Well, I think it's okay to not have all the answers, or if people don't agree with you or whatever. I find Marxism to be an analytically useful way of looking at how the world works, and I find the Marxist-Leninists to generally have the best understanding of things, and their predictions are usually true more often than not. It's not a big deal if someone tells you you're a fool or whatever.
I actually met Christopher Hitchens once at a debate he did with these Christian pastors and theologians and was young fanboy. My feeling is that my attraction to him was similar to guys being attracted to people like Jordan Peterson today. It's a lot of moral dudgeon and believing you're part of this idealistic cause to save Western civilization as it's standing on a precipice and blah blah blah.
I think Hitchens also believed himself to be agent for this – or something like that. So the appeal was living vicariously through Hitchens as he'd go on these little adventures to slay dragons. He loved to name drop famous people he'd wine and dine with. A typical Hitchens article would open with "I was standing in Walid Jumblatt's chateau in the mountains above Beirut when…"
He was a self-promoter, and being a Marxist probably became incompatible with his own career aspirations at a certain point. I also don't think he was ever that radical. I watched an old CPSAN interview with him in the 1980s where would describe his magazine (The Nation) as the left-wing of the mainstream. Although from what I heard his last words were "capitalism downfall" scrawled on a pen and a pad at his hospital bed in the moments before he died. Anyways, his stuff was more interesting before 9/11, and more lefty, but I think running throughout it all was a kind of well-honed style – Hitchens certainly had style. And he also had an audodidact's arrogance. He was fundamentally still a *journalist*. A hack. He also had a drinking problem which probably worsened over time and degraded his output.
There are a lot of hacks out there. Nothing wrong with that, though. Most of us here are also audodidacts who don't really know what we're talking about, but I think we should have some humility.
I personally find social conservatism to be sort of incoherent and most of the people who claim it are focused on these kind of surface-level signifiers. It's superficial. Like, is it dressing like Clint Eastwood from Gran Turino or something? Or not doing drugs? That's fine. I don't do drugs, either. Or is it like being like the Amish? That's about as extreme socially as I can imagine. So when I see "alt-right" guys say they're way out on the extremes, I'm usually not impressed. There are a quarter million Amish living in my country, the United States, and I don't have any problems with them.
Well I think a lot of people become attracted to radical political causes because they are personally dissatisfied with their lives, and they use the cause as a way of transforming themselves into a kind of vehicle on a mission to transform the world, and by extension, themselves. But this inevitably results in frustrations. This is like the Hitchens, Peterson, etc. thing I was talking about. But it's not just them.
I suppose I'd ask people to think about what society they're actually living in. Like here in the U.S., it's basically modern version of the Byzantine Empire with 300 million people who are living radically different lives. I can't remember the exact quote, but Nixon praised Mao during their meetings in the early 1970s, and Mao said "oh, I've only established socialism within a few squares miles of Beijing."