels, including college and grad school), as well as extremely cheap housing, food, and public transport. In fact, much black market activity was driven by the fact that people had a lot of money lying around with nothing to spend it on (since all basic necessities were either free or heavily subsidized). Sure, living standards were not as high as in the West, but they were growing faster. And they were higher than living standards in the capitalist countries of Latin America, Africa, and parts of Asia.

    But I really shouldn’t have to tell you all this. Just look at a few basic facts that everyone knows: at the start of the 20th century, capitalist Russia was a poor backwater with very little industrial production and not much significance on the world stage. Then Communism came along, and Russia became a global superpower, with huge influence across the world and the second largest economy on the planet. Then capitalism returned, and now, at the beginning of the 21st century, Russia is a poor backwater with very little industrial production and not much significance on the world stage. Hmm…

    Final note: In all of the above, I use the term “Communism” very loosely. Most communists believe that the Soviet Union and other similar countries were only vaguely related to the kind of society they advocate. Some argue that the Soviet system had nothing to do with communism at all. I think that’s going too far, but they have a valid point. The repressive aspects and lack of democracy in the Soviet system, for example, went against communist principles (and against the Soviet constitution, for that matter). Before you make any more laughable comments about “control of every aspect of our lives”, I suggest that you read what communists have to say for themselves. This would be a good place to start:

  • E

    EdFeb 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

    > Justin says:
    > First, the article is a horrid piece of journalism nobody
    > should be proud of.

    Deliberately p*ss off the _Collegian_ — Go for it Justin, Go for it. You have already destroyed the club, to the point where the Alliance was contacting *ME* trying to get it restarted, and now you are picking a fight with people who buy their ink by the barrel and paper by the ton. Brilliant…

    An objective article, and I know someone who just had to write one on a gristly criminal trial, includes both sides of the story. Hence half of it you will like and half you won’t. That is what “objective” means.

    And as one who struggled to help build the club that you and your henchmen destroyed last spring, I can tell you of the dark days when the Collegian wouldn’t even show up to cover the events. I helped fight the battles that gave you the police protection you needed for the event to occur, it wasn’t always that way.

    I could tell you of times when I was putting on my clothes prior to an event and quietly wondering if I would be taking them off later, or if they would be cut off me in a hospital or morgue – the Ollie North event was one such case but there were others.

    I could tell you many things, but the most important would be to thank the Collegian for actually showing up, and give the reporter a break – I think it was a pretty decent story.

    > Second, my name is Thompson, not “Thomas.”

    And how about how Derek Khanna’s spelling of then-VC/STUAF Esther Terry’s name last year on a SGA agenda? I can’t quite remember it exactly, but it was all one word and bizarre.

    If you are dealing with the press, and have just the least modicum of maturity, you either have a business card or spell out your name for the reporter. Or do both. I suspect you did neither – she got Khanna’s name right and that is far more complicated.

    > Lastly, Ed, more people would have been there if it was not
    > for the unfavorable weather or had you done so much damage
    > to the UMRC last year.

    Be careful Bicycle Boy – I am not a public figure. You ARE – an elected officer in a RSO. And that statement is libelous. It is also wrong – I prevented you and your ilk from doing a lot more damage than you could have done. I know you have no conscience so the damage you would have done wouldn’t have mattered to you, but it would have to me. And to any decent human being.

    About a third of the student body has no idea who I am, a quarter of last year’s club have graduated, and the rest have been repeatedly requesting my return, which I have declined because I don’t associate with bigots. And Justin, you are one. And you have convinced me to file the MCAD complaint.

    > (PS, 82 people were present last night.)

    OK. $5,000 in SATF funding alone. Figure $1,000 in donated Police protection. Figure a 25% CSD overhead for all of their administrative support. We are talking $7,500 for the event.
    So we are talking about spending $91.46 in scarce money PER PERSON for the event.

    Now if you figure that at least 20 of the people present were NON UM UNDERGRADS, including Jillian Noah whom I am sure you dragged in, that means you had 62 possible undergrads present. Now if you figure another 15 were tenured valley protesters who have no affiliation with the university, then you are down to 47 fee-paying UM undergrads (including yourself).

    That comes out to $159.58 per student. Which, if I am not mistaken, is more than each student contributed to the SATF in the first place. Which raises some real issues regarding equity when there are many clubs that don’t even have a total budget of $5,000. (Who also are given office space, and that is a Southworth suit waiting to happen.)

    I once brought Harvey Silverglate here for a fifth of what you paid, and we not only filled a far bigger room, but we had the Chancellor in attendance. I don’t think you did. And the question I am asking is your value per dollar ratio. It is the pandemic problem of the mASSgop and Mitt Romney’s failed ’08 Presidential bid is a classic example of throwing money at something and never asking what you are getting for what you are spending.

    I am a conservative, not a Republican, and while I am willing to spend money (I paid my own way to CPAC, I didn’t ask anyone else to pay for it), I believe in spending it frugally. Like Ronald Wilson Reagan did…

    With $5,000 in cash alone (forgetting the rest in UM services), I could do things that benefit a hell of a lot more than just 47 UMass students. I could, for example, put on a BBQ for the 5,100 students currently residing in the Southwest Residential Area. And in case you are wondering, that is 10,851% more students than you benefited!

    It is one thing to say that UMass students should be required to pay for speech with which they disagree, it is another thing entirely to ask them to pay such a disproportionate price relative to both the individual student’s contribution and the other demands on the fund.

  • F

    FredFeb 26, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Bill are you seriously bashing liberals for out of control spending when the Bush administration managed to take a billion dollar surplus and turn it into the worst economic recession since the Great Depression? Get real man. Its because of people like you that this country is going down the toilet. You make excuses for the policy failures of Reagan and Bush by blaming liberals like Obama and Bill Clinton. I would also like to point out the hypocrisy of ranting about how fanatical socialists are when there is an equally fanatical group of conservatives called the Tea Party, who by the way are actually affiliated with the Republican Party.

    Maybe the problem was not the socialists who were protesting but the fact that a racist, sexist bigot who compared Islam to the Nazi Party was invited to speak at UMASS.

    Nobody is forcing anyone to attend this University. If people have a problem with the professors and the manner in which they teach THEIR classes they should find a different college.

  • M

    MikeFeb 26, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Bill, just a quick lesson in basic math: $5000 per workday would amount to $1,305,000 per year. I do understand that it’s difficult for a spoiled Republican brat to comprehend how the majority of Americans live, but I assure you that professors are not, in fact, richer than your average banker.

    Also, I would like to suggest that perhaps giving a conservative pundit $5000 to speak for one hour is not the best way to show off the virtues of fiscal responsibility. But then, you don’t seem to remember that the current recession started under the Bush administration, so perhaps coherence isn’t your strong point.

    Finally, I was hoping you could enlighten me on a matter of some concern. You see, I cannot understand why the UMRC complains so much about the free market. When people on the left complain about some corporation, you are quick to argue that they should just stop buying its products and shut up. That’s how the free market works, you say. But then, if you hate the products of UMass so much, why do you keep buying them? Why are you here, paying tuition, if you think professors are biased and overpaid? Why don’t you transfer to a university where professors get paid less (though, admittedly, it may be hard to find one)? Be a real Republican and embrace the free market! Sure, it might mean you have to pay $50,000 a year to go to a private college, but that’s how personal responsibility works, right?

  • B

    BillFeb 25, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Hilarious to see moronic liberals suddenly so concerned about costs after they’ve driven this country into the ground with their out-of-control spending, outrageous taxation and frivolous spending.

    And we’re suddenly supposed to consider their lamentations over a piddly $5,000 legitimate? Please.

    Deval Patrick probably spends that much gassing up his Caddie. Socialist lunatic professors like Gerald Friedman probably make that much in a day. Wade Rathke probably got ten times that much, and yet you didn’t see the earnest fretting or hysterical gnashing of teeth by these same loons.

    All in all, a hugely successful event, marred by this scatalogical embarrassment of an ‘objective article’ and the temper tantrums of the International Socialist Organizations. Those that weren’t drugged out of their minds or rendered comatose by their own odors(barely tolerable for the rest of the audience) went on unintelligible screeds, laughable rants and generally childish displays mostly intended to prove to their socialist friends, “Look how fanatical I am.” It was fail at its finest.

    Good job, UMCR, and keep it up. And nice job publishing my comment, then censoring it, then publishing it again. I guess the little speech Nazis at The Socialist Collegian can’t make up their minds whether to indulge their inner fascist and expose their rank censorship, or allow the truth to shine and expose their idiocy. Tough call.

  • M

    Michael Foley-RöhmFeb 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Wow, people paid $100 to listen to this guy speak?

    Weren’t there more productive and positive uses for that $100, like buying cocaine for schoolkids?

    Based upon my reading of “Radical Son,” I am glad that Horowitz came to UMass, but instead of blowing $100 a person to listen to him yammer off at the mouth, people should pay him to enter a basic class on writing, especially on the importance of citing one’s sources, since Horowitz certainly couldn’t do that in “Radical Son.”

    For example, Horowitz claims that shortly before his death, Huey Newton stated he shot John Frey in an interview to strike back at the white establishment. Fair enough – but if you want to find the interview, Horowitz isn’t going to give you any information whatsoever as to the location of it.

    The same holds true for a similar claim that Jerry Rubin admitted that he deliberately stirred up trouble at the DNC in ’68 to provoke a riot. Fine. I’ve heard that from sources even sympathetic to the Yippies (though, to be fair, if it weren’t for the Chicago cops, there would have been no riot – Jerry could have WANTED one, but if the Chicago PD hadn’t gladly obliged him, there’d have been none). Where can we find this interview? Well, we can’t, at least not according to Horowitz’s book. How am I supposed to respect a man who violates a cardinal rule of journalism (I am aware that this is a biography; that doesn’t invalidate the fact that sources should be cited when necessary)? Is he merely forgetful or are the interviews he cites non-existent or, under scrutiny, do they simply fail to uphold the claims he makes?

    When I did a paper recently on Vikings in the Battle of Maldon, I had to cite sources so the Professor could, if he so chose, look at the sources I used to see if the arguments I was making were supported by the text. Horowitz clearly needs a class on how to do this, as he certainly couldn’t do it in “Radical Son.”

  • J

    JustinFeb 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    First, the article is a horrid piece of journalism nobody should be proud of.
    Second, my name is Thompson, not “Thomas.”
    Lastly, Ed, more people would have been there if it was not for the unfavorable weather or had you done so much damage to the UMRC last year.

    (PS, 82 people were present last night.)

  • E

    EdFeb 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    How many people were there? 50?

    That comes to $100 per student — and the question is if the expenditure is appropriate relative to the costs.

  • L

    luckluckyFeb 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

    “The communist USSR achieved the fastest industrialization and rate of economic growth in recorded history, kept up faster growth than the United States until about 1975, and invented space travel (among other things).”

    It is amazing what we can read this days. False and Irrelevant.
    Communism was the worse system devised by Humans. It bring nothing to the world. More than a billion of Communists with more technology achieved less than a couple thousand of Italians in Middle Ages in about same time period. Nothing remained of gigantic investment in Communism. Almost no Art, no Music, no Technology, no Ideas, nothing, zero, the biggest wastage of Humanity ever and i didn’t even started on its horrendous crimes. If it wasn’t for Communism freezing the brains of billions we would already have probably cure for cancer and many others. If people had been free like in West i think their output instead of 10% of the West it could have been 50-60% because they started less developed.

    “What counts as “communism”? The governments of Stalin and Mao? But there were many other communists who opposed them from the very beginning. Some of those communists got killed by Stalin. Don’t you think it may be just a little bit disrespectful to accuse some of Stalin’s victims of complicity in Stalin’s crimes?

    That is a joke isn’t it. How do you force people against their will without violence? All Communist ideology is funded in control of every aspect of our lives. That can only be achieved by violence.

  • M

    MikeFeb 25, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Ageis, that is why I listed Horowitz’s omissions under the heading “partisan hypocrisy” and not under the heading of contradictions.

    Remember that Horowitz’s main argument was that college professors don’t give their students enough information to make up their own minds. The fact that Horowitz himself omitted vital information in his talk makes him a partisan hypocrite.

  • A

    ageisFeb 25, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Mike, omission isn’t contradiction. You’re silly.

  • M

    MikeFeb 25, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Alex, the claim that “communism killed over a 100 million people” is false on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin:

    1. “Communism” is an idea. Ideas don’t kill people – people kill people. Do you wish to take personal responsibility for all acts of all conservative governments in all countries past and present? No? Then don’t talk as if communists are somehow collectively responsible for all acts of all communist governments in all countries past and present.

    2. What counts as “communism”? The governments of Stalin and Mao? But there were many other communists who opposed them from the very beginning. Some of those communists got killed by Stalin. Don’t you think it may be just a little bit disrespectful to accuse some of Stalin’s victims of complicity in Stalin’s crimes?

    3. And anyway, Stalin, Mao & co. did not kill even close to 100 million people. David Horowitz was making numbers out of thin air, as I said in my previous comment. Here, educate yourself on the competing statistics for 20th century death tolls:

  • H

    HowardFeb 24, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Conservatives continue to redefine the word “ignorance” every time they open their mouths.

  • M

    Michael Foley-RöhmFeb 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm


    I am glad that the ‘Nazis’ didn’t delete your comment. It was one of the biggest laughs I’ve in weeks!


    Rev. Foley-Röhm

  • J

    JimFeb 24, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I wonder if there will be any protestors tomorrow at that racist Sister Souljah’s talk? Or, will the people protesting Horowitz just curl up in her lap, like the obedient dogs they are?

  • B

    BillFeb 24, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Horowitz was brilliant, as much as the filthy socialist morons tried to disrupt the event. You could tell half of them hadn’t showered in weeks, and it’s no surprise this ‘article’ attempts to portray them in a positive light, considering the ‘author’ was seen schmoozing with them practically the entire time. It wouldn’t be surprising if she herself was a member of the insane Socialist organization.

    While most of the audience was respectful and considerate, the ridiculous antics of the socialist idiots annoyed everybody, from the rotund, unwashed, bearded 30-year old robotically spouting “lies” on autopilot, from the deluded off-his-meds kid who wrapped himself in the flag while ranting about garbage, from the rest of the homeless socialists who lined up to ask ‘questions’ and promptly began to bless everyone with socialist propaganda diatribes. Not once was there a question asked.

    In short, it was a great event hosted by the UMASS College Republicans, and could have been much better if the socialist idiots had decided to stay home in their cardboard box, doing their drugs and collecting their unemployment checks.

    And yes, Collegian staff, I fully expect you to delete this comment like the fascist speech Nazis you are.

  • A

    AlexFeb 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I was in the civil liberties class and the lecture last night. His comment was regarding the Warren court not the decency of the supreme court. Horowwitz came to talk about how there is only one view on this campus and if you try and speak up you get drowned out by screaming loons. He couldnt have been more correct. My favorite part of the lecture was when one of the protesters told the crowd “although communism killed over a 100 million people, my grandfather got free college. The women who interviewed me last night had an attitude. She couldnt believe that I would dare to come and support a speaker like Horowitz. She definately has a future at the New York Times……….

  • M

    muad'dibFeb 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I see that Miss Williams is not only unable to use a spell-checker (“niggerly” IS NOT A WORD, write “(sic)” when someone says something that isn’t a word or spell “niggardly” right!) but would rather write about the back-and-forth trolling and generally insulting atmosphere between the protesters and Horowitz than tell us what actually happened.

    What did the man actually speak about? Williams has nothing to say.

  • T

    TerryFeb 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    7. Political Double-Standard

    Horowitz said that when considering joining the Republican party, one had to ignore the evangelical right because it did not represent the rest of the party. When referring to people he disagreed with, however, he interchangeably used the words “Fascist”, “Communist”, “Socialist”, “Marxist”, “Lefist”, “Liberal”, “Democrat”, “Stalinist”, “Maoist”, “Guevarrist”, “Castroist”, “Trotskyist”, “Leninist”, “Leftie”, “Moron”, etc.

    So basically, there’s no such thing as right wing radicals, but every single person he disagrees with is a Soviet-anarchist Democrat.

  • M

    MikeFeb 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Horowitz’s talk was filled with errors, half-truths and outright lies. I was not able to call him out on these things after the talk, because the Q&A was so chaotic and there was no opportunity for critics of Horowitz to speak for more than about 30 seconds each (it may have amounted to a decent amount of time collectively, but it meant that no individual had time to make more than one argument). So I have written down a list of Horowitz’s lies and self-contradictions:

    1. Contradicting himself on the use of statistics.

    Horowitz stated that women have a lower aptitude than men at hard science and mathematics – in other words, that the average woman has a lower aptitude at those things than the average man. This implies that statistical averages are important, that we can and should compare groups of people based on averages.

    Yet in the same talk, Horowitz stated that racial oppression does not exist in America, because some black people (such as Oprah Winfrey) are very successful. So now averages don’t matter any more. It does not matter that the average African-American is far poorer than the average white American, for example. All that matters are the few people who manage to make it to the top.

    This is a blatant contradiction. You cannot compare groups of people based on averages when it suits you, and then ignore the averages when it doesn’t.

    2. Partisan hypocrisy.

    Horowitz accused the left of “not having any new ideas in 100 years” and supporting dictatorships. At the same time, he spoke in favor of free market capitalism (a 200 year old idea) and completely ignored the existence of numerous capitalist dictatorships past and present – many of them supported by the American government and right-wing organizations in the US.

    Horowitz attacked some of the most repressive countries in the Muslim world (such as Saudi Arabia) while failing to mention that they are the closest allies of the US in the region.

    Horowitz condemned Che Guevara for killing people for the sake of “the greater good,” but seemed to have no problem with the American Revolution – which also killed people for political reasons – or with the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Apparently, killing is bad, unless your side does it, in which case it is sadly necessary.

    Horowitz said that students should be given a balanced education and should be exposed to all points of view, but at the same time he compared left-wing points of view with “believing in a flat Earth.”

    3. False statements about communism.

    Horowitz claimed that communism was an economic failure because Soviet agriculture was bad. Well, yes, Soviet agriculture was indeed bad. Heavy industry, on the other hand, was a tremendous success.

    I’m not a big fan of the Soviet Union, but you have to give credit where credit is due. The communist USSR achieved the fastest industrialization and rate of economic growth in recorded history, kept up faster growth than the United States until about 1975, and invented space travel (among other things).

    Also, true to form, Horowitz failed to mention the economic collapse – on the same level as the Great Depression – that took place in Russia and Eastern Europe following the transition to capitalism.

    4. Making up numbers out of thin air.

    Horowitz seemed to be really fond of claiming that his opponents were responsible for absurd numbers of deaths – and the numbers kept changing. First, he gave ludicrous (and inconsistent) numbers for the amount of people supposedly killed by Stalin and Mao. If you’re curious, the real numbers are 0.8 to 3.5 million for Stalin and 0 to 20 million for Mao – the margins of error come from lack of evidence and from disagreements over what counts as killing people (the gray area covers things like the government not taking action to save people from a natural disaster).

    Then Horowitz decided to go even further, and accused the environmentalist Rachel Carlson of being responsible for 100 million deaths… because she wrote a book which persuaded people to stop using a chemical pesticide (DDT) which may (or may not) have saved 100 million people from malaria. Did you follow that logic? If you write a book that persuades John to stop doing something that may or may not have saved Mary’s life, then you’re a murderer. And let’s not even go into the fact that DDT is poisonous…

    5. Unwarranted generalizations about Muslims.

    Horowitz claimed that female genital mutilation takes place in Muslim countries. This is technically true, but only in the same sense that it would be true to say that the Queen of England rules over English-speaking countries. She rules over SOME English-speaking countries. Female genital mutilation takes place in SOME Muslim countries. To be more exact, it takes place across a narrow strip of land south of the Sahara. This area contains a tiny minority of the total Muslim population of the world – and there are Christians in that area as well, and in any case, female genital mutilation has nothing to do with religion.

    Horowitz also claimed that Muslims support “the Jihad.” He seems to be unaware of the fact that the majority of people fighting against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are, in fact, Muslims. Indeed, the very fact that these organizations must fight to control land – as opposed to just having control handed to them – shows that they face stiff opposition in the Muslim world.

    By claiming that the Muslim world is not democratic, Horowitz denied the existence of Turkey, Lebanon, Indonesia (the single largest Muslim country in the world), etc.

    6. Confusing the Arab population of Palestine with the Arab governments of other countries.

    Horowitz justified the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians by arguing that Arab governments invaded Israel in the past. That’s like saying that it’s ok to kill Americans as revenge against Canada. The Palestinian people are not responsible for the actions of other countries’ governments – especially when those governments weren’t even elected by their own people in the first place.

  • B

    Ben RudnickFeb 24, 2010 at 11:26 am


    The word is spelled “niggardly.” By mispelling it in this article they way you did you evoke the same mistaken interpretation of the word that led to it being controversial in the first place. Not to mention the fact that the way you spelled it leads one to mispronounce it in a way that leads those who hear it to assume it to be a racial slur of some kind.

    Ben Rudnick
    Former Collegian Columnist