INVESTIGATIONS: Facing Life

What kind of American becomes a Communist or a fellow traveler? Persistently, both right and left tend to answer the question by referring to a type that logically emerges from the writings of Marx; the pro-Communist is expected to be a poverty-driven, culturally disinherited proletarian rebel. But increasingly the U.S. is aware of another type—not poverty-stricken, not rebellious by temperament, not disinherited by external economic forces but created by a subtle psychological rejection of the values upon which Western civilization has been built. In short, an idealist gone wrong.

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