In a genuinely unexpected outcome, the single most common characteristic of these particular political conversion stories was precisely: radicalization rightward in reaction to an overwhelmingly left-biased humanities faculty on one elite campus after another. ~Mary Eberstadt
The same process is probably at work today, but as every level of education has been more and more permeated by anti-Western and anti-Christian attitudes (particularly in history) I bet the reactions against overreaching indoctrination begin earlier. That was certainly what happened in my case. It certainly didn’t hurt that I grew up in a home where my parents espoused a very strong conservatism (had I been inclined to read them as a teenager, Bradford and Kirk’s complete works were sitting on our shelves), so there was a strong countervailing influence against the politicised junk they threw at me at school, but an overwhelming part of my early education at secular, private schools was so consistently biased to the left and so openly uninterested in most of the Western tradition generally and Christianity specifically that I was something of a cultural idiot by the time I entered high school. Growing up entirely secular ensured that, as far as religion was concerned, there would be no strong counterbalance to the anti-Christian elements in our education.
The virtually total neglect of studying any religion backfired, however, since my curiosity about the subject caused me to go out and start learning something, even if it was initially heavily focused on South Asian religions. The multiculti propaganda, even as much as I disliked it all along, had had some effect, and this was to discourage interest in Christianity (which I assume is at least half of the purpose of all multiculturalism). It also had the effect of inspiring in me both a zealous syncretism and a lot of undue respect for Islam (after all, “everyone” knew that Islam was a religion of tolerance and learning, not like those mean, old Christians). Fortunately, rapid disillusionment with Islam followed, and the departure away from my ignorance of Christianity and away from my childish, conventional neocon-like foreign and libertarian domestic politics came next. (I guess there doesn’t have to be any connection between sympathy for the “good” Islam, desire for confrontation with China and a belief that global free trade is good for the American worker, but in their sheer irrationality they do seem to coexist comfortably in the minds of more than a few people.) The multicultis are good at keeping people ignorant, but once the veil is lifted multiculturalism is so shallow and worthless that it cannot long keep anyone in its thrall. From the perspective of my classmates, I was already on ”the right,” perhaps even the far right in some respects, but as I look back on it I was escaping from a host of liberal delusions–belief in “rights,” confidence in democracy, etc.–the last of which I think I finally shed about five years ago (just in time!).
Gradually, the wisdom of Chronicles, which I started reading more often in my college years when I was back home, broke through the near-impenetrable haze of youthful stupidity. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s books drilled in just how pernicious and undesirable democracy was. Chronicles’ hammering away on the Western injustices done in Yugoslavia finally sank in, and I became aware of the folly of meddling in Kosovo by early 1998 (just about when the first threats related to Kosovo were being made by the administration). Had Chronicles not existed, there would have been hardly any resources to provide any sort of perspective on the Balkans that was not dripping with the standard historically illiterate, Christophobic, anti-Slavic view of most Western media outlets. Providing the decent, learned and Christian perspective is the service Chronicles has provided on numerous matters of policy and culture.
As I have related before, the bombing of Kosovo was a turning point in that the injustice of that war and the insipid nature of the internationalist consensus behind the bombing campaign pushed me irrevocably into the anti-interventionist camp. It cannot be a coincidence that I was much more likely to be persuaded by the neocon/WSJ party line on meddling in Yugoslavia, backing Israel to the hilt and vilifying Russia when I was in my teens, since this was the time when I was still stunningly ignorant of the history of a lot of Christian civilisation. It usually requires such appalling ignorance to buy into a lot of the rhetoric used in justifying U.S. policies or in defining “the West” in ways that include Mexico, Israel and Turkey but exclude half of Europe. As soon as I started learning anything about our civilisation’s history, and particularly once I started to become familiar with Orthodox Christianity (though I would not convert for several more years after this), the folly and villainy of a lot of conventional interventionist policies started to become apparent to me, partly because I started to perceive in them the works of people who were hostile to the cultural and religious inheritance of our civilisation and partly because the policies themselves seemed designed to target and harm Christians around the world (or at least to support the enemies of Christians around the world, which amounts to something very similar). Iraq and Lebanon have hardly disabused me of this notion.