To determine why any particular individual would have become a leftist is not the purpose of this study. He may have arrived on the Left, motivated by genuine idealism, incurable do-goodism, scholarly curiosity, compassionate brotherhood, or by nothing more harmless than a search for adventure. The motives may have been a crasser nature; financial, political, or social opportunism; dedication to Socialism or Communism or some variance of these alien totalitarian systems.
What does matter for these sketches is that the individual has been and is on the Left, working for leftist causes - domestic and foreign - and his activities can be recognized.
The causes of the American leftist on the domestic scene have been directed toward the exaltation of society and the state by attacks upon individual and family dignity and property rights. The leftist has promoted confiscatory taxation, deficit spending, deliberate inflation, and willful debauchery of the entire monetary system. Fraudulent and compulsory insurance schemes have been presented as social security; federal control and dominance of education as aid; dictatorial ukases as judicial decisions.
The leftist is here in America in greater numbers more secure in his influence, and accelerating his program faster, than ever before. He is found in the AFL-CIO, on the Supreme Court, in the Foreign Policy Association, in the American Assembly, in the National Council of Churches, in Chambers of Commerce, in gubernatorial mansions, on Wall Street, in Congress, in the Anti-Defamation League, in mental health associations, in the Republican and Democrat parties, and marching side-by-side with black powerites, gay and lesbian marchers, illegal immigrant protesters, and "peace" brigades, trampling upon others' civil rights and violating law and order. He may deny that he is part of any establishment but his denials will be more heated if he is accused of "rightism." And that he has been ever thus is plainly seen in these sketches, which presents the leftists of an earlier day in their environment as it was then and still remains today.