During the High Holy Days, Jews are supposed to engage in strenuous self-examination. Even as a secular Jew, the solemnity and moral obligation of this time impels me to look inside and make reparations to those I may have neglected or lied to or otherwise misled as to my deep inner beliefs or opinions.
My thought crimes that everyone already knows about:
a. The subject of antisemitism is only partly understood, even by Jews and their friends;
b. The exact techniques of populist demagoguery always rely on an underlying antisemitic set of assumptions about “the money power.” If we knew even the basics of finance and economic history, the bogey man of Wall Street would disintegrate;
c. I enjoy Ayn Rand’s novels with some reservations (masochistic sex), but given her particular history, I brush them aside;
d. Even if there was “school choice” there is no guarantee that students would be prepared for citizenship, given the curricula in vogue, which do not begin to teach freedom of thought, dominated as they are by authoritarian, under-educated, or wimpy progressives;
e. Progressivism and communism are now so interpenetrating that it is hard to tell where Democrats leave off and hard leftists begin. Those scholars who have studied communist influence in the US and who think that the Reds are no longer relevant are mistaken;
f. Although left-wing anarchists and right-wing anarchists would appear to be immiscible, they are both counter-culture and probably acting out rebellion against the rules set by their parents. Anti-capitalism vs. anarcho-capitalism may not be as significant as enjoyment in prolonged tantrums;
g. Much of what passes for high art is primitivist, or at times, expresses nostalgia for an agrarian past that lacked cities, machines, and annoying Jews who make you think too much;
h. The sexual revolution of the 1960s on has been a disaster for most women, who have bought into the regnant masochism and degradation of our gender;
i. Freud is more relevant than ever, yet rarely understood: though a professed atheist, he is still too Jewish;
j. Many workers continue to be exploited and/or have boring, even dangerous jobs.
Thought crimes that nobody knows about:
a. People should not have children if they can’t support them. If marriages break down, the couples should stay together in most cases for the sake of family stability;
b. Some of the authors and artists I most admire are turning out to be either romantic rebels or reactionaries or downright offensive and I don’t care: I will defend their freedom of expression as long as I am breathing;
c. Being at odds with most of the world is downright fun. John Dos Passos admitted this in his old age (see Century’s Ebb), and I recognized my own proclivities. Call me joyfully alienated; (One relative through marriage rightly suspects me of these contrarian tendencies.)
d. As long as I am on hot on the trail of a new (for me) miscreant or set of ‘em, I am happy;
e. Nothing more exciting than changing my mind or reconfiguring a picture of the world: to see with fresh eyes. While I was making radio documentaries, was heard to say that a good edit was way better than sex. Collage will do that for you;
f. I was invited to submit a proposal for a class I would teach in the Los Angeles Woman’s Building. I submitted this title and nothing else: “PUNS KEY TO SECRET ORDER IN THE UNIVERSE.” No one signed up and I didn’t care.