The Last Word

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 16 2011 @ 1:30pm

From his last interview, with Richard Dawkins. And yes, it sums up all he stood for and believed in:

RD I've always been very suspicious of the left-right dimension in politics.

CH Yes; it's broken down with me.

RD It's astonishing how much traction the left-right continuum [has] . . . If you know what someone thinks about the death penalty or abortion, then you generally know what they think about everything else. But you clearly break that rule.

CH I have one consistency, which is [being] against the totalitarian – on the left and on the right. The totalitarian, to me, is the enemy – the one that's absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes. And the origins of that are theocratic, obviously. The beginning of that is the idea that there is a supreme leader, or infallible pope, or a chief rabbi, or whatever, who can ventriloquise the divine and tell us what to do.

He was Orwell's heir in this. And we have lost a comrade in the struggle ahead.

I have to stop now. I need to sleep. I managed only a few hours last night. Normal service – provided by the Dish team – will resume shortly.