One of the most significant and life-shaping essays I have ever read was by the late Malcolm Muggeridge (24 March 1903 – 14 November 1990). Muggeridge was born into a family of Communists and often traveled with his father, Henry, to Communist open-air rallies.
Malcolm became an author, media personality, and journalist. In 1932 on assignment for the Manchester Guardian, he traveled to Moscow, with his wife, Kitty. On this trip, the reality of the Soviet Union shattered his Western romantic illusion of Communism and Socialism. His atheistic moorings were loosed and he began a slow journey to Judeo-Christian faith.
In 1970 Muggeridge traveled to Calcutta, India, to do a BBC documentary on the life of Mother Teresa. The tiny nun had a profound impact on Muggeridge and was a leading influence in his coming to faith in Christ. Muggeridge’s life changed dramatically; he was transformed from a hard-drinking womanizer to a Roman Catholic who helped lead a modern movement in England against violence and the commercial exploitation of sex.
The essay that influenced me so much, The Great Liberal Death Wish, was born out of the 1932 trip to Moscow. He saw Western liberals visiting the Soviet Union, witnessing its violent, dehumanizing, and evil culture and yet professing the glorious utopian vision of the Communist system. He was appalled at such folly, and concluded that liberalism had a death wish: Liberals would rather die than admit that their romantic illusion of Communism could be wrong.
I have returned to this essay repeatedly over the years. It has been helpful in my speaking on the Culture of Death and the ABC’s of Culture, and in the writing of my latest book on the great commission.
If you are interested in the Culture Wars in the West, the rise of post-modern culture, and the cultural suicide of Europe, you will find The Great Liberal Death Wish very helpful.
Read it and reap.
– Darrow Miller