Christopher Hitchens Dies

I was sad to hear that Christopher Hitchens had died.  He may have gotten many things wrong, but he got the one big thing of his era right — the danger posed by radical Islam to human freedom and dignity.  Check out the video above for a sample.

All of us are deeply flawed and make many mistakes.  But great intellectuals and leaders get the big things of their time right and focus their energy on that big thing.  Abraham Lincoln made many mistakes, but he recognized the evils of slavery and the threat it posed to our Union.  Franklin Roosevelt made more than his share of blunders with the economy, but he recognized the threat posed by fascism and did everything he could to defeat it.  And of course, Christopher Hitchens’ role model, George Orwell, was mistaken about many things but he correctly identified the evils of Communism and the Totalitarianism it brings.

Hitchens was a great man in the tradition of these other great men.  May his warnings about Islamic Radicalism be heeded.

(edited for typos)

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2 Responses to Christopher Hitchens Dies

  1. Greg Forster says:

    A great man. He was prolific, polymathic, right about a lot more than that one big issue, and delightul to read on every subject but one. Perhaps best of all, he never feared to write what was true, interesting and salient even when it cost him personally and professionally. For an example of his work beyond the immediately political, have a taste of this and this. Appetizer:

    Brush even a fingertip against the balloon of Hollywood ambition and prize-mania, and it can burst with gratifying speed, emitting huge gusts of narcissism and megalomania. Ever since I, and one or two others, published some criticisms of The King’s Speech, there has been a lovely value-for-money response of outraged ego. Tinseltown reporters have e-mailed and telephoned me to report that Harvey Weinstein goes around saying that all who doubt the perfection of his latest offering are in sinister league with the makers of The Social Network. I had some difficulty in believing that this was really true, but it did cheer me up. Yet now the film’s screenwriter, David Seidler, has given a foam-flecked interview to the Puffington Host, or whatever the hell it’s called, in which he speaks darkly of a “smear campaign” against his baby, a campaign of which I constitute a “prong.” So perhaps the termites of paranoia have been dining long and well on the Weinstein Co. cortex.

    • I agree that Hitchens was “right about a lot more than that one big issue,” but I’m suggesting that he only had to be right about the one, big thing and to devote his full energy to that to be a great man. We are often too harsh in our judgments of historical figures — Jefferson owned slaves, Eisenhower had a mistress, etc…. My view is that if you even get one big thing right, that more than makes up for the rest. And Hitchens did much more than that one thing.

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