Kim Philby and the Cambridge Spies, Alger Hiss, Stephen Decatur, Benedict Arnold, Thomas Paine are well know names, what remains unknown are the motivations that propel people to actively support, work for, even embrace their nations enemies.
‘Treasons Of The Heart’ by David Pryce-Jones examines the fervor, the inspired disaffection and outright hostility so many have embraced in their pursuit of revolutionary politics.
If we count the Marxian type then the 20th Century remains unsurpassed in the very numbers of people who were ‘turned’ to embrace they enemy. David Pryce-Jones finds how personal grievance alone propelled many to seek outright satanic violence as the means to embrace egalitarian gains in an age of Monarchy.
Thomas Paine and Kim Philby are the template. Both gained enormous personal satisfaction in challenging and completely destroying the existing political order. The rage of heredity privilege cannot compete with Marxian revolutionary elan, for the love of embraced exoticism hinged to a noble sounding cause provides the justification to betray.
David Urquhart, Richard Burton and Sir John Glubb were all Victorian Arabists who gleefully served masters unalloyed from Whitehall.
We really ought not to forget that many of those who embraced Marxian revolutionary ethos throughout the 20th century did so from the social and financial privilege of an established order at home. Sympathy for the oppressed, whether masked as liberation theology in El Salvador or Nicaragua remained a moral failure.
Inciting natives to revolt against a political order rebounded in genocidal violence that protected the very privileged revolutionaries from the folly of their own reach. The treason of passionate intellectuals is not difficult to understand: they incite a violence to deflect from the misery of their own lives. They simply don’t have to pay the price for their own folly.