Each of us grows up in an environment created by our parents. That environment may be religious, political, or completely non-parochial. Hopefully, it is a loving environment and not a violent or hateful one. But we are molded by that environment and when we reach early adulthood we struggle with creating our selves, apart from our parents and what they taught us. It’s the most traumatic times in our lives. Steve Weiner, our National Committee member from Oregon, shares his personal journal entries in a publication called the Suspicious Humanist. I would like to share with you an entry he made on September 11, 2012, where he wrestles with the legacies of his parents. —Rick
I’m reading Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million by Martin Amis. (Koba was a nickname for Stalin.) His father was Kingsley Amis, who like my own father, went from ardent communist to anti-communist in the course of a lifetime. Martin, who has gone on to be one of Britain’s most influential writers, has pointed out that this fact made it impossible for Martin to become a Left winger in the 60s. But my situation was more complex. My parents divorced and my mother remained a more or less orthodox pro-Soviet communist with a liberal façade. I was confused from the very beginnning but the excitement for the new Left of the 60s drew me in and I joined a number of Leftist groups. Well, my twisting and turning road has now led me to a place of burning anti-communism like my father’s. I asked my coustin Fran, who always offers me a book of my choice for my birthday, to buy me Koba the Dread. I’ve been reading it and when doing so find myself in a highly charged state of rage and frustration at the well-meaning Leftists who are still around, who minimize Leftist brutality wherever it occurs. Sometimes I am called a neo-conservative for this, but I don’t care.